S. A. Crawford
Writer, reader, life-long student - being brave and finally taking the plunge by publishing some articles and fiction pieces.
Have 'Achievement' Systems Ruined Gaming?
When I started gaming in the late '90s and early '00s it was with my uncle; we spent hours on his ageing Sega Saturn, Mega Drive, and Dreamcast. At 8 or 9 years old I sucked; I had bad coordination, I was frightened of the scary games, and I lost interest in the main questlines almost immediately. My uncle wasn't all that good at them either, actually, and the fun of it was the fact that we were together. Even with 18 years between us, we were still on the same page when it came to Skies of Arcadia and House of the Dead.
People have more fear of a knife than a brick, and that's the strangest fact of life I know. A good sharp blade makes a clean cut that sews shut neat as a seam. Even a stab to the vitals'll heal as likely as not, but take inventory of the long-wounded and you'll see a thousand reasons to fear the stick, the brick, and the fist. When I was a child, we lived in a frozen two-bedroom cottage that never took to the light, all seven of us. The slag pile out back was a magnificent mountain, the hill to the castle, the slopes of a broiling volcano. Until it swallowed Tommy Keane whole. They found him two days later, crumpled like a used can, red eyes bulging from a head folded like a piece of paper. No stitching that, hey?
- Top Story - February 2022
Why Chocolate is the Typical Valentine's Day GiftTop Story - February 2022
Chocolate is one of the most commonly given gifts when it comes to Valentine's day. In fact, Valentine's day falls behind only easter and Christmas when it comes to chocolate and candy sales in the UK (and the USA for that matter). Of course, the idea of giving simple or ornate chocolates as a gift is older than all of these holidays, having roots in pre-Christian South America.
Writing Saved my Life
If I tell you that I am a Scorpio sun, Aquarius moon, Capricorn rising, does that bring a soft 'aaahh' to your lips? What if I tell you that according to a medium I spoke with recently all my chakras are blocked or misaligned and that my third eye has 'stuck' in the process of opening. What about if I tell you that I am and have been for over ten years an emotionally avoidant, disassociative, suicidal depressive?
It's All About Perspective
Writing is hard - there's no getting around that. The transition from telling a story to yourself or others to writing an effective short story or novel can be tough. From word choice to plotting, every detail of the process can feel like a slog from time to time. If there's one facet of writing that always stumped me, and sometimes still does, however, it's point-of-view. Choosing the perspective from which to write a story is absolutely crucial; the right narrative perspective maximizes the impact of your story, while the wrong one can ruin it.
Creative Writing: How to Begin
There's never a bad time to start writing - this is my honest and steadfast opinion. Anyone at any time in their lives can benefit from picking up the proverbial (or actual) pen. Writing fiction can be hugely cathartic and helpful, especially if you're going through a stressful or emotional period of your life. Of course, it can also be a fun hobby. So, if living through COVID-19 has left you in need of a hobby that you can undertake no matter where you are, creative writing could be the answer. Making little worlds of your own and bringing them to life is a form of magic beyond compare.
15 Unusual Words to Add to Your Vocabulary
As a writer, I truly love words - written language is a flowing, living thing that never ceases to amaze me. When I was a child I would read the dictionary in stages, picking out words to pester my grandparents with. They were wonderfully patient, of course, but it must have become tiring. From writing my first book at 8 (it was about a vampire flea, and honestly I may re-write it as a childrens' book yet) to the present day, I've found great joy in discovering a new word - it's like meeting an old friend for the first time.
Third Person Narration: Strengths and Weaknesses
Third-person narration is by far the most common perspective found in contemporary fiction. There are a range of benefits to writing in a third-person narrative style. These benefits are distinct from those found when writing in the first person or second person, of course, but the status of third-person writing as the standard has more to do with industry norms (if you want an overview of POV in fiction, you can find it here). This status comes with a certain degree of respectability that the other main perspectives are not always afforded.
Every Writer Should Watch The Simpsons
During the week between Christmas and New Year, I took some time off and regressed a little to my childhood by spending the mornings watching The Simpsons and eating cereal (and pancakes, on one occasion). It was while watching one of these episodes that I came to realise something important.
Why I'm Writing 150+ Vocal Stories in 2022
I have committed to writing more than 150 vocal posts in 2022, or a minimum of 156 to be precise. What's more, I've decided to enter every fiction challenge that Vocal runs - if this sounds like a lot of work on top of my full-time freelance content and ghostwriting, I can assure you that it is, but I'm dedicated. Who knows, I might even top it all off by submitting articles and stories to magazines in the last quarter of the year.
The Bronze Brooch
The ghosts in this story are real, but they are not monsters. In the shadow of the old century a businessman built a house fit for a prince - a monument to his glory, it was stacked with things rare and beautiful. Things that should not have been for sale.
"Life is what happens when you're busy making other plans." John Lennon Did you know that the human body can make a tent passably warm, like a comfortable yet fresh cocoon, even in the blistering cold of a Scottish night? Or that a foxes scream sound like a human child in the wilderness? Do you know that in the quieter parts of the world you can see by the light of the stars and moon quite easily - or that skinny dipping near Santa Monica pier is certain to end in a close call with the coast guard?