Thursday, December 27, 2012
It's always wonderful to find gems such as this in the indie book arena. Tasha and Sophie tell a great story. The murders are suitably grisly, the characters are charming, and the working magical aspects are very interesting. The last point is especially of interest to me, as I like to see how the unusual is integrated into the "real" world. They show the nuts and bolts of it without it being boring. I love that there's a "Sorcerous Crimes Task Force (SeCT)".
If I have any complaints, which I'm nitpicking at this point, because this book was enjoyable and a pleasure to read, the characters sometimes seemed a bit cookie cutter. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but I'm the type of reader who likes to delve deeply into character - that's a personal preference.
The mystery aspect leaves plenty of clues as to who might have done it, while leaving little trails that give you cause to doubt. Close to the end, though, I was pretty certain who, and I was rewarded by being correct. The case is wrapped up neatly; however, throughout the book there is a larger plot at work. At the end, it blows up and leaves a huge lead-in for the next in the series. I will be purchasing the sequel for sure.
Overall, a well written page turner, (I was often up past 2am reading!), for those who are looking for a murder mystery with a twist.
Monday, October 29, 2012
Now, a little about publishing. Some 700 years ago, Johannes Gutenberg put together several new technologies to create a new type of type of printing press. Before this time, all books were either written by hand or printed after a piece of wood had been carved for each page. Somewhere around 150 years ago, Samuel Clemens is credited with being the first author to turn a manuscript in to his editor which had been written on a typewriter. Before that, all manuscripts were written out by hand. In fact, the very word manuscript means hand-written.
Some five years ago, ebooks became very popular with the invention of the Kindle. Ebooks had been around before that, but people like to carry their books around with them, and not have to sit at their desk to read them. The Kindle made the carrying-around part easy. Suddenly readers had the ability to go on vacation and take all of their favorite books with them. They would never run out of things to read. However, because mainstream publishers were slow to make their books available in electronic format, readers became frustrated. At the same time, writers who for one reason or another were unable or unwilling to publish via mainstream companies were frustrated at the inability to get their books in front of willing readers. Self-publishing a book at that time cost a small fortune. By making ebook publishing affordable and available to all, readers and authors both found a cure for their frustration. Authors could afford to self-publish. Readers had more novels to choose from. Self-published ebooks made everyone happy except for the main-stream publishing companies who didn’t dare try the new technology.
Various inventions have changed the face of publishing over the years. The art and science of novel-writing has changed very little, however. An author still needs a hero, his goal, and a bunch of obstacles standing between the two. A good story is a good story, no matter how it’s produced, and it will continue to delight readers for many years to come. The method of its delivery to a reader’s eager eyes and hands is largely irrelevant to the writing process. Instead of stories being written and revised and copied out by hand on voluminous amounts of paper, an ebook can be produced entirely with a computer and use no paper at all, yet still be totally engrossing to the reader. Thanks to my e-reader, I have just discovered a “new” favorite author...H. G. Wells.
Over the thirteen years I worked on Tanella’s Flight, I used a lot of paper. Many of the chapters were written in longhand, then typed into the computer. The manuscript was printed out, double spaced, at nearly a ream of paper per copy, for each revision. Ten copies were printed and sent to beta-readers. By contrast, The Siege of Kwennjurat was never on paper at all until the proof copy was printed. No paper! If you buy an e-copy, then between us we have used no trees in the production of an excellent novel. If you want a print copy, then the tree-consumption is still kept at a minimum, because only copies that are ordered get printed. There is no pile of paper books sitting in a warehouse someplace gathering dust.
The publishing process of both books was different, but the writing followed roughly the same path. I have a hero...and a goal...and a whole pile of obstacles standing in his path.
Books available from A M Jenner:
About the author:
A M Jenner lives in Gilbert, Arizona, with her family, a car named Babycakes, several quirky computers, and around 5,000 books. A self-professed hermit, she loves to interact with her readers online. Her books are available at www.am-jenner.com, as well as most major online retailers.
