Wisps Of Memory – Out now!

Friends, my latest short story, Wisps Of Memory, is now live on Amazon, Kobo, iTunes, Barnes and Noble, and others.

It’s a Christmas horror story (as always, not the splatter type) about Ian, a middle-aged loner who lives with the memories of his daughters and grandson, rather than with them, a man who lives on the hope that his loved ones will remember him during the holiday. In the meantime, his nearly paralysed arm starts twitching uncontrollably. A couple of weeks before Christmas, his last friend leaves the country, and Ian finds himself with no one in his life. Day by day, he feels life ebbing away from him.

And this is the cover

The story was originally published on 9Tales Told In The Dark issue 12, literary magazine on April 2016 and it’s the third and last story I’ll publish this year. Like the stories I published before, Wisps Of Memory costs $0.99 and is available worldwide.

I hope you like it. If you read it, consider reviewing it on Amazon, Goodreads, or any other site you frequent.

As an added note, if you like free books, have a look at this giveaway I’m hosting on Instafreebie. Myself and more than forty other writers have teamed up and are giving away some of our horror and thriller stories (click on the image below to go to the download page). Not a bad gift for the holiday, right? What have you got to lose? They’re all free 😉

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Writing Prompt 50

Shelly and David sped past the barb-wires, their fists pumping by their sides. Behind them, the first outpost sounded the alarm. Soon, another answered the call, and another, then all of them.

“You know,” David said, “if we survive this, I’m going to kill you.”

“Good luck with that, frog face,” Shelly said. “I’m not alive anyway. And you are not really here.”

writing prompt 50

 

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Exciting News!!

First of all, I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving (those of you who celebrate it) and that you were thankful for a lot of things. We don’t celebrate it here in Greece, but I’m thankful for each and every one of you, as well as everyone in my life.

You may have heard that Pronoun, an e-book distributor owned by Macmillan, terminated its operation (more info here). It just so happened that Pronoun was the distributor I had chosen to publish my stories to retailers other than Amazon.

So now that I’m about to launch my third short story, titled Wisps Of Memory, on December 10, I have to find another distributor. You may think that something like this would be easy, however, since I’m not a US citizen I have to look into it with greater care. The reason for this of course is additional taxes, both here in Greece as well as in the US. I won’t bore you with legal details, but suffice to say that thanks to my brilliant accountant, I’m not far from choosing the next distributor.

So, on December 10 my next horror short story, Wisps Of Memory, will be available worldwide, through most of the big retailers.

Here’s the blurb:

The end doesn’t always come with a bang.

Ian is a loner middle-aged man who lives with the memories of his daughters and grandson, rather than with them. He hopes that they will remember him during the holiday. In the meantime, his nearly paralysed arm starts twitching uncontrollably. A couple of weeks before Christmas, his last friend leaves the country, and Ian finds himself with no one in his life. Day by day, he feels life is ebbing away from him.

If you’re feeling generous or if you’re interested, you can help with this by reviewing it when it comes out. If this interests you, you can sign this form. Please bear in mind though, that doing so will also sign you up for my newsletter. Obviously, you can unsubscribe at any time if you so choose. Signing up means that you will receive a complimentary copy of Wisps Of Memory. It goes without saying that you’re not obliged to review it, but it would sure make me happy and fuzzy and warm inside if you did 🙂 You know how important reviews are for writers, right?

Thank you all in advance!

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Crutch words – Smile/Laugh

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a post about crutch words and I focused on the word LOOK. Of course, look isn’t the only crutch word writers use. SMILE and LAUGH are two similar words. Keep in mind that the words I include below are not the only ones, but they tend to be used more often than others. Also, some of them are the product of onomatopoeia (Greek word, meaning to create names), and as such they describe a sound. As I mentioned in that earlier post, make sure you understand what each word means before you use them.

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Writing Prompt 49

“Don’t touch that,” Hannah yelled and slapped Liz’s hand.

The harmonica fell to the ground.

Hannah picked it up and dusted it off gingerly, almost caressing it. She glared at Liz. “Don’t you ever, EVER, touch it again.”

