Sunday, October 22, 2017



After everything that had to be dealt with of late, was there any writing progress this past week?

Depends upon how you look at it.

To attempt getting back into the swing of things, I finally went over all the notes my friendly neighborhood beta-proofreader made concerning that "new idea" I've been toying with.
For the record, yes: the project does have an official name now, but I prefer not to share it publicly until I'm closer to having the manuscript/novel finished.

I know things will get back to what passes for "normal" in time, I just wish I knew when that would be...

But, I do know that I'm not going to accomplish anything just staring at my computer monitor, so I better get back to it now.
See you around the Internet.
Lee Houston, Junior
22 October, 2017

Tuesday, October 17, 2017


It was a very rough, emotionally exhausting experience; but I have finally returned and am hoping to pick up where I left off both with life in general and writing wise before my mother left us.

Not sure how much, if any, actual progress I'll make this week as I attempt to get things back to "normal", but I'm certainly going to try.

For those interested, barring anything unforeseen, my role as Editor-In-Chief of The Free Choice E-zine will resume with that blog's regularly scheduled posts on October 21.

Thank you for all your friendship and support, but let's get on with life now, shall we?

Lee Houston, Junior
17 October, 2017

Sunday, October 1, 2017


I did manage to finish proofreading the latest Vagabond Bards novel for my friendly neighborhood beta-proofreader, but now I'm afraid that I must put all my creative endeavors on hold for awhile.

Tomorrow we should of been celebrating my mother's birthday.
Instead, we're planning her funeral. 😭

My mother passed away unexpectedly this morning of a heart attack. Funeral arrangements are pending as I post this.

When all the current family matters before me have been dealt with, I WILL return to my computer and pick up where I left off on everything, but until then...

Lee Houston, Junior
October 1, 2017

Sunday, September 24, 2017


My editor's cap 😉
Writing wise, the entire week was spent on HUGH MONN, PRIVATE DETECTIVE: BOOK 3—FEMME FATALE! 😀

Went over all the notes concerning Chapter 10 from my friendly neighborhood beta-proofreader, and then started working on Chapter 11.

But I'm going to have to take a break from HUGH to don my editor's cap once more, for Nancy Hansen needs me to return the favor and go over her latest Tales From The Vagabond Bards novel before she submits it for publication.

Did you know that September 24-30 is Banned Books Week?
I get into more detail concerning this topic in my capacity as Editor-In-Chief of The Free Choice E-zine here, but between being both a writer and an avid reader myself, it is a subject near and dear to my heart.

Previous book banning targets pictured!

Obviously you support great books and good writing too, or else you wouldn't be here right now.😉
In any event, I've got to get back to it now.
Take care, and I'll see you around the Internet.
Lee Houston, Junior
24 September, 2017

Sunday, September 17, 2017


Hugh by David L. Russell
Chapter 10 of HUGH MONN, PRIVATE DETECTIVE: Book 3 came back from my friendly neighborhood beta-proofreader Nancy Hansen a little while ago.
Obviously I haven't had a chance to go over it yet.
Will probably start fresh on that tomorrow.

Don't worry, I wasn't idle while waiting for it.
Worked on a short story project I will eventually submit to it's potential publisher, but I'm not at the point where I can talk about it in more detail right now.

Still want to get back to that "new idea" at some point, but one project at a time. There's ALPHA's third book and a whole lot of other stuff in my writing future! 😁

I have finally come up with what I think is a great title for HUGH'S third book though.
FEMME FATALE! Whether it should stay as it, or be either THE FEMME FATALE or LE FEMME FATALE remains to be seen.
But that and a whole lot of other stuff will be coming your way in 2018 and beyond.
Yet to keep that promise, I better get back to writing now.

See you around the Internet!
Lee Houston, Junior
17 September, 2017

Sunday, September 10, 2017



For better or worse, there really isn't all that much to say about this past week.
Worked on HUGH MONN, PRIVATE DETECTIVE: BOOK 3 whenever I wrote, although some of Saturday was devoted to doing a format check on the submission my friendly neighborhood beta-proofreader Nancy Hansen is about to turn in; which means her fans will soon be one step closer toward another adventure on the high seas with a certain female pirate.

