FREE BOOK TODAY ONLY

This scary-story anthology has multiple authors, character arcs and themes. What could be better in the month of magic, mischief, and, sometimes, mayhem?

Dan Alatorre - AUTHOR

NEW for HALLOWEEN and FREE today on Freebooksie!

A scary anthology from me and my bestseller author friends plus stories from rising stars!

FREE TODAY ONLY!

https://www.freebooksy.com/

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When I looked we were the 3rd one on the front page!

GET YOUR COPY NOW!

Please Like and Share and reblog and Tweet and all the things!!

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The New Book a Break Anthology

Buy a book of stories and help a great cause: to end malaria. The price goes up 15 October, so order soon and often, as the holiday season is coming and these make fine gifts!

curtisbaussebooks

With Our Eyes OpenFancy a trip to Pluto? Or a fearful drive along a stretch of country road? Unless you prefer to go to church with a strange woman in green tights, her hair alive with electricity. Here you have 34 stories, each one a journey, whether funny or frightening, real or figurative, shared or dreadfully alone. ‘They had a long journey ahead of them’ was the prompt: the writers here, from award-winning authors to exciting new talents, took it and made it their own. Sit back and enjoy the scenery, then, as the stories open your eyes to destinations you’ll want to go back to again. Bon voyage!

The stories in this anthology were selected from submissions to the second Book a Break short story competition.  The proceeds from this book go to the Against Malaria Foundation.

The 2017 Book a Break short story anthology is available for pre-order now on…

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All Our Horrific Realities: A Dirge

Today, 14 December 2016, marks one of the most devastating days I’ve ever personally experienced within the range of “modern” American history. As I prepare to go volunteer in my child’s first-grade class today, I will be extra-mindful of the six dedicated teachers/staff and the 20 bright and promising children who were murdered at Sandy Hook in December 2012. And I will be doubly thankful for the educators and staff who still are preparing our children for meaningful lives. If you can, on this day or any other, please consider volunteering for or donating to these organizations:
Sandy Hook Promise (http://www.sandyhookpromise.org/)
Americans Against Gun Violence (http://aagunv.org/)
Coalition to Stop Gun Violence (http://csgv.org/)
The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence (http://www.bradycampaign.org/)
or another anti-gun violence organization of your choice
I will not forget, and I hope you don’t either, so that we may improve as a nation and as human beings. Following is my humble offering to commemorate those 26 souls (the poem itself is a January 2014 reblog).

Leigh's Wordsmithery

“All Our Horrific Realities: A Dirge”

Leigh Ward-Smith, ©2014

_______________________________________________________________________________

“The family drew cupcakes . . . on her tiny white casket.”

Setting: Here, now.

All our horrific realities

are all horrifically ours.

Sublime in the glint of the scythe,

six-and-twenty sorrows stream into our consciousness.

Salt upon the pane.

I rage against the sloping reality

of the dying twenty-six lights.

Soon enough, the grief heaps up, pushing up mountains in the mind:

Belted welts upon the already bruised back of the world.

Somewhere, suffused cirrus,

susurring,

pregnant with hopes flung out

up,

in devastation,

confusion,

and the iciest of cyclic horrors.

And now, cracked-lip murmurings yet shunt, quick to the chest,

our hell-shocked fare-thee-wells.

I write so I can live

with the reality of our human race, this place:

We are damned, dirty apes–with angers dangerously ablaze.

Can saved Graces now retrieve the six-and-twenty,

plucked pennies from air-strings…

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Glimpses – Launch Day #NewBook #booklaunch

If, like me, you’re a devoted fan of speculative fiction (horror–fantasy–sci-fi–weird–uncanny), you owe it to yourself to pick up Hugh’s new collection of short stories. At a mere $7.99 paperback (plus any tax/shipping), it’s an utter steal with 20+ Twilight Zone-esque stories to sink your brain into.
Stop by Hugh’s blog, too, as he posts spec-fic (and lots of other fun stuff) from time to time there.

Hugh's Views & News

Ladies and Gentlemen, I am delighted to announce that we have lift off.

Glimpses, my first book, is now available to buy as a paperback.

Glimpses - The new book of some of my short stories. Publication Date: Paperback: Thursday 1st December 2016. Kindle: Tuesday 6th December 2016 Glimpses – The new book of some of my short stories. Publication Date: Paperback: Now Available. Kindle: Tuesday 6th December 2016.

