Happy New Year, everyone! If the first two weeks of this year are any indication, 2019 is going to be as busy a year as 2018 was. I hope everyone had a great holiday, and are already used to writing 2019 on their checks and other correspondence.
Looking back on my 2018 goals, I found that I didn’t accomplish most of them, but I’m not going to beat myself up about it. I did get ahead on my Barnstormers story by writing the next stop for NaNoWriMo, and I’m really happy with the way that turned out. The first chapter of Bridget and Kiki’s adventures in 1925 Chicago is attached below.
The Writers Group that I coordinate celebrated six years of monthly meetings with a featured reader spot at the THC Reading Series in October, and the story I wrote to the theme of the evening featured the characters from my Adventures Comics Comics Emporium series. I figure I just need one short story with them and I would have enough to publish in book form. You can read some of the stories on my Short Stories page.
I finally have a good idea for my next story in the Sleep Detectives universe, and since I’m far enough ahead on the Barnstormers piece, I feel I can take some time to write that. I need to get back to those characters because I really like them.
And this year I am definitely going to submit a story or two for publication somewhere. I have a few pieces that I thought were good enough, but when I went back to them, they seem to need more work. This will be a priority this year.
The next THC Reading Series night will be on Saturday, January 19, but Stephie and I have another commitment and will not be going. That doesn’t mean you can’t go and listen to some fine stories. There’s free parking, no admission, the tamales are excellent, and it’s BYOB. They start at 7pm. I do plan to be there for the February event, which will be on February 23.
I mentioned my Barnstormers story above, and if you’ve even considered joining my mailing list to read the full story as it comes out, now’s the perfect time to jump on, as the chapter I just sent begins with the ladies arriving in Chicago, where they have been hired to perform stunts over Riverview Amusement Park on the north side of the city.
I had done a lot of research for this story, because I want to make it as accurate as possible. The story is fiction, but I’ve tried to make it as realistic as I could. This is a bigger concern in this particular arc because I live in the Chicago area and many of my readers do as well, so the odds that someone would call me out on a factual inaccuracy are quite high. I found a lot of interesting information while doing research for this chapter. For instance:
- The Checkerboard field where Kiki and Bridget keep their plane was located at the corner of First Avenue and Roosevelt Road in Maywood. It was a major hub in the early days of air mail service, and one of the pilots who regularly landed at the field was Charles Lindbergh.
- I wanted to have my characters drive down Cermak Ave, but discovered that it was called 22nd Street in 1925. It was not known as Cermak until after the assassination of Mayor Anton Cermak in 1933.
- Corruption in local government is nothing new, as I’m sure some still goes on today, but in the ’20s, it was not uncommon to lose your business license for refusing to have a mob-supplied jukebox or pinball machine, or to stock booze supplied by local organized crime figures, even though this was at the height of Prohibition..
I hope you enjoy reading Barnstormers as much as I enjoyed writing it.
Thanks for reading!
My Novels and Novelettes:
It’s been said that everyone in the world has a double somewhere. Many cultures have ancient legends of doppelgangers, or look-alikes, and the “evil twin” is a popular concept in modern fiction. With almost 7 billion people on the planet, the possibility exists that there is someone else out there who looks just like you and sounds just like you. Identical in every way. What would you do if you met that person face-to-face? Dave and Catherine Wojtowicz are on vacation in the sleepy little town of Casco Cove, an area known for its artist community, fish boils and cherry orchards. They have never been there before, so why does everyone they meet seem to recognize Catherine? And who is the woman who runs the antique store?
Casco Cove is available at Amazon.com in paperback or Kindle.
The Hidden Message is available at Amazon.com in paperback or Kindle.
But not everyone is happy that Odagamig now has the premiere movie palace in northeastern Wisconsin. Theater owners in Green Bay and Oshkosh are upset that a rival chain from Chicago is moving into their area and overshadowing their own modest facilities. And the workers who are putting the finishing touches on the new facility have reported strange goings-on in the cavernous auditorium. Some even think the building is haunted.
The Opening of the Elysium is available at Amazon.com in paperback or Kindle.
What would you do if you could control your dreams, and you could use them to travel back in time and space to watch real events as they happened? Would you go back to watch history unfold? Relive experiences from your past? Try to solve some of the great mysteries of our time?Set in 1983, The Sleep Detectives is the story of Tony, a grocery store produce clerk who has this uncanny ability. He’s been using it just for fun — to see his favorite bands play, to find items he lost — but now he and his friends are figuring out how to use his gift to help people, and maybe solve a crime or two along the way.
The Sleep Detectives is available at Amazon.com in paperback or Kindle.
Tony Michalik has been helping the Acme Detective Agency solve the coldest of cold cases with his uncanny ability to see real events in his dreams. Now the CIA is asking him to come to the nation’s capital for evaluation. How much does the government know about his talents? And who are the shadowy figures following him all the way to Washington? Meanwhile, a mysterious company is taking extraordinary measures to attract Tony’s attention, and others are seeking his services. Are Tony and his friends in danger?
The Sleep Detectives Go To Washington is available at Amazon.com in paperback or Kindle.
A Sleep Detectives novelette! When Danny accepted a new assignment at another grocery store, located in one of the poorest neighborhoods in the city, he never expected to have to deal with an uninhibited co-worker, a belligerent trainee, and an evening of celebration that he has no recollection of. With the help of his friend Tony, Danny must piece together the events of his lost night, and in the process, determine if one of his crew is a killer.
The Lost Night is available at Amazon.com for your Kindle.
Another Sleep Detectives novelette! Danny is settling in at his new store when a co-worker asks him to find her missing sister. He enlists the help of his friend Dom from the Acme Detective Agency to track down the lost girl, then must deal with neighborhood gang members who don’t like him digging into their affairs.
The Lost Girl is available at Amazon.com for your Kindle.
Yet another Sleep Detectives novelette! Danny and Izzy are on the trail of a winning lottery ticket that was stolen from an elderly couple in the neighborhood, a quest that takes them from the seedy side of Riverdale to the heart of Chicago’s Division Street.
The Lost Ticket is available at Amazon.com for your Kindle.