Sunday, August 17, 2014


Yes, I'm proud to say there was progress this past week. Chapter 7 of ALPHA, BOOK 2: WAYWARD SON is with its beta/proofreader while I'm working on Chapter 8.
Also am currently about 3700 words into the short story that's due by Halloween, with the project having a minimum 5000 to 6500 maximum word limit. The subject matter? Here's a hint: a groovy time all in color for a dime.

But the above is intentionally a little terse so I can share the following with everyone in need:

Rest in Peace, sir.

See you around the Internet.
Lee Houston, Junior
17 August, 2014

Sunday, August 10, 2014


Yes, there is good news this week!

Have gotten Chapter 5 of the revised ALPHA, BOOK 2: WAYWARD SON back from my friendly neighborhood beta/proofreader Nancy A. Hansen, and she has Chapter 6 to review.

Chapter 7 is ready to send her after I get Chapter 6 back, and I'm working on Chapter 8 now.

But for those of you who think this just puts me where I left off before hitting the snag and the supporting cast problems that forced me to start over, I want to humbly tell everyone that is incorrect.

While going back over the last edition of the manuscript and salvaging all the original material I could, I have been also revising and adding scenes where needed.

This means that Chapter 8 to me is actually about Chapter 5 in the previous version, so at the current rate, somewhere between Chapters 11 and 12 I will be reaching the need for all new material to pick up where I left off before the rewrite began to finish the novel.

What this means to you, the readers, is that I will be presenting the publisher a much tighter, more action packed and dramatic story when I do submit the novel.

While I can guarantee that ALPHA, BOOK 2 WILL be finished in 2014, unfortunately I cannot guarantee that it will be published in 2014, and for that you have my most sincerest apologies. Yet, as I have said before, besides preferring quality over quantity, I want this manuscript to be the best I can humanly make it, for the groundwork I do in this novel will establish the foundation for Alpha series from this point onward.

Better get back to work now.
See you around the Internet.
Lee Houston, Junior
10 August, 2014

Sunday, August 3, 2014


Still writing
Well, on one hand, I'm still between Chapters 5 and 6 of ALPHA, BOOK 2: WAYWARD SON.
Why do I keep running into so many problems you ask?
Because Book 2 is crucial to the future of the series.
I am setting up some major things for Alpha, as the fledgling superhero strives to find his place in the universe; and I want everything to be just right, or at least as right as I can humanly make them.
Granted, there has to be some suspension of disbelief when you're reading (superhero) fiction, but you still have to believe a man can fly, and find a lot of the other things that will happen in the novel at least plausible.

Meanwhile, I have made some
additional progress on my last short story commitment for 2014, and have scheduled my first short story for 2015, which will feature what is perhaps the most famous detective duo of literature. But the publisher is aware that I will not be able to start work on it until after I have finished honoring my 2014 obligations. Thankfully Airship 27 works on a "no deadlines, first submissions" policy. The two short stories I have already done for them will see print within the next 365 days, I just can't say exactly when right now.

Art by Mike Fyles
And, in case you missed the announcement last week, I have a short story in THE NEW ADVENTURES OF THE MAN IN PURPLE anthology that was just released from Pro Se Press under their Pulp Obscura imprint.

On top of all of this, thanks to its loyal readership, The Free Choice E-zine closed July with 4,139 page views!
This continues the streaks of:
1000+ page views begun September 2011,
2000+ page views started September 2013,
3000+ page views for the fifth straight month,
AND our second 4,000+ page view month ever!

So I certainly have had a busy week.
Better get back to "work" now.
See you around the Internet.
Lee Houston, Junior
3 August, 2014

Wednesday, July 30, 2014


Cover Art by Mike Fyles
I have a short story in the just published anthology The New Adventures of The Man In Purple, a Pro Se Press release under their Pulp Obscura imprint.

For those unfamiliar with him, The Man In Purple is a Robin Hood like character from the 1920s originated by Johnston McCulley, famous for creating the legendary Zorro!

The disguise of a rich man named Richard Staegal and perceived as a crooked menace by the police, The Man In Purple actually robs from only the dishonest rich to assist the poor and needy.

The four stories in this volume occur after all the original material collected by Altus Press in their 2010 anthology.

Russ Anderson, Junior leads off with "The MEN In Purple", then my story has Staegal's alter ego "Captured!", but not by his long time nemesis Detective Troman. Ashley Mangin has "The Man In Purple Take A Room", while Terry Alexander helps our hero face "The Doppleganger". Finally, "Paladins of the Purple Prose" gives you a brief introduction to all the creative people involved.

In all honesty, I never knew The Man In Purple existed until this project arose on Pro Se's agenda, but Johnston McCulley was definitely ahead of his time with the concept, considering all the original material was published in 1921 issues of Detective Story Magazine, a good eight years before the infamous stock market crash of 1929 and long before the perceptions of today.

Overall, I had a great time writing my contribution, and am more than willing to revisit the character if sales warrant a sequel volume.

On behalf of the other writers and myself, we hope you enjoy The New Adventures of The Man In Purple, available in both print and e-book formats.

Sunday, July 27, 2014



Chapter 3 of ALPHA, BOOK 2: WAYWARD SON is back from my friendly beta/proofreader Nancy A. Hansen, who is now working on Chapter 4 while I continue repairing Chapter 5 and beyond after the problems I encountered.

When not actually working on A2, have also been working on my remaining short story commitment for 2014, and that will be done LONG before its October deadline!

So all is looking well on the writing front right now, but let's face facts folks, writing is not an easy job. The days when the thoughts flow free and you can't type fast enough to get them all down are great.

Is finding Waldo easier?
Yet there are also times when it seems like you are looking for the world's smallest needle in the universe's largest haystack, trying to create just the right combinations of nouns, pronouns, adjectives, verbs, adverbs, etc.; to tell a story that readers will not only enjoy and recommend to their friends, but will leave them wanting more and anxiously anticipating your next publication.

Let's not kid ourselves here folks, writing is a valid occupation with a lot of mental activity akin to being an accountant, attorney, et al.

But in the end, when you have that completely finished short story or novel ready to submit to the publisher, you can stand tall and proud over your

Well, I better get back to work.
See you around the Internet.
Lee Houston, Junior
27 July, 2014

Sunday, July 20, 2014


YES! There HAS been progress this past week!

I got about half way through writing my last (known) short story commitment for 2014 when I just couldn't stand it any more, and went back to work on ALPHA, BOOK 2: WAYWARD SON.

At this point, Chapters 1 and 2 are repaired; and I think they are much better now than they were before.
Working on Chapter 3 now. Not sure how much of the previous incarnation is salvageable, but we'll see how it goes.

As for my original problem...
Technically, I haven't replaced the two supporting cast members I "fired".
Then again, I may not do so at all.
Perhaps the problem was that I had too big of a supporting cast?
Not sure, but we shall see how it goes.
Still following the same plot, so the first half of the book will be pretty much as originally planned/written, just with two less characters, since the supporting cast didn't really come into prominence until then.
But how will that second half turn out?
Can't answer that question until I get there.

Meanwhile, The Free Choice E-zine just celebrated its 1300th post!

Better get back to work now.
See you around the Internet.
Lee Houston, Junior
20 July, 2014

Sunday, July 13, 2014


After having hit a serious snag on ALPHA, BOOK 2: WAYWARD SON last week, I decided to make this past week Short Story Week, although things didn't quite work out on that front the way I wanted them too either.

I started out working on my last short story commitment for 2014, when I
received the galley proofs for an upcoming anthology containing a story I wrote.

Just as I finished going over that material and was preparing to send my list of corrections to be addressed back to the publisher, I received the edited manuscript I wrote of another short story that asked for some revisions.

I am working on those revisions now, and will probably go back and finish that short story afterwards, despite the fact that technically it isn't due until the end of October.
Better early than late!

If you're wondering what all that means for a certain superhero, it means that Alpha is on the proverbial back burner, at least for the moment.

Art by Marc Guerrero
I do apologize to everyone who was hoping to read the sequel to PROJECT ALPHA by now. After I finished and submitted the manuscript for what became  HUGH MONN, PRIVATE DETECTIVE: CATCH A RISING STAR, I intentionally spent the rest of 2013 working on short stories, trying to start getting my name out amongst a wider audience. In the process, work on ALPHA, BOOK 2 was sporadic at best until earlier this year.

But as I have already established in this blog, writers are only human beings, no matter how great our prose are.

When ALPHA 2 is finished, I do intend to immediately start work on whatever will become HUGH MONN, BOOK 3.

In any event, The Free Choice E-zine is doing well and I do have some ideas how to fix ALPHA, BOOK 2; but I've got to finish the short stories first, so I better get back to work.

See you around the Internet.
Lee Houston, Junior
13 July, 2014