Monday, August 29, 2011

Up

[caption id="attachment_1900" align="aligncenter" width="420" caption="Photo Courtesy of http://ma.tt"][/caption]

He continued running up the stairs.

Just a few more steps. This is like waiting to graduate high school, he thought.

Still moving, he skipped two steps at a time, but the top looked just as far away as it did 100 steps earlier.

Just a few more steps up. This is like when I waited for that promotion.

His paced slowed slightly. He turned and looked behind. The bottom of the steps didn't seem that far away.

Just a few more. This reminds me of how long it took me to start a family. Sure doesn't seem that long ago that I tried.

The top kept eluding him.

Just a few more steps. This is like waiting for retirement or having my first grandchild.

He needed to get to the top. His whole life consisted of reaching goals, but those steps kept going. No matter how many he walked, the beginning seemed so close behind and the end out of reach.

Just a few more steps.

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Saturday, August 27, 2011

Yes You Can Publish A Book In A Hurricane

[caption id="attachment_1894" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Photo Courtesy of NASA"][/caption]

As Hurricane Irene blows her winds and drops her rains in the Philadelphia suburbs, you might think there's nothing a person can do but sit around and hope for the best. Will I get water in my house? Will tree limbs fall? Will my power go out?


That last question is very important. You see, times have changed. In the publishing world, you couldn't do what I did, and especially during a hurricane. I published a book, yes a book, during a hurricane. Could we have said that  five years ago? Imagine the conversation:


"So what did you do during the hurricane? Unload buckets of water from your basement," Tim says.


"That, and I published a book," Mark says.


"Yeah, right."


Well...yeah...right. Today we can say that. During Hurricane Irene, I self-published the last story, a novella, in Book 1 of the Miscorrection series. The title of the eBook is Sundown, and I'm very happy with it for a lot of reasons. First, I wrote this story once, realized it needed fixing, and rewrote it again, making it a lot better. Second, I love the way it ends because it's a real cliffhanger that should have readers guessing at what is happening and what direction the story will go.


It's an amazing New World of Publishing, and if you haven't heard about it, there is good information out there for newbie's.


If you want to read an excerpt of the story, click here. I hope you enjoy it! Meanwhile, don't forget that the day I posted this, I probably was unloading buckets of water from my house!


Miscorrection: Sundown is available now for the Amazon Kindle or any eReader from Smashwords for 3 Tacos ($2.99 US).

Sundown (Miscorrection)

In the final story in Book 1 of the Miscorrection series, the six-planet solar system appears to be at peace. With Panacea well established and the trusted guidance of the system's president, Daniel, the future looks bright.
However, the Karhath have other plans for the future, and their goal is to gain the power they have long sought after.
While the sunrise brightens hope, sundown brings darkness, and results in appearances that are not always what they seem. One question remains: What side will the six-planet system find itself on? 

This story is included in the ebook All My Fiction. Pay Once—Read Forever

This eBook is available at the following locations:

Kindle USKindle UKKindle DE

Nook

iPadiPhone

Smashwords

Can’t decide if you want to purchase the story? An excerpt is below.

If you have an Amazon Kindle and rather not read the excerpt on the site, you can use the “Send To Kindle” app for your browser or smartphone to read it there. Details can be found on http://klip.meEnjoy!
Sundown (Miscorrection)

(Book 1 - Story 6)

Copyright © 2011 B.C. Young

David sat on a plush, soft couch and his fingers slowly rubbed his forehead, soothing a pain he never expected to experience again. The lamps around him lit the room well, but in his mind’s eye it seemed dim and grew darker by the moment.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Begun This Novel Has


It finally happened. Last week, I sat down and started writing my novel. My attempt at a longer story than I have ever done before. Yes, I'm shooting for an end of year release, and yes, I might not make it. I know I'll have it written in time, but it's the proofing and editing stages that are currently in question. We'll see what happens.


I'm sure most people think that it is a daunting task. In fact, I used to think that way. Then, under the pen name of B.C. Young, I wrote novelettes and short stories. As I prepared for the novel, I wrote an outline of what I plan to accomplish chapter by chapter.


I realized two things when I did this:




  1. A novel is just a longer story. Sure there's more character development and description and stuff. But at the end of the day, it's just a long story.

