Monthly Book Review Coming!

I have a saying. You should read a book for every ten selfies you take. Well, I don’t take many selfies, but I haven’t been into reading too much recently, either. So we’re going to change that! Once a month, along with all my writing posts, you’re going to get a full book review!

I haven’t decided what the first one will be. It’ll either be one of the many Neil Gaiman books I have lying around or Pilgrim’s Progress, which I just got in the mail today. Still not sure. But it’s a comin’! So watch for my first book review coming July 1, 2015!

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The Return of Facebook!

Hey, all! I’m sorry that I haven’t been very busy on here recently, but here’s an exciting new thing for you guys to get a hold of! Some of you know that I am on Twitter. But now I’m on Facebook as well! There was always the book page, but now there’s a distinct fan page for this WordPress account (and, therefore, one for me)! It’s called “Gabriel to Earth: the Fanpage”. Maybe it’s too wordy, but hey! It works.

On there, you can actually message me, see stuff from my Twitter (soon, not just yet), get even MORE stuff than you’ll see on here, and just generally find awesome nerdiness. Whew! So excited!

To like us, just follow this link here ( https://www.facebook.com/GabrieltoEarth ) and give us a like! Let’s goooo!

The Thing: A Short Horror Story (Literary Lion: Escape)

I need to run, but I can’t move.

Why can’t I move?

It’s in here with me, and here I am, stuck and unable to move. I can’t die, not now, not here. I have so much more to do. I want to live!

Continue reading “The Thing: A Short Horror Story (Literary Lion: Escape)”

Three People Walk Into A Bar…

…and it’s super cliché. I kid you not. Why is there always a bar or a tavern in a fantasy story? And why are the main characters starting fights in them? What if the main characters are underage? Admittedly, that doesn’t stop modern kids. But here’s three cliches in fantasy stories that I think should stop.

1. Everyone Has Swords
Let’s face the facts. Swords are really expensive and take a long time to make. And we’re just expecting peasants to randomly have swords available? They probably won’t. I want to see someone who fights with a pitchfork or something. Can we make this a reality? I think we should. Or give them a hammer. Or get them a sledgehammer even, mainly because that’s awesome. But please don’t give all of your heroes swords.

This one actually makes sense in context, because it’s a show of power. He didn’t just have all these swords lying around.

2. The Obviously Evil Badguy
Since we’re on the topic of bad guys, let’s talk about one that continues to bother me. Why are all the bad guys these ugly deformed things? I get the thought that deformity somehow equals corruption, but it’s just not right. Even Satan himself is considered the most attractive angel out there. He does not have horns. We gave him those.

That’s what’s so attractive about evil. It looks real good. So, if you want a really good novel that’s going to be remembered, make the reader question the good guys. It’s more fun that way.

3. A Great Lack of Variety
The Hobbit movie changed this up a bit, but I do have a qualm with Lord of the Rings. Gasp! With the father of all fantasy? How dare I! But here it is… all the elves and dwarves pretty much look the same. The elves all are prudes with smooth faces with blonde hair. The dwarves are all fat and bearded grumps. So I am thankful for the Hobbit movies in regard to changing that. Change things up!

DO YOU SEE THIS?! DO YOU SEE WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT?

I realize that I’ve not even put out a book and I’m telling you all how to write yours. I’m not speaking as a writer, I’m speaking as a reader. Books without the issues I’m describing are things I would love to read. I could always be wrong. Maybe fantasy needs these to be a good fantasy. But I don’t think so.

What cliches would YOU like to see removed from the fantasy genre? Tell me in the comments!

Inspired by the prompt Fill in the Blank.

Thoughts on Being a Better Person

Ironic timing for this. Just after doing one of the Blogging 101 exercises, I was forced to think a bit. It was shortly after I commented on a writing/personal blog linked here. (Speaking of which, you should definitely check the blog out. It seems to have lots of blogging potential.)

She talks about her simple goal to just become a better person over the next few months. I even commented that by the intent to become a better person, she’s already on her way. But it made me think a bit over my personal life. I know the purpose for this blog. I know the purpose of my book. But do I know my own purpose right now? And do I really want to become a better person?

