Thursday, November 6, 2014

[OM] One favorite book

 First, for all those who haven't yet read it: For the next week I'm offering 5$ off The Struggle Trilogy paperback. Just use this code: XQN5EAFM at this site.
The point is to shed more light into the situation in Iraq. Sure, the book is about the civil war a few years ago, but that time and the reactions to it were all very relevant to today. So take advantage, it ends after Veterans Day

On to other matters:
Funny that I've never been asked this question, never really thought about it until a few days ago: what is your favorite book (fiction)? (well, it was asked in a different form) No top ten, not even a top five. Simply what one book means the most to you? There are a myriad of ways to tackle this question, especially for those of us who will need to whittle down the list from a handful of books, all very different, to one.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Why I read Fiction by Tom Bensley

Welcome all readers. Thanks for the patience as I write another novel. But, as I promised, I wanted to dive into the subject of why one should read fiction. As a writer, I continuously hear things like: why write fiction? Or I don't read, no time for that. Or that it is a dead form of the narrative. To tackle this, I invited everyone to put in their two cents about what it is that makes reading fiction worthwhile. To be fair, I meant something other than just reading it for entertainment, though perhaps that's a matter of my own prejudices. 

But I've decided to invite a person who can answer this question with much more insight than I could ever provide it. So without further ado, I present to you Tom Bensley on why he reads fiction (also to read more of the fascinating pieces check his mag out:

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Another Question: Violence on TV

Of course, I'm not talking about the fake kind. That seems to have won the day. Rather, I'm talking about the real kind. News worthy kind, mainly. With ISIS in the news, using violence as a means to reach people, and news outlets making cases for not showing much of this, one has to wonder if this censorship (that's what it is, whether or not it has a higher purpose) is right.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Fiction, what does it mean to you?

So I wanted to take a break and ask people what they thought the value of fiction was (if any) and what it can do to improve a person's life. I'm asking because I wonder if people who write, or read, get the same reactions I do, such as why do I write fiction (being of a technocratic family, I hear this a lot). Or the general view in the at large world that fiction is make believe so why read it? Why bother? Better off reading about the world. No full on answers from me for now (that will be later). I will say that this can be looked in many ways, and none would be entirely wrong.

Friday, September 26, 2014

And so it goes (again)

For anyone who doesn't know. And so it goes is a line used to much effect in Vonnegut's book, Slaughterhouse Five. A book that everyone should read at least once. It's short and to the point, though a little on the depressing side. But, IMHO, all good books are a little depressing. For my readers, I just sent out a short story via email. If you didn't receive it, just email me (nlowhim [at] gmail [dot] com) and I'll send one out to you. Better if you sign up (to the left) to make sure you don't miss out on future stories (which won't be available elsewhere).

As far as my future books, one will be done soon, but it will be editing that shall take even longer. And for the end of the When Gods Fail series, which will be at least several months away (end of the year is still tentative, I'm afraid), is also in the initial phase of being written.

Now, for thoughts on current events (and the "And so it goes" sentiment)

Friday, September 5, 2014

And, there's a new book out!

Thank you to all my readers for your patience. It has been a long and arduous journey for this little piece to come out, but it finally has (it's short, I'll admit that much). So here's the link to the book:
I, Terrorist: The Top Secret confessions of a terrorist
Check it out today. If there are any sales, I'll be sure to let you know. Read below for the full blurb:

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

On Isolation and the New Order

Alternate title: We're apes, remain vigilant.

One can never say that history doesn't have a sense of humor. On the centennial of WWI we're seeing what seems to be a shift to the violent in the world...

Thursday, August 7, 2014

[A city series] Better people have lost bigger bets

Once again I'm doing a series of stories from other writers. This one is from the lips of a friend of mine. He's given me permission to recreate the story here, straight from his mouth. Enjoy it:

"Better people than I have lost bigger bets"— A writer said this one day when I called his life plan foolhardy. When I heard it, it struck me, in an awkward way, as truth. Truth is hard to find these days, and when I see something even remotely close to it, I perk up. That time was no different, though it was swiftly overtaken by a harsh melancholy in my chest. The writer stating his reasons was no defeatist. He was usually chirpy—some would say never serious enough, and perhaps that was his undoing—but as he restated this, following my disapproval of his plan, I knew he was too serious.


Update: Here's a recent article that's basically spot on the tribalizing of political news, and how to (for those of us simply looking for the truth) find good news when there's so much propaganda out there. Read it, share it. Indeed, it's filled with great possible solutions, though I'm not sure that one can focus on only one news source and maintain ties to it (perhaps I'm wrong, and support must be consolidated somewhere). You can read my original article here.

Thanks for reading. As always, you can contact me at if you have any questions or wish to discuss something. Look forward to hearing from you.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

[OM] On Isolating Evil in today's world

Recent events around the world have brought up the question: What is evil? Is it the murder of a man by power drill? Is it a serial killer? Is it a bomb in a cafe? Is it the subjugation of a peoples for a vital mineral? I tend towards the "I know it when I see it" definition, though I know that's not always good enough.

My friends, allow me to present you a story on this very subject:

Sunday, August 3, 2014

[OM] Familial concerns (Writing Madness)

A splendid book on African literature is Writing Madness: Borderlines of the Body in African Literature by Veit-Wild. The book takes a look at writers in Africa and how being on the border of their given nations' governments (be it colonial or post) forced them to write in such a way as to convey this madness (I'm not doing it any justice here, but there is a great explanation in the book on how people who are in the fringes of any society are indeed mad—driven there, or considered, or otherwise).

Monday, July 28, 2014

On sports and the world burning

Times are rough, as I'm sure they are for most people out there. Will be posting some essays, as well as the short novel I promised in the next month or so. Nevertheless, I do hope that this fall to winter will bring a few more books (a new one as well as the end of the Gods Fail series). I will, as I said before, get up the shorts (sometimes fiction, sometimes not) that will tackle more current events as they come up. I'll rely on my readership to see if the fiction posts need to be labeled as such, but as it stands unless someone says otherwise, I'll leave it as it is.

Monday, July 21, 2014

[OM] And so it goes

Of course, it seems that the summer is truly heating up (providing ever more evidence that increased heat does indeed cause more violence) around the world. With Ukraine and the Middle East being especially contentious, I find myself more and more removed from the zeitgeist: most of it consisting of shrill cries on facebook, twitter and the more insidious views on the news. Honestly, I visited facebook for the first time in months, and it was clowns on the left, jokers to the right (especially when one considers the Israeli conflict)... I felt disgusted and shut it down.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

[OM] The Franzenian/Franzenesque lean:

Also titled: How to write {deep} novels with the internet.

I recently wrote an article about the Twitter phenomena. I mentioned its use by virtual lynch mobs[1]. There are weekly examples about its use for such (or the use of the Internet) reasons. But that’s not the only thing it’s used for (the same goes for a pitchfork). I mentioned some good things one can do with their Twitter account. The same goes for the internet at large. Let me explain:

Until recently, I thought that for deep insight nothing beat books, definitely not anything on the internet. Yes, most (classic) books are on the internet, but let's focus on the tools/text that are specific to the internet (blogs, internet comments, twitter and so on). I was certain that these tools of the Internet were mainly a good conduit for interpersonal connections and  provided initial bases for deeper reads (leading to a book, be it nonfiction or fiction), nothing more. In my view, some blogs and articles may have been close to an exception, but they still weren’t as good as a book (and in many ways they mimic those 'paper methods'). And when it came to fiction, or rather, to seeing a narrative unfold, I believed that there was little on the internet that could beat books. But I believe that I was wrong in this respect.