“What’s the big deal with your stupid harmonica anyway?”

The big deal is that I just saved you life, Hannah thought. One wrong note and the harmonica would have seared your flesh.

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Crutch words

Nearly every human being (if not all) have expressions and words we like to use more often than others. We either use them from habit, or because we can’t remember a synonym, or because we don’t know any other synonym. When we talk to people, the listener’s mind doesn’t always pick up on those repetitions, and if it does, it focuses on the meaning of the sentence as a whole rather than that any of the words we keep repeating.

That’s not the case with written words. The ancient Romans used to say, Scripta Manent, which loosely means the written word endures. The full saying was, verba volant, scripta manent, meaning words are volatile, the written words endure. And they were right in more than one levels. For instance, when we read something, it’s easier to pick up repetitions. I’m not sure why that is, maybe because our eyes can pick up patterns, or perhaps  our minds work differently when we read something instead of saying it. We, as writers, owe it to our readers to present them with the best and most descriptive of our work we can possibly create.

One way of achieving this is by realising we’re using crutch / repetitive words, and do our best to come up with a synonym that is more descriptive and conveys the same message in a better way.

One such word is LOOK, when used as a verb meaning to examine visually. Below is a small list of synonyms you can use instead of look. Now, before you use them, make sure you understand the inherent meaning of each word, since synonym to a word doesn’t necessarily mean equivalent. Also keep in mind that some of those words are also considered filter words, and may cause problems with telling instead of showing. Use your judgement.

Keep in mind that I focused on the synonyms for look that mean to examine visually and none of its other meanings.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A small horror (?) story

Let me start by wishing Happy Halloween to everyone who celebrates it!! I know it’s in two days time, but since I only post here every Sunday, it’s now or never.

This past week was one of the few ones where, despite the work, I felt energetic. Probably because there wasn’t too much work to do at the office. In other words, I had enough time to write and play around with Photoshop. Those of you who follow me on Facebook (the personal profile or my author’s page) may have seen some of the pictures I uploaded.

So last Thursday, I took the day off from work to write, edit, and work on other things. Boy, that was fun!

There I was, eager to unleash my creativity, my fingers itching to dance on the keyboard, and… my PC died.

What I mean by that is, it got caught in an endless boot-loop. If you’ve never encountered it (lucky you!), a boot-loop in short, and as I understand it, is a state where the computer fails to load the operating system and is forced to restart, until it reaches the same point of previous failure, and on and on it goes. You don’t need me to tell you it’s scary. In my case, it was scarier because I couldn’t start my computer into Safe Mode (an operating mode where only the most basic computer functions are loaded, which allows the user to remove any programme or anything else that causes the computer into a boot-loop or other scary stuff). I was also unable to go back to a previous stable state. To make things worse, the repair function the Windows CD provides also didn’t work. In other words, I had no way of accessing anything into my system.

The last time something like this happened was about fifteen years ago. Back then, I knew almost nothing of computers (not that I know a lot of things now, but certainly more than then). When it happened, I lost everything because I had to format my hard drives. By everything I mean mostly viruses, since I didn’t even know what an antivirus was. Fifteen years ago, I decided I was going to reserve a small partition in my hard drive where, when the time came, I would be able to install a fresh copy of Windows (without messing with the older version) and access my files locked in the older copy of the operating system. Fifteen years ago! That’s a long time. I almost forgot I had it. I had never used it, and sometimes, when I ran out of space on my hard disks, I questioned my decision. Until last Thursday.

To make a long and boring story short, thanks to this post I managed to fix the problem. And the problem was the registry. Of course, by the time I found this article, I had wasted most of the day, which resulted in me not working enough on things I was supposed to work. But at least, my ancient computer is alive and hopefully will remain so until I buy a new one.

The moral of all this is: make sure you keep updated backups, or use a restore point in your computer, and of course don’t give up and don’t panic.

You may think that this is completely unrelated to writing, but I urge you to read the previous sentence again. You never know when a fatal digital error will take away a manuscript you’ve been working on for years.

And that was my horror story for this year. Hopefully…

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