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text 2018-04-21 05:04
Eco-Fi: Writing as a moral act

"True art is moral. We recognize true art by its' careful, thoroughly honest search for an analysis of values. It is not didactic because, instead of teaching by authority and force, it explores, open-mindedly, to learn what it should teach. It clarifies like an experiment in a chemistry lab, and confirms."

- John Gardner, On Moral Fiction, 1978


Okay, so this is a bit high-minded, but still it's something I aspire to in my writing.


I've tried to write strictly commercial fiction, but my characters and plots won't let me. At some point they tell me, "Hey, I'm not that shallow, superficial person and I won't let you portray me as such." At this point the vapid story I've been writing takes an unexpected direction and everything gets out of control and I'm back dealing with three dimensional characters in complicated situations that test their integrity.


Or at least I'm trying to.


How then does a writer, if so inclined, build their fiction on strong, ethical ground?


I subscribe to the method suggested by Carol Bly, Author of The Passionate, Accurate Story: Making Your Heart’s Truth into Literature. She suggests that even before beginning to write a story, consider composing a “Values Listing,” a written record of the things that are most important to you.


Then, throughout the writing process ensure these values continue to be identified in your work. That means these values are present in the issues and conflicts your characters confront and that they themselves are grounded in or address these same principles.


Here's the Value's Listing Questions. My answers are in capitals




1. Two goals or values which make life good or bearable or would if they were in operation. PRESERVING ENVIRONMENT/ ENCOURAGING THE HUMAN SPIRIT


2. Two goals or values which cause injustice and suffering or lessening of joy. WEALTH/MATERIALISM and the NEED TO CONTROL


3. Two missing goals or behaviors. As a child, you thought grown-up life would have these. Now that you are an adult you don’t see them around. HONESTY/INTEGRITY and RESPONSIBILITY/CREDIBILITY


4. Two injustices you see about you and should keep an eye on, even on your wedding day. RACISM/DISCRIMINATION and DESTRUCTION OF WILDERNESS


Considering my the list of my values, it's not surprising four of my novels could be categorized as Environmental Fiction, interpreted as a story of any genre; romance, mystery, literary, etc., with a subplot that addresses an important environmental issue.


In writing ECO-FI my hope is readers will be entertained by all the elements of a good story and will also come away a little more wiser about the environmental issues important to me and that effect us all.



SAVING SPIRIT BEAR - What Price Success?


MAD MAGGIE - And the Wisdom of the Ancients

FOREST - Love, Loss, Legend


This stand-alone series will be part of my back-list promotion throughout 2018 and 2019 that will include upcoming FREE book days on Amazon. To be included in free offers of my existing books or the opportunity to receive Advance Reading Copies on new work, consider joining my ADVANCE READING TEAM at http://eepurl.com/cj5wjj


Buy links for these books include:

Amazon - http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B003DS6LEU

Smashwords - http://www.smashwords.com

Draft2Digital - https://www.draft2digital.com


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text 2015-10-24 21:29
Reading progress update: I've read 90%.
Good Omens - Terry Pratchett,Neil Gaiman

Adam Young you are the cutest antichrist of all times. I love you and the Them. You are so innocent and act just like any child would, and I love that, I love it. So true and honest and sassy! This book is amazing.

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review 2014-12-28 07:41
Good Omens: The BBC Radio 4 dramatisation
Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch - Terry Pratchett,Neil Gaiman


1: A rather special baby is delivered, initiating an apocalyptic chain of events.

Description: According to the Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, the world will end on a Saturday. A Saturday quite soon, here on Radio 4.

Events have been set in motion to bring about the End of Days. The armies of Good and Evil are gathering and making their way towards the sleepy English village of Lower Tadfield. The Four Horsepersons of the Apocalypse - War, Famine, Pollution and Death - have been summoned from the corners of the earth and are assembling.

