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The Bibliotheca



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Quoth Carl Sagan

Posted by Nuile the Paracosmic Tulpa , in Wordsmithery Jan 27 2013 · 170 views

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Beautiful; and very eloquently put. This is very much how I feel about literature. It is a magic indefeasibly real. Is fiction as fictional as the word suggests? I think not. It may be intangible--yet, in some ways, it is now. It is the world that exists beneath ours, the mirror that reflects the truth of our lives.

 
Sincerely, Nuile: Lunatic Wordsmith :smilemirunu:




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The Second Death: Yours Free Forever!

Posted by Nuile the Paracosmic Tulpa , in Wordsmithery Jan 26 2013 · 141 views

Last time I'll plug this, I promise.
 
The Second Death, Kindle eBook, is free now through January 30th. Get your hands on it now and it's yours to keep forever, yours to read any time your Kindle is handy, and yours to review if you happen to feel munificent and eloquent. ;D Just be sure to let me know so I can give you proper thanks.
 
All right, I'll say no more on the subject. At least not any time soon. Thanks again!
 

Sincerely, Nuile: Lunatic Wordsmith :smilemirunu:
 




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A Promotion Reminder and a Dissertation entitled "To Say or Not to Say"

Posted by Nuile the Paracosmic Tulpa , in Wordsmithery Jan 24 2013 · 106 views

To get the former out of the way first, The Second Death will be yours free forever if you download it between January 26th (two days to go!) and January 30th.
 
 
Now then, I would like to discuss the issue of whether 'tis nobler to say something, or to utter it, or perhaps to state it. Is it better to ask or to inquire? Bring adverbs into the equation, and the field becomes open to even greater argument. The simple fact is that every writer and every reader, too, has their own opinion about it. This is mine.
 
Examining a novel as if it were a cadaver, we'll say the plot is the core skeletal structure; the prose can be the flesh that covers it all; but dialogue becomes the muscles that hold it all together. Everything else is vital, but it's the dialogue that does the real work. It's the life and vigor of the story, the human element that most enraptures readers. It's one of my rules in writing that dialogue should always be able to stand on its own; it doesn't always need to, and there are times when it just plain can't, but if at all possible dialogue should literally speak for itself.
 
It is my opinion, however, that sometimes say is the right choice and sometimes it is not. Sometimes another verb should be used--or sometimes, none at all!
 
One example of a use for a verb other than say is merely to emphasize the tone of the dialogue. Even if the words sounds like a shout, s/he shouted serves as an underline. But the verb should be carefully selected. In this case, shout implies a different tone than cry, exclaim, or bellow might.
 
I usually prefer a powerful verb to an adverb in such cases, but again, it's a matter of discretion. Sometimes the one is more prudent, sometimes the other. And here's another instance in whic they can both be very useful. Every now and then a quotation arises where the words are too few or too simple or otherwise inexpressive; where a human voice would add a meaning the words do not contain. A human inflects their speech in a way that is difficult, though not impossible, to suggest in written dialogue; sometimes a telling verb or an adverb is the best way to add that inflection.
 
And then there's another method that is often used to avoid the s/he said entirely. But I have often seen this abused. If the movement is not significant in some way, if it serves no other purpose than to tell us who is speaking, it is rendered entirely meaningless and makes the writer look lazy. If the character strokes his mustache or twirls a finger in her hair, it indicates the speaker with the extra purpose of physical expression. But when a character removes their shoe to get at an itch during the conversation--sure, it's a natural action, but it's nothing more than a trivial, bothersome distraction. Some actions tell enough alone, some could use an adjective or some other form of additional description, and some should just be avoided. Again, it's all dictated by discretion.
 
On the whole, when I only have two characters speaking, I prefer to drop anything outside the dialogue, unless where emphasis or definition is prudent, or when a character makes an expressive movement. When you get three or more characters talking together, of course, it takes a degree of dexterity to juggle them all clearly and effectively.
 
The last point I would like to make becomes a part of that aforementioned rule, that dialogue should always be able to stand on its own. Not only does this mean that dialogue should speak with its own tone, but with the tone of the character. His or her "voice" should be audible when they speak. It can never be solely relied upon to identify a character, but the character should nonetheless be identifiable by the words they say.
 
