The Absence

22 Oct

Hello everyone!

Let me just say that I have missed writing for you all daily and I feel bad about my online presence disappearing for awhile there. So let me go ahead and explain what happened.

So from where I can see on my blog, I left with a writing prompt that I never officially did myself. No worries there, tomorrow there will be a new post that will allow you to see how I handled that prompt. Don’t worry, it is something that I’ve had done for a little while, I just need to re-read it and make sure that errors and other problems were cleaned up.

So why the sporadic hiatus? Well originally that took place due to me falling ill. A few weeks ago, I found myself with an inability to swallow, body pains, and a stubbornness to go see the doctor. After a few days I relented and went and made an appointment, only to discover that I had an upper respiratory infection. Luckily, getting over it didn’t involve any specific medication, just a lot of time sleeping and keeping away from a screen, hence why I didn’t return back to the blog for a week.

From there, the hiatus grew longer as I accepted a position at a new job and began filling out the paperwork and preparing to start. I had initially planned on returning to this blog after I had my first successful day, but found myself unwilling to get back to writing. Call it lack of ambition or enjoying being back to work, but either way I stayed away from writing something new.

But here we are and I have finally found my groove and need to write again. I believe at this point, looking at my blog and the successful, and oft times not successful posts, I have decided to keep the formula close to being the same. I will continually provide writing prompts for readers to do, show how I handled the prompt, and even provide some free creative stories once again.

However, I will be looking to add something new as well. Whether it is doing reviews, writing about something that has garnered my interests, or just a post like this, where I speak to anyone willing to listen, I will bring some kind of new writing to the fold.

So thank you to those that have followed my page and read what I have to say and start making a point to come visit these posts once again, I promise that you won’t be disappointed.

 

P.S. visit my Amazon page whenever you have a chance because within the next few days I will be releasing a new, non-fiction piece just in time for Halloween.

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Weekly Writing Prompt: Let’s Get Spooky

2 Oct

Hello one and all! Sorry for disappearing over the last four days, let me just say sinuses can be a pain. Literally. I’ve been dealing with sinus issues here in Illinois where our temperatures have gone from high’s of mid 60’s to highs of mid 80s, then back down again. It has lead to a lot of headaches and more. However, I know many of you don’t read my blog to hear about my sinus woes. No, you come here for the writing content. So let’s get to it.

If you haven’t seen from my last several posts, or have been hiding under a rock, it is October, which means several things. First and foremost, it’s my birth month (huzzah!), it’s SUPPOSED to feel like fall now, and of course, Halloween. Now if there is one thing that I’ve expressed in many of these weekly writing prompts, it’s that I love the genre of science fiction and horror. However, in most of my writings, I have avoided such things and for good reason. This is simply a practice session and practicing what you’re already good at isn’t much practice, now is it?

However, for this entire month an exception is going to be made, and every week we will be doing some kind of writing prompt that has to do with Halloween. So if that doesn’t tickle your fancy, I’m not sure what will.

So now you may be asking, but Ty, what are we going to be writing this week then? Well that’s an excellent question. This week’s prompt is going to focus on something very close to home for you. In fact, it’s so close that odds are while you read this, you’re already there.

We’ll be focusing on writing something that scares you in your home. One of the things that I find most terrifying in horror is when something takes place in a character’s home. I mean think about it, your home is your safe place. It’s your sanctuary and escape from all the things in the world that scare you. That being said, when something is written or said about your home that changes that perspective, makes it terrifying or brings a sense of unknown into your sanctuary, that can be one of the most horrifying things possible.

So scare both yourself and me. Write a short story or a flash fiction involving the character getting terrorized in their home. Remember to, the only parameters are that the story take place in the character’s home and that it’s scary. If you want your character to deal with a haunting, go for it! Or maybe a mass murderer is on the loose and stalking outside of your character’s house. Maybe the zombie apocalypse has arrived and the character is making a last stand in their childhood home. No matter what it is, make it terrifying and make it fun.

