Science-fiction, fantasy, and other stories

Category: science-fiction

Ornaments: Butler & Mouse / Gray & Santa Claus


Last post, I said that I’d have to decide whether this post would be a flash fiction story, or a seasonal story. Although each story is quite different from the other, their backgrounds have something in common.

My problem was that the flash fiction story, Mouse, was long enough for a post, but didn’t seem appropriate for the holiday season. On the other hand, the seasonal story, Coca-Cola Santa Claus, was appropriate for this time of year, but didn’t seem long enough to warrant its own post. 

The solution to my dilemma is simple: I’m posting both stories, making this my first double-issue post! Whoopee! This post is for December 2022 and January 2023, and the next post will be for February 2023.


As the need arises, I’ll occasionally include a “Backstage” section to announce changes to this website that might affect your reading experience. This seems reasonable since I’m learning more about how to manage this website with each post.

This site is built using WordPress software, which by default presents either a fixed home page, or a constantly changing latest post. I originally opted for the latest post, but changed to a fixed home page so new readers could easily orient themselves and navigate to the story they wanted to read. However, I recently spoke to an associate who said he had glanced at my website not too long ago and wondered if I had posted anything new.

Had I posted anything new? Of course I had! How was that not obvious to him?

I think my associate’s problem was that like most returning readers, he wanted to see the latest post first, not the unchanging “Welcome” page. That is, only new readers need orientation. I also hope that returning readers will tell their friends about this website, and the number of returning readers will grow over time. For that reason, I’m switching back to the latest-post-first option, and will make a few other cosmetic changes to tie everything together.

Finally, I’m adding more or less permanent “shout-out” and “tell your friends” sections, which look like the following:


Try Gene Ambaum’s Library Comic, a web comic about… libraries. Gene and a cadre of his favorite artists, such as Willow Payne (see the “About” page on his site), publish a daily, humorous web comic that is ostensibly about libraries, but is as much about human nature as anything else.

Trust me. Try it. Have a laugh. Maybe discover a new book or some amazing merchandise. Check out Library Comic.

Tell Your Friends
Tell your friends about it!
Then make new friends, and tell them!

Moebius Theater (paraphrased)

The Journey So Far, vol. 1 / Panthers

Tim Allen Stories is mostly about learning to be a better storyteller. So, rather than post a new story, I thought I should pause and share some of the lessons I’ve learned so far from posting the last four stories. Literary teachers say the important properties of a story are its setting, characters, conflict, plot, resolution, and outcome. And since I plan to post more stories, I would periodically pause to compare them as well. Reviewing your own work and comparing it to the works of others, be they good or bad, is one of the best ways to put your own work in perspective, as well as learn from the practices of others. I planned to title this series of posts, “The Journey So Far, vol. …”

Well, that was the plan. 

I started preparing this post about a week before I intended to post it. I thought it would be easy; something I could do quickly. Admittedly, I’d have to write something new instead of publishing an existing story, but I had a handle on the problem and thought it wouldn’t require too much thought and reflection to complete. Well, I’m already three weeks past my self-imposed deadline, nowhere near being finished, and getting farther nowhere fast. I’ll talk to my psychiatrist about what’s taking me so long, but meanwhile, I need a new plan.

Since I can’t finish the current post, and since it’s almost time to start preparing the next, I think I’ll blend the two. For now, I’ll do a partial review of previous work, as well as publish the short story I intended to post next. 


Before I do anything else, let me make a shout-out to Gene Ambaum, who has been so helpful in getting this site launched. Gene is the creator, writer, book reviewer, and creative marketing force behind Library Comic.

Gene and a cadre of his favorite artists, such as Willow Payne (see the “About” page  on his site), publish a daily, humorous web comic that is ostensibly about libraries, but is as much about human nature as anything else. 

Since Gene and I both know the readership of Tim Allen Stories will be exceedingly small, Gene has generously added a link under his banner head from his site to mine. And for that, I’m grateful.

I’ve known Gene for years—I even “officiated” at his wedding—and he’s one of the most level-headed, goodhearted, adventurous, and well read people I know. However, be forewarned that his sense of humor is sometimes a bit, shall we say…off-kilter? For example, when asked to describe his web site, he said as seriously as the grave, and with only a tiny twinkle in his eye, “Library Comic? A comic about… libraries.”

Trust me. Try it. Have a laugh. Maybe discover a new book. Check out Library Comic.

(Hot off the presses! Regarding marketing, check out Gene’s new (October 2022) Kickstarter for his “Badass Patches”. Sew the patches on garments, backpacks, or whatever, and show your “badass” love of books.)

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