Too often writers get distracted with being sensational and not writing about the world that they know. One of the pitfalls of writing for young writers is the overly dramatic action sequence that (if the writer is male) invariably involves a gun shoot out or killing of some dramatic kind. Of course most people that write have never heard or shot a real gun and this leads an inauthentic feel to the writing. That’s not to say that the reader knows that you are lying about the gun shooting, it is more about that fact that they can see the weakness in your descriptions and the generic way in which you write. The reader will be able to see that he/she knows as much about guns as you do and therefore will become disconnected from what they are reading. Of course if you really want to write about guns you can find something online that will give it you straight like this online gun writers resource ( But the truth is that you are better off writing from your experience to really connect with your reader and discover a little more about yourself.


I just finished reading a short review of the book, Left Hand of Darkness and I gotta say this is something that I for sure want to pick up. See below for an excerpt from the review:

by Ursula Le Guin (Ace Books)
Another tale of winter on an alien world, LeGuin’s late-1960s classic is about first contact between a representative of the advanced Ekumen cultures, and the people of the genderless planet Gethen. Our hero winds up trapped in a conflict between two cold warring groups of Gethenians, and must make a long, arduous escape through a frozen winter landscape with one companion – a Gethenian, whose alienness becomes more and more obvious the closer the two become.

It has everything I love in a sci-fi novel. Humanity knowledge is tested and we use aliens as an allegory to describe the greater human condition. That is what I love about science fiction, it allows us to step out of our shoes but in reality it is speaking to what we as people do in the world. I know that this book is worth getting sometime soon.

Obama’s Speech

January 22, 2009

Despite your political views it is important to see the power in the words that Obama used on Inauguration day and the power and conviction of those words to change a nation. I mean look below at one of the paragraphs that he spoke:

For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness. We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus — and non-believers. We are shaped by every language and culture, drawn from every end of this Earth; and because we have tasted the bitter swill of civil war and segregation and emerged from that dark chapter stronger and more united, we cannot help but believe that the old hatreds shall someday pass; that the lines of tribe shall soon dissolve; that as the world grows smaller, our common humanity shall reveal itself; and that America must play its role in ushering in a new era of peace.

I mean it is just so powerful and speaks to the core that is who we are as Americans. I won’t list the entire speech here, but if you would like to read it on NPR, check it out, it’s worth a read for sure.

Read: Alchemy of Stone

January 18, 2009

This novel is a brilliant piece of work from new author Ekaterina Sedia about….

Sedia’s evocative third novel, a steampunk fable about the price of industrial development, follows Mattie, an emancipated automaton, as her home city is rent by conflict between alchemists and the mechanics whose clanking, steaming inventions are changing society. Though created by a leader of the mechanics, Mattie chose to join the alchemists, but her creator still holds the key that winds her up. When a terrorist bombing and an assassination touch off all-out war between the two factions, she discovers the ugly secrets and exploitation that keep the city supplied with food and coal. Sedia’s exquisitely bleak vision deliberately skewers familiar ideas from know-it-all computers to talking statues desperate for souls, leaving readers to reach their own conclusions about the proper balance of tradition and progress and what it means to be alive.

I love novels like this that take fantasy and expand it so that it has application to our lives and human interaction. It takes the power of a truly amazing writer to be able to make robots and artificial environments feel human and real to us. I appreciate the work of authors like this and I highly recommend this novel.

Play on words t-shirt

January 17, 2009

I really love t-shirts like this that take famous quotes that are actually dark and brooding and turn them into funny little jokes. I mean most people won’t get it, but for the people you see on the street that get it, they will really love it. See below to understand what I am talking about.

Discount Tent on white shirt
Discount Tent on white by jukintx
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Winter Reflection

January 13, 2009

It seems that we are fully in winter now. Snow dusts the ground in many parts of our country and one can not leave the house without some type of jacket all most everywhere else. I love winter because it is not a time of outdoor activity, but instead a time of inner reflection. The peace and calm that the weather brings to our active bodies allows our minds to explore the inner recesses of our memories and knowledge and make new and interesting connections. I think that more people should use winter as a time of introspection and discover more about who and what we are and how we interact with this planet. Once we’ve done that, spring comes around and initiates our rebirth and new life interacting with others and the planet. I know that it is not reasonable to ask people to spend months thinking about themselves and the universe since I cannot even do it. But if we all just spend one rainy or snowy day sitting and home alone and think/reflect on our lives I am sure that we will only build a strong and more personally connected society.