W is for Whiskey #AtoZChallenge

ImageAlmost there, only three more posts after this one and for some reason I swear it’s getting harder to come up with things the closer I get to the end of the alphabet…Anyway, today is W and in my book W stands for whiskey.

Every writers’ favorite muse, right? Eh, probably not anymore, it seems like I see more writers talking about their coffee fix than their alcohol fix. Me? I’m a little bit of both, I’d say I enjoy ten cups of coffee a week and three alcoholic beverages a week (W can also stand for wine you know).

I’d say whiskey is my favorite alcohol of them all though. Not so much straight, I’m kind of a wuss like that. Whiskey sour is my go-to drink, but I’ve recently started making Tom Collins’ (I guess that’s how you spell that) with whiskey instead of vodka or gin and it’s delicious.

This inspires me, I guess. Maybe I just really wanted to write about whiskey. I’m not sure anymore. Well, it’s already done now. I’m not changing it. I guess this is where I close. My top three would probably be a good way to end this article. Sound good to you? If not I guess you could just stop reading and call this the end right now.

 

Still there? Okay my top three whiskeys:

1. Crown Royal

2. Jameson Special Reserve

3. Macallan’s 10 (I haven’t tried anything older, can’t afford it at the moment, but this is the favorite drink of the character Ty Burdin in my new novel)

Well, that’s that. Have a g’day folks.

S is for Spider-Man #AtoZChallenge

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S is for Spider-Man. This is the second comic book post in the list of things that inspire my writing and it happens to be my favorite comic character ever.

I grew up on the cartoon and read a few of the comics here and there as a kid. I had more Spidey toys than I can to admit (The only toys I had equal amounts of were Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Power Rangers. I was young and impressionable and two outta three ain’t bad so don’t judge me.).

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Image from Wikipedia page: Ultimate Spider-Man

The reason good ol’ Peter Parker is my favorite comic book hero is that he is a real person with real problems. He’s a kid that’s got to juggle school, a job (complete with an asshole boss), a girlfriend, a concerned aunt, AND fighting crime. He’s not some rich playboy out fighting bad guys cause there’s nothing cooler to do. (Stark, Wayne, I’m looking at you). He just happens to have super powers and a great sense of responsibility. Spider-Man fights bad guys because he feels he owes it to humanity to protect them.

It’s also fun and tragic watching him try to juggle all of the aspects of his life. I don’t think there was ever an extended period of time when he found a balance. Just when things start going his way, something pops up and complicates life all over again.

Spidey also has the coolest enemies of any comic character. Doctor Octopus, Green Goblin, Morbius, Lizard, Carnage, and the greatest comic villain of all time Venom. That’s right, I said greatest of all time. You could try to argue, but you’d be wrong. Venom is the shit. Period.

Q is for Quentin Tarantino? #AtoZChallenge

ImageOkay, I want to lead off by saying today is not my day, so this post may kind of suck. If you want to click away now I can’t blame you.

You’re still here? All right. I see how it is.

Along with the post. Q is Quentin Tarantino. He makes great movies and he was born a little ways away from where I live. Honestly I was hoping for a stronger Q, but I couldn’t think of one so Tarantino it is.

Reservoir Dogs: Pretty Good

Pulp Fiction: Classic

Four Rooms: I couldn’t get into it

From Dusk Till Dawn: As good of a vampire movie as there’s ever been

2 and 3: Not so much

Inglorious Basterds: Probably my favorite of his

That’s about it honestly. 4 pretty good movies is enough by my standards so here he is on the list. Sorry guys, that’s all I’ve got to say today.

 

P is for Psychostick #AtoZChallenge

ImageOkay, I know what you’re thinking. “Psychostick? That sounds like the name of a death metal band. How is that inspiring to an author?”

If that’s what you’re thinking, I’ll explain. If it’s not then…oh well you can’t be right all the time. I’m not a fortune teller you know.

Psychostick is a metal band although they call their genre humor-core. They play loud music with hilarious lyrics with topics ranging from being stuck working in a fast food restaurant to going to a concert to having a clingy girlfriend.

