Category Archives: NOVEL WRITING

Aeroquest… Canto 27

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Canto 27 – Blue Eggs and Ham

      The Leaping Shadowcat pulled into the orbit of White Palm just as the last explosions on the periphery of the battle site were dying out.  Sinbadh sat next to Ham in the copilot chair.

“So, Bucko, what be Questor like?  I have ne’er been in that there port.”

“It’s deep in the Imperial Interior, in the Phaetus Cluster with the systems of Phaetus, Xerxes, Perch, and the Talosian Systems I, II, and III.”

“Kinda the suburbs to Galtorr Prime?”

“Yeah, kinda.”

“Do it be easy livin’ there?”

“Yes, but…  Well, the Galtorrians house many of their slaves there.  Freaks, Unhumans, Mechanoids, Metalloids, all the basic slave races are housed in the ghettos of Questor.   It was oppressive growing up there and seeing all that injustice.”

“Me, I never had the chance to see the like.  My people were forever hunted out there beyond the borders, movin’ an’ hidin’, movin’ and hidin’.”

“You had it good.  When I was twelve, I had a friend who was a Mechanoid.   He was only ten when they reanimated him.  He would’ve never been able to grow up had he…  At school they caught me talking to him when he was supposed to be mucking out sewers.  They whipped me for talking to a slave.  They shut him down and scrapped him.  I found out, though, that he was still a person, just like me.  He told me all about his memories of his early life.  He remembered when he was still alive.  He felt love and fear just like we do.  I vowed after that that I would change the galaxy some day.  I wanted them to be treated the same as we are.”

“Ged feel the same?”

“He’s worse than me.  He’s careful and doesn’t get into trouble as much as I do, but he cares passionately about justice and morality.  He’s already done more to help the oppressed than I ever dared to even dream of.”

“Good man, that Ged.”

“You’ve no idea.  He’d give his life for an ideal.  He’d sacrifice himself to help you and me, too.”

It was then that the Madonna brought them lunch.  It was made of blue eggs from the starchickens of the planet Arriseah. They smelled foul and were served next to greasy slabs of fried bacon.  The meal was not healthy, but the planet-bound peoples of the Imperium believed the meal had the effect of a love potion.

“Madonna, my girl,” said Ham shaking his head, “I do not like blue eggs and bacon.”

The Madonna looked at him confused.  She wore a revealing flesh-wrap that effectively showed off her girlish blue figure.  Being a neotynous Nebulon, she had the physique of a fourteen-year-old human girl, even though she was a Nebulon woman of nearly thirty years in age.  Nebulons were child-like even when they achieved advanced age.

“I…  I read about your world… foods of love…”

Ham’s expression turned from one of disgust to one of sympathy.  He had grown fond of this Nebulon Princess.  He didn’t want to hurt her in any way.

“You don’t need to feed me Aphrodisiacs.  I love you without that.”

The Madonna smiled at him shyly.

“Well, says I,” said Sinbadh, “I better get to the galley and make this right.”  He took the eggs and bacon and headed out of the cockpit.  “I’ll make ye some of me best honey-plant stew.  I got a case of honey-plant roots on board for just such an occasion.  They can make ye fall in love too… with me cookin’, o’ course.”

The Madonna sat down in the copilot chair.  On the view screen, a large Pinwheel Corsair showed up.  Its weapons were visibly armed and ready to fire.

“Unknown vessel!” came a voice over the commo, “prepare to be boarded.”

“Negative, corsair.  You don’t need to board us.  We are friends of Captain Tron.  Radio him that Ham Aero is here to help.”

“Ham Aero?  Is Ged with you?”


“Oh, okay.  Don’t make any foolish moves.  We’ll escort you down to the planet.”

Together the two spacecraft rolled to the left and inserted themselves into the atmosphere of White Palm.










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Aeroquest… Nocturne One

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Nocturne One – The King and the Dark Beauty

    The infamous King of Killers was watching as Sheherazade ran out of the caverns calling for Doctor Blake.  His sour face was smudged with oil and soot from his daring rescue of the beautiful female pirate.  No one knew how much his heart ached for her.  Seven years he had watched her flirt with Elvis, Blue Death, and even Ensign Pavel.   Seven years of wishing and hoping and planning which had all come to naught.  Sooner or later one or both of them would die in combat.  Probably sooner now that Tron had made the horrible mistake of taking up with Goofy Dalgoda again.  The Goofer was a pure Jonah, poison to the corsair band.

Sheherazade found the puny little doctor by his ATV.  The scrawny medico was patching up war wounds.  He could prevent scars with Imperial medical tech, but no pirate would forgo a chance for a real battle scar.  Patching was all he was allowed to do.  Blake was both a doctor of medicine and a top notch combat pilot, but in King’s studied opinion, he was a prissy little nerd, with luminous lady’s eyes and a pencil thin… moustache.

The doctor rushed down the tunnel as soon as Sheherry relayed the order from Tron.  He was gone from view in a flash.  Not so with Sheherry.  She lingered, slouching alluringly.  The brass bikini she wore covered only the ends of ample bosoms and the areas critical to earn a PG-13 rating.  Was she conscious of the effect she had on men?  Surely she must know.

“Thanks for what you did today,” she said without looking in King’s direction.

“You know I didn’t want to lose a good pilot.  I may need you to cover my butt next time.”

“Don’t worry, King.  You have a pretty butt.  I would never let anything happen to it.”  She looked him square in the eyes and smiled evilly.


King Killer blushed.  He hoped the soot kept the red from showing.  He was not the sort known for blushing.

Sheherazade straightened herself up to her full, beautiful height and walked over to him with the slink of a leopard in her own jungle domain.

“You have orders from… erm, the boss?” he said with an uncustomary stumble.

“Maybe, but other matters have been weighing on my mind too.”

“Like what?”

“Like why you stare at me constantly but never say anything.  Like why you blush when you hear me say dirty words.  King, you are a man of action.  You are cool under fire and unshakable.  What is it about me that shakes you up?”

“Well, I, uh…”

“Could it be that you love me, but are just afraid to say the words out loud?”

“No, erm… I mean…”

She laughed.  She ran her ebony hand along the line of his jaw, and then kissed him on the lips.  It lasted longer than he would have ever expected.

“After what you did today,” she said, looking him steadily in the eye, “I realize that your feelings are no longer just an amusing detail for me.  I need you as much as you need me.  I’ve been watching how much Maggie and Tron love each other.  I need that too.  And, I know, it’s you, King.  You are the one for me.”

“What about Elvis?” asked King in his hard, cool combat voice.

“The man’s a pig.  I could never love him the way I do you.  Don’t tell me I’m wrong about you.  I’ll die if you shoot me out of the air now.”

Something changed for the first time in King’s life.  He cracked his first real smile.  He kissed her again.

“The Captain can marry us, you know.”

“Yes,” she said.  “I already asked Tron to do it for us at about twenty hundred hours this evening.”

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My Music is Better Than Yours…

My next novel, the one I have just started the first draft of, is a novel about music and dreams.  Sing Sad Songs is the title, unless I decide to change it back into Sing Sad Songs… with Clowns.


I have an insane urge to write my next novel as music.  I intend to have it narrated in first person by three different characters, none of whom are themselves the main character.  So there are three back-up singers to the lead singer who carries the tune and drives the plot forward.

And there will be death and murder in this music, as well as a touch of the H.P. Lovecraft’s Dreamlands.  And together we will transcend genre and the borders of a single novel and common sense entirely.  Can I do it?  Of course not.  Metaphors are never literally true… even if Bible thumpers claim they are, invoking God as the author.  But it will be the biggest, most complex, and difficult novel I have ever written.  The writing of it may kill me.  But if it works, it will be worth it.

Hyperbole, you say?  An oxymoron come to life?  Well, of course it is.  Believe the worst about it, and it will become true.  But if I believe the best about it…  well, we shall see what we shall see.

I mean to try.



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Aeroquest… Canto 26

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Canto 26 – The Duke with the Curly Mustache

     A quick search of three hardened underground structures that Dana Cole knew about yielded nothing but empty rooms and crying concubines from Nefaria’s harem.  It wasn’t until the densitometer in Trav’s gloved hands booped out the presence of a hidden chamber that they found something of value.

“We can cut through right here,” said Goofy pointing.

Tron used his pulse-laser as a cutting tool and made a new door in the wall.  As the slag fell inward, the adventurers found a prison room with three disheveled prisoners within.  One was a handsome, curly-haired adult with a handlebar moustache.  The other two appeared to be young boys, though one of those was a Lupin Freak and the other had pointed ears and extra-large eyes.

“Are you rebels?” asked the man with the moustache.

“Of a sort,” confessed Tron.  “We are corsair raiders, come to take the treasures of White Palm.  Who would you be?”

“You’ll not get a ransom for me, if that’s what you’re thinking.”  The man’s lantern jaw was set in a hard line.  His blue eyes flashed with resolve.

“We didn’t come here for that,” said Maggie.  “We came to get revenge on Count Nefaria, and Goofy here killed him.”

