Monday, June 30, 2014

Writing Process Chain letter post

Wow! Got my very first royalty check from 3 Fates Press for sales of 'Circuits & Steam'...considering it's an anthology, that's quite a bit...well, okay, it's pennies but it's something :-)

This post is actually part of a Writing Process chain letter, and I was tagged by Marian Allen, one third of 3 Fates Press ( so I'd better get to it!

My Writing Process...
Okay, maybe this'll help someone but I doubt it, it's quite boring, really.
1. I write up my ideas on the 'big' story and try to put them in some order
2. I draw up a diagram which includes all my characters, their actions, motivations, etc
3. From 2. comes a whole load of new ideas, so I have to redo No.2 (this stops once I get a whole story and I can then move on)
4. I start writing up the 'big' story
5. I read what I have and edit/add/subtract until I'm satisfied that's what I wanted when I started No.1.

Easy, really...yeah, right. It takes 3-12 months and it starts with the 'big' story idea. At the moment, I'm playing around with a few.

This is a chain letter, so I'd better tag a few people...3 is the required number...2 is too little, 4 is too much, 5 is WAY OUT...I guess I'd better tell them...

1: Jordan Bell (
2: Mathew W. Weaver (
3:  Tannis Laidlaw (

Good luck :-)

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Dani's Shorts 2 FREE on Amazon for 2 days

As the title says. For some reason, people only want to download things from Amazon, so 2 days for free there. I don't know why but Amazon Kindle won't let me give any other free promotions...must look into that later. Go get DS2 from Amazon for :-)
A new idea...yes and no. The problem is I can't think about anything for more than 5's my latest Weekend Quickie (42) on the Iron Writer website...
I wanted to do the 'firework' but Jordan beat me to it...I don't want to tread on anyone's toes but....maybe I'll try a firework one for 42 in my next collection...
So, new idea? Yes...and no. A continuation of 'How to'? (which you haven't read yet) Another 'Graham Reader'? (so easy...okay, maybe I'll do that :-))

Friday, June 27, 2014

TIW Summer Open Preliminaries...

Somehow I got into the Iron Writer Summer Eq Prelims :-) I got 2nd behind KA DaVur in that last Grudge match and I sneaked in...have already sent my story and it'll be up next Thursday, so please be sure to vote.
This time, anonymous judges will place each story in their brackets, and the popular vote (where you come in) will be 1/3 of the vote. It is still important to get a large popular vote, but hopefully the judges will mean that something 'good' will get through to the Summer Final, and not some crap which has been voted for by all someone's friends and I always try to write something 'good'. It would be a disgrace for me if I wrote something 'bad' or even worse, boring. My story has depth, jokes, and is connected to a classic'll see.
Other than that, not much going on...except Summer!! :-)

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Transition Period 2 : My take on Challenge 70

I haven't been posting much lately, I'm slowing down due to being 'published', I think. Nothing runs on the same timeframe as in self-publishing. I am, however, working on The Iron Writer Anthology 2013-2014.
Plus I've just had a go at Challenge 70...written from last evening's experience while looking at a house...

(Challenge 70 - demolition derby, light sabres, mud wrestling, roman candles)

