Reading Good Fiction Part 2: Synopsis of “Space”

Reading good fiction can be a challenge these days with so many small presses and opportunities for writers – good and bad – to publish their works easily. Here in this three part series, I will share my opinions and synopsis of three short stories in Literature.

Space” by Kevin Brockmeier

This story is about love and the feeling of exile from another person. In “Space,” written by Kevin Brockmeier, the narrator is recalling his memories of a recently lost spouse. The narrator has been widowed and left with a fifteen year old son; they are both trying to cope with or forget about their recent loss.

The story begins with the narrator looking out into the horizon and gazing off into the lights which he now often does. While showering, the lights and power go out. Both the son and father are left with no distractions; all they have is a candle in the apartment and the lights far off in the horizon of the city. We slowly learn about Della, the recently deceased wife, through inner dialogues that the narrator shares.

If you are enjoying this article, perhaps you would like the “Writer or Prophet? Did Jules Verne Predict the Future?”

All items and spaces within the house remind him of her. He thinks back to the funeral of three months ago which took place during the Winter. He recalls the “slow willowy hands” of the funeral guests comforting him at the funeral home. This is how we learn about Della and what it is that the two are grieving. Then a bird is heard outside, which is annoying to the teenage son, but serves as a memory for the narrator. It’s the same bird that was heard when they first purchased the house. All the narrator recalls is his wife Della’s response to the bird: “Well, if there’s holes in our tree, at least birds will be nesting in the.”

Author of “Space,” Kevin Brockmeier

In reading good fiction we learn that it is these small memories and emotional energies associated with their living space which drive the story. This becomes extremely powerful during a blackout because there is no TV to distract the teenager. The narrator is aware of the inevitability of the human mind to forget and move on so this is also troublesome. The narrator doesn’t want to forget his wife so he recalls her childhood memories. The memory we are left with is Della’s imagination of sending light to a planet without light. Ou narrator finally lets go at the end and imagines that her light of life has finally reached another planet without light and that her spirits in now filling the planet with hope. And this is how he learns to cope and let go – it has to be a happy memory.

If you are enjoying this article, perhaps you would like “Faceless – 100 word short story”

Space” was powerfully written and imaginative in the sense that it uses the surroundings to transport the reader into past memories which come alive to these two mourning characters. The son is constantly complaining about not having power and not wanting to think about his mother, while the narrator cannot stop gazing out into space and forcing himself to recall her presence and energy.

On Writing Horror Willy Martinez

  • On Writing Horror amassed from an obsession to learn where the power of fear resides. An anthology of works studying the way in which writers evoke fear and how they may affect us. On Writing Fear is an index of terror, drawing from Aristotle, Longinus, Edmund Burke, Che Guevarra, Wordsworth, Foucault, H.P. Lovecraft, Todorov, and many more.

    Chapters include digital illustrations created by the author.

    Also available at the Apple iBookstore, Kobo, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords.

    A must have collection of research on the power of Horror- a tormented treatment of the human passions!

    Table of Contents for On Writing Horror

    Ch 1. Fear and War: Crafting the War on Terror Using Fear Appeals Ch 2. The Art of the Coup D'etat Ch 3. The Feminine Supernatural versus the Male Supernatural Writers Ch 4. Projecting Ghost Children to Find Identity Ch 5. The Supernatural Power of the Sublime in Wordsworth's Poetry Ch 6. Disorienting Characters with Haunted Spaces and Auditory Hallucinations Ch 7. Modern Ghosts Ch 8. The Fantastic in Fear Ch 9. The Fun Side of Fear: Faustus' Tricky Imp of Satan Ch 10. Glorifying Satan

    Some of the art included:

    [caption id="attachment_4846" align="alignnone" width="188"]Art for On Writing Horror Art for On Writing Horror[/caption] [caption id="attachment_4847" align="alignnone" width="200"]Art for On Writing Horror Art for On Writing Horror[/caption] [caption id="attachment_4848" align="alignnone" width="194"]Art for On Writing Horror Art for On Writing Horror[/caption]

