What’s on my bookshelf

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Back in the days before the internet, when there were only three channels on TV (four if you got PBS), information was derived primarily from books. They were made of paper, could be heavy, and were often awkward and inconvenient to carry. Despite this, a physical, printed book carried a certain authority.

The physical printing process was long, the editing meticulous, and production was expensive.  A thick volume or multiple volumes caused a sense of awe.

I remember well a high school field trip to New York City that included a visit to the largest book store I’d ever seen, one that made our local Walden Books seem pathetic by comparison.  It seemed to have miles of aisles crammed with titles that promised to reveal the wisdom of the ages.  And that’s what I was after, the wisdom of the ancients, forbidden and dark, and very appealing to a student in the occult-crazy early seventies.

In that book store I found Montague Summers’ The Malleus Maleficarum and  The Satanic Bible by Anton Szandor Lavey.  These books, among others, opened my mind to the validity of alternate philosophies and religions.  They didn’t turn me into a Satanist, but they helped me to see that there were other paths to consider.

The different paths away from the mainstream, and what I found along them, were the genesis for what I write.  Whether it be about an alternate dimension, a psychopath, or love in a dystopian future, it all began with expanding my world view through books.

For writers, books beget books, and the key to begetting your best work is diversity in the books that influence your storytelling.  Writers get their inspiration from a variety of sources, chief among these being other writers.  Having access to a rich and diverse library–either yours or the one down the street– is, in my experience, absolutely essential.

For instance some of the books on my bookself include:

And I haven’t even mentioned Stephen King, Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, or any of the other fiction writers that have played a role in my writing.  I could go on and on, but I will leave that for another post.

You can see more of my influences on the What’s On My Bookshelf page.  How many of them have you read?  What interests do we have in common?  How has your reading influenced your writing–or desire to write?

The list is far from complete and less than authoritative, but it will be, hopefully, growing in the next few months as I have time to add to it.  You might also note that although each of the books listed on the page has a link to Amazon.com, that isn’t a recommendation to buy that particular edition or format.  I just linked to the edition that I have.
© Copyright 2017 by Kevin Fraleigh.

New Location, Same Commitment to Writing

Please note that this page may contain one or more links to Amazon.com. As an Amazon Associate, if you click a link, follow it to Amazon, and buy the item, I get paid for providing the link. Purchasing the item through the link will cost you nothing extra, but will help support this blog. Thank you.

So, if you’ve found you’re way here, and if you followed my old blog on WordPress (anytomorrow.wordpress.com), you’ll notice that I’m not there anymore.  My site is now being hosted by Bluehost and I now control my own website.  What does that mean for the blog?  Not so much that you’d notice.  The ads may change.  The appearance may change.  But the content will remain what the content has been–insightful and, hopefully, helpful or even inspirational–especially if you are on a quest to channel your inner writer.

So take your time, sit back, scroll through the posts, and enjoy.  And, as always, I look forward to your comments.
© Copyright 2017 by Kevin Fraleigh.

Forward Facing, Always

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I had an interesting experience the other evening.  A cousin of mine, very much into genealogy, stopped by to visit my mother and talk to her about our family history.  Neither of us had been back to our old home town in more than forty years.

My cousin talked at length about the hometown, places that still were, places that no longer existed, and of course, graveyards.  What would genealogy be without graveyards?

For a short time it was nice to reminisce, to think about the old days, but I’ve never been one to dwell too long in the past.  Nostalgia just doesn’t work for me.

I heard once that nostalgia was originally diagnosed as a psychological malady in Swiss soldiers stationed far from their home regions.  The soldiers would remember their home lives as idyllic and longed to return.  When they did return, however, they discovered that things were not the ideal they remembered.  That jolt of reality caused a particular form of depression that psychologists called nostalgia.  (More on nostalgia, here.)

Nostalgia has negative consequences for writers also.  Spending too much time thinking about past success (or failures) can lead to being anchored in the past, never moving forward, and never expanding the limits of what you can achieve.  Keep facing forward, learn from the past, but don’t get mired in it.  The next piece you write is always a step ahead from the last.
© Copyright 2017 by Kevin Fraleigh.

The Conversation

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A few weeks ago.

Tom: “I bought your novel. That Gustav Linder character looks really interesting.”

Yesterday.

Me: “So, Tom, did you finish reading my novel?”

Tom: “No, I don’t really like science fiction.”

Oh, well, a sale is a sale.  If you like science fiction, read Any Tomorrow Complete.
© Copyright 2017 by Kevin Fraleigh.

Read, read, read!

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Everything you read will inform your writing style, but it will not determine your writing style.  Your writing style is one thing over which you have complete control.

© Copyright 2017 by Kevin Fraleigh.

What’s your favorite quote about writing?

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One of my favorite quotes about writing is from that poet/songwriter/singer, Tom T. Hall in his classic ‘She Gave Her Heart To Jethro‘:

A man’s not writing if he can’t relate,
All the things that he sees in his life

The sentiment is simple and direct, but it encompasses the essence of a writer’s responsibility.  Do you have a favorite writing-related quote?  Please share if you do.
© Copyright 2017 by Kevin Fraleigh.

Any Tomorrow Complete Lives!

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My first series, compiled in a single e-volume, Any Tomorrow Complete, is selling again!  That makes me feel good.  It might not make me a millionaire (and from what I’ve seen of millionaires I’m not sure I’d even want to go there), but I’m stoked that a few valiant souls have decided to commit to the adventure.

If you’ve read any of my previous posts, I’m sure you’ll understand that writing a first novel is something akin to riding a wildcat on crack.  To see your characters come alive in a form that you can share with others is both exhilarating and exhausting, and never to be taken lightly.  The genesis of every word, every situation, every birth, and every death is the author’s own experience.  And despite what the author may say or how far fetched it may seem in the context of the story line, everything written is revelatory.

So to those intrepid souls who have purchased Any Tomorrow Complete, thank you.  And to those looking for a good story for their summer reading, look no further than Any Tomorrow Complete.
© Copyright 2017 by Kevin Fraleigh.

So here’s the thing…

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Some physicists who subscribe to the idea of a multiverse, suggest that there may have also been multiple big bangs.  Mightn’t it be possible that from these multiple existences and geneses a certain amount of crossover might have occurred?  This crossover might go a long way towards answering the myriad questions we have about our origins.

Thoughts?

© Copyright 2017 by Kevin Fraleigh.

Before The Big Bang

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Question for today:  What happened before the Big Bang?  Everything must have come from something.  Even God came from something.  What do you think?

© Copyright 2017 by Kevin Fraleigh.

The World Has Moved On

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No matter how infamous or famous, rich or poor, good or bad, the world moves on.


© Copyright 2017 by Kevin Fraleigh.