CHAPTER 5

 

Present, n. That part of eternity dividing the domain of disappointment from the realm of hope.

-Ambrose Bierce


Alex exhaled sharply. He hadn’t even realised that he’d been holding his breath. He felt dizziness swirl about him, like he’d been engulfed within a powerful, emotional tornado, affecting only him. That’s how tornadoes work though, destroying one house while leaving its neighbour unscathed.

“It doesn’t make any sense,” he muttered, trying to steady himself against this unexpected barrage of vertigo. He was afraid that he may pass out.

“Dad, are you okay?” Lorne said, supporting his father’s weight.

Lorne helped Alex to the chesterfield. Alex looked inside the cigar box, unable to dispel the disbelief he felt. “Dad wrote me out of the will for this?”

“What is it?” Jeff asked. Alex handed him the box. Inside was the missing medal. It was star-shaped and tarnished. Decades of neglect had covered it in a thick brown patina. A tattered red, white, and blue ribbon held on tenuously to a ring on the top of the star. There were words etched on it, but they were indecipherable through the tarnish. Underneath the medal, was an old black and white photograph of what appeared to be a family of four; a husband, a wife, and two children, a boy and a girl. They were dressed in fine clothes, the males wearing suit jackets and ties, the females wearing dresses. Both the males wore yarmulkes. The photo was slightly discoloured and wrinkled, but otherwise in decent condition. Continue reading “CHAPTER 5”

CHAPTER 4

Hammering Out The Kinks

     I knew when I took this on that there were going to be obstacles and challenges and I’ve hit a few of them now. The biggest problem with blogging a book as far as the reader is concerned is how easy it is to navigate to other chapters. I’ve added the chapter of the book to each blog title, hopefully it’ll help. I’m also planning on posting each chapter again, without the boring preamble so you can just skip ahead to the story without having to put yourself through the agony of reading about my thoughts and ideas.

     Also, I’ve added historical quotes to the beginning of each chapter. I had originally planned on doing it only a few times throughout the story, but because I’m a pompous ass, I’m doing it more. I’ve also discovered my first story flaw. At first Alex was said to be well off financially, but that doesn’t really make sense. He needs to be a broken man. His marriage (and love life) is a shambles, his family life is tenuous, and his job is falling apart. He’s broke. He needs money, and the sting from being disinherited has to reflect that. I also changed the length of time that he’s been divorced. Earlier, it was only 5 years. Now, it’s 11. It seemed like the longer estrangement would amplify the hurt feelings exponentially. Continue reading “CHAPTER 4”

CHAPTER 3

So You Wanna Be A Writer.

I don’t pretend to be an authority on writing. Surely I’m no more qualified than the next guy, and less qualified than others, but I do have some advice. People ask me for tips and opinions and I can tell you that there’s no one way to do it.  As near as I can tell, there are only 2 requirements to being a writer: 1) You have to write. 2) You have to read.

That’s it, really. It’s oversimplified but that’s what you need to do. Treat your writing like it’s your job. Schedule time to do it in between all your other responsibilities, like your actual, bring-home-the-bacon job, or raising your family, or brokering world peace. Don’t stop to edit, or spell check, or browse Imgur. Just write. Don’t interrupt the muse. It’s only through practice that you’ll discover your unique voice and style.

Here’s the clincher though, don’t write if it becomes a chore. If you’ve hit a block, or it’s becoming tedious, then take a break. Don’t force it. Continue reading “CHAPTER 3”

CHAPTER 2

Blood Is Thicker Than Water.

So we’ve met our protagonist, Alex, and his immediate family. I found them all to be tricky, especially Alex and his sister, Emily.

I need to set up Alex as generally being very unhappy in his life. It will be important for him to later want a fresh start but he can’t do that until he addresses all the baggage in his life.

Also, while he doesn’t understand Lorne he isn’t a hate filled homophobe. He’s from a generation where homosexuality wasn’t accepted. I hope I’ve made that clear in the narrative. Continue reading “CHAPTER 2”

CHAPTER  1

Why Blog A Book?

I’ve gotten this question a lot this week, and there’s no easy answer. Certainly it’s not right for everyone. But it is for me.

Serial fiction is hardly new. Charles Dickens did it and so did Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. It was very popular during the Victorian Age because it was affordable and it has been around since then, in varying formats. Arguably, television shows like 24, Breaking Bad, or Game Of Thrones are modern examples of serial fiction. Now TV shows obviously aren’t the same as books, but it is the natural evolution of storytelling.

One of my fave writers, Margaret Atwood, has written one. I’m no Dickens, Doyle, or Atwood, but it seems to me that if these greats can see the benefits of the serial novel then it can’t be all bad. Continue reading “CHAPTER  1”

PROLOGUE 

     You’ve Gotta Start Somewhere.

     I’m sure you’re all wondering why I’ve gathered you here today. It’s quite simple, really. I need your help. You see, over the past several years I’ve been toiling away, trying to write a book but I’ve hit a wall. Writer’s block or ennui or just plain, old laziness has put the kibosh on any real output. I need motivation, a reason of some sort to keep at it, otherwise I’ll just retreat to the couch and binge watch netflix. So, I hereby promise to release a new chapter every Friday, and I sure as heck wouldn’t want to disappoint the ones and twos of you who wait with bated breath for the next chapter.

     Let me preface this. I don’t consider myself an author. I don’t even think of myself as a writer. I’m a storyteller and I have one I want to share. Bear in mind, this is a serial novel, and if reading a chapter at at time isn’t for you, then neither is this exercise. Also, Even though it is “published” via the internet weekly, it is still a first draft, and will necessarily be rough. I know this is unorthodox, but I’m hopeful it will also be fun. The reality is that the finished product will not be conventionally published, though I’d love if it were. It’s hard. It’s really, really hard. Continue reading “PROLOGUE “