creative writing

Author Influences

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Someone asked me who my writing influences were yesterday, and they were surprised by my answer.

If I had to list my Top 3, they’d be “in order of appearance”

  • Harlan Ellison
  • Lloyd Kaufman (of Troma Entertainment)
  • Zora Neal Hurston

Harlan is a master of dark and twisted writing. If you’re in the mood to feel gross and awful, go read I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream. It delivers what it promises.

Lloyd is responsible for helping to create films like The Toxic Avenger and Class of Nuke ‘Em High. His movies with their over-the-top stories, violence, and social satire irreparably inspired/damaged me during my youth.

Zora is the curveball. She’s always the one who makes people say “Wait, who?”If you went to a public high school you’re probably familiar with Their Eyes Were Watching God. It’s her most celebrated work, but there is more to her story than just one novel.  Author, notorious liar, political critic, and alleged voodoo initiate. She was heavily criticized by many for creating unapologetic writing. As a writer and a human being, she was fascinating.

Honorable mentions also include:

  • Stephen King (a master of horror)
  • Kurt Vonnegut (a, maybe THE?, master of satire)
  • Rob Zombie (hit or miss, but always with great aesthetic)

I find myself influenced by a variety of media. Books, movies, video games, and music all inform my writing and story telling in different ways.

Do you have author influences that are unexpected or others find surprising, and do you find other art & media besides books having an influence on your writing?

Let me know down in the comments. I’d love to hear about them!

giveaway

Book Giveaway

 

Book-Giveaway

Hey everyone,

I was browsing my local used bookstore yesterday (I feel lucky to have one so close to where I live) and had an idea for a contest.

I want to do a book giveaway, but I’m not going to try to schill and give you anything I’ve written. Rather, I’m going to select a book from my own collection that I loved, and pay it forward to someone.

Much like the books at the used store, they have a history, which you can become a part of.

UPDATE:

Congratulations to Tony on winning the copy of Neuromancer. You’ve been contacted to have it shipped!

Giveaway Details

  • Sign up for my mailing list
  • I’ll choose a book that I own to pass onto someone on my mailing list
  • At the end of the month, someone will be chosen at random to receive the book. I’ll reach out to you privately through email (hence being on the list) and ship it to you in the mail. (US subscribers only at this point. Apologies to my international readers.)
  • BONUS: As long as you remain subscribed, you’re automatically in the running for future book giveaways. I plan to keep doing this as long as there is interest.

I feel like this will be a fun way to connect with you, and might help you discover some books you might not otherwise have read.

Plus, everyone loves getting packages in the mail! They are so much better than bills or junk fliers.

March 2017 Book

Neuromancer by William Gibson

A seminal work of cyberpunk by one of the masters of speculative fiction. William Gibson, like many other SF authors, was nearly prophetic in his prediction of how humans would utilize technology in the future.

I bought this particular book when I was in college for a course, but I had already read it. I loved the cover artwork enough to re-purchase it.

Sign up and you could be the proud owner of this science fiction masterpiece!

REBLOG’s and SHARE’s are totally appreciated if you know someone who would be interested!

 

 

creative writing

Creating A Writing Space

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I recently discovered the Write Now podcast hosted by Sarah Werner. It’s inspiring and the host’s positivity is infectious, so this is my suggestion to check it out if you need something to listen to during your commute or workout.

As I was cherrypicking old episodes, I found this one about “Creating A Space For Writing”, and it struck a chord. I realized that I’ve been without a true place dedicated to writing & creating for almost a decade now. I aim to fix that.

If you’re anything like me, being a “writer” is constantly under siege by work, family, and social commitments that burglarize precious hours from the day. I mean, is it too much to ask that real life pauses so we can sit around writing our next novel?

Anyway, this means we have to write when we can, and where ever we can. For me, it’s on my laptop during lunch breaks, or scratching ideas in an old notebook while lying in bed at dawn. I rarely have the opportunity to sit down and collect my thoughts in a place dedicated to my craft. Even as I write this, I’m sitting on my couch with my laptop.

I now realize part of the problem is that I haven’t created a comfortable place to actually GO to write.

So my goal is to convert my “office” (junk room) into a study/writing space. I’m slightly, mildly, handy enough to be dangerous at DIY projects, so I’m going to fix up the room over the next year or two (I’m being realistic) to ensure I have a dedicated area to write. I feel like the investment of making a comfortable space will also help me to keep a more regular writing schedule.

This started yesterday with de-cluttering (I owned a LOT of empty cardboard boxes), and beginning to save for something I’ve always wanted; a writing desk. I have an old desktop computer with Scrivener, but it’s sitting atop a cheap “computer workstation” I’ve had for the past 15 years. I’m surprised the thing held up as well as it did, considering how many times I’ve moved.

Kudos to you, Staples.

Does anyone out there have their own dedicated writing space? Is it a home office, break room at work, or a specific table at your local coffee shop? I’m curious how many other writers feel that need for a dedicated place to create, and whether it helps their productivity and creativity.

Maybe you’re just existing like me right now, and using any old place to scratch words down when you have the free time?

 

 

creative writing

Your First Draft Stinks

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It’s a nasty title, but it grabbed your attention!

I was discussing first drafts with a colleague yesterday; bemoaning them. This led to me wasting time on the internet lurking around writing subReddits. The copious internet lurking led to this blog post, since I’ve wanted to write about first drafts for a while now.

I’ve come to the extremely general conclusion that there are two types of writers. The ones who HATE their first drafts, and the ones who LOVE them.

Continue reading “Your First Draft Stinks”