Mad Men

  • Mad Men is a collection of three disturbing horror shorts from authors living in the Midwest. The themes explored in this collection range from man versus self, man versus man, and man versus creature. [caption id="attachment_4742" align="alignleft" width="188"]Mad Men eBook Mad Men eBook at Mind on Fire Books[/caption] Mad Men begins with Matt’s tale, a thought-provoking thriller which causes the reader to question his reality and what he fears within himself. The second tale explores the grotesque juxtaposed with beautiful nature, where the ending unfolds into a horrific dream, waking in even more terrible pain. The third tale is by seasoned horror writer, A.R. Braun – and his diabolical creatures never disappoint!  A.R. Braun’s goal is to be on the banned book list; we think this tale may just be evil enough to be considered. A must read before it does get banned! Mainstream Horror Shorts don’t always satisfy us in the way they should. They don’t open conversations about what it is that we fear or why we fear such things, they focus mainly on pop culture and gore. The writers in the Mad Men anthology understand the need for literate horror, opening discussions of man’s psyche. When these writers set out to tell a story, they are less interested in conveying fear and more interested in wonder, the sublime, and the infinite strangeness that drives all man and woman. Highly recommended for tweens, teens, and adults. The Mad Men anthology published by Mind on Fire Books. Written by Willy Martinez, A.R. Braun and Matt Lavitt. No part of this book shall be copied without permission from the publisher.

Ghost Children

  • The ghost children in “The Lost Ghost” and “The Wind in the Rose-Bush” are not restricted ghosts, and this is how these ghosts differ from the other ghosts of writers of Mary Eleanor Wilkins Freeman time such as Henry James, Sarah Jewett or Ambrose Bierce. These apparitions may seem cute, but think twice as these ghost children will leave you with goose bumps. This double feature of Mary E. Wilkins short fiction is creepy enough to leave you sleeping with the lights on.

Reading Good Fiction: “Kavita Through the Glass”

Reading good fiction can be a challenge these days with so many small presses and opportunities for writers – good and bad – to publish their works easily. Here in this three part series, I will share my opinions and synopsis of three short stories in Literature.

Kavita Through The Glass by Emily Ishem Raboteau

Kavita Through the Glass is written by Emily Ishem Raboteau and told by a narrator focusing on the perspective of Hassan. Hassan is a young graduate student who is currently facing remationship problems with his wife who is now pregnant. Although Hassan is studying full time for his master’s in Mathematics, their marital problems stem from culture.

His wife Kavita is an architect and they are both of Indian heritage, only Kavita is from the American East coast, and Hassan is from India. Throughout the whole story, we hear about how much in love Hassan is with his wife Kavit and how she controls all the furnishing in the apartment and has made them all white signifying blank spaces. She walks around naked while at home, even when she is cooking. Hassan relates his story to us in mathematical terms and perspectives. Hassan remembers back to before they found out they were pregnant and how happy they were. Now that the baby is on the way, the cultural influences and factors are being contributed and weighted more heavily by Hassan.

If you are enjoying this article, perhaps you would like “Faceless – 100 word short story”

Reading good fiction is conflicted with Kavita’s Americanization and want for physical attention. When he finds out she is pregnant, she leaves for a few hours and Hassan calls to consult his father but his father only argues with him because h ethinks that Hassan should have married the young twelve year old from India who had been pre-arranged for marriage with Hassan.

Kavita then builds up a habit of disappearing at night which leads Hassan to become nervous and eat a lot – he ends up putting on atou twenty pounds and recalls eating up to five hungry man breakfasts in one week!

One night, Hassan follows her and sees her enter the art and architecture building. He doesn’t go in; he only recounts his love for her. He follows her a second time and notices her hugging a blonde white male with blue eyes which infuriates him. He still doesn’t say anything.

On the third adventure of following his wife, he finally builds up the courage to enter the building and see what she is really doing. He walks into a classroom to find her at the center of it. She is naked and students surround her; they are painting her body.

If you are enjoying this article, perhaps you would like the “Writer or Prophet? Did Jules Verne Predict the Future?”

Hassan recalls that her belly lay there as “big and as round as the sun… only this hurts twice as mush as staring directly at the sun.” Hassan flips out and directs his anger towards the white blonde male with blue eyes. Clearly, this has become about culture and race in his eyes. After this event, the two do not speak for nine days.

