My writing challenge for May, 30 CUBED, is OVER.
You can partake of these stories here, while electron supplies last: https://storify.com/ebonstorm/30-cubed-speculative-fiction-for-the-…
30 stories in 30 days introducing 30 new characters has, as usually, been both grueling and gratifying. I also had four other writers who participated and I have watched their works improve every day. (You guys were great!)
For myself, I have completed 24 of the 30 days with a new or continuing tale of speculative fiction. As usual, I tried not to tackle low hanging fruit: no vampires, no werewolves, no zombies. To make it harder, I would not tell more than one tale of alien invasion (though I love them so). This month has netted me about 40,000 words, give or take.
I created or augmented four serials, one of which I will be entering into Jukepop this month as an ongoing story.
Air Conditioning (Parts 1-5) – I always write a tale of alien invasion. In this story, the aliens are completely oblivious to the existence of Humans on Earth, since they never touch down on the surface of the planet and don’t appear to notice Humanity at all. Humanity’s reaction to the creature, however, varies wildly.
A Mistress in Thunder – The Spear of Heaven (parts 1 and 2) – Started as part of a serial I was writing elsewhere, I found the character of Radi, the Mistress in Thunder, warrior, titan and all around bad-ass, too compelling to not start more than one thread at the same time. I have three different points in the character’s life and it has been a excellent story so far.
Apostate, Magus, Barbarian (3) – I also added to the first Radi, Mistress of Thunder serial stream with the beautiful, fierce and oh so Black princess and her two future companions, Uriel the Magus, less than evil sorcerer of the Shattered Realms and Kom the Ukla who has a penchant for mega-violence and a love of fried human fingers…
More Tales of Tech Support – I added to the already over-the-top adventures of a technical support agent for Farnsworth’s Monster Emporium and Death-Ray dealership, Todd. In this selection, Todd is winnowing down the candidates for the next hiring wave. Like everything Todd does, he maintains his aplomb under the most difficult circumstances.
Writing Prompts (7)
Five of the stories were writers prompts from other publications or contests with strict limits on what I could produce. Limitations force me to be creative and to envision stories I might not otherwise try. Writing prompts can make you grow.
1. Come Forth the Rising Tide – required I take five random characters from a list on Chuck Wendig’s site and weave them into a short story. (I will probably make something much longer because I had so much fun with the characters.)
2. Yearning was a photo prompt from SciFiIdeas.com which has become one of their featured stories when I was done. It can be found on their site.
These three stories were written for a UK short story contest of 500 words and a sensory theme. I will be submitting them on Monday.
3. Betwixt: An avenger of a South American tribe takes the battle to his corporate enemies after being empowered by two opposing mystic forces.
4. Bismillah: An Middle Eastern son of a sheikh loses his vision and discovers his senses and mind growing more acute to compensate.
5. Damned Decent: A Good Samaritan meets an unusual stranded vehicle on the side of the road and offers to help.
6. Can You Make Room for the Impossible?: A biomech research officer, MX2 and Scoutship Pilot Alena Maximoff investigate a survey call from a planet with wildly conflicting data, unusual enough for a Scoutship to consider investigating. This story came from a writing prompt sent to me by a friend on StartYourNovel.com. I have written five other stories on his site, so we have become friends.
7. Adleiavde: A tale of a young man and his quantum-challenged feline, Addie who had a habit of appearing exactly as people wanted him to be… This was a writing prompt from my monthly writing group I participate with on LinkedIn Sci-Fi Readers, Writers, Collectors and Artists. I won the month of May with this short story and plan on submitting it to Daily Science Fiction for publication.
Clifford Engram, Paranormal Investigator (4)
Keeping Engram in my mind for his next adventures, I planted four seeds.
1. A Drink and A Smile: A rendezvous with an old girlfriend in order to get information on a case, leads to gratuitous violence, poison and death. Not a strange outing considering Engram used to date a Dweller-in-the-Dark.
2. With Just a Spot of Darkness: Introducing Ink, reveals another primary group of metaphysical entities who believe it is their duty to protect the human race by rendering judgement on it. Ink works for them but disagrees with the process. She and Engram are sure to butt heads in the future.
3. The aforementioned Betwixt, where Paulo harasses the megacorporation which destroyed the rainforest where his tribe once dwelled peacefully. Now Paulo living between all concepts exacts his cruel revenge.
4. How the Other Half Lives: A tale of a family whose patriarch is unable to come home and meets his family for the first time on a trip to a very far away beach. Clifford Engram will meet this family in the future. They will not invite him to the beach…
One Shots (6)
Stories not related to anything else. They come, they go and blaze like meteors in a summer sky, brief but awesome.
1. The Moment of Truth: A knight on a long quest decides he has done enough for the world and wants to just go home free of predestined events. It is dark humor best suited for those who know a bit of roleplaying games and how gamemasters force players on adventures.
2. Sterlings: A hot-blooded scientist, after discovering a plant which can survive and transform water from saline to fresh, realizes he wants to try and woo his equally passionate wife back. His flower of choice is the sterling rose he created in his lab.
3. Sun Kings: A tale of aliens on a mission of mercy. They arrive near Earth to recharge within our sun and to inform us that an extinction-level-event is going to happen soon and there is nothing they can do to help us except…
4. Night Terrors and the Bears who Abet Them: A strange story of a legendary Teddy Bear and the Night Terror trained by him.
5. Humanity Redux: An alien intelligence watches Humanity as we go through a growth state without being aware of how far we’ve already come.
6. Uncovered: A writer has died and learned he was not quite good enough to get into Heaven. His only hope is for his work to be discovered in the future and inspire enough people to have his sentence changed. But almost all copies of his work have been destroyed after World War II…
What will I do after I come back from the brink of Madness?
Send stories to anyone and everyone who is interested. Retool my websites to account for these new stories and my latest work on Medium.com. I have written thirty stories there since the beginning of the year in addition to these.
Most importantly get my work out there. My social media work has paid off and continues to grow my readership. My blog/websites are slowly coming along and I hope the retool will increase my readers further. I will be extending several of my other serials as well, focuses on finishing them and putting them into print.
We are at the midpoint of the year and I had planned to sell 18 stories this year. I am up to number 10 and have eight more to go. It has been slow going but I am not about to give up now. We are going to INCREASE SPEED, not slow down.
LET’S KEEP WRITING. If you need a writing partner, look me up.
I have a writer’s group on Facebook: ‘Dammit, I’m a Sci-Fi Writer, Not a Doctor’: and we are always looking for new voices of genre and speculative fiction to share ideas, blogs, and stories: https://www.facebook.com/groups/471829406194599/