Halloween Pest–Blog Hop October 2020

Trick… or treat….

Or sometimes both.

This month’s Blog Hop is, unsurprisingly, focused on primarily Halloween adjacent stories. Some may be spooky. Some may be dark. Some, like mine, might be a little more kid friendly.

Buyer, beware. LOL

Many of these stories, mine included, are featured on the Alone In A Room With Invisible People podcast. There are two episodes (October 27, and October 31) chock full of Halloweeny goodness read by Holly Lisle, Rebecca Galardo, and Mark Hermann. 

Episode 1 can be found here with 21 amazing stories.
Episode 2 can be found here with 25 outstanding stories. My story is on this one at about 52:20.

And since you’re here, I hope you enjoy reading my lighthearted Halloween story.

Halloween Pest

Haley heard the footsteps just before Abel raced past, Dracula’s cape flapping behind. He reached out for her plastic pumpkin nearly knocking it out of her hand. Someone unidentifiable followed close behind, cackling through his skeleton mask. At least he didn’t swipe at her Halloween bucket.

“Jerk,” she muttered and adjusted her pirate patch. Haley wanted to yell but learned long ago that yelling at Abel only made things worse. Pretending it didn’t matter when he taunted her, something he did with annoying regularity, meant he didn’t have as much fun and stopped sooner.

Usually.

Jordana laughed and nudged Haley’s shoulder. Her fortune-teller jewelry, strands of tiny silver coins dangling from her wrists, ankles, and forehead, jingled. She often emulated her mom’s so-called psychic powers. “I know he has a crush on you.”

“Yeah, well, he has a stupid way of showing it. I just want to be left alone for once.”

“Careful what you wish for, ” Jordana said. “Mom says Halloween has ears and gives answers.”

Haley stopped walking and stared at her best friend. “What does that even mean?” she asked.

“Heck if I know. Probably something about making wishes or whatever. Halloween is lucky. Good luck. Bad luck. It’s all the same, really.”

Haley sighed as she let her friend’s chatter wash over her. It never ended.

“One more block?” Jordana mumbled. Haley wasn’t sure when Jordana’s head had disappeared into her large black candy sack. “Maybe two blocks.” Her head emerged. “I want more chocolate.”

Haley’s shoulders lifted in a shrug. “I guess,” she said. She didn’t really care about the candy. She’d never had much of a sweet tooth.

“Just so the boys don’t come back. Abel isn’t even that cute. I told him once…” Haley tuned her out again, following in silence. It was just easier that way.

“You know,” Jordana said after a few more houses, “there’s a thing mom sometimes does when she wants to get rid of salesmen. Wanna try it on Abel?”

“Ummm…”

“Come on. What can it hurt?”

Haley didn’t resist when Jordana grabbed her arm and pulled her into the shadows between houses.

“Just picture Abel’s annoying face and repeat after me.” She put on her mother’s spooky fortune teller voice. “Hallows of the night, lend me your ear.”

“Oh brother, you’re kidding right?” Haley was definitely not into this.

“Just say it,” insisted Jordana.

“Fine. Hallows of the night, yada, yada….” Haley giggled.

“Say, ‘lend me your ear.” Jordana sounded serious.

After a deep breath to stop laughing, Haley finally said it.

“Make the pest…”

“Make the pest…” Haley repeated.

“Disappear.”

Before Haley could say it, Abel popped out from between the bushes followed by his skeleton-clad companion. “What boys? Who’s annoying?”

Jordana threw her hands in the air. “Oh my gosh, you really are a pest!”

“Disappear!” Haley said, almost whispering.

Silence whooshed into the void Jordana left behind.

Haley and Abel stared at each other. “She really was kind of a pest.”

Links

perpetualbloghop

I hope you’ll take the time to read the other stories in this Hop. These are some great writers and wonderful people. And if you like what you read, I hope you’ll consider joining their lists too. The world is a richer place when there are more stories to tell.

