Thursday, September 21, 2017

Mountain Xpress Features My Photo

My cover photo was featured in the Mountain Xpress Community Calendar section, the paper edition, this week as part of an announcement of the arboretum's Monarch Day, which is this Saturday.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Cradle of Forestry

Here’s my book on display at the Cradle of Forestry’s gift shop yesterday. We attended their excellent “Bring Back the Monarchs” program, lead by Joyce Pearsall.  On the way to the event we stopped at the Mills River Valley Overlook and met Jerry and Liz Fishman who were bird watching there.  Later they e-mailed me an “unofficial” hawk watch count for the day: Broad-winged Hawks, 92 (70 streaming out of a single kettle), Falcon, 1 (not a positive ID but possible Merlin).  Turkey Vulture, 3.

After the monarch event we returned home via the parkway, but stopping on the way at mile 409-410 to hike to and climb the fire tower, where we met a 14 year-old young man on top.  He was there alone—some of his family members had dropped him off. He had been whistling a simple three-note tune through his hands sounding much like an ocarina. He said he had been born in Mexico. We enjoyed the cool breeze and fantastic views for a while, then we left the tower and the boy sitting on top of one of the other buildings on the ridge.  At the bottom of the trail his mother drove up and I gave her a copy of my book for him. We pulled out to leave and his sister approached to ask for my autograph, which he had requested by phone.  I told her about the monarchs overwintering in Mexico.  I was thinking the boy needed some encouragement, even if just a little book from a stranger, a book about something he might take an interest in.  (The fire tower hike is mentioned in the book.)  Or maybe he might find direction in life as a scientist or naturalist.    


Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Praise for the Monarch Guide

"Just wanted to touch base with you and let you know that we received your books today. I am very happy to have them on hand for the Butterfly event this weekend. The book is very nice with great photography and a super price point for our visitors."

-The Director of Interpretive Sales at the Cradle of Forestry in America in an e-mail today.


^^^

"I don't know if I told you, but I think your book is wonderful! I love your writing style, as if we were sitting and having a conversation. There is wit and humor and great information... I am actually reading it [a pdf file] again and I cannot wait to have a copy in my hands."

-A Blue Ridge Parkway Interpretive Ranger at the Moses Cone Memorial Park.



Monday, September 11, 2017

Clouds Fall to Earth

Sunset from Craggy Gardens Visitor Center, BRP.  9/10/17
Chapter 1.
Hunting Day

Rho Aquilae encounters earthbound people for the first time. 


I began writing Clouds Fall to Earth in 2011 and worked on it off and on for two years, roughing out seven of the planned twelve chapters. I also created much of the world in some detail, including history, economics, technology, and culture. It actually connects with my short story "Shoreless Ocean of Eternity", which you can find in my when earth whispers collection. "Shoreless", then, is a prequel. Clouds Fall has been "on the shelf", untouched, since 2013, but always in the back of my mind.  This is chapter one.  It's not perfected yet, but I think it might be of interest.  I'd rather have something of the book out for people to read than for it to lay buried in my computer.  And this might motivate me to finally finish writing it and get it published.

Read the chapter HERE.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

New Book Ready for the Monarch Butterfly Migration

“A favorite scenic road of the eastern United States, endless gorgeous views, and one of the most amazing migratory creatures in the world—all make for an ideal fall day outdoors. This guide will help you make the most of your day, with tips on when and where to look, facts and photos of the monarch life cycle, information about learning more, and practical ideas on how you can help the monarch butterfly population grow.”

So says the back cover of the newly released book, A Pictorial Guide to the Monarch Butterfly Migration over the Southernmost Blue Ridge Parkway by local hobby beekeeper and entomologist, Mickey Hunt.

This small book—a mere 37 pages—is timely because the monarch’s southward migration to Mexico is poised to begin, peaking in the Balsam Range south of Asheville toward the end of September. Biologists and amateur monarch watchers all over the country are wondering if the numbers of the butterflies overwintering in Mexico’s Trans-Volcanic Mountains this coming season will be larger or smaller than last winter.

“The known high point of the total monarch population in about a dozen sites in Mexico was the winter of 1996-1997,” said Hunt. “The butterflies covered 18.19 hectares. It’s been down and up since then, but with a downward trend toward the lowest point in the winter of 2013-2014 at .67 hectares. That’s a huge decline, and it alarmed a lot of people.”

