Tag Archives: Top Writers Block

Two great pieces of news

First, Amazon has removed the pirated copy of “50 Years Waiting”!  I am so pleased, and want to offer my sincere thanks to everyone who left comments here on the blog, and reviews and ‘likes’ on those reviews at the pirated story.  Especially I want to mention Dianne Gray, who wrote about this on her site; the outpouring of support was a joy in what was one of the most confusing and distressing moments of my indie career.  Thanks, from the bottom of my heart, to all who assisted in the cessation of this thievery.  And kudos to Amazon, who speedily rectified this situation.

Trash Day! by Top Writers Block

Second, Trash Day!, a collection of short stories, was released today by Top Writers Block.  My contribution, “The American Way”, is a poem; I’ve been in a poetic mood as of late.  I’ve also been happy for a break from reality, and this gathering of tales, from flash fiction to short yarns in a gamut of genres, entertained and intrigued.  All proceeds go to Sea Shepherd, and at two dollars, it’s a great deal.  Get yours today from Smashwords, where you can find other fine anthologies by indie authors coming together to share stories and raise funds for the betterment of our oceans and waterways.

50 Years Waiting

50 Years Waiting

Today I released a short story: “50 Years Waiting” is my foray into the world of smaller tales, although it is a pleasant eleven thousand words.  Originally I was going to flesh it out as a novel-length manuscript, but last summer I was encouraged by Suzy Stewart Dubot to try writing a short story.  This novella, if you will, is affectionately dedicated to Suzy, for her gentle arm-twisting, and was first released within the Why Me? collection by Top Writers Block.

So, why a short story?  Well, for one thing, I have more plots than I could shake a stick at.  This idea seemed suited to a more compact delivery, and once I started writing, the saga tumbled forth over several evenings last summer, when my husband was away on business.  What better way to kill time than by spinning a yarn?

Not that Andrea is bored; on her seventy-second birthday, she celebrates with family, worming her way out of joining her daughters on errands by saying she’s going fishing.  She has no plans to do anything of the sort, yet, an even bigger surprise awaits.  Andrea’s party is broken up by an old flame, yet that man, previously ten years her senior, has not aged a day since she last saw him, five decades in the past.  Thom Sugerman is still thirty-two, baffling himself, Andrea, and her grandchildren, who are just a bit younger than Thom.  How Thom managed to stay so young is one query.  The other causes Andrea great consternation; how could he still be in love with her with so many years passed in the interim?

Writing this tale, I pondered just how love remains, not for Thom, but a woman who suffered his disappearance, then married, raising a family.  A widow for ten years, now Andrea faces a lover never forgotten, also unchanged from when she last saw him.  How Thom slipped through time isn’t half of Andrea’s problems; her eldest grandson Justin harbors deep suspicions, as does his sister Laurel, who is a ringer for her grandmother as Thom remembers Andrea.  Yet, Thom only has eyes for one woman; he doesn’t see Andrea’s age spots and wrinkles, but her memorable smile and familiar hands.  Thom sees Andrea, or Andy, as he always called her, as the woman he loved, then somehow lost.  Andrea is baffled by that far more than how in the world he has shown up at her door.

Next week I’ll be taking off some time, and hopefully not losing any of it; a belated anniversary holiday is in the works that will see no writing, but probably some plotting.  And perhaps a wee bit of blogging, if something intriguing occurs.  I am in need of some days with just the hubby in warm climes amid our second favourite sport; football is long over, but baseball season looms.  If I happen to snag a moment with Angel Pagan, Marco Scutaro, or any other San Francisco Giant, I’ll post the evidence here.  In the meantime  if “50 Years Waiting” catches your fancy, head over to Smashwords and download your free copy.  This short story won’t be distributed via other online retailers, but is available in all ebook formats, so no matter what ereader tickles your fancy, “50 Years Waiting” is waiting for you.

Around the league

First off, good San Francisco Giants news; all three major off-season signings have been wrapped up; reliever Jeremy Affeldt, center fielder Angel Pagan and second baseman Marco Scutaro have signed to multi-year deals (three each for Affeldt and Scutaro, four with Pagan).  Now my baseball heart can truly hibernate until spring, and my husband’s Christmas shopping has been simplified; after the World Series, I told my hubby that if Pagan signed with the Giants, all I needed under the tree was a Pagan jersey.  I’m feeling good about my Christmas morning prospects (as well as those for my team in 2013).

The new book is coming along well.  Edits on the last Alvin’s Farm manuscript are minimal, and that novel will be published sometime this month.  Last night I looked over a book I was thinking about publishing next year; the first chapter probably needs to be expanded into two, quite a character dump, but the rest is in fairly good shape.  I wrote Detours back in 2008; man that seems like a long time ago.  But as with the Giants solidifying their line-up, I’m excited about Detours (more family saga drama), and its sequel, The Road Home, written for NaNo 2008.  Both will probably be on the shortlist for release next summer/autumn.

But, out just yesterday, are two short story collections, one of which I have a contribution!  Fools Rush In… and A Winter’s Tale are a cornucopia of genres and POVs from various authors associated with Top Writers Block; Fools Rush In… offers a gamut of manners in which that notion sometimes occurs, including my NaNoWriMo-based tale, “Pork Fried Rice and Recessed Lights”.  Yes, I used my November antics to spark not only a couple of goes at 50K, but a short story to boot!

Fools Rush In...  by Top Writers Block

A Winter’s Tale is an evocative seasonal assortment, perfect as days grow short and temperatures drop.  Even here in California, it feels like 2012 is coming to a close, and I easily recall the extremely brief bouts of sunlight from our time in England, not to mention those truly frigid days.  If you’re looking for some great short stories, or perhaps a gift for someone who doesn’t care a whit about the San Francisco Giants, pick up some copies of these books from Smashwords.  All proceeds from both collections go to Sea Shepherd, and other collaborations by Top Writers Block are available too!

A Winter's Tale by Top Writers Block

A collection of short tales

Recently, I wrote my first short story.  It was at the gentle behest of Suzy Stewart Dubot, who was organizing another collaboration of Top Writers Block, a writers’ group of which I am a part.  Why Me was the prompt, and while I was intrigued, I just don’t write short stories.

I’ve written a couple of smaller novels, hitting around 55K.  But I’m a verbose author, and shorts have always seemed scary; how to condense a tall tale into less than 10,000 words?

Suzy didn’t prod, only noted that again here was an opportunity.  And to my surprise, I took up the challenge.  During a week my husband was away, I wrote in the evenings, which I haven’t done in ages.  That I was writing a novel in the mornings didn’t seem to hamper, for this story needed to be freed.  I let it sit, then started editing; 12K was brought down to just a little over 11,000 words, which is still lengthy, but not a novel.  And now my story, along with several wonderful others,  is available, with all proceeds going to Sea Shepherd.

I have another idea in mind, as the next prompt has been delivered.  I’ll get working on that soon, don’t want it bumping up against NaNo in just a little over a month’s time.  I don’t see shorts taking over the noveling, but it was a pleasant change of pace, and so much easier to revise, or at least much less to edit.  My tale is a little on the fantastic side; a woman celebrates turning seventy-two, but one gift blows her away, a face from the past not looking at all aged.  I hope I’ve piqued your interest to check out “Fifty Years Waiting” in Why Me?

As a bonus link for the weekend, I’ve just started a Tumblr page, which will consist of a photo a day.  And of course real refs are back in the NFL; no longer do we fans have to mourn why us when pondering the integrity of the game…