Stephen Measure
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Forced to Bake a Cake
November 14, 2017

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We are blinded by our politics, completely blocked from seeing any other point of view. We don't want to see. We don't want to understand the viewpoints of others.


Sexual Identity Is Bogus and Same-sex Sexuality Is Wrong
September 18, 2017

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It's been almost a year since my last post. During this past year, my family moved and I had to set writing aside until things settled down. My mind has not been idle, however, and I have a lot of stories on the way now that I'm back to writing again.


Writer's Dementia
September 21, 2016

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All of the stories I've published so far can more or less be considered message fiction. I still have plenty of "message" I want to say, but I'm at the point now where I'm ready to start introducing stories that are just stories, no deep message parsing required.


Untolerated Rejection
August 1, 2016

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It's been a while since I've published a new story. It feels good to be releasing something new once again, and I have a number of stories planned for the coming months. I've actually been working on a larger story that will be very different from what I've done in the past, but this little satire popped in my head one night and demanded to be told. I was able to finish the initial rough draft in a matter of hours, which is unusual for me. After some time to edit and revise, it's now ready to be released.


"A Modest Proposal ..." Available as Ebook
April 14, 2016

A Modest Proposal for the Replacement of Our Outdated Gender Binary Classification System with One More Suited for Our Progressive Age - Front Cover

Reason has left the building. Doesn't it seem that way lately for the topic of gender? This is "the sky is blue", "water is wet", and "the birds and the bees" territory. This isn't religion (which is about the unseen and therefore open to opinion). This is reality. And the reality is that reason, truly, has left the building.


The Wrong Sort of Stories
September 29, 2015

The Wrong Sort of Stories - Front Cover

The world has gone mad. Reality itself must be denied if one wishes to fit in today. "The Wrong Sort of Stories" is a collection of stories and satires that describe this madness and argue against it. Some are humorous. Some are dark. Some are deservedly brutal.


Flayed
September 14, 2015

I'm entering the final stretch of the publication process for my short story collection, where I'll finish assembling the eBook and will start working with the printers on the paperback and hardback formats. If everything goes as expected, my collection should be released the last week of September.

There are a number of essays I've been working on while my short story collection has been moving toward publication, and I expect to release some in the next couple of weeks. But for now, here is the final poem I wanted to share before my collection is published. It is a little darker than the others, but it is what it is: "Flayed".


The Argument in My Way
August 25, 2015

My short story collection has now been proofread and the manuscript is ready for typesetting. The cover illustration is in process and the cover design is arranged and will follow after. I'll start on the eBook files later this week. All in all, a mid-to-late September release date still seems likely.

Here is another poem I wanted to share in the meantime: "The Argument in My Way".


Outside, Standing on a Stake
August 8, 2015

My short story collection is moving forward steadily. The stories are complete and are being proofread right now. There are fifteen of them, nine previously released and six new. I plan to release the collection in both eBook as well as paperback formats. The cover illustration is being worked on, and the typesetting is planned for the end of the month. The final arrangement I must make is for the cover design itself, but based on how things are going, I'm projecting a mid-to-late-September release.

In the meantime, there are a few poems I've wanted to write that I plan to do while I wait. Here is the first: "Outside, Standing on a Stake".


Killing the Golem
May 16, 2015

Killing the Golem - Front Cover

Imagine a world where slavery, segregation, and racism had never existed. Imagine a world where interracial marriage had never been prohibited. Imagine a world where skin color had always been seen as insignificant as hair color, where the word discrimination still had a neutral connotation, where the idea of discriminating between one thing and another had not become tainted by the injustice of racism.

Imagine yourself in that world and ask yourself this question: Would same-sex marriage exist?

No, it would not.


Melvin the Protester
December 9, 2014

Melvin the Protester - Front Cover

Another interruption of an interruption. "Killing the Golem" is still on its way, but in the meantime I present "Melvin the Protester", a short, fun look at a man who isn't really cut out for protesting.


