Monthly Archives: November 2013

The Books I am Thankful For

In honor of Thanksgiving today’s post will be dedicated to the books I am thankful for. Where would I be without them? It makes me sad to think of how things would be if these books never existed.

The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien

Yes, I’m counting it as one book like Tolkien intended. (Though if you’re forcing me to choose a favorite part it would be The Two Towers. But The Fellowship of the Ring is my favorite movie counterpart. Actually it’s my favorite movie of all time.) Anyway, this book changed everything for me. It opened my eyes and allowed me to embrace my geekiness. It also birthed an arguably unhealthy obsession with all things LOTR that I’m sure my family was hoping would have gone away by now. Sorry, family, it hasn’t.

Geeky-fan-obsession moments include: Owning three LOTR movie replicas of the iconic rings (Aragorn’s, Galadriel’s, and the One Ring), two Tolkien inspired tattoos (J.R.R. Tolkien’s logo and the Elvish script on the One Ring), a memory full of useless trivia and every movie quote (I used to make LOTR quizzes online, and I can still recite the film scripts), and a full-blown tantrum in 8th grade because LOTR was the required reading for an academic competition, and I almost didn’t get to compete (Don’t worry I got to go in the end, and I went to state that year too. Oh yeah).

Bottom line: The Lord of the Rings is very special to me and probably always will be. If it is to you too, then I consider us best friends already.

Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling

Duh. Most LOTR fans love Harry Potter too. Stop making us choose though! Harry Potter united so many people in a lot of ways. I’d never counted down days to a book release before or had the need to buy a book on a release day. It was glamorous and wonderful. I miss that. I loved that I stayed up until 4 a.m. just to keep reading, that the characters meant so much to me that I laughed out loud at them or cried for them, that I would force myself not to read too fast so that I wouldn’t be done with it too quickly and have to meet that gaping hole of loss that came when the book was over.

Just like LOTR I will always be a fan of this series. And just like LOTR I have an HP tattoo too. (If tattoo doesn’t say fan for life I don’t know what does). I look up to J.K. Rowling so much because her writing was brilliant. Her planning, pacing, characters, settings, plots… everything was absolute genius. I love to reread them because they still hold their magic, and they give me inspiration to be a better writer.

Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk

I’m cheating a little bit because I haven’t actually read this book yet. It’s on my enormous to-read list. But without this book and Palahniuk’s mind, we wouldn’t have the movie masterpiece. It’s in my top five favorite movies right behind The Fellowship of the Ring. It’s a book I can’t wait to read, not because I already know how the story goes, but because I know it’s going to be a piece of literary genius. If the movie is that good, the book must be fantastic. After all, the book versions are always better than the movies, right? (No, but that’s another topic).

Any Book by Andrew Smith. Ever.

Okay, I know. I’ve gone on about him before. But that’s what fans do. We don’t shut up. On my previous post, The Books that Changed my Life, I talked about how Smith’s novel The Marbury Lens completely rocked my world and ruined my ability to read or write for at least two solid weeks. Longest book hangover ever. He’s that good. And any book I’ve read from him is always a winner. The great thing about him too is that he writes like a madman. He’s got books lined-up for the next few years. I feel like he’s always going to have something to publish, thus I’m always going to have something to read by him. And that’s awesome.

Harry Potter may be over, but now I have Smith’s books to get excited for. Other titles of his include Passenger (a sequel to The Marbury Lens), In the Path of Falling Objects, Winger, Ghost Medicine (his first novel), Stick, and Grasshopper Jungle (an upcoming release I can’t wait for). And that’s not even all of them. He’s an author that I don’t care what the plot is, what the book cover looks like, how long or short the novel is, or how it’s written. I’m sold. I’m reading it. I trust him as a writer. End of discussion.

Acceleration by Graham McNamee

I talked about this book before too. But it gets mentioning again because 1.) It’s my favorite book of all time, and 2.) It’s the reason I got into YA in the first place. Without this book I wouldn’t be the YA fanatic I am today.

I could go on. I could mention the books my mom taught me how to read with, Nancy Drew for being my first “big girl” books, numerous YA titles that blew me away, other awesome books that inspired awesome movies, and even childhood favorite books. Who doesn’t like Dr. Seuss?

But I’ll end this here before I geek out too long, and instead I’ll just say thanks. Thank you to books. Thank you for teaching me how read, to appreciate written words, to fall into other worlds and realize what imagination really meant, to learn from stories and become a better writer because of it, for opening new doors and possibilities, and for always being there when I need you. I can’t wait to discover more novels to add to my list and find more reasons to be thankful for books.

