Thursday, February 7, 2019

Plots and World-Building

Part of any good SF/F novel is the new world you take the reader to. It has to be logical, should be scientifically possible, and--interesting. And the plot had better be intriguing. In my work in progress, I have twins Zakan and Javek, from the planet Saecula, about to go on a quest to their brother planet, Saetana. Saecula and Saetana make up the Chret homeworld--twin planets sharing a common orbit, but, 4000 years after the cosmic disaster that struck them, separated by --among other things---their way of life, philosophy and religion.

Saecula is similar in many ways to the high plains of the United States. A cool, semi-arid climate full of mountains. The Saec, who inhabit the planet, are anti-modernists who walk everywhere, live simple lives, wear simple robes, and worship Amara, the goddess mother. 

Saetana, is more of an oceanic climate, where weather is a drab constant, always raining, always blowing, cloudy and foggy. The Saet are overly modernized, have brought their planet to near disastrous climate change by over developing, wear flashy pant suits, worship Kharv, a male god, and want to take over Saecula to develop its vast resources, since theirs are running out. 

The two things keeping the Saet from doing this are--the Krieg warrior race, who police the Seven Worlds and would readily destroy any ship daring to take an invasion party across the sea of space, and the Gate between the worlds, which used to allow instantaneous two-way travel, but now has been shut down from Saet to Saec, and is only one-way. The Saec, of course, have no desire to go to Saetana, which they believe is on a fool's path. The Saet have found a way to infiltrate Saecula, and their despotic leader, Rhondal, has them preparing to invade. The notoriously impatient Krieg are considering massive military action against Saetana.. 

Things have become urgent, and the twins, Zakan and Javek have been chosen to take up the perilous task of saving the two worlds.

Sound like something you might want to read?

Saturday, January 26, 2019


If I've been a bit absent (or absent-minded) lately, it's because we have three unhappy Maltese dogs . 

Valentino, our almost-nine-year-old, took a fall and slipped a disc in his back. He's been on intense steroid treatment for five days, now on a less intense regimen, is able to walk again, but is still a bit wobbly. He may never completely recover. 

Katie, our eight-year-old (Valentino's sister) just went through six weeks of dietary change in a vain attempt to melt gallstones--she had surgery Thursday, and is now home on pain medications and antibiotics for ten to fourteen days. Both of them have to be carried up and down any stairs, and have absolutely limited walking time. 

Tooki, our five-year-old, is confused---why are Tino and Katie being locked up in crates all the time, why can't we wrassle, and how come I don't get picked up, swaddled in a blanket and hugged as much as they do??? So of course, he's misbehaving. 

Valentino is due to go in for his own gall bladder surgery next Thursday, since he seems to be recovering from his fall so well so far. The gall stones seem to be a genetic problem for both him and his sister. So I'll be playing "momynurse" for a while yet.

But----right now, I'm sitting in my study,, with my laptop on my lap, and all three pups sprawled on the rug, where, for the moment, things are back to normal. 

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Opening Doors

As the world fights to figure this all out, I'll be holding doors for strangers, letting people cut in front of me in traffic, saying good morning, keeping babies entertained in grocery lines, stopping to talk to someone who is lonely, tipping generously, calling you by the name on your tag, sharing food, giving children a thumbs-up, being patient with sales clerks and smiling at passersby as often as I am provided the opportunity, buying a total stranger a cup of coffee.
Because? I will not stand idly by and live in a world where unconditional love is invisible.
Join me in showing love, judging less. Find your own way to swing the pendulum in the direction of love.
Be kind to a stranger today and every day. It just may be a friend you have never met. Pay it forward for any kindness shown to you in the past.
Be the change. Be the light. Start today.
Copied from a friend who copied it from someone else, who copied it from someone else.
Keep copying.
Keep sharing.
Kindness and generosity are what the world needs now.