On the ninth day, Hassan views her through some glass pieces that had been won in a contest. Hassan wrote a slogan for a company in which he was describing his wife. He views her through the glass and realizes that he doesn’t know how to make her happy.

He brings up the topic of namin their daughter after his mother. This is another cultural push to which Kavita responds, “Do you realize, you never look at me, I can’t rememnber the last time you even touched me.” Hassan’s immediate response to this is “but Kavita, you are all that I look at, you are all that I see.”

This was a very powerful ending because it is made clear throughout the story that Hasan is madly in love with his wife; they just have different ways of showing it. Kavita has been American ized so she is much more physical while Hassan grew up in INdia, so he is used to the more traditional sense of spirituality and respect for the woman’s privacy oher body.

Author, Emily Ishem Raboteau

“The pieces of colored glass were smooth and flattish and oblong, shaped like teardrops roughly the size of robin’s eggs.” Again, “the size of robin’s eggs” does not just tell us about the size, but also shape and texture and fragility. This image combined with “teardrops” makes me think of the color blue. “Teardrops” implies that they are translucent and glassy. It also impacts the mood of the piece, bringing in a sense of sadness.

“Kavita Through Glass” by Emily Ishem Raboteau:

The main focus of this story is definitely on the marital problems experienced by this couple. The origins of the problems do no t appear to be at all connected to the husband’s work as a mathematics grad student, rather, their communication problems stem from differences in culture and gender. So, in a sense, it is completely beside the point that he is a mathematician. But, that is the role that the mathematics play in the story. Mathematics is the thing in his life which is not affected by his personal problems, and for some real mathematician, mathematics does offer that sort of ‘escape’ from daily life.

Reading good fiction is hard to find, but reading Kavita Throught the Glass, is a must. It is beautifully written, and even thought I do not get the feeling that the author is particularly knowledgable about mathematics, the apprearance of mathematics is also well done.

On Writing Horror Willy Martinez

  • On Writing Horror amassed from an obsession to learn where the power of fear resides. An anthology of works studying the way in which writers evoke fear and how they may affect us. On Writing Fear is an index of terror, drawing from Aristotle, Longinus, Edmund Burke, Che Guevarra, Wordsworth, Foucault, H.P. Lovecraft, Todorov, and many more.

    Chapters include digital illustrations created by the author.

    Also available at the Apple iBookstore, Kobo, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords.

    A must have collection of research on the power of Horror- a tormented treatment of the human passions!

    Table of Contents for On Writing Horror

    Ch 1. Fear and War: Crafting the War on Terror Using Fear Appeals Ch 2. The Art of the Coup D'etat Ch 3. The Feminine Supernatural versus the Male Supernatural Writers Ch 4. Projecting Ghost Children to Find Identity Ch 5. The Supernatural Power of the Sublime in Wordsworth's Poetry Ch 6. Disorienting Characters with Haunted Spaces and Auditory Hallucinations Ch 7. Modern Ghosts Ch 8. The Fantastic in Fear Ch 9. The Fun Side of Fear: Faustus' Tricky Imp of Satan Ch 10. Glorifying Satan

    Some of the art included:

    [caption id="attachment_4846" align="alignnone" width="188"]Art for On Writing Horror Art for On Writing Horror[/caption] [caption id="attachment_4847" align="alignnone" width="200"]Art for On Writing Horror Art for On Writing Horror[/caption] [caption id="attachment_4848" align="alignnone" width="194"]Art for On Writing Horror Art for On Writing Horror[/caption]

Mad Men

  • Mad Men is a collection of three disturbing horror shorts from authors living in the Midwest. The themes explored in this collection range from man versus self, man versus man, and man versus creature. [caption id="attachment_4742" align="alignleft" width="188"]Mad Men eBook Mad Men eBook at Mind on Fire Books[/caption] Mad Men begins with Matt’s tale, a thought-provoking thriller which causes the reader to question his reality and what he fears within himself. The second tale explores the grotesque juxtaposed with beautiful nature, where the ending unfolds into a horrific dream, waking in even more terrible pain. The third tale is by seasoned horror writer, A.R. Braun – and his diabolical creatures never disappoint!  A.R. Braun’s goal is to be on the banned book list; we think this tale may just be evil enough to be considered. A must read before it does get banned! Mainstream Horror Shorts don’t always satisfy us in the way they should. They don’t open conversations about what it is that we fear or why we fear such things, they focus mainly on pop culture and gore. The writers in the Mad Men anthology understand the need for literate horror, opening discussions of man’s psyche. When these writers set out to tell a story, they are less interested in conveying fear and more interested in wonder, the sublime, and the infinite strangeness that drives all man and woman. Highly recommended for tweens, teens, and adults. The Mad Men anthology published by Mind on Fire Books. Written by Willy Martinez, A.R. Braun and Matt Lavitt. No part of this book shall be copied without permission from the publisher.

