We had some cool games and giveaways, great spooky movies and lots of rocking Halloween music. But, I think the coolest giveaway we had was the search for the best audio story or excerpt, read by the authors. It was a lot of fun, but now that Halloween is over, I’ve made the recordings public on the WordCrafter YouTube channel.
Drop by and check out the awesome stories and story excerpts which are available there. Each story is from one of the three anthologies put out by WordCrafter in 2022: Once Upon an Ever After, Refracted Reflections, and Visions. And don’t forget to ‘Subscribe’ while you’re there, so you can get the best WordCrafter’s audio and video recordings, expanding our methods of story telling back to traditional, and not so traditional, means.
For Kaye Lynne Booth, writing is a passion. Kaye Lynne is an author with published short fiction and poetry, both online and in print, including her short story collection, Last Call and Other Short Fiction; and her paranormal mystery novella, Hidden Secrets. Kaye holds a dual M.F.A. degree in Creative Writing with emphasis in genre fiction and screenwriting, and an M.A. in publishing. Kaye Lynne is the founder of WordCrafter Quality Writing & Author Services and WordCrafter Press. She also maintains an authors’ blog and website, Writing to be Read, where she publishes content of interest in the literary world.
Join Kaye Lynne Booth & WordCrafter Press Readers’ Group for WordCrafter Press book & event news, including the awesome releases of author Kaye Lynne Booth. Get a free digital copy of her short story collection, Last Call and Other Short Fiction, as a sampling of her works just for joining.
Intrinsic humility is the understanding that one’s own life may be full of fascinating details but the lives of countless others are equally as fascinating to themselves as your life is to you.
Sound of rainfall:
tiny infant fingers
tapping the roof
thousands at a time.
Life is not my enemy. True,
It will kill me before too long but
death is the act of highest compassion.
I have a purpose. How kind of life to provide
me with that sense of my being.
Life is not my enemy. How would a great teacher be
a nemesis unless it was necessary? Life is not my enemy.
We Must Fix What Is Left
Oct 31, 2022
“It’s broken.” My grandson stands over his red fire truck.
The wheels have come off. The boy’s lower lip thrusts out and I can see that his heart is broken too. If I tell him that it’s just a toy, he won’t be comforted. This was the only truck in his world and now his grief will carry him to a child’s little hades, for just a minute. What is a minute to a three year old? It may as well be forever. For the duration of that minute all hell breaks loose and his tears and rage fill the room till all the grown-ups flee. Except me. I’m the baby sitter. I know how he feels. The world is broken, our world. And it was we who broke it, stuffed it, neglected it, tore its roots out. Has it come to this? My grief for a broken world carries me to my own hades, my underworld of sorrow where what has been done cannot be undone until we have atoned like ancient Jews on Yom Kippur.? What punishment do we receive if we fail to atone? Regret, more like: oh the regret we have yet to feel as the land sinks and the seas rise. Our earth is frangible, it can be waylaid like the victims of highway robbery. “Hands up, planet!” The men in dark suits are digging holes. “Can’t you see we’re busy here? Go away with your storms. We know how to deal with your kind!”
They’re only doing their jobs, they’re following orders.
“Take them away,” croaks the man in the suit and tie. “Take them away and hide them in the deepest mines.”
It’s broken. Can it be fixed? The next generations are tasked with this inhuman mess. They will have to be strong beyond what we know. They will have to develop themselves in unforeseen ways to have the stamina to work within the broken systems on the derelict highways. Armageddon will be indefinitely postponed. It already happened and we missed it. We were busy fighting. The next apocalypse will hit us before we’re ready. That is the nature of things. We have only the promise in Luke and Mark and John, Christians before Christianity, who learned that the lilies of the field will always be in their raiment, even if it is only in heaven.
September 26, 2022
I forget that evil tyrants run the world.
I forget that artists and thinkers
barely exist, barely scratch by
with a sigh, with patient resignation.
I forget that kindness is hindered
at every turn by evil intentions of those who command
the power of Calamity. I forget
that bad guys have no love
but don’t even miss it. I forget
that tenderness is
but a beginning to ever greater tenderness.
