Harold and the Dreadful Dreams COLORING BOOK Available now!

Contains 41 illustrations from the novel. 8.5″x11″. One picture to a page for no bleed through. Suitable for children and adults. Purchase HERE on Amazon.com!

The Harold Artists Finally Get Their Copy!

William Calleja and Mario Sciuto were the artists for Harold and the Dreadful Dreams. They work across seas in Europe, and our interaction was purely via electronic means. But their vision was instrumental in bringing Harold to life! I’m so glad they finally got their signed copy! It took so long I thought it had been lost in international mail.

Short Story page revamped and updated

I’m moving stories to Vocal and will be updating them there in the future. This will make it easier to categorize things.

The Boy Who Cried Snizzerwit

This a very old storypoem I wrote many years ago. It is not especially for children, although it would seem so at first. The word usage is far beyond the comprehension of most kids, and many adults for that matter. So, I’m not sure who it is really for. Maybe people who like poems, or Lovecraftian horror, or fairy tales with a kick, or people who just like to see weird words rhymed together. I suppose I’m all of the above. Enjoy.


Something Wild This Way Comes

Available now for free to read on Vocal. Check it out!


Harold & the Grumpy Pumpkins Concept Art

Book 2, like Book 1, has lots of interior artwork. Some of it I drew myself, but a lot is also collected from the internet, or Photoshopped together into a new image. Harold & the Grump Pumpkins is a Halloween Nightmare tale, one derived from too much candy consumption and a bit of indigestion. And more. The mythology of the dream world and its inhabitants changes significantly in Book 2, introducing a wide variety of new characters and mechanics.

Harold & the Grumpy Pumpkins – Book 2

Book 2 is in the works! Well, the rough draft is complete, but now the editing and artwork continue. Like the first book, this one will also have lots of interior artwork. Here is the intro blurbs and a rough art sample. If you were to take Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Alice in Wonderland and The Wizard of Oz and throw them into the blender with Harold and the Dreadful Dreams, you would get Grumpy Pumpkins as the result.

“In a Wonderland they lie,
Dreaming as the days go by,
Dreaming as the summers die;
Ever drifting down the stream,
Lingering in the Golden Gleam;
Life – what is it but a dream?”
Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking Glass

“That proves you are unusual,’ returned the Scarecrow; ‘and I am convinced that the only people worthy of consideration in this world are the unusual ones. For the common folks are like the leaves of a tree, and live and die unnoticed.”
– L. Frank Baum, The Land of Oz

“The snozberries taste like snozberries!”
Roald Dahl, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

“We are DEATH MELON!” (crowd cheers)

Interview with Sarah Foil about Harold & the Dreadful Dreams


The Dogs of Doom

Harold & the Dreadful Dreams now available

Harold is for sale now in print and Kindle on Amazon.com.

Wisp the Faery- Rebooted

Years ago I wrote a little story about a faery (or “fairy” if you prefer – same thing) named Wisp and her journey from a freshly born ball of light to a winged girl fey. It was eventually expanded on and lengthened into a short novel and published, but sales were poor and it was eventually shelved. But the story that went out wasn’t really the one I wanted out there, for various reasons, so I’ve had it mind for a while to rewrite and reedit Wisp closer to my original vision. I don’t have a timeline for this, and it might not reach fruition, but I’m going to put a link on the blog for continuing chapter updates. The idea is that it will be periodic chapter posts, but without a set structure. Many of the chapters work fine as is; others need heavy rewriting or complete scrapping and toss in the garbo-bin.

The book was broken into three parts originally and actually published as three small tiny books with artwork. Each one focused on a different character (Wisp, Puck, and Nobb) although there was character overlap. I tentatively had the idea to write a series set in that world based around the mythology, the series being called Tales From the Nowhere & Neverwhen. Now, I seriously doubt anything will evolve from that now, but the idea interested me for a while.

So, if you’re curious, some of Wisp’s initial chapters can be found here.

Harold Book 1 in layout

Well, after many (too many) delays, Harold & the Dreadful Dreams is inching ever closer to self-publication through a small Winston-Salem Press (Empower Publishing). I was able to include all the interior art that I originally wanted, as that was something always important to me and the way I envisioned the book, sort of like an old 1980’s Choose Your Own Adventure.

I’m not expecting any kind of miracle from this publication, but one can always hope. At the very least perhaps it can push the door open to publish more books, especially my story-poem series that is still more or less collecting dust on virtual hard drives.

