Latest Entries »

Originally posted on Marcia's Book Talk:

In today’s guest post, I have the immense pleasure of welcoming author Bea Cannon to Marcia’s Book Talk. Bea, author of the BOUCHER’S WORLD series of science fiction books, the CADY AND SAM paranormal series, and SPACESHIPS AND MAGIC fantasy series, discusses six ways which provided inspiration in writing her books, and how these can be helpful for writers to explore. Now, over to Bea for more about this compelling topic…

Bea Cannon, author photograph Bea Cannon, author photograph

*

Six Ways of Sparking Ideas by Bea Cannon

I write science fiction and fantasy – sometimes a combination of both in the form of scifantasy – and the occasional short horror story. The first time I was asked from where I got ideas, I’d never really thought about it. I would just get one and off I’d go writing.

I guess I kind of figured I was pulling them out of thin air. Until I stopped to think…

View original 809 more words

Good Friend – a short story

It hung on a string from the rack in the yarn shop, its red beanie button eyes staring out at the world.  It was constructed of black yarn twisted and wound into the general shape of a person; a boy, I thought.  It’s nose and mouth, such as it was, consisted of red yarn stitched loosely down the face between the eyes.  It was an art project gone wrong.

I knew immediately that I wanted it.

“Mama, may I have the doll?” I asked.

She looked down at me and frowned.  “Why would you want such an ugly thing?”

“Please?”

Her face softened as I knew it would. “Well, let me get my yarn and I’ll see how much it costs.”

The proprietor laughed when Mama asked, and patted my cheek.  She gave it to me for free.  We left the shop with me happily carrying the doll in my hand.

I sat the little figure on the small chair in my bedroom, turning it so that it faced the room door.

“What are you going to name your doll?” asked Mama when she came to tuck me into my bed that night.

“I don’t know, but I’ll think of something.”

She smiled and gave me a kiss, turning out the light as she left.

Later, I awakened to hear the noises that came more often lately; the sound of a raised voice as Papa shouted at Mama, then the terrible sound of him striking her and her quietly crying.  The house grew still for a while after that but my stomach clenched because I knew what came next.

I watched fearfully as my door quietly opened and Papa, outlined in the hall light, edged into my darkened room.

He came and sat on the side of my bed and leaned over me as usual but this time was different.

I looked past him to see a large dark figure looming over his shoulder and before he could do the things he usually did, he made a muffled noise as a pair of black arms wrapped around his head and snatched him away from me.

I sat up and watched as he became entirely covered by the huge figure, his struggles getting him nowhere, his voice unheard.

I knew that he would never hit Mama or slip silently into my room again, and I smiled.

The next morning when Mama called me to breakfast, I picked my small yarn doll up from the otherwise empty floor and carried it to the kitchen with me.

Mama’s eyes were red and swollen and her face was bruised but she smiled at me as she placed my breakfast before me.  “Did you think of a name for your doll, yet?”

“Yes, Ma’am,” I told her.  “His name is “Good Friend”.

I was five years old when Papa disappeared, never to be seen again, and life was much better for us afterward.  I’m well-grown, now, but Good Friend protects me still.

 

End

Writing Tip(s)?

I’ve been wracking my brain trying to come with some clever writing tips, and…*sigh*… I guess I’m simply not that clever.  I could only come up with one.  Wanna hear it?  Here it is:

WRITE!

Not trying to be facetious but that’s all I have.

WRITE!

If you want to do so…

WRITE!

Thinking about it, reading everything you can about it, waiting ’til you’ve got all your ducks in a row…none of that is writing.  Writing is.

I suppose I should add that reading is certainly a good idea, especially reading books and stories in the genre in which you wish to write.   In fact, all the writers I know are also readers.  The thing is, though, that if you want to write, you have to – at some point – put the books down for a while, and actually…

WRITE!

What I’m saying is, all the writing tips in world – and there’s some truly good ones out there by some real clever people  – won’t help you at all if you don’t grab your dictionary and thesaurus, park yourself at your desk, or wherever you choose to do it, put your fingers to your keyboard or take pen in hand (whichever suits you best), and commence to putting that great idea you’ve come up with, into written form.

In the final analysis – and I know I’m sounding a bit repetitive here – the only way to write is to get on with it, and…

WRITE!

Once Upon a Spider – a drabble

The large black and yellow orb weaver sat in its web.  It had built it in the sidelight window on the front porch of a house.