  2. My outline got the story focused in my mind, but I find that I'm writing against it. I'm changing drastically what the story is and the outline has become more of the back story. Kind of funny how it worked, but I think the novel is improving because of this.


Those are two interesting experiences, and ones that lead me to encourage you, if you want to write a novel, to consider. If the idea overwhelms you, write some short stories first. Get a handle on your style and approach. Then, when you are ready for that novel, it won't seem like such a big deal.

Now for the other part of this post, which is more information on the title of the novel. Here's what I've revealed so far:

Fram G. and T.I.A.

Ready for the letter 'G'? If you look at the image above, you'll get an idea of the word, but perhaps not the spelling. Here you go. The 'G' in the title stands for 'Gage'.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Flowers

[caption id="attachment_1865" align="aligncenter" width="420" caption="Photo Courtesy of http://ma.tt"][/caption]

"These are for you," Eric said.

Cathy examined the gift. They were a dozen stems with the flower buds still waiting to develop. Not a very romantic gift in her opinion. She'd prefer full on blooming roses.

"Oh...well...thank you," she said. She had no idea what to say. Maybe that they were the most ridiculous romantic gesture she had seen in her life?

"I'm not done," Eric said. "Watch this?"

As she held the dud flowers in her hand, he reached out and touched one of the undeveloped buds. As soon as he did, it grew before her eyes until it became a blooming white rose.

"Wow...that's...that's." She didn't know what to say.

Eric touched the remaining 11 flowers, and each one grew to full bloom before her eyes. Cathy didn't know what to think. She'd never seen anything so amazing in her life.

"How'd you do that?"

"Who cares? I did. The only question I care about is 'Do you love me?'"

"Of course, I do."

"That's the thing that amazes me and I know it isn't an illusion," he said.

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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Eyes


"It was the look in your father’s eyes that finally convinced me." Rena said


“Convinced you of what?” Ronny said.


“That you’re not my Ronny.”


How did she find out? He never thought it could happen.


“He brought me here, because where I’m from, I died.”


“He brought you here to replace my Ronny.” A couple tears grouped in her eyes, then rolled down her cheeks. “He didn’t know he’d be saving your life.”


Ronny’s head bent low. What would she do now? Send him back.


Rena reached out her hand and ran it through Ronny’s hair. She looked into his eyes a second longer and smiled.


“But I’ll love you just the same. I just feel awful for your mother on the other side.”


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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Miscorrection Update

It's been a couple of months since I announced the delay of the next Miscorrection story, Sundown. It's now in the capable hands of Jeff Ambrose, who is proofreading it. Though I'm sure he'll have a few suggestions, too.


I can say without a doubt this will be the best Miscorrection story yet. If you haven't read any of the other stories, or perhaps only one or two, this is the one to read. Think of it like those two-hour season finales you watch of your favorite TV show. Even if you missed some episodes during the season, you make sure not to miss the finale, because you know some important stuff is going to happen.


In the spirit of a season finale, Sundown clocks in at around 28,000 words. Wowsa! That takes it from being a novelette, like the other stories, to a novella.


So why did it become the longest piece so far in the series? Characters.


I paid a lot of attention to the character behavior and relationships in this one. Yes, big events will happen not only to the characters, but between them. In order to give this the detail it deserved, I had to write more words, and I had to give the characters more life. I think I pulled this off.


Finally, as in any good finale, I mix things up at the end. The ending will make you question what is happening, and make you wonder if everything is not as it seems. Is it a cliffhanger? In a manner of speaking, yes. It's not the edge of your seat "What's gonna happen next?" type cliffhanger. It's more of the "I want to know more because this story just went in a whole new direction" type cliffhanger. Needless to say, I loved writing the ending of this story and Sundown in general. From my perspective, the story accomplishes exactly what I wanted, and I couldn't ask for anything more.


Miscorrection: Sundown, the last story that makes up Book 1 of Miscorrection, will release at the end of August at your favorite eBook retailer. Until then, here's the tentative cover art for the eBook. Feel free to let me know what you think of it!


Monday, August 15, 2011

Unspoken Stories

A collection of five short stories to entertain and stimulate the mind. These stories were almost never told, but they were saved from being unspoken.

The collection includes the following science fiction stories (Click the titles to read a 50% excerpt of the story):

Copy Bird: Bill is trapped and lonely. He breaks free of his prison and finds something he doesn't expect.

