HUMAN-SIM and Infinite Connections

Cal Newport recently published an article about Ray Bradbury and his short story THE MURDERER. What caught my attention is how real the world Bradbury illustrated has become. Interestingly enough, HUMAN also captures this idea of being constantly connected, though my focus is not on the mental distraction as portrayed in Bradbury’s tale or Newport’s writings. I am much more interested in the social implications and conversational impatience which I see evolving in regular discussions. Bradbury’s distracting phone call or Newport’s note of the disrupting email are the same as the conversationalist who interrupts one when speaking, believing they know the rest of the sentence better than the speaker. The remaining stories to be told in the HUMAN story universe explore the consequences of when these situations are amplified. An idea misinterpreted because the listener came to their own conclusions prior to completion of the speaker’s thought. Seeking to be understood when the patience or capacity doesn’t exist. Being in many conversations at once, intending to capture it all. These works are the basis for my own thoughts on conversation and one’s ability to listen and the other’s need to be understood. HUMAN-SIM is the attempt for the story world characters to have it all – or to have “the world” – at the same time. What happens when we can’t have it all? When we have to chose “the world” over something else? What if the real world is speaking to us, but we are too focused on “the world”[…] [Keep Reading]

HUMAN: The eBook

Perhaps the most motivating feeling in the world is to self-publish an ebook for the first time. For me to see my own work on Amazon available for sale is an incredible experience. Last week I self-published my short story, HUMAN, and of course I encourage everyone to read it. A huge thanks to Ani Paoletti, who provided the cover art. The story world of HUMAN is the result of my own reflections on our social experience in the last ten years (prior to COVID). Much of my incorporated ideas are expressed in further detail in my interview with fellow creative Andrew Hall. HUMAN explores the emotional response to professional and social situations given technology’s presence. How do we feel when we can’t remember something specific or keep up with someone in a conversation? How do we feel when we can’t contribute to a conversation because we didn’t read the latest news story? How do we feel when we aren’t genuinely listened to? These are questions I’ve been trying to understand since I graduated from college. I believe we all feel this way at some point in our lives. We’re in the middle of talking and the person we’re conversing with is looking elsewhere, or they pull out their phones or cut us off and attempt to finish our sentences. One thing I never understood was how someone could come to realize what I was going to say before I finished my thought, while at the same time being able[…] [Keep Reading]

Interviews from the Void: Episode #51 – Brett Abrahamsen

Highlights Ideas are more important than the writing itself. Flash fiction and short stories are essential mediums for ideas. We need ideas that haven’t been written about before. Welcome to the 51st episode of Interviews from the Void, where I interview writers about their writing process, discussing the mechanics and physicality of the craft. In this episode, I chat with writer Brett Abrahamsen, who specializes in short fiction and seeks to get his readers to think deeply about the existence of the universe and their place within it. His flash fiction piece, A NEW KIND OF APE, is an intriguing read. It was the year A.D. 73,000,000 on Alpha Centauri. A scientist was preparing to give a speech. The speech was to discuss a book, for which the scientist had received a prestigious honor. The scientist’s book was only a sentence long. He had called it A New Kind of Ape. Archaeology was the dominating field at the time, and the book had reflected his discoveries in this area. Specifically, it described his excavation of the fossilized remains of a new, previously-unknown species of ape, a kind which – or so he believed – was central to evolution. He began to speak before an appreciative – ecstatic, in fact – audience. “I feel this is the culmination of my life’s work – the thrill of discovering a new species”. He cleared his throat. “I was excavating beneath some curiously inscripted stone markers, and there were the remains, remarkably well preserved, of[…] [Keep Reading]

Human – A Short Story

I was fortunate enough to meet Ani Paoletti via Twitter when she noted she was providing free book covers for writers during the COVID-19 pandemic. I’ve been searching for an artist to help me with cover are for a long time through Twitter and DeviantArt with no luck to date. I sent a note to Ani and she helped put together the cover below for my short story, HUMAN – which originally appeared in Kyanite Press last year. This cover exceeded my expectations and I wanted to share it. I’ll be doing an interview with Ani in the coming weeks, serving as another entry in the Interviews from the Void series. Read on to explore the world of HUMAN. I hope you enjoy it. Be sure to reach out to Ani if you need cover art assistance. In the near future, we’ve overcome the limitations of non homogeneous communication. A man lost in his life and career hopes to get the latest HUMAN-SIM upgrade and get promoted at work, with unexpected consequences… DAY ZERO My brain processor lagged. Susan – the barista who always took my order – told me the price for my regular, black coffee. It was always $9.56. My Human-SIM integrator card already released $9.56 from my account and transferred it to the café. Yet something was wrong. “Scott, I’m afraid prices went up today.” “They did?” I asked after a brief delay. Maybe I had a poor connection to the network. The café was one of[…] [Keep Reading]

