Wednesday, April 6th, 2016

Meet and Greet at the Horse You Came in On

HorseYouRodeInOn

I’ll be at the Horse You Came In On this Friday with a bunch of other authors from Hallowread. There will be door prizes and swag giveaways, and of course, we’ll have books for sale. The “Buy a Book, Get a Beer” program will be up and running.

Time: 4 – 8 pm
Place: 1626 Thames Street, Fells Point, Baltimore

More info at the Horse You Came In On Web site.

Friday, March 18th, 2016

Writing Prompt – You Had Me at “Hello.”

Teenaged girl talking on a cell phone.Hello.

Bonjour.

Ciao.

Shalom.

Nǐ hǎo.

Cześć.

Hallo.

There are a ja-billion™ ways to say hello—and its equivalent—in a ja-billion™ different languages.

‘Sup?
Good Day.
Hey.

Greetings are a mixed bag. Formal situations call for formal greetings. (How do you do?) Early morning salutations differ between chipper folks (Good Morning!) and those who need a few more cups of coffee (unintelligible grunt). Greetings between good friends ride the scale between none at all, and hopping right into conversation (Did you see what Jenny was wearing last night? I wouldn’t be caught dead in that!) to downright insulting. (You look like shit. What happened to you?)

Here’s Your Prompt:

  • Write a short story which begins with a single word of dialogue: “Hello.” The greeting can be in any language. What happens?
     
  • Write a poem about greetings, salutations or beginnings.
     
  • We have certain expectations for greetings. What if you were greeted differently than expected? For example, your coach shook your hand, but your pastor slapped your butt? Write what might happen if this happened to you.
     
  • If you journal, write about a time when someone greeted you in an unusual way. What happened?
     
  • Good luck!

Friday, March 11th, 2016

Writing Prompt – Dreams and Other Gifts of the Night

wooden artist manikin leaping from reflective sphere in fantastic landscapeDo you dream?

I almost never dream. I’m always excited when I do.

I had a dream about two weeks ago where I was walking across the landscape and there were black snakes all over the ground as far as I could see. I couldn’t take a step without watching closely so that I wouldn’t step on one. They weren’t stationary, but moving sinuously in all directions. The entire landscape undulated with movement.

Seriously cool. I love snakes.

(I know a bunch of you are probably creeped out about now. Sorry.)

Author Judy Reeves refers to dreams as “Gifts of the Night.” Lately, I’ve been seeing a Chinese doctor who disagrees. He says it’s bad for your health to dream. I used to agree with Ms. Reeves, but my doctor is starting to win me over…maybe dreaming isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

What do you think?

Here’s Your Prompt:

  • Think back to your last dream. Pretend that what happened there actually happened in real life. Write it down as a diary entry or create a short story. Embellish it, flesh it out. Make certain it has a beginning, a middle, and an end.
     
  • Think back to your last nightmare. Pretend that what happened actually happened in real life. Write it down as a diary entry or create a short story. Embellish it, flesh it out. Make certain it has a beginning, a middle, and an end.
     
  • Use this as a story starter:

    Ev’n now your eyes stare wild; your hair stands up—
    Your pulses throb and flutter, reeling still
    Under the storm of such a dream—

    From “Life is a Dream,” by Pedro Calderón de la Barca
     

  • What is the language of dreams?
     
  • Hemingway said, “I love sleep. My life has the tendency to fall apart when I’m awake, you know?” Do you agree or disagree? Why or why not? Write an essay or a journal entry about your thoughts.
     

Good luck!

Friday, February 26th, 2016

Writing Prompt – Anticipation

Tall stalk of wildflower with purple petals.It’s cold and windy here today, and I should have expected it, because we had some icy precipitation late last night and that never bodes well for the morning.

But last weekend it was warm enough outside to wash the car and do some painting. So it had me hoping for an early spring.

No such luck.

But here I am anticipating it.

I’m looking forward to getting my hands dirty in the garden and uncovering the fig trees. I’m ready to sweep winter’s grime off the garage floor, and do a bit of spring cleaning. Hell, I’m ready for shorts and flip flops.

How about you?

Here’s Your Prompt:

  • In a letter to Paulinus, Pliny the Younger said, “…the happiest man, in my opinion, is he who lives in the conscious anticipation of an honest and enduring name, and secure of future glory in the eyes of posterity.” Do you agree or disagree? Why?
     
  • Remember Heinz Ketchup Commercial about anticipation? “So Good It’s Worth the Wait” ? Write about a time that anticipation was worth the wait. (This could be about you, or about a character in your story…)
     
  • Conversely, write about a time when anticipation wasn’t worth the wait. How did that make you (or your character) feel? How did you (or your character) react?
     
  • Write a scene in which the main character is anticipating good news, and received bad news instead. Or, write a scene where your character is anticipating bad news, and receives good news instead.
     
  • Make a list of things you’re anticipating right now. Choose one or two and write predictions of what you anticipate will happen. Next, write how you’ll feel once these anticipated events will occur. Now, write and essay about your future. If you’re moved, write a poem instead.
     

Good luck!

Thursday, February 25th, 2016

Audio Edition of Stoned in Charm City – Coming Soon!

A Favor for a Fiend (Charm City Darkness 2) by Kelly A. HarmonI’ve just made an official offer for Stoned in Charm City to be produced as an audio book!

I’ll be sending the paper files to the narrator later this week, and receiving an audio file of the first several chapters for review by the end of March.

Color me excited!

Barring any complications, the narration should be complete by the end of May—just in time for Balticon!

