Holy Night: After Dinner Conversation

Hey All,

I just wanted to announce that my short story, “Holy Night,” is available for purchase. It first appeared earlier this month in the After Dinner Conversation Magazine, and is now being released as an ebook.

Synopsis: Three Auschwitz prisoners find a contraband bible and have to decide if they are willing to risk their lives to keep it.

If you’re interested in purchasing it, CLICK HERE!

Take care!

Fun Facts About “The Pink Palace”

In my previous post, I announced that my recent short story, “The Pink Palace,” was featured on the latest episode of The NoSleep Podcast. I thought it might be fun to share a few fun facts about this gothic tale.

I made the above graphic to promote my story. Yeah, I’m not an artist. I should stick to writing.

The house featured in the story is a salmon Queen Anne Victorian mansion. I first saw it shown on the fantasy show Once Upon a Time. It is located in Canada.

I never mentioned where the events of “The Pink Palace” takes place. But in all likelihood, it is based in Indiana.

The protagonist is named James Tucker. The first name is a name my sister used for a character for one of her stories, and I liked it enough to steal/borrow it for my character. Tucker is a family name on my paternal grandmother’s side. For years we believed it was an Irish surname, but I think we lately discovered that branch of the family came from England.

Sebastian Stan as “Bucky Barnes”

James looks like Sebastian Stan, who plays Bucky Barnes on various Marvel movies. He also guest starred on Once Upon a Time. That is all for now! Until next time!

NoSleep Podcast S15E07

Greetings All!

I hope you all are safe, happy, and healthy, and possibly enjoying the autumn season.

Today I learned my gothic romance story, “The Pink Palace,” went live at NoSleepPodcast.com. Can you believe it? This is a new venture for me. I’ve had more than a few stories published, but I’ve never had one of them “acted out.” I want to laugh and cry at the same time! And I’m so pleased that its debut is in time for Halloween.

Without further adieu, please enjoy NoSleepPodcast S15E07. “The Pink Palace” begins at 1:01:40 on the episode.

Have a wonderful day!

After Dinner Conversation: October 2020

Last month, I goofed up a little. I thought my short story, “Holy Night” had been released in the September issue of After Dinner Conversation Magazine. I was wrong. It has actually been released this month. So, without further ado…

The October 2020 issue of After Dinner Conversation has been released and is available for purchase. Intriguing cover, isn’t it? It features my short story, “Holy Night.” To subscribe and receive a monthly issue, click here!

My story, “Holy Night,” will be available for individual purchase on Amazon.com on October 12th. Check out the awesome cover they created for me!

Banned Books Week 2020

Banned Books Week began September 27th and lasts until October 3, 2020. Previously, I posted that one of my favorite Banned Books was “To Kill a Mockingbird.” And that hasn’t changed; “To Kill a Mockingbird” will always hold a special place in my heart. But I have to say, there’s another book I cherish even more, one that has greatly influenced me: “The Diary of a Young Girl,” by Anne Frank.

I first discovered the diary on my twelfth birthday, when it was given to me as a present. Second to only the Bible, in my opinion, it has changed my life as much as the Holy Scriptures. Anne Frank was thirteen when she began writing in her diary, and when she and her family had to go into hiding from the Nazis, it was one of the things she brought along with her. It became her refuge in her darkest moments. Unfortunately, Anne and her family and friends were betrayed and all but Anne’s father, Otto, died during the war. Otto survived and returned, and was astonished to find that his daughter’s diary hadn’t been destroyed. He decided to follow Anne’s wishes and publish her diary. It not only became a success, it was published in multiple languages, and it struck a chord with readers all over the world.

Despite the necessity of “The Diary of a Young Girl,” it has unfortunately been banned. The first graphic of this post is a little misleading: it wasn’t banned for being too “depressing.” At least, to my knowledge, it hasn’t. According to Wikipedia, a terror group in Hezbollah wanted to ban the book in Lebanese schools, claiming it was an apology to Jews, Zionism, and Israel. The article, and many other articles on the web, primarily cite Anne Frank’s discussion of her sexuality, or sex in general, as a basis for American schools banning the diary. When Anne originally began her diary, it was strictly for her eyes alone and she wrote what she pleased. Later, with publication in mind, she revised certain things, and even later, when Otto published the diary, he omitted the “graphic” passages altogether. In recent years, more and more of the diary has been published in its entirety, including Anne’s writings on sex.