My First Story

Looking back on the my writing history, I think it’s important to thank the group of people who read and published my first story, Saturn: Journey to the Core. Without that first publication, it is possible I would not have had the confidence to write more short stories. I started this blog in 2014 and posted on and off until 2016. During that time, I received a comment from someone starting a new quarterly publication, and they were seeking submissions. The publication was New Zenith Magazine, featuring art, poetry and short stories of all genres. My short story, Saturn: Journey to the Core, appeared in the inaugural Summer, 2016 issue. New Zenith is no longer around, but I felt I should share this story with my readers. Thank the first person who published your story. They believed in you. [Keep Reading]

Kyanite’s Healing Words Project

My friends at Kyanite Publishing had a great idea when COVID-19 pushed many into isolation: publish short works on their website for reading enjoyment and a means to escape to another world. There are many great story tellers associated with Kyanite Publishing, and I hope my readers will check out their works at Kyanite’s Healing Words Project during these strange times. My short story, HUMAN, is now available for free as part of this project.   [Keep Reading]

THE SCHLIKT Audio

Halloween 2018 was one of my personal favorites. We had a great many riveting writers sharing their work via audio for the Kyanite Press Special Halloween Edition. A special thanks again to the team at Kyanite Press for promoting such a fun way to share the Halloween spirit. If you haven’t picked up your copy, it’s a great edition. Also be sure to check out the audio version of my short story, THE SCHLIKT, for what I hope to be a riveting experience for my readers (and now my listeners).  [Keep Reading]

Short Story: THE SCHLIKT

Super happy to announce my short story, THE SCHLIKT, was published this month in Kyanite Press’ special Halloween addition. A lot of great writers have their work in this publication, including Benjamin Hope and Eric Lahti. I’ve interviewed both of these great writers and can’t wait to see more of their work. Benjamin’s piece in particular reminded me of M. R. James, one of my personal favorites. A very special thanks needs to be given to B. K. Bass, for putting this all together. In addition, thank you Sam Hendricks for her editing and proofreading work. Thank you so much. And of course, thank you to the writers who contributed their work for the rest of us to read and enjoy. It’s all about the story and the creative minds behind it. [Keep Reading]

Interviews from the Void: Episode #12 – Kristina Mahr

Highlights Pursuing our dreams as writers. The traditional publishing process. The importance of writing weekly short stories to improve our writing craft. This is my dream, and that I am lucky to have the opportunity to pursue it. Welcome to the twelfth episode of Interviews from the Void, where I interview writers about their writing process, discussing the mechanics and physicality of the craft. In this episode, I chat with young adult writer Kristina Mahr about finding more time to write and growing her brand with her first book, ALL THAT WE SEE OR SEEM, coming out on May 15, 2018.    Arthur: Your first book, “All That We See or Seem,” is coming out on May 15. Congratulations on your first book! What a great accomplishment! How did you just decide “I’m going to do this” and push through all the obstacles of writing a book? Kristina: Thank you so much! Honestly, it was years in the making. My New Year’s resolution had been “write a book,” or “try to write a book,” or some variation of that with increasing frustration with myself since college. I would chip away at an adult contemporary novel that lived in my head, but I was very sporadic and inconsistent with my writing time. Until my sister had a dream one night about a girl who falls in love with a boy she meets in her dreams, and I couldn’t shake it. I have been an avid Young Adult reader for years, and[…] [Keep Reading]

Interviews from the Void: Episode #10 – Adam Inglis

Highlights There are no hard rules to writing. Managing all the tasks associated with being a writer. Strategies for our writing productivity when we only have 20-30 free minutes per day. It has an adventurous and hopeful feel, which fits my attitude to writing.  Welcome to the tenth episode of Interviews from the Void, where I interview writers about their writing process, discussing the mechanics and physicality of the craft. In this episode, I chat with short fiction writer, Adam Inglis, about how he focuses during his writing sessions. Arthur: Your website is very well maintained. Do you run it yourself? Adam: Thank you, it has taken quite a lot of work to get it looking the way it does. In short, yes I run it. I own the domain from one company (fasthosts) but the hosting and design tool comes from wix.com. They have a rather bold claim that “It all starts with your stunning website.” There is, however, some restrictions on what you can and can’t do. If you can live with that, then it’s a decent service. It took a while to accept that what I wanted was too complex. The website as it can be seen today is a happy compromise. Arthur: How do you create the images on your site? Adam: I created all the artwork using free-to-use images that I’ve either manipulated in an editor, or cropped and filtered. It is an obsessive compulsion to give every story, or poem, a sort of “cover[…] [Keep Reading]