Ghost Children

  • The ghost children in “The Lost Ghost” and “The Wind in the Rose-Bush” are not restricted ghosts, and this is how these ghosts differ from the other ghosts of writers of Mary Eleanor Wilkins Freeman time such as Henry James, Sarah Jewett or Ambrose Bierce. These apparitions may seem cute, but think twice as these ghost children will leave you with goose bumps. This double feature of Mary E. Wilkins short fiction is creepy enough to leave you sleeping with the lights on.

Henry Miller’s 11 Writing Commandments

In this post, we share the American writer and painter, Henry Miller’s 11 Writing Commandments.

Henry Miller was an American writer and painter. He was born 26 December 1891, and died 7 June 1980. His autobiographical novels achieve a candour—particularly about sex—that made them a liberating influence in mid-20th-century literature. He is also notable for a free and easy American style and a gift for comedy that springs from his willingness to admit to feelings others conceal and an almost eager acceptance of the bad along with the good. Because of their sexual frankness, his major works were banned in Britain and the United States until the 1960s, but they were widely known earlier from copies smuggled in from France.

The list read as follows:

  1. Work on one thing at a time until finished.
  2. Start no more new books, add no more new material to “Black Spring.”
  3. Don’t be nervous. Work calmly, joyously, recklessly on whatever is in hand.
  4. Work according to Program and not according to mood. Stop at the appointed time!
  5. When you can’t create you can work.
  6. Cement a little every day, rather than add new fertilizers.
  7. Keep human! See people, go places, drink if you feel like it.
  8. Don’t be a draught-horse! Work with pleasure only.
  9. Discard the Program when you feel like it—but go back to it next day. ConcentrateNarrow downExclude.
  10. Forget the books you want to write. Think only of the book you are writing.
  11. Write first and always. Painting, music, friends, cinema, all these come afterwards.

Transcending
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Lovecraft’s Literary Horror Birthday

Howard Phillips Lovecraft, born August 20th, 1890.”To say to a man ‘your belief is foolish’ is not in any way akin to saying ‘you’re a damn fool”. Often circumstances are such that a superior mind may harbour a delusion while a very inferior mind (through the chance circumstance of never having been exposed to delusion, or through lack of enough imaginative sensitiveness to be deluded) will be absolutely free from it. In such a case a wise man will have a damn foolish opinion, while a damn fool will be perfectly correct.”HPL in a letter to Robert E Howard, November 5, 1933

(Statue by Lee Joyner)

Happy Birthday Lovecraft, from Mind on Fire Books

12 Essential Quotes by Henry David Thoreau

Henry David Thoreau was born 12 July 1817, and died 6 May 1862.

12 Quotes

  1. Every poet has trembled on the verge of science.
  2. To affect the quality of the day, that is the highest of arts. Every man is tasked to make his life, even in its details, worthy of the contemplation of his most elevated and critical hour.
  3. The question is not what you look at, but what you see.
  4. There is no remedy for love, but to love more.
  5. A bore is someone who takes away my solitude and doesn’t give me companionship in return.
  6. How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live.
  7. The youth gets together his materials to build a bridge to the moon, or, perchance, a palace or temple on the earth, and, at length, the middle-aged man concludes to build a woodshed with them.
  8. Our houses are such unwieldy property that we are often imprisoned rather than housed in them.
  9. If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundation under them
  10. Nothing is so much to be feared as fear.
  11. It is a characteristic of wisdom not to do desperate things.
  12. Read the best books first, or you may not have a chance to read them at all.
Happy birthday Thoreau from Mind on Fire books

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On Writing Horror Willy Martinez

  • On Writing Horror amassed from an obsession to learn where the power of fear resides. An anthology of works studying the way in which writers evoke fear and how they may affect us. On Writing Fear is an index of terror, drawing from Aristotle, Longinus, Edmund Burke, Che Guevarra, Wordsworth, Foucault, H.P. Lovecraft, Todorov, and many more.