Friday, September 21, 2012
There are several plot threads woven together to create the overall story and though the main line is about Clara, I have to say, I'm most intrigued with Franz Deckard. I admit to being a sucker for the anti-hero, but I feel like this character has a huge role to play and it's going to be fantastic. I can hardly keep from rubbing my hands together in anticipation. He's a nicely fleshed out character in his own right; I can't wait to see deeper inside such a ruthless, yet perfectly flawed man. All the characters are like this. Wonderfully imperfect; very human.
Another thing that stood out is the canon. Very original take on traditional beings such as witches, werewolves, vampires, and other various paranormal creatures. Absolutely a delight to read. J. R. took time and care in creating this world and its workings; it shows.
The cherry on top of this lovely novel is the nearly flawless editing. What a treasure.
If I had any complaints about Rising at all, it would be the end. It's a part of a series and it doesn't dance around that fact when it drops you like a hot brick. It serves its purpose by pretty much guarenteeing that I'm tapping my foot impatiently wanting the next book; as if I needed a reason. Rising is stellar reading in its genre. If I could rate it more than five coffees, I would in a minute.
Wednesday, September 19, 2012
The lovely Sophie tagged me last week for the Next Big Thing where I answer some questions about my current work in progress.
Shattered Bones for now.
2. Where did the idea come from for the book?
I was doing a portrait of both characters in my novel Fragile Bones, which is from Nathan's POV, and I thought, hey, I should write Michael's story. He's such an interesting character, but you only get the smallest glimpse into who he is because you can only see him from Nathan's perspective. And so it began.
3. What genre does your book fall under?
I'm still trying to figure that one out. Whatever Fragile Bones is, so would be Shattered Bones. I'd call it sort of an esoteric dark urban fantasy for lack of a better idea.
4. Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Gale Harold as Michael. I think he'd perfectly capture the nuances of a long carried pain, the cool aloof exterior, and the fiery, passionate heart of the hidden killer.
Andrej Pejic if he let me dye his hair black. I don't know if he can act, but he's got exactly the right look.
5. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
When the darkness fills the furthest reaches of your soul, only the darkest heart can lead you to the light.
6. Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
Most definitely self-pubbed. I find it rather fullfilling and of course, I have complete control. Not that I'm a control freak or anything, but my stories are my babies.
7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
I'm still working on it. I'll be working on it for quite awhile, I'm sure. It took a full five years with long breaks between to pen Fragile Bones. I don't expect such difficult topics to come any easier the second time around. I sometimes have to wait patiently for the characters to speak.
8. What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
I've not read anything like it, so I don't know.
9. What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
I have a keen interest in digging around the parts of human nature that really should probably be left in the dark. We all have these dark spots we keep hidden, whether we want to admit them or not. My characters are put in extreme situations and they aren't too heroic about how they deal with those circumstances. Even though these books are in the gay category, the subject matter deals more with coming to terms with one's inner darkness and not overcoming it, but recognizing and directing it.
I've got excerpts of Fragile Bones here on my blog and you can of course read quite a ways into the first part of Fragile Bones on Smashwords and Amazon. (see the links on the sidebar)
10. Tag you’re it!
Alas... I'm floating alone in the great wide world. If you find the message in the bottle, pick it up and let me know... I'll link back to you here. ;)
Where to find his work:
Thursday, August 30, 2012
Much gratitude to Tressa for hosting me today and thanks to Literary+ (especially Paul Carroll) for organising the blog tour for me.
There Were 3 In The Bed - Menage, ewww or gimme gimme!
My title today came to me, because, as I was considering this subject for a blog post, that old song 'there were x in the bed and the little one said roll over, roll over', came to mind and it made me laugh as I thought about the extra arms and legs and other unmentionables in a PG post that a writer is dealing with when they tackle a menage. Of course, menage does not strictly mean a sexual relationship, but the type of menage I'm discussing here is definitely of the sexual kind and, usually when I read or write it, it means the sexual relations go all ways, not as in the classical menage a trois where one person has two lovers and those two lovers are not sexually involved.
