My latest short story "The Night the Lights Came On"

Friday, May 24, 2013

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgeral | Book Review

The Great Gatsby was great. I didn't remember much from when I read it in high school back in the late 90s so I wasn't sure what to expect. I do remember liking it which stood out because most books we had to read in high school were terrible, and this is coming from someone how LOVES to read! While I agree with people that most of the characters aren't exactly likable, they are interesting and reading about them was fun. If you want to read a book with characters who have no redeeming qualities give Wuthering Heights a try, those characters make the people in the Great Gatsby seem kind of nice, at least they're usually civil. I love the beautiful symbolism in this book. I love Fitzgerald's prose. It is beautiful as well. It is easy for me to appreciate Fitzgerald's writing for how well it flows, and the great command he has over it. Many classic books are like this, but have extremely boring stories. Not this one. It moves at a pretty good pace. I usually have to plow through parts of classics because they contain big blocks of boring stuff but with Gatsby I felt like I was on a grand ride the whole time, soaring over the 20s with Nick the narrator as my pilot. I sat as he did looking over the scenery as we passed over it. There's a line where he describes pulling up to an apartment.

 “At 158th Street the cab stopped at one slice in a long white cake of apartment houses” (Fitzgerald, 32).

He didn't fill the sentence with tons of words and yet there's so much great stuff packed in there. What an image. Quite a different image from Gatsby's big house. I just loved that line - as was the case with most of the book. The only other book I've read by Fitzgerald is This Side of Paradise. While I was often admiring the writing, it's story meandered compared to Gatsby. Another reason this book was enjoyable to read is that there are so many great images in it that stick with you. Most books I've read can only conjure up a few images when I think back on them, but Gatsby is chalked full of them and they're wonderful ones. The eyes of Dr. T.J. Eckleburg, the ash heaps, Gatsby's yellow car, his parties, his pool, that green light across the water, I could go on.

The last thing I'll say is that when reading The Great Gatsby I really got the sense of the environment, the writing did a good job of bringing me into the world of the roaring 20s. It all felt so grand bright and glittery, and at the same time grungy cheap and shallow. Shallow people surrounded by glamour. The book captures its time so well, which is why it's listed as one of the "Great American Novels." As far as classics go, this is one of my favorites.

Have you read The Great Gatsby? What did you think? Did you recently reread it like me because the movie directed by Baz Luhrmann has come out? I loved his take on Romeo+Juliet and of course The Moulin Rouge was amazing. Yes I own the soundtrack. I can't wait to see what he does with this great American novel. Are you going to see it? I think Leonardo DiCaprio will prove to be an amazing Gatsby. Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Dying Wish | Book Cover

Original Cover
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Updated Cover
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Trying A New Font

Back in 2011 in the month of November I wrote a 25,000 word novella during NaNoWriMo. It's a young adult fantasy adventure story. Here's a brief synopsis:

A young man is left alone after his father dies defending him from slave traders who came through their village. Now he must journey back to his father's homeland to fulfill a promise to bury his father among his family. Along the way he saves another boy from the slave traders, and becomes a man as he finds his way back to his father's homeland to meet his relatives for the first time.

As it lies on my google drive now it is a completed first draft. I plan on rereading it soon and seeing just what I've got now that it's had lots of time to cool. If it's good enough I think I'll revise it and then get it in the hands of beta readers and eventually publish the thing. That's had me thinking about the cover, and so I came up with this. What do you think? I'd love your feedback. Thanks!


I have since changed the name of my novella from "Dying Wish" to "Sword and Urn." I also made a completely new cover that fit the title better:

Pen Fights Gamepade | Episode 13

Download the .mp3
Website for the podcast:

If you didn't know, I'm the co-host on a super fun podcast about being gamers, writers, artists, dads, movie goers and more. This episode was filled to the brim with laughs, and listening back as I edited it was hard because I was having trouble breathing I kept laughing so hard. Good times. Hope you enjoy.

Here's the all too brief show notes:
Donald Conrad of and Dan Absalonson of talk about video games, writing, being husbands with awesome wifes and fathers of many young children, what life is like as dads and lots of other stuff. Topics covered in this show: Donald is going to E3! Dan's a published author! Chewie with IBS, and lots of other stuff about games and movies.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

New Every Photo Tells Promo

I had the distinct privilege to create a promo for one of my favorite podcasts and websites, Every Photo Tells. Have a listen below and be sure to download it as well so you can put it in your podcast or a friend's podcast. Spread the word because Every Photo Tells is awesome! They've podcasts a few of my short stories and it's always been an amazing experience hearing them read my story. I highly recommend you give it a try! Listening to other people's stories is awesome as well! Loads of great stuff in lots of different genres!

Also, here is their post about it.

The NEW Every Photo Tells Promo!
Download the Promo

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Every Photo Tells eBooks Page

The fine folks over at Every Photo Tells now have a new page on their website entitled eBooks! Why is this exciting? For several reasons. One - their awesome stories are so great in audio, but for those who aren't big fans of audio fiction, now these wonderful stories can be shared with a new audience who prefer text. Not only do they now have a Volume 1 of the stories from their awesome podcast, but they listed other authors eBooks who've contributed to the podcast. I'm so grateful - they were kind and awesome enough to list my anthology, Danthology, on there! It contains several stories of mine that they accepted and published on their podcast and a bunch of my other short stories. They do an amazing job reading them. So go check out their new eBook, Every Photo Tells... Vol. 1, and their podcast because it's awesome. They have tons of cool stories in tons of genres. Here's the blurb for Volume 1 from their website:

‘Every Photo Tells… (Vol. 1)‘ is a short story anthology that sets out to show that every picture can tell more than just one story, by presenting a range of tales inspired by ten photographs. Mick and Katharina Bordet present their stories covering a wide range of themes and genres from the first ten months of EPT. Whether your taste is for horror or whodunnit, modern thriller or period swashbuckler, fantasy or sci-fi, there is sure to be something for you in this collection.