Enjoy the trip — “Outside Heavenly” by Rio Youers / Disfruta el viaje – “Outside Heavenly” de Rio Youers

Welcome, Readers, to another review full of spoilers. It can’t be helped. Sometimes I have to discuss details beneath the skin. If you accept these terms, please continue.

First things first: “Outside Heavenly” by Rio Youers has a really good opening.

The pillar of black smoke could be seen from Heavenly. The townsfolk looked from their windows and gathered on sidewalks. They knew it was the Roth place burning, and they prayed for the girls but not the man.

With this beginning, Youers does two things well that are critical to the success of any story. First, he puts us right into the scene and tells us who we need to be concerned about, and second, he creates familiar circumstances as a starting point. We see ourselves in the role of townsfolk almost and accept the logic of the following action. Continue reading

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NaNoWriMo is coming!

nanowrimoI’m going to do it. National Novel Writing Month–this crazy annual event where evidently thousands of people commit to writing 50,000 word novel during the month of November. I’ve never done it before. I’m afraid. But I’m also not getting any younger, or smarter.

50,000 words. That’s 1,666 words per day, which is roughly double the daily word count I have been making in the last month. And if that wasn’t enough to scare me off, I just read that seven years passed by before one of my favorite novels The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, which was a NaNoWriMo project, was actually published. So, even if my WIP is decent, I could die before its printed! I better get cracking.

There’s a couple of weeks to prepare, which is a good thing, because I need to get a short story out of my head, on the paper and off the desk, then refine my shifty WIP outline before November 1st.

Have any of you participated in NaNoWriMo? What happened?

Media matters: books, reading and the value proposition / El medio importa: libros, lectura y la propuesta de valor

I am plugging along on my WIP and writing the second draft at an appallingly slow pace. On bad days, the only way I can keep my hand to paper or keyboard is to imagine the book at the end. Of course, my number one goal, is to tell a good story, but my number two goal, which is really, really close to the first goal, is to see the story, smell it, and hold it in my hands in the form of a book.

So when I read “Future Reading” by Craig Mod at Aeon, I appreciated his reasoned admiration for the digital book and his Kindle, but what I liked even more was his exploration of why he has returned to reading more print books in recent years. There are some fairly obvious technological reasons for the source of his disillusionment, but there’s more to it that he doesn’t really pin down in the article. Continue reading