Wednesday, December 07, 2022

Folk Horror Tok - Halloween and Harvest Season Six-Word Stories

Just like a TikTok video, Halloween got over too soon.

It's fun experimenting with the TikTok platform. It's challenging to work in a form that can fit in a very short time frame. I did a series of six-word horror stories leading up to Halloween 2022.

Each was designed to stand alone but also to contribute to a progressing narrative, culminating on the day Halloween. I was happy with how things came together. A folk horror tale emerged, drawing in many Harvest time trappings. 

The spoken-word versions are aligned here in appropriate order now. 



@willysid #Halloween #October #microfiction #horror #horrorstory #writing #writingcommunity #shortstory #flashfiction ♬ Eerie - Music Beyond
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@willysid #horror #sixwordhorrorstories #october #halloween #microfiction #shortstories #fiction#flashfiction #flashfictionfun ♬ Eerie - Music Beyond
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@willysid #sixwordhorrorstories #horror #halloween #october #shortstories #microfiction #writing #scarystories #harvest ♬ Eerie Music - Sound Collective
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@willysid #amwriting #sixwordstory #microfiction #writing #sixwordhorrorstories #shortstory #horror #spooky #october #Halloween #horrortok #horrorstory #horrortiktok #horror ♬ Eerie Music - Sound Collective

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@willysid #sixwordstory #sixwordhorrorstories #horrortiktokšŸ˜±šŸ˜± #horrortok #horror #microfiction #microfictions #halloween #octobermood #october ♬ Eerie Music - Sound Collective
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@willysid #sixwordstory #sixwordhorrorstory #writing #microfiction #shortstories #flash #flashfiction #amwriting #halloween #october #horrortok #horrortiktok #sixwordstories #horror #Halloween #octobermood #octobertiktok #october #horrorfan #folkhorror #spooky ♬ Eerie Music - Sound Collective
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@willysid #sixwordstory #sixwordhorrorstory #writing #microfiction #shortstories #flash #flashfiction #amwriting #halloween #october #horrortok #horrortiktok #sixwordstories #horror #Halloween #october #tiktokhorror #flashfiction ♬ Eerie Music - Sound Collective
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@willysid #sixwordstory #sixwordhorrorstory #writing #microfiction #shortstories #flash #flashfiction #amwriting #halloween #october #horrortok #horrortiktok #sixwordstories #horror #Halloween #october #tiktokhorror #flashfiction ♬ Eerie Music - Sound Collective
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@willysid #sixwordstory #sixwordhorrorstory #writing #microfiction #shortstories #flash #flashfiction #amwriting #halloween #october #horrortok #horrortiktok #sixwordstories #horror #Halloween #october #tiktokhorror #flashfiction ♬ Eerie Music - Sound Collective

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Dark Angel Christmas - An All New Christmas Holiday Single from Sidney Williams Writing as Michael August

Dark Angel Christmas by Sidney Williams


Okay, long story shortened - I was in a writer's group and a workshop challenge was posed, compose a Christmas horror story.

Years ago, as I sat at an intersection stop light, a car with three young ladies in Santa hats passed in front of me. I recalled that and started wondering what might happen if one of them had been left behind and had to walk. 

As I started writing, I realized I was working in the voice of Michael August, my pseudonym for young adult novels, and that the tale was going to go a little longer than the 4,000-word cap for the group. 

So, Dark Angel Christmas was born, a slightly darker Michael August tale. 

Official Synopsis

It’s a 10-minute walk to the town square for a Christmas concert, until a mysterious white truck turns up.

In seconds, following a detour to shake her stalker, Amity Nichols is in a test of endurance and a game of survival that are one and the same. Does the mysterious driver know about the dark secret she’s harboring? Or does he want something worse for her than silence?

As darkness falls, Amity will have to face a challenge of stealth and patience until decisions on life or death can’t wait any longer. 

Warning: Contains mature themes and intense situations. Dark Angel Christmas is Sidney Williams, author of The Gift and New Year's Evil, writing in a slightly darker vein as Michael August.

Wednesday, October 26, 2022

Halloween Harvest Six Word Horror Stories

 

Pumpkins in an autumn field - Halloween
                                                         Photo Credit: Kelsie Cabeceiras - Pexels

Six word horror stories are fun and strive for a quick, single effect. I thought it would be interesting for spooky season aka Halloween aka harvest season, to do six-word horror stories that stand alone but also can be assembled into a bit of a linked narrative with the concluding installment to appear on Halloween, 2022.

SEE ALSO: Horrortober 2 - Halloween Horror Fiction

Segments area appearing on various social media outlets, and the complete string of micro stories will be assembled here in original order with new six word stories added as they appear on TikTok, Twitter and other platforms. The final entry will appear on October 31. 

FURTHER READING: How to Write an Unforgettable Six-Word Story

The Harvest Horror Six-Word Stories


1. The silent Jack-o'-lanterns know what's coming.

2. Did you see? The scarecrow moved! 

3. Wind parts corn plants. Shadows awake. 

4.  Before writhing shapes, an ancient altar. 


Full Moon in Night Sky

5.  Seven crows cry, serenading dancing silhouettes. 

6.  Black-robed penitents invite materializing figures.  

7. Shimmering shadows detach from darkness, walk.

8. Of course, Harvest Gods are plants!



9. Roots, massive tentacles, reach FOR YOU!



Wednesday, October 19, 2022

Reviewing the Great Ray Bradbury's Home to Stay! - Tales from EC Comics

The cool folks at Fantagraphics Books are dropping a collection of Ray Bradbury's stories adapted for EC Comics publications such as Tales from the Crypt and The Witch's Cauldron. It's called Home to Stay!: The Complete Ray Bradbury EC Stories.  