The occupant of the home opened the door to leave for work.  She brushed a thread attached to the door causing the spider to jitter toward her.  She spotted it, and letting loose a loud shriek, dropped her tote and retreated into the house.

Reemerging with a can, she liberally sprayed the hapless spider and it fell dead.  She retrieved her tote and left for work.

She didn’t notice she’d also sprayed her lunch.

Why I Write, and What I Write

Okay, I was tired of seeing that outdated post of free books when I zipped past my blog, so I took a few minutes to try and think of something interesting to blog about but my mind kept going back to my current writing project(s).

I couldn’t think of a darned ‘nother thing.

Then I thought, “Why don’t I just do a repost from a while back?”  Yeah, but what to repost?  Then I remembered one from a couple of years ago, when I did a guest post, and was asked the question of why I write and exactly what it is that I write.  I went looking for it, but, I couldn’t find the blog on which I’d made the post.

Now, I don’t know if that means that blog no longer exists, or if I’m just mis-remembering the site but I still have a copy of the post in Word, so, with a few updates, here it is.

 

Why I Write, and What I Write

The first time I was asked why I write, I had no idea how to answer.  I sputtered, hemmed and hawed, and finally said something like, “Gee, I dunno, I just like to”.

Dumb, huh?  Shouldn’t a writer know why she writes?  Shouldn’t she (or he) have at least an inkling, a clue maybe, as to exactly why she sits down and puts pen to paper – or fingers to keyboard, nowadays – and lets all those words loose on the world?  Well, shouldn’t she?

I thought I should, so I sat down one day to think about it.  I wanted to have a good, pat answer if I was ever asked that question again.  And sure enough, someone did, and that time – hurray! – I had an answer.

“I write because, ever since I was a child, I’ve loved to read, and I’d always wanted to write, too, so one day I finally got around to doing it,” I said, smiling triumphantly because, now, I had a bona fide response, one that I knew to be true.

And I was satisfied.  Until one day someone asked me, again, “Why do you write?” and I opened my mouth to give that great reply I’d thought up, but as my mouth went open to speak the words, it occurred to me that they weren’t precisely correct.  Oh, they weren’t wrong, mind you; that was a reason why I write, just not the reason.

So, I sat back down to think about it some more.  And it finally struck me that, no matter what I came up with, and I came up  with a lot of reasons – all true to a certain extent – for me it boiled down to one final truth: I write because I have no choice.  That’s it.  The whole enchilada, the final explanation.  Simple, huh?

What brought me to that particular understanding of why I write, was the realization that, not only had I always wanted to write, I always did write.  When I was a child, I would write stories based mostly on the fairy tales I read, and I would write little stories for my mother, or my siblings.

Someone gave me a diary one year when I was around eleven or twelve, and instead of recording my thoughts and feelings as most pre-teen or teenaged girls would, I wrote stories in it.  And I was a letter writer.  I loved to write those.  Still do, though I mostly send emails now, which, somehow is not quite the same.  Anyway, I just loved to write.

As to what I write, well, that would be, mostly, science fiction, fantasy, and paranormal stories (I’ve written three dealing with werewolves, and no, they’re not romances.  Just some unconventional paranormals).  I also write in a genre that’s called “scifantasy”, which is what it sounds like: a blend of science fiction and fantasy.

The tales I write come from all those fairy tales I read as a kid, I think, and I graduated from those to science fiction at an early age.  I’ve also written a few short horror stories, though I haven’t formally published any of those as yet, just on Wattpad with copies on my blog.

Of course, I have reasons for writing a particular story, such as the one for writing the “Boucher’s World” trilogy.  I like science fiction.  It’s one of my favorite genres, and I’ve always especially liked the kind that deals with the encounters between humans and aliens.  I wanted to see if I could create such a meeting, and resolve the inevitable conflicts that would occur.  The idea came from a dream I had.  Ideas can come from anywhere and I never turn my nose up at one, so I went with it and it turned into a trilogy.

I started this story a number of years ago but had to put it aside because it was during a period when I didn’t have much time for writing.  After I retired, I pulled it out and began working on it again.  As I wrote, I saw after a while, that the story was going to be much too long for just one book so it became a trilogy, the first book of which I called “Boucher’s World: Emergent”.  It’s a science fiction/fantasy set two thousand years in the future, about a society composed of humans from Earth, and an alien race called Elvwists, who have spent the last two millennia trapped inside a dome on a planet in the Epsilon Eridani star system, and they all have a wide range of psychic abilities.  So do the dogs and cats.

