Real Dreams: Thirty Years of Short Stories


A French prisoner struggles to survive in a Nazi concentration camp during World War II. A delinquent youth is obsessed with a cemetery ghost. Good and evil fight over the soul of a zombie. A grandmother thought to suffer from mental illness predicts the future. Car trouble leads to an encounter with an angel. A chief must calm a volcano before it destroys his village. A human tries to dissuade elves and dwarves from going to war. A bride confronts deception in an effort to reunite with her bridegroom. A boy encounters superhuman army ants that escape from a military laboratory and move into his bedroom closet.

These stories and more are featured in Real Dreams: Thirty Years of Short Stories, a collection of 15 short stories I wrote between 1981 and 2011.

Dreams

Each story reflects changes in my writing style and interests over time. I wrote the earliest story, How Little Big Chief Calmed the Mountain, in 1981 at the age of ten, and the latest, Evil | Live, thirty years later. The stories are grouped by genre to help the reader identify each style. They feature some common themes, including hope, dreams, light, darkness, perseverance, and spirituality, wrapped up in some novel ideas. Enjoy these diverse and timeless works three decades in the making.

Story Synopses

Vichy (1990) tells the story of Jean-Marie Daubert, a spy for the French Resistance during World War II who was captured and sent to Gross-Rosen concentration camp in Poland (then Silesia). It’s a sobering story of love and loss told through letters from Daubert to his wife Corinne.

The Ballick Eye (1988) is a ghost story about a delinquent youth sent by his parents to live with an aunt who is determined to straighten him out. Can a cemetery ghost turn his life around?

Evil | Live (2011) is a twist on the traditional horror story. Good and evil engage in an epic struggle for the soul of a zombie.

The Grandma Conspiracy (2004) tells the story of an elderly woman with the ability to predict the future whose family believes she suffers from mental illness. The story is narrated by one of her grandchildren who struggles to help her.

Room G-13 (1993) is a horror story with a twist. Strange sounds emanate from the maintenance man’s room at a college dormitory, leading one student to investigate what’s really going happening there.

The Factory Worker in the Corner Office (2007) is an allegory about a white-collar worker who deals with a difficult boss.

Saved by Hope (1988) is a true story based on an encounter I had with an angel during the summer of 1987.

Mysterius, Lord of the Unknown (1987) tells the tale of the Greek god of the unknown. The ancient Greeks dedicated some temple altars to an unknown god. Mysterius is an interpretation of this deity.

How Little Big Chief Calmed the Mountain (1981) is an allegory inspired by the May 1981 eruption of Mt. St. Helens. A village leader must appease an angry volcano before it erupts and destroys his village.

The Emissary’s Battle (2005) is a story set in a fantasy world. A human envoy must use diplomacy to diffuse a conflict between elves and dwarves before it leads to war.

Kirche and the Mirror (1992) is a religious allegory. On the day her bridegroom returns, the bride must confront deception and illusions before reuniting with him.

Suits (1989) is a science fiction short with an ironic twist. A child dreams of an alien invasion.

Verda (1997) ponders the existence of a second moon orbiting Earth capable of sustaining life and humanity’s efforts to colonize it. The story explores themes ranging from space exploration to environmental preservation.

G.I. Ants (1983) is a story about a boy’s encounter with a group of superhuman army ants who escape from a military laboratory and move into his closet.

High Flying Deutschman (1988) tells the story of a German exchange student’s quest to learn baseball and join a championship high school team.

Real Dreams is available in e-book format for only $2.99 (or equivalent in local currencies) at:

Real Dreams is available in print for just $8.99 (or equivalent in local currencies) at:

More About Real Dreams

Real Dreams Featured in the Foreign Service Journal


dreamscoverThe Foreign Service Journal has featured my book Real Dreams: Thirty Years of Short Stories in its annual “In Their Own Write” compilation of books published by Foreign Service-affiliated authors in 2012. The Foreign Service Journal writes of Real Dreams (p. 49):

Mike Edwards wrote these 15 short stories over a period of 30 years, beginning in his youth. He covers a wide variety of themes and topics inspired by dreams and experiences over those years.

