Been wanting to read this for a long time but now that I finally have it…
I find its presence rather… intimidating.
You know, making every honest effort not to think about #youknowwho by revisiting a favorite book of mine (and which is listed as one of my Writing Resources) so as to give my brain a break from of all of #youknowwhose juvenile behavior, which includes but by no means whatsoever is limited to his recent flurry of tweets, in one of which he engages in childish, bullying name-calling and effectively proves he has no interest in governing effectively by labeling the Senate Minority Leader and the rest his Democratic party as “clowns”…
like the 116% hike in Arizona. Also, deductibles are so high that it is practically useless. Don't let the Schumer clowns out of this web…— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 4, 2017
However and unfortunately, I am presently trapped in a surreal and inescapable alternate reality where, similar to the brokenhearted lover who is painfully reminded by each song on the radio of the love he has lost, everything I chance upon seems to remind me of #youknowwho regardless how hard I try to ignore his ignorance.
I guess in this sad metaphor, I would be the brokenhearted lover and my love lost would be the ideals, honor, and integrity of my country.
So I’m flipping through this favorite book of mine called POINTS OF VIEW: An Anthology of of Short Stories and I’m really digging it because its been so long since I’ve read it and I’m rediscovering such cool points from it as…
The differences in a spectrum are differences of degree: to go from violet to red you keep increasing the wavelength. In our spectrum [of how the short stories in the collection are arranged] you keep increasing the distance between the speaker and the listener, and between the speaker and his subject. Thus the central concept is the trinity of first, second, and third persons–I, you, and he.”
Pretty cool, right?
Right. And the best part about it is I’m completely not thinking about #youknowwho because of how cool and completely engrossing the read is.
So after reading the preface, I flip to the back real quick to see what pearls of wisdom can be gleaned there within its Afterword…
And everything is going along just nicely and with much intrigue…
The techniques of fiction imitate everyday recording and reporting. …[Interior and dramatic monologue] purport to be actual discourse going on “now”–somebody thinking, somebody speaking. The reader is privileged to tune in on a stream of thought or speech.
More cool stuff, right?
Right. And even more cool stuff follows with a discussion of how the techniques of fiction purport to mirror other aspects of reality, such as letters, diaries, autobiographies, etc., and we are told that it is up to us, the reader, to determine “what the differences are between these fictional forms and their real-life counterparts.”
Yeah… more awesomeness.
But then it happens…
Cue obnoxious sucking sound followed by a loud startling pop, signalling my return from literary bliss to my real-life alternate reality consumed completely by #youknowwho where it is hard for me to distinguish what is real and what is fiction…
So arrayed, narrative techniques tend to recapitulate the course followed by the child (my emphasis) in developing his powers of speech, and to some extent the course we follow in processing a subject through stages of discourse. When I talk to myself about myself I am all three “persons,” as in the case of interior monologue. This is the first discourse of the child, who does not distinguish between speaking to himself and speaking to another, talking about himself and talking about things outside himself.
My surreal alternate-reality of now had me at “child.”
I mean, after reading that and then the following quotation block, how can you not think of #youknowwho?
According to the great psychologist of child development, Jean Piaget, who has called this discourse “egocentric speech” (emphasis again mine), the very young child thinks aloud, talks to the air…his talk is an accompaniment to whatever he is doing at the moment.
I mean, c’mon…
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In Sam’s world there are two rules. Rule #1: Nobody dies. Protect the living at all costs. Rule #2: Everybody dies. At least once.
The Waking was a global event in which a force called the Lifeblood invaded all humans who died. The few strong enough to control it came back as powerful immortals. The rest let the bloodlust take over and awoke with one goal – to kill.
Newly appointed Watch Guard Samantha Shields has a legacy to uphold. Her father died a hero defending their city and now she wants to follow in his footsteps. Except for the dying part, of course. Unfortunately, fate has other plans as she discovers deep dark secrets that make her choose between her loyalties and the lives of everyone in her city. Both rules are in play as Sam is forced to make hard decisions that could cost her everything – including the person she cares about most.
Advanced reviewers are calling it ‘intense’, ‘gripping’, and a ‘fresh take on the zombie theme’. Fans of The Walking Dead and Divergent will love this book. But don’t just take their word for it – order on Amazon today and see for yourself!
“Do you eat? I mean, I know you don’t need to, but do you?” Sam
asked curiously. David gave her a blank stare.
“Eating is inconvenient,” he finally answered, eliciting a confused
“Because it takes time? Or effort?”
“Because it produces unneeded side effects from the body that
could cause an interruption in our duties.”
She mulled over the answer for a moment. Finally understanding
what he was talking about, she turned red as a beet and continued to
eat in silence.
Julian laughed at her reaction.
“That’s our Sarge, always worrying someone’s gonna have to take a
piss in the middle of a call.”
David turned to him. “With you and Mexican food, that’s not the
one I’m worried about.”
Sam almost choked on her burrito.
“Holy shit, did Sarge just make a joke? Well, well, maybe there’s
hope for you after all!”
The death glare from David was interrupted by a loud warning ring
from the computer, followed by the distant wail of a siren. He whirled
around to get the location and was immediately out the door, yelling
back at his scrambling teammates.
“Two at the gate.”
Anna Kopp was born in Russia and immigrated to the United States when she was 11. She joined the US Army and lived in Georgia during her military career before settling down in the Cleveland, Ohio area. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in business but her true passion is writing. She is a wife and business partner to a software developer, and a mom to two rambunctious boys obsessed with Minecraft. Anna’s hobbies include reading, writing, and playing World of Warcraft. She is a true geek at heart and would love nothing more than to see her imagination become a part of something greater.
