The Art of Being Alone- a novella (5th installment)

SelenitesInspired by the writing of Richard Brautigan and Kurt Vonnegut, The Art of Being Alone is a novella about a lost soul living on the Moon and what he found there. You can read the earlier installments here. Our narrator is a member of the 5%s, wealthy individuals that own a majority of all of the resources and economy on the Earth. The rest of the planet is in turmoil, with the environment and the poor (everyone else) struggling to live or fight back. It is under these conditions that our broken narrator moves as far away as a human possibly can…

18- I Am THE Selenite

Jules Verne and his two books about traveling to the Moon (From the Earth to the Moon and Around the Moon) always seem to get misremembered. This is mainly because people confuse it with the black-and-white silent film that was loosely based on the series, Le Voyage dans la Lune by Georges Melies.

In the film, our heroes land on the Moon and meet some Selenites, which is the name for moon dwellers in most scifi (the name comes from the Goddess Selene). They have an escape and bring one of the poor creatures back to Earth to show to all of us humans, traumatizing that poor creature forever for science. Hurrah!

In the actual book, this is not really how it works out. Our heroes never even land on the Moon!

In typical American fashion, they decide to solve the trip to the Moon problem with a giant gun. For what in an American’s mind is better for solving a problem than a gun? It’s certainly solved the problem of my grandmother. (More on that country and guns later.)

So the heroes of the story, who by the way are obsessed with the military because of the Civil War, shoot themselves out of this giant gun at the moon. Bang! And in the sequel of the book, it is described how they make their way back, I believe it is by using the gravitational pull of the Moon to pretty much fling themselves to the Earth. So at no point does a Selenite make an appearance.

There is a dog in it though. It, of course, dies, starting our grand tradition of killing cute animals for the sake of space travel. Continue reading

The Art of Being Alone- a novella (3rd installment)

2028238Inspired by the writing of Richard Brautigan, The Art of Being Alone is a novella that strangely fits very well with this time in the world. I began it over a year ago and through this website and installments, I hope to force my hand in finishing it. I will be sharing 5 or so pages of it, each week. The first two installments can be found here and here. I hope you enjoy it.–

10- Walking

I enjoy walking on the Moon. I enjoy the “bounce” in my step. I enjoy listening to my breathing in my suit. It is steady and strong, never over excited. It was during one of my walks that I began to see the flashes on the surface of the Earth. They are like the flickers of little lights.

When I lived on the planet there was always a concern about bombs and power. Now and then a leader would come to see me and ask for money. I would usually give it, just to get them to leave. They would then appear on the news saying I support them or a cause.

Blah. Blah. Whatever.

Now there are flashes on the gray surface of that old planet in the distance and I am happily bouncing on the Moon like a child in a giant inflatable castle. Continue reading

The Art of Being Alone- a novella (2nd installment)

2028238Inspired by the writing of Richard Brautigan, The Art of Being Alone is a novella that strangely fits very well with this time in the world. I began it over a year ago and through this website and installments, I hope to force my hand in finishing it. I will be sharing 5 or so pages of it, each week. The first installment can be found here. I hope you enjoy it.–

6- The Quiet

When you read and/or watch stories about people living alone, they… do things.

They maybe sing little songs. They talk to themselves about important matters. They might even have friends (maybe just in their corrupted minds) or memories that give us glimpses into their psyche.

I wonder if that is a sign of human weakness. The fact that we need “something.”

We just can’t be alone as people, even in a story. I wonder if we feel too much and that is why the isolation and the silence becomes overbearing. It makes us look inside and we don’t want that! Heaven forbid! We want bangs, flashes, shouting, sex! A person can’t simply “be” in a tale.

For me, I am simply being. I am this and nothing else. I will prove it.

I get up when I get up. I have no sense of time here, but I can say that when the sun begins to spread across the ground and I feel it coming through the plastic glass of my dome and reach my feet, I rise. I stretch one part of my body and then the next. Somewhere I can hear the electronic buzzing of the mechanics that make my home a reality. I couldn’t tell you how the things work, I have no need to know. I simply asked for it and people completed the needed task. Transaction complete.

