My Work in Progress

The big problem that I've been trying to solve in my writing is structuring my stories so that they make sense. This is a super big and nebulous topic that some people just naturally grasp and others, like me, have to slog through in order to really understand. Sure, I can write something with a beginning, a middle, and an end, with characters and believable descriptions and world-building, but when it comes to tying all that together I have a hard time coming out with something that feels like a cohesive whole. It's just what it is, a collection of characters and scenes strung together in a somewhat logical manner, but not much beyond that. 

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Book Review: Uprooted

What do I say about this story? It's a coming of age tale, a dark faerie tale, a story about magic and love and loss. It's a story about the ties that we have to our family, our birthplace. Ultimately? It's a story about unity.

Something that I really enjoy in Fantasy novels is unique magic, or magic that is used in unique ways. If you read my review of The Black Prism, you know that I really dug on the idea of light as fuel for magic. That system of magic was really well developed and spelled out to the point where you could really understand what was possible and which rules could be broken and how the world worked. But that's just one end of the spectrum. On the other end is Gandalf, where you see the power, you see the magic, but you're never quite sure what the limitations are or if there are any at all.

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Where's that Story?

A little while ago I put a short piece of a novella I wrote (and also narrated) up on my blog and said that I wanted to self-publish it. My original goal was to do that a few months ago, which obviously didn't happen. 

The problem is I'm not so sure I want to release it anymore.

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I Resolve

Changing something about yourself because the calendar changed is kind of a strange idea.

That's my main issue with resolutions. Now, if you have a New Years resolution I think that's great. You should totally lose weight or exercise or meditate. What I'm talking about here is going beyond that. Don't just resolve something, plan it and make it a goal.

What I'm talking about is shifting from New Years resolutions to New Years review. Let me explain.

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Merry Christmas

May yours be merry and bright, full of family and friends and laughter. Let us always remember the true reason for the season, and may this time of love and light carry us on into a new year full of brand new experiences and renewed hope.

Since it's Christmas, and because I enjoy writing, I thought I would write a short story for you to enjoy during your down time. It is based in the milieu of the novel that I'm currently working on, with some of the characters and ideas salted in. It's also a quick read, so you can spend less time on your devices and more time with family and friends.

Enjoy, and Merry Christmas!

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The Role of Fandom in Media

With the new Star Wars film out this weekend, I've been thinking about how fandom fits into modern media. Just in case you haven't seen the movie yet, this is a spoiler-free discussion.

I'm a big fan of the Star Wars franchise. There are more hardcore fans than me, and I certainly don't consume every single piece of Star Wars that is ever released (I haven't even seen any of the animated stuff), but I do enjoy the films and the theming and atmosphere of Star Wars. So around the release of the new films I get excited.

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Book Review: The Black Prism

This book.

I've been waiting for a book that I really felt like I could give five stars to. This one is it. If you like fantasy and clever magic in books, you should read this. I'm serious. Super big recommendation from me if that means anything to you.

I'm always looking for that next book that really hooks me in and gives me that sense of escapism that I think I look for in fiction. Since I'm a bigger reader of speculative fiction, a lot of the time it's in the fantasy genre that this happens, since it's far enough removed from the real world that it engages my imagination in new ways. Science fiction can get me there, but only if it's done really well. Done poorly and my engineer's brain starts poking holes in it and I can't really let myself fall into the narrative.

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Welcome to December

It's a pretty great month, right?

Holidays, time off work, focus on family and thankfulness, remembering the greatest gift to us, eggnog. These are all good things. And I'm in need of some good things at the moment. Don't get me wrong, I'm blessed and have a great life, but sometimes my day-to-day starts to wear me down and I just need a break. A change from the normal.

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Assassin's Apprentice

This book is a little bit cliche. And before you write it off, give it a moment. Lots of books are cliche, and I actually think that in some cases is a good thing. People come to stories with expectations, especially in genre fiction, and those expectations need to either be met by the story or subverted in a way that is tasteful and surprising and refreshing to the reader. In the case of this book, I think they were met well and subverted just a little bit.

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