Category Archives: Writing

Just shoot him

I’m screaming inside right now. I just finished watching the season premier of The Walking Dead. If you’re a fan, and haven’t seen the episode, you don’t have to read any further. If you’re a writer, you may want to read on.

See, I write speculative fiction. The aftermath of a zombie apocalypse is right in my wheelhouse, even though I haven’t gone there yet.

If you’ve been following this blog for any length of time, you know how I feel about speculative fiction. It involves at lease one impossible element, (Zombie apocalypse). I try to make the rest of my story pretty realistic. I know I’m going to ask for a leap of faith, so I try to make everything else fairly well researched and realistic.

This is where my problem lies, and I admit, it’s my problem. Maybe other authors and readers don’t think this is a hard and fast rule. Maybe it’s more of a guideline. I’ve used the Pirate quote before myself when it comes to writing rules.

It doesn’t mean I’m not going to bitch about something. To set this up, you have to understand The Walking Dead to a degree; otherwise, you might still get my point but you won’t get the context.

See TWD has put the survivors through hell. They’ve dealt with the Governor, the cannibals, and now Neagan. Tonight was all about Neagan –– as it should be. Neagan has done terrible things. He killed Glen, a main character, in front of all the other survivors – in front of his pregnant wife – by beating his brains out with a baseball bat and forcing the others to watch. He killed Abraham on the same stage, in front of his pseudo girlfriend. Abraham was one of the best soldiers the survivors had.

Okay, you’ve got the dirt on Neagan. At this point, various gyrations happened to give the survivors a chance to get even. Tonight, they had their chance and took it.

Here is the scene: Rick led the survivors to Neagan’s camp, and brought some serious firepower. They armored their cars with corrugated tin, which won’t do a damned thing when it comes to offering cover. Don’t believe me, fire an anemic round like a .38 Special at a piece of it. You wouldn’t want to use it for cover.

They (Rick) call out Neagan. Neagan walks out and answers the call. This is in character for Neagan, because he is an alpha male and a psycho. He steps onto a loading dock along with five of his henchmen. Rick calls them Lieutenants, fine by me.

Here is the thing, Neagan and friends were right out-in-the-open.

Rick and the survivors were fifty feet away. Let that sink in for a second, fifty-feet.

Remember, Neagan killed one of Rick’s best friends and forced Rick and the others to watch.

Beyond that, Neagan has proven that he has zero respect for human life.

Just shoot him.

There must be thirty to fifty of the survivors with Rick, and they’re all armed. They all have a reason to kill Neagan, but they all hold their fire.

Just shoot him.

Rick engages in a dialog; whereby , he offers to allow Neagan’s lieutenants the chance to surrender. They’ve all proven themselves to be dangerous and one of them I would like to shoot myself.

Of course they don’t surrender.

Neagan makes a small penis comment to Rick.

Just shoot him.

I’m here to tell you that if I were in Rick’s position, you could give me an ordinary deer rifle and Neagan would be no more.  A deer rifle holds between three and five rounds depending upon calibre. I don’t want to brag, but I’m pretty reliable out to about 400 yards. Admittedly, this would take some quality time, but Rick was fifty feet away.

But Rick didn’t have a deer rifle, he had a sub-machine gun. I promise you, that with a slow, bolt-action, deer rifle, Neagan and at least two lieutenants would have never made it off the platform. But Rick had a sub-machine gun.

For plot reasons, I know Neagan can’t die yet. In that case, I think the whole confrontation should not have made it into the show. Here is why.

Rick gives the lieutenants time to surrender, and starts a countdown. Props to Rick for opening fire at seven instead of zero. It was a great character moment. Except for the fact that Rick missed. At fifty feet, with a sub machine gun, Rick missed. Not only that, but all of the muscle Rick brought with him missed too.

Rick with a sub-machine gun, plus around thirty friends opened fire, and all the bad guys walked away without a scratch.

Meanwhile; Daryl was cruising around on a moving motorcycle shooting explosives with a snub-nosed revolver and never missed a shot. I’ve fired a lot of handguns, and this isn’t realistic either. Neither is setting off explosives by shooting them.

