Haiku Friday – Pet & Play

9 Dec

Happy Friday everyone! A warm welcome from Orlando, Florida where happiness lives.

 

PET and PLAY are this week’s prompt words chosen by Ronovan Hester of Ronovan Writes.

Ron hosts a challenge that anyone could participate in called Ronovan Writes Weekly Haiku Poetry Prompt Challenge every Monday, and you have until Sunday to create a post featuring your haiku poem. He is an author and poet and also does author interviews and much more on his blog. Be sure to check it out. Read Ron’s Haiku Prompt Challenge Guidelines for more information.

I love this week’s prompt words they’re so much fun. I have a two year old Pomeranian named Scribbles. He is sweet, affectionate and very intelligent. He recognizes his toys by name like, ‘Red Bone’, ‘Gingy’ or ‘Purple Fish’. I set out all his toys and I ask him to bring me the purple fish and he’ll go right to it and bring it to me. It isn’t that he recognizes colors––at least I don’t think so, but he does associate the name with the toy.

He can also recognize when ‘momma’, that’s me, is distressed and he’ll come to me and caress my face or hug me. Yes! You’ve read correctly––he puts his little arms on either side of my neck and presses his little face against mine––that’s a hug! He also gives me lots of kisses which I love.

Scribbles is momma’s defender too. I’d advice you never to come at me suddenly or yell or raise a hand at me. He will growl and show his little teeth and bark up a storm. As if this furry little five pounder could actually hurt anyone.

I love my little Scribbles and he’s definitely part of the family. When my mom calls she always asks me to put her on speaker so that she could say hello to him. Last Christmas he received lots of toys from his family as he will this holiday.

My little pom is a great companion and he makes me very happy, so it’s with great pleasure that I dedicate this week’s haiku to my Scribbles.

The Writer Next Door-Vashti Q-Scribbles-Poetry-haiku-Friday

Scribbles

by Vashti Q

My pom is my friend

Mind like a Venus fly trap

Playful to the end

Bright eyes, dulcet smile

Always the face of a pup

Faithful to the end

Scribbles-The Writer Next Door-Vashti Q-Poetry-haiku

 Have a great weekend!

Image

How Will The World End?

