Today was KDL's 3rd Annual Celebrate the Mitten Writers' Conference and I was there for both the morning and afternoon sessions. There are a lot more people in the area that are writers or aspiring writers, there were probably 200 people in the audience. This could be a good thing. Though, I was not feeling confident enough to actually do any networking today. Which was disappointing and I'm kicking myself now. I recorded the whole thing on my phone, and it turned out-not-to-bad. But that's just for me, I won't be putting that up anywhere. A lot of what I heard wasn't new; I have a lot of writing books and I've spent a lot of time at various online writing sites. But listening to the speeches, there were three presentations in each of the two sessions, did give me some insights and spur me to write some things down. Let me share those with you. KDL offers a free electronic subscription to The Writer magazine to it's members. Which is something I'
Today was KDL's 3rd Annual Celebrate the Mitten Writers' Conference and I was there for both the morning and afternoon sessions. There are a lot more people in the area that are writers or aspiring writers, there were probably 200 people in the audience. This could be a good thing. Though, I was not feeling confident enough to actually do any networking today. Which was disappointing and I'm kicking myself now. I recorded the whole thing on my phone, and it turned out-not-to-bad. But that's just for me, I won't be putting that up anywhere. A lot of what I heard wasn't new; I have a lot of writing books and I've spent a lot of time at various online writing sites. But listening to the speeches, there were three presentations in each of the two sessions, did give me some insights and spur me to write some things down. Let me share those with you. KDL offers a free electronic subscription to The Writer magazine to it's members. Which is something I'd
This list is based on ' 71 Things You Can Do ' an article by Scott Hughes over at Warriorism . But I'm not a warrior and I don't have quite the edge that the original article had, so I've toned it down and made some organisational changes to the original. You can click the link above to see the original or you can read my variant below. Nobody is perfect, and that's okay. People do all sorts of things that don't make sense, and we all recognize that. There is a lot of nonsense filling the world. Learning to accept the nonsense of other people is part of being a better person. You need to both recognize and accept that others are not perfect and neither are you. Other people do things that make no sense to you and you do things that make no sense to others, and everything and everyone is judged without context. That's just the way things are. People whine, complain, and cry over problems that they can easily change. They get depressed over problems they c
PROLOGUE GIVING AN ACCOUNT OF CWEN LAIRD AND HER KILLING OF A KING'S FORESTER. ALSO TELLING HOW HER BAND GATHERED AROUND HER; AND OF THE DUEL THAT GAINED HER A LIEUTENANT AND RIGHT-HAND MAN, THE FAMOUS, TINY JACH. In the south of Drythlor on the great isle of Elmond, when Cayden the Second ruled the land, there lived beneath the canopy of Stilwood Forest, near Linsdale Town, a famous outlaw whose name was Cwen Laird. No archer ever lived that could speed a shaft with such skill and cunning as hers, nor were there ever such yeomen as the three dozen knights of the greenwood that roamed with her through the greatwood. Deep in the heart of Stilwood Forest they kept house, suffering neither care nor want, but passing their days with bow and staff in archery matches and bouts of cudgels, living upon the King’s venison, washed down with draughts of ill gotten autumn ales. Not only Cwen herself but all the band were outlaws and dwelt apart from other folk, yet they were beloved by the c
Last night the house got blasted again by a skunk. Probably the one living under the front porch... at least I assume it's a skunk. I'd almost let it stay there if it weren't for the stink... [powerpress]
“…If the presence of the character doesn't advance the story, it necessarily stops it in its tracks. All of a sudden, you are going nowhere, your pacing disrupted, your focus shifted from the important characters and plot to this intruder. The readers’ attention shifts, as well, and by letting that happen you are creating expectations you probably can’t fulfill. If this character is so wonderful, when will he or she do something that matters to the outcome of the story? When will this character prove important to the way in which the story develops? The reader will look for answers to these questions, and if you don’t provide them, you will necessarily disappoint their valid expectations.” —Terry Brooks
It's Super Bowl Monday around these here parts. arohen.com and arohenTV bring you the epic showdown that was the 1st and Ten, Season Four Super Bowl. A match-up between two undefeated teams, the Kansas City Chiefs and the Detroit Lions... brother vs brother style.