Come on! I could have done more damage by throwing a rock. A little bit of reality really helps sell the rest of the story. Send your writers out to actually fire a weapon. Make them fire an SMG at some water barrels or something. At least cripple some people. Thirty survivors firing a single round each at a platform that’s about twelve feet wide are going to hit something. Note: the survivors fired many more than one round each. Oh, and Rick had an SMG.

There was a great character moment where Rick had the drop on Neagan later, and he decided it wasn’t all about Rick. Of course, I had no faith that Rick could actually hit the SOB anyway if given a second chance.

How do you guys feel about this kind of thing? Do I worry too much about this kind of thing? Rick would have shot the SOB. The Rick character would have shot him. He wouldn’t have missed, and neither would the other survivors.

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Meet Michele Jones

Quantum Wanderlust
Michele Jones is one of the masterminds behind AIW Press, and the two anthologies I’ve been invited to participate in. She’s also the author of one of the stories inside Quantum Wanderlust. She’s here to give us a behind the scenes of putting an anthology together. Let’s make her feel welcome and use those sharing buttons today. Thanks.

***

Hey Craig, thanks for having me. By the way, I love Lisa’s radio show. You have very interesting guests. If you don’t mind, I thought we could talk about putting together our newest anthology, Quantum Wanderlust.

I believe there are some similarities between producing an anthology and writing a successful story or novel, or producing a live radio show. It all comes down to planning.

Our team meets and discusses ideas and themes for upcoming anthologies. We’ve done holiday, westerns, and wanted something different. Thus, Quantum Wanderlust was born. Of course, the ideas that didn’t make the cut were filed for future use.

Once we have chosen the theme, we develop the concept that all submissions must adhere to. All of our anthologies have guidelines the selected authors must abide by, theme, word count, and of course they must not be offensive to the readers or the participating authors, therefore, we stay away from political and religious topics when producing the anthology.

After hashing out the details, we have a call for submissions. This includes reaching out to the authors that participated in previous anthologies. We provide the details of the anthology, such as theme, word count, deadline, editing process, and marketing.

After we have commitments from the authors, we create an online forum for information pertaining to the anthology. This is where we discuss the progress of the stories and the marketing we will be doing.

While that is happening in the forefront, we work behind the scenes producing the marketing material. We gather the author bio, and any links they provide for their work. As the stories come in we start the editing process. We review all content to make sure it adheres to our rules, and edit for grammar. Once completed, all edits are returned to the author for approval. Don’t be alarmed, any edit that we do will not change the author’s voice or the plot of the story.

Once we have all the finished pieces, we start the layout for the compilation. We come up with a one or two line short synopsis for marketing and we pull a quote to introduce the story.

I’ve read all the stories in Quantum Wanderlust. Craig chose to travel back in time and came up with a great plot twist in his story, Swift Wings. I chose to travel to the future in my story, The Fabric of Time, where one snag in the fabric can alter the future.

Don’t forget to pick up your free copy of Quantum Wanderlust at all the major sites. These thirteen authors will take you on some interesting time travel adventures. Oh, and if you don’t mind, please leave a review.

***

Quantum WanderlustWhat if you had all the time in the world?

Thirteen authors answer that question with short stories about time travel. Go back in time to right a wrong, forward to see the future. No jump is too large, no method unfeasible, no lesson beyond learning.

• Visit the past to learn a family secret.

• See the formation of a future dictatorship.

• Assume responsibility for weaving the fabric of time.

• Travel back in time to WWII.

• Use a family heirloom to solve problems.

• Wear an inheritance to visit ancestors.

• Leave a dystopian future for the hope of something better.

• Make history come true in an unexpected way.

• Fight evil fairies to protect a chosen angel.

• Live with the childhood memory of visitors until the day they arrive.

• Seek medical help for a memory issue and get way more than bargained for.

• Discover that with great power comes great responsibility.

• Uncover the secrets of a pharaoh’s tomb and curse.

Do the characters observe or interact? Is the outcome better or worse than the original timeline? Read these stories to learn how far they go, how they get there, and what happens when they return.

The scope is virtually limitless, definitely timeless.

Pick up your free copy here

Michele JonesBio:

Michele Jones lives in Western Pennsylvania with her husband and two spoiled dogs.

