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100 word story for the Ink Pantry challenge

This is my 100 word story for the Ink Pantry competition. I didn’t win but I thought I would post it anyway.

The winners were much better than mine. Well done to them.

Halloween Fun.

The mist covered evening sun sank slowly into the gold and red autumn leaves just in front of Andrea. She felt excited about the evening ahead. This would be her first adventure since she had died. She couldn’t wait to get out there and put the fear of God, or should that be Satan, into the bastards that killed her. Halloween had never appealed to her in life, but she sure as hell was going to make the most of it now she was dead, and for the rest of their long, boring, stupid lives. Now they would pay for it.

 

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Meet Edge Dyrksec Johnson

Today we get to meet Edge Dyrksec Johnson author of the debut novella Stormbringer…

Tell us a little about yourself Edge.

I am a husband, a writer, a gamer, a geek, a techie, and a dreamer. I grew up in rural Oklahoma, discovered a world beyond its borders, and stepped into a strange urban landscape in Los Angeles. My writing usually blends themes and tropes from fantasy and science fiction, though I do occasionally dabble in slice of life in my #FridayFlash fiction stories. I have been published in the Best of #FridayFlash, both volumes, and I am the Editor for the FridayFlash community website.

Can you remember the first book you ever read or was read to you.

Not really. I read a LOT as a kid. I remember several classics, like Where the Red Fern Grows and several Box Car Kids books. Though, the best story I have about a book I read occurred in sixth grade. I always wore a (trench) coat that was able to conceal a novel in at least one of its pockets, and at my school, recess on cold or rainy days was held in the gymnasium. I often found a perch where I could put my feet up and read in peace and quiet to ride through the loud period, but I never gave much consideration to who was noticing me or what I was reading. One such rainy day, I sat on my perch, reading a particularly awesome Xanth novel, obviously by Piers Anthony, and one of the girls in my class came through the door nearby and asked me what I was reading. Without missing a beat, I tilted the book so she could read the title. When she started laughing, I turned the book to figure out what was so funny. Apparently, a book called The Color of Her Panties may not be the best choice for wooing my classmates.

What was the first thing you ever wrote.

Aside from homework and punishment, the first real work that I started writing (and never finished, sadly) was a book I called The Way of the Sword. I wrote on it only during my 4th hour Typing class my freshman year in high school and only after my regular work was done. By the end of that year, I had easily typed over fifty pages for it, but it was sadly done on a type writer. I attempted to re-write the story once for NaNoWriMo, but I do not do well with that sort of writing frenzy.

Do you have a favorite writing place.

Yes, but sadly, my bed is not the most productive place to write. I do fairly well now in my new office, with my desk and computer with speakers to blare some music. I also have a door that I can close to keep everyone away from me.

Are there any other writers/authors in your family.

My dad tried to write, and is one of the reasons I tried it so often growing up. Outside of that, I am unaware of any. I am not the only English graduate though, as I have an aunt that graduated with the same degree. I do not believe she is a write though.

What or who has been your has been the biggest influence on your writing.

Greatest influence? Honestly, I try to write with as few outside influences as possible. I have read works by dozens of authors, but I try to make sure that my voice is unique. If I were to assign influences, I would actually reference my parents for having such a diverse love of literature to start, and then for passing that passion on to me at a young age. Nothing could have made my childhood better than those trips to the used book store where we were given permission to get as many books as we wanted, regardless of the price. Our average haul from those trips yielded more than twenty “new” books for us to fight over.

Which author(s) do you read most.

Tricky question. Overall, I would say I have read the most number of books by Piers Anthony, but most of those were before I graduated from high school. Since then, Jim Butcher has been the most frequent author I have read. Koontz had some really good stuff, and Crichton have some influences. I have even read the entire Star Trek: New Frontier series (Peter David and John J. Ordover, I believe).

Do you have a favorite genre and what is it.

Fantasy and Science Fiction, more or less in equal parts. I find that I really prefer genre blending and bending, which leads me to liking some Urban Fantasy (Butcher’s Dresden novel’s), CyberPunk (Shadowrun), and Historical Fiction (Card’s Red Prophet). If I had to pick a single genre, I would have to lean ever so slightly toward Fantasy. Magic is the tipping point, for while I love technology, the mystic arts in most books carry the burden of consequence more so than their technological counterparts.

