Archive for flash fiction

Political Pies

Posted in Books, eBooks, Stories with tags , , , , on February 10, 2015 by oneoveralpha

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Everybody complains about politics, but does anyone do anything about it? My attempt to do something about it was to collect forty of my short stories with a political element into my Political Pies anthology. The stories are either politically neutral or equally condemning of the national parties. Instead of trying to sway you to one ideology or another, my goal is to just get people thinking about politics in the hopes a rose might grow out of all the political manure.

Here is an example of such a hopeful rose.

“Is That How it Works?”

“Next question.”

A middle-aged gentleman walked up to the microphone at the front of the auditorium. He cleared his throat, then said, “Senator, on the campaign trail you have often stated that the rich and powerful – both individual and corporate – should receive tax breaks because they are the job creators.”

“That’s correct.”

The man took a piece of paper out of his pocket and unfolded it. “Sir, I’ve been unemployed for twenty months now.” He held the piece of paper up so everyone could see it was a check. “This is the last of my life savings.” He tossed the check up onto the stage about ten feet from the candidate. “I give it to you so that you – as the nearest I’ll get to the rich and powerful – now have all of the money that matters to me. Now give me a goddamn job!”

***

If you are at all curious, then check out the page for Political Pies on my website to find out where you can find it.

The All-You-Can-Read Buffet

Posted in Books, eBooks, humor, Stories with tags , , , , , on February 3, 2015 by oneoveralpha

Buffet

The All-You-Can-Read Buffet is a collection of forty stories covering various genres and themes ranging from six to over 4,200 words in length. They also cover a wide time range. Some of these stories I began writing a decade ago, while others were written especially for this collection. All together, they are a buffet of my writing. As such, I encourage you to read as much as you want. Go back for seconds, thirds, fourths even. I won’t even mind if you skip over the stuff you don’t like, but, to quote your mother, “How do you know you don’t like it? Have you tried it?”

Here is a taste of what you’ll find within.

“Dark Anniversary”

With a dozen roses in hand, the man dressed all in black walked towards the tombstone. The lettering had already begun to fade, but the words were drilled into his brain: Edith Robyn Sommers, April 4, 1956 – June 14, 1975.

After a few moments of reflection, the man knelt and set the roses on her grave.

“You are so maudlin, Eric,” a voice said from the darkness.

Without turning, Eric said, “You never forget your first, Robert.”

Robert stepped from the shadows. “My first was just some peasant.”

“And after all these centuries you still remember that.”

Robert stood for a few seconds, then turned and disappeared.

Eric chuckled, then stood. He nodded to the tombstone and said, “Until next year, Edith.” He then spread his wings and flew into the night.

***

If you are at all curious, then check out the page for The All-You-Can-Read Buffet on my website to find out where you can find it.

A Man of Few Words

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on January 16, 2015 by oneoveralpha

Coming up with ideas for stories, writing them out, polishing them up, putting them together in a manuscript, getting a cover, and publishing a book is a lot of hard work. But that’s only half the battle of writing, because then you have to sell your book. In many ways, that’s the harder part. I have several books and ebooks out, and while I send out tweets about them on a regular basis, few people know they exist. So I’ve decided to take one day each week and really push one of my books. One aspect of these pushes is to write up blogs about each, which brings us to:

FewWordsA Man of Few Words is a collection of 50 of my flash fiction stories. How does a teenager work up the courage to call a girl? What would happen if a “T-Rex on steroids” attacked a city? Why do science fiction writers make the best lovers? How does a company get to Second Base with VIPs? These questions and more are explored using less than 1000 words and in various genres from humor to horror and general fiction to science fiction.

The majority of the stories were previously published (most by myself on my website) but all were revised for the collection. In addition, each piece is accompanied by some background information giving a fuller story experience.

For an example, here is one of the stories you’ll find within.

“Until the End”

Anne moved her chair next to her husband Gregory. From her purse she took a thick paperback, bought just over a week before. Putting on her glasses, she studied the glossy cover and read the blurb on the back. Shaking her head, she said, “I never did see why you read these sorts of novels.” She opened to the receipt used as a bookmark and said, “You only had forty-some pages left.”

