Flash fiction challenge winner

I’m excited to announce that I have the winning entry to this week’s Flash Fiction Challenge at Indies Unlimited! Check out their post for the photo prompt: http://www.indiesunlimited.com/2016/11/05/cindy-young-turner-wins-flash-fiction-challenge/

And here’s my flash fiction piece:

Solo

(originally posted at Indies Unlimited)

First mate’s log, the former Trident

Day 1 adrift. I spot a ship in the distance but I do not think they can see me. Time runs short. Those deadly, spiteful creatures continue to torment me.

Day 2 adrift. The ship is closer but they still cannot see me. The white devils surround me now. If you read these words, I beg you not to be deceived by them. The white dolphins. Captain said they were good luck when we spotted them leaping near the ship’s bow. They seemed to like it when the cabin boy played his drum.

Day 3 adrift. I fear this will be my last day. The ship is still too far away and my voice only croaks out a call for help. The dolphins circle closer. I thought I glimpsed a drum around the neck of one of them. I keep imagining those last hours on deck, the white beasts flinging themselves at the ship, ramming holes and leaping so high they tore down the mast. The screams of my shipmates as they were flung into the sea and the red waters churning about me as I clung to a piece of wreckage. Their teeth gleam in the night.

First mate’s log, the Pequod

Found the wreckage of the Trident. The lone survivor died not long after we pulled him on board. Something about the white devils. Ahab is certain he meant the white whale. Have only spotted a pod of white dolphins.

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Haunting reads

ravenFall is here. There’s a chill in the air (maybe, since the weather keeps going from hot to cold here), leaves are turning red and gold, and the nights are growing longer. Halloween will be here in less than a day. I have candy and pumpkins at the ready. And nothing says Halloween like a spooky read. Here are a few old and new favorites.

The Girl With All the Gifts: I don’t read a lot of zombie books, but this one is really different. I’d say it’s more of a literary zombie tale. Very unique. And it will make you think long after you’ve finished it.

Ghosts by Gaslight: This is a collection of spooky short stories. If you like gothic, Victorian reads, check this one out. Some stories were better than others, but I found a few gems.

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children: Not necessarily scary, but it does have a fantastical, creepy vibe. I haven’t seen the movie but really enjoyed the book.

The October Country: My first introduction to Ray Bradbury and still one of my favorites. Lots of spine-tingling creepiness here. “The Emissary” and “Uncle Einar” are still memorable after all these years.

Dracula’s Brood: You can’t go wrong with classic vampire tales!

 

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15 years…

This was my post on the 10-year anniversary of September 11:

https://cindyyoungturner.com/2011/09/11/10-years/

Lots of things have changed over the past five years, but my feelings about that day are still the same. 2016 has been a rough year so far. Friends and loved ones are going through hard times. It’s a very ugly election year. If we can take one thing away from the events of 15 years ago, maybe it should be that during that horrible tragedy, we came together and supported one another. We need that more than ever these days. Never forget it.

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Murder your darlings

“Kill your darlings, kill your darlings, even when it breaks your egocentric little scribbler’s heart, kill your darlings.”

-Stephen King, On Writing

Writers love to write. Well, most of the time that is. Actually, for me quite often it’s as painful as opening a vein. But even harder is cutting out something that you’ve written and loved. Maybe in the light of day it’s not as brilliant as you thought it was in the wee hours of the morning. Or maybe it just doesn’t fit in the story any more.

I now have a folder on my computer with a bunch of chapters that have been completely cut from the current draft of Thief of Destiny. It’s sad because there are some great scenes and characters in those chapters, but the truth is they no longer fit with my new plot line. And since the plot is working out much better than before, all I can do is send them to the “old chapters” folder and hope that maybe they’ll see the light of day in a future book or a novella. Somewhere I have a file called “darlings” with deleted paragraphs and scenes from book 1. It’s tempting to post some deleted scenes or make a “director’s cut” version, but on the other hand, things are generally cut for a good reason. Chopping down my beloved prologue from Thief of Hope was so hard at the time; now I can barely remember the original version because the changes worked so much better.

So the writing proceeds. Chapters are cut and new words are added. The book is coming along. I keep thinking of the words of a wise fish as inspiration: “Just keep swimming, just keep swimming.”

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Cover reveal: The Other Side of Philip K. Dick by Maer Wilson

Congrats to Maer Wilson on her upcoming memoir about legendary SF author Philip K. Dick! Love the cover. Keep reading for a great excerpt.

PKD ebook coverThe blurb:

What is the truth behind the legend of Science Fiction great, Philip K. Dick?

In spring, 1972, Phil Dick moved to Fullerton, CA, where he met Theatre student Mary (Maer) Wilson. Amid marriage proposals, marathon talk-fests and a love for music and films, they forged a strong friendship that would last the rest of his life.

Wilson’s quirky, yet unflinchingly honest, memoir reveals a funny, compassionate and generous man. She captures an inside view of one of our literary greats – a brilliant writer who gave the world some of its most revered Science Fiction.

