• The Book of Dyzod – Holiday – Joseph Carney

    Continued from prior months:

    To anyone watching the dumpster behind the Belview Waffle House, it would have appeared that a raggedy homeless man climbed out of it. If […]

    • wow. urban fanatsy is my favorite genre! i understand this is part of a larger work — i haven’t read any of the previous stories, but this stands on its own as great and interesting! The pacing was just right, not too bogged down in descriptions of the environment, and the main character just gets on with the story right away. I’m left intrigued and wanting to read more! i’m keen to learn more about the magic system used and how magic and wizards fit into the modern world setting. I’m definitely going to read previous stories in the series to catch up! Thanks for sharing!

    • I really enjoyed this story! I’ve read maybe one or two other installments of this story from you, but I agree that this piece stands on its own very well. I love your exploration of the magic in this world. The character of Timothy comes out in his use of magic, and it’s fun to explore all the different ways he uses it. Definitely makes me want to read more as well. What’s going to happen next!?

  • Short, sweet, and to the point. Excellent choice of information to provide to get the reader interested.
    Makes me want to know what the clinic is up to!
    And make sure what happens to the main character.
    You did not use her name in this short section, so without reading the other section we don’t know what it is.

  • The Book of DyZod – Guarded – by Joseph Carney

    The story so far: Adam died in an accident but returned to life. While recovering he was kept prisoner, and someone stole his memories. After escaping from his […]

    • Hi Joseph. I don’t think I have read other installments of this story, but I enjoyed reading this section and was able to follow along well. I know you had the warning of “boring background stuff”, but I did enjoy how you brought in the “background stuff”. You brought out the characters and did it in a way that was showing more than telling. It also set up expectations for the future, and gives a sense of what’s coming.
      Great job!

    • I’m trying to decide if this stands alone enough to not need the preamble (which I read). Although maybe it does help because there are a lot of characters in a short space. I definitely like the complexities here. I love a fortune teller/reader/psychic hidden in plain sight. Intriguing.

  • Thanks for the review.
    I write a story in first person at times and then switch to third person. I don’t always catch all the tags!
    I’m glad you like my characters.

  • Continued from prior months:

    Adam’s eyes were open but not focused. He stared upward at a single role of fluorescent lights recessed in the ceiling of the ambulance. He was unable to move or feel his feet or his […]

    • I really enjoyed getting to know these vibrant characters. I haven’t read your previous pieces, so when you described what each person was eating I started imagining their personalities. There are also some wonderful, creepy lines like, “He was not in pain; the fall had damaged his nerves so badly that he could not feel pain.” I noticed a possible typo where you say, “Jenny got in the back with me and closed the door.” (Is it supposed to be “with Adam”?) Anyways, seems like a good slice of an overall very interesting tale!

    • Thanks for the review.
      I write a story in first person at times and then switch to third person. I don’t always catch all the tags!
      I’m glad you like my characters.

  • Oops. I thought the word count was 1200, not 1250. So, this story is fifty words too short.
    I would have used them to expand the part right after Jenny tells Adam she knew of his father and why Anna chose that moment to appear.

  • Continued from previous months: “Your casting is based on your voice?” Adam asked. “You have to be able to speak to cast.””No, I can cast without it, but to cast the big stuff, I have to use a frame to hang the […]

    • Oops. I thought the word count was 1200, not 1250. So, this story is fifty words too short.
      I would have used them to expand the part right after Jenny tells Adam she knew of his father and why Anna chose that moment to appear.

    • Hey Joseph, this is the first of your work I think I have read. I am new to urban fantasy and think it is dystopian world, set in urban setting? Anyway, I enjoyed what you had written and since I am coming in at the middle, I may not be able to offer things you haven’t heard before. Is this a scene in the 52 scenes or a short story? Either way, your writing has advanced the story line and increases the conflict. It makes the reader interested in reading more. Your writing shows two well-developed characters plus a vampire and it seems like all three have a purpose in this story.

      Your writing showed conflict, action and emotional change in both Jenny and the guy who went off the deck. Keep up the good work. I will check in again. Gretchen

  • The Book of Dyzod – Joseph Carney – 1800 words. Part ?? The Flowers

    A Continuing Story.