Without knowing anything about the characters or plot, she began reading the end of the story to her husband as he lay silently in his best suit.

***

If you are at all curious, then check out the page for A Man of Few Words on my website to find out where you can find it.

Download Political Pies for free!

Posted in eBooks, Give away, humor, Stories, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 1, 2014 by oneoveralpha

What’s scarier than all the ghosts and goblins at your door? There’s an election next week.

To try to blunt the horror of the season, I’m offering my anthology of forty, short, political stories Political Pies for free! You’ll be able to download it to your Kindle now through Wednesday November 5. Download it early, and you can read it while waiting in line to vote on Tuesday.

If “free” isn’t enough to entice you, check out the cover and blurb:

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Everybody complains about politics, but does anyone do anything about it? Stephen L. Thompson’s attempt to do something about it is to collect forty of his short stories with a political element into his Political Pies anthology. His stories are either politically neutral or equally condemning of the national parties. Instead of trying to sway you to one ideology or another, his goal is to just get people thinking about politics in the hopes a rose might grow out of all the political manure.

So what are you waiting for? Download your copy now, you won’t get another chance until next year.

Check out QuarterReads

Posted in humor, Stories, Writing with tags , , , on October 17, 2014 by oneoveralpha

QuarterReads describes itself as “A short read at a fair price.” Basically, you read short stories or poems for a quarter. What’s really interesting is what happens for writers. Of that $0.25 you spend on a story, the author of said story receives $0.22. Having things the other way around where the author only gets $0.03 is more common. But that’s not all. If you enjoy the story, you can tip the author an additional, $0.25, $0.50, or $0.75, and all of the tips go to the author.

As someone who usually writes short stories, you can understand why I’m excited by something like QuarterReads. But for the site to really take off, requires readers. So I encourage you to check it out and hopefully find some stories you like. If you’re curious about my stories, you can check out my author profile.  Right now, I have two stories up but I’m hoping to add at least one a month.

Recap of my 30 Stories in 30 Days Challenge

Posted in 30 Stories in 30 Days, Stories, Writing with tags , on October 17, 2014 by oneoveralpha

So it’s halfway through October and I’ve just realized that my last post here was at the end of August announcing that I would be trying to write thirty stories during the month of September.  I had planned to make updates about it, but I never got around to it.  And I had planned to do a recap with links to all the stories, but I just kind of forgot about that.  Well, better late than never.

First off, I didn’t reach my goal of thirty stories, I only wrote twenty-one.  Part of it was I had several other things going on, but a larger part was just … laziness, I guess.  It’s something I need to be working on.

Anyway, here are links to the twenty-one stories I did manage to write during the month of September.  I hope you’ll check them out and get a laugh or two.

“For the People?” – http://www.bubblews.com/news/6584687-30-stories-in-30-days-1-for-the-people
“Just Another Statistic” – http://www.bubblews.com/news/6638158-30-stories-in-30-days-2-just-another-statistic
“Onward Christian Soldiers” – http://www.bubblews.com/news/6696077-30-stories-in-30-days-3-onward-christian-soldiers
“Let it Rain” – http://www.bubblews.com/news/6869109-30-stories-in-30-days-4-let-it-rain
“A Series of Lines” – http://www.bubblews.com/news/6975002-30-stories-in-30-days-5-a-series-of-lines
“The Process” – http://www.bubblews.com/news/7002322-30-stories-in-30-days-6-the-process
“Beware Upgrades” – http://www.bubblews.com/news/7058357-30-stories-in-30-days-7-beware-upgrades
“Read the Fine Print” – http://www.bubblews.com/news/7281187-30-stories-in-30-days-8-read-the-fine-print
“Dust to Dust” – http://www.bubblews.com/news/7404480-30-stories-in-30-days-9-dust-to-dust
“Flaunt It” – http://www.bubblews.com/news/7454255-30-stories-in-30-days-10-flaunt-it
“Always Have a Strong Finish” – http://www.bubblews.com/news/7512283-30-stories-in-30-days-11-always-have-a-strong-finish
“I Just Write Stories” – http://www.bubblews.com/news/7594106-30-stories-in-30-days-12-i-just-write-stories
“The Morning After” – http://www.bubblews.com/news/7607849-30-stories-in-30-days-13-the-morning-after
“Memories” – http://www.bubblews.com/news/7642529-30-stories-in-30-days-14-memories
“Same Old Line” – http://www.bubblews.com/news/7647576-30-stories-in-30-days-15-same-old-line
“Puppy Wuppy” – http://www.bubblews.com/news/7811737-30-stories-in-30-days-16-puppy-wuppy
“The Dim Past” – http://www.bubblews.com/news/7823448-30-stories-in-30-days-17-the-dim-past
“The Revolution Will Not Be Tweeted” – http://www.bubblews.com/news/7837611-30-stories-in-30-days-18-the-revolution-will-not-be-tweeted
“Just Another Brick in the Wall” – http://www.bubblews.com/news/7897358-30-stories-in-30-days-19-just-another-brick-in-the-wall
“Moving On” – http://www.bubblews.com/news/8135582-30-stories-in-30-days-20-moving-on
“The Honeymoon’s Over” – http://www.bubblews.com/news/8232990-30-stories-in-30-days-21-the-honeymoons-over

