Saturday, December 29, 2012

Five Sentence Fiction Challenge - Ending



This week's writing challenge from Five Sentence Fiction ( Lillie McFerrin Writes ) is based upon the prompt "Ending."

I had missed posting for last week's prompt of "Vision," so I added it at the end. Yes, I know my assignment is late. Nobody's grading this, are they?




Transition


"End" image source: http://lilliemcferrin.com/five-sentence-fiction-ending/


Chris drove slowly through the high school parking lot, eventually pulling up in front of the auditorium where he had walked across the stage during graduation only a few days before with names being called like credits at the end of a movie. Somehow, it was different from the place he'd spent the last three years of his life. There was no one else in the parking lot, no chaos of young people scurrying to class in the halls, smiling as they called out to a friend or laughing at a crude joke to the dismay of an elderly teacher. He felt oddly out of place, as if somewhere he shouldn't be, the only actor left on stage long after the play had finished. His friends, his classmates, had all moved on, but he found it difficult to look to the future when he was already beginning to miss the past.




Wilbur's Quest


"Eye" image source http://lilliemcferrin.com/five-sentence-fiction-vision/


Alone on the top of the building, Wilbur sat meditating, contemplating his existence, attempting to come to terms with the events in his life with all its tribulations and disappointments. As the sun rose over the town, he watched it spread a golden warmth across the rooftops, bring a sparkle to the river, wake thousands of sleepy souls into another day, yet he found no answer, no guiding hand to show the way, no epiphany from within. Feeling he'd wasted his time once again, Wilbur stood up just as a bird flew past, not much more than flashes of white and gray to his weary eyes, but startling him enough to lose his precarious place on the ledge. Yet even as the crowd gathered closer to look at the unfortunate man, the words of the police seemed to mock his final efforts.

"Move along, folks, nothing to see here."



© 2012 K. R. Smith All rights reserved

The Christmas Miracle



I'm often told this is the season for miracles, and I'm beginning to believe it.


Image "Wolf and Moon" courtesy of nixxphotography at www.freedigitalphotos.net


My short story, "Going Home," has been accepted for publication in the Were Traveler "Big Bad Wolf in a Big Bad Universe" issue. The Were Traveler is an online webzine dedicated to short fiction.

You can read "Going Home" by clicking on the title here or by finding it in my publication page (short though it may be). I think the link may change once the site puts the issue into "archive" status, and I'll post an updated link if that is the case.

P.S. To Ellora Bennett - you are now famous. Or you will be at some point in the future. You'll find a little "Easter egg" about half-way through the story!



Image "Wolf and Moon" courtesy of nixxphotography FreeDigitalPhotos.net


© 2012 K. R. Smith All rights reserved

Saturday, December 15, 2012

One Down...



Well, I've gone and done it this time.

I've submitted a short story.

It's a something-less-than-epic tale about a...




No, that's not the title. It's called Going Home. I'll try not to let my ego take over should it be selected for publication (on-line, and for recognition only). Maybe it's not quite A Tale of Two Cities, but you have to start somewhere. You can't start more humbly than this.

I remember the first time I saw the call for submissions via Duotrope. I thought, "You've got to be kidding." After thinking it over for a while, I thought, "You've really got to be kidding..."

What can I say? It's what they wanted.

I checked out the website, an it's one of those that ask people to send in writing for use in an on-line issue or e-zine, essentially another blog. You can check them out by clicking here.

Well, it's out there, all that's left is the waiting. I made it with just two days left before the deadline. If it isn't chosen, maybe I'll put it on here. Or print it and burn it, denying all knowledge of its existence.

To be honest, I'd be tickled if I just heard back from them.

      Dear sir and / or madam:

          We've read your submission, and, well, you've got to be kidding...

I'll keep you posted.


© 2012 K. R. Smith All rights reserved

Friday, December 14, 2012

Five Sentence Fiction Challenge - Devotion



This week's writing challenge from Five Sentence Fiction ( Lillie McFerrin Writes ) is based upon the prompt "Devotion."



Devotion


Dog - image source http://lilliemcferrin.com/five-sentence-fiction-devotion-2/


He never liked the dog. He thought it had a face like Jack Elam on a bad day, but it was his wife's "precious little button-nose." And there it was, staring him in the face again this morning, waiting for his food and a walk. His wife had been gone almost a year now, and nearly two had passed since her illness began, so the morning ritual was well ingrained. Arthur slowly made his way to the kitchen where he scooped some kibble into a dish and placed it in front of the ravenous little beast, as he would again tomorrow and the next day, and for as long as he could because it was all that was left to remind him of his "precious little button-nose."



© 2012 K. R. Smith All rights reserved

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Five Sentence Fiction Challenge - Time



This week's writing challenge from Five Sentence Fiction ( Lillie McFerrin Writes ) is based upon the prompt "Time."

My entry is of the science fiction genre, and is a bit on the weird side. It took me a while to come up with this. I almost ran out of time.

Sorry, I couldn't resist...




Strange Loop



Image "Binary Code" by David Castillo Dominici - www.freedigitalphotos.net


Wendell's experiment in time travel had worked, at least to a degree, but something was amiss. The program he had written to control the equipment was designed to guide him through a loop, much like tracing the path along a Mobius strip, returning him safely to the point where he began. He hadn't allowed for his own presence, his own observation of events and their effect, no matter how trivial, upon the calculations. Somewhere within the billions of bytes of code, this additional parameter had altered the program, forming a self-modifying quine, spiraling him into both the future and the past, and most certainly into oblivion. Curiously, he found himself intrigued by the possibility that he might have forever to solve the problem, or not enough time to press the next keystroke.




