Dec 31, 2011

Reading: Top 5 Books of 2011

I haven't had a whole lot of time to read this year (because of a killer college semester), but somehow, I did manage to stuff quite a few books into these last few weeks of the year (though I unfortunately wasn't able to get all the most popular ones). So, without further ado (seeing as how New Years is tomorrow), here are my top five reads of 2011!

5.) The Iron Knight by Julie Kagawa- Though its ending was predictable, I really liked the plot of this book. It had my favorite characters from the entire series, all journeying toward the equivalent of the edge of the Earth, and finding some pretty awesome and terrifying things along the way. Good way to top off a decent series, I thought.



4.) Darkest Mercy by Melissa Marr- I've always liked Marr's depiction of faeries, and while (yet again) I found the ending contrived, I found the novel as a whole a great ending to the Wicked Lovely series. All the characters' conflicts seem to explode at once into this fantastical all out war zone that existed right beneath ignorant eyes of the human world.

3.) City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare- I was hesitant at first to read this, if only because an "extension" of what was originally supposed to be a trilogy rarely works out well. But I found that Clare did a damn good job with it. The story makes sense, is dramatic, and picks up right where the trilogy left off without a single hitch. I especially like this book's focus on Simon, as he's been one of my favorite characters throughout, and I'm highly interested in seeing where the last two books of The Mortal Instruments takes him.

2.) The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins- Ha, this didn't come out in 2011, but I, unfortunately, just got around to reading the series. I wasn't sure what to expect, and the first person, present tense through me for a loop, but I think that it does indeed hold up to its hype, and I'm very excited for the March-release movie. I'm currently reading the second installment of the series, Catching Fire.

1.) Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare- Had I finished more of the books in my current to-read stack (like The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and Daughter of Smoke and Bone), Clare probably wouldn't have had two entries on the list. But even then, Clockwork Prince would likely have still been number one. There is really no getting past how far Clare has come since City of Bones. This book is a dramatic wonder, and despite the fact that there's only one real battle scene in the entire novel, it still came off as one of the most exciting stories of the year. The writing, the plot, the character dynamics...everything has been ramped up in this book, and I've never been more exasperated by a book-release wait time than I am for the final installment of The Infernal Devices.

Dec 29, 2011

Poetry: The Writing Year

Written for the New Year Couplet prompt at dVerse

I stumbled from a cliff of words
Fell through a lost plot event herd
Tumbled over a scrapped climax
Rolled past a character that got the axe
Flew down toward the grammar hell
That burned my interrobang yells
Floated toward a comma cloud
That beat my page with thunder loud
Flew high so near the sentence sun
That scorched run-ons til they were done
Drifted into that empty space
Where em-dashes gave up the chase
Careened into the black abyss 
Where characterization goes amiss
Got sucked into the genre void
Wherein my label was destroyed
Thrown out into a field of thoughts
The brainstorm field where I first caught
The ideas that then filled my page
With wondrous loves and endless rage
I blinked and spied my lonely pen
Realized I would have to start again
Tossed my page off the scrapping pier
And strode to a new writing year




Dec 22, 2011

Poetry: On Writing

For the contrast challenge at dVerse

Down a dark and empty road
I glimpsed upon a beam of light
Drawn toward its hidden code
I garnered knowledge of my life
Drudging with a hollow mode
I gladly skipped toward the sight
Dragged nearer to a heavy load
I guessed at chance that I could fight

Depressed until my back was bowed
I gasped and ran far from the light
Distrustful of its dark abode
I grabbed the weapon of most might
Deranged by all my nightmare's goads
I grappled with my altered sight
Dislodged the evil from its node
I grasped the highest of the heights

Depths beyond where I long rode
I garnered hope to solve my plight
Darkness followed seeds I sowed
I guessed that this was just for spite
Despite its will but to corrode
I gained the needed knowledge slight
Determined still, toward I strode
I glorified my strength to write

Dec 20, 2011

Poetry: The Dream

My eyes were cast upon a sun
That existed in no worldly time
A frozen sun of wonderlands
Perfectly etched into my mind

But this sun shattered in my eyes
It split into a thousand shards
And each contained a wonderland
That stretched a billion-million yards

These wonderlands that I did see
Held the lonesome weight of mystery
This mystery, it plagued my mind
Until I myself was lost in time

This time of mine trudged ever slow
Toward the white rapids that flow
Into the river of a thousand roads
That leads me on where no one knows

My eyes were cast upon a moon
That existed in no earthly rhyme
A burning moon of crimson hells
Painfully etched into my mind

But this moon crumbled in my eyes
It split into a thousand stones
And each contained a crimson hell
That all the universe bemoaned

These crimson hells I saw again
Held the lonesome weight of Earthly sin
This Earthly sin, it plagued my soul
Until I was lost to all I know

This ignorance, it dragged me down
Toward the darkness in the ground
Toward that which exists beyond
From which no mortal can abscond

My eyes were cast upon a light
That existed in no human mind
A filling light of knowledge pure
Meant for the perfect of my kind

But this knowledge slipped away
It fluttered off into the night
It left my fingers cold and sore
And told me I had lost this fight

This knowledge pure, it was my test
Meant to be won by just the best
But best means perfect in its terms
And humanity is what perfect spurns

So knowledge did not take me high
Instead it left me low and dry
Dying of thirst, to me it seemed
For all the knowledge within dreams

Dec 19, 2011

Review: "The Iron Fey" Series by Julie Kagawa

Available on Amazon for $9.99
Warning: This review may contain spoilers.

