Even longer ago on DOUG LANE WRITES…


Riding out the COVID pandemic so far has been a lot like regular life; there’s less store browsing, and travel/road trips have dropped to zero, but by and large I’ve been splitting my time for the past eight years between writing and home improvement projects, and that’s mostly done from home, so…

If you know me elsewhere, you know how the home improvement is going. But it’s been a while since there was a writing update, and there are other things brewing in the Write-o-sphere:


The bulk of the last few months has been spent prepping the first three books of the C.T. Robillard mystery series to get them in shape for seeking a rep and then a publisher. The first, MURDER HOUSE, is locked down in its current form and ready to go. Two days ago, I finished the next-to-final round of edits/rewrites on the second, SEVEN FISHES. This week, I dive into the second draft of the third book, HONEY LOVE, which I expect will be a 50% total overhaul as better ways of traveling the story have occurred to me (or have been revealed to me by Robillard and his associate, Kristie Barrett.) In addition, draft outlines for the three books that follow exist (ORGAN GRINDER, GUN DOPE, and GLASS I , which complete an arc dealing with the murder of Robillard’s wife.) The idea was to walk forward with a package of polished work and a roadmap for the latter half of the journey. The COVID pandemic has completely flipped the table on timeline, though, as publishing takes the same hits as everyone else, with layoffs and such. I’m plugging along because the plan is still viable, but ‘when’ is as pushed out of shape as every other. In the end, the whole effort may wind up going through my own imprint. There’s too much fog in the crystal ball to say at this point, but Robillard continues his spadework unabated.


I set aside short stories for the most part while hammering out Robillard material, with the exception of the ‘Friday prompt’ shenanigan a couple weeks ago on Facebok that resulted in “The Mockingbird Who Knew Too Much” (currently in the Story Stash) and a short bit of whimsy born of a friend’s post about his annual ritual pilgrimage to a middling restaurant of his past (“All You Can Eat”, which might go into the stash in the future for grins), jotting bits and ideas as they came to me for future use. Right now, that slowly stewing pot is 31 pieces deep, from fully-formed stories in need of a rewrite/finalizing (including four Iron Vanguard adventures) to three-line starts that need to be written. So I have things to fill in when I get tired of Robillard pulling me in three directions.


One other thing I have on the boards - lord knows if it’ll happen or not - are a blog post or two about my Aunt Elaine and her military service leading up to her deployment at the Army Hospital in Tokyo at the start of the Korean War. I’ve got a loose outline of a longer memoir partially mapped out - basically one woman’s life and how it was de- and re-formed through that particular crucible, but she was in the first waves of personnel sent by Truman in response to the conflict, and as we approach the 70th anniversary of the start of the war in June, it feels like a good time to put some story down on the page, scan some old images or negatives (a roll of film shot the day she shipped out of California for Japan is still extant), and tell the pertinent parts of her story, which will help me organize things and get some hand-holds for a more fulsome account of her life (perhaps in time for the 75th anniversary in 2025.) 


Seeing as I’m paying for the woefully underused Midnight-to-Three Publishing domain - which has only ever really had a SHADY ACRES splash page or two - I’m going to do a two-site overhaul and move the selling functionality and links from this site over to that one; and I may noodle with other Midnight-to-Three projects that aren’t specific to me (maybe the time for THE NEPOTIST JOURNAL OF FICTION is coming.) I may also drop a section onto the Mt3 site to periodically list books from my personal library selloff. It’s far easier to have those mechanisms in one place, and if I’m going to go to the trouble of listing things, I have zero problem moving away from eBay, given their fee structures and commerce games. (Alas, I’m PayPal bound, but PayPal isn’t socking me for a percentage of the sale, so there’s that.) That’ll be on an ‘as I get there’ basis over the next few months. Or I may scrap it all conceptually. We live in fickle times.

And finally: be good to one another, maintain your distance, and be safe, and I’ll see you soon.


03/28/2020 - CLOISTERED

Jeez - take six months off, and the whole world goes sideways.

There’s a longer post coming on what’s new and strange - and that’s everything - but as part of the current stay-at-home order, for distraction, I put out a call for story prompts last week that resulted in a new tale presented here for my amusement (and yours, if you so desire). Head over to the Story Stash to solve the mystery of “The Mockingbird Who Knew Too Much”.

