CHAPTER 8 Slats looked about as comfortable as an Eskimo Pie on July sidewalk as he climbed into the car. He sat down like the chair could have lined with punji sticks, even though he’d ridden in Blue near fifty times. “Roy’s?” asked Jake, not looking Slat’s way. “Sure. You pick it.” The air rung with a low standing wave. Nothing could be said to break it up. In the just-rising light, the clouds were great finger-strokes of purple across the warming sky. Jake looked ahead at the lights of the towers near town, knowing that someone had to talk before he or Slats exploded. Jake looked straight ahead as Blue swallowed the black strip, back to the rising sun. Going west. Why he’d come west in th


It's time to do book promotion. Mostly for BLACK TRACE, which I'm nailing down a release date for (probably November given lead times needed). But also for my mother's science fiction books, which were originally printed over a period of time from 1975 or so until 1987-ish. These were printed long before anyone thought to include ebook rights in perpetuity, so she actually retains those. The first thing, just in case you don't know this already: there are a LOT of books being published in any given month. I'm not just talking big five publishers (it's five, right or are we down to four). I'm talking all of the indie presses and micropresses and every single author like myself who has the gal

BLACK TRACE - Chapter 7

CHAPTER 7 Everything had gone straight to hell since Danh-Danh and his pals had bought it, Thin Man decided. He stared into the curved screen, reflection distended and convex in the glass. Los Coyotes had gone gunning for the Sons of the Tiger in general and Danh-Danh’s clave in particular. The old Monte Carlo couldn’t have been more than inches over the blacktop, cruising silent. The blacked window rolled down on the passenger side and someone stuck the oiled barrel of a streetsweeper through the opening. But the Tigers were too busy jabbering and flexing to notice. Danh-Danh and his ’clave had been standing in front of the soup stand, leaning on their vermilion bikes. The burner creeping d


Hell of a week this week, folks. On top of a last week which was a hell of a week. Tell ya, I'm getting a mite too old for this ridiculousness. But the world we live in now is all ridiculous all the time so I suppose I better keep being used to it. Wanted to talk a little about process, it being *squints at cloc* 5:20 pm on a Friday and this is the first real work I've done all week, thanks, world. I talked a little bit about this on my Twitter feed earlier this week, but let's dig in a bit more. And hey, if you read, I guarantee you that I'll give away at least one perfectly good writing idea. That stuff's like gold, right? Everyone wants ideas. Get an idea and the rest just sort of happens


This is more a note to myself than anything else, but I wanted to tip my hand as to upcoming projects that I'm supposed to be filling all my free time with. Here we go. BLACK TRACE - Timelined for this summer/fall. Digital-only science fiction. Currently being serialized at this blog. Click any chapter and you'll be able to read the whole thing from the beginning. Quick pitch: Ex-federal cop has a reckoning with his past in a fragmented Federal States. ASPHALT TONGUES- 10+ story anthology in the HAZELAND setting, featuring some familiar characters and a whole bunch you've never seen before. Winter or spring of next year. Depending. MY DROWNING CHORUS- I want to say that this is coming in 202

BLACK TRACE - Chapter 6

Yeah, I know. I said I wasn't going to put up another chapter. I lied. I might lie again. Rest of this week will be pretty quiet. Real life will be intruding and demanding a lot of time and energy. But I've got thoughts. Boy, do I ever. -- CHAPTER 6 Jake watched the skeletons of the chaparral pass by in the white glare of headlights. The moon was a crooked smile low on the horizon as he glanced at it through the rear screen. He couldn’t let it go. Something in him had clicked. The petty distraction of the bitcaster fishing for a story was already forgotten. Something more raw was eating at him now. Old memories started running again in tighter and tighter loops. Moments locked and relived li


I meant to have a substantial other post up this week, but life interfered. Also, I may serialize the whole of this novel here. Why not. Not like it was gonna sell anyways. I may, however, not. -- CHAPTER 5 Eight years after. Jake awoke in the middle of the night, tasting kerosene and smelling burnt bones. It was all that night at the 1203 and all the nights after, good until it went worst. Out of the past, she watched him with green eyes from the corner of the mirror. He couldn’t take the staring any longer, so he burned her picture, even if it was the only one he had. The plastic took its own time to light. And as it did, it unfolded like black butterfly wings as the ink and varnish bubble

Yes, I make memes.

Only my memetic content is...unusual. Also, it betrays what is probably best regarded as an uneasy relationship between myself and criticism/commentary/what have you. And away we go! I just made the above last week. Yeah. Getting real tired of death of the author being used as a way to sidestep responsibility of interpretation. I'll have more to say on this later on, but not in this entry. Here's some Garth Merengi (no I've not seen the whole show, just the first episode, sadly.) All in good fun, I promise. Anyways, I've read a little Camus and that makes me smart or something. Oh yeah, had fun with the "Is this..." guy, too. And while not quite a meme, it's close enough. Remember, kids. Sac


So in the midst of cleaning up the office yesterday and doing some shelf rearranging, I took the opportunity to update the shelf of my own work that I maintain. Oh sure, it's a monument to vanity, etc etc. Sure it is. Let's break down things and dig in a little. Uh, left to right. The first five volumes are all self-published work, in this case through CreateSpace, which I don't think even exists any longer, having been absorbed by Amazon, if memory serves. Links will take you to the book's Amazon page, by the by. Do as thou wilt. HIGHWAY 62 REVISITED is a collection of my non-column writings from around 2003 to oh geez, I want to say 2014 or so? There's a lot of talk about comics there, mos

BLACK TRACE - chapter 4

Two years following. The 1203 Club didn’t belong in Orange County, yet there it was as plain as a thumb in an eye. It should have been built in Riverside or Fontana, in the shadows of a dead steelworks or next to one of the Inland Empire’s auto graveyards. If there was a square drawn out of Santa Ana, Westminster, Garden Grove, and Fountain Valley, the 1203 would have been right in the center of it, just off Bolsa Avenue before it became 1st Street. “1203” was what they used to label gasoline in those giant mirrored tankers, the rolling bombs going down the freeways, just waiting for a chance to go off. One of them would take out an entire six lanes with the flames, and the oncoming traffic

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