Monday, December 15, 2014

I Don’t Get It...

...or things I don’t understand about our modern day culture. Trends these days are as flighty as a leaf in a hurricane. Why? I don't have a clue.

For instance:

Frozen. I heard all the accolades. Read the headlines about how marvelous it was. I almost bought the DVD on hype alone. Holy Talking Cats, sure glad I didn’t. I saw it recently and, please Lord, wash that song out of my head. Can’t say I hated it by any means. But it sure wasn’t How to Train Your Dragon 2. I watched that animated feature several times and could sit for another showing easy.

Warbling. A beloved song is introduced and you smile in anticipation...until the singer starts in. She or he begins embellishing every other note into what I call warbling. The “artist” supplies ten sounds to a single tone and everyone claps and proclaims he or she a star. Sing it right, the way it was composed. Warbling corrupts the melody.

Taylor Swift. This young lady writes music, gives to charity, doesn’t twerk, do drugs, slut around, and enjoys life. At twenty-five, she is one of the most influential women of the age. She accepts the responsibility and acts on it. According to an interview done for US Weekly, "I put every one of my actions through a filter before I do them because that's the way my life is," Swift continued. "That the reality… If I do something reckless or thoughtless or careless, or I treat someone badly, that doesn't just affect me; it affects that person. Then, if that story gets out, or some 10-year-old sees that I did that in a news article… my actions do have ripples."
So why all the snide remarks, the hate? Beats me. Herd mentality? Jealousy? I don’t get it.

And while I’m on the subject...Books, specifically, Twilight. It was a life-changer for me so the horrible comments about it leaves me appalled. Why the vitriol? Why the nastiness? I Do Not Understand.

Politics. I do have opinions, but I keep them to myself in this regard. But other writers don’t. They spout. They gnash. They invoke Hellfire in the name of Justice. Everyone has an opinion and it’s good to converse on the subject. But Jumpin’ Jehoshaphat, don’t take a headline and assume it is unadulterated fact. Do research. Check into stuff. Then have an intelligent discussion. 

But remember, you’ll probably alienate half of your audience.

Do you agree? Disagree? See a trend you don’t understand? Share, share.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

IWSG – Losing the Desire

IWSG—Insecure Writers Support Group, coming together on the first Wednesday of every month for a virtual pat on the back. 

It starts with excuses.

  • I’m too busy to write.
  • The passion to finish the ms isn’t there.
  • Rejections, bad or no reviews.
  • Self-flagellation, as in, “I’m not any good so why bother.”
  • Life strikes.

All the above hits every writer/author. So how do you fight through it?

Not looking for sympathy here. Looking for advice.

Insecure Writers Support Group: The Final Frontier.

These are the continuing voyages of the Ninja Captain, AJC. His mission, to explore all new writing venues, to seek out new authors and new blogs. 

To boldly go where no blogateer has gone before.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Who's Your Hero Blogfest - Abraham Lincoln

Everyone has a hero, someone they admire. Michelle Wallace and J.L. Campbell know it's true. They're sponsoring a blogfest highlighting our personal heroes. Go here to find out more.

My hero? Easy. Abraham Lincoln. Always and forever.

I admire his ambition to better himself, to learn to read and write when so many of the population did not. To overcome the loss of his mother at an early age and bond so readily with his stepmother. When his ambition led him to run for office and eventually the Presidency, the country could not have picked a better man during the worst time in this country’s history. It was a place in time that required someone exactly like him. 

Providence maybe?

Feb 1861
In four years, from 1861 to 1865, he aged from a hearty, mature man in his best years to a bent scarecrow. Worries ate at him until his bones showed through his skin. Too many decisions, too many against him. Vitriol lashed him from political enemies and sometimes his generals. The deaths of his sons, the loss of so many on the battlefields. How could it not weigh on his mind?
March 1865

In the end, he might have felt the approach of death. Other assassination attempts on his life had failed but Hate can manifest into something almost visceral, an indescribably horrible burden.

Yet, he continued. Only by his will did he stand erect. Because surely the ambition of his younger days was long gone.