I would like to thank Anna for her donation to my Website Campaign to raise funds for my movie. I ask that you please take the time to visit Anna’s site, check out her work, and follow along with her on her literary journey. It definitely looks like it is going to be an adventurous and rewarding one.
Now that the IndieGoGo Campaign to raise funds to produce my movie has kicked off, my Website Campaign has ended. I ask that you please check out our stellar cast and crew, see what the flick is about, and, if you feel so compelled, donate to show your support of Independent Filmmakers. And whether you are or are not able to donate, please share the news about the campaign to your network of family and friends.
Our private Facebook writers and readers group recently held its second WRITE EDIT WRITE Challenge (see the results of the first challenge here). Because my focus is on producing a short film based upon an adaptation of my short story LEAVE, I figured we might as well have a challenge focused on screenwriting. Ergo, we asked the group to submit a 25-word, or less, logline describing a WIP or produced work from a genre of their choosing.
It’s no surprise that the author who submitted the chosen response is a working screenwriter who has some serious writing chops. Author Ann Kimbrough shares her screenwriting expertise in several places on the web, all of which you can reach via her namesake website annkimbrough.com. My favorite medium of Ann’s is her youtube channel where she and other working screenwriters get together to share their knowledge of the industry. Fantastic stuff. We are very fortunate to have Ann as part of our WRITE EDIT WRITE group, and, if I may say, you are very lucky that she has written for us here an excellent post about the mystery and intrigue of writing a logline. You’re welcome. :)
Ann’s logline submission for WEW #2:
In a secret facility, a rookie female FBI analyst struggles to contain a serial killer, but her only hope is trusting a devious bombing suspect.
Birth of Loglines & Beyond
Loglines are creeping into your life!
Once only used by screenwriters, all kinds of writers find the little buggers useful. The first one I ever saw was in a TV Guide. Remember those? I barely remember newspapers, even though I’ve heard they still exist. For Millennials who can’t write cursive, read clocks or relate to newspapers: a TV Guide was a paper booklet that came with the Sunday paper. It contained a schedule of all the TV shows for a week.
Psst: we’re talkin’ back in ancient times when there were only three major TV stations. I know… it’s Epically Stone Age.
The guides also contained a little blurb about each show. Those blurbs were the birth of loglines.
I imagine TV Guides still exist today, somewhere without Wi-Fi, but they must be the size of phone books. Remember those? Err… we’ll save that lesson for another time.
TV Guide blurbs looked something like this:
Kidnapped in Tasmania, MacGyver uses a banana, a piece of gum and a washing machine to make a robot and save the world.
I doubt that episode of MacGyver ever aired, but maybe it will in the re-vamped show that’s on CBS this season.
Loglines actually do two things:
1. Get your concept across ASAP.
2. Sell your story.
Screenwriters pitch their scripts all the time. In turn, if a producer likes the idea, they have to turn around and pitch it to the principals in their company before an offer to option can be made. When a script is optioned, the production company pitches it to the moneymen for funding – financiers or studios. The better the logline, the better the pitch is all the way up the line.
For novelists, loglines can be used in several ways:
In an age when our watches are digital instead of sundials and shoes have Velcro instead of laces, no one has time to read a whole marketing pitch. When writers can get their message across fast, they have a better chance of success.
Plenty of rules exist about what makes a logline a good logline, but I’ll keep it simple.
1. Keep it to one sentence, like my MacGuyer example. Some pundits say to make it under 25 words, but don’t go crazy if you’re at 30.
2. Tell the whole story. Protagonist fights what odds to win what battle?
3. Don’t use proper names. Use occupations with a descriptive adjective. Ex.: a wily candy creator, could be used in a logline for Willie Wonka & the Chocolate Factory. Or a deformed recluse for The Hunchback of Notre Dame.
4. Write it in present tense.
5. Don’t include sub-plots. Stick to the main storyline of protagonist vs. antagonist.
6. Match the tone of your story. When Stephen King writes a logline, I’m sure it sounds scary.
7. Test the logline on friends. If they ask a bunch of questions and sound confused, then keep working. If they ooh and aah, appearing to get the story, then you may celebrate.
One caveat: a common logline error is writing a logline that you think fits your story, but makes people see a different story. Such an error will turn any reader sour when your book (or script) takes a turn they didn’t expect.
Ex. 1: A long-haired princess trapped in a tower awaits a dashing prince.
Do you sense a Rapunzel story?
What if the logline should have really been:
Ex. 2: A long-haired princess trapped in a tower awaits a dashing prince to sacrifice for her freedom.
Whoa! That’s a completely different story. An agent, producer or reader might want one version of that story, but not the other. Misleading them, even by accident, will hurt in the long run. Loglines that pitch the whole story lead to more success once the manuscript is read.
Avoid this mistake by testing your logline on your Beta Readers. Or on complete strangers, who know nothing about your writing. (I’ve been told grocery and bank lines are great places to do this.) You pitch them your logline, then ask what kind of story they’d expect to read. If it’s close to the story your wrote, you’re good to go.
Like all kinds of writing, creating loglines gets better with practice. So, get going!
Ann Kimbrough’s imagination comes from growing up as an Air Force brat, which entertained her childhood with foreign lands and amazing characters. They tend to pop-up in all her writing, whether screenplay or novel. The magic continued after college, when she worked in Hollywood and became a member of the Screen Actors Guild. Ann hosts YouTube show Screenwriters Beat, and spends the rest of her time writing contained, thrilling screenplays and cozy mystery novels under pen name Ann Audree, as well as romance under pen names Pippa Minx and Ann McGinnis. Ann is an optioned and produced screenwriter.