Witchfinder Sergeant Shadwell and his assistant Newton Pulsifier are also en route to Tadfield to investigate some unusual phenomena in the area, while Anathema Device, descendent of prophetess and witch Agnes Nutter, tries to decipher her ancestor's cryptic predictions about exactly where the impending Apocalypse will take place.

Atlantis is rising, fish are falling from the sky; everything seems to be going to the Divine Plan.
Everything that is but for the unlikely duo of an angel and a demon who are not all that keen on the prospect of the forthcoming Rapture. Aziraphale (once an angel in the Garden of Eden, but now running an antiquarian bookshop in London), and Crowley (formerly Eden's snake, now driving around London in shades and a vintage Bentley) have been living on Earth for several millennia and have become rather fond of the place. But if they are to stop Armageddon taking place they've got to find and kill the one who will the one bring about the apocalypse: the Antichrist himself.

There's just one small problem: someone seems to have mislaid him...

With a cast led by Peter Serafinowicz and Mark Heap this is the first ever dramatization of Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman's Good Omens.

Adaptation and sound design by Dirk Maggs.
Produced by Heather Larmour.

Listen here.

Episode 2: Aziraphale and Crowley set out to discover what happened to the real son of Satan.

Episode 3: Aziraphale consults Agnes's prophesies and the Horsepersons of the Apocalypse are summoned

Episode 4: Aziraphale and Crowley receive visits from the Angelic and Demonic authorities.

Episode 5: The Four Horsepersons of the Apocalypse assemble and set off for Lower Tadfield.

Episode 6: Armageddon is imminent, and the fate of the Earth rests on the shoulders of Adam Young.

"We would throw characters in, hand them off when we got stuck. We finished the book and decided we would only tell people a little about the writing process - we would tell them that Agnes Nutter was Terry's, and the Four Horsemen (and the Other Four Motorcyclists) were mine."Read more of Neil Gaiman's piece on BBC news desk.

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text 2014-09-05 16:29
September Book a Day #5: The book you bought despite the cover
Doomed - Chuck Palahniuk
My Name is Red - Orhan Pamuk,Erdağ M. Göknar
Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch - Terry Pratchett,Neil Gaiman
Snuff - Chuck Palahniuk
The Yiddish Policemen's Union - Michael Chabon
Haunted - Chuck Palahniuk
Pygmy - Chuck Palahniuk
Wild Thing - Josh Bazell
Beat the Reaper - Josh Bazell

Chuck Palahniuk and Josh Brazell are the two writers that I keep buying books even when the covers have ugly design. 


The other one is Neil Gaiman. 


Still, some really interesting books. 


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text 2014-08-09 22:28
My 'most read' authors according to Goodreads...
The Guns of the South - Harry Turtledove
Carry on, Jeeves - P.G. Wodehouse
A Meeting at Corvallis - S.M. Stirling
North and South - John Jakes
Little House on the Prairie - Laura Ingalls Wilder,Garth Williams
Hood - Stephen R. Lawhead
Hexed - Kevin Hearne
Outlander - Diana Gabaldon
Anne of Green Gables - Jennifer Lee Carrell,L.M. Montgomery
Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch - Terry Pratchett,Neil Gaiman

Idea stolen from -  Char's Horror Corner


Not exactly sure how they figured this, but probably because I do not keep accurate records at Goodreads.  I know, for example, I have read far more books by Lois McMaster Bujold than Stephanie Meyers.


Anyway, here are top 20 from Goodreads (had to go to 20 because 15 is just not a 'good' number... OCD and all):



Harry Turtledove


P.G. Wodehouse


S.M. Stirling


John Jakes


Laura Ingalls Wilder


Stephen R. Lawhead


Kevin Hearne


Diana Gabaldon


Stephenie Meyer


L.M. Montgomery


Terry Pratchett


J.K. Rowling


Lois McMaster Bujold


Frank Herbert


George R.R. Martin


Naomi Novik


Edward Rutherfurd


Jean M. Auel


Alexander McCall Smith


Tom Clancy

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