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Vibe Festival of Wellness 2019

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Beth Winokur

Guess where I’ll be this coming Sunday, April 14th! I’ll be sharing a table with Beth Winokur, author of Sunshine in Darkness and Three Stories: Itch. Drop by the Orton Center Lawn at the University of Redlands and say hello.

Signed copies of our books will be available.

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Writers Expo. Will You Be There?

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Hey Fellow writers and readers. There will be a writer’s expo in Moreno Valley this March.  Author readings, Book signings and more. I hope to be there. I plan to be there. I’d love to do a reading. I’m going to start practicing now. First thing to do is find the right passage.

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KG Finfrock

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House of Redemption

Kathy Finfrock

Genres: Thriller, Horror

Eight unscrupulous guests have have been invited to the centuries old Blackstone Resorts. Each patron has his or her own reason for needing an escape from unpleasant circumstances. Tensions mount quickly as, one-by-one, they come to face their worse nightmare. Will they repent their evil ways or remain in Blackstone for the rest of their lives?

Amazon Kindle  99 cents    Amazon Paperback $9.99

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Reviewed by Patricia Reding for Readers’ Favorite Sometimes a person has a matter of minutes for reading and wants to be able to experience a full story in that time. Such can be done with the stories set out in Bubble Off Plumb, edited by KG Finfrock, Sarah Kalin, and Dan M. Kalin. This book offers a variety of short stories from a number of authors. As the editors tell it, the idea was to publish a number of non genre specific stories that shared a single thing in common. That thing, quite simply, is that each story is somehow “off-beat.” The result is a publication of over 20 stories, all of which are sure to have satisfied the editors as each is unusual, and all of which are likely to satisfy readers for that same reason. In Bubble Off Plumb, I went on a variety of short adventures. As a consequence of Buzz Dixon’s story entitled, “Barn Raising,” I may never think the same of the friendly Amish tradition of helping another party raise a barn. I might even suspect something a bit more sinister. Likewise, KG Finfrock’s “Good Thoughts” made me consider how retribution might look if it was the sole purpose for imprisoning those who’d engaged in criminal behavior. Then with “The Way it Was” with Jonah, Arthur Weil gave me interesting insight into what it would be like to befriend someone who is accident prone—when the accidents happen to those around that person. These are just a few of the many stories in this anthology. Grab a copy to download and engage yourself the next time you have to sit in a waiting room or stand in a line. The minutes are likely to fly by as you enjoy some good storytelling, while your outlook on some rather ordinary things in life might never be the same thereafter.

Available at Amazon

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The Daily Ten-Minute Writing Prompt (Volume 1)

KG Finfrock

Imagine a room with ten people sitting at a table. One sentence is scrawled across a whiteboard hanging on the wall. A large clock is counting down. The people at the table are focused on the paper or whatever writing implement they have chosen. The minutes go by. The scribbling pen picks up speed. Fingers tapping on keyboards are consistent. The ending alarm chimes. Ten fresh storylines are born.This is the Ten-Minute Writing Prompt. One simple statement or a piece of dialog igniting the creative flame for fiction writers. Take ten minutes of your day to stir the embers and keep the muse strong and alive.

Amazon Paperback $8.99  Amazon Kindle $2.99

 

 

 

 

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SUBMISSION CALL: Dark Divinations

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via SUBMISSION CALL: Dark Divinations

Hey fellow writers, there’s a new horror anthology on the horizon and you can be part of it.

The meat of the submission is the story is placed in the Victorian era 1837-1901, must be a horror story (emotionally, physical, and or mental) and must involve a form of divination. Click the link for the details.  Deadline is Oct 31, 2019. Good luck.

Side note: The editor for this anthology is author Naching T. Kassa. I had the privilege of reading her short story on my podcast, one of my favorites, you can listen to Carrion Man here.

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No More Excuses

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I am amazed at what I can accomplish when I stop making excuses.  I’ve also been fabulous at making excuses as to why my second novel hasn’t been completed. However, excuses get boring and are empty words when I keep repeating them and yet do nothing to change it. Quite frankly, making excuses is now what I want to put on my list of accomplishments.

First thing I did was decide what I wanted to complete to feel successful in the year 2019.  I want to finish a sequel to House Of Redemption. I also wanted to complete the next two writing prompt books.