10/25/2019 - “THE GRAVEDIGGERS” 

The sporadic tradition of Free Fiction Friday AND the annual posting of a holiday-themed story for your entertainment collide in today’s brand-new post to the Story Stash, a little crime/horror piece titled “The Gravediggers”.  Live now on the Story Stash. All the Halloween freebies go away on November 3, so read ‘em while you can.

10/21/2019 - “HEADCOUNT”

As we continue the run-up to Halloween, I’m bringing back the Halloween 2017 free story from the website. If you’ve read it before, thanks for sticking around for a couple of years. If you haven’t, it’s a breezy little read inspired by a number of bits and pieces (as I mention in the story notes) that for whatever reason is a personal favorite. And it was only around for a few days last time, so I thought much like Grandma Moore’s holiday themed candles that it might come back for the season. And it’s live now in the Story Stash!


Halloween - which wasn’t invented by Ray Bradbury, but merely developed into a fine literary community with which he’s synonymous - is almost upon us. You couldn’t prove it by the home improvement stores, which started pimping the decorations in August like they were part of a back to school sale. Then again, I heard my first Christmas song of the year on the radio yesterday, so time has lost all meaning to the world at large.

That said, we play our Halloween cards a little closer to the vest here at stately Lane Manor, and I’ve decided to loose upon the world a few pieces of fiction from the vaults in the run-up to All Hallows Eve. The first of these will appear in a new piece of the website lovingly named The Story Stash. This lets me release a piece of fiction on the site and rotate it out without having to clog the blog with lots of short ‘sorry you missed it’ updates when posted fiction goes away. (It also pretty much replaces The Secret Story Stash, which no one ever apparently stumbled upon, and which makes for a nice essay on overthinking plumbing down the line somewhere.)

Meanwhile, after a pause to refresh the guest bedroom with wall fixes, new baseboards, fresh paint and other pleasantries, I’m on divided fronts, continuing work on the first draft of HONEY LOVE (Robillard III) so I can circle back to the revision draft of SEVEN FISHES (Robillard II). I want to hit the end of year target for the former, given how much activity that kicks off. Story work continues, at a slower, as-I’m-moved-to pace. And I’m thinning seven totes of material to as few as I can manage. Writers accumulate a lot of Marley boxes. Writers in small houses need to maintain them better.

8/2/2019 - DOG DAYS

We roll into August, the hottest part of Houston summer and, not coincidently, the high part of hurricane season. I’ve been juggling writing, home projects, and yard projects, making incremental progress on all three fronts. I’m also actively working on library downsizing, which may or may not come more into focus here as I jettison and carve out some of the signed shelf items. More on that if it becomes pertinent.

But today, because I’m not selling - and you’re not getting to read as a result - I thought I’d institute a rare FREE FICTION FRIDAY. I mulled mightily. I considered the latest unpublished Iron Vanguard story, “Triplicate Threat” but I think I’m going to hold those back in favor of a second chapbook, perhaps. Dunno. And I sifted things in the trunk, but everything there needs more framing than a barn to contextualize it. So I’m’a cheat just a little and resurrect (because I can do that) one of the tales that appeared previously on the Secret Story Spot page to a whole two sets of eyeballs - mine and Bernie’s - and offer up the horror of… “The Box”. [No longer available; sorry.]


Circumstance and good fortune and a wife who really loves me all conspired to allow me to spend the first couple of weeks of June in England and Scotland. Largely a birthday trip for me, I was surprised with tickets to HAMILTON in London on day one - believe the hype. And King George III plays about the same with the British audience. Who knew?

I love London, but Scotland is simply beautiful. Lush, green, lots of small towns and smaller roads, moody weather, and while not at Rome’s ‘you can’t throw a rock without hitting a ruin’ level of concentration, there are plenty of once-castles and former-cathedrals to occupy the sight-seer. It hardly seems real. Also: whisky. Whisky for days. In and among the sightseeing was a fair bit of book crawling (nothing to shake the pillars of heaven that I could afford, but a clean first of Tim Burton’s THE MELANCHOLY DEATH OF OYSTER BOY was a nice thrift store find), a side trip to seek the Loch Ness Monster and indulge my inner ten year old’s IN SEARCH OF… fetish, and some work time on various planes, trains, and in an assortment of bars, pubs and coffee houses (a majority of that in Aberdeen, where it rained for the lion’s share of three days.) A full new short story even came of it, the tentatively titled “Death To Let” that I need to get out of the notebooks. 

