Discovering Aberration Part 2!*

scbarrusvintage_medium

I am very proud to present to you, my wonderful and generous hearted readers, the second part of my guest host’s presentation about his exciting new novel.  Thank you thank you all for being so wonderful in reposting and spreading the word.

It started with a dream

Over the course of the last two and a half years I’ve been working late nights and lunch breaks on a novel entitled Discovering Aberration.

But it didn’t begin as a simple idea for a novel. It began as a dream.

In this dream I was a part of an expedition on a remote island with my cousin searching for a lost  civilization. Through the thick jungle we trekked, pressing through walls of great leaves and hanging vines. We pressed on and eventually hacked our way through the foliage. The world opened up around us, and before us was revealed a great lake; a crater with a  shimmering light submerged deep below the surface.

We rejoiced at finding the light below the water, it was the first sign of our discovery. But as we peered into the depths of the lake, our hearts sank as we saw a horrific sight. Within the lake was a massive beast, a dragon like creature which  swam about our discovery, protecting it over the centuries.

Immediately we set to work, building a device, a rocket strung to the ground with massive rubber bands. We climbed inside and the strange device shot us up into the air, and then, when we reached the point at which the rubber bands were stretched to their limit, we were hurled back down towards the lake to speed past the great and terrible beast.

It was a silly, adventurous dream. Most of it didn’t end up in the  novel other than as a little inspiration, but something about this dream stuck with me and eventually a novel only just barely related was created.

About Discovering Aberration

Discovering Aberration is a character driven steampunk adventure story taking place in  the era of budding steam and clockwork technology. The country of Victoria is in the  midst of a socio-economic divide, and in this divide, crime and villainy has festered. In this world lives our protagonists.

Freddy Fitzgerald is an esteemed adventurer/travel writer. His good friend, Thaddeus Lumpen approaches him on cold spring day with the discovery of a life time, an ancient map he’s stolen from under the nose of a notorious gangster.

Convinced this map will lead them to a long lost  civilization, they immediately build a rag tag team of explorers and archeologists and set out on a dangerous expedition. But in this world of villainy, news of the map leaks and suddenly they are up against a small army of competition.

Vengeful  archeologist, dangerous mercenaries, manipulating scarlets, and more  seek to head them off seeking the fame, the fortune  this discovery can offer them.

When they get to the island, all is not as it should be. People  are going mad, and what’s more, the island hides a deep, dark secret,  lurking in its heart.

Writing Discovering  Aberration has been perhaps the most rewarding work I’ve ever been a part of. I’m  so pleased with how it’s turned out. The novel has become so much more  than the dream ever was.

Indie Publishing

I’ve decided to publish Discovering Aberration myself, so I’ve become not only a  writer, but a publisher, an entrepreneur, a publicist and a marketer.

It’s a strange and competitive world I’ve stepped into. But unlike the  violent competition in my novel, my competition is other writers who  have proven to be some of the most helpful, supportive people in the  world.

I am taking the first step towards publishing  Discovering Aberration by launching a Kickstarter campaign. For those  of you who haven’t heard of Kickstarter, it’s a crowd-funding platform that enables artists like me to bypass  traditional corporations by seeking out funding from everyday people like  you who want to contribute and support.

For as little as $5, you can pledge your support for my novel and in return you’ll receive a professionally edited and  designed copy of the novel before it’s released to the general public. The more you can pledge, the  greater your rewards, including having a character named after you at  the $500 level, and even more in between.

If you’re interested, or want to learn more, please visit my  Kickstarter page which explains the process in detail.

But before you invest in my project, take some time to read the novel itself.  The first 28 chapters  is currently free to read on Wattpad.com.

If you enjoy reading Discovering Aberration as much as I enjoyed writing it, then please consider a small pledge, and be a very real part of this project.

Finally, I’d like to thank Chris for giving me this opportunity to share my  story and my project with you. She has been incredibly gracious and an  early supporter of mine (perhaps the earliest). And I look forward to  meeting and thanking every single one of you who choose to back my  novel.

Cheers,
S.C. Barrus

About S.C. Barrus

S.C. Barrus writes strange and thrilling literary adventures. He’s published short stories, essays and poems in print and online. Born in Canada,  S.C. Barrus grew up near Seattle in the pacific north west where he  lives to this day. He received his degree in creative writing from the  University of Washington.  You can learn more about him at his website Away and Away

Links:

Visit the Discovering Aberration Kickstarter

Read Discovering Aberration on Wattpad

Creativity takes a swerve

I have been wonderfully busy these last few weeks – being creative that is – however none of it is writing.  I have done a lot of thinking about writing and spent some time pondering if there are any new stories to tell.  Of course there are.  New twists and turns to entangle the mind of the reader in a web of intrigue and interest.

