Books I Love

Fiction is the truth inside the lie – Stephen King

A Cannibal and His Food

This is a great article about the lady that styles the food on “Hannibal”.

“Hannibal” is one of my favourite TV shows, and one of the things I love about it is the luscious cooking and presentation of food–even if sometimes, that food happens to be longpork. Mads’ Hannibal Lecter is even more stylish and sophisticated than Sir Hopkins. In fact, I rather think Mads would have eaten Hopkins’ version of Lecter because he would have been just a bit too crass to let live, but interesting enough to taste good, you know?

Sure, it unnerves me sometimes that a show about an unrepentant monster that eats people works so well for me, but once you’ve seen the visually original way they shoot it, and the lack of apologies they have for taking their time with the plot, or throwing out the kind of twists that would usually kill any other show, you really can’t imagine this story being told any other way. Could any other show on television leave every major character at death’s door due to the villain–with the certainty at least one of them was a goner–like had Hannibal did at the end of season 2? Even Walking Dead fans would have rioted!

Anyway, it’s fascinating reading how she comes up with the meals and the fake meats that are so important the story. And it was really cool to find out Mads does his own stunts and most of the fake cooking. I did wonder about that, as he seemed so good at it in the show. Glad to know it really is skill and not just skillful editing.

Sadly, the show has already been cancelled (yes, it wandered a bit there at the start of season 3, but last Thursday’s episode picked things up immensely). Still, I’m hoping Netflix or someone else steps up to the plate and saves it. More than any other show in this golden age of television, Hannibal deserves to carry out it’s delicious vision to the possibly bitter end.

And this sick thing is, I’d probably show up. ‘Cause that man can COOK.

Stay thirsty–and hungry–my friends!

A Story About A Man, A Trail And The Life Before

I don’t even remember why I clicked on this story. It was in one of my digests simply listed as ‘One Heckuva Hike’. Mild curiosity was probably the culprit. But what started off as a beautiful story about the Appalachian Trail ended up going deeper into the human psyche than I ever expected.

You can read A Long Walk’s End here.

It’s long, but really, really worth the read. Especially if you’re a writer.

So go on. Dive in without knowing anything like I did. It will be much better that way. I’m just going to sit here for a while and wait.

Bored meh reaction gifs

Done?

Good.

Amazing right?

Not done? Fine, but here there be spoilers…

I’ve never been someone who reads a lot of non-fiction, but I have read a lot of crime non-fiction. I think it started in my childhood with the crime magazines my older cousin left out in her room. Back then, I’d read anything new I could get my hands on in a household that had books, but rarely bought new ones. The magazines were horribly violent, had pictures of crime scenes and were definitely not meant for a child still in primary school, but they were fascinating. I loved the way they related police investigations, even if they did give rise to my unfortunate ability to be terrified by just about any true crime story because, ‘it could happen to me’. However, those magazines were not particularly well-written. They were about shock and gore.

A Long Walk’s End is the exact opposite. It’s a masterpiece that uses some of the best tools of fiction writing. It just happens to be non-fiction. Truman Capote would be proud. I was blown away by how the writer suckered you in with this heart-warming story of Bismarck the hiker, only to bit by bit, mind-blowing twist after mind-blowing twist, peel away the layers of this affable man to reveal a sordid story worthy of the Coen brothers.

Even with few answers presented to us about motivations, the missing money, what really happened in Bismarck’s brain all those years, and what happened to his first wife, we have a story here that builds tension to revelations we never saw coming. Is Hammes guilty of the crimes the FBI suspects he committed? A trial will tell us eventually. Perhaps even fill in the blanks.

But it’s the way the writer wove the story out of the low-key, mostly unknown, laid-back and genteel life of those hikers that walk the Trail that really made it work. You come away feeling you’ve experienced something beautiful, peaceful and right. Something that makes you smell the pinecones and long for the vistas. That Hammes was part of this world–a valued, loved part of it–boggles the mind, even as it does nothing to diminish its pureness. You want to join that Trail. You want to escape. You want to remake your life and leave all the mistakes and trials and problems behind.