For Better For Worse

The match was on, full blast, the large flat green screen glowing in one corner of their living room, her husband grinning and cheering in the other, beer can in dirty hand. He hadn't bothered to wash since coming back from his workplace, dumping himself down in his favourite chair and flicking on the television. The kids quietly played in the kitchen looking like they'd already suffered one scalding from their father.
"What you doing?"
"Eh? What does it look like? Watching the game!" He gulped down another mouthful of his cheap beer. "Got any snacks?"
"Unless you want some of the kids Cheerios, no. Where's the money?"
"Here." He patted his trouser pocket but showed no movement to give her any for the weekly shopping.
"I got food to get."
"Then get going. And buy some nuts, I want some nuts. And be quick!"
"But I can't shop without money."
He begrudingly handed over a wad of cash, barely enough. A long stare got his attention.
"I need more than that."
"I ain't got any more."
"What did you do, drink it away?"
"Don't you start!" One team scored in the match. "Yes!"
"I really don't know what I saw in you..."
His head slowly turned and his eyes narrowed, but a smile came over his face.
"I remember that night, the first time I saw you, mud wrestling with that buxom brunette cousin of yours. Ha, if it weren't for your sharp hawk-like features and flowing red hair I would've thought you were a man."
"You pig! I knew you'd had my cousin. She's always had an eye for you!"
"Then why did you go for me, huh? Huh?"
"...for your collection of Lego light sabres, that's what."
He laughed and spilled some beer on the worn out carpet.
"Yeah, not much of a choice was there, me and my manly charms or that Brett guy and his toys. That light weight poofter." He tried to grab her around the waist but missed. "Oh, and that first night, eh? There were some fireworks that night, eh?"
"More like cheap roman candles that fizzed out after a few seconds."
He went back to his match and beer.
"And what about the car?"
He was ignoring her now.
"The car! I need to use something to go shopping in! You said you'd sort it out this week!"
The other team scored, making it even.
"There's nothing wrong with the car, it runs like a dream. It's your driving that's the problem."
"Dream? A dream? I once had a dream...but now I don't have time to dream, always rushing around this house, cleaning up after you and the kids. That car is a wreck! It's only good for the demolition derby!"
"That's a great car, that is." He drank up his beer and watched the match.
"Now I've gotta use the bus."
"Whatever. Be quick. Remember the nuts. Oh, and get me some more beer."
The kids went with her.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Transition period (plus Challenge 68 take)

I think I'm going through a transition period. I'm not writing much, waiting for my new book to be published by someone else other than me and I feel like I'm in no man's land. I'm not impressed with my work on 'Torn', my new idea, and I'm waiting for the next to appear. I'm also continuously ill...
Anyway, here's my take on Challenge 68, it took a while to come out - a variation of Woolf's 'Mark on the Wall' :-)

Challenge 68 - The Hole in the Wall

(elements, rock, paper, scissors, shaving cream)

What exactly did we ever do in those school breaks, those thousands of endless breaks between lessons? It seems such a waste now, all that running around, playing football, picking on the weak kid, playing kiss chase, inventing some stupid game which involved a tennis ball and large empty wall, and basically talking rubbish throughout. Why didn’t we study, why didn’t we try to better ourselves when we had the chance? Why didn’t we listen when the teacher asked us to study for the test, do the project, or stop throwing paper at each other? Now look at us, stuck in deadend jobs, paying the bills, breeding more fodder for the system to chew on and spit out.
There was one teacher, I remember now, only one, who tried to wake us up. But one wasn’t enough. He gave us an opportunity to think, to have an opinion, to question things around us, both close to home and globally. No tests every other lesson, no punishment for late homework, only bad marks if we didn’t do right. He used to let us play, too, but in what he called an educational way. One game I really didn’t like back then was ’rock, paper, scissors’. What the hell was that all about? He told us it originated in China way back, and has been used to settle small trivial arguments ever since. I didn’t get it then and, as he always encouraged us to do, I questioned its logic. Sure, rock blunts scissors, and scissors cuts paper, but paper covers rock? No, I wasn’t having that. I even tried to show him that paper doesn’t stop a flying rock with a few ill fated experiments. His point was that it covered the rock. I then said you might as well cover it with shaving cream or some kind of foam, or a box, maybe. He said that a box was made of cardboard, which is paper, but he liked my idea of shaving cream. He opened it up to the class, that if paper changed to shaving cream, what could the other two objects be? Razor was easy as a substitute for scissors but the others got stumped on the rock. Looking at the teacher, it came to me in a flash. His face. The silence in the classroom was broken by the teacher’s laughter. Yes, razor scrapped away shaving cream, shaving cream covered his face, and his face blunted the razor. He gave me a good mark for that one, but he then asked me how I was going to represent them…that’s when the idea fell apart.
I wonder what ever became of that teacher? Last thing I heard was that he’d written a book and got it published, though I don’t think he was famous or anything. And what about all of us, the thinkers, the opinionated argumentatives? Menial jobs, most of us, but I did learn one thing. The pen is mightier than the sword. Paper covers rock.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

When TIWs get together - The Cat and the Monkey

As a writer I believe in living on the edge. I don't believe in sitting at my computer, waiting for inspiration, wondering where and when the next big idea will come from, what my latest work will be. I believe in writing. Today I saw a picture of a cat which reminded me of one I used to know. This sparked off a kind of 'duel relay' with my good 'young' buddy, Mathew W. Weaver who was the one who shared the picture on his facebook page. This relay can be seen on his page... have to get to the 1st comment, then read down. At first we took it easy, 4/5 words each, then we took half sentences, until the story was done! It's a rather strange little story, but worth the outing, and the reading.

