I want to take a moment and do a little advertising. I have made some progress over the course of the year as a writer and today, I want to ask anyone who will listen to go buy the things that I have been included in.
I try not to push, I want you to read and buy my work, but I don’t want to just stand around screaming “Look at this!”, and drive you away. Considering it has been almost a year, I want to take a few minutes and point out what you can look at.
First on the list is my novella, The First Door. It is still available on Smashwords. This was, literally, the first thing I wrote with the intention of working as a writer. I self published this and I will admit that I have learned a little bit about writing since this came out. I still like the story and I think you will too. Just be kind and remember that it was my starting point.
The next place on the list will be The Sirens Call. A bi-monthly e-zine produced by Sirens Call publications. I have been fortunate enough to have stories included in two issues, Number Two and Number Three. Both of these were themed publications. Number Two is a collection of horror stories that are from the eyes of an observer. Number Three was titled Obscure Ink. My stories are “Duck, Duck, Goose” and “What May Come”.
Next, I want to share stories that are currently available in print. Real, honest to goodness paper. When the first one of these came out I felt I could say I was an author. Sure, getting paid to have written anything technically qualifies me as a writer, but there is a difference in how you feel when you can hold a book that has your name in it. That feeling is what I am chasing as I continue to write.
My first print story came out in the “Hoosier Writers 2012“. This collection was gathered by another Bloomington resident, Lowell R Torres and is full of stories by authors that are from Indiana. My story, Silver Lining, is a horror story that takes place in Indiana as well.
The second print anthology is “Once Upon A Time, A Collection of Unexpected Fairytales“. This anthology came out of a contest. I entered to win a t-shirt and ended up being included in an anthology of the entries. Some of these stories are just fantastic and I would recommend this to a broad audience.
This is everything that has been published so far, but I have a few that are still on the way. The first of which is one of my non-horror stories. I submitted a piece to a charity project called, “The Shield of Wisdom, A Devotional Anthology in Honor of Athena“. This was the first non-monster story I had written and was also the first accepted submission that I had. It is tentatively scheduled to come out this fall.
Second, I have two stories that are going to be included in, “A Quick Bite of Flesh”. A flash fiction zombie anthology from Hazardous Press. This was a really big boost to me. I had submitted my story, “Like Father, Like Son”, along with my contact information. That contact information included the address to this blog. The editor visited and read through some of the flash fiction and selected a second story, “Scouts”, from here. This was the first time someone had picked something of mine instead of me trying to get them to take it. I was floored.
Somebody really liked it.
The final anthology that I am currently scheduled to be included into is “Carnage, After the End.” by Sirens Call Publications. The theme was to have stories that focused on the survivors after a world ending apocalypse. What kind of apocalypse was up to me.
I saved this one for last because the story, “Rock Garden” is currently the work that I am the most proud of. I think this story is far above anything else that I have written. My goal from now on is to write this well again.
That is it. I have stories submitted to a number of other places and I am waiting to hear if they are accepted or not. Monday of this week, I received another rejection from a magazine that held my story long enough that I thought they might have shut down. That one will be going out again in a day or two.
I just finished my first classic fantasy story and it is about to be beta read. I have a couple of other short stories I am working on and my first novel just passed 24,000 words. I am liking this story and it will be an urban fantasy in the world of the First Door. I have a lot of plans for this setting and I hope people will enjoy reading it enough to allow me to publish them. Until next week.
L. E. White
Ian wasn’t scared. They were all full of crap and he wasn’t going to let those sissies live it down.
Ian kept telling himself that he wasn’t scared as he took slow steps towards the woods. He knew that Connor, Timmy and Landon were standing at the hedge, watching him go.
They had told him that the only way they would let him into their club was if he could prove he was brave.
“I am braver than you are,” he said. “You won’t even tell Hanna that you like her.”
That had made Timmy mad, so he decided to teach Ian a lesson.
“Oh yeah, well if your so brave then how about you head into the woods and pick a bowl of black berries.”
The woods that old man Higgins had died in.
The woods that the monster lived in.
The woods that were dark, even during the day.
Ian had felt shaky but he wasn’t a chicken. He was brave. He would come out with the berries and then he would sit there and eat them in front of the others.
Every step made the trees seem bigger. Their leaves blocked out the sun and left giant shadows around their roots. Ian could hear things rustling through the leaves above his head and below his feet. Things that he couldn’t see.
There wasn’t a path into the woods, just a spot that didn’t have briars in the way. Ian walked into the darkness and after a few feet he walked face first into a spider web.
He swung his arms and batted at whatever it was before dragging the webs off of his face. Once he realized what it was Ian began to giggle. “Spider webs,” he whispered.
After that, Ian picked up a stick and walked through the woods swinging it in front of him to keep the webs out of his face. He marched along, looking for the grove of blackberries that older boys had sworn was there.