I forget that
we create ourselves in versions
of the pattern laid down within
the great infinite Memory. I forget everything
except that I exist and sometimes I forget that, too.
What I remember is this: I am aware of you. I am aware of your scent and the streams of feeling that flow between us.
That I Can Never Forget.
Arthur Rosch is a novelist, musician, photographer and poet. His works are funny, memorable and often compelling. One reviewer said “He’s wicked and feisty, but when he gets you by the guts, he never lets go.” Listeners to his music have compared him to Frank Zappa, Tom Waits, Randy Newman or Mose Allison. These comparisons are flattering but deceptive. Rosch is a stylist, a complete original. His material ranges from sly wit to gripping political commentary.
Arthur was born in the heart of Illinois and grew up in the western suburbs of St. Louis. In his teens he discovered his creative potential while hoping to please a girl. Though she left the scene, Arthur’s creativity stayed behind. In his early twenties he moved to San Francisco and took part in the thriving arts scene. His first literary sale was to Playboy Magazine. The piece went on to receive Playboy’s “Best Story of the Year” award. Arthur also has writing credits in Exquisite Corpse, Shutterbug, eDigital, and Cat Fancy Magazine. He has written five novels, a memoir and a large collection of poetry. His autobiographical novel, Confessions Of An Honest Man won the Honorable Mention award from Writer’s Digest in 2016.
More of his work can be found at www.artrosch.com
Want to be sure not to miss any of Arthur’s “Mind Fields” segments? Subscribe to Writing to be Read for e-mail notifications whenever new content is posted or follow WtbR on WordPress. If you find it interesting or just entertaining, please share.
Note: for this month’s Bowlesian! I thought I’d share the first chapter of my newest novel, just released on Amazon this week. Please enjoy this sneak peek of “Resurrection Mixtape”. It’s all in the music, man. Press play at your own risk.
Resurrection Mixtape – Chapter 1
by Jeff Bowles
Firstly, an epitaph—
A mutual acquaintance introduced us. Years ago, when we were still in school. Emily was new to the city and wary of putting herself out there, which I could align with, because I wasn’t always eager to let new people into my life either. As it turned out, we both had respectable music collections. Her lexicon of rock and country and hip-hop and jazz, roots music, metal, soul, R&B, it was terribly impressive. I told her as much.
“Maybe we could combine forces and start a radio station,” she laughed.
“People don’t listen to music anymore. Not like they used to.”
And she gave me a puzzled look. “Yes, they do. Who on earth told you that?”
Emily didn’t buy the bad in life. Rented it sometimes, maybe. But rarely did she dwell therein. Everything we went through together, and she ended up with a guy named Guy. Stupid name for a guy, right? I mean, Guy. Barely a fucking noun. Guy was a real estate man, loaded, paid for one hell of a funeral. I attended of course. I forced myself to go. All it did was hurt me. I could’ve loved her better than anyone else. I would’ve seen to her every … well, I would’ve seen to her.
Maybe the MC at her wake played Bridge Over Troubled Water or something. I don’t remember. Emily would’ve preferred a more personal touch, perhaps even a song or two from one of her famous mixtapes….
* * * * *
Late Sunday Night—or early Monday morning, if you prefer
Summer in Seattle—KNOCK, KNOCK
The dead woman standing at my doorstep could not account for herself, how she’d gotten there, by what incredible means. Expression vacant and gloomy, her eyes shifted from the contours of the porch, to my face, to the bright interior space behind me. My dearly departed friend, Emily Greer, almost a year to the day since she died in the fire. Not a ghost or a demonic apparition, not charred to a cinder or desiccated, sticky with rot, disfigured beyond belief.
She looked perfect, untouched, like she’d just stepped from one of my memories. Naked and soaked in sweat, she shivered like a Pomeranian, like she’d just come through some terrible ordeal.
“Emily,” I breathed.
To which she replied, “Bluuuurgh.”
I blinked at her, dumbfounded, mind gloppy like horse glue. A soft vodka belch escaped my lips. Clearly, my night had shit-slipped into a different plane of reality. This was quickly and decisively not okay with me, like the music of Jared Leto or those little blonde fucks who sang MMMBop. It was well past midnight, humid and still. I felt hot and tired. Inebriated. Bewildered.
