Friday, April 25, 2014

Short Stories of all types


Short Stories of all types is really very ambiguous, don't you think? I have a list of several short story titles such as: "Mr. Klien's other Bottle", Mr. McDonalds Magical Miniature Zoo", "Holding cell", and "The Doctor and Mr. Jones". The first two are titles that peaked my imagination and for now just take up a little bit of memory on my hard drive. Of the second two, "Holding Cell" is a rather bizarre tale that seems to have no beginning, no end, and no purpose; it's just a place I know of near where I grew up taking place at a time before I lived there; that is before the road was paved, probably about 1946. Maybe some day I'll do something with it. The last one, "The Doctor and Mr. Jones" is complete, very short, and meant to shock the reader. That is if you don't figure it out before you get to the end. I'll add more to the list as I go along.


Over the last year and a half I've been through this several times. It needs maybe once more with a new set of rules and then it will be ready for an anthology I've planned for later this year.

3/6/2016 - This little tale has been fighting me ever since I finished the first few chapters. I've got most of the characters laid out but the interaction between them depends on several factors that I haven't fully defined yet. I had wanted this to be a dark tale with a scary ending but it keeps trying to turn itself into a romantic tale. I've set it aside for now until I can decide whether to give in or attack.

2/2/2016 - Yes dear fans I'm starting a new project and of a darker nature than I've previously attempted. I've written three chapters so far, enough to get myself in trouble. Why, you ask? Because most of the stories I've written so far have happy endings and it's not my intention for this one be quite like that. I've two other chapters written that bend the other way and I'm resisting the urge to go that way. Wish me luck.


4/15/2018 - No progress at this time.
3/6/20016 - Major update to the story line. In fact I've changed direction a couple of times since this was first posted. I've added some more content but the general theme is still the same. The "Time Machine" is now an antique automobile discovered in the back of the wood shed. Our main person has inherited the farm when his Aunt Pearl, his father's older sister, passes away. She was a widow and her husband, Syd, was an eccentric inventor. I originally had the idea of having to go out through the woods to (deleted story line) but decided that was unnecessary. I've also expanded the number of characters and added some mystery, maybe I'll add a villain or too? That will be decided as I develop both the characters and the plot.
8/18/2015 - I've been interested in the idea of someone purchasing or inheriting an old farm with lots of land in a peaceful, rural, and somewhat hilly area. There is an old machine that had been used for dragging logs out of the woods for fire wood. However, on a foggy evening, the woods is not a very good place to be. Take the wrong turn and you end up in a ghost town full of people from the 1880's. Go the other way and its prohibition era and you've just been caught snooping around an full blown and active still. Now where do you suppose that other turn will take you?
But that will have to wait as before I could get two chapters written I had this other great idea, and I called it "The Observer."

3/15/2018 - Renamed "The Ben-a-ji" and greatly expanded to encompass a greatly expanded scope. I've also added a new type of character htat can be looked at as either a savior or destroyer. This creature was created in the far distant past and is hunted for by the people of this world. They know it has a secret ppower and there are those that wish to bend it to their own will. But the Ben-a-ji's purpose is more subtle than that and the civilization that created it left no word as to its true purpose.
This will be a daunting task, to take an existing story and encapsulate it within another of wider scope and purpose. I've already had to make some major decisions and, for the moment, stap back and think it through.

From the previous post "The Observer" started back in august of 2015 as a short story but I had trouble with the ending so it has languished for the last year while I thought it over. Now the only way to procede is to expanded it onto a larger canvas. That also includes a new title 'The Ben-a-ji". I've expanded the background to bring in a few more characters. It will take some work to bring the rest of the story up to the detail of the original. One of the new characters is the Ben-a-ji itself. For this character I borrowed the template from Arthur C. Clarke's Vanamonde. Only the template, the character is completely different.

3/6/2016 - This story was originally written to go in my first collection of short stories called "Five for Tomorrow" and replace "Uncle Phid's Closet" as that one was to short compared to the other four stories. For some reason it annoyed me as it didn't seem to have a good ending. I've written a couple of new endings and so far I like what I've added, but they did nothing to complete the story the way I wanted it too. Therefore I've relegated it back to the Short Stories bin.

8/18/2015 - Mr. Marvin Rolla is an observer; excuse me, a professional observer. What is he observing you ask? Well just about everything and anyone. Does he creep up to your window and peer inside? Absolutely not! Mr. Rolla is a professional and does not stoop to such disgusting means to observe. Then there's Ms. Candace Catwell, a wealthy socialite; excuse me again, wealthy, unattached, scheming, socialite who has managed to weasel her way onto the Board of Appraisers for the city of Towson, Indiana. Meet Mr. Peyton Garvey, a dreamer and schemer constantly looking for the next get rich easy scheme. And then there's Mr. Paul Martin, the senior member of the board and a little perturbed about having to work with these two schemers, but his little sister Minerva talked him into helping her husband Peyton get on the board. Peyton in turn helped Ms Catwell. It drove Mr. Martin wild. The only other character of any merit, and he has quite a few, merits that is, is Hamm. Big, strong, rugged Hamm, and close friend of Marvin Rolla. But, then again, Marvin Rolla wasn't his real name.

"TERMINS PRIME" => Retitled as "Gateway"

4/15/2018 - I wasn't happy with the title after thinking it through. As with most of my works they tend to morph into something of their own; I'm just there to put it on paper (so to speak).

It's an interesting title to begin with, but the story line came first. Whether you want to call it interdimensional travel or an invasion of ghosts... You can decide if you so wish. It has a tragic beginning leaving our not so much a hero wandering aimlessly across the country. By happenstance he lands in the mid west working in and eventually buying the family oriented Starlight Bar & Grill. Now, that seems tame enough until one stormy night when most of the regular customers have stayed home, and several new people enter his life. Some are from his childhood, some he knew from his time in the Navy and a few he's never known before but know him quite intimately.
As this is a short story, and I've just started, there's not much more to tell; so you'll have to read it to find out what really happens.

"UNCLE PHID'S CLOSET" [or: The face in the closet]

3/6/2016 - This was slated to be just a short tale as part of a collection of short stories. That's when I decided to cut the 1929 part off; it stands perfectly well as just taking place in 1957. So, instead of being part of the collection (go see Four Tomorrows) I smoothed it out a little more and just released it as a short story by itself on Somewhere along the line I may reuse the part I've removed in another way; I tend not to throw anything away; who knows, I could write a prize winning book from the scraps. Well, I can dream can't I?

8/18/2015 -  I added this to my first compilation of stories but couldn't conceive of a good way to bridge the 1929 part with the 1957 part so I chopped off the first part and added it in as a very short story.

4/25/2015 -   I started writing this one under a different title, and as yet I don't have it completely ironed out. The story begins in 1927 before fast forwarding to the 1950's then jumping back in time to 1927. No, this is not time travel, but a story spanning generations. The main characters are Phineus Edwards and his grandson Jerry. It's a little rough right now, but it's as good, if not better, than many of the short stories I've read over the past 50 years.I'll report further when I iron a few more wrinkles out of it.


 My next idea for a short story is tentatively labeled "High Jacked". And, with any early project, that may change as the story unfolds. Unlike my recent excursions into the many aspects of the realm of science fiction, this story derives from two main sources, the movie "UP" and a Monty Python short  entitled "The Crimson Permanent Assurance", and resembles neither one of them or maybe I should say I added a nightmarish twist as I mangled the two entirely separate sources into a story about a young couple and an old house. Of course I will mix in a few 'wee folk' just to make it seem real.
How's it coming, you may ask? Well, let's just say that I've made some notes and created the necessary folders on my computer, so I've committed space at least, for now I'll start writing notes and see where it leads me.

About the most I could say about this one is that it is completed but not published and it is most likely the shortest story I've ever written.

Possibly the weirdest story I've ever written (so far) as it apparently has no real beginning or end. My inspiration for the setting is a little turnoff place with a watering trough on Vermont route 14 between Woodbury and Hardwick. Yes, those are both real towns in Vermont. And just why our person is sitting there is anybodies guess. It may sound strange, but it was an experiment that maybe fizzled or maybe not?

There are a few others that I won't list here as they will probably languish in obscurity until I have the time and inclination to continue with them. There's nothing unusual in that, many authors have ideas and grand designs on what to do with them that get relegated to the back pages of their notebook or hard drive, whichever the case may be.