Friday, July 25, 2014

Word Geek

I love words, the make-up, the double entendre meanings. Words are fun to play with. I have a habit of collecting "word" book, i.e., dictionaries, usually at used book stores, sometimes new. Such as:

"A Dictionary of Naval Terms," "A Dictionary of Made-Up Languages". I have dictionaries of various languages, Latin, Portuguese, Chinese, Japanese, Hungarian, Italian, etc., etc. I have mathematical, scientific, and I have a preference for older dictionaries, not newer ones. Words lost, words found. Words to play with, to alter, to re-use. Words are fun.

Thus, the newest addition to my "word geek" library is this one."The Handy Electrical Dictionary," a practical hand book of reference, containing definitions of every used electrical term or phrase. Indispensable to everyone interested in electrical science. With illustrations. Compiled and edited by W. L. Weber, M.E., copyright 1911 and 1902. Love it. A little guy that easily fits into the back pocket of a pair of work pants.

My current intriguing phrase from this book:

unbuilding of dynamo. The loss of its charge or excitation by a self-exciting dynamo.

and dynamo. a dynamo electric machine. A generator.

Take it from there.

Dynamo. Generator. Generator of what? Hmm. Well, taken literally, likely electricity. But what might I do with that when I play with words and meanings? Let me think on it.

One of the reasons I love writing dark fantasy and scifi. Sometimes I just play with letters in a word, moving them around and creating something different. Just like the fun of bending definition.

Such as, I might take dynamo electric machine and using the first letters of each word, I'd come up with the word Dem. Dem night be a social class, it might be a type of humanotic in the city -state of Quentopolis, it might be a process that they use at the Factorium. The unbuilding of dynamo might refer to a process that occurs in the Elite Logic Life Core - the ELLC, the knowledge machine at the core of Quentopolis.

I do love words and their meanings.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Words Inside My Head

Let me speak to you of the man. Oh, yes, the man, and the feelings I did not understand.

I speak of love -- a love that has locked me here within these insane walls. A love that kills, a love that suffocates every other thought and desire. A love that maddens the mind, seeping slowly to flood the heart, the soul. A love that will see no end. A love that will haunt me unto my very last breath surrenders, following me into the hellfires of eternity where I vow not to walk alone.

It was upon a night -- a dark and stormy night, daunting, taunting, endless abyss into which he came to me, golden like an angel, regal and bright with his mane of brilliant, gilded hair and demanding eyes of clear, cold January skies.

I loved him at first sight. I loved him through the darkness, through the endless tortured night...

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Being Reminded

Every now and then one needs to be reminded of certain things about writing. It's never a question of learning a lesson once and knowing it sticks. It doesn't. Especially when it comes to self-doubt.

I've recently begun reading Dean Koontz's "Frankenstein" series. Too early to say how I like it because I've just started it, but the premise intrigued me. "Frankenstein" always was my favorite, and one of my first, introductions to horror (at about the age of 11), and I fell in love with the genre early on.

Moving on, I happened to come across an old interview of Mr. Koontz's done in 2008, and this particular response caught my eye and resonated somewhat. A good reminder not just to aspiring authors, but everyone, I think.

Excerpted from Strange Horizons interview, Fear Nothing: Interview with Dean Koontz by Michael McCarty, April 2008.
"I tell every young writer to find the material about which he or she can become passionate, work hard at using the language as well as he/she can use it—and to persevere. Throughout my career, until recently, I was continually told that my books would never hit big, that I couldn't mix genres the way I did, that my stories were too eccentric, that my vocabulary was too large and therefore limited the potential size of my audience, that even the very subtle spiritual elements in my work were too prominent and would bore or flat out offend modern readers, that readers didn't want stories with as much thematic freight as mine carried . . . blah, blah, blah. I was even told these things, relentlessly, after I'd seen my books rise to the number one slot on best-seller lists. What every young writer has to realize is that if he or she is doing something truly fresh, it will not immediately be supported, will not win big ad budgets, will not be understood. You must keep an open mind to criticism if it's about technical matters—that is, about grammar and syntax, about logic holes and clear story problems—but must diplomatically reject all criticism that relates to style, intent, theme. If you have clear and passionate purpose in your writing, something to say, and a determination to say it in a way unique to you, if you can explain to yourself exactly why you are doing what you're doing in the way you are doing it—then you have to stand fast and politely resist all attempts to change you. At the end of the day, if you write with conviction and passion, then the world will come around to your stories. If you bend too much to the will of others, you'll be reduced to blandness, to vanilla fiction, and no one will care. It also helps to sell your soul to Lucifer."
I've often said to friends that I don't write for the money (though it certainly helps if I want to eat and keep a roof over my head), I'm in this because I have stories to tell. Self-doubt always eats at you, I don't care if it's your first story or your hundredth, and you have to fight through the fear, wall off the naysayers, learn the language, utilize it, and write the story that possesses you with a passion that leaves you sleepless at night and hearing the insistent, sometimes ruthless voices in your head by day.