Kathy Cecala, an Indie Author and an active and valuable member of our private Facebook group for writers and readers, has some interesting and useful thoughts on the dark art of choosing and creating book covers. I strongly encourage you to check it and all the many other intriguing and compelling writing she has shared for us to read for free on her website.
Yes, I’m on a writing break, but it doesn’t mean I’m not thinking about the cover for my next. As we all know, you’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover. But we all do, it seems. Supposed experts in publishing tell us the cover is your most important marketing tool, though my own informal survey of readers begs to differ. Some readers will choose a book solely on its cover, but others could care less, using reviews or information on the product page to make their decision.
Truth be told, I’m in the latter group. Half the time I don’t even look at the cover of a book, even when I’ve finished reading it. And this probably explains why I tend to give short shrift to my own covers as an author. But this time I’m trying to take it seriously, mainly because I don’t feel the…
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Last week I announced that we were starting a private Facebook group for Writers and Readers called WRITE EDIT WRITE. Well I am happy to say that we have had a great response to the announcement and our group includes a growing host of active and creative members. And while we’re still getting situated and figuring things out, we have held our very first WEW CHALLENGE, a challenge where members were asked to post a 250-word or less flash fiction or flash essay. I am again happy to say we had a fantastic response, with the following selection being representative of the fine writing being exhibited by all.
Please check out the writing and stop by the authors’ websites to show them your support.
THE POST OFFICE BOX
by Pam Schloesser-Canepa
Tussling with the dog. That was Jasmine’s story, this time. The scar would dissipate in a week, she knew. It did hurt. This was so unfair, yet, all too familiar.
Driving to work, Jasmine noticed she’d inadvertently put on one navy blue shoe and one black. An understandable mistake; they were almost identical, and those colors were close. I wonder if anyone will notice? She realized the light had turned. I sure don’t need a ticket.
To her left was the post office. Darn, I forgot that electric bill. Rick will lose it. Do I go back? She worried it might make her late, yet she didn’t need one more fight about the mail.
Her thoughts drifted to the invitation that had arrived the week before, for her ten year high school reunion. Of course, with a four month old baby and a full-time job, she hadn’t seriously considered. Still, she had thought of going.
“You just want to see all your old boyfriends! You wench!” Rick had screamed, holding the baby in his arms.
“No, Rick, don’t worry, I don’t need to go.” That’s how it always went. Keeping the peace. When she never received any in return.
Abruptly, she pulled into the post office. “I need a post office box,” she announced to the clerk. JUST for me.
With receipt of the key, she found the assigned box. It was cool inside. She imagined fitting inside of it, this doorway to distant places.
Loglines are creeping into your life! | A Guest Post by Author Ann Kimbrough | RELATING TO HUMANS, Katie Marie, Rajiv, and 4 others are discussing. Toggle Comments
This will be somewhat an extension of what I do with the Newsletter Love subscribers, but on a much more intimate and informal level. The newsletter process is a bit too formal and segmented and involving to really achieve what I would like to achieve, which is: to network, make connections, and improve our abilities and chances for success as writers.
As much as I hate to admit it, Facebook provides a much better environment to achieve this objective.
Like we’ve done with the newsletter, we can do poetry and flash fiction challenges there as well, with the goal of getting the best of the group’s writing onto my blog and out via the newsletter (is there irony to be found there?)
I am willing to moderate this members only group, provided the members are willing to receive free copies of all my published work and are willing to consider writing reviews for them. In addition to my present work, I would provide all future work for free to these members and ask for them to be both beta readers and to post early reviews of the work once published to help with future sales.
As some of you may know, I am producing a short film called LEAVE that is based upon a screenplay adapted from my short story of the same name. I will provide first and sometimes exclusive insight to the movie making process to this group as I learn it. I will also post photos and videos there that I’ll take when on set. We currently are scheduled to shoot the film in LA in mid-October of this year. If you become of member of this group, you will hear any news about the film first.
Who knows how this group will evolve but the early members will be the ones who help me build the foundation for its future.
Some current projects I’m working on that I hope to finish soon with the group’s help are:
But the group wouldn’t be just about me. My hope is that all within the group could forge relationships where each could seek similar help from others for her or his own writing efforts.
So, there is a lot we can discuss and accomplish there. If you are interested, you can either let me know publicly in the comment section and I will email you the link; or, you can email me through the contact page and I will reply to you with the link.
I used to call this blog WRITE EDIT WRITE a while back so that’s what I will call the group for now. We’ll see how things evolve and change its name if needed. Let me know when you’re a member if you have a better name. :)
But I can’t create the group until I have at least one member so please let me know if you’re in.
Oh yeah… let’s do this, my friends.
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Seeing that we will begin filming sometime in early July, I would say we are about half-way through our campaign to raise the seed funds, so to speak, for the larger Indiegogo campaign that will raise the major funds needed to produce LEAVE, a short film based upon a screenplay I wrote.
So, to celebrate our mid-term point, I would like to thank everyone who has donated thus far in the campaign. You can see the list of all donors here.
I would especially like to thank the following for both donating and choosing a Reward Package that has allowed and will allow me to share and promote their work here at RELATING TO HUMANS, via my newsletter, and throughout my social networks.
PROMOTIONS COMING SOON
TIMOTHY G. HUGUENIN
$25 REWARD PACKAGE
I Encourage You to Please Support Those Who Support My Efforts to Make Independent Films by Visiting Their Websites and Buying and Reviewing Their Books or other Promoted Products. Thank You for Helping Me to Thank Them.
And That’s The Problem.
As you may already know, a short film is going to be made of a screenplay I adapted from LEAVE, one of my short, dramatic stories about what it may have been like for the first females sailors assigned to warships back in the Nineties.
