A Child’s Nightmare

Earlier this year I had a task to fulfill: Write a one-page short story, not more than 400 words, Fiction/Drama. I did that, submitted it, and waited. A while later the reading was ready. It took quite some time until the information got to me, but finally, it’s here. Listen to the Short Story Reading below.


1pg. Short Story: A Child’s Nightmare

by A.J. Alexander on Vimeo


A Child’s Nightmare By Aurora Jean Alexander

I waited in my grandmother’s salon. The entire house seemed to walk on tiptoes. Did they really think I didn’t know what my parents wanted to tell me?

I was in the living room yesterday when they broke out in one of their arguments.

“I think we should take Stephanie to that boarding school. It would be easiest for her not to see her home being sold, our belongings split up, and us moving to different cities.” My father had said.

My mother replied acidly: “Yes, like you cared a lot about our girl, when you came home, day and night, drunk, reeking of perfume and other women.” My father yelled. “Stephanie never saw anything like it.” He lifted his hand as he wanted to slap her, but my mother screamed fearfully: “Don’t you dare to hit me again, not in my house!”

A calm and controlled voice behind her said: “The way I see it, this is still my house, daughter. I don’t want to hear one more word about it. As for you, soon-to-be-former-son. I don’t want to see you ever lifting your hand again against my daughter or anyone else in this family. It is time you both move on with your plans. Does Stephanie even know you separated and will get a divorce? You cannot just ship her out like a package and expect her to accept everything upon her return.”

My mother replied sourly: “It was his job to tell her. But we all know he is a coward.” My father hissed at her. “How dare you saying that.”

My grandmother shook her head and made up her mind: “I’ll tell her tomorrow.”

Now I stood in front of her in the salon. The door to the back fields stood wide open. My grandmother explained in a few words: “Listen, child. Your father and mother will get a divorce. They planned to have you go to school somewhere else to save you the trouble of listening to their arguments any longer. But I insisted you stay here instead, live with me for the time being. Is that okay?”

I nodded. “Yes, grandmother.”, tears streaming down my face. Then I turned around, darted through that open door, and did what I would do all my life. I ran towards the sun and light, into freedom, away from those who caused me pain and darkness.

(Copyright, March 2021)

Picture courtesy of ‘Teen Magazine’

What every writer should know before writing a first novel – Written By Lisa Poisso

Your first time attempting anything you value is fraught with risk. Most authors I know tackle their first novels with little more than hopes and dreams under the hood. Under these conditions, writing eighty thousand words can seem like an impossible exercise, and publishing those words remains an inscrutable business best left to the rich, the famous, and the extremely lucky.

And yet people do it all the time. Should you?

Before you jump the gun and publish a premature effort, learn what many authors wish they’d known before they started writing that book in the first place.

Continue reading HERE

When A Self-Published Author Dies What Happens To Their Books? – Written By Derek Haines

on Just Publishing Advice:

It’s not a question you ask every day, but what happens when a self-published author dies?

For the family of an author, you may want to keep the books available for sale.

In some cases, it’s relatively easy if there is a publishing contract and the publisher is still in business.

But it is not so simple if the author was self-published.

Continue reading HERE

What’s a REAL Writer? Spotting Terminological Inexactitude Syndrome – Written By Kristen Lamb

Being a writer is the best job in the world, aside from those fortunate enough to be paid to pet kittens or sample new ice cream flavors. But is writing a REAL job? This question has set fire to the entire psychiatric community. Okay, most of them…the ones in my head *turns off fire alarms*.

Many in our modern culture don’t believe writing qualifies as a legitimate occupation. An unusual percentage of ‘average’ citizens firmly maintain that being a writer is NOT a real job. These same individuals, however, collectively spend billions of dollars and most of their free time enjoying entertainment (created by writers).

Cleaning Teeth= ‘Real’ Job

Writing= Goofing Off

Thus far, those interviewed have yet to note the irony of their assertions (or looked up definition of irony). Since being a writer is not a ‘real job,’ then this leads us to the next most reasonable conclusion. Writing, in truth, may be a mental condition. I have written about the 13 Ways Writers Are Mistaken for Serial Killers.

