Tag: Kindle

Nora enters the city

Here’s one of my illustrations from What’s Left of the Stars. In this scene, Nora has just left her home and entered the city. She doesn’t receive a warm welcome at first.

What’s Left of the Stars is available on Kindle.

Copyright 2019 Matthew David Curry. All rights reserved.

Finding Drake Novak

Drake Novak is an alien who feeds on the misery of other life forms. He runs a factory in a small Southern town — and he systematically torments all the workers. A young cop from the Galactic Precinct comes to Earth to arrest him. Finding Drake Novak is available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle.

You can click here to learn more.

Copyright © 2016 Matthew David Curry. All rights reserved.

What’s Left of the Stars

My new e-book is called What’s Left of the Stars. It’s available on Kindle for 99 cents. It’s a wacky science fiction story for kids. (I’ve been working on this project since last summer. That’s why I haven’t posted much art lately.)

Nora lives in a little house on an asteroid with a cruel, evil man named Mr. Sly. Nora dreams of escaping from him. One morning, a meteor crashes into the roof and destroys the house. Mr. Sly dies in the explosion, but Nora survives. As the house burns, Nora crawls into Mr. Sly’s fancy space car and stares at all the glowing buttons on the dashboard. Terrified but hopeful, Nora flies away in search of a new life.

You can click here to see more.

Copyright © 2019 Matthew David Curry. All rights reserved.

How to Make an Artist Miserable

Once, my boss asked me to draw a portrait of his children, but I didn’t want to do it. In order to draw a picture, I have to WANT to draw it. I can’t spend three or four hours huddled over a piece of paper if there’s no passion in my heart. I’m not a picture machine.

But my boss kept hounding me. When I reluctantly agreed to draw his children, he gave me a tiny photo of them. I could barely see their faces at all. In fact, the kids didn’t even appear to have noses. My boss didn’t seem to understand that I needed to SEE the kids in order to draw them.

Since then, I’ve learned how to say no to people. It’s one of the greatest skills I’ve ever learned. My life is so much easier now.

This book is more than a grumpy rant. It’s a story about coping with annoying people. How to Make an Artist Miserable is available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle.

© 2015 Matthew David Curry. All rights reserved.

Under the Electric Sun

Tristan rolled his eyes. “Hey, dummy, guess what? We didn’t finish that quiz earlier.”

Tristan often used the word “dummy” when talking to Jake. Long ago, when Jake was only five, he and Tristan had sat in the living room floor in front of the mega screen one morning, watching an old cartoon. One of the characters had mumbled the word “dummy,” and Jake had gone into a fit of uncontrollable laughter. Puzzled, Tristan stared at Jake for a few minutes as he rolled around on the carpet. Since then, whenever Tristan wanted to lighten the mood, he dropped the word “dummy” into the conversation.

“Okay,” said Jake. “What’s the next question?”

“Who’s the current president of Phoenix?”

“Um, I don’t remember,” Jake yawned. “I think his first name is Tiberius.”

“I’ll give you partial credit for that one. His name is Tiberius Vaughn. You see him on The Official Information Channel all the time when you’re walking around in the corridors. He’s the skinny guy with black hair and blue eyes.”

“Oh yeah!” Jake blurted, raising his eyebrows. “That spooky guy who never smiles.”

“That’s the one. You know why he never smiles? Because he doesn’t have a soul!”

Suddenly, Jake leaned toward him. “Really?”

Tristan waved his paws around. “No, I was being sarcastic.”

Jake smiled, slumping against the tree trunk. “Oh, I didn’t know. A lot of times, I don’t know when you’re joking. Sorry.”

“Um, it’s okay,” Tristan said.

“What’s the next question?”

“This is the last one,” said Tristan. “Where did the name ‘Phoenix’ come from?”

“Uh, they call it that because it sounds cool?”

“No, dummy. The phoenix was a mythical bird that burned to death and then came back to life again. It rose up from its own ashes. That was the idea they had in mind when they were building this city. If the whole world was wiped out, they wanted America to rise again.”

Jake nodded slowly as he reflected on this. “So what’s the next question?”

Tristan waved a paw in the air. “That was the end of the quiz, Jacob. We’re all done now.”

Jake yawned again and closed his eyes. As the muscles in his neck began to soften, his head dropped.

