This is what it’s all about

I have really enjoyed all of the nice comments I have received about my entry at The Clarity of Night. Talk about giving me encouragement to do more writing! Particularly, Helen’s comments about my piece really make me feel good. Here is part of what she left in the comments:

“Thank you for making me laugh on a day where I’ve been a right old misery-guts (like your wife, I don’t want to read anything else that makes me cry…!)

That is what makes writing worthwhile. There is nothing better than bringing a smile to someone else’s face, even for a moment. There is my answer to the question “Why do I write?”. Thank you Helen. I encourage everyone to check out Helen’s blog, as I enjoy reading it every day.

Those who are sick of the talk about the contest, I will have an entry about the writing process here soon.

My Entry for the Contest at The Clarity of Night

Though it was a struggle, I managed to finish my entry for the “Lonely Moon” contest at The Clarity of Night. I named my entry “Hungry like the Wolf”. I struggled with what to write about for the contest and this idea came to me in a dream which was interrupted by my crying baby. I had written another entry, but it made my wife cry, so I thought I would go with a more humorous entry. If you want, you can leave comments about my entry here, or at the contest site. I feel really good that I was able to finally do some writing. Here is my entry:

Hungry like the Wolf

“I’m so lame,” Scott thought to himself as he stood staring at the sky, noticing the moon as it peeked through the clouds. It had been months since Scott started attending the werewolf “mixers”, and in that time he had yet to even talk to a member of the opposite sex. Suppressing the urge to howl, so cliché, he continued down the lonely path in the woods to the old wooden cabin.

Waiting for him outside the party was his best friend Ron. Ron had been a werewolf much longer than Scott and always seemed to know what to say. Ron’s advice to Scott regarding women was to “be confident”, but Scott could not for the life of him see what he was to be confident about.

“Excellent! Two chicks for every guy,” said Ron as the two friends entered the cabin, which smelled a combination of hair, smoke and alcohol. Basically, if a drunken dog caught on fire and wound up at the party, no one would have batted an eye.

Scanning the room, Scott caught the eye of a particularly curvy brunette. “Go get ‘er,” said Ron, nudging Scott not-so-subtly in the back.

For what seemed like the longest walk of his life, Scott approached the brunette hoping desperately his walk wasn’t as awkward as it seemed.

“Hello,” offered the young lady in a voice that surpassed her looks and suggested to Scott more than chit-chat.

“Nice beard,” mumbled Scott, realizing it would again be a lonely night.

Y: The Last Man – Free

Over on the DC comics web site they have several Vertigo first issue comics for free. This includes Neil Gaiman’s Sandman and the excellent Y: The Last Man. I am definitely downloading Y: The Last Man as I have never read issue one. I recommend this one to non-comics readers and it is very well written, though it has some adult content. The comic deals with what happens when all of the world’s men, save one, are killed by a mysterious plague.

I think it is smart for the comic book companies to continue to release first issues of their more popular titles because it takes away the risk factor for the reader. It is always a pain in the butt to spend money on something only to find Idon’t care for it. If it is free, though, and I dig it I may go ahead and buy a few issues.

Writing Contest at The Clarity of Night

Jason, over at The Clarity of Night is having another writing contest. The contest rules are the same as his other contests. He provides a photograph for inspiration and submissions are 250 words maximum in any genre. Jason posts each submission on his blog once he receives it, allowing other writers to comment on each submission. The due date is 11:00 p.m., Tuesday, August 29th (Eastern Time, United States). I am definitely going to enter this contest as I think even I can squeeze out 250 words. Here are a list of the prizes:

  • 1st Place: Autographed copy of Pale Immortal, $35 Amazon gift certificate, 8 x 10 print of the “Lonely Moon” photograph (signed by Jason Evans)
  • 2nd Place: Autographed copy of Pale Immortal, $25 Amazon gift certificate
  • 3rd Place: Autographed copy of Pale Immortal, $15 Amazon gift certificate
  • 4th Place: $10 Amazon gift certificate
  • 5th Place: $5 Amazon gift certificate
  • Readers Choice Award (chosen by you/rules to be announced): Autographed copy of Pale Immortal, 8 x 10 print of the “Lonely Moon” photograph (signed by Jason Evans)

Add a little line in the comments of this post if you are going to enter the contest and I will check out your submissions.

I’m back

I finally seem to be over my illness, which means I can lift my head off the pillow without feeling as though my lunch is fancying a meeting with my shoes. I came across a link at Practicing Writing to a site that contains a list of the 100 Best First Lines from Novels.

As with most of these types of lists, what makes a “best first line” is subjective.  When I write, I tend to spend a lot of time trying to come up with something that will capture the reader’s imagination and get them to continue reading.  Some on the list, like “Call me Ishmael.” which was #1 on the list don’t really make me want to continue reading.  Other’s, like “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.” from Pride and Prejeduce really capture my interest.  Once you get further on in the list, past the usual ” It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…” there are some pretty interesting first lines.

I think it would be an interesting project to see what types of diverse stories writers could come up with having these lines as inspiration.

Sick

Sorry for the lack of posts here.  I have a lovely case of strept-throat, probably due to my immune system’s weakness from not getting enough sleep.  Having a newborn in the house will do it.  Luckily, my daughter doesn’t seem to have strept-throat.  I have been trying to keep my distance from her, so I don’t get her sick.  That is tough 😦 .

Reading at a Young Age

My wife and I have been reading to our daughter since she was born. Back then, we would read to her and she would just lay in our arms, looking at us, her little eyes just getting used to seeing the world. However, if there happened to be a light nearby she would forget all about us and stare at the light, as though it contained the secrets of the world. It seemed as though our reading was for naught, but we continued reading to her, figuring at least she was hearing language.

Well, she is now three months old and all of that reading is already paying off. This morning I was watching her and we had a few minutes of down time, which means she wasn’t eating, pooping, or spitting up. I figured I would read he a little “Good Night Little Bear“. As soon as she saw the book she got very excited, moving her little arms and legs around as soon as she saw the book. Each time I turned the page, she seemed to really enjoy the new pictures.

My hope is to continue to read to her as she gets older, building a love for reading that I have myself. Maybe some day she will be able to read a story that I have written.

Death of Garfield – Bizarre Series of Comic Strips

Ever since I was a kid, one of my favorite parts of the newspaper has been the Comics. Being a child of the 80’s, one of my favorite comics was Garfield (along with Calvin and Hobbes and Peanuts). Since then, either the quality of Garfield has gone downhill, or my tastes have changed. My hope is the former is true. Currently, Garfield isn’t drawn by its creator Jim Davis. Rather, there is a team of artists that churn out the new comics.

To my surprise, Boing Boing had an interesting story today regarding “The Death of Garfield“. It turns out that there was a series of Garfield comics in 1989 that were delightfully grim. Anyone who is familiar with Garfield would be surprised at how dark the comics were, though I think that is what makes them so interesting. Supposedly, there were several theories going around regarding whether of not Garfield had died. The Boing Boing piece clears up the matter.

Below I have linked to the comic strips in question. Don’t read them in the dark (just kidding). Despite what I said above, yes I still read Garfield every day.

Click here for some of my fiction writing

Edit: This is by far my most read post. Please leave a comment if you are new here. I am curious how you found this site and also if you are just interested in Garfield, or just this particular set of comics.

Daycare Update

Sorry I haven’t posted in a while. My wife, the baby, and I all got sick last week. We are better now. The daycare situation has improved lately as we are all starting to get into a routine. The little one doesn’t seem to mind daycare, though she didn’t “coo” as much the first week when she got home. Things are much better now, though, as she gave a ten minute “coo-ing” speech the other day. She seems to be trying out “b” sounds and using her tongue to make different noises. Very cute.

I have not done much writing lately, though I have been thinking about my story in progress a lot, jotting down any notes that come to mind. There is also going to be another short story opportunity with my local newspaper that I may try to enter, as I have had some success with that.

Today is Tuesday, which means Chapter 3 of The Neddiad, by Daniel Pinkwater.