rogue rhetoric

random musings by michael d. durkota

Category: .: Writery things (page 2 of 4)

Random Musings for Groundhog Day

  • I’m not overly disappointed that Phil predicted six more weeks of winter. Aside from a few frigid days, this winter has been a letdown. I want some snow.
  • I will probably watch the Super Bowl on Sunday even though I will be angry when the Patriots inevitably win.
  • I will definitely watch the next episode of Black Sails to uplift my spirits after suffering through the Patriots victory. Unless of course they use a flashback to remind me that they killed my favorite character at the end of last season.
  • Despite having two whole days off work, I have not a read a single thing. That said, I have written over 2000 words in those two days and topped 12000 for the year so far.
  • I am proud of Black Rifle Coffee Company for standing up to Starbucks.

The Haunting: How To Conquer The Shame Of Being A Writer

LitReactor is a destination for writers to improve their craft; a haven for readers to geek out about books; and a platform to kickstart your writing goals.

Source: The Haunting: How To Conquer The Shame Of Being A Writer | LitReactor

Great Event to Support Veterans

I was honored to participate in a public reading yesterday with Ryne Tobar, a fellow veteran and an excellent writer. The event was held at Norwin Public Library and was organized by Ashley Kunsa and Brad Coffield of VetsWrite; the festivities included refreshments and a Q&A with the audience.  We had a great turnout and participation. I signed a few books at the end and raised almost $100 for Operation Homefront!

Here’s a shot of me trying not to let the nerves show:

vetswrite-durkota1b

Here’s the Q&A with Ryne:

vetswrite-durkota2b

Here’s the team celebrating the success (Ryne, me, Ashley, and Brad):

vetswrite-durkota4b

And here’s me getting ready to sign some books and raise some money for Operation Homefront:

vetswrite-durkota3b

Veterans Day, a public reading, and some random musings

First. The Veterans Day charity pledge will continue until November 19. This year all proceeds will benefit Operation Homefront; they provide short-term and critical assistance, long-term stability, and recurring support programs to military families. Seriously a great organization. Please support them by grabbing a copy of Once in a Blue Year on Amazon.com.durkota-vets

Second. I am honored to participate in a public reading celebrating Veterans Day. The event is hosted by Ashley Kunsa of VetsWrite and is taking place at the Norwin Public Library on Saturday, November 12. I will be joined by fellow writer and veteran Ryne Tobar. If you are in the greater Pittsburgh area, please stop in. There will be a Q&A, refreshments, and I will be signing copies of Once in a Blue Year with all proceeds of course supporting Operation Homefront.

Third. Some random musings from this week:

  • I started reading the second book in Erica Crockett’s Blood Zodiac series. It is haunting and beautiful. She is a gifted writer. I highly recommend that you check out her first book, Chemicals. After that, you should get started with book one of the Blood Zodiac, The Ram.
  • I discovered that a random tweet of mine from last year was referenced in an article by The International Business Times. I was venting about the Oxford word of year being an emoji.
  • I am glad I stayed up to watch the last couple games of the World Series, but I think it will take me few days to catch up on all the lost sleep. I really didn’t care who won in the end, I just love the excitement of post-season baseball.

Should I be flattered that my book was pirated?

While searching for a link to a press release, a google search revealed a website offering free PDF’s of my novel. They even provided their own book review:

Once in a Blue Year Reviewblue year

This Once in a Blue Year book is not really ordinary book, you have it then the world is in your hands.  The  benefit  you  get  by  reading this  book  is  actually  information  inside  this  reserve incredible  fresh,  you  will  get  information  which  is  getting  deeper  an  individual  read  a  lot  of information you will get. This kind of Once in a Blue Year without we recognize teach the one who looking at it become critical in imagining and analyzing. Don’t be worry Once in a Blue Year can bring any time you are and not make your tote space or bookshelves’ grow to be full because you can have it inside your lovely laptop even cell phone. This Once in a Blue Year having great arrangement in word and layout, so you will not really feel uninterested in reading. Relate

Needless to say, I did not dare click the link.

To conjoin or not to conjoin?

I attended the second session of VetsWrite yesterday. Although it has been lightly attended, I have enjoyed the company of fellow writers and the fresh perspective. The writing exercises have been truly helpful; I’m embarrassed to admit I really can’t remember the last time I conducted a free-write on my own. At the end of the session, Ashley and Brad suggested that we share some pages from our current projects and discuss them during the next session.write

This presented me with a conundrum.

I’ve been working on two separate novels for the last few months. They are each stalled around 30% complete. One keeps distracting me from the other. I was beginning to worry that I would never finish either since they both were still missing so much.

So, which one do I share? I was about to flip a coin when I decided just to share an excerpt from each. Perhaps the group could point me in the right direction or provide some needed guidance. I opened the files and began reading. One, then the other, and then back again.

As I read, I slowly began to realize that what each one was missing was possibly contained in the other. In a moment of Zen-like clarity I decided they needed to be combined. They wanted to be combined. In fact, they were practically begging to be combined. I spent the rest of the day, most of the night, and virtually every waking moment since then trying to pull the pieces together in some comprehensible fashion.

I was frustrated last night when I put them away, but I woke up with a few ideas. After some effort this afternoon, I think I’ve made a breakthrough. The result may not quite be 60% of a completed story, but close. In the very least, I am excited to have made some headway and I was also able to easily identify the pages I need to share.

Other random musings from the weekend:

  • Only 18 days until hockey returns. Go Pens!
  • I am loving my new Motorola Moto Z.
  • Comcast is irritating me by repeatedly pushing the addition of a land-line phone. Today they resorted to scare tactics: “How would you make a call in an emergency if your cell phone wasn’t available?” I guess they fail to realize my cell phone is never out of arm’s reach.
  • I am certainly going to keep my promise from March and never again review an episode of The Walking Dead. In fact, I may not even watch the new season. I’m actually surprised that my disdain has not faded over the summer.
  • I made some additions to the Writer Resources page.

Coffee and Karma

I drink a lot of coffee. I can’t write without drinking coffee. Occasionally I even write about drinking coffee. I visit my local Starbucks at least once a day. The other day I noticed a flyer on the wall. I never look at flyers on the wall, but for some reason this one called to me. It was kismet. VetsWrite was the headline. It qr6ptiw7hbdmc69xhlkqadvertised a creative writing class for veterans at the public library. I snapped a photo and proceeded home to investigate further.

VetsWrite has a website and sponsorship from local businesses. The seven-week course is being offered by a fellow MFA and culminates in a public reading following Veteran’s day. Needless to say I emailed the organizer and indicated my intent to participate. It turns out she may need some help and asked if I would lead one of the sessions. Now I just need to decide which topic: conflict & plot, setting, POV & voice, or scene.

I believe all of this is undeniable proof that Starbucks is quintessential to my life.

Random musings for the weekend:

  • My nephew broke his arm. He needed surgery to install a couple pins. Just a few hours after surgery, his mom mentioned that he’ll have to drop soccer and baseball for the fall. His response: “You don’t need hands for soccer.” He is 5. What a tough kid. I should also mention that this discussion took place outside of Starbucks.
  • I watched The Martian again last night. Great movie.
  • The Roadies season finale is tomorrow. I hope it gets renewed for another season.

5 Story Opening Clichés That Need to Die

I am guilty of at least one of these sins…

Here’s why your dumb story keeps getting rejected.

Source: 5 Story Opening Clichés That Need to Die | LitReactor

Top 10 books writers should read

quillFrom unforgiving French sociology to Machiavelli’s manual for realpolitik, the Booker prize-winning author DBC Pierre recommends books that helped him write.

Source: Top 10 books writers should read | Books | The Guardian

What is your favorite first line?

I enjoy analyzing first lines. They open doors to new worlds. They introduce characters. They establish narrators. They set the time and tone of the story. Here are just a few of my favorites.

quill

“This is a story a young girl gathers in a car during the early hours of the morning.”

—Michael Ondaatje, In the Skin of a Lion

“He was an old man who fished alone in a skiff in the Gulf Stream and he had gone eighty-four days now without taking a fish.”

—Ernest Hemingway, The Old Man and the Sea

“Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins.”

—Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita

“Shadow had done three years in prison.”

—Neil Gaiman, American Gods

“First Lieutenant Jimmy Cross carried letters from a girl name Martha, a junior at Mount Sebastian College in New Jersey.”

—Tim O’Brien, The Thing They Carried

“You’ll probably think I’m making a lot of this up just to make me sound better than I really am or smarter or even luckier but I’m not.”

—Russell Banks, Rule of the Bone

“I’m pretty much fucked.”

—Andy Weir, The Martian

“When Lauren was a small girl, she would stand in the Kansan fields and call the cats.”

—Steve Erickson, Days Between Stations

“If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you’ll probably want to know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don’t feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth.”

—J. D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye

Last, but not least…

“For the most wild yet most homely narrative which I am about to pen, I neither expect nor solicit belief.”

—Edgar Allan Poe, The Black Cat

Older posts Newer posts

© 2018 rogue rhetoric

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑

%d bloggers like this: