Incoming! Writers of the Future Vol. 38

I had the privilege of proofreading this work of art before it came out, so I’ve read the book. I’m still getting a copy. It’s THAT GOOD. There are stories in here I will read and reread and always marvel at how the author did it. (And try to learn how to duplicate their feat.) I’ve read these anthologies for years and this is one of my favorites.

Going to this link will get you a copy autographed during the week of the event. (Autographed copies are only available while supplies last!) This volume has the last short story published by Dave Farland before his untimely passing. The cover illustrates that tale.

It occurs to me that some people still associate this anthology with scientology. The two are SEPARATE. If you’re concerned about supporting a cult, you’re not. You’re supporting the literature and illustration of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror (although I don’t think there’s any horror in this issue). You’re supporting art.

What world doesn’t need more art?

Writers of the Future Workshop

Some of you might have noticed, I’m trying to win the Writers of the Future Contest. I’ve actually won four Honorable Mentions at this point. That means the judges recognize I have ability and want to encourage me to keep working.

They’ve now taken that encouragement a step farther. They launched a FREE workshop. The Writers of the Future Workshop will teach you how to write award-winning material. Do you want to write like Orson Scott Card, or Dave Farland or Tim Powers? They’re your INSTRUCTORS.

Do you have difficulties coming up with interesting concepts? Mr. Card has a class called 1,001 Story Ideas in an Hour and he’s not kidding. Do you hate research? Tim Powers is a master of it and has great suggestions for turning the subject on its head. David Farland, the head judge of the competition, will walk you through how to outline a story so that it fits publishing criteria.

This is a workshop that will take you a minimum of a week to complete. Make no mistake, you would normally pay $500-$1,000 under different circumstances. You will come out of the workshop a better writer if you listen to every module and do the practical exercises. You’ll come out of it with a completed (not necessarily polished) story.

Yup. A minimum of one new story completed. I have several partial stories in addition to the one I completed. They’ll also give you suggestions on how to turn your short stories into novels. It’s what Orson Scott Card did with “Ender’s Game,” so he knows what he’s talking about. It’s not necessary to write Science Fiction, Fantasy or Horror to benefit from this workshop. It’s not necessary to write fiction to benefit.

You have nothing to lose and a career to win.

Progress in Publishing

I’d love to tell you there’s a really good reason for my lack of posts, but to be honest, my reasons are the same as a lot of other people’s: Depressed financially, emotionally, physically. Yeah. The past five years have been awful in so many ways, but it scares and saddens me to talk about it, so I don’t.

All that said, this very strange post is NOT about my bouts with depression! I’m mostly doing well right now, which is why I wanted to post. I just had to get out an oblique apology/excuse for not keeping up. There ya go.


I’m pleased to say, despite the difficulties I’ve faced over the last five years, I never stopped writing and it’s paid off.

While “Mourn Their Courage” is on submission, I’ve continued to write for the rest of that world. While I’ve got several books in various stages, the one I’ve focused on is based (loosely) on the Maccabean revolt and the struggle for succession after Alexander the Great’s death. I’m World Building to my heart’s content and I believe I’ve carved new channels into my brain trying to internalize Shawn Coyne’s Story Grid process, but it’s a good hurt. LOL

I applied the lessons from Story Grid to my short stories as a means to learning the process faster and it worked! My short story, “Cold Heart” was published last winter in Nature Futures. Yeah! First professional sale and I did a happy dance.

Nature has a great market for flash pieces and I recommend them. They were a pleasure to work with, they pay well and they’re not your standard S.F. market, so there may be less competition.


I’ve also read some phenomenal books, mostly while agent searching. Naomi Novik’s “Uprooted” is wonderful and fresh (pun intended, but with apologies) but everyone knows about it. I wanted to mention some books that might be a little less on the radar, especially since they’re the sort of thing I WANT on my radar. (If you find more, let me know.) The first book was “The Bird and the Blade” by Megan Bannen. Set in Mongolia and filled with politics and kumis. What’s not to love? I can’t blather enough about this book because of the emotional reaction it elicited, but I can’t say more because I loathe spoilers. Read it yourself. You won’t regret it.

Also up there among the year’s best was “The Perfect Assassin” by K.A. Doore. The World Building in this story is so perfected, the city is part of the plot and I LOVE stories like that. The subtitle is “The Chronicles of Ghadid,” which is the name of the city, so it’s obvious she intends to return to the series, but we all know what the publishing industry is like right now. I hope she gets to go back. Heck, folks, mysteries aren’t my schtick, but for this world and this character, I’d read more mysteries. Just so you get an idea, there are jaani, (think non-wish-granting, madness-causing jinn) political machinations, drought, true love and no win scenarios.

In fact, the latter point is true of “The Bird and the Blade,” too. Both stories are so darn good and why don’t I know these authors on a first name basis? Just. Not. Fair. It’s not like I’d gate crash their writers group meeting. Yes I would. LOL

So I hope you all have had a great year thus far. If you’ve read anything good lately, please tell me!

Trailer for Your Viewing Pleasure

Girl in Reverse

I’m very happy to say, this is a book trailer for a YA novel done by an author in one of my writing groups, Barbara Stuber.

The book is about a young Korean girl adopted into 1950’s Kansas City society.  Since Barbara is a docent at the Nelson Atkins Museum of Art, where much of the story takes place, she was able to put a lot of detail into the book, which asks an intriguing and heart-breaking question:

How do you fit into society when you have the face of the enemy?

Please check the trailer and the book out.

It’s intense, but worth it!


Well, once again, I have to apologize for letting this site slip so much. I will try to get back on the ball.

I’m excited enough right now, I’ve finally remembered my own website to tell you, I published a short story (Cold Heart) in Nature Magazine:

I was also published a year or two ago in an Asian Steampunk game, but sadly, I couldn’t access my own work. It was a technical thing. But I had an AWESOME time writing it and if you come across zombies in Hong Kong in a steampunk setting, that’s mine. 😀

That said, I’m excited by this story’s success. I’ve consumed Shawn Coyne’s Storygrid over the last few years and I think it’s paying off. I can tell a difference. The publishers agreed, too.

I posted this on Facebook days before receiving my acceptance: “I was such a failure, I decided to quit writing. That made me depressed, so I grabbed a chapter to edit and that cheered me up.” Obviously, I’m a failure at quitting, too.

That’s a good thing.

Two days later, I posted this quote from Stephen King on Facebook: “If you wrote something for which someone sent you a check, if you cashed the check and it didn’t bounce, and if you then paid the light bill with the money, I consider you talented.”

Two HOURS later, I found my acceptance in my inbox. It’s enough to cover the electric bill, folks and I feel like I’m on my way.