These stories encompass a boy’s fantasies and an adult man’s maturation. A young boy finds himself the protector of genetically modified army ants that have escaped from the military. An old woman considered to be mentally ill may have reason for her outbursts, while a prisoner of war writes letters of hope from his Nazi concentration camp during World War II. And a gloomy maintenance man turns out to have a terrifying history.

 

Real Dreams is a collection of stories I wrote between 1981 and 2011. Each reflects changes in my writing style and interests over time. I wrote the earliest story, “How Little Big Chief Calmed the Mountain,” as a young student, and the latest, “Evil | Live,” three decades later. The book is a story sampler rather than a cohesive anthology. The stories are grouped by genre. You will find some common themes, including hope, dreams, light, darkness, perseverance, and spirituality, wrapped up in some novel ideas. In some stories, the reader is left to ponder their deeper meaning. I hope you enjoy these diverse and timeless works three decades in the making.

Thank you, Foreign Service Journal, for including Real Dreams on your 2012 list. I am grateful that my book joined other superb works written by Foreign Service colleagues and alumni. I encourage readers to browse the books featured in “In Their Own Write” and read the Journal to learn more about the Foreign Service.

Real Dreams is available to purchase as an e-book or in print from these booksellers:

U.S. Booksellers

dreamscover2Available to purchase as an e-book for US$2.99:

Amazon.com for Kindle

Apple iTunes for iPad/iPhone

Baker & Taylor for Blio e-reader

Barnes & Noble for Nook

Diesel Ebooks for iPad and other e-readers

Google Play for Android

Kobo Books for Kobo e-reader

Smashwords for iPad and other e-readers

Sony ReaderStore for Sony e-reader

Available in print for US$8.99:

Amazon.com

Createspace-

International Booksellers

Available as an e-book or in print (prices vary by format and local currency):

Amazon.co.uk (United Kingdom)

Amazon.fr (France)

Amazon.de (Austria and Germany)

Amazon.it (Italy)

Amazon.co.jp (Japan)

Amazon.es for Kindle (Spain)

Available as an e-book:

Barnes & Noble for Nook (United Kingdom)

Visit my websitefor a complete list of booksellers.

 

About the Foreign Service Journal

The Foreign Service Journal covers foreign affairs from an insider’s perspective, providing thoughtful articles on international issues, the practice of diplomacy and the U.S. Foreign Service. The Journal is published monthly (July/August issues combined) by the American Foreign Service Association (AFSA). The November issue features its annual “In Their Own Write” compilation, the largest edition yet, with some 90 new books by Foreign Service-affiliated authors. The list spans almost every conceivable literary genre: from history and foreign policy to memoirs and biographies, and from novels and short stories to mysteries and how-to books.

About the American Foreign Service Association

Established in 1924, AFSA is the professional association of the United States Foreign Service. With close to 16,000 dues-paying members, AFSA represents over 28,000 active and retired Foreign Service employees of the Department of State, Agency for International Development (AID), Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS), Foreign Commercial Service (FCS), and International Broadcasting Bureau (IBB).

Click here to read the original post on my blog, World Adventurers.

dreamscoverM.G. Edwards is a writer of books and stories in the mystery, thriller and science fiction-fantasy genres. He also writes travel adventures. He is author of Kilimanjaro: One Man’s Quest to Go Over the Hill, a non-fiction account of his attempt to summit Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest mountain, a collection of short stories called Real Dreams: Thirty Years of Short Stories and Alexander the Salamander, a children’s story set in the Amazon. His books are available to purchase as an e-book and in print from Amazon.com and other booksellers. He lives in Bangkok, Thailand with his wife Jing and son Alex.

