Pumping Neurons


“It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents—except at occasional intervals, when it was checked by a violent gust of wind which swept up the streets (for it is in London that our scene lies), rattling along the housetops, and fiercely agitating the scanty flame of the lamps that struggled against the darkness”

Read that again, let it sink in….

I think I might add this “Style” to my writing exercises. Something like a writing prompt idea to get the juices flowing. It has been said that the first line of the novel “Paul Clifford” by Bulwer-Lytton is the poster child for bad writing. I, however, think that there is some genius to it. I mean, it is challenging to be a good writer. But the genius to this lies in being a good, “bad” writer. I think it flakes off the rust in the creative parts of your brain that have been neglected. (Akin to building muscle belly density, the first muscle fibers that fire off are generally the ones that get used the most, but as they fatigue, muscle fibers are recruited from deeper muscle tissues to assist, and as they fatigue, fiber recruitment gets deeper and deeper increasing strength and endurance overall). Where was I? Oh yeah, anyway, hitting those deep and unused neurons in the creative parts of your brain only strengthens your overall skill. (Just a personal theory). It’s a fun challenge, and if you think you got the chops, you can try out your work by entering the contest at https://www.bulwer-lytton.com/  The Bulwer Lytton fiction contest.

I have not entered the contest as of yet, I don’t think I am good enough bad writer to enter yet, But I am gonna play around with the idea.

Emergence Collective · writing

Building calluses

At one time in my life I was certified as a personal trainer. One of the things I learned, an apparent fundamental principle that can extend to many aspects of life, is: You can not grow without resistance. One needs something to push against to grow strong. Building calluses on your hands is a defense mechanism to protect them from the abuse they are getting.

Mentally I prepare for the coming callus. An unintended consequence of being an introverted author is that I have to become extroverted. Put myself out there if I want an audience. I reach out to the community and ask for feedback. Up till now, I’ve had the pleaser to bask in the cozy waters of positive praise. Certainly an ego boost. I know there is going to be negative criticism. It is inevitable

Deep inside, I can’t wait for it. I know I need it to happen to grow as an author in my writing (because there may be actual truth in the negative feedback) and as an online presence. I have been communicating with the community and I know there is one person with some issues with my novel.

Here is the message: “I am trying to work through your story –a clickable table of contents would help greatly – at least then you can navigate a lot better also you might want to consider tweaking your description on Amazon –check out how to do log lines –something that gives the whole plot summary so the reader knows where the story is going. Honestly as a reader its a hard story to navigate—I need to know more where it is going to begin to think editing and structure.”…….

Let’s deconstruct this. I understand that not everyone will like the story itself. That’s fair. I did have some terrible issues with my manuscript format, mostly because I didn’t know how to use word for windows; I have since figured it out. The clickable table of contents I actually removed because of said formatting issues. Kindle create is finicky and was messing up the chapters (Missing chapter headings, making the table of content sloppy). So It was a conscious decision. I suggest using a bookmark to save your location in the story.

Plot summary…. Honestly I think I nailed it. I want to leave some mystery to the story. I hate spoilers. I think until you get to a certain point in the story (I don’t think this person has) the summary of the book is confusing, but if you soldier on everything will become clear.

Editing and structure… Im new here. Just learning the ropes so, there is a learning curve. I am not sure how this is relevant. When I read for pleasure I am not thinking about editing or structure. I think there should be some wiggle room as far as a few typos and grammar. Unless its so horribly written that that’s all I can think about, and not the story. If this person feels this way, put the book down. I am not asking you to suffer through it or edit. 

I am preparing to get a less than a 5-star rating from this person, and I am ok with it.  Honestly. I am not hurt or bitter about it.  If you are reading this, and you wrote that message, well this is the reasoning and I hope that you can forgive my literary transgressions. If a one or two star review is in your heart. Please don’t hesitate. I can take it. You can be Will Smith, and I can be Chris Rock, taking the bitch slap like a man, deserved or not.

