Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Plath, Poe, and Prozac. The Myth. The Madness.


Today was interesting.

Today was interesting because of two people.

Nassim N. Taleb and Andrew Shaffer.

If I were more ambitious, I would have sold tickets to the event. If you missed it, too bad. It's buried in the annals of the twitterverse.

It started with this review of the book Antifragile.

As with all things internet and twitter it devolved into humorous blustering on the part of Mr. Taleb. At least, I found it humorous. He on the other hand, probably didn't.

But I digress. You missed it. I was there. I, unfortunately, didn't buy the T-Shirt. I should have. It would have been epic.

I will also say that this whole post will sound more humorous (seems to be the word of the day!) if you imagine me saying this with a snooty, fake English/French accent with a subtle Midwestern United States twang. Trust me, it sounds awesome in my head.

The real content of this post is on quotes posted by Andrew Shaffer on Mr. Taleb's suggestion that Sylvia Plath and Edgar Allen Poe would have had their creative abilities stifled with Prozac. I can only assume (insert ass joke here), that Mr. Taleb is suggesting that both of these poets would have also benefited from the administration of said medication. This is an assumption, on my part, as I haven't bothered to read all 500 pages of his work (Andrew Shaffer has). Also, according to Mr. Taleb, I have an amateur grasp of psychology.

Exhibit A
This was his response after I suggested that his aggression toward Mr. Shaffer was actually anger at the supposed slight. Now, if by "Amateur" he's indicating my lack of schooling on the subject, I will have to agree. I have a degree in Music Theory. Of course, I do have a superior IQ (I was tested), so I'm sure I can use that to adequately come to an educated understanding of psychology with a little bit of research. I mean, it's not like I haven't spent the majority of my life in therapy discussing such topics as anger and aggression or have done research on how to live with those two issues.

But I digress...again...

So, these thoughts rattled around in my head on the way home and I begin to wonder what treatment Plath and Poe would undergo (I'm rhyming and alliterating!) if they were alive today.

I did research. Google is awesome for that.

I found this article in the Journal of Royal Science of Medicine specifically about Ms. Plath. It's a fascinating read. I'll admit, I skimmed it, but I'm preparing for NaNoWriMo and its Halloween (kid's gotta get candy!). I'm a bit busy. And honestly, I doubt Mr. Taleb read it at all.

In short, this article states that Ms. Plath suffered from Bipolar II disorder as laid out by the DSM-IV. Now, here's the problem with Mr. Taleb's assertions. Bipolar Disorder is very complex and cannot be solely controlled with antidepressants, such as Prozac. In fact, if a person with Bipolar is given only antidepressants, it can cause severe mood swings. This is exactly what happened to Sylvia Plath. Her doctor gave her an antidepressant. Her brain went into overdrive and she ultimately committed suicide. And yes, I have research bipolar disorder. I also no several people undergoing treatment for it. I know how many different meds are required to maintain a stable life with bipolar disorder.

On to Poe. Pretty much the same. Do a Google search. He suffered from BiPolar as well as substance abuse.

Prozac alone won't "fix" their problem. If anything, it will make it worse.

Now onto the other half of his "argument". That being the Prozac "silencing" Plath and Poe.

This one, I'm going to have fun with. I'm normally not one to being this aggressive, but this is complete BS. Seriously. Know how I know? I'm living it. I don't have bipolar disorder, but I do have a form chronic depression called Dysthymia. I take a very small, and thankfully, inexpensive pill called Citalopram. It works. I'm not depressed to the point of being curled up in a ball. I'm not a "vegetable" as Mr. Taleb suggests would happen when I take it.

I am fully functional. I'm writing. I'm writing darker, and more intense things than I have EVER written. Why? Because I don't have the depression gumming up the system to the point I can't think. I have to feel what my characters are feeling. If I'm depressed, I can't do that. Dark writing doesn't have to come out of mental illness.

Imagination is more important than knowledge -- Albert Einstein

So, Mr. Taleb. If you have managed to get this far, I'm impressed. Somehow I doubt it. Even if you have, your ego would already dismiss me as "amateur" and "unintelligent". Frankly, I find that sad. You see, as a writer, I have to be able to handle criticism of my work. It's part of being out there in the world.

