I knew I couldn't be that clever. . .

Just when I thought I was the smartest cookie in the jar, I get devoured faster than you can say chocolate chip.

I'm sure all of you knew that lad-lit or "dick-lit" as I've also seen it called, was not my bright idea. See, there's this thing called the internet and apparently lots of people surf it. So I figured I'd Google lad-lit and see my clever blog come up as the only site to use it. I think mine was the 21,098th out of the 29,700 other times it was referenced. Curse you Wikipedia!

I'm still keeping my blog title though!

Anyway, I won't let that deflate my enthusiasm. This weekend is quite busy for me so I'm posting today and keeping it brief. Thanks to all those that leave comments; I love that! And to "Tammy" whom I've never met before in my life, it sounds like you've got your act together. I'm sure your boy is the sweetest little guy! And cool idea about a dinosaur party, I'll have to keep that in mind. . . .

So as promised - and very nervously - I'll leave you with a tiny little morsel from my first book. Perhaps there might be other bits and pieces that will follow in postings to come. Also keep in mind that I am still in the draft phase, so that dissolves me of any responsibility for parts that you may find bad or poorly written. But if you like it, then it was just something I threw together pretty hastily. I guess I'm a natural, what can I say.

A brilliant white flash danced in the cloudy night sky, followed by a deep rumble.

The rain tapped on my face as I lay trapped. Both of my eyes were swollen shut and the only thing I could hear was a loud ringing in my ears mixed with some sort of muffled babbling. I tried to move but couldn't. The left side of my body was totally numb and the right side was both wet from the rain and hot from the fire. I tried to call out for my dad and great-grandfather but only heard the weird humming echo in my head.

'-- their way, just hang tight kid,' I suddenly heard.

'Who's there? Help, I think I'm hurt. Please, where's my dad?' I said trying to wiggle my way free from whatever was pinning me down.

'I said don't you move! Look, the fire department is here, hang on!' the voice said again.

The sound of the sirens cut through the air and I tried hard to strain my neck over to see what was going on. I managed to crack one eye open but could only make out the intermittent flashing of red lights. I turned my head to the other side and saw warm, flickering colors of orange and white; heat waves rising up. The smell of gasoline was starting to make me want to barf.

Another white flash from above followed by a menacing thunder clap.

Suddenly the rain stopped and I turned my head back. Someone new was now standing over me, wearing a helmet and long dark coat.

'Oh my God..., O.k kid, what's your name?' the man asked out of breath.

'Jason--' I answered confused, tasting blood.

'Jason, we're going to have to cut you and the old man out of the car, o.k. You're going to be o.k. We've contacted your mom and she's on her way.'

I didn't understand what he meant.

'The old man is my great-grandfather. Is he alright? Where's my dad, I need to see him...!' I said starting to panic.

I tried to get up quickly but now the numbness was fading and I felt a jolt of intense pain run through my left side. The man knelt down and held my head straight to prevent any further injury.

'Now Jason, I'm going to need you to remain calm and stay as still as you can ok? Do you understand what I'm saying to you? There is a --.'

The man's voice started to fade into the background like a deep sunset. I closed my eyes and knew that the situation was grave. Dad, Dad, was all I could say as two, three, four more people now emerged from out of nowhere. A mask was put over my nose and mouth and I started to feel light-headed. I felt a sharp stab in my right arm as the IV was being administered.

It was close to midnight. The weight was still crushing me. The pitter-patter of rain was still hitting my face. I was drifting in and out of consciousness and at one point thought I was at home in bed, dreaming.

Then I heard the sudden strain and grinding of metal, and then relief came. I felt at peace now, calm, numb again.

One more flash of white, but the thunder started to fade.

* * *


Parents, be the parents!

First, I just want to apologize to the bookstores out there that may have received some criticism from me regarding all the chick-lit books and girl displays. Please, I desperately would love to sell my books in your stores some day. Don't take it so personally. You could even stick them with the girl books, I wouldn't mind! But I digress.

I knew I should have paid more attention in economics class, because its simple economics. Supply and demand, right?

Who buys books, usually? Who goes to libraries? Who goes to bookstores? It was explained to my quite succinctly by someone within the school system, that boys just don't buy books; plain and simple. They don't think its something cool to do, and we all know that young boys are desperately trying to be cool.

In a way, I feel real embarrassed that I didn't figure that one out for myself. Am I getting that old? Did I completely forget my youth? Was it that scarring to me?

I hated books when I was young. I never dreamed about books, except the kind that had Batman or the Hulk on the covers. Whenever our classes had "library time" at school, a bunch of us just sat in the far corner cubicles and fooled around. So what's the solution? If our boys aren't even setting foot in bookstores, that's a crucial first step that's being missed.

Hello parents, are you out there? Over here, we're talking about your kids; YOUR KIDS! I know that nobody likes to get criticized, but I'm going to do it anyway. Parents need to be held accountable for whether or not their boys are reading books. That's right, you're in charge! I know it sounds hard to believe for those that have "strong-willed" children, but oh well. Parents need to make that first step, because the boys certainly won't do it.

Don't think of it as "wasting money" on them. Its sure better than buying them that new $60 video game, or upgrading their video rig to the new $400 model. These machines are meant to become extinct and depreciate over time as the games get bigger and faster and more demanding. Trust me, I'm in that industry. You can buy a video card for a PC for $650 that won't be fast enough to play the new games next year. That's just the way it is. Now should you "waste" $15 on a book that might not get read right away, but still holds its value while it sits on the shelf until it is discovered, or should you buy that $60 game that'll be played once, maybe twice if its good - trust me that's what we do - and then put on the self when the next game comes along.