The first two books of the series deal with how they finally get out of the dome, and what happens after they do.  The third book addresses what happens when people from their respective home worlds show up.

I decided to publish, so three years ago I self-published the first book in the trilogy as an ebook.  (Just so you know, the reason I self-published is because after doing some research, I decided that since I was already old enough to retire, it was the best way for me to go if I ever wanted to get anything into print before I died.)

Since then, I’ve published more stories, about half of them shorts or novellas set in the  Boucher’s World universe.  These include the second and third books in the trilogy, “Boucher’s World: Transformation” and “Boucher’s World: Encounters”.

I have also published two books in a new series that I call Spaceships and Magic: “Turner: Bitter Change” and “Turner: World Change”, a scifantasy set in a future closer to the present day than the one of my first series.  It’s more of a dystopian/alien invasion/alternate worlds type story, that involve not only aliens and spaceships, but also dragons and magic (thus the Spaceships and Magic designation).

Altogether, I have sixteen publications out, and currently, in addition to working on book three of the Spaceships and Magic series, I’m also writing several others as I can’t seem to write just one story at a time.  I keep coming up with ideas that I just have to write down, so I do.

Harking back to my first answer to the question of why I write, I do like to write – most of the time.  There are times when I don’t especially like it, such as when I have to edit or re-write, but on the whole, I enjoy it.  I love creating new worlds and putting characters into different situations they have to work their way through.  I really do.  But I don’t write because I love to.  I write because I have to.

A question I’ve never been able to answer is: why do I have to write?  Maybe one day I’ll sit down and think about that.  Maybe I’ll come up with an answer, too.  If not, I won’t worry about it.  I’ll just keep writing.

I don’t have a choice.

It’s the Summer/Winter sale!

All my ebooks are FREE at Smashwords  with coupon SW100 until 7-14-2015 (except Turner: World Change, which is half off with coupon SW50)!

Smashwords summer winter sale 2015 00

smashwords summer winter sale 2015 2

 

Smashwords summer winter sale 3

(Turner: Bitter Change is FREE, Turner: World Change is half off)

 

Smashwords summer winter sale 4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The subject of the Confederate flag is one that’s full of controversy, and I don’t ordinarily expound on such topics, but there’s something I’ve always wondered: why does the battle flag of the losers of a war have such a hold on so many people?

What I’m going to say here won’t answer that question because I don’t know the answer.  I could speculate, but I won’t.  What I am going to do right now is to digress for a minute, just so I can tell you a little about myself.

I try to stay away from controversy because I’m not good at contending with it.  I tend to want to stay in my little niche, my own little corner of the world, and live my life as best I can.  I’m a “live and let live” kind of person.  My daughters sometimes accuse me of being a hermit, but I disagree with that particular assessment because I do, upon occasion, interact with other people.  I simply spend a lot of time by myself because of what I enjoy doing: my joy in life is writing.

I write because I can’t not do it so I guess you could say I am compelled to do it, and I’m black, so a lot of my characters are, also.  Having said that, I have to add that a lot of my characters are also white,  and some are other ethnicities.  After all, I live in a country made up of all sorts of folk so it would be kind of ridiculous to use only one brand of people in my writing. Then too, because I write fantasy and science fiction, some of my characters are silver, or some other color or shape altogether, because they’re not human.  Basically, my characters are whatever comes to my mind as I dream them up, and I’m an equal opportunity dreamer.

As I’ve said a few times to a few folk I know, “I ain’t deep.”  I’m not trying to influence anyone, or make them think, or change the world with what I write.  I leave that to the passionate people who feel that’s what they want to do, who feel that’s what they’re supposed to do, that have the temperament to get involved in that sort of thing.  All I try to do is tell a good story, and hope somebody reads it, and is thereby entertained.

Okay.  I said all of that to say this: as a black woman who was born in the late forties, and grew up during the fifties and sixties, who lived through “Jim Crow” – segregated schools, buses, bathrooms, drinking fountains, restaurants, etc, and witnessed my share of racism and discrimination, I must say that the Confederate flag should, at long last, be permanently retired.

