The Word Count Podcast episode 56 – Dawn, Cat and Flower

Welcome to Episode 56 of “The Word Count” podcast!

Been a continuing health saga as of late. During the rather difficult task of determining why I had a sudden pulmonary embolism along with a few dozen strokes, my Sit-com of a story took a turn when (unrelated to everything else) it was determined I had thyroid cancer requiring a full thyroidectomy.

I’m in week two post surgery and am exhausted, but getting better.

CatDawnWhat better way to celebrate a horrendous few months then recording a new show? And how’s THAT for subject avoidance? Five returning Word Count Irregulars (those intrepid writers who participate on the show on an…irregular… basis) have written stories for you, good listener, based on the three-word theme:

Cat, dawn and flower.

Anyway, before we introduce our cadre of writers and their most excellent stories, a bit about the show:

 What is The Word Count Podcast?

It is a free broadcast by writers for writers. Simply put, a theme for each show is announced via this site, Twitter and Facebook and writers are given a week or two to write AND RECORD their stories based on said theme.


Why not, says I. It’s a great way to practice writing and public speaking. It’s another way for writers to get their work “out there.” And I love to meet fellow authors and have a blast putting the show together. It’s just that simple.

Okay. Where can I find it?

You can listen to the latest podcast below, subscribe via iTunes or listen at the show’s site.


iTunes (and remember, iTunes takes their sweet time in posting.  If you don’t see it yet, keep trying!):

 Our guests this week:

CTSC. Thomas Smith ”Truly”

C. Thomas Smith is the author of hundreds of short stories (99% have never left his hard drive) and half a dozen unpublished novels (50% cowardice /50% self-doubt). He is a fan of common sense, free speech, noticing the truth in the absurd and caffeine. He sort of likes cats. He lives in Ireland with his partner, two children, a mortgage and a cat he doesn’t trust.

At present, Chris is writing a series of novels (adult dark comedy set in medieval Ireland that may include a token Leprechaun) and editing a second series (Dark Fantasy). Along the way he hopes not to starve to death or be mauled in his sleep by a shifty eyed cat.

Twitter = @KRSTVR

Web =


CameronCameron D. Garriepy “Fresh Scandal”

Cameron D. Garriepy has been writing love stories since she was old enough to get a thrill from reading Sweet Valley High. What does her love story look like today? A house in a Boston suburb, a husband, a second-grader, and a pug named Maurice who barks at the scrolling headlines on the nightly news. It looks like working through dialogue while folding laundry, trying not to plot novels at the office, and scribbling in a Moleskin during swimming lessons. Cameron’s earliest stories were very glamorous — Sweet Valley meets Pine Valley (oh, yes, straight to All My Children). Fame, wealth, drama, exotic locales: your basic teenage nightmare. These days, she finds the beauty in small town love stories. Last April, Cameron released Damselfly Inn, the first full-length novel in her Thornton Vermont series. The sequel, Sweet Pease is coming soon from Bannerwing Books.






Screen shot 2016-04-16 at 1.41.13 PMEden Baylee “Puppy Love”


Eden Baylee left a twenty-year banking career to write and is now a full-time author of multiple genres.

She has written three collections of erotic novellas and flash fiction ~ SPRING INTO SUMMER, FALL INTO WINTER, and HOT FLASH.

In 2014, she launched the first novel of her trilogy with Dr. Kate Hampton–a psychological mystery/suspense called STRANGER AT SUNSET. In addition to working on her next novel, Eden created Lainey Lee for the Lei Crime Series, a feisty divorcée who finds adventure and romance in Hawaii. Her stories–A SNAKE IN PARADISE and SEAL OF A MONK can be found on Kindle Worlds.

To stay apprised of Eden’s book-related news, please add your name to her mailing list.