I know you write for adults as well as children but which gives you the most pleasure to write for.

I write for no one. Well, I may write for myself on some levels, but I target no one, no demographic, no group of individuals, no specific individual. I would be terribly offended if someone read my work and said, “You wrote that for downtrodden women with abusive husbands.” Excuse me? No, I did not. I wrote it, because it was part of the story that needed to be told. Should downtrodden women with abusive husbands have works written about them to shine light on the issue? Most certainly. Will I ever write such a work for them? Never.

What are you working on at the moment.

I am currently working on a set of novellas set in a mystical world, where each work will follow the rise of a prophesied hero and their acquisition of a relic that will be used to save the world.

Where can we buy your books.

If I had any available, I would gladly point you to them. As soon as I finish the first novella (Stormbringer), it will be available at my website (www.geektreasure.com), likely for $1. My two published #FridayFlash fiction stories are available through the Best of #FridayFlash anthologies (first volume has “Uncle’s Ukulele” and is available at www.fridayflash.org, the other will be available in the near future and contains “Big Pimpin’”).

Good luck with Stormbringer Edge…

For your copy of Edge’s new novella visit the following link.http://kck.st/MctNMk

 

 

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Meet Carol McKay…

This week we meet Carol McKay… Carol was my tutor for the Open University A174 Start Creative Writing, which has sadly been discontinued, and is the co author of As I Lay Me Down To Sleep

 

Carol McKay

 

Tell us a little about yourself.

 

I’ve always worked with books and writing. My first career was as a librarian. Then, in my thirties, I took a correspondence course in journalism and earned my first pay packet as a writer with an anniversary piece about Citroen cars in Autocar and Motor magazine. And I hate cars! After that I concentrated on social and family history journalism and raising my four children. I explored writing fiction, too. In 2001, I graduated with an MLitt in Creative Writing here in Scotland and in 2004 started teaching it through the Open University. My writing’s been published in literary journals, anthologies and newspapers and shortlisted for the Macallan/Scotland on Sunday Short Story Competition.  In 2010, I won the Robert Louis Stevenson Fellowship which enabled me to spend a month in the Hotel Chevillon, south of Paris, which was much favoured by RLS and his fellow writers and artists in the 1870s.

 

Can you remember the first book you ever read or was read to you.

 

I don’t ever remember having a story read to me. That didn’t happen in our house. But I do remember we had a few children’s books. There were two which were bound in red and which had bright white paper and colourful illustrations that really fitted the stories. One was Anna Sewell’s Black Beauty. I’ve loved that story ever since.

 

What was the first thing you ever wrote.

 

When I was ten, my sister emigrated to Canada and shortly after that, one of my brothers joined the Merchant Navy and the other started work. I must have been feeling sorry for myself because I wrote a poem about it. The first verse went something like this: ‘Isabel went to Canada, / Tommy went to the sea. / Allan went to the Railways / and all that was left was me.’  In a more upbeat mood, I then wrote a poem about going to live in Tahiti and had two verses of it published in our school magazine. I’ve never made it to Tahiti yet!

 

Do you have a favourite writing place.

 

Not really. I’m a very utilitarian kind of person. I sit at my desk in our dining room. I like to have the radio playing in the background but I find it very hard to write if there are any other distractions.

 

Are there any other writers/authors in your family.

 

My parents left school at fourteen. They were bright but had no opportunity for higher education. Both were great readers and my dad, when he had a wee whisky or two, liked to jot down his thoughts as poetry. I remember being really mad at him when I discovered he’d written on the cover of my brand new Cat Stevens record album when I was sixteen! But I forgave him. He had real potential but the life he was living and the time he lived in didn’t encourage men like him to express their inner feelings. Now he’s gone, I quite treasure those few lines for the glimpse they give of that sensitive side to him.

 

What or who has been the biggest influence on your writing.

