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Friday, April 20th, 2012 | Author: Casey Criswell

Real life reared its ugly head this week, preventing me once again from finishing up chapter two of the “Trouble Gum” story! I know, I know, excuses and all that. But…real life is like that some times! I’m knuckling down this weekend though, hoping to knock out two chapters so we’ll be set for a bit. And before you go thinking I’m just slacking off eternally here…I *did* submit a story to an anthology this week!

Any who….

In order to keep things flowing, I’ve dug back into the vault a bit, looking for something fun that if inspired, I might be able to continue on with. I’ve a lot out there stashed in various forms of completion, but I have a problem finishing projects. (Trouble Gum is going to be my attempt at fixing said problem!) Enter “Hooper Charles, Esq.” Hooper came to me out of the blue a few years back. This story was original published as part of the “Kitchen Cinco” which appears to be no longer these days. Hooper was my attempt at some Hunter Thompson-esque Gonzo character writing with a bit of Hoosier flare and whether or not the end product was good or not…I don’t know. It was a lot of fun to play with though.

So, without further adieu….

Hooper Charles, Esq

10pm, Thursday night, cruising down country road 4, heading due south of the county co-op. The task that called us that day was the grand opening of the new Gnawbone grain elevator, a sure sign of economic growth and fertile fields for Southern Indiana. The mission was handled quickly and succinctly, no further worry until the morning. The task that called us down country road 4 was something grittier and more devout; a corn alcohol still operating in the burnt out remains of the towns last Tractor Supply Company. Tim Simons tipped us off; handy to have met the mayors son.


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Monday, March 26th, 2012 | Author: Casey Criswell

So here we sit, on the precipice of me getting the writing jones again. Many things have lead up to this; taking better care of myself, getting my thoughts in order, a want to creat, all that fancy stuff. Starting Friday Fondue last week was the first step on this continuing journey and I’m glad I did it. The feedback’s been good and it felt good to…create. It really did.

With such an adventure comes a need for ideas, and sometimes that can be hard. There’s either too many ideas to zero in on, not enough to make something meaty out of; the old brain pan can really be a mess sometimes. As I start off on this adventure again, especially while concentrating on some short fiction for while, I’ve found myself going back once again to the thoughts of one of the grand masters of science fiction; Ray Bradbury. He wrote the book that you see above some time ago, a collection of essays on the art of writing itself. I haven’t read it cover to cover yet, but I do find myself dipping in from time to time when I need motivation and inspiration. He’s a pretty outstanding man when it comes to the art of telling stories.

One of the biggest ideas that I’m drawing from as of late come from Bradbury’s discussions in “Zen in the Art of Writing”, his telling of how he used to get his own story ideas when he started out. This isn’t exact mind you, but throughout any given day, he would see any number of things that might give him the spark of an idea. This could be a random idea, an item, a person or anything that caught his attention. He would then write the things down in a list that he carried with him throughout his career. When he needed a new story, he pulled out his list and read through to see what grabbed his attention once again and of he’d set to scribble out a new tale.

I found this idea pretty amazing. I myself find a lot of little things that give a faint spark. These sparks are never a full fledged plot with outlines or even an ending. Many times, it’s simply a scene that comes to mind. Two years ago or so, back when I first read the essay in which Bradbury discusses his list, I was so won over by the idea that I started my own list. It’s short in comparison of course; but I’m just starting out.

So here I am some time later, looking for inspiration for some flash fiction, short stories and the like. I dug out that list this weekend and gave it a once over and I found myself pretty happy and excited. The process worked! I found a number of random thoughts that made me smile and give life to a brief scene at the very least. That’s all it takes, too. Just a scene, a scant idea that can be built upon and a story starts to take shape. So here in the future, maybe you’ll see stories about things like ‘my third eye’, or “my old cat”. Maybe you’ll see a story about a young child lost and the fear that comes with them, or maybe even a story about that sneaking fealing on the back of your neck when you shut off the lights in the living room before bed, that feeling that there’s something there in the corner watching over you, hot on your heels as you make your way to the bedroom. I’ve quite a few of them, i’m kind of excited to share!

For this week, I actually got started early on a new story and though I haven’t gotten far; I’m liking it. I like to feel the gears turning, I like the idea of developing characters and sending them through their paces. This time around, I’m playing with an old old character a friend of mine stuck in my head nearly 15 years ago. Curious about a young teenaged super heroine, faced with the stresses of adolescence, peer pressure and the responsibilities of super powers all weigh on top of her? I may introduce you to her this week.

Until then….

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Friday, March 23rd, 2012 | Author: Casey Criswell

It’s Friday afternoon, you don’t want to work any more and my writing has become lazy at best. I need to knock the rust off, you need something to help pass the rest of the afternoon. “We can help each other out” is where I’m going here! In an effort to spur things writing wise, I’ve decided to play with some short fiction, flash fiction, etc. here on Cinema Fromage. This story, “Don’t Spit Into the Wind” is the first output of said venture. I’m not sure that it’s great, but I like it well enough and it’s a good start to get the gears turning again all the same. All the same; I’d love to hear what YOU think.

I can’t say that this will happen every Friday; as soon as I do, I’ll forget about it until next Thursday, panic then get all butt hurt over the fact that I didn’t post on Friday! Nobody wants to see that. It’s going to happen frequently however. It all depends on the work load of the week between the family needs, the day job, the podcasting and all that stuff.

These won’t all be horror related either mind you. This is “Casey’s Grand Experiment” and you, you’re the test subjects. We may cover all sorts of territory as I work out some new ideas, test new voices and the like.

So without further adieu, I invite you to dip into Friday Fondue #1: “Don’t Spit Into the Wind”, a new short, by me.


Don’t Spit Into the Wind

“You son of a bitch, you almost hit my wife!” The overstuffed man with the handle bar moustache grew red in the face as he pulled his Harley up onto its kickstand. Jim Lowry stood outside his dusty SUV, the gas nozzle still in his hand wondering where this small bundle of fury was directing its vitriol.

“You didn’t even look before you pulled out in front of her, you could have killed her!” The man shouted as he trundled up to stand toe to toe with Jim. He was a mere five foot and five inches in comparison to Jim’s solid six foot; it didn’t stop the smaller man from staring up into Jim’s face with hatred, the wings of his moustache quivering with anger.


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Wednesday, October 26th, 2011 | Author: Casey Criswell

It’s Halloween time, and in the spirit of Neil Gaiman’s All Hallow’s Read, I figured I’d throw a story out there for you all to read!

Willard Ames is a lonely man, his friends far flung and mostly digital. Who needs friends though, when you’re the ruler of your own squalid little kingdom?

“Kingdom of Squalor” is a gruesome tale, not for the squeamish! Fair warning before you read on after the break!

Happy Halloween, share a story with a friend this weekend, and be safe!

(And hey, it’s Halloween, make sure you scare somebody!)


Saturday, February 26th, 2011 | Author: Casey Criswell

In particular, this cup of coffee. It was pretty good.

We all float down here Georgie…

This week’s photoblog is very tunnel centric. What can I say, I like em.

“I’m on the road to nowhere…”

These boots and I are old friends. I found them today after 2.5 years. We’ve been through hikes, Girl Scout Camps, night hikes, and more together.

Remember when there were so many people out walking, these were automatic?

More tunnels…

I haven’t had a diet soda since Tuesday 2/22.

Total Miles Walked – 78.6
Total Weight Lost – 18 lbs.
Outlook On Life – Freaking Stoked.

Saturday, February 12th, 2011 | Author: Casey Criswell

With “Kingdom of Squalor” out the door heading for unseen judgement, I allowed myself a day or two free of writing. There are two distinct stories that need editing (I’m working on it Louis!) but…my brain is currently tired.

As I’m often wont to do, I turned to the opposite end of the spectrum and opted for some reading. This weekend I dove into “Depraved” by Bryan Smith which turns out to be a pretty fun genre pulp read. It moves quick, the plot flies straight and to the point which matches my own writing style, and violent. Gotta love the violence!

One of my favorite things to do when finding new writers is to dig around on the internet about them. Trying to become a bonafied author myself, I figure it’s more research into how they grew their own careers instead of just straight up stalking. Upon digging up Mr. Smith’s blog, I found myself clicking through links to other publishers and eventually landing on Bizarro Central, the home of bizarro fiction on the net. With bizarro, I’m completely uneducated. I’ve known some of the authors that dabble in it and some that embrace it fully such as Jeremy C. Shipp but I’ve never actually read any of it. I find it intriguing though. Something in the primitive part of my brain says “YES MUST WRITE” but I don’t know anything about what makes bizarro ‘bizarro’. So I know where my reading here in the near future is going to lead.

The moral of the story here? On an off day of non-writing, I’ve found myself moving from reading, to research, to investigating a new genre for myself to dabble in!

Can’t beat that for an off day.

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