Update on Shadows and Stars

Character from Shadows and Stars

Over the last couple weeks, I have had a bit of writer’s block on Lycanthrope, so I decided to start working again on Shadows and Stars. However, I have been stumped on where to pick up with that. As you may recall, I stopped editing Shadows and Stars, because coordinating and double-checking all the details in a 150,000+ word novel was becoming overwhelming. Meanwhile, I was getting one idea after another for Lycanthrope.

So, for a few weeks I have worked on neither and instead focused all my energy on building The Chamber Magazine, for which I have had ideas pouring in. Now, I am at a decent point with that, so I have been wanting to pick up on Shadows and Stars, which is what happened last night.

You may know from earlier posts, that I love to sit in a restaurant or coffee shop and write my manuscripts by hand in a journal or notebook. Since the start of the Pandemic, I have rarely been in a restaurant and never to simply sit and write. Yesterday, I got a haircut in Dumas. Because the pandemic restrictions are easing and I have had both doses of the Pfizer vaccine, I decided to go to one of my favorite Mexican restaurants, El Toro in Dumas, to write.

I wrote only for maybe an hour and a half, but it was so enjoyable. I felt at home and the ideas for Shadows and Stars flowed like in old times in Farmington. I made some important decisions and refined some plot elements, so that I no longer have the block I did when I took up Lycanthrope. I hope to be working more on Shadows and Stars tonight. It’s a beautiful, picture perfect day here with an absolutely perfectly comfortable temperature.

One idea I had yesterday evening for spurring creativity derived from my branding and advertising for The Chamber. You may have noticed that I love to use eye-grabbing, attention-snagging graphics in The Chamber. Most I use over and over for different tasks. You may also have noticed that I like to have a little fun and put a little fun into The Chamber as well. For that reason, I took some of the graphics I was using and created an imaginary staff with some interesting names and backgrounds suitable for a dark magazine like The Chamber. I reuse some of these graphics enough that for quick reference, I think of them by the names I gave them in the staff photos section. So, instead of thinking, “where’s that photo of the girl leaning on a door with the red tattoos running from the ends of her mouth, across her cheeks, and through her eyes, I simply think, “Where’s Orly?”

Anyway, I have been struggling with what happens when my Shadows and Stars protagonist, Daryn, wanders into an industrial city called Katliam. It has been a lot harder for me to visualize Katliam than it is for me to visualize Janhalo, the main city in the story. I have also been trying to come up with the types of characters he encounters there, but I keep drawing a blank.

Then I thought why not use Pexels and Pixabay (the two main websites I use for photos for The Chamber and elsewhere) to help stimulate some ideas.

So, I went to those and I searched for the strangest, alien-looking people I could find. Now, I can visualize some of these characters interacting with the characters I have already created to come up with new subplots and interactions. It’s already giving me some ideas. I took the images I chose and stored them on my hard drive for reference. I used one of them for the image at the top of this post. I can now look at a character and invent a background for him like Professor Tripp and his editor, Crabs, did in the bar in the movie Wonder Boys. This happens to be a game my wife and I used to play while sitting in a night club when we started dating. However, we were trying to figure out the person’s actual background from their appearance (so we were more like Holmes and Watson).

Now talking about this gives me an idea for a game which might generate more publicity for The Chamber. I can put up a photo of someone and ask people to give a quick bio. Writers like to make up characters. I think I would post in The Chamber’s blog, so that it goes out to other social media simultaneously or I might just tinker with it on Twitter first. I think I will do that and then move it to the blog if I get a good response. I will do that now..

As mentioned, I have been doing a lot with The Chamber over the last few weeks. I will have to write maybe several posts on that covering a variety of topics from being an editor to planning marketing and trying to come up with ideas for grabbing some publicity. I am not dropping that by any stretch of the imagination. I have got it to a point now that I can manage it at my leisure. One reason for this is that I now have enough submissions that I have been able to plan out and schedule the issues to mid-June. Now, I can take off for a month if I like then come back and pick up where I left off without interrupting the flow of the magazine. I am making use of Buffer.com and capabilities in WordPress and Twitter to play my posts as far in advance as possible.