It probably isn’t much of a spoiler to say that in both the story’s and the film’s interpretation, it is quite a challenge for those courageous women, seeing how the all-male crew of the ship they’re reporting to would rather go to war than have their ship be invaded by female sailors.
So… I’ll be going out to Los Angeles in April to begin work on the production, but first we have a small detail of raising the funds.
Yes, I’m looking at you…
We plan to film on the battleship USS Iowa, which is now a museum ship out in LA. Unfortunately, even though the Iowa staff are willing to significantly cut the price because I’m an old salt of a retired sailor, it still costs a pretty penny nonetheless. And there of course will be other production costs to factor in, as well.
We’ll be kicking off an Indigogo campaign to raise the funds at the beginning of March but I just wanted to give you all a heads up that we now have a “Coming Soon” page where you can sign up to stay informed on project updates and be advised when the campaign is live.
Our vision for the film is to:
Create a Cinematic Work of Art that both Entertains and Promotes a Discussion for Positive Change
Needless to say, your support of our efforts, not just through donations, but also through your outreach to all your family and friends on our behalf, will be key in helping us turn our vision into a reality.
We’ll be introducing our award-winning cast [it’s not 100% yet but if cast assignments firm up as it looks like they will we are going to have a stellar cast] and highly accomplished crew very soon so please check it out and join our team at:
Okay, I have taken off my PT Barnum wannabe Promoter’s Hat and have now put on my wannabe highly esteemed and influential Author’s Hat…
First off, I would like to report that building a campaign to raise the funds to produce a short film is taking a lot of my very limited brain power.
We have decided to go with Indigogo to raise our funds instead of Kickstarter. The main reason for this decision is that you get to keep the funds you raise with Indigogo even if you do not meet your goal. With Kickstarter it’s all or nothing – if you don’t meet your goal, you don’t get the dough. Indigogo does however/of course, charge higher percentages for their service and transfer fees.
So once our funding site was decided, one of the first challenges I had to confront was the “tag line,” one of the first blocks that has to be filled out when building the pitch for the campaign.
One of the toughest things for me to do as a writer is to condense big meaning, metaphorical concepts with a lot of words into a synopsis of a paragraph or two. Having to condense down even further into a tag line that allows only 100 characters, such as Indigogo’s, is close to self-inflicted murder.
Fortunately, I had already gone through the painful process of coming up with a logline, which was needed for pitching the screenplay.
A sailor’s desire to be with his sick mother is complicated by the unwanted influx of his ship’s first female sailors and a looming war
But the problem is that logline is 133 characters and Indigogo’s “tag line” only allows for 100 characters. So, after more painful paring, this is what I came up with:
A sailor can’t be with his sick mother due to an influx of despised female sailors and a looming war
With war looming and despised females sailors arriving, a sailor strives to be with his dying mother
I’m still not 100% loving it but my head hurts after all that editing out and then having second thoughts and editing in and then having third thoughts and editing out again and on and on…
But, it’ll do for now as I now have to continue on with the rest of the pitch development which, hopefully, won’t hurt my head quite as much.
Stay tuned! The campaign will be kicking off at the beginning of the month.
TTFN and Write On! my friends.
Article updated to reflect new tag line and that cast assignments are close but not yet completely firm
So I’m Going To Make A Movie… UPDATE #1 | You can make a positive difference, if you think you can., Akki, Kurt Brindley, and 12 others are discussing. Toggle Comments
…I am knee deep (I’m pretty tall dude so that’s pretty darn deep) into so much stuff* — stuff being formatting my two latest books HOW NOT TO DIE and SHORT VERSES & OTHER CURSES into print editions; setting up the logistics for the film adaptation of my short story “Leave” (fundraiser announcement soon – that’s right, I’m looking at you); adapting my novel THE SEA TRIALS OF AN UNFORTUNATE SAILOR into a screenplay (so that I’ll have it to shop around when I go out to LA to work on “Leave”); and of course the latest WIP — that I’v given up on it.
If it matters, I do feel quite guilty about it…
In fact, I feel quite guilty about not publishing much at all around here lately.
Publish or perish, an all that…
But, as a consolation for my quitting on this review, I recently read this interesting read from the Paris Review, which kind of (but far from exactly) reflects my thoughts on my relationship with Hemingway, and I offer it as a very nice, if not nicer, substitute.
In addition to discussing things such as my relationship with the Big Papa, I also had good intention (and we all know what the path to hell is paved with) to compare and contrast Hemingway’s view of Fitzgerald and Paris in the Twenties as found in his memoir with the beat up protagonist in Fitzgerald’s short story (perhaps a view similar to one he had of himself) “Babylon Revisited” (one of the best short stories ever put to paper).
I probably would have giddily gushed a bit about Woody’s “Midnight In Paris,” too…
However, because of all the stuff presented above and the nice PR essay, I lost my head of steam for it all and this is as far as I got/am getting with it…
BOOK | NON-FICTION | MEMOIR
A MOVEABLE FEAST
by Ernest Hemingway
RATING: ★ ★ ★ ★
Pretty lame, I know; but what can say other than that the offer I presented in my “Hey Reader, What’s Your Angle?” post still stands. I’m still looking for good reviews to read, and perhaps reblog, that illustrate your reading and critiquing strategy… a bonus now for me would be ones that discuss Hemingway and/or Fitzgerald.
Can a brother get a link or two to a review, or what?
*Isn’t it funny how I’m always whining about how much I have to do, yet I somehow still found the time to
promote inform you about all the stuff I have to do? Weird.
Have you had a chance to check out what’s going on with Newsletter Love lately? We recently announced that we will be sending out 2015 in style, meaning me sharing your poetry and other writing via the newsletter on New Year’s Eve and with a selected few being published right here on the blog as my first post for 2016.
