Camp Activities Specialist Bulletin #1

Star Date: January 26, 2019 Greetings Readers! I’m here to let you know that Robert has completed the first Campfire Tale, and what a story it is! It’s on the way to market now, and I’ll keep you updated as to when and where you will be able to read it. The title is “The Pearce Shoot Out“. Suffice to say it’s a western with a bit of a sci-fi twist. Robert did a lot …

Read moreCamp Activities Specialist Bulletin #1

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 …

Read moreStories I Love: December 2018

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 …

Read moreSaturday Stories: Shogun Dreams

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 …

Read moreTen Years of Writing

Campfire Tales

Aleia O’Reilly, here. I’m Robert’s wife and recently designated “Camp Activities Specialist,” here to introduce Campfire Tales. This idea has developed over years of Robert offering raffle and silent auction items for local fundraisers. Winners were able to join the creative process by naming characters before the story was written. . . Such fun! Blinky, Leila, and Father Finnegan are a few so named. Most recently Robert offered a gift card in which the auction …

Read moreCampfire Tales

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 …

Read moreStories I Love: November 2018

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 …

Read moreSaturday Stories: The Free Story Roundup

Stories I Love: October 2018

I was lucky enough this year to attend the Austin Film Festival, which is about film, but is focused on writers. I went to four days of an amazing conference listening to and meeting some successful screen writers and podcasters. It’s a different world, but it’s still storytelling and I learned a lot I bring it up because I really wanted to hit the story-a-day goal this month and knew I wouldn’t have time while …

Read moreStories I Love: October 2018

Saturday Stories: A Postscript for Elizabeth

Hugh is a holographic surrogate, one he created of himself while he was alive, while he was dying. Now he has to find a way to help his grieving wife, Elizabeth, find a way to get on with her life. This story was a semi-finalist in the Writers of the Future Contest in 2013 A Postscript for Elizabeth (Excerpt) Robert J. McCarter Day 1 “Hello, Elizabeth,” I said as you dropped the bag of groceries …

Read moreSaturday Stories: A Postscript for Elizabeth

Stories I Love: September 2018

Well, September was not like last month, I actually got some short stories read, but not up to the old pace. Earlier in the challenge I worked well ahead of that one story per day pace, but with August off and September at half speed, I’ve really got to step it up. Streaks have power (like when I never missed a day) and losing the streak has made it hard to get things going again. …

Read moreStories I Love: September 2018

Join my newsletter and get a free ebook!