Tag Archives: book

Fifty-Word Stories: Volume One

Excited about my soon-to-be-released book, Fifty-Word Stories: Volume One? Not nearly as excited as I am!

Well, ok. Maybe you haven’t even heard of FiftyWordStories.com before. It’s the website I created where I post a new story containing exactly fifty words every single weekday. I launched the site on February 22, 2009, and posted a new story every day (including weekends) for a year, and began my second year’s worth of stories in July 2010. (Year Two is halfway to being complete!)

Fifty-Word Stories: Volume One, available January 31, 2011.

Last summer I also began working on putting together a book containing the best stories from my first year. I put a ton of work into it, then thought I had lost the files, then found them back again, and finally managed to polish everything up into a completed state. I designed a book cover using some royalty-free art that I purchased through fotolia.com, taught myself how to format an ePub, and, just this week, announced the release date as January 31, 2011!

The completed book has the 100 best stories I wrote during Year 1. It also includes an assortment of nanofiction stories, which are stories that fit within a single post on Twitter, as well as several pages of tips and suggestions to help you write your own microfiction.

I put a ton of time into this book, and I’m really proud of what I’ve created.

You can get all the details of how it can be obtained on the FiftyWordStories.com release details news post.

I don’t want to promise anything that I may not follow through on, but yes, I did name this book Volume One for a reason. Now that I’ve put one book together, I feel that much more confident in my ability to assemble another one, and I’ve spent the past six months writing a whole bunch of new stories with which I can do just that. So assuming that I finish this current year of writing, and that Volume One performs well enough to make selling another volume worthwhile, there should be a Volume Two sometime between the end of Year Two and, let’s say, Christmas 2011 (with the release date dependent on what’s going on in my life, of course).

After that, who knows? Trilogy, anyone? Heh, now I’m just getting way ahead of myself!

“Executive Orders” by Tom Clancy

I recently finished reading Executive Orders, by Tom Clancy.

This was the longest book I’ve read in a while, at approximately 1,400 pages. It covered a lot of time and a lot of ground. It took me a while to really get into it, because it started off a bit dry. I can’t really say it started slow, because the very beginning of the book (or rather, the very end of the previous book in the series, which flows directly into this one) deals with a massive event, but the first few chapters, which deal with the fallout of that event, didn’t really grip me right away. I read a bunch of the book, then put it down for a while, but when I eventually picked it back up and read a bit further in, the politics and the spy drama began to get my attention.

I like that Clancy paints a world of politics and foreign policy that feels believably complex and realistic. Not having been inside the White House during international crises, I can’t really speak to the actual authenticity of the way Clancy writes it, but I’m definitely able to suspend my disbelief with Clancy’s writing. It doesn’t feel like a dramatized, simplified, dumbed-down narrative. He draws together a broad variety of factors and weaves them into an escalating series of events that feel like what happens in real life, where unforeseen circumstances interact in unpredictable ways.

It’s obvious, and always has been, that Tom Clancy is a conservative, and he writes his politics, economics, and international affairs accordingly. He provides right-wing solutions to a host of problems, and in his world, they tend to work. I’ve heard this pointed out as a criticism, and I don’t think that’s fair. Everyone writes from their own perspective. It’s only fair to grant Clancy his own angle on things, whether you agree with his approach or not.

All told, I wouldn’t necessarily say this was my favourite Clancy novel, but it’s one of the most diverse and ambitious ones I’ve read so far. Its mix of politics, terrorism, spy drama, and warfare won’t be for everyone, especially at over 1,400 pages, but it’s a worthwhile read, in my books. (Ha.)


I went back and forth between reading A Tale of Two Cities or Les Miserables next, but I’ve decided to go with Les Mis. It’s long, and some of it, I’m sure, will be a bit of a slog, but it’s been on my shelf waiting for me for a long time, and I have to get it done. Hopefully it won’t take me more than a few months.

“Without Remorse” Impressions

I just finished Without Remorse, by Tom Clancy. It’s about one of Clancy’s more regular characters, John Clark, and is essentially an origin story.

I enjoyed the book overall, though I wouldn’t say it was his strongest. It focussed more on low-level events and characters, rather than overarching plots and events, which was kind of neat, and somewhat similar to Patriot Games.

Some of the stuff that happens in the book doesn’t quite make sense, and seem a bit convenient, rather than character-driven. This is especially true in the first couple chapters and the last couple chapters. But it’s worth overlooking those things to get at the themes and morality questions that are involved.

One thing that did really strike me about Without Remorse is that it could be adapted into a really great movie, in my opinion. So just now I did a search for it, and lookie here. Could be interesting, if it happens!

I’d recommend reading the book, but you should read the books that were written earlier first, probably.