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Four Down…

Coming up on the end of two weeks of vacation, my fourth book is also nearing completion. I opted not to go on a beach holiday in order to give me time each day to write write write. Each morning has seen me at the local coffee shop, americano often forgotten as I edit my new book once more, compile a new list of agents I’ll be querying, and touching up the synopsis and query letter.

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Now I’m off to Costco to stock the kitchen before the first week of fall semester consumes me.
After a long day

No rest for the weary.

The Raven As Read By Christopher Lee

Many of you know him for his acting career, but did you know that he also recorded a heavy metal album about Charlemagne? Or that he hunted nazis during World War II? The man was even part of a secret agent unit known as The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare.

The man was legendary.

Showerthoughts

Shower Thought of the Day: If ever the time comes that I find myself on the virgin sand of a newly discovered island, sweat on my brow and flag in my hand, I shall name it Holl Island. Why? Push those words together. Now say it with me: Hollisland.

Typical Day of Teaching

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Tommy Lee Jones really capturing what it’s like to teach English in Asia.  

Death in the Afternoon

Currently listening to jazz, drinking Death in the Afternoons (recipe by Hemingway, so you know it’s gotta be good), and cleaning the apartment. So. What are you doing this Friday evening?

Life & Stuff

Been a while since I posted anything here, hasn’t it? Not like it matters. No one reads this blog. More of a memento for myself when I need a break from writing and actually stop surfing long enough to write about actual life.

So. Life’s ok. It’s May and I’ve stopped writing ’2014′ on forms a month ago. Writing is going strong. Korean studies too. Long bus rides help. Somehow I managed to wean myself away from car sickness with only a bouts of nausea and no vomit involved. So I got that going for me.

Watched a cool anime a few weeks ago. ‘Barakamon’. Sometimes I need a slice-of-life show to help me slow down and focus on myself rather than on stories and plot and character arcs and the monomyth structure and so on. It’s about a twenty-something-year-old calligraphist who exiles himself to an island to get away from city life and seek his own style of writing. Being anime, this plot point was always on radar but rarely in the foreground. I took good things away from it and and currently seeking my next series to fall in love with.

The new apartment is nice. Really gotten settled into it. Feels like home. Working on the balcony and seeking whatever dark magic that grants people the powers of a green thumb, because currently my plants wither as soon as my shadow touches them. Not sure what I’m doing wrong. Too much water? Too little? Se la vie.

And…. just realized I have more than 7,000 spam comments to delete. Yay!

A book, once it is printed and published, becomes individual. It is by its publication as decisively severed from its author as in parturition a child is cut off from its parent. The book "means" thereafter, perforce, -- both grammatically and actually, -- whatever meaning this or that reader gets out of it.

-James Branch Cabell

You have to have a darkness…for the dawn to come.

Harrison Ford was really on to something here. It’s a principal that every good story follows. It’s what makes us cry or laugh or shout encouragement for our favorite characters.

Nothing means anything without a counterbalance. What is good without evil, or dark without light. How can we say that something is heavy when if there is no comparison?

In the same way, without ebbs and flows, stories are as flat as a lake. And no one ever plans a vacation to the lake when an ocean is close at hand.Like symphonies, stories must have loud sections in which all the strings and brass and percussion instruments are wailing together in order for us to appreciate the solo performances or the silences between notes. For without silences, even music can become nothing more than ceaseless noise.

So think of Harrison Ford and Star Wars and your other favorites stories, myths, and movies when writing your next story. Remember that in order for a reader to share pain with a character, they must first experience joy.

The Reaction…

…of my students when asked if they’ve studied for the test.

Every reader finds himself. The writer's work is merely a kind of optical instrument that makes it possible for the reader to discern what, without this book, he would perhaps never have seen in himself.

-Marcel Proust