Sunday, June 28, 2015

16, 17

I was gone most of the afternoon and evening and returned home to find my 16th and 17th acceptances of the year. Both are for confessions.

Saturday, June 27, 2015


I completed and submitted my twentieth short story of the year this morning. This one's a 2,600-word Thanksgiving story I started writing April 9, 2014.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Published 4x

The August issue of True Confessions contains my stories "Crippled Date" and "Sand Castle Rescue." The August issue of True Story contains my stories "My Only Secret" and "Summer Before College."

Thursday, June 25, 2015


I finished and submitted my nineteenth short story of the year this evening. This one's a 5,200-word confession I started on July 18, 2007.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

International Scam Day

Apparently it's International Scam Day.

I've been touched by two different scams today. The first is a pair of messages on my answering machine telling me the IRS is filing a lawsuit against me and that I need to call a specific number immediately.

I haven't called.

The second has been a bit more fun.

I received an email today purportedly from a well-known crime fiction writer. We've swapped a few emails over the years and, more importantly, he recently accepted a story for a reprint anthology he's editing. I know his computer crashed a few days ago because he contacted me for some information about the story that he already had but had lost when his computer crashed.

So, I didn't think too much about it when I received an email from him today with the subject line "Emergency."

It read:
I haven't received any response from you. I need a favor ASAP. 
Thank you, 
My response:
I sent publication info and word count for "City Desk" a few days ago. Is this something different?
His response:
Good to hear from you. I hope everything is well with you. I've been out of town for a family emergency, I am presently in Mexico City, Mexico. My apologies for not contacting you sooner. Please forgive me to Mexico to see my ill cousin who lives here. He is seriously ill and needs support from family. He was diagnosed with (acute lymphoblastic leukemia) He has been going to chemo for about year, it pretty bad because his chemo treatments with medicare is $1000 per Every two weeks. The chemotherapy treatment was going well until last week, when the doctor noticed that the dangerous disease has relapsed and the only way it can survive is to undergo a bone marrow transplant (Bone Marrow Transplantation). We have seen someone whose bone marrow matched his has agreed to be the donor and should be submitted to the registry soon in Mexico Medical Center Hospital for early Dx and Rx Consultation for Dangerous Diseases. The estimate of the graft is $10,000 I've already spent about $7000 toward his treatment, I need you to help me with a quick loan of $3000 to make the necessary treatment. as I don't know your financial situation at the moment, I'll really appreciate whatever amount you can come up with, if not all will be deeply appreciated and reimbursed after the surgery. Your help and support will give him a chance to live a normal life. Please let me know how much you can lend so that i can provide you the transfer information to obtain the money and I'll repay you back as soon as I return. 
Thank you, 
My response:
Sorry I didn’t back to you sooner, Ed, but I had to run this past Guido. He says you still owe him the 25 large he fronted you last month when you swore the fix was in at Churchill Downs. Now that he knows where you are, he’s going to send a couple of guys to collect the money. You’d better have it. Remember the last guy who missed paying the vig on time? Everybody calls him Seven-Finger Jack. You can probably figure out why.
I have not received a response from the scammer, but I'll update this if I do.

Update: I tried to contact the crime fiction writer at his real email address to tell him about this. Both of my emails have been rejected by his email provider. Does he know what's happening in his name? And if he can't receive my emails, how will this impact our working relationship as the reprint anthology moves forward?

June 27, 2015

Today's email from the scammer:
How are you, Sorry for any inconvenience, I'm in a terrible situation. Am stranded here in Manila, Philippines since last night. I was hurt and robbed on my way to the hotel I stayed and my luggage is still in custody of the hotel management pending when I make payment on outstanding bills I owe. Am waiting for my colleagues to send me money to get back home but they have not responded and my return flight will be leaving soon. Please let me know if you can help and I will refund the money back to you as soon as I get back home.
Please let me know if you can help..
Best, Ed
I won't be sending a response, but here's the one I thought of sending:

Guido's upset that you slipped out of Mexico before his guys could get there, Ed, but the beatdown you received there in Manila is just a taste of what you can expect if Guido doesn't receive repayment soon. Count your fingers now, Ed. This may be your last chance to count to ten.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015


I finished and submitted my eighteenth short story of the year this evening. It's a 3,400-word confession I wrote during the last several days based on a two-word title I dreamed up on June 26, 2012.

Sunday, June 14, 2015


I finished and submitted my seventeenth short story of the year a few minutes ago. This one's a 4,700-word bit of crime fiction that I roughed out on a paper towel May 24 while sitting at a winery awaiting the performance of a local musical duo. Unlike my usual process, this time I made a diagram of how several characters were associated and a flowchart of how what each one does impacts the other. The initial flowchart included a twist, but I added additional twists during the writing.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Now on Twitter

Yesterday I joined Twitter. I don't know that I will ever have much to say there that I can't say at more length here, but if you're of a mind to, find me and follow me

Wednesday, June 10, 2015


I completed and submitted my sixteenth short story this afternoon. This one's a 2,400-word confession I started May 26.

Thursday, June 04, 2015

Austin this summer, California in the fall

I'll be a panelist at ArmadilloCon in Austin, Texas, July 24-26, but I don't yet know my panel assignments.

I've also entered discussions with an organization to lead a writing workshop in or near San Jose, Calif., sometime this fall.

Wednesday, June 03, 2015


One of my stories is quoted in Scott Dagostino's "Reading with one hand," an article about the current state of erotic fiction published in DailyXtra.
One busy Cleis editor is novelist Rob Rosen, who’s put together not only Best Gay Erotica 2015 but also Men of the Manor, a book of porn stories inspired by Downton Abbey, featuring randy aristocrats and naughty footmen galore, with one story by Michael Bracken including this hilarious line from a butler’s employer: “‘You’ve been serving us all evening, Stephens,’ Carnegie said as he dropped to his knees in front of me. ‘It’s about time someone served you.’”
Read the entire article here.

Tuesday, June 02, 2015


I received my 15th acceptance of the year this afternoon, for a story I submitted in December.

This sale was a case of being in the right place at the right time. A magazine editor was faced with an unexpected hole in an issue that was already in production and I happened to have a story under submission that fit her needs and fit the available space.