Halloween Horror House October 30, 2013Posted by nrhatch in Fiction, Word Play, Writing & Writers.
Tags: Costume, Death, Fiction, Halloween, Haunted House, Murder
“Nah. Let’s ride the Ferris Wheel, Brad. It’s more my speed.”
“I thought you said you wanted to try new things.”
“I did, I do, but . . . “
“Don’t worry. I’ll protect you. Just think how romantic it will be. The two of us, wandering through the dark, with only ghosts and ghouls for company.”
“I don’t know . . . “
“It’ll be fun. I promise!”
“OK. OK. Fine. Let’s go before I change my mind.”
Hand-in-hand, Karen and Brad groped through the dark doorway . Spider webs brushed Karen’s cheek, “Eeek!”
“It’s nothing, just some silly string.”
Unable to see, Karen slid her feet across the planked floor, straining to hear amid the screams that filled the house with decibels of surround sound.
The noise creeped her out. As did the dark. She let go of Brad’s hand to scratch her leg, then held her hand up in front of her nose. Nothing.
“I can’t even see my hand, Brad. Let’s get out of here. I’ve had enough.”
Karen swung her arm out to reconnect with Brad, finding nothing but chill air.
“Stop playing around, Brad. It isn’t funny. Where are you?”
“I mean it, Brad. Answer me!”
Just ahead, Karen heard a gasp, followed by a scream, then laughter.
“Oh, my god! I think I stepped on a bloody corpse! Eww!”
Nervous laughter erupted from the group.
Karen inched forward in the dark. Being with a group of strangers would be better than being alone. Right?
Where the hell is Brad?
As she reached the group in front of her, a beam of light flashed over the bloody corpse splayed across the wooden floor.
Karen rolled her eyes in disgust, “Very funny, Brad! Get up now. I’ve had enough Halloween Horror for one night.”
The girl holding the flashlight pointed it straight at Karen. ”You know this guy?”
Karen held a hand up to shield her eyes, “Yeah. That’s my on again, off again boyfriend. Soon to be ex-boyfriend if he doesn’t stop playing games.”
The girl aimed the flashlight at Brad, sprawled motionless in the middle of the dark corridor. She nudged the body with the tip of a black boot.
Karen stepped forward, ”Brad, if you don’t get up right now, I’m going to kill you.”
“I don’t think he can hear you . . . he’s dead to the world.”
Karen noticed blood pooling under Brad’s head and started to scream.
She didn’t stop until the lights came on. By then, a flood of mummies and ghoulish figures surrounded Brad’s lifeless body.
Karen took in the surreal scene, transfixed by the blood. The girl with the flashlight touched her arm, causing Karen to flinch.
“We called the police. They’re on the way. I’ll stay with you until they arrive. They’re going to want to question you. I’m Rachel, by the way.”
Karen nodded, “I told Brad I didn’t want to come in here. I told him the Ferris Wheel was more my speed. He didn’t bloody listen. That’s always been his problem. He’s doesn’t bloody listen.”
Aah . . . that’s better!
Want more? For a True Ghost Story ~ When The Dead Refuse To Leave (Living on the Edge of the Wild)
Cackle . . . the Spooky Black Cat October 28, 2013Posted by nrhatch in Fiction, Humor, Word Play, Writing & Writers.
Tags: Black cat, Contest, Fiction, Halloween, Short Story, Witch
On a dark gloomy night in a gloomy dark wood
A black cat rapped as he prowled his hood
“Don’t mess wit me . . . cuz I’m all that!”
“They call me Cackle . . . the Spooky Black Cat!”
Trolling the corner of Cauldron and Newt
Cackle bumped into a chick in a witch’s suit
Raising one finger to the wart on her nose
Winnie applauded with glee, as Cackle froze
Cackle hissed and growled, arching his back
Winnie laughed at his antics, “Enough of that!”
She waved her wand with a “Zim Zither Zee”
Cackle’s hackles melted, “You’re THE witch for me!”
Join Susanna Hill’s 3rd Annual Halloweensie Contest ~> No tricks. Just treats.
The Man Behind The Curtain October 15, 2013Posted by nrhatch in Life Lessons, People, Spirit & Ego, Writing & Writers.
Tags: Advice, Divorce, Dr. Wayne Dyer, Marriage, Mindfulness
Have you guessed the identity of the author in yesterday’s post yet?
Need a few more clues?
