Crescendo of Darkness Tour: Circe’s Music Shop

Crescendo of Darkness from HorrorAddicts.net Press.

“Circe’s Music Shop” by A. Craig Newman

A music store owner, who won’t be bullied into submission, teaches two hitmen the meaning of pain.

A. Craig Newman shares his thoughts about his story with us below.

When I wrote “Circe’s Music Shop”, I did not plan to publish it.  In all honesty, in my head, I wasn’t writing. I was practicing. 

Practice makes perfect, or so we’re always told. And I want to be a great writer so I figure the only way is to write a lot. But the results of practice are usually riddled with mistakes.  A painter practicing the challenge of rendering eyes or hands will fill sketch pads with dozens of aborted attempts to get it right. A cook perfecting a recipe will throw away countless full and aborted attempts before hitting on the exact combination of ingredients and time and technique that gives the correct results.  So, I figured, and still do, that most things a writer writes should not be published but should be considered practice. 

With this in mind, I give myself challenges to practice with.  One challenge was to go to my friends and ask them what type of character they’d want to be they could be anyone at all in a story.  My best friend, Tamisha, said she wanted to be a sorceress.  Because I have a love of classics and myths, I immediately thought of Circe from “The Odyssey“.  I don’t remember how turning men to pigs became turning men to instruments. I do remember that I wrote the story quickly because I wasn’t stressing myself over a practice piece. 

Since writing this story, several have come and gone where I would consider myself having done some “real writing”. Ideas I mulled over and cultivated into complete premises.  Pieces I wrote and rewrote trying to infuse the work with everything I’ve learned about symbolism and artistry.  Real writing took real work and countless hours of time and effort and frustration. 

There are two things I learned from writing “Circe’s Music Shop”.  First, a writer can never tell where a good idea will come from.  Second, for me, “underwriting” is not a bad thing. Those other pieces that I mulled over and reworked about a dozen times have yet to become anything.  This piece that I just had fun with and tossed onto the paper has gained me more attention, praise, and success as a writer than anything else. 

So, what does this all mean?  How do I apply this in a practical sense?  I have no idea.  I’m still trying to figure that out.  I’ll let you know when I do.  

A. Craig Newman
Author and Instructor

Crescendo of Darkness

Edited by Jeremiah Donaldson

Cover by Carmen Masloski

HorrorAddicts.net Press

 Let music unlock your fear within.

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Crescendo of Darkness Tour: While My Guitar Gently Bleeds

Crescendo of Darkness from HorrorAddicts.net Press.

“While My Guitar Gently Bleeds” by Benjamin Langley
A rock musician is visited by an undead band member and forced to pay for his crimes against rock ‘n’ roll.

Benjamin shares his thoughts about his story with us below.

Of all the stories I have written and submitted, none have spent as much time under consideration with editors as ‘While My Guitar Gently Bleeds.’ Finally it has found its home in Crescendo of Darkness and I couldn’t be happier.

The first place it was submitted was to a university tutor. This story was one of two I handed in for a second-year short story writing module. Given the way that horror was frowned upon, it wasn’t as well received as the literary story that accompanied it. (‘I Am Roadkill,’ published by Flash Fiction Magazine in 2015.) Why did I write quirky horror story about aging (and undead) rockers for a tutor I knew wouldn’t like it? It was the story I wanted to write at the time, and was never a fan of playing it safe.

The first time I sent it out seeking publication it was shortlisted from more than 500 submissions. Eventually, it did not make the cut, but the fact that had been close brought me comfort. I took it back in gave it a polish, and sent it on its way again. A number of editors seemed to like it, but claimed it didn’t quite fit and I could see their point. Yet again I took it into the workshop, and gave it another going over. It was changed from present tense to past, which seemed to give it more of an edge. Key parts of the story where slowed down, allowing for tension to build. Extraneous parts of the text were cut away. The story of former band-mates Dallas McCann and Tyler Gunn was stronger, scarier, and dare I say, gorier.

I was sure that when I sent it out again, to a well-selected publication, they would be sure to take it.

