Showing posts from June, 2021

Camp Nanowrimo July 2021

Posting for Accountability! This July, I will be participating in Camp Nanowrimo . I have been a semi-regular participant for years now. I don't always participate in April or July Nano, but this year I need the push. I have a couple of projects and upcoming submission calls that I need to get words on paper for. While my output has been decent this past year, I am going to try to up my game. Each Saturday throughout July, I will be doing an accountability post where I will discuss my progress, process, and any successes or pitfalls I'm facing. These last few days I have been prepping outlines and making plans. It's easier when my goal is to write a new novel or to edit an existing one. That gives me one project and a definitive word count. Since I'm using Nanowrimo to focus on a number of shorter projects, many of which I can only estimate how long they'll be, it's been tricky making this plan. I'm also struggling a bit with posting this. I usually prefer t

Poetic Fiction: Journal of Silent Screams by Jeff Oliver et al.

Note upfront: Content warning for this book regarding domestic violence and violence against children.   This novel was a difficult read. A stream of consciousness laid out in a diary format. Each section has a date on it, but they are not in chronological order and the entries aren’t specific to those days. It’s an unorganized, brutal mess.    But it’s supposed to be that way.    The character grew up in an abusive home and is processing his trauma. This book is a window into a broken psyche and its attempt to grow and break free of its demons. The sheer depression and darkness of the story was difficult to stomach in long sessions, even for a dark fiction writer like me. I found I had to take breaks and read other, lighter books to break up the mood. For this, I dropped the book a star.    I appreciate the experimental style and what the book is doing. As a novel to enjoy, I struggle with it. As a work of artistic fiction to examine and be intrigued by, the book is solid.    I’m not

My Martial Arts History in Brief

I plan to start including posts about martial arts and thought I should share a brief outline of my training history. I began my martial arts journey at university when I started my undergrad years ago. I hadn’t been interested in training before but I learned about the fencing team and thought that learning how to sword fight would be “cool”. Fencing was fun, but it wasn’t quite what I wanted. I trained for about a year, participated in a couple tournaments, but overall, felt that something wasn’t working for me. I also had trouble fitting in with the team. One day my friend suggested I join her for Taekwondo. Immediately, I fell in love with the martial art. There were always new moves and tricks to try. I didn’t have to spend as much money for equipment and the team was a better fit for me. I embraced Taekwondo wholeheartedly for many years. I eventually earned my red/black stripe belt, but left for graduate school before I could earn my black belt. During graduate school, I t

In Solitude's Shadow by David Green

I don’t always go in for high fantasy. The made up words, fake languages, and complicated magic systems don’t always interest me. Sometimes, I find them more confusing than anything. David Green’s In Solitude’s Shadow , on the other hand, does a good job of being easy to follow without being too simple. The fantasy elements enhance the story rather than distract from it and that’s good because it’s an enjoyable story. There are two main threads being woven together here. Zanna lives in exile at a fortress called Solitude meant to keep a race of people called the Banished at bay. Long neglected and forgotten, the fortress isn’t prepared when a huge army of the Banished appears at their doorstep with a mysterious purpose. The second main story tracks Calene, Zanna’s estranged daughter, and others as they make their journey to Solitude to join the conflict there. Both women are compelling characters and the nature of their estrangement is one of those wonderfully complex issues where

Christine by Stephen King

I wrote this review in 2016. I just want to add that I now drive a red car and have named it Christine. Sadly, it does not repair itself when broken.   Review from 2016: "While I am grateful that my car is not possessed by an evil murderous army ghost, I wouldn't mind if it started repairing itself." - Me I have been reading and enjoying Stephen King's work for close to two decades now, but some of those stories have faded in my memory. That's why I've been making it my recent mission to work my way through all of his books again and write about each one. I was doing this in order of publication, but I've loosened the rules a bit now. I thought that listening to an audiobook about an evil car would add some terror to my morning commute, but no such luck. I know I read Christine years ago and liked it, but listening to it again was disappointing. It's leaps and bounds above Roadwork, and offers up some excellent scary moments once the car sta