Please note, if you find links that don’t work, try again later. Sometimes it takes a little time to get the gremlins worked out.

  1. Halloween Pest by Elizabeth McCleary (You are here!)
  2. Tales From the Pumpkin Patch by Marilyn Flower
  3. Immortality by Juneta Key
  4. Unwelcomed Vistors by Bill Bush
  5. The Witch at the End of the Road by Katharina Gerlach
  6. Unraveled by Bonnie Burns
  7. Holiday Guest by Sabrina Rosen
  8. Home by Barbara Lund
  9. Missing Parts by Jemma Weir
  10. A Perfect Match by V. S. Stark
  11. The Glistening Bat by Karen Lynn
  12. II-The Priestess by Raven O’Fiernan
  13. The Old Ways by Nic Steven

Nothing to Show–Blog Hop April 2020

Wow. I say this too often, but it’s been a long time since I posted. I really ought to be writing more often. sigh

I wrote this story to go in a collection that’s being put together to give people a reason to smile during these troubled times. Once that anthology is available I’ll let you know. In the meantime, enjoy my story (and the others in the hop!).

Nothing to Show

Honestly, I didn’t know there was a problem until it was too late, and by then I’d already lost the baby.

But, wait… I know. Start at the beginning.

So, the beginning. It was just like any other project I’d started.

How could I have even anticipated that some simple research could have gone so wrong anyway? I mean, it’s not like I was doing bio-weapons research for the Pentagon again. I learned my lesson on that last time. Leaving the blood on someone else’s hands is fine with me.

And I wasn’t working with one of the major known contagions. All those annoying and hard to follow protocols. Why does meaningful research have to be so hard? So much bureaucracy.

So I started my own project just working on some simple gene therapy. Elementary stuff, really. I used a proto-virus as a carrier and a little bit—just a tiny segment, really—of insectoid DNA.

And I didn’t use any unwilling subjects who didn’t understand the science. In fact, I only used myself. Again with the paperwork and all those government hoops to jump through. It should have been perfect. I’m healthy. I’m willing. And it would have been awesome—I would have been awesome—if it worked. Real life superhero stuff. Seriously.

What was the goal? I have to tell you that, too? But my proprietary research… I…

What?

Fine. I know. I’ll tell you.

I wanted to add a higher level of chromatic discrimination–to create tetrachromats. I wanted my subjects… well, myself… to see what nobody else could by adding the ultraviolet spectrum to visual perception. You can imagine what a boon that would be. What an advantage.

I thought I’d failed. It was a huge disappointment, but not entirely unexpected. Most genetic research can’t even manage to alter the ears on a mouse, so this was really a shot in the dark, so to speak. Because, you know, if it worked like it was supposed to, I’d never really be in the dark again.

I spent months developing the gene therapy protocol. I couldn’t do any animal testing. Paperwork. You know. But the theory was solid, so I decided, what the heck.

I stayed in the lab for a month to monitor my progress, and nothing. No clinical changes. No functional changes. It was a complete dud.

Finally I gave up. Went home. And, let me tell you, the wife? She was not too happy with me. I tried to give her a kiss. Hadn’t seen her for a month after all. But she slapped me, shoved the baby, Cooper, into my arms and walked out. Said she’d be back in a month or so and just left. Not that I really blame her with Cooper fussy and teething and a little bit feverish because of it.

What do you mean, what did I do to him? You can’t be accusing me of… well… nothing happened. I held him and bathed him and changed him. And held him some more because have you ever been around a fussy, teething baby? Nothing makes them happy.

But then he finally fell asleep. And so did I.

And when I woke up, he was gone.

Right. Gone.

Except not.

It took a minute for me to realize it while I was searching, but he wasn’t gone. I just couldn’t see him. Oh, he was still there, squirming in his crib. I just didn’t recognize what I was seeing because I was expecting a baby. A whole, entire, visible baby.

Instead I had a giggling void wearing a diaper. I suspected his tooth finally got through because he was happy again. I proved it when he bit me hard enough to draw blood.

