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“It is not an individual decision to cast the mark of evil upon another; it’s a collective decision and must be determined to be just. However, mistakes are tolerated. Once the mark of evil has been cast on another it cannot be undone. Repentance and reform are not real things, they are fabricated concepts, and thus the Death Bringers take no prisoners. Interrogation and torture is futile. Evil once caught, is ended.”

From the Code of the Death Bringers, Chapter 1, “End of Tyranny”

“And when your end comes, you will see your Death Bringer up close and in great detail, for he will not be veiled or disguised like a coward. You will feel his exhaling breath on your cheek. Your nostrils will sting with the stench of his sweat. You will see the soaked strands of his hair matted down on his head. And you will feel nothing but terror when you look into the burning fire in his eyes. In your final moment, you will witness the determination on his face and absolute resolve to bring your end. And then, you will be done. You and your soul will not rise again.”

 

From the Code of the Death Bringers, Chapter 1, “End of Tyranny”

I have taken too long of a hiatus from writing but I believe I have found my inspiration to get back to it. I am working on a plot sketch for Book 2 of Silver Icon – The working title is “Aftershock” – And it tells of Rick’s life post-layoff and how he deals with it and attempts to get back on his feet. This will take place roughly two weeks after his “down-sizing” and will cover the social, emotional and economics issues with recovering from a major life-event. I so am so excited to work on this project!

I am also picking up the Good Haunting manuscript again and dusting it off! I believe this is about 60% complete and I really want to finish this book. It was my first foray into the Supernatural & Romance genre and I want it to be a success. I’ve let my Critique Circle membership expires, but I got so much inspiration from the wonderful people there, that I feel I wouldn’t be able to complete this work unless I am active…so I am renewing my membership on CC!

Until next post— peace!
-Nick

 

P.S. A little Extra…

Photo Inspiration for Shane, Nikki and Nadia in Good Haunting (FYI – images available from 123rf.com)

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Silver Icon is a short story about a day in the life of a typical American worker at a typical American corporation during a reduction in workforce action. Job elimination, off-shoring, and systemic layoffs to reduce costs is common place in today’s workforce. This is the story of Rick, an information technology worker, who experiences this ever repeating story in America.

Excerpt from Silver Icon

The walk back up is horrific. So many people with boxes piled in their arms are being led out the door. I recognize most of the faces. In fact, it’s easier to count the one or two I don’t recognize or haven’t worked with in the past fifteen years. The place looks like the Day of the Dead. The shock and awe on their faces will be burned in my memory forever. And not just the ones leaving—it’s also on the ones who are staying. It’s how I’m sure I look right now.

We press on and when we get to the security door to our department, Sally lifts her badge. I shove mine forward. She understands and lowers her arm. Click. The door unlocks. Good, I’m still employed.

We walk through the door and hurry back to our seats without saying a word to each other. Just as I’m about to sit down, Sudhir, our department’s VP, walks over to George’s office. Maybe it’s the “all clear.” A few seconds later, they are both walking down the hall toward the elevators. Sudhir has a white eight-and-a-half-by-eleven envelope in his hands. Holy fucking shit! George is about to get his walking papers.

I sit down and unlock my virtual terminal and log back in. I call up the instant messenger app and see a silver icon by George’s name. Dave’s on-line presence is unknown and has the same silver icon. This is fucked up! There’s a loud buzzing in my brain. So far that’s three names on Henry’s list, and three silver icons. This is really bad. My stomach churns and I can’t decide if it’s hunger or if I’m gonna hurl my breakfast across the desk. My chest feels heavy. Breathe, breathe…

eBook Available at Amazon and Smashwords for $0.99

Trade paperback available at Amazon.com

Greetings! I hope you are having a lovely Sunday morning! Here in Long Island, NY the sun is shining, I’ve got a fresh cup of coffee and it looks like it’s going to be a great day! My first book, Silver Icon has been on sale for about a week now at both Amazon and Smashwords and I am so excited! I want to share some information to fellow writers about an awesome tool and web site that can help you with your goals to publish your own work. No, it’s not a publishing company, or any gimmick or trick. Also it’s not a magic wand!  What it is, however is a great place on the web to meet fellow authors and writers, both published and unpublished, and exchange critiques on each other’s work. I am talking about www.critiquecircle.com!

While I believe there is no substitution for professional editing, Critique Circle will come pretty damn close. And for the indie author on a tight budget, the price is right! Critique Circle’s membership is free! The site is a place where writers can post their work and other writers will critique your submissions. You can write critiques for other authors and form crit buddy relationships with many talented people. There is a “donation” method to become a premium member, but all of the main features of submitting and critiquing are available to all members. The premium membership, which is really a donation to keep the site running, gives you a few extra added perks, but is not required to get extreme value out of the site in regard to your work.

Critique Circle

The basic functions of the site include the ability to submit your chapters into one of the various Queues, classified by type of work or genre. The site works on a credit system. When you submit your work, it costs a minimum of three credits. When you write critiques on the work of others, you earn credits, anywhere from half a credit and up depending on the length of your critique. As other writers begin to critique your work, and as you critique other writer’s work, you’ll find buddies that can become regular crit partners! I’ve made several friends in the past two months and regularly write and receive critiques — almost daily. I’m a bit addicted to the site! :-)

Critique Circle Submit Story

Many other useful features are available on Critique Circle. The site has a novel system, so you can chain your submissions together and crit buddies can follow your novel from start to finish. Authors can add a synopsis for their novel and for each chapter, content advisories for adult or mature stories, outlines for settings, plot and character sketches. The site also has a forum and message system so you can socialize with your fellow writers and crit partners.

