Unseen [1,800 words]

This story is posted in Fiction, Horror, and Short Stories.

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Unseen

by Rick Cook Jr

“I hate him I hate him I hate him!” Wanda shouted, punctuating each stomp up the steps with another “I hate him!”

Laughter echoed up, clanging around inside her skull until she shook her head and leaned over the banister at the top of the stairs to cry, “I hope you find a snake and it bites your face!” She stalked off down the hall.

Her mother called from downstairs, “Wanda! You don’t ever-” Wanda slammed her bedroom door, cutting off the remark.

The sound pleased her and she grabbed hold of the knob to yank it open and slam it again. The door wouldn’t budge from its frame.

She screamed her frustration out while pulling on the knob. “Stupid door! Stupid house! Nothing ever works like it’s supposed to in this stupid old dump.” Wanda kicked the doorframe for good measure and heard a soft thump in the adjacent wall. Continue reading

Grammarian Grumbles – A Good Adverb Is A Dead Adverb

This article is posted in Page2Print and Grammarian Grumbles.

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He groaned audibly as he looked like he was going to vomit. Silently she picked up the knife, hoping he wouldn’t hear it. He said sarcastically, “Of course I’m going to pay you back.”

I write frantically, because I only have so much time tonight.

The adverb. What a misunderstood and overused concept. Is there ever a time when you’re writing and you throw an obvious adverb out there that your first thought is “that was a good idea”? Continue reading

Dreams Should Stay In Your Crazy Head

This article is posted in Brain2Page.

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Being one who is inclined to creativity, even in the less visual form that writing takes, I often have very vivid dreams that tap into whatever the hell is going on inside my weirdo head. I have an entire document – a dream journal if you insist – that chronicles the silliest, the scariest, the downright most awesome, and even the ones that make me question my psychotic profile.

The compulsion to turn these dreams into a story is strong. I have several unfinished manuscripts and even more short stories that started out as dreams. Yet I have never finished one. At some point there’s always this illogical transition that completely interrupts the entire sequence of events, and coincidentally enough it is that illogical transition that makes me want to make it into a story. But how the hell am I supposed to fit a serial killer murder mystery into a slice of life story? How should I make this ridiculous horror monster make logical sense in my court-room drama about getting divorced (when I’m not even married)? Continue reading

The Writing Long Jump vs. The Editing Obstacle Course

This article is posted in Page2Print.

I’ve found, increasingly over the last few years, that there are two completely divergent paths when it comes to “writing” and “editing that writing”. I have written two complete novels that each flowed out of me in a month. I have written two other as-of-yet unpublished novels that also took roughly a month to get the first draft completed. The editing for the first two novels was an uphill struggle with twenty-pound weights attached to my legs. It took five months to properly edit Something More, and it took six months to properly edit Our Crumbling Ivory.

As of this writing I’m gearing up to begin the third draft of Something More’s (untitled) sequel, so called because it doesn’t have a name yet. I spent about a month writing this one, followed by a couple months downtime, followed by another two weeks of writing. Then the second draft took another two months. I expect the third draft to take about a month, and subsequent drafts to take a couple of weeks each. At this rate (with some downtime between drafts to let my mind focus elsewhere and come back fresh) it’ll be the end of summer before I feel like it’s ready to show to other people, and then another couple of months while I go through a final revision using those people’s suggestions. Continue reading

The World Ended and I Still Need Condoms [1153 words]

This story is posted in Fiction, Short Stories, and Writing Prompts.

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This is another short story prompted from Chuck Wendig’s weekly challenges, this time it was called “ABC meets XYZ“. It was fun but incredibly difficult!

Content warning: There are some graphic descriptions of violence, PG-13 language, and sexual discussion if not description. You’ve been warned.

The World Ended and I Still Need Condoms

by Rick Cook Jr
 

The first time I felt truly alive was the moment after I was almost meat, for the first time. I’ve been almost meat more times than I’ve had sex, and I’ve done both a lot. That’s not bragging, it’s just simple truth.

And the sex after the apocalypse is some of the best I’ve ever had. You don’t know release like “Oh my God we escaped the zombies today” sexual release. I’m sorry, but you just don’t. Continue reading

My Brain is a Genie that Grants Everyone Wishes!

This article is posted in Brain2Page.

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I was once an insufferable little prat a teenager, discovering a lot about myself and the world around me in that clumsy way all teens have. I found out that women made me feel funny inside; that I didn’t really like slapstick comedy very much; that there was more than a surface level in books, movies, television, video games, and in people. I found that what I loved as a little boy (reading) wasn’t something a lot of people did (at least a lot of people I would come to know).

I also discovered that it takes a writer to make something a reader can read.

The very first time I can remember having written something that I genuinely enjoyed the process of writing it as opposed to reading the outcome was when I was in sixth grade, before 12-year-olds were considered junior high schoolers. My teacher was Mrs. Gardner, and we were given the assignment to write a short story about our lives thirty years in the future. Specifically we were told to imagine some technologies that might exist thirty years in the future, and to describe who we were as people in this crazy future world. Continue reading

I’m a Dude, Writing a Woman. I’m Gonna Screw this Up.

Alternate Title:

I’m a Chick, Writing a Man

What Can Go Wrong?

It’s hard to write a story without having both men and women in it. Even stories that more or less attempt this tend to just supplant some of one gender into the gender roles of the opposite sex.

See: Y The Last Man, Oz, and to a lesser extent stuff like 5ive Girls.

We are a gender-specific global society, whether men and women of the world want to admit it or not. Are we moving away from the idea? Sure. In some places of the world. In others, not so much.

But I’m not going to sit here and soapbox what makes men and women different, or even what makes them the same. This article isn’t meant to polarize one side or the other, and it certainly isn’t meant to drum up controversy, though that’s out of my hands the moment I hit Publish, I suppose.

But because we (global “we”) tend to have these gender-specific mindsets and roles, how the hell are you (the male reader) supposed to write a woman without making her dependent on a man? And how are you (the female reader) supposed to write a man without making him a big dumb oaf? Continue reading