Sunday, January 31, 2010

Heightist women?

A year ago, this would have depressed me (HT Instapundit):
But the fact of the matter is that, for the most part, I go out with guys my height or taller. The shortest guy I ever went out with? 5’10”. The tallest? 6’6”. Lately, I’ve been wondering, does that make me a heightist?

If I am, I’m not alone. A while back, I conducted a poll: “Would you go out with a guy who’s shorter than you?” Around 40 percent of the women who responded said: “Hell-to-the-no.” Another 32 percent or so indicated they’d date a guy the same height or a “teeny bit” shorter. How many women would go out with a significantly shorter man? Around 25 percent. In other words, most women are heightists.
As if that wasn't depressing enough, read the comments, and all the women who say that they won't date anyone less than 6 feet (and especially the short women who won't date short men). I hate to disappoint those women who say that they'll only date 6' guys, but according to this chart, only about 25% of men are taller than 6 feet.

I'm a 5'4" guy. I'm well below the 5th percentile--assuming a Gaussian distribution, I'm well below the 1st percentile. I'm also a reformed heightist. At one point, I preferred women who were shorter than I was. Unfortunately, most of those women were only interested in men taller than I. Eventually I realized that I was being silly--considering my height's the same as the average female height, I wasn't being fair to 50% of the female population. Granted, this wasn't a sudden change of heart--I just gradually expanded my ideal dating pool, to my height, and then to a little taller, etc. Fortunately, it was sometime after this that I met my 5'6" girlfriend, and height wasn't a deciding factor for her either.

One thing a lot of women in the comments to that article talk about is that being taller than the man is an issue for him. I can see that being the case when a guy's 5'9" and dating a 5'10" woman. Not that many women are taller than he is, and the few who are might seem intimidating. The thing is, that's a luxury a 5'4" guy doesn't have. If I were intimidated by taller women, I'd be intimidated by half of them.

So it doesn't depress me anymore--I just find it immature. I'm not about to say that there's something wrong with having a preference for taller men. But a preference and an absolute refusal to consider anyone the wrong height (and neither I nor my girlfriend ever stuck to absolutes in height considerations) is a recipe for heartache.

Storyblogging Carnival XXXI

Welcome to the thirty-first Storyblogging Carnival. If you're not familiar with it, storyblogging is simply storytelling in blog format, usually but not always fiction. We have ten stories this time, and the longest and most disturbing one is non-fiction. More Carnivals can be found on this page. But for now, let's get on with this one:

The Gruntwerx Paradigm
by Mark A. Rayner of The Skwib
A 472 word brief story rated PG.

What happens when you are forced to be happy all the time? Bad things. Very bad things.

The Last Bus
by J. Fielek of Quibbles-n-Bits
A 514 brief story rated G.

An homage to a great person.

[A touching little story. -DSC]

What they don't tell you.
by Goemagog of this space for sublet
A 845 word brief story rated G.

MONKEYS!

[The author's blurb isn't very descriptive, but I'll just say that Goemagog continues to have a gift for the really, really bizarre. -DSC]

Mysterious Ways
by Stuart Wood at Pajama Pundits
A 1,286 word brief story rated PG.

A story pondering crime and religiosity entering politics.

Sleeping Dragon
by Eric Ashley of Tales of Tadeusz
A 1,404 short story rated R.

A Belmont Club commenter asked what would have happened if bin Laden had attacked Beijing with the airplanes rather than New York and Washington. This is one answer to that question.

Britannia 12 & 13 (The Rest of the Story)
by Andrew Ian Dodge of Dodgeblogium
The next 2,899 words of a continuing story rated PG.

It continues...

[I originally misplaced Andrew's e-mail and didn't find it until late last night, so I didn't have a chance to read Andrew's entry. My apologies. To show my contrition, I won't even complain that Andrew didn't send me the word count of the whole thing. -DSC]

Ink Magic
by Dave Gudeman of Doc Rampage
The first 3,227 words of a short story rated PG.

Doc gives us a story for Halloween. There's sarcasm, cynicism, and scatological humor. Oh, and something about evil hoodoo.

[Doc didn't send a blurb this time, giving me the rare opportunity to make one up for him. That's always fun. -DSC]

Chapter Two and Chapter Three of Part III of The Child (Beginning)
by Sheya Joie of Tales by Sheya
The next 4,644 words of her 90,917 word novel rated PG.

Now that the teams have scattered through the fortress to find Walker and the captives, some teams find the searching agonizingly slow...

...while for others, events begin to move at a pace that takes their breath away.

[Sheya's reorganized her story into fewer, but longer chapters. -DSC]

What not to do in China...
by Rory of What not to do in Australia
A 15,500 word short story rated R.

This is non fiction, yet the story is so incredible it could easily be fiction.

[This story's title should be taken very literally. -DSC]

And that's it for this carnival. If you'd like to take part in a future carnival, please contact me. I am also looking for hosts. The next Carnival will be hosted by Mark Rayner at The Skwib.

The Storyblogging Carnival can be found at The Truth Laid Bear's ÜberCarnival.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Storyblogging Carnival XXX

Welcome to the thirtieth Storyblogging Carnival. We have ten stories this time, from nine authors. Mark Rayner kindly contributed two stories this week. He's prolific, ain't he? If you're not familiar with it, storyblogging is simply storytelling in blog format, usually but not always fiction. More Carnivals can be found on this page. But for now, let's get on with this Storyblogging Carnival:

Thag not want get tattoo!
by Mark A. Rayner of The Skwib
A 300 word brief story rated PG.

Another in the continuing series on Thag, the caveman with problems. This story deals with another aspect of human nature — how we tend to avoid new experiences as we get older. It's still comedy though.

After Nelson
by Mark A. Rayner of The Skwib
A 450 word brief story rated PG.

On the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar, I image what history might have looked like if Lord Nelson hadn't been there to win it.

The Sad Story of Princess Helga
by Gary Sieling of The Secret Life of Gary
A 529 brief story rated G.

Princess Helga meets a sorceress.

[I wrote the blurb for this one. -DSC]

Little Redfern's Trip to the Supermarket
by Jonathan Holley of Johnny America
A 765 word brief story rated R.

I looked up from my bucket to leer at two bickering coeds who were at the other end of Aisle 14. I thought about mouthing the sequins on brunette's blue miniskirt. I guessed from the flesh-toned Band-Aid on her calf that she’d nicked herself shaving...

Pineapple Upside-down Cake
by Andrea Graham of Adam's Blog
A 1,015 word short story rated G.

A child's eye view of death and food.

[As the author didn't send a blurb, I wrote one for her. -DSC]

The Journey (part 4), Part 14 of Scale 7 Artifact (Beginning)
by Dave Gudeman of Doc Rampage
The next 1,165 words of a 22,304 word story rated PG.

Yet another chapter in the greatest saga ever told about the exploration of the third moon of a gas giant in another solar system by a guy named Daniel with a scale 7 artifact on it.

Romero is a Pain Redux
by Andrew Ian Dodge of Dodgeblogium
A 1,265 word short story rated PG.

The Sage of Wales and Claire try to keep a straight face as Rupert explains how he got out of the mess he got himself into on an island in the middle of the sea. Written by request of Storyblogging readers.

Part XXI of The Spy Novel
by The Colossus of The Colossus
A 2,521 word chapter of a 41,958 word novel in progress rated PG-13.

Eric Ashley's summary: "Cold, controlled, paranoid, and searching speculation based on tiny clues, this story sucks you in, and grabs you. Who are your friends? Is the hero that, or simply a protagonist of questionable virtue, although undoubted skill? When will the betrayal come, and who will do it? Crisp writing style, and more questions than one can shoot with a full clip of ammo."

[I always enjoy a good description of the underground lair of a secret society of gardeners. -DSC]

Chapters 108, 109, 110, 111, 112, and 113 of The Child (Beginning)
by Sheya Joie of Tales by Sheya
The next 3,474 words of her 86,273 word novel rated PG.

