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Author: John T M Herres

I am an Author, with 2 WIP manuscripts and several short stories in various genres. Born in CA to a military family, settled in TX at the tender age of 8. Remained there for nearly 38 years, mainly in the Austin area, before moving to MS early in 2011. There is probably more. Stay tuned for further developments.

Demons, Devils & Denizens of Hell Anthology

Demons, Devils & Denizens of Hell I have been tagged on Facebook to participate in this Anthology by one of my Facebook Friends, Becky Narron. As I have written a few other shorts for such calls, I figured I’d give this one a try, too. *** Just to update, since it has been too long I haven’t, I #amwriting, #amediting, #amrevizing. I’ve been working on restructuring and filling in blank spots on The Barbarian (the story on the blog is now outdated), making his story more complete. It’s going to take a while. I decided I’d take a break and make something new, then I’ll go back to editing, if you want to call it that. For this story, though I haven’t come up with a title yet, I figured I’d make another serial killer, as I did with Hell’s Beginning (sub’d to Azoth Khem Publishing, which is still waiting in the Editor’s pile.)   Without further ado, I give you a small teaser for the current work. In hopes that it will whet your appetite and cause some small anticipation for the completion. Untitled (I’ll edit that when I do think of an appropriate heading.) Agent Herman Schmidt had never seen such vicious crimes. In his 30 years of service, he had witnessed some of the various atrocities one human could do, either to another person or a group of people. However, the mess left by this perpetrator outdid anything he’d had to bear investigating. Schmidt knew this criminal.…

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5th Word Of The Day

Fifth Word Of The Day Challenge So, I guess I’m not doing too poorly with making regular posts. Well, somewhat regular. I am still spending way too much time on Facebook, but the Social Media issues continue and I must make myself available, or at least palpable (readily or plainly seen, heard, perceived, etc.; obvious; evident). [Yes, I still use thesaurus.com and dictionary.com; some may say too much, but hey, I like to variate words to make people think.] I have written another short story for a Call For Submissions I got tagged in for a Facebook group titled United Stakes of America. I had a bit of fun writing it, and only had to delete a section written once. (That’s a tale in itself.) Now, I’m here, though a day after I got the word. Yesterday, I needed the link for the group and went to Facebook… and got detained. All day. Oops. Yesterday’s word on both dictionary.com and thesaurus.com (They’re related, if you haven’t guessed):  meritorious Definitions for meritorious deserving praise, reward, esteem, etc.; praiseworthy: to receive a gift for meritorious service. The Party Genre: ??? You tell me. Sofie felt she might be nearing the end of her patience. All month, she planned the party; rearranging the apartment, telling people not to say anything as she invited them, stashing decorations she would put up on her best friend’s birthday. All that ruined. Jill came down with the flu just days before the event. Now, Sofie had to…

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4TH Word Of The Day

Word Of The Day Sunday, February 12, 2017 on Dictionary.com calliopean [kuh-lahy-uh–pee–uh n] Word Origin 1855-60, Americanism; calliope + -an adjective 1. resembling a calliope in sound; piercingly loud: a calliopean voice. I know, I know, it’s been a while since I made a new WOTD post. If anyone knows me on FB, you would know I have finally finished my story “Hell’s Beginning,” and sent it to the publisher, Azoth Khem Publishing. I now await their response with editorial suggestions. (See me sitting here tapping my fingers on the desk telling myself to be patient. They waited for me, the least I can do is wait for them.) I have also started a new story. About Werewolves, but set in a fantasy world of my own making. There will be Humans involved, but not as enemies, per se. At least, not at first. I don’t want to go real far into what I have planned, because as we all know; “The best-laid plans of mice and men” and all that. (citation follows:) [the best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry. Dictionary.com. The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2005. http://www.dictionary.com/browse/the-best-laid-plans-of-mice-and-men-often-go-awry (accessed: February 12, 2017).] So, anyway, them’s the plans at this point, so on with the show! I Saw Her In A Dream Genre: Paranormal Fantasy As I sat upon the dais, I thought of the specter that came to me in my dreams. She had lovely green eyes, golden hair…

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ReBlog: #amwriting: Too Many Characters?