Connect with her via her website | blog | twitter | facebook | goodreads


BillkBill Kirton “Cats”

Before taking early retirement to become a full-time writer, Bill Kirton was a lecturer in French at the University of Aberdeen. He’s written stage and radio plays, short stories, novels, skits and songs for revues, and five non-fiction books aimed at helping students with their writing and study skills. His five modern crime novels, Material Evidence, Rough Justice, The Darkness, Shadow Selves and Unsafe Acts are set in north east Scotland and his historical crime/romance novel, The Figurehead, is set in Aberdeen in 1840. The Darkness won the silver award in the mystery category of the 2011 Forward National Literature Awards and his spoof mystery, The Sparrow Conundrum, was the winner in the humor category.

He’s published a novel for children called The Loch Ewe Mystery, and his latest publication is a satirical novella about online gaming and the real and virtual worlds.

He’s had radio plays broadcast by the BBC and the Australian BC.  His short stories have appeared in many anthologies, including three of the CWA’s annual collections, and one was chosen by Maxim Jakubowski for his 2010 anthology of Best British Crime Stories. It’s also been optioned by a film company in Los Angeles.

He’s been a Royal Literary Fund Writing Fellow at universities in Aberdeen, Dundee and St Andrews.

Twitter: @carver22

Website & Blog:


MariaHaskinsMaria Haskins “Miriam and Cat”

Maria Haskins is a Swedish-Canadian writer and translator with a passion for science fiction and fantasy. She was born and grew up in Sweden, but moved to Canada in the early 1990s and now lives just outside Vancouver with a husband, two kids, and a large black dog.

Maria debuted as a writer in Sweden, and has had several books published there. Her English language debut Odin’s Eye – a collection of science fiction short-stories- was published in March, 2015. Cuts & Collected Poems 1989 – 2015 – a collection of poetry – was released in November, 2015.






Twitter: @mariahaskins



Just for the record, #fuckcancer

Cancer Sucks.  Here are two kissing bunnies to make up for it.
Cancer Sucks. Here are two kissing bunnies to make up for it.

It’s been an exhausting few months so let me try and bring all you folks up to speed.

After the pulmonary embolism and mini-strokes back in November, I’ve been slowly recovering. The brain is a marvelous tool (go ahead, make the joke) and I have been relearning many things as well as reconnecting neurons damaged by the little brain-bastards.

One of the things that happened during that whole emergency room/ICU scene was I had a PET scan for possible cancer (originally the doctors thought I had a mass in my right lung which they were sure was cancer and were equally sure that’s what had caused all my problems).

They were wrong. The “mass” was just a blood clot that was reabsorbed by the body.

However, my thyroid lit up during the scan.

Since this was the least of my problems at the time, this little factoid was put on the shelf temporarily.

I’d made enough progress to have the anomaly finally looked at—turned out to be a 1.7 cm carcinoma embedded in the thyroid. I spoke to an endocrine expert and a thyroid surgeon and we all agreed that the mass couldn’t just be removed—the entire thyroid should come out to be on the safe side.

This past Friday, I had that done. Too bad I couldn’t collect frequent flyer miles for my hospital stays.

Although I’ll be on a synthetic thyroid hormone the rest of my life, the good news is it looks like they got everything…AND the lymph nodes in the area were clear.

The support I’ve gotten from everyone has been overwhelming. From kind words, notes, and cards from friends and family (not to mention a small GoFundMe campaign that was successful in every way—thank you all again) —to the most amazing care I’ve received by the dozen or so doctors working my case.

So why am I telling you all this? Because, honestly, I feel amazingly blessed. The love of an amazing woman (yes, wife….that’s YOU), the prayers, the notes of support, the comedy. They all added (and continue to add) to my recovery.

I survived. I expect to thrive. After all, it took four separate cancers to take my dad down a few weeks ago and he was nearly 90. I think he would be disappointed if I checked out early.

I’m recovering. I have things to do. Life has complete new meaning for me—probably the meaning it should have had all a long.

Better late than never.

Love to you all,