Tuesday, November 25, 2014

FSF Challenge - Irritation

Lillie McFerrin Writes
This week's writing challenge from
Five Sentence Fiction
Lillie McFerrin Writes ) is based upon the prompt:


What it’s all about: Five Sentence Fiction is about packing a powerful punch in a tiny fist. Each week Lillie posts one word for inspiration, then anyone wishing to participate will write a five sentence story based on the prompt word.

I have to have a little fun sometimes.... 

This is a follow-up on a FSF challenge written long ago and far away (which may be found HERE).

Strange Loop II

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

    Wendell pressed the button to execute the code to correct his own errant programming sending coordinated pulses of electromagnetic energy flowing through the matrix of coils and condensers that controlled his vessel. As it took effect, he could feel an unsettling temporal shift as his tumble through time slowed, finally coming to a stop. Once at rest, he looked at his monitor and saw nothing. He checked his instruments, and when he again saw nothing—and I mean absolutely nothing—he scrolled through the supposedly corrected code on his computer and found he had inadvertently entered three "shift and rotate" instructions instead of two, effectively obliterating the universe. Unimaginably irritated with his childish error, he pulled at his hair and said between clenched teeth, "I must be more careful next time," before realizing the sentence he spoke no longer had the slightest meaning.     

© 2012-2014 K. R. Smith All rights reserved

Friday, November 21, 2014

A Mention On Twitter

Miranda Kate listed me (@WOKRSmith) with a group of flash fictioneers to be followed on Twitter!

Thank you, Miranda!

Note: You can find Miranda HERE or HERE.

© 2012-2014 K. R. Smith All rights reserved

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Horror Bites #12 - Lemonade

Just a reminder: It's okay to leave comments!

From the Office Mango website:
Ok having been prompted a few times by certain folk (you know who you are people) about when then next challenge is, I finally caved, even though I’m in the midst of falling behind in NaNo.

So here is the next HorrorBites, hope you lot are happy I had to put my son in a box at B&Q. [the staff were a bit bemused and we didn't explain]

1:  Tales can be posted on your blogs & then just add to the wee linky tool, or add as a comment if you don’t have a blog.
2:  A word count of 200-350.
3:  Try to scare me, or at the very least create a little bit of darkness.
4:  This will be a fortnightly (two weeks) challenge from when the post goes live, so you’ve got plenty thinking time.

So come on what are you waiting for, go find your inner demons and get your scare on!

First of all, this is not a continuation of the Horror Bites #11 challenge. That may come later.


Prompt image from Office Mango site: http://www.officemango.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/kid-in-box.jpg

    "Look, I have a nursery to run. I can't spend all day answering questions."
    "I understand, Ma'am, but there have been a number of missing persons in the area and we found blood in your parking area."
    "Anyone could have stopped there. It's not closed off at night."
    "Perhaps. But we have to go where the evidence leads us."
    Lucretia looked over the officer's shoulder to see an arm dangling from one of the outdoor storage benches. Her assistant, Nathan, was supposed to take care of that. Good help, apparently, was hard to find. She grabbed the policeman, pulling him away.
    "You see these hydrangeas? They must be watered every day! I don't have time for this!"
    "Alright, Ma'am. But we may be back."
    "Fine. Whatever."
    Lucretia waited until the police got in their cars and drove away, then snagged Nathan as he walked by.
    "Imbecile! The police are all over the place and you leave body parts out in plain sight!"
    "Sorry. I didn't have time to grind it—"
    "I don't care! Get rid of it and make sure the grinder is cleaned and well hidden—"
    She was interrupted by her phone, which she answered unceremoniously.
    "Yes? What do you want?" She paused, then continued in an apologetic tone. "Yes. I'm terribly sorry. You need another batch of liquid fertilizer? I doubt I have enough in stock."
    Lucretia started to check the inventory report on her clipboard when she noticed Nathan standing uselessly beside her. She covered the phone and said, "Well? Go and do as you were told!" She shook her head as she watched Nathan amble over to the bench to address his earlier indiscretion. "And they say when life gives you lemons, make lemonade."
    In a moment of enlightenment, she muttered, "Exactly!" As her eyes continued to follow Nathan, the grin on Lucretia's face widened. Returning her attention to the phone, she said, "I don't think there will be a problem. It appears another shipment has just arrived."

