Mizgot – Chapter 1

Ok, here it goes… Here’s the first chapter of the first book of my Mizgot series! It’s taken a while to figure out the whole epub/kindle formatting tricks, but I think I’m doing pretty well now.

The book release is imminent! Keep tuned for upcoming info about book parties and release dates.

If you’re a mac user then I want to hear from you! I don’t have a mac and have been begging friends for info and screenshots from iBooks and Kindle on the Mac. Send me your screenshots, especially if you see any weird issues. It’s much appreciated!

Here are the links to the downloads:

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The last mile…


I’m pretty late with an update, but I have plenty that I’ll be sharing over the next month!

So, the book is behind schedule… Like, waay behind schedule. Slowly but surely the book is getting done. The writing has been done for months, but I had to take a step back and stop forcing myself to hit my arbitrary dates. I’ll save all the deadline stress for book #2 when I’ll actually know what I’m doing  (that’s my new super-cool Mizgot emoji… feel free to use it 😀 )

There have been a lot of surprises and unexpected learnings for this first book. For instance, I had no idea how odd and nuanced the layout process would be. I probably should have hired out the layout work, per the advice of many smart folks. But I really wanted to learn this process myself so that I could better communicate what I wanted instead of paying for something that didn’t make me happy.

Plus I’m a control freak…

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Mizgot Excerpt: Natalie Dreams

Here’s a quick excerpt from my book, Mizgot. This is a simple little scene with Natalie, the conflicted antagonist of the story, who is hired to steal Mizgot. Ivan is her turbulent ex-boyfriend and criminal partner. Natalie is currently being forced to live somewhere she doesn’t want to so that she can observe Mizgot’s creator, Marvin…

          Natalie finished her ice cream and sat fidgeting in front of the holo-vid. It had been a big couple of days for her, and she felt she had pulled off a fairly big job outside of her normal comfort zone. But her agitation wouldn’t subside. Turning off the display, she cleaned up her dishes and proceeded to scrub the bathtub. The apartment still didn’t feel comfortable to her. Not like her previous place, which awaited her in the No Man’s Land area. She worried that squatters would take over her place while she was gone. It was a normal occurrence in that lawless slice of the city. Ivan had promised her that he’d keep an eye on it, but that was hardly reassuring.

          After cleaning the kitchen counter for a third time, Natalie had finally had enough. She dug through her bag and pulled out a small plastic vial of eye drops. The vial contained a sedative mixed with a hallucinogen all delivered via nanobots. It was a potent mix. She wasn’t keen on the hallucinogenic portion but it was the only sedative she had on-hand that was quick-acting, and she couldn’t stand another minute of existing in this place.
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Why I Hire Professional Artists

I’m a brand new writer. Never written and released a book before. Never knew how to write and release a book before. Still learning how to do all of this. But when I sat down to get to work, I almost immediately knew that I was going to hire a professional artist to help bring my idea to life. I didn’t do this because I wanted to make big bucks. I almost assuredly won’t even make my money back for the art work, let alone the editor, the cost of classes etc…

I hired an artist because I wanted people to be able to see what was in my head, and maybe better relate to the writing through the pictures that an expert could provide. But I got so much more!

Working with a professional artist actually allowed me to figure out issues with the story and improve on ideas and scenes based on the artwork itself. Plus, having a bit of a collaborator on the project held me to certain deadlines and standards that I would not have necessarily done otherwise. It gave me someone to talk more in-depth about the project and to bounce ideas off of.

My main regret is not involving more pro-people in this book and not consuming more time of the professionals I did involve. It ended up being an invaluable resource.

Plus there’s this:

Here’s the artist’s (Todd Gamble’s) version of my character, Mizgot.



And here’s my attempt (which Todd based his on!)… I know… Nailed it…


I would’ve paid double to avoid having to put my own artwork in — sorry Todd… 🙂

Takhoma And Beacon Hill

Takhoma And Beacon Hill is a short story I wrote in early 2015 for a Seattle Fake-Mythology project. Seems appropriate given all the discussion around the big earthquake, that I post this story in FULL for your reading pleasure. So here’s my mythological take on the big earthquake some millennia ago. With much reverence and apologies to natives of the PNW…


[Full short story]
By Rich Helzerman

       In eons past, back when the great Pacific North West was but a flat land, in the time before the horrors of Vanilla Coke, the gods toyed with man, bending them to their will. In their hatred of all things Montana, the gods decided that they should have their own set of mountains. They chose a few men and women, bestowing great strength upon them. Out of their efforts arose an army of mountain builders, the greatest of these being Takhoma.

       The great Cascade and Olympic mountain ranges rose steadily, dwarfing all around it. Their grandeur was a source of pride among the mortal inhabitants of the area. Many would make toasts, raising their overly bitter craft beers and milk-infused espressos, at their own greatness over the other inferior humans of the world, especially the inhabitants of Spokane who seemed happy in their ignorance of living in such a crappy desert.

       But all were not so happy. The god of the sea, Komokwa, who had formed great structures, invisible from the surface dwellers in the depths of his abyss, and who had carved out the Puget Sound, filling it with all sorts of hip creatures, not even caring to have it named after himself, was growing increasingly angry at the surface gods’ braggadocio. His ire could not be quenched by saltwater bathes or seaweed scrubs, no matter the purity of the organic plant.

       The final straw came when, in their pomposity, the surface dwellers tricked Komokwa, into attempting to take a delicious dark roast brew neath the waves, claiming their screw-top cup to be perfectly water proof. The deception complete, the coffee was quickly ruined and he was out $3.50 plus a generous tip.

       Komokwa decided right then and there, to destroy the legged mortals through a Tsunami.

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The Mire of Ezmeralda

The Mire of Ezmeralda is about someone trying to escape the confines and comforts of a day-to-day existence. It’s difficult and painful to leave comforts behind and move into the unknown. And truthfully, it isn’t always necessarily better. But many of us decide to do just that, at least for a time. This story is for those people…


[short story excerpt]
by Rich Helzerman

       Ezmeralda stared at the red balloon in front of her. How long it had been there, she knew not, only that it was there now; something new in her life. Save for the balloon, the mire of Ezmeralda’s life surrounded her completely, fully enveloping her. Its pink-gray mass threatening to suffocate her at any moment.

       She thought back to a time before the mire. It was difficult. There was such distance between that time and now. The mire had seeped in, filled in areas when she wasn’t looking. Invaded before she had time or desire to escape. The sticky bland substance seemed to feed off of her, comforting hands protecting her fragile being from the dangers of life.

       At times she could imagine nothing else, nothing more serene than giving in to the mire completely. Breathing its sickeningly sweet odor deep into her lungs. Becoming one with the monotonous oblivion it offered her.

       There were pockets of joy, to be sure. Areas when the mire parted, allowing her to briefly see the stars. Sparkling possibilities of a life beyond her own. Cruel taunts of what might have been or might be, before it came back down, punishing her for daring to dream beyond its existence. Putting her into her place.

And Ezmeralda obeyed…

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