Story idea

People have a button that locks them in the moment the button was pressed for the rest of their lives.

Twist: People spend so much time worrying about not missing the right time to hit the button, they stop living.

Scenario: People who have already hit the button are effectively walking dead, locked in happiness, and whatever is done to them now won’t affect the time they have left. The bodies that go on are soulless and treated as such.

Second twist: Bodies are still conscious.

Cover and Margins

When people read Bloodharvest, I always ask for information on the cover and margins. Those are two things I really can’t check myself. What I’m specifically looking for are display characteristics. Does the cover look right? Does it appear with big white bars on the top and bottom, sides, or does the image go straight to the edge. Tatiana Villa made a cover I particularly like, but with the variance in sizes between screens and devices, I can’t tell how it looks on everything. I’m always curious.

Likewise the interior margins are basically a black box. Amazon says they take care of it. It looks fine on most devices, but how they come to that is pure witchcraft. I’ll probably hire someone to do the interior when the physical book is released, but I did the ebook using Amazon’s design suite. It seems okay.

Everyone says the cover and interior is fine. God, I hope people aren’t just sparing my feelings.


A while ago I helped my father move a desk. It was a ponderous old thing, built like a cube of solid wood. It had to weigh a hundred pounds. But it wasn’t that hard to move for the same reason: it was built like a cube of solid wood. I could grab it anywhere. The top had a lip, and being a plank, I could carry it by that lip. The legs were thick posts bolted to the body and ran straight to the top where it was screw together. Any possible orientation of the desk had big, beautiful hand-holds.

Comparatively, when I moved in Maryland last, I had one of those light, particle board desks that was a bear to move. It was trivially light, about thirty pounds, and between two people it was lighter than a moderate backpack. It was nothing. But it was made of nothing, and you couldn’t hold it any which way because it would break. It crumbled under finger pressure.

The light desk was vastly more challenging to move through hallways and doors than the heavy one because every movement was a calculation. We couldn’t just shove the little one. Dad’s heavy desk cared not. It cared nothing for walls, because the walls were going to break before that thing. Orientation was no concerned because every angle had a great hold. The little one was almost impossible, and I wound up throwing the light thing away so I wouldn’t have to deal with it any more.

Publishing is moving the light desk. Nothing is really hard. Writing the book is hard, but publishing it isn’t. I’ve worked with several freelance editors, and the lead content editor on Bloodharvest, September C Fawkes, was a delight to work with. She did all the heavy lifting on that project. But I used to write in LibreOffice, so I had to convert files. Then in Word I reformatted them, and formatted them again when Augustin of Wordy did brave battle with atrocious grammar. Bowker is the reason monopolistic behavior requires regulation.

Here’s the kicker. None of that was more than an annoyance. None of it was hard, certainly not compared to writing the stupid thing. What was a problem was that every step was a calculation, and I never really knew what the next step was. At no point was step C clear from B, and I was rarely confident that step A had been completed to perfection. It was just anomalous difficulty.

Where I’m going with all this is that Bloodharvest is now in the Amazon Kindle store here.

I wanted it done, so I could approach Bedtime Stories with some idea of how to publish. I wanted a road map, and in self publishing, I had to make my own. It’s done now.

What do you  think? Is it reasonable or not? Are there typos? Is the price respectable? You can read it free in a few places by clicking on theArchives tab. If any of the readers want real, live input on a published novella, now’s your opportunity.

As I look now, the cover preview doesn’t appear. I need to fix that, and I don’t know how. I really want to know how the table of contents works on other devices.

How do I feel about it? I don’t know. I’m elated it’s out there and worried because of the same. I’m resolved. Bedtime Stories and Death Mountain are coming, and I don’t have any fear now that I won’t be able to self publish them. But I also don’t know how I will. It’s not a cheap endeavor.

I’m relieved. It’s done. It’s like my first 5k. A 5k may be nothing, and there are pro authors who drop novels and novellas like it’s nothing, but they’re not me. I don’t have to beat them. I have to beat the guy I was yesterday, and as of this writing, me of 24hrs ago didn’t have a book on Amazon.

Bedtime Stories to editing by Jan 1st, 2019. Death Mountain, full length, 1st draft written by Feb 1st 2019. The timelines of the goals are flexible. Accomplishing them isn’t.

Current Work

I finally found a cover-designer for Bloodharvest. Third time’s the charm, right? With a little luck that will be ready to go soon. An ebook is first in line, and a POD physical book is right behind that.

Otherwise, I’ve shifted Bedtime Stories to my main tasking, pushing DM back. I’ve got a problem I don’t know how to solve short of everybody dying. _I’m_ okay with everybody dying, but I don’t think anyone else is. Meanwhile I realized I had an ending to BS, and I think it works. After the second draft is done I’ll submit that to my editors. I’m aiming for another double release in early 2019.