At long last, they reach the enemy's fortress - and now they must find a way to sneak inside.

Chapters 29-34 of CLOWN
by Theron Marshman of Harkonnendog
A 6,271 word short story rated R.

Chapters 29-33 of CLOWN, during which Clown gets drunk, schizo, depressed, horny, has a philosophical discussion with a priest who ALMOST saves his soul and...

And that's it for this carnival. If you'd like to take part in a future carnival, please contact me. I am also looking for hosts.



The Storyblogging Carnival can be found at The Truth Laid Bear's ÜberCarnival.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Storyblogging Carnival XXIX

The latest Storyblogging Carnival is online at Tales by Sheya. There are thirteen stories from eleven authors this time.

I'll be hosting the next carnival myself, here at Back of the Envelope. Let me know if you'd like to join in.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Storyblogging Carnival XXVIII

Storyblogging Carnival XXVIII is now online at Tales of Tadeusz. Thirteen entries this time, as many as we've ever had. We'll see whether we can grow even more in the weeks to come. I met a few more blogging writers last night, whom I've invited to take part.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Storyblogging Carnival XXVII

Welcome to the first anniversary edition of the Storyblogging Carnival. Yes, it's really been a whole year since the first carnival. With a year's worth of storytelling in blog format under our collective belt, what's next? I have no idea, but I'm sure we'll have fun.

I honestly don't have much to say by way of introduction this week. So let's just enjoy this week's entries:

Thag Not Like Angry Sky!
by Mark A. Rayner of The Skwib
A 280 word brief story rated PG.

The continuing saga of Thag and his clan — this time on a more serious note, reflective of this past week's events.

[I really liked this short, serious fiction. A necessary reminder of the frailty of human life. -DSC]

Part 11 of Scale 7 Artifact (Beginning)
by Dave Gudeman of Doc Rampage
The next 1,231 words of an 18,525 word story rated PG.

The team is away, but Daniel still harbors dark suspicions. Will his fears come true? Will Daniel's insane paranoia itself damn the mission? Only time will tell. OK, I'll tell you. Daniel's suspicions are well-founded, but you would know that already if you read the ealier chapters.

[Doc continues to spin his yarn with humor and hard sci-fi. -DSC]

BLEEP!!
by Eric R. Ashley of Tales of Tadeusz
A 2,020 word short story rated PG.

An annoyed troubleshooter searches for a reason why the new work crew can't keep up with the production schedule. Sci-fi/Humor.

[We're off the Death of a Blogger story for the moment, for something a little lighter. -DSC]

Camp
by Trudy W. Schuett of WOLves
A 2,158 short story rated PG.

The purpose of Camp is not for summer getaways and winter hunting trips like everybody else’s property. Sure, it started out that way, but sometime in the late 1930s that changed. Officially, that is. I think it’s always been a place of refuge, a way station for people on the path to other things.

[This story was written especially for our first anniversary. It's a fascinating tale about the footnotes to history most folks don't read. -DSC]

Chapters 90, 91, 92, and 93 of The Child (Beginning)
by Sheya Joie of Tales by Sheya
The next 2,562 words of a 73,984 word novel rated PG.

A bit of sword practice in the morning turns into a hunt for a missing member of their group - and something even more unexpected.

[After a computer problem induced hiatus, The Child is back. Good to see you again, Sheya. -DSC]

Chapter 1 of Electricity
by Myke Bartlett of Electricity: A Novel in Increments
A 2,572 word chapter of a 60,000 word novel in progress rated R.

Aston Somerfield – 23, casual smoker and part-time alcoholic – has come to London to find himself. He knows who he's looking for, he's seen him on the cover of the NME. Drawn across oceans by fame and fate, Aston is keeping his diary empty to make sure he's available. Won't commit to anything until it's everything. But London has other plans.

When a virtual stranger calls Aston a few hours before his death, fate is derailed. Amid a hundred boozy evenings and romantic deadends, a mystery unfurls. Equally assisted and hindered by tremulous accountant Tom Hensley and dedicated loafer Steven Black, Aston uncovers a different London – one of murder, ghosts, dangerous emails and the second big bang.

As chaotic and random as the city it inhabits, Electricity slowly evolves into a mystery bigger than the universe itself.

[Okay, I'll admit I only skimmed some of these entries, but this one I didn't even have a chance to do that, as it was submitted late and there's a full 60,000 words online right now. However, it looks like a fascinating story, and when I get a chance, I'll have to start reading this. -DSC]

Chapters 8 and 9 of Britannia Revived (The Whole Story)
by Andrew Ian Dodge of Dodgeblogium
The next 4,677 words of a novel rated R.

The US President is having problems.

[A continuation of Andrew's near future story of the EU and it's many, many ills.-DSC]

The Quest
by Jason Pomerantz of Fiddle and Burn
A 7,000 word short story rated PG.

In honor of the Carnival's anniversary, here's a special sneak preview of a story that will be running in Fiddle and Burn over the next month: Thirteen year old Hal is obsessed with a violent computer game called Deathzone. When a new version comes out... he'll do whatever it takes to get a copy!

[This is quite a treat. Jason runs a blog he calls a comic strip in prose format, where he posts small bits of the story every day. He's making an entire storyline, weeks worth of posts, available to us ahead of time. Jason's a swell guy, ain't he? Now, if only I could convince J.K. Rowling to do the same with Book 7. -DSC]

A Slightly Different Love Story
by Josh Cohen of The New D-42
A 8,100 word short story rated NC-17.

A slightly different love story, in which two people fall in love, and events occur.

[As always, Josh's story needs a strong warning for explicit content. And as always, it's well told. This one isn't as explicit as most of the others, but it's not exactly PG either.-DSC]

And that's it for our first anniversary edition. If you'd like to take part in a future carnival, please contact me.

The Storyblogging Carnival can be found at The Truth Laid Bear's ÜberCarnival.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Storyblogging Carnival XXVI

NOTE: Once again, this is a re-post, so the links aren't guaranteed.

The latest Storyblogging Carnival is up at Curtis Schweitzer's a-sdf. He's posted it on both his blogs, so you can also find it at Working Titles. We have a good showing with thirteen stories this week.

The next carnival is the twenty-seventh, making it our first anniversary. I would like to get as many entries as possible for this, so please consider submitting even if you haven't done so in a while. And if you don't have a story yourself, please use your blog to let other people know about this upcoming carnival.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Storyblogging Carnival XXV

NOTE: As before: re-post, old links.

The latest Storyblogging Carnival is up at Fiddle and Burn. Jason has collected nine stories from around the blogosphere for your reading pleasure.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Storyblogging Carnival XXIV

NOTE: As a reminder, this is a re-post, so some of the links may be outdated.

Welcome to the twenty-fourth Storyblogging Carnival, a bi-weekly collection of fiction from around the blogosphere. Previous carnivals are archived in the Storyblogging Carnival category of this blog. A Carnival collects and organizes entries from numerous participants in a central location, and this Carnival collects examples of Storyblogging. For new visitors, Storyblogging is simply story-telling in blog format, and may range from posting a short story on a blog to posting a long serial story there, from blogging as a fictional persona to collaborative story-telling. It can even be non-fiction that tells a story rather than recites facts. There are twelve stories this week, two from new participants.

You'll notice that there are two stories rated NC-17 in this carnival. My policy over what degree of sex and/or violence is acceptable in the carnival is that it's entirely up to the host. But what about when I'm the host? When it comes to sex, at least, any sort of explicit description will get an NC-17 rating, which is why these two stories have it. When it's not explicit, but it's still there, the story will probably get an R--as my own story "A Stranger in the Library" received. But is there a limit for what I'll include in the carnival? The short answer is "yes." The long answer is that I'm not quite sure what that limit is. The two stories I included made the cut since I found the stories themselves both interesting and well-written, even if parts made me uncomfortable. Other than that, I can't tell if another story will make it until I read it, and I can tell you with certainty that some of the other hosts would not have accepted these stories, and others would have had no problem with them.

