Friday, June 27, 2014
Thursday, June 26, 2014
The announcement of Cadmus’ elimination booms over the intercom. Well, at least I don’t have to worry about a vengeful brother.
The dust and debris settle from the crumbled wall. Find Kesi. Kem trots towards the end of the path. Before he gets there, he sees a shadow along the wall.
Dio turns the corner and spots him. She’s already throwing blue spheres before he knows what happened.
Kem hits the floor hard, dodging the first two. Dio hurls more at him.
His heart beats like a jackhammer in his chest. He is covered in dirt and sand. Kem swerves left, then right, ducking from a shot aimed at his head. He looks back at Dio, who walks with determination, shooting at him. Will she not let up a little? Got to slow her down.
Saturday, June 21, 2014
The last week was a blur. Every waking hour he pounded the streets in search of his father’s killer.
Eric knew every detail of the shooters face, but not the kid’s name. He’d heard from one of his informant’s, the kid was a young tough-guy looking to be made—a “cugine” ready to make his mark into New York’s most influential crime network, the Valdina family. As part of his induction into the mob family, the asshole had already killed a low-life rival family member and Eric and his father were working the homicide case when they got a tip.
That steamy June evening had started like any typical bust. Within minutes after Eric and his father arrived at the warehouse, dozens of DEA agents secured the perimeter. Eric entered the warehouse first, his father followed. Amid the stench of mildew and dust, the first pop of an automatic echoed within the barren walls.
They were ambushed.
His father, a veteran with twenty-three years on the force never saw the shots coming. Eric threw his body against his father in hopes of shielding him. It was too late. Instead Eric witnessed his father’s face, the sickening whitish blue tint that came with death...
While Pete checked in with the precinct, Eric shifted in the chair. His left knee still burned where the bullet had grazed his leg. He rubbed the scar, a permanent reminder of a drug bust gone bad. Very bad.
“Hey, Brennan.” Pete threw a twenty-dollar bill on the table and downed the last swallow of his beer.
“Come on. I think we got a lead.”
Outside on West 35th Street, a full moon peeked through the clouds. Jagged streaks of lightning ignited the sky as rain sprinkled against Eric’s leather jacket. He lit a cigarette and leaned against his white pick-up truck parked in front of Chunkers.
Pete smirked. “Man, I thought you quit.”
Friday, June 20, 2014
The unknown figure’s back was to them as he connected the wires to the detonator. Will shoved Tom. Only minutes remained.
They located the last connection point where the blasting caps were wired to two sticks of dynamite. The wires to the plunger snaked up the hill. The connecting strands were twisted, tightly, as with pliers. Tom snatched a rock, but Will grabbed his hand and pointed up the hill. Tom understood. The man would hear the pounding. They each took a twisted connection and tried to pry it apart with their fingers. They would need to break only one.
The wires resisted. Tom gritted his teeth, then remembered his pocket knife. He pulled it out, flipped the blade open, and wedged the tip between two strands. He twisted and the blade snapped. The sound startled the man. He whirled around and stared directly at the boys. Tom forced the broken blade into the gap in the wires. Will put his finger on top of one and pulled as Tom twisted. Blood ran down Will’s hand as the metal bit into his finger. They strained, and watched the man. His eyes darted in all directions. Then he made his decision. He pulled the plunger up, hesitated a moment, and slammed it down.
Saturday, June 14, 2014
Friday, June 13, 2014
Without reading there would be little reason to write. A writer must firstly be a reader or he or she will never know the craft. I have actually encountered a few would-be writers who do not want to read, with some finding it unnecessary and others afraid it will influence their work. The truth is that everything will influence an author’s work, directly or indirectly, and we should actively immerse ourselves in the written word. We know what “read often” means, but what about “read widely?” Broaden your reading to more than just your favourite genre. Read the classics. Read non-fiction. Read books with great characters and books with great plots. Read masters of language, including poets. Read articles, news, and comics, because everything can enhance your understanding of language and how to use it effectively. All styles and genres have something to teach us.
Raymond Chandler, author of The Big Sleep, is hailed as the origin of the advice that authors must write one million words of rubbish before they can write anything good. While the exact number is obviously just an estimate, a rule of thumb, the key to this is: practice. A writer must gain experience writing in order become good at it, in much the same way the experts of any other field had to undergo years of practice to get to their current level.
Sometimes it does not matter how much you read or write—you have to learn the rules of the language. Knowing how to use certain elements of grammar or the correct spelling of a word is essential to telling a good story. Most of these rules are in place in order to enhance our ability to communicate. While some authors might think of themselves as the next James Joyce, recreating Finnegan’s Wake is not the most ideal way to write a book. As the saying goes, we must learn the rules before we can break them. Our duty is to communicate a story, which means that sometimes we can bend the rules in order to do so, but it should be a conscious effort, not merely an error due to poor understanding of the language. Attention to detail in this regard can also increase our chances of getting published and ensure we do not aggravate attentive readers.
Finishing the book the first time over is not the end of the process. Chances are it needs revision, potentially a lot of it. At the very least it will need to be edited and proofed. Sometimes we miss our own errors, so it should also be checked by the eyes of another.
The single factor that defines success in any aspect of life is perseverance. If you do not keep turning the pages, you will never read a book. If you do not keep writing, you will never amass a million words, nor develop your style. If you do not keep studying the language, you will never know how to use it to communicate a good story. If you do not keep perfecting your work, you will never deliver the quality the reader deserves.