The wife, though. She still is not one bit happy. Can’t take a picture for the baby book of that new tooth. Can’t take Cooper to his grandma’s which apparently was planned for weeks. My mother-in-law would definitely not be understanding about this. She already doesn’t like me.

Oh, right… the science. Well. I can’t really say for sure. There’s been no time to develop an adequate UV scanning system to observe what’s going on at a cellular level, especially when you won’t even let me in my lab. But I think the DNA I used must have mutated somehow. Created some kind of ultraviolet refraction. Rather than adding to the visual spectrum, it interfered with the normal reflection of light from the baby.

Yes, I know it’s weird.

No, I don’t know what the mechanism was that caused it.

Yes, it obviously affects children in early development differently than adults.

No, I absolutely did not do this on purpose.

No, I did not intentionally release this into the community. I suspect that my wife picked up enough to become a carrier when she handed off Cooper to me that first day. She visited her sister and Amelia. Amelia went to day care.

How could I have known it would be contagious?

Why is it my fault that we now have at least 340 invisible children under the age of two? What? 392? Since yesterday?

It’s not my fault!

I didn’t plan this! And where is the sympathy for me? It’s my failed research, and now I’ll probably never qualify for another grant! All those years of hard work and nothing to show.

Literally.

Links

perpetualbloghop

I hope you’ll take the time to read the other stories in this Hop. These are some great writers and wonderful people. And if you like what you read, I hope you’ll consider joining their lists too. The world is a richer place when there are more stories to tell.

Please note, if you find links that don’t work, try again later. Sometimes it takes a little time to get the gremlins worked out.

  1. Nothing To Show by Elizabeth McCleary (You are here!)
  2. Super Grammy (Radioactive Breakfast Cereal) by Vanessa Wells
  3. Bone Killer by Juneta Key
  4. One More Time by Karen Lynn
  5. Trail Of Carnage by Jemma Weir
  6. A Phoenix In Hell by Sabrina Rosen
  7. Friends Of The Deep by G. Craddock
  8. Collateral Damage by Nic Steven
  9. A Ghost’s Life by Barbara Lund
  10. A Startling Revelation by Bill Bush
  11. A Hiding Place by Gina Fabio
  12. A Family Reunion by Katharina Gerlach
  13. Better Off Alone by V. S. Stark
  14. A Day In The Life by James Husum

The Road–Blog Hop October 2019

I should be posting more often, but at least the Blog Hop is a reminder to post once in a while. sigh

This month’s story comes to you via Holly Lisle’s very excellent podcast, Alone In A Room With Invisible People. Last year, Holly and Becca did a Halloween episode and invited their listeners to submit spooky flash stories of no more than 500 words. It was such a success that this year they did it again!

Apparently, mildly disturbing, atmospheric ghost stories are a thing for me. Here’s the one I wrote last year.

And here’s this year’s offering.

The Road

“Mia, don’t go.”

Mia stared, unblinking. “You know it’s not about you, right? You know I have to go. He’s been gone so long.”

“I don’t think it’s about me. It’s totally about you. It always is. I just…” Kit shifted to avoid her sister’s blank gaze.

The town clock struck it’s rattling gong. Eleven o’clock. It wouldn’t be long now, one way or another.

Stilling a shudder that threatened to climb her spine, Kit spoke again. “I need you. I don’t want you to go.”

“I know. But I have to. He’s expecting me.”

A deflating sigh escaped Kit. This wasn’t right. It wasn’t what she wanted. But this was her only sister and Mia was stubborn. Her decision wouldn’t change. “I’m going with you,” she said.

“Kit, you can’t…”

“Just as far as the road, Mia. I at least want to say goodbye when he comes for you.”

The two stared at each other for a moment, then Mia nodded. “Only to the road. But we have to go now—there’s no more time to spare.”

