Sunday, April 28, 2013

Let Me Tell You About The Books 2: CAMPFIRE STORIES

The second book is titled Campfire Stories. No real significance to the title, except that I could see some of these stories being told at night, around a campfire.

I've been seriously writing since 1977, the day after I saw Star Wars. I had actually started in '75, but I don't like to talk about the Space: 1999 fics I wrote. Let's just say they were...not of acceptable quality. Thankfully all copies were lost.

Despite all the writing and submitting, I wasn't published until 2005. Lightning struck twice and I was published again in 2005. I had started to think my luck was starting to change.

I wasn't published again until 2009, then again in 2010.

Anyone who writes knows the frustration of getting rejection slips. The first ones I received were devestating. Over the years, they came to mean nothing to me. Whenever I received one, my only thought would be, "Your loss."

After a while, though, it got frustrating. So I decided to take a different course.

That's what led me to publish With Eyes Open... on Lulu and Campfire Stories on Smashwords.

The eight stories in Campfire Stories aren't arranged in the order I wrote them. Instead, they're arranged in the order they occur in the history of my fictional universe. All the stories and novels take place in the same universe, in one consistent time life running from thirteen-point-eight billion years plus one day ago to about the year 7784. There are two stories that weren't included. The first, titled "Wanderer" is actually the first part of a novel so I decided to leave it out of this collection. The second, titled "Brianna and the Three" is in no condition to be published anywhere. It needs a lot of work and will probably be included in another collection...once I get more stories completed.

The stories are both science fiction and fantasy, so there should be something for everyone...

1) "The End of Seconds": One of the questions that has yet to be answered is, what happened before the Big Bang. I was thinking about this, along with the story of Genesis. This story deals with the end of one universe, the beginning of the next and answers the annoying question, so where did God come from? (I can accept an omniscent being powerful enough to create all of existence with the snap of his fingers...but all beings, including all powerful ones, had to come from somewhere.)

2) "Games of Life and Cold": At one time, I had planned to write about a race of genetically engineered soldiers invading Earth. This story was going to be part of the backstory. I had planned to write more about these characters but never had the chance. It's the story of a planetary explorations/first contact that goes terribly wrong.

3) "If You Listen Softly...": A what-if story, something I tried for the feel of a Twilight Zone episode. What if you woke up one morning and found things different from the day before...and you were the only one who realized it? Something to make you go...huh?

4) "All My Yesterdays, Remembered": What if you best friend turned out to be more than you ever expected?

5) "Symmetry": She woke up on a subway with no memory of how she got there. Just what is going on...and who is the Conductor?

6) "Signpost": Back into the realm of science fiction for a story about discovery. Who were the Mengharans? What was the purpose of their Solids?

7) "Last Light": Essentially a hostage crisis set in the last twenty-second century. You'll be seeing these characters again.

8) "The Shape of the Truth": Like "Wanderer", this was part of a larger work. Unlike "Wanderer", it had nothing to do with the rest of the novel. So I pulled it out, polished it up and included it here.  It's the story of Dari Loq, a shape-changing investigator as she searches for another of her people. You'll be seeing Dari again, too.

At the moment, Campfire Stories is only available on Smashwords. It's been approved for inclusion in their Premium Catalog, so it'll be distributed to other outlets. I'll let you know when and where.

For now, you can find Campfire Stories at

So that's all for now. I do have other completed stories that I'm getting ready to submit. Watch here for more.

Let Me Tell You About The Books 1: WITH EYES OPEN...

I want to talk a little bit about the two books I have out. Just a little background into the stories that comprise the two.

With Eyes Open... is comprised of two stories, "With Eyes Open..." and its unintended sequel, "A Voice in the Darkness".

"With Eyes Open..." has the honor of being the first story ever published back in 2005, in a now defunct ezine named Deep Magic. It actually started as a writing exercise.

I had read somewhere that if you're stuck, turn on the television, go to any channel, write down the first thing you hear and build a story from that. I did this, writing down the sentence "Isn't there anything you want to tell me about your marriage?" (Don't ask me the program; I've forgotten it.) So I started writing about a break up. Problem was, I was still having trouble. So I stopped for a little while.

Then something else happened.

Answer me this: Have you ever been alone in a room, yet see movement out of the corner of your eye? Youi know it's just your mind playing tricks on you, or maybe (as is my case) it's your cat. But I started thinking, what if there was a race here on Earth with us, completely unnoticed, completely intangible and invisible. They need a single human to anchor them here.

Could I turn the aborted break-up story into something about these creatures?

Of course I could, and it's one of my favorite stories.

So the story that began as Mira Frayne breaking up with a man led to Mira making a discovery about the world and being tied to these creatures.

I was trying for a Twilight Zone feel to the story, something that started out one way and led you down an entirely different path. When I finished the story, I knew I would be visiting with Mira again, though I didn't know when.

Sometimes, sequels are planned, sometimes they happen accidentally. That was the case with "A Voice in the Darkness".

The second story in With Eyes Open..., "A Voice in the Darkness", had a strange path to completion. It didn't even start out as a sequel to "With Eyes Open..." But that's how it goes with my writing; a story will start out heading in one direction the suddenly take a hard right into weirdness.

I had the thought that something had gone wrong on one of the stations that orbit Earth in the late 22nd-early 23rd centuries. I didn't know exactly what, but I knew it had something to do with a government organization known as MilSci, short for Military Science. My main character used to work for them but left a few years earlier. Somehow, her ex husband was involved.

I had started writing the story without a thought of "With Eyes Open..." Then Mira showed up, along with the Adityas. I knew then that the Adityas were behind what had happened but still didn't know why. So I put it aside to try and figure out what happened.

Mark the passage of at least a few years.

In early 2012, I started making a push to complete the numerous unfinished stories that had accumulated over the years. So I started with "A Voice in the Darkness" and completed it within a few months.

Why couldn't I have done that the first time around?

With Eyes Open... is currently available on...
Lulu -
iTunes -

Saturday, April 20, 2013

CAMPFIRE STORIES Has Been Published!

My newest book (God, it sounds good to say that!) Campfire Stories, is now available on Smashwords. This one is a collection of short stories, ranging across history, from 13.8 billion years plus 1 day in the past to the year 2196.

Find it on smashwords:

And here's the cover...

It's a bit more expensive than With Eyes Open... at $5.99 but I think it's worth it.

Hope you enjoy it!