Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Granite Strand Report

"The Granite Strand" has recrossed the 10,000 word mark (again) as I re-craft the ending to be moodier and more dramatic. What better way to do this than turn an otherwise sunny day for the characters into a dark and stormy night. Lightning! Explosions! Squished peripheral characters! It's turning out to be a much better tale this way.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Good Review for Thunder Canyon

Yay! Rage of the Behemoth got a good review from The Cimmerian and Thunder Canyon was mentioned positively which would make me do a happy dance if I was the type that did happy dances. Since I'm not, I'll just have to type 'yay!' again. I loved the complaint about the name of my bad guy, Skurge. In truth, I couldn't think of a name while I was typing so I went with an old place holder that I've used before. Then I kind of liked it so I let it stay. Oh well.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Offworld by Robin Parrish

This month the CSFF is highlighting Offworld by Robin Parrish. Parrish is a solid and dependable writer who once again delivers up an intriguing tale. In the near future a group of astronauts return to earth to find everyone gone. Completely. This is the sort of bizarre, Twilight Zone twist that I love. Fascinating and well reviewed, if you're a sci-fi mystery type of reader this is a book you should read.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Facebook: The Un-Great Equalizer

I figured out what my problem is with Facebook. (Other than that most of it is just inane.) In Facebookland everyone is a 'friend' and we're all very friendly doing friendly things. My problem is that I don't have or want that same relationship with everyone in my life. I move through different worlds. There is the work world, the Marine Corps world, the church world, the writing world, and the friends & family world. They all require different sides of me and they are not interchangeable. Shoot, even my friends and family have different relationships with me; my children are different in status than my parents, etc. There are things that I do and ways that I act that my boss and my commanding officer do not need to see. There are exchanges between friends that my Marines and my employees do not need to see. We are not all equal.

Of course, you say, just limit the friends you have on Facebook. What's the problem? OK, you turn down your boss's friend request three times and see what happens next evaluation season. Teh internets are changing our society in ways that aren't fully understood yet and I'm not so sure I like the change.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Granite Strand Undergoes Massive Rewrite

"The Granite Strand", story four in the ongoing saga of Rath and Cairrg, had been developing weakly and had sputtered to a stop. Now, with the help of my critique group's comments on story number three in the series, I've gotten the ideas and impetus to make major changes. Characters are coming together, the scene list for the remainder of the story is firming up, and I'm going back over the whole thing to give it a darker feel. Of course, this necessitated the chopping of a thousand words or so but they will be replaced with better words so all is well.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Writing Lessons From Errant Kitchen Knives

The other day I had a run in with the wrong end of a chef's knife. It started to slip out of my hand and like an idiot I whipped my other hand up to grab it. The resulting slash across the side of one of my fingers (which strangely ended up in a cool looking Z shape) bled more than any other cut I can remember. I mean, blood was literally pouring out of it in a steady stream. It took all day of clamping down on it with a dish towel before the bleeding slowed enough to put a regular Band-Aid on it. So that made me think about all the grievous wounds I regularly apply to characters I write about. While I try to be a bit more realistic in my injuries and try to stay away from John McClane style bloodshed, I still write about people who get banged up a great deal. Now I think I may have to tone it down even further and get more mileage out of the real ramifications of open wounds that just keep bleeding and reopening.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

New Yahoo! Sucks

Just so you know, the new version of the Yahoo! home page looks horrible. Consider this a public service announcement.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Some Raging Reviews

I've been a little remiss in my duties as an owner of Rage of the Behemoth. Since I've already read most of the stories in it, I've let it sit aside for a while. Here are some of my opinions. "Black Water" by Sean T.M. Stiennon is just as good as I remembered it. An excellent father-son story with a very unique hero. "Passion of the Storm Lord" by Robert A. Mancebo is very well written with an Arabian flair and a chillingly portrayed Djinn. "The Beast in the Lake" by Kevin Lumly is the most interesting to read so far because it is the most changed from when I first encountered it. The main character has been completely changed both in name and in motivation. The setting and the climactic fight have been altered. All these changes have tightened up and improved the final product.

The book charges on and I shall give more of my impressions later.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Hello, My Name Is Inigo Montoya. You Killed My Father. Prepare to Die.

Just saw The Princess Bride this evening and it was better even than I remembered it. The movie has moved up several notches on my top-ten-movies-of-all-time list. A story of true love, violent revenge, swords, flaming swamps, and rodents of unusual size... what's not to like? Since it's been fifteen some years since I saw it last I was particularly taken by how it followed the hero's journey while Wesley fought to regain his true love, Princess Buttercup. The tests and trials, the allies and threshold guardians, death and rebirth. It is a marvelously told tale all the way around and everyone should be so lucky as to see it every few years or so.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Starting Off

Well, "Dead Debutantes" has its first 600 words on paper (or otherwise fixed in a copyrightable format) and I've come to the first change and the first decision point. First, our protagonist's name needs to be changed because it's too similar to Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell. It will likely be changed to Jeremiah Grey. I've also got two ideas for the plot that unfortunately seem to be at logical odds with each other. So for now, I'm heading in one direction because it holds the most promise for a fun story. And instead of an entire ballroom of dead bodies there is only a medium sized sunroom with a dozen debutantes in two dozen pieces.