‘Listening to Ghosts’: My occult Reedsy story!

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I know, I know, I’ve been lazy with keeping this blog up to date. I do apologise! Unfortunately, my life has gotten incredibly busy over the last few weeks, for reasons I won’t bore you with here. All that matters is I’m back now, and I’ve got a few stories to share! I’ll be uploading ’em in the next few days, so keep an eye out, ’cause I reckon there’s a few good’uns!

Anyway, this story was written for the contest ‘Musical Genius’ (the theme was to honour the legendary Mozart!). I chose the prompt, “Write a story about a character obsessed with one of the long-dead “greats” in their profession.” The title of my story is Listening to Ghosts, and you can find it here on WordPress or over on my Reedsy profile.

Jed Blancher, now there was a good paranormal investigator. Rumour had it, he could talk with the deceased without need for a planchette or Ouija or anything.

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I hope you like the story! I really loved the vibe of this one — stories of the occult really speak to me!

‘Something Swims Behind (Still My Sunshine)’: My aquatic entry for this week’s Reedsy!

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Ah, here we are! All caught up, at last! Made it! How are you guys doing? Still with me? Still reading these inane ramblings and occasionally perusing my mad scribbles that I’m trying to pass off as “writing”?

This week’s Reedsy theme was ‘genre-blending’! How exciting! I chose the prompt, “Write a sweeping romantic tale of two lovers who must overcome the horror of being hunted by an unseen foe…” Naturally, the allure of horror drew me in to this prompt. Did you expect anything less? 😉 The title of my story is Something Swims Behind (Still My Sunshine), and — as always! — you can read it here on WordPress, or over on my Reedsy profile!

We were just entering the hadal zone when we realised, we weren’t alone.

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As mentioned in the last post, this story was written with plenty of time to spare, and I think it really shows. I hope you guys like it — I had lots of fun writing it. I just love the ocean, even if it is an utterly terrifying place!

Well, until next time… stick to the shallows, and if something starts knock-knock-knocking, you best get the hell out of there!

‘Onwards, Towards the Witch’: My magical entry for last week’s Reedsy contest

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Whew! We’re getting there, aren’t we? Almost done! This story was written for last week’s Reedsy contest (just one more short story, then I’m all caught up!). This story was written for the Reedsy theme ‘winter wonderland’. I chose the prompt, “You go for a walk in fresh snow. Suddenly you realise you’re not leaving any footprints.”

This story was written shortly before the deadline of the contest, but it wasn’t quite as last minute as the previous one (although I did cut it close!). I feel that this is a better story somehow… it feels more ‘complete’ — even though I’d have liked more time on it. The title of the story is Onwards, Towards the Witch, and you can read it here on WordPress, or over on my Reedsy profile.

I see you, child.

The words slithered into her brain, as if they were her own thoughts. The world flashed a momentary red. And then they came again.

I see you, child.

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Well, I hope you guys like the story! From this point on, I’m hoping to have more time to dedicate to my short stories (as well as my main WIP — progress for which has recently stalled…). Indeed, the one I wrote for this week’s contest was complete by Thursday. Until next time, guys! Have a good’un, and always pay attention to the warnings of your fairy!

‘Returning the Favour’: My first Reedsy story of the decade

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So, here’s another Reedsy short story, as promised! This one was written for the theme, ‘Auld Lang Syne’, for the new year. I chose the prompt, “Two strangers meet at a New Year’s Eve party. They spend the party together, and then never see each other again…”

As mentioned with my last Reedsy story, this was written mere minutes before the deadline, as it was a very busy period. I pondered not doing a story, as I wasn’t sure it’d be up to my standards, but I decided to do something. After all, the worst thing you ever wrote is better than the best thing you never wrote. The title of my story is Returning the Favour, and you can read it here on WordPress, or over on my Reedsy profile.

“Don’t panic,” said the man with my face, “I’m not here to hurt you.”

