Category Archives: writing

Soft Hearts, Hard Memories now available at Smashwords!

As promised, a physical edition novel will be available very, very shortly thanks to Amazon… but it won’t be the first volume of the Greatshale Chronicles. No sir. It will be, quite out of the blue, Soft Hearts, Hard Memories, a heavily edited and revamped novel originally entitled Bold Curves. It was Aaran’s big foray after her first short story, which I rewrote for the latter named anthology. At the time I was thinking it was too heavy a subject, and I’d never finish it.

Well friends, the times are now and we have arrived. This most certainly is the apocalypse. Children are being told to represent themselves as their own legal council in America. I couldn’t have written anything stranger… except that I did, nearly twenty years ago. Aaran, in Little Glass Soul (part of the Bold Curves Anthology) rescues the first legal child prostitute in the Twin Cities, and what follows is an embittered social argument between those who want into the industry, and those who want out. Aaran aids the latter, and her life is threatened – not a big leap to make.

“Nail you? Sandra paid with her core for that waste,” he spat at me. “What are you worth killing for?”
“Hopin’ you’d know that, wickwalker,” I growled, but felt the strength sap from my limbs. Everything doubled up, and I had to double over with the lightning in my middle and cold thunder that rumbled through my skin. Jassic tore away from my hand and made angry noises at me. The two of them stared at me, and then located a silvery pipe, which came down hard on my left wrist.
I screamed and tried to pull away, but I could hear him talking just under my voice.
“Don’t know who ordered this, but if you had any sense you’d let it be!”

I hadn’t intended to write anything so relevant or topical – these kinds of ideas are still ridiculous to most of civilized society, but not to the world. The story, it seems, needed time to simmer, and I needed some perspective. How does a society that allows its children to be employed by a unionized sex trade survive? I didn’t have the answer when I first drafted this story, but I do now.

It was meeting a new friend that pushed this door fully open. I’ve mentioned this before, but it bears repeating: I am Mormon. That is to say, I know that modern revelation is real, and it is achieved by prayer that culminates in a direct relationship with God through the Holy Ghost by the authority and guidance of Jesus Christ. It bears repeating because it is He who confirmed the answer, and that is family, and that’s what this book is about. Aaran is nearly overwhelmed, and almost killed, by the forces who stand against her: The ones who want to allow the exploitation to carry on.

I swallowed, stomach clenching and face warming. The effect hit me fast, memories of my own abuse striking microflares under my skin and in every remotely sexual part of me. Stan wasn’t a bad judge of dramatics, I remembered suddenly, feeling a mixture of girlish vulnerability and vengeful madness in spastic waves.
There were four of them, and sure enough, if I squinted I could… uh… distinguish Krimp, standing off to one side like he was not involved in the event. Yei screamed again, and I tried to focus on faces, instead of the fact of their stripping her down and pawing her tiny body. I wanted to speak up, tell them I recognized Krimp… but by Dodge, my voice was deadlocked.

This is a political novel, even though it is set on another world with different people and advanced technologies. What does not change is human nature, or rather – the divine nature of who we are and the choices we face. If you’re still gawking at the idea that a Mormon could write about government sanctioned child exploitation, then you’d best sit down. Accepting God can grant you an understanding of the bigger picture, and the eternal nature of our lives. We are here to learn, and family is the key means by which we are guided to achieve exultation.

The fact that we’ve made so much noise about Trump’s attack on family – any family means all of them – tells me we’re not quite out of hope yet. Well friends, neither is Aaran. As uncomfortable as this all is, we’re backsliding into an amoral world where all things are acceptable because no one believes that we should be accountable for our actions. We know what we’re choosing, and we know why we get up in the morning.

You may be surprised to learn this book is a vote of confidence for society, even if it is a little bloodstained, tear-dyed and haggard. When we stop caring, the world gets a little darker. So, I present to you this tale of morality and tough choices.

“But they took Daelia!” Amanda shrieked from her niche. “It were one man! You din’t stop ‘im!”
“I tried!” I cried, speechless and overwhelmed. Maybe I could have told her how much I wanted to save all of them, all their friends, and just sweep them all away to a better place. Maybe it was best that I hadn’t. Instead I asked Amanda how she was feeling, doing.
“They can’t take me,” she said. “I don’ eat’n don’ talk neith’r… t’ make ‘em not want me. In dis cage we’re all want’d.”
I was flabbergasted. She understood perfectly.

We must not lose sight of the truth; we do not stand alone. We never have.

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Filed under fiction, good things, political, publishing, sample, science fiction, writing

Just when things don’t seem to make any sense…

Creativity is a blessed gift, and it has the power to deliver messages far and wide in an irrevocable way. While the world seems to both fall apart and come together, let us not forget the gifts we have been given. We have the time now to communicate honestly, so let us do that.

How’s that for a bit of preamble, huh? I’m gearing up to self publish Sliver of Light, which is taking the form of a multi-volume series. No Smashwords this time, I will be publishing exclusively to Amazon, but I will be releasing samples and links to my Patreon where I will be sharing some of the process of cover art design. So… why the change?

Let’s just say that some guidance I’ve received on the matter has helped me to decide that for this series, self publishing would be the best way to get it out to the world. Does that reflect on the quality? That’s for you to decide, but I can assure you my very best effort is going into its production. That’s one of the reasons I want there to be a physical edition option available.

Nothing I’ve written before has felt as tangible as this world and the people in it. This wasn’t one of my spur of the moment murder mysteries, but something much deeper. It is a manifestation of true inspiration the likes of which I have not known before. I have learned so much, and in some ways had to face myself in order to brave the events contained therein. It’s a good sign when the story you’re writing makes you dig deep in order to see it to fruition.

Over the next month I’ll be posting character teasers, and… well, we’ll see. I have a story that could easily introduce you to one of the novel’s formative characters, so I’ll likely post that as well. I know there are only a few of you following this blog, but I won’t make any assumptions about the interest level in this work other than it exists.

On that note, I appreciate your patience as I’ve been attending to my life, which is why this blog has been so quiet. No excuses! When there’s activity, I post, otherwise, not. When I’m not posting here, you’ll find me on Twitter, Patreon and even Discord. On a side note, man does Windows 10 need Discord integration or what?

I think that’s enough rambling for one post. As always, comments will be open for a while, but if you’re really in earnest, catch me on Twitter ~ @hastypixels ~ okay?

Ta for now!

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Filed under novel, personal growth, publishing, update, writing

Y’know what? It feels good to be rejected.

WordPress is doing a fine job of putting clicks between me and the written word, and don’t get me started on Grammarly. I’ll do that later, anyway. Basically, I’ve been a busy fella. The queries for Sliver of Light have begun; I’ve joined a fairly active NaNoWriMo Discord group; my first freelance writing job is in progress; the job hunt continues… and I’ve a lot of writing to do.

But here’s the thing: It feels good to be in process. Receiving a polite “no thanks” from an agent happened much sooner than I expect, but I was grateful to be heard. That’s all I ask for, and I’ll say that not all agents are good at communicating their interest. That is an article for another time, one I’m working on. Agents have as much a challenge laying out the red carpet as we do building the world they need to sell to publishers… but, I digress.

HonestGamers is providing some valuable insight into my weaknesses and strengths, as the last five reviews will certainly attest to:

20XX Review – A lovely little game with a review one of the gang couldn’t even finish reading… so I re-wrote the entire thing. Good thing I did too, because I’ve had an opportunity to adapt it into a script for a YT channel whose association I shall announce… eventually. Never be precious about your work.

Half Life 2: Lost Coast Review – You don’t really review these sorts of things. It’s a tech demo, after all. However, if you want clomid no prescription some insight into gaming development and the Half Life universe, this one’s a nice catch.

Firewatch Review – Apparently I have a thing for narrative games. This one earned me second place in HG’s Reviews of the Week. That was an unexpected pleasure, and a hint I’ll be taking. I mean, doesn’t this post have a rather narrative style to it? So yeah, more narrative rich games for me from here on. Also, top notch game.

Battlefield 1942 Review – One summer I dove deep into LAN based multiplayer gaming, and I just had to talk about it. Besides, this is the one that “started it all”… though really it was probably Pinball Dreams. To this day it’s still a fun game, even if it’s not so pretty, graphically speaking.

Candy Crush Saga Review – Is it any good? Yes, but the microtransactions are nasty! Summarily a good mental workout, but just watch how much time you sink into it. There are “2000+ levels”. Or so a splash screen told me.

What’s next? I’ve got a few on the burners, and I’m toying with some retro reviews, but they’re low on the priorities, unless they start magically paying my bills. (I’m not counting on it.) With Hurricane Harvey over, Irma is looking havoc right now, so I’m looking to my own needs. As always, one step at a time.

