Sunday, January 26, 2014

The Lady is off!

Yes, my friends, after precisely four weeks of work, the third and final draft of ELIZABETH  has been dropped at the inbox of an unsuspecting Paradox Books. Thanks to everyone who read and especially those who commented on the second draft, it was much appreciated!

The three winner of the Paradox Short Story Contest 2014 will be posted on February 28. Until then, in the words of George R. R. Martin: "We cannot know. We can only hope." (a sentiment many of his fans would echo).

What's next? We'll see, next time when we all reconvene to ponder Life! The Universe! and Nothing in Particular!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Revisionist (alternate) History

So this might be totally hypocritical considering the timing of this post, but the deadline for commenting on the second draft of ELIZABETH has ended (52 hours ago).

Thank you for reading and (some of you) giving helpful suggestions.

Re-reading the second draft, I have come to the conclusion that a different ending is needed. For those slowpokes or lazy people or internet spambots who have not yet bothered to read the story as posted previously, I will not spoil it, because the Lord of this Blog is a merciful Lord. However, I think it is a bit of a deus ex machina, John's actions and character not really contributing to the course of the story.

Therefore, before I finally submit ELIZABETH to the Paradox Books Short Story Contest, I will completely rewrite the ending. I have finally hit upon one I think works with the overall theme of the story, and with John's personality. I will have to change some things earlier on in the story to accommodate this change, but I don't think it will upset things too much.

I will not  be posting the resulting third draft on this blog. Once I have completed it I am going to submit it to the gods of Paradox Books for their all-knowing judgements.

Meanwhile, stay tuned for further exciting announcements from this endlessly chaotic world composed of Life! The Universe! and Nothing in Particular!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Protest Too Much: The Lady is Here!

This is the moment you've been waiting for!
For the past eight days, you've been anxiously checking the blog for news on ELIZABETH, the story that will represent Yours Truly in the Paradox Books Short Story Contest. You've been composing complaints in your head, putting off posting them for hope that today there will be news.

Wait no more! Exclusive to readers of Life, the Universe, and Nothing In Particular, is the full text of the second draft of ELIZABETH by Yonatan Alexander. It can be read here and now here!

The fun doesn't stop here! Not only can you be among the first to read ELIZABETH, you can actually influence how it will (hopefully) appear in print in the Paradox Books alternate history anthology that will be published sometime this year! From this moment until 7:00 PM Israel time on  Monday, January 20, 2014, you can send in your thoughts, (constructive) criticisms, and suggestions by commenting on this post! After that deadline has passed, I will incorporate any suggestions and redress criticisms I think are legitimate and can be implemented in the story without changing it significantly. I will also try to respond to all comments between now and the deadline.

You can, of course, comment after the deadline (and it will be appreciated) but you are strongly encouraged to do so before the deadline.

So what are you waiting for? Click on the link, read the saga of Lady Elizabeth Marsham and Sir John Wrexham, and be sure to post your thoughts in comments on this post!

See you soon!

 Thought of the Day: History isn't written by the victors. It's written by Wikipedia.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014


עברית למטה
Last night, I finally finished the first draft of the grandly named short story ELIZABETH. It came out to precisely 3,638 words, almost every one of which is terrible.

However, after thinking about it a bit, I've decided to actually follow through with this story. I am now working on a second draft, which I will post on this very blog for absolutely NOTHING. Except, this is where You, yes, You, Mr. Anonymous van Surfinstein of the internet, come in.  Once I have finished the second draft I will ask for YOUR thoughts and constructive criticism. I will do my best to incorporate the suggestions you, the blog reader gives me, but of course as the author I will have the final say.

Watch this space, guys. Winter is here, but far cooler things are definitely coming!

אתמול בלילה סיימתי את הטיוטה הראשונה של הסיפור הקצר שלי לתחרות סיפורים קצרים, שנקרא "אליזבת". כמובן שאני קודם אעבוד על טיוטה שניה ומשופרת. אך, כדי לעשות מעין 'סקר שוק' לפני שליחת הסיפור לתחרות, כאשר הטיוטה השניה מושלמת ומתורגמת לעברית, אעלה אותה (ביחד עם הגרסה המקורית באנגלית) לבלוג הזה ואז אני רוצה את דעתכם! מה אתם חושבים על הסיפור, איך אתם חושבים שניתן לשפר אותו? אני אקרא את כל הדעות והצעות (עד לתאריך אחרון שאותו אקבע כשאעלה את הסיפור) ומה שנראה לי מתאים איישם בסיפור עצמו. אז תפקחו עין או שתיים על הבלוג הזה, כי דברים גדולים עומדים להתרחש פה! 

