Year 47 Anthology Update

Just two months left, submissions are coming in, and it gives me a chance to give an update as to what is going on behind the scenes. But instead of writing it out, I wanted to make it more personal and tell you myself. So please, enjoy the video, check out the submissions page here, and get your stories in by August 1st.

 

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A STOLEN GLANCE

A Stolen Glance

by Bo Chappell

In silken seas she slumbered
Celestial reflections from invisible love
Across a mirror
A silver river, running sharply into an ivory valley
A singular point not meant to be shared
Even here I go unnoticed
Yet forever shall I reign
God’s love washes over the alabaster range
To find me idle
Beside a river no longer silver
In waters no longer cold
Yet resting in the open
I will not cast a shadow
Despite my mark
I’ll never be known

©2018

Yesterday Was Different

I haven’t written anything in a while, but I felt compelled to write about something that happened yesterday that jump started me into writing this.

I know a lot of you have been worried about my absence, and I don’t know what to say to that as I didn’t know I had made that kind of impact in your lives. So, I think you guys deserve an update for your concern, and I appreciate your support during all this without ever needing to know why.

After I had a very successful work month in February, I set aside March to take a break and have some me time to refuel for future projects, including the Year 47 Anthology.

As if Clark W. Griswald had planned it, this vacation didn’t work out.

A whole bunch of personal stuff came to a head all at once. My health took a dip, I hit some financial trouble, and I had to finally admit to myself I wasn’t going to be happy continuing in the relationship that I’ve been in for nearly a decade with my best friend. My only relationship.

I had enough sense to know my depression was going to invade my world like Poland, but I didn’t expect you guys would notice my pattern change. Several of you called me out to ask what was wrong, and I had to admit that I needed to step away.

Since then, it only got worse, and I didn’t talk about it because I didn’t want to burden anyone, especially my friends in the community who have their own issues and need to stay focused. I’m not about bringing negativity into lives if I can help it. I’m getting to old for that nonsense.

I did the only thing I could that kept away those thoughts of removing myself from the equation. I put myself in parentheses and shut out everything else. Become a variable to solve later. If nothing else, become a remainder.

I didn’t have anyone I could really discuss my history with in person aside from the one who I was asking to leave. I only ever had four people in my life who I could be open with and have a chance at being understood.

One was a mentor in a counciling program many years ago who I had the utmost respect for and felt I received the same. But he retired and hit the open road on motorcycle to see the world. I miss Dan tremendously and hope I’ll somehow find him again one day. But, if not, I hope he’s happy.

My kid sister was always easy to talk to as well, but she got married to a military man and moved away. Her career keeps her busy. Barely responds to text, and I’m lucky to see her a few days out of the year. Not much time for serious talk.

My buddy Zack and I have shared tears as well as laughs, and I know he’d take a bullet for me. But every since he moved and started school, it’s hard for me to engage him or anyone about my problems when it’s not in person. But he does try. Probably the most.

And it’s none of their faults because they’re doing what I so desperately want to do, which is live.

But the fourth? Up until recently, I had planned to share my life with her. But it isn’t working anymore. This isn’t about her though or trashing her because it isn’t like that. I still love her, and she gave me the happiest moments of my life. We just don’t work anymore.

I am not happy anymore.

So here I am, still in the midst of all this, the fog only getting thicker and the night only darker. The moon escaping my view.

I’m utterly lost, but I need to keep moving, even though I don’t want to take another step.

I won’t lie and say I haven’t thought about suicide again. I’ve been away from that thought for a while now, but never long enough.

But I take another step.

I either can’t sleep or sleep the day away, having godless nightmares where I can feel the bottom. Where I’m short of dying, only to wake and wonder why I’m still alive.

But I take another step.

I try and write, read, draw, watch, play, anything to distract myself from the darkness yet find numbness.

But I take another step.

Even after an unexpected talk with another writing friend (Read Silvia’s post Here), I didn’t know if I was going to be capable of writing anything new again.

But yesterday happened.

I would preface this story if I knew how to, so I’ll simply start.

The day was stressful from the get go with an apartment inspection coupled with some serious naseua and drowsiness. When I was able to finally take a nap, nightmares again. Ones dealing with the harsh break-up I’m still in the middle of ending.

I decide that, after a few more minutes of degrogging, I’ll go out for a while, which I never do.

As the day goes on, that’s when it happens. The reason for writing this.

I met someone. I don’t “meet” people. I’m not that type of guy. I don’t have “game” and I never touched the dating scene to begin with. I met my former fiancée online. I’m 35 years old and a sad 35 at that.

