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.


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.”


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.


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!

January News

Hello everyone! I hope it’s been a great month for y’all – it’s been a doozy for me, and I’ve got some exciting things to tell y’all today.

Real Life – Job? Maybe?

I recently had an interview at a company I’d be interested in joining. I think it went well, but I’m of course not aware of the other candidates (if any). Good thoughts only! Hoping to pay off my house (or at least be able to pay the mortgage without eating into the emergency funds) quickly and get FILTHY RIIIIIICH*

Squidward Life Goals

Add immortality serum and a Bugatti Veyron and we’re all set.

*maybe not filthy, but definitely sustainable and far better off than I’ve ever been throughout my entire life.

Short Story Accepted Into an Anthology!

I’m very excited to announce that my short story, “Miss Mae’s Prayers”, was accepted into Dark DivinationsThe anthology is a selection of stories about ominous omens, about frightening visions, and gloomy fortunes. All the stories are set in the Victorian era.


Look at that cover. That alone is getting me excited about this book, and I’m pretty much looking forward to getting a copy (though perhaps this is part of my excitement over my first real fiction publication).

Mine is super Southern Gothic, and I’m quite proud of it. More about the anthology will be coming, for those interested!

Also, while I’ve not had a job, I’ve done some short story writing with the goal of publishing. That along with my pretty intensive read-to-catch-up schedule has kept me busy. I’m not sure why I’ve dropped off in terms of blogging/blog reading, but I think it’s possibly just burnout. So forgive me if I’ve been terrible.

A Promise Fulfilled

So, back in May last year I wrote this stupid tweet:

And I then promised someone that I’d carry through with that threat.

So, there will be a Gender Reveal party because my submission to Dark Divinations included such a biography that used my correct pronouns.

I chose not to use “they” because I believe it wouldn’t have been appropriate; I do have a pronoun, a pronoun that I have been excellent at not using. Non-binary people have claimed “they” as a pronoun, and I suppose it inappropriate to hijack that just to carry on an experiment that has perhaps carried on too long.

Unless it comes up as a conversation piece, I also usually let you make whatever decisions you may, and I try to play devil’s advocate whenever someone makes a guess. As a result, some of you will be wrong, and some of you will be right. Honestly, I’m quite interested to know your opinions. Chat about it in the comments – perhaps you’ll see someone else has a better argument!

So, one week after Dark Divinations debuts (June-ish, I think?), I will reveal more about myself. If you want to know for certain a little early, you’ll have to purchase a copy of the anthology! More details will follow in the coming weeks/months!


In the Garden


My grandmother died on December 27th, 2019. As I reminisced about her during my sudden absence from blog world, I thought about her garden.

“Come down and get you some squash.”

“Come down and get you a mess of beans.”

“Come down and get some of these tomatoes—I got too many.”

I’m willing to bet most of my relatives have heard these words coming over the phone from my grandmother, Ruth. They were utterances of a joyful labor, of a work that brought great gifts and symbolized an even greater love. She grew so many vegetables and fruits, and I don’t think there was a gardening method she hadn’t tried, tested, and judged. I remember looking forward to our own summer corn just to get some of that delicious Peaches n’ Cream variety a week or two early from her. I remember the size of the beans she grew, and some of those enormous tomatoes weighed so heavy on the vine until ripe.

As Jesus said,

3 And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow;
4 And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up:
5 Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth:
6 And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away.
7 And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them:
8 But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold.
—Matthew 13:3-8

The parable speaks of a grain growing on its own, but Mamaw knew something more about how plants worked, and her example shows the truth behind these verses. My grandmother was something special because she prepared the ground to be good. It’s almost never enough to just let it fall where it may and hope for the best, and she knew this moreso than anyone.

Where her seed and plantlings would go, she cleared the way, made sure there was a loamy surface with plenty of fertilizer. Where there was thirsty ground during a drought season, she was prepared with a water hose or a bucket. I remember the relative success of her garden in that scorching summer of 2002, when it barely rained at all during the dog days. I remember the ever-constant battle against deer and squirrels, how she’d even collect human hair from a salon and strew it about to scare off the menaces. She’d prune the suckers off tomatoes, cut out the unyielding pieces and tend the good branches.