It's a nicely complete volume with a rich assortment of extras surrounding Bradbury's affiliation with the shunned and banned and later celebrated EC line.

I did a review of the volume for Wicked Horror

Stories are reproduced mostly in black and white, though they original tales were in color. Some pieces are reminiscent of the later Warren Magazine like Creepy inspired by EC.

The book's dropping now. Here's a sample page from the adaptation of "The Lake."

Ray Bradbury EC Comics The Lake - Home to Stay!
It really is a great volume for any Bradbury fan's library. 



Friday, October 07, 2022

What's on the Keyboard? - A Christmas Story

A workshopping group recently suggested we all try Christmas stories so we have a holiday tale in the quiver should an open call or invite arise.

Sometimes a notion grabs you, so in the middle of Spooky Season, while I wait on edits for a novel and move around a couple of other irons in the fire, I find myself immersed in a holiday tale.

I'm not sure the workshopping plan will actually unfold, but I recalled a moment from years ago as I stared at the blank page. Around 5 p.m., I was driving home from my corporate marketing gig. 

As I sat at a stop light that early-December day, I saw a car with three teen girls pass through the intersection. All of them wore Santa hats, and I thought they must be heading for some holiday activity.

What if one didn't catch her ride and had to walk. And what if it wasn't a Santa hat but one of those long stocking caps, an elf-hat of red and green?

And what if a white truck showed up as she walked alone? And what if a cemetery was on the way, and what if...?

It's taken off, so I'll be at this until it's finished. We'll see where things go from there.

Tuesday, September 13, 2022

Story Acceptance - Unknown Superheroes vs. the Forces of Darkness

I received a short story acceptance the other day, on my birthday in fact. It's for an anthology to be called Unknown Superheroes vs. the Forces of Darkness edited by Steve Dillon and Will JacquesWill is also illustrating. Another image here 

It will be headlined by Jonathan Maberry with a story called "The Collector." The guidelines were pretty generous on the parameters of the heroes, so I wound up writing a tale called "Side-Saddle" about a heroine in Georgian England. 

Themed anthologies are fun because they kind of lead you to pull new things up from the well of your imagination. I don't know that I would have settled at the keyboard and said: "I think I'm going to write a monster story set in roughly Georgian England" otherwise. 

Word on the forces of darkness my hero encounters will just have to wait until the antho's release, but I thought I'd use the old blogspot here to capture a few thoughts before they slip from my mind. I used to be able to remember everything in chronological detail, but I've reached that point where some of the colors fade and some things run together when you look back. 
Colonial Meal on display at Colonial Williamsburg

When I received the invite, my first thought went to a heroine I created earlier this year for a story called "Grand Tour." That was written on invite for an anthology calling for a story with a Hammer Films tone. I'm not sure of the status of that anthology, but if it doesn't see light I'll find another place for that story. 

Research such as the fact that young men went on grand tours for educational purposes in the 1700s or so coupled with an interest I've had for a while in the actual vampire legends of central Europe in the pre-John Polidori "The Vampyre" era. That all seemed to fit a Hammer mode.

Much of early vampire, and to some extent contemporary zombie traits, are seated in Serbia and adjacent regions, and I started thinking about the relative of someone like Arnold Paole, believed to be one of the first vampires in the European scares. 

What if the relative of an early, revenant-style vampire, maybe someone with ties to the Ottoman empire, felt responsible and compelled to track down a vampiric relative and any vampires he created?

I was pleased with how that story turned out, so when the Unknown Superheroes invite came along, I was still in an historical mood. 

I thought at first Andela of "Grand Tour" would be the star of another adventure. I envisioned her riding up to a British estate in a carriage, about the discover some new challenge while she visited. 

Then in research, I ran across Celia Fiennes, a real  young woman who rode across England on horseback in the late 1600s and early 1700s and kept a journal of her travels. 

Suddenly I thought Andela might ride up to an estate on horseback instead of in a carriage. 

But the more I read about Celia the real traveler, the more another character took shape, Cilla Frane, driven to travel and destined to encounter dark forces. 

I put a lot into shaping her story, and happily the tale came together, aided by a lot of research and even casual visits to spots like Colonial Williamsburg, though my tale unfolds on the other side of the pond.

I don't live far from Colonial Williamsburg's living museum these days, so dropping in to see tables spread with Colonial Era meals and visiting Colonial Era-style gardens melded with my visits to London and Scotland in years past. Everything helped to shape Cilla's world. 

It was a lot of fun to spend time in her world. Deets here when the story comes out, and if all goes well Andela and Cilla will ride again into adventures of their own. Or maybe they'll meet one day. 

 

Thursday, February 10, 2022

From the Sid Archives - Interview with Joanna Going of the Dark Shadows Revival Series

Here's another article from my file cabinet. I loved the original Dark Shadows as a kid, so I was happy when the chance came along to interview actors from the revival series in 1991. It was polished and atmospheric, drawing heavily on the film House of Dark Shadows, and sadly didn't last long on NBC.

Joanna Going was one of several cast members I interviewed as the show was cranking up. A couple of moves let the press kit for the series slip away, but it was cool when it arrived at the newspaper building. 

The great shot of Going and Ben Cross as Barnabas Collins was just one of the color pics or slides that were included. 



Ben Cross and Joanna Going - Dark Shadows


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