Where is Humble Bundle with Hurricane Humble Bundle, already? I guess the bad news is you can’t charity everyone, even when you try.

Ta for now!

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Filed under gaming, marketing, review, update, writing

Bold Curves now available @ Amazon KPD

I’ve been a busy little bee, haven’t I? Bold Curves can be purchased at Amazon in ebook and paperback form now, so do check it out. I’ve tweaked any issues I found in the Smashwords edition.

Also, I’ll be publishing another collection that features Every One Fight, Sector Bomb and some previously unpublished viagra no prescription related short stories as Whitegraft Musings. As I’m value conscious, I realized Every One Fight wasn’t a good deal on its own. Keep an eye on this blog or my Patreon for more information.

If you’d like to see into my creative process, I’m posting pre-release artwork accessible to backers.

Ta for now~!

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Filed under fiction, marketing, novel, promotional, publishing, science fiction, stories, writing

Starlit Ruins – Published @ Smashwords

Sailor Rifts lives on in eBook form as Starlit Ruins, a free download at Smashwords. Maybe I’ll just answer the questions I think you’ll ask, right now?

What is it?
Palladium Rifts and I have a history. It was my first experience with intense story feedback; facial expressions are powerful indicators. So I used my fandom to lead them through a rescue mission of no less than the Bishoujo Sailor Senshi. This is that ‘infamous’ fanfiction novel I called a darkfic, back then.

Why re-release it now?
It kept nagging at me. Really. Over the course of two years I worked at it in fits and starts. I’d pour buy ambien online over a chapter and tear apart some dialogue here, realize I used “realize” far too often. I made all kinds of mistakes one does, inexperienced. It wasn’t done right, or justice.

Where can I get it, how much does it cost?
It’s free. You can download it from Smashwords directly, or from iTunes, the Kindle Store and more. Follow the link and grab your copy in your preferred format.


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Filed under digital publishing, fiction, freebies, marketing, novel, science fiction, writing

New book listings … Bold Curves, Sector Bomb and A Thief at the Gala

Haven’t been at it for a while on the writing front, but I’m back again with a few updates, so … here we go:

Bold Curves (link) re-published with new content at the humble price of $1 (minimum).
Synopsis: Aaran has a problem with her other self, and overcoming this individual somehow results in her becoming entrusted with the lives of many who cannot otherwise protect themselves. In a post-apocalyptic world survived by a handful of cities and off-planet colonies, Aaran is beset by constant threats against her and her closest allies. She will not be put down, however … 

A Thief at the Gala (buyambienmed.com with Ditzy Do?” target=”_blank”>link) no change, now listed here. (Free.)
Synopsis: A mysterious crown claiming scrolls, a monster with a taste for ponies! How will Doctor Whooves and Forelock Holmes unearth the truth behind the threat? What is Vallade’s real target and why is he so fascinated with Ditzy Do? 

Every One Fight (link), updated to premium status on Smashwords. (Free.)
Synopsis: Masurani was set to run professionally when her father dies in a terrorist attack. Between puberty and grief she pursues the martial arts only to refuse a invitation to join the government backed KnightsMage. Entrapped by a devious street fighter and forced to turn professional, Petulant promises to reveal the nature of her father’s death, but can she survive this match and learn the truth?

Sector Bomb (link), no change, now listed here. (Free.)
Synopsis: Was it a bomb or magic? Sector 9 is levelled, hundreds dead, thousands injured and in dire need. While the Alliance of Courts decides how best to curtail costs, Representative Castlegar of Whitegraft charges ex-cop Aaran Coates and android associate Buddy Namiki to prevent another attack.

Join me on Twitter for more of this kinda thing.

Enjoy!

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Filed under digital publishing, fiction, freebies, novel, online services, promotional, publishing, short story, stories, writing

Tracking the Past (Part 3)

Part 3: Honing and Honed

PCCFA Fair, where I was asked to turn down my music. Me? A disturber of the peace? How about thrilled to be noticed? My early techno did not impress, but it was on that day I met Admiral Skuttlebutt, who played 280-JOKE for me, a mod I’ve carefully sheltered over the last twenty some odd years. It is a nostalgic song, clumsy in execution, off beat in humour. It still holds deep meaning to me.

We would be back to the fair later, too.

It was the beginning of my education about what I mean to other people. In high school I was the six foot ghost, striding deliberately through the halls to avoid confrontation. In the computer lab Ryan and I were nobles, blessed with access to Foolproof and knowledge of Mac OS’ inner workings. Resource forks, oh, how I miss you.

HyperCard was too easy, too functional. Too good. Modules didn’t have that flaw, and we waited a long time to be able to share our music with friends on Mac LC II, LC III and LC 520 with their caddy loading CD-drives. We (mostly me at first) could impress with four channel audio when most programs managed just two. It was our music, and opened many doors. Ryan would not only compose the music for his graduation, but he also produced a “multi-media video” on the Centris 660AV (with badass AT&T 55Mhz DSP and lightning fast 68040 CPU@25/50Mhz. What a beast!).

PlayerPRO (still kicking?!) and Soundtracker entertained in different ways. The former tried too hard to be a studio with every toy in the box, always failing to play essential mod commands and loops. We’d amuse ourselves by seeing what the programmer’d figured out since the last version. Which of our mods played right? Soundtracker was slow, even on fast buy provigil machines, but far more accurate.

Ryan was focused on audio fidelity, as ever, learning MIDI and the Roland MT-32 synthesizer our school lent him for the summer. I couldn’t afford to step up, but I did happen into a 20MB SCSI hard drive thanks to him, so I gave it my all, musically, and somewhere we met in the middle. Perhaps because I was blindly persistent. It’s a valuable quality worth cultivating at times.

The Mod format was still in development in those days, with new commands being added from the Amiga side of the scene. So was I, incidentally. Untrained as a musician, I found my own way to enjoyable melodies. Perhaps a paradigm would have improved my development, yet in place of it I gained something else: Confidence.

It was always a struggle, and I admit to deleting mods because of disapproval – gone forever, limited storage, remember? Bygones, naturally, as I was persistent. I didn’t know it then but experience was for me the better part of my musical education. Valour? Probably not.

‘E-Tempral Society’, ‘Power of Emotion’, ‘Faded Thrill’ and most of all ‘Sudden Swiftness’ were my formative tracks in the first four years of involvement with DT. By sheer passion I proved a capable, if unpredictable, musician. Oh yes, and ‘1995’. It was that summer we discovered the Internet, and that our group name was in use by a German industrial company of some variety.

Newly dubbed Trideja, we quickly added Derek Warren to the roster just to destroy the symbolism of the name. What’s done was done, and we laughed about it. Derek’s enthusiasm was infectious.

We had already designed a new logo with my skills in ClarisWorks Draw and Ryan’s with Photoshop and web design. We had our own website before we quite new what to do with it.

Continues next week.

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Filed under article, creative process, personal growth, trideja, unvarnished, writing

Excerpts: How to Crack a Planet (Working Title)

Excerpt from ‘How to Crack a Planet’ (working title). The thirteenth Doctor (Peter Capaldi) and Aaran Coates, a gold-blond silver-blue eyed private detective dressed in a grey suit, blue formal shirt and black sneakers. She has encountered the Tardis for the first time, and this scene explores her reactions.

Casually flicking switches and twisting knobs on the raised, octagonal platform, the Doctor patiently awaited the response. She had crossed the threshold, in body, but not in mind, and had her head poked out, holding the one closed royal blue door and leaning back. Continue reading

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Filed under excerpt, fiction, promotional, science fiction, unvarnished, writing

Don’t Stop Writing

So much can get in the way, but for every successful writer I have witnessed one constant: A trail of countless words. Be a critic, be an editor, find your specialty, but don’t stop for a moment. Get a few words in a day, or every other day, once a week. Continue reading

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Filed under challenge, creative process, gaming, good things, immediate response, impromptu, my view, news media, opinion, personal growth, writing

Remarkable Objects – An Aaran Coates Mystery

This is the result – after some necessary editing – of the challenge I began alongside NaNoWriMo in November. My first police drama. Enjoy!

Remarkable Objects
By Simon Woodington

Face first on the pavement, no sign of trauma, foul play or … anything that a keen eye or diagnostic hand could detect. Detective Inspector Penny Broken frowned and unfolded her arms with the synthetic crinkle of weather resistant jacket, gesturing at the nape of the neck, the back of his thick legs, vaguely suggesting the ‘usual’ vulnerabilities. She prefaced lightly: “He was no vagabond. Ordinary as they come; clothes covered in ash from a day at Westbarrow. Ulysses Joinfellow, unmarried, age thirty-six. A loner by the looks of his complexion and social profile. We’re running the ID. He had twenty credits on him, unmarked.” Continue reading

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Filed under digital publishing, fiction, police, science fiction, short story, stories, writing