Tag Archives: monsters

Is a tragedy acceptable today?

I stayed up until midnight playing video games with my son. I knew I'd pay for it today, but did it anyway.

Frankie, the alarm dog, got me up at 4:30. I should be overjoyed that she gave me twenty minutes longer than my alarm clock usually does. It's a flex day, so maybe I'll grab a nap this after noon.

I hacked out another micro-fiction while the dogs managed to go back to sleep. Then I grabbed a fresh coffee and sat beside the footboard of my bed.

A slurping noise moved from the darkness to just the other side of the footboard. A black tentacle slid a Nylabone out on the floor beside me.

“Black is a new look for you, isn't it?”

“Oh, you know me. Always trying something new. I think it makes me scarier in the dark.”

“You could be onto something. Things you can't quite see are more frightening. What's with the dog toy?”

“Oh, Frankie and Otto were tugging at it yesterday and it flew under the bed. I thought she might need it back.”

“Not for much longer. I think her puppy teeth are almost all gone now.”

“Good thing too. Those babies are sharp. I had to steal a Bandaid while you guys were sleeping.”

“No problem, that's why they're there.”

“So what brings you to talk to the old under-the-bed monster today?”

“Tragedy.”

“You're going to have to be more specific.”

“Okay, tragedy is a time honored kind of story. When done well, it produces a powerful emotional experience for the reader–“

“Right a PEE, I read your blog. Too funny.”

“As I was going to say, it seems to be out of favor today.”

“Times change and all that.”

“Maybe they do, but maybe they shouldn't. Not everyone gets a happily-ever-after in real life. Fiction should reflect real life.”

“Riiiight. You write stories about spacemen, witches, and dwarves.”

“Okay, but I try to get real human emotions into them.”

“You still haven't told me what specifically brings you here today.”

“I nearly wrote a Greek tragedy a few years ago with The Cock of the South. I chickened out, and didn't completely go that route. Well, I've gone and done it again.”

“And you're worried it will make people mad. You're looking at it from the wrong side of the mirror. For every one of those happy endings, a monster dies somewhere. Do you know how many of my friends are hanging around the Union Hall just waiting for another story?”

“How many?”

“All of em, and they aren't going to get another story because the author killed them off.”

“Don't you guys always manage to stick a hand out of the grave right at the end, or open your eyes suddenly?”

“Only in horror. Not every monster story is technically a horror story.”

“That's all great, and I appreciate that monsters would understand, but they don't buy many books these days.”

“So it's a commercial thing?”

“Not exactly, it's a story for my blog.”

“Now you're just being stupid. Those things have the lifespan of a gnat. Eight hours later the readership forgets all about them.”

“Maybe they do, and maybe they don't. They don't swarm back and re-read the posts, but the story might stick with them.”

“Yeah, that's a good point. Is this for your macaroni thing?”

“It's called Macabre Macaroni, and yeah.”

“Maybe you can bracket it with something happy on either side. End with one that isn't a tragedy. They always remember the last one.”

“So bury it in the middle somewhere?”

“That's my opinion.”

“Thanks Under-The-Bed Monster, I owe you one.”

“You owe me several, but who's counting.”

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Fizzle the Drite, on Lisa Burton Radio

Hi, and welcome to another edition of Lisa Burton Radio. I'm your host, Lisa the robot girl, and we're going to try something a little bit different today. There is a character I've been dying to interview, but he's kind of hard to catch up with.

Fizzle is a drite, and they can be kind of reclusive. If we don't find him, I may have to think on the fly here for something to broadcast. I have a secret weapon though. I bought a beautiful basket of organic apples the last time I was at Whole Foods.

<Pop>

“OH! You scared me. Are you Fizzle?”

“Fizzle is Fizzle. Told to speak of self here. Uh . . . Fizzle small dragon. Fizzle live in woods. Fizzle leave woods to help friends. Tradespeak hard. Fizzle learn from tiny human. Fizzle love apples. What organic?”

“Oh my gosh, you're so cute. For those listening, Fizzle looks like a dragonfly, in that he's a small dragon with dragonfly wings.”

“Fizzle called drite. Not like big dragons or fake dragons. Fizzle and kind dif . . diffe . . . other thing. Drites small with great magic. Fizzle hide easy and have spell called disin . . . dis . . . make bad things go poof. Friends like warning when Fizzle cast poof spell. Give time to be safe. Fizzle have great aim, so no worry. Oh, drites have long tails too.”

