Toi Reads “We Are Jardin” #wip #sample #fantasy

For anyone interested, I’m updating the free short story that comes with my email list sign-up. I’m offering a story that’s only been offered previously in an sci-fi anthology; you can have Clepher’s Heart free when you join my email list.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like it let me know and share it with others. See you next time, Toi Thomas. #thetoiboxofwords

#IWSG February 2017: “Being a writer changes how you read” & my #YouTube channel.

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Created and hosted by the Ninja himself, Alex J. Cavanaugh, the Insecure Writers Support Group posts the 1st Wednesday of every month. Click the image to learn more or sign up.

Monthly Question: How has being a writer changed your experience as a reader?

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Being a writer has turned me into a hungry reader. I used to just read to escape and or enjoy a good story. Now when I read, I want more. I want to be inspired. I want to learn. I want to see what does and doesn’t work. I want to experience the stories, good or bad, to better my own writing.

I still read for pure enjoyment, but now I also read for review and critique. I find that while I’m more critical over plot, character, and world development, I’ve become more compassionate about all the technical stuff. I don’t ignore or make excuses for outright bad writing and poor editing, but I recognize how difficult it is to find good, reliable, and affordable editing services as an indie; and don’t get me started on critique partners and support groups. Anyone can call him or herself a writer, but to be a good writer- to be an author- it takes determination and creativity that not everyone has.

Being a writer has made me truly respect all the books I’ve always loved. If you’d like to know more about my thoughts on reading, please consider following this blog (I post reviews twice a month) and checking out my You Tube channel.

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Has being a writer changed your reading experience?
Live in or near Hampton Roads? Please check out my giveaway on the side panel.

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After hanging out with Alex, be sure to stop by and visit this month’s co-hosts:
Misha Gericke,
LK Hill,
Juneta Key,
Christy, and
Joylene Buter!!

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Click here to visit other IWSG blogs and sites to receive and share more inspiration and support. (This month, I’m #69).

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like it let me know and share it with others. See you next time, Toi Thomas. #thetoiboxofwords

Yay! I exceeded my 2016 Reading Challenge! #books #ebooks

Goodreads screenshot

This isn’t all people. There’s so much more to this. If you want to see it all, please click the image to visit Goodreads. This is pretty cool to me. I’m actually proud of what I’ve accomplished this year, even if I did read a lot of short stuff. It’s hard trying to find time to read, write, and go to work every day.

I think I’ll keep the same challenge next year. 24 books a year is a good goal for me.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like it let me know and share it with others. See you next time, Toi Thomas. #thetoiboxofwords

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95Days 05Hours 27Minutes 44Seconds

#IWSG April 2016: In a good place

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Created and hosted by the Ninja himself, Alex J. Cavanaugh, the Insecure Writers Support Group posts the 1st Wednesday of every month. Click the image to learn more or sign up.

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With the A-Z Challenge in full swing and me preparing for Con season, I don’t have much time to focus on anything else. I’m catching up on my blog reading. Reading a book for review. Preparing for two Cons. Editing a 2nd edition of one of my books and working on the outline of a long neglected WIP.

I’m actually in a good place right now; busy but not overwhelmed (for the time being).

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How are you faring at the moment?
Doing the A-Z?

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After hanging out with Alex, be sure to stop by and visit this month’s co-hosts:
Megan Morgan,
Chris Votey,
Viola Fury,
Christine Rains,
Madeline Mora-Summonte,
L.G. Keltner,
Rachna Chhabria, and
Patricia Lynne!

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Click here to visit other IWSG blogs and sites to receive and share more inspiration and support. (This month, I’m #81).

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like it let me know and share it with others. See you next time, Toi Thomas. #thetoiboxofwords

Friday Fiction: ToiBox Edition No. 006 #fridayreads (luck, office, couple, whistle)

So, I’m a little late. It’s still technically Friday where I am, so here goes noth’n.

fridayfiction

Prompt # Prompt #343693121
Topic/Theme: luck | Location/Setting: office
Character(s): couple(s) | Object(s): whistle | Action: NA | Random Additive: NA

F5

I think I want … a … candy bar. Yeah, let’s try … F5.

Ben looked up and noticed Sam staring at him from around the corner. “Hey Sam, what’s up?”

“I don’t think you ought to be using that machine, Ben,” stated Sam while looking around nervously.

“Why not? It’s here and I’m hungry.”

“Ben, I’m telling you, that machine isn’t normal. You don’t want anything out of it. Just go down to the second floor like everyone else.”

“Sam, why exactly is this machine here, if everyone uses the one downstairs? What’s wrong with this one? Eats everyone’s money and never puts out?”

Sam stepped forward slightly, waving his hand for Ben to move towards him. “You don’t know the half of it. Please, don’t put any money in that.”

“Too late, it already has my money.”

Sam stomped his foot. “Let it go. Leave it behind. I’ll buy you something downstairs.”

Two weeks later Ben was pulling a late shift trying to complete a special project that would be presented to the managers the next day. Ben was glad the floor manager’s assistant had taken pity on him and stayed to help him out. He was still the new guy on the cube block and everyone was waiting to see if he really had ‘what it takes’ to make it at the firm.

Shirley yawned and stretched as she returned from the copy room. “Man, we have at least another hour of this and I’ve already burn off my dinner.”

Ben jumped up, “I got you covered. Anything you want out of the vending machine is yours?”

“Wow you really know how to thrill a girl, don’t you?” Ben slumped his shoulders and Shirley sighed. “Oh, Ben. I was just kidding. Something from the vending machine would be great.”

