Looking Backward and Forward

Here I am at the end of another year. I have been in this position many times, looking back over the past twelve months, wondering where the time went and whether I had accomplished anything as a writer, only to find the fruits of my labors in scrap piles and aborted notebooks instead of before the world. But this year something happened. I started a blog, participated in the Mormon Lit Blitz and placed among the semi-finalists, published my Hmong-themed short story “Cocked” as an ebook, saw my short story “Moving On” published by Dialogue: a Journal of Mormon Thought, and finished a very rough draft of my wife’s memoir that I’m helping her write for my National Novel Writing Month (#NaNoWriMo) entry. I look forward to the new year. I hope to continue pursuing my goals as a writer of fiction that explores the human condition. Continue reading “Looking Backward and Forward”

Have You Read “Cocked” Yet?

Cocked Book Cover

Summer Sale! Starting tomorrow August 1st!

Take advantage of discounted prices on my unique short story, “Cocked,” about a young Hmong woman who escapes the cultural roles she was expected to play.

All the times below are Pacific Standard Time (UTC -08:00).

From midnight August 1 to 11:59 a.m. August 4, “Cocked” will be on sale at the heavily discounted price of $0.99!

From 12 p.m. August 4 to 11:59 p.m. August 7, “Cocked” will be on sale at the discounted price of $1.99!

At midnight August 8, “Cocked” will return to its original price of $2.99.

If own a Kindle device, you may also read “Cocked” for free through the Kindle Unlimited program.

Happy reading!

When you pick up your copy of “Cocked,” please pass this sale information on to someone else—a friend at home, or share it online. Word of mouth is the best reference! Also, please consider leaving a review of “Cocked” on Amazon or Goodreads.

Thank you for reading Indie authors!

Read, Write, Execute!

Photo credit: “Whites and Reds,” Anil Kumar B Bhatt, Flickr

Remember Me?

'Macro:  Pilot Precise v5 - tip' photo (c) 2010, Lisa Brewster - license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

It’s been a while since I posted last. April was a tough month for writing and blogging. I’m getting back to it now. So here’s an update on what’s been happening in my writing and reading life:

  • Published Cocked in April. It’s my unique Hmong-themed story about a nameless Hmong woman who escapes the roles her culture defines for her to play. Buy it for your Kindle today.
  • I’m working on some pieces for the Mormon Lit Blitz happening this month. One piece well-drafted, which may make it into No Sacred Grove. Another in the works. We’ll see how many I think I can submit. It’s harder than I thought to keep a story to 1,000 words. Writer’s angst!
  • I’m trying to catch up on works by contemporary and past writers of Mormon Literature. You can view what I’m currently reading in my Goodreads list at the bottom-right of this page.

Well, that’s it for now. I’ll try to get back to blogging about some great topics here in the near future.

Read, write, execute!

“Cocked” Has Flown the Coop

Cover image: Stacy Beatty

My short story “Cocked” is now available for purchase and download to your Kindle or Kindle App on Amazon.

It’s probably a thirty minute or so read, but I think it’s a one-of-a-kind story. Here’s the blurb:

How far would you go to defy cultural norms?

Each year on the 15th of May, a nameless Hmong woman rewrites the account of how she escaped the cultural roles she was expected to play. Each year the account becomes more true.

I have worked on this story for several years now, off and on. I tried to get one form or the other of it published in the traditional outlets, but to no avail. Don’t let that dissuade you from purchasing it, though. After implementing some great feedback from several beta-readers, I am pleased with the current version.

The inspiration for this story came from a Hmong folktale called “The Woodcutter, His Cock, and His Wife,” about a wife who defends her husband’s beating her. The folktale is retold in my story by the nameless Hmong woman, so I won’t repeat it here, but the “moral” is that a “good wife” should cover her husband’s sins.

While I agree that is a good principle in the broadest possible general theory, I believe that some sins or criminal acts must come to light, or be escaped from. My nameless Hmong woman certainly thinks so.

I want to thank my wife, Shoua, for encouraging me to write stories that engage issues in the Hmong community. I also want to thank Stacy Beatty for the wonderful cover design.

I hope it’s as thought-provoking a story for you as it has been for me. Enjoy!

Writing Report 3-11

I’ve decided to go back to the weekly report. So here it is.

Since my last post, I’ve been concentrating on short stories more than my novel. I did make some progress on the latter, but got side-tracked to short stories because I rooted through my old files and found several stories that I just need to clean up/re-write to prepare for publication. In the Hmong vein, they are “The Buses of Ban Vinai,” “The Ides of May,” “Zoua,” and “Disconnected,” so far. Once these are ready, I plan to include them in a collection with my title story “Cocked.” In the serious Mormon fiction (SMF) vein, I finished up “The Funeral of Sterling W. Booth,” at least a solid first draft. I also found an early draft of “Tipper Black” that I see promise in, so I’ve been working on that too. Still haven’t heard from Dialogue about my story “Moving On.” It’s been a month now. It’s so hard to WAIT in this day and age!

Here are the numbers. From the left, the columns are “Date,” “Novel,” “Shorts,” and “Totals.” (Don’t laugh at the meager tallies. ;^)

Weekly Report 3-11
This Week’s Report

As for the novel, I am excited about what I have in mind, so once I get rid of this short story hair I’ve got, I’ll concentrate on it more exclusively.

Also, I’ve been reading about indie publishing. In particular, Write. Publish. Repeat. by Sean Platt and Johnny B. Truant.

Read, write, execute!

Photo credit: istockphoto.com