“Don’t ever tell anybody I said this,” Tristan added, lowering his voice to a whisper. “But President Vaughn doesn’t have any real power at all. He’s just a distraction. He’s just a bunch of noise. Phoenix is actually controlled by a group of people you hardly ever hear about.”

Jake mumbled something Tristan didn’t understand.

“Sometimes, you see these people on The Official Information Channel, having their little meetings,” Tristan continued. “And sometimes, if you stay up late enough, you see them on another channel too. That’s when they talk about the juicy stuff. But they like to turn off the camera when things get really interesting. Oh, that makes me so mad.”

Tristan was mainly talking to himself now, just venting, but he was surprised when Jake didn’t respond. Then he looked up and realized his friend had gone to sleep.

Tristan lay back in the grass and relaxed under the electric sun. Through the tree branches, he saw holographic clouds scrolling by. For a moment, he imagined what it would be like to live on the surface and see real clouds. He wondered if clouds even existed anymore. There was no telling what the atmosphere was like these days.

Under the Electric Sun is a young adult novel that takes place in a luxurious underground city beneath the ruins of Washington, DC. Jake is a dimwitted young man with a kind heart. Tristan is his electronic tutor designed to look like a raccoon, complete with synthetic fur and rubber paws. Under the Electric Sun is available on Amazon. You can click here to order.

Copyright 2013, 2015, 2017 Matthew David Curry. All rights reserved.

Back to School

Last year, I met up with my friend Misty at the school we attended when we were kids. Sadly, it’s not a school anymore. It’s just a few empty buildings on the side of the road. No kids, no electricity, no life. All the playground equipment is gone except for a few random pieces of wood. In front of the principal’s office, there’s a flower bed full of weeds – and a dirty old mattress.n 2001, the teachers and students moved to a brand new facility up the road. Afterward, the old campus became an “alternative school,” a dumping ground for all the unruly kids in the community, the ones who were too evil to attend a regular school. I remember feeling sad when I learned my old school had become a children’s prison. But eventually, the Board of Education stopped using it as an alternative school. They sent all the bad kids somewhere else, I guess. After that, a local charity organization rented the school for a while and stored old clothes and furniture in some of the classrooms – but then they moved on too.

Now the place is a ghost town. Eventually, bulldozers will come and wipe it all away. That’s why Misty and I wanted to take pictures.

The doors to some of the buildings were unlocked. Some of the doors were wide open. And some of the doors were completely gone. We walked freely into all the buildings, wandered down the dark hallways, opened the doors to the classrooms, and peeked inside. I was hesitant to look inside the rooms, but Misty wasn’t. She’s completely fearless. She drives a tanker truck for a living and cuts down trees in her spare time. Nothing scares her at all.

Not all the rooms were empty. We found office desks in some of them. We pulled open drawers and flipped through old books. In one classroom, a TV set was mounted on a wall. In the library, bookcases were still in place – but the books were long gone. In a supply closet, we found giant rolls of colored paper, the kind teachers use for decorating bulletin boards.

Even though there were old desks and supplies here and there, the whole place felt dead and dismal. It was like a tomb.

Except for the gym. As soon as we walked into the gym, we were amazed by the way it smelled. It smelled exactly the way it did in 1991. It had the same metal bleachers on one side and the same scoreboard mounted on the wall. It had the same carpet with those black lines and circles printed on it. Paper cups and pieces of trash were scattered on the floor, but the gym still seemed like a living thing. It seemed like little kids could still have a basketball tournament in there at any minute.

But the longer we stayed there, the more I felt like I needed to get out. This was partly because I was afraid the police might show up and drag us away – although we weren’t doing anything illegal. I had asked the principal of the new school if it was okay to come and take pictures. It was fine to be there. And we didn’t take anything at all. We left everything exactly the way we had found it.

As I thought about it later, I realized why I was itching to get out. I felt like I had trespassed into the wrong decade. At one point in my life, I belonged in those buildings. That was my everyday life. But not anymore. Life has moved on. I belong somewhere else now. I’ve learned that if I reminisce too much, I’ll get stuck in the past. And I won’t appreciate all the good things in my life right now. It’s important to live in the present, to enjoy today.

It felt good to visit my old school, but it also felt good to walk away from it.

My books are available on Amazon in paperback and e-book format. Some are science fiction. Some are Southern Gothic. One is a collection of humorous essays. You can click on this text to take a look at my Amazon page.

Copyright 2016, 2017 Matthew David Curry. All rights reserved.