Tag Archives: meanwhile in the middle of eternity

“If These Walls Could Talk” in the Middle of Eternity

Christopher D. OchsWe welcome Christopher D. Ochs into the Middle of Eternity with his extraordinary mythological fantasy tale, “If These Walls Could Talk.”
Chris and Phil Giunta are both members of the Greater Lehigh Valley Writers Group where Chris currently serves as President. He also lends his layout and cover design talents for the group’s biennial anthologies consisting of stories, poems, and essays written by our members.
Below, Chris briefly discusses the inspiration behind his entry for Meanwhile in the Middle of Eternity. 

I grew up in a home where the TV was nestled in the haunted corner of the basement, surrounded by four walls of rough hewn knotty pine paneling. After being scared witless by the Twilight Zone, The Outer Limits, and Night Gallery, and occasional whispers from empty rooms, it was only natural that an impressionable mind besieged with an overactive imagination and a healthy dose of pareidolia would see all sorts of mythological creatures, aliens and monsters staring back him from the knots and grain in those walls.
We hope you’ll check out the perks we’re offering in our Indiegogo campaign and consider a contribution to help us fund the publication of Meanwhile in the Middle of Eternity. Thank you for supporting small press writers!

Christopher D. Ochs dove into writing in 2014 with his epic fantasy, Pindlebryth of Lenland followed by a collection of mirthful macabre short stories, If I Can’t Sleep, You Can’t Sleep. His latest release is the  YA urban fantasy/horror, My Friend Jackson.
He continues to write the gamut from short fiction to novels in the veins of myth and legend, paranormal, horror, and the occasional sci-fi — all in the hope to reassure himself that his life is normal.
Chris has too many interests outside of writing for his own damn good. With previous careers in physics, electrical engineering and QA; along with his incessant dabblings as a CGI graphic artist, classical organist, voice talent on radio, video and anime conventions, it’s a wonder he can remember to pay the dog and feed his bills. Wait, what?

Meanwhile in the Middle of Eternity

We look forward to launching Meanwhile in the Middle of Eternity in February 2021. In the meantime, check out the first volumes in the series by clicking on a cover image below.

Somewhere in the Middle of Eternity  Elsewhere in the Middle of Eternity


From Deserts to Forests in the Middle of Eternity

April WellesThis week, April Welles reveals the inspirations behind both of her exciting entries in our upcoming speculative fiction anthology, Meanwhile in the Middle of Eternity.


Years ago, I had to make a delivery from California to Arizona by way of the Mojave Desert. There were two of us in the truck. One of us drove while the other rested, and we would switch later. That way, no real stopping would be required in order to make the delivery as quickly as possible.

At the time of my idea for “Horror of the Mist,” I was the passenger, staring out at the desolation on either side of the highway and noticing the small exits onto narrow roads that led into the vast middle of nowhere. It felt as though if one were to take one of these exits, one could become lost and then anything could happen.


For about two months, I lived in a tent in the woods. At the time, I’d been writing adventures about a sword-wielding character. However, the idea for “Queen of the Forest” was akin to a lost tale, explaining how she found her “son”. What happened to the mother was not what I had intended. However, that was the way she—or the muse—compelled it to go. I’m still filled with tears when I read about her. The title is also meant as a play on words. A double meaning for the females in the tale.

We hope you’ll check out the perks we’re offering in our Indiegogo campaign and consider a contribution to help us fund the publication of Meanwhile in the Middle of Eternity. Thank you for supporting small press writers!


April Welles found herself drawn to the diversity of writing within different fiction genres and the possibilities within each one from a young age. Her stories have been published in Fantasy Times Issues 1 and 2, and Pure Fantasy and Sci-Fi Volume 2.

April’s horror tale, “Terror in Agradeb,” can be found in Elsewhere in the Middle of Eternity.

She lives with her sister and their two cats in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, loving the mountains and trees. Click here to visit April’s Amazon author page.

Meanwhile in the Middle of Eternity

We look forward to launching Meanwhile in the Middle of Eternity in February 2021. In the meantime, check out the first volumes in the series by clicking on a cover image below.

Somewhere in the Middle of Eternity  Elsewhere in the Middle of Eternity

Illustrations from the Middle of Eternity

For our third and final trek into the Middle of Eternity, artist Michael Riehl returns to provide a gorgeous cover and is joined by Laura Inglis, Tim Marron, Cheyenne-Autumn Christine Reilly, and authors Julie Feedon and Christopher Ochs to grace each story with a black and white illustration.

