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Saturday, December 31, 2011

December Short story contest fourth place

Scarlet's Tale

by Rebekah Lawrence

She was half way home when she realised there was someone following her. The air seemed to get colder panting out of her lungs and frost was gathering on the narrow pavement which she walked upon.  Refusing to turn around to notify the footsteps that she knew they were there, she increased her pace.

It was a cold winter night in the middle of the village, subsequently no lights could be seen due to the fog; the house’s that were nearby appeared to be stretching in the distance the further she travelled. Also no one was around, that is, forgetting about the pounding heart beat behind her.

Her dark hair was escaping its bun. As Scarlet’s hand swiped to push the wavy strands behind her ear, she noticed an increase in the tempo of the heavy footsteps behind her.

Panicking Scarlet looked out the corner of her eye to catch a glimpse on the profile in an attempt to calm her nerves. Unfortunately her instincts were correct; she didn’t know the man following her. Crap.
His shining dark eyes were focused on her like a predator on its meal of the day. She was so screwed. His heavy riding boots were cascading towards her, and she knew deep down she was helpless for whatever he wanted. The tree’s screamed in the breeze as she came to a halt looking the man in the eye. She was no prey. She wasn’t going to run away like one, but instead stare him in the eyes and fight for all she was worth.

However as soon as she had stopped she noticed the boot fall had stopped meaning all she could hear was his heavy breathing and the harsh sound of nature. Maybe she wasn’t in as much danger as she thought.

Startling her further, the mysterious man bowed. He actually bowed. Scarlet couldn’t help the shocked expression on her face, but instead studied the young man who looked no more than 20, looking like he’d walked out of a 18th century novel.

His bowed head caused a tumble of colour that could only be described as rich cream, to fall over his high cheek bones and caress his strong jaw. His stern neck was camouflaged in a high necked ruffle shirt, with a contrasting dark waist coat and tailed jacked. His lean legs were wrapped in midnight coloured trousers, with the high riding boots cloaking his stern carves.

Scarlet didn’t know the man, yet she felt she did. Absurdly, she felt that she should be curtsying back. Then diving into his arms. What the hell?

Her chest compressed as she erratically gulped down more oxygen as if drowning. What is this? Why did she feel she knew this man? His eyes were so dark, drawing her in to his presence that she had to catch herself from falling at his feet. As if sensing her inner torment he closed his eyes slowly, almost looking in pain. 

 “Who are you?” She almost begged. Scarlet couldn’t handle this. She didn’t even know him yet she was contemplating throwing herself into his arms. Instead she backed off the pavement.

A deep voice that caressed her senses replied: “You know who I am, my love.” Scarlet’s eyes snapped open at the endeavorment, not even realising that the hypnotic voice had caused her instincts to fly out the window. She couldn’t put her guard down. Even if she felt safe with him for some absurd reason.
“Come with me,” he carried on, reaching out his hands to emphasis the point. Oh he had nice hands. Strong. Smooth. Sinful.

Shaking her head to try to escape the spell he had set on her, she looked upon him in fear. How could he do this to her? A total stranger, yet here she was almost agreeing to go where ever with him. She backed up further onto the road.

“My love, please. It’s time, don’t be scared. I can help! Make sure it doesn’t cause you any pain.” Pain? What was he on about? The only pain she was emitting was the sheer power she had to use to stop leaping into his arms.

When she finally found her voice after his beauty was more tamed she pled, “I don’t understand! Why do I feel I know you? WHO ARE YOU?!” When her last words echoed around the trees, she noticed another faint noise. An engine. Good, it was only a small village: she knew everyone. Someone could give her a lift away from this man who made her insane.

Scarlet stepped further into the road. She was safe; the car would take her away. Take her to the normality of her home with her average parents, average pets, and average life. Away from this extraordinary boy who made her feel dizzy in the mind.

Yet as she travelled further into the fog she noticed she saw his eyes close in expected pain. The look was so filled with longing and love she almost went back to him, but then the car hit her.

Her legs buckled. Her body somersaulted through the air. She landed with her head smacking into the pavement with an audible crack breaking through the pain in her legs and torso. Her vision blacked out.
The next thing she knew she was out of her body. Literally. She was hovering above her broken body with the handsome man shimmering next to her. Yet as she looked down at the blood and broken limbs she found she didn’t feel anything. Instead she could only feel the warmth of his hand, the flush his half smile brought her skin and the love she felt blooming in her chest.

She had died: hit by a car. But she didn’t morn her life. Instead she celebrated the joining of the man next to her. The ghost who stood by her side. Her love she lost in her previous life’s; yet gained every time she died. 


