Sunday, March 30, 2014


With the end of March nigh, 2014 is almost a quarter over!
So I thought it best to pause and take note of everything I have accomplished over the last three months, and what lies ahead.

*At the end of 2013, I committed to two short stories this year that (at the time) had no scheduled deadlines.
Since that promise, the publisher asked me to finish the first one, which I did. The other is about ¾ finished, and needs a final proofreading review before being submitted.
The Singularity story I've previously bragged about was written in the latter half of 2013, and its anthology should be out sometime later this year.

*As reported last week, I have agreed to do a short story for a new anthology project that I am very excited about.
I know what I want to do, and have even started work on it. The story technically isn't due until October, but the publisher will get it long before then.

Cover art by Marc Guerrero
As of this progress report, I have completed six chapters and am in the middle of Chapter 7.
Considering this project has been mentioned in practically every progress report since I started FILLING BLANK SPACES, why is this taking so long, you ask?
Super-heroic tales in straight prose (no images) are a lot harder to write than
you might think. Compared to television, movies, and comic books; everything is depended strictly upon the written word. With only the one previous book in the series, I am basically continuing where I left off at the end of PROJECT ALPHA, and I want every word to be as perfect as humanly possible.

You will note that there is no subtitle yet for the third book in this series about everybody's favorite private detective plying his trade on another planet in the far flung future.
Part of the reason for this is because what I had originally planned to do in Book 3 has been pushed back to Book 4, because the fourth book will be a real game changer for Hugh and company, and I wanted to lay some more ground work in Book 3 than just suddenly spring everything on you unsuspecting readers.
Work on this novel will begin just as soon as ALPHA, BOOK 2 is submitted and the short stories are done.

And of course there is always my Editor-In-Chief duties at The Free Choice E-zine, where we just celebrated our very first month of over 4000+ page views!

So what does the future hold?

I honestly don't know.

Barring anything unforeseen, I should be finished with Alpha and the short stories before the end of this summer, and working on HUGH 3 sometime after Labor Day at the latest.

Time is a precious commodity that us mere Humans never seem to have enough of. And this humble scribe, along with the rest of the world, also has to deal with the other day to day trappings of life too. Other projects and ideas are always welcomed, but until one of those arises, I know what I'm working on in the meantime.

See you around the Internet!
Lee Houston, Junior
30 March, 2014

Sunday, March 23, 2014


Hello once again everyone.
Busy week for me.

As reported last time, I had appointments with both my cardiologist and regular doctor last week. The dentist had to reschedule to later this April.
I'm happy to report that I'm as healthy as a 52 year old man with a heart condition can be.

The anthology that I teased about last week has been given the green light by its publisher! So that means I get to write the short story I pitched!
Sorry I can't say more about it right now, but I can guarantee that once it's published, everyone who reads it will have a groovy time, yeah baby!

I also completed another chapter of ALPHA, BOOK 2: WAYWARD SON last week too! I'm now about 23,000 words into the manuscript. The novel is fully plotted, but anyone who has ever been in my position can tell you that creating anything worthwhile takes time. Quality over quantity is my motto!

And, as always, there is also my Editor-In-Chief duties at The Free Choice E-zine too.

As for the week ahead? More writing, and some proofreading for my friend Nancy Hansen.

Well, there's no time or point in resting on my laurels, or hardies.
Better get back to work.

See you around the Internet!
Lee Houston, Junior
23 March, 2014

Sunday, March 16, 2014


Sadly, not sugar free
Well, I survived Pi Day (March 14, 03.14), although I couldn't find a bakery with a sugar free chocolate meringue; and the infamous Ides of March (March 15th).

Got a lot of work done on a variety of stuff.
Did some prelim work on a couple of new projects that I want to get to this year (including some plotting on what will be the third HUGH MONN, PRIVATE DETECTIVE book), and even made progress on ALPHA, BOOK 2: WAYWARD SON.

There is even a potential new short story anthology on the horizon that at the moment is only in the initial planning stages. I hope it comes to pass, for I am excited about the concept behind the book and really want to write the story I pitched.

And of course, there are always my responsibilities as the Editor-In-Chief of The Free Choice E-zine.

As to the week ahead?
At the moment, I have absolutely no idea how much creative work will be accomplished over the next few days.
I have a cardiologist appointment on Monday, a regular doctor's appointment on Tuesday, and my annual dental exam on Wednesday.
Busy week, huh?

For those who came in late, I have SURVIVED both congestive heart failure and an aortic aneurysm!

Life has been rough at times, and my health isn't as great as the average 52 year old man's might be, but on the bright side, I am still alive and kicking!

Writing is something I have wanted to do since at least junior high school, if not earlier in life.
Being a writer not only brings me pleasure and gives me a creative outlet to express myself, but it also seems to be the only occupation anyone is willing to consider me for.

Okay, I've spent enough time on the soap box.
Take care and I'll see you around the Internet.

Lee Houston, Junior
16 March, 2014

Monday, March 10, 2014


As told in yesterday's Progress Report, I can now reveal more details about the forthcoming anthology: SINGULARITY, RISE OF THE POST-HUMANS!

The book is to be published sometime later this year by

And concept creator Jamie Ramos has released the following background information about the series that all the participating contributors can share with their fans...

