Becoming a Storyteller Pt. 1

I’ve always made up stories.

I watched westerns and war movies with my Dad. With my Mom, I watched fantasy and science fiction. In my head, and to whoever would listen, I mixed and blended these stories into wonderfully weird pastiches where John Wayne-like characters had showdowns in outer space with robots and the occasional dinosaur. I populated these stories with characters named after family pets, which led my Mom to believe the stories were about dogs in space.

Dogs in space might have made more sense.

I often played out these fantastic adventures in my backyard, pacing around in circles. Sometimes, this was complete with sound effects. Star Wars in particular caught my attention with sound, and I did my best to imitate the whoosh of the lightsaber, the zap of blaster fire, and of course the iconic roar of the TIE fighter as it screamed across the big screen. Basil Poledouris’s score for Conan added background music.

Most of my stories were science fiction of the space opera variety, but I borrowed liberally from every source. The Land that Time Forgot gave me dinosaurs. Conan gave me sword fights. Star Trek (TOS) gave me a love of technobabble. Battlestar Galactica (1978) gave me killer robots; I cleverly disguised the cylons in my stories by redubbing them nilons. When I later related those particular stories to adults, tales of the killer nilons resulted in a fair number of laughs.

No matter which stories I made up, from dogs in space to copycat killer robots, I wanted to share them. To anyone who would listen, I would offer lengthy recounting of  starships and barbarian warriors defending some appropriate version of the Alamo side-by-side with gunfighters and laser-swordsmen.

My mom was my first audience, but she always encouraged me to share the stories with my Dad and my aunts and uncles as well. Most adults will humour a seven-year-old for a while, but I was a very (very) long-winded seven-year-old, and the stories never stopped coming. In retrospect, I believe my mom found my regaling of her siblings funny. Nevertheless, reluctant audience or not, enough of my family listened to encourage me to keep telling.

This “inscrutable exhortation of the soul”* would eventually lead me to writing. I was in second-grade when I first set pencil to paper and attempted to record one of my stories.

*With thanks and apologies to Bill Watterson for that phrase.


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Corvidae has a new cover

Rhonda Parrish has pics up on her site for Corvidae’s new cover.

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Corvidae Interview

An interview about my story, Visiting Hours, with Rhonda Parrish and Magnus E. Magpie



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Is Rey a Mary Sue?

No, Rey is not a Mary Sue.


Consider this your final warning for Star Wars: The Force Awakens spoilers!!!


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A Review of “Visiting Hours”

Jorie of Jorie Loves A Story reviewed Corvidae from World Weaver Press. Here’s the section on my story, “Visiting Hours”

Sorrow and hospitals walk in-hand together, which is why “Visiting Hours” by Michael S. Pack truly tucked a stitching into my heartstrings. It’s not for the faint of heart because of how gruelingly realistic the ending is – it’s a story of solemn truths and heartache reality. It’s about letting go and realising a fate that you cannot stop nor fully understand. It’s not fused on hope but on acceptance of what cannot be changed but has to happen for a reason we don’t want to fathom being true.

To read the full review go here.

Corvidae, edited by Rhonda Parrish, is published by World Weaver Press.

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Corvidae Cover Art

Fantastic cover for the upcoming anthology Corvidae from editor Rhonda Parrish and World Weaver Press. It includes my short story, Visiting Hours.

Coming soon! July 7, 2015


Associated with life and death, disease and luck, corvids have long captured mankind’s attention, showing up in mythology as the companions or manifestations of deities, and starring in stories from Aesop to Poe and beyond.

In Corvidae birds are born of blood and pain, trickster ravens live up to their names, magpies take human form, blue jays battle evil forces, and choughs become prisoners of war. These stories will take you to the Great War, research facilities, frozen mountaintops, steam-powered worlds, remote forest homes, and deep into fairy tales. One thing is for certain, after reading this anthology, you’ll never look the same way at the corvid outside your window.

Featuring works by Jane Yolen, Mike Allen, C.S.E. Cooney, M.L.D. Curelas, Tim Deal, Megan Engelhardt, Megan Fennell, Adria Laycraft, Kat Otis, Michael S. Pack, Sara Puls, Michael M. Rader, Mark Rapacz, Angela Slatter, Laura VanArendonk Baugh, and Leslie Van Zwol.

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I need to find a topic to blog about regularly.

For now, I’ve updated the My Works page with a list of my published (and upcoming) short stories.

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