Story Central

Alien Invasions
Short Stories

My short story Last Breath Day appears in the Alien Invasions Short Stories anthology, available NOW from Flame Tree Publishing or pre-order from Amazon.


Short Stories on this site:

Sylvester Down
Death vs Taxes
The Wind Wasn't Right
The War on Christmas
Divine Knowledge *
Fortunate Waze *

Shakespeare's Last Stand *
Uncertainty Persists *
Toto Was Wrong *
The Devouring *
Hail to the Chiefs *

* 100-word flash fiction


Recent Blog Posts:

The long, painful journey from long fiction to short

A year ago I would have told you that I can’t write short fiction, that I need to write stories in the 100,000 word range (about a 350 page novel).

That was then, this is now.

A year ago, I was in a bad place, psychologically. I’d torn a tendon in my shoulder. I could barely type. I had a novel sitting at 123,000 words, feeling so close to done, and yet so far. I didn’t type anything for two months. By the time I could type again the universe of that long story had slipped a bit from my grasp, and trying to write inside it felt awkward and embarrassing, like I was intruding. I’m still struggling to get back into that universe.

Could Biggs Darklighter Be in Rogue One?

NOTE: This is speculation, some might say wishful thinking. I’m not siting sources, just offering an opinion.

Star Wars movies have shrouds of secrecy around them, it’s a given. It isn’t just JJ Abrams who keeps things close to his chest. One of the few tidbits that has leaked about the next Star Wars movie, Rogue One, is that there will be a few appearances by characters that we are familiar with. So far (March 14, 2016), the cast is named, but the characters aren’t.

Names like Darth Vader and Boba Fett have been tossed around. Vader makes sense, Fett less so. Wouldn’t a more logical character to include be Biggs Darklighter?

The Schrodinger Moments in Your Life

My brother-in-law is what you’d call “salt of the Earth.” He grew up on a farm. He tinkered with engines as a kid. Naturally, he became an automotive mechanic, then an industrial mechanic (he’s even repaired ship’s engines). Eventually he and my sister bought their own land in the country and he became a mechanic/driver for a rural construction company.

On Saturday his pick-up truck was hit by a drunk driver…

…and we get to our Schrödinger moment…

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.