Sunday, August 2, 2015


Here's where things stand at the moment on ALPHA, BOOK 2: WAYWARD SON...

I have finished writing Chapters 16 and 17!
However, because of stuff that she has to deal with, my friendly neighborhood beta/proofreader has yet to review either of them.

Meanwhile, I am working on Chapter 18.
How many chapters remain to be written is uncertain.
There are points I still want to cover before Book 2 concludes, so I won't be surprised if there is a Chapter 19, but whether or not the count reaches 20 (or beyond) remains to be seen.

As I've said before, while I do plot, my plots are not completely set in stone.
I like having the flexibility of including new ideas when they come along that go great with whatever I'm writing at the moment, along with the freedom to toss whatever doesn't work if necessary.
After all, technically this is the fifth attempt at completing the manuscript for ALPHA, BOOK 2: WAYWARD SON.

Writer's block, missing that infamous left turn at Albuquerque, call it what you will. As you can see by the graphic on the right, a LOT goes into the creation of any novel or short story.

Although the readers have the final judgement, I will not submit any manuscript until I have done the best I am humanly capable of.
But this time everything is going great and the end is in sight!

Gotta get back to writing now.
See you around the Internet.
Lee Houston, Junior
2 August, 2015

Sunday, July 26, 2015


Work is proceeding well on the manuscript for what will be ALPHA, BOOK 2: WAYWARD SON.

Sixteen complete chapters at 52,000+ words.
Not sure what the final chapter and word counts will be at the moment, let alone what else I can say right now without risking major spoiler alerts, so I better get back to writing now.

See you around the Internet.
Lee Houston, Junior
26 July, 2015

Sunday, July 19, 2015


Hard at work on the concluding chapters to ALPHA, BOOK 2: WAYWARD SON.

Granted, haven't started sending them to my friendly neighborhood beta/proofreader yet, but that time is coming.

All the whys and wherefores as to all the hard work and detours/delays that have affected the novel are well documented in previous Progress Reports on this blog.

Think Labor Day weekend I might be typing "THE END" at the bottom of the last page of the manuscript, but that date isn't set in stone. Who knows what else might happen between now and then?

Meanwhile, better get back to writing.
See you around the Internet.
Lee Houston, Junior
19 July, 2015

Monday, July 13, 2015


Between the more recent Progress Reports I've posted and the actual work I've done on the book, it's occurred to me that it's been a mighty long time since I've actually posted any teasers from the manuscript.

Therefore, the following excerpt is from much further along in ALPHA, BOOK 2: WAYWARD SON than any previous Work In Progress post.


When Alpha first opened the side door, he was surprised to see the small group of beings in a helpless state. They were all bond and gagged against their will. Their eyes started to light up with hope when they spotted him, regardless of how oddly their rescuer was dressed. He wanted to pause and set them free, but was uncertain how much time remained to complete his mission. Leaving the chamber door open as he turned away was the best compromise available.

At the end of the corridor was another door identical to the one he was forced to slice open. Sensing others outside the barrier, Alpha floated invisibly above the main control room's rear portal, his back against the ceiling. He then created a minute force shield, and manipulated it with just a thought against the entrance way’s control panel to attempt remotely opening the threshold. A few moments of trial and error finally resulted in success as the small globe pushed the proper buttons to unseal the door.

As the portal slid open, several armed guards rushed in. Alpha waited until the last one passed underneath him before silently flying out of the room.

Sunday, July 12, 2015



I have finally left Anthology Avenue, for now.
Submitted my story for the Legends of New Pulp, Tommy Hancock benefit anthology to Airship 27 and A27 Captain Ron Fortier absolutely LOVED IT!

It's great to have feedback from a publisher, let alone such enthusiastic comments. I feel like a rookie baseball play who hit a home run during his very first at bat in the majors!

I will be returning to Anthology Avenue later this year, when I honor my original two short story commitments for 2015. Thankfully neither of them have actual deadlines attached but (barring anything unforeseen) I should have both stories written and submitted before the winter holidays.

Marc Guerrero art
Meanwhile, am back at work on ALPHA, BOOK 2: WAYWARD SON.
Want to finish this manuscript before I tackle anything else.
Between seriously over extending myself with short story commitments in 2014 (although I did meet EVERY deadline!) and the fact that I hit a couple of dead ends and was forced to restart a couple of times on the novel, I owe it to the fans of this fledgling superhero to finish chronicling his second adventure and send it on to the publisher.

We've discussed the above and the following before, but it all bears repeating.
I know there must be some suspension of disbelief in (superhero) fiction, but such works must also have some basis in reality.
You want to believe that a man can fly, and create force shields, etc.
But if he starts doing something really impossible, like juggling planets one handed; then where's the conflict, action, drama, adventure, struggle to survive and thrive, etc?

I'm striving for such a degree of realism in ALPHA 2 not only for the reason(s) stated above, but also because WAYWARD SON lays the foundation for the future of the series. Book 1: Project Alpha was the origin story and first adventure.
Book 2 basically answers the question: "What next?"

So to answer that question, I better get back to writing.
See you around the Internet.
Lee Houston, Junior
12 July, 2015

Sunday, July 5, 2015


I hope that everyone who celebrated America's Independence yesterday did so safely and had a great time.

While I did manage to get some work done on ALPHA, BOOK 2: WAYWARD SON this past week, most of my creative time was spent on Anthology Avenue.

I'm almost finished with the short story for the Tommy Hancock Benefit anthology to be released from Airship 27, but something is just not quite right with it in my opinion, so I want to tweak it a little more and hope to get the tale as perfect as humanly possible and turned in later this week.

Otherwise, back to ALPHA 2, barring anything unforeseen.

Take care, and see you around the Internet!
Lee Houston, Junior
5 July, 2015

Sunday, June 28, 2015


I'm still on Anthology Avenue this week.

For all intents and purposes, my work on the SUPER SWINGIN' HERO 1968 SPECIAL is done, leaving the rest up to James Palmer at Mechanoid Press.
Jim Beard and I gathered ten titanic writers (including our humble selves) to contribute to this anthology that will thrill comic book and prose readers alike.
More on this as it gets closer to a release date.

Meanwhile, I got to help out my friendly neighborhood beta/proofreader Nancy Hansen with the plot to one of the stories on an anthology she is working on. It's nice to have a writing buddy that you go to and bounce ideas off of when needed.
Of course, the ideas that weren't fully worked out do make a bit of a mess when they're thrown at you.
Then there is my contribution to the Tommy Hancock benefit anthology at Airship 27. Because of needing to work on the 1968 SPECIAL, that story got set aside for a bit, but it should be finished this week.

Overall, pretty active writing wise.
Hoping to have the upcoming Independence Day weekend free and clear (except for taking care of my duties as Editor-In-Chief of The Free Choice E-zine), and then by Monday of next week, return to ALPHA, BOOK 2: WAYWARD SON and finish that project up.

After that?
We'll see.
But meanwhile, I'll see you around the Internet.
Lee Houston, Junior
28 June, 2015