Patriot(ism)

I’m a big fan of America. A big fan. I believe in American Democracy, in hope, in the essential goodness of people, and the bend of the universe toward righteousness. I’ve written only one purely political post before, and I honestly don’t like writing them because this is an author blog. I’m here to talk about books, connect with authors, and share works of my own.

Now I can’t hold my mouth shut. Even if things go terribly and I end up having to shut the blog or Twitter or other media down, fine. I probably wasn’t going to be a successful/famous/whatever author anyway.

The storming of the capitol upset me vigorously. As I type this, I’m eating sweetened condensed milk straight from the can because I want it and it feels like there’s no good reason to hold back. The events at the capitol were entirely wrong, and we should feel some sort of anger at what the perpetrators did. To contest the election in such a blatant, hypocritical, cowardly manner was un-American. Whether the police and/or national guard were limited by executive actions, inexcusable lack of preparation, or by sympathy of law enforcement with the perpetrators, the successful armed invasion was not acceptable.

I was ok for most of the Wednesday Jan 6 news cycle, but one image affected me more intensely than anything else. As staunchly Southern and milky white as I am, I could feel my eyes welling and my rage accumulating when I saw the image of the Confederate flag in the capitol. How dare someone perform such sacrilege? How dare someone nonchalantly bring in the flag of treason* to the center of government? A flag which hundreds of thousands died trying to deliver to the building, and hundreds of thousands of others died preventing its arrival? How dare you dishonor them by, at best, treating the action as a joke or, at worst, declaring the 155** year-old-peace invalid?

It was that image that shocked me into both writing this and delaying writing this. It was the image of someone trying to overthrow the government and replace it with something terribly flawed that broke me. The Confederate government was built upon faulty ideals, and the ultimate goal of what this insurrection sought is equally destructive.

I will not stand for monarchy or dictatorship. I will not bow to a King, will not roll over for an Emperor. My vote, whichever way I voted, counted for something. I voted for both winners and losers, as I have in every election and primary since I turned 18, and I am not afraid of the future that will be brought by the politicians I voted against. Those poltroons who stormed the capitol are afraid to face the future, and their base cowardice has resulted in a terrible price for everyone’s – including their own – freedom. Their villainous intentions and polluted ideals have resulted in death and stunted the search for happiness across the world.

I have hope that things will look up. Ultimately, I still believe the universe tends toward good. The United States has never been perfect, and at times we’ve espoused some horrible practices. But we’ve always, eventually if belatedly, done the right thing. I think we’ll still come through this, and in the end we’ll find a new way to approach existence a nation where all our citizens, not just a select group, can seek happiness.

I’ll leave you with the same quote as I left off with in the last political post I made.

“We live in a land made of ideals, not blood and soil. We are the custodians of those ideals at home, and their champion abroad. We have done great good in the world. That leadership has had its costs, but we have become incomparably powerful and wealthy as we did. We have a moral obligation to continue in our just cause, and we would bring more than shame on ourselves if we don’t. We will not thrive in a world where our leadership and ideals are absent. We wouldn’t deserve to.”

–John McCain, Liberty Medal Speech, October 2017

*I understand the Confederate flag’s presence is more complicated than this. I chose “treason” here because the flag does represent separation and rebellion at its core. The battle flag, the one used for terrible intent in this attack, has come to represent white supremacy; truer “Southern Heritage” (i.e. white Southern heritage) flags include the Bonnie Blue or, if you’re a devious butthole, your own Southern state’s flag. (I dare you to look up, for instance, the modern NC flag compared with the Confederate flag version. Even the recently re-done Mississippi flag has its roots in the Civil War flag). I do not believe you when you say heritage not hate anymore, at least not for publicly displayed flags.

**This can be different depending on when you consider the end of the war to be (surrender at Appamattox, capture of Jefferson Davis, surrender of the Cherokee, declaration of the war’s conclusion by Johnson, end of Reconstruction, and culturally it’s still ongoing).

I’m Published in Lethal Impact!

Some of you may have been alerted on Twitter that I got a second story accepted into an anthology released by Dragon Soul Press – and it’s here on Kindle and paperback preorder!

DragonSoulPress Square HRR Gorman

In this post-apocalyptic anthology, nothing matters except survival.
In a world full of humans pitted against each other, how can there be anyone left to trust?

This book contains 16 stories by different authors, of which yours truly is one, about post-apocalyptic struggle.

As more marketing shenanigans for this book starts happening, you’ll start seeing more from me!

Time’s Running Out! “If I Only Had No Heart” is Going Away SOON

If I Only had No Heart is Heading to The Vault!

If I Only Had No Heart_Small

The 2016 If I Only Had No Heart was written for a National Novel Writing Month and follows one of the most unique ideas I’ve ever had. It’s a bloody sword-and-sorcery fantasy focused on an awakened machine main character. And, what’s more, it’s currently available for free on the blog.

Quick summary to tease them tastebuds:

Spirit, an acolyte of the machine goddess, performs her duties well and still yet absorbs much torment from her superiors. Thought to be a viral creation, the android is banned from speaking with the goddess until, one day, her friend Klavdiya hands her a prayer card. Spirit hopes that the prayer card will bring her peace, but the goddess has other ideas…

However, this book won’t be free for long! Next week, the Free, Downloadable PDF of If I Only Had No Heart is going away for an unspecified amount of time (maybe even forever), so you’ll need to get it NOW if you want to read it.

Why Am I Doing This?

Though I can attest that the story itself is extremely unique and follows an intriguing plot, it hasn’t been edited quite as well as something I would like to have self or traditionally published for money. In an effort to either show only my best work, I’m taking down all serially posted novels on my website. Evolution of the Predator is already a couple months into the removal process, so get into this one while you have the chance!

Don’t Let the Vault Swallow This Quietly!

Go to the If I Only Had No Heart home page and either read each post (removal dates posted on each chapter) or download the PDF while they last.

Are there any online serials you’ve enjoyed reading? Let me know in the comments!

Cheers and happy reading!

Late May Newsletter

Hello, all! I usually do my monthly updates at the beginning of the month, but this time – June 2020 – I decided I needed to do this update a little early!

Why?

Well… you’ll see. 😉

Dark Divinations is out!

DarkDivBanner Dark Divinations Horror Addicts

The first anthology I’ve participated in – Dark Divinations – is available on Amazon! People have asked if they’re doing anything other than Amazon, but I don’t think that’s available right now. Amazon’s the easiest and biggest market right now, but I know they own their own rights and ISBNs, so they could expand in the future if they wish. I’ll update if it changes.

But, in bigger news for the blogging folk, Dark Divinations gave me a great excuse to create new profiles you may not have seen.

My profile pic is now an actual picture instead of the ye olde Grandfather Mountain landscape you’re used to. Now it’s just sexy as hell.

Amazon Author Page and Facebook Page

The Dark Divinations team wanted a recording of us reading our story – and, if you go to my twoFacebook page (sorry, Chelsea, but I loved that term too much to not use), you can watch the video I made and hear a sample of “Miss Mae’s Prayers”.

But don’t expect much out of the Facebook page – I frikkin’ don’t like Facebook, and I feel like just having something on there makes me a hypocrite. Feel free to follow or share it around if you want (I don’t care), but I only plan on using it for truly official crap like when a publisher makes me or if it would really help the anthology out (like making the vid for their watch party).

And! AND! The same publication meant it was time for me to get an Amazon Author Page! It’s just got that anthology for now, but maybe – just maybe – that will grow one day! I’m pursuing the traditional publishing route, though, so I wouldn’t expect that to be soon.

Carrot Ranch Column

My new profile pic actually made a stealth debut in my latest Carrot Ranch column. Check it out down at the bottom!

into the past carrot ranch square

In this column, I talk about a powerful and underappreciated influencer from American history: Sequoyah, the inventor of the Cherokee syllabary. Ride over to the ranch if you want to know more!

Wattpad Journey: OVER

I didn’t make the longlist with my weirdo Wattpad story Our Lady of Perdition, but honestly I didn’t expect it. It’s clearly an adult tale with a ton of symbolism and metaphor that in no way works with the target audience (and, thus, the judges) of the Open Novella contest. I’m actually honored to have made it as far as I did!

So, if you want to read an approx. 20k story about WWII pilots landing on a really terrible island, you can go here!

Our Lady of Perdition

WORK

Ok, I’ll admit it – the big reason I’m not as available now is I got a job. A job making drugs.

I don’t think it will keep me away forever, but the initial push to get myself up to speed and doing well has taken quite a bit of effort. I can feel that stress of being new letting up, but it’s not quite done yet.

(Also, secret secret… I had a video game I wanted to play this month, so even my free time ended up going to complete waste, haha!)

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What all sorts of things have you done this month? Anything you’d like me to check out? Leave them in the comments!

 

Dark Divinations Party – Facebook, Saturday, May 23rd

You’re not going to miss this party – join in if you have the chance!

Come join Emz and the whole cast of authors at the Facebook Book Party! Readings, Games, Prizes, Fun, Trivia! This Saturday, May 23rd, 2020 starting with a WatchParty @ 1pm PDT and a Facebook Party @ 2pm PDT Dark Divinations Edited by Naching T. Kassa Authors: Stephanie Ellis, Michael Fassbender, Alan Fisher, H.R.R. Gorman, Ash […]

Dark Divinations Party – Facebook, Saturday, May 23rd

Time’s Running Out! “Evolution of the Predator” is Going Away SOON

UPDATE 30 May 2020: This has been updated to account for the takedown of the book.

Evolution of the Predator is Heading to The Vault!

The Evolution of the Predator

The 2015 Evolution of the Predator was written during a National Novel Writing Month and follows an idea I’d had for quite some time. It’s a quaint survival science fiction currently available for free on the blog.

Antoinette crash lands on the planet Osmina, home to a xenophobic species still in an early, tribal phase of development. In order to uphold Earth’s directive to remain as uninvolved as possible with alien life, she tries to remain hidden and survive for the two years before a rescue party will arrive. A curious elder cast out of its nomadic tribe throws a wrench in her plans and efforts, pitting Antoinette’s conscience against her duty.

However, this book won’t be free for long! Next week, the Free, Downloadable PDF of Evolution of the Predator is going away for an unspecified amount of time (maybe even forever), so you’ll need to get it NOW if you want to read it.

Why Am I Doing This?

Though I can attest that the story itself is pretty interesting, especially if you’re into heady, quiet sci-fi, it hasn’t been edited quite as well as something I would like to have self or traditionally published. In an effort to either show only my best work or participate with the community, I’m taking down all serially posted novels on my website, starting with Evolution of the Predator.

Don’t Let the Vault Swallow This Quietly!

Go to the Evolution of the Predator home page and either read each post (removal dates posted on each chapter) or download the PDF while they last.

Have you posted any work serially? Leave a comment below so that I or other readers can check out the story! I understand from experience how hard it is to do a serial because readers who don’t start when you post part one are rarely going to head to the beginning and churn through the rest. How did you keep your serial going?

Cheers and happy reading!

May 2020 Author Newsletter

Hello there, Friends and Stuff! I’m excited to enter a new month and bring you some new and brilliant updates!

Dark Divinations – A Victorian Horror Anthology

DarkDivBanner Dark Divinations Horror Addicts

First, Dark Divinations debuted on May 1st. You can order it now in paperback on Amazon. If you want to get the party pack, you can still get that here! Later this month, I’ll be posting updates about some special videos going up on Facebook… you’ll want to get in on that for sure!

Open Novella Contest

Whaaaat!? I made it through Round 2 of the contest? I couldn’t believe it. My novella, a 25,000-word story about a gay WWII pilot who crashes and washes up on an island reminiscent of Dante’s Inferno, actually had enough score to make it through. You can find the novella here if you’re interested.

Our Lady of Perdition

Do I think it will win? Hell no. It’s the most artsy-fartsy thing I’ve written in my entire life, and it seems like Wattpad is more interested in YA-focused romantic fantasies or something a bit more… commercial. But the fact I’ve made it through round 2 is really pleasing, because it means the story’s well written enough to make it through despite sounding like it was written by a person totally not in Wattpad’s primary audience.

Changes on the Blog

You’ll notice a few (somewhat unfortunate) changes on the blog. Let’s start with the good and move our way to the bad!

Home Page Updates

My home page has been updated – now it’s easier to find the How-To articles by clicking on the Witty Nib Writing Club. There’s also a new blog-roll going where you can access recent posts more easily.

Expect New Graphics in June

I’m preparing for a few big changes that will go up in June and will reflect some of the things associated with the Dark Divinations anthology. If you stick around and watch the video watch party on Facebook, you may be surprised to see an interesting face and hear a terrible voice! To go along with these revelations, my avatar and a few other pieces of the website will be changing.

