I haven't been as active on here as I likely should have been, but my reasons are good ones...
i.e. I have been WRITING.
I'm currently approximately 400 pages into my novel and things are shaping up nicely. The main locale of the story is gaining depth and texture with every day, as are the cast of characters. The plot has grown tendrils that are currently snaking about the place, overlapping and curling and being generally unpredictable. I can promise a story that is going to be truly unique. It will entertain, shock and horrify.
In the meantime, however I have begun publishing another new work on Wattpad. I mentioned this one briefly on here before and I agonized over whether I should make it a novel format, but I ultimately decided it would lose some punch if I did so. Thus, it's being edited and released as we speak. In fact it is already at number 190 on the Wattpad Horror Hotlist. That's a climb of 810 places in 3 days. Feedback so far has been wonderful. I was a little nervous about this story as it is very different from my previous works. A big part of this tale is its mystery and so I don't want to say too much. Here's the blurb:
"A wife determined. A husband tormented. A relationship strained. A child adored. Things have been so different between them lately. Yet hope remains. Does the solution lie in a journey to a place of fond shared memories? Does it lie in the keeping of a promise long forgotten?
Or does it have something to do with the birds?
Strange birds with such beseeching song.
"Song, Unheard" is a tale of promises and love, mystery and madness that will stay with you long after the story's conclusion."
Have a look here:
I had to hold off on publishing on Amazon while I took care of some red-tape issues, but my Amazon page is finally live and my works are available.
If you have already read the stories, feel free to add a review. If you haven't please do!
Look out for upcoming promotional deals too!
My Amazon author page is available here.
Take care all.
"The Girl in the Headscarf", published today, here, is a dark contemporary piece, that many will unfortunately label as politicial because of its context within this year's divisive and still-contested US election.
It is a piece that many will (incorrectly) believe to be supportive of one major political faction.
It is not.
The fact is, it is not a politicial piece, period. I do not align myself to any political party, and the polarization and lack of any desire for mutual understanding between the predominant factions of the electorate this year, frankly pisses me off.
My story is a human piece.
I have been on both sides of the immigration issue. I am currently living as an immigrant, and when I was resident in my own country, my wife was an immigrant. I have experienced the unsettling feeling of realizing your family are being judged or deprioritized on the basis of their country of origin. I have held that fear for my daughter as she grows, and it not a pleasant thing.
I have also had to consolidate my own feelings of fear and uncertainty at the influx of immigrants to my own country, attempting to rationalize my own fears and concerns and consolidate those with the simple human part of me that understands man's desire to migrate and follow the path that will best benefit himself and his family.
I have witnessed the conflicting, partisan arguments for and against immigration. I have realized that often the people presenting these arguments are often campaiging for self-interest rather than any view they present publicly.
I cannot predict what the new President Elect will achieve in his time in office. I believe that he purposely voiced relatively extreme views on a campaign trail that revealed more clearly than ever, the patronizing and duplicitous pantomime that underlies politics. I believe that somewhere at the outset of his campaign, it was acknowledged that in order for DT to present any real challenge, he must embody the polar opposite of his main competitior, and he did so to great effect.
I believe (more precisely, I hope) that much of the rhetoric utilized on the campaign trail will be abandoned.
The problem is, that my hopes may not be realized.
The dangerous rhetoric witnessed on the campaign trail this year has the potential to become something truly catastrophic. I hope it won't and that we were all unnecessarily concerned.
Talk like we saw this year has its own momentum. It has a dark energy. It has a soul, the power to permeate even good people and turn their often reasonable fears into something larger, darker, irrational and uncontrollable.
My story is essentially about that dark energy. It's about that entity that lives within careless words and sensationalized media coverage. It is a reminder of our shared humanity. It is a warning about the dangers of media indoctrination, lack of critical thinking and passivity.
It is a horror story.
It is based in your street.
And regardless of your politics, it respects you so long as you wish it to remain a work of fiction.
My next story started out as a very simple idea.
Honestly, I expected it to finish up somewhere around the 20 page mark, which would have made it one of my purer examples of a true short story format (my last two were in the 50 to 80 page range). The plan was to edit and release by November's end.
The idea was relatively simple: the reader is a fly on the wall to an ambiguous conversation between husband and wife. There is talk of their child. He is lamenting his alcoholism. She is patient and undertanding. At some point we discover that wife and child are in fact charred apparitions, their condition the result of his actions.
The problem is that the story took on a life of its own. Currently I have around 120 pages of a first draft and I am still actively writing. The story in hand is barely recognizable as the thing it started life as, and I am very excited about it. Quite unintentionally I've wandered beyond novelette territory and into the land of the novella, and I still dont know myself how much more is needed to tell the story correctly.
I'll keep writing.
Whether it turns out to be 100 pages, or 200, it is already my most intricate piece, and I will ensure it is also my best.
"The Girl in the Headscarf" to be published in the winter issue of Mobius: The Journal of Social Change
My first short story, and my first submission was just confirmed as my first publication. I should quit while I'm ahead...
This is a highly contemporary piece that seeks to remind the reader that we are all human, and part of the human condition is unfortunately malleability, particularly through indoctrination.
The winter issue is available online December 1st 2017.
Lester is ready to call quits on his relationship. It's been going on too long. Six whole months. Before he ends things there's one last thing he wants from his girlfriend though. Something he hasn't told her about. Something that takes them to a strange and exclusive club deep in the heart of the picturesque countryside. Before tonight ends, someone is going to get a surprise.
Young Billy Baxter is about to take a step into a bristling world where possibilities seem endless. In this virtual land of wonder, Billy can be anyone he wants to be and experience great beauty and horror without leaving the safety of his home. The price of admission seems small, but in this place where even a person's darkest desires can be realized electronically, is there a line that should not be crossed?
In an age when technology increasingly turns science-fiction to science-fact, Solonik's Game provides a sobering reminder of the danger that can lurk in the unlikeliest of places.