Mamaw knew how to tend a garden. She knew how to make the way for her plants, knew how to create the good soil rather than expect it to just be there or expect the field to remain suitable throughout tyhe growing season.

If you know a good person and a Christian by their fruits, then her works make it obvious. Her garden alone was a significant labor and a source of her charity. She may have been quiet, sometimes she may not have said the right thing, but these were just words and that wasn’t how she showed love anyway. She showed it through a basket of squash, through a full stomach, through hard work.

And so she also prepared the soil for other fruit. I’m the second youngest of her grandchildren (my brother is the youngest), so I unfortunately knew her for the shortest time. But this also meant she’d had the time to create a fertile soil for me to grow. I saw it yesterday with all my cousins, of which there are many, how much her influence has carried through generations. She sang in the choir, enjoyed my efforts at Amazing Grace (lord how I cried when we sang that at the funeral), and planted in all of us a love of Christ.

6 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
—Proverbs 22:6

There were children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren all present yesterday, most (if not all) of them believers. How can the soil she prepared not have been fertile? For her ways to pass down through so many generations, to be known and cherished and followed? She gave so much to see them all grow, to bring forth fruit and to grow in ways someone of her generation could not imagine. Through a birth in the twenties, obvious privations during the Depression, hard times during the war, sons who were coming of age dangerously close to the Vietnam draft, and quickly changing technology as time passed, she practiced values such as thrift and perseverance. She remained a steadfast constant despite all the clutter.

She produced children who valued work, craftsmanship, and charity. Those children brought forth more who followed in those footsteps, and impressed upon them new values like education in addition to those she espoused. Those grandchildren, of which I am one, have done much to further her goals and pile upon her glories and lauds. The great-grandchildren, too, will remember these things and aim for successes and fruits which she never had the ability or resources to get for herself.

And, most importantly, they will remember the life she lived, the garden she grew, the soil she tended for them. Those who are yet to come may not see her efforts, but they will be there, fertile and deep beneath their roots.

People who read this will probably know my familial relationships have been strained, but God knows she meant a lot more than as just a person who gave me food. I hadn’t left her on a bad note, but her advanced age kept her in a pocket of the world I didn’t want to tread for several years. Still, I remember some things that I alone could share with her; one which people will chuckle at was that she, *she* alone stoked in me a fascination with American presidents. When I was young, she gave me a poster and told me that I “needed to know my presidents.” It had all their pictures, the dates of the presidencies, and then a list of facts such as vice presidents and first ladies. I absolutely loved this poster, and I read about these people in the encyclopedia. Granted, my obsession with Jackson came later, but I doubt that essential quality of me would have been so vivid without her. She valued knowledge more than she let on, and she knew what she wanted other people to learn if only they would listen to her acts moreso than her words.

For now, I must cry and know that I can’t see her anymore. She may be gone from here, but I remember her, and I hope to tend those fruits of thrift, perseverance, and charity. I hope that her garden continues to bloom and bear.

And I know it will because Christ spoke,

15 1 I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.
2 Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.
3 Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.
4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.
5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
—John 15:1-6

And what an incredible thought. Since she abided in Jesus, and thus in God, she’s now working with the greatest gardener of all.


The photo was taken by me at the dinner following my grandmother’s viewing and funeral. I took the picture so I could show my brother, who wasn’t able to come, the quality of the flowers we’d bought for a true Southern lady’s funeral. It was amazing how everyone imagined her as spring and chose flowers to match that despite her fall birthday, November wedding, and cold, Christmas death.

Mamaw Ruth was my father’s mother, and I’ve spoken about her here on WordPress before, but not in detail. She was a complex person, and not even this (which is a Facebook post I made but then cleansed of too much identifying information) is a good representation.

Y’all blogging weirdos can expect a surprise Southern Gothic month coming up. I’m not feeling cheerful.