Image "Binary Code" courtesy of David Castillo Dominici / FreeDigitalPhotos.net


© 2012 K. R. Smith All rights reserved

Thursday, November 29, 2012

FSF Challenge - Joy



This week's writing challenge from Five Sentence Fiction ( Lillie McFerrin Writes ) is based upon the prompt "Joy."

Looks like it won't be a "horror" week - even I have trouble doing a dark story about "joy."

But I might try...

Nonetheless, we do have a multiple feature post ( 3 - count 'em - 3 ) this time around! All these ideas have been done in some fashion by others, but it was still a fun challenge.




The Flight


"Airplane In The Sky" by coward_lion - www.freedigitalphotos.net


They rode to the airport together as soon as they heard that Flight 718 had crashed during takeoff and there were believed to be no survivors. All they could think of is how they'd repeatedly hammered into their indolent daughter how important it was to take the trip, to do the interview, to make that extra effort to be there on time. The woman, hands trembling, pulled out her cell phone to call her daughter's number one last time, a call made for no other reason than hear her child's voice on the answering machine. But there was no message, only the mumbling of a sleepy young woman pleading, "Oh, God, Mom, I know you're going to kill me! I forgot to set the alarm!"


Image "Airplane In The Sky" courtesy of coward_lion / FreeDigitalPhotos.net



The Last Date


"Woman Reading Sms In Cell Phone" by Jomphong - www.freedigitalphotos.net


She wasn't sure why he had asked to meet her here, at this place, on this street, a street along which she had walked a hundred times, a street with nothing of singular significance or interest. She had noticed how preoccupied Derek had been the last few weeks, and all she could think of was he wanted to break up. Still, there they were, face to face, he as visibly uncomfortable as one could be, her feeling as if everything inside her had been ripped out.

"I guess this wasn't such a great idea," Derek said nervously, looking everywhere but in Jessica's eyes, "and you're probably going to think I'm a real jerk for doing this here. But," he added, stuttering slightly, "it's the spot where I saw you for the very first time, and it's the only place I could think of to ask you marry me."


Image "Woman Reading Sms In Cell Phone" courtesy of Jomphong / FreeDigitalPhotos.net



The Dress


"Ball Gown" courtesy of Rosen Georgiev - www.freedigitalphotos.net


"You talk to your daughter while I find out what idiot keeps banging at the door," he said, a stern look on his face.

"Look, Mom, I've spent all this money on a dress I'll never wear because I'm not going to the prom because no one has asked me or even thought about asking me and I'm going to look like a loser to everyone in the school."

"Cathy, honey, maybe you could ask your friends if they know anyone that might be interested - or you could just go by yourself and meet the other kids there." 

"You know, Mom, I'd like to have at least one date, one real date in high school where I might even get kissed or something like a normal girl has by my age, and - and why does Dad have to be standing here listening to this? 

"Because, Cathy, I thought you might like to know that the idiot at the door is a boy that would like to talk with you."


Image "Ball Gown" courtesy of Rosen Georgiev / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

© 2012 K. R. Smith   All rights reserved

Friday, November 23, 2012

FSF Challenge - Feast



This week's writing challenge from Five Sentence Fiction ( Lillie McFerrin Writes ) is based upon the prompt "Feast."

So finish up your pumpkin pie - it's time to get back to a little horror...




Reveille Noir



Image "Zombies Walking" courtesy of Victor Habbick / FreeDigitalPhotos.net


The old priests had told of a day when the "trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable." It would be a time of hope and renewal, a time to enter immortality, a time of change. There had never been a thought given to the one raising the call, never a question of their purpose. After all, this was the Feast of Trumpets, or so they thought. But when the dark one sounds his horn, only the evil are raised.



Image "Zombies Walking" courtesy of Victor Habbick / FreeDigitalPhotos.net


© 2012 K. R. Smith

Friday, November 16, 2012

FSF Challenge - Business



It's time again for another Five Sentence Fiction challenge, but before I start, I'd like to thank everyone who read my previous entries and especially those who left a comment. I also want to let those who do comment know that if they has any questions about why I wrote something the way I did, or why I did / didn't put a comma in a certain place, or why I chose a word when they think another might be better, please ask. I can learn a lot from that. Also, if they would have written the story differently, I'd be interested in hearing that, too.

And, as a warning, I do tend toward horror / speculative fiction, so my writing is often on the dark side. But not always! And not for this particular post.

On the technical end of things, I'm shortening my blog titles so they fit a bit better in the Blogger gadget displaying the entries on the right of the page. Whenever I put "Writing Challenge - Five Sentence Fiction - (prompt), the prompt was often cut short.

Anyway, I shall continue...

This week's writing challenge from Five Sentence Fiction ( Lillie McFerrin Writes ) is based upon the prompt "Business."



