The Dark Tide

Die Religion … ist das Opium des Volkes. – Karl Marx Everyone had been called to Worship. I stood outside the temple, and waited for the doors to be opened. It was early morning, and very bright, with sunbeams reflecting off the snow that had fallen the night before. I felt exposed, standing as IContinue reading “The Dark Tide”

Check out a piece of free horror fiction

A year ago, I started to write Lockdown. It’s finished now, and is available as both a blog post and as a podcast episode. Click the buttons below to open the blog post or the podcast episode.

Haiku – June 26

I don’t usually need to do this for haikus, but this one requires it to be said that it is fiction. Upon her she feels, The chills of fever rising, And knows this is war.

Isolation – Part 7

This is a work of fiction. My throat is sore and I’m thirsty. So this is it, I think as I tiptoe into the bathroom and fill a glass. This is the virus. I never thought to ask Mercy how hers started. Were her symptoms this mild and innocent, like a little bit of aContinue reading “Isolation – Part 7”

The Basket – Part 4

This is a work of fiction. Laine must have read the article on Friday. Poor Laine. Even though she’d said she didn’t like him, it was possible she actualy did like Arnie, the man who’d gotten the night off while she’d had to work. I needed to talk to her, but first, I was goingContinue reading “The Basket – Part 4”

Isolation – Part 6

This is a work of fiction. “Do you think you’re going to be okay?” Mercy asks. We’re sitting at the kitchen table, eating lunch. She’s still smiling from our fun, but she also looks worried. “I feel fine, so maybe I won’t get it.” “I really hope you don’t.” She takes a bite of herContinue reading “Isolation – Part 6”

Check out Time Gone By

Last July, I started writing some science fiction. Twenty-nine story parts later, I’m still writing “Time Gone By.” I’ve put all the links to the blog posts and the podcast episodes in one place.

A Story Idea

Well, the Force was certainly with me yesterday. It seems to have given me an idea for a story. The title will be Fill ‘er with Premium, and the story will feature Maria Mateo, the lead detective in my novel, Wounded Bride. How much will it cost? Unlike the novel, the story will be free.Continue reading “A Story Idea”

Ruth – Part 3

This is a work of fiction. Chapter 3 My day wasn’t over. I played and swam until nearly six. I was starving, and didn’t feel like having to drive home first. I went to my car to get some of the leftover salad, but there wasn’t any. Oops. I must have given it all toContinue reading “Ruth – Part 3”

The Basket – Part 3

This is a work of fiction. My sister really was too thin. As soon as I saw her, I couldn’t believe I’d ever thought her weight was normal. “What?” she said sharply. “What are you looking at?” “I’m sorry,” I said. “I just . . . well, I never thought I’d see you like this.”Continue reading “The Basket – Part 3”

Ruth – Part 2

This is a work of fiction. Chapter 2 Well, I had been thinking about the beach, so that was where I was going. I supposed it wasn’t the nicest thing to do, considering Jason was probably having to comfort Ruth and listen to Tracey crying (could little babies grieve?), but it was too hot andContinue reading “Ruth – Part 2”

Isolation – Part 5

This is a work of fiction. Over the next few days, Mercy gets worse, and then she starts to get better. I spend the time bringing her water and then soup, cleaning, and working on paintings. I don’t ask her about Eva. I also don’t ask her if she wants to call anybody. I’ve seenContinue reading “Isolation – Part 5”

Isolation – Part 4

This is a work of fiction. “Eva!” My eyes fly open. I look at the clock. It’s 1:01 a.m. “EEEE-VA!” Mercy is screaming, but her voice is so dry and cracked, I’m afraid she’s going to damage her throat if I can’t calm her down. “Eva! Where are you?” I wish I knew who EvaContinue reading “Isolation – Part 4”

Ruth – Part 1

This is a work of fiction. I started writing this story as part of this post about writing dialog. I’ve revised it and added more. Prolog “I told you,” Jason said. “I’m not coming home, so don’t pester me.” Pester him? As if I were a whiny little kid. The whole thing made me bothContinue reading “Ruth – Part 1”