I don’t mean that it should be hidden away and forgotten, never to be seen or discussed again.  No, that’s not what should happen.  I heard a guy on TV say, in protest to the people that want to remove it from flying over the capital in South Carolina, that it is a part of Southern heritage, a part that shouldn’t be denied.

Yes, it is a part of the heritage of the South, all right, even of the United States of America’s since the South is a part of this country, and I’m not one to think heritage should be denied at all, but I wonder if he’s stopped to think about exactly what that heritage is.  He spoke as if he thinks that flag deserves a place of honor, as if it represents some sacred act that the South performed, something wonderful in the history of our country.

Now, I’m not a historian, and I was born eight-two years after the end of the Civil War, so I only know the things I’ve heard about that era from stories told by the old folk in my family when I was a child, most of them second-hand from people whose parents or grandparents were slaves.  And of course, I learned things about that era in the history books at school (which tended to sort of whitewash it, so to speak, so I had to read between the lines and go reading on my own).  There was only one thing I learned that was really wonderful about the Civil War: the South didn’t win, which meant my parents weren’t born slaves and therefore, neither was I.

The man on the TV probably thinks the flag represents the fact that the South was fighting for state’s rights, and I suppose that technically, he’s right, but, the biggest right those states most wanted to retain was the one that allowed them to own other people.  They wanted to continue to do that, so they went to war.  I find nothing honorable about that.  The Confederate flag represents an era in the history of our country of which a big part was slavery and hate.  I’m sure he doesn’t think that’s what this flag is about, but it is.

Now, what a private citizen wants to do with the flag is his or her own business, but it should not be flying over public buildings – anywhere.  However, the flag shouldn’t be stuck somewhere and forgotten, either.

No, I think that the flag should be put in a museum, and displayed along with the manacles, the shackles, and the chains that represent some of the things the enslaved had to contend with.  The history of its place in the Civil War as a banner of encouragement for the folk who wanted to keep the manacles, shackles, and chains, should be written on a placard and placed in front of it so that it will show the exact heritage of that flag.

The image of it in all the history books should always contain the notation that it was the battle flag of the states that lost the war that they fought to retain people as slaves.

What this flag represents should never be forgotten.  Lest it be repeated.

Out today – Turner: World Change

Turner: World Change  (Book 2 of the Spaceships and Magic series)

Released today!   Available at Amazon, Smashwords, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Apple

Bitter Change bc Travel with Juri and her guardian/warden, Prince Tetharia, as they go on a perilous journey to prevent the total annihilation of the world of the dragons.

A short excerpt…

… Suddenly I felt heavy and realized I was dropping toward the ground… I’d been hit with a spell…

I heard Pepi and her mother shrieking in terror but lucky for us, the spell had only affected me, and I had a mage on my back who, while horrified, didn’t panic, and was screaming out a counter spell.  I prayed the Revisher spell was close enough that Master Anthony’s would neutralize it – and I immediately felt lighter.  My voice returned and I yelled with relief as I leveled out, and with a pounding heart, climbed as fast as I could while trying not to leave a stream of pee behind.

 

Bad Weather – a drabble

Bad Weather

 

The funnel shaped cloud formed rapidly, as such clouds usually do.  It bore down on the isolated stretch of houses and when folk heard the warning siren they quickly ran to their cellars.

Everybody emerged once the all clear sounded and immediately headed for their vehicles.  Eyes were tearing up and people were retching.

Zeke cursed through bouts of vomiting as he staggered toward his truck.  He yelled to his wife and kids, “Git in! We gotta git outta here fast!”

“Whut’s that stench, Zeke?” moaned his gagging wife, clinging to an screaming, upchucking baby.

“It wuz a goddamned skunknado!”

END

Turner: Bitter Change Book 1 of the Spaceships and Magic scifantasy series

Enter a giveaway from 4-29 to 5-6-2015 at Goodreads – Two signed paperback copies available

Bitter Change15Enter to Win

An alien invasion.  A transforming child who is hated by all.  How are these two events connected?  Or are they?

Does Juri Turner hold the key to throwing off the yoke of the new masters of Earth?

A tale of bitter change. A tale of hate, love, and betrayal.  One of a coming of age, and of spaceships and magic…

 

 

(Book 2 Turner: World Change out 6/2/2015 in ebook – pre-order at Amazon, Kobo, Barnes and Noble.  See excerpt at Smashwords.)

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 301 other followers

%d bloggers like this: