Tag Archives: writing

Too Little, Too Late!

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Well, shoot!  I was so pleased with myself because I had just finished a level of “Words of Wonder” on Facebook and blown the top score to pieces and moved, I believe, into second place among all my friends.  Then I saw the time (11:58pm) and realized that I had forgotten to do my “Flash Friday” story from the prompt this week.

This particular writing challenge has had me plagued and I cannot decide what to do with it.  I have written for it, probably, for nearly a year now.  That’s about 52 entries.  During that time I have managed to squeak out 3 honorable mentions with two of those being ones in which at least 4 others received honorable mentions.  Now, I don’t do it for the win.  Truly, it is for the writing experience; however, there is always the small hope that mine will catch the judge’s eye and place, perhaps, third overall.

Here’s my dilemma:  I do not spend all day on this assignment.  Truly, with my stroke problems the way they are, I can’t spend all day on one thing.  The only exception seems to be a video game and that’s constant movement and change.  Anyway, so I know that I am not doing my entire best all of the time.  I do tend to write in spurts and some of my best work is done on a first attempt; however, I understand the not winning most of the time.  My problem is that I notice I never see (well, almost never) any comments made by anyone who is writing then, too.  They rotate judges.  But, what I seem to notice is that the same group of people mostly win the top three spots (at least the top spot).  I don’t see this as cheating or particularly favoritism.  What I see is that there is a bit of a writing niche there and several people (a lot of the judges) write to that niche.  It’s not my niche.  I write thrillers, horrors, and sci-fis.  My stories do not generally fit into the pocket that appears to be desired there.  It would be like my trying to write a romance and sell it.  I don’t do those particularly well; I need a bite to the story.

Long story short:  I am thinking about dropping out of that Friday niche.  I don’t know whether I would simply write another post like I do on Tuesdays or if I could find a different writing prompt that handled Fridays.

Does anyone know of a weekly writing prompt that can be turned in on a Friday night?  Friday Fictioneers seems to go for Wednesdays now and Five Sentence Fiction can almost always be done on Thursdays.  I would enjoy something a bit different, I think.  Or, am I being too picky and, perhaps, self-centered to want a prompt that fits my particular style?

What do you think?

Namaste,

Scott

And, I have my 15 minutes…

The other day, I did a search on Google for “Kindredspirit23”.  It came back with 6,070 results!  When I began this blog, it came back with very few results.  I thought, “Wow!  I am becoming famous!”  Tooted the horn; danced a jig; sang a tribute; then, I settled back to Earth and looked at the results.  Most of them are for me, but they are results leading to each of my posts, my blog page, or any other blog page I have left a comment on.  So, not famous, simply exuberant, I suppose.

What it amounted to was my 15 minutes of fame with most of it in my own head.  The one that really impressed me was that an Omaha newspaper had reprinted my article from the Muncie Star about my being an author who had a stroke.  That one disappeared in the week past.  Talk about having your ego collapse!  Transience was the word I decided fit well – fickle may fit even better.

When I looked for that article, I found this link:  UIndy – My old Alma Mater provided an overview of the Muncie article and this link to an abstract of the article (It was 911 words done on July 12, 2013 in the Star Press).  I guess that will be my glory. 🙂

I am beginning a new working section in my life.  I will tell you more about it as time goes on and I see how I do.  Wish me luck (And a little bit of prayer wouldn’t hurt either! ).  All in all, this has been a very busy week.  I know this isn’t a particularly long post, but I decided that short and sweet would be better than long and boring.  Stick with me.  I will settle into this new schedule soon.

Namaste,

Scott

Aha! I knew I wasn’t Crazy and Evil!!!

I would like to introduce you to the man who has started my published writing career, at least, as far as in an actual book.  He has purchased 4 of my 7 purchased stories and is my biggest professional fan so far.  He is also someone I have come to call a friend.

Kevin G. Bufton is a great guy.  He and I have shared a laugh or two online.  I have never met Kevin; he is from over in Great Britain, I believe.  If that’s wrong then it just goes to show that it doesn’t matter much to me; he is someone I have brought into my circle of friends.

