Archive for 2010

OG’s Speculative Fiction, Issue 24

Great news! OG’s Speculative Fiction, Issue 24 has been released! It is a special double issue full of great speculative fiction stories from authors such as Darien Cox, D. Thomas Minton, David Tallerman, Jeremiah Hawkins, S. Hutson Blount and Travis Heermann as well as poetry from Bruce Golden and G.O. Clark. It is one of [...]

Can I Buy a House With Soda Cans?

I am just about to own my own home and it has made me realize a few things.

As a boy I did all sorts of things to earn money. I collected soda cans along the side of the road. I did odd chores. I mowed lawns. When I did earn money, I was something of a saver and a spender. I liked the idea of having a bin full of coins. It made me feel good. I would throw all the coins and dollars into that bin and every so often take it out and count up all the money, feeling a bit like Scrooge in Duck Tales or a bit like a Monopoly Boss, slowly building an empire. But inevitably, my saving mentality would dissipate and I would spend those hoarded coins and dollars on a pack of baseball cards or a new video game. Then I would have to start all over saving up coins.

Champions of the Field

Every year the baseball season starts with a homerun from someone. It doesn’t always come in the first at bat, nor is it always the first hit. But in some stadium across the United States (and a few times in Puerto Rico or Japan) there is that inevitable moment when someone hits the first homerun of the new season.

That’s the thing in sports, there is always a new season. The New York Yankees won the World Series last year, and while that was a lot of fun when it happened and there were parades and lots of media attention and a World Series’ ring to show for it, a new season came. A new season always comes. Players have to lace up their cleats and pick up their bats and run out on the diamond all over again. It’s a fact of life; champions can never rest comfortably.

When a Chapter Ends

I have always enjoyed where I live. It is a dusty single lane road that seems to stretch for miles in both directions. The neighbors are quite a ways away and the house is tucked away in the middle of soaring pines and spreading hickory trees. More often than not, the only company we get are the animals in the forest. When a plane passes miles overhead, I always turn to look, because the sound is foreign; I am used to birds and crickets.

In spring the geese flock into the swamp and set up gosling factories. The turkeys are out picking at the newly turned fields looking for bugs or corn from the previous year. The deer are teaching their new fawns the safe paths through the woods.

12 Tips to Manage Your Time Better

by Reggie Aquilina

There is no doubt that to truly succeed in life you need to learn how to properly manage your time.

One thing is certain: the most effective and successful people are experts in time management and they have the same number of hours in the day as you do. So time management has nothing to do with magically expanding time to suit your needs, but of using it effectively. It is a question of self-management rather than time-management.

Ordering Life Isn’t Like Ordering Pizza

I look around my computer, my desk, around my house, around my life and see signs of disorder and it bothers me. Not only is it hard to find things, but I have piles of things that need to be attended to and stacks of stuff to sort and perhaps throw away and loads of files and programs I just haven’t gotten around to deleting yet. It always leaves me feeling like I am scrambling. I can never find stamps to mail out my letters and bills. My favorite running shirt is somewhere. I often forget the many correspondences or little tasks I meant to do because I don’t have them written down and if I do, that slip of paper has gone missing. All of this robs me of my peace.

Backstories Help You Write 3 Dimensional Characters

by Mervyn Love

A character’s backstory is important whether you are writing a short story or a novel. With a short story it can be less in-depth than for a longer work, but it will raise your readers interest when you present them with a character they can believe in. In fact, that is the secret really: If YOU believe in the character, the chances are your readers will as well – and vice versa.

Mr. Influencer

Is it true that what goes in, comes out?

I was doing some research recently and found some disturbing statistics. The average child watches 1,680 minutes of TV in a week. That same child spends 3.5 minutes a week in meaningful conversation with their parents. That child will spend 900 hours in school a year. And that child will watch 1500 hours of television in a year.

Divine Protection, Part 2

I have made no secret of my fear of flying. I don’t hate airplanes or traveling. At all. I do hate getting into a cylinder made of welded together pieces of metal and glass and then going up 33,000 miles in the air while traveling at 535 mph with half the cylinder full of incredibly flammable material. This scenario bothers me because I have absolutely no control of the situation, and it seems quite dangerous. Maybe it wouldn’t bother me if this cylinder didn’t jump and jolt in the air and seem like at any moment it would tear apart at a several welded seams. Now you can see why it is not hard for me to feel like death is one stray bird or one big bump away.

“The Bachelor,” Un-reality TV

by M.E. Haywood

For the past several years, at least five, I have been blissfully uninterested and ignorant of the goings on in the world of reality television, largely because of its incredibly unrealistic nature. That is of course with the exception of the delightful program American Idol which I consider to be more of the variety or talent show genre. I mean nobody in the early 80’s was calling Star Search reality television but I digress.