Jan 28, 2011

Friday Free for All

Free stuff first:
A rose by any other name may be an American Beauty, or a Double Delight, or...
Having problems coming up with names for your characters? Here are three name generators available on the web that you can use or just have fun making up names:
A writer died and was given the option of going to heaven or hell.
He decided to check out each place first. As the writer descended into the fiery pits, he saw row upon row of writers chained to their desks in a steaming sweatshop. As they worked, they were repeatedly whipped with thorny lashes.
"Oh my," said the writer. "Let me see heaven now."
A few moments later, as he ascended into heaven, he saw rows of writers, chained to their desks in a steaming sweatshop. As they worked, they:, too, were whipped with thorny lashes.
"Wait a minute," said the writer. "This is just as bad as hell!"
"Oh no, it's not," replied an unseen voice. "Here, your work gets published."
Reading - Two Penny's for your thoughts:
The Cruelest Month by Louise Penny has a great opening sentence:
Kneeling in the fragrant grass of the village green Clara Morrow carefully hid the Easter egg and thought about raising the dead, which she planned to do right after supper.
Mix this with a little Haunting of Hill House and you have an excellent mystery written by the 2010 winner of the Anthony for Best Novel.
The Tenderness of Wolves by Stef Penney also sets the tone in the opening sentence:
The last time I saw Laurent Jammet, he was in Scott's store with a dead wolf over his shoulder.
She won the 2006 Costa (Whitebread) Book of the Year for this first novel.  She does a good job of mixing history, the far north and native american culture around a murder mystery.  Good stuff.
More for the writer's bookshelf; The Writer's Journey by Christopher Vogler.  If you've read Joseph Campbell's The Hero with a Thousand Faces, this will be a very familiar approach to story telling.  If you haven't read Campbell's book yet, read Vogler's first.  He is a consultant to filmmakers and has 'fixed' several scripts that have gone on to be blockbusters.  His book has to do with story though, not medium. This is a must have for the bookshelf.