I have not come to any great conclusions because after all there might not be any great conclusions at least for my mind, in the here and now.  So I took my focus elsewhere and the idea was to create something that required concentration and to complete the task (I am a great non completer).

We took walks

We took walks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All of us

All of us

I began to knit - fancy dancey scarves like this

I began to knit – fancy dancey scarves like this

2 aran knit sweaters for the boys

2 aran knit sweaters for the boys

a boy a bike and a spanking brand new sweater

a boy a bike and a spanking brand new sweater

Creativity thrives and now as I am almost finished the last sweater I will do for awhile (it is for a 95 year old friend – so I must not dally), it is time to think about words, stories, and adventures.   Have a wonderful weekend all!

 

 

Daily Prompt: Call Me Ishmael – The First Sentence

I usually do not post on a weekend but the Daily Prompt caught my eye and of course I just had to respond.  DP Challenge: Take the first sentence from your favorite book and make it the first sentence of your post.

My very very first thought was my favorite first sentence is not in my favorite book.  Way back in October 2011 I wrote about three of my personal fave authors and called it Cussler, Koontz and Stockett, and the line said, “Death was driving an emerald green Lexus“.

The first sentence of my favorite book is “He should never have taken that short cut.”  It’s from Michael Crighton’s book TIMELINE and the poor book is barely hanging on to existence.  Well actually it is not hanging on at all.  Its soft cover is curled back from the spine top and bottom.  The back cover has about an inch square flapped firmly back and some of the pages are missing.  At first I kept putting the pages back loose leaf like and then one day a few pages disappeared.  That was okay as I thought I would just fill the gaps in from memory as I read and reread and reread.  This book has served me well for the last twelve years but I can’t put it to rest until I replace it.

I discovered a long time ago that bedtime reading cannot be anything I am currently reading for the first time because I simply cannot put the book down.  So bedtime fare is one of a few fave rereads (although sometimes I get so caught up in it….well you know.)

So my poor book, like a weary soldier continues to soothe my soul and mind and guard against that thief of the night, Insomnia’ and yes it will be retired once I find another copy.

my valiant knight/night

my valiant knight/night

looks pretty weary huh?

looks pretty weary huh?

held together by the last straw I think

held together by the last straw I think

Friday’s FITFS …..Linda Cassidy Lewis

FITFS

Linda Cassidy Lewis The Brevity of Roses

 Each Friday I write about somone in the blogosphere who teaches me lessons, is supportive, and like all my Following in the Footsteps heroes is someone I would like in some small way to emulate.

How do I choose my FITFS?  Selecting first, or second, or third would be nigh unto impossible.  In addition to wanting to  honor those who I admire it seemed the easiest way would be to select those who take the time to comment on my posts first.  If you have ever commented then it is quite likely that some Friday, ‘when you least expect it you’re elected’ as the song from Candid Camera goes, you will be highlighted here.

 

 

This theme takes a better defined form  each time I do it. FITFS started out as a blanket praise and is evolving into delicious declarations of each writers’strengths, my fave posts or quotes (cause fave posts are almost impossibloe to choose), and what I have learned or what has inspired me.

Linda Cassidy Lewis is a California girl originally from Indiana.  Artistically she began expressing her creativity through drawing and eventually portaits with clientele in the US, Europe, and UK.  She is the consumate artist, drawing, living art, beading, and of course that fave expression of each of us – writing.

Certainly LCL (don’t her initials even seem poetic?) is dedicated, tenacious, persistent and very talented.

It is almost impossible to choose a favorite post – there are so  many.  Her first post was I believe October 13, 2008 in which she discusses how the Ms. Perfect side of her being judges everything she writes as garbage and with she posted a quote by C. J. Sherryh; ‘It is perfectly okay to write garbage as long as you edit brilliantly.’

My fave quote by Linda herself is; ‘When  you hoard imagination it suffers a sad, lonely death, so, as an act of mercy, I write fiction.’  Bloody brilliant I say!

See this author is all about inspiration so how could my own Ms. Perfect even think of holding me back.  So far Linda  Cassidy Lewis is the Doer and I with toes in the frigid unknown seas of publication stand poised and ready to jump in, getting braver every moment by her display of bravery.

She has a number of literary projects on the go and is the published author of ‘The Brevity of Roses. and I quote from Michelle Davidson Argyle author of ‘Monarch'; Told in gorgeous poetic tones, The Brevity of Roses will take you on a journey delving into the unique characters as delicate and beautiful as a rose itself.  Lewis’real understanding of relationships is phenomenal.’

Do yourself a favor and visit the mulitalented, multifaceted gem of a writer, and please click a ‘like’ or leave a wee comment for her.  Something we all appreciate!

I am now off to the last supper for our Scots cuz who alas must depart tomorrow!

And once again in case that linky thing isn’t working or I have made a mistake, please find LCL at lindacassidylewis.com

 

This Writer: Has Been Gished

This awfternoon I watched a movie from 1930 I beelieve which starred Lillian Gish in her first talkie.  It was a terribly wonderful and touching movie in which she plays a princess whose mother is trying dreadfully hard to get her to marry a prince.  Her name was Alexaandra and his Albert.  But she fancied herself in love with a Tutor whose name was Nicholas.

The strangest thing happened – and in the event you thought I may have developed typoitis – I am simply trying to give you the idea of what happened.  I went outside following the satisfying end of the movie and as I thawt great thawts I found her little girlish voice running madly about my brain.

So madly in fact, every single thawt is terribly wonderful and sprite like and glamorous.  How strange!  I mean reaally how could this happen?

The dialogue itself was, I thawt ratha plain and simple but combined with those eyes, those gestures hung over from silent movies, I was captured into a world of gentility and grace.

Why right now I find myself looking at cleaning supplies I had out, before I realized I was truly a princess and truly gished.

Why I find myself gesturing much the same as she.  How simply wondaful.  Wondaful I say and yes I mean it!

This was not at all what I had in mind for today’s post, but until the magic dust of Gish dissapates I am quite unable to carry on as the commoner I once believed myself.  I do beelieve that by the morrow this may have passed.  Perhaps.

Nonetheless I shall with great exaggeration play this out to its end.  It is the only way you see.

Taa Taa for now my worthy subjects.  I am off to enjoy the Gishing and shall have to find some sheer fabric to toss around as I think, walk, and tawk.

Oh The Plots We Weave: A Normal Guy and a Smart Guy ..Oh and Eating Crow

Oh the Plots We Weave

Mondays are Plot days.  Stories from the press with a few ‘whys’ and ‘what ifs’  which could be the makings of a possible story line.  A bit of creative brain exercise.  Yes I know this is Tuesday but since the last few days have been spent with my Scots Cuz Rachael and other family members, ‘making merry’ as Bob Cratchit would say, I have seen neither newspaper or telecasts.

So today’s ‘What ifs’ are really one line from two different stories, one last week and one from ages ago that I tucked into my grey matter for future use and wonders of wonders was able to extract.

The first was a headline in our local rag; MAN ACCUSED OF ARSON AND MURDER A NORMAL GUY.  Huh????  For some reason the press decided to lead with a statement from the accused’s brother.  Being a wordsmith my response remains ‘Huh”?????  I mean I suppose there are some possible ‘what ifs’ but geez (wordsmithing again) they pretty  much only extend to alien or evil possession and that story has been told time and time again.

The other line from a past story concerned a man whose office was relocated to a very high newly constructed building.  Some of the office staff were apprehensive about safety issues.  The man said he would show them how safe it was and launched himself against the plate glass which promptly broke and he fell to his death.  The statement in the article was, “He was a very smart man.”

I’m sure he was but the statement begs another big ‘Huh’???? I am not sure I can even come up with a what if for this one.  Can you?

Have you witnessed or read anything in the last week that got your mind churning with ‘what ifs’.  They are all around us just waiting to be snapped up.  My hero Stephen King does it all the time.

Now for that less than delectable lunch of crow:

My sibs and I are very close and really like each other.  My brother Keith who is less than a year younger than I is more like me than not.  At least that is what his wife says.  I have always placed my brothers on well deserved pedestals, but there is one specific situation in which we clash.  It has now happened twice in the last two years now.

Here is the scene:  five people are driving in a car to a specific location.  The same location as two years ago.  Our destination is in an area I frequently drive through.  He does not.  I am sitting in the back.

Me:  Keith what route are you taking?

K: 52

Me and my sis in unison:  FIFTY-TWO??????

Through further dialogue not necessary to record here he finally goes my suggested route.  Once we arrive at our destination he madly drives first down one road and then down another until he in fact finds 52.  Not a word is said as we proceed back to our target.  When we leave at evening’s end he quickly heads down the road to 52.  Nary a word is spoken by me.  Somewhere in the conversation earlier he said something to my cuz in the front seat about not having duct tape when you need it.

Okay here comes the Crow eating. Ahem (clearing throat).

Dear Brother,  whilst my directions did get us there I have to confess openly, and generously, and modestly, that left to your own devices you would have reached your destination just fine.

PS (not for Keith’s eyes) I still could have gotten us there more directly.

PPS Next time I shall supply the duct tape and apply it to myself prior to launch.

PPPS I just love how magnaminous I am!

PPPPS I guess 2 head-ons in 2 years isn’t so bad.

***It is highly unlikely that my brother will not read this as he does not read my blogs.  However there is a chance my cuz may.

Grow – For 5 Minute Friday and the Gypsy Mama

Grow – For 5 Minute Friday and the Gypsy Mama

It’s time for some Friday fun – Gypsy Mama Style!
‘For only five short, bold, beautiful minutes. Unscripted and unedited. We just write without worrying if it’s just right or not.’
 Today’s subject?
GROW
You can grow together, grow apart, grow a garden, grow a heart.
You can grow a beard, grow a plan, grow a seed made for man.
You can grow a business from that plan and that seed made for man.
You can grow love, grow hate, just not ingrown
Grow up, grow down, grow in, grow out,
And there is you can bet….some even grow a set!
STOP!  Times up!
1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. Most importantly: leave a comment for the person who linked up before you – encouraging them in their writing!

Literary Lunacy….and It’s Not My Fault!

 

I heard about it but never believed it..no I guess I believed it but never thought it would happen to me..and it did…and it’s not my fault.


I marveled at Stephen King in his book ‘On Writing‘ and a multitude of other well known, even famous authors who talked about a story coming to life when the characters take over their own life/story/tale.

It all started a few months ago, about April I think when my brother asked me out to coffee.  I adore both my brothers and will spend as much time in their company that they can stand.  I am thrilled!  Bro had been reading my blogs and it seemed he liked them enough to think I could help him with a story line..actually a book.  You see he had this vision for a book he had been thinking about for some time and by the time we met he was able to describe intricate characters and events.  No that’s not the lunacy part.

He didn’t have names but he sure had events and sequence and as he related it he stared off as though actually recalling events, places, times.  No that’s not the lunacy part either.

I took as many notes as I could and by the time he finished speaking I could see it..the story..the people.  The first few weeks I did considerable research on a whole bunch of things I needed to know.  In digging into the location out west his name, the main character I mean, came to me.  Then his mom and dad and sister.  Then I began to fill in the gaps between the events my bro described..but it didn’t seem to be me..it seemed to be the characters telling me.  No that’s not the lunacy part either.

Anyway my son’s Royal Wedding came up in May so I had to drop it for a few days.  I worked a little more on it then my move to Hamilton came up and I shelved it fora few weeks, but continued to think about these people.  Okay the lunacy is getting a little closer.

These people will not get out of my head – that’s the first lunacy AND they are changing the story..just a bit..the basic premise remains the same and I can see the changes enrich the fabric of the story..but here is the lunacy..for all to see…..

I am up way too late because I have lost the argument to these people in my head.  I cannot in good conscience make drastic changes to the story without at least letting my brother know.. ..So I started typing out the story line and events and people to him..because …LUNATIC HERE…they, the characters will not let the story go any further without Bro’s being aware of it.

I mean dear brother..there is no point asking you for approval..it’s out of our hands, I must now do their bidding…all the events stay true…for the most part as you saw it…

Real Lunacy = Me hoping now they will let me get some sleep.  It’s gonna be a long long day tomorrow!!

On a Much Lighter Note..Mama Kat’s First Slow Dance With a Boy

Thank Goodness for Mama Kat and her Thursday blog challenge. This week’s prompts:

2.) Tell us about your song.
4.) Slow dancing with boys…talk about one of your first school dance experiences.

It’s a two for one kind of deal!

Once upon a time, long long ago, say around 1959, my public school, J. F. Carmichael held a dance every second Friday in the evening. It was called Club 87 as it was only open to these two grades. Our parents took turns chaperoning the event which from time to time could be embarrassing if they tried to actually dance because not one of us could imagine people that ancient actually dancing.