Not so. But again, it was close. I got one of those rejections that made me feel positive, that made me feel like I was getting somewhere. The rejection note stated that they had to cut some stories that they loved. The final line was great: “We’re sorry for sitting on it for so long, but these last few cuts caused us real pain.”

I knew the story was good; the trouble was that it was rather niche. Imagine my absolute joy when I saw the submission call for Crescendo of Darkness, an anthology seeking to combine horror and music. Perfect. So I sent the story, and again had to suffer the agonising wait.

Finally it was accepted. I was elated. Every time I see the cover to the anthology I think about what a perfect fit the story is. I can’t wait to get hold of my own copy now, and I’m looking forward to hearing readers’ reactions.

https://benjaminlangleywriter.wordpress.com/

 

Crescendo of Darkness

Edited by Jeremiah Donaldson

Cover by Carmen Masloski

HorrorAddicts.net Press

 

Let music unlock your fear within.

HorrorAddicts.net Presents: Crescendo of Darkness

Music has the power to soothe the soul, drive people to obsession, and soundtrack evil plots. Is music the instigator of madness, or the key that unhinges the psychosis within? From guitar lessons in a graveyard and a baby allergic to music, to an infectious homicidal demo and melancholy tunes in a haunted lighthouse, Crescendo of Darkness will quench your thirst for horrifying audio fiction.

HorrorAddicts.net is proud to present fourteen tales of murderous music, demonic performers, and cursed audiophiles.

Crescendo of Darkness includes:

“Audition” by Naching T. Kassa

This could be a guitarist’s ticket to the big time, if he survives auditioning in a ghoul-protected graveyard.

“Circe’s Music Shop” by A. Craig Newman

A music store owner, who won’t be bullied into submission, teaches two hitmen the meaning of pain.

“Last Lullaby” by Emerian Rich

An opera diva is haunted by a dangerous secret which threatens to end her career and her life.

“Loved to Death” by Sam Morgan Phillips

Death explores his dream of being a rock star, but can’t avoid his purpose when a young woman forces him to live up to his destiny.

“The Music Box” by Daphne Strasert
When a mom finds her childhood music box, she unleashes a tragic horror on her family, dooming them to repeat history.

“While My Guitar Gently Bleeds” by Benjamin Langley
A rock musician is visited by an undead band member and forced to pay for his crimes against rock ‘n’ roll.

“Six String Bullets” by Cara Fox

The pull of a busker’s song becomes too much for a young woman to resist.

“Lighthouse Lamentation” by R.A. Goli

A lighthouse keeper helps a mysterious guest, but the stranger’s haunting sea shanty might drive him mad.

“Solomon’s Piano” by Jeremy Megargee

A grieving husband builds an unnatural piano, but can his music raise the dead?

“They Don’t Make Music Like That Anymore” by Kahramanah

A musician’s obsession with creating a masterpiece leads to him discover why they don’t make music like that anymore.

“Become the Music” by H.E. Roulo

A cellist would do anything for her child, even give up music, but that might not be enough to stop a curse from consuming her baby.

“Keep the Beat” by Calvin Demmer

A young girl questions why her tribe plays the djembe drums every night and finds it may be more than just a tradition.

“The Legend of Crimson Ivory” by Sarah Gribble

An audiophile finds a legendarily sinister demo at a used record store and decides to play it, despite his friends’ warnings.

“A Whisper in the Air” by Jeremiah Donaldson

Employees at a job find solace in playing music on break, but a haunted melody draws in more than just new musicians.

Check out the Crescendo of Darkness blog tour!

May

15 Press release & Blog Tour Announced horroraddicts.net
16 Sneak peek at: “Audition” http://www.cerebralwriter.com
17 Press Release http://www.emzbox.com
18 Sneak peek at: “Whisper in the Air” http://patrickcgreene.com
19 Sneak peek at: “Loved to Death” http://davemstrom.wordpress.com
20 Inspiration for “While My Guitar Gently Bleeds” horroraddicts.net
21 Announcement of BayCon event horroraddicts.net
22 Inspiration for “Circe’s Music Shop” horroraddicts.net
23 Inspiration for “Last Lullaby” horroraddicts.net
24 Inspiration for “Become the Music horroraddicts.net
25 Inspiration for “Keep the Beat” horroraddicts.net
26 Inspiration for “Six String Bullets” horroraddicts.net
27 Live Panel at BayCon horroraddicts.net
28 Sneak peek at: “Circe’s Music Shop” www.acraignewman.com
29 Sneak peek at: “Six String Bullets” http://skewednotions.com/
30 Sneak peek at: “Last Lullaby” http://www.emzbox.com
31 Sneak peek at: “Lighthouse Lamentation” https://ragoliauthor.wordpress.com