30 Stories in 30 Days

Posted in 30 Stories in 30 Days, Stories, Writing with tags , , , , on August 31, 2014 by oneoveralpha

Just moments after midnight, I’ll be starting my 2014 30 Stories in 30 Days Challenge.  In case you can’t figure it out, that’s where I try to write thirty short – sometimes very short – stories in as many days.  In previous years I have posted the stories on my website or here on this blog, but this year I’ll be posting them on my Bubblews page.  To get a little more information, check out this post which should answer any questions.

Wish me luck.

A Cabin Under a Cloudy Sea and other stories

Posted in eBooks, humor, Stories, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , on August 19, 2014 by oneoveralpha

Cloudy

A couple of years ago, I came up with the idea of putting out minianthologies – collections of five to ten stories – on Kindle as a way to use up some of my stories and to let people know I exist.  Well, I have just put out my latest minianthology – “A Cabin Under a Cloudy Sea and other stories.” It contains five stories set upon the moon.  The blurb I have for it is as follows:

Hopefully, in the not too distant future humans will return to the moon. We will build bases and colonies, create farms and factories, and live, love and learn. “A Cabin Under a Cloudy Sea and other stories” contains five short stories set upon the moon. They give the tiniest glimpse of the possibilities awaiting us there. 

 I hope you’ll check it out, and if it strikes your fancy you can download it for only $0.99.  I hope you’ll enjoy.

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The story behind this minianthology is somewhat long.  Part of the idea behind my minianthologies is to show people a sampling of my writing, but I also like to group similar stories.  When I realized I had several stories set on the moon, it was natural to put them together.  A couple of these were published before – I’ve revised them for this – but I also wanted a couple new stories.  I had one story that involved time travel, and I haven’t figured out how to make it work.  So I would start working on this collection, only to get stuck on this story, set it aside to let my creative juices flow, only to then get caught up in some other project.  It was probably almost two years ago that I started this project, but I didn’t really get anywhere with it until about four months ago.

About four months ago was when I learned my story “The Reluctant Host” would appear in Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Dog Did What? which would be published now.  (See my previous blog post.)  You know what would be good, I thought?  If I had a Kindle book come out at the same time to get some of that chicken soup splashover

Of my dozen or so projects, “A Cabin Under a Cloudy Sea and other stories” was the closest to being finished, so I set out to finish it.  One problem was this time travel story I couldn’t make work.  Fortunately, I had recently come up with a new story idea also set upon the moon, “Putting Down Roots.” Since I could finish that story, and since the other stories in the collection were more grounded scifi (no warp drive or aliens) the time travel story kind of stood out.  So I swapped the stories and set to work finishing it.

I was making steady progress, when in early July I smacked my forehead because I had missed something.  July 20 marked the 45th anniversary of Apollo 11 landing on the moon.  What better time to put out a collection of stories set on the moon?  I debated for a bit if I should change my publication plans, but I couldn’t finish it in time.