Starting to feel the itch in regards to wanting to get back to that "new idea", especially since I have yet to go over the edits that Nancy did on what I already have of that story.

Everyone in Texas is doing about as well as can be expected, post Hurricane Harvey.
One sister says her apartment was flooded during the storm and she lost everything, but otherwise everyone is still alive and well, so what more can you ask for?

Have also been thinking about PROJECT ALPHA, BOOK 3 and a few other projects I want/need to tackle, but one day at a time...

Take care, and I'll see you around the Internet.
Lee Houston, Junior
10 September, 2017

Sunday, September 3, 2017



What writing I managed to accomplish this past week was all on HUGH MONN, PRIVATE DETECTIVE, BOOK 3; so I can honestly claim progress on that project.
Chapter 9 went to and came back from my friendly neighborhood beta-proofreader Nancy Hansen, and I am on Chapter 10 now.

But this past week certainly wasn't an easy one to deal with!
While I have touched upon this subject in the past, sometimes real life does intrude upon one's creative endeavors.
Case in point...

Although I now reside in the wilds of New England, I'm originally from Texas, with a whole lot of family and friends still residing in The Lone Star State.

The Texas Gulf Coast was recently hit by Hurricane Harvey.
Now, anyone with either common sense or past experience dealing with hurricanes can tell you the best advice is: "Whatever direction the storm is headed, go the opposite way!"
However, if that course of action isn't available, you hunker down preparing for the worst and hope for the best.
That was the only option open to my family, so you can imagine how worried I was about them as Hurricane Harvey came and went, then looked like it might come back again before the storm finally decided to move on.

Hurricanes are a very serious matter, and I'm certainly not about to downplay the subject.
Thankfully, being on the north side of the Houston area, my family weathered the storm (no pun intended) with minimal damage.
The water came up to the wrong side of the sidewalk, but rose no closer to their house.
They did lose electricity for awhile, but their power has since been restored.
The worst they were experiencing when last I talked to them were long lines at the grocery stores, a shortage of perishable foods at those establishments, and avoiding anyone attempting to raise their prices to take advantage of the situation.

Others weren't as fortunate.
If you can give to the relief efforts down there, please do so.
If it isn't possible, I understand.
In any event, have a good week, and I'll see you around the Internet.
Lee Houston, Junior
3 September, 2017

Sunday, August 27, 2017



My editing hat
Had to wear my Editor's Hat for a while this past week helping out my friendly neighborhood beta/proofreader Nancy Hansen, while she in turn looked over what I have so far of that "New Idea" I've been working on.

Don't want to disclose any details about it since the "New Idea" is still in its infancy, but otherwise any real writing time this past week was devoted to HUGH MONN, PRIVATE DETECTIVE, BOOK 3.

Okay, I'm going to be totally honest with everyone and admit that for whatever reason(s), this one's been kicking my @$$.

Who is Hugh?
I know part of that was being caught flat footed in need of a new plot when Tommy Hancock at Pro Se Press suggested pushing back what I originally had planned for Book 3 until Book 4 to build up the suspense and mystery some more, because I intended to explore the skeletons in his closet and reveal exactly who this person who calls himself Hugh Monn really is.

Another part of the equation is unfortunately getting distracted by other things like the "New Idea" and Jim Beard's 1970s project. For those wondering why I haven't mentioned it lately, due to circumstances beyond anyone's control, the 1970s project has been pushed back to a 2018 deadline for a 2019 release. More on this as it develops.

There are just so many hours in a day. Chores, errands, doctor appointments, other life commitments...
In the end it does all add up.
We may not like the results, but we can't escape the math.

And on that note, I better get back to writing now.
Take care everybody, and I'll see you around the Internet.
Lee Houston, Junior—who is now also on Twitter @leehoustonjr
27 August, 2017

Sunday, August 20, 2017


Okay, I managed to spend any writing time I got this past week on HUGH MONN, PRIVATE DETECTIVE: BOOK 3!
Granted, the first story isn't complete yet, but I HAVE figured out how the two halves of the book will tie together and if I'm totally successful in this endeavor, I may not have to make the novel two separate but interconnected novellas!
Or in other words, Book 3 may turn out to be Hugh's second full length adventure, with Catch A Rising Star  being the first.
Yeah me!