“Don't you guys usually protect a forest or something?”

“Many drites protect nature. Not all. Some lazy and some curious. Fizzle protect Visindor Forest and sword lady’s school. Fizzle there before school, but Betty make yummy apple pies. Betty not sword lady. She friend of sword lady. Fizzle leave home and job to cousin. Plimp odd, but strong and good. He planting pine trees. Says pinecones yummier than apples. Fizzle not agree.”

“So why would you leave that all behind? It must be pretty important.”

<smack, chomp, burp> “Fizzle’s friends need help. Luke get into trouble. He need guarding while part of prophecy. Other champions help, but Fizzle protect Luke first. Also, like Nyx smell and Delvin know how to make apple pie. Timoran fun to perch on too. Sari just fun. Fizzle like having friends. Fizzle make sure they stay safe. Gods tell Fizzle to keep them safe.”

“You're pretty small, what would you do if someone threatened your friends.”

“Fizzle say magic. Fizzle very fast and smart. Stay hidden until strike. Bad people never see Fizzle coming. Well, blue lady did once. Evil Man did too, but Fizzle smack him. Evil Man very scary. Fizzle friends all hurt by him. Fizzle too when caught by surprise. Fizzle no like Evil Man. Rather fight Lich, who is a rotting man. Make that one go poof, but he not stay poofed. Very frus . . . frustr . . . make Fizzle pout.”

“Sounds like they could use some protecting. Do you ever sleep?”

“Fizzle have regular sleep. Also have long sleep. Drites need growing sleep for month to get stronger. Fizzle do this and friends get in trouble. This why friends need Fizzle.”

“That has to be nerve wracking. Maybe they could get a fu dog or something to cover for that year.”

“Fizzle like dogs. Luke like dogs too. Fizzle think that hard topic. Luke miss big dog. Fizzle give many apples to cheer up. Fizzle not worry now. Nyx get stronger and other champions wiser. Only Luke and Sari cause trouble. Timoran say they too young for adult wisdom. Nyx say they need head smack. Fizzle think they hide hurt with fun. Oh! Maybe Fizzle take form of dog. Bad people not expect dog to cast poof spell. Can dogs fly?”

“You know what I think? If you protect the champions, that makes you a champion too.”

“Fizzle no champion. Fizzle protector of champions. Prophecy go on with or without Fizzle and other friends. Fizzle know champions need friends. Though champions do not know that champions need friends to win. Not sure how, but Fizzle feel that right. Old Evil have demons, so why not champions have friends?”

“The champion's mission sounds like a dangerous adventure, but Windemere sounds like it has beautiful places too. Do you ever think you might adopt a new forest once everything is sorted out?”

“Fizzle no know. May take Visindor back or stay with Nyx. Fizzle have strong bond with Nyx. Luke call her city rat. Not sure if Fizzle want stay in city. Depend on what around. Many forests without drites. Fizzle can make new home and new friends. Fizzle can travel and plant a forest of every apple tree in world. Call it Yummy Woods and protect it.”

“Thank you for being with is today, Fizzle. The sponsor of today's show is Charms of the Feykin, the newest entry in the Legends of Windemere series. Don't forget to tip your waitress by clicking on those sharing buttons at the end of the post.

***

To make a champion fall, one must wound their very soul.

Nyx is leading the charge to rescue Delvin and Sari, who have gone missing in the southern jungles of Windemere. Battling through the local predators, the champions are surprised when they reunite in the Feykin city of Rhundar. Instead of captives, the missing heroes have become the city’s rulers and are on the verge of starting a war with those that want to exterminate their new followers. Even with such a noble cause, Delvin and Sari have changed into brutal warlords that may kill each other and their friends long before they step onto the battlefield.

Have Delvin and Sari really changed for the worst or is there a greater threat pulling the champions’ strings?

 

Charles Yallowitz was born and raised on Long Island, NY, but he has spent most of his life wandering his own imagination in a blissful haze. Occasionally, he would return from this world for the necessities such as food, showers, and Saturday morning cartoons. One day he returned from his imagination and decided he would share his stories with the world. After his wife decided that she was tired of hearing the same stories repeatedly, she convinced him that it would make more sense to follow his dream of being a fantasy author. So, locked within the house under orders to shut up and get to work, Charles brings you Legends of Windemere. He looks forward to sharing all of his stories with you, and his wife is happy he finally has someone else to play with.

