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Monday, October 31, 2011

Stasis mode

I seem to be in one of those stasis modes. Things to do but don't do them. One is looking at the edits and suggestions an editor has made on a novella that I call my Heart of Darkness. She thought it was an amazing but heartbreaking read. I know every time I go back through it, it sort of crushes me. Now I have to go through it very carefully and examine potential changes. Cover design will be tough. I've found a photographer whose work I like and have asked him to see if he has anything to propose.

I have found a Navajo graphic artist who is reading what I call my Navajo book. It's a mystery/thriller and contains what I think is one of the best retellings of the extraordinary Navajo creation story. I don't know if the Navajo artist will want to do the cover (and I'm clear I don't want anything like the Tony Hillerman covers; not because I don't like Hillerman. I do. It's just I'm not doing what Hillerman did).

I have another novella that is awaiting potential cover design work which seems to cry out for a photo of a snowy Kansas field. Will I have to wait for the snows to cover Kansas? Maybe so. Waiting is okay. This novella has been do that in my file cabinet all these years.

Received my first payment from Amazon and one should soon arrive from Smashwords. Whenever, and those times have been rare, I get money for fiction those dollars seem odd to me. I feel like I should do something special with it, but never know what. Splurge on a good bottle of bourbon and sit outside in this gorgeous blue sky fall weather we are having in KC just now. Stare up at that blue Kansas sky. Not a bad way to spend a stasis.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Publishing Update: Ten Works Now Live

I now have ten genre-defying works epublished. Thought it was time to list them and give a quick guide for selecting which one(s) you'll want to read.

Crazy About You: Set in Larned, Kansas, and its nearby mental hospital, so if insanity fascinates you, this is the one.

SPILL: Need a laugh at the expense of the political system and Big Oil? This is the one.

The 41st Sermon: Know who Walker Percy was? He liked this book's first chapters. Adult language here.

Rabbletown: Life in The United Christian States of Holy America: Title pretty much says it all for this dystopia future history set in 2084. Hate Fred Phelps? You love (be terrified) by this book.

Blow Up the Roses: Serial killing going on here.

Then and Now: The Harmony of the Instantaneous All: Old enough to want to relive the 1960s or curious about them? This is set in the turbulent spring of 1970 at the University of Kansas, Lawrence.

3 Very Quirky Tales: Philip K Dick fan? You'll like these.

The Strange Case of James Kirkland Pilley: Like H.P. Lovecraft? You'll feel at home here.

Blue Kansas Sky: Even if you don't play pool (or snooker really) you'll find you can relate to this story.

All can be found at or

Monday, October 17, 2011

First guest blog post

Eleanor Sullivan, former Dean of the School of Nursing at the University of Kansas Medical Center and writer of mysteries and other fiction asked me to submit an excerpt from Crazy About You on the history of the treatment of the mentally ill. My first guest blog post.

Eleanor did a lot of research into medical care practices in the 19th century for her new novel: Cover Her Body

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Nice review for SPILL

10/07 Katy Sozaeva gave 5 stars to: SPILL by Randy Attwood 
bookshelves: ebook, read-review 
recommended for: anyone
status: Read in October, 2011 — I own a copy
recommended by: Randy Attwood

Fred Underwood, a former English teacher and current delivery carrier, is fed up with the high price of gas. He believes the oil companies are price gouging and decides to take a stand. Together with his friend Zoe X. Quinn (that X is important – read the book and you’ll understand), he hatches a plot to not only get some attention to the problem with the oil companies, but to make a bit of money in the process. What he doesn’t expect is for the Big Oil companies to sit up and take notice …

Filled with intriguing characters, and an amusing subplot involving skateboarding gamers, “Spill” is a comic tour de farce that I highly recommend to anyone who enjoys political satire, generally humorous story-lines, and great writing. Randy has outdone himself on this one – give it a read as soon as possible! 

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Tell Us Everything included in Oct efiction mag

Very happy to have Tell Us Everything, the lead story in 3 Very Quirky Tales, included in the October issue of efiction magazine!

Tell Us Everything is a story that got written rather more quickly than most things I do. I think because I'd read so much of Philip K Dick and always admired how quickly he could get a story started that I was off and running with this story of a Goth girl with a lot of piercings who finds herself plugged into reality and has to broadcast those truths to the rest of the world. And, boy, do they start paying attention! Listen up, world, here's what's really going on, whether you want to know about it or not.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Then and Now: The Harmony of the Instantaneous All

Then and Now: The Harmony of the Instantaneous All is now live and again with another nice cover design by Michael Irvin.

Parts of this novel were written in my 20s, not long after that extraordinary spring of 1970 at the University of Kansas. It took me years, decades, to come up with the right point of view and technique for its telling. It works for me. It will be interesting to find out if it works for anybody else.

In terms of reality: I really did participate in the occupation of Memorial Stadium during the ROTC parade, which shut that event down. (I watch Occupy Wall Street happenings and, boy, am I taken back.) I really did see the Kansas Union burning. I really was a philosophy grad student (only one year, having quickly realized the limits of my poor brain's abilities in that area). I really was a pretty good pinball player. I really was in Lawrence and violated curfew when the Kansas National Guard occupied the college town.

The driver of a fully loaded propane truck really did find a package of dynamite sticks wedged between his dual rear tires before he took off one morning for his deliveries.

I really did, but as a journalist, follow the casting, recitals and performances of the Orestia. In the book, as Stan Nelson tries to write his head out of the 1960s, he contacts the play members to show them what he has written to see if he's gotten things right. Now that Then and Now is published, I'll really be trying to do that, too. I still have the program and the names and with Facebook, etc., I may find them and get them to read this novel. If it works for them, I really will have achieved something.