Sunday, March 6, 2016

Yoinks it has been a while. Sorry.

Between being sick, traveling, being sick, more of the same and such, it was very difficult to keep everyone up to date. However, time for an update.

I am one book shy of having read the entire Collegium series by Mercedes Lackey. The series is very creative and provides so interesting details to a number of topics. The Valdemar books are all a lot of fun and I have enjoyed reading them.

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell was a great read. The story was interesting and full of fun twists and turns. I highly recommend it to anybody. In fact, based off my recommendation, my wife is reading it. She has some issues with Wren but that's probably par for the course.

Wisp of a Thing by Alex Bledsoe was really good. The Tufa stories have a lot of music in them, both lyrically and in the way they are written. You can feel the change in key when it occurs and things just pull you along. The characters are awesome and the whole thing was very compelling.

Otherwise, I am busy editing and wishing that I could write. I am still blocked there but at least I can edit, that can let me get Transitioning Home out.

Also, 300 Rains has been out for a year at this point and still doing well. That is amazing. And in 2 days I will hear back from Lambda if my book is one of the finalists.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

While my wife and I were back home, I didn't get a lot of writing done. Since we have started travelling again I have gotten back to editing Transitioning Home. I am aware that I should direct some energy to the next chapter of Potter but that is farther down on the totem pole.

I did write an entry on the other blog, talking about starting this next round of travel and going to a Da Vinci exhibit as well as Escher and Rodin. That was very cool and my head is drunk with all the art. So, there is that.

As I read more books or write more I'll keep you updated.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Been busy lately trying to fix Transitioning Home. When I wrote it, I was not aware of how passive the story is. So I need to trim the fat and make things more active. It's a real pain but at least the whole thing will read better at the other end. The odds are that I am going to add a scene or two. Honestly, at the end this will be a different story, with a number of similarities to what was on BCTS.

The same is planned with Splintered Life, though only more extreme. I figure I need another 6+ chapters there to really flesh things out the way I want to. Then it will be ready.

I am also working on Amulet of Adventure, though that is a bit on the back burner with all this other stuff. The changes are good for the story overall but it hurts to cut so many things. But you cut what you must and make the changes that are needed for a stronger story.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Vermont has been great for a number of reasons. The scenery is awesome. The vibe is lovely. All in all it has been a wonderful stay.

In addition to that, I have had a number of poems rolling through my head trying to take form, done some editing and writing, have a new novel idea, read a lot of stuff, met David Orr, so many, many things that have been making the creative juices flow again. Granted I was worried if this would ever come back but clearly I needed to heal first. Sigh…

Other things, when we arrived here the trees all seemed to have the same color green, pretty much across the board. Now that the leaves are turning color, it is like each tree is trying to be as unique as possible. It is like Van Gogh sneezed on his palette and the colors went everywhere. I have never seen such vast color variance in leaves. My wife noted that in the spring things are like this as well and that summer is that time where the trees try to be grownups and conform only to get to fall and say screw it. I think that’s a brilliant way of looking at it.

So back to reading and such. Ta

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

I also finished The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman, yesterday. I really enjoyed it. Gaiman is excellent at creating a sense of mystery out of the simplest if things. Since the majority of the story was told as if by a seven year old, that even upped the potential scare. At 7, the world has so many mysteries that it is difficult to grasp. Gaiman uses that as well as his own particular bent towards mythos to have the Maiden, Mother, and Crone try to help the boy out.

The characters are interesting, and described in an interesting and very seven year old manner. You get more based on the emotional connection to the character. Lettie’s mother just comes across as a little different than the usual mom, but not much. Even his parents are more archetypes than people, which I do understand. He has a Father and a Mother and they are Adults. Those are huge distinctions at that age.

It was an entertaining book with some very intense emotional moments. If you like his style of writing it would be a very good read.

The other book I finished was one on Da Vinci. This book gave a brief historical overview and then dealt with his notebooks and anatomical drawings. The author was upfront with his focus on the anatomical work of Da Vinci, but he ended up making it sound like Da Vinci focused more on that than anything else. That was odd and not supported by other accounts.

I did like to learn the history and dispensation of the notebooks after his death. That was very neat, to hear about how discoveries of the notebooks occurred. The fact that several times chests have been opened and surprise Da Vinci! makes me chuckle. Not a bad overview but with some problems.

I read a lot yesterday.

Monday, September 14, 2015

I just finished rereading The 97th Step by Steve Perry. It is the follow up to the Matador trilogy and is quite excellent. One of the things Perry excels at is action scenes. When I was focusing on improving my action sequences I reread a lot of his books. He keeps things trimmed down, sparse, focusing on the movement and flow of events rather than get overly introspective during combat. In the few times I have been in combat that is what it feels like, these short staccato moments even when things are flowing. I was having trouble translating what I knew into something that could be written down.

All his books in that series are excellent for that. He establishes character quickly and moves right into things, no fuss no muss. And he doesn’t give you too much information, using a lot of odd words, different languages, etc… to set to mood. The atmosphere is good but honestly, it his action sequences that get me.

His interpersonal stuff is also good. When characters fall in love it is easy to see the why of it all, which is nice. That way you can believe the actions that happen thanks to those emotions. All in all it is wonderful stuff and certainly helped me learn a great deal about writing. I have followed his blog as well, which has been interesting. He has many and varied interests and not all of them show in the books. That’s not bad. Getting to know him as a person has also helped me figure out stuff about being a writer. So I go back to that well often, to reacquaint myself with those characters, that way of writing and such. Good fun.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Writing Blog
It seems as if the block to my writing has broken or at least there is a large crack in it. I have been able to write more, some of it even good, which is a nice thing. I have story ideas popping up, which is also a nice sign. Maybe this means I can get some more work done and hopefully get out Transitioning Home and finish the tweaks to Amulet of Adventure. That would be nice.

In four days it will have been six months post-surgery. I guess that does make sense that my writing is coming back. That was a big deal. Anytime you have such a big surgery your world is going to change, whether you want it to or not. My world has changed. I do see somethings differently, and there have been some changes to my interests. Nothing totally huge, like I now want to be a Mennonite Rock Star or something, but there has been a perceptual shift that is interesting.

What does this mean for my writing? Well, I certainly will be able to keep doing it, which was something I was worried about. For most of my life writing has been a huge component of who I was and am. The loss of writing would have been a serious blow to the psyche. Considering I use it as an outlet for some of my thoughts and feelings, that could have turned me into a bomb of sorts. But thankfully, things did not go that route. You have no idea how happy that makes me. I love writing and storytelling and to have lost that would have been to lose me.

So, the writing will continue and hopefully I will be able to get more serious works out. Besides Transitioning Home I also want to get out Splintered Life. It was the story that got me into more prose work and to see it come out for a much wider audience would be lovely. Sure the money would be a nice treat but in the end, I far more care about the fact that people get to read and enjoy things.

With that in mind, enough woolgathering, time I got back to work. Ciao,