REVIEW: The Book about Nothing, Nothing at all by Yew Ish

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Photo credit to Amazon.

I was asked to review a short book by the author Yew Ish, titled “The Book about Nothing, Nothing at all.” I will admit it’s a short review and I’m sorry but that, but given the content it was hard to write up a detailed one, without giving away the basis of the book.

I have to say I did enjoy it. I opened it to have a look at the length, style, heaviness of reading after three hours worth of academic reading and study. It was a breath of fresh air and I will admit I found it amusing, light hearted and it definitely earned a smile.

It’s not something that will take hours to read, it is a short story, five minutes tops. So that’s great.

I did find it had a very Dr Seuss style feel to the way it read, which I think added to it.

So I don’t want to give too much away, which given its length and content is hard. So I won’t go into too much detail. But it’s one of those items that you would buy someone as a humorous style gift, think fake lotto ticket or exercise block. It’s entirely comical and enjoyable. But not something you would buy if you wanted a serious, in depth read.

You can purchase it at Amazon and Goodreads. And you can find out more on Facebook and via a youtube trailer.

I can’t give you a rating on it, as well there’s no real story line, character development, plot, etc. But I did just enjoy the simplicity of the book, and it was just so nice to have something so light hearted and easy to read.

Bec

I was given a copy in exchange for a review. But no other endorsement was made.

Writing Chapter One…

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Image sourced from Pinterest. Credit to the owners.

Writing Chapter One…

So many people say that they want to write but can’t. They don’t have the time, the imagination, the resources, skills, it’s too hard etc.

I want to say first of all, it’s not too hard. NEVER is writing too hard. What it is, is time consuming. And that in itself varies depending on your level of dedication.

Anyone can write. Anyone can draft a story, be it 500 words long or 500,000 words long. It’s not hard. Toddlers can verbally tell you a story. Something as inanimate as a tree can tell you a story, the markings in the bark, the damage to a branch. What you hear however, that is how it is told.

Writing comes in many forms, as does story telling. I have read some pretty terrible stories and some pretty great ones. But there are two things I have learned along the way:

  • Everyone gets better, rarely is your first story your best. My first fan fictions are shocking compared to my latest.
  • Everyone has their own style. This is key for me and it is the one thing I have learned during my time at TAFE studying professional writing. Each person has their own style, strengths, flaws. They all see and tell a scene differently. Some are so incredibly descriptive that you don’t know if you should keep reading or skip that section as you’ve read enough. Some barely have description and tend to leave it to the reader. Find yours and the stories will come. This isn’t just about genre it’s about the way you write as well.

You have the ability to write. Good or bad story telling is still story telling. But it won’t improve unless you start.

Time- that’s a factor many of us have issues with. I spent the first 12 months of my writing life, writing almost full time. Now it’s not as much, but if I ever get published I am happy to go back to that schedule. The more I wrote the better my mojo flowed.

Writing can take very little time, some authors only write a page or two a day, that’s about a book a year. That’s fantastic. Some write less. Some more. Can you get up half an hour earlier? Go to bed an hour later? Type it in over your lunch break?

I will be completely honest, if you want to write you’ll find the time. Writing is a passion and something that you need to want to do for yourself, for others, for your characters. It’s just a matter of putting words to paper.

So many people think you need something fancy to get your story out. You don’t. Pen and paper will do. Although publishers usually only accept typed copies now days. You can write your novel in anything from MS Word to Apple’s Pages, there is even software like Open Office that is free to download.

I tried using Scrivener but failed miserably. I found it too distracting and complicated. I like to be able to source what I need when I need and just have a basic word processing program. I have even added to my stories on my smart phone and tablet using the notes app and sent it through to myself and reformatted it to fit.

Skills, like the story telling ability, are something you learn along the way. Read other books, see how the novel is formatted, how they present it. Take note of punctuation and grammar. Even Google it. Everything is on the internet, you just have to search for it. There are even free lessons on grammar available. Most word processors come with a free spell check, it’s a great starting place, but never rely on it for everything.

When you discover something you were doing wrong or have trouble with it, write it down and stick it somewhere you can see. My wall is covered in grammar notes from when I first started. Including two brief sentences “Grasping for breath.” and “Remember to breathe.” I kept getting the two mixed up and it was just easier that way. Now I don’t need them but it was great to have that reminder. Same with the difference between then and than. While I knew them, in the midst of typing away or editing, I found I would have mental blanks and the reminder was helpful.

