Thursday, September 27, 2012

Five Sentence Fiction – Devotion

The Five Sentence Fiction is a simple idea:
Five Sentence Fiction is about packing a powerful punch in a tiny fist. Each week I will post a one word inspiration, then anyone wishing to participate will write a five sentence story based on the prompt word. The word does not have to appear in your five sentences, just use it for direction.
This week, the chosen word is "Devotion." There are many kinds of devotion, and the one which inspires me we all know.

***

Theirs was a true whirlwind romance: from the moment their eyes met, their love was apparent -- the first meeting, dating, becoming lovers -- in just three short weeks they became one shared soul.

Some thought it too much, too soon, but for them it was magically right; even though now she lay in the hospital, with the cancer slowly torturing her body, he remained -- no more stalwart a man could there be.

He tended her dutifully, lovingly; caressing her forehead with cool, wet cloth; holding her hand while she retched and the scent of bile permeated the room; collecting her hair as it fell in troubled tresses from her head; he was always at her side, never faltering, never far from her.

Publically, he smiled and presented strength to calm her; privately he wept and prayed, he cursed and damned, and falling upon his knees he would make the tale-told bargain: his life for hers.

Yet still she lay ill and dying; and at her feet, seen through tearful eyes, stood angels in white ready to carry her to a new body, a new home, where she would rest in equal devotion -- waiting for the day when he would join her, and their souls would again be as one.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

MINIMAL title logo

As I near the completion of the first, rough draft of MINIMAL, I've been thinking about the cover design, and one of the first things that always snaps to mind (for me, at least) is the title logo -- the cool fonts, the embossing, all the neato stuff that makes you look at the cover just that microsecond longer...drawing you in...in the hope that a glance becomes a purchase.

Now, I'm no graphic artist, but I know what I like (as if that's helpful.) At any rate, I have a mockup of the title logo here for you to check out -- and hopefully it meets with your approval. Take a look. I come up with this as a backup plan in the event that I have to self-publish the book...better to be prepared and not need it than to be stuck waiting because I faltered earlier.

What do you think? Comments welcome! (Ignore the white background, that will be transparent on the actual cover.)

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Book Covers

Ever look, I mean really look, at book covers today? They're all the same. It's like this...

The background image is something theme-related, but not overly specific.

At the top of the page, in big font is the name of the author.

Near the bottom of the page is the name of the book.

That's the formula, folks. The problem is, I hate it. There's no variety. There's the same cover (more or less) on hundreds of books across many genres. It's like they hired one, overworked graphic designer and he whipped it out in twenty minutes and it stuck and now everyone just apes that style.

Is it just me, or do you notice it too? It's maddening! For a group of people who are supposed to be "creative types," there is precious little creativity involved.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Five Sentence Fiction – Zombie

The Five Sentence Fiction is a simple idea:
Five Sentence Fiction is about packing a powerful punch in a tiny fist. Each week I will post a one word inspiration, then anyone wishing to participate will write a five sentence story based on the prompt word. The word does not have to appear in your five sentences, just use it for direction.
This week, the chosen word is "Zombie." The first thing that immediately comes to mind for me when hearing this word is, of course, the supernatural, animated corpse from popular literature and movies; but that is a bit worn thin for my tastes, and thinking back beyond that veil I came to recall a song by "The Cranberries," which is also titled "Zombie." It is this that inspired my entry today. And, as sad as it is, I hope you enjoy it.

***

They fight the same war their fathers fought, yet they have forgotten the reasons why.

Was it for freedom, that beautiful dream that stirs in the hearts of every man; or was it for fouler aspirations?

They didn't know, nor could they ever ask: lost to time were the voices of reason, forever snuffed out like a candle when war demanded yet another sacrifice.

But fight on they do, controlled by unseen hands that urge them forward in remorseless hunger for damnation, carnage, and the desolation of souls.

Zombies they are, but not undead; rather pawns in a game in which neither side can win.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Saturday Spotlight @ Tina's Book Reviews is on me!

Hey, y'all! Tina's Book Reviews has spotlighted me and my book today, and there's a giveaway! Check it!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Five Sentence Fiction – Awkward

The Five Sentence Fiction is a simple idea:
Five Sentence Fiction is about packing a powerful punch in a tiny fist. Each week I will post a one word inspiration, then anyone wishing to participate will write a five sentence story based on the prompt word. The word does not have to appear in your five sentences, just use it for direction.
This week, the chosen word is "Awkward." And for some odd reason, I went humor/pop-culture with this one. Fans of the TV show will "get it." I know...I'm weird... Enjoy.