To help get you started, let me remind you of the famous quote from the movie The Strangers. In that movie, the characters, who are obviously murdered, ask why they were the ones targeted. The response: “Because you were home.” Same premise for this prompt. So let’s get to work!

Come back tomorrow to see what my story entails.

Legion

27 Sep

Every fall an army is born. One that will strike without warning, without fear. They hide in the shadows, close to trees. They do what they can to not be seen. It is with this knowledge that I write to you, a simple man racked with unbound fear. For I have seen these creatures, these terrible monstrosities and I know what they are capable of.

Do not rake your leaves, as pushing these littered corpses together into one conglomerate only makes the beast that lurk in them stronger. This pile, the monument to your hard work of keeping a tidy yard, will soon become a home base to these monsters and you will inevitably become an accomplice to everything that they are capable of.

I myself fell victim to their trap. I was like you once, wanting to keep my yard pretty by having the leaves raked tightly together and ready to be picked up by the end of the week. I was proud of the work I did, as it took a full hour of manual labor to get it done. When I finished, like many have before me, I opened a fall brew and sat back and admired my work.

That admiration of my work continued through the fall because these monsters are a dormant beast. Yes, you heard me correctly. You musn’t let your guard down. As I felt victory through the fall and even all through the winter I was high on my accomplishment. I had kept my yard beautiful, with displays of decorations to celebrate the holidays as an added touch.

No, the legion struck in the spring. I was unprepared for when it happened. My foolishness was leaving leaves in the back as I felt the public eye couldn’t see them. That is where the problems happened. The monstrosities hid and laid as pupae in the dead leaves that had created a warm layer for them to thrive in the winter. When spring struck, their children were born and they attacked at me in a voracious way.

I had went to let the dog out and had turned on the outside light. It was a crisp spring evening and as I stood, now enjoying a spring ale from my favorite local brewery, they struck. An army of the brown heathens flew at me, or so I thought, with intense speed. I stumbled as best as I could into the house, yelling in terror for my dog to return. He did but at that point it was to late. The beasts were inside my house and swarming around their god. I swung at them and tried to smash as many as I could, but it was too late. My home was now theirs and I was a slave to their control. To this day their image haunts me, swarming and worshipping the lamp in my living room.

the moth

The legion of moths are now supreme.

Weekly Writing Prompt: BFFs

26 Sep

Well it’s that time of the week. The time of the week where I do my own weekly writing prompt and just hope that people love it. I won’t lie, even after doing some reading in a field I’m not use to, hello Astrophysics for People in a Hurry, I still wasn’t sure what I was going to write about. I was stumped to be honest. I found myself questioning if I can up with something that may be a bit too challenging?

I then decided nah, that wasn’t the case. This is just writing practice and practice is what every good author and writer needs. So I sat down, spun in my chair multiple times and thought about things that could be fun to write as I continued to get dizzier and dizzier. In the end, this is what I came up with:

Bob and Dan had been friends over the past thirteen years. It all started on a fateful summer evening, many years ago. Both Bob and Dan had made the mistake of dating two women that were secretly in to one another and were looking for a way to date in private. Both of the women’s families had disapproved of homosexuality in any form and so both of them were looking for a way to date without said families knowing. Enter Bob and Dan.

Bob had met his date while working in a local junkyard. He was a stout man in his early thirties and he was happy working in the yard. Bob had left high school to take over the place but soon found that his father did not think as highly of himself as Bob did, and so the junkyard business went to his older brother instead of him. However, Bob was not deterred and felt with enough work and dedication, one day his brother would get bored of the company and just give it to him. By the time Bob met his date for the evening, that plan still hadn’t taken effect yet. However, Bob’s inability to operate the crane correctly, which in turn saved the car his date was trying to rescue a lost bag out of, and his overall dim-witted charm, allowed for him to land his date for the evening.

