I entered a contest to celebrate the release of a Kurt Vonnegut tribute book titled So it Goes. The deal was to pick a fictional book authored by the Kurt Vonnegut alter ego Kilgore Trout and write a chapter. I chose the First District Court of Thankyou and wrote the chapter titled: A House Within. This was the first place submission and I hope you enjoy it.
One of them doesn’t mind being called out by name. The other, he’s a bit shy, or afraid of breaching his contract or something, so we will just refer to him as Modern Vampire, or MV for short.
So here they are, please welcome them but don’t go so far as to stick out your neck for them. I couldn’t live with that kind of responsibility.
Dracula: In my day being a vampire meant you were cold (literally,) callous and you only cared about yourself. What is with this new attitude of falling in love with mortals and resisting the urge to bite them?
MV: Uh, in case you haven’t noticed, times have changed a bit since then. We vampires have had to adapt so we can fit in. We now have an entire range of emotions. Besides, you fell in love too.
Dracula: I fell in love before I was turned into a vampire. It doesn’t count. She threw herself in a river. Then I became a vampire. No comparison.
MV: What about Mina?
Dracula: A fling, I assure you. She had nice teeth, not pointy enough, but nice. Let us change the subject, if you will.
MV: “If you will…” such formality. At least we know where they stuffed the wooden stake in your case.
Dracula: I find you tiring.
MV: You would I suppose, considering you are ancient.
Dracula: You don’t want to see me get angry. I do not take kindly to stupidity.
Dracula: Back to the interview. You hunt animals. You don’t even bother to look twice at people, Do you have any idea how much this shames those of us still in Transylvania?
MV: As I said , times have changed. It is a risk to our kind to hunt humans. Besides, with all of the MSG and cholesterol laden bodies walking around we would not be immortal anymore if we fed on them. I prefer diet soda if you know what I mean. Who are you to be giving a lesson on “the old ways?” Clearly you have a computer and WiFi at Castle Dracula or we would not be having this conversation.
Dracula: I have no such thing. I pulled the carriage into the parking lot and the local McDonald’s. They have free WiFi and stupid, insolent humans. Besides, if you get here at the beginning of the breakfast shift the employees have not been under the lights for very long, they still taste okay. Where are your capes? Your widow’s peaks? Your sense of style. You have taken to wearing “skinny Jeans.” It disgusts me.
MV: So sorry, all I heard was blaaah bla blah blaaahbetty blaaah.
Dracula: Very funny. I’m amused. I have pet wolves that drag in weary travelers. You make friends with wolves.
MV: Have you seen Beverly Hills Chihuahua?
Dracula: I did see that one, that one dog with the….that was a trick question! No, of course I do not entertain such idle stupidity! There is much work to be done.
Dracula: That is another thing. Vampires do not giggle. Our laughing is the pure essence of evil. The type of sound that makes the blood of mere mortals run rivulets of ice. Allow me to demonstrate : BUUWAAHAAAHAAAHAAAHAAAAAAaaa.
MV: Sorry, I missed that, I was yawning. Can you do that again please?
MV: Oops, missed it again, I got a text message from Bela Lugosi.
Dracula: BUW huh huh huh *cough. Never mind. I can turn into a bat. Can you?
MV: Maybe not, but I can SHPARKLE.
In 2005, 14-year-old Savannah Grace’s world is shattered when her mother unexpectedly announces that she and her family (mother, 45; brother, 25; sister, 17) would soon embark on an incredible, open-ended journey. When everything from her pets to the house she lived in is either sold, given away or put in storage, this naïve teenage girl runs headlong into the reality and hardships of a life on the road.
Built around a startling backdrop of over eighty countries (I Grew my Boobs in China relates the family’s adventures in China and Mongolia), this is a tale of feminine maturation – of Savannah’s metamorphosis from ingénue to woman-of-the-world. Nibbling roasted duck tongues in China and being stranded in Mongolia’s Gobi Desert are just two experiences that contribute to Savannah’s exploration of new cultures and to the process of adapting to the world around her.
The first portion of this memoir tells the story of the average teenage girl. She is somewhat insecure, has had plenty of experience being the new kid in town and is trying to settle into a rhythm in her young life. She loves her dog, her best friend and her family. A phone call changes all of her plans, when her mother decides they are going to travel through China and live out of a backpack for a full year.
I could feel the devastation that young Savannah felt through her writing. She is very talented at expressing her memories and emotions through words and truly makes the reader feel as though they are right along beside her for the duration of the journey. What a journey it turns out to be–so many ways to experience all of your senses in this book!
It was amazing to read about this girl and her family and how much she grew up and changed over the course of their adventures. The descriptive language she uses to tell of her surroundings and each new place they visit made this somewhat like watching a movie. You could smell the air and see the colours through her words.
This is more than just a simple travel memoir. This is a story of spiritual and mental growth, physical change and family. Be careful when you read this, you might just want to sell everything you own and buy a sturdy backpack for your own adventure.
One of the main things I enjoyed about this book was the humor. There is a thread of hilarity that spans the course of the story, and the author never loses the ability to make her reader feel warm inside even during the portions that are more serious.