Blogger Recognition Award

I would like to thank Colleen Chesebro of Word Craft for nominating me for this award/game. If you’d like to read her very sweet and awesome responses, you can do so here! I really do enjoy these sorts of games, so anyone who wants to tag me in this sort of thing can do so.

If I nominate/tag you and you want to participate in the game, here’s the rules:

  • Thank the blogger(s) who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  • Write a post to show your award.
  • Give a brief story of how your blog started.
  • Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers.
  • Select up to fifteen bloggers you want to give this award to. (No response required).
  • Comment (or pingback) on each blog to let them know that you’ve nominated them and provide a link to the post you’ve created.

It won’t hurt my feelings if you don’t want to participate! If you’re here reading, though, it’d be great if you could choose one or two blog posts tagged at the end of this.

How Did I Start My Blog?

I actually started the blog in 2013 with the short story Waiting for Company. It was a Southern Gothic horror based strongly on my grandmother, and it’s so bad. So, so bad. You can read it if you want to know how far I’ve come. I then published several more shorts, then the short novels Evolution of the Predator and If I Only Had No Heart, both of which you can download as a PDF by clicking on the links. All during this time, though, I wasn’t very serious; the blog was mostly a place where I could leave stories, have a link, and email that link to my mom so she could read them.

Then, in January 2018, she told me she’d never clicked on a single link I’d sent. She’d never read a single story and didn’t have plans to, no matter how many I sent.

That was about the time If I Only Had No Heart went up. I was pretty depressed after my mom said that, so I decided to see what blogging was really about and start connecting with other people.

Speaking of Connecting…

My first piece of advice to new bloggers is to connect with other bloggers. You never know who is going to come up with something so creative and helpful that you must love it.

What’s hard about getting into that mode is the time it takes to build these connections. Yes, it will entail reading and commenting on other blogs. Yes, it will mean paying attention to other people. But the payoff in friendship and camaraderie was worth it for me.

Decide What is “Worth It”

So it was worth it for me.

But it might not be worth it for you.

You can only do so much social media before your ability to function explodes. Blogging, while my favorite social media, does take up quite a bit of time. So, if you decide to blog, come up with a goal for it. Is it to have 5,000 followers in a month (lol, good luck)? Is it to sell your books? Is it to meet other people and learn about your craft? It doesn’t matter what you want out of it so much as understanding what is possible and understanding if the effort you need to put in is worth the reward.

If it’s not worth it? Don’t be afraid to quit. Your blog will be here if you want to come back later.

Some Excellent Posts to Read

I’m behind on my reading, but here’s a few posts you’ll want to see by authors you’ll want to follow. Technically, this is the “nomination/tag” section, but once again I’d like to say that no one I’ve tagged has to continue this, no do they have to like or comment or any of that jazz.

  • Kevin Parish’s Daddy – An absolutely heartbreaking poem. I’ve long had a terrible relationship with my dad, and this one got to me because of the goodness and strength of the titular father.
  • Chelsea Owens’s A Starving Writing Muse – A clever piece about writing, recent motherhood, and toilet humor, I enjoyed reading this piece quite a lot. Chelsea’s hilarious and fun to follow.
  • Joanne Fisher’s Gnome Help – Cute as fuck flash fiction that made me feel cozy to read. She often has great poetry and flash, and many of her love stories are lesbian, which can offer you a fresh perspective to read about.
  • Charli Mills’s Carrot Ranch Writing Prompts – In addition to Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday prompts (Colleen nominated me), the Carrot Ranch is a great community to join. Check out the most recent prompt and consider joining yourself!
  • Aak Fictionspawn’s Crystal Clear – Honestly you guys, I need more people to read this and solve the riddle. I think I was close.
  • Crispina Kemp’s Raised Against Us – This was such a poignant story. I thought the twist was really good. As well, check out her Crimson’s Creative Challenge writing prompt!
  • Lorraine Ambers’s Blogging, Social Media, and Marketing Tips – Lorraine is one of those great bloggers who gives out good advice articles. I always look forward to her tips and tricks.
  • Alexander Eliot’s Dragon Series – A long ongoing series with a great Mid-Grade or YA feel. Tackles some more difficult subjects along the way and has great monster building.
  • Violet Lentz’s Stories of the Forgotten – Violet’s stories always have an intensity to them that you just don’t get with other blogs. This one will hit you in the feels like a bus.
  • Ari Meghlen’s Should You Plan Out Your Whole Year? – Ari Meghlen’s blog is great because she makes her life story and brand so exciting. I love watching how she chooses to do things and trying to figure out how she makes it look so cool.
  • Jules’s Gnawing Chills – A great poem about squirrels that I think will give you some good feelings.
  • Hannah Russell’s Reading Games – I love following this blog because it keeps me inspired to read more. I think it’s done more to make me want to read than any other set of reviews.
  • tnkerr’s Midriff Culture – I thought this one was pretty funny, if a bit risque and a wee bit old-school. A great blog to follow for occasional flashes and fun times!
  • D. Wallace Peach’s blog – I can’t pick out a post, but I love Peach’s work. Everything she writes is fantastic, and you should follow her. Also has great indie book reviews. Didn’t link to a post because they’ve probably been nominated.
  • Sue Vincent’s blog – another blog with a ton of great posts. I especially like her Midnight Haiku series. Didn’t link to a post because they’ve probably been nominated before.
  • Roberta Cheadle’s blog – Fantastic reviews and responses to prompts. I know for certain they’ve been tagged in this game, so I didn’t link to a post.

