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The Word Count Podcast-Episode 64

Watson Lake, AZ – Photo by Becca B. Jenkins

The Picture above and the month of March. That’s the prompt for this month’s show.

A huge “thank you” to Ms. Becca B. Jenkins who graciously let me use one of her photographs for this month’s show. Along with her writing talent (and I’d check out her website when you get a sec: Hunt, Gather, Brew), she is a talented photographer.

Four new stories this time around. Two wonderful partners-in-crime return (Maria Haskins and Bill Kirton) along with relative newcomer to the show, John McCaffrey (in a collaboration piece with Jack Gwaltney) and long time absent friend Julia Mae Staley returns as well with a lovely tale.

Feel free to download and listen to the latest show (or previous shows) via iTunes or Libsyn. Here is an embedded player, if you prefer:

 

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).

Onto the show!

Show Notes:

Maria Haskins – “Lost”

Maria Haskins is a Swedish-Canadian writer and certified translator. She writes speculative fiction and poetry, and debuted as a writer in Sweden. Since 1992 she lives in Canada, just outside Vancouver, with a husband, two kids, and a very large black dog.

Website: https://mariahaskins.wordpress.com

Twitter: @mariahaskins

Bill Kirton – “The Lochan”

Before taking early retirement to become a full-time writer, Bill Kirton was a lecturer in French at the University of Aberdeen. He’s written stage and radio plays, short stories, novels, skits and songs for revues, and five non-fiction books aimed at helping students with their writing and study skills. His five modern crime novels, Justice, The Darkness, Shadow Selves and Unsafe Acts are set in north east Scotland and his historical crime/romance novel, The Figurehead, is set in Aberdeen in 1840. The Darkness won the silver award in the mystery category of the 2011 Forward National Literature Awards and his spoof mystery, The Sparrow Conundrum, was the winner in the humor category.

He’s published a novel for children called The Loch Ewe Mystery, and his latest publication is a satirical novella about online gaming and the real and virtual worlds.

He’s had radio plays broadcast by the BBC and the Australian BC.  His short stories have appeared in many anthologies, including three of the CWA’s annual collections, and one was chosen by Maxim Jakubowski for his 2010 anthology of Best British Crime Stories. It’s also been optioned by a film company in Los Angeles.

He’s been a Royal Literary Fund Writing Fellow at universities in Aberdeen, Dundee and St Andrews.

Website: www.bill-kirton.co.uk

Twitter: @carver22

 Jack Gwaltney & John McCaffrey – “Seldom is Heard

Jack Gwaltney was born in Virginia, went to the University of Virginia and lives in New York, fortunate to perform as an actor on stage, television and in film. Collaborating with John McCaffrey is one of the wisest things Jack does. Thanks to The Word Count Podcast!

John McCaffrey grew up in Rochester, New York, attended Villanova University, and received his MA in Creative Writing from the City College of New York. He is the author of The Book of Ash and Two Syllable Men. He lives in Hoboken, New Jersey.

Julia Mae Staley – When on Fire

Julia Mae Staley is a singer/songwriter, rock harpist and author from Bucks County, PA.  Her music has taken her many places, and even to the silver screen.  She will be releasing her first indie rock album this year.

Websites: http://www.juliamaestaley.com ; http://www.facebook.com/rockharpist

Twitter: @juliamaestaley

 

 

 

 

 

The #WordCountPodcast Episode 64 is now Open for Submissions!

There’s a story behind this month’s prompt.

First, I must beg you all to get your friends to like the #WordCountPodcast Facebook page. I’ll be posting some new content there shortly, exclusively for fans of the show who liked the page.

Telling you what I’ll be posting would be playing fair. Stay tuned!

But here’s the link to the page. Spread the word won’t you? We have a goal of 1000 likes this season!

The Word Count Podcast

So, then. Episode 64.

