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Archive for August, 2014

xkcd: Writing Skills

August 29, 2014 Leave a comment

xkcd: Writing Skills.

 

Deep idea in this. Hover your mouse over the picture to get the author’s comments.

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Categories: Links, web comic

One of Those Weeks

August 27, 2014 2 comments

I am writing this post on Monday, and it is already a week that determined the title. That says a lot for how it is going to go.

Good news items. I will be having a story published in Under the Bed Magazine next month. I mentioned it last week and I will mention it again. Just so we don’t forget.

I have just finished the final edit on chapter 20 of 26 for my first completed novel. At the rate the editing is going, I will be writing a query and synopsis next week. You can expect some form of teaser on here.

Bad news items. I just received another pile of rejections for other work. One of them stands out. The market is Freeze Frame Fiction. No stories over 1,000 words. That is fine, but the thing that they are doing is sending along the user feedback with the story. That, is eye opening.

It isn’t eye opening in terms of what they are saying, but in terms of polishing my work. It is very helpful to have someone tell you what they did or didn’t like about a story. If you aren’t submitting to publishers, you might not know, but feedback is unusual. It is one of the most helpful things you can get, and it is as rare as gold in a river.

I will be submitting more to them, whether they like it or not.

The other bad thing is that I just hit writers block. I had a horrible time coming up with something to write for this post. Hell, I wrote the post before the story. Usually, it is the other way around. I figure this means it is time to head into the ideas folder to see what’s there.

The only problem with that is sticking to writing outside my normal areas. If I can’t manage to come up with a new piece of any quality, assuming I ever publish quality, you will be seeing the story that was just rejected by Freeze Frame. It’s called Voyeur. Just so you can keep score.

Take Care

L. E. White

Sneak Thief

“Are you sure about this Tommy?”

Tommy brushed his long, black hair back off of his forehead and behind his ear. “Yes, I’m sure.”

The pair moved forward, taking small, quiet steps. They both looked around, like meerkats watching for predators.

“Brian,” Tommy said. “Go up to the corner and peek around it. Let’s see if anyone knows we’re coming.”

Brian looked at Tommy with wide eyes. “Why do you want me to peek around? Why don’t you do it?”

“Shhhhh,” The taller of the pair looked back over his shoulder again before turning his scowl onto his pale, skinny companion. “Quiet or it won’t matter if they are expecting us or not. They’ll know we are here anyway.”

Brian dropped his gaze. “Sorry Tommy.”

Tommy nodded and glanced back again. “The reason I want you to go peek is because your eyes are better than mine.”

Brian puffed up a little at the compliment before deflating as he worked his way down to the junction of two hallways.

Tommy waved his hand in the air in an impatient gesture to hurry his friend along. His hands were shaking and his lip was quivering. He bounced in place as he waited, his back to the wall and his head snapping from side to side.

Brian reached the end of the hallway and turned to look back at Tommy. Tommy gave him a thumbs up and motioned him forward.

Tommy watched Brian lean forward. His friend jerked his head back and turned to run down the hall towards him.

Tommy didn’t need to hear Brian yell the word run. He was running back towards the door as soon as his friend had pulled back from the corner.

A hidden security camera was pointed towards the side entrance they had entered through. The tape recorded the door bursting open. It saw Tommy start to go out, and then something jerked him back into the darkness inside the door.

 

Categories: Flash Fiction, Writing

New story to appear in Under The Bed Magazine in September

August 20, 2014 1 comment

My Native American Cthulhu mythos story, Wendigo, has been accepted for inclusion in the September issue of “Under the Bed” magazine. Here is the cover.

 

Under the Bed September

Under the Bed September cover

Once it is available, you can pick up a copy here.

In other news, I finally finished the third draft of my first novel. My working title is Double Occupancy. I am working on the fourth draft already, compiling the book chapter at a time after putting it through my new favorite editing tool, The Hemmingway Editor. It catches things I just don’t, and I love it. I am about to start writing the synopsis and submitting the book to agents. Wish me luck. I should be on here, griping about rejections from agents, in about a month.

L. E. White

Coffee Date

Joey sat with his hands in front of his face like he was praying. He was resting his elbows on the table, and he had his eyes closed.

Joanna wondered if he was praying or just waiting for her to finish pouring sugar in her coffee. She liked this restaurant better than the one that was across from the doctor’s office. Jerry’s had the sugar in a container rather than just putting a box of the little packets on the table. She felt stupid tearing the tops off of so many packets to get the coffee to taste sweet enough.

As if he was waiting for his queue in a play, the moment that Joanna put her spoon down, Joey opened his eyes. “Hello.”

“Hi,” she said. “How you been lately?”

“Not bad.” He reached up and parted his long hair in the middle of his forehead. When he did, the thin, gold hoop that floated above his head lifted higher to avoid touching his hands. Once his hair was out of his eyes, the halo lowered back down to rest just above his head. “You?”

“I lost my job.” She picked up the spoon and stirred her coffee to keep her hands occupied. “But you already knew that.”

“I did. But I knew you needed to tell me.”

She nodded. “It feels more natural when I do.”

They both stopped talking when the waitress walked up. She sat the little plate, covered with hash browns, on the table and hurried away.

“She didn’t ask if I wanted ketchup,” Joanna said. She pursed her lips, pouting a little at the slight.

“You are scaring her,” Joey said. “People are afraid of people who talk to things they can’t see.”

She stared down at her plate. “I know. That is why I got fired. I was talking to Samantha.”

Joey didn’t say anything. He just shifted his hands so that his chin was resting on both fists.

“The doctor gave me new medicine.”

Joey smiled at Joanna. “I know. I’ve been waiting on you to say something about it. That medicine is why I am here.”

Joanna looked over at the counter and the waitress turned away from her as fast as she could. “She was staring at us.”

“She was staring at you. Not me.”

Joanna pulled the little brown bottle of pills out of her pocket and began rolling it between her fingers. They both sat there, listening to the pills click against the plastic as the bottle spun. Joanna thought it sounded like hail on her window.

“I’m afraid.”

Joey nodded.

“What if these make me stop seeing you?”

“Then you stop seeing me.”

“I don’t want too.”

Joey leaned forward. “You need to live a normal life. That medicine will help you do that. I want you to be happy, and if not seeing me will make you happier in the long run then that is what needs to happen.”

“You’re my guardian angel. Seeing you is a good thing.” A tear ran down her cheek. “I don’t want to be alone all the time.”

“You don’t have to be if you don’t want to be,” Joey said. “Taking those pills might make it so that you can’t see me and Sam and Clarence, but it will also make it so that you can be with other people. People like Tom, and Sarah and Chance.”

Her lip quivered. “I don’t want to lose you.”

“You won’t. I will always be here, you just won’t see me.” He leaned over and looked up from the table at her. “All that really matters is that you get better so that you are happy.”

Joanna opened the bottle, took one of the pills, and said. “I’m going to miss you.”

Happy Anniversary

August 13, 2014 Leave a comment

This week marks my 21st anniversary. My wife and I have been married longer than we have been apart.

I love her to death, but it is scary to say it like that.

Anyway, I am continuing to try and write stories that are outside my norm. This is apparently a very good idea, since it was also mentioned on this week’s Writing Excuses Podcast.

And after writing this piece, I have to wonder how most other authors do it without a supernatural element? It is hard to get excited about a story that doesn’t have a monster.

That doesn’t matter in the end though. All that is important is finding ways to write better. I hope you enjoy the story.

L. E. White

Burning Dreams

Greg sat on a little concrete bench outside of work, smoking and staring at the parking lot while the sun was rising behind him. The sky was smeared in light orange and dark grey, but he did not look. He kept his eyes focused on the cars that made their way to deliver sleepy people to another day of manufacturing.

He leaned forward and stabbed the cherry red tip of his filter into the dirt. A soft hiss rose out of the dew covered grass before he sat the butt beside the others on the bench. He drew another from the pack and set the end ablaze before taking a long drag.

Greg watched and smoked until a lime green Beetle pulled into one of the reserved spots to his right. The driver, a tall blonde man with tan skin, looked up at Greg when he stepped onto the sidewalk. He walked towards the door with slow, shuffling steps like men used to use on their way to the gallows.

“Hi, Tom.”

The blonde shook his head no. “I don’t want to talk about this anymore.”

“You wanted to this weekend,” Greg said. “You wanted a lot of things this weekend.”

“We were drunk.”

“You say that like you think it’s an excuse.”

He stood up straight and took a deep breath before squaring up to Greg and crossing his arms. “It is an excuse. I wasn’t thinking straight or I would have never suggested something like that.”

“It is way too late to take it back now.” Greg ran his hands through his hair, singing a streak through it with his cigarette in the process.

They stood there, staring at each other in silence for a few moments.

“So what now,” Tom asked. “Where do we go from here?”

“That depends on what else you have done about it.”

“What do you mean?”

Greg frowned. “I talked to my wife the moment I got home. It shocked her, but she didn’t say anything else. She hasn’t spoken to me at all since.”

“This can’t go any further,” Tom said. “We can’t do this.”

Greg shook his head and turned toward the building. “You suck. You know that right?”

Tom didn’t answer; he just walked into the building without looking back.

Greg reached into his back pocket and drew out a little piece of paper. “G & T Solutions”, scribbled on it in again and again. The two men had tried to come up with a logo for a business that they would never start. Greg crumpled the paper, squeezing it into a tight wad before using his lighter to burn away the reminder of his dream.

A new beginning

August 6, 2014 Leave a comment

I don’t have much to say this week. As I mentioned in my last post, I’m going to spend the next few weeks writing things that don’t fit my normal genre and style. Meaning, that nobody is going to die a horrible death.

This week, I did this with baby steps. After you read the story, you will understand why I now say that there was no pun intended in that comment.

I have included a fantasy element, just not a scary or horrifying one. I hope that still counts. If you have an opinion on that, I would love to hear it. Feel free to leave me a comment.

L. E. White

Gardening

Mark stopped walking and turned around to look behind him. “Are you coming buddy?”

A chubby cheeked duplicate of Mark stood still on the path. His googly eyed yellows shoes looked up into the sky with him, as they stared into the branches of a dwarf peach tree.

Mark walked back down the path and sat beside his son. He looked up into the foliage, searching for signs of movement. “What do you see Brad?”

Brad pointed a grape stained finger up at an empty tree limb. “Little people,” he said, his two year old slur taking a couple of syllables hostage as he spoke.

“You see little people?”

“Uh-Huh.” The boy nodded, but never took his eyes of the tree limb.

“Well, I don’t see them,” Mark said. “So if they are there, they must be hiding.”

Brad nodded, his head moving in a slow, solemn way. “Hiding.”

“Come here,” Mark said after he stood up. “I’ll give you a ride.”

The boy turned to his father and extended his arms up. Mark lifted him into the air, putting him on his shoulders as the moved towards the garden.

“You ready to help me pick tomatoes?”

“Mad-oes,” Brad said, cheering the word over and over as they walked.

***

“That was close.”

A man, no more than four inchs tall, popped into view. The air beside of him shimmered, and another little man, half the size of the first, appeared beside him.

“I didn’t know any of them could see us,” The smaller one said.

“Normally they can’t,” the taller one said. “But when they can, it is usually the children.”

A bird song floated through the trees and both of them turned to face the south. Their wings, dragon fly like and the color of strong white wine, flicked up, preparing to lift them into the sky.

“Will Mum be mad that I was seen,” The smaller fairy asked.

“No, it happens with children sometimes. Now, lets get home for supper.”

Brad turned to look back at the tree and saw two glowing motes of light dart through the leaves. He laughed and clapped before turning around and hugging his father, choking him in the process.

“Easy. We will get you a tomato in a moment.”

Categories: Fantasy, Flash Fiction, Writing