Seeing the Forest for the Trees

It’s Thursday and I want to talk about a particular experience I had over the last month or so that is relevant to my current editing goals.

In December of last year I was doing my best to hit my daily goal of words written, because I had a novel I wanted to finish and a year of writing to smash to pieces. I was successful at both of those, but right there in the middle of it all I had some random inspiration and wrote a short story.

I haven’t posted the short story on the blog, nor have I submitted it anywhere for publication consideration yet. Part of that is that the story isn’t ready yet. Continue reading

Carving Your Own Bones

It’s Thursday, time to jam!

So I haven’t talked about it too officially yet, but the way I plan to run my Thursday posts is a little different than last year. For 1K a Day I did Motivationals and mini-reviews. This year I won’t be doing many Motivationals, instead filling the Thursday slot with more craft-centric posts. The various facets of being an author that perhaps you don’t think about as often.

Editing, Formatting, Cover Art, Line Edits, Proofing, Blog Tours, Conventions, Book Signings, Self-Publishing, Traditional Publishing, Vanity Publishing, Query Letters, Cover Pages, Frontmatter, Backmatter. The list goes on. To be an independent author means to have a general knowledge of all these things and more because self-publishing is an expensive endeavor if you have to pay for every non-writing task that you aren’t very good at. What that will result in is a guy somewhat like me, who knows just enough about all the various pieces of getting your book into the hands of readers so that it actually gets into the hands of readers in a format and professional-ish manner that people are willing to accept. Continue reading

Breaking the Author – Week One

It’s the end of the first full week of 2016, which means it is time for my Week One update!

I don’t have a daily update or anything fancy like I did last year, so instead of giving you a day-by-day breakdown of how much I wrote or edited or whatever, you’ll get a quick rundown of what I’ve been working on during the week and then I’ll update my Goals with completions marked as strikethroughs! Continue reading

Lilavati’s Morning Routine [1,070 words]

This short story is posted in Fiction, Short Stories, and Literature.

A bit of a departure from my regular genre fiction, but here’s hoping someone out there likes it.

A quick shoutout to K.C. Wise of Writing While Black, from whom I borrowed the last two lines. I’m hopeful she won’t be angry with me (or for changing it a bit), but I did really love this line and wanted to use it.

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Her Morning Routine

by Rick Cook Jr

Lilavati did not sleep last night. She lay awake, running her morning routine over and over. Wake before the sun rises, wash her face, brush her teeth, wrap her mundum neriyathum about her body, milk the goat, gather vegetables and herbs from the garden, strike the fire for breakfast, walk along the white sands, pray. Her morning routine never changes, and it cannot change this morning.

The rare drought has come to seaside Kerala, and her morning prayer yesterday should have asked for rain. But she does not wish for rain.

Continue reading

The First Line Was The Last [890 words][nsfw-drugs]

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

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The First Line Was The Last

by Rick Cook Jr

Once upon a time, there was a story so short, it was only a single line. That line danced up the straw into my nose, a churning whirlwind of promise. I leaned back, snorting and coughing, holding my nose shut against the tingling urge to sneeze all that powder back out. Everyone around me laughed as I started to sniff. I didn’t feel anything different, except a pleasant numbing sensation. It tasted funny, in the back of my throat. Continue reading

How I Felt When I Saved The World [2,300 words][slightly NSFW]

This short story is posted in Fiction, Short Stories, Fantasy, and Grimdark.

If you aren’t familiar with Grimdark, just let me warn you: nothing good happens in this story. It’s full of awfulness and I apologize in advance. Also a little NSFW for mild language and sexual content.

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How I Felt When I Saved The World

by Rick Cook Jr

Our white clothing blended with the whitewashed walls and décor. Sprays of crimson marred the columns on our way up. Delaana wiped her daggers on the corpses as they fell, and we dashed up the interior stairwell before their bodies even settled. Delaana ran ahead, scouting; already her disguise was painted in gore. I strengthened my barriers against the fear and anger borrowed from the guards, letting it wash through me until I was alone with my own emotions once more. Continue reading

Ferryman’s Bluff [1,350 words]

This short story is posted in Fiction, Short Stories, and Fantasy.

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Ferryman’s Bluff

by Rick Cook Jr

They collapsed in a heap on the ferry as it pulled away. Rangold was first to his feet, sneering and jeering at the group of five on the pier, who were shouting and cursing.

“Hah,” Rangold shouted. “This is last time you see us empty-handed!” He turned and dropped his trousers to the group, who all averted their gazes or threw rocks. One bounced off Rangold’s rump and he jumped up, yelping. The surprised expression on Rangold’s broad face almost made Murce laugh. Almost. Continue reading