April 7, 2012 by Kiersi
Because it’s Saturday and I’m off doing real-life things like playing with my pet rats and cooking up savory french toast with lemon-sour cream topping (not at the same time), I’d like to share with you all a snippet from my forthcoming fantasy YA novel, The Aeronauts. Here’s a short synopsis to get you caught up on the story:
The last thing high school drop-out Maria Gomez remembers is going under the knife for an experimental surgery. Instead of waking up in a hospital bed, she finds herself at the epicenter of a bitter racial war on a strange, new world–a world completely covered in water, where humans live on islands that float in the sky under the rule of a despotic Emperor, and a mysterious race of water-folk live in the sea. (more…)
Category In Progress, Writing/Free Reads | Tags: Free Reads,The Aeronauts,WIP | 3 Comments
April 2, 2012 by Kiersi
A short story
Nalya reaches over her shoulder and plucks another black, feather-tipped arrow from a leather quiver. In one fluid motion she notches the arrow in her bow, pulls the string tight, and closes one eye.
“Five points if I get this one,” she says, her long ears quivering with the bowstring.
Gorbash knows better than to bet with an elf regarding archery. He closes his toothy jaw and crosses his arms, his steel armor clinking. The skeleton just around the corner pauses at the sound, and turns a head full of empty sockets. (more…)
Category Writing/Free Reads | Tags: FreeReadsMonday,short stories,short-shorts,Skyrim,video games | No Comments
February 3, 2012 by Kiersi
After my post yesterday detailing just a handful of the many plot lines floating around in this silly little writer’s brain of mine, I couldn’t stop thinking about them. All those great stories that have been forsaken in lieu of querying agents, editing and re-writing a book that really needs a professional’s eye more than mine–well, it sunk in.
Between noon and 8pm today (Argentinian time), I hammered out the first 6,500 words of The Aeronauts. Because I’m totally wiped and exhausted, this post is going to feature a snippet (first draft, obviously) of this crazy nonsense that spilled out of my fingers. (more…)
Category In Progress, Writing/Free Reads | Tags: fantasy,Joshua Shell,The Aeronauts,the art of writing | 7 Comments
January 30, 2012 by Kiersi
"Chinese Zodiac - The Rat" by Stephanie Smith
Twelve Years of Seduction
Originally posted on Short Story Showdown
Just a rat.
That’s what Jake had always been: just a rat. He was born two months premature, weighing little more than a couple of potatoes. In his baby photos his head was an awkward shape and covered in odd patches of thin black hair. He grew sinewy and small, with big front teeth like his father’s and tiny, delicate features like his mother’s. His eyes, nose, and mouth were all grouped together in the center of his face, like finger-holes on a bowling ball. (more…)
Category Writing/Free Reads | Tags: animals,FreeReadsMonday,short-shorts,zodiac | No Comments
January 21, 2012 by Kiersi
Originally posted on The Short Story Showdown
Forty-inch flat-screen Sony television, wall-mounted: $579.99. A slightly smaller version of the same television, ceiling-mounted in my bedroom: $399.95. A hyper-realistic oil painting of a diner, framed in sleek black: $74.90, plus a $5 tip to the cute girl behind the desk at the frame shop.
State-of-the-art blender: $134.99. State-of-the-art coffeemaker and espresso machine: $282.70 (on sale). State-of-the-art food processor still sitting in a box, waiting to make pesto that will never be made: $99.99.
And then the prize of my collection: a Harper all-leather black couch with white stitching, mahogany feet, red throw, and matching white-and-black checkered pillows, which ran me somewhere around $4,000 for the matching set of loveseat and chair. (more…)
Category Writing/Free Reads | Tags: couch,short-shorts,voice | No Comments
January 10, 2012 by Kiersi
My Brother the Wolf
Originally posted to the Short Story Showdown in response to Showdown #3: In Transit.