“Nefaria’s dead?” asked the man, stunned.  “I thought no one would ever catch up with that snake.”

“Please, kind sirs… madam, are any of you a medic?” asked the Lupin boy.

“I can put my hands on Doctor Courtney Blake,” said Tron.  “Why?”

“Hassan here is wounded, and his leg is infected.”

Maggie the Knife kneeled beside the wounded boy.  She gently peeled away the torn and bloody pants caked to the wound.  “Oh, gawd!” was all she could say.

“Get Courtney Blake,” Tron commanded of Sheherazade.  The dark-skinned beauty moved swiftly back up the tunnel.

“What is your name, son?” Maggie asked, looking at the white-furred dog-boy.

“I am called Sahleck Kim.  The Peri here is called Hassan the Elf.  Our friend and master is called Duke Han Ferrari.”

“Duke Ferrari?  The Duke of the planet Coventry?” asked Tron.  “I thought you said you weren’t worth any ransom.  Coventry is one of the most densely populated worlds in the Galtorr Imperium.”

“Yeah, well,” said the Duke, “they don’t want me back.  The Imperium paid Count Nefaria a hefty fee to dispose of me permanently.”

“Why would they do that?” asked Maggie.

“I’m the leader of the Revolutionary Star-World Brigade.  We have been working towards a reversal of the last Unification War, trying to split our planets away from the Galtorr Imperium.”

Tron laughed.  “Now there’s an idea whose time has come.  You have any forces on your side?”

“We have troops aplenty, but no space fleet.  The Imperium holds a lock on that.  Independent space fleets have all been decimated or incorporated into the Imperial Space Navy.”

“They haven’t decimated my fleet yet, though they’ve tried real hard,” boasted Tron.

“How many ships are in your fleet?” asked the Duke, a new fire of revolution beginning to spark up in his blue eyes.

“Tron!  The boy is going into a coma!” cried Maggie.  “Without immediate attention, he’ll die.”

The boy, a Peri Freak created by Faulkner Genetics to be a living, creative computer, was trembling and sweating as he appeared to be asleep.  Any thought of other things left both Tron and Duke Han Ferrari.

“Where’s that medic!” roared Ferrari.

“Dr. Blake!” shouted Tron into his commo dot, “Get here now, or face my wrath!”

As if by magic, the pirate doctor appeared wielding mini-computers and med-robots.  In no time the leg was amputated and the Peri saved.


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The Way Mickey’s Mind Works


If you’ve read any of the crap that Mickey wrote about before on this goofy blog, you probably already suspect that Mickey’s mind does not work like a normal mind.  The road map above is just one indicator of the weirdness of the wiring that propels Mickey on the yellow brick road to Oz and back.  He just isn’t a normal thinker.


But having a few bats in the old belfry doesn’t prevent the man from having a plan.  If you read all of Mickey’s hometown novels, you will discover he hasn’t written them in time order.  Main characters in my 2016 novel weren’t even born yet in my 2017 books.  If you look at them in chronological order rather than the order written, you will see characters growing and changing over time.  A shy kid in one novel grows into a werewolf hunter in the next.  A girl who loses her father to suicide in a novel not yet completed, learns how to love again in another novel.

Multiple Mickian stories are totally infected with fairies.  The magic little buggers are harder to get rid of than mosquitoes and are far and away more dangerous.  And there are disturbing levels of science-fiction-ness radiating through all of the stories.  How dare he think like that?  In undulating spirals instead of straight lines!  He doesn’t even use complete sentences all the time. And they used to let that odd bird teach English to middle school kids.


But there is a method to his utter madness.  He started with the simpler stories of growing up and learning about the terrors of kissing girls when you are only twelve.  And then he moved on into the darker realms of dealing with death and loss of love, the tragedy of finding true love and losing it again almost as soon as you recognize its reality.  Simple moves on to complex.  Order is restored with imagination, only to be broken down again and then restored yet again,.


And, of course, we always listen Mr. Gaiman.  He is a powerful wizard after all.  The Sandman and creator of good dreams.  So Mickey will completely ignore the fact that nobody reads his books no matter what he does or says.  And he will write another story.

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It will be called Sing Sad Songs, and it will be the most complex and difficult story that Mickey has ever written.  And it will be glorious.  It will also rip Mickey’s heart out.  And I will put that ripped-out heart back in place and make Mickey keep writing it, no matter how many times I have to wash, rinse, and repeat. This statement of goals is the very spell that will make that magic happen.  So, weird little head-map in hand, here we go on the writer’s journey once again.

