27 September 2011

Weekly Goals - September 27, 2011

Unfortunately, the motivation hasn't really been there this week. Did not help to have life get in the way, but that's not really an excuse.

Results for this week:

1. 425 words (vs. goal of 2000) on Resurrection
2. Checked the outlet, but saw nothing about time limits.

And now the goals for this coming week:

1. 2000 words on Resurrection

Submission status for the week:

Short stories:
"Collateral" (since May 23)

23 September 2011

SFFS - An Excerpt from "Little White Truths"

Well, apparently I was blind last week and even though I'd looked, didn't catch the 4-10 sentence guideline on Science Fiction Fantasy Saturday postings. So, tucking my tail between my legs, I humbly submit my excerpt this week. This particular excerpt comes from my first-ever published short story, "Little White Truths" (which is part of my short story collection Dead or Alive):

I never thought I would one day become an addict.

Looking back, it was inevitable, with my long trips alone in a cramped spaceship. It leads to boredom, which doesn’t have a lot of cures. There was no clear moment in time I could point to when the solution turned to full-blown addiction. Instead, it was more gradual and sinister, until the realization became obvious.

“Would you like another, sir?”

I looked up at the light brown man in a stiff, white shirt as he stood next to my table. I glanced down at the pale green remnants of some drink I’d forgotten the name of.

20 September 2011

Weekly Goals - September 20, 2011

Well, thankfully things improved a bit this week. It did not seem so at the time, but doing a little bit every day (almost) helped a lot. So, here's hoping I can continue building on this week's success.

If you don't follow me on Twitter and Facebook (first off, why not?), The Cure is also available over at Barnes and Noble online (and for a significant discount). :-)

Results for this week:

1. 2150 words (vs. goal of 2000) on Resurrection

And now the goals for this coming week:

1. 2000 words on Resurrection
2. Check back on the status of "Collateral"

Submission status for the week:

Short stories:
"Collateral" (since May 23)

16 September 2011

SFFS - An Excerpt from Heroes Die Young

Greetings everyone! I was turned on to Science Fiction Fantasy Saturday (not in local time, thus the Friday night posting) by a friend of mine, so figured I'd give it a shot this week and see whether I can do it right. Ha.

So, here's a snippet from my first published novel Heroes Die Young:


I needed to get out of this mess. The trick was going to be in doing so without getting myself caught. Not that you could get in much more trouble than a death sentence, of course. I could have spared my life by giving up the cargo, but this was a matter of principle now.

I turned to the guard. “You’re going to sit there and watch my every moment, aren’t you?”

His face told me what his voice didn’t.

“Well, would you at least get me something to eat? I’m starving.”

He folded his arms across his chest.

“Come on. Surely you feed your prisoners.”

“I’ll be right back,” he mumbled.

As he stepped out of the room, I held up my arm and whispered into my transmitter. “Jeanie, can you hear me?”

“Aston, are you okay?”

“I’ve been better.”

“According to the station’s records, you’ve been incarcerated on weapons charges.”

Jeanie had a tendency to be a bit nosy. I heaved a sigh. “Yes. Our guest informed them of our cargo.”

“There has to be some explanation. I know they haven’t defeated my efforts at concealing our cargo.”

“I’m in a bit of a hurry here, Jeanie.”

“I apologize.”

“I’m in a holding cell.”

“The station contains only one security area. What cell number are you in?”

I shifted myself on the cot to get a better look at the nameplates on the other doorways. “Looks like number three. Drop the energy field and keep it secret if you can.”

“It doesn’t appear they have very tight safeguards in place. It should only take a moment.”

I jumped to my feet. “I’ll be there in a little bit. Prepare us for a departure whether the station lets us or not.”


I walked up to the field and tried to get a better look past the doorway, just then, the energy beams flickered and died off.

I smiled. “Thanks, Jeanie. See you soon.”

I grabbed my case of Vladirian liquor, scurried over to the doorway, and eased my head out to look. Two guards sat at their desks with their backs to me, typing out information into terminals. The guard who’d kept watch over me was nowhere to be seen, which suited me fine. I tiptoed into the booking area, walked around the small counter, then bent down below the countertop, just in case one of the two guards happened to turn around.


I looked up and saw my guard with a tray of food as he entered through the front door.

“Prisoner escaped!” He yelled to the others.

I rushed the guard and nailed his midsection with my shoulder. The tray slammed into his chest as he fell to the floor. I jumped over him and ran out.

As I rushed into the commons area, I had to stop and get my bearings. A few curious onlookers gave me odd glances, while others gave me a wide berth. I found the corridor I needed and sprinted for it. Voices called out behind me, but I paid them no heed as I rushed for my ship.

I raised my arm as I neared the second docking ring. “Jeanie, are you ready?”


A guard I didn’t recognize stepped out from around the corner with his weapon drawn. I didn’t have enough time to react as a green blast struck me square in the chest. I stumbled and fell to the floor, then slid to a stop against his feet. The case hit the floor beside me and thankfully stayed intact.

“Aston West, you’re under arrest for attempted escape.”

Getting shot was always a strange experience. My chest felt like it was going to explode from the inside as I lost feeling in my extremities. His weapon was set on a much higher setting than mine normally was.

My world slowly faded to black.


If you enjoyed it, feel free to snag a copy via any of the major online retailers...and of course, excerpts from all of my novels, and links to my published short stories, can all be found over at AstonWest.com

13 September 2011

Weekly Goals - September 13, 2011

Sadly, things are ending up extremely difficult in getting new material out onto the page. Things did seem to be getting better over the weekend, but with only two days out of the seven, it does not bode well. I'm just hoping that my dismal showing is not related to the lack of sales lately...but anything's possible. Here's hoping the coming week proves more fruitful on the writing front.

On the plus side, The Cure is now available in paperback from Amazon, so all those techno-phobes out there can get their hands on it now as well. :-)

Results for this week:

1. 1000 words (of 2000) on Resurrection

And now the goals for this coming week:

1. 2000 words on Resurrection

Submission status for the week:

Short stories:
"Collateral" (since May 23)

07 September 2011

Weekly Goals - September 6, 2011

Oops...with the holiday break, I got my days of the week confused and forgot to post Tuesday...even though things went fairly okay...hopefully we'll keep things rolling. It should be entertaining, since it's been a while since I've written new material on a novel (as I've been in editing mode for what seems like forever).

Results for this week:

1. One edit completed
2. Edited

And now the goals for this coming week:

1. 2000 words on Resurrection

Submission status for the week:

Short stories:
"Collateral" (since May 23)

04 September 2011

Six Sentence Sunday: "Some Assembly Required"

Thanks everyone for stopping by! Today's six sentences come from my latest published short story "Some Assembly Required". Poor Aston gets himself into a big mess of a situation, when he stumbles across a planet where things aren't always as they seem:

I walked out and bumped into Libby on the top step. Instinctively, I wrapped my arm around her waist before she fell.

“What do you think you’re doing?”

I looked up. Ford stood between the containers and a second hovercraft that looked like a flatbed cargo truck. His arms were crossed and his face burned red.


Poor Aston...

So, there you have it...if you want to read more, the entire piece is up over at Residential Aliens. And of course, I have several other published short stories which are linked over at my website, most of which are free (you can also purchase Dead or Alive, a full collection of Aston West short stories via ResAliens Press, in both print and e-formats)