Empty Sky Chapter 1 – The Cabin (28 Aug 2020, Audio)

The version of the chapter presented here is a far cry from the version currently in print (and I have a standing offer regarding the current version; Buy a copy, leave a review, I’ll send you a signed copy of the rewrite when it’s published). For that matter, the version presented here is a stretch from the previous versions posted on this blog (most recent here).

The version here is my reading at a Read ’em and Weep online workshop I recently attended.

Fascinating experience.

Creator and above level members can listen to the reading here.


Chapter 1 – The Cabin

Jamie reached for Shem’s tail. The big golden sat on Jamie’s bed staring out the cabin window. His coat glistened in the moonlight, his tail thumped with excitement. Peepers and crickets chirped outside. Raccoons chittered. Opossum and skunk barked. Owls hooted. Loons called. Far off a wolf howled. Another answered in the distance.

Jamie caught Shem’s tail and held it motionless. “What is it, boy?”

Shem looked back at Jamie and whined softly.

Jamie ran a delicate hand through his ginger hair. He looked past Shem to the oak, elm, and pine of the northern Michigan forest. The Moon, full and bright, illuminated the trees and the small, one-room cabin at their center.

“Do you have to pee?”

Shem jumped off the bed and scratched at the door to go out.

“Shh.” Jamie glanced at his parents, Ellie and Tom, asleep on the other side of the cabin. “You want to wake mom and dad?” He crawled out from under the covers and tip-toed to the door. Standing on a chair, he drew back the bolt and lifted the latch.

Cool winds changed rustling treetops into brooms sweeping low-hung clouds from late September skies. Dust devils spun mists where night air met day-warmed rocks. Trees bowed to the rising Moon.

Shem walked into the night. Jamie followed.

The Moon continued her ascent. The woods fell silent.

Silent.

Ellie sat up in bed, her hands clenching the blanket, holding it tight against her. A cold, dank wind swirled through the cabin, lifting things slightly, inspecting them, putting them down, drawing a musk of old earths in its wake.

Moonlight entered the cabin’s single room.

Her eyes fixed on Jamie’s empty bed.

“Jamie! Shem!”

Tom rose and put his boots on in one motion. “Where are they?”

Ellie pointed at the open door.

Tom threw Ellie her coat. “They must be together. Shem won’t let Jamie out of his sight.”

“Something’s got them. Some wild animal.”

“There’s no blood anywhere, Ellie. Shem’d raise hell if something got in the cabin or near Jamie.” He grabbed an iron poker from the woodstove.

Ellie stopped at the door, a silhouette against the night. “Shh.”

Tom came up beside her. “What the…?”

“Shh!”

“What are they doing?”

“It looks like they’re playing.”

“With whom?”


Greetings! I’m your friendly, neighborhood Threshold Guardian. This is a protected post and requires either General Membership (free) or a Subscription (various levels). Members and Subscribers can LogIn. Non members can join. All posts are free to all members save certain posts in the My Work category. Enjoy!

Sabine Rossbach’s Happy Hour – 14 May 2020 Interview (wherein she waxes wonderfully about “Empty Sky”)

Sabine Rossbach is the wonderfully talented Luxembourg based actress and voiceover artist who’s blessing me with readings from my books. You can see the first one, a reading from my short story Cymodoce, here and on YouTube

 
You can hear the full interview on the ARA Happy Hour podcast which included several notables: Sandra Schmit, who started coronaliterature.org,

 
a journal entry by writer Jess Bauldry, a book promo and discussion with actress and voice talent Sabine Rossbach and a chat with author Jenna Liberatore, who shares a chapter in her new book.

And now, here’s Sabine!

 

I’m Arm Casted by Armand Rosamilia

Want to hear me rolling with the punches? Give a listen to Arm Cast Podcast: Episode 341 – Carrabis.

 
I’m fascinated, listening to it. We talked a bit about the business Susan and I had, my past writing, re-evaluating past writing, practicing my writing, learning to describe something in five words instead of fifty, taking courses, reading books, perfecting my craft, and applying my research talents to writing good books.

No, really, we did.

And then we talk about the publishing world that existed when I wrote trade-technicals (late 1980’s-early 1990’s) and how it is now. Specifically, what’s changed and what’s not.

Give a listen and let us know what you think.

(and thanks)

Meet Me Off-Planet

The good folks at Federal Street Books in Greenfield, MA, invited me to take part in their sci-fi/fantasy book fair on Thursday, 13 Feb 2020, 7-9pmET.

There’ll be lots of folks there and I’ll have lots of books and a ready pen.

They say it so much better
“Join us Thursday, Feb 13, next door at 12 Federal Street for an out-of-this-world book fair! Participants include Far Cry Zine, @organdonorstudios, The Imaginary Bookshop, local author Joseph Carrabis, and more. Preview over 500 new (to us) sci-fi and fantasy titles: paperbacks for just $3.50. Meet other readers and enjoy light refreshments. Free to browse, items for purchase.”

 
And if that’s not enough…
“Our bookstore will be open until 7pm so if you’d like to browse our shelves beyond the book fair titles, come a little early! This will be a sober event — but The People’s Pint has great brews, and food, just two doors down from us.”

Come on! Have some fun!

See you there!

Fantasy Horror Author A.F. Stewart and I talk Deviltry, Noveltry, Shipbuilding, Agony and Ecstasy

Watch, leave a comment, gain a friend!

A.F. Stewart, aka @Scribe77, did me.

Interviewed me, I mean.

 
We talked about

  • The differences between writing short stories and novels (not much from a crafting standpoint, me thinks)
  • Creating sympathetic villains (even the worst person has one humanizing detail)
  • Genre writing (I don’t believe I write in a genre. My regular readers tell me my genre is “Joseph”)
  • My incredible anthology, Tales Told ‘Round Celestial Campfires
  • Being able to do amazing things with words when you’re an author
  • The link between Satan and Hamilton Burger
  • Getting kudos from your readers
  • Ritchie and Phyl, my incredible work in progress
  • How writing Flash fiction is like building a ship in a bottle
  • Great Opening Lines
  • My incredible scifi/military/thriller, The Augmented Man
  • Writing about characters rather than genre (the story comes first, the genre comes second)
  • Empty Sky and my standing offer; read the book, leave a review, and I’ll send you an autographed copy of the rewrite when it’s published.
  • Children growing up
  • Stories that grew out of my anthropology studies – Mani He and The Goatmen of Aguirra
  • Getting kudos from editors and publishers
  • Writing almost fantastic fantasies (okay, the story’s fantastic. It uses almost fantasy elements – The Weight)

So, yeah, we covered a few things.

Enjoy!