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I hope you guys like the story, despite it’s length and rough, sketch-like nature. I think if given more time, I could have made this much better, but sometimes life gets in the way of our art. Even though I know it’s far from my best, I’m still quite happy with it.

Until next time, guys!

Read ‘When the War Falls Silent’: My last Reedsy story of 2019!

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Ah, not doing very well at uploading these at a steady rate, am I? I’ll chalk it up to still waking up after the excesses of Christmas, NYE and my birthday (which was yesterday)!

This particular story was written for the Reedsy theme of ‘that holiday feeling’. I chose the prompt, “Write a short story about an innkeeper wondering whether this will be their last holiday in business.” The title of my story is When the War Falls Silent, and it was the last story I wrote in 2019. You can read it here on WordPress, or over here on my Reedsy profile.

It’s worth noting that this story (along with the two Reedsy stories following it — they’ll be uploaded in the upcoming days, keep an eye out!) was written just an hour or so before the Reedsy deadline. I like the idea(s), but I fully admit that I should have dedicated more time to the actual writing process. Alas, this piece (and the other two that will follow) are a bit rough — so keep that in mind! You might be thinking, Josh, if you didn’t have the time, why did you try and squeeze a story in? Why not just wait until you can work on your stuff? And the answer to that is, I like writing one short story a week (at the very least) — I find it’s good practice! I don’t want to get lazy with my craft. Even if the work isn’t quite up to the standards I set for myself, I like the idea of putting something out there on a regular basis. Anyway, this has been enough of a rambling post. I’ll let the story speak for itself…

When the men from the Otherworld arrived, they brought death and destruction with them.

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I hope you like the piece! Even in spite of the previous ramble, I’m quite happy with it, considering I spent about 40 minutes on it. Who knows, maybe I’ll polish this (and the others) when I’ve got more time?

Read ‘The Dead at My Door’: My Reedsy story based on a nightmare of mine!

https://blog.reedsy.com/creative-writing-prompts/author/joshua-insole/

Well, it’s been a while since I’ve done one of these, hasn’t it? Thought I’d better get on with uploading ’em, before the backlog gets any bigger! This short story was written back on the 18th December, for the Reedsy theme ‘quite the character’. I chose prompt #2 — “Write a short story about a character experiencing anxiety.”

The title of my story is The Dead at My Door, and it is based entirely on a nightmare I had a few weeks back, beat-for-beat. The dream was quite vivid, and I did my best to transfer the feelings and emotions I had upon waking to the reader. I am currently living in Austria with my partner, but this dream was set back in England, where I grew up… You can read it here on WordPress, or over on my Reedsy profile.

They were still following us. We hadn’t managed to lose them, despite our best efforts. I could hear their frenzied footfalls and their growls filling the wintry night air, just behind us.

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I hope you guys like the story! Even though it was based on a nightmare, which, at the time wasn’t very pleasant, I had fun writing the story. Read into this whatever you will about the state of my mind. 😉

Until next time, be sure keep your windows and doors locked and your ladders handy…

‘A Heart Is Not an Orange’: My strange entry for this week’s Reedsy contest!

https://blog.reedsy.com/creative-writing-prompts/author/joshua-insole/

Well, here we go again! How are you guys? In the Christmas spirit? As if there’s only a handful more of these Reedsy short stories left of 2019… It’s hard to believe that there’s less than two weeks left of this decade!

Anyway, this week’s Reedsy theme was ‘talking shop’. After some deliberation, I chose prompt #3 — “Write a short story about someone watching a convincing infomercial.” Even by my standards, the story I wrote is a little strange… It’s about a vampire who buys a fruit juicer. No, I’m not joking. The title of my story is A Heart Is Not an Orange, and you can read it here on WordPress or over on my Reedsy profile.

Martin Wilson never returned from his student exchange program abroad. This is mostly due to the fact that he didn’t escape the vampire.

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I hope you guys like it! I did laugh to myself once or twice whilst writing this. I did mutter to myself, “What the hell are you writing, Joshua?” on more than one occasion. But, I had fun. And really, isn’t that the goal of this hobby?