One hectare is 2.47 acres. According to the World Wildlife Fund, whose volunteers do the estimating in the mountainous monarch wintering areas, the hectares occupied by the butterflies increased to 4.01 from that lowest point and then dropped to 2.91 last winter.

“But everyone who is paying attention is optimistic,” said Hunt. “We believe our conservation efforts are making a difference. I’ve seen monarch larvae in my milkweed garden all summer long and I’ve raised some of them in my bay window. It’s been a joy seeing the released males patrolling for girlfriends to create another generation.”

Hunt’s monarch migration guide contains dozens of his often close-up photographs of the varied stages of the monarch life cycle, a bar graph showing the monarch population changes, and a migration route map, as well as information about where to buy milkweed seeds and plants, the exclusive food for monarch larvae in North America. There is a section on where to learn more, including some of the best organizations that focus on education and conservation, and monarch educational events in western North Carolina.

One of those events is the Cradle of Forestry’s “Bring Back the Monarchs” program on Sunday, September 17.  Another is the North Carolina Arboretum’s annual Monarch Day, to be held this year on Saturday, September 23.

“I’ve been invited to be a part of the Monarch Day,” said Hunt. “No one really needs this little book, but it might be helpful in giving the wider ecological context. It’s great for younger students. In a nutshell, I’ll just tell people at the arboretum to drive up to Cherry Cove View or the Caney Fork Overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway as quick as they can. Watching the migrating monarchs is an amazing aesthetic experience. It’s a window to a natural, global force expressed by a small and beautiful creature. It’s possible to understand an issue in the abstract, but actually seeing the monarchs gliding overhead, or clustering on goldenrod and aster is what shows you their value.”

A Pictorial Guide to the Monarch Butterfly Migration over the Southernmost Blue Ridge Parkway is available now on Amazon.com and Create Space, and will soon be in some of the independent bookstores and garden centers in the Asheville area.


Mickey Hunt has been exploring along the southern Blue Ridge Parkway with his family for 30+ years. He lives in east Asheville. His book website is www.chaoticterrain.com and his blog, www.chaoticterrainpress.blogspot.com.

Contact Hunt:
828-575-7300

Image © Mickey Hunt

[Note: High quality photos of monarchs on the BRP are available to accompany this story.]

[For wholesale orders, a direct link to the book’s Create Space page: www.createspace.com/7121800.]

Friday, September 1, 2017

"A Pictorial Guide to the Monarch Butterfly Migration over the Southernmost Blue Ridge Parkway" is REALLY ALMOST HERE!

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I bet you've never seen a monarch butterfly larva like this.  Nor has anyone else. It's a caterpillar of the Io Moth (Automeris io) that I found munching away yesterday in my corn patch.  Like the saddleback larvae, this guy bears toxic, painful, stinging spikes. He's about 2.5 inches long.  

The monarch book is still "in production", meaning that I had a three day delay in completion this week due to a strange "corruption" in one of my photographs. It took that long to get a specific diagnosis. I fixed the problem on Wednesday, 8-30, and had printed proofs by this afternoon, a Friday.  But the proofs weren't perfect.  In fact I had forgotten to submit the updated file of the cover, and as always I found some things in the interior that needed fixing or improving.  The short of it is, I missed my self-imposed September 1 publishing deadline.  It takes 24 hours for the printer to review the new files. Now I have to decide if I take a chance and publish tomorrow without having had eyes on a real final, final book.  It might be just fine.  Otherwise it will take another two or three days to get another proof in hand.  I have press releases ready.  A few vendors may be ready to order.  For now I'll get the book's web page set up at chaoticterrain.com.  The migration is still a week or two away from North Carolina, so the book won't be late.  The peak should be here the last week of September, so we are still in good shape.

Great news: U.S. Park Service Interpretive Ranger has offered to help me at my book table at the NC Arboretum's Monarch Day on Saturday, September 23, if she is free that day.  That will be fun.  She's been doing educational presentations on the monarch for about two years now.


Here's a profile our handsome fellow:



Monday, August 7, 2017

Coming Soon!



From the back cover:

A favorite scenic road of the eastern United States, endless gorgeous views, and one of the most amazing migratory creatures in the world—all make for an ideal fall day outdoors.  This guide will help you make the most of your day, with tips of when and where to look, facts and photos of the monarch lifecycle, information on learning more, and practical ideas on how you can help the monarch butterfly population grow.  Plus, there’s a section on the best short hikes accessible from the parkway.

