Bookmarked! March 28th.

string.jpgI am jumping with excitement as I’m writing this (can’t WordPress slurp up my words any faster?) and I’m attributing it to the discovery of absolutely good stuff that’s got me astounded along with five cups of coffee. Let’s go straight to this edition of Bookmarked! … and I’m going to start with blooks.


Richard left me a comment a few days ago, alerting me to the application of the tips I’ve suggested to make reading fiction more accessible online. The blook in question? Undead Flowers. Read it! I was down with flu for the last few days, and I couldn’t go through the story there properly, but once I did … whoah! I was completely addicted to the pacing, the characters, the right amount of intrigue and interest and mystery … Richard has really done outstanding work over there. What’s it about? A storekeeper of a flower shop in a town out of the way. His customers? The undead. I say once again: read it.

The next blook is Mind+Body, which starts on a roll (first episode link here) and never lets up. I think I should be able to finish it – roughly 45 episodes to go, but still in progress. Genre? Young adult. From what I got by some random snooping around, the blook is about Chris Baker, who wakes up one day with his father dead and him half a million richer. His father worked in Quantico, doing research – and then Chris find out that he himself was one experiment. Sounds very cliched, but I’m not going to commit myself to any review at the moment – the writing’s good, the story seems sound. I’m already enjoying myself, even though it’s just the first few chapters.

I’ve saved the biggest for last. The Germaine Truth is not a blook. I can’t even call it a novel in blog form, due to its highly epic nature. What is it, then? I’m not too sure myself. It is a story, but it is spread over a whole plethora of sites, blogs and forums. There’s even a radio for the town, a mock newspaper covering the latest happenings to the characters, and support forums for the fictional products that the fictional companies in the town produce. I’m awed, but am also slightly daunted – I’ve no idea just where to start on such an sprawling work. Go check it out, anyway – it’s a perfect example of the internet allowing fiction to go further than ordinary, paper bound books.


Okay, enough on blooks. James Van Pelt writes in his blog about what reading his way through the sluch pile has taught him:

What I learned over and over and over again, through weeks of reading slush, is that professional, readable writing is recognizable in the first paragraph. Getting to the second page without running into a single groaner was such a relief that I’d sometimes read the first page of such a story to anyone who was near just so they could hear competent prose.

He also talks about how reading poetry helps with writing prose:

Writing well at the sentence and paragraph level is what I keep pounding into my students and workshop members. That’s why I think studying poetry can be so helpful: poetry is all about sentence level decisions. At any rate, that’s what I learned. My guess is that if you have a chance to read slush or to read for a contest you might learn something different, but, no matter what, do it. It’s a great, educational, professional move.

That being so, it can be extremely frustrating to read batch after batch of horrible stuff – but I’m feeling up to it. Maybe a pop by Urbis on the way out? It’s the first thing that comes to mind when you feed ‘slush’ and ‘web’ to my brain.

Hope you’ve enjoyed the links … because I’ve certainly enjoyed putting them together.

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Category: Bookmarked!
  • Duane Poncy

    Thanks for the great write-up on The Germaine Truth. This site is our labor of love, and it’s great to see people are discovering it.

    One thing, though. Elohi Gadugi is the parent site, and Elohi Gadugi Software, and The Habit of Rainy Nights Press, etc. are not fictional. The press is a real literary press, and the Cherokee Dictionary is an actual product.

    Perhaps the confusion is caused by including them in our top navigation bar. We’ll have to look into redesign of that.

  • Eli James

    No problem Duane. Yes, I admit that I wasn’t sure which sites were integral to the story, and which were not. Imagine my surprise when you said that Elohi Gadugi is a real company!

    A redesign would definitely do good.

    PS: The 3D adventure game – is it real?

  • Richard

    Thanks for the *very* kind words about Undead Flowers! I’m glad you’re enjoying it. I’ll keep on striving to make it as accessible and enjoyable to as many people as possible! At least, that’s the aim. :)

    The Germain Truth really is something, isn’t it? I could (and in fact have) get lost in that site for hours. And you’re right, Duane’s really showing us the exciting directions that internet fiction can take us.

  • Eli James

    You’re welcome, Richard. I really enjoyed the way you summed up each episode of yours … and I must also admit at this point that I haven’t gotten down to really exploring The Germaine Truth. What new discoveries await me, I wonder?

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