Witty Nib Writing Club Changes

06092019 Writing Club witty nibSadly, the prompts and attempts at collaboration with the Club didn’t quite turn out. I’m ever grateful to Robbie Cheadle for her response to the research prompt, but I think among the corner of blogs I survey, there’s a plentitude of prompts. As a result, the Witty Nib Writing Club will change from a monthly prompt and informative post to a monthly informative post alone. You can still join in the club using the comments, but I thought it’s time to retire the club. Maybe I’ll start something easier up in the future!

More Professional Foci

Something I’ve realized in the past few months – while I’ve not had a real job – is that blogging, sadly, doesn’t further professional writing credentials. It does help me meet new people who I love to follow, obtain new info about upcoming releases, and fulfill a long-term audience goal, but it takes up so much time. So much. I’ve decided to reduce the time spent on my blog in order to attempt more short story submissions, perhaps consider doing a poetry submission, and finish my newest novel.

Sadly, I’m probably not going to be reading as many blogs or be quite as responsive. I’ll give it my best shot, but that’s all I can promise!

I’ll also be (at least temporarily) closed to beta reading requests, and any book review requests (while still open) will not be completed for quite some time.

Speaking of Novels…

I’ve got several novels up on the blog: American Chimera, If I Only Had No Heart, and Evolution of the Predator. You can click on each of these links to see their representative pages. However, these links aren’t going to work forever. No – I’m going to be taking my novels down, one at a time, starting at the end of the month with Evolution of the Predator. I was pretty torn when making this decision, but ultimately I think it needs to happen.

The reason for this decision is because they’re second drafts, beta read only by my partner, and they’re not representative of my best work. Because I seek to present a higher level of professionalism, I’m taking the oldest work – Evolution of the Predator – down first because it represents that which was written at my least mature point. That will start at the end of this month, May 2020.

It’s Not Too Late to Catch These Novels!

Nope! Until May 30th, all novels will be available for download. You should head to their pages and download the PDF files if you want to save them for later reading.

Evolution of the Predator

On May 23rd, 2020, I’ll have a reminder post telling about the imminent takedown of the novel. On May 30th, 2020, the downloadable PDF of Evolution of the Predator will be taken down from the Evolution of the Predator page. Starting on June 6th, I will take the post containing the first chapter down. Following that, one chapter will be taken down per week (as long as I don’t forget – but I’ll handle it as soon as I can). They’ll be removed in order from first chapter to last with the hopes that potential readers will be able to read one chapter per week without losing access (though I will probably email you chapters if you ask nicely). The page already lists the dates I plan to take down each chapter. The page and entire story will be gone on November 14th, 2020. All links to it on the site will be broken, though I will attempt to remove links by hand as I can.

If I Only Had No Heart

On July 18th, 2020, I will post a reminder that If I Only Had No Heart will be ending soon. On July 25th, 2020, the PDF will be removed from the If I Only Had No Heart page. On August 8th, the first chapter will be removed. One chapter will removed per week after, starting with the first chapter and ending with the last chapter. The page and entire story will be gone on November 14th, 2020. All links to it on the site will be broken, though I will attempt to remove links by hand as I can.

American Chimera

Don’t worry about this baby for now! I’m still posting this one serially, and she won’t be finished posting until December 2020. It’s also a pretty good little book, just needs some editing. However, I will be taking it down sometime in 2021 (not yet planned fully), so catch it while you can!

What About You?

Do you have any cool new things going on in May? Any excellent accomplishments in April? I’d love to hear about them to celebrate and/or commiserate with you! Cheers!

Dark Divinations – What’s in YOUR Future?

The time is nigh, my friends, to speak of horrors and things… unseen.

On May 1st, the anthology Dark Divinations goes live! And look at that cover – it’s pretty great, if you ask me.

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Here’s the teaser which can be found on the book’s webpage:

It’s the height of Queen Victoria’s rule. Fog swirls in the gas-lit streets, while in the parlor, hands are linked. Pale and expectant faces gaze upon a woman, her eyes closed and shoulders slumped. The medium speaks, her tone hollow and inhuman. The séance has begun.

Join us as we explore fourteen frightening tales of Victorian horror, each centered around a method of divination. Can the reading of tea leaves influence the future? Can dreams keep a soldier from death in the Crimea? Can a pocket watch foretell a deadly family curse? From entrail reading and fortune-telling machines to prophetic spiders and voodoo spells, sometimes the future is better left unknown.