Mickey Hunt has been exploring along the southern Blue Ridge Parkway with his family for 30+ years.  He lives in east Asheville.


Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Orange

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There's no literary value here, just color.  I took this yesterday east of Mt. Mitchell along the Blue Ridge Parkway.  It's either the non-native Tiger Lily or the native Turk's Cap Lily (lilium superbum).  Probably the latter.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Background on the Novel, Universal Man: II. The Leadbetter Estate

When I was a sophomore in high school back in 1970 or so, I had often heard of the Leadbetter Estate, a large tract of wooded land with derelict buildings on the south side of LaCamas Lake.  Part of the legend was the caretaker who would shoot at trespassers with a shotgun loaded with rock salt.  It was a place that adventuresome, party-minded high schoolers would sneak into on a Friday night.  

One such night I was part of such a group.  Maybe it was after a football game and a dance.  It could have been a dozen people.  I only remember one thing: climbing the stairs of an abandoned, three story log mansion in the dark without flashlights and grabbing the foot of one of the most beautiful girls in the school.  She was on the steps directly above me and I reached up though the gaps between the treads.  She screamed.  We never saw a caretaker.  The girl became a girlfriend for a while later on.

That was the first time I visited the Leadbetter Estate.  There were numerous subsequent times.  Usually I would ride my bike to the property with a girlfriend (not the one on the steps).  Once or twice we would row a canoe across the lake, land at the dock, and walk up the trail.  Once I slept overnight in a field, waking up in the morning to see the unconcerned caretaker mowing the grass.  A few times I’d sit for hours on a sunny balcony and read.  Not all of the buildings were abandoned.  Once a friend and I crawled through an unlocked window into a long, one story cabin and rummaged through the drawers to find some letters, which told about the owners, people who traveled the world and owned orange plantations in Florida.  The story about those people was that they would land their plane on LaCamas Lake and spend weekends there,

All the buildings of the Leadbetter Estate are gone now.  All the giant Douglas Fir trees are gone.  In their place are hundreds of what surely are million dollar homes, belonging to what surely are people who commute to Portland.  I’ve driven through the neighborhood of all those houses.  I think my parents once said an NBA Trailblazer player owned a house there.  One of the important supporting characters in the novel lives there.  (I won’t say who in this blog. You’ll have to read the book.)  The only remaining vestige of the old Estate, if it is related to the Estate at all, is a house on Leadbetter Road on the opposite side of the lake, a house that somewhat resembles the Pittock Mansion in Portland, though much smaller.

Another vestige, a fictional one, is that I re-created the entire Estate in the novel, gave the place a new, yet historically significant name, and located it somewhere else.  I’ve even included a photo of the log mansion in my book.  My photo above is of a walkway on the Estate. I’ll say more about all this in a later post.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Background on the Novel, Universal Man: I. Visits with the Hutterites

In Charles Frazier’s “award winning” Civil War novel, Cold Mountain, the main character, Inman, walks from a field hospital in Raleigh to Waynesville in an arching route that takes him near Boone. Along the way he encounters a variety of people, both evil and noble.  It’s been a long time since I read the book, but I remember he spent time with an elderly goat herder lady where he was able to rest and recover from his wound.

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This fictional, modestly-epic journey was an influence on my novel, Universal Man.  I won’t say what parts, or characters in the novel, but I’d like to tell you something of the novel’s background--personal experiences that I used as resources.

The Hutterites are spiritual and historical cousins to the Amish.  Both groups grew out of the Anabaptist movement of the Protestant Reformation.  Both are somewhat insular and “non-resistant” that is they keep separate from the larger culture and they are pacifistic, and generally not involved in political matters.  Hutterites differ from Amish in that, not believing in holding private property, they live in small “colonies” on large farms, they are located primarily in the western states and provinces, and they use modern farming practices.  They understand their communal lifestyle as imitating the early Christians.

I have visited Hutterite colonies on a few occasions, the first time when I was an Agriculture Education student at Washington State University in Pullman. I had heard there was a colony near Spokane and I asked around campus and found a professor that knew approximately where they were.  One Saturday I found it and spent the day there.  I used the visit to fulfill an Educational Psychology assignment.

A couple years later, for our wedding trip, Edie and I spent a few days on a colony of the Hutterian Society of Brothers (the Woodcrest Bruderhof) near Rifton, New York.  The Bruderhof (I call them the Arnoldleut), whose origin was the during the 1930s in Germany, has had a rocky off-and-on-again relationship with the Old Hutterites, as I call them, but they both are communal and they both look to the same historical antecedents. 