Of course, if you wanted to make it easier on me and the other hosts, you could tone down what stories you submit to the carnival. You can write whatever you want on your own blog, but the host implicitly takes a certain amount of responsibility for what he links to, even when he liberally applies warnings to the link. And while it's not my goal to go so far as to keep the carnival family-friendly, I really don't want my sister telling her daughter that she's not allowed to read my blog.

The Fools' Village
by Tom Harrison of Monday Evening
A 263 word brief story rated G.


A fable of employment in the non-profit sector.

[This is a funny story, but you have to pay close attention.
-DSC]

A potato named McKenzie
by Goemagog of this space for sublet
A 547 word brief story rated PG.

Fighting the good fight against vegetation.

[This one's really, really weird. -DSC]

The Story of a Dog and a Baby
by firstbrokenangel of AAFFLLAACCKK
A 624 word brief story rated PG.

That dog's a keeper.

[This is more advice than story, and while I think it's generally true, I don't believe it's always true. As always, your mileage may vary. -DSC]

CLOWN Excerpt 2 (Beginning)
by Theron Marshman of Harkonnendog
A 736 word brief story rated R.

Clown sexually harrasses Abbey, creating a basketball of dead flesh thereby.

[I think the main character thinks too much. -DSC]

Money Emotions and Beachstone Buzz
by Melissa Moon of New Age Harlot
A 1,079 short story rated NC-17.

It's about being a whore and being pure about worldly things, including money which this non-fiction story is about.

[From the description, you can probably guess why it receives this rating. The story itself is not the most graphic in this carnival, but much of the rest of the blog is disturbing. Enter at your own risk. -DSC]

Scale 7 Artifact, Part 9 (Beginning)
by Dave Gudeman of Doc Rampage
The next 2,441 words of a 16,388 word story in progress rated PG.

The expedition to Moon 3 won't have any marines to guard them from alien animals, but the team won't exactly be helpless.

[Despite saying that he was going to focus on Dying Earth stories, Doc has returned to Scale 7 Artifact. I, for one, am glad to see it, as I was wondering what would happen next. -DSC]

Chapters 82,83,84, and 85 of The Child (Beginning)
by Sheya Joie of Tales by Sheya
The next 2,537 words of a 68,277 word novel in progress rated PG.

Oh - *that's* why Starr was having all those visions of wolves...

[The Child's coming along nicely. -DSC]

Chapters 2 and 3 of Britannia Revived (Whole story)
by Andrew Ian Dodge of Dodgeblogium
The next 3,137 words of a novel in progress rated R.

The novel BR continues and this time Andrew has given us two chapters to chew on. In the light of the recent attack in London the title is rather apt.

[Andrew takes us to a near future where the EU rules Europe with all the competence you'd expect, and everything's coming apart at the seams. This is a departure from his Cthulhu tales, but very interesting. -DSC]

City of Peace: part 2 (Beginning)
by Curtis Schweitzer of working titles
The next 3,726 words of a 8,227 story rated R.

The first installment of "city of peace" began with a story about redemption. Inasmuch as this is what I hope will become the theme of the overall work, I am tracing its effects through different characters. In a way, it reminds me of the parable of the sower, in which redemption is offered but only sometimes taken. Likewise, these characters have all been given the chance to begin life anew--to be saved from their desperate circumstances. In this installment, Nathan James Riley ("The Bum") shows us that all too often, the story does not end happily.

[This one was right on the edge of receiving my NC-17 rating. Nevertheless, it's a good story about some rough characters and harsh realities. -DSC]

Chapters 8 and 9 of The Death of a Blogger (Beginning)
by Eric Ashley of Tales of Tadeusz
A 4,750 word excerpt of a 67,110 word novel rated PG.

The Blogosphere starts to operate as a problem-solving machine on Sharon's behalf, and the first gusts of what will become a perfect blogstorm are felt.

[I'm glad the blogosphere is living up to its billing. -DSC]

Cheated
by Josh Cohen of The New D-42
A 10,378 word short story rated NC-17.

A story about two couples. Actually, one couple, seen through the eyes of another as they come to terms with the effect they have on each other. Part of a continuum of stories about "Little Infidelities". Contains adult language, adult situations (some of them including moderately-explicit sex), and mild violence.

[The author was concerned that I would find this story too sexually explicit. It certainly is so, but the quality of the writing and of the story-telling outweigh my discomfort with some of the scenes. -DSC]

I hope you enjoyed this Carnival. If you'd like to participate in future Storyblogging Carnivals, or just join the e-mail list, please contact me.

The Storyblogging Carnival can be found at The Truth Laid Bear's ÜberCarnival.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Storyblogging Carnival XXIII

NOTE: Once again, this is a re-post of an old post, so I can't guarantee links.

Doc Rampage has the latest Storyblogging Carnival up. If you're not familiar with the Storyblogging Carnival, storyblogging is simply story-telling in blog format, and may be as simple as posting short stories on a blog, or as involved as posting as a fictional persona. A carnival, in blog parlance, collects and organizes entries from numerous participants in a central location, and thus the Storyblogging Carnival collects examples of Storyblogging.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Welcome to the twenty-first Storyblogging Carnival, a bi-weekly collection of fiction from around the blogosphere. Previous carnivals are archived in the Storyblogging Carnival category of this blog. A Carnival collects and organizes entries from numerous participants in a central location, and this Carnival collects examples of Storyblogging. For new visitors, Storyblogging is simply story-telling in blog format, and may range from posting a short story on a blog to posting a long serial story there, from blogging as a fictional persona to collaborative story-telling. We have had all of these storyblogging types appear in this Carnival in the past, though by far the most prevalent are short stories and serial stories.

This week we have eleven stories, three from new participants. There are entries from genres such as horror and hard sci-fi and religious allegory, as well as a few more mainstream stories. There's a good range of sizes this week too, from brief stories to novellas, meaning that you have a wide selection of reading material, in length as well as genre. Enjoy.

...an interesting take on things
by Pamela of Atlas Shrugs
A 530 word brief story rated G.

An enlightened fable with a surprise twist. Did God create everything that exists? Does evil exist? Did God create evil?

[This may be an urban legend, but it's a good one. -DSC]

Werewolf's Lament
by Andrew Ian Dodge of Dodgeblogium
A 691 word brief story rated PG-13.

A werewolf is attacked in human form and reacts as one would expect considering the numbers. As he languishes in West Wales lamenting his plight.

[A curious tale, in a different voice than Andrew's usual Sage stories. -DSC]

Two of a Kind
by Kevin Griffith of Wild Bill's Kicker
A 754 word excerpt of a 3,156 word short story rated PG-13.

The story is about a guy who still goes on his honeymoon, despite his fiancee backing out of the wedding. He takes his bestfriend/roommate.

[Not too many authors write in the second person, although this is the second one I recall seeing in the Storyblogging Carnival. The second person voice tends to hit a bit too close to home, although it can be made to work, and I think it does here. -DSC]

The Grocer and the Green Gloves
by Jason Pomerantz of Fiddle and Burn
A 1,042 word short story rated G.

A fairy tale about why we should all stop worrying and learn to love Walmart.

[This is a short and clever story. -DSC]

Buddha's Bridge
by D.M. Molloy of Passing Trains
A 1,875 word short story rated R.

Disconnected from the rat-race of society, this is the story of a man living a very unusual life.

[An interesting tale filled with interesting characters. -DSC]

Part 6 of Scale 7 Artifact (Beginning)
by Dave Gudeman of Doc Rampage
The next 2,956 words of a 9,949 word story in progress rated G.

