Last week I started a masters degree in teaching. It's a one-year accelerated program meant for people who already have a degree in something other than education and want to get a teaching certificate as quickly as possible. I have enjoyed my experiences teaching in the past, and I feel a weird sort of responsibility …

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Fiction as Disruptor of Worldview

A couple of weeks ago my wife Hannah and I attended an "art salon" organized by a good friend from college and hosted by a local writing professor. Inspired by the Cubist salons of the early 20th century, the idea behind this gathering was for writers and artists to gather to discuss their aesthetics, and artistic …

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How Complete Must a Setting Be?

Earlier today I was reading through a reddit thread in which comparisons were being drawn between the Mystery/Thriller genres and the Fantasy/Science Fiction genres. The discussion mostly revolved around an unusual paradox, this being that while the apparent readership and sales figures of the Mystery/Thriller genres are much higher, Fantasy and Science Fiction titles show …

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On Submission, Self-Esteem, and Persistence

Recently I was talking with some friends, also writers, about the submission process. Specifically we were discussing the impact of rejection letters on our psychology and productivity. Rejection is something that writers, especially young writers desperate to get their foot in the door of the publishing industry, often talk about sardonically. We joke about piles …

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Blog Update! + Writers of the Future!!!

Hello there! A couple of years ago I decided to stop blogging in order to focus on improving my fiction, and, well, I just won Writers of the Future, so that seems to have worked. Given that, I figure its time to dust off the old blog and start posting weekly (or biweekly...or monthly...we'll see...) …

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Book Review: The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro

The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro My rating: 4 of 5 stars In The Buried Giant, Kazuo Ishiguro tackles the ethics of memory. The central question of the novel concerns whether it is better to forget old hurts or to remember them. Is a shallow, immediate life lacking the depths of a recollected past--and with …

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Why I switched from League of Legends to Heroes of the Storm

Recently my wife and I returned to the United States from Taiwan, which for me in part meant reconnecting with my gaming friends from high school and college. Back in the day we spent endless hours playing MOBAs (Multiplayer Online Battle Arenas), beginning with the original DotA, then Heroes of Newerth, then League of Legends …

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Worldbuilding: Designing a Creature

Leading off from my last post about worldbuilding the little details, I thought I'd write briefly about creating creatures, which is one of my favorite aspects of worldbuilding for fantasy settings. In this post I will briefly discuss how I go about creating fantasy creatures, using this charming little guy as an example: That is …

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Worldbuilding: The Little Details

Recently, while giving me feedback on a story, LL Phelps of the Taipei Writer's Group asked me about worldbuilding, and specifically how I go about filling my fantasy worlds with details. I like to think that I'm pretty good at "little details" worldbuilding, and I've spent a lot of time practicing working it into my speculative …

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Knight Falls

Excellent post from my writing group mate Patrick Woods over on the Taipei Writer’s Group blog.

Taipei Writers Group

391885631_1ad5886be4_bWhen I was around 14 years old, part of my English class involved quiet reading. We all had a book from the school library, and read it for maybe 10 or 15 minutes. The book I was reading made me laugh so hard I couldn’t contain it. The mirth just forced its way out as stifled giggles, snorts, and teary silent shaking. The people near by kept looking at me like I was having some kind of fit.

That book was Witches Abroad, by Terry (later, and most deservedly, Sir Terry) Pratchett, who died this week aged 66.

It wasn’t the first Discworld book I’d read. I was introduced to Discworld via Audiobooks, which back then were books on cassette. Tony Robinson read abridged versions that were about 3 hours long. I laughed my way through these, then later bought the books and realised there was so much more –…

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