Gilchrist, August 2014

Gilchrist, August 2014

Saturday, January 23, 2016

First lines in the dying days of January

So my friend Loren Rhoads tagged me. She recently wrote a blog that included the first lines of everything she is working on now. Whoa, she is way amore ambitious than me!  Go take a look. But anyway, she tagged the rest of us to do that same. So, here goes my stuff:

The book I'm revising about a rock and roll band in 1983 and a psychic vampire is called The Black Light: Trace stands in the wings backstage at the Refugee Club, a narrow shadow.

So, then there's the short story about same psychic vampire's youth, called Knives: I light a fresh cigarette off the butt of the dying one before crushing it into the tray set in the door of the car.

And of course there's The Night Was Not, which is the NeoVictorian third gender romance that I'm stuck in the middle of: Kerry Hazard slid into the pilot's seat of the Starshine as he toggled the print switch on the com console. 
Yep. There you have it. Or at least there you have some of it. I'm not a very fast writer, and some of these things I've  been working on for quite a while. I'm trying to write more every day, and faster too. I'll never be one of those writers who can write ten thousand words a day. But  I think I'm ready to get to the ends of at least these things. Wish me luck.

So, I'll ask the question of the other writers I know: What are your first lines? 

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

In Which I Fail to Explain What a Crappy Day Monday Was

I'm not sorry that David Bowie is dead. I mean, I've seen enough people suffer to the end of their lives. I don't wish it on anyone. Certainly not on a man that I owe so much. I do feel for his children. I just lost a father, and I didn't even want to be the one to call the family. I can't imagine how hard it was for his son to tell the world.

 Now, this is the place where I tell you that I'm not crazy. I didn't know the man. Yet, I got the news at three a.m. the next day--the very same time that I got the news of my father's death. Soul's Midnight, Bradbury called it in "Something Wicked This Way Comes". When my Dad died, I knew it was coming. I got up, put my pants on and went over to his house.

 No tears. But for Bowie, I cried. And my phone continued to go off until it went dead at about ten that morning. At first it was, "Are you okay?" and "I thought of you when I heard." I heard from people I hadn't seen in a decade. It was all very sweet. But with each text or call, I realized, no, I'm not okay. Not today. There's a hole in the world. Not just mine, Bowie left a hole in people's lives that don't even know that he affected them. He was part of the bones of this century, with his influences in everything from men's fashion to gender politics to children's cartoons. And what wrecks me now that all's said and done is he left us in the gentlest way he could. "It's not that I don't love you," he said. "It's that I can't stay." And he made it as strange and beautiful as everything else he did.

 I'm not sad for Bowie. I'm sad for me. Most of the important things I know about myself, I came to know through his filter. When I was thirteen years old, an insomniac in a small town, I found him, long before MTV, on Don Kirshner's Rock Concert. It was I Am a DJ, and it answered so many questions that I hadn't even begun to ask yet. It was a shrill piece of desperation that I could hang onto in the middle of the night. I wasn't alone, suddenly.

 Nothing I could ever say would explain how grateful I am for that. His influences on my writing are obvious, and, again, I'm so grateful that words fail. For everything, really. Thank you for being there to save me in the middle of the night.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

