Archive for the ‘Announcements / General’ Category

The rather larger-than-I-thought-it-would be volume 1 of my omnibus character bio/info file (more than 150 pages long) is all done but for the shouting (and a few miscellaneous character entries) and I already have a one-shot piece of fiction started, so I think it’s safe to say that Friday or Saturday will see the fiction flow begin again around here.

I certainly don’t see me starting the next big project on my list any time soon…which will likely (and horrifically) probably be trying to do a very rough map of Lark County (and within it, New Judah), which will also require moving some existing communities and counties in Connecticut as well as possibly extending the coastline of the state slightly farther into the Long Island Sound.


I need an enterprising mapmaker/geographer with some extra time and a great love of my work to step forward. 😉

I have been writing a lot of scenes lately. Granted, they are for future stories I’m not ready to write yet and for future chapters of “The Gathering Storm” beyond the next installment I have in progress, but the creative juices are flowing. I anticipate a new chapter of “The Gathering Storm” soon as well as a flurry of short stories. You may be seeing a lot of Patient Zero in the upcoming one-off short stories soon (it will kind of be a series, though not packaged as such). If you don’t recall who that transhuman is, you can read the story “Dividing by Zero” and can expect to find out how things went with his evil plans in that story, as well as where the rest of his travels take him.

Before I get to my next bit of fiction (probably the next chapter of “The Gathering Storm”), I thought I’d pop in here with another post for my “Ruminations” category. Or maybe it’s a “General Announcement.” Hell, let’s just say it’s both and move on.

Clearly, things get a little dark around here. I mean, Janus is a psychopathic asshole with a girlfriend who not only is criminally insane but makes other people insane, too, when she feels like it. And then there’s Tooth Fairy, whom my 21-year-old son said a year or so ago was one of the scariest characters in this world of mine, and he’s not exactly some milquetoast lightweight young man. Query, while a hero who cracks sarcastic and witty at times, is a brooding guy, not unlike Batman. Ladykiller is a vigilante who doesn’t have any problem slashing men to ribbons for an act of sexual assault. Many of the stories here deal with dark themes.

At the same time, there’s obviously levity in many of these stories and in the various chapters of “The Gathering Storm,” which will clearly be of sizable novel length by the time I finish it.

Well, I’m obviously feeling at least a tiny bit lighthearted tonight, as I’ve decided, thanks to a strange inspiration yesterday and a typo in a tweet tonight, to introduce two new characters soon, at least in passing: Plain Jane and Amateur Knight. At some point in the more distant future will come a duo of also silly inspiration (OMG and BFF…I’m pretty sure OMG will be the lead in the duo with BFF as the sidekick; it only makes sense, right?).

With stories like “Wolfman and Sparrow,” “Mild-Mannered,” “The Rule of Opposites,” “Curiosity Thrills the Cat” and others, it’s clear I have my playful side. Hell, I introduced a character (not yet fully fleshed out) in “The Gathering Storm” named the Vegan Manhunter (who is a nod to DC’s Martian Manhunter, my son’s decision to go ovo-lacto veg a couple years ago, and the vegan power guy in the film Scott Pilgrim vs. the World.)

So, what can I say about Amateur Knight and Plain Jane right now? Not much. They’re still forming in my head.

But Amateur Knight will live up to the first part of his name and be a pain in the ass for the hero community because of it, and Plain Jane will somehow dovetail with Crazy Jane because it just makes sense.

As for OMG and BFF…I’m probably going to go full-out silly on that one when I finally decide to tackle that duo, whom I’m willing to bet spend a lot of time on Twitter, Tumblr and Pinterest.

See you in the (slightly) funny papers, folks…

So, I don’t actually have the project I mentioned in my last post (“Vital” Matters) done yet, but it’s far enough along that I suppose I’d better juggle its completion with the production of some new fiction around these parts.

As such, another chapter of “The Gathering Storm” should be along this week.

But I also wanted to extend a hand of fellowship and invitation to any writers out there, be they you my faithful readers or friends or yours, or whomever.

It’s long been in the back of my mind that I’d love to have other people contribute to this universe with their own fiction. I’m hesitant to hand over any kind of access to some of my characters, if only because I have some firm thoughts about their past, present and future that I don’t want muddled, but there are so many characters I’ve only barely mentioned or that haven’t appeared at all…or whom I haven’t even thought up yet that some of you might like to create…that there is still ample opportunity for others to bring their own work into this blog.

Now, if any of you want to do this, simply contact me by email. Anything you write remains your property. Even though it would be part of my Whethermen universe, if you can find a way to profit from it through publication somewhere, more power to you (just please drop a mention of where it first appeared…pretty please?). The only caveat to that is that while you own it, by submitting it here, I pretty much reserve the right to use it myself here or elsewhere, as long as I don’t personally and directly profit from it.

Like I said, there’s a wide-open field here, as long as you stick within the “rules” of this universe as described in the various “About…” pages you can access from the top of the blog pages here.