Along with her writing, family, cooking, and sports are her passions. She is a diehard Penguin, Steeler, and Pirate fan… really, a diehard anything-Pittsburgh fan.

Michele writes memoirs, short stories, romance, and poetry, but her passion lies in writing paranormal, suspense, and thrillers.

You can follow her online at www.michele-jones.com

Connect online:

Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest | Published Works | Goodreads

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Hi, remember me

There’s been an awful lot of guesting and hosting going on lately. It’s going to slow down, but not go completely away. I will say that it was all original content, even if you followed me to another site or heard from one of my guests. Quantum Wanderlust seems to be selling well, I’ve never seen it out of the top twenty, but reviews have been hard to come by.

Yesterday was a strange work day. There is an airshow going on at the Boise Airport this weekend. Yesterday the USAF Thunderbirds were practicing outside my office window. I tried to get a photo for one of those “looking out my window” posts. You know the ones where a fox came by or something. Those darned Thunderbirds are fast. We still have leaves on the trees and all I got was quick fly-bys through the gaps. I saw some diamond formations and at one time they were about thirty feet from my window. Really shakes the glass.

I read a short story in Quantum Wanderlust during my lunch hour. That’s the only way I can get through it, one story per day. This one is about a Navy pilot and the added sound effects really enhanced the story.

Today, I dedicated my time to blogging. I assembled and scheduled three posts for next week. In some cases, I had to follow up with someone for a bio or something, but they were all good about sending things to me. I also had to write Lisa’s lead in to this week’s Macabre Macaroni story.

Some reading time found me this morning. Don’t know what I did to earn that, but I made full advantage of it. I enjoy reading, but it’s a rare few hours in my life.

There are still two more posts I have to write, but they won’t post for weeks. Yes, I could have dedicated my hours to those, but I wanted to read. Sometimes want-to plays a role.

2017 has been a strange year. My timing feels off somehow. I just completed a paranormal tale, but it’s in draft form. It’s fermenting before I take my editing passes at it. If I’d been thinking, I would have started sooner, and released it during October. Now I’m asking myself if I should put it away for a whole year and release it next October. I’ll never make it. It’s a fun story, and I can always give it a second push in October 2018.

I’ve been focusing on pushing my other paranormal tales, but the results aren’t what they were in previous years. There are pages being read on my Amazon report, so it isn’t all grim. I don’t mean to sound grim.

As far as October themed tales go, not all is lost. Right now the Major League Baseball playoffs are in full swing. That’s very much an October thing. If you’re looking for something that screams October, without blood and monsters, maybe you’d enjoy The Enhanced League. It’s a steal at 99¢.

In other news, we took the camper and had it winterized this afternoon. It’s kind of a bummer. The hospital screwed up Old What’s Her Face’s schedule, so we don’t get a lot of weekends together. We only got to take it out twice this year. Hopefully, next year will bring a more promising schedule her way.

Next week, I have to make a work trip to Portland. I’ll be able to play in the comments, but may be out of touch for a few hours at a time. If I get a few moments, I’ll try to update from Portland. Might see something cool.

Way out in the future, we scored a pair of tickets to a Pink concert. Yeah, yeah, the show is in Las Vegas and everyone has to say something about the shooting. I can’t cower inside forever. We can use our daughter’s flight benefits and fly for free, which leaves us with lodging and food for a fun long weekend next Spring.

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Circumstances of Childhood

Circumstances of Childhood.

By John W. Howell

Click for Amazon Kindle

Shipping on October 1st. Priced at $0.99 for the introduction.

This is a different story for John. It is in the Family Life genre and tells the story of brotherly love, riches to rags, redemption and a little paranormal thrown in. Normally John writes thrillers but this time he has stepped into a different place. This book was written with love for the story and the hope it will be an enjoyable read.

Here is the blurb:

When a former pro football star and broadcaster, now a Wall Street maven is accused of insider trading, will he be able to prove his innocence and expose those who are guilty?