Now in Dan’s sad case, many felt that his date had taken pity on him or was trying to use him to get a better grade in the course he was teaching out in the community college. Dan was a man with a plan that went down in a ball of flame. He went and got his doctorates and believed he would be a voice of real change in the world at a prestigious university. He had studied and devoted his life to history, wanting to find some error that historians made about World War II that make him the most prominent figure on the subject. Sadly, his life work went up flames as most people felt his research made him look like a nazi sympathizer over anything else. In shame, he returned home and began teaching at a local community college. In his time there, he packed on a hefty belly and watched sadly in a mirror as his hair left his head, only to reappear on his chest. Sometimes he would eat ice-cream in front of said mirror while having himself a good cry. His life was miserable and so that is why many believed his date wanted a better grade in his course over an actual date with the man.

So on that same evening thirteen years ago, Bob and Dan were introduced at a local bar and while their dates left them to go talk with each other, Bob and Dan slowly began their lifelong friendship. It started with Bob complaining about the bar having sports on because he didn’t really care and would rather be watching game shows. Dan launched in a bit on the history of game shows, since they were also a favorite pass time of his. Before you knew it, both men went from talking about game shows to their general disdain of sports, how they preferred mix drinks over beer, and how both had never been to Utah.  That summer night turned out to be a magical night for both the two men and their dates.

 

 

 

So that is just the start of a story and one that I may flush out and expand upon later on. The reason I decided to write about these two men is due to the fact that I plan on having similar characters show up in my current manuscript. Now the reason I did that is because my current manuscript is meant to be a dystopian horror novel but I wanted to be able to add a bit of myself to the piece.

Now with any writing, we all put a bit of ourselves into any work. With this example, it comes from a guy that ended up hanging out with me and my friends for an evening after his date ditched him. We didn’t become life long friends or anything like that, in fact, after that night I haven’t heard from him since, but nonetheless it did inspire the story. But anyway. The reason I say this is because with my manuscript I wanted to write to fun and lovable characters that could periodically appear throughout the series. Since most of my writing is dark and the characters more serious, this was the perfect time for me to try writing out a fun setting with some lovable losers.

So that’s basically how this story came to be. It was practice for me to leave my comfort zone of horror and science fiction, which is what this writing prompt was all about. What did you write this week? Feel free to comment below with a link and I’d be happy to read it and share my thoughts as well!

 

Weekly Writing Prompt: Something New

25 Sep

Hello fellow writer’s and welcome to Tuesday’s Weekly Writing Prompt! As always, I’m here to encourage you to make sure that you’re writing everyday. Not only is practicing writing a good habit, but will also make you better at it in the long run. That and reading, reading is also important. But I digress.

For this week’s writing prompt, I thought I would issue a challenge over something to practice with. I feel that it’s always best to try and find ways to improve your writing. Obviously, reading and practicing as I stated above will go a long way, but that isn’t the only thing you should be doing.

So here is my challenge: Break from your usual routines and read and write something unique and different. I’m talking a whole new genre for you. Many of us writer’s find ourselves in niches, certain genres and writing styles we love, and don’t worry because I’m one of those writer’s. If you check out my book, A Monstrous Tomorrow, you’ll quickly see my influence from H.P. Lovecraft, Edgar Allan Poe, and more.

There is good reason those influences show up too: it’s because it’s the genre I love to read. Even looking at the bottom of the page you’ll see on my Goodreads that I’m currently reading more Lovecraft, some Neil deGrasse Tyson for science, and Leviathan Wakes for my science fiction. These just happen to be the genres I love and so I constantly look to them for inspiration.

However, just like I stated in my challenge, we as writer’s need to be able to work outside of the genres we love. That’s why I’ll also read books like I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell, or Total Frat Move, both of which are comedies about college party life. Is this a lifestyle I personally lived? No. Is it one I wish I lived? Probably not. However, the books are comical to read and give insight into an area that I don’t know well and can transition into my own work.

So this week, first go out there and try to find a short creative work in a genre that’s new to you. It could be erotica, if you’re in the mood for that, or maybe a romance piece. Maybe you’ve stayed away from the horror genre because you’re worried reading it will make it hard for you to sleep, well just read it during the day! Find something outside of your comfort zone and just read it.

