The Crux of the Word — by Nera Hart

The Crux of the Word — by Nera Hart

The power of words. Our pen- our sword.

What life to breathe into an empty space, and what love to feel through the magic of black symbols spread over the white sheets. Our power. The glorious, beautiful, infinite power of words…

Light in a darkened room and the air to breathe.

I’ve been in the dark. I’ve seen it in the eyes of The World; poverty, misery, illnesses amongst other things. We live right in the middle of all of this.

As a writer, I will use this darkness. I’ll exploit its’ ugliness to bring out my shine. I’ll explore its’ hollow emptiness to fill it with stories, but I’ll always believe in that magic, in that persistent human endeavour to make anything beautiful, to build from the ashes…

This is what I am tirelessly looking for when I write.

Whether I choose to write from a dark place, or see the obvious beauty around me and glorify it in words, I’m bringing dreams into the existence.

The voice that comes out from a writer, once found, is the voice of life, and there’s nothing more satisfying than to share it with the world. To light the darkened corner. To be able to do something out of nothing.

For in reality- darkness is all too consuming. It sometimes wraps around us and grips its claws deep into the skin, and we drag it around- unable to shake it off.

Cancer, homelessness- how I try to imagine the life with it- but can’t even begin to understand the full impact of living with something like that. Yes, I knew close people suffering from cancer and I am more than aware of many people being so much less fortunate than myself. I cannot cure cancer, and I certainly can’t buy a country in which everyone would live happily ever after…

But I can be a part of something great-  The One Million Project.

How it embodies my vision; soldier personified out of tools like music and words! Artists and writers drawing their swords and standing up proud…Might be an exaggeration, but to do something with this power of ours, to make it a little bit better, to be able to speak up, it is absolutely a thing to be a part of.

If this is a fight, then we do not plan on losing.


OMP Admin Note:  The One Million Project welcomes Nera Hart as one of our guest bloggers.  Nera is writing poetry, short fiction and in a process of writing her first crime fiction novel. She writes in two languages, English and Croatian, and has the ambition to translate the classic Croatian novels into the English language.

Nera runs a Facebook group ‘Quills And Parchments’, in which book lovers and authors socialize.

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You can find Nera and her work at:

https://m.facebook.com/groups/1778050345825324

https://my.w.tt/2Jb4T1zLzL

Twitter- @nerahart

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In Memoriam — by John Nedwill

In Memoriam — by John Nedwill

As I write this, it is exactly eighteen months to the day since my life fell apart. Since then, I have had to pick up the pieces, rebuild my life and that of my daughter, and try to do what the world expects of me.

What happened to bring about these awful changes? Eighteen months ago my wife died of complications following a surgical procedure. She had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer just six weeks before. There had been nothing to prepare us for it. For about a month before the cancer was found, my wife had been feeling ill. It was nothing serious at first. The initial tests showed some abnormalities in her liver and gallbladder. This was followed by a bout of jaundice. An ultrasound revealed a lump pressing against her bile duct. The doctors decided to carry out an endoscopy and take a sample.

Two weeks after that, we got the bad news. The lump was malignant – it contained cancer cells. My wife and I were shocked. But, there was a hope! The doctors believed that the cancer was only at Stage 2. They could go in there, operate on the cancer to remove it, and then it would just be a case of deciding whether chemotherapy or radiation therapy would be the way forward. The procedure would be drastic, though. The Whipple Resection, as the procedure was called, would involve the removal of the pancreas and the rerouting of the intestine around the affected area. It would take eight hours of intensive surgery.

I was at home on the day of the operation. The surgeons told me that they would call me when the operation was over and let me know how it had gone. I reckon that my wife had only been in the operating theatre for four hours when the hospital called. Not only was there cancer in my wife’s pancreas, it had spread to her liver. The surgical team had stopped the operation and withdrawn. There was nothing more they could do.

