Do The Dead Dream? is now an eBook!

Do The Dead Dream? (© 2017, F. P. Dorchak and Lon Kirschner)

Do The Dead Dream? (© 2017, F. P. Dorchak and Lon Kirschner)

Hot off the presses: my anthology is now available as an eBook!

Click here to access it on Amazon!

Thanks for your support!

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Writing ON My House

This literally just happened minutes ago, and I had to write it up!

A childhood friend had reminded me about something that I had done when I was a kid back in Lake Clear, New York. And that fact that she had remembered it absolutely blew me away! The Facebook messaging went like this:

Julie: I was just talking to my son about Lake Clear your family and now you being an author… Wasn’t your first masterpiece written ON your house (literally)??
Me: HA!
Me: How did YOU know that?!
Me: Yes, I joke about that now and then….
Julie: Remember I used to play at and around your house with your sister.


But, yes, I really had done that!

I do not know what had possessed me, but it was probably your basic Kid Logic–applied to a creative type (writer, in this case)–but one day I up and picked up a number 2 pencil and began to write a story on the side of our Lake Clear house that was painted yellow! I wrote it  around a couple sides, again, if I remember correctly. Not sure it I made it all the way around the house, at this stage in my life. But it was a couple of outside walls!

My dad…was not amused.

Dang it, but man, I wish I’d written that story down somewhere! How priceless a moment that was! How fricking hilarious! My dad made me erase the entire thing and clean off the house, of course, but, geez, how perfectly perfect for a writer-kid to do something like that!

So, thank you so much, Julie, for making my day by mentioning that to me! Ha! Though I’ve thought about it off and on over the many, many years since, it’s quite jaw-dropping to hear something like that from another non-family member!

You…are priceless!

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Do The Dead Dream? 2017 Best Book Award Winner for Fiction: Short Story!

Do The Dead Dream? (© 2017, F. P. Dorchak and Lon Kirschner)

Do The Dead Dream? (© 2017, F. P. Dorchak and Lon Kirschner)

My anthology won a 2017 Best Book Award!

I’ve never won ANY literary contest in my entire life!

Here’s the link:

And here’s the Press Release link:

Of course I need to thank Joyce Combs, my editor, for her sharp eye and editorial skills. To Pam Headrick for her formatting sorcery. There’s no other word for such witchery. And Lon Kirschner—for his incredible cover artistry! I couldn’t have done any of this without them! Thank you all so damned much!

I have to thank the American Book Fest! Their readers and judges! Thank you so much! I am truly honored and stunned! Mr. Jeffery Keen! Thank you! You were so quick and timely with all of our correspondence and responses to my questions, as well! I am truly honored and stunned!

That’s all!

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Newsletter Restart!

Well, I’ve re-instituted my newsletter!

You may have (hopefully it worked–I can’t seem to test it, but another did) noticed a pop-up displaying a few seconds after accessing this blog site’s Front Page. Please let me know if it doesn’t work! Anyway, I’ve inserted one on my website, as well.

This newsletter will be “at least” quarterly, but if I have something of interest earlier, I may post one. I will talk about writing-and-book-related items, including events, book and story topics, some photography (and pictures), and anything else of interest to me and my writing world.  Movie talk. We’ll see. Maybe present some FAQs on myself or my work. I will occasionally give things away, like e/books, photographs, or whatever. Maybe one of my brothers (well, for a limited time, anyway, I do kinda like ’em…).

It will not be a rehash of my blog posts.

If I have nothing to say…you may not even receive one! But, given the title of this blog site, that most likely will not happen….

So…I am currently working on my next newsletter, which I hope to get out within a week or so!

If a newsletter pop-up has not displayed upon accessing this post, and you are interested in receiving one from me, please go to my website and sign up.

Thank you, in advance, for your continued support!



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Licking The Wounds

Well, this past month—not to mention year!—has been quite challenging (in a good way) and busy! I’d finally put out my anthology, Do The Dead Dream? this month, had more than a few promotional events this year. I had my book launch at The Bookman (thank you Rachel and Steffany–and all who stopped by–especially Dean Wyant, who drove all the way from freaking Longmont! Dude, you are the hot rodder). This past weekend I’d attended MileHiCon49 (that’s 49 years!) and had perhaps arguably the best year out of the four years I’ve been attending! And it’s not just about selling books…I’d moderated a couple of panels, got to hang out with a few of my writer friends, and met some new faces and just, generally, had a blast! But on a personal note, my family and I had lost a dear family member and my wife and I had also lost our cat, Chloe, of 18 years, both within the past two months. It’s been a tough couple of months.

But now that I’ve got the book out there, done my after-con paperwork, sent off my anthology copies to the Copyright Office, I still have few things yet to do. I still have to get the eBook version of Do The Dead Dream? out there this next month (November, I mean), and then I’d also like to finally make good on my promise of several years ago and also get out the eBook for Psychic. No, I’d never forgotten that book, it’s just been a matter and “time and resources.” But my goal is to get Psychic out on eBook for Christmas this year.

As to the whys-and-wherefores to why there is no cover for Do The Dead Dream? (DTDD?) on, well, I was just told by IngramSpark support that the process is “just the way it is.” I’d released DTDD? October 1st, it’d gotten out to Amazon quite quickly…except that there was no cover file. That makes zero sense to me! Why would a company do that? I’d queried both IngramSpark and’s Author Central, and Author Central went out to check my files, and found that IngramSpark had, indeed, not sent the cover file! So…Author Central support went the extra mile and searched the Internet for a high-rez image of DTDD? and told me (this past Friday) that they’d inserted it into my file and it should be available in 2-3 business days. So…I hope by tomorrow it will be available. I am supremely impressed that Author Central went the extra mile. For all the grief people levy upon Amazon, I did not see that response coming. Thank you, Author Central!

What’s next for me?

Good question!

First off, getting the abovementioned eBooks out. Then I promised to help out a friend and fellow writer with a new work of his. I’ve had multiple starts on his project and I really want to hit that full-time, so that’s my next effort. After that…I need to get back into the next novel project I’d started some two years ago, when I decided to divert and get the best of my short stories out there. I also hope to continue writing short stories! I love writing them, have additional ideas for more, so I’m no longer going to put that area of my writing on the backburner!

I really do thank all of your for support and help in reading, following, endorsing/blurbing (oh, my God, thank you all for all of your kinds words on my work!), lending critique of my work, interviewing me (thank you, Eric Singer and Wendy Garret!), giving me a place to launch my book, and word-of-mouth you have all done on my behalf! For Rose Beetem for again including in the MileHiCon programming! For all of you out there buying my words! I really cannot thank you all enough for your assistance in any of the above areas! As I mention in the Preface to DTDD?, writing is not nearly as solitary an endeavor as it’s cracked up to be!

So. Happiest of Hallowe’ens to you all! This and Christmas are my favorite holidays of the year—and yes, I do believe we should all get Hallowe’en off! 😛

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New York Vacation 2017 – North Country Waterfalls

Allen Falls (© August 14, 2017 by F. P. Dorchak)

Allen Falls (© August 14, 2017 by F. P. Dorchak)

This is my final post about our August vacation.

There are plenty of waterfalls in upstate New York—in the area known as “The North Country,” there are 40, according to the book, Waterfalls of New York State. I’ve only seen six of them that I know/remember. Four in the North Country, Niagara Falls, in the Greater Niagara Region in western NY, and seen another whose name I’m no longer sure of any more, in the Finger Lakes region of Ithaca a couple of years back (I remember it was a well-kept park, and a little bit of a walk along a wide path that ended in a short bridge with a blasting waterfall above it and to the left). Anyway, I’ve never been much of a “waterfall hunter,” but have always loved them, and over the years have really grown interested I them. And since I’ve gotten back into photography…learning to use a digital camera…thought I’d try my limited skills at photographing them. Apparently, it’s in vogue to not shoot how the water really looks…but to blur it…which gives it a “dreamy” effect. And it does. But I sometimes feel catching it how it looks also has its place. To get the dreamy, “smoothed-out” look, you need a tripod and to use slow shutter speeds; you also need to adjust aperture and ISO to get the best shots, but man, I’m still way behind and learning the perfect blends of all that.

On our trip out this year, I picked a couple of falls to visit, but we only managed two: St. Regis and Allen Falls. St. Regis is in the way-small-town of St. Regis, between Lake Titus and Canton, as the crow flies. Allen Falls is between St. Regis Falls and Canton, just outside of Potsdam, NY.

My wife and I left our Lake Titus camp mid-morning on August 14th, and took Route 30 to 458. Once we hit St. Regis, we parked just on the other side of the low bridge, alongside the Post Office, if I remember right. I took my gear and hung out on the bridge, while my wife took a walk down the road that went alongside the St. Regis River. But what I didn’t realize until writing this post was that I’d actually missed the named-falls itself, and had just took shots of the man-made spillway, or whatever it’s called. I still managed to get some decent “learning” shots. I guess I just got so caught up in figuring out settings and such, I lost track of which falls I should have been doing this at!

