Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Book Review: Revenge of the Sea


Revenge of the Sea by Jesse Giles ChristiansenBesides being a very amiable person, Jesse Giles Christiansen has a way with words. His writing style reminds me of something classic like Ernest Hemingway with some modern steamy elements like Anne Rice. His main character, Ethan, deals with a dark past that haunts him, a ruined marriage that he is obsessed with and to a group of scandalous relationships forced together to save the planet from a catastrophic virus. He doesn’t have any skills to combat the virus and so acts like an outside observer, with the exception of specific knowledge he gained in previous encounters with the dangerous ocean in Pelican Bay. His voice sounds so personal I almost believe this is an autobiography.I’ll admit I find his sexual objectification of women a bit too much for me but that seems to be a typical element of the noir/ adventure genre. The characters are a bit exaggerated but well defined; the setting is clear and the premise intriguing. Previous Pelican Bay adventures are attached but not dependent to Revenge of the Sea.  View all my reviews here.



Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Wrestling With Gods



I have two main passions in my life.  First is my faith and second is my creativity.  When I learned from my publisher’s wife that the Tesseracts 18 theme was faith in sci fi and fantasy I lit up with enthusiasm. I could write a story with both of my passions melded together.  Technically I dreamt the whole thing that very night.  It only took three days to finish it.  I truly felt inspired to write. 
If I break down the need for religion into simple terms it is to explain life’s mysteries and the powers that are beyond the grasp of our mortal minds and bodies.  Us  human beings living on earth want to know we are not left here helpless; that someone or something has control over these powers; time, energy, thought, matter, light, life and death. Is there a God who blesses or curses according to these seven creative powers?  What would happen if mankind were allowed to manipulate them?  Would it spell disaster?
Mankind is known for being foolish and selfish. The more authority we gain the more we abuse that authority.   Must we be protected from ourselves as if we were little children?  Is there no one on earth mature enough or responsible enough to be in total control?  Do we need an omniscient God to direct our paths?
These were the questions I wanted answered in my story, The Seven Creations.  Using the fantasy avenue it becomes easy to invent or create a religion to fulfill my character’s purposes.  The entire idea of genre fiction is to present a make believe world to the reader and allow them to compare it to their reality.  Many times it is easier to convey lessons, symbols, morals or solutions to the human dilemma in a fantasy or sci fi setting.  It’s not as personal, allowing the reader to have an objective view point unattached to real world traditions or stereotypes embedded deep inside their lifestyles.  As a writer, I can open your eyes to a faith that brings hope and comfort or a doubt that brings ignorance and fear.  I can show you a path of trust or a pit of hatred.  I can tell you a story about wrestling with Gods.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Update

Wow I have been off in lala land for too long.  There are some great things headed your way.

1. I am teaching art journaling, poetry, and multi media art classes and I could use some more students.

2. Edge SFFP is having a promo for Tesseracts and I will be at Word on the Street Sept 20th at the Lethbridge Public Lib signing copies.  Come out and support local authors.

3. Arts Days is coming up and I will be demonstrating 3 dimensional art at the Galt Museum on Friday Sept 25th.

4. Here's a paper tardis

Monday, May 11, 2015

Inkitt Contest


Image result for fantasy magic world image"Epic Worlds: A New Adventure." Take us on an epic journey with your best fantasy stories. Submit ancient tales about dragons and griffins, or tell us your vision of the future through a science fantasy story. We want you to unleash your imagination and show us what you've got and write a truly unforgettable fantasty adventure.

Submit your best original fantasy fiction stories of up to 15,000 words. And, as always, there is no entry fee. The top 10% based on reader votes get the chance to be picked by the Inkitt staff for 1st, 2nd and 3rd prize.

Image result for fantasy magic world image1st Place

5 printed-and-bound copies of story with cover created by Inkitt’s designer; $100 Cash

2nd Place

$50 Cash

3rd Place

$30 Cash

Deadline

11:59pm PST on June 3rd

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Tesseracts Book Launch

I am excited for May 6th when I will be hosting a book launch party for Tesseracts 18: Wrestling With Gods at 7pm at the Lethbridge Public Library Crossings Branch. Join me and Megan Fennel as we read bits of our stories.  There will be treats, coffee, a cozy fire and lots of books. 

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Library Card or University Degree?

I've always been mad about tuition prices and degree dumping.  I honour the public school system to a point until it becomes unfair.
In an article by webucator founder Nat Dunn says:
Studies often compare what college graduates make compared to high school graduates. For example, this Pew Research Center article  points out that college graduates ages 25 to 32 who are working full time earn about $17,500 more per year than high school graduates of the same age. What these studies do not tell us is how well those college graduates would have done if they had decided not to go to college. In other words, is it the college education/degree that leads to higher paying jobs or is it that people who choose to go to college have more going for them, whether it be intelligence or drive or connections, already? And it is whatever that more is that leads to better paying jobs whether or not they go to college.
What if, for example, instead of going to college some high school graduates spent four years studying at the public library? Could they do as well as if at four-years of college?
Interesting question.  How many amazing on-line courses are out there? Webucator has just offered all of its courses for free to the public library system. World Science University  and Great Courses are other favorites of mine.  I've used them when homeschooling my kids and advancing my own education. I think people should always be learning, but I don't think I can soundly make a career from a seat at my local library.  I don't think employers take on-line education seriously. Sure, they should use it to motivate, and improve their staff, but when hiring they want to see your piece of paper proving how smart you are. It's a shame because I also can't afford tuition costs. 
On the other side, I am a writer.  Do I need an English Degree? No. I took all my courses on line or at conventions.  The writers I know with degrees might get paid better, but many times they are a pen for hire and don't get to chose what topic they write about.  That is not the career for me.
So sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't.  It's up to you what you do with your brain. It can be used for more that just your job.
Most important I want to stress the importance of the library.  This is a place full of energy and discovery.  A place to set free your imagination and creative spirit.A place to find an answer to anything.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Inkitt’s “Darkest Place” Horror Contest

www.inkitt.com/darkestplace
Inkitt’s “Darkest Place” Horror Contest, starting 2nd Feb 2015
Friends, come to Inkitt and vote for my story "The Hidden Twin". 
 With the most votes I can win stuff.  Want to submit?  here's the info:
What is Inkitt?
Inkitt is a free platform for writers to cultivate ideas and watch their stories grow. On our site, users collaborate with fellow writers and readers to give each other feedback and improve their work. Our vision is to help writers get the exposure they deserve and the publishing deals they covet without having to jump through the fiery hoops of traditional publishing, or wade in the shark-infested waters of self-publishing.
What is the theme of the horror contest?
"You are in the darkest place in the world." (This theme can be interpreted literally or figuratively.) We want writers who will submit their blood-curdlers, spine-tinglers, skin-crawlers, and hair-raisers; writers who will make it their duty to scare and shock their readers; writers who can really take us to the darkest place in the world.
What are the guidelines?
It’s all about fiction: flashes and shorts up to 10,000 words, written from any point of view.
Entries must be posted on the Inkitt contest page to be considered eligible.
The contest opens on February 2nd and closes on February 28th. The contest is completely free to enter, and authors will retain all rights to any and all work submitted in the contest.
What are the prizes?
All entrants will have the chance to show their work to a growing community of authors and readers hungry for high-quality fiction and win the following prizes:
1st Prize $25 Amazon gift card, Inkitt custom mug, Inkitt custom notebook, custom cover design for the Inkitt story of their choice (created by Inkitt’s designer).
2nd Prize $20 Amazon gift card, Inkitt custom mug, Inkitt custom notebook.
3rd Prize Inkitt custom mug, Inkitt custom notebook.
Contest URL Twitter Handle Hashtag
www.inkitt.com/darkestplace @Inkitt #DarkestPlace

Monday, February 2, 2015

Today is the Day

https://www.facebook.com/events/780336855395399/
https://www.facebook.com/events/780336855395399/
Come to our event page and you can get this amazing anthology! I will be there answering questions and inviting Lethbridgites to the May 6th book launch.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Skin of My Teeth Blog Tour

SOMTbanner1a
My good friend and author Judith Graves has released the third book in a whirl wind trilogy of paranormal activity Skinned:
My favorite part is the two guys vying for Eryn’s heart.  They are going to have to up their game. Enter hot, wolven guy stage left. Is he the one Alec’s blood magic foretold? He is, if Eryn’s knocking pulse has anything to say about it. The tale-tell sound is driving Wade mad. But it’s Eryn’s move, and everyone is holding their breath.
Of course the demonic role playing game that's killing kids has an obvious impact on Eryn's life and school.
I was lucky to catch a glimpse of the third book and this is what I think:


Knowing that Death is never child’s play, Eryn embarks on a mission to solve the so-called suicide of an avid gamer and classmate.  What she finds in an unsanctioned pack of cards could cost the lives of every citizen in Redgrave not to mention losing her own soul. 

Judith delivers again with a solid style, snappy comebacks and mysterious intrigue. Eryn is an instantly loveable character and a fresh, new hero of our generation.  The interactive elements will suck you in, riding along with a clan of paranorms as they confront wolven, witches, demons and reapers. This is movie making material folks.

AND: There is an interactive element.  You can win extra scenes from the book in other character's point of view when you play along with the deadly game.  Check out Judith's blog for details.

When you stop by, you'll notice I've got a little Author Feature on her page too.  That's because we love each other.
And if you can't get enough of me, come join my art journaling class.  Here's a promo video.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Art Journaling Classes


I am instructing a six week course at the Heart of Cardston beginning Thursday, Jan 22. There are two age groups. pre-teen and teen to adult  2015_Course_Slideshow-2.jpgI am really excited about these courses! I love inventing texture with recycled plastic, cardboard, tinfoil and handmade stencils.  I will guide you to your own unique and creative outlet. You can register on line or in person.