I realize this may feel like an attack against your person. I assure, it isn't. It's an attack against your logic, specifically in regards to Poe and Plath. A PhD, in whatever subject you hold one in, doesn't make you an intelligent person. It means you are a persistent person. You might be an expert in being uncertain, but I'm an expert at being a smart-ass. Just ask people on twitter.

So I leave you with the words of one James Hetfield, poet and musician.
Then it all crashes down
And you break your crown
And you point your finger
But there's no one around
Just want one thing
Just to play the king
But the castle's crumbled
And you're left with just a name

Where's your crown, King Nothing?

'Till next time.

p.s. Please, Mr. Taleb, comment. I won't be offended. I might get "aggressive" with your "sophistry", but I won't call you stupid, moronic, unintelligent, frivolous, ego-centric, or any other slew of words that can be easily found in a thesaurus (you might call it, the anti-dictionary).

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Nether Soul Blog Tour

Today, we are joined by the awesome and talented Bonnie Rae. Some of you may know her from her debut novel, Nether Bound. If you've read it, then you will be happy to know that today, yes today, is the release of the sequel, Nether Soul. Also, kudos to the cover artist. Those covers are AMAZING!!!

After much coercion (read begging, pleading, and abasing ourselves). She agreed to answer a few questions. Ava threatened to use my head as a bowling ball if I misbehaved (party pooper!), so I had to keep the questions tame and non-spoilery.

So, here you go. Bonnie Rae, in her own words.

Where did you come up with the idea for the Nether Series? What was the spark that started this ball rolling?
I was actually at a writer's conference in the middle of listening to an agent talk about self-publishing and social media. All of a sudden (and I mean literally all of a sudden) I saw these two teenagers in my head. They were at a park in the eerie wee hours of the morning on a cold night. A boy and a girl, sitting on the swings. I didn't know what they were talking about at the time, but I immediately wrote the entire scene down. I pretty much missed the rest of that workshop, but Nether Bound was born from it, so all is good!

Where is your favorite place to write?
In my office. It's my own little space. I have my story boards of the novel I am currently working on and all of my notes hanging on the walls around me. I constantly feel surrounded by inspiration.
It's obvious you've done a lot of research into the mythos of Angels and Devils. What were your primary sources?
I was raised in a strict Catholic house. Talking about the Devil or Hell was not tolerated. So, naturally as a child I was curious about those things. Being brought up and taught that something is so evil and so wrong that you couldn't even utter the name or word made me, as an adult, explore all of these things further. I looked and read many parts of the bible and various religious writings. So I would say that was my primary resource. The rest all came from different books and the internet. I'll admit, sometimes it made me uncomfortable and I think that is from my upbringing. But, I realized that even if things are evil, fearing them to the point of not talking about them only makes it worse. Looking your fear in the eyes, evil or not, and facing them head on will only make you stronger. We cannot defeat things by turning a blind eye.

Tell us about when you first decided you wanted to write. How old were you and what did you write/read that got you interested.
I was eleven. My grandparents had given me a copy of E.B. White's Charlotte's Web. Even though I hated spiders, the story opened my eyes and soul to the world of fiction. Even at that young age I realized that with books, I could go anywhere and be anyone. I had a rough childhood and to be able to have that escape from reality made me want to become a writer.

How many books are you planning in this series? Any possible spin-offs?
This series will only have three. As for spin-offs. Funny you should ask. I am definitely ending this series with the possibility of exploring one of the characters later on in their own series. =)

Anything you want to tell us about the next book? When you think it might be coming out? Maybe some non-spoilery hints?
With the next book unfortunately there is no such thing as non-spoiling hints. Sorry =(. But, I am currently working on the third an final book in the series now with a projected release date of February 2013. So you won't have to wait too long =)

Anything you want to tell the readers that hasn't already been asked?
My favorite movie is the Dark Crystal and I am obsessed with Fraggles. Not sure they wanted to know that, but hey, a little useless information is always fun, right?

