Monday, 28 April 2014

Not Another Camping Story Is Now Live! (Hopefully)

I say hopefully because I'm writing this before going to bed and also before it's fully marked as published, but it IS in the Amazon store. At first I thought I might not be able to get it done but then I went and wrote the rest last night. It counts as last night. It's 3:30 as I write this and I finished about midnight.

The reason it took so long to get done, other than of course pressing things to attend to, was that the story ended up taking quite a different route than I intended. I originally intended for it to be a bit of a light hearted comedy story. I can't tell you what I originally planned without spoiling the ending though so I won't. That would just be silly of me. Just as it would be silly of you to pass up this chance to own this book.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00JZ7SSNU if the picture doesn't load


"Mickey is on a camping trip with his dad, Pete, and his friends James, Andy, and Dave. A camping trip just isn't a camping trip without a spooky story and James tells quite the scary one indeed. Andy and Dave are scared, but James isn't. Almost every camping story starts the same, and they almost always end the same. This story is no different from any other story. It's just a silly little camping story, right? There's no chance this animal is really out there, right?"

I know I've posted these books for free but unfortunately that won't be the case this time. I posted about a quarter of the story last week and these stories always only sell free copies. I've actually only sold one copy of these short stories officially. Thanks to Bryan or Brandon. Whichever one of you guys bought it.

Still, it's only 99 cents and I think it's easily worth a buy, a rating, and a review. *coughreviewitcough*

I do believe I'll be going back to writing Immortal Space now. A major part of writing these short stories was to get back in touch with my writing. I feel I've done that. If I get any more random ideas I'll probably write another short story but don't hold your breath.

Friday, 25 April 2014

The News Is Barely Worth It

A friend of mine has been kinda depressed these past few days. One of the main reasons? The stuff she's seeing in the news. Every time you turn the news on it seems like someone has been bombed, raped, or had some other tragedy befall them. I don't really understand how people can even keep up with the news these days and I say that as someone who used to avidly keep up with the world's events. Frankly I wish I still could.

My main source of news these days tends to be social media and comedy panel shows. Even when they say that something bad is going on they try to look at some lighter sides and stop it being too depressing. The news is just full of the violent and depressing things. I guess that's what sells, but it really does do a number on your faith in humanity. There's an occasional good news story but it's not as often as it should be.

It's good to keep up with what's going on in the world. Both good and bad. Just don't trouble yourself with all the bad things that happen and don't focus too much on them. There's a lot of good still going on in the world, and there's a lot of people who fight to help make the world we live in a better place. The problem is they're just a little too quiet, because the stupid people are just that loud.

It makes it harder to ignore them I suppose.

An acceptable news source.

Thursday, 24 April 2014

I Have Excuses

Unfortunately I don't have the remainder of Not Another Camping story for you today. I haven't had any time at all to write these past few days. Normally I'd punish myself for that but I've been extremely busy with other things. I'm hoping to become a little self sufficient and I've been doing a lot of stuff over the past few days to try and do that. I've really been reminded of my poor time management skills though and I've even had to employ checklists.
...It's not quite this fun.
If I manage to get everything on the checklist completed then I will get about £230 a month. That's not a great deal by any stretch of the imagination but it IS more than I currently get on welfare (about £200 a month) and this is a number that can rise. I can add things to said checklist and increase that a little bit more. Not any time soon though. As I said what I've been doing has been destroying my schedule. Most of that has been discovery though, so I need to see how things go when I'm just sticking to a routine. I'll report back as and when I can.

Oh and in case you're wondering, no I'm not selling drugs. Or my body. Sometimes I wish I was an attractive young white girl and could sell myself on cam sites. Did I admit that out loud? Anyway, I'm filling out surveys. Yes, I've become one of those people. I hope to get some writing done by the end of the week. I'd really like to get this Camping story down and go back to Immortal Space. In my search for more money I found quite a few resources for a writer such as myself. I'd just like what I could refer to as a "full official book" to do them with.

Turns out there are a lot of people who will do things for just $5 that aren't sexual acts.

I think sexual acts are a little more.