I'm going to something that I rarely do: review an entire series. I've seen Kagawa's books floating around for a while now, but I didn't get around to buying them (all four) until yesterday. And I'm rather split on whether they were good purchases or not. But before I make any conclusions, lets go through the pros and the cons.

The series begins with The Iron King, which introduces us the series' protagonist, Meghan Chase, and Kagawa's interpretation of the land of Faery, or the "Nevernever." I have to admit, I almost stopped reading this just a few pages in. The stereotypical female worries and complaints and the cliche teen angst almost drove me right over the edge.

Thankfully, I decided to stick to it and kept reading. By the end, I was convinced that was a good decision. Kagawa's writing eventually evens out, and while the whole Scott Waldren thing annoyed me throughout, I felt that her development of Meghan was handled expertly.

Available on Amazon for $9.99
As the series continues into the The Iron Daughter and The Iron Queen, however, I felt myself begin to lose interest in Meghan's story. I knew where it would end up early on, and I felt like it became more of a "fulfilling one's destiny" plot line than anything else. I found myself drawn to the other characters more than the protagonist, and I was far more concerned with the conflict between Puck and Ash than I was with Meghan's various conflicts.

Her portrayal of the Summer and Winter courts was, on the other hand, fabulous, and their respective monarchs were--while having the expected personalities--quite refreshing characters. Their continual presence throughout the entire series provides a sort of balancing force that prevents the books from losing any steam along the way.

As for the other characters, my feelings are...well, split. I loved the portrayal of Puck (in fact, I loved the portrayal of the known fey in general; I feel Kagawa pulled it off quite well). His presence was a highlight throughout every book, and his witty dialogue really kept me going. His place as a member of the main love triangle was also a shining point. His internal struggles revealed him to be a well-developed, complex character.

Available on Amazon for $9.99
Grimalkin comes in as a close second to Puck on my favorites' list. While his perpetual disappearing acts began to get old by The Iron Knight (the last book), his stinging sarcasm never did. He balanced out the others characters quite nicely. The only real down side to Grimalkin was that I feel he served as a plot device too often. Basically, the entire series revolves around Grimalkin showing the characters exactly what to do and where to go with (with a snarky attitude).

The only character I have a real problem with is Ash. I tried to like him, really I did (and I do like many things about him), but I felt his part was just too predictable. In The Iron Daughter, I had his entire role completely figured out from the beginning. And it's only compounded in The Iron Knight. The entirety of the latter is told from Ash's POV (which, of course, makes it more of an outlier extra book added to what would otherwise be a decent trilogy, as the first three are from Meghan's POV), and there were a lot of parts that just had me rolling my eyes.

The appearance of Ariella, Ash's lost love, however, threw me for a bit, and I was interested to see where Kagawa would take it. Unfortunately, that too was entirely predictable, and from about the middle of the book onward, you know exactly what's going to happen to her.

Available on Amazon for $9.99
I think one of my favorite things about the series is the iron fey themselves. They're an odd bunch, and characters like Ironhorse, Glitch, Tertius, and the pack rats really add some interesting flavor to the series. The depiction of the Iron Kingdom was quite impressive as well. Acid rain that's really acid. A giant city, abandoned at the beginning of time by an extinct race of giant fey. Huge contraptions and buildings made of broken technology. The contrast to the other "natural" kingdoms and obvious (as I assume it is intended to be), but even then, it is quite stark and poignant, a reminder of how humanity has changed.

My overall feelings on this series are very conflicted. On the one hand, there are many characters I adore, and a lot of them are very well developed. In general, the plot isn't so predictable that it becomes boring, but there are parts I saw coming from a mile away.

Would I recommend this series?

Yes, I would. It is predictable in many places, and there are a few cliches. But in general, the characters are well thought out, the action is continuous and interesting and unexpected, and the plot as a whole is very original.

The Iron King Rating: B-
The Iron Daughter Rating: B
The Iron Queen Rating: B+ 
The Iron Knight Rating: B+

Overall Series Rating: B


Dec 16, 2011

Story Dam Prompt: Mr. White's Letter to Santa

Dear Mr. Santa Claus:

    My name is Gregori White, CEO of Toys 4 You, and I have a proposition that I believe you will find most agreeable. Do you toil in and out all year, desperately trying to make enough toys for the boys and girls of the world? Do you find your resources--paint, wood, metal, Christmas cheer--horribly scarce at the most crucial of times? Do you find yourself having sleepless nights, swarming in paperwork and tinsel?

    Well, I have a solution.

Dec 14, 2011

Review: "Clockwork Prince" by Cassandra Clare

Warning: This review may contain spoilers. 

Holy crap. This has been sitting in my room, in an Amazon box, waiting for me to get home from college and tear it open for a week. And it was so worth all the longing and impatience.
Clockwork Prince, Infernal Devices #2
Available on Amazon for $11.09

My first impressions?

This is a thousand times better than the first book of the Infernal Devices series (Clockwork Angel). I mean, it was just that good.

I've been a fan of Clare for a while now. She doesn't take herself too seriously, slipping in as much sarcasm and humor as writer-ly possible. And I like that in an author. It makes her characterization far more natural, in my opinion.

But this? This is taking it to a whole new level.