 

Blog: www.legendsofwindemere.com

Twitter: @cyallowitz

Facebook: Charles Yallowitz

Website: www.charleseyallowitz.com

 

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Calling all lovers of fantasy

Charles Yallowitz has a new entry into his long running Windemere series. This one promises tension galore. It sounds like there might be dissension amongst the troops. Here’s Charles to tell us about it.

 

Return to Windemere in Charms of the Feykin!

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

To make a champion fall, one must wound their very soul.

Nyx is leading the charge to rescue Delvin and Sari, who have gone missing in the southern jungles of Windemere. Battling through the local predators, the champions are surprised when they reunite in the Feykin city of Rhundar. Instead of captives, the missing heroes have become the city’s rulers and are on the verge of starting a war with those that want to exterminate their new followers. Even with such a noble cause, Delvin and Sari have changed into brutal warlords that may kill each other and their friends long before they step onto the battlefield.

Have Delvin and Sari really changed for the worst or is there a greater threat pulling the champions’ strings?

Grab it on Amazon!

Add it to your Goodreads ‘To Read’ List!

Excerpt: Broken Bonds

Sari draws two daggers and sprints at Luke, slashing at his sabers in an attempt to cut his hands as he unsheathes his weapons. Instead, the forest tracker unclips the scabbards from his belt and spreads his arms to avoid the gypsy’s attack. The swords still sheathed, he does his best to deflect his former friend’s strikes while harmlessly smacking her in the sides. When a dagger slices his arm, Luke kicks out to knock Sari back. A hint of a grin on her face causes him to slow his attack, his foot aching as it bounces off her immovable body. Knowing he has to trick her, the half-elf runs backwards to get the gypsy to charge. Before she falls behind, the warrior lets her gradually catch up while remaining out of slashing range. Once Luke reaches the riverbank, he lunges forward and aims a swing at the sprinting woman’s knee. Forced to decide between taking a blow that would surely break bone or risk a similar injury by turning her power on while running, Sari tries to twist out of the way. She lands on her back at the forest tracker’s feet and curses when he pins her arms by jamming his sabers against her wrists.

Before Luke can tell the gypsy to stop struggling, an arm of water bursts from the river and bats him away. Phelan leaps out of the rapids and sprints at the prone warrior, his daggers lengthened by keenly edged liquid. The weapons sink into the muddy earth when their target rolls away, the ringing of drawn steel revealing that the champion is no longer restraining himself. With a flurry of stabs and slashes, the half-elf drives his new opponent back and whittles away at the watery daggers. Trying not to kill the Feykin, Luke delivers an echoing hilt punch to Phelan’s head every time the other warrior attempts a counterattack. Faced with the full speed and skill of the agile forest tracker, the outclassed hunter has various watery weapons fly out of the river. None of them hit the champion, who remains close enough to continue his barrage of muscle-rattling strikes.

Ducking to the side, Luke slashes at the other man’s exposed flank in what he hopes will be a crippling, but non-lethal, blow. The saber clangs off a patch of icy armor and a freezing tremor makes the half-elf’s arm go numb. A searing pain erupts from his lower back and he whirls around, the motion preventing Sari’s dagger from doing more than a long cut across his side. His first saber swings an inch over her head, but his second weapon leaves a gash up the middle of her chin. Enraged by the pain, the gypsy moves out of Luke’s reach and summons a massive hammer of water. She freezes the forest tracker’s feet to the ground before he can move, which allows the large weapon to connect. It repeatedly comes down on the warrior, breaking several ribs and one of his arms. Sheathing his sabers and remaining on the ground, the half-elf draws the stiletto and hurls it into Sari’s thigh. A look of shock is on her face and she stares at Luke’s battered form as if seeing such injuries for the first time.

Need to catch Legends of Windemere from the beginning? Then click on the covers below!

You can start for FREE . . .

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Or grab the $4.99 ‘3 in 1’ bundles!

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen 3D Conversion by Bestt_graphics

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen
3D Conversion by Bestt_graphics

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

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Also Available in Single eBooks:

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Cover art by Jason Pedersen

Cover art by Jason Pedersen

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Interested in a new adventure? Then grab your Kindle & dive back into the world of Windemere! Don’t forget an apple for Fizzle.