Those we connect with—in whose mental and emotional machinery we become entangled—enter and exit our lives at specific times for specific purposes. After everything I’ve seen, I can come to no other conclusion. But for me and you and everyone else, purpose can cut both ways. Like maybe you only meet someone so they can screw you over, make you feel scared or small, scar you up for the rest of your life (and maybe even your afterlife).
Case in point.
Emily held something small in her hand, just a little thing. Its plastic body reflected the soft, normative glow of my 60-watt porch light. An old audio cassette. Or maybe not old at all, hard to tell. She seemed to perceive its existence the same moment I did. She glanced at it and gurgled. Her hand trembled as she passed it to me.
“You … you want me to have this?” I asked.
Her head lolled to the side.
“What for…? What’s on it?” I said.
I scanned one side of it, Side A, then I flipped it over and scanned Side B. Clear body, bold crimson Maxell logo, its label inscribed in black ink: FOR THE MAN WHO HAS EVERYTHING. Once death and resurrection are on the table, one abandons compelling discriminative thinking anyway. I just so happened to have an old workhorse HiFi system sitting next to the TV in the living room. Tape deck still worked fine, too.
I told her she’d better come inside, that I had nosy neighbors. No skin off her bare ass. She staggered through the door, knocking into me as she crossed the threshold. The television blared at us from the next room. A Pink Floyd documentary I’d been dozing through. Dark Side of the Moon, spacey and comforting. I shut the door behind her and told her to sit tight while I went to flick it off. I was gone twenty seconds at most. When I turned around to head back, I found her seated comfortably on my sofa.
“How…?” I said.
“How’d you move so—”
“Okay, playing it. No need to get prickly.”
Machinelike, I powered up the HiFi, slid the cassette into the tape deck, hit the play button. A slight audio compression noise filled the room, the whir of blank magnetic space, a click when it tracked. A strange voice blasted from my upright speakers.
“Jason Halifax,” it said, “you are called. We call you. Play this cassette in full every Monday for precisely five weeks. Play it in full now and then follow our prescribed schedule for the remainder of the attenuation period. Do not deviate. We cannot stress this enough. Terrible things will happen if you do. Just awful.”
The voice was neither masculine nor feminine, young nor old. It was cold and ethereal, seeming to fill my mind as much as my ears.
“Upon completion of this task, Emily Greer will have regained her faculties in full. Made whole, better even. Quite simply, you will witness the birth of a god among women. You have been advised and duly warned. End spoken word portion.”
A clean, jangling piano flooded the sound field. My heart skipped a beat as it cycled through some pleasant seaside chords. A snare drum popped, a kick thudded, and the tempo changed. Billy Joel started singing Only the Good Die Young. 1978, charted at number 25, track six off his album, The Stranger.
I glared at Emily. “You’ve got to be fucking kidding me.”
* * * * *
For the Man Who Has Everything wasone of a dozen mixtapes Emily gifted me over the course of our ten-year friendship. It was a hobby of hers. She accepted and adored all kinds of music. I’ve never known anyone so universal. Her latest and greatest contained ten tracks in total. A few notable inclusions:
Blinding Lights, by The Weeknd, released in 2019. Driving, dirty synth pop with potent neo Michael-Jacksonian vocals.
My Sharona, by The Knack, recorded in 1979. Energetic and meaty. A pop classic everyone loves to hate or hates to love.
Just My Imagination (Running Away with Me), by The Temptations, released in the year 1971. The ultimate unrequited love song. So many beautiful bits and pieces. A delicate yet powerful composition, poetry in motion.
“You made this for me?” I asked, meaning the playlist itself.
Her head tipped back and then forward.
“Why?” I said.
She looked down at herself, patted her knees, seeming at last to have noticed she was freebirding it.
“You need something to wear. Thank you for that,” I said.
I tore my eyes away and headed upstairs to the bedroom, pilfered the pile of clothes lying on my floor. A t-shirt and some black sweatpants. They’d have to do. The muffled, soulful strains of Just My Imagination called to me. The song should’ve acted as a balm, a healing touch, but no such luck. I was just as busted up and bewildered as the night I heard about the fire.