Now back in the reality of Texas heat, this week’s writing work is split between submissions/finishing stories and working on rewrites to the first 40,000 words of HONEY LOVE. I’ve only stopped in here to keep to some sort of pop-in-every-other-month-to-dust schedule. Someday, I’ll install a counter and learn I’m talking to myself and the various web search engine bots crawling over the page and cataloging it. Whatever. I’m happy.

Meanwhile… waaaaaay back in January, I installed a secret compartment in this website for posting stories - one at a time, each hanging around until I put up a new one; file and trunk stuff, things I’m not necessarily planning to do anything else with, along with insight on how my writing process worked to get from A to B. 

In true oblique style, I kinda just tossed out a path to it in January with no notice to see what happened, and much like MAGICAL MYSTERY TOUR, nothing did. I’ve dropped the occasional hint, but we live in a skim age, so: there’s a web address on the Doug Lane Writes Facebook page to the Secret Story Spot, apparently so well hidden in plain sight, no one’s seen it. (It requires a tiny bit of effort and an eye for detail. Maybe a reflective surface. Anyway, find the URL, find the free story of the moment.)

The third story to be posted there - a *wholly* different initial take on “Everything In Time Travel Has Been Done” (coyly retitled “Almost Everything In Time Travel Has Been Done” so in ten years I can keep it all straight in the bibliography) - goes up today. The other two tales preceding it are back in the trunk. How long each story is live is entirely a whim, so if you’re curious, you should find the path to the compartment. (Eventually, I’m just going to go Patreon and make levels of contribution for weird crap like this. But I like to try the shenanigans out for free first, and see who can be hooked before I ask for coin. Yes, I would be that kind of dope dealer.)


This past Friday, The Saturday Evening Post published my story “Everything In Time Travel Has Been Done”, an ode to science fairs and frustrated youth. It’s a gentler story for me - no fictional children were harmed in the writing of it (and coming from someone who’s fed kids to the devil, mangled them in carnival rides, and turned them into soul-sucking leeches, this is probably a positive step). Some sales feel good if only because they’re sales. Others have the added dimension of you really liking the finished product. This one bounced between me and editors for five years before the Post took it in, and I couldn’t want a better home for it. You can check it out at the Post website

In news tangential to writing, the back room renovation is done. This is important because the back room is where my office is located, and for about ten days, I was adrift in the dining room, and not a lot got put onto the page. But everything is now back in fine fettle, as Grandma might have said. To celebrate, I’m restructuring the first half of HONEY LOVE before beginning work on the second half, and laying down a few drafts that have been rattling around the to-do list. In general, Robillard has picked up internal momentum as I also await the edits/results of the first alpha reader’s trip through SEVEN FISHES. 


What if there was a world within the world you thought you knew, and there was a pathway to that world that was hiding in plain sight, and had been for a little while, and all it took was an eye for detail to walk this path into this new world, where you could be among the first to travel?

Well, okay - that’s a majority of fantasy novels (classical and urban both). But it’s also mirrored in the world you’re in, right here, right now. Why, you might be Facing the first cobblestone of the path, so close, just a click, right there… 

Of course, even if you Face that first step, it might take some reflection before you figure out the rest of the journey…

2/15/2019 - TOO MANY IRONS

The truth of the matter is that LIFE often gets in the way of THE WORK. And LIFE tends to accumulate its projects at the outset of the year: plans made for home renovations to be finished, upgrades to home and garden, trip planning, and so on. Into that mix, you toss a car that decides it wants a new transmission that it (frankly) isn’t worth the cost to give, and suddenly everything goes to one side so you can have reliable transportation again. 