After spending some time there, we left for Allen Falls, and this time, I actually did get to the actual Falls themselves. We had to take 11B to County Road 47, then a turn onto Allen Falls Road—which was not marked from the direction we initially took. The sign must have been down. We stopped for directions, doubled-back, and found it. It was down in a cozy little dip in the road, and we parked off in the dirt-into-grass clearing, beside some parked heavy equipment, where another car was already parked. We found the footpath, and we and my camera gear on my back, hiked into the trees.

It was an easy trail until just before the falls. Falls drop…so that means at some point the terrain also has to drop, and it did—sharply. So, glad to have been wearing hiking boots (which my wife was not wearing) and sporting a camera pack, I had to scurry down the slope on all fours (I had to also climb back up the same way), leaving Laura at the top. I should also mention that just before I went down the decline, I went off the trail alongside the west branch of the St. Regis River, that feeds into the falls. Here (as well in a few other places along the trial), I pulled out my camera and tripod from the pack, then carefully stepped out into the shallows in the rocks—and promptly fell!

As I had images of me being hideously swept over the rocks, and down into the falls themselves, my wife’s horrified screams echoing in my head…I quickly noticed that that had not been the case.

I merely fell smack on my ass. Embarrassingly so. And my wife (and no one else!) was anywhere in sight!

As I “sat” there among the rocks, my body an upright “V” with respect to my torso and legs, as well as my hands—left hand held the camera up and away from the water away from my body, while my right hand held the tripod up and away—I realized that I still lived and breathed above water and rock. Though my behind was just a smidge damp.

I quickly picked my undamaged self up and did a quick scan of self and surroundings. Nothing broken nor bruised…and no screaming wife or any other onlooker. Good thing for asses, of which mine is fairly well-developed from weightlifting, and well (as some might view) from being one. Anyway, no harm, no foul (yet hearing my dad’s Forest Ranger voice in my head: “Yeah, but you could’ve killed yourself”; indeed I tell virtual Dad, I very well could’ve…but not today…), and more carefully set up my tripod and snapped some shots before proceeding down that slope to the base of the falls….

At the base of the falls, where I initially found myself alone, I waded out into the stream—don’t worry, nothing dangerous here at all, it was level and shin-high, thought swift, but no chance of “going anywhere,” even if I again slipped on some rocks. But I didn’t. So, I settled in under some branches just downstream and took my time messing with all kinds of setting and taking all kinds of shots, some of which came out pretty nicely…well, at least from my amateur point of view. But I think I may have spoiled some “young love” that had later on also ventured down to where I was.

By the way, as to the tea-brown color of the water—which I love, by the way!—here is a great article describing the color. I love the dark waters of the Adirondacks, and have written about it, as I did in “What Dreams Are Made Of,” in my new anthology, Do The Dead Dream? I find the waters of the Adirondacks quite mysterious and plan on (have actually started) writing a novel involving such mysteries….

St. Regis Spill Way

Allen Falls

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New York Vacation 2017 – Barnum Pond

Barnum Pond (© F. P. Dorchak, August 10, 2017)

Barnum Pond (© F. P. Dorchak, August 10, 2017)

I love Barnum Pond!

Every time we go to upstate New York, I make it a point to stop and take in the beauty that is Barnum Pond. I always take shots of the pond. Barnum lies just a little north of Paul Smiths, on the way to Malone, New York, directly alongside Route 30. It’s a small, shallow pond (84 acres, 10 feet deep), wherein which I always recall this funny memory: my youngest brother, Greg, and I had had come home to see Dad…it might have actually been to attend the funeral service for my dad’s dad, back in 1992. My dad had lived in Dickinson Center, NY at the time. Anyway, Greg and I had decided to go canoeing, so we’d taken one of Dad’s canoes and had gone out on Barnum that June day. As we’re having a great time paddling out in the middle of Barnum and catching up, we look back to shore and see this red Forest Ranger truck pulled over to the side, and this ranger standing tall and purposeful at the water’s edge…staring at us through binoculars.


Ha! We’d been caught!

Really? Of all the acreage in Region 5 of upstate New York (and, if I remember right, it’s the largest region in the state) that my Forest Ranger dad patrolled, he’d just happened upon us?

I’m not even sure if we’d left a note—I’d hoped we had, since that is what I always do—so, I’m sure he’d probably stopped back at the house and seen the note, then decided to come check us out. But it was so funny, seeing him there, all official and all, binocs to his eyes, staring at us as we paddled around Barnum Pond in one of his Department of Environmental Conservation canoes.

These pictures, below, were taken in the early evening of August 10, 2017. The second image is of a log poking up out of the water to our right. The very last one is of all the bugs that had been buzzing around us and skittering across the water. Yeah, that’s one of the things upstate NY is know for. Bugs.


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