Monthly Archives: August 2016

Backstory When Creating Characters

How Important Is Backstory When Creating Characters?

To my fellow writers here:

Got 3 minutes to learn something interesting about backstory when writing? Are you stuck in too much research or stalled because you think  you’ve not developed a full history for your characters? Take a quick listen to Robert McKee’s advice.  It’ll get you back to the creative flow on the page.

 

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How Important Is Backstory When Creating Characters? August 30, 2016

Click the link:

How Important Is Backstory When Creating Characters?

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Filed under fiction, Fiction Writing, horror blogs, Reading Fiction, short story blogs, tales of terror

The Last Night of the World, A Ray Bradbury Story

Last Night of the World  by Ray Bradbury, published in Esquire, 1951

Tuesday’s Tale of Terror    August 23, 2016

 

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What would you do if you knew that this night was the last night of the world? Would you meet it with grace? Bravery? A last indulgence? Panic? Would you examine yourself for a good or bad life?

A married couple are sitting at the dinner table talking.

She asks …  “And when will it stop? The world, I mean.”

He replies … “Sometime during the night for us, and then, as the night goes on around the world, those advancing portions will go, too. It’ll take twenty-four hours for it all to go.”

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In this sci-fi story (I’m not a sci-fi fan but I really liked this story because it provoked deep thinking), people have the same dream on the same date in February about the end of the world. If you were the characters in this story, would you  believe the end was really coming? Or maybe, just maybe you might think it’s the beginning of a time loop … like in a parallel world?  Or maybe it was true that death will strike soon after closing your eyes this night.  What if?

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Reading time on this story is 5 minutes. Got 5 minutes and cup o’ joe? Wow, this is a compelling dive into everyone’s greatest fear of knowing you will be the last conscious beings when the world ends on a cold night on February 30. Yes, February 30!

 

Read the short story here at Esquire.com.

Listen to the audio drama at Behance.net.

Watch the Ray Bradbury Theater on You Tube

 

FOR THE WRITERS HERE: Lit Reactor.com has Five Ray Bradbury stories that will tell you everything you need to know about writing.

 

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Ray Bradbury, termed the “poet of the pulps,” said in an interview in the Paris Review, The Art of Fiction (2010) that he was “completely library educated. I’ve never been to college … I discovered me in the library.” He died in 2012 at the age of 91. 

Book Review: Zen and the Art of Writing, by Ray Bradbury.

 

 

 

Don’t forget to view the INDEX above of more free Tales of Terror. This is a compendium of over 170 short stories by over 100 master storytellers of mystery,  supernatural, horror, and ghost stories.

Follow my blog and join me in reading a short story every other week!

Comments are welcome.

 

Other Reading Web Sites to Visit

Slattery’s Art of Horror Magazine

Books & Such   Bibliophilica    Lovecraft Ezine   Parlor of Horror

 HorrorAddicts.net     Horror Novel Reviews    HorrorSociety.com     

Monster Librarian     HorrorNews.net     HorrorTalk.com 

 Rob Around Books      The Story Reading Ape Blog

For Authors/Writers:  The Writer Unboxed

EZindiepublishing

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Filed under fiction, horror blogs, mysteries, pulp fiction, Reading Fiction, science fiction, short stories, short story blogs, suspense, tales of terror

U.S. Review of Books: GREYLOCK

Latest Review of Greylock by U.S. Review of Books …

“Cappa’s plot is replete with all the wonderful trappings of a romance-laced mystery—unexpected twists and turns and plenty of red herrings. Greylock has the potential of being earmarked as another award winner.”

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Full Review

“But when you bury guilt it becomes a scorpion. The manifestation will sting and keep stinging you until you are a mess of shreds. And the scorpion wins.”

Alexei Georg finds an anonymous piano sonata hidden in his deceased father’s sea chest. Claiming it as his original work, Alexei names it October Sonata, and it wins him a prestigious musical award. Unfortunately a dark force is connected to the mysterious composition. Alexei leaves for Russia to record beluga whale songs for a new symphony that he’ll complete during his stay at Greylock Music Hall on Mount Greylock. Prior to his trip, Alexei leaves Carole Ann, his jealous and overbearing wife, for the beautiful Lia Marrs. While sailing the White Sea in search of whale pods, Alexei learns that Carole Ann has been murdered and he has been pegged as a prime suspect. Even though evidence is sketchy at best, Alexei has a bigger problem on his hands battling with the menacing force that constantly looks for ways to inhabit Alexei’s body.