For a brief span of minutes, you can relate to what this man did and why. For an instant, you run away with him to this beautiful place where you can be anyone. Where you can start over.

It is a profoundly disturbing realisation and key to this article’s impact. If what the FBI believes happened is what happened, then Hammes is that most terrifying of villains. The guy next door. The monster that wears a normal-skin. The one you think is just like you, until you realise too late, he’s not even human.

I’m not surprised William Browning has won awards for his writing. It’s hard to spin captivating truths out of your imagination, as writers do. It’s even harder to do it when you’re writing about the real world, and your main characters will never fully be known to you.

I take my hat off to this piece of writing and to Mr. Browning. And I’d tell every writer, new or old, to read this and take a look at how drama, tension and stunning plot twists can work in fiction, and non-fiction, if you know how to wield theme, setting, pacing, characterization and revelation the right way.

It’s a lot harder than it looks, we all know that. But when someone gets it right, it’s looks so, so easy. And we should all take notes.

Feel free to let me know what you think in the comments.

Stay thirsty, my friends!

Meme Explosion: The Written Word

Last week was for the TV shows. This week, we will have fun with books, reading and writing. So without further ado, some of my favourite memes from my Pinterest site that have to do with the written word!

Hehe:)

Waterstones, London, UK | 15 Hilarious Bookstore Chalkboards

Thesaurus

I often frequently commit this sin repeatedly, regularly, and time after time :)

Seriously...

I've done this!!

I know this feeling...

What Is This

Fact.

Stray books

Not bad agreement reaction gifs

Stay thirsty, my friends!

Meme Explosion: Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead

I’m a huge fan of both GOT and TWD.

And yes, I’m still a fan of Game of Thrones and waiting anxiously for next April, despite all the complaining about this season.

However, I can understand why some people are up in arms, so instead of getting into all the ways season 5 made you angry, let’s have some fun with some of my favourite memes from Pinterest. And since I have The Walking Dead to look forward to in October, let’s also look back at what made us fans of the Ricktocracy and beyond.

If you aren’t up to date on both shows, please leave now, because I will be indiscriminate about what memes I post and there may be spoilers.

Image result for this post is dark and full of spoilers gif

Game of Thrones:

#GameOfThrones Poor Robb Had No Idea | Red Wedding Meme | Game Of Thrones Memes and Quotes

10530941_802712156429201_6664864850444673209_n.jpg 288×720 pixels

Game of Thrones (TV series): What are the funniest Game of Thrones meme images? - Quora

JK Rowling vs George Martin haha aww... fuck I really have been trying not to attach myself to characters knowing they're probably gonna die in Game Of Thrones

Joffery Batman  Game of Thrones Memes. No wonder he looked familiar when I first saw him on game of thrones

Robb and Ned Stark, Renly Baratheon, Oberyn Martell... the list goes on.

Tyrion hates the dwarf jokes - Game Of Thrones Memes

(1) Game of Thrones (TV series): What are the funniest Game of Thrones meme images? - Quora

Game of Thrones funny meme. Daenerys and her brown eyebrows

The Walking Dead:

Carol - The Walking Dead funny meme

The Walking Dead S4 funny memes

30 Hilarious Walking Dead Memes from Season 4 from Dashiell Driscoll and Memes!

Rick on the phone: | 46 Things You'll Only Find Funny If You Watch "The Walking Dead"

the walking dead funny | Walking Dead Page 39 Images

LOL. I love this pin!!! I like how it brings humor into a situation that also shows that Daryll has grown. People are a product of how they were raised, so I can see how the brothers would both label Asians as "Chinese" out of ignorance. But I like how the show allows Daryll to evolve. It makes me love his character even more.

The Walking Dead more funny pics on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/yourfunnypics101

Introducing the Walking Dead to other people LOL!

