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Of Epic Proportions Blogazine 2008

It's done. The last blogazine for 2008 has arrived and not a moment too soon. Already 2009 is shaping up as a fulfilling year with so many of our members achieving great things. A few of our writers have banded together to release a wonderful collection of stories based on a series, another is enjoying success with her first published title and a few others are reaching key stages of their development. Plus, it's the first time we were able to use the official challenge system and it turned out to be a success. Of course there have been a few hits and misses too but all worth the taking. I've grown a soft spot for WMG and come to see it as something for everyone and in every something a special piece. I hope you enjoy some of the pieces gathered here and continue to share the journey with us. xx Ronnie Group Host

In This Day by Melissa Park

He sits there and I watch him look lovingly in her direction. I’m jealous of this sleek, black lover of his; the one that sits uncomplainingly in the corner and awaits his ministrations. I too wait, and want. But I am not so easily played, nor does the music I make sound as sensuous as hers when he strokes her the way she likes. As I knew he would, he walks over and sits beside her, whispering adorations as he reaches for her neck. I watch as his fingers glide downward, grasping her gently as he lifts her to his lap. The rhythmic pulsing of their collaboration causes me to shudder as I think of how well each fits to the other. His hand moving effortlessly, fingers delivering just enough pressure in order to make her sing in a way I never can. Tonight there is something in the air. I can feel it as he continues to concentrate on making her happy. How I long for his touch on my skin, making me hit those same notes, my body humming in pleasure while I moan a tune I know he likes to hear. But she refuses to release him. So I wait, hoping that she doesn’t steal so much of his soul that not one drop is left for me when the time comes. This is the life I chose when I gave my heart to a musician, knowing I would forever share him with another, knowing I would always be waiting my turn. A native San Franciscan currently residing as a Northern Nevadan, J.C. Montgomery firmly believes that fulfillment doesn’t come with a dollar sign, however it sometimes can be found downing a venti skinny vanilla latte with an extra shot at her local coffee house. More information about JC can be located within her Red Bubble portfolio link >

I don’t remember. But I know what you told others. Not me, you didn’t tell me. I don’t remember and it’s probably best that I don’t. My mind forgot while it was happening, that’s best for a child. Children don’t remember things like that. I remember the wall propped up against the side of the house with a short plank wedging it upright. The wall was tall, or I was short. But the plank of wood, well, that was just right. Perfect for what I wanted, I don’t remember what. I remember you were building. You like to build. With all these children you don’t have a choice really; there are so many to make room for. You’re bending over some tools and she’s getting the plank of wood. You’re saying her name, quickly, urgently, and she looks at you. That’s all she remembers. I’m sitting on your knee in a taxi. No one ever calls a taxi. And you’re holding me gently, not like you ever did before. I’m suddenly special among all those children and I’m disappointed to arrive home. I don’t remember the leaving home. You told the taxi driver the nail went into my chest and missed the right heart ventricle by millimeters. Or do I just remember in millimeters and not somethingths-of-an-inch? I remember the hole. I can feel the scar. I don’t remember the pain, but, like things like that, pain’s forgettable. I remember the way you held me. Now you read this, and I look at you expectantly, hoping you rejoice in my inscription of the forgotten, the control of voice, the espousal of infantile perception and adult retrospection, the

poignant restraint. You look at me and say, “I don’t remember this.”

The writer’s description of this story, “In thinking about remembering and the different kinds of memory this character surfaced. So I played with person in the hopes of illustrating which part of her held onto the memory.” Learn more of KMFalcon via the Red Bubble portfolio link >

There was a feeling of restlessness deep in my soul the inner heart the inner soul an ironic statement ‘lack of soul’ the inner eye expressing irony an epic journey struggle at the core of the soul taking place over a long period of time and involving a lot of difficulties It’s showing that I really mean the opposite of what soul are saying an inner voice my mind was filled with morbid thoughts of death I only feel this strongly about it some days ‘I might even die.’ ‘should I be so morbid?’ I watched with morbid curiosity it’s kind of like myself is involved in a fight a battle with myself battle with my soul the endless battle between man and nature I kept it in checked with chains and massive locks

fought against the fear I had problems fighting the blaze in my soul I gradually fought my way to the top dell‌ it seemed, my soul was a small valley with trees growing around it a spooky old house a spooky atmosphere I was just thinking about my life when I lost a creepy life a creepy coincidence I sat on the edge with my legs dangling over the side the hole where the heart is meant to be and the inner just dangling there I had a life challenges dangled in front of me I remembered, at some point I have achieved a good result and been successful and the stage where all my efforts ended in failure all the attempt was doomed to failure I had a sense of impending doom there was a fatal flaw in the plan I was locked in mortal combat to be in mortal danger suffered a mortal blow I learnt from experience, both successes and failures a battle of wills I held the moment, when each side is very determined to win

but my path always shone with a faint unsteady light a mirror there I caught the glimmer of a smile in my eyes the glimmering of an idea a glimmer of hope I portrayed the painting in good faith an inner voice told me that what I was doing was wrong my soul’s belief has restored my faith faith is stronger than reason belief showed me the right path for some reason ‌

Ushna is an Independent filmmaker, novelist and script writer. Learn more of Ushna via her portfolio link >


My Jesus! I love thee, With all my heart & all my soul; My Jesus! I know thou art mine, You can’t leave me ever lonely; I know, You gonna protect me; And safe me, In any danger; And In any kind of pain, My savior art thou; I love thee, Because thou has fist loved me; There’s so many reason to keep you faith, I love thee for wearing the thorn on thy brow; You sacrifced for us, Can’t forget that ever; I love thee Juses, Because thou has fist loved me;


Brandishing burnished Sword Transparent in armour of Light There stands the Warrior Maiden Prepared for the darkest of night. A curtain sliced through; A way opened up; Enters the Maiden And drains the bloody cup. Her life on the Altar Long now has lain, But up she has risen Atonement to gain For those who have hurt her By whom she was slain. She calls to the Judge, “Forgive them my pain.� Light pierces through; The Earth opens up;


Stands forth her Beloved, “You have taken my Cup.� The two who are one All infirmities feeling Now spread out their hands In forgiveness and healing.

Because we are Earthlings, we are limited to express heavenly things in earthly symbols. Beautiful pictures are like beautiful words. The artist can show what the viewer may not see on his own. Pictures have always danced in my head. Sometimes a dream will stick with me evoking feelings, even messages, that cry out to be released through my hands. I thrill at the breath of life a picture inhales as the layers build. It is my hope that you hear the voice in my pictures. I am the mother of 10 biological children, half of whom are adults. My husband, children and I share our home with our beloved Rottweiler, Genevieve, in rural Tennessee. My Paradise These baby cries and teenage sighs And rowdy voices in between Bespeak a fleeting paradise God gave to Steve and me. Learn more of Susan via her portfolio link >


Like the sea, like the sky, like a million things, Can my heart find the like to the way it sings? Like the pale moon that glows, even out of view, The hope and the light that I see in you. This magical, most exquisite pain, Like the stars shining right through the rain, Phases and glimpses of this art we call love, It can go on, but it’s never enough. I rise and I rise, ‘til I can gain no more height, And on my newfound wings, rise again and take flight I look at sorrow and I lock her away, Then I fly ‘til I find my brand new day. In this day you’re the sun that dawns, Giving light to me so I can out live the storm I look and I see, though it’s far away, That for which I have prayed, each single day


‘Tis the cloud, lined with that most precious hue, That lies beyond darkness I’m yet to pass through, I know that I must, and so I do, Then, I find that my silver lining is you.

I love to take photos whenever I can, I have a huge range here flowers, landscapes, macros a little bit of ‘computer art’ . Learn more of Melissa via her portfolio link >


“Open your eyes Emma.” Emma’s eyes fluttered open then wanted to close again when daylight rushed in but after a few blinks she was able to see. Turbulent breezes whipped her cheeks, stems of rye and barley scratched against her calves, lazy clouds scattered a blue sky; the vacant landscape around her was beautiful. It depressed her. No one to share this world with. Here I am standing on top of new hill, golden rye moving as waves on a sea and I’m alone. Heaviness gripped her heart, tears welled in her eyes which she struggled to hold back. Her heart ached and felt so heavy she had to press her clenched fists to her chest from toppling forward. Where is everyone? Why do I have to face beauty on my own? Why do I have to open my eyes to the sky and the empty lands and not have anyone around me? Emma shook her thoughts away, breathed in the world around her and slowly unclenched her fists. The weight of her depression fell to the ground. She leapt into the air then landed to the spongy earth – running against the breeze and rye, so fast, her face burned, her chest struggled with breath. There has to be people, she hoped. Got to be someone to share this experience with. But, every where she looked the hills were barren of people. It was just the same swaying rye under the bright sky. No! she screamed and pushed her sprints harder. She entered a valley, ignoring the stinging to her skin, and fought back her tears and hopelessness.


Has to be someone! She breathed out and unleashed her determination. It kept her running, searching and continuing to hope. She ran faster until the world whizzed into a blue – gold blur. She ran so fast, the world fell silent and the wind lost its voice. Emma gulped down her pain and held back the tears, refusing to believe she was alone and lost in her own mind. She crossed a hill, stumbled off the edge of a cliff and fell… down… down… down into oblivion. *** Emma felt this emotional disturbance every day she lived in her coma. Depression, distress, desperation, the bareness of life, beauty lacking fulfilment and the sense of your stand at the top of the world that is only yours and will never exist for another. Slowly seeing your hope and life dim until all that you recognised and value is gone. Is there hope for a return, for life to take on meaning and purpose again? *** White daylight sliced into Emma’s room through papery cream curtains and fell on her eye lids. Her eyes fluttered open; they blinked back the light until the daylight was weaker and easier to take. She breathed out a deep sigh, one that emptied the foul breath from her lungs and looked around her. How long have I been running? Pain stabbed at her temples. Her body twitched with pins and needles. Her eyes fell shut and were closed again, and world went to black. The pain eased into delicate caresses and soothing sighs. Emma opened her eyes and smiled at the sight of the golden rye covering the hillsides with its brilliance and glory. The wind played with her hair.


“You don’t have to run any more Emma,” the wind whispered. “Life is here.” An understanding smile graced Emma’s face. She ran further up and farther into her world.

I’m a writer and an artist at heart. My creative works are my driving force, my hopes and my curses. I give all of my free energies to my stories and image works. I have a fantasy series due out this end of January and working on its promotion. Learn more of Veronica via link >


In this world in one way or the other, we all work for the public. There are cashiers, police officers, and technicians for all different occupations. There are many people out there the look down their noises at the local drugstore cashier because she works for the public. Let me ask you one big question how many professions can you think of that is not in some way deal with the public? It is my hope that after reading the following true stories you will come away with two things, a smile on your face from all the stories you have read, and a different feeling about that person in the store that waits on you. I will break these stories down into categories according to the profession. Stories From Locksmiths A Locksmith received a call one day to open a car. You would think it would just be just another call right? The Locksmith pulled up to the car that needed to be opened and his client was setting on its hood. He asked the person if that was the car that he needed to open and the person said, “Yes, my keys are in the ignition and I am locked out.” To the service member’s amazement, the car was a convertible and the top was down! He proceeded to reach over the car’s window and unlock the door, and then he asked for payment. The customer replied, “I could have done that!” The Locksmith replied, ‘But you called me to show you how.”


A customer called a locksmith to make keys for his car because they had lost the keys. The Locksmith proceeds to ask the normal questions, “What is the year and model of you car?” “Where is your vehicle located?” To that question, the customer answers, “In my driveway.” The problem is the customer has not give the Locksmith their address so the Locksmith asks, “Does your driveway have an address?” Stories from a hardware store A customer calls and asks to speak to the paint department. When the paint department comes on the line they ask, “What color would look good in my bedroom?” A customer calls and asks to speak to the paint department. When the paint department comes on the line they ask, “Do I need to drain my pool before I paint it?” A customer walks up to a plumbing associate and says, “I have several holes in my roof, can you help me?” The plumbing associate tries to help the customer by directing them to the building materials aisles so they can get the items they need to repair their roof. The customer looks at them and says, “No, no you don’t understand I want enough pipe and buckets to drain the water outside.” A hardware employee was walking down an aisle with their uniform on that plainly said they worked for the store and they were stopped by a customer and asked, “Do you work here?” Please do not get me wrong I am in no way trying to make fun of these people. I know everyone has their moments when what they say just does not come out right. I am merely trying to show if we as a people would just stop and think about what we say things would work out a whole lot easier. Keep in mind I have not made up any of these stories they are all real.


