Getting in the groove of things

Ladies and gentlemen, I believe I have found my groove. 

This week has been yet another week full of news articles and opinion pieces that need to meet deadlines and specific requirements. Ugh. It’s also been the first week of NaNoWriMo, and because of that I found it hard to balance my time between internship writing, novel writing, and taking care of myself. With all the things I’ve put before myself to accomplish, I’ve been sort of burning the candle at both ends for a few weeks and it’s starting take a toll. 

Continue reading “Getting in the groove of things”

The Wheel in the Sky…

I bet you’ve been wondering just what the heck I’ve been up to lately. Well wonder no more, friends! For I am here to enlighten you to all I’ve done the past few weeks. Lots going on behind the scenes…

Nonlocal Science Fiction          

First and foremost I’d like to talk about Nonlocal, the science fiction magazine that accepted one of my short stories. The magazine will be out the 15th of this month and will be available as an ebook or digital download from Amazon or the Nonlocal site. Dan, the head editor at Nonlocal, has been throwing out some free material in the days leading up to the release, and the link to preorder the issue is already live right here. I encourage you to check out the site and see what it has to offer. The stories are good.

I’m pretty excited about this magazine because I GOT A SHORT STORY PUBLISHED. There look to be lots of other great stories and poems in the issue, but the story I submitted is one of my favorites. I’m really looking forward to seeing what the other authors and contributors have to say about not just my story but the issue in general. Nonlocal is a really cool site that has the best in Sci Fi stuff. I’ve met a really nice author already through the site and plan to submit stories to them in the future. Hurray for Sci Fi!

Short Story Contests

I recently submitted a short story to an anthology hosted by the awesome staff at sffworld.com. The theme of the anthology is “Ecotones”, so all the stories submitted must follow that theme. I wrote a story that I’m pretty fond of and submitted it a few days ago. I originally submitted almost a month ago, but got a super helpful email from one of the editors giving me some pointers and advice. I took their advice to heart, mainly because they are in charge of the anthology, and then resubmitted. I received another email from said editor saying the changes I came up with on my own made the story work much better and he had high hopes for it. HIGH HOPES. That just makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside

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I dropped another story off at the cwinst.com for their yearly phrase writing contest. Every year they come up with a phrase and any story submitted to the contest needs to have that phrase in it. I forget what last year’s was, but this year’s had to include the phrase “I got more than I bargained for!” That was a little tough for me. I stared at that prompt for a long time trying to formulate a story around it. I think I did a damn fine job of it, if I do say so myself. You’ll just have to wait till I win in order to read it, unfortunately.

Mageborn Trilogy: Initiation

You see that title right up there? All bold and glorious. That, ladies and gentlemen, is what I’ve come up with for the title of the novel I’m writing. It’s a working title, but I’ve always envisioned it as a series, a trilogy, and when I look at it spread over three books the title of this one becomes apparent. Initiation. Man, I am so pumped for this story!! If I were to make a rough estimate of word count so far, I’d say around 80,000, and I still lots to go. LOTS TO GO. I hit the halfway mark a while ago and was very conflicted because the story is so long already and I have a lot more to go. *Sigh* Such is the life of a writer, I suppose. The story is coming along swimmingly, though, and every day that I get to craft more of the world is a day where I’m content. I have the first few chapters the way that I want them and can start sending them off to editors and agents soon. SO CLOSE! AH!

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In order to help immerse myself in the world that I’ve created, I’ve pinned some of the more important notes around my computer desk for reference. It helps me to write more, a major plus. Every time I walk into my room and see the papers hanging on the wall, it makes me want to write more. It makes me want to sit down and add more to the lists, or get to the really cool stuff on the list. Did I mention that I’m excited for this book?

SF:SE 

Who’s going to a writer’s conference later this month in Orlando? THIS GUY. Who’s going to hopefully have his novel done by then in case he meets an agent or editor in search for the next greatest story? THIS GUY AGAIN. SF:SE stands for speculative fiction: south east, and is held by a group called the Dirty Little Bookers. The conference is basically a gathering of the biggest heads of fantasy, sci-fi, and horror in both indie and traditional publishing, coming together to celebrate their love for the magical and spacey. And I shall join them. I shall be one of them. Check it out here.

