New short story “A Sky Full of Stars” lands online today

My new short story ‘A Sky Full of Stars” appears in the anthology “Discovery: QSF’s Second Annual Flash Fiction Contest” which goes on sale today! I’m so excited to be included among such a talented and diverse group of writers. All the stories have an LGBT bent, and run the gamut from platypus shifters to alien slug monsters, from carnival horror stories to haunting tales of ships with souls. There’s definitely something for everyone.

You can purchase online today at the retailers below:

Mischief Corner Books
All Romance Books

Also available in paperback.

Busy as bees

After a short drought, I’ve been busy as bees. I recently submitted a 12K short story to Dreamspinner Press for an upcoming anthology and it’s my first foray into the m/m romance genre. This week I’m finishing my entry into a flash fiction contest over at Queer Sci Fi and I’ll be participating in #TwitterFiction Festival at @ewmurks on Twitter. And there’s also a novel, a few more short stories and a collaboration with my friend and fellow author Jeff Adams in the works.

It’s nice to finally be writing again.

NaNoWriMo Update: Rough First Day on the Road to 5000 Words

Five thousand words in and everything has changed. This is not the story I planned to write, but it’s the story I’m writing right now. My original plan was to pick up where I left off on a previous NaNoWriMo from a few years ago, but I scrapped that idea mere hours before I was set to start. This left a vacuum ultimately filled by 1700 plus words of self-loathing prose, describing in incredible detail everything I had done wrong leading up to NaNoWriMo and that any words on the screen moving forward were not worth the pixels they were painted with.

But the next day I thankfully got over myself. There’d been an idea for a short story tumbling around in my head for months so I decided to re-visit it from a big picture point of view instead of just a few moments in time. As the wheels slowly turned in my brain it snowballed into something bigger and more complex, while maintaining a small, intimate story at its heart. I felt like I was on to something, and it gave me something to write about other than simply tearing myself apart.

So that’s what I wrote on day two, day three, and 300 words into day four. I really think I may be on to something. But the month is long, and there are many more words to write. In the end I hope there will be enough words to wipe out the first 1700 as if they had never been written.

Until the next update….

Throwback Thursday – Star Trek: There Be Dragons

Today’s #throwbackthursday  is a little Star Trek fan fiction from my high school days. Enjoy.

Star Trek: There Be Dragons


James T. Kirk let the question hang in the air for a moment, as his first officer studied his cards. Spock had managed a marvelous run over the past half hour and had mostly depleted Kirk’s chips. The captain was desperate. He should never had opened his mouth. Spock, with the deliberate coolness of a practiced card shark, was drilling him into the ground.

“Mr. Spock?” Finally the knife-edge brows appeared above the cards.

“Captain, how can I continue to play with any degree of success as along as you continue this ploy to distract me?” The brows disappeared below the edge of the cards again, almost like magic.

“Is it working?”

“No, Sir.”

A chuckle came from corner. McCoy leaned against the wall casually, observing the game from across the room. McCoy had distanced himself from the captain as his luck had waned.

“Seriously, Mr. Spock. Have you ever seen a dragon before?” Glancing over at the grinning doctor and then back to his captain, Spock laid his cards down and folded his hands over them.

“If you are referring to the V’akvelsksis of Aengameron III-”

“No Mr. Spock, I mean a REAL dragon!” Kirk laid down his own cards and heard Bones pull up a chair.

“A REAL dragon sir. The term dragon is relative, depending exclusively on a culture’s-”

“Don’t you know what a dragon is?” McCoy leaned forward, relishing as always, his chance to upstage the Vulcan. “It’s a giant snake with wings that breathes fire and eats virgins.”

Not one but two brows rose.

Throwback Thursday – The Plague

Going way back in the time machine on this one. This is probably early-mid-80s (high school)… as I’ve got the original dot-matrix printout to prove it! Once again, any and all feed back is welcome. Enjoy.  #throwbackthursday


We didn’t need a view screen to see what lay before us. Our heading was zero, ninety mark two, toward the great unexplored heart of the Milky Way: the Galactic Core.

Not that we ever had a prayer of reaching it. We were one of seven vessels covering a ninety degree arc across the interior spread of the galaxy. Our mission, simply map space, and more importantly, discover intelligent life.

No. Not just life. Martian probes in the early 21st century confirmed what scientists had hoped all along, simple prehistoric life forms, dormant and frozen beneath the red planet’s polar cap.

And now here we were, hurling ourselves along at a dramatic 3c, looking for bigger and better life. Fat chance. This mission was doomed from the start and about as impossible as catching a meteor with a butterfly net. Operation SWEEP as it has been labeled by the World Space Agency, WSA, owes its thanks to the failed colonization of the solar system (Mars and Jupiter’s moon Europa in particular). The expensive project was designed to increase public interest and generate money. Before the decade could end, seven ships were hastily constructed in earth orbit and fitted with the new untried star drives, destination: the center of the galaxy.

It was a beautiful idea, a cosmetic bandage for a floundering space program and world economy. The public ate it up. Money poured in from every direction.

