The Goatmen of Aguirra Serialized on Piker Press

Sand Pilarski, the genius Managing Editor of The Piker Press, is serializing The Goatmen of Aguirra starting as this week’s cover story and running for the next seven.

I am thrilled, and thanks to Sand and The Piker Press for accepting this novella.… Read the rest

Sand Pilarski, the genius Managing Editor of The Piker Press, is serializing The Goatmen of Aguirra starting as this week’s cover story and running for the next seven.

I am thrilled, and thanks to Sand and The Piker Press for accepting this novella.

 
For those unfamiliar with the story…
The Goatmen of Aguirra is based on my experiences as a cultural anthropologist working with aboriginal societies. I wrote it side by side with The Augmented Man back in the early 1990s. I sent it to a few markets. One editor requested several edits and finally rejected it with “I think I’ve done more damage with my suggestions than helped it.”

Yeah. Well. Thanks.

In the end, nobody bought it so I shelved it.

In 2015 I gave up a business I grew from my basement to having offices in the US, Canada, and the EU. Susan (wife/partner/Princess) said, “I’ve never seen you happier than when you’re writing your fiction, so I want you to do that for the rest of your life.”

It’s wonderful when the one true love of your life knows what you love in your life, isn’t it?

I included The Goatmen of Aguirra in my self-published anthology, Tales Told ‘Round Celestial Campfires, which’s received good reviews so far.

I decided to send The Goatmen of Aguirra around again. But now it had a blackmark – “previously published.”

I saw The Piker Press and thought, sure, why not. But I started with an email entitled “Querying before submitting” and gave a two paragraph synopsis. Sand wrote back

Yes, I’d like to see it very much. Please send it along, and give me a couple days to read through.

I sent it. She wrote back

What a captivating and thought-provoking story! Once I sarted reading, I couldn’t stop. Every interruption seemed like a catastrophe.

And The Goatmen of Aguirra saw print in a recognized market earlier this week.

Remember what I wrote in 30 Years to Publication?

Yeah, I’m feeling good.

Take a read. Let Sand and me know what you think. ‘Preciate it.

Teri Polen Bad Mooned Me

Young adult horror, sci-fi, and fantasy author Teri Polen Bad Mooned me.

I know, it’s true. I should have known better and I’m ashamed of myself.

IT WAS SO MUCH FUN!

 
Teri asked me a bunch of questions – Would you rather be a vampire or a lion tamer?… Read the rest

Young adult horror, sci-fi, and fantasy author Teri Polen Bad Mooned me.

I know, it’s true. I should have known better and I’m ashamed of myself.

IT WAS SO MUCH FUN!

 
Teri asked me a bunch of questions – Would you rather be a vampire or a lion tamer? (no, that’s not right. I have The Magic Show on my mind. sorry), What’s the most difficult thing about writing characters of the opposite sex?, As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal? and others.

I must have done good because the comments were flattering and I do oh so love flattery.

I do, I do, I truly do.

And please check out Teri’s books. We’ll both appreciate it (my reward is knowing I helped Teri out).

Empty Sky Chapter 16 – The Gardens of the Moon

Read Empty Sky Chapter 15 – Pangiosi and Tom

Read Empty Sky Chapter 15 – Pangiosi and Tom


A cold wind roughled Jamie’s bathrobe against his pajamaed legs. Thick animal fur warmed his face like a blanket, its smell filling his nostrils with each breath.

But not Shem’s fur. It smelled…heavier than Shem’s fur…more urgent than Shem’s fur.

He raised his head, his hands stiff from clenching Graywolf’s coat.

“We’re almost there, Jamie.”

They moved through a rush of trees. White barked birch and scotch pine, gray ash and winter oak towered over him, their branches alternately pine needle and leaf and snow covered and offering a canopy through which the night sky, its stars and planets, could still be seen.

High overhead the moon still sailed through the sky, full and rumbling like a big church organ. The Aurora walked back and forth across the cold night sky, crinkling like cellophane candy wrappers, sounding almost like words just beyond his ability to understand, like the Aurora were people talking at a party, like when Mom and Dad had people over and Jamie and Shem listened from the top of the stairs.

The wind moved through the trees and sounded like long, low, breathy, conversations, as if the world talked all around him, ignorant or perhaps unaware or maybe even uncaring that he and Graywolf ruddaRumped underneath. “It sounds like everything’s talking,” he said.

“Everything is, Jamie. The world just waits for someone to listen.”


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A Tale of the Woods: The Little Flower

I started writing Tales of the Woods during Winter break in freshman year of my first time through college. In the mid 1990s I contributed a Tale each month to a New Age magazine. Sometimes I wonder if I should gather them together and publish them as a children’s book of some kind.… Read the rest

I started writing Tales of the Woods during Winter break in freshman year of my first time through college. In the mid 1990s I contributed a Tale each month to a New Age magazine. Sometimes I wonder if I should gather them together and publish them as a children’s book of some kind.

Let me know what you think.


A Tale of the Woods
The Little Flower

 
Once upon a time a beautiful flower rested in a Woods. All that came by stopped and wondered because few had seen a flower with petals so bright and stem and leaves so radiant. Many creatures stopped and sniffed the air as they passed, carrying with them the scent of her beauty. This flower, small and delicate and thirsting farther and farther, always reached for the rains and lights that brought her life.

One day as she sat and looked upon the hillside she noticed a lone elk wandering through the Woods. The elk walked strong and proud, his coat showing scars from the many contests he’d been in. Watching the else, she grew sad. “He is alone,” she said.