And for those interested, I am now also on Twitter!
You can find me @leehoustonjr with this banner:

Well, better get back to writing now.
See you around the Internet.
Lee Houston, Junior
20 August, 2017

Sunday, August 13, 2017



Okay. I tried to spend all my writing time on HUGH MONN, PRIVATE DETECTIVE: BOOK 3 this past week.
I really did.
But my muse kept talking to me about that new idea I've been thinking about for a while now and before I knew it, I was three chapters and almost 6000 words into it!
Granted, that doesn't do Hugh any good.
At the rate I'm going, there's probably no hope left for a 2017 release date for Book 3.
That's entirely my fault and I do apologize to all my readers and fans about that.
On the other hand though, I DID get some serious writing done this past week, and one should never ignore their muse(s) for too long.
Otherwise, who knows what great ideas you might lose out on?
In any event, going back to writing now.
Hopefully I'll be able to concentrate more on Hugh this week, but we'll see.
In any event, take care.

Lee Houston, Junior
13 August, 2017

Sunday, August 6, 2017


While I am hard at work on new projects, as detailed in every weekly progress report on this website, a new short story I co-authored has been released!

TALES FROM THE HANGING MONKEY (Airship 27) features the talents of Bill Craig, J. Walt Layne, Don Gates, and my first team up with my good friend, writing buddy and friendly neighborhood beta-proofreader Nancy Hansen!

It's new adventures in the South Seas for Corky O'Brian, the owner of the tropical island bar known as The Hanging Monkey, and his friends.
Within a beautiful cover by Rob Davis, you will find Craig's "Black Diamond, Black Death"; Layne's "Prophecy of the Firelord"; Gates' "The Star of the Sea"; and our tale "The Merciless Mermaid", where island natives are being pressed into slave labor, a twist ending, and a cameo by a historic object. Each story is accompanied by Mike Harris doing interior illustrations.

Nancy and I have known each other for years, and have endlessly kibitzed and gone over each other's creative endeavors to make sure the work has been the best it can be before submitting it to our respective publishers, but this is the first time we have actually written a story together.
I sincerely look forward to more collaborations.

TALES FROM THE HANGING MONKEY, VOLUME 2 is available from Airship 27 in both print and e-book formats via Amazon.


Hugh by David L. Russell
Spent the entire week, when I did have writing time, working on HUGH MONN, PRIVATE DETECTIVE BOOK 3.
Finished Chapter 8 of the first story and have sent it on to my friendly neighborhood beta-proofreader.
At the moment I am 25,000+ words into that tale, and the overall book looks like it's going to be composed of two interconnected novellas.
In other words, some plot points of the first story will lead into the other, but each adventure will be self contained too for reading enjoyment.

I also have news of a NEW RELEASE!
But that deserves a separate post.
Going back to writing now.
Lee Houston, Junior
6 August, 2017

Sunday, July 30, 2017


I was literally all over the place this past week whenever I had writing time.
In the far flung future with HUGH MONN, PRIVATE DETECTIVE.
In the 1970s working on my story for Jim Beard, and at {{undisclosed locations}} working on that new idea I've previously mentioned that just won't leave me alone.

It's great to have so many projects, considering variety is supposed to be the spice of life, but at some point I know I've got to knuckle down and start completing these things, considering what I want to accomplish in the future.

Have errands Monday and Friday along with a doctor's appointment Thursday. Otherwise, writing is the big thing on my agenda for this week.

Take care, and I'll see you around the Internet.
Lee Houston, Junior
30 July, 2017

Sunday, July 23, 2017



Once again I spent the past writing week in the 1970s, working on my story for Jim Beard's project; when I wasn't trying to flesh out a new idea that has been running through my mind for some time now and wouldn't leave me alone until I did.

There are times when I wish I was a more proficient writer, at least from a quantity perspective, because there is so much I want to do just within the immediate future.

*Finish my 1970s story.
*Proofread the other contributor's 1970s stories as they are submitted.
*Finish what will become HUGH MONN, PRIVATE DETECTIVE, BOOK 3 for Pro Se Press.
*Finish the short story I promised Nancy Hansen so long ago.
*Create another Sherlock Holmes, Consulting Detective story for Ron Fortier at Airship 27. The first one I wrote is (tentatively) scheduled for Volume 11 of that series, with Volume 9 being the latest release as I post this progress report.
*At least begin what will become PROJECT ALPHA, BOOK 3 before the end of this year.
*Eventually start work on the book that will feature the new idea mentioned above.
*And so much more.

Thankfully, only the 1970s project has any true deadline(s), which is why I'm concentrating on that first. While it might goeth before a fall, I take great pride in the fact that I have never missed a deadline, and I don't intend to start now.

I know that there are only so many hours in a day.
One must rest, eat, do household chores, honor other life commitments, keep doctor's appointments, and so much more.
Just this coming week, there are errands Monday and Friday, with Tuesday probably a lost cause on the writing front.

I do try to write every day, and when I'm "in the zone", it's a marvelous feeling.
The words and thoughts are coming faster than my hands can type, and I have never been a great typist to begin with.😉
But how many words are recorded at the end of a writing session, let alone how many stay after I proofread any specific passage varies.

It's the age old battle. "Quantity versus Quality".
Do you want it done fast or do you want it done right?
In the end, I will always choose quality over quantity, because I want my creative endeavors to be the best I can make them.
It may sound selfish, but in the long run, I not only want my writing to be enjoyed and loved by its readers and fans, but I also would like to see my stories live on long after I have shuffled off this mortal coil to whatever lies hidden beyond the veil.

So, if I'm going to accomplish that goal, I better get back to writing now.
Take care.
Lee Houston, Junior
23 July, 2017

Sunday, July 16, 2017



Wish the subtitle of this Progress Report meant I was asked to write a Doctor Who story but alas, one cannot have everything in life.

Anyway, I spent the past week working on my 1970s story for Jim Beard's upcoming anthology project, since that assignment has an actual deadline. The end of September.
Broke the 5,000 word mark, which is the half way point for submissions.
Whether or not I'll have it finished before the end of the month remains to be seen, but definitely going back to HUGH MONN, PRIVATE DETECTIVE soon.

The Internet is abuzz today (July 16th) with the British Broadcasting Company's announcement that ACTRESS Jodie Whitaker will be the next person to portray the title role in their long running series Doctor Who.
In all honestly, I was totally flabbergasted when I first heard this.
I have absolutely nothing against women.
I have nothing against the idea of female Time Lords. After all, we've had at least 2 Romanas and the Rani in prominent roles during the course of the series. Granted, The Mistress has been an interesting character, but I'm still having some difficulty believing that the Master and the Mistress are two different (re)generation sides of the same person.
Yet to cast an actress in the title role goes against 50+ years of established continuity in my humble opinion.
I know ♫the times they are a changin',♫ to quote Bob Dylan.
And I'm all for women in more prominent, heroic roles whenever possible.
But this...???
I honestly don't know.
How would the public react if an until now well established female character was suddenly recast as a man?
I sincerely hope you see the point I am trying to make here, dear reader.
Doing this could be the greatest thing to come along since oxygen, or by the end of Whitaker's first season, the BBC could find themselves in a real mess.
Only time will tell, and all we can do for now is wait and see.

In any event, I'm going back to writing now.
Lee Houston, Junior
16 July, 2017

Sunday, July 9, 2017


My Editor's Hat
Wore my "Editor's Hat" for quite a while this past week.

First I went over the second submission for the 1970s anthology I'm co-editing with Jim Beard, like I said I would last week.
Then I got to go over the galley of an anthology that will have a story I co-wrote as one of its offerings.

After that, I resumed work on what will eventually be the third book in the HUGH MONN, PRIVATE DETECTIVE series.

Now, considering that the 1970s anthology has a solid end of September deadline, I'll probably go back to work this coming week on my contribution to it.
Then again, I already know that because of life commitments, there are two days ahead of me this week that I will be unable to get as much writing done as I would normally hope to accomplish, so we'll just have to see how things go.

In other words, I'll just have to take it one day at a time like I normally do.
Better get back to writing now.
See you around the Internet.
Lee Houston, Junior
9 July, 2017

Sunday, July 2, 2017


Definitely got a lot more done this past week than the few previous weeks combined.

