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Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Adding to Characters from Literature

Lately, I've been re-writing my short story Dark Carpentry. In it, I wrote a character who was Dracula's brother. I'm definitely taking a liberty by giving Dracula a brother. I thought about the pros and cons using Dracula himself in the story but decided against it since he's such a well known literary character. I didn't really want to carry the burdin of  responsibility getting his character right. Now, I've been discovering what a story goldmine this actually is! Maybe the brother (Drago) was always jealous of his older sibling? Maybe not? 
Since the events took place after Dracula maybe his little brother is mourning his death? Think of the story potential when both Dracula and his brother were both human. Did they dream of ruling the land together or did one brother secretly mean to kill the other one off given the chance?
     The more I think about the story where two major characters are brothers the more I think my subconcious did it for a reason. Family themes can run deep in stories and villainous family fueds are not exempt.
      I guess what I'm suggesting is that sometimes adding to a well known literary character for your own story can have its creative possibilities if you want to take the risk of scrutany.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Griffin on YouTube!

My new YouTube channel is up! One there I'll post vlogs quite often. Most of the time they'll be brief, I don't want to flap my gums for nothin'. I'll look at keeping these entertaining but also a bit educational too. This was my first vlog so it was a little awkward give me a chance and I'll ease up over time. Feel free to subscribe but not pressure at all :)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TVCMBktetiA


Thursday, February 23, 2017

Monday, February 13, 2017

Double Cross by Ben Macintyre: Review

      This is a great audio book and excellently narrated by John Lee. I wasn't sure about the entertainment value at first thinking it was going to be a play by play history lesson of WW2, however the book quickly goes into the quirky and eccentric personalities of the British Secret Agents. Some of the agents come from several other countries too.
      It's amazing how much the one agent named Popov (Yes, like the Vodka brand) was able to almost effortlessly fool the Germans with fake Allied battle plans and connections. He was able to play them soo much AND demand a lot of money from them. It almost seemed like the more money he asked from them, the more they believed him. He also demanded a huge sum of money from the British as well, so much so that they started to get angry and limit the amount they gave him. Like in Yojimbo he played both sides. His living expenses were extravagant and excessive, from fine wines and whiskey to expensive cigars and cars. Popov was also known as an excessive ladies man as well, staying single and dating women much younger then him.
     There is also a female agent who unfortunately lost her dog at customs through more or less the fault of her British contact. She was promised to get the dog back but was unable to get it back due to quarantine regulations at the time. She ends up hold a huge grudge against the British and withholds information from them.
     You would think there would be close calls, such as some of the agents being found out and held at gunpoint but I assure you that is mostly the Hollywood stuff we think up in our heads. Most of the drama unfolds behind the scenes about what information travels from the agent to the British. There is a scene where a German officer tests the loyalty of one of the agents and order him to come back to Berlin after going into allied territory. There's a bit of suspense there but nothing too bad.
     It's mostly the back and forth between the information and dealing with the egos and eccentricity of the agents. The suspense is if one of their agents gets found out, the others would most assuredly be questioned and possibly killed. So its the information that the fake British give the Germans that has to seem real enough to them otherwise the whole thing falls through.
    The afterward is intriguing as well, you find out what happened to some of the agents after the war. One of them moved to my home state of Michigan to live a peaceful life. One the agents was awarded $5000 by the British government so as to not go into complete debt.
      The narrator, has a superb control over the French and Polish names and accents. He goes into the accented characters flawlessly while reading but keeps a fast paced excited flow. His own English voice sounds very interested in what he's saying, definitely not asleep at the wheel.
     I recommend listening or read this after reading fiction, it's a nice change of pace and very interesting.

     Double Cross
     by Ben Macintyre
     8.5 out of 10


Tuesday, February 7, 2017

New Logo!

Here's my new logo for Griffin Tutoring. It's just black and white for now. I really loved
John Tenniel's pen and ink of the griffin so I based it off of his version but with my own unique touch and style. I kept his drawing and put it down on the bottom.

Let me know what you think! I've also added a contact form on here to the right so you can ask me any questions or just contact me in general. I believe you can also leave your email and I can let you know when my latest post or short story is published. I don't send spam at all.

I'm also going to do another black and white logo for my filmmaking blog Lightning Productions at lightning-prod.blogspot.com.

I'm going to writing a quick review of the WWII non-fiction spy book Double Cross soon, so be ready for that. There's always periodic book reviews I post. Cujo, the book review has been redone with white text instead of black so you can actually read it now.

I've also been thinking about one-page wonder short stories for this blog as well as my Facebook page Short Stories. I might do separate stories on each format or the same ones, not sure yet. One thing is for sure though, I'll be blogging a heck of a lot more especially since my Wix website is up. I'll be a blogging machine. So check back a bit more this month! At least twice ;)

Also, I'm sure you guys have noticed the shameless Audible button with Harry Potter being advertised on it. If your curious about the service feel free to click on it to see what it's about. I've a huge believer in it. I've listened to countless books on my phone through Audible, WAY, WAY, more then I would've read in paperback. In fact, any job where you have to drive long distances often, I definitely advise you to give them a shot. Besides the regular ad on here, I wouldn't post any other product I wouldn't believe in. Most of the Ads have been mostly geared towards reading or things that I like or approve of. If you sign up for Audibles, it's free or the first month and you get a free book! When you sign up, you also help this blog and my podcast The Ham Palace by helping to pay for the hosting on Podbean so it's definitely appreciated. Hey, try it for a month and see if it
works for ya!

Monday, January 23, 2017

Writer's Group Part 2

    It can still be hard to know when to submit your work with a new group. You can get nevous about the level of critique that will be placed on your work. Try your best not to get defensive about it.
    It also gives you a viewpoint from people who aren't your friends and family (not that my family would read anything I wrote). They won't sugercoat anything and give you an outsiders view and ask you why? Why do you have the character do that? Or why would they assume this?
Why have him speak in a lisp?
      And one last thing, they keep you on a time schedule. If you meet every week or two weeks, then you feel the need to submit your work every week or two, thus keeping you on a sort of deadline.
This will keep you from sitting on your work too much.
     So if you write and need a someone to read the work you do, friends are better then nothing but seek out a Writer's group. I found one on Meetup.com. Also, check out my Fiverr page, I can read some of your work.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Benefits of Joining a Writer's Group Part 1

      Well, I have been busy. I've been meeting with a writer's group every couple of weeks to go over Dark Carpentry chapter by chapter.
      It's important to have others read and critique you writing. It's not always easy to have someone read your stuff and joining a local group has been humbling yet beneficial.
      It teaches you to up your grammar and word choice game. It also forces you to stay on a sort of deadline since eventually the group members are going to get curious about your own work.
Critiquing is a skill in itself, especially when some of the writer's may be a bit more advanced then you. It can be hard to proofread and find mistakes by writers that have a better understanding of grammar and word choice. Eventually, it comes down to how you feel about their content.
      My group of writers average 15-20 years older then me and have been doing it a bit longer.
Some have even been published or self published! That's a huge benefit alone to joining a group.
There's so much you can learn by have writers help you that have played the game and can give you great advice about publishing.
      To be continued...