Below is a gallery of some of the artwork you’ll find in the pages of Meanwhile in the Middle of Eternity.

We hope you’ll check out the perks we’re offering in our Indiegogo campaign and consider a contribution to help us fund the publication of Meanwhile in the Middle of Eternity. Thank you for supporting small press writers!

Surge of Pride-Illlustration   "It Just Happened" Illlustration by Tim Marron

"Girlfriend in the Basement" Illlustration by Tim Marron    "Queen of Forest" Illlustration by Laura Inglis

So Hungry-Illustration by MIchael Riehl     "Eyes of the Beholder" Illlustration by Tim Marron

"Connecting Vines" Illlustration by Laura Inglis     Meanwhile in the Middle of Eternity Prototype Cover

 

On Gods, Monsters, and the Rainbow Bridge in the Middle of Eternity

In keeping with tradition for this anthology series, I have three diverse stories in our final installment, Meanwhile in the Middle of Eternity.

My New Mexico ghost story, “So Hungry…” is discussed in another blog post here.  My other two entries include “Take a Cue from the Canine,” and “The Forest for the Trees.”

Take a Cue from the Canine-Illustration by Laura InglisBoth “So Hungry…” and “Take a Cue from the Canine” took Honorable Mentions in the Bethlehem Writers Roundtable contests in 2017 and 2019, respectively, and as a sneak preview to Meanwhile in the Middle of Eternity, you can read “Take a Cue from the Canine” here on my website. 

I was inspired to write the story when the Bethlehem Writers Group announced animal stories as their 2019 contest theme. I wanted to write a “boy and his dog” story, but with a fantastic and emotional twist that answers the question, what is at the other end of the fabled rainbow bridge?

Illustration by Laura Inglis.


Forest for the Trees-Illustration by Michael Riehl“The Forest for the Trees” takes place in Finland during the great famine of 1697, but was originally one of three stories pitched to Crazy 8 Press for their ReDeus mythology series. They chose one of my other stories (“Root for the Undergods” published in ReDeus: Beyond Borders) so I rewrote “The Forest for the Trees” into the epic tale you will read in Meanwhile in the Middle of Eternity, incorporating battles among gods, monsters, and mortals where willpower is the greatest weapon.  Illustration by Michael Riehl.

We hope you’ll check out the perks we’re offering in our Indiegogo campaign and consider a contribution to help us fund the publication of Meanwhile in the Middle of Eternity. Thank you for supporting small press writers!


PHIL GIUNTA enjoys crafting powerful fiction that changes lives and inspires readers. His novels include the paranormal mysteries Testing the Prisoner, By Your Side, and Like Mother, Like Daughters. His short stories appear in such anthologies as A Plague of Shadows, Beach Nights, Beach Pulp, the ReDeus mythology series, and the Middle of Eternity speculative fiction series, which he created and edited for Firebringer Press. As a member of the Greater Lehigh Valley Writers Group, Phil also penned stories and essays for Write Here, Write Now, The Write Connections, and Rewriting the Past, three of the group’s annual anthologies.

Phil is currently working on the second draft of a science fiction novel while plotting his triumphant escape from the pressures of corporate America where he has been imprisoned for over twenty-five years.


Meanwhile in the Middle of Eternity

We look forward to launching Meanwhile in the Middle of Eternity in February 2021. In the meantime, check out the first volumes in the series by clicking on a cover image below.

Somewhere in the Middle of Eternity  Elsewhere in the Middle of Eternity

 

Making First Contact in the Middle of Eternity

Susanna Reilly returns with an illuminating tale of first contact between a human starship captain and an enigmatic alien. A member of our core writing team since book one, Susanna reveals the origins behind her contribution to Meanwhile in the Middle of Eternity.


I originally wrote “In the Eyes of the Beholder” as a fan fiction story based in the Star Trek: Enterprise universe.  Around that time, sci-fi in general had taken a turn toward darker, more realistic stories and I missed the more light-hearted, positive view of alien/human interactions that original Star Trek exemplified.  So I decided to create a story about aliens who were not only happy to see Earthlings going forth into the universe, but also delighted to see what mischief they would bring – while causing a little mischief of their own.

