Short Stories and Novels
fiction and its curious forms
I love short stories, especially those of Garrison Keillor, P. J. O’Rourke, Ambrose Bierce, H. L. Mencken, and other sarcastic or cynical wits. These men use stories to illustrate opinions and beliefs about human nature. The later three men tended to write political columns and work for newspapers or magazines, but it is their short stories that truly capture their beliefs.
I have a few short stories I had planned to convert for this website, but there were some issues and complications along the way. I posted a few, only to remove them later. One story is currently available.
- The Homeless Ball; Written sometime before 1990
The short stories I have both finished and kept, which are few, are also the works I like the most. Unlike my poetry, I spend days, months, even years coming back to a short story trying to make it better. If I find myself enjoying the story, even if I enjoy it for its depiction of the worst in human nature, then I believe that others will enjoy it, too.
The stories selected for this website represent satire and tragedy. I prefer the satire, as I think most people will. The tragedy of normal life is not as easy to accept once it is on paper — or in this case, screen. Still, it gives us reassurance to know that we are not the only people fighting to make sense of life and each other.
While I have assisted in the completion of several published novels, none of my own works have appeared in print. To day, my success is limited to ghostwriting and consulting.
I have started to write several novels, but I have finished none. As a result, I have nearly a dozen novels in draft. In one case, the first draft was finished more than a decade ago, but I disliked the result so intensely I have vowed to start the process over and get it right. The story was good; the telling was horrendous.
My perfectionism is the greatest obstacle to finishing a story longer than a hundred pages. I have decided that I will first collect a series of related short stories, then work to tie them together. I know this approach might not produce a great novel, but the first step is to get one finished. In this case, writing a novel is like running a marathon: once I can finish one, I will know that I can finish others.
My novels, as they now exist in various stages, are all dark, for lack of a better description. Some are humorous, others are not, but they all involve the basics of a crime novel. I like to solve puzzles; creating a puzzle turns out to be more challenging.
Novels and their status:
- Kayla on the Case. First in a mystery series.
- Out of the Under. Part of a planned trilogy, this novel is currently being edited.
- Arisa’s Journey. Only a working title, this is the first novel in the Tameranean Chronicles. This novel explores time before the settlement of Tameri. The novel is outlined and I have started draft work.
- The Life of Dr. Que. Again, only a working title, this story is part of the Tameranean Chronicles. The story occurs approximately 2000 years after the first novel.
I have several other novels outlined, though only a handful have more than ten pages written. It is my goal to eventually produce a novel per year — or more, if I can, to catch up with my backlog of ideas. Merely editing and finishing the stories I have would result in several years worth of tales.
The works here most likely contain many errors. Please let me know where errors exist so I can make corrections. Editing is a never-ending process.