Tag Archives: Books

The Brick Wall of Doom – Need a break from writing?

21 Feb

Hit a brick wall on that short story or novel you are working on?  Try this:

Take a break and read a book instead of focusing so much on writing.  It is like brain candy and you can go back to the grind once you are riding the sugar-high.

  • BookBub is a free newsletter that sends free/discounted ebook deals to your email.  I’m pretty addicted to be honest.

Try some of these Daily Writing prompts by Justin McLachlan.  They come once a day to your email and stick mostly to scifi and fantasy.  A couple recent favorites:

  • Slowly, a man comes to the realization that his world and everything he knows is just…
  • On a long flight home, you sit next to a woman who says she can tell you your future but…

If all else fails, give up and make your cat write it for you.

DreampunkGeek (Anna Van Skike) Barrons the cat

DreampunkGeek (Anna Van Skike) Barrons the cat hard at work

The books that stay with us forever

4 Oct

Carlos Ruiz Zafón .

Some stories stay with us for our whole lives.  They become ingrained into who we are, teach us lessons, change our view of the world, and find their way into our dreams.

For me this was “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe” by C.S. Lewis.

I would rush home from school, barricade myself in my room, and read for hours.  To my dismay we did not own a wardrobe in which I could check for secret worlds.  I did check all closets, cupboards, and doors.  Searched for secret passages in our New Jersey apartment, assured that there would be some magic to be found if I only looked hard enough.

It is still one of my favorite books.  Probably because it left such an impression on me.  Made me feel that right could triumph over evil if you stayed true to yourself.  Like the sun would always rise, even if it was “always winter and never Christmas.”

What was your first book that found its way into your heart?

Steampunk World’s Fair Recap (Part5)

30 May

The final instillation in my Steampunk World’s Fair Recap series.

Writers and Artists.

Lilith Lore – This lady is not only a great writer, she is also a great entertainer.  Specializing in twisted fairy tales, these have a dark and unexpected quality to them that makes them red apple fresh while making you just a little disturbed.  What sets her apart is that she recites these short stories from memory.  Her performance is dynamic and feels almost like a play.  Although she doesn’t act out the scenes, she paints them so vividly in your imagination that the memory lingers as if you had seen it acted out in front of you.

K.W. Jeter & Paul Di Filippo – These two authors spoke at a panel about writing, getting published, and the future of the writing industry.  What I came out of this with was – with the shift of the industry towards self-publishing, traditional publishers still have their place, but readers will have more control over what becomes popular.  By leaving favorable reviews on sites like goodreads, it dramatically effects if other people will read your book.  Make your work available.  The biggest worry isn’t that someone will steal your work, it is getting people to know that you exist. 

Beyond What Is Seen – I loved this lady’s fun line art and bought 6 postcard sized prints from her which I intend to frame.  Her table wasn’t big, but she had these available inexpensively, at a good quality, and seemed to me like a kindred spirit.

It was around this time that the cogs inside my head began to thunk and slowly grind to life.  I could do just exactly what she is doing.  Make prints, setup a booth, sell my art, be an artist.  Then I walked away and immediately got distracted by something shiny.

CJ Henderson – Author extraordinaire, great salesman, and fun guy to talk to.  He has written a ton of books, makes it look easy, until you talk to him and he yanks your head out of the clouds and brings you right down to earth in 3.5 seconds flat.  Not going to lie- I didn’t really like that when I first met him at SPWF 2012.  I was stuck in the clouds happy-fluff land of unicorns and non-reality.  This year, he made a statement that really had a huge impact.  Below I paraphrase:

“If you want to be a writer than you need to write.  Its hard work.  It’s a job.  It is not the easy route and never will be.  If you want to be a writer, and you are not writing… what the F*ck are you waiting for?!  Pardon my French there.  But really, you can’t be a writer if you aren’t writing.  I don’t need the competition, if you don’t want to put in the hard work that suits me just fine, but otherwise get out there and get your ass in gear!”

…blank stare.  Epiphany moment.  What the F*ck am I waiting for???? 

Felix Eddy – Shortly after my encounter with CJ Henderson, I found Felix’s booth filled with stunning artwork and prints.  It was neatly organized, professionally setup, and her art was complex and engaging.  I couldn’t resist purchasing an owl print (one of my fav animals) in warm golds and oranges (my fav colors.)

Head still swimming from my epiphany moment I sort of accosted her with questions that she was so friendly and helpful to answer.  Once again paraphrasing, this is about how the conversation went.

Q: Can you really make a living selling your art?
A: Yes, but it is harder work than any job you have ever had.

Q: Does setting up at conventions really drive that much business or do you sell more things online?
A: Its all about getting your work out there and seen.  Most things I sell online are customers that saw me at a convention.  Even showing at coffee shops is a great way to get yourself out there.  You never know who is going to see it.

Q: You have so much art that you’ve done and it is a really nice detailed quality.  Do you do this full time?
A: No, I have a day job.

Me- O_o ….. Really?!  That’s amazing.  You get so much done.
Felix- I usually try to do about one a week.
Me- O_O

Soooooo…. The artists and authors were my biggest highlight of the entire trip.  Friendly, full of information, willing to share and help, these people were amazing.

Sometimes I think we just need to hear the right thing at the right time or perhaps by the right person.  CJ Henderson, your statement is the loudest ringing of the entire event.  Thanks for bringing me back down to reality.  I can’t be an artist/writer if I’m not producing anything.

To anyone out there, who wants to be an artist or writer (including myself) –


The Great Debate: Books vs. E-Readers

27 Mar

The Battle of Books vs. e-Readers.  Round one… FIGHT!

Personally, I will always love the look and feel of paper books.

I only like the e-reader better for two things:
1) Books that are out of print/copyright or only available in hardcover.
2) If I finished a book in the middle of a great series and can’t stand to wait until the next day when I can get to the bookstore to purchase the next installment.  (Guilty of this while I read Karen Marie Moning’s Fever series.  If you like Urban Fantasy and haven’t read it, you should.  Right now.  No excuses.  You have an e-reader, I know it.)

The Art of Reading

23 Jan

Found several beautiful illustrations of books and reading.  These three were my favorites.

The Library: by =asuka111 on Deviantart.   It is magic.  Shows the wonder and whimsy of reading.  As if the world is available at your fingertips just by opening a book.

The Library: by =asuka111

The Library: by =asuka111

Sneaking Around: by `thundercake on Deviantart.  The best places to read books are curled up someplace snug and warm.  The golden light is friendly and even the mousy companion in the corner seems pretty comfortable in this nice little reading hideaway.

Sneaking Around: by `thundercake

Sneaking Around: by `thundercake

bear in reading: by ~ironland on Deviantart.  This is how it should feel when you are reading a good book.  Safe, cozy, and happy.

bear in reading: by ~ironland

bear in reading: by ~ironland

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