Dusty Bones – The Halloween Version

Kate McClelland brings us a nightmarish Halloween tale that will cause you to leave the light on tonight! And you might find yourself waking up to your own screaming voice, soaked in sweat, covers in a ball or tossed to the floor. If you’re into all things ghoulish, this story will run a delightful chill up your spine🙂

Kate McClelland

As it’s nearly Halloween, I thought I would try a scary story. This is actually based on a poem I wrote about a recurring nightmare. I hope you like it. It’s 1691 words – which, if you turn upside down is – 1691! Hope you’re Halloween is ‘spooktacular’ (so sorry, I really couldn’t resist that one! – I’ll get my coat :0))

Pumpkins i
Dusty Bones – The Halloween Version

It’s midnight, on All Hallows Eve and I am already in bed.

It had been a disaster of a Halloween party. Chase had turned up already very drunk and preceded to puke up over the finger buffet and kind of killed the party mood in one fell swoop.

I threw Chase out and Jake offered to take him home to keep him out of trouble. Chase shouting back to me as I slammed the door ‘Sorry Ginny, really sorry. GINNY!‘

The others sloped…

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Danny’s Dilemma

Danny the Dog brings us a not-so-tail-wagging tale from around the marina. He tries to teach his human a lesson, but Andrew is either a bit obtuse or too irritated to get the message! What’s a dog to do? Hop over to The Story Reading Ape and read about Danny’s best laid scheme that went astray🙂

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

Danny Happy
To run or not to run, that is the question. Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, or to take arms against a sea of troubles, and by opposing end them? . . . to paraphrase Billy Shakespeare.

Howdy, folks. It’s me, Danny the Dog. I live on a boat with my human, Andrew. Today, I’m here to speak about outrageous fortune. And the outrageous fortune of which I speak is the insidious leash he makes me wear. I mean . . . really . . . just because I’ve run away a few times, he thinks I can’t be trusted. I’m a big boy—I’m almost fourteen years old! I can go out catting (excuse the expression) around at night and still make my way home all by myself.

01 Danny XXl
So here’s my problem. Andrew doesn’t use a regular leash like any sane…

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Nick Verron has traveled the emotional spectrum ~ from joy to despair ~ from walking through nature on his own to being confined to a wheelchair that restricts. He’d resigned himself to the latter until he recently experienced the Mountain Trike. Now all he needs to be independent once again in his travels is the money to buy one. Please help if you can… ❤

Nick Verron

I cannot properly express the gratitude I feel for the way people are coming together to help me realise my dream. I dream of independent freedom.

I thought freedom would forever be out of my reach. Being reliant on an electric wheelchair is very restrictive; steps become your nemesis, electricity a necessity. The other option is to be completely dependent on somebody pushing me in a manual wheelchair. Both the options will not allow me to traverse rough terrain. Not that I MYSELF am doing any traversing, I am just sat there, motionless, feeling disconnected to the world passing me by. I thought this would always be the case.

I moved down to the coast because I love the sea; I loved walking across the beach, felt connection and relaxation for my soul. After my attack, I had resigned to never being able to do this again. I grew up playing on Ilkley…

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My First Book Shout Out – Cybersex: A Nightmare of the 21st Century – The Rebirth of Armageddon by Abdulazeez Henry Musa.

I doubt anyone would argue the benefits of the Internet. Yet there is a dark side to everything on our bipolar planet, and cybersex is one of the more heinous elements. Pedophiles and psychopaths stalk and threaten our children, perpetrating “their horrendous crimes of child abuse, molestation, and child trafficking.” Abdulazeez Henry Musa is a guest on Sally Cronin‘s blog series, My First Book Shout Out, discussing his book, Cybersex: A Nightmare of the 21st Century – The Rebirth of Armageddon. No doubt this book will provide many a distraught parent with guidelines, “tips and red-flags to protect young people from the sinister plot of unknown sexual predators pervading the internet.”

Smorgasbord - Variety is the spice of life

Welcome to the new series for first time authors. Nothing more exciting for a writer to see their first book in print and whilst this series is primarily for authors who have just published their first book, authors are also welcome to showcase books that have been published in the last two years provided it is their first and only book. It may be useful for those authors who are planning to publish their second books in the next month or so, especially if part of a series.

If you are an established author with books that you would like to promote then the Autumn Reading is the current general promotion which will run until December 1st and then move into Winter Reading. There will also be a Christmas promotion running from mid-November for authors who have been previously promoted on the blog and are on the shelves of the…

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EDITING 101: 08 – Using Song Lyrics in your Manuscript…

Susan Uttendorfsky is a guest on The Story Reading Ape with Part 8 of her EDITING 101 Series: Using Song Lyrics in your Manuscript. While many of us might think song lyrics would animate a romantic scene, Susan gives us several good reasons why not to use them…

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

Originally posted as the Dun Writin’—Now Whut? series on this blog, EDITING 101 is a weekly refresher series for some of you and brand new for others.

