The power of validation

Destroyer-of-Worlds-CoverInternational Thriller Writers have nominated Joanna Penn for a writing award – Best Ebook Original. Although she’s an internationally known podcaster and author mentor, this is the first time she’s received a nomination for her fiction writing as J.F. Penn.

Her pleasure over this recognition is obvious. She sounds charmingly giddy talking about it during her weekly podcast, The Creative Penn. Continue reading


Myke Phoenix sale through Thursday

puzzle-of-the-talking-dinosaur-bI have been quietly rebooting the Myke Phoenix superhero adventures series for the last three months, with the five earliest Myke stories now available in all their revised glory. You can find links to the ebooks and paperbacks here.

Now, for a couple of days at least, has made it even more tempting to add some of these little books to your collection, and this page assembles all of my print products in one spot for you.

Order Myke paperbacks, type in WINTERSHIP at checkout, and get 15% off and free mail shipping if you act before midnight Thursday. (That’s $2.49 for #1, $4.99 for #2 and up, minus 15%.) Operators are standing by! (Or at least an automated website is …)


My 5 goals for 2017


One thing holding up my writing career is the obstacle course I must negotiate to get into my home office.

Exactly one year ago today, I pledged to deliver a trilogy of novels about a huge beast from the sea, with the first one due May 11. I was later forced by my wiser nature to walk that beast back to the sea whence it came. I wish I could say “I didn’t say May 11 of what year,” but you can see I plainly intended to deliver the whole trilogy by July 1, 2016.

Wiser men than I have spoken of SMART goals – Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and within a certain Time line. The goal of writing a novel by May 11, 2016, and two more by July 1 was clearly SMT but not so AR. Continue reading

A writer of stories and encouraging words

I never took advantage of my bully pulpit as small-town newspaper editor to promote the books I have written over the last eight years or so. It didn’t seem fair to leverage that audience when others had to buy ads to do the same.

But now that some of that audience has followed me here, wondering “What happened to Warren? What will he do next?” it behooves me, as young Chris Carter does at the end of every X-Files episode, to declare, “I made this!”

I promise I won’t engage in blatant advertising every day. This website is mainly the place where I deposit fragments of thought and potential stories, and offer some encouragement against the rampaging tides of Dark Silly that threaten your calm every day.

When I sat down some time ago to create a personal mission statement, the words that emerged were short and simple: “I am a writer of stories and encouraging words.” And that is the mission I aim to fulfill every time I sit down at this keyboard. Continue reading

A roomful of life


Buried in bookcases are vast collections of words assembled to charm, to excite, to soothe, to inspire – words arranged in explosive patterns, gentle patterns, magical and mysterious patterns. Wordsmiths through the ages have agonized and raced and sauntered along wooded paths with their words, tapping the imaginations of their readers to create an image …

(What the –?) And just now, as I scrawl these words with pen into a journal, do I recognize that the words image and imagination have the same root. Imagination: The process of generating/creating an image. Of course it is.

Pull down a book off the shelf and open it and, deciphering the words, plant an image in your brain – or, more precisely, transplant an image from the writer’s brain to yours – or, most precisely, create an image in your mind that mingles your memories with the writer’s to generate an entirely new experience unique to you.

That’s a reason why we have different favorite authors: While Bradbury resonates with my experiences, perhaps Faulkner or Dickinson strikes your fancy in a more pleasurable way – for that is the joy of reading, having your fancy struck in a most pleasant fashion.

Do I wish to travel to strange and fantastic places? Here are Oz and the plains of Mars. Commune with a fellow traveler or challenge my point of view? Here are the political commentators and philosophers of the moment or years gone by. Know what it was like to stand in battle at Little Round Top? Here is a description and/or a dramatization – You may never “know” that moment, but you can immerse yourself in an echo.

A little book about freedom

I’ve just approved the final version of a new print edition of my novel The Imaginary Revolution.

The people of Sirius 4 tried to overcome tyranny the old-fashioned way: by force. It turned out to be an imaginary revolution, replacing one violent regime with another. Raymond Douglas Kaliber suggested another way: that free people living by a spirit of non-aggression could live in peace and prosperity with one another. Before he could launch that bold experiment, however, he had to defeat the greatest tyrant of them all: his best friend.

Yes, it is available on Amazon, but I chose to keep going with the print-on-demand service Lulu, which I have used since I started my publishing adventures, rather than the Amazon-owned service CreateSpace, because the product printed by Lulu is closer to what I want in my books. That puts me in the minority among independent authors, but so be it. Both companies will sell you the book, but I recommend you support the little guy and buy it from Lulu. (Yes, I will get a higher royalty if you pick Lulu, but my main reason for recommending Lulu is that your purchase supports a quality enterprise that puts out a great product.)

Of course, you can forego the costs of printing and mailing by downloading the book directly into your Kindle app. (And you should question any publisher that charges you more for the electrons than for the physical book.)

I wrote this book in 2012, and it seems its themes are more relevant than ever:  No one has the right, under any circumstances, to initiate force against another human being for any reason whatever; nor should anyone advocate the initiation of force, or delegate it to anyone else. Love your neighbor as yourself. Interact with love. Give more than you receive.

As we are besieged daily by the latest pronouncements from the major candidates for New Boss, it seems a good time to re-offer a little book that envisions a world where individual freedom determines the outcome. Thanks for giving it a try.