OK . . .
This well-known self-help guru and best selling author is “equally qualified” to give one-size-fits-all marriage and parenting advice since he’s been married three times.
He has a daughter from his first marriage and five children with his third wife, who had two children from a prior marriage.
He and Wife #3 separated in 2003 after twenty years, but remain married.
Hmm . . . maybe they’re waiting for his next best-seller to climb the charts so they can file, finance, and finalize the divorce?
OK . . . enough suspense.
Here’s Johnny . . .
* * * * *
From his Bio on Amazon:
Wayne W. Dyer, Ph.D., is an internationally renowned author and speaker in the field of self-development. He’s the author of 30 books, has created many audio programs and videos, and has appeared on thousands of television and radio shows.
His books Manifest Your Destiny, Wisdom of the Ages, There’s a Spiritual Solution to Every Problem, and the New York Times bestsellers 10 Secrets for Success and Inner Peace, The Power of Intention, and Inspiration and now Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life have all been featured as National Public Television specials.
Dyer holds a doctorate in educational counseling from Wayne State University and was an associate professor at St. John’s University in New York.
* * * * *
Does Dr. Dyer offer up good advice?
Sure! For some of the people some of the time, but his advice is NOT a custom fit for all of the people all of the time.
Before following advice from a self-help “guru” who has never met you, consider the source, consider the context, and tailor the advice to suit you ~ don’t tailor Your Sacred Self to suit the advice.
Aah . . . that’s better!
If you are looking for advice to live a more peaceful and happy life, you can find links to some of my favorite books here ~ 13 Books That Changed My Life
Or . . . skip the books and just read Adam’s post on Awareness!
Good Advice . . . Bad Timing October 14, 2013Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Life Lessons, Mindfulness, Writing & Writers.
Tags: Advice, Humor, Learning, Life Lessons, SAT, Student
Sometimes advice should be ignored because someone is just parroting back something they heard someone else say in a different context . . . without taking the time to think things through for themselves in THIS context.
Sometimes advice that works for us in mid-life is irrelevant or dangerous when applied to those starting out on life’s journey.
A case in point:
Reduce the importance of grades. Take the pressure off your children by removing the emphasis on grades. Teach them to pursue their own interests and talents for the purpose of knowing themselves and serving others. This will aid them in finding their higher selves and discovering that they have the source of all knowledge within. They need to learn early that their worth is not found in SAT scores or college entrance exams. [p. 272]
Before I tell you who wrote this . . . what do you think of this advice? Standing alone. As is. Without further explanation, preamble, or real life example to guide the unwary.
Not sure? Let’s look at how the advice might play out in context:
Mom: Have you done your reading homework?
Child: No. I’m not going to read that book. It doesn’t interest me. I’m busy watching sports in order to better know and understand myself.
Mom: OK . . . but you still need to learn to read and write and . . .
Child: I thought you said that the source of all knowledge is within?
Mom: Well, yes, but if you don’t learn to read, you’ll fail English and you won’t be able to get into college because your SAT scores will be too low and you’ll be . . .
Child: Didn’t you say that grades weren’t important?
Mom: Well, I did, but . . .
Child: And that my worth would not be found in my SAT scores or college entrance exams?
Mom: Yes, but . . .
Child: Don’t you want me to pursue my own interests and talents and use an internal barometer to gauge my progress and make sure I am on the right path for me?
Mom: I do, but . . .
Child: Great! I don’t need to learn to read. I’m going to be a sports announcer when I grow up.
Mom: Don’t sports announcers study broadcast journalism in college?
Child: Some do. But that’s because they wasted time reading books and doing homework instead of studying sports and sports announcers on TV from morning to night. Thanks to you, I’m not going to make that mistake.
Mom: Great. So, what would you and your inner child, oops, I mean your higher self, like for dinner?
Child: Cheetos. With a chocolate chaser.
Instead of raising independent free-thinking adults, parents who follow the untimely advice above may end up with ignorant malnourished children who remain dependent upon them for support well into early adulthood. ACK!
Like it or not, getting into most colleges requires some degree of scholastic achievement ~ measured by grades and SAT scores. If college is not on our bucket list, grades and test scores are external measurements that remind us to learn the basics. The bare necessities.
So . . . who tendered the quoted advice advocating that parents de-emphasize the importance of grades?
Some fly-by-night self-published writer with zero in the way of credentials?