Last then, on a trip to the West Coast and back in our green 12-passenger van pulling a small cargo trailer, we with our six children stopped at two Hutterite colonies in Canada, one in the Schmiedeleut branch and the other a Dariusleut, I believe.* The first was welcoming and gave us a tour.  They seemed enchanted with our singing of rounds, because they never used harmony in their music, which was vocal only.  The second colony was in the middle of a vast, open prairie.   The minister, the colony leader, was standoffish, though to give him excuse, we did drop in on a Sunday, their rest day.  As we were leaving, we found some children outdoors visiting with an older brother, a young man who had come for the afternoon. He apparently had left the colony to live a more independent life and he was happy to talk with us. 

All this experience is background for my novel.  I’ll reveal only that Hutterites occupy several chapters.  I wish I could have included photographs of them in the book, but since Hutterites prefer in principle not to have their pictures taken, I don’t have any of my own at all.  In my library, however, is the stunning book of photographs (and informative, sympathetic text), The Hutterites of Montana, by Laura Wilson.

Post Script: I must say as an afterthought that I hated the book Cold Mountain.  The movie was even worse, having been filmed in Romania and not here in Western NC.  I do love the real Cold Mountain, itself, having spent a lot of time exploring in the Shining Rock Wilderness.




*The fourth branch is the Lehrerleut.  The “leut’s or “peoples” are named for their founders.  Hutterites who emigrated to North America and did not resume the communal lifestyle are called Praireleut.

Monday, June 26, 2017

14% Book Discounts Available

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Books are expensive, which is why whenever possible, I buy them at the local used book store, Mr. Ks.  Or, I buy used books on Amazon.  Some Amazon re-sellers offer my new books lower than retail, and some, amazingly, offer them higher. The other day I saw When Earth Whispers for sale for $42 Australian! (But shipping is free.)  

If you buy any of the three Universal Man volumes, or When Earth Whispers,at the Create Space store, I have a 14%-off-retail discount code available. If you buy the books at the regular Amazon site, you get the Kindle e-versions free.  They have most of the photographs in color.

Speaking of photographs, this one I took last Saturday is of a Snowberry Clearwing Hummingbird Moth (hemaris diffinis) on Rose Milkweed (asclepias incarnta).  Here's another article on the moth.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

The World Magazine "Missing Elements" Ad

As I began typing the first letters of this blog post, I was thinking about monarch butterflies, and I glanced up to see how many chrysalises I have on our bay window and saw a 5th instar larva that had been hanging in the J-form overnight had just split its skin and was transforming.  Now it is an elongated jade-green teardrop twisting and shrinking toward the compact gold-flecked pupa it will be for the next 10 days or so.

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The Missing Elements ad with a monarch butterfly on a zinnia flower is enigmatic, I think.  When writing fiction it’s usually more elegant to avoid hitting the plot points too much “on the nose” as some critiquers say.  How can I interest readers about a mystery, or a twist in the story ahead of time without revealing those things?

In the early months of 1976, I was working on the green chain of a lumber mill along the Columbia River.  The green chain was in a long shed open on the north side, toward the yard, but closed on the riverside, so I couldn’t see Mt. Hood towering in the east.  Pulling lumber, some of it 12”x 12” by 10 feet long was an eight-hour weight lifting marathon every day, so by evening I was exhausted.  I’d fall asleep in an easy chair while listening to classical music on the radio.  But one night on the news, I heard about flooding in Bangladesh and how people were starving, and I decided to go there and help.  I then studied Agriculture in college.

In short I never went to Bangladesh, but I ended up working in an area where the people are as needy, and maybe more so.  My idea was to go where the human need is greatest and the people trying to meet that need were the fewest.  Thirty years ago that place was in the realm of abortion, and it is now, I believe.  

My stories often follow the same principle that guided my life work.  You might say my stories, most of them, are agenda driven.  They begin with an idea.  But the story must be a story, that is, to appear as much as possible to represent real life, and not be a tract.  A breeze in the face, and not a hammer to the thumb.  Maybe even a stiff gust of wind that throws you off balance for a moment, or possibly changes the course of your life.