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Indie Books May Be The Most Creative Being Published-And They are Breaking Into the Best Seller Lists

On average, 20% of books on this year’s Amazon Charts Top 20 weekly lists are self-published. Indie published books are becoming the newest, most creative books on the market.
In an article at titled If it’s cool, creative, and different, it’s indie, journalist Catherine Andrews wrote: “The term ‘indie’ traditionally refers to independent art – music, film, literature or anything that fits under the broad banner of culture – created outside of the mainstream and without corporate financing.”
“Choosing finalists for the INDIES AWARDS is always the highlight of our year, but the job is very difficult due to the high quality of submissions,” said Victoria Sutherland, founder/publisher of Foreword Reviews. “Each new book award season proves again how independent publishers are the real innovators in the industry.”
Hundreds of thousands of independent authors are finding their audiences through self-publishing. Many established authors are leaving the realm of big-publishing houses to achieve the freedom to publish their works as they intended them to be.
Here’s is a list of some of the top-selling books on Amazon from independent authors:
David Archer’s Code Name Camelot - A Noah Wolf Thriller (Thriller).
John Ellsworth’s 30 Days of Justis (Michael Gresham Series) (Thriller).
R.S. Grey’s Not So Nice Guy (Romance).
Aleron Kong’s The Land: Predators: A LitRPG Saga (Chaos Seeds) (Science Fiction & Fantasy).
Scott Pratt’s Due Process (Joe Dillard Series) (Mystery).
Denise Grover Swank’s Hell in a Handbasket: Rose Gardner Investigations #3 (Romance).
Meredith Wild’s The Red Ledger 1 (Suspense).
Pepper Winters’ The Boy and His Ribbon (Ribbon Duet) (Young Adult).

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Dancing With the Dead was a finalist for Indie Book of the Year. Alvar's Spear won GOLD for Best Indie Science Fiction Book of 2018. My new release, Witches Gambit has been called "A Masterpiece." 

Save the date--two weeks from today-- September 20th - 6 pm--at the Westfield Library-- I will be reading from, all three--and hosting an open discussion about writing, being an empath, and what it might mean to a society to talk with the dead. 

I hope you will be there--bring your questions with you.

Friday, July 27, 2018


I just received my GOLD MEDAL for Alvar's Spear from Next Generation Indie Book Awards. The judges had this to say:
"A rock-solid chunk of classic science fiction. Clearly inspired by the titans of 1960's and 1970's, yet completely unique and by no means derivative. Alvar's Spear is "old school", but with all of the positive and none of the negative connotations that term provokes. The book's overarching message of unity as it conflicts with prejudice feels particularly relevant to today."
I'm celebrating by lowering the price to 99 cents. If you're looking for a fast-paced story that's unlike anything you've seen since you read the masters of science fiction, --a story of revolution, love and redemption on a sentient planet where a pack of snow wolves plays a major role--get your copy now at

Sunday, July 1, 2018

International Writers Inspiring Change Gives Witches' Gambit Rave Review

Witches’s Gambit by Charles Freedom Long. FIVE STARS!

This is an excellent story – masterfully written. Imagine Earth in the not too distant future, where religious fundamentalism has divided the camps between deep-faithed Christians and Muslim followers, and those who adhere to no particular faith at all. It is a fractured world, mankind is severed by fear, suspicion and racism.

In this hotbed, weapons of mass destruction are still flaunted by questionably sane governments and corporate avarice that fuels division and hatred to fill their accounts.

Three humans find themselves approached by an alien visitor who has come to Earth to convince them to return to his world and plead on behalf of the human race to the Council of Seven Worlds. Mankind’s obsession with war and self-destruction, and the fact that Earth is on the cusp of jumping into interstellar space travel, is perceived by the Council of Seven as a threat to their existence, and because of humanity’s historically tragic history of murder and mayhem, it has been decided that Earth must either be destroyed or subjugated before they can assault other worlds with their destructive forces. 

Aidan, Michael and Peebles, three humans, must endure a life-threatening journey through a quantum loop in order to stand before the Council of Seven Worlds and convince them that destroying Earth, or invading it, will not accomplish the end they seek.

This is an excellent tale, one which puts the human race on trial, showing the good, the bad and the very ugly, and to the last page, one wonders how these three ambassadors can possibly avert what seems to be the inevitable.

More than science fiction – Witches’ Gambit is a preview of where our world is heading if fundamentalist religion and corrupt politicians continue to divide the human race into illusory camps; and corporate greed continues to fuel a military establishment, a world where fear dominates and where logic, love and science have taken the backseat.

Review by Writers Inspiring Change