 

Without a doubt, my schools. I went to the local primary school in the huge housing scheme where I lived in Glasgow. Looking back, I realise how high the standards were there. Pupils were really stretched. We read and sang classics and though I didn’t realise it at the time that must have influenced me. Until recently, I thought it was my secondary school which made the difference to me. Wait, that sounds pretentious. What I mean is that I became different from the rest of my family when I went to secondary school because I went to a fee-paying school and then to higher education – the first in my family to be given that opportunity. My secondary school introduced me to great writers, including great contemporary Scottish writers like Hugh Macdiarmid and Norman MacCaig, who both gave readings in the school hall. My school’s motto was Non scholae sed vitae – (education is) not for school but for life. Of course, it was my parents’ sacrifices which enabled me to go there so I should give a nod to them, too.

 

Which author(s) do you read most.

 

I’m a big fan of David Mitchell and Jon McGregor, Anne Donovan and Ali Smith.

 

Do you have a favourite genre and what is it.

 

Contemporary literary fiction.

 

What are you working on at the moment.

 

This summer, I’m editing a book about Addison’s Disease, which is an auto-immune condition I was diagnosed with in 2010. It will feature twenty or so pieces of life writing by people around the world who have the condition. It’s a life-threatening condition and it’s supposed to be what killed Jane Austen! Nowadays, it’s fairly easily managed with drugs but it was a bit scary being diagnosed with it in an emergency situation. I’m also supposed to be jotting down some thoughts towards a memoir of my own. And I’m always working on an idea for a short story or two.

 

Where can we buy your books.

 

Ordinary Domestic, my collection of short stories, is available as an e-book from Pothole Press. You can find it on Amazon here – http://www.amazon.co.uk/Ordinary-Domestic-Collected-Stories-ebook/dp/B007P4H8QI/ref=pd_rhf_ee_p_t_3

 

As I Lay Me Down To Sleep, a memoir by Eileen Munro with Carol McKay, is available as an e-book or in print, here – http://www.amazon.co.uk/As-Lay-Me-Down-Sleep/dp/184596344X/ref=tmm_pap_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1340704308&sr=1-2

 

 

My website is www.carolmckay.co.uk and my blog is http://carolmckay.blogspot.com

 

 

 
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Posted by on July 10, 2012 in Gibberish, Meet the Authors

 

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Brand new Anthology from Cafe Three Zero

Do really do not want to miss this…

A group of Open University Students, who just happen to be very good friends of mine, have finished their first anthology of short stories.

We met in the A174 Start Writing Fiction course and hit ot off straight away. They are a smashing bunch of people who’s creativity is, to me, beyond bounds. They are funny, serious, jolly, happy, sometimes sad but best of all they know their stuff when it comes to writing stories.

The name ‘Cafe Three Zero‘ was chosen as their group name because there are thirty of them. Duh! And they all met in the Open Uni student CAFE!  That might have been a bit obvious! They enjoy writing and their marks from the A174 course are a reflection of how amazing this group of writers are.

Their ebook, ‘Tales from The Cafe’ is an absolute must read and can be downloaded from either Amazon.co.uk or Smashwords for a measly £1.14 or approximatly $1.90 respectively.

Visit Amazon.co.uk and look for ‘Tales from the Cafe’.

Well done guys and good luck to all of you.

 

 

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The Day My Heart Broke

Warning.

Content Potentially upsetting. If you have recently lost someone close do NOT read.

This is my true story!

I stand at the window and watch as he puts his crash helmet on. I watch with excitement as he straddles the seat and pushes hard down on the kick start. The roar of the engine always makes me jump. He looks back at me with a broad smile and a wink. He revs the engine and pulls slowly away from the curb. The excitement was just the watching him, not about him going.

My tears flow freely now. I have a feeling. The same feeling I had when Granny died. An empty feeling. My throat tightens and I think I’m going to choke on the big lump that’s formed there.

‘Come back Daddy’. I whisper, but I know he won’t. He’s gone and I have a feeling.

He didn’t visit often, but when he did it always caused heartache for me. I never wanted him to leave. The others didn’t either, but I was to young to know that. They were always cheerful when he was there. I never saw them cry. I was nine and life wasn’t fair. And I had a feeling.

