ISSUE #11 -
July 3, 2020
Happy Friday, everyone!
As you might be able to guess, the theme for this issue is going to have a bit of a northern flavour. I'm actually writing this on Canada Day(July 1st).
*sips maple syrup*
With all the energy that a tree's sticky blood can provide, I have had the fuel to continue making progress in writing my short story collection and regular updates to Rahaman Writing.
Canada is a land of great variety.
On the west coast, you have incredibly vibrant coastal life and clean air from the Pacific Ocean.
Across the prairies, you'll find great, wide expanses were you have the best view of the sky.
In the north, you can witness the cold and rugged beauty of the untamed lands.
Along the east coast, you'll find glacial waters, rife with life, and the very best potatoes in North America. Sorry, Idaho.
And in the centre, you have the mess that is Ontario. With it's dense population (for Canada) in the south, it's kind of a bottom-heavy province. One that's a veritable melting pot of cultures from not only all over Canada, but other countries as well. Particularly those from our only neighbour, the United States of America.
With so many different aspects and things to do and see, I'm truly glad to live here. Someone fueled on sugary tree-juice could definitely use some things to do.
*Chugs bottle of syrup*
I mixed up 'east' and 'west' in the version that was sent out.
Damn this maple syrup addiction, it's driving me nuts!
Special thanks to Wendy Bayne for pointing this out to me!
One thing that Canadians are sometimes known for is their hospitality. If you're a guest in a Canadian's home, and you don't FEEL at home, then it's likely some sort of trap.
(Please forgive this dated reference)
In this week's installment of the 'Sky, Sea, and Stone', adventure, Athos meets some hospitable locals following the wake of the attack on the flying city. Soon, he may begin to recount of the secrets he learned while there...
Thank you to everyone who has given me feedback so far! But, if you noticed that I haven't spoken to you about this newsletter, please don't be offended! This is likely due to you being a new reader who I don't want to harass just yet, someone who I have already talked to about my newsletter, or are someone that I am collaborating with on other projects and don't want to 'clog the communication pipes'.
But keep in mind that you are ALWAYS welcome to contact me with feedback.
ISSUE #12 -
Return to Darkness
July 10, 2020
Happy Friday, everyone!
This week, I'm going to try returning to my roots as well as attempting to be more consistent with the contents of The Rahaman Reader. I tend to talk about various, almost random, topics, but from now on I plan on narrowing the scope.
I plan to talk more about experiencing the Dark Fantasy and Horror genres.
(Writing, art, music, films, and more!)
And I'm also going to try to help other writers in similar genres! One of the most common compliments that I get about my work is the clarity in which fast-paced action scenes are written. I'm going to start giving out tips. This DOES NOT imply that I'm better than anyone, just that I have some writing strengths that I think could benefit others.
So, here is the Baron of Beholder's first writing tip:
When writing an action/fight scene, always, ALWAYS, over-write. Use short sentences and form a paragraph as if it is a big-ass list indicating each step of the action. Then, after everything is boringly implemented, you can have some fun! Start merging and varying the sentence lengths and adding adjectives here and there. Soon, you'll have a descriptive, logical, AND interesting action sequence! A great example of this is in Brandon Sanderson's The Way of Kings. Particularly the opening assassination sequence.
Although, I find that some Japanese content surpasses most western content in this regard.
And speaking of descriptive scenes, this week's installment of the 'Sky, Sea, and Stone" adventure takes a different turn. Following the brutality and recovery of the recent attack on Temptes Equit, the flying city that our protagonist and narrator is telling us about, Athos finds some time to relax and chat with some of the city's advisors over supper.
Though, the difference in culture and cuisine leads to... an interesting dinner party.
Recently, I've also been looking into how to integrate more fun quizzes and polls. Wix is not capable of doing so in a newsletter, but I can create a button here that takes you directly to the page on Rahaman Writing!
Over the past week, I've created a personality quiz which will match you with an aspect(character from the 'nightly-battle' dimension) from Inner Expanses.
Check it out!
ISSUE #13 -
July 17, 2020
Happy Friday, everyone!
