I’m heading out this morning to lovely Massachusetts. That’s great because I can use a getaway from the midwest, but the downside is I’ll be internet-free for a week. Off the grid. Unplugged from the matrix. In a sense, I am leaving the virtual world in the rearview mirror as well.

The upside: I’ll get a good amount of time to write and edit while I’m gone.

Since I’m rushing out in ten minutes and won’t be posting for awhile, I figured I’d pop up the first 250 words of Freeborn before I go. It’s still rough & all that.


Katia shuffled down the busy sidewalk, hunching over her cane. Mindful of the surveillance cameras, she periodically stopped to adjust the scarf securing her gray wig. Though her disguise was fake, her Infection was real.
Every face that passed wore a government-issued prevention mask. The virus did not discriminate, but attacked the elderly, children, women, and men alike. None were immune. Even though Katia had taken every precaution, the sickness had wormed its way into her blood. The parasite now squirmed in her gut.
A pair of heavily armed Doctors blocked her direct route to the building. One tiny prick from one of their portable infection detectors would unravel her disguise. They often slammed the infected to the ground—just for kicks—before hauling them off to a quarantine center. That was the Doctors’ role: enforce the laws of the Surgeon General, mess with the rabble, keep the streets clear of the infected, and toy with them along the way.
Katia held her breath and shuffled behind the Doctors. Their voices turned towards her as she passed, but they didn’t address her as she mounted the steps to the ten-story structure. Like many other corporate buildings, this one had been converted to housing in order to accommodate the soaring population caused by the Infection.
The rebel in Suite 940 was Katia’s last hope. While most referred to the woman as a witch, she called herself Ilythia. The rumors claimed she could help the infected through the horrific final stages.

‘See’ you all soon. Get enough Internet usage in for the both of us.



When I was a kid, waiting for the bus in the morning, I would see the denser fog farther down our street. So I’d run down to it so I could see what it was like in that thick, cloudy part. But–every time–when I made it to the patch, it looked exactly like the place I had started. Only then, that old spot was thicker. Of course, I understand the whole thing now, but back then I was perplexed.

In elementary school, I had nappy hair, too-big adult teeth in my child mouth, and tons of freckles. My mama called me “Benjie”–a shortend version of my middle name. Of course, when the “Benji” movies came out, this wasn’t such a good thing…I switched schools a lot because we moved around so much. With a new community, house and school in 4th grade, I reinvented myself as “John”. I’ve had a few other reinventions since then. Lucas isn’t even officially my name, but it’s what I currently go by.

Update: Backspace Logline Contest

I won the Backspace Agent Author Seminar Logline Contest ! More specifically, I won the prong of the contest that had to do more with marketing ability than writing skill. In my opinion, a win is a win!

The authors of the three Facebook contest entries that receive the most combined “likes” and comments will each win a signed and personalized copy of literary agent Donald Maass’s two essential how-to guides, WRITING THE BREAKOUT NOVEL and THE FIRE IN FICTION!

I received a combined total of 39 likes and comments. So here is a hearty Thank You to all you flesh-and-blood–as well as virtual–friends who supported the effort. Here is the entry submitted for a ‘fictional’ novel.

Backspace|SEMINAR Logline Contest Entry #17 – INFECTION: After two hundred years of mass sterilization and cloning, a super-virus attacks the world population. No one is immune. The elderly, toddlers, women–and even men: everyone is infected with the dreaded Pregnancy. J.L.H. – Bucyrus, Ohio

For those of you that keep updated with my writing endeavors, this plotline should sound very familiar. The idea began its life as a short story entitled “Infection”. When I originally penned the concept, my goal was to keep it under 1,000 words. Mission accomplished. Then, like a lot of authors’ creations, the story took on a life of its own.

And that, my friends, is how FREEBORN the novel came into being.

I’ll have two brand-spanking new, signed books in my hands in a couple weeks. If anyone wants to take a look at them–just let me know. I’m a giver.