Dec 10, 2011

Poetry: Creativity

I ponder the ineptitude of a single blade of grass
To do much more than flutter in the drifts of blusters past
I ponder the inability of the small to do the large
Then I realize that the singular is not what is in charge

I ponder the creation of a trillion blades of grass
That flutter like a fury in the blusters of the past
I ponder my ability to lie within them, staring high
As each blades cuts my face with a sensation of the sky

I ponder the enormity of the earth, the sun, the stars
That shift upon their axes, drifting in an endless tar
I ponder the existence of that single grain of sand
How a number countless by my mind can make it ever grand

I ponder the sheer ignorance of the people on the Earth
Who go about their days as if their lives are not a search
I ponder the ideas of life with meaning and without
And as each answers rolls me by, I then begin to doubt

I ponder the meaning of it all, the grass, the Earth, the stars
And I begin to think of worlds beyond them, a never-ending far
I ponder how these worlds begin their journeys in my mind
And I realize that throughout my life, they have always been mine

I ponder the adeptness of my mind to craft a space
Where a million shards of something great can be so wholly traced
I ponder this great something, this universe of false and fact
Wherein my ideas can curve and stretch into faces so intact

I ponder then these faces that emerge from the dark depths
That fight monsters human, other, more with skills beyond adept
I ponder their emotions that are so far beyond my own
And I wonder how these people live, who inhabit my mental home

I ponder then the reality outside the realm within my mind
And I come to believe that this was destined to all exist in time
I ponder both my skill and curse to see both false and real
And without concern for me or my, I leave it unconcealed

I ponder the inability of the many to see my seeing way
And I wonder how humanity came to be so dull and gray
I ponder how my single life, the grain of sand I am
Can lift the world back up again, with creativity in hand

Posted to dVerse

Dec 5, 2011

Novel: The Bombardiers (Excerpts Part 2)!

Hey, guys. Sorry I vanished on you all. It's finals time, you know? Had to write a paper and then get all my notes organized and write everything down. Ugh! I hate finals. Anyway, I thought I'd stop by today for some more excerpts from The Bombardiers.

Do remember, these excerpts are from my first draft, so expect lots of typos and a shaky style and way too much introspection. I'll fix that stuff the second time around. xD



Warning: Some of the content is rather graphic. And there's some strong language. You have been warned!






Nov 20, 2011

Novel: The Solutionists

So, for the first time ever, I actually got inspiration for a new book from a dream. I had an awesome dream this morning, and it gave me all these great ideas for a novel to add to my WIP list. Here's the makeshift cover and (a really long) synopsis.


For the last two thousand years, they have existed in the shadows, carefully guiding humanity in their desired direction. Using devices that defy time and space, they have weaved their designs into the leaders of human kind, using their skills and knowledge to remain only as figments of the human imagination. 

The year is 2034. With overpopulation, pollution, and greed threatening to devour the Earth, there seems to be little hope that the leaders of the world will unite to bring about change. But they deem it necessary, and thus, they will make it happen, no matter who they must bend to their wills in the process.

But when when one of their "clients" is found dead, they begin to suspect a spy has infiltrated their ranks. Calling upon their best and brightest, they create a task force bent on rooting out the corruption they fear has bloomed amongst them. 

But when they cannot trust themselves to do what is right for the Earth, how can they continue to do their duty to the planet? With war brewing on the horizon and the Earth quickly beginning to fall under the weight of the scourge that humanity has become, time is quickly running out. 

_____

Warren Devonair, a Twister with a flawless record, finds himself called before the Grand Architects and given the order to lead the Inquisition task force. Forced to work side by side with the person he hates the most and stuck at the helm of a duty he cannot fail at, Warren finds the careful facade he's worn all his life begin to fall apart. And if he can't keep it together, his job, his life, and the world may just fall with him. 

Salen Burrick, a former criminal lawyer, now lives his life in the lowest periphery of society. He hasn't shown his face to his family in years. He left his practice without even a goodbye. But what could have possibly made a successful, happy man abandon his life? They did. He's always seen them, skirting around rooms like shadows, moving more quickly than any human being should move, whispering in the ears of people that never knew they were there. But Salen knows they're there. And he also knows what they don't. That there are other things there too. Things that no one sees but him. Things that gnaw right into people's souls and eat their minds alive. Things that should not exist but do. And Salen is entirely convinced that they are the reason these things are here, the reason these things broke him into a thousand pieces. And even if it takes him a lifetime, he will destroy them like they destroyed him.

Mona Clarkson had a life one time. It consisted of a loving fiance, a full scholarship to a prestigious university, and a caring family. But after her fiance abruptly left her to pursue a "more important" political career, the rest of her life seemed to leave with him. Now working hard to make ends meet and close to failing out of school, Mona's life is further destroyed by a pregnancy of mysterious origins. On the verge of an emotional breakdown, she forces herself to leave the home she's always known in the hope of starting a new (and better) one somewhere else. 

But there are many things in life that follow you until death. And Mona, Warren, and Salen are beginning to realize that.
_____

They have stopped the world from falling apart for two thousand years. They have protected the collective knowledge of humanity for even longer. They have ended wars and created countries. They have started wars and destroyed kingdoms. And everything that they have done has saved the world.

They have always had all the answers.

They have always had all the power.

They have always been The Solutionists.

But nothing lasts forever.

Nov 19, 2011

Poetry: Circadian

Up at the top of the hour of the night
Lost in the movement of a thousand lights
I walked through the sands of a thousand times
Lost in the winds of the infinite rhymes

Up at the peak of the mountain of gold
Lost in the beats of the heart, thousand fold
I walked through the snow of a thousand years
Lost in the winds of the infinite fears

Up at the hills of the pastures of old
Lost in the sounds of past battles foretold
I walked though the grass of a thousand hearts
Lost in the strokes of the infinite arts

Up at the edge of the end of the Earth
Lost in the knowledge of which I searched
I walked through the waters of a thousand deaths
Lost in the echoes of the infinite jest 

Up then at the edge of the end of the Earth
Lost in the knowledge of which I searched
I could not walk further through any more death
So I un-lost myself from the infinite jest

Up at the hills of the pastures of old
Un-lost in the sounds of past battles foretold
I walked back through the grass of those thousand hearts
And I marked them with kindness of only one art

Up again at the peak of the mountain of gold
Touching only the hearts of which I could hold
I walked past the snows of just a few years
And assuaged only a few of the infinite fears

Up at the top of the hour of the night
Now seeing clearly through a thousand lights
I washed the sands with water until they were still
And wrote in them rhymes of the gentlest wills

Up now at the roof of the house where I live
Un-lost in the life to which work I now give
I walk across shingles, a hundred or so
At home in the life I have now come to know

Posted to dVerse


Nov 18, 2011

On Writing: Characters, or the People in my Head

Yes, I drew that.


The most integral part of any story tends to be the characters in it. Whether fate acts upon them or they upon fate, it seems unlikely that a reader would truly connect to any story line without their presence. They are the links from the real to the imaginary, the pathway by which we come to understand the wealth and feelings that exist within a realm not entirely our own.

And yet, no one can seem to agree on exactly what they are.

What is a character to you?

Nov 15, 2011

Poetry: The Mantelpiece

On my mantelpiece, there was a clock
It ticked, it ticked, it ticked, it tocked
I watched, I watched, I waited some
As if my clock could raise the sun
And with each tick, my clock did crack
Its face shattered into my back
And yet, not a single drop of blood
Instead, a blackness thick as mud

On my mantelpiece, there was a child
A cherub grinning at his wiles
He watched me close with a chipped white eye
And laughed at me when I passed by
And daily I passed by in deep despair
Blocking out my world without a care
But that cherub once never did cease
He would not let me die in peace

On my mantelpiece, there was a frame
And within, my world was thus contained
It held all my life's hopes, my joys
It held my heartbeat's tender noise
And once upon a lonely day
I knocked the frame from its sacred stay
It cracked my floor, it cracked its face
And with it cracked my sacred place

On my mantelpiece, there was a ring
Left floating on a lone unpolished string
It hovered so dangerously over the floor
And once, I realized it was no more
I searched, I searched, I searched and failed
My hopes were dashed, and thus, I wailed
And yet, despite my darkest cries
The world would not release my life

On my mantelpiece, there was a knife
Carved carefully with a skilled man's strife
He worked its blade to the perfect state
And its purpose was never a debate
So without my heart, my blood, my place
I took it from its sheath, it's state of grace
And with no care for the world I knew
It was my own life that I then slew

On my mantelpiece, there is a painting
It is of my face, looking oddly saintly
And I sit on my sofa, now plastic and old
Somethings have changed, and I was not told
I blink, I blink, I blink, and I cry
I cannot figure out what has passed me by
The cherub is gone, the frame, I shriek!
And yet not a soul can hear me speak

Posted to dVerse

Nov 12, 2011

Nick's November Giveaway

~This Is A Giveaway!~

Co-Hosted by:  Tristi Pinkston  &  I'm a Reader, Not a Writer
Other Giveaways: Linky List for the Hop!


Well, if you haven't figured it out by now, you've arrived at my November giveaway page! Yes, that's right. Nick is holding a giveaway! 

But what kind of giveaway, you ask.
Well, the anything kind of giveaway. Anything literary, that is.

You see, one lucky person is going to get any book they want as long at it fits under two conditions:

- It must be available on Amazon
- It must cost $15 or less

Unfortunately, due to shipping costs, this giveaway is only available to people in the U.S. If I had a bit more money on hand, I'd go international. Unfortunately, Nick is a poor college student, guys. Sorry.

Anyway, you're probably wondering what you have to do to enter this fancy giveaway, huh?

Rules to Enter:

- You must be a follower of my blog
- You must fill out all required fields on the form

Extra Entries:

- Tweet this contest (+1)
- Share this contest as a post on Google +  (+1)


So that equates to three entries total if you do those extra things.  Good odds, I'd say. The giveaway is only open for four days, from November 8th to the 11th, so you better get your entries in!

If you win:

- I will email you (please provide a valid email address on the form)
- You will be asked for your preferred shipping address
- You will be asked which book you'd like
- I will ship it to you via Amazon**

** If  the book you want has not been
released yet, I will pre-order it for you.

Yes, it is that simple.

___________

The Giveaway Hop Has Ended, Guys! 


I'll pick my winner sometime tomorrow, okay? =)


Nov 8, 2011

Poetry: The Design

Posted to dVerse

I molded them from hardened clay
And they were hardened dust
I bestowed all of my love to them
And yet, they broke my trust
Within my shape, I molded them
But they broke their chains of clay
And though I still sit above them now
I mourn them to this day

But what can the balance weigh to see
If I am wrong or they?
Was I at fault to make them so
Or them to disobey?
The fundamental arguments
Of faith or hope or light
Mean nothing in the grandest scheme
Of the true meaning of life

But what is the meaning that I seek
Or is it they that seek it thus?
Am I still searching for the answer
To why they broke my trust?
Or is it they that mourn the loss,
They wonder how the sin
Beget their wondrous fall from grace
To the current state of men?

We wonder from our vantage points,
Me above down to below
And they so staring at the sky
Wishing my blessings to bestow
But can I touch them now again
After so much time has passed?
And if I did, would once again
They wander from their path?

