Saturday, July 20, 2013

Beer Run of the Dead

Wow. I just looked at the reviews for this book on Amazon and would have probably rethought my review if the main one that gave it 5 stars hadn't said he got it for free and hadn't read it. Stay Classy.

The premise of this book is that if you are bitten by a Zombie alcohol will keep you from turning. So drink. A lot. Drinking would probably help a lot if you had to read this book. The main character is alright but the rest of the book is populated by characters you really would like to see dead. Rock and Steady, (no not the character from the Ninja Turtles. I would have preferred him) to stoners who's main goal in life is to sneak beer into a concert and manage not to become zombies because they stay drunk, a black racist nurse who curses at everyone. and the two girls who would do anything with anyone as long at they provide them with tampons. Seriously. Other than the 17 year old these are the characters in the book. There's very little character development and the author mostly uses the situation to set up different things he wants to happen, like having male nipples cut off or getting drunk enough to have zombie sex.

If for any reason whatsoever you have this book (yes even if it was free, I'd go ahead and delete that bad boy off the kindle. Maybe save it for when a real zombie outbreak happens and give it to someone you don't want around as a field manual.
I give this book -2 noodles.

Code Name: Atlas

Okay, I want to first start out by saying I really wanted to like this book for completely selfish reasons. I was on Goodreads when I get a message from the author about a review of a book I had done on there saying that we should be friends and that we seemed to have similar taste in books. WOW! I of course said yes, why I'm honored. Oh by the way I see you have a book! Let me buy that. I'm sure it'll be great. So I went into the book invested in liking it.
Oi. Me and my big mouth. It's not a terrible book. It's just not a great book. The story itself is a little schizophrenic. There is an alien war that you only barely hear about at the end as the set up for the sequel, there is the dystopian world  wracked in war that the hero (who had served in the Iraq war but is only 18 several years later which would somehow be a big deal to the people following him if they knew?)

There is a lot of good in the book. He has built his world, that much is clear. The author knows where he is going. But the characterization is weak. His wife is always angry at him for leading these people, but then cheats on him with another man that is also leading people, and he never seems to get upset about any of this. There are two main characters who have nearly identical names. That's not confusing at all. And the story seems to jump at the last minute from the battle over the city which we have read about for a hundred pages to this new conflict in space. after the main character has been killed and resurrected.

I wish I could give this book more than 3 noodles. I really do.

Friday, July 19, 2013

How did that happen?

I have an ending. I don't know what happened. I sat down, in a depressed mood and 5k words later there is an ending to my story. I don't even have a MIDDLE yet! Writing the ending did give me several scenes that I now have to write and at least three other characters. I promise my readers if there are any out there that I will NOT be one of those people who milks the middle for 10 books. I just am gobsmacked that I have what I think is a legitimate ending to this story already down. I am starting to suspect that the characters are actually writing it and I'm just their stenographer. And that one of them is pissed I won't let him use the F-word.
All I can say is that this is making me feel so much better about what I'm doing that I can't express it. Which is bad for a writer. Good luck to my friends and frustrations to my enemies and everyone keep the inkwell wet!

Using what you have

I recently read an article written about Joss "Nerd Lord" Whedon where they asked him how he got so much done.
He used a lot of words. He had a lot of advice. It was good.
The gist of what I got out of it was that he knew what he was going to do in general each day, just not in specific. So if he woke up and the calender said write, you wrote something. Maybe not what you meant to write but something. You'll use it later.
I needed to write today. But it was a bad day. Things weren't going right and the scene I wanted to write just wasn't going to happen. Let's face it, I was depressed.
Something in the back of my mind reminded me of the article. Write. Maybe not what you wanted but write anyway.
So I did something very hard. I wrote the hard part of my book.
I'm a fairly easy going person and so most of my stuff comes off light (I hope). But in any book there is the time, as one of my teachers used to tell me, that you have to drown your children. Without something painful your characters don't learn, don't grow, and are really dull, no matter how wonderful they are.
So today I wrote the hard part. I killed my Dumbledore. I threw my Gollum into Mt. Doom. I sacrificed my Obi-Wan Kenobi.
Tomorrow I may regret the way I wrote, I may question the decisions I made or the manner I handled them, but no matter what I will be glad that I went ahead and took on this challenge when I was already in this state of mind.

