Thursday, September 29, 2016

Review: A Day in the Life by Lucas Whorley

So another local author, albeit a much younger than me local author, has written and self-published a book. I've only met him very briefly, but we have mutual friends who recommended I read his book. I thought that I would review the book now that I have read it. I was really impressed considering where he grew up (same town I did LOL) and his age.
In A Day in the Life by Lucas Whorley suicidal Adam is convinced to leave his apartment and socialize by his closest, but not that close anymore, friend Randy. Adam’s surly attitude leaves the atmosphere in each scene raw and dirty, but in a way so realistic that you feel you are witnessing the story unfold just a table over from where you are seated in Four Season’s CafĂ©.

You follow Adam reluctantly (but only because Adam’s own reluctance is painted so realistically) through his day with Randy and Randy’s two-timing on again, off again girlfriend Lindsey. Through this day you meet Lindsey’s jaded sister Kimmy and travel with the group to a park for some “fun” and then to the backwoods of Grayson County for a brawling shindig where secrets spill forth from drunken lips and people's actions are loosened by their affinity for the drink and other substances. The book ends rather suddenly and through the descriptions I wasn't at first sure what happened, this is one area where the story could be polished up a little, but once I figured things out I was a little shocked by the character's reactions, or lack thereof, to the event. But then I remembered who had inspired the characters in this story and realized that their reaction was true to life. 

While the book is incredibly short, more of a short story than a novella, it is well written. There are some rough edges to it that could be smoothed out and the formatting is lacking in several places in the paperback copy that I purchased. But for a self-published book it stands strong compared to many others that I have read in the past. 

Friday, August 26, 2016

Young Death

So a few months back I took a free writing course on Coursera's website. ( Side note: I seriously love that site, you guys should check it out.) In that course I wrote the following short short story. One of the rules was it had to be under 500 words. I've held this story and experience close to my heart for over 28 years and thought now was as good a time as any to share it. So dear reader please enjoy and feel free to comment with your thoughts, recommendations, etc.

Young Death by Crystal Raen

There was rain hitting the glass panes of the picture window in the living room. The smell of wood heat came up from the basement and a wooden box full of broken crayons sat on the floor between Chris and me.

Quiet conversation takes place among the grownups while we color. We stop only to fight when he tries to fix my drawing. I have a typical three year old melt down. Our parents make plans for us to have a play date later in the week. We say goodbye.

Friday arrives, but I am sick. Mom is scared; I’ve thrown up too much. My fever is too high. She calls my aunt. “Kay, I’ve got to take Crystal to the Doctor. I’m afraid she has the stomach flu.”

It's late now, I’m asleep, tired from the doctor visit. Nothing left to throw up. I’m too tired to go see why mama is crying. The next few days are a blur. Everyone around me is sad. I want to see Chris. I’m told I can’t. The grownups give me some toys, tell me to go play. I do, but I’m confused. Then we all dress up. Everyone is wearing somber colors; I have to sit quietly in a pew. Everyone is crying, I try to give them gum and tissues.

They smile sadly and tell me to be still.

“Is Chris coming?” No one answers, they just sob harder. I feel sad too.

It’s been a few weeks since I’ve seen my cousin. He’s my best friend and I want to play. I tell mama and my grandfather constantly. My grandfather says we will take a trip. In the car he tells me that Chris can’t play with me anymore. That God called him home. We park in the grass. We walk along and stop in front of two headstones. One for Chris and one for his father.

“Pawpaw, why can’t Chris come play with me?” I touch the cold gray stone that my grandfather says marks the grave of my cousin.

“He’s sleeping with the angels.”

“Can he come back when he wakes up?” I look up at my grandfather, he seems so tall, so strong, his tears scare me.

“He won’t wake up sweet girl, not in this world. He’s home with God now.”

“Can I go where he is?” I sit down now, still not understanding what happened, only understanding that my best friend was not there. I wouldn’t see him again. I didn’t truly understand what that meant, I only knew that I didn’t like it and it made me sad.

“Not for a long time. We cannot follow where he goes.”

My grandfather picks me up, my tiny body wracked with sobs. We get back into his car and drive home. I quit asking about Chris. I understand now that it upsets the grownups when I do.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

101 Fantasy and Sci-fi Writing Prompts

My hiatus from writing has gone on for entirely too long. In an effort to jump start my writing, I decided to create a list of 101 writing prompts. Once I finished these prompts I decided that it might be worthwhile to share them with the world at large in the form of a workbook. So, if you too are suffering from writer’s block, you may want to give this workbook a try.

It is called 101 Fantasy and Sci-fi Writing Prompts and can be found on Amazon with my other works.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...