Sunday, August 28, 2016



Well, it was another one of those weeks again.

When I wrote last week's Progress Report, I knew there was a lot on the agenda ahead of me to begin with, having a bunch of errands and other stuff to attend to.

What I didn't expect nor was prepared for was to lose a furry friend.

Ranger the chocolate Labrador Retriever actually belonged to my friendly neighborhood beta-proofreader Nancy Hansen, but he was one of the nicest dogs it has ever been my privilege to know. Always kind and friendly. Ranger would only bark to acknowledge and announce your presence, happy to see you. His tail always wagging as he looked forward to a pat on the head, a kind word, or maybe a yummy treat.
Ranger, in better days

I first met Ranger when he was still in the prime of his canine life, so seeing his declining health in the last couple of years is not something I wish to remember or dwell upon.

The last few months were especially not his best, but you couldn't tell that from the way he acted. Sure, Ranger looked bad. A lot of gray fur with an almost totally bare tail, difficulty standing up or sitting down, let alone even moving around in the last couple of weeks; but in his heart he was still that friendly dog I first met all those years ago who always looked forward to and enjoyed your company immensely.

I did get to say goodbye to him before the end. Told Ranger he was a good dog and meant every word.
Even as I post this Progress Report, I still can't believe how choked up I am over his passing, and at best I was just on the outer edge of Ranger's circle of friends, so you can imagine how Nancy and her family felt when he left for what became that final trip to the vet.

We consider them pets, but it's amazing how much of our hearts an animal companion occupies.
They're always there, with all the love and friendship they're able to give, and ask so little in return.

Goodbye Ranger, and I hope to see the rest of you next time.

Sunday, August 21, 2016


Art by David L. Russell
Things are proceeding apace right now.

Have a little over 3100 words on what will be Book 3 of HUGH MONN, PRIVATE DETECTIVE; despite a few interruptions this past week.

Still don't have a title for the story I'm working on, let alone know at this point whether it will be the opening tale or the entire book, but that is one of the joys of writing: the unknown.

One thing I have noticed since I started working on Book 3 is that, at least within my mind, Hugh's voice has changed.

Not sure this is true for everybody, but when I read and/or write material, I hear a lot of the character voices in my mind, like an old time radio production. After all, one knows a specific set of voices for such properties as Star Trek, Star Wars, etc.
Bogart, circa 1945, via Wikipedia

In the past, I never had a "set" vocal rendition for Hugh though.
Although he plies his trade on another planet in the far flung future, being a traditional/old school private detective, I started off my initial work on the character hearing what I personally believe to be the epitome of the private detective, at least vocally, in Humphrey Bogart.

I mean, between films like The Maltese Falcon and Casablanca, who doesn't think of Bogie as the personification of the hard edged man who will do what's right regardless of the consequences.
Granted, a lot of hard work went into creating Hugh beyond just imagining what he might sound like, but you get the idea.

In time though, Bogie's voice did start mutating as I got a clearer picture of what Hugh was like as a person.
Yet nowadays as I write Hugh, I cannot help thinking of vocal artist Pete Milan.

Pete, along with engineer Chris Barnes at Dynamic Ram Audio, did a fantastic job on the audio adaptation of HUGH MONN, PRIVATE DETECTIVE, aka Volume 1, the anthology of short stories that introduced the character to the universe that would have been published in Pro Se Press' Masked Gun Mystery magazine, had that title lasted past issue 2.

I keep getting asked by fans when will CATCH A RISING STAR (Hugh's second book and first full length novel) be released in audio?

Unfortunately, the only answer I have is "You will have to ask Tommy Hancock at Pro Se." Although you can count me among those anxiously awaiting an audio edition of Book 2 too, especially if Pete Milan returns as narrator!

But for now, all I have is my copy of Book 1's audio and an over active imagination, which I better get back to using now if Book 3 is going to have any more progress, especially with what I know of the interruptions that loom in my schedule in the near future.

Take care, and I'll see you around the Internet.
Lee Houston, Junior
21 August, 2016

Sunday, August 14, 2016


Afraid there really isn't all that much to say at the moment.

What will eventually be the third volume of HUGH MONN, PRIVATE DETECTIVE now has a little over 2000 words written.
Got a pretty good idea of where I want to go with it, but how the (first?) story turns out remains to be seen.

After all, they claim that getting there is have the fun.
Then again, whoever "they" are didn't have to do all the work getting from Point A to Point B, now did they?

While there is no deadline attached, I have promised Ron Fortier at Airship 27 another Ghost Boy story!
For those unfamiliar with the character, it's an interesting take on superheroes in the Cold War Spy Era of the 1960s.
Had a good time writing "The Sound of Obedience" for GHOST BOY, VOLUME 2, so returning to that series will be fun.

PLUS: I am aware of a couple of other writing projects in my future that I'm also highly excited about, but afraid I can't talk about those right now.
I can be such a tease at times...

Anyway, I better get back to writing now.
Take care, and I'll see you around the Internet.
Lee Houston, Junior
14 August, 2016

Sunday, August 7, 2016



Have sent my Sherlock Holmes story, “The Adventure of the Artful Forger”, off to Captain Ron Fortier at Airship 27. Earliest projections are it will be within Volume 11 of SHERLOCK HOLMES, CONSULTING DETECTIVE.

I have started what will be at least the first, if not the only story in HUGH MONN, PRIVATE DETECTIVE VOLUME 3.
As I said last week, still in the early stages of this.
Potential plot points, dots not connected
Think of it as an artist staring at a relatively blank canvas with just a few sketch lines on it, wondering what to do next, let alone how the finished painting will look.

That’s where I’m at at the moment.
A few sketch lines in place, but otherwise the field is wide open and limited only by my imagination.
Which I should get back to exercising now.

Take care, and I’ll see you around the Internet.
Lee Houston, Junior
7 August, 2016