Reaching out – UPDATE

Storehouse for iPad & ReadWave

I highly enjoyed participating for Storehouse as a beta-tester and also sharing many of my short fictions, as I was intrigued by this new platform—a new way of telling stories. Especially through forms of pictures and text. Up until this, I really didn’t have a website, because I’ve not been able to understand and construct one. And, so I felt, I really needed a medium to express my stories. By doing so, I would eventually be introduced to an audience. This is where Storehouse came in. When I saw it first launched on the App Store in 2013, I was overcome with intrigue. Especially the UI—it was fantastic. So I found myself confident to experiment with this format. I wanted to utilise this for writing. Did it work…?

At first, I didn’t receive much response. But this was due to being introduced to a new kind of community of blogger— photographers who documented their travelling stories. They were using it to perfect effect. They were creating beautiful stories. Beautifully presented. Which is thanks to the highly commendable effort and design of Storehouse.

I was new to this kind of content-creating community. But that didn’t dishearten me. I went ahead and began uploading many of my short stories, sharing them widely, anxiously.

I did try Medium, but, again, this was a very different type of audience. I did get my work noticed, but I saw a lot of potential with Storehouse, as there was something very distinct about it. This is one of the reasons why I enjoy Storehouse. Sharing links to Facebook and tweeting to my dear Tweeps was fantastic. I felt like I might be spamming at the rate I was tweeting out like crazy. But I was excited to share my work. And that’s when it happened….

I was suddenly receiving great praise in the form of tweet-reviews for my short experimental horror, WHEN THE BLIND MAN SPOKE. I was being highly praised for the structure of the narrative and also for my writing abilities. To the extent that the fiction crossed 500 views in a very short length of time. Storehouse had also congratulated me on Twitter. Bestsellers and award-winning authors had tremendously praised it. It was overwhelming. I was even informed that it could be extended into a larger piece of work when one friend suggested the narrative had potential to be explored as an opening scene. And so, as a token of appreciation, I wrote an opening scene. This was my extended version of the original.

I also realised something else from this: what if I reached out to other platforms similar to Storehouse? In this way, many other readers would be able to enjoy my work and share this experience. This is where I ventured out onto ReadWave.

. . .

What is ReadWave? It’s a platform to share short stories. A platform that may seem like Medium, but it’s not. They define it as:

A ReadWave can be about anything — a confession, an experience, an inspiration, a life-changing decision or even something fictional.

So, here I was, uploading all of my short stories, expecting something from it. It would either work, or my narratives would go unnoticed. It couldn’t be both, right… It took me by surprise when my readers base escalated in a matter of days. I was suddenly obtaining 100 readers in a single day. Something had strongly clicked! I was so glad and extremely humbled by the gigantic response. It was unlike anything I had ever experienced in my life. There was a momentum of readers, who were reading, favouriting, commenting, and even emailing, asking me to become an editor for their theme, on six occasions. But I couldn’t participate as I was receiving Hepatitis B immunisation jabs. But also, I was participating in the fasting period of Ramadan.

In a matter of days, I found myself at 1000+ readers. This was emotional and astonishing. My short fictions were being read fifty times—at least six short fictions had been trending on ReadWave categories. About three had also been read fifty times in the United States. The power of wireless connection. My fictions were suddenly travelling places digitally, beyond my physical reach. I had never imagined this would ever happen.

I am deeply humbled by this kind gesture from my readers and also grateful for the powerful platforms such as Storehouse and ReadWave—without them, this couldn’t have been possible. These platforms are truly prefect for emerging writers, bloggers, and time-traveling photographers. And also my WordPress bloggers, for accepting me and my work when I was just starting out for the first time.

I am truly and deeply thankful to each one of you for making this happen. Developers, readers, editors; every single one of you. Thank you so much. It has been a fantastic journey.

. . .

I would also like to add, I am currently working on a new short fiction set in space. Something that may seem across 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY & GRAVITY. The second season in the SOLAR-POWERED ENITY series is to be released early 2015, possibly with this new story following later in the year. It’s a space narrative that looks at human interaction, music & film culture, and the digital age of social media through conversations with an alien life form in space. References include soundtracks from Coldplay’s GHOST STORIES. I also have two concepts slowly developing in my mind; again possibly for next year.

. . .

Post edited by my dear and wonderful friend/mentor, Dionne Lister.
Always grateful to her.

. . .

UPDATE: This post has been read fifty times now, also been read fifty times in the United States. And is now trending on ReadWave.

I have yet to explore Medium. #Cocoon, my space concept is 95% complete. Began work on a shorter fiction now dubbed as #BeamDeer. And have something that is dubbed as #RadioMandela.

When the Blind Man spoke – Extended version

Would like to thank everyone for this short fiction not only received great tweet-reviews, highly praised for its narrative and my writing abilities, but had also crossed 500 views on #Storehouse. As a token of appreciation, I’ve extended this fiction with an opening scene. This is a re-release, (originally released on 14th Feb 2014).

