humor, Uncategorized, writing

Silly Stories and a Work in Progress

I’ve released a couple of humorous short stories in a free collection – woo hoo! These will soon be part of a free audiobook collection available from Podiobooks, but for now I’m hoping for a few (million) downloads. Please partake, share, whatever! Description:

This light-hearted short story duo is sure to make you smile, chortle, and outright laugh. “A Fairy Tail” follows the desperate adventures of Sir Craig as he tries to rescue his beloved from a fiendish sorcerer. However, Boots, a shapechanger who favors the form of a unicorn, is a rival for fair Gregoria’s hand. Will Craig rescue Gregoria? Will Boots get to eat apples out of Gregoria’s hand?

“Out of the Bag” is a short short story long on imagination. Jason the cop expects a normal day on the force, but a chance encounter on a breaking and entering call changes everything.


 Smashwords * Amazon

 Today is the day of the week where I share a little snippet of my work in progress, thus, a WIPpet. It is posted as part of a challenge hosted by K.L. Schwengel. My WIPpet needs to have something to do with today’s date. And so, today’s snippet relies on WIPpet math – 8 sentences (6/4 … four paragraphs from page 6). This is from my short story “The Pomegranate Tree.” This is the middle of a confrontation between the mysterious servant Doso and the king’s daughter Callithoe. 

Doso shoved aside the press with sudden violence, approached like a mad thing, like a wild woman. Callithoe shrank back reflexively. Doso’s words were like barbs, flying like poisoned arrows.

“Is it disrespect to speak of what is to one who wishes to believe lies? You do not know what I know, maiden. You do not know how young life can be snatched in a cruel instant. How even though you gave every last bit of yourself to a child, you sheltered her and nourished her, and carefully planned for her life – her blessed life – how the gods might despise your feeble efforts.” Doso’s voice resonated through the room, past the close walls, for they were like the shrieking of a bird in distress – high and relentless. Spittle flew from her lips. Her eyes were on fire.

“Oh, no. You don’t know how they turn on everyone – even on their own, and they snatch away that sweet young thing, that beautiful, innocent daughter. They call it a slip, an accident. She hit her head on the rocks, mother. It is no one’s fault. But you know the truth, that the King of Hell took her – he who rides a chariot pulled by dark frothing steeds. He dragged her down into the underworld. She tried to come back to you – she would always try to come back – but he wouldn’t let her.”

She paused, eyes going far away, as though she had just heard the words she had spoken. Tears gushed from her eyes, then.  

I should be finished with this story within a day or two and I could really use a beta reader or two. It’s around 15 pages long – about 6,000 words. If you’re interested please do let me know – I’d be happy to return the favor, of course.

Visit my fellow WIPpet participants here, or join the fun yourself:


23 thoughts on “Silly Stories and a Work in Progress”

  1. Jeepers! There is some sort of intensity running through the WIPpeteers this morning! Wow. Nice job of conveying Doso’s rage, which seems to have overcome any pain of loss at the moment. My only nit is this sentence, “Doso’s words were like barbs, flying like poisoned arrows.” Two ‘like something’ in the same sentence. I would either pick one or find a way to combine them. Otherwise it lessens the impact IMHO.

    1. Haha – I guess I should have thought about the mood of this WIPpet, which I suppose contrasts rather shockingly with the other bit about the humorous short stories!

      Great catch – thank you for the nit! I’m always happy to hear constructive criticism.

  2. Wow, nice snippet! Love the emotion.

    I got the stories! They were free on Smashwords but $1.09 on… so I took them from Smashwords. Because I have no money. I look forward to reading them!

    1. Yay!! Thank you! You know, I wrongly assumed that a free cost on Amazon US would translate to other countries but it seems that’s not so. I’ll have to figure out how to get that changed … thanks for alerting me!

  3. Great scene. I’m left wondering what Callithoe is thinking after Doso’s rant.

    I’m always up for a round of beta reading, so feel free to hit me up if you like. 🙂

    1. I’m not sure if my reply made it to you … it seems to be a different color than my other replies. Apparently that’s what happens when one has too much caffeine and can’t get to sleep until 2:30 am!

      I will gratefully take you up on your beta reading offer! Thank you so much!! I’ll try to send it out to you at the end of the day tomorrow. Whoopee!!

  4. Doso is indeed a seething column of rage. And this little rant is not the end of it ..

    Oh, really?! Thank you a million times over! I’ll email you when it’s done, which will hopefully be today.

  5. Intense snippet, Xina! Good job!

    A couple of nits where I thought less might be more:

    – “with sudden violence”

    – “reflexively”

    – “for they were”

    I think those words and phrases could all be cut with no loss of meaning and would also make the writing stronger.

    I’m doing a beta read of a novel right now, so I’m afraid I won’t have time for a couple of weeks. If you still need someone then, give a shout.

    1. Thank you so much, Ruth! Great catches! I will hopefully have the story done soon, but who knows? We’re leaving on vacation next week and there’s so much to do beforehand. Eeek! Guess I should get started on all that …

  6. Like ReGi, I saw the Persephone myth being told. And oh. Doso… what happened to him to build such ire!

    However, as a servant, I have to wonder if he would feel able to speak so freely. Just thinking about that drew me out of the piece.

    Please, enjoy your vacation, Xina. I’d offer a beta, but at the moment, I’m swamped with two betas and a WriMo. I do hope you find the readers you need.

  7. Ouch. This one got me a bit too personally.

    I don’t think I can beta read without getting a little more torn up than I can tolerate right now.

    This is powerful stuff. I second the deletions mentioned by Kathi and Ruth but the shrill birdlike quality of Doso’s voice in the small space, and the spittle…those were intense images for me.

      1. Please don’t be sorry.

        Painful triggers – and poignant.

        I wouldn’t want anyone to censor their WIPpets. I’m pretty good at assessing my personal tolerance levels, which vary. June just happens to be a bit too close to July, which is an intensely emotional roller-coaster of a month, for me.

        In September, I could probably beta without undue stress.

        *hugs* right back at you.

        1. I understand. Our family had a painful loss in July as well, though the most recent one came in September. It’s amazing how awful anniversary dates are, not to mention holidays. I guess it’s just one of those things that one survives by taking it moment by moment.

          I’m glad you are protecting yourself, and if I can be of any help please don’t hesitate to let me know.

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