So you can read my books

Monday, January 30, 2017


Can Anyone Hear What You Are Saying?

Sadly, no.

We IWSG 2017 Anthologists have a great new web-page to promote our fascinating book:

All of us, especially Renee Cheung, has worked very hard on it so of course we want you to pay us a visit.

 But how to get the attention of the internet beyond the Author Blog Ghetto?

Over a million books were published
last year alone.

To call the book marketplace over-crowded
is an understatement!

I could promise a date with Ryan Gosling
to the person buying the most copies of our Anthology.

But his publicist and attorney keep sending me certified letters mentioning 
strange words
 in response to my repeated requests
for his help.

Party Poopers.

So what to do?

In your part of the country The DA VINCI CODE was probably an instant success.

Not so much hereabouts.

It took long months of slowly building positive buzz to make it a best seller here.

Which brings me back to the 

Day by Day, new posts will be added
giving you new insights to the
different stories.

Take mine on 


As you continue to visit,
the more you will want to read
the evocative tales of loss and redemption
that make up our Anthology.

Don't Miss This Ride!

Saturday, January 28, 2017


Come May 2nd
You Will See A Haunting Tale of This Truth
in the HERO LOST Anthology


William Faulkner, ghost, here:

Roland is sleeping, 

his head settled on his folded arms as he sprawls in front of his electronic journal ... 

laptop he calls it.

I wanted to check in on him. 

We ghosts have a fondness for him. He listens.

You'd be surprised how few undead or living do that. 

Most spirits and living souls just wait impatiently for you to take in a breath so they can jump in with their concerns.

Samuel Clemens couldn't wait to inform me how Roland had gone wrong with his last post. 

Old Sam seemed sure he knew how he'd gone wrong.

And as usual that old tale-spinner was both right and wrong.

Like Roland, I taught creative writing in a university. 

I had been so sure I had a firm grasp of reality and how to portray it. 

Death showed me that only the dead see clearly.

So I do know where Roland went wrong, where so many of us writers go wrong:

People do not read to see what you think or to learn about you. 


They read to learn about themselves, to come into contact with who they truly are.

They read that which speaks of their own hopes, their own dreams, and their own fears.

If a tale resonates with the haunting music of their unhealed wounds and silent insecurities, 

they will be drawn to it as if to a magnet. 

Only that story which tells of a heart in conflict with itself is truly literature.

That is why you must read, my friends. 

Read. Read everything -- 

trash, classics, good and bad, and see how they do it.

Just like a carpenter who works as an apprentice and studies the master.

Then write. If it's good, you'll find out.

If it's not, throw it out of the window and start again wiser.

Don't be 'a writer'.

Be writing.

A bus station is where a bus stops. 

A train station is where a train stops. 

On my desk, I have a work station.

And to work well you must write with the embers of truth stinging your eyes.

You can have 13 people looking at a black bird and none of them will get it right. 

No one individual can look at truth.

Even simple truth. Look deep enough, and the simplicity disappears in the murky depths.
Truth blinds you. 

It is too much for one set of perceptions to take in. To a man with rose-tinted glasses, the whole world is rose.

And so it is with the writer looking at Man.

We call ourselves Homo Sapien, the reasoning animal. But Man is not made of reason.

A man is the sum of his misfortunes.

One day you'd think misfortune would get tired, but then time is its own misfortune as well.

And so all human behavior is unpredictable.

Considering Man's fragility and the ramshackle universe he functions in, how could it be otherwise?

So how does that affect you as a writer?

1) The writer must not set himself up as judge:

He must focus on action, the character's behavior.

Maybe your protagonist, like so many people, has no concept of morality,

only an integrity to hold always to what he believes to be facts and truths of the human condition.


2) The character does what his nature dictates.

He acts not as the writer would, not as a man should do, but what he will do --

maybe what he can't help but do. Which leads me to my greatest fear:


3) I fear that Man is losing his individualism, 

his sense of self, in doing what the herd does in order to stay safe.

Which is why I do not belong to anything besides the Human Race, and I try to be a first rate member of that.


4) You are first rate as a human being and a writer if:

you do the best you can with what talents you have to make something positive that wasn't there yesterday.

How do you do that you ask:

The man who removes a mountain begins by carrying away small stones. And he makes his home of the stones of his efforts.

How often have I lain beneath rain on a strange roof, thinking of home until I realized that home to a writer is where his mind, his heart is.


5) Most men are a little better than their circumstances give them a chance to be. 

Strive to thrive where you are. "How?" you ask again. And I will tell you:

 You cannot swim for new horizons until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore. 

Take chances. It may be bad, but it's the only way you can do anything good.