Going Home: Promises are important to keep, and Commander Patrick Murphy never wants to forget that.

Josie Dorri And The Coffee Ban: What if the government banned coffee? See what happens to Josie Dorri when they do.

The Present: Miles Gray has a good life, but doesn't realize it. Often, a trip through time is all that is needed to open up a person's eyes to how good they have it. 

Running To Keep Her: Neil is obsessed with exercise and eating right, but it's not for his health that he does it. He does it to keep her.

Read, enjoy, and open up your mind...

eBook edition available at the following locations:

Click To Buy   Click To Buy             

Print edition available at Amazon and CreateSpace.
Introduction From Unspoken Stories

© 2011 B.C. Young

When I think back to the first story I wrote, Miscorrection: Sunrise, the Miscorrection series was all that mattered to me. I thought I had a grand idea to tell a story in a television “episode” type format. My plan, as it still is, was to write self-contained stories that, when combined, tell a much larger story. At that time, I never imagined I would branch off and begin writing other stories.


Then, in March 2011, that all changed. I wrote a blog post on The Time Capsule called “Quality Over Quantity”. In that post, I said that I write slow because I want to make sure I put out quality work. But if you check out the post, and the first comment left by writer Jeff Ambrose, you’ll see another line of thinking; namely to write frequently and let the reader decide if the story is quality or not.


I decided to take up Jeff’s challenge to write more, and I started with a short story called Copy Bird. It took me about 5-6 hours to write, proof, create cover art, and upload for publication. I remember thinking, “That was easy!” So I wrote another short story, Going Home, about two weeks later in about the same amount of time.


That’s when I realized I just needed to keep writing, and the stories would come. Keep writing and I will improve. Keep writing and I’ll have a lot more fun.


This is the meaning behind the title of this collection, Unspoken Stories. Had I never been challenged to write more, and frequently, I have to wonder if these stories would ever have been told. My guess is they probably wouldn’t have. There wouldn’t be any The Present, Josie Dorri And The Coffee Ban, or Running To Keep Her—all stories I enjoyed writing a lot.


I’m glad that you have the opportunity to read these stories and judge for yourself if they are of good quality. I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I did writing them!


eBook edition available at the following locations:


Click To Buy   Click To Buy             

Print edition available at Amazon and CreateSpace.


Entrance

[caption id="attachment_1828" align="aligncenter" width="420" caption="Photo Courtesy of http://ma.tt"][/caption]

"What do you suppose is on the other side?" Cindy asked Kevin.

Kevin thought the same thing about Cindy's heart. He stared at her, and got lost in her large eyes. He waited patiently for her to speak more words; the sound calmed him. The wind blew slightly, causing strands off hair to fall over her face, which she quickly brushed aside.

"Don't know," Kevin said.

"Why don't you find out?" Cindy said.

He'd do anything for her. He reached out, grabbed the door's ring handle, and opened it. He entered the room, only to find it empty, with white walls, and another door, exactly like the one he entered on the other side.  Above the door was a sign that said:

Exit From Whence You Came

"That's weird," Kevin said aloud.

Slam!

The door behind him shut. He tried to open it, but it was locked and sealed tight.

"Cindy!" he yelled. "Cindy!" He banged on the door, but she never answered. "I'm trapped in here!"

Thoughts ran through his head. One kept nagging at him. If he was trapped in the room for the rest of his life, he'd die in there. He'd die without ever telling Cindy that he loved her, that their friendship was more important to him than anything, that he wanted to spend the rest of his life with her. Why'd he let his fear of rejection hold him back? Why didn't he just take a chance?

But he wasn't trapped. He had the other door in front of him. He ran over to it, pulled on the ring handle, and opened it. He walked out into the open air and Cindy stood there waiting for him.

"So what was in there?" she asked.

He didn't want to delay. Any hesitation might allow the fear to set in.

"Cindy, I love you," he said.

Her face said it all. She didn't speak any words, just stood there with a blank expression on her face. Then, she walked over to Kevin and put her hand on his shoulder.

"Oh, Kevy," she said. "I love you, too...as a friend. That's what you meant? Right?"

He tried to enter her heart. He took a chance at the unknown. But her response was no different from the sign he saw in the room. He ended up right back where he was.

"Of course," he said, trying to hide the hurt filling his veins. "Of course."

