Posts in writing
The Day Started With Murder... (Fiction, under 100 words)

Janet Reid, Query Shark and Queen of the Known Universe (QOTKU) writes an amazing blog with occasional killer contests - always 100 words or less - sometimes with prompt words, sometimes with phrases, sometimes with themes. The one from this weekend was FIRST or LAST line had to be “The day started with murder.”

I entered - and got a shout out as a finalist!

Here’s my really short story:

The day started with murder, and went downhill from there.

Recalcitrant neighbors, uncooperative suspects, media circus.

Ninth murder and likely more to come.

Suspicious partner, side-eye sergeant, disavowing chief.

When they brought me in, accusations flew like crows, but I followed my own advice: deny, deny, deny, and if you can’t do that, shut ya mouth.

Didn’t help. I had no alibi and plenty of motive.

I tell ya, the only thing a cop hates more than going bad is being sent up for the one murder she didn’t do.

For more amazing 100 words (or less) stories, head over to the infamous QOTKU’s site!

Storytime Blog Hop - Zombies

Time marches on… kinda like a zombie! It’s April’s Storytime Blog Hop, and I have zombies on the brain this month. Not sure why, but I hope you enjoy this story, and don’t forget to scroll to the bottom to read the others!


Zombies walk among us.

I mean, I’ve known that since the news stories. You remember, the ones about the scientists who accidentally brought people back to life in their quest to hack death. The stories that said the same scientists had a multi-syllabic cure for the zombies’ need to eat your brains. And then some celebrity overdosed on a new designer drug and the family decided not to bring him back, and then zombies went to fight in the war, and then the stories died down, and zombies relatives became the ones you talked about in whispers and kept in the back room.

I knew, but I didn’t think about it much.

Not until one of them started following me.

* * *

He would have been average in life: a little taller than me, with dark hair and dark skin. Dead, he had ash-gray skin and faintly luminescent eyes which darted from me to my surroundings and back to me wherever I was.

My friends said I should be creeped out, and gave him a wide berth, but he never spoke, never demanded, never touched me.

Better than most men with their if you loved mes and wandering hands.

So we fell into a rhythm. He would escort me to work and back. To school and back. To my parents’ house and back. He waited outside until invited in, never presumed. And then one day, I invited him in. And still, he never presumed.

Most of my friends stopped coming around, complaining that I wouldn’t go to the human-only clubs anymore, that I was too boring, and—in hushed voices—that I was a zombie-lover.

When I sat next to him in a dim restaurant, and took his hand in mine, and talked about all the things I’d never told anyone, I didn’t care what anyone else said.

When I leaned into him in the hallway, and felt his solid strength, and pressed my lips to his, I wasn’t thinking about what anyone else would say.

And when I invited him into my bed, I was only thinking of the two of us, and how he made me feel.

* * *

When the war slopped over into our state and I worried, he patted my hand, and then watched everything around us. I missed his gaze always on mine, but I felt safe when I walked with him.

Others started walking with zombies too. I could see the way they watched each other that some were bodyguards, some were friends, and a few were lovers. Those of us with zombie lovers started to walk together, to join each other at the clubs that accepted our partners, and to speak in hushed voices of changing the law that said zombies couldn’t marry.

And then the enemy soldiers were there, in our town, and uniformed zombies fought each other between the buildings and in the parks and on the streets.

We ran out of food.

His gentle hands on my waist asked me to stay behind, but the nearest store wouldn’t allow zombies inside.

We ran through the street together, watching for patrols. I slipped into the store and gathered a few things, and paid exorbitant prices and slipped back out again. We walked home silently, groceries between us.

I never saw them coming.

He did.

He shoved his bag of food into my arms and pushed me gently away with a moaned, “Run.” Then he spun to face the enemy.

“Come with me,” I screamed.

We were so close. I ran inside our building, and dumped the groceries on the floor, and spun to lock the door behind him, but he wasn’t behind me.

They hacked him to pieces while I watched, then they saw my neighbor’s zombie bodyguard and chased her.

I went to him and held the pieces I could find.

“Looove,” he groaned.

“I love you too.”

I wept bitter tears while the light in his eyes went out. Then I went home, put the groceries away, mourned with my neighbor.

The war moved on. Life went back to normal, I guess. But I missed his ash-gray skin, and his luminescent eyes, and his quiet presence.

I would have spent my life and death with him.

Before The Dreams by Katharina Gerlach
To Wake A God by Juneta Key
The Sprite In The Well by Angela Wooldridge
Something Different by Karen Lynn

0 – The Fool by Raven O’Fiernan
Big Enough by Elizabeth McCleary
Grumpy Old Demeter by Vanessa Wells
Say Please By J. Q. Rose
Provoking the Muse by Moira K. Brennan
It all Started… by Bill Bush

SHIP CHILD is ready for release... I think!

Will the friendship survive?

Will they?

Between the rogue AIs, the new IDs, and a doomsday device, Tal and Josue have a lot to deal with in this short story!

So I wrote it, and edited it, and finally came up with the cover for it… Then I read a book about writing cover copy (the description on the back of a book… or the Amazon page), and of course had to re-write the copy six or eight times.

But I think it’s finally ready to go.


Here it is:


Tal and Josue are giving up crime.


But thanks to their last little kidnapping adventure, they need to dump the kidnapee and grab new IDs to start their life of non-crime. If their contact is still reliable. If the kidnapee behaves. And if everything falls together the way it usually doesn’t.

Especially since everyone’s got a hidden agenda, and they’re all knocking up against each other.

And maybe up against a doomsday device.

Will Tal and Josue’s friendship survive?

Will they?

You’ll love this short space adventure with rogue AIs, robots, and mystery.


What do you think?

Let me know!

Revisiting an Old Friend

Having just moved my site, I had to go back and fix broken links to all my books on Holly Lisle’s forums … while I was doing that, I reread all my old blurbs and remembered just how fun Creeper was to write. It was my first… second completed novel (and the first shall never see the light of day, though it was great therapy at the time!)

It has magic and slavers and a reluctant heroine, and I thought I knew the ending until I wrote it and kept going.

A good reminder when I’m struggling that I might think I know the ending, but if I can just keep going I can write an even better story.

Have you discovered something similar?