*

Chill, damp night seeped through Kit’s sweater as they walked along the darkened street. Only hours ago the laughter of children filled the air, but not now. Now the town was utterly still. Wan light from a few windows did little to dispel the gloom, the flicker of dying jack-o-lanterns even less. Though there was a full moon this Hallow’s Eve, deepening clouds hid it’s silvered surface.

Kit could barely keep up with her sister. The black of Mia’s jeans, her jacket, and her hair almost disappeared in the dark making her almost ghostly. Hard to follow.

“Slow down,” she said, racing to catch up. “Or are you trying to leave me behind before we even get there?”

“He’s coming and if I’m not there… I can’t miss him, Kit. I won’t take that chance.”

“You’re always taking chances,” Kit muttered. “Why not that one?”

Mia didn’t answer, but Kit thought her pace slowed just a bit. Her sister’s hand, chill as death, took hold of hers as they walked.

“Kit, I’m sorry. Thank you for coming with me.”

“I’m your sister,” said Kit. “I’d never let you go alone.”

*

When they reached the edge of the old road, Mia stopped. “This is as far as you can come,” she said. “Stay here.”

Tears spilled from Kit’s eyes as she folded her arms around her sister, hoping to hold her back.

“I love you, Kit.” Mia said, then pulled away and stepped onto the road.
The rustle of leaves announced a stirring of wind that stabbed with icy fingers and parted the clouds. Silver light slipped from between the trees just as midnight began to sound in the distance.

“Mia,” Kit whispered one last time, “don’t go.”

Her sister didn’t hear. Couldn’t hear. She was drifting down the old ghost road, finally reunited with her lost love.

Kit ran to collapse on the mound that was once her sister and wept.

Enjoying this post? Join my mailing list to get content as a weekly digest in your email, plus extras that you won't find on my blog!

Copyright Notice: Please note that I fully assert my right to be associated as the author of this story, and while it is complete, it may not be finished. This story may be subject to alteration at the author’s discretion. Please do not copy, quote, or post this story or excerpts anywhere in any format. You are, however, free to share the link with anyone who might be interested.

Links

perpetualbloghop

I hope you’ll take the time to read the other stories in this Hop. These are some great writers and wonderful people. And if you like what you read, I hope you’ll consider joining their lists too. The world is a richer place when there are more stories to tell.

Please note, if you find links that don’t work, try again later. Sometimes it takes a little time to get the gremlins worked out.

As a reminder, many of these stories, and a bunch more spooky tales, can be heard on Holly’s podcast: Alone In A Room With Invisible People.

  1. The Road by Elizabeth McCleary (YOU ARE HERE!)
  2. Storytime Blog Hop by C. T. Bridges
  3. Storytime Blog Hop by Warp World Books
  4. Family Time by Bonnie Burns
  5. The Exception by Vanessa Wells
  6. Number 99 by Juneta Key
  7. Edda’s Second Chance by Katharina Gerlach
  8. Very Thin Line by Rebecca Anne Dillon
  9. Henry Moves House by Nic Steven
  10. For The Ghost The Bell Tolls by James Husum
  11. Never Alone by Melanie Drake
  12. The Neighbor by Meghan Collins
  13. Storytime Blog Hop by Raven O’Fiernan
  14. Loney Lucy by Bill Bush
  15. The Traveler by Barbara Lund
  16. Evening by Karen Lynn
  17. Man Of Your Dreams by Gina Fabio
  18. The Undertaker’s Daughter by J. Q. Rose

Evening Update–Blog Hop July 2019

I’m repurposing another older post for this month’s Hop. I had something in the works, but it didn’t come together in time. Alas.

This story was originally posted as N is for News on April 16, 2019.

Evening Update

(Music)

VoiceOver: This is Channel 12 Advantage News, your news leader, with the Eleven O’Clock report. (Music fades)

Anchor Gary Kline: Good evening, I’m Gary Kline. In breaking news tonight, residents of Westfield have been shocked by what some are calling a military incursion in their town, and what others are calling an alien invasion. Kate Sanders is in Westfield tonight with a live report. Kate?