Plan of action was second on the list to do. I set a minimum attainable daily word count.

As though I haven’t done that before. I had to identify why I have failed. Simply put, I never allowed myself a day off. If I wasn’t writing, I was feeling guilty and focused on cleaning house, chasing kids, and what not. If I was doing something else, I was feeling guilty for not writing. A vicious non-productive cycle.

I gave myself two days off from writing. Guilt free days to do whatever I wanted.

The last item that goes with the Plan of Action is accountability. Being a great supporter of others in their ventures, I gathered a few of my fellow writers where we set our monthly word count goals and on a shared worksheet, we track our writing, We can see what we are and what we aren’t doing.

So far, the sequel to House of Redemption is coming along. Burn Down the House Volume II and From The Ashes Volume III (ten-minute writing prompts) should be released in a few months. (Accountability. See what I did right there?)

How about you? What is it you want to accomplish in 2019? What is your plan?

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On Writing: Being Brave

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I finished the second draft of my short story Good Thoughts. I won’t lie. I loved it. It’s fabulous. It’s all that I hoped it would be. Good hook, strong ending. I don’t mind saying the middle’s pretty good too. Time to press the send button to my buddies … my buddies who will find what I missed, and possibly rip it to shreds. All the doubt that lingers outside the door rushes in. Why did I press send? I should have added more to the ending. Was more detail needed? Should I have gotten more technical? The publisher’s going to hate it. What was I thinking?

Perhaps the better question is why do I doubt myself? Why do writers go through this act of self-depreciation? If I liked the story I sent out, I already know it’s a good story. It might need a little fixing (and it did) and that’s just it, it’s fixable. Why go through the act of a whining puppy pissing on the floor begging for approval? The only answer I have to the question is  it’s human nature. I’d like to say it gets easier with more writing, more critiquing, more experience, but I’d be telling a big fat lie. It is what it is. Face the fear of rejection and fix what needs fixing.

But the most important message is to give people the opportunity to say that they love your story. Give them the opportunity to read it. Don’t write and hide it. Don’t write and be afraid someone won’t like it. You can’t please everyone. Your story won’t be for everyone. You could write a classic beautiful romance story that sells to a million and I would still puke because no matter how good you are, I don’t care for romance novels. I give my horror novel to a romance novel lover and guess what? Guess where that one star review came from. Someone who reads mostly romance. You won’t find romance in House of Redemption (maybe a little lust). Ultimately, did I get butthurt over that one star review? Not at all. It wasn’t applicable to my novel as this person was not my reader (aka a person who reads horror).

You cannot enjoy the perks, the endorphins that flood your body, when someone says they loved your story if you do not give them the opportunity to read.

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Open Call. Paid Writing Gig.

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I am honored and excited to announce that I have been chosen for Lead Editor of Feral Cat Publisher’s  upcoming anthology titled Bubble Off Plumb.  If you aren’t familiar with the term, it means things being not quite right. 

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Open call for submissions is on going. They are looking for original short stories that are odd, twisted, or unsettling.  Maximum word count is 5,000.  Deadline is September 30, 2018.

Did I mention this is a paying gig? Yes,  I did.

Selected authors will receive an advance of $0.03/word of final, edited version of their story, plus a pro rata share of downstream royalties less up-front expenses, plus one paperback proof copy, and wholesale unit rates when purchasing extra paperbacks.

Enough chat from this blog. Head on over to Feral Cat Publisher and get the details you need.

One more thing, and I only mention it because it threw me, the email for the submissions is  submissions @ feralcatpublishers.com  You need to remove the spaces.

Of course, read the submission process before submitting your story.

Happy writing and good luck.

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When It’s More Than You Think

Way back in time in my early twenties, I was at an open market and found a beautiful tapestry. A forest scene with bears would go perfect with the saloon style bar or so I thought. I lost the bar, but I kept the tapestry all these years. It still hangs on my wall. I didn’t ever think of the artist or the history behind it until my daughter sent me this picture from Masha and the Bears. The grandkids were so excited to see Grandma’s tapestry on the video. I had no idea there was a puzzle. I had to know more. img_66881

Took forever to get a freeze frame that would show me the title.

