While I was researching secret societies for Fey Tales, I came across a story so awesome that only the old adage “You couldn’t write this shit” describes it. There I was, reading a Wikipedia article for the Priory of Sion: this group probably sounds familiar to most people as it influences the basis for the plot of the Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown and also seems to be where Holy Blood, Holy Grail authors Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh and Henry Lincoln got the bulk of their source material (which Brown later borrowed from).
Here’s where the awesomeness comes in:
To many people the above books strike them as a contrived history that doesn’t ring true and to others, they sound like a conspiracist’s wet dream.
Well, I neglected this blog for a year. Yes I’ve been busy writing a new novel, but that wasn’t the main reason behind my online absence: I mostly blame the spam. I never knew there’d be so much. I think I’ve solved the problem by removing the old comment plugin and adding one for facebook ones instead.
Also, I couldn’t commit to blogging due to not being home as much and using that time at home for writing fiction or for leisure. Blogging on the go was impossible because my netbook was one of the early Asus ones with Linux and consequently, was perfect for writing prose in short stories and novels or poetry because it was so limited, but good for little else. In addition, my old Nokia N84 was barely a smart phone: now I have a Samsung Galaxy Note; I’m using it to write this very blog outdoors, and it’s a pretty good experience.
While I’ve been spending time querying agents and publishers for my novel ‘Fey Girl’, I decided that I’d like to reach out to my audience preemptively. I’m not sure who this audience is, but I figure every collection of creative works has one.
In any case, I’ve put out a free ebook here. It’s a collection of short stories that I’ve written over the years and I’ve converted it into several different file formats for devices and ereaders.
Why is it free? Well, I could send these out to all kinds of magazines until someone agrees to publish them, but after all that work, it’s not like it would pay much so I might as well give them away for free.
Here’s a brief synopses of each story:
I’ll probably write on or at least mention this topic often, because when I first discovered what was happening, it was a total “Aha!” moment. The moment occurred shortly after I wrote my first novel in 2005.
This novel still sits as a manuscript because it’s 500 pages long in Microsoft Word and I haven’t gotten around to editing it despite the mammoth effort by my friend Corinne to proof-read it for me. She’s been totally helpful over the years and was there to help me again for my second novel and I did actually edit it. I really couldn’t have got it into paperback form without her help. Everyone needs friends like this.
In regards to that first novel, I was unemployed at the time and decided to remain so at least until I finally forced myself to get down to it and actually write at least one novel. I didn’t know if I had it in me, because I was convinced I was better suited to short stories. But luckily I set a goal and had the help of a nagging mother. The goal was to treat it like a job. I started writing at 9 am each morning, took two 15 minute breaks, a 30 min lunch and ended each day at 5 pm: 5 days a week from the beginning of May until mid-June until I was finished.
There’s a great amount of talk in the writing community in regards to prose (especially in fiction) and this talk usually begins with the idea of ‘showing vs telling’. The trouble is, as far as I can tell, it seems to be a general idea with few specifics offered as to how to achieve this. When I was younger I read quite a few books on the subject and in the last decade there’ve been a plethora more (some now in podcast form).
But, what I have yet to encounter is a guide that actually explains the strategy necessary to achieve this. It’s almost as if a writer is on a quest to find the answer for themselves. It’s a trial and they’re expected to ‘feel it out’. I’d like to think I’m in the know on this idea, as when I go back and read what I’ve written in the last decade, for the most part I’ve avoided many of the mistakes I’ve seen in other writing and I’ve managed to eradicate the mistakes I myself used to make. That’s certainly not to say that my writing is perfect, but there’s no such thing as perfect when discussing human creativity, just bad, good enough or great etc. I’d like to imagine I’ve avoided bad, terrible, atrocious etc.