New Post Whimsy Writing again


Today is the one-year release anniversary for Rough Passages.  Never has a book been more aptly named, for oh, so many reasons. Read on to get the details.

3 years ago today: I was struggling with a novel I eventually set aside, building my author website, & coping with various health troubles. Barely treading water, creatively.

2 years ago today: I was struggling with Spouseman’s major health troubles, working on a frustrating short story, and coping with the aftermath of painful dental surgery. Ugh.

1 year ago today: still mostly struggling, and I let down a lot of people, but support from friends, fellow authors, & readers kept me going. Rough Passages happened because of that support. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart.

I went on to finish the story-that-turned-into-a-Rough-Passages follow-up novel, and THIS year? This year, that follow-up is in revisions, I’ve completed 2 new short stories, and I’m 3/4 done with a novel draft in a different, brand-new series.

It’s a happy day indeed.

Here’s my pretty baby:

Super-powered grandmas, doomed teens, and monster Marines.

A buy link in case you want one: get Rough Passages here

Whimsy Writing again

It’s Saturday. Have a cat video.

The background story: my cat Scooter has a special-friend toy. He will bring it to me and howl until I drop it on him, and then he will parade around the house with it. Scooter also likes to entertain himself by chasing my feet for varying periods of time.

Here be 101 seconds of him enjoying both activities at once. He is a loud cat. Mute as needed. Shortly after I stopped recording he flopped over on his side and went to sleep with his toy as a pillow.

excerpts New Post Writing again

Want to know what I sound like?

I don’t know why anyone would want to listen to two 5-minute practice readings from my work in progress, (Heartwood)  but if you do, here they are.

Jack & Heather in the park part 1:


Jack & Heather in the park part 2:


Yes, I know. They aren’t great. Yes, I could edit out the sibilance & word stumbles.

Making a perfect audio wasn’t my goal. My plan: read the material aloud enough times to know the speaking rhythm well enough to avoid those mistakes–but not so many times it sounds like a memorized recitation. That was my first pass. There will be more.

A certain amount of swearing may occur.

Fun times.

Disclaimer: The header photo is not a picture of me reading. That is a CC0 royalty-free stock photo from  I don’t look at all like that. Also I made recordings using my pocket-sized supercomputing personal tracking device…uh, my mobile phone. 



Eccentric Holiday Viewing

Because I know you are all dying to know, here’s the Chez Herkes list of preferred holiday movies. It is not an “Advent Calendar of Movies.”  Blizzard binge-watching, maybe. Overall Spouseman & I usually watch at least one from each category per year. Tradition is important.
    • Die Hard(s)
    • Lethal Weapon
    • Deadpool (new addition!)
    • Batman Returns
    • Kiss, Kiss, Bang, Bang
    • Long Kiss Goodnight
    • Iron Man 3
    • Go
    • Assault on Precinct 13

**Shane Black is to blame for several of these. The man has a weird THING about Christmas.

    • The Shop Around The Corner
    • The Bishop’s Wife
    • Bells of St. Mary’s
    • We’re No Angels
    • It’s A Wonderful Life
    • Christmas Carol in B&W w/Alistair Sims
    • ”  with Reginald Owen
    • all the Bing Crosby musical holiday movies: it’s a sub-genre on its own
    • The Ref
    • Bad Santa
    • About A Boy
    • Love Actually
    • Better Off Dead
    • Coming to America
    • Ice Harvest
    • Nightmare Before Christmas
    • Muppet Christmas Carol
    • Rise of the Guardians
    • Elf
    • Strange Days (New Year’s Eve, close enough )
    • Gremlins
    • Rare Exports
    • HogFather
    • Emmet Otter’s Jug Band Christmas (otters!)
There are  holiday movies others love (or love/hate) that we will not watch:
  • A Christmas Story: worth special mention because I loathe it.  I could write a whole post on all the many reasons I find this movie repulsive for reasons both personal & political, but others have done such a good job I will leave that to the reader & the reader’s favorite search engine.
  • Reindeer Games. Singled out because I usually adore bad movies and dislike this one. It commits the one unforgivable sin for a bad movie: it’s DULL.
  • All the assorted Holiday Horror Flicks: I’m not against horror movies. They just don’t ring my bell, so to speak. Slapping some holly and tinsel on the genre adds nothing to its appeal.