The advice, a direct quote, came from a New York Times best-selling author with a D.Ed. in counseling who worked as a high school guidance counselor and later as a professor of counseling at the university level.
And, no, I did NOT take the advice out of context. The advice is set forth as a stand alone paragraph in a section on Transcending Appearances, sandwiched between a paragraph on Affirmations and another on Practicing Generosity.
What do grades have to do with affirmations and generosity? Beats me.
Maybe he was trusting in the Divine to create any necessary segues and synapses in our brains.
Can you guess his identity? Look deep, the source of all knowledge lies within.
For his identity, click here ~> The Man Behind The Curtain.
Aah . . . that’s better!
Martin Amis . . . The “War on Clichés” August 8, 2013Posted by nrhatch in Word Play, Writing & Writers.
Tags: Charlie Rose, Martin Amis, Word Play, Writing
Or, as he puts it, “dead freight” and “herd words.”
As indicated in this interview with Charlie Rose, Martin’s a poster child for the “war on clichés.”
I suspect Mr. Amis discarded his “security blanket” long before Linus . . . while rolling his eyes and proclaiming disdain, “Oh, that old thing? It’s so yesterday.”
Aah . . . that’s better!
What say you?
Do you avoid or embrace clichés that convey an instant connection to your intended audience?
Related post: WP Daily Prompt ~ YAWN
10 Things To Do Between Queries June 26, 2013Posted by nrhatch in Books & Movies, Humor, Life Balance, Writing & Writers.
Tags: Dr. Seuss, John Grisham, publish, Writers
Perhaps the best thing about taking the traditional publishing route is all the “free time” you have while waiting to hear back from your latest round of queries to agents and publishers.
Here are 10 Things to do while waiting:
(1) Relax . . . Time Is On Your Side ~ many best-selling American novels of the past 50 years have been penned by authors in their 50′s, 60′s and 70′s.
(2) Crunch the Numbers ~ compare author royalties from e-books with those the author receives from traditional print publications.
(3) Read articles about best-selling authors who fielded mountains of rejections before hitting it big ~ Louis L’Amour (350 rejections), John Creasy (774 rejections), Jack London (600 rejections), John Grisham (15 publishers and 30 agents turned down A Time To Kill), Dr. Seuss (27 publishers rejected his first book), Margaret Mitchell (25 publishers turned down Gone With The Wind), etc.
(4) Crunch more Numbers ~ writers opting for traditional publishing face long odds, but landing in a slush pile is better than dying in a pile of slush!
(5) Consider conflicting advice about writing ~ e.g., “If you write, you need a blog to promote your work” vs. ”If you blog, you’ll have no time to write.”
(6) Enjoy your Anonymity ~ As best-selling authors attract a growing fan base for their work, they also attract negative attention from stalkers, crazed fans, hangers-on, and jealous idiots sending hate mail.
(7) Read success stories about authors who self-published ~ Richard Nelson Bolles, What Color is Your Parachute?, James Redfield, The Celestine Prophecy, Strunk & White, The Elements of Style, John Grisham, A Time To Kill, Richard Paul Evans, The Christmas Box, plus . . . Mark Twain, Edgar Allen Poe, Benjamin Franklin, Rudyard Kipling, Henry David Thoreau, Anais Nin, Thomas Paine, etc.
(8) Eavesdrop on the Rooftop Literati ~ profit-hungry publishers know that ”name brand” authors sell books. But times they are a-changing . . .
(9) Consider more conflicting advice ~ “Carve out a narrow niche” vs. “You must not bore your readers. Variety is the spice of life.”
(10) Learn to Toot Your Own Horn ~ or, if you really want to garner attention at the next Book Fair . . . learn to play the bagpipes!
Bonus Tip: Wear a kilt!
Aah . . . that’s better!
Related posts: Self-doubt, self-publishing, and other selfish writer-isms (Eric J. Baker) * One Year Later ~ Self-Publishing Review (Christine M. Grote) * How to Promote Your Book For FREE (Global Mysteries) * How to Do an Author’s Book Event (Global Mysteries) * What to do When a Publisher Rejects Your Novel (Global Mysteries) * How to Make an E-Book Using Open Office * The Thrill of Victory & The Agony of Defeat!
Self-Publishing ~ Pros and Cons June 25, 2013Posted by nrhatch in Books & Movies, Humor, Life Lessons, Writing & Writers.
