Detecting Haley

“Detecting Haley” is a new book but an older story. It is the first Walter Anchor case. “The Ghost Bride’s Gift” is the second and right now it is exclusive to and free for newsletter subscribers. This story was originally published with 9 other short stories as part of Life After: Stories of Life, Death, and the Places in Between. There is a reason for all of this. There is at least one more Walter Anchor …

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The Disappearing Neighborhood

I’ve got it on my list to do a blog post about milestones–there have been a bunch so far this year–but this is a big one and I can’t wait. My story, “The Disappearing Neighborhood,” is out in Pulphouse Fiction Magazine: Issue #6! This is a big deal for a couple of reasons. First, it is my first professional sale. While I’ve been in a bunch of anthologies and gotten paid for a fair number …

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Self-Rescuing Damsels

I’m really excited to have my story, “Ashna’s Heart” as part of Swords, Sorcery, & Self-Rescuing Damsels. This is the story of a fire mage named Kyla who is willing do anything and everything to save her home and her people. But to do so, she must leave her home behind and set out in search of her mentor who stole Ashna’s Heart, which is the only thing that can quiet the volcano at the …

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Camp Activities Specialist Bulletin #3

Star Date: March 30, 2019 Greetings Readers! Wow this month has flown by! It started with Robert being at a writer’s conference in Las Vegas. He’s going talk more about that, but I must say how proud I am of his accomplishments there. His stories were well received, and he gained so much insight as to what editors look for before they buy a story for professional publication. He returned from the Vegas experience with …

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Vegas, Baby!

In early March, I spent a week in Las Vegas at a workshop all about writing for anthologies and getting to understand how editors choose stories. I was one of 50 writers who wrote a bunch of stories, and then we read everyone’s stories to get the editor’s eye view of things (that was 1.3 million words!) and then the editors put together nine anthologies and talked about all 300 stories while we all watched. …

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Stories I Love: December 2018

Well, we are at the end of a year of Stories I Love. It was a worthwhile experiment for me. I read 367 stories, most of them very good, many of them astoundingly good, and I learned a lot about what impresses me as a reader and what kind of writer I want to be. All of these stories that I read, an editor paid for. That means they loved them. And what is clear …

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Saturday Stories: Shogun Dreams

There is nothing remarkable at all about Jeffery Smith. Not his name, not his job, not even the cancer that is threatening his life. But when his disease inspires him to start living his life instead of just dreaming it, the most remarkable things happen. Shogun Dreams (Excerpt) Robert J. McCarter Jeffery Smith was a wholly unremarkable man. He was neither old, nor young; neither short, nor tall; neither skinny, nor fat, although he did …

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Ten Years of Writing

Ten years ago, right about now, in the lull between Christmas and New Years, something magical happened to me. There were no work deadlines, no personal emergencies and I was reading Ursula Le Guin’s collection of essays on fantasy and science fiction, The Language of the Night. One of the essays hit home for me and made clear what I love so much about speculative fiction (science fiction and fantasy). The power it has to boldly …

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Stories I Love: November 2018

I’m discovering something interesting about the stories I love. There are a few common qualities: Immersive. Beautiful language is nice, but what I want is a story that pulls me in and takes me somewhere else. Strong ending. I need some plot. I need things to happen. And I need that to resolve in some way at the end. I’ve read lots of stories that are gorgeously written but spend all their words on description …

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Saturday Stories: The Free Story Roundup

If you are in the US, this is Thanksgiving weekend and I imagine you are spending time with family and enjoying some tasty leftovers. And even if you are not in the US, I hope you are taking time to nourish yourself in this crazy world with friends, family, and good food (and, yes, I know there is a ton of shopping going one, but don’t forget the friends and food). In any case, I’ve …

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