Who's your favorite character in the Nether series and why?
My favorite character will always be Ava. Ava is very much a part of me. In the first book when readers are seeing how Ava witnesses and deals with the domestic abuse her mother suffers, is very much what I went through as a teenager. And with this second book you will see a darker side of Ava, a side that I related to with my own struggles growing up with depression and mental illness. (Yep, I am not ashamed to admit that - everyone has issues). In the third book (and I can't say much without giving things away) we see Ava come full circle. So each book, in a sense, also depicts a bit of my own life. There will always be other books and other characters, but Ava will always be part of my soul. She was and is the Nether series and the Nether series is my first set of books to completely make it to publication. As a writer we always want to share our stories with the world, but sometimes even though that is what we want, it is still scary. Ava helped me be strong and share a story that needed to be told. She will always have a special place in my heart and in my soul.

Thanks so much for hosting me today, Andrew! I hope you all enjoy this interview as well as Nether Soul!

Thanks, Bonnie. :D It was a joy having you here. If you readers haven't read either of these books, I would encourage you to. They are awesome and beautifully written.

'Till next time.

Monday, October 29, 2012

NaNoWriMo and #writemotivation Gear-Up 2

I attended my first NaNoWriMo meetup event on Saturday. Almost didn't make it because of the zombie infestation in my sinuses, but thanks to the intervention of my personal physician (i.e. my family doctor), I now have meds. I don't remember much of Friday. I do remember coming home and then crashing for 3 hours. Apparently, I put my small box of OJ, from my lunch, in the freezer. I don't remember doing that, but I did.

Anyway, we were talking about NaNo.

Yes, the National Novel Writing Month. Starts Thursday, November 1st, 2012. Are you ready?

I am...sort of...maybe...if I could just stop waffling on which story I want to write, I'd be fine.

If you want to be a writing buddy, my profile is here.

Currently, I decided on the Troubleshooter story that I mentioned in an early post. It was a toss-up, but I decided that this was my oldest story (I've been thinking about it for 20+ years) and I needed something less serious than my current WIP (which I'm still working on!).

Speaking of HJ, I'm almost at 40K. I'm not done and won't be before Thursday. I still plan on working on it some during NaNo. It's an important story and I want to finish it. Stopping isn't an option at this point. I'm too far along and it's getting even more intense. I have also decided that I don't need to sleep anymore. Writing is more important. Just give me an IV drip and I'll be fine.

Also on the NaNo front, but of my kids (11 and 6) are participating in the Youth Writing Program. This is also their fist time. They have both set a goal and are going to try and reach it. I'm really excited that they decided to join me.

In addition to NaNo, I'll be involved in #writemotivation. I am a firm believer in this and love the new friends I have made through it. It has helped me tremendously over the last several months. My goals are pretty straightforward. Blog regularly, do NaNo, work more on HJ, and cheer everyone on.

An finally, my favorite cute animal picture of all time. You could argue with me, but you would lose.

'Till next time.

Monday, October 22, 2012

#writemotivation and NaNoWriMo gear up

So the last full week of October is upon us. Only 9 short days until the hammer drops on November 1st. A couple big things start in November.
  1. Writemotivation has it's next goal month where we put up goals and try to accomplish them.
  2. NaNoWriMo (aka National Novel Writing Month)
Both are worthy groups to get involved in. I've accomplished a lot with #writemotivation over the last year and NaNoWriMo is another awesome opportunity to get some serious writing done.

Being the psychotic individual that I am, I have decided to participate in both. Because, I have so much free time on my hands and all that. <--Sarcasm filled statement there if you hadn't noticed.

Luckily my goals for #writemotivation are the same for NaNo. Write 50K in one month. Hey! Stop laughing! I mean it!

Simple, write 50K on one story in one month...

That would be the case if I had written more on HJ. My goal for October was to finish it up and then start a new one with NaNo. I still plan on starting a new story for NaNo, but I don't want to stop writing HJ. Soooo...yeah...I' to do both. Hey! I told you stop laughing! :-p

My main focus will be on my NaNo project, but I am not going to restrict myself to only that story. HJ needs to be written. It isn't a choice anymore. I have the end plotted, I just need to write it.

The end result will be, I will do my best on my NaNo project. I don't expect to actually hit 50K (even if I were solely focused on that story). My average is about 20K per month at the moment. If by some miracle, I do hit 50K I will probably fall over dead. I will keep writing HJ. It isn't a story I can ignore more than a couple days before I start going

So, if you are doing NaNo and want to add me as a writing buddy, my username is: DrewPy42. Look me up and laugh as I flounder through. I know I will be. I'm not going to stress over it. Hell, I'm not even entirely sure what I'm writing yet. I have two story ideas I'm considering. Both are SciFi and completely different from HJ (which I need them to be). One of them takes place in a Futuristic society that I mentioned here. The other story takes place on a colony ship that has been knocked off course and has been drifting through space for 100 years.

So, what do you guys think? I'll take your votes. It may not change my mind, but I'd be curious as to what you guys think. I know of one person who REALLY wants me to do the colony ship one.

'Till Next time.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Bullies Suck

This weekend I read about a girl in Canada named Amanda Todd. I'm sure a lot of you out there have. It's a sad story and one that touched me deeply. I initially saw the post on a tweet Sunday morning. It led me to CNN's story covering this tragedy. The more I read the story, the angrier I got. I was so mad by the time I finished that I wasn't able to write on my novel until late that evening. All I wanted to do was go on my blog and rant and type in ALL CAPS. Just to get everyone's attention.

So, here is what I want you to do. Watch this video. Watch it and think. Think about all the times you've been bullied or have bullied someone else. Maybe it was the weird kid with the greasy hair that sat by themselves in the lunch room. Maybe it was the overweight girl who never seemed to have any friends. Maybe you were that person. Maybe you were like me. Lost. Alone. Depressed. Suffering at home. Trying to survive only to come to school and get pushed around. I was a victim and people, students mostly, took advantage. Just like they did of Amanda Todd, except it was worse for her.

Watch that video. Think about it the next time you see that kid sitting by themselves on the playground. Think about it the next time you see someone bullying another kid. Think about it, and then DO SOMETHING!

Maybe if someone had decided to help her, convince her that she was better than that. Maybe, just maybe, this horrible tragedy could have been averted. Maybe. Maybe not, but at least the attempt was made. Who knows. I'd like to think so.

I've been where she was. It's a dark, deep hole with no light and no hope. I was lucky. There was a part of me that kept going and not giving up. If I had given up, I wouldn't be alive to write this.

For those of you, like Amanda, have stumbled here looking for hope or something. Anything positive. Here it is.


My message to bullies was going to be Arlee Ermy from Full Metal Jacket, but I couldn't find the right quote. So, you'll just have to imagine him screaming obscenities at them.

My wife and I decided to be proactive with our children. We taught our oldest how to deal with it. Laugh. Laugh at them. Laugh at how pathetic it is that they are even attempting to bring you down. When kids mess with him, he just looks at them with a "Seriously? Is that the best you've got?" look. Even if it hurts, do it. Eventually, you'll stop hurting and realize that bullies really do suck and aren't worth the energy to be mad. You do that, you win. It's that simple.

This scene from the movie, Roxanne, sums up the best way to deal with a bully.

So, there's my rant about bullies. Just remember:

Sorry for the rant. I was going to have something involving my writing goals for the month, but not today.


'Till next time.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Defining Dysnomia

I want you watch my "Tag! You're it" vlog post. You know, this one. Not just because it's funny, because it is. I want you to watch it and count the number of times I:
  • Say "um" or some other word that isn't English.
  • Close my eyes wall talking
  • Not look at the camera
There's a reason for this.

I have a condition, learning disability, whatever, called Dysnomia. If you've been following my blog for sometime, you may have seen this post where I first mention it, albeit briefly.

I generally don't talk about it, but it came to mind when I was showing my son my vlog and he started joking about how many times I said "um". He didn't intend it to be mean, but it stung a little. It also got me thinking about how many other people noticed.

Dysnomia isn't a new problem for me, I've had it for my entire life. Yes, it is technically a "learning disability", but I just view it as a challenge. To be honest, a frustrating challenge a times.

Here are the basics of Dysnomia that I found at this site:
Dysnomia is a difficulty retrieving the correct words, names, or numbers from memory. Dysnomia is a learning disability present from childhood which can affect speech, writing, and/or math. Word recall problems are classified as dysnomia when they are severe enough to interfere with learning or with daily life.

NOTE: I'll list all the sites with relevant info at the end.

Unfortunately, I was not "diagnosed" with this disorder until college. This resulted in years of frustration on my part and ridicule by my peers. I lost a lot of arguments because I couldn't come up with responses fast enough. It made me feel stupid and I avoided any verbal confrontations as best I could. Writing was also difficult for me. So much so, that I dreaded having to write anything for class.

Somehow, I managed to finish school and get through college. My English grades weren't always that good, but I still managed.

Eventually, I went to the college's speech and language clinic after my girlfriend, now my wife, suggested I might have a problem. They weren't an accredited clinic, so they were only able to do some basic testing, but based on their tests, I scored at the bottom of normal. This indicated to them that I had an issue.

One of the things I found out was that I write, by hand, 15 WPM. In contrast, I was typing at 60+ typing speed is a lot higher now. I have no idea how fast.

The other thing they discovered was that I had compensated for it to the point where they couldn't help me. No therapy. Nothing. The college offered accommodations, but I was so used to not asking for help, I rarely did.

How I deal with it:
  • I rarely take notes. I have a choice of either following what the teacher says, or write something down. I can't do both. So I do my best to memorize everything.
  • I convert everything I read into pictures (if possible). Every fiction book I read is stored as a movie in my head. I remember every book I've ever read.
  • I don't remember addresses, I remember landmarks. If I give you directions, I will mention landmarks more than street names. It will drive you insane.
    • I recommend using a GPS to get anywhere I tell you to go. It will be easier.
  • I type more than I write by hand. Typing is a different mechanism and uses a different part of my brain. I have fewer problems typing and I make sure I have spell-check turned on.
  • I won't always look at you when I'm talking. I'm working on it, but it gets distracting sometimes when I do look.
  • I say "Um" a lot.
  • I drink caffeine. Caffeine is a stimulant. It helps me focus better and seems to help.
  • I pre-think what I'm going to say before I call someone on the phone or have a face-to-face conversation.
So, there you have it. My private shame that nobody can see...unless you watch that vlog post.

On a final note. This has not stopped me from writing creatively. I might not ever get the word counts that some people get, but I'll be able to write it. It might take a few extra drafts to make sense, but I'll get there. This "disability" is not going to stop me from writing. Ever.

'Till next time.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Luminosity and Gravity Double Trailer Reveal Post

by Stephanie Thomas

My name is Beatrice. When I was born, I was blessed with the Sight. I was immediately removed from my parents and enrolled in the Institution. At the age of twelve, I had my first true vision, earning my raven’s wings. And when I turned seventeen, one of my visions came true. Things haven’t been the same since.

The Institution depends on me to keep the City safe from our enemy, the Dreamcatchers, but I’m finding it harder to do while keeping a secret from everyone, including my best friend Gabe. It is a secret that could put us all in danger. A secret that could kill me and everyone close to me.

But the enemy has been coming to me in my dreams, and I think I’m falling in love with him. He says they’re coming. He says they’re angry. And I think I’ve already helped them win.

Paperback: 400 pages

Publisher: Entangled Teen (November 6, 2012)

ISBN: 1620611279

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / The Book Depository

About Stephanie:

Stephanie Thomas has been writing ever since she could put letters together to form words. When she was a small child, she would present her mother and father with self-made newspapers filled up with make believe stories and pictures. Her love for writing followed her all throughout her schooling, where she entered and won writing contests of all sorts. Stephanie decided to become an English teacher and completed her B.A. at The Pennsylvania State University. While teaching, she later went on to get her Master’s in writing from The Johns Hopkins University. She completed her very first manuscript during her graduate studies, and by the end of the program, she had completed two more. Stephanie is quick to tell anyone that she’s a born and raised Philadelphian, and her heart will always belong there. She moved to Baltimore with her husband, and they’ve been living there for the last five years with their doggie, Sailor, and their rabbit, Buns (aka “T Sizzle).

Where you can find Stephanie-

Website / Twitter / Facebook / Goodreads

The Raven Chronicles Facebook

by Melissa West

In the future, only one rule will matter:

Don’t. Ever. Peek.

Seventeen-year-old Ari Alexander just broke that rule and saw the last person she expected hovering above her bed — arrogant Jackson Locke, the most popular boy in her school. She expects instant execution or some kind of freak alien punishment, but instead, Jackson issues a challenge: help him, or everyone on Earth will die.

Ari knows she should report him, but everything about Jackson makes her question what she’s been taught about his kind. And against her instincts, she’s falling for him. But Ari isn’t just any girl, and Jackson wants more than her attention. She’s a military legacy who’s been trained by her father and exposed to war strategies and societal information no one can know — especially an alien spy, like Jackson. Giving Jackson the information he needs will betray her father and her country, but keeping silent will start a war.

Paperback: 400 pages

Publisher: Entangled Teen (October 30, 2012)

ISBN: 1620610914

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / The Book Depository

About Melissa:

Melissa lives in a tiny suburb of Atlanta, GA with her husband and daughter. She pretends to like yoga, actually likes shoes, and could not live without coffee. Her writing heroes include greats like Jane Austen and Madeleine L'Engle.

She holds a B.A. in Communication Studies and an M.S. in Graphic Communication, both from Clemson University. Yeah, her blood runs orange.

GRAVITY is her first book.

Where you can find Melissa-

Website / Twitter / Facebook / Goodreads

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Soul Asylum Guest Post

Today my blog got invaded by the evil pixies, C. L. Raven...again...They're here talking about their new book Soul Asylum. Thankfully, they put everything back where it belongs and took the RedBull I left as an offering. They did mention a giveaway. I suppose I should do it. :D Leave a comment and I'll pick one of you to send their way (as another offering!). They're giving away copies of their ebooks, bookmarks, postcards, and magnets. One rule, if you want to win, you MUST be follower of my blog + leave a comment in relation to this post. I'll need your email address to send to them. I'd be more creative, but it's late and I've had a long day. ;-D

So, without further ado, I turn it over to C. L. Raven.

The pixies themselves (a.k.a the authors, C. L. Raven)
We were going to write a blog post about Soul Asylum, but then we figured there was someone much better suited to the job. Mason Strider, a journalist who visited Ravens Retreat asylum determined to expose the ghost tours there as a con. Instead he exposed the asylum’s twisted heart.

By Mason Strider

After writing about Soul Searching, the ghostly tour of Ravens Retreat, I was invited to spend a few days there. Ravens Retreat is the West Wing of an old mental asylum, half of which burned down in 1904, killing staff and patients. It is believed the fire was started deliberately by one of the patients. During my stay, I participated in an Ouija board, in which the poltergeist claimed he wanted revenge. The glass then smashed. Doors slam, fires ignite and the temperature plummets. Objects are thrown and people are pushed, punched or threatened.

I’ve witnessed this ghost holding a written conversation with the asylum’s owner, in which he claimed the asylum isn’t just haunted by him, but a legion of ghosts of the unfortunate patients and staff who are doomed to spend their afterlives locked away in the asylum. Threatening messages were written on my bedroom wall in blood. I would never have believed the messages were the work of a poltergeist had I not been in the room when they were written. The ghost has, on numerous occasions attempted to take Mr. Soul’s life. I was forced to leave the asylum before events turned lethal.
Throughout the night, screaming, crying, shouting, keep me awake. The sound of wheelchairs being pushed echo along the endless corridors, accompanied by the jangling of the attendants’ keys. The poltergeist wanders the asylum, like he’s searching for something. Maybe that’s what’s keeping him here.

There is something rotten in Ravens Retreat and I’m determined to find the cause of the poltergeist’s eternal torment so his soul can be laid to rest.

His relentless persecution of Soul is interesting. If he really wanted to kill him, he would do it while he slept. He wants Soul to live in a state of constant fear. Soul doesn’t know when the poltergeist will eventually grow bored of him and kill him. Living with that fear every day is far worse that his inevitable death. Soul is a toy. Something to amuse him until more unsuspecting guests arrive. Without Soul, nobody would visit the asylum. He would be alone for eternity. He needs Soul to make his existence meaningful. At times I think he doesn’t realise he’s dead.