Contrary to what I’d once believed about us, Emily never was Lennon to my McCartney, Simon to my Garfunkel. We were more like an alternate comic book dimension Rogers and Hammerstein. Like maybe Rogers writes the lyrics while Hammerstein shits in the corner. Repeatedly, just shitting over in that corner he shits in all the time … complete dissimilarity to the actual …you get my point.
Not because of who she was, understand. For what I turned into in pursuit of her. Love is destructive even at its purest and best, complete and all-powerful in its ability to obliterate and violently remake you. I’d become averse to love, superstitious of it, and for what it’s worth, willing to let any and all opportunities pass. I thought about that as I shook loose change from the pockets of the sweatpants. How many times I could’ve gotten with someone but elected not to on her behalf. I could’ve fucked my way into some kind of reasonable mental clarity. You never know. Instead, I chose the way of the lovelorn monk, because there’s so much joy to be had there.
Sighing, I tucked the clothes under my arm and headed back downstairs. She was right where I left her, on the sofa, listening to the music.
“Emily,” I said, “how is any of this possible?”
She stared at me like I’d just asked her to solve the relativistic mass-energy equation. The mixtape tracked to the next song, Style by Taylor Swift. I wondered if she knew I hated Taylor Swift (I mean, outwardly, anyway—what kind of monster literally hates Taylor Swift?).
I eyed her, resisting my growing resentment of the lack of reciprocal mental feedback. Setting the clothes beside her on the sofa, I noted how doped up and dreamy her big googly eyes appeared. I helped her dress. One arm and then the other, her legs, flimsy as noodles, awkward to stuff down pant legs. My hand touched the inside of her thigh. Still slick with sweat. Up, dude, look up.
Emily gurgled again at me. I offered her something to eat, mimed shoveling food into my mouth.
“Blarrss,” she said.
Her body and expression froze. Her next intended syllable—whatever that may have been—stuck in her throat. She went very pale, rigid.
“What’s wrong?” I said. “Not hungry?”
A subtle chill passed over the room, a lazy coolness like from long afternoon shadows. The wooden framework of my home creaked and groaned. Emily let out the most godawful moan I’d ever heard. The blood drained from her face, her eyes darting around, lips quivering. She collapsed into my arms, her body beginning to convulse. Worming and wriggling as she was, I couldn’t get a grip on her. The same disembodied voice from the cassette exploded from her mouth.
“This is not a social call, Jason Halifax,” it said. “Contractual obligations must be met. Our conglomeration simply could not turn a blind eye to the situation at hand.”
It dawned on me this voice, this presence, expected a response.
“This is about a contract?” I said.
“I don’t remember signing any—”
“You signed with your soul, Jason, with your intentions and all your secret hopes and desires. You believed this woman should be yours. Evidently, she did not disagree. Neither could the contract have been fulfilled while she was dead. Obviously so.”
“What do you mean she didn’t disagree? Who are you?”
“God,” the voice said.
“No, not really. That was a joke.”
The most bewildering and unnatural laughter rocked poor Emily’s body. It sounded like demons baying in skanky reverb, a mess of harsh unholy shit-swallowing. And I’ve never swallowed shit before, right? But contextually speaking, it sounded like goats suck-starting an elephant.
“Listen,” I said, “if we’re only gonna talk crazy here, I’m going to need something heavier than vodka.”
“Crazy? You’ve no comprehension of the word. Our true nature strains credulity. To attempt a worthy explanation of who we are and what we’re capable of would doubtless mystify you. Emily loved you dearly. That’s the important thing. It hurt her very much that you drifted apart.”
“That’s not how things were. I don’t believe you, Skeletor.”
“Skeletor. Ha. Yes, well looks can be deceiving. Make her whole, Jason. Protect this life, her life, her second chance. Love her with all your heart and soul. Isn’t that everything you’ve always wanted?”
And that’s it, folks! Pick up your copy of Resurrection Mixtape now. Thanks for reading, and I’ll be back next month with a December Bowlesian! short story that’ll knock your socks off. Goodbye!