For more books or stories by M.G. Edwards, visit his web site at www.mgedwards.com or his blog, World Adventurers. Contact him at me@mgedwards.com, on Facebook, on Google+, or @m_g_edwards on Twitter.

© 2012 Brilliance Press. All rights reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted without the written consent of the author.

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Thoughts and Sayings (March 2012)


thinkerHere are some thoughts and sayings I posted on Twitter and/or Facebook in February. To my knowledge, I made these up (for better or for worse). Sit back, relax, and enjoy the write!

1. I have a hangover from a heavy bout of writing and imbibing the fruits of my labor.

2. “Passive aggressive” is how an aggressive individual describes a passive person who has finally had enough of them.

3. From morning to evening I toil, and from evening to morning I rest. Ne’er shall the twain meet unless fate takes away the rest.

4. Whenever I burn the midnight oil, all I have left the next day are fumes.

5. Fascinating Oscar tidbit: No one named Oscar has ever won an Oscar.

6. Don’t bite the hand that doesn’t feed you either.

7. Oh how I hate to get up in the morning, oh how I hate to get out of bed. I think I’ll pretend it’s evening instead.

8. I dropped a bombshell, but it was a dud.

9. Why climb a mountain when you can level it?

10. Mornings are like dreams. Sometimes you never want them to end, and sometimes they’re simply nightmares.

11. If lettuce has a head, where’s the body?

12. A hippopotamus that criticizes another is being hippocritical.

13. I hired myself to manage my personal affairs. The pay is lousy, but I have a great boss.

14. I fired myself from managing my own affairs. I was taking the job too personally.

15. I’m exhausted. That’s great if you’re a muffler, but not if you’re a snorer.

16. I can’t understand why real life keeps me from spending time online with my imaginary friends.

17. That sound bite took a chunk out of my ear.

18. Facebook should let you friend yourself and Twitter should let you follow yourself so you can receive updates on how you’re doing.

19. A romantic ditty to tell your loved one on Valentine’s Day: “Your teeth are like a flock of sheep just shorn, coming up from the washing.”

20. Love is patient, love is kind, but you better buy red roses or you’re going to be in a heap of trouble.

21. Somebody should write a book called “A Pair of Normal Bromances” about some average Frankenstein’s Monsters who share a strong fraternal bond.

22. Saying something when everyone is asleep is a great way to be heard. It’s just too bad no one is around to listen to what you have to say.

23. I try to embrace my differences, but they’re always arguing with each other. Most of the time I have to separate them.

24. I rid myself of the negative energy but now have none left.

25. It’s more fun to be the younger sibling when you get older.

26. I wonder what my mind is thinking right now.

27. The Squat Heard ‘Round the World – The New York Giants beat the New England Patriots in the Superbowl by an unwanted touchdown.

28. The world’s going to hell in a hand basket but doesn’t have enough material to finish weaving it.

29. I’m so far behind that it’s going to take me awhile to get less farther behind.

30. Does Punxsutawney Phil make you want to run and hide or leave you scared of your own shadow?

31. The slash and burn method works whenever you have piles of work to do and they’re all hot.

32. Light can’t travel. It doesn’t have suitcases or a passport.

33. I just got back from a bike ride. It gave me a chance to catch up with my thoughts. Walking was too slow.

34. Rovio should partner with Warner Bros. to produce a game called “Tweety Birds” where angry yellow birds pelt Sylvester the Cat with 140 character tweets.

35. “Name the Wat” is a fun game to play in Thailand where you nickname a temple, or “wat,” whenever you see one. My favorite temples are “Wat Dowedonow” and “Wat Areyoudoin.”

36. If a movie is boring, here’s a trick to make it more interesting. Pick one character and count how many times they do one thing on screen. Sarah Jessica Parker brushed aside her hair no less than 16 times (not counting scratching head lice) in “I Don’t Know How She Does It.” Watching her was very entertaining.

Click here to read the previous batch of Thoughts and Sayings.