We’re Live!

That’s right, my friends – American Chimera is live, both as a paperback and as a Kindle book!

Kindle (US): $0.99

Paperback (US): $6.14 + shipping

If you are international, the ASIN for the Kindle is B0B3WPRQGZ, and the ASIN for the Paperback is B0B3DV6X2K. I’ve also got it on Goodreads now (no reviews, don’t expect any, haha!) in case you’re interested.

There’s one problem… I promised a free book. I had intended to get it free. But Amazon, in all its Bezos wonder, has decided not to let me post it free. It’s 99 cents for now, their minimum. The paperback is also at the Amazon minimum. However, when it gets to be time, I will try to do a promotional period for free and announce it here. If you want a free book, it’ll probably be in 90 days (or something thereabouts).

Lastly: thanks to Berthold Gambrel for his support and cheerleading.


I recently posted that I am going to put American Chimera on Kindle rather than as a free book on my blog. Sadly, the day has arrived, and the posts and pages I created for the original book are being taken down (possibly as you read this, possibly just beforehand).

Never fear, though! The book is not gone forever, and it will still be available in a free e-book format. I received my proof copy of the print book in the mail last week, and I think I’ll be ready to publish by June 18th. The cover looked pretty good, and all I’ve been doing so far is reading to make sure all the kerning, spelling, and content is right.

(You wouldn’t believe how often you get a quote mark turned the wrong way! If you’re making a print book for Amazon, definitely get your proof copy and check for things like inverted quotation marks.)

I used to think all those people who got excited by the proof copy of their book were a bunch of nerds, but now that I actually have one of those copies in my hands, I understand how awesome it is. The “I made this” feeling is real. If you’re thinking about whether or not to try publishing (or self publishing), just know that everything they’re telling you is right. Holding that thing in your hands feels really successful.

The e-book and print options for American Chimera will be released this month, hopefully on June 18th! If I need to delay the date, I will let you know.


I’ve been pretty much sucking for a while on the blog. Most of it has to do with the fact that work has been INSANE the past couple of months, but the rest of it has to do with what I’ve used my free time for.

First, yes, I’ve been reading books – but I need to write reviews to post!

Second, I’ve been prepping something very special. I’ve edited (yeah, didn’t purchase editing, so don’t expect much), formatted, and re-done the cover for AMERICAN CHIMERA.

If you recall, I published American Chimera here on the site in 2020. It came out serially, and a few people read it. I’m terrible at advertising, so it’s not like I got it out to the world. Berthold Gambrel’s review of the book encouraged me a lot, as did a few emails I received from people who read it.

One thing I learned, though, was that a sketchy PDF download on a random site isn’t very attractive. A bunch of links on a website to get you to and from chapters and scenes isn’t very simple to use or find where you left off (unless you read it real time, which a few people did!). Others said they’d read it if it weren’t so hard to manage; reading should be easy, after all!

A Kindle book or an Amazon printed paperback is extremely easy for people to access. The problem? I think Bezos is a POS and I don’t want to fund him. It’s why I didn’t put it on Amazon in the first place.

However, I’ve decided it’s time to bite the bullet and use the system that’s more accessible for people. I’ve published quite a few short stories, and more are coming out soon. People may read one of my shorts, decide they want more, and be unable to find something else.

And, at least for now, Bezos won’t be getting your money for the ebook! He’ll only be getting a smattering of cash if you order a paperback! That free, free pricing won’t remain the case forever, probably. I think at some point, people treasure books that aren’t free, but free books are just garbage. I want to keep it free until I think my friends have gotten it, but then I might give it a price.

As a warning, I will be taking down my PDF copy and getting rid of the posts by June 5th! This is because Amazon doesn’t like competing, and I’m pretty sure it’s in the contract (for the free barcodes and ISBNs, anyway) that I can’t have the book appear other places. If you want to get the PDF or read the posts, do it before then! I’ll let you know when the Amazon publish date is once I get my proof copy and am sure everything’s working out.

Cheers, and hope you enjoy the product if you’re interested.

After Armageddon

Once Armageddon was over, the angels gathered up the dust and bones of all the dead people that had ever existed upon the earth. They separated them in piles: good bones or bad bones, faithful dust or unfaithful dust. They placed the pieces into two boxes, then squeezed and distilled until the souls were extracted from the atoms within.

The good souls remained together, happy to exist in unity. They enveloped the earth and lived there forever.

The bad souls evaporated into the Chaos, and there they’ll stay there, alone, until they can forgive themselves and all of creation.

This was written for the 02May2022 99-word challenge on the Carrot Ranch, extraction. I’m in a rather religiously pensive mood, I think, so this came out.