Anyway, that’s all I care to write for today. Stand by for more updates in the weeks ahead.

Hasta luego.

The Saturday Night Special: Voskhod

This is a hell of a good movie. Though it is short, it packs a terrific punch. This is a true guy’s flick though about male bonding between a ham radio operator and a cosmonaut stranded in space in 1966. Although this isn’t horror, I felt it is good enough to let as many people as I can know about it. There is a lot of tension. This is well written. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Phil Slattery’s Sci-Fi Novelette “Alien Embrace” is Free Today on Amazon Kindle.

Alien Embrace is included in my collection A Tale of Hell and Other Works of Horror: Stories of Wizards, Werewolves, Serial Killers, Alien Worlds, and the Damned.

Logan Rickover, owner of a hardware store in a small town in Kentucky, has lucid dreams of life as an astronaut that intrude upon his life at any moment. Which of his lives is real? The quiet paradise of Danville or the terrifying jungle world of Stheno D?

This novelette is a terrific read for those who have only a quick break to take a breather and escape to another reality.  In this sci-fi thriller, I endeavor to blur the boundaries between alien-induced hallucinations, the brutal reality of the present, and memories of an idyllic past.

Ron Baker calls it “Nightmare Planet”, gives it five stars, and comments: “This short has exactly what I like in science fiction: planet exploration and bizarre otherworldly aliens, in this case insectoid. The horrendous purpose the aliens have for the hapless astronauts who make planetfall to find the numerous previous missing exploration teams is grisly. I love the mystery of the planet and the authors device of alternating from the aliens bizarre perspective then switching to the astronauts point of view.”

Follow this link to obtain your free copy.

Don’t forget to leave a review on Amazon, Goodreads, or other social media.

Check back frequently for updates and check out my Amazon Author’s page for more great works.

Don’t forget: this novelette is included in my horror collection A Tale of Hell and Other Works of Horror.

Phil Slattery’s Sci-Fi Novelette “Alien Embrace” is Free Today on Amazon Kindle.

Alien Embrace is included in my collection A Tale of Hell and Other Works of Horror: Stories of Wizards, Werewolves, Serial Killers, Alien Worlds, and the Damned.

Logan Rickover, owner of a hardware store in a small town in Kentucky, has lucid dreams of life as an astronaut that intrude upon his life at any moment. Which of his lives is real? The quiet paradise of Danville or the terrifying jungle world of Stheno D?

This novelette is a terrific read for those who have only a quick break to take a breather and escape to another reality.  In this sci-fi thriller, I endeavor to blur the boundaries between alien-induced hallucinations, the brutal reality of the present, and memories of an idyllic past.

Ron Baker calls it “Nightmare Planet”, gives it five stars, and comments: “This short has exactly what I like in science fiction: planet exploration and bizarre otherworldly aliens, in this case insectoid. The horrendous purpose the aliens have for the hapless astronauts who make planetfall to find the numerous previous missing exploration teams is grisly. I love the mystery of the planet and the authors device of alternating from the aliens bizarre perspective then switching to the astronauts point of view.”

Follow this link to obtain your free copy.

Don’t forget to leave a review on Amazon, Goodreads, or other social media.

Check back frequently for updates and check out my Amazon Author’s page for more great works.

Don’t forget: this novelette is included in my horror collection A Tale of Hell and Other Works of Horror.

Phil Slattery’s Sci-Fi Novelette “Alien Embrace” is Free Today on Amazon Kindle.

Alien Embrace is included in my collection A Tale of Hell and Other Works of Horror: Stories of Wizards, Werewolves, Serial Killers, Alien Worlds, and the Damned.

Logan Rickover, owner of a hardware store in a small town in Kentucky, has lucid dreams of life as an astronaut that intrude upon his life at any moment. Which of his lives is real? The quiet paradise of Danville or the terrifying jungle world of Stheno D?

This novelette is a terrific read for those who have only a quick break to take a breather and escape to another reality.  In this sci-fi thriller, I endeavor to blur the boundaries between alien-induced hallucinations, the brutal reality of the present, and memories of an idyllic past.