So check it out, subscribe, and help us send 2015 out in poetic style.
You may have heard that Dr. Wayne Dyer has died.
And you may have seen several of my posts where I discuss how much Dr. Dyer has meant to me over the recent years.
And you may have noticed that I often referred to him, this man who has meant so much to me and whose wisdom and guidance I so heavily relied upon, as the Greatest of Gurus and as my own Personal Pope.
And you may be aware, if you, too, are an admirer of Dr. Dyer, that he did not regard death with fear; instead, he looked at death as an opportunity for our everlasting soul to expand out of and away from this material, finite vessel we call our body, and return to and within the infinite and everlasting Soul of the Single Song (aka, the Universe (uni-verse – get it?)… Or something to that effect.
And you may understand, then, why I am a bit conflicted. One the one hand, I celebrate the release of Dr. Dyer’s Soul back into the infinite wild of its original and natural habitat. While on the other, me being a normal, irrational human being who can’t escape his Ego, ergo, he can’t escape his damning Desire nor his fear of Death, I am very bummed that he is no longer here on Earth, in his aged and deteriorating vessel of the human kind, being all sagacious and wise and a bit more than slightly goofy.
And you may predict, and rightly so, that, because of all this, I would want to try find ways to stay as close to the Essence of Dr. Dyer’s broad and deep Message and Meaning.
And you may realize, had you an opportunity to look over the submissions for this volume of the Indie Author Book Selection & Review, that several of the books are closely aligned to Dr. Dyer’s out there way of thinking.
To be honest, had Dr. Dyer still been with us, I probably would have selected G. N. Boorse’s DON’T TOUCH THE GLASS. Not only do I love the cover and his website and his write-up on the back of the book, I was also ready to read something as edgy and obscure as his book sounds. See, as advertised down below at my #Amreading widget, I #amreading Maupassant’s ALIEN HEARTS. And it’s all about (too much so) love and the psychological implications of infatuation. In other words, I’m having a hard time finishing it. And it was because Boorse’s book seems to be completely opposite from what I am now reading that I was planning on choosing his. That and, to be honest, I was also intending to choose his because, even though I occasionally write it, I rarely read poetry or abstract writing, such as K.D. Rose’s appears to be (it’s all too hard for my feeble mind to grasp), nor do I read, despite my affection for Dr. Dyer, “New Age” (for a lack of a better term) or self-help books, such as Avril Meyler’s appears to be.
But now, as things stand, the kind of books submitted by Meyler and Rose are exactly what I am yearning to read.
And out of the three books (two by Meyler – A MULTIDIMENSIONAL PARADIGM and A NEW HUMAN) and one by Rose – HEAVY BAGS OF SOUL), I am selecting for this volume of the IABS&R A NEW HUMAN because it looks to be the closest in content to what it is I want rattling around my brain right now.
I want to thank so very much all three authors for their submissions. I am very honored and humbled to be in such a position. And just because only one book has been chosen for this exercise of a literary contest of sorts, it doesn’t mean that I won’t read and review the others. I truly intend to do so.
Now, I’m not sure when my review of A NEW HUMAN will be posted – I still have to finish my current read, as hard as that may be, and review it (it was my intention to review it anyway – we’ll see…). Regardless, I will try to get things expedited and completed the best I can.
Again, thank you to G.N. Borse, K.D. Rose, and Avril Meyler.
And thank all of you for allowing me to use this opportunity to express my love and appreciation for the life and work of Dr. Dyer. May he enjoy all the infinite and everlasting heavenly rewards he so greatly deserves.
Okay, I’ve never been one of those hardcore Gaiman fanboys* that you see following him with blind, whole-body, fervor on twitter but I sure do have a whole lot of respect and admiration for what he’s accomplished in his life – and mine. Beginning with The Sandman series oh so long ago, Gaiman seems unable to be unsuccessful at whatever it is he does. Googlify his name and you will find that he has won so many major awards, some of them more than once, that if my mom had seen my face screw up in shock and awe after first seeing the significantly long list she would have warned me immediately that if I keep making that face someday it’s gonna stay that way.
Point being: the dude is pretty awesome.
And we can add one more awesome point to his long list of awesome points: Recently I downloaded the audiobook version of his short fiction collection Trigger Warning: Short Fictions and Disturbances to one of my favoritest apps, Overdrive. And of course I find that the book is read by none other than The Man himself. And of course I find that I’ll be both god and buddha damned if he also isn’t one of the best god and buddha damned “voice performers” I have ever heard. Sheesh – what a wonderful voice he has to listen to.
I mention all of this more than slightly awkward author/guy crush worship thing of mine only because I too am now in the audiobook recording business. For, as I have mentioned here before, I am trying (key word: trying) to record a “performance” of my novel The Sea Trials of an Unfortunate Sailor.
It is very hard, this recording stuff – you know, with the intimidating microphones, and the confusing software, and with the dogs constantly barking in the background…
But the hardest part of all is coming to the realization that I don’t have the greatest of reading voices, especially since the book is narrated from the point of view of an insecure eighteen-year-old whom I would have to guess came late to the puberty game. So me trying to read in a voice that might pass as even barely authentic to the story has been both very hilarious when hearing it during playback and even more discouraging.
So far I have managed to record an introduction to the book, as well as all the novel’s front matter whatnots that include the dedication and acknowledgment (and which have been uploaded to my app). But those I was able to read in my own voice, which may not be the most pleasant to listen to but at least I don’t have to contort my diaphragm around my voice box in order to speak with it.
