All posts tagged: fiction

Books!!!

So I’ve already burned through the Barnes & Noble gift card the in-laws gave me for X-mas. Excited to finally finish The Drifter (2016), the debut suspense novel by Nick Petrie that I started in the summer of 2016 from the library. Went ahead and grabbed his sophomore effort, Burning Bright (2017) as well.  Also grabbed The Fireman, the 2016 magnum opus by Joe Hill. From the darker side of things is The Dark Net (2017) by Benjamin Percy. And finally, from the YA section of the bookstore, Marissa Meyer’s Renegades (2017) which seems to be a kind of Dystopian teenage superhero epic of 2 books (the second book is expected sometime later this year, I believe). Given all the other books I have checked out from the library (including a lot of nonfiction) and the stack of unread comic books and graphic novels, I’d say my bookworm menu for 2018 is quite robust. Advertisements

“This is how to override your writer brain. Publish anyway.” | Shaunta Grimes

I gotta say that Shaunta Grimes really hits it home in this one (with humor too). I can certainly identify with part of what she’s discussing here.  A few words by Shaunta Grimes: “I didn’t make a conscious decision not to publish. It just happened. And then it kept happening for more than two years. As evidenced by the zero fiction that I published. I was still writing. I’ve written three novels and a dozen short stories in that time. They’re nice and cozy on my hard drive, wrapped in a thick layer of my fear of publishing them. A fiction writer’s brain is a crafty trickster. It’ll convince itself that writing a whole shit ton of blog posts and MFA packets is the same thing as writing. It’ll rationalize that finishing novels is the end game and totally blow off publishing like it’s no big thing.” And . . . “Your writer brain will do everything it can to protect you from the hard, hard work of creating a story and then putting your baby on …

“How to use Active Reading to Become a Better Writer” | Jed Herne

Intro: Authors often discuss how reading improves your writing. However, there’s a big difference between passive and active reading, and if you’re serious about using published novels to improve your writing you must learn how to do the latter. When you read passively, you consume a novel as entertainment — you’re trawling through without paying attention to detail. This lets you form a broad judgement (“this is great!”). By contrast, active reading involves specific focus on an author’s craft. It is to passive reading what fly-fishing is to trawling. Active reading encourages your judgement to be precise (“this is great because the chapter endings created lots of suspense!”). Read: “How to use Active Reading to Become a Better Writer” by Jed Herne @ProWritingAid https://writingcooperative.com/how-to-use-active-reading-to-become-a-better-writer-b60356bdd212  

Project Zero-13 | A Work in Progress

{ 744 words began Jan 7, 2010 } Stirred by the furtive movements of what was likely a rodent of some kind sniffing about in the foliage that surrounded him, the man awoke with a slight disorientation while lying under a bed of leaves, mud and twigs.  Vivid images of the dream he was having still lingered in his mind.  Like most dreams it was not an exact documentary of actual events, although inspired by them.  Instead it deviated from the script, as dreams often did.  A certain degree of surrealism had replaced realism.  Just before he was awakened, he had experienced the dream’s unscripted happy ending which was in direct contrast to the real life events he experienced prior to arriving to these woods to elude capture from his unknown pursuers. The happy ending was that he actually knew more than just his first name; that he knew exactly why he wore the strange costume, that underneath it was not some man that no one knew, and that he had the ability to speak.  …

Just Another Dame | A Work in Progress

{ 894 words began in 1998 } It’s Saturday night in the Big City and I got nothing going on. So what’s a sorry bag of bones like me do but go down to The Watering Hole and get sauced? It’s my only option, aside from drowning my sorrows at the bottom of a bottle in front of the tube watching old movies that remind me too much of the olden days when things were simpler, better. I could go prowling the streets looking for trouble like any other practicing scumbag, but that’s not advisable when you’ve got the sting of a devious dame playing you for a fool still fresh in your gray matter. Instead, I go on down to the ‘Hole to get liquored up. I’ll go on feeling sorry for my sorry ass, but this way I’ve got company, which misery loves dearly. I travel by foot, using the City’s alleyways to get where I need to, avoiding street merchant whores and panhandlers. The sitting bums in the alleys are too inebriated …