Phew! Menage is a tricky concept to define and writing it can be even more complex. Traditionally speaking, we're used to duos, one-to-one relationships in both our romance and erotica (less so in porn - and if you want to see my definitions of those three genres, check back to yesterday's blog tour post). When we move on to three or more in a relationship, lots of things get complicated and not just the sex scenes. Personally, I like reading and writing menage, those challenges in dynamics make for an interesting read/write and, well, three in a bed can be hot! I'll state clearly here, I'm talking fiction, fantasy: I have no objections to equal, consensual multi-way relationships in the real world (by equal, I mean any combination of male and/or female partners allowed, no restrictions, I'm not attempting to start a religious debate), but I'll keep my own menage fantasies safely on the page :). For other people, two is the perfect number, any more and it gets icky for them. To those people, I say, fair enough, each to their own, I like pairs too, but for me there is just something a little kinky and erotic about breaking that convention.
My only published menage*, apart from fanfic, is Bonds of Fire, which, again I mentioned yesterday, and including an all-male threesome romance (emphasis on PG13 here) in a science-fiction/fantasy story has made it both my most popular release to date, but also the one that has drawn the most vitriol. Apparently, some people reading fantasy don't want a m/m/m romance popping up in the middle of the story. Personally, I didn't even think twice about it, it didn't occur to me that the relationship in the story would 'ruin' it for some people, although I have now listed that content in the description due to some folks' comments, not everyone who was surprised by it was nasty BTW. Anyway, my point for mentioning this story is that I enjoyed developing the relationship in this story. One of the empaths, Yakov, is the catalyst for romance developing and he is already in a relationship with Malachi, the other empath, before Drekken, my protagonist, enters the equation.
There were two scenes I had a lot of fun writing. The first may be obvious to anyone who has read the book, and even if you haven't, you'll understand why I enjoyed it when I say it was the nearest this story gets to a sex scene: it's a little playful flirting, okay, so they are naked, but that's because they've all just been washing in a pool and there are children present (in the form of dragon hatchlings), so there's nothing overtly sexual going on. This is a two-on-one scene where the empaths, the established relationship, are teasing Drekken, the newcomer, and I like writing flirty scenes like this, they are light, fun and gently erotic (if I can get them right, that is ;) ). The second scene deals much more with character: Malachi and Drekken to be exact and Malachi's jealousy over the easy way Drekken and Yakov had begun to hit it off. The society in which I have set this story does not have hangups about gender in relationships, and only gives a nod to pair-thinking as 'the norm', but I wanted to explore the protective side of Malachi when it comes to Yakov and how he deals with the new dynamic.
Throwing a new person into an established relationship and watching the fireworks is something that is done in fanfic, usually because a TV show already has a popular male-female pairing and some of the fans want to see the bromance pairing joined into that relationship. You get any number of combinations in Harry Potter fandom, from Harry/Draco/pick a girl (or guy for that matter), to James/Lilly/Snape and anything in between, you'll also get multi-way relationships with The Marauders as well. In fact, in any fandom where there are more than two leads, you're likely to get menage of established characters and, even when there are only two male leads, you sometimes find writers throwing in an original character to spice up the mix (beware of the dodgy Mary Sues in this form though). Menage is by no means as common as pairings, but it can be a fun read if done well - bad menage, though, is up there with bad porn, especially when the writer loses track of where that hand is and who is doing what to whom :P.
And so, my final thoughts on menage: it's not a kink for everyone, but if you like it, you like it and those of us who do would love to see more quality menage out there. Give me romance, give me sex, show me the unusual character dynamics that multi-way relationships can produce and I'm usually a happy girl.
Sophie was born with the writing bug in her blood, boring her primary school teachers with pages of creative writing and killing her first typewriter from over use when she was thirteen. She began publishing her work on line while at university where she discovered the internet and fanfiction. It took another decade for Sophie to realise her long-time dream of releasing her own original fiction as an author through Wittegen Press.
Leaving a good London school with solid prospects, Tom Franklin has the world at his feet. Yet one thing has always haunted his perfect life: his dreams. When Tom discovers that the nightmarish images of dark places and even darker instincts are in fact repressed memories from his early childhood, he must face the heritage from his birth-father, a savage vampire known only as Raxos.
