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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 Tom Gillespie.

Tom has just informed me that his new book is to be launched tomorrow, so I thought it was a great time to let you meet him. Over to you Tom…

Tell us a little about yourself…

Hi Annie.

I grew up in small mining town on the outskirts of Glasgow. After finishing a masters in English at Glasgow uni, I spent the next ten years pursuing a financially ruinous musical career as a singer/songwriter, playing, recording and touring the UK and Europe with my band . I now live in Bath with my wife, my daughter and my hyper-neurotic cat, where I work at the University as an Academic English lecturer.

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

Noddy Goes to Toy Town. It had a profound effect on me. I still don’t fully trust flat-capped northerners on holiday.. Oh wait, that’s The Famous Five, isn’t it?

What was the first thing you ever wrote?

“Poo.” (no really, it is)

(Stop laughing Annie!)

Do you have a favourite writing place.

My head

Are there any other writers/authors in your family.

No I’m the only writer, but not the only lunatic

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

Music, movies, food, the moon, sex – and the day Archie Gemmill scored for Scotland against Holland in the 1978 world cup …. but not writing.

Which author(s) do you read most.

Me. I’m never done editing and re-editing my own work. I barely get a chance to read anything else.

Do you have a favourite genre and what is it.

I hate genres. I’m a genre buster. It’s a bit like saying, what’s your favourite colour? Every colour is important and every colour is relative to the next.

It’s blue, by the way.

What are you working on at the moment?

-Trying to pay off a massive home improvement loan that is bleeding me dry. Oh, and a collection of short stories, about debt.

Where can we buy your books?

Painting by Numbers is available in kindle format here:

And soon to be released book format… Awaiting link

Web: tom-gillespie.com

Twitter: tom_gillespie

Facebook: /tomgillespiewriter

Thanks Tom. Good luck with your new book, I really hope it’s a best seller.

 

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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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Am I mad?

I’m now fully booked for the Open University A363 Advanced Creative Writing to start on October 4th. I’m a bit nervous and very excited at the same time. We have finished the A215 Creative Writing and are waiting for the final result to come through on that. I’m told we will have to wait until August.

In my fit of excitement I did a silly thing, I booked myself on to the AA100 Arts Past and Present to start in February 2013. I say silly because I’m still not 100% sure I want to take my degree to the limits. I want to write and have gone off the idea of more study. Hopefully I will decide to stick with it and not cancel the AA100 in the end.

We’ll see.

 

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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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TMA2 Results and Story

My TMA2 Result came back and it looks as if I might just have passed.  Again my grammar and punctuation need some work doing on them and that’s what I’m doing. It’s getting better.

Also I’m told that I didn’t use enough technical words in my commentary!!! Oh well!

The instructions for TMA2 were to write a 1500 word story that includes some use of time shift and some dialogue. Include one or more of the following list of words. I won’t bore you with the list but suffice to say I only used the word  ‘knife’ from the list.

Enjoy…or not.

The Rectory.

            Laura and Michael had seen the old house as they drove down, what was sign posted as Frampton Hill, on their way to Exeter to meet Michael’s new business partner Bob Fairbank. Bob was a property developer and Michael being an architect was going to look at original plans for a property that Bob was thinking of redeveloping.

They had realised an hour ago that they were lost and hadn’t seen any other places to stop to get directions. Michael pulled up in front of the black wrought iron gates and turned the car engine off. The sign on the wall announced ‘The Rectory’. He looked at the house and shuddered. Laura laughed.

‘Not scared of a creepy old house are you?’ She teased.

‘Well I’m not normally easily spooked but…’ Michael started to say.

‘But it does look bit glum doesn’t it?’ Laura interrupted. Feeling just a little uneasy herself.

The house was Victorian and was very run down. Even in the semi dark it was clear that it hadn’t been looked after. Ivy grew, unchecked, up the front walls and across most of the windows, a few of which were broken. The chimney stack was leaning slightly and Michael guessed that a strong wind would bring it crashing down. Dark clouds were beginning to form above the roof adding a chilling atmosphere to the whole scene.

There was a light on in one of the down stairs windows so Michael got out of the car and slammed the door shut. He quickly scanned the whole building, his eyes stopping at a small window above the porch, where he could just make out a face looking back at him. He shuddered and hesitated, then laughed at himself for being an idiot. He decided it must be the owner and started walked toward the  open gates.

‘Michael! Wait.’ Laura was climbing out of the car. ‘I’m not staying here on my own. I’ll come with you.’

‘Now who’s scared.’ Michael laughed.

‘Yes I am. Something feels odd about this place. Lets go and find another house or maybe a phone box or something. I really don’t feel right about this.’ Laura was shivering and Michael put his arm around her.

‘Come on, we’re only spooked because it’s getting dark and there are no street lights. We’ll feel better when they answer the door, I’m sure. Besides we haven’t seen another house or a phone box for the last hour or more.’

Michael gently pulled Laura along to the gates and half wished he’d taken her advice to leave. He started to shiver a little too. The path from the gates to the front door was a dusty dirt track, surrounded by over grown bushes, with the odd stone dotted around here and there, and Laura twisted her ankle on one of them.

‘Ouch!’ She hissed.

‘You OK?’ Michael asked tightening his grip around her waist.

‘Yes. Yes I’m fine. Let’s just get this over with shall we?’ The closer they got to the door the more nervous Laura became. She felt like a child scared of the Bogeyman.

Michael guided her to the porch and looked for a door bell, there wasn’t one. He felt his way along the wood of the door until his hand connected with the cold wrought iron door knocker. It felt like a ghostly hand grasping something, a ball maybe. He hesitated before slamming it hard against the door, harder than he’d meant to, making them both jump. A few minutes later Michael knocked again. Eventually they heard footsteps on bare wooden stairs on the other side of the door.

