Monday, April 28, 2014


Several of my fellow writers have their own blogs.
Amongst them, Sean Taylor holds round table discussions on various topics.
The most recent was: "What's My Motivation?", asking his fellow wordsmiths Erwin K. Roberts, H. David Blalock, Ralph Angelo, Bobby Nash, John Morgan Neal, John R. White, Bill Craig, Ashton Adams, and myself why we do what we do.

While you can read the entire article here, I have taken the liberty of reposting the questions and my original responses below, before expanding upon my answers in italics.

01. Why did you start writing?

I was a reader long before I figured out what a writer/author was. But by the time I read my first all prose (no illustrations) book in 5th grade: Edgar Rice Burroughs' A Princess of Mars; I could not picture myself doing anything else in life.

I have been, and always will be a bookworm. My parents read to me when I was a young child, and to this day I can still recite complete passages of Doctor Seuss' Green Eggs and Ham.
Granted, I discovered comic books before regular books, but once a reader...
It will be a very cold day in Hades before I ever give up reading!

02. Do you write because you enjoy the act of writing, or do you write to 'have written'? Why?
The act of writing is my passion. I take great pride in my creations, to the point of thinking of them as my surrogate children, so to speak.

Anyone who has met me in person knows that I am a much better writer than I am a public speaker, and that I have a great voice for silent movies.
Writing gives me the time and chance to think before I "speak", choosing my words carefully, which is why I have always stressed quality over quantity.
I'd rather take the time to turn in the best work I humanly am capable of instead of rushing through a project.

03. What do you hope to accomplish in your body of written work?
I hope to entertain, and maybe even enlighten the reader whenever possible. While I certainly am not getting rich writing, I love what I'm doing and doing what I love and who knows? Maybe some day I'll be somebody's favorite author who inspires them to be creative.

My library, if it was ever organized

I enjoy a multitude of authors in quite a few genre, and look forward to not
only reading the latest release from one of my favorites, but discovering new authors too. But as I said in my original reply to Question 1, reading all the great words of other authors inspired me to write too.
So if I can return the favor...

Sunday, April 27, 2014


Well folks, I did get to work some on Alpha, Book 2: Wayward Son this past week. Almost another full chapter, as a matter of fact.

But as reported last week, my main focus has been on the short story that now has an end of May 2014 deadline. I'm about ¾ of the way through the second draft, and definitely will be turning it in before the due date.

Now, as many of you have probably figured out, there is a BIG difference between a short story and a novel.
In this case, the short story shouldn't be more than 15,000 words maximum, although I'm about 900+ words over that at the moment; and the novel
should be between 60,000 words (minimum) to 70,000 words in an ideal world.

Of course, choosing the right words for your stories has always been a challenge writers have faced since the dawn of creative story telling, and something we will have to discuss further in a future column.

Kathryn Frizzell cover art 

Meanwhile, my latest short story "Wolf Hunt", has just been published in the ONCE UPON A SIX GUN  anthology from Pro Se Press;

and The Free Choice E-zine just celebrated its second straight month of 3000+ page views, a fact that makes this humble Editor-In-Chief very proud.

So, overall, it has been a good week.
Hope yours went well.

See you around the Internet.

Lee Houston, Junior
27 April, 2014

Monday, April 21, 2014


Cover by Kathryn Frizzell
There are infinite possibilities for an anthology.
One is: what if a real life, historical person from the wild, wild west met a fairy tale character?

The answer to that question is ONCE UPON A SIXGUN, the latest release from Pro Se Press.

Within its pages you will discover "Allan Pinkerton and The Problem At Gruff Springs" by Nikki Nelson-Hicks, while Mark Gelineau and Joseph King team up to offer Bluebeard "A Little Southern Hospitality".

But the lead story, and I was totally flabbergasted to receive that covet position, is my tale: "Wolf Hunt", where Sheriff William 'Bat' Masterson meets Little Red Riding Hood to take on wolves of both the four and two legged variety!

Now, I must admit that I had to take a good look at the beautiful cover by Kathryn Frizzell before I figured it out myself, but no: my story did not get the cover too. If you look on the wolf's left, you will see three "little" pigs about to witness the showdown, and there are no swine in my tale.

Otherwise, this is a great anthology and I'm sure the other contributors had as much fun writing their tales as I did mine.

ONCE UPON A SIXGUN is available in both print and e-formats from Pro Se Press via Amazon dot com.


Sunday, April 20, 2014



Although it wasn't planned that way, last week became short story week.

The other short I was originally committed to write in 2014 that did not have a deadline is now expected at the publisher by the end of May, and a short story I wrote in 2013 has been published as part of an anthology that I will be bragging about tomorrow.

Obviously, not as much work on Alpha, Book 2: Wayward Son this past week as I would have liked, but time flies and I'm having fun!

What more can a person ask for professionally than to love what they do and do what they love?

And of course, there's always The Free Choice E-zine, which just celebrated its 1250th career Blogger post and 2000+ page views for the 8th straight month!

In any event, I'm taking the rest of today off to be with my friends and family, but will be back at the keyboard tomorrow.

See you around the Internet.
Lee Houston, Junior
Easter Sunday 2014

Sunday, April 13, 2014


It's been a very productive week at the keyboard.

As of this post, I have over 24,000+ words and 7 complete chapters on Alpha, Book 2: Wayward Son! There is definitely at least one more chapter's worth of material past the existing 7 at the moment. I'm just not sure where the proper place for the division between Chapters 7 and 8, let alone Chapters 8 and 9 is yet.

I am betwixt and between 2 different short stories right now, and next week will be sharing with you the release of an anthology I contributed to last year!

PLUS: Thanks to its loyal readership, The Free Choice E-zine just celebrated its 31st straight month of 1000+ page views! Your humble Editor-In-Chief of that fine establishment couldn't be prouder.
Looking towards the future!

All that, and a lot of other things going on that I unfortunately can't talk about yet. So I better get back to creating.

See you around the Internet!
Lee Houston, Junior
13 April, 2014

Monday, April 7, 2014




Sunday, April 6, 2014



The early months of 2014 seem to be short story season.

Besides the ones I reported on last weekend, yet another short story I wrote in 2013 came back to me this past week for review and corrections before publication.

At this point, I unfortunately do not have an exact release date for it, but when the anthology it is scheduled for does appear...

Meanwhile, work continues apace on ALPHA, BOOK 2: WAYWARD SON; for I added several new scenes within the manuscript this past week, making it a
Art by Marc Guerrero
much more exciting read. If only I could tell you where the fledgling superhero is and what he has to do, but I don't want to spoil any of the surprises; although I will remind everyone that Book 2 does continue the unresolved plot threads from Book 1: PROJECT ALPHA. Yet while both books are technically separate stories unto themselves, it certainly won't hurt my feelings if you read or reread Book 1 before starting Book 2. Whether you prefer print or an e-reader, ALPHA and all my other creative works are available on Amazon.

I conclude my shameless plug routine by reminding everyone that I am also the Editor-In-Chief of The Free Choice E-zine.

Now I better get back to writing, so I'll see you around the Internet.
Lee Houston, Junior
6 April, 2014