Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Fourth of July Sale!

For the last several years, I’ve had a free sale for my ebook of political stories, Political Pies, around the Fourth of July.  Normally, I’d just have one ebook free at a time, but last year I started doing big sales with four or five at a time, which seemed to work better.  So here are the four ebooks that will be free to download from Thursday July 1st, through Monday July 5th.  So grab them before you get too drunk.

Political Pies


Everybody complains about politics, but does anyone do anything about it? My attempt to do something about it is to collect forty of my short stories with a political element into this anthology. The stories are either politically neutral or equally condemning of the national parties. Instead of trying to sway you to one ideology or another, my goal is to just get people thinking about politics in the hopes a rose might grow out of all the political manure.

The Future is Coming


As a science fiction writer, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about how technology will change the way we live. I’ve come up with these ten short essays about science fictional elements that will – almost certainly – one day become science fact as a way for people to start coming to terms with them. Because I’ve spent time thinking about clones and AIs, I feel I’ll be okay when they do finally show up whereas most people will probably freak out. I hope these essays will get people to start thinking about the future because, no matter what we do, the future is coming.



Who cleans up the mess when the time machine malfunctions?



“Rise” is a standalone story set in my Human Republic Universe. The story follows the events after the tragic deaths of the colonists on a small colony in a distant star system.

Writing Newsletter Second Quarter 2021


Towards the end of last year, I decided to restart posting a quarterly newsletter.  I unfortunately completely forgot about doing it for the first quarter of this year until about a week into April.  At first I was going to do one – better late than never – but then I realized that I didn’t really have anything to talk about, so there wasn’t much point.

To be honest, there isn’t much to talk about for the first half of this year.  Back in January I posted My writing goals of 2021.  One of my goals was to work on some short stories, and I have finished a rough draft of a story “Being First.” My plan for it is to wait a few months, then go back with fresh eyes and give it a heavy revision, and hopefully by the end of the year start sending it out.  So stay tuned for more on that.

And that’s about it.  I am trying to blog more, but it seems between job work, house work, yard work, garden work, etc. work, I don’t have the energy to write.  I do have some time, but it seems all I can do is just watch YouTube.  Hopefully, I’ll get more done in the next three months.  And I’ll remember to put up a newsletter.


Image from Pixabay.

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Random Writing Tips – Social commentary

I had the idea for this post some time ago, and at first it was going to be pretty lighthearted.  But as I thought about it, it took more and more serious turns, until I wasn’t sure what I was trying to say.  Hopefully, this tenth or so version will make some sense.

We all have ideas on politics, or religion, or whatever, and as writers there is the temptation to use the platform of our writing to spread these ideas, even if they don’t necessarily fit the story.  This is a broad definition of social commentary.  But one person’s social commentary is another person’s ideological screed.  Years ago there was a show coming out that didn’t really look interesting to me.  But then one day Twitter exploded with people talking about an episode and how brave they were to “go there.” So out of curiosity, I started watching the show.  It wasn’t really for me and when I got to “the” episode, I couldn’t even finish it.  Because to me the social commentary felt so ham-fisted that it felt like I was being beat with the whole pig.  Don’t get me wrong, the issue they brought up is important, but it was like going in to have the oil in your car changed only for them to start repainting it.  Yes, it needed done, but it wasn’t what I signed up for today.

Social commentary is great when it works, but it is so easy for it to not work.  And I think the easiest way for it to not work is to try to do too much with it, or to make too big a deal of it.  Stories are like meals.  While some are fine with plain fare, most readers/watchers want their stories seasoned with some clever writing.  And if the writer wishes to garnish it with a bit of social commentary, that’s fine, although some will just push it to the side of the plate.  I think the reason social commentary often has a bit of a negative connotation, is because writers are afraid of being too subtle and their message being missed by the public, so they go superliminal

So if you feel the need to add some social commentary to your writing, remember, it’s best as seasoning.  Some might miss it, but if you add too much, you’ll probably annoy more people, which kind of defeats the purpose.


Image from Pixabay.