The Matter of a Complete Overhaul

Blogland,

I’ve just sat down, printed out the “Draft 3” of The Portrait of Sterling Madison, and gone over it. Truth is, I’m not a fan of it. It’s a very rough first person narrative, whose narrator is weak-voiced and tells the reader everything. It’s aimless for the most part, with a few brief scenes of vibrancy.

These scenes are what give me hope.

After a careful read through, I asked myself, “Why is it vital that this narrator tell the story?” And I realized, it isn’t. It really isn’t. Things just happen to her. She has no control over them. The events in her life are horrible and inevitable. So why in the hell is it told from her perspective?

A great professor once told me that you want your narrator to be the person with the most information. Now, that doesn’t mean they necessarily tell all, but they have the most knowledge.

Turns out, my current narrator is very much in the dark. But the other character, the antagonist, is quite knowledgeable.

the-portrait
How do I not own any red pens?

So, I’ve come to terms with the fact that this particular story is a complete rewrite at this time. That’s OK. To be honest, I pretty much expected it. When I first wrote this story it was my second year of creative writing classes, and I was enthralled with the concept of unreliable narrators. I absolutely HAD to write one.

Turns out it is really hard. Like, lying awake at night cursing every author you’ve read that’s pulled it off, hard. I’m a straightforward person who writes straightforward third-person narratives for most of my fiction. This project was way ahead of my skill level at the time.

But I knew that, and would revisit the story from time to time to see if my further honed skills could do anything meaningful with it.

Now I’m willing to gut the piece entirely, walk away with a sense of setting, premise, and characters, and literally start over. Some of the scenes will stay, and the ending is the same, but they’ll be rewritten in another character’s voice and perspective.

I’m actually really excited about it! I’ve been sitting on this story for years, and it’s stagnated in my indecision about how to tackle it. Finally I have a game plan. A complete rewrite isn’t ideal, but I guarantee the story will be better for it. Already this character’s voice is so much stronger. He’s endearing and funny, which will make the ending so much better.

I’m counting this as “Edits” on my whiteboard, by the way. I just went through, gutted the entire piece, and outlined its reincarnation. That sounds like “Edits” to me.

I’m not sure that Jordinn’s Story will see much action this week after all. Unfortunate, but I’ve spent a lot of time reading and working on house projects. There’s still the rest of the evening and tomorrow, so hopefully I can finish chapter 7. Just 2,000 more words…

Man, my writing muscles are out of shape!

Also, for those of you keeping track, I finished listening to Elric of Melniboné. elric

…Well, kind of. I fell asleep listening to the last 30 minutes of it. Three times. I’m calling it good. I won’t be doing a full fledged review because I don’t have many nice things to say about it. Perhaps it was the audio narration, but this book was dry and boring. Elric was such a drama queen, and Cymoril was useless. She was intelligent, but Elric ignored her counsel time and again, after which she existed only as property to be fought over by Elric and her brother Yyrkoon.

Also, these names are cool, but ridiculous. Especially when you’ve only been listening to them and are trying to Google search them in order to ensure proper spelling for you blog post… Good grief, man!

There were a lot of gods and demons mentioned and named, but never really explained. I think this book suffered in its audio format, but I don’t think it will be so greatly redeemed by a paper version as to seek it out and give it another go. Two weeks of listening was enough.

I’m hitting stride with Golden Son, and still powering through this listen of The Neverending Story. It’s starting to live up to its name. I’m on disc five, but the movie is pretty much over by the time these events occur. I’m worried about the eight remaining discs. Very worried.

My next “chores” audiobook, aka what I read when I’m not driving, and don’t have time to read my physical book, is Over Sea, Under Stone by Susan Cooper. I always wanted to read The Dark is Rising Sequence as a child, and just never got around to it. Hopefully this narration is better than the last one.