Congrats to Mathew, for 3 hours of coming back with the goods! :-)

Herer's the same on his own blog...I think excellently presented :-)

The Cat and the Monkey (12 June 2013)

Mathew W. Weaver:shared Animal Advocates's photo.

True enough!

 Dani: There was this cat...

Mathew:... which lived all alone...

Dani: a little white...

Mathew:...doghouse. It's neighbor....
Dani: a grouchy, diseased and...

Mathew:...putrid monkey with a bad case of rabies....

Dani: ...loved to howl and screech...

Mathew:... at odd hours during the afternoon.
Dani: Well, this cat decided that...
Mathew:...enough was enough, and...
Dani: one odd moment when...
Mathew:... the monkey was having guests over....
Dani: ...he leapt up onto the fence which separated...
Mathew:...the garden from the swimming pool, and...

Dani: marked the area for all to smell. Unfortunately, the water...

Mathew:... formerly a beautiful shade of deep blue...

Dani: turned to a dirty shade of yellow.

Mathew:The monkey, in the process of...

Dani: creaming his butt for the infamous...

Mathew:... Cherished Chimpanzee maneuver, which also involved...

Dani: squeezing his testicles in a banana vice...

Mathew:... and yodeling in as high pitched a voice as possible...

Dani: ...stopped in his tracks when the guests noticed...

Mathew:... that there was now a palpable change in odor...

Dani: ...and an oily viscosity to the water,

Mathew:...accompanied by a faintly noxious cloud of green.

Dani: The way that monkey somersaulted...

Mathew:... with the poise and agility of a gymnast and...

Dani: hint of the 23 years in urethral sling surgery which blighted his blossoming career as...

Mathew:... an acrobatic pianist at the local circus, he...

Dani: ...could've won Gold at the local Prosthetic...

Mathew: ...Amazing Aeronautical Ape Competition, that also happened to feature...

Dani: ..the Stupendous Russian Poodles of Kiev and their...

Mathew:... lesser known counterparts, the Roaring Rottweilers of Romania.

Dani: With a flick and fling, the monkey landed...

Mathew:... with grandeur on the tiles beside the pool, but...

Dani: ...unbeknown to his little brain, the cat had already covered them with...

Mathew:... litty itty bits of hairballs that he had torn to pieces just so.

Dani: The monkey's guests looked on as their host suffered the most hilarious bout of chaetophobia...

Mathew:... as his legs scrambled wildly and yet he stayed in one place. His mouth open in a yodel of protest...

Dani: ...,to the surprise of all who were there to witness it,..

Mathew:... he managed to miraculously regain his balance. He grabbed the fence, and let out a sigh of relief. But that, however, was before...

Dani: ...the cat had enacted his "piece de resistance", the 'claws in...

Mathew:...extremely sensitive area' maneuver. The onlookers raised paws to their mouths as...

Dani: the sound of ripping flesh intruded on their as yet unperturbed sanity of mind.

Mathew:With a final shriek of defiance, the monkey lurched backwards...

Dani: ...,bananas and nuts filling the air, splashing into the yellow, viscous cloudlike pool, leaving the poor creature with nothing more than...

Mathew:...a tuft of hair around the back of his ears. Enraged at the loss of his once luxurious fur, he lunged...

Dani: ...towards the cat, tripped on his own Fatty Patty inflatable jumbo love doll he'd prepared for the second attraction of the day and...

Mathew:... landed on his now bare skinned belly. The momentum of that fall slid him backwards, limbs flaying, right into the pool. The splash...

Dani: of the thick yellow/green soup within the pool, unnaturally defying gravity as it slunk through the air, ...

