The Mortal Engines Series, a Book Review

I recently completed the four books of the Mortal Engines series (Mortal Engines, Predator’s Gold, Infernal Devices, and A Darkling Plain). I was drawn in by the premise — that whole cities have gone mobile, something like giant tanks, and have taken to eating each other — but it was the depth of the love stories that drew me to finish it.

•  ~3 min to read •  read more  

Joseph Conrad on Sailors

I recently re-read The Heart of Darkness, by Joseph Conrad (the last time was in high school, for English class). I was pleasantly surprised by how short it was (~90 pages) and delighted by the prose: so much of the “modern” texts I read are either soulless corporate speak, that say very little, particularly about the things that actually matter, or flowery advertising speak, that serves more to misdirect and hide, or bland and flat, by writers who are exposed to very little soulful writing (or is this a description of my fears of own writing??). It’s hard to tease apart how much is a result of being written in over a century ago in 1899, how much is the writer displaying his craft, and how much of the structure is borrowed from Conrad’s native Polish.

•  ~2 min to read •  read more  

So What’s the Point, Anyway?

I sit down at my computer with an idea that’s been running around in my head for a week or two and start typing. An hour later, I examine my handiwork — it’s beautiful! But as I look closer, I start asking myself “So what’s the point, anyway? Why would anyone else care?” What good is a piece if it is nothing more than me rambling? I want people to be able to take something away from my ramblings…. The next question is, What do I do? Do I scrape this piece? Or do I rewrite it? Neither option presents an easy solution. I’ve been down this road a couple times now…

Garrrr! Why does good writing have to be so hard?!?

•  ~1 min to read •  read more