So, there you have it! Please check out some of the suggested content and start conversations with someone new!

Also, sorry for forgetting the title, for those of you who get the email updates… 😦

Where the Heck You Been, H.R.R.?

Good goobledy goop, where has your favorite Southerner and generic troll gone? Why have you seen only my promised book reviews as of late?

Well, I am very pleased to present to you my October Update and let you know what I’ve been doing.

Dr. H.R.R. Gorman

You heard that right. I’m now officially a doctor.


If you thought I would eventually reveal my sex/gender by using a nice M(x,r,s,rs) in front of my name, you’re now faced with the impressively non-descriptive title of “Doctor.” And, no, I’m not one of those doctors that help people. I’m a doctor of chemical engineering, and I’m selling my soul to big pharma. You’re welcome.

I still have to submit the dissertation to my school, but that means all that remains is some formatting nonsense and yelling at the grad school to just suck it up.

Since I just defended on the 29th, I supposed I’d have the time to make a life update post. Hopefully now I can jump back on my normal blogging schedule and catch up with everyone again!

On the Writing Front

Lucky for me, there’s been the Carrot Ranch Rodeo this month. That’s allowed me to come up with some cool beans flash fiction to submit to the contest, but that also meant all my usual blog-writing time went into stuff for the contest.

Did I do well? I dunno. I’m generally depressed and negative about myself (thank you grad school), but we’ll see. Some of the prompts were hard, and others I convinced myself that I couldn’t possibly be the best with a wide-open prompt. Others I was like “Oh hell, my dissertation/defense needs attention.”


Pictured: Basically all of grad school, but especially the last 2 months.

However, I’ve spent some time working on one of my favorite writing projects of all time. At ~45k words, my work titled Manifest Destiny is entirely unpublishable in a traditional context. It’s also pretty much the length it needs to be. I have seen zero places to publish something of that length.

So what am I going to do with it? Maybe self-publish. Maybe stick a nice cover on it and get it bound for my own damn self. I also already wrote most of a sequel (lololol I’m crazy for doing something so insipid), so maybe I could stick together 3 books (ok, yeah, I’ve got plans for book 3… and 4…) into one epic fantasy. I’m not going to lie, it’s probably one of the most fun things I’ve ever created.

Reading and Stuff

I’ve done alright with reading. I got through a couple books that I had no business reading (i.e. were not on my list of planned books), and I’m not sure if I want to review them. I have 1 book left to read for this year’s reading, and I’ve already started getting through some of next year’s books. Actually, I’ve read quite a lot of next year’s books… Wow.

Next Month’s Plans

It’s NaNoWriMo and I have like no work because I don’t quite have a job lined up! Lol! So I’m going to buckle down and write the third book in my insane series. I plan on posting some snippits of Manifest Destiny, the first book/part of a book, and perhaps some of book two, Demons Without, Devils Within while I finish that and work on book 3, The Corrupt Bargain.


