Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Fundamentals of World BuildingFundamentals of World Building by Jessie Verino
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I like instructional books that get to the point; plain and simple, no frills, no lengthy deconstruction of a scene in another book that I may or may not have read. This book did just that. It gave me what I needed in as few words as possible. Thanks for that. So many times in the past I have started books on writing only to stop because they never gave any really instruction on writing. I have been looking for a long time to find a book that covers just this subject. For novice speculative fiction writers the prospect of building a fantasy world can be daunting, but this book breaks the effort down to manageable pieces using architecture as a backdrop. This technique resonated with me, being that I work within that field, giving me a reference point for understanding.

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Outlining Your Novel: Map Your Way to SuccessOutlining Your Novel: Map Your Way to Success by K.M. Weiland
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

After reading this book, Outlining Your Novel, I am impressed with the author's keen insight on novel construction. Her book has given me great insight into my currant manuscript. I have been a pantser for years, but when I started working on my current project, at the beginning of this year’s National Novel Writing Month, I soon realized that the idea was just too BIG.

I have had this idea playing around the back of my head for going on ten years now. I thought I had a good sense of where I wanted to go and what I wanted to write. Though by the end of November, and over 90,000 words later, I felt I really had gone nowhere with the story/characters. This manuscript required a thorough plotting before I could really understand what I was writing and the statement I wanted to get across to the reader.

The author's clear and concise book has helped to settle my muddy lake of creativity; in fact, the dam that blocked my creative river has a gaping hole down the middle. Had I not stumbled across Outlining Your Novel while searching for help to get out of the quagmire I had written myself into, I would still be floundering in the murky depths.

So I can’t thank the author enough for writing this book. I want her to know that I plan to follow the insights of her book to the letter. I don’t expect them to make me the next great author, but book has given me the tools to map out a clear path to what I truly want to write. I thank K. M. Weiland, sincerely, for that. Though it still remains to be seen, I believe she has made me a better writer.

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Thursday, November 3, 2011

NaNoWriMo progress

So here we are coming up on the end of the week and I and happy, happy, happy. I am at 8503 words for my NaNoWriMo novel. At this rate I should hit the 50,000 mark somewhere around the 11/20. I hope I can keep up the momentum!

Monday, October 31, 2011

November is the month for the National Novel Writing Month Compition


Hello everyone.

Starting tomorrow, 11/1/11, I have decided to participate in the NaNoWriMo competition. It is a competition to write a full novel in thirty days. Wish me well. Below is a synopsis and excerpt from the forthcoming novel. enjoy!



3732 A.D.


The maiden flight of Earth’s new FTL drive battleship Expedition discovers the abandon Spanner Generation ship Lazarus. On board they find three life forms – two human, one alien. They also uncover a message left by the Admiral in charge of the mission that leads them to believe there is a colony of humans that need to be rescued.

They radio their findings back to earth and head for home. Their trip home is fraught by a battle to destroy the hostile life form let loose on the ship causing deaths onboard. When they make it to earth’s solar system the battle escalates to fevered proportions. Unwittingly they have uncovered a century old secrete that many want kept that way.

In 2300 A.D. Earth launched five generation ships on a mission to save humanity. They’re tasked with journeying to humanities new home world – Zephyr. But it was all an elaborate lie. After the ships have left the solar system, someone worked really hard to make sure the crew and the mission were completely removed from human history and memory. They were successful for a century, but now Humanity wants to know what happened to its brethren.


The knowledge that Zephyrusians are descended from Earthlings is a long forgotten memory. The four Spanner Generation ships that made it through three hundred years of space travel, and landed on the planet, are nothing more than what they were built to be; City States. After fifteen hundred years inhabiting this new world information has been lost and forgotten. Extremely advance equipment broke down over time and became disused, ultimately forgotten or re-purposed. But deep in the bowels of these city ships – Iviron, Vatopedi, Hilander, Lavra – something long forgotten stirs. It has been awakened by humanities greatest enemy and long thought dead – Fallon – and now it wants to go home.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Back Passage (Mitch Mitchell Mystery, #1)The Back Passage by James Lear
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

I felt extremely insulted by this book. The main protagonist, Mitch, spends the entire book obtaining clues to solve the mystery by jumping into bed with any guy who will lay down with him. That's not to say a bed was necessary. I found nothing about this book redeeming. Had I not been fooled into believing that this was a fun read, and a great novel, I would have never purchased the book. I love a good mystery, and, though I prefer not to read erotica. I am not opposed to it popping up in the book I’m reading if it is done well and fits within the storyline by moving the story forward. This book did none of those things. The mystery itself is so weak to be nearly missed because so much sex is going on. I've read reviews of this book comparing it to movies like Gosford Park and books by authors like Agatha Christie. How insulting!! I just rolled my eyes and said Oh Please!!! Take it from me, if you are looking for a good mystery you’ll do yourself a big favor by giving this book a wide berth.

