Friday, 27 June 2014
Thursday, 19 June 2014
It's "Just Write Thursday" again, which means a continuation of what I started last week: The Dragon's Keeper. Enjoy, and comment below if you so please!
Thursday, 12 June 2014
A week back, she challenged her blog followers to put down whatever they were working on every Thursday and "Just Write". You can find her original post here, and I invite everyone to try it out. It's truly inspiring, and a nice way of getting away from editing/novel writing for a day. And who knows: maybe you'll pump out some gold?
Here is what I was able to put together today. I've had this story idea for a while now, so it flowed like a six pack of beer after a hard week of work. Hope you enjoy, and there will be more to come I'm sure!
Saturday, 4 January 2014
This ballad is what gets the motor running for my main troupe of characters, providing them clues on what lies ahead, and foreshadowing for the reader. It was pretty fun to dream up, and while it's not final, I am quite happy with it!
Hope everyone is having a great weekend. Cheers!
Thursday, 2 January 2014
This blog and my novel are back on the go, and I'm proud to say I'm nearly eight chapters through my novel, and about 45,000 words. I've already reached that "novella" range, yet I'm only a third through my story. Should be interesting to see what makes the cut in the end :)
I've also been reading a few books as of late, except I have this horrible habit of reading a whole bunch at once. I have two on the go on iBooks, one in the washroom, and then my night shifts are comprised of listening to audiobooks in my snow plow. All in all it's a terribly confusing way to read/listen novels, but I've become pretty damn good at it. And my wife tells me I can't double task.
Here are a few of the books I've either finished reading, or are near finished reading.
The Lies of Locke Lamora - by Scott Lynch Rating: 9.5/10
This is the best fantasy novel I've read since the Lord of the Rings trilogy. It tells the tale of a misfit group of thieves that call themselves the Gentlemen Bastards, led by Locke Lamora. It is funny, tragic, and the character development is unmatched by anything else that I've ever read. You fall in love with these characters, especially the relationship between Locke and his close friend, Jean.
Red Seas Under Red Skies - by Scott Lynch Rating 8/10
The sequel to Lynch's first installment almost lived up to the first, but lacked a few of the key characters from The Lies of Locke Lamora that I fell in love with. Notably I missed Chains, the false priest who trained Locke and Jean in the art of thievery and survival on the streets. The addition of romantic interests would also appeal to some. Still a stellar book.
The Diary of a Frazzled Mother - by Julia Frazzleby Rating 7/10
A fellow winner in The Novelist Contest, Julia Frazzleby's compilation of the ongoings, trials and tribulations that her quirky family faces on a daily basis are simply hilarious. She is a fantastic writer, and has a funny bone that I am truly envious of. This usually isn't my genre, but it was on sale for $1.00 on Amazon and iBooks over the holidays, and I believe it still is. So pick it up, give it a read, and you won't regret it!
The Grapes of Wrath - by John Steinbeck Rating 8.5/10
An absolute classic, and I'm embarrassed to say this is my first time picking this up and giving it a go. Steinbeck's dialogue and symbolism are legendary. You fall in love with the Joad family, and the book makes you yearn for the rural life, but fear it at the same time. The chapters that diverge from the plotline and work like more of an epitaph on the state of the United States and the farmers during the Great Depression are probably my favourite parts of the book. He has inspired me to look at writing differently. To be creative, and to not be afraid to stray away from the plotline as long as what you have to say is worth saying. Everything Steinbeck has to say is worth saying, and I can only hope that some day I am half the writer he is.
Allegiant (Divergent series Book #3)- by Veronica Roth Rating 2/10
To put it bluntly, Veronica Roth completely shit the bed with the final installment of her widely successful Divergent series. It's too bad, because there is a reason she was so successful with her first two books. I fell in love with Tris, Four, and the rest of the cast in the first two books. They got me through some pretty rough days, living on my own without my wife in a hamlet of 300 people during the summer of 2012. Then she churns out this pile of donkey doo.
In truth, I didn't even finish it. I got through 200 pages, and just couldn't do it. Veronica's characters all of a sudden seem fake, and she ends each and every chapter with a passionate kiss or a bitchy fight between her two protagonists that seem altogether way too fake. And the new characters she introduces have no depth, no personality, and are thrown into the plot like a small twig into a set of giant, turning cogs - just another small hurdle that gets in the way but are otherwise pointless and ineffective. It's like she completely lost her inventive spirit, and decided to turn it into a facking romance novel when she found out Hollywood wanted to make a trilogy of movies. Well the Twilight fans will love it, but I for one am deeply disappointed.