I’ll give one example of a buried agenda.  “The Tragedy of Bernie the Homeless” is not about animals or beekeepers.  It’s about transgenderism.  I’m sure you wouldn’t have guessed that if you just read the story.  I’m sure that the UK based, post-environmentalist Dark Mountain Project wouldn’t have published the story if they knew what my agenda was.  They certainly noted the agenda that I presented, one with which I am sympathetic.  The story works in many ways, I hope.  But it should raise the question, “If maleness and femaleness, which exists in every single cell of every single person, is fluid, then isn’t species also fluid?”

Some of my stories are breezy and fun, I hope.  One or two are horrific.  I’m tempted to tell you which is what so that you’ll want to read them, but I’ve said enough for now.  Except… “Spark” explores the idea of a finite universe.  It’s tale of scale.  A short, short, short story—even the title is short—about next-to-the-hugest concept we can imagine.

Go HERE to read brief blubs of the stories in When Earth Whispers & Other Mostly Speculative Tales.  You may find in one of these stories and elsewhere in my writing that monarch butterflies are an argument against abortion.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Welcome World Readers!

click photo to enlarge
[UPDATE 7/11/17: Check out my Creator Page at PATREON]

“Chaotic terrain” is an astrogeologic term to describe a jumbled landscape on a planet, such as Mars.  It’s a type of landscape not really seen on Earth, but I think it's appropriate for our world on spiritual, cultural, and political levels.  At the same time, there’s incredible beauty everywhere.  I write stories that attempt to capture both the chaos and the beauty of life by embodying ideas that are often neglected or missing in literature—what I call, the missing elements.

After being a prolife/antiabortion activist since 1988 or so and writing countless letters to the editor and guest commentaries, in year 2000, I decided to write a novel.  It took a long time to rewrite and revise.  I didn’t finalize the current covers until a month ago.  And early this year I hired a recent seminary graduate to proofread the book again. The title is Universal Man, which is a turn on the concept of the holy, catholic (universal) church we ascribe to in the creeds.  Do I give away too much by saying that the main character, Stanley Timmons, represents the visible Church?  At least he does in my mind.  It was my intention to give him that role, though I hope I’ve made him to be a true-to-life person and not anything like an archetype. The primary characters, including Timmons, take their beliefs to the logical, often disturbing conclusions.

The book is in three volumes. An early reader called it a contemplative thriller.

My dear wife told me once that publishing short stories would bring attention to my novel.  That never came true.  Not yet anyway.  After the novel was more or less complete, I wrote about 30 short stories and got a number of them published in small places here and there.  But I got tired of rejection letters.  At about 250 rejections, I quit “submitting” stories, deciding rather to “dominate” them, hence my book When Earth Whispers & Other Mostly Speculative Tales, speculative meaning not strictly real-world, and that would include horror, contemporary fantasy, and science-fiction.  You can buy the book at Amazon, but since you probably don’t know me, I suggest you first read a couple stories here on my blog.  All of them are published or linked here and you can read them totally for free.  For this purpose I recommend one of the flash stories—complete stories in 1000 words or less.  Maybe try “Deprescience”.  A now retired editor at God’s World Publications said about it in the comments section at Every Day Fiction:

“This story is filled with surprises, the main surprise being its consistent and profound surprises themselves from beginning to end. Very well written, bolstered by obvious wisdom and literary panache. I was captivated by the scope of this quite brief masterpiece.”

So, you can find story titles and links on the blog column on the right.

If you like it, or are at least intrigued by “Deprescience”, try “Genius” or “Not the Wrong Planet”.  My almost shortest story is “Spark” at 544 words.  Then if you wish, try something longer, and when you’re ready, tackle the novel.  Or start with the novel.   After all, I wrote it first.  It is filled with surprises, too.  One interesting thing is that the novel contains numerous photographs of the real locations in the story, or locations that served as models for writing the scenes.  For ordering books, go to my “official website” ChaoticTerrain.com. It’s far more straightforward than this messy blog.

By the way, the monarch butterfly in the photograph is a male I raised in my house, and it’s perched on a milkweed plant (asclepias tuberosa) I grew from seed.  I had just released the butterfly and it had not yet taken its first flight.  But then it did and flew up into the wide world, perhaps to travel a thousand miles. Of course I hope that’s a metaphor for my stories, all of them and the novel, homegrown.

            -Meredith Eugene (Mickey) Hunt


(Not to distract you, but if you are fascinated by insects, watch my HD close-up video of a monarch butterfly emerging from its chryrsalis shell.)

