Monday, November 28, 2011

The Snowman -- a poem

I wrote this a while ago--nearly a year or so--and I thought I'd trot it out for you today, since I'm in the Christmas spirit and all that. It's not perfect, but then again, nothing is. So, sit back, grab your cocoa (hot, I hope), and enjoy the tale of "The Snowman."
Many of you have heard the tale of Frosty the Snowman,
And of the story they say,
When children accompanied by an old magic hat brought him to life one cold day.
But what you may not know is that on that same eve,
There was another snow man who came to life in much the same way.

The children there,
On that cold winter's morning,
Set out for the day to play,
In the wicked cold--roaring.

They danced and they played in the snow at their feet,
When one decided to stack it 5 feet.

High into the air,
Almost to above their heads,
They packed the dense snow,
And adorned it with threads.

Clothing from home,
And a mitten or two,
Then one found a hat,
That had just blown into view.

Nobody knows from whence it had come.
All they did think was that they were having some fun!
So, onto the head the cap was presented, hooray!
And with magical flare, the movement gave way.

First with a yawn,
And then with a hop,
The snowman stepped forward,
All gasped as they watched,
As the playful new snowman they built stepped forward and dropped.

Down in a bow,
From his waist did he bend,
Like a marionette on a string,
He forwarded courtesy to new friends.

His cap in his hand in a delicate show,
He then played with the children there in the snow!

Long throughout the day,
And into the night,
They all laughed as they danced,
'Til the faintest sunlight.

Then Mother called them all in,
And with an "Aww!" they all cried,
Their friendly little snowman was fit to be tied!

But he knew a great secret,
It was one that he shared,
With the children all there,
And any who would might care.

That with the cold night,
He'd stand still and wait,
For the morning to come 'round,
For the children to come,
And exit their gate.

"No cries, little friends!"
He exclaimed to them saying,
"In the morning I'll come,
And we'll continue our playing!"

The children all smiled,
And waved their good-byes,
The snowman then sniffled,
With tears in his eyes,
For though the night short,
He'd miss them quite dear,
And long for the time,
When the children were near.

For it is from accepting youth,
That life comes,
It's magic!
Not to the old at heart,
And that is quite tragic!

So, when you are out, in the snow just today,
Play a little longer,
And maybe this day,
Is the one you will find a little magical hat,
Then you'll have a new friend, too,
And how about that!

I am a sappy SOB

I'm the only guy I know who when he watches certain--to be left nameless--Christmas movies on TV ends up weeping like a schoolboy. Don't tell anyone, I'll have to forfeit my "man card"; but that just goes to show you that emotion in a story can be easily transferred to the reader when good words are well chosen and the tale is painted with the brush in living color. A certain book, also to be nameless, does the same thing.

When a story is that engrossing, you know it's food for your brain--it's good stuff. Maybe, if I'm lucky, I'll get that right once on paper, and people will be just as enthralled. If I'm really lucky, that is. It's no mean feat. I can count on one finger the number of books that have done it to me; and I bet you can count that certain few as well. When someone writes that well, it goes beyond--it transcends--and becomes something more.

So, in the New Year that rapidly approaches, here is my wish for all my writer friends (and myself, if I can be a little selfish): let us all be so lucky as to write classics filled with emotional depth and care; and may we prove worthy of it once the pen ceases.

Monday, November 21, 2011

ARGH! Or, the tale of the lost query

Ok, so, as you know I'm currently in the middle of a story, and while preparing to get the next chapter on paper, I have been tweaking a query letter, which in my opinion was pretty freaking sweet--making little additions, changes, and alterations here and there. It was working, it was interesting, and showed some pretty good voice.

Then... Gone.

Yep, deleted by accident with no recovery. How or why it was in a particular folder, I have no idea--considering I'm pretty methodical. I guess I simply had a "brain fart," or something. So now I have to rewrite it from scratch. Not nearly as daunting a task as finishing a novel in the first place, but hey, still a pain in the ass!

Note and lesson learned: back up your stuff and make sure you know where it is...then back it up again!

Woe be unto me... Woe! :(

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

My short story, Peerless

My short story, Peerless, is available now on iTunes bookstore and Lulu!

iTunes Book store link
And you can get it from Lulu.com here

Click, download, enjoy. :)

And it's free!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

An idea...

This last week was hectic and painful, for various reasons, and I shant get into them because some of them are quite personal.

But even in that time--when all hell was breaking loose--a new idea of a story popped into my head. I don't have a title yet, but I know what it's about.

It's about a story. The question is, is the story real or just made up?

Here's what I will reveal: Great-grandfather Colin tells stories to the children at bedtime, each night a new and exciting tale. Sometimes about pirates and the high seas; sometimes about fabulous kings and princesses and quests filled with glory and honor.


But on this night, Colin sat in his chair before the fire, the eerie glow reflected in his stark-white, bristly beard, and as he lit his pipe--which depending on the story was a magic wand, a sword, or other such prop--he muttered to himself, eyes closed, faint and inaudible--as if he was remembering something old and hidden deep in his mind. Perhaps it is his first memories; it may be his first adventure as a boy (he had quite many, apparently), more than should fill many lifetimes--maybe it is his greatest tale.


The children all sit in a semi-circle at his feet, eagerly waiting for his first few words--they were always very dramatic. Some of them fidgeting mightily in glee as this was always one of the best parts of the day...the wonder that would come from him.


With a pause, Colin inhaled deeply, and with a "snap" his eyes were opened, almost as if he'd heard something--or something awoke him from deep concentration; and then his eyes focused, lids lowered, and his words came forth with smoke.


"I am the dragon healer."

What happens next...well, we'll just see if I ever get to writing it down. But I know what happens, I just need to get there first.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

In honor of NaNoWriMo

In honor of National Novel Writing Month, I'm giving away a free (sub-500 word) ebook on Lulu.com.

This is the link. Click it.

For those of you participating in NaNoWriMo, 6 novels penned in less than a month

I would be remiss (and a bit evil) were I to not link to the source from which I am stealing.

Number one on the list is especially good (and so is the movie made from it): The Boy In the Striped Pyjamas.
The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas: Irish novelist John Boyne said he was so wrapped up in this engrossing tale of a boy living through the Holocaust that he wrote the entire thing in two and a half days, barely stopping to eat or sleep throughout the ordeal. He notes that his other novels took months of planning and effort to write, but this story simply could not be slowed.
You can do it, folks! The great novel is in you, bursting at the seams to get out!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Writer's Groups

One of the absolute best pieces of advice I (or anyone who writes, really) have been given is to find and join a local writer's group or workshop.

The sheer scale, they'll tell you, of the input you're going to receive is amazing. You'll have new friends, confidants, idea partners, you name it.

Fabulous, I thought. And I began looking for one, and much to my chagrin, I learned that there are groups local, but they're "private," meaning "me and my three friends, and you're not allowed in, sorry."

It's sad, I live in a city with a large BIG10 school, and we have famous author alum, yet the number of writing groups is zero that I can join. It's sort of ridiculous, and I'd laugh if it weren't so utterly stupid.

So, as I said once before: writing is indeed solitary. There's you and your words and nothing more.

Sad, I know, as I did actually try to find a group--I spent months searching, and came up empty.

I do hope you're luckier than I; meanwhile, I plod on, doing my thing, and hoping that, someday, I'll write something amazing, something special, and it will be consumed by the masses to enjoy.

That day, I think, will make it all worth while.