Short-term Effect | A Work in Progress

{ 452 words began in 2006 } I come back to consciousness with a mouth full of blood and a busted lip the size of Texas. I can’t remember how I got this way. I got a few scrapes and bruises on my face, a knot on my head that’s throbbing. They say ignorance is bliss, and for a few minutes as I sit here in this dark, quiet alley, I think: yeah, short-term memory loss does have its charm. Then I remember: she’s not next to me anymore. Roxy. She’s unforgettable. It doesn’t matter that I’ve taken a few bumps to the head, the face. Dames have a knack for leaving long lasting impressions on a fella. Roxy Star was what she told me to call her. I called her Foxy Roxy not just ‘cause she’s sexy as hell, but because she was sly like one. I’d never known anyone, let alone a little street rogue, who could pick a pocket or pull a short con like Foxy Roxy. She’s the best, at least for …

Four Deep | An Excerpt

{ 397-word excerpt } Three-thirty now.  He’s got the four of us waiting with our cocks in our hands, but since I’m responsible for this partnership I’m the one who’s going to get pissed on. At this hour with Mulligan’s now closed we’re lucky we haven’t seen any cops sweeping the parking lot.   I’m sure it’s just a matter time, though.  After another five minutes we finally see the rat bastard’s Monte Carlo pull into the parking lot, then next to my Ninety-Eight where we’re all leaning against it.  I notice he doesn’t switch off his engine. Considering the situation I can’t bother with pleasantries.  “Raleigh, you got our take?” The twitchy bastard hands over a black gym bag from his passenger seat.  “Yeah, it’s all there.” I give the bag to Bert as he hops back into my car so he can do a quick visual.  I bet no more than four seconds go by before he’s humming “mmhm” to himself, which isn’t good news.  “Raleigh, Raleigh, you’re short, man,” He finally says with …

Makin’ a Livin’ Makin’ a Killin’ I: The Company You Keep | A Dribble

{ 50 words } They’re not exactly what you would call your friends.  More like associates.  They come with the profession, the rules – the lifestyle.  They wear expensive suits with black as the base color, matching the iron hidden beneath their suit coats.  Fair-haired women sometimes accompany them, dressed to impress, smiling uncertain smiles. Written: December 29, 2001. Originally published in February 2010 by blink-ink [defunct]. Copyright © 2001 – 2016 by Brandon L. Rucker. All Rights Reserved. brandonrucker.com | RuckerWrites | @RuckerWrites Amazon | Smashwords

Makin’ a Livin’ Makin’ a Killin’ II: The Other Life | A Dribble

{ 50 words } Sundays, his off day from the job, he is a practicing Catholic. At Mass his wife and young daughters accompany him. He looks over at his darling little ladies; both of them yellow-haired like their mother. He wants to provide a good life for them. And crime certainly does pay. Written: December 29, 2001. Copyright © 2001 – 2016 by Brandon L. Rucker. All Rights Reserved. brandonrucker.com | RuckerWrites | @RuckerWrites Amazon | Smashwords

Makin’ a Livin’ Makin’ a Killin’ III: For a Day’s Pay | A Dribble

{ 50 words } A man on his knees, begging for his life, mercy, anything as light glints off the pistol aimed at his sweat-beaded brow. Loud, bass-heavy music blares from the stereo as a cloud of smoke from marijuana and crack-cocaine lingers in the air. “Delinquent, again. We’ll have to consolidate your debts.” Written: December 29, 2001. Copyright © 2001 – 2016 by Brandon L. Rucker. All Rights Reserved. brandonrucker.com | RuckerWrites | @RuckerWrites Amazon | Smashwords