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Take a Frog.

2 Nov

In a Glass Grimmly (A Tale Dark & Grimm, #2)In a Glass Grimmly by Adam Gidwitz

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I read this quickly before passing along to my daughter. I wanted to make sure it was “appropriate”. Not that it didn’t have violence (it does! entrails and blood to be exact!) or language (it does! Something similar to and completely unlike German in fact!) or chills and scares (giants,evil mermaids, goblins and a flame-breathing lizard are just for beginners!) but I was reading it to be “appropriate” in another way.

In message and in theme, it is fantastic. As a grown boy, I saw the moral a million miles away but as the note I put into the book before mailing to my young daughter says…

“There is a moral here but don’t worry too much about it. It is also a very fun book and by the time you hear the moral in the end you won’t mind it all because you will have figured it all out on your own by then”.

Take a long look in the mirror both before and after this book. Tell me if you see anything new after. If not, then it might be time for an adventure or two. I suggest you take a friend and a frog if you can.

View all my reviews

The Writer’s High

18 Jun
Maniac ran so fast that when he passed you, wo...

Maniac ran so fast that when he passed you, wouldn`t even see him run by you. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Runner’s have this legendary condition known as runner’s high. It is a condition described by some athletes as being the ultimate reward for pushing their bodies to the absolute limit. The feeling of euphoria associated with extreme exercise doesn’t hit everyone and some people don’t feel anything after a 5k but an urge to lurch, fold over in pain and vomit. However, for many a marathon ends with feelings of calm, extreme joy and a sense of peace and well-being normally associated with psychoactive drugs.  The difference many coaches, atheletes and medical professionals say is in how hard an athlete is pushing their bodies and the sustained effort and the effect of runner’s high follows pushing yourself to the physical limit.

Medical professionals had hypothesized that the changes in brain chemistry and surge in induced endorphins. Science is finally catching up to these theories and able to prove and map the changes in brain activity associated with running and extreme exercise. It is no longer a mythical valhalla for only the finest atheletes but an actual measurable change in brain chemistry brought on by pushing your body to it’s perceived limits.

What does any of this have to do with writing?

Remember, the runner’s high doesn’t come from crossing the finish line. It comes with each weary step forward, each breath pulled into a straining lung, and each exhilarating push forward.

Are you looking for the joy in writing to come with a finished work or with each word or page forward?

Let’s discuss the idea in the comments. Is there any comparison between a marathon runner and a novelist?

Feed the Body (and) Nourish the Soul

16 Jun

Today is Fresh Veggies Day. Take a vow to eat healthy today (and everyday), with fresh veggies for every meal, and for snack, too. Better still, be a vegetarian for a day. Your body will like it.

Fresh vegetables are tasty, far better tasting than canned or frozen vegetables. They are also healthy and highly nutritious. This makes it easy to add fresh vegetables to the menu at every meal, and for snacking. This time of year, there are plenty of fresh vegetables at your local grocery store, or in your backyard vegetable garden.

So relish Fresh Veggies Day with a bountiful supply of fresh picked veggies.

What does this have to do with writing? Everything. First, you must feed the body to nourish the soul. A well nourished body will jumpstart the mind. Relish your fresh veggies and inspire some fresh ideas.

Image

Go South By Southwest, Young Man

19 Mar

Where have I been?

 

If you know me primarily from this blog then you may wonder where I have been? I am sorry if you have feared the worst. I’m not gone. I just fell into preoccupation with work and in addition looking for work. The job search has paid off after months of searching. I found through an old friend a new day job. I will be working for a company as an at “@home virtual reservations associate” booking stays at luxury properties for an international company. I will be staying with my friend of over twenty years and his new wife. We are currently confined to a small apartment but will be moving into a house very soon. I am also saving money

The catch was a move to Austin, Texas. The proud Okie had to move south of the Red River. Worse still, the relocation south has moved me away from my children.  However, the work will pay the sort of money that will allow me to save for a place of my own as well as have more time to commit to my writing.  I was able to visit South By Southwest Interactive Festival for the second time. While my visit was primarily a social experience and consisted primarily of people watching and observing the crowds, I am sure it will not be the last time that I will get to experience the festival. The move should be a positive one overall and ultimately allow a return to an active blog.

I will continue this blog with writing tips, progress on my novel and at times a personal story or two about my life as a part time freelancer with a full time day job and aspirations of being a novelist.

