Thursday, January 4, 2018

The Big ‘18

On the docket for the New Year:

  • Dreamweaver (The World In-between, 6)
    • Truth be told, I didn’t get much series writing done last year.  This year is already different, writerly speaking.  Not to mention, book 7 wants to get on the page.

  • Cross Country Road Trip
    • Off to see America, or part of it anyway.  While journeying to family, hubby and I plan to visit some of the ancient and early American sites.  Mounds, glyphs, ruins, and nature.  It’s going to be great.

  • More Flash Fiction
    • My writers’ group regularly displays themed flash fiction and poetry in the local library.  I’ll be posting them here as well.

I anticipate a year full of writing, laughter, and adventure.  Happy New Year!

Friday, December 22, 2017

Happy Holidays!

In the cold darkness of winter, I hope you find your light.  See you in the New Year!

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Christmas Cookie Tour Book Event

This Saturday, Nov 25th
11 am – 2 pm
Mount Pleasant Public Library, Mount Pleasant, PA

I’ll be joining other area authors at this Cookie Tour stop.

Going to be in the PA Laurel Highlands this weekend?  Come say hi and get a book or three.

There’ll be cookies!

The Borough of Mount Pleasant’s 4th annual Cookie Tour supports local businesses.  Tour starts at 10:30 am.  Get tour information, map, and a chance to win a $100 Visa card at the Gazebo in Veterans Park (corner of Diamond [PA 819] and Washington Streets).

See you there!

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Halloween Flash

Letter to Nowhere

By: IE Castellano

Agostus Hoverall
Hillside Village Cemetery
Hillside Village, USA

1 November 2017

Haunt Council
Congress of Ghosts and Ghouls

Re: Mountain Top Inn

To whom it may concern:

The Mountain Top Inn accommodations have been quite unsatisfactory.  I have had the worst Halloween in three centuries during my visit.  This so called hotel needs to be stricken from the logs immediately.

In the rooms, the beds have too soft a mattress, allowing one to fall asleep easily and stay slumbering throughout the night.  Precise controls keep water at a constant warm or cool temperature regardless of fiddling.  The wide corridors lack tables, mirrors, vases, or other items, which could fall in front of, on top of, or behind guests as they traverse to and from their rooms.

Common areas have plenty of coffee cups, snacks, and scalding beverages.  Chairs and tables abound.  However, guests only look at their phones at all times.  They do not look up.  They do not see me, let alone pay attention to my haunting ways.

Consider this letter a formal complaint.  I fully expect the Haunt Council to send me elsewhere next Halloween.

Eternally yours,
Agostus Hoverall
Agostus Hoverall

Monday, October 2, 2017

Best Laid Plans

A view of the lake

I attempted a writing weekend earlier last month (September).  It went…

Since it was a beautiful fall-ish day, my hubby-to-be and I packed our writing and a picnic lunch and traveled to a county park.  We found an empty pavilion and spread our stuff across the tables.  After eating, we strolled while collecting our muses.

We sat on a bench near the lake.  Puffy, white clouds dotted the clear, azure sky.  A breeze rustled the partially turning leaves.  My mind tried to turn over the story for picking apart.  My tummy sabotaged it all.

Writing didn’t happen.  At least not at the park.  Later that evening, I did break out my pen and paper.  What I discovered was that the story idea I mulled would not work as a short story.  It wanted to be longer, much, much longer.

“Oh, but, IE,” you say, “had you’d planned your story in an outline first, then you’d know it would take more words than what you wanted it to be.”

Well, yes and no.

I do plan out my stories.  All of them have some sort of outline, a goal.  However, I never really know how my main character (or characters) want to get there or if I’ll even stick to the script until I begin writing.  Sometimes, I need to write a little to know.  Sometimes, a lot.  Sometimes, the whole thing.

In this instance, I wrote a page.  My main character didn’t want to do easy or tidy or short.  He wants to explore all angles, speak with as many other characters as possible.  He like details, no matter how small.  Then, he thinks long, complicated thoughts.  It took me a page to get into his rhythm.  And then, I knew he couldn’t be confined by 3,000 to 5,000 words.

Another story will have to do.  I wrote a quick synopsis for a new one.  Maybe I’ll get it written.  Maybe I won’t.  The latter seems to have seeped inside my brain lately.  I missed my deadline for Dreamweaver (The World In-between, 6) with spectacular success.  It’s coming along, just much more slowly than I would like.  Unfortunately, it won’t be released until next year.  Not what I planned, but, sometimes, the outline gets thrown away and something better blossoms.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Ode to the Blank Page

*THE* Blank Page

Blank Page

Oh, blank page
why, oh, why
do you taunt me so? 

Do you not know
I have things
things in my mind
words that must pour out
out from my fingers?

If they stay
my mind may
explode all the words.

Then the words
would leave me
and may never return
not in the same manner

Allow me
if you please
blank page
I implore you
let me splatter
splatter the black
across your white.

These words
in this order
across and down
down the page
and perhaps
to the next.

Blank page, we may never
be friends
deep down
you have a desire
to not be blank
let my words
fill this space
and be blank
blank never more.


Saturday, July 1, 2017

Flash Fiction for Freedom

This year, my writers’ group wrote flash fiction or poetry or whatever for July 4th about freedom and liberty.  The writings get framed and displayed in the local library.  Since, although it’d be a fun trip to the country, visiting my small town library isn’t in your summer plans, I’ve posted my flash here.

They Came

By: IE Castellano

I was a small child when I witnessed their ship land—war torn and ragged.  These people emerged from malfunctioning airlocks not all that different than us, only where it mattered.  They knelt in the soft dirt, crying.  When they rose, they asked for sanctuary—a place to start over—a place to live their lives in peace.  Their elders had seen peace.  Their young knew it not.  They relayed stories of war and ravaging, of death and destruction.  They wanted better—to provide a future for the next generation.

We sympathized.  We offered them the chance to make new lives on our planet.  However, we also gave them a counter offer—help repair the ship and provisions to leave, if they preferred.  They chose our hospitality and stayed.

They kept to themselves, but they sent their children to our schools.  I cultivated friendships with them, or so I thought.  My “friends” learned our ways and enjoyed what our planet afforded them.  They grew to know two lives—ours and theirs.  We encouraged them to keep their home traditions.  They responded by sharing with us.

I wish I could say that our lives were richer because of them.  I wish.  But, I can’t.

I don’t remember when it all went wrong.  It just did.  There was no one big thing.  A series of little, inconsequential issues led to—boom—knives in our backs and guns to our heads.  The more I reflect, the more I realize that we were not intolerant.  They had this plan all along.  From the moment they landed, they set their scheme into motion.

They took over everything.  Squished our freedoms like bugs caught in a stampede.  Many of us kowtowed to their demands.  They killed us anyway.  Our blood washed the streets.  Those of us who assimilated became their slaves with short, albeit, gilded chains.  Those of us who bow to no master, they hunt.

A couple of my childhood “friends” found me.  They knew exactly where to look.  Ironic that I kneel in this same soft dirt on which they came.  Because we’re “friends,” they’re giving me another chance to embrace enslavement.  I’d rather die.

The barrel parts my hair.  Their cold authority presses right where my head and neck conjoin.  One soft squeeze and I will purify the ground of their tears.  I’ll die as I lived—free.