Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Untitled Story


It was cool, early fall, and the stars shone clear despite the city’s lights. He stood in his back yard and adjusted his vision to the near-infrared part of the electromagnetic spectrum and everything was sharper. He could see the suns he’d visited on his way here if he turned to face east, and when he turned north, he could see the path home.

The grass was cool and a little damp already under his bare feet and he closed his eyes. The grass here wasn’t so different from the grass at home, though a little sharper. His skin had been toughened by the work he’d done Suhwan, where the stingers were part of every day life. Despite his tough hide, though, he still felt everything. He couldn’t smell everything his wife did, though. When she shoved a vase of roses she’d cut from the yard under his nose, he always told her they smelled lovely because that was what she wanted to hear. He didn’t have the heart to tell her that he could only really smell pungent things like onions cooking or a skunk.

When he was homesick, like tonight, he went out back and just looked up. Sometimes he’d take a blanket and lay down with his hands behind his head and one foot over the other at his ankles. Ten years ago his wife thought he was weird, then thought that he was using it as an excuse to be away from her. She accused him of cheating on her. The argument always ended with him apologizing that she felt that way. He just liked looking at the stars. Sometimes she’d come out and lay next to him for a while, at least when it was summer. In the fall she’d put on a sweater and sit with him, asking about some constellations.

Tonight he’d woken and left her sleeping in their bed. He dressed in sweats and a t-shirt and looked towards home. Something was moving, coming closer but he couldn’t tell what it was. Maybe the Orionids were early, but more likely it was a vessel of some kind. He shifted his vision again and realized it was, indeed, a vessel.  Someone was coming.

He didn’t didn’t know if they were coming for him or for someone else. The ET community on Earth was pretty well spread out but as varied as any of the Sovereignty galaxies. He knew that Ganys were having trouble and so were the Archons, so maybe these were more permanent residents coming in. As far as he knew, the Sovereignty didn’t know about Earth but he supposed that someday they’d find out. When that happened, there’d be hell to pay and not just on this one lonely planet.

He decided there wasn’t anything he could do about the visitors until they got here and the president of the ET board called a meeting. If that never happened, he couldn’t assume anything. He shrugged, looked back to the east and remembered the time he’d spent with Menemnoth in the oceans of Billwah. That had been his last relationship before coming to Earth and meeting his wife.

He smiled, shrugged and walked across the dewy grass of his back yard. When he locked the back door, he looked out the window once more and smiled. Tomorrow he’d find out what was coming.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Untitled Post

Yesterday I finished a story that will appear here on the blog at a later date, and today I'm starting a book that I hope will be published elsewhere. (By book I mean a novella that will see light as an ebook so let's not get excited.) I've got a dozen short stories that need attention and a novel that's lain fallow for ten months but that I think about every day.

So I'm lousy at juggling things. Those stories should have been done and sent out to retrieve rejection slips from publishers. I could list excuses like  a day job and a family that require my attention and any number of other distractions that have kept me from writing. I've even written about this here before but I won't point you to those posts because it's time the excuses were done.

I'm here, I'm there, I'm not really everywhere but it certainly feels like it. The blog is going to be more about process and progress rather than some random thinking things that will only pop up every so often. I'm not promising three times a week updates, but I'll be here once a week (usually on Sundays I think) with some thoughts about storytelling, my writing process, where my ideas come from, what tools I use and when we get to November NaNoWriMo.

There may be extra posts about music, movies, books and even politics. You can certainly disagree with me about anything I write here, in fact I hope to write some things that would entice interaction in the comment section.

If you need an invitation to come along for the ride, consider yourself invited. No need to RSVP.

If there's a subject you'd like to see me write about, let me know in the comments. See you next week.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Ten Years Gone

September is such a peaceful month when you think about it. The leaves are changing, the weather is cooling off, kids are settled or settling into school and new programs begin on TV. There's football and the baseball season is winding down. It's just a good month for a lot of things.

September 11th is an important day. It always has been in my family because that's my parents' wedding anniversary. Ten years ago, the world stopped for a while and we all remember where we were and what we were doing and it was a terrible day.

Ten years ago I was trying to break into the comic book industry. As you'll see below, I wasn't nearly good enough but my stories were good and getting better. It was a couple years later that I switched from drawing and writing to just writing, then to just writing prose. I'm still trying to 'break in' but into a different industry than comics.

On the first anniversary of the attacks, I wrote and drew the comic below and I apologize for the crummy scans but I don't have the original pages any more. What I wanted to get across was that even here in Kansas, where the world's greatest superhero was raised, the overwhelming attacks on that day affected us, too, though not as significantly as those on the planes, or in New York City or at the Pentagon. I was most affected by the events on United flight 93. They were ordinary people doing extraordinary things in the face of extraordinary evil. That's true heroism. I don't know that I could ever be that brave. I hope I don't ever have to find out.


Ten years ago, September was just another month to most Americans who either noticed it or didn't. Now everyone knows when September comes.


Saturday, September 03, 2011

Reading Out Loud

Last year I did a favor for my friend Ted Boone and recorded an audio version of his story The Ghost, The Girl and The Gun. He got some nice compliments on my performance and I had a great time doing it. You can listen to it here.

I want to do more. I'm writing a first person POV story that would be perfect for a recorded version and I'm just the guy to do it. I'm also wondering if anyone out there would be interested in me doing an audio version of their short story. I'd do 250 - 400 words or so for free as an audition to see if you liked it. I don't expect a flood of people to reply but my time is limited.

Let me know in the comments below if you're interested. We'll go from there and see what happens, eh?