Author

PHOTO BY EDITH HUNT AT THE DEVIL'S COURTHOUSE 
ON THE BLUE RIDGE PARKWAY, 2014.  click to enlarge
Husband of one wife and father of six children, Hunt has been an anti-abortion activist for 30 years. He lives in western North Carolina.

Works in progress include the science-fiction novel, Clouds Fall to Earth, which is about a people who have lived in dirigibles for a thousand years, and a unique non-fiction guide about Monarch Butterflies.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

The Final Cover of UM 3/ Then a Soldier

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The text on the back cover is the "All the World's a Stage" speech from the play "As You Like It" by William Shakespeare.  I may not have mentioned it elsewhere, but the monarch butterfly in the "logo" of Chaotic Terrain Press is feeding on zinnias in our garden, our vegetable garden of the fall of 2016. I grow three types of milkweed on our modest gentleman's farm we call Windfall, and raise monarchs in our house. The photo captures the butterfly in motion.

The Cover of UM 2/ The Chinook Assembly

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The final version of the cover, in black and white. There's a lot of meaning to this cover image. You'll have to read the book and study the interior photographs to discover what and why.  All the photos in the novel are actual location shots, or at least of places that served as models for the writing. Those are real places, transposed into the story's geography.

The Cover of UM1/ Graceful Runner

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This is the final cover of Universal Man 1/Graceful Runner.  For a long time I had it in color and then later it just seemed to create a better mood and unify the three volumes in my black & white experiments.  Note how the background image shows through on the back cover, and there it is still in color.  I thought this a nice touch.

Monday, June 12, 2017

I'm Not Homeless & I'm Not Poor

A couple weeks ago I tried a sales/marketing experiment using my sign-making and sidewalk-wise communication skills.  I stood out near our local Ingles with the above sign.  In sum, in two hours I gave out five of my short story books and collected $35 in cash and about $15 worth of edible food.  Not terribly profitable, but I’d like to try it downtown Asheville.  I plan to add “I am NOT homeless.” to the sign because a couple people, including a middle school age boy, offered me zip lock bags containing personal hygine supplies, like wipes, a comb, toothbrush etc.  That was embarrassing.  I told them, “Thank you for your kindness, but I'm not homeless and I’m not poor. I’m trying a creative approach to selling my books.”  It's literary busking.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Universal Man/ 3. Then a Soldier

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This is the underlying cover photo for Universal Man/ 3.Then a Soldier. I took the photo in Arlington, VA in May, 2011. If you look closely at the cover on Amazon or a copy of the paperback, you'll see that the photo is in color behind the screen on the back, while the photo on the front is in black & white.  UM/3 is now available, and today I rebuilt our simple website from scratch and linked from it to where you can purchase the book either with a significant discount or with a free Kindle Edition, which is readable on any computer.  The Kindle version has nearly all the interior photographs in color. The CTP website link is HERE, and in the upper right corner of this page, below the banner photo.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Updates

As of today I have changed the print version covers of UM 1 and UM 2 to black & white on the front, but I've maintained the screen over color on the back.  I'm also keeping the full color cover on the Kindle versions.  

UPDATE (2/20/17):  The short stories here on the blog have been updated to incorporate the changes and corrections that went into the book and Kindle forms.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

The Chinook Assembly is Available NOW!

In the electronic Kindle version, which includes color photographs of location shots or of places that guided me in the writing. Order it HERE. The print version should be available in a week from now.  If you order the paperback, the Kindle version comes with it for free.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

NEWS!

My novel Universal Man will SOON be back in print.  I plan to have the first volume, Graceful Runner available no later than January 22nd. Then, The Chinook Assembly will be available by Ash Wednesday. Lastly, Then a Soldier, will be available by Easter. One feature in this new, second edition will be a number of original black & white photographs of story locations. See the new cover!

Monday, October 24, 2016

NEWS!

I have just now posted all my short stories. Notice that the four Jonathan T. Barron paranormal fantasy stories are all here and listed in order on the right column of my main page. (They each won Honorable Mentions in a huge, international contest.)  Also, I've posted some links to my related videos on my YouTube channels.  Actually, the one channel UniversalDirt, is as about as intimate a profile of "the author" as it decently can be.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

NEWS! "The Shoreless Ocean of Eternity" is Available

"Shoreless" (9962 words) transcribes one of the astonishing voyages of Captain Therreal mentioned in "Ships Passing in the Night".