Image of Austin, Texas

Image of Austin, Texas (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Weirdsday

10 Oct
Portrait recadré de Lovecraft

Portrait recadré de Lovecraft (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I am thinking of starting some lucid dreaming experimentation. I am inspired to keep a dream log and I am working out the details of a “weird fiction” that I am writing in homage to H.P. Lovecraft and his The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath. Good idea or nightmare waiting to happen? I will tell you tomorrow if I am not thrown into the far reaching depths of the mental canyons of madness and the echoing unreality of eternal insanity.

Wish me luck.

 

Build a Better Brand Platform: 30 Day Challenge (Day 19)

19 Sep

Have you seen The Karate Kid? Do you remember the scene when Mr. Miyagi shows a defiant Daniel-san that all the seemingly meaningless and tedious tasks he had been doing while training were actually lessons and part of a greater whole.  Today is the day we put it all together.


For today’s challenge write a blog post and include a call to action  -possibly to leave comments , to sign up for your email feed  or to use the share buttons  to share with others. Share the post  on Facebook , Twitter  and Linked In . Don’t forget to think SEO  as this will help increase the number of positive hits when you search your name. It is a good routine to share a blog post  every day. You should write a new post at least once a week. Be consistent. Engage your readers regularly This is the way you will define yourself  to your readers and reach your ultimate goals.

You thought you were taking “baby steps”? It looks like you are tap-dancing to me,kid.

The main cast of The A-Team. Clockwise from to...

The main cast of The A-Team. Clockwise from top: H. M. Murdock, B. A. Baracus, Hannibal Smith and Templeton “Face” Peck. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As Hannibal from A-Team was fond of saying, “I love it when a plan comes together!

(Reference MNINB Day 19)

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As always your comments are appreciated.

10 Sep

This is fully worth a ‘reblog’. The first time I typed ‘reboot’ by unusual synchronicity.

sink or schwim.

Maybe it’s all the down time I’ve had recently, but lately I’ve been thinking a lot about writing a short story or two. I haven’t written one for a while now, so I went online to find some tips to help jump start the process. After a little bit of searching, I came across this gem from one of my favorite writers, the one and only Kurt Vonnegut. I remember reading his story “EPICAC” back in 8th grade, about a computer that learns to fall in love. The way Vonnegut packs so much punch into such a small package is truly incredible. Here’s the first paragraph. It basically defies the reader not to continue on:

Hell, it’s about time someone told about my friend EPICAC. After all, he cost the taxpayers $776,434,927.54. They have a right to know about him, picking up a check like that. EPICAC got a…

View original post 396 more words

Freewriting Friday (9/7)

7 Sep

Thank you to the reader who found my blog by searching, “evil freewriting exercises”! That really made me chortle (or in internet speak- LOL)! Well it is another Freewriting Friday and that means I have to print my attempt at last Friday’s challenge which was:

“Google Image Search the word, ‘resplendent’  and choose the image you like best and then ‘voracious’ and your favorite for that word  and write a story involving the two images. Try not to use the two words in the story.”

English: The Lagan near Shaw's Bridge The resp...

RESPLENDENT (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

He dropped bottom upon a stump and rubbed his aching right leg. He hoped his slight limp didn’t pull him in circles. It was a lot further than he remembered it but the dense woods were every bit as green and as lush as his thirty-years of daydreams.

Silky white hammocks swept from treetop to treetop. Devouring little mandibles tearing away at the deciduous forest temple that he once worshiped in so willing with a notebook and magnifying glass. With a pencil he sketched for a moment the place that he stopped to rest. He pulled a fallen leaf from the floor and pressed it between two pages of his journal. He had no intention of forgetting this trip.

The pitter-pat of a thousand raindrops was actually nothing of the sort. The colonies of caterpillars would consume so much that they would consistently and constantly send a storm of wet pellets down below them. It was an auditory illusion that made it sound like rain. If he listened close he knew he could hear their tiny mouths tearing away at the dense walls of forest even as they decorated it for the coming fall with webs that resembled so much the ones store-keepers would stretch across their display windows to amuse the little trick or treaters back in town.

It seemed like such a shorter walk for a younger man. His old legs burned and his hands were shaky with both anticipation and age. He listened intently for every little clue that he might be getting closer. He scanned the trees and the shadowed forest floor. He searched his memories for tell-tale signs that he was on the right path. The blood flowed and pounded in his ears. He had waited so long.