What books are you thankful for and why? How did they change your life? Post below! And Happy Thanksgiving!

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Things That Stop Me from Buying a Book

When I’m browsing books at a bookstore, searching for the next potential title to take home, there are certain things I look for that influence my decision. I read Young Adult books, and there are weird little things that determine whether I want to read a particular YA book or not. They’re all my own preferences, and I’m sure I’ve passed up some really good books before. But when I buy a book I want to make sure I’m going to take the time to sit down and read it. And I have a hard time doing that when the following things happen:

Character Age

I love reading about teenagers. But I have a hard time connecting to the stories when the teenagers are younger, like 13-15. I usually prefer my teen characters to be at least 16, but I really like it when they’re 17 or 18. I’ve made exceptions, of course. But I’ve also put plenty of books back on the shelf if the character is younger than 15.

Narrator POV

This one probably gets me the most. I have a super hard time enjoying books that aren’t written in first person. When I’m looking at new titles I always open to the first page to see what POV I can expect. And if it’s third person I usually put the book back. There’s just something about first person narration that I adore, and I feel so out of my comfort zone when it isn’t used. I’ve made exceptions here too. Harry Potter being the biggest. I also have some really good titles waiting on my shelf that aren’t first person. But I have to get my head in that mind frame and pump myself up. I’ve gotten so used to first person narration that it’s hard to leave it behind.

A Lack of Cursing

I know. It should be the other way around, right? Not for me. If there is no swearing in a YA book it’s an instant turn-off. Teens cuss.  Deal with it. So if I flip to a page and see something like,“Oh crap! What the heck? Mom’s going to kick my butt!” Then I put that book back on the shelf. I can’t stand it. It sounds so false and straight-laced. I like a good rebellious, foul-mouthed teen even if that sends the wrong message.

Verse

I can’t do it. I’ve often loved the back jacket summary of certain books and then opened them to find they’re written in verse. I just can’t enjoy that style. There are plenty of people who do, and I love that it’s a different approach. But I just haven’t been able to find a passion for it.

Book Covers

I know. We’re not supposed to judge them. But if I have to see one more cover with a girl in a long flowing dress, wavy hair, and dark makeup staring off into the distance I’m going to start throwing things. Go to the YA section of a Barnes and Noble and count how many girl-in-a-fancy-dress covers there are. I won’t even touch them if they have that as a cover. I’m sorry if that’s harsh, but come on. Examples of books that drew me to them because of their covers are The Marbury Lens by Andrew Smith, Lockdown by Alexander Gordon Smith, tales of the MADMAN underground by John Barnes, Scowler by Daniel Kraus, and Miss Peregrine’s Home for Imaginary Children by Ransom Riggs. These covers were so good I almost didn’t care what the books were even about. I bought them, and they came home with me.

What about you? Does anything stop you from buying a book? Do you look for certain things before committing yourself to that novel? Or do you just dive right in?

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Interview with an Author: Tabitha Short

Today I’m interviewing Tabitha Short, an author who has had substantial success with self-publishing and runs a thriving blog with many opportunities for upcoming writers. Be sure to scroll to the end to find all the relevant links to Tabitha’s pages where you can discover her work and find out the many ways she can help promote you.

DT: Tell us a little about your work. What are your books about?

TS: Currently I have two full novels and three short stories published. The short stories are horror fiction. I try to release one every year for Halloween.

The first novel I published is titled Her Sister’s Murderer and is a mystery/thriller for young adults. It’s about seventeen-year-old Kate, a girl who visits a psychic with her friend and is taken aback when the psychic mentions the sister she had lost. She’d never actually met her sister because she disappeared before she was born. Through a series of events involving betrayal, forbidden love, and sneaking out of town on a long trip with a boy, she finds herself face to face with the man who kidnapped and killed her sister.

The second title is Arena Games: Legend of Petrova and is a high fantasy genre book for young adults. The arena games are fought with orbs that retain mystical powers. Some orbs turn rain into fire, some cause trolls to appear, and some cause rushing water to come spilling forth from nowhere. Sometimes the objective is to cause the opponent to go unconscious, sometimes the objective is to wear the opponent out until they give up, and sometimes the objective is to kill the opponent. Various circumstances determine the goal and route of the competition. Petrova has been a competitor in the games since a very early age, and she is the best player the imaginary world of the Ship Star Kingdom has ever seen. At the beginning of the story, Petrova is injured in a game and we learn she can no longer compete. Always the fast thinker, Petrova forces the Board of the Arena Games to accept her as a Master, a person who trains students to compete. She’s faced with many other obstacles and meets a few crucial people. One little girl in particular is full of secrets that will change Petrova’s life forever.

