Nov 02

Quirky tongue in cheek Sci Fi. With leprechauns. :-)

Science Fiction is not what I normally write, but sometimes an idea takes hold of me and demands to be written. I originally published this idea as a short story, but then it demanded to be turned into a novel. So here it is, just published last night. It is available on Kindle for now, but if it does well, I will add it to all the other retailers, and make a paperback. I hope there are some people out there who appreciate my strange sense of humor.

Earthaways cover Kindle

Click on this link to see the book on the Amazon Kindle store.

In this quirky tongue in cheek science fiction novel observers from outer space were left behind to monitor our planet tens of thousands of years ago. They live in hiding, watching and waiting for humans to develop. They have been called leprechauns, fairies, elves, or one of hundreds of other names. And humans have never been the smartest creatures on the planet.

But the secret is beginning to fray.  Suzanne, a primatologist at the Philadelphia Zoo, has published a book proposing that many creatures of legend are based on sightings of a real species of secretive intelligent primates.  Denzel and Madonna, the Earth nicknames of a pair of adolescent leps longing to be part of Earth society, are beginning to bend the rules and restrictions that govern their lives. Two intelligent species on Earth are about to meet.

(Warning: Contains adult material — if you are an adult leprechaun)

Mar 01

Earthaways: First Wink

Released just in time for Saint Patrick’s Day.  A science fiction short story with leprechauns.


cover compressed  (Available on Kindle)

Jan 22

The Accident at 13th and Jefferson – Book 1 only

The Accident at 13th and Jefferson – Book 1 only

is now free on Amazon, and most other e-book retailers. Try the first of the three parallel novels for FREE!!!


Happy Reading!!

Dec 22

Review of The Accident at 13th and Jefferson

This review is great, and I just wanted to share it.  From Michigantrumpet at LibraryThing

We’ve all had those ‘What if … ‘ moments: “What if I’d gone through that traffic light instead of waiting?” “What if I’d been three further ahead in the line for lottery tickets?” An infinitesimal change in circumstances with life changing consequences. The literary conceit of ‘The Accident at 13th and Jefferson’ delightfully explores just that. Three different takes on the same event — a rock thrown up by a careening motorcycle strikes and kills a bystander. A boy’s birthday party has just ended. He and his parents are walking his best friend and the friend’s mother through the front yard to their home next door. In the first tale, it is the boy’s mother who dies, leaving her husband struggling to find the parenting skills he’d relied upon her to provide. In the next, it is the father who dies, leaving the boy to find a male role model in his unreliable and criminal uncle. In the final story, the boy himself is struck down, leaving his parents and best friend to each struggle with their grief. That the best friend doesn’t know he is the son of a presidential contender spices up the mix even more.
I liked that more is revealed about each character as the book progressed, and appreciated the short coda at the end in which everyone is spared. Carlton’s dialogue is well written and her plot moves along nicely, while still allowing for descriptive character development. Having lost a parent as a young girl, I was concerned this would be an emotionally difficult book to read. My trepidation was unwarranted — the characters’ grief felt utterly genuine but not overdone. Indeed, overall it was an uplifting book and a paean to the strength of love and friendship. ( )

Nov 27

Absolutely off-topic

This has nothing to do with writing, but it’s too pretty not to share.  The first snow of the season is always so beautiful

Nov 06

In honor of election night in America – excerpt from Book 3 of The Accident at 13th and Jefferson

“ELECTION NIGHT IN AMERICA” was emblazoned across the top of the TV set.  All of the usual political correspondents, and TV personalities were atwitter, and getting punch drunk as their dawn to however- long-it-takes talkathon intensified into the after supper hours.  There were entrance polls and exit polls and on the scene interviews with voters at their polling places.  There were lots and lots of reporters interviewing each other.  There were screaming graphics after screaming graphics after more screaming graphics being thrown around like beach balls of the nation sorted by states, counties, districts, demographic groups and past election results.  The net result of millions of words and trillions of gigabytes of lightening fast communication was that as of seven o clock, David Wells and Brian Taspeli were tied.

In a hotel suite in Denver, David, Elaine and Max got their information the same way everyone else did, via the news network.  Kyle and two dozen excited staffers milled about talking, texting and twitting with a network stationed in key districts around the country.

When the polls closed on the east coast, Pennsylvania came into the Wells column, due in part to the home state of Elaine and Max effect.

