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Category Archives: Short Stories

Friendly Encouragement

Ena Noel Award for Encouragement

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I owe the inspiration for tonight’s blog post to a fellow blogger, Ellie Mack.  She gave me some encouragement do to my somewhat piteous post last night and It inspired me to write about how friends can sometimes help us to pull up our bootstraps and get back to it.

Have you ever felt like you just had so many ideas spinning through your head and yet couldn’t get them written?  That’s how I feel now.  I have three great ideas for novels that two of the three are no more than a page of notes each, right now.  I also have a lot of ideas about how I want to improve this blog by organizing it better, enhancing the EOS quality of it and writing more posts about writing and fewer posts about the random junk I originally started throwing on here in my new blogger zeal.  I also have a few ideas about writing articles for e-zines and some poems I need to write.  I love writing flash fiction too, but that’s just for fun and practice.

As if all that weren’t enough to be roiling around in my cranial cavity, I just received a shipment of 20 gallons of paint and need to paint my house.  My brother-in-law is going to be visiting with his family in two weeks and I want the place to really shine when he gets here.  (He’s a retired Colonel and my wife is always eager to bless him with good impressions of how we’re doing.)

I have a lot on my plate, but all I can think about is writing my first novel.  It’s a great idea for a novel, too.  My wife literally dreamed it up.  She does that.  She dreams full plots with a beginning, a middle and an end.  (I read somewhere that Stephen King dreamed the plots for some of his best novels.)  The only thing she doesn’t always have is a good twist at the end, but we are both very imaginative, so we can develop that as we go.  I think I have the twist I want for this one, anyway.

So I let my blog stagnate for two weeks and now I’m feeling guilty.  Here I am trying to establish an online presence so that everyone will possibly look forward to reading my work when I produce it and then I leave everyone in the lurch for two whole weeks?  Not acceptable.  But Ellie cheered me right up!  So I decided to write about the power of encouragement.

It’s not just some kind words you throw out there and forget about.  Real encouragement comes from the heart of one person and lifts up the heart of another.  There are so many things we can say to one another and yet most of us usually don’t choose encouraging words.  If you don’t agree, look at the comment section of any online news site.   You’ll most likely see that about seventy-five percent of the comments are negative.

I once heard the statement that “life is pain and anyone who tells you different is either lying or selling something.” I don’t think it has to be that way.  Our words have power and they produce results.  Just think what a different place the world would be if each of us made a choice to encourage at least one person every day.

I thank God daily for a wife who encourages me to write.  I am also thankful for the encouragement of friends like Alex and Laura.  They are friends of mine who never seem to have anything negative to say to me or about me.  Now believe me, if they wanted to find negative things to say about me they certainly could, but they don’t.  You see?  That’s what makes a difference in people’s lives.  In fact, they and my wife were the main ones encouraging me to publish The Lost Flip Flop and The Honeybee Fiasco, my two short stories, published on Amazon.com.  Another is coming soon and I feel so much better now that I’m doing something with my writing talent.

Encourage someone today and see how much better you feel too.  Trust me, you won’t be sorry you did so.

 

 

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My New Short Story – The Honeybee Fiasco

What would you do if your house was suddenly attacked by a swarm of honeybees? Roger and Katrina had never thought to answer that question until one fateful day when it happened to them. Laugh along with them as Roger retells the story in his special, witty way.

My new short story is now on review with Amazon.  I published it a little late due to internet failures during the weekend, but it is now uploaded and I will have the buy-link here on my blog some time tomorrow.  You can look for it on Amazon now, if you like, or wait until you see the buy-link posted here.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed writing it!

Update: I have now added the buy-link on the cover art as well as a pop-up description of the story.

 

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Story Competition

I found another writing competition to enter.  I like these things.  This one has nine story cubes, like dice, that generate nine little pictures as prompts.  In addition, there’s a 350 word limit.  Good idea for a creative writing competition, Hannah.

Here’s my entry.

The Book

By Roger Engle

(345 words)

The shooting star arced across the sky.  It seemed like a streak of light, but that’s because it was moving so fast.  There was a roar, the ground trembled and they realized it was approaching, not simply crossing their field of view.  A thundering roar, the fireball skimmed the treetops, crashing a half-kilometer from them.  The explosion knocked them down with a shockwave and heat from the blast.

Tommy woke up first.  He aroused the others.  Corey was covered in ashes and debris.  They found him, shoes knocked off, red socks showing.  Derrick slapped him to wake him.

Corey looked at Tommy, Simon and Derrick, puzzled.

“Come on, man!  Get up!” said Tommy.  “Where are your shoes?”

