Winner Winner Chicken Dinner and a Thank You too!

Alright Bookbrainers! This is the blog you’ve been waiting for with all the excitement and antici……..pation of  buying a pint of ice cream and then having to wait in a huge line to check out so you can go home and bury your face in frozen chocolate chips! But before I announce the winning suggestion for this month’s challenge, I want to take a second to talk directly to all you wonderful Bookbrainers on WordPress.

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Have a seat in the Bookbrain library with me and relax!

Now I know that there are a lot of you readers that have your own blogs on WordPess and have been amazing enough to reach out and like my posts and click the follow button, but sadly I’ve not had the time to thank you properly for it. So to everyone I’ve never personally met who’s reading this either this week when I post it or in some distant future…

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I mean seriously, THANK YOU!!! Every day that I can look at my blog and see that someone is actually reading it makes me smile. Thank you for the smiles and thank you for your time. It will never go unnoticed or unappreciated! And to everyone else? Don’t worry!

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All that love goes to you guys too!

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So for this month’s Flash Fiction Challenge I had asked for you guys to come up with the first sentence of the story I’m going to write. There were a lot of fun choices and this was actually a VERY had decision! But this winner is…

Nickolai Duddits with his submission, “With bated breath she waited for the front door to close behind him, then with a quake in her voice, and a tremor in her hands she spoke meekly, ‘Honey…I have something to tell you.’”

So there you go guys! Next week that will be the first sentence of my short story! Please feel free to share your excitement!!!

Bookbrain Excited

(Pictured here)

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Flash Fiction Challenge 2: The Writing Continues

Welcome Bookbrainers!!! (yes that’s a thing now) It is time again for what I feel for many of you is your favorite part of my blog, Flash Fiction Challenges! The last challenge went well with the chosen topic of, “Time Travel and Mermaids.” This time we’re going to shake up the format and do things a little differently.

The Challenge

Either on Bookbrain’s Facebook page or on the blog itself I want you in the comments to write a single sentence. This sentence will become the first sentence in a short story that I write and post in the blog.

The Rules

You can only post ONE sentence! Make it a good one!

The sentence cannot be obviously stolen from another piece of writing. Example: You can’t submit, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,” and expect me to think you came up with it. I mean come on…that’s clearly from the song, “Stairway to Heaven.”

Your sentence can be any genre and can be dialogue. Again, just don’t take things from elsewhere if you’re going with a quote. If you write, “Hey check out this awesome ring!” said Frodo, I’ll know you’re either pulling directly from or referencing to the movie Spinal Tap.

So obviously the sentence you submit shouldn’t have anything too explicit in it. Please use your best judgement (Shit why do I keep asking the internet to use good judgement???)

You will have until 11:59pm central time on Thursday August 24th to submit your vote for what you want me to write.

I will pick the winner to write about based solely on what I find interesting, just like with the last challenge. If you think that’s unfair, I did decide to double check with the referee and…

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Yep, yep, still fair!

I’ll announce the winner at the end of next week’s blog!

The short story will be an original piece of fiction that I’ll write myself which only one week to do it.

The short story will be posted here on the blog on September 1st.

 

I hope to see lots of sentences in the comments! Remember to like the blog and share so that more of the Nobrainers can find me and participate in making me figuratively dance for their entertainment. Have a great week!

Stop! I Collaborated now Listen!

Alright Bookbrainers, (yeah you heard me), I have something special for you this week! Some of you may have noticed me post about this VERY briefly on the blog’s Facebook page, but I recently went on my friend’s podcast called Rawcast: A.D. (Here: https://soundcloud.com/rawcastad/017-bookbrain ) and got to promote the blog to his listeners. I HIGHLY recommend that you go over when you get the chance to give it a listen. Doug (the host of Rawcast: A.D.) and I talk about the blog quite a bit…

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(Pictured Here)

…as well as talk about movies and books worth reading. Doug and I go waaaaay back to our college days at UW-Stevens Point. There is also a podcast we did talking about that if you’re for some reason interested in me…can’t imagine why you would be though…(*cough* look at above picture *cough*).