Greg and his boyhood pal dreamed of big success in professional football and then later in business. Greg was the only one to live the dream. Now the founder of an investment fund Greg is faced with a routine audit finding by the SEC. The audit points to irregularities and all the tracks lead to Greg. The justice department hits him with an indictment of 23 counts of fraud, money laundering, and insider trading. His firm goes bust, and Greg is on his own.

His best friend knows he is innocent but has been ordered under penalty of eternal damnation not to help.

If you enjoy stories of inspiration, riches to rags, redemption, brotherly love, and a little of the paranormal, Circumstance of Childhood will keep you riveted.

Here is an excerpt.

I look down at my drink and wonder what will happen tomorrow. My daughter Constance wants to come and visit. She lives in New York, and before all hell broke loose, we didn’t see each other often. I missed her so much, and it seemed as if I had to beg her even to talk on the phone. Now, it’s like she wants to be here every weekend. It’s only an hour’s flight by the shuttle or three by train, so she can come when she wants. I just can’t figure out why she got so clingy. I have my troubles, but it doesn’t have anything to do with her. No use in asking her husband either. Though a nice enough guy, I always wonder if he has someplace important to go when I visit. He never sits still and stays busy on the phone or at the computer. He makes a good living, but it seems a person could take an hour to sit and talk. I’d looked forward to some kind of relationship when he and Constance got married. It’ll never happen with him.

When I take another pull at my drink, I notice the burn feels less. It happens every time. First sip initiation, I call it. It’s like the first puff of a cigarette, hits hard then, after, nothing. I decide to let Constance pretty much have the agenda tomorrow. She and I have not had a chance to talk about anything deep for a while. It could just be that she blames me for her mother running off with that guy with the house on the Hudson. He has a title, and the old gal couldn’t resist, but I think the daughter always felt I should have done something. Her mother’s sleeping with another guy and what the hell can I do about that?

I’ll just go with the flow. If she wants to go out, we will. If she wants to stay in, we can do that too. I better think about getting some food in the house. Of course, we can always order take out. I need to move on to my drink and let this go. Tomorrow will be what it is. I remember the day she was born. I looked down at her in my arms and promised I would do anything for her. I love her more than life itself, and I hope we can somehow get to the root of whatever’s wrong. She sounded strange on the phone this morning, and I feel helpless to do anything about it. I hope she opens up when she gets here.

For some reason, I feel tired. Perhaps I’ll go ahead and finish my drink. Maybe I’ll just go home and forget the burger. First, though, I’ll just shut my eyes for a minute. My hands feel good when I put my head down.

“Hey, Greg,” Jerry says. I barely hear him. “What’s the matter? You taking a nap? Greg?” I can feel him shake me, but I have no interest in waking up. His voice gets further away, and I think he says, “Oh, my God, Sophie, call 911, quick.” Now the room goes silent.

Author Bio.

John's Bio

John began his writing as a full-time occupation after an extensive business career. His specialty is thriller fiction novels, but John also writes poetry and short stories. His first book, My GRL, introduces the exciting adventures of the book’s central character, John J. Cannon. The second Cannon novel, His Revenge, continues the adventure, while the final book in the trilogy, Our Justice, launched in September 2016. The latest Circumstances of Childhood a family life story is available as of October 1st, 2017. All books are available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle editions.

John lives in Port Aransas, Texas with his wife and their spoiled rescue pets.

John’s other books.

My Girl front His Revenge Our Justice

Available on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/author/johnwhowell

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Guest Interview with Lisa Burton, Personal Assistant to Author C.S. Boyack, on Quantum Wanderlust

Lisa got an invitation to Michele Jones’ site today to talk about Quantum Wanderlust. This one is more like a coffee chat about my story and Michele’s story. Please visit her site and see how it turned out.

***

“Hi everyone. I’ve got radio personality and interviewer, Lisa Burton here with us today. Let’s give her a warm welcome.”

“Hi, Lisa and welcome. I’m super excited to have you stop by today.”

“Hi, Michele, so glad to finally meet you. I’m here today to talk about Quantum Wanderlust.This is a collection of short stories by thirteen awesome authors, and all of them deal with time travel.”

Keep reading here. We explore a couple of the stories in the anthology.

