Ink Splatter 08 by Loadus

A CUTting Experience

CUTCut A Long Story (CUT) is a website for lovers of short story fiction and a place for writers to sell short stories. It is run by a team of ten of people and was launched in 2014 with the help of the National Association of Writers in Education and Sleeping Giant Media.

CUT’s unique selling points are the ease in which authors can upload their work, the simplicity behind the publishing process and the way payment is calculated and made to the author – without there being any production charge on the author’s side. As well as this, each story is proof read by a member of the CUT team before it is published. I’ve now had my work available on CUT for a few months, and I’m glad it’s there.

When I first heard about the opportunity CUT was creating in 2013, I was excited. I submitted a story to help provide the site with content in its initial stages, and over the next year I received a few emails detailing the site’s development, but, after a while, I had forgotten about it, so when I got an email in late 2014 explaining what the CUT team had been up to it took me more than a while to remember what CUT was. Once I did, I became nervous: it would be the first time I had put my writing up for purchase (being successful in a competition or being published in a magazine is different to deciding that your work is good enough to buy – which is how I saw it at the time). I looked at a few authors’ profiles to get an idea of how mine should look as well as to know what to do and what not to do. Seeing how many authors there were on CUT, and knowing the number would increase, reminded me of how many people want to be writers, or are, and how accessible the form is. The thought “How is anyone going to find my work amongst so many people?” crossed my mind, but it subsided eventually and I began to remember the books, articles and blogs I had read that provided knowledge on how a writer can make their work stand out.

Once I had an outline for my profile, I started to look for a story to upload. I struggled to decide which stories of mine I was certain people would enjoy (which is pointless as you never know until you make it available to the public). I went through everything I had written: drafts I hadn’t finished editing, unsuccessful submissions, successful submissions and stories I had finished but had done nothing with. During this search, I began to scrutinize my work in a way I had never done before. I was more thorough than I would have been had I been editing work I planned to submit or put on Inkposts. This wasn’t a conscious decision as I always edit my work as well as I can, but looking for a story that I was going to put up for sale allowed me to see my work through a different lens. I picked out plot holes, grammar and punctuation errors, typos and other faults in my writing that I hadn’t managed to see before.

After I had found two stories, Stop, Look and Listen and Escape, I proceeded to find a cover for them, which didn’t take too long thanks to the artists and photographers who allow their images to be used freely and for any purpose (CUT also have a useful, short guide/post for authors on image copyright and where images can be found). Once I had added the final edits to my author profile, I began to upload my stories. The process was straightforward, and the only trouble I encountered was that I wasn’t able to preview how my cover image would look against the background colour of the cover I had selected unless I bought the story – but CUT is solving this issue.

Overall, my experience with CUT has been excellent. I’ve learned a lot about selling work and how the process alone can improve writing. It’s a great place for readers to find short stories and for any author who wants an easy way to sell their work or who is new to doing so.

Cut A Long Story: http://www.cutalongstory.com/

CAVe (a petition by CUT to stop VAT on ebooks): http://www.cutalongstory.com/cave-cut-against-vat-on-e-books.html

Ink Splatter 05 by Loadus

Dredd

Dredd2012PosterDirector and writer: Peter Travis and Alex Garland. Cast: Karl Urban, Olivia Thirlby, Wood Harris, Lena Headey and others. Studio: DNA films. Release date: 2012

Dredd is the latest big-screen adaption of the long-standing comic strip and comic book Judge Dredd. The previous film released in 1995 is a baby-soft interpretation in comparison to 2012’s cult movie, which features Karl Urban as the titular character: Judge Dredd, Olivia Thirlby as Judge Anderson, Lena Headey as villiain Ma-Ma and Wood Harris as Kay, Ma-Ma’s right hand man.

One of the most impressive qualities of Dredd is Mega-City One. It brings Dredd’s world into reality; the graffiti, the demographic makeup and behaviour of the city’s inhabitants as well as the judges and unsettling conditions that people in Mega-City One live in feel real. The violence of Dredd adds to this reality, and the effects make it seem less like gore and more like art in slow motion thanks to the drug that keeps Mama’s purse fat: Slow-Mo. (more…)

Ink Splatter 06 by Loadus

Major Notes – Nu African Disco Vol 2

Nu African Disco Vol 2Label and release date: Lossol Entertainment (2015)

Major Notes emerged some time ago in the years of UK funky house. Since then, his sound has evolved into something more original and, most importantly, unique.