The photo to be used in the prompt this month is one taken by writer, adventurist and all around good person—Ms. Becca B. Jenkins. Along with her writing talent (and I’d check out her website when you get a sec: Hunt, Gather, Brew), she is a talented photographer. When I saw her pictures, I immediately asked to use one for the show.

She said yes… and then made me pick one. Damn it. I HATE making decisions.

So go thank Becca for this month’s visual prompt, which is:

Watson Lake, AZ – Photo by Becca B. Jenkins

You must also use the month of March in your setting.

Oooooh!  What happens next! That, dear sinners, is up to you!

Thinking of writing something for the show? Please do! All submissions are welcome!

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

LIBSYN

or

iTUNES

There are Sixty-three shows available right now!

SUBMISSION GUIDELINES

THE WORD COUNT PODCAST – EPISODE 64 “March at the Lake”

GENRE: Any.

DEADLINE: I must receive your submission by Friday 24 March 2017 by MIDNIGHT Eastern time.

THE DETAILS: The work must be an original story based on the picture above and the month of “March.”

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 <state your name> author of <state your work(s)> 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 24 March 2017. 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 #WORDCOUNTPODCAST EPISODE 63 IS OPEN FOR SUBMISSIONS!

Well.  The new prompt and podcast format was rather fun last month, wasn’t it?

I know the “Irregulars” liked it!

First, I must beg you all to get your friends to like the #WordCountPodcast Facebook page. I’ll be posting some new content there shortly, exclusively for fans of the show who liked the page.

Telling you what I’ll be posting would be playing fair. Stay tuned!

But here’s the link to the page. Spread the word won’t you? We have a goal of 1000 likes this season!

 

The Word Count Podcast

 

So, then. Episode 63.

Since it seemed to work well, we shall once again split the prompt thusly:

  • A Picture (below)
  • Use the month of February in your setting.

So the visual prompt:

Oooooh!  What happens next! That, dear sinners, is up to you!

Thinking of writing something for the show? Please do! All submissions are welcome!

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

LIBSYN

or

iTUNES

There are Sixty-two shows available right now!

SUBMISSION GUIDELINES

THE WORD COUNT PODCAST – EPISODE 63 “February Rose”

GENRE: Any.

DEADLINE: I must receive your submission by Friday 17 February 2017 by MIDNIGHT Eastern time.

THE DETAILS: The work must be an original story based on the picture above and the month of “February.”

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 <state your name> author of <state your work(s)> 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 20 January 2017. 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 62

Well, it’s a New Year. Time to sober up from the holidays and get on with the next season of the #WordCountPodcast!

In the off-season, a few of the irregulars (what the participants of the show call themselves) and I discussed were a few tweaks to the show.  I thought we’d try them out to see how things go.

Don’t worry! The podcast is still free and free of ads!

The first change is that we will be using different sort of prompts for the show. First, is a picture. For this month:

Next we will be using the month the show is produced in, in this case January.

Now for the last bit. I’m trying out a new format for the recording of the show. I’m using AAC (Advanced Audio Coding) in stead of the old “Audio-Only” MP3 encoding for the podcast. This allows me to add photos and chapters (among other things) to the podcast. I’ll still post the audio-only version on the site, but I want to see what the feedback is. After all…we are using a visual prompt.

So please, give the show a listen and let us know what your experience is. I’m still getting the “technology hang” of this new format…so apologies in advance for any growing pains.

You can listen to the show via iTunes or Libsyn. Here is an embedded player, if you prefer:


 

Show Notes:

Episode 62: Tidal Pool in January

Maria Haskins – “The Weight of the Sea”

Maria Haskins is a Swedish-Canadian writer and certified translator. She writes speculative fiction and poetry, and debuted as a writer in Sweden. Since 1992 she lives in Canada, just outside Vancouver, with a husband, two kids, and a very large black dog.

Website: https://mariahaskins.wordpress.com
Twitter: @mariahaskins

C. Thomas Smith – “The Wasteland”

C. Thomas Smith is the author of hundreds of short stories (99% have never left his hard drive) and over half a dozen unpublished novels (50% cowardice / 50% self-doubt). He is a fan of common sense, free speech, noticing the truth in the absurd and caffeine. He sort of likes cats. He lives in Ireland with his partner, two and a half children, a mortgage and a cat he doesn’t trust.