People Who Don’t Read

Recently on Twitter, I’ve been seeing a few tweets where people complain about their fellow humans failing to read. The complaints indicate a frustration with people’s continued decrepity and closedness of mind. While this was the sort of reasoning people gave, I think complaint is about something different.

I think people want other people to read the books they worked so hard to write. I think authors want to get that jazz from making someone happy. I think authors want to see any possibility of making money from their product. One way to make money and gain reviews is to solicit people who read a lot; another is to expand the market base.

Anyway, it got me to thinking, and here’s my two cents: I don’t think people should be forced to read.

Let me blow your mind.


Kids Shouldn’t Be Forced to Read

I made that the title of the section to rile you up. I do think children should be taught to read as early as possible, and I do think they should be encouraged – however, I don’t think they should be expected to read an assigned book of the teacher’s, school’s, or state’s choice quite so early.

Children who learn to read earlier have the opportunity to read what they want while the teachers beat the other kids into understanding the symbols. This gives them the time to realize what a gift reading is, how fun it can be. I was one of those kids, and it took me a long time to understand why other kids didn’t like reading.


The other kids? As soon as they’re able to trudge through some words, they’re forced to begin analyzing crap they didn’t choose. There is no fun involved, no encouragement to own the skill. Rather than having the time to increase reading comprehension with enjoyable stories, they’re thrown into doing more work. When reading becomes work, it becomes less fun.

I saw this with my younger brother. I think he’s probably about as smart as me, but he’s always found it hard to sit still. Reading was hard for him because he didn’t see the point and just wanted to go play. When he did learn to read, he was immediately forced to read books he wasn’t interested in. To him, reading seemed a chore.

And it has ever since.

That Crap Carries Over to Adulthood

If you find reading to be hard and unenjoyable when you’re in school, what happens when you graduate and realize you’re not going to be tested on it later?

As my brother said upon receiving his high-school diploma, “Mom, I’ll never have to read again!”

And can I really blame him? He was miserable doing homework. He hated every second of school. I wouldn’t want him to have to essentially get triggered by being forced to do something he associates with anguish.


So if people don’t want to read, I can’t fault them. Just like you might not have enjoyed PE, some people can’t stand other subjects.

I’m not a fan of forcing adults to read, or even shaming them for not reading. You don’t know why they choose not to read.

Get Your Head Out of Your Wallet

Squidward Life Goals

Or out of your reviews, if that’s what you’re more concerned about.

I do understand that apprehensions about overall literacy are real. I understand that a broader or deeper education in the arts is important to appreciating the cultural and human conditions around you. But these are problems not solved by complaining about “people who don’t read.” These are problems we solve by a combination of efforts to make reading enjoyable.

And making reading enjoyable is a huge burden that authors are suited to help fix.

Write what you want to read. Make it enjoyable for you, if no one else. Write such that someone who may not have picked up a book in ten years would kindle or rekindle that creative spark. Don’t convince yourself that your target audience doesn’t read. Convince yourself that your target audience has just never read something they’d want to read.

And about the money – sure, it’s an issue. Authors don’t make enough of it. But don’t let that get you mad at people who won’t buy your product. Don’t let being a salesperson ruin your desire to express.

Sad Day in the H.R.R. Gorman Life

If you follow me on Twitter, you may have seen that I’m currently writing my PhD dissertation (I defend in October).


Sadly, this has meant that I’ve been VERY busy and, worse, have ergonomically injured my hands. I decided to give up most Twitter ‘work’ because at least this would reduce my writing load by something.

Up until now, I’ve tried to do as much reading and commenting on WordPress as I could, but the conditions have gotten worse. Now it’s both my hands experiencing different symptoms (thank God neither are like carpal tunnel symptoms). I took a couple days off this weekend and they felt better, but after yesterday I went back to square one.