The things I (would have) left behind

My best friend and I have always written. We've known each other and have shared our stories for over thirty years. We have lived on opposite sides of the country for almost two thirds of that time, and of course become different people than we were as kids. We've had different lives, but writing has always been the constant.
She asked me, a while ago if she could use a character of mine in a new story she was writing. She would change his name, and the setting, of course, but she wanted to know if it was alright with me if he made an appearance.
I didn't know what to say. I was more than happy to let her have him. I wasn't doing anything with him, that was for sure.  When she began to talk about what role he would play in this new story of hers, I was hit with a wave of uncertainty, as though I was falling back into who I was all those years ago. I was jealous of her new idea, of the writer she was. I felt awful. She had improved her writing so much since then, why was I still struggling with every word?
I wanted to protect what was mine, but I also wanted to let him go. I wanted to see what she did with him. Of the two of us, I had more faith in her than I did in me, to complete the story.
So I gave up my seventeen year old self who felt inferior, and angry about being inferior. That was the first thing, and it wasn't easy. Then I decided to try to be as much help as I could. Not only because she is my best friend, but because I knew I would learn things along the way.
She did finish the book, and my character, who is a relatively minor one, is also one of the heroes. He comes across as a guy who is just doing the best he can while trying to stay as deceit as he can. He's perfect, but he's also not mine anymore. He's one facet of my character, as seen through her eyes, so reading him was so much more fun than I ever expected.
There was another unexpected bonus. She got me thinking about those stories we wrote back then. I decided it might be time for me to start telling my version. I could write that character from the present, with all the things I've learned since we were kids added in. I haven't stayed in the same place, I've moved forward, I've just moved differently. I wanted a story that reflected that, even if only to myself.

The result is the novel I'm working on now, called “The Night Was Not.” It's a neo-Victorian story. This incarnation of the character is called Kerry Hazard. He flies an airship, and is called back to the city of his childhood by an ominous message from a friend. It's a very different story from my friend's novel, which is a space opera (yay!), but the character came from the same place. He was born in the back of a notebook, scribbled in while lying on either of our bedroom floors in the middle of the night. It's where he would have stayed if she hadn't picked him up again. 

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

The Dangerous Type, by Loren Rhoads is out today!!!

Set in the wake of a galaxy-wide war and the destruction of a human empire, The Dangerous Type follows the awakening of one of the galaxy's most dangerous assassins and her quest for vengeance. Entombed for twenty years, Raena has been found and released.

Thallian has been on the lam for the last fifteen years.  He's a wanted war criminal whose entire family has been hunted down and murdered for their role in the galaxy-wide genocide of the Templars. His name is the first on Raena's list, as he's the one that enslaved her, made her his assassin, and ultimately put her in a tomb. But Thallian is willing to risk everything--including his army of cloned sons--to capture her. Now it's a race to see who kills whom first.

Alternatively, Gavin has spent the last twenty years trying to forget about Raena, whom he once saved and then lost to Thallian. Raena's adopted sister, Ariel, has been running from the truth -- the one about Raena, about herself and Gavin -- and doesn't know if she'll be able to face either of them.

The Dangerous Type is a mix of military science fiction and an adventurous space opera that grabs you from the first pages and doesn't let go. Along with a supporting cast of smugglers, black market doctors, and other ne'er-do-wells sprawled across a galaxy brimming with alien life, The Dangerous Type is a fantastic beginning to Loren Rhoads's epic trilogy.

I've told you about this book before, remember? It came out today, and the copies I had in my bookstore flew off the shelves, but don't worry, I'll be getting more of them. Also it's available from and amazon, for both nook and kindle.

The Dangerous Type is everything the blurb says and more. I loved this book, and you will too. AND the best part is that there are more to come! I can't wait for number two!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Stuff That's Happening (and a little tiny rant)

This is usually where I share stuff that my other writer friends have going on. And there's a bunch of stuff going on. My friend Kacey Vanderkarr's first book in her trilogy, Reflection Pond is FREE on Kindle right now. If you don't already have it, go here: 
I'm not kidding you should read this book. And then leave a review. 

And my friend Loren Rhoads is having a goodreads give-a-way for the book she wrote with Brian Thomas, As Above, So Below. You should enter to win here : And then you know, if you win, read it and leave a review. 

And always, there's Out of the Green, Yep, it's right over the the right of you. If you haven't gotten your copy, seriously what are you waiting for? Not only does it include stories by the aforementioned  authors, but also a story by me, and ten others, all with their unique view of fairy. If you're around my area, I can fix you up with a copy,  no need to wait. If not, well you know where it's available. And once you've read it..... You know what I'm going to say, right? Yep. Leave a review......

