All posts by R. B. Wood

Submissions Open: The Word Count Podcast Episode 85

Cherry Blossoms

April is always such a fickle month weather-wise. Here in New England, it’s a veritable crap shoot when choosing one’s clothes for the day. It’s winter in the morning, spring by 10 AM, Summer by 2 PM, fall by dinner, and snowing by bedtime.

It’s exhausting! So I thought something pretty would work for this month’s show:

 

Mount Fuji in the distance, with cherry blossoms in the foreground. I could tell you stories about Japan, but I thought I’d let the irregulars take a crack at it.

The guidelines for submission to the show are below–and anyone can send in a story for consideration. While I certainly love the stories our Word Count Irregulars supply, I’m always open to new writers and new ideas.

I would love to hear from you, either with a story submission or via social media. I have a Facebook Page that could use a few ‘likes.’ The more listeners and contributors we have, the better the shows can be.

There are nearly 500 original stories at this point—all free for your listening pleasure, all we ask is for people to help get the word out. Click the link:

The Word Count Podcast Facebook Page

If you want to listen to the past (free) shows, the links below will take you to them:

LIBSYN

or

iTunes

There are eighty-four shows available right now!

SUBMISSION GUIDELINES

THE WORD COUNT PODCAST – EPISODE 85 “Cherry Blossoms”

GENRE: Any.

DEADLINE: I must receive your submission by Saturday 26 April 2019 by MIDNIGHT Eastern time.

THE DETAILS: The work must be an original story in English based on the picture theme above.

Do NOT exceed SEVEN minutes.

As this is a podcast, I need to receive a file of YOU, a friend or multiple friends reading (singing or otherwise performing) your work. MP3 FORMAT ONLY, and please attach your MP3 file to an e-mail or contact me for a Dropbox link.

Your submission MUST also contain the following:

• Your pen name
• Your latest bio (DO NOT ASSUME I HAVE YOUR LATEST)
• Links to your website(s) – Include your personal site, Facebook Fan page, etc.
• Your Twitter handle (if you have one)
• A photo of you I can use for the show notes
• At the end of your recording, please add “This is the author of […] and you’re listening to The Word Count Podcast.
• Permission to use your recording in the podcast.
• PLEASE Make sure you have included ALL ARTIFACTS I have asked for. Do not assume I can “Get your picture from the internet” or can “Pull your bio from your web page.”

Send your file to me@rbwood.com (or via the dropbox link I can provide) by 26 April 2019. You can also e-mail me with questions beforehand. I do reserve the right NOT to post your submission, but I will communicate that to you should it be the case. I add the ‘Explicit’ tag to the ‘cast, so if your story uses adult themes or language that’s ok—but it should be necessary for the story.

***NOTE: I will NOT accept stories that are discriminatory in ANY WAY (whether it be by race, sexual orientation, gender, religion, etc.), or that include rape. ***

Peace

Meet the Irregulars: Maria Haskins

Thirteen Questions with MARIA HASKINS

  • What literary pilgrimages have you gone on?

Back in my misspent youth, I spent a year living and working just outside London (I was a Swedish nanny/au pair of all things), and I since I am a huge (and I mean HUGE) fan of John LeCarré’s books about George Smiley, I went to look at the street where Smiley lives. It’s described in detail in several of the books, and I just had to see it for myself. A lot of my time in London was actually spent visiting locations from the books about Smiley. Like Hampstead Heath which is a “scene of the crime” in Smiley’s People. Oh, and Smiley lives at Bywater Street number 9.

  • What is the first book that made you cry?

The first time I finished Lord of the Rings I cried like a freaking baby because I didn’t want the story to be over. I wanted more of that world. I think I read the last half of Return of the King basically in one day and night (I was 13 or 14), and it just gutted me completely. I wanted to be inside that book, inside that story so badly.

  • What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?

I’m friends with you, Richard! (I still owe you a drink, or more than one, when we get together in a pub some time.) Writing for the Word Count Podcast was one of the best decisions of my writing life. Being friends with you, and writing for this podcast, it’s my write club, it’s my monthly writing challenge, it’s what’s taught me about writing flash fiction. I don’t have writers that I socialize with in “real life”, but I know a lot of writers online, and it’s meant the world to me. It’s a community, it’s the people you chat with at the water cooler (AKA social media), it’s the company I keep to teach me things and find things out and just feel like I’m not crazy for pursuing this writing thing.

  • If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

Don’t give up. You’ll achieve things you haven’t even imagined yet. And dump that lit-fic and go all-out (or mostly all-out) speculative fiction instead. That last one is a decision I wish I’d made sooner.

  • What are the most important magazines for writers to subscribe to?

Wow. That is a huge huge HUGE question. I just did the math the other night and I read about 50 different speculative fiction zines on a regular basis. If I was giving advice to someone who wants to get into writing and/or reading speculative fiction, I’d suggest they cruise the field of zines and find the style of speculative fiction that appeals to them, the stuff they want to read and write. Listen to the Escape Artist podcasts because you’ll get both originals and reprints. Read widely and with an open mind. Check out the established zines like Apex, The Dark, Lightspeed, Nightmare, Clarkesworld, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Fireside, Strange Horizons. Check out new stuff like Anathema, Fiyah, Reckoning, and Augur Magazine too. There is so much depth in the speculative fiction field right now, you will find a lot of stuff that appeals to you, and you’ll get a better feel for the field as well.

