29 October 2014

Perfect, Episode Forty ♦ Howling Wind

Part Two of Perfect draws to a close with publication of

Perfect, Episode Forty ♦ Howling Wind

I hope you've enjoyed reading Perfect. Part Three is planned for 2015 - please use the "Follow on" links to the right to be notified when the next episode is available.

It's also important to thank a few people for their help in bringing you Part Two. I'm indebted to my friendly librarian Judith and her friend Pam for assistance on the final section of Episode Forty. Don't know how I could have written it without Judith's advice and feedback. Writing may be a solitary endeavor, but creation stems from contact with others.

Critique partners from Westside Writers also provided wonderful, useful feedback as I was developing each episode in Part Two.

Thank you April, Gayle, Judith, Marilyn, Mike and Pat, Pam, RebeccaWalt, Whitney, and Vanessa.

01 October 2014

Perfect, Episode Thirty-eight ♦ Anita's Day

Has another fortnight gone by? Am I really publishing the thirty-eighth episode of Perfect, editing the thirty-ninth, and tweaking the first full draft of episode forty - the biggest cliff hanging, Part Two closing, season finishing, OMG ending for 2014? Yes. All around, the answer is yes. I'm a tiny bit overwhelmed by the enormity of it all, but pretty excited and pleased.

So this week George and Anita have settled into life in a future Red Cloud firmly rooted in an age long since passed into our own history. He followed her from a comfortable life in civilization to a new, unimagined, impossible life in the Great North American Wilderness Park. So what do they do all day? How's he dealing with the change? And exactly what does Anita think about it all? Find out in

Perfect, Episode Thirty-eight ♦ Anita's Day

03 September 2014

Perfect, Episode Thirty-six ♦ Carl Marpole

Published the new episode of Perfect yesterday. Catch up on what's happening to George and Anita on their quest to find Red Cloud. Did Willem send them the clues? Is he in Red Cloud? Will they stay or hit the road again?

Enjoy the next episode today!

Perfect, Episode Thirty-six ♦ Carl Marpole

Only four episodes remain in Part Two of Perfect and I promise Episode Forty will be big - not longer, but something very important will happen. Are you ready for it?

20 August 2014

Perfect, Episode Thirty-five ♦ Red Cloud

George and Anita are almost there!

After a rescue by some good folk from the town of Friorby, they've set off on the last leg of their journey. Across half the continent, they're in the middle of the Great North American Wilderness Park (GNAWP) - the depopulated area between the Mississippi River and the Sierra Nevadas & Cascades. But just as man is part of nature, there are people living in the wilderness much like people did in the early 1800s. Technically still a part of the Industrial Confederation, in the GNAWP there are no Informateurs and De Authoriteit does not exercise control.

As early as Episode Four ♦ Dreams, Avinashika (now known as Anita) dreamt of a red cloud. A recurrent image, in Episode Twenty-five ♦ Trade Beads Anita and George received their last clue: "My pioneers. West. Find me under a red cloud." It took the help of Clearie and a visit to Concordia to figure out where they needed to go.

Do George and Anita make it to Red Cloud? Find out in

Perfect, Episode Thirty-five ♦ Red Cloud

06 August 2014

Perfect, Episode Thirty-four ♦ Black Miners

It's still Tuesday, 5 August in Alaska when I posted this, right?

Well then, here's the next episode of Perfect, ready for you to read online:

Perfect, Episode Thirty-four ♦ Black Miners

Or maybe you prefer to read this episode as a PDF file?

You may also download all episodes currently available in a single PDF.


21 July 2014

Removing Semalt from Google Analytics

If you use Google Analytics, you may have seen "" as a source of some of your web traffic. Depending on how much traffic you get to your site, these visits from Semalt's crawler might skew your stats.

If you don't like that, there's a simple solution:
  1. Go to
  2. Add your URLs in the form provided at the bottom of the page 
  3. Click the remove button.
That's it.

One note: if you use subdomains (eg: and you will need to enter each of those domains in the form - use the enter key to go to the next line.

I used the form a week ago. Sure enough, Semalt has dropped off my stats (as well as all these bizarre instant views from a number countries around the world). So as far as I can tell, this isn't spambait, just a group of folks in the Ukraine trying to make a living - too bad their website isn't a bit more user friendly. I had to spend more time searching for the above link than I liked.

