Alien Beer Podcast – Dr. Princess and the Soldier

Before I introduce this episode, I have some news for you.

First of all, you may have noticed the absence of The Multiverse Blues after Chapter Sixteen. I decided to take a hiatus on that, as life had gotten to be extremely stressful. Since this is being recorded towards the end of 2020, I think you know what I mean. On top of the pandemic and the terrifying uncertainty of the election, I had some personal issues going on, over and above the anxiety and depression I struggle with every day. Of note, the toilet in my half bathroom vomited enough sewage to cover the bathroom, the entry room, and half of my kitchen. My wife and I were overwhelmed and have been forced to effectively camp out for the past month and a half while demolition occurred, and while we wait for reconstruction. Oh, and my wife broke her wrist.

So, naturally, since I was already pushed past my limits, I thought to myself, “Hey, why don’t I do National Novel Writing Month this year!” Let me tell you, NaNoWriMo is stressful in the best of years, and I’d already been worrying about burning out on The Multiverse Blues.

Why did I do it? I found myself called by a new project. It’s a book called Trans Witch. As I write this to you on November 30th, I have just now finished, not just the required fifty-thousand words in thirty days, but I’ve also completed all the chapters I wanted to write in it. I have a rough draft of my magical mystery tour of a middle-aged transgender witch who finds herself searching for her lost partner within the college for wizards she’s found. If that sounds to you like it’s a big F-U to a certain transphobic YA author, you’re probably right.

Anyway, I plan to resume writing and recording the Multiverse Blues in the next few weeks. Trans Witch should be published by this coming Spring.

I hope you’re enjoying The Alien Beer podcast. I’m going to continue the every-other-week format as default for the foreseeable future. In two weeks, you can look forward to a holiday special.

As a palate cleanser for the previous two stories, I give you a final Iron Writer story I wrote in early 2017. The elements were: One hot summer day; A deserted island; Buried treasure; Chicken with its head cut off. I felt the elements went a little too well together, so rather than rehash Treasure Island, I thought I’d do another story with a twist. This story came in first with the popular vote, and close second with an internal Iron Writer vote, allowing me to advance to the tournament. But more importantly, it was fun to write.

Posted in alien beer podcast, audio, fantasy, freebies, Fun Stuff, podcast, Silly Hat Books | Leave a comment

Trans Witch is DONE!

Trans Witch: 30 days/ 59,301 words!

30 days ago, I set out to write a book about a transgender woman at a wizard college. The idea has undergone a few changes along the way as I’ve learned about my characters and their School of Applied Metaphysics. What started as satire turned into a mystery, and the mystery led my main character on a magical adventure unlike anything I’ve written before.

To tell the truth, Trans Witch isn’t really finished. It’s a rough draft, like any NaNoWriMo novel. This is the 8th novel I’ve produced through my participation in the grueling month-long challenge, and my 10th overall, so I’m quite familiar with all that lies ahead for this latest book.

I’ll leave Trans Witch aside for a week or two to cool and set before I read the whole thing through and make first edits. Then, I’ll recruit beta readers to give me feedback on the plot and characters to see what needs to be tweaked. After all that, I’ll pay my favorite editor to go over it with a magnifying glass (at least that’s how I imagine it) and prepare it for publication. I already have an artist in mind for the actual cover, so I’ll have to negotiate and pay for that part as well.

So, with luck, I hope to publish this newest book sometime this Spring.

Make no mistake, the purpose of this book was originally in reaction to the transphobic screeds posted by the most famous author of wizard school books. Having let me and millions of other fans down, I wanted to roast her with this book. But that’s already been done by Chuck Tingle and his “Trans Wizard Harriet Porber and the Bad Boy Parasaurophus”.

I decided that I wanted my book to be primarily about representation. I knew I was no longer welcome at a certain school for wizards, so I wanted to create a place for all the others who now feel like they can’t go back to that formerly inviting place.

I have high hopes for this book. That is, the hope that the magical world I’ve created feels like home for everyone.

Posted in Blog, fantasy, Silly Hat Books, Writing | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Alien Beer Podcast – Dark Reflection

Here’s another rather personal story involving a mirror. Okay, I’ll admit it, I’ve got an irrational fear of seeing myself in mirrors in the dark. To try to exorcise that a bit, I decided to make the fear more tangible in a story. The result was bought by James Ward Kirk, and published in his Indiana Horror Anthology 2011.

