Insurance Fraud in Ancient Egypt

At MarsCon 2018 in Williamsburg, Virginia last month (check out their website for next year’s con info: , I participated in a 5-minute fiction panel. The goal was to write a piece of short fiction in 5 minutes, and the audience would vote to choose the favorite from the three pieces written by the panelists.

I never won.

But it was fun. It really made me stretch my creative process. Stretching was hard, since the panel started at 11 p.m., and we should all know by now I turn into a pumpkin at 10.

Despite the struggle, I thought I would share my favorite of the pieces I wrote. We were given three things from the audience: a place/time, a crime, and a monster. For this particular piece, we were given Ancient Egypt, insurance fraud, and a swamp monster.

Here is what I came up with (unedited, as written in the 5 minutes, other than the correction of spelling errors):

“I’m sorry, sir. You’re policy doesn’t cover that type of damage.”
“I pay through the nose-ring for flooding.”
“Sir, this is not caused by flooding.”
Standing at the edge of the Nile, the agent shifted his robes.
“My policy specifically calls out water damage caused by the Nile.”
“While I am certain, sir, that the damage, in some way, came from the Nile, it’s not from flooding.”
The homeowner sniffed and surveyed the damaged scow. “And what do you think caused it?”
“Sir, those are bite marks in the hull.”
“Which is what let the water in.”
“True, but-“
“And thus, flooded my scow and it sunk.”
The agent sighed, rubbing his nose. “But it is the gaping hole that caused the damage, not a flood.”
“And how do you think I should handle this for the future?”
“You need to add swamp monster coverage to your plan.”

The exercise was fun, and if I made mods to this piece and spruce it up, I will share it here, so you can take a look at how stories can change from that first, swift outpouring of an idea through an editing and (hopefully) polishing process.


So, the SquareSpace site isn’t working.  I’ll have to set something up here for those to order copies of the charity anthology, Go Ahead and Howl: Werewolf Stories.

So now, I’m researching shopping cart sites and platforms.  Sigh.

It never ends.

Anthology -phew!

So, over at DreamPunk Press, the writer’s cooperative I’m a part of, we just completed our first anthology. It is a fundraiser for the official charity (the Heritage Humane Society) of MarsCon 2018 in Williamsburg, VA (for more about this AMAZING convention, check out its website:

Since this year’s convention theme is werewolves, that is what the stories in our anthology revolve around. And it has some really great stories in it by some really great authors: Travis I. Sivart, Wynn Mercere, Mx. Knowitall, E. G. Gaddess, Nyall Robert Frye, Kimi Darnell).  You should check it out.  I have a page over on Squarespace where (until February 15) you can order a copy and the net profit goes to the charity (, or if you are local and want to come to the con, we have a special goody bag for the first 25 who purchase a copy of the anthology.  There will also be an opportunity to have some of the authors sign your copy if you buy it in person.

But man, that took a lot more work than I thought it would.  You see, in addition to writing a story for it, I also managed the project and acted as editor.  Getting everyone’s submissions in on time was hard (though some were very good at hitting deadlines).  Then, we ran so close to the wire, I had to use a different printer to get the copies in time for the con (here’s hoping; my fingers are crossed because I’m still waiting on them).

Next time I do this (and I probably will for next year’s MarsCon charity), I am going to allot a whole lot more time for the editing.

And the making of the cover.  Morven Moeller (yes, a relation and fellow author at DreamPunk Press, who is also the resident artist at the cooperative) put it together, but finding something that represented the stories without being too generic, was difficult. They went generic, in the end, and I think it a beautiful cover:

werewolf anthology cover

But it was still a rough decision.

Anyway – I’ll post more about the printing, and how the convention goes, and other stuff more often (you know how that promise goes), now that I’m not stuck in editing limbo.  🙂