Like so many others, I made my first serious go of writing with an attempt at National Novel Writing Month, after various fits and starts through my life. I’d been reading science fiction and fantasy constantly since I was a small child (thank you, Animorphs – and also my parents, for naming me after a fantasy character).

I didn’t win the first year, but I got enough of a start that I was able to keep it up. In 2019, I did win – and then finished the draft of the first one. I also started going to local writing meetups, which led to meeting an incredible group of people that I am presently blessed to have as my critique group.

And all of that has resulted in resulted in…



2018 NaNo Attempt – Draft 2 Complete, in Editing

“If Charles had ever seen a shark, he’d have known exactly how to describe the man.”

As a child, Charles witnessed a bloody clash between mystically empowered martial artists – Aether Cultivators, and swore to achieve that same power. After years as a guard in service to House Malthus with little progress in learning their abilities, though, he’s about ready to give up. Then he nearly dies as a standerby in another fight – this time, over a mystical Inheritance that could let him achieve his dream. If trying to hold onto it doesn’t get him killed first.

Mantra is a post-apocalyptic martial arts fantasy novel, conceived as a love letter to the classic pulp adventures I grew up on, grabbed from my parent’s basement shelves – plus a few dashes of modern progression fantasy elements, and my own musings on martial arts after a lifetime dabbling in different systems.

Critique Group says: “We love Pennywhistle.” “Brunha is alive.” “When. Do We See. Eric!?”


2019 NaNo Winner – Draft 1 Complete, in dire need of editing

“We don’t all get fucking shiny armor, and goddamn magic powers, and, and – and twee little magical girl transformation sequences to help us navigate your goddamn hellscape, mister high and knighty!”

Between his three shitty jobs (well, one of them he likes) and his struggles with trigonometry at the local community college, Torin was already having a bad week. Waking up to a mirror telling him he’s ‘abhorrent’ and must agree to some unnamed service or ‘be extinguished’ didn’t make it better. Finding out the service was being forced to hunt deadly monsters at night for even lousier pay than his fast food job? Discovering his inhuman nature gives him very little in the way of magic powers or armor and just might be driving him insane? Torin is in for the worst year of his life. So far.

Veil.EXE is a weird mix of The Dresden Files and Gantz, with a dash of Sailor Moon and a whole lot of NaNoWriMo-induced fever dreams. The setting is both absolutely bizarre and extremely dark, and the current draft presents massive tonal whiplash – but I think there’s a seed of something in here.

Critique group says: “Weirdly sexual, but not sexy.” “Meany-head! Meany-head!”


2020 NaNo Attempt – Draft 1 in progress, on pause.

“I stand in defense of life and love; My Spirit is warmed by the heat of the sun. The Queen of Beauty shields my heart from despair; I bid the weary shelter at my bosom. Frozen hearts thaw in the heat of the Tequila Sunrise! Startender Schedar!”

Jane Blonde is in her first quarter at the University of Washington, and having a little trouble getting out of her shell, at least according to her best friend. And also according to her roommate, who she has a massive crush on. So she does what anyone would do, and lets her friend drag her to a Thirsty Thursday party, where she promptly develops a whole bunch of new crushes on equally beautiful women, drinks way too much punch, gets black out drunk, and follows the mystical lure of a vengeful ghost through a crack in reality, where it attempts to eat her before being stopped by a team of magical guardians, chosen by the stars to defeat evil spirits with the power of high-proof spirits. Y’know. College stuff.

Startenders is Sailor Moon meets How to Drink. It’s a fun, goofy, absolutely unapologetic college-aged magical girl urban fantasy.

Critique group says: “I look forward to reading this.”

House of Rouges (Mantra Vol. 2)

2021 NaNo Winner – Draft 1 in progress

This is the sequel to Mantra, hopefully to complete the story. It branches out from the tight focus on Charles’ personal traumas, martial arts, and struggles; diving into the stories of other characters from the first book as they all turn to face the villain of the piece – a sleazy record executive from before the world ended, imbued with incredible magical powers and absolutely no conscience or limit to his greed.

Short Fiction