Over the next two weeks, my wife’s condition deteriorated. While in the hospital she contracted an infection that developed into pneumonia. The antibiotic she was given did not work. I spent her last night beside her, trying to comfort her, to stop her raving and keep her from pulling out the drips that were dulling the pain. At six o’clock on the morning of Monday, 24th October 2016, I stepped out of her room. She had fallen asleep, and I had not eaten or drank in twelve hours. I needed a cup of tea. I needed some fresh air. I needed a break. My last words to her were, “I won’t be long.”

When I came back, my wife was dead.

This is one of the reasons why I decided to support the OMP. I am doing this not just for my wife, but for all the people who are struggling to cope with cancer, for all those people who may have to face it in the future – either suffering from it or supporting those who are. I do not want anyone to go through what I went through.

Thank you for reading.


OMP Admin Note:  John Nedwill is a writer, OMP Network member, and a regular #ONeMillionProject Blogger.  His work can be found on Wattpad.com and in the One Million Project’s Short Story Anthologies published in February 2018.

Homelessness Happens — by Christine Larsen

Homelessness Happens — by Christine Larsen

Homeless. What a desperately sad and empty word. Homeless. Hopeless. Sadly, I’m learning those two words are constant bedfellows. Never thought that’s the address I’d be filling in on those endless bloody welfare forms. Thought that was ‘owned’ by the crims and the druggies and other no-hopers. Didn’t give a thought to those who are left financially and mentally crippled by divorce and losing the family, the home and the job. Didn’t know how easy it was to lose the lot. Or how low that could bring a fellow.  Hmm… interesting words – ‘fell’ and ‘low’. Didn’t know just how low that was until I lost the respect of all I loved; how much I needed them; how ‘nothing’ I felt without them.

Would’ve thought one look at me would be proof enough. I try to keep up a semblance of cleanliness, decency and the like. But it’s damn difficult here on the streets with only the cracked and too often filthy basins in public toilets. Easier to clean one of them than risk the so-called ablution block – a favourite place for the drug-dogs to shoot up. AND leave their needles on the shower floor. If the busted up tiles don’t get you, the sharpies surely will. And a heap of other unsavoury types… don’t go there. Or to public ‘conveniences’ either. IF you have the luxury of choice!

Saw some headlines on a newstand yesterday – another homeless man found frozen where he tried to sleep overnight in an abandoned demolition site. Somewhere in the US of A, they said. This long and fierce cold snap of theirs is taking a terrifying toll of those doing it rough, they said.

Hmm… be grateful for small mercies, they tell us. And I am. I AM grateful for our balmy summer nights Downunder. And a chorus of other ‘down-on-their-luck’ types would chime in – if anyone with the ability to change things ever asked.

There was this bloke. Clever, well-to-do… once upon a time.  Did a story on him, they did. Heap of photos and a video too. Showed 24 hours of his life. He had it all sussed out pretty good actually. Gave me a few ideas to copy, sort of… you know? Like catching the longest line a bus or train takes, riding them to the end and back again. Get a bit of sleep there – well – lots of bits of sleep, actually. Out of the wind and rain on a bad night, bit of a breeze on a stifler. Can’t complain about that.

But one problem is the scourge of our Aussie summer – the heat of the day. Shopping malls are great. Air-conditioned and all, but there are always security guards watching and waiting to shuffle you on… none too gently, either. They recognise who you are. Like they can smell you.  Hmm… probably can, come to think of it.

So it’s back out on the streets – bitumen melting beneath the painfully thin soles of your shoes; shade at a premium – and again, you’re going to get moved on – sooner rather than later.

It’s bloody tough, you know. The good-hearted mob think of clothes and rugs to warm you when you’re down. But there are long, lonely months of heat where we need sunscreen and hats and shade and water. In dreams, you have a fridge with a jug of cold water that never runs dry and a bed that folds loving arms around you all night.

IF perchance you sleep long enough to dream!