At present, Chris is writing a series of novels (adult dark comedy set in medieval Ireland that may include a token Leprechaun) and editing a second series (Dark Fantasy). Along the way, he hopes not to starve to death or be mauled in his sleep by a shifty-eyed cat.

Website: www.infinity-forge.com

Twitter: @KRSTVR

 

Cameron Garriepy – “By the Sea”

Cameron Garriepy thinks Eartha Kitt was the best Catwoman, and misses Hampton Beach on days like today. In April of 2015, Cameron released Damselfly Inn, the first full-length novel in her Thornton Vermont series. The sequel, Sweet Pease is coming soon from Bannerwing Books.

Website: http://camerondgarriepy.com

Twitter: @camerongarriepy

 

John A. McCaffrey – “Clamming in January”

John A McCaffrey grew up in Rochester, New York, attended Villanova University, and received his MA from the City College of New York. His stories have appeared regularly in literary journals and anthologies. He is also a playwright, an original member of the Lone Star Theater Troupe, and a creative writing teacher. His published works include The Book of Ash (October, 2013) and Two Syllable Men (April 2016).

Website: http://jamccaffrey.squarespace.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/john.mccaffrey.984 and https://www.facebook.com/twosyllablemen/

Twitter: @jamccaffrey

Bill Kirton & Eden Baylee – “Selfie Love”

Before taking early retirement to become a full-time writer, Bill Kirton was a lecturer in French at the University of Aberdeen. He’s written stage and radio plays, short stories, novels, skits and songs for revues, and five non-fiction books aimed at helping students with their writing and study skills. His five modern crime novels,  Justice, The Darkness, Shadow Selves and Unsafe Acts are set in north east Scotland and his historical crime/romance novel, The Figurehead, is set in Aberdeen in 1840. The Darkness won the silver award in the mystery category of the 2011 Forward National Literature Awards and his spoof mystery, The Sparrow Conundrum, was the winner in the humor category.

He’s published a novel for children called The Loch Ewe Mystery, and his latest publication is a satirical novella about online gaming and the real and virtual worlds.

He’s had radio plays broadcast by the BBC and the Australian BC.  His short stories have appeared in many anthologies, including three of the CWA’s annual collections, and one was chosen by Maxim Jakubowski for his 2010 anthology of Best British Crime Stories. It’s also been optioned by a film company in Los Angeles.

He’s been a Royal Literary Fund Writing Fellow at universities in Aberdeen, Dundee and St Andrews.

Website: www.bill-kirton.co.uk

Twitter: @carver22

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 trilogy with Dr. Kate Hampton–a psychological mystery/suspense called STRANGER AT SUNSET. In addition to working on her next novel, Eden created Lainey Lee for the Lei Crime Series, a feisty divorcée who finds adventure and romance in Hawaii. Her stories–A SNAKE IN PARADISE and SEAL OF A MONK can be found on Kindle Worlds.

Website: http://edenbayleebooks.com

Blog: https://edenbaylee.com/blog/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/edenbaylee

Twitter: @edenbaylee

 

The #WordCountPodcast Episode 62 is OPEN for Submissions!

 A New Year. Let’s hope 2017 is less traumatic, shall we?

It’s time to dust off the recording equipment, practice my vocalizations, and update all my studio software.

It’s time for a new #WordCountPodcast.

 You know we have a Facebook page, right? I’m guessing not as we have over 1500 downloads per episode and only 93 followers. To you 93, I say “Huzzah!” Now that I have scared my cat, I will actually post the link for the Word Count Podcast Facebook page. Give it a like?

The Word Count Podcast

We get to a 1000 likes this season and one lucky follower with become the subject of a future show! Weird? Yep. Aggressive? Yep. We like it weird and aggressive here.