DT: What are you currently working on?

TS: I’ve just finished my first contemporary romance. Though it is not in the Young Adult genre, it is definitely young adult friendly. The story’s title is Renewal and is about a woman, Grace Channing, who has lost her husband and must return home to her parent’s house to start again. She has to repair her relationship with the sister she left behind when she went to college some 500 miles away. When she lands a new job, she finds she not only has to deal with an arrogant boss and an overachieving newbie coworker, but she also has to face her old college boyfriend… her first real true love. To add to it all, her childhood best friend, Morris, shows up flaunting his country boy good looks and asking for a date.

DT: Can you tell us about your journey to getting published?

TS: I have to be honest. The beginning of my journey to publication was not in the least bit happy. I was very naïve, very trusting, and very soft-hearted, which led to signing a contract with a very bogus “small publisher” who took my money and did not publish my book. Instead, they “shut down” the company and refused to return what I had already given them. Everything happens for a reason. Sometimes blessings come in hard packages and though I was hurt, angry, and felt demolished, I decided I wasn’t going to stop. That’s when I learned I could publish to ebook form on Amazon and then use a Print-On-Demand unit to publish printed paperback books. I worked for several months learning the entire process, and I’m still learning new things every day.

DT: As a self-published author, did you try the traditional route first? Or did you always have a preference for self-publishing?

TS: I went the traditional route at first. Like all the millions of others who try for it, I received a lot of rejection letters and very few acceptance letters. I’ve been published traditionally before, but I didn’t understand how to (or that I even could) negotiate contracts. I ended up receiving only 10% of my sales. I’ve profited triple that entire amount by self-publishing my works.

DT: What would you like people to know about the self-publishing process? Are there any assumptions or misconceptions you’d like to set straight?

TS: If you’re going to self-publish your work, do yourself a favor and hire a couple of editors. Even the best of us grammar Nazis miss things. The more eyes you having looking at your manuscript, the better. Don’t embarrass yourself by publishing something that has too many errors. You lose credibility that way. Also, hire a book cover designer. It’s nice to think that people don’t judge a book by its cover, but unfortunately that isn’t true.

Amazon has made book publication available to everyone. There are a lot of people out there who have no background in writing or literature that are producing books. Are those books inferior? Absolutely not. Why? Every person has a story to tell and a story doesn’t have to be written correctly for it to be a good story. Readers should pause a moment and ask themselves what is they get out of reading. At the same time, indie authors and publishers need to recognize that if the book is too poorly written, it subtracts from the story.

DT: Tell us about the blog you run and what kinds of services you offer.

TS: I run The First Five Pages Blog. When I first started the blog, I posted reviews, hosted giveaways and did something called a First Five Pages Presents. A First Five Pages Presents is when I post the first five pages of a book (mostly written by independent authors) on the site and share with my friends, family, and contacts. The blog has generated a large readership over the years, and I’m happy with our foot traffic.

Because we’ve grown so much (and continue to grow), I’m selling advertisement spots on the site that include trailer ads, side column ads, blog tours, banner ads and announcements. The prices range from $5 to $40, but I also sell $1 ad spots that appear on a certain page of the site. The $1 ad spots are the best seller, though the blog tours are becoming more and more popular.

We also do free services. These include spotlights, guest posts, interviews, and (of course) The First Five Pages Presents.

DT: What’s a typical writing day look like for you? Do you have a set schedule or make personal goals to reach?

TS: I go in spurts according to what else is happening in my life. For example, my husband and I are starting an automotive garage, so I’ve not been able to concentrate on writing for quite some time. When I do, I like to get in a zone and stay there. Sometimes I’ll write all day and all night. Once I get a story in my head, I plot it out from beginning to end, then I fill in the details. I like to utilize events like NaNoWriMo, which is a type of a contest in the literary community. Most of us only use it as a way to encourage others to write. The contest involves writing a full length 50,000+ words novel in the month of November. NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month.

DT: How do you overcome “writer’s block” or getting stuck?

TS: It happens all the time. What I do is change directions. I do something that does not involve writing or reading. I go on a vacation, take up an intensive exercise routine, hang out with friends, or go shopping. Sometimes the block lasts a few days, and sometimes it lasts a few months. Writers get their stories essentially from their own experiences, and if we’re not out there experiencing life, we certainly can’t write about it.

DT: What advice would you like to give other writers?

TS: Don’t push yourself. Writing is supposed to be fun; it’s therapy. Don’t overextend yourself just to churn out books at a fast rate. Focus on the quality of the story you’re telling.

DT: Anything to add?

TS: Contracts are negotiable! 😀

*Lighting Round!*

DT: Do you have a writing soundtrack?

Not really. I did listen to a lot of Enya when I wrote Arena Games: Legend of Petrova.

DT: What do you do outside of writing or in your free time?

TS: I love to cook. J I also like to go for walks with my mom, talk with other independent writers, and post to my blog. I like helping other authors, so I’m always contributing free ebooks to different causes. I also have nieces and a nephew that I adore, so I like to spend time with them.

DT: If you could be any literary character or visit another written world, who would you be and where would you go?

TS: I’d be Alex and go to Where The Wild Things Are. Or I’d be Peter Pan and never grow up in Neverland.

DT: Who are your favorite authors?

TS: I love Charles Dickens, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Frances Hodgson Burnett, Geoffrey Chauncer, and Michael Crichton plus several others.

DT: Can you name some book recommendations?

TS: Just the classics 😀 Oliver Twist, A Secret Garden, A Little Princess, Canterbury Tales

I want to give a huge thanks to Tabitha for taking the time to answer my questions. I hope she shed some light on things like self-publishing and contracts that aspiring writers need to know. If you would like to learn more about Tabitha and her books visit her author website at http://www.AuthorTabithaShort.com or her author Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/tabitha.short.7

If you’re interested in learning more about the services Tabitha offers on her blog or contacting her for promotional reasons please visit the official site at http://www.TheFirstFivePages.blogspot.com or the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/TheFirstFivePagesBlog

You can find Tabitha’s Amazon page here. Be sure to leave her a review if you’ve read her work!

http://www.amazon.com/Tabitha-Short/e/B00AN55BLK/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1385000040&sr=1-2-ent

You can also visit her Smashwords profile https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/tabithashort or follow her on Twitter at @tabithashort2

Do you have any follow-up questions you would like Tabitha to answer or any feedback you’d like to leave for this author? Post below!

And be sure to check out the last Interview with an Author segment I held with author Patrick Donovan! http://wwwdaniellethurby.wordpress.com/2013/11/14/interview-with-an-author-patrick-donovan/

 

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How to Be Cool: High School Stories Part2

Here are some more true stories of my high school days and the things I did to be cool.

The Ear Piercings

So I wanted my ears pierced again, but I knew my mom wouldn’t let me much less offer to pay for it. I already had two holes in each ear. I wanted a third and a cartilage piercing up top. I met a girl who’d done it before without using a piercing gun or anything. She told me to bring the earrings I had gotten my ears pierced with originally because they were pointy and sharp at the end. I still had the studs so I cleaned them and brought them to school. We had a class (photography) where the teacher was never really there much. So she made little dots on my ears like they do at Claire’s, let me check in a mirror, and then it was time. She pushed and twisted through each layer of skin until the studs popped out the other side.

I came home that day with four new piercings. Sorry, mom.

The Nose Piercing

You had to see this coming. I wanted a nose ring so bad back then. After that year of public school I decided to go the home school route. (Yeah, high school was all over the place. Each year was something new). Anyway, I was listening to a lot of punk, pop punk, and the like, and all my favorite bands had piercings. Facial piercings.

I wanted my nose pierced so I could wear a ring, not a stud, because nose rings meant punk rock, and nose studs just meant pop. I mean, even the preppy girls had little diamond studs, and that just wasn’t cool. I had to show them how it was done. But again, I knew my mom would say no. I was only sixteen.

I’d seen how that girl had pierced my ears so I figured it had to be the same idea. I took one of those studs, placed it where I wanted it, and pushed. It eventually went through the other side, and surprisingly didn’t hurt too much.

I called my mom to let her know. It was an awkward conversation, but I was afraid if she came home and was surprised by it she might rip it out and yell at me. I was giving her time to get used to the idea. And she let me keep it. After a few weeks, I took the stud out, and replaced it with a hoop. Punk rock for life, baby.