When it comes to imagination I will admit some people aren’t as imaginative as others. But that’s fine. It comes with practice. Start by trying to picture things in your head, your favourite TV episode, recall a conversation, think about what you would have said if they have of said the opposite. Then learn to question things. In primary school we were always taught research involved:

Who

What

When

Where

Why

How

Story telling has the same basis.

Who is involved in it?

What is happening?

When does it happen?

Where does it take place?

Why is it happening?

How does it happen?

Starting with these basic questions is a great way to begin to plan a novel if you need that extra help.

But most importantly you need to take the plunge and start. It doesn’t even have to be the beginning of your story. Write the ending first, the middle it doesn’t matter what order it comes together in as long as it does. If you’re worried about it all flowing nicely afterwards. Don’t. It’s why we edit.

What are your tips for starting your first story?

Bec

xx

Mesilithia- K.D. Delgado

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Illustration by Nicholas Lonprez, supplied by K.D. Delgado

Synopsis added curtesy of the author J (credit to K.D. Delgado)

Mesilithia is the first of a fantasy book series that will draw you in and take you to another world.

In modern day Texas, David and Katie’s lives are turned upside down by a stranger who attacks them and kidnaps Katie. David follows them, hoping to save his wife, only to find that the wife he once knew no longer exists…

Come along for the adventure of a lifetime, with Katie, David and Lord Wicket, as they battle the evil Snites to reclaim the land and try to find a way home. Will David be able to win back his wife’s heart, now that it belongs to Lord Wicket? Will they ever return home to their children? Or will they stay in Mesilithia forever?

Mesilithia

The first book in The Mesilithia series, by K.D. Delgado.

So, I was asked to do a review of Mesilithia, a young adult fantasy book written by K.D. Delgato, published by Meizius Publishing. It is the first in it’s series and is available for purchase through Amazon.

I will state now that I was given a copy of the book to read in exchange for a review. No other form of compensation was given and I will give an honest review.

The plot itself is fantastic. It has a huge amount of potential to become an amazing series, fitting right in there with the likes of The Chronicle of Narnia and Akarnae. Travelling to other worlds through portals, with a twist of the whole angels vs demons war without the religious aspect. K.D. Delgato has a vivid imagination that has included folk lore with new twists and it will capture the imagination of young teens and kids. It’s something that I could enjoy and find myself needing to know what happens next.

But personally I feel that the style of writing is off slightly. While I love that it is simple to read, she’s not used a lot of words that will cause my kids to come in search of definitions (Names that she had made up, excluded). The lack of flourish with some of it fails the text. But that said, if the book was being aimed at older teens (I’m thinking 15 and up and adults). Yes, my oldest two are only 12 and 11, but they read well beyond their age group. They probably won’t read this and enjoy it as much as they do other books in the fantasy genre.

My 8 year old, however, will love this book. He will be able to grasp the language in it well, it’s simplified enough that he won’t lose his concentration and it will allow him to enhance the areas needed with his own imagination.

I am not saying that it’s suited for children. I’m more thinking the younger end of the young adult range. My 8 year old, like my other two, reads above his age group.

Mesilithia is a book that I would happily buy for him to read. It’s novella length will give him a sense of accomplishment as he moves through it quickly. The simplicity, as I mentioned before, will have him raving on about it like his older siblings do with Firstlife, The Hunger Games etc.

I personally hate judging people on writing styles. I believe everyone has their own voice, I hate having people tell writers how they should be writing. I think each writer will have their own fan base, as what suits one reader won’t suit another.

So in doing this review, while the style of writing didn’t appeal to me as much as I had hoped. I know others out there who will love it.

This book however, would be fantastic for those want a story that is short, sharp and shiny. There’s no messing around, no distractions. It gets to the point. And moves on with it. Almost every scene is necessary, there is not a lot of “fillers” as I call it. Random bits to lighten the mood or add to the word count.

I won’t make a comment on the cover as it’s currently being redesigned.

The grammar and punctuation was a let down. I know almost all books have something here or there that the reader picks up on. A missing comma or full stop, misspelt word. The Mortal Instruments had quite a few. And no author or editor is perfect. But there was more than I would like to see in a published book, including incorrect punctuation for dialogue. That said, I only figured out how it was meant to be set out last year. So I can’t complain too much. I don’t look at this as an issue with the author, more one for their editing and publishing team.

I did find the book confusing at times and a few sections I did have to re-read. There’s a scene where two of the characters meet up after being separated. And that’s great. But the following chapter then goes on to show one of them finding out that the other is in Mesilithia, taking place chronologically before the chapter prior to it. Then the chapter after carries on after the meeting takes place. It was confusing and would read so much better if it was cut and placed further up. Or something like, earlier that day… was added to the top of the chapter.

There was also some confusion with the gestures being made, people shook their heads in agreement. Personally, I thought they were saying no; until I realised otherwise.

Overall, the book has a lot of potential and those in the younger range of the young adult group will enjoy it. Especially if a few parts are clarified a bit better. There is definitely potential for the series to go places with a bit of tweaking. And it is one that I will keep my eyes out for as the series progresses. I give it three quills.

You can check out more on K.D. Delgato on her Facebook page and Twitter. Mesilithia can be found on Facebook and  Amazon and the book trailer can be found on Youtube.

Bec
This review is my own thoughts; I am by no means endorsed  for it. The book was supplied  by the author, in exchange for the review.

A Website That Tells All…

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Books HD sourced from Flicker

So I am meant to be editing Compliant, or writing one of the two books I am working on. Or probably better yet making a start on pancakes for the kids lunch or the brownies for footy tomorrow.

But I made a huge mistake (Aside from finally letting myself watch the promo episode of the Walking Dead. But that’s a whole other post) I jumped on Twitter.

Currently Pantera Press is having an open house with the NSW Writer’s Center. It’s absolutely fabulous and if you’re on Twitter Check it out under the hash tag #PPOpenHouse, or either of the other two’s twitter pages. It’s been incredibly informative.

Among the suggestions and talk was another hashtag #mswl. I was curious as it’s something I had seen been used before but was clueless as to what it meant.

It’s a hashtag used by publishers, literary agents, editors, etc in order to promote the manuscripts they are currently seeking. Can I say ‘Oh My God!? This is a fantastic resource for anyone looking to get published and are not sure if your manuscript is ready to face the world.

Be sure to check out the website Manuscript Wishlist. Hopefully it can help bring together writers and publishers and fill our shelves with some more pretty amazing adventures.

Bec
xx

Weekend Writing Prompt

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Good Morning,

Welcome to this weekend’s writing prompt. How did you go last week? I know some of you enjoyed it.

For your actions there are consequences. The problem was, she hadn’t believed it until now.

See how you go with this weeks. The first part of this is a standard lecture I give my kidlets. I have found it to be one of the truest sayings I have ever heard. Regardless of what you do there is always a response. Good, bad. Big, small. It doesn’t matter. An action always has a reaction.

Does this lead you to a feel good story? Did the protagonist (story’s main character) stop a bully and ultimately save the victims life?

Did she open Pandora’s box?

Did she finally answer the call from the blocked number that had been calling her for over a week?

Did she smile at a stranger? What was their response?

I can’t wait to see what you come up with. Feel free to contact me and let me know, either in the comments below or through my other forms of social media.

Twitter

Instagram

Tumblr

Google+

Email: bechombsch@dodo.com.au

Enjoy your weekend,
Bec

Scribe Non Fiction Prize for Young Writers

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Photo Credit to Scribe Publications (I borrowed it from their Facebook Post)

PLEASE NOTE:

Competition closes: Monday 2nd May 2016 at 9am (Please note that the web link did originally post two dates, but I have since confirmed it with Scribe Publications. It is definitely due 2/5/16)

Age Limits: 30 and under.

Residency requirements: Australian Resident

Weblink: Scribe Publications – The Scribe Non Fiction Prize for Young Writers

Word limit: 5,000 – 10,000 words

Genre: All forms of nonfiction accepted, including essays, journalism, memoirs and creative non fiction.

Prize: $3,000 cash
Editorial mentorship to help develop your work ready for publication.
And a range of new release Scribe books

For submission guidelines, terms and conditions and the link to submit please see the competition page at Express Media.