    After Adam and Jenny left the nightclub named ‘The Grave-Yard’, they stood outside for a moment before getting onto Jenny […]

    • Hi Joseph, really good action and it moved very well. I loved how you used the prompt so very subtly in the beginning to signal the trigger for the action to come. Even though it is somewhere in the middle of the whole story, it stands alone and still entices me to read more and want to read more. Great job! Thanks for your story.

    • I loved these scenes. They really drew me. The action was fast paced and well written. I’ll have to check up on the previous ones to catch up.

  • Once, there were two villages, one on either side of a small brook no bigger than a ditch. These two villages shared everything they had, treating each other as one.

    Then there came a time when the brook started […]

    • I really like this fable, although I didn’t completely understand the moral at the end. This could be applied to a lot of situations, which gives it strength.

    • Hi Joseph, interesting fable of letting a rift grow between hearts of peoples. Hatred does seem to grow without reason often, and this reflects it. Thank you for your story.

    • Hi Joseph. I love fables and your story started well but I think the really small word -count caught you and you were forced to rush the ending. I was wrong in my prediction of the ending. I thought that the people on both sides would continue to throw rocks and eventually the rocks would form a bridge – that would offer the opportunity to build bridges or launch a war to conquer. Thank for an interesing read.

  • June – Clue – 1800 words – 16 June

    “We need to get to the truth,” the voice said from behind the screen said. A masking device distorted the voice. It sounded like a frog croaking.

    “What do you mean by truth,” […]

    • Joseph, thank you for sharing. When I read “horror” I began to worry! Really, it the same question all mankind asks – where did we come from, who made us, how did we get here. It sounds like your “aliens” (is that the right word?) were far superior to those of us present-day inhabitants. They did fail to see the uprising, but in retrospect, have made some good conclusions. It was good to read this – a time old tale, with new participants, telling of man’s search, our desire to live, to seek shelter, to have families. I enjoyed this story. Your characters engender sympathy and caring but they are survivors and sometimes survivors got to do “survivorly” type things. Intriguing. Tell us more.

    • Hey Joseph – I like your take on the evolution theory. An engaging story – thanks for sharing.

  • The Meeting by Joseph Carney


    They Never Said Anything


    Rodger was in trouble.

    The world had come to a screeching halt around him, and he did not know why. He had been in his apartment for the past week, […]

    • I like the premise. You are off to a good start. In Ridgers journey to the old man, describe what he sees. Especially the things lurking in the shadows, cause they are important. Also I was bit confused: first it seemed like the old man hinted that they were demons and later he made it sound like they were angels helping Rodger?

    • Great beginning and very dramatic. I think also that there should be an indication of the strange tall red-eyed beings he came across in the shadows and you could do that by having less dialogue (some of it repeated) with the old man. Fascinating start though. Are you working on this as a longer piece?

    • I think this has great potential, and needs a little more editing to make it truly shine. Great work though!

  • Fragile – 750 Words by Joseph Carney

    The end continues by Joseph Carney


    Last week, Rodger’s world came to an end. Not just Rodger’s world, but the world as everyone knew it. Overnight, something happe […]

    • This is good – you paint very thorough descriptions of the world Rodger finds himself in and create a lot of questions in the reader’s mind- what are those black creatures? Were they real? Where did the feather come from and why did it shock him? My only input would be to insert some kind of reaction from Rodger upon encountering those first rampant acts of violence. You do loop around later to his fears of leaving the apartment – and those fears seem to be borne out by the previous descriptions. The piece might have deeper resonance with that addition. I like the final line – it sums up how I think most of us would feel when confronted with this abrupt and unwelcome change in our world.

    • A descriptive look into what can happen when tech fails. Can only hope that humanity prevails 🤞It’ll be good to let Rodger overcome his fear and get out there 😉

    • I like reading about doomsday situations. You have laid the ground work here for a story dealing with the end of our modern civilization. Now you need to go on expounding on the situation. What happens next to this man who is afraid of the current situation and the future. He has to take a step out that door. Where will he go next? Where will he find safety in a world gone mad? It is significant that the setting is Nashville, close to mountains and opportunities for survival! Does he find safety connecting up with the Amish communities near Cookeville? I would like to see what happens next! You have piqued my curiosity!

