Monthly Archives: June 2008

just a cool quote

“The brain is a wonderful organ. It starts working the moment you get up in the morning, and does not stop until you get into the office.”  –Robert Frost

Is this true, or what?!? We love doing the things that are fun, and we shut down for everything else…I love this quote!

-Whig

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major inspiration or just showing off?

You know, during this huge collaborative process of writing a book between 9 authors who have never met, you look for inspiration in the strangest places.

Some look for it in music, others look for it in quotes from dead people. I happened to find a recent inspiration for writing at the strangest of places…a bookstore!

Okay, the truth. I wasn’t looking for inspiration. I was looking for an autographed copy of “Escape From Andersonville” directly from the author…the incomparable Mr. Gene Hackman. And, as you can see, a photo was also included in the package.

                                             Me and Gene

Seriously. That’s all. No great insights. No revelations on the processes of writing. Just a time to show off a recent fun moment.

And, oh yeah…check out the book. It’s pretty cool. 

-Whig

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Churchill looking over our shoulders

‘Writing a book is an adventure.  To begin with, it is a toy and an amusement.  Then it becomes a mistress, then it becomes a master, then it becomes a tyrant.  The last phase is that just as you are about to be reconciled to your servitude, you kill the monster, and fling him to the public.’

Winston Churchill

Churchill has always been one of my favorite historical figures. He was a man of character and wisdom, and led a nation through it’s darkest hour and into it’s finest hour.

And then I read this quote last night.

Now, he is my absolute favorite!

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new excerpt available

Please enjoy some of the opening chapter of our novel, written by Esr960.

Excerpt: Chapter One

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Constrain, or get brevity

So… does size matter? We were talking among ourselves about writing and how long the longest piece we’ve ever written was. I’m a nonfiction sort, a tech writer by trade, so I’m used to gigantic how-tos and grant proposals, but not grand stories. When I write fiction, it’s the micro-mini super-short one-paragraph tiny type of writing. I would much rather write the introductory paragraph to a totally original piece than write the whole piece myself. Ideally, I’d be writing the last paragraph after someone else wrote the rest, and be summing up the whole thing and tying up all the loose ends, all left-brained-like.

In a way, I’m the consummate hack. I have no problem at all taking someone else’s universe, someone else’s characters, and putting them in a new setting or giving them a new adventure. Heck, I’ll even give them a new friend to pal around with, if that’s what the assignment calls for. But the idea of a whole universe coming at you directly from my brain? Well, that’s not who I am.

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Artifact writer a star!

Our very own Cvalin made an appearance on an episode of X-Files title “Release.” Here is that clip.

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The Sound of Writing

I don’t always listen to music while I write, but I often get inspiration from it. I’ll be sitting in my car listening to the radio or a CD, and either the music or the lyrics or both will give me an idea that I’ll start to work on in my mind, and by the time I sit down at my computer, it’s ready to flow straight from my fingers. Once I figured out that my chapter for this book was going to be dark, I put together a CD of songs I had that fit the mood. I listened to the CD at least once a day, and it gave me all the ideas I needed to fill out my chapter. I called the CD “Cool Darkness.”

Here’s a sample of some of the songs that gave me my inspiration:

  • Veteran of the Psychic Wars – Blue Oyster Cult
  • All Along the Watchtower – Bear McCreary/written by Bob Dylan (from the Battlestar Galactica soundtrack)
  • Disciples of the Watch – Testament
  • On the Dark Side – John Cafferty & the Beaver Brown Band (from Eddie and the Cruisers)
  • Bette Davis Eyes – Kim Carnes
  • Close My Eyes Forever – Lita Ford
  • Holy Diver – Ronnie James Dio
  • Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap – AC/DC
  • Joey –  Concrete Blonde (acoustic version)
  • The World I Know – Collective Soul
  • Put Your Lights On – Santana with Everlast
  • Daughter (Live Version) – Pearl Jam
  • Paint it Black – The Rolling Stones

It’s a pretty eclectic mix, but they have a certain darkness about them that served me well when trying to come up with ideas for my story. If you’ve never done it, try it sometime.

~cvalin

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