June

1 Sneak peek at: “They Don’t Make Music Like That Anymore” http://firefly465.wordpress.com/
2 Sneak peek at: “While My Guitar Gently Bleeds” https://benjaminlangleywriter.wordpress.com/
3 Sneak peek at: “Solomon’s Piano” hauntjaunts.net
4 Sneak peek at: “Become the Music” heatherroulo.com
5 Sneak peek at: “The Legend of Crimson Ivory” http://www.JaimeJohnesee.com
6 Sneak peek at: “The Music Box” http://infernalclock.blogspot.co.uk/
7 Sneak peek at: “Keep the Beat” http://selahjanel.wordpress.com/
8 The music influence of “Last Lullaby” sweetdreamsnovel.com
9 Two music shorts. http://richandroulo.wordpress.com/
10 Announcement of Live Chat horroraddicts.net
15 SL Party announced! horroraddicts.net
30 SL Party! Live readings online. horroraddicts.net

July

1 Live Chat about Crescendo of Darkness http://writerschatroom.com

 

Crescendo of Darkness

Edited by Jeremiah Donaldson

Cover by Carmen Masloski

HorrorAddicts.net Press

 

Let music unlock your fear within.

Submission Call: Crescendo of Darkness

Cover by Carmen Masloski

Crescendo of Darkness
Edited by Jeremiah Donaldson

“Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent.” -Victor Hugo

There’s a funny thing that can soothe the soul after a rough day at work, can put you in the mood to take on any challenge, or can transport you back twenty years in time. It’s the most widely enjoyed mode of entertainment and the most used form of mood alteration. Music.

Your story must involve music in some way. This could take the form of a specific genre or song, but also the creation of music, an instrument, or even the lack of music. What would you do if you didn’t have your favorite music to calm your mind or to motivate you? What horrible deeds are prevented on a daily basis because someone listened to their favorite song? How many people are alive because someone heard the right song at the right time? What is the power of music?

Note: This is a HorrorAddicts.net anthology. Your story must be a Horror story and contain something emotionally, physically, or mentally horrifying.

Manuscript Format:
Font: either Courier or Times New Roman.
Double spaced, font 12 point.
Your manuscript must be in either DOC or RTF format.
1st page header to state: author name, mailing address, email address, and word count.
Following pages header to state: author name, story name, and page number.

In the body of the email:
100 words or less bio about you.
One sentence explaining the story attached. Your elevator pitch.
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram ids
Your website or blog

Subject of the email state:
CRESCENDO OF DARKNESS/Author Name/Story Title
Send to: horroraddicts@gmail.com

No previously printed work and no simultaneous submissions.

Deadline: October 31st, 2017, 11:59pm PST
Length: 2,000-5,000 words
Payment: $10.00 USD + digital contributor copy
Return time: Final decisions will not be made until AFTER the submission close date (10/31/17). You should expect a return within 3 months of the submission close date.

If you do not receive an email stating your manuscript was received within two weeks of submission, please send a polite query to horroraddicts@gmail.com

For any other questions, please send an email to horroraddicts@gmail.com

Submission Call: Crescendo of Darkness

Cover by Carmen Masloski

Crescendo of Darkness
Edited by Jeremiah Donaldson

“Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent.” -Victor Hugo

There’s a funny thing that can soothe the soul after a rough day at work, can put you in the mood to take on any challenge, or can transport you back twenty years in time. It’s the most widely enjoyed mode of entertainment and the most used form of mood alteration. Music.

Your story must involve music in some way. This could take the form of a specific genre or song, but also the creation of music, an instrument, or even the lack of music. What would you do if you didn’t have your favorite music to calm your mind or to motivate you? What horrible deeds are prevented on a daily basis because someone listened to their favorite song? How many people are alive because someone heard the right song at the right time? What is the power of music?

