Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Considering Publishing a Book of Short Stories

For the last two days I have given myself a little break from writing my new book. Sometimes I like to take breaks so that I don't write myself out of an idea. Plus, I came across a short story that I wrote about a year ago that I thought had potential to be much better. The idea was there, but it needed a new ending. I worked on it and I like the new direction it's taking even more than the one it had before.

I would like to put out a book of short stories, but I'm not sure there would be enough interest in it. Anyone care to share any thoughts?

Monday, October 1, 2012

Sample of short fiction: I See it All

I See it All 
By: Carrie Watson

Gary was a poor clueless bastard. But at least he was a happy clueless bastard. Well, he used to be anyway. He got up every morning at 6:00am and got into the shower. This is too early to get up. I like to sleep for at least eighteen hours per day. I lied in my bed in the corner of the bedroom while he spent twenty minutes in the bathroom. Then he came into the bedroom and dressed quietly while his wife Liz slept.
After that I usually followed him into the kitchen. He never heard me behind him because the sounds of my soft pads pressing lightly over the beige carpet were silent to him. Most things are silent to him. He brewed coffee while he ate the same cereal. Why he ruins a perfectly good bowl of milk with that stuff that looks like tree bark is beyond me. And he never shares his milk. That’s annoying. He put his coffee in a travel mug and left the house at exactly 6:45 every day and returned at 5:30. Luckily, putting my plate of food down was part of his rigid routine. Otherwise, I would probably starve living in this house.
            Gary went to work without ever missing a day. He supported his loving family. He had a beautiful wife named Liz, a teenage daughter named Jamie, and a son named Sean. My name is Fuzzy, or Fuzz for short. Why do parents let the kids name their pets? We all lived in a big house. Gary liked his ordinary life, so maybe it was better that he had no idea what actually went on in the house between 6:46am and 5:29pm. He didn’t see the things I saw.
            I was thankful for Gary’s routine because my day only went downhill from there. Usually, Liz wakes up in an empty bed anytime between 6:50 and 7:25 depending on how many times she rolls over to hit the snooze button. Every morning beep beep beep beep… shut the damn thing off the first time! Then she kicks away the covers and starts barking at Jamie and Sean to get up and get ready for school.
            Today, Liz had only pretended to sleep until Gary left the house. Then she jumped out of bed and quickly got into the shower. Beep beep beep beep! Why do we need the beeping if you’re awake? Turn it off! Liz came into the room and quickly dressed. Then she tried to hurry the kids off to school.
            Sean was still young enough that every day at school was a new adventure, so he happily got up and brushed his teeth, ate a bowl of sugar that just barely passed for cereal and skipped off to the bus stop. He is also young enough that he doesn’t understand that cats don’t like to be carried around, have their tails be pulled, and don’t like to go in people cars, let alone be rolled around in big stupid toy cars. He is such a pain in my ass, but at least HE gives me the milk from HIS cereal.
Jamie was in high school. She usually needs extra barking before she growls and grumbles down the hall to the bathroom, except one day a week. On Tuesdays, Jamie gets up an hour before school, so she has extra time in the bathroom to do her hair, makeup, and whatever else. I always sit outside of the door, so who knows what else goes on. Ok, so maybe I don’t see everything, but who wants to? She didn’t get up early this morning though, which was odd because it was Tuesday.
            Even though Liz was a stay at home mom, she would go out every Tuesday afternoon. I wasn’t sure why. But I’m sure I don’t care. So on Tuesdays Sean went to his friend’s house and Jamie returned home from school with a skinny boy with brown hair. He was scrawny, kind of like the dead bird I found that one time I got out into the yard. His face was thin with sharp features which made him slightly resemble a rat.
            I could tell Jamie liked him though, since instead of her stopping to bend down and pet my head, she and Rat boy almost trampled me as they came through the front door. They weren’t halfway through the foyer when Jamie started trying to devour his face. Sometimes they wouldn’t make it out of the living room and other times they would go into her room and shut the door. Either way, there was always a five minute earthquake after that would make pictures fall off of the shelves in the living room. Teenagers. Rodent breath didn’t come over today. My life would be so much easier if these people could stick to a routine like Gary does.
Liz spends quiet mornings in front of the TV while she drinks her coffee. It’s a nice quiet time. The group of women on the TV yammer on, but it doen’t bother me because this was the only time that I can curl up with Liz on the couch and she pets me. It is my favorite time of day. Then later in the morning, her friend Carolyn comes over most days.
            I didn’t know where she came from or why she was here so much, but she didn’t bother me, so she was all right. Sometimes she and Liz would sit at the kitchen table and talk. Other times they would go and watch TV in the den. They had a mutual fondness for watching shows about bugs. That is the only thing that could explain the buzzing noise that comes from that room. I don’t know why I’m never allowed in. I like bugs. I chase every fly that comes into this house because no matter how many times I run into the wall, eventually I’m going to get one.
            At the end of the day when the sun would begin to set, Sean would be setting the table for dinner (although it seemed that every night he would ask which went on the left, the forks or knives – He asks so many times that even I know the forks go on the left. Idiot.), Jamie would be complaining about whatever Liz was cooking, and Gary would walk through the front door at exactly 5:30. At 5:45 they would all sit around the kitchen table talking about any mundane thing, but never about anything that they actually did. As long as they talked about anything else, they were all happy.
           That was how a normal day went in our house. Today hadn’t been a normal day though. It was Tuesday, so Sean went to his friends. That was the only aspect that stuck to the routine. If they could all stick to the routine every day, it would make my life so much easier. Rodent breath didn’t come over today, but that was a good thing because Liz left about an hour after Gary did and got home before Jamie. Carolyn didn’t come over. Liz still went to the den when she got home though. She carried a stack of papers in there.