The Outfit That Got Me Sent Home From School

During that one year of public high school I wore an outfit that got me in trouble. It wasn’t even that bad. I’d seen worse and those girls never got sent home. Okay so I had these black and white striped tights, a black fishnet skirt, and a sleeveless Snow White t-shirt. I figured you couldn’t complain about the skirt being too short because I had tights on. But the shirt was kind of short, and I guess you could see half an inch of stomach or something.

Anyway, it was deemed unacceptable pretty much as soon as I stepped into the halls after being dropped off. I did as they asked and changed because I was scared of getting in trouble, remember? I thought I could wear something like that and it would be okay because I didn’t think anyone noticed me enough to call me out or haul me to the office.

I came back in jeans and a band t-shirt and a crushed spirit. Conformity won that day. But I was still cool because I was the girl that got sent home. Oh yeah.

Check out yesterday’s post for the first installment!  And stop by tomorrow for an interview with author, Tabitha Short!

What are your high school stories? What did you do to be cool in high school? Reply below!

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How to Be Cool: High School Stories Part1

First of all I officially feel old, and I’m only 24. My high school days were a while ago now. Since I write Young Adult and “they” say to draw from real experiences, I thought revisiting my own YA days might be fun. You never know what will make it into a book. For quick reference: Freshman year 2004-2005, Sophomore year 2005-2006, Junior year 2006.

Note: These are true stories. Here’s how to be a cool teenager way back in the mystical mid 2000s.

The Glasses

My friend desperately wanted a new pair of glasses because hers were dated. She wanted a hip pair of the all-plastic frames. Her current ones still had metal frames and those plastic nose pieces. Not cool. So she came up with an idea.

She asked me to stomp on her glasses. Yep. I only needed her to ask once. That sounded hella fun. She placed them on the concrete outside our classroom, I raised a foot up, and then smash. She had a fresh pair of broken, totally lame glasses. She went home and told her mom that she dropped them in the hallway and some upperclassman accidentally stepped on them before she could retrieve them.

She came to school the next day with a pair of sweet plastic frames and a mischievous smile. Our evil plan worked.

Converse

If you wanted to be cool you had to wear Converse. That was just the rule. But they are only cool if they are grimy, well-worn, and nearly falling apart. Obviously brand new, shiny white and stiff Converse weren’t cool. I mean, that almost made you less cool because then you were just a poser. But every pair of grungy Chucks had to start out new at some point.

My friend saw my new pair of Converse and immediately said, “Those are too white.” She came over and started kicking them to create scuff marks and hide their newness. Who cares that I just asked my mom to buy a pair of sixty dollar shoes? Scuffed up meant cool.

Mission accomplished.

Posters

I thought I was so badass doing this, but I’d rip down the posters in the girls’ bathroom and all the hallways. Yeah, I’d been watching 10 Things I Hate About You. So screw Sewing Club and band concerts and bake sales and all that mainstream club crap. They stood for conformity, and hey, my grungy Chucks were now sporting an Anarchy sign amongst the other hand drawn doodles. I had to stick it to conformity, be a rebel, and thus achieve coolness.

Seriously, though? I’m lucky I didn’t get caught. I was terrified of getting in trouble.

The Bracelets

Speaking of conformity I went to a private school before this. We had uniforms and rules on how we could look that would drive anyone mad. I couldn’t choose my own shirts, pants, belt, or shoes, so my solution? Pimp out my jewelry. I wore bracelets halfway up each arm on both arms every day. Like, seriously, you couldn’t see skin. I wore rings on every finger. And I picked out my shoelaces at Hot Topic. They said “You suck and must be punished.”

I thought that was fitting.

Come back tomorrow for Part2!

What are your high school stories? How did you achieve coolness when you were a teen? Reply below!

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“What’s in a Name?”

Choosing character names.  It can be really fun or make you crazy. I’ve changed the name of my main characters numerous times before. I’ve left parenthesis or ellipsis or dashes in the place of where a name should be because sometimes you just need to write the story down and figure out the specifics like names later. I know. You’re writing a novel about someone’s life and you don’t know what to call them? Shouldn’t that be the number one thing you know? Hey, as long as the finished product doesn’t have them labeled (      ) … or ——— I say you’re good.

So how do you go about naming your characters? Do you meticulously research name origins and meanings? Do you scroll through baby name books or pull out your old yearbook? Do you Google popular names or names of the time period you’re using? Do you create a new name entirely? Or do you sit down and already know?

I’ll tell you my trick. I’ve never made names really “mean” something, and by that I mean I don’t look up names that mean “brave” or “hero” and name my brave hero that. I don’t look through baby name books. I don’t pull a Shakespeare and make up a new word.

I choose a name that sounds cool, fits my characters’ personalities, and ties back to something I personally like. For example, I have pages of names I think sound neat, and I’ll refer to it sometimes if I need a name. But what I usually do is take names from things I like, that excite me, or that I geek out over. Actors or characters in my favorite movies or TV shows or videogames, for example. It’s not to say I’m emulating the characters or actors I’m taking the names from. It’s just more that it makes me happy to tie my character names back to something nerdy I love. And they act as easter eggs for people who know me and read a name and can infer how I came up with it. So here are some examples.

 

Book 1 Names

Character: Vice Principal Donovan

Where it came from: actor Jeffrey Donovan who played the lead role in Burn Notice, one of my favorite TV shows

Character: Ally Keene, protagonist’s best friend

Where it came from: Commander Keen, an awesome videogame of my youth.

Character: Principal Madden

Where it came from: Joel and Benji Madden from the band Good Charlotte. I was obsessed with this band when I was thirteen and started writing this book.

 

Book 2 Names

Character: Jennette Brasier, antagonist

Where it came from: actress Jennette McCurdy from the TV show iCarly

Character: Nate, boyfriend of antagonist

Where it came from: Nathan “Nate” Drake, lead character in the Uncharted video game series. (See previous post titled The Call of the Fangirl for more nerdy love on this).

Character: Mrs. Lennox, writing teacher

Where it came from: musician Annie Lennox, who performed on the Return of the King soundtrack. (Don’t get me started on my Lord of the Rings love).

Character: Spencer Hughes, friend of protagonist’s love interest

Where it came from: Shawn Spencer from the TV show Psych and Spencer Reid from the TV show Criminal Minds. Also, John Hughes, the writer and director of so many fantastic movies who died too young.

 

Book 3 Names

Character: Ezra Winchester, protagonist

Where it came from: Sam and Dean Winchester from the TV show Supernatural

Character: Sadie Atwood, protagonist’s love interest

Where it came from: Ryan Atwood from the TV show The O.C.

Character: Peyton Hammons, protagonist’s best friend’s sister

Where it came from: Peyton Sawyer from the TV show One Tree Hill

Character: Nolan Winchester, protagonist’s father

Where it came from: Nolan North, voice actor in pretty much every video game ever (including Nate Drake in Uncharted!)

So there it is. I’m not saying every single character is named through this method, but a good chunk of them are. One time I did use the yearbook method. I absolutely could not decide on a last name for the best friend of my main character. I was fed up, pulled out a yearbook, closed my eyes and opened to a page. I vowed that whatever name I pointed to, no matter what, would be the name. I opened my eyes and saw “Eatmon.” I’d never heard of such a name, but a promise is a promise. So, thank you, random classmate I never knew. Your obscure last name has served me well.

What are your methods for choosing character names? Do you stress over it or make it fun? Do you have tips to add? Comment below!

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Is This a Poem?

I’ve never been a poetry person. I tip my hat to those of you who are because in a lot of ways poetry is more complicated and difficult than novel writing and often judged more harshly. I’m not saying I hate poetry. I like discovering a poem that I connect with unexpectedly or find really beautiful. But writing them? I can count two instances where I tried my hand at it. The first: Expressing my oh-so-tortured soul in those angsty teenage years as is customary. And two: Writing them for a portfolio project in a college writing course.

Here’s a simple piece I wrote a few years back which I never titled. Is it even poetry? Or just a short little bit of prose that happens to rhyme? I don’t know. I’m out of my element here.

Poetry, man.

***

Ere break of dawn and eve of night she walked the shores of the sea.

And her grace spread far from land to land, for no one was fair as she.

Her beauty did stretch to the old grey Bard who dwelt in the tall Black Tower.

And proclaimed did he to his humble town, the wonder of this fresh flower.

From far and wide the people came to hear tales of this Lady.

They learned of her wisdom and delicate stance from the Bard whose words flowed greatly.

But the heart of this woman was far from pure, and her beauty was not true.

For she was a Witch whose jealousy swam, in a river no longer blue.

***

What do you think? Poetry or not? What would you title it?

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