25 June 2014

Perfect, Episode Thirty-one ♦ Another View

Now available

Perfect, Episode Thirty-one ♦ Another View

Sorry for the delay, but it just wasn't ready for publication yesterday as planned.

Thanks for your continued support.

27 May 2014

Perfect, Episode Twenty-nine ♦ Saint Jo

George and Anita are spending some time with their new friend Clearie in Saint Jo near the Missouri River. Both Anita and George are trying to figure out what to do next. They could stay in Saint Jo, but there is always the final outstanding clue ‘My pioneers. West. Find me under a red cloud.’

Now available

Perfect, Episode Twenty-nine ♦ Saint Jo

22 May 2014

Writing Book Review: Immediate Fiction by Jerry Cleaver

Immediate Fiction: A Complete Writing Course
by Jerry Cleaver

  • Offers a complete, easy-to-follow methodology for writing a story that will probably sell – from first page to publication.
  • Offers a plan for fitting writing into your busy lifestyle (Ch 12)
  • Examines why writers get blocked and what to do about it (Ch 15)
  • Includes plenty of exercises to get you writing and thinking about how to write

  • Some will find the author’s style objectionable for whatever personal reason – too this, not enough of that, whatever
  • He may say your sacred writing ritual is bunk – though he regularly says something to the effect, but if it works for you, keep doing it
  • An over-emphasis on amping up the drama creates fiction I find uninteresting

Bottom Line:
  • Check this one out from your library and see if it/he speaks to you
  • Buy a used copy online if you don’t have access to a good used bookstore
  • I’d pay no more than $5.00 for a copy

Overall I thought this was a worthwhile read (from the library). Will see if I say, “Gosh, really need a copy to go through the chapter on overcoming writer’s block.” Or maybe something else. I did write down his basic formula (get the book if you want to know what it is) to keep what I’d call his Five Elements of a Successful Story (again, read the book, it applies to everything: short story, novella, novel, play, screenplay, graphic novel, etc) front and center and made some notes – other titles and a couple websites. So that was useful.

Okay, so one of the elements is conflict, but you already guessed that. Here’s my take, my words, of what he’s telling us to do: Don’t just have your character lose his job. Have his boss fire him. And while you’re at it, don’t just have the boss say, “Joe, we need to make some cutbacks. Sorry to see you go…” NO! We need to really pile it on. So not only does Joe’s boss get all nasty, “I’m firing your worthless butt and reporting you to the state regulator for gross misconduct so you’ll never work again.” THEN the mean old boss will conspire with another employee to file a sexual harassment suit against poor Joe AND, just in case that isn’t quite enough drama and conflict for Joe to overcome, let’s go ahead and fill his computer with child porn and call the cops.

Poor Joe!

UGH! Poor reader. When I see this sort of stuff – in print, online, on TV, at the movies – I lose interest and quick. It goes beyond realistic and believable. Maybe that’s enjoyable for others – it clearly sells – maybe you like a movie where A-list stars are dealing with this kind of stuff, but my eyes glaze over and I’m glad I got the DVD from library.

If nothing else, after reading Immediate Fiction I knew what I hate about modern entertainment and what I want to do different. Sure, we still need to connect with characters through showing and emotion. Stories still need conflict and the characters taking action to deal with the conflict – protagonists will fight to overcome; you know what antagonists will be doing. But I yearn for believable characters facing real-life situations. No, not the babysitter bailing at the last minute before the best friend’s wedding – wait, that’s not entirely a bad premise – but definitely not catching the spouse in bed with the babysitter, going medieval on everyone in the county, and then eating the bride for dinner. That’s a bit much.

Unless horror’s your genre.

13 May 2014

Perfect, Episode Twenty-eight ♦ Failed Test

Last time George was introduced to his new best friend: a twelve gauge, double barrel coach gun. Kent and Eetu headed north for supplies leaving George on guard duty. Long past their promised return, George heard someone approaching from the west.

Now available:

Perfect, Episode Twenty-eight ♦ Failed Test

29 April 2014

Perfect, Episode Twenty-seven now online.

Perfect, Episode Twenty-seven ♦ Twelve Gauge

Out on the plains, George meets a new, best friend. Can he use it when he needs to?

