‘The Horror in Smithville’ – The Story, So Far…

The Horror in Smithville

The Horror in Smithville

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Welcome back My Dear Readers to The Other Shoe. Today, Wednesday July 30th 2014, I am going to write and publish this review of my most favorite work (right now); ‘The Horror in Smithville’! You see, my head is still just not in to my usual course of writing. I have checked out the ‘new’ images from Curiosity on Mars, and there is only a couple, right now. So, even if I was ‘of the mind’ to write and publish a new edition of ‘The Mars Report’ there is just not enough new material to make up a new edition.

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Now, I know that there are still…. ‘weak points’ in the first ten or twelve episodes of this story. I have yet to have the time, or focus, to look back and make the simple corrections that are needed. However, I have (recently) gone back and read some of the earlier episodes. All I can say, My Dear Readers? I do truly enjoy my writing! Honestly, every time I go back and read some of my creative works I always find that I enjoy reading what I write     .

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That is not all that common, among modern day writers. Hemmingway really enjoyed reading his work. He equated reading, and re-re-re-reading, his own works to honing the blade on a sword. That each, and every, time he went back and read something he wrote he would find ways to improve his work. I know that there are a lot of corrections that I need to make to the first thirteen episodes.

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There are; typos, grammatical errors, and even some truly jumbled words and sentences in the earlier episodes. Most readers can get through these errors and still enjoy the work that I have written. Yes, I do get messages and emails from people going on and on about “you really need to ‘fix’ your story…” “I just couldn’t get past this error…”. Everyone is a critic! Well, everyone can be a critic, and I am very happy that most of you, MY Dear Readers, enjoy my writing, my stories, and my publications just as they are.

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Today, I am publishing this review of the first thirteen episodes of ‘The Horror in Smithville’ so that you can all get caught-up on this wonderfully entertaining tale of horror and suspense. For the past two weeks I have taken you, My Dear Readers, on a bit of a side-trip. What I have labeled, as ‘The Missing Chapters’ is a cleaver way for me to interject some very important material, and add a whole other plot line and character development.

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As well, My Dear Readers, I am experimenting with literary techniques and learning from the results. What I have learned, over the past two weeks? That readers really enjoy ‘new’ and ‘different’ techniques and experimentation, when it comes to their reading. Trying new things… experimenting with writing techniques and taking readers for an adventure are things that (most) readers find enjoyable and challenging. Therefore, you My Dear Readers can expect that I will be pushing the limits, taking chances, and engaging in all sorts of experimentation and toying with my work on a regular basis.

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So, now without further adieu… I give you this review of ‘The Horror in Smithville’!

