On hitting the mark

May turned into my slowest month for the year – just creeping over the 40,000 word mark. A pretty busy time with tutoring kind of kept the lid on a little – in a good way: it’s useful to other things to focus on. I’ve sent off three contest entries, and some new magazine submissions, as well as resubmitting some stories that had been rejected elsewhere. My novella “The Wreck of the Emerald Sky” comes out in June in The Colored Lens, so that’s good news. June is going to be a much slower month, though, as tutoring really ramps up. I’m hoping to hit 15,000 words, which, while many fewer than any other month this year, will take me neatly to a quarter million words. I’ll post soon about some lessons I think I’m learning here as I aim for 300,000 words for the year (yes, I’m ahead of target – that’s one of the lessons).

Pan Am 617 Heavy – conclusion

And so my dieselpunk novella serialization comes to a close with part 2 of Pan Am Historic Flight 1. It’s been fun to watch this come out piece by piece over the last few weeks.
Dominic ducked back in as a cloud of cinders and soot blew into the cabin. He looked out again. Keyshaa hadn’t moved. Tying the rope to the door handle, he dove into the water, letting the big plane cruise off alone.

“Keyshaa,” he called when he surfaced. She wasn’t far away, still leaning on the floatvest. He grabbed the sinking rope and kicked for her.

If you’re looking to start at the beginning, then read through each of the parts, start here. Again, my thanks to Don Webb and the team at Bewildering Stories for taking the novella on, in particular their encouragement to develop what started out as a much shorter piece.

Pan Am 617 Heavy, parts 6 and 7

A bonus this week – two chapters of Pan Am 617 Heavy – Messerschmitt Dogfight and Pan Am Historic Flight 1 (pt.1). Just one more part after this.

“They’re waiting,” Dominic said, pointing to the open door, lit by a blinding spotlight.

“Throw out your weapons,” someone shouted from outside. Dominic imagined a semi-circle of them, all with their guns trained on the door.

“Well,” Keyshaa said, “that’s it, then.”

I know there’s no Messerschmitt in the picture, but these were the models I found. It’s been fun doing the illustrations for each part of the story – even if they sometimes feel a bit rough.

Pan Am 617 Heavy, pt. 5 (chapter 3, part 2)

Part two of chapter three “Particle Magnetron” is out now. Down in the tunnels below the atoll’s surface, Dominic and Keyshaa find more surprises.


Dominic heard the sound of the flare striking the concrete floor. He glanced back and could see the outline of the tunnel roof. The flare crackled as it lit, throwing light around them.

“Come on,” Keyshaa said. She ran off.


Pan Am 617 Heavy, pt. 3

Part Three is out now.


The last red of the sunset echoed across the sky as Keyshaa pointed ahead. They’d been following the running lights from the glider, and beyond, Dominic could see brighter lights lower down, glinting on the surface.

“A ship?” Dominic said. He was cold. He guessed that they were already below three thousand feet. That didn’t give them much glide room before they splashed into the dark ocean.

“Maybe the atoll.”