CAUTION: Brainstorming session in progress

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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

DEAR K Is Out!

DEAR K is a fictional website devoted to making fantasies reality.
This initial offering by HC Brown and myself is a trilogy of erotic short stories.

Lynda wants to learn to submit.
Danielle wonders what an unrequited high school crush is doing now.
Brianne needs revenge on the man who hurt her.

What they don't know is that the brooding, coffee addicted K is about to make their deepest, and even darkest, desires come true.


Due to Noble Romance Publishing closing its doors, a number of my books are currently not available to readers. I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. Hopefully in the near future, I'll find these stories new homes.

The books not currently for sale are:

Out of the Closet
Back in the Closet
Sunday Awakening
A Dance with Bogie and Bacall
Desire Damned
Catherine's Toys - Volumes I thru IV
The Zombie with Flowers in Her Hair

Thursday, August 15, 2013

What's The Best Writing Advice You Ever Received?

For me, it came after a thirty-eight year writing hiatus, and my deciding, for whatever ridiculous reason, I needed to have a book published. Obviously, age doesn’t always pack common sense in its wrinkled baggage. I quickly gathered enough formatted rejections that I could have conducted an intense study rivaling many universities on the subtle differences utilized by the majority of recognized agents and publishers in telling writers to go away. The commonality was that none of those responses provided a clue as to what I was doing wrong.

So, I figured that since I’d been rejected by the best, and a few of the worst, why not humiliate myself further and ask one of the most notable and respected editors in the business to take a gander at my work. To my total amazement, he agreed. As a courtesy I won’t mention his name so he doesn’t start receiving a flood of similar requests; not that anyone here would do that, of course. I asked him to be frank and blunt. His frankness was a rapier; his bluntness a circus tent stake sledge hammer. His final comment was a suggestion that I write for personal pleasure and never allow anyone to see my writing.

I accepted the gauntlet thrown at my feet as a challenge and opened my eyes and mind to the fact I lacked the education, the knowledge, to climb the literary ladder. I read, and read, and read some more about how to write. But reading doesn’t garner experience. I joined several critique groups, moving on when they became too nice, too complimentary. I finally found one, ERA, that kept its membership small in order to work one on one with each other, and where the members weren’t shy about slicing and dicing, all the while sharing how I could improve my writing. My stories have since won four legitimate awards and I write a nationally distributed column for a news service. However, I’m not content with my writing, and as a result I keep practicing and working to get better at what I love.

For me, the lesson was to step back and accept that learning is a never-ending journey and no
matter how good I think I am or can be, there is and will always be another rung in the ladder a fingertip out of reach. Because of that, I view everything I read and write as part of my education, a way to hone my craft.

By the way, that editor and I still stay in contact.

Friday, August 9, 2013



Theme: “Fair and Square”

Deadline: February 15, 2014

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Used in a phrase, both words mean the same; but what if you separate them?  Use the phrase or the word(s) “fair” or “square” in your story. But don’t lose sight of what makes a story come alive: sharp characterizations, vivid imagery and artistic use of language. Winners will not be separated into categories, but entries will be compared to others within their respective genres for judging purposes.  Neatness and manuscript presentation count.

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Word Count

Up to 3,000 words.



All types of fiction (including genre) accepted: this includes general audience/mainstream; magical realism; science fiction, fantasy, light horror, mystery, romance, or cross-genres thereof; young adult and juvenile. NO picture books.  NO explicit sexual content, excessive profanity, gory violence and/or extreme horror, please.


Entry forms/fees

No entry form required.  Entry fees: Calliope member/subscribers—$5 first entry; $2 second; next 3 entries: Free.  (Write “Member” on upper right corner of title sheet.)  Non-members: $10 first entry; $5 for each additional story. Maximum: five stories per entrant. Membership special: $16, includes a one-year subscription to Calliope (4 issues) and one free entry. 

      Make checks or money orders (in U.S. Funds only) payable to: Writers’ SIG.  (We will also accept fees in mint, U.S. stamps in lieu of checks or money orders.)  To make payment via PayPal, go to, click on “send money,” and put in when it asks “which vendor.”


How to Submit/Format

Entries accepted from September 15, 2013 to February 15, 2014, and must come by regular mail. No other method will be accepted.  Use standard manuscript format: 1” margins; double-space for stories more than 500 words.  Name, address, phone number, e-mail address, word count, and title of story should be on a separate cover sheet, stapled to the manuscript in upper left corner. Print only title and page numbers on manuscript.  State “End” below last sentence of story.

      Work must be original—no reprints. Winners must retain sufficient rights for publication in the BIG Summer 2014 issue of Calliope, or their entries will be disqualified.



Although final determination depends upon the total amount of entry fees received, a minimum $50-1st Place, $25-2nd Place, and $15-3rd Place is the goal. Also, an anonymous benefactor has pledged to donate an additional $100 to the cash awards, if more than 20 entries are received.    

      Gift subscriptions to Calliope will be at the editor’s discretion.  All winners and honorable mentions will receive certificates suitable for framing. Other prizes depend on donations received.

      Receipt of entry will be acknowledged if email address or a self-addressed postcard is included; manuscripts will not be returned.

      All stories submitted will be considered for future publication.

      nInclude a SASE for the winner’s list, and receive a free mini-critique of your entry.



Winners will be notified by mail or email; state preference on cover sheet.  Formal announcement will appear in both print and electronic versions of the Summer 2014 issue, together with the First through Third Place winning stories.  Other winning stories will be published in appropriate subsequent issues. We use one-time rights only.


About The Judging

Winners will be selected by The Fiction Editor, with comments, opinions and concurrence solicited from other Calliope editors, and/or others the Fiction Editor deems appropriate.  The decision of the judge will be final; every attempt will be made to render a fair and unbiased decision.


Mail entries and fees to:

Calliope Fiction Contest

5975 W. Western Way, PMB 116Y

Tucson, AZ 85713

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For membership information and a sampling of stories visit our web site:

Calliope is a publication of The Writers' SIG of American Mensa, Ltd.