A Bad Case of “Then What Happened?”

Have you ever read a book that was so good, it was like a drug?  That you’ve found yourself doing chores one handed so you can keep reading.  Putting the book down just before going out the door and with deep reluctance?  I love those stories and when they’re that good, I feel like you can go back multiple times and the magic will still be there.

As requested after my last blog post, a little sample of some of my work.  This is the opening to a small series of interconnected short stories called “It was Supposed to be a Dream.”  They’re currently published as a chapbook, volume 1 in “The Collected Words.”

I remember the night I first met him.  It was so late and I was closing out the coffee shop.  I remember being weirded out by the feelings I got off him.  I normally get nothing off the living because they didn’t need me until after death.  But he felt empty.  The kind of empty that is an endless pit compared to normal puddles.  I didn’t say anything although he looked at me strangely.  I brought the young couple in front of him some pie.  She was one of the self-proclaimed wiccans of the town and he was a straitlaced youth.  I felt bad for her because I could tell he was in it for the kicks.  She was loudly explaining how there was more to the world than we know.  So I tried to do the right thing and support her.

“You have no idea,” I offered.

“This is a private conversation,” she responded coldly so I backed off.  Maybe she was more in tune than I gave her credit for, maybe she saw what I was trying to hide.  Maybe she didn’t want me honing in on her date.  Life gets complicated no matter which way you walk.  I just remember how Michael turned suddenly at my comment and the eyes behind his sunglasses seemed to drill into my back as I returned to the counter.  He followed me there, standing in all his cold, empty glory.

“You can see them, can’t you?” he asked hoarsely.

I didn’t know how he knew but I just agreed.

“Good.  I need your help.”


Language Lessons

“I will not dismiss her care based on your erroneous decisions.”

Sometimes I wonder about language and readership, especially when writing pieces that don’t take place in the modern period.  I find it easier to write for the future even though I have no doubt we won’t be using the profanity of today.  But I think that’s something that can be overlooked.  My work focuses on people.  On the nearly impossible situations I can put them in and how they react to it.  So while my terms and language of science fiction might become obsolete, I hope the characters/people will continue to carry the story.

That brings me to historical periods.  In between spending time on Mars (new book in the works) and Terran B (another new project), I’ve been working on a historical fiction novel.

I read a lot of classical books, some of them over and over.  As one friend recently pointed out, my everyday language can come across as rather old-fashioned at times.  I’m good with that.  So I think I do a fair job of using the correct language for the time period and the class of person I’m writing about.  But here’s where I get confused.  Is it too old fashioned?  I doubt this current book will have the same appeal as the Pure Red Sand trilogy.  I can see it more as appealing to a niche market.  I want to make it accessible to everyone though, not having anyone alienated by a turn of phrase.  At the same time, I am bound as a writer, to the truth of the story.  So I continue to use obsolete language and to worry of losing touch even as they characters are formed with each line of text.  Dear readers, I hope you’ll follow me in.


P.S. My long silences are generally associated with wondering what I could put here.  What would people like to read?  Would you like to see excerpts of work?  More information about current projects?  Please post in the comments and help me make this a more relevant and enjoyable place to visit.