For Halloween 2014, I joined a bunch of writer friends in a sort of blog-based celebration of the holiday in an event called the Coffin Hop. I asked for story elements from those friends, and this is what they came up with: Axel Howerton: peanut butter; Lori Michelle: a dead bush; Katie John: Doll’s pram; Julianne Snow: styrofoam plates.
My absolute idol in the flash fiction format is the late Fredric Brown, and his collection of tiny stories, Nightmares and Geezenstacks, served as inspiration for the title and creepy style of this particular story.
“Spectral Delivery” started life in early 2013 as a sample story to serve as introduction to my Road Ghosts Trilogy. Its chronological place in the series is somewhere between the second book, Sinking Down, and the third one, Me and the Devil, but it’s meant to stand alone, and contains no real spoilers. The story is included as a part of The Road Ghosts Omnibus and is read wonderfully in the audiobook by Sean Duregger. I’m not including his reading here on the podcast. If you’d prefer his professional reading over this free “read by the author”, then you’ll have to buy the audiobook. You should anyway, it’s worth it for Sean’s amazing reading of three books and this short story.
It’s told from the point of view of Enid, who’s an outsider to the supernatural adventures of Brett, Gonzo, and their friends, but she ended up charming me enough that I revisited her in “Christmas Special“, which is later in the Alien Beer stories series.
P.S. I used to deliver pizzas for a living; the Hey Dudes are real.
“Killer Cure” was my very first Iron Writer story. I wrote it for the third-ever Challenge, in March 2013, using these four elements: A failed superhero, a piano, a boat propeller and a Chechem/Chaka tree. My story won against two other Iron Writer participants, though their stories were quite good. It was such fun to write, it makes me wonder why I don’t do more superhero stories.
A rather personal bit of flash fiction. Looking back, it was foreshadowing about my own imminent transition that would blossom later that year.
Written for the Iron Writer Challenge in January 2015, I took on the following elements: Botticelli, a tiger lily, long hair, and steampunk goggles. The latter two elements demanded that I write a story involving my heroine Ida Stillwell, from my Trans-Continental steampunk books. It turned out to be an origin story that I decided was canon.
This episode finds Jules and the others in Hope’s crew scrambling after an unexpected turn of events with Smiley and his men, and then on to New Louie for their concert in the Gamma ‘verse.
When I started The Multiverse Blues serial, I made sure I had at least a couple of episodes written and recorded before they aired, giving me a cushion of time to work on the next episodes so I wouldn’t fall behind. Given the current situation of pandemic lockdown, you’d think I’d have even more time to get ahead of things, right? Wrong. I’ve been working my day job from home, so the only extra time I’ve gotten has been from not commuting, and not socializing, other than the occasional Zoom meetup. When I’ve had downtime, I’ve found myself sapped of energy, not feeling as creative as I needed to be.
So, this episode is a bit fresher than usual, having been written and recorded within a week of broadcast. I have the next one started, at least, along with plans for where it’s going after that.
Last night, my friends and I played the Animal Crossing RPG, a one-page Lasers & Feelings hack. Since I love one page TTRPGs, awhile ago, I wrote my own hack of the L&F system, a monster hunting game called Saving People / Hunting Things. To say that these games are different is a vast understatement. Mine’s about mystery, horror, and action, while Animal Crossing RPG is idyllic and peaceful. This shows the powerful flexibility of the Lasers & Feelings RPG engine.
I GMed this game for some of my gaming group over Discord last night, and we all had fun. TBH I think the players had more fun coming up with their characters than anything else. Unfortunately, the game was interrupted by a nasty thunderstorm and tornado watch (half of us lost power), so we didn’t find out if the characters would be able to deliver Pecan’s antique chest across town and over the brook to Kicks.
Even still, it was a perfect diversion during the pandemic lockdown, a nice, calm setting for escape.