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The Horror in Smithville

The Horror in Smithville

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  • The Horror in Smithville : “Timmy Marref lived on a farm outside Smithville. Smithville was a little town smack dab in the middle of America. Timmy’s father, Kenneth Marref, worked the family farm. As his father did before him, and his grandfather did before that, and his great-grandfather did before him. From what Timmy could gather the Marref’s had worked this land for more than 100 years. Timmy didn’t mind living on a farm. As a matter of fact, more times than not Timmy just downright loved living on the farm.” THIS is how the whole story started. It was March 6th, 2014 and I was thinking on “what NEW can I bring to The Other Shoe’?” I am always thinking of how to improve the blog, what more series or articles can I bring to you, My Dear Readers, that will bring smiles to your faces and joy to you souls. I, at this point, had written articles about world news, Mars, the Hubble Space telescope, financial inequality, and even some politics here and there. What, pray tell, could I cook up in my little head that might tickle your collective fancy? Then, it hit me, like a ton of bricks coming at my head. The idea of a lifetime landed in my lap. ‘A Horror story meant for young adults! The great thing was, if I wrote it well then adults as well as young people, will enjoy reading the story. That was how it all began, back in March. :0
  • The Horror in Smithville – Part Two : “Now Timmy’s Mom weren’t no fool, nor was she born yesterday. Margaret knew Timmy had just been on the phone, for the past half hour, with his best Archer. Margie also knew, and she loved her son Timmy for this, that he was mighty accustom to hug her at any given time. However, Timmy creeping up on her to put his arm around her waist and hug her while she’s frying chicken? That was a sure fire sign that Timmy wanted something, and he wanted it something mighty strong. This made Margie smile ear to ear. She could hardly wait to hear the yarn her son was about to spin. Just in the nick of time though Margie bit her upper lip to make herself stop smiling, right as Timmy looked up into her face with those doleful hazel eyes.” Well, I have said it before, and I will (likely) say it again and again. At this point, the story was nearly writing itself! The characters had come to life, and each and every time I closed my eyes and thought about; Timmy and Archer they began to perform and act right before my eyes. I had the easiest job in the world, all I had to do was watch and write down what they did each day. Even this early in the story the characters of Timmy and Archer had started to leap off the pages of the story. ‘Character Development’ was as easy as letting the boys speak! The plot was a simple one… two young men out for an adventure at Halloween. BAM! It wasn’t until two or three weeks later that ‘The Tall Man’ came to life and the story started developing a ‘Darker’ side.
  • The Horror in Smithville – Part Three : “Just as Archer had anticipated, when dinner was served there was; deep fried chicken (at least one chicken if not two), mashed potatoes with a pad of butter still melting on the top of the potato mountain, what looked to be buttermilk biscuits, a gravy bowl filled to the brim with hot and fresh (made from scratch) chicken gravy, and both green peas and corn on the cob. Archer was drooling with anticipation, but before lifting a single eating utensil he gave Timmy’s Mom her much deserved praise.“Everything looks just great, Mrs. Marref! I don’t know which is better, how good it all smells or how great it looks on the table!” This was about the time that the ‘sleep-over’ idea was flowering in my head. The idea of having ‘his’ first appearance not happen during the fateful ride on the Haunted House. How to build the suspense for the ride, how to incorporate character development with a three day long sleep-over. It was in parts two and three that I truly developed the ‘Home Spun’ feel of the story. How I was to take two rual young men, and throw them out of their world of feeding chickens and milking cows and hurl them head long into a world with ‘zombie-wolves’ and the undead. It was, also, about this time that I feel in LOVE with this story and its potential. What was meant to be a really short story, lasting no more than a month, now had the potential to run for several months. Timmy and Archer had found a way into my heart.
  • The Horror in Smithville – Part Four : “Lightening filled the room with brilliance that shown like daytime. The room was plunged into darkness, followed by the low rumblings of thunder. The time between the two events, the lightening and the thunder was decreasing. Timmy knew that meant the heart of the storm was yet to arrive. Another flash of lightening, it filled the room. Geeze, it was so bright you could read your math homework with it. It was followed by deepening darkness, then the low rumble of thunder. All the time the sound of the rain, pounding on the back porch and the barn, grew louder and louder. This was going to be a heck of a storm!” To this day I am still unsure just where the lightening storm came from in this story. No where, in the first month’s notes, did I even mention a lightening storm. However, once I wrote it down… once I worked it into the story… and once ‘The Tall Man’ appeared with the storm… well there was no turning back and it felt as natural as a spring rain. You see, My Dear Readers, it was as if; the Carnival, the Haunter House Ride and ‘The Tall Man’ ALL ‘blew into town together’! See how it all just fits? Honest to goodness I am not fibbing when I tell you that it was not originally thought up tied together, it must have just happened one night when the pain robbed me of sleep. Now, looking back? Well, I just cannot see it working any other way. THAT is what makes my job…. A JOY!