Oh yeah, this came in the mail today too. You could say I’m pretty happy about it.Bachelors.jpg

See you all soon Blogland,

 

BZ

 

 

Book Review- Coraline by Neil Gaiman

Blogland!

Welcome back, everyone. Before we begin the discussion of Gaiman’s delightfully creepy children’s tale, I have an update on the “Writing Room”!

Tonight we finished cleaning the pipes with paint thinner. A stinky, and unpleasant job, but it must be done. You see, the coating found on industrial pipe is not pet or child friendly. I have no plans for small children to be clambering about licking bookshelf pipes anytime soon, but someday the house will be sold, and the shelf will go with it.

Also, we have a dog to think about.

So, once all the pieces of 3/4″ pipe were properly stripped of their coating, we did a test run of how they’ll go together. Good thing too, because out initial attempt was too tall for the room!shelf-pipe

But, a quick adjustment fixed the height issue, and though I had to give up about four inches of total shelf space, I get my fancy toppers like I originally wanted!shelf-pipe-2

So, that portion of the shelving is done, organized, and ready for assembly once the boards are. Unfortunately there’s a lot of sanding, drilling, and staining still to be done. Trevor claims that all sanding and drilling will be done tomorrow night, that way we can stain Friday, add the polyurethane Saturday, and install on Sunday. We’ll see if that timeline holds.

Anyway, on to Coraline!

I listened to this book from an audiobook from the Library. Neil Gaiman did the narration himself, and it was delightful! Who knows what inflections to make, and what voices to imitate better than the author!

coraline-covers
Now, I’ve only seen bits and pieces of the film, and I know it scared the bejeezus out of me. I think I could watch it now that I’ve read the book and know the outcome, but until now, no way.

So, Coraline is about a young girl whose life is pretty dull. Her parents are constantly busy, pawning her off on the neighbors or the outdoors frequently. They’ve just moved into a new flat, and whilst exploring on a rainy day, Coraline discovers a secret door. After much searching for the key, she finally unlocks it, and despite the warnings, she goes through into a different version of her world.

There she meets her Other Mother and Other Father, who seem desperate to dote on Coraline in all the ways her real parents never do. If it weren’t for their desperation, and their “black button eyes”, they’d seem wonderful. But Coraline knows that something isn’t right.

Upon returning to her reality, Coraline finds that her parents have gone missing, kidnapped by the Other Mother!

And so Coraline’s real quest, to release her parents and defeat the Other Mother, is under way. Along the way the girl is faced with terror after terror. The dead bodies of children abandoned by the Other Mother, the deformed corpse of the Other Father trying to kill her, and of course, the Other Mother herself.

It’s all very scary. In all honesty, there were plenty of times where I was uncomfortable listening in the early dark of morning outside my Starbucks, waiting for my shift to start. As a child I’m sure I’d read it with apprehension and wonder. As an adult I was just plain nervous.
coraline

With a talking black cat as her company Coraline strikes a bargain with the Other Mother. If Coraline can find the souls of the three children, as well as her parents, then the Other Mother must let them all go. The Other Mother agrees to the deal, confident that Coraline could never achieve such a thing. And, even if she did, the Other Mother had no intentions of sticking to her end of the bargain.

And so Coraline endeavors to save herself, and those she cares about. She faces many terrible things in the process, and proves just how brave and clever she really is. I don’t want to give too much away, though most of you have probably seen the film by now.

Suffice it to say that, despite my nervousness, I really enjoyed the story. I loved Gaimain’s narration. I doubt my imagination could have done justice to the words had I read them to myself.

I’d recommend Coraline to anyone. It’s fun and frightening for all ages. It’s clever, too. But, if you like to listen to stories, I really recommend the audiobook for this one. No one could do better than Neil himself.

Upcoming reviews to look out for include The Obelisk Gate by N.K. Jemisin and A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness. I’ve also got less than an hour left on Elric of Melniboné, so that should be lurking somewhere in the near future as well.