Critique Circle Novel System

The credit system is nothing to worry about. I quickly became immersed in several of other author’s works, and in just reading, writing critiques and offering grammar or spelling suggestions, I very quickly grew a nice credit balance, enough to submit many chapters and stories. Since I started using the site, I’ve not ever run out of credits for submissions. I think I am actually critiquing more than I am submitting. I believe the main reason for this is because I am learning so much about writing, prose and style from the stories I read and the critique’s I have given other authors. This exchange from author to author is sharpening my writing skills as well as those of my crit buddies. The forums provide a lot of value too. For example, you can tie your story submissions to a personal forum thread–focused on that story so all your crit partners can collaborate with you and each other.

Critique Circle Forums

In summary; if you are an author on a budget, don’t have access to an editor, or just want to bounce your chapters, stories or other writing pieces off on other people to receive feedback and edit suggestions, Critique Circle’s an awesome web site to do all that! I highly recommend the site to indie authors and would absolutely welcome new critique partners!

For the official “What is Critique Circle About Page,” click here.

Happy Writing!

-Nick

Available now, Silver Icon. Get it at Amazon.com and Smashwords.

Silver Icon - (A Short Story)

Silver Icon – (A Short Story)

Silver Icon By Nick Nicholas Published:

May 27, 2012 Words: 4108 (approximate)
Language: English

Silver Icon is a short story about a day in the life of a typical American worker at a typical American corporation during a reduction in workforce action. Job elimination, off-shoring, and systemic layoffs to reduce costs is common place in today’s workforce. This is the story of Rick, an information technology worker, who experiences this ever repeating story in America. Live through his eyes as he experiences the sights, sounds and emotions of a job elimination action by his company.

Available now at Amazon and Smashwords for $1.99

Silver Icon


Silver Icon

by Nick S. Nicholas

Release date:  June 2012!

I am proud to announce my first published eBook! Silver Icon is a short story about a day in the life of a typical American worker at a typical American corporation during a reduction in workforce action. Job elimination, off-shoring, and systemic lay-offs to reduce costs is common place in today’s workforce. This is the story of Rick, an information technology worker, who experiences this ever repeating story in America.

© Copyright 2012 Nick S. Nicholas, nmskjspublishing.com and Silver Icon Press.
All rights reserved.

Our real-life Dystopian Society

I experienced my own real-life Hunger Games this week..or rather Corporate America’s version of it. My [former] company made a list of people to RIF (reduction in workforce). This was the 5th apparently, annual one. Then they called each person one by one (the reaping) and I was on the list! (No Katniss either to save me!) After 13 years of service too! (11 exceeding expectations, 1 achieving expectations and recently elected into a Technical Excellence group)

:-(

Lots of people made the list in fact, a few from each department (12 districts, 2 people each district).

Now we are in the job search market having to get all prettied up (where’s Cinna??) to make a good impression (Haymitch, you drunk, help!) for new employers (sponsors) while we now all compete (the games) for the same small amount of jobs available in the market here (the arena).

I plan to win the game.

And similar to Katniss and Peeta, will win with all the competitors in my district.

 We will (have already) band together, help each other, share our resources and skills.

We will all come out of this game as victors.

To any and all of those who are affected by Corporate America’s growing need to cut costs at the cost of cutting jobs,

you have my sincere wish that you all find gainful employment,

persevere and come out the victor in this game of  life.

Authors Note: LOL – Sorry folks I am actually making light of a pretty crappy event, else I’d be totally going down the wrong path in my head! It just stuck me as pretty funny at the analogy I made as this was going on, I had to write it somewhere!

Life is like a book. You must turn the page to see what happens next. If you don’t turn the page you are stuck and don’t move to the next chapter. The journey to the ending can be quite interesting.

-Nick S. Nicholas

 

 

I tweeted a shorter version of this – I should have just wrote it out here in the first place instead of chopping it down! :-)

I am deep inside you.

You don’t know that I am here.

You don’t know how I came about.

But make no mistake, I am here.

I go dormant for a long time making my plan.

My plan is clear.

Your end draws near.

I will crawl through you and affect as much of you as I can.

It is my only goal.

I spread through your insides and embed deep within.

You will never know where I came from.

You will never be able to get rid of me.

When I’m here, it’s too late for you.

When I come I start slow.

As I progress, I make my mark known.

I will crawl through your veins.

I will crawl through your bones.

I will crawl through your brain.

I will settle in the pit of your stomach.

Every place that I can find, I will slowly make my way to.

And in the end, I will get you.

You can stop doing things you think caused me.

You don’t know exactly what that is.

Never can you stop doing what it is that brought me to be.

I am here to stay, and that’s bad for you.

I have many names.

One that is common and universal.

And no one likes to hear.

You will not be happy.

You will know the end is near.

I always win.

The odds are in my favor.

By the time they figure out how to destroy me, you will already be gone.

That is the way it is.

There is no way around it.

Nothing can be done.

I am your bane.

I am your fate.

I am your cancer.

 

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