  • And so it begins by Joseph Carney


    Sometime last night the world came to a grinding halt and I did not notice until I opened my refrigerator this morning. The next clue was my coffee pot wasn’t brewing my m […]

    • Well… This is creepy. The use of first person gives us an unreliable narrator which adds significantly to the creepiness factor. He seems normal enough at the start, but some of what he tells us (especially with the neighbor lady seemingly blown to bits) seems so outlandish that we doubt what he says. However, we have no other perspective to draw from, so we’re left wondering. And, honestly, after everything from 2020, what was once outlandish now seems less so. The ending, therefore, is a cliffhanger. How accurate is he? Is this all some sort of nightmare and he just needs to wake up, was he transported to some other dimension, is he suffering a psychotic break, or did the world end and he’s somehow the only survivor? We don’t know, and that works here.

      You stated it was a bit rushed, but there’s definite potential here. The only part that really doesn’t work for me is timeline as indicated by the verb tenses. They shift a bit–a common problem in writing, and a special challenge when in first person. The opening references “last night” as if it’s being written in the here and now, but then another night comes in, so when is this being said or written? The last night is in present tense (“help me”) when the rest was in past. Just needs a little tightening. Enjoyable read on the whole, though, and super creepy.

      Thank you for sharing.

    • Wow!! Seriously creepy!! A totally different genre from what I usually read on here, I loved this, almost like a breath of fresh air.

  • Beginning of the End – Joseph Carney


    It Happened

    “What do you mean old man?” Rodger asked. “I don’t understand.”

    “I’ve been telling you what’s going to happen, and you don’t believe me,” the old man said. […]

    • Hey Joseph,

      Nice run at the apocalypse. This feels like a part of something bigger, but still entertaining. I feel like it could use some editing to tighten up the narrative, but it’s a good effort.

      Thanks for sharing.

    • Hi Joseph,

      This piece is probably true. Some day, who knows?
      I enjoyed the piece, but wanted to point out to only run the tags in the first two sentences. After that, your reader will know how to banter back and forth. If you feel the banter went on too long and you need to remind your reader who is speaking, try body language instead of a tag.

      There are some great ways to avoid tags, and we should use those ways whenever we can. Of course, there will be times we have to use tags, but work hard to work around them.

      I believe this may be the first piece I have ever read of yours. I’m glad I stopped by.

    • Hi Joseph. Your writing provides quite a pleasant balance of elements: drama, humour, mystery, backstory. Your apocalyptic theme had your own unique approach and did not feel cliched and held my interest all the way through.
      I did feel that your dialogue could perhaps have contained less “empty” content, or let’s rather say I felt you could’ve used your words more economically.
      The ending felt a bit “to be continued,” but the angel was a stunning unexpected twist!
      I enjoyed this! 😀

  • The Book of Dyzod – Freedom by Joseph Carney


    Adam, in search of his memories, meets an old friend at a night club.

    “I’m supposed to believe you can’t remember anything,” the beautiful zombie said, “and y […]

    • Cool read! I enjoyed the humour. Zombies are my least favourite of all fantasy characters but I was tickled by the imagery of beer drinking zombies.

    • You have a couple of really cool ideas here. It’s more a scene than a short story though, and I’d like to see where it goes.

    • Hi Joseph. Your dialogue feels natural and kept my attention. The setting was really exciting, although I would’ve like a few more clues as to the set-up (is graveyard a specific area in a club, or is this a club in a graveyard, or a graveyard in a club?). I’m guessing this is part of a bigger story, as the storyline feels like it shouldn’t quite stand on its own.
      I liked the characters you created – a pretty and naughty zombie who likes to hug and drives a sporty bike! 😀
      I felt like there were somewhat too many characters mentioned, as none of them besides Adam and Jenny really had a function, but if this is part of a bigger story, I’d really love to know more.

  • The Book of Dyzod – Hyped up  by Joseph Carney


    Continued from prior months:

    Adam’s memories have been stolen and he is sent on a quest to recover the Book of Dyzod.

    Inside the club, the sound was so intense […]

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Joseph Carney

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