There I was changing filters and checking belts, when the coppers come bustin' in, guns drawn, screaming at the top of their lungs that I should 'get on the fucking floor' and then things really got crazy... [powerpress]
What's going on with arohenTV? Have you stopped doing the Truckcast? Why are there so many lame pictures of you? It really all comes down to time. Well, time and motivation. Or maybe it's time, motivation, and mood. Whatever the case, things around here have been a bit unpredictable. So, in an attempt to create more predictability in my posts and to help me decide what to work on when, I'm going to try and stick to a schedule of posts. But I think you all know how that has worked out in the past... Monday - arohenTV video Tuesday - Truckcast audio Wednesday - a bit of fiction (Queens Wood) Thursday - blog post Friday - Truckcast audio Saturday - motivational image (LOLcat?!) Sunday - motivational image (LOLcat?!) This should help me determine what I should be working on, cut down on the number of images (they're the easiest thing to make), and allow you to better predict when something new will show up on the site. As is my wont, things are subject to change at a
I may have bitten off more than I can chew here. I had this mistaken idea that reworking an existing novel would be easy. It's not. Or, I guess if I was going to just change some words and call it my own it would be. But after working on it a bit, I became pretty disenchanted with that idea and with the voice that was showing up on the page. So I have to actually do work on this story, which I had somehow convinced myself that I wouldn't have to do. Or that it would be easy work if I did have to do it. But it's real work and I've had my wake up call. I'm hoping what I do from here on out will be better. I'm sure it will be. Anyway, a lot of things conspired to keep me from writing this week. Mostly it was just a lack of dedication on my part. The long and short of it is that I'm already running behind the schedule I set for myself. Sorry. I'll have something more substantial for you next Wednesday. Promise. Queens Wood will be back.
“Well, I hate it when authors come into a school and they say to kids, ‘Write from your heart, only write what you know, and write from your heart.’ I hate that because it’s useless. I’ve written over 300 books – not one was written from my heart. Not one. They were all written for an audience, they were all written to entertain a certain audience.” —R.L. Stine
It's been a long while since one of these went up... There were some labor problems here at Truckcast Studios, but we've worked them out with the union. Everyone is content with the new agreement and things can get back to normal. Drinking coffee, taking long breaks, and producing the best damn podcast on the internet. Take a listen... [powerpress]
It's St. Patrick's Day. A day to celebrate, drinking, drinking, drinking, and drinking. Oh yeah, and being Irish. But is it really all that? Let's clear up some misconceptions right here. Saint Patrick wasn't Irish, he was born in Britain around A.D. 390. He made his way to Ireland as a kidnapped slave to tend sheep. But it did cause him to find god. Sheep and cold mountain air will do that to a man. Saint Patrick's color is blue, not green. The modern St. Patrick's Day is an 18th century American invention. It started in cities with large Irish immigrant populations as a way to confirm ethnic identity, create bonds of solidarity, and probably honor the saint. Prior to that, it was a minor holiday in Ireland. March 17th is the day Saint Patrick died. Which doesn't seem like much of a reason to celebrate. Should it be on his birthday? There is no evidence that snakes have ever existed in Ireland, so probably he's getting credit for something he didn'
What a week. Lady Ronn and I finished Life on Netflix, watched Jack Reacher, and went for pie on Friday. The oldest boy found a full time job with what looks to be a good company in the field he went to school for. The middle boy moved out of one rental house with all his buddies and into another place with two other couples and says he has a new girlfriend. The youngest of the three boys finally admitted that, yes, he does have friends at the new school and is in fact rather popular. So things are moving forward, slowly, with the children. I finished listening to the Annotated Sword of Shannara: 35th Anniversary Edition. I managed to get all of February back filled here on the blog. I've realized the online dating video is too screwed to post, but I edited up the season four Super Bowl, now I just need to narrorate it and get it on YouTube. And I'm freaking out about getting the next installment of Queens Wood done so I can put it up on Wednesday. It's the little things th
From a 2006 Catherine Bray interview for UK movie magazine Hotdog. Joss Whedon shares his tips on the art of screenwriting. 1. FINISH IT Actually finishing it is what I’m gonna put in as step one. You may laugh at this, but it’s true. I have so many friends who have written two-thirds of a screenplay, and then re-written it for about three years. Finishing a screenplay is first of all truly difficult, and secondly really liberating. Even if it’s not perfect, even if you know you’re gonna have to go back into it, type to the end. You have to have a little closure. 2. STRUCTURE Structure means knowing where you’re going; making sure you don’t meander about. Some great films have been made by meandering people, like Terrence Malick and Robert Altman, but it’s not as well done today and I don’t recommend it. I’m a structure nut. I actually make charts. Where are the jokes? The thrills? The romance? Who knows what, and when? You need these things to happen at the right times, and that’s wha
It is both the third month of the 14th year and the third month's fourteenth day, as such, it is I am a member, I will be getting free a la mode with my blueberry crumble tonight. Happy Pi Day and we'll see you at the 28th St. location. Delicious Pie.
