October 12, 2009
Dearly Beloved YOU PEOPLE:
Promise I’m not neglecting my bloggerly duties. In fact, I am busy laying virtual brick and electronic mortar for my new internet stronghold: www.blakecharlton.com. Instead of a post, I offer a chance to wonder over there and see the progress. Be warned that the place is still very new and things are likely to change. Please do let me know if you find any bugs or anything out of sorts. When the web page is totally functional, I’ll set up a forwarding function to redirect to it. The same goes for http://www.spellwright.com.
October 8, 2009
I hate blog posts with excuses about why the blogger has been remiss in blogging. Get on with it, man; tell us what’s being keeping you from the keyboard. However, it seems I am about to post a list of excuses about why I have not been blogging. I’m feeling pretty meta over here at the moment. Do I hate this post? Unclear. Anyway…
Wonderful good news: I’m proud to announce that recently, I accepted an offer from the esteemed Mr. Jacques Post at Luitingh-Sijthoff for a Dutch Translation of SPELLWRIGHT. Even when I was just getting into writing, I had heard about the venerable Luitingh Fantasy list. It’s an honor to sign with them. Read the rest of this entry »
September 23, 2009
Been on the road for a while, then attending “The First Stanford Symposium on Bedside Medicine,” which was a real honor. Here’s a link to Dr. Verghese’s thoughts on the ritual of the physical exam. His presentation was truly inspiring. During the weekend, I finally got a Twitter account going. Follow @blakecharlton if you’re keen. Am back home now and trying to get a handle all-that-is-to-be-done-soon, like getting through the page proofs of SPELLWRIGHT. To that end, here’s a light post I wrote up while waiting in an airport.
There’s a function on the WordPress softwear that lets me see what search terms lead folk to my blog. Most are about my mentors or friends “Todd Lockwood,” “Abraham Verghese,” and so forth. A few have “Blake Charlton,” or “Spellwright,” punched in, which is nice. But some are just plain hilarious. Here’s a few of my favorites and my reactions. Read the rest of this entry »
September 18, 2009
For those who consistently read this blog, both of you might remember my post about how the exam brought me to my knees. Preparing for the test and confronting my fears about my disability created one of the most painful events of my life—only having my heart shattered by a reckless lover and watching my father deal with metastatic cancer were more agonizing. I was a mess and relied heavily on support from friends and family. When I got the email reporting that my scores were available online, I thought I was going to vomit. “Somehow I’ve fooled everyone into thinking they should let me become a doctor,” I thought. “But now that they took my accommodations away, the truth is going to come out. They’re going to know I was a fake.”
Finally, I checked it. Read the rest of this entry »
September 16, 2009
Admin: Hi, is this Blake, the teaching assistant for the new Internal Medicine lecture series?
Admin: I’m Dr. ____’s assistant and I’ve just realized that even though I confirmed Dr. ___ would make your lecture, I also confirmed him for a lecture twenty minutes later on A DIFFERENT CONTINENT. Read the rest of this entry »
September 14, 2009
I’ve been doing a lot of thinking and reading for the past week. See the previous two posts for thoughts on the audiobooks I’ve recently enjoyed. There was a fair amount of writing as well, none of it for this blog. My Med Scholars Fellowship required I write one last short story. It unfortunately grew into a novelette. I’m not sure how I feel about it. On one hand, I’m very pleased with the tone I was able to hit and the story I was able to tell. On the other hand, it doesn’t seem terribly marketable. At 15,000 words, it’s an awkward length for most short fiction markets. Inspired by some end-of-life issues I encountered in the children’s hospital mixed together with a recent reread of The Death Of Ivan Ilyich, it’s a bit heavy. I worry that it’s too reflective for some markets, and lacking the hard science other markets require. Maybe I’m in some post-story blues. I turned it in and will let it stew for a few days before I decided if I should submit it somewhere. Read the rest of this entry »
September 2, 2009
Spellwright has been chosen to be the “Sci-fi Essentials Book Series” selection for February 2010. This means it’s been it given the stamp of approval for co-branding by the cable network formally known as “The Sci-Fi Channel.”
I’m flattered to be chosen. But consider three things: One, Spellwright is a book about the power of misspelling. Two, the former Sci-Fi Channel changed its name to “the Syfy channel” to avoid the negative connotations associated with the spelling “sci fi.” Three, as of now the brand on Spellwright’s cover reads “A Sci Fi Essential Book,” not “A Syfy Essential Book.”* Read the rest of this entry »
September 1, 2009
After years and years of telling everyone that Spellwright is going to come out sometime next year/season/eon but of my publishers have set actually ‘days’ on which this will happen.
US: 16 February, 2010
UK: 31 August, 2010
August 28, 2009
Blake: Hello, I’m local who’s going to be an author soon, and I was wondering if—
Bookseller: Stop right there, son. How is my bitch-please-you’d-better-not-be-about-to-mention-your-Xlibris-self-published-novel expression?
Blake: Really intimidating, actually.
Bookseller: Son, does your mother like your novel?
Blake: Thinks it’s the best book ever written.
Bookseller: As I thought. Could you go sit over there beneath the sign labeled “Group W Bench?” Read the rest of this entry »
August 27, 2009
The first fantasy that ever touched me to the quick was “The Elfstones of Shannara,” the second in Terry Brook’s beloved series. I can’t remember exactly how old I was. I was still completely illiterate and so must have been about ten. My father had picked the book up on a whim. It was late summer and we were staying at my grandmother’s cabin on Lake Nacimiento. When my father experimentally read a chapter out loud, he saw that how captivated I was. Keen to foster my interest in books, my mother and father took turns reading it before bedtime. We would camp down by the lake’s edge, my sister and I rolled up in sleeping bags, one my parents reading by flashlight and swatting the moths away. I vividly remember my mother’s voice quavering at the book’s touching conclusion. I remember falling asleep slowly after the reading, listening to the dark green water lapping on the shore and feeling my mind race with wonder. It was a pivotal moment in my life, sparking a love for fantasy that would drive me on to discover so many more authors and ultimately inspire me to overcome dyslexia enough to learn to read. That is why I am honored, humbled, grateful, and in danger of grinning so damn hard my head might split in half as I report that Terry Brooks has read SPELLWRIGHT and offered the quotation below:
“Think that words can’t hurt you? Sometimes, they can kill. The spells of textual magic of this enthralling tale will demonstrate just how.”
–Terry Brooks, 22 time New York Times Best Selling Author of the Shannara Series