OMP Admin Note:  Christine Larsen is a writer, farmer, wife, mother, and grandmother from Australia. She has never been homeless or had significant cancer – yet – but has had exposure to both – creating a great sense of empathy and desire to help in any way she can. She is humbled by the opportunity to give one of her stories to the sincerely worthwhile causes of Cancer research and Homelessness.

Christine can be found on –            IMG_7208

ceedee moodling

Wattpad

Tablo Publishing

Amazon Author Page

Facebook

Twitter

 

The Black Hole Of Pantser by Mark Huntley-James

The Black Hole Of Pantser by Mark Huntley-James

One of the big questions writers ask each other is “are you a plotter or a pantser?”  I know it doesn’t sound big, certainly not the most earth-shattering issue, but go on, dip your toe in this creative minefield and ask a writer whether they plan every detail before they write or just go for it. Just ask, if you dare.

I can see the appeal of plotting, the certainty, the sense of knowing where you’re going, but it just never works for me, so I’ve been a pantser since… forever. Now, suggest being a pantser to a dedicated plotter and put your fingers in your ears to block out the screams of anguish.

So, if you ask me, I’m a pantser, and proud of it. Simple, yes? What could possibly go wrong?  OK, that’s a much bigger question.

Last year I got sucked into the Black Hole Of Pantser – a murky Shadowland of creativity. I knew how my story started (I was a third of the way in, after all), and I knew how it needed to end. I’d just written a crazy scene that tied my flawed hero in more knots than a troop of boy scouts could ever undo in one lifetime. It was wonderful, completely crazy, and I could see the ending in the distance… just one more step… wait… who turned my lights out?

The friable subsoil of my plot crumbled under my feet and dropped me into a black hole, the chasm between where I had reached and where I needed to finish. I had no idea what came next. I didn’t even have a spare box of matches to set fire to my fingers. If I were Indiana Jones, there would be snakes as well.

Anyone else down here? Hello? It’s lonely in the Black Hole of Pantser.

I did the only thing I could think of – logged on to my favourite writing community and screamed for help. I wasn’t looking for an actual answer, just fellow writers to say the necessary things:  there, there, I’m sure it will be fine; put the coffee on; try writing a plot outline.

Nobody had the answer, but that wasn’t the point. I was stuck. I needed an open space (other than the black hole) where I could scream frustration and not get escorted away by qualified medical professionals. I needed people who understood.

Then I went and wrote some more. Any old rubbish. What my hero did next, minute by minute. How often did he trip over his own feet? How many books on knots could he find in the library?  Write and write, until I could see light.

I wrote my way around the Black Hole and accidentally backed into the Cave of Random Rubbish. It’s amazing what you can find in there, and even the gloom of the Hole looks bright in comparison…  And there, under a tatty piece of inspiration, was a big tub of Expanding Plot Hole Filler, more than enough to patch over the gap and take me all the way to the ending.  (Oh, and according to the packet, it contained 90% Completely Bonkers, so that was perfect for me.)

Now, if only I had a plan, I would never have got into that mess. Would never have spent an hour or two online, sharing woes and jokes with other writers. Would never have had the pleasure of finding my unexpected way out of the hole over the course of several days “writing blind”.

If only I had a plan, I would be a completely different writer.

Plotter or pantser? An apparently trivial question that is intricately entwined in how we create. Go on, ask the question, and be prepared for a long, long answer.

This trivial big question is like being left or right handed. Liking or loathing marmite.  It’s twisted tightly through the core of the writer’s creative heartland.

Go on, ask the question.


OMP Admin Note:  Mark Huntley-James writes science fiction and fantasy on a small farm in Cornwall, where he lives with his partner and a menagerie of cats, poultry, and sheep.

He has two urban fantasy novels out on Kindle – “Hell Of A Deal” (http://relinks.me/B01N94VXBC ) and “The Road To Hell” (relinks.me/B07BJLKFSS  ) – and is working on a third.

