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Writing the Elfyverse . . . and beyond

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Stories at e-Quill Publishing and State of the Elfyverse

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Folks, it’s that time of year again . . . time for my periodic “state of the Elfyverse” post, and also a friendly reminder of my stories, and Michael’s, that are available at e-Quill Publishing.

As for the Elfyverse — Part 45 of AN ELFY ABROAD is complete.  Parts 43 and 44 have been revised and are complete.  Part 46 has been started.  Not a bad month’s work.

As for the Elfyverse (new) short story, “Boys Night In,” I have a new beginning that works a little better, but it’s still in progress.  I’ve maybe added 500 words, total, since the last time I discussed it . . . more work to go on that one.  The story stands, right now, at 8500 words in length.

“Keisha’s Vow,” the ELFY prequel set in 1954 (with dead characters being alive, while others are much younger), remains stalled out.  Right now it’s in the novella range, but I think it projects to a full (albeit short) novel . . . I know what comes next but not quite how to get there, as if I’d missed a few steps along the path that is this particular story.  Still working on this one.

As for ELFY, I haven’t found an agent yet, nor have I found a publisher for it, but I remain hopeful.

Now, as for the stories at e-Quill Publishing?  One is mine alone, a short story satire about friendship, aliens, and unemployment called “The Fair at South Farallon.”  It’s 3750 words long and is available at this link:

The next one is an Elfyverse short story that originally appeared at the Written Word Online Magazine in 2007, “Trouble with Elfs,” that was started with the able assistance of my late husband, Michael, thus he gets a credit for it.  It’s available at this link:

Finally, there are several stories of Michael’s available, the latest of which is the Joey Maverick adventure “On Westmount Station,” a story I finished for him and co-wrote.  It is 10,000 words long, and if there’s interest in this story I plan to continue writing in my husband’s “Maverick” universe.

Please go to this link to find it; it’s a bargain at only $1.00 (Australian):

Written by Barb Caffrey

January 30, 2011 at 11:40 am

New Joey Maverick story up at E-Quill Publishing

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Ten years ago, my late husband, Michael B. Caffrey, completed his novel MAVERICK: LIEUTENANT, a novel of military science fiction in a far-future universe depicting the Atlantean Union (which comprises humanity, the Kiral, a cat-like race, and the Wyrm, who are sort of like flightless dragons, along with were-mice and cat-owls, sentient creatures who are more than animals but perhaps less — or other — than humans, Kiral and Wyrm).    He unfortunately did not live long enough to see an allied story about Joey Maverick, “A Dark and Stormy Night” (subtitled by me “A Joey Maverick Adventure”) published at the Written Word Online Magazine in May, 2005, nor did he ever intend for me to do any writing in his universe.  (By necessity, I both edited “A Dark and Stormy Night” and added about 1400 words, upping the romance a little bit and adding some internal monologue, in order to make it a legal collaboration and thus a little easier to sell.)

But Michael left behind what he called “The Big Book of Maverickiana,” a few notes, a great deal of personal reminiscence and, of course, me.  And I couldn’t leave Michael’s universe alone; I couldn’t leave his work unfinished and unable to be appreciated.

We’d been told by a few publishing insiders we trusted that the only thing Michael’s novel needed was action; it had everything else.  So I endeavored to add some, keeping in mind Michael’s main dictum about Joey Maverick, which was that Joey should have adventures — how not?  But not have them in such an obvious way that non-Naval people know much about them . . . or maybe anything at all.

I wrote most of what’s now “Joey Maverick: On Westmount Station” in 2006, then revised and updated in 2008 and again in 2009 before finally finding an ending I liked in 2010.  I added characters, dialogue, an important subplot, internal monologue and additional interaction between the already-extant characters in the narrative, making this a 50/50 collaboration (or perhaps a bit more; this was drawn from the first chapter of Michael’s novel but, shall we say, was liberally interpreted by me).  The story is approximately 10,000 words in length — a long short story, or perhaps closer to a novelette? — and would probably be the first tenth to twelfth of a proposed “Maverick” novelization/revision.