But in the midst of this, there’s still work going out, work getting onto paper, the march of progress on the third Robillard novel (which, when finished, will kick off the hunt for representation of some stripe, with two ready-to-fire guns and a third in the oven, plus outlines for the remaining three. In the meantime, other stories make the rounds (including a bit of alternate history Hollywood haunting in “Daddy, Play That Babalú”; a spot of horror-tinged crime in “The Gravediggers”; one cop’s strange obsession with “The Skull In The Switchback”; the Cuban revolution-flavored “The Finca Vigia Banned Book Cockfight”; and perennial also-ran - and ode to science fairs - “Everything In Time Travel Has Been Done”) while still others have been thrown into revision reconsideration, are fully drafted, or well-started (“A Souvenir of Your Visit to World War III”, “Five Iterations of Charlie Tango”, “Other Than That, How Was The Play?”, “God’s Home Address”, “A Touch of Bedlam”, “Slip Some Skin”, “The Middlemen”, “Birth Mother”, “The Shady End of the Bench”, “The Effect of a Monster Under the Bed on the Traveling Salesman Problem”, “Object d’Art”, “With Garnets In Their Eyes”, “Place of Dying” and a couple of new Iron Vanguard memoirs, “Triplicate Threat” and “The Ardor of Giant Mecha”). We’ll see where I get.

There are ALSO still some unsold copies of SHADY ACRES AND DARKER SPACES available directly through this website, signed by the author, in both limited hardcover and trade paperback. IF you don’t have one yet, hie the to the BUY page!

12/21/2018 - WINTER SOLSTICE

Winter officially arrives at 4:23 PM today (Central time) and tonight is thus the longest night of the year. On the plus side, the days are getting longer. On the minus, there was a plan to have some sort of new holiday story for you this year, and it simply didn’t happen, and because I’m intimately familiar with the pipeline, I can tell you there’s none in the works. 

What I can report is that if you were someone interested in the cheaper trade paperback edition of SHADY ACRES but a) still wanted a signed copy and b) didn’t live in the greater Houston area, I have a limited number available through this very website - they’ve just been added as an option on the BUY page. You will NOT get one before Christmas - the days are getting longer, but not THAT much longer. But if you order, I’ll get it in the mail in and around holiday revels.

 There’s otherwise nothing particularly newsworthy to report - stories go out, rejections come in, stories go out again; the second Robillard novel (SEVEN FISHES) is undergoing a revision to tweak some things that need tweaking before it goes over to my editor; the start of the third Robillard novel (HONEY LOVE) has been shelved and may or may not emerge as the third Robillard novel. It may become the eighth. Or jam up the file cabinet. The only thing certain about writing is rewriting. And in a fit of pique, an opening to the sixth Robillard novel, GLASS I, was laid down on paper before bed as it occurred to me, before it vanished into the abyss again. Sometimes, you don’t belly up to the bar in Brigadoon at your own peril.



Officially on sale for a week, the signed/limited hardcover edition of SHADY ACRES AND DARKER PLACES is a shade over 60% sold out. I’m not saying ‘blink and you’ll miss it’ but it’s selling quicker than expected. If you’ve been considering it, copies are in stock and available by either clicking the banner above or going to the brand-new BUY page.

In a related story, the trade paperback edition has FINALLY been approved for distribution. You can order one RIGHT NOW at Lulu.com, (which is actually my preferred provider, given my cut with Lulu for each copy sold is about seven times greater than with ANY OTHER 3rd party provider from whom you’ll ever be able to order it) by clicking the link above. It will take several weeks yet to populate to other distributors’ sites. Lord knows if it will ever populate to Amazon. I’m not going to lose sleep over that.

In addition, over on the BUY page you can also order a signed copy of the trade paperback directly from me. The BUY page is a brand-new work-in-progress, mainly because of multiple fulfillment channels (me, distributors) and multiple formats (hardcover, trade paperback, and e-book.) But there, you’ll find more info about the book, formats, and ordering, plus links to a couple of other currently in-print items with newer stories that may not be collected for another ten years.


Today’s new blog post is a little different - a real-life mystery with a call to action and audience participation, revolving around a pair of 90-year old journals discovered in a second-hand bookstore in Houston. And you might even win a book in the process, because who doesn’t enjoy a game of chance? I hope you’ll hop over to the blog to dive in on “The Lost Diaries of Florence Baumrucker”


Meanwhile, it’s back to work on the third Robillard novel this week and fashioning the framework for things to do in the coming year, which I don’t need the I Ching to tell me is going to be a season of change. Back before the holidays!


TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 20 - two weeks from today - will see the publication of my first story collection, SHADY ACRES AND DARKER PLACES. The book will be available in three formats:

- a general trade paperback containing 21 stories, plus an introduction and story notes ($15)

- an EPUB formatted e-book ($2.99)

- a hardcover first edition, signed and numbered, limited to fifty copies worldwide and containing five additional old, odd, and uncollected pieces in a bonus section titled IT CRAWLED FROM THE TRUNK! ($25)

AS YET I have no sales links for the trade paperback or e-book. As the book populates through sales channels, I should be able to better point you to where you can purchase either of those online. A small number of signed copies of the trade paperback will be available through the website for those who want their book defaced, something Amazon has yet to learn to offer on demand. Details to come.

The limited hardcover is ONLY available through this website. You can place your order beginning TODAY, November 6, by clicking the banner at the top of this page OR by clicking here. Once they’re gone, they’re gone.

The table of contents for the book:

    The Golem-Maker of Buchenwald

    Good Bait

    The Sinking Tomb

    The Last Ride of the Hole In The Well Gang

    Dial ‘C’ For Consultant

    The Jail In Shinjuku Ward

    Lorem Ipsum Donald

    Ark of the Revenant

    Fear #7

    Every Hero An Hombre, Every Wolf A Clown

    To The Devil, A Goat

    One Man’s Famine

    The Shaman In Relief

    Shady Acres

    Erin Beiber’s Wild Ride

    The Trapdoor


    Physicians’ Ball

    In Days of Auld Cheil’s Crime

    Bobby Boxster in Eight Measures


The limited hardcover edition includes everything in the trade paperback, plus an additional section titled "It Crawled From The Trunk!" with material covering the formative years from high school to my first professional sale:

    In Need of Mental Help (1983) 

    Pals (1988)

    Waiting For…Godot (an unproduced short film script) (2000)

    Mister Eddie (2006)

    Linus On The Savanah (1997)

It’s going to be a squirrelly two weeks here on the home front, but the good kind, not the kind that steals ten pounds of peaches off your tree.


In other publishing-related news, a dead-trees edition of PULP MODERN containing “The Great Unknown” (which gets a call-out in the review on the UNLAWFUL ACTS blog) is now available via Amazon here

And finally, my story “The Floor Is Lava” leads off the October 2018 issue of Bards and Sages Quarterly, which can be purchased here.


While SHADY ACRES continues to move towards publication (official announcement is in the works, cover reveals coming soon), the astronomical calendar compels a sneak preview.

SEASONS IN THE ABYSS, the 2011 flash fiction anthology built around the four seasons, edited by Jack Burton and published by Blood Bound Books, had three stories of mine within its covers. One of these was a tale for the autumnal equinox about two kids with some livestock and a plan. Presented for one thematic day only over in the blog before it goes to live within the pages of SHADY ACRES, I hope you take a couple of minutes to enjoy “To The Devil, A Goat”.

UPDATE: Aaaand the 24 hour clock has run out. But you can read “To The Devil, A Goat” again in a couple of months, when SHADY ACRES AND DARKER PLACES drops from Midnight-to-Three Publishing.


7/25/2018 - FRESH BLOG


After about a dozen false starts, I’ve posted a Harlan Ellison memorial in the blog today. It’s hefty, but it feels good to share. Thanks, Harlan. And as you once told me, be good, and if you can’t be good, at least be smart about it. 

Read “Clearly, Harlan Ellison Is To Blame (A Love Story)”



On June 28th, writer Harlan Ellison died. I’m still trying to find the proper words by which to remember the man who crafted some of the finest short stories of the 20th century, and the man who called me his friend. If I can figure out how to say what I want/need to say, you’ll see it in the blog soon. If I can’t, well, there are a ton of appreciations out there if you want to understand who he was. I’d start with Carol Cooper’s in the VILLAGE VOICE.  And if you want to delve into his work, it’s a lot easier to find thanks to the Internet than it was when I was first seeking it. Google and give him a read.

Speaking of reads, the Kindle version of PULP MODERN magazine Volume 2, Number 3 - with my story “The Great Unknown” in the lead-off slot - is available now via Amazon if you’re a Kindle person and enjoy crime fiction. Dead trees version of the issue is still in the works. Watch this space for further developments.

Work has slowed on the upcoming release of SHADY ACRES AND DARKER PLACES - real-world intrusions and the like - but as yet, it’s still on track to release this year. Maybe in time for Christmas. It’s a perfect opportunity to support an independent writer AND a reader you like.

6/14/2018 - NEW NEW NEW!

Item the First: NEW COLORS! 