You have to have courage. Courage is not so hard to have in writing if you remember that:

All of us have failed to match our dream of perfection.


6) I rate us on the basis of our splendid failure to do the impossible. 

If I could write all my work again, I'm convinced I could do it better.

This is the healthiest condition for an artist. 

That's why he keeps working, trying again: 

he believes each time that this time he will do it, bring it off.

Of course he won't. Which leads us to the next point.


7) The phenomenon of writing is its hermaphroditism:
the principles of victory and of defeat inhabit the same body

and the necessary opponent, the blank page, is merely the bed he self-exhausts on.


8) I learned in the university as did Roland: 

You can learn writing, but you cannot teach it. 

A paradox but true despite that.

And what have I learned from my novels?

I learned how to approach language, words:

not with seriousness so much as an essayist does,

but with a kind of alert respect, as you approach dynamite;

even with joy, as you approach women: 

perhaps with the same secretly unscrupulous intentions.

Are you a writer? Really? Then, what are you doing about it?

Go, write. And remember:

Dreams have only one owner at a time. That's why dreamers are lonely.

And that's why a dream is not a very safe thing to be near...

I know; I had one once.

It's like a loaded pistol with a hair trigger: if it stays alive long enough,

somebody is going to be hurt. 

But if it's a good dream, it's worth it.

The land of Longmire and McCord:


Friday, January 27, 2017


With the Release of the HERO LOST ANTHOLOGY


Some Answers from Renee Cheung

What makes a person a lost soul? 

It’s a deep question. To answer that question, perhaps it is first easier to define the opposite.

To not be lost is to know thyself.

It comes back to the idea of identity. 

We all have a sense of identity, a sense of self, a way to define on a deeper more intrinsic level what we see in the mirror every day. 

That sense of identity is a result over years of formation, from archetypes that we appropriate and anchor ourselves with, to roles we assume, 

be it a developer, a rare blood carrier.

So to become a lost soul then is to in some way, lose that identity. 

You see it all the time in many stories and in fact, 

it is a source of conflict that many excel in telling. 

Sometimes it’s literal - 

characters that have lost their memories, while others never having the knowledge needed to help form an identity 

(for example, not knowing who one’s parents were or where they were from).

However, some other form of lost souls are less literal - 

they thought they were one thing, but really they were another, or their actions contradict their identity.

 Mind you, I don’t believe that at that very moment, they become lost. 

Rather, they become lost souls when they wake up to what is happening and are forced to confront the contradiction.

You weren’t really expecting any less of an analytical answer from a computer scientist cum author, were you?

Well that leads us to the last two questions - 

losing our way and coming back to ourselves. 

I’ve alluded to the answer to the former already. When a person (using the term loosely to not discriminate against any non-human characters) 

acts contradictory to their programming, if you will, they become progressively more and more lost. One action heaps on another and the effect snowballs.

I think about the main antagonist in the last part of Netflix’s version of Luke Cage, Mariah Dillard

In her mind, she is on the side of right, a councilwoman who is trying to do good by her city.

But when circumstances and her own choices push her more and more towards a life of crime, she became crazed, lost. (Is that considered a spoiler?)

And on purpose, I wanted to pick this antagonist instead of a hero because I think there is a difference between “finding our way back” and becoming good. 

Towards the end, Mariah accepted who she was, a woman who would do anything to get her way and shape the city in her own image. 

In other words, she owned up to her actions. 

In the process, she formed and accepted a new identity and I think in that sense, she found her way back to herself. I am very excited to see how that character develops! (Come on Season 2!)

Now returning to the second question about legends!

 Perhaps this is not the best definition in the world, or even a right one but the bard in me has a desire to define a person that becomes a legend by leaving a good story behind. 

It may be a story they wrote or told (is Shakespeare not legendary in his own right?) or perhaps their deeds become that good story. And now take that, exaggerate and blur the details over the testament of time and voila, recipe for a legend!

Following Erika’s post on a Will Smith kick, I think of the movie “I Am Legend.” 

Obvious choice, I know. 

 However, I think about not the movie itself, but the stories that are told after the events of the movie by the descendants of the survivors. 

(I’m allowed to spoil a movie when it’s 10 years old right?). 

I imagine them gathered around some sort of story-telling fire, whispering in soft voices about how Will Smith’s character, Robert Neville, fought to save humanity while living all alone and fighting off the infected mutants. 

(I always thought of them as a cross between vampire and zombies, does that make them zompires?) 

I imagined the telling where the details of the story as well as Robert’s own nobleness, greatly exaggerated. That. Is. Legend.

And now that I have rambled on and on, perhaps I’ll go contemplate a story of a legendary lost villainous soul.

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