This week I’m turning the blog over to short story writer Montree Whiles.
Livia, I appreciate being here today. Thanks for having me.
Hello and thanks for stopping in to my blog post. The book I discuss is a collection of short stories I’ve done over time, mostly from a contest or two I’d participated in online a few years back. Over the years, I’ve put my pen to a few things including contests, and school periodicals and miscellaneous literary doodling. Discovering the self-publishing frenzy at the end of 2011 was the motivation for me to take writing seriously as an option. So, I joined the fray. A Voice from an Inner Worldserved as a training tool as I navigated the learning curve which presented itself as an obstacle. It continues to serve as a sampler of my writing.
We live in an age where the average person (in the USA) is literate enough to compose a story and education doesn’t necessarily have a bearing on the quality or reception of that story. The former coupled with the arrival on the scene of the ereader, has already made tremendous changes in the publishing, writing and reading worlds. I suspect it will become more common for people to carry their reading (and writing) around with them to have a go at during those moments of idleness between tasks, while having a coffee alone or even taking a meal alone. For some, this may equate to loneliness, but we’ve all heard the adage about being lonely in a crowd. The greater value, I think, is in those moments spent in quality encounters with true friends rather than being able to count the numbers of people one has collected to take up space in one’s life.
As far back as high school, I can recall belonging to the school publication group as well as doing a bit of writing myself. Since then I’ve penned the occasional story here and there. My first publication, A Voice from An Outer World, is a collection of some of the short stories I’ve done over time. Of course, I have my favorites. The story in this collection that stands out as well loved by me is, “Fireworks.” I’m sure you’ll find your own favorites as you read the various stories.
Reading, oddly enough, doesn’t provide fodder for my stories. Many times a chance encounter will spark an idea for a story. Reading has become the teacher’s knee at which I learn to write. Though I still find I enjoy most of my reading selections, now I have the voice in my head pointing out spelling errors, grammatic and sentence structures to check in my reference book, and interesting turns of phrase and styles of writing to note. I enjoyed English classes and even more, language classes. I haven’t become a master yet of grammar, punctuation and spelling, but I’m moving in the right direction.
The support of friends is necessary, but there’s also a drive within to write. If that weren’t present, I’d not have motivation. One of the things that stokes the motivation to write are the characters I meet along the way. Bogga Fat Cat, from the selection below, is one of those characters that brings a smile to my face. He was written by the pen of Montrée Whiles. I write under several noms de plume. Where Montrée writes fiction across multiple genres, Satine Steele writes women-centered stories and books. Rabiyah Hamnach writes fiction for women and young girls which centers around strong Muslim females. Arachne Enterprises Publishing is the umbrella under which these authors write, are managed and ultimately self-published.
My ideas come from chance encounters, situations which arise on a day-to-day basis, and sometimes clear out of the blue in answer to “what if.” I enjoy seeing where an idea leads and comes to a stop. One thing that really does it for me also is the response I get in the form of feedback from readers. I want to know what worked for them, what didn’t; which story they really resonated with. I have several stories in work, one of which is Adrianna under the pen name Rabiyah Hamnach. Satine Steele has a story in work, The Mountain Wilds. Montrée’s next collection of short stories should be out hopefully this year, entitled, Of Black Holes and Universes.
Bogga Fat Cat here. I’m just a big ol’ ball of Felinus Domesticus fur. Startin’ on my ninth life, I am. My ninth chance to do it up right. I’m just layin’ here on the porch contemplatin’ my life. Well actually watchin’ the field mice dodge back and forth thinkin’ they’re bein’ sly and all. Jus’ tryin’ to get up the urge to go get me a little Meece Tartare.
I’m thinkin’ it’s time to settle down. Ye know, pull up a nice fat pillow and kick back. Time to stop chasin’ them cute lil balls of fluff caterwaulin’ down at the Cat Nip N Cream. I have to say that last one I got my claws into yowled up a storm. I still have a bruise in the ol’ noggin where the bottle came flyin’ out the window and hit me in the head. I saw stars. All I can remember before passin’ out is the high-pitched squallin’ Willow Wild Cat was doin’ as I dug my claws in deeper in surprise. When I came to, I was paws up behind a trash barrel.
Don’t know how I got my tawdry tail home, but I did. Only I arrived to find my People had other ideas for me. I was stowed away in my car box and whisked off to that awful place where they pick and poke and I have to listen to the pathetic yowls, howls, groans, moans, whimpers, chirpin’s, and other noises comin’ from the assorted inmates subjected to the same or similar fate as I. All in all it could’ve been worse. Some of my runnin’ mates have been to the same place and I never saw ‘em again. I notice I been paddin’ around a little lighter on the hind paws since I got home.
Supposin’ I did take on the life of a true house cat? I guess I could get to like it. I mean regular ear scratchin’ and soft places to lay around in aren’t a bad trade off. Let’s face it. Meeces Tartare is a real acquired taste, if you get my meanin’. I could get used to a more palatable diet that’s easier on the stomach. Lazy days on the porch in Summer and warm evenings next to the fire in Winter have their appeal.
Yeah. I think I’ll grab on to this last chance; chance number nine. I’m sure I can even live with Little People tuggin’ at my fur and ears and pullin’ on my tail. But, maybe I had ought to give a holler to Ol’ Tom down at the CatNip and Cream and let him know where I am so he can send a few balls of fluff my way from time to time. I’m sure I can work up an interest in caterwaulin’ every now and again.
I’ll give away a free electronic copy of the book I discuss above by drawing. Include your email in your comment below to be added to the drawing. For anyone else I will send bookmark if you’ll also include your email address as well.
April’s Not For Fools Guest Blog: April 4 on Grinelda Markowitz’s blog:https://grineldamarkowitz.wordpress.com
Create Space (for a hard copy): https://www.createspace.com/3993185
Smashwords Montrée Whiles: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/montreewhiles
Smashwords Author Page: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/arachneenterprises
Amazon Author Page: http://amazon.com/author/arachneenterprises
Montrée Whiles Facebook Fan Page: http://www.facebook.com/scribblingsbymontreewhiles