You might notice the white-on-black, grim, dark, misery-besotted theme of the previous incarnation of the website has become a blue-sky blue. This is kinda the shade my office has been repainted as part of the ongoing renovation, and it’s the sort of cool blue that I find soothing. So when it came time to bring the site into its new design digs (using Sparkle now instead of the late and only slightly lamented iWeb) I figured it was also time to give it a more cheerful facelift that reflected the current status. There will inevitably be kinks to be worked out (for example, blog posting is NOT intuitive thus far) but I already like the place more. Like my office.

Item the Second: NEW STORY! 

My flash fiction piece “Time of Reflection” is today’s story from Daily Science Fiction. It’s a bit of SF creepiness that won’t even take a coffee break to absorb, so I encourage you to click below to give it a read:

Item the Third: NEW SALES!

Two additional stories have been picked up for publication later this year. Bards and Sages Quarterly (which previously published “One Man’s Famine”) has accepted my tale “The Floor Is Lava” for publication this fall; and Pulp Modern accepted the gritty crime story “The Great Unknown” for an upcoming issue. 

In the midst of juggling the business of subs and resubs and sales and new stories, work also continues on SHADY ACRES AND DARKER PLACES, which continues moving towards publication. There should be some sort of official announcement of a firm publication date soon. I can tell you there will be both trade paperback and ebook versions available, and contents are firming up for the projected limited hardcover release (26 lettered) with a little extra for people who like cloth-covered boards. As usual, more as I know it. 

1/10/18 - NEW YEAR, NEW WORK 

Working on novels and collections is a time-consuming process. In performing a year-end review, while I produced 73k of second Robillard mystery novel, and got a LOT of the front-end heavy lifting done for SHADY ACRES AND DARKER PLACES, my short story submission numbers were anemic - 8 subs in 12 months, two of which are still sitting in slush piles as of this morning. Then I went back a year (the year I spent drafting some stories, but largely knocking out the first Robillard novel) and saw one story, subbed and rejected twice. Hmm. If we’re talking Publish or Perish, I’m dyin’ here.

So I dumped a LOT of coal into the boiler - not so much a resolution (because why resolve to do something when you can cut to the chase?) as a good old fashioned Nike-style ‘Just do it‘ - and turned the final screws on a bunch of stuff I’ve been working on for the past 12 months, and BAM, eight stories went out the door in three days. So the first nine days of the year, submission-wise, have already matched the raw numbers for 2017. Two more, and I’ll have matched the last two years. While probably not a sustainable pace given upcoming non-writing real-world projects (the back room isn’t going to renovate itself, and the bus with the home improvement gnomes doesn’t seem to stop nearby), a new story every couple of weeks to join the rotation would be something to aim for. Meanwhile, SEVEN FISHES (Robillard 2) continues to cool like a pie on the window sill before I go back and find all the warts; HONEY LOVE (Robillard 3) has been fully outlined and the flow of the plots and subplots broken out so they can be woven together in a proper pace(no start date for the first draft yet); and the first layout proofing pass of SHADY ACRES began in December (aaaaaall the nonstandard formatting was swallowed by my antique version of InDesign) and resumes later this month; and another half-dozen stories are stewing. So maybe I’ll have more to update the three people and two-dozen bots who read this site about as the year unspools.  Not a resolution. More of a wish-list item.

12/12/17 - ‘TIS THE SEASON


In what I intend to be a holiday tradition (much like the trials of St. Charles Brown, patron saint of blockheads), my gift to you is a new, free piece of seasonal fiction. It’s live now in the blog, and it’s on the gentler side of near-future fantasy than ancient evils, sinking ships, and general darkness. It might even be fun. I hope you read, enjoy, and share if you’re so moved, “The Girl Who Plugged In Christmas”. But don’t tarry - on the 12th Day of Christmas, it’ll disappear in favor of the Valentines Day candy.

As the year winds down, work continues on multiple fronts. In the midst of holiday prep, I’m working on some cover concepts for SHADY ACRES (yeah; I’m going to trouble your eyes with my finger painting. Hell, that’ll probably be more unnerving than anything in the book) and bashing out drafts of other things. The idea is to keep the pipeline full. I hope I’m better at it than the Keystone people.  No matter how you celebrate, I hope you have a marvelous holiday season. 