I hope you are all doing well. I think I can say that I am.
Technically, I've completed writing Unusual Tales for the Curious Mind, my second book!
(Currently 84'650 words for 13 short stories!)
It is a short story collection featuring works of fantasy, horror, and a bit of science fiction. But, it is far from ready. Even though I have edited all of the stories myself, some multiple times, more work still needs to be done. This is the first time that I have asked anyone for help with an unpublished work, and I am happy to say that I have found some great editors who have agreed to assist me!
Over the years, I have realized how blind I am to my own errors. Inner Expanses was riddled with typos and grammatical errors, because I simply did not see my own mistakes.
Today, I have a more general piece of advice for my fellow writers.
The Baron of Beholder's Writing Tip #2:
Get someone else's opinion.
Not just anyone, but someone who reads/writes in a similar genre that you do and whose work you enjoy.
These are two key factors.
The opinion of someone whose writing ticks these two boxes will be more likely to have specific details that you can use to enhance areas in your tale. Areas where you didn't even know it was lacking.
Their taste is similar enough to yours that you both will "speak the same language", and if you're a fan of their work, you'll understand where they are coming from with their thoughts.
In addition, a second pair of eyes can REALLY be helpful when dealing with...
THE TYPO MENACE!
Conversation is the mode of how human thoughts and emotions are transmitted verbally as well as in written manner. Though, In this modern age, the most common form of communication for many people has become by text. Either on social media, text messaging, or similar means, writing has become the dominant way people interact again. The internet has given us all a way to have conversations that span continents and oceans.
That, I am truly grateful for, otherwise this newsletter would not exist, and neither would my connection to any of you, my friends.
Though, there is still MUCH to be said about sharing a meal with others in person. Something that I've honestly begun to really miss. I almost always enjoy going out with friends and family to a nice restaurant or a bar/pub...on the rare occasions that I drag myself out of my subterranean lair.
Our tale from within the majestic city seated upon a storm recently depicted an unusual meal between some very different people. But now that everyone has had their fill of food and drink, matters of great importance will be discussed.
For sometimes supper is but a pretense for ulterior motives...
ISSUE #14 -
July 24, 2020
Happy Friday, everyone!
I hope you're all doing well! This week, I slacked off a bit. But then, the following day, I did TWICE the amount of work that I had planned. Like a wave in The Sea, sometimes one dips down before rising back up.
Here's some new and awesome stuff on Rahaman Writing:
- A reference guide to my SSS world (suggested by my good friend/spirit sister @EssiValo )
- Some more art for the random art section
- Some new poems and flash fiction (Quenya and French poems now with audio readings!)
I usually add more writing on a weekly basis.
But frequency of additions depend greatly on my motivation.
Which, again, not unlike a wave, comes and goes.
I always enjoy writing new creative content, but rarely make guides of any sort.
But, when putting together the beginnings of my Reference Guide, I realized that it was very satisfying. I was able to organize many thoughts and concepts, not only for my readers, but for myself.
By establishing a canon "Source" for my fiction set in the "Sky, Sea, and Stone" world, I have essentially made the very first record of it. Not unlike Athos Angion, the narrator/"writer" of the SSS story. It's oddly metaphysical in a way. Like my fiction is becoming me instead of vice versa. And this brings me to my next writing tip.
The Baron of Beholder's Writing Tip #3:
If you're building a world, particularly a fantasy one with its own rules(of men and magic), you need to ground it in some way. Even the HIGHEST of high fantasy(successful ones, mind you) have things that do this.
Though, this does not mean that you have to add mundane elements. Just establish that the people of this world KNOW some of what's going on. Having everyone believe everything happens because of "gods" or "magic" is boring and lazy fantasy writing. ESPECIALLY if that actually is the case in said written world.
An organization, group of people, or even a single individual with the deepest lore of the world (let's not mince words, I mean a fucking wizard), can help put the more fantastic happenings in your world into context for the readers, which can establish a sense of awe.
It's like you're allowing the reader a peek into the depths of your world!
HAVE YOU HEARD OF THE HIGH ELVES?