Then, once you’re done reading, I highly suggest trying to imitate the work you read and write in that genre. Even if you have a manuscript or a small piece you’re working on, you never know how this study and practice of a new genre may help you. Do you feel like two of your characters may fall in love? Then read a romance and see how an author handled a scene like that. Maybe you’re planning on having a character do something in the realm of science. Perfect! Read some science fiction and see how those authors handle science and then write it your way.

This week’s prompt is fun and easy. Find a new genre. Read the new genre. Write in new genre.

Simple. See you tomorrow with mine.

Short and Sweet

24 Sep

Hello everyone! Happy Monday and I hope all of you are having a great start to the week!

Now usually Monday’s are a weird space for me on my blog. Sometimes I shamelessly promote my work. Other times, I give updates on what I’m currently writing. There have even been a few times where the start of a story takes place (like last Monday, and yes, I still plan on finishing that). Today however, I thought I’d keep things short and sweet.

So first off, as I am apt to do every month, let me start this thread by just saying thank you! In only a few month’s time I’ve quickly been able to get my work and my writing out there to an audience that is slowly but surely growing everyday. I absolutely love the support everyone gives me and the interest that they have in what I have to write and say, so thank you! Thank you for the reviews that you’ve left on my book, thank you for reading my blog posts every week, and thank you currently for your efforts in voting in Author Shout’s Cover Wars.

Now for those of you that don’t follow me on social media, and really you should because I post great content daily, I recently entered the cover of A Monstrous Tomorrow into Author Shout’s Cover Wars competition. The event began yesterday and run’s until 8 am eastern time on Sunday 9/30/18. If you haven’t had a chance to get over to that page to vote for my cover or haven’t done so yet today, I would greatly appreciate it. Winning this competition gives A Monstrous Tomorrow free publicity as their “book of the week.” So what does this include? Well simply that they promote my book on their website, shout outs, and newsletter. All of this would be huge for me since I’m a still a relatively unknown writer. It’s easy to get to, but just in case, the link to the voting can be found here.

In addition to voting for my book to win Cover Wars, which btw my dad made the cover so voting for it is also telling him he did a job well done, I could also use more reviews on my book on Amazon. Currently I’m sitting at 9 and with one more Amazon will begin to recommend my book to people reading similar works. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, it can be something simple as “I loved this book!”

If you can’t afford the book right now, I would also keep an eye out in the future. Last week I ran a countdown sale on the Kindle edition which was counting down the days, until my favorite season, autumn, started. Now I’m saying a ton of great deals will be going on during October, but it is my birth month AND Halloween coincides well with some of the themes in my book, so I’d keep an eye out for some killer deals then.

I believe that’s all I have to say in this post for now. Thanks again for being an amazing support system and as more people come forward to share my work and tell people, the more I’ll be able to put out. Have a great day everyone, hope you kick ass at this entire week, and come back to the page tomorrow for the next installment of my daily writing prompt!

Weekly Writing Prompt: Autumn

20 Sep

Sorry for the delay on my coverage of my own weekly writing prompt. I found myself a bit sick yesterday and dealing with a headache, which made it a bit difficult to stare at a computer screen for too long. However, I am back today and so here is how I handled Tuesday’s writing prompt:

A persistent gust of wind ruffles my brown hair, hair that I had carelessly forgotten to get cut over the past few weeks. A smile crosses my face as I shiver from the cold air that had taken refuge in that last gust. I pull my hoodie tighter around me.

Just a week ago it had felt like I was in a furnace, standing out back and playing fetch with my dog. I remember it vividly. My arm pits had been stained with sweat and the beads that were on my brow continued to roll into my eyes with each toss of the ball. I would look up into the sky, hoping in vain that a cloud would pass by or that the breeze that was dancing through the air didn’t feel like a heater set to 100.

And now I sit quietly in my front yard, watching as the sky fills gently with grey clouds. The temperature has dropped and the two trees on either side of me begin to shed their leaves. I watch as each gust of wind shakes the leaves free and they float down to their resting place in my yard.

I close my eyes and I listen as some of the leaves dance playfully down the street. Each leaf scratching the blackened asphalt, creating their own kind of music that can only be heard at this time of year. Another gust, this time cooler than the last. I pull the red hood attached to my shirt up over my head as I look above and watch as the first few raindrops begin to fall, the first rain of the new season. I smile again.

