Short stories now on Amazon

That’s right. I decided that there was no better way to learn how to publish my novellas than to practice with two of my short stories. I’m now prepared for the task of crossing the threshold into “professional author” territory, letting my creations escape the confines of my head and harddrive. I’ve priced both short stories at the Amazon standard $0.99, which is about what I think short stories should go for – novellas $2.99, novels somewhere between $7 and $10.

Running-the-Cross Rum-and-Roses

So if you would like to read some short stories, may I suggest you download mine from Amazon. Running the Cross is “A test of mind and body, running the cross is the ultimate test. A dozen rail lines, thousands of tonnes of freight trains travelling at high speed, a race across the tracks to prove yourself. Will you survive?” Rum and Roses “The police don’t like ‘Skinny’ McAfree, but they do like him for the disappearance and possible murder of his next door neighbour.”

I really enjoyed writing both of these, especially Running the Cross, and hope you enjoy reading them. – Running the Cross – Rum and Roses

NaNoWriMo 2011 – Day 1

The month of writing madness has begun!

This is my first attempt/entry into NaNoWriMo (NaNo details here). I am a virgin who doesn’t know any better, a lamb to the slaughter, a bright eyed idealist…… Blog posts count towards the word total, right?

The story I am writing is tentatively entitled Overturned Stones. It is a thriller with humorous overtones to subdue the dark subject matter. I had previously started this particular project but had to bin it in June and redo the outline (stupid characters didn’t do what I wanted them to!): I’m new to novel writing, live and learn.

Outline: You never expect to stand trial for the murder of your wife, especially if you didn’t do it. When you find out that your wife may not be dead but rather kidnapped by human traffickers for sexual slavery, you could be forgiven for being a little annoyed. Proposing lead therapy for the traffickers in an effort to help them reform and free your wife isn’t appreciated, by the traffickers, the police, or potential future employers. Can one man, dubbed “The Husband” by the media, take down organised crime, avoid the police and traffickers, and keep his gun loaded?

My journey has begun with a nice lead in. Yesterday and Sunday I managed to write a few short stories, plenty of writing to pique the creative juices. Currently they are with my trusted critique providers and then edits before submission – I’m thinking Crime Noir, Wet Ink and I have another paranormal story that I’m still thinking about which publication would suit it.

Today my writing was done while Australian’s were stopped for a horse race. Given that all I care about is buying the glue and dog food after the race and not throwing money into a void prior, I was able to get a sizable chunk written.
Words Written: 1,771
Total: 1,771
Remaining: 48,229

Who else is slightly mad this year?

Red Adept Infamous Last Line Competition Winners

The winners of the Red Adept Reviews Infamous Last Line competition have been announced. I won.

Okay, so I didn’t actually win, but I did place equal third in the Horror category and equal second in the Romance category. You only have to read some of the hilarious Infamous Last Lines to see that the competition was full of great entries.

I loved the idea of the competition: think of the worst possible final line for a novel. Creativity abounded, I myself entered in three categories – I didn’t place in the Mystery section, most likely my entry was too much like a real mystery ending.

Congratulations to the winners of each category and the overall winner Nicholas Chase. Also a big thankyou to the Red Adept team for the competition.

Horror/Thriller/Suspense Entries

Third Place (Ties):
Heroic Manly’s eyes buldged in horror as he, at last, found the courage to look into the mirror where, staring back at him, was a personage who was, at best, merely a two-dimensional character.
— Scott Nagele

Dick and Jane had finally defeated the amorphous, pus-oozing monster, Gilgamesh, thanks to their valiant licking, but would Gilgamesh stay dead, and for how long?
— Tyson Adams

As they slithered across the landscape, their massive tails obliterating everything in their path, they thought little of the destruction of mankind; they hadn’t tasted that good anyway.
— Sandy from Indy

To be continued….

And then realisation finally dawned upon them, like the brilliant magenta sun striking crimson red into the sky, that the case of the lost armadillo had finally been solved and that they could return home as the heroes of their childhood.
— Annmarie, the awesome one

Holy shit, zombies really DO like to eat brains, and I now deeply regret asking my grandmother to go back inside that church to fetch my high school letterman’s jacket.
— Mister Teacher

As the fierce light of the nearby nuclear blast that destroyed the covert Chechen missile base faded, Lance ‘Danger’ Steele grinned, deftly applied 138 stitches to his bulging right bicep, and held up his victory cigar so that the fiery atomic glow from outside the corpse-strewn bunker lit the end.
— Frank

Romance/Chick Lit Entries

Second Place (Ties):
“This has all been fun, Steph,” he said, letting go of her hand, “But… well… I already have a girlfriend.”
— Gregory J. Downs… google it.

