Tag Archives: rehoboth beach

“The Celestials” – A Rehoboth Beach Story

Ah, the highs and lows of the writing life. As mentioned in a previous post, my submission to the 2017 Rehoboth Beach, DE short story contest was not selected by the judges. That was disappointing since my 2016 story, “Tower 16,” took second place.

So I thought I’d post the new story on my blog for your free reading pleasure. Feedback welcome, of course.

In “The Celestials,” the death of a reclusive writer attracts some interesting characters… Click here to read!

 

Sunrise over Rehoboth Beach

Delaware – The Coastest with the Mostest!

My wife and I spent another fantastic vacation in Rehoboth Beach, DE with several wonderful friends. The latter half of the week delivered sweltering temperatures ranging from 96F to 100F, but that didn’t stop up from having a marvelous time!

It was a busy and fast seven days I could absolutely use another week at the beach just to finish the book I’m reading and get some writing in, but I’ll jump back into writing once I’m home. It was quite a tempest of activity including daily morning walks along the beach and boardwalk, catching SpiderMan: Homecoming at the Midway Theatre, parasailing in Dewey Beach with my friend Renee, shopping and lunch in Bethany Beach and Fenwick Island, a trip to Cape Henlopen State Park, shopping at Heritage Antiques in Route 1 and in historic downtown Lewes, and of course, ice cream from various shops including the Royal Treat and King’s Homemade Ice Cream.

Finally, no trip to Rehoboth/Bethany would be complete without visiting our favorite toy shop, Yesterday’s Fun—both in Rehoboth and in Bethany.

Henlopen Lighthouses

Cape Henlopen Beach Cape Henlopen Dunes Cape Henlopen Dunes Cape Henlopen State Park

Fort Miles 8in Gun Fort Miles 16in Gun Fort Miles and Tower 7

Henlopen Lighthouse & Cape May Ferry

Parasailing with Renee Parasailing with ReneeParasailing with Renee Parasailing with Renee

Parasailing with Renee

Imperial Guard action figure Starfish decorationResin Shark and Sailfish Star Wars Bamboo Cups

Deka Return of the Jedi Pitcher Deka Return of the Jedi Pitcher

I also held a book signing at Browseabout Books on Thursday. I only sold one book, but I enjoyed chatting with people, including my friend Mary Ann who was in town on vacation for the week.

Browseabout Author Signing Ad Browseabout Signing-WhiteboardBrowseabout Book Signing Maryann & Phil at Browseabout

 

 

Of Home Renovations, Work Disasters, and Book Signings…

In a previous post, I discussed the recent home renovation project that consumed most of June for me. I painted a large portion of my second floor through the middle of the month and the renovation was completed as of June 29 with the installation of new carpet! Now, approximately 80% of our second floor has new carpeting.

Since then, I have been busy reassembling our dining room and library with little or no time at all for writing. In fact—and to my chagrin—my SF novel-in-progress took a back seat for the entire month, but that wasn’t entirely unexpected to be honest.

New Carpet-Library

New Carpet-Hallway  New Carpet-Stairs

Empty Bookcases

Bookcases Filling Up

To make matters worse, a severe storm struck my area on July 1, causing a partial roof collapse at my workplace, accompanied by flooding and a natural gas line rupture to the generator that provides power to a portion of our IT equipment in the event of a main power failure—which also occurred.

As a member of our IT Infrastructure team, I was called in to assist with disaster recovery implementation, an activity that required participation not only from my own immediate team, but various members of our corporate parent’s IT group as well as vendors of the two or three of the major hardware and software platforms we rely on.

After a continuous 50-hour conference call, during which I slept no more than 4-6 hours, our systems were restored and business was able to resume. Unfortunately, the disaster occurred on my birthday, forcing me to cancel all plans with my wife and family. A final critical issue remained outstanding into Monday that I was not able to resolve until July 4…so that holiday was also lost.

It has been a brutal four weeks, friends. I am exhausted to the point of burn out and as of this writing, we are still working through new and unexpected problems, while I’m still working to put my house back in order.

On a high note, the Bethlehem Writers Group announced the winners of their 2017 short story contest and I am proud to have taken an Honorable Mention (as I mentioned before!) with my story “So Hungry…,” which will be published in the fall edition of the Bethlehem Writers Roundtable online magazine.

Also, I look forward to my book signing at Browseabout Books in Rehoboth Beach, DE on Thursday, July 13 from 11AM to 1PM. The titles available for purchase at the signing include my paranormal mystery novels, Testing the Prisoner and By Your Side as well as the speculative fiction anthologies Somewhere in the Middle of Eternity and Elsewhere in the Middle of Eternity, and of course, Beach Nights!

