Friday, October 28, 2011

Munk on Sabbatical

"Piss on the fire, call in the dogs, head it on back to Bowlegs."

Munk needs to focus less on blogging and more on noveling. This post, therefore, is the last you will see posted on my blog for what may be a very long time, years even.

Yes, of course I will miss your comments. And yes, of course I care. I will try to stop by your places from time to time, I promise. Please stop looking at me that way, yer breakin' my heart. I just can’t keep blogging right now guys, my family and work justifiably take the lion’s share of my time, and the truth is, Booker is in trouble—he needs me.
So, here’s the deal, should you wish to converse, and/or share critiques on queries or manuscripts, email me at munkdavis@gmail.com. I would love to hear from you. For any new visitors… here are a few popular bygone posts…
Sweet Munk Nothings
Emperius Rapturius
Damn that Munk
Munk Rules
and
Love-a-Roll-a-Coasta

If anyone asks, tell them I’m writing.

Munk’s opening line…
By turning the page, he had turned on the world.
Munk's "Opening Line" is yours to keep, use it. Munk

Music: The Nerny-Nerny-Nert-Band: Bowlegs
Munk out.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Hey Baby, What's your Genre?

What is your genre? What is your line?
Fiction and diction, coarse or divine?
Commercial for fun or classical prose?
The Code of Da Vinci or Name of the Rose?

Vampires you say! Why not call it romance?
Where zombies and werewolves all come to the dance
Dramedy, comedy, horror, and gore
Mystery, history, tales of yore

Yoga, Pilates, organics, and health
Follow my teachings and find instant wealth
Home repair? Don’t despair, fixed in a jiff
I’ll write you a book about making it stiff

Fantasy’s fun... but don’t write on a lark
You first must decide if it’s light or it’s dark
For lollipop-fairies might get quite a start
From leprechauns dining on unicorn heart

Pay homage to comics; no longer cartoons,
with mutants and heroes and high school buffoons
Now graphical novels sell fine-art with type...
Is the art any finer or is it just hype?

I once knew a bloke, who called sci-fi a joke
And said later Han Solo was his kind of folk
And what of the man who “pays thrillers no mind”
But thinks Lisbeth Salander is so very fine?

By now you must know my tastes are diverse
It’s less about subject and more about verse
I can cozy with spies or golems or ghouls
As long as the teller sticks to some rules

Character, plotting, and scenes are a must
As are pace and the voice of an author I trust
And though some may define me a maudlin mope
I just can’t do themes with no glimmer of hope

So write genres you love, and love what you write
Mix 'em and match 'em, let stories take flight
Throw three in a blender and give 'em a spin…
Say….
an epic-gay-western with magic thrown in?


Munk’s Opening line,
With the brim of his ten-gallon Stetson pulled low on his brow, Jake’s blue eyes glistened in the residual silver light—a mumbled incantation and the deed was done.
Munk's "Opening Line" is yours to keep, use it. Munk 

And lest you consider what I write poetry...
This week’s music: Joe Pug...an old soul in a new vessel... Hymn 101

Friday, October 14, 2011

Priorities

I am willing to do most anything in pursuit of a noveling career: writing, reading, reviewing, revising, kissing ass, querying, blogging, tweeting, social networking, anti-social networking, white-lying, dark-magicking, or simply munkeying around, I’ll do anything short of bold face lying, stepping on my fellows, or sacrificing my family’s needs.

I am dedicated to having a writing career: I therefore write, read, review and revise my work while blogging and tweeting to build a platform and never losing sight of my family's needs.

In order to create a better experience for my readers, I write, read, review, and revise my work. Blogging and tweeting are also important. As always, my family comes first.

I am willing to do what it takes in pursuit of becoming a better writer, husband, and father.                                                                                                      I'll try to blog

Compelling stories, compelling lies. I love my family.                                            blog 

Create the unforgettable. Love thy family.                                                                    blah
  
Love thy family, love thy writing.

Love thy passions.

There... that’s better. 

What are your priorities?

Munk's opening line
PhotobucketThe depths to which Lucifer fell, 
can no more be judged by meters or miles, 
than his hell can be measured by mercury's rise.
Munk's "Opening Line" is yours to keep, use it. Munk

Susan Kaye Quinn gave me a nod this week and here's a hearty nod back... she has a book release planned for November 1... Open Minds is the first title in the Mindjack Trilogy... I'm ordering one. Are you?

