Monday, November 24, 2014

Let the mayhem begin

Earlier this morning I posted my story "Cleansing Fire" on my Patreon profile.  This is the first story of my Solar System Stories where I plan to write twelve stories set at various locations around the solar system.  This story is set nearish the sun and is about a guy who does dangerous stunts.  To read the story, you either have to become a patron at the low, low price of a $1 a story, or you can wait over a year until I collect them all into an ebook which will probably sell for $2.99.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Download Political Pies for free!

What’s scarier than all the ghosts and goblins at your door?  There’s an election next week.

To try to blunt the horror of the season, I’m offering my anthology of forty, short, political stories Political Pies for free!  You’ll be able to download it to your Kindle from Saturday November 1, through Wednesday November 5.  Download it early, and you can read it while waiting in line to vote on Tuesday. 

If “free” isn’t enough to entice you, check out the cover and blurb:

Everybody complains about politics, but does anyone do anything about it? Stephen L. Thompson’s attempt to do something about it is to collect forty of his short stories with a political element into his Political Pies anthology. His stories are either politically neutral or equally condemning of the national parties. Instead of trying to sway you to one ideology or another, his goal is to just get people thinking about politics in the hopes a rose might grow out of all the political manure.

So what are you waiting for?  Download your copy now, you won’t get another chance until next year.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Jumping into Patreon

So several months ago I heard of this Patreon site where creators of videos, comics, stories, or whatever can raise funds with the help of patrons.  I thought it was a great idea, but I wasn’t too sure how well it would work for someone like me.  But after thinking about, I decided to join.

My first project I’ll be working on is to write twelve, short science fiction stories of a few thousand words at least.  These stories will be set in twelve “locations” in the solar system, the sun (well, near the sun), Mercury, Venus, Earth/moon, Mars, Asteroid Belt, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Kuiper Belt, and the Oort Cloud.  My plan is to write a story a month, and at the end of the year I’ll polish up the stories and publish them as a Kindle ebook.  Anyone who finds this interesting, and especially those who’d like to help out financially, should check out my Patreon Profile. 

My original plan was to write the first story or two, and then start posting them in January.  But recently I’ve been trying to force myself to write more, so I decided to start a few months early.  The first story, set near the sun with the working title “Cleansing Fire,” should (I’ll say 95% likelihood) be up sometime in November.  Right now I’d say it’s about a third done, but I hope by giving myself a deadline I’ll get around to finishing it.  We’ll just have to see.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Check out QuarterReads

QuarterReads describes itself as “A short read at a fair price.” Basically, you read short stories or poems for a quarter. What’s really interesting is what happens for writers. Of that $0.25 you spend on a story, the author of said story receives $0.22. Having things the other way around where the author only gets $0.03 is more common. But that’s not all. If you enjoy the story, you can tip the author an additional, $0.25, $0.50, or $0.75, and all of the tips go to the author.

As someone who usually writes short stories, you can understand why I’m excited by something like QuarterReads. But for the site to really take off, requires readers. So I encourage you to check it out and hopefully find some stories you like. If you’re curious about my stories, here is my author profile.  Right now, I have two stories up, but I’m hoping to add at least one a month.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Recap of my 30 Stories in 30 Days Challenge

So it's halfway through October and I've just realized that my last post here was at the end of August announcing that I would be trying to write thirty stories during the month of September.  I had planned to make updates about it, but I never got around to it.  And I had planned to do a recap with links to all the stories, but I just kind of forgot about that.  Well, better late than never.

First off, I didn't reach my goal of thirty stories, I only wrote twenty-one.  Part of it was I had several other things going on, but a larger part was just ... laziness, I guess.  It's something I need to be working on. 

Anyway, here are links to the twenty-one stories I did manage to write during the month of September.  I hope you'll check them out and get a laugh or two.

“For the People?” -
“Just Another Statistic” -
“Onward Christian Soldiers” -
“Let it Rain” -
“A Series of Lines” -
“The Process” -
“Beware Upgrades” -
“Read the Fine Print” -
“Dust to Dust” -
“Flaunt It” -
“Always Have a Strong Finish” -
“I Just Write Stories” -
“The Morning After” -
“Memories” -
“Same Old Line” -
“Puppy Wuppy” -
“The Dim Past” -
“The Revolution Will Not Be Tweeted” -
“Just Another Brick in the Wall” -
“Moving On” -
“The Honeymoon’s Over” -

Sunday, August 31, 2014

30 Stories in 30 Days

In a few hours, I'll be starting my 2014 30 Stories in 30 Days Challenge.  In case you can't figure it out, that's where I try to write thirty short - sometimes very short - stories in as many days.  In previous years I have posted the stories on my website or on one of my blogs, but this year I'll be posting them on my Bubblews page.  To get a little more information, check out this post which should answer any questions.