But there I was, suddenly talking to this beautiful girl so beyond my league, one of my hunky, alternate universe selves had to have been wondering what the hell was going on in his timeline.

Short, black hair. Stunningly cute, round face with these thick, black frames on that made her only more adorkable. Short-cut, banana yellow jacket. She kinda put me in mind of Jubliee from X-Men only in her 30s. No, I didn’t tell her that. Probably wanted to, but didn’t.

I don’t remember how our conversation ever really got started, but it was going great. We were laughing. My attempt to derail it by hinting I’m not interested yet still flirting (which is most certainly not me) wasn’t ending the kismit moment. I even had the nerve to comment on her voice, which I was in love with from the start. I said something about how it’d be nice to hear it again or something, feeling like an embarassed ten year old boy flubbed Shakespeare. But I caught a smile that told me I did alright.

But that’s why I’m here. That was the absolute best I have felt in a long time. I was genuinely happy.

But I can’t remember what her voice sounded like.

I can’t because as soon as I expressed that admiration, I woke up from that exact same nap as earlier. I struggled to remember her, but she faded into that alternate universe.

And as I tried to remember her, I felt this sadness that I was causing her pain as she was trying to remember herself. Remember me. That, as I was trying to hear her voice one last time, I was doing her more harm than good.

So I stopped trying and “let her go” which is a stupid, fucked up thing to write, I know. I can’t imagine how it is to read it. All this in less than a minute.

My brain has been fucking with me royally for almost my entire life, but that one hurt. I know it was just a dream, but goddamnit, I was happy. I can’t even remember the last time I had a good dream. I didn’t need to be tricked into thinking about love again.

Am I mourning the loss of a fictional woman? No. The last thing I need is that obsession. I’m mourning the loss of the happiness I had gained in my 35 years on this planet. And in the end, my brain may have been trying to help me, though not in the most healthy way.

This week, I redo my lease papers. In a few weeks, I’ll be living by myself, which I have never done extensively. I’ll be a single guy, way out of my prime, having to rebuild from less than what I had before, mentally and physically.

Why write all this and be this open? Cause I simply don’t have any more bottles to store this stuff anymore. I need to try something new. Mistake? I don’t know, but I don’t have much to lose at this point anyway.

So I’ll take another step until something more substantial stops me permanently.

If you want an opportunity to work with a fucked up writer like myself, I am still looking for submissions to the Year 47 Anthology. Picked up submissions get paid (I have the money set aside. No worries). If you’re interested, just click here for info.

I have no idea how to feel about this, so tell me how you feel about it below. And if I should be emvaembarra by this post, do tell me so I can take it down for the love of all that is good and decent.

And if you’re still reading, I love you. Thank you.

The Book No One Found

Last year, for the one year anniversary of my book Year 47, I made 10 gift sets to be given out that included a signed book, bookmark, cd soundtrack, poster, train ticket, and telegram.

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That wasn’t everything though. I love Easter Eggs, and that prize pack has quite a few, but there was one I was waitng for someone to find.

Except no one did.

See, I hid this book online. It’s even on Amazon right now, just not on my author’s page. You have to know what it’s called to find it. But that doesn’t matter because it was free on site. All anyone had to do was find the link hidden in the prize pack.

Except, again, no one did.

I forgot about it after a while, but then I’m suddenly reminded of it during all this anthology talk. “Maybe I’ll throw a clue out there”, I thought to myself.

Problem was the file in the link mysteriously vanished at some point off this site, meaning the link is now dead, and I can’t replace it because of the datestamp on the file name upon upload. Reroute it? Sure would, except that costs money to upgrade my site. Money I don’t have. But don’t worry. I won’t ruin where it’s at. If you find the hidden link or any other Easter Egg, share it with me on Twitter @infrafan and I’ll update this post later.

UPDATE

Here was how to find it:

Now that all of that is out of the way, I’m going to go ahead and give it out like I wanted. It’s short and meant to be a companion piece to Year 47. It is HIGHLY suggested you read Year 47 first because this is a book of deleted and alternate sequences, including a discussion of the ending. It also has a preview of the anthology with a short poem I wrote.
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You can download a free PDF of it here or if you are feeling supportive and generous, you can buy it on Amazon for Kindle. Need another format? Request it and I’ll try and whip it up. After you’ve read it, let me here your thoughts.

 

Year 47 Anthology Submission

I am excited to finally be announcing the open call for short stories for a new anthology. Expected to titled BY YEAR’S END, the anthology will be a collection of tales set in the universe of my 2016 novel YEAR 47 at different points in the time line leading up to the first chapter. From the Zero Incident all the way up to Year 46, your story can be set anywhere, and writing prompts can be provided upon request.