This week: rock as it was meant to be rolled.
Bob Seger, Get Out of Denver (Baby Go)
Up walked a Baptist preachin' southern funky school teacher... (I think)

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Cadence

I have recently lectured on details and place
So today I submit a treatise on pace
Your stories may ebb and your stories may flow
But how do you tell when to rush or go slow?

Cadence depends on your goals for a scene
Such as hatred or passion or  feelings between
Shorten your phrasing for action and fights
But shake out Roget’s for fanciful flights, of love… of love… of wonderful, lovingful, chummingful love…

Go charging ahead with hard-rocking words
Like rockets and rackets and thundering herds
Then slow with the gentle of feathers and fluff
With kisses, caresses, and mushyful stuff

This poem may be poor, but you shouldn’t be sore
Based on the price that you paid at the door
Something for nothing is something said I
And it far exceeds herpes or a stye in your eye


What's your cadence?

Munk’s run-on opening line,
After changing his name to Jack, Jake married Jill, but Jill ended up liking Jake better so she divorced him, Jack that is. 
Munk's "Opening Line" is yours to keep, use it. Munk

Did everyone read Suze’s post regarding rejection over at Analog Breakfast this week? Loved it.
This week's music Nancy Sinatra--These Boots are Made for Walkin'
You keep lying when you ought'a be truthin' 

Friday, September 16, 2011

Life Sentence

I was at the gym on Monday. I was going big and not going home, pumping iron, tossing weights, maxing out, gettin’ ripped, and building mass… well I was at least drinking my electrolytes and watching other folks do all that when the DJ came on the radio and called me out. He spoke to my soul.

A retro-DJ with no relation whatsoever
to the DJ in my story.
“Yesterday,” he said in his radio voice, “was 911 and I had a few hours for reflection as a good friend of mine died last week and I attended his funeral. I stood in the sun and considered all of the wonderful things said about the man. How he was gracious and giving, and how he’d be missed. I asked myself then,”—the DJ went on—“as I ask myself now… why do we wait? Why don’t we tell people how we feel about them today, rather than wait until they are gone? For you folks listening, go tell someone how much you appreciate them today. Tell them how you value their friendship. Tell them you love them. It is important that we say these things when we feel them, so don’t hesitate. Go do it now… or not, if you don’t want to.”
Or not, if I don’t want to?! …What the hell? No, no, no Mr. DJ man, no! You just dropped your conviction on the way to your point. You had me. I was poised and ready to go hug a big sweaty workout buddy when your conviction just up and lost its balls.

Imagine the hangover if JK Rowling’s grand plan of “love conquers all” cruised into the wrong bar and got all staggery-drunk on magic? Or if Dorothy and the Tin Man and the Lion and the Scarecrow learned that to find their respective home, heart, courage, and brains, they just need apply for a VISA gold card (because everyone knows that The Emerald City doesn’t take American Express)?

C’mon folks, all of you DJs and writers and anyone else with a story… get yourself convicted
How is your conviction going?

Munk’s opening line…
Upon careful examination of the ape’s dead caterpillar, Mynce knew the real culprit was a small, left-handed child, three to four inches in height, and proficient with mint-waxed dental floss.
Munk's "Opening Line" is yours to keep, use it. Munk

Today’s music is dedicated to TJ Riles and Jayne, both of whom I expect are future (or current) fans of the Avett Brothers, I am not choosing the most accessible cut from the bro’s Emotionalism CD, but I love this song because of its breadth, its banjo (yes Jayne, the banjo takes stage-center), and its obvious pop leanings (think Pet Sounds gone Americana). God only knows… Paranoia In B Flat Major. 

RIP TM.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

The Devil in the Details

Last week I discussed my love for “place”. This week I will discuss my love for details, which in turn, adds to place and often teaches me new things. Trivial things sometimes, but interesting to me. I love learning. I love reason. In a nerdy way facts connect me to the universe. Jon Krakauer knows climbing, Herman Wouk is a military geek, and Laura Hillenbrand loves horses… and it shows. I can see, feel, and smell their worlds and characters.

Examples:
"I’d gained nearly seven hundred feet of altitude since stepping off the hanging glacier, all of it on crampon front points and the picks of my axes. The ribbon of frozen meltwater had ended three hundred feet up and was followed by a crumbly armor of frost feathers."  Jon Krakauer, describing his ascent of The Devil’s Thumb in Alaska from, Into the Wild. (Meltwater and frost feathers? Are those his own word combinations? Bully, bully, Mr. Krakauer) 

"Charles Howard had the feeling of a giant onrushing machine: You had to either climb on or leap out of the way. He would sweep into a room, working a cigarette in his fingers, and people would trail him like pilot fish. They couldn’t help themselves. Fifty-eight years old in 1935, Howard was a tall, glowing man in a big suit and a very big Buick."  Laura Hillenbrand, Seabiscuit. (Note that among all of these descriptors, somehow Ms. Hillenbrand is able to "tell" us that "They couldn’t help themselves" and yet it comes off looking like a "show". Get it?)

"The focus of Willie’s mind widened beyond the plank now and took in the quarterdeck of the Caine. It was a place of noise, dirt, bad smells, and thuglike strangers. Half a dozen sailors were clanking at the rusty deck with metal scrapers. Other sailors were walking past, cursing under crates of cabbages on their backs. One man in a welding mask was burning a bulkhead with a crackling sour-smelling blue flame. All around were patches of new gray paint, patches of old gray paint, patches of green prime coat, and patches of rust. A tangle of snaky hoses, red black, green, yellow, brown, lay all over the deck. The deck was covered with orange peel, fragments of magazines and old rags. Most of the sailors were half naked and wore fantastic beards and haircuts. Oaths, blasphemies, and on recurring four-letter word filled the air like fog." …  Herman Wouk, The Caine Mutiny. (If you haven't smelled The Caine Mutiny, it's time for you to do so. Don't be put off by the length of description here, the book is a character piece and in this scene Willie is entering his new world, much to his chagrin.)

Munk's opening line:
The boat was powered by the souls of frogs.
Discuss, Munk

Please fall into this week's music... Fishing Blues by Taj Mahal, it's like one last breath of summer.

And thanks go out to TJ Riles... for being cool. Go GB. 

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Love-a-Roll-a-Coast-a


After receiving a few more positive commentaries on Syntropy I was struck again as to why I love books and movies. It’s the same reason I love life. To quote the good doctor, “Oh the places you’ll go!

I love new worlds, brave or otherwise. Books or movies without a sense of place often leave me cold. I recently read The Terminal Man by Michael Crichton and was left chilled to the unmemorable bone.
The books and characters I love all have a sense of place: Scout has Maycomb, Billy has the Ozarks, Muad’—“my name is a killing word”—Dib has Arrakis, Augustus has his little grove of pecan trees down by the creek where he and Clara used to spend time together, Harry has Hogwarts, and Booker has the Muddy Joe river bottoms. For me to find a book truly engaging, I have to fall into the pages and want to stay. When I was in the Ozark’s with Billy Colman I didn’t simply fall in love with two dogs, I fell in love with barefoot summers and patched overalls.  
Further, I believe that building a clear sense of place serves more purpose than simply creating a world for the reader to enter. I believe it promotes story telling. In the interest of time I will share just one example. Assuming you have read and own the Harry Potter series, grab your copy of The Order of the Phoenix and turn to page 609. Near the bottom of the page Harry is pulled into Dumbledore’s office by the utterly detestable Madam Professor Dolores Jane Umbridge and an ad hoc trial breaks out, complete with a jury of talking portraits. I often think of this scene because I remember being amazed by the density and deftness of the ensuing action. For the next thirteen spellbinding pages Ms. Rowling treats us to a view into a pseudo-courtroom populated by no less than ten unique voices and at least sixteen total character references, not to mention the numerous spells, jinxes, charms, and Phoenixes flying about. And then there is Harry himself, who all the while is sharing with us his thoughts and suspicions while simultaneously having a non-verbal conversation with Dumbledore on the side. My point… the swiftness and lucidity of this scene would not have been possible had JKR not first built a world where this density of narrative was possible.
 

To sum: I appreciate it when an author takes the time to build an interesting world for two reasons: one, because I like going to new places; and two, because in the right hands a well built world can act like the rails of a roller coaster.
What keeps you on the edge of your seat?




Munk’s opening line:
The Palace of Fraelok was cracked in all the right places.
Munk’s opening line is yours to keep, use it.

This week's on-theme music: Ohio Players, Love Roller Coaster... say what?