Many thanks.
Hope you enjoy this piece as much as I loved writing it.

Enjoy!

. . .

“You do not speak to it…”– Father Lucas Trevant

The Rite, Mikael Håfström

0, fascinated wide eyes
. . .

Eyes widened as if fascinated. Those cloudy eyes, yes, cloudy-white eyes were staring at the projecting fluorescent bulb above the blind man’s head. The bulb swung sideways, gently. Most likely by itself. He was following its movements. Were his eyes, diseased by some sort of cataract?

He’d heard sounds humming into his ears. Humming back, mentally. Like he were counting. There weren’t any bees here, but there was sounds of them present. At the sound of a knock at the door, gently the bulb swung back to its position. Untouched. The blind man’s eyes sharply twisted to his right, towards the direction of the sound. He’d been expecting a visitor.

The journalist removed his black hat off from his head, paused to see the blind man wearing black shades and then made his inside. He sat down into the chair, eyes narrowed as he watched the blind man. A tilt of his head to upper right, he took a peek to see the cloudy eyes hidden behind the shades. There was something intimidating about them. He’d felt that in his gut. The blind mad turned towards him, really slowly, as if he were watching him. He could see him?…

The journalist edged forward almost out of his chair, he was reflecting on the surface of the shades. Once the blind man removed his shades, the journalist’s reflection was consumed into the cloud. He placed the shades onto the table… And waited.

1, diseased-cataract eyes.…

“How long have you been blind?…”

The journalist asked, staring cautiously at the blind man. Especially his eyes. His cigarette smouldered with faint curving clouds of smoke.

“Blind?”
Confusion fell over the blind man.

“… the cloudy white… the, over your eyes… that, cataract!”
The journalist continued.
“Anyway, I’ve not heard, anything go bump in the night… so far.”

“You,.. How long did you hear the sounds, being emitted inside your home?
The voices, or voice?”

“3 days back…”
The blind replied.
“So, where are they?”

The blind man didn’t respond.

He continued to stare at the fluorescent bulb, as it seemed. His head raised towards the bulb, his chin edging forward, his nape leaned back. His diseased-cataract eyes, bulged and wide. Like there was no iris, pupils. The whole of it was clouded. Despite any sight, those cloudy eyes seemed fascinated.

“Listen you white-eyes! You’re wasting my time, I’ve been here for 3 hours straight and no response, nothing!”
The journalist coldly confirmed.

A smile stretched wide over the blind man’s face. His ears could hear the sounds of bees humming. Clicking, chirping sounds too. These sounds become his thoughts, like he were counting one clicking sound at a time.

2, disturbance of sounds….

The journalist angrily sighed. But then, he was interrupted.

“You’d swallow your tongue if you heard them too.”
The blind declared.

The journalist felt a strong jolt from inside him, his smouldering cigarette fell out between his fingers. His eyes grew to a bulge. Wide and frightened after hearing this. He’d never heard such an unusual tone from the blind man. His voice, distorted, like he was channeling not one but two voices at the same moment.

“Excuse me?…Hear them… What? Who?…”
The journalist asked cautiously.

“Your heart drums along with them… the bees…”
The blind answered and yet distracted.

“Click, click…”
He faintly whispered. And then he spoke a few startling words some more.

“They crawl under your skin, like ants…”
After which, he began tapping the top and bottom-back set of his teeth together gently.

Just tapping, like a spoon against a cup. The travelling vibration by this, created a similar kind of that feeling. Only slightly. Disgusted from this, the journalist frustratedly rose from his chair, only to be held by his forearm by the blind man. A gentle grip.

“Were you frightened?…”
The blind man then pointed towards the bulb and questioned.

“Did you not see that?… It’s been watching you…”
Startled, the journalist quickly stirred his head towards the celling, the bulb. His bulge eyes darted everywhere over the ceiling, around the bulb, and then the bulb. Nothing.

3, hung white eyes….

The journalist’s heart was pounding now as he turned towards the blind man and questioned slowly, almost a fading whisper.

The blind man collapsed after this.

The journalist observed only with his bulge eyes, staring at the blind man’s chest. There was no signs of chest inflation, deflation. He was so dead. He know this from his gut. Silence fell over him, like a harrowing ghost.

“The Medium’s dead…”
A distorted voice whispered.

The journalist slowly turned towards the ceiling, directly towards the bulb, very slowly like a snail-worm. A morbidly feeling crossed over him, his stomach churned. But the journalist hoped to see nothing. Except a plain paint-white ceiling and a bright projecting bulb.

Frightened, he fell back, tripping over the blind or dead man’s shoes. One moment, there were bees humming around a noose with a, probably dead, deer’s head and neck fell to one side, and then…

The deer’s head was facing him, with bulged-wide, white clouded eyes staring at him now. Only a head and neck, no body, no blood. A plain rounded neck. He heard the humming, the clicking. This grip of fear now stirred his soul. It was enough, the trepidation, fatality had darkened his terrified, bulge eyes as he stared, and stared. Those eyes had now clouded his soul. Pounding hard, his loud drumming heart.