Want to know how it ends? Leave a comment if you do and also about what you think so far - thanks! 

Submissions to The Writer's Digest Annual Contest

Unfortunately neither of the stories I submitted were chosen for the Writer's Digest Annual Fiction competition. However, the good news is that now I can feature samples of both stories here on my blog. I won't be posting the stories in their entirety, but please leave comments and let me know if they peak your interest, since I'm considering publishing a book of short stories. Honesty, and constructive criticism is greatly appreciated!

Man O' War

I'm reading up on Man O' War's racing history. He was one of, if not the greatest racehorse of all time. For those of you who don't follow horse racing, he was grandsire (grandfather) to Seabiscuit.
My next book will be completely fictional and won't include any factual bloodlines, but I'm still trying to get a genuine feel for what the racing world was like early in the 20th century. It's not difficult to read up on, since it's my favorite time period and an incredible sport!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Get my new Novella on Amazon or come to the Book Festival

My first published novella: At Low Tide is available now on Amazon.com

Or... you could come to the Collingswood Book Festival on Haddon Avenue in Collingswood, NJ on October 6th and pick up a signed copy. I hope to see you there!


The Payoffs of Research while Writing

Writing a book takes time and a lot of research. For my next upcoming book: Falling over the Finish Line, I wanted to set the story in not only a time that occurred 50-60 years before I was born, but also in a different part of the country. It's much easier to write what I already know, for example... present day, New Jersey.

The research and all of the new information I've learned is really interesting, so hopefully it's intriguing to the reader too. The best fiction stories draw readers in and make them feel as if they are living in the story. I want my readers to get to experience a different time and place right along with me.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012


Right now I'm in the process of writing my new book. One of the things I love most about writing is that sometimes if I create interesting characters with enough depth, they'll tell ME the story. I won't have to force them through an outlined plot that I already predetermined.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Job Interview

I went for a job interview two weeks ago. I'm waiting to hear back from them anytime now. Please send out positive thoughts and keep your fingers crossed because this job (as an editorial assistant) is one that I really want and know I would be really good at.

I also had an interview last week and two this week, so please keep the positive thoughts coming! Although focus them on the above job first because it is an awesome opportunity.

Thank you everyone!

- Carrie

Hard At Work - Next Book being released in November

My first published novella At Low Tide is out and available on Amazon.com in both paperback and Kindle/iPad. Order it now, or come to the Collingswood Book Festival on October 6th between 10:00am - 4:00pm and not only buy it then, but also get it signed!

Right now I'm hard at work on my full length novel coming out in November. It's called Falling over the Finish Line. It is a story about three different families involved in the horse racing industry in Kentucky in the 1940's and 50's. I'm hoping that my readers get as involved as I am in the characters, competition, and excitement of this story. The characteristics of the people in the story are very diverse and as you read it, you feel like you're thrown into the middle of their incredulous interactions.

