“13: The Anthology” Review

13: The AnthologyNice to see this positive review of the “13” collection of short stories from SoundSphereMag.com.

“The manner in which the 13 concept is utilised by the creative minds here is something that I thought I would find particularly jarring. I expected to be getting swept away in a character’s adventures only to suddenly spot the 13 element and that this would thrust me out of the experience. Instead, and full credit the authors for this, it became a joy to note with some surprise how that one spark of inspiration had embedded itself in the process. [Especially nice to read this, as it refers to my contribution] In one particularly notable example there is the utterly compelling characterisation of 13 as a convincing female lead, driving the narrative of the speaker forward.”

You can read the review at http://www.soundspheremag.com/reviews/book/book-review-13-the-anthology/ and learn more about the book at http://13-anthology.webs.com/

“13: The Anthology” is now available

ThirteenYou can find this anthology of thirteen very diverse short stories on Amazon.com today. The address of the anthology’s website is http://13-anthology.webs.com/, and you can also follow it on Facebook at:

This project was an enjoyable experience because it allowed me to “visit” Max from “L.A. Limo Tales” when he was just in high school. I hope you will enjoy my contribution and the other twelve fine offerings.




[mantra-pullquote align=”right” textalign=”left” width=”45%”]From the upcoming “13” Anthology of short stories…[/mantra-pullquote]


She grew up in Vegas and she grew up hard. Her father was a gambler and her mother cleaned rooms at the Stardust. They lived in a one-bedroom apartment on Koval Lane, just off the Strip. One of those eight unit, two-story, cinder-block dumps with little window air-conditioners that couldn’t cool a closet. Her older brother ran away when he was fourteen. She didn’t miss him.

When she was little, she’d hang out at the Desert Inn by the employees’ entrance, cadging casino chips and snacks from the maids and carpenters and engineers who maintained the illusions inside, laughing at the security guards who came out to run her off. She liked the sickly-sweet sump smell of the Dumpsters back there. She liked watching the flies fry in the blue light over all that rotting food. She liked the big trucks that hauled the dumpsters away and brought back empties. She was seriously into refuse.

She was pretty, but her short hair and hand-me-down clothes made her look like a boy. She didn’t care. She didn’t have time for boys. Every night she’d play canasta with her mother and count the butts piling up in the ashtray. Every morning she’d empty her father’s pockets while he slept on the couch so she’d have milk money for school.

Of course, I only learned all this later.


Scrivener and the short story

Recently I was asked by fellow writers at the Triggerstreet.com writing site to contribute a short story for inclusion in an e-published collection. In the past, I occasionally posted short stories for review on that site and also enjoyed the opportunity to read submissions by other writers. It’s where I worked out the stories that became “L.A. Limo Tales” (available on Amazon.com) and the comments I received at Triggerstreet were very helpful.

The dozen or so chosen contributors had all been recognized for their own Triggerstreet submissions, so I wanted to offer something worthy of the compliment I’d been given. Threading my way through some early stories, I found one that readily lent itself to a prequel to “Limo Tales”— a (hopefully) humorous tale about a night in the life of high-school aged “Max,” the cynical twenty-something protagonist of “Limo Tales.”

I opened it in Word and got to work. Move this here, shift that there. About 4,500 words. Piece of cake. Right?

Well, it wasn’t long before I lost what I like to call the “thread” of a tale. Did I use that line earlier? Where did I describe that character? That’s when I realized that Scrivener could be just as useful organizing 4,500 words as it was with 80,000 words or a feature-length screenplay.

After copying the work-in-progress into Scrivener, it was a quick and simple task to “Split at Selection” and break the story’s sections down into individual notes. “Auto-generate” feature quickly placed informative text from the note in Scrivener’s “Synopsis” feature. The “Corkboard” view instantly conveyed my story’s layout, making it easy to see elements that needed a bit more meat on their bones. Since I’m a cautious type, I used the “Snapshot” feature to maintain a revision-trail. “Document Notes” were invaluable when I wanted to save an idea that I may or may wind up exploring. It wasn’t long before I had those 4,500 words assembled into nine notes that let me track every beat and twist.

If you are a Stephen King who eschews outlining a story (but Mr. King is obviously a genius, right?), then Scrivener’s powerful organizing tools may not be as helpful for you as they are for me. But Scrivener was just as useful during the output process. The option of producing a PDF, .mobi file, or an .RTF meant I could make the editors’ jobs that much easier; I.E., how do you want it? Here it is! And, when I receive their review comments, it will be simple for me to quickly zero in on the object of their remarks.

Finally, whether you trust the “cloud” or not, by using Scrivener’s “Back Up” feature, I could quickly save a “zip” file of the project on my Google Drive folder. This meant I could revisit the story on my laptop or desktop computer whenever the mood arose.

So, don’t assume that Scrivener is only for big jobs, because it simplified my short story writing process in a major way. In fact, I’m using it to compose this post as a note in the same project that contains the story.