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Announcement: Back on Track

Well, it’s been a while, hasn’t it readers?

Apologies for the lack of updates over these past months. There’s a long answer, but the simple answer is that my postgrad work load, coupled with some system shake ups at works, have meant that I haven’t had the energy to get into the place I need to be for writing Cold Ghost. I suppose that comes across as a weak excuse, but it’s simply how things have been for me.

With this in mind, I’m hoping that by summer, my initial training will be all nicely wrapped up and I might have at least a larger buffer under my belt in order to proceed. Until then, Cold Ghost will remain on an irregular update schedule at best.

In the mean time, if you just can’t wait and want to see my everyday rambling, you can check out my tumblr. Fair warning, it doesn’t have a lot of web-fiction related content and does have lots of content on social justice, cats and kimono.

For those of you who are still fans or reading after all this time, thank you so much. I hope that Cold Ghost can get back on track and you’ll enjoy where the story goes from here.

Dreamers of Dreams, the anthology featuring Cold Ghost & other web fiction stories is now live and can be read here for FREE! Here is the link, so please go here to download!:

http://scr.bi/dFv2jX

Also, time is running out to vote on the short story which I will be writing for the Author’s Support Edition. Please vote in the poll in my previous announcement and comment to have your say. I want the short story to be something you would enjoy, so I’m counting on you all for feedback on this one!

Hello reader, it’s been a long time, hasn’t it? Some things have been in the pipe line, and I would like to pass along the good news!

On April 11, 2011 there will be the release of the first volume of Dreamers of Dreams: A Webfiction Anthology. This will be an Ebook release, released simultaneously on several popular Ebook and webfiction stores. It is a free book containing excerpts and opening chapters of several web fiction novels currently available for free online. The works that will be included in this anthology include works that have been completed and novels currently being serialized.  There will be a large range of genres available in this anthology, with everything from science fiction, urban and high fantasy, murder mystery and more dystopian apocalypses than you can shake a Boomstick at.

The intended aim is to try and introduce readers to new stories and serials that they may not have heard of, and raise the profiles of newer writers who are showing promise and are putting themselves and their works out their on the internet. There are also hopes that this is anthology which shall be released on a regular (but as of yet, undecided) basis.

Volume one of Dreamers of Dreams will include the following authors and stories:

Ted Campbell             – Flyover City!

Eva Shandor               – Cold Ghost

Cassandra Stryffe      – Zombie Diapers

Bex Aaron                   – Independence Day

J.J. Adams                  – The Undeadslayer

Alexander Hollins        – Phoenix 2125

Rebecca Wilson          – Soul Chaser

Christopher Wright      – Pay Me, Bug! 

Kyt Dotson                  – Black Hat Magick

G.L. Drummond          – Enter the Weird

Miladysa                      – Refuge of Delayed Souls

Meilin Miranda                        – Scryer’s Gulch

M.E. Traylor                – Guts and Sass

The anthology has been compiled and distributed by DreamFantastic Publishing. If you’re looking for more information on the anthology, or would like to find out more about the individual authors who are involved with this project, take a dander over to http://www.dreamfantastic.com/anthology/

Even more exciting, a .99 cent edition of the anthology, the Author’s Support Edition, will be sold starting the end of April. Why should you buy this? Because it will contain additional bonus content from many of the authors involved in the project, some of which may not be available on their sites as of yet. You would also be supporting the authors and their works by purchasing this edition, and showing support for your favourite web serials. For those Cold Ghost fans wondering what will be in it for them, I am including a polished chapter for the regular edition, and will be writing an previously unseen short story for the Author’s Support Edition, which you will be able to vote on at the bottom of this blog post.

If you havea any questions or concerns, or even if you are interested in being included in future anthologys, you can contact the fantabulous Alexander Hollins at Editor@dreamfantastic.com.  Hopefully as and when the anthology does live, I shall link my lovely readers to it, so they can discover more material.