I have to get back to work! - Carrie


Monday, September 10, 2012


You know what feels really good? After all of the work I put into proofreading my new book for fear that something would slip by me (even though I had someone else go through and read it - which I recommend to everyone because a fresh reading from a new pair of eyes will catch things you didn't), I decided to take a break and read someone else's book - which is a best-seller - and I found a mistake in punctuation.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Technology Depends on Writers and Writers Depend on Technology

Where would creative writer’s be today without the technologies they so desperately depend on? In the section titled Writing as Technology, taken from Jay David Bolter’s Writing Space: Computer, Hypertext, and the Remediation of Print, Technology is described in several different ways. I would like to focus on the technology of the physical tools used to write and their evolution over time.
With the evolution and development of new types of paper (from clay tablets to rolls of papyrus; rolls of papyrus to books of parchment; and parchment to paper) and writing implements used to put writing on these various canvases, there has also come many changes in the physical act of writing. However it is important to remember that, “No technology, not even the apparently autonomous computer, can ever function as a writing space in the absence of human writers and readers.” (pg. 17).
One of the things that the continuous development of new writing technologies has changed is the magnitude of the audience of a piece of writing. I Tweeted an interesting idea that struck me while reading this section, and that was that without the invention of the printing press, the word “Bestseller” would probably not be applied to a piece of writing. If a creative writer’s novel was not printed and duplicated by a printing press, then only one person at a time would be able to read it.
The ambitious author could go through the tedious act of writing or typing several copies, but this would take an incredible amount of time and perhaps only double or triple the number of their audience.  Without a printing press to continuously mass produce your book, you’re writing (assuming it was well liked enough by a reader to pass their copy along) might not even make it to the neighboring state.

Carrie Watson

Allstate's Mayhem Commercial

Textual Rhetorical Analysis: Allstate Insurance Company’s Television Commercial
To view commercial, please click the following link:

                Will mayhem happen to you? Allstate says it can happen to anyone. Allstate Insurance Company claims to protect people from “mayhem,” and their commercial shows bad things happening to people in a satirical fashion. In their commercials they personify the concept of mayhem. A man who calls himself “Mayhem” shows different situations in which trouble can occur and when having insurance could protect you. This commercial shows you the benefit of having car insurance. The commercial uses logical, ethical, and pathetic rhetoric, artistic means to communicate the message of the commercial.
            In Chapter 10 titled, “Rhetorical Analysis: Understanding How Texts Persuade Readers,” in the book titled What Writing Does and How it Does it, Jack Selzer explains that “Aristotelian terms like ethos, pathos, and logos, all of them associated with Invention, account for features of texts related to the trustworthiness and credibility of the rhetor (ethos), for the persuasive reasons in an argument that derive from a community's mostly deeply and fervently held values (pathos), and for the sound reasons that emerge from intellectual reasoning (logos).”
            The Ethos is the ethical artistic means of rhetoric. It is the rhetor’s ability to make the audience to trust them. In this commercial, the man says that he is a teenage girl, but they don’t actually use a teenage girl in the commercial. It could be argued that Allstate Insurance casted a grown man in the commercial who is claiming to be a teenage girl because their audience will be more likely to seriously listen to the message being communicated. However, they may have used this man because he has been casted as “Mayhem” in all of their other commercials, or simply because it adds humor to give him different props depending on which character he is playing (i.e. a teenage girl, a dog, a raccoon).
            Allstate also uses Logos, the logical artistic means of rhetoric to communicate their message in this commercial. They take a man claiming to be a teenage girl and in the very first scene show him driving away from the mall. There are so many logical details to this initial scene. The man is driving through a mall parking lot, wearing pink sunglasses, and driving a pink truck. It is logical that the audience of this commercial would picture the stereotypical teenage girl in such a way and in such a setting.
            They also use logic in assuming that the audience would think a teenage girl would most likely be talking or texting on her cell phone while driving. It is has become a common stereotype that teenage girls are always on their cell phones and use texting abbreviations when speaking, such as BFF and OMG. It is also implied that teenage girls are over dramatic, or become “emotionally compromised.” A third case of using logic is shown by Mayhem hitting another woman’s car because it makes sense that a driver, especially a teenage girl, would be distracted from driving safely by using a cell phone.
Allstate shows how easily and how often car accidents can happen, even when it is not the viewer of the commercial’s fault. It is at this point that they use the third artistic means of rhetoric: pathos. They appeal to the audience’s emotion. By showing how easily car accidents can happen and how much damage even small accidents can cause, Allstate is using fear to motivate people to buy car insurance. They show Mayhem driving the pink truck into a parked car causing the front bumper to be completely ripped off (this may or may not be an exaggerated result of a small parking lot fender bender). They state that without car insurance, or with an insurance company other than Allstate, that the victims of accidents could be responsible for paying for the damages.
            There is an emotion that is specifically not appealed to in this commercial. You’ll notice that the car accident (or “mayhem”) happens to a completely innocent person. They show someone else, such as an irresponsible teenage girl – or a man pretending to be one – causing the accident. They don’t make the audience feel like the accident would ever be their fault because that would put them in a defensive position. Or the audience would think that an accident wouldn’t happen to them because they are safe drivers.
Allstate’s audience doesn’t include teenage girls. Teenage girls don’t typically purchase car insurance. Their parents buy it for them. Allstate’s target audience for this commercial is adults and parents who own cars and who may also assume how irresponsible teenage girls can be.
            In this commercial, Allstate is showing that bad things can happen to anyone and they try to appeal to the audience how likely they are to happen. They leave the audience with the feeling that since bad things can, do, and will happen, that the audience should turn to them in order to be protected financially before the bad things happen. “So get Allstate. You can save money and be better protected from Mayhem like me.”

