Monday, September 15, 2014

A random story

Here’s a little story I wrote for a writing prompt that I posted to my classroom over at F2K. The prompt was called ten twisted tales. Basically I gave the class ten randomly generated story ideas and let them run with it. The only rule is they had to keep their stories at or below 500 words.

Here was the random story starter I chose…
A dictator and a kleptomaniac hippy try to pick up dates at the movies.

And here is the result…

An Unlikely Pair...or Stan and Harry go to the Movies. (WC 500)

An unlikely pair shuffled up to the box office window, a hippy named Harry with a penchant for partaking of things that didn't belong to him, and the former dictator of an ex-Soviet era eastern European country. Harry called him Stan, but his given name was Stanislav Vladimir Yormenensky III. 

Actually, it would be more accurate to say Harry shuffled, while Stan stepped stiffly toward the bored teen behind the counter.

She raised a pierced eyebrow. "Movie?"

Harry stroked his scraggly goatee. "Like, two for the one about the princess and the frog."

She sighed. "You mean, The Princess and the Frog?"

"Yeah. That's what I said."

She tore two tickets from a reel and pushed them under the glass. "That'll be sixteen-fifty."

Harry took the tickets and jabbed a thumb toward Stan. "He's buying." He walked away before Stan could protest.

Stan pulled out his wallet. "This is being the...what do you call it? The highway robbery."

"Mmhmm." She drummed her fingers on the counter. "Sixteen-fifty."

He pushed the money under the glass, holding onto it for as long as he could.

Stan stepped into the lobby just in time to witness Harry lifting a box of Milk Duds from a little boy's back pocket. A few steps later and his friend picked up a bag of popcorn that some distracted mother had left on the counter.

Stan walked briskly to catch up. "That wasn't very nice."

Harry laughed. "What do you know about nice, man? You used to oppress the masses." He handed him the Milk Duds. "Now chillax. We're here to pick up chicks."

"At Princess and Frog?"

Harry held the door open, ushering him inside. "Chicks dig this stuff, man. Get an aisle seat so we can see the hotties coming in."

Stan selected a row halfway down, moving in one seat to make room for Harry.

"Choice location." Harry pointed to a pair of young women two seats down on the next row.

Stan furrowed his thick brow. "I don't know about this. I'm more of an arranged date sort of guy."

"Don't sweat it. You're in good hands." Harry munched on a handful of popcorn. "Watch and learn." A couple of errant kernels flew from his lips. "Chicks dig--"

Harry dropped the bucket and clawed at his throat. Stan hadn't seen such a lovely shade of purple since his days as an interrogator. Good times, he thought. Good times.

He pulled his friend into the aisle. "Someone help! My friend is chokink!"

One of the women jumped from her seat. "I'm a nurse."

She lifted Harry up, positioning her arms around him.

"What are you doink?"

"The Heimlich maneuver."

Harry gasped and sputtered, sending the dislodged corn spewing forth.

She helped him back to his seat, and bent down to look at him with her big blue eyes. "Are you alright?"

"I am now." He turned to Stan and winked. "See, I told you I was good with chicks."

Stan rolled his eyes.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Interesting, very interesting

My mother came across these very interesting pictures while going through some old papers of my grandmother's recently. My grandmother kept extensive journals and documented nearly everything in her life. In fact, growing up with her I can remember her chronicling almost every detail of my daily life on her calender in a tiny elegant script. When it came to recalling important dates and names (or even not so important ones), she was the one to go to. It was one of the many things that made her so unique and special.

Unfortunately, of all the things she logged in the myriad of journals and calendars she had over her life, these pictures weren't among them. So we are left wondering exactly what was going on in these pictures. It's a wonderfully absurd mystery, and one I thought would be fun to share with my writing friends who enjoy a good prompt now and then.

So here's the prompt...

Write a short story or scene about what you think is going on in these pictures. Try to keep it at least somewhat clean...remember, my grandmother is in these pictures. I'll post the most creative entries here. For the sake of brevity, and because I'm posting this prompt in a writing class, please keep your stories between 500 and 1000 words.

Have fun!

Saturday, August 2, 2014

The Sixth Seal

The Sixth Seal - The Protectors Book I

Anastasie Eloise Bertrand has spent the better part of fifteen years in a state run mental hospital, convinced that she is the reincarnated protector of an ancient and powerful book. After an unsuccessful escape attempt, she befriends her new psychologist who begins to suspect that Ana is not as crazy as everyone thinks.

Ana is soon torn between the good doctor and escaping the confines of the hospital to seek out the book and discover the truth about her destiny.

But time is quickly running out. A dark and secret society assembles to take control of the great book even as Ana struggles to understand who she is. She must find her fellow protectors and prevent the terrible power of the book from being unleashed upon mankind.

Available online now from these fine retailers:

Coming soon to Kobo and Oyster.

Print edition available December 2014.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

One of my favorites

"Description begins in the writer’s imagination, but should finish in the reader’s." 
-Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Comic spoof

Here's a fun little comic book cover spoof I made for my best buddy, Allyn and his awesome dog Cricket. Al is a super fun party host and somewhere along the line he acquired the nickname of Disco Al.

This is what I do when I should be writing :)

Friday, January 17, 2014

A simple boardcode tutorial

Starting a new topic

Next, type your subject in the Subject line. For regular lesson posts, use your first name or username followed by the lesson number and word count. For example, if you were posting lesson one in your classroom and you had a total word count of 475, your subject line might be something like F2K_User's Lesson One (WC 475).

Choosing a Topic icon is not necessary, but if you would like to do so, just click the radio button next to the desired picture.

Adding a subject

Now you can start typing your post up in the editor. Alternatively, you may copy and paste from a text document directly into the editor. Just be aware that your formatting may be altered. Luckily this forum uses Boardcode so you can add formatting to your posts.

To use Boardcode (also called BBcode) just select the text that you would like to format by left clicking with the mouse at the beginning and then dragging the mouse to the right until the desired text appears highlighted (see example below). While the text is still highlighted, release the mouse button and move your cursor over the formatting options and choose the one you want. The highlighted example uses the bold format option.

Please be aware that your text will not appear to be formatted until you click the Submit button. Boardcode instead places html-like tags around the text you've chosen. You could also do this manually, but using the editor buttons is much easier.

There are also an array of emoticons or smileys you can insert into your post. Just click an area in the editor so your text cursor appears, then click on the desired emoticon.

Start typing

You can preview your text before posting. That way if something doesn't look right, you can change it before it is ever posted to the forum. Just click the Preview button to see what your post looks like.

Click Preview

Preview the results. Notice that you can now see the formatting. If everything looks good, click the Submit button; otherwise, click the Cancel button and make the desired changes.

If you like it, click Submit.

That's it in a nutshell. Not very advanced, but it should be enough to get you started.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Övrigmark artwork

Check out these fabulous Övrigmark "tarot" cards that the incomparable David Steele created for me. I love the style and attention to detail. These pieces will eventually be a part of the novel version of Beyond the Gates of Övrigmark.

Alexander Andersvärd

Hanna Andersvärd

David is a great artist. He's also easy to work with and very responsive. If you're in the market for some artwork, I highly recommend you check out his website...