What Psychostick has taught me about writing is to never take anything too seriously. These guys are in a genre that surrounded by songs of death and dismemberment and they’re singing about tacos. No really, they have an entire album dedicated to food. If they can have fun with metal, I damn sure better be able to have fun with my writing.

Reminder, I am giving away a copy of one of my favorite books, John Dies at the End. All you have to do to enter is follow me on twitter (@alexnaderwrites) and then tweet this message: Follow @AlexNaderWrites and RT this for a chance to win A copy of John Dies at the End in paperback

Here’s a song off their newest album Space Vampires Versus Zombie Dinosaurs in 3D. And I should probably throw out a language warning, but you guys expected that right?

A is for Atmosphere

B is for Benny Imura

C is for Crow

D is for Doomtree

E is for Empathy

F is for Fight Club

G is for Game of Thrones

H is for Heart-Shaped Box

I is for Internet

J is for John Dies at the end

K is for Kids

L is for Logan and (Remy) LeBeau

M is for Muse

N is for Noir FIction

O is for On Writing

L is for Logan & (Remy) LeBeau #AtoZChallenge

ImageToday’s post is for two of my favorite three comic book characters of all time. Logan, better known as wolverine, and Remy LeBeau, better known as Gambit.

I grew up on the X-Men cartoon and reading X-Men comics mostly out of order and never getting reading the full story line. As an adult I try to catch up on my comic reading whenever I can.

Before I continue, I want to say that I do not count the Wolverine Origins movie for the purpose of this article. It was an okay movie, but as far as the characters go it was not so great. Hugh Jackman is great as Wolverine, but the guy who played Gambit totally ruined it. I digress.

Wolverine is the ultimate I-don’t-give-a-shit-about-shit badass. He’s a drifter who doesn’t really care about a team effort (the x-men) and has a past that goes back for a couple hundred years. The only drawback to him is he’s Canadian, but he makes up for that by having a metal infused skeleton with three razor-sharp claws in each hand.

Gambit is a lot the same in that he’s kind of an outsider, but where Wolverine is ruff and tough, Gambit is smooth and cool. He’s a gambler and a smooth talking ladies man. He can infuse things, usually playing cards, with energy and blow some stuff up.

Two great characters and I hope that future movies will do a better job portraying them.

Note to Marvel: Please recast Gambit.

Note to Canadians: No offense guys.

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J is for John Dies at the End #AtoZChallenge

ImageOkay guys, this is a pretty big one for me as far as things that have inspired my writing. I’m gonna start with a little back story.

In the six years after high school I read exactly two books, Angels and Demons by Dan Brown and Amazonia by James Rollins. Both of them were good books, two of my favorites to this day, but they didn’t inspire me to seek out more reading.

About three years ago a friend recommended a book, John Dies at the End, to me because it was written by one of the editors of cracked.com, a website I spend a lot of time at. I picked up the book and was immediately hooked. I am honestly not even sure how to describe what happens and the dialogue consists of exactly how my friends and I speak to each other at times.

In short it is the first book I ever read that seemed like it was written for me and my friends, not just all people ages 20-65. There’s nothing wrong with writing for a wide audience, but there’s something special about thinking another author is speaking at your level. That book ignited my reading and although I’m still not a speed reader I’ve managed to finish at least one or two books a month since then.

Not only did John DIes inspire me to read more it also made me think about writing. It what got me started and to this day it is still one of the funniest books I’ve ever read in my life.

While I’m on the subject, now is a good time to remind you guys that I am giving a copy away. All you have to do to enter is follow me on twitter (@alexnaderwrites) and then tweet this message: Follow @AlexNaderWrites and RT this for a chance to win A copy of John Dies at the End in paperback

Or you could buy it right now by clicking on this picture:

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H is for Heart-Shaped Box #AtoZChallenge @joe_hill

ImageHere we go with another item on the list of things that influence my writing a to z.

