Monday, November 30, 2009


"Bindflestiff's Daughter" is the 88th story short story I've written since in seven years. Since "Stairway to Heaven" is my 45th publication, I'm batting .511 lifetime, and that average should go up with my pending publications.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Back from the break

Have taken a small hiatus here for the holiday, but I'm back. Work has been going on in the background. I've sent off five stories in the past few days, and "Bindlestiff's Daughter" is almost complete and I'm sure will be off in the mail next week.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The record

I said in yesterday's post that "Stairway to Heaven" is my first publication in a magazine's debut issue. I went back and checked my bibliography to confirm that information (it's true).

"Berserker" was published in the second issue of OG's Speculative Fiction in Sept. 2006, and "Avatar" was in the second issue of "Darker Matter" in April 2007.
"Good News for the Dead" was in the third issue of M-Brane sf in March of this year.

Thanks go to Ed Morris for knowing about Encounters and getting our joint production published.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Latest publication

Over the years I've had a couple of cases where I had a story published in the second issue of a magazine, but now I can say I've had a story published in a magazine's debut. Encounters, a new magazine by Black Matrix Press, just came out with its first issue, and it contains a collaboration my myself and Ed Morris, "Stairway to Heaven".

This is my 45th short story published in six years.

Sunday, November 22, 2009


I mis-spoke yesterday when I said the collaboration with Ed Morris, "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes", will be my last story this year. "Twilight on the Finger Lakes" is scheduled to be published by Bewildering Stories on Dec. 14.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Latest sale

Got word from Ed Morris today that our collaboration, "Smoke Gets In Your Eyes", is being published next month in The Fifth Dimension, one of the magazines under Sam's Dot publishing.

This is a story that I wrote up first and then Ed came on board. He finished it up with snap. We both greatly admire Ernie Kovacs; this is sort of an alternate history homage to the great comic.

J. Alan Erwine is the editor of The Fifth Dimension. It's most recent issue in September features fiction by Matthew Bey - a fellow Texas author - and poetry by Bruce Boston.

This will be my 45th publication, and my sixth - and last - story in 2009.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

More on Bindlestiff

Got to the end of "Bindlestiff's Daughter", clocked in at 5,800 words. Going to add some color and details, but I'm sure the story will contract in the edit.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Latest story

After a day's break I got motivated to start to write up a fantasy story idea, and in a couple of days I've written almost 5,000 words of "Bindlestiff's Daughter". It's kinda like "The Witch of Waxahachie" in that its characters go between a fantasy/magic and "real" world, but in this case, it starts in the fantasy world, and the protag is a young lady.

I'm pleased at the plot, and I think I have a good ending. Bindlestiff's daughter may be the fullest female character I've ever written.

Sunday, November 15, 2009


After the latest burst of writing on "The Dagger Unsheath'd", I had to take some time off from the keyboard. My carpal tunnel flared up, and I've had to spend some time doctoring it, and not writing to give my wrist a rest. Otherwise, no returns or rejections during the past week, which is kinda strange.

Last weekend I spent a couple of days stripping rust from an old car I bought at an auto auction, and I laid down some primer and paint. All that work on Sunday and Monday probably contributed to my distress. This is the 1982 Chevy Celebrity I bought for $100 and that I have been driving to work every day. Nice old car, and I got $100 in salvage for my old Ford Taurus station wagon. Cheap drives.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Next up

Took a first step a few weeks ago towards an alternate history where the American Civil War doesn't break out until now - 2009. Originally had 1,600 words, got back to it last night, added another 2,000 words. It's called "The Dagger Unsheath'd".

Sunday, November 08, 2009

The Ones to Watch, Music for Four Hands

The third annual installment of "The Ones to Watch" feature has been posted in the November issue of the Internet Review of Science Fiction. This is a little later than in previous years, but Adrian had some things come up that delayed getting it in there. Still, it's an interesting project. One of the authors who was part of it the first year dropped out; on the other hand, Pat Rothfuss is a major published author now and at 100% of his goals. That leaves us three - me, Linda Donahue and Jennifer Pelland - in the middle there. I guess we're doing pretty good, compared to so many people out there, but at least in my case it's not a big deal - I enjoy my day job. I really don't think I'll hit my stride as a fiction writer until I get too old to chase fire engines any more and have to retire as a journalist. Then I'll sit home and dream...

Changing subjects, finally had a free night to sit and look over the file for the chapbook, "Music for Four Hands", put together by Ed Morris. It features the four of our collaborations that have been published, or are about to be published: "Eva", "Acroscaphe". "Off the Hook" and "Stairway to Heaven". I wrote up my bio and my part of the introduction, and shot it back to Ed. Looks great.

Thursday, November 05, 2009


"Pirates of the Ozarks" is done, final edit made it tighten 300 words - a good sign. Came in at 4,640 words. It is going out in tomorrow's mail. This is the 86th short story I've written since 2002.

Out loud

I read the latest version of "Pirates of the Ozarks" to Patricia last night. She said it was good, although she's unhappy that Natchez is one of the cities cited as being destroyed in the Great Inundation of 1812 (that's where we honeymooned) - but it's later rebuilt on the barrier island that survives at its old location.

Coincidentally, a report coming out today in the journal "Nature" reports that recent tremors which have occurred in the area of the New Madrid fault are not precursors of a pending quake, but instead aftershocks of the giant quake of 1812.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

As soon as I speak

As soon as I post that I can't electronically sign my contract, I get some advice, try again, ane get it done, so it's a done deed.

"Dispatches from the Troubles"

Got a contract via email for my novellette, "Dispatches from The Troubles", which is being publiched in GUD (Greatest Uncommon Denominator) in Spring 2010. They're using some kind of electronic contract signing software, and it's not opening up the right buttons in my email. Oh, well, we'll muddle through.

"Pirates of the Ozarks" should be ready for sending out by this weekend

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Update on "Pirates"

Doing some final tweaks and edits on "Pirates of the Ozarks". It's staying under 5,000 words - just - which is a cutoff for a number of magazines. It seems to be going well.

No rejections recently, I must have about 15 stories bouncing around different slush piles.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Pirates ready to set sail

After a few good days of writing the first draft of "Pirates of the Ozarks" is finished. It came in under 5,000 words. I expect it will shrink, as should be expected, during final editing.

The local community college showed "Bubba Ho-Tep" Thursday as part of a month-long film series done as a joint project of the Language and Humanities Department. Mojo Joe came to the town for the day. He spoke to students at the college - in a creative writing class - and then at the film showing that evening.

The students applauded at the end of the movie. I think it all turned out great. I wrote a story about it for the Sunday paper.

Never told Joe "Pirates" has a character named "Captain Lansdell" who grew up in the small coastal fishing village of Nacogdoches in Eastern Tejas before setting off for a life of aquatic brigandage on the Great Inland Sea.

Whatever happened to that old Sunbelt?

By LOU ANTONELLI Managing Editor It’s rained almost daily for the past four months. The ground is saturated; walking across grass is lik...