Emergence Collective

Onlinebookclub Reviews 3 out of 4 stars

Emergence Collective by Joseph Hallett is a suspenseful science fiction novel. When Frank Friedman dropped out of college and left his parents’ home in 1969, he decided to hitchhike to start a new life. He was picked up by a painted school bus filled with similarly situated young adults on their way to Oregon. With no specific destination in mind, Frank decided to join their group. Their commune in the Oregon mountains consisted of fifty free spirits. Eventually, the members left the commune, except for Frank. He enjoyed life alone in the mountains with a few friends who lived nearby; however, he was bored. He became fascinated with a hole on the land that the commune had used to dispose of garbage over the years. The hole never filled up. Decades of garbage and old appliances, including refrigerators, never filled the hole. He decides to investigate the depth of the hole and engages his friends, including a geologist at a local university, to assist him. What secrets will they uncover about this mysterious hole?

Chief Master Sergeant Barney Derrick of the United States Air Force has been studying deviations in the magnetosphere. His study of the deviations over the last two years became his pet project for personal reasons. He assembled a team to accompany him to Washington state to investigate the anomalies. Mark and Trina are a young couple staying at the commune in Oregon when they find themselves in the middle of the mysteries surrounding the hole, the anomalies, and the ambitions of Barney Derrick.

This book is a page-turner. There are several unexpected twists that kept me guessing until the end. The existence of the hole is a mystery and it was intriguing to gradually learn more about it. It was captivating to see how each of the characters approached that mystery and tried to discover more about it. Each character brought a unique perspective to the investigation. The characters are what I liked most in the book. They are well-developed and interesting. Frank and his friend, Willy, had developed a deep connection over the years. Their relationship became more like family. The relationship between Mark and Trina was also well-written and realistic for a young couple. They had the unique perspective of teenagers as they investigated the strange occurrences.

Barney Derrick is a fascinating character. Without divulging any spoilers, he goes through many changes through the course of the book. Initially, he is demanding of his subordinates who accompany him on his quest. This seems natural since he is a Chief Master Sergeant. However, as the story progresses, his demands become more and more unacceptable. The contrast between Barney and Frank is significant. Their objectives and the way they treat others are vastly different. There was nothing that I disliked about this book.

I recommend Emergence Collective to fans of science fiction novels. I also recommend it to readers who enjoy mysteries and suspenseful novels. There were more than ten errors in the book, so I don’t believe it was professionally edited. With some additional editing, this book is worthy of a perfect score. Because it has more than ten errors, I give this book a rating of 3 out of 4 stars.

Emergence Collective

Trying to gain exposure

This self publishing thing is frustrating when you are all but a recluse. How does one gain exposure? (seriously I am trying to figure this out) In the beginning I just sat and wrote, then it was ready so I hired a publisher, hired a cover artist (Already more money out than I expected to shell out). I am not expecting to make a living off of this I am a realist. but the passion project is getting expensive. I found onlinebokclub.com to review “Emergence Collective.” and decided to give it a whirl. see if that would generate interest, and hopefully a positive review. At this point only a few friends and the editor had read it so I was eager for fresh unbiased feedback.

It was nerve racking waiting for the reviewer to read rate a review. It took about a month, but I wasn’t dissapointed. 3 out of 4 stars. The review mentioned that there was a lot of format and gramatical errors (more than 10) and was nice enough to point out the page and paragragh those errors were, so that I could correct it. And had there not been those errors they would have gave 4 out of 4 stars. And that they felt it was not professionally edited… Here I have to defend the editor. First, as I went to page and paragrah noted, the most of errors the reviewer sited, I did not see. About half were hyphens at the end of sentences that did not belong and I did not see after looking where they pointed. My editor offered more than one round of editing, but I could only afford the first go around. That being said, My Professional editor did a fantastic job especially considering there were only about 3 or 4 actual typos and grammer issues. I will post the onlinebook club review in the next post. Anyone have any thoughts on these review places?