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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Crime SceneCrime Scene by Rick R. Reed
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

An amazing, heartfelt look at one woman's need to offer herself a reason for the horror she feels looking at a crime scene photo. This is a riviting short story. It will be very hard to stop reading until the end; this story is so well crafted, even than you will want more. I will be reading more of Rick Reed's writings for that reason alone.

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Monday, September 26, 2011

In other news

The Stephen King book signing and lecture was awesome!!!! I have photos to post, but they are not ready yet. I will get them up soon!

Still working on the short story collection. I had mentioned earlier that the book was ready for th editor, but I have decided to add two more stories. I am in the final touch up stages of them. The addition of those final two stories brings the total word count up to a little over 60,000. I will have it off to the editor by end of month.

Putting the final touches on the contest entries, also. Though I am coming down to the wire on them: Oct 01, is dead line for them. I will get them done though. The contest are on the fanstory website, http://www.fanstory.com/tspencer, you can also read a few more of my stories their.

Well that is it for today, talk to you again soon,

good reading,


My 9/23/11 post on Goodreads

Hi everyone,

I frequently post on the Goodreads site, under the Gay Science Fiction group. I thought that I would include my 9/23/11 post here because I felt it has a lot of good information and recomendations that others might find useful. See blow:

9/23/11 post under "Gay SciFi Audio Books? " thread:
First let me thank all of you for your generous recommendations. Though I should clarify that when I posed my initial question, I wasn’t just referring to GLBT sci-fi audio books. I was referring to GLBT sci-fi books in general (print and audio). It is becoming increasingly harder to find GLBT spec fiction that doesn’t focus a great deal on M/M romance. I look high and low for GLBT content so I can be kind of fanatic about it. Sorry if I get long winded.

I have to admit, I have read or listened to all the books you have mentioned, or they are on my ‘to read list’; my favorite being Ethan of Athos. It was the first ‘gay-themed’ book that I read. I read it when it first was first released, and I fondly refer to it as my ‘coming out’ book; being that I read it prior to my doing so. It was the first time I came across any media that showed the gay character in a positive light.

I loved Forever War and its sequels. I hear that Ridley Scott is making a movie based on the book. I am eagerly waiting for the movie though I have my doubts about how he will handle the gay content.

All of Lynn Flewelling’s books are fantastic.

Also, here are a few websites that I use to find a lot of the speculative fiction that I read

http://www.glbtfantasy.com/?section=index Mel, the admin of the site, has done a phenomenal job with this site. There are copious amounts of GLBT sci-fi and fantasy books out there and this site is a good roadmap to get to them. I’ve also placed reviews on this site under Wayne4u.

http://lethe-press.tumblr.com/, http://lethepress.livejournal.com/ lethe press is a GLBT speculative fiction publisher. They also publish a speculative magazine called Icarus; it can be ordered here

http://www.lambdaliterary.org/category/reviews/spec/ good place to find the best award winning spec fiction out there.

http://www.spectrumawards.org/2011.htm#bestnovel another good place to find the best award winning spec fiction. Check their list of previous award winners also.



My unending desire to read has also lit my fiery passion to write and publish my own stories, so if anyone is interested you can read excerpts of my stories at http://www.spencers-lane.blogspot.com/ I am in the process of putting the finishing touches on my first short story collection which I hope to have out by Christmas. So keep an eye out.

I thought I would put together some of my favorites. Maybe you’ve read them; maybe you’ll see something new.

•Blackwater Series by Michael McDowell
o(From Wikipedia) McDowell's "Mysterious Saga of the Caskey Family" Blackwater serial novels (6 total) consist of the following titles: The Flood, The Levee, The House, The War, The Fortune, and Rain. The series chronicles fifty-years in the lives of the Caskey family, matriarch of which is able to transmogrify into a crocodilian creature.

Though not front and center, several characters are hinted at being gay or lesbian in a positive way. These books have been a longtime favorite of mine. Well written and full of twists and turns. Though more horror/paranormal than sci-fi, they do fall under the catch-all moniker of speculative fiction.

•Miccail Series by Stephen Leigh

oA group of humans are stranded with they lose contact with their ship. The planet they are on is inhospitable and unforgiving, after a century of human settlement the descendant stills struggle with survival and suffer from mutations and infertility and have to grapple with extinction. Lesbian, Bisexual, and transgendered protagonists.