PHEW

Man, that’s a lot of update for you peeps, and there’s even more I could write about(like the reviews for my book, author exchanges or writers I’ve met)! But I’ll leave you with that for now and hope that satisfies your curiosity. I added a subscribe button to my site for all you non-wordpress users so you can get my posts. I’d be grateful if you felt like signing up.

TIL NEXT TIME! PEACE!    

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From Afar

Hello again, and welcome back to another edition of In My Opinion. This post I’ll be reviewing a GREAT book by a GREAT author, who also happens to be a GREAT guy.

Buckle up, for I am about to regale you with a tale of woe and Russian women. A story of heartache and loss. A story of triumph… and then more Russian women. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you From Afar, by Frank Scozzari.

A little while ago I was lucky enough to get a tweet from an author pointing me towards an online hangout for writers to review each others work. I perused the place for a bit, then posted my novella and offered to do a review exchange with someone. I received a few offers, and among them was an exchange offer from a man named Frank Scozzari. In his email Frank was frank with me (heehee), sent me a copy of his book and asked for a copy of mine.

I had no idea what I was in for, but I am very glad I took the offer.

From Afar is labeled as a memoir, and Frank traveled to Russia several times in researching everything for it. It’s about a man, Morgan Stanfield, 38, single, who is lonely. Well, a little more than lonely. The story begins with him lonely enough that he might do something he will regret later. Morgan is looking for love, not just a woman or a girlfriend, but love, and he’s taken to the internet to find it. He has a fascination with Russian woman for some reason, and therefore gears his search for love towards that country. He meets a woman online who lives and Russia and is very warm, intelligent and wants to meet him. After some “careful” consideration, Morgan hops on a plane and jets over to Russia.

Plot: The plot of this story was painfully realistic in the beginning. I found I could relate to Morgan on a lot of levels when it started off. His friends, his thoughts, his feelings, all felt very accurate. And once he decides to head to Russia, I could not put down my tablet. I wanted to read it all at once, it was so good. The twists and turns that the story takes surprised me even when I thought I could call what would happen next. For all that it had going for it, the ending… was a little underwhelming. I guess I held out hope the entire time that somehow the story would end on a good note, but it didn’t. It just sort of happened. Like the story took so much effort, he just wanted it to be over. When I thought about, though, I wasn’t that put off by the ending. After all that Morgan goes through, it makes sense for it quit the way it did.

Characters: A+ Morgan, though a little heavy on the internal monologue at times, is funny and smart and not all a boring read. He has interesting flash backs that enlighten the reader to what is going through his mind during some scenes, and is always pretty honest. I found that I liked him right off the bat. He starts off as a wet blanket. A real sad-sap. But as the story progresses, he forces himself to be bold and go out of his comfort zone to experience life. By the end however, he’s more depressed than the beginning and just barely holding onto hope. Sad face.

Writing: As soon as I started reading and saw that it was in the first person, I thought this wouldn’t be a book I’d like. I usually don’t enjoy most 1st persons. Heck, I usually don’t enjoy most anything not fantasy or sci fi, but I really enjoyed this. Frank wrote very well, and you can tell from his vocabulary and use of language that he is highly educated. He got the skillz, is what I’m trying to say, and I might be a little jelly. But whatevs, it’s cool. Some paragraphs can run a little long, in my opinion, and by then end of the story, when Morgan is really down in the dumps, his bitter thoughts can turn into really long run-ons sometimes.

Imagery: Excellent. Frank actually went to Russia and all the places he writes about for this novel, and it shows in the imagery. He captures the feel of Russia perfectly, not just the visuals, but the actual aura and presence of the place. You actually feel cramped when he describes the underground tram, and you can feel the depressing grey when he talks about the run down neighborhoods. I say again, excellent job on imagery.

Verdict: As someone who normally doesn’t read anything unless it’s a type of fantasy or sci fi, I really enjoyed this book. Like I said, I couldn’t put it down and tore through it in a few days. I will definitely be talking about this book to others for its funny, unexpected story and great character. And great author. Turns out Frank isn’t just a prolific author with lots of published work, he’s a genuinely nice guy. He also wrote a kickass review for my novella, which made me feel all tingly inside.

Should you check out this book? Yeah, I think so. And you can find his site here and his book here. Persons of the female perspective might find a hard time relating with Morgan, but men will fit right in. It’s not long and it’s an enlightening read. In My Opinion.