Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Finding Things to be Grateful For When Life is Shit

Actually, I know my life isn't shit. In a lot of ways, things are better now than they have been for a long time. However, getting where I am, both literally and figuratively, has come at a cost. Thanksgiving is around the corner and it's going to be very different from the Thanksgivings I've experienced for the past almost two decades of my life. I'm excited about finally having Thanksgiving with my parents since that hasn't happened since I graduated from high school--I won't even get into how long ago that was. Some of the other changes are less positive, and I've been doing some soul searching as a result.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

12 More Days of NaNoWriMo

The good news is I have over 19,000 words for my novel that I didn't have before November started. The bad news is, to be current in NaNoWriMo, I should have 30,000 today. So, that puts me about 40 pages behind and I have 12 more days of November. How did I do this to myself? According to NaNoWriMo's doohicky, if I write 2,350 words for the next 12 days, I will finish on time; that's almost 10 pages a day.

Several things seem to be going on.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

It's Day #8 of NaNoWriMo & an Open Response to Someone Who Called me "Disgusting"

I can't believe I am now 8 days into NaNoWriMo. I just passed the 10,000 word benchmark, and while I'm proud of all that progress---hey, it's 1/5 of my goal---I'm a bit disappointed that I'm not where I should be. In order to be right on track, I will need to reach 13,333 words by the end of the day today, and that's probably not going to happen. Currently, I have 10,505 words written. We'll see. Admittedly, I've been feeling a bit drained. Last week ended with a nasty email exchange and I think that in order for creative types like me to be credible, it's important to be open about the little things that can affect our craft. Life does have a way of getting in the way, especially when it's not dealt with.

During this unpleasant exchange, unprompted, this other person lashed out with the phrase "you disgust me." That's a powerful statement, don't you think? For anyone who has seen Silence of the Lambs, that sounds like the type of comment one would reserve for a guy like the one who threw semen at Agent Starling as she walked down the hall. Anyway, I have been processing this comment and here is a summary of my journey through a careless insult.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Review: The Dark Element

The Dark Element (The Elemental Saga Book 1)The Dark Element by Mason J. Torall
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Since self-publishing The Dark Element, the first installment in his Elemental Saga series, Mason J. Torall has been running aggressively on the conference circuit including participating as a panelist at MalCon (Myths and Legends Conference) Denver 2017 and KoelbelCon 2016 where he was a special guest along with his writing partner, Colleen Oakes. He’s also a member of Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers and, at least up until recently, was a fairly active one at that. In short: over the past few years in addition to writing quite a long book and working on the next installment, he has been working hard on this project. Credit where credit is due: that’s no small feat.

Based on the ratings that other reviewers have given The Dark Element, I feel like I’m about to throw some ice water on the party, and that’s not what I originally set out to do here. I like to support other writers I have met in my travels, and I don’t think I can do that by damning anything they do with faint or insincere praise, so apologies if any of this is crushing, but here we go:

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Halloween Throwback: Broken Monsters

Is this what I told you was coming next? No! But it's a review of a book that is perfect for Halloween,  Lauren Beukes' Broken Monsters. Not to worry: the next post will feature my thoughts going into NaNoWriMo about both my own project, and the indie sci-fi book I am finishing up now. Not to, um, frighten anyone going into this adventure, but while it may be tempting to self-publish your oeuvre right after completion and a quick pass by a critique group, a little caution can be a good thing. That's all I'm going to say about that, for now.

Friday, October 27, 2017

1600 Words is Back

Just in time for Halloween, I'm dusting off the old book blog and jumping back into the action. This is an interesting time to do it because, as many of you know, NaNoWriMo time is almost upon us!

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Cranford High School Summer Reading

So here is one of my long-awaited updates on my take on summer reading selections from the high schools in Union County, NJ. I'm starting with Cranford High School. It looks like all students are supposed to read two books over the summer. AP and Honors students are supposed to read one "fictional" work selected by the teacher and one work of nonfiction from the list. Um, actually, mythology is generally cataloged under nonfiction just as poetry is under a section of nonfiction, so that's not strictly correct, but, okay, Cranford HS. You do you, boo.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Status Update

Time flies when you're having fun . . . or not having fun. I guess it has been a mix of both since my last post. Currently, I am doing Camp NaNoWriMo and trying to rewrite a draft of a novel that I pitched to an agent at PPWC (by the way, this was a huge agent and if I mentioned his name, you would probably recognize it and boy would my face be red.) He was really interested in the idea and I came home, hopped on the computer hoping to give the ms a quick rewrite so I could send it off to him and I could only find a few pages. So, that was upsetting, but I didn't let it get me down too much. Unfortunately, shortly after that happened and I got back on the writing every day bandwagon, one of my dogs knocked a glass of Bloody Mary into my Macbook Pro and killed it. I know I'm creative, but seriously: I can't make this stuff up.