New Cover for You Never Had a Brother
December 6, 2014

You Never Had a Brother - Front Cover

When I originally released "You Never Had a Brother", I went the cheap route and made the cover myself. I never liked it much, so I'm happy to be replacing it with this one. I've submitted the update to the relevant eBook stores, but it might be a day or two before the change takes effect everywhere.


The Honor Code on Trial
November 22, 2014

The Honor Code on Trial - Front Cover

In the summer of 2012, Trinity Western University, a private university in British Columbia, announced plans for a law program. Two years later, their proposal is in jeopardy after several Canadian regional law societies rejected the admittance of TWU students and the BC Ministry of Advanced Education is now considering revoking their consent for the law school.


The Endless Field
November 8, 2014

The world is full of problems that require resolutions. There is far more work than any one person could hope to even make a dent in. Faced against the impossible demand for our attention, we find ourselves so overwhelmed we become paralyzed and lose the ability to perform the good we otherwise would have been able to do. It is for this reason that I wrote "The Endless Field".


Stare Decisis
October 27, 2014

Stare Decisis - Front Cover

I'm supposed to be writing a story on a completely different topic, but that got interrupted by another story on yet another topic, which got interrupted by another story, which got interrupted by this story, which itself got interrupted by a very short story that I included as a bonus story at the end of this story.

That's the bright side to all the insanity going on right now with same-sex marriage: insanity spurs creativity. Put another way: all this nonsense demands satire, and the ideas are forming faster than I can write them.

Here is my latest: "Stare Decisis".


You Never Had a Brother
September 20, 2014

You Never Had a Brother - Front Cover

The fashionable view claims that our sexual attractions define us but our biological sex does not. Let me repeat that. The fashionable view claims that our sexual attractions—inconstant, unmeasurable feelings—define us but our biological sex—a directly observable, objectively determinable physical reality—does not. The fashionable view is wrong. No, more than wrong, the fashionable view has completely lost its mind.

The opposite is the truth. Our sexual attractions do not define us. They never have. They never will. Our biological sex, however, most certainly does. It is part of who we are. You can deny this, just like you can deny anything else; but doing so only distances yourself from reality.

And so, here is my latest short story, "You Never Had a Brother".


The Mascot
August 30, 2014

Once again I find that satire says it best. I'm releasing a new story today: "The Mascot". Here is its description:

His first day at a new school, Winston discovers there's something very wrong with his classmates.

This is something I've had rattling around in my head for a while. I originally thought of it as a short humorous video, perhaps a book trailer for a forthcoming book (to highlight the theme, not the actual content), but I decided it would be fun to make it into a short story instead.

Like I did with "The Equality Remedy", I'm making this story available as a free download. Unfortunately, neither Amazon nor NOOK allow me to set the price as free, which is why it is $0.99 in those stores. (The same is true for "The Equality Remedy".) Amazon does do price matching, however, so if enough people notify them of the price difference via the link on the story's page, then perhaps Amazon will match the free price available elsewhere.

I have another short story I plan to write next. I'm not sure how I'll classify that one, literary fiction? Then it's back to working on the rough draft of "The Inner Rot", which continues to move forward slowly.


New Mailing List
July 10, 2014

For those interested in receiving email notifications of my posts along with other news, I have created a mailing list. You can subscribe here.

In related news, I have added an "Upcoming Posts" section on my "Posts of Note and Other Writing" page. If you are curious about what posts I will be sharing in the future, take a look there. My latest post was released this morning: On Perspective.

I'm also still working on "The Inner Rot", the last story of "The Ridge of Earth Collection". Repeated distractions (posts and other stories) have made the writing slow, but I'm making progress.


The Equality Remedy
May 26, 2014

I rediscovered this gem while searching through my old story ideas. The basic idea and initial sketch were recorded four years ago. When I stumbled across the story again last week, I decided to finish it. It was a fun story to write and hopefully will be a fun story to read.

The name of the short story is "The Equality Remedy". Here is its description:

Mother Nature is taken to court for being heterosexist. But will we be pleased with the imposed remedy?

I've once again been distracted away from writing "The Inner Rot". Back to work. Back to work. Back to work.


