Sunday, November 14, 2021

It's Been a While, Hasn't It?

Didn't mean to let updates lapse for so long. I've still been hard at work on new stories, and I've finally updated the "My Writing" and "Illustrations" pages to show off the additional work. The most recent stories are:

  • To Whatever's Next - A young woman goes to a boy's funeral, and winds up meeting the deceased.
  • Fire House Boy - A crew of firefighters befriends a teenager, only to find he's been keeping a secret from them.
  • Scarlet Rain* - When blood starts raining from the sky, with a giant alien horror about to crash into the city, Shea rushes out to evacuate with her mother, then is confronted with a life-or-death decision.
  • Necromart* - A couple goes to a spooky supernatural department store, where the skeleton crew prods their anxieties to sell their products.
  • One Night at Dagaron's - A pop-up restaurant on a sleeping kaiju's back... what could go wrong?
  • Disrepair* - Years after civilization's decline, K meets Ruby online, and together they develop a plan to build a robotic avatar so she can tend to K's disabilities remotely.
  • Infiltration Day* - A boarding school student sneaks into a rival school as part of an annual tradition, in hopes of finding the source of a devastating new drug.

(The * means the stories are also in the illustration gallery.)

I've also released a new collection, More Word Associations, which collects...

  • The Fortuna Givers' Festival
  • Inappropriate Content
  • In-Flight Encounter
  • Across the Street From What
  • Mausoleum
  • The Souvenir
  • The Winding Worm of Wind
  • Life's Other Plans
  • As Seen From Above
  • The Wolf Heist
  • The Meadow Launch

And now that they are collected, all eleven of these stories are being updated to only $0.99 each on Amazon. If you only want one or two, you can pick them up for cheap, or if you want the whole thing, it's $4.99 for the collection.

Finally, I'm very proud to share Of Mice and Old Men, a collection of essays, articles, and reflections by my late grandfather, Rufus Morgan. My mother did the bulk of the editing, while I helped assemble the e-book and designed the cover. It's $5.99 for the ebook and $19.99 for the paperback.

Thank you for reading!

Saturday, September 11, 2021

Here's what I've been working on this week

First off, "Sweet Silius Island Honey" continues on Kindle Vella. We're up to Episode 4, which is the first paywalled chapter, so from here on you'll need to purchase tokens to read. But this happens to be where the story really gets rolling: Owen and Wanda have made it to Silius Island, and by the end, we've met the bees.

Second, I'm returning to my weekly "Quick Fiction" series with "The Iguana in the Grove," about a young man who realizes he only went to the secret illuminati rituals because his dad brought him. I originally wrote this some years back, probably inspired by Jon Ronson's Them and the accompanying "Secret Rulers of the World" miniseries. This story features a fictionalized version of the Bohemian Grove, blending the reality (a place where powerful people can pee on redwoods) and the fantastic (their religion teaches that they are in fact lizard people).

Third, after rewatching Evangelion 2.22: You Can (Not) Advance, I decided to try my hand at writing a translation of the song that plays when Shinji goes berserk: Tsubasa wo Kudasai, or "Grant Me Wings." Turns out if you want to make me weepy, this is the song to play. Here's the version by the original artists, the Red Birds; here's another English version by Susan Boyle; here are the original lyrics; and here is my version:

If I now had a wish
That you could grant to me
If you'd give anything
I'd wish that I had wings.

On my shoulders would be
the feathers of a dove
If you'd put them on me
I'd soar with my new wings

As they flutter I would climb
High up through the endless sky
Oh I wish I had wings to fly.
And I'd never be confined
I'd leave all my tears behind
Oh I wish I could spread my wings
So I can fly free.

Maybe it's just a dream
I had when I was young
But I still have that dream.
I wish that I had wings

As they flutter I would climb
High up through the endless sky
Oh I wish I had wings to fly.
And I'd never be confined
I'd leave all my tears behind
Oh I wish I could spread my wings
So I can fly free.
What do you think?

Monday, August 30, 2021

Latest Giveaway: An Obnoxious Squirrel and a Day Off For Painting

It's been a while since I've posted about my giveaways, but they're still happening. This week, I'm giving away "Meet Skippy the Sports Squirrel!" about a killer educational mascot, and "Life's Other Plans," about a painting that just won't get done.

Free 8/30 - 8/31

Free 8/30

Also, as a reminder, I'm up to two chapters into Sweet Silius Island Honey on Kindle Vella, with a third on the way later this week. The first three chapters are still free to read! Please check it out and give me a follow and some thumbs up:

Friday, August 27, 2021

"Sweet Silius Island Honey," Episode 2 now available!

In this chapter, Owen gets to know his new boss, Wanda Hansett, and learns that she also has an interest in visiting Silius Island. Each episode is still free to read, so please head over, catch up, and give the story a follow.

Friday, August 20, 2021

Trying something different: "Sweet Silius Island Honey," Episode One, now available on Kindle Vella!

So I wound up with a story that got a bit longer than the others. In fact, I haven't even finished it yet. But I have the first part done, so I thought I'd try Kindle's new serialization service, Kindle Vella. Episode One of "Sweet Silius Island" went live this morning:

The honey at Sal's is some of the best in the world, and according to the local witches, it's because of its natural enchantments, beyond even what they are capable of. Street urchin Owen would like to make a name for himself by competing with Sal. Together with a witch heiress named Wanda, he sets out to the perilous Silius Island to find the source of this honey. But what else could make enchanted honey than a civilization of enchanted bees?

