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.


A Tale of the Woods: The Little Flower

Our greatest decision is deciding who we’ll be

I started writing Tales of the Woods during Winter break in freshman year of my first time through college. In the mid 1990s I contributed a Tale each month to a New Age magazine. Sometimes I wonder if I should gather them together and publish them as a children’s book of some kind.

Let me know what you think.

A Tale of the Woods
The Little Flower

Once upon a time a beautiful flower rested in a Woods. All that came by stopped and wondered because few had seen a flower with petals so bright and stem and leaves so radiant. Many creatures stopped and sniffed the air as they passed, carrying with them the scent of her beauty. This flower, small and delicate and thirsting farther and farther, always reached for the rains and lights that brought her life.

One day as she sat and looked upon the hillside she noticed a lone elk wandering through the Woods. The elk walked strong and proud, his coat showing scars from the many contests he’d been in. Watching the else, she grew sad. “He is alone,” she said.

The elk didn’t come near the little flower at first. “Perhaps he can not see me,” she wondered. “Perhaps he is afraid.”

Each time she saw the elk she talked gently to him., each time the elk drew nearer to her. Finally he would come and sit beside the flower, telling her of things he’d done and things he’d do. The little flower listened and nodded. “We are not that different,” she thought. “We both have hopes and dreams.”

The elk came often and shared stories of the rest of the Woods and especially the things he had done, grateful for her listening and the time they had together.

One day the elk came bearing a long scar down his flank. He neither flinched nor stumbled as he moved but the little flower knew some horrible thing happened to him, something he would not share, something she could not understand.

But in all the Woods, the elk came to her for rest and comfort, for solace and quiet. Although only a small flower, she spread her leaves and stretched her petals as wide and as far over the elk as she could. And an amazing thing happened!

The little flower found that she wasn’t as little as she thought! Her leaves and flowers offered a shade the elk could find no where else in the woods; a place to rest and leave thoughts of conflict behind. She offered herself gladly to the elk, and the elk, unaware that the little flower had grown, slept quietly underneath.

Soon the elk awoke. He got to his feet and shook his mighty head, strengthened for the time he had beneath the flower’s leaves, the scent of her petals clinging to his coat.

The elk came and went many times thus. Each time the flower spread her leaves and petals. Each time her soft, flowery perfume rested upon his coat and gave him strength.

Each time the little flower thanked the Woods and all those in the Woods for her gifts. Many others came — small flurrying birds and scurrying little mice, wise old owls and ancient wizened oaks — to see the beauty of the little flower’s petals and leaves, and to heal their hurts with her gentle, fragrant scent.

But sometimes the love we give is not the love we receive.

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The Lonely Oak (a Tale of the Woods) – Narration

You understand, don’t you? It’s magic, after all.

I shared the written The Lonely Oak (a Tale of the Woods) in a previous post. In the past few months I’ve listened to others reading my work and wondered how people would respond to it.

Besides, folks may want a break from a steady diet of Empty Sky (I’ll return to it in a few weeks, I promise).

Do let me know what you think. Suggestions for improving this are quite welcome.

Click on the “post” above to open the story in a separate tab/window if you wish to read along side.

Greetings! I’m your friendly, neighborhood Threshold Guardian. Members can view the rest of this post by simply Logging In. Non members can view the rest of this post by joining. All posts are free to all members save certain posts in the My Work category. Enjoy!

The Lonely Oak (a Tale of the Woods)

You understand, don’t you? It’s magic, after all.

Once upon a time, in a land almost too far away, there lived a tall, glorious oak. It wasn’t odd at all that a tall, glorious oak should live in this land for this land was a Woods. But this Woods wasn’t like any woods or forests you’ve ever seen before. Here the animals talked and flowers flew and trees moved wherever they needed. This was a magical Woods, unlike most others.

You understand, don’t you? It’s magic, after all.

This tall oak watched all around her. She wasn’t old as oaks go in years, but she was a wise oak just the same. She had been an oak all her life. And all her life she had seen things in the Woods. Good things and bad things, sad things and glad things. And everything she saw she held deep inside, deep where the blood of trees flows from the roots in the ground to the high crown of leaves that brace the sky.

One of the things she’d seen often was the love of others for the trees around her. This made her glad. “Someday,” she thought, “someone will come and love me.”

She waited for some time, through many seasons in fact. But no one came. Many came through the Woods where she lived and spread her leaves, but all that came seemed to prefer the shade of other trees. The tall oak watched this and wondered, “Is there something wrong with my leaves? Or my bark? Perhaps I don’t shade the world as I might?”

None of this was true of course. The oak’s leaves were among the most beautiful in the Woods. Her bark was clean and smooth and ran straighter than many other trees. Her shade was a peaceful relief to the small creatures that sought shelter under her.

It’s magic, after all.

But all this wonderful oak saw was the scores of others resting under other trees. “Perhaps I’m too tall a tree?”

And so, despite the fact that she was a beautiful oak, she let her boughs drop to her sides and twisted her trunk slightly, trying to make herself smaller in the Woods.

Greetings! I’m your friendly, neighborhood Threshold Guardian. Members can view the rest of this post by simply Logging In. Non members can view the rest of this post by joining. All posts are free to all members save certain posts in the My Work category. Enjoy!