Realising his memories are his only hope of controlling his awakening instincts, Tom returns to, Coombedown, the sleepy, Cornish village in which he was born, unknowing that the night-breed in his veins will lead him into danger.
Death In The Family is a young adult, paranormal novel.
Death In The Family Literary+ Blog Tour Schedule:
- 27th August 2012: Is it the teeth? - vampires and why we like them. Host: Brooke Johnson
- 28th August 2012: Scare me, Shock me - paranormal fiction vs horror. Host: A. K. Flynn
- 29th August 2012: For Mature Eyes Only - when does romance become erotica? Host: JD Savage
- 30th August 2012: There were 3 in the bed... menage, ewww or gimme gimme! Host: Tressa Green
- 31st August 2012: The Sidekick - plucky, loyal and just a tad annoying :) Host: Paul Carroll
- 1st September 2012:Feedback - Taking It - Giving It - Enjoying It. Host: Leonard Suskin
- 2nd September 2012: Mad With It - The Highs and Lows of A Writing Imperative Allisyn Bridges
Literary+ is a marketing initiative which was founded and led by Shen Hart. This is a time of evolution and progress, the market is being opened up to e-books and self-publication. As a fellow writer, Shen understands that self-publication is a hard and often lonely road. She started Literary+ to bring together authors and related creative specialities with the goal of helping each other. With a tight knit, friendly and welcoming community at its core, Literary+ holds a strong focus on marketing. As Literary+ continues to grow and evolve it will use innovating, original and experimental marketing methods and schemes to get its member's books into their reader's hands.
Monday, August 27, 2012
Non-Negotiable by T. D. Green <--this one is mine. ;)
Jacob Kerns is due for a promotion, but his ambitions are at risk when he learns his next contract will be handled by Alexander Corey, his ex. Jake tries to put personal feelings aside to do his job, but Alex won't let him. Will they find love again or is the whole thing non-negotiable?
Heart of Glass by L. J. Harris
When Zack Doherty comes to Australia on a working holiday, he is uncharacteristically forward in pushing Heath Connors, a man he barely knows, for a date. Heath, who has only recently begun to live life his way, wonders if Zack will be the one to mend his heart of glass.
Better Together by DaNay Smith
Greyson Welles followed Dominic Nash to Baltimore for his dream job, putting his own on hold. Dominic can see that Greyson's unhappy, but never expects him to turn down his proposal and return to New York. Will Greyson be gone forever or will he decide they're better together?
Dirty Martini by Bette Browne
When Daniel Fletcher runs into his ex with the man he caught him in bed with, vodka seems like the answer. Nathan Smith is used to men drowning their sorrows at the bar he tends, so the connection he feels to one is unusual. Will a means to forget turn into something more?
Notice to Appear by C. C. Lorenz
Josh Campbell is handed a notice to appear in court for a traffic offense, but his humiliation is complete when he comes face to face with his schoolboy crush, Carter Sullivan, in the court room. Could this be the start of something with Carter now that age is not an issue.
Coming August 31st, pre-order now!
Tuesday, August 7, 2012
I'm delighted to host Paul Carroll today. He recently finished his "Writing Olympics", completing his novella, Balor Reborn, (see info at the end of his post.), in an amazing one week. How'd he do it? Read on.
Writing at speed is not a new phenomenon. There are challenges that take place throughout the year that involve writing a comic, or songs, or scripts, or novels, all within a short space of time. What makes the Speed Writing event at my Writing Olympics so different was that I didn’t have an extended deadline on when the finished product could be revealed to the world. From day one, I was on camera, and by day seven the book had to be available to buy.
Event two of the Writing Olympics, then, put me under a lot of pressure to complete Balor Reborn. I followed my own advice: I went in with a plan. I knew that I wanted to start with the separation of Stephen and Fionn, with Fionn only being a child. From there, I wanted to slowly introduce Fionn into the world of magic that was coming back to Ireland, and throw Stephen in head-first with an encounter with Balor of the Evil Eye. This much was clear from my plan, and it only took a short space of time to get used to the camera before writing at speed became a simple endeavour.