You can view the best of the best...the top seven, on my website HERE


Friday, December 30, 2011

December short story contest 3rd place entry

This is the third place entry for the December short story contest. An excellent concept with novel potential!


by Colby Cox

     It was my first time outside the white-painted dome, and I was immediately struck by the colors. I had heard the stories of the colors before, but I wasn’t sure whether I believed them. All I had known—all I had ever known—was black, white, and grey.
     I blink my eyes, and I notice that some of the other Hunters are doing the same. The Head,
Anton Meier, and the rest of the seasoned Hunters laugh at us for doing so—they know that they looked the exact same way when they came out here for the first time.
     The world is immensely different. Where under the dome we had skyscrapers, in the Outer
World, there are thin, dark towers that stretch to the sky and end in dome-like canopies the color of the ground. These towers stand in a large group together, stopping only for the dome that covers the White City and continuing as far as I can see. The spaces in between these towers are dark, the light from the whitish orb in the sky blocked by the vast canopies at the top of the towers.
     Anton Meier stops laughing at us and points towards the dark areas. “Well,” he says. “Let’s
roll out! Come on!”
     The lot of us walks behind Anton into the darkness. We have to step over things that have
fallen from the canopies now and then. At one point, a river, much like the artificial one that men
have built in the middle of the White City, comes up in front of us and we have to jog over to a
simple footbridge that can only handle one of us at a time.
     Anton holds up a hand, stopping us. “Michelson, come here,” he says. At the mention of my
name, I step forward, stopping slightly behind and to the right of Anton. “You can be the first
newbie to see this. Look—between those trees.”
     I look, but I see nothing at all in between the towers—trees. “What…What is it?” I ask.
“It’s an Empty. Do you see him?” he asks.
“I don’t,” I respond honestly. “What am I looking for?”
“Look for something that looks like a man, only it doesn’t move quite like one. Don’t expect
to see smooth movements—they will be slower and more rigid than what you would expect to
see from a man.”
     The other new Hunters stand far enough back that they don’t hear what we’re saying, but curiosity is obvious on each and every one of their faces.
     Suddenly, I notice movement, and I jolt. The Empty, as Meier called it, looks exactly as he
had explained it—like a man. However, you can easily understand how it got its name—the
creature seems like it has a missing piece of the puzzle—the one thing that keeps it from being
“Is that what we hunt for?” I ask, confused.
“Yep,” says Anton.
“So…we’ve been eating Empties in the Mess Hall all of this time?”
     Anton laughs out loud. “No, Michelson, we don’t. It always gets me that the newbies believe
that we actually hunt for food out here.”
“Well, what are we eating, then?” I ask, annoyed and embarrassed that he is laughing at me.
     The other new Hunters look very confused; they can’t quite hear what is being said.
“It’s all manufactured in that factory by the river. Hell, I couldn’t respect myself I caught
what was made into that slop that they call food.”
     He sets his sight on the Empty and lets his arrow fly, releasing the bowstring. The arrow
sinks itself into the creature’s head, and it falls over.
     Anton Meier motions for the Hunters to follow, and we walk through the space between the
trees deeper into the woods. He explains to us that the Hunters used to hunt for food, before they had to cover the city with the dome because the Empties were multiplying too quickly. Then, the city officials ordered engineers to come up with a way to make food out of synthetic materials so that the Hunters could focus all of their efforts on the eradication of the Empties. He explains that people used to live past forty in the Outer World; that they would eat animals and plants; that they would run and lift heavy things to stay healthy and keep themselves alive longer; and that all of that changed when the dome was added.
     Soon, we come to a clearing and Anton stops us. “This is where the White City was
originally. If you will notice, the ground changed from where we have been walking. You can
see the roads and building foundations from the old city.”
     I look to the White City that we live in now. It is odd to see it like this—convex instead of
concave. It is an absolute behemoth.
“This is where we take our breaks. We always sit on this foundation for about thirty minutes
before getting another start. It’s outside of the trees, so it is much safer because we can see
     We sit down on the hard ground, and only now that I’m sitting do I realize how badly my
calves hurt from all of this walking.
     But almost before I get a chance to rest, something on the horizon changes. It is moving,
throbbing, unnoticeable at first, like ants on an ant hill. But there is something coming up from
below the ground.
“Um, Anton,” I say, but when I look at him, I see that he is looking at the same thing as I am.
     Empties. There are at least fifty of them, outmatching the fifteen of us greatly.
“Lukas, do you know if the buildings that were over there had basements?”
“I’ve never been over there.”
“I think they did.” Anton draws his bow and, and we all do so, but the Empties are moving
much too fast. Within seconds, they overpower us.

Check out Colby's blog HERE
Check out this story and the other top entries at my website.  HERE.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