  • The Horror in Smithville – Part Five : “Standing there, Timmy felt a cool breeze passing under the door. Now, he knew that he and Archer had kept the window in his bedroom closed. As hard as it was raining, outside, an open window would have drenched the bed and sleeping bag. He leaned over to the right, slightly, looking at the space between the bottom of the door and the sill below. Sure enough, there was a light on in the room. It was lighter that what his ‘Adventures of Princess Nadia’ nightlight created, too. Timmy screwed up his courage, wrapped his hand around the doorknob, and turned the knob.” ANOTHER great ‘Behind the Scenes’ story relates to the creation of this, Part Five. You see, Part Five NEVER EXISTED! When I wrote part four, then looked back over it getting ready to write (what is now Part Six)… well, I just did not like how it ended, Part Four. Something was missing. I gave it a great deal of thought… then it hit me! In ending Part Four, the way I did, I have deprived myself of a Grand Entrance for ‘The Tall Man’! Once I experienced that inspiration, well there was no ‘going back’. I simply had to re-write Part Four, and have it segway right into THIS Part Five. Part Five exists solely for the purpose of the introduction of ‘The Tall Man’ to his Protagonist = Timmy. It was all falling into place, just like a prefect shuffle in cards, each person (card) was stacking right on top of the other person (card) to form a ‘dove-tail’ of characters. My Dear Readers, this was not ‘planned’… this just happened to me, and I can never express just how happy I am that it… did!
  • The Horror in Smithville – Part SIX : “And we are not talking about a really nice graveyard, eight. This graveyard looked to be from long long ago. The headstones were mostly broken, the names of the dearly beloved long ago forgotten to time. Gnarled trees, leaning half out of the ground, were the only remaining landscaping. Above, the moon hung full in the sky while a deep rolling fog moved over the ground.. It just then that Timmy felt the first deep chill, it was very cold and damp outside.” This, My Dear Readers, THIS is when it all started coming together. In THIS chapter… the MAGIC started happening. Let me explain a little. First, in part six I started interweaving the boy’s reality with their dream world! Things, and people, from one part of their lives began showing up in the other part of their lives! This gave me all sorts of creative opportunities. NEXT? Next the boys were taken to a different dream world! More than one ‘dream world’ freed me up, as a writer, and gave me the opportunity to begin interweaving their “Dream Worlds’! This was a huge gift to me, as a writer… but the best I saved for LAST. In Part Six… I did something that reached off the page! Now, My Dear Readers, if you are a frequent readers then you have (no doubt) hear about my most favorite… my PRIZED novel; ‘The Adventures of Princess Nadia’ book ONE to be ‘The Healing Light’. I have written about this upcoming work for the better part of the past FOUR years. In Part Six, I managed to create a ‘Trademark’ writing dynamic exclusive to Daniel Hanning. IN part Six… I brought Princess Nadia and Alexander into the ‘dream world’ of Timmy and Archer! That’s RIGHT My Dear Readers, it will be a trademark of my writing style that MY characters Cross Over into other literary works of mine! Never before have I read of this being done by another writer. Not only that, but it is not just a chance encounter! That’s RIGHT Princess Nadia and Alexander will have full roles in ‘The Horror in Smithville’ and Timmy and Archer WILL APPEAR in ‘The Adventures of Princess Nadia’! My Dear Readers, when I made this happen on the page… and it WORKED! I was just THRILLED at the possibilities! I am not going to give any spoilers… but this is going to happen… and BIG!
  • The Horror in Smithville – Part Seven : “Timmy had directed Archer to climb to the highest branch of the old gnarled tree he could manage. There he would do his best to; bleed, slow down and/or maim as many of these zombie-wolves as possible. You see, that is a common misnomer about archers, and archery, among the larger populous. Archers rarely ‘kill’ someone with an arrow to the heart. Archers are best to bleed your opponents, causing them to slow and reducing strength. Timmy had explained all this, to Archer, as they climbed the gnarled tree.” My Dear Readers, at FOURTEEN PAGES in Word, this Part, Part Seven, is the single LARGEST of all the parts so far. In it I tie together all the new tools, tricks, characters, and ‘trademarks’. I interweave just about every aspect of this story, and this story begins getting dark. By becoming dark the story firmly plants itself into the Horror genre and leaves no doubt to the readers. This is a horror story, and one of a different and terribly original style and feel. This final part, for the first ¼ of the book, sums up Timmy and Archer’s experience in their ‘Dream World’, so far. Now, not only are characters from different IPs showing up in other intellectual properties? Events, and people, from reality are showing up in Dream World (OTHER THAN Timmy and Archer), events are carrying over from one reality to another. Now, I really do not want to tip my hand… I REALLY want you to READ THIS STORY… if you haven’t already… and (here is the REAL problem with reviews) I want to do this without giving away any of the surprises and without diminishing the suspense. However, weighing in at 14 pages THIS part of the story… is monumental! That is why I am taking my time working on, out, Part EIGHT! I do plan on its release TOMORROW… May 8th, 2014. Barring any totally unforeseen circumstances… like the A/C going out completely… I WILL PUBLISH ‘part Eight’ Thursday may 8th, 2014.