Daniel Greaves recovers his keyboard but loses the Big Screen. More character development and plot setup. Things'll start blowing up real soon now.

[Doc starts to build some tension in this installment. He credits Sheya and I with our cliffhangers for giving him the idea, but he neglects to mention that it was his complaining about cliffhangers that inspired me to really start ramping up the tension in my story. In any case, he's introduced a fascinating cast of characters and some dark plotting in the background, making for some good reading. -DSC]

Chapters 68,69,70, and 71 of The Child (Beginning)
by Sheya Joie of Tales by Sheya
The next 3,871 words of a 56,711 word novel in progress rated PG.

Stone is in trouble - Starr is in trouble. And in the midst of the company needing to come into unity, some things are as fractured as ever - as a new fracture occurs.

[It's always a joy reading The Child. As I said a few days ago, the transition from allegory to interpersonal story really gave it depth and excitement. -DSC]

Chapters 3 and 4 of The Death of a Blogger (Beginning)
by Eric Ashley of Tales of Tadeusz
A 4,7870 word excerpt of a 67,110 word novel rated PG.

Charlie has been attacked. Sharon collapses, perhaps attacked, and now she has to go home to try to figure out if her husband tried to commit suicide, or what is going on?!? Death of a Blogger, the World's First Mystery Novel focused on the Blogosphere rolls onward with perils and pains increasing.

[An intriguing story. -DSC]

Manhunt
by J. Fielek of Quibbles-n-Bits
A 8,627 word short story rated PG-13.

A Western with a twist...

[While not a genre Carnival, we seem to be collecting certain genres. Not that I can really complain, as they're some of my favorites. This is one which is not what it initially appears. -DSC]

The Last Worthless Evening
by Josh Cohen of The New D-42
A 17,460 word short story rated NC-17.

This is a short-story (five parts, about 60 typed pages) about a married couple who fights all the time. It contains somewhat-explicit sex and language; however, it is not pornographic. I have rated it "MA" on my site.

[He's not kidding about the mature rating. I wouldn't use the "somewhat" before "explicit," although it's far from the most graphic story you'll read on the Internet, even without really looking. Be forewarned. Although the explicit language threw me, I really did like the core of the story. -DSC]

I hope you enjoyed this Carnival. If you'd like to participate in future Storyblogging Carnivals, or just join the e-mail list, please contact me.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Storyblogging Carnival XX

NOTE: Once again, this is a re-post, so I can't guarantee that the links will work.

The latest Storyblogging Carnival is online at Hermitville. Ten stories this time, from some old favorites and some newcomers. I'll be hosting the next Carnival, on June 20th, myself.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Storyblogging Carnival XIX

The latest Storyblogging Carnival is up at Tales by Sheya. We had eleven entries this week, over half by new participants. Plenty of reading material this time around.

Voting time

If you live in Massachusetts, don't forget there's a special election today for the Senate seat.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Now accepting submissions to Storyblogging Carnival CVI

And we are back. Now that I've gotten my blog up and running again, the Storyblogging Carnival is returning from hiatus.

The next Storyblogging Carnival will be the one hundred and sixth. It will be hosted here, at Back of the Envelope, and going up on Monday, February 1st. If you use your blog to share your fiction, then the Storyblogging Carnival is your opportunity. Here we host any and all forms of storytelling in blog format. If you're curious about what this looks like, have a look at some examples of previous storyblogging carnivals.

If you'd like to participate, please e-mail your story submissions to me at dscrank-at-alum-dot-mit-dot-edu (or post in my comments), including the following information:
  • Name of your blog
  • URL of your blog
  • Title of the story
  • URL for the blog entry where the story is posted
  • (OPTIONAL) Author's name
  • (OPTIONAL) A suggested rating for adult content (G, PG, PG-13, R)
  • A word count
  • A short blurb describing the story
The post may be of any age, from a week old to years old. The submission deadline is 11:59 PM Eastern time on Saturday, January 30th. More detailed information follows (same as always):
  1. The story or excerpt submitted must be posted on-line as a blog entry, and while fiction is preferred, non-fiction storytelling is acceptable.
  2. The story can be any length, but the Carnival will list them in order of length, from shortest to longest, and include a word count for each one.
  3. You may either send a complete story, a story in progress, or a lengthy excerpt. You should indicate the word count for both the excerpt and the complete story in the submission, and you should say how the reader can find more of the story in the post itself.
  4. If the story spans multiple posts, each post should contain a link to the beginning of the story, and a link to the next post. You may submit the whole story, the first post, or, if you've previously submitted earlier posts to the Carnival, the next post which you have not submitted. Please indicate the length of the entire story, as well as the portion which you are submitting.
  5. The host has sole discretion to decide whether the story will be included or not, or whether to indicate that the story has pornographic or graphically violent content. The ratings for the story will be decided by the host. I expect I'll be pretty lenient on that sort of thing, but I have some limits, and others may draw the line elsewhere. Aside from noting potentially offensive content, while I may say nice things about stories I like, I won't be panning anyone's work. I expect other hosts to be similarly polite.
  6. The story may be the blogger's own or posted with permission, but if it is not his own work he should gain permission from the author before submitting to the Carnival.
If you'd like to be added to the e-mail list, please let me know. Finally, I appreciate folks promoting the carnival on their own blogs, and I'm always looking for bloggers willing to host future carnivals.

Storyblogging Carnival XVIII

Welcome to the eighteenth Storyblogging Carnival. Previous Storyblogging Carnivals are archived on this site. Today we have seven entries from some of our favorite writers. Let's begin.

Will you marry us?
by Audrey of Flat Grapefruit
A 140 word brief story rated G.

A short story about a man who buys an engagement ring decorated with with a giant grapefruit.

[A curious little story from a curious little blog. To be honest, you should probably read more of the blog to get the, ahem, flavor of it. Otherwise you may misjudge this story as something else. -DSC]

Diane
by CWW of A 2D life
A 486 word brief story rated PG.

A terrible accident leaves an aging doctor with vague memories and a feeling of horror.

Scale 7 Artifact, part 2 (The Beginning)
by Dave Gudeman of Doc Rampage
The next 1,618 words of a 2,496 word story in progress rated G.

After a decade's long journey, mankind's first starships have arrived at another star. But it's the wrong star. And they seem to have revived the wrong man.

Chapters 54, 55, 56, and 57 of The Child (The Beginning)
by Sheya Joie of Tales by Sheya
The next 2,715 words of a 46,494 word novel in progress rated PG.

Something awful happens.

The Devil Eats Fried Chicken: Prologue
by Lyle Skains of Hermitville
A 3,780 word excerpt rated PG.

Jake Fuller gets a call in the middle of the night, pulling him back into his old obsession with his first love. Prologue to a novel.

A Fine Line
by Andrew Ian Dodge of Dodgeblogium
A 7,213 word short story rated PG-13.

Things are rather quiet for the Sage but for how long?

I hope you've enjoyed this edition of the Storyblogging Carnival. The next one will be hosted at Tales by Sheya in two weeks.

If you'd like to join the e-mail list, or if you're willing to host a future carnival, please drop me a line.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Storyblogging Carnival XVII

Welcome to the seventeenth Storyblogging Carnival. Previous Storyblogging Carnivals are archived on this site. This week we have six entries, four of them from continuing stories (one of which is just beginning and another of which has just finished) and two stand-alone stories. I'd like to remind authors of the continuing stories that each part should contain a link to the next chapter (once it's online) and the previous chapter, and preferably, the first chapter. See Sheya Joie's The Child for an excellent example of this format. It doesn't have to be done exactly this way--I myself take advantage of Powerblogs' post-chaining, including a link at the top of each entry to the entire story on one page and links to each individual chapter at the bottom--but ease of navigation is important. Okay, enough of my micromanagement, and on to the stories. Enjoy!