Do I dare demand them once again
With commandments set in stone?
Or would they just be crushed within
The rush of falsities enthroned?
Do I dare endear the holy man
Who dabbles sickly in the dark,
Who leads a horde of so-lost sheep
In the opposite way of the ark?

Do I dare entrust the preacher high
To lead them back to chains of clay?
Or would he make their chains of a
Different sort, a parody of pray?
Do I dare call out to the common man
Of angels would he sing and rant?
Would he just be thrown into the white
And never in life the knowledge grant?

Do I dare speak out to all at once,
A sphere of seven billion lives
With every single life within
Of a singular divide?
Would seven billion minds of man
Ever cease to rage and kill
Even if I spoke to them of
Grace, love, and goodwill?

I cannot imagine here today
A world of peace and pride
Of a world of man so far untouched
By the hand of meaningless divide
I can imagine only what I see
For the not-eternity of them all
And what I see is not redemption
But the continuance of an unending fall

So because of this, I cannot speak
I dare not test their wills again
I will not touch the world once more,
Not in aid or death, as I promised them
Instead I will sit and watch and wait
And hope some original spark of mine
Will in some way rekindle once again
The perfection of my original design

Nov 1, 2011

Poetry: The Anthem

They sing it from the mountain tops
They sing it from the valleys low
They sing from above the sky
They sing from the ground below
They sing it sitting by their windows
They sing it standing in their yards
They sing it in their run-down cars
They sing it by their game of cards

But what can it be that they all sing
That not a single person hears?
What can it be that they all know
Yet not a single one endears?
What is it that the billions voice
That falls on Silence's deaf ears?
And if you listened closer still
Would you hear it through their silent tears?

They hum it day to day to night
They hum it while they laugh and play
They hum it while their children learn
They hum it every single day
They hum it in their broken homes
They hum it to their broken lives
They hum it to the sounds of work
They hum it to the clang of knives

But what can it be that they all hum
That not a single person hears?
What can it be they they all want
Yet not a single one endears?
What is it that the billions hum
That falls cold on Misfortune's mind?
And if you listened closer still
Would you begin to hum in time?

Because what they hum and what they sing
Is only what they've always done
When the monumental truths of life
Burned their minds so far undone
Because what they sing and what they hum
Is the anthem of their bodies sore
Of their lives so filled with pain
It is the anthem of the poor

Oct 29, 2011

Poetry: The Only Walk

He walked away, and so did I
Down opposing streets with opposing lives
We'd screamed the world once over, thus
We figured that chain of love was broken for us

And so we both marched our own warpaths away
I said "See you never." He said "Never seize the day."
And so I didn't seize it; instead I thought in idleness
Of all the trifles we had had to make this go amiss

And so I kept on not seizing it; instead I wandered through the past
That past that had been alight with flames, now crumbling with ash
And this past of mine I could not grasp, it made me cold inside
And no matter how fast I walked my street, it was something I could not hide

If only we had both realized that the world is just a sphere
If you walk straight on your warpath, you'll be here then there then here
It's a never ending circle, and it's trickery is just and fair
And that was why both of us were once again ensared

We met face to face, both hiding our faces from a like cold
And when our iced-up eyes met, they spoke of volumes yet untold
And it was at this little point in time, we no longer could deny
That our foolish trifles of the past had costs us our together lives

And so, with such remorse and resentment high
We decided the only way it could be all right
Is if we wiped that slate perfectly clean
And stopped walking straight and striding mean

And thus, our chain of love was forged again
We laughed the world once over, and
Down a new street, we strolled that night
We walked together, side by side

Posted to dVerse

Oct 28, 2011

On Writing: The Omnipresent Muse





I hear it on every blog, on every thread, in every classroom:

Where does your inspiration come from?

Oct 27, 2011

Poetry: The Ventriloquist

A voice was thrown across the world
A shallow little unheard voice
It existed in all of the forms
That all the world loves
To ignore

I sat so long staring in stride
Out of a window, lofted high
And yet that staring far
And wide did not aid
Me at all

That tiny, little unheard voice that
Soared so far across all of time
It was a voice I'd long forgotten
And I once conceived it may
Have been mine

I still sit staring at the window
But now I'm shrinking in my
Seat, and my shoulders are
Now hunching with the
Pain of my defeat

The little voice is gradually fading
It's lost among six billion more
And with it goes my hope
Of Ages, my hope of ever
Gaining choice

I cannot move from that high window
I can only sit and stare and try
And fail to think of what
I've been missing so far
In my life

When that voice comes back around
The world and to my window up
So high; it is so sadly garbled
That I crumble under its
Sound

Because waiting for that little voice
Was the purpose of my sedentary
Life, and because I have now
Lost its meaning to the world
I have also lost my mind

posted to dVerse

Oct 26, 2011

Short Story: The Division & The Conqueror, Finale (REN3)

(Part 1)(Part 2)(Part 3)

The Division & The Conqueror, Finale


                  Brian scrubbed his hair, watching the dye disappear down the drain. He’d hated that hideous brown, but he’d needed two distinct looks. One for the fake Brian Nevaster. One for the equally fake Eland Brann. Neither of which could connect him to the pale, red-haired, real Brian De’Fontaine. After his last setup had fallen through, he’d been forced to start all over in this god-forsaken had-been boomtown. His eighth-month stay had nearly bored him to death. If it hadn’t been for Beckett’s property and Fitzer’s designs, he’d have ditched this place altogether. But no, he’d decided to hunker down and deal with it. 