Also, I hope everyone is enjoying my little Christmas tale — Yule Be Sorry: A Very Bite-Sized Christmas. I’m having a blast with it!

Read my quirky little entry for this week’s Reedsy: ‘Frank’

https://blog.reedsy.com/creative-writing-prompts/author/joshua-insole/

Hey, guys! So, here we are, the final day of NaNoWriMo! But… I’ll be making a post about that another day. Today is Reedsy short story contest time! The final Reedsy during NaNoWriMo! I’ve found it a little bit exhausting to maintain all my side stuff alongside NaNo, but I’ve made it!

This week’s Reedsy theme was ‘All the Fixin’s’ for Thanksgiving! As a Brit, I don’t really know what it’s exactly all about, but I was more than happy to pen a story under the theme, nonetheless! I chose prompt #2 — “Write a story about a family dinner that includes someone unexpected showing up.”

The title of my story is Frank, and, as always, you can read it here on WordPress, or over on my Reedsy profile!

We all thought that Frank was dead. Had we known that he wasn’t, we would have killed him again.

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I wrote this piece in a really short space of time, due to my NaNo commitments — it came together in the space of an hour or so. I think it’s got quite an off-beat vibe! I hope you all like it!

Stay tuned for more posts as NaNo comes to an end!

‘Forests of Bone’: My return to horror for this week’s Reedsy prompt!

https://blog.reedsy.com/creative-writing-prompts/author/joshua-insole/

Ah, you knew I couldn’t stay away from horror for too long! Last week’s romance story was just a palette cleanser! Anyway, I’m getting ahead of myself. Hey, guys! Hope you’re all well and that NaNoWriMo isn’t stressing you out too much! Some might say that I’m crazy for maintaining these Reedsy stories whilst doing NaNoWriMo, and to those people I say… well, you’re not wrong!

This week’s Reedsy theme was ‘Once upon a time’. There was one prompt that immediately jumped out at me; #4 — “Write a story in which characters are warned not to go into the woods.” I love a good horror set-up! The title of my story is Forests of Bone, and, as always, you can read it here on WordPress or over on my Reedsy profile!

“You remember where to shoot ‘em?”

“In the head! Always in the head!”

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I had a blast writing this one! Sometimes you just know exactly where to go with a story. In fact, I didn’t want the story to stop, and struggled to stay within the 3,000 word limit. I hope you guys like it!

Until next time, guys! Have a good one!

‘Honesty in G# Minor’: My short romance story for this week’s Reedsy contest!

https://blog.reedsy.com/creative-writing-prompts/author/joshua-insole/

Well, hi there! I know it’s been a while — I used to post every day, but with NaNoWriMo and other things going on, that just isn’t possible these days… I hope you’re all keeping well, though!

This week’s Reedsy theme was ‘Everyone’s an Expert’; I chose prompt #4 — “Write about something you consider yourself to be an expert in, but do it from the perspective of a total novice.” There aren’t many things I consider myself to be an expert in, but I think (as previously shared on here) I’m pretty good at songwriting — so that’s the direction I took the story in. I didn’t actually intend to write a romantic story… it just sorta happened. I don’t like to force my writing — if it’s horror, it’s horror, if it’s romance, it’s romance — I like to just let it flow… but I was a bit surprised at the tone. However, considering that I wrote this story after coming back from my brother’s wedding, perhaps the romantic tone wasn’t that surprising after all? The title is Honesty in G# Minor, and you can read it here, or on my Reedsy profile.

“Think of it like painting a picture.”

“I can’t paint, either.”

“No, it doesn’t matter. Just think of it like painting a picture.”

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I hope you like the story — I know it’s a bit unusual, compared to my usual fare. I think exploring new genres and territories is always a good idea, if only to give you new ideas. I wrote the piece in a very short space of time, even by my standards — I got back home from the wedding yesterday. Perhaps I could have refined the idea a little bit, but I still quite like it — I think the story has got a lot of heart.

Until next time, take care! I hope you have a great weekend!