Review: Chicken Nuggets – The Raptor Apocalypse

I’ve never written a proper, well thought out book review before.

I don’t imagine this review would fall into either category as well, however, I want to entice you to reading a new book by Steve Yeager that seems to have a humorous title, but is far from being a comedy.

Chicken Nuggets – The Raptor Apocalypse

Is a story about what happens after a scientifically created bird of prey is released into the world to greatly diminish the human population with the intent to “start over”. We follow the lives of two main characters, Jesse and Cory after the first five years of the raptor release.

Jesse is a law man from Texas who has seen everyone he cares about fall to the fowl demons, yet somehow, finds the will to continue on living rather than succumb to their razor sharp teeth of death.

Cory is part of the group that engineered this apocalypse, and is forced out of his underground shelter in New York to see why communication has been lost with another groups of his peers in Denver. He must now cross the country, on foot, to reestablish contact with the Denver cell. He is now prey to his own creation and will also witness the life that survivors have grown accustom to in the five year since it all began.

How does it all end? Well – if I told you, you wouldn’t read the book.

I have not read many post-apocalyptic stories, but this one really kept my interest. A little slow to start, Chicken Nuggets becomes a true page turner about a third of the way in and kept hold of my interest through to the end.

Chicken Nuggets – The Raptor Apocalypse is available as an E-book on both Amazon and Barnes & Noble. A paperback version can also be purchased on Amazon.

Available on-line in e-book and soft cover at Amazon and Barnes & Noble

Chicken Nuggets – The Raptor Apocalypse


Thought of the Day

Golly…I haven’t thought about much in the past two months.

Let me think about that for a while…


Thought of the Day

Reading a book is a beautiful thing.

Why waste precious natural resources over and over again to read it.

Read a book – not a screen.

At least a book only used natural resources once to be made.

Okay – this is the closest I’ll ever come to being an activist – (don’t know if I did it right either)

Now the picture that inspired this thought.

Read a book


Finding Your Mojo

In the many Facebook wall posts, individual blog entries and Meet-up discussions I’ve seen in the short time since the New Year began, I’ve noticed a theme among all of them; “I need to start writing again” or  “I can’t find my motivation,” or “I just have to force myself to write.”

I too have felt the burning desire to get back to writing and, have also experienced the disappointment of not being able to get rolling the way I want to. Rather than disappoint myself into defeat by cracking the whip on my own back, or by setting unattainable goals, I decided to take a step back and just allow myself to grow naturally.

It all started with the first step – deciding which of the three stories that I am currently developing to start with. This in itself may not be an easy choice for some. I decided to work on the rewrite of my completed Erotic Romance novella. I had finished the first draft back in July and have recently received some feedback on the first two chapters from members of Stonehenge, the Meet-upTM writer’s group I work with, so I felt it was the story that I had the best chance of doing anything with successfully.

The second step was what many folk are having a difficult time with right now. Finding time. I found some time, one hour every morning where I had no distractions, no interruptions and a quiet atmosphere to work in. So I began the rewrite. It wasn’t a very large block of time, but it was something.

The first day I produced a paltry 374 words in that hour. Oh – whoopee! Atta-boy David! You’ve got a good first paragraph (exaggeration – it was really about 5 paragraphs). Needless to say, I was less than exuberant with my results. But then I just had to tell myself that it was a step forward. It was progress after all. Why berate myself on not being able to pen half a book in one hour? It was a success!

Day two was much better. In that one hour window, I had added to my initial 374 words to reach 1100.  Still not a big leap forward but forward progress nonetheless.

Day three I broke 1000 new words in one hour. That was a lot! I was quite proud of myself for the first time since I did 8000 words in one day when finishing the first draft. I looked forward to the next day’s hour with great expectations.

Day four – another 1000 word hour and the story was actually flowing nicely as well. Realizing that my efforts weren’t just creating dribble, that one thousand words in an hour made me feel very good about myself. Again, I looked forward to the next day.

Day five, six and seven have all seen 1000+ word days in that one hour window of opportunity. Something is happening. I’m writing! How can this be? I didn’t even feel stressed or hurried over the past week. I’ve actually got something on paper (well, pixels at least) and it wasn’t the drudgery that I thought it would be. I sort of forgot that I had to write and just wrote.

That’s the trick. Stop telling yourself that you have to write, like it’s a job. Most of us are still doing this as a “hobby” in conjunction with our real jobs, so why make it a task when it should be fun?