A customer walks up to a cashier who is standing behind her register with her light on and asks, “Are you open? An employee at a hardware return counter has a customer bring a light fixture to them for a refund. The employee asks, “What is the reason for returning this. Is it broken?” The customer answers, “No it works fine. It was bought to replace a light fixture we thought was burnt out but no one bothered to turn it on.” A garden employee was watering her plants one day and a customer walked up to her and said, “Why are you doing that?” A customer asked a garden employee how to do something in their yard The employee tried to explain to the customer that they needed to dig a trench around their project. The customer looked at the employee and said, “Can I buy that inside?” Story From A Body Repair Shop A customer came into a body shop with the front end of their car smashed. The same customer had been in 6 months earlier with the same damage. The employee asked the customer if they were going to pay for the damage or if their insurance was going to pay for it. The customer responded, “Neither last time I was in hear you gave me a life time warranty on the vehicle.” Stories From a White Castle Employee A Customer comes through the drive thru at White Castle and says, “How many burgers are in a crave case?


A customer comes through the drive thru at White Castle and orders a medium coke and a large sprite. When they get to the window and the employee hand their drinks to them they ask, “Which one is which?” Well are you shaking your head in disbelief yet? As I stated earlier all these stories are very true. I did not make any of them up! Don’t go away yet I am not through I still have more stories to relate but this time they are on a bit of a different note but still you will be saying to yourself, “What were they thinking?” Robbery Stories I know what you are thinking robbery stories how can they be funny. Just keep reading you will see. A robber comes into a donut shop to rob it. Instead of taking the money out of the register, they take the entire register and run off down the street with it. Where do you think they went with it? They ran to their house! A robber takes a taxi to his crime scene. The victim is smart enough to get the number off the taxi and the police call the driver and tell him what is going on so they can find out were the robber is going and be there waiting on him. It just so happened the robber told the driver to take him to his own home! An employee of a donut shop decides to rob it while they were on duty. They proceed to gather all the money together and make it look like the place had been robbed. After they thought they had made the scene, look good they went home and they were still there with the money in hand when the police showed up to ask them what happened. A man robbed a convenience store and he was in such a hurry to leave as he ran out the door he did not notice the sheriff’s car that was parked right in front of the door. He fell spread eagle over the hood of the sheriff’s car his gun went one way and the money went the other. The sheriff said, “It was the


easiest bust I had ever had.� A regular customer at a bar decides to rob it. The problem was the customer lived just two doors down from the bar! A man is standing in line at a convenience store and he decides to rob it. What he did not realize was there was a fully dressed police officer in line right behind him! A team of officers goes to make a raid on a crooks house. Once they break in to the house, they find that they have the wrong house. I know what you must be thinking she has to be making all these stories up. I did not make any of these stories up, they are all true. Please let me state again that I am not making fun of these people. I am merely trying to point out that we all have are moments when we say or do something that just does not come out right. After all, we are all only human right. I hope you have enjoyed reading my stories and I thank you for taking the time to do so.

I like to take picture of my little dog Buddy or of nature. If you have ever owned a little dog like mine you would understand why I say he gives me a photo opportunity almost every time I turn around. For me taking pictures is about preserving a piece of time. A piece that may never come again. Why say to your grandchildren, “I remember when this happened.� This leaves them to just imagine what you are talking about. It would be so much better to be able to show them what you are talking about. Think of how valuable a picture of a dead loved one is to the one who misses them most. Pictures are a way for we as a people to record for future generations what means the most to us today. A hundred years from now when we are all long gone. How do you know that future generations will even know what a flower is because they may all be gone as well. Just a little food for thought. Learn more of Sheena2015 via link >


Spotlight >>>

EPIC Cover Art Winner

Cathryn Swanson chanel2

Out of all the stories you have written which ones do you like the most? Being here on Redbubble is what The cover for this issue was created by Cathryn and voted by a ma- unleashed my very first story The Big jority of group members to represent Black Shiny Car, so for me, it’s a bit special. It is still my most viewed our end of 2008 blogazine. story to date and based on a true event Cathryn has been a member of from my childhood. My most favourite story though, is for over a year and has enlightened and entertained oth- Crack in the Chain. I had so much ers with her stories and art works. fun writing that story and was nervHere Cathryn tells us more of herself ous as to how it would be received. I would love to be able to write like and up coming projects. this some more, not specifically, but humorously. So hopefully with my What do you hope to achieve for new focus, some may come to hand. My portfolio doesn’t stick to one 2009? particular genre. I am envious of peoMy lighthearted poems are my fa- ple who know exactly what it is they vourite and what ultimately led me to like to do, and where their talent lies. Redbubble in the first place. I hope Still, I’ve never been one to say, ‘you to continue with these and most im- belong there’ e.t.c. I like to do what I portantly concentrate on writing in feel like doing when the feeling hits, general. It’s not something I thought this could also be due to the fact that I could do, so would like to dedicate I am still learning. In summary I’m just having a go most of my time trying, and seeing and have dipped my toes and the wawhat comes from it. ter feels nice.

Interview >>> Groups

The Art of Books Hosted by Gayla Drummond

Book cover mock ups, from members who wish to show their skills or offer a certain work as a possible cover design are also welcomed now. We don’t accept artwork from art books, however. The submissions must be for or based on a written work.

There are a lot of illustration and photographic groups within Redbubble that inspire written works. The Art of Books is the only group dedicated to book covers and illustrations speWhat are you latest challenges cifically created for stories. Here, and/or group projects? Gayla Drummond talks more about the group. At the moment, I don’t think we’ve any challenges or competitions currently running in either of the two Hi Gayla, could you please ex- groups I co-host ( Writers’ Workshop plain what this group is all about? and Blood Red), and I know we don’t have any running in the three groups The Art of Books is solely for art / I’ve started, which are A Novel Idea, imagery that illustrates written works. The Art of Books and Full Moon RisThe written work its based on doesn’t ing. have to be published and the length This is due to the fact myself and doesn’t matter. several of my co-hosts all participated What we’re accepting are book cov- in the NaNoWriMo challenge, which er designs, scene or character illustra- kept us very busy throughout Novemtions, comic or graphic novel panels. ber.