The Retiree



Image "Green Field" courtesy of suphakit73 at www.freedigitalphotos.net


Arthur had spent the last forty years building his business, working long hours, and putting away a few dollars when he could for retirement. Now that day had come and he was looking forward to the peace and quiet of the small home he'd moved into to save money. On that first morning, once the breakfast dishes were all cleaned and put away, he opened the curtains in his living room, made his way to the overstuffed easy chair facing the window, and watched the clouds drift in the wind above the fields outside his house, the waves in the grass as that same breeze ran along the ground, and the occasional bird darting about in search of food, all of which left a curious, uneasy feeling in his bones. Contemplating his situation in an attempt to understand these unsettling notions, Arthur came to the conclusion that what he needed most was something to do. Perhaps he could open a shop, however small, where he could build or sell things, if for no other reason than to occupy his time.




Image "Green Field" courtesy of suphakit73 at www.freedigitalphotos.net



© 2012 K. R. Smith

Monday, November 12, 2012

Elly's Posts On W.U Hstry



Even though Elly hasn't had much time to work on her fantasy writing due to her schoolwork, she has been blogging at the W.U Hstry History Student's Blog. Here are links to two new posts:



A Very Brief Glance at Hair Combs in History

Pre-dynastic period comb - from W. U Hstry Blog
Pre-dynastic period comb
from W. U Hstry Blog


The Fall of the Aztec Empire


Cortez - from W. U Hstry Blog
Cortez
from W. U Hstry Blog


Just to let you know she really has been busy:



© 2012 K. R. Smith

Thursday, November 8, 2012

FSF Challenge - Character



This week's writing challenge from Five Sentence Fiction ( Lillie McFerrin Writes ) is based upon the prompt "character." I went in a different direction from my last posts - don't want to get into a rut!



Bernie's Place

Image "Bad Times" by Maggie Smith / www.freedigitalphotos.net


Everyone always said he was such a character, never that he had character, but maybe that was the best way to be when you live on the streets. That's how he was able to hustle up enough money to get a little food, get a new not-too-used piece of clothing now and then, or just get by.

"But I tell you," he said to the mutt that frequented the block around the subway entrance he called home, "sometimes it hurts a little bit, you know, being that's all they see."

The small dog cocked its head sideways as if contemplating the words while Bernie squatted down against the cold, dirty wall and reached into a bag for the lunch he'd bought with a five-spot he'd found in the gutter.

"Here ya go," he said, offering his understanding friend a bit of the sandwich he'd pulled off before taking a bite.



Image "Bad Times" courtesy of Maggie Smith / FreeDigitalPhotos.net


© 2012 K. R. Smith

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Book Reviews: Soul Stalker and Night of the Purple Moon



I've recently posted a couple of short book reviews out on Goodreads. Links to them are below.



Soul Stalker
    by Laura Kreitzer

Recommended for: Fantasy romance readers
Read from August 29 to September 13, 2012 — I own a copy, read count: 1


Soul Stalker
(Timeless #2)Soul Stalker by Laura Kreitzer

My rating: 3 of 5 stars








Night of the Purple Moon 
    by Scott Cramer

Recommended for: YA
Read in November, 2012 — I own a copy, read count: 1


Night of the Purple MoonNight of the Purple Moon by Scott Cramer

My rating: 3 of 5 stars







© 2012 K. R. Smith

Sunday, November 4, 2012

This Is Only A Test…



I’m trying to see how Microsoft Live Writer (part Windows Essentials) does for posting to Blogger. I’m using the Windows XP version for this test – I may see if a newer version for Windows 7 is available later.
 Image of tools from Clipartheaven.com

I’ve been having some “issues” with their editing tools lately and I want to see if this is an option.

So far, it seems this version only allows for posting blog entries, but not pages…

I also have to do some things manually (like my horizontal rows) whereas Blogger does them automatically once they are set up.

There are some picture editing tools in Live Writer, but I have GIMP and Corel PhotoPaint already, so that’s not a big plus for me (might be useful for others!). There doesn’t seem to be a way to get a picture I’ve already posted to a Picasa library. Not so good.


© 2012 K. R. Smith

FSF Challenge - Candidate



This week's writing challenge from Five Sentence Fiction ( Lillie McFerrin Writes ) is based upon the prompt "candidate."

For this posting, I'm having a two-for-one sale. If you don't like one, perhaps the other will strike your fancy.



Candidate #1*


Mayan temple image courtesy of Victor Habbick at FreeDigitalPhotos.net


"People always told me not to volunteer," Chad offered enthusiastically, "but I never believed I had the slightest chance of being chosen."

"Well, we think you're just absolutely perfect," replied the man in the black suit, "and I can assure you it's quite easy and will only hurt for a little while."

"Only hurt for a little while?" Chad asked anxiously. "What am I supposed to do?"

"Why, you're the sacrifice, of course, so all you have to do," smiled the man sardonically, "is die."



( *I was going to title this "Hanging Chad," but in addition to being a terribly bad joke, would have given the ending away. )




Candidate #2


Old graveyard image courtesy of Evgeni Dinev at FreeDigitalPhotos.net


"The successful candidate for this position will be one who likes working with people, is hands-on, enjoys the outdoors, can perform independently, and think outside of the box. Some shift work required."

Edgar shook his head recalling the "help wanted" notice he had answered only a few weeks prior.

"I suppose I shouldn't complain," he said wistfully while leaning on his shovel, knee-deep in frigid mud, "what with so many having no work at all."

Still, Edgar failed to embrace the thought of dragging the somewhat portly Miss Abigail Jenkins, recently deceased, from her unfortunately deep and supposedly final resting place on such a dreadful night.



