What would Mondays be without The Story Reading Ape’s Monday Funnies? Thanks for the chuckles, Chris!
A short love story
Copyright © 2021 Jack Eason
Cover Design by Richard Dockett
A whale chaser departed the Japanese factory ship, then altered course towards the becalmed double-ender. After the crew returned with her under tow, having found no one aboard, the captain began reading the log of the East Wind…
From him down to the lowest deckhand, she stirred the hearts of these tough seamen. The captain recognised her Pilot Boat design. Her keel was laid in 1905. She was one of the last of a long line designed by Colin Archer, the Scottish Norwegian boat designer, famous for creating the design for Fridtjof Nansen’s indestructible arctic ship – Fram.
Like her sisters, East Wind is 46 feet overall, double-ended and rigged as a gaff ketch. A more sea-kindly vessel you would be hard put to find. When they came across her she was laying head to wind, secured by her sea-anchor. Her sails had been furled by her owner. How long since, or indeed his identity, the factory ship’s captain was yet to find out as he returned to her log book…
Olav Knudsen (Bill to those that knew him) had set sail aboard his first love from Bergen in the dead of night; once more barely a step ahead of the authorities. This time he was making himself scarce for theft from a ship’s chandlery. He now had enough anti-fouling paint to give his beloved East Wind’s bottom several years protection from Teredo worm and other living organisms that attach themselves to any unprotected wooden hull.
Within a week and a half he was heading well out into the Atlantic. As yet, destination unknown. All his life he had known nothing but trouble.
When he was small he had become accustomed to the daily regime of vicious beatings from his often drunken father Olav senior. Which is why he hated his Christian name. Anything was better than being named after his tormentor! The only human being that ever showed him unconditional kindness, love and compassion was his mother Tilde, until the day she died protecting him from his father’s alcohol fed rage…
Spiders . . . I’m really uncomfortable around spiders.
This is probably why I toss them in as scary swarming monsters. They’re always big and give the heroes trouble. The thing is that a giant spider gets boring even if you change up the species. Webbing, poison, fangs, stabby legs, jumping, and those creepy eyes can only get you so far. Sometimes, an author needs to take the icky monsters and make them a whole lot worse.
Well, Windemere has a bunch of monstrous spider species and I haven’t even started with those. In fact, I’ve only done two types from what I remember, but I have others planned. Here’s the list:
- Horned– Giant spiders that live in mountains. They have horns, which are very long and pointy. Some varieties will be able to fire them, but they will not regenerate immediately.
- Winged– A rare species found in heavy magic areas. They don’t create webs because they are always flying around. Their webbing is used to snag prey and build protective egg sacks.
In the self-publishing world, there are many different platforms on which you can sell your books. Most know about the uber-popular Amazon KDP, but what about the others?
As it turns out, there are over 55+ book retailers out there that sell self-published books like iTunes, Barnes&Noble, Kobo, and a whole lot more.
But formatting a book and submitting it to all the different platforms can be tedious work.
Thankfully, this is where book distribution services like Smashwords, Draft2Digital, and PublishDrive step in. These platforms will take your book and distribute it to a list of publishing retailers, control the analytics, collect royalties, and pay you in one lump sum.
This is incredibly efficient and helps to get your book out to more readers with little to no extra work.
Given that the three services are very similar, how do they stack up against each other? Which is the right option for you as an author?
Horror is in the HOUSE today…and over the weekend for many since, um, HALLOWEEN! So, today I’d like to talk about horror as a genre.
Horror gets a bad rap. Most people automatically default to brainless, low-budget slasher movies. People somehow forget that we can thank horror for some of the greatest works of literature from Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein to Bram Stoker’s Dracula to Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House.
***For the record. Horror as a genre is still very much alive. It’s just that, after all the 70s slasher movies, these books have been re-shelved as speculative fiction. Books once listed as ‘horror’ we can now find under mystery, thriller, suspense, science fiction, paranormal fantasy, etc.
Horror has always pushed boundaries while shining a light on what we as a culture fear the most. If we can forget the chainsaws and college coeds who trip a lot, horror can teach us all how to be better authors…no matter which genre we write.
This genre fascinates me simply because (as I mentioned earlier), I believe it is the most difficult genre to write. Sure it was probably easier back in the days that movie audiences ran screaming from the man in a really bad plastic ant outfit. But these days? As desensitized as we have become? Unsettling people is no simple task.
That’s why I’d like to talk about it today because no matter which type of fiction we write, we can learn a lot from what horror authors do well.
Horror Evokes Reflection
Powerful fiction mines the darkest, deepest, grittiest areas of the soul. GREAT fiction holds a mirror to man and society and offers messages that go beyond the plot. A really great story should, ultimately lead to some form of self-reflection.
on The Creative Penn:
How do you research a book in the most appropriate way?
How can you keep track of your sources and attribute them correctly, as well as avoiding inadvertent plagiarism?
How can you get your book/s into libraries?
Vikki Carter talks about all these questions and more.
- Overcoming dyslexia and learning to love books
- Research as a discipline
- Choosing where to focus research
- Different ways to research your book
- How do we know when a source is good enough?
- How to avoid accidental plagiarism
- How to cite sources
- How to get your books into libraries