While going through my weekly updates for blogs I’m following, I came across this article by Connie J. Jasperson  #amwriting: Too Many Characters? I’ll post an excerpt, but to get the full explanation, you must go to her website. She explains it much better than I could. You’re writing the first draft of your novel.  A beta reader has pointed out that you may have too many named characters to keep track of, and now you’re on a mission to whittle down your cast of thousands. But who should go and who should stay? What is the optimal number of characters for a book? Some say only four, others fifteen, but I say introduce however many characters it takes to tell the story but use common sense. Put the reader first–they must be able to keep them straight without any effort. When you introduce a named character, ask yourself if it is someone the reader should remember. Does he or she offer information the protagonist and reader must know? Some characters will give us clues to help our protagonist complete his/her quest.  Others show us something about the protagonist, give us a clue into their personality or past. Read More Here   Now, where this hit me is in considering a new project I thought of. I #amwriting a story about a Werewolf community, the thought being to have every chapter revolve around either a popular proverb or idiom, alternating each (proverb in one chapter, idiom in the next, then…

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New Home Chore

A New Chore I’m taking a temporary break from the Word Of The Day Challenge I started. I’ve been assigned a task; the making of a monthly meal planner, to feed me, my older brother and mother. They both have a small to regular appetite, while I double it, or play the “clean up hitter,” as it were. So, the meals would have to feed the equal of 4 persons. I’ve pulled up a graph supplied by Microsoft Excel, and found the planner template. They have example meals, but none that we could probably afford, or that I want to take the time to prep and cook. Most of our dinners consist of Hamburger Helper dinner boxes, so we would just need the boxes and the burger to go with it. However, as each one calls for a pound of meat, I usually use 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 pound for each. What can I say? I like beef. The thing is, we can’t have that for every single meal, so I have to find other recipes to round out the month. My Ma said she could make the plans, but as I’m the one who usually ends up doing the cooking, I would rather find foods I don’t mind (as much) to fix. Thus, my somewhat dilemma. I need to find recipes, simple recipes, to populate the planner. As I said, a lot of them can be Hamburger Helper, so those days would be rather simple. The rest of…

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Yeehaw’s Cottage Pie

Yeehaw’s Cottage Pie   Ingredients (feel free to add nasty stuff like onions if you so desire) 1-½ to 2 pounds of ground beef 1 packet Meatloaf seasoning 1 can whole kernel corn 4 cups Mashed Potato Flakes 5 tbs butter or margarine 1 cup milk- more or less 5 cups water, divided 1 package Country Gravy mix 2 cans condensed Vegetarian Vegetable soup 8oz shredded cheese (we use sharp cheddar)   Steps I took; Brown the ground beef in skillet, drain, return to skillet, mix in corn and meatloaf seasoning and set aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare mashed potatoes per package instructions using flakes, butter and milk. Set aside. In sauce pan, bring the soup with one can water to boil, mix gravy pack with half cup water with whisk. When soup boils, add gravy mixture and bring to boil. Remove from heat immediately and add to the seasoned beef/corn mix. Heat on medium high until a slight boil, then pour into 9×13 pan lined with aluminum foil (for easy cleaning). Top with Mashed Potatoes. Put in preheated oven for 25 minutes, remove and turn the broiler on low. Top with grated cheese and return to oven for about 5 minutes, or until cheese is just turning brown. Remove and serve it up! This will yield enough for 5 to 8 people, depending on how big an appetite they have.

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3RD Word Of The Day Challenge

3RD Word Of The Day Challenge The “rules.” For this installment, I opted to not go with the actual Dictionary.com word, which they have as igneous. Didn’t resonate with me, so I looked to some of the lists that are there. I went through 4 groups, and happened upon absquatulate. How’s that for a word? I has an easy meaning. Here’s how the website defines it: Absquatulate [ab-skwoch–uh-leyt] verb (used without object), absquatulated, absquatulating. Slang. to flee; abscond: The old prospector absquatulated with our picks and shovel.   Funky old word, ain’t it?   But, first, a word from our sponsor: As a grammatical rule, I have been taught that most two-syllable adjectives, when written in comparative or superlative form, would use “more” and “most,” respectively. It would appear, however, there are exceptions. For instance; Stupid VS Stupider. I cringe when I see the word “stupider,” as I’ve always known “more stupid” is the correct writing. By this article, I have been mistaken. Oh, well. Since each can be correct, I’ll just go with how I use them and suffer others to use which one they wish. I’ll still cringe, though.   On with the show!   Jesse decided he needed to leave town. His girlfriend had dumped him, his best friend basically disowned him. As it turned out, the two had found they got along better together than they did with him and had been running around behind his back. Jesse never saw it, though. His attention usually focused on trying to get something for nothing. He would steal from others and sell the…

