31 May 2015

Photo Inspiration - An Old Fashioned Circus #AmWriting

It's been a long time since I've done a photo inspiration post. Writing is going well lately and I've shifted to revising a circus story that I started (and finished a couple of times...I'm on my third ending and haven't quite gotten it right yet). So this means I am heavy duty into thinking about the circus - both the kind you attend to as a kid and the creepy kind we see in horror movies. I'm asking questions about this setting - is it too outdated to appreciate now? Should I set up the circus to be something else? As the internal debate goes on with me and my muse, I found a photo that may just inspire you...

zoriah_photojournalist_war_photographer_coney_island_new_york_20090718_1291 

Next blog post may or may not feature a fictional interview between me and this headless woman...

15 May 2015

Book to Read When You Have Insomnia [Book Review]

It's been a long time since I've posted. I do have a pretty decent excuse for neglecting my blog. One of them is stress related and I just haven't had the mental space to write a very good post. The second is I've been editing a LOT more. Editing takes much more focus for me and I'm working on a longer project as well as a short story. Also, I have another blog I'm fairly active on, so that's been another factor in my absence. (I'm happy to say I've stayed away from most of my free time indulgences like video games or online shopping. Woo!)

Anyways, how are you doing lately? Are you looking for a good book to read?  Well, I may have one for you.


This book is called Black Moon by Kenneth Calhoun. 

Here's a little bit about Black Moon (obtained from the Random House website):






Insomnia has claimed everyone Biggs knows.  Even his beloved wife, Carolyn, has succumbed to the telltale red-rimmed eyes, slurred speech and cloudy mind before disappearing into the quickly collapsing world.  Yet Biggs can still sleep, and dream, so he sets out to find her.

He ventures out into a world ransacked by mass confusion and desperation, where he meets others struggling against the tide of sleeplessness.  Chase and his buddy Jordan are devising a scheme to live off their drug-store lootings; Lila is a high school student wandering the streets in an owl mask, no longer safe with her insomniac parents; Felicia abandons the sanctuary of a sleep research center to try to protect her family and perhaps reunite with Chase, an ex-boyfriend.  All around, sleep has become an infinitely precious commodity. Money can’t buy it, no drug can touch it, and there are those who would kill to have it. However, Biggs persists in his quest for Carolyn, finding a resolve and inner strength that he never knew he had.

Kenneth Calhoun has written a brilliantly realized and utterly riveting depiction of a world gripped by madness, one that is vivid, strange, and profoundly moving.



So, while reading the book, I noticed the book had some pretty low reviews on GoodReads. To me, I don't think this book was all that bad. You start out by getting to know a few characters in the midst of this sleep crisis. First you meet Chase who has just returned to his childhood home after college. He soon meets his childhood friend Jordan who is certain insomnia will spread throughout the city. You also meet Lila who lives with her parents and the only person in her family that can sleep. Also, Biggs and his wife live in the city (she has sleep problems). Biggs tries his best to keep his wife in the apartment (and soon tries to bring his wife back). Lastly, Felicia, Chase' ex-girlfriend who works within the heart of the sleep crisis as a scientist, seeking a cure.

This book was troubling, fascinating, intriguing, yet dull at times.  You get each of the above points of view of the insomnia that has plagued the world. Timelines do jump around and it took me a bit to figure out at different times. Although the book description says Lila is in high school, she struck me as being much younger than that.

In terms of the insomnia plague, it's very "somber zombie movie" once it gets into the heart of it. People become raging maniacs once they lose sleep, even murderous towards people who CAN sleep. This drives the story and the characters. Aside from this murderous rage though, the plagued insomaniacs are portrayed as really stupid and out of it.

Towards the end, I thought things started to slowly fall apart and I felt myself scanning. I don't want to give too much away but this aspect almost seemed to match things falling apart for the characters. When the ending did come, I noticed some lose ends, but that didn't take anything away. You are left to figure out some characters' fates, but isn't that the way life is sometimes? Not always clean cut.

If I was to rate this book, I would give it three and a half stars. It's worth reading and I'm glad I read it. I will probably read it again later down the road too. Purchase your copy now.

What book are you reading lately? Anything you can recommend?

I received this book in exchange for my honest review.
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