This is an excellent book from a talented author, and I recommend checking it out. You won’t be sorry you did.
On one final note–what a great title for a book!
The four mercenaries hand their weapons to the dwarven bartender before returning to their table. A large duffle bag is pulled out from under the table and dropped with a thud in front of their leader. He lets out another bored yawn as Tavris starts handing out wooden weapons. Luke is slightly surprised at the size and amount of weapons that are pulled out of the bag.
team of other
lunatics along for the ride with me!
The Community Story Board is officially open! Are
you a writer? Would you like the chance to feature
your work? We have a brand new blog for that.
Everyone please visit The Community Story Board
to find out how!
You can find our submission guidelines here:
Please note: We will not be posting submissions from non staff members until next week, but we are willing to take queries as of now:)
To the editors, authors and contributors:
The doors are open to you guys! Bring forth the writing!
Duncan Hamilton is a very talented author and also a fellow wordpress blogger.
You can find his site here:
In a world where magic is outlawed, ability with a sword is prized above all else. For Soren this means the chance to live out his dreams.
Plucked from a life of privation, he is given a coveted place at Ostenheim’s Academy of Swordsmanship, an opportunity beyond belief.
Opportunity is not always what it seems however, and gifts rarely come without conditions. Soren becomes an unwitting pawn in a game of intrigue and treachery that could cost him not just his dreams, but also his life.
Reading through this novel, there are moments when you know what is coming for a long time, but it isn’t exactly predictable. It actually feels rewarding when the character finally realises the same thing that you have known as the reader for a long time. There were a lot of other places in this book where the author went a completely different direction than I expected, and for the most part I think it worked.
I was impressed that Mr. Hamilton did not waste pages and pages of space describing the school his character was sent to. This has been seen and done in other novels of recent memory and I felt avoiding that aspect made this book much more original.
The descriptions in this novel are handled well. There is not so much description that the actions and events become lost in it, but there is enough to paint a visual picture of the world.
The story itself is well written and highlights the author’s style of writing. I enjoyed the third person perspective as it gave the reader an opportunity to get to know all of the characters rather than just the main.
Overall, this was an enjoyable read that fantasy lovers and those who enjoy reading adventures will most likely want to read again. If you haven’t read this book yet, pick up a copy and explore this world for yourself. I recommend it.
With July 1 looming as my projected publishing date for The Storm and the Darkness, I realized it was time to stop putting off updating the synopsis. The one I had was too detailed, and a bit sloppy. So I've created two versions; one for this site, Amazon, and other sites that may feature the book, and one for the back of the book.
Me: I was born and raised in upstate New York, have never been surfing, or to Mexico, and I’ve never spent more than a few days in a major city in my life. Your novel, Hummingbird really took me on an adventure. I also enjoyed watching Lexa grow and change through the course of her journey.
David, give us the lowdown on your novel, …
I should have gone to church today.
I swear God, I had every intention of going to church today. There is this cute little chapel right down the street from the hotel I’m staying at. Pretty building, with an actual bell tower at the top and striking red doors. I pulled up in front of the chapel and prayed that God would give me enough strength to enter.
This is dedicated to you from the other bloggers and I, even if they don’t know it. We wuv you. Do we tell you often enough? Because we do. You are always the bright spot in this daily existence, so please accept the following as my, our, my, whatever–token of appreciation–all of us (and me)
Earlier today there was a new review on Charles’ book, Legends of Windemere: Beginning of a Hero. Now knowing that Charles is the professional that he is, he will not post this and bitch about it, so I will do it for him. He has morals, me? Not so much.
The reviewer basically said that he read the first few scenes and said it was all ‘show and not tell’. Basically, he read the equivalent of the free sample and decided to review the book.
Here is a quote from Charles, and yes I got his permission first.
“He rated me lower that a pack of 500 Bicycle Ball Bearings, Bike Pedals, and Pepperoncini Peppers. I’m tearing up laughing at that one. To this reviewer, my book is worse than the mildest hot pepper and spare bike parts.” Top Ramen, Charles, Top Ramen.
So here goes: (voice check memememememe. honey lemon tea. memememememe.)
Someone left a little review
on Amazon today
and when I see a new review
I jump up screaming YAY!
But on this one occassion
this reviewer went too far
he compared my stuff to peppers
and forgot three of my stars
It isn’t that I’m picky
come on say a word or two
I welcome your opinion
and all your comments too
All I’m really asking
is that you reserve judgment until
you’ve gotten past the title
before using your reviewing skills
So don’t go judging something
that you know nothing about
and cause all those who haven’t read
to suddenly have doubts
If you must compare my stuff
to some other person or thing
you could at least pick nouns worth while
like gold or diamond rings
You see I am a writer
so you better watch your back
I’ll write you into my next book
and give you lots of flack
I’ll feed you to a dragon
and then make you kiss a Lich
I’ll use you for target practice
and then make you Fizzle’s bitch
But I don’t take it personal
not in any way
negative reviews sell books
I wish you a good day
So thanks for offering your thoughts
and also for being frank
I will be thinking of your words
as I am in line at the bank