Thursday, April 17, 2014

Stories at Alfie Dog Fiction

I have two short children's stories available at Alfie Dog Fiction.

Fridge Fright -Something stinks in the refrigerator, and all the foods have their own theory on who it is, which erupts into a humorous quarrel.

Stinky Ol' Pig- Percy wants to prove to the other barnyard animal that he's not just another stinky pig. Instead of rolling in the mud, he likes to roll in the sweet honeysuckle along the fence.

Also, I am on schedule to have Mermaid's Kiss available on Kindle April 30th. Yay!

I had to put so many projects on hold, so it feels nice to be so close to finishing this one. I'll have a blurb and excerpt up on the blog sometime next week.

Happy Reading!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

The Wheels Are Turning...

While I blame procrastination for not getting my books done on time, I also have to blame my overactive brain. I have several book and story ideas going on up there at the same time. I try to write down as much information as possible so I won't forget any ideas I've had, but sometimes one story or idea seems to push forward. Then, I have to start working on that instead of my current project. 

It's happening again! I keep thinking about a mystery story that could easily become as series, based on a character I wrote a piece of micro fiction about a few  years ago. This is the short-shorty story:

Detective Jeremy Jenkins spent forty years of his life solving some of the police department's most difficult cases, but the department forced him to retire. He could've had maybe ten more good years if it hadn't been for the car accident that left him paralyzed. The sixty-seven year old man now lives in a three room apartment with his companion, Chumpy, his pet monkey. Some say that old J. Jenks, as he was called by coworkers, has gone a little crazy couped up in that small apartment with a monkey, but they don't know Jeremy is still solving cases.

"That wraps up the case of Lady in Yellow. She is not cheating with the gentlemen in 425. I've discovered he is her brother." Jeremy closed his tattered old briefcase, rubbing his thumb across the gold engraving of his initials J.J. just like he had done when closing a case years ago. "Chumpy it's time to find a new case." Jeremy wheeled himself over to the window and watched the apartment building across the street. 

"Chumpy, my binoculars!" He snapped his fingers. 

Chumpy leaped right over to Jeremy with what he demanded, and perched on Jeremy's shoulder. "You see that boy? That man just threw a mysterious package in the dumpster. I think I found our next case: The Dumpster Delinquent. It may have been drugs." 

Startled by the microwave beeping, Jeremy dropped his binoculars. "Chumpy, my pasta dinner," He ordered, snapping his fingers. Chumpy rushed to the microwave, retrieving the bowl of pasta for Jeremy.

As Jeremy ate, he watched the alley to see if anyone came to pick up the package, but no one showed. The trash truck came and emptied the dumpster. "Another case closed, Chumpy. The package was ordinary trash."

I can't get this character out of my head, and I know he still has some detective skills in him to solve some real cases, even if by mistake. So, I may have to start writing what's in my head today, and finish working on Mermaid's Kiss tomorrow. All I know is I have to do something to get Jeremy and Chumpy out of my head so I can concentrate on other projects. 

Happy Reading!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

More Children Stories...

I have signed a contract with Alfie Dog Fiction for two of my children stories: Stinky Ol' Pig and Fridge Fight!

Stinky Ol' Pig will be available April 2nd-- Percy wants to prove to the other barn yard animals that he's not just another stinky old pig. Instead of rolling in mud, he likes to roll in the sweet honeysuckle along the fence.

Fridge Fight! will be available April 6th-- Somethings stinks in the refrigerator, and all the foods have their own theory about which one it is, which erupts into a humorous quarrel.

I'll have links as soon as the stories go live on the site.

I've got a handle on my procrastination today, I've been busily working to get my books ready for their intended release dates and making plans for other unfinished projects. I'm thinking, I'll just turn off the WiFi on my laptop when I get ready to write, and I won't be able to pop over to Facebook or emails.

Happy Reading!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

I Put the Pro in Procrastination

Every morning when I log on to the Internet I have good intentions. I really do! I start out by checking on available work for the day, and then emails, and all the while my Facebook page is up. That's where the procrastination begins. I find news stories, I share so they'll be on my wall later to read along with recipes, funnies and so on. But, there is one things that always gets my attention. It's those when you see it pictures, celebrities without makeup, or the strange deaths links you click on an go through a gallery of pictures. Today is was this one.  I laughed so hard at #5. 

Anyway, where has my PROcrastination gotten me? Behind again. So, I am moving some release dates back. Mermaids Kiss will be out in April--for sure. I have decided not to publish Stories to Wrap Your Mind Around with Melange Books. I'll be placing those stories in my Flashes of Fiction series or as Kindle singles. 

I have made progress, though. I really have! 

I have a page up at Clean Indie Reads for The Peanut Buttor Tweatment and Attack of the Dust Bunnies. I have also been updating this blog a bit. And, I have been working my regular writing job, so I'm not totally distracted by the amusing posts I find on Facebook. I'm even thinking about branching out and creating my own website to offer ghostwriting and proofreading services. I also filled out my FAFSA in hopes I'll start working on MA in English soon. 