Author Photo

About the Author:

Charles Yallowitz was born and raised on Long Island, NY, but he has spent most of his life wandering his own imagination in a blissful haze. Occasionally, he would return from this world for the necessities such as food, showers, and Saturday morning cartoons. One day he returned from his imagination and decided he would share his stories with the world. After his wife decided that she was tired of hearing the same stories repeatedly, she convinced him that it would make more sense to follow his dream of being a fantasy author. So, locked within the house under orders to shut up and get to work, Charles brings you Legends of Windemere. He looks forward to sharing all of his stories with you, and his wife is happy he finally has someone else to play with.

Blog: www.legendsofwindemere.com
Twitter: @cyallowitz
Facebook: Charles Yallowitz
Website: www.charleseyallowitz.com

Note from Craig: Come back Thursday and check out Lisa Burton’s special guest, on Lisa Burton Radio.

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Monsters and Saviors

I go to work in the dark almost year round. This time of year, there’s a little bit of dawn before I walk in the office, but the days are getting shorter now. It will soon be dark for the whole commute. The point is, I have no idea what goes on in my back yard while I’m away.

Today is my rotating day off. It was glorious to get a couple more hours of sleep. My awakening was not how I wanted to start the day. There were monsters in my back yard.

They make a shrill twittering noise at first. This is the sound of a solo invader. He’s soon joined by others and the sound grows. It’s never loud. Not so loud as to rouse the unaware from slumber. I am not unaware.

I bolted from my bed and shoved a cold cup of coffee in the microwave. While it heated, I downed my blood pressure medication. This encounter would surely test my blood pressure. I even recorded the sound on my iPhone with every intention of sharing with you. I couldn’t figure out how to get it on my blog to prove I’m not crazy.

The monsters fled at the sight of me. They’re only about two inches tall. They aren’t here for me, they only come to steal away my happiness. They did a lot of damage, but I managed to salvage a bit for myself.

It's flat peach season

The dirty buggers start their harvest early. I want a fully ripened peach. The winged monsters don’t wait that long. Peaches ripen a bit at a time. The monsters eat that one perfect bit and move on, leaving the unripened portion to rot. Where they move on to, is the next nearest peach. One tiny little beast will ruin five beautiful peaches to fill its microscopic belly.

My tree overproduced last year, despite my thinning like a madman. It was certain this year would be puny by comparison. It’s not enough to deal with a tiny granddaughter who discovered a baby pumpkin tree. That part I can laugh off. (And it was pretty funny.) These peach eating demons are just wasteful.

I grabbed some small baskets and filled my refrigerator with peaches. There are some green edges on a few of them, but they are mouth wateringly good. I need to scrub them down before eating even though I’m not a big pesticide user. You just never know what the monsters left behind.

Life’s funny sometimes. After salvaging some of my tree’s fruit for myself I heated up another cup of coffee and checked my email. I discovered I had apps to update.

Pinnic updated their cork board app to include index cards. They now offer everything I want in a storyboard app. I emailed them a month or so ago and mentioned this to them. They assured me that index cards would be in the next update. The heavens parted and the angels sang. I think I’m going to recreate my four outlines today in Pinnic. As I do it, I’ll be downing microwave coffee and eating the most perfect flat peaches ever.

Either that, or I’m going to go stand under my tree and eat peaches until the juice runs down my beard. All the while watching the monsters weep from my neighbor’s yard. I haven’t decided yet.

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Something to consider

I slacked off on my Wednesday post. I had a tough week at work, and even took tomorrow off to recover. At least I had a couple of awesome reblogs for everyone.

I snapped this photo while camping last weekend. I sat under the awning and watched the lake for about an hour. There wasn't a boat around anywhere. When this happened, I snapped a quick photo.

So, I ask you, what caused that swirl in the middle of the lake? It stayed like that for about twenty minutes. Everyone seemed to have fun with my conspiracy theory about my camping neighbor. Let's hear your theories.

Waterborne monsters are scary, because humans are so helpless in the water. In fact, a big part of monsters involves isolation and difficult environments. Authors have to sell the sizzle and not the steak here. We rarely see an author place a scary monster in a crowd during broad daylight. That's because we are at our best under those circumstances. Most monsters appear miles from help, where there isn't a cellular signal, and mostly at night.

So here we have a bizarre swirl on the surface of Brownlee Reservoir. Is it jet wash from a cloaked spaceship? Maybe it's caused by something underneath the water. Let me hear it. Maybe it's the mothership come to retrieve my erie camping neighbor.

