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Episode 53: Dragons

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Turns out that rambling does have it’s good points.

Originally I was supposed to have an interview today – but unfortunately my guest could not make it. So in my panic I reverted back to my nerdism (actual word – look it up) and now we have an entire 40 minute podcast where I basically talk about giant fire-breathing reptiles.

no I will not subscribe to your pop-up bullshit. I'm a dragon motha*****
no I will not subscribe to your pop-up bullshit. I’m a dragon motha*****

I divide the dragons into Western and Eastern – because it turns out that dragons are so prevalent in our cultural symbology and iconography that they have become part and parcel of the ‘old world.’

You honestly cannot have a dragon and now have it bring with it that sense of awe and fantasy of a past age – which is essentially what epic fantasy authors do so well. This is where you get examples like Smaug (Hobbit), Saphira (Eragon), Kilgarrah (Merlin) and those idiots from How to Train your Dragon. And of course the million dragons from DnD, or the dragons  from Game of Thrones

Seriously - this is beyond awesome
Seriously – this is beyond awesome

I mention A LOT of examples (because just in case you haven’t noticed I am a HUGE nerd).

I also go very much off topic and spin in circles whilst playing old rock and some dubstep – but then again you listened to the show before so what’s new there?

When I grow up I wanna be an acid trip
When I grow up I wanna be an acid trip

In the end we finish off with me recounting the Volsunga Saga (later adapted by Tolkien and is the inspiration for Smaug) – because Vikings are awesome.

Enjoy:

 

 

Music:

Pink Steampunk Girl

Drev

www.fixtstore.com/drev

www.youtube.com/fixtmusic

 

PS. Thank you for your app downloads. I think we reached a record a few weeks ago. But in any case if you haven’t gotten it check it out on either Amazon or on Podcast Box.

Make sure to leave a comment or a review for the show down below.

Peace out,

Ryan

#MondayBlogs: Inner Dragons

Ryan Attard:

Sometimes the dragon is inside

Originally posted on Shannon A Thompson:

Intro:

Mondays are easily becoming one of my favorite days of the week – all because of the guest bloggers right here during #MondayBlogs! Today’s post is brought to you by one of my top commenters last year – Deby Fredericks – and she is writing about writers and their inner demons…or dragons. Check out her website and her books!

Inner Dragons

We writers often do battle against doubts, fears, writing blocks, etc. Call them inner dragons. If we aren’t careful, we can sabotage ourselves with negative self-talk.

One common inner dragon is the fiendish beast Comparison, which makes us treat writing like a competitive sport. Say you struggled for an hour to finish a single page, 250 measly words. Then on Facebook an author friend brags about their wonderful 2,500-word day. It’s too easy to compare word counts and decide you’re a slacker because you didn’t…

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Episode 52: Cartoons

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3rd episode of the year and I once again try to be professional. In an effort to try and give my listeners some value, this week I actually scripted a show – which is to say, I wrote some prompts and notes and then I COMPLETELY IGNORED THEM.

Value indeed.

Seriously though, there are less awkward pauses and the structure actually made my show tighter in terms of delivery. There is hope for me after all.

As I tell in the beginning of the show, I am officially back in the self-publishing gig. There are bad things and good things about that and I don’t really see it as ‘going backwards’. I choose to view this as the next step, an interim to the next stage of my career. (No I am not high or drunk)

But I was sick when I recorded and that explains why the show got derailed a little. Origianlly I wanted to talk about Thundercats because after watching the 2011 reboot, I noticed something about the world building.

I love epic fantasy and the world of shows like Thundercats and Avatar (the last Airbender and Korra not that movie bullshit) is something which I can only describe as ‘Magical Realism’

A world where you have sci-fi and fantasy elements, like vast forests and deserts, and then techno cities thrown in for the mix.

You can’t really talk about cartoon without talking about the journey that the characters make. And this is when I dwell on something that I read in the Hero with a Thousand Faces and the Writer’s Journey – the idea that shit happens to a quiet life and you have to face responsibilities and make sacrifices in order to overcome.

This is when I paraphrase a quote – “Fairy tales aren’t cool because they teach us about dragons; they are cool because they teach us that dragons can be slain.”

I have no idea who said that, but there is a comment section so go ahead and enlighten me please.

By now you might be thinking how awesome it is that I have completely a well-structured show. Hold the phone (I feel so old).

The professionalism laster 18 minutes. The rest of the show was spent talking about other saturday morning cartoons such as Street Sharks, Gargoyles, Pokemon, Digimon, Biker Mice from Mars, He-Man, the DnD cartoon and of course, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Essentially I rail of your favourite childhood memories.

Enjoy:

 

 

Music:

Pink Steampunk Girl

Drev

www.fixtstore.com/drev

www.youtube.com/fixtmusic

 

As I say in the beginning of the show, I am thinking of setting up a Patreon account for this show and my books. What do you guys think? Is this show worth a buck or two?

There’s a comments section down below so please feel free to leave your thoughts.

PS. Make sure to get the app of the Lurking Voice Podcast on either Amazon or on Podcast Box.

 

Peace out,

Ryan

Cover design contest

Hello people and hope you’re having a great weekend. Today I wanna talk about this awesome cover design contest I am hosting on 99designs.com.

If you don’t know 99designs or how they operate, it’s simple enough. You tell them what you want, and then a whole bunch of artists compete to try and create the best cover for your project. Finally, at the end stage you pick a winner and drool over you cover.

Seriously guys, these covers are AMAZEBALLS!!

I have about 6 at the time of writing and I love them all (some more than others but that’s the empirical system for you). Which brings me to my next topic.

I need you folks to help me choose. The covers are awesome and I have literally no more drool left so I need a fresh set of eyes to help me out.

So if you want to look at some of the possible covers and HELP ME CHOOSE THE AWESOMEST (yes that’s a word) COVER CLICK ON THIS SHINY LINK RIGHT HERE and let me know in the comments below which one is your favourite.

After all you are going to be the one who will buy Evil Plan Inc. so I figured you might as well have a say in which cover you would like to see.

Sounds fair?

Once again, click THIS LINK  to check out my cover design contest and don’t forget to leave your comments below.

Till next time,

Ryan

Episode 51: Fanfiction

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We’re back in full gear, people. Today’s show is about fan fiction and the writing of thereof.

I’ll be honest I’m on the fence about fan fiction. On the one hand I love it cos that’s where I started, and there are A LOT of good things about it. On the other, much like KDP (that’s Kindle Direct Publishing), most of the time you’re gonna encounter pieces of writing that are mediocre at best. But hey, with fan fiction no one has to spend any money right?

We start the show off with a joke, with me going on a rant about the idea of a god and how I think it’s a woman. Because when you think about it, God is a bit of trickster and only a woman can mess with people’s heads in this awesome a way.

Also I chose this topic because fan fiction is the ultimate expression of freedom, where usually a lawsuit is involved if it were in any other context.

Fanfiction offers a community and a free training ground where you can practice your craft without worrying about years of research, or taking time to rewrite over and over again, just because you can’t figure out if your particular brand of alien lizards can operate plasma technology or not. With fanfics, the leg work is laid out for you: all you gotta do is figure out how to make the character dance.

Also, no deadlines. And no word limits. You don’t (and shouldn’t) write entire novels as fanfics. You start small and slowly build your writing muscles until you can tackle something completely original. For the established writer, fan fiction is a great way to relive writer’s block. I told a story on the show of how I wrote the first book of the Pandora Chronicles at the same time as writing my Star Wars fanfic – Wraith: Agent of the Force. This helped me take a break from the Pandora story when I just couldn’t figure out what to do next.

Oh, and lightsabers. Who doesn’t love those?

For folks in the biz, fanfics get a ton of reviews, and all are free. I remember getting my first ever review on my Hunter X Hunter fic – Hisoka’s Second Time. It was inspiring and encouraging, and made me add a further 5 chapters to that story.

Here are the sites I quoted from:

http://howtowritefanfiction.com/2012/03/12/how-fan-fiction-makes-you-better-writer/

http://transformativeworks.org/news/otw-fannews-fanfictions-benefits

 

I also end the show with a bit of an . . . unusual message. I don’t do political stuff and I could care less about world events, but I just had to address the terrorist issue with Charlie Hebdo and get my say in. I wrote a blog post about it yesterday, after recording this show.

It just had to be said.

Enjoy:

 

 

Music:

Pink Steampunk Girl

Drev

www.fixtstore.com/drev

www.youtube.com/fixtmusic

 

PS. Make sure to get the app of the Lurking Voice Podcast on either Amazon or on Podcast Box.

PSS. If you are going to read my fan fiction, thank you. But please bear in mind that those are THE FIRST pieces of writing I ever put up. I like to think my writing has improved since then. :)

Till next time,

Ryan

 

Three squares and Freedom of Expression

I often refrain from engaging in stories that have appeared on the news on this blog. After all, whoever reads this usually does so for the same reason we read books and watch movies – to escape the turgid realities of our everyday lives.

But on this subject I cannot, in good conscience, remain silent. As usual I am late to the party, especially after the hashtag  Charlie Hebdo is still trending and will be for weeks to come. This attack shook the world at it’s core – not because of the violent and wanton killing (although that’s always horrifying) but because the attack was  on a comic newspaper.

The victims were not soldiers, or even activists. They were writers – much like I am. So the situation begets the following question: how long before every writer is targeted? How long before every comic is targeted? Every actor, producer, dancer, singer?

Art is the ultimate form of expression and once you limit that, then you limit people’s sacred right to think in whichever ways they want to think.

I appreciate the fact that a lot of people have finally made the distinction between the Muslim religion and these terrorists – and the distinction is large. I won’t tell you what’s written in the Quran because I do not know. But I can tell you with absolute certainty that in no part of any holy text is there a call to violent action.

Religions were created as communities: people coming together under the belief that their god exists and therefore they must live their lives to appease that deity. Terrorist actions go against the community, every single one go them, and therefore is against the fundamental nature of a religion.

Most of you may be questioning what I titled the blog Three squares and Freedom of Expression. The reason is simple: this is what we all want. Most of us do not have a political or military agenda. We simply want to go on with our lives, go back to our families and live happily ever after. We want to carry on being ourselves.

And that is exactly how we will stop this wave of terror. These people, who use weapons and fear as their tools, rely on us being intimidated and afraid of them to control us. But they stop being ‘terror’ists the moment we stop allowing them to manipulate our fear. I’m not saying to not be afraid.

I’m saying to not remain afraid.

This is not a call to violence. Violence is the tool of the coward. No, this is a call to endure. A call to carry on with our lives, a call to keep on publishing satirical newspapers, to keep on expressing ourselves as we do, because the worst thing you can do to someone is simply not give them the time of day.

The worst thing you can do to someone is not acknowledging their existence.

So don’t be afraid to go out and be yourself. Don’t be afraid to express yourself. If you want to start writing or creating, there is no time like the present.

This is how this war will be won – not by guns and bullets, but my standing tall and proud and saying “I am who I am and you cannot change that.”

Je suis Charlie.

#MondayBlogs: Why Writing is Better Than Sex

Ryan Attard:

Had to share this with you guys. Hehehe

Originally posted on Shannon A Thompson:

Intro:

Today is Monday, which brings us #MondayBlogs – a.k.a. guest writer day! Every Monday, a fellow blogger will be covering a topic revolving around reading and writing, and today’s topic is obviously rather humorous, but it’s also an infograph. If you want to be a guest blogger, check out the information below the infograph. Before that though, read this spicy piece, brought to you by Global English Editing.

Why Writing is Better Than Sex

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Want to be a guest blogger? I sure want you to be one! I am accepting guest posts that focus on reading and writing. No blatant advertisements. You are allowed to mention your publications with book links as long as it’s relevant to the post. Including a bio and a picture is encouraged. You do not have to be published. If you qualify, please email me at shannonathompson@aol.com. I’ll look forward to…

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