Today’s big book-related news

Better known as the post I have deliberately been shuffling my feet towards writing because I wanted to make a few key people wait. Probably not the nicest thing I’ve ever done. Moving on.

For anyone who missed it, Joshua Harkin and the Wicked Nightmare King is now available for purchase on Amazon. That’s a tidbit of information that still makes me want to weep in a mix of joy and terror; joy because ohcrapohcrap I’m a published author (though that point was made true earlier this year, but not in terms of being a published author who has a book available), and terror because I’m already stockpiling comfort food for my first one-star review. Ben & Jerry will be my two closest friends, and I will run the risk of becoming the hippopotamus requested for Christmas in what I still consider to be one of the worst holiday jingles ever written.

Winning this publishing contract has been a great thing for me. It’s a step towards my dream of being able to say I’m a writer for a living, or at least for part of my living, and I’m still sort of in that weird state of disbelief. Continue reading

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Writer seeks good reading

Today was a good day, more or less, and the less parts will be left out for the sake of not ruining a perfectly good post. Ahem.

I met an old high school friend for lunch, as he happened to be in the area for work (which I assume means his company also employs yetis as there are an abundance of those living in these here mountains). We had relatively tasty food and caught up, talking about nothing and everything just as people who haven’t seen each other for greatly extended periods of time often will. It was an enjoyable time that, in hindsight, seems to have gone by too quickly. I’m immensely fond of visitors as well as lunch outings, even if they contribute to my financial stress more than they alleviate it. Instead of heading home immediately after lunch I stopped by Barnes & Noble. I had nothing in mind in terms of purchases, but I hadn’t wandered around a bookstore in far longer than I care to admit and so it seemed like a good idea at the time.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t long before I ran into the problem I often run into at Barnes & Noble, or any other bookstore for that matter. I had an idea of the kind of book I’d like to buy, if I were to end up buying something, but I couldn’t quite put a name or specific author to it. The end result involved a fair bit of wandering around the store without aim or idea of where I should be looking. I eventually left without buying anything, which is just as well as I shouldn’t be buying too much for myself. I’ve been given the dreaded pre-birthday warning, and god help me if I choose to ignore that.

Part of the problem is this: as a writer, I have stories I’d like to read, and I know I’d like to read them, but some of them are stories I just haven’t written yet. Looking for some sort of comparable tale only works so well, especially when I can’t think of an author or title or genre even. It’s a big part of what drives me to continue writing. So I can one day hope such a story sits among the shelves of a bookstore, waiting to meet the expectations of a story-hungry reader.

Fantastic News

I had another post planned for tonight, which would argue the validity of fanfiction and so on. I’m sorry, but that’s getting postponed.

Just this once, however, I can say it’s not because of laziness. I’m excited to say I have tremendous, fantastic news. I checked my e-mail, and I honestly can’t remember why, and found this waiting for me.

Hi Phil,
You are the winner of our book publishing contest on Facebook. When you get a chance, please email us your manuscript so we can get started on publishing your book!
Let me know if you have any questions.
Thank you.
Sincerely,
Alexandria White
Collaborative Publishing Manager
CaryPress
~ Your Books in Your Fans’ Hands and Hearts
Holy crap. Holy crap. Holy crap. How do I even react?! I e-mailed them some questions, of course, but now I’m just freaking out. I’m excited, and a little anxious.
The manuscript I’m sending? Joshua Harkin and the Wicked Nightmare King, of course! Mention of it being a two-book series hasn’t come up yet, but hopefully that can be another thing that happens down the road. For now, I’m just ridiculously excited, kind of terrified, and eager to set some even loftier goals for myself. Holy shit, people.
I will probably be completely intolerable for at least the next forever.

This Week in Misadventures – A Self-Intervention

Oh, hey. It’s Sunday, which normally means it’s time for me to stumble through all of the writing, reading, and other nutty antics I’ve gotten into throughout the past week, highlighting both victories and failures alike. I enjoy those posts, because they were a start to me making sure I was regular (toilet humor goes here) with posting to Misadventures In Fiction while also making sure I kept up with my writing, reading, and…miscellaneous antics? Whatever. Continue reading

This Week in Misadventures

It’s been a mostly-exciting, somewhat headache-inducing week. Let’s just leap into the actual post. I’m entirely too tired for this early, which is embarrassing, but I want to finish this post before I fall asleep on my Surface 2.

Writing

Do tweets count here? They still don’t, do they? Damn. Ignoring that, there’s “The Maskmaker’s Apprentice”, “Another Starstruck Misfit”, the cannibal story I still haven’t officially named…something else. My brain’s gone a bit soft. I need to get back into setting goals for myself in terms of weekly writing, which sounds mildly suicidal since I’m working on my One Hundred Days of Blogging posts as well. “The Maskmaker’s Apprentice” doesn’t count towards the goal of twenty stories posted, by the way, because I’m apparently challenging myself to write and rewarding myself by making it as punishing as possible. On the plus side, I’ve received so many new commenting readers. Mostly spammers writing comments in Russian, but I’m not too picky when it comes to comments.

I’ve got no particular plans for writing in this coming week, but I might just be lying there. We’ll see.

Reading

So many books, so little time. I’m rereading Let’s Pretend This Never Happened (A Mostly True Memoir), and I picked up The Long Mars. You may be saying “Phil, you buy a lot of books and you should probably read them instead of buying even more books,” to which I say I will never stop buying books. I should, however, get working on reading them. I think a great starting point would be to start over on The Long Earth, move on to The Long War, and then get to The Long Mars. I’m impatiently waiting for Bryan Lee O’Malley’s new graphic novel, Seconds, which sounds like it’ll be a terrific fun read.

Important Miscellany

Car inspection happens this week, which is important for my planned Chicago adventure at the end of August. I’m anxious that something will go horribly wrong, but when am I not? Don’t answer that, anyone. It’ll be the longest road-trip I’ve ever taken, and I’m going solo so it’ll be something else. We’ll see, once all is said and done, what something else turns out to be (good or bad). I’m considering a travel journal to post on here, as there’s still enough time for me to actually plan it out. Or put off planning it and just haphazardly meandering through it like I do with many other things.

The plans for this week include writing, reading, and a little recovering from last week. I’m more excited, I’ll admit, for the week after this one, as I work three days (thanks to a couple leftover paid holidays). Making a trip home to see my family, and I’ll have plenty of time to work on getting some additional writing done. None of which will be spoiled here, of course.

Here’s to a pleasant, hopefully peaceful week for everyone, and remember to keep the Kaiju population under control by getting your Kaiju spayed or neutered.

PS: I’m sorry, but I refuse to see this post linger just beneath five hundred words. Nope. Had to fix that.

My disdain for The Fault in Our Stars’ movie adaptation

There are some points I need to preface this post with before I go forward, so bear with me here. First, and most importantly, I acknowledge that The Fault in Our Stars is young adult fiction. I am not quite part of the target audience, but that didn’t stop me from giving this tremendously popular title a chance. Despite my best efforts to hate the actual novel of TFiOS, I enjoyed it very much. It was far less pretentious and contrived than I thought it would be, and there were a good many moments that stood up to the hype I’ve been hearing.

Secondly, I know that it is impossible to include every detail from a novel in its film adaptation. If that sort of thing actually happened, many of us would still be sitting in a movie theater somewhere waiting for The Fellowship of the Ring to end. I’m only half-joking there, by the way.  I’m not typically the sort of person who goes to the movies to point out every little discrepancy between the film and its book counterpart. Where’s the fun in that? I’d hazard a guess that since I was seeing this movie in part because I’m writing an article that pertains to it, perhaps I was a bit more eager to spot the differences. Especially since, again, I went into the book with quite a number of biases against it (some of those quotes, on their own, sounded extremely contrived).

Keeping these things in mind, I believe I’m ready to dive into what about The Fault in Our Stars‘s film adaptation vexed me so much compared to the book. To air on the side of caution: this likely contains some spoilers. Continue reading

The magic in The Ocean at the End of the Lane

I’ve found myself dwelling on Neil Gaiman’s novel The Ocean at the End of the Lane a fair bit lately. It became, very quickly, my favorite of his novels, as evidenced by such things as me calling it a treasure. After much pining over the deluxe edition, and many thanks to my mother (who does far more for me than I could ever hope to repay in anywhere less than a dozen lifetimes), I now sit waiting for its arrival. No single word or phrase seems adequate to describe the levels of excitement and anticipation, or the joy and disbelief, I’m experiencing over this as I impatiently await its arrival. My first edition of the American hardcover release, however, will continue to remain one of my most cherished books (I loaned it out earlier today, issuing a death threat should it return in less-than-perfect condition). I’ve thrown in a picture, because I honestly just love everything about this book (the picture’s on Instagram, which I’m learning does not like to share).

In many ways, The Ocean at the End of the Lane has gone from being a novel I loved reading to a sort of magic. To those who haven’t yet read it, I cannot recommend a fiction novel more highly than I do this one. There are some biases at work there, perhaps, but I stand firm in that assessment. To that end, I can’t help but wonder what about this particular novel really captured my heart (forgive the cliche, please). Yes, it’s beautifully written, with wonderful characters and a narrative that swept me up to such a degree I had to set the book down and focus on nothing else but accepting I had finished reading it once I’d completed the last page, but that wasn’t quite it. Tonight, in one of my more introspective moments, I think I’ve pinpointed at least a little of the magic of The Ocean at the End of the Lane, and I’m content it’s only a little. Too much understanding, I’ve learned, can spoil this sort of thing. Continue reading