The woods were so quiet and creepy. No birds called and nothing skittered around through the leaves. Ian didn’t see any of the little animals that he expected to see and soon he was turning to look over his shoulder after every couple of steps.
When he saw the patch of sunlight Ian stopped for a second in surprise. The trees were still dark where he was but a wall of brush with bright patches of sunlight peeking through stood off to his right. He had walked so far that this had to be it. The berries must be through that brush.
So he walked closer and as he did so he began to feel that itchy sensation that you get when someone is staring at your back. Ian turned around to check over his shoulder again and then put his back to a tree and stood, listening and waiting, to check if maybe the guys had followed him into the woods.
There were no sounds, so he turned his attention back to the thicket. From where he was, he thought there might be a break in the brush a few feet further around.
There was a break, and after Ian crawled into the little cluster of brush, he stood there staring in awe. The canopy of trees had left this one small spot open, and all around the clearing, blackberry bushes had grown. A thick wall of dark green leaves showed clusters of black and red berries that were all larger than his thumb.
Ian reached out and picked one from the briar closest to him. It was so juicy and full that a drop of the dark purple juice came out just from his touching it. He opened his mouth and closed his eyes, savoring the sweet taste as he reached into his back pocket and pulled out a small brown paper bag.
“I hope you enjoyed that.”
Ian’s eyes snapped open and he shrieked, dropping the little paper bag at his feet. He spun in a circle, but didn’t see anyone around.
He turned around again, snapping his head back and forth as he tried to see who else was there. When he finally calmed down, he bent to pick up has sack, and heard a rustling from the bushes in front of him.
Ian stood back up and stared as the leaves of the briars began to move. The shafts, covered in sharp thorns, twisted and wiggled, drawing together until the leaves could lie over and cover them like an umbrella as you closed it up.
The berries and leaves shifted, moving to cover or be covered until the plants themselves had formed into a thin limbed body. Two big red berries sat in the face like the eyes of a
Ian began to tremble as the green body took a step towards him. “I said that I hope you enjoyed that.”
Ian’s jaw was chattering like it did when he spent the day in his snow fort. The paper sack crinkled and flapped in his shaking hands.
“I won’t hurt you,” the plant said.
A sound like the leaves make when a big wind blows through your yard came from the plant, “Of course not. I was just asking if you liked the taste of my berries?”
Ian shook his head back and forth in an effort to forcefully clear it. There was another rustling of leaves.
“I did not mean to scare you.”
“Did you enjoy the berries?”
“Oh yeah,” Ian said, “That was the best berry I ever ate.”
The leaves below the red berry eyes shifted a bit to make a crease that looked a little like a smile. “Good, I do not get many people out here to try them.”
“People think the woods are haunted,” Ian said, “You might have scared them.”
“I hated to do it but I had to,” The plant-man said as he shrugged his leafy shoulders. “The wood cutters would have torn up my home if I had not tried to scare them away.”
“I am sorry,” Ian said, “I would never cut your trees.”
“Good, then you can come back if you like.”
“I was supposed to bring some berries back to my friends. Can I have some?”
The plant crossed its arms and tapped the bottom of its head with one leafy hand. “The berries will crush if you take them in that.”
Ian looked at the bag and then back at the berries. “Yeah,” he said, “they were way to juicy for me to take a bunch back.”
“I will allow you to take back two berries for each of your friends,” the plant said, “If you want more you will have to come back.”
Ian picked a few of the berries and dropped them into the bag. Once he was done he looked back at the plant man who was still standing there watching him. “I will go tell them what happened and ask them to come back.”
“You had better not tell them about me,” the plant said.
“Because they will either not believe you or refuse to come out of fear.”
“Good point.” Ian nodded in agreement as he shifted back and forth. The plant might not have been dangerous but it was still kind of scary when he was alone.
“One thing,” the plant said, putting its hands on its hips. “If you are wanting to come back and get more berries then you need to bring me something to trade for them. I grew them, after all.”
“What do you want?”
“Bring water and plant food.”
“AAHHHH,” Ian said. “We can do that.”
The plant said, “Until next time, goodbye.” and then Ian watched the green man melt back into a cluster of briars.
The boy crawled out of the little gap in the briars, getting scratched as he went. Once he was outside, he rubbed the bloody line on his arm with a frown on his face before heading back to his friends. Ian was sure that they would love the berries.
While he walked away, the face of the green man watched him go. The mouth smiled with a row of leaves that were rolled up on the edge so that they looked like the smooth flat teeth of a man.
As the child got further away, the leaves unrolled, replacing the flat edges with jagged points that looked more like the teeth of a shark. A thorn covered limb snaked out and lapped around the lips in a gesture that looked like it was licking them.
“Soon,” the wind through the leaves whispered in its rustling voice. “Soon.”