It's scary, it's exhilarating, it's frightening. And it doesn't have to be horror to induce those emotions.  I write what I write because those are the stories that call to me to be written. I've been fortunate enough to find publishers, and editors, who have been intrigued by the unusual, and sometimes odd workings of my muse. And thank God for the readers who enjoy the stories I need to tell.

Find your passion, keep your focus, believe in what you do, refine your craft. But most of all believe hard and write with passion.

Read more of the Dean Koontz interview at:

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Contests & Guest Posts - Other Humanotica News and Recap

This has been a fast and furious week. Just wanted to take a moment to remind everyone that there are two contests running at the moment where you can win a copy of the first book in the Humanotica series, Silver. Here are the links:


At Booked Up Reviews, here's the link to the contest page: (ends 3/31/12)

The other contest running is at Ramblings From This Chick, and that can be found at this link: (ends 3/29/12)


And I'd like to share with you the latest new review that was just posted at Booked Up for Haevyn, the second book in the Humanotica series.

"This book is 4 star material, a brilliant must-read. I was blown away with the story and the fascinating world Darcy has created. ... I’m hooked; I can’t get enough of this amazing series and hope it’s not too long before we get another addition to it. If you love erotica, adventure, scifi and nail biting drama, you need to try this series. You will not be disappointed." - Booked Up Reviews


Read an excerpt and more reviews for Haevyn at:

Recap of Posts Regarding Backstory for the Humanotica Series

Read the first chapter at:

Read my guest post, "Haevyn and the Dreaded Factorium" at:

Read about creating the city of Quentopolis on my blog:

Read about naming the characters for this story on my blog:

Read about an early conversation with Haevyn on my blog:

Read my guest post about "Haevyn and Emotional Cost" of living in a world such as Quentopolis.

Read my guest post about "Haevyn and the Elite Logical Life Core" at:



Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Haevyn Hits the Stands Today! CONTEST Time!

Today I'm blogging. Melissa Schroeder was kind enough, or brave enough, to let me post about my Humanotica world, in celebration of the release of Haevyn today. Stop by and comment and be entered to win either a d/l of Silver, the first book in the Humanotica series, or an autographed copy of the paperback.

On Melissa's blog I'm talking about "Haevyn and the Dreaded Factorium." Please stop by.


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

DBW Conference - Tracking Inside Ebooks?

This morning I've been reading a roundup of information for the Digital Book World 2012. (#dbw12) Several things caught me as a bit uncomfortable as an author, but this one caught me as uncomfortable on the reader scale.

The EPUB 3 publishing language, for instance, allows for JavaScript to be embedded in e-books, which would theoretically allow publishers to track their readers’ reading habits – if only retailers would allow that code in the books it sells and build e-reader software capable of supporting such technology.

Read the article, "Barnes & Noble to Share More Reader Data with Publishers ."

Personally speaking, I find this a bit intrusive. Isn't it enough that every time I purchase something with a debit or credit card, someone, somewhere is tracking my spending habits? Every time I buy something online, same thing. How far does this intrusion really need to go? I realize researchers and marketers need their data, but...

Do I really need to read a book and feel that someone's "big brother" is looking over my shoulder as I'm reading my book? If I want someone in bed with me, I'll invite them.

As it is, the reading suggestions I get from Amazon because I happen to look at certain books, gets a little carried away, and has absolutely nothing to do with my long-range reading habits. The range of books I read is across the spectrum, with many different variables tied into the book-of-the-moment. One of the reasons I love browsing bookstores. Hey, send me a survey so I know what information I'm sharing and who I'm sharing it with, and I'll decide if I want to share it.

When does the need for market research cross the line into an unwanted, and unexpected, intrusion of my personal space? Rest assured, there's nothing more likely to send me back into a bookstore with cash in hand to buy a nice print book with no one looking over my shoulder except for the fact that another copy of that print book was sold at that store in that particular part of the country.

It's not that I actually care who sees what I'm reading or tracking in that sense, but for me there's an intimacy in the reading experience. If I want someone else inside that book with me I'll invite a friend to a read-aloud exchange.

This is likely to have me looking a lot closer on terms of use features before buying an ebook, and what format that ebook will take. I am more likely to purchase from smaller publishers who simply want to sell me a good book in digital format, and then track what books seem more popular. But I suggest publishers take a close look at those terms of use on that software, too. Look at what Apple is doing with their iBooks Author formatting app and the limitations on using that app. Not really yours, is it?

Deregulation can be a wild card. Radio and television have, or had certain regulations on who could own what and there was someone watching how things bled out into each other, looking at monopolization that could lead to a certain level of unwanted control of media. Think FCC.

Gosh, some days of late it feels like walking through a landscape filled with hidden land mines. Watch where you step.

Seems to me there's a lot of inbreeding going on in the publishing world at the moment and I wonder who's watching? Attempting controls of pricing, everyone dipping their toes into the publishing arena, software companies attempting to control how their software is used and defining sales channels to be used, possible internal tracking of reader habits. The market is wide open, I'm seeing problems ahead. Take another look at that word, synergy. Not always quite such positive energy there.

I want to see a free market in the publishing world--much freer than it has been. There are some real jewels out there in books that now have an opportunity to come to light. I'm excited by those possibilities. On the other hand, as often happens, there are the dangers of misuse as well.

They put a good spin on it, but IMO, one needs to be more aware than ever of what you're buying in that digital package--ebook, apps, and/or software. Don't go in blind--know what you're really buying--or not. Know how much of your private habits you're sharing with the outside world. How much do they really need to know? How much do you want them to know?

Just saying, and, of course, just my opinion... And yours would be?

Sunday, January 22, 2012

On the flesh of language

Started reading a book the other day, "The Spell of the Sensuous" by David Abram. It's a nonfiction, rather scholarly book, coming under the subject heading of "nature/philosophy." I was looking for a book in relation to human spirit and the natural environment.

In the chapter I'm reading this morning, "The Flesh of Language," I found this passage particularly noteworthy, and wanted to share it.

"We thus learn our native language not mentally but bodily. We appropriate new words and phrases first through their expressive tonality and texture, through the way they feel in the mouth or roll off the tongue, and it is this direct, felt significance--the taste of a word or phrase, the way it influences or modulates the body--that provides the fertile, polyvalent source for all the more refined and rarefied meanings which that term may come to have for us."

I love words and how they work together and how evocative they can be. The sensations that can erupt from the use of a single word, or a phrase woven together.

Language at its core can be a primal thing. When an infant utters that first cry when he or she emerges into the world, this is not a learned response. It is a response to a bodily event. It comes from within, not without, yet it is a response to exit from that safe, warm environment of a mother's womb, into a larger, unknown environment. For that small individual, the utterance of that first cry represents many things, none of them actually learned. It is instinct at its most basic level. A reaction to altered bodily state and the spark of recognition to that state.

A cry--pain, happiness, despair, joy, anger, surprise, ecstasy. That sound--the word "cry" is so much more--that bit of language is represented differently for each emotion, each sensation, each experience.

"He cried out," informs us little of the experience. "He shouted for joy." "She sobbed," "He groaned," "The drawn out unearthly howl echoed through the moonless black night." "His bitter words scorched her with the fury of his anger."

Words are not simply words. Nor is a phrase or sentence just a bunch of words to trip the story along. Nor should they be a mimic of some other story that one thinks fits the scene. Language has to be real to these characters in this story, in this moment. Time, space, moment, era, world, instinct, sensation. Shy, bold, brash, demure, aggressive, dominant, submissive, sophisticated, extrovert, introvert, slave, master, powerful, sly, coarse, smooth, Caucasian, Hispanic, African-American, Native American, Black, White, Asian, man, woman, child, infant, ghost, shapeshifter, wolf, bird, fish, merman...Quentopian, Orictan... or any combination. How will the cry differ? I want to feel the words in my bones. I want to taste its color. Let me experience the words deep into my soul. I want them to grip to squeeze, my heart and mind.