He can be found online at his blog (writeedge.blogspot.com), his website (https://sites.google.com/site/markhuntleyjames/), and occasionally on that new-fangled social media thing (tw: @MarkH_J, fb: @MarkHuntleyJames)

One Million Project Fiction Anthology

One Million Project Fiction Anthology

The recent publication of the three-volume short story anthologies from the One Million Project was the culmination of over a year and a half of work and coordination of over one hundred writers, editors and publishing professionals. Each week, I will highlight each of the anthologies to give readers a taste of how fabulous these books are. PhotoFunia-1517878513(1)

This anthology contains a variety of fictional works, poetry and even a few non-fictional stories. Step back in time to 1746 with author Sheena Macleod’s Ghosts of Culloden a haunting tale of the last battle fought on Scottish soil. If you have ever considered your dog to be a member of the family, you will cry your heart out when you read Fluffy by Tyke Evenese. I love the poetry of James Cleveland Turner, a former CIA officer whose short story in rhymed verse is similar in style to the rhyming verses of Doctor Seuss.  Mother Hoodie will give you something you never felt when reading a Doctor Seuss story — goosebumps.

I can promise you that One Million Project Fiction Anthology has more than its share of stories that will transport you back centuries in time or maybe just to your childhood. Stories that will make you feel sadness and loss, the tender emotion of new love, or have you laughing at the banter between characters.  This collection of stories brings writers from around the globe who provide the reader with an escape from the daily grind.

The beauty of these publications is two-fold — entertainment for the reader who will be helping to provide funding for Cancer Research UK and EMMAUS Homeless Programs through their purchase.

Cancer Research UK provides research which assists researchers, physicians, and medical centers around the world.  EMMAUS Homeless Programs can be found worldwide with over 330 centers that assist the homeless through job training and assistance to find jobs and places to live.

The One Million Project’s mission is to raise One Million Pounds for charity.  All proceeds from the sales of the anthologies (minus publication/shipping and handling fees) will be donated to the aforementioned charities.


The OMP acknowledges the following contributors who donated their stories and their talents to this project.

Authors: Tom Walburn, Lavinia Leigh, James Cleveland Turner, David Butterworth, Melissa Volker, Jason Greenfield, Sheena Macleod, Patsy Jawo, Riya Bhattacharya, Tyke Evenese, Debra Goelz, Art Dunham, Dawn Barton, Darcy Lundeen, Meixia, Sue Hart, James Loughlin, Michael Walsh, D. J. Meyers, T. E. Bradford, C.L. Henderson, Kate McGinn, Nicole Bea, Steven J. Clark, Christine Larsen, Lorraine Reed, Andrew R. Nixon, Paul Westley, Zoe Mitchell, Nancy PS Hopp, JJ Kendrick, Emma L. Thomson, Michele Potter, Jason Cook, Diane Dickson, Lindsey-Jane Doley, Michelle Kidd, Geraldine Renton, George A. McLendon,  and Suzanne Milne

Compiling Editor: Jason GreenfieldIMG_6873

OMP: Fiction Editors: Sue Hart & K.V. Wilson

Main Cover Designs: D.J. Meyers

Main Cover Logo Design: Claudia Murray

Formatting and Image Editing: Declan Conner

Publisher: OMP Publishing with assistance from Kate Anderson & Dark Ink Press


myBook.to/Fiction

myBook.to/Thriller

myBook.to/Fantasy


OMP Admin Note: Kate McGinn is a writer and OMP Network member – one of a group of networkers who blogs on a regular basis about various causes and issues.

Kate McGinn’s fiction can be found on Amazon in the flash fiction series BITE SIZE STORIES (Volume Two) along with five other guest writers. The first two books in her Clare Thibodeaux Series–EXODUS and WINTER’S ICY CARESS are available on Amazon and Kindle Unlimited.

https://www.amazon.com/Kate-McGinn/e/B01KUKTYFQ/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1473258208&sr=8-1

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Kate-McGinn/e/B01KUKTYFQ/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1473258097&sr=1-2-ent

@katemcginn6

 

One Million Project’s Fantasy Anthology

One Million Project’s Fantasy Anthology

The recent publication of the three-volume short story anthologies from the One Million Project was the culmination of over a year and a half of work and coordination of over one hundred writers, editors and publishing professionals. Each week, I will highlight each of the anthologies to give readers a taste of how fabulous these books are.