3 Dec

How Will The World We’ve all heard and read many theories of how the world will end. This is a subject that I’ve thought about from time to time (somber, I know). I have my own theory of how the world will end, but before I get to that I’d like to first mention other worldwide theories.</p><br /><br /><p>There are scientists who have theories such as the explosion of the moon, a giant meteor collision, or a misbehaving sun violently releasing a sudden blaze of fire our way. Some add an extremist in power, drunk with supremacy, who releases nuclear weapons causing World War III and the end of the world.</p><br /><br /><p>A number of experts say the world will end in an inferno, while others believe in a new ice age. I don’t buy it.</p><br /><br /><p>The truth is there are seven billion of us now inhabiting every breathing space on this planet, even the most remote corners of the world that were once thought uninhabitable. The human species is like a virus.</p><br /><br /><p>A virus is a tiny parasite. One that’s not too bright because it kills its host, and then it too dies as a consequence. Mankind, like a virus, has infected this planet. We will continue to multiply, invade and destroy the earth until there is nothing left, and then we too will perish. Not too bright.</p><br /><br /><p>However, this is where my theory comes in…wait for it, this is going to be good. Microscopic species, such as viruses, bacteria and fungi have been around long before us, and will never allow the human species to destroy the planet. No matter what doomsday scenario we concoct, there is nothing we’ve yet conceived of that can kill every bacteria, virus and fungus on earth. So how do I believe the world will end?</p><br /><br /><p>Actually I believe the world will go on, but the human race, as we know it, will cease to exist. Perhaps the final stanza of the famous poem The Hollow Men by T.S. Eliot will give you a hint about my theory.</p><br /><br /><p>This is the way the world ends</p><br /><br /><p>This is the way the world ends</p><br /><br /><p>This is the way the world ends</p><br /><br /><p>Not with a bang but a whimper.</p><br /><br /><p>You see, I don’t believe the end of our world will come from an earth-killing asteroid, a nuclear war or a solar flare. I believe the smallest and oldest species on the planet will do us in.</p><br /><br /><p>Viruses and bacteria continue to mutate and become stronger. Every time a person gets infected by bacteria and does not finish their course of antibiotics, those bacteria become stronger and more adapted to the antibiotic. Soon, they will become resistant to treatment. A “Super Bug.”</p><br /><br /><p>A Zombie Apocalypse sounds far fetched, but is it? Don’t get me wrong, I know dead humans can’t come back to life, but there are certain viruses that can induce such aggressive, maniacal, zombie-like behavior. The rabies virus comes to mind.</p><br /><br /><p>Rabies in Latin means madness. Any warm-blooded mammal can become infected with the rabies virus, including humans. The virus has been adapted to grow in our cells. Rabies infects the central nervous system of its host and can drive a person violently mad.</p><br /><br /><p>When the influenza virus was first introduced it spread like wildfire, infecting five hundred million people across the world and killing five percent of the world’s population. This happened because the virus was airborne.</p><br /><br /><p>Imagine for a minute what would happen if the rabies virus were to mutate and become a “Super Bug.” I’ll give you a minute.</p><br /><br /><p>The rabies virus would invade our living cells and cause genetic mutation, and if the infection became airborne, it would spread quickly through the air from one person to another. We then might have the makings of a Zombie Apocalypse.</p><br /><br /><p>Humans would cease to possess the qualities, which we have determined make us human. People would scurry about - hostile, foaming at the mouth, taking chunks off their neighbors with their teeth.</p><br /><br /><p>Okay, calm down. I’m not a scientist. I’ve probably seen 28 Days Later and I Am Legend more times than is advisable. Besides, doesn’t it take eons for a virus to mutate so drastically? So we probably won’t see anything like this happening in our lifetime or that of our loved ones.</p><br /><br /><p>Unless…</p><br /><br /><p>There are rumors that our government is trying to create a biological armament. They are experimenting with viruses and genetic mutation (not too bright). Perhaps the geniuses messing around with Mother Nature’s most lethal weapons will bring about the Zombie Apocalypse a lot sooner than nature intended.</p><br /><br /><p>So how will the world end? Not with a bang, but with the whimper of a man being bit in the neck by a zombie.</p><br /><br /><p>(For those of you still not acquainted with my humor; the above post is purely fictional and solely for entertainment. It should not be taken seriously. So don’t go out and purchase zombie slaying weapons, start an anti-zombie campaign or dig a hole in your backyard to build a doomsday anti-zombie bunker.)</p><br /><br /><p> by Vashti Quiroz-Vega?

A warm word of welcome to everyone today.  Thank you for visiting my blog.  Sit back and enjoy today’s post.

How Will The World End?

We’ve all heard and read many theories of how the world will end. This is a subject that I’ve thought about from time to time (somber, I know). I have my own theory of how the world will end, but before I get to that I’d like to first mention other worldwide theories.

There are scientists who have theories such as the explosion of the moon, a giant meteor collision, or a misbehaving sun violently releasing a sudden blaze of fire our way. Some add an extremist in power, drunk with supremacy, who releases nuclear weapons causing World War III and the end of the world.

Solar Flare

Solar Flare

Moon explodes and collides with the Earth

Moon explodes and collides with the Earth

Nuclear bombs released worldwide

Nuclear bombs released worldwide

A number of experts say the world will end in an inferno, while others believe in a new ice age. I don’t buy it.

The World Freezes Over

The World Freezes Over

The World On Fire

The World On Fire

The truth is there are seven billion of us now inhabiting every breathing space on this planet, even the most remote corners of the world that were once thought uninhabitable. The human species is like a virus.

virus

VIRUS

A virus is a tiny parasite. One that’s not too bright because it kills its host, and then it too dies as a consequence. Mankind, like a virus, has infected this planet. We will continue to multiply, invade and destroy the earth until there is nothing left, and then we too will perish. Not too bright.

However, this is where my theory comes in…wait for it, this is going to be good. Microscopic species, such as viruses, bacteria and fungi have been around long before us, and will never allow the human species to destroy the planet. No matter what doomsday scenario we concoct, there is nothing we’ve yet conceived of that can kill every bacteria, virus and fungus on earth. So how do I believe the world will end?