I’ve never seen this ghost. Maybe he was a patient who died in the fire in 1904. Maybe he lived here after that and was murdered. I don’t know what drives him to kill. The fear gives him power perhaps. The only way to stop him is exorcism or to stop guests visiting the asylum. Soul refuses exorcism. I can’t help feeling he needs the poltergeist as much as the poltergeist needs him. They’re both alone. They have a strange unexplainable bond, except one is alive and the other is dead.

The longer I’m here, the more violent the poltergeist is becoming. He’s losing control.

I plan to research this asylum more thoroughly. Delve beneath the mask it showed to the world.

This is no longer a simple story about a ghost tour in a creepy asylum. The present and past have collided in a truly horrific way. Ravens Retreat has risen from the dead and is hungry for revenge.

The blood wanted to prick a conscience that couldn’t bleed.
Poe could keep his telltale heart.
I couldn't hear it beating.

Ravens Retreat harbours a sinister secret. Inside its blackened heart lurk the ghosts of patients and staff who died when the asylum was burned down in 1904. Over a hundred years later, the West wing survives and now the patients want revenge.

Their eternal repose is disturbed by a malevolent poltergeist and the ghost tours led by the asylum’s resident, Phineas Soul, which attract the attention of journalist Mason Strider. His attempts to expose Phineas as a fraud have catastrophic consequences when it is Ravens Retreat’s dark heart that’s exposed as it awakens to claim the lives of those who dare to enter its brutal past.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Why I Love #writemotivation and September wrap-up


So, September is finished. Although I didn't quite make my goal, I'm giving myself cookies because I accomplished a LOT this month.

But more on that in a bit.

What I'd like to talk about is the "why" I love #writemotivation so much.

The answer may surprise you. Or it may not. I think it might, but I could just be delusional...ok, more delusional than normal.

But I digress.

The reason I love #writemotivation isn't because people are supporting me (which is a plus, but the reason). It's because I get to support other people. Writers who are struggling, as I struggle, with doing what they love...which is write, and survive in this crazy world. It isn't about me.

I'm not saying this so you think I'm awesome. I'm saying this because it's true. I love helping people, always have. There isn't an ulterior motive here. I can't do much more than stand on the sidelines waving pompoms. I can't fix other people. I can't make it any better except to offer virtual hugs, chocolate foodstuffs, and the occasional caffeine IV drip.

Sometimes you need to mainline it
This is why I started adding Dinosaurs, Zombies, Robots, etc. to my #writemotivation tweets. I'm glad it caught on. I think it adds some goofiness to it. Of course, I like the goofy, so it makes me happy. :D

What I'm saying is I like to cheer people on. Why? Because I like to. There is no other motive than that.

Speaking of goofy. Here's a pic of an inflatable dino eating a cheerleader...why? Because I found it on the internet.

It's kind of disturbing if you ask me. :D

Ok. So, here is my #writemotivation wrap up for September.

  1. Write 15K more on HJ I only managed 2K last week, so I'm just shy of my goal. I wrote just over 13K, bringing my total over 28K for HJ. However, I did plot the end of the book and added several new chapters into the middle to fix some issues that my betas had noticed. I even did some revisions to Chapter 1 based on feedback from Brenda Drake.
  2. Blog once a week I did 12 posts this month. At least 3 of them were cover reveals which I love doing because I love promoting writers.
  3. Try and squeeze in some fun reading in there (non-beta/crit stuff). Not sure how that will pan out though! I finished Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater and loved it. If you haven't read it, it's awesome. Just started Struck by Jennifer Bosworth. I'm only a couple chapters in, but I already like it.
  4. Read slush pile for Niteblade (a little behind on this one) I made the decision to stop reading the slush pile for Niteblade. Not because I didn't like it, but because I didn't feel like I was able to put in the effort that they needed. Their staff is awesome and work really hard at putting out an awesome product while getting very little in return for their efforts. I hope to get back to helping them, but for the time being I'm not focused enough for it. HJ is taking too much brain power and I'm a little burnt out on the reading.
  5. Cheer on my #writemotivation peeps! Always! :D
As you can see, I didn't quite make my goals, but I was very close and really everyone deserves cookies. As a friend would say, progress is progress. :D

One last thing, I would like to thank all the people who read my flash fiction story, Sweet Evaline. It was a lot of fun participating in the blog hop. So, Thank You. :D

'Till Next Time.