Category Archives: short stories

Day 3 of the Concordant Vibrancy 5 Book Tour: Carol Cassada!

Welcome to Day 3 of the Concordant Vibrancy 5 book tour. Today we are introducing author Carol Cassada. . .

  1. This is the third time I’ve participated in the Concordant Vibrancy series. I’ve known Yasmin, Monica, and the All Authors family for a while.

When they invited me to be part of volume 3 of the anthology, I jumped at the chance. I loved the first two volumes, and to me, the concept of Concordant Vibrancy was unique. 

Participating in the anthology challenged my mind. I delved into my philosophical side as I contemplated the theme’s question. Then I had to create a story centered around my answer. 

It was a fun experience, and Concordant Vibrancy helped break me out of my writing comfort zone. I was able to see what else I could create instead of my usual genre.

 

 

  1. I’ve been featured in Lustrate, Inferno, and now the last volume Extancy.

It’s been a pleasure to work alongside this wonderful group of authors who I admire. I’m sad to see the Concordant Vibrancy series come to an end, but I hope I’ll be able to continue working with All Authors in the future.

  1. I choose strength as my answer to the theme’s question, and when I say strength I mean emotional strength.

My CV5 story is inspired by my own life. Alzheimer’s runs in my family. My paternal grandmother had it, and my aunt was her caretaker. It was heartbreaking watching my grandmother’s mind slipping, and although my aunt never showed it, I knew it was tough on her.

Now, several years later, I’m in the same situation.

My mother was diagnosed with dementia about two years ago. At first, I didn’t want to believe it, but after confirmation from the doctor, I had to face the sad truth. I also stepped up and became my mother’s caretaker.

Being a caretaker isn’t easy. Aside from the physical stress, it can also exhaust you mentally. Seeing the person you love have their memories and their personality taken away is difficult. I’ve had moments where I broke down, wondering why my mother has to go through this, and worrying about the future.

As I explain to everyone, there are good days and bad days. Although there are challenging times, I manage to pull myself together to be the best daughter and caretaker I can be.

Author Links:

Blog: https://carolcassada.wordpress.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/dramacjc

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Carol-Cassada/e/B00520F3ZU?ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_2&qid=1609261323&sr=8-2

 

Day 2 of the Concordant Vibrancy 5 Book Tour: C. Desert Rose!

Welcome to Day 2 of the Concordant Vibrancy 5 book tour. Today we are introducing author C. Desert Rose. . .

* Knock, knock! *

 

I know you’re there!

 

Beaming Face with Smiling Eyes

 

I’m just kidding! Hello, everyone. C. Desert Rose here; just stopping by to say hello and share the 411 on my “Concordant Vibrancy” adventure throughout the year.

 

 

Going into this blog tour I was asked these questions.

 

What prompted you to be a part of the Concordant Vibrancy concept?

 

Which Concordant Vibrancy books are you featured in?

 

Why did you choose a certain attribute as your answer to CV5’s theme question?

 

 

Honestly, where do I begin?

How can one fully encompass and quantify the value of the above questions without potentially leaving something out? It seems difficult but I will do my best.

 

I’m going to try to answer all of these questions at once, albeit, potentially not in order.

 

I, gratefully, have been in all of the Concordant VIbrancy books. In Unity I wrote a story called “Her A to Z”. In Vitality I wrote an essay called “An Ocean of  Questions”. For Lustrate I wrote a comedy called “The Boo Thang Convention” and in Inferno, I pitched in with “Calliope’s Inferno”.

Now, for Extancy, I’ve brought another essay. This one is called “Frequencies Towards Illumination”.

Each one of these stories mean a great deal to me in their independent ways.

I came to join the Concordant Vibrancy project when my publisher, All Authors Publishing House, asked if I would like to be a part of it. We were being offered a compensation of sorts for being a House author. I was thrilled when I was first invited, but  also rather nervous. Mostly because I knew that I would be joining a collection of phenomenal writers and I wasn’t sure that I could compare to their talent. My very first entry, “Her A to Z” was written with great trepidation as I fully expected it to be rejected. But, to my great surprise,  it wasn’t. All these years later, here I am, having participated in the entire collection.

Solely speaking on “Extancy”, at first I chose “Self-Love” as my theme question word. But upon further scrutiny and feedback from the publishers, we settled upon “Awareness” which seemed to be a better suited interpretation.

Why “Awareness”? Well, in the simplest of terms, because awareness is true life … but I won’t get too much into that because then you won’t read my essay. LOL

 

Thanks for having me!

 

Following is an excerpt poster. Enjoy!

Day 1 of the Concordant Vibrancy 5 Book Tour.

Greetings everyone! Welcome to the Concordant Vibrancy book tour. Before we dive into the wonderful answers and writings from our participants with the final installment Extancy, it is important that the origins of this collection are discussed.

 

The birth of Concordant Vibrancy took place many years ago.
During that time, All Authors was focused on the advocacy of all authors with the purpose of reaching all readers. We had expanded into many subsidiaries, two of which were All Authors Magazine and All Authors Publishing House. We had a handful of writers under our belt. Also, there were people who took part in the magazine, providing information, entertainment, and support.
Yes, the aspirations of All Authors were expansive and innovative. However, the funding we possessed was minimal.
With that said, we wanted to find a way to reward the participants of the Magazine and the Publishing House in lieu of monetary compensation.
After much thought, it was decided that those individuals would have the opportunity to be featured in a yearly publication, hosted by All Authors.
The 1st book of the Concordant Vibrancy collection Unity was released in January 2015. The 2nd and 3rd books, Vitality and Lustrate, were released in 2016 and 2017, respectively.
In late 2017, All Authors opted to go on hiatus for the purpose of relaxation, rejuvenation, and re-imagination.
What resulted from these three “R” was the redefinition of our organization’s existentialism, the luminosity of our expansiveness, and the degrees of transcendence that no longer was in alignment with the original credo of everyday inclusiveness.
Although smaller in design, yet more proficient, All Authors still believed that Concordant Vibrancy was adaptable to both our origins and our rebirth. It was only fitting that the 4th book Inferno hit shelves in January 2020.
It is with joy and a heavy heart that Concordant Vibrancy has reached completion with this upcoming release. However, please check out our brand new website with all the details of this fantastic work.

Layers: A Collection of Short Stories by Zuzanne Belec! Something for Every Reader!

Blurb: 

Layers is a debut collection of imaginative short stories celebrating life and the human spirit despite the ever-present spectre of melancholy in our lives today. With their distinctive blend of wit and humour, they light up any underlying darkness.

From the Americas to India, from Africa to Europe, and through a range of genres, voices and styles, layers are unraveled, revealing the textures and contrasts of old and new in the environments and cultures of today’s fast-paced world. With vivid descriptions, we are drawn into enchanting worlds with characters that leap off the page, leaving the reader lingering long after the pages have been read.

  • In The Christmas Charge: Instead of enjoying their Christmas preparing eggnog cream pie and sipping sherry by the fireside, three batty grannies go on an African safari. At this stage of wisdom in their lives, nothing can go wrong. Right?

 

  • In Paths Taken: When her grandmother ‘kills’ a man on a busy town square, Hecate is forced to face her worst fears and use her own unsettling powers to help her. But where will these new paths take her?

 

  • In White Noise: All Earl needs to do is hand his work over to his successor. But is it that easy to let go? And where does one hide from one’s inner noise when things go wrong?

 

  • In The Old Man and the Donkey: Deep in northern Portugal, an old man and his donkey go about their lonely routine. When an unexpected visitor shows up, everyone is given a new chance of happiness. But have they all been stubbornly avoiding it for too long?

 

  • In The Arctic Haze: Since he was little, bad luck has stuck to George’s soles like clingy dog mess. Some of us are luckier. Or are we really?

 

  • In Penny’s Purple Robot: A loving father exceeds himself to make his daughter happy after her mother passes away. But can he force himself to face a brutal truth?

 

  • In Mothers: Deep in Africa, a desperate mother accepts her own fate, but refuses to face an even harsher reality. Mothers will do anything for their young. And things may not be as they seem.

 

  • In Yeehaw: Running from their regular lives, Sam and Patsy end up in an artificial town – Yeehaw Theme Park. Will they find their true selves in this synthetic world?

If you like a minimalist and dark, yet humorous look at the contrasts we face in the world today, you will enjoy this collection of mixed-genre stories.

Buy now to enter into these worlds!

 

My Review: 

Rating: ★★★★★

Layers: A Collection of Short Stories offers readers a buffet of tales from which to choose. Author Zuzanne Belec has crafted stories filled with originality, intrigue, suspense, and life. Her characters arrive fully formed and breathing, alive with personality that radiates throughout these pages.

Each story is a look inside lives that are both unlike our own and yet very much alike. Though some stories may read slower than others, they are each worthy of a reading.

From the opening story to the final one, it becomes clear that Belec writes from the heart. She has the talent to weave emotion into her work, allowing readers to become invested in the characters and the plot. Among my favorites are The Christmas Charge, and the inventive Paths Taken.

If you enjoy short fiction, there is something here for every taste. This is a fine collection.

 

About the Author: 

Zuzanne is a writer, poet and translator who now lives in the heart of Europe, after being lucky enough to spend her first thirty years absorbing the contrasting textures of Africa.

After she quit the rat race, she spent fifteen years as a translator before discovering the world of writing. This discovery, and the encouragement from her daughters, partner and friends, led to her decision to delve even deeper into writing. She then grew a long grey beard and became a hermit, studying the craft and immersing herself into this world that is magic.
About the time when her beard reached ankle-length, she knew she was on the right path when three of her stories were published in Canadian literary magazines.

This debut collection, Layers, is the result of this passion. And it is only the beginning …

Fresh Ink Group Presents The Voice of Indie Podcast!

Hey! Did you know Fresh Ink Group publishing produces a weekly live podcast called Voice of Indie? The hosts of the show are me, Beem Weeks, and author and publisher Stephen Geez. Every Wednesday at 8 pm EDT we welcome authors, musicians, and artists into our studio for a full hour of discussions. We also open the phone lines so listeners can call in with their questions and comments.

Past guests have included author and journalist Ronald E. Yates, musicians Ron and Zach Tippin of the prog rock band Widetrack, sci fi author Robert G. Williscroft, and Robert McKenzie, author of The Chair.

This week’s guest is Christian romance author and gospel singer Jeannie Sharpe. Be sure to mark it down on your calendar. And if you miss any show live, you can always find it in the archive!

Past Guests:

Ronald E. Yates

Traci Sanders

Mary Schmidt

Robert McKenzie

Dr. Helen Borel, RN, PhD

Marc Marlow

Robert G. Williscroft

Ron and Zach Tippin (Widetrack)

Short Story Special

Dying for a Kiss (A Short Story)

Dying for a Kiss

 

It’s like one of those stories you’d read about in Ripley’s Believe It or Not. I mean, who ever heard of anybody dying from a kiss? Seriously! But that’s what happened to me—well, except for the dying part. Two weeks in the hospital—that’s the souvenir I brought back from my spring break.

Okay, let me back up to the beginning.

My parents’ hushed words pierce the wall that separates their bedroom from mine. This particular conversation doesn’t warrant status as an argument, though. And believe me, I know what their arguments sound like—lots of yelling, and maybe an ashtray or a bowling trophy gets thrown by Mom. I guess I’d classify this one as just another log of disappointment tossed on the bonfire that engulfs our family—our collective lives.

Dad is a dreamer. The problem is, dreamers make promises they’ll eventually have to break. He’s also the sort of man who’ll spend his last five dollars on scratch-off lottery tickets instead of household necessities, like food, or gas—or our long-planned excursion to Disney World during spring break.

Dad’s the one who sets it in stone over breakfast in our kitchen—Dad, because Mom refuses to play the bad parent anymore.

“Sorry, kids,” he tells me and my sister, Amanda. “We just can’t afford Disney at this time.”

Amanda, being nearly two years older than me, carries a heavier burden of disappointment than I do. She’s had more time to gather her own collection of tales regarding broken promises, cancelled plans, and the jettisoned idea of ever being a normal, well-adjusted family.

“I figured as much,” Amanda mumbles, dismissing herself from the table.

Dad tries to be sincere in his attempt to save spring break. “But that doesn’t mean we can’t go somewhere that’s almost as fun and exciting.”

When Dad speaks of somewhere, it’s usually a state-park campground in some far-flung forest up north.

Amanda hollers from the living room, “Just so you know, Daddy, I hate camping.”

I don’t hate camping—though it doesn’t exactly make my top-ten list of fun things to do.

*      *      *

A little backstory.

My parents met at a Beatles concert back in 1964. Mom claims love at first sight.

Dad, well, he’s been known to dispute her recollections on the subject. He’s fond of saying, “She had the hots for John Lennon, is all. I’m just the booby prize.”

Hippies, they were—and still are, even though it’s 1979 now. They only just recently (as in one year ago) got married—despite the fact that Amanda is almost fourteen and I’m already twelve. And though they’d both been college students when they met, neither has ever collected the degree they once intended to earn.

Mom works at the IGA as a cashier—minimum wage, with practically zero opportunity to advance into a higher tax bracket.

Dad? He’s dabbled in various occupations—sales, electronic repairs (TV’s mostly, maybe a few stereos), welding, landscaping, auto repair. Nothing ever really sticks for him, though. My grandfather (Mom’s dad) refers to my father as professionally unemployable. Granddad still blames him for making a mess of Mom’s life. They don’t speak, Dad and Grandpa.

Dad’s a good guy, though. He means well. He’s just not one for responsibilities.

So, anyway, the folded map of Michigan comes out, spread across the kitchen table. Mom eyes the places circled in red—those previous vacation spots. We’ve been all over the state: Silver Lake Sand Dunes, Traverse City during the cherry festival, Holland for Tulip Time. We even spent a few days on Mackinac Island three summers ago—though we didn’t stay at the Grand Hotel.

“It’s Andrew’s turn to choose,” Mom says, dropping the big decision in my hands.

Hiawatha National Forest had been my first choice the last time my turn came up. But Dad broke his foot, which cancelled our vacation that spring.

“The Upper Peninsula, it is,” Dad says.

Amanda despises me in this moment. “I told you I hate camping.”

*      *      *

Radio songs fill the van once we hit US 27 going north. The Bee Gees squawk about a tragedy twice before we’re even on the road for forty minutes.

“I hate that song,” Amanda complains.

Dad says, “Well, I like it.”

Mom tries to lighten the mood. “I spy with my little eye—”

“Please don’t!” Amanda begs. Without warning, she socks my shoulder, yells, “Slug bug red!”

“Ouch!” And just like that, it’s on. We’ll both of us be battered and bruised by the time we spy the top of the Mackinac Bridge.

“Slug bug green!” Thwack!

“Slug bug blue!” Thwack!

“Slug bug—oh, never mind. That’s not a VW.” Thwack!

“Hey! No fair!”

Blondie sings about her heart of glass and Amanda momentarily abandons our game—just long enough to sing the few lines she actually knows.

Many hours later, I’m the one who spots the top of the Mighty Mack! “I see the bridge,” I say, hoping it’ll irritate Amanda.

But in truth, she doesn’t mind losing this game. It’s not a thing to her anymore. She’ll leave us the day she turns eighteen—or even sooner, if she has her way. Grandpa promised to pay for her college, knowing my parents will never be able to afford it.

Evening spikes the sky with an orange-pink sunset by the time we find a campground inside Hiawatha. Dozens of tents and RV’s occupy the prime camping spots.

“Andrew and I will set up the tent,” Dad says, parking our van on the last vacant lot within sight. “You girls can get dinner ready.”

Kids—loud and rowdy, as Grandpa would say—run from lot to lot, chasing after somebody’s collie, darting across the road without so much as a glance in either direction.

“Too stupid to last long in this world,” Amanda says.

Mom gives her the eye. “They’re just kids, for crying out loud, Mandy.”

*      *      *

“Andy and Mandy,” the girl teases, laughing at our introductions. “That’s cute. Are you two twins or something?”

“Or something,” Amanda says.

Her name is Nora, this girl with short brown hair. Already fourteen—unlike Amanda, who still has another month. The tents across the street are her family’s—it’s their collie running wild.

“Five kids,” Nora says, answering my mother. “I’m the oldest. Three younger brothers and a baby sister.”

“Sounds kind of crowded, that many people in just two small tents,” I observe.

She looks right at me when I speak—like I’m really truly here, standing in front of her.

“You don’t know the half of it,” says Nora. “I asked if I could just stay home, sit out this vacation. That’s not happening anytime soon.”

*      *      *

Blue jean shorts and a red bikini top—that’s what Nora wears the following morning. And a pocket full of salt water taffy—which she gladly shares.

Mom’s not impressed. “Leaves little to the imagination,” she says, regarding Nora’s top.

“But you and Daddy used to skinny dip,” Amanda reminds her. “So how is that better?”

Mom’s hard gaze issues silent threats. Her words aren’t quite as harsh. “Aren’t you kids going boating?”

It’s not really a boat, this thing we rent; it’s more like a canoe—but only plastic. I sit in the rear, my paddle steering us toward the middle of the lake. Amanda has the other paddle, though she’s not really doing anything with it.

Nora sits in the middle—facing me!

I think Amanda is intimidated, not being the oldest for a change.

Nora talks—a lot. But I don’t mind. She tells us all about life back home in Detroit—well, the suburbs, really, a place called Royal Oak. She used to have a boyfriend, but he cheated on her. Her parents separated last year, intending to divorce, but her mom ended up pregnant.

“Amazing how an unborn baby can save a marriage,” Amanda says.

It’s after we bring the canoe in that Nora says, “Wanna go for a walk?”

Only, she’s not talking to Amanda. Amanda is already halfway back to our tent.

We end up in a picnic area near the lake, just me and Nora. She tells me more about herself, her family, what she intends for her future.

“You’re cute,” she says, sitting right beside me on a park bench.

My cheeks get hot, probably bright pink.

And she’s two years older than me, I think, as her lips press against mine.

My first kiss—well, first real kiss.

On her tongue I taste salt water taffy and excitement and all things possible.

What I don’t taste is the meningitis in her saliva.

Amanda intrudes, tells me lunch is being served at our tent.

*      *      *

It strikes without warning, leaving me confused, nauseated. Words tumble from my mouth, though I have no idea what I’m saying.

Mom’s hand finds my forehead. “He’s burning up,” she says. “We need to get this boy to a hospital.”

Only, I don’t hear it that way. What I hear is, “We need to get this boy a pretzel.”

“But I don’t like pretzels,” I mumble.

*      *      *

Two weeks later, I’m back home. It’s a blur, but my parents say I nearly died.

From a kiss!

Is that a Ripley’s story or what?

And what a kiss—totally worth dying for!

Well, almost dying.

© 2019 Beem Weeks

My Review of Comes this Time to Float by @StephenGeez

Rating: ★★★★★

Author Stephen Geez possesses a talent for crafting tales that draw readers into the unique and vivid worlds he creates. This collection of 19 short stories offers a smorgasbord of genres, characters, lives, and situations with which everyday people can and will identify. From the very first story to the last, Geez has a way of keeping the reader enthralled and entertained.

“Halfway House” tells a sad tale of loss and the search for redemption. “Vapor Girl” is trippy and far out, and one that will surely remain with you. “Family Treed” sprinkles the weird and humorous on this wonderful word salad. “Tailwind” is a thoughtful piece about a pair of aging friends in the latter stages of life. “The Age Eater” carries a note of science fiction and a hint of creepy. But my favorite is a story entitled “Holler Song”. This story harkens to the Ozark Mountains of Daniel Woodrell’s modern classic Winter’s Bone, where poor people caught up in impossible circumstances will do whatever it takes just to survive the lives handed to them.

There isn’t a bad story in the entire collect. Stephen Geez has been a favorite of mine since I first read his novel What Sara Saw many years ago. If you’re a reader with a keen eye for the literary, this is one you’ll want on your bookshelf.

Ingredient 9 of Concordant Vibrancy 4: Inferno! EMPATHY by Queen of Spades

Day 9 of the Concordant Vibrancy Blog Tour.  The final is author Queen of Spades.
The Kindling
The creation of my submission for Inferno stemmed from an unusual place. Unusual in that I was working on a different story for this project. While working on the original story, an event occurred that I concluded only took place in the thick of my poetry writing—I lost the frequency that the story coasted on.
In order to better understand this, I must give a glimpse between what my approach to writing poetry is like versus essays and story writing.
When I write poetry, it’s an unplanned thing. It’s uncaring of the time of day or what else I have going on. When the inspiration strikes, I have to get the words down right at the moment. Flow, meaning, and rhythm can get lost if I don’t complete the process right then and there.
Typically, with essays and story writing, I have an outline and set rhythm in my head. One that I can return to whenever I get ready. All I have to do is sit down and get the words down. I never had to worry about the algorithm going awry … until recently.
It’s comparable to a GPS malfunctioning when one is halfway at the destination. No matter how many times one re-calibrates the machine or how many time it recalculates, you’re stuck with nowhere to go.
On top of that, the area lacks WiFi and one’s cell phone has just two bars.
For the first time in my short story writing career, I declared the original story a no-go but didn’t have a backup on hand to take its place.
This was around mid-April. Mid May arrived. Still no spark to guide me to an answer to the theme question:
What are the ingredients to a sustainable blaze?
In late May, I went on a personal sabbatical to Ocean City, Maryland. Solo vacations serve to be inspirational as well as invigorating. I read a lot of Michelle Obama’s book Becoming. I did some personal journaling, awaiting the arrival of the short story muse.
He (I only call the short story muse He when I’m annoyed) was being ornery.
One June day—Juneteenth to be exact—an image formed in my mind. It was of a person sleeping on his back. The ceiling had a water spot. Condensation was forming.
I opened my word processing application and typed. It came out in present tense, one I had never dabbled in but felt right for what was developing.
Not too long after, a name. Keller.
Up until I finished the story, the working title was Keller. Another staple for me is to already have the title either near the beginning or in the middle.
Nothing about this was my signature.
After doing a preliminary read—immersing in the words as a reader not an author—I thought, “This is a pretty insightful work. Keller experienced varying degrees in his perception of himself and other people.”
Insight … Insight … Insight. That could work as part of the title. Keller’s Insight? It was better than Keller but I still believed there was something missing. I wasn’t accounting for the temperature of his thoughts nor the heat of them.
Hence The Calefaction of Insight.
The Accelerants
 
 
The Calefaction of Insight is told in present tense by the main character Keller with bits of independent narration interwoven. Keller is a man who struggles with his weight. He is part of a group whose goal is to encourage him to adopt a healthier lifestyle.
An initial accelerant is “Mr. Jack Off”. A disagreement between Keller and “Mr. Jack Off” is where Keller’s tale begins.
What starts off as an activity challenge blossoms into much more when Keller encounters a woman at the park he refers to as “Goddess”. His interactions with her bring forth positive changes that are noticeable to everyone.
These positive vibes are met with negative accelerants. Some are external forces while others are of his own manufacturing.
The Fuel Which Binds
 
 
Overall, The Calefaction of Insight is a mirror on modern day issues (fat acceptance vs. fat shaming, illness and the surrounding stigma, perception of self vs. perception of others) and an ongoing battle of the mind, heart, and spirit.
No matter where one is in life, the presence of empathy is the differential between keeping one’s flame going and having one’s fire dissolve into embers.

Ingredient 8 of Concordant Vibrancy 4: Inferno! CONVICTION by Da’Kharta Rising

Day 8 of the Concordant Vibrancy Blog Tour.  Next up is author Da’Kharta Rising.
What’s good? The SASS here. I normally don’t get out of my cave but when I do it’s for a good reason. Also, when my publisher dictates I have to make an appearance.
However, I do like to talk about myself. Simply because I write pretty kick-ass stuff. Yes, it’s for a specific audience but it doesn’t make it any less killer.
Out of all the Concordant Vibrancy themes, this one spoke to me the loudest. Not because the title is “Inferno” but because it deals with fire. Fire is my favorite element, which you didn’t even know about me.
When it came to my response to the question, I originally concocted a literal perspective, dealing with a dragon and phoenix. Well, it wasn’t any dragon and phoenix. They were very entertaining characters, and the story was a mix of drama and humor, which would have been a big out-of-the-box leap for yours truly.
However, my main characters were getting off track and trying to steal my thunder. Therefore, a quarter of the way through, I abandoned those noisy, wayward animals. Not to say they won’t get their own independent spotlight a bit later, but they did not suit the succinctness I was going for.
You know me by now. I’m the type of writer that is like a strong drink. Little to no ice and no extra stuff to cut through the potency of the main integrant. Or for those who don’t drink alcohol, like a piece of lean meat. Little to no fat, although I think fat is yummy.
If you don’t like meat … um, then I’m all out of comparisons.
Let’s move this along, shall we?
Axing the idea so close to the deadly was a risky move but I was convinced that it would pay off.
See what I did there?
That is the thing about conviction. It is a powerful ingredient in the human existence. It acts as pliable clay, possessing the ability to warp perception and reality. The foundation and steadfastness of conviction marks humanity’s temperature. In my analysis, it is why there’s ease in starting an inferno but challenge in dousing the flames.
My contribution to the anthology, “The Chronicles of Aidan”, begins when Aidan starts speaking on the sad condition of the world to anyone who hears. Fearing that his opinions are signs of a mental break, Aidan is placed in a facility that’s supposed to tackle his ailment.
Dissatisfied with the bleakness of his surroundings, Aidan receives permission to decorate the walls by convincing the facility’s board and psychiatrist Dr. Deitrich that it aids in his therapy.
Through Aidan’s day to day, several events happen which makes one question the power of a mind’s conviction.
Find out more by reading “The Chronicles of Aidan”.

DR

Ingredient 7 of Concordant Vibrancy 4: Inferno! RISK by Synful Desire

Day 7 of the Concordant Vibrancy Blog Tour.  Next up is author Synful Desire.

Hello Awesome Visitors!

 

I am very glad you could join us on the Concordant Vibrancy 4: Inferno tour. It is an honor to be featured in a collection with such wonderful talents and that you have gotten a chance to learn about their craft and their stories in this anthology.

 

 

Please, if you have not already done so, take a gander at some of the authors which have come before me. You definitely will not regret it!

 

Today is my feature day and I’m ready to dish on all things risk in my story “Antipode”.
Awesome visitors, the first question you probably have is “Why?”. Why did I select Risk as the ingredient to sustain humanity’s blaze?
When one is in a holding pattern in life, sometimes it takes the unusual to light the fire in one’s belly.
This is my philosophy. Contentment and happiness are not necessarily the same animals. If they were, why are flickers of happiness so intense that they are blazes, but flickers of contentment are so calm that they are nothing more than candles, just to light the way to another path?
The focal point of “Antipode” is a man named Carsen Mulligan. He’s presented as an unassuming, kind man. A man who doesn’t require much to be content. A man who tries to keep the peace and eliminate or avoid conflict as much as possible.
All appears to be going well for him. He’s with a woman (Chelley Priestley) he’s head over heels with, in line to be his life partner. He’s in the running for a promotion at his job at Amphere Museum. He works at the museum with Morton Yang, who he’s been friends with since childhood.
What could possibly go wrong?
As “Antipode” demonstrates, every flipping thing.
An unsettling revelation comes about involving his love Chelley. This causes what should have been a joyous celebration into disappointment, as reflected in this segment:
Carsen was so fixated on Todd and Chelley that he hadn’t noticed the silence of the restaurant or the manager and two additional men surrounding him, ready to pounce at the first sign of trouble. On the outside, Carsen projected an eerie, almost admirable sense of calm in the wake of this betrayal. Inside, his spiritual temperature was dropping, as were bits of his heart.
Then, the promotion Carsen believes is a shoo-in falls through, with an extra insult to injury in regards to who received the job instead, as depicted in this exchange:
The intensity of Carsen’s emotions suffocated his calm. Agitated, he loosened his tie while rising from the opulent seating. Carsen was unsure which bothered him the most—the decimation of Mr. Deschand’s role in Amphere, the allusion to his romantic mourning somehow affecting his job performance, or the betrayal of Morton.
 
“Carsen, this doesn’t have to affect our friendship. I talked to Mr. Toler, and Falcourt Museum has an opening. They would love to have you onboard.”
 
Morton’s suggestion was met with wearing the remainder of Carsen’s fizzy drink. “Then you should have gone to Falcourt. Being the curator of Amphere was my dream and you knew it! You’re not only disloyal but a thief. My moral compass won’t permit me to be friends with either.”
These tribulations put Carsen on a path that catapults him to the verge of madness.
Just when Carsen is at his breaking point, Miles, his next-door neighbor, presents him with a solution that could turn his life around. All Carsen has to do is risk breaking from his comfort zone to try something different. Taking this chance morphs Carsen’s life in ways he never could have dreamed.

 

Find out if the fire of risk consumes Carsen in a positive or negative way by reading “Antipode” by yours truly.