Vikings, Reddit, and Real Life

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The last month has been hectic. My pay-the-bills job has been keeping me busy, plus other things outside of work have got me to the point of not wanting to do any writing when I finally have spare time.

I know that’s not the attitude to have, but it’s just been exhausting. That said, I think things are finally easing up a little which is giving me time to think about my next project.

I’ve decided to work on a new idea that’s been floating around in my head rather than the other story I got part of the way through before stopping to write Badlands and The Totally True Adventures of Gustav Gustavson – Legendary Viking Warrior.

It’s still a little too early in the game to give away too much, other than to say it may make me a target for religious nut-bags. It’s a humorous tale of God and the Devil, Christ and few other family members and the havoc they cause.

Other than that I’ve been spending a lot of time over on Reddit as a way of not doing any writing. The Writing Prompts subreddit is one of my favourite places to hang out, reading all the prompt-inspired responses. I’ve posted a few of my own over the time, none that have really taken off until the one I posted the other day.

The prompt I submitted was: You accidentally summon a demon by trying to pronounce IKEA product names. I honestly didn’t expect it to get any traction, much like the ones that I posted before. But to my utter astonishment it took off, trending as high as top spot in the subreddit and garnering over 7,800 up-votes and even a gold star.

If you’ve got a bit of time, go over to Reddit and check out the awesome responses people have posted. It’s great to see how people interpret the response in different ways.

In The Totally True Adventures of Gustav Gustavson – Legendary Viking Warrior related news, it’s now been a little over a month since I released this book and I can honestly say it’s by a wide margin the best-selling book I’ve ever put out there.

It’s been snapped up by people all over the world, including countries I’ve never reached before. Sales have slowed a little since its initial release but I’m still seeing lots of people grabbing copies through Kindle Unlimited, and even the odd paperback copy being sold. Having people read and enjoy something I’ve written really makes my day.

That’s all for now. Back to procrastinating …er… working on my next book. 🙂

Maze Quest – A Text-Adventure Short Story

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A short story this time (just shy of 5,000 words) from a Reddit Writing Prompt. Written as 2nd person (a perspective I rarely read and up to now haven’t written in)… but it suited the “game” theme as many old point-and-click and text-adventure type games would employ this style. It’s written as if they’re scenes in a game.

The Prompt:

[WP] You are the protagonist of a point-and-click game.

The Story: Maze Quest

Standing South of the Mansion

You are standing in the once manicured grounds to the south of a white stately mansion, but what have now overgrown from neglect. The mansion has stood abandoned since the former owner died many years ago and now, as the sole heir to the Stackson family fortune, the mansion and the acres she stands on are now all yours.

As you survey the lands to the west, the legendary hedge maze that has formed part of the scenery for over four-hundred years fills your view. To the east stand the burial grounds with mausoleums and monuments to the long dead.

Knowing that every window and door were padlocked and boarded over to deter thieves, you brought along with a rucksack which contains: Read the rest of this entry »

Flash Fiction | An Ancient Relic of True Wisdom

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I know I only just posted some flash fiction less than an hour ago… but I couldn’t resist this one. Again, from Writing Prompts on Reddit.

The prompt:

[WP] In a far-distant future, children of age are paraded en masse to an ancient relic which is prophesized to only accept the touch of a chosen one. Sadly, it’s just a locked smart-device.

The Story:

The children marched single file along the wide promenade. Crowds of people, twenty rows deep lined both sides, cheering and waving to the little heroes in the hope that one might unlock the relic lost to time.

Long ago a seer known as Quatre-Chan had prophesized that a child of ten years of age would unlock the device and we would know true wisdom. So many years had passed, so many children had attempted to unlock the secrets of the relic, but none had succeeded.

I was the high priest that day. That fateful day that everything changed. Read the rest of this entry »

Flash Fiction | The Replacements (D&D Style)

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Another lunch break and another piece of flash fiction inspired by Writing Prompts on Reddit.

The prompt:

[WP] You’re usual D&D group was a no show for your campaign, jokingly you wish for interesting players to play with… That’s when 3 people from history appear at your table complete with character sheets.

The Story:

“For the last time, no, Julius, you can’t cast magic missile,” I said as I rubbed my temples, thinking that perhaps wishing for these idiots was a bad idea. Maybe if I wished hard enough my usual gang would show up and I could kick these guys out.

“Why not?” asked the Caesar, breaking my train of thought. “I have prepared my spells.”

“Yes, but you’ve already cast your limit for today. Who was next in initiative order, JFK or Genghis?” I said, consulting my notes.

“Me,” Genghis Kahn growled from across the table. His eyes studied the map laid out before him. Read the rest of this entry »

Flash Fiction | He was always so nice

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I wrote this piece in my lunch break today after poking through Writing Prompts on Reddit. This one struck a chord with me so I typed out a few hundred words.

The prompt:

[WP] “For a serial killer, he’s awfully polite. Even sends me post cards from time to time.”

The Story:

The first postcard was strange. A cityscape photo of Phoenix, Arizona on one side and a hand-written note “Thinking of you in Phoenix,” on the other. No signature or name, only my address in Trenton, New Jersey.

At first I thought maybe someone had sent it to the wrong person until I got another less than a week later. This one had both my name and my address.

Missing you from Montana,” it read, but still no details of the sender. The picture was a landscape of beautiful, windswept mountains. I made a note to visit there one day if I had the chance.

Another week passed by and with it came another postcard.

You left a hole in my heart as big as Texas,” again with no name. The picture on the front was the flag of Texas.

That was a little more specific. Was it someone I’d dumped in the past? I’d been through a few recently. My standards have always been high, and I’m known to dump people I’m seeing for the shallowest of reasons. I’m not going to apologize for being picky.

The most disturbing one came a few days later. Read the rest of this entry »