Buy my stories
  • Wolf Warriors: The National Wolfwatcher Coalition Anthology
    Wolf Warriors: The National Wolfwatcher Coalition Anthology
    by Jonathan W. Thurston

    Contains Great Mother Wolf by Michelle Knowlton

  • People Eating People: A Cannibal Anthology
    People Eating People: A Cannibal Anthology
    by Frank Larnerd, Tony Peak, Geoff Gander, Shenoa Caroll-Bradd, Robert Hart, Nikko Lee, Kyle Yadlosky, Edward Martin III

    Contains Bouillon de Bebe by Nikko Lee

  • Valves & Vixens: Steampunk Erotica
    Valves & Vixens: Steampunk Erotica
    by Nicole Gestalt, Crysta Coburn, J.T Seate, Nikko Lee, V.C., Zak Jane Keir, Blair, Regina Kammer, Jim Lee

    Contains Boson's Mate by Nikko Lee

  • The Big Book of Bizarro
    The Big Book of Bizarro
    by Rich Bottles Jr.

    Contains Honey-Do by Nikko Lee

  • Between Love and Lust
    Between Love and Lust
    by Nikko Lee


    Print-on-demand paperback

  • Templar and Other Stories of Suspense and Terror (Vampires 2, Volume 4)
    Templar and Other Stories of Suspense and Terror (Vampires 2, Volume 4)
    by J. Troy Seate, Patricia McCarthy, Nikke Lee, Andrea Saavedra, James Hartley, Edward McKeown, Mike Graves, J.E. Gurley, Zakk Erikson, David Bernstein C.C. Blake

    Contains Pure Delight by Nikko Lee

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Writing Worry #28: Missing the mark

Story ideas are a dime a dozen. They come at random, anywhere, anytime. Sometimes it's an interesting personality that sparks an idea, other times it's a fascinating dilema or situation. Over the last year, I've let submission calls be my source of inspiration for story ideas. It's been a fun exercise that has resulted in a half dozen publications. However, not every story found a home.

One story I trunked after the first rejection letter because I knew it was fatally flawed.

Two stories have seen several rounds of re-writing and submissions only to still not find a home. One that made it passed the initial cut but failed to make the final cut is probably good to go on to another submission. Then there is my problem child submission.

The problems comes from trying to make a story out of one sentence that I absolutely fell in love with. I've tried a few times to capture the story behind that one sentence and still feel like I'm missing the mark. A couple of beta readers have made some valid points about the writing itself. Too much exposition. Too little in the moment. These were worries I had at the last submission attempt. The question becomes to re-write or trunk.

With the little one due any day now - seriously, she's over a week overdue right now - I likely won't have much mental focus or energy to write. I wonder if that one sentence is a darling that needs to be put out of its misery so that I can find the story I want to tell.


Wolf Warriors: Writing for a Charity Anthology

This has been a year of very active short story and flash fiction writing as I tried to reaffirm my belief that my stories are good enough to publish while receiving copious rejection letters for Wolf Creek and procrastinating on editing my first novel outside of the paranormal genre.

My rule for writing a short piece for submission was that I had to find the submission call intriguing in some way. Bonus points if some kind of royalties or payment was offered. Really, I was just looking for reassurance that I could write a story that someone would want to read (and think others might want to read).

I've been a Facebook follower of the National Wolfwatch Coalition for a little while now. Wolves are beautiful and interesting animals that both scare and fascinate people. They've been hunted and revered. It's hard not to find some controversy when wolves are re-introduced into a habitat they once occupied. It's pretty horrific what happens to wolves and dogs mistaken for wolves in some places. Yet these are deadly predators not pets.

When I saw the submission call for a charity anthology to raise money for the coalition, I was reminded of a wolf poem John from the EPL writing group had read a few months back - it was also accepted for publication in the anthology. Then I felt compelled to write my own wolf-inspired flash fiction.

