FREE STORIES Y’ALL

I have talked about QuarterReads before, where you can read short fiction for the low, low price of twenty-five cents per story. I have a couple stories over there. BUT NOW, you can read one of them for the low, low, LOWER price of NOTHING AT ALL. That’s right, you cheap bastards, ‘Far’ is free this week.

Go read it.

Bring tissues.

Tip your writer.

DESR

Get off your Hobby Horse

Every so often, there is a refrain that one hears from writers, or rather, generally, sees, since it’s usually on social media. It goes like this:

Non-writer: “What do you do?”

Writer: “I write.”

Non-writer: “But you have a day job?”

Writer: “Yeah.”

Non-writer: “So writing is a hobby.”

Hashtag Exasperated Sigh

The feeling being, of course, that writing is not a hobby- it’s much more, after all, we’re writers, it’s who we are. Having people call it a hobby takes away from that, away from the fact that we will make it.

Except, it doesn’t. More often than not, offense is taken by writers who don’t have much- if any- published work. Which is also fine. Consider: even if you expect to be a commercial success- is writing being a hobby such a bad thing?

Lots of people love to hunt. They are hunters. Their ridiculously oversized trucks are decorated in camouflage, gun racks, decals of their preferred prey. It is who they are. They have day jobs. Does it make them less of a hunter to do so? Why should it make you less of a writer if you have a day job that pays the bills?

So, raise your hand if you support yourself solely by writing. This includes if your have a spouse who works to support the family, if you have one. And unless Dan Brown suddenly started reading my blog, I’m guessing the list of people who chimed in on that is fairly short.

I will reiterate another common refrain here: Writers write. That’s all you can control, so write. Don’t worry about labels or what other people think. Worry about producing something people want to read.

DESR

The First Annual Deano Awards

Tired of the Hugo Awards? Ready for something new? Welcome to the First Annual Deano Awards! The rules are simple- in each category, any work by Dean (me) qualifies, and the winner is chosen by Dean (me). This way there is no room for bias, no sad puppies and I think we all agree that the result is pretty darn good. Let’s to the presentation.

Dean: Welcome to the 2015 Deano Award Show! Let’s get right to it, with the award for Best Short Story. The nominees are:

Far

Dark Night

Both by Dean E.S. Richard. Let’s see who won!

[Dramatic lights and music]

And the winner is… Far, by Dean E.S. Richard. Dean, get up here!

Dean: Wow, this is really unexpected. I’m so honored. Given the strong competition in the field, I wasn’t really sure if I would win. Hoped, of course, but thank you so much to Dean, for selecting me for this honor, and of course Dean, for putting on such a great show. This is truly an honor.

Dean: Gracious as always! Let’s move on to best Novel.

[awkward silence]

Uh… You didn’t come out with a novel this year, Dean.

Dean: I was busy!

Dean: Well, we need a novel for the award.

Dean: …maybe it should be the Dean Lifetime Achievement Award?

Dean: …says the guy without a novel out.

Dean: Hey, it’s my show, asshole.

Dean: Fine, presenting the Dean Lifetime Achievement Award…

The Emerald City ComiCon Special

As you are most likely aware, Emerald City Comic Con is this weekend. I am even going to be there! It’s actually kind of last minute, so I don’t have a table – or really enough of a fan base to justify one. But I have a most devious plan to change that!

All weekend long, 3024AD is 100% totally free! I will be handing out cards at ECCC

with that link on them. If you click it, you will instantly to transported to the magic download portal* where you can download your very own free copy! You can send it to your friends, and they can send it to their friends and literally every person on earth could download it for free, laving me completely destitute BUT with enough of a fan base to justify a table next year.

SO.

Download it. If you like it (or don’t), please tell other people and consider dropping a review by GoodReads, Amazon and/or Kobo. If you really super duper like it, click the ‘buy’ link up top and you can buy a paperback, which I will gladly sign and send to you along with goodies.

Endings & Beginnings

Perhaps it’s because I moved, or Leonard Nimoy died, or the rejection letter I just got, but lately I’ve been thinking of endings. As to the latter, it said this (and please don’t think I’m terribly torn up about it- it’s all part of the gig):

We were left wanting to know what happens next, and that is difficult to do in flash fiction. We think your story would be better suited as a short story, or even a novel.

Which is probably true and all, but it’s a fairly common comment about my short work. In fact, it’s something I think about every time I come up with a story idea. “This would be a great novel,” I think. But it’s the leaving the reader wanting more that sticks out to me- to me, that’s part of the story, or at least the appeal. I love movies, books and stories that leave something unsaid or open to interpretation. For me, at least, those are the stories which are memorable and stick with you. That’s what I want to write- memorable stories, that stick with the reader long after they have been read.

Thus, I tend to write endings, at least in the short medium, which leave the ending subject to interpretation or ambiguous. Or, in the case of this story,  strongly implied.

Or I just can’t write a proper ending.

DESR

The Eleven Best Things About Bellingham

I promise I won’t go all in on the moving mopes, but I am going to swoon over Bellingham for a bit. Here are my favorite things about it:

11. Woods Coffee – Please take over the world. You’re so much better than Starbucks.

10. Artwood – Always a humbling place for any manner of artist. The creations people make out of wood is beyond amazing., and quintessentially Bellingham

9. .  GreenHouse & Ideal – Two great shops, full of wonderful and unique things. I can meander and drool for hours.

8. The Archer Ale House – Underground pub. What;s not to love? Great beer, scotch and amazing food. There are other boozy establishments on this list, but were you to visit, I would tell you to this one.

Rocket Doughnuts

7. Kulshan Brewery – Kulshan opened shortly after my last move, from literally across the street, but damn if it hasn’t established itself as one of the better up-and-coming breweries around. Awesome folk music on Sundays only helps.

6. BelleWood Acres – So, so many memories here. Apples, of course, are in order, but their peanut butter, gin, vodka and brandy make it beyond amazing (gin+blue cheese = OMG). The new building, with live music and food is a great destination.  Seriously, order the peanut butter.

5 Boundary Bay – The original and the best, or at least very close to it. The food alone is amazing, and their beer is world class.

4. Elizabeth Station – The fact that this place isn’t #1 on the list says how many great places this town has. I’ve been there since it opened, when it was a small store with five taps and the same dudes working the bar, to 20 taps, over 1,000 beers and a bunch of people I don’t recognize. But still – it’s the watering hole.

3. Rocket Doughnuts – They have a ray gun collection and the best doughnuts on the west coast. That is all.

2. Village Books – Home, sweet home.

And number one… well, that one’s mine.

Goodbye, Farewell, Amen

If you follow me on Ye Olde Twittre, you may have tolerated a certain amount of mopiness on my part. The last few months have been less than pleasant, and things kind of came to a head the last month or so. This may have affected my usually peppy demeanor.

That is, hopefully, at an end. While the last several months have been spent primarily on writing and not working for The Man, circumstances dictate that I need to go back to a ‘day job’, and as such, one has been agreed upon.

However, said circumstances will bring to an end my almost-decade long stay in the fine city of Bellingham. This may or may not mean much to you, but it’s a bittersweet moment for me. Bellingham resides in that sweet spot of not being a small town that is 45 minutes from anywhere (such as where I grew up), nor the middle of a big city. It has everything you need, and all the fun, quirky things that make it fun. There is a ton I’d miss about it here, even though I am excited for something new.

Anyway. Perhaps of small concern to you, but so many of you have shown me a great deal of kindness the last couple weeks. So -thank you.

Here’s to the next chapter.

DESR