Thanks to Midnight Mosaic for publishing my dialog-only story Demon Zone for their 13 Days of Dark Lore contest. I’m so happy to see one of my darkest and experimental writings find a home online. Midnight Mosaic publishes on Medium, so click this link to go give it a read.
Some of you might remember this story when I listed it as complete for my 2018 weekly writing challenge. It’s one of my dialogue-only stories, though it’s less of a conversation than a cramped room where three voices are vying for authority. Whether you think this is a story or poem in dialogue, I hope you find it an enjoyable, albeit disturbing, read.
Thanks so much to Public House Magazine for publishing “Therapy” in Issue number 9 of their amazingly transgressive print publication. This is a super special issue because the magazine turns into a full 2019 calendar. Yep, read it, fill in the crossword puzzles, and then hang it up as useful wall art.
“Therapy” is a piece of fiction from my dialogue-only collection, Dialogues: A Collection of Creative Conversations. Public House has published it under the title “Pissing Therapy.”
The Serial Killer Epidemic: Interview Transcripts is my FINAL DIALOGUE for the series. This means that I’ve written my whole short story collection! Yesterday’s post was actually my 52nd dialogue . . . I just didn’t realize my count was off. So this 53rd dialogue is the last piece I’m adding to my 2018 writing challenge. Now that doesn’t mean as I’m finalizing my short story collection that I won’t write another dialogue or two (or dredge up some old piece of writing and convert it into a dialogue). I do have dialogue ideas I just never got around to writing.
Out of all the stories I’ve written over the years, The Serial Killer Epidemic: Interview Transcripts is one of my favorites. Like Expire and The Defining Attribute of a Girl, I actually wrote this piece years and years ago. In fact, I wrote this story even before marijuana was legalized anywhere in America. I guess I felt it coming, since legalized marijuana features so prominently, though my fictional trajectory toward legalization is rather different than it is historically happening.
It surprises me really that this story hasn’t been picked up anywhere yet. Maybe it’s too sci-fi for most literary publishers? Possibly it’s too experimentally literary for most hard sci-fi publishers? Or maybe it has a flaw that 25 drafts hasn’t smoothed out (if there is a flaw, I’m not seeing it)? But I’ll keep sending it out because I really want this dialogue, this short story to appear in print somewhere. And I’m pretty much set on only publishing it in a paying market, which is likely the real reason it hasn’t yet found a home, since places that actually pay writers for the work they do are extremely competitive.
image credit: © Ostill www.fotosearch.com
The Serial Killer Epidemic: Interview Transcripts is a story in Q&A format. The interviewer, is trying to get to the bottom of a wave of child serial killers. Drugs to video games are blamed. But the truth may be more complex and conspiratorial or—worse—simple and endemic to the nature of modern society. This is just an interview; you’ll have to decide for yourself is the answer lies in between or outside these questions and answers.
FINAL THOUGHTS: I just want to thank everybody who has given so much as one like to any of my posts about this 2018 writing challenge. I’ll be working hard to polish up my 52+ dialogues so I can get some more of them published here and also have a book ready to send out to publishers or agents at the end of 2019.
This isn’t the last you’ll hear of my dialogues, but it is the last official post of my writing challenge. So thank you again for reading, liking, subscribing, and commenting. It’s been an awesome writing journey.
In this dialogue, a policeman tries to understand the otherworldly horrors experienced by a woman whose husband has been killed by a strange monster roaming the countryside.
To learn more about my creative dialogues, please visit this page. There are a number which are free to read online.
Dialogue #50 for my year-long writing challenge is Ho Ho Ho, Mother-Fucker. When two friends run into an evil Santa, hell-bent on mayhem and murder, they cut him down to size with a critique of the transgression Santa Claus trope.
This was a fun one to write. Here’s some entertaining resources and inspirations for this dialogue:
As I was writing this blog (on Christmas Eve here) I got an interesting phone call, which I made a post about on Facebook and captured an image of it for you.
