Monday, December 31, 2007

Might as well.

Happy New Year!

How was your last year?

A sad goodbye, goodbye, or goodbye and good riddance! Or was it something else entirely?

Saturday, December 29, 2007

The fun part of writing.

Research and note-taking.

Writing a fantasy book where one of the towns nearby is one of the central places in the story provides a great deal of exciting research opportunities. One example is the folks who own this one very fine restaurant. The restaurant, which incidentally has wonderfully delicious food, is the location where my characters meet a lot. I confess that every once in awhile I don't really need to research their excellent dessert selection all that much, but you know, I need to be familiar with just how wonderfully delicious that Tiramisu really is, because as one of my characters Pistachio the Pirate's favourite dessert it's not optional to describe just any Tiramisu. As a result of this "Research" we've actually managed to strike up a bit of a friendship with the folks there. Taking notes can be a very fun and good tasting experience.

I do other things less interesting things besides that, such as spell checking, but in the end it's those little things like making notes on Tiramisu that make writing fun.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Special post.

Normally this blog is for writing thoughts and such, however Christmas Eve. is here and I must take the time to say:

"MERRY CHRISTMAS!"

Friday, December 21, 2007

Distractions.

Distractions can sometimes be a good thing, but for the most part I find them not to be. I was considering trying to find a bit of my writing to post on here. I've not found anything yet, however I have managed to get a spot in the story where I've been stuck for two months unstuck a bit, by becoming distracted from my original purpose, which brings me to my topic.

Of all the things, when it comes to my writing, distractions are the worst. Quite unfortunately for me is the fact that I am my very own, worst distraction, bar none. I get distracted checking my e-mail for the millionth time during this hour, or checking to see if any of the blogs I regularly read have updated. Of course I get distracted writing comments and journal entries like this one as well. Wikipedia can prove to be a bane of mine when I need to look up a fact. It's amazing how you can get from one topic to something completely unrelated to it just because some link to another article looked interesting. "How did I get from chocolate to cowboys again?" Even the dictionary can sometimes prove to be a bit of distraction. Most of the distractions are completely my own fault, it's true. The internet is a great tool for a writer, but it is also a writer's bane. At least I don't have solitaire installed on this computer. (It's a Mac.)

Alas, I'm becoming distracted yet again... Some books I ordered came while we were out shopping and I'm anxious to read them.

-Shane

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Why do I write?

First off, a little intro. Hello, I'm Shane Joseph Deal, as a writer I like to go by S. J. Deal. I'm starting this blog to post my thoughts on my writing, my books that I'm working on, and occasionally maybe something about chocolate covered pickles.... Just kidding... But then you never know. My Elves do like both Chocolate and Pickles... and some of those Elven Lords are terribly eccentric. Today I am writing a philosophical post on why I write.

I often ask myself, why bother writing?

In answer I respond, because writing impacts the world around us more then nearly anything else. Let's face it, storytelling is one of the most effective ways at shaping the ideas and thoughts of those who listen to/read them. With that in mind, I see a way, within my grasp, to influence and impact the world around me. I may not be able to go out slay dragons with a sword or stand up against some evil dark lord or any of those heroic quest that characters go on, but I can write. I think I've heard it said: "My pen is my sword." I like that.

I'm not talking about writing propaganda either. I think one thing that frustrates me as I read Christian literature, is that far too often it's a thinly disguised tract. There is a place for evangelism, but every Christian book isn't it. However, I don't have a problem with writing allegorical works and it's good that people can write about concepts from the Bible and the gospel message in ways that you haven't even thought possible to communicate the truth with. I guess what I'm trying to say is I don't like being preachy or being preached at when I'm writing or reading a book.

In my opinion, the largest impacts on society are made through storytelling and it is that impact that inspires me to write. It's not enough for me to just sit back and passively watch the world drift on by, I want to be out there making an impact, and using writing is an excellent way to do so.

Second, writing is a wonderful way to share truth.