Tuesday, January 27, 2009


Years of waiting and finally it's happened. I told all y'all, and no one believed me until some hackers brought out the truth:

Whatcha going to do now? All I knows, is that I've got my rifle and my crowbar ready! I do appreciate their use of "caution" instead of "Run You Mother Truckers!" (Maybe that's why many people still don't believe the message - it wasn't urgent enough or Samuel L. Jackson enough).

And just incase you didn't understand the first construction sign message, the hackers were nice enough to send this message too:

Pride is a terrible thing to waste, so stop being mad because you didn't see it coming. Don't be angry because I was right (like always). Haters have tasty brains - so you better stop hatin' or the zombies will get you first.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Promptly Rejected By Writing

Short on ideas? Want to try something new but don't know where to start? Too bad for you, it's a writer eat writer world out there. No one can help you. Do you think that if I didn't have any ideas I could just go up to a writer buddy of mine and be like "Dude, got any good ideas I can steal?" I would only do that if I was looking for a knife fight. So deal.

How do those statements make you feel? Hurt, angry? Ready to knife me? Good. Write it out. Or, if you don't like my prompt, check out these sites for more ideas:

Any writer, writing prompts:




Fantasy writer, writing prompts:


Words and statements as writing prompts:

Pictures as writing prompts:

Songs as writing prompts:


To continue my book reading series:

I recently finished reading Grave's End by Elaine Mercado

This is an intruiging tale about a true ghost haunting. I was hoping that the end of the story would go more into the explanation of where the ghosts were from and why they were there, but the explanation was a little flat. It still was an interesting, and quick, read.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Word Power

When I say word power, I do not mean that the person with the most books or the most knowledge of words can use that power to take over the world (I know, this makes me cry too). What I mean, is that words have power. The pronunciation and the spelling of words holds a magic that cannot be described (ironically enough) in words.

My favorite word is aluminum, but only when pronounced as the British do, Al-oo-min-ee-um. Consider dialects in books and in your own writing. The appropriate pronuncation, when written out holds the magic to show a reader where that character is from without having to say he's Russian, or she's German. And, different pronunciations hold different power for words. When someone says: "sugar" it holds a different meaning than when someone says: "shug".

Spelling is important too. Trooth, (unlike Krab, being fake crab), is more troothy than "truth". When Jack Nicholson said "You can't handle the trooth!" in A Few Good Men, it held more power. If he had said "You can't handle the truth!" he surely wouldn't have received a nomintation for an Oscar for that role. If caught in a lie, you can always ask "Do you want the truth, or the trooth?" Usually people won't know the difference between the two, and will request the "truth", and since it's less troothy than trooth, you can tell them a weaker version of the trooth (just f.y.i.).

Another example of the power of words: In the olden days, okay, not the 80s, but the olden olden days (pre-1980's) Kings who suspected the poisoning of their drinks would say: "I'm rubber and you're glue, attempts made on my life bounce off me and stick to you." Upon speaking these words, poison would jump out of their cup and into the mouths of the one who poured it in the cup. Literally. I've seen it happen. And when I say poison I do not mean the band Poison because this is pre-1980's, I mean actual toxins that can kill you, kind of like what Bret Michaels is spreading around on his love shows...or so I hear...

Moving on. Word choice is very important. Do you every wonder why an author chose one descriptive word over another? Do you, as a writer, find yourself disgusted with your own word choices, wishing that you could find stronger words for your stories? Words should not be taken lightly, they hold a magic like no other (especially when describing magic) so choose your words wisely, especially when speaking or writing the trooth.


Book Reading Bonanza update:

I recently finished Welcome to Hard Times by E.L. Doctorow. This is his first published novel. I enjoyed the description and the moral discussion that is created by the characters and their thoughts and actions. In this novel, a man named Blue watches the destruction of his town during the wild days of the American West. Unable to accept failure, and full of renewed hope, Blue - with good intentions - manipulates those around him to rebuild the town; bringing in new settlers and old wood. But some things never change, and some mistakes have to be made twice.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Naming Characters, the Great Debate.

Let me share an old courtroom transcript with you, to explore the debate of naming characters.

Jennifer v. Shakespeare
In the case of the importance of a name.

Jennifer: Let me toss some questions out there for the court.

Is your name important to you? If your name was Elektra, would you have a more exciting life, especially if you were male? We have the ability to legally change our name, because names are important to us, and we want to ensure we've got the right name, a name that is genuine to us, to who we want to be. So why not give your characters adequate names.

I mean, really, what's more important, the meaning of your character's name, the meaning of your baby's name? Obviously the character name is more important, but as a side note, something I've been wondering for a while; if your last name is Webster, Clay, Calhoun, or Lincoln are you obliged to name your child Daniel, Henry, John C. or Abraham respectively?

Back to the facts. Names are important, and the meaning behind them is important, so when you choose a name for your character, think about it, make it meaningful. Not only does this enrich your characters, but it deepens the meaning of your story and enhances your writing overall.

(Whereupon, Jennifer sits down and looks to Shakespeare.)

(Whereupon, Shakespeare stands, takes a drink of water and clears his throat.)

Shakespeare: The good people of the court must agree with me, when I say what's in a name? That which we call a rose, by any other name would smell as sweet. I have also said "The man that finds that his senses have precieved the stench of gruesome death, and to quethe this knowledge on the guests, surely he spoiled the party" (Current day context: He who smelt it, dealt it).

(Whereupon, the courtroom laughs.)

But that quote has nothing to do with this argument, it was merely used to make you all like me better and possibly vote for my side of the argument. But as a writer and a reader, I believe that an object or a person has substance beyond their name. You may call me Shakespeare or Steve and I will write the same, have the same wit, still get your vote, I am still the same man with or without my name.

(Whereupon, the case in the above-entitled matter was submitted.)


As a side note: I'm working on reading more in 2009. So, I'm keeping a list on this blog showing what I've read this year. If you have any good book suggestions, bring them on (please one per person, and no suggestions like "everyone poops". I would enjoy something that will actually enrich my life). I will read at least 50 pages and if it still sucks, I will allow you another suggestion. Then, as the year goes on, I'll add finished books to my list and probably drop a line or two about the book at the end of a post.