Sunday, December 28, 2014


The holidays are a magical time, filled with a special joy and wonder uniquely their own. Sure, it's easy to get lost in the hectic rush preparing the "perfect" Christmas or get caught up in all the commercialism, especially if you work in the retail industry.
But when you take the time to truly savor the moment, there IS something special about this time of year.

Or at least, that's how I feel about the subject.

Other than getting to read Chuck Miller's story for the upcoming superhero anthology that will include the works of David Michelinie, Jim Beard, Erwin K. Roberts, and myself; for better or worse I didn't get anything else accomplished creatively this past week.

However, I did have a great time with my extended family and friends, so I think that is a far better achievement than anything I could of written this past week.

This week might wind up being a different story, for all I have to do is attend a New Year's Eve party and I don't even drink. So depending upon errands and housework, there are several days wide open that I might accomplish something in.

I hope you and yours had a wonderful Christmas time.
Please party responsibly this New Year's Eve, for I'm sure your loved ones would like to enjoy the pleasure of your company in 2015 and beyond.

Take care, and I'll see you around the Internet.
Lee Houston, Junior
28 December, 2014

Sunday, December 21, 2014


In all honesty, it's been a very busy week as the holidays approach.
Wrapping gifts, shopping, wrapping gifts, shopping for more wrapping supplies since I'm such a lousy gift wrapper to begin with.
Unfortunately not much accomplished on the writing front.


I did get to read a story by Erwin K. Roberts that will be in that superhero anthology with David Michelinie, Jim Beard, Chuck Miller, a few other people, and myself.

But other than finishing going over Chapter 12, not much else regarding ALPHA, BOOK 2: WAYWARD SON this past week.

My friendly neighborhood beta-proofreader has asked me to hold off sending her any more work until after the holidays, and with the first of two coming up this week, I'm not sure how much I'll get accomplished writing wise this week as it.

Then again, how often do you get to spend quiet moments with family and friends?
So with that in mind...

Hope I didn't leave any out, and I'll see you around the Internet folks.
Lee Houston, Junior
21 December, 2014

Sunday, December 14, 2014


Pretty good writing week, despite the interruptions.

On the personal front, I had to scramble to finish my Christmas shopping this past week, because I have to take at least part of tomorrow off away from writing to wrap and package everything that is going back to the family I still have living in and around my original stomping grounds. I think they'd appreciate actually getting presents on Christmas, so I have to mail early before it's too late.

Professionally, I went over all of Nancy Hansen, my friendly neighborhood beta-proofreader's notes on Chapter 11 to ALPHA, BOOK 2: WAYWARD SON. I incorporated the corrections and even came up with a few additions along the way. Well into Chapter 14, and even sent and received Chapter 12 back, but haven't had a chance to go over her notes to it yet.

But I bet everyone has a lot of questions, like:
*What planet is Alpha on at the moment?
*Will he stay or go when all is said and done?
*And what does the object on the right have to do with the second half of the novel?

Everyone will find out sometime in 2015.
Meanwhile, I better get back to work.
See you around the Internet!
Lee Houston, Junior
14 December, 2014

Sunday, December 7, 2014


Let's see how the week went.

Got a lot of Christmas shopping done on Cyber Monday and never had to leave the comfort of my own home.

Tuesday I was privileged to read a brand new short story by the legendary David Michelinie for an anthology project we are both contributing to that is scheduled for 2015.

This will be the SECOND book that we both will have stories in, for Singularity: Rise of the Post-Humans from New Babel Books is scheduled for release within the next few months.

Wednesday I finished Chapter 13 of ALPHA, BOOK 2: WAYWARD SON and started Chapter 14, which puts us in the transition period (also known as night) between the second and third day on "the mysterious planet".

Thursday, got Chapter 11 back from Nancy Hansen, my friendly neighborhood beta/proofreader who is reportedly feeling much better now, but haven't finished going over all her notes or sent her Chapter 12 yet.

And the rest of this past week has been spend dealing with family, friends, errands, and other personal matters. After all, household chores do not take care of themselves, no matter how great your appliances are.

