Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Port of Pirates

It's been a while since I've posted some of my writing. So let's get caught up. Who here likes pirates? This is the first couple paragraphs of a new short story of my called "Port of Pirates."

Port Simeon was know to most of the world as the port of pirates. The weak law enforcement was long gone and the town was full of buccaneers, cutthroats, and scalawags. Despite the obvious danger, my longing for the rush of adrenaline pulsing through me veins got the better of me and I had to see the lawless town for myself.

I could only find one boatman who would ferry me out to Port Simeon. His name was Blue Bill. No last name was given. I met him on the docks in the swamps of Louisiana. He bowed low and gestured me into his rickety old swamp boat. I checked to make sure I still had my pistol, dagger, and sword; the usual things one takes when among pirates. Bill stepped into the boat behind me and pushed off from the dock. A parrot sat on a branch of a nearby tree. As we passed, it eyed us and squawked "dead men tell no tales." I don't believe in omens and I don't think this was the best time to start.

The swamp was riddled with shacks made from what looked like odds and ends of other houses. Dinghies were tied to porch posts, laden with fishing nets and bottles of cordial. We passed a withered old man rocking back and forth in a creaky old rocking chair. I don't know which made more noise, the creaky wood of the chair or the creaky joints of the old man. He stopped plucking the banjo sitting on his knee to warn us of our path. I thanked him for his concern and urged Blue Bill on.

We entered the black gaping mouth of a cave. I felt like was was venturing into the belly of the proverbial beast. Darkness closed its grasp on us as we journeyed further into the cave. Bill lit a lamp and the darkness subsided. Well, to a degree.

A throat cleared behind me. I looked to see it was Blue Bill. He opened his mouth and spoke to me for the first time and most likely the only time.

"So ye be lookin' for salty ol' pirates, eh?" His voice was slow and calm. "Well ye've come to the right place."

It's not much, I apologize, but it's just a start. If you want to hear the rest, just say so and I'll post it.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Books for all Genres

Reading is like a buffet. There are lots of different things to choose from. And while it's okay to like one thing more than others, a buffet is most fun when you try a little of everything. It's never a good thing to restrict yourself to reading just one genre. You could miss out on a lot of really good books. Try some of every genre and you may find that there is something you like you thought you wouldn't. Luckily for picky readers, there's something for every literary pallet.

For fantasy fanatics...
If you love fantasy novels as much as I do, you need to get some Terry Brooks books today. He's most famous for his Shanara series, but my favorite of his books is the Magic Kingdom of Landover series. There are currently six books and there may or may not be more; it's an older series. The books are about a lawyer who becomes the high lord of the magic kingdom of Landover when he buys it from a department store Christmas catalog. If you are more partial to epic fantasy then by all means check out the Shanara books as well as The Lord of the Rings trilogy.

For high adventurers...
Nothing beats the adventurous imagination of Jules Verne. I highly recommend Journey to the Center of the Earth. Not to prone to older books? No problem! Dive into the spying world of the Alex Rider series, the chronicles of a teen spy. Or maybe enjoy the swashbuckling tale of the Treasure of Savage Island. Pirates, runaway slaves, and buried treasure make for a good read.

For historical fiction buffs...
I cannot express my love of "The Scarlet Pimpernel" enough, as well as my love of the sequel "El Dorado." If you've never read them, look into it right away. While you're at it, check out "The Three Musketeers." No book ever goes out of style. Alexandre Dumas is a master of historical fiction an his books are well worth the read.

For mystery maniacs...
Why it's elementary! The greatest mysteries ever solved are those of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's famed Sherlock Holmes. The best of which being "The Hound of the Baskervilles." I also would recommend the Mary Russel mysteries by Laurie R. King. They're the adventures of Sherlock Holmes and his apprentice, the young, intelligent, and witty Mary Russel. The series currently consists of ten books. Can you solve the mystery first?

For romance lovers...
Oh goodness. I haven't had much experience with romance novels; I'm usually not attracted to them, but there is one that holds a dear place in my heart. I combines romance with one of my favorite things: pirates. "To Catch a Pirate" by Jade Parker is the tale of young woman set out to reclaim the gold stolen from her father's ship and save him from the gallows, but her plan may be in jeopardy when she finds herself falling for the young pirate captive meant to lead them to the treasure. Yet another timeless romance is "The Princess Bride." There's nothing like sword fighting, poisoned wine, giants, and snobbish princes to create the perfect bedtime romance.

Time to whet that appetite. Head out to a local library or bookstore and pick up your four course dinner today.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Goals and Resolutions for 2011

The first of the above being to blog more. Sorry about the long wait.

2010 was a good year. I did a lot (and boy do I mean a lot) of editing on my novel, I survived another year of high school, I got into the school's literary magazine Pegasus, I scored a job at the Hogle Zoo, became Employee of the Month, went to a teen writer's conference, hung out with authors, went to book signings, got Karen E. Hoover (author of The Sapphire Flute) to critique the first three chapters of my novel, and rode Space Mountain four times. Very good year indeed.

As for this year, in my attempt to make it as enjoyable and successful as possible, I hope that by the end of it there will be nice shiny copies of "Castaway Inn" on the shelves of bookstores everywhere. One can hope; we'll see how that goes. That's the goal for this year. And get a 4.0 GPA. That too.

Resolutions? Blog more. Don't procrastinate. Practice my drums more. Um... is that it? Is that really it? Ah, well. I'll stick to these for now. Now I know I'm not the only one with resolutions and goals for the new year. What do you hope to accomplish?