                  And now it had paid off. He turned the sink knobs until the water cut off and dried his hands on one of Beckett’s towels. No, no. His towels. Beckett’s property was his now. With a couple slights of hand, he’d slipped himself into Beckett’s will. And with Fitzer’s blueprints in hand too, he had a mighty big fortune coming his way real soon. He clapped and chuckled to himself. It had been such a long damn time since he’d accomplished anything like this. No…he’d never accomplished anything this big before! He’d be set for life off the money he made from this scheme. 

                  “Ah, Brian, old boy, you have outdone yourself.” He tossed his last few keepsakes in his suitcase. The rest of Beckett’s—no, his—things were up for auction tomorrow, including his house. And Fitzer’s…well, Fitzer’s place was more of the foundation of a house than anything else. He’d made sure of that. After his first two attempts to off the sparring duo failed, he’d actually had to stop and reevaluate things before anyone got suspicious. Didn’t want a repeat of last time

                  But no, this time around his plan had gone off without a hitch. A carefully forged eviction notice. Some slight tampering with Fitzer’s prized generator. And boom! That was all she wrote. He clicked the clasps on his suitcase shut and ambled toward the door, humming gleefully. 

He’d arranged for his money to be wired to him after the auction. He couldn’t stand another day in this deadbeat town. Slamming the door shut behind him, he started off down the road. A single train ride to a big city with a nice big bank and a completely anonymous population and he’d be set.

                  “You’re going to live the high life, old boy!” He chuckled. Finally. How long had he been waiting for his luck to change? Five years? Ten? His entire lifetime? 

                  Almost skipping, he approached the old bridge that connected Beckett’s—his—house to the rest of the world. He snorted as his footsteps reverberated in creaks across the wood. “I’ll never have to walk this rickety thing again. I’ll never have to see this damned place again. I’ll never even have to think about it again! Ha!” 

He quickened his pace and set his eyes on the road. Suddenly, he paused, his stomach churning. A figure in black was visible in the distance. Who the hell would be all the way out here? Had someone found him out? Was it the police? God damn it, if he’d done all this for nothing again he swore—! 

Crack.

He shrieked as the bridge rapidly collapsed beneath him, sending him tumbling wildly into the rushing water below. 

He didn’t surface. 

_______

                  From his perch on the old fence, Frederick Beckett calmly watched the scene unfold. He tipped his black hat, took a drag from his cigar, and, gazing at the sky, shook his head. “Well, guess that settles that.”

The End

________
Rule of Three Blogfest Entry
"The Division & The Conqueror", Finale

Word Count: 598
Prompt(s):  The misfortune is resolved.
The final event becomes another secret for generations to come.
There is a new arrival in town.

Oct 25, 2011

On Writing: The Creation of a Story





You are standing in a grocery store. You are sifting through several brands of butter, comparing prices and nutrition and weighing the pros and cons. And, while so entirely wrapped up in the mundane, you fail to notice the shadow creeping up on you. It gets closer and closer and closer and closer, and yet, you still stand there balancing your butter bins back and forth like you're a god of judgment.


And then it strikes you.

Oct 24, 2011

News: 10/24

I have news! Well, not really too much.

This weeks, I have quite a few things to do.

- Calculus Test on Wednesday
- Drama Presentation on Wednesday

Plus several Japanese tests and a lot more homework.

Anyway, those are the two big things, so I wouldn't expect anything substantial from until Wednesday night or later this week. I'll probably spend all of tomorrow night studying for my Calculus test...I need to do a bit better on this one than I did on the last one. -cough-

Anyway...

Things that should be popping up in the near future:

1.) The Three Day Photographer: Still working on it; Once I finishe writing it, I'll be submitting it to my critique site, editing it, and repeating that a couple of times. After that, it should be out for your consumption. So, like...hm, three weeks or so, maybe? I need to finish writing it first off. I'll be adding a bit more onto it tonight, but I don't want it to interfere too much with either my schoolwork or NaNo, so we'll see.

2.) The Bombardiers: I got to Chapter 11 on my outline (but, of course, all the chapters are just tentative for now). It's clocking in at about 5,000+ words at this point, so I'll guess I'll be expecting another 15k or so outline. Bah! Anyway, it's sounding good for now, but I'll obviously need to flesh it out a bit more in the actual writing.

And...that's pretty much all I have. Um, expect more poetry, like usual? I can't really think of anything else.

Poetry: The Unbroken Circle (Lyrics)

I wrote this the other day in a mad fit of inspiration. It's actually a song, but I can't sing, so you'll just have to enjoy it as a poem instead. xD

_______________

I have walked this path
One thousand times
I have crossed this river
In a million rhymes
I have leapt over mountains
And swam in the depths
But I have never in my whole life
Known the truth of who I am

I have climbed so high
Just to fall so far
I have run so quickly
Just to miss the stars
I have grasped at strands
That have slipped through my fingers
And yet, through all of everything
That age old mystery still lingers

I have hit rock bottom
Just to break that goddamned floor
I have shattered my glass ceiling
Just to realize there was more
I have checked out of my warped mind
Just to be trapped in more damned fear
And I have realized through it all now
That the secret...

The secret...

The secret...

...was just another path straight here

Posted to dVerse

Oct 23, 2011

Review: Supernatural S7, Episode 5

Warning: This review will contain spoilers. And opinions. Lots of them. (This review in particular also contains some graphic images.)