  • What’s your favorite under-appreciated novel?

I don’t know that it’s under-appreciated, but Angela Slatter’s trilogy about Verity Fassbinder should definitely be read by more people. Supernatural crime/urban fantasy, set in Australia, and the books are full of fairytale and myth and characters you just want to follow wherever they go. It’s three books, Vigil, Corpselight, and Restoration. Highly recommended.

  • How many hours a day do you write?

It varies widely. I work as a freelance translator, I write a lot of reviews and roundups, and I have kids, so I never really know how much time I’ll have to myself for my own writing. Some days I don’t write at all. Most days I write at least two-four hours. Though a lot of that might spent staring at the screen and backspacing to get rid of what I just wrote.

  • Have you read anything that made you think differently about fiction?

When I read Kai Ashante Wilson’s “The Sorcerer of the Wildeeps” it completely blew my mind. That insane mix of fantasy and scifi, of magic and science, of language and dialect and slang, the whole thing, the whole phantasmagoric, trippy awesomeness of it… I don’t think I’d ever realized you could write like that, and I loved it.

  • Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?

I am horribly thin-skinned and sensitive and I am really totally crap at taking criticism. Not as bad as I was in my younger days, but still. I revel in the good ones, while secretly thinking they can’t really mean it, and I have to sort of work my way through handling the bad ones. The bad ones don’t kill me like they did when I was in my 20s, but they still sting.

  • What one thing would you give up to become a better writer?

I’d give up sleep if I could. I love sleeping, but it just seems like such a waste of time some days.

  • What are your favorite literary journals?

Since I don’t read literary journals, I’ll list some of my favourite speculative fiction publications. I read a lot and I love a lot of them, but I’ll pick a few faves. I’m a huge fan of Flash Fiction Online, I loved Shimmer (which sadly published its last issue recently), and I am an enormous fan of Beneath Ceaseless Skies. I also adore Reckoning, Anathema, and Fiyah. There are so many excellent SFF publications, but I’ll leave it at that for now!

  • What is your favorite childhood book?

I read a lot as a kid. My sister and I both read tons of Tintin and Asterix, so I have really fond memories of those books.

  • Do you believe in writer’s block?

Yes, because I was unable to write for about 10 years. But I think people sometimes don’t talk about the same thing when they talk about writer’s block. There’s the “block” you get when you’re writing and you feel stuck on a story, whether it’s finishing it or starting it or whatever. That stuff I think you can work around by using some “tricks of the trade”. Then there’s the writer’s block like I experienced, which has nothing to do with a specific story, but has to do with the act of writing itself. For a variety of reasons related partly to writing, and partly to big life-changes for me, I basically could not write, could not physically get myself to think of stories to write or sit down and write any fiction for about a decade. It was almost like a phobia. The one thing I was really good at, that I loved doing, was all of a sudden a sense of anxiety. It was terrible. I thought I’d never write again. Finally it came down to a decision where I knew I either had to really, really give it a go or just … not. And, well, here I am. I think that kind of writer’s block is most likely connected to things going on in your life, rather than just having to do specifically with writing, and I am just so grateful I got back to writing. I still have a fear lodged deep inside me that I’ll wake up one morning and that block will be back again, that I won’t find words, that I’ll be unable to write, but it hasn’t happened yet.


BIO

Maria Haskins is a Swedish-Canadian writer and translator. She was born and grew up in Sweden, but now lives just outside Vancouver with her husband, kids, and a very large black dog.

Website: https://mariahaskins.wordpress.com

Twitter: @mariahaskins

Meet the Irregulars: Bill Kirton

Thirteen Questions with BILL KIRTON

  • Does writing energize or exhaust you?

I was going to say both, but that would be misleading. The actual writing is exhilarating because I feel I’m out of myself, I inhabit the characters, I feel I’m with them, in whatever place or time they are. It takes a lot of energy and yet afterwards, the fact that I’ve done it, I’ve resolved the issues, created a scene (or more), leads not to exhaustion but to elation.

  • What are common traps for aspiring writers?

The main one is not trusting their own voice. By that, I mean that many think they ought to be writing ‘Literature’. I’m not using that as a derogatory term, but it can lead to artificiality, overblown images and/or expressions, pretentious observations, a completely unnatural use of language. One aspect of that is trying to mimic the style of their own favourite writers. By all means admire quality writing but remember that it takes many forms.

  • Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym?

Not really, although having written in different genres (modern crime, historical crime, romance, satire, fantasy, adventure) I sometimes wonder whether I owe it to my readers to signal that I’m doing something different. And there’s one thing that did make me think I should use a different name. When I wanted to check my books on Amazon, I used my name as a search term, whereupon Amazon asked ‘Did you mean Bell Kittens’?

  • Do you think someone could be a writer if they don’t feel emotions strongly?

‘Feel’ is the important word, there. We can be as cerebral as we like but, in the end, a story calls for involvement . You can instruct and ‘educate’ a reader but, in the end, you want him/her to be moved, to care about someone or something and if you don’t feel and care yourself, you’re fumbling in the dark.

  • What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?