Selzer, Jack. “Rhetorical Analysis: Understanding How Texts Persuade Readers.” What Writing Does and How it Does it, (September 2003), pp. 279-303. Print.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

First Book Coming Soon!

Hello everyone! My first book/novella will be published on Amazon (available for the Kindle and iPad) in a couple weeks. I will keep you updated on the release date. Thank you so much to those of you who supported and encouraged me while writing it.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Me vs. The Latest Trend

Right now everyone I know is reading or has read Fifty Shades of Grey by: E L James. I started to read the first book and I got about half-way through it. I have read a lot of popular fiction novels that have been much better written than this book, but I guess it really is proof that "sex sells."

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Short Fiction: You Weren't There

You Weren’t There
By: Carrie Watson

“You will never believe what came in the mail today.” Melissa said.
            Her husband Mark sat at the kitchen table drinking his coffee and didn’t bother to look up from his Ipad when he responded, “I know it’s not the bill from your Victoria’s Secret charge card because that came the other day. Who spends that much money on underwear?”
            “You didn’t complain last Thursday night when I tried on the things I bought.”
            “But I wouldn’t have thrown it on the floor if I knew it cost as much as one of our car payments.”
            “Oh, stop. How often do I actually treat myself to something nice? Stop whining.” Melissa laughed.
            Mark laughed, but more in a sarcastic scoffing kind of way. “So what came in the mail today?” He asked and put down his Ipad and his coffee.
            “It looks like a letter from your brother.”
            “What brother.”
            “The only brother you have Mark. He goes by the name of Dan.”
            “Sarcasm, Hun. You can just throw it out. And who sends a letter anymore?”
            “Maybe if you picked up the phone when he called for the eighty-seventh time, he wouldn’t have to send a letter.”
            “I don’t have any reason to talk to him. He’s a douche bag, and my life has been a lot less aggravating without him in it. You know the shit he used to pull. He was arrested twice… that I know of; he’s been to rehab three different times, which I paid for, and he totaled my car.”
            “I know what an asshole he was…”
            “Not was. Is.”
            “Fine, I know what an asshole he IS, but he’s still your brother and after growing up in that house, it’s understandable why he took so many wrong turns.”
            “I grew up in the same house he did! With the same whack job of a mother for Christ sake!”
            “Calm down, Mark. I know everything that happened. I was there. I saw it for myself. I hated your mother for what she put you guys through. And there were plenty of times when I hated your brother too. But you were always so much stronger than he was emotionally. You could put up walls that he couldn’t. And after your dad died when you were twenty three, we moved out here and he was left to deal with her alone.”
            “Melissa, I was offered a really good job, don’t make it sound like I abandoned my family. And wasn’t I the one who offered to have him come live with us? Wasn’t I the one who said he could stay here until he saved enough money to get his own place?”
            “But then she guilt him into staying with her head games; the same head games she has always played with him. Because with him, she knew she could.” Melissa pointed out.
            “Look, I know part of you still feels sorry for him. You have a good heart and that’s why I love you, but opening that envelope will bring nothing but trouble. Believe me.”
            “Well I’m opening it. I want to know what he has to say.”
            Mark jumped up from his chair, grabbed the envelope from her hand. “What did I just fucking say?!?”
His rage exploded and he pushed the kitchen table violently across the floor. “No you weren’t there! You weren’t there for half of it! You met us when we were twenty. You weren’t there when we were fourteen and she was still in bed for the third day straight. And that was because after my dad left to go on one of his ‘business trips,’ she blew coke for two days straight. She didn’t drink wine by the glass; she drank it by the box. There was no food in the house. We were left there to take money from her purse while she slept so that we could order take-out everyday just so we could have something to eat. Then when she smelled the food she would wake up and scream at us from her bed upstairs to bring her up some. And my brother always would. One time he walked up there with a cheese steak, which he unfortunately was nice enough to heat up for her in the microwave first. I say unfortunately because do you know what happened when he went up to that fucking room; when he walked into that fucking snake pit?”
