“Snake Charmer” is free; I’m featured on other sites, and more!

Well, life has been very busy for me lately.  As you may have read in my previous update, I have had sick children – to include a broken leg – a wife in a car accident, and issues with the Veteran’s Administration clogging up my time and stressing me out.  As such, I was not writing at a level I wanted.

Things are starting to smooth out, however, and I hope soon to be back at full steam.  I’m still writing, but not doing my usual several-thousand words a day.  No, for those of you wondering, I have not started on “Redeemer: Book III of The Serpent’s Song” yet, beyond outlining.  You will know the day I start it, I assure you.  And, as with “Snake Charmer”, you will see regular updates on my progress.

Speaking of The Serpent’s Song series, “Firedancer” was free on Amazon last weekend and did pretty good.  “The Duel” was free the weekend before that, and did equally well.  This weekend it will be “Snake Charmer” – free from Friday through Sunday on Kindle.

Some of you may remember that my musing on writing action using Iceberg theory became a featured article on the “Eat, Sleep, Write” Podcast website.  Well, in the intervening weeks, Adam, the editor over there, asked if I had any fiction he could put up.  As it happened, I did – part of “Competition” I have yet to release anywhere else.  So I now have some fiction as well as a lesson featured on “Eat, Sleep, Write”.  You can find it here.  For those of you who have followed the previous sections of “Competition” (“Reggie” and “Collared“, respectively) this segment, “Alice” falls between those two to complete the narrative as far as I have released it.

I also put out some more work in my fan-fiction piece, “Transitions”, set in the universe of the up-coming game, “Star Citizen.”

So, all in all, I’ve managed to be fairly productive despite the real world interfering.  And I hope to push myself back into full-time writing ASAP.


Transitions, Part VI: An Erik McKetten Tale (1,650 words)

<< Previous Installment: Transitions, Part V: An Erik McKetten Tale

Concept art for the Pyro System (c) 2013 CIG

Concept art for the Pyro System (c) 2013 CIG

Transitions, Part VI: An Erik McKetten Tale

It was like a dream – a nightmare – the shattered remnants of rational thought in the tortured mind of a person gone insane. Fragments of images flashed outside the ship – rocks, planets, suns. Some exploded into a rainbow, some winked. An asteroid appeared in front of the ship and then vanished. His ears filled with the sound of rushing water and distant screams. His mother stood beside him, droning a series of incomprehensible numbers and coordinates.

He turned to look at her and instead saw a burned corpse. Flecks of skin, charred in the fire that consumed the Great Hall, broke from her face as she chanted the computer readout. Behind her, arms reaching out protectively, the shattered remains of his father’s face contorted in an eternal, soundless, scream.

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“Collared” – Excerpt from the short, “Competition”

The basic premise behind “Competition” comes from a natural offshoot of the corporation-centric world “The Duel” was set in: that, in this near-future, corporations have taken over much of the roles once performed by the public sector.  In this case, it is policing.  To read another excerpt from it, click on this post.

<< Previous Installment: “Alice”, hosted on Eat, Sleep, Write.

<< First Installment: “Reggie”, here on my blog.

“Collared” – Excerpt from “Competition” by Aric Catron

Reg left Alice at the kitchen door and made his way through the main room, passing the woman on the floor. She was semi-conscious – and stirred from her prone position.

“Don’t move, ma’am – if you move too far from where the tag was placed, you’ll get a nasty shock.”

The woman moaned in response.

“Reggie, you need to get in position. He knows I’m here.”

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How I Keep Action Active and Suspense Suspenseful – Using Hemingway’s “Iceberg Theory”


“We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master.”

– Ernest Hemingway

Those who have followed my blog for some time know I idolize Papa Hemingway.  That picture is his writing desk, preserved in his house.  Someday, I will visit that house and tour it.

I try to emulate “Iceberg Theory” in my own writing, with my own stylistic choices.  Iceberg Theory, or, as English Majors like to call it, “The Theory of Omission”, came from Hemingway’s time as a journalist.  Hemingway started his writing career as a newspaper reporter with no formal education or experience as a journalist or writer.  His first editors impressed upon him the idea of reporting only the facts and avoiding editorializing the story.  Because of size constraints, it was encouraged to only report the relevant facts and avoid the background information.  Hemingway grew to respect this style of writing and believed it was “real”.  He adapted it for use in his short stories and novels.  He believed you could omit anything from a story and it would only strengthen the story in the mind of the reader – leaving the reader to read between the lines to fill in the blanks.

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Collective Update (including “The Duel” free promo on Amazon):

It has been a while since I last posted anything, and I have made up for it somewhat by including two new excerpts of shorts – one is the continuation of the fan fiction series “Transitions”, and the other is part of a new sci-fi/futurist short set in the same world/universe as “The Duel”.

Also, “The Duel” is finally live on Amazon and will be free starting tonight at midnight.

So, what have I been up to?  Well, about two weeks ago now, my wife was t-boned by an inattentive driver who ran a stop sign.  She has whiplash and the vehicle she was driving is a total loss – but, all in all, it could have been worse.

daddyandshaylaThen, a few days later, the youngest child became ill with a cold/flu thing.  A few days after that, the middle child broke her leg playing on furniture (kids: listen to your parents, we have rules for a reason!).  With my wife’s injuries, and two kids down sick/injured, as well as dealing with insurance, I have been extra busy.

And, finally, the government shutdown leaves the status of my VA benefits in some doubt.

Things are settling down into a “new normal” now, however, and I can finally update.

So, here are some links to what I have been doing:

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Excerpt from “Competition” – another sci-fi/futurist short. (1,552 words)

The basic premise behind “Competition” comes from a natural offshoot of the corporation-centric world “The Duel” was set in: that, in this near-future, corporations have taken over much of the roles once performed by the public sector.  In this case, it is policing.

Next Installment: “Alice”, hosted on Eat, Sleep, Write >>

Third Installment: “Collared”, here on my blog >>


Reg closed his eyes and rubbed his temples. The headaches were coming more frequently. The doctors at the company clinic told him they were temporary and would go away once his body adjusted, but it had been three months and they seemed worse than before.

“Headache, Reggie?” His partner, Alice, asked from the passenger seat.

Reg nodded. He hated the name “Reggie”. It was the nickname of a five-year-old boy, a boy who cried, alone in the woods, for hours straight when he heard someone he didn’t even know died. His most embarrassing moment in life was when his step-dad found him wailing into a log in Capitol Forest.

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Transitions, Part V: An Erik McKetten Tale (1,839 words)

<< Previous Installment: Transitions, Part IV: An Erik McKetten Tale

Next Installment: Transitions, Part VI: An Erik McKetten Tale >>

MobiGlas Concept Art  (c) 2012/2013 CIG.

MobiGlas Concept Art (c) 2012/2013 CIG.

Transitions, Part V: An Erik McKetten Tale

Cat stepped over the limp form of Lena. He opened the drawer Signy indicated and sure enough, amongst other odds and ends, there was a spool of wire. He pocketed the spool and was pushing the drawer closed when the ship lurched, sending him against one of the cargo doors and the contents of the drawer spilling to the deck plating.

“A little stiff on the stick, Signy?”

“I’m sorry, Cat, but I have never flown before.”

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