Aug 30

Discussing Classic SF With Con-Tinual

A grand time was had discussing the SF Classics and writers who influenced members of the panel. Watch it at::

Jul 25

Con-Tinual Strike A Third Time: Weapons 101!

Discussing weapons and writing about them convincingly is a happy thing, especially when in the company of folks who know how and how to learn how. Enjoy the Weapons 101 panel at

Jun 23

Con-Tinual Strikes Yet Again: "Lost Conventions"

Gail Martin, Nancy Northcutt, Wendy Van Camp and I got together for another Con-Tinual panel on "Lost Conventions". You can view it at

Jun 9

Con-Tinual Strikes Again! Firefly!

I had the honor and pleasure of being part of Con-Tinual's Firefly panel with Jim Nettles, Bishop O'Connell, Sue Phillips, Misty Massey, Doc Coleman, and Carole M. Stokes. A grand time was had, and you can enjoy it at:

Apr 9

The First Rosebud of Spring at HarpHaven...

turns into a glorious First Rose of Spring

Feb 6

New Interview Posted

The delightful Cat Rambo has posted the interview she did with me. Visual evidence that fun was definitely had now available for your view pleasure at

Nov 11

HarpHaven Publishing Is Having A Sale!

HarpHaven Publishing is having a Holiday Sale across all our platforms.

At the HarpHaven Merchanter website (, you’ll find our books at special Holiday Sale prices and Free Shipping. For a unique gift, they can be signed and personalized at no additional charge. Use the handy link at the top right of the screen.

There are also links there for our ebook editions for Nook and Kindle also on sale.

Happy Shopping!

Jul 26


From time to time, I get questions from readers and fans about my works, including the anthologies I’ve edited.

LoTT_ANTHCOV_Web.jpg, Jul 2022

Q: The Ladies of Trade Town is a themed anthology about prostitution. Did you catch heat about such a controversial subject?

Lee: First, a small correction. It’s a themed anthology about people who sell services that some consider controversial. And, yes, I did catch some heat, but not nearly as much as I expected. Before any of the stories that would be selected were even in my hands, I got a few letters condemning the anthology as “an abomination” and “immoral” and I’ll leave it to your imagination to what they called me. A few raged at me for being “an exploiter of women” and “misogynstic”. I note every one of the latter group apparently assumed I was male, since they were addressed to Mr. Martindale.

One of the things I do when writing submission guidelines is to give information on the kind of stories I want and don’t want. For Trade Town, I was looking for science fiction, fantasy, and related-genre stories that expanded the concept of what was being bought and sold, who was doing the buying and selling, and how that translated to the time, place, and society of the setting of the story. What I wasn’t looking for was porn or erotica, which – given the theme - apparently threw some writers a bit of a curve. A few wrote me saying that it was impossible to address the theme without one of those elements. Happily, a lot of good writers – those who made the cut and many who didn’t, figured out that it was, indeed, possible.

Q: Where can readers find The Ladies of Trade Town?

Lee: My online bookstore, HarpHaven Merchanter, carries our full catalog, including the trade paperback edition of Trade Town. Readers can order it signed by me, and can have it personalized to themselves or to the recipient if it’s a gift, at no additional charge. Shipping is free.

Readers who prefer ebooks can find it at Amazon

and Barnes and Noble also has the trade paperback available.

May 12


A couple of months ago, after the big maple in our front yard was removed, Himself mentioned that its absence meant an opportunity for planting something that needed full sun where there hadn’t been full sun since we bought the house 24 years before. That something was roses. Did I mention I’m very fond of roses? Particularly red roses?

Three rose bushes were ordered and subsequently arrived, looking like nothing so much as three pieces of incipient kindling. It was, I thought, a bit late in prime rose-planting season, but then again, I’m not the gardener in the family. I have the world’s blackest thumb. I somehow managed, some years ago, to kill a houseplant that everyone swore was unkillable and nigh unto immortal. But the company from which the plants were ordered had a guarantee that promised to replace, free of charge, any bush that did not grow and thrive in its first year.

