Deja Vu (freewrite)

(disclaimer: there could be a number of errors in this, but I literally just finished writing it about 10 minutes ago!)

ONE

I banged my palms on the steering wheel in time to the music while waiting for the light to change. Twenty more minutes and I’d be home for the weekend. My mind wandered to Marla, a woman I met a few weeks back on an internet dating site. We’d spent two nights together in those three weeks, and my brain hoped that it was only because of my work schedule that we hadn’t been able to connected more often. I felt my heart race at the thought of the skin-tight dress she’d worn the previous Saturday when we’d driven up to Boise for—

The blare of at least three horns shattered my concentration and brought me back to reality. I felt my face turn red as I wondered how long I had made the cars behind me wait to turn left onto Borah Ave. A glance in my rearview mirror once my foot hit the gas pedal made me turn even more red. Their multiple rude gestures and mouthed insults were the proper payment for any dumbass who couldn’t get off his cell phone or stop picking her nose long enough to notice the light had turned green.

I crossed over the first two lanes, my light still a bright green arrow, when a blur caught my peripheral vision. I felt my nerves tingle all at once as I realized a blue Honda wasn’t going to stop at its red light. I couldn’t decide whether to jam my foot on the gas or the brake, but the Honda was moving so fast that I never got to make the decision. A loud bang preceded the crunch of metal and glass by a quarter of a second, the airbags in my Chevy Cavalier filling instantly and whiting out my world.

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Spirit Guide (freewrite)

(DISCLAIMER: this is like… super ultra first draft stuff, I literally just finished it about six minutes ago, so don’t be too harsh, eh?)

“Hey, mate,” a familiar voice said from my left.

I looked over to see the garden gnome sitting on the arm of the couch. A sigh escaped me after I blinked my eyes a few times.

“Great,” I muttered. “You again.”

“Exactly!” the gnome said without moving its lips. “Me again.”

“Go away,” I mumbled. “You’re not real.”

“Are you sure about that?” the gnome asked slyly.

“Yeah, I’m sure.”

I reached out to the gnome, sure my hand would pass right through it since it was nothing more than a figment of my imagination—a figment that had followed me around for the last three days after a binge on what I had thought was absinthe at a local watering hole in San Elira. I still didn’t know what I had consumed, but I knew it wasn’t absinthe even if it was the same electric-green color. My fingers bumped up against the solid ceramic gnome, sending it crashing to the floor.

“Owwww!” the gnome cried, its voice muffled. “What the hell, Mike?”

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Some flash fiction…

Found some old flash fiction stuff from years ago just now…

“In this dream, I was a bird,” she said softly as they lay together.
“What kind of bird?” he asked as he took another drag off his cigarette.
“I don’t know, a fast one I guess. I had really sharp talons and a really sharp nose.”
He laughed softly, chiding her, “Birds don’t have noses. They have beaks.”
“Beaks, noses, whatever, it was sharp!” she said, at the same time digging a finger into his side to tickle him in retaliation for correcting her.

***

There was something about the way the woman kept looking at him that made his skin crawl. It wasn’t necessarily a bad sort of creepy, but it was creepy nonetheless.
Why does she keep staring at me?
he thought.
He reached up and behind him to grab the stop-line, unable to take his eyes off her. He’d walk the extra nine blocks in the dark just to get off the bus and away from the weirdo.

***

“My bologna used to have a first name, it was H-E-A-V-Y-M-E-A-T,” Ryan sang as Eric drove them down the old logging road like a bat out of hell.
“That ain’t how it goes, ya stupid jackass!” Eric shouted above the heavy metal blaring on the stereo.
How he heard Ryan singing a stupid song in the first place was a miracle.

Q&A With Science Fiction Writers – #1: Richard Tongue

One of my fellow SciFi authors, Edward Lake, interviewed a lot of his colleagues (including me!), and has started posted them on his blog. A lot of us authors are interested enough, and we hope you’ll be interested enough as well, to read some of them.

Who knows, you might find a new author that you’ve never heard of and begin enjoying their work!

First up: #1 – Richard Tongue

EL: What inspired you to be a writer?

RT: Wow, that’s a long story! I’ve been reading fantasy and science fiction since I was a very small child, and I think the two genres have always fascinated me; further, I’ve been a complete spaceflight nut since I was about the same age. That definitely explains the genre, but as for writing itself – I guess I just want to tell stories. I think it’s as simple as that!

EL: How did you become a science fiction writer?

RT: Lots of reading around the genre and a good grounding in actual science were the keys here, as well as an understanding of history and current events. I think those are the keys to success as a science-fiction writer specifically; as for the craft, it was a question of writing the ‘million words of crap’, I think.

(hit the link above to read the rest of the interview and more!)