I’ll see you soon, Blogland!

 

BZ

 

Week 1 Goal Assessment

Blogland!

Last week was the first week in which I set pretty firm goals for myself since school ended. I’ve got the whiteboard up and am using it consistently. Last week’s goals included:

  • The Martian Book Review
  • The Audient Void edits
  • Since the Fire into draft #3
  • Two blog posts
  • Write chapter 7 of Jordinn’s Story

How did I do?

Well, I posted the book review for The Martian, as well as completed The Audient Void edits. So that’s great. I technically did finish the edits for Since the Fire last night, but they weren’t finished in the computer until about 20 minutes ago. So, that’s close. Also, I feel really good about the changes. I consider it done until I seek out further feedback. And then I even wrote over 1,000 words of Chapter 7 of Jordinn’s Story, plus some reorganizing and outlining.

I also was a bit naughty and compiled all the separate Cards chapters into one correctly formatted manuscript. It totals 239 pages, and 63,005 words. Not too shabby.

So overall, not a bad first week. I didn’t sit down and write that second post like I wanted to, and I didn’t quite make my writing goal, but after two years of very limited fiction writing, I’ll take 1k words. I’m dubbing week one back a success!

Why didn’t I complete these goals? Because I cleaned out the garage and unpacked a bunch of boxes instead. So, still a very productive week. I’m happy.

So, on to this week? What’s the plan?

  • Coraline Book Review
  • publish 2 blog posts
  • Finish chapter 7 and write chapter 8 of Jordinn’s Story
  • Start edits on The Portrait of Sterling Madison

Unofficial goals include finishing The Obelisk Gate and Elric of Melniboné. I only have an hour left on Elric, so that should get done tomorrow or Thursday at the latest. And less than 100 pages to go for The Obelisk Gate, so hopefully I can get a good chunk of it done tonight.

Anyway, there’s a brief update for you all. Keep an eye out for the Coraline book review, as it will be up before the weekend!

See you all soon,

 

BZ

The Audient Void No. #1 Out Now!

Audient Void 1

The Audient Void No. 1 is now available! Featuring original weird tales and dark poetry from the likes of David Barker, W.H. Pugmire, and K.A. Opperman, as well as works from new authors and poets, AND the revival of Barker’s classic column Ye Olde Lemurian!

I worked on a few of the stories as an Editor, and helped the genius behind it all, Obadiah, with any publishing questions and concerns.

If you like stories from Poe, Bierce, and Lovecraft, then The Audient Void is a wonderfully creepy return to the kind of storytelling that makes you jump at the wind in the trees and keeps you up at night wondering at just how much about the world we really don’t understand.

What could be lurking in the dark? Find out in the pages of The Audient Void.

Support the journal by buying an issue, and if you’re so inclined, we’re now accepting submissions for issue No. 2!

Head over to https://www.facebook.com/TheAudientVoid/ to purchase your copy and to learn more!

audient void contents

 

… Still not August…

Hi Blogland,

Just checking in to tell y’all that I’ve updated the “What I’m Reading Page”. There hasn’t been a ton of progress, and what progress there is comes thanks to audiobooks. What I did before them is a mystery to me.

There’s a couple Graphic Novels that have helped get me by as well. But, mostly I’m drifting in a sea of neglected homework. I knew this last term was going to be intense, but I was woefully unprepared for my own apathy toward the coursework. Even though I find the writing exercises in Intermediate Creative Writing interesting, I have ZERO interest in writing a memoir. And the readings for my horror class are also interesting. But, I have absolutely no drive to write eight annotations a week.

Point is, is it August 9th yet? Oh, so close!

I’ll see you all then. In the meantime, keep an eye on my reading page, as I slowly make updates.

 

BZ

Book Review- Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

Hi Blogland!

I have some personal life anecdotes before we dig into the review, so bear with me.

