My short story, “Inside,” was published in the Hardboiled magazine in 2004. Another short story, “Scars on Brown Earth,” was selected as one of the finalists in the Glimmer Train’s Fall 2007 Short Story Contest for New Writer. My travel vignette, “Cats Among the Ruins,” was published in the 3 February 2009 issue of The Christian Science Monitor. And my short story, “The Other Side of War,” was published in the Spring 2013 edition of The Northern Virginia Review. I am currently working on a novel, a story about a war correspondent in World War II Italy.
If you have time, please visit my travel blog, Experimental Traveler.
Ian Pierce, an NCIS special agent, is on a hunt for a murderer aboard the USS Kitty Hawk. He tracks the killer down but ends up with an experience that changes him forever.
The Other Side of War
On her last day in Naples, Italy, Ashley Mildred, a U.S. navy doctor, reflects on her life with her lover, Marcello Pasquale, an Italian Carabinieri officer, who died in the Afghan war.
The Cat King of Rome
In Rome, Italy, I go on a search for Nelson, a one-eyed cat king of a children’s book, and instead I find a world full of cats and cat-loving people.
My First Novel
I’m writing my first novel. Several years ago, I had finished my first draft, 130,000-plus words. But as most first draft goes, mine sucked. The story unfolded through three third-person points of view and that didn’t work. So I eliminated one POV. Pushed that POV into the background. I restructured the story through two points of view. Last year I finished a new outline. Now I’m writing my new first draft, staying focused on the main concept:
How important is it to keep a promise, especially when you made that promise to a man you hardly knew, but a man who saved your life and died, and how difficult is it to keep that promise, especially if it stands in the way of your life’s ambition?
The story premise builds on that main concept:
In World War II, an idealistic and ambitious American war correspondent, whose life’s goal is fame and success, reluctantly promises a dying Italian soldier who saved his life to seek out and protect the man’s only son, and when the correspondent finally finds the boy, an orphaned Neapolitan street kid, he ends up becoming the boy’s unwilling custodian, thereafter fighting off a lieutenant colonel bent on ruining the correspondent’s career.
The book is a mainstream fiction, a cross genre of Historical-Adventure-Romance. I wish to complete the manuscript by the end of 2017.
My Writing Goals for 2017
Reflecting back on my 2016 writing activities, I’m struck with a shameful realization—a year of zero success. My novel had stagnated, stuck in the quagmire of rewrites. A few short stories I had submitted, either for publication or contest, all failed. All rejected. And to add to all those feelings of failure, my blogs and postings, both on this writer’s website and on my Experimental Traveler website, had all seized.
There’s nothing I can do to fix the time past. So I look onward to my 2017 writing activities.
In 2017, I wish to finish my first novel (it’s about time). For my writer’s website and ExT blogs, I wish to come up with new ideas and stories. I also wish to write more short stories and flash fictions. The key here, I tell myself, is "never give up." Perseverance. Keep on writing knowing that the joy of writing is in the writing. But looking onward into the unknown of the time to come, I can’t help wondering: Does 2017 hold for me any success? Where would I be on my writing path at the end of 2017? Could I take another year of failure?
I don’t know. And in not knowing, all I can do is to keep on writing and let the time take its course.