334 words without the title... 

Previous Horror Bites challenges: 

Bad Hair Day (#11)
Cross Words (#10)
The Door (#9)
Wrapped in a Mystery (#8)
If The Shoe Fits (#7)
You Won't Feel A Thing (#6)
The Wings of Death (#5)

© 2012-2014 K. R. Smith All rights reserved

Friday, November 7, 2014

Tales for the Bully Box Now Available!

Tales from the Bully Box, the anti-bullying anthology with my story One Above Zero is now available on Amazon!

Book cover for Tales from the Bully Box

To purchase, follow these Amazon links
Tales from the Bully Box (US Kindle)

Tales from the Bully Box (US Paperback)

Tales from the Bully Box (UK Kindle)

Tales from the Bully Box (UK Paperback)

Here's the blurb posted on Amazon:
Book Description

Publication Date: November 4, 2014  | Age Level: 8 - 14
Bullying stinks, but knowing what to do about it can make things better. In Tales from the Bully Box, you will find short stories about kids just like you. They get bullied, and sometimes they even bully. But most of the time, they are bystanders who have to figure out what to do when they witness the bullying all around them.

In "Hailey’s Shooting Star," one-handed Hailey proves her worth on the basketball court and as a friend. In "The Eyes on the Back of My Head," you’ll get to stare straight into Mike Mansky’s soul with a pair of super-secret laser eyes. Filled with stories that take readers on a journey from the classroom to summer camp and the basketball court to the mall, Tales from the Bully Box inspires kids to be the best friends they can be.

This is very different from the stories I usually write. It's also for a younger audience, and that took some adjustment. I'll have to see what sort of feedback I get before I decide if I should write again for this demographic. It was fun, though, and it's probably good that I wrote this, even if I never write another of this type.

My story, One Above Zero, is about a girl who is bullied because of health problems that alter her appearance. They're not huge changes, but for kids of this age group, differences are magnified. And sometimes people are hurtful even when they don't intend to be.

If you're interested in the book and its subject, you can learn more on The Bully Box website. And remember, the authors of this anthology have donated their efforts to this cause. We are not promoting this for monetary gain.

© 2012-2014 K. R. Smith All rights reserved

Thursday, November 6, 2014

FSF Challenge - Envy

Lillie McFerrin Writes
This week's writing challenge from
Five Sentence Fiction
Lillie McFerrin Writes ) is based upon the prompt:


What it’s all about: Five Sentence Fiction is about packing a powerful punch in a tiny fist. Each week Lillie posts one word for inspiration, then anyone wishing to participate will write a five sentence story based on the prompt word.

The dark innocence of a child...

The Color of Resentment
    Tabitha tugged at her mother's dress and said, "I wish I had a pretty pin to wear like Sarah, but I never get anything nice like she has."
    "Hush, child, and try not to draw attention to yourself."
    She gazed at the golden star on Sarah's coat, barely able to control the urge to steal it for herself.

    As Tabitha's mother pulled her into the shadows, she glanced back and pouted, "Sarah must think she's so special. She even gets to ride the train for free."

© 2012-2014 K. R. Smith All rights reserved

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Beneath the Old Oak Giveaway

Lisa Shambrook is hosting a giveaway for her new book, Beneath the Old Oak. I already have a copy (I began reading it this morning), so I don't need one. But you do! Hop over to her blog and check it out!

Beneath the Old Oak is released today (see previous post to see all its design elements and read a free sample)…and to celebrate I’m offering a signed paperback to one lucky reader!

Image advertising Beneath the Old Oak Giveaway

Pop over to my Facebook Author Page and Comment, Like and Share the post to have a chance of winning…Meg’s old oak tree is her solace, all you need to do is comment on the Facebook photo telling us your favourite tree and a signed copy could be winging its way to you!

To win you must comment on the original photo on my Facebook Page

The Giveaway is open internationally and until Wednesday 12th November 2014.

Beneath the Old Oak by Lisa Shambrook is available now in eBook Amazon UK Amazon US and paperback Amazon UK Amazon US.


© 2012-2014 K. R. Smith All rights reserved except for those owned by Lisa Shambrook, which is most everything on this post...

Monday, November 3, 2014

Artsy Weekend

I had a busy weekend! Not writing, but relaxing.

I attended two shows: The Fleetwood Mac concert at Verizon Center on Friday and the musical play Little Dancer at the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts on Saturday.

Fleetwood Mac

This is their first tour since Christine McVie rejoined the band, so I wanted to see them. They have a few years on them, so you never know if you'll get another chance. I snapped a few pictures with my old camera phone, but they don't show much.

Image of Stevie Nicks doing Landslide - Verizon Center - 2014 10 31
Stevie Nicks

Image of Lindsey Buckingham at Verizon Center - 10/31/2014
Lindsey Buckingham

Image Fleetwood Mac concert at closing - Verizon Center - 10/31/2014
At closing - Christine McVie sitting at keyboard on left

I have to say, they sounded better than the last time I saw them. That's been a while, and Christine McVie was not with them for that concert. And Christine sounded stronger than when I heard her before and I can't even remember how long ago that was. Not bad for someone in their seventies. Perhaps the hiatus was good for her.

When they first started, the sound was a little muddied—something I've noticed during other concerts at the Verizon Center. The sound seemed to be better during the last half of the concert as if the sound crew did a little tuning as things progressed. Still, the Verizon Center is not the best place to listen to music. (Works great for hockey games...)

The songs selected were all of the Fleetwood Mac standards—The Chain, Dreams, Go your Own Way, Landslide, etc., so there were no surprises. It was a good show, however, and especially so for the older Fleetwood Mac fans. Despite a lot of younger attendees, there was a definite "graying" of the crowd to which I must admit my own contribution.

The hall appeared to be sold out, or nearly so. Since they've already made plans to return here in a few months for another show, the DC area must be a successful venue for them. And I'm betting they'll sell out again.

Little Dancer

I saw this play at the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts. If you've never been to the Kennedy Center, there is a lot of white marble and gold paint. Some parts look like the world's biggest mausoleum.

Kennedy Center seen from the Potomac River, June 2010
By Tom (Own work) [CC-BY-3.0
via Wikimedia Commons
The play is about the dancer that became the model for Edgar Degas' sculpture La Petite Danseuse de Quatorze Ans (Little Dancer Aged Fourteen).  From the web site:

Part fact, part fiction, and set in the harsh backstage world of the Paris Opera Ballet, this world premiere Kennedy Center musical is inspired by the story of Marie van Goethem, a young ballerina who posed for Edgar Degas and became, inadvertently, the most famous dancer in the world. Torn by her family's poverty, her debt to the artist, and the lure of wealthy men, she struggles to keep her place in the corps de ballet--a girl on the verge of womanhood, caught between the conflicting demands of life and art.

Dancer sculpture by Degas at the Met
Edgar Degas [Public domain or CC-BY-2.0
via Wikimedia Commons

I had mixed feelings about the play. The actors, singers, and dancer did a great job, but many of the songs, while very nice, are not memorable. You probably won't be humming them a few days later was you might after seeing other musicals. The story makes the play worth seeing, but probably only once. If you like dance, it will satisfy you. There is a long dance number in the second act that would tax a marathon runner, yet the dancers in this group did it without appearing the slightest bit out of breath. The small orchestra gave a wonderful performance.

The play is tied to an exhibition at the National Gallery of Art where the original wax sculpture and other works of Degas will be displayed through January 11, 2015.

As a disclaimer, I wish to say that I am not a person who attends many plays or knows a lot about them. These are only my uneducated opinions.

© 2012-2014 K. R. Smith All rights reserved