For dialogue #49, I’ve written We Toss ‘Em, a story about two men who are taking out a hoarder’s trash. Dino fossils* are found, but regulations say they must toss ’em into the trash.
*My apologies to any paleontologists who run across the story once it’s published. The two men involved call the fossils dinosaur bones, which is inaccurate. My excuse? Well, I’m going for realism of speech, not accuracy of facts in this one. If you take issue with my fictional perpetuation of a common enough mistake, please make no bones about it, pardon the pun, and leave a comment below.
To learn more about my dialogue challenge, please see this page.
“Imagine if a giant god came floating through outer space and vomited on us, hurling all this fiery debris down to Earth.”
This week’s dialogue is God Vomit, a creative conversation concerned with the possibility of a strange, godlike Boltzmann Brain. If you don’t know what it is, a Boltzmann Brain is a self-aware creature created from a random configuration of elements and atoms rather than through other means, such as evolution or genetic engineering. Basically, it’s a creature arising from chance. It’s a cool concept, and one I felt worth exploring in this dialogue.
This is dialogue #48. On my first week of the challenge I wrote an introduction, so I’ll have one to make up some week soon. The truth is, I have more dialogue ideas left than there are weeks in the month. So either I’ll scratch off an idea or two, write extra dialogues before the year is over, or just write them after the new year for inclusion in the future published collection.
Find more about my weekly dialogue writing challenge here, Dialogues: A Collection of Creative Conversations.
URBAN EXPLORING: Enchanted Castle is a dialogue about the depths of enchantment. Two urban explorers enter into an enchanted castle but find not the dilapidated magical charm they anticipated. Instead, they encounter the enchanted remains of a decaying nightmare.
These are the last weeks of the dialogue challenge. I am amazed at myself for sticking it out even in my busiest weeks. I’m even more humbled knowing that there are writers out there who manage to write a blog or article post multiple times a week. I really don’t know how you do it, but I applaud you.
For those who are wanting to read some new dialogues, stay posted and subscribe to get email notifications. My focus is on getting the last dialogues written, then I’ll start to type up whatever is still in pen and paper drafts, edit, and send my pieces out. There are some dialogues submitted here and there, so who knows, it’s possible something new will be published soon. If there is, I’ll do a post when it’s published.
Take care, bookworms!
Today I decided to scratch the dialogue I was going to post and wrote a new short and sweet one in honor of the blizzard that has me stuck at the hotel all weekend. It’s short and sweet (the story, not the blizzard). I’d say the dialogue is exploring the nature of art or some shit like that. I enjoyed the image I conjured up and enjoyed writing the piece. Hopefully a future editor of a magazine will like it enough to publish it. And if I’m really lucky, a reader or two will like it as well (yes, my mom counts as one of these two hypothetical readers).
Actually, fuck that editor and those two hypothetical fans (Sorry, Mom!). I’m posting this story on Medium for all the world to ignore. Again, it’s short, sweet, and totally first draft (I wrote it in a rush like 20 minutes ago). So ready to read it or not, hop on over to Medium to check out Man in the Snow.
UPDATE on a fudged up update:
Somehow when I was updating the Medium series that has similar posts about the dialogues as this blog does, all but 23 cards (everything before dialogue #37 + the title card) were totally deleted with no way to get them back. According to my stats, no one reads the series anyway. Just about anyone who cares how this challenge and future book of short stories of mine reads the blog (Thanks, Mom!). It’d be a pain to hunt down every last link to the series in all my old posts and articles; instead, I’ll just leave a note on the series directing people back here and, later, directing people to a book sale link (in advance: Thanks for buying two copies, Mom!).
I will be getting rid of links to the series feature on the Dialogues page, so if you’re really interested, this is the last time I’m linking to the Medium series feature even though it’s just going to contain a link back to this website and hopefully someday a book link. Oh, and it did something really weird to the title card, and I’m just going to leave that too. As always, just zoom out if it says you need a larger screen to read it. All right, click the link to proceed: