With a BA in English and MSc in Creative Writing, writing is my life. I have edited and beta read as a freelancer for a few years with some published stories and poems of my own. You can learn more about me at thewritersscrapbin.com.
Do Not Open
November 8, 2022, 7:11 a.m. Looking after the dogs while Mom and Dad are away. Admittedly, I’m already pretty paranoid. A package arrived via drone a few minutes ago—isn’t it too early for a delivery? I don’t remember ordering anything, anyway. Did Mom? She never mentioned any packages. I’ll have to ask. Better bring it in before the rain soaks it or someone tries to steal it. That drone must’ve drawn a lot of attention. I didn’t even know drones delivered up here.
The ground once trembled beneath his feet. Now, his bones were as likely to shake as the land. The flesh that remained barely clung to his torso, and slivers of that swung back and forth as he traversed the Forest of Flames, some leaving a minute trail in his wake as he followed the Angel Beacon. He knew not why an Angel Beacon would be shining in the heart of the Lower Pantheon’s territory, let alone why it glowed red, signaling only gargoyles and dragons like Xerxes. He only knew that the closer he got, the more clearly he could hear a high-pitched cry. Surely, that cry could not belong to the source of the beacon, and yet—
A Cold Winter's Night
For the past few years, I’ve had a toy fox terrier named Bubba. Bubba—like his predecessor, Bud—is my baby in almost every sense of the term. I have had him since he was about four weeks old (although we were told that he was closer to eight), and from the moment I first saw him on Petfinder, I was in love. Of course, with him being a little bigger than my hand when we first got him, Bubba had some health scares in the beginning. He bruised so badly when he got fixed that Haven Humane kept him overnight for observation. I cancelled my plans to go to an early movie release when we discovered that he had kennel cough. That’s also how he started sleeping in my bed with me; I was so scared, with him being so small and sick, that he would be too cold sleeping in his kennel alone and brought him into my room to keep a better eye on him. Let’s just say that was the last time he willingly slept in his own bed.
Adventure Planet, Chapter Two
Follow this link to read the first chapter of Adventure Planet, "Hallucinations". My brother and sister-in-law relieve me of my babysitting duties for the final day, but not without docking my pay for those last hours. Fine. Fair enough. I’d consider it fairer if they had shown any concern for my well-being, but it seems that more money means less concern for others. Or maybe my migraine/mental breakdown combo just pales in comparison to their own stress relief. Either way, I’m back in the room in time for them to have to take the kids to lunch.
Adventure Planet, Chapter One
Nobody can hear a scream in the vacuum of space, or so they say. “They” have never been to Adventure Planet, Earth’s first—and only—amusement park among the stars. It’s not a planet, of course. It’s a space station filled with all sorts of roller coasters, dark rides, simulated space adventures, and other entertainment. There’s even a theater playing the latest holo-films, so long as they’re space-themed. No different from an Earth-bound amusement park, really, but the novelty of it being in space has been more than enough to attract anyone with the money since 2073. People like my brother and his wife.
Dates, Not Dating
The day before I moved out of my apartment, Tanner came to see me. No call, no text, not even an email. I answered a knock at the door, holding a bundle of spoons in my hand, and there he was. He wanted to talk before I left town. I couldn’t think of a polite way to turn him away, so I let him in.
Procrastination: it’s a writer’s worst enemy. Any worker’s worst enemy, actually. We put things off and continue to put them off until we realize that the deadline is looming or our project’s been in the back of a drawer for years. Creative types in particular fall victim to this trap. After all, we can’t force inspiration, can we? At least, not all the time. However, procrastination doesn’t always hinder our progress. In fact, it can be helpful. I’m talking about productive procrastination.
Rotten Reviews from Rotten Writers
I started my blog, The Writer’s Scrap Bin, to provide support to fellow writers, whether they are aspiring or well established, and build a community of writers that build each other up, not tear each other down. I’ve just never understood why we can’t help each other. We all have our own genres, styles, and niches, so why can’t we share readers and rejoice in each other’s success? Unfortunately, not all writers think that way, and not just in modern times. We’ve been jerks to each other for quite a while. The proof is in Pushcart’s Complete Rotten Reviews & Rejections.
Writers on Writing: Yiyun Li
Yiyun Li is a novelist, short story writer, editor, and winner of such awards as the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award, the PEN/Hemingway Award, and the California Book Award. In 2010, she was named one of The New Yorker's 20 under 40 and a MacArthur Foundation fellow. Her best-known works include her short story collections Gold Boy, Emerald Girl and A Thousand Years of Good Prayers and her novel The Vagrants. For more information, be sure to check out Li’s Wikipedia page.
The Dog Who Loved Me
To all of my pets who are waiting for me over the rainbow. I can’t think of many advantages to living in a subrural community (not completely rural, yet definitely not suburban) like my hometown, at least not for someone like me. Allergies, crazy neighbors, nowhere to go, nothing to do, downwind from a huge auction yard—even if you’re born and raised there, you don’t necessarily like it. One advantage of growing up subrural, though, is that my family has had pets my entire life: a cat, a rabbit, guppies, my brothers’ various rodents, the stray neighborhood cats we feed, and dogs.