I then walk in my weighted slippers to the dispenser which takes the food that is grown in the greenhouses and makes it into designated dishes. I eat whatever I want and then I sit, write in this journal and look at the regolith.

There is no noise, no talking, no music, no wind. Just silence.

It is glorious and that is all I need in my story. Continue reading

My Problem With Doors to be released in April! Book cover reveal!

Hello everyone… so a little bit of big news… 

I am pleased to announce that my novel My Problem With Doors is set to be released this April from KGHH Publishing!

My Problem With Doors is so many things and I can’t wait for you to discover it. It is unpredictable and in many ways the kind of book I love to discover when I go to the library. Here is the draft of the back cover description for the work. (I’ll share the cover after this bit, I promise).

This is a plea for help.

If you have found this manuscript and think it to be only a novel or an ancient piece of fiction, it is not. This is the story of my life and I hope in your reading you will be able to help me…

Jacob is lost in time.

He has been lost ever since he walked through a door as a toddler and ended up in the office of a British officer in 1870. My Problem With Doors is the exciting story of Jacob’s life as a time traveler.

Adventure, humor, romance, and surprises, Jacob never knows where he is going to end up or who he will meet next in his 30-year search for a home and purpose. From pirates to poets to even Jack the Ripper, Jacob will experience all of the best and worst of humanity in his journeys. My Problem With Doors is a book like no other, filled with both literary and adventurous twists and turns.

This is a most compelling book. It pulls you in to a fascinating concept from the beginning…. I give this book 5 stars. –The Voracious Reader

I will keep you updated as the publication date moves up. Until then, let me just add a “Yahoo!”

For a limited time! In Jerry’s Corner is only 99 Cents on Amazon!

Cover Art_SouthardHi everyone. Okay, drop everything. Seriously, let it go.

Now race to your Amazon account and grab a copy of my new novel, In Jerry’s Corner, RIGHT NOW!

For only the next few days, In Jerry’s Corner is just 99 cents.

That’s right, you can grab the book for only a dollar!!! 

You can grab your copy here: https://amzn.to/2OIxYbu

Tell everyone! Throw it on your kindle! Give it as a gift!

Published by KGHH Press, In Jerry’s Corner is the story of a very special friendship and the power of an individual to impact not only the people around them, but the universe. I am really proud of this work and I am asking for you to give it a shot. I promise you will not be disappointed. It is unpredictable and very unique, not something often promised in today’s book world.

Here is the back cover description:

Ever since Jerry Sleight was a baby, Bill was there. Bill is tall, quiet, unblinking and green. He is in the northwest corner of every room Jerry visits and only Jerry can see him.

It might sound strange, but Bill is an alien from a planet without a name and his task is to watch a human life from beginning to end. But why he is observing Jerry, and what does he hope to see? Only Bill knows the true answers to the mystery.

Filled with laughter and surprises, Jerry’s days with Bill will represent all of humanity and the impact a life can have, not just on others but on an entire world and universe.

In Jerry’s Corner is about the importance of a single life… and the amazing green individual watching it all take place.

You can check out an excerpt on my website here, but why do that when you can just start reading now. Grab your copy on Amazon today!

Dusting the Bookshelf – Permanent Spring Showers

As we get closer to the release of my latest novel (In Jerry’s Corner) from Stargazing Publishing, I thought it might be fun to take a look back at some of my previous novels. This is my second entry in the series, the first discussed A Jane Austen Daydream (you can read it here). This time I take on my most recent release- Permanent Spring Showers

It is easy for writers to be dramatic. It’s in our blood. If you are a writer and not dramatic in how you interpret yourself and the world around you, chances are, you are probably doing something wrong and should consider different career options.

So when I look back at my life and each of my novels, I see stories; with beginnings (the initial ideas), first steps (the creation), struggles (getting them out to the world) and conclusions (reviews and what happens). Sometimes those are nice stories (A Jane Austen Daydream and The Dante Experience both jump quickly to mind), while others I would classify as tragedies.