2017 is never going to go down as a gem in my book. Broad strokes behind the scenes include multiple losses in the family, being ground zero for Hurricane Harvey’s Houston visit, a cat on medication for several months, and a variety of other bits and pieces.

That said, it’s been a productive year while I was running silent. The second C.T. Robillard mystery novel, SEVEN FISHES, has finally been whipped into shape and forwarded to my editor, while half of the proofreaders’ notes have been received for the first, MURDER HOUSE. The third--working title HONEY LOVE--has been outlined and will probably kick off in the new year, unless the iron gets hot. Meanwhile, my story collection SHADY ACRES AND DARKER PLACES moves ahead. While nothing is final, it’s shaping up to include 23 stories, one previously unpublished, and should be available in hardcover, trade paperback, and ebook. As with anything forthcoming, all details subject to change, but as its release gets closer, you’ll probably be wishing I’d shut up about it.

In the meantime, I’m looking forward to subbing and finishing off stories in the current ‘to do’ pile--things like “The Finca Vigía Banned Book Cockfight”, “A Souvenir of Your Visit to World War III”, “How To Speak To Monkey”, “The Great Unknown”, and a few others. Long-form is fun, but there’s something exciting about the targeted narrative strike and the short, sharp shock. 



Someday soon, he said, there will be a more proper news update on things like the status of the second C.T. Robillard mystery, SEVEN FISHES; and the progress so far on the SHADY ACRES collection. But for right now, there a HALLOWEEN FREEBIE in the offing for your reading pleasure, a shortish (about 1,800 words) excursion in a hearse titled “Headcount” that you can find in the blog. But if you want to read it, read it soon - the story will only be online for a few days. Aaaaaand it’s gone. But there might be a stocking-stuffer in December. Please check back soon! 


Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! I’ve been quiet: the tumult of the election season; laying low and working on projects both writing and not; holiday revels; and a small five day romp through Paris. And suddenly, it’s a scant handful of days from the new year, so let’s close out some old business: + My horror flash “Fear #7” appeared just in time for Halloween, over at Stupefying Stories Showcase. It’s still there  and a free read, so go here if you want a chill or two. + I’ve added to the blog an essay originally published on my Doug Lane Writes account on Facebook in November concerning Donald Trump and the casual notions of violence against reporters among some of his supporters. Revised slightly from its original appearance, “ROPE. TREE. JOURNALIST.” can be found  in the blog . + AND FINALLY - NEW STORY! FREE TO READ NOW! Earlier this year, sometime between the death of David Bowie and the death of Prince, I sat down with the notion of how we traditionally depict the old and new years as, respectively, a withered old man and a shiny new baby, and began mulling the notion of a malevolent old year refusing to step aside as it worked its own agenda year upon year. What’s emerged as 2016 has unfolded has been cathartic to lay down, weaving Roman mythology with (thanks to Robert Burns) a wee Scottish twist. Though it’s still a work in progress, with this especially rotten week that’s seen the loss of Carrie Fisher and George Michael and Richard Adams and now Debbie Reynolds, all tumbling like hellish dominoes, I wanted to put the story to the ether. Perhaps an invocation for better days, perhaps an offering to eldritch forces, perhaps a toast to kicking ass on a year that’s overstayed its time -- like the holidays, it’s here for a limited time. Happy New Year! [Sorry... you missed it. DJL]


On the plus side, I finally upgraded to a new MacBook with a stronger battery and more modern software. On the minus side, the discontinuation of iWeb means finding yet another new software package within which to compose and maintain the web page on the new laptop, while the old one now has one job on this ship.  In the interim between hither and yon, a few things happened. In July, “The Golem-Maker of Buchenwald” appeared in ABYSS & APEX, a free read at their website. The first C.T. Robillard mystery, MURDER HOUSE, is down to final proofing, and I hope to get proofreaders packed for bear in the next week or so. The first draft of the second, working title SEVEN FISHES, is nearing completion. If I’m a gambling man, I’d say I’m 10k words from the finish line. Then it will rest a bit while I outline the third. And in between it all, the usual mix of story/submission/noodling.  And maybe, just maybe, I can get down to one machine for the entire works. Lord knows it would make that occasional blog post easier to load. 

The big stack o’ fun…

Seriously. This is a *real* place.


Hardcovcer limited (left) and trade paperback

Ooooh… retro!