He perked up. “Great, what would you like?”

“Feel like making two stops?”

“Sure, but why?”

“There are no drinks on the second floor and the one on this floor is on the other side of the block.”

“It might be a little bit more walking, but I wouldn’t call it two stops. I’ll get your drink them come back get your snack around the corner.”

Shirley’s mouth dropped open and she stared at him for a moment. “You’re not going down to the second floor vending machine?”

“I wasn’t going to unless what you want isn’t available in the one here.”

Shirley took a few steps back. “You haven’t been using that machine, have you?”

Ben sighed. “Not yet, but what’s the big deal … If it’s that crappy, why keep it around.”

“No one told you about the vending machine? It’s bad luck.”

It was Ben’s turn to drop his mouth open. “Are you serious? No one uses that vending machine because it’s bad luck?”

Shirley fidgeted. “Well, not all the time. Every now and then, it grants someone good luck, but it’s an awful big risk to take.”

Ben started to walk away towards the aisle. “Fine, I’ll go down to the second floor.”

“Maybe I should come with you.”

“Seriously, I’m not going to try to trick you and give you ‘bad luck’.” Ben’s use of finger quotes didn’t ease Shirley’s mind. It was clear that he didn’t believe her, but she decided to give him the benefit of the doubt.

Two weeks later Ben was moving into his new office. He was the first cubie to be promoted to an Assistant Manager’s position in only a month. Now he even had legitimate access to the managerial assistants and often had lunch with Shirley. Though they tried to remain low-key, everyone knew they were a couple. As long as he wasn’t her manager it wasn’t a problem, but they often discussed her transferring to another department in case he got promoted again.

One late evening, Sam returned to the office to pick up a file he meant to work on over the weekend and noticed Ben’s office light on. He went in to say hi, but Ben wasn’t there. He heard a strange sound around the corner and followed it. As he approached the lounge he recognized the sound of a vending machine taking money and ran. “Noooo!”

Ben jumped back and shouted. “What’s the matter with you, scaring me like that?”

“You’ve been using the machine haven’t you? That’s how you got that promotion…It won’t last you know.”

Ben caught his breath. “I’m not using it, I’m just feeding it. I thought you all were crazy at first but then my life started getting so good, I couldn’t risk it all going bad.”

Sam stepped into the lounge but kept his distance from the machine. “What do you mean, you’re just feeding it.”

“I never make a selection. I just put in the money and think about what I want. I’ve actually lost about eight pounds not eating the stuff I want. Add to that my new promotion, my sweet lady, and the reduction in my rent, I’ll keep feeding this thing as long as it’ll take my money.”

Sam smiled, “So you cracked it. You figured out a way to beat it or maybe you figured out a way to please it.”

Ben shook his head. “Yeah I guess, but I still feel like I’m treading on thin ice. Anyway, you want to give it a try?”

Sam backed up. “No, I’m good. I don’t believe in messing around with luck. I’ll just keep my life simple and predictable.”

Two weeks later, Shirley can down from the director’s office to meet Ben for lunch. He was breaking in his new office and assistant. After showing her around and introducing her to Shirley, he bid her farewell to go off to lunch.

Having just started a few hours ago, Margie wasn’t really hungry but was eager to dive into her new duties. After about a half hour, she became restless. There was plenty to do, but most of the managers and assistants had gone off to lunch and she wasn’t feeling motivated. She decided to visit the lounge to seek out a simple snack.

She walked up to the vending machine and almost pressed her face against the glass since she’s left her glasses at her desk. Leaning forward, she extended her hand to brace herself and accidently pressed a few buttons, unknowingly making a selection. Just then the rack on row F5 begin to turn moving a chocolate bar forward. When the bar dropped to the bottom of the tray, Margie looked around and considered whether or not she should take it. She hadn’t paid for it; heck she hadn’t even selected it, but there it was.

A few moments later, Annie, the file clerk came into the lounge to get a cup of coffee. In the middle of the floor lay some woman she’d never seen with a candy bar in her hands. Annie dropped her coffee cup, pulled out her whistle, and began to blow. She ran up and down the aisles of the cube block blowing her whistle. People were scattering about, jumping into action as though this drill had been practiced before.

When Ben arrived back to his office five minutes late another manager was waiting for him. Ben pulled at his tie and approached with caution. “Say Norman, what’s going on? Did I miss a meeting? Parking was terrible out there today.”

Norman approached Ben and extended his hand. The two men shook and then Norman spoke. “Ben I hate to be the one to lay this on you, but you’re being transferred. I know how much you like it here; don’t worry, it’s not a demotion in anyway. The guys upstairs just feel like an up and comer like you needs to be in a division with some real growth potential.”

Ben sighed with relief. “Well that’s fine, that’s great. I was afraid it was bad news.”

“Oh no, not at all. You’re solid as a rock around here Ben.”

“Great, but what about my new assistant? Is she coming with me?”

“No, she’s already been informed of the blunder. She never should have started here today. She’s also being reassigned.”

“Oh, well. Seems like a lot went down while I was away to lunch.”

Norman patted Ben on the back and looked over his shoulder out the window, facing the cube block and winked. “You don’t know the half of it son.”

1,407 words

September ?, 2015 – Prompt #1563136199
Topic/Theme: fashion | Location/Setting: jungle
Character(s): NA| Object(s): bug | Action: NA | Random Additive: ink/paint

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like it let me know and share it with others. See you next time, Toi Thomas. #thetoiboxofwords