Photo by Mikhail Nilov on Pexels.com (I loved this one a lot)

5 Reasons You Should Read “Collective Fantasy”

I’ve been teasing it forever now, and at last the beast has been released! Collective Fantasy is live, available at the publisher’s website or on Amazon! There’s also bookstores that carry it in the Salt Lake City, Utah area, though honestly I only know a couple people out there and they can contact me separately if they want. Thank you to the people I know who already bought a copy, as well! It really does mean a lot to me.

There are some of you, however, who probably wonder the big question: why should I, a mild-mannered person of good stock, possibly read something subtitled “An Unsavory Anthology”?

Here’s my top 5 list, though there are probably thousands if you want me to expand.

5. It’s 99 cents (American Money) Right Now!

That’s right – if you look at the Kindle version, it’s only 99 cents! That won’t be a forever price, oh no. Collective Darkness, their earlier publication, currently sits at $2.99. While that’s a deal indeed, given how good that collection is, 99 cents is pretty much unbeatable.

So do it now, and save!


If you buy the book, you’ll see a little indicator that you can get free stuff at their website, ctpfiction.com. I happen to know a little bit more about that!

To get the free stuff, scroll down to the bottom of the page and type your email into the subscribe box. You’ll get not only the newsletter with updates, but a link to a free PDF of Little Darkness, an itty bitty companion to Collective Darkness. You can read that little gem if you want an idea of the stuff CTP chooses for their goods!

3. Support an Indie Press!

A lot of writers online depend on Amazon for self-publishing. While it’s a great mechanism, there’s a lot of small presses out there than do great work. We talk a lot about supporting indie authors, which is great, but we don’t really have as much of a conversation in this sphere of WordPress about indie presses and how important they are to maintaining communities, standards, and craft.

Collective Tales Publishing is out there finding the best new authors and putting their work together with more established authors in their anthologies. CTP’s head publishers also do a lot of charity work, and with Collective Humanity (they’re open to SUBS, by the way), they’re even using their press to do so! Definitely check Collective Fantasy out and give them a boost.

2. “Come and In My Chamber Lye”

Yes, I have a story in Collective Fantasy, and yes, I think it’s great! It may be the greatest thing I’ve published yet.

I’ve promised you snippits, so here it is: the opening of “Come and In My Chamber Lye”.

“I’ll get a job tamarr-ah,” his words slurred from a night of heavy drinking. “My poor head’s still a-hurtin’ this morn’.”

The baby was crying again. She did that when my breasts ran out of milk. They’d emptied faster recently, but I had no good explanation, none other than that I was just as hungry as the baby. I tucked my breasts back in my shirt and lay the baby in her reed basket. I shushed her, encouraged the poor thing to sleep with just a little hug and kiss on her forehead.

I wished I’d never had her…

“Come and In My Chamber Lye”, Collective Fantasy

1. Good Stuff Inside

I know, because I participated, that the Collective Tales Publishing team does blind readings and selections for the majority of the slots in the book. I also believe that this means they choose the best works, not necessarily the most well-known authors. And, given the selection here, I can say they did great.

The CTP editing team, as usual, ordered the stories perfectly. I must admit there are quite a few similarities between “Come and In My Chamber Lye” and “Aspects of Hunger”, but they are placed within the book such that you can enjoy the contrast rather than lament the similarities. Stories like Suggs’s “The Emerald Seed” have a very literary quality to them, and it’s great to have at the front and immediately establish literary presence.

Also, can I say I’m a Jonathan Reddoch fan? I think I can. He’s one of the co-editors and wrote “Day of Miracles” in Collective Fantasy. It’s short, but full of twists, and I really liked it. He also wrote one of my favorites in Collective Darkness, so it looks like I’m going to have to keep an eye out for his work!

Immediately following “Day of Miracles” is “Aspect of Hunger”, which I enjoyed for the creative escalation of its main character’s needs and drive. It’s one of the stories with the clearest sense of a magical world, and for that it’s especially noteworthy.

There’s plenty of other stories to read and enjoy that I didn’t mention above! They range from the seriously dark to the lighthearted, and many have a fantastic horror-comedy edge that I enjoy. If you like D&D style tales (but better told) or medieval fantasy, this is definitely for you.

Castle photo by Miquel Rossellu00f3 Calafell on Pexels.com

What Reply All Taught Me About Publishing

Reply All: that venomous email ability that you must use in some settings, but absolutely shouldn’t use in others. It also seems that several people always use Reply All, no matter the context.

I have been in several email chains for the anthologies in which my shorts have appeared, and there’s usually at least one chain in which someone loses their minds and does an ill-advisable Reply All. It’s bound to happen when there’s 10+ people per email and several emails out there. However, it’s also an enlightening experience; many people don’t view publishing the way I do. Without someone screwing up, I might never have found the following out.

The Power of BCC

Blind Carbon Copy is amazing.

Shooting out an email to a large number of people, but don’t want those people to annoy each other with Reply Alls? Send it BCC. That way when people inevitably do click reply all, it just goes back to you and perhaps one or two organizers.

The other big time to use BCC is if you don’t have permission to blast another person’s email address out there in the ether. As someone whose real name is very private, I made a “writing email” so that I show up as H.R.R. Gorman no matter what I do. However, if I used my personal email to sign up for something, I wouldn’t want you weirdos finding out the legal name.

Lastly, BCC will prevent embarrassing hiccoughs or instances where someone explodes. Publishers and other authors are trying their best, but sometimes we just fail or disappoint other people. If someone’s trying to be malicious, BCC will protect the innocent sensibilities of those who don’t need to see that.

Anthology Publishers and Editors Have Limited Time

When one publishes in an anthology, usually the publishers do editing – sometimes all of it if editing is their thing. Sometimes they send it off to a professional editor. Either way, you can be certain someone is looking over your work and polishing it up.

Reply All has taught me that many people don’t care about this until it’s too late, or they’ll get back a couple weeks/months late and say “it’s ok.” No matter how hard editors and publishers (and you!) work, books are large and it’s easy for small things to get by us all. It’s good to do your agreed part and take a look at everything. Do your work on time; other people could have used that money the publishers paid you, even if it’s a small amount. You don’t want the black stain of being “unresponsive” or having a typo in your story!

Publishers BOUGHT Your Story – Let Them Have It

You also know there’s two main types of editing: copyediting, which includes proofreading and fixing for grammar or simple language/structure errors, and content editing, which includes changes to story elements. A lot of times I’ve seen submission places online say they will no longer accept short stories that will need content editing because it “takes too much time” or requires changes to the story.

My friends, Reply All taught me what “too much time” means. The reason these people will no longer accept good ideas is probably due to people being overly protective about it and fighting. If you agree to the editing process and sign the contract, abide by the contract. The publisher wants to publish, and holding them back helps neither of you. No story is worth blowing up over.

If you send out a story and an editor wants you to make edits you don’t like, certainly say you don’t like them, but never, never Reply All saying so. Think about how you sold your story, and now it’s up to them to get what they wanted to purchase from you. If the edits make it such that you wouldn’t want it going out into the world, read your contract and see what you agreed to do. Explain what you liked about your story and think the edits took away from it, then suggest a path forward. Construct with your editor, not against them.

What about you?

Have you been on any interesting Reply All chains? Have you learned anything when in anthologies or working with other authors/editors? Let me know in the comments!

Photo by EKATERINA BOLOVTSOVA on Pexels.com


So, it’s 2022, and I guess we’re still here. Mostly.

Here’s a gif with a Pomeranian in it.

And, because of this, it’s time for everyone to start making their plans for the next year and sharing them as if it’s important. Not going to lie, I’ll join in that too because it seems fun.

Collective Fantasy

First off, Collective Fantasy: An Unsavory Anthology releases on January 3rd! I’ve got a story in this upcoming anthology, and it is dope as hell. I say this about every story I write, but I think this one may be the best I’ve ever published to date. “Come and In My Chamber Lye” is a book of witchery and laundry. Snippits incoming soon!

Amazon Link for pre-order – only paperback right now, but the indie publisher usually gets out an audiobook and Kindle version soon after.

We’re also having a “Book Signing” party on January 4th from 8 to 11 pm EST! If you’re in the Salt Lake area, the physical party is going to be at Under the Umbrella bookstore, and there’s a virtual Zoom link (https://us02web.zoom.us/j/9630443174) for those who (like myself) are in other places. I’ll try to be on during the early parts, but no promises past 9:30 eastern, given my bedtime!

I’m going to try to be there, but I’m on eastern time so we’ll see how late I can stay awake!

Lastly, there’ll be another story in an anthology coming up in the next few months… I’m super excited to tell you all about that one, too, but it’s still a bit of a secret. Shhh…

Books To Read Lists

Last year (and every year before that), I made a list of books that I’d review every Monday. This list would come out on the first Monday of the month, and I’d coast through on those books for the rest of the month. That gave me 3 or 4 books to read per month.

Though I might not read as much this year as last, this limitation to 3 or 4 books per month meant a couple things. One, and probably the most important, is that not every indie book I read got a slot on the blog. That bothers me because indie books need reviews – including blog reviews – more than the big guys. It also meant a lot of other books didn’t get a spotlight even if they probably should or could have; instead of talking about books I liked, I spent all of August 2021 flogging a series that I hated.

Instead, what I’m going to do is just push out a post when I read a book (assuming I get it written quickly enough). That will both reduce my need to make “to read lists” and also give me more opportunities to post book reviews. It also will mean I don’t have to theme my months.

Life Updates

I want to do more life updates, mostly because blogs with a life update every now and then keep me engaged more. At the same time, I really don’t want to post about other people in my life. We’ll see if I manage to get anything along these lines done.

Obligatory dog picture.

The Fountain of Forgiveness

My beloved: so dear and tender,
Soft beneath my fingers, 
Iron beneath your skin. 

I wonder how you render
My image into goodness
When I feel like a sin. 
My beloved: so bold and daring,
Don't fret about softness -
Steel is in your resolve.

I love your heart, your bearing;
Could I be so thoughtless
That your faults I don't absolve?
There is no cloak so opaque
As love, covering all things
With brightness and splendor. 

Love's appearance is not fake, 
But it must be maintained
Lest passion burn to cinder.

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

Reading List – November 2021

I read a lot of history books in my preferred era, but there’s always something missing. When I read about the Jacksonian Era without reading about the Revolutionary Era, it would be like a future historian reading about today without understanding the Vietnam War or who Reagan was. This month, I’m reading a variety of “prequel” books to my preferred era.

1776 – David McCullough

David McCullough is what one would call a “super famous” pop historian. 1776 is one of his more famous works, and I know it’s alright because I read it before (long ago, albeit). The focus of the book is on, of course, the year 1776 (which, for you non-Americans, is well known as the year history began).

From this book, I hope to glean information about the Revolution, including what average people thought and how infighting between tory and rebel contributed to the coming political age. If I remember correctly, though, it may just be a military history, which is interesting in and of itself.

Union 1812 – AJ Languth

The War of 1812 is a war easily forgotten in American classrooms. Even I, who really cared about my American history class, noticed that this important event was only briefly spoken about. Perhaps it’s because the capitol was burned, or perhaps it’s because the treaty of Ghent pretty much gained Americans nothing, but people just don’t know that much about the war unless they go looking.

Me? Oh, you know me. I’ve read up on this baby, but I admit my knowledge is quite stacked. I’m familiar with the Southern Theater and the associated Creek War, but I know little to nothing about the Northern Theater. I want to read this book with the intention to draw more information regarding that less-successful-theater, as well as look into the roles of the Madisons, Monroe, and John Quincy Adams.

You Never Forget Your First – Alexis Coe

The quirky title and a CNN article praising Coe’s You Never Forget Your First got me interested enough to rent this one from the library for a little perusal. This is actually a biography of George Washington, which I thought would go along well with 1776 up there.

Washington is one of the more interesting founding fathers (if only because he’s not Jefferson who, regardless of your opinion on him, I find incredibly dull to read about), so I’m excited to see what Coe has dug up. The articles I’ve read praising the book indicate she brings a new vision and interpretation of the historical documents, so perhaps I should have boned up on the more typical works first! 😉

Hint, however: I have already read this book as of posting, and I did read another George Washington biography in the meantime. I have a brief aside comparing the two, but you’ll have to read the review when it comes out to discover my thoughts!

Cherokee Mythology – James Mooney

I believe, wholeheartedly, that the history of Indians has been so woefully overlooked that it’s a sin. As a North Carolinian who grew up in the western part of the state, I’ve always been at least a little interested in the Cherokee. I even wrote about Sequoyah, an important Cherokee inventor, on the Carrot Ranch. Though it’s not terribly difficult to find information on the Cherokee post-colonization, I was looking for something more foundational and old. I wanted to see what pre-columbian history and thoughts are available to us.

This book contains a pretty in-depth history of the Cherokee people as well as a pretty large collection of myths. It was sanctioned by the government, and most of the information comes from primary source documents. There’s a companion, The Sacred Formulas of the Cherokee, that may be of interest to me later. Both are free on Project Gutenberg as they are now in the public domain.

The Tradewater

Across the water is a country of luxury. My family loads our keelboat with goods and drags a raft of timber behind us. Across the river we float, trickling down to the exotic city where we trade.

Our family trades logs for some silk, corn for new shoes, and furs for sugar. We sell the raft to lighten the load back upriver.

I ask Pa, “Why do they trade their riches for our poor goods?”

Pa pushes the keel. “They live in a desert. To them, we’re the rich ones, but we’re all rich once we’ve shared our treasures.”

This was written for this week’s Carrot Ranch Challenge, “Across the Water.” Rivers often serve as borders, even if they also serve as connectors between us all. Today, which is World Communion Sunday in my tradition, I wanted to look at that combination in this 99 word flash.

Photo by Rachel Xiao on Pexels.com