Wednesday, December 13, 2017

The Dickens You Say!


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


It's getting close to Christmas which means all those traditional Christmas stories are starting to make the rounds. My favorite is A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. I try to see a version of it every year.

This year was special. Marie (my better half) and I were fortunate enough to get tickets to see Gerald Charles Dickens, the great-great grandson of Charles Dickens, perform the story live. The one-man-show took place in the old Ebenezer Baptist Church in the little town of Occoquan, Virginia (not the current EBC facility in Woodbridge, Virginia).

Historic marker for Ebenezer Baptist Church, Occoquan, VA.
Historic marker for Ebenezer Baptist Church, Occoquan, VA.

The church is not large, but Gerald does two shows the same day to accommodate as many people as possible. The shows are sold out months ahead of time.

The performance lasts nearly 90 minutes, and the audience is encouraged to participate. Many of those in attendance had seen the show several times and knew when to pipe in. Gerald changes voices and demeanor for each character, so even those not entirely familiar with the story would have little difficulty following along. Once the show was over, Gerald waited at the exit to the church to shake hands with the audience and wish them a 'Merry Christmas.'

Afterwards, many walk up the street to The Golden Goose where autographs and pictures may be had (for free). The Golden Goose is a Christmas shop with every sort of decoration imaginable on display. I had a small copy of A Christmas Carol and the flyer for the play which Gerald signed.


Autographed flyer for Gerald Charles Dickens one-man version of A Christmas Carol
Autographed flyer for A Christmas Carol

Marie had an illustrated version of the story and a flyer to be signed. And we took several pictures, of course. While no pictures or other recordings are allowed during the show, he more than makes up for it afterward! He was very accommodating and never rushed anyone, often signing multiple copies of books and allowing many pictures by each person or group to be taken during the autograph session.


Gerald Charles Dickens signing Marie's book
Gerald Charles Dickens signing Marie's book

Mr. Dickens posing with us for a picture
Mr. Dickens posing with us for a picture

We thought the show was great and are hoping to attend again next year. We must remind ourselves to mark the calendar, however, as the tickets sell out so quickly! Please note that Gerald does shows around the country (and also in England) so you don't have to be in Virginia to see him. If you enjoy the story and happen to be near where one Gerald's performances take place, consider seeing it for yourself. I think you'll find it enjoyable!

In addition to his web sites, you can find Gerald Charles Dickens on Twitter at @DickensShows.



P.S. It would be great if you could check out Terri Deno's Patreon site and, perhaps, consider supporting her writing efforts! Struggling authors need all the help they can get!


© 2017 K. R. Smith All rights reserved

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

I Think I'm Being Taled


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


Yes, the title of this blog post is so bad, and yet so true.

I noticed the other day I have stories in three anthologies with the word TALES in the title. Coincidence? Perhaps. It wouldn't seem so odd if I had stories in fifty or a hundred anthologies, but I only have entries in eleven published collections. Must be a statistical anomaly.

The latest is Tales by the Tree from BHC Press. If you're looking for an entertaining bunch of short stories for the holidays, this is the book! My story is The Last Snowfall. It's about a young girl trying to deliver a special Christmas gift for her mother—only she hasn't much time!

BHC Press was good enough to Tweet a link to an excerpt from my story, The Last Snowfall, published in the holiday-themed anthology Tales by the Tree! Thanks!


The next anthology is Dead Men's Tales from Fringeworks Press. My contribution is called Skarett's Treasure. This is a ghost/pirate story concerning a young man, Thomas, who becomes a pirate—somewhat unwillingly—to win the heart of a beautiful woman. You might find this story a bit hard to swallow. Then again, so does Thomas...


The final anthology is called Tales from the Bully Box published by Elephant Bookshelf Press. My story, One Above Zero, is about a girl who is the target of a bunch of bullies until one of the bullies sees the real problem. It's a good book for middle grade children.


That's all the tales I have for the moment. But check back from time to time—you never know when I might grow another tale!

(OK - I started with a bad pun, so I had to end with one.)



P.S. It would be great if you could check out Terri Deno's Patreon site and, perhaps, consider supporting her writing efforts! Struggling authors need all the help they can get!


© 2017 K. R. Smith All rights reserved