Mirymom's Blog

Dangerous When Bored

When Criticism is the Best Medicine August 27, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — Samantha Bryant @ 7:09 pm

Criticism does sting . .. but sometimes the medicine you really need stings a bit. 🙂

Curiomancy (fantastic art + fiction + thought)

When you start writing, you have the ambivalence of a toddler who both wants help down the stairs and wants to do it himself. You know you need critical feedback, but you’re inexperienced, unsure of your work — which we authors often conflate with our selves — and therefore wary of the sting. Those of you afraid of needles will know that feeling, that sometimes the best medicine hurts.

And constructive criticism IS the best medicine. I’ve said multiple times now (and will go right on saying) there is only one bit of writing advice in the whole entire world:

Write
Solicit constructive feedback
Critically evaluate feedback
Repeat

That’s it. You really don’t have to read another “Top Ten Tips for Writing” article ever again.

But that second step can really sting, especially when you recognize the feedback is valid. (If you rarely have that experience, it’s not proof of…

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Some Notes Towards A Meta-epistemological Manifesto August 25, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — Samantha Bryant @ 11:20 am

I have thought these thoughts myself, but Misha said them better.

mishaburnett

I had an epiphany today.

I have always mistrusted the concept of genre.  It has seemed to me to be both a hobble and a crutch.  By which I mean that by accepting a specific genre designation an author restricted her or his writing to an abbreviated range, while at the same time adjuring readers to carry the story past certain difficulties by imposing on an unearned suspension of disbelief.

This did not seem to be a good bargain to me–from either side.

Today it occurred to me that this unnatural division of stories into either this thing or that thing but never both at once mirrors the description that G K Chesterton gives of post-Christian philosophies in his book Orthodoxy.

Chesterton says it much more eloquently that I am about to (which is why I supplied you with the link) but in essence his thesis is that Christianity…

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The Courtesan’s Avenger (Desertera #2) Cover Reveal August 23, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — Samantha Bryant @ 10:40 pm

Nice cover art! I just recently read The Cogsmith’s Daughter and am definitely interested in more of Dellwyn. Will Aya make an appearance in this book?

Kate M. Colby

Hello, everyone! Today, I’m pleased to present the cover and book description for The Courtesan’s Avenger (Desertera #2).

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A courtesan on a mission. A brothel ravished by greed. A murder to avenge.

Dellwyn Rutt loves her life as a courtesan. For years, she has enjoyed the simple pleasures and lavish gifts of her trade. Now she wants more: the title of madam.

But Madam Huxley, the brothel’s current proprietor, refuses to name a successor—a problem that is amplified by the legalization of adultery. As the new law sends lusty clients flocking to the brothel, Madam Huxley’s greed grows unchecked at the workers’ expense. Only one outsider seems to care: a self-proclaimed prophet who won’t rest until the unholy institution is abolished.

After weeks of abuse, Dellwyn desperately seeks a way to subdue Madam Huxley’s tyranny. But when another courtesan is murdered, Dellwyn must set her struggles aside and solve the…

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Some thoughts about immersion and book abandonment… August 12, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — Samantha Bryant @ 4:52 pm

I guess I’m still an optimist and keep hoping it will get better. But I have abandoned more books lately than I used to. My other issue is that a fair amount of my reading is for book clubs or promised reviews . . . so I kind of *have* to finish. Still, good thoughts. It’s supposed to be fun, not torture, after all.

Shannon Turlington

In lieu of a reading recommendation this week, I offer some unfocused thoughts about book abandonment. Many readers seem to think that it is a virtue to finish every book they start, even if they aren’t enjoying it. I used to think so myself, but as I have gotten older and more aware that time is getting shorter, I’m less willing to spend that time on a book that’s not doing it for me. I know my reading speed by now, I know how long it takes me to finish the average book, and I value those hours highly.

I highly advocate giving up on books–especially fiction–that aren’t doing it for you. It may be a case of the wrong book at the wrong time or for the wrong reader. I abandoned two books just this week, one in which I gotten about halfway and one in which I was…

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So You Wrote a First Draft—Dear God! What NOW?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Samantha Bryant @ 1:42 pm

I often enjoy Kristen’s blog posts about writing life, but this one spoke to me especially as I am in the middle of shaping a final draft out of the earlier mess I made.

Kristen Lamb's Blog

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Once we have that crappy first draft usually there will be two major things we need to do…fill or cut. Okay, drinking makes three. And maybe wondering why we didn’t go to dental hygienist school instead makes four….

Anyway.

While it is true that too little substance can generate confusion, too much fluff can create distraction.

There needs to be a balance between…

Enough about the damn snowstorm! and Wait? There was snow?

Thus, once we have that completed first draft and begin our read-through we need to make these refinements to see if what we created meets or exceeds our expectations.

Sadly this is usually the first draft.

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Much of what we will need to do is going to be dictated by what kind of writer we are. Are we a Trimmer or an Embellisher? There is a fantastic post over on Writer Unboxed that describes these two types of writers.

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Classic Writing Advice: Write Every Day

Filed under: Uncategorized — Samantha Bryant @ 1:36 pm

I’m with you here. I write every day, but as I moved into life as a published author, I altered my definition of writing somewhat. I count blog posts, business emails, journal writing as well as new words on the fiction project. If I’m in editing/revision mode, I record 10% of edited words as my word count for the day. The important thing is that I give my writing life attention each and every day. It’s too easy for dreams to slide under the heap of life demands if you don’t fight for them.

Kate M. Colby

In this new series, I want to explore some of the classic writing advice given to authors and provide my opinions on and experiences with them. I don’t do this because I think I’m some brilliant writing authority – far from it. Rather, I’ve learned the most valuable writing lesson of all, one that you’ve probably heard, but that takes a long time to sink in:

There is no magic secret to writing. You just do it, and every writer does it differently.

writingBUT, even if you (logically) know this to be true, chances are you’ve Googled anyway (don’t be embarrassed – I still do it, too!). In those well-meaning search results, you’ve likely seen the golden nugget of writing advice: write every day.

A literal interpretation demands that you type/hand write/dictate new words every single day.

In theory, this is great advice. After all, even if you just write…

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Trump, and His Jokes, and You August 10, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — Samantha Bryant @ 4:03 pm

“Just a joke” is one of those phrases like “no offense but.” Automatically offensive because it tries to place the listener in an ugly position of having to defend why they are offended, instead of having the balls to take responsibility for the words themselves. It’s a bullying tactic, so not surprising in this context. Scalzi said this better than I have, so you should read his:

Source: Trump, and His Jokes, and You

 

What Can You Do in A Year?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Samantha Bryant @ 1:41 pm

For me, the awesome that made the awesomesauce was the “this is real” moments–like being interviewed on the radio, having a poster in a bookstore window, seeing my book on the shelf at my public library, etc. I’m halfway through my second year now, with the second book out, and it’s become a balancing act of promotional activities while still writing quickly enough to keep up a pace of new releases. I kind of miss the slower pace of bringing out the first book alone.

Kate M. Colby

cork popSo often, we gauge the passing of a year by the calendar, a birthday, or a wedding anniversary. Today, I want to mark a different kind of anniversary. One year ago today, I wrote a reflection post on my recent move to New Haven, Connecticut (I’d lived there eight days at the time). In it, I shared my initial impressions of the city, my concerns about living in a new place, and my hopes for the year to come. Now, I’d like to look back and share what wisdom I’ve gleaned for others.

When it comes to New Haven itself, I’ll be brief. My first post talked about the beautiful architecture, the (seemingly) tasty restaurants, and the various tourist attractions. They’re all still there, and all still great. I also mentioned the potential new friendships Daniel (my husband) and I had started growing, and I’m happy to report that they…

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What I love about Stranger Things… August 9, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — Samantha Bryant @ 3:15 pm

I *loved* this show, too. In fact, I almost hope they don’t have a second season because it feels quite complete as it was left.

Shannon Turlington

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If you like the kinds of books I do and you haven’t been watching Stranger Things on Netflix, get thee to a television. This series constantly references Stephen King’s books plus tons of great movies by John Carpenter, Steven Spielberg, and others we remember from the ’80s. And it has Winona Ryder! She is the ’80s for me.

Lots of people are talking about the nostalgic feelings that the series recreates, which it certainly does, but I think even better is that it hearkens back to a type of story that we don’t see so much anymore. It’s horror but not dark, in that the characters come across as real, human, and basically good people who end up working together against evil. This is a pervasive theme in Stephen King’s older books, and something I love about them. This show gives you characters you can recognize and root for. This is…

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Preacher, 2016, a review. August 1, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — Samantha Bryant @ 11:28 am

I’ve watched only part of season 1, and I was a fan of the graphic novels. So far, it’s wonderful!

Carmilla Voiez

Imagine a town so degenerate that it makes Twin Peaks look like an ideal place to settle. A town with a diseased heart, run by a murderer who worships the god of meat. This town is Annville and it is the setting for the first season of AMC’s brilliant series, Preacher.

Add plenty of bloody violence, and “Misfits” style humour, in a large part thanks to the wonderful acting of Joseph Gilgun and Ruth Negga, and you start to get the flavour of what this superb series is about.

But the recipe is much more complex. We have a dark and dangerous town, we have insane and violent background characters, and then we have equally violent angels (complete with a chainsaw), trying to recover the voice of Genesis, which for some reason has found a home within bad boy preacher Jesse Custer. Custer’s best friends are a…

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