(Live Feed)

Reporter Kate Sanders: Thanks Gary. I’m here in Westfield where residents were shaken up today. First, they say, something from the sky crashed in the hills just outside of town. Now, the military has that area cordoned off, and some people are smelling a coverup.

news-426892_1280(Run Video Package)

Reporter Kate Sanders: Westfield is a sleepy little town with one gas station, one stoplight, and a lot of heart. Residents here are like things to be reliable. Predictable. They say Westfield has been the same for over sixty years. But today, something very different happened, and residents don’t seem to like it.

Jimmy Michaels: We were out on the play ground? At school? And I looked up and saw it, like a black missile thing! It was super cool! So I pointed and my friend Billy looked, and then everybody looked. But mostly it was past by then. And then we saw the smoke? And then two fighter jets went by and Miss Connelly made us all go back inside, even though the bell didn’t ring yet. It wasn’t fair. But it was super cool!

Bob Smith: Well there was this sound, almost like a motor, but screechy, you know? So I ran out of my barber shop and into the street to see what it was. And there was a trail of smoke up in the sky, and then I could feel it when everything shook. Sumpin’ crashed out there. They say it was a jet crash. That’s why the army come out. But I don’t think so. It just don’t seem right.

Reporter Kate Sanders: Major Vance Martell held a brief news conference just after Five O’Clock this evening.

Major Vance Martell: This afternoon at approximately 1:25, a military aircraft crashed. We presume both pilots on board were lost. Those names are being withheld, pending notifications. The area surrounding the crash site will be off-limits to all but military personnel as we investigate the crash. There are concerns about fuel being released, and so to ensure the safety of the public, we have blocked off roughly a one square mile area. We understand that this may cause some concerns to the local community, but as the crash site was away from all population centers, we believe that any inconvenience to residents will be minimal.

Local police are cooperating with our operations, and we ask that members of the community follow all instructions from police and military as we work to investigate and recover the downed aircraft. That’s all I have for now.

(End Video Package)

Reporter Kate Sanders: Major Martell didn’t take any questions, Gary. But we are hoping to have new information sometime tomorrow. Meanwhile, speculation continues over what, exactly, crashed in these hills.

ufo-609602_1280Hold on. Jim—did you see that?

Gary, I’m asking Jim, my camera man, to zoom in on something. Can you see those lights? Those blue lights on the horizon just appeared. They seem to be hovering at or near the crash site, and the … Oh, wow. Oh my gosh. There seems to be something … something happening. The ground is vibrating, and all the hair on my arms just stood up. It’s like a massive static build up just … Jim, get that! Gary? Can you see that? There appears to be some kind of beam or laser coming from the light. The hovering … West … on the … Martell … tary action … coming down …

(End Live Feed)

Anchor Gary Kline: Kate? We seem to have lost communication with Kate Sanders, our reporter. Possibly some kind of electronic interference. We will get back to her just as soon as we re-establish that connection.

Until then, let’s check in with Stormin’ Stan Sylvester at the weather desk…

Enjoying this post? Join my mailing list to get content as a weekly digest in your email, plus extras that you won't find on my blog!

Copyright Notice: Please note that I fully assert my right to be associated as the author of this story, and while it is complete, it may not be finished. This story may be subject to alteration at the author’s discretion. Please do not copy, quote, or post this story or excerpts anywhere in any format. You are, however, free to share the link with anyone who might be interested.

Links

perpetualbloghop

I hope you’ll take the time to read the other stories in this Hop. These are some great writers and wonderful people. And if you like what you read, I hope you’ll consider joining their lists too. The world is a richer place when there are more stories to tell.

Please note, if you find links that don’t work, try again later. Sometimes it takes a little time to get the gremlins worked out.

  1. Evening Update by Elizabeth McCleary  >> YOU ARE HERE <<
  2. Allies, by Eli Winfield
  3. The Salem Witch Trials and What We Can Learn From Them by Amaliz Tenner, Class 4c, by Katharina Gerlach
  4. The Fairest, by Nic Steven
  5. Something About Mary, by Bill Bush
  6. Grumpy Old Harpies, by Juneta Key
  7. The Goddess of Wine, by Vanessa Wells
  8. A Melody in A Grotto, by S S Prince
  9. Say Hello to Chris Bridges, Supporting Storytime Quarterly Blog Hop
  10. Tears and Toil, by Barbara Lund
  11. Coming Soon:, by Karen Lynn
  12. Home Repairs, by Jason Gallagher
  13. The Robot Accomplice, by Janna Willard
  14. I – The Magician, by Raven O’Fiernan

Big Enough–Blog Hop April 2019

This month–heck, this whole year–has gotten away from me without much productivity to show for it. So far.

I looked at the calendar and realized that, oops, the Blog Hop was upon me and I didn’t have a story ready and no chance at all that I’d have time to pull one together. So I went prospecting. I found this story that I wrote several years back and decided to re-use it here. It’s not available in print anywhere–it was a blog exclusive.

So here it is again.

For those who have been following me for some time, please note that I have a new email server. Only a handful of you have signed up to my new list, so if you want to get occasional updates from me in your inbox, please join me!

And please, think about clicking through to the other stories by the other writers on the hop. You might find a story that changes your life. Seriously… you never know! 😀

Big Enough

“I’m not a baby.” Dylissa muttered to herself as she stomped through the woods. “I’m seven-and-a-half years old, and I’m BIG ENOUGH!” She shouted the last two words at nobody in particular.

In fact, Dylissa being big enough was, in large part, what she was proving to everybody by running away. At seven-and-a-half, Dylissa was braver than many who were twice, or even three-times, as old and as big as she was.

The problem, in her eyes, was that nobody ever let her do anything. When her brother Alpin went to sword practice, Dylissa was sent to the kitchen to help Cook make biscuits. When her sister Lexine trained on horses, Dylissa was sent to the governess to practice her reading.

Dylissa found the differences in their training hugely unfair, despite the fact that everyone told her that when Alpin and Lexine were seven-and-a half they had to do kitchen chores and lessons, too. “It’s just not fair,” she grumbled. And as she grumbled, she wandered further into the forest.

Presently, as seven-and-a-half-year-olds often do, Dylissa found that she was tired and her feet hurt. She found a nice pile of leaves beneath a tree, collapsed onto it, and felt tears sting her eyes.

She scrubbed at her cheeks, willing herself not to cry, when a great rumbling shook the woods around her. She looked around warily, wondering what could have made the noise. In the dim light of dusk, a flicker of amber light between the trees drew her gaze.

Fire? She decided she should go check; fire could destroy the entire forest. dragon-29761_1280

Hurrying towards the light, Dylissa soon found herself in a small clearing, facing the smallest dragon she could imagine. The beast shimmered a shimmery red over its green scales, and it blew small but intense flames out it’s bulbous nose. It was about the size of her father’s hunting dog.

Covering her mouth to stifle a nervous giggle, Dylissa inched closer to the fearsome creature. She couldn’t resist–it was just too cute.

When she was close enough, she reached over and gingerly patted the tiny dragon’s back. The animal turned yellow eyes toward her, causing Dylissa to take a step backwards. But as it moved towards her, she noticed that it had a limp.

A cloud of concern crossed the little girl’s face. “What’s ‘a matter?” Dylissa asked. The dragon held up a forepaw with a thorn wedged between two scaly toes. She forgot to be nervous as she quickly swooped forward and deftly pulled out the splinter.

As the sliver came free, a single drop of the dragon’s green blood smeared Dylissa’s fingers. She felt a tingle as her hand warmed. The dragon pushed it’s forehead against her arm and she was sure she could hear it… Thank you.

Just then she heard her name echoing through the forest.

“They’re coming for us,” she told her new companion. “They’re bigger than me, but I won’t let them hurt you.” She snatched up a nearby stick, held it aloft like a sword, and prepared to stand her ground against all foes.

“Dylissa!” Her father nearly ran to her, but stopped short as he noticed the weapon she held.

Frowning at her father, who was now surrounded by Alpin, Lexine, and several members of the household staff, Dylissa stood as straight as she could. “You can’t take him,” she said.

“I can’t take who?” Father’s eyes widened in shock as the mossy rock behind his youngest daughter lifted its head and blew a tiny spurt of flame in his direction.

Lexine screamed. Alpin drew his dagger. Someone collapsed in a heap; Dylissa suspected it was her governess.

“You can’t take him,” she repeated, brandishing her stick.

Father stared at her a moment, no longer looking surprised. Dylissa could tell when he decided. He got that look.

“Dylissa,” he said, “you are seven-and-a-half and I believe you’re big enough to train this beast. If you’re brave enough to try, we will call down the Beast Master and you will begin lessons next week.”

A smile split her face as she ran to her Father’s open arms, the miniature dragon on her heels.

Copyright Notice: Please note that I fully assert my right to be associated as the author of this story, and while it is complete, it may not be finished. This story may be subject to alteration at the author’s discretion. Please do not copy, quote, or post this story or excerpts anywhere in any format. You are, however, free to share the link with anyone who might be interested.

Links

perpetualbloghop

I hope you’ll take the time to read the other stories in this Hop. These are some great writers and wonderful people. And if you like what you read, I hope you’ll consider joining their lists too. The world is a richer place when there are more stories to tell.

Please note, if you find links that don’t work, try again later. Sometimes it takes a little time to get the gremlins worked out.
>> YOU ARE HERE << Big Enough by Elizabeth McCleary
Grumpy Old Demeter by Vanessa Wells
Say Please By J. Q. Rose
Provoking the Muse by Moira K. Brennan
It all Started… by Bill Bush
Zombies by Barbara Lund
Before The Dreams by Katharina Gerlach
To Wake A God by Juneta Key
The Sprite In The Well by Angela Wooldridge
Something  Different by Karen Lynn
0 – The Fool by Raven O’Fiernan

How To Write A Novel

The utterly epic How to Write a Novel by Holly Lisle is open again, for a few days only. And this is the last time it will ever be available at the early bird price.

So if you’ve ever thought you might want to write a novel, but didn’t know where to start, or how to middle, or when to end… this is the class for you.

Check it out now before time is up!

Note that this is an affiliate link. I will receive compensation if you purchase through this link, but it won’t cost you anything extra. And, as always, I only recommend things that I use and believe in. If you take this class and follow through, you will learn how to write a novel. Full stop.

Ends Monday April 8, 2019 10:00:00 pm ET

Oh yeah… I have news…

Grumpy Old Gods cover

Grumpy Old Gods–Storm Dance Publications (affiliate link)

I think I missed mentioning it… I’m in an anthology! It’s coming out this month, and I think it’s going to be a lot of fun.

The title is Grumpy Old Gods, and the concept was to write about a god–either from an established mythology or a new one–who is old, decrepit, or otherwise waning in power. I chose to invent the God of Morning for my story.

The book is available now for pre-order on Amazon! Don’t miss out!

And, in related news, I have a featured post on the StormDance Publications blog. Go check it out and take a look at the other authors in the book while you’re there.

 

 

Duty–Blog Hop January 2019

This month’s story is shorter than my usual. Sci-fi this time around. I hope you like it as much as I do.

Duty

Klaxons blare. Red lights flash. The sound of running feet echoes from every direction.

Over the public address system, a gentle female voice speaks in tones completely at odds with the urgency of the alarm.

This is not a drill. The ship is under attack. All hands, please report to your designated duty stations.

I step out of the room and glance in both directions. Then I begin running, too. This is no time to be caught standing still.

This is not a drill.

At the intersection of each corridor I slow to be sure I’m not going to collide with someone, then continue running.

The ship is under attack.

My route would  seem random to someone not familiar with the ship’s architecture. Right. Left. Left. Straight. Right. Right. But I’ve been trained in the extensive security measures on this vessel, which include intentionally confusing layouts for crew quarters, work spaces, and even engineering access.

Saboteurs can’t damage what they can’t find.

All hands, please report to your designated duty stations.

After several minutes, the alarm stops sounding, though the lights continue to flash. The voice keeps repeating her message.

This is not…

I keep moving. Left. Left. Right. Straight.

…a drill. The ship…

Now I have the corridors to myself—all hands have presumably arrived at their duty stations.

Everyone but me. I am still making my way to the launch bay.

I’ve only been onboard for a week.

…is under attack.

I run, my breathing heavy. Up two decks. Through an access tube. Left. Right. Right.

All hands, please…

Crews are getting ready for multiple launches. They are preparing a return assault on enemy vessels.

…report to your…

I board a small ship. A shuttle, not a fighter. This vehicle was never meant for battle.

It doesn’t matter. I may as well be invisible for all the attention I get. They only see their own jobs.

…designated duty stations.

I’m in the silence of space when it happens–my shuttle suddenly surrounded by debris when an explosion tears a hole in the command module of the ship I’ve just evacuated.

Mission accomplished.

But I… I am still running. Back toward my designated duty station.

Running back home.

 

Copyright Notice: Please note that I fully assert my right to be associated as the author of this story, and while it is complete, it may not be finished. This story may be subject to alteration at the author’s discretion. Please do not copy, quote, or post this story or excerpts anywhere in any format. You are, however, free to share the link with anyone who might be interested.

Links

perpetualbloghop

I hope you’ll take the time to read the other stories in this Hop. These are some great writers and wonderful people. And if you like what you read, I hope you’ll consider joining their lists too. The world is a richer place when there are more stories to tell.

Please note, if you find links that don’t work, try again later. Sometimes it takes a little time to get the gremlins worked out.

  1. Duty, by Elizabeth McCleary **YOU ARE HERE**
  2. The Footnote, Karen Lynn
  3. The Monster Under The Bed, by Nic Steven
  4. Field Trip to the UFO Museum, by Bill Bush
  5. Scary Monsters and Other Friends, by Lisa Stapp
  6. Morning Has Broken, by Katharina Gerlach
  7. Good Honest Work, by Chris Wight
  8. Bad For Business, by Gina Fabio
  9. The Last Friday, by Raven O’Fiernan
  10. Lost And Found, by Angela Wooldridge
  11. Bia Trevi’s Worldly Eats, by Barbara Lund
  12. Hunting Bob, Vanessa Wells
  13. Don’t Drink The Water, by Juneta Key

 

The Advent Calendar is live!

I probably should have posted this on Saturday. But it was Saturday.

I forgot.

Anyway, no harm. No foul. The Indie Author’s Advent Calendar is live, and new stories will be revealed each day until Christmas. Click the link to get the stories. And if you want the bonuses, sign up for the email reminders while you’re there. (Cat doesn’t ever spam, and that list will get you nothing but these emails. It’s a safe and very quiet list.)

Enjoy the stories!

The Advent Calendar is Coming!

I’ve done it in the past, and I’m doing it again this year. I’m going to be a part of Cat Gerlach’s Indie Author’s Advent Calendar!

Woot!

What this means is that I have a story that will appear on one of the days in December (I don’t know which day) on the Advent Calendar site. Anyone can just go click on that page starting December 1st and read anything that’s been revealed so far. But if you sign up for the Advent Calendar mailing list, you’ll get daily notifications when the new story is available, plus there will be bonus downloads for email only, including the collected stories in e-book form.

This year’s theme for the calendar is Snow. There will be a bunch of great stories, and you never know what you’re gonna get. It’s possible you’ll discover your new favorite indie author, just in time for Christmas!

So, go sign up to get alerts, and enjoy the holidays!

Indie Author’s Advent Calendar 2018