Monthly Archives: July 2010

A Killer Title

One difficult challenge to writing a book is coming up with an attention-grabbing title. Sometimes more difficult than writing the story itself. At least for me it is.

A few weeks ago I went to the library to check out the new releases. One book popped out at me immediately:

“John Dies at the End” by David Wong

How often do you see a title that gives away the ending? Of course I had to pick it up and read the inner sleeve:

STOP. You should not have touched this flyer with your bare hands. NO, don’t put it down. It’s too late. They’re watching you. My name is David Wong. My best friend is John. Those names are fake. You might want to change yours. You may not want to know about the things you’ll read on these pages, about the sauce, about Korrok, about the invasion, and the future. But it’s too late. You touched the book. You’re in the game. You’re under the eye. The only defense is knowledge. You need to read this book, to the end. Even the part with the bratwurst. Why? You just have to trust me.

The important thing is this: The drug is called Soy Sauce and it gives users a window into another dimension. John and I never had the chance to say no. You still do. I’m sorry to have involved you in this, I really am. But as you read about these terrible events and the very dark epoch the world is about to enter as a result, it is crucial you keep one thing in mind: None of this was my fault.

Intrigued? I was.

Call it a combination horror/comedy. Two things you don’t often see combined.

Basically it’s about two friends, John and David. They’re nothing special, one can’t hold a job more than a few months, and the other works at a video store. It all started by being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Yet they took up the challenge of saving the world from an evil “god” named Korrok and its minions. David’s reason is based on the desire not to see his world fall to darkness (a noble goal), but John’s is simply because killing wig-wearing monsters is quite the adrenaline rush.

The writing overall is one of the best I’ve seen in a while. It’s fun, and honest. Be aware, if you don’t like excessive profanity, you may want to avoid it. I, however, found it true to the characters, and some of the swearing went so over the top I couldn’t help but laugh.

It’s also creepy and gruesome, but not gratuitous. David wrote some of the more gruesome parts so matter-of-factly that I took a double-take: “Did the lady’s arms really tear off and crawl across the room?”

So if you’re a fan of horror with some comedy thrown in, you’ll enjoy this book.

Does John die at the end? I’m not telling.

Making Hard Decisions . . .

often means giving up something.

I’ve been stressed of late mostly because I have so much to do and not much time to do it. Therefore I needed to go through my never-ending to-do list and eliminate the ones that I could afford to give up.

I started with a group I created on writing.com. It’s been fairly quiet except for people signing up — about one a week. It shows there’s still interest in it, which thrills me. Unfortunately I don’t spend enough time here to give it the attention it needs.

I’m not shutting it down, though. That wouldn’t be right. I’m hoping someone will offer to take over the group for me. If no one steps up in about two weeks, then I’ll be forced to remove the group and all the items.

Another stress I’ve given up — food.

Well, not entirely. That would be silly. I’ve gone on diet, or more accurately, changed my food-intake habits. I’m hoping to make good enough nutritional decisions so what I eat and don’t eat becomes a habit I can enjoy and not simply live with or worse, endure. It’s a simple diet, really. I’m cutting out “empty” carbohydrates mostly found in breads, pastas and of course, all sweets. Consider it the Atkins Diet that doesn’t go as far as Atkins. That’s not to say I won’t indulge in the occasional ice cream sandwich. That would also be silly.

A few weeks ago I purchased (and drained a good portion of my savings account) a plane ticket for the ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) Conference in Indianapolis. My goal for that is to lose 15 lbs by September 17. That’s 5 lbs a month, just over 1 lb a week. Easily doable. If I lose more, all the better. Admittedly it’s a decision based entirely on vanity. I want to look in the mirror again and be able to say honestly, “not bad.” To say, “I’m gorgeous!” is going a little too far *Wink*.

And one more stresser, or time waster in this case, I’m still trying to convince myself to give up. Television and movies (I love Netflix!). Talk about a waste of time! How easy is it to waste an hour or two over something that accomplishes nothing except increase my desire to be lazy?

My main goal with giving all this up (and therefore not stress about it anymore) is to allow me more time to pursue my old, dear passion of writing. I miss it (finally). I hope to create another habit of writing every day, whether it be something interesting going on in my life, a short story, a script or a novel. As long as I’m writing.

After all, writing is a practice just like playing an instrument or dancing. The longer I spend away from practice the rustier I’ll get. Plus it’s a good excuse to be at least physically lazy.