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My mind is a whirlwind of thoughts and imagination. A simple raindrop, the smell of a trash heap, or the touch of a bee's stinger is enough to immerse me into a new story idea. My passion is writing and my inspiration is everywhere. So far, my focus has been in short stories, however I have many novels floating around in my brain. Recently I have also been handed the opportunity to review the works of others and share them with everyone that reads my blog. Feel free to find me on facebook (facebook.com/esselprattwriting) the web (EsselPratt.com)or follow me on twitter (@EsselPratt).

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Acceptances Always Make The Day Better

Right now I feel like a Werewolf has gripped my throat and is gnawing on my trachea.  I wish he would be gracious enough to finish the job quickly, rather than savoring the meal.  My only relief is the handful of cough drops hiding in my upper left desk drawer.  Despite their age, they seem to sooth my pains.

Needless to say, I wasn't having the best day.  I feel better than yesterday, but would rather feel blah than feel the tortuous scraping whenever I swallow.  My morning did get better when I received an email from Cruentus Libri Press.  Recently I was accepted for publication in the "Horror-otica" anthology, so I assumed it was just a follow up on the release.  To my surprise it was actually an acceptance for another anthology!

I had recently supplied three short stories for their "Another 100 Horrors" anthology. When I say short, I mean short!  The submissions were limited to 100 words, no more and no less.  Of the three, my werewolf themed submission, "Hunted" was accepted.  I was really not happy with the other two submissions, but did not want them to go to waste, so I submitted them anyway.

With such a great start to the year, two months-two publications, I look forward to see where the rest of the year takes me!

-31 More Nights of Halloween
-The Undead that Saved Christmas Vol. 3: Monster Bash
-Horro-otica (Coming Soon)
-Another 100 Horrors (Coming Soon)

Friday, February 22, 2013

Violence, Video Games, Ignorance, Blame Game

It seems that lately, there has been continuing discussion around Video Games  and their contribution to violence in society.  Even Glen Beck has stated that video games are a gateway to violence.  This is a subject that I am VERY passionate about, so I thought that I would share an article that I posted previously on Nerdzy.com.

As a Husband, Father, and Gamer, I cannot justify blaming a video game on future violence.  Instead, I blame those surrounding the individual for not stepping in and being part of their life.  If they were active with the individual's life, they would have seen warning signs...and got the person the help that they need.

Too many times, we allow inanimate objects, such as video games, movies, etc... to become babysitters as we go about our daily lives.  We need to be more involved with our friends and loved ones.  Together, we can stop the violence if we just know what is going on in the lives of the ones we love.

Maybe I am biased because I am a gamer, and write for both Nerdzy.com and Infendo.com, and am co-host on Infendo Radio.  However, gaming has been a part of my life since I was very little, and I have many friends in the same scenario, none of which felt the need to shoot someone in real life.

Hit the jump below to read my article originally posted on Nerdzy.com

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Redefining Religion Through Writing


At only eight letters in length, it is not a big word by any means, in fact I can think of many that are larger, such as tintinnabulation.

So why does such an average word create so much hate and violence?

Religions are supposed to be peaceful retreats from the evils of the world, yet those same sanctuaries seem to thrive on battling those that oppose.  Sometimes verbally, sometimes violently.  I want to tale religion back to its roots and redefine why it was organized in the first place.

Before anyone starts ringing the alarm bells, let me state my position briefly.  I believe people of all walks of life should have the freedom to worship any god, idol, season, animal, or anything else that they desire to devote their lives to.

For many, religion brings meaning, and a sense of purpose, to their lives.  They strive to show respect to their creator as payment for their existence.  Often, the sense of community created allows for a safe haven, and can even prevent  some members from straying down an "evil" path.

Sometimes, those same safe havens can become a hiding place for evils as the organization attempts to cover up the wrong doings to save face.  Although this is not commonplace, the announcements we do hear can easily tarnish the reputation of a place of worship worse than if it were reported and handled correctly.

My beliefs do not fit into any particular religion, but rather take bits and pieces from all.  Honestly, I cannot understand how one religion can be the right one, when there are so many out there.  If Hinduism is wrong, regardless if it is the oldest practiced religion, then what makes Christianity right?  So, although I believe that anyone should be able to worship their own deity, I also believe that they should not force their beliefs onto me while, at the same time, telling me why I am wrong.

Now that I have presented my views, very briefly, I can get back to the post at hand.

I am not bringing up religion to start a nasty debate over who is right or wrong, but rather because I am having a conundrum.  I have an idea for a novel, possibly a series of novels, that involve religion.  In fact, the novels will basically reinvent religion throughout the series.  Obviously, it will be fiction so I am not literally planning on rewriting the bible.  Rather, I will be presenting it from another point of view.