Made some good progress on HUGH MONN, PRIVATE DETECTIVE, BOOK 3!

Got to pause for a bit this week and put on my editing hat to read the next short story submission for Jim Beard's 1970s anthology that I'm co-editing, when I'm not working on either my own tale for that project or Hugh.

In any event, have a great week everybody!
Happy 4th of July to those celebrating, and I'll see you around the Internet.
Lee Houston, Junior
2 July, 2017

Sunday, June 25, 2017


"I'm... back???"
Well, the third time, week was the charm.
Sort of.
It wasn't until Thursday of this past week, but I finally got some writing done over the last couple of days! 😁

Did some work on my 1970s story for Jim Beard's forthcoming anthology project AND I managed to write down some notes and other thoughts for a project that I've been mulling around for a while now.
When that ever becomes a fully completed manuscript remains to be seen.
Right now I've got to concentrate more on my 1970s tale and HUGH MONN, PRIVATE DETECTIVE: Book 3.

But this week should be back to what passes for "normal", if such a term even exists, let alone can be accurately applied to the life of a writer.

In any event, take care everybody, and I'll see you around the Internet.
Lee Houston, Junior
25 June, 2017

Saturday, June 17, 2017


Unfortunately, it was another rough week on the writing front. A lot of other stuff needed my attention. Nothing I couldn't handle, but that meant not being at the computer to write.
I did manage to get some writing in Saturday after taking care of my blogging responsibilities on The Free Choice E-zine, but only managed a little over 100 new words on my 1970s project story for Jim Beard.

Truthfully, I really don't know how this coming week is going to turn out. Still dealing with some of those life commitments that kept me from writing last week. Whether or not I get any writing done before Saturday remains to be seen.

In any event, I hope everyone has a good week and HAPPY FATHER'S DAY.

Lee Houston, Junior
18 June, 2017

Sunday, June 11, 2017


Okay folks.
"I don't smell anything wrong."
I'm going to be totally honest with you.
THIS PAST WEEK STANK, writing wise!
About the only real writing I got done was Saturday afternoon, not counting keeping up with The Free Choice E-zine.

Okay. I knew last week going into this week that I was looking at a rough haul ahead, but SHEESH!
Anyway, I'm hoping that this week will turn out to be better, but that actually remains to be seen.
Still a few things on the personal front that have to be dealt with.
Nothing I can't handle, but still important stuff that takes away from writing time.
Sometime soon things should get back to "normal", whatever that means.

Lee Houston, Junior
11 June, 2017

Sunday, June 4, 2017


Spent a lovely week in the 1970s.
Reviewed the first story submitted for the pending anthology set in that decade before forwarding my notes on to Jazzy Jim Beard, then spent time working on my own story for the collection.
At the moment, I'm honestly not sure what I'll be doing this week yet, because there are a few life commitments I have to honor plus a major medical appointment I have to keep Tuesday.
Otherwise, I'll definitely be writing as much as I can, whenever I can.

See you around the Internet!
Lee Houston, Junior
4 June, 2017

Sunday, May 28, 2017


Truthfully, there isn't really all that much writing actually getting done over a holiday weekend, for tomorrow is Memorial Day here in the United States of America.

After going over my friendly neighborhood beta-proofreader's hard work on the previous chapters of the current HUGH MONN, PRIVATE DETECTIVE adventure, I am well into Chapter 8 right now, but will have to pause and put on my editor's hat soon to review the first story submission received for Jim Beard's 1970s project! 😀

Please stop and remember the veterans past and present who have helped to make the world safe and free, and I'll see you around the Internet!

Lee Houston, Junior
28 May, 2017

Sunday, May 21, 2017


My friendly neighborhood beta-proofreader Nancy Hansen HAS reopened her friendly neighborhood beta-proofreading service after getting through her second eye surgery.
I now have a massive amount of notes to go over concerning the current HUGH MONN, PRIVATE DETECTIVE story I'm working on.

I did get a little more work done on my own 1970s story for Jim Beard while I was waiting to discover Nancy's status, but that tale isn't finished yet either.
Ah, the life of a writer.
In any event, I better get back to "work" now.

Take care, and I'll see you around the Internet!
Lee Houston, Junior
21 May, 2017