Finally! . . . Another Michelle Maul Murder Mystery Story

Well, not in this post, but in the next; the password protected post. Yup; you read that right. Password Protected Post. I’m reserving the right to potentially submit this story . . . probably in the distant future, if ever. 

Hey, how about that! It’s a MMMM in a PPP. 

Anyway, I began writing this particular Michelle Maul story just before Trump was elected. I know, it seems like it’s been years, but it’s only been eight months. Eight long, torturous, excruciating — I’m sorry; what? 

Oh, the photo. Well, I’ve been playing a lot with Deep Dream. I think I’m getting pretty good at finding combinations of photos to blend. If you go to THIS LINK, you can see my gallery and when you click on a photo, it also shows you the original and what it was blended with. BEWARE: you can only reach the gallery if you create an account or login with Facebook or Twitter. Sorry; their rules, not mine. I’ll be posting a few of the photos here and in future posts, but there’s a lot of them. 

You can click on the photos here and they will open in a new window, but the sizes vary. That’s because they limit the number of photos that can be done in a given period at a given size. If you’re interested in a photo, click on it and it might be one of the larger ones . . . or not. 

So, back to Michelle Maul, Mitch to her friends, and her trusty .45, Matthew. Let me tell you the long and torturous road here . . . 

This was meant to be the first of a number of short stories I had planned to pen for NaNoWriMo 2016. Meaning, rather than a novel, I planned on enough stories to meet the 50K words goal. 

Then, Trump happened. 

I’m not normally affected by politics to the degree that Trump’s election affected my calm. 

For a while — a long while — I was like this . . .

. . . but, eventually, I calmed down to something like this . . . 

Not prone to fantasizing about life or what might be, I found myself actually wishing — yes; wishing! me! — I had one of these.

I mean, I have one of those, but I’m talking about a real one. Wishing for the impossible; that’s how far down I went; crazy enough that I thought I’d be open to religion and their wacky beliefs.

OK, OK . . . I kid. Yes, as a normal, rational, nominally honest and honorable individual, Trump was is an affront to nearly everything I believe. Except for the fact that politicians are slime incarnate. That belief got confirmed in spades. 

And, yes, that event put a ding into my creative side. Mostly, it was my writing that took a massive hit; photos kept right on going. I can rationalize that as well . . . photos processing is almost a mindless task. Little concentration required. Yes, your brain works, but it a bit like doing weights with one pound dumbells; technically, it’s still exercising, but, you know, it’s nothing to brag about.  

Still, I would revisit this story once a month or so and add to it here and there, and by the beginning of last month, the end was in sight. 

That’s when I hit a snag.

I knew the ending. I knew what I wanted to happen. Unfortunately, the road I had traveled led me to a washed out bridge. I mean, I could see the ending just on the other side, but I had no way to get there. 

I contemplated jumping to see if I could make it to the other side. Three times. Three times I took a running start and gave it my all, only to end up short and finding myself broken and bruised on the rocks below. There was nothing to it . . . I had to retrace my steps and find a different way. You know how much I hate getting rid of words I’ve written, so you have a measure of my predicament.

I’ve spoken before about my writing process . . . it’s a bit like surfing; I catch a wave, get up on that board, and I ride the wave. It’s beautiful and enjoyable (to me) and nearly effortless. 

Not so when I have to create my own wave and then ride it. A man-made wave is a poor substitute for the beautiful waves crafted by winds and tides.  

But, create a wave I did, and a few days ago I wrote “The End” on a 16,900 words effort. 

I’ve had a number of edits in the course of three days and finally deemed it ready to go out on limited release. 

Note: I actually edited it many times over the course of the last eight months.

Whenever I would sit down to write, I would first reread what I had written so that I would get into the flow of the story. When something has been sitting for a month, you tend to catch errors you missed before. This last editing effort concentrated mostly on the last three scenes. 

The first Michelle Maul story is HERE. This latest story is in the same world and makes passing reference to the original but it’s not necessary to read the original to enjoy this chapter of what will likely be a continuing saga. The original story is not password protected. It’s open to all. 

The following post is — as mentioned — password protected. If you are not one of the people I’ve already emailed the password to, feel free to ask in the comments and I will send you the password. No need to include your email; when you leave a comment, WordPress lists the email address associated with it. To reiterate, this story is 16,900 words. 

Please, don’t ask for the password unless you intend to read the story. I’m not looking for an ego boost; if you want to read it, fine, if not, you’re not doing me any favors by asking for the password and then not reading it. Besides, as anyone who knows me can attest, the last thing I need is an ego boost. I have so much ego that I’m actually comfortable being humble about it. 

If you do read the story and want to comment, I ask you to be honest. If something didn’t work for you, tell me. If you see a plot hole, tell me. If you thought the writing sucked, you better tell me, preferably along with why you thought it sucked. I can’t improve unless I have honest (even if brutal) feedback. 

HOWEVER . . . I hold you under no obligation to provide any feedback at all. If you just read it and don’t want to comment, that’s perfectly fine. 

OK, the story will go live one minute after this post is up.

That’s it. This post has ended . . . except for the stuff below.


Note: if you are not reading this blog post at, know that it has been copied without permission, and likely is being used by someone with nefarious intention, like attracting you to a malware-infested website.  Could be they also torture small mammals.


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. . .  my FP ward  . . . chieken shit.

Finally, if you interpret anything on this blog as me asking or wanting pity, sympathy, or complaining about my life, or asking for help and advice, know you’re  likely missing my subtle mix of irony, sarcasm, and humor.