Jeff Bowles is a science fiction and horror writer from the mountains of Colorado. The best of his outrageous and imaginative work can be found in God’s Body: Book One – The Fall, Love/Madness/Demon, Godling and Other Paint Stories, Fear and Loathing in Las Cruces, and Brave New Multiverse. He has published work in magazines and anthologies like PodCastle, Tales from the Canyons of the Damned, the Threepenny Review, and Dark Moon Digest. Jeff earned his Master of Fine Arts degree in creative writing at Western State Colorado University. He currently lives in the high-altitude Pikes Peak region, where he dreams strange dreams and spends far too much time under the stars.
Something to think about. Thanks Stevie.
Today is my birthday. I am 65 years old. This afternoon with the arrival of the post I have just spent a happy half an hour opening my cards. One friend has sent me a card with a horse’s arse on the front of it – I have no idea why, but she always was a trifle weird.
I have no idea where the time has gone, but it has definitely gone and I am teetering on the verge of being an official old age pensioner. Yes… next year I can claim my state pension, free bus pass, and then turn off my NHS laptop and RETIRE.
Retirement has always been something that happens to old people, but now very soon it will be happening to me. When I started work at the hospital back in 2002 most of the secretaries were older than me. Now they’re all younger…
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Ghost Walk, by Melissa Bowersock is Book 1 in her Lacy Fitzpatrick and Sam Firecloud Mystery series. This paranormal mystery is more of a crime fiction story, than a cozy. An ex-cop turned P.I. and a spirit seeing Indian team up to find the answers, through both paranormal evidence which only Sam can see and forensics and the strong investigative skills of Lacey, to crimes which have eluded the law, bringing justice to both the living and the dead.
This first book in the series covers the story of the developing relationship between the two partners and promises more mysteries to come. They are good. Lacey knows how to track down the clues, and with inside information coming from beyond, she has the pieces to the puzzle that local law enforcement lacks. Sam has learned to keep his gift under wraps, but has an undeniable urge to help the dead who cry out to him, and partnering up with Lacey, might be just what he needs to help him do that.
This well crafted tale is a quick and entertaining read, which carefully lays out the clues for the detectives and the readers to discover. The two main characters are both down to earth and very relatable. I give Ghost Walk five quills.
Join Kaye Lynne Booth & WordCrafter Press Readers’ Group for WordCrafter Press book & event news, including the awesome releases of author Kaye Lynne Booth. Get a free digital copy of her short story collection, Last Call and Other Short Fiction, as a sampling of her works just for joining.
The Sotho-Tswana people of southern Africa comprise of the South Sotho (Basuto and Sotho), the West Sotho (Tswana) and the North Sotho (Pedi) people.
Most Sotho people were historically herders of cattle, goats and sheep and growers of grains and tobacco. The Sotho people were also recognised for their metal and leather work as well as their wood and ivory carving.
The Sotho people live largely in Lesotho and South Africa and as a combined group are the second largest ethnic group in South Africa.
The Sotho traditionally believe in Modimo who created the world and then withdrew to Heaven. He no longer concerns himself with life on earth. Modimo is not worshipped directly but though the ancestors.
The belief in ancestors is central to Sotho traditional religion. The ancestors are believed to have an influence over the daily lives of their direct descendants. Each family is under the direct guidance of its own descendants while the tribe, as a whole, is under the guidance of the ancestors of the chief.
The Sotho-Tswana people have several linguistic and cultural characteristics that distinguish them from other Bantu speaking peoples of southern Africa.
- In Sotho-Tswana society each member has a totem which is usually an animal. Totems are inherited from the father and are passed down like surnames;
- A pre-emptive right for men to marry their maternal cousins;
- an architectural style characterized by a round hut with a conical thatch roof supported by wooden pillars on the outside;
- Cloaks made of skin;
- A preference for dense and close settlements; and
- A tradition for large-scale building in stone.
The Tokoloshe is an evil spirit that shaman create to to torment others as a form of punishment or revenge for a perceived slight. The Tokoloshe is dwarf-like, shriveled and hairy and, in some descriptions, has gouged-out eyes. When called, the Tokoloshe can be used for something as simple as scaring children, or can cause illness or even death to those it is tasked with tormenting.
The Tokoloshe is able to become invisible by drinking water or swallowing a stone.