EDIT: If you vote other, or vote for the third option, then please PLEASE comment and clarify! If you all vote for supporting character and then don’t state which supporting character you are voting for, then it makes it much harder to write this vignette!

>Title: Wonder City Stories

Author: Jude McLaughlin

Format: Serial

Address: http://wonder-city.dreamwidth.org

Genre: super-hero, gay online novels, soap opera

Review: I first came across Wonder City Stories last week during a cursory check of Web Fiction Guide, and managed to read the entire back catalogue inside of 2 or 3 days. Given that my new job involves a lot of between-site travel and a lot of planning at home, that’s pretty stupendous and should say a lot.

It’s a serial of vignettes following several characters who have intertwining story strands, who all live in Wonder City, home to many a great super hero and inter-dimensional hiccup.

A great deal has been made of its inspirations by other reveiwers, ‘Astro City’ apparently being one of the chief ones. I have to confess that I’m ignorant of most of the cited inspirations, so I’m not sure how this will dispose you towards the review. I’m more of a ‘Powers’ or ‘X-men’ kind of a gal.

The writing style has been described as light by some. Perhaps because there isn’t always a mass of description, but I find that McLaughlin always sets the scene well, detailing it gently, and does it in a way that you can imagine it sharply. While we do get to see some super-hero action from time to time, the main thrust of the serial is the minutae and more domestic side of super-hero life. Powers are cool, but have you ever thought about having to clean up after  a fight between super-powered folk, or even the burecracy that might be involved? Wonder City Stories does consider this, and provides us with interesting answers.

One thing that is certainly in Wonder City Stories’ favour, is its discourse with characters and the diversity of those characters. Many are super-powered, but they are all human and fascinating, and while each one has their own quirks and flaws, it is not to the point where one flaw dominates and/or destroys their lives in an over-dramatic way.

As for diversity of cast, the serial deals with issues like gender theory and sexuality, disability, peer pressure, mental health and coping with grief. Quite a few web serials claim to deal with ‘difficult’ subjects, but this one actually delivers the goods. The prinicpal characters are all from groups that are often marginilised or under/misrepresented within in mainstream comics, so women, characters of colour, LGBTQ characters, disabled characters, older people, people from different religious backgrounds.

Special QI points must be awarded for having STRONG, FEMALE characters who are realistic and NOT ripped from Hollywood’s hard-bodied heroines – their strength does not magically become a weakness when the going gets tough. This is something of a pet peeve of mine, I admit. Words like ’strong’ and ‘fiesty’ tend to be abused in modern fiction, and I now have a habit of translating them to mean ’studied a bit of self-defense, but will be rescued by a dude with a machine gun or massive sword in critical moments’. Wonder City Stories does not do this, for which I am very grateful.

On the less positive side, initially I found the navigation of the web site itself to be a little awkward. I’d recommend you bookmark the table of contents, as the set up of the page is somewhat similar to LiveJournal, which may confuse some readers.

All in all, if you’re curious to explore a path not-as-travelled within super-hero stories, then Wonder City Stories could well be what you’re looking for.

Cold Ghost: Chapter 17

WARNING: Arr, there be foul language ‘ere!

Author’s Note: Apologies for the delay. I was travelling, and thought that I would have access Free Wi Fi to upload this. Sadly, due to the inclement weather in the UK I was stranded for hours on a train platform and did not return to the place where I would be staying until very late.

Vote For Cold Ghost on Top Web Fiction

 

Chapter 16: No Where To Run To

Index

Chapter 18:

 

Chapter 17: Use Somebody

  View full article »

Just to inform you that no, I have not been eaten by a smarmosaurus.

Sadly, the month of November exploded, and I have been inundated with Real Life things, such as work and paper work for my work and course work for my training for my work. Looking at the updates, I realised that the last time I updated was at the end of October, and I do apologise for this unannounced hiatus. It came out of no-where, and before I knew it, November had come and gone.

