Chris Musgrave’s Las Vegas Adventure

So I did a thing and it’s appearing in this thing. Just go read it already.

StarkLight Press

chris musgrave1.jpg

Chris Musgrave joins StarkLight Press from the U.K, where his wry wit and skilled pen combine to make excellent fiction. His prompts for Shamrocks, Saints and Standing Stones were 1940s, Las Vegas, and a Magic Doorway. His gripping story, Pest Control, is excerpted here:

‘Why don’t you tell me why I’m here, Mr Powers. How can I be of service to you this evening?’

‘Well, Mr St.–‘ I give him a look. ‘Paddy, we’ve got a little…’ He waves a hand in tight circles, searching for the right word. ‘…Pest problem and I’m told you’re the man who knows how to deal with it. Quietly.’

I lean in closer and lower my voice. ‘What kind of pest?’ I ask. ‘Ogre under your covered bridge? They’re a troublesome bunch o’ buggers them, but mostly harmless. Bean sidhe hogging the cabaret stage?’

‘Dragons. We have dragons.’


You can read all about…

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For those of you not already in the know, Sarcastic Muse is back up and running after an unscheduled hiatus.

We have a new and exciting line up of features starting this year and a few pretty awesome announcements to boot. So head over there and check us out, follow the page and, for the more adventurous amongst you, maybe even drop us a comment or two. We’re all very nice. Except for Amanda — Amanda collects fingernails (sometimes she even takes them off the finger).

New Year, New Me? Yeah, Right!

New Year, New Me? Yeah, Right!

Wow, look at this place. It’s so…dusty and neglected. I can’t believe I spent so long away.

Suppose I should start with Happy New Year, Everybody!

Right, now that’s out of the way, here’s the thing. I’ve spent the last year trying to find focus: on my writing, on my time management, on a whole heap of things. I’ve been out there testing the mind-boggling realms of social media (see time management) and interacting with many of you on various other sites and I’ve come to realise that this here, this is my home. This is the place where it all started and so, if you’ll have me back, I’m proud to be here.

I can’t guarantee I’ll post as often as I used to, but I will post, probably on a monthly basis for now. I have high hopes for 2016, if certain people can restrain themselves a little longer and not let loose a global apocalypse — you know who you are. So buckle up and stay tuned for new announcements here and on The Sarcastic Muse.

On that note, you may want to get yourselves over there too. We’ve just released a free writing tracker for 2016 to help with those word count goals.

Writing Resolutions

The Sarcastic Muse

It’s the most wonderful time…burp…hic!

Melly…Memmy…Happy Christmas, readers. It’s that time of year again. The kids are full of sugar, the turkey is a charred mess in the bin, and the local pizza parlour is cooking dinner.

“What are you going to do with all this spare time?” I hear you ask. I hope it was you; I may have had too much Christmas Juice.

Anyway…I’m going to write, of course. Thank you for asking.

If anybody has ever felt the need, or the urge, to write, then what better time to start than in the new year.

Most of us make our resolutions around this time – some of them even last as long as the 2nd January – and setting a writing goal should be at the forefront of every writer’s mind. It doesn’t matter if you’re an old hat or a willing amateur, we all benefit from…

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Writing 101 – Conflict

The Sarcastic Muse

Conflict (c) Robyn LaRue 2014

Conflict is drama if Hollywood is to be believed. It is the root of all adventure, the spice in all romance, and the gut-wrenching horror in all…well, horror. Without conflict, ours stories wouldn’t really go anywhere. There would be nothing to disrupt the status quo of a character’s life and no reason to follow them further than the first page. We would invest nothing more in them than a passing glimpse, maybe even a mutual nod, before they vanished from our lives and our libraries forever.

A story without conflict is just an account of someone’s day and unless that person is the President of the USA, or some other make believe creature, that’s going to make for some pretty boring reading. Actually, it’d still be touch and go even then unless there was the threat of nuclear war or a crack team of North Korean…

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The Truth about Horror

Amanda Headlee

In all honestly, horror is only a different and grotesque view of reality.  It is based upon a person’s perception of a circumstance.  The human mind has a tendency to distort the reality of a situation — making something out to be more terrifying than what it really is.   What frightens humans the most are typically the most benign.  For example:

  • The ghostly movements of your living room curtains is really your cat playing behind the draperies with a toy mouse.
  • The silhouette of a man that can be seen through the kitchen window is actually a hedge that is in need of reshaping.
  • The blood curdling screams from the other side of your wall is only your apartment neighbor yelling at his TV when the Steelers lose.
  • The spider that crawls across the bottom of your tub — Oh my GOD! A spider! IT’S A SPIDER! Kill it!  Kill it quick with fire!!!

*Ahem*… sorry, where was…

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How to Operate Your Writer

The Sarcastic Muse

How to Operate Your WriterCongratulations on acquiring the exceptional Your Writer, Model S/O (significant other), with the latest, upgraded Writing Mode. Please read these instructions in their entirety before engaging Writing Mode on Your Writer. Failure to understand and obey these instructions will result in malfunction and/or increased maintenance.

Function: Writing Mode

Your Writer, Model S/O, comes with the latest Writing Mode system. This system must be continually updated through reading and on-going learning. Your Writer should complete these upgrades and updates automatically. If not, you should consider sending Your Writer to a writers conference for adjustment.

While engaged in Writing Mode, Your Writer may become hostile to interference, interruption, and attempts at conversation. Remember, Writing Mode uses ALL system resources. Should said events continue, Your Writer may exhibit extreme ire or shut down completely. To correct, back out of the room swiftly, taking all living creatures with you, and close the door…

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I Survived Camp NaNoWriMo 2014

I Survived Camp NaNoWriMo 2014

Wow, look at all the cobwebs in here. I’ve really been neglecting this place…

That’s it now. July is in the bag and, after a big final push, I finally succeeded in my first NaNoWriMo event (roll on November).

In the end, I finished with two days to spare having written a whopping 50,361 words at a rate of 1,624 words a day. Usually, I average 500 words a day and I can’t remember the last time I wrote so much so fast. So for now, I’m just going to take a few days to enjoy the achievement whilst trying to forget that the book is still less than three quarters finished and I really should be getting back to it. Oh well…

I really should clean up around here.

But first, Top Tip Tuesday and Flash Fiction Friday will be back from next week. To be honest, Top Tip Tuesday was never supposed to end but I’d forgotten to schedule the remaining posts and didn’t notice until it was too late. What can I say? I’m only (barely) human. The writing prompts will also be coming thick and fast (again, if I remember to schedule them).

I’ll also be blogging over at Sarcastic Muse with a regular Monday spot. If you haven’t been over there yet, I’d urge you to take a look. The site is full of great writing advice from a group of excellent writers (and me) and they’re all more than happy to answer any of your questions. They don’t bite either…well one does but we’ll keep an eye on her. Oh yes! And watch out for the one with the whip – she gets a little carried away.

Okay, I’m going to sign off for now and straighten this place up.

This is going to take all day…

Our Newest Addition to the Sarcastic Muse: Welcome Chris Musgrave

The Sarcastic Muse

Since it’s not every day (as in this is the first time) that someone new joins the Sarcastic Muse, we feel introductions are in order. Of course, we are quite particular. Anyone mixing with us needs to be one part skill, one part talent, and a whole lot of nuts. When Kirsten discovered Chris Musgrave during April’s A-to-Z Blog Challenge, we knew he was something special. He’s a great writer, a great editor, and just crazy enough to hang with the rest of us. To say that we’re looking forward to working with him would be an understatement.

Be on the lookout for his weekly posts every Monday. We plan on keeping him busy.

Welcome, Chris, to the Sarcastic Muse!


If you want to know more about Chris, check out his personal blog. It’s got a ton of quality writerly posts.

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