It's too bad that my longest review had to be so negative, but there you have it. Easily the biggest flop of 2013 for me.
And there you have it, some quick reviews on a few choice books I've read over the past few months. If you've read any of them, or want to know more, feel free to leave a comment below, and I'll be happy to answer! :)
Saturday, 23 November 2013
So I mentioned a while back I was participating in this contest called The Novelist, where 20 writers were pitted against each other in a competition (kind of like the American Idol of writing without the fanfare and pomp!). Every week one person with the least votes was removed from the competition until there were only 2 remaining. I was lucky enough to make the top 2 with fellow author Stuart Howorth (great writer in his own right), and in a huge twist, the authors who were removed from the competition weeks and months earlier voted for the winner (along with votes from the public). Not entirely sure how much clout they had in deciding the winner, but I am proud and honoured to say that I came out on top in voting, and I've won The Novelist Season 3!
With that, I receive a publishing deal, and I hope to have my novel The Tournament of Hearts: The Librarian Gladiator completed this upcoming Spring (March-April). After editing and once cover art is completed, it should be published in time for next summer, when Season 4 of the Novelist gets underway. I encourage all three of you reading this to join the competition, or at least throw your name in the hat by going to www.gayrightssite.com/Novelist or downloading the app on iTunes (just search "The Novelist" and you'll find it). I'll be paying attention, so if you do get into the contest, comment on my blog and I'll be sure to vote for ya!
After I talk with the publishing house, I'm going to find out if I'm allowed to post excerpts from my novel here on my blog. In the meantime, you can read my first two chapters on the above website as a teaser. It's received pretty good reviews so far, and I'm so excited to share the rest with the public!
So keep reading. I'll be updating this much more often now that the competition is completed.
Monday, 4 November 2013
So over the past three months I have been participating in an incredible contest called the Novelist. I stumbled upon the app on the iTunes store when I was super bored one day, and decided to give it a download just to check it out. Initially I thought it was a free writing guide, and I was looking for some guidance for writing my first novel to fill the void I felt after finishing my post-secondary education. But I quickly found out that it wasn't an app to help your writing, but instead it was actually promoting a contest for writers, where anyone could send in a synopsis of their book with a chance to be entered into this contest. So I did one day, and then I forgot about it.
Four months later I received an e-mail, telling me that I made the cut into the top 20 and that I would have to send in a picture and an updated synopsis for the first round of the contest. I was pumped, but a little afraid as well. First because I was scared that this was some dating site and they were trying to steal a sexy selfie of yours truly, and second because I had never shared my writing with the public. I wasn't sure how people would respond to my writing since I am an amateur in every sense of the word, plus I was never quite great at taking sexy selfies! *gasp!*
You see, in order to get further into the contest, the public had to vote for their favourite short stories every week, so that meant the contestants had to write a brand spankin' new short story every week (varying in topic and between 2000-8000 words long). This in itself was incredibly nerve-racking, both having to write something new every week, and then having family, friends and the random public all judge your work On top of that, each of the contestants still left in the Novelist competition sent you comments regarding your work every week. I'm a pretty self-conscious person, and taking strong criticism isn't my strong suit, so you can imagine my trepidation.
But I stuck with it, and lo and behold I've made it into the top 3! I suppose I should have mentioned earlier that the winner receives a publishing deal. I think I have a pretty decent shot to at least make it into the top 2, because I feel quite strongly about my short story this week. But I invite anyone who reads this to go to the site and judge for themselves. If you like the story, chuck me a vote! If not, go suck a lemon! (kiddin'...hahaha) But seriously, give the other contestants a look too. Especially Stuart Howorth. Guys got some skill!
And if you are interested in writing yourself, I recommend you go and check it out, maybe send in your own entry and take a trip down this exciting road. You won't regret it!
The website is: www.gayrightssite.com/Novelist
Click on "Newest Issue"
I know the web address seems suspicious. The people who put on this contest have rights to that domain name, so they chose to piggy back the ".com" they owned already, just by adding an extension. Trust me. I'm a stranger. It's safe!
Until next time! Don't be afraid to check back now and then, because trust me.. I'll be busy writing nothing as usual :)