Actually I believe the world will go on, but the human race, as we know it, will cease to exist. Perhaps the final stanza of the famous poem The Hollow Men by T.S. Eliot will give you a hint about my theory.

This is the way the world ends

This is the way the world ends

This is the way the world ends

Not with a bang but a whimper.

You see, I don’t believe the end of our world will come from an earth-killing asteroid, a nuclear war or a solar flare. I believe the smallest and oldest species on the planet will do us in.

Rabies Virus

Rabies Virus

Viruses and bacteria continue to mutate and become stronger. Every time a person gets infected by bacteria and does not finish their course of antibiotics, those bacteria become stronger and more adapted to the antibiotic. Soon, they will become resistant to treatment. A “Super Bug.”

A Zombie Apocalypse sounds far fetched, but is it? Don’t get me wrong, I know dead humans can’t come back to life, but there are certain viruses that can induce such aggressive, maniacal, zombie-like behavior. The rabies virus comes to mind.

Rabies in Latin means madness. Any warm-blooded mammal can become infected with the rabies virus, including humans. The virus has been adapted to grow in our cells. Rabies infects the central nervous system of its host and can drive a person violently mad.

Violently Crazy

Violently Crazy

When the influenza virus was first introduced it spread like wildfire, infecting five hundred million people across the world and killing five percent of the world’s population. This happened because the virus was airborne.

Imagine for a minute what would happen if the rabies virus were to mutate and become a “Super Bug.” I’ll give you a minute.

The rabies virus would invade our living cells and cause genetic mutation, and if the infection became airborne, it would spread quickly through the air from one person to another. We then might have the makings of a Zombie Apocalypse.

Zombie Apocalypse

Zombie Apocalypse

Humans would cease to possess the qualities, which we have determined make us human. People would scurry about – hostile, foaming at the mouth, taking chunks off their neighbors with their teeth.

Okay, calm down. I’m not a scientist. I’ve probably seen 28 Days Later and I Am Legend more times than is advisable. Besides, doesn’t it take eons for a virus to mutate so drastically? So we probably won’t see anything like this happening in our lifetime or that of our loved ones.

Unless…

There are rumors that our government is trying to create a biological armament. They are experimenting with viruses and genetic mutation (not too bright). Perhaps the geniuses messing around with Mother Nature’s most lethal weapons will bring about the Zombie Apocalypse a lot sooner than nature intended.

Mad Science

Mad Science

So how will the world end? Not with a bang, but with the whimper of a man being bit in the neck by a zombie.

How do you think the world will end?

(For those of you still not acquainted with my humor; the above post is purely fictional and solely for entertainment. It should not be taken seriously. So don’t go out and purchase zombie slaying weapons, start an anti-zombie campaign or dig a hole in your backyard to build a doomsday anti-zombie bunker.)

by Vashti Q

Haiku Friday – Gold & Sing

2 Dec

Happy Friday everyone and welcome to my blog!

GOLD and SING are this week’s prompt words chosen by Ronovan Hester of Ronovan Writes.

Ron hosts a challenge that anyone could participate in called Ronovan Writes Weekly Haiku Poetry Prompt Challenge every Monday, and you have until Sunday to create a post featuring your haiku poem. He is an author and poet and also does author interviews and much more on his blog. Be sure to check it out. Read Ron’s Haiku Prompt Challenge Guidelines for more information.

 “You can cage the singer but not the song.”

~Harry Belafonte

bird-cage-poetry-haiku-Friday-The Writer Next Door-Vashti Q

Songstress

by Vashti Q

She sings with the wind

Melodies of gilded love

That unlocks my heart

gilded-cage-Haiku-Friday-Poetry-The Writer Next Door-Vashti Q

Chickadee

by Vashti Q

Awaiting twilight

The bird sings of golden stars

. . . and dreams of freedom

A gilded cage’s still a cage

––but singing makes it feel free

Enjoy the weekend!

Haiku Friday – Heart & Petals

25 Nov

Happy Haiku Friday, everyone!