The approximate figures came out as follows: 5,500 words on day one, 10,500 words on day two, and 5,000 words on day three. The latter ended the book, though I finished much earlier than planned. In theory, I could have written twice as much.
When you attempt something like this, you need to focus on doing one thing, and one thing only: writing. There can be no going back to edit, no restarting the book because you got a new idea, and no stalling to get the exact right word. So how do you do this?
Leave it for the editing. I ploughed through my book, with the plan, to ensure the first draft was written swiftly. Except on a couple of occasions at the end of a writing session, I didn’t go back to change anything. I built up a momentum, and I set myself word count targets for every half hour. Aiming for 850 words every 30 minutes meant that I was producing a lot of words. This also tired me out, so it’s worth noting that you need to take things at an appropriate pace. It may be a sprint, but you still have to reach the end.
As for new ideas... I was fortunate enough not to have to change the book to cater for them while writing. I got ideas that fit better into later books, so I didn’t have to concern myself with going against my plan. However, it’s inevitable that something will pop into your head while you write. Deal with this by keeping post-its or a notebook nearby, and when you find an idea coming to mind, jot it down and keep on writing.
That’s the vital thing: you can’t stop. Stopping ruins your momentum, breaks your train of thought, and puts you in a position of needing to start all over again. We all know what happens to runners when they have a series of false starts: they’re out of the race. It happened to Usain Bolt, it can happen to you. So keep focused, and when it comes to that exact word, remember that this isn’t the only event in the Writing Olympics.
Deal with your inner-perfectionist by highlighting the word or words you need to change, then move on. When you go back to edit, you’ll know where to pick up. Until then, finish your first draft. Yes, I mean it. Don’t edit until the whole draft is written. This isn’t a freestyle medley, and this isn’t a relay. You’re in a sprint, and you just have to keep on going.
There’ll be plenty of time to slow down once you have something written, as you’ll soon discover in the later events.
Paul Carroll is a writer from Dublin. He is studying to be a teacher of Religion and English at second level, while working in a bookshop at weekends. His 'free time' is divided among assignments, fiction, poetry, articles and blog posts, as well as college Drama and almost weekly trips to the local cinema.
He has been writing since the age of twelve, with a love of words going back further than he can remember. When he isn't reading or writing, he likes to make use of social media, bake, and talk to friends. Often, he'll watch a horror film alone in the dark for the sheer joy of it.
He can be found online at paulcarrollwriter.com.
About Balor Reborn
Old Ireland is returning, as an ancient evil arrives in Dublin. A single glance from his eye is all it takes to kill.
Stephen Fox is haunted by the memory of his wife, and suffers from guilt at abandoning his new-born son. The spirit of the tyrant Balor has come back to take his vengeance on the country. A hero must rise in the unwilling form of Fionn Murray, a university student with a mysterious past.. As a world of wonder unfolds around him, and with no one but his house mate Michael at his side, he’s left with the choice of running, or facing the evil that could consume the world.
Based on the old Irish myth of Balor of the Evil Eye, Balor Reborn is the first in a series that seeks to revive the magic of Ireland. It was written and published in one week.
It's available to buy on PDF, Epub and Mobi via his website, Amazon, and Amazon UK
Sunday, July 29, 2012
I really appreciate this kind of story. It takes a bit of daring to buck traditional story telling "rules" and a special talent to pull it off well. Gabriel does this with obviously passionate flare that compels the reader to continue. You get an encapsulated peep into the POV character's history in a taut conversational style. It begs the questions: Who is he speaking to? How is this going to resolve? And wham! A neat twist that is quite satisfactory if a bit sudden and odd. This is far from mainstream, but that's what I love about it. Bravo, Mr. Fitzpatrick for bravely penning this unique work.
5 coffees out of 5 - cream and sugar added. ;)
Saturday, July 28, 2012
The Seeds, a YA fantasy by Jeff Davis, is a quick-paced, fun look into the world of fairies. Jeff does an excellent job of creating a tiny world and making it seem larger than life.
