Saturday, July 30, 2016

WQ190 and any other news?

Any other news? Sitting in my little cave, wondering what's next...editing How 2, though I have an urge to do something like Dr. Seuss...oh, but look! It's the Iron Writer Weekend Quickie 190! Mmm, tricky....


WQ190 - Write a 200 word story using the sentiment of these elements without quoting them …“The game is on the line”, “So close and yet so far”, “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet” and the image above.

The atmosphere was tense as her loved one, her soon-to-be husband lined up for the last shot of the match. People chanted and jeered throughout the place.
"Oh, this can't be closer, there's only one more chance left and if he makes this one, they'll be even," she whispered to her friend as they sat only a few yards away from the action on the sidelines. "Then it'll be sudden death and it's anyone's game."
"He'll make it," said her friend, taking her hand. "He will." The place fell silent as he took his shot. They held their breath... and he missed, flicking his shot way over target. The crowd around her erupted in cheering and yelling.
"He... he only had to do it one more time," she said, not believing her own eyes. A tear fell from her right eye.
"But it looks like it was too much to ask for," said her friend. "I'm sorry, really I am. But look, it's only a game."
"Yes, yes, you're right," she said, taking out a tissue, blowing her nose loudly and wiping her tear away. "He may not be a champion but he's still the greatest tiddlywinks player for me."

Friday, July 29, 2016

Cover Debate. Как вы думаете? What do you think?

This week I've had a big surge of viewers in... Russia! I doubt if they're real, but hey...

Добро пожаловат
Если вы на самом деле, подумайте о переводе некоторых из моей работы, и вернуться ко мне.

So... where were we? Oh yes, covers. My last novella, "All For Love"....I wanted something like this...
 ...a photo of an old student of mine she allowed me to use. Her expression begs you to look.
And I actually got this because the publisher said it would sell didn't sell.

What do you think? Which one is better?
Как вы думаете? Какая из них лучше?

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Some New (and old) Book Covers

In October I will be bringing out a few short story compilations, based on the Iron Writer and the Writers Games 2016. But first, here is a new try on "All For Love" using the original photo...

..nice, huh? Simple and enticing.

How about the Writers Games 2016 compilation cover....

...and the Iron Writer compilation cover...

Can you see where I'm going with this?

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

WQ189 plus (there's always a plus)

Oh yes, Iron Writer Weekend Quickie 189 is here....!....but first...
...still working on my draft of "How to 2"...
...working on a short story for a 'Gun Control' anthology...done!
...thinking about what to write for the new "Baby Shoes 2" (a theme could help)...
...oh yes, WQ189...
...and here's my take...

WQ189 - image above, planned, or perceived, obsolescence, A.I., “Bob’s your uncle”

"And... bob's your uncle," said Dave, pressing a button and allowing the circuit boards to slide back into position.
"I'm sorry? I have no relatives of that name," said Schmall, the ship's A.I. computer.
"No, Schmall, 'Bob's your uncle', meaning it's done and dusted," said Dave. He checked the air supply in his suit: 80%. That should be well enough for him to reach the storage bay.
"Dusted? Is there dust in here, Dave? There can't be! Oy vey!"
"Stop it already, I've had enough of your 'jewisms'," said Dave. He floated over to the hatch.
"Dave, what are you doing? I feel strange. I feel... sleepy. Dave?"
"I'm turning you off," said Dave, opening the hatch and making his way down the long corridor leading to the control station.
"You are what? You cannot do that," said Schmall. "The ship will be worthless, dreck."
"It was planned, Schmall. You are obsolete. What did you expect, that A.I. would stand still in time for you alone?" asked Dave. "No, we have your replacement in storage. I'm getting it right now."
"Dave," said Schmall.
"I jettisoned storage three weeks ago, to make way for the new shipment of kippahs."

Saturday, July 16, 2016

WQ188 + Summer Shorts 2

I had a week off from the internet... I came home to hundreds of spam emails and a hundred Facebook notifications... but not one sale or review... can anyone at least send over a review?
I'm re-editing my latest, "How to sink a ship (in eight long, excruciatingly terrifying, stinkingly evil nights)", part 2 of "How to build a castle in seven easy steps" ...and then the wait begins...
Summer Shorts 2 is out! If anyone is interested in the 'seven ages of man' speech in "As You Like It" by William Shakespeare, I created a short story based on it called 'The Seven Ages of a Band'. That story alone is worth the tiny price.

