Merry Christmas!

cdl06On this wondrous and hopefully happy day, I wish everyone a day filled with love, laughter and fellowship.  Enjoy your families and be thankful for every day that you have with them.  Gather all of those you love around you and bask in each and every moment.  As special request, bring to your hearth all of your feline and canine family members and let them share in your joyous days, amidst love and warmth and perhaps the occasional dropped treat.  I for one am grateful for the love of my wife, the presence of my family and that my Boomer is still warming my life.

Merry Christmas everyone!

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Review: Horrorstör by Grady Hendrix

HorrorstörHorrorstör by Grady Hendrix

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Horrorstör by Grady Hendrix is a smart, sexy horror parable about the soul crushing -and occasionally supernatural– nature of working for a ‘big box’ store. Our protagonist Amy hates her job and hates her boss and his ‘go team’ attitude. The company she works for, Orsk, is a knock-off of a more popular pseudo-European home and office retail store and every day is an exercise in mental torture for her. When things begin to transform into a horrific parody of real life, Amy is faced with the absurdity that is her life and must confront her own true nature and what she considers her purpose in life.

The author walks a fine line between feeling like he has “Something to Say” and saying it. The saving grace is that he says it well. The tone is both satirical and critical, but it never feels overly mean-spirited or bitter. Sardonic might be the best description and his prose conveys some of the existential ennui that employees at big box stores, especially those that boast an overbearing corporate culture, must feel. Grady Hendrix takes the feeling of being tied to a job one might not like and transforms that into horror.

The book is a quick, enjoyable read and the various illustrations show that the author has a firm grasp of (and knack for) the unique motivational and marketing doublespeak that many companies use to refer to their corporate culture or their products. It’s both tongue-in-cheek and witty. At times I wonder if perhaps too much effort and time was put into these humorous interludes in the novel; some of the chapters felt lean in places and I would have liked more of the story, even at the risk of losing the amusing images and other visual additions. My only real criticism was not really with the author, his style or even his story per se: I was simply expecting the reveal to be something more nefarious and orchestrated and instead found the evil and horror to be more incidental than anything else. I suppose this was the better choice, inferring ignorance instead of malevolence, but so much of the book seemed aimed at grinding at corporate homogeneity that not pursuing that more rabidly seemed a lost opportunity.

Regardless, this was a marvelous novel, nicely paced with the right amount of humor, horror and suspense. It also makes for an excellent conversation piece, especially if you and your friends revile the culture of empty consumerism many see present today in America. I say find a small indie book store and buy it there to complete the counter-culture trifecta. In the spirit of the novel, let me give my last comment in the form of an advertisement from Orsk.

HORRORSTÖR – Sink down into your most idyllic seating environment and enjoy the well-paced and subtly-biting undertones of this light and airy literary indulgence.

View all my reviews

A Train with neither color nor sound

boomerA day can be a terrible thing.  Lives change in a day.  Lives can change in minutes and thus a day is packed full of chances for your life to change.  Even when you sense a change, even when you halfway expect it to happen, those changes hit you.  Life is like a train with neither color nor sound.  You never hear it coming, never see it, although you can -if you are careful and observant- feel the rumblings of its approach.  Sometimes that is enough, sometimes it allows you to get out of the way, avoid the train barreling down upon you.  Or sometimes you can prepare for it and grasp it quickly as it passes, allowing life and its changes to transport you someplace different, someplace new.  Hopefully someplace better.

And sometimes, despite knowing that it’s coming, sensing its approach, the train slams into you, shattering your world.

Continue reading “A Train with neither color nor sound”

11 Tips For Maximum Writing Productivity

The secret paradox of writing is that it seems like this essentially free-form, organic process.  You sit down at a keyboard and magic happens, right?  However, the process for successfully writing is nowhere near that fluid and to actually make your time spent writing, honing your craft and your talent, you have to have a more disciplined, organized approach.  I know I’ve struggled with it in the past and must admit that it is always a constant effort to improve.

Here’s some ‘rules’ I recently came across that make a lot of sense.  Some I have learned to master.  Others.. yeah, not so great at them..

Source: 11 Tips For Maximum Writing Productivity

The Editing Philosophy of “Removing One Thing”

This post is something of a followup to my recent post about whether there was a ‘correct’ way to write, in relation to overwriting versus more precise, trim writing.  I’ve been keeping an eye out for more information, because I can see the benefits of both and came upon this.  Largely, she falls along the same lines and adds some additional insight into the mix.

Source: The Editing Philosophy of “Removing One Thing”