  • The Horror in Smithville – Part EIGHT: “Welcome back My Dear Readers to The Other Shoe. Just as promised, I have worked through the night, and most of this morning, to make sure I was able to publish the much anticipated (and slightly tardy) Part EIGHT – ‘The Horror in Smithville’! You know, My Dear Readers, I am really glad that I didn’t promise any particular; plot twists, character changes, plot lines or story lines prior to writing.” Here it IS!! After many readers having waited another week, just to read this episode, here is the much anticipated PART EIGHT of The Horror in Smithville’!!! I am not sharing any spoilers, here today… so if you want to know “what happens”? You will just have to take a few moments and read this great episode, yourself! ENJOY!
  • The Horror in Smithville – Part Nine : “Timmy was pale, in color, in his face and arms. Almost like he had been drained of blood. Archer pulled Timmy’s jacket up around his face and over his ears. As Archer’s hands passed Timmy’s face, he felt heat radiating from Timmy’s face. Jeeze! Archer had never felt a fever that hot before in his life. Timmy had to have a fever well over 100 degrees, and he was standing in a foot of snow by the edge of the road. The more Archer thought about it, the more he realized that taking Timmy to school in his current condition was not the best idea.” In this, the ninth episode of the series, we find Archer struggling to get Timmy to school. Honestly, going to school had to have been the single worst idea of young Archer’s life. Yet, if they had stayed at home… well, Timmy’s illness would have been readily apparent and that would lead to too many questions. This way, Archer thought, was the best way to avoid his parents finding out… Finding out that their young son, Timmy Marref, had fallen prey to a bite from a zombie wolf. Archer thought avoiding that confrontation, at any cost, was the best choice. Archer did not know of anyone, at school that would be able to help Timmy, yet something inside him pushed him forward. Little did Archer know that help was there, at the school, just waiting to lend a helping hand.
  • The Horror in Smithville – Part TEN: “The final bell for homeroom rang just as Timmy and Archer had sat down in their seats. Timmy really didn’t feel like sitting quietly for the next hour. Actually, he had so much energy he felt like going out and running or playing in the snow. Timmy was daydreaming about just that when he heard his name called out, Ms. Steward was calling roll.” Archer had made good on his promise to Timmy, they were at school, and no one was the wiser. However, it was becoming increasingly more difficult for Archer to hide Timmy’s condition… and more difficult moving Timmy from place to place. Timmy needed help and Archer had no idea where to turn. IN this episode we follow the boys through two classes at school… and an surprise announcement! Time is running short for Timmy. Will Archer find the help that Timmy so desperately needs? Will our duo be ‘found out’, or will help arrive from a very unexpected source? All this, and more, awaits you in this, the TENTH episode of ‘The Horror in Smithville’!
  • The Horror in Smithville – Part ELEVEN! : “Mr. Champion snapping his fingers, right in front of his face, brought Archer back to this world and struggle at hand. For the past several hours all, in the world, Archer wanted was someone to help Timmy. Help Timmy survive the bite from the zombie wolves, and get back to his old self. Now, it appeared that help had arrived in the form of the substitute teacher for Mr. Albright. The Mr. Albright that, just last night, he and Timmy had watched as ‘The Tall Man’ and pulled his head from his shoulders, his spine from his body, and then drank his blood like a ice cold Coke.”There’s nothing like a nice cold ‘Coke’, eh? In this episode Archer, finally, gets the help he needs with Timmy. None, too soon, either! Timmy was fading in and out of consciousness, his left hand as big as a catcher’s mitt, a fever that radiated off his body like a furnace, and a terrible sweat that caused pools of hot water wherever they boys went. But, what is it with this Mr. Champion… ‘David’ as he says he wants to be called. Where did he come from? How did he know that Timmy was in trouble? How did he open a locked science classroom door… without so much as touching the door? How does one start a flame on a Bunsen burner with NO source of heat or flame? Stay tuned, My Dear Readers, with the coming episodes all will be told, all will become clear!
  • The Horror in Smithville – Part TWELVE! : “The adventures of Timmy and Archer are as real, and come from my own personal experiences, as any thing I have ever written. There are moments, several of them, which you will be reading today that were literally taken out of my memories as a young man. As an extra special treat, for everyone out there from Pearland Texas, (and everyone that has known me and my scholastic life) there is a very special ‘Guest Appearance’ in today’s episode by someone we all dearly loved.” In this episode of ‘The Horror in Smithville’ Timmy and Archer jump out of the pan and directly into the fire! Barry has, finally, caught up with our intrepid heroes and he has blood on his mind! Barry has clotheslined Timmy and is sitting on his chest! Archer, frozen by fear cannot manage to respond or think of just how to help is fallen friend. What will come? Only way to find out? READ the upcoming episode of ‘The Horror in Smithville’ right here at ‘The Other Shoe’!
  • The Horror in Smithville – Part Thirteen : “If you find this episode too disturbing, too violent, too bloody or what-not? Then, what is to come will, most certainly, curl your blood. While writing this (prose? Did you hear this episode? Could you feel the beat under the words?), I got a glimpse of many of the chapters to come. This. My first venture into the genre of horror, is going to be far more horrific than I first imagined.” Well… THERE is a ‘spoiler’ if ever I saw one! I am not going to say too much about this episode, because I do not want to give anything away. Just one thing… don’t read this on a full stomach. K?

