Writing Samples

This is the heart of this website. Here you’ll find the dreams that flicker in the night. You’ll see future worlds taking shape and touch the warm talisman that promises hope but delivers destruction. You’ll find beauty in ancient horrors, the white rabbit like smoke in your eyes, and Bartholomew, who only wants to get ooouut. These are samples of my writing. Some are rough around the edges and some have been polished to the bone (or so I think!). I hope you’ll find something here that kindles the fires of your own imagination.

The Dread Miracle

A completed novel (in search of an agent!), The Dread Miracle is a 115,000 word contemporary fantasy. The story is about Carrol, an idealistic outcast who discovers miracles can be complicated when he accidentally unleashes an ancient destructive force. Here’s the first chapter, updated in April, 2020. Leave a comment – I’d love to hear from you!

The Peril of Aertu

New Novel(s) Under Construction! This is a working title for a trilogy I’ve begun. The The Peril of Aertu is a future fantasy set on a distant planet. Indigenous, though apparently extinct, lifeforms had developed a type of magic that was initially embraced by human settlers but later outlawed due to catastrophic events. With kingdoms now estranged from one another and technology and magic both lost arts, how will the remaining humans survive the return of the Lye? The first chapter is posted here. For an added bonus (and at no cost to you) here’s my working map of key portions of Aertu. Whatever you do, stay out of the Dread Wildwood! I also have 15,000 words of backstory but will NOT be sharing that bucket of spoilers! Updated April, 2020.

Flaherty Finds a Way

New Novel Under Construction! Here’s a draft of the first chapter of my new novel which is quite different from Bastion Falls and The Peril of Aertu. A little more light-hearted (I hope!). This is the project that currently has my focus. It’s the story of a man who flounders a bit in life, partly because he sees into another reality that hides in the shadows of our own. As he tries to keep his “unreal” problem in check, competing forces treat him as a game piece in a struggle with increasingly real consequences. As always, please send me a comment to let me know what you think! Updated April, 2020.

Misc. Prose

Here are a few bits of miscellany for you.

Renaldo’s Harvest Moon is a short story I submitted to the 2018 Write Michigan contest. It didn’t win anything but I like the story very much so I’m sharing it here in the hope you will too. It’s a poignant tale of two mythical creatures reuniting for an annual ritual, in the face of their own extinction.

I’ve also posted a short bit of prose called Awakening that I wrote for a piece of art donated to a forest-themed charity auction. It was written with a mind toward people who’ve struggled through dark and trying times and who are searching for hope of renewal.

The other sample here is an older piece called White Rabbit written as a story to be told around a campfire. This is a rough bit of writing that I ought to polish up someday, but I think it still stands up OK. Feel free to tell and embellish on it at your next fire!

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