Note: This is a HorrorAddicts.net anthology. Your story must be a Horror story and contain something emotionally, physically, or mentally horrifying.

Manuscript Format:
Font: either Courier or Times New Roman.
Double spaced, font 12 point.
Your manuscript must be in either DOC or RTF format.
1st page header to state: author name, mailing address, email address, and word count.
Following pages header to state: author name, story name, and page number.

In the body of the email:
100 words or less bio about you.
One sentence explaining the story attached. Your elevator pitch.
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram ids
Your website or blog

Subject of the email state:
CRESCENDO OF DARKNESS/Author Name/Story Title
Send to: horroraddicts@gmail.com

No previously printed work and no simultaneous submissions.

Deadline: October 31st, 2017, 11:59pm PST
Length: 2,000-5,000 words
Payment: $10.00 USD + digital contributor copy
Return time: Final decisions will not be made until AFTER the submission close date (10/31/17). You should expect a return within 3 months of the submission close date.

If you do not receive an email stating your manuscript was received within two weeks of submission, please send a polite query to horroraddicts@gmail.com

For any other questions, please send an email to horroraddicts@gmail.com

Submission Call: Crescendo of Darkness Anthology, HorrorAddicts

Cover by Carmen Masloski

Crescendo of Darkness
Edited by Jeremiah Donaldson

“Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent.” -Victor Hugo

There’s a funny thing that can soothe the soul after a rough day at work, can put you in the mood to take on any challenge, or can transport you back twenty years in time. It’s the most widely enjoyed mode of entertainment and the most used form of mood alteration. Music.

Your story must involve music in some way. This could take the form of a specific genre or song, but also the creation of music, an instrument, or even the lack of music. What would you do if you didn’t have your favorite music to calm your mind or to motivate you? What horrible deeds are prevented on a daily basis because someone listened to their favorite song? How many people are alive because someone heard the right song at the right time? What is the power of music?

Note: This is a HorrorAddicts.net anthology. Your story must be a Horror story and contain something emotionally, physically, or mentally horrifying.

Manuscript Format:
Font: either Courier or Times New Roman.
Double spaced, font 12 point.
Your manuscript must be in either DOC or RTF format.
1st page header to state: author name, mailing address, email address, and word count.
Following pages header to state: author name, story name, and page number.

In the body of the email:
100 words or less bio about you.
One sentence explaining the story attached. Your elevator pitch.
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram ids
Your website or blog

Subject of the email state:
CRESCENDO OF DARKNESS/Author Name/Story Title
Send to: horroraddicts@gmail.com

No previously printed work and no simultaneous submissions.

Deadline: October 31st, 2017, 11:59pm PST
Length: 2,000-5,000 words
Payment: $10.00 USD + digital contributor copy
Return time: Final decisions will not be made until AFTER the submission close date (10/31/17). You should expect a return within 3 months of the submission close date.

If you do not receive an email stating your manuscript was received within two weeks of submission, please send a polite query to horroraddicts@gmail.com

For any other questions, please send an email to horroraddicts@gmail.com

#NGHW News Episode #142

 

Hello Addicts!

In the last episode, our writers were hit with a big one. A 3000-5000 word horror story. The theme: Music. They were given the extra time, of course, Emz is no monster. But it must have taken a lot out of them. After whipping up 5000 words worth of story… plus editing … and rewriting … and then having it publicly judged, surely they are feeling exhausted.