Ron Baker calls it “Nightmare Planet”, gives it five stars, and comments: “This short has exactly what I like in science fiction: planet exploration and bizarre otherworldly aliens, in this case insectoid. The horrendous purpose the aliens have for the hapless astronauts who make planetfall to find the numerous previous missing exploration teams is grisly. I love the mystery of the planet and the authors device of alternating from the aliens bizarre perspective then switching to the astronauts point of view.”

Follow this link to obtain your free copy.

Don’t forget to leave a review on Amazon, Goodreads, or other social media.

Check back frequently for updates and check out my Amazon Author’s page for more great works.

Don’t forget: this novelette is included in my horror collection A Tale of Hell and Other Works of Horror.

Update of September 5: “The Interrogation of General Tsak” and the Search for Reviewers Continues

I have spent a long time writing a short story entitled “The Interrogation of General Tsak” and I finished it today. I can take a quick breather before I get back to Shadows and Stars.

Phil Slattery portrait

Phil Slattery
March, 2015

This is the story of a self-centered Air Force colonel who is interrogating a captured,princiled alien general after a failed invasion of Earth at the end of a decade-long war. It is 5,813 words in length.

As I wrote this off and on over the last several months, I kept discovering more and more nuances that I had to answer in order to avoid any plot holes. I really hate to leave any plot holes in a serious story. It makes me appear careless and unprofessional. I have finally worked them all out and the story is now intricately woven together like a weaver finch’s nest. I hope it holds together as well.

I had intended to spend the day working on Shadows and Stars, but over the last few days, I have had an inexplicable drive to finish this story and to cover all the minute details. I have spent the day doing that and running a few errands. I feel this is a story that will fall apart if something is overlooked.

I have submitted the story to The Dark magazine. I should hear from them soon.

One of the errands I ran today was to mail a copy of Nocturne to American Book Review. Hopefully, I will get a good review from them. Wish me well.

I spent a lot of yesterday researching getting my books carried by libraries. In order to be carried by a major library, a book needs good reviews in a respected journal. Unfortunately, I have been trying to find reviewers on Amazon and Goodreads and on various websites. I have also learned that libraries also prefer to purchase books from Ingram Spark or another wholesaler rather than directly from a website such as Amazon.

This is another reason I need to pursue publishing the print versions of my works with Ingram-Spark. I have started the process with A Tale of Hell and Other Works of Horror. So far, I like the process more than I like the Amazon process. I have more control over how my final work will appear among other things. I will probably publish Nocturne with them next.

So now I am trying to find ways to be reviewed in a journal respected by major libraries. I am finding out that there several of these. Of course, each has a different submittal process. I will take it a step at a time as usual.

Photoshopped painting of the Mona Lisa by Leonardo Da Vinci wearing a medical face mask to prevent spreading COVID-19/Coronavirus

Prevent the spread of the Coronavirus/COVID-19.

Major libraries also like to carry books that are in the Library of Congress. Unfortunately, for a self-published book to be carried in the Library of Congress, it must be submitted unpublished. I will have to give this a shot with my next self-published book, which may be another collection of my horror shorts. It might be another poetry book if I can find more of my poems from the 80’s-90’s.

Let me know your thoughts and suggestions.

Don’t forget to like, comment, and subscribe.

Hasta luego.

 

 

Phil Slattery’s Sci-Fi Novelette “Alien Embrace” is Free Today on Amazon Kindle.

Alien Embrace is included in my collection A Tale of Hell and Other Works of Horror: Stories of Wizards, Werewolves, Serial Killers, Alien Worlds, and the Damned.

You can also order the paperback Alien Embrace through many bookstores as it is print on demand. Ask your local bookstore to order it or to carry it.

Logan Rickover, owner of a hardware store in a small town in Kentucky, has lucid dreams of life as an astronaut that intrude upon his life at any moment. Which of his lives is real? The quiet paradise of Danville or the terrifying jungle world of Stheno D?

This novelette is a terrific read for those who have only a quick break to take a breather and escape to another reality.  In this sci-fi thriller, I endeavor to blur the boundaries between alien-induced hallucinations, the brutal reality of the present, and memories of an idyllic past.