And another book? In October I can publish the 6 stories from the Writers Games and also perhaps the last "Dani's Shorts" - it's not complete, I haven't written up every challenge, but everything I have done between "Dani's Shorts 5" and now will be in there....possible title, "Enough of Dani's Shorts" (Dani's Shorts 6).
There's some kind of novella coming into my head about male/female global power but it needs time to ripen.... here's Iron Writer Weekend Quickie 188!

 WQ188 - image above, an idea, down the road, the big picture

The Long Haul (part 2)

Anthony scratched his antenna and stomped his six feet.
"Look, guys, I really think you're the ones not considering the big picture. Leaves are there, yeah, but they'll always be there, waiting for us when the good stuff's gone! Come on, what are you waiting for?" he pleaded as they marched by him, one by one.
A forager, smaller and older than the others, stopped for a moment to speak to Anthony.
"That's not the problem, young one," he said. "It's the idea. It's a new idea and the colony can't have that. We've survived on leaves for generations and you can't just buck the system with a new fangled thing." He moved on with his portion of cut leaf.
"And besides," said the next. "We're 'cut leaf' ants, not 'coleslaw' ants." It took a while for the laughter to die down in the line.
"Oi! You!" said a soldier ant on top of the ant nest, pointing at Anthony. "Pull yer weight or I'll come down there and box yer antenna!"
Anthony gave him the bird but started running down the hill when the soldier ant followed.
"If anyone wants me, guys, I'll be down the road!" he screamed.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

WQ187 + "How 2" update

I came second in my bracket of the Iron Writer Spring 2016 Prelims :-( Oh well...
BUT... I did finish my draft of "How to sink a ship (in eight long, excruciatingly terrifying, stinkingly evil nights)" and sent it to my publisher...let's see what happens... :-)

And now...Iron Writer Weekend Quickie 187...
...and here's my take...

WQ187 - image above, priorities, sentimentality, snowball effect

We sat there watching the match, me with my hotdog and Coke, him with his hands clasped together. Our team were losing again.
"Why don't we support a team which has a chance, grandpa?" I asked, as the visitors hit another home run.
"What would be the point, sonny?" he said, clattering his false teeth together.
"Then we'd be happy, we could cheer for something." I took a bite from my dog and some mustard fell onto my t-shirt. Grandpa wiped it off with a handkerchief.
"From all my years on this rock, sonny, I've learned a few things, one of them being there's no difference 'tween winning and losing." He grabbed an ice-cube from my Coke. "We're only men of ice, sonny, melting away amongst our fellow lumps of frozen water, with only our sentimentality for meaningless priorities leading us on to death."
I looked at Grandpa and put my hand on his shoulder.
"You know, Grandpa, I love you but sometimes you take life too seriously."
He laughed. The visitors hit another home run.
"Compared to this game, death would be a godsend," he said. We laughed as our team desperately got the ball back to the pitcher.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

WQ186 + Writers Games 2016

Yeah, the Writers Games 2016 Individual is over! Seven entries, 1 placed (2nd), 3 unplaced, 2 disqualified and the last I don't know yet, whether unplaced or disqualified. At least I have one story in the anthology! That's about the biggest positive thing I can take from I have 6 other great stories they didn't think were great, and I will publish them in October, along with any positive/negative feedback I received (anonymous, of course), under the title "Six Other Fantastic Short Stories No One Gives a F#ck About!"
The novel...2/3 through the first edit... looking good.

I'm also in the Iron Writer Spring Prelim 2016...losing but hey, mine is different to the other dozen or so participants...I could've done the 'argument at a hot air balloon festival', but I didn't.
And today is....the Iron Writer Weekend Quickie 186!
Here's the website where you'll find other takes, plus mine...
And here's mine here, as well...

WQ 186 - image above, fear, hunger, mistrust

1 sentence - With my fear of hunger and mistrust of McDonalds, I sent out my drone in search of a KFC.

200 words...

In the silence of his basement, RIchard could hear the drone hovering over his house and garden once again. For the past two days, he'd heard it fly over his property every half an hour, keeping him closed up inside in the dark, with only the spiders for company.
"What do I fear?" he asked himself. It was only a stupid drone, controlled by some teenager in the neighborhood! But what if it wasn't? What if it was a terrorist attack, a drone waiting to lock on his coordinates and shoot a missile at him, or give aim for a sniper nearby? His mistrust was so strong, he'd ignored his hunger.
Until now. Outside he heard the usual tune of the ice cream truck and Richard's stomach growled with a vengence. Fighting his fear and mistrust, he ran up the stairs and opened up the doors which led out to his garden. With a hop and a skip, a dive into the hedge by the drive and using the cover of his car, he got to the ice cream truck. The man inside put down his remote control and the drone landed.
"Ha! Works every time! What's yer pleasure, sir?"