So, today went well with the Pres Career Day thing. Portia managed to grab a few snapshots. A few young writers were very curious about matters of inspiration, fear and the entire writing process.
“firstname.lastname@example.org” is one of the culprits, but…
So I was thinking maybe they allowed <6 characters earlier. Went digging up. Found a page dated in 2005 that talked about the 6 character minimum.
Gmail started in 2004, so I don’t think there was ever a lower minimum aside for Google employees or people who have Google’s respect (like XKCD guy). So I dunno?
I think Kamla and Anand themselves leaked those emails to Rowley so he would “expose” the fact that he can’t do research.
I just wanted this here
Wanted it here too.
A copy of Littletown Secrets lying next to its originally drafted cover by The Little Nameless (Portia Subran Artistry). A book written by a guy who self-studied literature and the cover drawn by a girl who self-studied art.
1. THE ARGUMENT FOR SECRECY
Don’t talk much about anything you’ve written unless the first draft is done, except in emergency situations. Because the more you do, the more you’re going to feel like you’ve already finished.
2. THE “MEN WHO PLAY WITH DOLLS” MUSING
I usually find that plot comes second to character. Once the characters are interesting, they can add form and depth to a mundane plot. It hardly ever works that way if you switch it around.
3. THE PSYCHOPATH PRECEPT
Some books take a certain type of personality to pen. But whether it be postmodern fiction, children’s fantasy or contemporary drama, I think all writers probably should have the strong desire to murder or revenge against someone every once in a while.
4. THE COMMODE CONSIDERATION
Writing should be constant, even while taking a shit.
Reblogging my own post because it suddenly gained traction, I dunno?
If you and your partner are passionate about the same things and you keep communication open and intimate, I don’t think you’ll ever get bored of being around each other.
|Girl:||Sir, you wrote that book?|
|Me:||Yeah. But it's just a sample copy. You wanna see it?|
|*she begins reading*|
|*10 minutes later*|
|Me:||Hey... gotta get to another class now.|
|Girl:||Where can I buy it?|
|Me:||No, that's... a sample copy. It'll be available in stores later on.|
|Girl:||*hugs book* How bout I give you back next Saturday?|
|Girl:||I didn't expect it to be so interesting!|
to be released in late June/early July
Reblogging my own book! :D
It’s Friday May 17th. Pictured above is my sample copy of Littletown Secrets, a book I wrote when I was twenty-two and refurnished when about half a year ago. I remember the image that I came up with that made me write the book: a girl with a brown paper bag over her head looking at a boy at a home-made stand. I remember writing the ending. I remember writing a new ending years later.
I remember having no idea what to do with the manuscript once I was done with it. And then shelving it. One year ago, I had no idea what to do with my writing. One year ago, I was desperate for any type of advice. And today, I have a book. I am now a published author.
I used to dream about this since I was thirteen, and then I would wake up and go, “Oh, man! It wasn’t real!” I had to make it real. I found an editor, sent my work to a local publisher, which agreed on me doing my own illustrations and picking my own cover artist. And look at what we made. LOOK AT IT! We managed to turn this:
So, lemme get into how this happened.
Last year, I emailed a man named Lyndon Baptiste asking for advice. He had authored a few books. I had read one of them and I thought it was pretty good. I sent him a list of questions, and he answered each one with detail. Lyndon had his own publishing company called Potbake Productions. It’s rather new but has been gaining momentum. He decided to take me and my manuscript on.
After liaising for a few months, he called me today and said that the book might be ready by the afternoon. So, I was really excited. I texted Portia at work with the good news. A few hours later, Lyndon called me, dejected, and said that we would have to wait until Monday. I was trying not to keep my hopes up, but sometimes you just can’t help it. Especially if it’s something you’ve been craving for half your life. He said that we should get together for some official business, anyway.
I told him we could meet at Price Plaza, Chaguanas, and then he said that would be great, to set a table for four at TGIF. A double date of sorts. Him and his girlfriend, Kimberly, and me and Portia. Portia and I had already eaten! We were a bit caught off-guard. We arrived and were seated. About five minutes later, Lyndon and Kimberly arrived.