Curious about the hardware? Don’t know what a coach gun is or how it differs from a shotgun? Check out the Stoeger Coach Gun Supreme (good photo, just copyright protected), Cowboy Action Shooting or there is ALWAYS Wikipedia! (the above photo taken by “Commander Zulu" and used there). Such images were inspiration when writing this episode.

16 April 2014


Every writer has loathed the phrase "show don't tell" at some point in developing the craft. It can be one of the harder skills to master - but it takes so long to show something when I can just tell the reader what's happening. True.

Writers need to balance many things, and yes, moving the story along is one of those things. Just don't do it at the expense of your reader's connection with the story nor insult their intelligence. Show them the world and what's happening in it. Let them decide what it means. That's the way I like to think about showing instead of telling.

I really like this quote from Immediate Fiction: A Complete Writing Course by Jerry Cleaver:

Showing: Are the characters acting and talking as much as possible? Are you creating a moment-by-moment, word-for-word experience that's happening right before our eyes with no general statements or summaries? Showing means we always have something we can picture in our mind. It's visual and almost always scene with dialogue.

What can be simpler than that? I mean, in terms of understanding what we need to be doing in our fiction.

15 April 2014

02 April 2014

Perfect, Episode Twenty-five

Finally! It's ready and available online.

My apologies for the delay - had some personal issues that put me behind a couple of days. Friday postings didn't seem to attract many readers. I'm looking to see how posting on a Wednesday pans out. After today, I'm planning to post every other Tuesday starting on 15 April 2014.

BTW, learn about the necklace in the photo here.

So, let's catch up with George and Anita Winston (fka Luis Antas & Avinashika Joshi) in Hannibal on the Mississippi. It's a couple hundred years or so in the future (from the time you read this): they live in the Perfect Age, a time without paper, a time with instantaneous access to information via a chip implanted in the skull, a time when three governments control the planet - and jostle for control.

But George and Anita are leaving that all behind. Hannibal on the Mississippi is a way station as they hunt for their guide west. Into the Great North American Wilderness Park - an uncivilized land stretching from the Mississippi to the Sierras and Cascades.

Last time, Mary said, "I am told trade beads are always useful." She curtsied and left George and Anita to figure out what to do next. They are also trying to solve a clue: "Be cautious. In Hannibal. Like Tabeau wrote of York."

Find out what happens next in:

Perfect, Episode Twenty-five ♦ Trade Beads

30 March 2014

Perfect, Episode 25

I'm holding Episode 25 back for a couple days. Didn't think publishing on Fridays was working as well as I hoped. Look for it instead on 1 or 2 April. Thanks for the interest!

14 March 2014

Perfect, Episode Twenty-four

Now that George and Anita are settling into a new life in Hannibal, it's time to make some sense out of the clues, "Beware of hucksters. Find Sid & Mary after church. Where Samuel played." and "Be cautious. In Hannibal. Like Tabeau wrote of York."

It's more fun in the future historic town - or is that historic future town? - of Hannibal on the Mississippi. With guest cameos from beloved Twain characters. Will your favorite be there? Find out what advice Mary has in...

01 March 2014

Made it onto Web Fiction Guide

Perfect is now listed on the Web Fiction Guide, a great site to access all kinds of story-related fiction, available to read online, all free to read.

28 February 2014

Perfect Episode Twenty-three

Last time George and Anita were stumbling around in the dark outside Hannibal until found by Jane Canary - you know who she was, right? She guides them towards town, but first they meet a very famous American writer and his wife and find out just what they'll be doing in the not-quite-right town of Hannibal in the Great North American Wilderness Park.

This week with special guests Mark Twain and his wife Olivia (hmmm, I thought she was married to Samuel Clemens) and of course Calamity Jane! Meet them all in...

Perfect, Episode Twenty-three Finding Hannibal

22 February 2014

Amazing walk with Penny tonight

The last couple of nights have been short walks since I had to go places where she couldn't accompany me. It amazed me when she took off out the door and down the street, noticed Nice Kitty (but didn’t lunge at him), and just kept on moving. It was difficult for me to keep up with her for the first couple of blocks. That's NOT the way walking with Penny usually works. She's usually an anchor, nose just barely off the ground, constantly entranced with smelling EVERYTHING. She barely paused at her best friend's house to leave him a quick pee-mail on the fence and off we went along the sidewalk, past dog home after dog home.

After burning off that initial burst of energy it was more difficult to keep her on task, her nose lowered too close to the ground. We reverted to a shortened leash and the "let's walk now" command repeated many times.