Kevin has published a book, “Cake”, which I own and am fairly anxious to read in between writings and all the other things I do.  He has said he will, most likely, not be doing any more anthologies.  I wish him so much luck, though he won’t need a lot of it; he’s good.  There is that small part of me (the selfish part) that hopes he does a bit of anthology publishing down the road.  I know I will find other publishers, but, perhaps, not one so great to know.

Without more, here is my guest poster: Kevin G. Bufton…

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CALL ME MR. NICE GUY

Hello there, gentle reader.

My name is Kevin G. Bufton, and I pen nightmares. I’ve written around seventy short stories, and pieces of flash fiction, around half of which have found a home in magazines, anthologies and websites around the globe. Next month sees the release of Six of the Best: A Hellish Half-Dozen, the first collection of my solo work. The stories I’ve hand-picked for the book feature a stillborn baby coming back from the dead, a man’s family destroyed by a killer tumbleweed, a village that practises a bloody Yuletide rite, a luchadore who hides a dark secret behind his mask, a hook-handed sea captain fighting the undead aboard his ship, and scenes of carnage and bloodshed in a  semi-abandoned hospital.

Yes, six tales of filth and depravity, each culled from my own dark imaginings. Truly, I am a foul and objectionable creature.

Only…I’m not – not really.

You see, when Scott asked if I would do a guest post for his blog, he asked me to discuss the difference between the horror writer, and what he writes, and I feel that I’m the perfect subject for such an essay. You see, I am (I hope) a nice guy. I’m a hard-working family man, with a beautiful wife and two wonderful children, all of whom I adore. I’m a faithful husband, an attentive father, and a loyal friend. I’m as quick to laughter as I am slow to anger, and generally chilled out to the point of narcolepsy.

So where does that darkness come from? Why should I, a fairly genial chap in his mid-thirties, be compelled to sit before his laptop, night after night, and forge such terrors?

Because it’s fun.

That’s the only reason. I’ve been a fan of horror and the macabre for more years than I care to admit, certainly since I was five or six years old, at least. For me, horror is the purest field in which one can hope to write. As an emotional genre (as opposed to situational genres like science fiction, Western or police procedural), it ranks above romance and comedy in its applicability. We all have our own horrors, those buttons in our brain that are connected direct to our spinal cords, that send chills through our body. As a horror writer, it is my job to find out where those buttons are hidden, and press them good and hard.

There’s your answer. I write to provoke a reaction from the reader – whether it be to shudder, to choose to sleep with the lights on, or even to gag a little, doesn’t matter. I’m not proud.

One thing my stories do no do is provide a psychological release for myself. The idea of horror being a cathartic thing is as old as the hills, and I consider it something of an insult. I don’t write these things to exorcise my own personal demons; I’m not one step away from becoming a serial killer, the only barrier between myself and bloodshed being the words on my computer screen. If I was that sort of guy, my writing would be terrible – incoherent rantings and ravings, getting ever more unhinged, as I strive to fend off the darkness.

I have had the very good fortune to interact with hundreds of my fellow horror writers, both online and in person, and, for the most part, you’d be hard-pressed to find a more pleasant and companionable group of ladies and gentlemen. I have no doubt that most of them have off days, where they are snappy towards friends and strangers alike. Likewise, I’m sure some of them have an amusing array of peccadilloes, or low-grade mental illnesses, simply by virtue of being human. I would not be surprised to hear that one of two of them suffer from crippling depression, but these are not the reasons why they write horror. These mental aberrations are as common in any walk of life, any discipline and any vocation, as they are among horror writers.

The difference I would say, is that it is only horror writers who are expected to analyse themselves in this way. All any writer wants to do is craft a well-written tale, that will entertain, and horror writers are no different. It’s just that our form of entertainment is regularly viewed as being unhealthy in some way.

Fuck that.

I’m doing something that I fell in love with before I even hit puberty, and it’s a good thing, a wholesome thing. I believe that a decent scare, properly produced, is good for the soul. Dark tendrils, caressing your flesh, sending chills down your spine, are the thing that dreams are made of. When you finish a story that has scared you, that feeling of euphoria you get, when your mind accepts that such things are not possible, is addictive, for sure, but it’s not why you pick up the next book, or the next movie.

The dread itself has an endearing quality – each shambling step towards that final destination begins to give you a little thrill.

