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Ephemera & Tales
Fiction by Alex Draven
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11th-Sep-2011 05:20 pm - First of March
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[dreamwidth.org profile] jjhunter issued a speculative fiction fest challenge, to write a short story describing an ordinary day in the life for an ordinary woman and her family coping with illness somewhen in the future. It's quite a specific set of prompts, but it sparked off with the song I was listening to, and turned into this, which I post as it stands, as a rough sketch.

(It's a stand alone, although it could be the same world as these snippets, not least because it's inspired by music from the same source - thank you Deathboy, for your music as both band and individual!


First of March

"So, here we are - the first of March and the sun's shining." Kal tilted the camera towards the viewscreen behind her, and smiled. The automatic polarisation on Ella's bedside viewer abruptly killed the contrast, but she could still see the light burst bleaching out most of Kal's viewscreen. "We made orbit right on schedule." Kal returned the camera to dock, and the light levels settled back down again. "I love you, lady. Have a good day." Kal touched two fingers to her lips, and blew a kiss to the camera, and then the screen went dark.

"Love you, too," Ella whispered, and flopped back in the unmade bed, allowing herself the luxury of a minute or two's silence to feel herself missing her wife.Read more...Collapse ) so - what do you think?
20th-Mar-2011 10:07 pm - Brief Encounters British Fortnight
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The folks over at Brief Encounters Reviews - a review site exclusively for shorter M/M reads, of up to 20,000 words - are celebrating British authors and stories, with a series of interviews and reviews, and some generous give-aways.

I've contributed a couple of books to the swag bag, and answered my interview questions, and now I'm looking forward to seeing what their reviewer thought of whichever book they pick, as well as hearing more from my fellow authors in the UK.

Come on over and see what they're up to?
Every year since 2004, I've posted a story for Halloween, because it's a significant day for me. This year's offering is an idea that's been rattling around in my subconscious for years, which sparked against a recent visit to a local civil cemetery, to become this story.

It’s not the dead that haunt graveyards
by Alex Draven

Read more...Collapse )

If you're interested in previous years' stories, here's the list:

Dream Come True (2004)
Thirteen Kisses (2005)
All Souls (2006)
Favour (2007) (for sale)
Soar and Raining Cats (2007)
Tradition (2008)
Everything changes (2009)

(plus, there are the two zombie stories. They are seasonally appropriate, but they do come with a 'you click on the link, you take responsibility for your own sanity' warning - the titles are terrifyingly accurate on these two - Zombie Incest Wrongness and the infamous necrophiliac plushy gangbang story)

(If I was doing this as a promotional thing, I would have picked a less popular date, because there's an awful lot of fabulous fiction being released for Halloween - more of it every year - so, thank you, everyone who reads this, and twice thanks to those of you who let me know that you did.)
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I'm a member of a book-swapping service called BookMooch. As well as helping books to find readers and readers new books, it's also spawned a collection of collaborative journals,  sent around the world and filed with words and images and thoughts and notes by anyone who wants to take part. I've added to a few, and not  documented them, but this afternoon I decided to write a drabble for this one - A Dragon's Tale. A drabble means a hundred words, which means typing the words so I could count them and tweak them to get the perfect century.

I also remembered to take a couple of photos.

Silver-on-black stencilled dragon and handwritten drabble

Nothing like you imagined.