Scenes 12, 13, and 14 of A Meating of Mines (The Beginning)
by Dave Gudeman of Doc Rampage
The final 1,244 words of a 14,884 word story rated PG-13.

The heroes survive another grand adventure and exit according to their grand tradition--fleeing an enraged mob.

[And that's all, folks, for this episode. I think this is the first of our stories in progress to actually reach a conclusion. And it's a fun one. -DSC]

Perils of Service, Part II of The Hormenith Portal Incident (The Beginning)
by Morgan Evans of Jedi Philosopher
The next 1,259 words of a 1,867 word story in progress rated PG-13.

A desk bound spy longs for adventure and finds his desk job boring. When he finds something that turns out to be of vital inportance the day before he retires, he learns that things don't always happen the way they do in books, and cloak and dagger exitement is overrated. Sci-fi/fantasy setting.

[Doc's continuing story may be ending, but Morgan's is just beginning.
-DSC]

The Bum
by Curtis Schweitzer of a-sdf
A 1,622 word short story rated R.

I've decided to try to take a break from "Walking to California" and try something new. Something really new. This story is edgy and violent. There's strong language and what the TV rating people call "situational dialogue" about a hooker and pimp. It is, in a word, rated R. It's somewhat inspired by the "Sin City" motif, and resembles it. I've tried not to use these elements casually, but in a mature way in a story that places value on defending the innocent.

Chapters 50, 51, 52, and 53 of The Child (The Beginning)
by Sheya Joie of Tales by Sheya
The next 4,528 words of a 43,779 word novel in progress rated PG.

Things are beginning to look up for Starr where Stone is concerned. Now if she can only find the key to ending the disunity in the group - and get the others to take that problem seriously.

Yank Crank Monk
by Andrew Ian Dodge of Dodgeblogium
A 5,808 word short story rated PG-13.

The Sage of Wales discovers that the witch-hunting monk who is harassing him isn't what he seems.

I hope you've enjoyed this edition of the Storyblogging Carnival. The next one will be hosted here in two weeks. In the meanwhile, check this out. It's an idea for collborative story-telling which might be quite interesting. It's an example of storyblogging which plays to the strengths of the medium. I have no idea whether the story it turns out will be any good, but it ought to be fun.

If you'd like to join the e-mail list, or if you're willing to host a future carnival, please drop me a line.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Friday, January 15, 2010

Storyblogging Carnival XV

NOTE: This is a repost of an old post, so there may be dead links.

Welcome to the Fifteenth Storyblogging Carnival. Here we gather fiction from around the blogosphere to share with our readers. The previous carnival was right here at Back of the Envelope, while the complete listing can be found here.


One Tank
by Lee Zanello of See the Donkey
A 400 word brief story rated G.

They are best friends, possibly more, and they have the whole road ahead of them.

[It's not often that you see a story written in 2nd-person present tense, but it works well here. -DSC]

I, Werewolf
by Andrew Ian Dodge of GoD:blog
A 2,266 short story rated PG.

A short story written in the misery that was my years at my alma malus: Colby. Published warts and all as a hint at my literary beginnings.

Chapters 41, 42, 43, and 44 of The Child (Beginning)
by Sheya Joie of Tales by Sheya
The next 2,306 words of a 35,756 word novella in progress.

Could things possibly get any worse?

[While this story can sometimes be read as a Christian allegory, I'd recommend reading it as story first and allegory second.-DSC]

A Meating of Mines, scenes 7,8, and 9
by Dave Gudeman of Doc Rampage
The next 2,366 words of a 10,291 word story in progress rated PG-13.

Rolf doesn't have so much to say, we learn that Zantar--far from being slow--is practically the Shakespeare of Dwarfdom, and Something finally Happens.

[After my hectoring last time, Dave finally included a full story word count. Meanwhile, his comedic screenplay kicks into high gear and there is much plot progress.
-DSC]

Boll Weevil
by Lyle Skains of Hermitville
A 4,213 word short story rated R.

Jake Fuller travels home from college for the first time, reuniting with his childhood love. He discovers, however, that the girl in reality is much tarnished compared to the girl he holds in his mind.

[While a little heavy on the sexual content (nothing explicit, though), this story is very well written. Lyle is a new participant in the Storyblogging Carnival, and he introduces himself with not one but two stories, both well written and with very different voices. -DSC]

Guns, Boats, & Cadillacs
by Lyle Skains of Hermitville
A 4,373 word short story rated PG.

As she cares for her ailing father, Charlotte's life has turned into an endless cycle of Groundhog Days--until today, when she quite literally loses him.\

I hope you enjoyed this carnival. If you would like to participate or even just join the mailing list for the Storyblogging Carnival, please contact me.


Update: The link for Andrew Ian Dodge's story was wrong. It's fixed now.

Voting woes

I moved from Waltham to Everett, two towns in Massachusetts just outside of Boston, on January 1st. When I did so, I changed my address with all the necessary bureaucracies and, because Massachusetts law requires it, sent in a new voter registration form with my new address. In retrospect, that may have been a mistake.

At issue are two Massachusetts laws. The first is that you must register at least 20 days before the election. If you do the math, you can see that it was physically impossible for me to register with my new address once I'd actually moved here and still vote on the much talked about special election on January 19th. It didn't occur to me to register here before I moved--I'm not sure that's even possible. But, if you move away from an area, the second law allows you to still vote there for up to 6 months after. However, if my new registration has caused my old precinct to purge me from the rolls, then I may not be able to vote there either. I was not aware of this law until I inquired, else I would not have sent in a new registration until after the special election.

So what am I going to do? Since I couldn't find specific contact information for the city of Waltham's election commision, the only option I can think of is to show up at the polling station on January 19th and see if I'm on the roll. We'll see.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Storyblogging Carnival XIV

Welcome to the fourteenth Storyblogging Carnival. Once again, we collect stories from around the Blogosphere for your reading pleasure. The previous Carnival, "Storyblogging Carnival the 13th", was at Doc Rampage's blog, while the archives linking to all the Carnivals can be found here.

I don't mean to cause a panic, but I'm starting to become concerned with the number of evil spirits appearing in the Storyblogging Carnival in recent weeks. Of course, between Andrew's Cthulhu tales and my own continuing story concerning the psychotic mutant demon Red-eyes, the Carnival hasn't been completely free of these creatures since the first one. In recent weeks, though, the number has substantially increased, and this Carnival is no exception. Some of them are from the Cthulhu mythos, some are the demons of Christian theology, and some I have no idea where they come from, but they are all agents of corruption and very dangerous. An exorcism may be in order.

The Cool Cat
by Rosie of Tales by Sheya
A 215 word brief story rated G.

Proud momma just had to share this one.

[This story is by Sheya's seven-year-old daughter, Rosie. It's very cute. -DSC]

Once
by CWW of A 2D Life
A 543 word brief story rated PG-13.

Not every second chance at life should be taken.

[CWW is a new contributor, and I wrote the blurb for this story myself. Even though there are no evil spirits in this one, it still has the greatest creepiness per word ratio of any story here. -DSC]

A Meating of Mines, scene 6
by Dave Gudeman of Doc Rampage
A 1,530 word scene from a continuing story rated PG-13.

Once again, nothing much happens, but Rolf sure does talk a lot.

[As usual, Doc is very funny even when nothing much happens. I'd say even more nice things about this scene if he'd give me a wordcount for the whole story like he's supposed to.
-DSC]

In Plaid Sight
by Andrew Ian Dodge of Dodgeblogium
A 2,721 word short story rated PG.

A wandering male is found in Cardigan in front of political office. The Sage must find out what happened to him and why.

[Andrew once again shows us how common madness is in the Cthulhu mythos. -DSC]

Chapters 38 through 40 of The Child (Beginning)
by Sheya Joie of Tales by Sheya
The next 2,980 words of a 33,450-word novella in progress rated G.

Into the Dark Valley...

