avoiding definition

I find that I dislike when things are concrete, black and white, yes or no. I like when things are open for interpretation, when there are many ways to see something, multiple directions to look. So when I’m writing, I often leave things vague, so they can be seen in multiple ways.

I have a pile of puzzle pieces that I’ve created, and they could be arranged in many ways. Sure, I could fit them all into a shape, glue them that way, frame them, then show everyone and say ‘this is how they go together!’, but letting the reader put them together seems more fun to me. Especially if there is a lot of ways for them to work…

Annoying to some? Maybe. But I like it 🙂

Total eclipse on the way

On August 21 of this year, those of us in North America will get a total solar eclipse–the first in 38  years.

And it’s going right past my house!

Well not really, but within driving distance. I’m seriously considering a road trip to Portland for the best view. I’ve never seen a sight like this and wont likely have another chance to in my life, so gotta go for it!

It is Portland though, with 90% chance of clouds on any given day, so maybe I should take a longer trip over to Idaho or Wyoming…

The end of words

What, if anything, would replace the written word?

Perhaps telepathy–some form of direct mental communication.

Or possibly, in a world where society has collapsed, it would be replaced with nothing.

Maybe words will be upgraded to include more information. Maybe words could be invented that described such unique events and feelings that you could put a vivid scene and evoke real emotions with just a few well placed super-words.


But we have to keep writing, keep improving, and keep evolving. Not devolving or sliding backward.

Otherwise our words will be terrible. Terrible words, and so confusing. Meaningless words. Words used to be so good, but now they aren’t. Sad!

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Today and tomorrow only (saturday and sunday) my entire library on amazon is free for download!

Read, rate, and review! Even if it’s just a one sentence review, each one is a great help, so please check out the link below and read my things 🙂



Thank you!

To contract or not contract

What makes a writer decide not to use contractions? Especially in a story written in first person, they seem like a natural choice to make it sound more like a person speaking.

In Borne, the narrator doesn’t contract. Saying ‘could not’ and ‘can not’ and ‘did not’ etc, isn’t exactly distracting, but I notice it now and then and think ‘why is she talking like that?’ Though, it’s only in the narration, not in the dialogue…

Why not to use contractions? Other than the tired, eye-rolly reason of trying to signify that the character is alien or robot.

There must be a reason. I noticed that Octavia E. Butler didn’t use contractions much in her novels either, though they were in 3rd person so I didn’t think much about it, just a stylistic choice. But when it’s a person supposedly talking to you, in the first person, it seems a bit strange.

I wonder what it means either way, and how/why an author would make that choice…


When your viewpoint character is the least interesting character in the story, this might be a problem.

I’d rather read about Borne. I’d rather read about Wick. I’d rather read about ‘the Magician.’ I’d rather read about Morde the giant bear. I’d rather read about the mysterious scientists in the Company building. I’d rather read about any of the random scavengers she encounters in the wasteland.

I don’t know anything about Rachel, other than she had a nice dinner once when she was a child, and now lives in a wasteland. That’s the one bit of backstory I’ve got. I don’t know what her dreams or desires are, I don’t know what her motivation is. She’s just a pair of eyes for me to see the world through.

I don’t know why she became so obsessed with this alien blob creature thing. (did she lose a child and he’s a replacement? Did she always want a child but couldn’t have one?) But I guess I’ll try to accept it. But now Borne has left the picture, and she’s wandering around aimlessly feeling empty. The story feels that way too. Wandering aimlessly, nothing happening seems to matter to the character, or to me. Is this just filler?

When the character doesn’t want or fear anything it’s hard for me to care.

Painfully obvious metaphors

Borne is a child. The person who found Borne feels like a mother to ‘him’, and is raising him with the man she lives with. They argue about Borne a lot like parents in a broken home might. Borne doesn’t know about the world or himself and gets hurt because of his innocence, and then loses that innocence when he leaves home to try to be his own person, just like a child does eventually. It’s all painfully obvious and surface level.

The weird technology and crazy bear creatures feel like an attempted distraction from this simplistic theme.

So far this story seems thin somehow, compared to VanderMeer’s other books. Perhaps it is the character who is telling it. She seems to jerk back and forth between a simplistic, naive, cute view of things, and an elegant poetic prose description of the world. The narrator takes a lot of the punch out of these descriptions with the light tone she uses throughout. No fault of the author there, though.

I’m almost finished and am hoping the climax will make up for the so far mediocre story.