Annoyed With Myself

If I remember correctly I happened across a post here on WP and another on FB regarding a free download of Benedict Jacka’s Alex Verus series. I thought I had saved the information but now I cannot find them.

I am hoping some kind soul knows what I’m talking about and can provide me with a link.

Free Ebooks

For those who love to read, the ebook evolution has been a blessing and a curse. You have access to thousands of books in every category and you can download them to an E-reader, phone, tablet, or computer and take an entire library with you where ever you go. My Nook can hold about 1500 books, magazines, and newspapers. More than I’ll need for an entire year. If I use my computer, the possibilities are mind boggling.

The problem? The expense of course. Even if every book you wanted was only $.99, your still looking at $1,500 or more and of course, many of the titles you might want to read cost considerably more.

The answer? 

Well, it mostly depends on you, your taste in reading material, and your willingness to take a chance on an unknown author.

If your adventurous and willing to put your time on the table, your options grow exponentially. 

I know I, while enjoying books by know authors, also enjoy finding those hidden gems which can be found in the self published section of sites offering free downloads.

Here is a selection of sites which offer free ebooks.

FreeBookSpot 

I haven’t looked through the entire site, but they have an interesting collection. My main complaint is with the “free” download speed which is ridiculously slow for relatively small files. The other is with the restriction of one file every two hours. Thankfully there are other sites you can check out while waiting for the time to pass.

Free Ebooks

This is the site I began with over a year ago and I have been generally happy with the books available. (Please note, this is just my opinion and not an endorsement of any kind).

You are required to register, but it’s free of cost, so it’s more of an inconvenience than anything.

Besides free ebooks, you can also download free magazines or submit your own ebook.

ManyBooks

Though the updates to this site seem sporadic at best, (the latest update was 2014/01/03), there are some interesting titles available.

Getfreeebooks

This is a place with a ton of information, links, and of course, free ebooks. My first impression was of being a bit overwhelmed, but taking a little time to look around and things begin to make sense. I haven’t taken the time to really dig into this site, there was simply too much I wanted to look into but didn’t have the time to do it justice.

Freebook Sifter

An interesting site listing hundreds of free ebooks listed on Amazon.com. You need either a Kindle or Amazon online library to read them.

 

There are many more I found through Google, I just haven’t had time to look any further today. If you have a favorite site, author, or book which provide free downloads, please feel free to share.

Ned Vizzini dies at 32: Fans mourn ‘It’s Kind of a Funny Story’ writer

A sad story which is repeated all too often…

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The New York-based author of “It’s Kind of a Funny Story,” a semi-autobiographical story about a teen’s battle with severe depression, committed suicide on Thursday, the city’s medical examiner’s office confirmed to TODAY.com. His injuries were consistent with someone who had fallen to his death.

Read the rest on Today.com

Some Thoughts On Writing

As with any writer, professional or not, I would like to become better with the words I use and the ways in which I present them. One of the ways I seek to do this is through reading the works and advice of other writers who’s work I enjoy.

Often I find interesting tidbits I can glean to use for myself, sometimes I simply get insight into how others think and work. Then there are the times I read something and think to myself, “I could never do… such and such.” Not because I lack the ability or the desire but because it runs counter to how my creative process works.

An example of this is outlining. Some people do so extensively, mapping out their thoughts to the Nth detail. Others are like myself, free form writers who follow where their hearts lead, often as surprised and delighted as a reader is at each new, unexpected twist. 

I have tried over and over again to become proficient at outlining. This was true as recently as a year or so ago after I read about J.K. Rowling and her almost obsessive outlines for the Harry Potter books. Well, let me just say it may have worked out spectacularly for her but for me it was an unmitigated disaster. I simply cannot work the way she does, nor I suppose many others like her. I need a free flow form to let the thoughts go from mind to pen to paper. 

Another idea I read recently was in regards to improving the writing of blog posts. It was all just a part of someone’s thoughts on how to become a better blogger, (writer), and increase readership. To be honest, I no longer think much about the stats for this site. I know there will be those who wish to read what I am writing and those who don’t and the numbers are just that, numbers. It’s the interaction through reading and commenting which has the greatest impact for myself, not the pretty graphs, charts, and other means of measurement I have at my disposal. No. It’s the interaction, the understanding I have a real impact on the lives of real people which keeps me here, writing even on those days when I just want to get sloppy drunk and go hide under the covers… 

The suggestion which brought me to writing all of this was; write a post and then set it aside. Let it simmer for a bit, go back and edit. Then edit again until the thought has been finely distilled. Then and only then should you click on “Post”.