I find the process of reading so absorbing that each book I read feels like I’m listening to either a friend or someone I’d like to be a friend. It’s also in the nature of the profession to know lots of other authors and they always have variations on the way I think myself about the whole business. In terms of helping me, I’ve learned lots from simply reading their works but, in the context of the Word Count Podcast, it’s my collaborations with Eden Baylee that have taught me most about writing. Whether I start the story, or have to pick up from Eden’s start, it feels as if the characters are separate from us – in a way, independent. They’ve moved in different, often unexpected directions from when I was last dealing with them, so they become more complex characters then they were when they were just ‘mine’. It’s very complicated but it’s something I’d recommend as an experiment.

  • If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

Enjoy your writing but work hard at learning the non-writerly bits of the job, i.e. promotional work, marketing. And don’t expect to earn a living from it. But still do it.

  • What’s the best way you’ve found to market your books?

See the previous answer. My direct answer to this question is ‘I have no idea’. I’ve had excellent reviews, kind comments from readers, and sound advice from successful fellow writers  but I’m hopeless at it.

  • What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?

It obviously varies from book to book. With my Jack Carston series, there was a lot of work on forensic techniques, policing methods, etc. before the first one but, thereafter, the characters were established and could drive the narrative themselves. Then I turned to the mid 19thcentury and figurehead carving, so that meant I needed historical information (and I also took wood carving classes – and still enjoy carving as a hobby). There was also a bit of self-indulgence there because, to get the feel of being on a fully rigged tall ship, I joined the crew of the Christian Radich as a paying member and sailed across the North Sea from Oslo to Edinburgh. That book was The Figureheadand, in the sequel to it (The Likeness),  there was a travelling theatre company so I used the knowledge of 19thcentury theatre which I’d gained from my academic doctorate research on the plays of Victor Hugo.

  • Do you view writing as a kind of spiritual practice?

It never occurs to me to think that that’s what it is but it really is. You move out of the dimension of the present and inhabit the minds and world of fictional figures and places. Images, symbols, meanings, explanations all occur to you in and for the context of this as yet non-existent world, so you disappear into it. In a way, it’s a terrific sort of therapy, an antidote to the world of political stupidity.

  • What’s the most difficult thing about writing characters from the opposite sex?

This will probably sound artificial but, while I recognize that (as a generalization) men and women do think differently and can be stereotyped, I’ve never believed that they don’t fundamentally share very many common beliefs and characteristics. In my latest book (The Likeness), the central female character, Helen, having a fierce individual persona and lots of determination (and being stuck in Victorian Scotland with its rigid, gender-specific conventions) quite often disagreed with me and did things which made my life difficult. (See also next answer.)

  • What was your hardest scene to write?

The Likenesscame about because several readers insisted that I write a sequel to The Figureheadmainly because they wanted to know how the romance between John and Helen developed. The final scene of the book provides the answer and I had to rewrite it six times – mainly because Helen wasn’t totally satisfied with any of the first five compromises I suggested. In the end, luckily, she and I came to an agreement, but only after a prolonged struggle.

  • Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?

Yes, because all opinions are useful. I’ve been lucky, nearly all of mine have been kind so far. The only ones that disappoint are those that say more about the reviewer than the book. For one of my crime novels, which involved a nasty murder (as such books tend to), a reviewer ‘questioned the writer’s psyche’ and said it ‘creeped her out’ that I also wrote childrens’ books, while another gave a book one star because Amazon had sent her a different book from the one she’d ordered. But there’s nothing one can do about things like that, and one learns a lot from people’s opinions

  • How long on average does it take you to write a book?

There’s no such thing as ‘average’. Almost all of my modern crime novels took about 10 months for a first draft, then a couple of extra months for editing and proofing. The Likeness, however, took 4 years. (Thanks, Helen.)


BIO

Bill Kirton was born in Plymouth, England, studied French at Exeter University and graduated in 1962. While teaching at Hardye’s School, Dorchester, he started his PhD on the theatre of Victor Hugo and was a lecturer at Aberdeen University from 1968 to 1989.

He’s also been a voice-over artist, TV presenter and has extensive experience of acting and directing. His directing credits include many French language plays as well as works by Shakespeare, Orton, Beckett and Ionesco. He spent a sabbatical year at the University of Rhode Island Theater Department, which commissioned translations of 3 Molière plays from him, one of which he directed himself. The script also won third prize in the British Comparative Literature Association’s Annual Translation competition, 1999.

Bill wrote and performed songs and sketches in revues at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, stage plays, two of which were commissioned by Aberdeen Children’s Theatre, and radio plays for the BBC, two of which were also broadcast in Australia.

Since the late 1990s, his writing has concentrated on prose fiction. He has written many short stories and ten novels, three of which have won awards, with another being long-listed for the Rubery International Book Award.

Bill has held posts as a Royal Literary Fund Writing Fellow at universities in Aberdeen, Dundee and St Andrews and, since 2015, has been organiser of a Scotland-wide scheme which places professional writers in schools to help students with the transition to writing at university. He still gives workshops in schools from Orkney to Dundee as part of the scheme and he’s written five books in Pearson Educational’s ‘Brilliant’ series on study, writing and workplace skills. Bill also co-authored ‘Just Write’ for Routledge.

Website (and blog): http://www.billkirton.com

Facebook pages: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=620980849 https://www.facebook.com/bill.kirton/

Twitter: @carver22

Amazon:https://www.amazon.com/Bill-Kirton/e/B001KDNSLY

The Word Count Podcast: Episode 84

National Park Desolation

Welcome to episode 84 of the #WordCountPodcast!