‘Who is it?’ The voice was clearly that of an elderly man.

‘Oh, uh! Hello. I’m sorry to trouble you but we seem to be lost. I wonder if you could tell us where we are and how to get to…’

The sound of two bolts shifting and a key turning in a lock interrupted Michael. The door slowly opened. Laura gasped as a smell, like that of a butchers shop, wafted out through the opening. Stale blood and fresh meat, but stronger. Laura quickly pulled her tissue from her pocket and pretended to wipe her nose. Michael had difficulty speaking for a second as the smell caught in his throat, but he composed himself and asked.

‘I’m sorry to trouble you but we’re lost. Could you tell us how to get to…’

‘What? You’ll have to speak up a bit.’ the old man shouted.

‘Oh I’m sorry. Could you tell me how to get to Exeter? We’ve seem to be lost.’ Michael spoke slowly.

‘Come in your letting all the heat out’ the old man demanded.

Laura squeezed Michael’s hand as if to say ‘No don’t go in!’ but Michael pulled her forward into the hallway. The smell was stronger now and Laura was beginning to feel sick.

The man looked to be about ninety years old. His clothes seemed even older, worn and thin with many holes dotted about his cardigan. Everything he wore was brown except his shirt which, Laura guessed, was supposed to be white and was so old and stained it wouldn’t have stood up to a wash. He smelt of mould and mothballs and Laura was sure the butcher shop smell was coming from him too. The hallway they stood in was like a scene from the 1920’s, everything was brown, just like the old man’s clothes, as if an old sepia photograph had come to life.

‘You’re lost you say?’ The old man shouted.

‘Yes how do we get to Exeter from here?’ Michael stammered feeling quite nervous now.

Laura realised that the old man was holding a very long kitchen knife and it had a blood stain on the end of it. It was rusty but looked very sharp. Maybe he was preparing his dinner with it Laura hoped, or maybe he was… Laura snapped herself back to reality. She didn’t want to think about what he could be doing with it, but she took a backwards step and put her hand on the door to stop it from closing. Something had spooked both of them, something wasn’t right and the sight of the bloody knife didn’t help.

‘Are you walking?’ The man enquired.

‘No we have our car outside. If you could just tell us if we’re on the right road we’ll be on our way’ Michael said.

‘Just carry on down Frampton Hill, when you get to the bottom turn left at the sign post for the slaughter house. You can’t miss it’ He said ‘Do you want a cup of tea? I don’t get many visitors these days, not since…’ He stopped and looked over his shoulder towards the kitchen door. ‘I’ve got the kettle on.’

‘Um. Thank you but we’re very late for an appointment I’m afraid, thank you anyway’ Laura quickly interrupted pulling Michael out onto the door step. ‘Thank you for your help. Good bye.’ As they hurried away Michael looked back, the old man had stepped out into the porch and was watching them go, he shuddered again.

They drove in the direction the old man had told them to, and twenty minutes later they arrived in Exeter. Five minutes after that they were pulling up outside Bob Fairbank’s house.

‘Thank God for that. I thought we’d never get here’ Michael sighed.

They looked at each other and started to laugh, more from nerves than anything.

‘What are we like?’ Laura laughed. ‘A pair of scared kids, but it was spooky’

Once inside Bob’s house, Michael introduced Laura, and they began to settle down. The old house was momentarily forgotten. Bob lead them to the sitting room and invited them to sit on the sofa, while he busied himself getting drinks. Whiskey for the men and  Laura settled for wine. On the coffee table in front of them was a folder that, Bob explained, contained the details of the property he wanted to develop. He chatted while Michael opened the folder and started to look through the contents. There was an estate agents photo of the property, along with an old sepia photo of a man and woman standing in the door way of a house looking rather formal and straight face and Michael stared at it for a long time, then handed it to Laura.

‘I got the place for next to nothing.’ Bob was saying ‘apparently it’s been boarded up for eighty odd years, it’s called The Rectory or something. The story is that the previous owner went mad and killed his wife and their house keeper, chopped them up and hid their body parts. It’s said that neither of them were ever found. Bob laughed. ‘I don’t know if you know this area at all but the property is up on Frampton Hill. There are no other properties for twenty odd miles in any direction. The estate agent says it’s haunted, well nothing like a good ghost story to bring the value of a place plummeting down.’ Bob laughed again and handed Michael his glass of whiskey.

Michael wasn’t laughing, he was ashen faced, the glass that Bob had given him shook in his hand.

‘Did you say The Rectory?’ Laura asked.

‘Yes. Why? Is something wrong?’

All Text Copyright © 2011 Annie Green ( Trudy Chappell) All Rights Reserved.

 

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Blog Review

I thought I would do a review of some (or all if I get the time) of the Blogs in my ‘Blogs I love’ list.

I am going to pick a Blog at random and do a short write up of my opinions of it. Having said that I will point out that just because I’ve picked a Blog to review doesn’t mean that I love this blog above all the others on my list, that is not the case. As I said I will pick Blogs at random and review them.

I’m starting with Richards Riting Blog.

I have to say that Richard is keeping his Blog up to date and uploading some very good stuff. As you can see I haven’t posted a link to Richards home page . I thought I would bring you my favorite post instead. This post really took me back to my youth (yes I’m that old) and brought back some very vivid memories for me. Richard did the same Open University course that I did and that’s how we met.

I for one think that Richard is an excellent story teller he keeps me entertained and holds my attention well. I love his writing and his wit. I would love to know how he comes up with the stuff that he writes, I would give and arm and a leg to be able to write like him. His Blog is interesting and creative and full of fun.

Richard I’m awarding you 10/10

 
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Posted by on August 9, 2011 in Blog Reviews, Short Stories

 

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