Summer Series 1: “How Movies Teach Manhood” Ted Talk

This summer I am going to be swamped between work and catching up on my stories.  Instead of extending my accidental blog hiatus, I’ll be highlighting various videos and resources that I have found helpful until life gets a bit more manageable again.

First up is “How Movies Teach Manhood” by Colin Stokes on the Ted Talks channel.

I think he brings up particularly poignant thoughts I would like to keep in mind while I’m working on my own characters.

Writing Excuses

The name of this post is a bit of a double entendre.  For one, I’d like to point those interested in writing to the podcast titled “Writing Excuses” put on by Wesley Chu, Piper J. Drake, Mary Robinette Kowal, Mary Anne Monhanraj, Brandon Sanderson, Howard Taylor, and Dan Wells.  It contains fantastic information and writing advice from established authors, I have enjoyed it and found that it does help my own writing.

Now, the other reason for the title is my excuses for not posting as often this spring.  I have been deep into edits and my day job has been extremely busy as of late, and both have cut into the time I have for keeping up with the blog as often as I’d like to.

There is some good news though, I have gotten a good deal of notes prepared on my novella and have been working on rewrites.  The short story collection I’m working has been put on pause for the moment.  I do have a few micro fictions I’d like to get posted here in the next few weeks.

And in the section of general geeky updates, I’m finding myself identifying more with Dr. Strange out of all the Marvel Cinematic Universe heroes.  This has a great deal to do with my recognition that I need to take care of myself and not just my projects.  I tend toward worrying and anxiety, both of which have been catching up with me.  As a result, I’ve been looking into the benefits of yoga and aromatherapy to help keep myself centered and grounded.  There may be more here on that later.

Hope you are all having an amazing day!

Microfictions: Sentry & Shoes

I’ve been dealing with quite a few computer problems over the last couple of days and with my Camp NaNoWriMo participation this month I haven’t been able to post as often as I would like. So here’s a couple microfictions in the meantime.

Sentry

The hordes below the mountainside were as vast as a hill of ants. A cold sweat broke out on the sentry’s brow. His hand tightly held his sword for the comfort of its steel, as his fingers remained close to the trigger of the gun embedded in its hilt.  The enemy was moving directly toward his village.

Scurrying backwards he moved silently, a figure quickly obscured by trees as he raced through the night to make his report.

Shoes

He had found his lost show, along with the gold inside. The other guy hadn’t been so lucky.

Editing: A Process

Editing is a strange process.

This week I cut a story down from 9000 words to half its size.  It was almost as if I was smashing in a work of pottery still on the wheel in order to build a better vessel with the same clay.

Now the story is a skeleton of what it was and it’s still a difficult story.  I sense I will need a bit of feedback before I set about the difficulties of putting some of the flesh back onto it.

This week has been another key to my personal preparation for going through the novelette I wrote.  One more step in a series that began two years ago.

In late 2015 and early 2016 I wrote a full length novel, tried to edit it, and then realized I needed more experience in this craft before tackling the revisions on this book, the first in a planned epic fantasy trilogy.  So I went about trying out different ideas and tackling shorter length works in an effort to find my own voice and get a feel for what works as  a writer.

I’m in a stage where I feel like my writing is as fluid as ocean waves.  Some of my writing is razor focused and only needs a few edits on details while other pieces require a great deal more thought and change.

The trick has become learning how best to read those waves and channel the story through them.

I’m not writing this as someone who has figured it out yet.  But I am posting this as someone who is beginning to see a way through the maelstrom that is editing.

Decluttering

With spring in the Northern Hemisphere comes inevitable spring cleaning.  A chance to go through what I have and toss out what has served its purpose.  This year I have my work cut out for me.

Now that I’m mostly settled in, it’s time to organize everything left over in storage from my move in December.

Being the nerd I am, I actually read a book to prepare for it: “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up” by Marie Kondo.  While I’m not sure I will be following her method in its totality there are a lot of takeaways for me.  One example is that I highly respect the idea that learning to declutter helps us learn who we are by what we find sparks joy in our possessions.

Ultimately, I am hoping the physical act of decluttering helps to hone my decision making skills for editing, a process that will essentially be decluttering and expanding my stories.

Microfiction: Reginold

The corner of the room was getting too packed for Regi’s tastes.  He was watching the door, waiting for Selica.  The room was unusually warm and the coffee more bitter than even those of the shops in Liran’s old town.  He nearly jumped from his seat as a cup fell nearby.  His nerves were tense, as they should be, not everyone survived planning a coup d’etat.

Selica was the key to the royal palace.  His smooth talking would have to be at its finest on this “date”.  If he could convince her to let him in, that would be all his plans needed.