As it turns out, this later publication date may actually be better.  One thing am really passionate about is setting up a permanent human presence in space, such as at a moon base.  If I had published this a month ago, it probably would have been lost in all the hoopla for Apollo 11, which I believe all faded into obscurity on July 21st.  But with this ebook coming out a month later, it can help advance my goal of moon bases in my lifetime by showing people the moon isn’t just something to get excited about on big anniversaries. 

At least, that’s what I tell myself to keep from smashing my forehead for missing such an obvious connection.

A Man of Few Words for only $0.99!

Posted in eBooks, humor, Stories, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on May 1, 2014 by oneoveralpha

FewWords

A Man of Few Words was my first anthology I self-published four years ago.  Here is the blurb for it:

A Man of Few Words is a collection of 50 flash fiction stories by Stephen L. Thompson. How does a teenager work up the courage to call a girl? What would happen if a “T-Rex on steroids” attacked a city? Why do science fiction writers make the best lovers? How does a company get to Second Base with VIPs? These questions and more are explored by Stephen using less than 1000 words and in various genres from humor to horror and general fiction to science fiction.

The majority of the stories have been previously published (most by Stephen himself on his website) but all have been revised for this collection. In addition, each piece is accompanied by some background information giving a fuller story experience.

It’s available in paperback, but also for Kindle.  And it’s because of Kindle that I’m posting this blog.  Last year, Amazon made a change to their promotions.  Before the only promotions were to have your ebook for free for a few days.  But the change allowed you to have discount sales.  For example, the Kindle version of A Man of Few Words is normally $2.99, but I could now have a discount sale for $0.99.  This will be the first time I’m trying this discount to see how it works.  Unless I screwed something up, you should be able to get the Kindle version of A Man of Few Words for $0.99 starting early on the morning of May 2, 2014.  It will stay at that price for about a day and a half, and then go up to $1.99.  After another day and a half, it will return to it’s normal price of $2.99 in the wee hours of May 5.  (They do have set start times, but they’re not always on time.)

So, take a look at my ebook, and if it looks interesting pick it up in the next few days and save a dollar or two.

 

Relaunching my Weekly Stories

Posted in Stories, Website, Writing with tags , , , on January 2, 2014 by oneoveralpha

During the summer of 2006, there was an event that was big news for two days. Late on the second day, I came up with a story idea that tied into it. I thought it was just my luck that I would come up with a good story idea on a current event, but that it would be several months (at best) before I could get it published, by which time nobody would remember what I was talking about. So I decided to start publishing a story every week, that way people would know what I was talking about with stories based on current events. In case you’re wondering, here is the story that started it all: “Speak Up.”

There were other reasons for me putting a story up every week. One, forcing myself to write something each week is just good practice in general. Two, it is a scheme I have for getting people to keep coming back to my website. (Sneaky, aren’t I?) And three, I thought that if I actually wrote a story a week, I could slap together a book, a Year in 52 Stories idea. For two-and-a-half years, I put a story up my website for most weeks. While I never got around to doing a Year in 52 Stories book, I have put many of my Weekly Stories into my various anthologies.

But I suspended doing Weekly Stories in 2009 to free up time for other projects. My thinking was that all the time I spent writing my Weekly Stories I could just put into my longer projects. That works sometimes, but there is a drawback. By necessity, these Weekly Stories are usually rather short, typically just a few hundred words. What that means is that I can get the idea, write it up, wait a day or so, then polish it up and post it. I get to see “tangible” progress with my writing. For longer projects, you plug away at them day after day, for months before you finish the rough draft. Then you have to polish it and try to find someone to publish it. Having a novel published is (I suspect) a far greater reward than self-publishing a 300 word short story about the latest political scandal, but those smaller rewards are far more immediate and moral boosting.

Thus, after years of getting bogged down in my longer projects, I have decided to go back to putting up Weekly Stories. There is, however, one big difference. Before, all of my Weekly Stories were published on my webpage.  But for my new round of Weekly Stories, I will be publishing them on my Bubblews account. (I will still have a page linking to them on my webpage). Part of the reason is that my Bubblews profile gets far more traffic than my regular website, but also because – if you don’t know – Bubblews pays me a penny every time someone views my post. So I’m putting my stories on Bubblews because more people will get to read it there.  😀

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