My paramour

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Oh ssshhhiiiaaat! Copy-pasted this from iTunes. Hope that’s ‘kay. No one sue me! I wuv Paramore! I buy their songs! It’s in my veins! >_>;

I should be writing. Really. Planning an outline, even though I’d rather keep my pants on and tight through the whole ride, especially now that I’m gearing up for my first NaNoWriMo! Yeah! But nah. I’ll watch live Paramore concerts on YouTube instead, and check out Hayley’s Twitter. I think my favorite look is the weird iTunes Festival look, like she came from a Tim Burton film. Also, the green hair and getup in Wango Tango, and I’m like, fuck, I’m in love. NSP help me.

Stop. Just stop. I am stopping! In this post, I’d like to talk about (hashtag) #writing. The things I’ve picked up along the way in my career as a journalist, as someone who has been writing since being a little kid, and as someone who started reading books only in his early adulthood (17). I had a long-ass post but deleted it cause it was too long. So here’s the rundown!

  • If you write to make a living, you will feel the Pressure of ever stacking bills. It won’t be enough unless you’re a big mainstream and well-known writer like Neil, King, Martin, and Rowling.
  • Some aspiring authors continue to believe they will sell their book as easy as ordering kinky stuff from Amazon and make millions from it. Ignorance is a bliss, I guess.
  • Daydreaming is awesome. No, really, keep on doing it. I started when I was bored shit in my first grade class. But if you’re going to do it all the time, make sure it’s about your story and not the glory you want.
  • With so many things happening and so many stuff around, it’s easy to get distracted: Social media notifications, Ninja Sex Party has a new amazing song about pee-pees and vajayjays or a legit cover for once, binge-watching Voltron, the stain in the window that needs cleaning, the trash that needs to be taken out, ice cream in the fridge, reading blogs about writing, writing a blog post. Time goes away faster than you think, and if you feel bad for not writing anything, well, That’s What you Get. *Insert guitar!*
  • Don’t wait for the Muse. It doesn’t exist. Even if you have to slog through one word after another, feeling shit, it’s okay. It’s like building a house, Brick after Boring Brick. You need that chapter completed before moving on the next one.
  • Be Careful in Playing God while worldbuilding, crafting magic systems, mapping landscapes, setting histories, developing characters. There’s so much going on, it’s so easy to have one or two inconsistencies. That could work in your favor, to create a deeper, more sophisticated story that requires a lot of thinking. But more often inconsistencies will feel alienating.
  • I used to believe you can be productive even with the TV on, or while listening to songs. I guess it works differently. With songs, I often end up imaging myself doing a badass solo that puts Eddie Van Halen and Jimmy Paige to shame. Some people can write better with songs or OSTs. But TVs? In fact, not just that, even WiFi. Nope, you want to write seriously? Turn it Off, all of it, and focus on writing.
  • Negative feedback will sting. But know the difference between a good negative feedback over a bad negative feedback. Get beta readers who will say, “Hate to See Your Heart Break but this book sucks, you need to change the pacing, the character is too perfect, etc… etc…” If someone says your book sucks because they said so, punch them.
  • I’ve come to learn florid writing is dazzling and nice to read. But sometimes, I’ve seen writers try a little too hard. This isn’t to belittle or to harm, but it’s true, especially in a few self-published books I’ve read, they tend to over-describe and their attempts to sound sophisticated, just, doesn’t work. Sometimes it’s best to write something plain and clear that is easy to digest and imagine. You wouldn’t want your readers to pause and try to Decode what you’re trying to say. It ruins the story’s flow.
  • Now is the only best time to write.
  • Just keep on writing like a Monster.
  • Write in your Native Tongue. If you will write in another language, make sure you have enough mastery over it. I’ve met a lot of aspiring authors who didn’t have English as their first language, but writes in that language anyway. Some are good, and, some needs work, but that’s alright, learning and failing and then succeeding is how we roll.
  • I know I keep saying you need to write, write, and write, get absorbed into your own world, spill all the blood of goats in sacrificial tributes to complete your manuscript, but it’s important to have an Escape Route to unwind. Breath some fresh air, go to the mall and buy something nice, meet people, observe the world around you and you can apply it to your story.
  • When you start punching those keys with fervor and fury, don’t stop. Keep on writing as if there’s an Emergency, as if there’s a gun pointed to your head and will go off if you stopped for more than three seconds! (There’s actually an app that deletes the entire manuscript if you stop writing! It’s called the “Most Dangerous Writing App.”)
  • Scream Hallelujah when you finish that draft!

I have no conclusion. I just really want to stop writing, even for a smidgen of my time, and watch a damn Paramore video. Is that too much to ask?!

 

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The Whirlwind in the Thorn Tree

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One of the few book covers of The Whirlwind in the Thorn Tree by S.A. Hunt

Holy shit! Did I just do another self-published book review? Damn right I did. This one’s by S.A. Hunt, and this is another Western fantasy story, with bits of horror elements thrown here and there. To save some time, is it every bit as worth it as a lot of people say it is? Damn straight it is.

I have seen people compare this book to Stephen King’s “The Dark Tower” and C.S. Lewis’ “The Chronicles of Narnia” and some have pointed out that it’s a bad thing. I don’t understand why, since dark western stories and people magically walking into another world are nothing new. If anything, S.A. Hunt traps us into a world that is rich in lore and ideas that matches a woman’s skirt: Long enough to cover the subject, short enough to be interesting. (I read that in a journalism book and I was blown away by it, the original unedited quote turned out to be from Winston S. Churchill.)

The early onset parts were damn good. From the prologue’s one-shot scene, to the protagonist’s arrival from the airport, and his seemingly increasing obsession to learn more about what his father had been doing before the event’s of the prologue happened, were total page turners. This entire sequence has been called out once as an “over exposition.” I disagree with that, I felt that this entire process moved too fast. Give or take, “The Whirlwind in the Thorn Tree” would have been a better book if it gave us more time with the characters exploring the mysterious phenomenon they keep on experiencing. That’s not to say that this book wasn’t fun, because it’s full of it.

There were just two others things I didn’t like. First, there were times where S.A. Hunt tried a little bit too hard to be florid. I don’t mind a little poetry in writing, but you tend to run into one too many in this book, and many of them were awkward in a not-too-cool way.

The second thing I didn’t like in the book, is how the characters from characters easily accepted the idea that our heroes are from another world. I suppose that just shows how strange this alien world is, where inter-dimensional travel is something far more believable than someone who had lived their entire lives in a faraway country.

As the book progress, the more it edges into an epic fantasy with guns. We’re guided, step-by-step into this new world: We feast on one of the many cultures, see exotic sights and races that would freak out the next person on Earth. The story may start out dry at first, because of the protagonist’s strained relationship with the people around him, but just around the corner of this book, things do lighten up in a bright cheerful manner. (I am talking specifically about the “table scene,” which was hilarious.) I like to this that is a metaphor in some way, in how life is beginning to seep back into protagonist’s life.

Here’s the Amazon page of S.A. Hunt’s “The Whirlwind in the Thorn Tree,” in case any one out there who read this post hasn’t read the book and is interested to check it out.

 

Ashes

It is about time.

The entire Project Dark still has a long way to go. The first book needs more refinement and polishing. I can never not write enough of it.

The first book is designed to have 70,000 words with three parts. However, in this case, I intend to release the first part of the book, which is titled “Ashes” as a free novella in Amazon Kindle Direct and in Smashwords. It contains 30,000 words and has all the elements I wanted to put in a story.

I wanted it to be a short “magic school-ish” type of story, but the thing has taken a life of its own and has fought with me for the longest time about how it should be written. And I am thankful for that struggle, as I did manage to find several loopholes scattered around that I would have missed and mess up the whole story.

Currently, my good friend, Mark, is working on a book cover. We’ll have something to show in the next few days. Most likely, after my wedding on the 23rd.

The novella will be published later this month, which, truthfully, adds some stress into me. I dislike setting personal deadlines, because I tend to break promises. However, it’s nice to have a goal, which is the main purpose of this post.

Parts Two and Three will be completed within the next few months and I intend to publish them, including Part One, as a whole book, with a spanking new cover, also from Mark.

I’ll talk about more details soon. Time to pray and cross my fingers for the best.