"In the year 2030, the technological Singularity event encompassed the world. Man no longer controlled the evolving super-sciences. Seed A.I. groups began taking control of broad-based neural-nets and developing life forms.

"Mankind tried integrating full techno-biological based Transhuman soldiers in an attempt to turn back the Singularity. The Transhuman armies rebelled against mankind and wanted to take over the world and re-shape society to reflect their values.

"War erupted between the technology based Transhumans and the United World Government and the Seed A.I. Nanite armies. The Great War of Transhumanity began and the world exploded and burned with technological based instruments of brutality. Humanity lost its soul. Five years of devastating war between the Humans, Transhumans, and the ever-increasing Nanite Army of Fire began reducing society and technology to ashes and cinder.

"Telecommunications and satellites failed. Computers and the Internet no longer held the spark of life. The world is a dark, nightmare. Mankind’s numbers are reduced as the world governments dissolve. Chaos ran rampant and Mankind was no longer living at the top of the food chain.

"By the year 2050, history was no longer recorded. The Nanite armies began eating themselves and the darkness slowly faded. The fires had reduced the Earth to a mere semblance of its former glory. It was in 2050 that I began to rebuild society. My first step was the city of New Southampton in what was left of England. I used the technology of steam to usher in a new world and vision based upon an age of civility. I knew that the Nanites would not thrive in a steam environment and I placed my labs deep down into the depths of shadow beneath the city that I held so dear.

"By the year 2060 my research center in the depths began development of a new power source that would fuel my steam and my laws and slowly bring Mankind back to an age of Enlightenment.

"But I was wrong. However well-intended my work was, it blew up like a volcano of Creeping Green radiation! The utopian steam-society I was creating was cast in a green-hued din. Mutants were now seen emerging from the recesses and strange stories emerged with urban legends of secrets that lay in the Nether-world of the Crater of Noxious Adversity.

"It is now 2075. A woman named Anne Eliza Wintersmith has declared herself Queen of New Southampton. She spreads fear with her army, the Regulators of Discord. The Queen is ruthless and conniving, imprisoning anyone that opposes her. The citizens cry out and beg for salvation. A unique collection of individuals have heard these cries of anguish. I call them The Posthumans. They are a group that shall soon come together as heroes and right these wrongs and gain freedom for the oppressed. The Posthumans do not see this vision yet. They have not put on the mantle of heroes yet, but they have heard the calling. I wish that I could be there to see them Rise.”- Dr. M.E. Fulbright.


I honestly don't know at this moment if the image above lists the stories in actual order of appearance, but I will definitely be sharing more information with you as we get closer to a release date.

Until then, see you around the Internet! (While it's still here?)
Lee Houston, Junior
10 March, 2014

Sunday, March 9, 2014


Well, the past 7 days have certainly a mixed week folks.

I spent the first couple of days getting over that dang head cold I ended the previous week with, and then took Wednesday off to celebrate my 52nd birthday, but have been back at the keyboard writing ever since.

Work on ALPHA, BOOK 2: WAYWARD SON is proceeding apace. Got all my timeline problems fixed and have even added another chapter to the manuscript!

Things are going well at The Free Choice E-zine too, where tomorrow I'll be posting both a book review and a new interview with author Jim Beard!

I've also had another short story accepted for future publication! More on that soon.

PLUS: Tomorrow, I'll be able to share some new information with you about the Singularity anthology, and there is an idea that has been nagging at me to the point where I am going to have to stop long enough to at least devote some computer space to it, if not actual writing time.

You do NOT ignore your muse when she comes a'calling!

With all this stuff on my agenda, I better get back to work; that is, if you can call doing what you love "work".
In any event, see you around the Internet!

Lee Houston, Junior
09 March, 2014

Sunday, March 2, 2014


It was the best of times. It was the worst of times.

Charles Dickens' opening line from A Tale of Two Cities was certainly true in my case this past week.

With that short story commitment off to its publisher, I concentrated solely upon ALPHA, BOOK 2: WAYWARD SON.
Tweaked a few passages here, added some new words there.

With six complete chapters, over one-third of the finished manuscript, I was doing great until this dang cold struck Wednesday afternoon.

Now trust me folks, catching a cold was far below even the very last thing I wrote on my things to do list.
My nose is all stuffed up. My throat feels like sandpaper. My voice is hoarse and it feels like a herd of elephants is tap dancing on top of my head.

The more formal name for the common cold is the "Rhinovirus", according to Wikipedia. But seriously, does this look anything like a Rhino to you?
Rhinovirus cell, close up

It looks more like Tundro from Hanna-Barbera's The Herculoids to me!
Tundro, side view

Since then, about the only thing I've accomplished was honoring my Free Choice E-zine commitments over this weekend and posting my weekly progress report now.
Hopefully I will be back at the keyboard full time, if not at full capacity, within the next 24-48 hours.
Hugh Monn
There are a few handwritten notes I'd like to get more formally transcribed, and I would definitely like to get ALPHA 2 finished so I can begin work on the third volume in my HUGH MONN, PRIVATE DETECTIVE series!

But for now, all I can do is hope I don't run out of tissues and chicken soup, and see if I can at least teach those tap dancing elephants some choreography!

See you around the Internet!
Lee Houston, Junior
2 March, 2014

All images either provided by the author or Wikipedia.