Following the journey of award winning author, Alex Azar, as he travels the publishing world and all things interesting. To reproduce or publish any material found within this blog, please contact me at

Friday, April 26, 2013

Free Thoughts 4/26/13

A few days ago I was listening to music, can't remember if it was my headphones or while driving, but it really doesn't matter.  What's important is that whatever song it was had the phrase "straw dogs" in it.  And the reason this is important, or at least important to this train of thought I'm expressing, is that it made me think of the movies entitled... yup you guessed it "Straw Dogs".  This created two questions in my mind 1) what the hell 'straw dogs' means.  I'm sure I could do a quick Google search and find a definition of the term, if it is in fact a term.  And 2) why are some movies titled what they are, but this really isn't limited to movies.  The same could be asked of certain books, plays, and Lord knows how many songs have senseless titles.

Mind you, I have a smart phone and put it to use on a daily, if not hourly, but sometimes I prefer to learn things the old fashioned way.  I know I can easily search for the reason the movie is actually called what it is, but I'd rather watch it (eventually) and learn that way.

I extend that preference in other ways as well. I still have reference books on chemistry, psychology, kinesiology, and an encyclopedia of dictionaries, that has a bible dictionary, a crossword dictionary, medical dictionary, synonyms and antonyms.  It's a great source for pretty much anything you could ask for... prior to 1980.  Again, all this information could be found on the internet with a few clicks and keystrokes, and that's great for what it's worth, but sometimes I just really enjoy the hunt for knowledge and all the peripheral facts you pick up during your search.

Addressing the second question, there are just some movies/books for the life of me I can't think of the meaning behind the title.  My favorite book for instance, "A Clockwork Orange", the title is never used in the book (or movie) and I'm pretty sure the word 'clockwork' was never used.  I've recently searched for the meaning, and found that Anthony Burgess has given multiple reasons and meanings behind the title, but none of them are explicitly described in the book.  Same goes for "Reservoir Dogs", none of the characters ever refer to themselves as such, nor is the word reservoir nor dogs ever used in the movie.

I'd like to think that the titles I use not only make sense, but are explained within the story, even the abstract ones.

If you have any other examples of oddly titles books/movies mention them in the movies...

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Post 100! Poll 1!

AzarRising has been around for several years, and the past two years in particular have seen a lot of activity with my first acceptance through my ninth published piece.  And today we've hit 100 posts.  I wanted to do something special for this momentous post, so for the first time you can choose what I write next.  You'll notice just below the creepy eye looking at you when you visit the page there's a poll (also a first!) with three options for my next story that I'll write and submit for publication in a new publishing company. Now do your patriotic duty and vote!

Depending how this poll turns out I'll have more in the future. So don't forget to vote

What I'm Reading Now 4/9/13 UPDATE

This book has long been on my to read list, and it's finally worked its way up the list.  I've long been excited about reading it, but wanted to let the hype die down before getting into it. Here it is...

Ender's Game
by Orson Scott Card

I've owned this book for several years, even lent it out for about a year to a cousin, but just got around to reading it.  My cousin who borrowed the book loved it, this became one of his favorites instantly, which built on the hype I've heard of for this book.  That hype caused me to delay in reading it.  Much like a movie every one of your friends sees and likes thus setting an impossible bar to attain, so goes the reading experience for me.  

Originally published in 1985 the novel is based off of a short story Card published in 1977, and is about a boy nicknamed Ender in a future Battle School orbiting the planet training to defend Earth from a third alien attack.  All the kids at the school are recruited at young ages but Ender was the youngest yet at about 6 years old.  The commanders at the school believe Ender to be capable of leading the human army to victory when the alien Bugger army inevitably returns.  

I'm about halfway through, and am enjoying the book.  It's well written with some interesting original (for it's time) ideas.  There are several issues I have with the book, mainly being that there's been no real conflict.  Everything Ender has gone up against has been a laughable challenge you, as the reader, know he's going to make it out of.  I fully believe that this looming threat of the Bugger army is going to be saved for one of the subsequent books (of which there are more than a few) leaving the only climax in this book to be graduating Battle School, and of course he will have to for there to be other books.  This lack of challenge has made Ender an uninteresting character to read.  He starts the school off as the perfect soldier, and quickly becomes the perfect army leader within the school despite the teacher breaking the rules to challenge him more differently than any other squad leader.  

The charm of the book comes from the other characters that he interacts with.  He leaves a sister and brother behind on Earth who are proving to be more involved in the story than the early chapters wold have you believe.  At the school he makes some friends, enemies, and (though I hate the term) frenemies. 

I'm passed the halfway mark, and look forward to the conclusion, no matter how predictable it may be.


Color me surprised, the ending was not what I expected.  In the final chapters it became evident that my earlier assumption was incorrect and what the ending was, made me really like this book. I find it unfortunate that you have to read through a couple hundred pages of predictability to get to the enjoyable ending, but if you stick with it, you'll enjoy it.

Prior to the ending I was going to rate the book lower, however as it stands now I'm giving it a "Cover to cover"

If you like science fiction, I definitely recommend reading this book.  I've heard word that some of the superlative books are also worth the read, and whenever I get around to them I'll let you know what I think.