Mathew:...splattered all onlookers, doused any and everything unprotected. The cat, untouched as a cat always is, leaped onto the fence once more to survey the damage. Satisfied that the task was done, he left, victorious and proud.



Dani: (bows)


Friday, June 6, 2014

Challenge 66 - Grudge 6

Yes, I was in this one...anonymous, well, it should have guy posted his story, and then there was mention of the collaboration in that team...etc,etc. I came 2nd, in the popular vote and got 1 judge vote, putting me...2nd.
Here's my story in better format than the website...:-)

(elements, written as a radio script, Rav Shaul, one character has a paper bag on their head, include all processes of beer brewing without mentioning beer.)


1        SFX                    TWO PAIRS OF FOOTSTEPS WALK TOWARDS
2                                   EACH OTHER, SOUND OF A PAPER BAG
3                                   RUSTLING AND A COUGH FROM WITHIN. ONE
4                                   PAIR OF FOOTSTEPS STOPS.
5     TED:                  Shalom.
6        SFX                   VOICE OF RAV COMES FROM UNDER
7                                  A PAPER BAG.
8     RAV:                  Shalom.
9     TED:                  Err, Hi. My name's Ted. Who are you?
10       SFX                  SECOND PAIR OF FOOTSTEPS STOPS.
11    RAV:                 Rav. Rav Shaul.
12    TED:                  Who?
13    RAV:                 Rav Shaul, you know?
14    TED:                  Shaul? Oh, Rav Shaul! You're a Gentile!
15    RAV:                 Yes…what? No, that's a misunderstanding, I'm a Natsari Jew!
16    TED:                  Yeah, right, Rav. Pull the other one. Err…but Rav? Why have
17                               you got a paper bag on your head?
18       SFX                   SOUND OF SIGH FROM INSIDE PAPER BAG.
19    RAV:                 I thought that would be obvious.
20    TED:                  Good point, seeing as you're a Gentile. Any stones around here?
21    RAV:                 I'm not a Gentile! I'm a Natsari Jew!
22    TED:                  Whatever. So, you're still reading the Torah then, eh?
23    RAV:                 Of course! I'm a Rabbi! Look, see? Never leave home
24                               without one.
25       SFX                   SOUND OF LARGE PARCHMENTS BEING
26                                 OPENED, THEN BEING CLOSED.
27    TED:                  Oh, right. But, really, I heard you were…a Christian.
28       SFX:                   LARGE SOUND OF THUNDER
29    RAV:                  Christian?
30        SFX:                  LARGE SOUND OF THUNDER
31    TED:                  Yeah, Christian.
32       SFX:                   LARGE SOUND OF THUNDER
33    RAV:                  No, not me. Those Chri…
34       SFX:                   BEGINNING OF THUNDER
35    RAV:                 Those Gentiles…they get -soaked in water-. I don't.
36    TED:                  Yeah, crazy, right? You'd have to be -slightly cracked-
37                               to do that.
38    RAV:                 And they're -steeping- in love and harmony and all that
39                               'Hallelujah' jazz...whatever that is...I've absolutely no idea…
40    TED:                  Oh, Christ, yeah.
41    RAV:                 Mind your language.
42    TED:                  Sorry.
43    RAV:                 Yes, well, everything that those Chri…Gentiles were before is
44                               -rinsed out-, -extracted-. They are -separated- from our grand
45                               teachings by that small group of 'disciples'. Pah!
46    TED:                  Yeah, so I heard.
47    RAV:                  And then they are -boiled- up, cleansed and -sterilized- with
48                               all that talk about 'loving their God'. That's…just not me.
49    TED:                   That guy they follow…who is he again?
50    RAV:                  Jesus.
51    TED:                  What? What happened? What did I do now?
52    RAV:                  No, Jesus, Jesus Christ. That's the guy's name. Jesus Christ.
53    TED:                  Oh, right, right. Yeah, 'course it is.
54    RAV:                 Then they sit and -ferment-, talking about the 'Old Testament'.
55                               Not me, no, sir.
56    TED:                  What is that all about, eh? 'Old Testament'?
57    RAV:                 Beats me. But they are so -settled-, so sure of themselves.
58                               It is quite an achievement to do this in our time of unrest.
59                               They are -stabilized- with their 'Scriptures', with no
60                               -cloudiness- of mind.
61    TED:                  Those Chri…Gentiles, they're a bunch of special -cases-,
62                               if you ask me.
63    RAV:                 Yes, well, it was nice meeting you...err?
64    TED:                  Ted.
65    RAV:                 Yes, Ted. But I have to -wrap it up- here, Ted, I've got a
66                               circumcision at 4.
67    TED:                  Oh, right, well, sorry to hold you up. Have a good one!
68    RAV:                  …yes, quite.
69       SFX                   RAV'S SET OF FOOTPRINTS MOVES OFF.
70    TED:                  Okay, well, Shalom!
71       SFX                   VOICE OF RAV FURTHER AWAY.
72    RAV:                  One born every minute…
73    TED:                  Sorry?
74    RAV:                 And 'peace' upon you, too…shmuck.

