Sunday, February 27, 2011

Last Post

Okay, so this is my last post.

But before you say anything, let me explain. I'm about to finish the rough draft of my novel, Lycan Island! Yay!

But when I look at it, I can see that there is something wrong.

It's my pen name.

When I first started this blog, I chose the pen name John Smith. If you're a fan of Doctor Who, you'll know why I chose that name. I got the idea from a YA author who uses the pen name Christopher Pike, which comes from a Star Trek character.

However, as I look at the name on my rough draft file, it doesn't seem like it'll work.

The name John Smith seems common, but when you walk into a library or bookstore, you don't see that name as an author. And that's why I thought that I could use that name.

But I'm starting to think that John Smith may not be a great pen name after all. After the rough draft, I'm going to edit it, and then I'm going to send it to an agent. I can just imagine it now. My future agent will try to change the name. He/She will say it's too common. They will probably change it to something like John L. Smith or John Richard Smith.

But I don't want that. It has to be John Smith. That's it.

But let's face it. That's not going to happen. John Smith is a way too common name. So I decided to change my pen name into something a little more uncommon. After some thinking, I decided that my new pen name will be:

John Caliburn

That was anti-climatic. Anyway, that is the reason why I'm canceling this blog. It's such a shame after all the work I put into it. But don't worry. I'm making a new blog:

This new blog

So come follow me on my new blog

Also, if anyone here follows me on Twitter or Facebook or some other social networking thing, I'm going to cancel those too. Let's face it. I don't spend that much time on those other sites. In fact, they keep me away from my writing. So I think it's a wise choice to just stick with one blog.

So from now on, the only way to contact me is by:

1) email:


2) comment on my new blog

A million thank yous to everyone who have been following my journey so far. With the completion of my rough draft, I am one step closer to being a published author. One day, I will be a famous writer, and then all of you can say that you were with me since the beginning.

Thank you everybody,
John Caliburn

P.S. - The word Caliburn is the Welsh name for Excalibur.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Fat Vampire

Fat Vampire is a novel written by Adam Rex

I've read a lot of books. Most of them are good. But every once in awhile, I come across a bad book. This is one of them.

Don't read this book. It sucks (no pun intended).

This novel is basically about a fat kid, named Doug "Meatball" Lee, who gets turned into a vampire. From the title and description of the novel, I thought it would be an interesting and funny teenage angst type of story or something.

So I read this book.

I didn't like it. And here are the 2 reasons why:

1) I did not like the main character, Doug Lee, who all the kids have nicknamed "Meatball". He is a fat, mean nerd (geek, dork, or whatever you want to call it). Normally, I kind of see nerds as the underdog to the story and I want to root for him to get the girl or something. But I hate this guy.

Doug is a mean nerd. He's the type of person that hates getting picked on, so he takes out his frustrations behind other people's backs. He calls them names and says mean things about them to make himself feel better. And he doesn't even realize that he's doing it. Seriously, people around him call him Meatball as a nickname and he hates it. But instead of asking them to stop, he just says mean things about them behind their backs instead.

I know with the concept of a fat vampire, the author was probably trying to make him as far different from the gorgeous Edward of Twilight as possible. But Doug Lee is not a main character that I liked and I just can't root for him as a hero.

2) And now for the absolute worst thing about this novel, which is the ending. I believe that no matter how good the book is, if the ending is bad, the entire book will leave a bad taste in your mouth.

The ending of this book is bad.

From this point forward, there will be spoilers about the ending of this novel. If you intend to read this book, don't read beyond this point.

Now for the ending of this book: ...It has no ending!

Or to be more exact, it has several different endings to choose from. In the final pages of this novel, Doug gets a stake in his heart. Does he die? I have no idea. Because the novel then gives you several different endings.
For example, after he gets a stake shoved through his heart...

-He lives on and marries the heroine

-He continues to live on and becomes a graphic designer

-In a parallel universe, he doesn't get turned into a vampire. He gets turned into a werewolf instead, and the whole novel would be different.

-He can't pull the stake out of his heart, so he files it down until it's small enough to hide under his clothes

-He dies.


Now you can see why I don't like this novel. If I were to rate it, I would give it two stars out of five. So if you're planning to read this book, check it out at a library first. I don't think that it's worth buying, but that's just my opinion. If for some reason you might actually like this novel, feel free to purchase it at your local bookstore.

Monday, January 24, 2011

No one likes Short Stories!

