E.P. Shirleyjack's Blog

March 17, 2011

The GoodReads profile asks for influences, and I listed mine free-association style. One of the influences I listed was “Stand By Me,” but as I said, I didn’t actually give it much thought. Yesterday, my dad read “President Park Incidents” and he noted that the interactions between the friends were similar to “Stand By Me.” He hasn’t seen my “influences” list, so I tried to think about what particular interactions might have keyed him into that connection, and I thought of the following conversation. I haven’t seen the movie in maybe 10 years, and I’m quoting this from memory, so maybe I shouldn’t be surprised that this crept into my psyche and resulted in a very similar conversation between Tay and Sarah at one point in my novelette.

Chris (played by River Phoenix): You’ll be a great writer someday, Gordie.

Gordie (Played by Wil Wheaton): F#@k writing. I don’t want to be a writer. It’s stupid. It’s a stupid waste of time.

I had also forgotten that Gordie was a writer. Thankfully, none of my characters are writers:)

Of course, my dad had insight that other readers won’t, such as the fact that “Stand By Me” was my favorite movie when I was 9 years old, even though its really not a kids movie. Is it weird to love a childhood-nostalgia movie when you’re still a child? At 12-years old, the characters were older than me.

Digressing… “Stand By Me” is one of those rare movies that are better than the book (“The Body” by Stephen King), in my opinion. “Shawshank Redemption,” from the same book (“Different Seasons” by Stephen King), is probably another example, although my memory is failing me on the specifics of both the book and movie at the moment. I’ve never read “The Green Mile,” (also by Stephen King) but I’d bet a nickel it falls in the same category. Anyone read “The Green Mile”? Agree or disagree?
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March 15, 2011

Both the World Science Fiction Society and the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America define a novelette as a work of fiction between 7500 and 17500 words long. A novella is longer, a novel is longer still, and a short story is shorter.

With dead-tree books, potential customers get an instant impression of the length of a book by its volume. For eBooks, some sellers such as Smashwords list a word count with every book, but others, such as Amazon, do not. (Amazon gives a file size, e.g. 91 KB, which doesn't tell you anything about length because the bulk of file size may be images or formatting. One high-resolution cover image, for example, can be as large as the plain text of a hundred pages.)

I feel it's important to give potential customers an idea of the volume of the work they are buying, so I call "President Park Incidents" a novelette, and put it on the cover.
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Published on March 15, 2011 08:16 • 240 views • Tags: file-size, novel, novelette, novella, president-park-incidents, resolution, short-story, volume, world-science-fiction-society

March 10, 2011

Here is a synopsis/teaser for "The Association 2: Hunting Grounds." The book is a work-in-progress, so this synposis is subject to change!

The Association 2: Hunting Grounds

Life was complicated enough, between Barth's lectures on Magical Grand Unification Theory, new romance, and the growth of the Association. Then Sarah disappeared. Of course I went looking for her, despite our differences of late. Accompanied by a plump technomage in a Fred Astaire suit, a Richlander ex-boyfriend, and a 12-year-old girl, we packed our bags and delved into the wilderness, expecting to find our friend embroiled in adolescent rebellion. Instead we found the Hunting Grounds.

Story Tags: Hunting Grounds, Wilderness Adventure, Magical Forensics, Magical Grand Unification Theory, MGUT, More Grander Unification Theory, MoreGUT
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March 9, 2011

My eBook "The Association 1: President Park Incidents" is available free this week (through March 12) at Smashwords:

Use the code RE100 at checkout.

Take advantage! Enjoy!


P.S. I haven't been able to preview my eBook in all of the various formats that they offer, so I'm a little nervous about this. Please let me know if you find the format quality to be bad.
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Published on March 09, 2011 14:03 • 126 views • Tags: free-book, free-ebook, promotion, smashwords

March 8, 2011

In fiction and in life, our friendships can be overshadowed by our preoccupations with seeking romance or career success or family harmony, but the fondest adventures are remembered for forging or strengthening friendships. Tales of these exploits are rehashed and embellished over the years, sitting on the back porch drinking beer or iced tea. These are our history, our memories.

Remember that one time? You were such a fool. You almost got us killed. It was awesome.

This was my inspiration for the Association; three young women, their friendship, their imperfections, growing together, growing apart, all the trouble they get eachother into, and all the trouble they get eachother out of... especially in the face of magic, a great unknown.
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Published on March 08, 2011 14:09 • 105 views • Tags: girlfriends, inspiration, the-association
"Hello, world."
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Published on March 08, 2011 14:07 • 91 views • Tags: hello, world