Controlled, by Elisa Nuckle

My pal Elisa Nuckle has written an amazing short story for Fiction Vortex. It’s called Controlled, and it’s about dragons.

Not only is that badass already, but after having aforementioned short story published with Fiction Vortex, she won their July contest by a landslide. So that’s kind of a big deal.

So, hey, maybe go read Controlled, because you’re awesome and it’s awesome and together you’ll just be perfect.

419: a book review

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From international bestselling writer Will Ferguson, author of Happiness™ and Spanish Fly, comes a novel both epic in its sweep and intimate in its portrayal of human endurance.

A car tumbles through darkness down a snowy ravine. A woman without a name walks out of a dust storm in sub-Saharan Africa. And in the seething heat of Lagos City, a criminal cartel scours the internet looking for victims. Lives intersect. Worlds collide. And it all begins with a single email: “Dear Sir, I am the daughter of a Nigerian diplomat, and I need your help…” Will Ferguson takes readers deep into the labyrinth of lies that is “419”, the world’s most insidious internet scam.

When Laura Curtis, a lonely editor in a cold northern city, discovers that her father has died because of one such swindle, she sets out to track down – and corner – her father’s killer. It is a dangerous game she is playing, however, and the stakes are higher than she can ever imagine. Woven into Laura’s journey is a mysterious woman from the African Sahel with scars etched into her skin and a young man who finds himself caught up in a web of violence and deceit.

And running through it, a dying father’s final worlds: “You, I love.”

First of all, 419 was the winner of the Scotiabank Giller Prize, which is probably the most prestigious literary award in Canada. That alone piqued my interest in reading this, so as soon as it came out in paperback I was all over that like flies to honey – or corpses, because for some reason flies like both.

If you aren’t put off yet, keep reading!

Continue reading

I’m inspiring!

Guys! Guys! I got another award! And I’m being humble about it!

On Windy Days awarded me with the Inspiring Blogger Award! I’m flattered and totally deserve it and everything.

The rules!

* Display the award logo on your blog Boom, done!

* Link back to the person who nominated you Good for me!

* State seven things about yourself

* Nominate 15 other bloggers for this award and link to them

* Notify those bloggers of the nomination and the award’s requirements

Seven facts!

  1. I listen to score music more often than I do regular music with vocals and shit. I find listening to scores more inspiring (more on that on an older post) and just better. I feel more when I listen to a score. It’s emotive.
  2. I’ve recently developed an addiction to Guild Wars 2. I have three characters: a level 42 sylvari mesmer, a level 38 human ranger, and a level 3 (woo!) charr engineer. I don’t usually like MMOs, but Guild Wars is special in that you don’t have to pay and you don’t have to play with others. I don’t play well with others; I get freaked out whenever someone tries to add me to their group or guild, due to only ever playing single person RPGs. And I play games so sporadically sometimes that I could never pay monthly.
  3. I’m not super great at learning languages, but maybe one day I’ll shell out the cash to learn Latin and Welsh. Two of the only languages that interest me are both extremely difficult and terribly impractical.
  4. I’m a hypochondriac. As soon as one little thing goes wonky in my body, I’m convinced I’m dying.
  5. I handwrite more than I print. But I type more than I handwrite, and I get hand cramps if I write for more than a few minutes.
  6. I’m becoming Carrie Bradshaw. I have plenty of pairs of fancy, impractical shoes, I’m a writer, and I drink cosmopolitans. Now I just need a Mr Big.
  7. I have a mug collection, a shoe collection, and a t-shirt collection, and I always change my hair. I have quirks, clearly. (This isn’t a real fact, what is wrong with me.)

Elisa Nuckle

Bethany Sanjenko

Cassidy Cornblatt

Pepijn Krijnsen

Kim EA Davis

A Fettered Mind

Preston Fuller

I haven’t listed fifteen, because I am UNCONVENTIONAL.

Thanks!

I appear to be IT

And not as in Pennywise, the clown from Stephen King’s IT. I’ve been tagged by the most illustrious On Windy Days in a game of blog tag. Heck yes, blog tag.

The Rules

1. I must post the rules.
2. I must answer the questions the tagger listed for me.
3. I must create (or reuse) 11 questions for those I tag.
4. I must tag 11 people.
5. I must let them know they’ve been tagged.

1. What is your favorite quote, who is it from, and why?

My favourite quote… actually, there are several. 1) By Flemeth, the Witch of the Wilds in Dragon Age: Origins and II: “… it is only when you fall that you learn whether you can fly.” I love this not just because I’m a huge nerd and need a life, but because it’s entirely true. A teacher of mine once said that for every low you have in life, you must have an equal high. In the same quote is “Without an end, there can be no peace,” which I also like. I’m deep and thoughtful like that. 2) By Kreia/Darth Traya, the mentor/member of the Sith Triumvirate in Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II: “To be united by hatred is a fragile alliance at best.” This, this is just awesome. And also true. Video games are deep. 3) By Dagoth Ur, a mortal god and villain of the Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind: “Who knows what we may be capable of, when we no longer fear death?”