From the published notes of "Ships Passing": [2] This is the same Therreal who commanded the starship UNS Chariot in the first intentional time-transcendence excursions based on the theories of Nobel Prize winning propulsionist, Dr. Pachero-Nanez, who discovered that as a vessel neared the speed of light, its mass decreased, enabling it to break the light barrier and escape the limitations of the material-energy-chronos universe.


Read "Shoreless" HERE.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

The Mad Scientist Journal Cover, Autumn 2016

Welcome new readers. You can actually read my story "Ships Passing in the Night, Etc." free in the sample Kindle pages on Amazon. Please review the story there, or leave a comment below.  Thanks!

Cover art by Ariel Alian Wilson
Cover layout by Katie Nyborg

The art for the story is by Errow Collins.

Update (10/10/16): The story is now available online at the MSJ.

Update (2/2/17):  I have posted it now HERE on the blog, too. Note the footnote links will take you to the MSJ site.

Monday, September 19, 2016

NEWS! "Ships Passing in the Night: Romance and Marriage between Lovers from Anti-Synchronous Worlds" is coming out in October in the Mad Scientist Journal

I just recently learned that "Ships Passing..." will be published in its real quarterly book in Autumn 2016 (October) rather than only online.  The Mad Scientist Journal bills itself as "The Academic Journal for the Misunderstood Genius" and "The World's Only Reliable Newspaper."

The “Ships Passing” title is a reference to a lines from happy romance contained within the epic poem “Tales of a Wayside Inn” by Longfellow. The lines are:

Ships that pass in the night, and speak each other in passing,
Only a signal shown and a distant voice in the darkness;
So, on the ocean of life we pass and speak one another,
Only a look and a voice, then darkness again and a silence.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Skirmishing for Food

The honey spill was an accident this morning, but it fits my story [404 words] perfectly. (The story of the title of this post.) UPDATE 10/16/16: Read the story HERE.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

NEWS: My story "The Tragedy of Bernie the Homeless" Comes Out Tomorrow in Dark Mountain, Issue 9.

This is my copy that just arrived in the mail today from the United Kingdom. The story works on several levels, environmental, social, and political. It might be more relevant than it first appears. Scroll down to the photo of the bear cubs for more information.

Friday, April 8, 2016

NEWS: "Just Cold", Just Published at the Dead Mule School of Southern Literature

Scroll down to see more information, in particular the link to the TV news story about the real Jeffrey Reynolds. "Just Cold" was supposed to come out on January 1 of this year, and when the magazine had some delaying glitches, rather that this spring, I asked that it wait until December to be in time for Christmas. Well, we're having Christmas in April.

UPDATE 10/24/16:  I can't find the story anymore at the Dead Mule, but my cool bio, called a Southern Legitimacy Statement, may be read HERE.

Read the story HERE.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Denying the Signs

This 500 word story in the Harold Stumbo series was given an Honorable Mention in Rapid River Magazine's flash fiction contest. You may read it HERE. Check out my story "Homesick" that's featured a few inches below. I won't spoil the surprise.

Watch the 11 second video this image was lifted from HERE.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Leaving Roanoke Island

Another flash length story in the Harold Stumbo series. "Homesick" is the first one, and this is the last. This image is from "The Asphalt Jungle," Harold's favorite movie. UPDATE 10/21/16: Read it HERE.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Dreaming is Believing

Starlight illuminated the crests of the crashing waves. Rob's SEAL team members crept like wisps of black fog toward the campfires among the palm trees ahead. He lay down his M4, unsaddled himself from the ammo cases, waded into the surf, and dove into an oncoming wave, striking out for the lovely, lush island not far offshore. The freshness of the water woke him.

"How was your nap, honey?"...

"Dreaming is Believing" (800 words) was submitted to various publications and as a result of feedback is now being given a significant rework.  UPDATE (2/20/17): The rework is done.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Homesick

by Mickey Hunt
A flash-length story in the Harold Stumbo series. Harold was an illegal horse race bookie, and he's trying to stay retired and out of jail. He lives with his autistic wife on Roanoke Island, North Carolina. "Homesick" was published by Every Day Fiction on 10/10/15. The story is about 1000 words long, so it should only take you five minutes or so, if you’d like to read it. Leave a comment and a rating. Thanks so much!
Click to enlarge.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

The Tragedy of Bernie the Homeless

     After his mother chased him away, Bernie enjoyed a simple life off the grid, but acorns, berries, and grubs grew boring and harder to find, and they didn’t always suit his digestion. Then winter struck and froze his butt. Also, he thought he’d eventually find company in the wild, but others who shared his freegan, opportunivore ways shunned him. Ran from him, in fact. Were afraid and thought him loony.
So, Bernie finally quit living in the forest...