Not exactly how it was but...

Now the interesting thing about our age group is that many of the girls were taller than the boys who had not yet reached their growth spurt. If you ever saw the movie Grease (and I hope all have) there is a dance scene in the gym where the girls line up on one side and the boys on the other each group getting support from their peers, girls tapping their feet and boys shuffling theirs and doing their best to appear manly in dress slacks and ties. All being very shy and all shucks about it.

I don’t even remember his name but he was dashing in his slicked dark slicked back hair. As we danced in proper form he drew me closer and his head was at the level of my mouth. Turning his head I got a mouthful of Brylcreem as I was about to speak. Brlycreem..a little dab’l do ya…so the advert went but in his desire for the ultimate cool he had used way more than that little dab.

A small matter because the song they were playing was Paul Anka‘s ‘Put Your Head on My Shoulder‘. Well at least he could put his head on mine.  And it was perfect.

It doesn’t matter where I am, if I hear that song I am immediately transported back to that gym and my first slow dance with Mr. Brylcreem…..sigh.  It was wonderful.

hmmm I was taller he was shorter

PAUL ANKA
“Put Your Head On My Shoulder”
 

Put your head on my shoulder
Hold me in your arms, baby
Squeeze me oh so tight
Show me that you love me too

Put your lips next to mine, dear
Won’t you kiss me once, baby
Just a kiss goodnight, maybe
You and I will fall in love
(You and I will fall in love)

People say that love’s a game
A game you just can’t win
If there’s a way
I’ll find it someday
And then this fool with rush in

Put your head on my shoulder
Whisper in my ear, baby
Words I want to hear
Tell me, tell me that you love me too
(Tell me that you love me too)

Put your head on my shoulder
Whisper in my ear, baby
Words I want to hear, baby
Put your head on my shoulder

 

Thank you Photobucket.

I Swear -The Worst Movie Ever

I Swear The Worst Movie Ever

 I put little faith in movie reviews and think it is too bad when critics pan what is truly a good movie, but worse yet are the ones they rave about making me wonder who is getting payoffs AND makes me wonder when the public responds with a hellya are they just trying to fit into what is popular? I know, I know…. Personal appreciation and perception is well…personal but my head swims and my tummy does somersaults.

 Last night after a nice patio dinner out my sister-in-law and I decided to see BRIDESMAIDS. When she mentioned it I was all ‘Oh I heard such good reviews, lets go!”

 One review I read said it was, “An unexpectedly funny new comedy about women in love.”

 It has nothing to do with women in love, in fact it is about the Kristin Wiig character who is so screwed up she settles for the worst kind of lover, the booty call only, and clumsily tries to deal with the downside of her life not very well.

 We watched as the movie started, flat and boring thinking that any minute the story would start to flow, that something or somebody would connect but it never happened.

After about thirty minutes my SIL looked at me, brows furrowed, and said, “Seamus O’Reagan at CTV said it was a great movie.”

 We suffered through hoping that redemption for monies paid would miraculously appear.

Alas it never did.  The theatre never did rock with wild laughter but there was a chuckle or two at the banal scenes. Go figure.

 There was never at any moment chemistry between any of the characters.  It really did seem they were just reading their lines, no passion, and no connection as if they each said the lines alone on a stage.  Just saying words.

Mind you the writing was flat and that moment of humor that should have occurred was missed.  The timing was awful.

 The cast was wooden apparently unable to show appropriate emotion, or any emotion and the writing was equally as flat lacking any revelation of something more than a sulk. I am not sure any actor on earth could have accomplished the goal to entertain as it was written.

 Even the worst movies have a redeeming feature and in this one it was Melissa McCarthy who I had never seen before but she could well become a big star.

 If your tastes go to inappropriately used F* shots, and bridesmaids with food poisoning barfing in porcelain thrones while another defecates in a sink and another says the most horrible things about her children including profane name calling, and do not require well written wit you may enjoy it.

PS It was interesting watching other viewers.  One young guy probably about 25 was riveted in his seat; leaning forward, chin on his hands smiling to beat the band.  Another young, no older than 20 wearing minus 0 size clothes girl overheard me say it was the worst movie ever as we left, and she looked at me and said, “ You’re kidding? I thought it was so beautiful I cried.”

 Go figure.  Maybe it is an age thing.

 

 

 

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