2013: Adaptations

© Redshinestudio - Fotolia.com

© Redshinestudio – Fotolia.com

Here we are, this year coming to a close and staring down the barrel of a new one.

2012 was a great year. Many good things happened. I won some awards both for academics and for writing. I didn’t publish as many short stories, but I feel like the ones I did publish were better stories. I got paid for my first story, Nowhere Land, and that story got some great reviews. I had my first reprint: my story The ABCs of the Apocalypse was reprinted in The Best of Friday Flash, Volume 2. I had a vampire story, The Bloodletter’s Tale, published in the Flashes in the Dark e-zineI have a story called The Apprentice’s Mother, being published in the Sunday Snaps anthology soon.

I ventured into journalism, writing a story for the school online newspaper about President Obama’s visit to one of our campuses.

I was nominated by my school for the All Florida Academic Team. I had a short story win two academic awards.

I did not do everything I planned to do in 2012. I’m still working on getting my book of short stories finished and out there in the world.

That being said, my list for 2013 contains some items of old business.

There are also some major changes in store for me in 2013, some life adaptations that I’ll be making. But as a friend of mine, Sophie Solitaire once told me: “You have to adapt or you will die.” Sophie is a character in my post-apocalyptic story Sophie Solitaire: Confessions of an End-Time Girl. 

2013 Goals:

Writing/Publishing Goals:

Kill the Crow — Get the stories that are going in it finished, get them all assembled in anthology format and find beta readers for the book. Find out how I can publish to both Smashwords and Amazon. If anyone reading this can help me with beta reading or publishing suggestions, please comment. I need all the help I can get.

Quellseek: Army of Empaths, Book 1 — This is the novel I started for NaNoWriMo this year. I want to finish it and let it sit for a bit before I start editing. I’ve also begun note-taking and planning the second book of the series: Blood War. 

Blood War: Army of Empaths, Book 2 — The second book of Army of Empaths. I won’t give too much away, but Quellseek ends with some cliffhanger stuff. I want to start work on Blood War right way, while the momentum and juices are still hot and flowing.

Army of Empaths, Book 3 — I want to begin planning what’s going to happen in the 3rd book while I’m writing the 2nd book, taking notes as I go along on anything that might be a loose end that would need wrapping up. We don’t like loose ends.

Short stories  — I’d like to get some short stories written, I don’t know if I’ll have time. If I get invited to write another eMergent story, I’d definitely say ‘yes.’ I love working with Jodi Cleghorn and the eMergent crew.

I’m also planning a children’s fantasy about a dragon princess, but it’s just in the beginning/tinkering stages right now. And I’m playing with the idea of putting  a volume of poetry together.

The Were-Travler My first year as a fiction magazine publisher went pretty smoothly. Ever since the mag was listed on Duotropes, the submissions have been pouring in. It may be that I’ll need someone to help me with it eventually, but I’m having a lot of fun with it and definitely plan to keep it going.

Academic Goals:

Find a new school. In May, I will receive my Associates degree. I need to make up my mind about what university I’m going to attend to get my Bachelors. I need to make this decision soon. It hasn’t been easy. I’ve applied for some scholarships, we’ll see what happens. 

Awards. I’m trying to get another short story ready for Phi Theta Kappa Regional Awards for this year. I’m also entering a poem.

Survive Spanish 2. I need to pass this class in the Spring. It will count toward my BA. I haven’t been able to practice my Spanish much since I took Spanish 1 in the summer, so this will be hard. I may have to get a tutor. 😦

This is what I hope to accomplish for 2013. If I can achieve a fraction of it, I’ll be happy.

I wish everyone a successful and happy new year ahead!

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Writing Prompt #51: I Want My Mummy!

It’s almost time for Halloween.

So my next couple of writing prompts will be horror themed.

Here’s a mummy that looks like it’s screaming.

Write the story.

If you post a story based on this image to your website, please come back and leave me a link in the comments section. I’d love to read what you come up with.

Image courtesy of Neil Lockhart.

Writing Prompt #45: Moonflight

Image courtesy of Fotolia.com

The prompt this week is a creepy image of something flying under a full moon.

What is it, do you think?

A night dragon? A bat?

Or is it a vampire on his way to find a late-nite snack?

Have fun coming up with a creepy story to match this photo.  If you post your masterpiece to your blog, come back and let me know. I’d love to read it.

Enjoy!

Writing Prompt #43: Watching You

I see you.

Do you suppose this “watcher” is still alive? Or are they watching from a place not far from their vacated physical form?

Here’s a shiver-inducing photo for your Horror Muse to groove on this week. Happy writing.

Image courtesy of Fotolia.

 

Bad Day at Bull Funk’s, excerpt from Kill the Crow #1

I’m going to be posting a few excerpts from my upcoming short story collection, beginning with this one:

He threw his cigarette down and was about to squash it under his heel when two vehicles pulled up. A Chevy cargo van and a classic red T-bird. Six elderly people got out. One woman and five men. A seventh man remained behind the wheel of the van, scowling.

Shit! thought Brent. Six customers? And all of them older than blame.

So much for an easy morning. He stomped his cigarette out and returned inside the store. He waited behind the counter as the old farts filed in with their canes and walkers. The last one in the door (a gent with a limp and a bushy iron-gray beard) turned and shut the door. He flipped the sign in the window over from “OPEN” to “CLOSED.”

Brent watched with mild amusement. “Waddidya do that for?”

The old woman went behind the counter. She pulled a Colt .45 Automatic out of her handbag and jammed it between Brent’s eyes.

“Oh, you gotta be shitting me!” Brent cried. “You’re fucking robbing us?”

“Yes and no,” said the woman.

Brent laughed. Grandma pressed the gun harder into his skull.

“Hey, that hurts!” Brent said.

“It’s supposed to,” Granny said. She watched her accomplices. They were rummaging through the section where the tequila display was. “Hurry up and get it together. Jimmy, you get the boxes from the back.”

“Okay, Bev. We’re on it.” Jimmy propped his cane against the shelves.

“What? You’re stealing liquor?” Brent asked incredulously.

“Just what we need,” replied Bev.

Brent made a move to subdue the old woman, but she grabbed the arm he was trying to strong-arm her with and twisted it behind his back. Brent yelped in pain. Christ, the old bitch is STRONG! Bev walloped him on the back of the head with the butt of the gun. He swayed, but didn’t pass out. He ceased struggling. Bev leaned in close to him.

“There’s a smart boy,” she whispered. She licked his earlobe. Brent shivered, frightened and grossed out at the same time. He twisted around and looked up at the security camera. Fake, but still…

“We know it doesn’t work,” said Ironbeard from the door.

Brent didn’t ask how they knew. He watched silently as the others began loading up the boxes with bottles of tequila.

“Why tequila?”

“Nosy little jerk, ‘aint he?” Jimmy said. “And brave. Last punk didn’t say or do a fricking thing.”

“Didn’t help him in the end, though, did it? He was still…” said one of the other men loading boxes. What did he say? It sounded like exyunitch.What the hell was that? Brent wondered. Did the old bitch damage his hearing when she hit him?

“Now, Rocky. It’s okay,” said Bev. She still had a hammer-lock on Brent. The business end of the gun was once more against his forehead. She leaned in to whisper. “We have a craving for fermented agave.” She was licking his ear again. “Among other things.”

Stay tuned for more excerpt goodness…

Books and Reading: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

Image from Amazon

At the beginning of the year I set myself a reading goal of 75 books for 2012 through the Goodreads Reading Challenge. Ambitious of me, you might think, and you could be right…75 books is quite a lot of reading for one year (approximately 1.44 books per week if you do the math). At first, I was ahead by two books…then, I fell behind. 😦 Currently, I’m 3 books behind, but should be able to add a book this week when I finish Game of Thrones. 

I don’t know if I’ll be able to read all 75 books, but I’m having a blast. And I’ve decided that when I read a really good book that might not be getting the kind of attention as, say, the Hunger Games trilogy, I ought to blog about it.

The first thing I love about Ransom Rigg’s young adult book Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is that it’s hard to pigeonhole. I’ll call it speculative fiction. If you wanted me to elaborate on that, I’d have to say that it’s a huge helping of fantasy, with some gothic horror/scare factor and a little science fiction/time travel sprinkled in for good measure. It also has some moments that are downright hilarious.

The second thing I love about it: the story begins in Florida. West coast Florida…my neck of the woods.

The third thing I love about this book is the way it incorporates the weird and creepy photographs (most of which are real photographs or are based on real photographs with not too many Photoshop enhancements) scattered between its pages. Riggs tells his story around the photographs. It gives the story a very unique flavor.

The story’s protagonist, Jacob, travels to a creepy island off the coast of Wales to discover the meaning of his grandfather’s life and mysterious death: what the authorities have officially deemed a mauling from a wild animal in the Florida scrub. But deep down Jacob knows better…because he saw the creature that murdered his grandfather.

While on the island, Jacob encounters the peculiar children of his grandfather’s stories. Jacob thought the stories his grandfather told him were just fairy tales. But he finds them on the island. The same children…and they haven’t aged a day from when his grandfather knew them.

The books is listed as young adult, but adults should also enjoy this quirky, gothic novel. I count it as one of the most fun reads I’ve had in awhile. And Tim Burton loves it so much he is reportedly going to make it his next film project. 

To whet your appetite for more, I’ve included the link to the YouTube book trailer, which was done by the author himself.

Writing Prompt #37: ‘Til Death Do Us Part

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Wikimedia Commons has a wealth of images, most are public domain or free to use under Creative Commons license. I love going through it randomly. Just when I think I’ve found all the interesting images the site can possibly contain, I get surprised, like with this creepy photograph of a pair of skeletons holding each other. It seems to be a statue, but it’s still pretty macabre.

Pretend it’s not a statue, but real skeletons locked in a terrifying goodbye. What do you think happened before the couple’s last embrace? What final horror did they experience before they died? Who went first?

There’s a story in that deadly hug, and it’s up to you to tell it.