December short story contest runner-up

The Curse
by Carlie M A Cullen

Large colourful posters were everywhere; in store windows, on telegraph
poles, lampposts, at road junctions and railings. In fact, everywhere she looked there
were pictures of elephants adorned with tassels and hats with feather plumes,
trapeze artists in bright sparkly costumes, and clowns with massive shoes, oversized
trousers, painted smiles and curly green hair. There was no doubt about it – even if
you couldn’t read the words, the pictures said it all – the circus had come to town.
As she continued down the street, she read the show times on the poster
directly in front of her and realised that today was the first day of their visit.
Excitement gripped her. She’d always loved circuses, ever since she was a small
child. There was always a mystical air around the circus, it wove magic around
anyone that walked through their gates. She even dreamt that one day she might
learn to walk a tightrope or fly on a trapeze.
Glancing at her watch, she realised the gates would be opening in thirty
minutes. She walked much faster, wanting to arrive before then.
By the time she reached her destimation, she was panting. Pausing to catch
her breath at the gate, her eyes roved excitedly over the tableau before her. Directly
ahead was the famed big top; the expanse of off-white, decorated with multi-
coloured flags increased the exhilaration inside and a huge grin spread across her
The gate opened and she dashed through, wanting to see everything at once.
As her eyes swept over the sideshows and other tents, she did a double-take – there
in the very centre was a black tent. It looked so incongruous amongst the other
structures yet she couldn’t take her eyes off it. With the sun blazing down, the sheen
of the material glistened and the tent appeared to shimmer.
She was drawn towards it. As she approached, the drapes covering the
entrance parted, but there was no one there. She walked through, trepidation now
dogged her steps yet curiosity drove her on.
Once through, the second set of curtains opened revealing a massive space
full of light. She wandered in and her jaw dropped – it was like being inside a palace,
with huge vaulted ceilings, chandeliers and large ornate mirrors. Near the centre was
a wall with a door in it. Inquisitive, she walked over and knocked. A reedy voice
She pushed the door open and inside found a wizened old lady sitting behind
a small table, covered in white lace and featuring a large crystal ball in the centre.
The woman gestured to the chair in front of her.
“Sit, Alice!”
Alice sat, bewildered, as the woman gazed into the crystal.
“I see tremendous changes coming to you very soon. Everything will alter
dramatically. You will move home, leave your friends, and meet some new people.”
“Really?” Alice wasn’t sure whether to be excited or anxious and she fidgeted
in her seat.
“Yes dearie, the crystal never lies!” she stated, a small smile on her lips.
Alice sat quiet for a moment and stared at the old woman in wonder. She
looked about a hundred years old; very frail, with wispy white hair and a face as
wrinkled as an elephant’s hide. Clearing her throat, Alice said,
“Do you mind if I ask you something?”
“Not at all,” the woman replied.
“How long have you been sitting in that chair?” Alice looked a little sheepish.
There was a whooshing noise and the room started spinning. When it
stopped, Alice was facing the opposite way and the old lady stood before her. Only
she wasn’t so old anymore; she’d dropped thirty years and was growing younger
before Alice’s eyes.
Alice felt weary. She glanced down at her hands and was shocked to see the
skin dry and wrinkled. She brought one hand up to her face and, stroking her cheek,
found it to be lined and papery. She moaned in horror and closed her eyes.
“What’s happened to me, and you?” Alice cried, her voice breaking.
“Exactly what happened fifty years ago. The chairs have a curse on them.
Two hundred years ago, a beautiful seer unknowingly upset a witch. The witch was
so angry she cursed the seer, taking away her beauty and condemning her to sit in
the chair until one certain question was asked. Only then would she be freed and the
inquirer would take her place.
“The question could never be prompted and had to be asked spontaneously.
Once asked, the one released would regain her youth while the new prisoner would
lose theirs. Now it’s your turn. You now possess second sight and will be able to tell
fortunes, but you won’t leave that chair until the question is asked once again. By
the way, my name is Jessica,” she explained.
Alice was horrorstruck and silent. Jessica now appeared to be in her early
twenties and bore no resemblance to the old lady Alice had first encountered.
“I’m leaving now. I wish you luck and hope you won’t be stuck here as long
as I was. Goodbye, Alice,” and with that she turned and danced through the door.
Alice found her voice and cried,
It was too late, Jessica had gone. The door was shut.
Jessica walked out into the sunlight, grinning. Glancing back at her prison,
she watched it shimmer then vanish from sight.
Freedom beckoned.
Check out Carlie's blog HERE

This and other entries can be found on my website

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The winning short story contest entry

Flying High

By Sarah Monroe

The cool night air bit into my flesh painfully, but I ignored it. That’s what I got for
wearing just a tank top with my jeans and Vans. From the roof I was perched on, I
could see into the rooms of every house in the town. I could see parents tucking
their young children into bed, a mother nursing her baby, and a family watching TV
I hadn’t had a family like that since I was five.
Unfurling my large golden wings, I ran and jumped off the edge of the roof,
and flew high and fast. The cold breeze slid along my feathers, and I felt the relief
that only came with flying. I turned east, back to the beach where I was supposed to
be. Once landed, I kicked off my shoes and let the still-warm sand run between my
toes. A tall, silvery figure approached me.
“Skye, where the hell have you been?” Wrath asked me testily. The angry scar
that ran from his cheek to shoulder was the same silver as his hair and eyes in the
moonlight. His wings matched.
“I want a family.” I told him, ignoring his question. “I want parents that love
and take care of me. I want to live a normal life.”
Wrath sighed, impatiently pushing the long hair out of his face. “You know
why you don’t have a family – they died in that fire when you were five… just like
mine, and just like Luke’s. And say that we did get adopted before we escaped from
that damned orphanage, what would your new parents do when they saw your wings?
Would they freak out? Would they sell you for money? Yes, because you’re a freak
of nature! No matter what you do you’ll always be the outsider!”
I’d been holding back tears during his speech, but now they flowed in hot
streams down my cheeks. Wrath was right, which made it worse. I hated it when he
was right… which was often. Anyone who saw our wings would sell us to the
media, or worse, to some science laboratory. We’d either be stared at or dissected.
And my family… Oh how I missed them. The mother and father that I had
faint memories but no photos of, and the unborn brother I never had a chance to
meet. Fire was my worst enemy for taking away my 5 year old world. But then
again, I would never have met Luke and Wrath without it. The latter I could deal
with not knowing, but the former… well, that was something I didn’t even want to
think about.
As if knowing I was thinking about him, Luke came into view from some trees,
and I noticed for the first time how long his beautiful golden hair had grown. I
looked down at my own chocolate-brown hair and saw that it had grown longer too,
almost to the small of my back. At that moment, I didn’t care. Luke must’ve seen
the melancholy expression on my face, because he came over and wrapped me in his
“We should leave…” Was all he said before letting me go, unfurling his wings
and leaping into the clear night air.
I followed, and Wrath too. We didn’t fly in any sort of organised formation;
we just went wherever. Wrath, being twenty and the oldest, was of course the fastest.
But then again, we were all pretty fast, so it only took around fifteen minutes to get
from the Gold Coast to Brisbane. Yes, we were on the east coast of Australia.

Night in the city street was absolute bliss. People were everywhere, and all the
lights were like brilliant stars close to Earth. There was so many noises and activity,
I didn’t know where to look. It was exciting… no, exhilarating. My senses were in
overload. The scent of curried chicken from a nearby restaurant, flashing lights on a
hotel sign, car horns beeping away, the feel of the humidity that curled my hair…
We reluctantly found our way to the museum at South Bank, where we were to
meet someone under the life-size whale models that hung from the ceiling. A strange
note we found in China Town, Melbourne, had told us to.
We waited, and waited, and waited, until I felt like I was going to fall asleep
on my feet. But then a small girl of about eleven came up to us, which was quite
unexpected. Someone so young shouldn’t have been out alone, and at night especially.
“Hello, my name’s Emily.” The young girl told us in a high, sweet voice. Her
hair was golden brown, and her eyes a bright blue. I thought I saw a flash of white
wings on her back, but couldn’t be sure. That is, until she said: “What you just saw
is real. I’m just like you – nephilim – the offspring of humans and angels.” Emily
flicked back her golden hair and smiled wide. She was adorable. “I’m also Luke’s
younger sister… Or I should really say half-sister, because we have different human
mothers. But now, Luke, our daddy’s been waiting a long time to find you. You’re
all welcome to come back to my house, because really, he wants to meet all of you.
It’s rare for there to be so many nephilim in the same area, and around the same
The three of us stood staring at this young girl, who though talkative,
unknowingly answered the question we’d been brooding over the last few weeks –
What are we? But now that there was an answer, what was there to do? Was there
some sort of purpose in our lives… Like a reason half-breeds like us even existed?
But really, we had nothing to do but follow Emily back to where Luke’s angel
parent was waiting.
I wanted to look for my real dad next. Whoever he was, and wherever he was,
I would find him.

Sarah is from the Gold Coast, Australia. She writes under the pseudonym Vanessa Belle

check out her facebook page HERE

Keep up the writing, Sarah!  We look forward to seeing more of your work! (*cough* guest post)


As always, drop in and visit my website!


Sunday, December 25, 2011

Twas the night before christmas...with Zombies

Twas the night before Christmas….with zombies
A disturbing holiday poem by J. R. Wagner

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Many creatures were stirring, eating two dogs and a mouse
The stockings lay strewn and bloodied by the fire
A struggle had taken place, apparently dire

The children had woken to the screams by their beds
One single thought had entered their heads
When Mama came limping and moaning down the hall
And Papa crawled toward them having no legs at all

Out on the lawn there arose such a clatter
Screams and smoke and gunfire did shatter
The window as Timmy ducked avoiding the glass
While Gina reached for her .9 allowing no dead to pass

The moon on the blood strewn across the white snow
Gave an ominous look to the situation below
When a sound cut through the eerily silent night
The thwack, thwack, thwack of chopper blades joining the fight

It landed out front raising snow like a storm
Timmy and Gina  an to the window to shout, to warn
One-by-one men ducked out beneath the deadly blades
M1’s tightly gripped as they looked through the haze

A few shots fired, several men down
the area called ‘clear’ then his foot touched the ground
The children both smiled as he lifted his hat to his head
Yes, you guessed it, Rick Grimes from The Walking Dead

As dry entrails took flight like birds fleeing from prey
The presence of Rick let the children know this would be a special day
Rather than through the front door, Grimes jumped to the roof
His .357 reporting as walkers fell with an ooph

Then, with a whoosh followed by a deafening blast
They knew Shane Walsh and his RPG had made it at last
Debris dropped down what remained of the flu
Followed by smashing and bashing from you know who

Snakeskin boots were the first to drop in
Followed by county issued pants, shirt and his gold star pin
A bundle of guns he had flung on his back
He looked like a dystopian peddler opening his pack

His eyes, dark and weary, his jaw set tight
His cheeks were striated always ready for a fight
His perfect white teeth smiled up at the kids
Unable to hide the guilt for the things that he did

He cocked his hat back revealing more of his face
Blood splatter and gore were all over the place
The children relaxed having seen it before
Grimes was a legend, a gift to help settle the score

The hilt of a dirk he held tight in his teeth
And the dust cloud from his entrance circled his head like a wreath
He was thin as a man, ever they had seen
Food can be scarce unless one is keen

He was formal and terse as he moved, shoulders set
Not believing the children already dispatched the threat
A wink of an eye and a twist of his head
Told the kids not all the walkers were dead

He spoke not a word but went right to his work
Removing the shotgun and ArmaLite AR-18 with a jerk
Cautiously stepping into sister Jennie’s small room
Then gunfire and screaming and boom, boom, boom

Rick stepped slowly back out from the fight
Clutching his side with one hand the .357 in the right
His face was pale, his eyes cold and distant
The problem, the kids knew exactly in an instant

Timmy and Gina, holding her .9
Made their way to the chopper –double time
Looking back at dust-off toward the house where Rick lay
He’d been bitten, you see, and needed to stay.

