So you can read my books

Thursday, February 24, 2011

DARK WATERS_enter your short story to be published!

Eric W. Trant has an announcement on his blog for a short story submission opportunity that you must not miss!

So get your submissions in! Debrin Case is looking for new authors, unpublished, up-and-comers.

He's a small publisher, so make sure that's your bag.

Small pubs usually mean less money, more personality, less editing, more artistic freedom, smaller distribution, more devoted fans, newer and less-known authors,

a better chance at actually getting published!

So it's a give-n-take with the small publisher. Eric personally has enjoyed it because the pressure is less intense, and the pay even from a large publishing house rarely outweighs the stress they induce on their writers.

Anyway, get to submitting!

Are you submitting? Post up a ~small~ excerpt. What is your story about? Please spread the word. Let other talented writers know they have until March 15 to submit to An Honest Lie.

And my short story to AN HONEST LIE?

It is the historical horror story, DARK WATERS, where 12 year old Samuel Clemens, long before he started calling himself Mark Twain, shows mercy to the murderer of his father ...

or does he? My undead Texas Ranger, Samuel McCord, accompanies the boy on his dark journey through the soul. Here are appox. 300 words of it :

As we walked down the spacious hallway, she edged away from me.

She swallowed hard once, then managed to get out her words,

“Capt. McCord, there’s monstrous mean haunts in this world. And then there be some who are damn fool enough to try and do good, only they ends up making things terrible bad for everyone around them.”

She forced herself to look me in the eyes. “Which one is you?”

“The damn fool kind.”

She almost smiled. “Leastways you be a truth-telling haunt.”

“It’s a failing.”

“That kind of thinking is what makes you a haunt.”

She was wrong. But there was a lot of that going around.

“Miss Jane has gone through terrible, sad times. Mr. Marshal he done tried, but he ain’t got a lick of business sense. Me, I’m the last thing they own of any value.”

I felt sick. Thing. She had called herself a thing. What kind of world was it when one race made another think of themselves that way? A world of justifiable hypocrisy.

I shook my head. “They don’t own you anymore.”

Her dusky face went as sick pale as it could get. “M-Mr. Marshall done sold me to dat devil Beebe!”

I reached inside my buckskin jacket and pulled out the hastily written bill of sale. “He was going to. But ... things didn't turn out like he planned. So he was forced to sell you to a stranger ... to me.”

I gave her the paper. She took it with trembling fingers. She stared at it hollow-eyed as if it were the parchment selling her soul to the devil.

“I - I can’t read, mister.”

“Get Sammy to teach you.”

She glared at me. “You is evil!”

“Turn it over, Jennie.”

“I done told you I can’t read!”

“But Sammy can. Show it to him. He’ll tell you that I’ve given ownership of you to --”

Jennie’s face became all eyes. “T-To little Sammy? Oh, bless --”

I shook my head. “No, Jennie.”

She took a step backwards, her voice becoming a soft wail. “Not back to Mr. Marshall? He’ll just be selling me again.”

I reached out with my gloved right hand that must never touch bare, innocent flesh and softly squeezed her upper right arm. “No, I gave ownership of you to --- you.”

“I’m -- I’m free?”

“Well, the judge said you were priceless.”

“Oh, you is one of the good haunts!”

She rushed and hugged me, stiffening as she felt how cold my whole body was. She edged back a step. I met her suddenly hollow eyes.

I smiled sad. “But still a haunt.”

We were silent all the way to the guest bedroom. She opened the door then her mouth. No words came out. But she did give me back my sad smile. I watched her walk away staring at the bill of sales as if it were holy writ.

It was something. More than a haunt like me had the right to expect. Maybe my pillow would be the softer for it.

Or maybe that was just my justifiable hypocrisy talking.



  1. ...small publish houses are where it's at. No, you will most likely not get rich. Yes, it takes a bit longer to actually see one's work on the shelf. However, the hands on attention is second to none. ...and who on this planet is a storyteller with only one's profit as their sole purpose? It's an art we perform, an urge to create, a passion to dream...We want our stories told, regardless of who prints it:)
    Have a great day, Roland.


  2. Thanks for the link. Best, Lois

  3. And you pegged all the best points for being with a small publisher!

  4. Sweet excerpt, and thanks for the plug.

    - Eric

  5. I love your entry! Fingers crossed that it is chosen! I'm awful at short stories but I do have a few that are near and dear to my heart. Perhaps I'll give it a try. Stop by my blog today for another fabulous contest you cannot miss!

  6. Thank you for the link!

    Great excerpt.

  7. Wow, that was good. Its different than what I thought you were submitting.

    Oh I love that cowboy song, and seeing the Texas Rangers progress.



  8. Elliot : Yes, I'm into being published, sharing my stories with any who would want to read them. I'll get back to you on blog tour for THE BEAR WITH 2 SHADOWS when I figure out how to access your AOL email. Jeez, I am so cyber-challenged! LOL.

    Lois : I wish you the best of luck with your submission!

    l. Diane : I tried to help my friends as best I could. Thanks for dropping by!

    Eric : We're buds. I'm always glad to help you out. I hope this time a story of mine is chosen. LOL. One can always dream.

    Nas : I hope you get some help from the link.

    Golden Eagle : I pray the link gets you published. And thanks for liking my excerpt.

    Donna : Yes, the theme is justifiable hypocrisy. And DARK WATERS, about the "law"man Samuel McCord facing the crime he knew slavery was seemed to fit.

    I've always been a fan of the Texas Rangers! Thanks for liking my excerpt. Congrats on making it through the pitch phase of ABNA!

  9. Heather : I hope you can get a short story accepted by AN HONEST LIE! You're one of my favorite authors. And your blog's contest made me hyperventilate! Roland

  10. Thanks for the blog link Roland. I like your story. Sounds interesting. Enjoy your weekend!

  11. Ellie : Glad you liked my excerpt. Samuel McCord has always been a "haunt" cursed with wise eyes and hopeless causes. May your end of week be great, too, Roland

  12. I got caught up into the story right away...

    Very well done, Roland. I really enjoyed it and you captured the essence of the time period beautifully.


  13. Thanks, Michael. I hope AN HONEST LIE likes it enough to publish. One can dream. Sigh. Roland

  14. interesting, lies only underlie what's beneath it, but if all that's there are just plain lies, the end results will be just that, an honest lie. lol.

  15. Imagery Imagined : The theme to the contest was justifiable hypocrisy -- and this story, where the undead hero is the most honorable man despite being hated for it, seemed to fit the bill.

    Honest lie. LOL. Don't they make up most politician's campaign promises? :)

  16. Roland,
    Fabulous post, and thanks for the link. New to your blog - and I'm not sure where to look first - it's all so interesting an entertaining.
    Blessings, and thank you for following

  17. Thanks, Moana : Welcome to my blog. Yours is lovely. I hope you come back for return visits. Have a great Sunday, Roland