Vrai Writes (Parts of) Books – 12,000 Hour Day

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The heat outside is dreadful, summer vacation has started, and the cavalcade of summer weddings is well underway. I’m pleased all over to announce the release of my short story, “12,000 Day,” as part of Torquere Press’ They Do anthology!

After weeks of putting things off, Devon and Sarah have come down to the big day. The big day for planning the big day, anyway. As Devon runs the gauntlet of flowers, cakes, and dresses, all she can think about is how she got here. How did deciding to spend the rest of her life with the woman she loves turn into a the stuff of reality-show nightmares?

It’s available on Amazon as an individual story or in a collected anthology format. Want to see an excerpt? Check just below the cut, and a pleasant week to one and all.

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So You Want to Major in English (Without Going Bankrupt)

When I was in school (a statement that gives me crippling feelings of self-absorbed oldness only a millennial can achieve) there was a running joke that went as follows: “an English major is probably the biggest waste of money you could possibly – oh wait, we forgot the sociology majors.” That’s how you make yourself feel better while pursuing a degree that’s slightly less respected than a professional career at McDonald’s. And the more I got to thinking about it, the more I wanted to do my own English major PSA.

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I cannot technically promise prophetic writing powers

Depending on the person, an English major can be the most or least helpful route you can pick. Unlike some of the STEM fields (maths and sciences) it isn’t constructed to lead directly to a career path (unless you’re interested in teaching), and that can be completely terrifying for a new graduate. On the other hand, the skills you learn in terms of critical thinking, pattern recognition, contextualization, and the ability to articulate your thoughts clearly (not to mention write a killer paper) are extremely flexible and will serve you well not just in any number of jobs but as a productive member of society.

The key is being self-motivated – in other words, just do stuff. Start a blog, make goofy videos with your friends, write constantly. Not only will you be improving (and never be afraid of criticism – you don’t have to take every single bit of it, but watching reactions is one of the best ways to help yourself grow as an artist), but you’ll also be building a portfolio. Most jobs in the arts have increasingly hellish requirements for actually getting paid, and the more you’ve trained yourself in being able to work consistently and well, the better odds you’ll have. You get used to keeping a constant eye out, taking your basic skills and layering job-specific stuff on top of it – editing, secretarial work, journalism, comics, reviews, poetry and prose. You can be just about anyone, though it won’t be easy.

Still interested?

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Vrai Writes (Parts of) Books: Rock & Roll Saved My Soul

It’s been a while since I did a professional post, hasn’t it? to my new followers I would like to extend my warmest and most thankful of greetings, and I hope you’ve found something thought provoking and enjoyable here. So, a brief update before we go back to the normal swing of things.

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I’m working on the next essay, I promise!

A few months ago, I submitted an essay to the charity anthology Rock & Roll Saved My Soul, which is now making its first tottering steps into the world. My contribution, “Lullaby of Stars,” is what you might call a…liberal interpretation of the phrase rock and roll.
Or, to summarize more neatly: In which the size of the universe frightens a small and nervous (but not yet nerdy) child, and the very fictional Inspector Javert proves helpful during a very real mental breakdown.

You can check out the official description below, as well as a link to Amazon if you’re so inclined. Much love to one and all of you.

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Rock & Roll Saved My Soul

Changing the World, One Story at a Time
Has music had a positive impact on you? Changed your life? Or even saved you? For us, it has.

In this book, you will find a collection of stories, letters, and poetry about how music has personally changed our lives. Each story is unique, each story is true. Filled with emotion, passion, and love for the bands and songs that have touched our lives.

All proceeds from this book will be donated to Rock the Cause. Rock the Cause is a Minnesota based charity that use the power of music, community, and social media to create a new generation of stewardship for other non-profit causes.

The 2013 Liebster Awards

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We interrupt my usual pontificating to indulge in a heartwarming surprise and a bit of camaraderie. The very articulate Artemis was kind enough to nominate Fashionable Tinfoil Accessories for a Liebster Award! I had no idea what this was until I was nominated, but that just means I had the pleasant humbling pride of being complimented by a blogger I respect AND getting to do the research I’m ever-fond of. For the fellow uninitiated, here’s a rundown of the rules:

The Liebster Award is intended to give some exposure to small blogs with less than 200 followers. The rules are as follows:

1. Link back to the blogger who nominated you

2. Answer the 11 questions given to you by the blogger who nominated you

3. Nominate 11 other bloggers with less than 200 followers

4. Go to the blogs you nominated and notify them of your nomination

5. Give your nominees 11 questions to answer.

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Professional Words, Unprofessional Nerves (November 2013)

Instead of an editorial this week, I wanted to take a moment to highlight two published pieces of mine, as well as a short (and somewhat surreal) author interview. Worry not, I’ll be back to Lupin on Friday and ocer-anaylzing the world of fiction by Monday next.

Courtship by Wire:

“I woke up one morning and thought that you might be a serial killer. I never told you why.”
Published September 2013

Flash Fiction. Proof that the painfully awkward misunderstandings of first love are by no means limited to the real world. Not all of us become convinced the person who gives us the warm fuzzies is secretly plotting our death, though.

 

Genre Surfing:

“The radio on his belt grows from faint hiss to incoming frequency in the middle of dinner, detailing a horror story of shattered lives. I fill in the emptied spot at the table.”
Published November 2013

Flash Fiction. Wrap yourself up in stories long enough, and you start thinking of everything that way. It’s a lot easier to turn family into late-night TV than to wonder if they’re ever coming home again, isn’t it?

 

The Interview:

“Subtlety is bizarrely easier to grasp once you’ve let it all hang out.”
Published September 2013

A series of oddities and observances, all the stranger for being divorced from the questions that the lovely editor originally sent to me. But they run the gamut from style questions, to the world of writing at large, to my unwavering obsession with HP Lovecraft’s hilarious fear of seafood. If you’ve any lingering questions, please feel free to ask them around here – I consider this blog a sort of informal, ongoing AMA.

A fantastic week to you all, and glad tidings additionally. See you Friday!

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Back to my usual swanning about
(thanks to Rainbow Jacket for the screencap)

Perfunctory, Introductory

Welcome all, and again welcome!

This is blog is operated by one Vrai Kaiser – fiction/nonfiction author and occasionally loudmouthed critic. Here you’ll find updates and links concerning my published work, as well as forays into my deep-seated and distracting love for popular culture and storytelling (suggestions always appreciated).

Remember, a good story is a good story, no matter the medium it’s told in.