So don't be afraid of their reaction, don't start squirming thinking that they'll just laugh at you and throw them back in your face. They are kids and you are adults. Suck it up and go out and find the right books for the right boys. Talk to the people that work in the bookstores, they get paid to know what books or hot and what kids are looking for. And if my memory serves me correctly, I do believe that I actually saw a male bookstore employee once while I was browsing around; not that there's anything wrong with that. . . .

So let's get at it parents; let's take the initiative and do the leg work for our boys, because you know they're not going to do it; not now anyway. And if they don't read it, don't get frustrated, they're boys remember. Don't cram it down their throats, don't ground them for not trying. One of those National Film Board TV shorts once taught me that "persuasion is better than force". That's a good philosophy to follow I think.

More next week. Maybe even a sneak peak at my work in progress, we'll see if I'm brave enough. . . .



"LAD-LIT" strikes back!

Wow! People actually responded to my blog, that's so cool. Thanks so much for your kind words, though I do welcome any and all words as well. Just ask my wife; I love to argue. It's just so easy when your views are the right views. But I digress.

Anyway, I apologize for the temporary lack of posting that I'm going to be going through at the moment. Our house is probably the only one in western Canada not carrying internet of any kind, so please bare with me. I'm a stay at home dad, so on my days off on weekends - when I'm at work - I'll try to post something. So be prepared for a once a week scenario until the fall.

I'm sorry for the cop-out heading of Lad-Lit, buts it's the best I could come up with for the time being. Lad-Lit will rule some day, I am confident.

What I would like to eventually make this blog about though, are my trails and tribulations during my novel writing experiences. News flash to self: it's bloody tough! It's truely amazing how many books actually get published out there, because from what I've experienced so for, it takes a lot of time. Don't let anyone fool you into thinking that you can write a novel in 30 days or whatever the internet suggests these days.

Of course it figures that my first idea for a book had to involve a six book series (sigh). But I guess go big or go home right. I started planning and outlining the first book last November, just out of the blue, and am now currently on my first revision - sort of.

I've just recently encountered my first hiccup of my brief writing career. What point of view (pov) to write in. And I have to thank blogging for my change. When I started, I naturally assumed that writing a complex story with many characters needed to be done from the 3rd person pov. However, through lots of reading and research I've come to find out that there really is no set template for writing. Just write the way that's most comfortable to you.

So of course the first 19 chapters I already wrote in 3rd person. Now I've come to find out that I write much better in 1st person. So guess what. Yeah, that's what. But you know, I wasn't discouraged at all. My whole reasoning for starting to write was because I had a cool idea and character, and if anything, wanted to write something for my kids to enjoy.

So big deal if I have to re-write. I'm having a blast doing it. And I know that when my boys are older, they're going to like it too - I hope. And if I get picked up by some very, very wise publishing company, then Lad-Lit will have landed.

So to all writers, or aspiring writers out there, please make yourself known. I'd love to start networking as soon as possible, because I am quite green in basically every aspect of writing and would love to get suggestions and hear about other experiences. Especially the business side of things.

And for those who enjoy my blog, don't be afraid to pass on my address. Who knows, maybe I'll even post some excerpts of my story online just to whet your appetite a bit.

See you next week!


Let's get started!

It sure is neat how things can work out. One night you're playing on the computer, shooting bad guys in the head with a sawed-off shotgun, then before you know it you're changing diapers at three in the morning. What the heck just happened here? Where did the last six years go?

I'm sure everybody goes through this seemingly cliche moment in their lives. For me, it was when my wife and I had our third child. It started to dawn on me (finally) that perhaps I needed to change my "hobby" to something else. So I retired my PC - much to the delight of my wife - and bought a couple laptops for us.

Then something very unusual happened to me. It was like a part of my brain was lying dormant, paralyzed from the mind-numbing hacking and slashing and shooting that had been part of my recreation time for so long. And it woke up. Big time.

If you were to ask any of my family members or loved ones about me, they might politely say that I have a unique sense of humor or imagination. Now suddenly this mind of mine needed to focus its thoughts on something new. Enter book writing. To borrow a line from the movie "Pulp Fiction", I had "what alcoholics commonly refer to as a moment of clarity". Suddenly I had all these ideas for stories popping into my head that I had to start writing them down so as not to forget. Granted, I'm in the infancy stage of writing, but the process so far has been so freeing and exciting.

Here's the funny part. I'm not even a reader really. I'm going on 34, and in my entire lifetime, I've read maybe 20 books from front to back. That's it! And J.K. Rowling was responsible for seven of those by herself, yikes. So how am I supposed to write anything? I think that's irrelevant really. If you have a great story, just find a great editor, that's what I say.

So you can imagine how happy and encouraged I was when I starting my research for young-adult fiction writing. I was assaulted with terms like "chick-lit" and covers of books with high-heeled shoes, and lipstick, and bikinis, and pink stuff, and frilly things, and teddy bears, and flowers, and puppies, and lipstick (did I already say lipstick?), and ponies, and Barbie dolls. O.k., maybe not Barbie dolls, but I think you get my point.

So this is my mission: to write books for girls and boys to enjoy equally. Can it be done? I think it can. Harry Potter everyone. Our boys are out there, I know it. I'm raising three myself. Video games are always getting better and faster and gorier, books need to keep our boys attention and get better too. So let's get started. Help me maybe not squash the "chick-lit" trend, but to at least give it a run. Let's come up with a quick phrase for boys literature (and not boys-lit, o.k.).

I know that I'll keep writing my stories until they're done, and hopefully I'll be able to share them with everyone one day. That's my dream. Sorry, that last part was really sappy.... CURSE YOU CHICK-LIT!