 

Heart and Petals are this week’s prompt words chosen by Ronovan Hester of Ronovan Writes.

Ron hosts a challenge that anyone could participate in called Ronovan Writes Weekly Haiku Poetry Prompt Challenge every Monday, and you have until Sunday to create a post featuring your haiku poem. He is an author and poet and also does author interviews and much more on his blog. Be sure to check it out. Read Ron’s Haiku Prompt Challenge Guidelines for more information.

sleeping-beauty-love-The Writer Next Door-Vashti Q-Garmash-art-Poetry

Oil Painting by Michael Garmash

I’ll remember you 

As the petals of my heart

That grew out of love

dreaming-of-love-Garmash-haiku_Friday-The Writer Next Door-Vashti Q-Poetry

Oil Painting by Michael Garmash

Oops! I made a mistake. It turns out that this week’s prompt words are actually Dream and Dare. So here’s another haiku with the proper prompt words.

littlegirldreaming-The Writer Next Door-Vashti Q-RonovanWrites-Poetry

Hold fast to your dreams

Dare to fail and try again

Dream big little girl

littlegirl-The Writer Next Door-haiku_Friday-Poetry-Vashti Q

Enjoy the weekend!

Haiku Friday – Breathe & New

18 Nov

haiku-The Writer Next Door-Vashti Q-RonovanWrites-Poetry-Donald Trump-statue of liberty-Friday

Breathe and New are this week’s prompt words chosen by Ronovan Hester of Ronovan Writes.

Ron hosts a challenge that anyone could participate in called Ronovan Writes Weekly Haiku Poetry Prompt Challenge every Monday, and you have until Sunday to create a post featuring your haiku poem. He is an author and poet and also does author interviews and much more on his blog. Be sure to check it out. Read Ron’s Haiku Prompt Challenge Guidelines for more information.

lady-liberty-America-Donald Trump-Haiku_Friday-The Writer Next Door

Breathe America

by Vashti Q

Breathe in and breathe out

It’s time to except the new

––but never give up

Breathe in and breathe out

Don’t let the darkness take you

There’s no time for that

Breathe in and breathe out

As new challenges arise

Stand tall and greet them

The Writer Next Door-Vashti Q-haiku_Friday-Donald Trump-Statue of Liberty-Poetry

Enjoy the weekend!

Haiku Friday – Creep & Race

4 Nov

Happy Haiku Friday and a warm welcome to my blog!

This has been a long hard week for me and I’m glad the weekend is finally here. To say the elections in the USA have been a bit tense is an understatement. I also can’t wait for the election process to be over. I’m not a big fan of either candidate but I’m voting for who I believe is the better of two evils. I think everyone should get out and vote. Things may seem bleak but sitting around and allowing others to make the choice for you isn’t smart. No one should feel confident in the way the election will go. Once the coin is tossed there’s no turning back. Everyone’s vote counts.

Creep and Race are this week’s prompt words chosen by Ronovan Hester of Ronovan Writes.

Ron hosts a challenge that anyone could participate in called Ronovan Writes Weekly Haiku Poetry Prompt Challenge every Monday, and you have until Sunday to create a post featuring your haiku poem. He is an author and poet and also does author interviews and much more on his blog. Be sure to check it out. Read Ron’s Haiku Prompt Challenge Guidelines for more information.

election 2016-trump-clinton-split-Haiku_Friday-The Writer Next Door-Poetry

Presidential Race

by Vashti Q

Americans shout,

Tired of empty promises

Let the games begin!

Election Day’s here

The darkest day of the year

Clever hopes expire

Talks of politics

Ignite waves of anger and fear

The coin has been tossed

New York Post- Michael Goodwin-The Writer Next Door-Vashti Q-haiku_friday-Poetry-Election 2016

Stephen King-The Writer Next Door-Vashti Q-haiku_Friday-Poetry-quotes

The Writer Next Door-Vashti Q-RonovanWrites-Poetry-Haiku_Friday-quotes-Donald Trump

Enjoy your day!

Haiku Friday – Heart & Petals

28 Oct

Happy Haiku Friday and a warm welcome to my blog!

