LATEST POSTS

March 4th 2011

Greetings from Tim Geigner!

So Marcus invited me to share some of my writing here. After reviewing some of the past posts, I know that I’m in good company (some of the poetry I’ve read here is really good). I currently have a techno-thriller novel out to a couple of agencies, one of which has been showing steady interest. Having said that, I find the biggest hurdle I have to overcome is the opening of my first chapter. I know this isn’t exactly an uncommon problem, but I’m so confident in the bulk of the work that it feels odd to be so emotionally shaky about the opening. In any case, I thought I’d throw it up here as an introduction and let other writers offer their thoughts. And thank you for having me!
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December 9th 2010

“The enamoured past and sorrow has darkened my lips among heartless souls.”

I will never be a novelist that is certain. Forgive me, but plot seems hollow and most characters are superfluous. This is my inadequacy as this post, surely, makes clear. I hope I have retained some audience!

II.

The enamoured past and sorrow has darkened my lips among heartless souls.

a group of boys crouched, stirring gazes

upon the timid dissent of caravan clatters.

And I’d say: “…”

Fates drift in as frivolous as the unruly winds. Days we’ll leave behind, as their thoughts and insights seem unfair, burning through on the soluble reflection Forever casts. As it is silvery sheets of memory are busied rearranging pasts; construing adequate space for honesty’s wax and wane. Languorous rivers pass, like grotesque self-deprecating Carnivals, in the night. […]

Waking as strands of imagining reel through my mind: my death savaged at the hands of sight and reverie replete with superimpositions of you remain an instant, trying uselessly to grasp the heraldic complexions of the dream yet consolation is elusive. Now alert, wakened to swelter in the torrid afternoon marked by the imperceptive and thoughtless resonance of minutes.

What had been said, indistinct in the hypnagogic haze, which seemed to match then and Paradise, alike?

That lance has gleaned my heart and drafted multitudes of bile in the thankless void; Incessant accusations enumerate Cataclysm’s inaudible outstretching, reaching every limit.

Beauty derides me in silence.

December 6th 2010

An Illustrated Alphabet for the Illiterate

Many of you probably know that when Elizabeth Kurz was sixteen, she co-wrote and published a book with her father Rudolf entitled An Illustrated Alphabet for the Illiterate. What you may not know is that you can see a handful of pages on Google books.

In Alphabet, Elizabeth and Rudolf take alternating letters of the alphabet and provide short vignettes for each. As Rudolf puts it in the introduction, “The old voice is silly and nonsensical whereas the teenaged girl sounds brooding, mysterious and melancholy. I like this contrast very much!”

As do I. Here’s one of my favourite passages, from Elizabeth’s take on the letter F:

Forgotten: Every morning I was served two eggs, as was the custom in that place, until one day I noticed a crack in one and heard a noise coming from my plate. One of the eggs started to move and I stepped back from my chair in surprise. I turned away and bit my lip because I don’t handle the unexpected easily. When I looked again, both of the eggs were empty and then I heard the same noise, coming from outside. I ran to the window and confirmed that the noise was definitely coming from the sky, then I sat down again to finish my breakfast.

I suggest you check it out, and get a glimpse of Liz’s sixteen year old self. There are several sample pages to read, and if you’re intrigued, it’s still available on Amazon.

While snooping around to write this post, I also discovered some more of Rudolf Kurz’s illlustration work. There is an Indian riding a muzzled tyrannosaur in a parade, a woman in a conch-shell helmet riding a mutated crustacean, a fetal child parachuting into a half-Boschian–half-Seussian nightmare and more. It’s gloriously absurd and lavishly detailed—give it a look.

December 4th 2010

Concrete, Metal & Meerschaum: Sticky City Gets Stickier

This excerpt of my unedited draft is a little bit longer, so I’m going to keep the preamble short. If you’ve been following along, you’ve already met the magician Pavel Fell, and we pick up his story in the first of these two chapters. In the second we meet a new character, and if you haven’t been following along I suggest you skip forward to that, since it is (hopefully) a fun read just by itself.

If you want to catch up, check out parts one and two. I hope you enjoy this installment in the working draft of A Sticky City Story. …read more

December 1st 2010

To Be Continued

It’s over. The first two weeks went great for me, I wrote ~20 000 words and was having a lot of fun. But then the crucial point came: I needed to spend some time working out my plot. The first 50 pages I was writing entirely off the cuff, which worked out fine. My main character had no idea what was going on and neither did I. What stopped me in my tracks was when I needed to start playing author instead of detective, and make some real decisions.

But I still really like my idea, and I intend to work on it throughout December as I will be off from school for 3 weeks and will want some sort of mental distraction from laziness. I know exactly where I want to go with the book in terms of theme and style, but I need to start making my plot more interesting. Where I stopped, is where my mystery girl Jenny Harlow is found under the most normal of circumstances, and now she has some explaining to do. I also want to make it weirder. I started out really weird with dead things all over the place and creepy atmosphere, but I kind of forgot about my original vision of terror.

Writing on this blog so far has been really great, albeit humbling. Reading Geoff’s book has really motivated me to work harder on writing again, and figure out just how to do that plot thing, with pacing and stuff. And Tasty Yumyum & Halton Stoves’ letters are hilarious, I hope they keep on writing here as well. I am going to try to participate on this blog, but I do have some qualms. I had a blog for years and years back in the day, and I developed some issues with putting my unedited work out in the public. I take fair criticism well, I take unfair criticism very poorly. At this point in my life as a budding and inexperienced writer, anonymous notes informing me of my pretentiousness and poor style can do a lot to crush my ego. Yes I know I’m snobbish and I know that I’m not a good writer yet, I just don’t need other people I don’t know telling me that.

Thanks Leigh for letting me participate here! I like the cut of your jib. (Gib?) (Ed. Note: Jib.)

Expect more from me soon.

December 1st 2010

NaNoWriMo is over, and I won

At around 10pm on November 29th, I finished my seventh NaNoWriMo novel (in nine tries). The story kind of sucks. Our fearless leader, Marcus, suggested I post my worst passage and celebrate how much it sucks.

But I can’t find a passage. It’s not that I think it’s all good, because it isn’t. It’s just all meh. It’s not offensively bad, but if I put it on Feedbooks with a tipjar, I’d make about forty-five cents, plus ten dollars from my mom.

Here’s an example. The Man in the Gray Suit is one of the main characters of the book. Think of him as an SVP in Hell, Inc. …read more

November 30th 2010

Madness, Fire & More Parrots: A Sticky City Story Continues


Well, NaNoWriMo is almost at an end, and I am most definitely not going to be a winner, hovering as I am at barely more than twelve-thousand words. I made what I now realize is a classic NaNo mistake: I got way too invested in the project. As I noted in my warm-up short story, I have a tendency to labour over every piece of prose, which is something I rather enjoy doing but not a habit that jives well with writing 1,667 words a day.

That being said, I am quite absorbed in my work so far and I have no intention of stopping. In part I’ll be relying on the readers here at Stranger Than Truth to keep me motivated: your eyeballs and your feedback are much appreciated. Tomorrow I’ll be back here on the blog with a recap of what we’ve all done during NaNoWriMo, and a look at some of our plans moving forward. Until then, please enjoy the next unedited slice of my ongoing novel!

(If you missed the beginning, read that first. Otherwise this will be even more confusing than it already is.)

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November 29th 2010

Update from Face In The Blue: This is the End

It’s late in the day, November 27th, 2010 (Editor’s Note: Apologies for the late posting). My word count sits at 30,000ish, and I’m okay with that. This was my first NaNoWriMo. I had a lot of fun with it, but when it comes right down to it I didn’t make this the priority I said I would at the start of the month.

My work is more important to me than getting to 50,000 words in 30 days. When my job required 10- and 12-hour days, I put in those hours gladly. I got the results I needed, and that means more to me than this particular story.

My personal life is more important to me than this project, and when that demanded my evenings, I never gave a second thought to dedicating my time towards that too.

Finally, my leisure time took priority. That was my great failing on this particular NaNoWriMo: When my work and personal life took its toll on my creativity, I came home and vegitated. I needed to unwind. I didn’t get into the headspace to write, and my faltering attempts on those days of recuperation resulted in 500 or 600 words of gibberish and dreck that I would never dream of sharing with the world. …read more

November 29th 2010

Only in the lowest light could it be called a nose


So with a few days left in an hour of fitful I’m-ready-to-sleep-but-can’t, I was narrating in my mind a scene from my proposed story. Finally learning from all the times of not wanting to move from the bed to later not even realizing I had even forgotten the ideas I had the night before, I got up and typed it out.

Though I’m the only one who knows at this point what the hell is happening in my story, I’m wary about posting too big of a description of the characters and plot in support of such a small sample. But for reader’s sake, the two characters we have here are; Kshar, who had previously died but only long enough to form a slight connection with the parallel, shadowy equivalent to this world’s equivalent to “hell” or “the underworld”,  leaving him a Warden, an enigmatic, near-dead order who hunt those who are tied to that shadow world (think Luke Skywalker using the dark side to fight Darth Vader); Solana, a witch of sorts who has fey powers that stem from the OTHER parallel realm called the Sidhe, who met Kshar when her, essentially, gypsy caravan was attacked by; Templars, agents of the pseudo-theocratic setting, can use some influence over the energies of the Shadowfell. Outside of their public roles as magistrates, one of their primary concerns is the disposal of apostates (any non-templars who use “magic”). They have the judicial, ceremonial, and war-time feel of Feudal knights mixed with Christian witch-hunters and, I don’t know, necromancy I suppose. Yeah, that is a lot of explanation for what takes about 20 seconds in my story… …read more

November 25th 2010

iPhone Challenge update & Review of the WriteRoom app


I’ve been trying to focus on writing lately so I’ve been neglecting the blog, so i thought I’d just give everyone a quick update on how the iPhone challenge is going and talk about the WriteRoom iOS app I’ve been using.

First of all, the iPhone challenge. I am loving this. Wherever I go I can work on my NaNo, whether I’m walking down the street, on the subway, at the office, having dinner, or out at the bar. Whenever I get an idea I can get it down and do some writing (ideas seem to be hard to come by lately, so if I get one it’s great that I can write it down before I forget). …read more