There’s tons of goodies for people who pre-order! Horror Addicts is giving away free tarot-inspired cards for those who take the dive and search for their Dark Divination, and you can get a sneak peak on this YouTube teaser:

And, won’t you look at that – one of the authors featured in the anthology is little ol’ H.R.R. Gorman. I wrote a short called Miss Mae’s Prayers, of which I will be releasing a snippit later… mwahaha!

You can pre-order this anthology of Victorian horror here, and you can find the Horror Addicts Patreon here. A Kindle or Amazon link will be on a later post, since those don’t come with pre-order goodies.

Where’s HRR Going?

So, funny story…

This thing likes to lay on the fan vents of my laptop.And would you believe it – the fans stopped working.

At this moment, I do not have an internet-connectable computer on which I feel comfortable logging in to WP. I have my phone, but you know what a horrible thing it is to type on a phone.

Sadly, this means I probably won’t be making posts until that thing returns. I will slow in reading everyone else’s stuff. NOTHING WILL GET DONE AND I WILL BE UPSET.Hopefully Covid won’t delay my return too long. I expect 2 weeks right now.

I will be pn Twitter some, but my Goodreads is basically going dark until I get back. 😦

H.R.R. Gorman’s Author Newsletter – March 2020

March has been both good and bad for me – good because I’ve finally gotten my mom into her house (and, subsequently, out of my own), but bad because I still don’t have a job and the fall-apart-economy isn’t going to help me with those prospects.

In terms of writing,  however, I have a couple exciting announcements that I wanted everyone to know about.

History Columnist at the Carrot Ranch

Earlier this month, Charli Mills of the Carrot Ranch offered me the chance to write a history column every other month on her blog. I did a double take, had a heart attack, and thought, “No way, this wonderful thing can’t be happening to me.”

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But I said yes anyway because dang, I love history, I love writing, and this seems exactly like something I wanted to do.

And, wouldn’t you know it, we’re living in a historical time period right now. My first column, “The Not-so-Spanish Spanish Flu“, is already up on the Carrot Ranch! Give it a look see and think about writing a response on your blog!

Thank you, Charli, for this wonderful opportunity.

I Passed Round One of the Open Novella Contest

On Wattpad, there’s this thing called the Open Novella Contest. I learned about it on Sammi Cox’s blog post, so I thought, “What the hell. Her story The Winter Ghost was great last year, and maybe I’ll have fun and learn a new system.”

Our Lady of PerditionSo I’m writing a story called Our Lady of Perdition for the contest. It made it through judging round one which, given the number of people who made it through, probably just means I followed directions and didn’t write something too offensive or extensively bad. However,  I am getting close to finishing the story, and I’ll Wattpad-publish the last part of the book once the second round of judging is done.

Blurb:

Two Navy airmen go on a night mission with the hopes of destroying an island outpost before a typhoon makes the attack infeasible. The gunner and the pilot activate their dive bomber’s life raft, but the storm washes them away from their allies – and their enemies. Once the storm clears and the soldiers awaken, they find themselves beached on an uncharted island.

But it soon becomes apparent they didn’t find the island as much as the island found them…

I’m Querying – But I Need Help!

The Mercury DimensionThis was my New Year’s Resolution in 2018, 2019, and 2020. The previous years I did this, I couldn’t follow through. I had the book pretty finished in 2018 but didn’t try querying. I really, really had it finished in 2019, but couldn’t make myself do it. Part of this was trying to graduate, and part was this utter fear of rejection for a book that I worked so hard on. Now, though?

If this book is to go anywhere, I need to act.

This is where you might come in: I wrote a query, got a few of my beta readers (thank you Marnie and Sam!) to help improve it, and am now looking for a couple additional readers. If you haven’t read The Mercury DimensionI would be extremely appreciative of your help reading the query letter. My goal is to see if someone who doesn’t know the book would understand and be attracted by the blurb.

If you want to read the 1-page document and make suggestions, let me know in the comments or in an e-mail.

*Small update: I’ve gotten some volunteers, so the pressure’s off – but feel free to contact me if you’re super interested anyway!

What Are You Doing?

What kinds of things have you been up to during the quarantine? Got a bunch of writing done? Huzzah!