Read and listen to “A Cold Glow”

The Alone in a Room with Invisible People podcast recently announced that they will be doing their second annual Halloween Special, and you know what that means!

It means that I just remembered I never bothered to post about the fact that my story “A Cold Glow” was one of the flash fiction pieces included in last year’s episode. I have a history of doing this.

Yes, that is my “handwriting.”

You can listen to it here. “A Cold Glow” plays at 24:25, but if you’re in the mood to overload on Halloween flash fiction, this episode is filled with all types of Halloween stories. Case in point: “A Cold Glow” is a sci-fi story about a kid on a space station who butts heads with the station’s computer in his quest to carve a jack-o’-lantern.

I forget how many other stories are in the podcast, but I had a lot of fun listening to a bunch of them last year while driving out to various Halloween adventures. Werewolves, witches, vampires, hauntings–they’re all present and accounted for.

The text version of the story will have a permanent home here.

We’re a month-and-a-half out from Halloween, and this post is scheduled for Friday the 13th. Works for me.

This is the result of my hands-on plot-fixing session the other day. It led to me writing a scene I came up with twelve years ago, but hadn’t figured out how to write (in part because of Stars Fall Out’s long, weird history). I plotted and wrote it in an hour-and-a-half, and it’s improved two main characters, my worldbuilding for the city of Nirsuathu, and even the ending.

I slammed my laptop shut, wished Dunkin Donuts were more conducive to victory laps, then drove to work while blasting “Outsiders” by Franz Ferdinand, which is part of my Stars playlist, and is quite a bombastic song for representing a character who’s been stuck in Nirsuathu for months.

If I ever mention “going through a pack a day,” it will probably be in reference to index cards. I keep finding more uses for them.

Index cards, tarot cards, scissors, two rolls of tape, and two plot outlines, one for reading, and one for chopping into pieces.

It’s time to fix a plot problem.

Blue index cards

I accidentally bought a package of unruled blue index cards and then found a template online to print lines on them.

I wish I could say that it’s cheaper to do it yourself and that the quality is better. Not so much. But at least I have index cards to write my main character’s scenes on.

I’m not interested in the texture of a rock, but in its shadow.

–Ellsworth Kelly

This resonated with my mostly because of my main character in Stars Fall Out, a failed printmaker whose tendency to see the light and shadow in everything ends up revealing something important about a newly-engineered magic.