Friday, 30 September 2011

Friday Flash - A Change

Bare feet skip along a woodland path. Sunlight peeks through the tree branches overhead. It dances on blonde hair, streaming behind the young woman. She whistles a cheerful melody as she skips. A young deer streaks through the trees, and she calls out a greeting. The deer pauses, snorts a reply, and disappears into the undergrowth.

The young woman passes an ancient oak. A sudden chill in the air forces a break in her melody. She stumbles in her skipping, a shiver running across her golden skin. The woman glances around. She feels a gaze but sees no one, and heads away down the path, skipping perhaps a little faster now.

The man steps from behind the oak. Fragments of his mossy frock coat fall away in his wake. A solitary orange leaf lies in the middle of the path. The man stoops, and picks up the stem between his bony fingers. He lifts the leaf to his nose, and inhales the scent of decay.

The man gazes along the path, and smiles at the retreating Summer.

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

I Had A Dream

If you're anything like me, your heart will sink whenever you hear the words, "I had this weird dream, right?" By their very nature, dreams are weird since they don't follow the same narrative logic as conscious thought. The apparently illogical nature of the dream is the bedrock of Surrealism - the movement would not work without it.

Still, dreams can sometimes prove to be strangely inspirational - and not in the "I have a dream" sort of way. I've been suffering with a most vexatious head cold over the past few days and as a result, I've been having remarkably vivid dreams - and I want to offer the most recent one as a story prompt! If you manage it, leave a link below so I can see what you come up with.

Your challenge, should you choose to accept it, is to write a story about a pirate captain, a fictional Londe bus route, and a kidnapped bear cub.


Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Miniature Update

Greetings, friends!

I've been whoring myself about a bit of late to promote The Guns of Retribution, which I'm now pleased to hold in my hands as a paperback! I'm going to be having a launch party in Newcastle upon Tyne once I've finalised things with the venue, so if you're in the North East in early October, then hopefully you'll be able to come along!

In the meantime, I've done interviews with the lovely Jen Brubacher and word wizard Tony Noland. I've also managed to snaffle three reviews of the book by Helen Howell, Paul D Brazill, and Pulp Serenade. Hopefully they'll persuade you to check it out. I've also got a post up over on Write Anything about writing genre - which is kind of apt when you've done a Western.

In other news, I'm currently working on an outline for the sequel. Grey O'Donnell is a character I'm really enjoying working with, and there are plenty more adventures for him to have - especially when things take a supernatural turn. He won't be putting away his Colt just yet!

I'm also working on a story for the Bloody Parchment competition. The deadline is Halloween, and the first prize is one round of professional editing of a novella or novel-length work, while the top thirteen finalists will see their work collected in an anthology. So if you have a piece of dark fiction less than 3,500 words, get entering!

Monday, 26 September 2011

Photo Prompt 52

New prompt available!

If you want to use the prompt, all I ask is that you include a link to this entry and a credit to me for the photograph, and that you post a link to your story in the comments box below so I can see what you've come up with! If you don't comment on this entry, then I can't comment on your story.

The 52nd prompt is Writing.

Early Graffiti

All photo prompts are my own photography - you can find more of it on Flickr. You can also buy my prints from Deviantart. 20% of all proceeds go to charity - the other 80% go towards my PhD fees!