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Monthly Archives: February 2013

Greetings, all!

I have been 99.9% happy with my experience of publishing on smashwords.com. That 0.1% dissatisfaction (isn’t that always the way? you say you’re 99.9% happy with something and everyone wants to know about the 0.1% of discontent!) had to do with learning some of the formatting quirks required for proper publication. But even there I’m willing to assume 99.9% of the fault (and will resist explaining the 0.1% of fault that’s not mine). Once I figured out the formatting regimen, everything else went, and has gone, very smoothly. My story “Wyoming” has already (in five days) been downloaded WAY more than I ever would’ve hoped or expected. And it just became part of Smashwords Premium Catalog, which means it will be distributed to their major third-party vendors, including Apple and Sony. Can you see the smile on my face?

Given that succesful first venture, and hoping that you and others out there are at least a little interested in reading more of my fiction, I’m currently planning to publish a second short story on smashwords.com. And, after much deliberation, the executive board of jeffreyandersonfiction has voted to make the suggested retail price for this new story–are you ready for this?–FREE! I can hear the cheers all the way over here!

The story is called “Whiteout” and concerns Zach (the same Zach from “Wyoming”) and a new “friend,” Becca. Here’s a one-paragraph excerpt, taken from near the mid-point of the story:

Zach and Becca meandered through this boisterous crowd as in some sort of white-washed, deep-chilled fantasy—every sight and sound, smell and touch brilliantly vivid but also surreal in its utter lack of precedence or prior context. It was a moment and place cut out of time—a brittle fairyland populated by shrieking fauns and nymphs, a mid-winter night’s dreamscape of youthful revelry. They wandered through this great spontaneous outdoor party sometimes hand-in-hand, sometimes pulled apart by strangers or friends grabbing them and swinging them about. Everybody in sight or earshot was of a
single celebratory mindset, Zach and Becca included. Yet through this public celebration, they remained united in what they’d been given, what they held against all comers or claims.

The publication date for “Whiteout” has not yet been set, but it will be soon. Stay tuned (which is an old-fashioned, AM-radio-days way of saying check here often or sign up to receive e-mail alerts of new posts–a lot easier than keeping that AM radio tuned to jeffreyandersonfiction all the time!).

JA

Okay, okay–the few of you that have found your way to this website have either come here from smashwords.com (where you’ve already had the chance to read the whole of “Wyoming” for free), or checked out the post “Wyoming #1” and found yourself sufficiently curious to go to smashwords.com and look at the whole story. HOWEVER–for those very few of you that have not yet looked at the whole of “Wyoming” and were perhaps intrigued but not convinced by “Wyoming #1” here’s another teaser–the last chapter of the short story (indulge me–I’m trying out my marketing skills, limited though they may be):

The next day dawned brilliantly clear, dry, and windy—same as all the previous dawns. Zach and Allison rose and went about their waking routines as before. The only evidence of the storm was in the color of the sagebrush—a few shades closer to green, further from gray—and in the splintered pine tree some twenty yards from the camp. The prairie had already shrugged off the violent storm and torrential rain of just a few hours before, tossing it aside as a minor disturbance in a history peppered with upheavals of far greater violence and destruction.

After finishing his cereal, Zach paused in front of Allison on his way to rinsing his bowl. “Want to try one more day?”

She looked up and shook her head once, her eyes never leaving his.

He nodded then turned from her stare. He was actually glad for her decisiveness and her decision, still deeply rattled himself—not only by the storm but also by his lack of preparation or awareness of danger.

They cleaned their dishes and gathered up their meager possessions and loaded them into the van. Zach used the small fireplace shovel to scoop the ashes out of the cookstove. He tossed them out the door and watched the wind carry them away. He reloaded the woodbox with branches and sticks he’d gathered from around the clearing the day before. Allison dusted the shelves and swept out the wagon. Zach filled in their potty hole with the shovel, then rinsed off their toilet-seat bucket with what remained of the soapy dish water. He left the bucket tucked under the front axle of the wagon, a token of civilization for the next occupants.

Allison waited in the passenger seat reading a magazine. Zach looked around the camp. He saw no obvious sign of their five-day stay. He didn’t know if that was a good or a bad thing then realized it was just the way it was out here. It would take a lot more than what he and Allison had wagered to leave a mark on this place. Maybe one day they’d return to try again.

So what do you think? Intrigued enough to click on the link below and check out the whole story? It’s free, and you might just find it worth your while, the reward of a chuckle or a snicker or even a gasp of amazement at the innocence and naiveté of these fervent youngsters. Are you tempted yet? If so, here: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/287850.

ENJOY! 

cover

Below is the beginning of a short story titled “Wyoming” which is in turn the beginning of a long saga about the marriage of Zachary and Allison. The formatting of the following excerpt is constrained by the limits of this blogsite, but the words are still there. Give this sample a look if you’re so inclined:

Thirty-two hours on the road with only five short stops for gas, take-out food, and bladder relief didn’t keep Zachary Sandstrom from bolting upright in the motel bed just two hours into a sound sleep that should’ve lasted at least ten. All his senses instantly on edge, he struggled to figure out where he was and what had waked him. Pale light leaked in around curtains and gradually revealed a room perhaps twelve feet square with a door to his right beside the curtains and another to his left. Straight ahead, a dark hole in the slightly lighter wall resolved itself into a T.V. screen atop a dresser. This slow unmasking of his surroundings did little to assuage Zach’s fear, as everything he saw in the dim light seemed charged with threat, or at least a possible hiding place for it.

Then he noticed the pale white shape resting at the foot of the bed and instantly knew it was Gina, his five-year-old Brittany spaniel in her normal nocturnal spot even if this wasn’t their normal bed or room. Then he saw the dark silhouette of a body beside him and realized with sudden calm, as if this knowledge were the single most important piece of information he’d ever gained or ever would know, that this was his wife of just over two days—Allison Mayes, now (he reminded himself) Allison Sandstrom. He leaned over and inhaled the herbal fragrance of her freshly washed hair and the earthier scent of her skin. He knew both scents well, felt like he’d known them all his life. In fact, he’d known Allison almost four years, since they’d begun dating when he was a junior in high school and she a freshman. But he’d never awakened in bed beside her. Last night, they’d been on the road in Pennsylvania and Ohio; two nights ago, their first as a married couple, they’d slept apart in their old beds in their old rooms, separated by five miles of country roads he’d nearly worn out with his frequent trips back and forth in courtship and betrothal.

But he’d never known her as wife, never waked beside her free to extend a hand unimpeded by the old sexual mores (however much they’d ignored them over the years) and claim her skin as his own, make for themselves one flesh in a manner practiced but now suddenly and strangely new. Yet Zach did not extend that hand, did not claim that chance now offered for the first time—he did not know why. If asked, he would’ve replied casually—let her sleep; she’s earned her rest. But that wasn’t the reason at all. The real reason lay far, far away and buried deep—farther away than Zach had ever been, buried deeper than he could or would dig: a treasure waiting a map.

If you’re interested in the remainder of “Wyoming” you can download the entire story (some 9100 words, or about 25 manuscript pages) for free at smashwords.com. The direct link is: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/287850.

ENJOY!