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Archive for the ‘Quotable Wednesday’ Category

IMG_1833 Halloween, the day when ghostly and ghastly thoughts swirl about like an autumn wind, is 17 days away.  A week ago, October 7th, was the 166th anniversary of Poe’s death in my hometown of Baltimore, Maryland. So naturally, I chose an Edgar Allen Poe quote for today.

“The boundaries which divide Life from Death are at best shadowy and vague. Who shall say where the one ends, and where the other begins.” – Edgar Allan Poe in The Premature Burial.

What a perfect quote for this pre-Day of the Dead time. In the era of The Walking Dead, Ghost Hunters, Twilight, and other undead delights. For fans of the undead, two of my zombie-ghost tales are currently available in new books. “The Return of Gunnar Kettilson” can be found in the beautifully-bound Gothic fantasy collection, Chilling Ghost Short Stories from United Kingdom’s Flame Tree Publishing. And from the USA’s Alban Lake Publishing, Potter’s Field 5 – Tales from Unmarked Graves, contains my story “Snowbroth.” (Also available on Kindle).

For Poe fans, here are some other EA Poe quotes: 30 Thoughtful Quotes from Edgar Allan Poe.

And don’t forget, I’ll be at HallowRead October 23 presenting a workshop on Anthologies at 1 PM, and on October 24 I’ll be participating on various spooky, dark panels.  Plus, I’ll be happy to sell and/or sign my books and talk to fans of dark fantasy and horror.

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Here are three marvelous quotes from English writer, Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, better known as Lewis Carroll.

“It’s no use going back to yesterday, because I was a different person then.” – Lewis Carroll in Alice in Wonderland. Aren’t we all? Maybe not in the extreme way Alice changes, but we all change a little bit day to day. Before long, we’re a different person than the one that existed a short time ago.

The next quote is the best advice I can give to someone starting out writing fiction. ‘ “Begin at the beginning,” the King said, very gravely, “and go on till you come to the end: then stop.”‘ – Lewis Carroll in Alice in Wonderland.  And that, readers, is the key to storytelling!

Lastly, a quote which reflects the way I see the world, and I suspect many writers of speculative fiction see the world. “Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.” – Lewis Carroll in Alice in Wonderland. And I hope for those of you who still possess the heart of a child, that you, too, can believe six impossible things before breakfast.

Here’s the link to an interesting article on Lewis Carroll and his Alice in Wonderland books from National Geographic. Enjoy!

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“Map out your future – but do it in pencil. The road ahead is as long as you make it. Make it worth the trip.” – Jon Bon Jovi

Yes, I am a Bon Jovi fan! And I love this quote. Maybe it’s because I use a pencil to sketch out my art before I use more permanent media like ink or paint. But I think I also love it, because I know that the future is very fluid, and even if we guess one thing right – in all likelihood, we’ll get a lot of other things wrong.

A fun article about predicting part of the future right by using Victorian postcards (but not all of it), appeared on Wired. Thanks to Ted Weber on the Baltimore Science Fiction Society’s Facebook page for pointing me towards: Here’s How People 100 Years Ago Thought We’d Be Living Today by Greg Miller.

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‘”There,” Jon said. He swung his horse around and galloped back across the bridge. They watched him dismount where the direwolf lay dead in the snow, watching him kneel. A moment later he was riding back to them, smiling.

“He must have crawled away from the others,” Jon said.

“Or been driven away,” their father said, looking at the sixth pup. His fur was white, where the rest of the litter was grey. His eyes were as red as the blood of the ragged man who had died that morning. Bran thought it curious that this pup alone would have opened his eyes while the others were still blind.’ — George R.R. Martin, A Game of Thrones

I’m a fan of George R.R. Martin’s writing. In this seemingly small exchange from the beginning of the first book in the Song of Ice and Fire series, the reader learns a lot about the children of Ned Stark. Since the direwolves are each given to one of Ned’s children, the quote seems to say that Jon is a Stark, too, and that he’s the only one who will see when his “brothers” and “sisters” are still blind. Hmm!

But that’s not why I picked a George R.R. Martin quote. I was pointed to an interesting article about the opening of a novel by fellow Broad Universe member, Greta van der Rol. In Myth #3 – ‘You have to know your “story problem” and “protagonist’s problem” before you start,’ the old terms “planners” and “pantsers” are used. I’ve never been a fan of those terms, and found the terms used by George R.R. Martin in that paragraph, “architects and gardeners,” more appealing and more accurate.

I count myself among the “gardeners,” because I, like Martin, plant a seed with just an idea of what the seed might become.

So for all you architects (outliners and planners), gardeners (those who write by the seat of their pants), and readers who enjoy understanding the inner workings of writing – check out Lit Reactor’s What Every Successful Novel Opening Must Do: Myth vs. Reality by Susan Defreitas. Let me know what you think!

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“I busied myself to think of a story…One which would speak to the mysterious fears of our nature, and awaken thrilling horror—one to make the reader dread to look round, to curdle the blood, and quicken the beatings of the heart.” Mary Shelley (Introduction to Frankenstein, 1831)

And that’s what all writers of dark fantasy, horror, and mysteries do — busy ourselves trying to think of a story which will make our readers feel dread. Of course, just thinking of such a tale isn’t enough. We must type it out or jot it down, revise it, polish it, and then, submit the story to a publication. If we are persistent and lucky (yes, luck does paly a part), then our story of dread will be available to readers.

Mary Shelley was a writer and thinker ahead of her time. She blazed a path for women writing darker works, and still has words of wisdom for today’s readers and writers.

Here’s the link to an article filled with Mary Shelley quotes from Biographile: Between Life and Death: 8 Quotes from Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Enjoy!

And if you’re enjoying my blog and its links, please consider purchasing one of my books from Amazon or elsewhere. Thanks.

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“A world in which there are monsters, and ghosts, and things that want to steal your heart is a world in which there are angels and dreams, and a world in which there is hope.” – Neil Gaiman

And this is the kind of world Neil Gaiman sets his stories in — and the kind of world most speculative writers try to set the stories in. Me, included.

Neverwhere was the first Gaiman novel I read — I’ve been a fan of his writing ever since. Neverwhere is set in the subways and underground world of London. In my mind’s eye, I imagined all the stations mentioned and districts of London. I imagined the smells, sights, and sounds of the London, England above and below. I thought I heard the distinct British accent of the characters, also.

I had the good fortune to visit London this summer — using the subways (or The Tube, as most everyone I met referred to it) for transportation. London above and below was an experience I’ll not soon forget. And as good as my imagination is, I didn’t get the location of Neverwhere quite right.

Neil Gaiman does a great job of creating his Neverwhere world (complete with monsters, ghost, things that want to steal your heart, angels and dreams). And now, I’m re-reading the novel to add my experiences in the locations mentioned to the book experience.

That said, I think there might be room for me to use a few of the quirky things and people I saw in London above and below to create my own London story — with monsters, ghosts, angels, dreams…and hope.

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“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one.” – George R. R. Martin, A Storm of Swords (Jojen Reed)

Still re-reading the Game of Thrones books, so I thiought I’d use another George R.R. Martin quote. Both the reader and writer in me loves this quote. As a writer, you build your world and live in that world through the characters you create. As a reader, you have the opportunity to live the many lives of the many characters of the many authors you read.

What a wonderful gift books are to anyone willing to open them and begin to read. I, for one, hope to live a thousand lives (or more) as I discover the many characters residing between the pages of books. And I invite each of you to buy one of my books and discover some of the characters I’ve created.

Happy reading!

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