Monthly Archives: July 2009

You get to hear my voice!

So, just for the heck of it, I decided to try and record myself reading Eikasia.  This particular excerpt is from the beginning of Chapter 8.2

[audio:http://eighthcirclestudios.com/ns/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/Chapter8_2-Take4.mp3%5D

Chapter8_2 – Take4

That was my fourth saved attempt at reading that portion aloud. (You don’t wanna know how many times I had to start over.  At one point I combined ‘quiet’ and ‘twilight’ to say ‘qwilight’.)  Tell me what you guys think.  Do I speak clearly?  Is the quality of the file good?  Did you have any other problems?

I think I’m going to try and get a podcast going.  It’ll give me the opportunity to improve my speech skills.  Anyone want to give me tips on how to get started?

EDIT: Oh yeah, the last few lines are different from what I originally wrote.  It sounded better to me when I was saying it.

Advertisements

Ear Smash, Mind Crash

EDIT: Took out the embedded playlist because it kept auto-playing even though it wasn’t supposed to. (argh)  If you’re a curious birdie, you can see what I’m blabbing about in the link below.

Ear Smash, Mind Crash

If you followed my tweets, you would know that I was rifling through my back issues of Spin (a music magazine) and managed to come up with a pretty long list of new songs to listen to (considering I only looked through 2 of 9 magazine issues). I hope you guys don’t think it too obnoxious of me that I want to share my findings. I really adore music–I’m not a musician or anything, and my interest is purely emotional and philosophical as I know nothing of the finer points of being an audiophile. Still, I have this habit of making special playlists, or wannabe albums and compilations. I did it for Eikasia and for my other creative projects, even.

So if you’re new to the site, you’ll likely hear me blab about music quite a bit.

The above playlist is just a compilation, but it’ll likely be cannabalized to make a more focused list of songs. It’s funny, recently I’ve been listening to a lot of heavy metal and alternative rock on my iPod, lots of easy listening on my iTunes, and now there’s this imeem list of hodge podge muzak. Geez, no wonder my narrative voice never sits still in my writing.

Oh but did you think I was going to leave you without any news about Chapter 8.3? Well, it’s coming along gradually. It’s at 2,866 words. Here’s a  sampling of it:

We had returned to the wilderness, where insects made music beneath the bracken fern, and a nighthawk’s glowing eyes blinked at me from the high branches of an old whitebeam tree. I was given a moment, finally apart from my revulsion, to appreciate this beauty. I hadn’t realized how much Gamath had bothered me until I smelled the fresh soil and flowering fauna–heard the rustle of leaves and the shift of grass. For more than a year, the wilderness had been my home. No civilized place would have me.

“…And now,” I couldn’t help but think, “Not even the wild will have me.”

“Feels better doesn’t it?” Elmiryn asked in a low voice. She lead me through the forest with careful steps, and spared me a glance to see if she could find a hint of me in the growing shadows.

Remember, it’s subject to change and all that.

Ah…see how unfocused and silly my posts are when I’m half-awake? Why can’t all my posts be as focused as my “books books books” post? (atleast before it unraveled near the end?)

Here’s my music recommendations if you don’t feel like going through the whole playlist:  all of St. Vincent, all of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Fleet Foxes “White Winter Hymnal”, and if you like unconventional hip-hop, check out Elzhi’s “Guessing Game”, and K’naan’s “ABC’s”.

All right, that’s all I have right now.  Brain shuts off…

NOW.

Tagged ,

The trouble with trouble is…

…it’s sneaky.

I guess by now my assertions regarding updates should be taken with a grain of salt.  Especially when family is involved…

Friday started out well enough, until it degenerated into disagreements over money and religion.  Oddly enough, plans to go to Hearst Castle were born from the mess, so that accounts for Saturday and today.  I couldn’t very well protest being away from my computer two days as I was the one who brought up the idea for the overnight trip to begin with–but you’ve got to keep in mind, I made the suggestion believing there would be an update Friday.  Drama ensured this wouldn’t be the case, so…here we are.

I’d offer the usual chapter preview, but the chapter is very shaky.  I just recently got back home and have homework to do for this week–so tonight I think I’m going to focus on taking care of work and just rest for the night.  Tomorrow, with a lessened workload and a fresher mind, I will resume writing the chapter–likely for an update before Friday, since this is the last installment for “Tributaries”.

