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Showing posts from September 28, 2008

Fun Friday - Comic Books (AGAIN)

Comic Book Tattoo is a collection of fifty-some stories, each connected with one of Tori Amos’s songs, and sometimes only tangentially. Each story is prefaced with the lyrics by which it was inspired, and though the book itself is 480 pages, each story is short, coming in under fifteen pages. They’re not exactly novel-length, then, but many of the artists have done incredible things in creating worlds within those confines.

“They were stories packed dense and twisted tight, all gears and curls and knots and fragments. I would listen to her songs and I would want to imagine. She made me dream. I listened to her songs and I created stories,” writes Neil Gaiman in his introduction. That sentiment is precisely what Comic Book Tattoo is about -- the songs, and the stories they create. Of course, it’s one of the points of stories, too -- the places that might otherwise go unseen, the moods and dreamworlds sometimes forgotten. (Above excerpted from Bookslut)

Dave Navarro's Spread TV: Rantz…

Thursday Thirteen - 13 Writing Tips

We look to the minds of the masters to get you the top 13 writing tips you need (or maybe not) to know!

1. Use the time of a total stranger in such a way that he or she will not feel the time was wasted. (Vonnegut)
2. Never use a long word where a short one will do. (Orwell)
3. Use the active voice. (Strunk & White)
4. Know where you’re going. (Billy Wilder)
5. Something that you feel will find its own form (Kerouac)
6. Never use the words "suddenly" or "all hell broke loose." (Elmore Leonard)
7. Write to please just one person. If you open a window and make love to the world, so to speak, your story will get pneumonia. (Vonnegut)
8. Give your readers as much information as possible as soon as possible. To heck with suspense. Readers should have such complete understanding of what is going on, where and why, that they could finish the story themselves, should cockroaches eat the last few pages.(Vonnegut)
9. Keep related words together. (Strunk & White)
10. Try to lea…

Writing Wednesday - Writing Poetry

On this Writing Wednesday, it also happens that I am launching a new blog. Why in the world do I need a new blog? Well that's easy! I for the next 30 days I will be writing a poem a day and recording the experience. I would love it if you stop by and see my creations.

So why did I decide to do this? In part, I have no idea. The other night I found this page about the 30 poems in 30 days and decided that I just needed to do it and share the experience with others. I decided to start a new blog because it would be too much posting all the poems on top of all my normal posts (well, when I am actually posting.) I didn't want to spam you.

My first poem is up now. Please stop by.

Writing Wedneday - Writing Your Own Story

"I would like to believe this is a story I'm telling. I need to believe it. I must believe it. Those who can believe that such stories are only stories have a better chance.

If it's only a story I'm telling, then I have control over the ending. Then there will be an ending, to the story, and real life will come after it. I can pick up where I left off."
-- The Handmaid's Tale

Short Story Not Saturday - The Machine Stops Part 2

Once again I would like to revisit "The Machine Stops" for my second part in a theoretical three part series exploring this story. You can read Part 1 here. This story was written in 1909 by E. M. Forster.

Part 2: Kuno's Story and Direct Experience
"I have been threatened with Homelessness" said Kuno.

Chapter 2: The Mending Apparatus

Chapter 1 of "The Machine Stops" was focused on the world through Vashti's eyes. Showing use the reverence she has for the machine and acceptance of their underground existence. Chapter 2 focuses on Kuno and his experience and the exploration of his hope for more out of life than sitting in a room having every desire met by a push of a button and a movement inside the Machine.

No one really knew what Homelessness was. To Vashti all she knew was, "Homelessness means death. The victim is exposed to the air, which kills him."

Her son had been threatened with death and she wanted to know why. The simple answer, th…

Teen Tuesday - Brightly Burning

Kate DiCamillo's The Tiger Rising is a stunning young adult novel. I recently finished it and though it and a quick and easy read, it is also beautiful and intelligent. I love the storytelling of this book and would recommend it to anyone.

Within the story there is mention of the Blake poem, The Tyger, which I chose to explore here.

TIGER, tiger, burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

In what distant deeps or skies
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand dare seize the fire?

And what shoulder and what art
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
And when thy heart began to beat,
What dread hand and what dread feet?

What the hammer? what the chain?
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil? What dread grasp
Dare its deadly terrors clasp?

When the stars threw down their spears,
And water'd heaven with their tears,
Did He smile His work to see?
Did He who made the lamb make thee?

Tiger, tiger, burning b…

The Sunday Salon - The Late Night Edition

I have been exploring a lot of new types of books and different genres for me lately. Not that long ago I read my first graphic novel. I also have been looking at science fiction fairly heavily. I always thought that I was not a fan of science fiction, I think in part because it is always lumped together with fantasy and I see them as one in the same. But I have loved dystopic fiction for years, yet it only occurred to me in the last year or so that most dystopic fiction falls under the category of science fiction.

Last year I decided to read CP's favorite book. It was my first conscious dip into science fiction. While I did not particularly enjoy Battlefield Earth, I do take a certain pride in having read it. It is also the longest book I have ever read.

I started asking for recommendations from friends on science fiction books. Many of the ones they mentioned were names and titles I had heard of. Some of them were even books I own. But I decided to start off on the slow si…