Damian has suggested a competition between Blood Red and Full Moon Rising, but we haven’t really discussed it just yet beyond the suggestion, so keep an eye out for that in the future if you’re a member of either of those groups! It’s actually a little difficult to come up with challenge ideas for A Novel Idea, since it’s for novelists. My other two groups are pretty recent arrivals, but I think they’ll be much easier to create challenges for.

the group but for writing it’s a manual process. If Redbubble were to automate the challenges (like what they have done with image challenges) how would you like this system to work?

RedBubble’s Challenge system is something I’ve not yet had any experience with, since it isn’t of use to writing groups yet, and we haven’t done any image based challenges in the groups I’ve started. I would imagine just being able to use it for writing challenges would be a huge How do you envibenefit, since it would make sion your group say in 6 finding challenge submismonths times? sions and voting very easy for members. Plus, it would In six months’ time, cut down on all the group the most obvious thing emails hosts have to send I’d love to see for all three out to remind members groups would be a growth in membership numbers. I am busy about writing challenges! I’ve seriously never belonged to anmaking some plans to provide members with useful information and group other creative community where the promotion outside of the Bubble, with members have been so consistently the help of my co-hosts. I’d especially supportive of one another. I know that like to see journal entries from group support and encouragement has pushed members talking about their success in me to new heights in my own writing getting something published or being efforts, so I feel very lucky to have asked to design a book cover or illus- joined such a great site. I hope that my trate a story; I hope that some of those own efforts to support other members plans we have for The Art of Books bear as much fruit for them as their efand A Novel Idea bring some of those forts have for me. about. Hosting challenges can be great fun for members and an opportunity to bring out some real gems within

Interview >>> Groups

Twisted Tales Hosted by MickyMC * Zolton * Miri Flic Manning

Twisted Tales has quite a few hosts running the group. Miri tells us what Twisted Tales is all about.

We’ve also run monthly Themes for longer works, and run various other competitions throughout the year, often in conjunction with other writing groups. Other than your weekly challenges, are there any other projects or challenges the group is working toward?

There are many writing groups within Redbubble, what would a member expect from Twisted We have a wonderful core group of Tales? writers who are always game to have a go at the writing challenges and we The place on Red Bubble for short would love more people to take part. stories of no more than 1500 words, We’ve introduced various chalwith a definite twist in the tail. Any lenges to encourage this, Special Star genre welcome, all we ask is the writ- Twisters, Themes with very few ‘rules’ ing constitutes a story and surprises us but are always looking for ways to get with a twist, good or bad! people joining in and having a go. We run a weekly challenge, Star It’s a great way to get in that 30 Twisters, for works of less than 350 minutes of writing each day! So come words based on a prompt and the win- & get twisted with us! ners go into a monthly Grand Final to We’re also looking at ways to win a prize. make the group self funding ie rais-

ing money for prizes eg calendars, TThe advantages of using ‘Challenge Shirts, Artwork… very much in the software’ are that votes would no long‘ideas’ stage at the moment. er need to be counted by a host. Hosts always operate with best intentions but How do you envision your group, it would be good if the whole process say, in six months’ time? was independent and objective, and it should take less of the host’s time too! We’d like to continue growing, and would love to see more writers explorWe would also like some way to limit ing their twisted side, having a go at the who can vote when, for example in Star challenges, and supporting other writ- Twisters you can only vote if you enter ers. Us hosts really enjoy reading new a story, whereas all group members can work, discovering new twisters and vote in the monthly Grand Final. seeing everyone joining in and having fun. We’d also liked to have cracked self Thank you Miri & Twisted Tales. sufficiency, though some of that may depend on RedBubble functionality to Thanks very much for featuring us sell writing. WMG! We appreciate it & look forward to reading many more Twisted Hosting challenges can be great Tales! fun for members and an opportunity to bring out some real gems within the group but for writing it’s a manual process. If Redbubble were to automate the challenges (like what they have done with image challenges) how would you like this system to work? At the moment all our challenges are run in the forums, and any voting is bmailed to a host. It works pretty smoothly most of the time!

Interview >>> Groups

The Blue Room Hosted By Little Helen

graphic erotic story or poem. I find a written piece of erotica has that slight edge over an erotic photograph or painting. Mystery comes to mind. The unknown. You never quite know if what you are reading is an encounter the author has had or What’s an erotic adventure with- a fantasy they want. I’m always inout a blue room? Little Helen takes trigued. As of writing this interview, there are 683 written pieces of erotius for a tour. ca in the Blue Room… that’s a lot of hotness. I applaud our writers. :) I decided before starting the You host The Blue Room, could you please explain what this group group, that if I was going to include art and photography I was going to is all about? moderate it according to my tastes Initially I envisioned the group and standards. Erotica is not porto be for ‘Writers’ only. People who nography but it is not a visit to the aren’t afraid to take their sexual ex- Sistine Chapel either. It is sex and periences and thoughts and put them lust and desire and a lot of luscious on paper and then post them on the thoughts. It is admiring the human internet. That is not always an easy body in a purely sexual way… withthing to do when there are so many out the need to leer, ogle or make oddities on the web. You leave your- fun of. There is no better feeling for self wide open by posting a picture me than promoting or featuring the of yourself fully clothed let alone a work of the artists in my group. That

is why I started the wordpress Blue Room, to generate off site interest in the artists, photographers and writers work. You just never know who may stumble upon a site like that and hopefully buy, publish or hire one of my members. I intend reopening the site in the New Year with the promise of a lot of traffic generated towards their redbubble sites. What are you latest challenges, group projects…? Group projects? Hmmm I have an idea for a book. It’s scooting around in my head right now… but what I would like to do is begin an erotic story and pass it on to interested group members (writers or artists) to add their own words to. You would only be able to add a certain amount of words and there would be other rules of course… but yeah… I have ideas :D

it’s a manual process. If Redbubble were to automate the challenges (like what they have done with image challenges) how would you like this system to work? To be honest, I have no idea. Should I have done my homework on the subject of Challenges? I know very little about them, how they are run or what they entail. So... I’ll make a challenge for myself… to learn more about challenges and maybe start one for the group :) As for writing challenges Ronnie…I would leave those ideas up to the experts such as yourself and the redbubble team. I am sure you guys will come up with something special and we will be looking forward to it.