Courtesy of Adirondack Editing

Using Song Lyrics in your Manuscript

You’ve just written the most perfect restaurant love scene imaginable. As your two main characters unite on the dance floor, the haunting strains of “Unchained Melody” play in the background. The lovers gaze deeply into each other’s eyes as the song’s lyrics pass through their ears, melding their souls together in acoustical rapture:

Oh, my…”

Wait! Stop! Halt!! Turn off the radio, unplug the phonograph, and disconnect your online radio station! Are you crazy? Are you looking for a lawsuit?

<Author looks around incredulously>

Who, me? Now what does this woman want me to do? Eliminate the perfect words from this scene?”

Yep, that’s exactly what I want you to do. You’re not…

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Thriving Thursdays: Garbage Thinking – Guest Post…

Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene is a guest on The Story Reading Ape, nudging us to remember The Law of the Garbage Truck. Piqued your curiosity? Hop over to Chris’ blog for Teagan’s humorous but all too true observations…

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

Garbage Truck LawPhoto Credit: Proctor Gallagher Institute

You’re getting ready for work and you spill your coffee.  Cleaning it up, you see that it’s all over your shirt.  You have to change the shirt, and then your pants don’t match the next shirt.  Late for work, you get stuck behind a garbage truck.  It smells.  Bad!  And that’s when the day really turns to garbage… “Murphy’s Law” becomes the law of the garbage truck.

We’ve all had days when one small bad thing sends the day into a tailspin.  Did you notice that as you became focused the first unfortunate thing, the more the little bad things piled up, one after another? 

Shift your focus to something pleasant, something positive.  Do it fast — before the law of the garbage truck kicks-in!

Have a thriving Thursday,


Garbage Truck vintage cartoonYou can read my serial stories and learn about my novels at my blog,Teagan’s Books

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Loneliness – Guest Post…

In solitude, some experience loneliness ~ feeling that no one cares ~ while others experience it as merely being alone. Felicity Sidnell is a guest on The Story Reading Ape’s blog today and asks a compelling question: “Why is it then that we seem to have lost sight of the importance of independence and privacy and no longer regard solitude as something that nurtures self-reliance?” Food for thought…

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog


We fear loneliness, so we’re often frightened of being alone and place little value on solitude these days. Many people seem to feel singleness is a parlous state to be criticised or regretted, though so many people live alone these days. We live in a world that is becoming more and more intrusive and the intrusion more acceptable. The ease with which we can connect with family and friends tends to increase our dependency on others. Everywhere we look, people are hugging their phones to their ears or texting a message to someone, clinging to their instrument, as though it will allow them to actually touch the correspondent.

LonelyBut are we depriving our children of the opportunity to be independent and enjoy their own company? Previous generations of children were usually expected to play with the other children on the street or amuse themselves with their siblings or on their…

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Two Great Truths of Absolute and Relative Reality

What is real and what is unreal? What is reality and what is illusion? So many of us think the daily life we lead is reality. And relatively speaking ~ Mother Earth being a schoolhouse and our reason for incarnating ~ this is true. But what gives the body life? The spirit? The soul? The Divine Absolute? Mira Prabhu discusses Relative and Absolute Reality within the metaphor of two birds perched on the branch of a tree: one eats the fruit while the other watches. Which is Relative and which is Absolute? Could it be that The Great Dream is reality and the wakeful state is an illusion?

mira prabhu


In my volatile teens, I was struck by the poignant beauty of an ancient metaphor (contained within the Mundaka Upanishad) that speaks of two birds perched on the branch of a tree: one bird eats the fruit of the tree while the other watches.

The first bird represents the individual self/soul; distracted by the fruits (signifying sensual pleasures), she forgets her lord and lover and tries to enjoy the fruit independent of him. (This separating amnesia is known in Sanskrit as maha-maya or enthrallment; it results in the plunge of the individual into the ephemeral realm of birth and death.) As for the second bird, it is an aspect of the Divine/Self that rests in every heart—and which remains forever constant even as the individual soul is bedazzled by the material world.

This teaching implies that it is ignorance of our true nature that creates a vicious cycle: the individual, being blinded by the illusion of existing as a separate…

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Hey – Boo – I have a TREAT for YOU! – Guest Post…

Annette Rochelle Aben is a guest on The Story Reading Ape today, telling us about her latest book ~ BooKu, Halloween Haiku ~ which I understand is not for the fainthearted! But if you’re a daring soul, the Kindle version will be available for only 0.99 from midnight Pacific Time on October 16th through midnight Pacific time on October 22nd. Trick or treat!

