Finally the Pixie Forest Publishing anthology “Magical Reality” is available for pre-order on Amazon for delivery to your Kindle device on Friday, March 8th. It features my short story “The Dragon’s Family” which is based on the very first tale I wrote for my grandson over two-and-a-half years ago. Make sure you get your copy as soon as possible.
Just a wee update. As you all know if you’ve been reading my blog over the past month, three of my short stories have been accepted for publication. You can find out all about them on my Publications page.
You also know that I haven’t been writing as much fiction here as in months past and have been, more or less, ignoring most of the writing challenge communities I enjoy so much. That isn’t an intentional snub. I’ve just been busy.
For instance, in the month of January, not only were three of my stories accepted, but I submitted 5 stories to various publishers. I can’t tell you anything about them because, after all, submitting is not being accepted, and I’ve fallen flat on my face plenty of times before, so there are no guarantees.
“Well, it’s about damn time.” She was more provocative than beautiful, though her piercing brown eyes, dark chestnut-colored hair, and burgundy-painted lips were definitely alluring. She was leaning over her tucked in legs, the skirt of her short, deep, Prussian blue dress hiked up, revealing ample, pale-skinned thighs and just a little more besides…and she was barefoot. Her expression was expectant with a dash of mischievousness.
Since my divorce, I’d been living in a flat on the third floor of a converted Victorian in Boise’s counter-culture North End. Having parked my car around back, I was walking up the front steps, a sack of groceries from the Co-Op balanced in my right arm, while thumbing through my keys with my left.
“I beg your pardon?” I paused on the ancient concrete steps, a cold January breeze blowing from the north chilling me. I thought I wouldn’t be out very long and so only put on a light jacket, and now I was shivering.
“I’ve got to write a hundred words about that?” The creative writing student balked when his instructor placed the ornate clock on his desk, which was to be used as a writing prompt.
“That’s the assignment, Mike. What’s the problem?”
“It’s an antique.”
“Then you should be able to write a piece of flash fiction about something hideous and repulsive.”
“Do you remember the scene from ‘Office Space’ where Peter, Michael, and Samir take the office printer out and smash it to pieces? I can write about that.”
I wrote this for the Rochelle Wisoff-Fields photo writing challenge. The idea is to use the image above as the inspiration for crafting a piece of flash fiction no more than 100 words long. My word count is 92.
Yes, that was more or less my reaction to seeing the prompt. Not all prompts are created equal and this one rubbed me the wrong way, so that’s what I wrote.
Oh, for those of you who haven’t seen the excellent 1999 film Office Space, here is a YouTube video (unedited, so language) of the infamous destruction scene of the office’s constantly malfunctioning printer.
To read other stories based on the prompt, visit InLinkz.com.
Francisco Sanchez was the chief surveyor on the Moon Base One project at Mare Tranquillitatis. His team, plus support personnel, lived in a series of dome covered depressions nearly a mile distant from the site of the proposed base colony. In the temporary survey shelter, heated and pressurized to a “shirtsleeve” environment, he was going over the latest seismic and radar data with his team leads.
“You’ve got to be kidding me.”
“Read ’em and weep, Chief. This solves one of the biggest problems we have in establishing a permanent lunar colony.” Barbara Lawless was not only one of the best lunar geologists in the business, she was the group’s undisputed poker champ, dubbed such both by the NASA staff and SpaceX contractors.
Another day, another sunrise. The sky is an ugly, pale yellow, and life is bland and uninspired.
Addy turned toward her laptop sitting on the small desk in her bedroom. The speakers were on, so it was chattering away at her again.
“What do you want? I’m depressed.”
“Get over here. You have to finish your story. Marguerite’s trapped in that waterfront warehouse by Marsden’s goons. Will Preta be able to save her? You’ve got to help.”
A twinkle appeared in Addy’s eyes as she sat down at the computer, opened the file, and began to write.
I wrote this for the Rochelle Wisoff-Fields flash fiction challenge. The idea is to use the image above as the prompt for crafting a poem or story no more than 100 words long. My word count is 99.
