New Short Story: “Day Job”

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Waiting for the moment.

 

Happy Summer, all!

To beat the heat, I decided to knuckle down with the AC on and finish a story I’ve been kicking around for a few months. It’s a brief bit of a contradiction: realistic, yet outlandish; a joke, yet serious; autobiographical, yet anything but.

In any event, I had fun teasing it out, and I hope you do as well! So grab a coffee, get a seat with a good view of your surroundings, and swipe right to hear about a city kid’s trouble with balancing his passion for writing and his, well…

Day Job

The Top 7 Micro-Creepypastas – Part III

Welcome to the third compilation video of me reading some of my all-time favorite short creepypastas!

1) “Peripheral Vision”
2) “Food”
3) “Heavy Sleeper”
4) “’Other’ Channels”
5) “Breath”
6) “GET HELP”
7) “Growths”

Last I checked, stories can be found here. No clue who originally wrote these, but if said individuals are concerned about this video, just say the word.

All photography by me! See more on my Instagram at TNW24.

“End of the Line” – Creepypasta Reading

Happy Spring! Apologies for the dearth of O.C. ’round these parts as of late — what additional poems I’ve written have been for private parties, and what stories I’ve continued are either novel-length or best sent straight to a journal upon completion.

In the meantime, though, here’s a new reading of one of my old favorite creepypastas!  It’s longer than the usual, so there’s a few hiccups in there (still getting sound editing down), but I hope you still enjoy it.  Don’t forget to like, share, and subscribe if so!  Constructive criticism is always welcome either way.

Original story can be found here (author unknown).

“Illustration” by me.  See more on my Instagram, TNW24!

My First Published Story!

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Well, outside of college-based publications, that is. But yes: My short horror story “Pruritus” is now available alongside eight other cool authors in Issue 44 of the mad, macabre magazine “Sanitarium“! And for a low, low price to boot!

Check out the purchase links below if you’re itching for a good read on…

Amazon Kindle

Google Play

Apple Newsstand

Pocketmags

“Return to the Earth” – Creepypasta Reading

With Earth Day just around the corner, I did another dramatic reading, this time of another of my favorite anonymous creepypastas: “Return to the Earth.”

Original story can be found here.

Photograph by me. See more on Instagram!

“Breakdowns and Boxes” (+BIG TIME GRAD STUFF!)

Boy, our problems look so small from up here...

Boy, our problems look so small from up here…

Hey, happy summer! So since my last post, there’s been some considerable developments “behind the scenes” here, which is part of why it’s been so long since there’s been a last post. But in any case, before we move on to the story at hand, the biggest announcement must be made: I have officially graduated from the University of Washington, and I’m also-officially headed to Cornell Law this August!

(Candid shot from my uncle)

(Candid shot from my uncle)

Needless to say, the last rush of assignments before the camera flashes and mortarboards started popping was both nerve-wracking and exciting. However, it turned out I managed to stave off senioritis, and cleared my final quarter with two 4.0’s and a 3.9! That latter grade was for English 484, which you’ll remember as having previously produced “Bread and Buttons” and “Day of a New Dawn“, and I can thank the success of my last two assignments for it. The last, last assignment was to reimagine a story from earlier in the quarter in a totally new form (or give it a major text-only revision–but where’s the fun in that?); some conveyed their tales through photography, a short film, or even a cooked dish, but what I decided to do was turn Bread and Buttons into a videogame… minus the actual game. Confused? Well, take a look at these pics I snapped before turning it in:

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The basic idea here was, seeing as videogames have been such a big part of Dan Brooke’s life, could he be the kind of guy to see his that life in game-like terms? So though the disc itself contains only a slightly-edited text file of the story, I designed a full PlayStation 2-style cover and brief instruction booklet (it’s shrunken because Photoshop and Windows Photo Gallery can never seem to agree on real-world dimensions) for Dan’s “game of life.”

I can upload some high-quality JPEGs of that later, but I don’t want to hold up the main focus here any longer: my second-to-last 484 work, a “revision” of “Bread and Buttons” based on N+7, a writer’s game of sorts that involves taking every noun (alternatively, verb) in a piece of text and replacing it with the word seven entries ahead in the dictionary. Obviously, “the dictionary” is a broad concept–and the afore-linked program’s identification of nouns was shaky in places–but the assignment’s guidelines permitted keeping only a quarter of the new nouns. So after copy-pasting “Bread and Buttons” page by page, I was left with an utterly chaotic pile of text; in a way, my work was cut out for me by the images formed from the most striking words repeated throughout (“aphrodesiac”, “rosary”, several varieties of flowers), but I still had to make sense of the whole thing. The resultant narrative retained only the loose structure of its predecessor–a lone guy pacing his home and ruminating–but took a totally different turn into…

Breakdowns and Boxes

——

I think this story turned out considerably grittier than anything I’ve ever written, but that’s partially because it almost exclusively focuses on characters and situations that I’ve never written about before (an elderly man, for one, but to say more would incur spoilers). As such, I’ll admit/agree with my professor’s comments that it has moments where believability is stretched, and others that come across as a narrative cop-out. However, I wholly invite your criticism! As always, I hope you enjoy it–and everything else I continue to write, as the summer is set to give me some quality time to continue my novel and submit shorter works to academic and creative journals–but I can only get better if someone outside my own head tells me how.

“The First American September of Tyler Walsh”

Land "Oh"!

Land “Oh”!

Alright, little change of pace here! Or rather, a brief step back in time–this story is another one I wrote for English 384 last quarter  (see also: “Above“). Due to my dissatisfaction over the slightly chopped-up nature of the draft I ended up turning in, though, I didn’t feel comfortable sharing it online, and could never get around to running over it to get everything “just so.” But I finally did, and so here you go!

Some notes: The piece was written as a segment from a novel I’ve been brainstorming for a while (“I Land“), and so I suppose this could be considered a “test run” for the set-up and primary characters. The final scene is the one I had to cut from the original assignment draft for the sake of brevity; I’ve included it here as a sort of epilogue/prologue, and while I’ll admit it currently feels a bit rushed, it still establishes plot details and relationships I didn’t feel were coming through naturally early on. Also, the part of Tyler Walsh (why yes, I was having a hard time coming up with a name!) is herein played by my brother Kyle in a picture on page 2; any further connection between himself and the events of the text is hopefully entirely coincidental.

But enough rambling! If you’ve got a list started of “Stories to Read,” then consider #1 to now be…

The First American September of Tyler Walsh