Heart and Petals are this week’s prompt words chosen by Ronovan Hester of Ronovan Writes.

Ron hosts a challenge that anyone could participate in called Ronovan Writes Weekly Haiku Poetry Prompt Challenge every Monday, and you have until Sunday to create a post featuring your haiku poem. He is an author and poet and also does author interviews and much more on his blog. Be sure to check it out. Read Ron’s Haiku Prompt Challenge Guidelines for more information.

bleeding-heart-haiku-friday-The Writer Next Door-Vashti Q-Poetry

Bleeding Heart

by Vashti Q

I see and I hurt

So my soul bleeds on paper

Core soft as flowers

I’ll live with a bleeding heart

Until the last petal falls

why_so_sad__beautiful_by_r_becca-d42gaqy-The Writer Next Door-Vashti Q-Poetry

Illustration by Rebecca Blair (DeviantART)

“The more you suffer the deeper grows your character, and with the deepening of your character you read the more penetratingly into the secrets of life. All great artists, all great religious leaders, and all great social reformers have come out of the intensest struggles which they fought bravely, quite frequently in tears and with bleeding hearts.”

~D.T. Suzuki

“The moment that you feel, just possibly, you are walking down the street naked, exposing too much of your heart and your mind, and what exists on the inside, showing too much of yourself…That is the moment, you might be starting to get it right.”

~ Neil Gaiman

Vashti Q-The Writer Next Door-bleeding-heart-haiku-Friday-Poetry

In light of the season I thought I’d throw in a zombie. Check out my zombie story The Search for the Last Flower and have a fun and safe Halloween!

Haiku Friday – Hunter & Moon

21 Oct

 

Happy Haiku Friday!

 

Hunter and Moon are this week’s prompt words chosen by Ronovan Hester of Ronovan Writes.

Ron hosts a challenge that anyone could participate in called Ronovan Writes Weekly Haiku Poetry Prompt Challenge every Monday, and you have until Sunday to create a post featuring your haiku poem. He is an author and poet and also does author interviews and much more on his blog. Be sure to check it out. Read Ron’s Haiku Prompt Challenge Guidelines for more information.

hunter's_moon-The Writer Next Door-Vashti Q-haiku_friday-Poetry

Mighty hunter’s moon

Shall brighten cold winter’s gloom

Moonlight for the hunt

artemis_diana_greek_goddess_art_01_by_michael_c_hayes-The Writer Next Door-Poetry

Illustration by Michael C. Hayes

Prowling Diana

The reaper’s moon shines the way

And ends the story 

Thank you for stopping by. 

Vashti Q-The Writer Next Door-Poetry-haiku_friday

Haiku Friday – Reward & Trial

14 Oct

The Writer Next Door-Vashti Q-Haiku Friday-friday-haiku-Poetry

Hello everyone! Welcome to ‘Haiku Friday‘ Ronovan from Ronovan Writes has given us two difficult words to work with this week. They are Reward and Trial. Phew! Needless to say, I had a hard time coming up with something this week but here it goes.

Ron hosts a challenge that anyone could participate in called Ronovan Writes Weekly Haiku Poetry Prompt Challenge every Monday, and you have until Sunday to create a post featuring your haiku poem. He is an author and poet and also does author interviews and much more on his blog. Be sure to check it out. Read Ron’s Haiku Prompt Challenge Guidelines for more information.

“Beautiful souls are shaped by ugly experiences.”

― Matshona Dhliwayo

depression-The Writer Next Door-Vashti Q-haiku-Poetry-friday-depression

by Vashti Q

Knowing life’s a gift

I hold dear every moment

Coursing above ground

Facing the world with a smile

When sometimes living is hard

depression-haiku-friday-The Writer Next Door-Vashti Q-Poetry

Depression is a serious disease that effects a great number of people in the United States and all over the world. It’s hard to believe that there are still stigmas attached to mental illness which is why so many don’t seek help. This affects especially teenagers and young adults. Check out my post, Why So Sad?

Like Diabetes, Lupus, Heart Disease and other serious chronic diseases Clinical Depression needs to be treated by a doctor or the outcome will not be good. Shaming someone for having a mental illness stems from ignorance. Instead, educate yourself on the subject and try to help someone who suffers from depression.

