• inspire3

    Inspiration 3

    Time for another post of images that make me want to write. Some of these pictures convey a mood, some inspire another world, and some just get my mind itching to tell a story. I hope they do the same for you.

  • quit copy

    When To Shelve The Book You’re Writing

    I’ve written a lot of books. Most of them are in no way ready to be seen by the general public, and some may never be. Once again, I’m faced with the idea of quitting my new book about 35k in. It’s an awful feeling, but sometimes it just has to be done. So here…
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  • music

    Music for Writing

    Now I know some people might insist on there being complete silence when they write, but that’s never been me. I need music, I need it to write to and I need it to think. Nothing helps me get over writer’s block more than a few good songs and a long walk. So here are…
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Feb
27

Zombies, Zombies, Zombies

ZOMBIES-zombies-32590100-580-380It occurred to me last night that I am being overrun by zombies right now. I mean that in the good way, not the bad flesh tearing, being eaten alive kind of way. I’ve been catching up on The Walking Dead, reading Zombie Youth by H.E. Goodhue, listening to Horde by Ann Aguirre, and next up is Monsters by Ilsa J. Bick. I mean, phew! That’s a lot of zombies. Am I tired of them? Heck no, especially since there is still so much life left in them! (Ha ha) One of the best things about zombies right now is that everyone is taking the basic gist of them, and giving it their own twist.

Walking Dead- You got your basic shamblers, slow moving dead whose main power is numbers. One on one, this is pretty much no contest, but you’ll be hard pressed to run into just one.

Zombie Youth- You got shamblers here too, a ton of them, but you also have stalkers. In this world (which I’m only about halfway through) some people have reacted to the virus that caused this by turning into fast, vicious, snarling, almost animal- like creatures. These zombies tend to move on all fours and one can easily take you down.

Horde- You got smart, fast moving zombies here. These guys are evolving, they are starting to live in family units complete with kids because these zombies are actually mutants, so they can procreate and pass those mutated genes along. So now you have smart-ish monsters bent on eating you, good luck there.

Monsters- You got fast, smart zombies. In this series no one quite knows what the hell happened. There were e-bombs, electromagnetic pulses, and nuclear reactors, some combination of all that and who knows what else killed almost everyone, left a ton of teenagers as zombies and gave a few survivors extrasensory powers. Again, these are smart zombies you would not want to run into.

See? In four zombie scenarios you have so much variety in the zombies alone, forget about everything else going on in the story. You have different zombies, with different causes for the change and different weaknesses. Sure, the last two aren’t strictly zombies because they aren’t actually dead, but to me if it moves like a zombie and wants to eat human flesh, it’s a zombie.

So why do all of these stories continue to appeal? To me it’s the humanity of it all. Something like a zombie outbreak happens and people band together. They put aside every petty difference they had before and they stand unified against a new enemy. But then there is the bad side of humanity too. In my mind if this happens, obviously the more people who work together the better, but no. People always have to disagree and fight over resources and be the same crapheads they always are. But those aren’t the stars of these stories, the stars are the good guys and I love reading their journeys through the dead wastelands.

So why aren’t you tired of zombies yet?

Looking for a new zombie read? Check out the first two chapters of by book Prime here

Oct
31

Lessons From A Forgotten Manuscript

computer_keys_keyboard_282093_hSo I’m editing a book I wrote years ago and it’s a little painful. I mean if you want to see if you’ve grown as a writer, I recommend you pick up an older book you haven’t looked at in a while and see how much it makes you cringe. I still love the story in this book and have faith in it, but geez! I made such obvious mistakes! First thing I had to do when I opened the file was change all of the quotes from straight quotes to curly quotes. The issues were that basic at times!

So here are the top 5 things I’ve gotten better at since I wrote this:

1. Messing up words

I’ve found an embarrassing amount of times where I have ‘you’re’ instead of ‘your’ and ‘to’ instead of ‘too’. Seriously? I really thought I was at least passed this hurtle when I wrote this. I’m going to blame this on the fact that this book hasn’t been near as edited as some of my others. Yeah that’s it. That makes me feel better.

2. Improper punctuation

Now this is one I knew I would find. I remember learning more about how you punctuate at the end of a quote so I’m not surprised that this book has it wrong, but it seems so obvious and is such second nature to me now that it’s painful to have to correct it over and over again.

3. Useless ‘she said’ moments

Almost every single time one of my characters speaks it’s followed by ‘he said’ or ‘she said’. I see how stilted it sounds now and am cutting many of them out.

4. Too much detail

This book has far too many moments of “Alyssa walked upstairs and turned on the hallway light before heading to her bedroom where she walked to her dresser. There she opened the top drawer and dug through until she found a pair of pajamas. Then she went to the bathroom and changed before brushing her teeth and washing her face. After that she walked back to her room and climbed into bed.’ Wow? Really? What was I thinking? No one cares about all that. That is easily cut to ‘After getting changing into pajamas, Alyssa climbed into bed and reached for her book.’ Much better.

5. The words I overuse

I’ve become aware of these words over the years and can catch them as I’m writing sometimes. I still end up finding them when I edit, but not as much as in this book. My personal list of overused words includes: a bit, just, wide, only, it’s (when it should be its), was, enough, and way more I can’t think of right now. My characters also sigh and smile like it’s their job. They smile widely a lot. Way too much.

Overall, I still love this story and there are parts that I read and I’m shocked at how wonderfully I worded something. That makes all the stupid little mistakes worthwhile. I don’t know if I’ll ever do anything with this book, but it deserves to be cleaned up just in case.

Have you ever picked up something you wrote a while ago? Has your writing changed a lot?

Sep
20

Coming Soon: Prime

Prime2 copyI’m finally getting around to releasing my novel Prime. It was the winner of the 2010 Textnovel.com novel contest, but it’s just been sitting on my hard drive since then. I’ve spruced it up a bit and designed what I think is an awesome cover for it. Here’s the blurb:

Thirteen-year-old Simon doesn’t remember his older sister, Alice, but she remembers him even if she doesn’t know he is alive. When the Prime virus hit, they had already been separated. Simon stayed at home on Haven Medical Base with their neglectful and verbally abusive father while Alice was away working a political internship out of town. Now they both face a world where the few survivors hide inside buildings and behind tall walls as the victims of the virus, known as hostiles, stalk the night hungry for the flesh of the living. Within their seemingly safe walls, the survivors must contend with the best and worst of human nature.

Sound good? Want to win a free copy? Check out the giveaway below!

 

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Mar
06

Inspiration 3

Time for another post of images that make me want to write. Some of these pictures convey a mood, some inspire another world, and some just get my mind itching to tell a story. I hope they do the same for you.

water beach book dubi kids peacock start shadow 541354_513283005349856_697200606_n alter