Abraham Lincoln gritted his teeth and continued. Prevailed. 

And when he was killed, he truly “...Now belongs to the Ages.”

Friday, October 31, 2014

Cephalopod Coffeehouse Chat - The Slow Regard of Silent Things

From the ArmChair Squid: “The idea is simple: on the last Friday of each month, post about the best book you've finished over the past month while visiting other bloggers doing the same. In this way, we'll all have the opportunity to share our thoughts with other enthusiastic readers.”

Join the club here.

The Slow Regard of Silent Things - Patrick Rothfuss

The author says, “Don’t buy this book”. Yep. Right out loud, he says it. Well, in print anyway. And—shockingly—I can see
his point.

No matter what the pundits say about “don’t buy a book by its cover”, good designs kick derrieres when it comes to marketing. If the cover to Slow Regard entrances a reader who buys it without knowing Kvothe and his story, this book will disappoint. If the blurb grabs your interest, for Pete’s sake, don’t start with this book. Find Name of the Wind and “do things proper”.

If you think you can barge your way into a museum filled with perfect artifacts and expect to understand it, oh, how wrong you are. The best comparison I have is The Lord of the Rings and the Silmarillion. If you’ve walked Middle Earth behind hobbits and Gandalf, you know who they are. They need no introduction. But to jump feet first into Silmarillion without that knowledge is like diving into a pool without knowing the depth. And the shock might keep you from trying it again.

For those acquainted with Kvothe, who have read every line and hold the story dear, Slow Regard is like holding a long-lost present from a beloved grandmother. I can see her gnarled hands stretched out to me, giving me a teacup for my very own. There is no value to the cup. No antique dealer would want the chipped thing. But to experience again the memories is to bring my grandma back to life.

The Slow Regard for Silent Things is just that precious. Priceless. For those who hold the memories of The Kingkiller Chronicles and want more.

The definition of epic fantasy: The Kingkiller Chronicles, a series made up of Name of the Wind, The Wise Man's Fear, and the third and yet-to-be released, Doors of Stone.

Start with these and you'll experience some of the best fantasy reading ever.

Leave Slow Regard for after.

Monday, October 27, 2014

I Do It

When my little brother was three or so, his favorite phrase was “I do it.” 

Our parents would try to help him set up a game and he’d brush them off with I do it. Someone would put a
plate of food in front of him and start to cut up his sandwich into smaller bites. “I do it” and he’d push their helping hands away. Or hold him going down a slide, guide him around a ditch, follow him out the door. I do it, I do it, I do it.

In other words, he hated asking for help.

In that trait, we are very similar. I cringe from asking for assistance. It’s not that I don’t need it on occasion but it goes against my willful nature, I reckon.

  • And so I use an axe to chop the ice from a blocked sewer on my own without asking for help. (hey, after tentatively hitting the stinky stuff trying not to get the crud on me, one splat in the face made me say, “Oh well,” and swing mightily to get the job done)
  • Plaster and tape 20 by 30 foot room alone.
  • Face down a charging bull.

Yes, I am the independent sort. Sometimes stupid but definitely independent.

This leads me to today and my release of Mage Revealed. I swallowed my reluctant nature and asked several of my highly valued blogger friends to assist me in the announcement. Their response made my “allergies” kick in. 

At least that’s the excuse I give when confronted while holding a tissue.

Thank you:
Alex, my uber blogger, who told me the stress never gets even better after the second book. He should know since his fourth novel is in edits and he can’t stop writing.

Marcy – an amazing and humbling post. Truly my rock and friend, beyond priceless

Angela Brown, author of Neverlove and has one of the coolest pen names, Rayven Godchild for her self-pub series. I blush even looking at the covers.

Ellie. One of my all-time, most favorite humans on Earth. I mean she met Shaun (of the Dead) aka Scotty for Goodness sake.

Christine Rains – one of the most delightful (and talented) authors I know, author of The Thirteenth Floor series.

Heather, author of Maguire’s Corner. Her next book in the series, One Good Catch is humming along and should be out next year.

Thank you one and all. My appreciation knows no bounds.

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