Lisa Burton

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Lazy day, with a mummy

We all got to sleep in, but eventually dogs must be walked and fed. It wasn’t long, but it was better than I usually get. Of course, I was up late watching my team lose another game. It’s not looking good for them now, because they must win the next three in a row to move on.

I called my parents while Old What’s Her Face went to Dutch Bros. for her coffee fix. (I make my own at the house, old school.)

When she got back, we had a nice breakfast featuring a cherry chipotle bacon we bought at Whole Foods yesterday. Not much chipotle flavor there, but it was really good.

We’ve been holding on to The Mummy, Tom Cruise version, for a long time. Today we decided to watch it. Some good, some not so good, but I enjoyed the movie.


It was a little too much like the Brendan Frasier films for me. I really enjoyed those, and I think they would have been better off to start fresh. It was basically the same story with the sexes flipped. There were some new ideas involving wind scorpions and rats, and I give them credit for that. I enjoyed the two second flash of The Book of the Dead from the earlier films. In my mind, that nod to the predecessors was all that was needed.

I got sidetracked with all the mercury in the story. I thought for sure it would flow somewhere to set off a trap once the weight reached a certain point. I was wrong. Then when they found the pool of it, I wondered if a person could actually walk across it or if they would sink. Mercury is pretty dense. None of this was part of the movie, just my imagination at work.

I got a bit frustrated with the face in the sandstorm, and the ripoff from American Werewolf in London. This is what I refer to as low hanging fruit. Maybe they should have reached a bit higher. Maybe I’ll write a Story Empire post about low hanging fruit.

I give them credit for trying with the secret society, but maybe Dr. Jekyll was a bit too much. Other than that, it was pretty cool. By the end, I decided I liked it. If you have a lazy Sunday it might be worth your time.

I got a bit more Lisa Burton Radio work done, and spent some time with a couple of outlines. I still don’t think they’re ready. I’m going to start on the novella, Estivation, very soon and it will be fine. It’s about time to start thinking up character names.

The novels just need more daydreaming effort. So far it’s been difficult to come up with the twists and turns I need.

For my science fiction piece, referred to as Grinders, I have more plot for my antagonist than my protagonist. This is going to be one where the bad guy is a bit more sympathetic than normal. He needs to get caught in his misguided deeds, but still earn some kind of possible happiness. Don’t ask, it’s complicated. This one also needs a bigger and more shadowy bad guy the protagonists can catch. I’m thinking a bio-terrorist in keeping with the theme of the story. Perhaps my bad guy can have the final piece of the puzzle and cut a deal at the end.

I’m toying with two others, and need a much larger plot for one of them. I want the whole story to be a big con game, and coming up with the clues  readers can misinterpret is proving difficult. If I can pull this off, everyone goes “Oh yeah…” at the end. I hate to say it, but some test chapters might be in order here. (I hate test chapters.)

The idea of writing a team story for a bunch of my existing characters won’t leave me alone either. I think this is bound to be a loser in some ways, because I don’t have the reader base to suck everyone in. On the other hand, it could cause readers to check out my backlist too. Maybe they like Clovis and go back to read Playground; that kind of thing. In some ways, this story is coming together faster than the others. The trick here is that every character needs his or her moment. I have a great bad guy to vanquish in mind, because it has to be bigger and more dangerous to require a team in the first place.

Estivation is next. Grinders really needs to be on deck, but I don’t know if I’ll have a good enough storyboard ready. It’s about time to take out The Hat and start slicking it up too. I’ll probably give it a couple more weeks, but it’s on my radar.

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#Fairies, #Myths, & #Magic October Spooktacular Author Spotlight Guest Post – C. S. Boyack, Paranormal Author — ✨Colleen Chesebro✨The Fairy Whisperer ✨

WELCOME… ENTER IF YOU DARE! Happy October! It’s finally autumn. The days are shorter and the nights are starting to get longer. Perfect for the bookaholics of the world who like to snuggle in a mound of blankets on the couch with a good book… like me. I want to kick off my beloved month […]

via #Fairies, #Myths, & #Magic October Spooktacular Author Spotlight Guest Post – C. S. Boyack, Paranormal Author — ✨Colleen Chesebro✨The Fairy Whisperer ✨

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