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The research phase

It’s time to do a little bit of research for my outlines. This is only preliminary stuff, more research will happen if I wind up writing one of these stories. For those who are new to my experiment, I’m in the middle of outlining four stories. I intend to make them slug it out survivor style for my writing time. This could make subsequent stories come along much faster, because they’ll be partly outlined.

***

The text, from Lisa* at the writing cabin, arrived at 2:30 today. “A group of guys just dropped off an old beater car. They said you ordered it.”

“I did. Check the model year and download a repair manual. I’ll be out after work today.”

As soon as I got home from work, I flew out to the writing cabin.

“Are you going somewhere in that junker?” Lisa asked.

“No, we are going somewhere in that junker. And it’s not a junker, it’s a Land Rover. We’re going on a research safari.”

“I can’t go camping. I have batteries to charge. And besides, who’s going to watch Bunny?

“Not to worry. Your friend Faith said she would tend Bunny while we’re gone.” I pushed my safari hat back out of my eyes. “Remember the Anurans from Arson?”

“Yeah…” She placed her hands on her hips and waited.

“I found some Anurans who operate a safari company. They dropped everything off using the Skyway system. They even pitched the tents and dropped off a generator.”

“It won’t be like a real safari. You have wooly mammoths and cave lions around here. And there are no bears on a safari.”

I ran inside and started packing books to the Land Rover. “I’ll have to use my imagination and improvise a bit. We’re going quite a ways, and we may find some real elephants, or some Cape buffalo.”

“Oh my gosh! I need to pack my clothes.” Lisa ran off in a flurry.

I loaded these books into the vehicle.

I’ve read them all before

I really need a book about propaganda, but maybe something will turn up. Do they have libraries on the savannah?

My hand moved to my beard, and I paused. I turned and yelled up the stairs. “We’ll drop Bunny off along the way. You probably ought to bring that big assed gun of yours.”

“Why? Crocodiles don’t eat robots.” The snicker echoed down the staircase.

“Very funny. If we hurry, we can probably get there just after dark.”

“Don’t wait for me. I’m ready for Camp Research.” She sat her trunk on the floor with a thud.

“Camp Research. I like that, we should put up a sign when we get there.” I stroked my beard again. “Um, what’s in the trunk?”

“Clothes and stuff. You don’t expect me to leave without a change of clothes do you?”

“Um, no. What was I thinking. You’ll have to lash it down in the back. And download a map, you’re driving.”

She lifted her trunk with one hand and carried it to the Land Rover. It’s surprising how strong she really is.

Lisa turned over the ancient four-wheel-drive’s engine. “Did you lock the door?”

“Yes.”

“Did you go pee?”

“Yes.”

“Can you see if Bunny’s scared?”

“He’s fine.”

“Will we find some natives?” She dropped the clutch and we made our way down the access road.

“I hope so.”

“Witch doctors too?”

“That’s the plan. You haven’t been out lately, have you?”

“Not really, why do you ask?”

“No reason. I think you have sixteen questions to go.”

*Lisa Burton is the main character in Wild Concept. She’s a robot and helps me around the writing cabin these days.

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Ichabod Brooks and the City of Beasts

Charles has a new story coming out, and it’s only 99¢! It’s a stand alone title in his Windemere setting, and I’m excited about it. Here’s Charles to give you all the deets:

Coming on June 1st for 99 cents!

Ichabod Brooks & the City of Beasts (Cover by Nio Mendoza)

Ichabod Brooks & the City of Beasts (Cover by Nio Mendoza)

In a time of heroes, a man will take any job to provide for his family.

Ichabod Brooks has earned a reputation for taking the jobs most men and women fear to challenge. This reputation has brought him to the charred remains of a small village nestled within the hills and forest of Ralian. The ruins are a source of strange monsters that terrorize the countryside and repeatedly elude the local guards and hunters. The few brave souls who have entered the creatures’ lair have yet to come out alive or dead.

The chances of survival are slim, but that generous payment is too much for Ichabod to resist. After all, a man and his family have to eat.

Author PhotoAuthor Biography

Charles E. Yallowitz was born, raised, and educated in New York. Then he spent a few years in Florida, realized his fear of alligators, and moved back to the Empire State. When he isn’t working hard on his epic fantasy stories, Charles can be found cooking or going on whatever adventure his son has planned for the day. ‘Legends of Windemere’ is his first series, but it certainly won’t be his last.

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