Monday, February 22, 2016

SALISH SEA - Today's Microfiction

"This is going to be great!" Dylan enthused from the front of the canoe.
"Shush, man! Be quiet," Robert said.
The two friends were on a canoe on the Salish Sea, pursuing the idea they'd hit upon during their weed-filled weekend. They were going to solve the mystery of the solitary human feet that washed up on Vancouver's shore. “Over there!” Dylan pointed.
Robert squinted through the fog. A shimmering circle of light hung over the water, at waist height. “What is it?”
“I have no idea.” The two rowed until the bow was under the hovering circle. The friends stared in awe at the glowing hole in the air. Dylan reached out one hand while Robert looked down at his waterproof pouch, fumbling out his phone.
SHWOOMP – and then a plop.
Robert looked up, startled. Ripples at the side of the canoe showed where something had fallen overboard.
Dylan was gone.
“Dylan?” Robert whispered. He tried louder. “Dylan?!”
He crawled to the front of the canoe and stood. The circle glowed peacefully.
Robert tentatively reached out one hand and touched the circle.
It sprang closed, pulling Robert’s arm and then his whole body into it with a quick sucking SHWOOMP. The circle snapped shut, and Robert’s left foot, still in a sneaker, fell free and dropped into the water to bob for a second before it sank.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Good News & A Contest!

I'm running a contest! Right here and right now.

As you know, my short story "Restore Point" was published by online zine Liquid Imagination. (

I am happy to report that the story was also selected for the 2015 Write Well Anthology for excellence in the short story field!

You can see the anthology (ebook and print version) here at Amazon:

As you can see, the anthology does not have any reviews as of today.  So I have decided to have a contest!

Post your name and why you would like to write a review in the comments, and I will randomly select two commentators from the group and send them a free Kindle version of the anthology - on one condition.

You must agree to read the whole anthology and write a review on the Amazon website.

Sound good?  Let me know in the comments!

Thursday, February 4, 2016



            It’s difficult to talk about Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens (TFA) without spoilers, so I’m just going to go ahead and speak freely.  If you haven’t seen the movie, stop reading now.

            Okay, did they leave?  Good. 

            I really liked it.  Even though, as I was watching it, I was thinking the whole time, I shouldn’t be liking this.  TFA is a combination of a rehash of A New Hope, with pure fan-service scenes thrown in.

            Look at the parallels: a droid with information vital to the Resistance/Rebellion is stuck on a desert, rescued by an orphan and helped off planet.  They have to look for a ride in a crazy multi-species cantina.

            Later, they need to conduct a daring raid on a planet-sized death machine – explicitly compared to the Death Stars! – and there’s a daring trench run by X-Wings to finally blow up the giant death machine.  Meanwhile, the orphan has gotten in touch with the Force, and uses it to defeat the bad guy.  Scene wipe to end!

            And, by the Force, the perpetual fan service!  The shock reveal of the “hunk of junk” Millennium Falcon, the dejarik table, the seeker drone Finn finds as he rifles through storage, the knowing reference to “twelve parsecs” – I smiled and laughed at all of it, but in the back of my mind I kept wondering why am I liking this?

            I think what people like – what I like – about TFA is the sense of wide-open possibility that exists.  With the prequels (putting their quality aside), we knew where it would all end up – Republic converted to Empire, Anakin in black armor and a respirator, the Jedi Order destroyed.  Now, we have no idea what’s happening.  Is Rey Luke Skywalker’s daughter? How can Finn use a lightsaber (which is traditionally limited to Force-sensitives)? Why did Kylo Ren leave the Order? Why are the “Knights of Ren” not Sith?  A sense that anything could happen in Episode 8 and 9 has a liberating feel, and people are buying into it way more than the movie itself might justify.

            Again, not that I didn’t like it.  I saw it twice!  I had a smile on my face the whole time it was on, from the text-crawl in the beginning to Luke Skywalker’s pregnant stare at the end.  I’m just not sure my enjoyment was of the movie itself, or of what it represents. 

            Star Wars is back.