Flash Fiction Challenge | 50 Words, 1 Character

Do you recognize these characters?
(click to make it larger)

I was just thinking that it has been a while since I’ve offered a contest on the blog. This contest is inspired by Bob Evenhouse’s recent post, “What Makes a Good Story Good?

In his post, Bob asks what the most important element is in determining the value of a story. I posit that it is the characters that make me either love or hate a book. There are many books that I love the plot or the author’s voice, but first I must love the characters. Not that all characters are loveable, perhaps I will love to hate them. Anyway, I must feel something strongly toward them.

So what is the challenge?

Simple. You have fifty words to flesh out a character that you think would make a book lover love your book.

Not writing a book? That’s fine. Use the fifty words to create a character that you would want to read about.

You can post your fifty words in the comments – 0r – post a link to your own blog where your entry can be found.

The deadline is August 31, 2012.

There is no prize but the feeling of a job well done and possibly the praise of your peers.

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Winter is Coming. Also, a Book Discussion.

Tomorrow night is the scheduled book discussion of A Game of Thrones. The details are here if you want to come. And for anyone who is coming, I wanted to offer a last-minute cram session for the discussion, along with some things to consider in advance of meeting.

If you didn’t bother reading the book, there are some good in-depth synopses here and here. These are also good if you read the book a while ago and just need to brush up on the basics.

These are some of the questions we’ll discuss:

  • What were your thoughts on the different viewpoints in the novel? Was there a point of view that you felt was missing?
  • What instances of symbolism did you find? How did your interpretation of those symbols skew your reading of the book?
  • Who was the main character? Was there a hero?
  • Compare and contrast life on the wall with life in the kingdoms and on the plains.
  • What is the next book that we should read as a book club?

I’ll post again next week with how the discussion went and announce what the next book will be.

Birthday Gift Report 2012

I had a wonderful 30th birthday.

I took the day off to spend with my family. We got to sleep in (and with a one-month old, this was a miracle in itself). We went out to a wonderful lunch at On The Border. I had my best day ever on my blog (104, just saying). And I got a pile of wonderful gifts, courtesy of my wife and my extended family.

Let me offer a disclaimer to the rest of this post. The best part of my birthday was being able to spend it with family. The gifts are all wonderful, but mean less than a toot to me in comparison to that. I just don’t want anyone thinking that I’m being braggy about my new stuff or that my priorities are messed up.

Okay, now you can look at my awesome gifts.

Here’s the rundown.

On Writing by Stephen King – Many writer’s have talked about how influential this book has been on their lives as writers. I look forward to finding out what all the fuss is about.

A Clash of Kings by George R. R. Martin – The second in the Song of Ice and Fire series following A Game of Thrones. By the way, the book discussion for A Game of Thrones is happening this Thursday. Drop me a note if you are planning on coming and haven’t told me yet.

While Mortals Sleep by Kurt Vonnegut – I didn’t even know that this book existed, and Vonnegut is one of my favorite authors. While Mortals Sleep is a collection of his previously unpublished short fiction. I’m only about 80 pages in so far, but I have no idea why this was not published until now. I’ll do a full book review later though.

Cuisenart Supreme Grind Automatic Burr Coffee Mill – If you are going to get a coffee grinder, a burr grinder is the way to go. It is the best way to have uniformly ground coffee beans for use in making any kind of coffee.

Black Crema Coffee Press by Bodum – This is an 8-cup french press to go with my coffee grinder. I’ve been spending too much time and money by going out for coffee when I could be staying at home for writing nights. This is the perfect way to fuel my caffeine-driven writing fests.

Meijer Organics Whole Bean Coffee – To use in the grinder and the french press. Pure Arabica beans means a smoother, less acidic cup of joe. Good stuff.