Merriment aside, things head in a very literary direction in this week's installment for Of the Sky, Of the Sea, and Of the Stones.
Athos recounts to us his trip from the docked and badly damaged Bitterwind to the Central Library of the flying city. He is guided there by the Head Librarian himself!
ISSUE #15 -
July 31, 2020
Happy Friday, everyone!
TAIF (Thank Azathoth It's Friday)
Hope you all had a great week. Rejoice, for the weekend is here! Though, I personally shouldn't for one major reason: I have just noticed that some of my newsletter subscribers have not been receiving these emails!
The Wix tool that I use for these, for some reason, has decided to label people who have not opened any of these emails for a while as "inactive" without telling me. This status made it so that the delivery system simply would NOT send these people my newsletters.
Furthermore, some of the emails that WERE sent "bounced". Meaning that they were not able to be delivered to some people, even though they were successfully sent.
Worry not, though, for I think I have a solution. I just need to modify the criteria in my mailing list. People not opening these is not a sign that they are ignoring my content. The link to the archives can be bookmarked or saved in your browser, which means many people who read these letters simply don't need this email because they just use the bookmarked link.
That's what it's for, after all! Too bad Wix's automation is kind of dumb. Still a very useful and somewhat intuitive tool though!
But, I digress.
Here's some new and badass stuff on Rahaman Writing:
- A new Quenya poem about resilience
- A new French poem about loss
- Another addition to my flash fiction series about my adventures in literal Hell,
here's The Baron's Journal, Page 3
But that brings us to this week's bit of writing advice.
The Baron of Beholder's Writing Tip #4:
All of the best pieces of writing are technically sound. By which I mean their setting, characters, and plot are arrayed through a defined beginning, middle, and end. There's nothing wrong with twisting and turning these elements to fit your goals for any particular piece, but know that they ALL have to exist in some capacity, simply by the nature of thorough storytelling.
This may sound obvious for many fiction writers, but non-fiction writing adheres to these structural components as well. Take, for example, a recipe in a cookbook. Let's say, pizza!
The setting is the kitchen, the characters are the ingredients and cook, and the plot is about the latter creating something delicious with the aid of the former. The beginning is the prep, such as chopping the veggies and grating the cheese. The middle is the assembly and the actual cooking. The end is the consumption of a delectable triumph!
In this week's installment for the Sky, Sea, and Stone adventure, our protagonist is led to a place where he can finally start seeking answers in earnest for his scholarly questions. Even if beset by strange circumstances!
ISSUE #16 -
FOOD POCKETS & FAIRYTALES
August 7, 2020
Happy weekend, everyone!
Let there be chill times that create fond memories!
Here's some new and wicked stuff on Rahaman Writing:
- A new Quenya poem about nature and growth
- A new French poem that's more of an adventure than previous ones
- Page 4 of The Baron's Journal is now live
- More art added to the Random Art section (Crest at the bottom)
Tomorrow is going to be a great day for stories, as it will be the 2nd "Stories and Pirogies" event! Hosted by fellow Canadian writer Jon Aaron Sandler, these events involve a bunch of writers getting together and sharing their work while contemplating, and potentially eating, delicious food-pockets!
At the first event there was a competition to see who could come up with the best pirogies, but I ended up eating all of mine before the judging portion!
That's right, I disqualified myself with gluttony.
But NOT this time!
If you want to get in on the fun, sign up for Jon's newsletter(to get a link to the event, sent out tomorrow!) and join us for the good times and to make some wonderful memories with fellow writers!
Gorging on tasty treats is all well and good, but making them is actually kind of tough! I made my own pirogies from scratch and it took me hours(due to poor prep and bad planning), which brings us to this week's bit of writing advice!
The Baron of Beholder's Writing Tip #5:
Plan and organize!
More thought now means less effort!
And more time to chill!
In the Sky, Sea, and Stone adventure this week, our protagonist also experiences some new and interesting information among some new friends. Though, in a far more physical sense as they are delving into a fascinating book about the natural mysteries of The Sky while seated in a wondrous library.