I couldn't find the exact article (I wish I could) but here was some other advice he had that I'll share.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The Orc of Many Questions

Book Review: The Orc of Many Questions

This book by Shane Michael Murray (I wonder if he's Chad's brother) features a young orc (called a blunc) named Talking Wind who shows us why Orcs are the way they are. Trapped against the mountains, surrounded by Humans, Elves and Dwarves, befriended by Giants, preyed upon by dragons, Talking Wind is a orc out of place in his community as he asks too many questions! Through his questions we discover the nature of his world and the orcs place in it. The protagonist is not a hero, certainly not by Orc standards and it's his faults that drive the story to it's conclusion. Mr. Murray does an excellent job in world building and sets the ground work for a vibrant world that I can't wait to see him expand upon in future volumes.

I'm giving this book.....four noodles!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Secret Agent Milk!

I have just returned from a highly dangerous secret operation. I went to Walmart. 
Now some of you think this is dangerous for a different reason. It's not the long lines, surly cashiers or baguette wielding ninjas in the bakery that posed a threat. It's my town. 
For those of you that don't know I live in a small town. a really small town. I mean in the same county where I live there is a town that is called Micro, that is quite possibly larger. And everyone knows EVERYONE. I mean when I used to date in High School my father would pull down a book that contained a listing of all my relatives to the Nth degrtee and tell me what rank of cousin my date was to me. I swear the book went back to Noah! I won't talk about what that ranks JoCo on the West Virginia Scale, but lets' just say that some family trees grow in a circle around here. 
Anyway what that means is that everyone is constantly in everyone's business. How does this affect my going to the store? Because the Walmart is brand new. 
See there are already two grocery stores in Princeton. The Piggly Wiggly and the Food Lion. Yes, we like animals, and like them even more when we are eating them. You are a Pig person or a Lion Person. The Pig people are obviously the more rural and traditional, as the Pig has been there the longest. If you are a Lion person you are up town and likely to be snooty or a transplant. This is because they took over the space that the even OLDER IGA resided in. (Before that the Pig was for Up town people). See when you know everyone  then when you go to another store it is assumed that you are taking food out of the mouth of their children. 
This is the second time I have gone into the new Walmart. The first time I wore my navy shirt and everyone assumed I worked there and asked me where everything was. Other than that everyone walked with their heads down, as if they were ashamed to get caught there, like it was particularly disreputable porn store or abortion clinic. It was keep your head down, talk to no one, and when you got out, you were never don't care what your great uncle's sisters daughter on your mother's side said. 
Tonight, perhaps by virtue of it being after closing for the other two stores (if they could roll up sidewalks and road signs at 9 pm (6:30 on Sunday) they would here.) most of the people seemed almost smug about the fact that they were there. The whole store was bursting with a daredevil "I don't care if you do tell your mama I was here" attitude that I thought was normally reserved for teens jumping off the rock quarry to swim. I had an actual conversation with someone for no apparent reason. 
But still when I got home my wife asked me "Did anyone see you there?" 
It's time to silence the witnesses....

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Summer Shorts

Okay so a little while ago I submitted something to an anthology called Summer Shorts. I got in, which made me question their sanity. Apparently they knew what they were doing though because this morning (the day after it hit Smashwords) I got the news that it was....
Ranked #75 on Anthologies
Ranked #24 on Short Story Anthologies
Ranked #7 on Literary Collections
Ranked #3 on American Literary Collections

In less than 24 hours! 
This means apparently that I can be considered a Bestseller. or had a story in one. 

I'm amazed at all the great people I met last night and how great their writings is. 

Also Got to go see Pacific Rim. I'm gobsmacked (if a non-Brit is allowed to be) 

I now want to write a giant robot story. Which is a problem since I have this Roleplaying story going on with the group and a Viking story and this other story about Zeus working in a cubical. Okay. back to it. 

Write Right, Right Write!