How ‘Bout Some News?

Good evening.

I know. I know. It’s been a short while since I’ve updated the blog. There is dust on the floors and desk, and oh my goodness, look at the caked on grime on the monitor. There are cobwebs in the corners and, ugghh, look at the crud on the ceiling fan blades.

I’m going to be sneezing by the time I get done cleaning.

This will be a short update. If you have followed the blog any length of time, you know I went through a major change, one that GREATLY affects my writing. I had to make some decisions, which have led me to some changes. There are more to follow, I’m sure.

With this change in my writing, I hope those who read Along the Splintered Path or any of my other stories, will still enjoy what I put out. The style will be the same, the character development will not change. Some of the narration will change, as will other parts that I think needs to be addressed. But the stories… the stories are the main thing and they will still be good old A.J. Brown pieces.

With that in mind, I would like to remind folks of a couple of things:

The previously mentioned Along the Splintered Path is currently on sale at Amazon for a paltry .99. That’s right. Not even a full dollar. It will remain that way for the entire month of May. If you haven’t picked up a copy of ATSP yet, I ask you to consider doing so. And, if you pick up a copy, if you would consider leaving a review, that would be great. And this writer would greatly appreciate it.

You can find Along the Splintered Path here

And then there is this:

Midnight Echo Magazine

One of my stories will appear in this publication very soon. Check out the link for a teaser.

That story is a bit taboo and I’m proud of the piece. Though I can say, I may not write another story like it—I’m not the same person or writer who wrote that piece a while back. I am a different person and writer now, but I’m very proud of this piece and this publication.

One more thing and I’ll be done.

I am working on a new collection. This one I will not be shopping around. I’m going at this one alone. It will be titled, Southern Bones, and it will consist of at least thirteen stories, most of them previously published, but no longer able to be found. However they will all be rewritten pieces. And, guess what? There will be a couple of originals in there as well.

So far, four titles have been selected:

Three Hundred Seventy-Eight
Liza’s Redemption
Dirty Old Town

How about a little teaser? A brief portion, from Satanas, a story about a ghostly bull.

Wayne reached the fence first, hopping over the top rail with ease. Jimmy followed him, but his foot got caught on one of the boards and he tumbled to the ground. His arm snapped, the bone tearing through skin. Blood spattered the ground. He let out a string of screams and rolled around on the ground clutching the wounded arm. Waylon dove under the bottom rail, rolling to one side. He got to his knees pretty quickly and looked back.

We yelled for William to get up and run (all of us except for Jimmy, who was screaming in pain, yelled, our hearts in our throats and probably muffling our voices). Wayne stood on the lower railing of the fence waving his arms madly. He looked like a third base coach in baseball, one arm rotating over and over as if he were waving a runner to go home, go home Johnny boy and don’t stop until you’re back in the dugout. Waylon stayed on the ground, his hands in his hair as if he were going to pull all of it out. My hands were cupped to the sides of my mouth and my throat hurt from yelling so loud. My ears popped and began to ring.

William slowly stood as if he were dazed. He held his stomach, then started to run, but something was wrong. He stumbled and fell to his knees. His mouth hung open and his face had become pink. Our yells turned into screams of panic as Satanas barreled down on William, its head down, its horns outward.

William got to his feet and staggered a few feet. He still held onto one of the apples. I wanted to close my eyes. I wanted to run home and get in the bed, pull the blankets over my head and stay there the rest of spring break, but I couldn’t. I couldn’t look away no matter how bad I wanted to.

Sometimes the world slows down during events as they happen. It’s as if God is giving you a chance to do something about it, to avoid a disaster and possibly even save a life or two. Time didn’t slow down and there was no saving William. He stumbled a few feet, one hand clutching tight to his stomach. He looked up at us just before Satanas reached him. His face was flushed red and it was obvious to me he had been trying to regain his breath with little success. His eyes snapped open and I swear they came out of their sockets–in truth they didn’t–when Satanas plowed into him, its horns ripping through William’s back and chest. A spray of blood exploded from his mouth and chest and that bull lifted him high in the air…

That’s all for now. I’m going to try and get back to updating the blog on an every two to three day basis. Thank you for reading.

Until we meet again, my friends, read on, read long.