Till then, thanks for your patience!

books books books

“The love of learning, the sequestered nooks,
And all the sweet serenity of books.”

~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

“A truly good book teaches me better than to read it. I must soon lay it down, and commence living on its hint…. What I began by reading, I must finish by acting.”

~Henry David Thoreau

I didn’t notice that both quotes came from two different men named, “Henry”…my my.

So while at Borders, perusing the aisles with a broad-ended goal of purchase, I was met with a number of fascinations as much as nettling realities.  Of the latter, I can say, without a shadow of a doubt, that there will perhaps never be another werewolf story of a serious mind that I can enjoy.  It’s all hot babes, downplayed transformations, and supernatural cliches.  Who needs rounded characters when we have archetypes that will be sure to get your loins burning?

On the other hand, I was browsing the Reference section and skimmed through some interesting books on writing.  I probably should’ve been on this sooner, but I haven’t actually put pen-to-paper in terms of mapping out Part 2.  Not really.  Yesterday was a major accomplishment (for me anyway) as I finally laid down some general plot points to meet.  I try to forgive myself the basic story for Part 1, as “Tributaries” was meant to be introductory in nature, and very much character-driven.  But for Part 2, I wanted to do something a little less elementary.  So I was flipping through these books, and while none jumped out at me and screamed “Buy me!” I took note of a few for later use:

The Writer’s Complete Fantasy Reference by Writers Digest

Plot & Structure: (Techniques And Exercises For Crafting A Plot That Grips Readers From Start To Finish) (Write Great Fiction)

The Writers Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers

I’ll admit, I don’t know if any of those titles are any good.  As I said, I just breezed through them…and I picked up more than that, but those are the ones I remember.  If you’d like a recommendation from me on a good writing book to pick up, then I’d suggest:

Spunk & Bite: A Writer’s Guide to Bold, Contemporary Style by Arthur Plotnik

THIS was something that screamed, “Buy me!”  It’s a great book on how to spice up your writing through vocabulary, grammar, and imagery.  The entire book serves as one fantastic example of how to achieve pizzazz–and offers lots of other, smaller examples from other established writers.  I’ve hopped around, reading it in parts, and I can hardly get through a page before I’m furiously scribbling in a notepad.  It’s like Redbull for the mind.

Well after checking out that aisle, I drifted on over to the Gay & Lesbian Fiction area.  I’ve come out to some people about my sexuality, but it still feels a bit…ah…bold (?) to go fondling the spines of lesbian lit.  In a way, I find it silly.  Half the books there don’t deal with sexuality as a conflict…the main characters just so happen to be gay.  Today, though, I want to announce that I didn’t duck my head or flinch when I picked up Rita Mae Brown’s Rubyfruit Jungle.  I’d like to think it’s because I’m getting more comfortable in my own skin–but I’ll admit, no one walked by me.  (ha, gosh I’m terrible.)

Anyway, here’s the book.  I’ve only read five pages, but so far it’s rather humorous.

Rubyfruit Jungle by Rita Mae Brown

I’m excited to read this, but it’s occured to me that I’ve developed an alarming habit.  In grade school I didn’t start a new book until I finished reading one.  Sometimes I’d read two at a time, but I’d make sure I’d finish them before moving on.  Somewhere around the end of highschool I started to read books, put them down, and not pick them up again for months, where in the meantime I’d start something else.  It got up to the point that I’d start four books, and start reading four more.  The number of books unfinished are so many that I can’t remember them all–a horrific situation.

Of the ones I can remember:  Dante’s Inferno by Dante Alighieri, Ubik by Philip K. Dick, The Great and Secret Show by Clive Barker, Fall Guy by Carol Lea Benjamin, and Cornel West’s Democracy Matters.  (there’s more from Clive Barker, and perhaps some from Stephen King, but I can’t remember the exact titles…)

Right now, I’m re-reading Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by You-Know-Who (oh ho ho!), and Kitty Raises Hell by Carrie Vaughn.

And on loan from my friends are some comic book anthologies:  Frank Miller’s “The Dark Knight”, Marvel’s complete “Civil War”, and Marvel’s collection of Iron Man “Civil War” related stories.

Don’t even get me started on the books I plan to read…

Since I’m on the topic of books, I just wanted to recommend to you guys this one:

Stray by Sheri Joseph

Thirty-year-old Kent McKutcheon has come to Atlanta with little ambition beyond his earnest desire to grow up and be a good person. But after a year of contented, stable existence with his Mennonite wife, Maggie, a defense attorney with a passion for social justice, Kent cannot quiet his longing for Paul, the lover who abandoned him three years before. When an accidental meeting revives their affair, the infatuation they’ve kept private soon threatens to destroy the public persona each man has created.

In a single night that slips out of control, the volatile mix of emotions leads to murder, and all three characters are suddenly more involved with each other’s lives than they could have foreseen. And none can hope to escape unscathed.

I finished this great book sometime ago, but I’ve got to say…It really did amaze me. I picked it up because a book group I had subscribed to brought it up during discussion.  I couldn’t put it down. It really was the first book of its sort that has sucked me in so completely–normally romantic dramas of this sort have me scoffing like it were something Lifetime had conjured up…but that isn’t the case with this book. It felt true to the intimacy of relationships, and none of the characters I could really bring myself to hate, instead I felt for each and everyone of them. In fact, I loved them all so much I wished in a naive, idealistic sort of way that I’d get a fairy-tale ending. Instead, what I got was something that rang true of life, without seeming like an exhausted and typical conclusion to a three-way love triangle. In my opinion it would probably make a great indie drama flick (but of course, much of the magic of this story rests in Joseph’s careful and poetic portrayals of the three main characters, something I don’t think can be easily translated into film.) I guess what I love most is that I feel like I can read this book again, right now, and still love every minute of it. Not many books can make me feel that way.

So there.  Go buy that and Spunk and Bite!

Here’s to hoping that my reads will give me lots of inspiration.  My motivation is pretty high right now.  I’ll try and resume work on Chap 8.3 tomorrow and maybe work in some planning for Part 2.

I’d like a better ending to this post, but I really did take more time than I should’ve.  I’ll likely come back and add book cover images.  Till then, take care you lovable people you!

Tagged

So here we are.

Welcome to the new sites! I’ve dedicated two straight days to trying to get everything up to speed…of course, things never work out that way, so if there’s an issue I’ll try and work it out. Just politely point it out to me in the comments. There’s some new features on the site–nothing grand. Just a basic translator for my non-English readers. Also, I know it was a sticky issue trying to read each chapter in a sequential matter. Right now, there’s a sort feature that sorts chapters in ascending and descending order, so maybe that helps. I’m working out how this WordPress stuff works, so there will likely be things added/removed in the coming weeks.

Thank you for your patience! Lemme know what you guys think.

Chapter 8.2 Preview

Last Friday really was just a slip up on my part.  I got so caught up with school and plans for the weekend that I just plain forgot to update. (I’m terrible!)  Anyways, here’s a preview of Chap 8.2:

In the quiet twilight hours of the day, when glowing embers danced and flew to a paper sky, Elmiryn would hold her breath.  The watercolor shades and the cut-out stars would not burn, would not burn–no matter how much she wished to see heaven; and it would be between the spaces of wishes such as those where she rediscovered common sense.  It always skulked in the nighttime, bent-over and sullen without the glare of the suns to illuminate its homesteads–Science, Ethics, and Magical Principle.  The homes of common sense were becoming decrepit, but they still stood, and it was with a self-deprecating snort that she remembered:

People only have one set of eyes.

No gaze could be switched or swapped for another, not even in magic.  Not as far as she knew. (and she questioned what she knew frequently these days)

But at the time, it didn’t occur to her.  Nyx stared, or half-stared, along with all the rest in the room.  Elmiryn looked back at them and smiled unapologetically.  “Well, it’s obvious isn’t it?”

Den put his hand on his hips, a queer action the warrior thought, and squinted at her.  “What do you mean?”  His mouth was a little open as if breathing through it would bring words to him quicker.  It seemed an annoying habit of men to breathe more harshly either through the nose or mouth when agitated.  Not everything required them to brace themselves, after all, Elmiryn thought.

Nyx went to sit on the bed…no…could that constitute as sitting?  More like falling.  Yes, she fell on the bed and managed to land upright.  Mismatched eyes stared across the room to the outside where still water fell, just as she had.  And what did the Other One think, in her dark place of unbeing…?

…Did the walls breathe, where she lived, as they did for Elmiryn?

That’s what I have so far.  Remember, it’s subject to change.  

Phew…I have midterms this week, but we’ll see if it turns out.  Till next time, take care all.