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

For one week, the Kindle version of my latest book, BooKu, Halloween Haiku will be available for .99!

3D BooKu

If I could cover it in chocolate for you, I do that too but at this price, you can afford to pick up a couple of your favorites to enjoy whilst having a grin reading BooKu.

BooKu takes us behind the scenes of a typical, American, middle-class yard, decked out for that one special night we call, Halloween.

In the light of day, everything looks pretty tame, mighty harmless and rather ordinary (well, that is if rats, skulls and skeletons are your everyday, average yard frou-frou).

Yet, when the moon rises in the pitch of a black sky, frou-frou becomes frightening.

Tiny trick or treaters will never be the same for the experience of having to navigate the path from the sidewalk to the candy. It’s all part…

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Missed Opportunities – Guest Post…

Thank you to Chris Graham for hosting me on his blog, The Story Reading Ape. Those who frequent Chris’ blog know how generous he is in his support of authors and other bloggers. He is one fine Ape, and I think I speak for all of us when saying we’re sure glad ~ not to mention fortunate ~ that he is ours ❤

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

nIyPmE copy

Image is courtesy of Lucie Stastkova

LuSt 4 ART

How many times have you heard yourself say: “I wish I’d said . . .”?  Sometimes we’re simply a little slow on the draw. But sometimes we hesitate, afraid to speak what we’re thinking and feeling. Maybe we’re afraid of not being liked. Maybe we’re uncomfortable with effusive reactions. Maybe we’re afraid of confrontation. Whatever the reason, it’s usually based in fear. And that’s really too bad, because we’ve missed an opportunity to grow.

How many times have you heard yourself say: “I wish I’d told her . . .”?  If we’re reticent to pay someone a compliment — perhaps afraid they may question our motives — then we’ve robbed them and ourselves of a joyful moment. If we’re reluctant to offer someone criticism — perhaps unsure whether we’re capable of handling their reaction — then we’ve robbed them and ourselves…

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Unexpected Mishaps

So much has been going wrong lately that I feel the need to toss a little cuteness and humor onto the path in front of me 😊

gabby-6-23-12“What has been going wrong,” you ask? Well . . .

savannah-3-31-09 Having a good many blogs that I follow disappear from my WordPress reader. Pleeeeeeezee give them back to me!

gabby-2-11-21-11 Being tossed into WordPress spam, along with oodles of my fellow bloggers. At least I had company there, but I did feel a bit slimed 😊

brea-11-11-13 Being thrown into Facebook Jail for “Liking” too many pages too fast. Geez, FB! Why do you care?

gabby-11-7-15Having a friend commit me to a social event that I neither wanted to attend nor could gracefully decline. It wouldn’t have been so bad if the guy hired as part of the entertainment hadn’t mooned the room with a piece of toilet paper hanging from his behind. Was that what I thought it was?

dominic-11-19-13Having someone smash into my car’s bumper, making a right turn from the left lane, eating while driving. Some people just can’t walk and chew gum at the same time.

 All the photos? Well, they are my great nieces and nephews, come to help share my little dip in the pool of unexpected mishaps 😊

gabby-quads-7-31-13Gabby and the Quads   July 2013

john-trips-2-27-14Johnny and the Trips   February 2014


If you don’t like Cats and Boxes Meme – LOOK AWAY NOW…

The Story Reading Ape brings us a Cats and Boxes Meme that’s just too good to miss! This is classic feline. A big “Thank You” to our favorite Hominoid for this much-appreciated bit of Friday humor🙂

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog


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Basics Every Indie Author Needs Before Publishing a Book – Guest Post…

Yecheilyah Ysrayl is The Story Reading Ape’s guest today, discussing the difference between a writer and an author, as well as outlining the 3 basics every aspiring author should do before publishing a book: Investment, Author Platform, Social Media. As most of us know who have been at it a while, these are 3 staples for the published author as well. Are you a writer or an author?

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

Blog Post 2

When I published my first book, I didn’t see my writing as a business. It was just me doing what I’ve always wanted to do. However, as I began to learn and as I continue to learn, I quickly discovered why Self-Publishing requires so much work: It’s a business.

That doesn’t take away from the fun of it, but the realization did help me to become more organized. I quickly learned why no one was buying: I wasn’t working! Writing is working, technically, and I was doing plenty of that. However, I was not working on the skill of writing, researching my industry, understanding tips to help me to write better books, promoting, marketing, and everything in-between. I was writing, sure. But the business of writing? I didn’t even know it existed. I was a writer and that was all. When I got into the business of writing however, that’s…

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