Henry grabbed Rose by her shapely and firm buttocks and pulled her close, whispering in her ear, “This was a great weekend baby, hope you don’t get clingy about it.”
— Tyson Adams

He stood panting in the doorway as he looked back at her, tears rushing down her cheeks like frantic spawning salmon because she’d finally awakened from her vampire-obsessed fantasies to realize that those canine teeth meant something terrifying—he wasn’t a hunky werewolf; he was an insipid spaniel.
—Mary Pat, author of THE TERMINAL DINER

Update – Alan Marshall Short Story Award

Hi Friends,

I received a letter today – I know, people are actually still sending those things, I almost expect to see a carrier pigeon doing air mail next – that notified entrants about the Alan Marshall Short Story Award winners.

Now according to the blog stats my short story, Pleased To Meet You, ranks in the top 10 of my posts. According to the feedback I’ve received it didn’t suck, most readers even enjoyed it, one person even went as far as to say I had talent. So how did my story compare to the other 70+ short stories?

Well, as I expected, Pleased To Meet You didn’t win. That honour went to Laura Jean McKay for Massage 8000, a story about a group of women in a Cambodian brothel.

So congratulations to Laura, thanks to the judge Fiona Capp, and thanks to the Alan Marshall Award committee.

Currently I’m working on a short story for the new publication, Noir Nation. Hopefully I’ll meet the deadline, give it a hug and wish it well, as I scoot past on the tide of my day job.

Cheers, Tyson.

New Word of the Day – Werbiage


Werbiage is a portmanteau of Word, Garbage and Verbiage.

Thus the meaning of werbiage is that a statement or document (etc) has an overabundance of meaningless words that are either rubbish or useless.

I made this word up today during a meeting with managers and is from the Middle French verbi (to gabble) and the Middle English garbelage (discarding butchered bowels).

New word of the day


Tickyboxiness is the ability of an objective to meet key criterion to impress managers, irrespective of, and often in opposition to, the benefit of stakeholders.

This new word is for all people trying to achieve their KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) or, like me, are stuck in a management meeting.

Top 5 Most Over-rated Drinks

Any author needs a drink on hand to help with the hours of writing, research and dicking around. Some great novelists have preferred to have a scotch on hand, others can’t start writing without a pot of coffee. Which brings me to today’s topic: over-rated drinks. For so long there have been a number of beverages that people will wax lyrical about and yet they are really nothing special. Whether it be tradition, reputation or the cool factor, these drinks have earned a coveted place in our society that is not based upon merit, just like Snooki.

1. Coffee
Walk around most cities and you will not be able to travel more than 10 metres without passing a coffee shop. In America this coffee shop will most likely be a Starbucks. The close proximity of these stores is indicative of the unhealthy addiction people have to caffeine. The worst part of it is that you can have a barista spend 5 minutes making you a tall mocha frap with a pump of vanilla and an extra shot of espresso, yet ask them to make you a cup of tea and they hand you a paper cup with some hot water and a tea bag floating in it.

Honestly, why don’t people do cocaine or amphetamines if they need the energy boost?

2. Champagne
Champagne is really just bubbly vinegar. People don’t actually drink the stuff, they spray it all over people they’ve just beaten in a race, or spray it over women who are about to be taken advantage of.

I think the fact that someone invented a glass specifically to make champagne actually palatable says a lot about how bad this drink is.

3. Dry Martini
The Dry Martini is really just paint stripper and methylated spirits served in a fancy glass with an olive in it instead of an old tin with a paint brush sitting in it. Just because James Bond drinks it doesn’t make this a good drink. Remember James Bond was very self destructive and was probably using the Martini to cure his VD.

4. Fruit Juice
There isn’t much to say about a beverage that takes all the goodness of fruit, removes the goodness, keeps the sugar, and adds flavour. There are many popular fruit juices that contain as much as 5% real fruit. There are others that are the equivalent of drinking a can of Coke, except with 2% more fibre. Of course, you could really go out on a limb and eat fruit.

5. Bottled WaterYes, bottled water is over-rated. Especially if the water has added vitamins and nutrients. We get this stuff free from our tap and yet someone managed to bottle it and sell it to us. I bet right now that marketing genius has just closed a sale on a bridge and is heading to the Arctic to sell some Inuits ice.

Scene from Heathers
Officer Milner: [arriving on crime scene] So, what’s the deal?
Officer McCord: Suicide. Double suicide. They shot each other!
Officer Milner: Hey, that’s Kurt Kelly!
Officer McCord: And the line backer, Ram Sweeney.
Officer Milner: My God, suicide. Why?
Officer McCord: [holds up bottle of mineral water found next to one of the bodies] Does *this* answer your question?
Officer Milner: [appalled] Oh man! They were fags?
Officer McCord: [grimly] Listen up: [reading from forged suicide letter]
Officer McCord: “We realized we could never reveal our forbidden love to an uncaring and un-understanding world.”
Officer Milner: [disgusted] Jesus H. Christ!
Officer McCord: The quarterback, buggering the linebacker… [shaking head]
Officer McCord: What a waste!
Officer Milner: Oh, the humanity!