Saturday, August 9, 2014

Free Contest! My Story, "Everything's Connected," Now Free at

Photo: The icon of

Hello, readers from Hello, my loyal blog readers!

Another story purchased and published!

If you haven't already read it, please, for free, read my newest story, "Everything's Connected" at  (Story's description below.)  Just click the address above.  (Firefox is having trouble with it, so please use another.  I'm using Google Chrome.)  You don't even have to download it--it just appears on the screen.  Thanks!  And I'm holding a free contest about it--so if you've already read the story, please see the bottom of this post.

If you haven't, just click this link or the one above and click on the story.  And enjoy.  The story is very short.

What it's about (feel free to skip this if you've already read it):

"Everything's Connected," is about a detective who catches a cheating spouse in the act (sort of), solves a kid's disappearance, and proves a little theoretical quantum physics--all in just a few minutes!

Reading it won't take more than a few minutes, and I'd be greatly appreciative of any comments about it that you can give.  For example, you could consider:

--Do you believe that "Everything's Connected" like Foster does?  Or that they're not, like Colleen does?

--Do you believe that the story shows that "Everything's Connected?"  Or that it shows they're not?

--Consider: If Colleen hadn't been having problems with the virus software, would Foster have figured out where his landlady's kid was?

--Was that connection, or just plain luck?

--Overall comments about Foster, Colleen, or anyone else in the story.

--Overall comments about the story itself.

--Anything else you had in mind.  I've already had a comment conversation about Chaos Theory and String Theory (and Jurassic Park), for example.

Anyway, getting this story published is very cool because Brad Foster, the main character of this short piece, is also the main character of my soon-to-be-finished novel manuscript.  He's in a different psychological space in this story than he is in the novel--this story is supposed to take place after the novel--but he's clearly the same guy.

Colleen, his assistant, makes an appearance in both as well.  She's as feisty as usual.

And now the contest.

If you haven't already, just read the story via the links in this blog, and click the blog link at the end of the story (or just come back here) and leave a comment about what you thought of the story.  Good or bad, just be pleasant and appropriate!  Everyone who leaves a comment is entered into a contest to win a free copy of Space and Time Magazine, The Magazine of Fantasy, Horror and Science Fiction, Spring 2012, Issue #116.  This issue contains many fine stories, plus my short story "Hide the Weird."  (Here's a link so you can see what it looks like.)  A description of "Hide the Weird":

A young man has the ability to see short-term into the future--just enough to see that the woman he loves is about to die in a horrible fire.  How does he save her, without letting her know that he has this curse / ability?

A number / comment will be drawn at random.  I'll contact that person (or create a blog entry announcing the winner, so check back to this blog on September 1st, especially if you didn't leave any contact info.), who needs to send me an email with a mailing address to send the magazine.  And that's it! The contest ends August 31st at midnight, EST. 

Foreign entries are welcome!  No previous winners allowed--but please comment anyway!  :-)

And please let me know if I can read a short story for you, or comment for you, or enter a contest--or all 3!

So please and thank you.  As always, readers, I appreciate you reading my stuff.


  1. Neat story. I would have to agree with the character Colleen about all those events and situations (her divorce, the missing kid, the cheating husband). Maybe they are all just things that randomly happen. Could be luck, bad decision-making or just how life turns out. To say everything's connected sounds more like fate, which is a little harder to swallow sometimes.

    Anyway, it was an interesting piece and I look forward to reading more about these two main characters in your up-coming novel. I like their dynamic together.

    Congrats on the published story!

    1. Thanks for commenting, Diane!

      I'd have to respectfully disagree. I don't know if it speaks of Fate as much as it speaks of simple cause-and-effect. Or String Theory. Or Chaos Theory, which, despite the name, suggests that everything's tied together. Remember Jeff Goldblum explaining Chaos Theory to Laura Dern in Jurassic Park? The water flowed one way down his hand, then another way the next time. And who can say why? Could've been microscopic hairs on his hands, or the unnoticed-by-us movement of the car...No matter what it was, it was all connected. We just might not be able to see the connections.

      Have you won a contest here before?

  2. So it’s kind of like The Butterfly Effect. One microscopic detail can alter the next sequence of events. I kind of support that theory, but it’s a little disconcerting to believe any minute detail can cause such monumental reactions.

    Nope, sadly I haven’t won any contests before.

    1. Well, there's always a first time. Good luck!

      You're right. And this story says the same has to do with people:

      "No man is an island / Entire of itself / Every man is a piece of the continent / A part of the main."

      My man John Donne said that in an essay / speech / sermon, "Meditation XVII" (where Hemingway got his title, For Whom the Bell Tolls) in 1624. Donne didn't know Chaos Theory, but he had a view of God and religion that was almost Zen-like in its connected-ness. Sort of like George Lucas's "The Force," in a way. And his famous passage says the whole "Everything's Connected" thing better than my story probably did!