The Unneeded Panic Room
May 10, 2014

Many of us have been following the news of Brendan Eich, who was forced to resign as the CEO of Mozilla due to his past donation in support of Proposition 8 (a 2008 California initiative that declared that marriage should remain the union of a man and a woman). There has been a lot of discussion of this troubling event in the media. Unfortunately, most of that discussion has been completely beside the point. Too many in the media are focusing on the question of whether or not a CEO should be punished for his political views, but that's not the problem behind this story. All of us have a line over which, should someone pass, we will no longer accept them as part of respectable society. So, no, the problem isn't that Brendan Eich was punished for holding an unpopular political view; the problem is that Brendan Eich was punished for holding a view that I myself share. And I'm not alone in this regard. Perhaps we didn't donate to Proposition 8 ourselves, but how many of us voted for it or for equivalent laws? And how many of us would do so without hesitation again? How many of us belong to churches that oppose same-sex marriage? And how many of us would stand by those beliefs no matter the personal cost? The problem is not that Mozilla judged their CEO unworthy of it; the problem is that Mozilla made that judgment about so many of us.

This hits close to home for me because, like Brendan Eich, I work in the tech industry and am therefore at risk of the same rejection. While it's true that I publish my work using a pseudonym, the only permanent barrier that provides is one between my ego and success. The thin buffer in front of my identity is only temporary, and it will be pierced the moment someone is motivated enough to run a few web searches. Ideally this won't happen without a simultaneous interest in my work, allowing me to provide for my family in that way, but there are no guarantees.

It is interesting, however, how everything has come full circle. My novel "The River Is Always Waiting" was conceived in the midst of Proposition 8 and its aftermath. If there had been no Proposition 8, I might have never written it. If Mormons had not been so involved in Proposition 8, I might have never written it. And now, as I've been struggling for a way to explain why my novel matters and to convince people to read it, this belated backlash to Proposition 8 occurs, providing me inspiration for a short story I hope will demonstrate why this topic is important. The short story I wrote and am now releasing is called "The Unneeded Panic Room". Here is its description:


Why Do You Build What You Know Will Fall?
March 15, 2014

I published a new poem on my website: "Why Do You Build What You Know Will Fall?" Like "Not Today", I am releasing this poem into the public domain, which means that anyone is free to copy and use it in any way they wish. It is available in PDF and OpenDocument Text formats, and I also decided to make eBook versions in EPUB and Kindle formats (I added eBook versions of "Not Today" as well). One word of caution about the eBook formats: the poems are formatted a specific way and when viewed as an eBook, your eReader might not render them as designed.

It's interesting how ideas can bounce around in your head, combine with other thoughts, and then suddenly come to life. This poem isn't something that I planned to write, but it all came together around a week ago, so I got to work. I'm pleased with how it turned out.

Now I need to return to "The Inner Rot", the last short story of "The Ridge Of Earth Collection". I've completed the outline and begun the rough draft. (The rough draft is always the hardest part for me. Once I have something to refine, I can work faster.) Based on the outline, I'm guessing this will end up at novella length, but I'm hoping it won't take as long to write as "It's Not My Money" did. "The Inner Rot" is more pure story than "It's Not My Money", so I don't have to be as precise with every word. I'm hoping that will translate into a shorter writing time. I'd like to get moving on my second novel, but this must come first.

(My earliest news item from 2013 disappeared from my News page recently. This was due to a glitch in my web page code and has now been fixed, so my complete news history should be viewable again.)


Patheos Book Club Promotion
March 1, 2014

Now that "The River Is Always Waiting" has been published, my attention towards it has shifted from writing and editing to promotion. With a limited advertising budget, I've tried to target my ads as effectively as possible, and one place where I've run these targeted ads is Patheos.com, a website that presents a wide variety of religious and political beliefs through the numerous bloggers who post there. I am running ads on a handful of blogs at Patheos that are mainly read by those who I believe would be interested in reading my book.

An additional advertising opportunity provided by Patheos is its book club. The book club's webpage for "The River Is Always Waiting" went live this morning. It will be listed on the book club's main webpage for the next two weeks, and my book's customized webpage will be available for three months afterward.

Here is a link: "The River Is Always Waiting" in the Patheos Book Club.