I have tentative plans for some Harold sequels too, but that largely depends on how this one does.


An Agent’s Blog


Here, publishing agent Sarah Lapolla has some tips and advice on how the world of publishing works and what she herself looks for in the children’s book industry.


Presentation at Westchester Middle School, High Point, NC

Westchester Middle School presentation 2017

Westchester Middle School presentation 2017

I was asked to give a lecture about Wisp the Wayfinder at Westchester Middle School, from which I am an alumni myself when I was 12 years old.
I barely remembered the layout of the facility, and it’s likely changed since my early days there, but the Middle School building was identical and I experienced some brief deja vu.

This presentation was for a small English class of about 30 students and their teacher, focusing primarily on the Creative Process and my early inspirations and reading habits.  The kids loved it!

A Peek into Wisp, Puck and Nobb

So, I am in the process of editing the sequel to Wisp; the title is Puck the Pathwinder.  The original draft of this story was written 2 years ago, the same as the others in the trilogy. The original Wisp story was only 3000 words, really just intended as a children’s book, but my editor at Dragon Scale encouraged me to expand it to meet the lengths of the two sequels, which were much longer.  Well, long as far as middle grade books go, not long in terms of an adult fantasy novel.

Wisp Book 1 turned out longer than expected, and now the sequels are expanding some too as the story grows in new directions.  I’m not so much “writing” these stories as just unearthing them, and I don’t really know how much content is there until I get all the dirt cleared off, metaphorically speaking.

Now, I always liked the first Wisp story, don’t get me wrong, but it was originally intended as a standalone book.  The concept for the sequels of Puck and Nobb didn’t come until later, and now I have had to go back and rewrite Book 1 to mesh better with Books 2 & 3 so they are a cohesive trilogy.  Book 2 and Book 3 were already conjoined at the hip, so that wasn’t so much of a problem.

But adding so much content to Book 1 has created a natural overflow of characters and plot into Book 2, and this will also spill into Book 3.   If you have read Book 1, I can say that all of the boglin characters are completely new.  The scene with the ogre is greatly expanded, and the ending of the book is different.

As a single story over a three book arc, I think it functions pretty well.  The sequels get darker and more action oriented, but that’s just I myself would like to read, and I guess as a writer, I have to write what entertains myself first and just hopes it works for others too!

Bog Thing concept Art from Book 2

Here’s a little color rendition I did a couple of years ago when drawing concept art for Puck the Pathwinder, Book 2 of the trilogy.  I called it a “mugwump” originally, and I guess it kind of does look like a mugwump, right?


Art Preview from Wisp the Wayfinder


Illustrated by Kevin Nichols

Concept Art -page for Sharkzilla 2



Not Enough: Four Reasons why I Can’t be Satisfied with Self-Publication.

Jessica has some really good thoughts about the nature of self publishing children’s books.

Jessica Crichton

“Why waste your time and energy on querying when you can self-publish?”

It’s a question I’ve grown used to over the years as I’ve posted on Facebook about my querying adventures… which always end in seemingly-obligatory rejection.  Because they love me, fellow writers, family, and friends all want to know the same thing:

“Why do this to yourself?” they ask. “It’s the digital age! You don’t have to deal with agents and publishers anymore!”

Actually, yes: I do. But it’s not always easy to explain why. After all, many writers have found great success in self-publishing, and it’s no longer a huge no-no even among the well-read.

Heck, I actually have self-published, even writing quite a few blog posts about my adventures. In fact, my self-publishing career has spanned longer than most know, as my very first self-publication came out way back in 1998: a story called The…

View original post 930 more words

The Ocean – a poem


Original Poem “Ocean”
written by Charlie Morris

Adapted and rewritten
by JM Hauser

“The Ocean”

“Goddess cupped Her breath in aery hand
and I, lone Ocean, swelled and swam
below that breath of God on- high,
and I, the Ocean, met Her mid-sky,
reaching up to sweetly meet it,
our palms touching, to briskly greet it…

….and through this effort…
I was Wave.

I was Wave and felt the call of Moon!
Of white-capped rollers on shore soon,
and how I loved that lush liquidity,
this ancient rite of pure lucidity,
pausing at the shore’s crashing edge,
and then I burst  upon that sandbar hedge,
a roaring force of my own momentum,
pouring forth to a new dimension…

….and through this effort…
I was Surf.

I became many, many frothing bubbles
and we were urgent, tossing troubles
of sand and shells and salt and tide.
We all danced together on this ride

under Moon, giving birth
on this living, loving Earth.

