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Oct 24, 2014

October Ghoul Fest: Golems

Every Friday this month is dedicated to the Ghoulish aspect of literature. I’m going to talk specifically about the monsters that haunt pages and share my thoughts on the creatures that have captured the curious and often terrified corners of our minds.

 
 
A part of Jewish folklore, a golem is a creature created of inanimate material and magic. Usually, the Golem is made of clay (or sometimes stone). The magical element is usually a spell (or the name of God) written on a piece of paper and placed into the golem’s mouth.
The golem story came about in early Judaism, in the Talmud. One could posit that human life is the result of the creation of golems (God created Adam, forming him from earth and breathed life into him).
 
While I have no proof, I can’t help but theorize that a similar thought process is what spurred the terracotta army of Quin Shi Huang in China.
Popular in Czech folklore since early times, the figure of the golem was adopted by most of European society in the 20th century and lead to various twists and turns in the story.
Golems are usually associated with the geographic area surrounding Israel. Most often, I’ve seen them associated with Prague and Jerusalem.  
Honestly, I don’t have a favorite golem book. I’d like to, but I haven’t read enough to really know.
I own the Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker, but haven’t gotten a chance to read it, and The Golem’s Eye by Jonathan Stroud was a lovely read… but I guess I’m looking for recommendations.
What’s your favorite Golem novel (or series)?
 
 
 

Oct 23, 2014

Author Calling Cards: H. P. Lovecraft




So.... I doodled some calling cards and I've decided to share them with you from time to time.....

The first is for H.P. Lovecraft as you can tell. Complete with a depiction of Cthulhu.

Oct 22, 2014

Review: Enclave





Enclave

by Anne Aguirre

Book 1 Razorland





My Summary:

In post-apocalyptic New York, Deuce lives in an underground society where you have a purpose, or your left to the freaks that are slowly hunting humanity to extinction. When she becomes a Huntress and is paired with Fade, she begins to see the darker side of the world she's grown up in. The freaks aren't the only ones she needs to be afraid of.

My Review:

Maybe I didn't get it? This book was okay, but beyond the general setting and my interest in the societal setup, it was really difficult to stay interested. I almost gave up on the book when they hit the surface. I just couldn't bring myself to care about the main characters.

The plot falls apart toward the end and it feels remarkably disjointed for an author who's shown she knows how to carry a story over an extended series.

The freaks are awesome, the idea that they're evolving is even more so. But then that part of the plot fizzles.

No climax, no conclusion... no bueno.

Oct 21, 2014

10 Prep Tips For NaNoWriMo




You Should Already Be Prepping For NaNo.
We’re less than a month away. Are you ready? If not, you need to get there. If you leave it to the last minute, you’ll have a harder time making it through.

There are dozens of ways to trip yourself up during NaNo, (getting hung up on editing, falling into a writer’s block trap, etc) One of the best ways I’ve found to get words on the page is to have a plan. You might be a punster. And that’s great, but when it comes to Nano, the more you know before you sit down, the better.

1. Start with the Big Picture. Decide right now what your book is about. Write it down.

2. Start fleshing out your characters. Make a list starting with your protagonist and as you add a name, note how that character effects the story or how their relation to the main character.

3. Brainstorm Plot Ideas. What happens to those characters you just wrote up?

4. Create a rough outline. You brainstormed up those ideas, now put them in some sort of an order. Whether it’s in an outline like you had to make in High School, or on index cards that you tape to the wall, just get it in some sort of order.

5. Compile your writing aides in a place that will be convenient and useful. If you want to do most of your writing in pencil and then transfer it to the computer, make sure you have a sharpener and plenty of paper. If you are using the notecard method, make sure you don’t leave those in an odd place. Make sure your laptop battery is fully charged and the cable is in your bag ANY time you leave the house to write. Etc.

6.Sort out your tunes. If you write to music, the middle of NaNo is not the time you’re going to want to spend figuring out what to listen to next. Sort out some playlists to get you working and have them on hand.

7. Make sure you have a writing spot. Maybe you have a desk or a specific coffee shop where you like to hunker down with your lap top, or maybe you want to hole up in your bedroom closet with the door closed and a head lamp on. Wherever it is, make sure you have it and that you’re going to be comfortable there for long stretches of writing.

8. Flesh out a Schedule. In theory, sitting down at the computer and tapping out 1667 words each day is going to get you to the finish line. But let’s face it. Some days you’re just not going to be able to do that.  Somedays, you’ll want to get your w/c in, but life will get in the way. Make up a tentative schedule and consider tossing in some “make-up days.”

9.  Find a support group. Whether it’s your current betas, family members, or your local NaNo Group, you’ll want someone to talk to about the frustrations you will undoubtedly face next month. If nothing else, find someone who’s willing to hold you accountable, and return the favor.

10. Repeat After Me: There is nothing I write that can’t be fixed in December. Write that in big, bold letters and tape it to the top of your computer screen if you have to. The goal with NaNo is to finish, not to make it perfect.

Oct 17, 2014

October Ghoul Fest: Ghosts

Every Friday this month is dedicated to the Ghoulish aspect of literature. I’m going to talk specifically about the monsters that haunt pages and share my thoughts on the creatures that have captured the curious and often terrified corners of our minds.

 
Ghosts are the non-corporeal afterlife representation of a person’s soul or spirit. Often the theory that accompanies them deals with an unfulfilled piece of the person’s life keeping them tethered here instead of letting them float off into the afterworld. Usually manifesting as a vaporous form, or as lights and shadows, ghost “sightings” can be as passive as a gentle whisper of breath on the nape of your neck, or can be as violent as the destruction of personal property.  
Historians believe the myth of ghosts can be seen in pre-literate civilizations, and have found instances of them in all cultures around the world.
My favorite Ghost book from the last few years has been Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake. And if you want to know why, check out my review of the book from last year.
 

What’s your favorite ghost novel (or series)?