I recently transferred from my Starbucks of three years, to the store further up the street. It’s where I’m sitting now, clacking away, listening to Soundgarden in my headphones. It’s odd.

The sounds are different, yet very familiar. Espresso grinding in hoppers. The screech as milk starts steaming, and then mellows out to a warm hiss. Blenders and the constant dance of water used to rinse everything. Timers beep from time to time, and I can hear the whir of machinery as it works to pump water through grinds to bring you that perfect cup.

I’ve spent a lot of time in coffee shops.

But, wait, there’s more!

I may be taking a career position at the library. There’s a 3/4 time position opening, and it was suggested that I apply for it. There are a lot of questions to ask, but I’m going to apply.

Which means I’ll be working 50 hour work weeks, and I’ll probably have to step down as a supervisor at Starbucks. And going to school. I mean, I’ve been doing that anyway. Currently I work anywhere from 42 to 52 hours. And I’ve had one day off this month.

My husband and I glorying in the frigid Oregon coast on Monday.
My husband and I glorying in the frigid Oregon coast on Monday.

So what’s a couple more hours?

…Right?

Anyway, on with the book review!

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children was a really fun book. It was Book Club newbie Marlene’s choice, and the first book of the Second List. It was a great intro into the new list, and everyone loved it.

So, the cover alone is pretty unsettling.
miss-peregrine

But the book is an interesting mixture of old, creepy photographs and storytelling. Supposedly all the photos are real, discovered by Ransom Riggs, and are what sparked the story. Which is pretty awesome.

So, we meet Jacob, who’s sixteen. He’s kind of a brat. He comes from money, and doesn’t want anything to do with it. But, he’s sassy, and I identified with him right away. His home life is a bit… nonexistent. His parents have more or less left him to his own devices, and that’s something I’m very familiar with. But, there’s one shining light in Jacob’s life.

His Grandpa. An old Polish Jew who fought in World War II. That fact alone makes the man a badass. But, he’s also an oddly whimsical grandfather, who raised Jacob on an unhealthy dose of imaginative tales of his youth. Of friends with bizarre abilities and of monsters that put the boogie man to shame.

But, one day, Jacob’s grandpa calls him at work, panicking. Jacob chalks it up to the man’s downward spiral into dementia, especially as he raves about the monsters from his stories coming for him. Jacob is saddened by his grandpa’s decline, and hurries over to soothe the man.

Instead, he finds him dead in the woods behind his house, and catches a glimpse of one of the monsters.
the hollows

The authorities claim the old man was killed by wild dogs, which have been prowling the area. But Jacob clings to what he saw, earning him months of torturous therapy. Jacob has nightmares of the night he found his grandpa, and the man’s last words haunt him.

But, by pure coincidence, Jacob’s aunt  gives him a book from his grandpa’s house for his birthday. And inside is the answer to the riddle that haunted him for nearly a year. It spurs him to beg to go to the Welsh island his grandpa lived on after he fled Poland. To visit the house he lived in with a Head Mistress called Miss Peregrine. After some serious convincing, his father decides to go with him.

Well, the house is nothing but a crumbling ruin. In fact, it’s been that way since World War II. And that’s just one of the things that just doesn’t stack up. No one seems to know anything about the children who lived there, or of Miss Peregrine.

But, Jacob’s snooping catches someone’s attention. And he finds himself dragged through an ancient cairn into another world. Or, more accurately, another time.
miss-peregrine

And there he learns that all his grandpa’s stories were true. All the photos of children with strange powers, of Miss Peregrine, and the stories of the monsters were all true.

And it seems like heaven. He spends his days with them, replaying the loop of September 3, 1940, and then returns at night to his father at the hotel.

But, things aren’t as perfect as they seem. The children have been in the loop for over 60 years. They can’t leave and join the present time, because their bodies will wither as if in a time lapse. And if they leave the loop in 1940, they’ll live through the worst of the War. And, they have no defense against the Hollows.

You see, Jacob’s grandpa had a rare and incredibly valuable ability. He could see the monsters, the Hollows, that hunt all Peculiars. And he left the loop, fought in the war, and spent his life blending in and going on “business trips” to hunt the Hollows.

Dude was a BAMF.

But, without him, the children of Miss Peregrine’s loop have been stuck. They can’t see the Hollows, and would be defenseless against them. Except now they have Jacob. Because he saw the monster that killed his grandpa, and only Peculiars can enter a loop.

And of course, he led the Hollows right to them.

So, they scramble and fight, and Jacob manages to kill one, but not before Miss Peregrine is badly injured. And for some reason, she can’t return to her human form. And since she’s out of commission, so is the loop she created. Time in 1940 progresses normally once more, and their home falls victim to a bomb.

So, Jacob decides to go with them. He couldn’t return to his normal life now at any rate. So the children leave the island, their leader stuck as a bird, and venture into the normal time stream again. But, the story’s not over. They have to find a way to fix Miss Peregrine, and free her sisters, other keepers of loops that have been abducted by the Hollows.
hollowcity_ransomriggs_1

And so Ransom Riggs sets up for his sequel, which I’m told is quite good.

What I really liked about this novel was the balance of creep-factor, humor, and romance. One moment you’re laughing at something Jacob says or thinks, or at the antics of some of the kids, and the next moment they’re all running for their lives. And of course, there’s a wonderfully awkward teenage romance. Oh, to be sixteen and in love.

I look forward to reading the sequel, and would recommend the first installment to anyone. It’s an incredibly fast read. Over three hundred pages, and I killed it in two days. And it’s not like I have a lot of free time.

The next book for Book Club is Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. It’s the largest book we’ve read, at 507 pages. I haven’t started it yet, since we’re not meeting until August 12th. And I’ve got enough reading going on. I’m reading The Maltese Falcon for school this week, and I’m still chipping away at The Republic of Thieves.

I really need to pace myself.

Anyway, thanks for getting this far. See you soon, Blogland!

BZ

Writing Excuses, Week Three

Here’s a late, random post. I promised I would post about Writing Excuses, and I don’t break my promises. At least, not often.

So, week three of Writing Excuses was the “Wild Card” week. That’s the one week where they have a guest speaker and the show reverts to its former format. Instead of writing exercises there’s a writing prompt at the end of the episode.

This week’s Wild Card Guest was Cherie Priest, expert and writer of Lovecraftian Horror. A good portion of the episode was spent pinning down that element of Lovecraft that is so riveting and terrifying.

Ultimately it was decided that a sense of futility, coupled with the gradual deterioration of the character’s sanity makes for an undeniable intrigue. It’s fiction written to frighten atheists, using an antagonist that is undoubtedly greater than mankind.

Again, I don’t want to rehash the whole episode here, so if you’re interested in learning more about the fascinating landscape of Lovecraftian Horror, click here.

At the end of the episode was the following prompt:

Take a character and from their point of view describe their reaction to something horrific and awful, but don’t describe the thing itself.

I’m sad to say that I didn’t participate. I plan to at some point, and this would be a great exercise for my horror piece, The Portrait, but right now isn’t the time. I’ve got too much school work and fantasy fiction thriving to try and section off another quadrant of my brain. There comes a point where even ADD can’t help me keep everything straight.

Anyway, I’m sorry for the short post. I’m keeping on top of my homework, which feels like an accomplishment in an of itself. I’m still reading, and if you haven’t visited the What I’m Reading page, it’s been updated. I’ll probably finish The Slow Regard of Silent Things within the next couple of days, which is threatening to stack up my book reviews!

And I want a second job?

I’m insane.

Have a good night blogland! Hopefully, I’ll see you soon.

BZ

In Response to the Jimmy John’s Delivery Guy

I’m about to take y’all on a trip. Follow along, if you dare!