Tags: Books, CreateSpace, E-book, Humor, self-publish, Writers
There are two main avenues (with lots of cross streets, thoroughfares, and traffic to traverse) when you’re ready to publish your words as a book or e-book:
* Find a publisher
* Be a publisher
Both approaches have Pros . . . and Cons.
When you self-publish, you have complete control over the process ~ from the title of your book, to its length, to the design you select for the cover.
You get to call all the shots.
You don’t have to send queries to agents or publishers to get them to sign on to the project. Once you’re satisfied that your words flow in the intended direction, you can upload to Create Space on Amazon (or elsewhere) and send your words out to the World.
On the downside, if you self-publish:
(1) You won’t receive the external validation that comes from hearing an agent and/or publisher say they believe in the worth of your words enough to invest time and energy in marketing your book.
Who needs them?
If your book sales skyrocket, you’ll receive even more potent validation directly from readers (or the Academy!) ~> “you like me, you really like me.”
(2) You won’t get the benufit of professhunal etiding unless you higher someone to fill that roll for you.
(3) You have to wear three hats ~ writer, publisher, and agent. For writers who are already borderline schizophrenic, this can be a real challenge. They must struggle to quiet the voices in their heads long enough to come up with a viable marketing plan, handle press releases (to create a buzz), and set up book signings.
If this is a problem for you, here’s the solution: Assign each role (writer, publisher, agent) to a different voice or character. Let them brainstorm together while you go out and get donuts.
Despite its challenges, self-publishing is a legitimate tradition which allows authors to make more money, get to press sooner, and maintain complete control of their work.
Need more convincing?
Many well-known and/or best-selling authors have self-published ~ Mark Twain, Edgar Allen Poe, Benjamin Franklin, Rudyard Kipling, Henry David Thoreau, Anais Nin, Thomas Paine, etc..
* Richard Nelson Bolles, What Color is Your Parachute?
* James Redfield, The Celestine Prophecy ~ over 5.5 million copies sold
* Strunk & White, The Elements of Style
* John Grisham, A Time To Kill ~ first sold out of the trunk of his car
* Richard Paul Evans, The Christmas Box ~ later sold to Simon & Schuster for $4.2 million
If they can do it, so can you. (Once you quiet those voices in your head.)
Aah . . . that’s better!
Related posts: Truths About Self-Publishing (Linda Cassidy Lewis) * Self-doubt, self-publishing, and other selfish writer-isms (Eric J. Baker) * One Year Later ~ Self-Publishing Review (Christine M. Grote) * How to Make an E-Book Using Open Office * The Thrill of Victory & The Agony of Defeat!
Kate Needs A Few More Votes . . . June 21, 2013Posted by nrhatch in Blogs & Blogging, Bulletin Board, Writing & Writers.
Tags: Britain, Kate Pitt, Kate Shrewsday, Penguin Books, Wayfarer
Penguin Books wants a Penguin Wayfarer ~ someone to walk Britain during the Summer, chronicling the journey, talking about paths old and new, exploring the stories and myths that surround them.
The Wayfarer will share in writing, in film, and in tweets.
Kate Shrewsday would be a perfect Wayfarer ~ her writing makes even dry brittle grass come to life.
To vote: CLICK HERE, scroll to the 4th row, and click the VOTE button above Kate’s name ~“A Walk Around Caesar’s Camp, Bracknell” by Kate Pitt.
That’s it! No log-in required!
Aah . . . that’s better!
Vote For Kate! June 19, 2013Posted by nrhatch in Blogs & Blogging, Special Events, Writing & Writers.
Tags: Bracknell, Contest, Kate Pitt, Kate Shrewsday, Penguin Books
If you’re a fan of Kate Shrewsday’s writing (and who isn’t?), you can help her make her dreams come true.
Penguin Books wants a Penguin Wayfarer ~ someone to walk Britain during the Summer, chronicling the journey, talking about paths old and new, exploring the stories and myths that surround them. The Wayfarer will share in writing, in film, and in tweets.
And no one in all of Britain would be a better Wayfarer than Kate.
To vote for Kate: CLICK HERE!
Her entry is “A Walk Around Caesar’s Camp, Bracknell” (by Kate Pitt):
Best of luck, Kate!
Kate’s writing reminds me of this quote: The best way to become acquainted with a subject is to write a book about it. ~ Benjamin Disraeli