    Chapters include digital illustrations created by the author.

    Also available at the Apple iBookstore, Kobo, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords.

    A must have collection of research on the power of Horror- a tormented treatment of the human passions!

    Table of Contents for On Writing Horror

    Ch 1. Fear and War: Crafting the War on Terror Using Fear Appeals Ch 2. The Art of the Coup D'etat Ch 3. The Feminine Supernatural versus the Male Supernatural Writers Ch 4. Projecting Ghost Children to Find Identity Ch 5. The Supernatural Power of the Sublime in Wordsworth's Poetry Ch 6. Disorienting Characters with Haunted Spaces and Auditory Hallucinations Ch 7. Modern Ghosts Ch 8. The Fantastic in Fear Ch 9. The Fun Side of Fear: Faustus' Tricky Imp of Satan Ch 10. Glorifying Satan

    Some of the art included:

    [caption id="attachment_4846" align="alignnone" width="188"]Art for On Writing Horror Art for On Writing Horror[/caption] [caption id="attachment_4847" align="alignnone" width="200"]Art for On Writing Horror Art for On Writing Horror[/caption] [caption id="attachment_4848" align="alignnone" width="194"]Art for On Writing Horror Art for On Writing Horror[/caption]

Mad Men

  • Mad Men is a collection of three disturbing horror shorts from authors living in the Midwest. The themes explored in this collection range from man versus self, man versus man, and man versus creature. [caption id="attachment_4742" align="alignleft" width="188"]Mad Men eBook Mad Men eBook at Mind on Fire Books[/caption] Mad Men begins with Matt’s tale, a thought-provoking thriller which causes the reader to question his reality and what he fears within himself. The second tale explores the grotesque juxtaposed with beautiful nature, where the ending unfolds into a horrific dream, waking in even more terrible pain. The third tale is by seasoned horror writer, A.R. Braun – and his diabolical creatures never disappoint!  A.R. Braun’s goal is to be on the banned book list; we think this tale may just be evil enough to be considered. A must read before it does get banned! Mainstream Horror Shorts don’t always satisfy us in the way they should. They don’t open conversations about what it is that we fear or why we fear such things, they focus mainly on pop culture and gore. The writers in the Mad Men anthology understand the need for literate horror, opening discussions of man’s psyche. When these writers set out to tell a story, they are less interested in conveying fear and more interested in wonder, the sublime, and the infinite strangeness that drives all man and woman. Highly recommended for tweens, teens, and adults. The Mad Men anthology published by Mind on Fire Books. Written by Willy Martinez, A.R. Braun and Matt Lavitt. No part of this book shall be copied without permission from the publisher.

Ghost Children

  • The ghost children in “The Lost Ghost” and “The Wind in the Rose-Bush” are not restricted ghosts, and this is how these ghosts differ from the other ghosts of writers of Mary Eleanor Wilkins Freeman time such as Henry James, Sarah Jewett or Ambrose Bierce. These apparitions may seem cute, but think twice as these ghost children will leave you with goose bumps. This double feature of Mary E. Wilkins short fiction is creepy enough to leave you sleeping with the lights on.

Henry David Thoreau was an American author, poet, philosopher, abolitionist, naturalist, tax resister, and historian. He is best known for his book Walden, a reflection upon simple living in natural surroundings.

Synopsis of “The Plague” by Albert Camus

There is no more important book to understand our times than Albert Camus’s The Plague, a novel about a virus that spreads uncontrollably from animals to humans and ends up destroying half the population of a representative modern town. Camus speaks to us now not because he was a magical seer, but because he correctly sized up human nature. As he wrote: ‘Everyone has inside it himself this plague, because no one in the world, no one, can ever be immune.’

Watch this quick synopsis produced by The School of Life:

Ralph Waldo Emerson Top 10 Works

I was first introduced to Ralph Waldo Emerson in high school. I don’t recall exactly what I first read, I simply remember carrying his collected works around, along with my journal. Writing and Emerson to me were synonymous and my writing wasn’t writing unless it came after reading some Emerson. His essay on Self Reliance was what I needed and desired to hear at that time. I was a young man, coming into age, I was boxing and finding my self. 20 years later and Emerson is still my go to intellectual when I am going through some rough times, or simply stuck inside my head, and not in a productive way.

For those of you who are not familiar with Emerson, his upbringing and philosophy, this video below created by the Pursuit of Wonder provides a wonderful overview of his life and works:

Ralph Waldo Emerson and his top 10 works. Article for Mind on Fire Books

Ralph Waldo Emerson was an American essayist, lecturer, philosopher, and poet who led the transcendentalist movement of the mid-19th century.

Below are the top ten works produced by this prolific intellect:

  1. Nature (essay): This is the essay in which he put forward the foundation of Transcendentalism, a belief system that espouses a non-traditional appreciation of nature. He believed that one can learn to understand reality by studying nature.
  2. Self Reliance (essay): Emerson says “Trust thyself”. It is about trusting the force within you, working in harmony with your inner self (particularly the laws of nature), doing things naturally instead of mechanically.
  3. Brahma (Poem): Named for the Hindu god of creation, this poem is both religious and not at the same time.
  4. The American Scholar (speech): This is his speech given to the Phi Beta Kappa society at Cambridge University in which he stated the need for America to declare an intellectual independence from Europe and to develop our nation’s own identity.
  5. Politics (essay): This essay lays out his ideas on politics – being in favor of democracy and individualism. He was very opposed to the State and even goes so far as to say, “Every actual state is corrupt.
  6. The Poet (essay): This essay offers a profound look at poetry’s role in society. It was a major influence for Walt Whitman to publish his own book of poetry, Leaves of Grass.
  7. Experience (essay): An essay about the over-intellectualization of life and why utopian societies will never work. Quite astounding for someone of that era.
  8. The Snow Storm (poem): A beautiful rendition of both the fury or a nighttime winter storm as well as the creative artistry it brings. A poem which runs from furious conflict to slow appreciation in the period of a few lines.
  9. Divinity School Address (speech): A speech given to the graduating class of Harvard Divinity School, it argues that moral intuition is more important than religious doctrine.
  10. Uriel (poem): A tale of Gods and Goddesses, lines vs circles in nature, and the difference between “understanding” and “reason”. This poem, while deep and complex, has everything.

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On Writing Horror Willy Martinez

  • On Writing Horror amassed from an obsession to learn where the power of fear resides. An anthology of works studying the way in which writers evoke fear and how they may affect us. On Writing Fear is an index of terror, drawing from Aristotle, Longinus, Edmund Burke, Che Guevarra, Wordsworth, Foucault, H.P. Lovecraft, Todorov, and many more.

    Chapters include digital illustrations created by the author.

    Also available at the Apple iBookstore, Kobo, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords.

    A must have collection of research on the power of Horror- a tormented treatment of the human passions!

    Table of Contents for On Writing Horror

    Ch 1. Fear and War: Crafting the War on Terror Using Fear Appeals Ch 2. The Art of the Coup D'etat Ch 3. The Feminine Supernatural versus the Male Supernatural Writers Ch 4. Projecting Ghost Children to Find Identity Ch 5. The Supernatural Power of the Sublime in Wordsworth's Poetry Ch 6. Disorienting Characters with Haunted Spaces and Auditory Hallucinations Ch 7. Modern Ghosts Ch 8. The Fantastic in Fear Ch 9. The Fun Side of Fear: Faustus' Tricky Imp of Satan Ch 10. Glorifying Satan

    Some of the art included:

    [caption id="attachment_4846" align="alignnone" width="188"]Art for On Writing Horror Art for On Writing Horror[/caption] [caption id="attachment_4847" align="alignnone" width="200"]Art for On Writing Horror Art for On Writing Horror[/caption] [caption id="attachment_4848" align="alignnone" width="194"]Art for On Writing Horror Art for On Writing Horror[/caption]