I admit, I do need to work on being easily distracted, but I think it's coming along. 

Wow, found this picture on Facebook. How'd like to give this dog a bath?  He he!
I must get to work! Happy Reading!

Friday, March 14, 2014


Clean Indie Reads: HAIRINGTON PICTURE BOOKS: by M. Allman Children's Picture Books Book 1: The Peanut Buttor Tweatmet Bub gets himself into a sticky situation because of his l...

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Reading Should Be Fun

This is what goes through my mind when I write for children. Kids like books that make them giggle and include fun pictures. I know when I was a young reader, I wanted to know what characters in a book looked like. Of course as I matured, I didn't need pictures, but just enough detail to create images in my mind as I read, so I use this as a guideline when I write YA stories.

For this reason, some readers may notice I write what is called sparse prose, which means I don't go into every detail of a character or a scene, but just give the reader enough to spark the imagination.

Both picture books I have written and illustrated are meant to fun and full of kid-friendly pictures. I guess that's why when I get a review from an adult like this one for Attack of Dust Bunnies, I understand not everyone will enjoy the story, but children's books picture books are not meant to really "have a point." If they were, Dr. Seuss would never have delighted so many children with his picture books.

I received the book for free through Goodreads First Reads. Who better to review this book than my 3-year-old and 7-year-old nephews. This book didn't hold the 3-year-old's interest and the 7-year-old said he didn't like it. Most kids books don't really have much of a point, but as I was reading this one I honestly kept thinking, "what's the point?" It didn't flow well.

Books do get mixed review, so I think as a writer I have to move on and keep writing, not letting negativity get me down. I look to readers like the one who left the review below to keep me going.

This installment of the Hairingtons by M. Allman has them all up in arms over a dust bunny infestation in their attic. I suppose, like the gum in "The Peanut Buttor Tweatment", that dust bunnies don't mesh with this hairy family. So, they do what anyone would do--they call in the exterminator. 

My 4 year old son and I liked this one too. I hope to read more Hairington stories in the future.

So, I take the bad with the good, and hope that it all evens out. But, lighthearted, fun is what I'm striving for, not a lesson or point.

Alfred C. Bogeyman is another lighthearted tale about three friends who seek out and battle the boogeyman that they believe lives in a small house behind the park. The boogeyman feeds on fear, and likes to torment small children, like Adrian's little brother. I've gotten very good feedback on the story, with the exception of this one review:
I was asked to read this short story by the author. This does not bias my review.

Alfred C. Bogeyman by M. Allman is a short story about a group of boys ready to defeat the scary boogieman that is giving one of their younger brothers' nightmares. 

The boys are likeable and it's a quick read. That said, I wanted a little more substance. I know it's harder to get more in a shorter story, but you can really pack a punch in a smaller space if done right. I wanted a bigger twist, or set of twists to unfold. The story has a good frame and can be reworked to really pop.

As it is now, I can see how this could be enjoyable to grade school boys especially around Halloween time. That said, in its current state, this story was not for me.

It is review like this that confuse writers, I believe it is because instead of looking at the book from a reading perspective, the reviewer is trying to read it as a editor and has suggestions for changes, which I am not willing the make. Once a writer finishes a final draft of a story it is "as is."  Take it or  leave it, but don't try to suggest changes, such as more twists. 

I think some people who review books are writers who look for what they believe should be improved, instead of just reading the story for fun or leisure. So, when I review a book, I review it as a reader, not a writer. I like books that are entertaining  and hold my interest. I have read books that are beautifully written, but just do not hold my interest.  So, it comes down to a reader's personal taste and expectations. For this reason, I  no longer ask anyone for reviews. I wait until a reader who bought the book leaves a review, as these are the most telling for me. Like this one from a 10-year-old reader:

The book starts off with a boy named Adrian who hears his brother Sam screaming from in his room and remembers that his brother is being scared by the boogeyman.  He and his friends go on a search to find the boogeyman’s house. When they find it thethe house, they know they will have to come back and defeat the bogeyman. Will they succeed?  Read to find out!

This was a great book! It was about a kid who stands up for his brother. I like that Adrian does that for Sam. It is very kind to do that for anyone especially someone related to you. It had a lot of suspense; I like that in a book. I hope you find this book is as good as I did!

Happy Reading! 

Friday, February 21, 2014

Warning: Technology Overload!

There is just too much technology for me to keep up with and update. So, I am deleting my website. I can put all the information I need right here on my blog, and I never remember to update, so it's going. I have been in the process of transferring information from there to here. I made a tab on this blog 'Short Stories' that will have links to published stories and poems on the web, and any short stories published in magazines that are not free will be listed along the side if the blog along with books. ----> 

I  have noticed while going over the website, that some links to past publication are broken and that some sites no longer exist, so I'll have to weed those out to avoid providing broken links to readers. 

Feel free to check out the new tab!

Happy Reading!