At the moment, afro house has yet to reach the UK audience the same way UK funky did, but Major isn’t troubled by this and uses the African-driven form of house/bass, as well as elements of UK funky, bass music and afro beats, to spearhead his new EP (Nu African Disco Vol 1 was similar in direction also and his most popular release to date). This makes Nu African Disco Vol 2 a medley of African sounds – and it works tremendously well. (more…)

Ink Splatter 04 by Loadus

Immortal: The Life and Legacy of Thomas Dean

ImmortalPublisher and release date: Susan Dean (2014)

Immortal is the collection of writings by Thomas Dean put together by his family following his death in 2013. Part of the proceeds from the book are donated to the Thomas Dean Memorial Fund, which was set up after Thomas Dean’s passing to help young people fulfil their college aspirations.

The book starts with the powerful, titular poem Immortal and is followed by several poems, essays, short stories and insight from family and friends.

Thomas Dean’s writing in Immortal contains several themes, but religion and loss are prominent. Pieces like Dead as What Made Us, Exodous Story and Jewish Literature are examples of this. Some of his best writing extends beyond those themes, such as in April and Thoughtsonwordswordsonthoughts – which are about love and connection, but not all of Dean’s writing is well executed as many pieces are ambiguous in a way that I thought showed the writer’s writing was still developing. Dean’s essays cover many topics and give the best insight into his mind, whilst the exceptional stories Patriot’s Shame and Insurgency demonstrate his storytelling skills. (more…)

Stump by Jared Smith

The Man in the Tree

His head protrudes like the top of a bust, only he’s trying to free himself before the silent executioners terrorizing the city reach him and his home; the tree.

Every morning he sticks out a little further. He watches us for help, and his head turns as we walk past him, voiceless and in pain. He looks exhausted, afraid and trapped.

We debate whether we should help him or not. Whether we should gather our tools and creep out of our houses at night before the executioners get to him. Whether we should free him, save his home and reward his efforts.

By the time we decide to take action there’s nothing left of him but a stump. We look down at the rings left by his soul and go back home knowing he may have been the last one we could have saved before the overseers create a reason to cut us out too.

Eternal Love Suradej by Chuephanich 2

A Love for Honesty

You tie people together,

and I cherish the release you bring,

but your passion is striking,

sometimes cruel – I can hate you for it

as the truth is a heavy load.

But without it my relationships are skin deep and open to pain.

Maybe you’re better left

alone

. . .

but I wouldn’t want anyone to hide you from me,

for I know how much I love you,

and I know how much of a burden it is to keep you away.

Under the bridge by Marco Zak

A Love for Dishonesty

You are my safety net.

A guilty pleasure I shouldn’t come back to . . .  but I’m attached to you.

I fall back on you when I can’t explain

or reach for you when I need to hide from others and myself.

You conceal my thoughts, my secrets and

you let me get away with my worst actions.

You’ve saved me several times, and you’ll continue to do so.

My dear white lie,

my dear sin,

without you this life would be insurmountable,

for honesty is a weight none of us should have to carry alone.

I love you,

but our relationship is a secret.

One I will always deny exists.

Mannequin 3

Mannequin

My wife asked me to come to the mall, but I wasn’t in the mood for its crowds or life-like mannequins. “Careful,” I said, “last time one of them tried to grab me.” She laughed, left and never came back.

I reported her missing: “She has a green handbag and a scar on her forehead,” I told police. “She’s beautiful.”

They promised to find her. They never did.

Sometimes, I pass the store where she was last seen; one of its mannequins carries a green handbag and has a mark on its forehead. For a piece of plastic, it’s beautiful.

Note on Mannequin

I wrote Mannequin for Off the Shelf’s competition Retail Tales, which was made in partnership with Meadowhall shopping centre in Sheffield. The word limit was 100 words. It came runner up and appears on the Off the Shelf Festival of Words website.