Isolation – Part 3

This is a work of fiction. “Would you like me to call an ambulance?” Mercy shakes her head. “Would you like to sleep in my guest room?” “Please,” she whispers. Thank goodness there’s one on the main floor. I’ve been setting it up for when Mom, Dad, and Mona come to visit. So far, there’sContinue reading “Isolation – Part 3”

The Basket – Good Friday

This is a work of fiction. The Basket Good Friday Laine found the body. We always visited Grandma at Easter. At Christmas she came to our parents’ house, and at other times of the year we visited her, but Easter was special. We normally went on Thursday and stayed three nights. I’m sure it startedContinue reading “The Basket – Good Friday”

Happy April!

April is both National Poetry Month and Indie Author Month. Each day throughout the month, I’ll post a haiku, a story part, or both. Full of creation, Restful beauty or darkness, Deep human nature.

The Choice

This is a work of fiction inspired by the Everyday Inspiration writing course from The one-word prompt was “choice.” It was published in six blog posts in April 2020. Each post was fairly short, so I’ve combined them into one for a podcast episode. The Choice What to do? She looked at the clock.Continue reading “The Choice”


Yesterday, I shared a post from the blog about podcasting with Anchor. Now I’ve got my very own podcast. It’s all about my free fiction. So far, I’ve created one episode, which is the first part of my science fiction story “Time Gone By.” Once I have podcasting figured out, I’ll probably create aContinue reading “Podcast!”

Cover Reveal: Time Gone By

Time Gone By A free science fiction story. Right here. Lydia’s in charge of her four grandchildren for three weeks. They’re going camping and mostly having a good time, but… Somebody has invented a time machine. And has seen a terrifying glimpse of the future. A ruthless man will stop at nothing to take overContinue reading “Cover Reveal: Time Gone By”

Day 17

Chapter 22: Martin Well, today’s the day. I need to make sure Melanie doesn’t see the paper. One of us normally gets it and puts it in the living room. I have to work, and it’s my turn to make breakfast. I won’t have time to sit and read the paper, so I can’t takeContinue reading “Day 17”

Day 16

Chapter 19: Susan There’s a problem with my idea to tell Matthew what he’s done. I don’t want to go to his place ever again. And in spite of her promise, I’m afraid that my doctor might call Martin about me. She doesn’t know my new address, but I gave her my new number whenContinue reading “Day 16”

Day 15

Chapter 18: Melanie Something’s going on with Martin. There are inconsistencies in things he says and does. One thing is about cooking meals. He wanted to ask his mom to come live with us. That wouldn’t worry me, except for the house. One day when we visited her, she mentioned loving her job because sheContinue reading “Day 15”

Day 14

Chapter 17: Susan I haven’t slept well the last few days. I leave work and don’t need to work tomorrow, or is that tonight, but I’m too tired to do anything. I crawl into bed. A piercing sound wakes me. What is it? It sounds like a fire alarm. My heart pounds. I leap outContinue reading “Day 14”

Day 13

Chapter 15: Matthew I don’t think too many people believe in love at first sight. I know I didn’t used to. Now I do. I don’t even know her name yet, but I know that I love her. Dad would say I’m bonkers. Mom would say I’m nuts. Both would ask: how can you loveContinue reading “Day 13”

Day 12

Chapter 14: Martin Melanie and I end up in her car. It smells much better than mine, but is a lot smaller. That’s not a problem. She is so much fun to be with, and the thought of going home to Susan fills me with dread, but I know I can’t stay out much pastContinue reading “Day 12”

Day 11

Chapter 13: Susan Martin hardly speaks to me anymore. Living with him is like living with a ghost who can eat. Thank goodness I have my books to write and my show to do. On the second Saturday in March, Jeff calls at seven. “Hi,” he says. “I’m not feeling so great.” He doesn’t soundContinue reading “Day 11”

Day 10

Chapter 12: Martin My first date with Melanie is everything I’d hoped for, except I can’t take her home with me. We step out into the freezing night and go to our separate cars. I sit in mine with the engine running and watch her drive away. I imagine myself carrying her into the bedroom,Continue reading “Day 10”

Day 9

Chapter 11: Susan I’m so relieved that Martin’s not in the house breathing down my neck all the time. The Christmas-loving kid is gone, and although he was annoying, I prefer him to the quiet, sullen man I send off each morning and greet each evening. We mostly keep away from each other, and he’sContinue reading “Day 9”

Day 8

Chapter 9: Susan I keep telling people on my show that they can write, and in early December, I’m ready to revise my tenth book. I’m careful this time. After I’ve seen Martin off to work, I wash up the breakfast dishes and do any urgent housework, and then I go into my office. IContinue reading “Day 8”

Day 7

Chapter 8: Martin “Martin?” I recognize Connie’s voice, and she sounds worried. I look up from my desk. Luke is home with the flu, but it’s Tuesday, so I won’t be seeing Melanie today. “What’s wrong?” “My son’s sick. It seems like there’s a bad bug going around his school. I’ve called Rick, but heContinue reading “Day 7”

Day 6

Chapter 7: Susan I’m so nervous, I can hardly do up the buttons on my blouse. It’s just after seven on Tuesday, and my interview at the radio station is for eight. What will they ask me? What if I fall apart and run screaming? I’ve never even called into a radio show, let aloneContinue reading “Day 6”

Day 5

Chapter 6: Martin I arrive at one minute to six. There are two people in the waiting room. One of them is Rick, and the other one is a young guy I’ve never met. “Good morning!” Rick says. “This is Luke. Luke, this is Martin.” How has Rick managed to get this shift again? IContinue reading “Day 5”

Day 4

Chapter 4: Martin The house smells great. Susan’s in the kitchen, putting the finishing touches on our dinner. “Hi honey,” she says. “Did you have a nice day today?” Did I? Well, the hour with Melanie was wonderful, but I wouldn’t call the rest of the day good. “I finished the book.” “Yes, I hadContinue reading “Day 4”

Day 3

Chapter 3: Rick I’ve been asked to work a double shift, so I’m at work at 6:00 a.m. Amazing how many peeps are here already. I reach for my coffee and knock it over. Oh man. I look around, but don’t see any paper towels or napkins. It’s all over the desk and under theContinue reading “Day 3”

Day 2

Chapter 2: Susan He’s demanding his dinner — like a spoiled kid — again. Not gonna happen. Why can’t he cook something himself if he’s really so desperate? He used to be nice. It’s getting to the point now where I’m ashamed to say I’m his wife. He used to be such a nice guy,Continue reading “Day 2”

Day 1

Chapter 1: Martin Maybe I can use her books as a weapon. The idea pops into my head while I’m at work. I don’t have time to ponder, and I don’t want to risk writing something like that down, so I’ll just have to wait and hope I don’t forget. “Hey Martin!” It’s Rick. HeContinue reading “Day 1”

Starting Tomorrow, I will post what I’ve written each day for my NaNoWriMo Project

I’m writing a romance novel for NaNoWriMo 2020, and I’ll be posting what I’ve written that day by 9:00 p.m. Pacific time. My usual blogging schedule will be suspended until December 1, unless I finish early. Warning: there will be typos and probably plotholes. There could be swear words and descriptions of sex. Oh, andContinue reading “Starting Tomorrow, I will post what I’ve written each day for my NaNoWriMo Project”

Starting Sunflower Saturday

shallow focus photography of yellow sunflower field under sunny sky Photo by Susanne Jutzeler on What’s Sunflower Saturday? It’s like any other Saturday, but with a cool, silly name. What will you post? Sometimes a previous post like I’ve been doing, but I’m pretty much making another Change-it-up-Tuesday. Will it ever have anything toContinue reading “Starting Sunflower Saturday”


“Writing” is the writing prompt today. I normally talk about writing fiction, but nonfiction must also be written word by word, thought by thought, letter by letter. Both must then be revised. Nonfiction especially requires profesisonal editing. A typo in a story is annoying to both Writer and Reader, but not the end of theContinue reading “Writing”

Fun with Free Fiction

Back in April, I launched free short fiction on this site with The Choice. That piece was short, but over the months since, I’ve started writing longer pieces. Both finished stories and pieces in progress can be found on my Fiction page. As of this writing, the story called Lockdown has almost come to anContinue reading “Fun with Free Fiction”

Only a Month and a Half to Go

I can’t believe there’s just under seven weeks until NaNoWriMo starts on November 1. Every day, I’m going to post what I’ve just written. I won’t have time to fix typos and might even miss plotholes. I’ve created this page so I can keep updating you without needing to find and link to old posts.

