Audiobook Release

L'Thauun by ESWynn

Currently I'm working with a team of independent sound engineers who are back in my hometown on a couple of audiobook projects. Our first product is going to be a one disc audiobook album with a complete audiobook version of Pink Carbide following after that. Stay tuned for more!

For now, check out this sample of what we're working on and prepare to be thoroughly creeped out!

Want more weird fiction? Check out!

Wednesday Y.A.W.c #3

(Young Adults Writing creatively!)

What you need:
Selections of an original piece of Shakespearian literature
Selections of a piece of Shakespearian literature in a “modern translation.”

The Set-Up:
“Okay, so today we’re going to work with some Shakespeare in its original form and in a form that is much more familiar, language-wise."

The Activity:
Pick out matching sections of Shakespearian literature, but try to find two sections that have been drastically changed by the “translation” process. Have students volunteer for roles and then give them copies of the “script” that they can perform in front of the class. Assign one group to perform the “hard” version and one group to perform the “easy” version. Afterwards, ask your students to take out a piece of paper and write about what they’ve learned. Offer “Clarity in writing in order to get one’s point across better” as an example.

You're Not Invisible

One of the biggest problems I've run across as a writer is that sometimes you just feel invisible. You run, you scream, you fight, and you try endlessly to be heard but on a good, rare day the best you can do is convince someone to (grudgingly) read one of your short pieces.

I know what that's like. I've been there, and it can be incredibly frustrating. So frustrating, in fact, that somedays you just feel like throwing all your writing in the trash and never picking up a pen again.

Don't do it. You have the power to be a writer and to be heard right there inside of you, and I'm willing to help. Why? Because I believe that small and independent presses are the only good presses. The giant multinational media outlets are broken and corpulent. You don't want to be a part of something so disgusting and backward. Self-publish instead, blog, be your own boss, freelance, do whatever it takes to build your own foundation as a writer independent from corporate publishing. How do you start? Get a webpage. A free blog is a great start. Now, look for places to get samples of your work paired with a link to your webpage so people are inclined to check you out. I've built two sites with this in mind: WEIRDYEAR daily flash fiction and Yesteryear Fiction so submit well and submit often, but not just to these sites. Get out there and hit as many different ones as you can. For every story you get published online with your link attached to it, that's another link you can spread around which leads to your page. Put these links out there too. Search engines and link sites are your friends. Don't be afraid to email anybody. Run with your work like it was someone else's and you were getting paid $20 for every email you sent. Nobody is going to run as hard with your work as you are, so run as hard as you can with it.

And most importantly, don't give up. You are the future.

Classics that don't suck

Recently I opened a new site providing "classics that don't suck" as a resource for educators working in the middle and high school grades. The idea is to provide not only classics that are more engaging to teenagers, but also to reduce the cost of paper and the impact that printing tons of handouts and anthologies has on the environment, both in trees and in the disposal of hazardous chemical byproducts. With Revitalit, you can save trees by giving your students a link instead of a handout, or even just find a few new classical pieces to fall in love with.

Either way, it's free, so check it out!
Yesteryear Daily Fiction

Wednesday Y.A.W.c #2

(Young Adults Writing creatively!)

What you need:
A hat or a box to put a bunch of 3x5 cards in.
Enough 3x5 cards for your entire class.

The Set-Up:
“Now I’m going to give you a prompt, and then we’re all going to write for ten minutes. When the ten minutes is up, we’re going to put our cards into this box, but don’t put your names on them. Then, when we’re done, we’re going to draw cards out at random and read them out loud one by one anonymously, followed by a quick critique of things that might have been done better. I want all of you to listen and take notes as if each story were your own, because you’ll learn a lot more about how to write better if you do.”

The Activity:
Hand out 3x5 cards and remind your students not to put their names on them. If they want to claim their work after it has been drawn, read and critiqued, that’s okay, but the anonymity of the exercise will lead to better critiques because people won’t be afraid to say what needs to be said. After a ten minute period of writing from a prompt, (any prompt will do - - what is your dream vacation, write about the moon, etc.) have your students put the cards into a “hat” so they can be drawn out randomly. For each one, give the reader student time to read the story out loud, critique the piece, and then open the floor for an open critique of the piece. Do this with each story.

The Scratch Contest

Linda Sands, a friend of mine whose fiction is slated to appear on Weirdyear on December 1st of this year, has got a neat little writing contest you might want to check out. Here are the details:

submission criteria:

any subject short fiction
5000 words max*
please include name, address, phone,
title and word count
$10usd entry fee via paypal

Now accepting entries for the
Winter Quarterly Contest
December 23, 2009
Winners announced Jan 3, 2010
**For those students interested in the first scratch junior writing contest**
the deadline and entry fee is same
be sure to state your age group 9-12yrs or 13-18yrs
maximum word count is 2500
there will be winners in both categories with $75 prize

Check out the official page with submission information

Wednesday Y.A.W.c #1

(Young Adults Writing creatively!)

What you need:
A little time brushing up on your fairytales (if necessary.) Just skim some summaries, remind yourself of how all the Disney classics end, that kind of thing.

The Set-Up:
“Now I want you to take a moment or two to think back on different fairytale type stories that you’ve heard or watched in the past. Stories like Hansel and Gretel, Beauty and the Beast, Little Mermaid, or anything else that Disney has remade into a movie. Pick one story you think you think you could write even a little bit about, and then rewrite it however you see fit.”

The Activity:
Your kids will be rewriting fairy tales and stories that have been reworked into Disney classics like Snow White, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and The Frog Prince. Encourage them to be creative and take the fairy tales in entirely new directions. Examples to consider:

Little Mermaid: A Science Fiction retelling in which either Ariel or the Prince is an alien lifeform who cannot breathe oxygen, though a dangerous procedure might allow them to finally meet face to face.
Paul Bunyan/Tom Thumb: What if they were best friends?
Snow White: Kicked out of the castle, she goes into the woods and raises up an army of Dwarves to retake the castle. Then, she finds Prince Charming in the dungeon, sets him free, and they all live happily ever after.
Peter Pan: A comedic take where instead adults fly off to Neverland to escape the “natural” process of aging backwards that might occur in an alternate universe.


I love America. Call it nationalistic pride if you want, but I think that this country still has potential to be great. I was born here, and even though the third world conditions all around me sometimes make me so disgusted I want to ditch this piece of dirt and start over in a country that actually cares about the health and happiness of its citizens, I’ve stayed. Why? Because I think that this place has the potential to be great. We have the potential to become a first world nation.

What’s the root of our problem? It’s not immigrants, it’s not pollution, it’s not money, it’s not any religious group or ethnicity– it’s greed, it’s unhappiness, it’s a lack of time, a lack of educational resources and a media-enhanced polarization of ideologies. We’re the richest nation on Earth, but there’s such a huge divide between the upper classes and the lower classes that it’s almost worse than feudalism. How do we fix it? By taking action. We have to buck the system. We have to stand up, call in sick, leave work in droves, turn off our televisions and stand outside on street corners with signs. We have to ask our leaders, our bosses and our politicians the kind of questions that are going to make them squirm. We have to change our daily habits virally, en masse, and send a message to the big corporations that rule this nation in the only voice we have left– the voice of the consumer.

I’m not advocating violence. I’m saying that we need to simply stop playing the game that the rich have written the rules for. We need to stand up and work together to change the rules or we are going to be trampled to death by the fortunate few as they swarm in like pigs at the feeding trough. We need to inform people, show them how their materialism selfishly hurts others. We need to educate people, make them think, and take action now before it is too late.

And if “the man” tries to put us down, if the system pushes on us, takes away our voice, our rights, our liberties or anything else we have, we must stand stronger and work harder toward a future where America will be a nation we can be proud of again, a nation where our children can grow up safe, where our children can always get the healthcare they need, and where our children won’t have to be afraid of speaking out against corruption wherever it may hide.

A Speech

I was talking with "Tril O'Bite", a friend of mine, about various sundry things relating to Weirdyear, and during the course of our conversation I received this awesome speech (written by the same friend) that I swear I'm going to deliver someday to a large audience.

"Why, Weirdyear has an enormous role in society, of course. It will be read by millions everyday, they will consult it for guidance much like going to the astrology column. The honor of having your story published on it will bring fame and glory to the fortunate few. Beautiful nerdy short-haired women will flock to my door and hardened criminals will turn themselves in. Flowers will bloom and cats will purr. The planets will be exquisitely aligned every day. My car will stop leaking and the chickens will poop away from the walkway. Nuns will fly again and the economy will recover. Pastoral farms will float around like giant lilypads in the sky, not making shade for too long in any one spot..."

Beautiful, simply beautiful. All true too! ;)

Wed. Writing Prompts XXX

1. Write a story about a maze. It could be a maze on paper, a magic maze, or even a maze that at first seems ordinary (like a corn maze) but turns out to be anything but your average romp in the fields. Be creative. See where your mind takes you.

2. Imagine getting a letter in the mail which says something to the degree of “the strange green liquid leaking from the classified storage facility at an undisclosed location within three miles of your home has been declared non-toxic” - - when you didn’t even know that this facility existed (until now.) Consider this idea for a few minutes, then write whatever comes to you.

3. Create a name that inspires you to write by combining two completely separate terms which mesh to create a new genre (like impressionist cyberpunk or classic rock fantasy.) Consider this new genre, play around with what the stereotypical piece bearing this label might be like, and then write your story.

4. Look at something random (like a bullet-riddled stop sign) and come up with an unusual, off-the-wall explanation for it. (Military bravely fights off invasion of evil, animated stopsigns bent on world domination, etc.) Now, make it into a story.

5. Write a love story where some grand, seemingly insurmountable obstacle rears its ugly head and threatens to destroy any chance at a relationship before it can even really start. What is this obstacle? What makes it so difficult to overcome? Is it eventually overcome, or does your story have a different ending?

6. Write about a sunrise. What does the sun dawn upon in your story? What does this say about society? About humanity? How meaningful is a sunrise?

7. Characterize your family. How would you label them? (A family of politicians? A family of black sheep? A family of moviestars? A family of TV commercial actors? A family of fixers?) Explain why you chose this generalizing metaphor to describe your family. Now, use that as the beginning of a story.

8. Create a story which is built around some bizarre metaphor (like a story about a long haul trucker which is ultimately a grand, complex metaphor for one man’s family life or the final moment that convinces a nun to leave the nunnery and go out into the world. Be creative, see where it takes you.

9. Consider a profound problem with the system, like the fact that those who break the law out of necessity because they are poor are penalized financially, the fact that one angry old professor has the power to utterly destroy your academic career and doom you to a life of poverty no matter how many A+’s you get in other courses, or the fact that schools which have poor scores on standardized tests because of their lack of funding receive less funding as their schools and scores deteriorate. Write about it, expose it, wake people up and make them think about it. Be the ripplemaker in the world.

10. Create your own writing prompt. Sit down for a moment and think about it, consider what you might tell someone to try writing about if they told you that they were all out of ideas about what to write about. Make it as simple or as complex as you like, feel free to encourage your writers to be creative or try weird or new things.

Note: This is the last one of these I'm going to do for now. From now on, Wednesdays will feature creative writing exercise resources for teachers of young adults. Make sure to come back and check out the new material! :)

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