Mayan temple image courtesy of Victor Habbick / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Old graveyard image courtesy of Evgeni Dinev / FreeDigitalPhotos.net


© 2012 K. R. Smith

Thursday, November 1, 2012

NaNoWriMo Starts Today!



I don't know why you do it, but a lot of you do. And some of you do it more than once which really puzzles me because once you've found out what it's really like, you'd think you'd know better.

I know Terri Deno is doing it. I've got her statistics right here:

First-day statistics for Terri Deno's NaNoWriMo effort
First-day statistics for Terri Deno's NaNoWriMo effort


And Bethanne Strasser is supposed to be doing it, but I don't have her numbers yet.


Ellora Bennett was thinking of doing it....


...but with a full-time load of classes, has apparently decided it's not in her best interest.


And Sara Lundberg is at it again!


It seems everyone's doing it (or at least thinking about doing it) but me. I'm not sure if that's good or bad overall, but I think it's good for me.

Oh, BTW, we're talking about NaNoWriMo in case anyone was wondering.


© 2012 K. R. Smith

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Elly's Latest W.U Hstry Post



Ellora Bennett has a new post on the Winchester University History Students Blog:




© 2012 K. R. Smith

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Writing Challenge - Five Sentence Fiction - Potions



This week's writing challenge from Five Sentence Fiction ( Lillie McFerrin Writes ) is based upon the prompt "potions." . And again, I go down the path of horror (with a bit of humor) for my submission.



A Dinner He Loved




Mileva felt so terribly guilty as the young woman had recently visited begging help for her troubled marriage. The desperate newlywed was not a great beauty, nor particularly graceful or clever, nor, for that matter, skilled in any of the usual domestic arts. All the dear girl wanted was something to make her cooking irresistible to her husband giving their tenuous relationship a chance. And that, of course, was the purpose of the elixir, painstakingly prepared by Mileva, a few drops of which were to be incorporated within his evening meal. She had no idea the poor child would be so unfortunately clumsy as to spill half the bottle on herself.



The image used above the story text on this page is courtesy of openwalls.com


© 2012 K. R. Smith

Friday, October 19, 2012

FSF Challenge - Flawed



While checking out a few writer's blogs the other day, I stumbled upon one with a writing challenge called Lillie McFerrin Writes. This particular challenge was to write a five-sentence story using the word "flawed" as an inspiration for the theme. I decided try give it a try, and being a more of a horror/science fiction writer, took that bent. I even used the picture of the dead tree on her page as inspiration, although that doesn't seem to be a prerequisite. I placed a "dead tree" picture from FreeDigitalPhotos.net on my post since I wasn't sure about the rights for the image on Lillie's page. My "submission" follows:



Circle of Life


Image courtesy of porbital / FreeDigitalPhotos.net



It was deemed to be absolutely safe, this new biological control being applied to an oak growing on the laboratory testing grounds. The genetically modified fungus would attack the invasive insect destroying the tree, devouring the soft internal structures of their bodies as it multiplied within, and spread relentlessly until not a single one remained, all the while allowing other insects, the beneficial ones, to thrive. And it did precisely that as the scientists and businessmen congratulated themselves upon their imminent victory over their vile, six-legged adversary. After some time, however, the tree itself died, and some time beyond that, and well past the first shipping date for the wondrous new insecticide, before anyone took notice. And then the small bush next to the tree, it also perished, along with the grass around the tree, and even the weeds, all within an ever-expanding fairy-ring of death.


Note: I've had to rearrange a few commas since my original posting. What can I say? It's a hobby...


The image of the dead tree used above the story text on this page is  courtesy of porbital / FreeDigitalPhotos.net


© 2012 K. R. Smith

Thursday, October 18, 2012

How Incredibly Exciting!



I've finally gotten around to updating the favicon for this blog. It's nothing more than the letter "K" in red on a white field using the Matura MT Script Capitals font. How original.


My new favicon for this blog
My new favicon for this blog


I know this is incredibly exciting, but try to control yourself. Please contact emergency services if you start to have heart palpitations.

Yes, that's the big news for today...

At least it's more personal than the standard Blogger icon.


© 2012 K. R. Smith

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Elly's Feeling Guilty



And for good reason...




We know that you'll get back into it once things settle down (she's starting a new semester at "Uni").

BTW, this is the link to her Blogger blog.


© 2012 K. R. Smith

October 2012: Project Update - Poetry Submission



This is an update to the post October 2012: Project - Poetry Submission.

I had emailed Scarlett River Press about the rights they were purchasing for their poetry collection ( In Darkness Dwells ~ A Macabre Collection of Poetry ) and they did respond!



From: Jo-Anne Russell ScarlettRiverPress@reborn.com

Image of Jo-Anne Russell of Scarlet River Press






Rights
 
This use of the Work by the Publisher entails the assignment of First Worldwide Anthology Rights, (Electronic and / or Print,) for publication in the English language anywhere in the world for a period of six months, when exclusivity ends, and nonexclusive rights commence.

 Thank you for writing.

 Jo-Anne Russell



This doesn't get me any closer to being accepted, and I do want to rework the poem (that I had originally considered finished), but at least I now know what I'm getting into. And so does anyone else considering a submission...

Thank you, Jo-Anne, for your reply!