Posted in alien beer podcast, audio, fantasy, freebies, Fun Stuff, Silly Hat Books | Tagged | Leave a comment

Alien Beer Podcast – The Man at the Top of the Stair

Note: I posted this last week on the podcast feed, but failed to post about it here. It is just as well; I feel this is more appropriate during Trans Awareness Week (and tomorrow is Trans Day of Remembrance). That said, if you’re trans yourself, this story has elements of gender dysphoria in it.

This one was hard to write. Not technically hard, but emotionally. It was for the Iron Writer Challenge, March 2017, and here are the elements: “Antigonish” (poem) restricted to the first verse only; Another person’s dream that you are envious of; A hangman’s noose; Will you never leave me? I couldn’t help but write this story, even though hurt to do so; it demanded to be written, given those elements.

Posted in alien beer podcast, fantasy, freebies, Fun Stuff, podcast, Silly Hat Books | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Alien Beer Podcast – Never Be

This one has an odd history. I wrote it in 2011, and it was picked up, with contract, for an issue of a well-respected horror magazine. The issue it was due to come out in never happened, and eventually the rights reverted to me. I’ll admit, I sat on this one for years on the hope that the issue might someday come out, but it’s been almost 6 years now, so I’d rather the story saw the light of day than to continue to wait expectantly in the dark.

Posted in alien beer podcast, audio, freebies, Fun Stuff, podcast, science fiction, Silly Hat Books

Alien Beer Podcast – Fragile Allie

For the the Iron Writer Challenge 77, I threw down in another Grudge Match. I wrote along with Jordan Bell, against Mathew W. Weaver and Maureen Larter. Once again, my team was defeated, but we all made some great stories in the heat of battle.

Our elements were: A Suit of Armor; A Pitcher’s Mound; Gluten Free; Locke’s Socks.

Posted in alien beer podcast, audio, freebies, Fun Stuff, podcast, Silly Hat Books

Ch 16. – The Multiverse Blues – Traveling Riverside Blues

After an attack on Hope interrupted the show on Delta Earth, the crew of Hope’s Tour were forced to flee the Harmony Theater in their tour bus.

Will Jules and the crew be able to outrun the agents of the Arch Authority and get off-world somewhere out of their reach?

Posted in alien beer podcast, audio, freebies, Fun Stuff, podcast, science fiction, Silly Hat Books, The Multiverse Blues

Alien Beer Podcast – Ep. 17 – Hunted

“Hunted” came to me in September 2010, and though I’ve never managed to publish it before now, it became the seed for the first of my Tipsy Fairy TalesBlue Spirit. Having written the Road Ghosts Trilogy, I decided I needed a new direction, since I felt Brett’s story had been told well enough. I wasn’t quite ready to leave that universe, however, so I thought about minor characters I wanted to explore more, Skye came to mind immediately. She was funny, she had deep issues, and she’d been touched by the supernatural. But rather than stick to ghosts and ghouls and demons, I wanted something different. The following dark fairy tale still fresh in my mind, I decided that Skye would see into that fairy world. See the end of chapter 1 of Blue Spirit to fit this story in, and guess what its characters’ names might be.
Posted in alien beer podcast, audio, fantasy, freebies, Fun Stuff, podcast, short stories, Silly Hat Books | Tagged , , ,

A new playlist for fans of The Multiverse Blues!

Hope, inter-dimensional rock star.
Artwork: Kirsten Jacobus

My science fiction serial, The Multiverse Blues, is a story full of music. The chapter titles are each a title of a Robert Johnson song. The main character is a roadie as a part of an inter-dimensional touring band, and the songs that they play are featured as part of the story.

So, I thought I’d make a playlist made up of all those songs. For the Robert Johnson songs, I mostly picked the most interesting covers to vary artists up a bit.

I hope you enjoy this playlist, it’s the soundtrack to my story!

Posted in audio, freebies, Fun Stuff, science fiction, The Multiverse Blues | Tagged ,

Ch 15. – The Multiverse Blues – Me and the Devil Blues

Last time on The Multiverse Blues, Jules caught up with their crew, concert already underway at the Harmony Theater. A spy is caught trying to steal Jules’ life. To prove they’re the real Jules, both were asked to divulge secrets.

Jules and the crew of Hope’s Tour confront the Deltan spy. Can they find an escape from Delta Earth before the Arch Authority can capture them?
Posted in alien beer podcast, audio, freebies, Fun Stuff, podcast, Silly Hat Books, The Multiverse Blues