It may seem like an odd question. At least deep down, I think everyone wants to be a good person, even if we aren’t naturally good. But what am I doing to better myself today? That’s a lot of italics, I know, but roll with it for a little bit.

That’s a lot of italics, I know, but roll with it for a little bit.

I realize that I ought to be always trying to better myself. Obviously I will never become perfect, but if I know I have faults, I have to at least try to correct them. I think I had come to a point where I wanted to become a better writer and blogger, but not actually change myself. But now I think I will start giving it a try again.

So how does one change themselves? As I told the blogger who inspired this, it starts with the desire. But there is more to the story. We Christians have a saying regarding self-improvement. Paul says it in Philippians 4:8. It goes like this.

It is similar to the Buddhist eightfold path. In fact, I’ve even openly referred to it as the Christian eightfold path in front of friends. So when you are making a decision, you must think. Is it:

  • true
  • noble
  • right
  • pure
  • lovely
  • admirable
  • excellent
  • praiseworthy

That’s a long list, I know. But it looks really cool in list form, so I thought I’d put it like that. Anyhow, I have made a determination. When I make a risky decision from now on, I will go through this verse, this eightfold path, in my mind. If even one thing cannot be checked off, I should at least rethink the decision.

Now, this does not mean that people cannot enjoy fighting or reading a good fantasy battle. If it is for good reason, such as protecting their family, friends or country, then it is admirable and praiseworthy. It does not have to fit all the requirements.

So, what are you doing to better yourself today?

Think about it.

Getting Back to Basics

Who am I? Why am I here? What do I want to accomplish? Why should you read this blog?

In September of last year, I decided to push my limits and make a personal blog answering those questions. I wanted to tell people about life as a college student, an amateur writer, and as a Christian.

It’s been almost a year since that first post. Now that I’m in Blogging 101, I’ve decided to come back to the basics. So let’s get started.

So, who am I? Well, I’m a young dude by the name of Gabriel Penn who really loves Jesus even more than his writing. And I really love writing. You have no idea. The people who read this blog regularly have some idea, but you new readers, oh… you’re in for a real ride with this blog. And for those who are wondering, my last name isn’t actually Penn. It’s a pen name. It’s one of the most glorious yet totally lame subtle jokes I have ever crafted in all of bad-joke-crafting history. And that’s saying a lot.

Why am I here? Because I believe that if you have a gift, you ought to share it with the world. All right, I’m not insanely epically talented, but it’s a gift. Like, if this gift were a car, it would be a Camry in the midst of a whole lot of Mustangs. But hey, it’s still a car, and it’s better than your own two feet. Especially for those who don’t have feet. But if you don’t have feet… how are you driving a car?

These are the great questions of life.

Also, I’m writing a novel, and I want to get the word out. Trust me, the word’s getting out. I reference it in some way in basically every other blog post. What I lack in Tolkienesque writing skills I make up for in persistence.

worst writer

What do I want to accomplish? If nothing else, I would like to give people a bit of a break from the average and the everyday. I think that’s in some way what books and stories are all about. It’s about giving someone a step away from real life to teach them more about it. Apart from all the hubbub about novels and stories and writing tips, I want a blog that makes people think. The fact is that making another world is a great way to teach someone how to live in the current one. It’s like the Sims, but better.

Why should you read this blog? Well, you should read this blog because it has cool personal stories, even cooler written stories, stuff about my upcoming novel, occasional so-lame-its-funny humor, writing tricks I’ve picked up along my writing journey, and… that’s about it. Wow. That was so easy to summarize that it makes me a little sad inside.

In the continuing months, I plan to evolve the blog a little more. You’re going to be seeing more personal stories and intellectual thoughts alongside all the writing stuff. I don’t know how it’s going to work, but I’m going to take my road less traveled anyway.

Where no Gabriel Penn has gone before!

* ‘Star Trek’ theme sounding off into the distance *

Before I go too crazy, follow me if you have not already, give me a like, and comment your thoughts on all this!