We bubbles eventually lay there dreaming
knowing nothing, we had no meaning.

What was left of me dissolved like foam,

sank into sand, sank down alone

but then water crashed harsh o’er me

pulled me back, back to the sea,

back to the ocean, exposing beach,
distanced from my watery reach.

Then Moon smiled again and I rolled into Wave.
Goddess cupped Her breath, I swelled, I swayed,

amid aery mist, cloud and wind,
and then I fell,  I begin again.”


Wisp the Wayfinder preview – Chapter 1

“I feel that what you should illustrate is the space between the words, the betweenness, the otherness that gives depth and dimension.” 

~BRIAN FROUD, artist


The NoWhere was and IS everywhere and nowhere at once; it was and is and always WILL be everything and nothing, crossing all planes and possibilities, a robust reality for some, a crazy confusion for most.  An enigma, a puzzle, a conundrum, a challenge.  The NeverWhen refuses to be defined. And it does so marvelously.

~Book of the Eternal Now


“You are a wayfinder, a pathwinder, a nightbinder.  You exist to the light the dark and show the lost the way.  To unveil the hidden, hail the forbidden, so that the light of truth may stay.”

~Queen Moonbeam







Wherein a new life seeks her purpose and gets really, really lost!


Once upon a time, in a place with no name, in a land not quite like any other, where time had another meaning, if it existed at all, something happened at a flower in a field.

At dawn, three suns rose from the horizon, and accompanied by the sound of tinkling wind chimes, the morning dew and pollen swirled into a bright ball, gasped in a breath of living sunlight, and it became something else.

The newborn ball of light hung above the flower, momentarily confused. The sky arced above her in a cathedral of azure blue and gentle green swaths. The air smelled of sweet grass, loamy dirt and fragrant blossoms. A breeze passed through her light body as if she did not exist.  She doubted if she existed too! She wasn’t quite real yet, ethereal and limber, her mind and identity still forming.

What am I? she thought.

She didn’t know how to answer that.  Her mild confusion was tempered by an even stronger sense of curiosity. There was something she was supposed to do, but she didn’t know what.

She saw something pretty nearby called a “flower” – a name she somehow knew – and, beyond that flower she saw another flower, and another beyond that one, and more and more and more flowers stretching endlessly into a meadow of bright petals bending gently in the wind.

Bees – yes, she was sure they were called bees – hovered from bright flower to flower; big, fat, black bumblers, their deep hum filling the meadow with a quiet drone.

Three fiery suns huddled in the sky, two smaller yellow ones flanking the larger golden one like armed guards protecting their Queen. The ball of light felt their warmth and it…pleased her.


“Hmm. Well, perhaps I am a flower, since I’m here among the flowers. Am I some sort of flower?” she asked the flower beside her.

The flower shook its petal head. “You are not a flower,” it said. “Silly question, little one.”

“Pfft. Well, I wasn’t sure. I’m new here! But why can’t I be a flower?  Doesn’t seem so silly to me.”


“Well, look at you, said the flower, almost as if bored. “You have no petals, you have no roots, you have no enticing aroma.  I’m sure you don’t even know what to do today.”


The ball of light thought about that. It was true.  She didn’t really have anything to do, just a vague sense that there should be something.


So what do you do?” the ball of light asked.

“Oh, I have a wonderful life!  I open in the morning and drink the sun and dew. I dance in the breeze, and I sing with my friends all day long. That is what I do.


“Well then,” said the ball of light, “I must discover what I do too. Goodbye, flower.”


She floated away, bouncing on the wind like a wayward leaf, and actually enjoying herself quite a bit. She drifted to even more flowers, all of them a menagerie of colors, asking each one, “Who am I?” But none of the flowers knew.


When she found the flowers unhelpful she started asking the bees that flew busily from the upturned petals, gobs of sticky yellow pollen clinging to their legs.


“Hello?  Hello?  Kind bee, can you tell me what you do?  Or even better, what I do?  Maybe I am a bee.  You see I–”


“Can’t talk; working,” grunted the bee and it launched off, bobbing uncertainly.


The ball of light followed right behind it.  “But are you sure?  You…you fly.  I can fly!  Maybe…maybe we are cousins?  Maybe?  Could I be a cousin bee?  A sunny bumbler?”


She giggled inside. She liked the sound of that, a sunny bumbler.