Some ideas, though…

  • A story from the past of now-retired Fishboy (and/or Madman, The Hydra, Ocular and Lord Jurassic, who are also noted in the story Fishboy and Madman Strike Again)
  • A tale from the past of deceased Beastman (and/or the villains Mister Mimic and Reprisal, also noted in the story Fallout)
  • Tales involving such actively working supporting characters as Burlesque (The Rule of Opposites), Cheshire (mentioned in several tales, including Fresh Wounds, Old Scars and Curiosity Thrills the Cat), Buttress and Peregrine (whether individually or as a couple), Fugue, Hellfire, Mister Conviction, Ringmaster, The Vegan Manhunter, Speed Demon, Carl Beacham, etc.
  • An origin story for any character that’s only been briefly seen and for whom I haven’t started to develop a backstory in my head, such as The Vegan Manhunter, Hellfire or Speed Demon
  • Or suggest something of your own

One caveat, though, if you use any characters I’ve already mentioned (whether in passing or as main characters), please touch base with me before writing anything, as I would need to share some basic history and info to maintain continuity with other stories here.

“Vital” Matters

Posted: March 6, 2013 in Announcements / General

Should have new fiction up soon, both stand-alone and new chapters of “The Gathering Storm,” but have to take a few days (give or take) to tackle a little project. Seems that it’s taken me this long to realize (as I hit some 2.5 years of doing this blog) that I should probably have semi-detailed vital stats/bios for all recurring characters (and any who are likely to recur). That means things like height, hair and eye color, physical build, date of birth, occupation, spouse/child info, notable hobbies, etc.

I had the foresight to put all the stories in a chronological list so that I wouldn’t have continuity errors (at least not too often) in terms of how events intersect and flow, but I’m only just now realizing how much potential I have for things like getting hair color wrong, or having some hero be described as having a nice ass in one story and a flat ass in another. Most people probably wouldn’t notice these things if they did occur, but it’s the kind of prospect that makes me break out in cold sweats.

After all, I already realized that my date for when “Hippocrates Deferred” took place didn’t jibe with the age of Tooth Fairy’s daughter in “The Gathering Storm” and had to change that to about a year earlier in the timeline…something that had me kicking myself despite being an easy and minor mistake.

So, once I have those bios together in one file for easy referencing, I can get back to fiction writing.

What a Character!

Posted: February 11, 2013 in Announcements / General

This is kinda, sorta a throwaway post…but not really.

In part, I wanted to post this because I hate posting back-to-back chapters for “The Gathering Storm” without some kind of post in between them, for fear that people might not notice they are two separate chapters (and I will be posting the next chapter later today). I know, overly paranoid, but that’s me. I don’t want anyone who cares to read the ongoing story to miss anything.

But while I’m here, how about I ask you for some input?

Obviously, my stories are more about character development and character interactions than they are about super-powered folks just fighting each other (though I certainly provide my fair share of that as well). With that in mind, do you enjoy and/or find realistic the way these characters behave, speak, interact, etc.?

Is there too much “intelligent” dialogue (i.e. should there be more average/boring/dumbed-down folks)?

Given that many of the characters are non-white (and I myself am white), do they come across as they should, or do they seem like white people dipped in some brown or golden coloring?

Are there any traits/trends I use too much with characters? Or not enough?

And so on.

I know I don’t have a ton of readers yet here and I know that commenting on blogs has sort of become passe, but I would welcome and encourage comment, whether it’s praise or constructive criticism.


EDIT: And then he realizes he already *did* have a post after the last chapter and before this one. I don’t even know my own blog anymore…

If you happened to visit to read yesterday’s posting of a new chapter of “The Gathering Storm” and decided to go back to look at old chapters through the link to the archive, you may have discovered, as I did, that the archive no longer lists posts by headline and snippet, but does the full post, making it hard to navigate. Easier would be to go to the “Stores and Series List” drop down menu at the top of the page and you can get to chapters through the full list of stories.

In the meantime, I’m working on a special menu with links to each chapter of “The Gathering Storm” as well an a synopsis of each chapter. Stay tuned.

UPDATE Feb. 2, 10:10 p.m.

Now have a much easier to navigate (and more informative) list of chapters so far in “The Gathering Storm,” which can accessed from the drop-down menu for stories and series lists at the top of the page, or by clicking here.

Coming Up!

Posted: January 30, 2013 in Announcements / General

Still trying to find my full fiction-writing mojo these days, but I do have a fully written new chapter of “The Gathering Storm” waiting for a final read-through and possible minor rewrites. Hoping to have it up before the weekend, and hoping I can start writing stories to go with the many, many ideas I have floating around in my head

Sorry for the lack of new material here lately. Expecting to have some new stuff (one shots as well as new “The Gathering Storm” chapters) by Monday at the latest, and maybe even some before the weekend.

I have not forgotten you fans…small and strong group that you are!


So, just before I actually posted the latest chapter of The Gathering Storm, I managed to pretty much finish another ongoing project: The quest to illustrate pretty much all of my stories (with the exception of my thus-far-only X-rated Whethermen story; not sure if I’m going to pepper that or future racy stories with images or not).

So, now if you decide to catch up on material you haven’t read yet…or re-read some of the older stuff…you will find graphics, photos, etc. of some sorts in all of them. Not all the images capture the scenes precisely or illustrate most of the heroes and villains the way I see them in my head, but you know what? That doesn’t matter. It still looks nice, I think.

Why don’t you go through the old stuff by accessing one of my handy-dandy story menus like the chronological list or the alphabetical list and tell me what you think. Or just give yourself some distraction from your daily grind with some images that aren’t on Pinterest or Tumblr or Maxim (depending on your tastes).

Also, if you go back and read all the stories, by the time you get back I might have several new things up. Or one new thing at least, depending on how much real-life deadlines intrude.