Tag Archives: novel

The Diary of Ellen Rimbauer by Ridley Pearson

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/7/70/DiaryofEllenRimbauerBook.jpg

Imagine, if you will, a young twelve year old chubby native american girl wandering through the twisting, maze-like aisles of the largest used book store in Oklahoma. The smell of old paper hangs heavy in the air. She is allowed to roam freely, unsupervised, in this eden-like paradise for bibliophiles. The girl finds herself lost within the deepest bowels of the warehouse like shop, bookshelves looming over her like watch towers, and she begins to wonder if wandering off alone was a good idea.

‘Nonsense!’ She tells herself with a huff, poofing her chest out defiantly as she continues on, encouraged as she seems to have reached the back wall, the end of the maze. ‘You’re practically an adult!’ The girl muses, looking around for some clue as to her location in the store in order to get her bearings. Finally, after a few tense, silent moments of fervent searching, she sees a sign.

HORROR BOOKS. HARDCOVER 3.00 AND UP. PAPERBACK 1.00 AND UP.

The girl gulps audibly. She’s read mystery books, thrillers, crime novels, sure. But this section of the store had been very clearly labeled as ‘forbidden and off limits’ by her parents. This was uncharted territory.

But, girls will be girls, and those children’s scary stories weren’t going to sustain her forever. In fact, she had already begun to get weird looks from parents of toddlers as she scoured the kid’s section of the story for books about ghosts.

So, mustering her courage, she explored.

Something caught her eye, and she stood on her tip toes to tug it out of it’s place on the dusty shelf. The gargoyle on the cover made her shiver and without even reading the back of it, she ran back through the maze to the front of the store to buy it.

It must have been Fall 2006 or 2007 when I first read this book, on that fateful day when I wandered away from my parents at Gardner’s book store in Tulsa. I still remember those first moments of icy terror that gripped my tiny little heart, and the strange fascination I had with the sexuality of the book. (I had just begun to question my own sexual orientation at the time). This book has been incredibly important to me, and I keep it amongst some of my oldest book-friends. The book is written like it could be true, in fact the actual author’s name is no where to be found in the book itself, so unless you had access to the internet (which, as a 12 year old who lived out in the country and didn’t even own a gameboy yet, I most certainly did not), you had no real way of knowing that this book was actually part of the wonderful marketing plan for Stephen King’s TV miniseries Rose Red, which came out in 2002. The book’s author is Ridley Pearson and it was published in 2001, as the account of real events from the perspective of Ellen Rimbauer, an oil tycoon’s young wife.

Ellen is a strong character. She is, for the most part, frightened and repulsed by her husband. In the early sections of the book she does genuinely love him and is aroused by him, but there are also definite moments where she lusts after other women, and upon meeting Sukeena, her black maid, she very clearly admits to herself that she is bisexual (not using that term, of course), having both a romantic and sexual interest in both men and women. The story is centered around the creation of her grand palace in Seattle, Washington, which she names Rose Red, and the paranormal happenings that occur within the walls of the house. Between the haunting of her home and her romantic and sexual encounters with both her husband and her lover, Sukeena, the book is just full of bewildering situations, especially to the eyes of a twelve year old sheltered christian girl.

I think its safe to say that the book kind of changed my life. I kept it hidden under my bed away from my parents, for sure that if they found it and read its contents that they would throw it away. The scary parts terrified me, and the sexual parts aroused a curiosity in me that later in my life would slowly manifest itself into a full blown identity revelation (I still remember the exact moment I was laying in bed with one of my childhood friends about two years later, and I found myself wanting to kiss her and I realized, well, hell, I must be gay).

The book is very well written and at the very least, entertaining. My rose colored glasses can’t keep me from scrutinizing it’s grammar and writing style as an adult, so I can say without hesitation that it is, as a whole, a phenomenal piece of literature and is highly underrated and little known. It deserves a lot more attention than it got, not only as a fantastic book but also as an incredible marketing tactic. Well done, Stephen King. Well done.

A Brief Guide to NaNoWriMo Prep

So, this year will be my sixth year to participate in National Novel Writing Month, and I’m pretty excited. I hope to, at the very least, get a 25k word novella out of it, but if I could develop a plot outline good enough for the whole 50k, that would be awesome too. I’ve only won twice-in 2011, my first year, and last year, 2015.  My story this year will be a supernatural LGBT romance/horror, so that’s exciting. But I was just thinking about how I wasn’t really sure what to do my first year, and I’ve certainly learned a few tricks over the years that have helped me to properly prepare so that I can make that deadline easier without having to sacrifice my health. Therefore, the goal of this post is to share some basic pointers on how to prepare for Nano. Let’s go!

