Thursday, June 27, 2013

Book Spotlight: Fever (Chemical Garden Series, Book 2) by Lauren DeStefano

Good Day, Beardies!

School’s out for summer! I love my job, but after 2 weeks of our routine being turned on its head due to state testing, I am ready for a break. I’m usually in “relaxation” mode until July; that’s when I get the itch to start planning for the fall. Until then, I plan on working in my garden (my tomatoes are doing great!), cooking and baking (I’m taking the Wilton Cake Decorating course at Michael’s), getting started on wedding planning, and reading a ton of books!

Now that I have a little extra time, I can finish my Spotlights on Lauren DeStefano’s Chemical Garden Series. I’m sure you are anxiously wondering what has happened to Rhine. Without further ado, here is Fever, the second installment in the Chemical Garden Series.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The Skillful Quill: Royal Punctuation—or The Dashing Prince

If you already know what a dash is, chances are you use it with flourish. Not using this tool would be like having a Ferrari and leaving it in the garage or like having this little guy (to the left) at home and running for help yourself.

For those unfamiliar with this beautiful punctuation tool, let’s begin with what it is not: it isn’t a hyphen. Hyphens are half-dashes like the one I just typed and have the purpose of connecting necessary descriptors to their nouns like mother-in-law. If the word completely changes meaning without the words describing in, you need to use the hyphen. (Mother and mother-in-law are VERY different people, but that’s another story).

Monday, June 24, 2013

Book Spotlight: Wool (The Silo Saga, Part One) by Hugh Howey

Welcome back, Beardies!

In this world of self-published fiction, I am always on the lookout for something self-published that holds my interest and manages to impress me with technical and storytelling skill. Sadly, these are rare finds. Wool is one of them. Granted, because I could download the novella onto my Kindle for free, I was leery to peek inside. Even reader praise didn’t make me overly hopeful about what I would find. Finally, I gave it a shot. I marked up the first page, still skeptical, but after that, I was sold.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Curiouser & Curiouser: Twentyish Questions with the Executive Editor — Part Three

Hello again, Beardies!

As you may recall, I've been attempting to interview our esteemed Executive Editor for several posts now, and my last attempt ended with a bit of a dust-up wherein he accused me of drinking his coffee (the scoundrel!) and nearly wised up to my use of truth serum.  Maybe that long-winded confession about how he ended up at the same college as me was needed, though, because after that, he became much more relaxed and more concise with his answers, and I wasn't forced to use the serum again.  (Thank heavens.  Interrogating my best friend felt a bit invasive, but I kept at it.  I am, I admit, quite shameless.)  This interview still isn't complete, but here's another part.

Elizabeth: How, if at all, does your rural New England background influence your writing?

Joshua: You could say that it had—still has—a lot to do with my writing. New England is saturated in Native American folklore and, of course, famous for its witch trials. The landscape, too, lends itself to great stories, whether they be set in the mountains, forests, swamps, or around the water—even deserts—Maine has it all. The ocean alone has its own mysticism, Maine's coastline dotted with spooky lighthouses and fog-drenched outcroppings of treacherous rock and cliff. And shipwrecks galore. The rivers and lakes even have stories of their own, swimming with life and curses both.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Book Spotlight: Call of the Herald (The Dawning of Power Trilogy, Book 1—A World of Godsland Novel) by Brian Rathbone

Good Ev'ning, Beardies!

This Spotlight has been long overdue, and I sincerely apologize to Brian Rathbone for its delay. Reading it required a Kindle, and whereas I have the Kindle App on both my phone and laptop, reading on either one is a nightmare! Alas, my birthday rolled around, as they usually do, and not only did I get a year older (though, technically, I only aged a day!), I also received my now-beloved Kindle.  That beautiful, monogrammed case you see is via DODOcase, and its interior is my favorite shade of purple!
At any rate, Rathbone's was the first title I read on my Kindle—and what a refreshing read it was! So, without further ado...

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

They're Baaaaack!!!!

...No, not the Poltergeists. (On a side note, the old man at the end of that trailer is, to me at least, the scariest guy in all of horror films!)

A while back, Google announced that it was getting rid of Google Friend Connect.  Well, it did... sort of. Google got rid of the widget some time ago for new Blogger Accounts, but if you already had the widget on your blog, you were allowed to keep it.

Afraid that they were just eventually going to retire the widget altogether, I got rid of it. Deleted it from the blog.

I started using Facebook and Twitter instead as ways to track The Bearded Scribe's followers.  And while they do the job quite nicely, I noticed that I was the only one who had gotten rid of this widget. All the blogs that I follow still proudly display their followers with this nifty little widget, so I've decided to bring it back!

Of course, this was easier said than done!  How does one bring back the dead?  Well, I found a few Spells of code--some ancient sigils of HTML--that allowed me to do it, and now it's back!

Be sure to click the "Join this Site" button to the left, even if you're following via Facebook and/or Twitter!

Also, if you would like to receive post feeds directly into your email inbox, you can submit your email address to the left, too!

Happy Scribing!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Fae Books 3K Likes Giveaway!

Good Day, Beardies!

Today I bring you a giveaway arranged by fellow blogger, Sarah, from Fae Books.  Read the Details below:
 Fae Books Button Image

Hi guys! This is Sarah from here.

Monday, June 10, 2013

The Golden Ticket—Research & the Fiction Writer

Hiya, Beardies!

Have you ever read a story that has a "fact" in it you know to be totally wrong, that was so implausible given a location or known fictional universe that you couldn't finish the story, or perhaps simply mismatches in happenings when compared to a well-known system of science or magic? These are cases where an author has taken to heart the old adage of "It's fiction. Just make it up!" in the wrong way and neglected to do research.

I have done a tremendous amount of research for papers not only because I know the teachers are looking for specific information, but because I want my paper to be BELIEVABLE despite the BS I've added in to reach my page requirement. The quality of the fact-based information holds up the believability of the BS. Just like a non-fiction research paper, a fictional work—no matter how small—requires the facts from research to make the story more than simply plausible…it makes it completely believable!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Curiouser & Curiouser: Twentyish Questions with the Executive Editor — Part Two

Hello again, Beardies!

I'm pretty sure you've figured out by now that Joshua is one of my best friends in the world.  In ten or more years, I've discovered that he has but one tragic flaw--he often leaves his coffee cup unattended. Having (finally) sweet-talked him into letting me interview him, he clammed right up as soon as I began interrogating--I mean, politely asking him questions--and refused to give me anything more than his name.  And so it took months to actually get the interview.  I had to wait until he left his coffee cup unattended to spike his brew with truth serum.  He is useless under truth serum.  (Make that two tragic flaws.)  Useless, and talkative.  So very talkative, we're taking two posts just to get through the first question.

When last we left our hero, he had chosen a college...simply because it began with A.  It was a fateful choice, indeed, and, it turns out, and adventure in travel getting there.  Here's part two of the story, straight from our blabbing-under-truth-serum Executive Editor...

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Prose & Ivy

edera helix. For those of you who don't know, that's the Scientific name of the plant species more commonly known as—wait for it—Common Ivy. Though it's native to most of Europe and western Asia, its foliage is ever-present in the English landscape, which gives it another of its common names: English Ivy.

No, this isn't a Hogwarts Herbology Lesson—I'm far from qualified for teaching one of those. And yes, I am aware this is a Speculative Fiction blog and not one designated for a botanical discussion. This past Monday, however, I spent about an hour and a half—maybe two hours—dealing with this beautiful-but-invasive species...and it gave me a bit of inspiration.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Book Spotlght: Defying Mars by Cidney Swanson (Saving Mars Series, Book 2)

Greetings and salutations, Beardies!

Last summer, I had the honor of being a first reader of our friend Cidney Swanson’s Saving Mars. It was one of my favorite books of the year, and the reviewers over at Kirkus agreed with me, naming it one of the best books of 2012. In early December, Cidney asked me to be a first reader again, this time for the second book in the series, Defying Mars. I immediately said, "Yes!" Though I loved the book, I wanted to wait until I had time to do it justice before featuring it in a Book Spotlight, and that, unfortunately, took months. This post has been a long time coming, so let’s get to it!

Monday, June 3, 2013

The Skillful Quill: That Dastardly Comma

Hello Fellow Writers!

Today’s topic: the dreaded comma. I’m beginning with this as my first post because I find, as a teacher anyway, that commas seem to mystify many. Writers tend to either have comma-phobia (don’t know if there’s a real term) and avoid them almost completely—or they have a serious romantic relationship with commas, and put them, everywhere, there’s a possibility, they might, be able to go. (FYI: grammar check doesn’t think that sentence has any errors…)

Frankly, I don’t think teachers really discuss the purpose of punctuation—including the comma. We don’t use punctuation when we speak, but when we write, we can’t use inflections, pauses, emphases, drama. We’re stuck with what written language can do, thus the need for punctuation. Punctuation is our friend, there to help our text make sense and be clear.

And the comma? It has one use: to separate for clarity. That’s it. Find a sentence with a comma anywhere (well, anywhere that’s using it correctly) and you’ll see it do its work.

And there are only four kinds of texts that need separation: items in a list, complete sentences joined with a conjunction, “conventions” like city and state or name and title, and “what you can take out” (introductory phrases and appositives).

Yep, that’s it. Just four. Some examples may help make this more clear.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Curiouser & Curiouser: Twentyish Questions with the Executive Editor — Part One

Happy weekend, Beardies!

I enjoy many things about my position here at The Bearded Scribe:  Reading, writing, working with our fabulous Fellowship of Scribes...the list goes on.  Perhaps my favorite thing, though, is that in the past year, I've discovered that Joshua absolutely cannot say no to me.  No matter what harebrained scheme I come up with, he's game.  Tonight's post stems from one of my early schemes—I wanted to interview the interviewer.  Joshua always interviews new members of the Fellowship; I wanted to turn the tables on him.  It took months for him to grant this request, but eventually he did.

In doing the interview, though, I discovered anew that Joshua is a master storyteller, and as such, could write an entire post on each of the twenty(ish) questions I sent him.  And so, interviewing the interviewer evolved into a forthcoming special feature for the blog...but more on that later.  For now, the first of many parts of Twenty Questions with the Executive Editor.

Elizabeth: You are a proud son of Maine, but I met you at a small college in the middle of Michigan, where you’d never set foot before our first day. How did that happen?
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...