Tag - writing

No Other Gods (my first novel)

I’m currently 88,873 words and 216 pages into No Other Gods, my first novel.

The first question when someone hears that, of course, whether in person or in social media, is: what is it about?  That’s been a difficult question for me to answer, mostly because it requires boiling down the work of months and months into a phrase, a sentence, a paragraph.

But it’s a critical question, not least for when I start marketing the book, which should be fairly soon. So here’s what I’ve come up with so far:

No Other Gods

“You shall have no other gods before Me.”
Exodus 20:3

“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”
Arthur C. Clarke

No Other Gods is a Pinocchio story in a cosmic science fiction setting.

A man exists. He is a warrior. He knows little but to fight and to die, at different times and places, to impose the will of the gods. But while he fights, he does not die, and over time, comes to understand and remember that it was not always like this. That he was not always like this. And that those he sees as gods are not divine … they are men like him. And that he has been betrayed, altered, used.

With a warrior woman who also is beginning to awake to herself, this man must learn the truth to save his life, and his soul. And find a way to remind the gods that they are only human, after all.

His name is Geno.

I’ve just finished the twelfth chapter, and I’ve got three more chapters to write, but the progress is definitely downhill now, and the remaining chapters are not the largest ones on the book, either. In other words, it’s getting exciting!

Bow down before my words

I was working on my novel this morning in the ungodly predawn hours when I saw this quote from about 4 millennia ago:

Now, I swear by the sun god Utu on this very day — and my younger brothers shall be witness of it in foreign lands where the sons of Sumer are not known, where people do not have the use of paved roads, where they have no access to the written word — that I, the firstborn son, am a fashioner of words, a composer of songs, a composer of words, and that they will recite my songs as heavenly writings, and that they will bow down before my words……

King Shulgi (c. 2100 BC)

Is that awesome or is that awesome? Kinda I-am-poet-hear-me-roar.

I’m doing a lot of writing lately. Writing at VentureBeat. Writing my novel. Writing for clients like Click4Time, where I’m helping them transform their site into one that converts surfers into customers.

It’s very cool in a way to see a quote from an individual right at the dawn of the written word speaking about the power of language. Specifically, recorded language. Language is powerful. Language changes perceptions and minds. And language enables us to create stories though which we interpret and understand and enrich our world.

But, no, don’t bow down before my words. Just enjoy 🙂

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In case you’re wondering, the story is sort of military science fiction, but it takes place in different historical milieux. One of those is ancient Sumer … hence the research.

The U.U.U.S. blogging and twittering rule

Dear reader (if I may call you that in an avuncular 18th century novelist manner) … This is one of those posts in which I use my blog as both a personal and public record of something I want to remember … using blogging as more of a personal database than a public communique.

Brian Clark at CopyBlogger recently posted The Art of Writing Great Twitter Headlines.

While I’m not sure he uses Twitter the way I do – a tool for communication and community, for seeing what’s buzzing and for connecting to like-minded people – it’s an interesting read. If you, like me, don’t post to Twitter solely for the purpose of catching people’s attention and calling them to action (and even if you don’t use Twitter at all) this is useful advice for writing headlines and content that makes a difference.

It’s the UUUS rule. Is your content/headline/post/tweat:

  1. Useful
  2. Urgent
  3. Unique
  4. Specific

That’s a tall order. Millions of blog posts would never be written if all bloggers followed it. And while many don’t – and shouldn’t, as they write specifically about themselves and their families for the benefit of a small group of relatives and friends – many should. It’s something I’ll consider each and every time as I think about posting to Sparkplug 9.

Of course, every rule is proved by its exception!

(il)Literate crime

Anyone who starts a market research report like this ought to be hanged at dawn, then drawn and quartered:

Following industry studies designed and conducted by Education Market Research (EMR) in 2003 and 2004 [which were sponsored by the Association of Educational Publishers (AEP) in 2003, and by the Association of Educational Publishers (AEP) and the National School Supply and Equipment Association (NSSEA) in 2004], and in 2005 and 2006, EMR fielded its fifth annual study of the size, growth rate, and current trends in the supplemental products market in the Spring of 2007. 

51 words until the subject of the sentence shows up! Let me repeat that. 51 words until the subject of the sentence shows up!Annoying and incompetent.Naturally, it’s a report on the education industry …