© 2012 K. R. Smith

Monday, October 15, 2012

Projects Update



I have three short-term projects going right now - well, maybe two and a half...

I'm about 90% done my "Werewolves In Space" short story, so it won't be too much longer before it is submitted. In truth, the story only has one werewolf, so I guess I should change this to "Werewolf In Space." In any event, the real title will be "Going Home". I still can't believe I'm writing this. I was just reading an article, however, that says writing outside you're comfort zone keeps you fresh. After this, I couldn't get much fresher.



Image of werewolf and moon



My second project, to be submitted for Tales of the Undead - Suffer Eternal at Horrified Press, still has a way to go. It may be 50% complete. But the deadline is in February 2013, so not to worry. My submission will be called "Final Judgment". I did notice that they are posting an advance acceptance list that has five entries already - they didn't say how many they want, or even if they have a limit.

I'm not sure about my last project. I've emailed Scarlett River Press asking them what rights they are "purchasing," but I haven't received a reply. I'm not sure I want to proceed if they don't. Not that what I submit would be so earth-shattering, but I like to do business with people that state exactly what the details of the transaction are to be.

I also need to do some reviews on Goodreads. I haven't updated those as quickly as I'd like.

Another task I have in mind is to set up a Google Docs spreadsheet to track submissions and have it be accessible from this blog. We'll see.

Yes, I have some work to do...


© 2012 K. R. Smith

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

October 2012: Project - Poetry Submission



I've found another one - and I already have an unpublished poem ready...



Image of pen and paper from www.freedigitalphotos.net



This project is from Scarlett River Press:



In Darkness Dwells ~ A Macabre Collection of Poetry

Deadline ~ January 31st, 2013

It matters not what hides behind the eyes, as long as it remains separate from the soul. Deep within us all, in our darkest place, dwells secrets we would rather keep hidden. Bring forth your monsters of the mind, and bask in the strange, the beautiful, the dark, and the macabre, as those secrets scorch minds and ooze down the pages of "In Darkness Dwells."

Format:

No more than 40 lines, any poetry style, size 12 font.
Must be dark! Cross some lines if you must, and give us your best.
Up to five poems per author.
No reprints! New works only.

Payment:

By line, one electronic copy, and one paperback copy, or $5.00 without paperback copy. (Per author, not poem.)

Send your submissions to: ScarlettRiverPress@reborn.com.

In the subject line please put: Poetry_your first poem title_last name.

Please attach your submissions. Do not put them in the body of the email.

Dig deep, and share your dark side.


Note: Image shown in this post was downloaded from www.freedigitalphotos.net

© 2012 K. R. Smith

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Another Tweet: Quote Of The Day



I also happened to see this while checking out what was going on with Twitter:




This could be the subject of a very interesting story... either fiction or non-fiction!


© 2012 K. R. Smith

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Even Big-Time Authors Have Problems!



I happened on this article by chance, and being that it is about my Mother's favorite author, had to pass it along.




Interesting story!


© 2012 K. R. Smith

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

September 2012: New Projects



It's been a while since I've put anything out here, so I thought I should make some sort of update to the blog. And although I've been quite busy, most of it hasn't been with writing.

But I've found a couple of projects that interest me by checking out the Horror Tree web site.






#1 The Were-Traveler       "Don't be afraid, dearie, it's just a story."

When I first saw this, I thought, "Werewolves in space? They've got to be joking." Then I re-read the request, thought about it some more, and said, "They've really got to be joking."

At that point, of course, it became a challenge. So I have a story started, even though I don't really care for werewolf stories, and will submit it for publication. We'll see what happens...

Please don't laugh.

From the Were-Traveler web site:

The Were-Traveler: Big Bad Wolf in a Big Bad Universe

Drabble, Micro, Flash and Short (up to 2000 words). Deadline December 20ish. Where the crazy idea for this e-zine originally came from: a story in my head that is yet to be written. We’ll see what you can do with it. Accepting submissions for drabbles, micro, flash and short stories 2K or less on the following themes:

Lone Werewolf traveling. On the road. The man-beast (or woman-beast) with an itinerary. Werewolf or werewolves in space. I would LOVE a science fiction/horror werewolf story.

Their Duotrope page



#2 Tales of the Undead

Suffer Eternal, is open for submissions

From the Horrified Press website (WordPress Blog):

Eternal life, what does it mean to live forever? What is the cost of such a prize, and is it worth the price?

The scope of such a topic brings forth boundless notions for the budding author. Tales of the undead, and those who cheat the reaper give hope to a readership, or can just as easily take it away.

I want stories of Eternal life. Give me deals with the devil, illegal experiments, and mysterious miracles. Zombies, Vampires, and Spirits are welcome. Make them dark, make them decadent, make them scary – these should be the kind of stories that wouldn’t usually see daylight.

No taboos, just let your imagination run wild.

Dark fairy tales, bizarre, horror, surrealism, dark science-fiction are all cool here.

Submission guidelines:

Deadline for submissions  February 20, 2013.

Word Count: 1,000  3,000 words.




Just to let you know, there isn't any money involved here, just glory. And, no, I won't be writing any zombie stories. I'll keep you posted.


© 2012 K. R. Smith

Monday, September 10, 2012

More News From Around The World



I've been a bit busy these last few weeks, but I thought I'd put a quick post out to keep everyone up on the news from the writers I follow.