I wasn’t there when the police came. I can’t remember where I was but I remember being told that he’d had a crash. That’s when I knew what the feeling meant. I didn’t tell anyone,they wouldn’t have believed me anyway, why would they?

The next six months passed in a blur. School mostly I think. I hated school. I hated most things then. I just wanted to see him, but they wouldn’t let me.I hated them for that. I loved my Mummy, but I hated her for that.

Then one day she said she was taking me to see him. I was so excited I thought I would burst. We had to go to London, that’s where they had taken him all those months ago. I didn’t know how far London was but the journey took forever. I had no idea that Cheltenham and London were so far apart. I was only nine.

I wish she hadn’t taken me there. I didn’t get to see him and cuddle him and kiss him. All I got was to look at him through a window in a door, and all I saw was the back of his bandaged head and his bare shoulders. Then a nurse knelt down on the floor in front of me and cried. I remember looking up at mummy, and she smiled a reassuring smile, a smile I’d never seem before. A kind smile. Don’t get me wrong mummy was kind, but this was different.

We went for ice cream with a lady I didn’t know and they kept talking in code. When will people learn that kids understand the code.

When we got home there was a man waiting on the door step. He had motor bike leathers on just like Daddy’s, I couldn’t look at him. He handed an envelope to mummy, I knew what it was, It was a telegram. Mummy Wailed and I knew he was gone. I didn’t react, I don’t know why, not until she said the words.

‘Daddy died sweetheart’ and then I screamed and screamed and screamed.

‘No, Not my Daddy, not my Daddy’.

And that’s the day my heart broke, never to mend.

 
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Posted by on September 20, 2011 in My Stories, Short Stories, True Stories

 

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A215 Creative Writing Tutor Allocation

I now have my tutor details and the course web site opens next week. It’s caused a buzz in the FB group, as it always does, as some students haven’t heard anything about their tutors yet. Hopefully everyone will have been allocated a tutor by the end of the weekend, if not there could be ructions.

One thing that puzzles most of us is the way the OU has designated tutors to students, or is it students to tutors? Either way it seems very random. One student lives in Ireland and her tutor is in Germany!! Another student who lives in the Chippenham Wilts has a tutor living in Ireland! And my tutor lives in Chippenham, I’m in Cheltenham! Does any of that make any sense??

I think I’ve worked out how the allocations are done though, and this is obviously how it works. The OU puts all the tutor names in a big hat and pulls one out at a time, then they put the student names in another hat and pull out 25 student names for every tutor name. So it is completely random. 🙂

I’ve started on the BRB (Big Red Book) doing Freewrites and Clustering. I’m not sure I’m doing it right but its enjoyable. The idea of clustering, I think, is to pick a word or phrase and write it in the middle of a sheet of paper and circle it. Then just let your mind bring other words up which you then write down, circle and connect to the original word with a little line. Keeping going like that until you decide to stop. Next you look at your cluster and decide which words you would like to freewrite about. A freewrite is a quick burst of writing about anything you like, in this case it would be about which ever word you’ve pick from your cluster. You write for five or ten minutes then go pick another word from your cluster and freewrite that. At least I think that’s how it works and that’s how I’ve been doing it. Probably wrong!

Now the course is beginning to feel very real and very scary. I wondered if I had bitten off more than I can chew, AGAIN! Time will tell, and if I can’t cope then I don’t think I’ll be doing any more courses, so fingers crossed for me.

Good luck to all my fellow students on the A215. Enjoy and have fun, ‘cos I know I’m going to whether I can manage the course or not.

 
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Posted by on September 17, 2011 in A215 Creative Writing, Gibberish, Open Uni

 

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Week 6 Group Challenge Twitterati!

Week 6 – Twitterati

Write a piece of fiction using only 140 characters. This challenge is designed to make you think about your words, your letters and your punctuation. Write something that will allow your reader to fill in the blanks.

Remember, this is not ‘up to 140 characters’ – it is exactly 140 characters!

The cock crowed. The hen house buzzed. The farm animals knew that this was a big moment. Hyacinth, the clever girl, had laid her first eggs.

 
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Posted by on September 12, 2011 in Gibberish, My Stories, Short Stories, Writing For Kids

 

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