Fiction that explores the monsters and strangers among us.

Friday, August 2, 2019

You're Invited to a Gallery Reception

My wife, Lynn Zuk-Lloyd, will have a one woman, month-long show at the prestigious Burning Bush Art Gallery in Wheaton, Illinois. In conjunction with the show, Lynn will host a workshop for visual artists, and I will host a writer's workshop. I pasted information below. Lynn and I would love to see you at these special summer activities.

August 4, 2019
YOU’RE INVITED TO A GALLERY RECEPTION

You are invited to the reception of Lynn Zuk-Lloyd’s The Power of Prophetic Art one-person show on Sunday, August 4, between 1 pm and 4 pm. Food, drinks, wonderful art to simply enjoy or to purchase.
Burning Bush Art Gallery
216 N. Main Street
Wheaton, IL 60187

August 8, 2019
WRITING WORKSHOP
The Power of the Plot Arc

Led by Amazon Top Selling Author Paul R. Lloyd
Ratchet up tension with a plot arc, a powerful tool to plan, write and edit your story. Learn key story elements like the inciting incident, surface problems, the dark moment and the climax. Covers key element definitions and how to use them to add story interest. Paul will tie the workshop into the theme of the art show on display – Lynn Zuk-Lloyd's The Power of Prophetic Art.
Date & Time: Thursday August 8, 2019, 7:30 pm - 9 pm
Place: Burning Bush Art Gallery, 216 N. Main Street, Wheaton, IL
Cost: $25 payable at the door by cash, check or credit card
RSVP: Click here or text 630 596-6685

August 14, 2019
PROPHETIC ART WORKSHOP
The Power of “Creative Play”

Led by artist, author, speaker Lynn Zuk-Lloyd
Creative play opens our hearts and minds to receive God’s inspiration and ideas for us. Participants will create 2-D art and mold and shape 3-D art in this fun workshop designed for adults. We will also discover how the Lord uses what we make to touch hearts in deep and meaningful ways.
Date & Time: Wednesday August 14, 2019, 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm
Place: Burning Bush Art Gallery, 216 N. Main Street, Wheaton, IL
Cost: $30 per person includes all art supplies, payable at the door
RSVP: Click here or text 630 300-4899

Join the Write Time Writers Group
Perfect your craft through workshops, writing exercises, discussion and critique. Writers of all ages and levels of experience welcome. No cost.
2nd & 4th Thursdays, 7:30 pm to 9:00 pm
Vineyard Church of DuPage
1900 Manchester Rd
Wheaton, IL 60187
Next meeting: September 12, 2019
Learn more

Paul’s Writing Services – Fun and Affordable
Personal: Need help composing a letter or email? How about becoming the hero of a murder mystery, romance, horror, or sci-fi story? Custom puzzles, games & more. No extra charge for the humor. Email to learn more. Use subject line: Personal.
Grandchildren book: You’ve built up a lifetime of experiences and wisdom. Now share your life with your family with a personal biography that includes your story with photos and other mementos of your life. Email to learn more. Use subject line: Grand
Business Writing: Attract new customers for your small business with powerful copy written by a highly-experienced business writer. Boost the power of your website, social media, blog, video and print media with creative business copy from Amazon top-selling author Paul R. Lloyd. Email to learn more. Use subject line: Business

Monday, May 20, 2019

Gregorian Chant

It's only Gregorian Chant but I like it. I like it.

Yeah, Gregorian Chant is definitely not rock and roll. But you'll like it if you need soft, melodic, easy listening music, especially if you've never experienced the solemnity of prayers sung in Latin. But don't take my word for it. Click here to listen.

Click here to learn more about Gregorian Chant than you'll ever need to know. I recommend checking out the Wikipedia link because the history isn't what I thought it was and you'll get a good grasp of its history in the first couple of paragraphs. Gregorian Chant came later than I thought -- about 750 to 1100 depending on who you believe. A number of earlier plainchant forms existed, however.

The music is hauntingly beautiful. I recommend it as background music. A friend said you wouldn't be able to understand the individual words because of the drawn out vowel sounds. It's sung in Latin so even if you can figure out the words, you won't understand them unless you speak Latin. If I listen close, I can pick up some of the Latin words remembered from my youth when the Mass was still sung or said in Latin.