This month, we have three stories from our intrepid authors, l the Word Count Irregulars! I’m also excited to have a new collaborative piece from Bill Kirton and Eden Baylee. In fact, I was so excited, I wrote a flash piece myself! Rounding out this month’s set is the always amazing Maria Haskins. A short show, but a fun one to be sure! Starting next week, I’ll be featuring one of our irregulars per month with a new segment called “13 Questions with…” And you’ll only be able to find that right here! So bookmark my site and look for that new feature beginning soon!

I guess I should send out those questions t the Irregulars, huh. Whoopsie!

Now, for those of you who are impatient, listen to the latest show here:

The theme for this season is Landscapes and we have an amazing shot from Bryce Canyon in Utah as our prompt:

Before we get on with the show notes, a reminder that we are looking to increase the number of likes on the show’s Facebook Page, so hop on over there and tell your friends about us (use the #WordCountPodcast hashtag).

Second, as always, the WCP is FREE to download and listen via iTunes or Libsyn. This show is brought to you by writers who love the opportunity to share their stories with you. In many ways, the #WordCountPodcast is a hobby for us, as there are no advertisers or revenue streams. It’s just us, a microphone, a four channel mixing board and a passion for sharing our words with you.

We are not asking, nor have ever asked, for monetary compensation. This is our playground, and once a month we invite you to join us around a virtual campfire and listen for a bit.

However, I and my colleagues would very much appreciate it if you shared links for the podcast on social media, and perhaps check out each author’s links and bios (posted below).

In the meantime, allow me to introduce you to my talented friends:

Our Guests:

Maria Haskins – “The Body”

Maria Haskins is a Swedish-Canadian writer and translator. She was born and grew up in Sweden, but now lives just outside Vancouver with her husband, kids, and a very large black dog.

Website: https://mariahaskins.wordpress.com

Twitter: @mariahaskins

R. B. Wood – “The Traveler”

R. B. Wood is a technology consultant and a writer of Speculative and Dark Fiction.  His first novel, The Prodigal’s Foole, was released to critical acclaim in 2012.  Mr. Wood recently has been published online via SickLit Magazine and HorrorAddicts.net and appeared in the award-winning anthology “Offbeat: Nine Spins on Song” from Wicked ink Books.  Along with his writing passion, R. B. is the host of The Word Count Podcast, and is completing his MFA at Emerson College this year.

R. B. currently lives in Boston with his partner Tina, a multitude of cats, and various other critters that visit from time to time.

Around the web:
Website | Twitter | Facebook | Amazon’s R.B. Wood page

 

 

 

 

 

Eden Baylee & Bill Kirton – “A Matter of Love and Death”

Eden Baylee left a twenty-year banking career to write and is now a full-time author of multiple genres.

She has written three collections of erotic novellas and flash fiction ~ SPRING INTO SUMMER, FALL INTO WINTER, and HOT FLASH.

In 2014, she launched the first novel of her STRANGER TRILOGY with Dr. Kate Hampton–a psychological mystery/suspense called “Stranger at Sunset.” In addition to working on her next novel, Eden created the LAINEY LEE SERIES about a feisty divorcée who finds adventure and romance in Hawaii.

An introvert by nature and an extrovert by design, Eden is most comfortable at home with her laptop surrounded by books. She is an online Scrabble junkie and a social media enthusiast, but she really needs to get out more often! 

Bill Kirton was born in Plymouth, England, studied French at Exeter University and graduated in 1962. While teaching at Hardye’s School, Dorchester, he started his PhD on the theatre of Victor Hugo and was a lecturer at Aberdeen University from 1968 to 1989.

He’s also been a voice-over artist, TV presenter and has extensive experience of acting and directing. His directing credits include many French language plays as well as works by Shakespeare, Orton, Beckett and Ionesco. He spent a sabbatical year at the University of Rhode Island Theater Department, which commissioned translations of 3 Molière plays from him, one of which he directed himself. The script also won third prize in the British Comparative Literature Association’s Annual Translation competition, 1999.

Bill wrote and performed songs and sketches in revues at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, stage plays, two of which were commissioned by Aberdeen Children’s Theatre, and radio plays for the BBC, two of which were also broadcast in Australia.

Since the late 1990s, his writing has concentrated on prose fiction. He has written many short stories and ten novels, three of which have won awards, with another being long-listed for the Rubery International Book Award.

Bill has held posts as a Royal Literary Fund Writing Fellow at universities in Aberdeen, Dundee and St Andrews and, since 2015, has been organiser of a Scotland-wide scheme which places professional writers in schools to help students with the transition to writing at university. He still gives workshops in schools from Orkney to Dundee as part of the scheme and he’s written five books in Pearson Educational’s ‘Brilliant’ series on study, writing and workplace skills. Bill also co-authored ‘Just Write’ for Routledge.

Website (and blog): http://www.billkirton.com

Facebook pages: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=620980849 https://www.facebook.com/bill.kirton/

Twitter: @carver22

Amazon:https://www.amazon.com/Bill-Kirton/e/B001KDNSLY

 

Submissions Open: The Word Count Podcast 84

National Park Desolation

Ah March, you fickle, fickle beast!

In New England, Mother Nature always tends to be a bit schizophrenic–on the one hand, it’s beautiful and sunny in the 60’s, on the other, we have the biggest snowstorm of winter. That’s in the same week, by the way.