If you would like to order a copy, then please click on the link below and you’ll be taken to the Amazon site in the country you are based. Where Amazon is not available, you’ll be taken to the UK site.

Amazon

If you would like a copy signed by me, the author, then leave me a message in the comments section and I’ll get back to you. Amazon doesn’t offer paperback versions in all countries, so I’d be delighted to sell and send you a paperback copy.

The Kindle version will be available from 6th December 2016 and is available to pre-order.

To all…

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If I Were a Defiant Animal . . . (Palinode)

I’ve been busy writing and promoting. My ‘soft’ horror story, “Muzzling the Monster,” is out in book form with some other excellent hobbits’ people’s stories.

But in the meantime, a sort of narrative manifesto in the form of a palinode.

Palinode: According to the Poetry Foundation, a palinode is “an ode or song that retracts or recants what the poet wrote in a previous poem.”

And now, in response to the world today and in homage to WordPresser and poet Robert Okaji, whose much more deft and studied poetical works you can find here . . .

If I Were a . . . (defiant animal/goddess/dolphin/force)

for Robert Okaji

If I were another kind of defiant animal than me, I think I’d choose to be a well-kept black cat. I’d be haughty about my rich, luxuriant fur and take every opportunity to let the sun follow my lead, basking in its admiration like the goddess I clearly am. Continue reading

Green Swimming, in Summer: A Poem

As they say, and now for something (not completely, but) a little different! An attempted poem; the first in a while for me. [And no, it’s not related to green pools at the recent Olympics!]

Corn long-shot

Utterly thrilling, isn’t it?

Green Swimming, in Summer

Eyelines: and when

the corn

is exactly even

with the pool’s sagging caldera,

the plastic-snap

crocodile wisps, drifts

maw gaping

and it is

as if

we could leap

into the jade organic

and skiff the silks aside,

maybe use toes to play with the tassels,

splitting the husks with our own

layered unkempts.

Here, there are no

wheelbarrow—a collective noun like

a parliament of owls or

murder of crows

No wheelbarrows either. They are shut

from sight.

But there are ducks nearby:

none white.

And closer still, neighborly chickens:

one of whom folds a neurological neck

backward

at a break-beak angle.

Damaged in the egg,

they say.

(Aren’t we all?)

He is named, but, sadly, I do not

remember.

So I christen him

Sir Yawp.

Nothing’s barbaric about him,

however.

As for me—us—the jury’s

out. Out there, somewhere.

Hiding in a star nursery.

Sir Yawp javelins pill-bugs and

snags gnats mid-air.

Corn flies, mistaken for sweat bees,

are no match for the

feathered Mr. Miyagi.

For now, all things

entomologic—

skillfully—

pushed out of human consciousness.

And out far, if you chance

to snatch a glance

at today’s

Archaeopteryx, a transitional

preening the sky

or sentinel on a wire,

a vulture strutting

to the strummed frets

of a grisly gravel feast,

stay back. Let

your mind make

the strokes

required, etchings on the facades

of the flat dust.

Let it say:

I have passed by

here and seen.

I.

Have.

Been.

####

At the end of the summer (here in the Northern hemisphere, anyway), I have been inspired by many things. One of those is poet Robert Okaji’s participation in the 30/30 Project, wherein a poet writes 30 poems in 30 days to benefit the publisher Tupelo Press. If you appreciate poetry—modern or otherwise—you might very well enjoy the fare offered in this project. Several donor incentives remain for sponsoring Bob, although the sand is getting finer. If that’s not enough, Bob links to the Tupelo site with each of his evocative daily poems; that site boasts work (much of it also as stunning, I must say) from eight other participating poets. I hope you’ll partake of some poetry today, before August (like summer 2016) pulls up roots and leaves us with . . .  leaves, of course!

And, Finally, An End

Fortunately, bad things sometimes

victory over allergies

I declare victory over allergies!

come to an end. Even allergies!

 

In my sitting-about over the last week and a half or so, I have come to some salient conclusions about life (and maybe the universe and everything). So, I’m thinking, why not share my willy sisdom silly wisdom with the world.

 

Thus, I offer you my brief-ish spin, in list form, on being under the weather, which I hope you’ll find amusing. Goodness knows, the world needs a smile or two these days.