Smoke in the air, carbon staining anything that touched the rocks, and - there! A flicker of distant flame? A glint of reflected light? Reflected from scales or gold? It barely mattered - she stumbled forward, further into the dark of cave, straining to catch a second glimpse, and then froze as the cave floor vibrated under her feet. She felt as much as heard the bass rumble of the dragon shifting, sighing. A clatter of something falling against rocks - gold, or more rocks? She smiled, imagining the dragon stretching, and curled asleep on his horde, like a house cat.


silver dragon stencilled on black

11th-Jul-2010 12:24 am(no subject)
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I've just been updating some pages over at the GLBT Bookshelf wiki, and discovered that they've added some new category pages, including a set of geographical sets: Latino Interest, UK/European Interest, Aussie/Kiwi Interest, US/Canadian Interest, Asian Interest

There's not a huge amount listed on those pages yet, so if you're an author who uses the wiki, there's the opportunity to add your relevant titles while the lists are still short enough to be palatable, but for readers it's a little underwhelming.
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I was lucky enough to get an ebook reader for my birthday a couple of months back (an Elonex 5" e-ink model, should you want to know that), and I love it!

It's really made me aware, though, of the benefits of having stories available to read in a variety of formats - I always used to jump for .html or .pdf files for reading on my pc or for printing out, but now I love the flexibility of epub goodness, and I imagine Kindle users feel the same way about .mobi

This weekend, I've been experimenting with using smashwords.com to convert my centaur short story, Fall, into a range of ebook formats. It seemed like a good candidate - long enough to be worth the effort of downloading for your device, and a story that's close to my heart, and that I'd love to get into as many people's hands as possible (which is why it's been a free read here for a while).

It's now available in epub, html, PDF, LRF (for Sony Reader), PDB (for Palm reading devices) and .mobi for Kindles, as well as here, under the 'centaurs' tag

It's free, and perfectly legal to pass around, although I'd love it if, should you want to give it to a friend, you'd give them a link to download a fresh copy, so I get some download figures to let me know that people are reading. http://bit.ly/FallDraven

As always, I love to hear from readers - comments, or twitter messages, or email are all good - so let me know how that works for you?
16th-May-2010 10:52 pm - just marking time
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Someone posted a plea to authors - wow - that's a month ago already? Anyway - a plea to authors, namely

"Please, if you have a website or blog, please keep it updated. There is nothing more frustrating than having a favorite author and finding their website or blog, only to find out that the last time it got updated was May and it's now October."

I am totally one of those authors, and I apologise, so this is my 'not dead, still plugging along' post.  Specifically, my day job is trying to take up all 26 hours of the day every day, which isn't leaving a lot of time or mental energy for writing.

The ideas are still coming, though, and I'm making lots of notes and scribbled pen-sketches that hopefully will come together into actual stories as soon as the pressure's off a little. I wish I could tell you when that would be, because that would make everything less stressful, but the available evidence suggests that as soon as I say 'work will get less busy in x days' the law of sod will roll into effect and make me a liar. 

I don't want to lie to you, so I'll make you no promises about the timing, just that I'll keep on keeping on, and eventually there will be more stories for me to share with you.

1st-Apr-2010 11:06 pm(no subject)
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Nifty things #1 - Torquere Press are having an April Fool's 2-day sale - 15% off with the code 'nofool' on checkout. This is particularly nifty as I've just become the lucky owner of a dedicated ebook reader, so it's perfect timing for me to stock up on some of the titles from my wishlist :D

Nifty things #2 - the ageofsteam blog are throwing a Steampunkapalooza all month, and start things off with a bang with this interview with Gail Carriger, which includes all sorts of nifty things, including the fact that she had one of the costumes from her cover art made for her in real life, which is an idea that is so totally going on my 'you know you've made it when' list!

Nifty things #3 - sticking to the steampunk theme, I've been tempted into playing Echo Bazaar: Fallen London, which is a really nicely done steampunky alternative London story-adventure type game. Anyone else playing? (It ties into Twitter, but while there's a little bit of game pressure to involve any of your Twitter followers who are already playing, they are - so far at least - doing the decent thing and not posting things without your active consent.)
12th-Jan-2010 10:45 pm - Fall review
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I know it was written a long time back, but just so there's a record if it:

http://reviews.logophilos.net/?p=256 Read more...Collapse )
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Oops - the deadline for the 2010 challenge has snuck up on me - it's tomorrow, so if you want to play, sign up soon!

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