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Thursday, August 11, 2011

Knock 'Em Dead


“You point it at a group of people and it’ll obliterate everything in its path.” Robin said.


“I don’t understand.” Rosanne said.


“Trust me, it’s comic genius. Especially if you get the timing down right.”


Roseanne stuck out her finger towards Robin. She didn’t find it very funny.


“So what?”


“The next part is important. Make sure everyone is laughing really hard. Keep the finger just as you have it then say ‘Hey you! Pull my finger.’ If you can time it right with the sound, you’re gold!”


Roseanne practiced it with the rest of her routine. When she performed it that night, it went over well. Almost too, well. While her other jokes were indeed funnier, the timing of that one sent the audience into a howl and she thought they were going to die from laughter.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Who Am I? or What's In A Name?

[caption id="attachment_1802" align="alignleft" width="150" caption="Henry Ian Cusick (a.k.a. Desmond Hume)"][/caption]

Today, I was going to post more about the novel I'm writing  I need to start writing if I ever expect to make my deadline of self-publishing it by the end of the year. But I'm not going to write anything about the novel, except for a moment at the end of this post.


Some of you might wonder who I am. Right now, you only know my name, Desmond Shepherd. But is that really my name?


No. It's not.


So what is my name? Well, look around this site, in particular the right column of this post, and you'll see who I am. Then you'll understand that Desmond Shepherd is just a pen name. It' s a name I will use for writing novels and other material that doesn't fall into what I consider the B.C. Young umbrella.




[caption id="attachment_1803" align="alignright" width="88" caption="Matthew Fox (a.k.a. Jack Shephard)"][/caption]

Now, how did I come up with this pen name? It's no secret that I'm a big fan of Lost. It's one of the most influential shows when it comes to my writing. So as I contemplated what pen name I would use, characters from the show came to mind. I enjoyed a lot of them in the show, so I narrowed it down to the characters I really liked and the names I really liked. Shephard, as in Jack Shephard, hit me instantly. It's a powerful yet comforting name. I wanted that. Then I cycled in the other names I liked, John Shephard, Charlie Shephard, and finally, Desmond Shephard, after Desmond Hume.




[caption id="attachment_211" align="alignleft" width="100" caption="B.C. Young (a.k.a Desmond Shepherd)"][/caption]

The combo of Desmond with Shephard was an immediate winning combination for me. So I went with it. Although I'm spelling Shepherd with slightly different.


Now that the cat is out of the bag, let's revisit my earlier post. In that post, I gave the acronym for the novel I'm writing  I need to start writing. Nobody posted a guess at the name. Perhaps it’s still too hard. So, I’ll help you out. Here's the acronym:


F.G. and T.I.A.


I'll give you the word for the first letter 'F'. That word is 'Fram'.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Mountains

[caption id="attachment_1789" align="aligncenter" width="420" caption="Photo Courtesy of http://ma.tt"][/caption]

This story is a sequel to the story Morning.

I still haven't heard from them, but I don't think I mind so much anymore.

Most days, as the signal reaches into space, I sit on a  large, gray rock. My flute—I picked it up in a nearby town—keeps me company as I play music to the valley below.

I never have been in such a peaceful place, or experienced quite this tranquility. Rumor has it that other parts of the planet aren't much different than mine was.

But I don't care. I could sit here on these mountains, enjoying the view, and playing my music for a long time. And if the signal never reaches any of my brothers, I'll be fine. Life here would be just right.

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Thursday, August 4, 2011

Guest Post: Two Infallible Writing Truths

Over the past six months, I received a lot of advice from people on writing. No one has helped me more than writer Jeff Ambrose. I'm happy to say that he agreed to do a guest post for my site, and it's one that no writer should miss. This advice is important. In fact, it's helped me in ways I never imagined. So follow it closely, and you'll no doubt see the same positive effects on not only your writing, but your writing habits.
Two Infallible Writing Truths

by Jeff Ambrose

Today, I finished a final edit of a short story. Next stop, my wife, who will proof it for me. Then it's off to press.


Like almost all of my stories, this one (which will remain nameless) started with great promise and excitement. Coming off a writing workshop, I had real hopes for it. But unlike most of my short stories, this one ended (for me) with a thud.


That's to say: I don't care too much for it.