So yeah, I’m still working on finding (rediscovering?) that insecure eighteen-year-old voice of mine…
It’s a tough gig, but I shan’t give up for I have a sure-fire strategy for voice recording accomplishment and success:
Each time I run into a rough spot while recording I’ll simply stop, take a deep breath, look upward to the sky in humility and veneration and ask to the Literary Gods On High…
Jesus Neil do?
I yearn for that day…
You see, months and months ago — essentially an eternity in our hyper-paced, brain-frazzling, tele-connected, continually-morphing-right-before-our-eyes day and age — in an effort to enhance (establish?) my writing cred, I submitted a couple short stories to various literary journals in the hope that they will get selected to be published so that when I self-publish my short story collection I can add a highfalutin aside within the book’s front matter that gives a self-congratulatory thank you to these literary journals for their wisdom and insight in selecting my work to be published.
Can ya dig?
I bet you can…
As I’m sure you suspect, I subject myself to the subjective and contrary literary values of these human reviewers and editors because, just between you and me, I (like most other self-published authors I suspect) would like to someday be an unself-published author and be recognized as a “real writer” within the old slow (really, really slow) world of traditional publishing. (A good read on the question of whether one should self-publish or not can be found here.)
But man* let me tall ya that from all the brain-scattering hyperlinking/twittering/buzzfeeding** I’m now addicted to, I’ve become a very impatient man***, which is why back in 2011, after experiencing how long it took agent after agent to reject my highly exceptional queries (that, and because back then I wasn’t sure I would be of this world too much longer) I began all this ego-degrading self-publishing and self-marketing nonsense in the first place.
And which is why now, months and months after submitting my highly exceptional short stories to these good-fortuned literary journals I am getting extremely impatient with their less than expeditious responses and am once again beginning to rethink my strategy for literary fame and wealth, all of which is causing me to consider withdrawing my submissions and just go ahead and publish the damn short story collection minus the self-congratulatory front matter aside.
Off I go to my Submittable account for the third time this morning to see if the status of any of my submissions have magically changed to something other than “In-Progress.” At this point, I would celebrate even a status of “Declined” just so I can move on in certitude and vigor.
And, while I’m (over-)indulging in my self-inflicted publishing pain at Sumbittable, I invite you to indulge in a short piece of mine that was actually selected to be published by a highly respected (at least by me) though highly unknown independent publisher, and which can be found by click clicking right here.
Yeah, write on…
I love caustic writers. They write how I think except they’re more witty. And incisive. And, um, better writers.
Here’s an example of what I mean. Check out Chuck Wendig’s piece called Dear guy who is mad because I wrote a gay character in a book.
Or try John Hartness, entitled: Why your self-published book looks like a pile of ass and won’t ever make you any money.
Or read any part of Kurt Brindley’s blog.
Just as important, and sometimes forgotten in bouts of unabashed sarcastic glee, behind the blunt force acerbic trauma these writers actually give a damn about other people. See Chuck Wendig’s week’s long thread where he offers advice to any question from other writers; look at the reveals and reviews that Brindley does and the opportunities he offers for guest posting and exposure; look at what John Hartness is doing underneath seeming asshattery– the advice in that post is golden.
I just don’t have that cred yet. Or maybe it’s balls. Okay, I literally don’t have balls, but what I mean is I don’t have anything to back up my opinions, and you know what they say about opinions…
I’m not sure how this devolved into genitalia.
Some of my writing meets acerbity half-way while trying to point out trends. The Re-emergence of the Book rightfully lambasts publishers but somehow lacks that arrow through the heart. Here it is republished most recently on Literative. The Next Big Thing in Tech asks similar questions on a different forefront. Here it is in Startupdope.
The title to the post your reading of course is a play on words from the great Harlan Ellison, still one of the best in-your-face writers I can think of. Why did I write that last sentence? Because someone might not get the title. Is this really writing? Or do I just write and forget people who don’t get it; they can just take the writing at face value. Welcome to Heavy Bags of Soul.
But why would someone who likes authors who don’t pull punches write a book like Heavy Bags of Soul? Half the book is codes.
Delving deeply into systems of belief requires codes no matter how one chooses to write about them. Each system has its own language, often meant to describe the very same principles or experiences as another system, though you’ll get a swat on the hand with a ruler if you say that out loud.
Metaphors are also codes. Live with it.
But I guess it doesn’t matter because everyone hates poetry, right?
I don’t think or write like many. I contemplate my world in a non-linear way. Putting it all together to make sense to someone else is tough. It’s not even like puzzle pieces; it’s like an invisible puzzle that changes shape depending on the connections you make and the analytical lines you can draw among them, and then you have to draw it for others… And then finally you
have to: SPELL OUT THE CONNECTIONS.
“But I guess it doesn’t matter because
everyone hates poetry, right?”
Because I think and write like the Tasmanian Devil. You know. The cartoon one. Only…friendlier.
See? Doesn’t that tornado look friendly albeit slightly confused as to how it’s going to make sense of all the convoluted ideas it pulls in? Actually it looks pretty damn stressed out. Freudian much, KD?
When I do a shitty job at connecting these streams of what amounts to analytical dots (I was an analyst for the government), the writing is scattered and readers go “huh?” When I do a decent job, you get one of the articles like I mentioned above. When I do a brilliant job, you get a book so tightly connected that no one understands it. Welcome to the world, Heavy Bags of Soul. Welcome to obscurity, K.D. Rose.
I guess I really am a Jackess of all trades. Ah, you gotta love homonyms.
If you like that last bit, you’d like Heavy Bags of Soul.
I wanted to write a blog post titled: “When Sex Doesn’t Sell.” When you don’t use the words people have come to expect, when you don’t write to titillate but to translate, sex on the page can seem as obscure as Peter Higgs before March 2013. Insert supercollider sexual innuendo here. One day I’ll have to count and find out just how many poems in the book are actually about orgasms.
Have you heard of Steganography? Steganography is derived from the Greek words “steganos” and “graphein,” meaning covered writing. Overlay and overlay of information. I liken dense works to steganography and other forms of covert communication, such as the ability to reduce a large amount of writing to a simple point like a dot. Dense works are not covert by intent, their innate structure simply reveals layers underneath. Rimbaud’s entire life’s work could probably be displayed in 50 pages. The Upanishads, a sacred Sanskrit instruction on the entirety of the universe is about 100 pages. The point is sometimes the most efficacious way to communicate complexity and remain effable is to ingrain mountains on each individual word. Terse. Succinct. Vigorous. Forceful.
There is a very slim book called Flatland. It contains and explains dimensional concepts beyond its format of simplistic satire. The book created a cult following. Check out the brilliance sometime.
“One day I’ll have to count and find out just how many
poems in that book are actually about orgasms.”
Here’s some of the starkness that is my voice, encapsulated in a picture also currently in print.
But who wants to read poems of mourning or grief? No one. Who should? Everyone. It’s one of those unspoken things we all go through and never talk about. TO GET YOU THROUGH. This one won Reader’s Favorite International Silver Medal Award for poetry. Which doesn’t mean a damn thing. Writing that just now made me feel like a talk show host. I may need to shower.
When my first book didn’t sell I started writing mainstream and got contracts with a publisher. Although my first contract was for an NA series, I found out the publisher really wanted romance. I learned about heat levels and equating them to specific naughty bits. I literally had to find a sex scene to read to figure out how to write one.
When the publisher went out of business I took out the sex though it was kind of hard to do considering each story centered on a sexual situation. The driving force for each was not actually sex, however. Hence the title: Anger’s Children. I have anger now and good reason for it, but I don’t want to release the Kraken so it was interesting to think of how others might experience that energy, tension, and release. The stories are still risqué though. There’s a lot of passion in anger.
Recently, I took my own advice on new technology, so right now I’m writing an interactive story called Kill Chain. Readers vote on what happens at the end. Chapter 1 is up so far. I managed to work myself into a corner in only one chapter.
These are free reads on a platform called Storyshift. I wrote an article about the platform and what it attempts here. Beware. The article is written in my “happy writer” voice. Somewhere along the way it became “the voice” everyone online uses. Non-offensive and perky, it makes me want to slit my wrists. After Heavy Bags of Soul, I turned from my own voice on the advice of the rest of the world online. Enter happy writer voice; superficial blogger voice, and Prozac delirium advertising voice.
I can write kind of normal in a way that doesn’t suck my soul into the abyss of lost credibility. It only took a forced topic for me to do so. Yet, it’s not really me.
I have an authentic voice. I’m not an exclamation point type of gal. Nor am I a smiley face emoticon breach from a Stepford psyche. My most recent book, The Brevity of Twit is a collection of three years of Tweets. If you dropped twenty believing it’s not the authentic me you’d lose that bet. It’s a thin volume. Apropos, the underlying point shows that communication, even deep understanding, can be conveyed within those 140 character bits. At my best I’m pithy and piercing.
Heavy Bags of Soul is also piercing. It is the collection and curation of thirty years of work. Maybe one day I’ll break it down and sell pieces to Reader’s Digest.
I learned today something worth remembering to me. To me, I say, because I relate everything to quantum physics and watch over science like a hawk. Insert your own joke there to make it Hawk-ing. You’re welcome.
“At my best, I’m pithy and piercing.”
Anyway, they finally found the answer to a question that had been posed since the 1600’s: when two pendulums are hung next to each other, why do they end up swinging in opposing directions within 30 minutes? The answer is sound waves. If you think this meaningless or unrelated to other physics or even, say, Focault’s Pendulum, scrounge up that term on Wikipedia and watch how fast the science moves from Focault’s original pendulum theory in the 1800’s to Minkowski space-time.
I make a Minkowski joke in one of my dialogues in Heavy Bags of Soul. It’s from what could be considered the most intellectual piece in there. My favorite though is an absurdist short story starring Heisenberg and Schrodinger. I wrote it based on the premise of an old joke but physics humor scares people off. You really only have to go skin deep though to enjoy it. It’s an absurdist play for god’s sake. Not that it’s an absurdist play for the sake of god. Erm, you get the idea.
Too much of that talk above could get me labeled as a screwball if it hasn’t already. I try to stay away from that. Here’s some down-to-earth science you might want to take an interest in: The Really Big One. “Down-to-earth” would be a joke, but now you’ve read the article so it’s not funny. Really not funny.
In the meantime, I’ll let physics explain why there is a slight possibility that the chair you’re sitting in could turn into a mushroom at any given moment. Then, as a non-screwball type, you can explain to me why, as I’m writing this, Trump is ahead in the GOP poll at 22%.
There. I think I’ve got it all out. Being a Tasmanian Devil Tornado and a pantser to boot, I never know the point to which I will arrive, only that I will get there. Despite doubts, upon arrival there is a cogent thread underneath. So shall we sum up?
That was it, right?
You must excuse me now, I have to go learn the MFA voice. It’s all the rage.
K.D. Rose is a poet and author who currently has published “Heavy Bags of Soul”, “Inside Sorrow”, “I AM”, “Erasing: Shadows”, “Anger’s Children: Three Shorts That Will Blow Your Mind”, “A Taste for Mystery: Two Novellas” and her new release, “The Brevity of Twit”.
Her poetry has been published in Candlelit Journal, The Voices Project, The Drabble, and showcased in the Tophat Raven Art and Literary Magazine. K.D.’s book, Inside Sorrow won the Readers Favorite 2013 international Silver Medal for Poetry. With fellow authors around the globe, KD was also a founding member of the e-magazine, INNOVATE.
