The Sound of Laughter

I really do love laughter. It’s one of the best sounds people can make. We don’t invest in it enough, in my opinion. That’s why humor is such an important element in my stories. There are even laughs to be found in the scary stuff.

BoneofMyBones_w9288_300 This story was my attempt at making laughter part of the scary stuff. One of the most fun characters to write in Bone of My Bones was Mama Toulouse, the medium who hooks Rose up with Matthias the necromancer. She has an almost maternal relationship with Rose, which made for some great and funny dialogue. I hope to have lots more of her in Rose’s future adventures.

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I Read, Therefore I Judge

I’ve been reading the comments sections of posts. Perhaps a bit too much:

trollThe black cloud of negativity, who says things like:

“George R.R. Martin is the most overrated writer in the history of fantasy/sci-fi. His books read like a contract and substitute shock value for originality and talented story telling.”

“You want fluff, read a Dragonlance novel or that shite Gabaldon series.”

And I won’t even go into the comments on the #AskELJames fiasco on Twitter.

For the most part, those in many professions don’t get critiqued by total strangers online. Artists have become, for some unfathomable reason, the target for a kind of criticism that goes beyond taste. It isn’t enough these days to say a particular work isn’t the type you enjoy. It must be slammed into the ground, the artist portrayed as stupid, untalented, etc.

“I don’t like it” isn’t acceptable anymore. The very fact of dislike now impugns not only that work but everything an artist does and even who they are.

I wonder if those who do this have ever considered that wiping out the confidence and the desire of those who make art may leave them without anyone to criticize at all. How many artists give up under the weight of uninformed and untrue insults their work receives? And how many careers are damaged by the platforms so easily available to those whose only talent is to criticize?

I am reminded of an old adage: those who can, do. The twist these days comes in the second part of the saying: those who can’t, criticize.

BoneofMyBones_w9288_100

Do you know what this is (besides a testament to the amazing graphic skills of cover artist Debbie Taylor)? It’s a testament to perseverance. Or possibly to procrastination, depending on how you look at it.

I started this book about six years ago. Today I got the release date for it: August 19, 2015. It even won a prize. Yes, I was one of those people who submitted the first three chapters which they had honed to perfection without ever finishing the whole thing. An editor requested it. Did that motivate me to finish the damn thing? Nope.

You know how they tell you that if you write even a paragraph a day you will eventually complete a novel? It’s true. It’s also true that if you only write one paragraph every six months, it will take you a hell of a long time to complete that novel.

Each paragraph of this came out of me with a bit of blood loss (okay, that may be a bit of a dramatization) but it is my triumph over my inner critic, who is always quick to tell me I suck at writing. This is possibly the best writing I have done to date. I hope you’ll check it out this August. Of course, I will be happy to remind you.