August 14, 2020
Happy Friday, everyone!
Be sure to praise Azathoth for allowing you to live through another week!
Just be sure not to wake them.
Here's some new and gnarly stuff on Rahaman Writing:
- A Quenya haiku regarding freedom
- A new French poem about illness and it's effects
- Page 5 of The Baron's Journal is now up
- Added a new map to the Reference Guide for my Sky, Sea, and Stone universe (Map of Orosilla & Neighbouring Islands)
One of the traits that makes my Sky, Sea, and Stone world so important to me is that change is unrelenting. Like the real world. Things happen beyond the control of humans and other mortals. But, on Okeanós, they are not simply forces of nature or misfortune of circumstance. But these natural forces being bent by a will incomprehensible to all save mightier beings than us.
This is an echo of the real world. To some degree, anyways. Everything is in a constant state of fluctuation. If you notice it or not depends on your how closely you look. And I look pretty damn close.
The world is not the only thing that changes. You and I do as well. And so should your writing, on occasion.
The Baron of Beholder's Writing Tip #6:
Do not be afraid to go back and alter your story! I know it can seem tedious and can be awkward. Especially if you're like me and carefully craft everything. But hindsight is always 20/20. You may have learned something, or had a better idea, since writing a past part. Your story could improve if you implement this new idea!
It is more work, yes.
But if YOU don't make your story the best that it could possibly be,
Upon the flying city of Temptes Equit, within the grand Central Library, Athos discovers the true nature of sky-born natural forces, and it sends his mind reeling!
For the very particles in the air shift and transform.
Discover the deep lore for yourself in this week's installment for Of the Sky, Of the Sea, and Of the Stones.
August 21, 2020
Happy Friday, everyone!
I hope you've all had a great week!
Here are some new and exciting stuff on Rahaman Writing:
- An ominous Quenya poem about doom
- A passionate French poem regarding southern adventures
- Page 6 of The Baron's Journal, the 1st one with graphic content, is live
- Added a section for interviews/reviews
- Added a photography section
There are days when I wake up with a desire to get things done.
More so than usual, I mean.
But when my nocturnal ass tends to stay up until 5am, it can be difficult to make as much progress as I want the following day...
Keep in mind that I make all my own deadlines, so failing to meet them makes me feel like I'm betraying myself, even if there is no actual consequence for my tardiness.
Every once in a while, when I feel like this, I pause and reflect on things I've done recently.
"I've done nothing wrong, in this regard. In fact, I've done well!"
I need to sometimes even say it aloud.
Because, even though my friends support me, I sometimes don't support myself.
Which is simply not fair.
And I've noticed that I'm not the only one that does this to myself.
The Baron of Beholder's Writing Tip #7:
Relax and don't be so hard on yourself! Even if you've only written one page, one sentence, or even a single word; that is STILL PROGRESS!
A thirst for work and the desire to complete it are wonderful feelings that you can use to help you get to the finish line of your current project, but don't expect too much from yourself.
Enjoy some coffee!
Rome was not built in a day, and neither are stories.
A gradual pace is more important than great leaps forward.
Athos finds himself plagued with similar feelings in this week's installment for Of the Sky, Of the Sea, and Of the Stones.
He wakes up thirsty for knowledge, but is impeded by the Bitterwind's first mate, though for good reason.
Find out why by checking out this week's Chapter segment!
Signs of Trouble
August 28, 2020
Well met, everyone!
You've reach the end of another week!
Here are some new and interesting stuff on Rahaman Writing:
- Added more photos to the photography section (bottom three photos)
- Added a search bar for easier website navigation!
Bad poetry jokes aside, ravens tend to get a bad reputation. They're sometimes seen as bad omens. They have nothing to do with ill fortune, but still, mankind's paranoia has given rise to the connection of dark wings and dark occurrences.
What we should be focusing on, instead of blaming others for our problems, is preemptively dealing with them. Reacting to any given event can reduce damage, but foreseeing and preparing for it can negate all damage.
As they say, "preparation is a ninja's best weapon".