K.D. has an eclectic mind and loves language, physics, philosophy, photography, design, art, writing, symbolism, semiotics, spirituality, and Dr. Who. KD Rose is an avid supporter of music, the arts, cutting edge science, technology, and creativity in all forms.
I’m very happy to say that we have yet another submission to ponder over for Volume IV of the Indie Author Book Selection & Review. And by what I’ve seen of the book so far, it appears to be quite the submission, indeed. And I’m very very happy to say that this may not even be the last volume submission. I have it on good authority from Author Erica Miles that I just may receive yet one more book prior to August 8, 2015, our cutoff date for submissions to this volume. And if by chance it, or any other book submission for that matter, doesn’t make it by our cutoff date – no worries, we’ll just include for the next volume.
But regardless whether we get to check out Erica’s book in this volume or the next, you can check out what she has going on right now at authorericamilesblog.wordpress.com.
It is now my pleasure to present to you…
I’m always humbled and very appreciative of the kind notes and inscriptions you all write for me in the books you send my way. I wish I would have (because I certainly should have) mentioned it before. However, along with the book K.D. Rose sent me, I received not only a very nice hand-written note (handwriting is such a rare occurrence anymore that in and of itself deserves acknowledging), but also one very cool diddy of an inscription that goes a little like this:
You can say you got a masterpiece for free —
Then toss it in the garbage.
How Zen is that?!
- KD Rose
Oh yeah – very Zen.
So Zen, in fact, I shall clap in honor of its Zen-ness with one hand.
From the back cover:
It is half past dark and we are in a graveyard orbit. Travelers have lost their way. Mankind is hard of hearing. We have abandoned insight and revelation for commerce and merry-go-rounds of distraction. But wonder is still in the palm of our hand. Wisdom is everywhere when we pay attention. We hold the key to orchards in camouflage and we are charged with the task of taking vision and making it into reality–beyond anything that exists and beyond what others say can be done. Learning this is an absolute requirement to survival.
WHAT YOU DO NEXT, IS UP TO YOU.
All I have to say about that is…
Aesthetically speaking, HEAVY BAGS OF SOUL is a very eye-appealing book and there is a lot of mystery and intrigue going on with its cover; which is good because I suspect there is a lot of the same going on with its content, as well. Flipping through its pages I see poetry and stories and what looks to be asides of this and that. I can’t say for sure yet which book will be the selection for this volume but I can say for sure that this book has definitely captured my interest…
Stay tuned for K.D. Rose’s Guest Post — it’s gonna be a good one…
And remembering thus
That all of Us
Oscar Wilde, in his famous preface to The Picture of Dorian Gray begins, “The artist is the creator of beautiful things.” But I’ve been struggling to understand what he means by that.
Do all artists create beauty? Are all of those who create beauty artists?
E. L. James recently published another book in the Fifty Shades of Grey series, merely titled Grey—the story as told by Christian Grey himself, and not through Anastasia’s eyes. According to the Los Angeles Times, following the first four days after its release, Grey had already sold 1.1 million copies, so her publisher printed a few million more.
Yet we cannot attribute James’ success to a particular artistry or cleverness with words. She appeals to the baser desires of the public, and they snap at the bait. Grey is a butchery of the English literary arts, but it sells copies.
Meanwhile the rest of the writers struggle to chain three words together in the hopes that they might find something beautiful, that their words resonate deeply from the heart. And in the rare event that beauty occurs and blooms like a violet in a pit of mud, it falls unnoticed by the wayside.
I’m not saying that you can’t find good writing on the New York Times bestseller list. I’m just saying you’ll have to look very hard.
Elizabeth Gilbert, bestselling author of Eat, Pray, Love commented in a TED talk on questions she’d been asked by fans as to what she was going to do now that she’d met with some success in her creative endeavors. In her talk, which is well worth listening to, she explains a fear that so many writers and creative people have—that either the best of their art is behind them or that they will never reach their full potential.
The pressure to improve, the burden of producing something marketable—these things hold back the artist like a bit restrains a horse. Try to write something beautiful and the dining room table goes empty while estimated retail value determines the speed, direction, and content of dime novels. No money, no bread. But if there isn’t a dollar in art, where does the industry fall? Places like Christian Grey’s apartment, I would assume.
So is there hope for the modern publishing industry? When will excellence win out?
Honestly, I don’t know, but we as both readers and writers have a duty to pursue the unmarketable art. Prose that speaks from the depths of the soul. Quality; not light reads. The involved reading projects, the memoirs and novels and elaborate space operas that maybe no one will ever pick up other than the writer’s girlfriend and his parents.
Gilbert suggests that we channel a creative genius greater than ourselves, and Wilde remarks, “It is the spectator, and not life, that art really mirrors.” Bare your souls, artists, and pen not the shallower mass-produced stock. Instead weave your own story on the page, heeding not the agents and presses and houses and focus groups that expect the same plot canned and recanned in shiny packaging. Dare to write selfishly, for the satisfaction of the artist and not the critic. Slave away years on a single sentence to make it perfect or jot down a novel and keep it that way.
But don’t ever feel that you have to write to please the people. It couldn’t matter less whether they get the bigger picture or not: popularity isn’t the goal. Don’t mimic E. L. James to collect Twitter followers.
You are a writer and an artist, and your job is to make something beautiful.
G.N. Boorse is a writer and blogger currently living in the central part of New Jersey. He recently published his first book, Don’t Touch the Glass, on March 3, 2015. Other works of his have been featured in numerous places online. You can learn more about the author at his website asotherswere.me.