The myth of the Tokoloshe is believed to have come about to explain why people mysteriously died while sleeping in their rondavels at night. Traditionally, people slept on grass mats on the floor encircling a wood fire during the winter. The fire depleted the oxygen levels in the huts and left behind noxious carbon monoxide with sank to the floor. A connection was eventually made that people who slept in elevated positions escaped the curse of the Tokoloshe. Some people still elevate their beds by placing bricks beneath the legs.
This is short reading from Myths and Legends of Southern Africa by Penny Miller called Catching the Tokoloshe:
About Roberta Eaton Cheadle
Roberta Eaton Cheadle is a South African writer and poet specialising in historical, paranormal, and horror novels and short stories. She is an avid reader in these genres and her writing has been influenced by famous authors including Bram Stoker, Edgar Allan Poe, Amor Towles, Stephen Crane, Enrich Maria Remarque, George Orwell, Stephen King, and Colleen McCullough.
Roberta has short stories and poems in several anthologies and has 2 published novels, Through the Nethergate, a historical supernatural fantasy, and A Ghost and His Gold, a historical paranormal novel set in South Africa.
Roberta has 11 children’s books published under the name Robbie Cheadle.
Roberta was educated at the University of South Africa where she achieved a Bachelor of Accounting Science in 1996 and a Honours Bachelor of Accounting Science in 1997. She was admitted as a member of The South African Institute of Chartered Accountants in 2000.
Roberta has worked in corporate finance from 2001 until the present date and has written 7 publications relating to investing in Africa. She has won several awards over her 20-year career in the category of Transactional Support Services.
Find Roberta Eaton Cheadle
Want to be sure not to miss any of Robbie’s “Dark Origins” segments? Subscribe to Writing to be Read for e-mail notifications whenever new content is posted or follow WtbR on WordPress. If you found it interesting or entertaining, please share.
Thanks to all who participated in the WordCrafter Visions Book Blog Tour. We had fabulous contributors who were eager to participate in the extensive promotions we did for this anthology, including the tour, which we wrapped up yesterday. We also had some wonderful tour hosts, a few which were also contributors to the anthology, leading to several reviews of individual stories, but we like those too. This is an exceptional anthology and we all have it an outstanding send off.
But a blog tour wouldn’t be much without all of the wonderful guests who joined us, and to show our appreciation WordCrafter Press is giving away five digital copies of the Visions anthology. I want to thank all who followed the tour or just dropped by one of the stops and left a comment, and I am pleased to announce the five winners of the giveaway.
Drumroll… … …
And the winners are…
Congradulations to you all!
Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org for a link to claim your prize.
I’m sorry if you didn’t win. 🙁 But look on the bright 🌞 side. You can still grab your copy of Visions at you favorite distributor.
Purchase link: https://books2read.com/u/49Lk2
Today is Day 8 and we’re wrapping up the WordCrafter Visions Book Blog Tour here on Writing to be Read. We’ve had a fantastic tour for this unique fantasy, science fiction, and horror anthology. For anyone who might have missed a stop along the way, you’ll find links to each stop below. Note that they will not work until each post goes live. We’re running a great digital giveaway and all it takes to enter is a comment, so visit any stops you missed and leave a comment so I know you were there.
Monday – October 17 – Guest Post – Billie Holladay Skelley & Winning Story Interview with Roberta Eaton Cheadle – Writing to be Read
Tuesday – October 18 – Guest Post – Michaele Jordan & Review – Patty’s World
Wednesday – October 19 – Guest Post – D.L. Mullan – The Showers of Blessings
Thursday – October 20 – Guest Post – C.R. Johanssen & Review – Robbie’s Inspiration
Friday – October 21 – Guest Post – Patty L. Fletcher & Review – Zigler’s News
Sunday – October 23 – Guest Post – Stephanie Kraner & Review – Roberta Writes
Three digital copies of Visions will go to three lucky winners.
Enter at each stop just by leaving a comment so I know you were there.
Follow the tour, comment at each stop, and learn more about this exceptional anthology.
Grab your copy today from your favorite book distributor through the Books2Read UBL: https://books2read.com/u/49Lk28
About the Book
An author’s visions are revealed through their stories. Many authors have strange and unusual stories, indeed. Within these pages, you will find the stories of eighteen different authors, each unique and thought provoking. These are the fantasy, science fiction, paranormal, and horror stories that will keep you awake long into the night.
