Sunday, May 30, 2021


This is the Memorial Day weekend here in the United States, when we pause to remember everyone who has served to defend this country and its freedom(s) past, present, and future.

It would be WAY too easy for me to hop upon my soap box and share my opinions with you on a variety of pertinent topics; but other than a humble request to please remember those brave men and women who fought for so much more than just a three day weekend, that's not why either of us are here.

I'm still wearing my Editor's Hat right now going over SOLITAIRE. The main issue at the moment is trying to trim the manuscript's word count. The original final score was a whopping 67,562! Clearly the biggest novel I've ever written in my life, to date.

However, most publishers prefer any book to be between 60-65,000 words to help ease production issues and give both them and the readers a break price/cost wise.
My Editor's Hat 😉

I am seriously going back over everything with a fine tooth comb trying to eliminate the "unnecessary" wordage, but it's not fun.
I have managed to get the novel down to 66,366 words at the moment and am about halfway through the Second Act/Japan again.
Sometimes it was easy, rephrasing a sentence here or cutting out a word there.
Other moments were more difficult.
One scene in New York/Act One got totally rewritten to make it go quicker. Hated to lose a couple of the "bits" I had there, but maybe someday they can reappear somewhere else.

In any event, I hope everyone has a happy and safe 😷 Memorial Day.
Take care and I'll see you around the Internet.
Lee Houston, Junior
30 May, 2021

Sunday, May 23, 2021


My Editor's Hat
Not going to be getting much writing done within the next week or so I'm afraid because I'll be wearing my Editor's Hat.
First I have got to finish going back over the SOLITAIRE manuscript.
I totally rewrote two chapters of the Japan leg of this adventure and still have to finish checking the rest of the manuscript so My Friendly Neighborhood Beta-Proofreader can finish reviewing it herself.

Then I want to reread what I already have so far of my SCIENCE FICTION NOVEL because I'm 26 Chapters (not counting the Prologue) and 48,000+ words into it and want to make sure that I have everything covered. While I'm hoping this will be the first book in an ongoing series and I know everything won't be resolved by the last page, I do want to make sure that the plot points I plan to take care of in Book 1 are fully addressed to everyone's satisfaction.
The readers' and my own.

Why do I pay such meticulous attention to detail?
The image on the left answers that question.
While I'm only human and bound to make mistakes, the more I catch (typo, plot point, or otherwise) and correct before submitting anything to a potential publisher, the better my chances are of getting that manuscript published and increasing the readers' enjoyment of the work once it's available to them.

In any event, I better get back to writing editing now.
Take care.
And I'll see you around the Internet.
Lee Houston, Junior
23 May, 2021

Sunday, May 16, 2021


Okay. Spent more time this past week reediting the SOLITAIRE manuscript than working on the SCI-FI NOVEL, but it's all a part of writing.
So is celebrating when one of your writing friends has a new release, like My Friendly Neighborhood Beta-Proofreader does.

THE SILVER PENTACLE was just released from Airship 27.
Cover Art by Guy Davis

Earth has long been abandoned with the majority of mankind traveling to the stars. Unfortunately old hatreds continue to fester among those who remain until a global nuclear war lays waste to everything. Hundreds of years later a demigod named Jordyn Orion descends on what remains to discover new human enclaves have sprung up among which are men and women possessing strange, supernatural abilities.

One of these is the young fire-starter Aleta Kalama and together they battle the Angel of Death in the ruins of a once great Metropolis. Later they join forces with a lovely Wind Shaper to take on a merciless sea pirate known as Crazy Katy.

“The old phrase about throwing everything into the mix including the kitchen sink was the reaction I had when reading this book,” reports Airship 27’s Managing Editor Ron Fortier. “Nancy Hansen is a treasure to the New Pulp community and her work is always fresh, exciting and above all else original. THE SILVER PENTACLE is nothing like her previous works and we are very excited to be bringing it to her legions of readers.”

Master Storyteller Nancy Hansen launches her most imaginative series yet in THE SILVER PENTACLE. These are fantastic tales from a time and place lost to the future.
Colorado based artist Guy Davis provides both the interior illustrations and the painted cover, while book design was handled by Airship 27's Art Director Rob Davis.

While the last four paragraphs are from the publisher's press release, Ron Fortier's comment about "throwing everything into the mix including the kitchen sink" is a serious understatement.
There's Mecha, Monsters, Multiple Menaces, Much More, and that's just scratching the surface to the first half of this novel.
I know Nancy has THE SILVER PENTACLE planned out as an ongoing series and is waiting for the second, let alone third books to be green lighted.

Hope you enjoy the novel, available now from Amazon in paperback and Kindle.

It's nice to be interrupted by some good news for a change, but hopefully my regular weekly PROGRESS REPORTS will resume next week.
Until then take care.
And I'll see you around the Internet!
Lee Houston, Junior
16 May, 2021

Sunday, May 9, 2021



I received a nice acknowledgement e-mail from the publisher I recently sent a writing contest entry to that they got my short story.
Still a long way off at this point from the submission deadline expiring, let alone a winner being announced, but considering past contests for other publishers I've competed in never paid entrants this courtesy...
If you're wondering why I still enter such contests to begin with, as a writer I'm always looking for new venues and creative opportunities so if I win, or at least "WOW" the judges enough for them to wonder what else I might have; it will be interesting to see what develops.
Still working on my SCIENCE FICTION NOVEL.
On Chapter 24 (not counting the Prologue) and have passed the 43,000 word mark.
Considering I'm hoping this will be the first book in an ongoing series, I won't have every plot point resolved by the last page, but the story certainly won't end with those dreaded words TO BE CONTINUED.

Got the SOLITAIRE manuscript back from My Friendly Neighborhood Beta-Proofreader, who once again found some more "bugs" in the Tokyo section of the adventure.
Man, I'm having more problems with that area than Japan does with Kaiju!😉 But this is why writers have beta-proofreaders, to catch such problems so they can be resolved long before the manuscript is submitted to and possibly rejected by a publisher because the errors weren't caught and corrected before sending it in.
When I finish making the corrections, Nancy will pick up where she left off and hopefully will have smooth sailing/reading from there.
Had a long story conference with Nancy Hansen this past week concerning the Mark Halegua Memorial Project.
As members of Team Blue, we have been working on finishing what would have been Mark's debut novel had he not been taken from the world prematurely last year. 😢
Mark was a friendly guy and very knowledgeable in regards to pulps past and present, which shows in the project he was working on.
It's set during the "Great" (quotation marks are mine because I've never been able to figure out what was so great about it) Depression and one man trying to make an honest living when...

In any event, I've obviously got to get back to writing now.
So take care.
I'll see you around the Internet and—>

Lee Houston, Junior
9 May, 2021

Sunday, May 2, 2021


Can you believe another month has come and gone?
Where the {censored} is the time going?
Anyway, life seemed to have other ideas about my agenda for this past week.

I still got some writing done, which puts me now over 42,000+ words on the SCIENCE FICTION PROJECT, but I'll be the first to admit that it wasn't as much as I wanted to do.
Heck, I didn't even get to complete the chapter in progress. 😒
Hopefully this coming week will be more productive despite the fact I've still got a doctor's appointment Monday and Tuesday is Errands Day.

In any event, take care.
And I'll see you around the Internet.
Lee Houston, Junior
2 May, 2021