Taking the story out of the Star Trek: Enterprise universe presented its own challenges.  Using an established universe allows a writer to take some short cuts in character development due to readers’ existing knowledge.  I feel that I met those challenges and am pleased with the result.  I hope you find the story as enjoyable to read as I found it to write.

We hope you’ll check out the perks we’re offering in our Indiegogo campaign and consider a contribution to help us fund the publication of Meanwhile in the Middle of Eternity. Thank you for supporting small press writers!


SUSANNA REILLY has been enthusiastic about writing since she was named first runner-up in a story writing contest at the age of 11. For many years writing took a backseat to school, work, and motherhood, but the fire stayed alive. It was stoked in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s when she joined a science fiction fan club that published an annual fanzine. Although the fanzine sold less than 30 copies per year (mostly to friends and family of the authors), the joy of writing stories in her favorite sci-fi universes kept her going.

Susanna’s first professional publication came in 2013 when her short story “To Protect and to Serve” was included in the Main Line Writers Group’s first anthology Unclaimed Baggage: Voice of the Main Line Writers. She subsequently published two stories (“Form and Substance” and “Perchance to Dream”) in the 2014 anthology Somewhere in the Middle of Eternity and one story (“Tree of Love”) in the 2016 anthology Elsewhere in the Middle of Eternity.


Meanwhile in the Middle of Eternity

We look forward to launching Meanwhile in the Middle of Eternity in February 2021.  In the meantime, check out the first volumes in the series by clicking on a cover image below.

Somewhere in the Middle of Eternity  Elsewhere in the Middle of Eternity

“The Dividing Wall” in the Middle of Eternity

We’re thrilled to have another of our core storytellers return for this final voyage into the Middle of Eternity.

Stuart Roth has been with us since book one and has crafted some of our most unusual and memorable tales, including his latest entry, which he discusses below.


Memories affect who we are, but if those memories become confused, how does that change our essence?

In my story, “The Dividing Wall,” twin sisters grow up in Berlin, living through World War II, the division of their city during the Cold War, and the eventual fall of the Wall. Time and experiences have defined who they are. During that time, the sisters are watched by a creature of the wastes of eternity. Individuality and identity are nothing but a curiosity to such a being. Memories and emotion become a snare that entangles the three and highlight the dividing wall between living and existing.


STUART S. ROTH lives in the Philadelphia, PA area. His work has appeared in anthologies for Pseudoscope Publishing and prior volumes of Firebringer’s Middle of Eternity Series. He has recently completed a novel entitled Myomria and is shopping it around for publication. For freelance work, Stuart can be contacted at stuartroth42@gmail.com. He also takes criticism, good or bad, and loves to hear from readers.

We hope you’ll check out the perks we’re offering in our Indiegogo campaign and consider a contribution to help us fund the publication of Meanwhile in the Middle of Eternity. Thank you for supporting small press writers!


Meanwhile in the Middle of Eternity

We look forward to launching Meanwhile in the Middle of Eternity in February 2021. In the meantime, check out the first volumes in the series by clicking on a cover image below.

Somewhere in the Middle of Eternity  Elsewhere in the Middle of Eternity

“It Just Happened” in the Middle of Eternity

It Just Happened-IllustrationJoining us for the first time in the Middle of Eternity is Peter Ong, who discusses the inspiration behind his action-packed military SF story.


I wrote “It Just Happened” based on the comic book movies, Sci-Fi video game stories, and Graphic Novels.  While I’m not a buyer and a reader of comic books and Graphic Novels, I do manage to flip through a few sometimes to gain a sense of the technology, stories, and the action told and illustrated throughout the pages.  The visual imaginations of these genres’ artists truly astound and mesmerize those who read and watch them.

In “It Just Happened,” I took the approach of empowering the female role models in action and leadership roles, similar to the superheroines found on television and in the movies.  Often the protagonist is a male carrying a massive rifle. I wanted to reverse that role and have the female perform this function, leading a squad of S.W.A.T. police to apprehend a high-ranking and successful CEO in a world where money, fame, prestige, and power reaches far beyond the normal grasp of law enforcement and the government in a game of “Catch Up.”