Over the course of three days, three rose bushes masquerading as incipient kindling were planted, watered, fed, and observed. A few days ago, the first one planted produced a gloriously red rose and a riot of buds. Then the second bush did likewise. The third is throwing buds.

We have roses!

More Roses.jpg, May 2022
Jan 14

Latest Virtual Panel Appearance: Con-Tinual

I may have said this before, but one of the things that has kept me relatively sane during nearly two years of mostly-quarantine has been the virtual panels I've participated in. The latest one is now available.

Con-Tinual's Panel Room 99 is about getting it right when writing martial arts, and was great fun to be part of. You can find it on YouTube at or at

Dec 20

Crunch Time!

Need a last-minute gift or stocking stuffer? Supply-chain issues or mail delays a concern? Ebooks might be the answer.

The Ladies of Trade Town, Bard's Road, and Prejudice By the Pound are available in Ebook editions for Kindle and Nook. Direct links from the individual item page on HarpHaven Merchanter website.

Use the handy link on the upper right of the screen or go to

Nov 7

I Know It's Not Thanksgiving Yet, But...

By all accounts, holiday shopping this year is going to be an adventure. Possibly frustrating and, in some cases, disappointing, thanks to the issues with supply chain, ground transport, staffing, and the myriad other components of commerce.

Small press, self-pubbing, crafters, and makers could well be our ace in the hole. No waiting for goods made in other countries or ships to be unloaded. The goods are in-house and ready to ship. Yes, the post office is problematic, but ordering early takes care of that.

And while you're at it, that includes my HarpHaven Merchanter. There's a handy link at the top of the screen on the right.

Aug 10

Yard Work

Buying into an established neighborhood in North Texas meant having mature trees around, and one of them graced our front lawn. It was a silver maple, and a handsome example of the species it was. About 40 ft. tall when we moved in twenty-three years ago, with a thick trunk that split into sturdy limbs. A wide, lush canopy of leaves that shimmered silvery green in the breezes of Spring and Summer, and turned bright yellow in the Fall. Shelter and home to assorted birds and squirrels and purveyor of shade over house and yard through the years. I loved that tree.

Silver maples live approximately 35 years in urban settings, so watching it come to the end of its time was not a surprise. Taking it down before it came down on its own, probably into the bedroom, was not going to be a DIY situation. So we took bids and decided to go with Barksdale Tree Service based on a competitive price, competent approach, and the impression we got that he was respectful of safety and property concerns.

This is how things looked just before he and his crew showed up to do the deed a couple of weeks ago

Promptly at 9:00am on the appointed morning, Mr. Barksdale and three other people showed up. And it was clear, from the get-go, these folks knew their stuff. The last time we had the tree trimmed, numerous chainsaws ran constantly to accompany by near-constant shouting. This time, from where I’d taken refuge (in my office), there were fewer chainsaws that ran in bursts of varying lengths, and no raised voices.

Things got quiet around 1:00pm, and we figured they’d taken a lunch break and were taking the opportunity to haul away the first load of our former tree. Himself popped out with his camera and grabbed some in-progress shots. Here’s one.

The crew’s return was announced by the sound of what can only be described as a motorized sanding machine on wheels and steroids. While three of the men loaded their trailer with the rest of our former tree, Mr. Barksdale employed the aforementioned device to turn the stump into a sanded wood bowl, the rim of which was flush with the ground. He then collected the sawdust and tiny woodchips he’d made and filled the depression.

I expected them to haul away the remains. What I didn’t expect was the yard being thoroughly raked and left in pristine condition, as shown below. I fully expect to call these folks in the future for tree service on other parts of the property.

And while we’re both sad to see the silver maple gone, we’re starting to plan on what to do next with the front yard.

Feb 20

Notes From The Ice Age

It’s been an interesting week-and-change here at HarpHaven. Two rounds of freezing rain and sleet with about 5" of snow in the middle, outside temperatures that stayed in the single-digits for days, bottomed out one night at -2F, and didn’t get above freezing until yesterday afternoon. And what can only be defined as an epic failure of the Texas power grid that resulted in millions of Texans battling the cold in the dark. Without water, in many cases, or with water rendered not potable by equipment failures in many others.