Read "Sweet Silius Island Honey" here!

This is set in the same world as some of the stories, from my "Weekly Story" series, dealing with the Effka and Orlynne sects of witches, who use magic by manipulating their natural aura (though not always as main characters). These stories are set at different points in this world's history. They are:

So let's see how this goes!

Saturday, August 14, 2021

"The Goblin Flea Market" is now available!

My latest short story, "The Goblin Flea Market," has just published on Amazon! I actually originally had the idea last year, but couldn't think of a real plot until fairly recently. The part with the chicken was one of the first scenes I came up with.

The goblins have brought their wares to town, and Harold has brought his children, hoping the enchantments on display will lift their spirits, especially after the recent loss of their uncle. As strange creatures and stranger items surround them, his daughter's explosive confidence clashes with his son's darkened mood. Harold has to take special care to keep his kids in arm's reach.

 "The Goblin Flea Market" is $2.99 on Amazon!

Monday, August 09, 2021

The Return of an Old Story and a Couple Giveaways

This week's new release is actually an old release--one of my oldest, as a matter of fact! It's a rerelease of No Different From Anyone Else, as it appears in Unheard Of, with a new cover illustration based on an old one.

This makes the fourth appearance of Alice and Marisa on a cover in this series. We previously saw them on "Marisa at the Beach," Collectors' Item, and Word Associations. For years I've had this idea that I'd someday write enough stories about them that I could collect them in a single volume. That day could come someday.

"No Different From Anyone Else" is available on Amazon for $2.99! Here's the new cover: 

And the old illustration from 2010:

In addition, it's Monday, so it's time for a new giveaway. This time, it's the science fiction stories "Across the Street From What" and "The Souvenir." Today only!


Friday, July 30, 2021

New Release: "Lost Media"

This week's new short story is a murder mystery called "Lost Media." The idea came from investigations and deep dives I've run across into real lost anime like Kamen Senshi Lavithunder vs possibly fake lost anime like Saki Sanobashi. Mixed in is a conspiracy involving a deadly cult out of 20th Century Boys.

I actually did the bulk of the work on the cover before I realized I'd drawn the book facing the wrong direction. Manga is printed in reverse from Western comics, after all. So I flipped the whole thing and adjusted the text. Looking back, I probably could have done the same thing with the text alone, but it's too late now!

Linda's brother is dead, murdered during a livestream for his fellow anime fans. Somehow his death seems to be related to the rare animation cel he recently purchased, the only tangible evidence anyone has found from a video long thought to be a hoax. But who pulled the trigger? Why do they want this anime forgotten?

Will Linda become their next target?

Saturday, July 24, 2021

New Short Story, "Meet Skippy the Sports Squirrel!" Now Available!

This is what happens when I watch one too many MST3k or Rifftrax shorts. I literally got the idea while watching the Rifftrax channel on Twitch, and seeing Ricky Raccoon talk about neighborhood safety in a way that explains the existence of helicopter parenting. Basically, the premise became, what if these educational mascots were real, what if they were proliferating, and what if they were just as dangerous as Mike, Kevin, and Bill's riffs made them sound. I even allude to some of the actual mascots that have appeared in real shorts.

Other aspects of the story came from thinking, "What else do I know that has mascots? Of course, magical girls!"

So here it is, "Meet Skippy the Sports Squirrel!"

It's time for a Painful Suffering Announcement!

As Mikey skulks home after a losing baseball game, he is accosted by Skippy, a talking squirrel that wants to teach him about good sportsmanship... or else. "Educational" mascots like Skippy have been terrorizing kids all over the continent, with dire--even fatal--consequences if they don't learn their lesson. Can Mikey escape in one piece? Will his friend Masha and her kitty hawk be able to help?

Wait, kitty hawk?!

Available now on Kindle!

Saturday, July 17, 2021

New Release: "Word Associations" Now Available!

This week's release is also the first collection for this year's short stories. Presenting Word Associations:

You never know what sort of connections you'll find within a set of words. In this collection of short fiction, you'll encounter a psychic in an unconventional job interview; a little girl and her robot sister on their first beach vacation together; a rescue worker on a distant war-torn planet; and an enigmatic and powerful entity in the subways of Tokyo. Whether it's science fiction, fantasy, or a simple slice of life, there's something here for just about anyone to connect to.

This book collects the following short stories from my "Quick Fiction" series:

  • A Meeting of Minds (Science Fiction)
  • Marisa at the Beach (Science Fiction)
  • Stormbolt Turns It Around (Superheroes)
  • Same Faces (Science Fiction)
  • Advanced Color Theory (Science Fiction)
  • Blackout At Irene's (Slice of Life)
  • The Emperor (Fantasy)
  • The Door Up There (Fantasy)
  • This Wasn't Part of the Lease (Fantasy/Paranormal)
  • First Defusion (Science Fiction)
  • Escape to Sanctuary (Fantasy)

As such, I've lowered the price of all these stories to $0.99. If you'd rather pick up each story individually, you can still do so at less than the cost of a soft drink. If you'd rather pick up the whole collection, it's available here on Kindle for $4.99. There's also a paperback version for $9.99!

Thank you for reading!


Oh yeah, the next giveaway. Here are the stories that will be free next week:

Free Monday and Tuesday:

And free Monday only:

Thank you for reading!