I would first like to say that I love short stories. I've read almost all the stories by Stephen King, Ray Bradbury, Roald Dahl, etc....

But for the past year or so, I finally started to notice that not many people read short stories. Of course it should have been obvious to me sooner. Most of the books in libraries and bookstores have been novels. I guess I was just blind.

But I really do love short stories, and I don't understand why they aren't more in demand. When you walk down the street or drive in your car, you see all those people rushing to their destinations. Life seems so busy. You'd think more people would prefer to read something that takes up less of their time.

But here's the truth:
Not many people like short stories.

So I asked the all knowing (yet sometimes misleading) internet on why this is. And this is what the people of the internet had to say:

Reasons why people LIKE short stories:

-Novels are too long

-I'm too busy

Reasons why people DON'T LIKE short stories:

-Loves to see how a character will develop in a novel

-Novels have more complex plotting

-I can curl up with a novel and read for hours

-Short Stories are too short. They leave me feeling unsatisfied

-Novels are a great way to escape from the world

-I like to touch Harry Potter's face on the cover of Rowling's novels


These are just some of the reasons why people prefer novels over short stories. I guess I can see their point. But it doesn't mean that I have to like it.

Anyway, thank you all for reading my rant about the dying art of short stories. But before you go, I would like you to answer two important questions in the comments below:

1) What would you rather read? Short Stories or Novels?

2) Think of your favorite author. If he or she wrote a short story, would you read it?

(In my research, I noticed that some people will read a short story by their favorite authors, even if they don't like reading short stories in general)

Thank you for your answers!

John Smith

P.S. - I'm at the library, and someone's phone started to ring. It played a song from "Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog". ...Awesome!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Shakespeare Undead

Shakespeare Undead is a novel written by Lori Handeland.

If I were to summarize this novel in one sentence, it would be:

This is a story about a vampire, named William Shakespeare, who falls in love with a human, named Kate,.... while they both fight off an army of zombies in 16th century London.

No matter how it sounds, this is a romantic tale. William Shakespeare is a vampire, one of the undead. And Kate is a chasseur, a huntress who kills zombies and vampires and anything else supernatural. The two meet when they travel the streets of London at night, hunting for zombies which started to appear in the city.

Together they must defeat the zombies and find the necromancer that is summoning the army. Meanwhile, Shakespeare must try to keep his undead secret from Kate, or she'll chop off his head when she finds out. That's going to hurt a lot more than just being kicked in the nuts.

This is a great tale full of romance, sex, blood, zombies, and Queen Elizabeth. How can you not want to read this book?

P.S. - Throughout the book, there have been scenes that vaguely implies that Shakespeare will continue to live on and write other works in the 20th century, such as The Wizard of Oz, The Sixth Sense, Star Wars, etc....

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!

Hey there blog readers,

Happy New Year!

I can't believe a whole year went by.

Let's see. I started this blog in April 2010, so it's been 8 months since I started writing my novel. And I still didn't even finish writing the rough draft yet.

So this is my New Years resolution. The next time I write a New Years post on my blog (for 2012), I will have a novel accepted by a publisher.

So wish me luck everybody.

Happy New Year to you all,
John Smith

P.S. - I just realized that today is 1/1/11

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

End of Nanowrimo!!!

Hi everybody,

Sorry for disappearing for so long. The internet at my home was cut off, so I had to go cold turkey. No twitter, or facebook, or youtube, or anything. But then I realized that this was a good thing. I could work on my novel during Nanowrimo without any distractions.

But now Nanowrimo is over.

I've managed to write over 56000 words at the end of Nanowrimo! Yay!

Although I've completed this challenge, my novel is not yet finished. I still have a couple of thousands of words to go. But still, I have written more in this one month than the previous six months I first attempted to write this novel. So I'm quite happy about that.

Right now, I'm going to take a break from writing for awhile and start reading some books for a week or two. I am currently reading Shakespeare Undead by Lori Handeland.

But I'll eventually continue to write my novel.

I believe that I will finish the rough draft before February.

Thank you everyone for supporting me,

John Smith

P.S. - I'm sorry, but my posts will be a little sporadic from now on. I will probably only be posting about once or twice a month.

Also, I am currently typing this blog post from a computer at my local library.

Monday, November 1, 2010

NanoWrimo: Day 1

It's the first day of NanoWrimo! Yay!

So let's start it off with a NanoWrimo song: