Welcome back, and for those of you just finding your way here, welcome! Chapter three is officially up and running on Wattpad and Tumblr. We finally get to meet some other Guardians in this chapter, the last two of the “Core Four” as I call them. These were the characters the story formed with.
It occurs to me now that the story behind these characters and the origin of the Guardians trilogy would make for a good blog post on this chapter, but seeing as I’ve already written a book review for you I’m going to stick with the original plan and save the origin story for another time. We have many, many weeks of time for that!
So, the book review!
I have the pleasure of knowing (at least online) Oliver Dahl, who entered the world of author-dom even earlier than I did (he started at 13 and I was 19). A fellow history buff, he shared his newest work with me, a novella titled Lies, to review for my blog.
Lies tells the story of the Salem Witch Trials from the perspective of Ann Putnam, Jr., the only witness of the trials to ever apologize for her role in the deaths of so many people. Dahl succeeds in both capturing and killing Putnam’s innocence as her role in the trials and mass hysteria grows.
Dahl’s passion and his research both paid off: in only 112 pages he’s spun a strong story out of the mystery that still surrounds one of the darkest events in American history. It’s a quick read (I read most of it in one sitting) but it’s heavy, dealing with the greater evils hidden in the human psyche. Be sure you have time to sit and think about what you’ve read. I personally found it very relevant to the reactionary culture our modern internet enables. We’d all do well to think long and hard before we speak, and act.
If you’d like to get your hands on a copy of Lies or one of Dahl’s other works (The Dreamers Adventures Series) please visit oliverdahl.com or visit him on Twitter.
(Image: Chapter 2, The Guardians of the Light: A crowd of grey-eyed men and women, including Bennie's father.)
Welcome back for Chapter Two! And if you’re just joining, welcome! It’s still a ghost town around here so I feel like I’m talking to myself. If you’re reading or even just snooping, feel free to drop in and say hi! You never know who else is lurking, waiting for someone to start a conversation.
This chapter, like the first, underwent considerable changes before the relaunch, primarily because I wanted Bennie’s mom to have a more active role in the story. I didn’t find the old version of events plausible given Sandra’s personality. That’s also something that changed—her name. Originally she was Bonnie, and the backstory included memories of Bennie being teased for their similar name’s and her mom’s overprotective nature as a kid. While it wasn’t a far-fetched concept, ultimately the two similar names proved very confusing to some readers and so I adapted.
I also like the updates to this chapter because it gave me a chance to expand a little more on Bennie’s normal life without getting too boring. You ever notice how easy it is to accidentally skip all the “real life” for the sake of the adventure, but then you later see how unevenly balanced the story became? If you’re a writer and you’ve had that problem, I promise you’re not alone. I know several others who deal with it too. It’s a relatable struggle—as is Bennie’s accidental procrastination. After all, how many of us get online for “just a few minutes” and wind up inadvertently killing hours?
If you’re guilty of that (fess up, we’ve all done it), I have a trick for you. Set the timer on your phone to go off in a few minutes so you stay on track. It does worlds of good for my productivity if I time myself for an hour of work followed by 10 minute breaks. Try it!
Go take a peek at the pile of photos I uploaded to my Instagram this morning. I've been bouncing back and fourth between Colorado and Texas for the past year and finally found the Rocky Mountain beauty I've been looking for.
Be sure to follow me on Instagram, and also check out my other social media links on the bottom right of the screen for more content and shenanigans!
(Image: Summit Lake, Colorado.
Snowy cliff face reflected in clear lake surrounded by grass and yellow flowers)