 
And sometimes, I think, the very purpose of verbs or adverbs is artistic embellishment. Far too often modern authors concentrate too much on the functions of words, and not enough on their beauty. We forget that writing is an art. There is a science behind every art, but we must remember that the science is the supplement, not the focus. The gears in the mechanism of writing do not turn for their own sake, but for the sake of the art
 
I can think of no better way to phrase it than in the very words of Dolores Douglas, of The Second Death.
 

"It’s balance," Mrs. Douglas observed, "that people need to find. Balance in all things, I think, is what we lack the most."


 
Perhaps you observed my verb choice. I used it for embellishment but also to lend a subtle inflection to the tone of her words.
 

"It’s balance," Mrs. Douglas said, "that people need to find. Balance in all things, I think, is what we lack the most."


Didn't that sound a little different?
 

 
 
One thing that, when it comes to dialogue, I shall never forgive is this:
 

"This is ridiculous," he smiled.


The mental image evoked compels me to smile myself. With the primary exceptions being door-to-door salespeople, used car dealers, and politicians, few people talk through a smile. Even if your character is a ventriloquist, just don't go there.
 


Sincerely, Nuile: Lunatic Wordsmith :smilemirunu:




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The Second Death Now Available!

Posted by Nuile the Paracosmic Tulpa , in Wordsmithery Jan 18 2013 · 121 views

Is it January 12th yet?
 
All right, well, there were formatting issues that delayed matters. Amazon recently altered their system without updating their guides, and that led to complications. But all is well now; and The Second Death is now for sale!

It can be purchased here. It is for sale exclusively through Amazon right now, and for Kindle alone; which means that if you don't have a Kindle or an iDevice with a Kindle application, you won't be able to read it--yet. But it will be available in physical paper before long!
 
Remember that the current price--.99 cents--is a temporary deal which ends on the 26th, from which date until the 30th it will be free to buy. Buy it free and it is yours to keep forever. After the 30th, the price will become $2.99, which will only apply to future purchases, of course. So tell all your mystery loving friends to get their hands on the eBook while it's free.
 
And I hope that, after you've read it, you will share your elocution in an Amazon product review. =D But whether you do or not, just the reading part is appreciated. Enjoy!
 
Sincerely, Nuile: Lunatic Wordsmith :smilemirunu:


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Coming Soon to a Kindle Near You . . .

Posted by Nuile the Paracosmic Tulpa , in Wordsmithery Jan 10 2013 · 230 views

I have an announcement that's going to make Kraggh vomit a modicum in his mouth, tear out his hair, and weep uncontrollably for the lamentable prospects of the written word. And while this bit of news may strike terror into the hearts of some, I could probably name a greater number who will be pleased, perhaps a few who would even be thrilled.
 


What am I leading up to?
 
Nuile wrote a novel.
 
And he's publishing it.
 
(Coming 1/12/13)
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Pattrick Clayton is a farmer in a somnolent Lancaster town, affable, charming, loved by all. Since his father died, and since he came out of the Great War alone, he has struggled to come to terms with the death that plagues him. It only becomes worse when, to add to his grief, his aunt is found dead in her home. Not a year has passed since the armistice, and the beloved town gossip has been poisoned--and to all appearances, she poisoned herself.
 
Pattrick can't believe it any more than the rest of the Claytons, whatever the police say. Investigations continue, but before anyone can make up their mind, another death strikes the family, this time even closer to home. And, this time--it's murder.
 
From the nearby city of Philadelphia comes retired private inquiry agent, Leo Westmacott. At first he's only an old family friend come to pay his respects; but duty is a difficult thing to avoid, and soon he's playing the role of sleuth once again. Now he has to readjust himself to the detection game and get to the bottom of these murders. The complaisant Pattrick Clayton agrees to help, and soon they are joined by Leo's dependable secretary, the charming Miss Slaytor. The deeper they inquire into the lives and minds of the people of Mockingbird, the more they realize that life is no more innocent, no more docile, and no less dangerous in the country than on the backstreets of Philadelphia.
 
Filled with vivid characters, flavored with heart, and steeped with wisdom, The Second Death is more than a study in murder and mystery but in loss, family, friendship, and death itself. A vivid cast of characters will light your way along an ingenious maze of secret and deception while the secretive Leo Westmacott will leave you completely in the dark until the final moment.
 
 
And this is but the first in a series of detective novels. You can expect to see more of Leo Westmacott and his assistants in the nigh future. In the meantime, I hope that you'll all take advantage of the .99 cent trial period, read and enjoy the book, and then lend me your advocatory but critical rhetoric in some objective reviews. If you can be patient, however, I encourage you to wait for the five-day promotion during which you may "purchase" the novel absolutely free, January 26th through the 30th. And I won't lie and say that I don't hope some don't notice this until the 31st or later, when the price will stabilize at $2.99.
 