And I guess that’s the other part of why I do this. It’s not because I have some dark secret, shaking its chains in the dusty attic of my mind. If anything, it’s the opposite. I don’t write horror in spite of being a nice guy; I write it because I’m a nice guy. If I was a kitten-drowning, puppy-killing, baby-punting, nun-stabbing, demon-raising, darkness-loving bastard, then I can’t imagine taking such pleasure in the penning of terrors, as it would all be so mundane, compared to what passed for my real life.

That’s not who I am. I’m happy-go-lucky; a husband, father and friend, all of which gives me the freedom to plumb the very depths of depravity with utter impunity.

And I love it.

Getting Back to Normal, at least, for Me…

I have not been myself over the last few weeks.  I look back at my posts and see that many of them were not very good, were not concerned with my main ideas here:  writing and feelings.

I have been trying new things out on here and some of them have failed, some miserably so.

Oh, the views may not have gone down, but I did notice how much higher they were when I stuck to my two aims.

I have been working on defining my blog – again.  I tend to change things up (ADD at work in an adult, I suppose).  I tend to forget what I started my blog for – a chance to help others see value in themselves.  I have expanded that concept, added to it.  Now my blog is supposed to run on a bit of a schedule:

Saturday-Wednesday is supposed to be a mixture of something that bothers me, something that amazes me, and something I feel.  Thursday is Friday Fictioneers – a chance for me to change and hone my writing abilities.  Friday is Five Sentence Fiction – another opportunity for me to write a bit more but still hone my skills.  It doesn’t always follow that exact schedule, but that is the deal 5-1-1 (5 about things, 1 about FF, 1 about FSF).  It was a good schedule and people liked it.

But, I gave in to the damned aspect that life changes (who’d have thunk it?).  I started feeling better and doing more outside of my blog; I started getting tired – again.  This led to late days, nights without much sleep, and posts having to be done in a rush, at night, when I was tired.  I began to S-L-A-C-K.

I can explain it to myself; I got too busy.  I am doing too much.  My days are filled, so my nights are squeezed.   I even got a little to the point that I felt pressured to do my blog posts.

This came to a point in the last few days when I did see my views drop (perhaps, due to the holiday coming up, but I prefer to use it as a lesson).  I rushed a couple of them and chose topics that, well, sucked.

So, here I am, trying to get back to normal.  This post is about feelings.  I feel terrible; I feel as if I have let you all down.  You follow me and I didn’t deliver as per usual.  So, here I am, back to it – feeling and writing about it.

What I will try to do is keep back to my original 5-1-1 plan.  The 5 may include some posts about movies; it may be some poetry; it may deal with some things that don’t come across as “feely”; however, I will tell you that my intent will be to show myself to you – through my views, my poems, my writing, my reviews.  And, I always want you to play a part in it.  I love hearing your responses.  You are my family and I thank you for putting up with my “boring” lapse into meaninglessness.

I will endeavor to stick to my plan and give you all feelings to deal with.  I will show myself in my writing and remember that you are not my audience – you are all, each and every one of you, someone I care for and feel  as close to as I can, given what you share back with me.

Namaste,

Scott

Friday Fictioneers – 6/7/2013 – “Invasion, Seriously!” – PG – Genre: Sci-fi

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Friday Fictioneers – 6/7/2013

Invasion, Seriously

By Scott L Vannatter

6/5/13

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“Come on, you gotta see this!”  Cal hollered at Rem.

They climbed to an overlook of the valley.  Below were a hundred spaceships.

The aliens were part elephant, giraffe, tiger, and zebra.

“See?”  Cal turned to see Rem rolling on the ground laughing, his shirttail out, and his shoes falling off.

“That’s their best weapon!  They are totally disarming!”

He continued to look as Rem began to turn red and choke a bit on his own spit as he bellowed.

“They will walk all over us,” sighed Cal as he turned back, leaving the snorts and giggles in the background.

____________

Namaste,

Scott

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Philosophy is all about being curious, asking basic questions. And it can be fun!

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I read lots of books, from mythology retellings to literary fiction and I love to reread books from childhood, this is a place to voice my thoughts for fun. I also like to ramble about things such as art or nature every now and again.

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