Regular readers may remember this week’s Aspiring Voices spotlight writer from her excellent guest fiction post, The Gun’s Fear, earlier this month. I chatted with her about her past life as a dancer, the role of criticism in improving your skill, the nature of success and how one defines “making it” as an author. Plus, she teaches me about Kinetic Fiction.

Kinetic

John via Creative Commons

Paul: What was the first story you remember writing where you finished and thought, “Yeah, there’s something here”?

Alisia: The first story that really changed my view on writing was something I wrote in ninth grade. I had just finished reading On a Pale Horse by Piers Anthony and was inspired to write my own short introduction to Thanatos. The piece was only about 500 words, but it was the first time I had finished a story with a sense of accomplishment. I had never had the urge to share any of my previous writings, but I was so proud of this piece that I mustered up the courage to post it on Fictionpress. I didn’t get many views on my story, but one person left me a very flattering comment. She told me my story was the best she’d ever read on the site and she urged me to write more. Sometimes all it takes is a kind word from a stranger for you to realize that not everything you write is complete garbage.

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Smoke

Andrew Magill via Creative Commons

Veins of chemical-smelling smoke settled around Bud Verney’s head like a crown. The sense of wild invincibility did not particularly appeal to him, but the sacrifice was worth it. If only Lonnie had a flaw or two, something he could use as rationale beside the fact of her hovering, mediocre attentiveness. His few friends, his weary co-workers, his prickly divorce attorney, to a one they failed to understand. They actually thought he should feel lucky.

This plan was better than the last one. Thinking about it now, he could see how maybe Gordon wasn’t Lonnie’s type. He guessed handsome and wealthy weren’t high on her list, otherwise she wouldn’t have pressured Bud into marriage. Gordon had taken the $250 anyway, saying, “I did what you asked and she told me ‘no.’ Gotta tell you, bro, I think she still loves you.” Bud grimaced as he put the lighter to the pipe again.

“We’ll see if she loves me,” he said to the filthy bathroom. He hit again and wondered how long it took for addiction to set in. Maybe she would find his stash tonight, confront him, walk out. He could be sleeping alone by Saturday. He smiled.

Pardon the digital dust while I get a few things set up and fixed up around here.

In the meantime, greetings! I’m not actually new to blogging; my occasionally updated site ironSoap.org has been up and cataloging my various “thoughts” longer than the word blog has existed. But that site is for Paul Hamilton the husband/father/weirdo/nerd whereas this site is for Paul Hamilton the writer. This isn’t necessarily a reboot, more of a re-focusing to provide a better gateway into the writing that I’m doing now. In some ways ironSoap.org is a bit of a relic; I am apt to update it occasionally but I expect the majority of new content will appear here instead as fiction writing and write-for-hire overtakes blogging.

A few notes, probably most interesting to those who were familiar with the old site:

  • I’ll try to be better here than I was there about tags, categories, and general searchiness, which I now profess to be a genuine word. I had kind of a one-category-probably-catchall thing happening on The Org and it probably wasn’t great for people who wanted to find or filter specific things.
  • I’m definitely going to refer to the other site as The Org from now on.
  • The Org was very intentionally family-friendly with next to zero objectionable language or references to sexual activities or anything that wouldn’t behoove your average six year-old. I even tried to avoid linking to material that might be offensive to others, or at least provided a warning. This site is less concerned with all-ages inclusiveness. In my fiction, I write the way people talk. Sometimes people curse. People in my stories also have sex, get hurt, hurt each other, and find frightening things which may or may not actually exist. As with the first point above, I’ll do my best to appropriately mark any material that might be upsetting to sensitive eyes.
  • A decade of blogging has taught me that making promises about update schedules is the surest way to reduce output dramatically. As such, there won’t be a regular posting schedule. However, I think I can update more often if I keep the posts short. The exception may be free fiction I intend to post here occasionally, which will probably always be short story length (or serialized to be so); 2,000-8,000 words give or take.
  • Cross-posting will be kept to a minimum, as will invitations to connect with me in my various other online haunts. Contact details and social networking connections will probably make appearances somewhere on the site, but I won’t clutter the posts with incessant reminders to look at my other output.
  • No, I won’t take the lens flare off the logo. Lens flares are cool.

And just to show what a nice guy I am, I’m posting my first piece of free fiction here later today. Stick around, I think it’s going to be fun.