The Idea Mill #10

It’s time to revisit the Idea Mill. These are news bits that I get pushed to me via RSS feeds and Zite Magazine. I save them in favorites and post them when I get enough to make it interesting. These are the kind of information that spurs my imagination, and occasionally find their way into my fiction.

Okay, the first one I found in a local newspaper, but the rest are online. I hope the copy and paste function works. I may have to edit after it goes live.

Apartment building planned for Fifth and Idaho

 

image

 

A group of local partners plans to build an 84-bedroom apartment building on the northeast corner of Fifth and Idaho streets, an approximately $11 million project that would replace the vacant Gibson Funeral Home.

 

It’s like these people aren’t even reading my stories. Apparently, these kinds of things really happen. Poltergeist just got got more realistic in my mind.

 

Okay, I was going to leave the stupid dress out. It got so much internet action that it won’t be new to anyone. The question becomes one of what color is it. The real dress is black and blue. Like a bruise.

 

To my eye, it’s gold and white. This article gives some idea of why certain people see it differently. (I’ve always seen the world differently, so no surprise here.) The science behind this has to do with light sources. If you need some reptilian aliens with chameleon like abilities in your science fiction, this might help you explain them. In case you were living under a rock somewhere, there is a photo in the article, along with an explanation, here.

 

This one involves artifacts, phallic artifacts to be exact. It seems they were believed to ward off the evil eye. The evil eye is an ancient curse that could do, well, just about anything the giver intended, but it was always bad.

 

Fortunately, there was a solution to avoid the influence of the evil eye, in the form of various artistic boners. How come Indiana Jones never had to go after one of these? I suppose in an emergency, I could just unzip and wave it at my antagonist. Go ahead and look, you know you want to. Here. Actually, that wind chime is kind of cool, and would really piss off my neighbors. I wonder if it would ward off door to door solicitors. I wonder what kind of power that ring has if worn on the same finger I give to neighbors and door to door solicitors?

 

There is a space rock somewhere out in the asteroid belt named Ceres. It’s not big enough to be a planet, but it’s a whopper nonetheless. We have a remote ship moving in on Ceres, and Ceres is giving off lights. This article even has pictures.

 

These don’t look volcanic to me. It could be a distorted image, considering the distance and equipment. Then again if you needed to start an intergalactic war over a huge diamond deposit, or find some kind of malignant species in your science fiction this ought to provide some inspiration.

 

This article Is about a gigantic Elizabethan tapestry map. There is text that alludes to a mystery that happened in some hills where, “The Worldesend”, “was dryven downe by the removyng of the ground”. I have no idea what it means, but with a little research and some imagination, I’ll bet I could come up with a story.

 

This one is just weird. Although I did have bronze penis wind-chimes in here, so maybe it isn’t that bad. These are baby cages from the 1930s. They were designed to hang on the outside of apartment windows far above the city streets. Apparently, people were worried that baby wasn’t getting enough sun, so dangling him in a cage seventeen stories off the ground was the solution. People chastised Michael Jackson for doing something similar. I don’t have a specific idea here, but it sure adds some reality to your 1930s era story. Look at these photos here.

 

I don’t know how to put all these together, but I’ll try. A character, who looks a lot like Drew Barrymore (because Poltergeist) moves into her new apartment that was built from the remains of an old mortuary. Strange things start happening in the foothills outside town. Drew is drawn into her own imagination and believes ghosts from the old mortuary are at fault.

 

She soon discovers chameleon-like aliens, from their city on Ceres, are removing earth from the foothills and are about to undermine her new apartment. In a desperate bid to expel them from our planet, she places her baby in a window cage and steps outside to shake her ancient bronze Roman wiener at them.

 

Drew wins, and opens an adults only shop right down the street from Tom Hanks’ tapestry shop. They all live happily ever after.

 

Whew! More articles makes it harder to come up with a story at the end. Maybe I’d better stick to three from now on.

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Will O’ the Wisp

coldhandboyack:

I was just part of the best interview ever. Vanessa-Jane is a blast and her blog is worth the price of admission. Please consider following this awesome, blogger/writer/baker.

Originally posted on Vanessa-Jane Chapman:

Vanessa pointing at Will O the Wisp book

Today I’m joined by blogging author friend extraordinaire, Craig Boyack. He’s here to talk about his wonderful latest novel, Will O’ The Wisp. Well he thinks he’s here to talk about that, but we’ll have to see how that works out. Welcome Craig!

