“Magical Reality” In My Hand

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© James Pyles

Yes, it arrived in the mail yesterday. I’ve been out of town with my wife visiting my Mom about an eight-hour drive away. Even though we got back a day early, we were occupied all day yesterday and into the evening with grandchildren/family, so I haven’t been online much. It was a real pleasure to finally see a story of mine in physical print. I’ve been a published author of information technology textbooks and self-study guides for about fifteen years, but this is the first fiction story I’ve been able to see and touch. Hope this is just the beginning.

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© James Pyles

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© James Pyles

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© James Pyles

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The Back Door Out of the Wizard’s Saloon

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© Sue Vincent

Long centuries ago, when “The Wizard’s Saloon” had first been established, the population of its visitors, many but not all from Britain and the European nations on Earth, were illiterate, or read and spoke languages not native to the proprietor. The sign, a conical wizard’s hat mounted in a frame atop the roof, communicated very well across cultures and species just what sort of proprietorship was within its gray stone walls, and behind the large, oaken door, and stained glass windows.

Kyle Logan, a refugee from the realm of Nightmare, and a minor vassal of Dormammu before that, cautiously gripped the tarnished brass handle and pushed in. He looked human enough, just shy of six-foot tall, tangled brown hair draped over his forehead and ears, sharp green eyes scanning left and right looking for any hint of trouble, dressed in mismatched jacket and trousers (gray and brown didn’t go well together) over a wrinkled black t-shirt. His Air Jordan 13 Retro shoes were the only thing that was new, but only because he had stolen those last, having gotten lucky enough to materialize momentarily in a 1984 Los Angeles shoe store.

“Greetings, stranger.” The figure behind the bar at the other end of the room was almost a head taller than Kyle, but also three times as wide as the skinny youth. Amazingly, the body-length apron over the long-sleeved gingham shirt (because of the bar, Logan couldn’t see below his waist) managed to obscure the man’s abundant girth. “Welcome to the Wizard’s Saloon. Come for lodging or just a drink?”

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First Review of “Magical Reality” Anthology

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Screenshot of goodreads review

My short story “The Dragon’s family” is featured in the Pixie Forest Publishing anthology Magical Reality and guess what? It got its first review, both on Amazon and on goodreads. Yes, five-star review praising ALL of the stories within its pages, which includes mine. Yes, I’m thrilled.

Keep ’em coming, readers.

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Screenshot of the “Magical Reality” page at Amazon

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Screenshot of Amazon’s “Magical Reality” page including author’s list and review details

Author Pages Update

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Screenshot of my Amazon author’s page

As you can see, I’ve had my Amazon and goodreads author’s pages updated to reflect my current publications in the World War Four and Magical Reality anthologies. The one for goodreads is a little deceptive since goodreads doesn’t let me sort my books by most recently published, so in reality, they are way at the bottom of the list. Not only that, but getting my name listed as a contributor on goodreads is a tad more difficult than doing the same thing on Amazon, since I’m not the editor or lead author. Still, it’s a nice little piece of marketing. Now I can’t wait for people to start reviewing these books in both venues (hint, hint).

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Screenshot (edited) of my goodreads author’s page

Magical Reality is Available for Pre-Order Now!

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Promotional image for the Pixie Forest Publishing anthology “Magical Reality.”

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.

Publications Update

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Promotional image for Zimbell House Publishing’s anthology “1929”

A couple of days ago, I mentioned that I had a fourth story accepted for publication, but since the publisher hadn’t made a formal announcement yet, I couldn’t give out particulars. However, this morning Zimbell House Publishing on their Coming Soon page (scroll down) posted notice that “1929: A Zimbell House Anthology” will be published in both Paperback and eBook formats on March 26, 2019. My short story “The Devil’s Regret” will be included in the anthology.

Some of you may have read a few variations on that tale I had been playing with here on my blog in months past. My study group from the writing class I took last November, had plenty of opportunities to read refined versions of the strange adventures of sixteen-year-old Timothy Quinn, the boy who could hear news stories from the future on the radio, and discovered he was the only person standing between an innocent ten-year-old girl and murder.

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Being Published in the Anthology “Flash Fiction Addiction”

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Announcement for “Flash Fiction Addiction” from Zombie Pirate Publishing

My flash fiction story “Growing Flowers” has been accepted for the “Flash Fiction Addiction” anthology to be published by Zombie Pirate Publishing.

The original announcement states:

FLASH FICTION ADDICTION is now open for submissions. Very short stories 100 – 750 words long. Any genre or theme. Subs close when we have 101 accepted stories.

They received nearly 300 submissions and accepted 101, including mine. Look for it at Amazon on April 15, 2019.

EDIT: Updated image below.

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Promotional image for the anthology Flash Fiction Addiction

Being Published in the anthology “Magical Reality”

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Announcement of the “Magical Reality” anthology from Pixie Forest Publishing

Sunday morning, I woke up to some wonderful news. Actually, when I saw the email from Pixie Forest Publishing with the title, “Decision for The Dragon’s Family,” I was prepared for another disappointment at being once again being rejected. Then I read this:

Thank you for submitting your short story “The Dragon’s Family” to Pixie Forest Publishing’s modern fantasy anthology. We really appreciate you letting us consider your story. After much consideration, we have decided we would love to include your story in our anthology.

I was still swilling coffee and trying to wake up, but at that moment, I could have been dancing on air.

Later, I found out that there had been 62 submissions to the “Magical Reality” anthology, and only 11 stories had been picked, including mine, “The Dragon’s Family.”

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Dreaming on Such a Winter’s Day

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Image credit: Zulkarnain Ismail

William Blake knew he was in trouble when he saw the zebra unraveling like a ball of twine, especially since there shouldn’t be any free roaming zebras in the high desert southeast of Boise.

“Get a grip, get a grip, get a grip,” he muttered to himself, pressing his hands on each side of his head. The vision wouldn’t go away, but neither did the zebra seem to mind its condition.

“Of all days, why did it have to happen today?” Every New Year’s morning, the forty-eight-year-old electrical designer took a walk in the open fields south of his home, symbolically welcoming a year of new hope. “But I have to be at Edna’s in an hour for breakfast. I can’t go like this.”

The zebra moved on but then the clouds started turning themselves inside out, swirling and shifting from white to silver, then to magenta and turquoise. The grass around his ankles and then all across the field. writhed like serpents and rubbed against his legs like affectionate house cats, while the trees in the distance grew and expanded to Pellucidar-like proportions. Then the sky became granite and the ground turned to vapor, but neither did the atmosphere collapse upon him, nor did he fall through the mist.

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What the Storm Brings

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© Sue Vincent

Tom Allen lived in his Dad’s old cabin five miles west of New Mexico State Highway 107 along about twenty miles south of Magdalena. The retired astronomer stepped out behind his place and put his left hands on the branch of a dead tree. Figured he’d cut it down for firewood, though he had plenty already for the winter.

“Looks like we’ll be getting some rain from the west, ol’ girl.” He patted Sally’s head, and the golden retriever nuzzled her snout against the leg of his jeans.

He’d been born in a little town south of Albuquerque sixty-six years ago last Friday, so being dressed in his old Stetson, a plaid shirt, faded blue denim jeans and high leather boots seemed normal to him, but the old normal, since he’d spent most of his adult life in places like Pasadena’s JPL, Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico, and the Mauna Kea Observatory in Hawaii, not to mention in the halls of academia. His colleagues at Stanford and MIT would never understand.

“Storm’s getting closer. We’d better head back in, especially before you see some rabbit you want to be chasing.”

Sally barked with ascent and then happily followed the old man back into the house.

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