They spoke to some workers at the front, who directed them to us. We shared a few laughs. They ordered food and Portia and I ordered a coffee and a milkshake. We were really full. Kimberly got up and said she had to use the bathroom. When she came back, Lyndon laughed and asked her if “it was okay”. Then they leafed through the menu and asked what dessert was good. Portia and I recommended the Brownie Obsession. So they ordered that as well.
Kimberly began recording a conversation between me and Lyndon. Then in the middle of it, the TGIF waitresses surrounded our table and began doing their Happy Birthday chant. I was confused as hell. I thought it was Lyndon’s birthday. But they were chanting for me. So I told them it wasn’t my birthday.
Then the waitress produced a copy of Littletown Secrets from behind her back and asked, “So this isn’t your gift then?”
I wrote a whole book but I can’t adequately describe my reaction at that moment. I was in a state of absolute shock and victorious ecstasy and that mindful caution you get when you think you’re dreaming. It was just awesome. They had all executed this moment to record my reaction upon seeing my first novel up close.
And I was thinking, man, one year ago I didn’t know what to do. That thirteen year old (thirteen years ago) who wanted to be a writer so badly. A real writer. Holding the book in my hand evokes such powerful emotions. I recalled long nights of pensive self-doubt, melancholy and worry in my adolescence. Having a dream could be such a relentless burden. But finishing a book has always been one of those rarest and greatest rewards for me.
To the thirteen year old in me who first started writing Final Fantasy fan fiction, I wonder if you knew it would’ve come to this.
This publishing journey hasn’t come to an end. There is going to be so much more in stock, I promise.
So this is it. This is what my dream has manifested into. That thirteen year old (thirteen years ago) who wanted to be a writer so badly. A real writer. Holding the book in my hand evokes such powerful emotions. I recall long nights of pensive self-doubt, melancholy and worry in my adolescence. Having a dream could be such a relentless burden. But finishing a book has always been one of those rarest and greatest rewards for me.
To the thirteen year old in me who first started writing Final Fantasy fan fiction, I wonder if you knew it would’ve come to this.
Man, I know more bout American Presidents than these Americans on Jeopardy.
1. The Steelpan: The only new acoustic instrument to be invented and accepted worldwide in the 20th century originated in Trinidad and Tobago.
2. The Queen’s Park Savannah: Trinidad and Tobago is home to the world’s largest traffic roundabout around the Queen’s Park Savannah.
3. World Cup Qualifier: In 2006, Trinidad and Tobago became the smallest country ever to qualifier for the 2006 Football World Cup.
4. Black Beauty: Trinidad and Tobago contestant Ms Janelle “Penny” Commissiong was the first Black Miss Universe in 1977.
5. King Cricket: Trinidad and Tobago’s Brian Charles Lara holds the record for the highest individual score in a test innings (400 not out against England, Antigua 2004). He is also the only batsman to have ever scored a hundred, a double century, a triple century, a quadruple century and a quintuple century in first class games over the course of a senior career.
6. Small Island, Big Energy Industry: Trinidad and Tobago is one of the oldest hydrocarbon producers in the world, with commercial production dating as early as 1908. Trinidad and Tobago is also a major petrochemical hub and is the one of the world’s largest exporters of ammonia, ethanol and liquefied natural gas. The two largest methanol plants in the world are found in Trinidad.
7. The Leatherback Turtle: the largest of all living turtles chooses the shores of Trinidad and Tobago as one of its nesting grounds. Trinidad and Tobago is one of the most important leatherback nesting sites.
8. The Pitch Lake: The Pitch Lake in South Trinidad is the largest natural deposit of asphalt in the world.
9. Calypso Music: Trinidad and Tobago is the birthplace of calypso, a style of Afro-Caribbean music that gained international popularity in the 1950s, primarily through the music of Harry Belafonte.
10. The Greatest Show on Earth: Trinidad and Tobago Carnival has been consistently ranked as one of the top ten Carnival celebrations in the world. It is popularly known as “The Greatest Show on Earth”. The founder of the Notting Hill Carnival, Europe’s largest street festival, Claudia Jones, also hails from Trinidad and Tobago.
11. Do the Limbo: The limbo dance originated as an event that took place at wakes in Trinidad and Tobago, but became internationally renowned through the work of Julia Edwards and her dance company in the 1960s.
12. Flora and Fauna: The oldest rainforest reserve in the Western Hemisphere is located in Tobago. Little Tobago is home to the world’s largest brain coral. Trinidad and Tobago has over 400 species of birds, making it one of the richest birding countries per square mile.
13. Robinson Crusoe and Treasure Island: Tobago was the location of Daniel Defoe’s classic Robinson Crusoe. Tobago is also widely believed to be the place Robert Louis Stevenson had in mind when he penned Treasure Island.
14. Emancipation Day: On August 1, 1985 Trinidad and Tobago became the world’s first country to declare a public holiday in commemoration of the abolition of slavery.
15. Black Power: Trinidad and Tobago-born Stokley Carmichael (also known as Kwame Ture) was a member of the United States Civil Rights Movement who rose to prominence as the Honorary Prime Minister of the Black Panther Party. He popularised the term “black power” as a social and political slogan.
16. ANR Robinson: The only national to serve as Prime Minister and President of Trinidad and Tobago, His Excellency ANR Robinson was instrumental in the establishment of the International Criminal Court (ICC) during his tenure as Prime Minister from 1986-1991. In 1989, during the 44th session of the UN General Assembly, Prime Minister Robinson proposed the creation of the court, which was eventually inaugurated in 2002 to hear cases of crimes against humanity.
17. Dr Joseph Lennox Pawan: Trinidad and Tobago’s Dr Joseph Lennox Pawan achieved international acclaim for the discovery of the transmission of the rabies virus by vampire bats. This led to the development of a vaccine for the virus.
18. Eugene Chen: Born in Trinidad and Tobago, Eugene Chen left behind a successful career and moved to China where he founded the Peking Gazette. Chen later became the Foreign Minister to four successive governments and the personal adviser to Sun Yat-Sen, the founder of Nationalist China.
19. Sexy Trinidad accent: The Trinidad accent ranks 10th of the CNN’s top ten sexiest accents in the world.
20. Hot Pepper: The Trinidad Moruga “Scorpion” Pepper has officially been ranked as the world’s hottest pepper by the Guinness Book of Records.
More promotional artwork for Littletown Secrets, a Trinidadian novel coming out by June.
Personally, I don’t rack my brains with the first line when writing a story but I do take great care when writing the first first three lines or the first paragraph, as I tend to relate this to the ending of the story also. To me, a story comes full circle in the end. Or oval. Or square, or whatever. But I think it’s starting point should relate to its ending point. An ending, to me, is as important as the beginning. But that’s a given.
I think having an opening set of sentences that will immediately introduce a “quirk”, mysterious or not, in your story can set it apart from the rest. It doesn’t have to establish a mood or atmosphere immediately, but there is something awfully poignant about the first lines of a story, just as the opening shot of a great film, or the opening of the curtains in a play to reveal the first set and the positions of the first characters.
Here are a few that introduce the slant of the story immediately:
To end, here are some memorable first lines:
- I am an invisible man. —Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man
- It was a pleasure to burn. —Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451
- It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife. —Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice
- Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins. —Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita
- “It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.” - George Orwell, 1984
The first paragraph, more than the first line, of the story is like the hand that beckons us to enter the door, that first glimpse into this new house. And by the time you leave, you leave through the same door, or a similar door and you probably end up in a backyard full of roses or full of weeds. And you can only think about that hand, that finger curling towards you in a gesture, “Enter.” The front door and the back door. Or maybe through the front door again. Artistically, the book doesn’t have to lay down the grandiosity in the first lines, but the grandiosity should be there when it’s coupled with the last lines.
I write my first lines rather quickly. I usually start with a few opening character descriptions and then leap into the action, mid-dialogue or mid-scene. I think that gets the going going when it needs to be. But yeah, I think of a story as a house. You go through the front door and you see things in the house. All these things have a past that can either go unexplained or not. You go through other doors. You go upstairs and downstairs, different floors. You might go through a cellar door to a very dank and spiderwebby basement. You look for keys that open other doors.
In the end, as you exit, you remember the front door. There’s always a certain sadness as you remember the beginning of each ending, as arduous and painstaking any journey might be.
Hey, did you guys know that the terms “upper case” and “lower case” are named after the positions of the compartments (cases) in which they are stored?