Ron Baker calls it “Nightmare Planet”, gives it five stars, and comments: “This short has exactly what I like in science fiction: planet exploration and bizarre otherworldly aliens, in this case insectoid. The horrendous purpose the aliens have for the hapless astronauts who make planetfall to find the numerous previous missing exploration teams is grisly. I love the mystery of the planet and the authors device of alternating from the aliens bizarre perspective then switching to the astronauts point of view.”

Follow this link to obtain your free copy.

Don’t forget to leave a review on Amazon, Goodreads, or other social media.

Check back frequently for updates and check out my Amazon Author’s page for more great works.

Don’t forget: this novelette is included in my horror collection A Tale of Hell and Other Works of Horror.

Phil Slattery’s Sci-Fi Novelette “Alien Embrace” is Free Today on Amazon Kindle.

Alien Embrace is included in my collection A Tale of Hell and Other Works of Horror: Stories of Wizards, Werewolves, Serial Killers, Alien Worlds, and the Damned.

You can also order the paperback Alien Embrace through many bookstores as it is print on demand. Ask your local bookstore to order it or to carry it.

Logan Rickover, owner of a hardware store in a small town in Kentucky, has lucid dreams of life as an astronaut that intrude upon his life at any moment. Which of his lives is real? The quiet paradise of Danville or the terrifying jungle world of Stheno D?

This novelette is a terrific read for those who have only a quick break to take a breather and escape to another reality.  In this sci-fi thriller, I endeavor to blur the boundaries between alien-induced hallucinations, the brutal reality of the present, and memories of an idyllic past.

Ron Baker calls it “Nightmare Planet”, gives it five stars, and comments: “This short has exactly what I like in science fiction: planet exploration and bizarre otherworldly aliens, in this case insectoid. The horrendous purpose the aliens have for the hapless astronauts who make planetfall to find the numerous previous missing exploration teams is grisly. I love the mystery of the planet and the authors device of alternating from the aliens bizarre perspective then switching to the astronauts point of view.”

Follow this link to obtain your free copy.

Don’t forget to leave a review on Amazon, Goodreads, or other social media.

Check back frequently for updates and check out my Amazon Author’s page for more great works.

Don’t forget: this novelette is included in my horror collection A Tale of Hell and Other Works of Horror.

Phil Slattery’s Sci-Fi Novelette “Alien Embrace” is Free Today on Amazon Kindle.

Alien Embrace is included in my collection A Tale of Hell and Other Works of Horror: Stories of Wizards, Werewolves, Serial Killers, Alien Worlds, and the Damned.

You can also order the paperback Alien Embrace through many bookstores as it is print on demand. Ask your local bookstore to order it or to carry it.

Logan Rickover, owner of a hardware store in a small town in Kentucky, has lucid dreams of life as an astronaut that intrude upon his life at any moment. Which of his lives is real? The quiet paradise of Danville or the terrifying jungle world of Stheno D?

This novelette is a terrific read for those who have only a quick break to take a breather and escape to another reality.  In this sci-fi thriller, I endeavor to blur the boundaries between alien-induced hallucinations, the brutal reality of the present, and memories of an idyllic past.

Ron Baker calls it “Nightmare Planet”, gives it five stars, and comments: “This short has exactly what I like in science fiction: planet exploration and bizarre otherworldly aliens, in this case insectoid. The horrendous purpose the aliens have for the hapless astronauts who make planetfall to find the numerous previous missing exploration teams is grisly. I love the mystery of the planet and the authors device of alternating from the aliens bizarre perspective then switching to the astronauts point of view.”

Follow this link to obtain your free copy.

Don’t forget to leave a review on Amazon, Goodreads, or other social media.

Check back frequently for updates and check out my Amazon Author’s page for more great works.

Don’t forget: this novelette is included in my horror collection A Tale of Hell and Other Works of Horror.

Phil Slattery’s Sci-Fi Novelette “Alien Embrace” is Free Today on Amazon Kindle.

Alien Embrace is included in my collection A Tale of Hell and Other Works of Horror: Stories of Wizards, Werewolves, Serial Killers, Alien Worlds, and the Damned.

