For the fourth time now I got exciting news! I was informed that Bounty Hunter, the fourth book in ‘The Council Of Twelve’ series, too, now is available in “Indie California’! Read more about it below – This is so wonderful. Please, help me spread the word! Thank you!
See the message I got here below
Hi A. J. Alexander,
Congratulations, you have successfully moved into the library space!
Your book, Bounty Hunter, is now available in Indie California, a collection of books from local indie authors available exclusively on the BiblioBoard Library mobile and web platform. This collection is available to patrons of participating libraries all across your state/region. That’s right, your book is now available with just one click of a button to thousands of new readers in your state/region!
I once asked my dad why he taught me how to read when I was only a bit older than 3 1/2 years. His answer was: “Because you wanted me to.” I laughed and told him: “I don’t remember I was able to talk back then, how would you know? And he replied:” When I was reading, you often climbed on my lap and wanted to see what held my attention. And I understood you well enough.”
By the time I was four years old, I could read fluently (which threw my kindergarten teacher entirely off balance – but that’s a story for another time).
My father helped me understand my early fascination with the written word. I was never a great artist in drawing and painting, but I found out I could show a scene – any scene, simply by using words.
Of course, being four years old, I wasn’t that much into writing yet. But I read whatever I could get a hold of, even the daily newspaper. With six, I had left the picture books far behind me. When I was five, I was enrolled in school with special permission because I was simply bored in kindergarten. But even in my first school years, when the other kids just discovered the alphabet, I had a good time looking out the window until my teacher realized it would be a good idea to let me read to avoid getting bored.
And one day, our first essay was due while the other kids howled; I found myself ecstatic! I had discovered that I could write stories, not only read them, and the future writer was on her way.
I never lost my fascination with the written word, neither one of other writers nor mine. I keep reading as often as I can, the one or other book I read once a year.
Until this day, I’m convinced all the reading during my childhood and teenage years have formed me in many ways. And that’s why I think writers should never stop reading for many reasons. I’m trying to list here only a few of them.
Reading helps us with vokabular,wpeling and gramer vocabulary, spelling and grammar.
I firmly believe, the more often and intensely we read, the more we pick up on the spelling and grammar, and we extend our vocabulary. Every writer has a unique style of painting a story with words, and subconsciously we memorize their use of words.
Reading helps us with our health
It is clinically proven that reading helps with:
Reduction of possibility to get Alzheimer’s
The written word is our world
We love stories. We love the written word, we love other worlds, and we enjoy improving our imagination by diving into the unknown… we can experience adventures without even leaving our living room and with a cup of hot tea next to us. That’s where we belong.
To see samples of work
Oh, I know, that point needs some explanation. Of course, when we have a book in front of us, we look at a work sample from another writer. (Known or unknown doesn’t matter at all). But we can find out what we can ‘tolerate,’ what we are unable to swallow, what we like, what we don’t, what we enjoy, and what we love and adore.
Do we judge? Not necessarily. We are, in many cases, just finding out what works for us. Let me give you a brief example. I’m generally not a huge fan of Sci-Fi. Many purely technical explanations in space ships drive me up the walls. My technical understanding is limited, and I want to read how the story progresses. I don’t give a hoot with how many ‘Mach’s that space ship speeds through the universe and what the specially developed exhaust muffler does and does not do for the reusable energy in the ship… That doesn’t mean the book is terrible; it just means I don’t need those technical manuals included in the story.
Also, time-traveling can have its traps. I read too many stories where the accepted paradoxes made it hard to continue reading through the end. (That’s also a reason why I’m not a ‘Back to the Future’ worshipper). And I know, you can crucify me now; it’s a classic – I love Christopher Lloyd and Michael J. Fox! I think they’re both great. But the paradoxes permitted in the script are not ‘my thing.’ Millions of people love those movies, and they’re most likely pretty good. They’re just not for me.
In reading stories, we can find out what works for us and what doesn’t. It might help us go through our story without stepping into those traps.
Reading stimulates our imagination
The more we read, the more our fantasy and imagination are tickled. We can even extend our ability to imagine things by consciously concentrating on doing so. When you read a thrilling scene, even a fight, try to imagine how that scenery would look ‘as a movie’… concentrate not only on the two faceless characters… remember how they were described to you at the beginning of the book. Please give them a face, dress them in their respective clothing, picture their weapons, the smell, the heavy breathing, the sweat, maybe the blood, the scenery around them! Focus on the particular event… and try to do that whenever you can – that is ‘living’ the book you read. If you’re practicing that often enough, it suddenly stays with you, automatically, without any further effort.
I’m quoting George R. R. Martin here, the writer who gave Jojen Reed his voice:
“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies, said Jojen. The man who never reads lives only one.”
(P. S. George Raymond Richard Martin is an American novelist and short-story writer, screenwriter, and television producer. He is the author of the series of epic fantasy novels A Song of Ice and Fire, which was adapted into the Emmy Award-winning HBO series Game of Thrones.)
Permit yourself to be influenced
Reading is a good thing for writers. I heard a few writers say they don’t read because they want to focus solely on their own work. In my opinion, that kind of thinking is wrong. We can learn so much about structure, character- and plot building, writing techniques when we read. Why close up to that influence? It can help us!
Of course, by reading other authors’ work, we should try to understand what we can take and what is a good influence on our own writing. We’re not off to copy another writer’s work!
But none of us is going to discover the ‘Sorcerer’s Stone’ with our writing. (Oh well, maybe J. K. Rowling did) … but we can accept that our work can be positively influenced by what we read. A good example is a good example, is a good example.
Read other writer’s work and make them read yours
It’s easy to expect readers to stumble upon your books. But maybe that doesn’t happen. Other writers can help you with your work! They can advise you with difficulties, help you by offering to be your beta readers; they can recommend your books to their readership. They can help, read, review, support, encourage, guide, and so much more!
But in return: don’t expect anything that you aren’t willing to give back! It’s up to you to help others as well. And you sure will find hidden treasures (and not so hidden ones too!). Some authors will give their books for free if you help them. Please do the same for them! You’ll be surprised about the support you get.
And that’s why I recommend writers read as often and as many books as possible!
Of course, one or the other will refuse.
I’m too busy
I cannot afford books right now
I never have even one minute to relax
There are a million other excuses. Take the time to read, take the time to relax. If not, you’re going to end with a heart attack, and you won’t be able to write another word. You can get plenty of books for free from other authors when you take the time to write a review or Beta read (see above).
Earlier this year I had a task to fulfill: Write a one-page short story, not more than 400 words, Fiction/Drama. I did that, submitted it, and waited. A while later the reading was ready. It took quite some time until the information got to me, but finally, it’s here.Listen to the Short Story Reading below.
I waited in my grandmother’s salon. The entire house seemed to walk on tiptoes. Did they really think I didn’t know what my parents wanted to tell me?
I was in the living room yesterday when they broke out in one of their arguments.
“I think we should take Stephanie to that boarding school. It would be easiest for her not to see her home being sold, our belongings split up, and us moving to different cities.” My father had said.
My mother replied acidly: “Yes, like you cared a lot about our girl, when you came home, day and night, drunk, reeking of perfume and other women.” My father yelled. “Stephanie never saw anything like it.” He lifted his hand as he wanted to slap her, but my mother screamed fearfully: “Don’t you dare to hit me again, not in my house!”
A calm and controlled voice behind her said: “The way I see it, this is still my house, daughter. I don’t want to hear one more word about it. As for you, soon-to-be-former-son. I don’t want to see you ever lifting your hand again against my daughter or anyone else in this family. It is time you both move on with your plans. Does Stephanie even know you separated and will get a divorce? You cannot just ship her out like a package and expect her to accept everything upon her return.”
My mother replied sourly: “It was his job to tell her. But we all know he is a coward.” My father hissed at her. “How dare you saying that.”
My grandmother shook her head and made up her mind: “I’ll tell her tomorrow.”
Now I stood in front of her in the salon. The door to the back fields stood wide open. My grandmother explained in a few words: “Listen, child. Your father and mother will get a divorce. They planned to have you go to school somewhere else to save you the trouble of listening to their arguments any longer. But I insisted you stay here instead, live with me for the time being. Is that okay?”
I nodded. “Yes, grandmother.”, tears streaming down my face. Then I turned around, darted through that open door, and did what I would do all my life. I ran towards the sun and light, into freedom, away from those who caused me pain and darkness.
I looked up at the pretty blonde woman in the pink silk blouse. She brushed back a pretty curl that had fallen across her big blue eyes. I had no time for her kind.
“I don’t deal in love potions or revenge. If you’d like I know a few other Witches I could recommend. They’re quite good.”
“You don’t understand, he literally stole my heart. I was supposed to have a transplant a few days ago and the bastard stole my new heart.”
She opened the top few buttons of her shirt to reveal a long line of stitches. “I was on the operating table, ready to have this pitiful damaged heart of mine removed, when the donor heart vanished. It literally vanished out of thin air, right there in the hospital, in front…
For the third time now I got exciting news! I was informed that Demon Tracker, the third book in ‘The Council Of Twelve’ series, too, now is available in “Indie California’! Read more about it below – This is so wonderful. Please, help me spread the word! Thank you!
See the message I got here below
Hi A. J. Alexander,
Congratulations, you have successfully moved into the library space!
Your book, Demon Tracker, is now available in Indie California, a collection of books from local indie authors available exclusively on the BiblioBoard Library mobile and web platform. This collection is available to patrons of participating libraries all across your state/region. That’s right, your book is now available with just one click of a button to thousands of new readers in your state/region!
Today I discovered a free short story on Nicholas Rossi’s blog. I was fascinated and loved it enormously. I, therefore, hope he’ll permit me to show you a very small part of it – and link you to his page. Enjoy the read.
Waters of Oblivion
While I wait for you, I take in the beach. This is my home. The deep, calm sea—too dark to make out anything but the soothing waves that lap my feet. Dark silhouettes surround me. They would crowd the beach, were it not for its immensity. Old and young, men and women, take slow, dazed steps into the abysmal waters. Guides like me help them in. Not that you need us for this. Ancient, forgotten instincts would drive you forward even if we weren’t there. But we pride ourselves in that special, personal touch.
Smaller, translucent silhouettes come out of the sea, too, like baby turtles going the wrong way. Other guides are there to take them to their new homes. You will be following them in no time.
And now you’re finally here. When I left you at your bedroom after you had swallowed all those pills, I was wondering how long it would take you to join me. Not that time matters. Not here, anyway.
You shudder after the unpleasant experience of going through the death portal. “What… what happened?” you ask.
“You got what you wanted,” I say. “Congratulations. You’re dead.”
For the first time since I moved, I felt the need for an hour of relaxed reading. In my former home, I had a deep enjoyable bathtub which I filled up with wonderfully warm water and bubble bath and spent an hour or 90 minutes in the tub, reading an amazing book.
I prepared everything for another relaxing hour today, book, glasses, scented candle, water…
I was looking forward to the tub and the reading… until I realized, the tub was far too small for me. It might be good for a bath after being dirty and muddy… but it definitely is not comfortable enough to read in… not five minutes, not even three minutes…
That means, I will have to read somewhere else than in the tub – or I move into a home with a big corner-tub.
Do you ever read in the bathtub? If yes, how long are you staying? How much do you enjoy? Do you read your e-reader or do you prefer regular paperbacks? Let us hear about your reading preferences in the comments. We are curious.
I found this post on Master Seumas’ blog. He talks about writing his memoir and shares some of his experience with us. Thank you very much for your honesty, Seumas!
…as a writer, I love paradox… the creative balance… peak and trough… princes and paupers… sweet and sour… I shamelessly strive for emotive expression in my novels… breathing feelings into what happens to my characters… Lawd knows, they cause me enough angst when I write about them… therefore, it should have come as no surprise to me when I embarked on the ambitious project of writing my own biography… the twin imposters of delight and melancholy currently visit with great regularity as the chapters of my life unfold on my laptop… from the outset, I decided it would not be an ego trip, cataloguing whatever achievements may have been my lot, but to attempt to balance the tome with as much gut honesty as I can muster… that’s where the pain resides… it has been remarkable how the distance of time has removed some of the jagged edges of some events I’d rather not have had happen… and equally to recognise that success is also a relative concept, which lessens with the passage of the years …
Seumas Gallacher’s books are in demand! Master Gallacher describes something all authors feel: the gift of selling books. Thank you very much for your post, Seumas!
…I can speak only for this ol’ Scots Jurassic scribbler, but sense that hordes of my fellow-authors will agree, that selling even one copy of one title is a source of great satisfaction… to feel that even one single reader has taken time and invested money to indulge my work is such an immense pleasure… over the years since I was first absorbed into the mind-blowing vortex that is the world of writing books, the reading public has blessed and honoured me with more than 100,000 aggregate downloads and sales of my wee literary babies… like many of my contemporary successful writers, I pretend not to pay much attention to my author’s sales pages on Auntie Amazon Kindle, but that would be a blatant lie!…
Read Master Gallacher’s blog post about the ‘birth’ of a new word. With all his humor and wisdom, Seumas Gallacher provides us with a wonderful blog post I just had to share. Thank you, Seumas.
…it’s not often that this ol’ Scots Jurassic scribbler has been present at the birth of a new word… but one such memorable occasion presented itself many, many moons ago… it happened during that part of my career when I was part of the legions of Financial Masters of the Universe, as the embodied historical photograph of the yesteryear money market/foreign exchange maestro in the dealing room in Hong Kong here indicates…
…part of the role of being a prominent F.M.U. entailed, (naturally), whizzing around the globe, ostensibly arranging mega-billions worth of deals (Master Soros, eat yer heart out!)… a trip from the Far East had my itinerary taking in financial institutional visits in London, then carrying on to Noo Yawkin ‘Murica, to repeat the exercise with some of our American banking friends…