Anyway! Doug’s podcast has been on hiatus for a while, but he’d bringing it back better than ever going forward! Doug talks about everything from politics, to books and movies, to just random fun things that he feels like brining up. So if you’re interested in him or if you just want to hear me jabber like a moron for an hour about writing give it a listen!

Now to celebrate this awesome crossover how about a…FLASH FICTION CHALLENGE!!! On next week’s blog I’ll post the new challenge for YOU (yes you) to vote on and me to pick the wining suggestion and write on. So all you Bookbrainers…

Bring me

I want all of you to get involved in this next challenge and have your friends (all those Nobrainers who don’t read the blog) vote too! Also when I ask you to, “Bring me everyone,” what I mean is…

Everyone

Have a great week!

Creative Inspiration: Dungeons and Dragons

Alright you beautiful readers! This week I’m taking the time to dig into one of my favorite creative inspirations, so grab your dice and let’s talk Dungeons and Dragons!

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(May the odds be ever in you favor!)

I’m fairly sure I was born with a love for all things fantasy. If you were to take a sample of my DNA and look at it under a microscope you’d see a tiny film strip of a wizard fighting a dragon. So it’s no wonder that this game appeals to me, what with it having a picture of both wizards and dragons on many of its covers. The only strange thing is that I didn’t get introduced to the game until I was in high school. (So many wasted years!) The game is even loved by people such as Vin Diesel.

(Disclaimer: I actually stopped playing official D&D years ago. I play a game called Pathfinder, which is essentially the same game but by a different developer. I just called it D&D when talking to other people because it’s easier and they don’t really care about the difference.)

For those of you reading not too familiar with the game, Dungeons and Dragons (much like myself), comes to you from the great state of beer and cheese, Wisconsin. The game was introduced to the world by Gary Gygax in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin in January of 1974. Since then the game has seen many years of ups and downs, with the high of its popularity being in the 80’s (think Stranger Things from Netflix), though it has been growing in popularity in the last few years again now that all things geek and nerdy are mainstream popular.

Each player in the game creates a character from the rules offered in the books ranging from your standard Wizard…

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To the Rouge…

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To the basic Fighter…

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(It’s super effective!)

Once you as a play pick your class, race, and buy gear from what gold you have, you’re ready to play! One player though has to act as the narrator for the story and control the monsters you fight, they’re called the Dungeon Master (though to be fair the newer books acknowledge that this name has a LOT of geeky connotation with it have has started to call them the, “Game Master,” instead to try and sound cooler…it’s not working).

It’s the job of the Dungeon Master (DM) that I want to focus on though. For many of the games I’ve played my job was to be the game’s DM. There are pre-made games that I could run in this role, but the fun and challenge of creating my own worlds using the game’s rules and putting my friends into stories that I create (often without much preparation since that’s a lot of work and I’m busy *cough* lazy *cough*), has challenged me to become a better story teller over the years and helped inspire me to think about fantasy stories in many different ways. As well one of the challenges of running a game is that it only works when the players are having fun. Playing has challenged me in a way where I have to balance each player’s own enjoyment of the game, my enjoyment of running it, and keeping the game fair and running smoothly. It’s the kind of challenge that any writer interested in fantasy should consider since keeping readers happy functions much the same way and provides very similar challenges.

Hopefully in the future you think of D&D less like this…

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And more like this…

Awesome Geeks

Now that you’re more familiar with this amazing game and its possible influence, my challenge to you is this…go and enjoy your weekend!

Curiosity: Why This Blog is Late

Happy weekend everyone! I hope you’re all doing well out there! So as I’m sure you noticed by this title and by the fact that this blog wasn’t posted until Saturday this week instead of Friday afternoon that this blog is a bit late.

(Unless you’re one of those readers who catch up when you can…in which case just sit tight crouching tiger we’ll get to you in a second! Enjoy this very cold pineapple while you wait!)

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Now those of you who know me might be sitting there and thinking, “I bet he was procrastinating writing his blog this week and didn’t make the deadline and now he’s just covering his ass with this blog’s theme or my name isn’t Batman!”

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…or maybe I’m attempting to talk about one of the greatest tools any writer can use, curiosity. (This is where you come in couching tigers! Hope you enjoyed the pineapple!) Anyone who noticed that the blog was off schedule or thought about the title may have been curious about what this blog would be about, making them want to read on. The need to see where writing is going or what’s going to happen next is what keeps most readers turning the pages. It doesn’t matter if you need to know if the boy in the hospital will get a new heart in time, or if guy working at the gas station will get his head out of his ass and do something about the rich married woman flirting with him every Friday night, or if grandma will drop a pair of aces during the illegal poker game to win and thus get the money she needs to win this year’s Better Homes and Garden’s competition!

My point is this; if you can’t keep your readers wanting to know more, regardless of the reason, then you have some work to do as a writer. (I’m personally always worried about my writing not keeping their curiosity up, so no worries if you’re a writer and suddenly spastically freaking out, we’re in the same boat!)

Now that you’re curiosity is sated, please go and enjoy your weekend….or whatever day of the week it is for you if you’re reading this not on a weekend!

Recent Reads: Book Review!

Happy weekend readers! I hope you’re all doing well and enjoying summer! So for this week I wanted to talk briefly about some recent books I’ve read. (I feel like a kid with a summer reading list from the library!) All the authors out there giving advice on writing all say the same thing, read. Now for anyone who knows me you know that’s not a difficult request! So I thought I’d share the most recent books I’ve read. I just finished reading The Rook and its sequel Stiletto by Daniel O’Malley.

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Without giving away too much these books are about a secret British government organization of people with supernatural powers who fight to keep supernatural things secret and to protect the public from them. Basically think House of Cards meets Men in Black meets The X-Men. The first book is told from the perspective of Myfanwy Thomas, who is one of the controlling members of this organization…who has had all her memories removed and wakes up surrounded by dead people. It’s ok though, since the original Myfanwy knew that someone was going to wipe her mind so she left instructions for her to pretend to be her.

These books are funny and will grip you from the beginning with both political supernatural intrigue and an incredibly interesting and extremely fleshed out world that these books take place in. I can’t recommend them enough!

So while you wait for my first book to hit shelves in like five years, give these a try and enjoy!

Giving Credit: Writing Tips

It’s the weekend! I hope all of you fine readers are doing well. I want to give a BIG thanks to everyone for all the kind words about my flash fiction story from last week! It meant a lot to me that you took the time to read something a little longer than my normal blog posts and that you actually liked it!

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So because everyone seemed to enjoy it, I’m going to make flash fiction challenges like that a regular thing on here! But since it takes time away from me working on my book, I won’t be doing them more than once a month or so. Now, it has occurred to me that I never really spoke on how I came up with the challenge. Short answer: I didn’t.

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Long answer: So a few years ago I was walking through Barns and Nobel with my fiancé and I found the section of books that deal with tips for writing. I spent over half an hour looking through the various titles and scanning chapters. Now I have a degree in English and a minor in creative writing and I’ve spent a lot of my adult life thinking about and studying the craft of writing…yet I can’t seem to ever have enough books on the subject. Not all books on writing are good, and some aren’t really meant for people like me, but there are always some that I find have great tips and ideas about how to write that I gravitate to.

During this trip I found one that has since become my favorite. It was titled, The Kick-Ass Writer: 1001 Ways to Write Great Fiction, Get Published, and Earn Your Audience by Chuck Wendig. (You can see why the title grabbed me.) This book was filled with great ideas about writing put in such a way that it doesn’t feel like a text book and doesn’t sound like something a guy named Brad would say while wearing an ascot and admiring his own flatulence.

Brad

(Fact: Fred’s real name is Brad)

I can’t say enough how much I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in writing! So while reading it I became interested in the author Chuck Wendig and looked him up. He has a blog. It’s right here: http://terribleminds.com/ramble/blog/ I started reading his blog and on it every Friday he features a post called (you guessed it you super smarty pants reader!) Flash Fiction Challenge. Now for his blog he’s challenging his readers to do the writing and he just comes up with the prompts (somehow). In the future I may take more challenges from his blog to use or I may come up with my own, either way I’m very excited to keep writing both this blog and flash fiction, and seeing what ideas I can juice from my brain for you!

(I’m going to leave you with that fun mental image)

Have a great weekend everyone!