"Bernie" [1000 words] was accepted for a April 15, 2016 publication by the Dark Mountain Protect, an international post-environmentalist/artistic network, in their bi-annual journal, in particular, Issue 9. Read a DMP description of the volume and find ordering information HERE.  You can read the story free HERE. UPDATE: 9/19/16: The story was published again, this time at the Rapid River Magazine.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Literary Advocacy in Susan Glaspell's Play "Trifles"

NON-FICTION

by Mickey Hunt
While Glaspell’s frequently performed 1916 play Trifles as literary advocacy conveys a valid message within its historical period, and raises issues regarding the legal system, it does so at the cost of casting men as being arrogant, foolish, and bound to a certain narrow set of interests, a negative stereotype with potential to create its own injustice.
Read in full HERE.  (2323 words)

Friday, May 1, 2015

The Greenlandic Windows

by Mickey Hunt

Jonathan T. Barron takes his new bride Isobel, a former police officer, and her toddler Scotty for a month long "honey and moon" at a mysterious stone house on the remote, frozen east coast of Greenland. The house, designed in trapezoids and possibly built before the first Europeans arrived, isn't the only mystery however, because the elderly caretaker's wife babbles on and on about space ships... in Greenlandic.  Fourth in the JTB short story series, "Greenlandic Windows" at about 11,000 words, received an Honorable Mention in a 2016 Writers of the Future Contest.  (Update 10/22/16: Read "GW" HERE.)

Friday, April 24, 2015

Board & Ivy














































The photos tell a story of an abandoned house along the railroad tracks in Swannanoa, North Carolina.  I took them on 12/28/2014. Nothing in the rooms was touched, it's all as I found it. The photos appeared April 2015 in UNCA's creative arts magazine, Headwaters, pages 69 and 70. Click to enlarge.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Truth, War, & Story

NON-FICTION

by Mickey Hunt

A creative essay on the auto-biographical short story "How to Tell a Truth War Story" by Tim O'Brien. I recently wrote the essay for a literature class at the University of NC-Asheville.

READ HERE!  

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Attack of the Gravid Amazons

A mid-30ish couple's marriage is on the rocks. He's an acoustical architect and she's an ob-gyn. About the only thing they have in common is a love of bug watching, so they are taking an entomological expedition to Indonesia to try to patch things up. Then Earth is invaded by pregnant green women. Among other inexplicable places around the planet, they attack in Singapore where the couple is staying for a few nights.

"Gravid Amazons" [8050 words] was revised in September 2016.  

Read HERE.

See my related Monarch Butterfly Photos from the Blue Ridge Parkway SW of Asheville NC, September 25, 2016.  Watch my 32 Second HD Video of them.


Thursday, May 1, 2014

Odd Fellows

by Mickey Hunt

A boy with extraordinary powers of smell, his girl cousin who can perform impossible mountain bike stunts and never crash, a truck driver uncle who figures complex math problems in his head, and a grandma who always guesses right. These and other odd family members team up one summer with paranormal investigator and radio personality Jonathan T. Barron to stop a state governor’s sex trafficking syndicate and the blackmailing of big winners of the South Carolina Education Lottery.

“Odd Fellows,” third in the JTB contemporary fantasy series and nearly at 17,000 words, received an Honorable Mention in the Writer's of the Future Contest in the 3rd quarter of 2015.  Read it HERE.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Genius

by Mickey Hunt
    Brad heaved what might be a truncated stainless steel water heater onto his table under the ancient live oaks.
    "Still peddling your miraculous apparatus?" Marquis said and plucked a dog-eared brochure from Brad's stack. "Looks dubious, old man. Hmm... Lead lining and rechargeable battery."
    "If I was a person of color like yourself..."
    "What? Bullscat. Everybody got a color."
    Cars swished by on the road. Breezy. Hot. Seagulls gliding overhead. Marquis stood behind his van, handing out bags of fresh shrimp and ice, taking in cash, improvising rhymes. Brad sagged in a chair at his tailgate while massaging the small of his back...

"Genius" (1090 words) was published at Stupefying Stories Showcase on March 25, 2015.  It was republished in March, 2016 and can also be read HERE at AntipodeanSF, based in Australia.