Monday, 21 April 2014

An Excerpt

I did plan on posting the third in my series of short stories on Amazon. Then last week happened. As detailed in this post I had a bit of a rough week last week and got nowhere near as much writing done as I wanted to. I think I only ended up posting half a story. In lieu of having a story to tell you to buy, I figured I would just post what I had written so far. It's called Not Another Camping Story and will be available in it's complete form either Thursday or next Monday. I'm contemplating aiming for Thursday, then taking some time off and starting up Immortal Space again next Monday.
--------------------------------------------
“On a dark night, just like this one, in a wood, just like this one…” James began his horror story with all the clich├ęs. His fellow camper, Mickey, was having none of it.

“Tch. You know how many ‘scary’ stories start like that?” he asked, making sarcastic air quotes to show how little he was scared. He folded his arms and leaned back just a little. He didn’t want to lean too far and end up falling backwards off the log he was sat on. He, James, and two other boys were camping in the woods as a Scout Troupe. Mickey was sat next to his dad, the Scout leader, James was sat on his own as the designated storyteller, and the other two boys were sat on a log of their own together. Mickey’s dad, Peter, had to put his hand over his mouth to hide his amusement at his son’s sarcastic comment.

“Hey, do you know how many woods are just like this one, and how many people take camping trips just like this one?” James countered. Mickey rolled his eyes.

“Well he’s got you there son.” Peter said, patting his son on the back. He nodded towards James. “Well go on and finish your story then.” He instructed. Mickey muttered something about James only just starting the story under his breath.

“As I was saying before I was so rudely interrupted,” James begin, casting a glance at Mickey and putting the flashlight back under his face to look as scary as possible, “There were a group of boys who were camping together. They thought they were safe. Well, they thought WRONG.” James said. He snapped the last word out to try and frighten everyone. David and Andy, the other two boys, flinched. Mickey and Peter did not.

“What…what happened?” David asked timidly. James smirked maniacally and continued his story.

“They’d had fun, had some s’mores, and told campfire stories. Things were going well for them. They said their goodnights, went to bed, and that’s when things started going wrong for them. One of the campers heard a rustling near his tent. There was a growl too. He was scared but he had to know what was out there. He could only see a shadow through his tent. He opened the tent up and stepped outside. Whatever attacked him was so quiet that no one heard when he was attacked. That’s why none of them helped him.”

“What attacked him?” Andy asked. Both he and David were shaking a little out of fear. Mickey and Peter were still pretty unperturbed. James gnashed his teeth together, baring his teeth like they were fangs. Andy and David jumped again, and James laughed at their expense before continuing.

“Not long after the attack one of the other boys had to pee, and headed out of his tent too. He saw that there was a lamp lit in the other boy’s tent. They had been told to only light the lamp in the tent in an emergency. If they wanted to find their way back then they had to put the lamp outside. He went to the tent to see what the problem was, and tell the other guy off for breaking the rules. He saw that there wasn’t a shadow first. That’s when he got a little worried. He went to unzip the tent only to find it was already open. He peeked inside and saw nothing. He took the lamp out so nothing would catch on fire, and that’s when he heard it; a terrible, terrible howling. His head snapped up where the howl had come from but he couldn’t see anything. It was too dark. He could still hear though. He heard something approaching him. It sounded like footsteps. Something was moving towards him, and quickly. He grabbed the lamp, ready to fend off any wild animals. Then BAM!” James exclaimed, clapping his hands together for emphasis. Mickey cursed himself for jumping in surprise. He was getting into the story too. Just another thing to curse himself for.

“His friend, covered in cuts and blood, jumped into the clearing where they’d made camp. Both boys screamed at eachother in surprise and that’s when the second one saw it; the creature that had attacked his friend. It was like a panther or somethin’. Only it was much bigger. It’s teeth were much bigger too. The boy screamed again and made a run for it with his friend, but there was no way they could outrun it. Everyone else in the camp had woken up by now. They saw the creature and panicked too. One of them had a baby, and he ran like the wind out of there, leaving the young lads to their fate. He made it, but no one else did. Forest rangers scoped out the camp the next day and found all the bodies. Only the man and the baby got out alive.” James finished his story. He was a master storyteller. He was quiet when he needed to be and loud when he had to be. He knew just how to say things to really draw people in. There was just one problem with his story. It was the same problem with almost all stories like it.