“No talk. Busy. Honey time,” grunted the bee with single-minded determination to reach its hive and ignore her pesky questions.

She groaned and peeled away from her pursuit, intersecting a different bee instead, but her inquiries received a nearly identical dismissal.  She followed it all the way back to its hive and gleefully observed hundreds of bees swarming over a honeycomb that oozed with golden, sugary liquid.  She tried to engage them again, demanding answers, but the bees uniformly ignored her queries.


“You bees are terrible at conversation!” she yelled at them.


The bees didn’t seem to care and continued on their bumbling circuits to collect and deposit pollen.  But as she watched them move about she realized that they had a job – a purpose – motivating their every waking moment!

“I must have a purpose too,” she whispered.  “It would be so boring NOT to have one!”

She eventually reached the end of the meadow where a large, dark forest rose before her. She didn’t know the meadow even HAD an end, and the new terrain delighted her, something different from the fragrant field of her birth. She saw the forest growing from a distance, just a wide smudge of blackness at first that turned into a smear of teeth, and then a low row of jagged spines, and finally became full grown trees, stretching to the puffy clouds above, the upper branches swaying in the breeze.

A path wound through the thickets and the ball of light followed it, bouncing childlike and free through the shadows. She was not sure what to expect in these dark woods, but the prospects thrilled her. Anything could lurk around the next bend. Maybe things with gnashing teeth! Or kindly eyes. Or sharp claws! Or soothing words. How exciting to find out!

The trees here were ancient, their woody boles spiraling high into deep clusters of green leaves and endless limbs. Roots as thick as snakes intertwined and wrapped around each other, and the whole of the place was filled with strange howls and hoots from unseen creatures creeping through the brush.

She soon heard running water. Passing over some mossy, wet boulders, she saw two beavers playfully splashing in a stream. A half-constructed dam squatted beside them, and water cascaded from a small waterfall. It looked like fun so she gently glided down.

“Hello,” she said. “You’re certainly having a good time. May I join you? I never swam in a stream before!”

The beavers stopped playing and gawked at her. “You never swam in a stream?” one of them said. It looked incredulously at his friend.

“Never basked on a log?” said the other. “Never pad-pad-paddled your tail in a bubbling brook?” the she-beaver asked.

“Or gnawed on a feisty fish?” added her husband. “Oh, you are missing the grandest things in the world!” they cried together.

“I…I don’t want to miss out,” said the little ball of light, and she dipped into the stream. She saw water flowing over smooth flat rocks.  She saw tiny blue and orange fish darting hither and thither.  She saw a fat red creature with pincher claws that hid from her radiance under a rock.  Giggling, the ball of light burst up from the water and circled the beavers.

“Delightful!” she said. “I like your home. You seem to be very good at what you do. By chance, may I ask you a question? Would you happen to know what MY purpose is, and why I might be here? I asked the flowers and the bees, but they could not answer.”

“Well… you float,” the he-beaver said, nodding to his wife as if this was the best answer possible.

“Yup, yup, yup, you float,” the she-beaver agreed. “Oh, and you glow! You glow very well, in fact. That must be your purpose, you young wisp of a thing. You are a floater and a glower! Ta! Ta! Ta!”

The beavers smacked their tails in the water several times, overjoyed that they could so easily find an answer.

“Oh, well, those are two very good points!” said the ball of light. “Yes, I do float, and I float well. And I DO glow, don’t I? I just realized that!” She looked down and saw her reflection in the swirling current below.


I float and I glow.  I’m a floater and a glower! Float and glow and glow and float!


She was so happy that she had found an answer that she pulsed brightly several times, enjoying her new ability.

“Oh!  Look what I did!” She buzzed around the half-built dam, sputtering and sparking and greatly entertaining herself. The beavers laughed too, sitting on the shore now, slapping their tails in the shallow water and chuckling at her antics.

When she finally grew tired of this new game, she spun down to the beavers.

“Well, what do you do all day; I’m sure it must be amazing.”

“Oh, we have a wonderful life!” said the he-beaver. “We are builders.”

“That’s right, teamwork,” said the she-beaver. “All day, every day, we build, build, build!”

That impressed her. They were a team. One there to always help the other; never lonely, never lost. Did she need a friend on her team too? Team float and glow?

“And a fine job,” she said. “Fantastic dam you have. Much better than I could have built! Well, I should be on my way, beavers. Thank you, and good luck!”