Homestead Cobs-a-Twirl Squirrel Feeder – My wife knows how every year I put a squirrel feeder on my birthday list and every year I don’t get one. Well, I didn’t put it on my list this year, but this is the year that I got it. I have it installed already, but so far, the squirrels seem wary of it. Anyway, I can’t wait to watch them figure out how to get the corn from the feeder. The box says it is fun for squirrels, but I am inclined to believe that the only one getting any fun out of this contraption is me.

Biggby Gift Card – For those nights when I want to go out for my very favorite coffee drink, Biggby’s Frozen Mint Mocha. Oh man, they are good.

On The Border Gift Card (not pictured) – Already used it and took advantage of the fact that I am on the OTB email list and get special deals for my birthday. My wife and I got free queso and a free dessert and the gift card covered the rest of our meal.

I could not have asked for a nicer birthday, nor a nicer set of gifts. I can’t wait to read all of my new books and report to you my thoughts. Thanks again to all of you who wished me a happy birthday on here or on my Facebook page. All of your wishes came true.

I am 7 years married.

Today is my anniversary. Specifically, it is the anniversary of my marriage to the most wonderful, beautiful, and supportive wife on the planet. It is our seventh such celebration, and barring an unforeseen death, it is only one of many to come.

I know that I’ve been writing about a lot of milestones recently (100th post, 30th birthday posts 1 and 2), but it isn’t my fault that they all fall on the same few days.  Just cut me a little slack.

On a side note, my wife and I got pizza from Francesco’s in Grandville, Michigan near our house recently. It is the only the fourth time that we’ve ordered from Francesco’s, but it is quickly becoming our favorite pizza place. They have the perfect mix of quality toppings, good sauce, tasty crust, close proximity, and low-cost. But anyway, the point of my telling you about Francesco’s is that I was recognized when I went in by the guy behind the counter.

“You’re the guy that loves his wife,” he said as he greeted me.

“That’s me,” I answered.

The reason he said that is because the last time I picked up our pizza there, I was wearing my “I love my wife” t-shirt. It’s one of my favorite shirts and I wear it as often as it is clean enough to do so. My wife has one that says “I love my husband” and she wears hers almost as often.

Yeah, we are that couple.

But I thought it was cool that an almost perfect stranger recognized me as the guy that loves his wife. I honestly hope that comes through to everyone. But just in case you missed it, I love my wife.

In fact, as today is my seventh anniversary, I thought I would share with the world seven things that I love about my wife.

  1. I love her looks – This may sound vain, but looks are just about the first thing that you can know about a person. Also, my wife is beautiful. I apologize to all of the other guys out there who would have liked to marry a beautiful woman, the best is already taken.
  2. I love her sense of humor – I didn’t lead with this because whenever you say that someone has a good sense of humor, the implication is that they are unattractive. Somehow, my wife got both beauty and humor. Life isn’t fair sometimes. Case in point, I just have a good sense of humor.
  3. I love her budgetary skills – My wife is a saver. Even in video games, her goal is to have the most amount of gold in her treasure chest. Beating the bad guy comes second. Ever since we got married, she has been the one in charge of our finances. I have no shame in saying this. There is a good reason that she became an accountant. She is great with money.
  4. I love her faith – My wife is an incredible encouragement to me as a Christian. She is on her third or fourth way through the Bible since we’ve been married. This time through, I’ve been joining her. We do three chapters a day, which is entirely doable by the way, and we’re already more than halfway through. Anyway, she keeps me accountable to be in the Word, and I do the same for her. And I can’t think of a day where she doesn’t tell me that she is praying for me.
  5. I love her sense of style – My wife is a no-nonsense type girl when it comes to her appearance. Some men could complain about how their wives spend too much time in front of the bathroom mirror applying makeup or doing their hair just so, but my wife doesn’t mess with makeup and most mornings a blow dry is all she needs for her hair to look perfect. And as far as her clothing and accessories go, my wife wears modest, professional clothes to work, and jeans and sweatshirts around the house (she is always cold) and always looks ravishing in them. She has one purse to hold essentials and only a few pairs of shoes to fit her outfits.
  6. I love her cooking – My wife is one of those people who makes things from scratch when we have time. Even before we were married, she did stuff like make strawberry jam and bake perfect dinner rolls. She’s a whiz in the kitchen and my waistline is the proof.
  7. I love her work ethic – To say that my wife is a hard worker would be an understatement. Whether it was working toward her degree (which she got this past year), working at her job (which she did while working toward her degree), or working in her home (and let’s face it, being married to me is a full-time job in itself), my wife puts all of herself into everything she does.
  8. I love how supportive she is – I know that I said that I would only say seven things, but I had to mention this. My wife has always encouraged me to pursue my passions, not only with her words but by sacrificing her time with me so that I could write. This is no easy thing for her. Time together is how she feels most loved, and to give that up is an expression of her love for me. I don’t ever want to squander such a precious gift, and I hope she knows how much I appreciate this, as well as how much I appreciate her.

For anyone who is still reading this novel-length post, I hope that you can find what I have. If you are married, please do something selfless for your spouse today. If you are not married, maybe just be the type of person you would want to be married to. And if you don’t fall into one of those categories, I have no idea what category you would fall into, so good luck with that.

Anyway, DeAnne Mosey, I love you.

Happy Birthday from Me! | For Everyone Else

Today is my 30th birthday. And instead of expecting a gift from each of you, I’ve decided to give you a gift.

Some people may know that before I was a blogger, before I would even have considered myself a fiction writer, I was a song writer.

One of my songs may still be played on the local radio station in Dillon, Montana. It was a song called “Carny Girl”.

And for my birthday, I have decided to give this song to you. The lyrics are written below.

Carny Girl by Josh Mosey

chorus

she’s my carny girl, queen of my world,

works the tilt-o-whirl, my carny girl.

she’s my carny girl

she’s my carny girl

v1

she looks like a princess, but only from a distance

that’s why I try to keep her out of sight.

the smell of her hair is like my underwear

after eating pork and beans all night.

v2

her teeth, I’m glad she’s got em’, two on top and one on bottom,

it’s hard to use the straw at Dairy Queen.

to kiss her feels real weird, and I really love her beard,

but to look at her real close just turns me green.

v3

to look into her eyes, it’s not a big surprise

that only one is looking back at me.

my girl she’s got the gout, but I love to take her out,

and leave her…

Check it out here.

If you work for a radio station, feel free to play it. It is a gift. I only ask that you refer people back to me, Josh Mosey, as this may well be the thing for which I will become famous. And I could use the publicity to sell my books. Just saying.

Happy Birthday from Me! | For Writers

Today is my 30th birthday. And instead of expecting a gift from each of you, I’ve decided to give you a gift.

For any students or writers out there, this is a tool that I have developed for my bag of writing tricks. It has a page of prepositions, pages of boys and girls names, a page of weapons, and a list of different ways to say “said”.

Download the ABC’s of writing tools here.

This could also be a tool for parents-to-be to browse name choices. Just an idea.

Anyway, I’ve found it to be a handy resource and I hope you do too.

100 Posts

Well, I’ve made it to 100 posts. You may not think so, but this is quite an achievement for me. I’m not usually the type of guy to stick to a resolution, and starting this blog was more an exercise in hopeful thinking than anything else.

In the time that I’ve been blogging, I’ve interviewed two authors (here and here), been interviewed by a few times (here, here, and here) and have seen the birth of my youngest daughter (here).

Given that the average length of my posts is like 300 words, that means that I’ve written 300,000 words (though, I haven’t done the math to back me up on that). That’s a novel-length amount! Pretty cool.

So, I want to thank you for reading my blog. If you just found me, read some of my old posts (click here to start at the first post). If you’ve been reading since the beginning, drop me a note in the comments so I can thank you individually!

And be sure to come back tomorrow. I have a couple special things planned for my 30th birthday!