Camp Sunshine

No one went to Camp Sunshine after the third massacre.

One massacre was just a thing that happened. Two was an unfortunate coincidence. Three was enough to discourage the most determined thrill seekers. The camp was abandoned, and it would remain abandoned for decades.

But kids with nothing better to do or in desperate need of privacy would park on the outskirts, beneath the old faded camp billboard just off the interstate, and do things they couldn’t do anywhere else.

Emmett leaned closer to Meadow. His breath reeked of alcohol and pot. His hand strayed up her knee, under he skirt. She stopped his progress but didn’t push him away.

“Hey, baby, come on,” he cooed, shaking his head, trying to get his overgrown bangs out of his eyes. He reminded her of one of those cartoon characters with the top of their face always obscured by some hair or a hat.… Read the rest “Camp Sunshine”

On Realism

We need to have a talk about Realism in storytelling.

Well, we probably don’t. If you’re a fan of anything I’ve written, you’re probably cool with a flexible definition of reality. So this might very well be preaching to the choir, but it’s still worth talking about because if you read any criticism of storytelling in general, across all genres, is the specter of Realism.

I use capital R “Realism” because we’re not talking about actual reality, but about perceptions of reality. The truth is that reality is often unrealistic, in that it doesn’t always conform to our experiences or expectations. Usually when I see the “Not Realistic” complaint, it comes from a shallow place, built on either an arrogant assumption that our experience is the default human experience OR an unexamined cultural presumption.

But before I tackle those two points, I need to point out the most obvious truth here:


It might seem a strange observation to have to make, but most stories are not about creating a realistic experience.… Read the rest “On Realism”


We swam through the shining fires of creation. We danced and laughed, and in our foolish innocence, we thought it would last forever.

Thirteen billion years later, I sat on a park bench with a man named Gary. The specifics of how he found me were irrelevant. Someone always did, and it wasn’t as if I was hiding. These little encounters helped pass the ages.

Gary had brought his own lunch in a plain brown sack. He offered me half his tuna sandwich, but I waved it off.

“Is it true?” He asked. “Can you do things?”

“Everybody can do thing,” I replied.

“Impossible things,” he clarified.

“If they were impossible, I couldn’t do them,” I said.

Gary chewed on his bite of sandwich longer than necessary, until it dissolve and he was only chewing on saliva and the most stubborn scraps.Read the rest “Iff”


I read recently somewhere that blogs should make a comeback. It’s fine to use Twitter or Facebook or Instagram or whatever, but the truth is that you’re only renting those spaces. They aren’t yours, and while those services want you to succeed (since it helps them succeed), it doesn’t change the fact that you are subject to their whims.

So I’m going to try getting back to regularly updating. We’ll see how it goes. I used to think of a blog as an obligation, but only recently did I realize that writing regularly, in any form, is a good habit for writers to have. It’s easy to think of writing this as a distraction from my real job of writing stories about robots and dragons and super ninjas. And sometimes it is. But writing, like most things, is also a habit, and I’d say that writing for distraction is still writing which is better than not writing at all.Read the rest “Return of the Blog & A. LEE MARTINEZ APPRECIATION DAY!!”