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The Joys of Editing Yourself


I am now in the final phase of publishing The Bicycle-Wheel Genius.  I am merely waiting for Amazon to object to whatever ridiculously minute formatting error I may still have going.  And I once again had to publish without benefit of a beta reader or an editor of any kind.  You learn things about yourself that you really don’t want to know.

What I have learned;

  • I can’t depend on my wife to be a beta reader and comment on my work.  She tried once and told me, “Your writing is like dog poop.  It is full of weird stuff, smells bad, and is impossible to get off your shoe once you step in it.”  To be honest, I ironed out that metaphor just a bit.  She was actually quibbling about my proofreading style and basically ignored all the content of the story.  That’s the way English teachers are about prose.
  • I can too easily fall into the habit of introducing characters on a fashion model runway.  The first time the character enters the narrative I tend to give a head to toe rundown of how they look, what they are wearing, and how they have done their hair.  I know better than that, but I still do it.
  • I… use… ellipsis… marks… toooo… much…!
  • My creative spellings tend to drive the spellchecker insane.  In this novel I had trouble over the spellings of blogwopping, interbwap, and dillywhacking.  To be fair two of those words are from the language of the Tellerons, a space-faring race of frog people who happen to ineptly invade the earth.  (Oh, and the other is a euphemism  used by young boys for something very private.  Don’t tell anybody about that one.)
  •  Time travel plots can be laboriously difficult to follow through mobius-strip-like  contortions of time, space, and history.
  • Sometimes my jokes are not funny.  Seriously… that can be a problem.
  • And my characters often act on weird impulses and do things for no rhyme or reason… or rhythm either for that matter… see what I mean about ellipsis marks?  Of course, one can always explain that that is exactly how people really are.  I myself never do that.  There is always a rhyme to be snatched from the ether in the very nick of time… randomly.
  • And at the end of the novel, when I am tying up the loose ends of the plot in a Gordian Knot, I have strings left over.  Maybe enough to knit a shirt with.  So I end up picking them up and starting another novel with them.
  • It is basically heck to be a divergent thinker.  You try to make a list of things, and by the time you get to number 9, you have forgotten what the list was about, and you even forgot to number things, so you have to go back to the first one and count.  Now what was I talking about?

Oh, yeah.  I edited the book all by myself.  And now it’s done.  Time to start a new novel and make all the same mistakes over again.

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Made-Up People

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I often get criticized for talking to people who are basically invisible, probably imaginary, and definitely not real people, no matter what else they may be.

The unfinished cover picture is from the novel The Bicycle-Wheel Genius which I just finished the final rewrite and edit for.  All of the characters in that book are fictional.    Even though some of them strongly resemble the real people who inspired me to create them, they are fictional people doing fictional and sometimes impossible things.  And yet, they are all people who I have lived with as walking, talking, fictional people for many years.  Most of those people have been talking to me since the 1970’s.  I know some of them far better than any of the real people who are a part of my life.

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These, of course, are only a few of my imaginary friends.  Some I spend time with a lot.  Some I haven’t seen or heard from in quite a while.  And I do know they are not real people.  Mandy is a cartoon panda bear, and Anneliese is a living gingerbread cookie.  I do understand I made these people up in my stupid little head.

But it seems to me that the people in the world around us are really no less imaginary, ephemeral, and unreal.  Look at the current Presidentumb of the Disunited States.  He is an evil cartoon James Bond villain if there ever was one.

Animated cast of OUR CARTOON PRESIDENT. Photo: Courtesy of SHOWTIME

Animated cast of OUR CARTOON PRESIDENT. Photo: Courtesy of SHOWTIME

People in the real world create an imaginary person in their own stupid little heads, and pretend real hard that that imaginary person is really them in real life.  And of course, nobody sees anybody else in the same way that they see themselves.  Everybody thinks they are a somebody who is different from anybody else who thinks they are a somebody too, and really they are telling themselves, and each other, lies about who somebody really is, and it is all very confusing, and if you can follow this sentence, you must be a far better reader than I am a writer, because none of it really makes sense to me.  I think everybody is imaginary in some sense of the word.

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So, if you happen to see me talking to a big white rabbit-man who used to be a pet white rabbit, but got changed into a rabbit-man through futuristic genetic science and metal carrots, don’t panic and call the police.  I am just talking to another fictional character from a book I just finished writing.  And why are you looking inside my head, anyway?  There’s an awful lot of personal stuff going on in there.  Of course, you only see that because I wrote about it in this essay.  So it is not an invasion of privacy.  It is just me writing down stuff I probably should keep in my own stupid little head.  My bad.


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