This season of Supernatural began with a bit of a bore. Cas dissolved into Leviathans, who are apparently generic monster-types whose only distinguishing figures are hilarious mouths and being invincible. For the first couple episodes, Sam was stuck having hallucinations of Lucifer (which were awesome), but now they've kind vanished. Much like any coherent plot. Thus far, Dean's personality has been completely maimed, Bobby's house has been burned down, the highlight of the season is the Egyptian God Osiris' personality.

Yeah, now let's talk about this episode...

Oct 22, 2011

Poetry: The Forgotten

For the persona poem challenge at dVerse.

The clock on the tower struck a grim 12 high noon
And I observed the lunch-goers like I do every day
They laugh and they chuckle and they talk on their phones
Without even bothering to spare a glance my way 

You can see, can't you?

I sit in the shadows, contemplating my life
Wondering how it was this place and time came to be
There was a point, one dim past, where I was a lunch-goer too
But that past is in tatters, I am now only what you see

But you don't see, do you?

I remember the day when my world fell to pieces
I came home to my wife, who was walking out the door
And it was only gradually, after days of denial
That I realized she wasn't coming back anymore

I didn't see either, you know?

And somehow, some way, in some time, it came to this
My emotions were so broken that I fell away from life
I hit that non-life-rock-bottom and could never climb out
It was a pit so-far deep as the depths of my strife

But you can't see that, can you?

And now I sit all day, underneath the sun, wind, and rain
My hopes of recovery long dashed, long, long ago
I gave up on the world in a damn far distant past
And the world, so scorned, she also let me go

That's why you don't see me, you know?

The clock on the tower is about to strike 12 midnight
Yet I keep sitting even while the mercury descends
Because at this point, house, wealth, life ruined
I can do nothing else but hope for the end

But you'll never see that, will you?

Review: Vampire Diaries S3, Episode 6

Warning: This review will contain spoilers. And opinions. Lots of them. 

__________

Oh, yes! It's VD time again. And what a time!

Last week, we ended with Klaus forcing Stefan to turn off his emotions. Unfortunately, Klaus then gets Stefan to stay behind in Mystic Falls to watch Elena, whose blood Klaus needs in order to make hybrids. Tyler becomes Klaus' first test of that and gained the title of "first successful hybrid." Meanwhile, Matt kills himself temporarily in order to talk to Vicky, but gets more than he bargained for when he keeps seeing her after Bonnie revives him. Lastly, off on another adventure, Katherine finds Mikael, the vampire who hunts other vampires, and attempts to revive him in order to get him to kill Klaus.

Now we pick up from there.

Oct 20, 2011

How would you feel about a free ebook?

Hey, guys! So, I've been doing some thinking. (Oh dear, I know.) I was going to take a creative writing writing class that required a portfolio, and so, I started writing a short story, remember? The Three Day Photographer? Yeah?

Well, I don't think I'm going to apply for that class anymore, but I don't want to, you know, abandon the story totally. So, what do you say I finish writing it and then put it up as a free ebook or something? Would you consider reading it?

Just in case you're wondering, it's sort of a horror short story combined with a mystery short story. So, I guess it would count as a free horror ebook? Or perhaps a free mystery ebook? Well,  I don't know. I'll figure out a genre once I finish writing it, yeah?

Hm, I should write some kind of summary, huh? To see if you guys would read it?

Wallace Beaumont is a detective. In the late summer of 1875, he is called in to solve a case that has mystified the police: the disappearances of several men. Disappearances that happened in the span of mere seconds, in the midst of daily activities, with friends and loved ones and neighbors mere feet away. Baffled, Wallace painstakingly searches for some kind of connection between the missing men, but he only comes up with a single fact: every last one of them went to the same photographer three days before they vanished.

So, sound like a short story you'd be willing to read for free?

Oct 19, 2011

Short Story: The Division & The Conqueror, P3 (REN3)

(Part 1)(Part 2)

The Division & The Conqueror, Part 3



Amadeus Fitzer stood hunched over his latest invention. His generator design had gradually improved over the last few months, and he was about to make another breakthrough. He was almost tempted to describe himself as giddy, but, he knew, in order to be taken seriously in the scientific field, one had to be composed and refined. And brilliant. That too.

Oct 17, 2011

News: 10/17

That time again, guys.

Let's do a quick recap first.

1.) I posted a new poem the other day, entitled "The Silence of Decay". If you have time, take a look at that.

2.) I posted some quotes from my in progress outline of The Bombardiers. So far, I have two pages, creatively entitled Quotes 1 and Quotes 2.

Now, onto next week.

Since next week is my hell week, expect me to be noticeably absent. I have a Calculus test on Wednesday, which is the only thing I'm really worried about. On the up side, I know the material for this chapter better than last chapter, so we'll see how it goes. Really, my quiz this Wednesday should tell me where I'm at.

I also have another Drama paper to write and yet another Data Structures project to complete. However, I can tell you to expect a couple things.

1.) This Wednesday, I'll be posting the next part of "The Division & The Conqueror". After that, it'll just be my grand finale left.

2.) Expect another poem, like usual. I tend to write at least one a week these days.

3.) I'm currently writing a horror short story called "The Three Day Photographer". I'm not sure when I'll be posting it though. I'm submitting it as part of a required portfolio in order to get into a creative writing class at my school. So, perhaps I'll post it after the teacher makes her decisions on who gets in?

So, I guess that sums up my next week or so. I have more The Bombardiers quotes, but I'm entirely sure when I'll be posting more. I don't want to spoil everything, after all. 