The elk didn’t come near the little flower at first. “Perhaps he can not see me,” she wondered. “Perhaps he is afraid.”

Each time she saw the elk she talked gently to him., each time the elk drew nearer to her. Finally he would come and sit beside the flower, telling her of things he’d done and things he’d do. The little flower listened and nodded. “We are not that different,” she thought. “We both have hopes and dreams.”

The elk came often and shared stories of the rest of the Woods and especially the things he had done, grateful for her listening and the time they had together.

One day the elk came bearing a long scar down his flank. He neither flinched nor stumbled as he moved but the little flower knew some horrible thing happened to him, something he would not share, something she could not understand.

But in all the Woods, the elk came to her for rest and comfort, for solace and quiet. Although only a small flower, she spread her leaves and stretched her petals as wide and as far over the elk as she could. And an amazing thing happened!

The little flower found that she wasn’t as little as she thought! Her leaves and flowers offered a shade the elk could find no where else in the woods; a place to rest and leave thoughts of conflict behind. She offered herself gladly to the elk, and the elk, unaware that the little flower had grown, slept quietly underneath.

Soon the elk awoke. He got to his feet and shook his mighty head, strengthened for the time he had beneath the flower’s leaves, the scent of her petals clinging to his coat.

The elk came and went many times thus. Each time the flower spread her leaves and petals. Each time her soft, flowery perfume rested upon his coat and gave him strength.

Each time the little flower thanked the Woods and all those in the Woods for her gifts. Many others came — small flurrying birds and scurrying little mice, wise old owls and ancient wizened oaks — to see the beauty of the little flower’s petals and leaves, and to heal their hurts with her gentle, fragrant scent.

But sometimes the love we give is not the love we receive.


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Empty Sky Chapter 15 – Pangiosi and Tom

Read Empty Sky Chapter 14 – Detective Colodnie Johnson

Read Empty Sky Chapter 14 – Detective Colodnie Johnson


Earl Pangiosi poured himself another two-fingers of Macallan and turned on the stereo on low, Sinatra, soft and not distracting. Above the train’s rumblings and Sinatra’s croonings, he heard movement from the bedroom.

“Ah, Mr. McPherson, are you ready to join us?” He opened the door and flipped on the lights, turning the dial to full brilliance.

On the floor, straightjacketed and gagged, Tom McPherson closed his eyes and rolled away from the harsh lights.

“Well, Mr. McPherson how are you today? It’s such a relief to know you’re still with us. I was concerned, you know.” Pangiosi He helped Tom sit up then raised him up so both could sit on the edge of the bed. “It’s okay, Mr. McPherson. I am your friend.” He laid an arm across Tom’s shoulders and gave a gentle hug.

Tom hesitated, resisting Pangiosi’s gentle pressure, squinting at the silhouette Pangiosi made against the lights.

“Oh, so sorry, Tom. May I call you ‘Tom’? Let me turn those lights down a bit.”

Pangiosi walked to the switch and back. When he stood over Tom, Pangiosi adjusted his sportcoat to reveal his 92X in a sling holster.

Tom’s eyes went wide and fixed on him.

“Do you know, Tom, your wife, Eleanor, and I were quite close friends? Did she ever mention me?”

Tom’s eyes narrowed and his brow descended.

“God’s truth.” Pangiosi held up his right hand. “What became of her, Tom? Do you know? Can you tell me?”

Tom looked around the room, his eyes moving quickly, taking in the richly paneled walls, the dresser and vanity and entertainment system, the phone and computer recessed on the far wall, the slightly ajar lavatory door showing the hints of marble within, the other door showing the working table and chairs and paper stacks thereon.

But he never took his eyes off Pangiosi for long.

“Let me tell you what I know, Tom. Let’s see where it all fits.”

Pangiosi sat on the edge of the bed, his left foot touching the floor and his right leg crooked over the covers. He folded his hands in his lap and canted his face and eyes to the ceiling as if the memory was written there.

“I’m not sure where we recruited Eleanor. Oh, I have the information in the other room.” He waved towards the open door. “But that’s not important right now. I’m sure you agree. Don’t you, Tom?

“What I really want to discuss with you is the matter of her departure. It is most interesting and quite puzzling, to be sure.

“Now just so we’re clear, Tom, what I’m about to tell you is quite confidential. Top secret, hush-hush, eyes only and all that. I’m happy to tell you, of course, but then, as they say, I’ll have to kill you.” He laughed, looking sideways at Tom and punching a straight-jacketed arm. “Oh, laugh, Tom. I’m kidding.”

His voice grew quiet, confidential. He leaned in to Tom, an arm around his shoulders.

“The first thing you need to know is that I’m involved in dream research. That’s where all this begins, and Ellie got herself involved in it with us. Did you know Ellie is what some people in the field call ‘a gifted dreamer’? I don’t think she even knew it. Basically, she had the ability to go so deeply into her dreams they became her reality. Now this is something right out of mythology. Australia’s aboriginals have been telling us about this kind of thing for years but let’s face it; dreams become realities? You have that whole wishes-horses-beggars thing and nobody wants that.

“But back to Ellie. At one point Ellie was fully in D-sleep — that’s ‘desynchronized’ or ‘dreaming sleep. That’s what we call it, D-sleep — and had been for days. It almost seemed as if she’d been waiting for us to come along and help her succumb to Morpheus’ charms. Except we didn’t. My hand to god, we didn’t do a thing to her.” He slapped Tom’s thigh as if the two were enjoying a joke. “Can you beat that? We didn’t do a goddamn thing and, as soon as she can, she’s fast asleep and twitching to beat the band.”


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