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And THAT My Dear Readers is ‘The Story So Far…’! I know that it is pretty… well, cruel to have left the ‘main story line’ where I did. With Timmy a bloody mess from his beating at the hands of Barry Gartuska, his bloody body in Archer’s lap. I know that there are a great many readers that really want me to get back to the main story line, and Timmy and Archer. I will! I promise you, My Dear Readers, that just as soon as… well, all this ‘plot points’, ‘character development’, and stuff gets put to bed I will return to Timmy and Archer.

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Those two boys have so many more adventures, ahead of them. Ooopppsss! That was a ‘spoiler’ and I deeply apologize for letting that out. Suffice to say that, within the next two weeks, we all, My Dear Readers, will be getting back to the main story line and the events and adventures that initially captured your attention. Can I be completely honest with you, My Dear Readers?

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I am getting a kick out of writing, and publishing, this story. When I first imagined this story, first started writing down notes and developing the characters? I never (in a million years) imagined; how well received, the incredible traffic, the incredible success that this story (and Timmy and Archer) has received. I am very proud of the following, the ‘Likes’ and the ‘Shares’. I will not let you, My Dear Readers, down! This story is just getting started!

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Now, I am really in a lot of pain. I had not planned on writing or publishing, today. I just could not ‘stay away’! Thank you all for; your time, your support, your ‘Likes’ and ‘Shares’ and… most of all, Thank you for being My Dear Readers!

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Adieu!

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Thank YOU!

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Danny Hanning of The Other Shoe - May 6th, 2014

Danny Hanning of The Other Shoe – May 6th, 2014

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