The reader is instantly taken down into what I imagine is lightning bug size in the dramatic opening scene of a lone surviving soldier in a field of destruction. Agnus flies to the palace as quickly as possible and is met by two of the story's key figures--the princess generals--twins Varia, the cool headed diplomat, and Dartura, impulsive and hot-tempered. And we're instantly taken to the intrigues of palace life. As we get to know the main players through interaction and dialog, a lurking darkness threatens the peace of the kingdom.
Though the title of the book is The Seeds, the story is more about the characters, both "good" and "evil", and their struggle for power, of which the seeds are central in the fight. Agnus was by far my favorite character. I hope he gets more page time in the future. Some of the shouting matches between siblings were cringe-worthy as they would be in real life. The battle scenes were ferocious. Giant toothy moths! The enemy is interesting as is the implementation of magic and technology. The only thing that took me out of the story periodically was some wonky formatting here and there; I had to stop and figure out who was speaking. Not a huge deal, really, and easily corrected.
This looks to be the first in a series of stories, so even though the end isn't as satisfying as I'd like; it's to be expected, leaving things wide open for a continuation that I'm looking forward to reading. I have to know what happens next.
5 out of 5 coffees
Monday, July 23, 2012
- Remember you are not alone. Other people do have the same emotions that boil up when it comes to their fictional babies, they just may not express it.
- Self-doubt is part of the literary creative growth. If we never had doubt we wouldn’t be able to self-criticize our work, and we will never know if we are writing sub-par.
- Be kind to yourself. If you are harsh on yourself, your work will reflect that. Replace hard words with a different perspective. For example: My self-doubt’s are my insecurities showing up on paper, and no one will like it vs. I’m self-doubting this written piece because I want to make sure it is up to my standards. Doubting your work shows that you care about it!
- Write for yourself and not others. Once you start writing for others you lose your style, which can encapsulate the self-doubt because it’s not your literary niche. Write for you. There will always be people who love or hate your work, it's that person’s preferences, and we cannot control how someone may react to your writing.
- Welcome criticism like it is a kitten on your doorstep, but keep the claws at length. Criticism is something every writer must endure. It can be your worst enemy next to the self-doubt monster, but it will help you be more aware of your writing style and mindful of your mistakes to help improve your literary baby. However, poor criticism is not worth your while. To handle that, you simple say thank you for your concern; and I appreciate you reading my work. If they continue, do not give them the satisfaction by engaging.
- Remember your accomplishments! They are important, writing a paragraph can be just as daunting for some as writing a novel, so relish in the moments of writing that first sentence as it is still an accomplishment to say the least.
- If you want to accomplish something, put mini attainable goals in place. You also cannot compare grapes to crepes. Do things at your own pace, and you will get to where you want to be.
- Practicing gratitude is a powerful way to tame the self-doubt monster and worries. When we’re feeling discouraged, gratitude is one of the quickest, most effective pick-me-ups around.
- Being a writer is all about process. It’s not about the celebratory party you have when you reach the summit of your career; it’s about the journey you experience along the way.
Sunday, July 15, 2012
Saturday, July 14, 2012
Writing So Others Don’t Judge
I spend a lot of time online. I check my Google Plus feed constantly. I check Facebook a few times a day. Even Twitter gets a look once or twice. As much as I like to simply lurk around and see what people are posting, I do feel compelled to comment now and then. When I do, I try to follow one simple rule. Don’t write anything that I wouldn’t want to appear, credited to me, on a billboard outside of my Mom’s house. It goes back to the lessons of childhood. The over-arching rule was to be conscious of what you do and say because it all reflects on your family.
It sounded like nonsense when I was a kid. Now that I have kids of my own, I realize that it’s true.
So that’s fine for online posting, but what about writing for real? Am I supposed to temper my speech? Do I need to rework that sentence so that it doesn’t contain a swear word? No! I’m a grown -up. I can write whatever I want. If you don’t like it, you don’t have to read it!
Well, that’s easy to say, but for some people, this can be one of those questions that pop up when you least expect it. You may have emboldened yourself to write about a controversial topic, but how close to the bone can you get without really offending someone who knows you? Maybe your Grandpa will be a bit put out to hear that a character that sounds a lot like him is the pedophile that drives your protagonist to the edge. Maybe your Aunt will feel a bit flustered when your character’s Aunt robs that liquor store to pay for her meth habit. Or maybe the ladies at church are simply unprepared to learn that you really write hard core porn.