•A Strong and Sudden Thaw by R. W. Day

oAn excellent gay coming-of-age novel set in a post-apocalyptic world. The world suffers something close to another Ice Age nearly a hundred years ago; civilization doesn't fall, it stumbled and is still trying to maintain its balance. In rural Moline, Virginia, this is a story that deals with small town hardships and attitudes set against larger world-wide issues of endless winter and hungry dragons.

•Out of the Ashes by R. W. Day

oSequel to ‘A Strong and Sudden Thaw.’ It’s on my reading list just haven’t gotten to it yet, though I am positive that it is good.

•All of David Gerrold’s books here is a list:
o The Voyage of the Star Wolf
o Blood and Fire
o The Middle of Nowhere
o A season for Slaughter
o Leaping To The Stars Trilogy
o Child of Earth
o The Man Who Folded Himself
o A Matter for Men
o A rage for Revenge
o A Day for Damnation
o Thirteen O’clock
o When Harlie Was On: Release 2.0
o A Wish for Smish
o Worlds of Wonder: How to Write Science Fiction & Fantasy

•Pact Arcanum Trilogy by Arshad Ahsanuddin
o Sunset
o Moonlight
o Sunrise

•The Last Rune by Marc Anthony

oI have read reviews that have “claimed” that this series is derivative of Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time repetitive monstrosity. Well don’t believe them. These books are actually interesting and have a lot going on in them, whereas – in my humble opinion – Wheel of Time is a very long sleep-fest. Not to mention you get the added bonus of the protagonist, Travis, getting the hot blond Knight in the end.

o Beyond the Pale
o The Keep of Fire
o The Dark Remains
o Blood of Mystery
o The Gates of Winter
o The First Stone

•A Companion to Wolves, The Termpering of Men
Both by Sarah Monette and Elizabeth Bear

•Sarah Monette
o Corambis
o Melusine
o The Mirador
o The Virtu

•Elizabeth Bear
o Carnival

•Diana Comet and Other Improbable Stories by Sandra McDonald

oFrom Booklist *Starred Review* After three series novels (The Outback Stars, 2007; The Stars Down Under, 2008; The Stars Blue Yonder, 2009), McDonald fields a first collection that comes close to being another novel. In it the paths of three characters cross and converge, though in some stories, none of them appears. Foremost among them is the commanding figure of Diana Comet, who is young, mature, and maturer, respectively, in three stories; absent but influential in another; incognito in two more. Cubby Salaman is a 12-year-old runaway in two tales, later a vigorous young man aboard a ship on which he reencounters the third recurring character, Graybeard, a sentient, customarily immobile figurehead. Their stage is an alternate Earth touched by magic. That alone doesn't make these stories what McDonald calls them, improbable. That quality arises more from the facts that Diana is a cross-dressing man, and plenty of the other protagonists, Cubby included, are gay. Their world isn't much easier for gays and transgender folk than ours is, yet they are winningly heroic, psychologically complex, and sympathetic. And because theirs is an alternate world, they prove their mettle in genre milieus ranging from the western to contemporary (in our world) desert warfare, with technologies ranging from sail and horse to helicopter. No matter the setting and the tools, their stories are all enthralling. --Ray Olson

Ok, that’s enough of that; I could go on for a very long time. I will place a complete list on my updates at a later date.

Thanks again for your responses and good reading.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Stephen King Lecture

Tonight I will be going to hear Mr. King's lecture at George Mason University. I am sure it will be great. After the lecture I have tickets to have him sign books. I am getting Under the Dome signed. So excited!!!!!


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The title for the new short story collection

 'A Brief Moment in Time' is the title for the new collection. It is out to the editor and I hope to be sending to publishers with in the next two months.


Monday, September 19, 2011

Lastest stories posted

I just posted three stories, three of which (red highlight) will be featured in my short story collection, I hope you like them.

From His Efforts Come
Fear those in power; they aren't who the appear.

A Brief Moment In Time
Is about time travel. One Chance to deal with grief and move on.

Wilma's Folly
Wilma's memories are stirred by a dying friend.

The Goode Student
Michelle discovers her capcity to commit murder.

Hello Everyone,

This is the new digs for my blog. My last home just didn't work out, so here I am.
If you don't already know, this is the place for novels, short stories, and podcast novels written and performed by T. W. Spencer. I am working toward making my work available for download so stay tuned.
Check out a few of my new stories posted here. They are from my forthcoming collections of short stories titled A Brief Moment in Time.

I have been writing diligently over the last month. With 5 differnt contest deadlines bearing down on me I’ve had too.  Part of that time was cut down because I went on vacation for a week, but I am back at work now and steaming along. I will be posting serveal stories this week so keep an eye out. I am going to try and post a story at least once every two weeks from now on, I hope I can keep that promise. I will do my best. For now it is time to get back to work, those deadlines won’t meet themselves.

Thanks for readin’