“So, uh, how do you know this happened?” Mickey sarcastically asked. He’d enjoyed the story which was why he was being extra bitter about it. David and Andy were looking particularly scared too and he wanted to reassure them that it was all false. James was ready for him, and that question.

“That’s easy Mick.” James replied casually. “I know because I…I…WAS THAT BABY!” James declared, turning up the intensity. Mickey felt his skin crawl. David and Andy weren’t reassured in the least. If anything they were more frightened now than they had been before. That little plan certainly backfired on Mickey.

“Sure you were James. Sure you were.” Mickey sighed, completely unconvinced. Pete clapped his hands together to get everyone’s attention.

“Well that was a pretty good story wasn’t it boys?” he asked, looking around the campfire. Mickey still looked disinterested, James was smirking at the compliment, and Andy and Dave looked like they’d need therapy before they slept again. “It’s getting late so I think we should get to bed already.” He said. Andy and Dave weren’t too happy about that. It just wasn’t their night. Nevertheless they did as they were told and got ready for bed, retreating to their tents for the night. James also got up and left, leaving father and son to take care of everything. They set about cleaning up the camp site a little; putting away any trash they could find and putting things back in bags. Mickey took care of the campfire and said goodnight to his dad before heading for his own tent. He really needed a good night’s sleep after the day they’d had. It was the first day at the camp so they’d woken up earlier than usual and spent what felt like forever in the minibus on the way to the camp. They had to set everything up after that which also seemed to take way too long. They were all very efficient campers and didn’t take long, it just felt like it did because there was always more to do.
--------------
Yeesh, I can't believe I stopped writing part way through a paragraph. Also if you couldn't tell, this story was entirely inspired and based around the sarcastic conversation between James and Mickey. So many camping stories start like that, but, seriously, how many woods and nights are just like every other woods and night?

Friday, 18 April 2014

Goodreads

Three writing based posts in one week? Did that happen? I'm not entirely sure what Monday's post was about anymore. Oh, that's right, it was about writing. It was my latest short story. So yes that would make this technically the third writing post in a row. Yay for me.

A few days ago I joined up on the site Goodreads.com. I was hoping to get an author account there. They let you set up question and answer sessions and really connect to people. Something like that would be pretty invaluable to me as someone who doesn't really have much in the way of resources. I get by pretty much entirely by word of mouth. That's why reviews are so important to me *coughhintcough*. At first I wasn't sure how to sign up as an author and inadvertently made a regular account. Not that I'm really complaining. The site is excellent for readers too. It's full of information on books and some of their recommendations have been pretty good. They even let you add books too and that's how I got my author account.

I added one of my own books and it turns out I'm already on there. Tulips and Other Stories was put up there by our own Althea. If you read this Althea then thank you very much for that! When I put another one up, they asked me if I was the writer, and I sent in a written application for an author account. I just got a message today (technically) that they accepted and launched my author account. Wheeee.

So if you have a Goodreads.com account then please do find me on there, and recommend me. Or just give me a nice rating. If you don't have an account there, and you enjoy reading, then I'd highly recommend getting an account there anyway. Those people know their books.

I really need to get my author page set up actually. Dammit though it's 4AM at the time of writing and I need sleep. Some things can wait. Probably.

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Rough Couple Of Days

Writing has been kinda fun and I did have an idea for this week's story, but I've had a pretty rough couple of days. I'm not in a good mood and haven't been now since Tuesday afternoon. If I'm lucky. I've started the story and gotten a little bit through it, but no way am I on schedule. These stories aren't as long as I want them to be either. I wanted them to be about 7k words long and they've only been 5k or so. It might not sound like much but it sure can feel it. At least I've been able to do it though and get some writing in. I can be thankful for that. Now if I could just get reviews and actual sales, rather than just through the free promotion, then I would be good.

I've just been in a bit of depressive slump and, thanks to that, I've not really had much energy to do anything. I hate it but I've kinda just sat around for a while. At least it's not as bad as it used to be. It used to be that when this would happen I'd spend a whole lot longer slumped around. Hopefully I'll pick up soon and be enough of a badass to save the president AND finish writing my story. The main point of this little challenge I set myself was more to write though, not really to stick to a deadline. I wanted to practice my writing and get things out there to build up my profile. I can do that if it takes two weeks. It just would have been pretty cool to be able to say I wrote and released a story every week. If I could keep up the ideas then that would actually be a pretty cool idea. It's a shame I'm not that much of a writing machine.

I have to pick myself up, dust myself off, and hopefully the people I feel I need around me will be around me. Nothing like being lonely to make you realise just how much you need someone in your life. You'd think I'd have learned that lesson by now.

Monday, 14 April 2014

The Second Experimental Story Is Out

I was indeed able to write a short story last week like I intended to. The story is called As I Sit Here Looking Out To Sea, and it's here;

No image? Find it here
I think this story is one of my more emotionally charged ones, or at least I intended it to be. It starts out being a little about my life actually. It's almost some kind of semi-autobiography. When I get around to writing one I could probably just load this up and expand on it. 

A young man sits on a cliffside, and thinks about just how he found himself there in the first place. How he wound up contemplating doing what he was contemplating doing...well that sounded not so great. It's free for today so go grab it, read it, and leave me a review please. Self published authors live and die on reviews. If there aren't any reviews then it's like no one has even read it.

Please, do leave a review. Or at least read it. It doesn't even have to be a good review either. I'm not entirely sure what my story will be about this week. I only had two ideas before starting this experiment. 

Friday, 11 April 2014

Boy Do I Have An Offer For You!

You! Yes, you, could get all the money owed to you by those pesky Nigerian bankers who took all your money and didn't give you any of theirs. Do you feel jaded about that? Do you feel that they really owe you? Are you willing to give up MORE of your money to get it back? If the answers to those questions are "Boy howdy yes!" then I can help. For the low, low fee of $570 (for paperwork of course) I can help you get millions! Now I know what you're thinking. You're thinking that this sounds too good to be true, or that it's a scam. If there's one thing I can assure you of, it's that THIS IS A SCAM.

Wait, did I say that out loud? Curse that fairy that cursed me so I always had to tell the truth.

I actually got an email from a 51 year old US citizen who told me about how she went to Nigeria to get the money that them Nigerian bankers owed her. This after she spent $20,000 attempting to get the money in the first place. I almost wish I could paste the email here but it's pretty long. Check your spam folders, and maybe you'll have received a similar email. It would be worth it.

I like how this has become the next evolution of the email spammers. They're mentioning spammers and they're saying they were spammed too, so they have to be legit right? This is totally not going to be the same as winning the Spanish lottery I never entered. I'd feel like an idiot if I didn't take up this woman on her offer.

I did read a webcomic where a guy went to Nigeria to get his money. It was pretty fun. It was a storyline in the Least I Could Do comic. I almost wish I could go that crazy. Not that I've ever been scammed. I have such a huge distrust of other people. Anyway, I think I will put the email here. I'm done with this post and everything else is the email I got. Don't feel obligated to read it or anything, but it is pretty funny.

---------------------------------------------------------
Attn: My Dear,

I am Mrs Connie Dutton, I am a US citizen, 51 years Old. I reside here in Silver Springs Florida. My residential address is as follows. 7008 E Hwy 326 Silver Springs Florida 34488, United States, am thinking of relocating since I am now rich. I am one of those that took part in the Compensation in Nigeria many years ago and they refused to pay me, I had paid over US$20,000 while in the US, trying to get my payment all to no avail.

So I decided to travel down to Nigeria with all my compensation documents, And I was directed to meet Barrister George Alex, who is the member of COMPENSATION AWARD COMMITTEE, and I contacted him and he explained everything to me. He said whoever is contacting us through emails are fake.

He took me to the paying bank for the claim of my Compensation payment. Right now I am the most happiest woman on earth because I have received my compensation funds of $25 Million US Dollars Moreover, Barrister George Alex, showed me the full information of those that are yet to receive their payments and I saw your email address as one of the beneficiaries, that is why I decided to email you to stop dealing with those people, they are not with your fund, they are only making money out of you. I will advise you to contact Barrister George Alex.

You have to contact him directly on this information below.

COMPENSATION AWARD HOUSE
Name : Barrister George Alex(Esq)
Email: barristergeorgeale@qq.com

You really have to stop dealing with those people that are contacting you and telling you that your fund is with them, it is not in anyway with them, they are only taking advantage of you and they will dry you up until you have nothing.

The only money I paid after I met Barrister George Alex was just US$570 for the paper works, take note of that.

As soon as you contact him he will send you the payment information which you are to use in sending the payment to him in order for him to obtain the document from the court of law there in Nigeria so that your fund can be transfer to you without any delay just the way mine was being transfer to me.

Send him the following details if you know you are ready to have your FUNDS so that as soon as he receive your information he will send to you the payment details for sending him the $570USD that is needed for him to get the document that is needed to make the transfer a successful one and that is that only payment i made to Barrister George Alex and he help me in the

transferring of my FUNDS and i most say that you have to contact him so that he will help you the way he help me to Get my FUNDS without any further payment.

Fill Out the information to him if you are ready to get your FUNDS

Your Full Name:...............
Direct Phone:....................
Country.................
Occupation:.....................
Gender:.........
Age:..............


Once again stop contacting those people, I will advise you to contact Barrister George Alex so that he can help you to Deliver your fund instead of dealing with those liars that will be turning you around asking for different kind of money to complete your transaction.

Thank You and Be Blessed.

Thursday, 10 April 2014

A Glorious Day Of "I Got Nothin'"

Yes folks, that's right. It's 3;15 in the morning here and I should be in bed by now. I should probably be a little more professional but then, well, I'd have to be a little more professional. To be honest I probably would be if I felt I really could. If I had something to talk about each and every time it was time to write a post then that would be a good start. Then I would probably act a little more professionally. Actually, come to think of it, at what point does blogging become a profession?

I mean, there are professional bloggers after all. I guess it happens when you make enough money through your advertisements to qualify as a significant amount of money. For that you'd need quite a lot of visitors huh? I'd have to be kinda famous for that. Well maybe one day I will be. You'll all rue the day that you doubted I would ever become famous! Oh if only I could write fiction like this. I've actually not stopped writing since I started and I've barely blinked. The words are almost literally flowing through my fingers. Note that I say "almost". I highly disagree with this absurd notion that the word "literally" can be used to mean a great exaggeration. It's actually a new definition of it in the dictionary apparently. So the phrase "I literally died when my boyfriend saw my baby photos" IS technically accurate.

I don't want to live on this world anymore. I'll be honest with you folks. When someone uses the words "Literally died" and they're still alive, part of me thinks "Oh if only". Am I a bad person? Probably. But if you want to live in my world you have to obey the rules.

Well how words change definition over the course of time is an idea for a whole other post. I actually did that already. I wrote a post that was a bunch of dirty words and what they used to mean before people made them dirty. Then there are nicknames that are just dirty. Like every man called Richard who allows you to call them Dick.

I want to have a child and call them Richard, just so that I always have an excuse to refer to them as Dick. Damn kids, costing me all this money and not amounting to anything.

Oh wait, that was me. Dammit.

Monday, 7 April 2014

My Biggest Writing Challenge Yet

At first I was going to call this post "My Biggest Challenge Yet" but then I thought that losing 200 pounds is going to probably be a bigger challenge than this. This will seem like child's play in comparison. But I do have a big challenge ahead of me, should I choose to take it.

I had a pretty neat idea for something I could do. I want to practice my writing and write some short stories, and I'd also quite like to increase my profile as a writer and try and increase my income a little at the same time. To that end, I have decided that I will write at least one short story a week. I don't know how long this is going to go on for but I'm hoping to make it work for at least a month, and have four written when I'm done. I also plan to release them all on Amazon for 99 cents each.

I have two ideas for stories right now. One that I'm part way through, and another than I plan on writing after the first one is done. I don't know if the first one will end up being long enough though unfortunately. I want to make them about 7000 words long and so far it's only 2000 words long and I can squeeze out maybe another thousand. But that is the plan.

I'm also going to take some of the advice that you guys gave me last week. I think I might look at some random pictures. I don't know how many of you know this, but my second greatest short story "Tulips" was written based on a picture that I saw. I entered into a flash fiction competition. Then I tripled it's length to put it in the collection of short stories. So maybe I am good at extending after all. Who really knows?

In any event, I hope I can do this and do it well. Well, I know I can do this. With luck I'll be able to do more than four. Maybe even write a good solid 7 or 8 and put them together as a new collection.

Actually the first book is done and you can get it now. I was going to make it free, but it turns out that the free promotion can't be done the day you set it up. It'll be free tomorrow, or you could be nice and throw 99 cents my way anyway. Be sure to give it a rating and a review please and thank you. It's just a short little thing about a man, his son, and a story from his childhood.

Friday, 4 April 2014

Writing Practice

I know what you're all thinking; "Mark, you're so awesome that there's no way you would need to practice your writing. You're just that great at it."

Unfortunately that isn't the case. You're at your best as a writer when you really find your stride and your style. Not writing in a while can kind of make you forget that, and put you back a few steps. It really sucks when that happens. Especially when you want to take writing even more seriously and write more. Which is what I want to do. Another reason I've been reluctant to write in Immortal Space is that I'm not really sure how well I'd handle writing it. I feel so out of sync with my own writing ability.

To that end I decided that I should really practice my writing. I want to write some shorter stories and just write. I also want to read my own writing again but I'm apprehensive about that too. My writing is so great that I'm going to feel bad when I read it. I'll feel bad because I can't write like that anymore.

So this is where you guys come in. I don't know if anyone really remembers this but Immortal Space was written based on a suggestion left in a comment. I can find some writing prompts easily enough online. In the time it's taken to write this I could have found several prompts. But I'm interested in if you guys have any ideas, or things you'd like to see me try and write.

If I like it, and I think I can do it, then I'll definitely give it a shot and see what happens. I don't think I'll get another full fledged novel like Immortal Space, but it could be fun.

Basically I'm asking you guys to do my job for me.

Thursday, 3 April 2014

At Long Last I'm Finally Published!

I know we've been waiting for this for a while but the time has finally come. I have been published, properly. Still through Amazon, but that's okay. I can live with that. I don't know if I even told you the story of this story, so I'll tell it you know. I wrote a poem that I posted here on this blog actually called The Beast. I then got the idea to extend it into an actual story...that I also called The Beast. After reading through the poem again it turns out that the story is in fact only loosely based on the poem. Well the main parts are in there at least.

Said story is now available for you, the good people of the internet, to go buy. So go buy it now. Go on. I can wait.





(If you have adblock you won't see the link, so HERE IT IS)
Now I know that my name is not the one on the cover, but it will be in a few weeks. Aaron decided to put that name on there as a promotional tool. Xavier Zimms has a lot of ebooks on Amazon and is quite prolific. I'm still listed as the author on the actual page, and I've asked Aaron to change the cover for me. It'll take a few weeks, as I said, so that's when my glorious name will be up there. Although I do like the name Xavier.


It's a short fantasy adventure story about a guy named Belua who leaves on a journey to rid a beautiful forest of an evil creature. I know it's a little cliche but there's plenty of cool stuff in there and it's something I really enjoyed writing. It also goes in directions that I don't recall being done before. Well, not to a great degree anyway. It's unique enough that the familiar concept isn't a negative. 

While you're there, go buy my other book too; Tulips and Other Stories. It's only a buck. Plus it has my name on the cover.


(If you have adblock you won't see the link, so HERE IT IS)
Okay if you've purchased at least one of those books you can now go on with your lives. Sadly I can't stop you from going on with them anyway, but that's neither here nor there. 

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