Great Mother Wolf is a creation myth flash fiction. It was among my few submissions outside of the realm of paranormal. I wanted to capture the primal essence of these animals as well as creation on the level of the individual - as I am experiencing in my pregnancy - and on the level of the universe. It was a fun challenge, and I was thrilled it was accepted. Plus I get to say that I am a collaborate to an anthology with Catherine Valente.

I just placed my order for a paperback copy today. Net profits go to National Wolfwatch Coalition.


Black Mountain (Franklin, Maine)

Admittedly, there haven't been too many hiking posts this summer. We took less trips, half of our Wednesday hikes were rained out and hiked a lot of the same trails we hike every year. Hiking for two definitely has slowed me down. With the end of pregnancy in sight, I couldn't resist one more peak.

Last Sunday, I met up with my dog walking group (minus the dogs) to hike Black Mountain (1000 ft; trail information and map). It took about 3.5 hrs to cover 5 miles. Although we weren't out to set any records.

I was surprised at the initial steepness of the trails. At 38.5 weeks pregnant, trekking poles are now a must. I was relieved when the dirt trail transitioned to flatter rock and the views opened up.

There are a few rock scrambles on this trail and lots of mossy forest nooks. From the top, there is a 360 view of the area including MDI and a wind tower field I wasn't aware of.

This is listed as a moderate hike because of some steep sections. However, it's a pleasant hike. We saw a few people with dogs on the trail. But I was glad to have left my natural puller at home. This will probably be my last mountain hike until after Lil' Miss Bean arrives and I get back into hiking shape.


Writing Worry #27: Am I a writer if I don't write?

In some ways, this year has been a very productive writing year for me. While I haven't progressed far in my first round of editing Safe Word, I've made substantial progress toward building my bibliography by submitting short stories and flash fiction. In a matter of weeks, my life is going to take a dramatic change with the arrival of our first child.

There are plenty of authors with families, day jobs and other responsibilities that manage to carve out time to write. I know it's possible, but it could be some time before I find a new normal and identify where I can carve time from.

I've always had some trepidation about labels. Writers write. It is an action. Just like martial artists - which I used to be - train. Rock climbers climb. Cyclists cycle. What are they when they are not doing that thing that earns them that label? How much time needs to elapse before toting that label just seems silly?

I've gone through writing droughts before. Perhaps the longest was between my early years at college after completing my first attempt at a novel and graduate school when I resumed writing largely because of the support of an online roleplaying group. Since then I have had months of not writing, but the love of story craft always pulls me back in.

I have no idea what challenges the arrival of our daughter will bring or what the next year of trying to adjust to redefining my role as parent, spouse, curator, etc. will bring. Priorities are going to shift. I can't wait to get back to a more regular pattern of physical activity. I also will need to decide which hobbies can still be pursued. 

My last submission for a poetry contest will go out by the end of the month. Right now it's easier to concentrate on smaller works. I may not finish my were-bear story. I'm waiting on a few submission responses including my second publisher submission for Wolf Creek.

After that? I hope to still find some time to write now and then so I can justify calling myself a writer.


Why the sale matters to me

A few weeks ago, I posted about there being no yard stick for success in publishing. For every accomplishment there seems to be another goal just beyond an authors reach. One of my personal measures for success - at least at the level of the story - is a sale/acceptance to a publisher or editor then to a reader.

I've learned over the years that if I want people to support my published works, I need to let them know that it's out there and encourage them to buy it. A sale for an anthology, short story or novel means increased name recognition for me. If someone likes the story and tells a friend who tells a friend etc. Many authors will talk about selling a book one sale at a time. That's the reality even for a mid-list'er with a big five publisher, let alone an unknown part-time author like me.

I'm under no illusions of getting rich or being able to quit my day job. My writing and recognition factor just aren't on that level. For me, the sale is about building my audience and getting more people to just look at this website and maybe, just maybe, read one of my stories. One day I will get that print novel contract and have an audience to share it with.

There's no point in modesty when it comes to publishing.