Thursday, 6 July 2017

The Contest and Other Stories: First Lines Reveal

I've announced The Contest and Other Stories, Phases I, II, and III pre-order campaign at Indiegogo in my three previous posts, but I've not posted any of the updates that are distributed to donors and that appear on the project page.

On that note, because I've just posted an update, and because the sun just popped through the marine layer in my coastal lair, putting me in a festive mood, I'm up for some fun and even some extra work (if you live in the Pacific Northwest, you'll totally understand!)

The updates consist of sharing the paintings that inspired the short stories in the connected collection, along with a reveal of the first few lines of the story. Here's today's campaign update:

The world is in the midst of unparalleled political, environmental, and spiritual upheaval. Many things are changing for better or worse, but the one constant we can depend upon is that there's no lack of good books to keep us focused or distracted, whichever we may need at any given moment!

Reading not only informs us with facts, statistics, history, and through instruction; we can also benefit from immersing ourselves in story, learning about the human condition without having to directly experience the corresponding drama of our favorite fictional characters' lives.

As with all short stories, each and every tale in The Contest & Other Stories highlights a particular conflict in a character's life. Some of our stories are lighthearted and have happy endings, others are dark and end in tragedy, but there's much to ponder about life, love, human emotion, and the pursuit of happiness in each one.

Dance at Bougival (1882), a painting by the incomparable Pierre-Auguste Renoir, inspired "Success," a romantic story involving class struggle that ultimately leads to success - or does it?

Dance at Bougival
Pierre-Auguste Renoir, 1882


After I sold my first book, I clandestinely took dancing lessons, and now the lessons were paying off. Suzanne had finally agreed to dance with me. I shared what I had been missing, twirling her around the dance floor with the expertise of one of those fancy ballroom instructors whose salons line the streets of Paris.


Y une place Animee a Paris (1898), a street scene by Spanish painter Joaquin Pallares Y Allustante, inspired "The Jonah," a paranormal suspense tale in direct contrast to the normalcy of the Victorian-era urban scene.

Y une place Animee a Paris
Joaquin Pallares Y Allustante, 1898


The warning sirens had just faded and the post-explosion silence grew more deafening by the moment. “You did it again, Michel. Get your stuff and get the hell off the property.” Georges growled and waved his hand at the cave-in caused by God knows what – inappropriately placed explosives or too many explosives.


If you haven't already, you'll want to pre-order (and receive quickly via e-mail) the early-bird PDF so you can be one of the earliest readers of The Contest & Other Stories. The PDF is basically the electronic version of the full-color book interior. We'd love to hear from you and receive your feedback!

If you'd like to check out more of the story first line reveals and view the artwork that inspired them, please see the previous updates at The Contest & Other Stories, Phase I, II, and III campaigns, scroll down past the Overview, and click on Updates.

Hope you had a wonderful 4th of July celebration if you're in the US, or are having a lovely summer or winter if you're abroad.

Warm regards and happy reading,

Authors Joe DiBuduo & Kate Robinson

 & Tootie-Do Press

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