Thursday, 30 July 2015

Drabbles of Art - The Examination by Wayne Barlowe

(c) Wayne Barlowe
I've done something a little different for this week and that's feature a piece from a contemporary artist in the Drabbles of Art series. When I spotted The Examination by Wayne Marlowe I had to write a piece based on it. His visions of Hell are superb and you can see them on his blog here:

The copyright for this image belongs to the artist and his writing looks interesting too, so much so I've ordered a couple..

If you haven't read the earlier drabbles in the series yet then you will find them all here:

The Examination by Wayne Barlowe

“And what is it we have here?” the first demon asked. “It’s shaped a bit like us, but puny and malformed.”

“It’s soft and warm to the touch,” said the second. “And there are things inside that crack when I bend its appendages.”

“I don’t like its strange stink,” complained the third. “It smells sharp and rotten like bad food. Fragile too – part of it has fallen off.”

“Well I think it tastes just fine,” opined the fourth. “Here try for yourself.”

“What a peculiar keening noise it makes,” said the fifth as its teeth crunched through skin and bone.

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Drabbles of the Gods - Lei Gong

We travel to China for this week's Drabble of the Gods and discover Lei Gong, the Lord of Thunder.

If you haven't read the previous drabbles in the series then you will find them all here:

Lei Gong

Banging his mallet against the drum Lei Gong is the thunder. With the finely honed chisel he punishes the wicked. From flashing mirrors his wife, Dian Mu, casts lightning from the sky.

Once mortal, he now stands as a fearsome clawed creature, bat wings shade his shoulders and a bird’s beak protrudes from his blue face.

He is more than the Lord of Thunder, upon Heaven’s order he hunts those committing crimes in the shadow and spirits who harm living mortals.

Yet despite his great ferocity he can be held at bay by the most base, and pleasurable of actions.

Sunday, 26 July 2015

August Short Fiction Contest

"Watain 27 03 2014 08" by Vassil - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

I'm going a little old school with the image this month. Some of the first horror stories I read were Dennis Wheatley's satanism themed adventures. I'm still a fan of supernatural evil stories so it seemed like a good idea for a prompt. What do you think someone would pray for at such an altar?

As always the stories can be of any genre. They just have to be inspired by this month's image and no more than 500 words.

Entry to the contest remains free and there are prizes for the three winners. I will also feature any of the stories that don't win but I believe are worth showcasing on this blog.
  • First prize is a £50 Amazon gift card or PayPal prize
  • Second prize is a £20 Amazon gift card or PayPal prize
  • Third prize is a £10 Amazon gift card or PayPal prize
The money for the prizes come out of my own pocket, although I do make a little from advertising on this blog. So if you see something of interest then feel free to click on the links and purchase away! If you haven't tried my books yet then check them out at the top of the page, as well as buying a good read you'll be helping this contest.

Please make sure to check your story for typos before submitting. I don't mind a few errors, but my enjoyment of a story is diminished if I have to wade through too many.

I'll post the winning entries by September 1st 2015.

As with everything in life there are a few rules:
  • Only one entry per person.
  • The story must not be longer than 500 words.
  • Closing date for submissions is August 21st 2015.
  • By submitting the story you grant me a non-exclusive license to post the story on this blog. I do ask that I post it here first.
  • You also grant me a one time non-exclusive license to include the story in an e-book release.
  • The judge's decision is final.
Use the form below to enter your submission. After you've submitted please leave a comment on this page stating that you have submitted. And please help spread the word. Great stories deserve great readers!

As well as comments section below you can chat about this competition in any of the threads I've listed below. If you don't know the sites then entering the competition is a good way to introduce yourself. Note that these sites are not affiliated with the competition in any way!

If you've started your own thread or discussion somewhere about this month's competition then let me know and I'll add the link to this page.

Saturday, 25 July 2015

Discover Centos on Book Hippo

I'm a big fan of Book Hippo :-) As a reader the daily newsletter of Kindle bargains helps keep my TBR list longer than I'll ever manage to read! The daily drabble is always a good read as well. As a writer it's also an excellent place to help promote books and deals to a UK audience. I also like to submit the odd drabble - regular readers will know that I'm a huge fan of drabbles.

Book Hippo has added a new feature - the Auto Cento. A cento is a poem or story comprised of extracts from other works. The Auto Cento automatically creates a cento from a database of indie works (including some of mine) and also from some classics.

Here's a fun example of an Auto Cento:


By Cento, using the words of Michael Brookes, Rosen Trevithick, Jane Austen, David Wailing, Rosen Trevithick and 300 Children

He painted pictures of his childhood, the long years as a demon spawn. (1)
Salmon laid their spawn in the upper streams to give them the best possible chance in life. (2)
Mind you, I'm happy with my life, and I still want to meet them. (3)
"Now I am quite happy," said she, "for you will be as happy as myself. (4)
I didn't come here to say happy birthday to Bob. (5)
Simon looked at Bob with admiration. (6)
His admiration was certainly very warm; yet she thought, but for Mrs. (7)
Here it comes, the young demon thought. (1)

1: An Odder Quintet by Michael Brookes
2: Sun Dragon by Michael Brookes
3: Seesaw by Rosen Trevithick
4: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
5: Bang by David Wailing
6: Monster Avengers by Rosen Trevithick, 300 Children
7: Emma by Jane Austen

You can discover your own centos here:

Thursday, 23 July 2015

Drabbles of Art - The Number of the Beast is 666 by William Blake

"The number of the beast is 666 Philadelphia, Rosenbach Museum and Library" by William Blake
We return to a biblical theme with one of William Blake's series of paintings from books of the bible. The Book of Revelations has been the inspiration for many a fine horror story, so seems a fitting choice for this series.

You can read the previous drabbles in the series here:

The Number of the Beast is 666 by William Blake

And from the earth rose a second beast, this one horned as a ram. His words moved the world to fall under the sway of the first beast.

He summoned fire from heaven to fall upon the earth. With other great wonders he deceived mankind into making an image of the first beast.

The image was granted life and he slew those who refused their worship. Those who cast their lot with the beast were marked forever.

Wisdom allows you to count the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man, and his number is 666.

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