KA-BOOM!
Went his heart.

It exploded.

Me, an author – How writing happened to me

So, here is a story about how writing happened to me. I just wandered. Here it goes…

1

I’d heard about Twitter, I had joined the social network in 2010 but I wasn’t active due to my studies. So when I graduated in 2011, received my Certificate in 2012, I was job hunting. I was introduced to books when I first purchased the first iPad, in 2010. When I first saw a keynote presentation demonstrated by the late genius Steve Jobs. By instinct, I saw great potential to own one, especially at the time of my studies. I was intrigued. Greatly. It’s wasn’t just about being productivity, but that the digital canvas would provide me creativity. Allow me to focus.

As a teenager, I only read books associated with my studies. Never for leisure. Mostly because I never really understood the concept of reading. I know its simple, you read the words. But in fact, I never realised that books, words stimulated mental images.

And so alongside the first generation iPad, iBooks was released at the press conference. I was very keen about iBooks, because this was the time that I could finally come to reading. I knew this much that due to my dyslexia, I wanted to improve my written expression. I was a lot earlier developing my concepts, on paper, and mentally. Like it were films. The problem was,…

Was what I was writing, any good?

There were many ideas that materialised into pages of writing, months of research, watching films to develop a film-like narratives…

but was I really satisfied?

Through books, especially since I greatly admired Stephen King’s works. I was absorbing the material. Mentally. And then, I saw in the minds eye, visuals. Words were forming pictures. These images were flowing like scenes from a film. I’d suddenly tapped into this ability. To project by words a formation of mental pictures. But even then, this didn’t mean I got to grips with written expression. This was during this time that I was developing a concept that was complicated to materialise completely, I’d actually worked on it for far to long than any of my other concepts.

2

And so I took to Twitter in late 2012, I was searching for authors. But mostly, I really needed to understand what Twitter was and how to use. I was being introduced to the social network in this sense, especially with the world. I’d come to understand this much, you read a shared article and you either Favourite it, or Re-tweet it, or both. I was fascinated after using the platform.

This is when I came across three individuals. Authors. Very well established. And here I was, unknown. I wasn’t even published. But I was extremely to approach them. Eventually drop them a Direct Message, with great hesitations. But I was waiting for a response. This took some time, a day or two. By this time, I was interacting with individuals from different backgrounds of creativity, authors, painters. And many that had accepted a friend in me. I’d already developed in my minds eye POD was to be planned as a novella. Nothing written on paper through.

I’d visited a WordPress site when I read a flash fiction, Undertow by established author Dionne Lister. The mental light bulb switched on. Suddenly I realised that I should accept the challenge of writing a micro-fiction, a term that I was introduced to from Dionne’s work. The concept of Pod came to mind, for this, would be my first time experiment to develop a narrative that was structured a micro-fiction. I wrote POD, in two halves, or parts. I’d written it possibly less than a day. But I felt are confident about the writing. There was a strong surge of inspiration from Undertow.

When I did receive a response(s), the first couldn’t come to accept to read POD. The third, suggested me links to send #POD to editors. When in fact, I needed to see what it was I was going wrong, or not understanding. I was confident with the kind of material I had visualised but the problem was written expression. If it made any sense.

And that was when I received a DM by the second author, this was by Dionne Lister. It changed everything for me. She’d asked what I wanted to learn from her. I’d asked if I could send via email, POD for her to read. She had asked if it was for a feedback to which I yes. I’d explained that I had DM two other authors but neither could accept to read POD. And that I really wanted a sense of direction in writing expression. That what I had written made sense.

Dionne agreed.

And after an email, she had provided great editing improvements for the first draft of Pod. She’d had attached annotations, and with red marks, from who I could see and understand what made sense. This was also I was introduced to the role of an editor.

It not changed everything for me, but also, deeply, surprised me. I was humbled. Because I wasn’t published. But that she accepted to help me to understand. It is because of this change, that I would progress successfully as a writer, even if I wasn’t published. I had the ideas, the imagination. I’ve still kept that PDF with Dionne Lister’s edits on my iPad, on iBooks, always.

It’s a reminder.

It’s not about being famous or published, or not. It’s about using the social network to help many others like myself who continue to struggle. I will always be grateful to Dionne for her time and guidance. For being such a wonderful mentor and dear friend.

This is my acknowledgement and gratitude towards her.

3

. . .

Dionne Lister is the author of the bestseller epic-fantasy series Shadows of The Realm. Close Call: A Doris & Jemma Vadgeventure. Dark Spaces, a collection of suspenseful short stories. Her flash fictions are also available to read on her site. She is also an editor. Almost completing her Associate Degree of Creative writing at Southern Cross University.

Her bestsellers are available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo and iTunes.
Booktastik is her brainchild, which is aim or designed with authors, publishers and readers in mind.