Thanks Vanessa. What did you mean we’ll have to see how that works out?

Don’t worry about that. Now, I thought it would be fun for us to do a little activity while we chat. So, if I say “Book” to you, what’s the first thing that comes to your mind?

Reading.

Wrong!

But you asked for the first thing that comes to my mind.

I know I did Craig, and you got it wrong. Try again.

Erm…writing?

Wrong!

Ok Vanessa, well why don’t you tell me what the first thing is to come to my mind when you say “Book”?

Baking.

Baking?

Yes baking. Book…

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Playing, but breaking the rules

You guys have heard me discuss the Rave Reviews Book Club before. They’re having another blog recruiting day today. I’m playing along, but not entering the contest. I have two reasons for this.

First, I won the last contest. I think it’s important to let others play along. I’m pushing the club today, but not as part of the contest.

Second, I don’t like the theme. It’s officially called Celebrating Women. That sounds wonderful, but the emails I received said to note certain women to push as authors. Of course they want self published women, and members are even better. I love women, so don’t jump my shit here. My issue is some of my favorite authors are women, and some of them aren’t club members. Additionally, I think female authors outnumber us guys by about two to one. I don’t know that they need extra help.

Therefore; I want to concentrate on the value of this great club. RRBC has been very good to me. I was selected for a push Tuesday event some months ago. When I woke up my email had already exploded with notifications. Someone was pushing my book, Panama. It took me a minute or two to figure it all out, but the push was amazing. These people don’t just push for a day either. People were still tweeting about Panama a week later.

I did a rough count on how many followers some of the pushers had. It was a guesstimate, but I’ll wager I appeared in over a million timelines. There is certanly some overlap, but that’s a lot of exposure. I moved copies that week too.

Then I competed in the last blog recruiting day. This involves writing a post similar to this one, as part of a contest. People are invited to read all the posts and vote on the best one. I won the darned thing. My prize was an all expenses paid blog tour, some social media pushing, and a live Twubs chat.

This is real exposure that I wouldn’t have reached otherwise. It’s the reason I’m taking Will O’ the Wisp on a blog tour. I might add that Panama remains my most popular title to this day.

The members are also encouraged to buy one member title per quarter and post a review to Amazon. They are encouraged to post to other sites too, but Amazon is the most important one. We all know how hard it is to get reviews.

They also gave me a chance to host a few authors on their own blog tours, and this brings fresh blog traffic. Most of these people stuck with me, and I gained followers. I will happily renew my membership when the time comes, and you can bet I added Will O’ the Wisp to their catalog.

This is a link to read all the current competitors. https://ravereviewsbynonniejules.wordpress.com/blog-recruitment-day/ It’s a good way to discover new writing blogs, and everyone is welcome to vote. They might give better insight to this great club.

The whole point is to gain members today. The membership fee is $25 US. That isn’t much for the kind of promotion they offer. They also published an anthology of short stories last year. I’m still kicking myself for not submitting something.

Here is my own membership push. I’ve been writing some micro fiction and short stories. My idea is to bundle them up as a book of short stories. We’re going to work on the honor system here. Click this link https://ravereviewsbynonniejules.wordpress.com/join-here/ If you decide to join, please drop my name.

Drop me an email at Coldhand (dot) Boyack (at) gmail (dot) com and let me know you joined. I will send you a copy of one of my yet to be published micro fictions or short stories to say thanks. I do not maintain an email list, so you have no risk at my end.

Note: the official push day is the 26th, but I’ve already seen some posts go live. Since I’m not competing, I’ll post mine tonight too.

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Consultation with the Muse

Today is my rotating day off. I awoke at 5:30 AM and forced myself to go back to bed. This normally doesn’t work, but today I fell asleep until 7:30. The two hours in between were strange. I dreamed about the short stories and micro fiction I’ve been working on.

When I finally got dressed, I headed for the coffee pot. “I know you’re here.”

The old pit bull thumped his tail on the couch; always a sign he’s happy with a guest.

Lorelei* stood and opened the door to let the dog out. “It’s not like I’m hiding or anything. I was giving you time to get dressed.” She had on a knee length dress today. A good omen for improving weather.

“I haven’t seen you face to face for some time. What’s the occasion?”

“It’s your novel. You’ve really neglected it in the last months.”

I poured my coffee and dished up dog food for my old friend. “I worked on it over the weekend.”

“I am aware, but it’s been slow going lately. You’ve been writing micro fiction and short stories instead. Is there anything I can do?”

“As a matter of fact, I could use an idea for a fantasy that fits the parameters of a short story. I have an idea, but it may be more novel length.”

She filled her own cup and sat at the table. “Writing these is important to purge your ideas. They aren’t bad stories, but you have too many ideas right now. I need you to concentrate on the novel.”

“I have a couple shorts that qualify as urban fantasy, but I really want one that’s more classic. If I put these shorts out, I want at least one that illustrates each genre I write.”

She put a manicured nail to my lips. “Shhh, just listen. It’s a good idea, and I even like the stories. You need to focus on completing each project. Your novel, The Playground, is the oldest project now. I want to know that you have a plan to finish it. Ideas are fun, but they don’t matter unless you complete the projects.”

I leaned back and lifted my cup. “I’ve finished my slog through the middle. It’s time to race headlong to the big train wreck, then the end of act two. I purposely stopped after the first sentence of the exciting stuff.”

She pushed a brunette curl out of her eyes. “Why would you do that?”

“It’s an inspiration issue. I can dwell on it all week and race through the next session.”

“I can appreciate that. Does that mean you’re into it again?”

“I was always into it. My personal challenge is to write three seperate stories that only converge at the end. That makes it more difficult to move everyone into place for when they finally meet. I have it figured out now, but I had to give up on a few ideas.”

She stood and kissed my forehead, then rinsed her cup. “Good. Concentrate on the novel. I’m sure a fantasy idea will come along.”

The kitchen lights backlit her to make her dress transparent. “I may be getting a fantasy idea right now.”

Lorelei smiled. It is kind of a thing we do.

“I’m burning some vacation time next week. I’m bound to find some writing time in there somewhere.”

“I’m leaving. I may stop by the writing cabin next week to check on you.”

I watched her leave and took out my iPad. I wanted to finish reading Beginning of a Hero. Later on, I picked up a copy of the new Hobbit DVD. Nope, no fantasy for this author, no siree.

* Lorelei is my Muse. (She makes me capitalize it.)

 

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I did not make it to work today

The desire was there. I got up at 4:00 AM, bathed and everything. I simply found myself unable to commute today. This gives a lovely explanation of the problem. Make sure you stick through the opening scene.

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A little slacking off

I didn’t get a whole lot accomplished today. I started my day reading your blogs. Imagine my excitement to see Karen O.’s wonderful review of Will O’ the Wisp. I reblogged it, then became a sloth.

I read some of my short stories and improved the prose a little. I exchanged emails with a few people who offered to interview me on their blogs. Some things we have to keep up with.

I also booked my Will O’ the Wisp blog tour. It will begin in early April sometime. That means I have a bit more proofreading to do on the upcoming posts.

I should have written. I also should have pruned the one remaining tree that needs it. I just vegged out. I watched a few old episodes of The Twilight Zone. I’ll finish with a beer while catching up with The Walking Dead, and may read a bit before bedtime.

I suppose I accomplished some things, but it was just one of those days. Go ahead and shame me with all your accomplishments in the comments. Some days I need to step away from it all. Did anyone do something fun today?

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Will O’ the Wisp by C. S. Boyack

coldhandboyack:

Another great response to Will O’ the Wisp. Please head over to Karen’s blog to check it out. She is a great supporter of independent authors, and if you aren’t following her you’re missing out.

Originally posted on My train of thoughts on...:

Will_O_the_Wisp

My rating:  5  of  5  stars

Plot
(by Amazon)

There is something evil up Bergamot Holler, and it’s been targeting the Hall family for generations.
Patty Hall is fifteen years old. She loves stargazing, science fiction, and all things related to space exploration. This leaves her perfectly prepared for the wrong problem.
Patty is afraid her mother will send her to a care facility if she tells her what she’s seen. If she doesn’t figure things out soon, she’s going to join her father in the Hall family cemetery plot.
Patty is going to have to come to grips with her own physical handicap, survive the wilderness, and face an ancient evil all alone if she’s going to survive.
Will O’ the Wisp is suitable for young adults. It involves strong elements of suspense, and is set in the mid 1970s.

Genre(s):  Paranormal, Young Adult

Series:  n.a.

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