Have a great weekend!

The Experimental Notebook of C. S. Boyack

11 Oct

Hello everyone and a warm welcome to my blog! Thank you for stopping by. It is my great pleasure to introduce to you today the fascinating, creative, unique writer and blogger C. S. Boyack

C. S. Boyack-Amazon-writer-books-The Writer Next Door-interview

Craig S. Boyack has released a new book called ‘The Experimental Notebook of C. S. Boyack II‘ which follows ‘The Experimental Notebook of C. S. Boyack I‘ and is a second collection of short stories and micro-fiction. These are stories that can be read in a single session and include science fiction, fantasy, paranormal and horror.

The Experimental Notebook of C. S. Boyack-C. S. Boyack-books-writer-The Writer Next Door-interview

In his words . . .

I was born in a town called Elko, Nevada. I like to tell everyone I was born in a small town in the 1940s. I’m not quite that old, but Elko has always been a little behind the times. This gives me a unique perspective of earlier times, and other ways of getting by. Some of this bleeds through into my fiction.

I moved to Idaho right after the turn of the century, and never looked back. My writing career was born here, with access to other writers and critique groups I jumped in with both feet.

I like to write about things that have something unusual. My works are in the realm of science fiction, paranormal, and fantasy. The goal is to entertain you for a few hours. I hope you enjoy the ride.

Craig

Questions for C. S. Boyack

 

What were you like at school?

 

I was a good student, and got good grades. More on that in your next question. I was kind of the class clown too. We ran in a large crowd, but it was a small town. Everyone knew everyone else.

 

Were you good at English?

 

Oh, God no. English was my worst subject, and I even flunked it once. Mrs. Munger had us write a short story. She thought mine was “off color” and flunked me for the entire quarter over it.

 

Part of the reason for my dislike of the class is the way they taught it. We spent all of our time diagraming sentences and identifying verbs. They rarely ever let us actually use English either in writing or speaking. I think that short story may have been the only thing we wrote all year in there. We did more writing in science class.

 

What are your ambitions for your writing career?

 

We all have that secret dream in the back of our minds. You know the one, the one where we hit superstardom and can dedicate all our time to writing. I know it isn’t realistic, but it’s still there.

 

In reality, my long game is to supplement my retirement income in some way. An extra thousand per month would be wonderful. I have about ten to fifteen years to get there.

 

Which writers inspire you?

 

It probably seems goofy to say all of them. Writers struggle, learn, and grow. We all have a different pace, but as long as we’re improving it’s all good.

 

I’m sure you meant a roster of names, so I’ll check some off. Michael Crichton, Cheri Priest, and Jim Butcher. There is so much creativity there it amazes me. In some small way, they pioneered new things in fiction.

 

Who is Lisa Burton? Tell us briefly about her.

boyack-The Writer Next Door-Vashti Q-Lisa Burton

Lisa Burton

 

Lisa is my original character. She was the first main character that I felt was worthy of sharing with the world. As such, I’m very proud of her. Her origin story is called Wild Concept, and while it may be a little rough around the edges, it marks the start of my writing career. Lisa is a robot, and it was fun using an artificial intelligence as a main character.

The Writer Next Door-Vashti Q-Lisa Burton-C. S. Boyack

I recycled Lisa and hired her as my personal assistant at the writing cabin. These posts are usually about my efforts as a writer, but are also a way of sharing some original fiction with my blog followers. I promoted Lisa to spokesmodel for my career, and she now makes blog appearances herself, and has promotional pinup style posters for my books. This year she started hosting Lisa Burton Radio, where she interviews the fictional characters of other authors. It’s been really popular, and I’m sure she’d love to interview one of your characters.

 

Do you have a muse? If so, what is your muse’s name? Tell us about your muse.

 

It all started back in the 1980s. This was a time of the first computers, and they didn’t even have hard drives. You used two floppy disks, one for the program, and one for your work product.