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Second Word Of The Day Challenge

I know this isn’t exactly a week after my first, but I guess I’m going by what the word given on Dictionary.com is. I didn’t much care for the one yesterday. Today, however, the word struck a chord. I give you crepitate [krep-i-teyt] verb (used without object), crepitated, crepitating. to make a crackling sound; crackle. To jog a memory, the rules can be found here and my inaugural post here.   Hunting Trip Smith knew the forest could be treacherous. Every time he ventured into them, he felt something would be hunting him. He never saw anything, nor anyone, but he sensed a presence nearby. This time he would be even more alert. If a hunter had their eyes on him, he wanted to know before it hit him rather than feel the sting of the weapon first. He didn’t want to bleed without his attacker doing the same. Each time he looked to try to see an enemy he would stop and listen. He looked around, scanning every tree, every fallen limb. Several times, he caught sight of movement only to realize it to be an animal scurrying to find a meal. He knew whatever hunted him could not have been an animal, for if so, it would have to be as large as a man. Deeper into the woods he trekked, his arrow nocked and bow half drawn. He had strapped his sword to his back so it didn’t interfere with his crouch, yet remained easy to unsheathe…

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First Word Of The Day Challenge

This is my first Submission The Word Of The Day Challenge So, going to Dictionary.com, the word for January 1, 2017 is: handsel or hansel [han-suh l] noun 1. a gift or token for good luck or as an expression of good wishes, as at the beginning of the new year or when entering upon a new situation or enterprise. 2. a first installment of payment. 3. the initial experience of anything; first encounter with or use of something taken as a token of what will follow; foretaste. verb (used with object), handseled, handseling or (especiallyBritish) handselled, handselling. 4. to give a handsel to. 5. to inaugurate auspiciously. 6. to use, try, or experience for the first time. Actually, quite fitting, as this is the inaugural post for my new challenge. So, here goes: James had been down on his luck for some time. Whenever he thought he might be making progress, life came along and knocked his good fortune out from under him. He never let his problems be known, so no one realized his needs. He figured few would offer him an hansel, let alone help him get through the hard times. He would have to go it alone whether people knew or not. He finally decided on his own handsel; he would play the lottery and see if his luck could change. When the winning numbers were drawn, he amazed everyone by matching all of them. No more would James be a pauper.   I welcome all…

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The Barbarian versus The Nomads

Here is another excerpt from my WIP The Barbarian. In this section, the Barbarian, who is still unnamed, has just returned from scouting with his trainer. The main Shandan Nomad (Shandan is the desert they are in charge of ruling with tyrant abandon, if you will) is resting, as is his second-in-command, and the one left in charge, Shenkar, hates the boy more than the other two do. In the distance, they can see a cloud of dust, and the Nomad who has better long range vision sees the group of Wizards riding hard toward them. It’s a bit rough, as it is still 1st draft, but I’m sure you can get the gist of it. Well, have a look:   Nomads No More Shenkar saw the scouts returning at a leisurely pace after exploring the route to the east. Bolthed and Akheem left him in charge when they retired to one of the wagons for a brief respite, with orders to be called only if needed. Two days prior, a scout from the Wastes had brought them news of the annihilation of their allies, the Destined Ones. He also told of the warning relayed that the Nomads would be next. Bolthed immediately put the band on alert” “The way is clear for the next league, my Lord,” the older scout reported. “Get some rest, then prepare to go back out.” As they turned to leave, the trainer pointed to the north. “My lord, Shenkar; look.” A cloud of dust…

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