Stephen's blog

Self-publishing vs Traditional Publishing: A Career Decision

The hardest part of being a writer is finding the time to do a good job of it. Writing is much more than putting words down. It’s editing, it’s revising, it’s adding the details that make a story vivid, it’s removing the details that clutter a story. And it's thinking.

Every storyteller wants to be a full-time storyteller, whether they’re in it for the love of stories or for the money. Those of us who are in it for the love of storytelling face the reality that if money doesn’t flow from it, writing will never get to be more than a hobby. For most of us, writing is our second, part-time job. What we want to do is reverse that so that it’s our full-time job and the other job becomes our second, part-time job, at least as an intermediate step toward becoming self-sustaining writers.

Creepy stalkerish "love songs"

Why do some creepy songs fail to get a reputation for being creepy? Whenever you mention the topic of creepy love songs, everyone brings up “Every Breath You Take” by the Police. But there are worse, and you probably know some of them. in fact, you probably like some of them. Let’s look at three of them: Cherish by the Association; Take a Letter, Maria by R.B. Greaves and To Be With You by Mr. Big.

New Fiction Posted: The Wind Wasn't Right

A little explanation before the story
I read a lot of blogs by writers and agents. Some of these blogs host fiction contests. Janet Reid's Blog is a good one for that (as well as being an incredible source of knowledge on all things publishing). Fiction University is another good one. This past week, Fiction University posted a writing prompt - make a story about anything, of any length, that starts with the words "The wind wasn't right." I wrote a mildly cyberpunk police procedural at just under 400 words. You can READ IT HERE.

Evolution of a story, part 2: How “Honey Bees & Blackholes” became “Long-Term Storage”

Long-Term Storage was the third of my four drabbles published on the site SpeckLit in 2015. It’s only 100 words long (that’s what ‘drabble’ means, apparently). The story is about how a group of humans flee extinction by flying into a blackhole. Please read it before continuing (contractually, I can’t post it here yet).


How on Earth does one come up with a story idea like that?

Here’s how…

Two Science Fiction TV shows that deserve reboots

It seems like every old science fiction show is getting a reboot, except perhaps one or two that would actually be good. There have been a few shows that were either ahead of their time or whose premises were so good, that they've already been rebooted - The Prisoner comes to mind. And there have been TV shows that have been rebooted despite their reputations - Lost in Space anyone?

But there are a couple of shows that deserve to have reboots - because they had strong story ideas and were just a little ahead of the technology needed to present them well. Let's look at those...