How will governments of the future respond to such crooked galactic-wide businesses when space is so vast and there are many places to hide?  For starters, the law enforcement arm of these governments will pursue those high priority suspects on their radars. The perpetrators know this, adjusting their bodyguards, armory, lifestyles, and activities to stay a few steps ahead of the law by fielding the best technologies and resources that money can buy.

Thus, “It Just Happened” is a story of this “cat and mouse” game pitting the police against the most powerful Society has created in a tale of the “Best against the best”—corporate vs. government, crime boss vs. agent and squad leader, spaceship vs. spaceship, and the one-on-one challenge of mental and physical combat skills to determine the outcome of a mystery across time and space.

We hope you’ll check out the perks we’re offering in our Indiegogo campaign and consider a contribution to help us fund the publication of Meanwhile in the Middle of Eternity. Thank you for supporting small press writers!


PETER ONG is a freelance writer based in California, USA with a bachelor’s degree in Technical Writing/Graphic Design and a master’s degree in Business. He writes for defense, maritime, and emergency vehicle publications and also for product and travel reviews and blog websites.


Meanwhile in the Middle of Eternity

We look forward to launching Meanwhile in the Middle of Eternity in February 2021.  In the meantime, check out the first volumes in the series by clicking on a cover image below.

Somewhere in the Middle of Eternity  Elsewhere in the Middle of Eternity

Finding “Bodies of Evidence” in the Middle of Eternity

Lance WoodsLet’s see, here.

One cup of Isaac Asimov…

Two tablespoons of Alfred Hitchock…

And just a dash of Rod Serling.

Such are the ingredients masterfully blended by Lance Woods in his contribution to Meanwhile in the Middle of Eternity,  proving yet again that he has an eye for suspense. Lance is one of our core writers who has been with us since book one in the series. Below, he briefly reveals the inspiration behind his SF-themed mystery.


“Bodies of Evidence” came about when I developed floaters in my left eye a few years ago. Now, everyone experiences floaters in their eyes at some times, and they’re usually temporary. Mine aren’t anymore. They’re permanent, a natural occurrence of middle age, and they’re frequently annoying.

But, while trying to work at the computer— and watching some of these annoying shapes and outlines interfere with my field of vision— one of them caught my attention.

It looked like the chalk outline of a dead body.

Combine that with the fact that one of my favorite SF movies ever is Fantastic Voyage, and it shouldn’t surprise anyone that I got another murder mystery out of it.

We hope you’ll check out the perks we’re offering in our Indiegogo campaign and consider a contribution to help us fund the publication of Meanwhile in the Middle of Eternity. Thank you for supporting small press writers!


LANCE WOODS’s first script was a one-page episode of the Batman TV series (he was 7), which ultimately led him to become the creator/writer of SuperHuman Times for Prometheus Radio Theatre in 2006. The podcast series inspired his first book, Heroic Park: A SuperHuman Times Novel, published by Firebringer Press in 2012.

Lance’s short stories include “The Gravest Show Unearthed” in the anthology Elsewhere in the Middle of Eternity (Firebringer Press, 2016) and “Dead Air” in the anthology Somewhere in the Middle of Eternity (Firebringer Press, 2014).

Additionally, he has had two comedy-mysteries—Breeding Will Tell and Murder Case—produced by the Baltimore Playwrights Festival and has written for more than 25 years in areas of the comic-book industry he doesn’t like to talk about on his own time. When he isn’t daydreaming about writing under the palm trees of Orlando, he lives with his family in a situation comedy format outside of Baltimore.


Meanwhile in the Middle of Eternity

We look forward to launching Meanwhile in the Middle of Eternity in February 2021. In the meantime, check out the first volumes in the series by clicking on a cover image below.

Somewhere in the Middle of Eternity  Elsewhere in the Middle of Eternity

 

Terrors from Beyond the Grave in The Middle of Eternity

There is no dearth of paranormal tales in the Middle of Eternity and for our final installment, we bring you two chilling ghost stories provided by series editor Phil Giunta and newcomer Julie Feedon.


Vicious Victoria-Illustration by Julie FeedonRegarding her entry, “Vicious Victoria,” Julie says, “My inspiration for the story was the old familiar rhyme, Lizzie Borden took an axe and gave her mother forty whacks. When she saw what she had done, she gave her father forty-one. It always creeped me out and left a fascination in the macabre with me.”

Illustration by Julie Feedon.