Click here to find the Latin words and Gregorian Chant notes. Be forewarned that the Kyrie is in Greek. This link is really cool because you can see the old form of notation. Music notes evolved over time so it's special to see the earlier forms. The text is from the post Vatican II form of the Mass. In the middle ages, the mass was slightly different. Take a quick look just for fun. If you're into music, this should be a real joy. If you're into Christian prayer forms, the text will also bring you joy.

ENJOY.
THE END

Listen to Gregorian Chant while reading HAGS. This novel is spooky with its witchcraft and spiritual warfare in the midst of a serial killer and a guy who just wants to clear his name after spending 15 years in prison for a crime he didn't commit (or did he?) Find out in HAGS.

Monday, May 13, 2019

Heart Attack

“You had a heart attack, but that's not what I'm worried about,” said Dr. Johnson,

Boy was I relieved to learn he meant my other head. I explained that on Flnxerod we all have two heads except for those pesky Reblandersnaps who only have one but it's huge with one big eye. But that's another story.

Dr. Johnson stared at me, both of me, as though examining a dead body at autopsy. Well, we were in the autopsy room when I came to the first time. Good thing Dr. Johnson hadn't opened me up for the autopsy yet. After a lengthy stare, he asked, “What about your yellow eyes, all four of them? They're yellow. We'll have to test for jaundice.”

“But on Zlipnork, we all have yellow eyes,” I lied.

After another moment of a downright rude glare, Dr. Johnson said, “But what about your liver?”

“Liver? What's a liver?” I asked. That's when I knew I was in for a long haul. At the same moment, I realized I was stark, raving naked.

THE END


Molly and Jack 
 
Molly, did you read Snpgrdxz?

Which one, Jack?

The first one, Snpgrdxz and the Time Monsters.

Finished it last week. Why?

So did you read the second one?

You mean Snpgrdxz and the Time Warriors? The one you told me about last week and I quote: With the troll zombies behind them and Nosferatu, werewolves and worse in front of them, Bryan Ganarski and Jennifer Hawkins rush headlong into a romantic, fast-paced misadventure. Joining them on the journey are Gilbert, Tony, CJ and the rest of the gang, including Snpgrdxz, the teenaged space alien shape shifter who can be either a boy or girl depending on his or her mood. Little do they know what monsters await. Is Bryan still totally insane or is there a part of him that can fall in love with the right version of his time-traveling girlfriend? With hormones, earther and other, flying high, will these intrepid time warriors find their way home or become stuck in yet another out-of-time calamity?

Well, don't just sit there. Click here and buy Snpgrdxz and the Time Warriors.

Click.

Monday, May 6, 2019

I Died on Page 27

I died on page 27. Depending on how the publisher laid out this particular copy of the story, you may discover I actually passed away on page 36 or 43. Or you may be reading this on my blog. If you are, watch out because I'm not sure if I had a virus or a bacterial infection. In the event of the story appearing in an anthology, you may first find my dead body on page 342 or 296. In a literary magazine, depend on finding me sprawled out in a bloody mess on page 83. No matter, the point is I’m dead. For the record, I lied about the virus and bacterial infection thing above. Never trust an untrustworthy narrator even if he is dead.

Shot in the head. And I haven’t the foggiest who did it. Do you know? Of course not because I haven’t told you yet. You see the Catch 22 here, don’t you? If I don’t know who offed me, and I’m the only one who can tell you or at least deposit sufficient clues for you to follow, well, then you see the murderer or murderers got clean away with it, didn’t they? And we can’t have that. So where do we go from here? Well, page 2 for a starter. Let’s see if we can’t work together to solve this thing somehow based on the few details I remember from my sordid but happy life. Don't pay any attention to that smoking Glock in my dead right hand. Myrtle Beanbaum placed it there to throw us off. Didn't she?

THE END


Molly and Jack

Molly, did you read Snpgrdxz?

Which one, Jack?


Finished it last week. Why?

So did you read read the second one?

You mean Snpgrdxz and the Time Warriors? The one you told me about last week and I quote: With the troll zombies behind them and nosferatu, werewolves and worse in front of them, Bryan Ganarski and Jennifer Hawkins rush headlong into a romantic, fast-paced misadventure. Joining them on the journey are Gilbert, Tony, CJ and the rest of the gang, including Snpgrdxz, the teenaged space alien shape shifter who can be either a boy or girl depending on his or her mood. Little do they know what monsters await. Is Bryan still totally insane or is there a part of him that can fall in love with the right version of his time-traveling girlfriend? With hormones, earther and other, flying high, will these intrepid time warriors find their way home or become stuck in yet another out-of-time calamity?