As the chopper lifted and rose past the trees
A bright star reminded the passengers, it’s Christmas eve
Merry Christmas, said Shane gripping the mesh
The kids gave an odd smile then feasted on his flesh

To my Walking Dead buddy: Iris. Merry Christmas,

Love always,

Check out my website! www.TheNeverChronicles.com

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Guest Post by me, age 11

I thought I'd share another gem of a writing sample from my youth.  This masterpiece is a sample from the sequel to Return of the Jedi. (what else would it be?)

Written by Josh Wagner and Nick Bausch (hope you don't mind, Nick)

A long time ago in a galaxy far far away..............

Episode VII Return of the Empire
     The rebels have begun construction on a new base on the planet of Endor.  now that the Empire is destroyed, the rebels are not in a hurry to complete there (yes there) base and there (yes, once again, there) worries are few.

     Little do they know on the far side of the galaxy the empire is reforming.  There (ugh) leader a dark lord from the planet Donateo, Lord Opi who is determined to crush the rebellion. He has many allies, his most powerful is the force.

The empire is finishing the last stage on a new base twice as big and three times as powerful as the Death Star.  This space station is located inside an asteroid within in impassable asteroid field. (Kind of makes you wonder how effective an offensive strategy one would launch from such a location) This space station will spell certain doom to the small band of rebels trying to restore freedom to the galaxy.....(I was nice enough to correct the spelling of galaxy -from gallexy)

Luke "It sure is a clear night outside, isn't it." (I guess this isn't a question)
Liea "You can see for miles!"
Han "What's going on out here?"
Liea  " We are just admiring the sky isn't it beautiful?"
Han "Yeah great, has anyone seen Chewie, he has a part to the power generator I'm working on for the Falcon."
Luke "Oh where are you going?" (Wow, shouldn't Liea be the one asking these questions?)
Han "No where (ugh) just fixing her up for the hell of it. (George lucas managed to go three entire movies without a single curse and we made it to the middle of the second page.)

     Han was about to turn around to leave when he saw a bright red glow shoot across the sky into the forest many miles away.

Han" Did you see that!" (more of a statement than a question, I suppose)
Liea "Yes what was it."
Han "Probably just a meteor."
Luke "I don't think so." under his breath
Liea "We better check in it is getting late and we have a busy day tomorrow."
Han "Yeah, but I think we should check it out in the morning anyway.

     They all turned around and went back into the base.
The dialogue is arguably as good, if not better than George Lucas' -especially when compared to the three most recent films. Lets just hope Lucas doesn't steal this priceless idea....

Check out my website, which is now live!


Friday, December 23, 2011

Excerpts from a memoir part 2: Fuzzy Side Up

I can't help but share more excerpts from this memoir, Fuzzy Side Up.  Each one of them make me laugh.  Enjoy.

Darlene Chandler

     My friend, Michael Myers, and I used to fish at night for carp.  We always anchored behind Darlene Chandler's house (she was a beautiful redhead) with the hope she would undress with the curtains up.  She never did.


     Every summer, for a while, Goy would rent Taylor's cottage for a month in Lewes, Delaware.  The entire cottage was probably as large as a family room.  Mr. Taylor was a fisherman, netting off the beach. This particular summer, Nanny, Pappap, Judy and I were there, along with my cousins, Glennie and Barbara.  Goy and Mom would come down on Saturday night and leave Sunday night.  The store was closed on Sundays.  Judy and Barbara were about 16 and Glennie and I were 12.  Well, one day we were all swimming and the girls decided to take off with Glennie and my bathing suits and run back to the cottage.  There we were, in the water with no suits and people all over the beach.  We waited but they never came back.  It was getting cold. Glennie, who was much less modest than I, he walked out of the water and ran home stark naked.  It was at least two-hundred yards across the beach, over the dunes and down Main Street to the cottage. I waited, and finally, Nanny brought my suit down to me.
     One day Glennie decided to put lighter fluid on the ends of Pappap's cigarettes.  Pappap wore a Panama hat and he smoked Chesterfields -no filters.  Pappap lit one and nothing happened.  It all of the sudden occured to Glennie that Pappap put the wrong end into his mouth.
"Oh my God, he'll burn his face when it finally reaches the fluid!"
     Glennie ran over to Pappap and slapped the cigarette out of his mouth.  Pappap was furious.  He chased both of us down the alley behind the cottages (and he could run) but we got away. Pappap went back to the cottage.  We suddenly remembered the other cigarettes were still there.  We ran back to throw them away. As we entered, there was Pappap, lighting another. Well, he put it in the right way this time.  Now, his hat was on fire. Nanny yanked it off his head and tore the cigarette out of his mouth. No harm except the hat.
     This seems crueler than it was.  We took Pappap everywhere.  Pappap loved to fish, so did we.  We would throw his  line out and he would sit there all day.  One day, we took Pappap to the beach an only put a sinker on his line -no hooks.  We played and swam and Pappap fished.  Occasionally, we gave the sinker a tug to keep Pappap happy.
     One day Pappap had diarrhea on the beach.  I guess he forgot his underwear. I saw him running over the beach with a brown stream coming out the bottom of his pants.


