A dad joke, releasing raw footage, and more

Mar 16, 2024 3:00 am

Every week I'm adding to my presentation on Forging Unforgettable Stories with my three so-called secret elements of literary alchemy. Even if I don't present it, it's a worthwhile exercise in identifying important story elements and ways to think about and improve them.

If Hadji from Jonny Quest grew up and went west to work on a cattle ranch, would his friends call him the turban cowboy?

I'm working on the bugmageddon project, and I'm also looking forward to the next installment in the Tomahawks and Dragon Fire Series. The incorrigible Antonio with Captain Rip and Akira pursuing Johnny Coin and Catalina in an adventure on the coast of Mexico with the added twist of a special complication keep whispering for my attention. They'll have to wait until the bug book is complete.


Here's some raw footage from the WIP. Even my skirmish team hasn't seen this yet:

Doot reached for the revolver in Jessie’s hand.

“I’m fine. I’ve got his,” Jessie snapped, jerking the weapon away before Doot could take it.

She spun in place and fired at the centipede in pursuit. The bullet penetrated the arthropod in the middle of its long body, but the creature scurried on without slowing.

“To the right,” Cyril said. “Get into the low tunnel on the right.”

Doot grabbed Wade and heaved him into the narrow passage where he ducked to avoid cracking his skull on the bricks and beams ceiling. Only the first few yards of the tunnel were visible before the walls faded into total darkness.

Jessie’s pistol barked, and she went down with a scream as the wasp struck. The buzz of wasp wings drowned all other sounds. Doot stooped, seizing Jessie’s arm and dragging her into the tunnel. Cyril beat the air with his pistol in a panicked reaction to the attack of the wasp. A stinger slashed past his face, and he dropped to one knee, firing twice into the head of the centipede lunging at Jessie’s legs. A shard of chitin flipped away, flinging lemon droplets, and the arthropod writhed in place.

Cyril grunted in pain as the wasp stinger stabbed into his arm, He lunged into the tunnel, and automatic weapons burped to send a storm of bullets down the passage...


Let me remind you of this:

Flash Fiction Contest: Submit a story of 500 words or less. The story must include a pool table OR a piece of farm machinery. Submit your story in the body of your email, or you may attach it as a .docx or pdf. The winner will be awarded his/her choice of one of my autographed paperbacks (delivery in continental U.S. only). I retain no rights to any stories presented. If the winner and runner(s) up consent, I'll post their stories on my webpage. Fair warning: Don't exceed a PG-13 rating. Let's make March 20 the deadline to submit your story.


For those of you interested in entire books rather than mere excerpts of raw scribbling:

Check out Alex Valdiers' Adventures of Dani Botswana, a gunslinger in space -- and download it for free.

Robert Blaine presents Death Roll, a thriller featuring cyclones, crocodiles, and taipans where grisly remains in a shack are only the beginning of a twisted trail of crime.

From the Past to the Future Fantasy and Sci-fi books.

Take a look at these free books about Castles, Swords, and Dragons.


Honor Roll with special thanks to these subscribers:

Lois for her stunning review and heroic defense of The Shrinking Zone.

JBudd for reviews of Threading the Rude Eye, In Death Bedrenched, Power to Hurt, The Shrinking Zone, Clamorous Harbingers, Promise of Carnage and Flame, Truth in Flames, and Crisis in Fire and Snow.

Colleen for leaving ratings for several of my books on Amazon.

Rob for leaving a review of Threading the Rude Eye.

Michael for leaving reviews of Threading the Rude Eye, and The Shrinking Zone.

Mayra for a review of Threading the Rude Eye.

Gloria for a review of Threading the Rude Eye.

ShannonC for a review of In Death Bedrenched

Jan for reviews of Threading the Rude Eye, Power to Hurt, Clamorous Harbingers, Promise of Carnage and Flame, In Death Bedrenched, The Shrinking Zone, Truth in Flames, Justice in Season, Justice Resurgent, Crisis in Fire and Snow, and Smoke.

Bonnie for a review of In Death Bedrenched, and Crisis in Fire and Snow.

PAR for a review of Threading the Rude Eye

-There are many other reviews of my books, of course, but I don't know whether those reviewers are also subscribers to this newsletter.