Corey noticed his feet with surprise, and then found his shoes.  Putting them on he suggested they go examine the crater.

The boys ran through the woods until they reached a steaming furrow in the ground, uprooted trees, piled dirt on both sides, marked the spot clearly.  Steam and smoke obscured their vision.  They followed the furrow and saw an object glowing at the bottom of the crater.  Sheep from a nearby farm could be heard bleating senselessly

The object was shaped like a rectangular box with glowing symbols on it. As they stood there watching, it opened with a hiss.  They were surprised to find a book inside.  On the cover was printed, in English, the words, “How to Save Your Planet”.

“What the heck?” said Simon, wonder in his eyes “Really?”

They heard a crunching noise, saw a man touch down through swirling mist, his parachute falling behind him.  He had a patch on his shoulder in the shape of a lightning bolt.  As he slipped out of his harness his weapon came up.  “You boys will have to come with me.”

Ten minutes later a troop transport truck cleared the rise behind them and stopped within yards of the crater.  Soldiers poured out, surrounded them, weapons at ready.  Following the orders given them, they climbed the ladder into the truck.  Where were they taking them?


 

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Pride’s Prison

Pride’s Prison

This story is an absolutely wonderful sci-fi approach to understanding the life struggles of an awkward child.  the sci-fi element is not obtrusive.  It is only employed to make the story possible.  The story is more about self-improvement, forgiveness and understanding than scientific wonders of any kind.  I recommend you read this and allow it to inspire you to write a short story of your own.

It’s a 4 part story with links to the next part at the bottom of each page.

 
4 Comments

Posted by on January 30, 2012 in Authors, Short Stories

 

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Flash Fiction Online

Flash Fiction Online.

I’ve been looking at flash fiction lately.  Maybe I’ll get involved.

 
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Posted by on January 30, 2012 in Authors, Blogs, Poetry, Prompts, self publishing, Short Stories

 

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A Good Word About Kindle Direct

Kindle 3 on Direct Sunlight

Image by isriya via Flickr

I was a little surprised to see how quickly Kindle fixed my problem with the title of my new publication.  It was quite quickly, to be honest.  All I did was go to my bookshelf, click on the title and change the series title on the next page.  It effectively took my title out of circulation for “up to 18 hours”, but within two or three hours of having made the change, I logged back in and looked at the book and saw the series title had changed on Amazon and my book was back in circulation.

This leads me to talk a little more about how easy it was to publish my book on Kindle Direct.  I won’t say it was as easy as I had thought it would be.  I hadn’t realized all the questions I would be asked and, not knowing how to answer some of those questions sent me on long web-surfing expeditions to find the answers.  I would like to give special thanks to another author, whose blog I have been following for about a year now, George Angus.  He helped me with one of those tough questions by replying quickly to an email I sent him.

The questions, although it was tough for me to know how to answer them because I had never done anything like this before, were not purposely difficult.  Nor were they posed in a way that was not easy to figure out their intention.  Kindle Direct, I believe, has done well in designing their website to be user-friendly and as easy as possible.  After having published through that website, I know I could do it again with little or no problems.  The difficulty, for me, was the same problem I have had with some of the “purchase online” websites I’ve used.  Simply knowing what was the proper format for each field and which ones to fill out for my needs.

The one other problem I had, was learning how to format my book properly so that it would look nice on the Kindle.  Not having a Kindle myself, I had to download the Kindle Previewer and then that didn’t want to work for me.  The simple online previewer in black and white worked better for me.  The KindleGen file converter was hard to find a link to for downloading.  What’s more, the ReadMe file that came with it, which is the same one there’s a link to on the Amazon website, was not very well explained and I couldn’t get it to work.  All I know about that experience is that anything I have to open a C: prompt and enter commands in order to use is probably not for me.  The KindleGen app, (if you can call it that), seems a useless peripheral.

That’s okay though.  The short story was already written in Word and was easily uploaded in .doc format.  I just had to preview it about a dozen times to make sure the cover, the copyright page, the dedications page, and the first page of each chapter, (in this case it was a short story with only one chapter), all showed up where they were supposed to and without having to click through a bunch of blank space to get to them.  I’ll post more on formatting in a future post.

I also need to say that, were it not for Kindle Direct making things so easy, I would still be sitting at my desk, surfing the web, looking for a company or a website that would take an interest in my book even though I was an unpublished author.  I’m very glad this option was available to me.

 

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The Lost Flip Flop – Misadventures in La Mosquitia

Roger Engle's new short story, The Lost Flip Flop, begins a series of true stories about his life in the Mosquito Coast region of Honduras.

 

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