     My Uncle Glen went to Florida and brought me back a baby alligator.  It was about a foot long.  I made a box with sand and a pan with water and fed him every day.  He thrived.  One day, I decided to take Harvey to the creek for a swim.  I tied a string around his neck and put him in the water.  That was the last I saw of Harvey.  But fifteen years later, I read in the paper that someone found a 250 pound alligator about ten miles downstream at Lenape.  It was dead.  I often wondered if that was Harvey.

Check out my website!


Monday, December 19, 2011

The tears of J. K. Rowling?

I haven't mentioned this to many people -mostly because I've forgotten. It's been over four years since Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows has been released.  Always in the back of my mind though, I've never forgotten.

While I was reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows for the first time, I noticed something strange about my copy.  At first, I thought it was supposed to be there.  I believed it was part of the print.  A trick of the trade intended to reflect the mood of the chapter.  It was, after all, called The Will of Albus Dumbledore.

Then, out of curiosity, I checked a friend's copy.  This anomaly was not there.  I checked another and another. I even went so far as to go to the bookstore and look in those copies.  Not there.

I even searched online to see if anyone else had reported this strange occurrence and couldn't find anything.  Granted, I didn't search very hard but if google doesn't know, who does?

So, to what am I referring?

 Here are my images.  I scanned two pages and photographed two pages. The scan isn't great because I'm not about to squish my copy of the book just to get a good scan.  I also assure you this is not photo-shopped -I'm not that good with the program and something like this simply isn't worth my time.

I like to think of these as the tears of J. K. Rowling.  As a writer, to bid farewell to that which has been so dear to her for so very long is not an easy thing.  I truly thought that was the message she was trying to convey with these ink stained pages that resemble drops of liquid on the pages.

What are they really?  A printing error obviously...perhaps.  Or perhaps they are part of the magic of Harry Potter.  Magic in one copy of a book printed 12 million times (thank you google).

Sunday, December 18, 2011

My 'review' of The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Preface: I  don't generally read reviews. I like to form my own opinion.  I decide whether a book is worth reading based on the synopsis and word of mouth. This will be short, I promise.

The last time I lost sleep while reading a book was when I read Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.  I lost sleep reading The Hunger Games.

Yes, it's that good.  Read it.

My website is now live!  Check it out www.TheNeverChronicles.com

P.S. If you're reading this, what did you think of The Hunger Games?

Friday, December 16, 2011

What are you entitled to?

The answer is...


Warning: I'm going on a rant here so  please don't expect my usual creative-driven posting.

Well...after writing roughly 1000 words, I decided that was all I needed to purge my frustration. So I deleted it.  I'll end with this;

Work for what you want.  Work hard.  Don't sit around whining about why great things aren't happening to you because great things NEVER happen to people who sit around and whine.  Get up and do something about it.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

My First Book review EVER -Legend by Marie Lu

I dread writing book reviews...but here goes anyway

So, for everyone who can't stand those multi-page reviews, here is my review of Legend by Marie Lu.

 One sentence synopsis: In a post apocalyptic United States still caught in the throws of civil war,  LA's most wanted criminal (boy) is pursued by the government's most gifted agent (girl) after boy kills girl's brother.

At 336 pages (even less on my nook) the book is a super-fast read.  Legend currently sits at #393 on the Amazon best sellers ranks, which is awesome for her first novel!  The character descriptions and thought processes are excellent -you feel like you're inside her characters as she alternates between the two, chapter-by-chapter.  When I got to within 40 pages of the end, I thought to myself, there is no way she will be able to wrap everything up before the end.  I was wrong.

There is no fat in Legend, her editors did an excellent job of seeing to that.  My only gripe is Lu tipped her hand earlier than necessary (in my humble, worthless opinion) on a mystery that could have been left unexplained and made the reader more anxious for the next book in the series. There is only one course of action driving the main character forward at the end- justifying a sequel when she could have left at least one more major plot point unanswered.  I don't believe it would have taken away from the story had she done so.

Considering it took me less than ten days to read (with my schedule that's an accomplishment) I'd say it was captivating, well worth the money and quite enjoyable overall. I would recommend this to anyone seeking escape from reality and immersion into a creative mind.

P.S. She has a cool website well worth checking out if you enjoy her writing. 

Monday, December 12, 2011

Blog awarded the Liebster Blog Award!

This morning, I received a Liebster Award from Suzanne Finnegan.  Thank you!

Suzanne writes for her blog, Paranormal Book Fan


So, as per the rules for this award (copied from Suzanne):

In accepting the Liebster Blog Award, the recipient agrees to: 

  • Thank the person who gave them this award and link back to that persons blog
  • Copy and paste the award to their blog
  • Reveal the 5 blogs they have chosen to award, commenting on their blog to break the news
  • Hope those people in turn pay it forward by accepting and awarding "the Liebster Blog Award" to bloggers they would like to honour
This award is for anyone with fewer than 200 followers :)

My chosen blogs are:

I chose these blogs because I enjoy their content, they're unique among the infestation of book review blogs and I believe they will see good things in the future.  I'm sure they'll reach  200 followers in no time!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Excerpts from a memoir: Fuzzy Side Up

Still one of the funniest things I've ever read, Fuzzy Side Up, is a collection of stories (all true) about a man's life.  It is not available to the general public (something I'm working on fixing) so I thought I'd share a few particularly funny excerpts.