Mad Men

  • Mad Men is a collection of three disturbing horror shorts from authors living in the Midwest. The themes explored in this collection range from man versus self, man versus man, and man versus creature. [caption id="attachment_4742" align="alignleft" width="188"]Mad Men eBook Mad Men eBook at Mind on Fire Books[/caption] Mad Men begins with Matt’s tale, a thought-provoking thriller which causes the reader to question his reality and what he fears within himself. The second tale explores the grotesque juxtaposed with beautiful nature, where the ending unfolds into a horrific dream, waking in even more terrible pain. The third tale is by seasoned horror writer, A.R. Braun – and his diabolical creatures never disappoint!  A.R. Braun’s goal is to be on the banned book list; we think this tale may just be evil enough to be considered. A must read before it does get banned! Mainstream Horror Shorts don’t always satisfy us in the way they should. They don’t open conversations about what it is that we fear or why we fear such things, they focus mainly on pop culture and gore. The writers in the Mad Men anthology understand the need for literate horror, opening discussions of man’s psyche. When these writers set out to tell a story, they are less interested in conveying fear and more interested in wonder, the sublime, and the infinite strangeness that drives all man and woman. Highly recommended for tweens, teens, and adults. The Mad Men anthology published by Mind on Fire Books. Written by Willy Martinez, A.R. Braun and Matt Lavitt. No part of this book shall be copied without permission from the publisher.

Ghost Children

  • The ghost children in “The Lost Ghost” and “The Wind in the Rose-Bush” are not restricted ghosts, and this is how these ghosts differ from the other ghosts of writers of Mary Eleanor Wilkins Freeman time such as Henry James, Sarah Jewett or Ambrose Bierce. These apparitions may seem cute, but think twice as these ghost children will leave you with goose bumps. This double feature of Mary E. Wilkins short fiction is creepy enough to leave you sleeping with the lights on.

Happy Freelance Writers Week: 5 Ways To Say Thank You!

Do you work as a freelance writer? Celebrate, my colleagues, for this is our week–National Freelance Writers Appreciation Week. The second week of February is National Freelance Writer Appreciation Week. While it’s always a good idea to show gratitude to anyone who contributes to the success of your organization, this week is a great time to reach out to the writers who drive your content marketing or other projects.

#1 – Write a Blog Post Highlighting Freelancer Efforts

Consider highlighting the role of freelancers in your organization if it’s appropriate for your brand. Write a blog post or create a video thanking your writers or sharing some fun behind-the-scenes information about how writers help you achieve your goals.

#2 – Share the Details of Success with Writers and Editors

Freelancers often work with little feedback or understanding of how their work contributes to your organization. Many of the best writers take ownership of their work, though, and when you let them know how they can help you succeed – or share what’s already working – you might be surprised at the response you get.

Take time this month to share feedback, statistics, and goals with your freelancers. Let a writer know the landing page they wrote helped you earn 10 percent more revenue last quarter, or tell your SEO writing team that their efforts resulted in an increase in page traffic. These little details make freelancers feel like part of something bigger, and it often spurs them to continue creating excellent content for you.

#3 – Send a Physical Thank You Card

With so much information exchanged in digital format, a physical mailing catches the attention. A hand-written thank you card shows that you cared enough to make a special effort. If you work with a crowd of freelancers, a preprinted thank you card in the mailbox can also make a writer smile.

#4 – Run a Giveaway to Celebrate the Week

If your budget won’t cover individual gifts or you work with a large freelance group, consider running a giveaway. When running a giveaway, keep things as simple and transparent as possible, and have fun with the entire premise.

#5 – Shout out on Social Media

Don’t be afraid to tag all of your writing friends and let them know how important you are to them. Writers love recognition, it’s how we make a living, so please share our work.

#6 – Hold a Digital Party for Freelancers

Invite freelancers to join you in a forum, Facebook group, or on Skype at a certain time, but avoid making video streaming a requirement since many writers choose to freelance because they value their privacy. Play some fun online party games, introduce various members of your in-house team, or present information about how your freelance team made an impact to your organization recently. Incorporate giveaways or awards to get freelancers excited and involved.

Thanking your freelancers doesn’t take a huge effort, but the impact of showing your gratitude can be enormous.