Short Story (Script): Why Oranges Are Apples

Why Oranges Are Apples, a strange and hilarious 4960-word short story (script) for a collection of Pythonesque comedy sketches, is now available for the Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, and Smashwords:

Cover - Why Oranges Are Apples 200 x 300

A farcical play in eight acts of doom, death, destruction, and other nasty things.

The Shadow Guy, an inept vampire. The Harbingers of Doom, Death, Destruction, and Other Nasty Things. The Happy Elves, the Pissy Flippin’ Bastards, an outlandish pachderm wannabe. A medley of deranged characters assault the stage in this Pythonesque collection of comedy sketches that took the college theater circuit by storm, available as 100% genuine electrons for the first time ever…

Avast! We are the Harbingers of DOOM, DEATH, DESTRUCTION, and Other Nasty Things! You will be consumed by the totality of our unpleasantness, you will be sucked into the maelstrom of our sin…

A Play in Several Farcial Acts of Retching Hilarity, as originally produced at New Voices 9 by the “masque” troupe of Worcester Polytechnic Institute, and performed at numerous other colleges in the United States and Great Britain. 

“Why Oranges Are Apples” Copyright © 2012 Alistair Ainscott, Published by Rapid-Dynamix Publishing

Cover illustration © Snumr | Dreamstime.com

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Short Story: Assailing the Void (Flash Fiction)

Assailing the Void, a 930-word short-short (flash) science fiction story, is now available for the Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, and Smashwords:

Cover - Assailing the Void - 200x300What lies beyond the labyrinthine confines of the city?

Georg Ventman knows only the dim, cramped world within the megacity of a dark future. He needs to stretch. He needs to break free. He needs to assail the void with a two-fisted gesture of exaltation.

A short science fiction story of escape from a dystopian future by Alistair Ainscott.

 

“Assailing the Void” Copyright © 2011 Alistair Ainscott, Published by Rapid-Dynamix Publishing

Cover illustration © Kydriashka | Dreamstime.com

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Short Story: Captain Disaster and the Twin Terrors of Unholy Matrimony

Captain Disaster and the Twin Terrors of Unholy Matrimony, a humorous 5400-word story, is now available for the Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, and Smashwords:

Cover - Captain Disaster Twin Terrors

One dad, twin preschoolers, and a three-thousand mile trip.

What could go wrong?

Bernard Keyes travels cross-country with his identical twin girls so they can be flower girls in his brother’s wedding. But that last mile of winding country roads just might be the hardest part of his journey… other than the ceremony itself. An inkling of trouble cracks in Captain Disaster’s arthritic knuckles, but can he push his sputtering, rusted-out old truck fast enough to save the day?

 

 

“Captain Disaster and the Twin Terrors of Unholy Matrimony” Copyright © 2011 Alistair Ainscott, Published by Rapid-Dynamix Publishing

Cover illustration © Marianmocanu | Dreamstime.com

The Writing of Captain Disaster and the Twin Terrors of Unholy Matrimony

This was a short story that I originally wrote during the June 2011 Short Story Workshop that I did with Kristine Kathryn Rusch. This is the last story I wrote at the workshop; I was getting tired so this one came out pretty silly.

Thanks and I hope you enjoy the story.

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Filed under E-Pub, Indie Published Stories, Kris 'n' Dean Short Story Workshop, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Short Stories, Stories Available

Short Story: Tailor Maidens

Tailor Maidens, a humorous 1830-word science fiction misadventure, is now available for the Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, and Smashwords:

Tailor Maidens coverIf a man becomes his own brand, will he like what he sees?

Pablo Mistry envisions the latest advance in electronic textiles out of Silicon Valley when he beholds a sleek high-tech T-shirt at an airport boutique. But he soon discovers that the ultimate personalized user experience has turned him into his own, rather dubious brand– and that this tailor-made digitgal monstrosity will bring him no end of grief– unless he can get the damned thing off.

A humous science-fiction misadventure by Alistair Ainscott.

 

 

“Tailor Maidens” Copyright © 2011 Alistair Ainscott, Published by Rapid-Dynamix Publishing

Cover illustration © Laqhill | Dreamstime.com

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Short Story: Occupy Stinking America

Occupy Stinking America, a strange 4300-word speculative fiction romance story, is now available for the Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, and Smashwords:

Occupy Stinking America coverIn the future, love stinks– and so do you.

Walter Peabody has a problem. But is the problem with him, or his entire stinking nation? As they pare away all that is unnecessary in their lives, Walter and Gwendolyn– and everyone else in this great land our ours– just might find out. For without his stench, Walter would have nothing: not his supermodel wife,  not his mega-yacht, and definitely not enough of a fortune to fuel a small army.

 

 

 

“Occupy Stinking America” Copyright © 2011 Alistair Ainscott, Published by Rapid-Dynamix Publishing

Cover illustration © Laqhill | Dreamstime.com

The Writing of Occupy Stinking America

This is a story that I wrote from a title– originally, “The Skunk in My Mouth.” For some reason I decided to retitle it when I indie published it.

