Thursday, December 31, 2015

New Year’s Eve 2015 Writing Reflections

As the end of 2015 nears, I’ve been thinking about how my writing went this year. Here are the things that stand out to me the most.

- One of my biggest accomplishments in 2015 was to start writing uncredited technical articles for businesses. I’ve sold more than seventy articles that way.

- I became a columnist for TRC magazine, which published my articles “5 Animal Symbols of Jesus” and “The Raven: Bird of Death or Messenger of Life?”

- I submitted more than thirty short stories and articles to magazines. So far, eleven have been accepted, including the two articles mentioned above. I’m still waiting to hear back from some of the magazines.

- I sold one story at a professional per-word pay rate.

- My children’s story “Mr. Turtle” was read by over 1,000 people on Short Kid Stories.

- I wrote 50,000 words of short stories as a National Novel Writing Month rebel, which I talked about here and here.

Now I'm planning for the coming year. In 2016, I want to continue writing many short stories and articles, while also devoting more time to completing novels.

What plans do you have for 2016? If you’re a writer, how did your writing go this year?

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Book Review: Nightmare City by Andrew Klavan

The Story: After a teenage boy wakes up one morning in a nightmarish, monster-filled world instead of the normal world he’s used to, he sets out to discover what’s going on.

My Thoughts: The creepy place that the hero awakens in is extraordinarily atmospheric, filled with descriptions that helped me imagine it as I read. Because the intriguing, mysterious circumstances provide such a memorable set-up, I began wondering if there was any way that the author could possibly give an ending that lived up to the rest of the book.

Thankfully, the resolution to the dark mystery fits well and provides a solid conclusion. It didn’t amaze me as much as the rest of the story, but it wasn’t a letdown, either. Every fan of Klavan’s classic series The Homelanders should definitely try this book, especially if you like horror. I enjoyed Nightmare City just as much as The Homelanders, and you might too.

Content Overview: Mild violence and scariness.

You might also like my review of The Homelanders by Andrew Klavan.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

TV Review: Star Trek - The Animated Series

The Story: Most of the actors from Star Trek: The Original Series lend their voices to this animated continuation of their live action space adventures. As with the Original Series, the Enterprise and its crew-members, such as Captain Kirk, Spock, and Dr. McCoy, travel throughout the galaxy exploring its wonders, helping people, and battling evil.

My Thoughts: The concepts in the Animated Series equal and occasionally, due to the creative freedom offered by animation, exceed those of the Original Series. The writing overall, however, is not as good, but it’s far enough above typical children’s cartoons that most fans of Star Trek will likely find it fairly entertaining.

Although the episode “The Magic of Megus-Tu” may be a contender for the worst Star Trek episode ever made, many others such as “Beyond the Farthest Star,” “Yesteryear,” and “The Ambergris Element” are as fun as any of the live action episodes. If you’re a fan of Star Trek and you like animation, then the Animated Series is well worth trying.

Content Overview: Safe for any viewers able to sort out the complicated worldview issues that one would expect from Star Trek. There’s just minor violence.