[Sheya's story has become much more suspenseful and exciting recently, as the comforts of the Master's home have been left behind. -DSC]

A Parable of Rain
by Jeff Harrell of The Shape of Days
A 5,419-word short story rated PG.

Willy Judson prayed every day. One day, his prayer was answered.

[This is a compelling story by a new contributor, well worth the read.
-DSC]


I hope you enjoyed this carnival. If you would like to participate or even just join the mailing list for the Storyblogging Carnival, please contact me.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Storyblogging Carnival XIII

NOTE: Once again, this is a re-post, so I can't guarantee links.

Doc Rampage has Storyblogging Carnival XIII up. I'm afraid he didn't have a chance to come up with a really cool numbering system, or for that matter, even read all the stories. Hopefully you will, though, 'cause there are some really good ones.

I'll be hosting the next one myself, so come by two weeks from now

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Storyblogging Carnival XII

Welcome to the twelfth Storyblogging Carnival. I hope you've enjoyed our Carnivals so far, and that you'll keep coming, and consider participating. And now, on with the stories:


Non-Automated Biography
by cbeck of Feeding the Habit
A 209 word brief story rated PG.

For a young man, the curve of a soft neck, the smell of her air, it all eludes the immediate understanding.

aliens
by Dave Gudeman of Doc Rampage
A 1,684 word short story rated PG.

Old-style, hi-tech, sci-fi adventure. Short form.

[The frantic pace reminds me of some computer games I've played. -DSC]

A Little Vanity
by Wichidude of Storyman
A 2,090 word short story rated PG-13.

Technology changes, even for the oldest of things. Yet, there is always a little vanity and pride involved in a job well done. Some things change, others remain the same. No matter what you get hit with.

[This one is oddly appropriate for Valentine's Day. -DSC]

Chapters 32 through 34 of The Child (Beginning)
by Sheya Joie of Tales by Sheya
The next 2,739 words of a 27,019 word novella in progress rated PG.

They have been chosen; now, they must make ready to go. And that can be more dangerous than it looks at first.

A Sinking Feeling
by Andrew Ian Dodge of Dodgeblogium
A 4,500 word short story rated PG.

It's called a sinking feeling and it involves Cthulhu & his minions...


Thanks for coming by. If you'd like to join the Storyblogging Carnival e-mail list, just drop me a line.

A Prediction for the Massachusetts election

So let me make a prediction. If Scott Brown wins the Massachusetts special election (which, while possible, still isn't very likely), health care reform will not pass. I say this not because Senator Brown would vote against cloture on it--he's promised to, but if the Democrats have anything to say about it, the bill will be voted on by the Senate before he gets there. But, if Brown wins in very liberal Massachusetts, I predict that Democratic Senators and Representatives will panic. If the bill is so unpopular that Massachusetts elects a Republican to the Kennedy Senate seat just to stop it, Democrats will desert the bill in droves. It won't have the votes to get cloture in the Senate. It won't even get a majority in the House. The same could happen even if Brown loses, depending on how close it is.

This vote is largely seen as a referendum on the health care bill, and a Brown win will be seen as a popular, and perhaps more importantly, election-deciding, rejection of it.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Storyblogging Carnival XI

The eleventh Storyblogging Carnival is now up at Tales by Sheya. Check it out. I will be hosting the next storyblogging carnival myself. After that it will be the thirteenth carnival, which, since the Carnival is every two weeks, puts us at the half-year mark. Time sure flies, doesn't it?

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Storyblogging Carnival X

NOTE: Once again, I'm re-posting an old post, so I can't guarantee links.

Welcome to the tenth Storyblogging Carnival. I'm glad we've made it this far. While I was willing to keep doing this as long as people were willing to participate, I had no way of knowing whether people would be interested enough to keep the carnival going this long. Thank you all for your involvement and for your stories.

And thank you to everyone who's hosted so far. The previous Carnival was hosted by Michele Catalano two weeks ago, while the next one will be at Sheya Joie's blog two weeks from now.

Out of Bounds (Unplugged) (Chapter 1a)
by Mark Philip Alger of BabyTrollBlog
The first 643 words of a short story in progress rated R.

The All-Doll Band gives a concert and there's a snowstorm in Ohio in July. Just another day at the Center. (This story is just starting. Future episodes will be posted — one per weekday.)

His name was Bill
by cbeck of Feeding the Habit
A 1,315 word short story rated PG-13.


A man fighting the thing we all face: our own life.

Walking to California, Chapter 2 (Beginning)
by Curtis Schweitzer of a-sdf
The next 1,496 words of a 3,328 word story in progress rated PG.

Chapter 2 of my never-finished NaNoWriMo entry for 2004, detailing the story of a young man who walks from Denver to Los angeles in the wake of a dark tragedy.

[This story is beautifully told. I love the imagery invoked to give an empathic understanding of the tragedy endured by the main character. -DSC]

The Lesson
by Andrew Ian Dodge of Dodgeblogium
A 1,558 word short story rated PG.

The Sage tells the tale of the first time he met one of Cthulhu's minions face to face.

Little Grey Man
by Brian J. Noggle of Musings from Brian J. Noggle
A 1,835 word short story rated PG.

A self-romanticizing postal carrier sees something that alters his self image irrevocably.

Cokey goes flying
by Dave Gudeman of Doc Rampage
A 2,182 word short story rated PG.

Jim Kjelgaard wrote YA (young adult) adventure fiction --short (40-word) stories aimed at about fifth- to tenth-grade readers.. Many of his stories were written from the point of view of a dog. He was my favorite childhood author and this story is an attempt to recreate the feel of one of Jim Kjelgaard's dog books.

[This is a delightful little story for the dog-lover in all of us. Unless you don't like dogs, in which case it's for the dog-lover in him. Yeah, that guy over there. He likes dogs, just ask him. Anyway, it is clearly inspired by what may be a true story. -DSC]

Last Gas
by Pete C of Engrossing Tales
A 2,849 short story rate PG.

On a dark, isolated road, the last gas for miles could turn out to be a saving grace... or something entirely, ominously different.


The Strangers in Town
by Sheya Joie of Tales by Sheya
A 2,874 word short story rated PG-13.

For Rivkah, this was the strangest birth she had ever attended--beyond a shadow of a doubt.

Trail of the Slug
by Michele Catalano of A Small Victory
A 3,113 word short story rated PG.

Can dreams of vengeance fulfill themselves?

Distaste of Roses
by Jeremiah Lewis of Fringe
The first 3,535 words of a story in progress.

Currently unfinished story about two unlikely people meeting in an unlikely town, and the unaccountable bitterness of rose petals.

Thanks for coming by. I hope you'll be able to visit Tales by Sheya for the next carnival. If you'd like to join the Storyblogging Carnival e-mail list, just drop me a line.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Storyblogging Carnival IX

NOTE: This is a repost, so I can't guarantee links.

Michele Catalano has posted the Ninth Storyblogging Carnival. With thirteen stories, it's bigger than ever, and Michele's worked hard to make it look beautiful, too. It's going to be a hard act to follow when I host the tenth carnival here. Check it out!

Friday, January 08, 2010

Storyblogging Carnival VIII

NOTE: This is a repost of an older post, so links may be broken.

The eighth Storyblogging Carnival is now online at Dodgeblogium. There are seven stories from the authors Sheya Joies, Michelle Catalano, Dave Gudeman, Mary Murphy, Tim Worstall, Andrew Ian Dodge, and myself. Enjoy!

Michele Catalano of A Small Victory has volunteered to host the next Storyblogging Carnival. I'll post more details when I have them.

Multi-tools

I carry two multitools with me, as well as a couple of items on my keychain.