Don’t try to write so that others don’t judge. It can’t be done. That’s what ‘others’ do. They judge. But, there is a secret to dealing with this unpleasant reality. Any time someone makes a snide or hurtful comment, not on how you write but what you write, tell them to kiss your ass. Not too forceful, not too wishy-washy, this little nugget has helped me deflect more than once the slings and arrows of those I’ve offended. Sure, you’re burning bridges, but did you really want to go back to Uptightville?
Bill Cosby said it best. ”I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody.”
You can’t please everyone. It’s impossible. You’re just going to have to try to please yourself. Make your story the best YOU think it can be. Somebody will still hate it, but that’s a given, no matter how great it is. I hated Moby Dick. I thought it was the most boring, drawn out yawn-fest ever to be celebrated as one of the greatest novels in human existence. I can hear Melville’s Mom now, “Did you have to make Ishmael so wordy, Darling? And why did he have to describe every fishhook on the boat?” And his reply, “Mother, you may kiss my posterior region, that which is just below my belt, but behind me. To be any other way would be too strange a case to make, for it would be unseemly to suggest any other course and I am extremely wordy!”
Ok, I hear you. I hear you saying, “But, what if it’s my Mom!? I can’t burn that bridge!” Ok, ok. Granted, there are some people you have to stay on the good side of, be it for familial love, respect or the possibility of inheritance. If that’s the case, warn them before the book comes out. “Now, Mom, I gotta tell ya. There may be a few things in this that might sound a little coarse. You’re just going to have to trust me that it was necessary for the story.” If she’s anything like my Mom, that little bit of confidence you just shared will turn her from a pursed-lipped magistrate into your biggest defender. “My son/daughter, the visionary!” she’ll cry, before punching the lady who made that face when your name came up. Be prepared for the follow-up call, too. “She thought she was going to tell me what’s what! Well, I showed her!”
So, for most other people, tell them that you’re not sorry for what you do, and they can kiss your… well, you know. Give Mom a heads-up on your next work. Ask her advice. You’ll be able to turn her loose on the next reviewer who pans your work.
Where to buy: The Seeds
Writer's Blog: Tarol Nation
G+ profile: JD Savage
Tuesday, July 10, 2012
Here's my review:
Monday, July 9, 2012
Saturday, July 7, 2012
I'm pretty certain I went in the complete opposite direction of the original. In fact, I did a 180 from my usual fare, which after reading it over a few times, I didn't mind in the end. :)
Perched atop a hillock overlooking the north field and obscured by the sun at his back, Aldwin looked down at his field in horror. The last play of the game; Jimmy over-estimated the fly ball and missed the catch. The crowd groaned. Watching one boy, then another, and yet another cross home base was a bit like watching a slow motion scene in a bad movie.
Afterwards, his son Darren shuffled out from the dug-out. His head down and dragging his bat like he’d lost his best friend. Aldwin took a deep breath and pasted on a smile.
“Good game, son,” he said and clapped him on the shoulder.
“Not really. We sucked.”
“You almost went into overtime,” he pointed out.
“But we didn’t win.” Darren shrugged off his dad’s hand and ran ahead to the car.
‘Allison,’ he thought. ‘I wish you were here.’ It had become a silent mantra. Aldwin squared his shoulders and unlocked the car. Darren needed his mother; she always knew just what to say. Aldwin had been the disciplinarian of the family; his wife the comforter. Stepping into those uncomfortable shoes taught him just how inadequate he was at being a Dad.
“It was a good game,” he said again, feeling his ineptitude keenly.
Darren shifted in the seat and sighed.
On the drive home, the reflection of his son’s dejected face in the window made his heart ache. “You played well.”
“Not good enough,” the twelve year old mumbled. “I wanted to win.”
“Then do it.”
Darren snapped his head around. “Huh?”
“Next time, win.”
“Dad,” Darren said as if speaking to an ignoramus. “Baseball’s a team sport.”