Mimosa Tree
     One Christmas, I got a plastic rifle and my friend, David Kay, broke it over my head on Christmas Day.  That same Christmas, I got a carpenter's kit.  Saw, hammer, etc. I looked for something to saw. Finally, I went under Nanny's dining room table and sawed part of the leg off.  Goy put me outside when he saw what I was doing.  We had a large beautiful mimosa tree in the yard.  I remember my mother crying as the tree lay on the snow-covered ground.

Bow & Arrow
     My friend, Louie Fredricks, lived on top of the Army and Navy store on the main street. Louie was more advanced than me.  More street smart.  He bought me a beanie for my eighth birthday.  I loved that hat.  I also heard the record, 'You Ain't Nothing But A Hound Dog,' at his house.  One year, Louie got a bow and arrow for his birthday.  His older brother, Jimmy, took us to the park and ran around in a circle while Louie and I stood in the middle shooting arrows at him.  (Made perfect sense to me.)

State Police
     When I was in fifth grade, for the first time, we had a club.  Today it might be called a gang, but we were more like Spanky, Alfalfa and Buckwheat.
     We built a clubhouse along the creek behind Mr. Canby's oil company.  It was just boards nailed to trees.  We had to rebuild it every few weeks because someone would dismantle it.  We found out it was the boys from the east side of East Ward.  Our retaliation was leaning railroad ties (8"x8"x8' pieces of wood) on their front doors and ringing the doorbell.  Thank God no one was actually hurt, but someone squealed.
     I remember that fateful Monday afternoon when two state troopers showed up at school.  I saw them standing in the hall and talking to our principal.  I somehow knew they weren't giving a safety patrol lesson.  They came in and went to the back of the room.  I sat in front of the teacher's desk even though my last name started with a W.  I never looked back.  I heard the footsteps coming down the aisle on each side. One took one arm, one took the other arm, and they lifted me out of my seat.  Off we went to the station.  I wasn't allowed out of the yard for a week.
     The second year in fifth grade I was much better.  But I still couldn't read. When our final report cards were handed out, I asked George Murphy if I was still going to be in fifth grade.  He said, "No, you're going to sixth." Victory.

My Boat
     Goy had made a small flat-bottom boat to fish from in the Brandywine Creek.  I kept it tied to a tree behind the Methodist church, which was next to the creek.  Every so often it was missing, but I always found it down the creek and brought it back.  One day, Mrs. Straus saw two boys pulling it down the creek.  She called the house, and Nanny told me. I went up to the third floor where Goy kept his 25-20 Winchester.  I put the bullets in the gun, snuck out without anyone seeing me, ran down Brandywine Avenue to the railroad bridge, and went to where it crossed over the creek.  There I saw Tallucci and Bones, two Johnstown boys, stealing my boat.  I aimed the gun at the side of the boat and shot.  They immediately turned the boat around and started upstream toward the church.  I stayed on the bridge till they went under, and when they came out, I shot one more time.  They returned the boat, and it was never stolen again.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

YA Saves -you either get it or you don't

I recently had a give away for my 2,222 like on facebook.  The winner, among other goodies, received this shirt;

Writing Contest -entry deadline rapidly approaching

I'm hosting a writing contest! $50.00 Amazon gift card for the winner. Details: Short story no longer than 1000 words. Must be in the fantasy genre (I'll be liberal on this). One entry per person. Deadline is December 10th 2011. Winner will be announced on December 31'st 2011. Spelling and grammar will be taken into consideration. Email entries to WhatIsTheNever@gmail.com Must be PDF format. Top ten will be posted on my wall/blog in order of ranking starting with first place on 1/1/2012 (as long as the world doesn't end). Make sure your name and email address are on the document somewhere! FREE TO SUBMIT!

No, that isn't a misprint  NO ENTRY FEE!

2 Days left! 

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Guest Post: By me, age 9.

I've included copies of the journal I found so everyone doesn't think I'm totally making this up.

I stumbled upon this gem the other night along with some other samples of my writing prowess. (God, help us all)

So, here goes.

From Josh Wagner, age 9

Jaws 5 (because Jaws 4 was so good)

The waters were silent a great fish was moveing twards the shore, Matt hooper an oceanographer was night diving off the coast of the bahamas.  The fish moved closer.  The water was cold and Mat was very numb.  Matt felt a gerk on his left leg he turned around to sea what it was nothing was there.  He reached down fore his left leg nothing was there.  He started up he felt a tug he turned around and the last thing he saw was his own blood and the eye of a great fish.  It was July 27 Mike Brody awoke.  It was around 6:25 he was going to try out his minie sub today with his friend Jake Vanpebles.  he went to the dock.  Jake was there boarding the minie sub on the boat. "comeon man we don't want to be late fore the morning fish.  Mike got on the boat. 25 degriese south south west now you hear.  They were driving fore a hour.  Ok stop the engine.  Jake lowered the minie sub in the water they climed in detached the cables and submerged.

