My author page is for you, as a reader, and maybe a writer. I'll promote my own writing, and my podcasts, where I read from my stories as well as some classics. They are via my SubStack or sites like Spotify. I'll also pass on some background on the life of a writer, amd tips I've picked up.  

I've published two novels, and drafted several more that are in various stages of editing. I've also written almost 200 Flash Fiction short stories. Check out them via my Short Story List -comments are welcome. 

Below, as well as in the info bar on the right,  is information on my two novels, Kirk's Landing and Return to Kirk's Landing and where to buy them. 

And if you need coaching in writing or publishing, I'm available. Free or for a fee, depends on the scope. Email me.  

My Novels

Continue reading "Welcome" »

Lucky Penny

The challenge was to write in the present tense as much as possible, 1000 words max. This can make the action seem more immediate and intimate. I was stuck for an actual story idea, so I I used the writer-igniter from diymfa.com to give me idea. I got Character - taxi driver, Situation - gets a cryptic letter, Prop - finds a lucky penny, and Setting - see the image below. This took a while to write, as I think I'm a little rusty, but I like how it turned out. 1067 words. 

Lucky Penny

Bess-Cozby-5-275x275 It’s a dark and stormy night. Dan much prefers to be snuggled up in bed to be driving his cab in this crap, but this is the only way to compete with all the ride-shares out there. They can afford to avoid the bad weather and slow nights. His old clunker has worn wiper blades and a shitty defroster, but the tires are good and it’s his clunker. Dan makes a good living doing this - but he can’t afford days off. He’s had a number of different jobs, bodyguard, chef, trucker, but this is getting to be his least favourite. He spots a flickering sign through the drizzle - Nell’s. It looks like a cute little diner - he could do with a coffee and a break.

The diner is clean, warm and cosy, with the radio tuned to a quiet jazz station. He’s just sliding into a booth when the waitress appears. Touch of grey, about his age, with a big smile.

“Coffee, sir? It’s a damp night. And I can recommend the pecan pie.”

Continue reading "Lucky Penny" »

RP: SubStack Podcasts -Alice in Wonderland -#2 The Pool of Tears

From Alice in Wonderland, by Lewis Caroll

Reposted from my SubStack 

1book6 I'm trying a new series, Alice in Wonderland, by Lewis Caroll, just to see if you like it. I'll read a chapter at a time.

In the last chapter, Alice had fallen down the rabbit hole, and found a locked door leading into a lovely garden. One challenge now is being the right size to take the key from a table - she's found a cake that seems to make her grow.

If you subscribe to my newsletter, you'll get notified of my updates as soon as they are ready. If you enjoy this reading, or have other classics you'd like to hear, leave me a comment.

#2 The Pool of Tears

RP: SubStack Podcasts -Alice in Wonderland -#1 Down the Rabbit Hole

From Alice in Wonderland, by Lewis Caroll

Reposted from my SubStack 

1book1a  I'm trying a new series, Alice in Wonderland, by Lewis Caroll, just to see if you like it. I'll read a chapter at a time.

If you subscribe to my newsletter, you'll get notified of my updates as soon as they are ready. If you enjoy this reading, or have other classics you'd like to hear, leave me a comment.

In this first chapter, we meet a very sleepy Alice, who will shortly start off on an extraordinary adventure.

#1 Down the Rabbit Hole




Rapture and Romance

(Moved from main blog)

The challenge for this was one from the blog Terrible Minds, a few years ago. Use this link to get a set of nine random 'interesting' pics from Flickr. Pick three. Write a story, 1000 words max. 

I can't post my images (copyrights) but can describe them: happy people sprawled on a hill below a scarecrow-like sculpture; a detailed colourful telescope view of the Horsehead nebula; a VW camper van in a parking lot. 

Here's my story -  983 words. 

Rapture and Romance

We were a mismatched group. We'd all hung out together at Frosh Week, as we were all from the same small red-neck town. I was on a football scholarship, Tia, a tiny little hippy girl with beads and coloured hair and swirly dresses, was doing a Physics and Astronomy double, and John and Joanne, both from Bible-thumping families, were in religious studies. They were a nice couple, not that pushy about religion, at least to us. We'd decided to share a cheap house near campus, and we each had our own space. Only a three bedroom, but Jo-Jo, as we called them, said they were ok to share a room. They seemed to have resolved the conflict between a growing physical attraction for each other and the strict rules of their upbringing.

Continue reading "Rapture and Romance" »

Do Not Look At The Moon

After a looong break, here's another Flash Fiction story. It's a tad dystopian, but I've been in a mood.  

The challenge was as follows - 

It's 3 AM. An official phone alert wakes you up. It says "DO NOT LOOK AT THE MOON". You have hundreds of notifications. Hundreds of random numbers are sending, "It's a beautiful night tonight. Look outside."  No more than 1000 words - mine is 745.

Do Not Look At The Moon

It had come as an official WorldGov alert, popping up on my phone. 3 a.m. my time, but supposedly it was worldwide. I'd checked my messages, and there were hundreds of them, from friends and strangers, dismissive of the alert.

"It's a beautiful night tonight. Look outside."

No arguing with that. The last few full moons had all been beautiful, even since the Clear Air project. Pollution in the atmosphere had been just getting worse and worse, for decades. Corporations had been thriving, of course, but not people, with respiratory ailments on the rise. There seemed to be no simple solution either, until WorldGov came up with Operation Clean Air. Technology to the rescue, with a new chemical compound that would precipitate all those harmful chemicals and particles from the air. It would be launched quickly, as a new public-private worldwide initiative, an added payload in a massive expansion in the Starlink satellite program.

Continue reading "Do Not Look At The Moon" »

The Trio

Well, it's been a while, but here's another Flash Fiction Friday offering. This one took a bit longer than the normal week - several, in fact. I'm trying to relax a bit and write without constant self-editing and the accompanying procrastination. Could be better, I'm sure, constructive criticism is welcome. 

The challenge was to write a story, examining a character, and the way they manage their stress. Plus, use a random character generator to give them three character traits. 1000 words max. I got naïve, caring and coarse, and decided to do as three characters. 

Like I said, took longer than planned and is a bit over at about 1080 words.

Continue reading "The Trio" »

Some thoughts on editing (edited)

I know the cost of an editor seems expensive to many writers, but like any profession, quality work will require expertise and time. If you are on a tight budget, there are many suitable tools out there to proof read and even copy edit (Grammarly, ProWritingAid, etc). I would use one of those to clean a novel up initially.
After this, money could be focused on hiring an editor that can look for plot holes, pacing, and character development issues, and also provide suggestions on improving your work. If that's still not in the budget, I would suggest find some Beta readers with those skills.
Once you deal with their feedback, you could start sending to agents and/or publishers. Or self publish, if that's your route.

Continue reading "Some thoughts on editing (edited)" »

Some readings

I've been doing various readings via my Twitch stream, as a test. My son lent me a wireless webcam, which I've put in my 9th-floor window, to show off a lovely view of the park, the river, and the city. I decided to add some audio to the video, so I did some readings from various authors - Stephen Leacock, Mark Twain, P. G. Wodehouse, Lewis Carroll, A. A Milne. No editing, but I am pretty good at reading aloud it seems. I stream simultaneously to Twitch, Youtube and Facebook, but I think a podcast would be better. Too hard to manage via Facebook. I had looked into podcasting last year, and got stalled - time to kick-start my project, I think. You can find my stories so far archived on Youtube here.  

The Peripheral -by William Gibson

The Peripheral (The Peripheral #1)The Peripheral by William Gibson
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

2015 - I have enjoyed other books by Gibson, but found this one just too hard to get into. Maybe some character lists and careful re-reading would have helped, but I guess I just wasn't in the mood. Too many books to read/edit/write, and not enough time. I bailed at about the 30 page mark - sorry William.
Update - I usually like Gibson, so I really did want to like this book, so put a hold on it from my library. It popped up mid-move, but I tried to tackle it when I could.
Nope. Too confusing for me - storylines in the first 10 pages for Easy Ice, Netherton, patchers, Lorenzo, Daedra - a future world consumed with gaming and paparazzi - I got to page 51 this time.

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Mythos - by Stephen Fry

MythosMythos by Stephen Fry
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Well, I got to page 181 of 350. Not completely the author's fault, as this popped up on my library hold list mid-move. But I did work at it here and there.
It's the Greek myths retold by Stephen Fry - as advertised - and covers many many of the various deities. Too many for me, dozens and dozens it seems. Too much time at the start spent explaining the detailed genealogy and not enough of the fact-based fiction he is so good at, with Fry's wry sense of humour. I'd advise starting this 1/3 of the way through - you won't know exactly who is who, and which god married his mother that was also his daughter, but carry on.
I may re-read this later - I'll add it to the things I do when I have some spare time. or when I get old.

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