So overall, a lot accomplished. More on the personal than writing front this past week, yet getting all that personal stuff out of the way now leaves more time in the coming week for writing.
I hope.

In any event, I better get back to work now.
See you around the Internet.
Lee Houston, Junior
7 December, 2014

Sunday, November 30, 2014


Okay, there was a little more progress than I expected there to be this past
week, considering there were more interruptions than I was originally aware of.
Besides the Thanksgiving holiday, I welcomed a new niece into the world!
Both mother and child are doing fine.

On the writing front, have finished going over Chapter 10 of ALPHA, BOOK 2: WAYWARD SON; and my friendly neighborhood beta/proofreader has Chapter 11, but the new grandmother is now fighting a cold, so I'm not sure when she will be getting to it.
Meanwhile, I am in the transition scene between Chapters 13 and 14.

As for Thanksgiving itself, had a lovely time with friends and family. Even chatted long distance with some kin back where I originally hailed from too.
Christmas shopping is far from done, but as I said in my Free Choice E-zine editorial, I refused to go out any of the "Black Friday" period because opening a store at SIX PM on Thanksgiving night was just plain ridiculous in my humble opinion.
I DID patronize some local establishments yesterday on "Small Business Saturday", and will probably do some shopping tomorrow on "Cyber Monday", but I refuse to go to any establishment that puts profits before people on a family holiday.
Your mileage/opinions may vary.

But to close out this week's Progress Report, I'd like to share with you the poem I post as part of every Black Friday editorial.



Well, back to writing now.
See you around the Internet!
Lee Houston, Junior
30 November, 2014

Sunday, November 23, 2014


Well, it's been a mixed week folks.

Had my every other year eye exam this past Tuesday. Reading glasses prescription needed a bit of tweaking, but otherwise my vision is still 20/20.
However, the exam entailed having my eyes dilated, which cost me the entire day writing wise.

Art by Marc Guerrero
But most of my time at the keyboard has been spent going back over Chapter 10 to ALPHA, BOOK 2: WAYWARD SON.
No, the chapter was not that bad.
However, my friendly neighborhood beta/proofreader wanted me to go back over my facts and make sure that all the details I used about thermal imagery were accurate.
While doing so, I found some exciting new information on the subject, which led to creating a couple of new scenes and rewriting a few others, which resulted in resubmitting the chapter back to Nancy Hansen for another review.

So you can see why I've always been pro-research.
Thermal image of a cat!
Not that my original data was wrong, but if I hadn't found the new information, I wouldn't have done the extra work and you the readers would not have a better chapter when the book comes out next year.

But what does thermal imaging have to do with superheroes?
The idea of using heat sensitive equipment to detect objects has some serious applications in the real world; like detecting lost people at night, discovering a missing person in the midst of a fire, possibly finding some forms of cancer within a patient sooner, etc.
The hotter the part, the brighter the color display on the scanner display.
So if someone were to go looking for an invisible superhero...

AH-HA! Now you get it!
The way I see it; a "plain" superhero, someone who just has a special skill like judo or archery, would probably show up on a thermal scan just like any other human being.
But someone who has actual power(s) would probably read a little higher.

Meanwhile, the plan for this week is to get as much as humanly possible done around the Thanksgiving holiday.
Monday and Tuesday should be productive. Wednesday is iffy and I'll be surprised if I accomplish anything writing wise Thursday beyond posting in my capacity as Editor-In-Chief of The Free Choice E-zine.
But the only place I intend to be on the dreaded shopping frenzy known as "Black Friday" is in a very deep conversation with my pillow until my normal wake up time that day.

So in any event, I better get back to work now.
Have a great week, HAPPY THANKSGIVING!
And I'll see you around the Internet.
Lee Houston, Junior
23 November, 2014

Sunday, November 16, 2014



While I am still unfortunately fighting the remnants of this dang cold (stuffy nose and the occasional cough), I am well into Chapter 13 of ALPHA, BOOK 2: WAYWARD SON and have gotten both Chapters 9 and 10 back from my friendly neighborhood beta/proofreader Nancy A. Hansen!