Sounds like a decent enough plan I suppose. The problem is, this isn’t how I write. Oh, there are times when it takes me a little while to get my thoughts in order enough I think of them as being presentable, and goodness knows I’ve missed the mark more than once, yet for the most part the only real editing I do is looking for spelling and grammar errors. Sometimes I will go back and change a word here or there which I think cleans things up or makes them clearer, but for the most part what you read is what I wrote the first time.

There have been times when someone has described my writing here as “honest, raw, or compelling” and I always catch my breath when I read such things. I am amazed and dazzled by the thought anyone would not only read what I write, but feel compelled to say something in return and I think the reason all of this has had as much of an impact as it has, on myself and others, is because I don’t go back and clean things up. I don’t attempt to make things look any better than they really are because life is messy and sometimes so are the words we use to describe it.

I want to share with you not only the words in my head, but the emotions which drive them. Sometimes I’m successful, sometimes not, yet to try and polish things up into a nice neat bundle means chipping away at the raw, natural beauty of the moment in which something is stamped onto the page. There is an imprint left on paper and soul.

I know there are those who have only ever written using a computer, but there are those who, like myself, have many memories of pounding away at a manual typewriter and any of them can tell you of the almost savage joy which comes from concentrating all of your emotions at the tip of a single finger. Feeling the force of the key being struck. Of watching as the arm flies toward the paper with all of the angst we can muster. Of watching as it strikes the ribbon with such force it not only transfers the ink to the paper, but leaves a physical indent in the surface with a whip crack sound.

Oh yes, it is possible to transfer a great deal of emotion from heart to screen. I know because I have done so, but there always seems to be something missing and it is a jaw clinching, teeth grinding satisfaction which comes from the very physical interaction of thought and deed.

It is that one moment. The instant of impact I seek to give to you.

The charge of raw emotion.

The primal scream which surges into your throat.

The exhaustion pouring through your veins, knowing you have left everything on the paper, in black and white, to be judged my an uncaring world.

To understanding you can finally rest, even if just for one night, the demons trapped in a ribbon of black and red, their power spent for now.

NaNoWriMo 2013: Work In Progress

So, what do you do when your muse decides to take a siesta? You fire up the word processor and just start jabbering away until something clicks.

Here is my current jabbering. I don’t know if this is the beginning of something or if it will end up gathering dust on my head drive. Either way, I am writing. Getting words down on the page as it were, and it’s better than sitting here looking at an empty screen.

 

It is already the sixth day of November. The sixth day of the National Novel Writing Month challenge and as of this writing I have just over two dozen words written, (which you are currently reading), when I should have nearly twelve thousand words sitting in a file on my computer hard drive.

The problem has been on of focus, of having a clear vision of the story, characters, and plot lines running through a narrative which is interesting and  engaging. Instead I find myself constantly distracted by issues in the real world. Not just my various responsibilities as a partner and parent but also as a person.

I suppose if I were what society considers “normal”, I wouldn’t have much to write about. As it happens I do not fit the mold of what is desired as an unremarkable member of my community. You see, the way I understand myself, the way I see things in the mirror, things in regards to how others see me and seek in interact with me are at odds with one another. It is a condition known as “Gender Dysphoria”. In the simplest of terms it means the way I view myself internally does not match with my physical presentation. 

This is a condition I have struggled against for most of my life, even in those times when I managed to bury my thoughts and feelings deep enough they became ‘out of sight, out of mind’. As I have found over the past few years, simply explaining or wishing these things to go away, trying to rationalize what seemed to be an irrational feeling, does not make them go away. In truth, all I did was to create a mental caldera which, when it finally erupted nearly destroyed me. When I finally reached a point where I could no longer function as I was, hiding behind a mental and physical mask, I was forced to begin trying to understand not just who I really was, but what as well.

So all of this begs the question, “what is normal and if I am not, then what am I?”

In Western society ‘normal’ is considered to be a heterosexual male or female who, in all ways, sees themselves in a way which assures all of the accepted traits which define one as male or female are present and taken as expected. In other words, you were born and declared “male” by the doctor. You present as a typical male and have a male reproductive system. More, you see and think of yourself as male, preferably one who is sexually attracted to females. 

Or you were born and declared “female” by the doctor. You present as a typical female and have a female reproductive system. More, you see and think of yourself as female, preferably one who is sexually attracted to males.

This is known as “the Gender Binary”. This is an accepted version of reality which states humans are either one sex or the other based upon your physical presentation, secondary sexual characteristics, and DNA.

 Unfortunately  humans and society are never so simple.