Logan Rickover, owner of a hardware store in a small town in Kentucky, has lucid dreams of life as an astronaut that intrude upon his life at any moment. Which of his lives is real? The quiet paradise of Danville or the terrifying jungle world of Stheno D?

This novelette is a terrific read for those who have only a quick break to take a breather and escape to another reality.  In this sci-fi thriller, I endeavor to blur the boundaries between alien-induced hallucinations, the brutal reality of the present, and memories of an idyllic past.

Ron Baker calls it “Nightmare Planet”, gives it five stars, and comments: “This short has exactly what I like in science fiction: planet exploration and bizarre otherworldly aliens, in this case insectoid. The horrendous purpose the aliens have for the hapless astronauts who make planetfall to find the numerous previous missing exploration teams is grisly. I love the mystery of the planet and the authors device of alternating from the aliens bizarre perspective then switching to the astronauts point of view.”

Follow this link to obtain your free copy.

Don’t forget to leave a review on Amazon, Goodreads, or other social media.

Check back frequently for updates and check out my Amazon Author’s page for more great works.

Don’t forget: this novelette is included in my horror collection A Tale of Hell and Other Works of Horror.

Phil Slattery’s Sci-Fi Novelette “Alien Embrace” is Free Today on Amazon Kindle.

Alien Embrace is included in my collection A Tale of Hell and Other Works of Horror: Stories of Wizards, Werewolves, Serial Killers, Alien Worlds, and the Damned.

Logan Rickover, owner of a hardware store in a small town in Kentucky, has lucid dreams of life as an astronaut that intrude upon his life at any moment. Which of his lives is real? The quiet paradise of Danville or the terrifying jungle world of Stheno D?

This novelette is a terrific read for those who have only a quick break to take a breather and escape to another reality.  In this sci-fi thriller, I endeavor to blur the boundaries between alien-induced hallucinations, the brutal reality of the present, and memories of an idyllic past.

Ron Baker calls it “Nightmare Planet”, gives it five stars, and comments: “This short has exactly what I like in science fiction: planet exploration and bizarre otherworldly aliens, in this case insectoid. The horrendous purpose the aliens have for the hapless astronauts who make planetfall to find the numerous previous missing exploration teams is grisly. I love the mystery of the planet and the authors device of alternating from the aliens bizarre perspective then switching to the astronauts point of view.”

Follow this link to obtain your free copy.

Don’t forget to leave a review on Amazon, Goodreads, or other social media.

Check back frequently for updates and check out my Amazon Author’s page for more great works.

Don’t forget: this novelette is included in my horror collection A Tale of Hell and Other Works of Horror.

Phil Slattery’s Sci-Fi Novelette “Alien Embrace” is Free Today on Amazon Kindle.

Alien Embrace is included in my collection A Tale of Hell and Other Works of Horror: Stories of Wizards, Werewolves, Serial Killers, Alien Worlds, and the Damned.

Logan Rickover, owner of a hardware store in a small town in Kentucky, has lucid dreams of life as an astronaut that intrude upon his life at any moment. Which of his lives is real? The quiet paradise of Danville or the terrifying jungle world of Stheno D?

This novelette is a terrific read for those who have only a quick break to take a breather and escape to another reality.  In this sci-fi thriller, I endeavor to blur the boundaries between alien-induced hallucinations, the brutal reality of the present, and memories of an idyllic past.

Ron Baker calls it “Nightmare Planet”, gives it five stars, and comments: “This short has exactly what I like in science fiction: planet exploration and bizarre otherworldly aliens, in this case insectoid. The horrendous purpose the aliens have for the hapless astronauts who make planetfall to find the numerous previous missing exploration teams is grisly. I love the mystery of the planet and the authors device of alternating from the aliens bizarre perspective then switching to the astronauts point of view.”

Follow this link to obtain your free copy.

Don’t forget to leave a review on Amazon, Goodreads, or other social media.

Check back frequently for updates and check out my Amazon Author’s page for more great works.

Don’t forget: this novelette is included in my horror collection A Tale of Hell and Other Works of Horror.

Phil Slattery’s Sci-Fi Novelette “Alien Embrace” is Free Today on Amazon Kindle.