Michael and I actually discussed what to do in the event something happened to either one of us (I guess I should thank the whole mess surrounding the brain-damaged Terri Schiavo, which was still going on in early 2004 before her ex-husband, who was also her legal guardian, was allowed to end her life in accordance to what he said were his late ex-wife’s wishes), and what he’d told me was this: “If you are able to do anything with it, do what you think best.  I trust you.  But if you can’t, please don’t bend yourself out of shape just to keep this alive.  Work on your own writing, and enjoy your life, first.”

I’ve done the former — and I’ve been trying, very hard, to do the latter, ever since Michael’s untimely passing in September of 2004 — but I’m sorry.  I could not let this universe go.  There’s so much potential there; so much of what Michael had is really, really good and all it needs are what amounts to a few sub-plots and some additional action and then it can be sold.  It won’t be exactly what Michael would’ve written, but it’ll be as close as I can make it because this is what I must do in order to honor Michael’s memory, and keep faith with him in the way I see best — by bringing as much of his literary creation to the marketplace as I possibly can, as he undoubtedly would’ve done had his heart not inexplicably given out that fateful, tramautic, and inexpressibly sad day.

I hope you will enjoy this story, as it was a labor of love and faith to keep Michael’s universe alive all these years.  And providing it is appreciated as much as “Dark and Stormy Night” was, in 2005 and again with its re-release in 2010 by E-Quill Publishing, I’ll be writing a whole new chapter into Joey’s story, something Michael was talking about but did not get the chance to write . . . but that’s for another day.

For now, please go to the link at:

Thank you kindly, and please, let me know what you think of this story.



Updated as of 1/30/2015: Both of Michael’s “Joey Maverick” stories are now available on Amazon, not at E-Quill Publishing. (I thought people knew that, but I had some comments today indicating not everyone does.) I hope to be able to format these stories for the Nook later this year also, but for now, if you wish to read Michael’s work (and I do hope you do), please go to these two places, and enjoy!

For “A Dark and Stormy Night,” AKA how Joey meets the love of his life, the fiery Belinda Simpson, amidst a far-future sailing disaster:

For “On Westmount Station,” described above: has some ‘splainin’ to do.

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I wanted to update my publication history in my brief profile at (I have one because I’m an Amazon Vine reviewer), and it wouldn’t let me — it said my update contained “profanity.”

Well, here’s what I was trying to do — you tell me if there’s any hidden profanity here, OK?

Current publication history:

November 2010 — “No Rest” (poem), to Midwest Literary Magazine. Also forthcoming in the DUE NORTH anthology.

October 2010 — “The Fair at South Farallon” to e-Quill Publishing, a small yet reputable publishing house in Australia.

September 2010 — “Trouble with Elfs: A Story from the Elfyverse,” with Michael B. Caffrey, to e-Quill Publishing (reprint sale — originally published at the Written Word online magazine in February 2007).

“A Dark and Stormy Night: A Joey Maverick Adventure,” Michael B. Caffrey with Barb Caffrey, to e-Quill Publishing (reprint; originally appeared in the Written Word online magazine in May 2005).

Editor for “Columba and the Cat,” “Columba and the Committee” and “Columba and the Crossing”, three of my late husband Michael B. Caffrey’s original stories, to e-Quill Publishing, September 2010.

December 2009 — “Break the Dark Lens” (poem), to Joyful! Online magazine.

“Trouble with Elfs,” to the Written Word online magazine, February 2007.

“A Love Eternal” (poem), September 2006, to the Written Word online magazine.

“A Dark and Stormy Night,” to the Written Word online magazine, May 2005.

The BEDLAM’S EDGE anthology (Baen, 2005), “Bright as Diamonds,” with Michael B. Caffrey.

“On Collaboration” (nonfiction), to Vision Online magazine, July 2004.

Editor, (an occasional, yet real, gig), mid-2010 to the present.

