Once upon a time, I contributed a piece of flash fiction to an indy anthology project that was born in the online KBoard community. The original idea for the anthology was proposed by Hugh Howey, best-selling author of the Wool science fiction series and a shining star in the world of self-publishing. But like many a farm kid from Tatooine, I didn’t know any of that big picture stuff. All I knew was that a friend of mine had said ‘hey, you got any flash fiction?’ but what I heard was ‘you wanna go shoot some womp rats in beggar’s canyon?’ Once we’d cleared up the confusion over the rats, I sent in a story, they opted to use it, and then, the crisis struck – a website, they wanted to know my website. I didn’t have a website and aren’t those things an instrument of the dark side? I mean I have a novel I can’t seem to finish writing so do I really need another online distraction? Isn’t the Kitten Cam bad enough? And why exactly do I write anyway? But the more I thought about it, the more that question seemed like a good topic for a post. So last week, I knuckled down and started this thing with a post about why a forty-three year old ex-academic has decided to start churning out science fiction stories. The post was moving, It talked about cancer and everything. Unfortunately, there seems to be a big gap between that post and the things I actually write. To quote my readers – a.k.a the friends I beg for feedback- ‘all of your protagonists seem to be cold blooded killers’ and ‘what’s the body count in this one?’ I do confess that things get a little violent. My stories involve plastic surgeons murdering their clients and vampires preying on the diabetic. What I write is usually space opera with sociopaths. I can’t explain it. In reality, I hate killing spiders, let alone womp rats. Perhaps writing is a release valve for the things that get me angry – the economy, the state of education, gender roles, the fact that George Lucas messed up the prequels, and oh yeah, the fact that our military budget is twenty times greater than what we budget for biomedical research. No wonder we haven’t cured cancer. Guess I need to create a new character to beat up.