I thought we’d use a picture that shows the split-personality that sometimes can be March:

 

This is a shot of Bryce Canyon in Winter. The “hoodoos” always remind me of the Southwest US with its hot temperatures and desert climate. While seeing these spectacular formations covered with snow seems so strange, don’t you think?

Let’s see what our authors–known as The Word Count Irregulars–come up with this time!

The guidelines for submission to the show are below–and anyone can send in a story for consideration. While I certainly love the stories our Word Count Irregulars supply, I’m always open to new writers and new ideas.

I would love to hear from you, either with a story submission or via social media. I have a Facebook Page that could use a few ‘likes.’ The more listeners and contributors we have, the better the shows can be.

There are over 450 original stories at this point—all free for your listening pleasure, all we ask is for people to help get the word out. Click the link:

The Word Count Podcast Facebook Page

If you want to listen to past (free) shows, the links below will take you to them:

LIBSYN

or

iTUNES

There are eighty-two shows available right now!

SUBMISSION GUIDELINES

THE WORD COUNT PODCAST – EPISODE 84 “National Park Desolation”

GENRE: Any.

DEADLINE: I must receive your submission by Saturday 30 March 2019 by MIDNIGHT Eastern time.

THE DETAILS: The work must be an original story in English based on the picture theme above.

Do NOT exceed SEVEN minutes.

As this is a podcast, I need to receive a file of YOU, a friend or multiple friends reading (singing or otherwise performing) your work. MP3 FORMAT ONLY, and please attach your MP3 file to an e-mail or contact me for a Dropbox link.

Your submission MUST also contain the following:

• Your pen name
• Your latest bio (DO NOT ASSUME I HAVE YOUR LATEST)
• Links to your website(s) – Include your personal site, Facebook Fanpage etc.
• Your Twitter handle (if you have one)
• A photo of you I can use for the show notes
• At the end of your recording, please add “This is the author of […] and you’re listening to The Word Count Podcast.
• Permission to use your recording in the podcast.
• PLEASE Make sure you have included ALL ARTIFACTS I have asked for. Do not assume I can “Get your picture from the internet” or can “Pull your bio from your web page.”

Send your file to me@rbwood.com (or via the dropbox link I can provide) by 30 March 2019. You can also e-mail me with questions beforehand. I do reserve the right NOT to post your submission, but I will communicate that to you should it be the case. I add the ‘Explicit’ tag to the ‘cast, so if your story uses adult themes or language that’s ok—but it should be necessary for the story.

***NOTE: I will NOT accept stories that are discriminatory in ANY WAY (whether it be by race, sexual orientation, gender, religion, etc.), or that include rape. ***

Peace

The Word Count Podcast: Episode 83

Mysteries of the Lake

The Long Walk

Welcome to episode 83 of the #WordCountPodcast!

This month, we have four stories from out intrepid authors, who I lovingly call the Word Count Irregulars. Starting in March, I’ll be featuring one of our irregulars per month with a new segment called “12 Questions with…” And you’ll only be able to find that right here! So bookmark my site and look for that new feature beginning next month!

Now, for those of you who are impatient, listen to the latest show here:

The theme for this season is Landscapes and we have a haunting landscape for you this month:

Feels like a Grimm Fairy Tale, doesn’t it? We have four stories this time around–and while I know I said I would be writing for the show more, medical circumstances and graduate school continue to eat up the bulk of my time. Excuses, excuses.I know how lame that all sounds. But…the stories that are included are fabulous!

Before we get on with the show notes, a reminder that we are looking to increase the number of likes on the show’s Facebook Page, so hope on over there and tell you friends about us (use the #WordCountPodcast hashtag).

Second, as always, the WCP is FREE to download and listen  via iTunes or Libsyn. This show is brought to you by writers who love the opportunity to share their stories with you. In many ways, the #WordCountPodcast is a hobby for us, as there are no advertisers or revenue stream. It’s just us, a microphone, a four channel mixing board and a passion for sharing our words with you.

We are not asking, nor have ever asked, for monetary compensation. This is our playground, and once a month we invite you to join us around a virtual campfire and listen for a bit.

However, I, and my colleagues, would very much appreciate it if you shared links for podcast on social media, and perhaps check out each author’s links and bios (posted below).

In the meantime, allow me to introduce you to my talented friends:

Our Guests:

Bill Kirton – “Future Past”

Bill was born in Plymouth, England, studied French at Exeter University and graduated in 1962. While teaching at Hardye’s School, Dorchester, he started his PhD on the theatre of Victor Hugo and was a lecturer at Aberdeen University from 1968 to 1989.

He’s also been a voice-over artist, TV presenter and have extensive experience of acting and directing. His directing credits include many French language plays as well as works by Shakespeare, Orton, Beckett and Ionesco. He spent a sabbatical year at the University of Rhode Island Theater Department, which commissioned translations of 3 Molière plays from me, one of which he directed himself. The script also won third prize in the British Comparative Literature Association’s Annual Translation competition, 1999.

Bill wrote and performed songs and sketches in revues at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, stage plays, two of which were commissioned by Aberdeen Children’s Theatre, and radio plays for the BBC, two of which were also broadcast in Australia.

Since the late 1990s, his writing has concentrated on prose fiction. He has written many short stories and ten novels, two of which have won awards, with a third being long-listed for the Rubery International Book Award.