  3. Well, let's see where I want to begin with this..

    First of all I love the idea you're playing: Whether it's destiny/fate or pure coincidence/luck. That's where I'm going with it anyway. I would want to say it's a comparison between whether things happen through fate or luck. No doubt is there cause and effect throughout. It's just whether are things caused because of a particle detail that one person can be responsible of or was it supposed to happen on purpose through destiny?

    Another reflection I had branched off of what I just stated, and that is does each person have a cause and effect chain within themself and his/her own life, or is this cause and effect chain connected to the entire world and the community in which we live in, "Everything's connected".

    Other than that I can't say much more on it, other than it was a cool short piece.

    1. Thanks, Jonathan! Wow, you brought up a lot of stuff, so don't worry about not saying much more on it! In fact, saying it's "a cool short piece" is awesome enough! :-)

      You know, I think the whole chance / fate thing might be an unanswerable question. I could think, for example, that it's all chance--but maybe I was just fated to think that way! Who knows?

      My stance is that it's a philosophical glass is half full / half empty thing. I could think that it's all fate, but where does that get me philosophically or intellectually? How can I grow as a person that way? But if I have some sort of say in this world of seems, then maybe I can gauge myself as a person that way, and think that maybe I do play a role, that I can "offer a verse," as Whitman wrote (and Robin Williams said, in Dead Poet's Society).

      I like your "cause and effect chain connected to the entire world" comment. That's "No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main..." from John Donne's Meditation XVII. I believe that. I am not just me. I effect, and am effected by, others--whether I like it or not. This is true with technology as well. (Hint, hint.)

      Great comments, Jonathan. You're in the contest. Please feel free to share the link and contest with your family, friends, co-workers and...well, everyone else you're connected to! Because everything's--and everyone's--connected! :-)

    2. Jonathan, use the email at the top of this blog so I can have a way to contact you in case you win. Or, wait for the September 1st blog announcement, and then send me an email if you're the winner. Thanks again for reading and commenting! Glad you liked the story.

  4. I thought it was smart and funny and i would love to read more. I like the idea that it's all connected. It's intriguing and it really makes you think. :)

    1. Thanks for saying so, Scott! And you're right--In this world of seeming meaninglessness, it's nice to know that it might all have interconnected meaning after all.

      You're in the contest. Good luck.

  5. I liked this story quite a bit. It was nice to see the building relationship between Foster and his secretary. It also gave insight into how he reasons and thus, how he solves crimes. Personally, I look forward to reading this character again :)

    1. Thanks for saying so, S.L. I'm glad you liked the story, and I hope you'll be reading his character again--in the novel ms. I'm almost done with!


  6. The story is well-written. The parallel between the computer virus and the lost child both being hidden in plain sight defines the beginning and end of this short story very well and justifies its title.

    1. Thanks very much for the comment, Anonymous. If you'd like to enter the contest, send me an email at the address above to let me know this was you. If not, thanks for the kind words!

  7. Great story, though I must admit I'm not sure I like it as much as the other I read. The other while having more of a down tone, really had a great take that feel in the end. It's still well written though - and I wonder if my not liking it as much is coloured by the fact I'm not such a believer in connections? Stuff is just dumb luck or logic to me -- if you look hard enough or are that determined you can prolly connect anything!

    The characters are interesting though and it would be great to see more of them and get to know them better!

    1. You'll get a chance to do just that when the soon-to-be-finished manuscript is published! :-) Thanks, Dreki, for commenting. You're in the contest.

      P.S.--I used to be a solid No-Connections thinker. I don't know how or why that changed, though I suspect getting old(er) had A LOT to do with it. Wishful thinking, perhaps, but the latest in String Theory, Chaos Theory, and theoretical quantum physics and quantum mechanics back it up. Now doesn't THAT sound riveting! (Not.)

  8. I agree with Scott, it was smart and funny and I’d like to read more. The character of Foster is intelligent, sarcastic and a bit cynical. (Sounds like someone I know!) Colleen is also smart, has a strong sense of self and is persistent and methodical, a good balance for an interesting relationship to develop. I’m not a fan of fate/destiny, I believe life is mostly random. I think people look for connections because it helps them make sense of their world and because there is an inherent need for meaning and/or purpose. And that’s ok, it makes much more sense that we give meaning to our life than that there is some hidden meaning that we have to discover or have revealed. Certainly some things are cause and effect, but not everything. Humans are social creatures so definitely no (hu)man is an island. How and why people find connections and meaning is an interesting topic to explore. I look forward to you upcoming novel. :)

    1. Thanks, Nancy! I also look forward to seeing Foster live more fully in the novel I'm almost done with. I mean this more than I can ever possibly say, and that from a writer.

      I agree that innate connections could be man's little attempt to find meaning in a meaningless world. However, the science in my previous comments amazes me and cannot be ignored. If there is indeed a fabric of time, then any ripple at all in that fabric will effect both time and space--and the people inherently occupying that time and space.

      Thanks for the comment, and thanks for reading!