A million words stand between idle writer and epic wordsmith. 

Whatever aspirations, whatever passions, whatever visionary ideas you have… you owe it to yourself to strike while the iron is hot. To surpass who you are right now, forge the "you" that you dream of being; the one who can do anything. 

This is where I hone my craft through short stories, put ideas on the anvil in writing-related blogs, and hammer out book reviews. I like to keep several irons in the fire, but rest assured I temper it all with a healthy dose of shenanigans!

Writing "Good" 101

Writing "Good" 101
I found this while lurking on Pinterest the other day and had to re-post it. All of the advice is conveyed through ironic demonstration. Which makes it funny. Which makes me like it. Which is why I'm sharing. So look, and laugh. Or else.

A Glimmer of Hope!

A Glimmer of Hope!
Okay… so I’ve disappeared again. (Obviously I’m back now.)

Yes, yes, I know. Bad me.

It’s true, I really shouldn’t do that. However, when I do it typically means I’m working on something big. My last submission to the Writers of the Future contest was a bit last minute. I took something I’d already written, and touched it up with the intent of entering something, anything, to the contest. It did better than I’d ever hoped.

That meant it was time to take a legit crack at the contest again. And really, it had just been too damn long since I had the gusto to put my work out there.

Well, this time I decided to go in with a game plan. I’ve read several of the anthologies published by Galaxy Press. Anthologies which contain the stories that were previous winners. Aka my best window into what the judges are looking for.

While I can honestly say I was never able to narrow it down all the way. I started to discover several things in common. Strong themes. Solid writing. High concept ideas. Stuff I already knew. But they were all stories that did more than just entertain. In fact, some of the stories seemed to be more about preaching than entertaining. That’s not a complaint. What this tells me is that the Judges are interested in pieces that have something powerful to say.

Or better yet, a powerful way of saying it.

Thus began my journey into the most painful and sleep-deprived 30 days of writing in my entire life. NaNoWriMo eat your heart out.

I set to work crafting a piece that had a simple message, but said it in a way it had never been said. (At least as far as I know.) I struggled against myself. With every word I wrote, I blazed a trail into unknown territory. And by the time I was halfway, I was completely certain that I had no chance of finishing it on time.

Due to the endless encouragement of my wife and a couple of close friends, I struggled toward a glimmer of hope. That glimmer grew into blinding flash as bit by bit my story came together. And with each new bit I became more confident that this piece would be something special.

I don’t know if it’s special or not, but I’ve certainly never read anything quite like it. Hell, I don’t even know if I’ve pulled off what set out to do.

But here I am. One day left. The manuscript is finished. I’ve gotten a few scraps of a feedback, and hopefully I’ve managed to wrangle the story into something unforgettable. And although I’m more uncertain now than ever, part of me feels I have a legitimate chance at placing in the contest.

Maybe even… (shhhhhh, it must be whispered) winning.

I suppose we’ll find out soon enough.

Wish me luck!

Meeting Joe Abercrombie and George R. R. Martin

Meeting Joe Abercrombie and George R. R. Martin
When you read the title many of you will undoubtedly wonder why I put Joe Abercrombie’s name first. Well, I can assure you it has nothing to do with the fact that Abercrombie comes before Martin in the alphabet. For all of you who don’t know, Joe is, and has been, the single biggest inspiration to me as a writer.

His gritty writing style, his gray characters, his dark humor… I love it all. He’s the reason I realized I could do this whole “writing” thing. Because not every writer should be the same. They should each forge works in their own direction, and write according to what they enjoy most in life. Especially if that be bloody, profane, and morally ambiguous. Good writing should cause you to question things. And dammit Joe, that’s exactly what you’ve done.