I have gone over 9 and made the appropriate corrections and tweaks, but have not completed reviewing Chapter 10 yet, before I resume working on 13.

Hope to have both 10 and 13 done this week, and will send Chapter 11 off for review while I begin work on 14.

Considering all the revisions, changes, and outright restarts this book has had; since I am technically on the fifth attempt of a first draft for the manuscript, I'm uncertain what the final chapter count will be. But I do foresee having the novel done within the next two-three months for a 2015 release date.

Meanwhile, a lot of Alpha's fans have been asking me: "Where is he?"
After I explain over extending myself on short story commitments and trying to get everything right in Book 2 since I'm laying down crucial foundations for the future of the series, they want to know where exactly the "mysterious planet" is that Alpha spends most of WAYWARD SON visiting.

Well, I've debated long and hard on whether or not to say anything about that.
After all, I certainly don't want to spoil everything and spill the proverbial beans before you've gotten a chance to read the novel.
But since you've been such a great, supportive audience to this humble scribe, I've decided to present a clue.
The "mysterious planet" is somewhere in the image below.

Identify the galaxy, and you've narrowed the search to 1 "corner" of the universe.

Okay. I've "talked" enough for one post.
Better get back to work now.
See you around the Internet!
Lee Houston, Junior
16 November, 2014

Sunday, November 9, 2014


Well folks, I wish things were at least as good as they were last time.

I did finish Chapter 12 to ALPHA, BOOK 2: WAYWARD SON and finally got Chapter 9 back from my friendly neighborhood beta/proofreader Nancy Hansen, but that's been about the only real progress this past week unfortunately.

It's cold and flu season, and despite the fact that I got my annual anti-flu shot, they still have yet to come up with an anti-cold shot so, you guessed it.

Being a heart patient after having survived both congestive heart failure and an aortic aneurism, there isn't much professionally I can take for it.
Tissues, chicken soup, orange juice, and aspirin are about it for me.
And even if it wasn't for the fact that sitting up is the only way I can safely sleep without my C(onstant) P(ositive) A(ir) P(ressure) machine, you should sleep elevated whenever fighting a cold to keep mucus and other junk from building up in your lungs.

In any event, I'm hoping to get back to work and make up for lost time this coming week.
See you around the Internet.
Lee Houston, Junior
9 November, 2014 

Tuesday, November 4, 2014


As part of National Novel month here in the United States, Tommy Hancock, the co-founder of Pro Se Productions; has asked all his contributors to share with their readers the company's mission statement for 2015 and beyond.
Considering that Pro Se is home to HUGH MONN, PRIVATE DETECTIVE and ALPHA the superhero by yours truly; I'm turning the rest of this post over to Mister Hancock.

By Tommy Hancock of Pro See Productions

Pro Se Productions, a publishing house based in Batesville, Arkansas, announced today plans for future projects and a more streamlined focus in its overall mission.

Established in 2010, Pro Se Productions entered into publishing focusing on a style of fiction that would come to be known by many as ‘New Pulp’. Inspired by the usually fast paced, plot-centric tales peopled with larger than life characters published in Pulp magazines of the early 20th Century, New Pulp as a style pays homage to classic Pulp, but also often brings a modern relevance as well as other aspects to new works. Although not the first publisher focusing on New Pulp, Pro Se quickly established itself as a leader in the niche market that existed for stories of this type.

Since its inception, Pro Se Productions has published over 150 individual titles, either in print, digitally, or both. Pro Se is known for publishing a variety of authors and artists, from previously unpublished creators to New York Times bestselling authors. The company has also established several different imprints, including author centered lines, an imprint focused on genre fiction for young readers, a nonfiction/academic imprint both studying New Pulp and offering facts and resource materials for fans and authors, and others. One of Pro Se’s newest and strongest innovations has been the development of the Pro Se Single Shot and Pro Se Single Shot Signature lines, providing digital only short fiction – stand alone stories as well as series, serialized novels, and author focused imprints – for 99 cents each.

As a New Pulp publisher, Pro Se has thrown a wide net regarding the stories it accepts and publishes, carrying representatives of multiple genres in its catalog. In doing this, Pro Se has become identified as a Publisher of Genre Fiction as well.

Pro Se Productions,” says Tommy Hancock, Partner in and Editor-in-Chief of Pro Se, “is most definitely a publisher of New Pulp. The company is also considered a Genre Fiction publisher as well. The two terms aren’t mutually exclusive. The bottom line and Pro Se’s mission from here on out is really simple. We intend to publish quality Genre Fiction, the best of the best, and a fair share of what we publish will be action adventure oriented, regardless of genre, and will appeal to not only New Pulp fans hopefully, but classic Pulp fans, heroic fiction fans, and overall just fans in general.”

Pro Se,” continues Hancock, “intends to take the type of works we publish, both past and future, not only to the audience we know exists for them, but to new fans, to markets most New Pulp or general Genre Fiction publishers have yet to tap. We’ll be focusing on genre specific markets for the books that fit in them, but we also intend to introduce fan bases that didn’t know they already enjoyed the sort of work that writers and artists who create for Pro Se produce. The diversity Pro Se already has in our library is a good platform from which to grow. And that won’t simply be done just because we want it to be. In the coming months, Pro Se will be experimenting with different ways of packaging current and future works as well as innovations in distribution and promotion. We’ve spent the last four years building a company that we are proud of. Now it’s time to show as much of the world as possible why they should be, as readers, a part of what Pro Se is doing.”

One major area of focus for Pro Se in the immediate future is the Pro Se Single Shot and Single Shot Signature lines. “The thing,” says Hancock, “about getting what a company publishes into the hands of as many fans as possible is that it has to be accessible and affordable. The Pro Se digital singles most definitely qualify in both ways and also feature some of the best writers in Genre Fiction today. We’ve also structured the lines in such a way that, within the next two months, we will be making several announcements related to various ways to access the Single Shots, potentially at even a better price than the current 99 cents on average. Much like classic Pulp magazines of the past, the Pro Se Single Shot lines have the potential to be the gateway for new fans into Genre Fiction and perhaps the strongest arm of Pro Se in the future.”

Pro Se Productions is committing to an aggressive schedule in 2015 and beyond. Known for publishing up to four books or more a month in the last 18 months, Pro Se has no plans to slow down. The company is no longer taking unsolicited submissions until January 1, 2016. The purpose of this is to focus on the myriad of works already scheduled for 2015, a lineup that is impressive, to say the least.

To list everything,” says Hancock, “would take pages and pages. We will be transparent in coming months, making multiple announcements about projects and events. Pro Se Productions is proud to say, though, that we will be bringing fans not only the best authors we already publish, but new names as well. Some they may recognize, such as John Lutz, Robert Randisi, and Richard Lee Byers, and others may be new to them, like Charlotte Knox, Raymond Masters, and Spencer Loeb. H. David Blalock will have a collection of short stories published by Pro Se Productions. Author Paul Bishop is developing a new series of crime fiction and Pro Se is proud to be the home for it. Van Allen Plexico will also have a much stronger and welcome presence with Pro Se in 2015 and beyond. New Pulp concepts, like Derrick Ferguson’s Dillon, will receive the academic treatment in our PulpStudies imprint.”
Pro Se will also continue to bring the best of classic fiction back in new stories, something that we have been doing already in our Pulp Obscura imprint. Beginning in 2015, Pro Se will have a new imprint focused on bringing classic public domain characters back to life in new stories as well as continuing to do so through Pulp Obscura. Pro Se will also continue to work with companies like Heroic Publishing and creators like Barry Reese and Gary Phillips and publish licensed works for them as well as others to be announced later.”

Most assuredly,” guarantees Hancock, “we will also continue to bring you the best authors in Genre Fiction, as we have been doing for four years. More work from Nancy Hansen, Logan L. Masterson, Kevin Rodgers, Lee Houston, Jr., and other Pro Se stalwarts is definitely on the way. Put simply, Pro Se Productions will continue to produce the best fiction in multiple genres from quality creators possible.”

