Read ‘Grandma’s Garden’: My flowery entry for this week’s Reedsy!

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This week’s Reedsy theme was a nice one — The Ordinary. As put on the Reedsy site — The very last line of the NBC sitcom The Office is spoken by former receptionist Pam Beasley. She says: “There’s a lot of beauty in ordinary things. Isn’t that kind of the point?”

I chose the prompt, “Write a short story about someone tending to their garden.” Such a simple prompt, isn’t it? So lovely. I thought I’d give it my proper “Josh Insole” spin, though! My story is called Grandma’s Garden, and you can read it here on WordPress, or over on my Reedsy profile!

Grandma was always tending to her garden. Eleanor watched her as she went about her duties, a smile stretched across her kind and wrinkled face, a pretty little melody being softly hummed (and occasionally whistled), a wide-brim straw hat pushed snugly on her head.

 

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I loved writing this! I came up with the ending first, then worked my way backwards from there. Also, as was the case with my most recent stories, I made the art for Grandma’s Garden myself. If you’d like to see more of my art, why not check out my art blog? https://artinsoulstudio.wordpress.com/

Read my dark comedy, ‘A Long, Narrow Box’: The entry for this week’s Reedsy!

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So, how are you doing? Had a good week? Fantastic. I’ve had a semi-stressful week, trying to balance my creative hobbies (this blog and my WIP) along with regular life. I’m hoping to rectify that in the near future! I really want to get a first draft of my novel done soon(ish), so I’m going to have to buckle down and get on with it… This might mean that Bite-Sized Horror may not make its return for a short while, but I’ll still keep churning out my short stories!

This week’s Reedsy theme was ‘resolutions’. I chose the prompt, “Write a story about someone in the self-help aisle of a bookstore. What book do they pick up?” I wrote a dark little comedy called A Long, Narrow Box. As is always the case, you can read it here on WordPress or over on my Reedsy profile.

Marvin needed help, and this seemed to be the place to get it. He looked at the laminated label on the bookshelf. SELF-HELP SECTION. He nodded to himself. Yup, this was the right place all right. He held his hands behind his back – neatly, as Mother had taught him – and surveyed the books on offer.

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I had a lot of fun writing this, chuckling to myself maniacally as the words bled from my fingertips. I hope it’s an enjoyable read!

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

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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!

It’s That Time of Year Again!

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What’s that I hear you say? “Josh, we had no idea that Halloween was your favourite holiday! That’s so unexpected! Who’d have guessed that the lunatic who has an unhealthy obsession with horror likes Halloween? Not me!”

Alas, it is true. Halloween and October are my most treasured times of year. The burnt-orange leaves that scatter and make skittering noises as the wind ushers them down the streets. The acrid perfume of bonfires and fireworks lingering in the air. The cooler temperatures, the thick jumpers, the hugging scarfs. And, of course, All Hallow’s Eve.

I love all things Halloween. The movies, the music, the TV specials, the books, the decorations, the costumes. All of it. All of it. From the legitimately terrifying stuff to the kid-friendly goofy stuff. It simply warms the cold, cobwebby recesses of my heart.

So, to celebrate, Bite-Sized Horror will undergo a special Halloween theme for the rest of this month! I’m not sure how many posts there’ll be, but there’s going to be an underlying connection to them — perhaps even one overarching story. I think I may stray from my two-sentence rule — maybe I’ll play around with the 99-word structure I’ve recently come to love (check out CarrotRanch’s weekly prompts!). If I (temporarily) abandon the two-sentence shocker, I’ll probably not post every day, due to time constraints… But we’ll see — I think I’m going to wing it, and see where my dark, rotten soul leads me.

Additionally, I’ll be sharing parts of my other creative passion as well: music. I play a few different instruments and I love composing. Unsurprisingly, I adore horror soundtracks — particularly the works of John Carpenter. Writing music (especially creepy, horror-themed electronica) is one of my most enjoyable pastimes — so I’ll be posting tidbits, here and there, when the mood is right and the moon is full.

So keep your eyes peeled and your ear to the ground — terrible things are lurking in the shadows.

‘The Comicbook Kid’: My entry for this week’s Reedsy contest!

Well, here we are again! It seems as though no time has passed at all, but somehow another week has gone by… This week’s theme was a celebration of legendary children’s author, Roald Dahl.

I chose prompt #5 — “Write a story infused with dark humour.” I wrote this story very quickly, as I spent the better part of the week in Prague for my brother’s stag party (the hangover was atrocious!). The title of the story is The Comicbook Kid, and you can read it here and here.

“Ralph’s parents were never the same after they died.” Continue Reading

As always, I hope you have fun reading the piece — I would have liked to work on it a bit more, but I’m happy with the story, considering how little time I invested in it!

 

P.S. Check back tomorrow for the 50th Bite-Size Horror!