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If you’re unfamiliar with Year 47, it’s a survival horror western set in the aftermath of God’s demise, where the remnants of Heaven, Hell, and Earth have merged into one realm, and the survivors have been forced backed to the ways of the west.

If you haven’t had a chance to read it, that’s ok. There’s plenty of time, and if you don’t have the cash to spare to grab or download a copy, I understand. Upon request, I can give you a free digital copy to read.

That said, If nothing about YEAR 47 interests you, then it’s okay to pass, and I expect you too. There are only so many available spots, and I want your heart to be into it. Otherwise, the world will be robbed of a story from you that would have had it otherwise.

But for those who do join me, a flat rate of $20 and a digital copy of BY YEAR’S END will be theirs to claim. Submissions start now and come to a close no later than August to allow proper time to prepare the book for release in October.

So, below I leave the submission guidelines, extend my hand, and welcome you to join me on another walk in the New West, but this time I’ll watch where you go.

SUBMISSION PROCESS

Considering the time investment and limited slots available,  the submission process might seem more unusual than most. However, I believe these steps will save precious time for everyone involved. So with that in mind, please do read carefully.

A. If you are interested in submitting a story to the anthology, please begin by emailing me a short synopsis (pitch) of what you think your story would be, OR ask for the availability of a few writing prompts to begin working from. Do NOT send a finished story.

Send your pitch to:

bochappell47@gmail.com with the heading: Y47 SUBMISSION.

Please include your name and Twitter handle in the body as well.

It doesn’t need to be much at all. The most important thing I want to stress is communication with me is welcome. I have undoubtedly left some things back in my brain, so don’t be afraid to ask me any questions at any point in the process, even before the pitch. Once again, a free copy of YEAR 47 can be provided before hand.

B. After the pitch has been approved, you will be supplied with a writer’s guide detailing the mythology of Y47 in the hopes of assisting you to write as freely as possible within the established universe. I’ll always be around to help answer any questions or fill in any gaps I missed in the mythology, but you’re taking part in that as well.

C. This may sound crazy, but there is no initial word limit other than the standard max of 30,000. This will be handled in the editing process. I don’t want to set a limit. Yeah, I’m aware you could submit a one sentence short story. But if I approve it, I thought it was worth $20 and an ebook. Quality over quantity.

D. Final deadline is August 2018 unless arrangements have been made. Story gets cleared, you get paid $20, it goes to edit, and, upon release, you get a digital copy of the book. Then we have a Happy Halloween!

LEGAL STUFF FOR THOSE SUBMITTING

I don’t want to be that guy because I want to be, but I HAVE to be. Please don’t hate me.

YEAR 47 is an established, copyrighted universe, and I have to maintain that copyright. So, by accepting payment for for inclusion in the anthology, your story and all included characters have to be included in the purchase. BUT (and this is a big BUT), let me clear that up for you best I can.

YOU get and will always get credit for the work that makes it into the anthology. I just own the work. But does that mean you can’t use it?

Of course not! After six months of release, you’re allowed to:

– Republish your short story royalty free in a collection of personal short stories granted it is properly credited as an excerpt from the original anthology and the (Year 47 © 2016 Bo Chappell) copyright is attributed at the beginning of the book amongst the other copyright.

– Distribute your short story on your media outlets, including free downloads, granted proper credit and copyright attribution.

– Ask me at any given point and time for special permissions for use that I’m more than likely to grant. So just ask.

Things you’re NOT allowed to do:

– Resell your story to another publication, even after slightly retooling it.

– Republish the story as your own or without proper permissions, credits, and copyrights.

Things I’M not allowed to do:

– Publish or republish your work without proper credit and/or additional compensation.

– Be a dick towards you for no good reason.

I hope I didn’t lose anyone with that, but that’s also why I’m offering a higher pay rate. Want to make everyone happy but protect everyone.

Questions, comments, or concerns? I’m down to hear all of them. Email me or DM me on Twitter

 

 

 

 

 

That Drafty Corner

My friend William Marchese recently made a post on his blog on the topic of writing during a depressive state and sending out the question to his fellow authors. He wanted to know when they’re down,

“How fast do you get back up?”

He asked it at such a moment, that I’m here, now, giving him and you a response too big for the Twittersphere. But let me set the stage.

I just got back from the doctor, I’m sick with Bronchitis, I have a VERY important project I have to finish setting up for this Friday (Keep your pens inked and typing fingers loose), another article years in the making I need to wrap up, and now this blog I voluteered to write when I had no time. On top of all that, I have been in a state lately where I frankly don’t think I’ll ever achieve whatever vague sense of accomplishment I have set up for myself and my creative career.

