Publish Your Short Story

workstation-336369_640 (1)Do you want to publish a story on the web? Wondering if you’ve got what it takes to tell a story?

My goal is to assist people who are dabbling with words for the first time. Perhaps I can plant a seed in your head, and then help you find your voice for at least, one short story. After that you can decide whether you want to continue to write or not. Experience tells me that once you see your story posted on-line, you’ll get hooked. Most of the writers on my site have never written seriously before I invited them to try.

So how do you get started? Pick a writing prompt (click here) on my site to fire up your imagination. Write a story between 300 – 500 words long. Embed the selected prompt anywhere in your narrative. You may change the tense, but you cannot change anything else in the sentence. When you’re ready, copy and paste the entire text into the message part of the “Contact Me” page, and send it to me. I will edit your work and then return it to you. If you accept my changes, then I will post your story on my site, no strings attached. It may take a few weeks to make it to my blog. I’ll email you when it’s posted.

Why do I do this? Because until recently I was a new writer myself. Because it’s hugely gratifying when I can bring a complete novice along the writing journey and then see them grow as a writer. I want to encourage you to go even further. Stoke the fire in your author belly by downloading my resource-packed free e-book. As a bonus you’ll also get an Excel template to track the timelines of your characters and events for when you’re ready to write a novel.

So what are you waiting for? Start writing now. Claim your free e-book and Excel workbook from the sidebar.

Dancing At Ghunsa – A Book Review

Dancing at Ghunsa: A Trek in the Cloud Forests of Nepal

By Glenn Forbes Miller

Dancing At GhunsaThe words are at once poetic and fluid. Glenn Forbes Miller’s book, Dancing at Ghunsa is a feast of words. Miller has returned to Nepal—travelling half way around the world—for his second trek in the Himalaya Mountains. This time he aims to reach the base camp of the third highest mountain in the world, Kanchenjunga, 8,598 metres (28,208 feet).

The first chapter is titled, “Walk with Me a While.” You’ll realize as you start to read that you’re in it not just for a while, but for the entire hike. Miller takes you on an incredible journey along with his guide, porter, and cook. Along the way he meets many people who come to life in his pages—people in such remote and rustic worlds as to seem unreal, but for images captured in his camera.

Then there’s the terrain over which Miller treks through—rough paths rarely travelled if at all by commercial traffic, and sometimes no paths at all. The hike is not for the faint of heart. “At 12,000 feet, the trail steepens, which reduces me to stutter-stepping, but even so, I can only manage that for five minutes before having to stop and rest.” Couple this with the reduced oxygen at that altitude, his brain can no longer focus on anything save phrases from songs that he uses as rhythm for his five-inch strides.

The mountains are ruggedly beautiful. “Beauty and Danger go hand in hand in the Himalayas.” Even when Miller and his group stop to snap pictures, there is a sense of danger in those heights where often, the best views are taken standing on boulders and rocks.

Take the journey with Glenn Miller to Kanchenjunga’s base camp at almost 17,000 feet. You may never need to hike there yourself and still experience the sights, sounds, and people. I highly recommend this book, especially if you love an adventure and the English language.

The Agenda

A Short Story by Guest Writer, Diane Cormier

Writing Prompt: “Despite my three-inch heels I ran as fast as I could.”

office

Why is it that just when you think everything is going your way something goes wrong?

I got up at 5 AM, went to the gym, caught the 7:30 AM GO train later, and then headed for the subway. Crowds thronged the platform. “What’s wrong now?” I sighed impatiently.

“Attention, all subway customers on Line One. The northbound train on Yonge is turning back at Wellesley due to a fire alarm at Bloor Station. Sorry for the inconvenience.”

Just great, I’d have to take the train to Wellesley and then walk the rest of the way to the office. This was one meeting I couldn’t be late for. Beyond the crowd I heard a sound. “Good, a train is arriving. I hope I can get on it. I have never seen so many people.”

Barely breathing I squeezed my way inside where I could hold on to a pole instead of falling on top of people every time the train jerked. When we reached Wellesley Station, everybody pushed to get off the train. I clamoured my way out to the platform, glanced up at the clock and saw that it was 8:45 AM. Fifteen minutes left to reach the office. I made my way outside. Ten minutes left to get in on time for the meeting that I had convened.

With my route mapped out in my head, and despite my three-inch heels I ran as fast as I could. I saw the office in front of me, but I resisted the urge to stop and look at my watch. Breathlessly I rushed into the elevator. When the door opened on my floor, I noticed the closed boardroom door and the unnatural silence as I stepped on the carpet. The receptionist looked up and motioned me to let me know that the meeting had started without me.

I handed her my coat, adjusted my jacket, and squared my shoulders as I took a deep breath and entered the boardroom. The room suddenly went quiet. I looked at the faces around the table—some uncomfortable and a few with silly smirks. I said, “It’s unfortunate that I was late for this meeting, but it was unavoidable and could have happened to anyone.”

I glanced at the agenda. Listed on top was, “Tardiness & Attendance.” Pin-drop silence…and then someone giggled. I looked up at the offender and noticed everyone joining in. I tried to suppress my smile. No one missed the irony.

“The point I’m making is that we can’t use this as an excuse to abuse the system. Let’s move on to the next item,” I said with as much dignity as I could muster.

In Memory of a Neighbor

FeiHsia

Guest Post by Fei Chen

The neighbors from my childhood home have great bonds with my mother and love for her. We lived in communal surroundings in Calcutta, India where we cared, joked, and had fun together after long and sweaty work days. We respected the elders, loved the children, looked out for one another and often shared our food together. I have come to the conclusion that it is that sharing of food that glues our human feelings, bonds our emotions, and feeds our spiritual needs. In retrospect, in the old days we did not have a typical social structure; instead each family was like a cloister, compelled to cobweb ourselves in a tight and close-knit environment, and ultimately that kinship and social behavior became the cradle for our norm.

Last summer 月雲姊 and 緆芳哥 came from the United States to visit their friends and families in Toronto. My sister was with us at that time and I had the privilege of sitting down with them for lunch. 緆芳哥 wittily said to me with a mischievous smile, “Munchu said hello to you!” At that moment his tone of voice and his facial expression resonated with my childhood memories of Munchu. He was a street vendor who sold me numerous helpings of junk food in our old neighborhood of Tangra, also called Dhappa. This was a place where all Hakka people knew each other’s affairs and family histories. In that place we created our live comedies, laughing at other’s visible disabilities and immaturities without malice. We laughed out loud and then instantly shook off the scene and moved on to the next stage of life. We carried no menace, threats or physical harm to others.

Our ancestors like many others, left China and settled in Calcutta, India around the time when communism was in its incubation. Also we Hakka are adventurous and free-spirited people. I have witnessed my parents overcome ups and downs in different venture capital businesses. Yet they came out of their hardships, cheerful and triumphant, and always learned from their mistakes while they moved on.

緆芳哥 and his family were our family friends, and they were living in our compound long before I was born. To this day they still communicate with my mother. A short time ago while I was at my mom’s place for lunch, the phone rang, and it was 月雲姊 and 緆芳哥 saying hello. Then a few weeks later we were notified that 緆芳哥 had passed away. We are sad to lose one of our true friends from our inner circle.

Life is fragile. Everybody measures, values and loves life differently. I like to quote from our spiritual leader Dalai Lama and how he sees life: “Love and Compassion.”