Our Fantasy volume presents a variety of genres including Fantasy, Sci-Fi, and PhotoFunia-1517875727 (1)Supernatural Fantasy.  Each story is of differing lengths and some authors have contributed multiple mini-stories so there are more than forty stories in this volume.

Find out what happens to Rachel when her long-time boyfriend leaves her for another man in S. Cinders’ story, Dragon or escape into a tale about what happens when the gods and goddesses create mischief in The Perfect Tree by Sarah A. Wilson.  Have you ever gazed in the mirror and questioned your life choices? Raymond St. Elmo will amuse your inner child with his Sci-Fi tale, The Girl Running Deep in the Sea of Glass.  Ready for some romance? Then you will love North Star by Gabriela Cabezut. Her story will have you wishing on a star hoping you will find your own naked man on a hilltop in Colorado!

 

I can promise you that One Million Project Fantasy Anthology has more than its share of stories of myth, fantastical creatures and the unexplainable.  Bringing writers from around the globe who present the reader with stories that provide the escape from reality every lover of the Supernatural, Fantasy and Science Fiction relish.

The beauty of these publications is two-fold — entertainment for the reader who will be helping to provide funding for Cancer Research UK and EMMAUS Homeless Programs through their purchase.

Cancer Research UK provides research which assists researchers, physicians, and medical centers around the world.  EMMAUS Homeless Programs can be found worldwide with over 330 centers that assist the homeless through job training and assistance to find jobs and places to live.

The One Million Project’s mission is to raise One Million Pounds for charity.  All proceeds from the sales of the anthologies (minus publication/shipping and handling fees) will be donated to the aforementioned charities.


The OMP acknowledges the following contributors who donated their stories and their talents to this project.

Authors: S. Cinders, Xanxa Symanah, Jason Greenfield, L.L. Montez, Adrian Hilder, J.M. McNeely, Chie Hatsume Pamyu, Mark Gardner, Staci Hudson, Sarah A. Wilson, Winter Silverberry, Anna Quin, A.L. Peevey, L. Fergus, Sharon Rhoades, Meg MacDonald, Mark Huntley-James, David Michael Williams, Kristen Jacques, Leigh W. Stuart, Betsey McQueen, Mel El, Susan K. Saltos, Owen Rothberg, Steven J. Pemberton, Raymond St. Elmo, Gabriela Cabequt, Sue Baron, Melissa Volker, David McKeown, Diane Dickson, Scott Butcher, Richard Ashcraft, Oliver Pratt, Vered Ehsani, Dawn Elize, Seb Jenkins, Subrata Saha and Rebecca Weiger.

Compiling Editor: Jason Greenfield41vj1XSGPNL

OMP: Fantasy Project Manager: Linn Neilson

OMP: Fantasy Editor: Sharon Rhoades

Main Cover Designs: D.J. Meyers

Main Cover Logo Design: Claudia Murray

Formatting and Image Editing: Declan Conner

Publisher: OMP Publishing with assistance from Kate Anderson & Dark Ink Press


myBook.to/Fantasy

myBook.to/Fiction

myBook.to/Thriller


OMP Admin Note: Kate McGinn is a writer and OMP Network member – one of a group of networkers who blogs on a regular basis about various causes and issues.

Kate McGinn’s fiction can be found on Amazon in the flash fiction series BITE SIZE STORIES (Volume Two) along with five other guest writers. The first two books in her Clare Thibodeaux Series–EXODUS and WINTER’S ICY CARESS are available on Amazon and Kindle Unlimited.

https://www.amazon.com/Kate-McGinn/e/B01KUKTYFQ/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1473258208&sr=8-1

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Kate-McGinn/e/B01KUKTYFQ/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1473258097&sr=1-2-ent

@katemcginn6

 

One Million Project Thriller Anthology

One Million Project Thriller Anthology

The recent publication of the three-volume short story anthologies from the One Million Project was the culmination of over a year and a half of work and coordination of over PhotoFunia-1517878748one hundred writers, editors and publishing professionals. Each week, I will highlight each of the anthologies to give readers a taste of how fabulous these books are.

The OMP Thriller volume presents a variety of different genres including Horror, Thriller, Mystery, and Crime.  Alice in a Clockwork Wonderland in Brian Bogart’s story, Tocsin, or an up-and-coming author finding love and struggling to write her next book in Darly Jamison’s Writer’s Block which will provide mystery and excitement.

Award-winning author Wendy H. Jones’ short story, DI Shona McKenzie’s Guide to Bumping off Your Boss, features the main character in her police procedural series set in Dundee, Scotland — D.I. Shona McKenzie Mysteries.

I love to read a chilling tale that causes goosebumps to rise on my arms, and One Million Project Thriller Anthology will not disappoint. The beauty of these publications is two-fold — entertainment for the reader who will be helping to provide funding for Cancer Research UK and EMMAUS Homeless Programs through their purchase.

Cancer Research UK provides research which assists researchers, physicians, and medical centers around the world.  EMMAUS Homeless Programs can be found worldwide with over 330 centers that assist the homeless through job training and assistance to find jobs and places to live.

The One Million Project’s mission is to raise One Million Pounds for charity.  All proceeds from the sales of the anthologies (minus publication/shipping and handling fees) will be donated to the aforementioned charities.


The OMP acknowledges the following contributors who donated their stories and their talents to this project.

Authors: Dan Pullen, John Dodd, Mike Cooley, Brian Bogart, Joe Stanley, D. J. Doyle, M. W. Johnston, Karin Davies, Greg Meritt, Oznonymous, Soleil Daniels, Wendy Cole, Sherry Logsdon, Barbara Galvin, Paul Skelton, John A. Riley, Amy M. Zahray, Alicia Britton, Darly Jamison, Jenni Clarke, Jada Trainor, Ruby Julian, Carolyn Hill, Rosie Dean, Lauren O’Neill, Susan O’Reilly, Sebnem E. Sanders, Moinak Das, Akje Majdanek, J. Robin Whitley, Seb Jenkins, Paul Glanville, Alex Nderitu, Terry Odell, Declan Conner, John Nedwill, Jason Greenfield, Ann Brady, Elizabeth A. Rochel and Wendy H. Jones.

Compiling Editor: Jason GreenfieldPhotoFunia-1517879511(1)

OMP: Thriller Project Manager: Soleil Daniels

OMP: Thriller Editors: Sue Baron & Soleil Daniels

Main Cover Designs: D.J. Meyers

Main Cover Logo Design: Claudia Murray

Formatting and Image Editing: Declan Conner

Publisher: OMP Publishing with assistance from Kate Anderson & Dark Ink Press


myBook.to/Thriller

myBook.to/Fantasy

myBook.to/Fiction


OMP Admin Note: Kate McGinn is a writer and OMP Network member – one of a group of networkers who blogs on a regular basis about various causes and issues.

Kate McGinn’s fiction can be found on Amazon in the flash fiction series BITE SIZE STORIES (Volume Two) along with five other guest writers. The first two books in her Clare Thibodeaux Series–EXODUS and WINTER’S ICY CARESS are available on Amazon and Kindle Unlimited.

https://www.amazon.com/Kate-McGinn/e/B01KUKTYFQ/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1473258208&sr=8-1

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Kate-McGinn/e/B01KUKTYFQ/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1473258097&sr=1-2-ent

@katemcginn6