Poetry: The Silence of Decay

There is a vast place, unknown to the norm
It exists in all colors, all shapes, and all forms
It exists in all countries and all walks of life
It's name may be Pain, or Suffering, or Strife

This vast place is growing, and yet we are blind
We see trivialities, yet we are biding our time
We are only delaying that which must come to pass:
The point when we ourselves join this place at last

This vast place is seething with fire and rage
Yet we see only blackness or grayness or haze
We've turned a blind eye to the obvious truth
And it's left us susceptible, like corruptible youth

And really, in the end, when this place lights ablaze
When it burns all the blackness and grayness and haze
We will still try to run, try to turn away cold
But that vast, hot inferno will burn through our souls

It will devour in hatred all of our ideals
It will seek for its anger endless half-filling meals
And it will never be full, not until the end
When all that turned away from it is burned and blackened

Because that vast place that becomes a harsh fire
Is our country's foundation, it's situation is dire
Yet we'll turn a blind eye, and we'll let it fall down
And it will crumble beneath us, yet we'll make not a sound

It will shatter to ashes, it will burn straight to sand
And yet we, the people, will still in ignorance stand
Until in the end, when the foundation falls through
And the silent decay becomes audible to you

Posted to dVerse

Oct 16, 2011

Novel: The Bombardiers (Quotes 2)

Got some more quotes for you guys for my science fiction novel in progress!

_________

From Chapter 3, as Ganth is getting "rescued"--

“Congratulations, Mr. Richard Ganth, you have captured my attention. If you intend to utilize it in a timely manner, I would suggest you humble your brutish self and ask for help now. Preferably before more of the AJA shows up to spirit you off into the night.” 

-- Xi
 
_________

From Chapter 4, Xi's explanation of erasure--

“Well, you see, this whole erasure business can be a bit tricky. I mean, they could just erase entire families for one person’s wrong, but the more people you take out of the equation, the more things just don’t add up.” She laughs. “Ah, math humor! Anyway, sometimes, instead of just erasing children along with their oh-so-guilty-of-something-inane parents, they’ll just implant a plausible situation in everyone’s mind of how they died. Usually horrifically. Although I was particularly amused by the one about the microwave explosion.”

-- Xi


_________

From Chapter 4, Xi's explanation of why Ganth is "special"--

“Oh, you! You’re a special little bastard! I wish I’d found you sooner, but even my amazing self couldn’t spot the error. As it turns out, you’re little health implant, aka memory distorter, has an imperceptible defect that, well, renders it completely useless in terms of its underlying, unknown, sinister function that isn’t supposed to exist. In other words, it does exactly what it’s supposed to do and doesn’t do what’s it not supposed to do but normally does.”  

-- Xi
 

 _________

From Chapter 4, Sara's angry rant about Xi's secrecy--
 
“I swear, you are the most infuriating woman I’ve ever met. You tell me groundbreaking things, and yet you leave the most important parts out. You tell me they erase people, and yet you never explains what happens after that! So, please, please, can you spare one moment of your precious time and tell me? What happens to the people that get erased? Torture? Prison? Soylent Green is people? What?

-- Sara


Oct 15, 2011

Novel: The Bombardiers (Quotes 1)

Hey, guys! I've actually managed to start working on my outline for The Bombardiers. I was thinking it would be cool if I shared a few quotes that I come up with while writing it.

Here's a couple I've written so far:

From the Prologue--

"In your greed and ignorance, you overstepped your boundaries. You pushed beyond the realm of your own understanding. You played a god you had no right to play. Instead of advancing our wealth of knowledge in order to craft a better life for all, you created an invincible killer. And now that killer will kill us all."

- Millicent Barnes

_____

From Chapter 2, while Sara is calling her sister--

"You know, Miss Sara Miller, since you are so obviously concerned about the AJA finding you via your phone, I thought I might enlighten you to the fact that I have made it utterly untraceable. Hm, you also have unlimited service now. Not that you have anyone to talk to anymore, I suppose. Bit of a paradox, isn't it? Or is it just a pity? You know, I'm not entirely sure." 

- Xi

Review: Supernatural S7, Episode 4

Warning: This review will contains spoilers. And opinions. Lots of them.

_____________

Well, I haven't been impressed so far with season 7, but this episode appeared to be offering something decent. 

But before I get into that, let's recap.

Season 7 began with Cas exploding into a mass of Leviathans, who went off and possessed a bunch of different people to wreak havoc. Thus far, their presence has only been felt in short bursts. We know that they're looking for Sam and Dean and that they have a "boss" of some sort. And that they eat people. That's about it. Last episode gave us some more insight into Sam's past. Turns out he knew a kitsune named Amy (Jewel Staite), and the case he'd stumbled onto was her doing. He let her go. Unfortunately, Dean found out about it and killed her. Without telling Sam. 

And now we pick up where we left off.

Oct 14, 2011

Review: Vampire Diaries, S3, Episode 5

Warning: This review will contain spoilers. And opinions. Lots of them.

_______________

Well, it's that time of the week once more. And what a time it is! Last night's episode was quite possibly the best one yet (depending on how you look at it). It was certainly the most dramatic and action-packed so far. 

But let's recap a bit first.

The first few episodes left us with a few major developments: 1) Stefan and Klaus were friends back in the day. 2) Rebekah, Klaus' sister, was revived. 3) Jeremy can now communicate with spirits. 4) In order to find out how to create hybrids, Klaus needs to contact the original witch. 5) In order to do so, he needs Rebekah's necklace, aka Elena's necklace. And finally, 6) After discovering Stefan was lying to him, Klaus took him back to Mystic Falls.