FROM THE AUTHOR TO THE READER I will not tell you a tale of the twelfth century nobleman, a returning crusader, or an anthropomorphic fox. But you may find elements of all of those within this story. I do not derive my image of Robin Hood from the movie versions of his story, the books and novels written about him, nor from the ballads and poems of olde. Rather, I draw from all of those; picking and choosing the bits that best fit the image I have created in my mind of that most legendary of heroes. I do not believe that I shall (nor do I attempt too) pull the wool over the eyes of any who might read this tale. What I am doing here is obvious and without guile. I owe great heaps of acknowledgment to Howard Pyle, from whom I have begged, borrowed, and stolen character, plot, and story. This is a reworking of the legend of my favorite folk hero from my favorite telling. And while this tale does not take place in Sherwood Forest, or even Nottingham town, it’s surroundings should be famili
"Did you obtain any scholarships in school?" "No." "Was it your parents who paid for your schooling?" "Yes, my parents paid for the whole thing, room and board, books, and classes.” "Where did your parents work?" "My mother worked as clothes cleaner and my father worked at the widget factory.” "Have you ever helped your mother wash the clothes before?" "Never, my mother always wanted me to study and do well in school. Besides, my mother can wash clothes faster than me." "Ah, I see." A child, who has been protected and habitually given whatever they've wanted, will develop an "entitlement mentality" and will always put themselves first. They will be ignorant of they're parent's efforts. When they start work, they assume that every person must listen to them, and when they reach a leadership position, they will never know the sufferings of their employees and will always blame others. Fo
Tonight we, the two boys, Lady Ronn, and myself all took ourselves off to the local Schuler Books . They let a local board game group, the West Michigan Tabletop Gamers , meet-up at their store the first and second Wednesdays of the month. It was our second visit to the event, and this one was more gamy for us. But we're learning to mix in. While we were there I slipped away and picked up a gift for Lady Ronn. Something I think she needs, because the little LED reading light she's using now is killing me. And I gave it to her. So to replace her light I picked her up one of these. I hope she gets lots of use from it. Maybe one day she'll be reading novels I wrote on it.... The Kobo Glo , for her reading pleasure.
I have long wanted to write a Robin Hood story. The bold leader of the outlaws of Sherwood Forest is one of my all-time favorite characters. He has been the star of stage and screen. Countless novels, poems, and ballads have been written about him. There are more variations on his tale than you can shake a stick at. Here are just a few of the many incarnations of the character. I am going to start a project here on the website, in full view of the whole world. I'm going to write a Robin Hood story, or rather, rewrite a Robin Hood story. In the tradition of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, Little Vampire Women, Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters, and countless retellings of Romeo and Juliet; I'm going to rewrite a classic novel. In my case, that novel will be The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood by Howard Pyle. Call it a re-imagining of the Robin Hood legend. Think of it as a mash-up of Robin Hood and my own fantasy setting, Drythlor. This shall be a remix of those marry adven
“Well, let’s start with the maxim that the best writing is understated, meaning it’s not full of flourishes and semaphores and tap dancing and vocabulary dumps that get in the way of the story you are telling. Once you accept that, what are you left with? You are left with the story you are telling. The story you are telling is only as good as the information in it: things you elicit, or things you observe, that make a narrative come alive; things that support your point not just through assertion, but through example; quotes that don’t just convey information, but also personality.” —Gene Weingarten