Another way to get a free copy of ‘Pathways to Bolingbrook’ (Non-fiction)

I’m still working on the redlines for my novel, The Rift, which is still on track for release this year. On Tuesday, I’ll debut a new blurb for it.

In the meantime, my free eBook, Pathways to Bolingbrook, is part of two Prolific Works giveaways. It’s two short stories set in the same universe as The Rift.

Fantasy Reads

Leviathan Wakes

You can download my book, along with several other free Sci-Fi and Fantasy books. eBooks

Wereskunks outraged as village board prepares to end Bolingbrook’s garbage toter ban (Fiction)

Bolingbrook’s wereskunks are outraged that a proposed garbage collection contract will allow residents to rent garbage toters.

Liz, Bolingbrook Priestess of Paper, said: “Even thinking about allowing toters is sacrilegious!(Mayor Emeritus Roger Claar) promised the Easter Skunk sanctuary for all of Chicagoland’s skunks. Our cousins risked their lives during the Great Scampering for the promise of free garbage. Bolingbrook cannot break this divine promise.”

Liz hopes the board can be persuaded to change the contract. She stated: “We’re going to tell voters that toters are not free, therefore they are a threat to freedom. This should mobilize enough voters to intimidate the board.”

Pog, leader of the werekunk’s Defender Caste, said the wereskunks will cause “bad trouble” if Bolingbrook ends its toter ban: “Our cousins depend on unlimited access to Bolingbrook’s garbage. Many will starve if the buffet is closed! We cannot allow this to stand.”

Bolingbrook’s Department of Paranormal Affairs released a statement stating the Village is prepared to deal with any disruptions. It said: “We have ample supplies of de-skunk solution. We have access to spray-proof suits and respirators. We hope they will not be needed. It is in the wereskunk’s best interests to continue to support the First Party for Bolingbrook.

Pog said they will not be intimidated into silence: “When most of us endorsed Bolingbrook Mayor Mary Alexander-Basta, we thought we were supporting the female version of Roger. Instead, we got a clone of (Will County Board Member Jackie Traynere)!”

Alexander-Basta denied being a clone of Traynere: “Look, the residents want the option to rent garbage toters, and we’re giving it to them. Otherwise, I would have to spend the next seven years listening to toter supporters’ complaints. Would you want that?”

Claar then broke into the Zoom session and said: “I let you win one election and you brought drugs and toters to my village.”

“Your screen is frozen, Roger.”

“I’m not falling for that again. You’re bringing those ugly things into my village. Chicago has toters. Do you want to turn Bolingbrook into Chicago?”

“Of course not. I just don’t think it’s the role of the government to ban toters. Home Owners Associations can do a better job of banning them. You don’t want big government in Bolingbrook, do you?”

“I hope you’re right.” 

Claar left the session.

“That should give me about a week of peace and quiet.”

Also in the Babbler:

Clow officials question UFO crews that flew over the Buccaneers’ playoff game
All of Clow UFO Base’s union members are vaccinated
Mayor Alexander-Basta considers using expensive wallpaper in her private bathroom
God to smite Bolingbrook on 1/27/22

Note:  This is a work of fiction. All opinions expressed are my own. They do not reflect the views of any organization I work for or of my employer.  

My new novel, The Rift: A Bolingbrook Babbler Story, is coming out soon. Pathways to Bolingbrook: A Bolingbrook Babbler Story is free and available now. For book updates, sign up for my newsletter.

MLK’s last speech (Non-fiction)

I’m clearing out the redlines for my novel, The Rift, this week. So in honor of Martin Luther King Day, I’m posting his last speech, delivered on April 3, 1968. He was speaking to support striking sanitation workers in Memphis, TN. He was assassinated the next day.

We have made progress since then, but we’ve also been backsliding. Especially with the gutting of the Voting Rights Act. Honestly, I’m not optimistic that the Senate will pass the John Lewis Voting Rights act, but I would love to be wrong. Arc of history doesn’t bend by itself. It has to be bent by us, and we have to deal with the people trying to unbend it.

The first review for The Rift’s book cover! (Non-Fiction)

In between editing my upcoming novel, The Rift: A Bolingbrook Babbler Story, and learning about self-publishing, I submitted my eBook cover to Reedsy’s blog for a live cover critique. (Reedsy is basically a high-end site to hire contractors for publishing projects. You can hire people who used to work at the publishing houses, but you’ll pay for it.)