“For the 5000-word story–man, that was tough! I’m a procrastinator by nature, so of course, I didn’t start writing it until a few days before it was due. I jammed-packed all the emotions a writer goes through while writing a longer story. Basically going from ‘Ooh, this could work as an idea!’ to ‘Dear God, what have I done?’ in less than 24 hours. A new personal best!”-Jess

“I always feel good when I write. And after I’ve finished something, if it will be read or not, if it’s good or bad, regardless of whatever circumstances surround a piece I’ve written, I just keep writing. I think that’s the only thing a writer can do.” -JC

We had some great snippets here. All of them unique and left me wanting to hear the rest. The uses of the genre and the theme were stretched and I really enjoyed the fact that I was surprised by the story ideas. Alternative worlds were Music is like a drug to Japanese folklore. Their stories were so different, it was hard to believe they were given the same set of instructions. But they all ran with the same theme, keeping to the rules. Our semi-finalists last week were:

  1. Cherry Blossoms and Yokai by Adele Marie Park
  2. Scordatura by Jess Landry
  3. Audio Addict by Daphne Strasert
  4. Requiem in Frost by Jonathan Fortin
  5. Audition by Naching T. Kassa
  6. The Agent by Harry Husbands
  7. The Lament of the Piano Man by AE Kirk

This week’s mini prize was not so mini. Publication in the upcoming short story anthology, Crescendo of Darkness. To make the prize even more special, the other contestants were banned from submitting their stories for the anthology. As much as this hurt Emz to do, the stories were so good that she would have liked more of them in the anthology.

Let’s have a quick chat about next episode’s challenge. A 900-1000 word non-fiction blog post on something horrific that the writer experienced. This could be a haunting, a phobia, anything that they have experienced that they found horrifying. It will be judged based on: blog-ability, topic choice, and writing quality.

This week’s challenge is a little more personal than the rest. Even though what writers do is personal, mostly we can hide behind that banner of “fiction”. I asked the writers how they feel about baring something so personal?

This also made me think about privacy and people’s comfort levels with how much they are willing to let people in. As writers, we are generally introverts, but with success comes other things that introverts don’t tend to like. So I asked the writers if being in the public eye is something they feel will be difficult?

“This week’s challenge was difficult. You’re baring a piece of your soul to the world and you’re hoping they understand your point of view. My experience happened over 30 years ago and may seem funny to those who read it. The things we fear may seem ridiculous to others or just as frightening. Sometimes, we don’t choose our fears. They choose us. (By the way, you’re talking to someone whose first fear was a flying sandwich with vampire teeth. Did he choose me? Or, did I choose him? It’s the eternal question.)

I don’t think I’ll have too much trouble being in the public eye. Like most people, I’m nervous at first. But, after a while, I turn into a huge ham. Maybe, that’s why the sandwich chose me.” -Naching

“In real life, I am a total introvert, practically like a monk living high in the mountains away from civilization at times, but writing isn’t like being a rock star or movie star. Most of our “public” attention comes online which is a much easier animal for us introverts to withstand. I don’t know how I’ll stand up to a convention or book signing at some point but armed with my anxiety pills I should be fine. LOL” -Feind

“I’m not a fan of writing about my personal life and would be lying if I said I wasn’t tempted to just make some stuff up. I’m sure that’s a viable option, but it defeats the purpose. I think in writing about your own experiences, you’re saying: “Hey, I may write fiction, but I’m real.” and that’s too valuable a thing to be phony about. I’m no good at it, but I get real pleasure from reading about writers’ lives whom I admire and so if I ever gained any kind of readership, I’d want to be able to do that for them too. I don’t see myself being in the public eye at any point (I’m talking tabloid man-boob close-ups) but if by some off-chance I ever was, I’d be swift in retreating to the mountains for a while until it all blew over.” -Harry

Episode #142 meant Naching took home her second win! Congrats #teamnaching! You can go and check out a snippet of Naching’s winning story on our website. Remember that if you wish to learn more about the contestants, the past, and present, you can do so at our contestants’ page. Have a peek at their websites or blogs, connect with them via the social media.

We have a little sad news this week. Our fearsome thirteen has been cut down to the Twisted Twelve, with our beautiful cosplaying Riley leaving. I hope that, as I do with all of the writers, that this is not the last we hear of her. I wish nothing but success for all of our contestants.

So, halfway through the contest now and Jonathan still holds the lead with a score of 399. Naching is close on his heels with 375 and coming up into third is Daphne with 369. It is still a close contest. Each week every contestant get a score and just because they don’t win that particular challenge doesn’t mean they can’t take home the big prize. Consistently good can still win out. If you want to check out how close the scores are, you can do so right here.

Until next episode, Addicts, stay spooky!

Hugs xxx

Adelise