Thursday, January 2, 2014

Don't Plant Trees!

"In writing fiction, the more fantastic the tale, the plainer the prose should be. Don't ask your readers to admire your words when you want them to believe your story." Ben Bova Benjamin William Bova (born November 8, 1932) is an American author of more than 120 works of science fact and fiction, six-time winner of the Hugo Award, a former editor of Analog magazine, a former editorial director of Omni (magazine), a past president of both the National Space Society and the Science Fiction Writers of America, and lives in Florida. wikipedia I've read books where there is so much detail that I forget what the characters are doing. The truth for the author to assimilate is this: Don't plant trees around your splendid forest.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

New Year's resolution- WRITE!

You know you've read a good book when you turn the last page and feel a little as if you have lost a friend. ~Paul Sweeny

Paul Sweeney seems to be more famous for his quotes than for his books. The titles remind me of textbooks:

Ireland's Economic Success: Reasons and Lessons;
Ireland's Economic Success: Reasons and Prospects;
Race and Racism in the West: Crusades to the Present;
Ri Im/TB Organizational Behavior; 
Selling Out?: Privatisation in Ireland;
The Celtig Tiger: Ireland's Economic Miracle Explained        

I don't know what a Celtig Tiger is, and I'm not really interested in his topics. But I am captivated with the private reading habits of such a scholarly man. It's interesting that an intellectual finds books compelling enough to be "friends."  I'm supposing these are works of fiction he refers to. Even with my overactive imagination I cannot conjure up the image of  a man holding a book under his arm with affection when the title of the tome is "Weightier Biorhythms in the Western Hemisphere."

I have books on my shelf (and in my Kindle) that I have returned to read again. I hope that the books I write will be friends that will lighten lonely hours, give counsel to confusion, and draw readers to yearn for a better life. Of course, Jesus is the answer to loneliness, confusion, and higher planes!
 I have a Pinterest board that captures all sorts of readers. Reading? Everybody's doing it!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Is a book bought a book read?

There are some books of which scores of copies are bought for one which is read, and others which have dozens of readers for every copy sold. --John Ayscough I am both of these readers. I buy books on sale, at garage sales, from used book stores. and even brand new. But I don't always read them. My TBR (to be read) pile is tall enough to cause a hazard should it avalanche. But I also loan books. When I have a favorite book, I urge others to borrow it and share my enjoyment. I'm not one to go deep in a discussion of a book. I like to hear what others have to say, but for the most part, I don't like over-thinking, second-guessing the author, and disecting plot or character. I just want to enjoy the book.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

"As long as there have been people in the world, there have been stories."

DR. GRANT L. VOTH is Professor Emeritus at Monterey Peninsula College in California. He is the author of insightful scholarly books and articles on subjects ranging from Shakespeare to Edward Gibbon to modern American fiction.

The power of words should never be underestimated. Words can educate, illuminate, dominate, encourage, and even heal.
Labeling can be negative or positive. Call a boy stubborn, and he is mule-headed, thick-necked, and incorrigible. Call the same boy persistent, and he is determined, resolute, firm, and confident.
Word strung together to make stories can accomplish much. A society can be convinced evil is good, wrong is right, and progress is regression. As Christians writing, we are obligated to use stories to enlighten, exhort, and engage people in the search for truth.
Jesus did in parables.
What joy it is to take a difficult concept, blend it into a story, and allow the reader to discover a truth about God.
Make all your words profitable today.

Friday, February 17, 2012

"The trick is not to become a writer, it is to stay a writer. Day after day, year after year, book after book. And for that, you must keep working, even when it seems beyond you."
Harlan Ellison  (In a career spanning more than 40 years, he has won more awards for the 75 books he has written or edited, the more than 1700 stories, essays, articles, and newspaper columns, the two dozen teleplays and a dozen motion pictures he has created, than any other living fantasist.) 
I wondered why I was not familiar with Harlan Ellison until I looked at his work. I have to say he uses more profanity and vulgarity than I can handle. But his quote is wonderfully right on target. If you really enjoy writing, then you also constantly try to improve your skills. Every book is a challenge. With every book, you raise your standard. And logically, every book is harder to write. It doesn't get easier; it gets harder. In addition to that, you have lost the glow of first love. The honeymoon is over. This is work. (Pardon the cliches. I wouldn't allow those in any book I wrote, but I'm going to trust you can handle two cliches so I can get this posted and get back to work.)
I admit, from time to time, I've fallen into the pit of "beyond you." Didn't Little Christian of Pilgrim's Progress fall into the slough of Despond? I have to give myself a lecture. "This is fun. Quit thinking about the miles of work ahead and stick to the moment. Because, talking dragons are fun. Yes, they are. You betcha!"
This Twilight Zone was written by Harlan Ellison.
I'm going to go have some fun now. You keep at it, too!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Born to Write?

"Each of us has been designed for one of two immortal functions, as either a storyteller or as a cross-legged listener to tales of wonder, love and daring."
Bryce Courtenay
(contemporary, best-selling author in Australia )

I agree with this statement. I have found, though, that I also enjoy being the listener, or the reader. Storytelling started around the campfires right after language became useful. I can see in my mind, primitive folks way back then, who probably did a mime type storytelling we would think of as charades.

Monday, January 23, 2012


"It's a poor sort of memory that only works backward."
Lewis Carroll

Alice laughed. "There's no use trying," she said: "one can't believe impossible things."
"I daresay you haven't had much practice," said the Queen. "When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast."
(Through the Looking Glass, Chapter 5)

Writing fantasy tends to open your mind to remembering things that haven't quite happened yet and believing impossible things quite easily.

Now see? If you believed that statement in any way, shape, or form, you have proven it.