Sunday, January 5, 2014

My Plate Runneth Over

So a little round-up of everything I'm reading and writing (or supposed to be) in this particular conjoining of time and space we like to call, in a very peculiarly human way, 'January 2014':

IT by Stephen King- finished last night. Review/random thoughts upcoming, tune in sometime this week to find out what I thought!
Asimov: The Unauthorized Life by Michael White- finished yesterday. Rather short but interesting. Fair warning: the author discusses Asimov's fine works in great detail, up to and including ending so SPOILER ALERT! To  be fair Asimov died in 1992 so it's hardly recent stuff. Looking forward to actually reading the Foundation series sometime rather than skimming as I did back in sixth grade or something when I 'read' the first two books.
The Blade Itself: The First Law #1 by Joe Abercrombie: Around 130 pages in, started on Thursday. Pretty good actually, I've heard it compared to the all-powerful A Song of Ice and Fire (read them ALL today- yes they're the 'Game of Thrones' books but obviously they're way better than the show. Fair warning: Once you've finished the fifth book which is the latest currently (seven are planned) you will, in all likelihood, froth at the mouth and be uncommunicative for several days. Repeat for each re-read until the next book comes out somewhere in the mists of time).
 Roads by Larry McMurtry: Interesting but a little unstructured. If you've read "Under the Dome" and remember the song they're always quoting in that book: "It's a small town son, and we all support the team", yes, James McMurtry who sings it is Larry's son.

ELIZABETH- short story for Paradox Books contest. About a guy during the Glorious Revolution who falls in love, gets it snatched away... and ends up changing history with a single shot. I do think I will do a different story in the end for the contest since this one... it's just a bit wishy washy. I will finish it though to comply with the second of Robert A. Heinlein's Four Rules of Writing, which is: "You Must Finish What You Write" (3,130 words at present)
THE CITY OF BLOOD- On hiatus. Need to do some short stories first. (24,034 words)
FINAL STORY FOR PARADOX BOOKS- no official title. Will probably end up submitting it to the contest. No words yet since it's not started.


Thursday, January 2, 2014

Scottish manchildren

With today's math test (easier than I thought thanks to only having to do 2 questions, obviously I opted for the easier one) done and dusted and tomorrow's UBER MEGA MINI-MATKONET in Science looking less and less threatening, I finally have some time to watch Doctor Who. I've already seen Season 1 a while back, so now I am finally starting Season 2 which is the first to feature David Tennant as the Tenth Doctor.

(sort-of spoiler alert for Doctor Who)
He is a Scottish manchild. I'm only 13 minutes into the first episode of Season 2 but what the heck? Tough n' badass Eccleston has been replaced with some Scottish guy who likes to lie in the grass and visit future hospitals with OMG CAT NURSES for recreational purposes? Just what did regenerating do to his mind? Is this why the Doctor killed all the other Time Lords and Daleks? Because after eight regenerations he's become a Captain Picard in First Contact Captain Ahab type? Actually in Season 1 when we 'first' meet a surviving Dalek the Dalek calls the Ninth Doctor out on his murderous rage by saying: "You would have made a good Daaaaa-lek (I love how the Daleks say their name!). Also, "Theeeee... Doctor? Exterminate! Exterminate! I'm told that the Daleks get overused later on in the series which I can understand since they're totally awesome. Except for the fact that they are albino giant squids in armor. Scratch that. That's exactly why they're awesome.  Whatever. A friend of mine who's watched all of Doctor Who (until next season in Autumn 2014) says he hated Tennant until he got used to him, so I'll just have to sign off on this post and find out what he's really like!
 Thought-Provoking Thought for today: Who watches the watchmen? Umm.... aliens?
Until next time, readers (yes, both of you!) and remember: the best defense is to run like hell.
Happy 2014!