nascentnovelist

July 31, 2013

Writer Wednesday Revisited

Filed under: Uncategorized — nascentnovelist @ 6:50 am
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Last year, I had a few writers on this blog to talk about writing in a bi-weekly blog-fest called Writer Wednesday. I thought it was time to revisit some highlights.

skrivebord

Julie R. Andersen: Writing is an Addiction I’m Glad to Have
Julie shares her experience of what to me sounds like a nightmare: what do you do if you can’t write?

Joshua Alan Doetch: How Can You Write This Stuff And Not Get Screwed Up?
Joshua tackles the age old question: why do we love writing horror? And who better to attempt to describe that lust, than the person who writes horradorable fiction?

Krista Holle: My $20,000 Mistake
Krista shows and tells us the difference between first and third person, and why she prefers one over the other.

I hope you all enjoyed revisiting these posts as much as I did.

July 22, 2013

Two Years Later: Are We Still Reeling?

Filed under: Uncategorized — nascentnovelist @ 7:27 am

Two years ago today, Anders Behring Breivik launched his attack against Norway, hoping to change our society. It was shocking. It was tragic. It was unforgettable.

Stoltenberg klem AUF

Our government reacted so well to this tragedy when it struck. I remember watching the flower parades from afar and wishing I was part of them. The photos made me cry from the other side of the world. The speeches made me proud to be Norwegian. We will overcome this with love, was the message, and I was behind it.

Today, we face a new message: Never Again.

Never Again frightens me much more than the previous slogan. Never Again is what one uses to push back civil liberties. The type of arguments used by the US to justify monitoring their own population. The type of arguments used to enforce the new data retention directive.

It’s time we decide in whose footsteps we want to follow, and it’s time to decide how much we’re willing to sacrifice in order to feel secure.

When tragedy struck, we swore it wouldn’t change us. Let’s make sure it doesn’t.

Here is what I wrote after the first attack.

May 6, 2013

Motivational Growth – Darkly Funny and Deliciously Icky

Filed under: Uncategorized — nascentnovelist @ 2:03 am
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The Mold knows, Jack. The Mold knows.

Ian Folivor (Adrian DiGiovanni) hasn’t left his apartment for months, and he has no interest in doing so until his television, lovingly named Kent, dies in the middle of a rerun-marathon. The loss of his source of entertainment makes Ian question his life and decide to take action. With two parts household bleach and one part sulfuric acid, he attempts go out in a chlorine gas induced, disgustingly glorious end. But due to an unfortunately placed vent and a bit of bad luck, he wakes up on the bathroom floor.

Ian is welcomed back by the mold on his bathroom wall, voiced by Jeffrey Combs, and things take a serious turn for Strangeville.

Motivational Growth is written, directed and edited by Don Thacker, and is the result of one singular idea coming to fruition. Everything in the piece, from the dialogue to the special effects, fit together and make for a compelling, funny and icky whole.

When it comes to the story itself, it’s clear that Thacker wanted to leave things open to interpretation. As we follow Ian down the rabbit hole, we abandon the concept of time and space. The story makes several logical leaps, and it’s not always clear what the relationship between Kent and The Mold is, or what is going on. For the most part, this is good, but the score and the animated sequences, so clearly inspired by 1980s/90s video games, left me wondering if there was another dimension to this piece that I missed.

I enjoy bizarre tales and I like that Thacker wasn’t afraid to let us jump to conclusions, but I believe the story would be stronger if the reason for Ian’s seclusion from society was revealed to the audience. Without an explanation, Ian’s retreat into his cave did not make much sense. I also found it problematic that he could afford to stay in there for months on end without a job. It’s difficult for me to sympathize with a character that is privileged enough to sit on his ass eating take-out for six months without financial strain. I just wanted to yell at him to get the fuck out and do something. Once I got past the set-up, I began liking the character, almost despite myself. But with a bit more set-up, I could have rooted for him from the start.