I've mentioned planning and outlining before in this newsletter, but I want to elaborate on that a bit more. Specifically, in regards to speculative fiction (Fantasy, Horror, SciFi, etc.)
When you're creating a world, or writing a story in one with elements not of the real (and mundane) one, keeping track of everything can be tricky.
The Baron of Beholder's Writing Tip #8:
Prepare for your worst enemy: yourself.
Keeping all your deep lore, crazy events, and fascinating adventures consistent can be tough if you're a whimsical asshole like me!
I pride myself on my creativity and detail, but the more of those you have, the harder it is to remember them all.
"How many horns does the first head of this hydra have?"
"Why does the sun look bigger and more detailed in the north?"
"Where the hell did I put my damn coffee?"
All questions I've asked myself multiple times.
Avoid accidentally creating pitfalls for yourself with one relatively easy trick:
Give everything a reason!
Don't make something happen or describe it for only "wow factor". Give everything a purpose, a meaning, a reason to be the way that it is. Aesthetics are nice, and important, but function always prevails over fashion when it comes to writing.
"Oh yeah, the first hydra head only has one horn, because it's the first!"
"That's right! The sun looks like that because it's closer to the north!"
"Great." *looks at empty coffee mug*
It's easier to remember purpose than details.
Real life example: you don't remember the colour of the shoes of the person who blocked your path last, but you remember that they only did so because they were ON THEIR DAMN PHONE and not paying attention to their surroundings.
Upon the flying city, where our protagonist is currently conducting his studies, things begin to take a turn for the worse. The warning from his transport ship's first mate now seems to be valid beyond doubt, as a fell sickness begins to transform citizens of the city into hideous monsters!
Learn how our bookish scholar reacts to the threat and begins to prepare for the worst!
September 4, 2020
Welcome the weekend, for it approaches!
Here are some tremendous additions on Rahaman Writing:
- Added Page 7 to my dark fantasy series regarding my exploits in literal Hell
- Added 4 new photos(bottom) to the Photography section, some of my best shots ever!
- Added a trailer and review quotes for Inner Expanses to the homepage
- Added more covert art (bottom 3, the last of which is probably my favourite)
- Updated the descriptive graphic for my next book: Unusual Tales for the Curious Mind
I'm not the only one who's been busy, though. The very first site friend of Rahaman Writing, Satyr Central, has recently undergone a huge re-design!
This leftist blog for all things writing, pop culture, politics, (and more!) is now known as The Angry Noodle!
If you like the kinds of content listed above, you won't regret a visit to the noodle bowl!
Back when The Angry Noodle was Satyr Central, I submitted a cosmic horror story called "The Birth of Mancafar", which has only ever appeared there, but not for long. This terrifying tale of otherworldly cannibalism will be in my upcoming short story collection.
It is less of a scary story and more of a series of scary concepts. Ones that I had a great time implementing and also learned a lot from in terms of what makes readers generally unsettled.
The Baron of Beholder's Writing Tip #9:
Want to spook someone? Great!
But why put in the effort when they are far more capable of spooking themselves?
What scares and unsettles people is highly subjective. A hungry, humanoid, inky monster may not frighten someone who's primary fears are spiders or snakes, but what this inky monster represents can.
Spiders and snakes are some of the best predators on the planet, and the reason most fear them is because, despite being much smaller than most people(on average), the venom(of some species) can still harm and/or kill a human!
The threat is real, therefore the fear shall be as well.
This inky monster, unlike spiders and snakes, is nowhere near the reader...yet.
For this monster, this hungry conqueror, is reaching out.
Slowly, but surely, through the void.
From their sector of space...
And when it reaches you, at this unknown time and place in the future, it will consume you like all between your current position and its home world.
A path stretching across the cosmos blanketed in its shadow, one soon to swallow the Earth before stretching onward to future meals.
To truly scare your readers, you need to give them a reason to be afraid.
Horror appears in the flying city as well, for the crimson eel's foul tide of tar starts warping the people of the fair city.
Within the Central Library's walls, two scholars try to protect themselves from the monstrous threat!
Securing the Library