Many who may read this are most likely to see things as straight forward in as far as sex, gender, and gender identity are concerned. I suppose this is understandable if you have never had to question such assumptions based on your own personal experience. However, there are those like myself who find it impossible to not delve deeper into the truth behind these assumptions, to in a sense, look behind the curtain and stare to wizard in the eye because the reality we live in is one of shades of grey and nothing is ever as simple as it first appears.

For myself, I have been actively looking into these truths for nearly two years, about as long as I have had my blog, Kira Moore’s Closet up and running. This is a good thing because while those first chaotic weeks have been largely lost to time, I do have a written record of the majority of the roads I have travelled to reach the point where I am now.

For this writing, I feel it is not only useful, but informative to go back to the beginning and look at and talk about how I have evolved personally and in my thoughts and feeling since those first confusing days and posts.

January 20th, 2012

Seeing this date seems sort of surreal. It does truly seems as though more time has passed than this.

So what did I have to say for my first ever post? Well, before I share, understand I was still trying to understand where I fit into the world as I was beginning to understand myself. My mind was running a thousand miles an hour and I had begun to search the internet for information. The first place which seemed logical to stop was with Cross-dressing. Superficially at least this seemed to match with what I was feeling and so I posted this,

“Kira’s Closet is a site about the thoughts, fears, and triumphs of a cross-dresser. I hope to give encouragement to others, to let them know that they are not alone. Please check back regularly for new posts, I will do my best to make regular updates.

Thank you”.

What is important to understand is, the more I learned the quicker I found I was more than what being a Cross-dresser entailed. Let me explain.

First a definition:

“from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike Licensen.

A person who wears clothing his/her society considers only appropriate for a member of the opposite sex.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

n. someone who adopts the dress or manner or sexual role of the opposite sex.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

n. someone who adopts the dress or manner or sexual role of the opposite sex”

At first blush this seemed like the proper place to start my search for understanding… until one looks a little deeper.

The biggest difference and one which jumps out almost immediately is the way someone who is a Cross-dresser sees themselves as opposed to a Transsexual.

For one thing, cross-dressers in general think of themselves as male. Meaning their gender identity is male which matches with their assigned birth sex. A Transsexual sees themselves as the opposite sex from what they were assigned at birth. Someone born male has a gender identity of female and vise versa. I knew one some level I really never thought of myself as a male. I found the assigned gender roles, mannerisms, and assumptions given to males left me feeling confused and more than a little dirty. It’s still difficult to really explain these feelings in a way which would make sense to someone who has never had them. Much like trying to explain classical music to someone who is deaf or the awe felt looking at the Grand Canyon to someone who is blind.

It may be possible to share some of the depth of feelings and understandings, but it can never be fully understood on the same level as personal experience.

There were other aspects of cross-dressing which didn’t align with my own feelings and sense of self. Yes, there were some similarities, but there were too many differences to ignore. 

So if I wasn’t a cross-dresser, then what was I?

 

Total word count: 1249

Preparing For NaNoWriMo 2013

It’s less than a month until NaNoWriMo 2013…

I must be a glutton for punishment because I have entered again this year. 

I have a working title “Broken”, an opening scene, and some ideas on others, I also have an vague picture of the ending. 

My concern now is managing the emotional stress I know I am creating for myself. An important part of writing for me is having an emotional connection to the story and then pouring all it into writing. It makes each word immediate, every scene charged. I have a personal stake in each character and the plot speaks to me, becoming a living breathing thing which can consume every waking moment. 

This takes such a toll on me, but I can’t do this any other way. I know I am going to be exhausted when the month is over, but I hope to have completed not only the 50,000 word challenge, but to have a story I feel proud to share.

We’ll see.

Best-selling author Tom Clancy has died at age 66

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BEST-SELLING AUTHOR TOM CLANCY HAS DIED AT AGE 66

 

 I have had the pleasure of reading the works of many wonderful writers over the years and Mr. Clancy’s novels were something I always looked forward to. They were guaranteed to be must reads on my annual reading list and I made a point of looking for his work whenever I was in a store with even a small selection of books.

Many stories have been written giving the details of his career, the best selling books, movie adaptations, and video games. They speak of his education and about where he lived and I suppose all of these things are important to his readers, though I’m sure most have read the bio on his books or looked them up on Wikipedia. What they didn’t mention was the way he was able to weave a story, filled with believable and often unforgettable characters, together with muscle tensing excitement to create a world which could draw you in effortlessly and leave you sad to walk away from. This, to me, is what sets great storytellers apart from good ones and Mr. Clancy was one of the best.