Friday, February 19th, 2016

Writing Prompt – Then and Now

Old Church ClockHere’s a prompt that will make you think. Take your time and be honest with yourself.

First, make a list of ten-to-fifteen words that describe you as a child.

Next, make a list of ten-to-fifteen words that describe you as you are now.

Here’s Your Prompt:

  • Write about how the lists are the same. What child-like qualities have you maintained? (Or what adult-like qualities did you possess as a child?) How does it make you feel to know that in some ways, you’ve not changed? Do you wish you were more mature?
     
  • Write about how the lists are different. At what point did you mature? What word was the beginning of the turning point in your life? How do you feel to have lost those child-like qualities? What do you enjoy about being more adult?
     
  • Think about the first word on the list describing your child-self. Why did this word come to mind first? What are some things you said or did that characterize this word?
     
  • Similarly, think about the first word on the list describing your more mature self. Why did this word come to mind first? What are some things you say or do that characterize this word?
     
  • Write a poem, Ode to Yourself. Write it in three parts: the first stanza should describe your child-self and use some of the words on your first list. The last stanza should be about your adult self, and use some of the words on that list. The middle stanza should be a bridge between the two—or a transition—and use words from both lists.
     

Good Luck!

Friday, February 12th, 2016

Writing Prompt – It takes Two

Two white capsule pills sitting on the tip of someone's index finger.I’ll bet you thought, when you saw the title of this prompt, that we’d be talking about two people.

Couples.

It’s that close to Valentine’s Day, after all.

And I admit, I thought about it—but what fun is that? So, today’s prompt is about two of something—but not people.

Here’s Your Prompt:
 
Pick an idiom, write about it – a poem, character sketch, story sketch, scene—whatever. Mind the rules: no people as principal “players” in the prompt…

  • two of a kind
  • of two minds
  • one step forward, two steps back
  • two birds with one stone
  • two shakes of a lamb’s tail
  • it cuts two ways
  • two-timer
  • lesser of two evils
  • no two ways about it
  • can’t serve two masters
  • knocked down a peg, or two…
  • two bricks shy of a load
  • eating for two
  • terrible twos
  • two-faced

Good Luck!

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2016

Honorable Mention – Writers of the Future

Certificate from Writers of the Future, denoting Honorable Mention for the Story Fire Burn and Cauldron Bubble.I posted this on Facebook last week, but forgot to mention it here: I just received my certificate from Writers of the Future for my story, Fire Burn and Cauldron Bubble. It’s a wonderful little tale about witches who create the best steel cauldrons in the world–but their entire operation is put in jeopardy when the dragons fail to produce fire hot enough to make the steel.

I had a lot of fun writing it.

I’ll be sending it off to other markets in hope of placement. Keep your fingers crossed!

Friday, January 29th, 2016

Writing Prompt – What’s In The Box?

Vintage MatchBox with the Cover Faded and PeelingThe blizzard dropped a lot of snow on us, and we were digging out for days. As a consequence we hadn’t had mail delivery for nearly a week. But I finally got something in my mailbox yesterday.

There was the usual accumulation of junk newspapers and circulars, but there were also two padded envelopes and a larger box.

“What’s in the box?” asked the Husband of Awesome™.

And I couldn’t remember what I might have ordered.

That’s what happens when a blizzard comes along and all you do is dig out for a week. Brain white-out. Snow blind. You forget about the things you ordered. Or the stuff you didn’t order, but you knew was coming. Or that you’re awesome enough that someone sent you a surprise. (It could happen.) 😉

Here’s Your Prompt:

  • Imagine you’ve just received something in the mail. What’s inside?
     
  • Imagine it’s spring! You’re digging in your garden, and the shovel hits something hard. You realize you’ve struck a tiny wooden chest. What’s inside?
     
  • A woman packs a lunch for her (you choose) loving/cheating/scandalous/insane/generous/abusive/virile husband. What did she pack? What happens when he finds it?
     
  • A man pick’s up his spouse’s/sister’s/niece’s purse and it accidentally empties onto the floor. What’s inside? What happens when he’s caught handling that object?
     
  • Because it’s cold outside, you order dinner and have it delivered. It arrives, you pay the delivery service and they leave. And then you open the box. It’s not what you ordered. It’s not even dinner. What’s inside? And, what are you going to do with it?
     

Good luck!

(Oh, and in the box? The Christmas-gift yarn I’d ordered to knit a cardigan–my first try at sweater making. Wish me luck!)

Thursday, January 28th, 2016

Fairy Tale Interview over at eSpec Books

Brown leather textured background wiith the words Gaslight and Grimm, Steampunk Faerie TaleseSpec Books has posted an interview with me about my favorite fairy tales. It’s to promote the new “Gaslight and Grimm: Steampunk Fairie Tales” anthology coming out in the next few weeks.

Here’s the link, if you’re interested in reading the interview:
https://especbooks.wordpress.com/2016/01/17/author-spotlight-kelly-a-harmon-gaslight-and-grimm/

I’ve read some excepts, and I think it’s going to be fabulous.

Every story in the book is going to be illustrated in a “woodcut” style to mimic old-fashioned fairy tales books. Danny Birt is the artist.

Here’s the rough outline of a clockwork bird which will illustrate my re-telling of Hansel and Gretel (called, All for Beauty and Youth).

Clockwork Bird drawing (rough sketch) by Baltimore Artist Danny Birt.

The anthology is being funded by Kickstarter, but it’s already a done deal. So, if you’d like to get involved with a winning project–to be delivered soon–you should check it out here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/e-specbooks/gaslight-and-grimm-steampunk-faerie-tales. (Only six days to go!)