First of all, Terri Deno has a new short story, Second Shadow, published in Luna Station Quarterly, a magazine focused on speculative fiction written by up and coming women authors. To check it out, you can click on one of the links here or go to their web site and find it in Issue 11.




If you like stories that are a little bit on the dark side, please give it a read.

You can find Terri's blog here: Truths of a Shy Writer



Not last (because I had to update this post!), and not least, Ellora Bennett has a new post on the Winchester University History Student's Blog. Her latest post is on Henry IV. This is what she does when she's not writing one of her fantasy novels.


Wikimedia Commons image of the coronation of Henry IV
U.S. public domain image of
the coronation of Henry IV


You can find Elly's blog here: Ellora Bennett. Fantasy Writer.



Now, finally! Sara Lundberg has a story included in a new horror anthology available on Amazon for $5.99 USD! It's called Shadows of the Mind. Here's a partial cover shot:





Since I'm a fan of horror, and it just so happened that I needed a new book to read, I've bought a copy which now resides on my Kindle. I'll read it and let you know what I think.

You can find Sara's blog here: Prospective Writer


© 2012 K. R. Smith

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Giveaway: Bethanne Strasser's Book



If you're quick, you still have time to enter a giveaway for a free book, Bethanne Strasser's For Love or Duty.

Image of cover of Bethanne Strasser's book For Love or Duty


You only have until September 2, 2012, so check out the link and enter! You can't beat the price...


© 2012 K. R. Smith

Monday, August 20, 2012

Terri Deno Breaks Internet: Film At Eleven





No, Terri, I got the Goodreads "over capacity" message, too. But just to make sure, maybe you should stay out of there for a while...

(So I can get in, of course!)


© 2012 K. R. Smith

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Book Review: Edge Of Dark Water



Cover image - Edge of Dark Water by Joe R. LansdaleEdge of Dark Water by Joe R. Lansdale

My rating: 4 of 5 stars







This book surprised me a bit. After reading some of the reviews and the blurb (I won’t copy it here – it’s available elsewhere), I wasn't really sure what to expect or if I'd like it. But I needed something to read and I was curious how this story could work. It only took a few pages before I got the feel of the story and knew it would be interesting.

When I read a book, one of the criteria I use to determine if I like it is whether I can picture the scenes and the characters as vividly in my mind as I could see them in a movie. With Edge of Dark Water, I had no problem. Perhaps because I’ve lived with people not too different from some of the characters and spent time in places at least somewhat similar to those described in the book, I can identify with the story more than some. In any case, it’s easy to like a heroine like Sue Ellen. She’s strong, but approachable, dealing with the situations she’s in as best as she can.

There are times when the speech can be as overdone as a catfish that’s been on the fire for a week, but most of time it works, and adds to the humor in the story. It’s hard to image how a story with a number of rather gruesome scenes can be funny, but it often is, and even at the same time. If a book written in dialect doesn’t work for you, this won’t be enjoyable. As for me, after reading the book, I just started talking a bit more slowly, had an urge for cornbread, and got real uneasy whenever I saw a small-town law enforcement officer nosing about.

Some of the scenes and situations may not be appropriate for young children, but other than that, it works for a large audience.

The story is more of an adventure than a mystery, but it does have elements of both. If you’re looking for a deep investigative mystery however (police procedural), this isn’t your best choice.

I’ve read in some of the other reviews that some feel this isn’t the author’s best work. That tempts me to read another of Lansdale’s books to see if that’s true. If it is, then his other books are very good. I would have given this book 4.5 stars if I could.


View all my reviews



© 2012 K. R. Smith

Welcome, Sara!



My first "official" follower.

I wish Blogger used some other word than follower. It doesn't really sound that flattering. Perhaps something like associate, member, or supporter. I'll have to put in a suggestion.

I hope to have posts interesting enough to make your efforts worthwhile. There are a few in the works, but my day job keeps interfering.

Speaking of which, I'd better get back to it...


© 2012 K. R. Smith

Monday, August 13, 2012

Book Review: Oracle by J.C. Martin



I just completed reading Oracle and put a brief comment out on Goodreads... It's a detective story based in London during the Olympics. I tend to like mysteries (if a good horror story isn't available), especially if they take place in England, so I thought I'd give it a read. Not bad! It has a good bit of action, so if you like that sort of thing, you may like this, too.

I was torn between 3.5 and 4 stars, so I rounded up. Well, they wouldn't let me do 3.5 stars anyway.



Cover image - Oracle by J. C. MartinOracle by J.C. Martin

My rating: 4 of 5 stars






Overall, it was a good book. Some of the descriptions concerning sex seemed a little overdone and didn't add to the story (having them in there wasn't the problem, they just went further than needed). And there were some parts that were predictable, but enough of it wasn't that it was fun to read.

The pace really seems to pick up about 1/3 of the way through, so if you're having concerns before that, try to get that far and you'll probably want to finish.

If J.C. Martin writes another book, I would consider reading it.


View all my reviews


© 2012 K. R. Smith

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Terri Deno Has Published A Poem On "Full OF Crow"



Terri Deno has new a poem, Tuesday Morning Hangover, published on the Full Of Crow poetry web site, July 2012 issue.

Image from Full Of Crow web site


You can read it by clicking HERE!

You can also visit Terri's blog, Truths of a Shy Writer.