As the rain splatters the ground I begin picking up my chair to bring inside. I take my time, ensuring that I enjoy every second of this blossoming new season. With autumn finally arriving, bringing its refreshing temperatures, changing leaves, and tasty treats, I keep in mind what comes after. Always lurking in the shadow of autumn is winter, with its frigid airs and icy roads.

So I take one last moment as the cool rain sends goosebumps across my arms and appreciate the weather while it’s here. I can never get enough of my favorite season.

 

 

So as you can see in this post, I decided to add myself as part of the story again. I did this because I felt it was important to have some kind of character in the story to really relay the feelings of not only the weather, but the season as a whole.

One thing I did, albeit it was brief, was mention what the other seasons felt like. The reason I did this was simple: to have that compare and contrast. Both summer and winter can have harsh weather, so by showing what people hate about the two, it makes autumn feel even sweeter to both the character and the reader.

That’s all for today’s blog! Hope you enjoyed and if I have time keep an eye out tomorrow, I’ll be continuing Monday’s story then!

Weekly Writing Prompt: Weather

18 Sep

Hello everyone! It’s that early time of the week again where I force everyone that reads my blog to consider doing a bit of writing. For many people that read this blog, the death throughs of summer are upon us as autumn tries to claw desperately into the limelight, bringing promises of pumpkin spice, colored leaves, and of course spooky time events.

The reason I’m bringing all of this up is because I absolutely love autumn. Besides my birth month (October) being encompassed by this season, it also brings on cooler weather and my personal favorite type of drink, apple cider. However, that is neither here nor there.

No, as much as I would like to continue talking about myself and about fall, it is time to get onto this week’s writing prompt. What I think would be fun to do for any writer reading this is to to write a short piece about your favorite season and the weather that corresponds with it. Maybe you love summer and the hot 90 degree days that come with it. Could it be you love spring, a season that breaks from the icy death of winter and brings blooming flowers and warmer weather with it. Maybe instead you love winter, when time finds a way to stand still when snow gently falls.

No matter what, write a bit about your favorite season and the weather that takes place in it. The goal of this prompt is to really make your reader feel like they’re experiencing your favorite weather and season all at once. As always, I will be giving my take on the prompt, and if you haven’t pieced it together yet, mine will definitely be singing the praises of autumn and why it’s clearly the most superior season of them all.

Now get to writing!

The New Home

17 Sep

In our neighborhood, you turn on your outside light when it gets dark and you leave it on.

That’s what Susan and I were told the second night we when we had moved in to our newly acquired home in the middle of the suburbs. It was an absolutely gorgeous house. Two stories with a balcony on the second level. There were three bathrooms and 4 bedrooms and to say the place felt like a mansion to the both of us was an understatement. The price had been relatively cheap and we were unable to find a good reason why. Even our realtor couldn’t give us a good answer, but with Susan starting her new job on Monday and the price being great, we took the place as swiftly as the early bird catching the worm.

The warning about the light didn’t come right away. I believe this was due to the fact that we simply couldn’t figure out where the hell to turn it off so there was no reason to warn us. Where most homes have the switch next to the front door, ours was not there. In fact, there were hardly any light switches to be found in our front living room. Again, both Susan and myself found this odd, but hadn’t noticed it before we moved in. Besides, we were busy trying to get all of our worldly possessions into the home over the course of one weekend.

We had moved into a tiny little suburb of Nashville after uprooting our lives from Minneapolis. My wife was a gifted song writer and had taken a full time job in Nashville to help collaborate on works for struggling artists. She was given the gig after helping to write some of the lines to Machine Gun Kelly’s diss rap of Eminem.

This was an opportunity of a lifetime for her but the problem was that they wanted her to start immediately and so the chaos ensued. Within a week we had found our home and from there the company she now works for sent people to help pack all of our stuff, throw it into a moving vehicle, and then helped us haul our lives 13 hours south. When we finally arrived in our new home, there was a chaotic flurry of commotion as we got all the boxes placed in the proper rooms before sending our help on their way.