So, then. Episode 62.

We are going to do things a little bit different to start the year. Yes, we are soliciting stories as usual. But for the January podcast, we ask that you write a story based on TWO (2) criteria:

  • A Picture (below)
  • Use the month of January in your setting.

So the visual prompt:

Oooooh!  What happens next! That, dear sinners, is up to you!

Thinking of writing something for the show? Please do! All submissions are welcome!

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

LIBSYN

or

iTUNES

There are Sixty-one shows available right now!

SUBMISSION GUIDELINES

THE WORD COUNT PODCAST – EPISODE 62 “January”

GENRE: Any.

DEADLINE: I must receive your submission by Friday 20 January 2017 by MIDNIGHT Eastern time.

THE DETAILS: The work must be an original story based on the picture above and the month of “January.”

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 <state your name> author of <state your work(s)> 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 20 January 2017. 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

Happy 2017

I spent last night watching as 2016 sucked in its last breath. A death rattle many around the world were glad to hear.

So much pain and horror…so many celebrities that us regular folk held in high esteem left us (Bowie, Rickman, Wilder, Lenny, Carrie…loads more. The full list is HERE).

My father left us. Left me.

For fifty years or so, I would always turn to my dad when life became overwhelming. As a child, it was advice when dealing with bullies or–in quiet whispers on the eve of my first day in 1st grade–sharing a fear that I might not be able to ever read. Later, I sought his wisdom on girls or career decisions or corporate politics. I remember his calming voice and reasonable, measured, language whenever the next crisis happened.

Vietnam. Reagan shot. Challenger and later Columbia. Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

9/11.

He had thoughts on the Russian Civil war of the 90’s and Putin’s invasion of the Ukraine. He thought that 80’s fashions were stupid (no comment from former mullet-boy here). He thought George W. Bush was an idiot, but loved O’Reilly on Fox.

He was afraid Trump could win the whole thing. And he was right.

But dad missed that.

It was right after the election that I received a call from my daughter. She was in tears over the outcome. Boys in her school were…inappropriate…about the Trump victory (a fact I explained in no uncertain terms to said boys and to their parents, but that’s another story).

I spoke to my girl. We talked through the crisis. I calmed her down. We spoke about what she could do to make a difference. I used reasonable, measured language.

And that’s when it hit me. For all that was 2016, all the negative election crap, the rise of “Alt-Right” and “Post-Truth,” something amazing happened.

I became my father.

The darkness that was 2016 had a glimmer—the slightest jewel—of hope.

And, as I’ve been told, rebellions are built on hope.

NaNoWriMo 2016 – Day 16 & 17

img_0008

Current Word Count: 34,510

Sorry about no post last night.  Thought I’d do two to make up for it.

Crushed it yesterday with over 4,000 words–best day in a long, long time. Really excited going into Act 2, very pleased with the draft of Act 1 now completed. There will be editing…but that’s a December thing.  For now, propelling the story forward is the goal.  So let me give you a taste of what’s been written over the past few days…

   I awoke in a dark, damp…space. I had no idea the size of the room, as the darkness was so complete, it didn’t really matter if my eyes were open or shut.

   A dirt floor lay beneath me, and the coolness of it felt wonderful against my temple. Somewhere in the distance I could hear the slow, echoing reverberations of water dripping at a constant rate–three seconds between drips, I counted. I sat up, and regretted it immediately as my headache spiked. I sat, rocking for a few minutes as the pain subsided to a dull ache, willing the urge to vomit from the pain to recede with headache. Finally, I was able to move. I felt around and came upon a rock wall.  It felt fairly smooth, as if it had been mostly carved from the bedrock, but never finished.

   “Not sure if this is real, or another dream,” I muttered aloud.  My voice sounded slurred, like I’d finished half a bottle of Jack.

   There was and electrical sound–a pop and hiss. “This is real Symon. Sorry for the accommodations, but bringing you here hadn’t been the original plan. And we were followed…”

Second Chances

I know I promised you all a #NaNoWriMo update today. I have something a little more important on my mind, and I hope you’ll bear with me.