I, personally, find it shameful that such a remarkable book could be banned on such grounds. The diary was Anne’s heart and soul, and it is a witness to what went on in Europe in WWII, and to ban it for any reason, would be ignoring the memory of those who lived during that time. Yes, Anne thought about sex and wrote about it – as any teenage girl would. She also referenced racism, concentration camps, innocent people murdered, shootings, starvation, violence, etc…Far darker subjects, in my opinion. I hope that if you haven’t read it, that you’ll pick up “The Diary of a Young Girl,” and give it a chance. It’ll change your life.

Why Speculative Fiction

Lately, I’ve tried to write a new, speculative story and have failed. Three different attempts, really, and all of them were duds. It happens. You unconsciously try to mimic what you’ve done before because it was successful, and you realize what you create is too repetitive. It took me three duds to remember why I tried my hand at writing short speculative fiction in the first place.

For years – and I mean many, many years – I wrote Christian fiction. I was a Christian, so I figured I had to write Christian Historical Fiction. I was determined to break into the Christian market. It never happened. It was for the best. I couldn’t crank out the formula Christian Fiction required, not to the quality others were writing. I couldn’t write the same story over and over again, create the same scenarios and the same characters. Feature the same endings, perfectly wrapped and tied in a bow. Life is never like that, and my fiction couldn’t be like that either.

So, I wrote a short murder mystery. It sold. Then I wrote another, and another, then I wrote a ghost story, a story with magic realism, a dystopian, and a couple “literary” stories. All of them sold. But the speculative pieces had become my thing. Nothing overly gruesome or terrifying, I’m not Stephen King.

But stories that hopefully makes the audience think. Good versus evil – “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” Romans 12:21. I hope all of my stories are reflective of that.

Unfortunately, after five years of writing speculative things, I’ve fallen into a rut. I have to change pace. I’m not abandoning the genre. But the writing has to be good and solid for the story to be decent in my eyes. It isn’t just about selling my pieces, even though I do like the money. One of these days I’d like to try my hand at a speculative novel. For now, I’m going to try my hand at some literary pieces and wait until my muse turns gothic again. And it will.

Have you ever tried your hand at a different genre? Something outside of your comfort zone? Please, tell me about it.

Upcoming Adaptation of “Persuasion”

I’m sure many of the Austen fans have already heard, but in case you haven’t, it was announced that a new adaptation will be made of “Persuasion.” As Austen’s final finished work, “Persuasion” is considered her most mature novel. This was the one she was writing as she began to succumb to her illness. It was published after her death, in 1817. Anne Elliot is twenty-seven years old and has long “lost her bloom.” She loved Frederick Wentworth in her youth, however, she rejected him. Now she faces poverty, while Wentworth has risen in society and has made his fortune. It is a story of love lost and love found, a story of second chances.

Sarah Snook

Sarah Snook will star as Anne Elliot, and Mahalia Belo will direct. I’m not familiar with either of their work. I’m curious and will probably watch it. (Still haven’t seen the new “Emma” yet, or “Sandition” or any of the other period dramas ((“Little Women,” “The Personal History of David Copperfield,” “World on Fire,”)) I was counting on watching this year. But that’s another story.) I have to say, I don’t know how it will top BBC’s 2007 version of “Persuasion” though. It had its flaws, but Sally Hawkins captured the downtrodden Anne perfectly.

Rupert Penry-Jones as Frederick Wentworth, and Sally Hawkins as Anne Elliot.

Well, I’ll post when I know more. Until next time!

Petrus and Catherine Gonsalvus

My article on Petrus and Catherine Gonsalvus is available to read at Femnista! Check it out!

Femnista

When I was growing up, my mother told me that true stories inspired fairytales. My imagination went wild, ecstatic that my beloved Cinderella, Ariel, and best of all, Bellel existed. That the magical world of Disney was our reality, and everyone received their happily ever after. When I was a little older, I understood her meaning. The magic Disney incorporated into our favorite animated movies wasn’t real, but in the past there probably was a poor servant girl who fell in love with a “prince.” There are various retellings of Aladdin. If you research other cultures, there are many folktales of “animal brides and grooms.” Ordinary girls who fall for cursed creatures and break their spells. Sometimes in the stories, the cursed creatures themselves, the “beasts,” fall for the “beauty” and become a better person. They were tales as old as time.

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What is “I, The Writer?”

As you know from a previous post, my photo was used for the cover an upcoming publication called, “I, The Writer.” Though I had volunteered my photo, I didn’t know entirely what the project was about. I had my suspicions, but it wasn’t confirmed until August 31st. “I, The Writer,” is an anthology of essays written by writers about writing. The love of writing, the author’s history, their inspirations, etc. So, I wrote and submitting my essay, hoping it would be selected. And it was.

“I, The Writer,” will be published this November, by Sweetycat Press. I can’t wait for its debut. Special thanks to Steve Carr and Sweetycat Press for including my essay.

Until next time!