So, I’m working on a horror piece about a portrait that moves and takes on a consciousness of its own. I don’t read a lot of Horror. At least, not since I started reading fiction with a writer’s eye. In high school I read Anne Rice with fervor, and I’ve always loved King’s shorter works, though I’ve yet to read a full-length novel from the man.

So yesterday, I’m sitting in my Starbucks with my nose stuck in King’s ‘Everything’s Eventual’ after a losing battle with the free WiFi. So, I’m reading and underlining, and taking all sorts of mental notes because the story I was reading was ‘The Road Virus Heads North’, which is a story about a painting that moves.

One of my regulars comes in, a nice guy who I know due to his job at my local gourmet sub delivery joint. They happen to have Freaky Fast Delivery, and I order from them far too often.

Anyway, he sees me underlining and taking notes and asks, “Book report time?”

On a side note, I find it irritating that just because I read a lot and type away on a computer I must be a college student. It’s frustrating to keep answering the same questions over and over. Anyway.

I tell him that I’m doing a different kind of study for a horror piece I’m writing. To which he responds:

“Why write Horror? Isn’t the world dark enough?”

This rocked me. Not because I thought it was rude, or unwelcome, but because it’s a valid question. It immediately sent my mind spinning. I could tell that, somewhere in the recesses of my brain, I had an answer. But I needed time to research and compose myself.

I think he noticed my sudden pensiveness, and he felt bad. He looked at me, “I’m sorry, Brittany. I didn’t mean to be discouraging.”

I laughed. I laughed and told him that he wasn’t discouraging at all. “I’m a writer,” I said. “I’m a special brand of discouragement, all my own.”

But, in the back of my mind, I couldn’t shake the question. And not just in terms of myself, but on a much larger scale. Why do we write horror? Why do we like being scared?

So, Mr. Delivery Man, I’ve thought up a response. It’s not quite Horror Lit & Film Essay worthy, but there are some nuggets of truth in it.

So, let’s start with the idea that Art Imitates Life. Some people might have a hard time agreeing with this sentiment when it comes to genre fiction, but think about it. Ultimately, you like a story because you can relate to characters and scenarios. A mixture of the familiar and the strange, to quote Brandon Sanderson. So, we like horror because it hints at what we’re capable of, and we write horror for the same reason. An idea has struck us, and we want to illicit a physical response in people, whether our characters or our readers.

But, this is the weakest argument I have for writing Horror.

“Isn’t the world dark enough?”

Yes, it is. And honestly, it’s too dark. So many atrocious things happen on a daily basis. Things that, if you let yourself stop and think about it, shake you to your core. The Sandy Hook shooting did this to me. I felt physically ill if I thought about it too long. Outraged. Heartbroken.

I think Horror fiction helps us cope. We can read about how other people react to horrible things that happen around them. And it allows us to experience fear and pain from the safety of a book.

There will always be Horror junkies. The kids who read Lovecraft and Moorcock, with their long hair and Megadeath shirts, who worship the Evil Dead. But, horror, just like any other literature, is a reaction to the world around us. A side effect of the internalization of the things we see, eat, breathe, and understand in our daily lives.

So, why write horror?

Because, a long time ago, I read stories that scared me. I had physical reactions, and my imagination knew no bounds. Anything is possible in a King story. Anything at all. And one day, a few years ago, I had an idea for a story that startled me. Shook me. And I’ve been waiting to write it all these years.

For more great insight into this topic, check out Author Sarah Langan’s essay on HarperCollin’s website.

Thanks for reading, Blogland.

 

BZ

Routine Interruptions

This week has been weird.

It started on Tuesday. Trevor and I played tennis, which is a rarity in and of itself. When I say played tennis, what I actually mean is Trevor attempted to teach me tennis basics, which is made even more complicated in that I am left handed and he is not. But, it was a ton of fun. My abs and sides ached for days afterward, and I got a nice tan too! Apparently I need to go outdoors more.