The series of novels will be Sci-Fi in nature, but contain a certain horror element throughout.  Yes, you read that right.  I will be using some of the stories in the bible and turning them into Sci-Fi Horror.  The reason I find this to be problematic is that I do have some friends and family that are deeply religious.  I believe that they will realize that I am writing for entertainment purposes, but there is a chance that they will be upset and consider my writing sacrilegious.  I also believe that people I don't know will think the same, just look at the flack that Dan Brown received over the DiVinci Code.  I want to respect their beliefs, yet express myself in my art form.  Do I go all out and create the masterpiece I know is there, or hold back a bit?  I don't think I can hold back. 

In the long run, I guess I don't really care what others think as long as I am happy with the outcome.  But, as any writer would, I want the masses to like my creations and praise them for what they are...not spite them for going against their beliefs.

We have seen Demons and the Church in movies before, most notably in exorcism type movies, but I want to take it back to its roots.  I have it plotted out in my mind, and practically have the first chapter complete.  Now, I need to find the time and motivation to continue.

I don't want to give away too much, because my idea is very specific.  I am always afraid to release the plot too soon, and have others copy.  So, I will leave you with the following teaser:

In the beginning there was Adam and Eve and a Garden called Eden...or was there?  That is what I plan to tackle, and I will...

Monday, February 18, 2013

Self Discipline: Smell the Death in the Air

Last week, or maybe the week before...the days seem to blend together, I uploaded a short story for an online contest at LitReactor.com.  Honestly, I submitted a rough draft.  I felt a bit bad, and had actually forgotten about it until a couple reviews came in.  Both were very helpful, although one really ripped my story apart.  

So, once I received notification of the reviews, I took the time to complete some light editing.  Nothing major, just editing some duplication  removing some of the bazillion "the" occurrences  and other minor edits.  I still feel it is a bit raw, but haven't had a lot of time to complete more edits.  So, after three minor revisions, it is sitting there waiting to be critiqued and praised.  I have received some of both, and am very happy with the feedback.  If you would like to view it and give it a thumbs up (hint, hint), you can visit the link below:


Now, as I have said before, I love these little writing contests, as well as Anthologies.  So far I am published in two anthologies, the third is due out sometime in March, I have on more being reviewed  another being reviewed for possible transformation into comic book form (if accepted), and three that were limited to 100 words that are still under review.  These short stories keep my creative juices flowing in between working on my novels.

As for my novels...well, I have three that I am working on, and a fourth I want to start.  If only I had the self discipline to focus on them.  It seems that the best time for me is on the weekends, yet there is so much to accomplish during those short two days...

Every weekend, I tell myself that I will find the time, yet I fail.  This last weekend, I actually had the time but instead tried out a new drawing program on my computer and while experimenting, I drew the picture above.      The time spent on the picture, and not on my writing, is an example of my self discipline dying right in front of me.  

Although I am happy to publish short stories, Write for Infendo and Nerdzy, and have a fairly active web presence, I really hope to find the focus to finish one of my novels.  Until then, Enjoy my picture of the Evil Jester taunting the Pumpkin Thief, and please give my LitReactor short a read and thumbs up.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

The Waiting is the Hardest Part...


Just the sound of the word sends shivers down my spine.  It conjures swirls of stress and shadows of doubt. 

In short, I hate waiting. 

Whenever I submit a short story for publication, I feel anxious.  I feel excited.  I feel accomplished.  But those feelings are often short lived.  Once I submit a story, I start to second guess myself.  Did I proof read enough, did I format correctly, did I attach the document to the submission email? 

Maybe I am a closet perfectionist?

Many of my short stories are written on a whim.  The thought comes to me and I just go with it.  I am always happy about the outcome.  The problem is the waiting.  I am usually fine up until the date of final submission.  Then I get antsy.  I start to think about my story, and how it could improve.  Many times, it morphs into something different in my mind.  Something better. 


As the gears spin, I find that a a better story develops.  Many times, a story that is much more in depth and epic.  The birth of a novel, possibly?

I find that many of my short stories eventually find themselves as introductions to something much bigger. 

Currently, I have a couple stories awaiting acceptance/rejection.  I find myself stalking their Facebook pages, obsessively checking my emails, and sneaking around their blogs, in hopes of a surprise announcement that I might have missed. 

Whether rejected, or accepted, I am okay with the outcome.  The short story that I created can become so much more with a little nurture and love.  So why am I so anxious?  I guess I just don't like to wait.