Happy and letting others rant for me

June 24, 2014

Hello my Imaginary Friends,

Letting Others do my Work

Today I don’t feel like ranting. I’ll let others do it for me:

On stupid comments and other stupidity: This Behaviour is Not OK! by S.M. Carrière

On a similar note, in that it includes retail customers: Maybe You Get Bad Customer Service Because You’re a Bad Customer By Matt Walsh

If you don’t want to read these two awesome posts, just remember that being nice to people in customer service shouldn’t be the exception. Also let them do their job without getting harassed sexually, verbally, emotionally, physically, or spiritually.

Good Mood

I’m in a good mood. You might think from this blog that this is a huge exception and you’d be mostly right. I get worked up and protective a lot. Probably more than I should.

But today I’m happy. You might be asking why. It’s simple, spent last evening in a bookstore with my wife, a good friend, a baby, and a famous author. (There were a couple hundred other people too.)

Our Friend, K.R. asked us to go to a book signing with her. My wife said yes without even asking me (K.R. has an adorable baby boy and my wife can’t say no to being around babies) When I found out who the author was I was pretty excited.

I haven’t read anything by Diana Gabaldon but I had heard great things. Her Outlander Series is said to be one of the best Romance, Action, Adventure, Historical, Time Travel series ever.

I wasn’t expecting too much (Writing and public speaking aren’t skills that every writer has). She was hilarious, interesting, and intelligent. She probably has one of the coolest stories on how she got published (I’m Super jealous) and had no issue making “Men in Kilts” jokes.

The series is also partially inspired by Doctor Who and one of my favourite companions Jamie McCrimmon.

Overall it was a great talk, and a wonderful evening.

frazer14

Publishing

I’m still waiting on word from the publishers that I submitted my novel “A Study in Aether” to back in October. I’ve decided I’ll email again next week and if I don’t get a response from them by end of July, I’ll look into alternates. Every time I think about them I flip flop between three thoughts, “They hate it so much they don’t want to reply”; “They think its ok and are considering it but don’t know”; and “They completely forgot about it”.

Expect me to not mention this until end of July. Unless I get an email soon.

Once I get a response, if it’s a no, I’ll have to decide if I want to go back to submitting to agents, pay for an editor and resubmit to the other company that was so nice, or self-publish. Each one of those is scary for separate reasons.

 

Well that’s it for now.

Hope you’re having a great day.

Èric

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Shame, Biking, and Sadness

June 10, 2014

Reading Shame

So the other day I read an article from a successful author, saying that it’s ok to read young adult literature but that you should still be ashamed of it. I raged and sputtered and beat my chest like some sort of primal monkey man and howled my anger. (It was just in my head but I was on the bus at the time.)

I had planned to give my usual rant at people being classist etc. but S.M. Carrière beat me to it and probably said it with more tact and finesse than I would have. Go read her response.

One quote that S.M. didn’t go into that had me frothing at the mouth late that night was this:

“Let’s set aside the transparently trashy stuff like Divergent and Twilight, which no one defends as serious literature. I’m talking about the genre the publishing industry calls ‘realistic fiction.’”

True I haven’t read Divergent and I loathe Twillight but to automatically dismiss two of the best selling novels in YA and then say that they are “Transparently Trashy” is not only harsh but sort of hint that she thinks all Speculative Fiction in the YA Genre isn’t serious literature. GAH!!!!

I might not be the best person to say this (seeing as I primarily write YA, Fantasy, and Scifi) but Spec-Fic and YA are great genres that exist to challenge our perception of the world. To say that they aren’t real literature is ignorant, classist, bullshit.

YA is a beautiful and clean pallet that allows an author to ignore and mix common story structures that wouldn’t be allowed in adult literature.

Writing

I restarted writing Parasomnia yesterday. I had taken May off of writing and I feel it was a good decision. I needed to remember why I love writing. As I get older I’m having a harder time adjusting to new things and moving/ buying a house threw off my groove. (The two horrible colds back to back didn’t help either.)

I was terrified that I wouldn’t be able to get back into writing this novel but when I started yesterday the words just flowed out of me. It was a great feeling and one that has calmed me down.

It’s been 4 months since I last heard from the publishing company that said they’d get back to me soon. I emailed them last week but I’ve decided I’ll email their generic email at the end of this month and If I haven’t heard anything by my birthday (17th of July) I’ll contact the various editors that I’ve spoken too.

It’s frustrating because I’ve heard great things from this company and I really liked them in person but I’m a little sick of waiting and I feel like I’m being jerked around. I realise I’m about as important as a slug to them but… sigh.

If you’ve noticed I did something that I’ve never done before. I wrote a sequel to a “word of the day” story. Several people were very upset about not getting more story so I decided I’ll make it a random serial. Expect more from Felix in the future. Start here to read the story.

Biking

Another thing that went on the back burner while I was sick was biking. I had always told myself that if I lived in an area that connected to Ottawa’s awesome bike trails, I’d bike to work. Well I managed to bike in once and bike home once. It was HARD. Google maps said it would take 45 minutes but it took me close to an hour and a half and I was sticky, hot, and wobbly the rest of the day.

Almost immediately after I started the back of my knee started to hurt. So between the plague and my knee pain I haven’t done it again. I’m frankly terrified of it and that makes me sad.

I’m a big guy and I always have been. Even at my healthiest when I the hint of abs, I was 40 pounds heavier than what doctors say I should be. Since then I’ve gained more than I’d like, biking was supposed to be the fun and happy activity that would help me slim down and be happier.

I haven’t given up. I’ll talk to my doctor about the knee and if he gives his permission I’ll try to do it at least once a week.

Breaking Down is ok

A lot of people I know have issues with depression in early or late winter. I’m different; I struggle with it in spring and summer. I think it has something to do with my severe seasonal allergies and my hate of heat. It’s not normally that bad but the other day I broke down.

I mean a full breakdown, getting angry at my wife for an innocent comment, crying on the bus, deep-feeling of complete failure type of depression.

It was a bad day. The biking, the weight, the lack of success in writing (combined with the utter slowness of the industry) all made me want to curl up into a ball and make ugly sobbing noises.

The next day I felt better. Nothing much has changed since the breakdown but I feel hopeful.

Sometimes it’s important to let yourself feel the sadness in order to get over it. It’s healthy. I think.

It’s important to remember that you can’t be happy all the time. Sometimes you have to be sad and that’s ok.

 

That’s more than enough from me today. How do you deal with sadness?

Éric


Over Sea, Under Stone by Susan Cooper – Book Review

January 7, 2014

210331I’d heard of Susan Cooper before but had never read any of her books. They were on my “To read, maybe someday, if I remember, who knows” list but hadn’t gotten to them yet.

Last month S.M. Carrière asked me to join Silver Stag Entertainment as a contributor. All I had to do was sit with other people and discuss movies and books. That’s how I joined The Nights of the Round Table.

The first book was Over Sea, Under Stone by Susan Cooper. If you hadn’t guessed yet.

You can join the NotRT bookclub on Goodreads, and watch the review on Youtube.

Below is my review. For more information on how and why I review books read my posts Part 1 and Part 2.

Characters

I liked

I really enjoyed the ominous and creepy villain but wished we’d been properly introduced to him earlier on. I also enjoyed Barney who was the only fleshed out character in the book.

I also enjoyed that the main characters spoke to each other, as if they were siblings. It’s a fine line between friends and siblings but the banter is a little different and Cooper nailed it.

I didn’t like

I felt that for the size of the book, there were too many characters that didn’t get fleshed out. The parents were basicly set pieces.

Other than the scene where the Uncle lays out what’s going on, I found he was more or less useless. He was so useful that the author needed to pull a Gandalf and have him disappear.

For characters, I give it 2 out of 5

Writing Style

I liked

The language in this book was wonderful. It wasn’t dumbed down or over explained. I also liked the weaving of Arthurian myth into the story. It was a very simple book and didn’t pretend to be anything more.

I didn’t like

I felt she spent too much time describing how they solve the puzzle and not enough explaining the puzzle.

I give it 4 out of 5.

Story

I liked

I liked the second half of the books, action. It was quick and well-paced. Again I think a little trimming of characters might have helped the pace.

I didn’t like

The beginning was just so slow and I kept thinking certain people were more important than others. It was a little frustrating that the Author introduced characters and possible stories and then didn’t follow through.

I give the story 3 out of 5

Fun

I liked

It was light and easy to read. The language was nice and it was an Arthurian Quest. It was written to be fun and that’s what it was. I also really like the part at the end with the Uncles name.

I didn’t like

How slow it was to begin or that the majority of characters aren’t fleshed out as much as they should have been.

It shows that the author made the characters interesting if one of my major complaints is that she didn’t let me see more of them.

I give it 4 out of 5 for fun

Overall

It’s an interesting book that holds a lot of nostalgic value for people who read it as children. Since I read it as an adult I can see the flaws in the over-simplicity of the story.

Final score is 65%