Sadly, I think I’m going to have to cut back on some WordPress things because I simply can’t type that much without destroying my hands. Unfortunately, this is going to mean comments go first. I’ll still do some, but I probably won’t do some of the more banal ones (a.k.a. the ones that are just “this is good!” or “I liked this!”). I think it’s more important for me to try keeping my creative mind working, so I’ll try to make blog posts during this time until I don’t have any more dissertation to write.

Don’t feel bad if I don’t respond to your stuff for a while. I’m not trying to be mean – I just can’t do it.

Best wishes,

H.R.R. Gorman

H.R.R. Gorman’s Author Newsletter – July 2019

I took things a little slower in July. Even so, I got a few things accomplished that I’m really proud of, and I wanted to talk about them here and hint to things coming.


Short Story Submissions

I hate this part of author life. God knows I do. I did three (maybe four) last month, and my goal was to get three this month. Well, I wrote three stories, but I only got two submitted because I have no idea where to submit the third one. If you know of a place to submit weird alien stories, let me know.

Still no “yes” from anyone. Hopeful about some of the June ones, but not really expecting anything at this point.

Dark Divinations

I submitted a story to Dark Divinations. The prompt was a Victorian era horror about divining the future. Since my cultural background was highly influenced by events in the Victorian era, I took an Appalachian approach to it – and I hope they like it!


This magazine publishes Christian stories in interesting contexts. I decided to try a sci-fi story because I bet they get way more fantasy. I hope to stand out, and perhaps that will give me an edge! I also think religiously inspired sci fi is WAY too rare, so this is right up my alley.

An Unexpected Success!

Last year at about this time, I decided that I needed to discover what people liked about poetry. I needed to know what someone meant when they said a passage was “poetic.” I believed that the understanding of poetry would improve my prose if nothing else, and I looked for ways to learn it.

One of my favorite poetry teachers is Colleen Chesebro. Her weekly micropoetry prompt/contest is chock full of excellent hints, tips, and – most importantly – feedback. Even if she must leave a quiet comment one week, I can still look at who she chose as the winner and try to divine why it was considered the best. I can’t imagine how much work she must do to curate such a fantastic contest.

Anyway, I was stunned to find out I’d been chosen as Poet of the Week on July 22nd! My poem, The Woman at 106, was written for Colleen’s first ever photo prompt. What an honor! I am very pleased that my dedication to learning a new craft is showing fruit.


Camp NaNoWriMo

This was my first month of Camp, and I… succeeded?

Basically, what I learned was that I should have dedicated a number of hours to writing rather than a number of words written/edited. Because I tend to go backwards on word count when I edit, I could NEVER reach my goal. However, I think I reached my goal in spirit, so I think that counts a lot.

Will I do Camp again? I’m not sure. I didn’t find it all that much different from a normal month, save for an additional obligation and a few extra cheerleaders. I’ll think about it!

Blog Recap

I stayed pretty on par this month with my June month, and for right now this feels more sustainable than my “post every day” schedule. Sadly, there wasn’t a late-July Carrot Ranch prompt, but hopefully y’all didn’t hate that blank spot! I did a lot of prep for later months, though, and I think I’ve come up with some great surprises for the beginning of 2020 (no promises, though! I need to make sure I have enough material to actually do it justice). I’ve also nearly gotten all my 2019 reading done (1.75 books away)!

Here’s a few of my favorite blog posts from the month:

Some Things from Real Life

This month has been full of IRL things. I went on vacation (day trip one weekend to Battleship North Carolina), worked a LOT (good Lord), and had to go help my mom when she came down with gout.

Aaand because of the gout, my mom is now convinced it’s time to retire, and I could be looking at her showing up at my door any day now ready to move in. She doesn’t really plan things out sometimes, so she could come unannounced. I love my mom, and I do think she should come live at our house at least until she sells her own house (which is 3 hours away), but I also don’t really want to share it long-term right yet. Am I selfish? I feel like I am. I’m also worried that she hasn’t saved up enough for retirement, and I’m not old enough to have that much savings built up (I’m not 30 yet – I have old parents, in case you’re wondering about that).

Anyway, I hope I’ve done right by my mom, but I worry I’ve not.