See, a year ago today I died.

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Weird, right?  I mean if I were still dead it would be kind of hard to use an iPad to make this blog post.

I’ve been in recovery mode for nearly a year–people who don’t really know me that well have been saying things like:  “This is a big week…it might be tough. Are you ready?”

Fuck yeah, I’m ready.

I got a second chance at life. Of course I’m fucking ready. I don’t have time to wallow in self pity.

I got to see my son’s first year a college and my daughter participate in Water Polo at Harvard. I got to say “I love you” to my wife quite a few hundred more times. I quit cigarettes. I got to learn more about writing  and to actually write–publishing three stories with two more already under contract for 2017. I read 65 more books. I lost 30 pounds. I spent more time with my family. I played with my cats. I worked at a shelter. I hugged a lot of people.

I got to see my dad one last time before he left us in March.

In short, I lived. Probably more than I have in years.

Yes, there are still challenges both physically and neurologically.

But I’m getting better.

So many people have been a part of this recovery…the list would go on for pages. Twenty doctors worked (and are still working on) my case, family and friends visited and encouraged me, work colleagues stayed in touch, author-friends who have been my inspiration…

…thank you all. You have no idea how grateful I am to have you in my life.

Today I celebrate the first anniversary of my passing.

May there be many more anniversaries in the future.

Back to writing.

Peace

NaNoWriMo 2016 – Day 7

img_0008

Starting Word Count: 12004

One week almost in the books.

Four Chapters into TEC.  As i mentioned before, I’ve had bits of this book written for a while. And 40k words, in fact. But they were words all over the place–cool scenes i had in the back of my head. Character development stuff–things like that.

Now I’m plowing through my updated Outline.

I remember when I showed Glenn Skinner and M. J. King My initial outline in July, They enjoyed it–loved the scenes. But…

But Glenn worried there wasn’t a true ‘journey’ for the main character–Symon Bryson.

“What is he going to learn? How is he going to grow?”

And he was right.  So I revamped the outline to also show Symon’s progression…which you will hopefully read for yourself in 2017.

I’ve always planned on Symon growing as a character as my writing skills improved. I thought that would be a very natural path. In the first book, he is angry, scared and a little “woe is me.” In this book, he is isolated and making some core discoveries about the world of magic. It’s why I never went into detail about the magic system in TPF. Symon was taught something that he always assumed was correct. And it served him well. In book two, you learn the true nature of magic in my world–where it comes from, how it works and it’s links to both the ancient and modern world.

So a shout out to M.J. and Glenn…who made me reconsider a few major points. Symon’s journey is back on track.

Oh. I promised you-all a snippet of the work yesterday, didn’t I? Well here you go:

The sanctuary was in near darkness this late at night. A few candles still shimmered where thoughts of loved ones had brought in the prayers faithful earlier in the day. When I was a student here, I never liked to be alone in this massive, perpetually chilly space. I always felt uneasy here–although I could never exactly tell you why.

My footsteps echoed loudly as I made my way toward the exit. I’d almost made it to the naive when an old, croaky male voice that gave me the impression of dust and cobwebs said, “You are in an awful hurry young man…”

I shivered. From the cold sanctuary air. Honest. You’ll have to trust me on that score…

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Hope you enjoyed that. Some editing is needed, obviously–but that is what December is for.

Peace

 

Arcana Chronicles Book Two- Title and Cover reveal!

Yesterday, during the release party for the anthology I’m excited to be a part of–Once Upon a Cursed Time— I released the title and the cover for Book 2 of my Arcana Chronicles series.

Yes, Symon Bryson is coming back for more mischief and mayhem!

Working hard toward an early 2017 release, but without further ado, Book 2 will be called “The Empress’ Curse

ec_final_frontonly

Once again, Kip Ayers returns to apply his artistry toward the cover. Isn’t it awesome?

More soon!