When I heard that over 600 people submitted their covers, I didn’t expect mine to be picked. So I was pleasantly surprised when they mentioned my book. The slide had the wrong author’s name, and I provided a short blurb. Other than that, I’m thrilled that the host and Caitlin B. Alexander, illustrator, liked it.

The Rift: A Bolingbrook Babbler Story, is coming soon. Cover designed by Astre Encre Covers.

Weredogs attack Wereskunks’ Bolingbrook popup COVID test site (Fiction)

Several packs of weredogs clashed with wereskunks running a COVID pop-up testing site inside Bolingbrook Commons.  Bolingbrook’s Department of Paranormal Affairs (DPA) arrested 25 weredogs and two wereskunks.

“Let us be clear,” said Belinda Z. Guerra, spokesperson for the DPA. “These were very bad dogs. They attacked entrepreneurial wereskunks trying to make a profit. These dogs will be punished!”

Bolingbrook officials confirmed that the test site, which had only been opened for a couple days, was a total loss due to the wereskunks “defensive spraying.” Guerra refused to comment on the reports but confirmed that the village was working to “deskunk” the storefront. He stated, “This is the one time the village is glad Bolingbrook Commons is mostly empty.”

Peter, who did not want his last name published, witnessed the attack while waiting for a test:

“It was horrible. First, this scruffy guy without a mask was shoving a cotton swab too far up my nose.  Then I saw dozens of monster dogs charging at the clinic. The scruffy guy said I still owed him $500 for expedited testing.  Then he turned into a monster skunk and lifted his tail. I sped away before I got sprayed or mauled.”

Beth, who declined to have her last name published, also witnessed the attack:

“When the attendant pulled a testing kit out of a trash can, I was starting to have a bad feeling. However, I was desperate: All the home kits are sold out, and have you seen the waiting lists at the other places?  Anyway, the attendant turned into a giant skunk, and two giant dogs pounced on him. Another giant dog landed next to me. I screamed, but it sniffed me and said I didn’t have COVID. He did it for free and in the middle of a battle. What a nice monster dog!”

The weredogs released a statement claiming they were combating fraud:

“They weren’t testing the samples. They were stealing people’s private information and overcharging for free tests. They’re bad skunks. If the Village Board won’t stop them, we will!”

The wereskunks also released a statement claiming they are the real victims:

“Those dumb dogs attacked us because we were accepting the money and personal information residents were giving us. Bolingbrook has always been generous to our skunk cousins and us. While other suburbs encase their garbage in toters, Bolingbrook residents leave their garbage in easily accessible plastic bags. That’s why we always put Bolingbrook First!

Mayor Mary Alexander-Basta denied there was a weredog attack in Bolingbrook, or that the wereskunks were running a fake testing clinic:

“You should write about how I’m celebrating Law Enforcement Appreciation Day.  Police risk their lives to keep Bolingbrook safe.”

Covert Social Media Operative Charlene Spencer then entered the office and said: “Hey, Mayor Basta!  Great post today, but you might want to lay off the Thin Blue Line imagery. There are other ways to show your appreciation besides using a flag that’s been co-opted by white supremacists and flown at the Insurrection.”


Also in the Babbler:

Clow UFO Base revokes day passes as Omicron spreads across Bolingbrook
Trustee Watts completes the Illuminati’s ‘Burning Mile’ rite
Former DuPage Township Trustee threatens to audit Palatine’s UFO Base
God to smite Bolingbrook on 1/12/22

Note: This is a work of fiction. All opinions expressed are my own. They do not reflect the views of any organization I work for or of my employer. Feel free to leave a comment here or in the Bolingbrook Babbler Readers Group. 

Newsletter, free ebook, and novel update! (Non-fiction)

I’m in the final editing push to complete my novel, The Rift, and get it ready for publication. So no Babbler article this week, but I should have one next week.

In the meantime, I’ve set up an email list so I can send out book announcements, possible appearances, and general blog updates.  Sign up now, and you’ll get access to a free ebook, Pathways to Bolingbrook. It’s two short stories set in the Babbler Novel Universe, instead of the universe where the web articles are set.  Think of it as a taste of what to expect in the main novel.

The test readers enjoyed an earlier draft, and I’m making changes based on their feedback to improve it.  I’m still aiming to release The Rift before the middle of the year.  After so many years, it’s hard to believe I’m only a few months away from releasing it.

I will be distributing it on Amazon and other sites.  Still working out the details on that. Hopefully, I’ll have that sorted out in a month.

Until then, feel free to join the list, and enjoy the free ebook.