H is for Heart-Shaped Box a novel by Joe Hill. It makes the list because it is the first book I ever read that scared the shit out of me.

I will be the first to tell you that I’m not big on horror movies. I don’t so much mind scary stuff as I mind all of the gore filmmakers think they need to make them scary. Because of that I was apprehensive about reading a scary novel. Heart-Shaped Box showed up in my “you might like” list and I clicked on it out of curiosity.

It was described as a story about a washed up metal singer with a taste for collecting macabre items. One of the items, a dead man’s suit, comes back to haunt him, literally. This one top of sharing the name of a Nirvana song was all I needed. I read it, and it was creepy as hell.

Thanks Joe for writing something frightening that doesn’t have to be gross or gruesome.

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Also, don’t forget about my contest. I’m giving away a free copy of one of my favorite books, John Dies at the End, at the end of this month. All you have to do to enter is follow me on twitter (@alexnaderwrites) and then tweet this message: Follow @AlexNaderWrites and RT this for a chance to win A copy of John Dies at the End in paperback

 

A is for Atmosphere

B is for Benny Imura

C is for Crow

D is for Doomtree

E is for Empathy

F is for Fight Club

G is for Game of Thrones

H is for Heart-Shaped Box

G is for Game of Thrones #AtoZChallenge

ImageHey everyone! I want to lead off with a reminder of my contest for the entirety of the month of April. I am giving away a copy of one of my favorite books of all time, John Dies at the End. All you have to do to enter is follow me on twitter (@alexnaderwrites) and then tweet this message: Follow @AlexNaderWrites and RT this for a chance to win A copy of John Dies at the End in paperback

Now, on to the good stuff. Game of thrones is a fantasy TV show/novel series written by George R.R. Martin. The show and the books (I’ve only made it through two of the books so far, but in my defense they are really long) are both great.

The reason I like the series so much and what inspires me as a writer is how many characters there are and how huge the world is. My “biggest” novel had 9 major characters. The first book/season of Game of Thrones has no less than 652 major characters. Okay, so 652 is an exaggeration, but only a slight one.

What makes it even more amazing to me is that there is no true main character. The story covers multiple people equally. All of whom are very far separated for most of the story. There was one character who I thought was the main character in the first book/season and I was proved very wrong.

Game of Thrones makes me want to write a massive fantasy epic with 652 characters, but I think I’ll just try to get to a dozen first. Baby steps and all.

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A is for Atmosphere

B is for Benny Imura

C is for Crow

D is for Doomtree

E is for Empathy

F is for Fight Club

G is for Game of Thrones

F is for Fight Club #AtoZChallenge

ImageHey everyone! I want to lead off with a reminder of my contest for the entirety of the month of April. I am giving away a copy of one of my favorite books of all time, John Dies at the End. All you have to do to enter is follow me on twitter (@alexnaderwrites) and then tweet this message: Follow @AlexNaderWrites and RT this for a chance to win A copy of John Dies at the End in paperback

F is for Fight Club.
 
I have never seen a more quotable book/movie than Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk. I saw the movie when it came out and loved it. I got around to reading the book a few years back and found it very similar to the movie. I remember liking the ending a little better in the novel although I don’t exactly remember how they were different now.
 
The style of narrative is perfect for the story and everything about it just fits. I have read other books by Palahniuk and just couldn’t quite get in to them, but Fight Club inspires me to want to write a cult classic with quotes that still ring true almost 20 years later.
 
My favorite quotes:
 
“On a long enough timeline, the survival rate for everyone drops to zero.”
 
You buy furniture.  You tell yourself, this is the last sofa I will ever need in my life.  Buy the sofa, then for a couple years you’re satisfied that no matter what goes wrong, at least you’ve got your sofa issue handled.  Then the right set of dishes.  Then the perfect bed.  The drapes.  The rug.  Then you’re trapped in your lovely nest, and the things you used to own, now they own you”
 
Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don’t need.”
 
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A is for Atmosphere
B is for Benny Imura
C is for Crow
D is for Doomtree
E is for Empathy
F is for Fight Club