Basically, I’m really nerdy.

2. Which song can bring you to tears or reminds you of your childhood?

Family Portrait, by Pink. Yeah, yeah, pretty typical, but I related to it as a child when my family life got tough, and it still makes me cry.

3. What is one thing that keeps you going day in and day out?

Probably my writing. It’s what my life revolves around. It’s definitely what I live for.

4. Why did you start blogging?

I started this blog as a better place to document my thoughts and show my writing to the world. I used to frequent deviantART, but due to a lack of interest on the site for writing, I thought it was a good idea to move on.

5. Is there one thing that you regret not doing in the past? If so, would you be willing to share what that was on here?

I can’t really think of anything. There’s plenty I can think of that I regret doing, but not necessarily not doing.

6. What is one thing that you saw that restored your faith in the human race?

I lose faith in the human race with every passing day, especially with what I see going on in the US, what with the war on women, drugs, gays, anyone-who-isn’t-an-extremist-republican. So it’s tough to say. Maybe this:

This is pretty cute. Go Australian firefighters.

7. Rain or Sun?

I’m 50/50. I live in a place of perpetual sun, so when it rains it’s a nice refreshing change. But I do like me a good, crazy rainstorm, the kind that soaks you in a minute.

8. What movie had the most impact on you? (A movie that just really made you challenge your view on anything)

Well, I’ve already sat here and thought about it for several minutes. Financially, the Dark Knight Rises, because I’ve seen it four times now (and can quote it directly in many places). But to actually answer the question, probably V For Vendetta. V is a bit of a hero of mine, because the point he makes is relevant to our changing times. A democracy is nothing without its people. And don’t worry, I’m not a communist/anarchist.

9. List five words that describe your character.

Goofy, nerdy, smiley, thoughtful, bookish (THIS IS HARD.)

10. What is your greatest fear?

Dying. I’d say water, because that scares the living shit out of me, but dying, definitely. I used to lie awake at night because I’d fret about it and work myself into a tizzy.

11. What do you ultimately want to accomplish in the days to come?

I’m going to finish Purity, edit the bejesus out of it, and publish it as an ebook for all to enjoy! Maybe not in the days to come, but that’s my current goal.

Tagging!

Elisa Nuckle

Bethany

Ashley Jillian

My Other Book Is A Tolstoy

Preston Fuller

I don’t have 11. My apologies. Reusing the same questions, too, because I’m not unique!

A post in several parts

Part 1:

The Beautiful Blogger Award

I have been given my third blogging award, by the most gracious onwindydays. The rules are as follows:

  1. Thank the one who nominated you by linking back
  2. Nominate five blogs
  3. Let your nominees know by leaving a comment on their sites
  4. Copy and paste the award image on your site.

So! Thank you muchly! This is nice. I quite enjoy getting awards. I’m getting accomplishments by vomiting all over the internet.

Also, I don’t really understand this award. Does it mean I have to give it to people I find pretty? That’s rather low, don’t you think? Since I don’t really follow very many blogs, I’ll just give it to those I do and find interesting. That can be beautiful, can it not?

The five blogs I nominate shall be:

  1. Elisa Nuckle
  2. Bethany
  3. Ashley Jillian
  4. My other book is a Tolstoy
  5. Apples and Ink

Part 2:

I saw the Avengers on Friday night. My reaction: HOLY GOD. See this movie. Joss Whedon needs to make every movie ever. It was alternately funny and action-packed, and there isn’t a single dull moment. If you value entertainment at all, you’ll treat yourself to a viewing of this film. It was brilliant. And everyone in it is just so dashing!

Part 3:

Yesterday was the first day of my bartending class. We chatted, we read about a few drinks, we practiced pouring shots of water into highball glasses, and my homework is to learn how to make a black Russian and a caesar. My homework > your homework. I’m excited for this to pan out. It’s only a month long, but it won’t be difficult so long as I pay attention, being that most of it is common sense, and there’s the potential to get a job afterward, when I’m placed for my practicum. Tits for tips, as I always say.

But the thing about me and school is that I get hella bored and end up doodling. Therefore, school does wonders for my artistic career. It’s usually left eyes (don’t ask, I don’t know why), but I started sketching a face, then decided to draw a man rather than woman, did some hair, face, beard, and out of proportion sketchy body with mitten hands. Not good, but it was during the fifteen minute coffee break. Oddly enough, it ended up looking a lot like Alistair from Dragon Age.

I struggle with hands unless I spend several hours on them. Can you tell?

Now I want to replay Dragon Age. Hmm…

Part 4:

Twitter is a most useful tool. Why is this? It lets you stalk communicate with your favourite celebrities, or, in my case, semi-celebrities. When I was still a twitter n00b, I posted a Dragon Age quote by Morrigan’s mother, whose name escapes me at the moment. The Witch of the Wilds… um. Right. It’ll come back at a totally inopportune time. Anyhow, one of the gentlemen who works at Bioware, who was a senior producer of Dragon Age, replied to said tweet with other quotes! Later, I poised a question to my idol, Diana Gabaldon, about the date of her next book release, and she replied! I was stoked. I adore her.

But more recently, and most importantly, I had a dream where I was best friends with Krysta Cameron, vocalist for my favourite band, iwrestledabearonce. We were hanging out eating burgers. I tweeted about it, and she replied!

I melted.

She said I was basically telling the future, because she’s going to open a restaurant and have iwabo burgers. So it’s been foretold by my premonitions, and Krysta Cameron and I will be the best of friends. It’ll be a good day.

Part 5:

Today at work, I arrived to find the power out. Half of downtown had been wiped out, and so my coworker and I sat around in the dark until the power came back on, about an hour or so after we were supposed to start working. But, after several hours of frustrating communication with Shaw and our business’ tech expert, we figured out that the internet connection wasn’t working due to the router being electrocuted by the power outage, so most of the day was spent apologizing to customers, saying that no, we can’t search for books, we have to do sales by hand, and we can only accept cash.

It was trying, to say the least.

It really shows us that we’re too dependent on technology. The internet doesn’t work at the bookstore, and we can literally do nothing. Our entire program is based on the internet. And our backup didn’t start working until a few hours before close.

Just awful. But at least it’s Sunday, so it was a short day and I will be shortly rewarded with my three hours of glorious television.

Part 6: [there was originally only going to be three or four parts. See what I do?]

I’m thinking of holding a monthly or bi-monthly contest. I’ll post something, likely a picture, and whoever guesses it correctly gets a short story of their choice written by me obviously. I’ll use the image currently on the right side of my page as an example. It’s a screenshot from Skyrim, clearly, but the reference itself? Not from Skyrim. It’s already been guessed (though I suppose I could still use it) but for the sake of this example, whoever guesses what the reference is would get a short story.

Sound like something you might be interested in? I’ve been mulling this over, and interaction is fun. Throw suggestions my way if you’ve got some.

Okay, now I’m done.

The Versatile Blogger Award, take two

By some twisted chance of fate, I got the same award twice. I’d like to thank the Academy, Cassidy Cornblatt, and the Nine Divine for blessing me with this award a second time. And my mother, of course, because what kid would I be if I didn’t thank the one who birthed me, and the idle sludge that leaks from my brain so randomly that twice I could be given the honour of getting an award about being a versatile blogger. And Sage, Stride, Briar, Siras, Kymbry, Maia; Aisling, Alistair, Lacramioara, Zdenek, Morwenna, Leto, Sophia… I could go on, but the music is playing.

Since I don’t actually follow many blogs, least of all any that are all so versatile, I’m going to skip the part where I continue the award, because I’m a dick and please don’t send the blogosphere gestapo after me for this, and if you want the award, let me know and I’ll see if you have the reach and flexibility needed for this holy prize.

10 points to whoever gets that joke.

Okay. Seven things I haven’t splurged at some point in the past.

This is hard.

  1. Sage, the main character in Of the Arbour et al, is basically me, plus a penis and facial hair and being blonde and blue-eyed. We share many of the same traits: agnosticism, insomnia, social anxiety, stubbornness, and a false bravado. Is this a valid fact? It is now.
  2. I realized just now that many of my male protagonists are blonde and blue-eyed. I think I’m biased against my own hair/eye colour.
  3. I write fanfiction, mainly for Bethesda games, and I’ve got very good feedback on it. I haven’t in a while, due to being retardedly busy, but there you go.
  4. Getting a reply on a tweet from my idol, Diana Gabaldon, probably was the highlight of my life. How sad is that?
  5. I don’t do drugs. The most intense drug I’ve ever done is Ativan for a previous anxiety disorder – but even then I was irresponsible and took so many I started hallucinating.
  6. In combination with that, I don’t really drink. I’m such a lightweight, two strongish, mixed drinks will have me on my face.
  7. I get monstrous fictional-character crushes, which I’ve learned isn’t that weird, thank the Nine. Dimitri from Anastasia will always be my number one.

These are such terrible facts, haha. I’m so bad at picking out good personal facts. Not like I’m going to give away all my secrets see how mysterious I am?, but these are just… well, they’re about as good as my last time winning this award.

In other news, everyone should read The Fat Years by Chan Koonchung. It was banned in China, because it presents a realistic near-future dystopian nation. Very good. Thoughtful and whatnot.

And the Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by NK Jemisin, which are awesome and you will fall in love with Nahadoth.

Marshman, out.

That’s a healthy piece of real estate

I’m a featured writer!

An incredible artist and aspiring author, Jo, is starting a weekly feature on her blog celebrating authors, both published and unpublished writers. It showcases who the author is, their inspirations and history writing, and much more. It’s open to any and all – so if you want to get out there, and expand your audience, you should definitely talk to Jo and get yourself featured.

I was honoured when she asked me to be her first feature. So here it is, the article in which I am a featured author. Take a gander, see a bit more about why I write what I do and maybe see an updated photo of me, since WordPress is out of date, and next week, see what other authors are getting out in the world of writing 🙂

Thanks, Jo. It was an honour.