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Wednesday, March 19, 2014

LITTLE RED RIDING BOOTS is coming!

Dear friends,

I'm anxiously awaiting the arrival of new scripts of my LITTLE RED RIDING BOOTS & COOTER COYOTE, MASTER OF DISGUISE play from Brooklyn Publishers.  This one-act play (great for competitions) was a long time coming, and was based on a children's book I wrote back over ten years ago.  And they say I have no patience.  LOL

(By the way, this play is in NO way associated with the children's picture book that came out last year with the SAME title.  I hate that this happened, but apparently the editor didn't search to make sure the title wasn't already taken.  GRRRR.)

In other news, I ran across a school performance of ANNIERELLA that jazzed me big time.  In Nebraska, this time.  Take a look at the awesome cast photos!

http://southplatteschools.com/one-act.html

Looks like the kids won some One-Act-Play awards for it, too.  Love that!

Yeehaw!

Happy trails from Texas!

bobbi c.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Setting writing goals and a progress report

Dear friends,

I don't usually do a whole "what did I accomplish last year?" thing, but I was prompted by that insanity over on Facebook, where they do a Timeline thing for you. And one of my playwriting groups posts numbers of items subbed and accepted. This is not meant as a brag; I hope it's encouraging for some of you who don't think you have time to write. :-)

Make your own list; you might be surprised. And it might spur you on to doing more in 2014.

I've been a bit down because it feels like I did nothing last year.  Well, other than remodeling the Old House from Hell, participating in the local Art Guild, and tending the garden, that is. I mean, WRITING stuff.  I'm VERY scattered and indecisive. I think I would have done better if I'd been focused. And maybe if I'd set some real goals--that's one thing I didn't really do.

Progress report: last year, I submitted 10 stories/plays/poems and had 3 accepted, including one new play that will be published (ongoing income).  One story is still out. I also had my first mystery story accepted to a "mystery" publication.

I published two novellas (illustrating one of them) and four short stories, launching my "Nameless, Texas" mystery story series. Both of the novellas started out as plays that were written a few years ago.

I finished another new play, it premiered and an older one had four productions.

I wrote over 65 blog posts/articles (most with original photos), thousands of e-mails and several blog interviews for other authors.

It just shows what you can accomplish when you just basically KEEP AT IT. Unfortunately, it also shows how much stuff you actually have to submit to get anywhere.  This doesn't include the bits and pieces of stories, plays and ongoing novels that aren't finished yet. And it doesn't include all the PR stuff.

This year, I'm setting goals, and we'll see if it gets me farther.

Onward, and Happy Trails!

bobbi c.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

We are "Hardwired" for Stories

They say that when you're ready, a teacher will come.  I love how events come together sometimes in my research.

I've been trying to learn how to get more emotion into my writing. I've been watching lots of Hallmark Christmas movies and taking notes, through the tears. :-) I've been reading samples from hundreds of books all over the spectrum of genres--romances, science fiction, suspense, thrillers--you name it.

I've had the book Wired for Story, by Lisa Cron, on my shelf for months now.  I finally picked it up, started reading, and immediately learned why some of my stories feel flat and emotionless.  Not only is this a book for writers on how to hook readers, but it also explains the hard brain science and chemistry behind WHY people get hooked into a story, and what makes for one of those "un-put-downable" books.  It also explains why some of those "not very good" books are so wildly popular with readers.  Fascinating stuff!

http://www.amazon.com/Wired-Story-Writers-Science-Sentence/dp/1607742454


The author also has a website with links to other articles discussing this idea:

http://wiredforstory.com/

Then, this morning, out of the blue I got an e-mail from the Greater Good Science Center (at Berkeley) with a link to an article by Paul J. Zak, "How Stories Change the Brain."  It's all about how stories shape our brains physically and make us more empathic and generous. And it also explains WHY we love stories so much.

http://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/how_stories_change_brain

The good stories, the ones that engage the reader's emotions, are those that show us something about human nature. 

It's all fascinating stuff, and I'd urge any author to take a look at the book, and read the articles. I'm certainly going to try to use this knowledge in my writing.

Happy trails,

bobbi c.

Author of LONE STAR DEATH
PRINCESS PRIMROSE & the CURSE OF THE BIG SLEEP (for MG kids)
The "Nameless, Texas" short story series
All available on Amazon.com for the Kindle

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Free Halloween treat for my friends!

A free Halloween treat for my friends!

A nostalgic, heartwarming small town Texas short story, Best Halloween Ever, 1965.  Free on Amazon from today through the 24th. 3,900 words. Based on true events.

http://amzn.to/16oh2c6

Annabelle, Jupie and Little Sister LOVE Halloween!  Nine-year-old Annabelle is a fiend for Halloween and spins fantasies of parties, costumes and food. Back in 1965, it was all about the costumes, Trick-or-Treating, and being seen (but not recognized). When Annabelle gets sick and can't get out with her brother and sister, she's miserable.  This is a tale of what happened on that cold, dark, stormy night and how it turned into the Best Halloween Ever.



And remember, if you don't have a Kindle, no problem!  You can download a FREE reading app from Amazon for almost any device, including PDF (to read on any computer). 

Thanks for reading, and please, share this with a friend!

Happy haunting,

bobbi c.
Author of The Journal of Mina Harker
Now a 20,000 word novella e-book;
Lone Star Death & the "Nameless, Texas"
short story series
http://amazon.com/author/bobbichukran

Monday, October 14, 2013

Halloween Stories, Galore!

Dear friends,

Halloween has always been one of my favorite holidays for all sorts of reasons---the (hopefully) cooler weather, the pumpkins, the displays in the stores---and all the classic monster movies they show on TV channels such as TCM.  I grew up watching and loving the classic shows---from The Blob, to the original Night of the Living Dead, to The Day the Earth Stood Still. I was also a fan of shows like The Alfred Hitchcock Hour, Night Gallery, The Twilight Zone, etc., and still am.

It's probably no wonder that now and then all things creepy show up in my short stories.  This month, I've had three Halloween stories published so far.


Over on Amazon, I have a new short story e-book published,  "Best Halloween Ever, 1965".  It's more of a heart-warming fiction story based on real life, a sort of coming-of-age story, set back when Halloween was a little more innocent and was all about costumes, trick-or-treating and candy!

Then, my novella, THE JOURNAL OF MINA HARKER, has been published, also as an e-book on Amazon for the Kindle. This story started out as a stage play I wrote three years ago and published as a script.  It's been lengthened (to 20,000 words) and has a nice bright new cover (shiny!).

Follow the links to get your copies, and be sure to leave a review if you enjoyed them!


 And last but not least, one of my mystery short stories recently was published in the amazing Kings River Life Magazine.  The flash fiction story, "Mistaken Identity" is actually a true story.  Yep, seriously.  Spooky, huh? :-)

http://kingsriverlife.com/10/12/mistaken-identity-a-halloween-short-story/

All of these e-books and stories are inexpensive (and actually, the story on the Kings River Life magazine website is FREE to read!)  Why not pick one up (or all three?) for some good, spooky Halloween reading without TOO much gore.

Thanks for supporting an independent author!

bobbi c.




Friday, October 11, 2013

Congratulations, Alice Munro, Nobel Prize Winner!

Dear friends,

Many authors were overjoyed to hear that Alice Munro has just won the Nobel Prize in Literature for her short stories.

First, we are glad because Alice is a woman.  We get excited any time a woman wins a big award in literature. :-)

And second, those of us who write short stories are especially glad because we hope it will bring about a "renaissance" of sorts in readers, and the publishing world.  Yes, there are people who read short stories (thank goodness!), but the general feeling is that people don't really know how many there are out there.

There are numerous on-line literary magazines that publish short stories (many free to read), and many genre stories, too.  No matter what kind of stories you like to read---whether they're horror, humor, nostalgia, memoir, mystery, romance, westerns, etc.---there are lots of new short stories being published these days.  You can buy them in anthologies (a group of stories written by different authors on a common theme), or in collections (stories written by the same author, sometimes on a theme), and as short e-book  singles on places like Amazon, Barnes and Noble, etc.

I love reading and writing short stories because they take me into a different world that I can visit for a short time.  They don't require a huge investment of time (well, writing does, but reading doesn't), and I can finish one while I'm waiting at the doctor's office, waiting for water to boil, during lunch, etc.

If it's been a long time since you've read a short story, why not try some new ones? Let's kindle a spark (heh heh) and get a whole short story renaissance started!

bobbi c.
Author of
mysterious tales--tall and short,
Lone Star Death, 1880s Texas murder mystery,
"Nameless, Texas" short story series
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Saturday, October 5, 2013

New Halloween Short Story E-Book

Dear friends,

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays.  So that's why I've written a story that's part memoir, part heart-warming fiction, set in a small Texas town.  Only the names have been changed; the spirit of the story stays intact. 

It's all about choosing and buying costumes, Halloween candy, trick-or-treating circa 1965, and the anticipation surrounding the holiday for a certain young girl and her brother and sister.  And it's about what happens when she gets too sick to participate.

"Best Halloween Ever, 1965" is available now for the Kindle (and other devices, using the free Kindle reading app available on the Amazon website) for only 99-cents (introductory price).


And yes, I did make that jack-o-lantern on the cover. :-)

Happy haunting!

bobbi c.
http://bobbichukran.com