I’ve been changed long enough that sometimes I forget I was once a man. I think I had red hair, or maybe it was reddish-brown. Something fierce and proud like that. Now, my hair is coarse and marbled with brown and black and tan and white, just a muddle of forest colors, and rough to the touch. The nose at the end of my snout is dry and cracked. The long tongue that hangs from my jaws is tired from lolling to and fro as my thin, powerful legs carry me mile after mile, farther and farther away from home.
The minutes turn into hours turn into days, and they are still following my trail. I think I’ve been on the move for a week now, maybe two. I’m not sure who “they” are; they found me in the kitchen of my house, cooking curry with my wife. One was a bear, a great brown grizzly who came in through the front door but took the wall with him. His brother, a white tiger as big as my leather couch, shattered the window and sunk his jaws into Samantha’s neck. (more…)
Category Writing/Free Reads | Tags: animals,horror,short-shorts,supernatural,voice | 4 Comments
January 4, 2012 by Kiersi
This story was originally posted to the Short Story Showdown for Showdown #2: Mundane Personification.
It’s Real Leather
“That can’t be real leather,” says the pink flip-flop. “Just can’t be.”
“I’m all real, baby,” says the leather pump. She’s painted shiny red, her seams cream-colored. She taps her three-inch heel on the floor, deciding how sharply to reprimand the flip-flop for doubting the authenticity of her leather stitching.
Then the closet doors open. Shoes are shuffled aside on the rack, and a pair of thick canvas hiking boots join the pumps and the flip-flops on the third shelf. The doors close again.
“Goodness!” cries the red leather pump. “You’re getting my patent leather all wet!” (more…)
Category Writing/Free Reads | Tags: shoes,short-shorts | No Comments
December 27, 2011 by Kiersi
Originally posted on The Short Story Showdown in response to Dec. 22nd’s theme, “Winter Celebrations.” I’ll be posting about that new endeavor tomorrow.
“That is the worst thing you could ask a mother and wife to do,” moaned the turkey. “Watching her child or her husband get turned into Christmas dinner! How frightful!”
The turkey’s husband shook his head.
“Now Agnes, it’ll be all right. If my memory serves, and I’m an old turkey now, I’ll admit, the farmer decided to have ham for Christmas dinner last year. Hopefully it was good.”
One of the cows in the next pen overheard the turkeys’ conversation. She told the sheep, who told the chickens, who eventually told the pigs in their wallow.
“Damned turkeys,” said the pig’s wife. “Always gloating over others. ‘Look at how the farmer’s kids make paper shrines to us,’ they say. ‘Poor us, always the victim at Thanksgiving.’ Everyone feels sorry for the turkeys, but who feels sorry for us?” (more…)
Category Writing/Free Reads | Tags: allegories,short-shorts | No Comments
December 19, 2011 by Kiersi
This story is brought to you by my hilarious and delightful friend Liz. I burst-fractured my L1 vertebrae in September, so for Christmas Liz made me a pair of feather earrings with blue stones and snake vertebrae.
“A couple extras for you,” she said.
She told me this epic tale of misery and mayhem and it was so hilarious I had to write it down. It has been fictionalized and names have been changed because, well, I wanted to change them.
Then I Stuck My Tongue Out at the Universe
A Short Story
“Devon.” I tilted my shoulder to bring the phone mic closer to my lips. “Do you want to come, or not?” (more…)
Category Writing/Free Reads | Tags: exercises,short-shorts | No Comments
December 15, 2011 by Kiersi
Dragon's Eye, by Margaret Lindsay
The Final Installment
View all chapters
He is running.
His sword is stained red.
Towards the castle. Weaving between houses and shops and servants’ quarters, seeing clearly every stone under his feet, his chest heaving deep inside him.
Up an outer staircase to two heavy wooden doors, locked with iron brackets and a thick iron lock.
Clambering up the wall, reaching for ivy and tree branches.
Inside a third-story window, sweat running down the small of his back and his forehead and his hands.
Then his vision dims, spirals away from him, and Calean is blind to the world again. (more…)
Category Writing/Free Reads | Tags: endings,fairy tales,The Mirror | 1 Comment