The Word Count Podcast-Episode 62

Well, it’s a New Year. Time to sober up from the holidays and get on with the next season of the #WordCountPodcast!

In the off-season, a few of the irregulars (what the participants of the show call themselves) and I discussed were a few tweaks to the show.  I thought we’d try them out to see how things go.

Don’t worry! The podcast is still free and free of ads!

The first change is that we will be using different sort of prompts for the show. First, is a picture. For this month:

Next we will be using the month the show is produced in, in this case January.

Now for the last bit. I’m trying out a new format for the recording of the show. I’m using AAC (Advanced Audio Coding) in stead of the old “Audio-Only” MP3 encoding for the podcast. This allows me to add photos and chapters (among other things) to the podcast. I’ll still post the audio-only version on the site, but I want to see what the feedback is. After all…we are using a visual prompt.

So please, give the show a listen and let us know what your experience is. I’m still getting the “technology hang” of this new format…so apologies in advance for any growing pains.

You can listen to the show via iTunes or Libsyn. Here is an embedded player, if you prefer:


Show Notes:

Episode 62: Tidal Pool in January

Maria Haskins – “The Weight of the Sea”

Maria Haskins is a Swedish-Canadian writer and certified translator. She writes speculative fiction and poetry, and debuted as a writer in Sweden. Since 1992 she lives in Canada, just outside Vancouver, with a husband, two kids, and a very large black dog.

Twitter: @mariahaskins

C. Thomas Smith – “The Wasteland”

C. Thomas Smith is the author of hundreds of short stories (99% have never left his hard drive) and over half a dozen unpublished novels (50% cowardice / 50% self-doubt).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 and a half 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


Cameron Garriepy – “By the Sea”

Cameron Garriepy thinks Eartha Kitt was the best Catwoman, and misses Hampton Beach on days like today. In April of 2015, Cameron released Damselfly Inn, the first full-length novel in her Thornton Vermont series. The sequel, Sweet Pease is coming soon from Bannerwing Books.


Twitter: @camerongarriepy


John A. McCaffrey – “Clamming in January”

John A McCaffrey grew up in Rochester, New York, attended Villanova University, and received his MA from the City College of New York. His stories have appeared regularly in literary journals and anthologies. He is also a playwright, an original member of the Lone Star Theater Troupe, and a creative writing teacher. His published works include The Book of Ash (October, 2013) and Two Syllable Men (April 2016).


Facebook: and

Twitter: @jamccaffrey

Bill Kirton & Eden Baylee – “Selfie Love”

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,  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

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.




Twitter: @edenbaylee


The #WordCountPodcast Episode 62 is OPEN for Submissions!

 A New Year. Let’s hope 2017 is less traumatic, shall we?

It’s time to dust off the recording equipment, practice my vocalizations, and update all my studio software.

It’s time for a new #WordCountPodcast.

 You know we have a Facebook page, right? I’m guessing not as we have over 1500 downloads per episode and only 93 followers. To you 93, I say “Huzzah!” Now that I have scared my cat, I will actually post the link for the Word Count Podcast Facebook page. Give it a like?

The Word Count Podcast

We get to a 1000 likes this season and one lucky follower with become the subject of a future show! Weird? Yep. Aggressive? Yep. We like it weird and aggressive here.

So, then. Episode 62.

We are going to do things a little bit different to start the year. Yes, we are soliciting stories as usual. But for the January podcast, we ask that you write a story based on TWO (2) criteria:

  • A Picture (below)
  • Use the month of January in your setting.

So the visual prompt:

Oooooh!  What happens next! That, dear sinners, is up to you!

Thinking of writing something for the show? Please do! All submissions are welcome!

If you want to listen to past (free) shows, the links below will take you to them:




There are Sixty-one shows available right now!




DEADLINE: I must receive your submission by Friday 20 January 2017 by MIDNIGHT Eastern time.

THE DETAILS: The work must be an original story based on the picture above and the month of “January.”

Do NOT exceed SEVEN minutes.

As this is a podcast, I need to receive a file of YOU, a friend or multiple friends reading (singing or otherwise performing) your work. MP3 FORMAT ONLY, and please attach your MP3 file to an e-mail or contact me for a Dropbox link.

Your submission MUST also contain the following:

  • Your pen name
  • Your latest bio (DO NOT ASSUME I HAVE YOUR LATEST)
  • Links to your website(s) – Include your personal site, Facebook Fanpage etc.
  • Your Twitter handle (if you have one)
  • A photo of you I can use for the show notes
  • At the end of your recording, please add “This is <state your name> author of <state your work(s)> and you’re listening to The Word Count Podcast”
  • Permission to use your recording in the podcast.
  • PLEASE Make sure you have included ALL ARTIFACTS I have asked for. Do not assume I can “Get your picture from the internet” or can “Pull your bio from your web page.”

Send your file to (or via the dropbox link I can provide) by 20 January 2017. You can also e-mail me with questions beforehand. I do reserve the right NOT to post your submission, but will communicate that to you should it be the case. I add the ‘Explicit’ tag to the ‘cast, so if your story uses adult themes or language that’s ok—but it should be necessary for the story.

***NOTE: I will NOT accept stories that are discriminatory in ANY WAY (whether it be by race, sexual orientation, gender, religion, etc.) or that include rape. ***


Happy 2017

I spent last night watching as 2016 sucked in its last breath. A death rattle many around the world were glad to hear.

So much pain and horror…so many celebrities that us regular folk held in high esteem left us (Bowie, Rickman, Wilder, Lenny, Carrie…loads more. The full list is HERE).

My father left us. Left me.

For fifty years or so, I would always turn to my dad when life became overwhelming. As a child, it was advice when dealing with bullies or–in quiet whispers on the eve of my first day in 1st grade–sharing a fear that I might not be able to ever read. Later, I sought his wisdom on girls or career decisions or corporate politics. I remember his calming voice and reasonable, measured, language whenever the next crisis happened.

Vietnam. Reagan shot. Challenger and later Columbia. Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.


He had thoughts on the Russian Civil war of the 90’s and Putin’s invasion of the Ukraine. He thought that 80’s fashions were stupid (no comment from former mullet-boy here). He thought George W. Bush was an idiot, but loved O’Reilly on Fox.

He was afraid Trump could win the whole thing. And he was right.

But dad missed that.

It was right after the election that I received a call from my daughter. She was in tears over the outcome. Boys in her school were…inappropriate…about the Trump victory (a fact I explained in no uncertain terms to said boys and to their parents, but that’s another story).

I spoke to my girl. We talked through the crisis. I calmed her down. We spoke about what she could do to make a difference. I used reasonable, measured language.

And that’s when it hit me. For all that was 2016, all the negative election crap, the rise of “Alt-Right” and “Post-Truth,” something amazing happened.

I became my father.

The darkness that was 2016 had a glimmer—the slightest jewel—of hope.

And, as I’ve been told, rebellions are built on hope.