Monday, August 26, 2013

Writing as a Release

I'm a firefighter and paramedic in Columbus, Ohio. I've been in the fire service for twenty years and have seen about everything anyone could imagine. Over time what I see affects me as it would anyone else. Seeing a young man die from gunshot wounds, or an older woman waking up to her husband of fifty years lying dead beside her, or a baby who has been shaken to death would weigh on anyone and I'm no different.

For me, I'm lucky to have a strong support system in family and friends who are there for me if I ever need to talk (which I've relied on often). But seven or eight years ago I discovered something else to help me work through what I routinely see. That something else was writing.

While some people write in journals and diaries, I turned to story-telling which was something I've always felt I had talent for. After a horrible call in which a young boy was

in a serious auto accident, I struggled with how to deal with his death and what I saw that day.

Monday, August 19, 2013

When your Editor Crushes your Soul

This blog is aimed at those of you who enjoy writing.

OK, so you've written your masterpiece. You've spent months, maybe years, tweaking it so there is no way anyone could find fault in even a single word. You've let your friends and proofreaders have the manuscript and go to town on it. It is now perfect.

Or so you think.

Then you send it to an editor. Maybe it's your publisher's editor, or maybe it's an editor you've hired to get your manuscript into tip top shape before starting that long, hard journey to publication. Whatever it is, you're ready for the praise to come flowing into your inbox. All that's left is to sit back and wait for the editor to write you back and say, "This is the best manuscript ever. I didn't even have to get out my figurative red pen." After all, you've looked at the story 100 times and from every possible angle and it's flawless.

As you have experienced if you've been through the process, or will soon experience, it doesn't take long for the inevitable punch in the face to come back from that editor. The red on each page is like blood from your own artery.

Monday, August 12, 2013

The Light at the End- A flash fiction crime story

I recently took part in a fun little interview over at (See it here). In addition to questions about what recipes would fit with the theme of my book (I know, right?), the interviewer also asked me to write an original flash fiction story.
The stipulations were:
1.) No more than 500 words (much more difficult than it sounds because it has to tell a story and build a character while being short and sweet).
2.) Must be in a genre in which I don't currently write.
3.) Must use the prompt "Light."

I chose to write a crime story and I titled it The Light at the End. Here is what I came up with. See what you think.

The Light at the End


Blinding Frank as he fell to his hands and knees. Wet crimson from the bullet wound in his shoulder painted the hard pavement beneath him. The charging car's engine sang a death song across the parking lot. Frank reaches for his ankle.


Two minutes, fifty-seven seconds earlier.

Friday. 11:00 PM. Frank and Darryl stood roll call in the dark, police substation parking lot. Their sergeant eyed them with narrow, calculated eyes. "So, what do you think, Darryl?" he asked.

Darryl had been a cocky SOB ever since Frank met him during the police academy years ago and probably for a long time before that. He walked with a king-of-the-school kind of swagger and Frank didn't much like him.

"We have to do it, Sergeant," Darryl answered without missing a beat. "It's gotta be Frank."

Frank's stomach turned.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

A Long Journey

Today is a very cool day.

A little over four years ago Rhemalda Publishing gave me and my writing a chance by contracting me for my fantasy trilogy, The Light of Epertase. At the time, I had book 1 written with big plans for the rest of the series. Though I knew the major plot points for books 2 and 3, that was about it. Everything from what the covers would eventually look like to how the story would ultimately play out was little more than a vague idea in my head. I never dreamed we would be at this day. Today is Epertase 3's birthday. Though the e-versions will be available any day now (it has to go through Amazon's and BN's system) today is officially release day.

Over those last four years, I have worked with some talented people on this trilogy including editors Kara Klotz and Diane Dalton, my aunt Bobbe Ecleberry, my proofreaders and friends, Emmaline and Rhett Hoffmeister, and the talented artist Steve Murphy. This story couldn't have been told without them and I am overwhelmingly grateful for their help.

It seems almost surreal that the story I started many years ago (Rasi was actually created when I was a teenager) is finally finished and has turned out better than I could have ever imagined. I love the story as a whole and I hope you all give it a chance.


Aren't they Purdy together?