Sunday, January 14, 2018

life is full of plot holes

I like some movies that maybe weren't popular in their genres and probably scored low or moderate on Rotten Tomatoes. I think about reviewers saying how bad the plot holes are, plot holes that I tend to overlook that really aren't too obvious, or a deus ex machina.

Some movies and books make me hate them for the plot holes, but then there are usually so many problems with the characters and plots in general that I can't overlook them because nothing works.

And then I realized something--some things that seem like plot holes really are not. In fact, they are more true to life than a perfectly explained and wrapped up logical plot. Let me explain...

Something looks like a plot hole because it isn't explained or not foreshadowed or contradicts what has been established. Entertainment is about drama and luring us in with emotions, allowing us to see and feel something other than our own daily routine. But entertainment comes from certain perspectives. Books allow us into characters minds but is still a limited perspective. It is based on a character's interpretations of events and other characters, or even the writer's/director's perspective (what the writer or director wants the reader to think). They are limited, just like our real-life experiences are limited.

Not all plot holes are plot holes but are, rather, simply misdirection, lack of information, or wrong interpretation. Unless we're omniscient or telepathic, we can't know everything--thoughts, purposes, emotions, plots, etc.--all of the time. That's what a story is about. It's the not knowing that keeps us reading/watching with these stories, continuing to find out what happens and where it all leads (climax and denouement).

And a clever writer/director can play with that.

In real life, we can't anticipate everything. There are certain predictable factors, but not always and not everything. Sometimes, something isn't what it appears to be or something happens that we didn't know could happen. For that factor, life is full of plot holes. It doesn't make sense, but when something happens to us without any explanation, we can't deny it, because we lived through it.

Ever experience something that fits the phrase "too crazy to be real" or something like it? Sometimes that's how life works--unexplained phenomena that totally don't make sense given our unique experiences or anything established previously.

Well, I say life is full of plot holes and surprises, and I think that's why so many of us can overlook the minor issues in fictional stories. And there really is a "God in the Machine" (Deus Ex Machina).

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Sugar, Heart Disease, and Life Changes

I want to share this because of my own health struggles and what I've done to improve my health. I wish I had known this twenty, even thirty years sooner, but it's taken this long for the internet to develop into a tool of instant access and information and as a place for truth to proliferate.

As such, I've learned that sugar is the root cause of many health issues, not un/saturated fats or cholesterol, which the sugar industry prefers to blame.

I invite you to read this recent article on NPR that sums up the lies that the sugar industry, reminiscent of the tobacco industry, want the public to believe:

You can find more about sugar's negative effects on the body here, courtesy of Harvard University:

“Regardless of their Healthy Eating Index scores, people who ate more sugar still had higher cardiovascular mortality,” says Dr. Teresa Fung, adjunct professor of nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health.

And on that note, I bring to you this funny but serious video from Elizabeth Banks about heart disease in women:

The moral is to cut out refined sugars and focus on eating healthy whole foods.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Another new cover

I have an artistic side that isn't always satisfied by writing. I like dabbling in making book covers. Just as I made the simple new cover for A Turn of Curses, I've now made a new cover for Illusions of Truth. It is already uploaded and will begin appearing in ebook stores in the next couple of days. It will take time, however, to disseminate to all of them.

My goal was to create more of a romantic fantasy image than just romance.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Enlightenment Cover Art

So, a weird thing is happening in having both covers of Awakening available as two different ebooks. On Amazon, where I have it set to the minimum price of 99c, the new cover is selling but the old isn't. Everywhere else it's free, and, except for BN, the old cover is doing much better.

In light of that, I'd like an opinion on which cover for Enlightenment is better. Imho, both are good. This is an epic fantasy set in a modern world.

ps--the old design is the one that will be used for the paperback version. I don't have print rights for the new design.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Upcoming Books

I've been working on writing Eternal, the third and final book of the Luriel Cycle trilogy. Some may remember that it was originally intended to be four books, but after some time (two years) to consider it while figuring out my health issues, I realized that three books would be sufficient. I'm glad that I did that.

While the first draft of Enlightenment is done, it still needs a lot of work. I will not release it until I am done with a first draft of Eternal. One of the things I've found with planned series--long story arcs--like this trilogy is that I tend to want to alter things at some point. If I publish the previous book too soon, I can't make those changes, because some things get set in stone that way. I need a little more flexibility. I'm rediscovering that while writing Eternal, just as I did while writing Enlightenment.

The good news is that, while there's a big time gap publishing-wise between Awakening and Enlightenment, there will not be a big gap like that between the releases of Enlightenment and Eternal. By the time I have Enlightenment available, I'll be in the process of editing Eternal. By then, I should also have a release date for Eternal.

Watch for Enlightenment in late spring 2018 and Eternal in late summer 2018. What comes after that is a question I can't answer at this time.

PS--because of permissions for image use, the paperback versions have different covers than the ebooks.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Fantasy book sale - 99c novels!

Now going on. Click the image or enter the following link in your browser to check out some great fantasy and magic books on sale from Dec. 1-3...

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Horsin' Around

It's been a warm winter so far here. Although I would prefer snow, I'll take advantage of what God gives us.

In this case, I've had more opportunities to play with my horse, including riding. I wish I had a picture of it, but maybe another time, I'll get that. We cantered today without Buddy getting upset like he did on our previous attempts. (Long story short--he was cowboy broke when I bought him two years ago, which meant pushed fast and not allowed to learn at his pace. I've been retraining him to be relaxed and willing rather than scared into doing what I want.)

Today, I also had a coach at the fence who got me back into canter. I can't thank her enough. It's been four years since I rode a canter and I was apprehensive, especially since I still consider Buddy in the learning stage and not yet seasoned. The coaching was needed to push me out of my comfort zone, and I knew if something did happen that someone would be there.

Buddy will be five next year, and my goal is to have him comfortable enough under saddle to introduce the big spooky bovines. In other words, I want to start working him on cows. He has the conformation and the moves to make the cows move. The dressage training is just the start of turning him into an everything horse like I had growing up, but even better than them.

After our session giving both of us new confidence, Buddy decided my hood from the vest under my jacket was a fun chew toy.

Buddy and his friend, Ian
(pasturemate, owned by the person who coached us today) 

My Buddy
November 2017