© 2012 K. R. Smith

Monday, August 6, 2012

News From Around The World



I thought I'd put a quick post out here to let you know what's going on with some other writers.



Bethanne Strasser has put her book, For Love or Duty, on sale at Amazon (Kindle Edition) for just $0.99. If you thought you might like to buy it, but didn't want to spend much for a book from a new author, here's your chance. You can't go wrong for $0.99! I don't know how long she'll keep it at this price.


Cover image - For Love or Duty by Bethanne Strasser
For Love or Duty
by Bethanne Strasser


Click here to go to directly to her book on Amazon: For Love or Duty (Kindle Edition)



Ellora Bennett is participating in Camp NaNoWriMo and has over 7,000 words in her novel, Silverwood. She says there are elves in the story. She may not let anyone read the finish product, but I'll take her word for it.

You can track her by clicking on this link: Phaix at Camp NaNoWriMo

Here's her latest stats (click on it to get a bigger image):

Ellora's Camp NaNoWriMo Stats 8/7/2012
Ellora Bennett's Camp NaNoWriMo Stats
( click on it for a bigger image )

Only 43,000 more words to go!


© 2012 K. R. Smith

Monday, July 30, 2012

Summer Quote



Image, Oscar Wilde, public domain from Wikipedia
Oscar Wilde

I was working on the proof of one of my poems all the morning, and took out a comma. In the afternoon I put it back again.

      Oscar Wilde



I have a couple of poems that are giving me the same problem...


© 2012 K. R. Smith

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Reluctantly, Part II



Since my initial effort at writing based upon a generated first wasn't too bad (even though I borrowed the line from Elly), I decided to try another. To make things a little more interesting, instead of using it to begin a new story, I thought I might add to my first story, making a "Part II," using a second "first" line.

So, during my ride home on the Metro, I pulled out my phone, browsed to Elly's blog, and tapped on the link for the First Line Generator. This is what I got:


Browser image of random first line generator on phone
My next first line reads, "She hadn't meant to take so long."

It couldn't have been better if I'd written it myself. It fits right in with where I'd left off!

Now, I set aside my next 10 minutes (or 11, in my case) to write Part II...



Part II

She hadn't meant to take so long. She just wanted to grab a quick cigarette before the boss came back. It wasn't good to keep a customer waiting, especially a new one, what with tips being as scarce as they were these days.

Kristy did a minimal hand wash, then grabbed a menu. As she walked down the counter, she hunted for a pen in her pocket to write the order. It wasn't until she was right in front of him, laying the menu on the counter, that she looked up.

"Can I get you something to..." she said, stopping mid-sentence.

Frank looked back, his eyes squinting slightly. The only sound was the rattle of the fan in the window air conditioner as they stared at each other for a moment.

"Uh, something to drink?" she added hesitantly.

"Do you have iced tea?" Frank replied without blinking or looking away from Kristy's face.

Kristy seemed almost startled that there was an answer.

"Sweetened or unsweetened?"

"Sweet."

Kristy turned slowly towards the back of the counter, picked up a glass, and filled it with ice. She knew that face. She was sure of it. She grabbed a pitcher from the refrigerator and filled the glass, her hand shaking a little. She carried it with both hands and set it in front of Frank.

"Unless you know what you want, I'll give you a minute to look over the menu."

Frank pulled the menu toward him, still looking at Kristy.

"Oh, and we're out of meatloaf."

Frank opened the menu, eventually looking down at it without interest. What was it about her that seemed so familiar? His eyes scanned the menu, but the words didn't register.



Well, that's as far as I could get in my allotted time. There are a few words I'd probably change, and it might be good to add a bit more to it. Remember, this is a first draft, so there's always a little polishing that could be done. I'm hoping the story shows a bit of tension building.

I did go back and make one change - I spelled Kristy's name wrong in one place. Hey, it has more than four letters, so it's a hard word for me.

I'm wondering if I should try for a third segment of the story based on the First Line Generator's suggestions. I'm not sure I'd get one that would fit into the story so easily, but it might be fun. Or blow the story all to bits.

If you have any thoughts on this, let me know!


© 2012 K. R. Smith

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Reluctantly, He Handed Over The Key



Okay, Elly I accept your challenge. No, you really didn't make a challenge, but I accept it anyway...

On Ellora Bennett's blog, she did a ten-minute exercise in writing. I thought I'd try the same thing, although I took at least eleven minutes because I type so slowly...

It all begins with a random phrase, in this case: Reluctantly, he handed over the key. From there, you write a little part of a story using that as a catalyst. Here's what I came up with...



Reluctantly, he handed over the key.

"I guess I'm stuck here for a while," Frank said without a smile.

"You're lucky we had an alternator for your car. We can't carry a whole lot of spares in a small shop like this. And the nearest dealer is about 60 miles from here."

"I suppose. It's just that I was hoping to make Flagstaff tonight."

"Well, you still might. Won't take too long to put it in," replied the mechanic looking back into the bay.

"Thanks."

"You know, there's a little diner just down the street. It's as good of a place as any to wait. Not much else in this town to do."

Frank nodded, and then looked down the street to a small sign that read, "Good Eats". If anything promised a gastronomic delight, that wouldn't be it.