An Honorable Man upon the Mountain
February 21, 2014

I've finished "An Honorable Man upon the Mountain" and released it in Kindle, EPUB, and PDF eBook formats. Links will be added to the various eBook stores as it becomes available. This is the sixth story of The Ridge of Earth Collection to be completed but only the second to be released. Here is a brief description:

Tolan must rescue his sisters from the shades who slaughtered his family, but he cannot save them without first finding an honorable man upon the mountain.

As with "I Would Sing", "An Honorable Man upon the Mountain" takes place in the epic fantasy world known as The Unshut World. The final story of The Ridge of Earth Collection, "The Inner Rot", will take place within this world as well.

At times when I write something, I'm actually talking about something else; but at other times, (to paraphrase Hemingway) a shark is simply a shark. When considering any symbolism to this story, please understand that I have plans to write about many topics, much more than just the topic of my first novel. Also, remember that hubris is an all-too-common flaw found throughout society, and power has always had a tendency to corrupt even the best of us.


Four More Stories Finished
January 20, 2014

I've finished four more stories from "The Ridge of Earth Collection": "Somethings Going On at the Strip Mall", "The Last Dance of the Pansy King", "Two Letters from a Gentleman", and "It's Not My Money". All four of these stories are very different both in terms of content as well as length. Of the four, "The Last Dance of the Pansy King" is the smallest at ~3000 words, and although it was trimmed a bit since its first draft, "It's Not My Money" remains the longest at ~23800 words.

The stories are done and their eBook files created (PDF, EPUB, and Kindle), but none of these four will be released at this time because they are not needed yet. I'm posting their covers, however, which provide slight hints about each story.


First Story from The Ridge of Earth Collection
January 8, 2014

The first short story from "The Ridge of Earth Collection" has now been released: "I Would Sing". Its eBook has been submitted to all the major eBook stores, and I will add links to each site as the story becomes available.

As mentioned on the webpage for "The Ridge of Earth Collection", each of these stories is specially-crafted. They are designed for specific purposes. The reasons behind this story might not yet be obvious, but hopefully as time goes by they will become more clear.


First Novel Is Now Released
December 13, 2013

"The River is Always Waiting" has been released in hardcover and eBook (Kindle and EPUB) editions, and a paperback edition should be available sometime next week. Purchase links have been added to the book's webpage and will continue to be updated as additional online retailers begin to sell the book. While it is unlikely you will find this novel shelved at your local bookstore, it should be possible to request it via special order. The hardcover ISBN is 978-1-940778-00-6 and the paperback ISBN is 978-1-940778-01-3.

If you enjoy this novel, then please consider leaving a review on Goodreads, Amazon, or your preferred book retailer or review site.


Cover Is Done
December 3, 2013

At long last, the cover for "The River is Always Waiting" is ready and can be viewed on its webpage. The book's interior is already finished, so now that its cover is done, my novel can finally be released. It should be available for sale within the next week or so.

I have also made progress with more short stories from "The Ridge of Earth Collection". The first drafts of "Something's Going On at the Strip Mall", "Two Letters from a Gentleman", and "I Would Sing" are now complete. "I Would Sing" will be the first of my short stories to be released. It should be available shortly after my novel.


Story Status
September 14, 2013

Although I completed the first draft of "The Last Dance of the Pansy King" without much difficulty, "It's Not My Money" proved to be more stubborn. More than eight-times the size of my first short story, "It's Not My Money" is actually a novella; and its twenty-plus pages of notes, recorded over multiple years, took time for me to wrestle together into a coherent whole. At over 24,000 words, the story is about a third the size of my first novel, "The River is Always Waiting", which took me years to assemble and write; so, it's not too surprising in hindsight that the first draft of this novella required a few months to complete.