For more information on this article or Pro Se in general, email Morgan McKay, Pro Se’s Director of Corporate Operations, at

To learn more about Pro Se Productions, go to Like Pro Se on Facebook at

Sunday, November 2, 2014



Since we last "talked", I have not only finished Chapter 11 to ALPHA, BOOK 2: WAYWARD SON; but I'm also within a page of finishing Chapter 12 too! Will definitely be well into Chapter 13, if not further ahead, by next weekend.
At this point in the novel, Alpha is well into his second day on the mysterious, unknown planet; whose identity I have yet to reveal.
Whether he decides to stay or leave remains to be seen, but there will be plenty of drama and action before the end of the last page of the manuscript.
Unfortunately, Chapter 9 has yet to come back from my friendly, neighborhood beta/proofreader, but you have to take the good with the bad.

Meanwhile, thanks to its loyal readership, The Free Choice E-zine had a milestone October, finishing the month at 5,644 PAGE VIEWS!
This is the first time that blog site has ever broken 5,000 page views in any given month, and its proud Editor-In-Chief (me) and the rest of the staff (myself and I) couldn't be happier.

Well, better get back to work.
See you around the Internet!
Lee Houston, Junior
2 November, 2014
And a Happy Wedding Anniversary to my parents, married on this day back in 1957!
Or in other words, they've been married 5 years longer than I've been alive!

Sunday, October 26, 2014


Time flies!
I am currently on the fifth, and hopefully last, attempt to complete the manuscript for ALPHA, BOOK 2: WAYWARD SON.
Over extending myself on short story commitments between the latter half of 2013 and a major chunk of 2014 kept putting this project on the proverbial back burner, along with hitting a couple of snags in the work itself trying for a high, yet very believable sense of realism in the manuscript; hence this being the fifth take on the novel.
But I honored all those short story promises without missing any deadlines, and am now fully concentrating on this novel!

Technically, the book is not late, since there was never a deadline assigned to ALPHA 2, but I do feel bad that this hasn't already been finished.

A motto to live by
However, I stand by my promise of "quality over quantity" and will not hack out anything just to have something out there. The readers and fans deserve the best I can humanly create each and every time I write.

With that said, since last week, I have finished Chapter 10 and am now currently on Chapter 11!
However, my friendly neighborhood beta-proofreader still hasn't had a chance to go over Chapter 9 yet. I know the reason(s) why and also know that she will get to it and her other commitments as time permits.

What will he do?
Chapter 11 is the transition period not only between the first and second acts of the novel, but also the switch between Alpha's first and second days on the "mysterious planet whose name I won't reveal, yet". Chapter 12 will fully be part of Day 2, where Alpha tries to come to terms with the world he finds himself on now, and decides whether or not he will stay.

Sorry I can't say more right now, but I'm sure you'll want to read/buy BOOK 2 when it comes out in 2015.

So I better get back to work.
See you around the Internet!
Lee Houston, Junior
26 October, 2014

Sunday, October 19, 2014



There has been progress this week on ALPHA, BOOK 2: WAYWARD SON!

Chapter 9 has been completed, although my friendly neighborhood proofreader has yet to have a chance to review it.
Meanwhile, I am working feverishly on Chapter 10, the aftermath of Alpha's heroic rescue efforts. Chapter 11 will be the transition period between Days 1 and 2. And in Chapter 12...?

Still available on
As mentioned previously, this will conclude Alpha's first day on whatever planet he's on now, and no, you will have to wait until BOOK 2 comes out in 2015 to discover where our fledgling champion is.
Have gotten plenty of guesses, especially several since BOOK 1: PROJECT ALPHA was first released.
A couple of them were correct too, but I won't spoil the mystery for the rest of his fans.

Meanwhile, The Free Choice E-zine is doing well.
As it's humble Editor-In-Chief, I'm proud to announce that we've already received over 3500+ page views from our loyal readership this month, and still have almost two full weeks left in October 2014 as I post this.
I can't help wondering where exactly we will end the month.
The E-zine has done a couple of 4000+ page view months before, but could we possibly break 5000?
Will just have to wait and see.

In any event, I better get back to work now.
Take care, and I'll see you around the Internet.
Lee Houston, Junior
19 October, 2014