Monday, June 2, 2014

My take of TIW Challenge 67

Well, here's my take of TIW Ch.67 :-) ...going into Dani's Shorts 3...
The quotation marks are set in 'Hungarian'...for a reason (hehe)

Challenge 67 (The Gods, cocktails, irrigation boots, dice)

"Just throw the dice, you’re stalling, Hades."
„Quiet, I’m thinking.”
„The time for that is over,” remarked Poseidon. „My sea monster will eat your three-headed hellhound for lunch.”
„One hell of a boast from a man in a loincloth,” sniggered Ares, sharpening his sword on the tip of Mount Olympus.
„Watch it, or you’ll know where I can sharpen this,” he replied, threatening Ares with his trident.
„Now, now, it’s just a friendly game, boys.” Aphrodite tried to calm them down. „Where’s the love?”
Zeus pointed down to Earth, on a little isolated beach occupied by two humans, a man and a woman in an embrace.
„There. Can I get a zoom on that, please?”
They all shook their heads. Hades threw the dice and ’whooped’.
„Looks like I take that damn sea monster of yours out of the picture, Fishboy.” He picked up Poseidon’s piece and put it in his pocket. „I’ll save that for later, you never know when it’ll come in handy.”
„Why you…!” Ares held Poseidon back from striking Hades.
„Now then, now then! Enough!” Zesus commanded. They all settled down. „How about we all get some cocktails and relax a little, eh? We’ve had our fun for the day.” Zeus clicked his fingers and a waiter appeared.
„Yes, my Ultimate Master of All we See?”
„We’d like some cocktails.”
„Why, of course.” The waiter took out his chalk and slate.
„Ladies, first.” Zeus gestured over to Aphrodite.
„Sex on the Beach, please.”
They all looked back to the isolated beach Zeus had pointed to earlier.
„No, „Sex on the Beach”, vodka, cranberry juice…”
„Yuck, cranberry juice! Oh well, each to her own. You, the one with the trident.”
„Poseidon, Zeus.”
„Yes, you, Fishboy. What would you like?”
„A Blue Lady.”
„I bet you would.”
The waiter whispered in Zeus’s ear.
„Oh, right. Gin, huh?”
Poseidon nodded.
„And you, Dead Dude?”
„A Shit on the Grass, please.”
„Look, Hades, you’re on Olympus now, not down below in your own little underworld. We do have toilets up here, you know…”
The waiter tugged on Zeus’s gown.
„Oh, don’t tell me…”
„Kahluá and Midori Melon Liqueur, my Ultimate Master of All we See.”
„Okay, okay. And you, Ares? How about you?”
„A Cosmopolitan.”
They all stared at him for a moment.
„You could have any cocktail, absolutely any, and you ask for a Cosmopolitan? So dull, Ares, so dull.”
„Well, I did want a Pina..”
„Don’t we all.”
„Well, father, what would you like?” asked Aphrodite.
 „Tequila Sunrise.”
They all moaned.
„Well, what did you expect? Okay, so whose turn is it next, anyway?”
„Oh, super!” Zeus leaned over the Earth to take the dice from the other side and tipped the place a little. A flood began and they all heard screams and suffering from across the land below. Chaos reigned and the couple on the beach had been washed away by a huge tsunami. „Whoops. Perhaps it’s time I got someone to invent irrigation boots…”