Chapter One, About Three Hours Later


So, I’ve re-written the first chapter of Dawning of the Sun. I’ve posted the new draft in the place of the former draft on the above tab.

I hope that it’s an improvement. I didn’t change too much in this chapter, mostly adding descriptions when needed. I’m sure I’ll go through it again and add more and change some and improve it. I seem to do this every year.

Anyways, for those of you willing to spend the time reading my crazy-mixed up world of pirates, gods, and family matters I thank you and I hope you enjoy it.

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Reconstruction


So, I’ve decided to completely re-tool my novel, Dawning of the Sun, of which I have posted the first chapter in one of my tabs.

I sat down to work on it today and it was like trying to ride a bike through wet concrete, painful, tiresome and all together fruitless. I have this problem with editing, when I sit down to write all I do is edit and I don’t actually write anything. So, I told myself I wasn’t allowed to edit and only write, I could go back and edit later. Well, this will not work. I have too many ideas to re-vamp the story that writing now is just ridiculous because nothing seems to play out right. I have too many ideas swirling around. I even went so far as to writing random events in that were irrelevant to my current place and just moving ahead, but then how am I going to get there?

In order to move forward I need to re-write the past, literally. I started writing this book when I was sixteen. That’s over seven years ago and I haven’t even hit the middle of my story. My ideas and views are different, everything has changed and I have a greater understanding of stories and writing. I need to change it all, rip it down to the bare skeleton, re-arrange some bones and add new meat and skin.

I know that this is far from my last edit and I know it’s far from my last re-write. But I think if I can get this story on the right track, incorporate things I forgot, missed or recently thought of I’ll be able to make it a good story and I’ll be able to progress it the way it should progress. Right now it feels wrong, it’s terribly lacking and childish. As harshly as I can judge other writers, I judge myself to quite a greater degree.

Basically, my story is shit and I need to do better. If at first you don’t succeed change your tactics and start a new. This is the plan.

Re-write here I come, I’m going to hate you by the end but I’ll be thankful you happened.

City of Bones or Completely Irrelevant Title


***Be warned, plot spoilers ahead***

I just burnt through City of Bones by Cassandra Clare. When I say “burnt through” I mean that I read the trade-paper back copy in 8 days. It was an easy read.

Now, it was an interesting story and creative, I will give Clare that. But I have some concerns, many concerns in fact.

First off, McElderry Books needs to hire some new editors. I came across grammatical errors left, right and centre. These were pissing me off to no end, because if you’re going to publish a book at least read it carefully first! When I read my writing over and find grammatical mistakes I feel like a complete fool if anyone has read it. If those mistakes were mass-published world-wide I would he horrified. Now, I’m sure Clare probably doesn’t give a rat’s ass because, well she was published. But, seriously McElderry Books, get some good workers for crying out loud!

Now, the fact that Clare’s editors didn’t point out that she uses similes like they’re going out of style makes me wonder if anyone edited this book at all. Every single description is a simile. When Clare finally got around to describing something without one I was ready to throw her a parade. That’s right Clare, descriptions don’t ALWAYS need “like” or “as.”

City of Bones’ title is completely irrelevant to the whole of the plot. This whole book has 23 chapters plus an epilogue and half of one chapter is spent in the actual City of Bones. How does this warrant the title? How?!

As for the plot, sometimes it was exciting. Clare can write a decent fight scene, I’ll give her that. But her main character Clary (with a name very similar to the author’s… draw your own conclusions) was inconsistent. I found that she seemed to get weaker minded as the story went on. When it started she was all sass and attitude, then she became a scared little girl who couldn’t do much but run up to her convictions and she “Oh, hi.” Yes, her circumstances were more dire by the end, but still a strong character rises to the occasion, learns from their follies and becomes stronger, much like strong people. That’s why we like them. But Clary… I didn’t feel like there was any growth at all.

One thing that annoyed me was that there was no explanation of where Angels, whom the Shadowhunters are descended from, come from. Demons come from other dimensions and so one, Downworlders are half demons or infected with a demon disease, but where the hell do Angles come from? There were churches, but no mention of any religion. The one time that God was brought up, we were told not to think about him because he wouldn’t help, that is if he existed. If anyone who is supposed to be as well read and clever as Clary were thrust into this world how would you not think to ask what an Angel is exactly if you’re supposed to be half of one? “I don’t know who I am now that I’m half Angel, but hey no need to know what that means.” I’m compelled to read the rest of the series just to see if Clare will ever explain herself on this. 

Now for the biggest cop-out of the book. The whole love triangle. Let’s face it, in all books of this particular persuasion there is a love triangle and when done right, we love it. Yes, I’ll admit it. But the whole point is the struggle of the triangle. Clare up and turned the new love interest in Clary’s life into her brother so now she could be in love with her best friend Simon and still love the new man in her life, Jace, but with sibling affection so it’s ok to love both of them. The fact that these two characters made-out at one point was only briefly touched upon and didn’t seem to disturb Clary at all, only slightly embarrass her. Also, after not talking about it these two new found siblings were perfectly content being buddy-buddies. I’m sorry Clare, but I will suspend my disbelief for the supernatural beings, for the shiny mystical weapons, but this? No, Clare. Human emotion and reaction is not something you can gloss over.

But, let’s be honest I will read the other books because I bought the second and third books already. I don’t hate the book, I actually kind of like it, in that “I love this movie because it’s terrible” kind of way. It did it’s job, it took me out of my life and entertained me.

So, despite my better judgement I’m hoping that some of these flaws will be addressed and corrected in the sequel. What can I say, I’m an optimist at heart.

Despite everything, this book has taught me a valuable lesson. Don’t submit anything to anyone until you’re absolutely sure you’ve worked out all the kinks.

Normally, now’s when I’d tell you to either pick up a copy or run for the hills when you see it, but today I’m no the fence. You’ve heard what I’ve had to say, it’s in your hands.

Life and All The Names


I’m still here, albeit in a lesser sense, but I’m still here.

I’ve had a rough couple of months. I’ve been over worked, emotionally strained, more stressed than I’ve ever been, hit bottom, and slowly began to  find myself again.

My little girl, my beautiful kitten had a genetic defect, which didn’t affect her until she grew to a certain size. Being a manx my little Lux had manx syndrome and lost nerve control at the end of her spine and all the corresponding sphincters. My landlords got angry, my vet bills got expensive (even though the vet did nothing for her and I did all the research). In the end I had to put my little girl down at nine months old. I couldn’t bare to watch her in so much pain. I live with pain every day and I couldn’t put her through that. She now resides next to my first cat Cleo, who lived a good 17 years. She lies under a bed of evening primrose.

The stress and grief have kept me from writing and reading. I couldn’t think of anything else. I’m still grieving, even though it’s been almost a month since I lost her. But things are getting easier. Today, I actually feel a little bit more like me.

So I chose today to finally finish reading All The Names by José Saramago. I’ve loved every novel of his that I’ve read. All The Names, however is the only one that has left me with a complete and utter sense of the spectacular beauty that lies in the most ordinary people. Blindness and Seeingwhile masterfully written, open your eyes but make you weep for humanity. The Cave makes you cringe at the horrible way our lives are dictated by the cold fist of capitalism. All The Names just gave me an incredible sense of the complexities and subtitles of the human condition.

The story is almost disappointingly simple. Senor José, a clerk at the Central Registry, has a hobby of collecting the life information of celebrities from the news papers, but when he accidentally takes the registry card of an unknown woman he sets out to find her. He doesn’t do much besides research. There is absolutely no action whatsoever, unless you consider walking and bus taking action. But Saramago’s style is so captivating that you don’t even realizes there isn’t any action. There were so many passages in this novel that I fell in love with. Here’s on of my favourites:

“As for the metaphysical thoughts, my dear Sir, allow me to say that any brain is capable of producing them, it’s just that we cannot always find the words.”

Of course, naming the main character after one’s self gives rise to a plethora of questions and gives new meaning to the character. But the depth in which his thoughts were written and the conversations that Senor José has with himself reflect so well the inner workings of a person who spends nearly all his time alone that you forget that you’re not reading about yourself. I’m kind of a major loner myself these days and to know that other minds work so tirelessly to explain things to themselves gives me a sense of comfort.

The only thing I didn’t much care for in this novel was the way it was translated. This happens whenever I read a book by Saramago or Marquez. The grammars of our languages are so different. While the translator did a great job, I’m just not fond of reading dialogue between people all in one sentence or having about 30 clauses in one sentence separated by commas. But, that’s really more of a taste issue.

I highly recommend that you read All The Names. By the end you wont help but have a soft smile creep onto your face.