Based on the feedback (and lack of interest) I received back from the query letters I sent this summer for "The River is Always Waiting", I've decided to self-publish my novel through my own publishing company. While working with a traditional publisher would have provided the benefits of time, resources, and reach, self-publishing will give me the benefits of control and schedule. Now, my novel will say exactly what I want it to say, presented in the manner that I believe is most effective; and it will be released as soon as it's ready, which should be within a couple of months. The copy-edit has already been completed—I'll be working through its results in the coming week—and the novel's cover is scheduled to be done in October. Typesetting and proofreading still need to be arranged; but I expect everything to be completed and the novel to be ready for release in November. In the meantime, I have more short stories to write. Next up will be "Something's Going On at the Strip Mall".


Beginning "The Ridge of Earth Collection"
June 6, 2013

Now that my initial query letters for "The River is Always Waiting" have been sent, I can turn my attention to the short stories I have planned for "The Ridge of Earth Collection". I have pages of notes written about the stories, and have already tentatively started one, but they now have my focus and I hope to complete their first drafts over the summer.

The first two stories I will tackle are "The Last Dance of the Pansy King" and "It's Not My Money", neither of which will require much, if any, further research. I expect to follow those two stories with "Two Letters from a Gentleman" and "Something's Going On at the Strip Mall", which will both require some individual research before writing.

My final three stories, "I Would Sing", "An Honorable Man upon the Mountain", and "The Inner Rot", all share the same research requirements and advance preparation, so I will wait to write them until after I have completed the first four, with the last to be written being "The Inner Rot" as it is the only of the seven that I would feel comfortable leaving uncompleted before "The River is Always Waiting" is published.


My First Novel Is Finished
June 1, 2013

The final draft of "The River is Always Waiting", my first novel, is now complete. At ~73,500 words it's shorter than the average book, but it's as long as the story requires, and I am content.

In the preface to "Screwtape Proposes a Toast", C.S. Lewis shared the discomfort he felt while writing "The Screwtape Letters". Describing the world of the book's narrator as "all dust, grit, thirst, and itch", he said: "It almost smothered me before I was done." After finishing this novel, I believe I understand what he meant. The weakening of a good man is not a pleasant process to dwell on, making the third part of my novel difficult to write (and revise). I believe, however, that all of the effort will prove to be worth it.

But, now that it's done, it's time for me to turn my attention to query letters. While it will take a few days to prepare my initial queries, I hope to have them sent by mid-next week. Response times vary, and rejection is far more common than acceptance, but I am optimistic. One way or another, I hope to see this book published within the next year.


Halfway Done with Final Draft
May 11, 2013

I finished revising the seventh chapter of "The River is Always Waiting" today, putting me halfway through the novel's fourteen chapters. The revision has taken longer than I expected, but with limited hours available for writing, the draft is going to take as long as it's going to take. That said, the latter seven chapters are shorter than the ones already completed, so I'm hopeful I'll be able to finish the final draft and send out my initial publishing queries by the first week of June.


Hello World
March 25, 2013

Although I would normally prefer to share nothing personal, I cannot launch this website properly without stating that these past few years have been frustrating. Forced to simply watch, needing more time to prepare, I have waited and I have waited. Because writing is not a path I always expected for myself, gaining the necessary competence has required time, more time than I anticipated when the ideas first began to form. But now, while mastery remains years away, I have what I need to begin and can learn the rest through the work ahead of me.

And what I have to share of that work, so far, is a single poem, "Not Today", which I've dedicated to the public domain, and a brief description of my first novel, "The River is Always Waiting", its final draft now underway. A poem, the hint of a book, and a whole lot more work in planning. It is, perhaps, strange for me to divulge so many plans when I am only starting; but I think it is useful to reveal my intentions, or at least their outline, from the very beginning. The details will become clear as I continue forward.

After I finish the final draft of "The River is Always Waiting", I will query literary agents and publishers to test the possibility of traditional publishing. However, the odds of being published, always low, might be even lower for me due to my book's content and my desire to tightly control its presentation. Thankfully, self-publishing has become more effective in recent years, making it a fallback option should the traditional path prove unlikely or untimely. But I won't need to commit to a decision now, or even soon, because I want to complete my collection of short stories, "The Ridge of Earth Collection" before my first novel is published, and I expect those stories to take at least six months to write and revise, giving me time to carefully consider if traditional publishing will be appropriate for my books or not.

I hope to have more news soon.


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