We were, and continue to be, incredibly lucky. The longest our power was continuously off was about eight hours. Most of the week, power would come on for between two and three hours, followed by three to four hours without it. During the hours the power was on, we’d run the furnace, drink hot beverages and have a hot meal, hot soup, or a snack, and charge phones, iPads, camp lanterns, and flashlights. During the hours the power was off, multiple layers and extra blankets were our friends, we kept an eye on dripping faucets, and I did more reading-for-fun than I’ve managed for years. Temps in the house went no lower than 55F, except for that one subzero night when the house temp dropped to 45F. It made for a less-than-restful sleep schedule, but it could have been so much worse. The fridge and freezer both held. So, it appears as of this writing, did the pipes.

The only casualty seems to have been the cable TV box. Himself is going out later today to turn it in and pick up the arranged replacement, so my task tonight will be setting up the new box.

As I said, we were, and continue to be, incredibly lucky.

Dec 18

Just In Case!

Need a last minute stocking stuffer? Something that won’t break the budget to ship to that distant friend in time for Christmas? Ebooks just might be the answer.

The following ebooks from HarpHaven Publishing are available from Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Search on the title or “Lee Martindale” at either vendor. Happy Shopping!

The Ladies of Trade Town', edited by Lee Martindale. Introduction by Elizabeth Moon. Fifteen original SF&F tales of those who offer pleasure – and other things – for a price. Note: not porn or erotic.

Bard’s Road: The Collected Fiction of Lee Martindale. Introduction by Esther Friesner. Twenty-five previous-published short stories plus four never-before-published works.

Prejudice By The Pound: Collected Essays From The Size Rights Movement by Lee Martindale. Editorials and essays from twelve years of Rump Parliament Magazine.

Nov 27

I Confess!

I married my husband for his cooking skills. Okay, I married him for many reasons, but his cooking skills were definitely high on the list. And yesterday’s Socially-Responsible-Quarantined-Thanksgiving-Dinner-For-Two proved, without a doubt, that he’s a keeper.

The turkey breast: moist, tender, perfectly seasoned. He brined it for several hours before slow-roasting. Cornbread dressing, that began with homemade white bread and cornbread and baked in muffin tins for a tasty combination of crunchy outer layers enclosing pillow-soft middles. Green bean casserole, because we like it. Sweet potato mashed with butter. Whole cranberry jelly. I enjoyed mine with a glass of homemade 12-year-old sweet mead. And, of course, there was pumpkin pie several hours later when we finally had room for dessert.

There are leftovers aplenty, which will be enjoyed for several days to come.

We enter the Holiday Season with very happy palettes.

Nov 25

Yeah, I Know It's 2020, But Happy Thanksgiving, Anyway!

To all the friends, fans, and "family-of-the-heart" who visit here from time to time, a very Happy Thanksgiving from the Halls of HarpHaven.

Stay safe!

Oct 3

Into The Summerlands

Egg Nog 2000 - 2020

Eggnog, last of the HarpHaven Pride and the Christmas kittens, passed beyond the Veil last night. She left us peacefully, without distress, in her sleep at the age of 20.

When our most senior cat Pixel passed (at the age of 16) during Thanksgiving Weekend 2000, we were concerned that his “little sister” Chiya wouldn’t be long in following. She was mourning, lonely, and suddenly showing her 15 years. So we went to the animal shelter and adopted two female kittens, which the pound said were about four months and littermates. Based on the time of year, we named the tabby Mistletoe for her brilliant green eyes. The one who looked like a Turkish Van, white but for cinnamon ears and tail, we called Eggnog.

Eggnog was Daddy’s Girl from the get-go, although she never slighted me in the love-and-cuddle department. Himself became an instant hit with our vet’s staff from the moment they walked into the exam room to find a big, fuzzy guy waiting with an adorable kitten on each shoulder. And Chiya, once she settled into having two kittens around, perked up and started being her own kittenish self and playing with the youngsters. I am firmly convinced the Christmas Kittens added another five good-quality years to Chiya’s life.

