Book Thoughts: The Dark Half

Since I previously blogged about having recently finished re-reading The Dark Half by Stephen King, I figured I would share a little about my journey.
A brief summary of the story: Thad has been writing under a pseudonym, George Stark, for a number of years. He’s tired of it and when a journalist threatens to expose Thad’s pen name, it is the perfect solution to end Stark. The alter ego takes on a life of his own after Thad ‘kills and buries’ Stark. Stark begins killing off people and Thad is seen as a suspect for all the crimes. (Click image for direct book synopsis from his website.

Many people complain of King being ‘wordy’ with his tales, and sure, I could agree. However, I felt this book was much more tight. King kept the action moving pretty decently and for the most part, not a lot of going on and on with backstories or descriptions. King also didn’t spend an overwhelming amount of time having the reader to really get to know the characters as he frequently does. In fact, I felt there were parts where I wouldn’t have minded being given more. (I’m just greedy and needy with supporting characters.) If I had any main critiques about anything, Thad’s wife was my least favorite character, especially at the end. I can’t say exactly what it was about her that I didn’t like. Maybe it was how she lacked trust in Thad to be able to come through for the family. King did write enough of her throughout the book that led me to believe that had faith in her husband so the climax and ending…it was lacking for me in regards to her.
I was absolutely thinking the entire way through the book, “how the hell is Thad going to take care of things?” All the way through, I was constantly thinking about how it was going to end; how King could find an ending that would satisfy me. No complaints here. He did well.
If you aren’t a fan on King’s methods and manner of word vomit, as I’ve heard people call it, this might just be a good starter book for you. It’s at times a bit gruesome as Stark is a killer. A very good killer. Thad is very realistic, has qualities of realness that people can connect with and empathize. If you are a writer of fiction, this is certainly one for you. Reading it will cause you to think about yourself as a writer, force you to ask questions about yourself and your craft, and you may just see some similar traits.
All in all, I’d give this book 4/5 Stars

What Are You Doing?

In writing, I constantly try to learn and improve myself and sharpen my tools. Often I learn from reading from other writers. Recently I finished reading The Dark Half by Stephen King. I’d read it a long time ago but happened to get it for free and dived into it again. The story is about a writer who’s ‘killed’ off the identity he took on to write a particular series and the ramifications of doing so. It’s a great read if you’re looking for something for yourself. After finishing it, I had many thoughts about myself. For example, do I take on a different identity/personality when I am writing certain stories. I feel like we all put on a special ‘cloak’ that changes us when we are writing. Especially if we are writing something difficult.

As I write this now, it comes to my kind of my character Tarra, from my fantasy series. She’s an orphaned teen who is coming into herself, her powers as a mage, and her personal struggles of losing her parents. When writing her portions, I find I cling to the younger me, perhaps my inner child maybe. When I’m writing Anna, I am pulling on the life of a young, single lady who has strong emotions and desires.
In King’s book, he writes of the authors’Third eye’ and I loved reading about it and could absolutely feel that. As a writer, I do feel like it takes a third eye to create the illusions I do. Creating worlds, characters that spring to life, it is MAGIC. And magical. I can only hope that magic transfers appropriately to the reader.

I’m currently learning from Jerry B. Jenkins writers guild and love it. I’m focusing on increasing my brand currently while also learning to write more tightly. I’ve been out of the field for a while so these lessons are certainly helping me.

What are you doing with your passions lately? I’d love to see some pictures, read some passages, or whatever it is you are helping to fulfill your life. Even if it’s gardening, singing, cooking, WHATEVER it may be. Please drop a line and share!

Cheers!

Looking Back

2017. Cripes, what a year! I’ve had some good parts through the year, but it’s definitely been a hard year for me. I read a lot of books this year which was super awesomesauce including my ultra favorite book series by Karen Marie Moning, Fever Series. Her book Feversong came out in January 2017 so my year started off rockin’. I totally enjoyed the new Beauty and the Beast film. I considered going back to school but opted not to, at least not just yet. I felt like my writing was starting off pretty rad in January because I had some huge writing spurts but never stuck with anything. And I definitely tried a variety of things to help. I also started watching Supernatural. I’d tried before and it didn’t stick, but this time around I enjoyed it immensely. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get any of my family into it so I had to watch it all alone. Also learned that Peter Capaldi wouldn’t be coming back for another season of Doctor Who and had mixed feeling about it.

In February, I watched the Superbowl alone because my family all went to bed. Felt some great moments as a professional counselor but was constantly reminded how hard the field can be. Reread IT by Stephen King this month, too! Also did a Star Wars Marathon with my husband this month. Continue reading

Pills, Roadtrips, & Bookstores

 So I’ve been sick for the last twelve days or so.  Because I’m in between jobs and that new insurance on the new job has yet to kick in I went to a little clinic inside Krogers…called The Little Clinic. Ha! Really…. They were very nice and told me I had Shingles. Lovely. The medicine they wanted to give me was way expensive but fortunately they had an alternative. So instead of taking one pill twice a day I get to take 4 pills five times a day. I don’t know which was worse: Having shingles or having that many pills to swallow every day.

As if that wasn’t bad enough I ended up with the flu…or it’s not so distant cousin. Who knows. Friday was hell for me. Totally. My defenses were down, my immune system was at a low point, and the students I teach had completely no sympathy for me whatsoever. (Do middle schoolers even know what that word is?)

I went home and crashed into my bed (after taking another four pills) and didn’t wake up until 9:40 am today (or um…Saturday-I just noticed it’s after midnight now). I did a quick mental full body scan and decided I wasn’t dead and so I must…without a doubt, no hesitation, get my ass up and get dressed, and get on the road.  Continue reading

Somtimes it does begin with a bang.

nephewsWhen I was three or four my Granny O. had these three small, fat books. They were my favorites and I learned to read using those books. I’ll admit today when I go visit her I always fondly recall those books. Even though she doesn’t live in the same home as when I stayed with her I still go to her house and can’t help but look around the place and I am swept back into time. A time where she would give me flashcards with letters and I would have to put them together to form words. A time where a myriad of Disney Comic books and others drew me into a world of make-believe where princesses could slay the dragons, youth had power and could save the world by believing, and magic closets and lions were something to seek and fall in love with.

She instilled in me a passion for reading and writing. She introduced me to many fantastic voyages. She proved to me that while television and movies were fun diving into a book created many more opportunities and there was no limit to where I could go, who I could meet, and what I could do. While my mother would show me books like Good Night Moon and I loved those special moments of her reading to me, it was my Granny O. who gave me the book Fievel, An American Tale. I loved that movie but seeing the story in words, along with the pictures, it was amazing. I learned that those movies I loved were only a bunch of words and some colorful pictures. fievel

It may sound silly to you, the reader, but for me, that was a pivotal moment of change for me. I was forever altered, never to be the same girl. From that moment I was a writer. I wrote stories. I was only six and seven so my experiences weren’t wide and far but I still ‘wrote what I knew’. I merged characters like Curious George and Shirley Temple and gave them adventures. In fifth and sixth grade I was fascinated with the emergence of AIDS. TV commercials offered advice and info (just call this 800 number!) and learned as much as I could by getting brochures and pamphlets. In sixth grade I wrote a novella (though I would hear that term for years to come) and I won a Young Author’s Award for my story about a young girl whose brother had contacted AIDS and if she didn’t change her life she would likely end up the same. Continue reading