Alien Embrace is included in my collection A Tale of Hell and Other Works of Horror: Stories of Wizards, Werewolves, Serial Killers, Alien Worlds, and the Damned.

Logan Rickover, owner of a hardware store in a small town in Kentucky, has lucid dreams of life as an astronaut that intrude upon his life at any moment. Which of his lives is real? The quiet paradise of Danville or the terrifying jungle world of Stheno D?

This novelette is a terrific read for those who have only a quick break to take a breather and escape to another reality.  In this sci-fi thriller, I endeavor to blur the boundaries between alien-induced hallucinations, the brutal reality of the present, and memories of an idyllic past.

Ron Baker calls it “Nightmare Planet”, gives it five stars, and comments: “This short has exactly what I like in science fiction: planet exploration and bizarre otherworldly aliens, in this case insectoid. The horrendous purpose the aliens have for the hapless astronauts who make planetfall to find the numerous previous missing exploration teams is grisly. I love the mystery of the planet and the authors device of alternating from the aliens bizarre perspective then switching to the astronauts point of view.”

Follow this link to obtain your free copy.

Don’t forget to leave a review on Amazon, Goodreads, or other social media.

Check back frequently for updates and check out my Amazon Author’s page for more great works.

Don’t forget: this novelette is included in my horror collection A Tale of Hell and Other Works of Horror.

Phil Slattery’s Sci-Fi Novelette “Alien Embrace” is Free Today on Amazon Kindle.

Alien Embrace is included in my collection A Tale of Hell and Other Works of Horror: Stories of Wizards, Werewolves, Serial Killers, Alien Worlds, and the Damned.

Logan Rickover, owner of a hardware store in a small town in Kentucky, has lucid dreams of life as an astronaut that intrude upon his life at any moment. Which of his lives is real? The quiet paradise of Danville or the terrifying jungle world of Stheno D?

This novelette is a terrific read for those who have only a quick break to take a breather and escape to another reality.  In this sci-fi thriller, I endeavor to blur the boundaries between alien-induced hallucinations, the brutal reality of the present, and memories of an idyllic past.

Ron Baker calls it “Nightmare Planet”, gives it five stars, and comments: “This short has exactly what I like in science fiction: planet exploration and bizarre otherworldly aliens, in this case insectoid. The horrendous purpose the aliens have for the hapless astronauts who make planetfall to find the numerous previous missing exploration teams is grisly. I love the mystery of the planet and the authors device of alternating from the aliens bizarre perspective then switching to the astronauts point of view.”

Follow this link to obtain your free copy.

Don’t forget to leave a review on Amazon, Goodreads, or other social media.

Check back frequently for updates and check out my Amazon Author’s page for more great works.

Don’t forget: this novelette is included in my horror collection A Tale of Hell and Other Works of Horror.

Phil Slattery’s Sci-Fi Novelette “Alien Embrace” is Free Today on Amazon Kindle.

Alien Embrace is included in my collection A Tale of Hell and Other Works of Horror: Stories of Wizards, Werewolves, Serial Killers, Alien Worlds, and the Damned.

Logan Rickover, owner of a hardware store in a small town in Kentucky, has lucid dreams of life as an astronaut that intrude upon his life at any moment. Which of his lives is real? The quiet paradise of Danville or the terrifying jungle world of Stheno D?

This novelette is a terrific read for those who have only a quick break to take a breather and escape to another reality.  In this sci-fi thriller, I endeavor to blur the boundaries between alien-induced hallucinations, the brutal reality of the present, and memories of an idyllic past.

Ron Baker calls it “Nightmare Planet”, gives it five stars, and comments: “This short has exactly what I like in science fiction: planet exploration and bizarre otherworldly aliens, in this case insectoid. The horrendous purpose the aliens have for the hapless astronauts who make planetfall to find the numerous previous missing exploration teams is grisly. I love the mystery of the planet and the authors device of alternating from the aliens bizarre perspective then switching to the astronauts point of view.”

Follow this link to obtain your free copy.

Don’t forget to leave a review on Amazon, Goodreads, or other social media.

Check back frequently for updates and check out my Amazon Author’s page for more great works.

Don’t forget: this novelette is included in my horror collection A Tale of Hell and Other Works of Horror.