Today I present my greatest tragedy.

So much possibility and all of my main characters are lying dead with nothing good coming out of the situation. I weep for them. They are buried now in unmarked paper graves and no one has any idea they were even alive.

See, Permanent Spring Showers is probably one of the best books I have ever written and it is out of print. It is a ghost in the literary world, without the strength of a Boo. It is a tragic death, that has happened too soon.

Listen everyone as I mourn the tragedy of a book lost to the masses! Welcome to my five-act literary tragedy, Permanent Spring Showers! (See what I mean about dramatic.)

Act One: There Was a Script…

While the death of Permanent Spring Showers was swift, ironically I had the longest literary life with that novel and its characters. It actually began when I was at grad school at Michigan State University back in the 90s. Then I dreamed of achieving a PhD in Literature. I would teach, be that smart professor that all of the young English majors look up to- imagine the English major version of Dr. Jones in Raiders of the Lost Ark. That was going to be me.

(Conclusion to that dream, I ended up running off to Los Angeles, and getting my Master’s in Writing instead from the University of Southern California.) Continue reading

Everything comes to an end. The novel Cassandra on the Island ends this Friday!

This Friday I will be sharing the final section of my novel Cassandra on the Island.

For those that have been following this journey, I want to say thank you. I am proud of the book and it is a wonderful feeling to finally have readers discovering this novel.

For those only now discovering the book, you can still catch up. You can find the previous sections on the site here. Here is how I introduce the tale on the page:

Cassandra on the Island is the story of second, third and fourth chances. These are the experiences that resonate for Cassandra, a young retiree from a dangerous past hoping to escape her memories and spend her remaining time reading books in a gazebo by the beach. Royal Carlton Island and its eccentric inhabitants though have other plans for her. A boat race, pirate treasure, glowing grave, recluse billionaire, fake vampire, and an opera-singing child are waiting…

Surprising, witty, romantic and unique, Cassandra on the Island is filled with the important days for Cassandra, and together each piece is one part of the picture that makes up her life.

If you enjoy the writing, please share.  Likes and sharing help writers (and their stories) grow. I would love to see this in print sometime in the future. I plan to have it up on the site for a little while, but it won’t be forever.

Thank you for visiting the island and I hope you enjoy the ending this Friday!

 

I Want to Tell You a Story … Cassandra on the Island

I want to tell you a story.

Let’s begin like this- I wrote a novel for my thesis when I was working for my Master’s at the University of Southern California and I made the head of the department cry.

I had few interactions with this professor. I like to think he liked me, he personally asked me to take a few advanced courses and met with me now and then to discuss agents and my writing, but we were of different worlds. How else do you explain the meeting of a poet and a novelist? We use the same words, but for a novelist it is about the meaning, where for the poet it is about the music beneath it.

To graduate, I needed people to sign off on my thesis. I had one from a fiction professor (I can’t remember his name now) and the head of the department promised to be the second… and he delayed… and he delayed.

I was working on campus, which was fine for me since I didn’t have to drive anywhere and there was a Carl’s Jr on campus and I was a little addicted to their crispy chicken sandwich (I don’t need to say more about that here). But on this day, instead of waiting in the outrageously long line of students and eating that awesome sandwich, I decided to bother the delaying professor. He was in his office and knew why I was there when I walked in. He didn’t make eye contact with me and promised to start the book that afternoon, shrugging me off.

I had to accept that answer and leave.

That night I received a call after 9 PM. It was him and he was crying. He kept saying the word “beautiful.” He talked to me about the book for over an excited hour, asking about why I did certain things, what they meant. He was figuring out different tricks I did in the writing in between his emotional outbursts.

It is not often a writer gets to speak to a moved reader the second after they finish their book, but I was having that experience here, and it was with someone that surrounds himself with books and writers! This is legit, right?

He wasn’t planning to read the book straight through, he said. He was planning to finish, maybe skim bits. He skims, he said. He skims most books from students, he said… but here he didn’t. And once he started he couldn’t stop.

He told me what he loved, what made him laugh and what made him cry.

He asked if he could share the book with others, and I said that was fine. He said I didn’t have to worry about my thesis, and he couldn’t wait to buy the book in print… and then he was off the line.

Now… let me be clear… I’m not telling you this story about a crying professor to brag. I’m telling you this because it was the first time I truly felt like a novelist. Continue reading

EBOOK SALE! Hey Janeites! A Jane Austen Daydream is only 99 cents for the Kindle! Limited time!

A Jane Austen Daydream“Scott Southard’s Jane is a delightful creature.” -Austenprose.com

“I consider this novel one of the best not only in regency era literature, but also in mainstream fiction.” -NovelTravelist.com

For a limited time, Madison Street is having a sale on the eBook of A Jane Austen Daydream! You can grab a copy today for only 99 cents! Here is the link: http://amzn.com/B00CH3HQUU

All her heroines find love in the end–but is there love waiting for Jane?

Jane Austen spends her days writing and matchmaking in the small countryside village of Steventon, until a ball at Godmersham Park propels her into a new world where she yearns for a romance of her own. But whether her heart will settle on a young lawyer, a clever Reverend, a wealthy childhood friend, or a mysterious stranger is anyone’s guess.

Written in the style of Jane herself, this novel ponders the question faced by many devoted readers over the years–did she ever find love? Weaving fact with fiction, it re-imagines her life, using her own stories to fill in the gaps left by history and showing that all of us–to a greater or lesser degree–are head over heels for Jane.

“If asked to sum up this book in one word, I would have to choose “unpredictable”… you will, in the end, be rewarded by a quick paced novel unlike any you can ever have read, which injects new ideas and possibilities into the world of Jane Austen.” -The Jane Austen Centre

Published by Madison Street Publishing, A Jane Austen Daydream has also been released as an audiobook! Narrated by the amazing Louisa Gummer, you can find it on Audible and iTunes.

“A definite read for all Jane Austen fans!” -Laura’s Little Book Blog

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Permanent Spring Showers by Scott D. Southard

Permanent Spring Showers

by Scott D. Southard

Giveaway ends July 31, 2015.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

Please, Make It Stop: A Rant About Game of Thrones

DragonAvast there, me hearties! Here thar be spoilers aplenty! (Wait! It’s not Talk Like a Pirate day? What was I thinking?)

Let’s get this out of the way first. We’ve all been holding off saying this for a while, but it’s time.

Game of Thrones is a soap opera.

I don’t know about you, but I feel a lot better after saying it.

I’ve recently found an interview with George R.R. Martin where he argues his book series is not a soap opera, maybe it was his way of preparing an argument before it came at him from outside his circle, but it is. Both the TV series and his book series… two words… soap opera.

Look, I hate to say it as much as the next person. The idea of someone truly doing something new in a very established (and usually predictable genre) is an awesome idea. He combined the history of the middle ages and fantasy… but the result is a freaking soap opera. With history almost being used as an excuse (or as a resource) for twists that help the soap opera continue.

Consider:

  • Soap operas and A Song of Ice and Fire both has multiple POVs of good and questionable individuals.
  • Both end every moment in a cliffhanger (You can almost hear the “stay tuned” at the end of some of the chapters in the books).
  • Both have meandering plots (I feel like I should be capitalizing meandering; no seriously, all caps).
  • Time seems to have its own rules. And both have marriages that seem to last for the same amount of time (and just like in soap operas most are bad matches).
  • And both are not working towards a clean resolution. There is no Mount Doom in sight from what I can see.

Oh, and all of these points is before I even bring up the fact that George R.R. Martin used to work in television and was a writer on a popular fantasy-lite soap opera in the 1980s.

Game of Thrones is a soap opera with people in funny costumes and dragons and we have bought into it.

Heck, I didn’t just buy in, I bought the DVDs, the books, the shirts and even gave them as Birthday presents to people I love. (I was like: “Hi, I love cocaine, I want you to take it too. Here- Happy Birthday!”) Continue reading