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Tag Archives: story idea

I’m rereading Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises today, and I blame Woody Allen. Actually, I blame Corey Stoll and his incredible performance as Ernest Hemingway in Allen’s latest film, which won the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay. Stoll’s performance was only one of the many constant bright points in the film, but it was this moment that really won me over. I knew then that I was going to have to return to one of my favorite books of all time. It’s quite the change of pace from the other story that I’ve been reading lately, and it’s always good to return to familiar territory.

When I was in college, I read Hemingway for the first time. I had read his work before, when I was in high school, but that was before I truly read Hemingway. Now I feel as though I am reading some of my favorite works for the first time, and so it is that The Sun Also Rises has made its way back into my hands. It feels right to be reading classic literature. I’m not trying to be a book snob or anything, because I’ll read pretty much anything and give any author a chance at least once, but it’s good to come back to perennial favorites. There is something almost indescribable about Hemingway’s storytelling that pulls you in. If you haven’t read it yet, I highly recommend you do so. He’s really not that intimidating of an author. Personally, I feel that he’s the easiest of the Lost Generation to really understand.

On the other side of the reading coin, there is the Lovecraft collection that I’ve been borrowing from a friend. Now, I own a copy of the Necronomicon, quite possibly the most thorough (and best titled) collection of H.P. Lovecraft’s work ever published, but it’s sadly hidden away in a storage unit for now. Despite the presence of perhaps only a third of the more well-known titles that exist within the pages of the Necronomicon, this collection does a phenomenal job of presenting some of the best work (albeit the shorter pieces) that he ever wrote, including “The Call of Cthulhu” and “The Shadow Over Innsmouth” within its pages. I read the former story while on an airplane over the Pacific Ocean, and I think that the only better way to experience it would be to read it on a ship in the Atlantic. You can’t beat reading a story where it takes place. This reminds me, I’m working on a piece at the moment that is set in a building not unlike my hometown library, with a few creative twists. I’ve never been in a building that is more suited for a horror story. I’m drawing on influences of Poe, Lovecraft, and King, masters of the genre, and injecting just a little bit of truth. We’ll see how it turns out.


The biggest downside to returning from a vacation is trying to get back into your everyday rhythm. Case in point: starting to blog again after nearly two weeks without writing anything other than my travelogue aboard the Stennis. I kept a journal during the entirety of the trip, logging my experiences as my father and I traveled across the country together, but now I’m trying to get back into the habit of writing things for you. Fifty plus pages of journal about a ride across the ocean on an aircraft carrier? Totally doable. Five hundred words about what’s going on in my life and the literary world this week? That’s a little bit trickier. Nevertheless, I’m here to try.

Let’s see. I want these, first of all. Something about being surrounded by officers in their dress uniforms just makes military fashion seem right, even if the Nintendo version is a little silly.  Second, there’s this thing right here, one of many places I’m going to be submitting a short story. Got a microfiction piece that’s n0t been published elsewhere? Send it in. They’d be happy to see it. V tipped me off about it a few weeks ago, and I am quite grateful. On a related note, has anyone ever heard of The Rag? I’d not, at least until recently. It’s worth a shot, I suppose.

One of the things that I did miss while I was gone: Sonia M’s February challenge. I intend to make up for that with the March challenge, which seems far more targeted toward writers like me than the February challenge did. It’s the first one I’ve missed since I started doing them, and I’m a little sad that I didn’t get an entry written, but there has been a lot of progress elsewhere that more than makes up for it, at least as far as I’m concerned.

So, yeah, my writing projects continue. One of the best things about my recent trip was the opportunity to have a LOT of time to myself, for my writing. See, Arsus and Rime have been pretty quiet lately, so the progress on my working title, “Swords of the Ancients” has been stalled. As such, I have been venturing into the darker side of my imagination, contrary to the advice I got from my father last week. Dad told me that I should write a wholesome story, and be more of a Tolkien than a Stieg Larsson, for example. That’s all fine and dandy from the outside perspective, and I really do appreciate his concern for my writing, but if you pretend that the shadows never exist, you’ll never see what hides in them. The things that hide in the shadows of my own mind are what I find fascinating. Human nature isn’t as clear cut and good as we would like it to be, for whatever reason, but those bits of darkness are so compelling… Just imagine the stories we might learn from the things that go unseen in our world.

I dunno. Maybe it’s just the stories of the great writers of the past, but I feel like there’s got to be something more than just heartwarming tales of puppies and stuff to write about. Even Tolkien had to embrace a little of the darkness to create the depth of the villains in Middle Earth. I guess I’m just talking about not just a casual embrace, but making passionate love to the darkness and getting into a committed relationship with it, and maybe even moving in together, and getting a joint bank account, or at least a two-seater bicycle. Yeah. It’s exactly like that.

I hit the ground running this morning, if getting out of bed at 10 AM can really count as a running start. You see, this is going to be a big week. After missing two days of work because of an amazing snow storm (and actually being snowed in for the first time in YEARS), I finally got things moving again. It seems that my repeated attempts to get a slight boost in hours at work have been noticed, and I’m getting a new schedule with more hours (okay, one more per week), and it’s enough to get me partial benefits and a work week that’s not completely insane.

Not pictured: the 45 minutes it took to dig her out.

Now that the weather has cleared up, though, and the creativity is going. And going strong. Maybe I’m just fueled by the Irish Car Bomb cake that I made the other day, but I woke up this morning after dreaming of Lovecraftian things. This means that I’ve now hit upon my next idea for a novel. Yes, the first one is still a work in progress, with around 32,000 words at present, but it’s not often that I’ve come up with ideas for something that I feel could be more than just a short story. In fact, if memory serves, this makes, well…two. So this is big. I’ve never had that feeling of “HOLY SHIT I HAVE TO GET OUT OF BED AND WRITE THIS ALL DOWN RIGHT NOW!” until this morning. It was glorious. Cue me running down the stairs, grabbing a Java Monster from the fridge, and hurling myself onto the couch to scribble out two full pages of random notes, details, and actual bits of dialogue that came out of something reminiscent of Rose Red meets Call of Cthulhu. Yeah. No more details at present. I’ve got characters to come up with soon.

So yeah, off to a good start, like I said. Jot down some notes, chug some coffee, eat some candy for breakfast, and jump on twitter to find this. That’s three major book retailers refusing flat-out to sell books published via amazon, which has been attempting to cut the middle man out of publishing in addition to book sales. This boycott started with independent booksellers, so bravo to those little guys who were brave enough to stand up to amazon in the first place. The online retailer seems to be in some danger now anyway, mostly due to rapid over-expansion. I’m intrigued to see how this plays out. Now, I’ve had it pointed out that some writers who had published through amazon would now be in trouble, but, well, “you dance with the devil…” I’m just glad that I didn’t go that route. I’m determined to stick by traditional publishing, despite the fact that it’s a long, difficult road. Maybe this whole situation just goes to prove that the easier path isn’t necessarily the best.

Anyway, I’ve got a couple of tasks to accomplish about the house today, and then I’ll delve back into the madness that is building in the back of my mind. Cheers!

A few years back, I took an advanced grammar course at my school. Being who I am, I absolutely loved it, and I found myself digging through old assignments on my computer this morning, and came across this. We were instructed to create a single, grammatically correct sentence that contained at least one hundred words, and I responded with a little character introduction.

“His elegant, beaklike nose and dark black oilskin raincoat dripping furiously, the large man drew the gazes of many as he burst suddenly through the heavy oaken door of the inn; out of the fiercely piercing rain and whipping wind and into the welcoming embrace that was the main dining hall; out of the inky blackness of the night and into the warm glow of the roaring fire; safe at last from the threat of the lurkers in the shadows and secure in the familiar confines of Georg’s tavern; free of the frantic chaos that enveloped the outside world and comforted by the sight of Georg pouring him a foaming tankard of ale.”