***

"You think that's bad," Peter began one of his famous non-sequiturs, "Do you remember the time I tried to show Sigourney Weaver 'The Shocker'?"

"Petah!" Lois screeched in with her East-coast, Bostonian accent, hoping to bring this tale of his to a very early end, "There are nuns present, and children!"

She continued, "You cannot just blurt out any bizarre sexual reference you think up! What the hell is wrong with you?"

Everyone around, including the nuns, were staring aghast -- even the most prude of them knew what was being talked about, and their disapproval was obvious for all to see.

"But, Lois," Peter whimpered like a beat-down dog, "I just wanted to show her my Spider-Man villain costume!"

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

New story idea

Ok, so, for the last few days I've been doing something "new," that is to say "new to me": outlining a story. It's something I know some authors do and I figured I'd give it a whirl. While I'm fleshing out the end of MINIMAL, I thought I'd get down on paper the ideas and major points I needed to express for an upcoming story. It's working pretty well so far, and I am happy to report that I will actually work on this idea when I can.

It's also significant because I'm hoping to wrap up the tale in 20 chapters; and if you know anything about how I write, that's a tall order. See, I like little digest chapters -- around 1000 words or so -- and that means stories like Memories of the Dead clock in at over 40 chapters...which can be unwieldy at times. With this new idea forming up, 20 seemed like a do-able goal -- write the thing and have it all neatly resolved in no more than 20 chapters, and don't care about chapter length to do it.

The thing is, each chapter still must represent a cohesive scene of the story and (hopefully) have a bit of a cliff-hanger at the end...enough of one, I hope, that the reader keeps reading. That's the goal, anyway.

Can I pull it off? I mean, right now, I'm outlining chapter 12. Eight more to 20, and then...what? What if I can't do it in 20? What if it needs, say, 25? Well, the story goes where the story goes and takes as long as it needs to get there. I'd *like* it to be done in 20, but honestly...no idea.

I hope people will like it when it's ready for submission/consumption. Only time will tell. No, no details are forthcoming at the moment. I want to leave you with just the tentative title for the time being: Spin.

Let's see if anyone will care later.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Five Sentence Fiction – Memories

The Five Sentence Fiction is a simple idea:
Five Sentence Fiction is about packing a powerful punch in a tiny fist. Each week I will post a one word inspiration, then anyone wishing to participate will write a five sentence story based on the prompt word. The word does not have to appear in your five sentences, just use it for direction.
This week, the chosen word is "Memories." Those that remember the greatest times are often our elders, a generation that knew war first-hand; their scars are a roadmap in time.

***

The scars on my body remind me: each one is locked to time and place.

I know where each one was received, and if it was earned...or not.

Though I am old now, and my mind falters, I see them and remember those precious moments as if they were fresh.

I smile and tell my grandchildren of the days when my hair wasn't white, my knees were unbowed, and when my spine and my motives were far more straight -- ancient days, it must now seem, when the whole world was at war.

Through my wounds, I relive the sorrow, the horror, and the pain -- as well as the laughter and loves -- with gladness; and even though the battles I won are behind me, and the struggle against time I cannot win, I am content with simply having fought.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

MINIMAL (update)

I just put the draft of MINIMAL chapter 30 onto paper. It's what I expected, and that is to say it's rough; but that's the deal: get the story out on paper, then when done edit it to death! For those of you keeping score at home, the story is just now around 55000 words and isn't complete. For those of you that don't know what MINIMAL is about, here's a primer.
Someone is kidnapping people off the streets and operating on them, and each new victim that is located has a numbered tag ... One...Two...Three... There are two cops on this guy's tail, who the press have nicknamed "The Count," and with the daughter of a wealthy--and powerful person--recently come up missing, the fear is that she will soon bear the next numbered tag. Can these two detectives discover the identity of "The Count" before his latest victim is found someplace in pieces?
Don't ask how long the story will be, because, honestly, I don't have a clue yet. I'm just trying to record my idea before it fades. It's a tale I've wanted to write for a while, but wasn't sure I could; but with "Memories of the Dead" completed, I figured why not try it? This is the first draft and it's nowhere near ready for most anyone to check out yet, but we're getting there! :)