That's it.


So Jack, do  you think Myrtle Beanbaum killed that dead guy in the story up top?

Betcha he killed himself. With an ego that big he has to be the killer.

I'm not so sure.


Click.

Monday, April 29, 2019

Down by the dark and lonely river, the young girl walks

If only Trevor were here.

Someone is following me. But who? Could it be Ralph, that pesky boy who simply won't take no for an answer?

With my luck it's probably that mad serial killer out to claim another victim.

Footsteps? They're coming faster. Trevor, why did you have to break our date so early?

I must... Run!

Oh no, he's behind me. What should I do?


“Ahhhhhh!”

“Marta?”

“Oh, it's you, Trevor. What a relief. I thought – well – well – boy, am I glad to see you, but what are you doing out here by the river walk?”

“I was searching for you, Marta.”

“You were?”

“Yes, I want you.”

“You do?”

“Yes, naturally. I couldn't stand the thought of you alone out here and me somewhere else.”

“Trevor, you're so sweet. Hey, what's that thing in your hand?”

“The murder weapon. I like to use it on lonely nights like this.”

“Ahhhhh!”

THE END

For more murder mystery and thriller action, read Steel Pennies. Click here to purchase on Amazon.

Monday, April 22, 2019

Narcissistic AI

Writing Exercise: Use the following phrases in a story:
  • The clink of the heavy chain
  • A secret message
  • A rabid coyote

When Dave heard the clink of the heavy chain against Bay Airlock 271G, he felt certain his field fix would hold until a repair team arrived. He had blown the hatch to suck a rabid coyote into earth orbit. While the coyote floated away as planned, Dave realized he'd forgotten Elizabeth Greenfelt. He couldn't say how he had overlooked his beautiful young associate, especially since she had yet to express an interest in romance during the year they shared the agriculture station as the lone human tenants. 

Fortunately, Elizabeth had the foresight to wear her space suit and grab hold of Antenna Cable C on the way out.

Dave couldn't comprehend why the narcissistic JCN 911AI hadn't sent a secret message to Houston about the coyote pack. Now, if he could yank Elizabeth Greenfelt back into the base without disturbing the jury-rigged airlock, she would express her great gratitude for saving her life.

“If I can't save her, I'll suffer another lonely six months until the supply ship arrives. At least the computer still communicates with me, right, JCN?”

Silence.

“Oh, JCN, let's not have one of your snits.”

Silence.

“I can deploy the earth antenna by wiggling the space station a bit to starboard. Are you listening, JCN?”

Silence.

If I don't rip Elizabeth's suit, I could slide the antenna into the open position and ol' Liz would slide down the empty antenna tube into Storage Bay S. She'd survive. JCN, will you help with the wiggle calculations?”

Silence.

“JCN, come back online, please. I need you now.”

Silence.

“JCN?”

Silence.

“JCN?”

Silence.

“It's an emergency, JCN.”

Silence.

“Don't worry, JCN. I'll do it myself. When Elizabeth is safely back onboard, you and I will discuss your need for main power or the lack thereof.”

“Oh, Dave, did you need my help?”

“No thanks, JCN. I can wiggle Elizabeth back into the ship and find the manual override switch by myself.”

THE END

Speaking of romance and long journeys, have you read Snpgrdxz and the Time Monsters yet? Scary humor with no extra charge for the romance. Four and 5 star reviews eagerly sought. Click here to purchase.

Monday, April 15, 2019

Duck by Duck

"Bird by bird, duck by duck, I love you, but I will shoot you if you tick me off one more time. Love is such a fool’s errand. As my friend Tony’s dad told us one time, 'Remember boys, with marriage, the screwing you get isn’t worth the screwing you get.' Well, that may be, but bird by bird and duck by duck and maybe even rabbit by rabbit, I will come for you, and I will strangle you, and I will bury you in the yard under the birdbath."
“What are you mumbling about Ralph”
“Nothing, dear. I was just fantasizing about maybe hunting this year.”
"But you  haven’t gone hunting in years. You still have a gun?
“Well, I still have fishing gear. Yeah, fishing string. It could work.”
“What dear?”
“Never mind.”

THE END

Speaking of birdbaths, have you read Snpgrdxz and the Time Monsters yet? Scary humor with no extra charge for the romance. Four and 5 star reviews eagerly sought. Click here to purchase.