  1. Perfect your Summary. Having a good synopsis is like having a strong foundation for a house. If your summary is muddled or confused or kind of dull to you, I imagine that turning that summary into a 50k word novel won’t be much help, and will probably just aggravate you.
  2. Write about something you care about. If you genuinely care about your characters and your plot,
  3. Prepare a detailed plot outline. Plan out your chapters and every event that happens in that chapter.
  4. From the very beginning, carve out 30 minutes a day for just writing. It can be as soon as you get home from school or out of classes, after dinner, before bed. Just make that time and stick to a schedule. It really will help. The goal to hit is 1667-2000 words per day to finish on time.
  5. Find your optimal time and place to write where your creativity can work at its peak. Some people work better in quiet places by themselves, some people work better in a crowded place surrounded by background noise. Some people are early birds and some people are night owls. Find what works best for you and harness that.
  6. Fill out character profile sheets to flush out the personalities and past’s of your characters. Especially for your mains. You have do a little more planning than just their basic description and age.

Those are just my top six pieces of advice. I also decided to share my favorite character profile sheet. I posted it on tumblr so that others could use it if they wanted. You can get it here! Happy Writing!

  • Name:
  • Nickname:
  • Birthday/Age:
  • Hair (color, style):
  • Eyes:
  • Skin:
  • Height:
  • Weight:
  • Build:
  • Pronouns:
  • Preferred Gender:
  • Sexual Orientation:
  • Romantic Orientation:
  • Mental Disorders (if any):
  • Habits:
  • Attitude:
  • Fashion Style:
  • Speed/Voice:
  • Scent:
  • Languages:
  • Ethnicity:
  • Nationality:
  • Religion:
  • Birthplace:
  • Current Residence:
  • Education:
  • Occupation:
  • Interests:
  • Hobbies/Skills:
  • Likes:
  • Dislikes:

The Casquette Girls by Alys Arden

BOOK REPORT for The Casquette Girls by Alys Arden

The Casquette Girls by Alys Arden is a true work of art. It is set in post-storm New Orleans (Arden does not name this storm, so I deduce that it is based on Katrina but is a fictional storm) and the main character is a young lady named Adele. This book had two arcs actually, one in present day New Orleans, and the other in the past following a group of young girls making the Atlantic crossing a few hundred years ago.

All the characters are very well written. Adele, specifically, is such a real character, the emotions and the thoughts that Arden gives her are so believable and convincing that it is not at all difficult to put yourself in her shoes. There is a lot of diversity too, many of the main characters are people of color, and as a Native American it was really nice to see a character who quite possibly could have been from my tribe actually play an important part in the goings-on of the plot. (I am Muscogee and pre-colonization there were tons of Creeks in the south).

The atmosphere is breathtaking. I was actually in New Orleans for New Years a few weeks ago and purchased a signed copy of this book from Boutique du Vampyre (GREAT shop!) and I read it about a week after I got home. I immediately had the most intense longing to return to the city. The book is so descriptive and immersive. You feel like you are really there in NOLA. The sights, sounds, smells, it is all so vivid. It was also super cool to know exactly where and what she was talking about when she mentioned landmarks like Jackson Square, Café Du Monde, St. Ursaline’s Convent and the LaLaurie Mansion. At one point one of the characters, Ren, leads a ghost tour, and I actually got to go on one of those! It was such a treat to relive and revisit the city through Adele’s eyes.

This story is about vampires and witches, so if that is your cup of tea, this book is right up your alley! There’s a lot of history in this book, but I won’t go into detail because I don’t want to spoil anything! I loved this book and could not put it down, if you like magic, witches, vampires, history, fantasy, New Orleans, voodoo, art, fashion, murder, romance, mystery, comedy or horror-then this book is a must read! It’s SO good! Alys Arden is a wizard. This book has become one of my prized possessions and I have recommended it to all of my friends, because I just love it that much! It’s exciting, sexy, cute, funny, scary, intense, immersive and downright awesome. It has a little something for everyone and it is written SO well, almost like a poem.

Thanks for reading! Please consider supporting this amazing author and reading her book!

You can buy the book here!

 

Just for fun, here’s some selfies of me in front of St. Ursaline’s Convent!

and some of the places I visited in the French Quarter:

and of me and my hubbie at the New Years Eve Parade!