Melissa didn’t answer. Tears were streaming down her face. She stood there in silence and let Mark finish.
“She threw the cheese steak at him and screamed like a fucking psycho because he didn’t put ketchup on it! He walked back down the stairs covered in hot grease with a fresh gash on his head from the plate that she threw across the room at him!”
            Raged filled tears moistened Marks eyes, but they didn’t touch his cheeks. He never let them get that far. “I tried to help Dan. I tried to help him be strong like I was, but you’re right. He was the more sensitive one. He was the emotionally needy one. And he so desperately needed the hug that would come with a fake tearful apology from our mother an hour after each episode, and it was like it never happened. He was stupid enough to go into that room, over and over again, and he paid for it every time. I got out before I got sucked in too.”
            They stood in silence. Melissa had never heard that story before. Mark stood there with his hand at his squinted face, pinching the bridge of his nose with his forefinger and thumb. Finally he handed the envelope to Melissa and said, “Fine. Here. Open it.”
            The doorbell rang and it called them back to reality from their surreal trip back to that house. Mark asked Melissa if she could go and answer the door while he put the table back and cleaned up the mess. She started to rip open the envelope while she walked down the long hallway toward the front door. She didn’t have time to finish opening it before she reached the handle.
            She opened the door and stood there in awe.
            “Hi Melissa, it’s been a long time.”
            “Hi, Dan.”
            “I see you got my letter. I meant for it to arrive yesterday though. It was supposed to tell you I was coming before I arrived so I didn’t just show up at your door, you know, like this.”
            “What are you doing here?” Mark said as he walked up and stood behind Melissa in the doorway.
            Dan looked at his brother and said, “Mom’s dead.”
            Melissa didn’t say anything.
            “From what?”
            “Lung cancer. I’ve been trying to call you. The doctor said her days were numbered and I wanted to give you a chance to say goodbye.” Dan said not taking his eyes off of his brother.
            “I said goodbye a long time ago.”
            “I know, you haven’t spoken to mom since dad’s funeral. But I also came to tell you that a lot has happened since then. I got professional help. I met a nice girl that I have been in love with for a year now, I cleaned up my act.”
            “Good for you. I’m happy for you. But how did you afford all of that treatment, especially in addition to whatever mom’s medical bills racked up to?” Mark asked.
            “Well, before mom got sick she met a man named Gerry. He was retired, widowed, and lonely. Mom didn’t love him, but she married him anyway. He was a retired psychiatrist and also dabbled in real estate, so he was loaded. He and I got along really well. He died shortly after mom was diagnosed and left all of his money to me. Mom was furious, but he knew the love mom had for him wasn’t ever real.”
            “I don’t think that woman ever knew how to love.” Mark said.
            “Maybe not, but she was still our mother. I took care of her medical costs, her funeral, and her burial. I took what was left of the money and I split it in half.” Dan said and pulled out his wallet.
            He handed a check to Mark. Mark unfolded it. He opened his mouth to say something, but no sound came out so he closed it again. He stood and stared at it in silence for a few minutes before he said, “Why are you giving me all of this money?”
            Melissa leaned back and looked at the check and covered her mouth in shock. The check was made out to Mark in the amount of two hundred-thousand dollars.
            Dan looked up at Mark and said, “I hated you for leaving. I was so angry at you for so long. But you did try to help me out as much as you could, not to mention the times you bailed me out; sometimes literally. Plus, you’re still my brother.”
            “Thank you.”
            “You’re welcome. Listen, I just came by to give you that. I’ll see you around.”
            As Dan turned to make his way down the walk way towards the blue Toyota Prius parked out front, Melissa turned to Mark. As he watched his brother, a tear formed between the edges of his eyelids. The moment it touched his cheek it sped down his face to his chin. Melissa gave Mark a pleading look.
            Mark looked at her, swept the moisture off of his face, and then called out to his brother. “Dan, before you go, do you want to come in for a cup of coffee?”
            “Yeah, I would like that.”