Cappa’s latest is nothing less than a mind-boggling mystery. “The result of several years of research, writing, rewriting, and perseverance,” The award-winning author’s narrative is an interesting combination of classical works and whale facts that are tightly woven into a flurry of literature. While dropping mentions to Louisa Alcott’s Little Women and Anaïs Nin’s Delta of Venus, Cappa highlights quotes and titles (both books and movies) that reflect the works of the late great detective writer Raymond Chandler. Cappa includes a well-defined cast that is placed within the descriptive background of Massachusetts and the Russian White Sea. Cappa strongest writing component is in the way she utilizes dialogue, always keeping an elusive edge to her characters’ personas. Cappa’s plot is replete with all the wonderful trappings of a romance-laced mystery—unexpected twists and turns and plenty of red herrings. Greylock has the potential of being earmarked as another award winner.

RECOMMENDED by the US Review, August 2016

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Filed under crime stories, crime thrillers, fiction, horror blogs, Mt. Greylock, murder mystery, mysteries, Reading Fiction, short story blogs, supernatural music, supernatural mysteries, supernatural thrillers

House of the Dead Hand

The House of the Dead Hand by Edith Wharton  (1902)

Tales of Terror  August 9, 2016

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We all know the novel The Picture of Dorian Grey by Oscar Wilde as the most famous story about a painting that has supernatural powers. In Edith Wharton’s The House of the Dead Hand, we have a Leonardo masterpiece owned by a possessive doctor named Lombard and his daughter Sybilla who live in Sienna Italy. A young man Mr. Wyant comes to their home to view the painting. Of course, there’s much more than just observing a work of art going on here. The painting is a mesmerizing beauty, but we all know that beauty without spirituality is an empty vessel.

This story sneaks up on you, is psychological and supernatural, and has a twisty ending. Edith Wharton was known as a skillful social commentator especially in her fiction. In this short story, we find a mystery of a young woman trapped by her father, a forbidden romance, and the atmosphere full of dark descriptions and subtle spirituality.

The House of the Dead Hand

The name comes from an antique hand of marble which for many hundred years has been above the door … The hand was a woman’s — a dead drooping hand, which hung there convulsed and helpless, as though it had been thrust forth in denunciation of some evil mystery within the house, and had sunk struggling into death.

The mystery here is written in classic Wharton style. Her stories are realistic of her times and culture. This story is a bleak message about a father-daughter relationship and typical male dominance of the early 1900s. While Edith Wharton was known as the dark prophetess, she was the first woman to win the Pulitzer Prize—in 1921 for Age of Innocence.

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Read the short story at EastOfTheWeb.com.

 

 

 

 

 

THE MOUNT, LENOX, MASSACHUSETTS

Recently I toured Edith Wharton’s home in Lenox, Massachusetts. At The Mount, there are reported ghosts who float the passages, linger in the bathroom, and occupy chairs. The house is magnificent but I didn’t sense any ghosts as I toured the rooms, no footsteps or chills, no desperate whispers at my back. Because the reality of ghosts fails logic and reason, some of us believe in them because we sense them emotionally. The house has a quiet imperious air and reflects the stately Wharton as I imagine her.  Here are a few images of my moments with Edith Wharton on a Friday afternoon in Lenox.

 

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My view as I sipped iced tea on Edith’s stone and marble veranda.

Lush green everywhere.

 

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No ghosts lurking but the shadows at the window had shapely images of distorted heads looking in from the green boughs at the glass.

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Edith’s window lounge. Can’t you just see her reclined with a book in her hand? An unidentified flower-scent hovered in the air.

Read more about the ghosts at The Mount.

My favorite image for The Age of Innocence by Victor Gabriel Gilbert,

“An Elegant Sioree”

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The Mount, Lenox, Massachusetts (1900s)

Don’t forget to view the INDEX above of more free short stories and ghost tales. This is a compendium of over 170 short stories by over 100 master storytellers of mystery,  supernatural, and ghost stories. Join me in reading one short story every other week! Comments are welcome.

  

Other Reading Web Sites to Visit

Slattery’s Art of Horror Magazine

Books & Such   Bibliophilica    Lovecraft Ezine   Parlor of Horror

 HorrorAddicts.net     Horror Novel Reviews    HorrorSociety.com     

Monster Librarian     HorrorNews.net     HorrorTalk.com 

 Rob Around Books      The Story Reading Ape Blog

For Authors/Writers:  The Writer Unboxed

EZindiepublishing

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Filed under fiction, ghost stories, mysteries, psychological horror, quiet horror, Reading Fiction, short stories, short story blogs, supernatural, suspense