To me, the image is pretty depressing, a smoke-filled summer sky, and the promise of another scorching day. The original version of this story before I edited it down, was more descriptive, but there’s only so much you can do with 100 words.
I leveraged characters from my story The Haunted Detective, and as far as the talking computer goes, I’m leaving that part rather vague.
To read other stories based on the prompt, visit InLinkz.com.
Every day the Medium Daily Digest appears in my Gmail inbox, giving me the opportunity to read articles from various progressive voices. If you’ve read other of my social commentaries on this blog (not the hottest of topics among my readers based on the statistics, “likes,” and comments), you know I sample a wide range of opinions in an effort to keep informed.
Much of the time, it isn’t easy reading the opinions of people who don’t like you, or at least, don’t like what they think you stand for, but I don’t want to spend all my time reading and listening to viewpoints with which I already agree.
He certainly isn’t widely published, and his advice seemed fairly generic, but I was compelled by the source. Usually, it is the more socially and politically conservative authors, typically who operate in the speculative fiction genre, who are the ones suggesting indie publishing.
The Ardis essay was the sort of “cross-pollination” I’ve always hoped was possible but feared was doomed from the outset.
Twenty-four year old Brady Walsh authentically enjoyed it when people called her a ginger. It was much better than being a drab brunette or a vaunted blonde, and anyone meaning to insult her with the term were doing so out of envy.
She had resolved to deasil, invoking only positive qualities and expressions of her personality, now that she had arrived in America, as a counterweight to all of the negativity in the world.
“Oh damn,” the former Dubliner muttered. “There goes my resolve. Bloody Starbucks is closed because of negativity. No. Postponing my afternoon caffeine is a finite problem. Plenty of other coffee places in Portland.”
And when you walk around the world, babe,
You said you’d try to look for the end of the road,
You might find out later that the road’ll end in Detroit,
Honey, the road’ll even end in Kathmandu.
You can go all around the world
Trying to find something to do with your life, baby,
When you only gotta do one thing well,
You only gotta do one thing well to make it in this world, babe.
You got a woman waiting for you there,
All you ever gotta do is be a good man one time to one woman
And that’ll be the end of the road, babe,
I know you got more tears to share, babe,
So come on, come on, come on, come on, come on,
And cry, cry baby, cry baby, cry baby.
-from Cry Baby
written by Bert Berns and Jerry Ragovoy (1963)
covered by Janis Joplin (1971)
He never thought he’d fall in love again. After all, he had died who knows how long ago subjectively? He was a spark in the process of returning to the Creator, but having become disconnected from timespace, he could go anywhere, to any point in history, to other quantum realities, so he could correct what Raven called “anomalies.”
The multiverse was created by the all-seeing, all-knowing, all-powerful being most people call God. However, God chose to make human beings both sentient and possessing free will, while maintaining His sovereignty over all existence. In other words, only people have the ability to say “no” to God.
That’s not the contradiction is seems to be, since all timelines ultimately come from the Source and return back to the Source in the end, regardless of how they “stray.”
Cavor’s insane invention worked too well. In the year of our Lord 1899, genius (or mad) inventor and scientist Joseph Cavor convinced Arnold Bedford and his dear fiancée Katherine Callender, to join him in entering his spherical space vessel powered by a substance called Cavorite.
Arnold and Kate did so on a lark, not believing a word of Cavor’s claims, in spite of the strange and inexplicable experiments he had demonstrated to the engaged couple.
Then, the impossible happened, and the metallic orb with the trio entombed within, escaped the Earth’s gravity with explosive thrust, and launched itself at the Moon.
Now Arnold and Kate were running for their lives back toward the sphere, pursued by the Selenites, a horde of insect-like creatures inhabiting the Moon’s interior, who were convinced that humanity’s martial tendencies were a threat, now that man had achieved space travel.
“Quick, Kate, Inside! I’ll hold them off.”