And now here we were. The lucky ones. Fourteen of us, two to a ship. Alone. For God knows how long.

By the way, my name is Joe Trapp. I was born in space, and worked most of my life in space, shuttling asteroid material from the Belt to mineral processing stations. That was until the WSA yanked me, put me through six months of training, another six months in an Esper Coven, doubled my salary, and gave me the impromptu rank of captain. This was all for the media, of course. It wouldn’t do to have an ensign piloting the fastest ship to ever come across man’s assembly lines.

And they called this one the Enterprise, named for the prototype of the first reusable space craft in the late 20th century, and perhaps more significantly, for the ship on a video show in the late 1960’s which inspired interest in space among millions. The name brought a fleeting image of the ship to mind. A swan floating through the currents of space, the engines swept back like wings, poised for flight, glowing, pulsing with power, life.

Better than this hulk it was certain, a pie wedge of a ship with three unsightly holes in the back, spewing behind it a plume of invisible radioactive material. There was nothing graceful about it at all. I doubt it will last as long as the video show, still populating a range of frequencies, its message as relevant as it ever was.

A whistle called across the bridge, indicating the passage of another relativistic hour. My co-pilot, one Alan Drews, looked slowly up from the status console, obviously annoyed. Despite that he and I were of similar backgrounds, nature had been less kind to him. His face was fleshed out, his jowls red and swollen. On his long nose and beneath his greasy mop, was a pair of thick glasses (Drews had refused implants to correct vision problems). It seemed that space travel did not suit him.

“Want me to take care of that?” he asked, or rather wheezed. Drews never resorted to telepathy, and I was glad. It was an intimate, personal experience I didn’t care to share with him.

Throwback Thursday – The Cliffs

In a slight twist on the whole #throwbackthursday thing, I’ll be posting excerpts of past writing—some dating back as far as high school. I know, how exciting! (insert sarcasm here  ) Below is an excerpt from a piece I wrote back in 2000. I hope you enjoy it… any and all feedback is appreciated!

The Cliffs

Foam was thick below as the wind kicked up the waves. Navigating the shoals around the cliff’s base wasn’t going to be a walk in the park either. Michael lowered himself over the edge, already knowing where his feet would land first.

The rock was cold and more than a little slippery. The climbing gloves protected his palm from flappers leaving his fingers exposed to dig and scratch at the rock. They would likely be bloodied by the time he made it to the base. Ouch… that salt water will sting like hell, he thought, and then put it out of his mind. He looked down, finding another narrow ledge and lowered himself to it… his face now level with the rock. He studied the stone for a moment and found a spot and hammered the piton into place. He looped a narrow yellow rope through the hole in a clove hitch knot and tugged on it hard.

He looked down searching for another ledge and finally found one, but it was it bit further down than he would have liked. Looking over to his right he saw another ledge, closer, but narrower and leading away from his target. He looped several rings of the rope around his palm and pushed out and to the right with his left hand and feet.

As he suspected the wind gusting up from the cliff’s base acted as a cushion, pushing him away from the wall and landing him on the narrow ledge with a soft arc. Not allowing his feet to plant he quickly sprang away from the first ledge and back to the left, using his momentum to aim for the second ledge.

He felt the rope tighten around his hand as he rapidly ran out of slack. The wind tapered and he could feel the air flatten in front him, the wall rushing up togreet him. He braced his arms at the elbows and pointed his feet down at an angle hoping to catch the lip of the outcropping. He hit the rocks hard, and his left foot caught the edge of the ledge while his other foot slid. Blindly he reached up and found a crimper and tried to steady himself. He shifted his weight to the left feeling the sharp stone strip the skin from his finger tips. He dragged his right foot along the rock until he found the ledge. He rested for a moment, cursing his reckless descent and the rock in front of him. Hardly better than a first year gumby he reminded himself. Finally his breathing steadied and he hammered another piton into the rock.

Looking down he estimated another 12 meters. From this point on there were plenty of ledges and crevices to navigate his way without too much effort. He began a slow descent, using the rope to steady himself along the way.


Josh carefully watched his friend’s descent, a yellow spec coming down the face of a rock mountain. He stood on the prow of Mary Lou, holding the rail tightly. His face and hair were wet with the sea. In the back he heard the rest of the crew playing cards. They were loud and a little more than tipsy, their voices carrying over the crashing water. Sober or not they were a good crew, and Josh would trust them to lead him and his boat to safety through the roughest of waters.

“Is he there yet?” The thick baritone voice came from the cabin. Charlie was a geologist from Melbourne with a great love for the land and a great hate for the sea. Prone to seasickness, he stayed below deck as it allayed his nausea to a minor degree.

“Not yet. About halfway there. Another 10 minutes or so I think…”

“Let me know.” He heard Charlie give a heave below and then silence. Josh had suggested that he should wait along the beach not 100 yards away from the cliff face, but he had insisted on being here. He wasn’t a very friendly man, pronounced in size, smell and ego. The crew had taken an intense disliking to him almost immediately, and cleaning the messes he left on deck did little to improve the situation. Josh was very much looking forward to dropping him off at the nearest port.