Powerful video about our “connectedness”

I haven’t heard about this guy before. However, I think this is a power video about technology in our lives. As a writer, I’ve been thinking about how my cellphone, iPad, and computer might be stifling my creativity and productivity Though this video is more about relationships than creativity, I think it still applies. What do you think?

As for me, I’m publishing this, turning off all my browsers, and getting back to work.

A Review of Rebel

Rebel (Faery Rebels, #2)Rebel by R.J. Anderson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I just finished the audiobook version of Rebel, and I found it delightful. Anderson does a wonderful job of creating believable teenage characters and avoids the cliches that are prevalent in so many YA books. Not only does the book have adventure, action, and magic, it touches deeper issues so many teens go through that other YA books don’t, such as: Is it okay to doubt your faith? Is it ever okay to do something that violates your code of ethics? When you’re hungry? When it’s convenient? And she does all this without being preachy or heavy handed.

As far as the reading of the audiobook is concerned, Saskia Butler does a marvelous job.

This book is great for preteen to younger teens. However, even for an adult, it is a great read.



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A Thought about NaNoWriMo

2013-Winner-Square-Button

 

 

 

 

I spent last monty trying to write a 50,000 word book for National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo. In case you don’t know what it is, Nano is an event win which you spend 30 days, and try to write a 50,000 word novel. I made it, just barely. Tofinish, I had to cram down 13,000 words in the last day. But I did it, and thus won the NanoWriMo contest! Yippee.

To complete Nano, what it is absolutely required that you do one simple thing: turn off your inner editor, which is hard for me becasue I edit for a livinig. SO, I had to forcemyself to stop my fact checking, corricting grammar, typoss, and spelling problems. Just write. It’s an excelent exercise in creativity: simply let your thoughts flow. No plot? No problem. Just write, which brings me to a point.

On a Facebook group I belong to, one writer said he wasn’t doing Nano becasue he didn’t have the money to buy a book cover and sell it. I wish I had said something to him, because I sincerely hop he isn’t thinking about slappoing a cover on it and trying to publish it. I wouldn’t show my dog the manuscdript I just workied\ on. I’d be ashamed.

To drive my point, I am writing this blog post just like did my Nano book. I wrote it off the top of my head, as fast as I can, with my inner editor offf. And as bad as this post is written, I have still done a lot of back spacing and re-writing. However, all the red squiggles tell me that this post is still attrociosjly written.

So to my fello writers, plese, please, please, don’t slap a cover on your nano book and put it on amaozn. Pleas! Tkae time to edit it. Re=write it, work on the plot issues. I  promis that your manuscript is  no more ready to publish than this blog post is.

On Quiet

A few months ago, a power outage in the neighborhood of our church occurred in the middle of the service. The sound system shut down, three projection screens went out, and the air conditioning stopped. The church has a backup lighting system, so we had light. Our pastor asked us if we wanted him to go on, and we did. He spoke to us without amplification for 30 minutes. And the first thing I noticed was how very quiet it was. I heard nothing but the pastor’s voice and an occasional cough in the audience. The effect was, for lack of a better word, electrifying.

We don’t realize just how noisy our society is. Sound from radios, televisions, MP3 players, computers, tablets, phones, cars, and people surrounds us, engulfs ours minds, blocks our thoughts, and drowns our feelings. It’s no wonder our blood pressure’s up, our heads thump, and our nerves are jangled. I find that sometimes I just need a little bit of quiet.

Yesterday when I picked up my wife from work, I was thinking about how to put some characters from several different but related short stories I wrote into one novel. Actually, that was a problem I’ve been thinking about on and off for months with no luck. So while I was driving, I turned off the radio and quieted my thoughts. I stayed in that state, quiet environment and quiet mind, until I picked her up. I still didn’t have an idea when I arrived, but my mind was still quiet and peaceful. Finally, when I woke up this morning, I had an idea–a way to put all these characters into one book.

Is the idea any good? We’ll see. But now I have a starting point.

So the next time I have a problem, instead of stressing and pondering and working it over, I’m going to pray about it, then be quiet, and see what happens.

Review of Mercenary Measures

Mercenary MeasuresMercenary Measures by Brandon Collier

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

My biggest complaint about the book is that the writing is bland. It’s an odd juxtaposition of a fast-paced action story and bland, almost clinical writing.

Though the writing style could use improvement, I enjoyed the story itself. Furthermore, book is fairly clean of typos and grammatical errors. I’ve seen some, but it’s not as bad as many indie authors, especially for a book of 581 pages. The book also came across as very well researched in its descriptions of Brazil.

As far as character development, it is better than I was expecting. At first, I thought Malestar was going to be a stereotypical psychopath. But he turned out to be more complex than I thought. I didn’t feel particularly sympathetic about any of the characters. They all came across as sociopaths, near sociopaths, and sociopath wannabees. However, they were interesting.

So given that the writing style could use improvement, yet relatively clean of typos and grammar errors, the story itself is good, and the characters interesting, I’m giving it a 3.



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My Review of A Game of Thrones

A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, #1)A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

We throw the word “epic” around so much that we’ve watered down the meaning. So if you want a reminder of what something is that is truly epic, read A Game of Thrones. This novel is complex, breathtaking, and thoroughly enjoyable.

If you’ve been fed a steady diet of CBA books, you’ll likely find the novel disturbing. However, none of the disturbing scenes are outside of of what you’d expect in the medieval-like society Martin created.

I can’t wait to start the next novel because, after all, winter is coming.

P.S. With authors such as J.R.R. Tolkien, and George R.R. Martin, I no longer feel worthy to have the middle initial, “R.”



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Outlining Oath of the Brother Blades Sequal: Curse of the Brother Blades

I started the outline for Oath of the Brother Blades recently, and am happy with where the story is going. I like to outline before I start the actual writing because it is a lot easier to fix plot problems in an outline than when you’re 100 pages into a manuscript.

I have tentatively titled the sequel, Curse of the Brother Blades. I don’t want to give away too much of the plot, especially since I’m not done with the outline. But I do have a scene I like in which the fairies accuse Thomas of murdering fairy.

If you don’t know who Thomas is and what he has to do with fairies, you can get caught up by downloading a free copy of Oath of the Brother Blades from Smashwords at:

http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/321246