“As a literary figure, Philip K. Dick is popularly perceived as a crazed, drug-addled mystic with a sinister Third Eye. Nothing could be further from the truth – the Phil I knew was a warm, humane, very funny man. Maer Wilson understands these truths far better than I, and The Other Side of Philip K. Dick casts a welcome shaft of daylight upon the real PKD, as opposed to the dark, distorted caricature Dick has become.” Paul M. Sammon, Author of Future Noir: The Making of Blade Runner

“I found this book engrossing and authentic – a truthful and serious account of the last part of Phil Dick’s life by someone who was a fundamental part of it and who has the skill to write about it. There is evident love and friendship in this book, but also honesty. This was the Phil Dick I knew.” James P. Blaylock, World Fantasy Award-Winning Author

About Maer Wilson

Maer Wilson Author PicAfter a successful career being other people, and later teaching others the many tricks of that trade, Maer Wilson has decided to be herself for a while. Turns out she’s a writer.

Maer first met Philip K. Dick in 1972 when he moved into the apartment across the hall from her in Fullerton, California. They remained close friends until his death in 1982. Maer was always an avid reader, but it was Phil who introduced her to science fiction, and she fell in love with the genre, later expanding into most aspects of Spec Fic.

When she’s not writing, Maer plays online video games, teaches college and reads. Maer is a partner in Ellysian Press, a small publishing house. She lives in the high desert of Southern Nevada with her two poodles.

Named 2015 Fantasy Author of the Year by AuthorClassifieds.com, Maer’s books include the recent Apocalypta Z. Her Modern Magics series includes the novels Relics, Portals, and Magics, as well as novelettes and stories set in that universe. Maer recently contributed to, compiled and published the charity anthology, The Dark Dozen. She is currently working on a science fiction novel, Truthsayer.

You can find all Maer’s books and novelettes at Amazon and other online retailers. For more info, you can visit Maer’s website at http://maerwilson.com/.

You can also find Maer at:

Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads| Pinterest

Excerpt from The Other Side of Philip K. Dick

“But first let’s set the scene.

It’s April, 1972 in Fullerton, California around 7:00 PM. The sun has set and the night is cool, balanced between full spring and hints of summer. Can you feel the slight breeze?

The street is Quartz Lane. Some of the many apartment buildings in the area line the short road. We’re going to go to the first complex on the right, just past the church. There’s a small courtyard and the residents all have their curtains drawn. Most are translucent and clearly show the light from the apartments. But there. That first apartment on our right? The one upstairs. Yes, that one with the light shining through a gap in the curtains.

And the one across from it. The light isn’t as bright, but we need to note that one, too.

We can almost hear the giggles of two girls as we make our way up the stairs and fade through their door. Shhh… We’ll be as quiet as the ghosts from the future that we are.

The scene is set. The actors and orchestra are in their places. The curtain rises.

The conductor taps his baton on the music stand.

The stage lights come up.

Let us begin.

It happened back when I was still immortal.”

Praise for The Other Side of Philip K. Dick

“I found this book engrossing and authentic – a truthful and serious account of the last part of Phil Dick’s life by someone who was a fundamental part of it and who has the skill to write about it. There is evident love and friendship in this book, but also honesty. This was the Phil Dick I knew.” James P. Blaylock, World Fantasy Award-winning Author

“As a literary figure, Philip K. Dick is popularly perceived as a crazed, drug-addled mystic with a sinister Third Eye. Nothing could be further from the truth – the Phil I knew was a warm, humane, very funny man. Maer Wilson understands these truths far better than I, and The Other Side of Philip K. Dick casts a welcome shaft of daylight upon the real PKD, as opposed to the dark, distorted caricature Dick has become.” Paul M. Sammon, Author of Future Noir: The Making of Blade Runner

“The strongest piece of writing I’ve read in years. Wilson’s pacing is perfection. The Other Side of Philip K. Dick is filled with laughter and the kind of love only true friends can share. Even if, for some reason, you’ve never heard of Philip K. Dick, you will fall in love with him and Wilson. The ending had me crying, like “end of the Notebook” crying. Utter perfection.” M. Joseph Murphy, Author of the Activation series

“There are many tales of epic friendships, but there is one huge difference here: The Other Side of Philip K. Dick is real. Wilson’s prose gives us an inside view into two minds, a genius and a young girl. Through her eyes I am left with one thought — this is a man I wish I had known.” –Danielle DeVor, author of the Marker Chronicles.

“Frank and revealing. One part faithful memoir, one part a wonderful evocation of Phil’s final 10 years. Writing with crisp clarity, Maer’s humorous anecdotes wonderfully evoke both the times and the man. Her conversational prose sparkles with truth and winning story-telling. Best of all, this warm tribute replaces the oft-told myths about Phil with unique insights into his caring, compassionate and generous nature.” Daniel Gilbertson, Friend of PKD

“As a fan of Dick’s fiction, I was engrossed by these amusing, insightful, and poignant reminiscences of the last ten years of his life. Wilson evokes a human portrait of a warm, funny, unassuming man who was a good friend to a young student. This memoir is well-written and heart-felt. It illustrates not only the private world of a great writer but what it was like to be young in the seventies in California.” Carol Holland March, Author of The Dreamwalkers of Larreta

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