Wish me luck.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

A Cabin Under a Cloudy Sea and other stories

A couple of years ago, I came up with the idea of putting out minianthologies - collections of five to ten stories - on Kindle as a way to use up some of my stories and to let people know I exist.  Well, I have just put out my latest minianthology - "A Cabin Under a Cloudy Sea and other stories." It contains five stories set upon the moon.  The blurb I have for it is as follows:

Hopefully, in the not too distant future humans will return to the moon. We will build bases and colonies, create farms and factories, and live, love and learn. “A Cabin Under a Cloudy Sea and other stories” contains five short stories set upon the moon. They give the tiniest glimpse of the possibilities awaiting us there. 
 I hope you'll check it out, and if it strikes your fancy you can download it for only $0.99.  I hope you'll enjoy.


The story behind this minianthology is somewhat long.  Part of the idea behind my minianthologies is to show people a sampling of my writing, but I also like to group similar stories.  When I realized I had several stories set on the moon, it was natural to put them together.  A couple of these were published before - I've revised them for this - but I also wanted a couple new stories.  I had one story that involved time travel, and I haven't figured out how to make it work.  So I would start working on this collection, only to get stuck on this story, set it aside to let my creative juices flow, only to then get caught up in some other project.  It was probably almost two years ago that I started this project, but I didn't really get anywhere with it until about four months ago.

About four months ago was when I learned my story "The Reluctant Host" would appear in Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Dog Did What? which would be published now.  (See my previous blog post.)  You know what would be good, I thought?  If I had a Kindle book come out at the same time to get some of that chicken soup splashover

Of my dozen or so projects, "A Cabin Under a Cloudy Sea and other stories" was the closest to being finished, so I set out to finish it.  One problem was this time travel story I couldn't make work.  Fortunately, I had recently come up with a new story idea also set upon the moon, "Putting Down Roots." Since I could finish that story, and since the other stories in the collection were more grounded scifi (no warp drive or aliens) the time travel story kind of stood out.  So I swapped the stories and set to work finishing it.

I was making steady progress, when in early July I smacked my forehead because I had missed something.  July 20 marked the 45th anniversary of Apollo 11 landing on the moon.  What better time to put out a collection of stories set on the moon?  I debated for a bit if I should change my publication plans, but I couldn't finish it in time.

As it turns out, this later publication date may actually be better.  One thing am really passionate about is setting up a permanent human presence in space, such as at a moon base.  If I had published this a month ago, it probably would have been lost in all the hoopla for Apollo 11, which I believe all faded into obscurity on July 21st.  But with this ebook coming out a month later, it can help advance my goal of moon bases in my lifetime by showing people the moon isn't just something to get excited about on big anniversaries. 

At least, that's what I tell myself to keep from smashing my forehead for missing such an obvious connection.

The Dog Did What?

Today's the day.  Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Dog Did What? is out today.  As you can see by the picture above, you can find my story "The Reluctant Host" on page 293.  And while it would be nice if you read mine first, I won't mind if you take your time and read all 101.

I hope you'll check it out, and I hope you enjoy.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Thinking about Patreon

For the last several months, I've been hearing a lot about Patreon.  For those who don't know, Patreon allows people to pledge money to creators.  I first heard about it with webshows who use the money to buy new equipment and stuff like that.  I think that's a great idea and if I had extra money, there are several shows I would support.  But I don't have money, which is why it would be great if I could get some patrons.  But I don't have a webshow or make videos or anything like that.  I write stories.  And I would hate to ask people to pay me to write a story when I give away stories every week for free.  So for a couple of months now I've wanted to get in to Patreon, I just haven't figured out how to go about it.

Well, a couple of weeks ago I had an idea we'll call Plan A.  The plan starts with a poll.  I don't know if you can do polls in Patreon, but I'm sure I could find a poll site somewhere.  The poll would list various scifi things like aliens, alternate dimensions, Andromeda Galaxy, etc., all starting with "A." People would vote on this poll, and then I would write a story (probably in the 1000 word range) dealing with that topic.  And I'd go through the entire alphabet.  I figured if I could write a story every other week, I could be done in a year.  But the thing I would do with those stories is to then revise them and put them out as a Kindle ebook.  My patrons - who pledged at a certain amount - would receive a copy of it, and those who pledged higher would receive a copy of all of my Kindle ebooks. 

It's a good idea, but there is one problem with it.  When I first start out, not many people would know about it and only a few people would vote, which kind of defeats the purpose.  To get around that, I came up with Plan B, which is what I'm thinking of actually starting with before going back to Plan A once I have some followers.

Several years ago, I read a collection of stories by various authors with each story set on a different planet.  I thought that was a great idea and that I should do a story for every planet.  So I had the idea, but until now I never really sat down to go about it.  My Patreon Plan B is to write a story for twelve bodies/regions in the solar system: the sun, Mercury, Venus, Earth/moon, Mars, Asteroid Belt, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Kuiper Belt, and Oort Cloud.  If I could do a story a month, it would take me a year to go through them all.  And then I'd do the same thing of putting them in a Kindle ebook and giving out copies to those who pledged.

The one sort of issue I still have, is I don't really like the sound of "Give me money, so I don't have to get a job." Because the webshows I watch talk about if they can raise X amount of money they'll get new microphones or a new camera or whatever.  For me it would be, "Help me raise X dollars and I'll ... get a tank of gas?" I couldn't think of a way raising money on Patreon could directly help my writing, only indirectly by me having the time to write and not worry about paying bills.  But then I thought of something.  I've put out several ebooks on Kindle, but one thing I haven't done for any of them is a big promo.  There are sites that will send out tweets about your book to their 100,000 followers ... for a fee.  I haven't felt comfortable enough risking my money on one of these promo deals in the hope it would end up making me more money through sales.  But I think that will be one of my Patreon campaign goals.  If I raise enough money, I'll pay for one of these promo sites to see if it's worth it.  And I'll hopefully pay some of my bills. 

Anyway, next month I will be busy with my 30 Stories in 30 Days Challenge, and then I'll probably need a break in the beginning of October, so maybe by November I'll start getting serious with this Patreon stuff.  Watch this space.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Thoughts on my next ebook cover and blurb

I’m hoping to get an ebook out in a couple of weeks.  Here’s my take on the cover I’ve made and my blurb for it.

Hopefully in the not too distant future, humans will return to the moon. We will build bases and colonies, create farms and factories, and live and love and learn. “A Cabin Under a Cloudy Sea and other stories” contains six stories set upon the moon and give the tiniest glimpse of the possibilities awaiting us.

Any thoughts?

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Grab my Kindle story “Lonely Phoenix” for free!

This weekend, Friday the 18th through Sunday the 20th, you’ll be able to download my scifi story “Lonely Phoenix” for free. The story is set onboard an interstellar colony ship in its centuries long voyage to a new star. And it involves a … vampire? Well, not like any vampire you know about, that’s just the closest word we have for what he is.

To find out more, you’ll have to download, which you can do all for the price of a click.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Writers' Stew, Volume Two

One of the writing groups I belong to - the Brookville Writers' Group - has just put out the second volume of Writers' Stew.  This is a short, group anthology with poetry, stories, and artwork.  It's available - for a donation and while supplies last - at the Rebecca M. Arthurs Memorial Library in Brookville, PA.  Since it's unlikely you will be able to pick up a copy, I'll post my entry of two haiku below.  Enjoy.

branches creak above
crunch of snow beneath - crisp air
refreshing stillness

fireplace aglow
hound asleep upon my feet
book laying open

Thursday, May 1, 2014

A Man of Few Words for only $0.99!

A Man of Few Words was my first anthology I self-published four years ago.  Here is the blurb for it:

A Man of Few Words is a collection of 50 flash fiction stories by Stephen L. Thompson. How does a teenager work up the courage to call a girl? What would happen if a "T-Rex on steroids" attacked a city? Why do science fiction writers make the best lovers? How does a company get to Second Base with VIPs? These questions and more are explored by Stephen using less than 1000 words and in various genres from humor to horror and general fiction to science fiction.

The majority of the stories have been previously published (most by Stephen himself on his website) but all have been revised for this collection. In addition, each piece is accompanied by some background information giving a fuller story experience.

It's available in paperback, but also for Kindle.  And it's because of Kindle that I'm posting this blog.  Last year, Amazon made a change to their promotions.  Before the only promotions were to have your ebook for free for a few days.  But the change allowed you to have discount sales.  For example, the Kindle version of A Man of Few Words is normally $2.99, but I could now have a discount sale for $0.99.  This will be the first time I'm trying this discount to see how it works.  Unless I screwed something up, you should be able to get the Kindle version of A Man of Few Words for $0.99 starting early on the morning of May 2, 2014.  It will stay at that price for about a day and a half, and then go up to $1.99.  After another day and a half, it will return to it's normal price of $2.99 in the wee hours of May 5.  (They do have set start times, but they're not always on time.)

So, take a look at my ebook, and if it looks interesting pick it up in the next few days and save a dollar or two.