So Hungry-Illustration by MIchael RiehlPhil’s inspiration for “So Hungry…” stemmed from the legend of Starvation Peak in Bernal, New Mexico where Spanish settlers were allegedly chased to the top of the mesa and starved out by the Navajo. Of course, Phil took some liberties with the fable and added an even more grisly embellishment.

Illustration by Michael Riehl.

As a sneak preview of what you’ll find in Meanwhile in the Middle of Eternity, you can read “So Hungry…”  for free on Phil’s website.

We hope you’ll check out the perks we’re offering in our Indiegogo campaign and consider a contribution to help us fund the publication of Meanwhile in the Middle of Eternity. Thank you for supporting small press writers!


JULIE FEEDON is originally from Scranton, PA, but has been living in the Lehigh Valley since 1986. She is a specialist in the sales support department of a large capital medical supply company. Her hobbies include writing, painting, and crochet. She is also a certified Jane Austen junkie. Next to her daughter and husband, she loves the beach most dear.

PHIL GIUNTA enjoys crafting powerful fiction that changes lives and inspires readers. His novels include the paranormal mysteries Testing the Prisoner, By Your Side, and Like Mother, Like Daughters. His short stories appear in such anthologies as A Plague of Shadows, Beach Nights, Beach Pulp, the ReDeus mythology series, and the Middle of Eternity speculative fiction series, which he created and edited for Firebringer Press. As a member of the Greater Lehigh Valley Writers Group, Phil also penned stories and essays for Write Here, Write Now, The Write Connections, and Rewriting the Past, three of the group’s annual anthologies.

Phil is currently working on the second draft of a science fiction novel while plotting his triumphant escape from the pressures of corporate America where he has been imprisoned for over twenty-five years.


Meanwhile in the Middle of Eternity

We look forward to launching Meanwhile in the Middle of Eternity in February 2021. In the meantime, check out the first volumes in the series by clicking on a cover image below.

Somewhere in the Middle of Eternity  Elsewhere in the Middle of Eternity

 

“How Pauley Michaels Saved Humanity” in the Middle of Eternity

Bart PalamaroWe welcome Bart Palamaro to the Middle of Eternity with his fantastic science fiction tale, “How Pauley Michaels Saved Humanity.”

Bart and Phil Giunta are fellow members of the Greater Lehigh Valley Writers Group where Bart serves as our webmaster and general tech guru as well as the facilitator of our Writers’ Cafe live critique sessions.

Below, Bart reveals his inspiration behind his globetrotting adventure in Meanwhile in the Middle of Eternity.


This story is based on an actual incident that happened about seven years ago. We had a couple of friends over for dinner and I was taking some bowls down from the cupboard for soup, when I noticed that one of them was a slightly different style from the rest. They were pretty much as described in the story, homey, casual, comfortable. I put the odd bowl back and picked out another.  A couple of years later I was rummaging through the set again when I noticed there were now two of the odd bowls. I mentioned it to my wife and she just shrugged. I looked at the set and the outline of the story as published pretty much sprang into my head fully formed.

The odd thing is, since then we have neither microwaved nor used any of the odd bowls.

We hope you’ll check out the perks we’re offering in our Indiegogo campaign and consider a contribution to help us fund the publication of Meanwhile in the Middle of Eternity. Thank you for supporting small press writers!


Bart Palamaro is author of several published short stories and one published novel, The Other Side of Time, and The Fate of U-1055, its free prequel. All are pretty much in the SF genre. Almost everything Bart read growing up was SF or fantasy. Even Horatio Hornblower is a form of SF to a 20th Century kid.

Recently, he’s taking a side trip into the paranormal, with a shapeshifter subculture living and prospering while indistinguishable from anyone else in our own world. In the Teeth of the Problem and In the Eye of the Beholder are due for publication in 2020. Who knows, he may commit fantasy one of these days.

Bart is also TechGuru for the Greater Lehigh Valley Writers Group, riding herd on the web site and various other techie stuff we do. For fun and profit, he edits and formats books for self-publishers, both print and ebook. He also does book covers.


Meanwhile in the Middle of Eternity

We look forward to launching Meanwhile in the Middle of Eternity in February 2021.  In the meantime, check out the first volumes in the series by clicking on a cover image below.

Somewhere in the Middle of Eternity  Elsewhere in the Middle of Eternity