(Sales, of course, will be through the Amazon Kindle Store.)
 
Be sure to tell all your friends, relatives, hairdressers and sanctimonious literature teachers [s]after the 30th in time for the promotion!
 
And hey, have any questions? Ask away!
 
 


Sincerely, Nuile: Lunatic Wordsmith :smilemirunu:

 





Dramatis Personae

Nuile

A young man with his feet on the ground and his head in the sky, and an inclination to implement the occasional headstand.



Nuile, Wordsmith

Penman of a number of BIONICLE and Neopets short stories, as well as three epics, based respectively on the aforementiond and Avatar: The Last Airbender. This writer has also penned a full-length mystery novel, a work in progress pending final revisions and publication.

More than that, the BZPower League of Authors was his brainchild, which he has developed into the Ambage with the help of Velox, Cederak and 55555. This refuge and practice arena for writers is open to all with a penchant for the literary arts.



Nuile, Bibliophile

For him to select a favorite book, or a favorite writer, would be impossible. But of the latter, he most admires Dame Agatha Christie, Wilkie Collins, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Harper Lee, C.S. Lewis, Edgar Rice Burroughs and Sinclair Lewis. Favorite books he includes in this chart:

To Kill a Mockingbird (Harper Lee)

The Moonstone (Collins)

Murder on the Orient Express, Death in the Clouds, The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, The Clocks (Christie)

The Hound of the Baskervilles, The Lost World (Doyle)

Out of the Silent Planet (C.S. Lewis)

Free Air (Sinclair Lewis)

The Bat (Hopwood and Rinehart)

The Nine Tailors (Sayers)



Nuile, Cinéaste

This fellow thinks the world begins and ends with Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows. Before its birth, however, he confesses that Sam Raimi and David Koepp's Spider-Man, Christopher Nolan and David S. Goyer's Batman Begins, the Indiana Jones series, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Mary Poppins were films more than worthy of watching.



Nuile, Television Viewer

The Dick Van Dyke Show by far surpasses any television show produced prior or hence. Father Knows Best, Leave it to Beaver and The Andy Griffith Show are excellent series from a similar time frame. MacGyver is hard to beat. Diagnosis Murder, Monk and Murder, She Wrote are his favorite mystery series. In animation he most enjoys Avatar: The Last Airbender and its sequel; Batman: The Animated Series alongside Batman Beyond and The Batman; Phineas and Ferb, one of the most creatively funny cartoons he has ever seen.



Nuile, Cuisinier

Asian and Italian foods may be his enthusiasms, but he's not above a juicy burger or a spicy taco. As far as his own cooking, he oft gets more adventurous than his family appreciates, though when he behaves he can conjure a reason for your taste buds to celebrate. By far his favorite meal: Thanksgiving 2011, consisting of Paula Dean's Indian Succotash, Grean Bean Casserole, Orange Corn Bread, Bacon Roasted Brussel Sprouts, Coconut Biscuits, and Mashed Cauliflower and Potatoes.



Nuile, Musicologist

He pleads guilty to sheer ignorance, unworthy even of being called an amateur in this department. But dramatic scores and profound lyrics top his charts. The Impossible Dream from The Man of La Mancha and I Can Go the Distance as performed by Michael Bolton are cited as his two favorite songs, amidst much of Celtic Thunder's work.



Nuile, Gamer

Disney's Epic Mickey, the Kingdom Hearts series, and the Pokémon series are the only video games he considers worthy of notation.



Nuile, Sportsman

As fast on his feet as he is between the ears, he enjoys games of muscle and of strategy. Physically, he likes most to play football; but nothing beats a game of chess in his book.

The Art of Writing

It is my belief that a writer should be above human emotions, desires, vices, flaws; a writer should be almost superhuman, something like a monk. However, like monks, this is not an attribute that comes naturally, rather an ability that must be worked at.

More tangibly, one of the most important characteristics a writer can possess is tenacity. An artist's life is never an easy one. An artist presents themself to the world, and ineluctably there will be critics alongside the fans. But anyone who knows real love won't let it be quelled by what others think. Never give up, never despond. So maybe nobody's perfect; I'm not, and I never will be. But an artist, like a monk, is one who always strives to improve her- or himself, who never ceases to reach for the unreachable. Every amelioration is an achievement. And every day a writer achieves something merely by writing, for every word written is a word toward amelioration. If you are good, you can always be better; if you are great, you can always be greater.

What matters most for writers is that they take pride in their own own work. Ultimately your biggest fan and your biggest critic is yourself, and that's who you have to please the most. No artist truly passionate about their art does what they do for someone's approval or just to get paid. At the heart of every artist is a person who does what they do because they love to do it. I'm an artist; I'm a writer. I don't stop trying to get better, I don't stop striving for perfection--but I enjoy every step of the amelioration process, I appreciate every improvement, and I am always happy with where I am, yet always be eager about where I'm going. Writing is a journey with no destination. Writing is a quest without end. Writing is spiritual nomadism.

And it's not easy. It's frought with difficulty, trouble, disappointment, and grief--but a journey without end gives its reward not in the destination but in every step of the path.

Yet I have not even touched upon just what a writer is; which is because a writer, simply put, is everything. A writer is an artist, but also a psychologist, and a logician, a philosopher, a scientist, an adventurer, an inventor, a politician, a magician, and multitudinous others. A writer is everything because they write about everything. "Write what you know"; that's not the rule I live by. "Know what you write," that's my creed. Writers know a little about everything, and everything about a little. And when they don't know . . . they read!

That's a writer's life. It's the kind of life I love. It's a wonderful gift. A writer's life is the kind of life I live and always will live. And I wouldn't have it any other way.

January 2013

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Quotations

"The problem with putting two and two together, is that sometimes you get four, and sometimes you get twenty-two." - Sam Spade, The Maltese Falcon (Dashiell Hammett)

 
 


 
 

"Virtue is the truest nobility." - Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Don Quixote

 
 


 
 

"Our greatest foes, and whom we must chiefly combat, are within." - Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Don Quixote

 
 


 
 

"We derive our vitality from our store of madness." - E. M. Ciran

 
 


 
 

"Cultivate a superiority to reason and see how you pare the claws of all the sensible people when they try to scratch you for your own good!" - Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone

 
 


 
 

"Though knowledge and logic may not always steer you right, faith and wisdom will never fail." - Me, Stellar Quest

 
 

"I'm like an old golf ball--I've had all the white paint knocked off me long ago. Life can whack me about now and it can't leave a mark. But a sportin' risk, young fellah, that's the salt of existence. Then it's worth livin' again. We're all gettin' a deal too soft and dull and comfy. Give me the great wastelands and the wide spaces, with a gun in my fist and somethin' to look for that's worth findin'." - Lord John Roxton, The Lost World, (Sir Arthur Conan Doyle)

 
 


 


 
 
 

"Why does man create? Is it man's purpose on earth to express himself, to bring form to thought, and to discover meaning in experience? . . . Or is it just something to do when he's bored?" - Calvin, Calvin and Hobbes

 
 


 
 

"Sometimes I think books are the only friends worth having." - Susie Derkins, Calvin and Hobbes

 
 


 
 

"Mother Nature never shocks me." - Melvin Coolie
"It sure must've shocked your father and mother!" - Buddy Sorrell, The Dick Van Dyke Show

 
 


 
 

"Hey, I know what that is! That's one of those old creamation urns, they put the ashes inside." - Rob Petrie
"Ugh! I wouldn't be caught dead in one of those." - Buddy Sorrell, The Dick Van Dyke Show

 
 


 
 

"I wish I was one of those Danish doctors." - Rob Petrie
"How would that help?" - Laura Petrie
"Well, it wouldn't, except I'd be in Denmark instead of here." Rob Petrie, The Dick Van Dyke Show

 
 


 
 

"What's the big deal? Lots of people have insomnia, and you don't see them losing any sleep over it!" - Grandpa, The Munsters

 
 


 
 

"Anyone who sees a psychiatrist ought to have their head examined!" - Darrin Stevens, Bewitched

 
 


 


[9:26:46 PM] Aimee: it is so adorable how authors have favorite authors
[9:27:25 PM] Andrew P: You're an author. You have favorite authors. =P
[9:27:39 PM] Aimee: yes and i get to talk to them on skype all day

- A Geste of the Ambage Chat
 

Awards

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Some random air-head decided to be pompous and condescending and "honor" me with his approbation. I guess there's a pride of some sort in being recognized by the mentally unsound. It makes me feel special--or weird, one of those two. Thanks, Tekulo!