Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The Search for the Perfect Critique Partner Continues...


To be my critique partner, you must be:

1. St. Louis area-based (I want to be able to meet up in real life, and F.Y.I. I live on the IL side).


2. a writer who writes often (I'm looking to exchange feedback). I want to give feedback and get feedback with someone who takes writing seriously. 


3. an enthusiast of sci-fi, fantasy, horror, steampunk, and young adult, because that's what I write (click here to read about my current project). I will read almost anything but romance.


4. able to take criticism. If you cry because I pointed out a misplaced comma in your novel, then we're probably not a good match. I am very honest. If you tell me that you want to get this published, then I will look at your work as a marketable product.


5. willing to dish out criticism honestly. I have an iron gut for criticism, and I want blunt/honest thoughts. I want to know how to improve my writing. I don't like wishy-washy statements. If you hated my chapter 3, say so.


6. willing to read novel-length projects, since that's what I generally write. 


7. excited at the prospect of Halloween, because my writing is infused with the spirit of that season.

8. near my age. I'm 27. I would feel a little weird hanging out with someone who is 65. Just being honest. 21-39 seems like the ideal age range.


All that said, it’s also important that crit partners generally enjoy each other’s writing (and are near each other in skill level, so I don’t get jealous if you’re better than me or vice versa). I suppose that would come on a read-for-read basis. If you happen to read this and want to trade examples of writing, email me (oxyborb@gmail.com). We can swap chapter 1s, and then either say “yes” and continue or “No, we’re not a match” with no hard feelings.

That’s what I’m looking for. If you seem to fit any of that, you should leave a comment or email me

Thursday, July 24, 2014

I typed this out as soon as I woke up


Last night I dreamt that there was a huge car accident. Spots of the Earth had sunken in and the cars were toppled over inside of these craters. Cars were slammed onto the sides of buildings. Figures and limbs everywhere and the red ink--

I was with the cops, walking through, trying to find my new apartment. I opened the door and I was back in Seattle. A huge apartment, spacy and empty. There was a bed the size of a swimming pool but I didn't want to sleep in it because I was afraid of being alone and getting lost. Also, it was by the window and I was afraid that a car might slam through it. So, I locked all the windows. 

Empty, the house was so empty and then I needed to take my car and get out. I had to meet the ghost at the restaurant. I could only turn left and I drove a broken square out and out, spiraling until I found the place. It had red brick shutters and the music was like if you could play a woman's scream on a violin.

I saw the blood soaked bedsheets of the ghost and then I knew why the craters sank and why the apartment was so big and empty and I woke up.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Self-Improvement

Last month I talked about the meaning that buying clothing has had for me. Overcoming the challenges of the last few years of my life has be very difficult, to say the least. But the change has been about focusing on myself for once. Thinking clearly about the things I want, not what other people want or what other people want for me.
took this pic accidentally, lol

Like a camera coming into focus, I'm starting to see myself. When I moved out to Seattle, I didn't do it for me. I loved Seattle when I got there, but moving out had been like a train crashing into the station. It was all so fast, unplanned. I felt like the man was checking tickets and told me I was on the wrong train. The forces were propelling me away from my goal, making me a pillar for others to step on.

So, buying clothing was for me. About 90% of my clothing was bought in the last year. I've tossed so much out, it's crazy. I've been working on my looks as a part of my self-improvement momentum. I have never been an incredibly attractive guy. In some ways, I feel like that was the downfall of my efforts to start a rock band, but I digress. Lately, I've been buying tighter-fitting clothing. I have been using a new teeth-whitening gel (and it's really working! my teeth have really improved!). I've been doing yoga and working out every day for the last few months. I've made beginning efforts to eat healthier again (beginning, but there's way more to go on that). I want to bring my weight down, for health and dating reasons. 

I think the next big step for me is immersing myself into the social world again. I was sort of going through a recluse-socialite-recluse-socialite phase for the past few months, just depending on whether or not any of my friends were in town. Now, I'm feeling like my reclusive period is almost over. I need to get involved in something. Something nerdy, hopefully. I might go join the STL Writer's Guild or something.

Well, that's as update as I've got for this month. The other big thing for me is the fact that I bought an amazing camera, which I blogged about here.

Thanks for reading, caring, etc. I love you, whoever you are. Don't be a stranger. I could use more random conversations in my life, so feel free to message me.

I bought a camera and I'm geeking out

Title says it all, really.

I blew my money on something I've always wanted: a nice camera. This is it:





I feel like a nice camera is a tool that every author (and author wannabe!) should have. Learning to speak publicly is something that contradicts the mentality of many writers. I mean, when we write, we get to edit. Backspace. Delete. Reword. Writers can be thoughtful and take their time putting their words together.

But public speaking is different; you can't take back the things you say in the immediate. You can't take back tone of voice and other nonverbal cues. Writers love to sit in their little offices and nooks and place one word after another in the comfort of their home computers. Public speakers have to be on target at all times. They must be clear, not jumble their words. They need the right tone and look good--that's another thing.

I've been working on making myself look better. There are so many things that owning a camera will teach me. An author must be able to go out into the public and speak to people professionally, with warmth, caring, vibrant virtues. I want to learn how to speak better so I can better promote myself and enjoy the community of book lovers that exist out there.


So that brings me to my new HD camcorder. I want to make videos that will teach me, not how to write, but how to be a good friend to anyone that may someday read my work. If you look at authors like Maggie Stiefvater, Lisa McMann, or Heather Brewer you can see how much their personal warmth and direct interaction with their readership drives them as writers. It's cool. I want to be more like them, I guess.

I've always loved being behind the scenes, but I want my novel to be in the spotlight (which means I'll have to thrust myself there, too).

My first video with my new camera:


Friday, July 4, 2014

So, I beat Red Dead Redemption today


Just a few thoughts, since I knocked one game off my backlog. What an awesome experience. I want to talk about it in great detail, so…

SPOILERS ABOUND!!

SPOILERS AFTER THE JUMP, CLICK READ MORE TO CONTINUE!