Bill has held posts as a Royal Literary Fund Writing Fellow at universities in Aberdeen, Dundee and St Andrews and, since 2015, have been organiser of a Scotland-wide scheme which places professional writers in schools to help students with the transition to writing at university. He still give workshops in schools from Orkney to Dundee as part of the scheme and he’s written five books in Pearson Educational’s ‘Brilliant’ series on study, writing and workplace skills. Bill also co-authored ‘Just Write’ for Routledge.

Website (and blog): http://www.billkirton.com

Facebook pages: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=620980849 https://www.facebook.com/bill.kirton/

Maria Haskins – “In the Grove”

Maria Haskins is a Swedish-Canadian writer and translator. She was born and grew up in Sweden, but now lives just outside Vancouver with her husband, kids, and a very large black dog.

Website: https://mariahaskins.wordpress.com

Twitter: @mariahaskins

W. B. J. Williams – “The LongBeautiful and Empty Walk Home”

W. B. J. Williams holds advanced degrees in anthropology and archeology. He is an avid historian, mystic, poet, and author who manages an information security program at a prominent New England firm. He is noted for his bad puns, and willingness to argue from any perspective. He is endured by his beloved wife and two daughters, and lives in Sharon Massachusetts. When he is not at home or at his computer, he can often be found haunting the various used bookstores of Boston. Websites: http://www.wbj-williams.net https://www.facebook.com/wbjwilliams http://wbjwilliams.wordpress.com/ Twitter: @wbjwilliams

Eden Baylee – “Path to Empathy”
 
Eden Baylee left a twenty-year banking career to write and is now a full-time author of multiple genres.

She has written three collections of erotic novellas and flash fiction ~ SPRING INTO SUMMER, FALL INTO WINTER, and HOT FLASH.

In 2014, she launched the first novel of her STRANGER TRILOGY with Dr. Kate Hampton–a psychological mystery/suspense called “Stranger at Sunset.” In addition to working on her next novel, Eden created the LAINEY LEE SERIES about a feisty divorcée who finds adventure and romance in Hawaii.

An introvert by nature and an extrovert by design, Eden is most comfortable at home with her laptop surrounded by books. She is an online Scrabble junkie and a social media enthusiast, but she really needs to get out more often! 
 

Submissions Open: The Word Count Podcast 83

The ninth season of the show kicked off in style in January! Two new authors, and a couple thousand downloads/streaming listens!

Not a bad start at all!

The overall #WordCountPodcast season theme is LANDSCAPES. And we have another winter scape to test your creativity:

The title of this month’s show is “The Long Walk” and I can’t wait to see what our writers come up with this time!

The guidelines for submission to the show are below–and anyone can send in a story for consideration. While I certainly love the stories our Word Count Irregulars supply, I’m always open to new writers and new ideas.

I would love to hear from you, either with a story submission or via social media. I have a Facebook Page that could use a few ‘likes.’ The more listeners and contributors we have, the better the shows can be.

There are over 450 original stories at this point—all free for your listening pleasure, all we ask is for people to help get the word out. Click the link:

The Word Count Podcast Facebook Page

If you want to listen to past (free) shows, the links below will take you to them:

LIBSYN

or

iTUNES

There are eighty-two shows available right now!

SUBMISSION GUIDELINES

THE WORD COUNT PODCAST – EPISODE 83 “The Long Walk”

GENRE: Any.

DEADLINE: I must receive your submission by Saturday 23 February 2019 by MIDNIGHT Eastern time.

THE DETAILS: The work must be an original story in English based on the picture theme above.

Do NOT exceed SEVEN minutes.

As this is a podcast, I need to receive a file of YOU, a friend or multiple friends reading (singing or otherwise performing) your work. MP3 FORMAT ONLY, and please attach your MP3 file to an e-mail or contact me for a Dropbox link.

Your submission MUST also contain the following:

• Your pen name
• Your latest bio (DO NOT ASSUME I HAVE YOUR LATEST)
• Links to your website(s) – Include your personal site, Facebook Fanpage etc.
• Your Twitter handle (if you have one)
• A photo of you I can use for the show notes
• At the end of your recording, please add “This is author of and you’re listening to The Word Count Podcast.”
• Permission to use your recording in the podcast.
• PLEASE Make sure you have included ALL ARTIFACTS I have asked for. Do not assume I can “Get your picture from the internet” or can “Pull your bio from your web page.”

Send your file to me@rbwood.com (or via the dropbox link I can provide) by 23 February 2019. You can also e-mail me with questions beforehand. I do reserve the right NOT to post your submission, but will communicate that to you should it be the case. I add the ‘Explicit’ tag to the ‘cast, so if your story uses adult themes or language that’s ok—but it should be necessary for the story.

***NOTE: I will NOT accept stories that are discriminatory in ANY WAY (whether it be by race, sexual orientation, gender, religion, etc.), or that include rape. ***

Peace

The Word Count Podcast: Episode 82

Mysteries of the Lake

Mysteries of the Lake

Welcome to the start of SEASON 9  of the #WordCountPodcast!

We hope that you all enjoyed your holiday season, I know we enjoyed our time away–yet that burn of creativity flared up after the New Year and here we go with a new season!

Listen to the show here:

 

The theme for this season is Landscapes and we start with new stories all written around this beautiful lake in Norway:

Although a setting in Norway is not necessary for the story.

We have six stories and TWO newcomers to the Word Count this time around–and while I know I said I would be writing for the show more, circumstances and graduate school got in the way this month.