Turns out to be a famous painting.   Morning in a Pine Forest was painted in 1886. It was painted by two Russian artists, Ivan Shishkin and Konstantin Savitskiy. Ivan painted everything except the bears. Both artists signed the painting, but Savitskiy’s name was erased by an art collect, Pavel Tretyakov.  (According to my internet research.)

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The photo doesn’t do the tapestry justice. The colors are richer. The funny thing is that both my daughters found it to be terrifying. Maybe they were concerned I would take them to the forest and leave them there. Probably shouldn’t have read them Hansel and Gretel with so much glee.

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Crash and Burn and Emerge Again

God and a writer have something in common. They both create worlds. They both create people. They both intervene on individual’s lives, both blessing and cursing them.

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My first story that I began a gazillion years ago had a working title of House. I fell in-love with my character Victoria. She was gorgeous with flowing auburn hair, smart, compassionate, and brave. The story placed Victoria leaving the library when the limousine cut in front of her blocking her way. Two men headed toward her. And this is where the story stopped for all time. I would not continue because I know what was in store for Victoria. I couldn’t let the scene happen. I wouldn’t hurt/kill her.

Some would say that as the author I have the ability to change the trajectory of Victoria’s path. I could. However, it wouldn’t be true to the story. The readers might not know, but I would.

I find myself in this position once again while writing the sequel to House of cb386-front2bcoverRedemption. The words were flowing. I was getting to know the characters. Everything was working the way it was intended.

And then came the dilemma and I chose to be selfish.

You see writing House of Redemption was a bit of therapy for me. The sad fact is that you can’t flay a pedophile in the real world and not go to prison for it, but you can do a lot worse to the kiddie fiddler when you are writing fiction. I enjoyed the scenes of Tom getting his ass kicked more than I should. And here comes the dilemma.

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It was my intention that the souls would remain in Blackstone Resort. Now ghosts, they would relive their vision of Hell. The remaining survivor (no spoilers here) would find a way to free the trapped souls.

And then I came upon the conundrum. If I free the souls, that would mean I also release the pedophile from his hell. I’m not ever going to be ready to let bygones be bygones. He will suffer forever in my fictional hell because I know the (long list of profane name calling) POS isn’t suffering from his crimes even if he is serving in prison for the rest of his life .

The alternate ending is the souls are not released. It’s all or nothing and if I choose that ending, the survivor is now damned. What Hell does this character inherit during the remaining years and worse after death?

As in my first story, I love my character. I cannot , I will not, damn my character’s soul. I will not free the pedophile.

The characters that haunt me will join Victoria and remain frozen in time.

On the day I decided to stop writing the sequel, a message popped up on my phone screen. It said.

Don’t look back. You’re not going that way.

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When I wrote House of Redemption, I wrote it as a stand alone story. It was never my intention to write a sequel and considering how much time has passed since the novel was published, I don’t think I was meant to continue the storyline. Best to leave it to the reader’s imagination as to what comes next.

I’m ready to stop looking back. I ‘m ready to start fresh. Ready to begin a new adventure.

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Apathy

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I had the upward peak of writing. The thrill of words flying onto the page. I had the excitement of getting to know the characters and being on the inside of their plan. And now here comes apathy sticking it’s dirty muddy finger in the cake batter and swirling it about. Here comes the feelings of just don’t care. The cast of characters can float in limbo for all time. Could note care less. Don’t want to play anymore. Don’t want to write anymore.

I lie to myself. I do care. And I can’t stop writing.

It’s a pile of crap. 

Yet another lie. 

And even if it was true, first drafts are always crap. 

You’re fat. 

Now you’re just being mean. 

What’s next?

I’m going to take a step back. I’m going to finish the painting of the ocean front. I’m going to find the dress/shirt patterns. If time allows, I’ll do a few more projects. 

You’re fat and slow. It won’t happen.

I love you too. Some of it will happen and while I do the painting or sewing or clearing, my characters will talk to me and I will note what they say and the words will flow again as the house becomes alive.

You won’t let it. The house scares the shit out of you. 

People are going to die in that house.

And that’s what scares you. You like your characters.

I don’t want to like them. They’re bad people. 

They don’t want to be bad. They don’t think they’re bad.

They’re assholes. 

And they will die. 

But will they stay dead? 

Will they?

My characters haunt me.