Voice. That word keeps coming up when you start submitting to agents or publications. They're looking for a great voice, a voice that keeps them reading, a unique voice that tells a story the way only it can. I remember throwing up my hands in frustration whenever I saw that word. "Well what is voice? And how the hell am I supposed to get it?" There are no "voice courses" because voice isn't something that can be taught.

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Why __________ is Really a Thor Moment

I’m supposed to be writing something else right now, but fuck it. Here’s an army of Spoiler Warnings to keep your poor virgin eyes safe if you haven’t seen Avengers: Endgame yet.


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The Deep Space Experience of Querying

Imagine yourself in the year 2050. You’ve worked hard to scrounge up enough credits to buy yourself a small freighter. It’s an older model, it leaks coolant when you push it too hard, and the thrusters whine when you start them, but it’s yours. It’s your home, your office, your lifeblood. You run jobs that more self-respecting pilots won’t even touch, and you scrape together some kind of living.

Until, one day, you get the job of a lifetime. Giddy with the prospect of a big payout, you gloss over some of the details.

Like how much fuel you’ll need.

Now, you’re floating around in deep space with just enough power to keep the ship’s life support going. You’ve sent out a distress call. You’re waiting for rescue, hoping someone picks up your beacon and decides to help before the oxygen runs out and the eyeballs are sucked out of your head.

This is what querying feels like.

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Writer's Block As A Series of Haikus

I haven’t gotten any good writing done this week. I’ve got a novel in its first draft that’s a complete and utter mess, and I’m not sure if I can wrangle it into something decent or if I should just give up on it and move on. I’ve got half a dozen short stories I should edit, but they’re old and grey and don’t feel relevant anymore. So instead of just freaking out all morning, I wrote a series of crappy haikus to let off some steam. If I ever catch myself thinking “oh man, this writing thing is so easy,” I’m going to read these again so Present Me (which will be Past Me) can punch Future Me (which will technically be Present Me) in the face with words.

All my stories suck.
Is that my main character?
What’s the fucking point?

Cat get off my desk.
You’re blocking the computer
Stop being so cute.

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The Stardust

Sometimes, writing is fucking magical.

It would have to be, for any of us to go through it.

I think that all of us who endeavor to put words together into something worth reading have, at some point, come across a piece of writing that stuck with us. It was probably a novel that found itself into our young hands, the words burned across our minds for weeks to come. For me, it happened when I was rather young. I remember little about it, save that I was sleeping at my grandmother’s house for some reason. My father, who wasn’t around much at the time, was telling me a story about King Arthur and his knights. That’s the way I remember it, anyway, and that’s the way it matters. He wasn’t reading the story, mind you, but reciting it from memory. If that’s not a shining example of the power the written word exerts over our feeble mortal minds, I don’t know what is.

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The "Whiskey" in "Whiskey and Stardust"

I don’t remember exactly why I named this blog the way that I did.

Except that I was trying to go for something evocative. The tag line, “The Hard Stuff and a Bit of Magic” came after. I came up with it on the spot while I was getting the logo designed, a simple job I paid for on Fiverr. There was a field asking for a tag line, and I realized I didn’t have one (and that I needed one). Whiskey is hard liquor, and Stardust is kind of magical. That was really the extent of my thought process.

But over these past months, I’ve thought about what that tag line means. There’s a certain dichotomy between “the hard stuff” and “the magic,” a dichotomy inherent to the art of writing. And although I’ve only taken this writing thing seriously for a few years, I’m shock full of opinions (I know, surprising). I don’t claim to hold any position of authority, beyond the fact that paying for a website means I’m at the very least entitled to shouting my opinions into the void that is the internet. Tonight, that shouting will be centered around the “Hard stuff” part of that tag line.

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Read What I Wrote

I just finished my first read-through of my second novel, and I need to get my thoughts down. I think I’d also just like to show that this process, this whole journey-thing I’m on is anything but a straight line.

Reading this novel was a roller-coaster. It was the first novel I wrote with zero planning beforehand, since even Saviours of Falharest had been floating around my brain for a couple months before I started it. It shows. Those 176 pages are full of half-baked ideas and characters that act strangely (also some characters that should just straight up not exist). It took a lot out of me to write this way, and reading it over, I’m not sure if it was worth it. There were so many moments during this read-through when I thought “maybe I can’t do this writing thing after all.”

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Happy Fucking New Year

My 2019 resolution is to stop whining about how hard it is to be a writer. And to get published.

I want to start the year off with shit that I’ve learned over the last year. This is not necessarily meant as advice; I don’t have any idea what I’m talking about. It might help you if you’re in my position and you feel alone. If nothing else, I think it’ll be hilarious to look back on this when I am published and things are finally going smoothly.

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