Banana Phone, not a podcast, un-boxing of The Pool

Got some paperbacks in the mail the other day of The Pool.

Excerpt from THE POOL

“Shawn walked up to the door of the bar. The familiar smell was comforting; stale beer and cigarette smoke that seemed to be embedded into these types of bars as if the wood soaked it up just like the patrons who sought refuge in their pint glasses.
It was fitting. If he was going to break his sobriety, he might as well break his prohibition on cigarettes. He hadn’t had a cigarette for longer than he’d had a drink.
He paused with his hand resting on the handle of the door. The last bit of better angels pleaded with Shawn to turn around and go back to the room. Back to sobriety and back to his family. He almost did, but the clinking of glasses rang in his ears like a siren’s song. Shawn opened the door and walked through. He wasn’t listening to those angels tonight, even if they were right.
The bar was so familiar. There were four people sitting at the bar, regulars who were more than likely permanently rooted in the stools they sat on. Shawn spied the bartender talking with one of the regulars. Her home dye job screamed white trash and her sunken eyes screamed something else. She had the look of being rooted in this place just like her patrons.”

Get it here>>>> http://amzn.to/1Uo9GgN

Secrets to everything hide in a sleepy little town

How do you know if you’re awake?

My new book The Pool is up for Pre-Order on Amazon. It is priced at 99 cents for a limited time. Get your copy today.

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“Mangled bodies, mangled cars, and a road. The strong smell of ozone from power lines that buzzed overhead. Screaming… The hot Nevada asphalt that burned skin, and the contrast of cool skin from the loss of blood. A child’s action figure lying on a yellow road divider, splattered with blood. The blinding light of a magnesium road flare.

Shawn woke up sweating. The dream still lingered in his head like the slimy bits of a hangover. It stayed trying to tell him something.”

The editing process for The Pool Is finished, and the paperback is ready to distribute. This has been quite a process from the get go, but an enjoyable one. The sequel to The Pool is called The Summertime Stairs and is in the process of taking shape as we speak. I hope you enjoy this world that popped into my mind one day. It was cultivated by living in a small town that holds a lot of secrets, and history. If you have never been to Boulder City you should check it out. Maybe you’ll see something that doesn’t seem quite right, and gets your mind going. Cheers!

Pre-Order The Pool

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The Pool

Sample from The Pool. Coming soon to Amazon

” If you think you’re a step away from this dream, wake yourself up. Give your arm a pinch and see where that gets you.

You felt it didn’t you? You squeezed two fingers together, pushing nerve endings to close for comfort. But what can you prove from doing something so trivial and childish? Did you prove you were alive because you felt a mild sense of pain? When you sleep, have you ever known you were in a dream? Did you ever tell yourself to wake up. This is only a dream? Did it work? Are you starting to see?”

Time swirls brown liquid in a whiskey glass. Light from a single bulb catches a corner of the glass blinding your eyes. Setting up doubt in your mind. Making you realize… This is only a dream.

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Ernie Howard

My 5 best Indie short stories picks of the past year, because tomorrows my birthday and I have been drinking!

Okay, I know I’m a little late to the table here but I’m feeling nostalgic as I sit in my writing room slash library… Actually it’s a walk in closet that my wife let me put a desk in, she’s a good lady. It works for me my friends, even when my old high school letter jacket is poking me in the ear! Go Eagles! JV Football undefeated!

Anywho… I’m a little late to the table to tell you my picks for the best short stories I read in 2015. Hey I was reading! Don’t bust my procrastinating balls!

I have been amazed, and my mind has been opened by these authors, and I feel like I need to share in all my fanboy glee! These writers are up and comers, and well established patch on the blazer word slingers.

You may be asking yourself right now, “So what Ernie! Why should we care what you think?” And my response to you would be, BECAUSE I READ! I have loved books since I was drinking Simalac and crapping my Huggies.

Soooo. Here are my story picks for 2015. These are not in any sort of favorite order, they are in Ernie’s been drinking a day before my birthday order. And not editing his blog post order. (By the way, if any of you have any last minute gift ideas for me… buy one of these books from these great authors, and tell them Ernie sent ya.

 

 

Magenta by Bob Williams

magentaBob Williams is a writer of many talents. His new novel, Music City Macbre is action packed and doesn’t give you a second to slow down. However! This is a blog about short stories, and short stories we shall have! Magenta is my choice.