Excuses, excuses.I know how lame that all sounds.

But…the stories that are included are fabulous!

Before we get on with the show notes, a reminder that we are looking to increase the number of likes on the show’s Facebook Page, so hope on over there and tell you friends about us (use the #WordCountPodcast hashtag).

Second, as always, the WCP is FREE to download and listen  via iTunes or Libsyn. This show is brought to you by writers who love the opportunity to share their stories with you. In many ways, the #WordCountPodcast is a hobby for us, as there are no advertisers or revenue stream. It’s just us, a microphone, a four channel mixing board and a passion for sharing our words with you.

We are not asking, nor have ever asked, for monetary compensation. This is our playground, and once a month we invite you to join us around a virtual campfire and listen for a bit.

However, I, and my colleagues, would very much appreciate it if you shared links for podcast on social media, and perhaps check out each author’s links and bios (posted below).

In the meantime, allow me to introduce you to my talented friends:

Our Guests:

Bill Kirton – “The Void”

Bill was born in Plymouth, England, studied French at Exeter University and graduated in 1962. While teaching at Hardye’s School, Dorchester, he started his PhD on the theatre of Victor Hugo and was a lecturer at Aberdeen University from 1968 to 1989.

He’s also been a voice-over artist, TV presenter and have extensive experience of acting and directing. His directing credits include many French language plays as well as works by Shakespeare, Orton, Beckett and Ionesco. He spent a sabbatical year at the University of Rhode Island Theater Department, which commissioned translations of 3 Molière plays from me, one of which he directed himself. The script also won third prize in the British Comparative Literature Association’s Annual Translation competition, 1999.

Bill wrote and performed songs and sketches in revues at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, stage plays, two of which were commissioned by Aberdeen Children’s Theatre, and radio plays for the BBC, two of which were also broadcast in Australia.

Since the late 1990s, his writing has concentrated on prose fiction. He has written many short stories and ten novels, two of which have won awards, with a third being long-listed for the Rubery International Book Award.

Bill has held posts as a Royal Literary Fund Writing Fellow at universities in Aberdeen, Dundee and St Andrews and, since 2015, have been organiser of a Scotland-wide scheme which places professional writers in schools to help students with the transition to writing at university. He still give workshops in schools from Orkney to Dundee as part of the scheme and he’s written five books in Pearson Educational’s ‘Brilliant’ series on study, writing and workplace skills. Bill also co-authored ‘Just Write’ for Routledge.

Website (and blog): http://www.billkirton.com

Facebook pages:
https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=620980849
https://www.facebook.com/bill.kirton/

Maria Haskins – “Catching the Train”

Maria Haskins is a Swedish-Canadian writer and translator. She was born and grew up in Sweden, but now lives just outside Vancouver with her husband, kids, and a very large black dog.

Website: https://mariahaskins.wordpress.com

Twitter: @mariahaskins

Karl Dandenell – “Burial Detail”

Karl Dandenell is a first-generation Swedish American, survivor of Viable Paradise XVI, and active member of the Science Fiction Writers of America. He lives on an island near San Francisco with his family and cat overlords. He is fond of strong tea and distilled spirits. When not sitting in project meetings, he reads a lot of speculative fiction, and serves as a First Reader for The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction.

Website: https://www.firewombats.com

Twitter: @kdandenell

W. B. J. Williams – “The Mystery of Lake Ronkonkoma”

W. B. J. Williams holds advanced degrees in anthropology and archeology. He is an avid historian, mystic, poet, and author who manages an information security program at a prominent New England firm. He is noted for his bad puns, and willingness to argue from any perspective. He is endured by his beloved wife and two daughters, and lives in Sharon Massachusetts. When he is not at home or at his computer, he can often be found haunting the various used bookstores of Boston.

Websites:

http://www.wbj-williams.net

https://www.facebook.com/wbjwilliams

http://wbjwilliams.wordpress.com/

Twitter: @wbjwilliams

Deanna Rice – “The Sisters of Grün Lake”

Deanna Rice was born in a small town in northern Maine and spent the first decade and a half of her life surrounded by pine trees, potato farms and moose. After relocating to Central/Downeast Maine, she’s still surrounded by trees, but there are fewer moose and even fewer potato fields. She loves to knit, crochet, bake and perform Shakespeare with a local theatre troupe. On a typical night, however, you can find her at home binge watching shows with her husband and most likely untangling a knotted mess of yarn.
 
In December of 2018 she completed her Master’s Degree in English Literature, all while working full-time at a nearby university. Now that she has free time again, she’ll be focusing on achieving her author dreams. The first step is getting back to work on editing her first novel, with the hopes of sending it to agents and publishers by the end of the year. She is an avid participant in NaNoWriMo and after this past year’s thirty days of frenzied writing, has a solid start on a second novel.
 
 
 
Eden Baylee – “The Demon Drink”
 
Eden Baylee left a twenty-year banking career to write and is now a full-time author of multiple genres.

She has written three collections of erotic novellas and flash fiction ~ SPRING INTO SUMMER, FALL INTO WINTER, and HOT FLASH.

In 2014, she launched the first novel of her STRANGER TRILOGY with Dr. Kate Hampton–a psychological mystery/suspense called “Stranger at Sunset.” In addition to working on her next novel, Eden created the LAINEY LEE SERIES about a feisty divorcée who finds adventure and romance in Hawaii.