I'd have a box for Nutella.

The walking dead

carl

Glenn

And that’s all she wrote.

Stay thirsty, my friends!

An Awesome Story I Just Had To Share

So Myke Cole posted this.

And it was so unusual to see a writer of that caliber make a plea like that, I had to go read the story immediately. Took me half a day, going in and out of tasks, and I’m so glad I did.

It’s amazing. Really, really good.

I have to agree with Mike. We need this person to write more. We need to let them know the impact they’ve made.

So please, help him out. Share the tweet he’s sent out on Twitter and spread the word about this story.

I went in blind, and was able to really appreciate it that way, so I won’t spoil it with details, but I have to say if this guy’s work was on a shelf, he’d have a buyer in me.

Go read it here. Then follow the links to the other parts. You won’t regret it. If you have problems linking to Part 2, just right-click on the link and choose to open it in a new tab.

Wow. Just…Wow.

Omg reaction gifs

Games of Thrones and the Bocas Lit Festival

Yes, in my world, these two actually go together!

First, I’ve been gone for quite a while because my computer died on me and for several weeks I had nothing to write on. No blogging, no writing, nothing. This was me the entire time:

Crying sad reaction gifs

Then, when I found someone who could fix it without demanding my first born child in return–literally the day I took it to the shop–I came down with bronchitis.

Crying sad reaction gifs

After being nebulized and medicated to within an inch of my life and completely losing my voice along the way, I have emerged this week firmly on the tail end of this thing and getting stronger every day.

That’s when the world got awesome.

First off, while I was caught up in ‘no computer’ land, I found out that I had been invited to be a panelist at the Bocas Lit Festival, the premiere literary festival of Trinidad and Tobago. This is, by itself, a dream come through. But add to that I would be participating in several panels, over several days, and I was beyond jazzed.

Then they told me I would be on those panels with Karen Lord, Tobias Buckell and Nalo freaking Hopkinson.

Omg reaction gifs

It’s okay. I’m much better now. It hardly even hurt, I promise. Anyway, I’m over the shock. But the awesome of it all just keeps growing, you know?

It’s also my birthday during the week of the Bocas Lit Festival, so I’d taken to thinking of my participation as my early birthday present. That was before I got the invitation from the Chilean Embassy for the cocktail reception in honour of the Lit Festival.

No biggie. I totally have a dress for that.

But then I got a phone call from my cable company yesterday. Normally, that is a phrase that would strike fear in the hearts of cable customers, but in my case, it was just the universe giving me a better birthday present.

I won a competition for two tickets to the advance screening of the premiere episode of season 5 of Game of Thrones.

That’s right. My awesome sister and I are going to see the new Game of Thrones season begin on a big screen on Saturday night–a day before most of the rest of the world.

game of thrones animated GIF

So you see, I have a lot to be thankful for.

And I think you will have a lot to read about here in the weeks to come as things get really exciting. If you so desire and all.

Nalo Hopkinson, people. Nalo Hopkinson.

And here I come, Saturday night!

game of thrones animated GIF

Stay thirsty, my friends!

In Which She Has A Little Laugh At Game Of Thrones

Game of Thrones - "Winter is Coming"  But when?

I love that graphic. Freaking love it. I have yet to finish A Game of Thrones, far less the others, but I do love the television series and I’m determined to read the books after the series is done. So yeah, George, love you and all and love you more when you’re writing.

And yes, I know the writers of the show know all. Which, by the way, should be a clue to some people constantly grumbling about why they aren’t seeing some character or plot-point they love from the books (because they probably don’t matter/die before the end, or it’s a red herring). But I’d like to have the books to read before the show ends, so sue me.

Also, yes, I don’t read the books before the movie/tv show anymore if I can avoid it. That’s because except for a few instances (I’m looking at you Circle of Friends, and Shining Through), the book is better than the film. I’d like to have the best experience last please. Because I tried it the other way around for Star Wars and let me tell you, that did NOT work.