Editor, Masterpiece Comics, 2005-2008.

Editor, the Written Word online magazine, November 2007 to January 2009 (when the WW went on hiatus).


It was at this point I also tried to add that I am reviewing books for ShinyBookReview here at WordPress, and it kicked out. (I know also is holding my review for Connie Willis’s book ALL CLEAR because I’d said my review was a shortened version of the same review I’d done for SBR.)

I would really like to know what, if anything, was profane in my update, because I would like to know why refused to update my profile, or at least have some justification for why they were so very stupid this evening.

Written by Barb Caffrey

December 12, 2010 at 4:33 am Mentions My Blog in their end-of-the-year Newsletter

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Folks, I was very pleased to see that had mentioned my blog in their recent end-of-the-year newsletter — though I knew in advance that they were at least thinking about it as I’d heard from editor Jendi Reiter (herself an excellent poet) that they appreciated what I’d written in my second blog about their War Poetry Contest.

I once again do not know how to properly give links to as this isn’t a page I found a way to see without actually logging in, but I can cut and paste what they said, first about my blog:


BARB CAFFREY’S BLOG: “More on the War Poetry Contest at”
We appreciate Barb Caffrey’s recent comments about our War Poetry Contest on her blog. Here is an excerpt:

“Those fighting the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq deserve our support, and our understanding. And the first part of giving our support and our understanding is to listen, to read, and to understand—not to shut out the soldiers who’ve given everything of themselves in order to derail the al-Qaedas and Talibans of this world so perhaps fewer innocents will die than would’ve died had our soldiers not given everything they have in the attempt.

“The War Poetry contest is a good way to keep the conversation going, and to understand exactly what is going on with our returning soldiers and how hard it is to deal with what most of us see as ‘normality’ after dealing with things that no man, or woman, or child should ever have to see. It also is a way to affirm the sacrifices of our men and women in a positive, life-affirming way.”

****** End cut-and-paste from Newsletter.

The kind folks at also listed my publication credits — more of ’em than I’d expected, actually, though I was very pleased with the “shout-out” — in this bit from the newsletter, once again cut and pasted:

Barb Caffrey has placed four short stories with e-Quill Publishing, a new e-book publisher in Australia: her original tale “The Fair at South Farallon”, a science fiction satire about aliens, friendship, and unemployment; “Iron Falls”, a near-future military suspense tale co-authored with Piotr Mierzejewski; and two stories co-authored with her late husband Michael B. Caffrey, “Trouble with Elfs” and “A Dark and Stormy Night: A Joey Maverick Adventure”. Three of Mr. Caffrey’s stories about Princess Columba and her shapeshifting cat/husband have also been released by e-Quill as a special anthology. Her poem “A Love Eternal” will appear in e-Quill’s anthology of poems about mortality. Visit their author pages (at e-Quill Publishing — Ms. Caffrey blogs at In other news, her poem “No Rest” was accepted by Midwest Literary Magazine for inclusion in their November issue and their anthology Bearing North.

********* end cut-and-paste.

I really appreciate them mentioning Michael’s work — his “Columba” stories — and that they mentioned my blog, not once, but twice.

I’ve known about this for a few days, but wanted to wait to post until Sunday — as Sunday is, for many, a day of private reflection where we might, occasionally, remember to give thanks for the good things which happen to us (along with condemning the bad ones, which tends to go on every single day).

Anyway, I’m very pleased about this; I just wish I knew how to give some decent links.  But since I don’t, please go look at for yourself and sign up for the basic newsletter as it’s free — and as I’ve said before, I’ve found it very helpful and interesting.

BTW, the links that the kind folks at Winning Writers put in didn’t work when I cut and pasted them into this e-mail — I had to take them out (as they all referred back to WordPress’s “types of blogs” thing, which wasn’t what they should’ve done) — including the link to the War Poetry Contest itself.  My apologies in advance for that error . . . I’m not great with links, but this is the first time a simple cut-and-paste did not work.

Written by Barb Caffrey

December 6, 2010 at 1:36 am

A Bunch of Stuff — new Publications, Yoplait Yogurt lids, and Brett Favre observation.

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Well, I don’t have enough for a full blog post today, but I do have a lot of little things to discuss.

First, e-Quill Publishing has accepted an original story; for those of you who’ve known me a while, this story started as “Dream/Reality,” then became “Betty goes to the Fair.”  It’s now entitled “The Fair at South Farallon,” I think — Lawrence at e-Quill liked that much better.   I do not know when it will be available, but I am glad that it’s been accepted.

Second, I am writing a collaborative novella with Piotr Mierzejewski for e-Quill Publishing that’s titled “Iron Falls.”  It is near-future military suspense; I’ve never written anything like this before, and have been doing a great deal of research.  It is in Piotr’s world with Piotr’s characters; we’re still hammering out the plot.  Two chapters have been written with a third on the way; estimated time for this story’s completion is late December 2010.  (Lawrence is very confident and has already announced this at the e-Quill Publishing Web site.  I would’ve preferred to wait until at least four chapters were completed.  But now that the cat’s out of the bag . . . . )

Third, anyone who eats Yoplait yogurt knows that around this time of year, they start making all the lids pink for breast cancer awareness.  My Mom is taking part in all that; it’s called “Save Lids to Save Lives.”  So please, save your pink lids and send ’em to Yoplait down the road, OK?

Finally, my Brett Favre observation.  I’m sure most if not all of you know Favre is in trouble due to some allegations made by two massage therapists working for the New York Jets and a “game hostess” also employed by the Jets.  (I don’t know what a “game hostess” does.  Sorry.)  These were all attractive women, and Favre is alleged to have sent racy text messages to them and also to have sent naked “below-the-waist” pics.  He also left voice mail messages for the “hostess.”

Look.  Favre is a married man; his wife is the inestimable Deanna Favre, who has beaten breast cancer once (though it may return).  They’ve known each other all their lives, have two children (one who is grown and has already reproduced, so Favre is the NFL’s only known player that’s also a grandfather), and have been married fourteen years.  Their marriage has been strong, though there have been allegations in the past of Favre cheating on her — I’ve always thought that Favre loves Deanna like no other, but maybe has trouble being faithful to her, even though I could be wrong about all of it.

What I am sorry about is that Favre’s life is played out in public.  These problems are difficult for anyone to deal with; infidelity is not easy for the non-cheating partner to have to deal with.  And women, more than men, have to deal with this — it’s an awful situation even if it’s all happening behind closed doors.  It is a thousand times worse, it seems to me, to have all this happen in the public eye.

Favre is a major, big-time player with many NFL records; he’s still playing at 41 and is still highly competent as a QB (though it seems to me he now has to pick his spots; last night’s game against the Jets, where Favre played a good fourth quarter but the first three weren’t good at all, is a case in point).  He has the consecutive games-played record — not just for quarterbacks, but for all NFL players — and is considered the “iron man” of professional American football.

All that being said, he’s a man like any other.  And his faults seem to be remarkably similar to many other men; he apparently has a wandering eye, and now his marriage may be in major trouble.

I believe the publication, who has reveled in these Favre allegations (even to the point of paying $20,000 for the voice-mails and “corroborating evidence”), is mostly to blame for all this.  They don’t need to be muckrakers.  Yet to get publicity for themselves, has played this for all its worth — and I find that disgusting.

I would prefer that Brett Favre re-commit to his marriage, if indeed any of the allegations against him are true.  Deanna Favre is a remarkable, strong, intelligent lady and she’s stood by him through many difficult times — including Favre’s Vicodin addiction in the ’90s.  She deserves better treatment from her husband.  And Favre really needs to learn that, at 41 years of age, he should appreciate the great woman he has and stop trying to re-live his youth or behave in a crass, classless manner.  He’s not young; he’s a grandfather.  He should set an example for his teammates and clean up his act.

Written by Barb Caffrey

October 12, 2010 at 10:00 pm