Maybe you're sensing a common theme here. The "leave a review" part? yeah. Stephen King once said something like, the writer and the reader are in partnership. One doesn't exist without the other. I'm paraphrasing, but I believe it's true. When you write a story, a novel, a poem, it's not meant to sit on your desk, or in a drawer. It needs a reader. Or, to be honest, it needs a bunch of readers. I write so that I can find out what happens in the end. I hope that people read my stories for the same reason, to find out what happens in the end. To be relieved, or heartbroken at how it plays out. 
This is what makes the Internet a wonderful and terrible place. Now readers are more accessible than ever. And that's fantastic. But it there's no feedback, the words you put out may as well be sitting in that drawer..... 

The truth is that putting books out online, whether electronically or as traditional books, is a word-of-mouth game of selling. Kindle rates books on their reader reviews and that can make or break an indie author. So if you enjoy an author, and leave a review, it does two things. One: it puts another of their books into your hands(kindle ranking and all that). Two: you tell that author that it's working, that yes, the novel you sweated over worked for me. It touched me and I identified with it. Believe me, to a writer, sitting in some cafe somewhere alone with their computer, that's huge. 
Oh! And before I forget, I have a new short story up on Wattpad that you can read for free! (@MarthaAllard). It's my lesbian genie story. I actually really like it..... If you like feel free to leave a comment....... 

Sunday, January 4, 2015

The New Year (viewed with dread and glitter)

I'm a little late with the "Last Year In Writing" post, aren't I? Well, actually, this might be my first one.
Last year was..... Complicated. It wasn't all bad. I got to go to Gilchrist twice. That was great. My nephew graduated from High School without giving his mother or me a fatal heart attack.  That was fantastic. My Dad is still hanging on with us, and I'm grateful for that.
Also, we published Out Of the Green (available on and, and I'm fond of the stories in it. I had a great time writing mine. I wrote two other short stories that have yet to find a home. One's a post-apocalyptic lesbian djin story. Yeah, okay, that one might be hard to find a market for.... And the other... Well the other is an Asia story. I haven't decided what to do with that one yet.
I know I promised to have a book out by late fall last year, didn't I? Well, it's a little late too, (cover issues plus just plain too much life-intrusion) but don't forget about it! It's still coming.
The first two weeks of the new year, though, are for the novel I'm working on right now.  I'm working that subplot.
So, while life isn't perfect (I work in a hell hole, still, and home is really prickly at the moment), I'm working on it. I wish I could be the kind of writer that had big lovely announcements at year's end, but for me, this works for right now.


Saturday, December 6, 2014

Wild is the Wind--Out of the Green.

I've always loved a good rock and roll magic story. I mean, think about it, isn't rock and roll magical anyway? What if what we think of as onstage theatrics are all really magic? No, not like Ozzy getting in trouble with PETA. Like what if the boy with the glitter eyeliner and up swept  ears is actually what he looks like?

So when Kacey Vanderkarr suggested that we co-edit this anthology and also suggested we write for it, I thought, cool! I know just what I want to write about.

Fairy and rock and roll? What could go wrong? I love the British, from the seventies and the eighties, because there's a restlessness to that music. British rock and rollers of that time all longed to escape England. It was too small. Too much the same. They wanted America because from where they stood, it was wide and huge and anything could happen.

That restlessness was my inspiration for my Fairy Lord to leave his lands.  It makes sense to me that he falls in love as soon as he leaves, and takes the human world for his own.   What happens after that? Oh, I'm not going to tell you. That would ruin it.

If you want to know what happens, the links are all down here, There are twelve other stories as well, all with different takes on Fairyland.

Also, contributor Loren Rhoads has also blogged about her story. You can read about it here:  Check out her website. She is a busy writer!

Links  For the Book:

For the ebook: