Damn you, Halton Stoves….

…damn you right to hell.

Maybe some of you don’t know Halton Stoves. Consider yourself lucky. This man (and I use the term generously) once petitioned Webster’s to have his picture placed under (“or in the general vicinity”, his words) the definition of degenerate. Upon Webster’s refusing such an absurd request, Stoves was arrested in Booklore pasting wallet-sized photos of his ugly mug into dictionaries, encyclopedias and even in thesauruses (under the word “gadabout”, for the love of Mutt). His writing, while beautiful and thought-provoking, has been known to cause cerebral Herpes Zoster, or brain-shingles. I overheard him once in a bar calling himself a “modern day mix of J. P. Donleavy and the team who wrote for The Littlest Hobo“. While I couldn’t have put it better myself, I found it to be quite pretentious, especially when considering that he was talking to a gumball machine.
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Greetings from Halton Stoves

Hey there fellow authors, hope you’ve got your heads screwed on straight. Stoves here. So I haven’t been two hours out of the hoosegow when my agent calls me up & says I’m washed up if I don’t get my ass in gear and write something on the quick to justify printing my name on his lousy agency masthead. It transpires that everything I’ve ever published is now officially out of print, the last 20,000 unsellable crates of Rawest of the Groins having been committed to the pulper just last month. Here’s to that! I can’t say that it’s my favourite work, although my editor did mention she drank only marginally while working on it. I suppose it’s time to replenish the coffers and restore my legacy. No matter, there’s more where that came from.

So I stroll into my agent’s office and say this, with a great deal of flourish and pomp: memoir. Halton Stoves tells all. From the gutters to gilded greatness and back again. Volumes one through twelve, hardcover, gorgeous filigreed spine, gold leaf and the whole kit. He threw up all over his desk a couple times, but I happen to know he’s not a well man. I expect to hear from him with all due enthusiasm very soon. Also the cheque I sent him in recompense for my bail money bounced. I’m sure we’ll be in touch.
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Motorcycle Marley

Motorcycle Marley
Editor’s Note: Tasty has a way with the rhyming epic—here’s another lyrical tesserac that Yumyum himself describes “a Seussian exercise in cadence.” Read on and enjoy the ballad of Motorcycle Marley. It’s an uplifting story of passion, determination and thoroughly popped wheelies.
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Those With Similar Intent

A little while ago I opened up a thread on the Toronto board of the NaNoWriMo forums, asking if anyone else was keeping a blog of their NaNoWriMo efforts. There were quite a few intriguing responses, some polite demurrals, one post that I think was a snarky rebuff, and one discussion about Star Trek (check out the thread, if you’re curious).

Here I’d like to highlight some of the more interesting blogs (and one interesting not-blog) I was introduced to:

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Lights Out In Wonderland

Lights Out in Wonderland, the new novel by DBC Pierre

That’s right, literati. The best author no one talks about, DBC Pierre, has just released his third novel, Lights Out in Wonderland. It is, according to Pierre, the finale of a trilogy. Don’t worry if you haven’t read the first two books seeing as they have nothing to do at all with each other—not characters, not theme, not even style, really. You should read the first book, Vernon God Little. You should run to your bookstore and order it (because they probably won’t have it). Then you should devour it and marvel at how Pierre wraps the story up with possibly the best ending in modern fiction. Then you should try (not as hard) to read Ludmila’s Broken English, his second novel. It is really quite good and if VGL hadn’t been so damned amazing, I would have truly been blown away by it as well. Then you should go back to the bookstore where you were smart enough to have ordered all of these titles at the same time and get two copies of Lights Out in Wonderland, one for your own brain and one as a thank you to me for changing your life by introducing you to such great work. I prefer hardcover, but a nice trade paperback would suffice.

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Lessons from Last Year: Narrative Mode and Voice

The great thing about NaNoWriMo is that you very quickly learn your strengths and weaknesses as a writer. I learned very quickly last time around that I am terrible at writing dialogue. The reason for this is that all of my formative writing experience was writing academic essays in university. I probably didn’t write a word of fiction at all between 2004 and 2009. This means I can formulate an argument well, but I can’t for the life of me write three characters having a conversation without it turning into:

“____” he said
“____” she said
“____” I said


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High Literature

Just got high and thought of an awesome idea for a story about a guy who always gets high and has awesome ideas that would make millions if he could only remember them the next day and act on them. He continuously gets high in order to remember the amazing ideas but never does and/or gets bored and watches Hell’s Kitchen or something equally ridiculous on the talkingbox. When he finally decides to take notes whilst high, he reads some the next day on a blogboard for amateur writers and thinks they are absolute shit. He gives up thinking his plans are awesome. He does not, however, give up weed.

Notable Quotes: On reading, writing, editing, and the publishing industry

booksWe’re all embarking on this grand project (or folly) together, so I thought I’d share a list of quotes on reading, writing, editing, and publishing to get us all into the spirit of things.

As with most of the content I’ll be putting up here before November 1 —Wri-Day, if you will— this list was posted over on my own blog some time ago, and is published here at the gracious invitation of our kind editor and benevolent dictator. A fun fact? This list has generated over 10,000 unique page views on my blog since it was published exactly 364 days ago, thanks in large part to the picture you see here: It seems when people googled an image search for ‘Books’ a link to my blog’s copy of this public domain graphic appeared on the first page of results for a number of months. Google seems to have some mechanism to spread the love around, because I haven’t seen a disproportionate interest in that particular post in months now, but perhaps we’ll get lucky again here at Stranger Than Truth, and this image will draw thousands of readers to our content.

Anyway, without further ado, the quotes.

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I’ve been instructed to say hello

It’s always an interesting decision—what do you say to introduce yourself? Not really knowing the audience makes it a lot harder.

I’m not sure I’d call myself an author. I have a published novel, but I published it with my own publishing company, so I’m not sure it really counts. Publishing my own novel was not the point of starting a publishing company, but we needed a starting place, and that seemed like a good choice. The book I published was my first NaNoWriMo novel, which I wrote back in 2002. This will be my ninth NaNo. I’ve won six times.

This year, I will be attempting to finish while also tending to a two year old and a five week old. I think it’s going to suck, but at least my wife is supportive. I’m going to write a story in which a person dies in each chapter. In the next chapter, the person who killed the person in the last chapter will die. I’m not sure where it’s going to end up, but it’s going to start with a squirrel.

In a Box (The birth of Marcus Carab)

This is a story I wrote in college (and have revised since), and it is the first appearance of the name Marcus Carab. Here Marcus Carab is the name of a character, though I have since adopted it as a pen name for no good reason. It is inspired by a famous thought experiment—I suspect you can guess which one. Enjoy!

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