There were still too few districts reporting yet in Florida to make any predictions.  Most of the other eastern states went as they always did.  The team on the news network all talked about the criticality of Florida.  Wells had to win either Florida or Ohio, or both according to their calculations.  “No shit Sherlock,” Kyle said to the television before he switched right back to juggling multiple electronic devices.  Kyle and the team in the room had other sources in Florida, but they were also indicating that it was still too close to call.

Then Indiana went the other way, to Taspeli.  Electoral votes were slightly in Taspeli’s favor at that point, but the night was still young.

“Jesus,” said Elaine.  “How can you stand it?  The tension is enough to snap a person like a dry twig.”

“You control your breathing,” said David.

“Oh,” said Elaine.  She began to try it and it helped.

Kyle came over to gleefully tell Wells that he was leading in one of the most important districts in Florida according to the exit polls.  David nodded.  “Good,” he said, but he knew that it was but one of dozens of pieces that had to fall into place.

Max was furiously drumming his fingers on the arm of the couch and David reached across him to close his hand over Max’s.  Max said, “Sorry.”

“It’s OK,” said David.  Max got up and got busy snooping on what all the staffers were doing.  His parents did not try to stop him.

Missouri was called.  Another state for Wells.  He was now ahead in Electoral votes.  Max jumped and hooted, and a lot of the people in the room did the same.  David couldn’t sit still anymore, even though he preferred to stay with Elaine and he began to circulate around the room.  Elaine stayed on the couch.  The leather felt like solid ground and the rest of the commotion felt like the inside of a thunderstorm, half a mile up.

Ohio stubbornly refused to yield any relevant information for nearly an hour, and by then her husband had won most of the Midwest as expected.  Most of the West coast was already projected, by the strategists, to go to Taspeli although the assemblage of important personages on the TV couldn’t call it until the polls closed in another hour.

The room erupted into cheers when Florida was called solidly for David Wells.  He now had a clear lead, unless Ohio went to Taspeli, and then it would be very close and probably come down to Colorado and New Mexico.

“There are voters right outside this hotel,” said Kyle.  “You might still swing a few more votes,” referring to Colorado.

“I’ve done everything I can do,” said David.  “It’s in the voters hands now.”  He came back to sit with Elaine again, and Max followed him.

By the time the polls closed on the West Coast, Wells home state of Colorado had gone for him, which was by no means a foregone conclusion, and New Mexico had gone for Taspeli.  No one worried about Hawaii or Alaska since they traditionally cancelled each other out.  It all came down to Ohio.  For another half hour, Ohio was a patchwork of mixed results.

“Somewhere in Ohio there is one waitress who is going to decide this election,” said Elaine.  “I hope she knows what she’s doing.”

“Could be,” said David.  “That’s America.”

Kyle yelled to the room that they had Ohio seconds before the TV announcer said, “We can now call the winner of the Presidential Election.”

David was bent with his hands on his thighs as though he was about to spring at the TV.  Elaine was on her way to the bar to get a drink and spun around.  Max was jumping around making the touchdown signal.

Oct 27

Hurricane Sandy

We are in the “you’re screwed” bubble.  Wish us luck.

Oct 15

A question to consider about The Accident at 13th and Jefferson

Is it literary if it evokes a time and places that are ordinary, at least to current middle class Americans?  It is definitely not genre fiction.  The first book is a light romantic comedy for the most part.  The second book is a tragic family drama, but not presented in the melodramatic fashion, and the third book takes on the flavor of American politics without taking a position.  The entire point, really, is to show how the same people can be different in different circumstances and contexts.  An entirely literary idea, I would say, but well integrated into the strong plot in each book.  Does that make it unliterary?.  I also believe that the author should not get in the way of the story just to show off her language skills.  Does that make it unliterary?  I leave that to you to decide.

Sep 25

THE ACCIDENT AT 13th AND JEFFERSON is now available on Smashwords

Use the link on the right to go directly to the book page on the Smashwords website and order an e-book for nearly any device.  Smashwords converts the file into multiple formats and also features a large free sample.  THE ACCIDENT AT 13th AND JEFFERSON should begin to show up in most of the major e-book catalogs (Apple store and so forth) in about a week.

Sep 17

How to create authentic characters

How to create authentic characters

Characters based on other fictional characters are faded copies of other copies.  Go back to the source.  Base your characters on your own observations about people.  How they behave, how they think, what motivates them, what changes them, and how they interact with each other.  It’s much more difficult that way, but no one said that fiction writing would be easy.  Authentic characters are not copies of specific individuals, but they are based on the accumulated knowledge that comes from having tried to put yourself in many another guy’s moccasins, over and over and over throughout your life.  Unless, of course, you have never done that, in which case we should be having an entirely different conversation.

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