This story is dedicated to both my favorite author, Neil Gaiman, a great inspiration of mine, and his friend and fellow contemporary great fantasy/sci-fi/horror writer, Terry Pratchett, on the day of the release of the Amazon Prime streaming adaptation of their co-authored novel, Good Omens.
I was fortunate enough to see Neil Gaiman live in Salt Lake City, Utah, back in November of 2018. He was absolutely marvelous. Reading from his Norse Mythology, Good Omens, and a few other works, telling about his experience as a show runner for the upcoming Good Omens show, and its significance as his beloved friend's dying request to him, Neil Gaiman also read every question he possibly could from a stack of index cards that we fans had the opportunity to write to him in the lobby prior to the show starting. (My own written questions did not get answered, but admittedly, the other fans' were far better, and the answers to them far more interesting!)
My story below, That, is a homage of sorts to Good Omens. It is a humorous story involving the Anti-Christ and the story's antagonist, a monster parodying Stephen King's Pennywise from It. That has some obvious inspiration from It, as well as Home Alone, The Exorcist, and even Winnie the Pooh and Calvin and Hobbes. I can't claim credit for the idea for the story itself; my brother Peter, in one of our late night talks whilst walking my dog along the Roanoke River Greenway, expressed it to me as an idea he'd had floating about in his skull for a while, but did not know what to do with. Having his blessing, I germinated the idea and wrote away, adding my own ideas, drawing from my personal inspirations and experiences, and piecing it together, until I arrived at the final product you read here. As always, I bounced each new idea and plot-turn off him first, and when he grinned and chuckled (which was, to my authorial delight, most of the time) I went ahead and went with it.
As always, I hope you, and, should any Neil Gaiman or Terry Pratchett enthusiast (or should I be so lucky, Neil Gaiman himself) wander upon it, I sincerely hope you will read it, and enjoy it, and be at least as tickled by it and entertained in reading it as I was in writing it.
Yours in literary endeavors, always,
It took me a while to write this. The subject matter is very personal and that made it all the more difficult. Yet, here it is, for anyone and everyone to reach, should they wish.
Happy Belated Mother's Day, Mom. I love you.
I love bouncing ideas off each other with my brother. We come up with some cool concepts. Sometimes he has an idea that isn't fully developed and we'll talk it out and come up with a full-fledged story that I'll write, and other times it's vice versa and he'll do a comic or draw the characters. This story came to being after a late night walking of my dog alongside the Roanoke river. Pete and I talked this outline/plot out, based on a concept that had been floating around in his head for a while. I fleshed it out, and at midnight that night I began typing. When I'd finished, it was 5:00 AM!
A few days later, several edits and read-throughs, and a last minute edition towards the end of the story (that I think really makes it good and worth the read in the end) that I had not planned but came to me as I was driving a printed copy over to my grandmother to read (she enjoys reading my stories and is sometimes the first reader/litmus test as to whether I'm going to post something here) and here we are! A finished story.
Without further ado, I'll leave you to read it!
We are well into the process of making this graphic novel of "Visitors" a reality! My brother Peter is nearly through penning Chapter 1. Check out the pictures in the gallery above of the first few pages! We have been working on it at night and on weekends as much as we can to create this work. As we go through this process, we are realizing that coloring it will be quite the job. That said, does anyone know a colorist who has experience in comics? This style is rather cartoony, but then, so is the story! If you know of a good one who would enjoy doing a project like this, leave a comment or fill out a contact form!
Thanks and, as always, I hope you enjoy the content of my site!
My new story, "Visitors," is finished and here, as promised! It is just over 11,600 words, according to the Microsoft Word word count tool. That technically classifies it as a novelette or novella (depending upon whom you ask) rather than a short story. Which is just fine, because my brother Peter and I are already in the process of making it into a graphic novel! Above are some artwork of his, the cover and first page of the comic version. I am super excited and have been helping him by going through each chapter of the story and outlining story beats, then sketching a storyboard for him to follow. We are hoping to have the graphic novel written, inked, lettered, colored, and finished relatively soon; I will keep you posted here!
I'd like to thank Neil Gaiman, my favorite author, always for inspiration, and also for his guide on how to write comics/his method on his Masterclass. I have been working through his class online and he has been an amazing inspiration and help. He's a heck of a guy!
Anyway, for now you can read the story in its prose format. I hope you'll love it! I do.
Image source: https://www.reddit.com/r/aliens/comments/b9jnj2/i_thought_you_might_also_like_my_second_ufo/?utm_source=share&utm_medium=ios_app
Wow, it's May, suddenly!
It's been a while, both since I posted here, and since I have written anything: a short story, a poem, anything. Life has happened. It has been crazy. And, with the craziness, have come a few unexpected changes. Both that, coupled with the fact that I was a bit worn down as a writer after striving to put up at least one, but often two pieces a week here during my Spooktober promotion have led me to not write much the past several months.
Nevertheless, I still will write on! I only recently felt the motivation and inspiration to write something. I really wanted to write a short story and had the itch, but had no story in mind, no plot, nor any inspiration. Then, I started binge watching South Park (yes, you read that correctly!) from its beginning when I found myself with a (very) little extra time on my hands, and, drawing inspiration from the show's pilot episode, decided I wanted to do something with aliens and abductions, a theme I've been a fan of and found fascinating since childhood, but have never written about in any literary capacity.
Several hours later and many (miles? light-years? gigabytes?) of whatever measurement one might use to find out how far down the Reddit hole one has gone, and I found myself on the r/aliens Subreddit. Having read numerous stories about encounters and abductions (and, consequently losing some hours of sleep) I eventually came across the painting someone had done above. I don't know why or how, but somehow I knew that the girl in the painting's name was Maisy.
Walking my dog, Hermione, with my younger brother a day later, I bounced ideas off of him, and eventually came up with a rough outline of events in my head for 5 chapters. He nodded contemplatively, saying this was a story he liked the idea of, and would even be something he'd be interested in illustrating (He is an artist and did the cover art for Star Sharks). We agreed we would write a graphic novel of it together.
A week passed by, and here I am, three out of five chapters of prose complete, and my brother in the preliminary character design phase. I will hopefully finish writing the story within the week, and post it for you here. It is going to be titled "Visitors." I hope you'll read and enjoy it!
Thank you for reading, and, as always,
Yours in creative musings,
Friends of T.D. Smith