Tag Archives: novels
I live in a part of the country where we normally get snow each year, but the amount rarely exceeds 6 inches at a time. This week we have experienced one of those unusual occurrences. Some parts of the state (Virginia) received as much as twenty inches.
I’m not much for playing in the snow, but have several grandchildren that it is right up their alley. One in particular, when he sees snow, he runs through the house screaming, “It’s snowballing! It’s snowballing!”
I remember being his age and waking to an overnight snowfall. The first revelation was a day out of school. Then, there were snowball fights, sleigh rides, snow men and anything else you could think of to do in the frozen slush.
Nowadays, I set back in my mahogany covered library, surrounded by books and write novel after novel, occasionally gazing through a picture window at the beautiful snowfall outside. . . . if the truth be known I sit in my bedroom with my computer, monitor and a flat screen mounted on the wall. There are also 4 three-way Kenwood speakers mounted on the wall so I can lose myself in some loud rock n roll – preferably the power trio, RUSH. Believe me when I say, I can rattle the walls on our sizable abode. Keeps me on my toes when I’m not making snow angels.
The topic of my blog post this week is something I swore I would never do, if for no other reason than I loathe the subject matter. My favorite genres when I write are science fiction, fantasy, and action adventure. When it comes to fantasy I avoid kings, queens, knights, castles, dragons, damsels in distress and unicorns with extreme prejudice!
Well, it looks like the old saying rings true once again, never say never. And I mean never ever say never because you can bet it will return to chomp unmercifully upon your major gluteus muscles, as just happened to me. I made the mistake of asking a female (my newly acquired daughter) her opinion on the theme of my next blog. “Unicorns,” she said. So here is my offering, even though it manifested into a negative presentation. I’m forming a fact-finding blue ribbon commission to study the feasibility of changing the unicorn name to “Unihorn.” Of course, we could always replace the horn with an ear of corn and keep the name as is. Think about it and just imagine – we’d finally have something (though a bit ridiculous) that actually makes sense.
If you’re wondering about “my newly acquired daughter”, that’s fodder for another blog, but the story is quite a sweet one.
Until next week, Happy Trails!
If I Had my Druthers, Would I Want to be Considered Among the Great Writers? … Probably Not, Most of Them are Dead
Have you ever paid much attention to the writing styles of other authors, both classic and modern? I’ll have to say; I’ve given it a thought a time or two.
The time or two I’m speaking of would come about after reading an author such as Stephen King and then directly to Earnest Hemingway.
Hemingway, an author I carry a great deal of respect for, can take a single act and describe the action in two sentences.
Stephen King, being one of my favorites, can take the same bit of action and describe it using two pages.
H.G. Wells, another great author, would sum up the segment in two chapters.
How can there be such a vast difference in style, between three authors with such immense talent, writing an identical scene?
Well, each author would view their work with a different perspective. It seems (and this is the literary world according to me) Hemingway concerned himself with telling a story without all the unnecessary fluff. He was a “get to the point” type of writer. Perhaps, this came about from his journalistic career earlier in life.
Stephen King was interested in conveying more than just the facts. He felt it necessary to accessorize the basics with a certain amount of pizzazz (once again the world according to Lynn).
H.G. Wells chose to pen his manuscript (War of the Worlds) in an extremely descriptive style (for the last time just my Op Ed in the literary newspaper, “The Lynn Tribune.”)
If I were to use an analogy to describe my writing style, I would title it after the Who’s song, “Pinball Wizard,” cause it bounces all over the place.
I hope I’ve stepped on no one’s toes for I hold each of these writers in the highest of esteem, but I’ll have to admit it was fun playing literary critic. Even if my performance was substandard, my nose was in no way aimed toward the ceiling. In fact, I had to clean a few dust bunnies off the hair on my upper lip from staying too close to the floor.
Have a great week, see ya next Monday!
Have you ever read a book, a bedtime story or the directions to put a bicycle together on Christmas Eve? Once again, the answer is most likely yes, although it is remotely possible that one of these may have required the use of a bail bondsman. As far as I know, most states frown upon repeatedly chucking a bicycle into on-coming traffic until there are more parts spread over the road than what you originally dumped from the box–and throwing up all over a police officer does not a good defense make.
The point I’m trying to make by using these analogies is that frequently it takes many small pieces to amass one large object which in turn is much more beneficial than the sum of its parts.
There is one possible exception, and that being the removal of vomit from a police officer’s buttons, badge and other intricate details of the soiled uniform. …Enough said about puke, less we digress.
Back to my point before we found ourselves sliding down Ralph’s road…oops, I said I wouldn’t go there again; please pardon.
When you’re writing a story, you’re bringing many bits of information, and let’s not forget characters, together to form a conclusion or bring about a startling revelation at the end of the book.
When you’re reading a story, even though you did not actually pen the words, you’re still pulling the points together to present an ending.
Now people, listen closely…I really need you to understand for if you don’t, who’s going to explain it to me?
I’m at the grocery store picking up ingredients to make a basil pesto. Having plenty of basil in my garden at home, I continue to shop for the remaining necessities (lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, and pine nuts…I also like a touch of anchovy and a little Parmesan cheese).
As I carefully peruse my list, I notice much to my delight that all the ingredients required are already tucked safely away in my cupboards, pantry, and refrigerator at home. I toss the crumpled the list over my shoulder and skip home ready to concoct a culinary delight never before passing through the lips and across the taste buds of any human being.
I remove my food processor from the hardly ever used section of my kitchen cabinets, locate my shears, and walk out to the garden. Obviously, every herbivore on the planet has taken a nibble out of my basil leaving nothing but dead stems. Whatever shall I do? The plant beside the basil is full of pretty green leaves and loaded with a small round orange vegetable. This should do nicely. I uproot the entire plant and move back inside.
I snip off the roots and feed everything that remains into my food processor. As it grinds away, I retrieve the rest of the necessary ingredients. After a methodical search, it appears as though I may have been mistaken concerning a few items I claimed to already have in my possession. No bother, I’ll make substitutions just as I did for the basil. Instead of lemon juice, olive oil, garlic and pine nuts, I add to the light brown mixture still swirling in the processor, orange juice, shortening, horseradish and jelly beans, all perfectly acceptable substitutions.
Then in a stroke of genius, I replace the hint of anchovy and the smidge of Parmesan with a can of sardines (in olive oil, mind you) and a new product I found in the refrigerator, head cheese. I continue the blending process adding the additional ingredients. A strange word keeps popping into my head. Strange yes, but even more unusual this word seems menacingly close…like hot breath on the back of my neck.
Hob.…hobby. No, no that’s not it.….Hob-o-near….Hobanarow….I know!….Habanero…… Never heard of it. I wave my hand over my nose. Something burning…I can hardly breathe. Must be the motor in the food processor. I’ll pick up another one tomorrow.
I believe my heavenly pesto is ready. I scoop up a heaping tablespoon full.
Now do you see how simple ingredients (just as words and phrases) in the end, unite in perfect harmony.
I slide the spoon into my mouth, enjoying the silken texture. I swallow. My stomach begins to gurgle. Seconds later my head explodes. Fire shoots no less than 30 feet from my mouth. My stomach gurgles again this time signifying the ensuing geyser.
I know I promised not to say it again as I run down the hall toward the bathroom, but there’s no way around it, because here it comes.
Gravy and grits baby, gravy and grits!