Grimm News: 10 Reimagined Fairy Tales Now Available

Photo credit: Suzanne Flynn.

I just got my copy of A Grimm Imagination: Reimaginings of the Brothers Grimm Saturday, a collection of short stories I contributed to. They arrived early, a very pleasant surprise. My story is fourth in the collection. The full reality didn’t set in until I heard a copy of the book was also going to be put into circulation at 2 of the public libraries in Madison County.

It was a fun collaboration as part of the Downtown Writers Group to put together this collection. Some of the stories are weird, some witty, and some of them are sure to delight. I am grateful to the Huntsville-Madison County Public Library for hosting the group and for the honor of being able to contribute.

The stories cover genres from science fiction to western (and even a detective story). I contributed a whimsical steampunk adventure. If you’re interested in any of it, or in reimagined fairy tales, click the link above to order the book on Amazon. It’s ten bucks, and the proceeds will help the Huntsville-Madison County Public Library system. They’re a pretty fantastic organization – and they’ve been doing their good work for almost two centuries.

Right now, the book is available in paperback only. For some reason, Amazon isn’t making it available everywhere; just in the US, Canada, and their EU sites. As soon as I hear word of it in e-book format, I’ll put up a link to that as well.

Playing With Power

No, this isn’t a Fight Club reference.
Image courtesy of Stockvault.

As a fan of different kinds of stuff – books, movies, television, etc. – one thing that’s always rubbed me the wrong way is the deliberately vague misuse of the word “power.” It’s all over the place in the television shows I watched as a kid, as well as modern media too. In fact, it was a recent conversation about this that brought this post about.

I was chatting with my friend Bugsy about this (he writes My Little Pony fanfiction – you can find him here), and I was lamenting how one video game company always resorts to vague expressions of power. You might have heard of them. And if you’ve played any of that company’s games, you’ve probably run into the tired plot line of villain X is getting too powerful or hero Y is just not powerful enough.

It’s quite tedious.

Fortunately Bugsy had an answer for this problem. Instead of just going along with such lazy storytelling, there ought to be a default assumption whenever a storyteller tells instead of shows how oh, so powerful a villain is: power refers to smell. That’s right. If someone doesn’t specify the kind of power the evil overlord has accumulated, that overlord now has a new body odor problem.

It also helps when trying to write. Protagonists and antagonists can be powerful, but that power needs to be defined. Regardless of whether it’s an evil empire or a lone rebel, their power must have a given form. Otherwise, someone might think your character needs soap.

#1linerWeds : The Modern Exorcist

Image courtesy of Stockvault.

Normally Father Montalban used more conventional means in his exorcisms, but all he had at the moment was a fork and an electrical outlet.

Author’s Note: This is part of the one and only Linda G. Hill’s One-Liner Wednesday writing prompt. Click the link to find more one-liners, and maybe try your hand at one too! Oh, and please do not stick forks in electrical outlets. It’s dangerous.

Ankle Deep In NaNoWriMo

To the few people who might not know, November is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo for short). It’s an exercise in masochism creativity for any person who aspires to write at least 50,000 words of story in a single month. Some people make it – some don’t – but the overall goal is to push yourself to your writing limits.

Most people reading this probably already know about NaNoWriMo. Whether it’s your first time or you’re a WriMo of many seasons, my proverbial hat is off to you. It takes guts, grit, and determination to do this challenge. Not everyone might support it, but I think you’re aces.

As for me, I’m dipping my toe into NaNoWriMo this year. Part of this is because I’m trying out the option of working on a manuscript I haven’t touched since November of last year. It doesn’t have the “new novel” smell to it. Still, I like being a WriMo, because there’s written creativity in the air. It smells like coffee.

To everyone who is doing NaNo this year, good luck! If you know someone who is doing it, give them some encouragement (or coffee; or coffee in a mug that has encouragement written on it). Also, the folks who do NaNoWriMo are a pretty decent organization who help kids practice their writing, so maybe click the link and give them a buck or two. Regardless, I hope your November goes by smoothly!

Now stop procrastinating and get back to your novel!

Writing #ShortStories

Image courtesy of Stockvault.

After working on a project for the Madison County Public Library, I’ve been reminded of how great short stories can be. They’re longer than flash fiction, shorter than novellas, and difficult to do well. Everything that works and needs to happen in a novel has no place in a short story. It was incredibly fun to work on this, so much so that I wrote another one (a horror story) to try to get published.

I don’t know if it will get picked up. To be honest, I’m surprised I completed it at all. Most of my energy has been devoted to finishing my novel or prepping for NaNoWriMo this year. But I found the time to work on a short story, and I had a blast.

This might be something I’ll do more of in the future. I can’t describe how enjoyable the process has been. It’s something I didn’t expect. The only thing that would make this better is if a magazine accepts it for publication, and people get to enjoy reading it as much as I have writing it. That would be some fitting icing on the cake.

However, my expectations are realistic. Fiction magazines get a lot of submissions, and editors have to find ways to sort through them all to pick out the gems. Mine might not make the cut, and that’s okay.

All I know is that I’m getting reacquainted with short fiction, like visiting an old friend I hadn’t seen in forever. These stories are so much fun to read, and they’re even more fun to write. Hopefully other people might give them a chance too.