Sunday, January 29, 2017



Last week as you'll recall, I reported having to set aside the 20,000+ word story I was originally
working on for HUGH MONN, PRIVATE DETECTIVE: BOOK 3 because it wasn't turning out right.
Well, I did figure out what was wrong with that tale.
I was too far ahead in Hugh's time line!

While I plan Hugh more on a caper by caper basis, compared to my Project Alpha series (which has the superhero's adventures loosely plotted until at least Book 7), I do have a general idea of what I want to see happen to the title character over the course of the next several years.
The story currently on hold was actually a tale I should tell later than where things are in Hugh's life at the moment.
Having an idea of what happens to a character down the road isn't a bad thing, but even accidentally trying to tell his life story–so to speak–out of sequence is.

So where does that leave us, and Hugh, now?
Writing on Book 3 has resumed and the first chapter of the new story is done and with my friendly neighborhood beta/proofreader Nancy Hansen for review.
I still have the same basic unanswered questions I did when working on the original story:
"How long will this adventure be?"
"Will I need at least another tale if this one falls short of being novel length?"
and "What do I call it?"
But I'm not worried about finding those answers.

Books 4 and 5 are now also roughly plotted out, with the unfinished story that needs fixing now slated for the fifth book.
I can hear the readers now asking such questions as:
"Why so far down the road?"
"What happens in Book 4? Let alone in Book 3?"
Afraid you folks will just have to wait and see.

For now, I better get back to writing.
Take care everybody!
Lee Houston, Junior
29 January, 2017

Sunday, January 22, 2017



As author Terry Brooks once said, "Sometimes the magic works," and truer words were never spoken.
When you're in "the zone", the ideas and words just click and it's a minor miracle when your typing skills are able to keep up with how rapidly your thoughts are coming.

Then there are the OTHER days...
My friendly neighborhood beta/proofreader Nancy Hansen sent me back Chapters 5-7 of the HUGH MONN, PRIVATE DETECTIVE story I'm working on with a note, saying that what I had written and what I had planned as the plot for what was supposed to be the first story of Hugh's third book weren't working out right.

Well, of course I was greatly concerned at hearing that and, after going back over everything for
myself, sadly discovered that somewhere along the way I missed the proverbial left turn at Albuquerque because the 20,000+ words I had at the moment weren't exactly how I intended the tale to be.

So this left me with three possible options.
1. Fix the existing story.
2. Toss the existing story and come up with a new one, or
3. Set aside the existing story and come up with a new one.

Since I figured the work in progress would wind up novella size, which would leave me needing a
second feature for Book 3 anyway, I chose Option 3 and have decided to concentrate on the "companion" tale now.
This will allow me to work on something fresh while continuing to write, and in time I can come back to the original story with (hopefully) a fresh perspective on how to make it better.

Between being a pack rat to begin with and having some pretty good passages in the tale, I'll never be exercising Option 2. But whether or not the first story can be fixed is something only time will tell.

Right now, I've got a new HUGH MONN mystery to write, so I better get started.
See you around the Internet.
Lee Houston, Junior
22 January, 2017

Sunday, January 15, 2017


Hugh Monn, Private Detective
Chapters 6 AND 7 of the as yet still untitled opening story to HUGH MONN, PRIVATE DETECTIVE: BOOK 3 are finished.
My friendly neighborhood beta/proofreader Nancy Hansen is supposed to be ready to resume friendly neighborhood beta/proofreading sometime this week, so once she does, I'll be sending that to her.
Will be doing what I can on Chapter 8 until then, and then will try to get a start on my 2017 short story commitments while she's going over that material.

But you know, for what will probably turn out to be the first of two novellas in this volume, it's requiring just as much creative work as writing a regular full length novel.
Not sure if that's because of being in the more detail oriented mystery genre right now or some other reason(s), but I'll still take quality over quantity when it comes to writing or anything else.

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

Sunday, January 8, 2017


The first week of the new year is behind us, and the writing continues.

Well into Chapter 7 of what will probably be the opening story of HUGH MONN, PRIVATE DETECTIVE: BOOK 3.
This volume will more than likely be comprised of two novellas, although I'm still working on the first one.
I am kicking around ideas for the companion tale, but no definitive plans yet.

Hope the new year is going well for you and yours so far.
See you around the Internet!
Lee Houston, Junior
8 January, 2017