Taking that one step further – why feel the need to sit and write for hours on end? Write when it feels good and for as long as it feels good and the work flows. When you hit a hurdle, pause for a moment and try to think it through. If the answer doesn’t come immediately to you, put it down and go do something else. I have found that in working this way, I get through stumbling blocks much easier than I used to. When you are in the heat of the moment, and you come upon a problem, one part of your mind is saying “screw it! I have to get this other information down” while another part fights the first and says, “No! We must solve this problem first BEFORE we go on. The fate of the free world depends on it!”

Both are right to some degree, and if you can skip ahead and continue writing then come back to whatever is hanging you up, then go for it. I have the tendency to get marred down in trying to solve a problem, the result of which is I get frustrated, angry, disenchanted and begin second guessing everything about my story. I get stuck in other words. No one likes that feeling and it is probably why many of us find it difficult to get started after a break. We don’t want to feel that way.

The baby step approach I’ve been describing above has helped me find my groove. I work, not expecting much, but end up achieving a lot. When I feel good, I write. When I am stuck, I walk away and think about it. Usually, I can work through my problems and at the next one-hour writing window, I can implement changes and move on, many time still achieving a 1000 word hour. But the most important thing that helps me maintain this one-hour-a-day schedule is that I feel good and am looking forward to writing. If you can’t feel good about what you’re writing, or even look forward to your writing time with enthusiasm – what’s the point? There’s enough stress dumped on you by life, why dump more needlessly?

I don’t even pretend to assume this method will work for everyone, but it’s working for me right now. So much, in fact, that I’m inspired to share my workflow with the hope that I might be able to help or inspire someone who’s experiencing the same difficulties in finding their happy place.

If you find this has helped you, let me know. If you have a method you find helps you get through the muddy trail, share it here. You might just help me or someone else in the process.

 

Happy writing.


Happy 2013!

Here it is, the second day of the new year, and I can say the the year hasn’t been a total loss yet….I was able to write today!!!!

Ok – go back to your lives people. I have spoken.


Thought of the Day

“The hardest lesson to learn is the one you preach to others.”

~ D. W. Good

 

See my post about Time to Write, and understand that I just spent two hours watching the season finally of The Voice with disappointing results. Would have been happier wrestling with my story for two hours.


Quote of the Day

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”
Maya Angelou


Splitting My Split Level Head

Hey! I’m new to this blogging thing. I started My Split Level Head originally for my writing interests, but then added my photography work as well. This, I’ve learned, was somewhat of a mistake.

After considerable thought, I’ve decided to spin off the photography portion of my blogging to a new site. If you have started to follow me here because of my photography, please head over to Life From All Angles and continue following my photography work over there. I will soon migrate information already here to there (not that there is a lot).

My Split Level Head will remain as my writer’s blog from here out.

Sorry for the trouble, but I think it will be better in the end this way.


Which Comes First? Story or Title

It’s the age old question with no clear answer. Much like its more famous counterpart,“Which came first, the Chicken or the Egg?”, there really is no way to answer this definitively. You might think that the egg must come first as chickens come from eggs. But then, where would that first egg have come from? No one knows! It’s similar with writing: Does the title inspire the story or does the story inspire the title?

The good news  us writers is that it’s really a question of what works for you? There is no write or wrong answer (did you see my little play with words right there? Thank you). We have the freedom to choose which will be our first move. And if it works – all the better! If it doesn’t, then we can switch easily to the other and try again.

For me, I have traditionally come up with a title first; letting it inspire and shape my story’s concept. Then I move on to writing the story itself. This may work for short stories as the title suggests the main subject. Such stories usually are single subject based in the first place. Easy! However, when I write longer manuscripts or am writing in the Fantasy genre, I’m starting to feel that the title first method might be hindering my progress. Perhaps it would be better to allow the story to present an appropriate title as it develops. But then, there is another problem that arises.

In this world of electronic files, if you have several stories in the works at one time, you can’t really go around with a series of files named Untitled.docx. It’s bad enough when I have several versions of the same story and I have multiple files with names like: Hobbit.docx, Hobbit_1.docx, Hobbit_Alt.docx, Hobbit_2nd_alt.docx….and so on. Which is the current file? Which one had the line that I wanted to use in my Hobbit_1st_rewrite.docx file? It get’s ugly fast. Now, imagine dozens of files with Untitled as the title. I already have a head ache and I’m just writing about it.

So where do we go from here? I don’t want to get into the options computers give us with folders and file hierarchies that would work to keep many things sorted out. What I’d like to ask is which method do you subscribe to? Do you prefer one of the other or do you employ both methods depending on what you are writing?

So what comes first?

Story Title?

or

The Story?

I welcome your thoughts.


Quote of the Day

“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”
― Ernest Hemingway


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.