An introvert by nature and an extrovert by design, Eden is most comfortable at home with her laptop surrounded by books. She is an online Scrabble junkie and a social media enthusiast, but she really needs to get out more often! 
 

SUBMISSIONS OPEN: The Word Count Podcast Episode 82

Welcome to the start of season nine of the #WordCountPodcast!

The new season of the show is going to be great–and the reason I know that is because I know the talents of the writers who are a part of the show. Our so-called Word Count #Irregulars are a big part of what makes all the original flash fiction a great part of the program.

This season’s overall theme is LANDSCAPES. And to kick off episode 82, we have a bleak, yet beautiful scene from Norway:

So the title of this month’s show is “Mysteries of the Lake” and I can’t wait to see what our writerscome up with this time!

The guidelines for submission to the show are below–and anyone can send in a story for consideration. While I certainly love the stories our Word Count Irregulars supply, I’m always open to new writers and new ideas.

I would love to hear from you, either with a story submission or via social media. I have a Facebook Page that could use a few ‘likes.’ The more listeners and contributors we have, the better the shows can be.

There are over 450 original stories at this point—all free for your listening pleasure, all we ask is for people to help get the word out. Click the link:

The Word Count Podcast Facebook Page

If you want to listen to past (free) shows, the links below will take you to them:

LIBSYN

or

iTUNES

There are eighty-one shows available right now!


SUBMISSION GUIDELINES

THE WORD COUNT PODCAST – EPISODE 82 “Mysteries of the Lake

GENRE: Any.

DEADLINE: I must receive your submission by Saturday 18 January 2019 by MIDNIGHT Eastern time.

THE DETAILS: The work must be an original story in English based on the picture theme above.

Do NOT exceed SEVEN minutes.

As this is a podcast, I need to receive a file of YOU, a friend or multiple friends reading (singing or otherwise performing) your work. MP3 FORMAT ONLY, and please attach your MP3 file to an e-mail or contact me for a Dropbox link.

Your submission MUST also contain the following:

• Your pen name
• Your latest bio (DO NOT ASSUME I HAVE YOUR LATEST)
• Links to your website(s) – Include your personal site, Facebook Fanpage etc.
• Your Twitter handle (if you have one)
• A photo of you I can use for the show notes
• At the end of your recording, please add “This is author of and you’re listening to The Word Count Podcast.”
• Permission to use your recording in the podcast.
• PLEASE Make sure you have included ALL ARTIFACTS I have asked for. Do not assume I can “Get your picture from the internet” or can “Pull your bio from your web page.”

Send your file to me@rbwood.com (or via the dropbox link I can provide) by 18 January 2019. You can also e-mail me with questions beforehand. I do reserve the right NOT to post your submission, but will communicate that to you should it be the case. I add the ‘Explicit’ tag to the ‘cast, so if your story uses adult themes or language that’s ok—but it should be necessary for the story.

***NOTE: I will NOT accept stories that are discriminatory in ANY WAY (whether it be by race, sexual orientation, gender, religion, etc.), or that include rape. ***

Peace

Welcome to 2019

2019. Well, shit. That happened fast!

Normally I like to reflect on the year that was and the year ahead the week of my birthday—but 2018 ended as it began—an Emergency room visit (this time, kidney stones) and an unexpected visitor (my daughter, which was a delight).

The end result is twofold—my “New Year’s Message” is late, and I’m grumpy.

That last bit is not unusual for my curmudgeonly self.

But it IS a new year, 365 (now 364) days of new opportunity, hope and excitement. At least I’m endeavoring to make that my focus.

Shall I begin again, then?

Happy New Year!

The year ahead is already shaping up to be a busy one.

Things I’m looking forward to:

  • My Son will graduate from College in May.
  • My Daughter is transitioning from music to English as her major in college
  • I will be graduating from Emerson with an MFA in August.
  • Boskone, StokerCon and ReaderCon are on the docket for the year and I just renewed my Horror Writer’s Association membership.
  • NECon in July
  • Season 9 of The Word Count Podcast(which kicks off in January)
  • A visit with my sister, mum, and cousins in Florida
  • A Summer excursion to Maine.
  • Extended stays by family at the Boston home.
  • Completing Bayou Whispersand shopping it around.

There are probably other things I’ve forgotten, but I’ll add them to the “must dos” list as I remember them.

2018 was the first year I haven’t published a story since 2015…I plan on correcting that. I have seven short stories now ready for submission (one is already under consideration) so I hope to up the count of published works from last year’s dismal “zero” to “greater than zero.”

And this month I’ve kicked off “NENoWriMo (New England Novel Writing Month)” for a few local writer-type friends and I. And I need to eventually decide on the fate of The Prodigal’s Foole  and the Arcana Chroniclesseries I began to pen earlier in the decade.

Working on my health is a major factor as well…I have my annual cancer check (post Thyroid cancer) in March and the Neurological rehabilitation is a long process which will continue as well.

There is a lot to look forward too in the New Year. So perhaps I should table a bit of the curmudgeon and look for more of the positive. That sound suspiciously like a…*shudder*…”resolution.”

All things considered—it’s not a terrible change to attempt.

From my family to yours—make 2019 YOUR year. Kick ass. Make me proud.

Just turn the music down and get off my lawn whilst making me proud, okay?

Peace.

RBW-JAN 2019