As he walked, he noticed all the old buildings. No, there wasn't much else in this town. Hardly any traffic to speak of. Some of the shops were closed, and all the stores had windows covered with the desert's yellow dust. The heat rolled up from the pavement, right through his shoes, making him hope the diner at least had air conditioning and something wet and cold.

He opened the door and walked in, spying a few customers scattered in the booths. He took a seat at the counter and looked around for a waitress. He felt the eyes of the other customers watching him. They must not get too many visitors here, he thought.

After a minute or so, a woman came out of the back, tall and thin, wearing a white uniform, and shouted to him, "Be right with you."

He wasn't sure why, but she seemed oddly familiar. He couldn't imagine how. He had never been in this town before, and the longer he looked at her, the more he wished he wasn't there now.



Okay, it's not as exciting as Elly's, but it could still work into something more. Maybe you can give it a try yourself!


© 2012 K. R. Smith

Friday, July 20, 2012

Camp NaNoWriMo



For those of you into insomnia, Camp NaNoWriMo is re-opening soon!




In truth, it opened up once for the month of June, but if you missed that, you can jump in for the second session starting August 1st to make your feeble attempt at writing a 50,000 word novel in 30 days.

I'm not entirely convinced about the usefulness of these sorts of events, but many people like them and it does give one a sense of accomplishment it they succeed. And there's no real down-side if you don't. Sometimes things happen, and even dedicated writers can have other priorities sneak into their schedule. I can also see how it could allow one to get a basic novel down so it can be polished up a bit later. If you have any thoughts on this, or just want to tell everyone about your progress (or lack thereof), please post a comment letting everyone know!

I'm going to follow a few folks who have entered (like you, Elly...) and see how they do.

For everyone else, don't worry if you miss out on this one, too. There's always National Novel Writing Month in November!

Good luck! And you might want to stock up on coffee...


© 2012 K. R. Smith

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

The Strasser Syndrome



I had planned to set aside some time during the next few weeks to work on a few of the stories I've been neglecting and perhaps put the final touches on a poem that I wish to use in a guest blog post. This may not work out as I'd hoped.

A few days ago, I pulled out the laptop and started it up. Up to a point, that is...

I noticed I got a pretty background and a mouse pointer that responded quite nicely to any mouse movements, but there was nothing to click on. I tried booting again, several times in fact, with irritatingly consistent results.

I tried to restore from the restore partition, but nothing changed.

I tried to reload from the initial system backup, but the outcome was the same.

Eventually, I found the diagnostics and ran them. Everything checked out properly - except the hard drive, which was what I had feared. It had failed.


Failed hard drive
The hard drive the died...

I have all of my data, of course. It's backed up in three different places, so that isn't a concern, but this was the only computer with Office 10 installed, and some of the files were in the new Office 10 format (.docx). Yes, they can be converted, but I didn't want to hunt for any formatting inconsistencies and such.

If you've read Bethanne Strasser's blog, you may remember that she recently had a problem with her laptop computer right when she was trying to finish up a project. She was coming up on her book release when her's quit. I didn't have any hard deadlines, but I did want to get back to work on these projects. So my inner voices, Ego-Master and Id-Boy, began a conversation on what to do next.



Scenario: Id-Boy spots a problem with the main computer bank (aka, the laptop) and calls upon Ego-Master for help.

"Sir, we've had a system failure of some sort. I can't get to the files!"

"Relax, son," replied Ego-Master. "We'll work our way through this."

"See, sir. The computer won't respond!"

"Doesn't look good," said Ego-Master as he stared at the monitor. "Not good at all."

"But, sir, we're almost out of time before vacation. What will we do?"

"You want to do some writing during your vacation, son? Well, we don't need no stinking computer to do some writing!"

"How is that possible, sir?"

"You got some paper? You got a pencil?"

"Yes, sir."

"That's all you need, son."

"You mean, manually write the words?" asked Id-Boy sounding incredulous. "I - I've heard of that, sir. You know, from the history books. But I never thought I'd really have to do that sort of thing!"

"It's easy, son. And once the laptop is fixed, you just type the words in."

"But, sir, what about spell check? I need my spell check! And a thesaurus! They'll all be gone!"

"Snap out of it, boy! By God, I won't have this! If some girly little romance writer can handle it, so can you!"

Id-Boy bowed his head and responded meekly, "Yes, sir. Sorry, sir. It won't happen again."

"Besides, when you finally do type it in, you'll have your spell check back in working order."

"Yes, sir. I'll do my best."

"In the mean time, I'll order a new hard drive. It should take less than a week to get here."

"A week?"

"I'm not paying for that express shipping, boy! Good God, that costs more than the drive!"

"Sorry, sir. It just seems like forever. How long can one of these pencil things last?"

"A long time, son. A long time. I'll even show you how to sharpen it."

"Sharpen it? Isn't that dangerous, sir?

"Ha!" laughed Ego-Master, leaning back with his hands on his hips. "Depends on what you write!"

"You've been through this before haven't you, sir?"

"Yes, my boy, I have. It's been a while, but you never forget. Never. There's even a name for that horrible feeling you get when there's writing to be done and the hardware lets you down."

"A name, sir?"

"Yes," said Ego-Master, putting his hand on Id-Boy's shoulder and looking off into the distance. "It's called the Strasser Syndrome."



Yes, I know this was supposed to be a more serious blog, but the circumstances at hand seem to be preventing that.


© 2012 K. R. Smith