FREE PODCAST! Let me read you a story…

My grandmother was Native American, of the Chippewa (Ojibwa) nation. She raised me in my formative years. She was everything you’ve read, heard, or seen in oral storytellers of the first people of America. I begged a story out of her every night, and I usually got my wish–fireside tales that fired my imagination.

Now, I get to carry on her tradition. Oral storytelling has changed a little. With podcasts, you don’t get to see that fireside glow, the sparkling eyes, the dramatic gestures. The voice must convey all. And recording that voice is a challenge. You will put up with a rooster crowing in the background on a farm–you most certainly will not in a podcast (unless it’s a story about Old McDonald). So you read in your not-so-soundproof office, and reread, and reread, and reread until finally, you do one perfect take without interruption, without error. It ain’t easy, but the results are worth it.

So let me read you a story. It won’t be a story like my grandmother’s–she was one of a kind. But her blood is in me, and it wants to sing…

Click here for “Beast of the Month” Podcast.ย 

Strange Beasties Now in Trade Paperback!

As you may know, my humorous fantasy story “Beast of the Month” was published last month by Third Flatiron Press in their anthology Strange Beasties. That was the e-book edition. The trade paperback edition is now available at Amazon! If you’re like me, there’s nothing better than holding a book in hand…especially if a story you wrote is in that book! That’s a day to rejoice!

Let’s face it: writers deal with a helluva lot of rejection, which can surround them with negative energy if they let it. A writer spends hours, days, months, years buried away in their office, writing works they sometimes wonder if they will ever see the light of day. You send them out, tales you’ve put blood, sweat, and tears into, and most often–in the beginning–they come back to roost, leaving you wondering if you did something wrong, if the story wasn’t good enough, or if you just changed something might it become more sellable? … and down the path to madness ye go.

You really want your stories to sell. Why? It’s not just personal validation, proof you are what you believe you are, A WRITER. No, it’s really about COMMUNICATION. You see, to communicate, you need a message, a transmitter, and a receiver. A writer has a desperate need to connect with other human beings, a fire burning in them that says, I want you, my fellow that shares this world with me, to see and feel something that I believe is important. Often important enough to spend hundreds of hours writing, proofing, submitting to market, getting it back, and sending it out again. In the case of this story, two decades of that. Two decades of getting letters back from editors saying, loved this, really wanted to publish this, not quite right for us, hung on to it as long as I could trying to find a spot, you were number 15 of the 14 I bought, etc., etc. Can you believe it? These are wonderful signs, and you are grateful to the editors that took the time to let you know how close your story came. Still, it can make a sane man or woman crazy, but who says any of us are truly sane? Certainly not writers…there are many other endeavors that grant faster results and gratification and financial gain for far less effort. But that’s another story…

When you sell a story and people can finally read it, you’ve accomplished your mission. You created your message; the editor transmitted your message through publication; and the reader received because, at last, they can access and read it. Communication accomplished. If you’ve done a good job, you will evoke emotions in your reader, take them away from their problems to another dimension created by you, maybe even, if you’re lucky, open up new vistas in their mind and life they’ve never considered before. Countless writers talk about readers that came up to them, dog-eared book in hand, and said, ‘You have no idea what your story did for me in my darkest hour.’ Yes, that really happens.

Will this humorous fantasy story do that for you? Who knows? It’s deeper than you might think, if you dip below the surface. But if all I do is make you laugh, hey, laughter is magic. So is smiling. And if I can make you do that in what can be troubling times, mission accomplished. Message. Transmitter. Receiver.

And that last one’s you.

Click here to experience.