Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Some Writing Stuff

I wrote a novel in my early twenties, when we were living in Japan, called Streets Of Gold. In my later twenties, when we were living in San Antonio, I wrote Pilgrimage. Every five or ten years I would send the novels out to a publishing house, and the novels would be returned. I have decided this week that the books are simply not commercially viable because they're just too odd, and so I'll go through them one more time and then put them up on Amazon and some other ebook sites. The revised version of Shatterworld might come out this year. Every time I find a new author I really like, I look the author up to see what else they have written. I would like there to be something else for fans while we are waiting for the sequels to Shatterworld (Circumnavigation of Shatterworld, Pacifists' War) to come out. Even though the books are odd, there are people out there who will love them. How to reach those few people, I don't know.

As of this date, I am finishing up the third novel set in my oldest son's universe. I only have half a chapter left to go. I've even written the ending, which I'm pleased with. But this penultimate chapter with the final big boss battle is hard. I am grinding out one sentence at a time. Hmm, can I persuade my son to write that part?

I recently read an article that I think nailed why writers have such a hard time finishing their books. As long as the book is unfinished there is still a chance the book could be great. Every time I start a book, I have about fifty things I want to accomplish. But when I reach the end, the book has quantum collapsed into crap, drek that does not illuminate the human condition, drek that does not contain striking metaphors and incredibly lovely writing. John C. Wright has nothing to fear from me. The top ten percent of SF writers have no competition from me. The top twenty. Maybe the top fifty. That's when I need someone else to read the book who doesn't know about the forty-nine things that got left out.

The books set in my son's universe are The Scarred King, Sailing from Stoneshell, and Killing The Siij. And speaking of my son, you really ought to watch this:

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Review of To Save Two Worlds: (is twice as much fun) by A. J. Bakke

This gently humorous story about really little people is captivating on several levels. Kale, one of the really little people, has an anxiety disorder in a society that is surrounded by anxiety-provoking dangers. During a hunting trip, he runs into a brand new danger and ends up possessed by sparkles with an agenda, and they will do whatever they have to to Kale to make sure he fulfills it. Among the things they do is earn him exile, and that exile leads to many adventures.
I knocked a couple stars off the rating for this book for two reasons. One is my personal grumpiness about typos. They are not overwhelming, and I have a hunch most readers won't even notice the typos that aroused my ire, but they annoyed me. Two is one of the characters, a LARPer, who is charming, likable, and fun until she commits such a great evil that I was mentally spitting on her for the rest of the book. You could make the point that she goes on to make up for the evil by the many very good things she does. She also suffers some loss, but I did not see her repent of her evil anywhere. Still, at the end, she saves many lives.
The book has a satisfying ending with some wonderful thread wrap-ups.
If you are the type of reader who thinks description gets in the way of the story, or if you demand adrenaline-fueled thrillers, this is not your book. If, on the other hand, you like immersing yourself in fantasy worlds and enjoy stories written in complete sentences, this sweet book might be what you need for a rainy afternoon. If you are the type of person who posts pictures of cute kitties and frantic squirrels on FaceBook, then odds are high that you will enjoy To Save Two Worlds. This book will also make a lovely gift for the high school who doodles fairies and kitties in their notebooks.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Review of my niece, A. J. Bakke's book

I liked what this reviewer had to say about my niece's book To Save Two Worlds (is twice as much fun).

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Review of Sailing Out of Darkness by Normandie Fischer

If Eat, Pray, Love weren't a title already taken, that could have been the title of this book. There was lots of luscious eating in beautiful scenery in Italy, believable people trying to figure out where to go after being rejected by spouses, sailing, some drama, guilt and grace. Normandie has written another lovely story. If you like romance, you will like this story set in modern day New England and Italy.
For some reason, I wasn't even too ticked off by the romance trope of the rich, single guy willing to drop his life to follow a damsel in distress and shower her with gifts while being gentle and understanding at all times. Usually I hate that as I see it as much pornography for woman as the trope of a woman who wants sex with a man, right now! anywhere! and you don't even have to take a shower first! is pornography for a man. Wish fulfillment. Yeah, don't we all want a rich man who will take us on exotic trips and feed us chocolate and not care if we gain pounds and will not make demands on us? Well, this rich guy we could all feel sympathy for because he got rich by being in a accident that left him crippled and in pain. And he got dumped before the settlement came in. And Normandie made him seem like a real man with real issues.
Some people might be bothered by some of the spiritual or supernatural elements of the story. I hope not, because the prayers and experiences seemed the most real parts of the book to me. Having experienced some rare episodes of ESP or spiritual events and being the recipient of such (ie. my mother out hanging up clothes to dry suddenly knowing I was in danger ran into the house to find me in my crib turning blue with a rattle stuck in my throat), I firmly believe that while most such reports are delusional, some are real, and God sometimes lets us know things we can't know through our physical senses. I rather wish God would do that for us more often as I spend 99.99% of my time being totally clueless.