The story is the picture of the perfect relationship. Loving wife, loving husband, dirty little secret that only the husband knows about. Yes folks, things aren’t always what they seem. This story reminded me of an old Twilight Zone episode. It also reminded me of my own story, A World Without. Sorry for the shameless plug Bob, but you give me shit on Facebook all the time about not wanting to do the dishes.

Pick up Magenta Here>>> MAGENTA

Hugh Howey Lives by Daniel Smith

Hugh Howey LivesDaniel Smith is one of those well established types I was talking about earlier. He really doesn’t need my praise, but I am going to give it all the same.

Hugh Howey Lives is about a girl in a future where all of the books are written by Artificial Intelligence, except for one author. The amazing naked no clothes wearing, Hugh Howey.  I will say this book was written before Hugh took to the open sea wearing only his buccaneer boots and a smile. Which was tremendous precognition by Daniel. What I am trying to say here is, Daniel Smith is a psychic! I said it! He didn’t want his powers getting out, but I just couldn’t hold back! He knew Hugh would take to the sea, and be marooned on some weird island, drinking mixed drinks, hanging with beautiful women, and adopting every homeless animal he came across. Brilliant!

Pick up Hugh Howey Lives Here>>> Hugh Howey Lives

Zero Hour by Eamon Ambrose

Zero HourEamon is an awesome writer, and a great guy. Why do I say he’s a great guy? Well, Eamon read my book The Light Through the Water and dug it. Then he personally messaged me on Facebook and said Hey great story, but I found these problems. After I got over my fits of despair and embarrassment he pretty much edited my  19 page short story in the span of an hour. An hour…? Oh ya! Zero Hour! Eamon is going to be a household name some day. The Zero Hour series reads like a fast paced video game. You feel like your the main character! Every time he puts out a new installment of this series I read it in one sitting.

Get Zero Hour here>>> Zero Hour

Piece of Cake by Patrice Fitzgerald, from The A.I. Chronicles

aiWhat can I say about the lady from Siberia always Talking about Huge Howley. I think she is from Siberia, all of her pics look like she is in a place that is freezing. She is a woman of mystery. Personally I think she’s a spy for the KGB. Are they still around?

Patrice’s story A piece of Cake in Samuel’s A.I. Chronicles is one of the funniest, and darkest stories I have ever read. What would you do if you couldn’t have a piece of cake!?! I think the main character would be me in the future. Running around looking for all the bootleg snacks. Trying to get my chocolate fix while being chased by health crazy bum outs.

Get A Piece of Cake Here>>> A Piece of Cake

The Traveler by Stefan Bolz, From The Time Traveler Chronicles

Time travelStefan’s Traveler hit me right in the feels. Which is crazy, because I never thought a man that could Karate chop your face off! Could write something so tender.

Anyone who has lost a loved one has fantasized about building a time machine and talking to them one last time. This story is about a little girl who loses her father at a young age. When her father was alive they built things together in his shop. He passes away, and what does she build? A time machine of course. Awesome classic story. Awesome writer. Awesome guy. Also pick up The Three Feathers by Stefan. I am about half way through it and it is eye opening.

Get The Traveler Here>>> The Traveler

Honorable Mentions. (Or in Ernie speak. “I am too tired, and a little buzzed to write anymore. Brain fuzzy from beer…)

Will Swardstrom, Contact Window

Samuel Peralta, Every Single Chronicles, (A.I., Cyborg, Time Traveler, etc.)

Nick Cole, The End of the World as We Knew it

Hank Garner, Mulligan

Susan Kaye Quinn, Restore

Well there you have it folks. My picks for 2015. This blog post is brought to you by- Ernie was to tired to edit, and I don’t care.

On a serious note, I was blown away by all of these indie authors. Indie publishing is near and dear to my heart, because I am one. Thanks for reading.

Ernie Howard is the author of The Light Through the Water, and A World Without, And a few others

6 Best Writing Tips I Know

Some good writing tips A.M. Croft

A.M. Croft

The Internet is dark and full of writing advice. Too much advice, at times. Bad advice, at others. But some of it’s great! After 10+ years of writing, I have learned so much from other authors that has changed and improved my writing forever. Today, I’ve decided to share my best advice—along with some of my favorite quotes from writers everywhere—in hopes that it can help inspire you to write, write, write.


1. Read everything. If you see a book, read it. If you can touch it, you should be reading it. Don’t leave a book just sitting there by itself. Read it. Time and time again, successful authors have repeated this advice. Sometimes I wonder how many people actually follow it. Even I don’t read as much as I should (and I have a giant list of books waiting to be read.)

Reading teaches you writing. The more you…

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Prime Day Double Feature!