How do you envision your group say in 6 months times? Much the same. 6 months will come around so quickly we’ll barely notice it creep up. I do envision 1000 members though, which I don’t see as being a problem the rate it is climbing now. A group Book or the ability to have our own Calender would be nice ;) Hosting challenges can be great fun for members and an opportunity to bring out some real gems within the group but for writing

Cheers x



Incognition By Kate Smith

Men are a mystery to Blaise, especially the dark gloomy specimen who interrupts her recon of a conservatory facility. It’s even more of a mystery why she bothers saving his skin when he reports her presence to his ex-colleagues. He does come in handy though when Blaise has to step up her mission. The Official Excerpt The male of the species was a closed book to Blaise. A book in another language, eight-point type, an overly fancy font, and with minimal punctuation. Sure, she could guess at a word here . . . or there . . . maybe, but it was

pretty much Homo sapiens incognito. So when she was confronted with one of the XY types . . . Blaise removed her sunglasses slowly, buying time to think of something, anything, to say while the specimen before her shifted impatiently. He loomed, blocking out the sunlight seeping slow as honey through the glass dome. Against that golden haze she can’t make out his details except for strong solidity. The dark chocolaty growl that emanated from him suited perfectly. Blaise squinted myopically and frantically tried to tune in to that gravel accented voice. He seemed to catch her bewilderment and eased back a pace as he repeated himself slowly, exaggerating the lip moves and raising his voice as though she were seventy-two not thirty-two. The mild irritation broke her uncharacteristic daze. Then Blaise remembered she was seventy-two this afternoon. A very spry seventy-two,

yes, despite the senior citizen fashion. His move back allowed the sunshine to highlight his scowl and the efforts he put into concealing it. Blaise jolted, increasing the distance between them. Her camera bumped her wrist. Camera! Blaise fumbled the sleek silver cube up to her face. Then swallowed, hoping the motion would unpeel her tongue from the roof of her mouth. She hunched a little and tipped her head up to show the crêpey neck and the wrinkles around her eyes. “Sweetie, may I have your photo to show the ladies back at the home?” Yes, yesss! The creaky reedy voice came naturally. Blaise made a show of scrabbling over the buttons of the digital camera, squinting at it from a distance of five centimeters. She pasted on a hopeful expression and glanced at him. His stance relaxed a fraction. “We’re closing very soon, ma’am.” “One photo? A treat for the ladies?” He deserved that for the ma’am, even if it was appropriate given her appearance. Oh, how she enjoyed the reddening along his cheekbones! “Anything for the ladies.” He peeked at his watch and the rapidly emptying room. Humouring her, and nicely too. Blaise rewarded him with a smile that felt bigger than usual thanks to the carefully sloppy application of lipstick. She never wore it normally but whenever she did, her lips felt plump and lush and not altogether hers. His own smile was somewhat forced, she felt. It heightened rather

than softened the harsh planes of his face. Then she remembered to take the photo. Fingers cold, Blaise fumbled the camera into her pocket. Done. A warm hand the size of a cymbal wrapped round her elbow, branding her flesh beneath the layers of coat and cardigan. “Are you well, ma’am?” Argh! Had he spotted anything? Had she slipped out of character? Blaise craned her head round in one of the birdlike mannerisms she’d adopted for this role. He had sharp eyes, she noticed. Hazel eyes, with little flecks of gold, like sunlight through green tea. She forced herself to inhale, forced a rueful smile. “Just old and there’s only one cure for that.” “Not for a long time yet, I hope.” He walked her to the door. “Hmmm, yes.”

Want more? eBook available now! Length: Teaser (8046 word count) Genres: Fantasy, Crime


eBook WMG Challenge Winner 2007

The Bunyip Of Boobera By Damian Herde

As a child Brad watched his little brother disappear beneath the murky waters of Boobera Lagoon. Years later his past tangles with the present, as yet another child vanishes and Brad travels to his childhood hometown to investigate the lagoon that is shrouded in Aboriginal warnings.

The Official Excerpt “Alright, go!” From the bank of Boobera Lagoon, a stick flew out across the water. An excited blue cattle dog crashed into the water behind it, paddling madly in pursuit. The dull

brown water splashed into a shining kaleidoscope of colour, transiently beautiful around the graceless animal. Watching from the waters edge, a trio of bare-chested boys jumped up and down cheering, voices merging into an anthem of, “Yeah Buster! Go boy, go!” Their grins were plastered wide across their faces; they were as happy as any boy with a game involving water, sticks and dogs. Buster grabbed the stick and turned back, and their excitement doubled. Brad, the eldest, began the next round of cheering. “C’mon boy, come . . .” His words failed as Buster disappeared under the water. Brad looked down at his brothers, his mouth still open. He had never seen a dog do that before, and he wracked his brain for a reason. Why would Buster swim underwater? It felt wrong and they needed to do something, so he confidently

waded out along the nearby fallen river gum. His well tanned skin, sun-bleached hair and athletic body created the illusion of a life spent on the coast rather than the bush. His brothers, Marty and Nick, looked at each other, and then followed him out along the submerged trunk. They all knew the bottom dropped away sharply, and none of them wanted to try and grab the dog while treading water. They knew from experience that a panicked dog was a continuous whirl of legs and claws. “He went under over there, didn’t he?” Brad asked over his shoulder. The other two shrugged and kept edging out along the large trunk, now standing chest-high in the water. Like most of the chocolatebrown waterways, the top layer of water absorbed the heat of the day, while the turbid depths remained icy cold. “I’ll swim across here,” Brad said, pointing to where Buster had vanished. “You two swim further in, and if you feel him, yell. Okay?” Marty and Nick nodded and pushed out into the water; Brad watched them go, and then did the same seconds later. Brad submerged briefly as he moved over deeper water, his ears assaulted with the chirping and chittering sounds from the lagoon’s insect inhabitants. He swam with an improvised breaststroke, stopping to submerge and wave his arms underneath him periodically, feeling for the lost Buster. His searching arm brushed into one slender length of cold, slimy muscle, then another.