Eggnog, true to her Turkish Van markings, loved water. She’d play in it every chance she got, including joining me in the shower. She loved the water fountain we got several years ago, that ran a steady stream into the water bowl. Her favorite way of getting a drink was to stick her head into the stream and lap at the stream as it ran off her forehead.

When Mistletoe passed at the age of 17, almost exactly three years ago, we wondered how Eggnog would do without her. It turned out she was quite happy as a solo. Her favorite spot became the arm of Himself’s recliner, whether or not he was in it but especially when he was. I think she liked not having to share him, the water fountain, or me in the shower.

I have no doubt that Eggnog’s arrival in the Summerlands was met by Pixel, Chiya, and Mistletoe, and that the HarpHaven Pride is together again. They gave us thirty-five years of continuous laughter and love, and they have earned their sunbeams.

Sep 20

Virtually Conventional

We’ve always known that the genre community is resilient and inventive, and 2020 has gone a long way toward illustrating that. Con-runners, creatives, and fans coming together in virtual versions of conventions have been a joy to see. I’ve had the pleasure of working a couple of panels for Con-Tinual and, between Sept 21 - Sept 27, I’ll be a happy participant in the online version of Imagination on the Accelevents platform. My schedule looks like a lot of fun.

(All start times are Eastern Time Zone. All panels except the Workshop are 1 hour.)

Monday, Sept 21

8:00pm: “Submissions”. How to submit to a press, writing the perfect cover letter, pitches, and much more. Panelists: Lee Martindale (M), Michele Sagan, Lynn Slaughter, RJ Sullivan, Morgan Hazelwood.

Thursday, Sept 24

7:00pm: “Well, That Was Short”. Writing the perfect story, that is short and leaves the readers wanting more. Panelists: Lee Martindale (M), Lee E.E. Stone, Sela Carsen, Kathryn Sullivan.

Friday, Sept 25

10:00am: “How To Be A Good Panelist”. Many writers will tell you that being on a panel is great in terms of gaining new readers. Being a good panelist does the same for gaining new fans and a go-to reputation among convention-runners. Our experienced panelists offer hints, tips, and things to avoid for those new or newish to being a panelist. Panelists: Lee Martindale (M), Paul J.Hoffman, Lynn Slaughter, Carma Haley Shoemaker, Daniel Dark.

Saturday, Sept 26

11:00am: “Interview with a Writer”. Join in this discussion to hear the hardest and greatest aspects about being a writer. Questions from the audience are welcome. Panelists: Lee Martindale (M), Anne Marie Lutz, Tommy B. Smith, F. Paul Wilson, Anna Bowman.

3:00pm: WORKSHOP: “Writing Killer Openings”. No matter the genre, medium, or whether you’re writing short form or long, a killer opening line and a solid hook can grab the attention and increase the odds of making a sale. Writer, editor, and publisher Lee Martindale will help you develop that ‘killer opening’ with live exercises & professional critiques. (Attendees please have writing supplies with you.)

Sunday, Sept 27

1:00pm: “Contracts: The Good, The Bad, And the Oh-HECK-No”. Even with an agent, one should read the contract for a sale for it’s signed. The panel offers tips and cautions about the kind of clauses that should be included and clauses that should prompt negotiation or a hasty retreat. Panelists: Lee Martindale (M), Eric Moser, Paul J. Hoffman, Carma Haley Shoemaker/

3:00pm: “Everything You Wanted To Know About The Writing Business And Weren’t Afraid To Ask”. A panel of experienced writers, editors. and publishers answers questions from the audience. Panelists: Lee Martindale (M), Tony Acree, Gery Deer, Janie Franz, James Hunter, Carol Preflatish.

5:00pm: “Tips from an Editor”. Learn editing tips from seasoned editors and why not to self edit. Panelists: H.R. Raymer (M), Lee Martindale, Dionne Lister, Kelly Ferguson, Kristina Kaye.