For Prime Day I give two of my books for the price of one!

I have always loved to write. From the time I could put two words together I’ve been writing stories. My first story ever was a play based on Star Wars. I made props out of paper grocery bags, and boxes much to my parents delight, when they would have to step over my cardboard X-Wing fighter just to get into the bathroom. My play would be great! I wrote the script on a spiral notebook complete with lines and exit stage lefts. It was quite an undertaking for a 6 year old. Alas, my play never saw the stage. Maybe I should have started with something a little less technical, like a Goonies play, or a Indiana Jones remake…
The cardboard X-Wing gathered dust in the basement, and the paper sack Storm Trooper helmets met their fate in a land fill in a Galaxy far far away. Over the years I had many fits and starts with stories, much like my Star Wars play. I would write 50 plus pages and either get discouraged, or something would happen in my life and I would forget about the pages that piled up on the kitchen table, destined to be put in a box and forgotten.
Fast forward to about two years ago. My life had gone through some major changes in the previous year. I ended one relationship, and moved back to Nevada, and started my last with my wife and her sons. My own son was on the way, snuggled nicely in my wife’s belly, (she looked beautiful by the way.) One night I was looking at my wife and step sons when I was overcome with gratefulness. I was so happy in that moment. Me being a writer though my good feelings were soon replaced by a sense of foreboding. What if I lost all of this. A World Without came flooding out of me and onto the paper. I barely had to try to write it. It focuses on a man who lost exactly what I myself love. My family. I wrote about my greatest fear, losing my wife and sons. I think most of my writing comes from a place of fear, and loss. I ask myself a What if question and then try to write about it with honesty. I published it through KDP on Amazon, and boom! I had put out my first published work!
The other story, Walter came from dark memories of remembering what it was like to be an outcast in Junior High School. I moved to Las Vegas when I was 11 years old. I was from a small Minnesota farming town with a population of 700 hundred people, and I was moving to sin city. To say I didn’t fit in was an understatement!
There was an explosion right before I moved close to the Junior High School I went to. A rocket fuel plant called Pepcon blew up leveling everything within a 2 mile radius, and damaging the junior high school I went to. In my 11 year old brain I thought my parents were crazy to move us to a place like that. I would think about the Pepcon explosion as I got kicked under lunch tables, and called names in the halls. I would fantasize about the whole damn school getting leveled and me coming out unscathed. My parents would eventually come to their senses and we would move back to Minnesota. I know this is dark, but again I try to write as honest as I can. My imagination got me through that awkward stage of my life. I think anyone who has gone to junior high school, not to mention a new school, in a new state will give me a pass. Things did get better for me.
So there you have it. The origins of these two stories. I did this Double Feature in honor of Amazon Prime day. Amazon over the years has been a big part of this reader, and writers life. It has given me the opportunity to realize a dream. To be a published writer. I hope you enjoy these stories as much as I enjoyed writing them.

Get them now here

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5 Resources for Self-Editing

Editing… Ugh! Editing anything can be a daunting task. As a indie writer on a tight budget I have to edit all of my own stuff first before I send it to anyone else. I do this to cut costs, and to not look like the blithering, grammar challenged ding dong that I am behind closed doors. Putting out your writing can be a very scary task when you don’t know if all of your letters on the page are in the right order, and have all of their little symbols in the right spot.
It has been said that editing is the most important part of the writing process, and I couldn’t agree more. If you’re into percentages, I would say your actual writing is about 15 percent of the process, and editing takes up the other 85 percent. I spend more time editing than I do actually writing my stories. Fortunately we live in a time where the internet is chock full of resources for our problems. Yes guys it’s true. The internet isn’t just for cat videos, and porn anymore. Who Knew!

I am not saying you don’t need to have an editor, but Self-editing will help in the process, and save you lots of money.

I found a ton of information for writers who are feeling over burdened by editing like I was. Here’s a list of five.

1) I found a site that has cut my editing time in half. It’s called Pro Writing Aid. This site is awesome for the story writer like me, or for the person that needs to write a blog post, or hell even a business letter. And get this, it’s will cost you the big F word! Yes you heard me! No not that F word Captain Dirty Mouth! The F word meaning FREE! However, if you want to use their more complex editing tools packages start out at only 35 dollars a year. Here are some of the features with Pro Writing Aid.

