Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Review of "This Long Vigil," short story by Rhett C. Bruno

After twenty five years serving as the lone human Monitor of the Interstellar Ark, Hermes, Orion is scheduled to be placed back in his hibernation chamber with the other members of the crew. Knowing that he will die there and be replaced before the ship’s voyage is over, he decides that he won’t accept that fate. Whatever it takes he will escape Hermes and see space again, even if it means defying the regulations of his only friend -- the ship-wide artificial intelligence known as Dan.

Turning fifty is a mental milestone for most people.  But it's a bit more than that for Bruno's main character, Dan.  Fifty marks the end of his life.

This is a phenomenal short story.  Bruno cleverly touches on a number of everyday life and aging issues in a very short space of time.  The setting of the space ark traveling for 200 years to the next closest inhabited planet was brilliant.  Dan literally has nowhere he can go but forward, a perfect metaphor for life itself.

"The Long Vigil" is provoking but doesn't weight you down with questions.  It's sad but also hopeful.  And the best part was that the story left me thinking about it for hours after I finished reading.  Highly recommended.

5/5 stars
Reviewed by Alain Gomez

Buy this short story on Amazon.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Getting Back Into the Word Count Saddle

Now that the wedding chaos has finally died down, I'm forcing myself back into a more intense writing schedule.  To my credit, I did keep up my daily writing!  How many words I got down on the page fluctuated greatly but Monday through Friday I would sit my butt in the chair and do something.

It was actually a nice way to spend the year.  I mentioned this before in earlier blogs but it allowed me the freedom to enjoy writing again.  I wasn't adding words for the word count sake, I was writing them because I liked the way they connected to each other.  Given everything else that was going on, it was perfect for the time.

But now it's not so perfect.

I have finally reached the mental state where publisher me has resurfaced.  Author me reigned supreme for too long!  The slowness in which I complete stories is now starting to bother me because it feels like I have too much to tell and never enough time to write.

So I'm forcing myself back into daily word counts again.  It feels good, actually.  I learned my lesson from my past writing schedule attempts: I kept the word count goal small.  Even though I had worked my way up to 800 words a day by the end of 2014, there is no way I would be able to just jump back into that without feeling frustrated.

As with everything, consistency is key.  Here's hoping that 2016 will see an uptick in Alain Gomez publications!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Concept Behind "Tempered Flight" by Alain Gomez

So after a loooooong hiatus I finally resurrected the Calen Natari Saga with a second installment.  I admit that I had a bit of writer's block when it came to Calen's character.  I created her because I liked the initial, shallow idea of a bounty hunter/assassin.  That profession is always romanticized in science fiction because, let's be honest, it's ripe for adventures.  The scenario possibilities that the character can be placed in are literally endless.

But that is what caused the block.  I was fixated scenarios, which was the focus of book one.  I realized that scenarios are quickly going to become redundant if I don't go deeper.  I started to question who Calen really was as a character other than just a killing machine.

Tempered Flight was the result of those pondering.  Calen's weaknesses are delved into more.  She has flaws.  I'm liking the way this particular saga is headed.  It will be interesting to see her develop more.

Buy this story on Amazon.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Review of "In the Dust," flash fiction by Tony Rauch

This piece was whimsical but I enjoyed it.  It's charming in a "crazy" sort of way.  The main character is clearly out of his mind but that's part of the appeal.

I hate putting words in the author's mouth but I really wished the ending had a bit more punch.  The idea of an eccentric artist is just so funny that I couldn't help but feel that the ending deserved a touch of irony or something to make the story linger just a little longer than it did.

But I'm nitpicking.  It's a fun, short piece.  Well worth going over to Rauch's website and spending five minutes reading it yourself.

3.5/5 stars
Reviewed by Alain Gomez

Story may be read on the author's website.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Getting back into the swing of things

I have been remiss with my blogging.  I apologize.  I have a very good excuse, however.  I got married.  And if anyone has ever attempted to plan for a wedding involving more than two people, you will know what I'm talking about.  It just has this way of occupying all of your spare time.  And I was a very low maintenance bride!

Anyway, it's done.  And I finally feel like I have recovered from the events along with the eight hour time difference of our honeymoon destination.  I can be in sync with the planet once more.

I'm looking forward to being a writer again.  During all the hubbub I made a point to keep writing a little each day but nothing else.  I was out of the loop and I missed it.  I enjoy staying on top changes to the publishing world and blogging.  I like the satisfaction I glean from regularly producing new work.

So I'm back!  And hopefully I'll be able to start hammering out some reviews for those of you who are waiting on one.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Half Decade Anniversary

I did it!  I hit five years of being a self-published author.  I feel especially proud of this milestone.  If you can say you did five years of anything it's significant.  A five year relationship is definitely long-term.  Writing for me at this point has just become a way of life.  It's a part of my work day that I do no matter what.

Earlier this year I got engaged and wedding planning activities have a way of just consuming free time and mental energy.  I couldn't keep up with my strict, daily word count anymore.  But you know what?  I needed the break in the schedule.  I switched from daily word counts to just writing daily and it did wonders for me mentally.  I'm making less because I'm publishing less but I'm enjoying the process more now.

Coupled to all this, my beta reading business has been increasing.  Beta reading really helps me to learn and process the dos and don'ts of writing.  I think it's because while I'm writing I'm in the creative zone.  But really examining someone else's writing gives me new perspective.

I feel like this past publishing year was a time of learning.  I don't think I've made any writing technique breakthroughs yet but I can feel like I'm getting close to that point.  Backing off a little from my grueling word counts let me examine what I was writing more and beta reading has made me more sensitive to things like cliches, plot holes and stale characters.  I just haven't quite figured yet how to 100% avoid all those things.

I'm excited about my learning process.  I feel like I'm approaching the end of my "generic story" phase.  I think every writer has to go through this.  You feel a need to write but lack the skills to tell the story in your head so it comes out sounding like every other story you've read before.  It takes time to insert that unique twist.