Hey guys, it's been awhile since I've thrown a story up on the site, so here's a new one for ya. Some people wonder why I release these stories for free in the blog and not utilize my publishing venues. Well, that's quite simple. If you have a writing website, there better be tons of reading material as well as free stories.
Anyway, this one is called "Lucky Shot." It's a tale about Chance Black, a photographer sought after by many magazines and journals in Long Brooke, Chase County. One day he faces the mundane act of taking pictures at a press conference, when he accidentally snaps a photograph of criminal activity. While Chance is unaware at first, the person he took a shot of is determined to make sure the images never see another set of eyes.
I'm going to break this one up into a few parts. Enjoy Part One!
If you haven't heard about it yet, Robin is dead. Again. Although this was planned nearly six years ago, the death of the new Robin is something that's got me thinking about character development.
See, one of the golden rules of writing is to avoid killing off the main character. There is a lot of thought behind the rule. For instance, what good is a character who kills himself at the end of the book? If your story is in first person, it's rather difficult to tell a story once you're dead. Another thought is that main characters shouldn't die unless it is absolutely necessary and fits the overarching plot.
So does killing Robin accomplish any of these things?
If it's not obvious by now, when I was a wee-writer, I had a thing for Edgar Allan Poe. By thing, I mean I really enjoyed his writing. This is where Raven's Crook comes from, and while the title of the town is a bit cheesy, I already had too many stories centered around the town to change the name.
However, my fictional towns aren't the only place Poe references occur. In fact, a few years back, I was challenged to imitate
“When Dean Young Speaks of Wine” by Tony Hoagland. As I was cleaning out my files again, I thought this might be a piece worth sharing in this good ol' blog. Enjoy!
"When Edgar Allan Poe Speaks of Ravens"
Imitation Poem by C.M. Humphries
The vulture guffaws when it hovers above the deceased.
The hummingbird buzzes when it spots something alive or sweet.
But when Mister Poe talks about ravens, his words are grotesquely poetic.
Yet it seems that ravens are hardly the subject.
He claims, Great penname but you do not need it.
He claims, Good faith but religion is falsified.
He claims, All we see is a dream within a dream.
He claims, Irrelevancy is where the truth lies.
Eighteen forty-seven was a dreadful year, he says,
and for a second I am afraid that Michigan has turned him
into a murder-lover strayed away from capital punishment.
Next he claims,
I have great faith in fools
and no abhorrence in danger
self-confidence my friends call it.
Then he declares, I am above the weakness of seeking
to establish a sequence of cause and effect,
between disaster and the atrocity.
But where is the Definition of abandonment?
Where is the Romance in tuberculosis?
Where is the Misery in a life worth loving?
with the sense of accomplishment of a Wife and Child?
and the undertone of bleak Self-Assurance?
His vein bulging as if trying to free itself
from his misery.
His drug of choice like pain.
When a scholar is hurt he babbles insanity.
When a dog is hurt it lies by beast or man.
But when a poet is wounded,
he pleads woe is the world.
Then he sits and writes, but with one hand clutching his chest
thinking everything into nothing
as if loneliness could be replaced by ink.
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Maybe you've never considered "learning" as a possible addiction, but here I am to suggest the contrary. "Addiction is a brain disease," Alan I. Leshner, PhD. said back in 1997. He was considering the chemistry of the brain as it related to addiction, but I believe there are many more ways to look at such a statement, one of them being the way you process information. For example, there are some of us who coast in life, just bouncing off the ropes a bit, because there's an inherent sense of knowledge.
Some people like to refer to such individuals as "old spirits" because they either know everything, literally, or because they have a basic understanding of what to do in life. "New spirits" are often seen as inferior or somewhat ignorant individuals. These people tend to question everything and always flash a curious eye. In my opinion, the stigma around new spirits (and/or "souls" as I think of it now) is completely erroneous and arbitrary at best. People who want to know more, might have a real advantage in life, but on the other hand, they might have a limiting addiction.
Fear, focus, and the future. C.M. Humphries talks about writing, horror, and whatever.