Category: fiction

Things That Make Me Sad

     Good morning, Gentle Reader. It’s Wednesday, or “Hump Day,” as the gainfully employed have long styled it. The rain is pissing down on my kinda-sorta-beloved Long Island home, yet the dogs keep demanding to be let out…and let back in five minutes later. Thus, the house is accumulating a great number of muddy tracks …

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The Outrider

     [A short story for you today. Some “great events” are, in point of fact, merely resultants. They’re preceded by much smaller and less visible events that made them, if not inevitable, at least overwhelmingly likely. If there’s a great event to come, where should we look for the seemingly insignificant precursors that will precipitate …

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     [A short story for you today. This one will be rather pointed, I fear. It was inspired by an essay I read about an hour ago. That piece, which I’ll link at the end of this one, harmonized so perfectly with my own convictions and the process by which I reached them that I …

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Based Book Sale

     Hans G. Schantz, author of the Hidden Truth trilogy, has once again organized a Based Book Sale. It runs from today, March 27 through Wednesday, April 3. All the books in it are available in their Kindle editions for $0.99 or less. Many are free. If you like to read, are dissatisfied with the …

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“How Did He Know?”

     This piece has evoked some amazing reactions, the majority of them imparted to me privately. Yes, all of them were from men. Quite frankly, what I thought I knew about my Gentle Readers falls short of the actuality. It seems that even among our sort, there’s a lot of romantic and para-romantic misery out …

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Attention: Free Fiction!

     From March 3 through March 9 is Smashwords’ Read-An-Ebook Week. In recognition thereof, nineteen of my books are free downloads at Smashwords this week. If you’re unacquainted with my fiction, stop over there and sample it while it’s free. What have you got to lose?

For Virginia With Hope

     [An old friend asked about this short story, and if I would please repost it. It first appeared at Liberty’s Torch V1.0 on December 18, 2019. I’ve made some slight edits since then. – FWP]      They had disdained the courtrooms, even though cleared of the pestilential scum that had roosted there. The aroma …

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An Observation About Characterization

     Regard the following snippet from a novella from P. S. Power:      “It’s a danger of taking responsibility for others, of course. A strong leader might have to make decisions that others wouldn’t. I can’t even tell you it’s wrong for you to be doing it. Just be careful. Taking on too much at …

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Truer Words Were Never Spoken

     This spoke to me so powerfully that I could not refrain from snagging it:      Every writer wants to believe that his books are good. How many believe they’ve produced even one book that’s great? How many would even want to?      If only…sigh.      (Applause to The Feral Irishman.)

A Snippet For Discussion Purposes

     The following is a segment from my novel-in-progress, working title Ex Nihilo (yeah, yeah, again with the Latin):      “Father,” Sarah Lydell said, “why is there evil?”      It was the question toward which Father Raymond Altomare, pastor of Onteora Parish, had been building for five weeks. The group of seniors from Foxwood High …

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Plausible Villains

     “No villain comes in black, screaming obscenities. All evil has children, homes, regard for self, fear of enemies.” – Greg Bear, Anvil of Stars      A writer straining to produce drama faces several challenges. One that perpetually bedevils me is the construction of a villain in whom the reader can believe.      There have …

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Closing The Escapes, Defiling the Heroes

     The Totalitarian Prime Directive is simple: Permit no escape. After all, the evidence is copious that oppressed and subjugated people will flee if they can. Therefore, the totalitarian must block all escape routes, station men with guns at each of them, and shoot those who attempt to breach them as an example to others. …

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The Bearer

     [I’d vacillated among subjects for a tirade much of the morning, when I realized that I’ve been drained of the verve required for the pursuit. So instead, have a short story from F. J. Dagg. It first appeared at Liberty’s Torch V1.0 in November of 2020.      James’s imagination seems to admit to no …

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The Escapist Imperative

     Not long ago, I encountered a gentleman who ran an unusual business: he positioned himself as a writer’s “pre-agent.” That is, he assisted aspiring writers in persuading an actual literary agent to represent them. (I have no idea what percent of his customers actually acquired representation, but he didn’t do badly…for himself.) As you …

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A Writer’s Crosses

     Have you wearied of the door-to-door religious solicitors who insist that you really need to learn about the Latter Day Saints, or the Jehovah’s Witnesses, or the Seventh-Day Adventists, or what have you? You find them annoying, do you? Well, that’s perfectly understandable, especially if you’re comfortable with your faith and don’t feel a …

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New Fiction (Sticky; Scroll Down For Updates)

     It’s finally available:      Paul Larsen’s B&B in Ogunquit, Maine is running him off his feet. Desperate for someone to share the load, he hires pretty, appealing Carol Holm as his assistant manager. Carol is desperate to be gone from Onteora County, New York, where she’s made some highly placed enemies. As time passes …

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A Diversionary Musing

     I know, I know: most of what I write, here or elsewhere, would be considered rather “off-axis” by readers and writers with mainstream sensibilities. But I write first of all for myself. Consider it a purgative that doesn’t produce messes on the bathroom floor. And let us quickly leave that unfortunate metaphor, and proceed …

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Teaser Time: Teaser Two

     As it happens – and it doesn’t happen often – my “Future Columns” tab is empty this morning. I can’t imagine how that came about. Nevertheless, it gives me an excuse to divert to fiction topics for a change.      On the marketing front, Hans G. Schantz has announced another big sale of Based …

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Massive Concurrence

     Every now and then, an artist in some medium will come along to remind us about what really matters. Today, AoSHQ co-blogger “The James Madison” highlights one such artist:      Listening to [Australian film director Peter] Weir in interviews, I find it hard not to really like the guy. He’s soft-spoken, unassuming, and very …

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Tapped Out

     That’s me. Pounding these keys has used me up, at least for the moment. (Memo to me: Remember to unclench your fists next time.) I’m going to use the day for things that won’t involve me with computers. However, I dislike to leave my Gentle Readers with nothing, so have an old short story …

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