 

My boss just purchased one, and learning the word processor was my assignment. Lorelei, the Muse, approached me and talked me into trying some fiction. (We’re talking after hours, back at the office until midnight or later.) After I figured out the word processor, I gave it up. I was young and single, and there were better things to do.

 

Lorelei never gave up, and as an immortal, she had time on her side. She approached me again as a father of three who couldn’t afford to do much more than write for entertainment. She also makes occasional appearances at the writing cabin. She sends me so many ideas that I can’t use them all.

 

What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book?

 

I believe in adding tools to my toolbox. I’m constantly trying new things. When I wrote The Playground, I wanted to weave together three different stories into a cohesive whole. It’s a cool way to tell the story, and they come together at the end to bring the conclusion. It wasn’t easy, but I’m glad I did it.

 

We never know what we’re capable of until we try. I feel that if a story called for this style again, I could do a workman like job of it now.

 

 

Tell us about the cover/s and how it/they came about.

 

I like having power over my covers. Some of them reflect a scene in the story, others give a reflection of what’s inside. I just talked about limited funds, but the cover is one place where I spend the money. It really is the first impression we never get to do over.

 

I tried to hit up the local universities and colleges, but nobody would even return my calls. Finally, I started stalking DeviantArt and looking for artists I liked. I’ve wound up with several different artists, and met some great people that way.

 

 

 

What was the weirdest thing you’ve ever ‘Googled’ while researching a story?

 

Authors are always researching things that are a bit sketchy. For one of my trunk novels, I researched how to make phosgene gas. It was one of three chemical weapons used in World War One. For my lone fantasy novel, I researched how to make black powder. I must be on a government watchlist somewhere by now.

 

What does your writing process look like?

 

I work best with an outline, but it may be different than other plotters use. I make a virtual storyboard. Index cards mark the beats I want to hit, then I free write between the index cards.

 

Do you have any strange writing habits?

 

Silence. Distractions pull me out of my game, and stop me cold. This makes it hard to get quality writing time around my house. Sometimes I set an alarm and get up early. Other times, I take vacation when my wife has to work. I can’t even listen to music and produce the kind of quality I want.

 

How important are names to you in your books? Do you choose the names based on liking the way it sounds or the meaning?

 

I hate naming characters. Sometimes it works out well, and other times it just doesn’t seem to work. I tried going with meaning a couple of times, and the results were terrible. I think the sound method works best for me.

 

Funny aside; I like to search through the Major League Baseball rosters for last names. If you search through my old books you’ll see last names like Bench and Larkin. Now I’m writing a book of short stories about a new league, called The Enhanced League. I can’t use baseball names for these characters, and feel kind of lost. Maybe I should check the NFL or something.

 

What is the funniest thing that has happened to you recently?

 

Maybe a bit more slapstick than you’re looking for, but I split the crotch of my pants at work. It was a small tear, and I live twenty miles from the office. I spent my day behind my desk and prayed nobody needed me elsewhere.

 

What is your least favorite thing about humanity?

 

I don’t care for the way we’ve devolved into a kind of personal anarchy. The world seems to function around getting what we want and not what we earn. People throw tantrums, lie, accuse, and more to get what they want. There is no reverence for honor, respect, decency, and personal responsibility these days.

 

If I were to poll everyone that knows you, what percent would not be a fan of yours? Then, if I were to interview these people, what words would they most frequently use to describe you?

 

I’d say about half would not be fans. This has more to do with my paycheck job than anything else. Quite often, when I do my job well someone isn’t happy. They might call me nit-picky, draconian, and punitive. (We never talk about the paycheck job in the writer world. I have two lives and try to keep them separate.)

 

What is your writing Kryptonite?

 

Noise and distraction. I need to concentrate to write well. I manage a bit of short form with peripheral noise, but I don’t have to keep as many details straight like major character arc, tracking of time, etc.

 

What does literary success look like to you?

 

A little bit of extra income, like I mentioned earlier. I can put out about three books every two years. As long as I keep improving my craft I’m pretty happy.

 

What’s the most difficult thing about writing characters from the opposite sex?

 

Concentrating on the idea that they are the opposite sex. When I find myself doing that, I stop myself and rewrite. Worrying about specific issues is usually wrong. Little things are okay to weave in, like a woman needing a restroom instead of a tree.