12 Signs You’ve Entered the Allerpocalypse

  1. Even your allergic shiners have allergic shiners.
  2. Provided you can still speak, you have gone from falsetto to baritone in one day (without experiencing puberty).
  3. You have enough balled-up tissues in the trash can to fill a life-sized R2-D2 every hour. (RIP, Kenny Baker.)
  4. It is very possible you’ve watched enough cruddy television to detach twenty retinas and wipe multiple minds of intelligent thought.
  5. Your head feels both curiously full and egregiously empty. It’s as if Lizzie Borden has given your skull 40 whacks but has left the axe blade there on the last one, like you’re some 20th century Phineas Gage.
  6. Speaking of skulls . . . at this point, you are 100% willing to undergo skull trephination to let out the evil spirits (lovingly dubbed Mucodon and Sneezmodeus).
  7. At one point you’re so delusional you imagine you’re George R.R. Martin and accidentally almost kill yourself with a pen.
  8. You hallucinate that your neck has started filling with bilgey ocean water (including all the plastic crap therein) or else it’s split open and the top of your head’s fallen off.
  9. Like Logan, all you’re seeking is sanctuary. Freedom from mucus is a human right, by your reckoning!
  10. You realize tears are just fate’s way of reminding you you’re not dead yet (hope springs eternal).
  11. It’s possible, you think, that you’ve invented a new ‘holistic’ treatment modality— 21st-century cupping—wherein you drape a towel over your head while putting your face in a steaming hot cup of tea (or toddy or whatever works for you). And unlike Bill Clinton, you did inhale.
  12. All in all, the important thing dawns on you: At least it’s not a/the Trumpocalypse.

With that said and done, I hope to begin visiting and commenting on all of y’alls blawgs that I’ve been sad to miss during my involuntary absence. Keep up the creativity! 🙂

 

 

Blood and Dust: Microfiction

Blood and Dust

Even sequestered in the barracks post-sortie, I’d heard whispers about the torched orphanage.

No War Image_final

Drawing by my daughter, circa 2015.

Remembering the spat platitudes—innocent casualties are inherent in war—I sneaked into the commander’s quarters.

With each thunderclap of those awful words, fingers cinched tighter.

* * * *

This was written for the Grammar Ghoul Press Shapeshifting 13 (challenge #67). In this prompt challenge, you are tasked with writing a microfiction piece or poem in exactly 39 words and using the terms orphan and inherent. I don’t know if mine qualifies, as I lengthened it to orphanage, but regardless, give these other writers a read to see how they’ve spun the terms. Further details at the link if you’d like to participate, but you have to do so by Sunday evening.

Finally, if you can, please consider helping a fellow human being. In your neighborhood, in your city, on your continent, or on this planet. Here are two stories, each listing a plethora of links (some duplicated) to organizations doing work to help Syrian refugees (whose plight prompted my microfiction).

August 2016 Tupelo Press 30/30 Challenge

As the twelve months go, August can be a bit of a Janus. On one hand, you’re looking back to the waning summer (if you’re in the Northern hemisphere) and time spent together with children, on vacation, or out of school. Then, on the other, you’re facing forward, toward all the upcoming possibilities for enchantment, adventure, and learning that the gateway to autumn brings. Here, I am delighted to offer you notice of another chance for enlightenment and fun in the way of 30 days of #poetry by WordPress Press veteran and, if I may call him thusly, the sensei of sound and substance, Texas #poet Robert Okaji. Enjoy the challenge, sponsored by the prosodic treasure-box that is Tupelo Press! (I know I will.)

O at the Edges

image

In August I am participating in the Tupelo Press 30/30 challenge, a fundraiser for this outstanding nonprofit publisher. I have pledged to write 30 poems in 30 days, and to find sponsors to assist in this endeavor. If you have the time and inclination, please follow along and consider supporting poetry and literary publishers by making a donation. Every bit helps. To make this fun, and with hopes of enticing you, I’ve instituted a few incentives:

Name That Poem! For $10 donation, you provide a title, and I’ll write the poem during the marathon. Be imaginative. Make the title as long or as interesting as you wish – consider this a dare! But this incentive is limited to only thirty titles, and reduces by one every day of the marathon, so reserve your slot soon! Last year’s titles ranged from one word (“Stuck,” “Bent,” “Latitude,” “Katharsis”) to…

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