By the time we had finally settled in, we were exhausted. A quick call for takeout was sent in and we both sat on our floor in relative silence, slurping down noodles and dipping our chicken in some broth. When we finished eating, I offered to take out the trash while Susan went to go lie down for the night.

Walking outside and down to the curb where our can was, one that had been quickly delivered by the city, I noticed that every home in our neighborhood not only had their outside lights on, but also kept their yards in pristine condition. I thought it was rather odd and as I kept on walking I noticed another oddity to the neighborhood. Silence. Although fall had just taken its hold on the community, with dead leaves lying gently in the street, there was no noise. Not a single car going by or insect chirping loudly into the cool evening. There was no wind shaking the trees or bushes for added sound. It was simply quiet. It made my skin crawl and goosebumps began popping up on my flesh. I hurried to the can and threw away the trash from our dinner, making sure to keep the lid from slamming shut before bustling my way back to the house.

I went to tell Susan about how eerily silent our neighborhood was and how uneasy it made me feel, but she was already lying on the mattress fast asleep. My fear slipped away as she let out a loud snore and I watched as her curly hair fell over her face as she rolled over. In that moment, I decided I was being irrational about the eery silence outside and instead I let the wave of fatigue from this past week roll over me as I flopped onto the mattress next to her. I reached over and grabbed a blanket out of the box she had found and threw it over myself. Soon I was like her, snoring gently while tossing and turning in my sleep.

 

Writing Prompt: DA BEARS

12 Sep

So as per usual, yesterday I released my weekly writing prompt which you can read here.  However, for the purpose of this post, I will do a quick highlight of it and say that the prompt asked for people to write about their favorite things. One of mine is the Chicago Bears. Without further ado, here is how I wrote the prompt.

(Btw this is quick take of last week’s game and how I felt)

The old boogyman had returned from the shadows of the locker room. We had thought we had crippled him, taken him out of the game. Chicago had unleashed their monsters in the first half, a destructive force that had been missing for the past several years. The boogyman had seemed frightened and wounded, hauled off in a cart while leaving his newest prodigy to be feasted on by the ravished monsters of the midway.

But then he returned, pumped full of magic juice that let him forget about the leg the monsters had tried to take. He stood their and fired off his cannon over and over into the helpless swarm of monsters. The boogyman had returned, garbed in his horrendous green and yellow attire, a color scheme only the most dimwitted of fans could admire, and he attacked.

And attacked.

The boogyman had returned to strike fear into the hearts of every Chicago fan, with every play leading closer to their fall. An all to familiar narrative began to unfold. The offense of the Bears, grizzly and aggressive in the first half fell to a whimper and soft swipes at the opposing defense. The monsters of the midway ran and hid as the boogyman sliced and diced his way through them, chipping away at their power.

There were a few valiant attempts by both the offense and defense in the end to slay the beast from the north, but they failed like so many had before. When the clock hit zero, the boogyman had done it again, he had ripped the heart out of Chicago Bear fans all over again.

Throughout their fan base, heads fell painfully into hands. Things were thrown and cussing ensued. A false hope had been born that this was the year the Bears would be feared again. Instead, a resounding message spread gently through the ether, “there are the bears we know and love.”

And with that message, a painful reminder was born. Win or lose, your favorite team will still be one that you’ll begrudgingly love. We’ll see you in December number 12.

 

 

 

 

And that’s my coverage of my writing prompt for the week. As you can see I decided to write on my favorite sports team, the Chicago Bears. However, instead of doing a traditional post following the format of “this is my favorite thing and here is why,” I decided to try and tell a story without a traditional way of reporting on a sporting event.

The main reason I chose to write it this way is because I know not everyone is into sports and so I wanted to make fun and interesting to read for those that don’t follow football. I made the opposition an enemy while trying to show the bears as a hero while still sticking with the fan base’s nickname for the Chicago Bear defense.

I hope you enjoyed the piece and check back in tomorrow to see what new content will be headed your way!