It must also be mentioned that this is very much a character piece, resting on DiGiovanni’s performance, and he does not disappoint. His delivery of the lines had me laughing out loud, and his desperation once The Mold pushed him far enough past his comfort zone had me cringing.

The choice to use puppets, real special effects and animated sequences fit the overall look and feel of the film, and the story. Scenes that could have seemed fake or over the top with CGI, were made tangible and poignant by the use of retro effects. In general, the movie looked very good.

The dialogue was sharp, the humor pitch black and the story absurd. I’d keep my eyes open for this twisted coming-of-age story, guys. It’s worth seeing.

I got to watch Motivational Growth before it’s Norwegian release date so that I could review it on this blog. A European release date has not been set yet, but keep your eyes peeled.

April 24, 2013

Good News, Everyone: I’m Employed.

Filed under: Uncategorized — nascentnovelist @ 3:44 am
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It’s not a writing job and not a permanent position, but I will be working until the summer of 2014 on something semi-related to my degree. The Research Council of Norway has hired me for their Tax Incentive Scheme and their Core Competence and Value Creation in ICT program. So far, it’s both challenging and fun.

In addition to professional life, I’m doing two parallel training programs, participating in a relay race and a Norwegian Spartan race, and trying to keep my morning writing routine going. I’m slipping a little, but I’m sure I just need to get used to my new work load. I’m working on a new novel, and once I get my scheduling down, I should be writing that in the mornings, and editing the other one in the afternoons.

I repeat: the most important thing is to keep writing. Just keep writing.

April 6, 2013

Early Bird Writer

Filed under: Uncategorized — nascentnovelist @ 11:33 am
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I’ve started a new experiment. Every day I go to a cafe and write for an hour before work. And now, after a whole week, I’m ready to share my initial findings.

1. My daily word count is up.
It’s impressive how much more I jot down while my brain is fresh. My goal is 350 words per day, but so far, I’ve been averaging at about 800.

2. My inner editor is off.
I struggle with my inner editor. There’s a voice inside me that tells me to polish and polish individual sentences, keeping me from producing more text to slave over. But whether it be the already mentioned fresh brain, or the semi-desperation of caffeine deprivation and half-sleep, when I sit down at 7:45AM, I write without second-guessing.

3. The quality of my writing is improving.
I think the early morning flow is something for me. A quiet cafe. A quality cup of coffee. An hour to myself. It’s a great way to start my day, and it shows in my writing.

But there’s a back to this coin. The extra hour at work makes me grumpy, unfocused and dead tired. After training, my evening consists of lying on the couch, watching television or reading. Then again, I used to spend those hours writing, but I didn’t produce more than I’m doing now. Perhaps exhaustion is a fair price to pay for better quality text?

What do you think? Have you tried writing before work? What are your habits like, and what works for you?

March 21, 2013

Find the Thing You’re Most Passionate About

Filed under: Uncategorized — nascentnovelist @ 3:19 am
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…Then Do It On Nights And Weekends For The Rest Of Your Life
By David Ferguson

I have always been a big proponent of following your heart and doing exactly what you want to do. It sounds so simple, right? But there are people who spend years—decades, even—trying to find a true sense of purpose for themselves. My advice? Just find the thing you enjoy doing more than anything else, your one true passion, and do it for the rest of your life on nights and weekends when you’re exhausted and cranky and just want to go to bed.

It could be anything—music, writing, drawing, acting, teaching—it really doesn’t matter. All that matters is that once you know what you want to do, you dive in a full 10 percent and spend the other 90 torturing yourself because you know damn well that it’s far too late to make a drastic career change, and that you’re stuck on this mind-numbing path for the rest of your life.

Is there any other way to live?

Read the rest of the article over at The Onion.

Anyone else out there who want to quit their jobs and dive in 100 percent after reading this? I sure do.

March 19, 2013

Diary of a Meat Eater: Day 8

Filed under: Uncategorized — nascentnovelist @ 12:39 pm
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This past week was rough. Fatigue plagued me like never before. Each piece of fruit gave me about 30 minutes of energy, then I deflated like a ruptured balloon. I walked from work to training to bed in a tired fog.

Today, I woke refreshed. Full of energy and hope. And full of cravings. I kept smelling foods I don’t even like that much, and it made my insides itch to taste them. White sauce. Scones. Granola bars. All mediocre things that I want.

The cravings should subside in about two weeks, or so I’m told. If anyone’s got tips on how to survive that long, send them this way.

Imagine me shipwrecked on a desert island, holding on to sanity by the skin of my teeth and the tip of a coconut.

March 17, 2013

Force-Caleb-Read-Harry-Potter-A-Thon

Filed under: Uncategorized — nascentnovelist @ 2:02 pm
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Caleb J. Ross, author of Stranger Will and I Didn’t Mean to be Kevin, butt of (or genius behind) the epic Fuck Caleb J. Ross campaign, and former guest poster here at nascentnovelist, has decided to help save the world. Part of it, anyway.

He’s participating in the March of Dimes campaign, and his quest for money is taking an interesting turn. He decided to merge the fundraising efforts with his nerdy video-making hobby and nerdy reading hobby. And thus, Force-Caleb-Read-Harry-Potter-A-Thon was born.

Watch Caleb outline the project in this video:

Basically, the idea is that so many people (including me) say Harry Potter is such a great series (one Caleb’s never intended on reading, and have no desire to read, by the way) that he’s trying to leverage that passion for the sake of raising money for the March of Dimes.

For every 2 dollars he receives in donations, he’ll read 1 page of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. At the end of each week, he’ll tally the donations, read the appropriate number of pages, and then record a video where he’ll offer his thoughts on the book so far.

Now, even if you’re not a big fan of the HP saga, you could still donate. I mean, what’s more fun than forcing people to do stuff for you? I can’t think of a single thing.

To donate, simply go to http://cjrlit.com/potterbaby, all lowercase to donate. Any amount of money helps.

The deadline for donations is APRIL 28th!
 
What are you waiting for?
 

March 14, 2013

The Lure of Social Media Marketing

I’m a big fan of twitter. Not gonna lie, it might be my favourite social media. That’s why I’ve been bitching and moaning about all the indie authors out there who’re using it mainly as a tool to spew out ads for their latest novel. Why on earth would they do it, I asked myself. Don’t they know that it’s dull? That people skim past the noise to look for actual tweets? That they might be sorted out or unfollowed?

And then I entered a contest. And I wanted people to vote for me.

pick me!

Suddenly, I wanted to yell the loudest. I wanted to tweet every hour. I wanted to hold up a virtual sign over my head saying “Make my dream come true!” and jump up and down until everyone realized my book was the best and voted. I got it.

But even though I get why people want to tweet five (or ten, or twenty) times a day about how great their book is, it doesn’t change the truth: it’s bad marketing. I follow people on twitter because they’re funny, interesting or quirky. Not because they blast me with tweet after tweet about their five-star reviews.

There’re two days left of voting in the contest. My book, number 56: Fire and Blood, is currently at ninth place and I’m hoping and praying for more votes. But I won’t tweet about it. At least not more than once a day.

March 11, 2013

Diary of a Meat Eater: Day 1

Filed under: Uncategorized — nascentnovelist @ 8:06 am
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Day 1:
The world is a dark and terrifying place, but I set out with a packed lunch and a strong mind.

The cravings sets in around lunch. Broccoli and tuna cannot sate my needs. I smell my coworkers’ bread from across the table. Coffee tastes like ashes, but it’s keeping me going.

I was told to cleanse my house of all carbs, but after yesterday’s farewell binge, each surface is littered with crumbs, chocolate wrappers and leftover candy. The diningroom table looks like an offering to the Elder Gods, the kitchen counters like a morning-after for the cookie monster.

I will stay strong.

I started the 1 month paleo challenge today. I plan on journaling my progress (into carb restricted madness). Hope you enjoy!

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