Before I decided to do the Year of Stories, I spent a few months submitting some of my work to different online magazines, to see if I could get any traction with my short stories via the "traditional route." I received the standard stream of rejections, but I earned a few acceptances, too.
We Dragons is definitely among my stronger work, in my opinion, so I hope you go check it out and leave a rating and a comment. It's a cool site, and I've enjoyed many stories that have been posted there.
I expect I'll probably include We Dragons in the Year of Stories at some point later in the year, because I'd like to be able to put it into one of the print collections, but I have to read my contract with RGR a little more closely to make sure what the exclusivity period is.
Welcome to week 9 of the Year of Stories!
On the morning Jary Tomlin finds the world's last remaining gun, he and his wife are having an argument in the kitchen. They're being evicted, and Jary can't imagine how life could possibly get much worse. Then he accidentally knocks a hole in the wall of the garage, and "worse" is exactly what he finds hidden inside.
The expansion wars have changed things. Gell Miller sees it everywhere he looks. As a bartender, he always tries to avoid stepping on the toes of any hostile alien visitors. But not all of his customers are so careful...
To read previously released stories, check out the Year of Stories page.
My series Losing Freight has been rolling along. We just hit the end of Week 5, and the action is really heating up!
Losing Freight is really unique because there's a poll at the end of every page where you can vote on choices that affect the story. It's been a lot of fun to have people voting along!
New pages of the story go up each weekday at 5 PM PST, and polls remain open until noon PST the next day.
If you haven't been reading, here's a bit of a recap of what's happened so far to get you caught up.
Week 1: We're introduced to Tic Bolter, owner of a one-man shipping business called Bolter Freightage. In his ship, the Galactic Pelican (name chosen by reader poll), he travels from planet to planet delivering various goods and getting himself in trouble. We also meet Lady Libden, a retired opera singer and one of his clients. We learn that Tic has lost something he was supposed to deliver to Libden, an action figure (as chosen by reader poll).
Week 2: Tic brings on a passenger, Milly Leon, to earn a bit of extra money. It turns out she's looking for a little more than a ride: she may be trailing some trouble in her wake. But she's also worth a lot of money, so Tic fires up the Origami Engine (named by reader poll) and makes designs on that cash...
Week 3: Tic gives Milly a "Saucy Wench" to drink (named by reader poll), and Milly explains the "quest" she's on, searching for her parents, two space-time engineers (as chosen by reader poll) who disappeared many years ago.
Week 4: Tic and Milly arrive on Haddock, where Milly wants to look for her parents. Hoping he doesn't run in to any of the goons who work for Mr. Dunter, the client who sold the action figure Tic lost during delivery, Tic brings Milly to a pawn shop (where a reader poll sent them). Of course there's trouble!
Week 5: Tic's friend Haglyn helps Tic and Milly recover from their ordeal, which in Tic's case involves drinking some Saucy Wenches, but Milly isn't ready to sit back and think things over: she heads out to get some good snooping done! She pretends to be one of Mr. Dunter's secret admirers (a plan voted into action by readers), then runs off once she's inside Dunter's building to look for clues. The last thing Tic hears over his PAI (his futuristic smart phone equivalent) is the sound of her getting caught.
What happened to Milly, and what is Tic going to do next? Check in on Monday at 5 PM to get some answers! I hope you read (and vote) along. There's plenty more excitement to come, and lots more polls to vote in!
Happy Friday! Here's episode 8 of my podcast.
3:57 - 6:06 Pirate Week. Finalists posted today. Voting for Audience Choice is live until Tuesday at midnight.
6:07 - 11:04 What I've Been Working On. Special People progress update.
11:05 - 14:28 Year of Stories: discussion of Captain Blackbird and the Mutineers.
23:17 - 23:47 Sign-off.
Two weekends ago Larissa and I went on what she called a "babymoon," a term I hadn't heard before. Apparently it's a "thing," though. It was our last little trip together as just the two of us before Baby arrives about six weeks from now.
At her work Christmas party, Larissa won a two-night stay to the Black Rock Resort in Ucluelet, on the west coast of Vancouver Island. It's beautiful out there! We drove up on Saturday after Larissa got off work, spent Saturday night, all day Sunday, and Monday morning, and drove back down to Victoria on Monday afternoon.
It rained all day Sunday, which isn't unusual on the Island, especially further north. It's rain forest country, after all! Not the kind of jungle rain forest you typically associate with the Amazon, but rain forest nonetheless. So we spent the day mostly in our room, relaxing and hanging out together. We did venture down to the main floor in the late morning for the special Valentine's weekend brunch, and it was awesome. The bacon was particularly good.
During the rest of the day Larissa finished crocheting a baby blanket and I watched some sports. It was good to just get away and not have to worry about anything.
On Monday morning the sun was out, so we took a bit of a walk on the beach. I even convinced her to give me a smooch on the cheek!
We didn't take a lot of pictures, but I've included a few below.
We've had our time away now, and we're in the home stretch to Baby's arrival! We're moving into our new place this weekend, so Larissa can get down to some serious nesting. Once our move is done, there won't be any more big items on our Pre-Baby To-Do List, so we're looking forward to having that out of the way. Maybe once we're moved in I'll do a photo tour, or a brief video showing the place off. Depends what I have time for. These stories don't write themselves!