One multi-tool is the SOG S60-N PowerLock. It's a bit bulky, but it's capable of pretty much anything I might need--knife, pliers, wire cutter and stripper, Phillips and flat head screwdrivers, can opener--and then a few things I don't need much at all. The pliers are sturdy and comfortable to use, and all the blades lock, which is important. It also has a good feel as a screwdriver, with the head just slightly off-center. The one thing that does feel a bit off is the knife, since the blade faces towards the inside, rather than the edge, when it's open. Still, it's long enough that the handle rarely gets in the way. This tool is very useful when you need it (just in case you have to defuse a bomb or something), and not a pain to carry around when you don't.

The other multi-tool is my iPhone 3G. Don't laugh! Aside from the standard phone and iPod functionality, and the other things which you expect from a modern phone (e-mail, camera, alarm clock, calendar with reminders), it also has a GPS integrated with Google maps, which I use a lot more than I would have expected before I got it. The GPS isn't always very accurate (it can be off by a couple of blocks sometimes), but it does land you in the general vicinity well enough that you can find your way. You can even browse the web better than with most cell phones, though in this aspect you'll likely find yourself wishing you had a laptop instead, as the small display and lack of plug-ins makes the experience rather limited.

With the right apps, you can do a lot more with the iPhone. There are four I find particularly useful:

The first is a Dictionary.com's free dictionary and thesaurus. Sure, you can get that functionality using the web browser, but as a writer, I sometimes need them when the browser's unavailable, such as when riding the subway or visiting another country. And since the whole dictionary app's less than 40 MB, it easily fits on my 8 GB iPhone.

The second is Amazon's Kindle app. The app's free, and more importantly, there are lots of books available for free as well. I've been reading a collection of Robert E. Howard's stories (which doesn't appear to be available anymore) and Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Seas.

The third one is the only one I've paid money for, Documents To Go by DataViz. This program lets me edit Word and Excel documents, and synchronize them with my desktop. I can't touch type with it, and it can be difficult selecting for cutting and pasting, but it's the only app I've found that lets me write on my iPhone.

And finally is my most recent, and simplest, free application, John Haney's Flashlight. All this does is turn the iPhone's screen on a solid color, and leave it on. You decide the color (white's best for pure illumination), and how long you have it stay on (I have it set to 10 minutes). This provides enough illumination to see, and it stays on long enough for me to use it (unlike the standard setting for the iPhone, which keeps the screen bright for less than a minute). You can adjust the brightness as well. I don't find that it's as good as a real flashlight when it comes to focused illumination, but it provides a good diffuse light when you need to find your way. You can also set the app to strobe, which I can see being useful in an emergency situation.

Finally, there's what I keep on my keychain. Aside from keys, I like having three items: a flash drive, a knife, and a flashlight. SanDisk's Cruzer Titanium is a nice one for the flash drive, since its metal casing is solid and the USB plug retracts rather than relying on an easily losable cap. I keep the flash drive mainly so I have a backup of my stories (I did mention that I was a writer, didn't I?) and other important data with me at all times. The one problem is that the key ring is kind of flimsy, and I've had to replace it. The knife and the flashlight may seem redundant considering my other tools, but they're the two things I consider most necessary, so redundancy is a feature, not a bug. I like having them both to-hand in case I lose or have to leave behind my other tools--or just want easier access to a more effective flashlight or a smaller knife. Of course, if I can combine the two, that's even better, as long as I don't need the flashlight on a plane, so I just got this combo from Amazon. It's a bit large for a keychain attachment, but not excessively so. The LED is bright, and has an auto-shutoff after three minutes, which is useful since I've often had LED flashlights come on in my pocket and quickly run down their batteries. The knife is small, but sharp and sturdy. It opens easily with one hand, and locks in the open position. It doesn't lock in the closed position, so it could conceivably catch on something and come open unintentionally, which I'll admit is my biggest concern. So far, though, it's a useful addition to my collection.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Storyblogging Carnival VII

NOTE: Just as a reminder, this is a re-post of an older post, so I can't guarantee that the links are still working.

The seventh storyblogging carnival is now online at Tales by Sheya. Enjoy the carnival, and be sure to link to it.

Storyblogging Carnival VII

NOTE: This is a re-posting of an old post, so the links may be broken.

The seventh storyblogging carnival is now online at Tales by Sheya. Enjoy the carnival, and be sure to link to it.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Storyblogging Carnival VI

NOTE: This is a re-posting of an old post, so it's possible that links will be broken.

Welcome to the sixth Storyblogging Carnival. The previous carnival was also hosted here two weeks ago, while the next one will be at Sheya Joie's blog two weeks from now. Today we have one new writer and several old favorites, so let's get started.


Everybody Needs a Ride Sometimes
by Queenie of Rolling My Eyes
A 237 word brief story rated PG.

Con-artist or beggar or both, she still needs to make a living.

Untitled novel length project
by Mike J. of Democrats Give Conservatives Indigestion
A 610 word excerpt of a novel in progress, rated PG.

A private investigator/licensed pilot who specializes in recovering lost, stolen or otherwise missing property lands in Jamaica with his client as the story begins...

Taxi Ride
by cbeck of Feeding the Habit
A 628 word brief story rated PG.

A story of realization; the harsh reality of goodbye.

A Meating of Mines, scene iii (Beginning of the story)
by Dave Gudeman of Doc Rampage
The next 1,151 words of a 3,888 word story in progress, rated PG-13.

Rolf and Zantar are hired by one of the feuding families of Winkelfranks.

Fishies
by Andrew Ian Dodge of Dodgeblogium
A 2,777 word short story rated PG-13.

Rupert, already perturbed to find out that some people like dressing up as animals to get their kicks, has to investigate an even more disturbing club in Aberdeen.

The Child (Parts 11,12,13,14,15,16) (Beginning of the story)
by Sheya Joie of Tales by Sheya
The next 5,245 words of a 11,614 word story in progress.

And so began the sweetest days of the Child's life. Days spent in the company of the Master, her Beloved. Days spent walking together, her small hand in his, her eyes feasting on his dear face - as he delighted in her delight in him. His voice filling both her ears and her hungry heart as he spoke songs of love into her...

[It wasn't obvious at first that this story was allegorical, but it was obvious that it was delightful, as it remains. -DSC]

Thanks for coming by. I hope you'll be able to visit Tales by Sheya for the next carnival. If you'd like to join the Storyblogging Carnival e-mail list, just drop me a line.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Carnivals are going up

You probably noticed that I've been putting up the past carnivals. I'll continue putting up one a day until I run out of archived Carnivals--which should be sometime in April. Meanwhile, I'll start soliciting for the next carnival, and get the Storyblogging Carnivals rolling again.

I still haven't finished getting the site up-to-date, so you'll see some changes as I do that.

Storyblogging Carnival V

NOTE: This is a re-posting of an old post, so it's possible that links will be broken.

Welcome to the fifth Storyblogging Carnival! Once again we gather stories from around the blogosphere for your reading enjoyment. The previous Storyblogging Carnival was hosted at Doc Rampage. Meanwhile, if you want to see links all of them, try this page. Today, I broke a rule and included two entries of my own. I try not to include more than one entry per person, but I'm lenient when there are less than ten entries overall. In any case, here we have a total of seven stories, with, I think, a higher average word count than usual.




...And Two Socks
by Queenie of Rolling My Eyes
A 429 word brief story rated G.

Socks. Lots of socks.

[Like most of Queenie's stories, this is funny, short, and sweet.-DSC]

A Meating of Mines, scene ii (Beginning of the story)
by Doc Rampage of Doc Rampage
The next 1,414 words of a 2,737 word story in progress, rated PG.

Rolf and Zantar meet Loan the Ranger and discuss debate points.

[Doc's sense of humor is always fun. His original idea was to turn these screenplays into a computer animated show based on a computer game engine. Any enterprising soul interested in giving it a try?
-DSC]

Welcome to the Pack
by Andrew Ian Dodge of Dodgeblogium
A 3,136 word short story rated PG-13.

Parks in London are not just for the priveledged and the drunks...some of them hide interesting secrets. Have you ever wondered why many have high shrubbery so you can't see in?

Cast Out
by Robin Jones of Beyond Salvage
A 5,652 short story rated R.

A cuckold comes to terms with life after betrayal.

[The psychologist in this story is one of those characters you love to hate. I like the protagonist, though.
-DSC]

The Child (Parts 2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10) (Beginning of the story)
by Sheya Joie of Tales by Sheya.
The next 6,032 words of a 6,413 word story in progress, rated PG.

She could not remember her past - how she came to be in this house under the Mountain of Spices, where she was resting and growing and healing. The Master, she was told, had brought her here. But who was he? And when would he return for her?

And why did the one taking care of her shine with an unearthly light?

[We had a bit of trouble figuring out how to navigate this story, and we eventually figured I'd just post links to each part of the submission, 2 through 9. I recommend you just go to part 2 and navigate through using the links at the bottom of each part. If you missed Part 1 (which was in the last carnival), you can find it here.-DSC]


I'll be hosting the next carnival, followed by Sheya Joie, and then Andrew Ian Dodge, assuming the scheduling works out. If you want to join the Storyblogging Carnival, send me an e-mail at dscrank-at-alum.mit.edu, or use the web comment feature.

Monday, January 04, 2010

Storyblogging Carnival IV

NOTE: This is an old post, so it's possible that the links will be broken.

Doc Rampage has the fourth Storyblogging Carnival up right now, with ten stories from around the blogosphere. Check it out.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Storyblogging Carnival III

NOTE: Once again, I'm putting up a Storyblogging Carnival that originally went up a long time ago. Some links may be out of date.

The third Storyblogging Carnival is up at Beyond Salvage. Eight stories from around the blogosphere, including a story from myself and our first audio submission. The next carnival will be at Doc Rampage.

Update (9/12/2005): As Robin Jones's blog is no longer with us, I've retrieved a copy of the Storyblogging Carnival III from the Wayback Archive. Here it is:

Welcome to Storyblogging Carnival III. Thanks to all of you who participated. I encourage you to submit again to Storyblogging Carnival IV, which will be hosted by Dave Gudeman at Doc Rampage on October 25th. I enjoyed hosting this time out. Thanks to Donald Crankshaw for the opportunity. Unlike Donald, I’ve refrained from commenting on any of the stories. I’m not at all acquainted with the language of literary criticism and would certainly make a fool of myself if I tried to fake it. Suffice it to say that I’ve read all the stories and found them each entertaining in their own way. So here are the eight offerings for Storyblogging Carnival III. You’ll find links to the previous carnivals towards the end of this post.


Silence in the Snow
by Andrew of Philosophical Poetry
a 350 word brief story rated G

When deep emotion and isolation converge, a man is changed in an instant.


Walk With Me
by sheya joie yonathi of tales by sheya
A 500 word brief story rated G

“A walk with her big brother…”


Don’t hurt me I’m small!
by Gunner Miller of Monster Blog
542 words of a never ending story rated G

Everyone believes in monsters as a child. This is the story of my life after I had to believe again as an adult. That’s when I found, adopted, and raised one for myself. This story never ends, it just keeps going, as long as there is chocolate.


Denise, Denise
by Gary Cruse of The Owner’s Manual
A 900 word brief story rated G

A zany blend of La Femme Nikita and Deliverance


Birdseed
by Peter C. of Engrossing Tales
a 958 word brief story rated PG

The old man, wrapped snugly in an oversized trenchcoat, leaned forward across the stone chess table in the park. His breath came in sporadic bursts of white mist, which drifted slowly to nothingness in the chill atmosphere of this brisk winter day. He wore a knit black cap and heavy leather gloves, and his nose was two shades darker red than normal. He sported a ragged white beard peppered with shards of grey, dripping condensation beading on the hairs in glistening, half-frozen pearls.

Overhead, a coo and flutter. The pigeons had arrived, right on time.


Sniper
by Dave Gudeman of Doc Rampage
A 1995 word short story rated R

Some of the nicest people you know were just born that way. They are just naturally full of kindness and empathy and friendliness. Some of the other nicest people you know weren’t born that way at all.


Holy Spirit Warehouse
by Robin Jones of Beyond Salvage
A 6418 word short story rated PG-13


This story is about lost faith and what one man does to recapture it.


This submission is in audio (mp3)

Why I do …
by Marty Dodge of Dodgeblogium
A short story rated PG that runs just over 7 minutes

Another Sage of Wales tale



Here are the links for carnivals one and two. Thanks for stopping by and don’t forget the next carnival at Doc’s in just two weeks!


Saturday, January 02, 2010

Storyblogging Carnival II

Welcome to the second Storyblogging Carnival. Here bloggers show that not only can they take down Dan Rather in a day, they can write better fiction too! Today we've collected twelve stories from various bloggers, some of whom you're probably familiar with and some you're probably not, but all worth checking out.


Fide
by Curtis Schweitzer of a_sdf
A 310 word brief story rated PG.

An abstract, stream of consciousness statement of faith.

Affirmations
by KJB of One Fish Up, One Fish Down
A 375 word brief story rated G.

A self-involved parent picks her child up from Safe Key.

The Mother Meets the Rabbi
by Yetzirah of Yetzirah
A 665 word brief story rated G

How my Rabbi survived unscathed during my mother's official visit. And how she figured out why Judaism has survived so long. All in one golden afternoon.

Not noir. Not ever. Never!
by Gary Cruse of The Good Intentions Paving Company
A 900 word brief story rated PG.

A noir mystery of 1920s love, rejection, and steamy nonchalance.

Revenge of the Women of Kleenex
by Michelle Catalano of A Small Victory
A 1,202 short story, rated PG-13.

Single Superheroine seeks Super Guy.

[This is a fun one, from a genre that doesn't get the respect it deserves. -DSC]

Haze
by cbeck of Feeding The Habit (A weekend blog)
A 1,273 short story in two parts, rated R.

"Now most normal aborigines would be out dancing, drinking, and not inhaling various clouds of smoke on a Friday night. But instead we sat holding hands in a small semi-circle with someone who should have been a beauty at our focus."

The Never Ending Story Blog
by KJB et al. of The Never Ending Story Blog
The first 1,390 words of an ongoing story of indeterminate length, rated PG (so far).

This is a collaborative story effort, allowing contributions from anyone. You can make it about whatever you want, although your collaborators may decide not to play along.

By Touch
by Wichi Dude of Wichi Dude
A 1,903 word short story rated PG-13.

A man uses an unusual talent to help his family. And passes that talent along.

[Nice. -DSC]

Portraits
by Trudy W. Schuett of WOLves
A 2,078 short story rated PG.

Sometimes it's easier to hang together than to hang separately.

[This one's really sweet.
-DSC]

Transcendence
by Dave Gudeman of Doc Rampage
A 2,607 word short story rated PG-13.

This story is either farce or tragedy, depending on your beiefs. If you believe that humans are no more than automatons, then this is an amusing farce about how the survival reflex responds in a situation that evolution didn't prepare it for. If you believe that humans are living souls, then this story is a tragedy about the evil that can result from pride and self-centeredness alone. No malevolence is required.

[I liked this one. It's based on an idea I've also been considering using for a short story, if only Doc hadn't beat me to it. -DSC]

Shadowed
by Marty Dodge of Dodgeblogium
A 2,975 word short story rated PG.

An exhausted man turns up at the Sage of Wales' front door begging to let in. Is he all that he says he is and who exactly is after him?

[This story is an interesting mix of horror and modern fantasy. I liked it. -DSC]

Writer's Block
by Jeremiah Lewis of Fringe
A 4,413 word short story rated R.

A struggling writer (of course) longs for female companionship, for which he invents a creative solution.

[This was an intriguing story, deliberately vague and ambiguous.-DSC]