Tuesday, January 14, 2020
Today's the day! I get to share my review of R.M. Archer's "Silence", one of the four stories from her new Short Story Collection Vol. 1, 2nd Edition.
As I said in my previous post, Archer is holding a blog tour to help promote it, and I have the pleasure of reviewing two of the stories. Today's is "Silence", the second story review will be on February 1st.
Now, on to the actual review.
It took me a while to find out where to begin with this review, because there is so much I want to say, without spoiling it. But, as it is a short story, that's rather difficult as I've not had much practice.
So bear with me and my vague descriptions.
If you're a writer, or even just a dedicated reader, you've probably heard a lot about the fish-hook beginnings, where the author starts you off with something so good you get hooked and keep reading.
"Silence" is a great example of that. And, because of it's length and pace, it succeeded in keeping my interest all the way through (which, I admit, isn't the easiest thing to do).
In so many ways, this story wasn't what I was expecting, but in all of those ways, it was even better. R.M. Archer has the "author" mind, through and through.
And by that, I mean that she not only understands the mastery of words, but the mindset of readers as well.
This story offers much in the areas of her general writing career, and leaves the door of potential wide open. I would absolutely love to see more of this story and its characters one day.
While lovers of intense description and rabbit trail-esque plot lines may not enjoy short stories in general, because of the different scale it offers compared to a novel's, I highly recommend they give this one a shot. I did, and I'm glad.
There seems like there is so much more to this then meets the eye, like my eyes were just seeing the surface words of the story and a vast sea was hidden beneath them.
But even that surface was good itself.
In short, "Silence" was a great story, one that I do recommend, and will be reading again soon.
Please, go and pre-order this volume! Show some support to a young author.
Find "Silence", "Carnival of Hearts", "Escape Room", and "Caithan" here: **Link**
Follow the blog tour here: **Link**
To learn more about her and her stories, as well as get wonderful writing advice, find and follow Ms. Archer herself here: **Link**
Make sure you go read the two author interviews done for this tour (you'll find the links on the blog tour post I linked to), they're wonderful!
Come back February 1st for a review of "Escape Room"!
~ Edna Pellen
Saturday, January 11, 2020
Yeah yeah, I was gone for a long time again because <insert the same reasons as before>.
I missed NaNo, Christmas, and New Year's. My device has been finicky again, and so I haven't really been able to keep up with Bleeding Ink.
And, I am still not "back".
I am here because of this:
R.M. Archer is releasing more short stories!
When I was told, I didn't want to miss out on helping with a blog tour.
So I asked, and a family member has graciously let me borrow their computer.
Which means, I get to participate!
(And then I'll probably vanish again, but we'll have to wait and see.)
So keep a weather eye on the horizon for story reviews, coming the 14th and February 1st!
Stick with me, I'm working towards a better schedule and more material.
Until we meet again, I remain, most humbly yours,
- Edna Pellen
Thursday, October 31, 2019
On a day generally known for being frightful and fun, I have found this Halloween to be very slow and beautiful.
Snow is dancing outside my window with the leaves. What dance they are doing I cannot say, though it appears to be some kind of ballet, judging from the way they twirl around each other and leap across the wind.
It's beautiful for sure, and the gray hue is like a stage curtain for the beautiful little ballerinas to complete their dance.
The snow isn't sticking. Not covering the fall leaves' bed with a white blanket, just stopping by for a kiss goodnight to October as it waves farewell and November swiftly approaches.
And you do know what that means, don't you?
That's right, my friends. NaNoWriMo.
While generally a planster at heart, today I truly am riding by the seat of my pants and pushing through piles of excuses (which would namely be not having time).
I am looking forward to seeing how far I will get, breaking away so dramatically from my usual NaNo habits.
I'll keep you informed of this as I go, and check in around once a week to inform you how it's going and what my word count is and so on.
I'll also try to better inform you of why I've broken away from my own tradition. But for now, I am very very tired and will have no brain at all if I don't get some sleep.
I wish you the best,
Saturday, October 26, 2019
... I have nothing to say.
I have twenty-something stories to choose from for NaNo, all of them are at similar stages of development, all of them have my interest equally, and all of them require something I don't have.
So I'm throwing all of those stories into a safe little treasure chest where I won't forget them, and I'm biting the bullet and writing Roslyn this November.
I am also co~writing a different with my sister, Liana. I'm hoping to get 50k on both stories, but if not I'll just count the words together.
So yeah, there's no banner for this post, there's no real content for me to give you, and there's no excuse as to why I'm posting so late (except for being sick, working, and not getting a lot of sleep but pfffff, those aren't good excuses).
This is all I've got to say:
I am writing Roslyn for NaNo, which I am currently having problems with. I am hoping to just skip over those problems, and write past them.
Before November 1st I have to catch up to a certain point in my story, or else I won't be able to begin right away.
On November 1st, in the afternoon, I will not be able to write because I have family business.
The desk I'm building is not done yet, though the base is. I will be writing by either using the base and halting my work on the desk, writing mostly by hand, or writing on the floor and using a milk box as a desk (as I am currently doing).
I have to balance NaNo with work and school.
And other then that, there's just one last thing; my posting schedule is going to be totally irregular and wonky.
This NaNo is going to be a hard one, for sure. But I'm here for it, and I have every intention of getting 50k words. I'm not going to let something as pesky as reality get in my way of achieving my goals!
I hope you'll be joining me on this journey, and I hope you won't let life stop you from trying.
~ Edna Pellen
Friday, October 11, 2019
Hello hello hello!
Here's the post about actually writing-related NaNo prep that I mentioned.
If you didn't already, please go read the post from September 30th so you'll be up-to-date on my Preptober schedule and whatnot.
And if you read it but didn't go through with anything on it... well, that's okay. Though I do really recommend doing a few of those things before you get to the things in this post. It seems to work out better that way. :)
On with the (hopefully) helpful part of the post!
#1. Schedule your writing-out days
Are you going to attend a write-in? Go out to write at a coffee shop or park? Great! Make plans for that now. Take a good look at your calendar and start making plans. Find dates when you don't have any school, work, or days when you can secure babysitters for your wee ones.
Maybe you make it a weekly thing, like every Wednesdays or Saturdays, and tell people who might try and schedule something with you. That way everyone knows you'll be doing very important writerly things that day.
Also, plan the dates and times according to when you're most productive. And that can go either way, write out when you're least productive, or makes sure you don't do it then. Whatever's right for you and will get those words flowing onto the page!
#2. Find when you are most productive
I'm most productive either early in the morning (5-9 am) or late at night (6 pm-12 am). I'm probably most un-productive midday, so that's the time I use for a break (if I need one) or just time for doing non-writing related things.
#3. Decide on your story
I um. *Coughs* I haven't entirely figured this one out yet. You see, I thought I was going to work on the second draft of Roslyn, but then I remembered I have another story I haven't really given any attention yet. And then, to make matters worse, I randomly came up with two more stories that I really like on the 30th. So. Yeah.
Don't be like me; go figure out what story you're going to write. Maybe you're writing two at once, but whatever the case, figure it out now or forever hold your anxiety.
Now, I know pantsing is really fun and free. But please, indulge me.
I myself am a planster, so I'm both. And this method is sort of the in-between outlining option that I think I made up, but I'm very likely wrong.
When you have an idea, write it down as simply as possible on a flash card. Title it in ink or marker, then write the description in pencil so you can change it if need be. Every idea you get, write it down like this.
You can pin these cards to a bulletin board, or sprawl them out on the floor or even just keep them in a stack. But the reason I really love this method, is that you can physically rearrange your outline to fit with the plot and your preferences. And it can keep growing, so you don't have to worry about the outline not making sense just because you wanted to add something. All you have to do is rearrange a bit, and maybe add a few more cards!
I personally don't suggest numbering them, because you never know when you'll want to change the order. If you're worried about losing a order you really liked, just take a picture of all your cards. :)
#5. Gather facts now
If you've already done your outlining, use the events in it to start thinking about what things you will need to know to write your story. Make a list, then start researching and taking notes. It's not fool proof, you'll probably still end up with somethings to fact check when it comes to actually writing, but it should help to some degree.
And if you aren't sure what to research, just take a look at your story's general theme. For instance, if your story is a murder mystery (as one of mine happen to be), you'll probably want to know things such as...
- How much blood can the human body lose
- How to pick a lock
- What wound channel can you expect from a 45 asp cartridge?
- What is the average length for a knife
- How to look innocent
- How to read body language
- How long can a human hold their breath under water
So just use your instincts and story's theme as a guide.
#6. Find music
Finding music that matches the story your writing is not only rewarding, but super fun. I've got a handful of playlists that are full of songs matching my story. Roslyn only has a few at the moment, but I plan on fixing that.
For inspiration, I'll use both songs with lyrics (that match my story's themes and characters) and instrumentals.
For listening while writing, I only use instrumentals and ambiances.
I also don't mind saving songs that have a singer that sounds like a character just for the sake of the voice, though those don't usually go in the playlist with the others. If they do, the go the top so I don't have to listen to them if I'm binge-listening for ideas and inspiration.
#7. Consider getting a accountability partner
Friends that have no problem yelling at you or ignoring you until you start writing are great. Find them, keep them, and be one of them.
Maybe go the extra mile and get a accountability partner, if you have a really hard time with the commitment.
#8. Keep 3 of your favorite books on hand
This is for when the block hits. And it will hit.
Reading a book you already know and really like keeps you sort of productive, and refills your creative tank while not sucking you in to the story too much. You might get too involved in a new book, so old books are best.
#9. Have a back up story
This is really helpful when your original story just isn't working.
Having a back up insures you'll always have something to write. As a NaNo Rebel, I have no problem counting both of the stories word counts together, but if you find that to be too far in the cheating game, you can completely switch stories.
#10. Consider disconnecting from the internet
Literally, physically disconnecting. Unplug your router, stick with no-wifi writing spots, or maybe write by hand. This way, your distractions are limited.
I honestly wouldn't blame you for skipping this, seeing as you might want to update your word count on the NaNoWriMo site, talk to other writers, or keep in touch with family and friends.
But if you can still do this for maybe two days out of each week, or at the very least stay away from social media, it could be a huge boost to your word count.
And we're done!
Many apologies for another late post. I went on a three-day trip and forgot to post this before leaving. And then I got sick again. It looks like it's the flue, which is just wonderful timing with NaNo coming around. Hopefully I'll be able to continue plotting, despite my brain being mush at the current moment.
Until we meet again,
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