 

I’ve been told that I write female characters well. I just treat them like people, and write them like that.

 

What one thing would you give up to become a better writer?

 

I could sluff off all the bad things here, but I don’t think that’s what we’re going for. My life is pretty darned good right now. My paycheck job keeps the lights on, and I have a great family. I wouldn’t give up any of those things. Writing is important to me, but it’s a sideline to the main things. I guess I’m not giving up anything. I’ll get there through hard work and dedication.

 

Do you believe in writer’s block?

 

No. There are times when a plot issue will stall me, a bit of thought is needed. I use those time to switch to short form, and the answer usually comes to me. Other times, I bull through the problem.

 

What was an early experience where you learned that language had power?

 

I overheard my grandfather talking about me once. I was quite young, and he said I could carry on an intelligent conversation about almost any topic. The way he said it told me that was important.

 

***

 

Thanks for inviting me to your blog, Vashti. These were some tough questions, and I love a good challenge. I’m serious about a character interview too, whenever you’re ready.

Craig has a large body of works that you can check out on Amazon. His books are unique, fascinating, and well-written. He sells them at a price that is well worth the risk of buying.

Here are some reviews on The Experimental Notebook of C. S. Boyack I:

The Writer Next Door-Vashti Q-interview-books-writer

Experimental Notebook is a collection of stories that have been written to entertain and not to leave the reader up in the air wondering what was the point of the story. So many times short story writers think they need to do a story that has an obscure ending to qualify as a literary piece. C.S. Boyack has taken a number of different circumstances and crafted stories that have entertainment value. He sometimes takes a bizarre look at a particular situation but in each case when the story ends the reader has the whole package. There is also an element of humor that the author continues to interject in most of the stories. The humor is not laugh out loud funny but carries a more wry intelligent, subtle tone. The reader more than once will chuckle at the onset and then find a smile as the humorous piece finishes much as one would experience with a sip of fine wine.
The creativeness of C.S. Boyack is apparent His stories have that familiarity that the reader would swear came out of the author living an experience. Of course, some of the plots and subject material make this assumption entirely impossible and thus the real talent of the artist is discovered. Boyack writes a story as if he lived it. The characters and plotlines are so simply yet so carefully designed that the author makes this kind of storytelling look easy. The reader finishes the Notebook knowing what looks easy and what turns out to be the types of stories written are at opposite poles of one another. The Creative Notebook is excellent writing, and I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to enjoy a wonderful reading experience. ~John W. Howell

Short and micro fiction is becoming more popular today, and after reading this unique collection of stories, I can see why. The author has done a wonderful job of bringing together a mixture of speculative fiction, oddities, sci-fi, and fantasy. There’s basically a treat waiting here for everyone, each tale unique and waiting to deliver a twisty ending.

You can read these tales anywhere—on a commute, during a coffee break, or even when you’re hovering around the water cooler. Or you might do like I did, and indulge with one right after the other. Whether you choose to savor them individually or all at once, a healthy mix of enchantment, adventure, humor, and shivers awaits! ~Mae Clair

Right out of the gate, you’re hit with a story that has a twist ending. This really set the tempo of the other stories, which kept me interested in the whole collection. Every story has something unique about it, which makes it really hard to do an overview of the collection. For example, ‘The Soup Ladle of Destiny’ is very humorous and rather lighthearted compared to some of the others. If I had to pick the one that really stuck with me it would be a tie between that and ’50 Gallon Drum’. Since many of these are micro-fiction, I can’t say much without spoilers and that would ruin all the fun since the author has knack for surprise endings.

I’d highly recommend this for anyone who wants to be entertained by several quick reads.

~Charles E. Yallowitz

There are many more 5 star reviews but I can’t fit them all here. Check out his Amazon Author Page and check out all his books and reviews.

Follow C. S. Boyack’s blog

Check out his novels

Twitter

Goodreads

Facebook

C. S. Boyack-The Writer Next Door-Vashti Q-author-interview

I hope you enjoyed this author interview. Please show Craig S. Boyack some love in the comments below. Thank you!