Fiction News

I have short story news, as opposed to the boring illustration news:

1. My story “Disquiet” will go live in June, on

2. I have sold my story “Aveline’s Apartment” to ParABnormal Magazine.

After a long dry spell, three things are going right. The first two are mentioned above. The third is that I’ve finally gotten control over my novel. I have tamed the beast, and now that she is under my control, we will go to wonder-filled places, on an Earth just like this one…mostly. I will post a very short excerpt on Slip of the Pen in a few days. Until then, I will be writing my butt off, and you beautiful people will be performing your own kind of magic….

Enter the Vortex

I would just like to mention the new Vortex Books & Comics, bricks n’ mortar brainchild of authors Brian Keene and Mary SanGiovanni. Opening roughly in the springtime of 2024, the store could use a donation, large, small, or mammoth, to help apply ignition and thrust sufficient to reach LEO, and beyond. If you would like to help Vortex reach Escape Velocity, you can donate here.


That Bitter Pill


Saorise Ronan

Saorise Ronan

Saorise Ronan

The author, Donna Tartt, once wrote that sometimes, people fail, no matter how hard they work, no matter that they make all the right moves, and that this is a bitter pill to swallow.

I have been failing as a writer. During the last two months, I’ve been in and out of the hospital five times. I am 52 years on this Earth, and despite my very best efforts, I have been largely unable to sell my literary work.

During the past three or four years, I have decided to quit writing on four occasions, the very most recent one being yesterday. I’m far too thin-skinned, and I cannot find a reliable critique partner (except for Dave, of NC: you know who you are! And occasionally, Dean, of Canada). If I could let go of it, I could spare myself much heartbreak and focus solely on my illustration work…except I can’t.

To paraphrase William Burroughs, “[writing] is a virus from outer space.” For those of us unfortunate enough to be infected, quitting writing is on par with ceasing to breathe. So, I have basically been cursed to suffer, and KEEP suffering…except that, the act of writing, those times when I am so lost in the Realms of Story that I cannot hear the phone ring, are the limited hours that I get to spend time in heaven. Heaven is addictive, much like heroin, and falling in love, again and again….

I still draw (though during the interminable periods of my hospitalizations, I cannot touch the stuff), but I have failed, repeatedly, to exclude writing fiction, so that I must bounce back and forth like a ping pong ball, between visual and literary work. It only feels like a trap because I cannot manage to sell anything, which is an experience diametrically opposed to my writing experiences during the 90s. So I must fail, and keep failing, at something that I consider holy.

But life is tough all over, and I must stop whining about it.

New Story: The Martian Wave

My flash science fiction story, “The Last Goodbye,” is in the November 2022 issue of The Martian Wave. This is a story about how, in an era of interstellar space travel, two people can be separated, for all intents and purposes, forever. If you’ve read the story and come away with a heavy heart, this might perk you up: another story, featuring the same two characters, will find them reunited against impossible odds, in order to face a dire threat to the entire human presence in the Milky Way galaxy. I will post more about this once the story gets underway.

The Martian Wave (November 2022)

I Fly On Wings of Onyx Ink

You can toil and exert all your powers in the arts, whichever art you happen to practice, and still feel disappointment as your expectations remain unrealized, so it feels wonderful when something like this comes along:

“On behalf of Penumbric, I’d like to let you know ‘I Fly on Wings of Onyx Ink’ has been selected for the hard copy Best of Penumbric, vol v (June 2k21 to April 2k22)! Congratulations! And thank you again for submitting it to us in the first place!”

My thanks to Jeff Georgeson, editor-in-chief at Penumbric Magazine, for finding value in my drawings.

More of my drawings will be appearing in Penumbric over the next year. Here is the most recent example.

New Myths Live with My Cover Art

Vol. 16 / Issue 59 / Summer 2022

New Myths Summer 2022

This illustration, titled “Flight,” was a jumping-off point for the excellent prose poem “New Beginnings,” written by the inimitable, gifted writer Marge Simon. We collaborated on a few projects, including one challenge wherein one person’s art acted as inspiration for another’s literary work. Working with Marge, even with her being 1,500 miles away in Florida, rekindled what, at the time, felt like an artistic block.

I also wrote a rather short story based on Marge’s drawing, “Vision.” The result is named “The Last Goodbye,” set to appear in the November 2022 issue of Hiraeth Publishing’s magazine The Martian Wave, edited by Tyree Campbell.