Lastly, I will be meeting with Firebringer Press publisher Steven H. Wilson next week to discuss the release of my paranormal mystery novella, Like Mother, Like Daughters later this year.

Once the mayhem subsides, I hope to return to work on my SF novel in progress and resume some semblance of a normal routine.

Enjoy your summer!

 

Of Home Renovations, Writing Contests, and Audio Books…

For me, this summer has begun with a challenging and exhausting home renovation. We’re repainting an area of the house that has not been touched in 14 years—specifically, our library.

With five packed bookcases, two recliners, two tables, and more “stuff”,  and the fact that the library shares ceiling space with the adjoining stairwell and hallway, it’s no wonder that we left it alone for as long as we did. However, the carpet is in dire need of replacement and I thought that since we’ll need to move furniture to make that happen, I might as well repaint these areas.

 

As of this writing, I have patched and sanded where needed, primed, and applied the first coat of paint. The second coat of paint will be applied tomorrow evening and then I can clean up. After that, it’s touching up the window trim and inside the hall closet. The carpet installer will be out next Monday to measure for the estimate and provide samples. It’s a family-owned business and we had them out last June to replace the carpet in our bedroom–which I also repainted a few days in advance. They did a fantastic job and as such, we called them first.

On top of this, two high-profile projects at my FT job are keeping me busy and will consume part of my upcoming weekend and well as my summer. As you might have guessed, I have not written at all this week and probably won’t next week either,  but over the past two to three months, I did manage to write three more chapters in the first draft of my SF novel-in-progress while also editing submissions for Meanwhile in the Middle of Eternity, the third volume in our series of speculative fiction anthologies.

The first volume is called Somewhere in the Middle of Eternity (released in 2014), and the second, Elsewhere in the Middle of Eternity, was released last August. Our third collection has a tentative release of summer 2018.

On the short story front, I have two submissions out into two separate contests. The first is the Rehoboth Beach Reads Short Story Contest in Delaware, sponsored by Cat & Mouse Press and Browseabout Books. I won second place last year and my story was published in the resulting anthology, Beach Nights.

I already had a new story ready to go by the end of 2016 for this year’s contest, which is themed Beach Life. Winners will be announced around August 7-8. Watch this space for updates!

The second story is a paranormal tale set in New Mexico and was submitted to the Bethlehem Writers Roundtable annual contest. I was informed last month that the story made into the final round of judging and is now in the hands of NYT bestseller Carrie Vaughn to select the top three winners. Winners will be announced by July 1, which would make a marvelous birthday present for me! Stay tuned.

Lastly, when Podiobooks merged with Scribl.com, I was disappointed to see that the reviews for my audio books did not migrate over… then I stumbled upon my audio books at LibriVox and not only do they have the older Podiobooks reviews, but new reviews that I had not seen before. My exciting discovery for the week!

Click here to listen to Testing the Prisoner. 

Click here to listen to By Your Side. 

 

 

 

 

And the Awards for Beach Nights Just Keep Coming!

Just when I think the saga has reached its end… Many of you recall that last year, I took second place in the Rehoboth Beach, DE short story contest with my paranormal tale, “Tower Sixteen.” That story, plus 22 others, were published in the anthology, Beach Nights by Cat & Mouse Press in November 2016. 

Last month, the Delaware Press Association bestowed four awards on Beach Nights including best anthology, best edited collection, as well as two awards for individual stories. 

Well, yesterday I learned that Beach Nights and editor Nancy Day Sakaduski just won two awards from the National Federation of Press Women: First place for anthology and second place in the editing category! 

Here is a statement from the judges wherein, I am proud to say, my story “Tower Sixteen” is specifically called out along with “Flight of the Songbird”, which took first place in the initial Rehoboth Beach contest last year. 

What a fun and inviting collection! A wide range of stories nicely presented (including typography) and well edited. I realize judges chose the stories, but I can see your development and guidance as well. It seems while there is great variety, these are nicely edited and of high quality. These stories overall have excellent, memorable first lines – unlike collections where the reader feels the story could have started 2 pages in! Keep watching for that with your authors – that they show characters and actions, rather than describing them in exposition to set the scene. The very best of these do that. I was particularly taken with Flight of the Songbird and Tower 16, actually – I would agree with your judges on the strength of those stories. I also loved how you ordered the stories for flow, so the award winners are sprinkled throughout. Very interesting for the reader to discover those along the way. Nice work!”