Ink Splatter 11 by Loadus

Watch & Wait: A Timeless Anthology

Watch & WaitPublisher and release date: Cybermouse Books (2014)

Watch & Wait is an anthology put together to raise awareness of the cancer lymphoma (even the title of the collection is named after what patients do between treatments: watch and wait), and as Illness can be personal but still effect the people closest to us, it’s fitting that many of the stories in it revolve around relationships.

The opening story, Jungle Palace, by Angela Robson, explores people’s potential for brutality with ease and is one of the most memorable stories in the book – despite feeling like a snippet of a larger story. The following tales are less graphic and have different themes but are in no way less enjoyable. Bryony Doran’s Suppose I was to tell you . . . is an excellent look at a different culture through the eyes of a character that is watching from the outside in. Robson’s Wedding Pictures and Jemma Kennedy’s Fig Tree also touch on this theme to good effect. Further in the anthology recurring themes of support, love, isolation and jealousy are explored in stories such as The Enemy Within, Red Stripe Candy and Ghost Baby. Ian McMillan and David Swann also bring humour to the collection with their stories Mr Mason’s Story and Cock of the Block, the latter being immensely entertaining and one of the highlights of the book. (more…)

2014 In Review

WordPress have created a 2014 annual report for us, so take a look enjoy the stats! And we would like to say thank you to everyone who follows us.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 4,800 times in 2014. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 4 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Ink Splatter 04 by Loadus

Swans – Love Will Save You

After writing for inkposts, Pete Vaughan tells us what he listens to:

“Feeling, big, strong and righteous? Good, good. Bring your strong hand down on the sad and doubtful, and pray you will never change. Or learn to question the ‘truth’ that someone else told you . . . or the ‘belief’ that someone else sold you – for a way of life that they promised you . . . Believe in anything but you, desire anything but belief in you, love anything but you, be scared of anything that is you. Do I want that stuff? Am I scared of change? Of me? No!”

 

Untitled by Alessandro Galantucci

I Think so I Drink, by Pete Vaughan

Smile and the world laughs outside

money talks as the faces lie

you give your love they take it all from you

A friend in need’s your friend, don’t say it isn’t

 

I think so I drink I don’t drown

I drink ‘cause I think I am

I think so I drink oblivion come down

I drink ‘cause I think I am

 

The power they fought for, the freedom you taste

the suffering they brought was their weakness and waste

the world you enjoy is a prison of escape

the wall’s groan hope but you know it’s a fake

 

An easy day I read tomorrow

accept these gifts ignore the sorrow

the walls groan hope but life is truth

who’s your only friend? Don’t say that isn’t true

oblivion come down

 

Short Bio: Pete Vaughan began his transition across this life west of London, England. Loved and lost, once Peel Sessioned; now between just about everything.

Ink Splatter 10 by Loadus

No Matter What

Originally posted on Words By Dreah Louis:

no matter what

Loving myself no matter what is the ultimate goal

Watching dreams unfold

Despite where life has taken me

Remembering I still hold the key

Learning to diminish fears

and wash away tears

Bury images of regret

and press on to respect

Hoping tomorrow will be a reward

and not just a recoil

Self impressions weigh large

Where love is always the factor

No matter what

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white-lilac-black-and-white_00450997

Writing What You Know

Originally posted on The Sarcastic Muse:

Writing What  You KnowWe all know the sage old advice of “writing what you  know.” It isn’t so much that we should limit our writing to our daily lives, but that we should use our highs and lows in our writing along with the physical sensations and emotions they produced.

To give our characters depth of emotion and experience, we need to lend them ours.

Normally a writer’s mind records the big stuff even as we go through it. It’s how we’re built. It’s much harder to remember the rest of our range of experiences but they also give life and flavor to our characters.

A writer’s journal is a good way to record events for future use–things like birth, death, achievement, loss, promotion–the big things. But also draw on other experiences such as childhood humiliation, betrayal, enthusiasm and excitement. Record your experiences of break ups, friends you miss, narrow escapes and if-only moments…

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