He screamed and recoiled while still underwater, losing all of his air and surging to the surface coughing. “Snake! Out of the water!” he managed between gasps, swimming for the bank. He was no stranger to seeing snakes take to the water, and knew they could stay submerged for some time. He had never actually ran into one before, let alone two. He wasn’t sure they could bite under water, but didn’t want to find out. Home was a long walk away, and the hospital even further. Brad did not see the swirl of surface water behind him, as if something large had descended powerfully from just beneath the surface. Marty and Nick had turned for the bank, and Brad could see them swimming strongly. He wondered whether a snake might be a possible explanation for Buster’s disappearance, but wanted to know what his dad thought. They had all loved Buster, and dad prized him as one of the better working dogs. It was not going to be fun trying to explain this when they got home. Nick had nearly reached the shallow water, and Marty, the youngest, was only metres behind him. Marty gasped, and disappeared under the water in mid-stroke. Brad smiled at the trick. The timing was pretty bad though, considering they were meant to be trying to avoid annoyed snakes and rescue Buster. Brad kept swimming in, keeping his head out of the water and waiting for Marty to either pop up again or try to poke him from underwater. Neither had happened by the time he reached the

bank, and he felt a twinge of worry. Nick was already standing on the bank, looking confused. “Where’s Marty?” Nick said, hands on hips. “He ducked under the water and I haven’t seen him come up.” “What, like Buster?” The similarity had already struck Brad, and he turned back to the water. “No, don’t go back in,” Nick said and grabbed his arm. “We have to get him out quick,” Brad replied and tore his arm free. “We can’t just leave him stuck in the water.” “But what if you get stuck? Like Buster and Marty.” The first tears started running down Nick’s face, “And I don’t think they’re stuck. There’s nothing there to get stuck on. I don’t think we should go in the water.”

Want more? eBook available now! Length: Teaser (4367 word count) Genres: Horror, Suspense


eBook Serial

Seriphyn Knight Chronicles By Veronica Purcell

The story will be released January 28th, 2009!

Welcome to the Realm of Leinard. The year is the 167th reign of the Great Emperor Leinard. You have stepped into a realm where magic dwells and anything is possible, at the heart of it all is a young girl named Neven.

It has magic gone wrong, scheming masters, slavery, worship, and constant tests of character, will and loyalty.

It hasn’t been easy for Neven. She almost drowned, was sold into slavery and now she must help four men locate magical doors known only as Tsazcuths; fabled objects rumoured to grant the one who unlocks them ultimate power, wealth, pain or The Author’s Journey of this death. It’s getting ugly. Want to see Story how she goes? Begin the journey to find out. I began writing the Seriphyn

Knight Chronicles as a daily blog at to keep me amused at work when I was bored and lonely. The idea was to post a “day in the life” of a teenage girl in a fantasy world. I already had the background created and thought why not make use of it. I didn’t take this story or my writing seriously until I received an encouraging review from Matthew Terry (another blogger passing by) and, in the following days, from bloggers named Ian Mackean and James. I realised there and then I had to develop my writing skills. Along the way I pasted the story’s link on Louise Cooper’s message boards and got the shook of my life, a very encouraging comment from the great author to go for it.

ery where she is taken to an underground mining city known as The Zone. The city is a place full of shimmering crystal caverns and glorious marble structures under a sky of magical clear quartz. It is here she discovers an inkling of who she is and a purpose, which could possible change the fate of the world.

More? Go to 12 episodes to savour. Genre: Fantasy

The Story So Far A young girl survives a neardeath and loses memory of her true name and identity. A old man helps her recover then sells her into slav-



I Hate Cinderella By Amanda Cole

“I fell asleep on a plane and dreamt about hope and life after a break up,” says author Amanda Cole. It was a really powerful dream that was so intense and so clear in my mind after I woke up, I just felt I should write it down and share it Forget the fairytale. Make with my friends. I retold the story to your own! my housemate, who loved it as well, so I went straight out to buy a notepad and wrote like a girl with purI hate Cinderella is the debut nov- pose!” el of award-winning photographer Amanda Cole. Based The Story: Lucy on a dream she had on a plane Summers is a girl shortly after a relationship with a busy job, break up, it’s an inspirational good family, fabufairytale-style story for grown lous friends and man ups. With plenty of empathy trouble. Her boyand imagination I hate Cinfriend of two years derella is for anyone who has breaks up with her, ever had a broken heart, cried for goes off travelling around the world days and been unable to eat, sleep or leaving Lucy behind. Lucy suffers concentrate. through the first three weeks of the

breakup with flashbacks of how wonderful the relationship was at the beginning and how brutal it was at the end. As she travels interstate for work Lucy’s plane crashes into the ocean. She is rescued by a young mermaid called Obelia. Together they recover Lucy’s sense of self by stepping through the stages of grief and learning to let go. Under the water they tumble through memories, the loss of dreams and the growth of new hope. Lucy learns to see the relationship for what it really was and sees herself and her world with positive eyes with the help of her new friend. With original illustrations by Brazilian illustrator Jovan De Melo and page-turning chapters, I hate Cinderella captures the emotion and

the processes of healing. It is a book about abundance, relationships, and learning to live your dreams. Judith Kennedy, author of bestselling books such as ‘Rescue me’, says, “I hate Cinderella” is a breathtaking break up book that provides the tools to help with a speedy recovery!”

I hate Cinderella is available from December through leading book stores and online at, RRP $24.95.


Collaborative eBook Series

Katarr Kanticles

There is more than one author? Brilliant! Guaranteed to whet all appetites, Katarr Kanticles is a unique series combining action, fantasy, romance and bitter-sweet humor. It’s a series not to miss. There are many stories available for purchase as an ebook at very economical prices! If you’re up for a tease, they also have some stories available for free at their site. From the Website. I had a story (Tria’s Tale) that I’d been working on for a while, and began posting the second draft to a writers’ group I belonged to. I wasn’t expecting the reactions of certain bad influences to it, lol. In the comments for the first part of Chapter Four, Kate started the ball rolling with the question “Does

Mrir smell like cinnamon?” Lisa popped in and asked “Hmm…I wonder if catnip works on him? :)” My response was “LOL…I can just see a 6 and half foot tall cat man doing the face in the bag of catnip, rolling around on the floor looking stoned thing my cat used to do!” To which JC replied: “In response to your comment to LT….if anyone could write a scene like that one…YOU COULD! In fact, we should have a contest…you, LT, me – whomever… and write one for the Blue Room or something…ROFLMAO, would Helen bust a gut or what?! OMG” And thus, the gauntlet was thrown to the sands, and mayhem did ensue. Then there arose a new instigator in our furry adventures: Damian , with his question “But, who’s doing the seduction of the female Katarr? Seems only fair, hmmm?” Whereupon another gauntlet was thrown at his feet, as we informed him, “Looks like that’s up to you!” Invitation / challenge was accepted, and into the Katarr sandbox he mightily strode. Next thing you know, Katarr Kanticles Press was born.

3rd Party Events>>>

Script Writing Challenge April 2009

Script Frenzy

If you’re keen to learn how to write a script for a play or film, a seasoned script writer wanting to refresh with a national challenge then Script Frenzy may be for you. Run by the same people from the National November Writing Challenge (Nanowrimo) which saw thousands of enthusiastic writers complete a fifty thousand manuscript of either absolute rubbish, a real diamond in the rough or an official title in progress. The situation for Script Frenzy is pretty much the same:

are expected, making it the largest scriptwriting contest in the world. As a participant, you have various resources at your disposal and the opportunity to form networks with novice writers or those part of the industry. Similar to Nanowrimo, there is no fee to enter. No valuable prizes are awarded or best scripts singled out. In order to “win” at Script Frenzy, you need only sign up and complete the goal of writing 100 pages in 30 days. In return for their efforts, Script Frenzy winners are granted a Script Frenzy Winner’s Certificate, web icon, and eternal bragging rights. To learn more please visit the official website www.scriptfrenzy. org.

If you need a good script writing program, why not try Celtx (http:// Complete a 100 Page script in It’s FREE to download and use. The developers at Celtx thirty days. have ensured the templates are of This is the second year of the industry standard. There are verScript Frenzy challenge and it hopes sions for windows, macs and linux to attract a frenzy as bigger and available for download. More inforbetter as the year before. Last year mation at their site. over 8,000 participants took part in the challenge, and this year 10,000


Thinking About Self-Publishing?

One of the quickest ways to put your book out for sale and in front of a reading audience is by self-publishing. Self-publishing has received some negative press, and for good reasons. One of the top reasons would be the number of writers who toss their work out without making any efforts to polish it and present it as professionally as possible. Another reason is the dreaded ‘traditional publishers won’t look at your work if you’ve self-published’. If you decide to self-publish, the first thing you must do is make a commitment to yourself to present your book as professionally as possible. You don’t have to spend a lot

of money to do so, but two of the ways to accomplish a professional presentation are to find someone to edit your work and pay to have a really good cover created for it, if you aren’t inclined to create your own. It’s a given that you’ll make some mistakes. Even the books purchased from traditional publishers by wellknown authors tend to have the occasional error (I’m still amused over the use of ‘gate’ in place of ‘gait’ in one trade paperback I purchased!). It’s important to accept that will happen, and just be that more vigilant the next time around. The point is: TRY to present a polished piece of work that is just as good as what someone would purchase from a traditional publisher. It makes you look professional, helps your book to be better received by readers and also removes a bit of the negative press that self-publishing has received, which helps everyone in the long run that chooses the selfpublishing route. Now, your next step is to decide on how you want to self-publish

that finished novel of yours. There are two options for physical copies: vanity presses and print on demand publishing. With a vanity press, you basically pay a fee to have a limited number of books printed. You can choose to pay more for special services, like cover design, editing and formatting. Some also offer marketing services, with promises of getting your book on the shelves of retailers like Barnes & Noble. Choosing to go the vanity press route is great if you’re made of money, because the fees usually start high and add up quickly as you select extra services. Frankly, considering the number of vanity presses that people have reported problems with, I’d skip that venue completely. Your other option is print on demand publishers like or CreateSpace, both of which I have used. You have no upfront costs with, unless you choose to purchase any of the pre-publishing services they offer. Those include editing, formatting and cover design. CreateSpace suggests using BookSurge for any pre-publishing services you may require. The only upfront fee required is the purchase of a proof copy before they release your book to the wild. You can choose to upgrade to their Pro plan, which is $39 per title and gives you a lower cost per book, plus a higher author profit per copy sold. CreateSpace does offer extra marketing services as well, with plans begin-

ning at $89. One of the problems with POD publishing is the cost per book; depending on the length of yours, you might have to charge a pretty outrageous price in order to make a profit from any sales. Set too high of a price, you’re not going to sell any copies. Set your creator revenue too low, you’re not going to see much of a profit for your labor. Having used both of these sites to publish soft cover novels through, though I haven’t had any problems with either, I’ve discovered CreateSpace is the better POD publisher when it comes to actually seeing sales. Most useful of all, CreateSpace will market your book on Amazon. com, if you select that option, at no extra cost. You don’t have to upgrade to receive that option. Their printing process results in a good quality soft cover book as the finished project, with full color covers that is just as good as any paperback you purchase from a real world book store. Now you’ve also got the option, thanks to the worldwide web, of choosing to self-publish electronically. Your book becomes an ebook; there are several venues to sell it from and the purchaser receives instant gratification because they can download your book immediately and begin reading. Other benefits to self-publishing e-books are: 1. You are in control of your content from start to finish.

2. Little to no expense is involved. 3. It’s an easy learning curve to create e-books 4. You probably already have the software to begin right away. 5. You receive almost all of the profit from each sale.

out there, the more likely you are to see regular sales anywhere you promote your e-books.

Successful self-publishing is a quantity over time prospect that requires a steady effort from you. And remember, if you write it, they will The downside? You usually have come. It’s only a matter of time, so to handle all the promotional and don’t give up. marketing aspects yourself, except in the case of and selling your e-books as Kindle editions for their electronic reading device, Gayla Drummond the Kindle. Just a side note: AmaDec. 9, 2008 has been my most successful selling venue. Some venues to sell your e-books from include: 1. Your own website or blog 2. Your profiles at the sites you are a member of (ex. RedBubble) 3. as a Kindle edition 4. Many POD sites also offer e-book selling 5. 6. 7.

Like any attempt to sell a product, your time and effort will be required on a continuing basis. You can’t just stick your e-book up on and viola! Instant sales begin pouring in! That just doesn’t happen. Don’t be discouraged by that; keep at it, and your efforts will bear fruit. Publish new works on a regular basis that’s easy for you to maintain, because the more content you have


How to Promote Yourself and Your Work Tips to get you moving in the right direction.

One of the hardest tasks before you as a self-publishing author is learning to effectively promote yourself and your books, regardless of their format. As I mentioned in another article, you can’t just stick your finished novel up somewhere like and expect sales to begin pouring in. You need to: 1. Create an online presence 2. Learn to price wisely 3. Realize it’s an ongoing process.

Creating an online presence is as simple as joining sites such as RedBubble,,, etc. A very important thing to remember is to behave in a posi

tive manner; any type of disagreements with other people that are carried out in public forums can result in a negative impact on your sales. Choosing a price for your books depends on the format you decide to publish in. If you’re using a POD publishing service, you’ll have to take in account the base cost of printing and their split of the revenue. No one’s going to buy a 100 page fiction book for $35; though they might pay that for a how-to book the same length. Be reasonable and think like a price conscious consumer: what would you pay for the same book if It was written by someone else? When it comes to selling fiction e-books, you have the luxury of knowing you’re going to receive most of your profits yourself from each sale, regardless of what venue you sell from (except in case of, but we’ll get there shortly). So don’t price your e-books sky high. Would you rather sell five at $10 each, or sell a hundred at $3.25 each? Quantity, my friends. Quantity.

What I did to set a price for my e-books was to visit quite a few small, online presses that sell fiction e-books and compare their prices, which are usually based on the word count. After a couple of weeks, I set my own prices based on the following word counts: • 2,000 – 4,000 words $1.29 • 4,001-6,000 words $1.75 • 6,001-9,999 words $2.00 • 10,000-15,000 words $3.25 • 15,001-30,000 words $4.75 • 30,001-45,000 words $5.25 • 45,001-70,000 words $5.75 • 70,001-100,000 words $ 5.95 • 100,000 or more words $7.99

I mentioned above: if you choose to sell your e-books as Kindle editions on, you are agreeing not to price them higher than you have them listed elsewhere. Amazon takes 65% of each sale; you receive 35%. You set the price for each book, and even if Amazon puts it on sale, you still will receive 35% of the full price for each sale. You’re basically paying for having that giant customer base available to you and for their promotion of your books on their site. It’s really not a bad deal at all. Here’s where the ongoing process comes in: you want to place your books for sale on as many venues as possible in order to generate publicity and readers’ interest in your work. Link to your books’ sales pages from every site you’re a member of. Join new sites that look viable for

promoting them. Don’t view other authors as ‘competition’. For every writer, there’s an audience out there. You may share some of those readers with a hundred other writers; do you really care as long as they’re also purchasing and reading your books? So don’t be shy about promoting your fellow writers; most especially those who will return the favor. Trade links with other writers, leave comments on their blogs with your site’s link in the appropriate place and if you don’t have your own blog or website, start one! Set up affiliate programs to encourage other people to help market your books; has a built in affiliate system that’s easy to work with, and there’s always Put a link to your book’s sales page in your email and forum signatures. Create banner or button graphics for visual promotion. Make a video promoting each book and place it up on YouTube. Give all your Net savvy relatives puppy dog eyes until they link to or otherwise promote your books on their own profiles and sites. Social network! Make sites like and work for you. Search out new sites to join, and don’t exclude writing sites like, etc, just because they have a huge number of members. You never know just which venue will be the most successful when you’re starting out. Put your books up on every possible sales platform available on-

line. This is really more for e-books than physical copies. Below is a list of sites I suggest you try selling through.

books are for sale; for example, they have an Amazon module that makes it easy to link to your books’ Amazon sales pages.

You can discard unsuccessful efforts as you go along to concentrate on those that show a nice return for the time and effort you expend on them. Remember to update with 2. – It’s free to list your con- new titles or prices and don’t be shy tent here, and payment is done through about promoting any successes you have in the more traditional publishPayPal. ing world if you’re also walking that 3. – If you want to sell path. Toot your own horn a little, but ‘direct’ from your own website or blog, don’t go overboard. Last but not least, work on manages your digital content delivery and payment is handled ing yourself a good bio blurb to use through PayPal. Plus, you will also have on every site, or ask someone to do a ‘storefront’ on their site that lists all it for you. 1. – Their DTP isn’t hard to join, the learning curve to properly formatting your e-book for proper conversion to a Kindle edition isn’t high.

your available titles.

4. – They take a small percentage of each sale of your e-books and handle digital delivery. Lulu also gives you a personal storefront you can link to. 5. – This is an affiliate site. Upload your content and set your affiliate split. Other people will market your content for you on their own sites. 6. From a store on your own site – I’m using Zen Cart on one of my sites, with PayPal as the payment processor. Quite a few of the small, online presses appear to use Zen Cart. 7. Create a lens – Hop over to Squidoo. com and create a lens for yourself and each of your books. You can make those into a nexus by listing all the places your

Gayla Drummond Dec. 9, 2008


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What is more courageous than standing in a cage full of hungry lions? Self publishing.

Arletta [] has a graphic novel titled Reggie The Evil Milkshake available for sale at lulu. com. It’s available as book an eBook and print copy, and the price is very modest, starting at a low $5.00. About the book: Man versus milkshake in an epic battle for love. Recommend a squizz. Genre: Comedy, romance and all that fun stuff.

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New York Red Bubble Artists Exhibit January 23rd - January 30th!!! Pay It Forward Monthly Artist Feature #1 January

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End of 2008 blogazine for the Writers' Market Group at