Anyway, I was puttering about in my Pinterest and thought, why not put up a few of my favs for fun? So here they are. Some of my Game of Thrones laughs.

You’re welcome.

Oh, and feel free to follow me at https://www.pinterest.com/rsagarcia/

I would do the same thing.

Game of Thrones - Red Wedding...although having to witness the red wedding episode was NOT at all funny =(

No need for bracing

Game of Thrones business cards

Annie vs. Arya. No contest.

Stay thirsty, my friends!

An Announcement for the Trinis

Hey! I’ve been a bit too tired this week to blog, but I thought I’d just make a little announcement.

LEX TALIONIS is currently available for sale at RIK Bookstores Limited in Trinidad. I’m in my local bookstores!

Nailed it amazed excited reaction gifs

 

I know right? Crazy!

Anyway, if you’re a Trini, or you plan to be in Trinidad any time soon, please feel free to head on down to your local RIK and pick up a copy of my science fiction mystery, LEX TALIONIS. It’s already sold out in some locations, but there are still copies to be had at Trincity, Price Plaza, Gulf City and Port-of-Spain.

If you go to a location and there aren’t any copies, please let the staff know you want a copy so that they will order more. I’d appreciate that simple act because it will help support a local author (me!) by making it more likely that RIK will bring in another shipment. Also, if you really want your copy now, you can ask the staff to tell you where copies are available so that you can purchase the book at another branch.

Thanks in advance for all the support, and if you do buy a copy, be sure to let me know in the comments. Who knows? I might just make arrangements to autograph it for you! Just drop me a line in the comments.

Luc – An Excerpt From The Sequel To LEX TALIONIS

Yeah, you read that right. I’m in a good mood because the writing is flowing these days, so you get another little peek.

Luc is a small but important character in IACTA ALEA EST (The Die is Cast). Here’s the introduction to him. Extra points if you can guess who he’s waiting for.

The man who had sold his name and his life stood against the wall of the spaceport terminal and watched streams of people and aliens move past in front of him.  No-one looked in his direction.  Not because he could not be seen, but because he did not wish to be seen. 

Even in the bright light of the busy terminal, even with the main doors on his right placing him near the path of all the comings and goings, the simple dark wrap he wore seemed to pull all regard into the black hole of its existence.  He stood within the concealing layers of his hood and cloak, motionless but for the never-ceasing movement of his eyes.  They were amber as a cat’s, startling in the harsh, unapologetic angles of his coffee-brown face. 

His hands folded across his chest, his fingers thrust into the soft warmth of his sleeves, he watched the row of disposable comm patch booths along the terminal wall opposite him.  Above the white half-dome booths and chairs, the transperiwall rose to a ceiling that showed a darkness deep enough to touch.  Tiny lights sparkled and winked within it like stars.

Below this, the spaceport bustled and resonated with hundreds of voices from hundreds of organs.  Grey, flat-headed Algarans lumbered through the crowd, swinging powerful arms.  A group of Kaag mercenaries, cocking their ears at each other in an animated fashion, brushed through the door, snapping at passersby stupid enough to touch them.  Environmental protection suits–most tinted to keep stares out–rolled or floated past, an array of exotic shapes and colors.  

Seconds after a clutch of Wensts females passed him, so well hidden by their clothing they looked like moving bundles of sparkling cloth, he spotted her.

She strode through the main doors, hands buried in the pockets of a grey jumpsuit, and headed for the comm booths. She looked neither left nor right, but he knew she had seen him.

Dark hair hung loose to her shoulders, obscuring her profile.  She forded the constant movement of those around her with practiced ease as she moved across the main terminal floor, never giving the roving security duos of blue clad Troopers so much as a wary glance. 

When she reached the booths, she took up a position next to the last one on his left.  As soon as the user–a human male–exited, she entered, closed the door and activated the tint.