Aldwin smiled at his son and for the first time in a long time, Darren smiled back.
Saturday, June 30, 2012
"Sanna is of the weird kind.
She usually doesn't go into her head alone, because it's scary in there.
Writing is an essential part of Sanna's life. In one way or another she is always writing.
She's a witch and if you think that writing fantasy is a cliché, screw you. :p
In her stories the princesses are most likely to kill you, Beauty and the Beast will find themselves in the same body.
Short stories are Sanna's favorites, but she is also working on bigger projects right now.
Or, should be working on them. ;)"
And here's my flash (297words):
Even deep into the night, the west wind blew hot across the open plain. Her hair danced in a wild tangle that glinted white streaks of moonlight like glyphs floating around her head. She climbed a small rise and cast her gaze across the fields. A smile flitted across her lips as she lifted her arms; eyes shut, head tilted back and palms open to the sky in supplication.
Curled at her feet lay the great feline Dawon, named after the goddess Durga’s fierce mount. The weight of his mighty presence a comfort as she prepared the way.
Her breath slowed in time with the gusting wind. Her heartbeat sped to match the lusty cries of the field crickets. Dawon stood and leaned heavily into her leg; he grounded her even as the earth opened up around them. She screamed as the power pulsed up through her feet and out her palms.
The sweet agony of creation coursed in her veins like icy streams of bitter cold. She opened her eyes. Light glared out from empty sockets scorching the fields within her view. She clapped her hands once overhead. Once at her chest. And once at the lowest reach of her arms.
The place beyond opened with a great tearing of reality, which bled out in anguished cries of sorrow or terrible suffering. The gash grew wide and she laughed. Laughed with joyful abandon at what she had wrought. Dawon nudged her dangling hand with his great head.
“Only out of destruction can there be renewal,” she said calmly, though existence shrieked around them. “Even we must follow at the end of it.”
Dawon’s rumbling purr, like the crashing of distant waves, acknowledged her words. He knew, as she knew, they’d craft another world in due time.
Wednesday, May 2, 2012
Same rules as always apply, all stories must include at least:
- 1 conflict
- 1 resolution
- 1 character
- 1 setting
The "theme" for today is Change . Change can be a lot of things, from the loose stuff that jingles in your pocket, to the big stuff like births and death and there are many places for change in between, so be as creative or uncreative as you like.
300 word max pretty please"
Wednesday, February 1, 2012
I don't know if anything will come of it, but it's there if I decide to continue.
152 words in the raw*:
Saturday, January 28, 2012
150 words max
Use the words: time, attitude, clever"
Those who follow me on Twitter will have a decent clue where this came from. ;P
Time, like the soft sigh of a sleeping babe or a clever turn of phrase in the hush of distant memories; it comes and goes.
Woe that it is so. No matter to which attitude we greet it.
Swiftly or slow; it goes.
Would you weep for me? Would you rage with me? Would you laugh at the turning of its wheel?
Or holding hands, leap forth into that deep night where it matters not. Where time cannot grasp at our wrinkling flesh. Or touch strands of silvery hair.
Our stuttering hearts wind down. Would you stay with me? My head bowed in final supplication, with outstretched arms to greet it.
Swiftly, now, it goes.
Thursday, January 26, 2012
"Prompt-and-Share A really short one today, just to get those juices flowing.
100 words MAX
Your story has to start with: I'd expected he'd come after me.
No other criteria required - Write!"
To be upfront about this.... I haven't written anything in probably close to two months now and I only put about three minutes worth of effort into this little flash. I have to say, I've really missed the prompt and shares.
I'd expected he'd come after me, but he'd already been. The whispering shadows shifted, lingering where the sun couldn't reach. His scent, I remembered so well. So fondly. It tickled the edges of my awareness. Yes, he'd already come and gone. Long before my dreaming mind fled to reality; the hateful place, but for him.
There, he'd waited, impatiently. Waited, then walked away while I slept. His breath a memory of the wind, now. His sad eyes peering too deeply. His beating heart under warm skin. I'd never know, ever again.
I expected to be first, but he'd gone on ahead.