Hugh Howey: The Conundrum That Baffles The Publishing World

If you’ve never read Wool, then I urge you to get it from Amazon or your favorite e-book store. It is free for the first hit. The rest will cost you, but my oh my, they will addict you like textual smack. Black Tar textual smack.

Now that you’ve read that, or if you’re already a fan, you really need to understand why Hugh Howey is the hero to many self-published authors, including me, and somewhat of an anti-hero to the traditional publishing world, or at best, a conundrum that constantly evolves and cannot be predicted.

What is the beauty of having a physical book? Is it because it is made of paper? Is it the size? The smell of the pages and cover? The way the pages feel under your fingers? The memories of growing up with physical books? I still love physical books, but I’m also a huge Kindle fan (a fan of all e-readers to be honest, since that is the direction the literary world is evolving in).

The one thing e-books don’t have that physical books have, well, one of the things, but sometimes the most important thing, is a physical presence. So in a sense, without a physical presence, it can have no smell, no paper pages, and since it is so new, no real fond memories of sitting under a tree in the summer reading an epic story. Maybe some of you have had this memory with the e-readers, but I’m still working towards that goal.

But what if you could have an e-book AND a physical presence to remind you of it? Friends, this is why Hugh Howey is someone authors like me respect and publishers cannot predict:

What will the man think of next?

Piracy Is Not An Epidemic

And let us take a moment to be completely realistic.

If one million pirated downloads of your book has occurred, yes, you could have lost one million sales. But come on…one million means you are EXTREMELY popular, and have more than likely sold a few million at Amazon and other outlets. And if you are that popular, you have publishers shoving contracts in your face, Hollywood bugging for the rights to your work for screenplays, conventions bugging you to attend, all sorts of other little perks and money-makers because…you are extremely popular.

Because there’s no one on this planet that has had their work downloaded one million times and is still a nobody, crying out in a lonely voice on the internet that he has nothing, barely any food to eat. If your name was “Game of Thrones – Season 3 – Episode 04” then you would be downloaded a million+ times, but you don’t see any of them (nor even HBO) making a fuss about it. HBO has even openly said they know their show(s) get pirated, and they really don’t care that much. Continue reading

Let’s Talk About… (#1)

Hi. My name is Angry (Travis if you don’t like using internet nicknames), and I’m going to start a new discussion called “Let’s Talk About…” and each one will talk about something different that has to do with you, writing, editing, publishing, and possibly even reading.

Today, Let’s Talk About…Story Ideas

Right. So. You want to write a story/book, but you think your ideas are weak, or you cannot come up with good plot. Maybe you just need a little push to get going in one direction, and then as you get writing, it’s like a snowball roll down a mountain. Continue reading

James Patterson Is A Prolific Author, But Kind Of Dumb

Read the entire post at JA Konrath’s blog. Trust me on this one.

Perhaps you’ve seen the ad James Patterson recently ran in the NYT.

The Ad Should Be Called "Hyperbole" or "Special Interest Marketing"

If you don’t want to squint at the jpg, here’s what Patterson wrote:

 

“If there are no bookstores, no libraries, no serious publishers with passionate, dedicated, idealistic editors, what will happen to our literature? Who will discover and mentor new writers? Who will publish our important books? What will happen if there are no more books like these?”

 

Then there’s a list of 38 books, including All the President’s Men, Catcher in the Rye, The Color Purple, Fahrenheit 451, Catch 22, etc. I agree that many of them are great.
Then he ends with:

 

“The Federal Government has stepped in to save banks, and the automobile industry, but where are they on the important subject of books? Or if the answer is state and local government, where are they? Is any state doing anything? Why are there no impassioned editorials in influential newspapers or magazines? Who will save our books? Our libraries? Our bookstores?”

 

I respect Patterson for his marketing genius. I also like many of his books. He makes 94 million dollars a year, so he’s obviously doing quite a bit right.

But I’m not finding much to agree with here.

Another voice chimes in here, and is definitely worth the read!

One Last Job (short story) – Now On Amazon & Smashwords

I suppose this will go down in history (my own history anyway) as the very first story I ever published.

Amazon  —  Smashwords

I wrote this a few years ago, and fiddled with it for a long time, and then forgot about it, then fiddled with it again. I mostly put this story up first to learn how to navigate the Amazon KDP and Smashwords interfaces. If someone wants to buy it, then I’m your bestest friend ever.

It isn’t very long, only about 3,000 words, but I’ve always liked it personally. I love short stories, and I tend to buy lots of anthologies (mostly sci-fi, but I’ve been known to purchase into other genres). I also grew up as a semi-redneck of low birth who was fascinated by the ‘evil empire’ known as the U.S.S.R. as I’m a true child of the 1980’s. That’s probably where the seasoning in this story comes from. Enjoy!