What happens when:
An inexplicable monster plagues a town for generations, taking people… and souvenirs?
A post-apocalyptic band of travelers finds their salvation in an archaic machine?
The prey turns out to be the predator for a band of human traffickers?
Someone chooses to be happy in a world where emotions are regulated and controlled?
A village girl is chosen to be the spider queen?
Grab your copy today and find out. Let authors such as W.T. Paterson, Joseph Carabis, Kaye Lynne Booth, Michaele Jordan, Stephanie Kraner, and others, including the author of the winning story in the WordCrafter 2022 Short Fiction Contest, Roberta Eaton Cheadle, tantalize your thoughts and share their
From Kaye Lynne Booth, editor of Once Upon an Ever After: Modern Fairy Tales & Folklore, Refracted Reflections: Twisted Tales of Duality & Deception and Gilded Glass: Twisted Myths & Shattered Fairy Tales.
For today’s tour stop, we have a guest post by contributing author, Joseph Carrabis, here on Writing to be Read, and then over on Undawnted, DL Mullan has a review of his story, “Marianne”.
The Genesis of Marianne
Marianne originally was Mitre and dealt with how grown children deal with a senile parent. It was set at an ocean front home and many of the plot points in Mitre made it through to Marianne, except Mitre presented a dim view of people professing Christianity in order to avoid unpleasant responsibilities, and Mitre – a devout Catholic and an immigrant – is senile throughout the story.
The original Mitre draft – written sometime in the early 1970s. I was a live-in groundsman/driver/bodyguard for a wealthy family who lived in a mansion on the ocean – never worked for me although I appreciated the idea behind it and most of the plot points, so into a drawer it went (we didn’t have computers back then). I rewrote it twice in 1988 (at which point it made it into a computer), twice again in 1998, then again in 2013, 2015, 2017, twice in 2018 and ’19, and remained unsatisfied although I knew each rewrite got closer to the core story. I rewrote it four times in 2020 which is when Mitre became Marianne and I realized what wasn’t working for me. It took me four more rewrites to get the characters’ voices, the fantasy concept, the myth induction, and associated elements to work to my satisfaction.
Here are some specifics:
- What worked
- the low character count. Good short stories are rarely Cecile B. DeMille productions.
- The family dynamic.
- The relationship between Mitre/Marianne and her deceased husband.
- The oceanfront home setting.
- What didn’t work
- Ragging on Christianity/Christians – too easy a target.
- The introduction of a Catholic, immigrant background – not relevant, red herrings, and weakened the story line.
- Poor storycrafting.
- What I liked originally – The resolution.
- Why I couldn’t let the story go – I don’t think I’ve ever let anything go. I have close to 16G of stories, novels, plot lines, characters, settings, et cetera, on my hard disk waiting for me to finish them. Specific to Mitre/Marianne, I couldn’t let go of the victimization and abuse of the elderly idea (even though it came to me long before it was a recognized cultural concern).
About Joseph Carrabis
Joseph Carrabis told stories to anyone who would listen starting in childhood, wrote his first stories in grade school, and started getting paid for his writing in 1978. He’s been everything from a long-haul trucker to a Chief Research Scientist and holds patents covering mathematics, anthropology, neuroscience, and linguistics. After patenting a technology which he created in his basement and creating an international company, he retired from corporate life and now he spends his time writing fiction based on his experiences. His work appears regularly in several anthologies and his own published novels. You can learn more about him at https://josephcarrabis.com.
That wraps up up today’s tour stop on Writing to be Read, but be sure to drop over to Undawnted for a review of “Marianne” by DL Mullan.
Also, Joseph ran his own set of blog posts on the anthology, with sixteen contribiuting authors featured. His posts can be found as follows.
Thank you all so much for joining us and I hope you all enjoyed this tour as much as I have. There’s still time to get more entries in the giveaway by visiting each stop through the links at the top of the page. I will post the winners for the giveaway tomorrow in a special announcement post.
And don’t forget to grab your copy of Visions.
Purchase Link: https://books2read.com/u/49Lk28
Book your WordCrafter Book Blog Tour today!