So, naturally, we followed up all this physical activity with beer. Beer and margaritas. A lot of beer and margaritas. Which was then followed up with an aching head and a tumultuous stomach. Tuesday was our day to party, Wednesday was our day to recover. I spent most of the day groaning on the couch watching Trevor play Dead Rising 2.

And then I worked at 7:30am both Thursday and Friday. Puke. Between sheer lack of sleep and two incredibly busy days at the Bux, I really haven’t done any writing. I’m used to closing. Wake up at 11am, take my time getting ready, pack up the Mac and sit in the lobby for a solid three hours and some sort of fictional magic is sure to take place. But, when you’re up until 1 and then back up at 6:30 you suddenly feel no urge to stay passed 3:45 to clack away on the laptop.

And so I haven’t.

In fact, until about 20 minutes ago, I hadn’t even watched this week’s lecture! Don’t worry, I won’t be summarizing here. That’ll come Sunday, just as it should.

Instead, I just wanted to say that, even though I’ve been a bad writer this week, it’s been killing me. My lip, which had almost healed completely has since been plucked into a painful callous, hinting at the pent up energy just waiting to find its way to the page. It’s gross, I know. Sorry. In the shower the other day, I couldn’t remember if I’d conditioned my hair because my mind had runaway with scenarios that Val is going to face. But, I didn’t write, because I was just too tired.

Which is a sad excuse. That doesn’t make it any less true.

Anyway, the lecture has been watched, and the notes taken. Tomorrow chapter 16 will come to an end. And hopefully I’ll get about half of chapter 17 down. That’d be nice. For the first time since I first started writing the book everything seems clear. I can see exactly where scenes are headed and what is coming up next. I know how characters are going to behave and react to the things I’m about to put them through, and I’m so incredibly excited to put this book to bed.

It’s not that I’m sick of it. I’m not. But, it’s like reading the climax of a book. You hurry through it because it’s so good. That’s how I feel about writing the climax.

Also, there are other works waiting impatiently. The horror story, which I’ve been trying to write since 2010 and the sci-fi comedy that has eluded me for even longer. They’re both great ideas, but remember, ideas are cheap. They’re also both a little experimental. The horror piece toys with viewpoint and reliability, and ultimately leaves you wondering at the end. The sci-fi… it wants to be told in three parts. I think. I’m not sure. It’s been so long, and I’ve grown so much as a writer, that I might just scrap the entire thing except for the concept, characters and opening line. That’s how rough it is. There’s something in there that won’t give up, but it isn’t working in its current format.

I plan on reading Stephen King’s short fiction while writing the horror piece. It will help me with pacing and tone, plus I just really want to read King’s short stories, they’re amazing! Then, once that is done, I’ll pick up Douglas Adams again. I’ve read the entire Hitchhiker’s “Trilogy”, but it was a very long time ago, before I’d ever considered writing for a living. There’s something to be learned there, I’m sure,

Right now, in the wake of The Way of Kings, I am reading Joe Abercrombie’s The Blade Itself, lent to me by a friend. So far I’m not really sure what to think of it. I like it. But it is entirely different than what I’ve been reading the last five years or so. It’s funny. Really funny. So I’m taking notes on that department. But, I’m not a big fan of the language. It’s rough, and kind of distracting. And very British. Which is usually a good thing for me. When I say rough, I’m not talking about cursing or anything like that. I mean that the sentence structures and word choice are hard for me to read. But, I think it actually works for the stories being told. I like all the characters so far. They’re extremely interesting. And I like some way more than I thought I would, and others far less. My expectations are constantly thwarted by this book, which is refreshing. Plus, I can see that the three characters are all intertwined, I just don’t know how yet, and that’s why I keep reading.

At least they better all be intertwined!

Anywho. Just wanted to bounce in, let you know that I’m still here. I’m still writing. See you Sunday, Blogland.

 

BZ