For more information, go to

Jun 6

Pride 2020

It’s happened quite a few times over the years. I post something in honor of Pride Month, or guest at a LGBTQA+ convention like Gaylaxicon or OutlantaCon, and one or more someones will ask me some variation of the “What’s a nice/old/heterosexual/married girl like you doing...” question. It happened again recently. As luck would have it, I’d just run across the following piece I wrote for Kage Allen’s “The Face of Gay” online column back in 2012 or 2013. I think it answers the question pretty well.

For me, being an ally isn’t just about what’s right, although that’s a big part of it. It’s also about the people – co-workers, colleagues, friends, and family-of-the-heart – who’ve made activism for gay rights personal. There have been many, but when Kage asked me to contribute a piece here, my thoughts immediately went back more than forty-five years, to the two men who began my journey as an ally.

David and Jeff were, literally, the All-American boys next door. They grew up on neighboring farms and were best friends from the first day of grade school. Good-looking, athletic, popular, solid grade point averages, dated the prettiest girls, on the football and basketball get the picture. And, as they told me later, they spent most of their lives trying to hide being gay from each other. They managed to sort things out during the summer before they started college and, by the time I met them in 1967, they’d been together as partners for a year.

I was a freshman that year, away from a very sheltered home life for the first time. To say I was naive is an industrial-strength understatement. My survival that first year of college can be laid squarely on the two of them, who took me under their collective wing and kept me from getting into the kind of trouble that it would have been so very easy to get into. They were the older brothers I never had and, as corny as it may sound, we were “family”.

Being included in their lives was a constant learning experience. They were my first exposure to two people of my generation in love and, apart from my grandparents, the only such relationship of any generation I’d seen. They were the first to suggest that my mother’s evaluation of my value as a human being was wrong, and the start of my journey toward healthy self-esteem. And, I suspect, David and Jeff are at least partially responsible for the fact I genuinely like men.

They exposed me to facets of society I didn’t even know existed. That, in that time, in that place, at least to my admittedly-inexperienced eyes, being a gay man was tough. There was no support, no networking as we think of it now, no inroads by a gay rights movement that was rising elsewhere, little in the way of “community” beyond the gay bars. For many it meant a life of lies – to themselves, their parents and siblings, the women they married, their children, to the lovers and casual partners they hooked up with on the sly. That the raids and harassment of patrons by police that, in the near future, would fuel the Stonewall Riots were common, as were the gangs of local thugs who hunted the alleys and parking lots near the bars around closing time. That, even in the face of all that, two men who loved each other as much as they did, could form what, in all respects save legality, was a marriage.

But they were a product of their time and, except in the safety of their apartment, intent on keeping their “secret”. It bothered them, but not enough to risk hurting the families they both loved or jeopardizing their future. When their parents showed increasing concern that neither talked about the girls they were dating and brought “someone special” home to meet them, they enlisted my aid. David, being an only child, was feeling more pressure from his folks than Jeff was from his, which is how I became, at least as far as the families were concerned, “David’s girl”.

The Viet Nam War was in full and bloody swing, and every eighteen-year-old man I knew sweated blood every time he went to the mailbox. With the coming of his nineteenth birthday, the pressure was supposed to be off. Why David suddenly got an induction notice no one ever figured out, just as no one ever found out why his student deferment was canceled or his lottery number went from high 3 digits to “you’re up, kid.”

There was only one other way out of it...David telling the draft board he was gay. Jeff was more than willing to back him up and testify to the fact from first-hand knowledge as his lover. As someone who practically lived with them, I was willing to testify, too. In the end, however, it was the effects on the families that made up David’s mind.

You know where this is going. Just before Christmas 1968, David’s parents were informed that he’d been killed on patrol. Jeff didn’t come back to school after the semester break and, after a few short letters from various places around the country, I never heard from him again. But I’ve thought about him, and about David, many times over the course of the last forty-five years, and about how different things might have been for them if the changes happening now had happened then.

Being an ally isn’t just about what’s right. It’s about the people in our lives who make it personal, the people we love. And I’ve been very fortunate in that regard.

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