Behind the Walls

Check out my newest short story ‘Behind the Walls’, released today via TANSTAAFL Press in their ‘Enter the Rebirth’ anthology!

#postapocalypticfiction #horror #amwriting #amblogging

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“How to be a Good Father” Published in Havik

While floating on a windjammer off the coast of Maine in 2014 (at a writing workshop, no less), I scribbled “How to be a Good Father” in a black leather notebook answering a simple prompt of taking an opposite point of view.

In the midst of writing a novel based on my grandparents’ novel, I wrote how it would be like to be a father. The chilly October evening froze my fingers, yet in a moment of magic, I thought about relationships between adult children, role models, and parenthood. How does the lack of a father change how one is a parent? How does a father consider their adult children’s choices especially since they no longer live at home? How does fatherhood change once children have decided to live their own lives?

I read the draft to fellow writers. Then I spent the next few years revising the piece on and off. I read one revision at Litcrawl and workshopped it at various writing groups.

Today, I am excited to announce that “How to Be a Good Father”, a prose piece, has been published in Havik, the Los Positas College Literary Anthology, titled this year “Rise”.

At the awards ceremony last Saturday, I read the piece to the audience of diverse voices—painters, writers, poets.


Snapshot of the printed work


Hot off the digital presses…

Hey all: M. Luke here. “The Affair” is live now on The Arcanist. This is my shortest story ever at 600 words, and that makes it popular with very busy people. It’s only a three-minute read! I’ve gotten tons of positive feedback. Plus, The Arcanist does a really nice job formatting these stories–nice artwork, a good font, plenty of space between lines, room to breath.

I wasn’t a big fan of short fiction until I began to write it. I love big, fat, 2-inch thick books where I can immerse myself in a world. However, writing my own short stories drove home the point that every word matters. Every sentence matters. Everything has to be deliberate. It’s a challenge and a lot of fun to try to bring characters to life in such a short time. I’m loving it!

If you read the story and like it, there is a place at the end to give “claps.” Not a horrible disease but a way to let me & The Arcanist know you enjoyed it.

Science Fiction in San Francisco

Science Fiction in San Francisco is a monthly series of author readings from the science fiction, fantasy, horror, and genre literary fields, hosted by Terry Bisson, and located at the American Bookbinder’s Museum.

Participating authors have included Kim Stanley Robinson, Daryl Gregory, Annalee Newitz, Robin Sloane, Charlie Jane Anders, and many others. Visit the SFinSF website to find out about upcoming events.

M. Luke McDonell helps record and produce a podcast of the event. Check out all the episodes here. The readings are great, but the Q&A is where the real action happens.



“To the First Time Flier” Published in Arkana

A piece about an experience several years ago from Austin to San Francisco, titled “To The First Time Flier”, has been just published in Arkana, a literary journal of mysteries and marginalized voices. Included in the literary journal is an audio recording where I read the piece (many thanks to a fellow writer M. Luke McDonell and her husband for providing recording equipment during the holidays).

After meeting the teenage girl described in the story, I felt struck by what I had experienced. I had written about it immediately in my journal that night. Yet, I didn’t quite know what it meant for me until years later, especially after the November 2016 election.

Before meeting her, despite having a father who was technically a refugee (mentioned in the story, but in reality, he “fled” as a young child from China to Hong Kong), I had imagined that they came from war-torn countries where they struggled with poverty. To my surprise, she was very contemporary—missing her boyfriend (not mentioned in the piece) but desiring to be with her family. She was never scared. She had accepted her circumstance and was filled with hope. She was pursuing happiness. These are emotions that we all have. They are all incredibly human.

As part of the submission process, I also wrote this to highlight my experience as an Asian American:

As a person of color, I understand what it means to be overlooked. As a lifelong writer, I understand what it means to be misunderstood. As a person with social anxiety, I understand what it means to be silent. Being American-born gives me the privilege to switch sides, but not everyone can do that. Through my writing, I want to surface those hidden voices that we don’t hear.

I wrote this piece in response to a “letter to stranger” prompt. Although not published in its original venue, I am delighted that it is at Arkana in hopes that along with marginalized voices, we can show readers a different world than they know.



HALLOWEEN – Written by John Carpenter and Debra Hill, the original Halloween (1978), was the first installment in the franchise. It has spawned ten films to date. Most recently directed by Rob Zombie, a purported Halloween III, will be released this year. If you’re a regular visitor to my blog, you’re well aware the orig is one of my favorites.





“Washing and Drying Over and Over Again” Published in Cold Creek Review

My nonfiction piece of laundry and relationships, titled “Washing and Drying Over and Over Again”, was just published in Cold Creek Review!

This piece was nearly five years in the making. I tell the story of a personal relationship examined the lens of laundry activities.

Although not mentioned explicitly in the story, I didn’t know how to do my laundry until my early twenties (my mom didn’t trust that I would do it right). Yet, I already had cultivated the idea that clothes must be clean to be worn. I instinctively sought a partner who had similar values. At the same time, the act of laundry—an everyday mundane task—became an important bonding activity for me. I lack the shamelessness that should come with doing laundry (because it has to be done!) so for me, it was an activity to be shared that built the basis of a relationship.

As a metaphor, relationships grow, detract, evolve through the years as do clothes during laundry. Every so often, we examine our clothing and decide that it needs a wash (and a fresh scent). Through cycles, we learn and grow.

So thrilled to finally share this piece with the world. Enjoy!