Tag Archives: Writing

Story of the Week Nos. 4 and 5

Whoops, I forgot to post a notification of Story of the Week Number 4. It was called “writing down some”, and it was actually one that I wrote something like twenty years ago, and edited heavily for this project. That was me cheating. Sorry about that.

This weeks story, “Heavens Help Us”, is a sort of prequel to a story called “On the Road to Orlgrunt” that I wrote in 2007, the first time that I did this story of the week thing. It’s not a spoof of the novel entitled Heaven Help Us (which is apparently so out of print that Amazon doesn’t carry it), nor the 1985 film of the same name.

Anyway. If you want to read “Heavens Help Us”, you have to sign up for the Story of the Week Yahoo group. Do that at the following link:


That’s it for now. Ta!

Once again…

Back in 2008 and 2009 I did my “Story of the Week” project, wherein I… well, I wrote a story each week for a year. I defined a story as at least 250 words. Most of them were complete stories, but some of them (such as “Sangrilicious” and “Teh K1ng in Y3ll0w”) were serialized. Some of these stories were really good, and at least one of them (“Trying to Stay Dead”) has been published. Some of them were really bad, and will never be read by anyone else. Most of them were mediocre, I think.

Recently, I realized that I hadn’t written a single original story since then, and this was a sort of depressing realization. So, starting in July, I’m going to do it again: Yep, a story a week, at least 250 words, for a year. We’ll see how it goes.

When I did this before, I posted the stories online for all to read. This time, I’ve decided that I’m not going to do that. Instead, I’m going to simply post the title and the summary each week. But I’ve also set up a Yahoo group that readers can sign up with so that they can receive the stories in their mailbox. To view the group and sign up, go to the following link:


I think this will be fun at times, and frustrating at times — and, at times, really crazy-making, especially during National Novel Writing Month, when I’m going to write my novel and write a story each week.

I hope you sign up. Here’s hoping that I don’t go completely mad.

Little Fluffy Wiggletoes Lives!

Just so you know, I’ve finally put “Little Fluffy Wiggletoes” up on this site.

For some reason, Little Fluffy Wiggletoes is one of my more popular creations. I’m sure I don’t know why. At any rate, I did write a few sequels to this story, and I plan on putting them online as soon as they undergo the necessary revisions.

Enjoy! But beware that this story contains content that is not safe for work, nor for children. Consider it rated R.


“History’s greatest monster”

The other day, on Twitter, author A. Lee Martinez, who has written some of my favorite books (including Gil’s All Fright DinerDivine Misfortune, and Chasing the Moon), called me “history’s greatest monster”:

Mind you, he wasn’t referring to my writing. I doubt he’s read anything of mine, aside from Tweets I’ve sent to him and the occasional email; rather, he was responding to my insistence on using the semicolon in my writing. He had said that his general advice to writers was to avoid the semicolon and to always use the Oxford comma. I responded, “You can have my semicolons when you pry them from my cold, dead, properly punctuated hands.” And it was in response to that that he uttered the epithet.

I was, of course, thrilled. The quote is now on the front page of my website. And I couldn’t help but post it to Facebook and everywhere else I could think of.

History’s greatest monster, indeed. My work here is done.

About that? Yeah, not so much.

That “Analyze Your Writing” meme that’s been going on and that I participated in turned out to be a scam, designed to drive the traffic of new writers toward a self-publishing business. Ah, well. I knew that having a writing style similar to Margaret Atwood’s was just too good to be true.*

*Just for the sake of curiosity, I submitted the same writing sample to the site again. This time, it told me I write like David Foster Wallace.

You write like a girl

Apparently I write like Margaret Atwood. Here’s my proof:

I write like

Margaret Atwood

It’s kind of peculiar. Not that I don’t like Margaret Atwood (though of her novels I’ve only read The Handmaid’s Tale), but… Well, it just seems like all of these “what is your writing style” tests, based on my blog entries or on my stories, guess that my writing is by a woman. And there are several tests out there (most of them rather dubious, of course) that purport to guess your gender based on a series of questions that you answer; and almost all of these quizzes guess that I’m a woman. This is weird because I’ve frequently been told that when I try to write from a woman’s point of view, I just don’t succeed.

I wonder if this is something I should explore more, or some weirdness I should just chalk up to the Internet?

Edit: Keffy Kehrli Tweeted to me: “I’ll see your gender binary and raise you one James Tiptree.” Touche, Keffy. Touche.

Various Updates

I keep forgetting that I have this blog. Well, no, it’s not that I forget about it; it’s more like, in this world of Twitter and Facebook, it’s much easier to just post 140 characters and forget about it. Blogging seems like so much more work.

So here’s some updates.

First, before I get to the writing updates, here’s an important one: I’m changing domains. I’ve had mossroot.com for over ten years and I’ll feel sad to leave it behind, but underpope.com seems so much more appropriate since I’m “Underpope” everywhere else on the Intertubes. A domain that reflects that just seemed natural. It’s all about growing the brand, you know? So go and change your links, your bookmarks, your feedreaders, etc.

Plus, this clever old-time photograph of the monkey at the typewriter seemed very appropriate for me. After all, it’s a monkey! And it’s typing! How friggin’ cute is that! And since my very own personal slogan is “Code monkey by day, word monkey by night”, the image could not be more fitting.

And now for some writing updates:

Code Monkey! Originally I had planned for this novel to just be a throwaway project for National Novel Writing Month. I had fun writing it, and fun putting it on line, chapter by chapter, for my friends to read. But then enough people (that is, more than one) suggested I actually push forward with it because it apparently has some potential. So I’m in the process of heavily editing it for possible submission to somewhere in the future. And I’m talking some serious edits. I swear, on some pages there is more red ink than black. (This is the reason I took down the original novel online. I could no longer stand the thought of people reading the original crap version.)

Also, My short story, “A Most Heinous Man”, which was published in Issue 33 of Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine, will be published in their second “Best of Horror” anthology. I don’t have a publication date for it yet, but I will be sure to update here once I find out.
My short story “Night of the Frozen Elf” (available in a slightly typo-ridden version here) will be collected in a new anthology, The Undead that Saved Christmas. You can probably guess from the title that it’s a collection of Christmas-themed zombie stories. All proceeds from this anthology will go to support the Hugs Foster Family Agency. It’s a good cause, so when the book becomes available, please go and buy many, many copies.
And, finally, if you’re thinking about contributing to my speculative fiction webzine, Daikaijuzine, we’re now open for submissions again. It’s a great ‘zine, with great content, if I do say so myself. Check it out and spread the word.

For now, that’s about it. In the future, I plan to actually post more actual content. But, then, I always say that, don’t I?