Yet, I'm going to publish it. Why would I do such a thing? Because about a year ago I accepted two infallible truths about writing, and both have served me well.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Time



“Quick, what time is it?” Stan said.

“10:33,” Rick answered.

“Shoot. We’ll have to try something different. Grab that block, and smash it on my head.”

“It’ll kill you if I do that.”

“Doesn’t matter. It might be the only way out of this.”

Rick picked up the large cinder block, while Stan rested his head on the table. He raised it up high in the air, and then brought it down with enough force to crush his skull. Blood splattered some. Then everything reversed again.

“Quick, what time is it?” Stan said.

“10:33,” Rick answered.

 

“Shoot. We’ll have to try something different...”

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Monday, August 1, 2011

Broken

[caption id="attachment_1757" align="aligncenter" width="295" caption="Photo Courtesy of http://ma.tt"][/caption]

Jace and Cameron stood at the street corner waiting for the little Walking Man light to give them the go ahead to cross.

Then, the phone in the booth behind them began to ring, loudly.

Ring, ring! — Ring, ring!

"Huh?" Jace said. "Haven't heard a ring like that in years."

"Go answer it." Cameron said.

Jace  approached the phone, and tried to figure out how it worked. The phone handle was nearly snapped in two. From all he could see, the thing looked like it hadn't been used in years. He picked up the phone, holding the mouthpiece in one hand and the earpiece in the other.

"Hello."

"There's a..." The voice on the other end was full of static, and broken speech. "Corner of Pine and Wilson.."

"Hello," Jace said again. The person on the other line didn't stop talking and wouldn't acknowledge him on the phone.

"...pile-up of three cars...help immediately...hear me?"

"Hello," Jace said again.

"...use your phone...one's broken!" the voice yelled, and then Jace heard the phone click and the line went dead.

Jace walked back over to Cameron.

"Who was that?" Cameron asked.

"Not sure. I kept saying 'Hello' but they wouldn't answer back. Kind of hard to make out everything they said, too."

"Ah, stupid phone's broken. No one uses those things. That's why we got cell phones." Cameron held his phone up and wiggled it in front of Jace.

Jace felt around his pockets and realized he left his phone at home. Then he looked up as he continued to wait for the Walking Man. He noticed they were at the corner of Wilson Avenue and Pine Street. Wasn't that what the person on the phone said?

The Walking Man lit up telling them it was safe to cross the street. Cameron stepped out, but Jace quickly pulled him back as a car ran the red light.  The car swerved to avoid Cameron, spun out of control, and was hit head on by a car in the cross traffic. Then a car from the other direction slammed into its back-end. Smoke started rising from the wreckage, and fluids from the cars spilled onto the street.

"Oh my..." Cameron said. "Quick call 9-1-1 for help. I'll see if everyone is okay."

Jace ran over to the phone, popped a quarter into the slot, and dialed 9-1-1.

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July 2011 Sales Numbers

Here's the first post with monthly sales numbers. I plan to post these once every month. I'll list all the eBooks I have for sale and the amounts they sold during the month, even if the number is zero. I've also updated the  Sales Numbers page with the total current sales numbers as of July 31, 2011.

Paid Sales for the month of July 2011 are:

I have also changed the pricing scheme for my eBooks. I did this based off of this post: The Real Problem With $.99 Ebooks. The structure sounded good, and I like that the price can help identify the length of the work. While I know it's impossible, I hope other indie authors adopt this same structure. I feel if they do, it can stabilize the prices of eBooks consumers search for, and help them to make better decisions on what to buy. As you know, the current landscape of indie author eBook pricing fluctuates so much, that you never really know what you are going to get. This may not be the solution to the problem, but it could help it!

Here is my new pricing structure. The below pricing structure is no longer in effect. Of course, I'm the only author who is also giving you the exchange rate pricing in Tacos:



  • $0.99 (1 Taco) - Books less 10,000 words

  • $1.99 (2 Tacos) - Books 10,001 to 20,000 words

  • $2.99 (3 Tacos) - Books 20,001 to 50,000 words

  • $3.99 (4 Tacos) - Books 50,001 to 75,000 words

  • $4.99 (5 Tacos) - Books 75,001 to 100,000 words

  • $5.99 (6 Tacos) - Books 100,001 words to ???


See you next month with the latest numbers. Just remember that by purchasing one or more of my eBooks, you could have an effect on next month's sales report!