Posts categorized “Writing”.

January 15th 2014

Update for Jan. 2014

I just wanted to make a quick update about the current state of my site, and the last post.

Obviously, I’m a slacker. My stated New Year’s resolution for 2013 was to research more Scandinavian and German foods that matched up to recipes available in the video game Skyrim (which draws from historic Nordic culture) and do posts on the topic.

First, my blog. Anyone reading this might have noticed that I started read more »

January 26th 2011

Fiction Snippet: You Know How I Can Tell You’re Crazy?

The following is a snippet of fiction that I wrote for a book I’m working on. Any correlation to real people, events, or other works of fiction are merely coincidental. I would highly appreciate constructive criticism in the comments.

Paul sat on a worn, pleather-upholstered bench, his full concentration devoted to the pristine white coffee cup in front of him, contrasted by the dark liquid filling it, as the bright afternoon light lengthened the shadow. It was easy to keep pace with the smudge of dark gray across the speckled surface of the table, a lone vessel on a silent sea of flame. First the tip touched this large speck of orange, then the fleck of yellow next to it, then a different shade of orange chip. It crept onward like the march of a snail.

The coffee cup, however, did not move.
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January 10th 2011

Book Review: Mr. Monster by Dan Wells

Last week I reviewed I Am Not a Serial Killer by Dan Wells, and aside from a few minor criticisms, I highly enjoyed the book. It should come as no big surprise that I also enjoyed Mr. Wells’ follow up, Mr. Monster. I would even say I liked it more. A lot more.

The second installment of the John Wayne Cleaver series has our young protagonist struggling with the repercussions of his decisions in the first book while his small town recovers from the string of brutal serial killings. The vast majority of the townsfolk believe that the “Clayton Killer” remains at large, but since the murders have stopped they are beginning to feel more confident. That is, until new bodies begin to show up. Troubling to both John and the police, these corpses have a vastly different MO than the original killer.
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January 5th 2011

Book Review: I Am Not a Serial Killer by Dan Wells

Last month I had the chance to attend a book signing at Dragons & Fairy Tales in Eagle Mountain, Utah with authors Dan Wells and Brandon Sanderson. At the signing, I picked up copies of I Am Not a Serial Killer and Mr. Monster by Mr. Wells, and had a chance to chat briefly with him about my own writing. I think it went something like, “Dan Wells! I’m such a huge fan! I listen to your podcast every week!” followed by unintelligible gushing. Okay maybe not, I actually had never read any of his books, but they came highly recommended by a mutual friend, Eric Ehlers. Eric was right once again.

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January 4th 2011

The Attitude of Ingratitude

As the walls and floor of the dark fortress reverberated from the quake of the surrounding Deadlands, Gaius Sunblade shouted across the chasm at the wizard on the far side.

“The sword! Now!”

The robed figure waited momentarily, resolving his faith in his champion, before hurling the blade across. In his mind, the wizard Ustar relived the journey to this point; how he had found Gaius in a small village, matched the signs of prophecy to the circumstances of the young man’s birth. Ustar had guided him toward this final destiny. When Gaius failed to follow Ustar’s words concerning the Five Trials of the Amethyst Court, the wizard had had to go to great expense to aid his friend in teleporting to the Deadlands so that Gaius could finally face the demon Atarez in his lair, fulfilling his destiny. Ustar had lost faith in the prophecies momentarily, keeping the legendary sword hidden, intending to fight the demon instead by himself. Gaius had fought his way through the Deadlands, however, and had managed to get himself across the chasm of bubbling, gaseous lava, to the gates of Drgo Keep itself. The young man had proved that he was the hero of prophecy after all, and was now ready to confront his enemy.

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December 20th 2010

Character as an Extension of Self vs. “Mary Jane”

I love playing games. Every other week I get together with a gaming group, typically playing pen-and-paper games. If you’re not familiar with the concept, the term “Dungeons and Dragons” should be sufficient. Our group is currently working through a campaign set in the Old West (“Coyote Trail” is the rule set). Our previous genre was standard sword and sorcery. Next we’ll be battling through post-apocalyptic cities or space. Each one of these settings has their own set of rules.

Character creation, however, is pretty standard. You’ve got statistics, skills and abilities, equipment. Then you have background, where you tell about why your character prefers to fight by removing his pants and strangling his prey, for example. Some players can spend hours on this step alone. I’ll admit that I don’t typically take that long, but for my western character “Lester Graves”—a Navajo medicine man of European descent—I wrote a 2000 word background telling how he came to be in California working in a gold mine in the 1870’s with his best friend “Robert ‘Rabbit’ Tacoma.” Read more of my thoughts on putting yourself into the makeup of your character after the jump.

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