A blog where Stephanie M. Belser test-drives her fictional stories.
Expect the occasional
"stall, spin, crash & burn".

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Project the Next: "The Ghost"

I have it done. I uploaded a draft to Amazon, so that I could then download it onto my Kindle for a final review.

Good thing, I'm 40% through it and found two mistakes.

It came in at 18,000 words.

I don't do outlines. I just start on a story and then the arc of the story and my imagination takes it where it goes.

It should be live in a few days.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

"Oops"- a Very Short Story

“Drop the gun.  Now,” I said.

The man opened his hand.  The automatic fell to the floor.  He kept his hands up.

“Kick it to me.”

He did.

I looked at him.  “What are you looking for?”

“Man, I’m not saying shit.  I want a lawyer.”

I looked at him.  I opened the cylinder of my Smith & Wesson and dumped all six cartridges into my left hand.  I put one back in and closed the cylinder.  I dropped the other cartridges into my jacket pocket.

“What were you doing here,” I asked.

“Fuck you,” he sneered.

I held the revolver somewhat sideways and pulled the hammer back about half-way with my thumb.  I spun the cylinder with my left hand, the gun made a rapid clicking noise.  Then I quickly pointed it at the man and snapped the trigger.  The trigger fell with a loud metallic clank.

“Hey, what the fuck!”

“What were you doing here?

“Man, you’re nuts!”

I repeated the process, spinning the cylinder and then pointing the gun at him and pulling the trigger.

“Jesus fucking God, man!”

“What are you doing here?”

“Christ, I’m going to sue you for every fucking--”

I repeated the process again.  This time, the gun went off.  The burglar fell back against the wall and then slid down to the floor.  He looked at me, coughed once, and then the light went out of his eyes.  He fell over sideways.

I kicked his gun back over to him.  I loaded my revolver with the other cartridges, taking care that the fired cartridge was under the hammer when I closed it back up.  Then I went over to the telephone on the desk and called 9-1-1.  I gave them my name, address, told them that I had shot an intruder in my office and that they needed to send an ambulance right now.  Then I hung up.

I squatted down and looked at the dead guy again.  His eyes were still open.  I felt for a pulse, knowing that he probably had none.  He didn’t surprise me.

I stood up and looked down at him.

“Oops,” I said.

Friday, January 24, 2014

More Kvetching about Kindle

I've been trying to figure out how to put an intent into the first line of paragraphs for Kindle. If I use a tab, then in some paragraphs, when Amazon reformats it, they put in two tabs. Or a tab and a space.

But if I try doing it with five spaces, then when Amazon reformats it, the process jerks out the spaces so the line is all the way to the left.

So, why not put in a double carriage-return between paragraphs, you might ask? Sort of like what you see here?

Ah, but then what happens is that most of the paragraphs will have double-carriage return, but some of them won't. And there seems to be no rhyme or reason as to when that happens.

I think I need to drink more. But then I've downloaded a few professional-grade books and even they have formatting errors.

Definitely need to drink more.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Kindle and Formatting

I'm trying to get smarter on formatting stuff for the Kindle. My test vehicle is Aluminum Rain.

But it's not much fun. I used to play with HTML a very long time ago, but it's far more complicated than it was back in the day. "Self-publishing", at least electronically, seems to be also a matter of book-binding and all of that.

No complaints, at least some folks have read them.