Short Fiction Sunday – Lockdown – Horror Fiction

Billy’s nineteen and still afraid of the dark. His adopted mother has just given birth, and Dad can think only of his new daughter. Lockdown, part 1 was posted on July 10, and a new part will be posted every second Friday.

Get your copy of Wounded Bride

Detective Maria Mateo is new to the Chicago Police Department. Wounded Bride is available now. Get your copy today. From somewhere inside the book: There hadn’t been any point in eating. She was out of the job she loved, so why bother?

The Dark Tide – Part 10

This is a work of fiction. “Before we go,” my wife said, “why did that man want to kill me?” I told her about the bicycle cart accident just as the mother bird had been landing. “My daughter,” my wife said when I’d finished speaking, “would you please help me pull him out of thisContinue reading “The Dark Tide – Part 10”

The Dark Tide – Part 6

This is a work of fiction. The canoe drifted toward the house, and I thought it was going to collide with it, but it skimmed past the corner of it and carried me downstream. I had nothing left in the world except the canoe, the clothes I wore, and my daughter’s sketches. If I couldContinue reading “The Dark Tide – Part 6”

Science Fiction

Because it’s May 4, I want to talk about science fiction, even though this post has nothing to do with Star Wars. In November 2019, my NaNoWriMo novel was a sci-fi story called On Ice. It’s still in the freezer, waiting for me to take it out and revise it, but while it’s coming upContinue reading “Science Fiction”

The Dark Tide – Part 1

This is a work of fiction. Die Religion … ist das Opium des Volkes. Karl Marx Everyone had been called to Worship. I stood outside the temple, and waited for the doors to be opened. It was early morning, and very bright, with sunbeams reflecting off the snow that had fallen the night before. IContinue reading “The Dark Tide – Part 1”

How Often?

Dear Reader, How often would you like me to post short stories (or parts of them) on this blog? You can answer via this Poll on Twitter or by leaving a comment below. The choices are the following: once a week every 2 or 3 days as often as possible other (please explain)

The Choice – Part 6

This post is a work of fiction inspired by the Everyday Inspirations writing course from WordPress. The one-word prompt was “choice.” Matthew’s phone rang. Good, his new client would be ready for him. He lifted the receiver, but didn’t speak. “Good morning, Mr. Reid,” his secretary said. “Your nine o’clock has arrived and is inContinue reading “The Choice – Part 6”

The Choice – Part 5

This post is a work of fiction inspired by the Everyday Inspirations writing course from WordPress. The one-word prompt was “choice.” Rita watched Matt walk out of the Starbucks and get into a dark gray car. The engine came on and he roared away. She took a sip of coffee but it tasted awful. MightContinue reading “The Choice – Part 5”

The Choice – Part 4

This post is a work of fiction inspired by the Everyday Inspirations writing course from WordPress. The one-word prompt was “choice.” Rita looked into Matt’s clear blue eyes and wanted to ask a million questions, but didn’t know where to start. “How are you feeling, Rita?” His words were soft, mellow, and yet very clear.Continue reading “The Choice – Part 4”

The Choice – Part 2

This post is a work of fiction inspired by the Everyday Inspirations writing course from WordPress. The one-word prompt was “choice.” Rita tried to think who Matt might be. The older guy with sallow skin who would probably drop dead if he didn’t eat some vegetables soon? Or maybe Matt was the thirtysomething black guyContinue reading “The Choice – Part 2”

The Choice – Part 1

This post is a work of fiction inspired by the Everyday Inspirations writing course from WordPress. The one-word prompt was “choice.” What to do? She looked at the clock. It was 9:24 p.m. on a rainy Saturday evening in April. Take a chance, accept his invitation, or pretend his e-mail didn’t exist and go backContinue reading “The Choice – Part 1”