New Story Published – “Arthur”

I am thrilled to announce that my short story “Arthur” is now live on Daily Science Fiction!

Like the name implies, Daily Science Fiction publishes a sci-fi or fantasy short story each day (all pieces are 1,500 words or less). You can also sign up for their email list and get their short fiction delivered to your inbox. Among genre publications, Daily Science Fiction is considered a top-quality source of short and flash fiction. It has published major names in the F/SF community, including Hugo award-winning writers Mary Robinette Kowal, Ken Liu, and Will McIntosh, just to name a few.

Now that I’m finished breathlessly namedropping, I will also say this is my first Professional-level sale! That’s a huge accomplishment for me, a big milestone in my career as a writer, and one of my Not-New-Year’s-Resolutions checked off the list.

“Arthur” is the featured story today, May 9, 2019. If you enjoy it, please rate it. I would also love to know what you thought! Comment on this post or use the Contact page.

On to the next one!

CDM

Tuesday at the Park: A Lesson

Ellie and I met a very sweet little boy at the park today, who I’ll call “James.” He climbed on the merry-go-round with us and promptly informed us that he was 4, but “I be 5 on my next birf-day.” My daughter is 2 and 1/2, and he seemed very kind to her.

Later, I saw him playing with a group of mostly older boys, probably aged 5 – 8. (It’s Spring Break here.) They were dividing into teams for some game when I heard James explain to an older boy: “No! You only get 1 shot wif a sniper [rifle]. I had RPG [rocket-propelled grenade launcher] so I got you.” Continue reading “Tuesday at the Park: A Lesson”

North Carolina and Other Updates

Time flies. Here it is 2019, and I haven’t posted anything. I’m sure you’re aghast, clearly unable to continue life and productive endeavours until I update my blog. Well, rest easy, Somewhat-Infrequent Reader. I got you covered.

And to First-Time Readers, this is how it usually works around here. The blog is fairly low on the priority list and thus is only updated when (A) There’s big news; (B) I get a twinge of nerdy excitement about esoteric topics; or (C) I’m overcome by the urge to overshare online. In this case, it’s option C.  Continue reading “North Carolina and Other Updates”

Business Communication: An Oxymoron; or, Corporate-Speak That Annoys Me

I was a business major in college. (Marketing and Economics – woot woot, I’m a fun guy! Anybody want to talk about segmentation strategies or linear regression?) At that point in my youth, like most college students, I was naive and optimistic. I assumed that by graduating with an undergraduate business degree, I would automatically step into a marketing manager role at the type of fun company that has Beer Thirty on Fridays and a permanently casual dress code.

Needless to say, life doused me with reality like an ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. The only job I could get was a cold-calling sales job in TV advertising. Would you like to buy a 3 a.m. rotator to advertise mattresses? Please? I work on commission. Continue reading “Business Communication: An Oxymoron; or, Corporate-Speak That Annoys Me”

New Story Published – “Ghosts of the North Pacific”

Hey everyone!

First, apologies for the lack of regular posting. I am still here and do plan to continue updating the blog as often as I can, but it probably won’t be very often. If you’re here because you like my fiction I assume you’d rather I spent my writing time on that, rather than on blog posts of “Here are ten YouTube videos that made me lulzers.”

Speaking of fiction, I have a new story out! “Ghosts of the North Pacific” is a sci-fi / horror* flash-fiction piece, available in the March 2018 issue of Splickety Magazine. The theme of this issue is “Dystopian Disasters,” which if you know me should come as no surprise. This story hits a few milestones for me:

  • It’s the first time I’ve shared a publication with a bestselling author. (USA Today Bestseller Pauline Creeden is also featured in the issue.)
  • It’s the first time I’ve gotten a full-color spread in a printed magazine. (And it looks pretty sexy if I do say so myself.)
  • It’s the first flash fiction piece I’ve ever published.

As a sidenote, this was one of the very first stories I ever wrote when I first began seriously writing short fiction in early 2014. After some (several) initial rejections, it gathered dust for awhile. But I always thought it had merit, so after gaining some experience in the short form I reworked it and culled it down into much shorter form for this Splickety theme. They bought it.

Most writers aren’t really defeated; they just give up. You might not sell a story to Tin House or The New Yorker, and you might not sell it in the form you envision, but if you believe in your work you can make it happen. This story is proof. So what are you waiting for?

Go check it out!

*Don’t worry. It’s not all that horror-ish. You can’t get very gruesome in 650 words, and plus, my scary stuff doesn’t tend to be very gruesome anyway. I prefer the heartbeat-racing can-they-make-it style of scary stories, as opposed to the something-jumps-out or look-at-all-the-blood style.

This One Goes Out To The Band I Love

Prologue: Hi. I’m still here. Apologies for the lack of regular posting of late. Life, family, et. al. take priority. I may post more regularly now, or it might be another two months. Read as you please, I’m not here to judge.

I dig music. I’m always listening to something and routinely seeking out new bands, artists and genres. But since at least early high school – meaning, for more than half my life – I’ve had a very particular fondness for the alt-rock band R.E.M. Continue reading “This One Goes Out To The Band I Love”

My 10 Favorite Scenes from Lord of the Rings

The Lord of the Rings is my all-time favorite trilogy / series of movies.* I would love to watch through them all once a year, but it ends up being like once every 5-7 years. (They are 4 hours apiece,** since we’re talking about the Extended Editions.) Well, foolishly I thought that Alicia and I could easily watch through them after I quit my job and she was still on maternity leave.

That was December. Fast-forward to July, and not only did Alicia bail out after The Two Towers, I just recently finished Return of the King in bits and pieces over the last several weeks. Mea culpa. Continue reading “My 10 Favorite Scenes from Lord of the Rings”

Life After Work; or, Thoughts on Being “Retired” At 32

Most of the regular readers here know I quit my job in December to be a full-time dad to our new baby girl. (If you didn’t know, consider yourself caught up.) It’s now July. I’ve been *not* working for at least six months, am not seeking a job, and have no plans to seek a job in the immediate future. (More on that later.) In short, my professional marketing career is voluntarily over.

That’s retirement, right? When you voluntarily stop working to pursue other interests (even if those interests are raising children)? I think so. Maybe. I’m not sure.

The more interesting question: What’s it like to be retired by your early thirties?

Continue reading “Life After Work; or, Thoughts on Being “Retired” At 32″

Yemen: The Syria No One Is Watching

A wedding hall destroyed by a Saudi-led air strike in Yemen’s capital Sana’a July 12, 2015. A Saudi-led coalition continued bombing the capital on Sunday in violation of a temporary humanitarian truce. REUTERS/Mohamed al-Sayaghi

While the world continues to fret, shake its collective head and point fingers at each other over the civil war in Syria, the conflict has only deepened over the last six years.

But frankly, at least the world is watching Syria. Situated in the southern Arabian Peninsula, with nearly three times the land area of Syria and twice its population, Yemen faces the triumvirate crisis of war, famine and disease that threatens to turn it a failed state on the scale of Syria – or worse. Yet no one is watching Yemen.

Why? Continue reading “Yemen: The Syria No One Is Watching”

New Story Published: “King of the Butterflies”

Dear Reader –

Sorry for the lack of posting lately! Life happens. But it is with great triumph I return with yet another published work of fiction! My short story “King of the Butterflies” is out now in the May 2017 edition of FrostFire Worlds magazine. Continue reading “New Story Published: “King of the Butterflies””