The beavers waved goodbye and the little ball of light careened into the forest, enjoying her newfound flickering. She illuminated all sorts of new holes and hollows, playfully chasing after reddish squirrels or zipping through the webs of startled spiders.  For a short while she was a terrible tyrant, but eventually she grew bored.

“’You young wisp of a thing,’ the beaver had said. How nice. But is that my only purpose? To fly and play and be ever so bright like the suns three?  There must be something else.” So she kept looking.


Daily Musing – The Art of a Story

I found this on Imgur today, just a random posting from someone.  I don’t know what it is, or who did it, or what it is even about, but it tells a story, the kind of story I would personally like to RETELL and find out how it got to this point.


Daily Musing – Sharkzilla Again

I’m trying to get some work done on Sharkzilla 3 this morning.  It’s tricky.  Writing a storypoem is something — I’m not sure how to explain this well  — it’s either happening or it’s not.  I think there’s a part of my brain that has to “get into the groove” in conceptual ways I don’t understand in order to churn out a story that rhymes and makes sense.  And to do it WELL and not seem forced. Which is sort of how I feel now, like I’m forcing the rhymes and meter instead of letting it happen naturally. And when it happens naturally it just flows.  It will still need tons and tons of edits, but less of them, and I’ll have more of a workable first draft to fiddle with.

zillalogo3 copyWell, at least I do have a draft, and lots of embedded artwork, so that’s good.  I think it’s a solid story, and ideally in a perfect world I’d like to release all three of these in one year: Me & Sharkzilla 1, 2 and 3 several months apart.  Because it is really one long story and it would make more sense to keep it somewhat fresh in people’s minds.  Or kids minds, I mean, it’s just an illustrated children’s book, it’s not a mega-novel or anything or the next Harry Potter. But it’s fun and weird and I like to think that some of the rhymes are clever and fun to read.  But what do I know, I’m the author, I like to think everything I make is gold.

For a fairly young kid I’ve seen a lot of strange things,
Oh, heck – you already know what this speech brings!

I’ve seen weird stuff from the merry to the morose,
from neat-o and freak-o to grimy and gross.

And the latter was where we now found ourselves,
me and Sharkzilla stuck in an ocean of swells,

waves smashing an island as a huge storm rumbled
over terrain where I’d been so tragically tumbled

after defeating Octopox, the Baron of the Deep,
who turned out to be tentacled, despicable creep.

Daily Musing – SHARKZILLA

So over the summer of 2014 I wrote a couple of stories about a kid named Brody Quint who lives at the beach in Anywhere, USA, but mostly likely the East Coast because that’s where I live.  Anyway, it was the sort of short storypoem I enjoy writing, and fans of Steven Spielberg’s JAWS will recognize that the name Brody Quint is an amalagram of the two main characters from the film, the stalwart Chief of Police in Amity and the salty old sharkhunter, Quint.   I don’t expect children to have any CLUE as to thatquintbrody, but I think it would be fun to know that one day they’ll grow a little older and see JAWS and make the connection to this little book they read as kids.  I like dropping little easter eggs like that into stories actually, I think it makes them more fun for adults to read and comprehend with a wink and a nod.

But Sharkzilla turned into a STRANGE story.  Not so much the first entry, but it became a 3-parter, and now it’s a 10,000 word storypoem, the longest and most involved I’ve ever written.  Part 2 probably has around eight or nine characters, and it’s hard trying to give people (or things) personalities and a voice and a story arc in that short amount of space while still trying to make the whole thing rhyme and stay in some resemblance of a meter.

Challenging, but rewarding, if I can pull it off.  But like I was saying, Me & Sharkzilla transformed from a whimsical romp with a boy and his sharkman friend to a D&D/Cthulhu-esque romp through dangerous waters filled with combat and monsters and zombie trees.  I can’t help it, it’s just the direction the story wanted to take, and it was something I’d always wanted to run in D&D, an underwater scenario.  So instead of D&D, I end up writing a weird little poem about it.

And I have no idea how it will turn out.  The third and final part is in the editing phase still, and it’s going slow. In fact, Part 2 needs tons more editing, and from experience, editing these storypoems can be a very, very long process.  Sometimes it flows easier than others, and sometimes I can peck at the same sentences for months and months and not really get anywhere.
What does this mean for Me & Sharkzilla?  I think it means that somewhere down the line the public will get a look at my fully illustrated trilogy, enjoy it for all of its weirdness, and never have a clue as to how tricky it was to write.

And that’s good enough for me.

seamus and friends copy2

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