We crossed Shute Park near the Senior Center and the almost ready library before heading for Arbor Roses, rounded the perimeter of that development, more or less, and enjoyed a spectacular sunset over Jackson BottomWetlands. Lots of pink, yellow, and orange dappled the cloud-covered sky - all but the section between the far western and southern horizons where deepening sky blue remained. A story below, ducks quacked and took to the water, and we made only an infrequent stop. The water level was higher than I remember, extending well into the low-lying forest and within a couple yards of one remaining, privately-held out-building below the bluff. Yes, we’ve had a couple weeks of wet and it shows.

And me without my camera as usual.

Leaving Arbor Roses, we crossed the Portland and Western tracks, returned through Shute Park, only stopping for a couple trees. By this time Penny’s mouth was open and her nose pointed ahead. She wanted to keep up with me, enjoy the walk, and, frankly, get home to her water dish and dinner. It’s rare for her to go two blocks without a break for an intensive olfactory investigation of trees, utility poles, street signs, and frankly, just about any blade of grass or other piece of landscaping material.

One last pass at her best buddy Noodle’s fence – he was inside – and we returned home. Can’t remember another time we spent an hour walking. She’s sacked out on her bed, stomach nowhere near what she considers full but well-fed and watered. Will her dreams be different tonight? Just endless legs twitching, covering remembered distance?

It’s nice to have a walking dog again.

14 February 2014

Perfect Episode Twenty-two

Last time, George and Anita found themselves in a shipping crate. They've been there a couple hours. Will someone rescue them or will they have to find their own way out. It's all in...

Perfect, Episode Twenty-two ♦ Breaking Out

03 February 2014

Now on

EpiGuideAs of today, Perfect is now listed in EpiGuide! Thanks!

And a big welcome to new visitors! Hope you enjoy the webserial.

02 February 2014

Social Media and Networking

My oh my, but aren't there just so many options?!? What is an author to do? Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, Reddit, StumbleUpon, Twitter, Tumblr, EpiGuide, WebFictionGuide, are we to manage all that and still find time to write? (Not to mention work a day job if you're just starting out!) Oh, and don't forget a website and blog.

  • What is working for you?
  • What sites do you use most, both personally and professionally?
  • Does social media help you or drive you nuts?
  • And what about good ole fashioned face-to-face networking; do you get much of that in?

Looking forward to reading what works for other writers, bloggers, and creative people out there. Just remember, while comments are eagerly sought, spam is not - so comments are moderated.

01 February 2014

Perfect Episode Twenty-one

It's here and was published yesterday! After a long hiatus (boy did it ever take such a long time to go up the Mississippi from Saint Louis to Hannibal!) George and Anita are back and it's finally time to get off the Harmonie in the once and future riverport town of Hannibal. But George is convinced that they will have to pass through an Informateur scanner when they disembark. How ever will they do it? Find out in...

Perfect, Episode Twenty-one ♦ Boxed In

And don't worry. You won't have to wait so long for the next episode. Episode Twenty-two is written and undergoing final editing. It will be published on Friday, 14 February, 2014.

26 January 2014

Episode Twenty-one Coming This Week

Not only have I been busy writing and editing forthcoming episodes of Perfect - Episode Twenty-five has been committed to bits and bytes and Episode Twenty-six is churning around in the space behind my eyes - but I've updated the Perfect website in anticipation of publishing Episode Twenty-one Boxed In during the last week of January 2014.
While most edits are minor code, cosmetic, or navigational changes, I have reformatted the way prior episodes are included on the website. In addition to an all episodes PDF, each episode has its own page now. Find them on the Perfect Index. Now it is even easier to read an episode and bookmark the next - to read it another time.
Now is the perfect time to catch up on Luis and Avinashika's travels away from their comfortable, familiar homes and lives, as they travel across the eastern United States many years in our future. Where are they going? Will they find Willem? Will the give up their new identities as the married couple George and Anita Winston? What will life be like in their new home? Who else will they meet along their way?
Join me in the continuing adventures of the webserial Perfect.

18 January 2014

Perfect Returning January 2014

After a break, work is progressing on Perfect. Episode Twenty-One will be published before the end of the month with regular episodes every two weeks thereafter.

To be notified when new episodes are available, please use the links at right to follow me.