That time of the year

gatsby“Can’t repeat the past?…Why of course you can!”  – Francis Scott Fitzgerald

I’ve been reading F. S. Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby once a year ever since I was seventeen. To say that it’s my favorite novel would be an understatement. It is one of the few pieces of literature that I consider to be perfect in every aspect.

But now, on its 90th anniversary, I don’t want to write a review. I did that a couple of years ago.

In my humble opinion, Gatsby’s story is about the past. It’s a story about obsession, it’s a story about the way we think things are supposed to happen. You know, we all have that story as to how things are supposed to unfold in our lives. The story we develop during our loneliest of nights. Gatsby had a story; one that required Daisy’s love to happen. He wanted to repeat the past just so it wouldn’t matter all the time he spent (and all that he did) after he lost her. He wanted to make so that it would be as if he never lost her at all. Continue reading

To whom it may concern

letterI’m twenty four years old, and in that short time frame I’ve learned that life is rarely fair. But it goes on. Whether we like it or not, life goes on.

Maybe we live in a dangerous world. Maybe this world has always been “unsafe” for those who weren’t sure what to do.

And I’d like to tell you there’s nothing to be afraid of, I’d like to tell you that failures build a man, that every fall is also a step forward. That what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger…

But the truth is that, most times, what doesn’t kill you makes you wish it did. Continue reading

Aztec Midnight: a novella by M.C. Tuggle

91Z1F9fqvqL._SL1500_Charlotte, NC­­–December 26, 2014. “They’re coming,” says A.J. Louderback, sheriff of Jackson County, Texas. And he’s not the only public official warning of the growing threat of Mexican drug cartels.  Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama and Representative Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee have publicly expressed their concerns about these cartels expanding their reach into the U.S.

Set against this modern-day background of the growing power and brazenness of these cartels, the just-released novella Aztec Midnight explores the explosive combination of Mexican economic woes and American complicity in a gripping tale Kirkus Reviews says “zips right along from twist to twist, eventually arriving at a bloody finale.” Foreward Reviews writes that Aztec Midnight is “a suspenseful, driving thriller” that “amps up the suspense with well-crafted dialogue and a Mexican drug cartel subplot.” Continue reading

You’ve got to sell your heart

heartIn 1938 aspiring author Frances Turnbull sent a copy of one of her stories to Francisc Scott Fitzgerald. In the feedback he offers her there’s one great piece of advice: “You’ve got to sell your heart, your strongest reactions, not the little minor things that only touch you lightly, the little experiences that you might tell at dinner. This is especially true when you begin to write, when you have not yet developed the tricks of interesting people on paper, when you have none of the technique which it takes time to learn. When, in short, you have only your emotions to sell.”

You can read the rest of the letter here. It’s really worth the time, and it’s the kind of advice writers give only to closest friends. It’s not something you can tell anyone about, because most people will think you’re crazy.

Now, about selling your heart… Continue reading

Blessing… in disguise

blessing“It’s so much darker when a light goes out than it would have been if it had never shone.” – John Steinbeck

They say change is the only true constant in our lives. Defined as the process through which something becomes different. Some of us fight it, others choose to focus their energy on adapting to the new circumstances; to make the most out of whatever it is that has changed.

Change is inevitable.

There’s good and bad in our lives. There’s good and bad in the world around us. How we react to all that is entirely up to us.

But what I really what to write about is the so called “blessing in disguise.” Continue reading

Stories

stories“The Universe is made of stories, not of atoms.” – Muriel Rukeyser

Stories. The words that make up our past, the words we tell those strangers we’d like to become more to us. Stories. The words we tell those strangers we’ll never get to meet.

Stories. The plane on which reality and imagination collide, a place of endless possibilities. Continue reading

Friday Review: Shadow of the Raven

8119-Tl3n8L._SL1500_Thunder claps roar and Odin’s ravens fly. Dragonships set sail – and the kingdoms of Western Europe hold their breath. Warriors of Thor are on the move.

By the mid ninth century, Danish raids on Anglo-Saxon kingdoms have escalated. Several bands even dare to overwinter on the coastal islands, particularly those at the mouth of the Thames, where the kingdoms of Wessex and Mercia border each other.

The kings of these lands must put past enmity aside and take the first steps towards unity; steps they see as vital in the face of this newfound threat to their lands . . . Continue reading