Catching Up

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Wow, a ton of things have been going on since my last post, both on the writing front and in my personal life. It’ll be a long post, so get yourself your favorite beverage and read on…

I’ll start off with the biggest pair of events – One daughter got married. Another is engaged. Both husbands are great guys, and I will be completely honest in saying that I’m thrilled to have them in the family. You pray for things like this and I’m lucky to have my prayers answered. Whether or not my sons-in-law got their prayers answered for their father-in-law is another question.

While the wedding plans progressed, I finished the manuscript for a speculative fiction novel called The Gospel of Matthias Kent. Gospel confronts the effects of mixing religion, politics, business, and power by taking a look at an all-too-ominous future. The story unfolds through the eyes of one of its up and coming leaders, Matthias Kent, and chronicles how his privileged life comes unraveled when he discovers an ancient Bible that contradicts the powers-that-be.

Gospel took two-and-a-half years of nights and weekends to research, plan, write, revise, revise, revise, and revise. What was the most amazing part of developing this story was how these characters spoke to me during the writing process. At times, I could see their world, smell it, taste it. I lived, laughed, and cried with these people. I’m a 50-year-old guy. I don’t cry, not often anyway. But I did. You’ll see why – once I hook up with the right agent and publisher…

Barkreaders will be disappointed to know that finding a different publisher for Chow Chow Mein, the next installment of the Lazy Dog Series didn’t go well. Cozy mysteries have become an endangered species in the mystery world and small-to-mid sized publishers aren’t always interested in regional tales. Having said that, I also realize that Chow Chow Mein can be a stronger story. So, it’s back to revision – the real place where stories are crafted. Once it measures up, I’ll pitch it again. And then there are the other 4 titles to size up for nouns and verbs. A writer’s work is never done.

In other writing news, Mourning Portraits, an intergenerational story of passage got an Honorable Mention in June of 2008 by Interact Theater of Philadelphia. Interact takes short stories and performs them on stage. The quality of what they accept is quite high, and I’m pleased to have been considered.

The same quality approach goes for Ty Drago over at Allegory Ezine and his consideration of Krant vs. Krant. Krant vs. Krant is a comical look into the world of Gallivan DeLando – Intergalactic Divorce Arbitrator. Though Krant didn’t make the issue, Ty mentioned it in his Honorable Mention list. If you like great Sci-Fi, check out this month’s edition at www.allegoryezine.com.

Fans of my tabloid exploits will be interested in hearing the American Sun Magazine, that supermarket endcap purveyor of all things apocalyptic briefly renewed their Science Fiction feature during the late summer of 2008. My story, A Perfect Specimen, graced a special expanded edition that not only included the Sun, but also included features from The World Weekly News. So there you have it, evidence that Author Mike, Batboy, and the Space Alien were in the same place at the same time. Coincidence? I don’t think so.

And last but not least, two essays of mine were published in the PinnacleHealth Literary Journal, Art and Soul. Their summer edition carried The Mayor of Monkey’s Island, a story about the author during the Hurricane Agnes Flood of 1972. Their Winter edition carried Mrs. Krebs, a story about a remarkable 6th grade teacher that taught me far more than I ever thought.