I was called to my home town to pick up a large chunk of my belongings, and I have a large chunk of course work that is due in next week. Luckily, I have done most of it, but it still needs to be typed up as my trainers have an online submission system because it is an off-site class. I have Chapter 17 of Cold Ghost written up, but I have decided I should hold back until my other deadlines have been met for obvious practical reasons. Hopefully, Cold Ghost will then return to its usual schedule and I may have some catch-up writing time during the Winter Break.

I did notice however, that we had a huge surge in hits during November, especially from the Slash Pile. To any new visitors, thank you very much for dropping by and I hope you have enjoyed what you found here; please feel free to drop me a message. To my regular readers, thank you for your continued support at this time.

I am hoping that perhaps I can put up some Ontario Diaries to distract you in the mean time, which will happen some time this week. Cold Ghost will re-commence on the 17th of December 2010.

Vote For Cold Ghost on Top Web Fiction 

Synopsis: Joel was just a regular ol’ park ranger, minding his own business when Yukihiro, a recently retired assassin for a Tokyo yakuza family, burst through a window and into his life. 

Now, he’s trapped quite figuratively in a web of deceit and danger that goes beyond the usual ‘hilarious misunderstanding’ and driven straight to ‘running away for dear life’. 

Will Joel survive the adventure? Will Yukihiro ever explain what it’s all about or why Triads want him dead? Or will everyone just be eaten alive by bears?

 

Chapter 15: No Surprises

Index

Chapter 17: Use Somebody

 

Chapter 16: No-where To Run To View full article »

Vote For Cold Ghost on Top Web Fiction 

Synopsis: Joel was just a regular ol’ park ranger, minding his own business when Yukihiro, a recently retired assassin for a Tokyo yakuza family, burst through a window and into his life. 

Now, he’s trapped quite figuratively in a web of deceit and danger that goes beyond the usual ‘hilarious misunderstanding’ and driven straight to ‘running away for dear life’. 

Will Joel survive the adventure? Will Yukihiro ever explain what it’s all about or why Triads want him dead? Or will everyone just be eaten alive by bears?

 

Chapter 14: Tourniquet

Index

Chapter 16: No-where To Run

 

Chapter 15: No Surprises View full article »

Author’s Notes: I do heartily apologise for the late delivery of this chapter. Recently I have started a new job IRL, and I’ve had to do a lot of planning for it and I’ve sadly neglected updating Cold Ghost. Things have been very stressful, and I’ve had a lot of things to prepare and it’s not left me much time for myself on many levels.

I’m hoping that from now on I can learn how to balance the two, as well as my own personal life. I hope that my readers do enjoy this chapter. The new chapter will go live roughly two weeks from now. Thank you so much for all your support.

Vote For Cold Ghost on Top Web Fiction 

Synopsis: Joel was just a regular ol’ park ranger, minding his own business when Yukihiro, a recently retired assassin for a Tokyo yakuza family, burst through a window and into his life. 

Now, he’s trapped quite figuratively in a web of deceit and danger that goes beyond the usual ‘hilarious misunderstanding’ and driven straight to ‘running away for dear life’. 

Will Joel survive the adventure? Will Yukihiro ever explain what it’s all about or why Triads want him dead? Or will everyone just be eaten alive by bears?

 

Chapter 13: Linger

Index

Chapter 15: No Surprises

Chapter 14: Tourniquet

View full article »

Yakuza 3 – Reviewed by Gangsters

Interested in the Yakuza and how they work? Look no further!

A friend linked me to this review of Sega US’s latest game, Yakuza 3. She’d asked me about Cold Ghost, and then said I might enjoy this. Interesting thing is, the review has been done by 3 yakuza bosses, conducted and translated by Jake Adelstein, a former crime reporter living in Tokyo and author of Tokyo Vice.

While admittedly, the bosses do not actually explain the yakuza system, they do comment on the realism and unrealistic parts of yakuza life as portrayed in the video game, and give us some insights on day-to-day life. If you’re curious, or looking to be entertained for the next fifteen minutes, give the review a peek.

Link to the Review