  • Check for hidden and passive verbs
  • Identify overuse of adverbs and glue words
  • Locate repetitive sentence structure
  • Replace commonly overused words
  • Reveal repeated words and phrases
  • Eliminate vague, abstract and complex words
  • Remove clichés and redundancies

2) The book Self-Editing for Fiction Writers, by Renni Browne & Dave King is a must have for anyone that wants to learn more about the craft of writing. Renni Browne was once the senior editor at William Morrow, and has founded The Editorial Department , which is a national book-editing company. Dave King is a contributing editor at Writer’s Digest, and is an independent editor. So these two know what they are talking about when it comes to the written word. You can pick it up on amazon for a few dollars. Self-Editing for Fiction Writers description.

“Hundreds of books have been written on the art of writing. Here at last is a book by two professional editors to teach writers the techniques of the editing trade that turn promising manuscripts into published novels and short stories.

In this completely revised and updated second edition, Renni Browne and Dave King teach you, the writer, how to apply the editing techniques they have developed to your own work. Chapters on dialogue, exposition, point of view, interior monologue, and other techniques take you through the same processes an expert editor would go through to perfect your manuscript. Each point is illustrated with examples, many drawn from the hundreds of books Browne and King have edited.”

3) Scrivener is writing software, but it does have some editing capabilities. I use scrivener to write everything. With it’s ability to move chunks of text around, and the cork-board feature, it’s like having another brain. If you are serious about writing, Scrivener is a must have. The software cost $40 dollars and you can get it here.

  • Corkboard – In Scrivener, every document is attached to a virtual index card onto which you can jot a synopsis; moving the cards on Scrivener’s corkboard rearranges their associated text in your draft.
  • Outliner – View and edit the synopses and meta-data of your documents in Scrivener’s powerful outliner. Organise your ideas using as many or few levels as you want and drag and drop to restructure your work.
  • Scrivenings – Scrivener’s innovative “Scrivenings” mode allows you to move smoothly between editing your document one piece at a time or together as a whole.
  • Statistics and Targets – A live word and character count of the current section is always in view at the bottom of the screen, and you can set a word or character count target for each section.
  • Full-Screen – Because sometimes you want to blank out the rest of the world while you write – or at least the rest of the screen. One click in Scrivener’s toolbar and you can leave the rest of your desktop behind and write distraction free.

4) After The deadline is editing software that is free for personal use. It checks spelling, style, and grammar, among other things. It also has tips on how to become better at editing. http://www.afterthedeadline.com/

5) NewNovelist Version 3 Second Edition (Windows 8.1/8/7/Vista) Is affordable writing software for beginners.

  • Help and advice on how to write a novel
  • Tried and proven writing methodology with creative writing advice
  • Dedicated novel writers word processor with voice recognition dictation and read-back
  • Facilities to build up plots and characters to implement into your novel
  • Advanced review and publishing tools

I Hope this helped all my writing friends. If you find any other resources please let me know in the comments below. I look forward to your feedback. As always you can find my writing on Amazon. I’d wish you luck, but you don’t need it. By the way I am sure there are editing mistakes in this post. Thank you for noticing.:)

BannerWriting

The joy learning and consuming information.  The pain of indigestion, focus and distraction….

Information abuse is an epidemic. Great blog post.

The Curious Dyslexic

Week 2 / Post 6

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Sometimes I find it difficult to focus. When studying I find myself distracted from the main topic. I see something shinyand interesting and i trail off following that topic for an hour or two… A day or two… A week or so… Erm, what was the main topic again?!

The distraction is usually something of a specialist interest in it’s own right. The more specialised the distraction the better… For me the topic usually has some relation to psychology, thinking about thinking, the way we learn, the way we behave, meta-cognition…. The more esoteric and philosophical the information the better. Why?… I don’t know, I haven’t figured that out yet.

For me, consuming information is similar to consuming food. It’s like sitting by the fridge and pigging out on it’s contents. Books, journals, magazines, Internet, social media, blog posts etc. – these are…

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In honor of Star Wars day, A World Without is free!

In honor of May the 4th, my book A World Without is free for one day. You can get it now on Kindle.

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“If the one person in your life you loved the most was there one second and gone the next what would you do? You would explore every possibility to get them back. Losing someone is a bone crushing, soul emptying experience, but now it doesn’t have to be! At NorWorld, we prolong life through A.I. We take away the suffering with Technology.” – Dr. Thad Feast

Anthony and his wife Susan love each other very much. So much they can’t let go.
This is a short story from the up coming NorWorld series By Ernie Howard.
Singularity is near. The Droids are Becoming…
“At Norworld, we prolong life through A.I. We take away the suffering with technology.”

Reviews for A World Without

May the 4th be with you! Happy Star Wars day!

Today is a good day to write.

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