So there IS that…

Today is Friday, and since we all debated Sean Penn’s book in the comments section on my last post (Was he serious or poking fun at the establishment?), I figured this oldie but goodie was the perfect dash of humor to lead y’all into the weekend…

CONTINUE READING HERE

Why FBI Profilers Mistake Writers for Serial Killers – Written By Sue Coletta

You might be surprised by how many traits writers share with serial killers. FBI profilers have actually profiled a subject only to discover s/he’s not a killer. S/he’s a writer. Here’s why a profiler might mistake writers for serial killers.

We work alone.

Writers spend hours alone, plotting and planning the perfect demise. We let the fantasy build until we find an ideal murder method to fit our plot, and a spark ignites our creativity. We’re giddy with excitement and can’t wait to swan-dive into our story.

Continue reading HERE

How To Sell Your Book On Amazon [70 Book Marketing Tips] – Written By Dave Chesson

on Kindlepreneur:

You wrote a book, and now you want to sell it on Amazon. I’ve got good news! Kindlepreneur is coming in clutch with 70+ book marketing ideas that will help you sell more books on Amazon’s eBook and print book marketplace.

Also read Kindlepreneur’s Marketing Mastery Guide.

Let’s dive right in.

In this article, you will learn:

  1. 71 book marketing tips
  2. How to sell your book on Amazon
  3. All sorts of practical resources

Continue reading HERE

The 5 Most Common Mistakes in Book Cover Design and How to Avoid Them – Written By Clayton Noblit

on Written Word Media:

Book cover design has long been an important part of getting readers to pick up a text. Today readers are shopping for both physical and eBooks online. Book Cover Design is more important than ever.

Readers click through countless options and offers. A good cover can be the difference between a reader stopping to check out your description, or clicking on to the next page without stopping. Getting a reader’s attention with your cover is one of the first steps in getting someone to read your book.

Think about your book cover as an advertisement. It’s the most widely used piece of advertising creative you will have. And it’s important to invest in.

In this post, we’ll outline the five most common mistakes in book cover design and how to avoid them. These tips can help you whether you are creating your own cover with a program like Canva, or working with a designer. When you work with a cover designer, keep these tips in mind and make sure you give them creative direction that won’t force them to make the mistakes below.

Continue reading HERE

Speaking Without Freaking: A Writer’s Guide – Written By Ann Harth

on Fiction University:

Public speaking has been defined as the number one fear in Western society today. Number Two? Death. As one well-known comedian pointed out: This means that at a funeral you’d rather be in the coffin than giving the eulogy.

A writer writes, correct? But in the 21st century, a writer must also network, market and sell. This calls for some comfort in the public speaking arena. If you’re anything like I was when I started out, speaking in front of a group seemed less inviting than stapling my fingers together

Successful writers will probably have to speak in public at some point. Book signings, launches and author talks can all generate a portion of the income we need to support our writing habits.

Accepting these opportunities can make a huge difference to a writer’s career.

Continue reading HERE

How to Establish Yourself as a Freelance Writer – Written By Jori Hamilton

on Digital Pubbing:

So you’re considering the possibility of becoming a freelance writer, but you’re not really sure what steps you need to take to make it all happen. Sound about right?

Becoming a successful freelance writer is a bit of a whirlwind; nobody seems to fall cleanly into the career path. Instead, those who ultimately become successful will almost always tell you that there was no shortage of pure luck at hand. Every success story is different—someone may tell you they got their start with one blowout piece and the work has been rolling in ever since. More likely there were a lot of smaller pieces that paid a bit here and a bit there that ultimately went into building a strong reputation.

Regardless of how most people start, if you are serious about giving freelance writing a shot, there are a handful of things you can do to prepare yourself. Of course, there is no step-by-step guide to success, but having the basics figured out at the start can put you off on the right foot.

Continue reading HERE

Random Thoughts on Writing #amwriting – Written By Conny J. Jasperson

I’ve mentioned before that I don’t review books I don’t like. So, without naming names, let’s talk about why some books are not on my review list.

WritingCraft_lazyWriters

Passive phrasing: If you watch them in real life, people don’t “begin” to pick up that knife. They don’t “start” to walk away.

They reach for the knife. They take the knife from the drawer.

They walk away.

We’re thinking and writing the story as it falls from our heads. Because we get into storytelling mode, the dog begins to bark, and the neighbors start to complain. In real life, the dog barks, and the neighbors complain.

When you write with a passive voice, it’s easy to use too many quantifiers, such as “it was really big” or “it was incredibly awesome.” It becomes easy to “tell” the story instead of showing it: “Bob was mad.”

CONTINUE READING HERE