Thanks and I hope you enjoy the story.

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Five Story Collection: Strange Obsessions

Five Strange Obsessions, a ~17,000 word collection of short stories, is now available for the Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, and Smashwords:

Five Strange Obsessions coverFive offbeat speculative tales of strange obsession.

Professionally published writer Alistair Ainscott presents five offbeat speculative tales:  “The Thriller Writer’s Workshop,” “Tailor Maidens,” “Occupy Stinking America,” “Assailing the Void,” and “Trinity of the Sands.”

From hotshots with something to prove, a romance of bad breath and extreme plastic surgery, to one man’s burden to atone for nuclear holocaust, it doesn’t get much stranger.

 

“Five Strange Obsessions” Copyright © 2012 Alistair Ainscott, Published by Rapid-Dynamix Publishing

Cover illustration © Rolffimages| Dreamstime.com

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Filed under E-Pub, Indie Published Stories, mystery, Short Stories, Short Story Collection, Stories Available, Workshops

2012 Writing Goals & 2011 Short Story Challenge in Review

I haven’t had time to post in a while, but I did tweet (@aainscott) my progress on my 2011 Short Story Challenge– to write 40 short stories in a year, which I revised on the fly to shoot for 50 stories instead– and this is how it went:

  • Dec. 1st: Short Story #40 mailed (flash fiction)– challenge met! How many more I can get done in December? Race score=33.
  • Dec. 2nd: Received rejection #100 on the year, mailed short story #41 of (another flash fiction piece). I don’t give up easy.
  • Dec. 12th: Finished stories #42, 43, 44. Two flash fiction pieces mailed to professional markets and a longer story which I moved direct to e-pub.
  • Dec. 22nd: Mailed stories #45-48 of my 2011 Short Story Challenge (three flash pieces, one longer short story).
  • Around this time I also got a really nice personal rejection letter from Flash Fiction Online, a professional SFWA-qualifying market: “I really enjoyed your story. It’s well written, with a lot of powerful imagery, and a compelling voice.” The problem? Oops, I exceeded the PG-13 criteria for the publication.
  • Dec 31st: Mailed story #49, about 7,000 words, to the Writers of the Future contest. Struggled with this one, the story just wouldn’t flow, but got it done.

Alas, I didn’t quite make 50– but I came really, really close because the short novel (~30,000 words) that I wrote earlier in the fall is incredibly close to being ready to go up. But my priority was to get something mailed to the Writers of the Future contest, so I had to bump that back to January.

My overall 2011 results were:

  • 49 new pieces of fiction completed
  • 152 manuscripts mailed
  • 122 rejections
  • 30 manuscripsts currently still in the hands of editors who might buy them
  • 14 personal rejections
  • 1 story currently shortlisted
  • 1 acceptance (“Piss Match,” Penumbra Vol. 1 No. 4, a professional-paying market)

So overall I’d have to say that 2011 was an unmitigated success on the writing front even though I fell just a tad short of the updated goal of 50 stories finished & mailed to professional markets or e-published online.

The 2012 Hundred Fictions Challenge:
Produce 100 New Pieces of Fiction.

For 2012 I’ve decided to go all-out. I hit a nice rythym the last quarter of 2011 so I think I can produce a lot more this year than last year.

My goal is 100 new pieces of fiction. Any length counts as long as I mail it to a professional market (or e-publish it). I like to write at flash lengths and to be honest I have had the most encouraging comments from the pro markets with my shorter pieces, so I see no reason not to keep at it, so long as I am writing a mix of longer pieces as well to keep building those storytelling muscles.

Because I want to stay on the learning curve for e-publishing I am also going to include in that count any e-pubbed collections of short stories, to give me an incentive to assemble those. But individual stories e-published don’t count.

I also will have 5 short novels in that count of 100 pieces, including the one just about ready to go up. Any length of about 15,000 words or more counts, i.e. any works that I would put up at $2.99 or higher. And at least one must be 60,000 words or more.

Other goals for 2012, in no particular order:

  • Do at least one POD (print-on-demand) book because I want to learn how to do that.
  • Practice writing faster. My typical pace is around 500-800 words per hour, sometimes up to 1000 or 1200 words/hour when things are going well. I’d like to more consistently hit that 1,000 words plus per hour range.
  • 250,000+ new words written.

My main goal for 2012, however, is to keep firing short stories at the professional markets. My race score topped out at 35 in 2011. I want to see how much higher I can push that this year, while still producing a number of novella/short novel length works.

So that’s it and I’ll look forward to shooting off short stories side-by-side with you as you progress on your own writing challenges. We can have a bit of a wild west short fiction shoot-out here on the rugged coast of the Pacific Northwest!

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Filed under 2012 Hundred Fictions Challenge, E-Pub, Flash Fiction, Novels, Short Novels & Novellas, Rejections, Short Stories, Story Challenge 2011