I’m where William was talking about, if not further down, and yet, I felt an overwhelming urge to do this reply.

“How fast do you get back up?”

I looked at the responses, reading about how it seems most us artistic folks have that drafty corner in our place inside us that can let in too much cold during an unexpected winter. We know it’s there, even if we don’t notice it so much in warmer weather. We keep it covered up best we can, let our family and friends help keep us warm. Let our drifty minds take us to other places we haven’t been before. Places we write about and put inside a book. A book that might make other people cozy inside their drafty house.

But for some of us, it feels too fucking cold to bare. Nothing seems to get us warm. We lay down and go to sleep. Sometimes on purpose. Sometimes never to wake up.

So how fast do I get back up?

I have to admit, there are times where I don’t. Yes, I’m here now, but someone picked me up when I lied down on purpose, not wanting to wake. But that’s not the point here. Maybe another day when my lungs aren’t filled with what feels like home made napalm and I don’t have an epic project I want you guys to work on with me.

I’m here, and I’m writing. Being excited gets the words out of me. Having a clear message gets the words out of me. Knowing someone out there wants to read it gets the words out of me. You all warm up my drafty house, and it’s been a cold winter for sure. But how fast do I get up?

Sometimes it feels like I’m not standing up all the way. BUT, more times than not, it feels like I don’t fall as often with all the support I keep finding. Hope you guys feel the same way. If not, why are we not talking more?

If you ever get to the point where you need to talk to someone about your depression, especially if you’re having thoughts of hurting or killing yourself, please take just one moment and ask for help. There are many places that you can reach out to, including the National Suicide Prevention Line at 1-800-273-8255.

Also, until Monday, Jan. 22, horror-writers.com is selling shirts to raise money for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Click Here for more details.

Man, I really felt like there was more I wanted to say, but my head feels like a jawbreaker in a microwave. At least I’m not cold right now.

Stay warm guys.

 

 

Gotta Start Somewhere

The first story I remember writing was in elementary school. It was about three of my cute female classmates who I undoubtedly had a crush on. They were a trio of magical princesses or something trying to save a unicorn. I can’t really remember. It was probably shit, but maybe not. I’ll have to ask my mom if she still has it.

The first book I wrote (it too in elementary) was for another school project. It was an illustrated catalog of sorts of things for sale in an alphabetical store. Here’s an Apple. Here’s a Book. Here’s a Chair. At the end, the teachers assisted the students in assemblying them into pretty legit hardback books.

Too bad mine was definitely shit.

Even as a kid, I remember thinking I had severely wasted an opportunity to write something cool, envious of anything else my peers had written. Turns out though that was the most accurate simulator for being a writer I would experience.

Cut to high school when I wrote the best short story I had written at the time, possibly ever. It was a love story, and it made my English teacher cry. The quiet, dorky guys who are just so sweet and funny and make the bestest of guy friends? Yeah, we’re fucking romantic. Sorry. I lose focus in the friend zone.

Anyway, the point I failed to make is I love stories, and I figured out pretty quick I enjoyed coming up with them. With as many books, comics, movies, and tv shows as I was taking in, it was only natural for me to wanna get in on the fun. Now factor in being a lonely middle child who spent his time drawing, playing pretend, reenacting movies, and having an avid love for action figures and video games instead of a social life.

I wasn’t lost in my world. I lived there. I owned property, and I soon took up a career there as a story teller. Little did I know the arts would carry over into the real word and get me through life. I used my creativity at every point I could. It was the only real way I could express myself with deadly accuracy.

After what seemed a lifetime of wanting to feel like a legitimate person by validating my own self worth as a storyteller, I published my first novel on Oct. 27th, 2016 at 33 years of age.

In total, I have been published four times, have plenty of projects in the works, and I feel like I have barely registered any of it. That’s weird, right? I have accomplished a massive goal I never thought I would ever see. One that was over FIFTEEN YEARS in the making.

Yet, here I am. Still not sure what to think. I know I’ve taken the long road to get here, but this article and site hopefully have a point.

Creating is the most important thing in the world to me. As times it got me good grades. At others, it let people know how I feel about them. And sometimes, it tells me the truth about who I am. Even as I write this, I’m becoming more me than I was when I started this.

If I cannot be creative, then I cannot speak. And if I cannot speak, I will never be able to tell the people I adore how much I love them. I will never be able to help bring positive change into the world. I will never be able to be a storyteller. I will never reach my full potential, whatever that may be.

So, if this comes across as vain, I apologize, as it couldn’t be more opposite. I hope you can help me discover who this guy really is by letting me do what I enjoy doing most.

Let me tell you a story.