That concrete cell had been nothing like this. After enough years, a man might start to call a prison cell home. He became adjusted to the simplicity of the space and the routine of the life. Never to have to make a single choice for himself became a crutch. He started to wonder if the world outside the tall razor-wired walls was even real. He had become comfortable with his picture postcards of the green forest and the tiny town he lived in. He started to prefer the scribbled letters of his cousin, Jane to any hopes of returning.

Yet here he was again. Not as young as he might have hoped and wouldn’t he have preferred spring to the very close of summer. The walk was really wearing on his tired legs. Maybe he should have spent more time in the yard and less time staring at picture postcards and rereading the same wrinkled pages of his notebooks.

He didn’t feel cheated. It was justice enough for what he had done. Most believed it was an accident and he had almost convinced himself of that at first. A man with time to think though can discover the difference between an accident and a mistake. It was no accident. It was definitely a mistake.

Like these damned caterpillars and their constant consumption of everything around them, that had been the young man that he was. Now he was more like these tall trees taking what time dishes to them but standing just as tall. He didn’t drop his head as thought about what had kept him out of these woods so long. He had given it enough thought to know he was sorry but he was not ashamed.

The webs grew thicker until he felt like he was under a giant tent like one of those revival tents that traveling preachers used to throw up in town when he was maybe ten. He spoke out loud a few times to measure his echoes. He called out, “Well what do you know?” and “How much further you think?” to no one but himself and maybe all of these thousands of webworms.

Snacks Anyone?

VORACIOUS (Photo credit: KM&G-Morris)

It wasn’t yet but thirty feet and he saw the break in the trees that he was waiting for. He stumbled and fell to his knees in a pile of dead leaves. A burning pain went through his right knee and shot up his leg. Even then he pulled himself back up and broke into a shambling jog. Each step was like throwing lighter fluid on a grill fire and the pain shot up his leg. His eyes were watering but broke into a smile to match the one on his dried lips.

Then there it was. Finally!

You know the grace needed with a “Freewriting Friday” as there are destined to be more than a share of poor word choices and grammar and spelling errors. I did my best with the challenge and want to see yours now!

Comment here with a link back to your own Freewriting Friday!

Next week’s prompt is…write about:

“Something Completely Unexpected That Happened to Her”

“The Lovely Blogger Award”

6 Sep

What to do when you are nominated for a blogger award by a peer? 

Graciously accept of course. Play along. Thank you to Jiltaroo for the nomination. Jiltaroo is a blog by Jenny Parberry, a former “Jillaroo” (which I understand to be an Australian  slang-word for cowgirl) and currently an aspiring writer, a talented painter and a creative soul.

The blogs that I follow are mostly by writers and for writers. I am building a network of interesting blogger friends who are on different legs of the writer’s journey. There are also just a few loons in there to stir up the nest.

Seven Random Things about Myself

1. I have eaten bison, rattlesnake, octopus and crickets.

2. I played hours of Dungeons & Dragons until my mid-twenties.

3. I was a member of honor societies in college and won scholarships yet decided being a bartender was better than attaining a degree and never completed my formal education.

4. I am a confessed autodidact and voracious library patron.

5. The best view that I have ever seen in my life was in Austria and I still wake up from dreams about it.

6. I was a military dependent or “Air Force Brat” and never had a place to really call home until we moved to Oklahoma in 1991.

7. I am a fierce Okie. I love the Oklahoma City Thunder basketball team, OU Sooner football, and The Flaming Lips.

 

My Nominees:

http://diannegray.wordpress.com

http://teepee12.wordpress.com

http://outwherethebusesdontrun.com/

http://patwoodblogging.wordpress.com

http://ptbertram.wordpress.com/

http://lesleycarter.wordpress.com/

http://hslaterblog.wordpress.com/

http://clotildajamcracker.wordpress.com/

http://imustwritenow.wordpress.com/

http://emergencyroomproductions.net/

http://gwynplainelives.wordpress.com/

http://thewritingcorpofficial.wordpress.com/

http://chasingsomeday.blogspot.com/

http://thejennymacbookblog.wordpress.com/

http://clownonfire.wordpress.com/

 

Rules:

Include the blog award logo in your post.

Thank the person who nominated you.

Nominate 15 other people, and let them know you have done so.

 

 

#wordmafia

4 Sep
#wordmafia

Let’s use #wordmafia to find other writers to follow.

 

Putting this out there: use the #hashtag of #wordmafia to help us find each other to follow. Tweet it out and I will add you. Also, please list your twitter handles in the comments here so we can all follow each other. I will try to follow each of you back.

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