He gave her ten minutes, made sure they had not been noticed, then leaned away from the wall and headed toward a booth in the middle of the row. 

Hope you liked it. Drop some lines from your latest work in the comments, if you like, and join in the fun.

Stay thirsty, my friends!

Still Here and Still Working

I know I’ve been gone forever. I have a great excuse. At the end of October, I came down with Chik V. This was just before a very important week of meetings at my job during the month of November. I managed to get my work done, but I was lucky enough to be one of those people who suffer from the chronic stage of the disease, which means even now I still have lingering pain, numbness and other symptoms. I’m not alone, of course. Lots of Trinis have the same problem. The virus has spread like wildfire here. And let me tell you, this virus is the sickest I’ve been since I was a child.

November and December then became consumed with catching up on the work I had to drop for two weeks, trying to write every day, cleaning the house and generally getting ready for Christmas. Christmas turned out great and I’m finally enjoying my vacation. But the plan for the new year is to get back to working out and writing every day again. The fatigue has let up enough for me to return to my regular schedule, I think.

I want to thank all of you who came by, followed me, or just commented. Sorry I haven’t been around, and I will be by all of your blogs before the end of the year to remedy my absence.

I’m currently cleaning up the first part of the sequel to LEX TALIONIS, which I’m calling IACTA ALEA EST (The Die is Cast) for now, so I can get some more forward movement on it. I’m pushing on with THE NIGHTWARD (also known as the ‘Hand of Gaia’) because it’s in my head right now. But if you read LEX TALIONIS you’re probably wondering what the sequel looks like. It’s rough right now, and there’s stuff that needs to be edited, but have a sneak peek at the opening below:

The C.S.S. Invincible

The technician screamed, the smoking stump of his hand smearing his lab coat as he held it to his chest. Through watering eyes, he looked up at the two soldiers standing over him, their faces hidden behind the wavering diamond reflection of distortion masks. The ship’s flashing emergency lights limned their black armour, turning the figure-hugging contours scarlet, then black, then scarlet again.

He could smell his own flesh cooking, and vomit scratched at the back of his throat even as pain tore his nerves to shreds. If he turned around, he knew he would see what was left of his hand lying on the floor of the corridor behind him. But there was no point in turning around. His hand was gone for good. And he was a dead man.

The one on his left lowered the massive lasrifle to his waist, still keeping it at the ready. The soldier on the right held his weapon with the business end pointed at the floor. The soldier was silent for a moment longer, apparently studying the tech, though it was hard to tell through the distortion masks.

“Are you ready to speak to me now?” he intoned, his voice flat and expressionless through the mask.

“I told you, I don’t…”

The rifle came up again, sighting on him. He screamed and felt warm piss trickle down his leg.

“You waste our time,” the soldier continued. “If you will not help us, there are others. Doubtless they will want to live more than you.”

The tech heard the soft whine and click of the lasrifle and could not stop his tears. Above him, the computer informed them that Decks Five through Ten had been breached by intruders and that the Fire Squad should report to a blaze in progress in the Dining Hall. It was a detached report on a dying ship and he knew that if he did not do as they said, he would only suffer more pain.

He was a tech, a lowly tech, not crew and certainly not one of the fearsome security personnel who–inexplicable as it seemed–were dying in droves at the hands of these relentless attackers. Soldiers, really. Soldiers who were better than the best that Conway Enterprises had to offer. Better than men genetically bred to protect and kill. It was unthinkable.

As unthinkable as what he was about to do. Because the only thing he wanted as much as a way off the ship right now was no more pain.

“Shoot him in the–”

“Wait!” He felt every breath that left him as if for the first time.

“I…know where it is. I know where the room is. I can take you there. Please…let me take you there.”

The solider did not move for a moment, then he raised his rifle.

“Lead the way. But be warned–-if you attempt to mislead us, you will die. Slowly and in great pain. Get up.”

That’s all for now. I’ll post more from both books as I go along.

Have a great season and see you again soon!