Fiction that explores the monsters and strangers among us.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Locked Out of the Car

There they are. Yep. Right there on the seat where I dropped them.

Again.

Okay, don’t panic. Call the wife.

Cell phone.

Well, looky here. Right next to the keys. On seat. The other side of the lock.

Pay phone.

Oh, yeah.

They landfilled them all.

Hello! Hey, lady, can I… Lady. Hey. Yeah. You. Can you help me. No. No. I’m not a pervert. I just want your cell phone. What? No, I don’t think it would fit and ladies shouldn’t talk like that.

Cold. Yep, there’s the coat. On the seat. The one next to the seat with the keys and the cell phone.

Wish that lady would have called a cop.

Store can help. No. Too late. All closed.

Cops patrol. Where’s a donut shop when you need one?

Monday, February 13, 2012

Check Out the Review of My Novel Fulfillment

Annie Parks wrote a terrific review of Fulfillment. Check it out by clicking here. Annie is a great young writer, so I appreciate her insights. Fulfillment is available on Amazon by clicking here.

As a reminder, here is a blurb about the book: Mary lived in happy ignorance. Then in the roar of the beast and the hideous faces of the angry demons scampering across her bedroom floor, she became the central figure in a drama beyond her understanding. Her engagement to Joseph should have been joyful, but instead the secret concerning the baby in her womb attracted evil spirits, a king, soldiers and a would-be lover all bent on destroying her. Mary’s journey, while steeped with betrayal and the foul stench of the ultimate demon, is a setup for an even bigger story. She discovers a lost love found, the promise of a newborn king, and a wealth of new friends from a dwarf with the heart of a warrior to the young mother whose husband and children are murdered in a bloody massacre.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Vampires on the Moon

“Take a deep breath. Okay, now swallow. Notice the difference?”
“Uhmm, we’re back in the caves?”
“Notice the sweet taste? It’s not there topside when we breathe from the air tanks.”
“Being the new guy, you probably don’t know that Matilda Langingfroth makes huge volumes of fudge for the black market.”
“It’s not chocolate you smell.”
“Oh crap. What is it? No, don’t tell me.”
“Vampires.”
“You’ve got to be kidding, right?”
“And you thought the moon was safe? I thought I was the new guy.”
“I didn’t know vampires smelled of chocolate.”
“Only on the moon. Something about the lack of oxygen. Vampires don’t need air, so they muck about over on the dark side. But the lack of oxygen affects their body chemistry. Comes out smelling like chocolate. That’s how you can tell if one is wandering about your human caves to feed.”
“Is that important?”
“It is if you smell chocolate, like now.”
“Why?”
“Vampires. Think about it.”

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

It Pays to Post

My post to my new writer's group blog was picked up by Everything Speculative Fiction. Check it out. Be sure to scroll to the bottom of page to find me and then click over to The Missing Dhwarven Phaser. In a post today, Karen Smith provides information on a short story contest.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Minimizing Was

I’m at the point in editing my new novel Faerie Tale where I’m searching for the word “was” with the idea of replacing it with an active verb. Here’s one example:

Original: The effect was to make him bend forward while running, pushing his butt up in the process so the second punch hit his right buttock instead of his back or kidney area.

Revision: He bent forward as he ran so the second punch hit his right buttock instead of his back or kidney area.

As a storyteller, I focus on the story itself while writing the first draft knowing I’ll catch the weak constructions during the editing process. Among other things, editing includes searching for weak words and replacing them with stronger writing. Sometimes this means a simple replacement such as replacing “walk” with “saunter.” Other times it involves a total revision of the sentence so the writing matches the power of the tale I’m telling. Editing – it’s not for the faint of heart, but it moves the serious writer farther along the path to excellence.