Not too shabby, right?  I mean, sure, it is riddled with spelling and grammatical errors and the Jaws franchise should have ended with the original but you got to give the kid credit for being creative! It turns out, the entire journal is full! Cover to cover!

I scanned the journal for the non-believers. (I think I highlighted the dialogue.)

Monday, December 5, 2011

Entries from the lost journal #21

Open publication - Free publishing - More akil karanis

Enjoy this new entry!  For the complete collection, scroll down. It is on the right just below the video trailers.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Author Interview: Melissa Turner Lee

Melissa Turner Lee is the author of The Earth Painter, released September first of this year.

Five stars on amazon.com

This is a dynamic book, full of surprises, young romance, and determination. I loved reading along as Holly finds her place in a new school, makes a few friends, and develops a crush on a boy who just happens to be unable to experience true emotion (including love). Holly's character drew me into this book immediately. I could empathize with her emotional struggles, and her determination to make her way in difficult circumstances. I can see that author Melissa T. Lee spend time and effort to develop her characters and her story. I recommend this book to young teen through adult readers. Make sure to check out Melissa Turner Lee's other books, especially "The Difference Between Night and Day".

She has also authored The Difference Between Night and Day, which reviewed similarly well.

Her blog, MelissaTurnerLee is a great source of content from the author.


If you woke up tomorrow and could be one person for one day, who is it and why?

A Doctor Who Companion. Ummm...traveling through time and space...hello.

Best show on TV?

Doctor Who.

Harry Potter or Lord of The rings? (yes, you must pick one)


Tell me about your writing environment. Do they use a pen and paper, laptop? Quiet room, music or what? Dog at their feet? Cat on the desk? Just whatever makes it comfortable to be productive.

I find a song that has the tone of the characters or the scene and I pace while listening. Then I turn it off and write. I write in quiet and alone.

What do you think of what's happening with the publishing industry right now? Any speculation as to where it is heading?

I think it's good and not good. Anybody can publish--Good. ANYBODY can publish--Not Good. You know what I mean. You buy a few downloads that make you want your $0.99 back and you stop buying them. But if you are willing to work and prove yourself, you can get the attention of agents and editors who thought there was no market for your work.

Do you have any funny stories involving a creative project you've worked on?

I had a huge crush on Mr. Spock as a child and grew up to marry him. Well not exactly but my husband is super logical and has found me laughing in the shower only to learn it was because the people in my head were having a funny conversation. He walked away declaring my shower already crowded.

What makes you laugh?

My kids. My husband. My characters. Life. 

Do you, like your characters, have any supernatural powers we should know about?

Yes, I can make messes disappear when I'm writing by pointing my laptop in the other direction. My husband does not care for this supernatural ability.

Biggest influence on your writing? Could be a book, person, pet turtle, whatever.

I think my prose and style are different from hers, but Stephenie Meyer. She woke up my desire to write and made me feel and believe her story world. The Bible. To me it is a supernatural love story.

You released The Earth Painter on September 1st. How did it go? How was the lead-up? Stressful, fun, insane?

Yes to all of that.

You do a lot of give-aways, do you find that an effective marketing tool?

It's too early to tell. I'm hoping those people read it, like it, post reviews and then people shopping who don't know my page go buy it. (Fingers crossed)

Have you managed to make peace with all the social media marketing required to get your name out there as an author or do you feel overwhelmed by it? How do you find a balance between 'working' that market and being creative (writing). I find it easy to get sucked into everything and completely distracted from writing. How do you cope?

Simple really. I don't. I do more networking than writing. I majored in journalism and marketing so I love both. I can network in a house full of noisy boys (I'm the only girl in my little house.) I cannot write in all that.

What is the scariest thing you've ever done?

Putting my work out there despite the rejections I'd already received.

Favorite movie?

At the moment, Breaking Dawn Part 1.

What do you think of Once Upon a Time? (if you've seen it)

Have not decided yet. I feel like it needs more heart. There is a story there but it's characters people tune in for, not just what happens next. I need to fall in love with the characters and care. That hasn't happened for me yet. 

So, you're working on the sequel to The Earth Painter -when can we expect its release?

Hoping for January, no later than March 2012

What do you enjoy most about writing?

The characters in my head bug me to death until I make them real by writing them down. I have to write to get peace.

What do you enjoy least?

Sitting still.

The Earth Painter is reviewing quite well. Relieved?

Yes, but there's always a part of me that wonders if they are just being nice. I could believe bad reviews a little better. But I'm never happy with my work.

did you experience the most momentum in book sales and are you able to attribute that to anything?

Right after giveaways I will have a bump.

Your concept is extremely unique. Can you credit anything for its inspiration (other than your highly creative mind?)

Let's see. I don't want to give too much away. I'm from Chesnee so the high school that is in the story is real...or was. I was a shy girl reading books in drama, so that inspired it. And my husband had a picture of me hanging in his room that he drew for his art class, but...he drew it before we ever met. It disappeared when we got married and we've never seen it since. So that inspired me too.

Both The Difference Between Night and Day and The Earth Painter are available at Amazon for $0.99. A steal!  The Man Painter is releasing soon!