Tag Archives: reading

The Death of a Year

Let’s see if I can remember how to do this.

We’ll start with an opening sentence and take it from there.

Oh hi! I don’t really know if there are people who still read this. It’s been about, oh, two months since I last updated. I’ll make the assumption that everyone who reads my blog assumed that I had died over that little break. Well, I’m not dead. Far from it.

I’m here to do what’s likely to become the annual tradition around here. I’ll weep about my failures over the last year and make promises to do better next year.

Actually, you know what, let’s do this up right. Let’s not talk about failures. It’s boring, it’s whiny and no-one likes reading that. Let’s do the opposite of that. So here it is. My top five list of awesome shit that I did.

5. I killed three bookstores and a nationwide bookstore chain in the process. Now, I know what you’re thinking. “Dylan, that’s…not such a good thing.” But it had to be done and I made sure it gone done smoothly. No one died, product got sold and there are people all over the city with Borders bookcases in their homes cause I did my job like a ninja. A retail ninja. And I did while remaining sane.

4. I submitted a whole crapton of stuff to be published. None of it got published, but that’s not the point. After a few years of sitting around and not doing anything with my writing career, I actually got out there and started things up again. It’s awfully hard for me to get going once I’ve stopped doing something (see: this blog), but by God, I did it.

3. I read a metric-crapton of books. For those of you who use Imperial measurement, a metric-crapton is a lot of books. Every book I read helps me be a better writer. You know what else helps me be a better writer?

2. I started writing stories again. I hadn’t written a new piece of fiction in almost a year and I finally got back up on that horse. But! The biggest piece of news from the previous year?

1. I self-published a book. It’s still there on Amazon and for even cheaper now. You should go buy it if you haven’t done so already. And, if you want it in paperback, then, holy crap, you have that option now too. There’s people out there, right now, reading my work. Bam.

So that’s sounds like a pretty well seized year. Sometimes I’m pretty bummed about how a year went and I’ve been feeling that a little bit the last couple of weeks. But, you know, looking at that list there, I think I can live with how 2011 went. I’m ready for even bigger things next year.

Just…please, no more store closings.

Dylan

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Looking for Pickman

I was reading Pickman’s Model, one of my favorite Lovecraft stories, and I realized I recognized most of the places he was talking about in the story. There was the studio on Newbury Street and South Station and there was the North End. In fact, Lovecraft placed Pickman’s studio of horrors right smack dab in the middle of the North End on an unnamed street.

But I want to find it. At least, I want to find the general location where the story was set. Since Boston is deadset on staying the same way it was hundreds of years ago, I’ll be looking at the same buildings that Lovecraft saw in his Boston, almost a hundred years ago.

And there’s something distinctly appealing about that, the ability to go and see the places that affected a writer.

So, since I have business up in the North End anyway, I figured I might as well poke around while I’m there and try and see what Lovecraft.

Dylan Charles

Oh look, an advertisement for my book that just came out! If you like horror, you’ll like my book. Go read it. Please.

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Book Review: The Long Fall by Walter Mosley

Walter Mosley has been one of my favorite writers for a while now. I’ve only read one of his science-fiction novels (The Wave, good read),  but I’ve read a goodly portion of his mysteries. His stories are always uniquely his, even the ones that take place in a cliche-raddled genre like Detective Fiction.

And this is especially true in The Long Fall, the first in a series of books about Leonid McGill. McGill is a New York based private eye and an ex-boxer, so he’s already rife with qualities that make me happy. He’s trying to make up for his less-than-angelic past and stick to the straight ‘n’ narrow. Unfortunately, everyone around him seems hellbent on making sure that doesn’t happen.

While the main mystery is not something that’s going to stick with me past the end, Mosley’s strong point here is the cast of characters and the relationships between them all. Leonid and his son Twill, Leonid and the cop Carson Kittredge, Leonid and the ex-hitman Hush; Leonid and his “friends” frequently steal the spotlight from the mystery.

In fact, this novel seems more like Mosley is setting the stage for Leonid McGill. He’s introducing the characters and elements that will define this world. Which makes me want to read the second (and soon to be released third) novel all the more.

Out of all the characters Mosley has created, none have been quite as likeable or as enjoyable to follow as Leonid McGill and I’m definitely going to continue to follow the series.

Dylan Charles

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