‘Honesty in G# Minor’ was shortlisted for the Reedsy contest!

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Well, I’ve been shortlisted for the Reedsy competition again! This is the third time I’ve been shortlisted, now. I’ve won it twice, and would love to win it a third time, but being shortlisted three times isn’t anything to sniff at, either!

Honesty in G# Minor was a bit outside my comfort zone as a writer, so it was really nice to know that people actually enjoyed it! If you haven’t already, you can read the story on here, or over on Reedsy.

“Think of it like painting a picture.”

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If you’re interested, you can check out my other stories which were shortlisted:

And my stories which actually won:

 

‘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!

And Now, Back to Our Regularly Scheduled Programming. Sort Of.

Fair warning: this is going to be a bit of long, rambling post. Reflections on the past and plans for the future. 

 

Bite-Sized Halloween 2019 Thoughts

And that’s a wrap, folks! Halloween 2019 is officially over and November is here. That means that my Bite-Sized Halloween story has drawn to a close! If you’d like to re-read all of the parts, I’ve consolidated all of the posts into one short story — you can find it here!

I hope you guys enjoyed Charlie’s little Halloween tale. Considering that I mostly winged the story, I am actually quite happy with the end result! When I made the very first Bite-Sized Halloween post, I didn’t actually know where the story was going to go… I kinda made it up on the fly.

I think if I do this Bite-Sized Halloween again, I’ll definitely plan out the story ahead — so that I’m not just making up rubbish as I go along. I mean, I think Charlie’s story turned out pretty good, all things considered, but there are bits that I’m not too enamoured with. I’d have liked to have spent more time with Marion, to build on him as a character. I also felt that the ending was a tad rushed, as I realised I only had a few days to finish the story arc before Halloween… But it was an experiment, and I had a blast with it, so I’m not going to beat myself up about it too much. And based on the response, I think some of you guys enjoyed the daily snapshots of a larger story — so I definitely think I’ll do this sort of thing again in the future. Who knows, maybe I’ll do A Very Bite-Sized Christmas? We’ll have to wait and see what Santa/Satan brings.

And of course I’m a little sad that Halloween is over. It’s my absolute favourite time of year, and my partner and I dressed up and had a great time — we went out and partied a little bit, binged a fair few horror movies. It was lovely. Here’s an obligatory snap:

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Oh, and I can’t forget to mention the album that I wrote, recorded and released in the space of 30 days, which I think is a pretty good achievement. So, if you’d like to revisit Charlie, Marion, and the world they inhabit — but in the form of music — please be sure to have a listen. You can find Children as Ghosts on YouTube and SoundCloud:

 

 

 

If you like the tunes, head on over to my music-focused Facebook page and give me a like!

 

November, NaNoWriMo, and the Unfortunate Limitations of Being A Frail Human

And now, on to future plans! Following the conclusion of my Bite-Sized Halloween tale, I’d like to return to the previous rhythm of posting a new Bite-Sized Horror post every day… However, this November I am participating in National Novel Writing Month, aka NaNoWriMo! If you don’t know what NaNoWriMo is, it’s an annual creative writing project — participants attempt to write 50,000 words between the Nov 1st and Nov 30th. And if that sounds like a lot… that’s because it is. (It’s ~1,667 words a day.)

As I’ve got a large commitment, I think maintaining my previous standard of one Bite-Sized post a day is unrealistic. If I try to do both, I fear that I’ll crash and burn. Damn this frail human form, with limited energy! So, for November, I’ll be posting Bite-Sized Horror stories as and when I find the time to do so — my focus will be on my NaNoWriMo story.

Don’t worry, come Dec 1st I aim to return to the daily stories (and as mentioned, maybe it’ll be a Bite-Sized Christmas story arc). But until then, this blog may go a bit quiet.

And that’s pretty much all I wanted to say. So, if you made it to the end of this post, congrats and thank you for sticking with it! I hope you all had a lovely Halloween. To my fellow NaNoWriMo participants: good luck! I’m right there with you! If you want to buddy up on the NaNo site, here’s my profile: https://www.nanowrimo.org/participants/joshuainsole. And to everyone who comments/likes/gives me general support and encouragement — thank you so much!

Until next time… Have a good one!

Listen to ‘Children as Ghosts’: A Very Bite-Sized Soundtrack!

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As promised in my very first Bite-Sized Halloween post, here is a sneak peek at my other creative hobby: music.

As a huge fan of synth-drenched 80s horror soundtracks — particularly the works of John Carpenter (HalloweenThe Thing, etc.) — and Halloween-y music, such as Dead Man’s Bones, I wanted to capture similar vibes with my own songs.

At first I was going to throw a few pieces together, here and there, and share them with you guys… but, as is wont to happen, the project grew and took on a life of its own. What I actually ended up with was an album’s worth of material, put together over the course of October. Think of it as an accompanying piece to the (recently completed) Bite-Sized Halloween story — the songs retell the tale of Charlie, through the medium of instrumental music. There’s eleven songs in total, each touching on — and sometimes embellishing on — key moments of Charlie’s story.

You can listen to Children as Ghosts on YouTube or on my SoundCloud (both linked below). I hope you guys dig it — I had an absolute blast making it! Oh, and please bear in mind that I’m not a professional musician — I’m just a guy with a guitar, some percussion instruments, a synth and a drum machine who likes to jam some tunes when he gets the chance.


YouTube:


SoundCloud:


If you’re interested, I have a Facebook page for my music — I don’t update it very often, but you can hear my tunes as and when I upload them if you head over and give me a like. No pressure — this is just a bit of fun. A ‘side hobby’, if you will!

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.