Posts Tagged With: Brain Burger

The Burger is Back!

Where has my blog – Brain Burgers – been for the last few weeks? Well, where the brain goes the burger goes, too.
Brain Burger on a Break: Writing; Editing; Working; Traveling; Speaking.

Brain Burgers on a Break: Writing; Editing; Working; Traveling; Speaking.

Someone asked YA author Rick Riordan on Twitter “Why don’t you blog?” He tweeted something like, “If I blog I won’t have as much time to write books.” I know what he means. Writing is work and, because there’s no clock to punch or boss to shake their head in disapproval, a lot of things can get in the way. Blogging is a little bit of work, too – and a lot of things get in the way.

Here’s what I’ve been up to:

I’ve been writing a lot. Over the winter and into spring, I wrote three books on contract that should be coming out next year. I also wrote the first couple of drafts of the last Delphi Trilogy book, titled THE DELPHI REVELATION. Then over the last couple of weeks I wrote a short novel that I’m thinking of expanding into a bigger novel (if my agent likes it).

Editing is a big part of writing – often more work than writing that first draft. [Hint to aspiring writers: I say there are 3 stages of a manuscript – Done; Right; Good. Maybe I’ll burger on that sometime soon ;)] So, editing on three books plus the Delphi III draft has taken a lot of time. But it’s an absolutely necessary part of the process. No book comes out right the first time. Heaven help me, though, I hope I’m getting better and will need a little less editing as time goes on.

I started a new job in January that I love and the work fits me perfectly. I visit school librarians and sell books for a very well-respected company. Meeting with dozens – if not hundreds – of librarians this year alone has been great. Come fall, I want to start giving them a quick interview and posting their answers on Facebook, Twitter, and here on Brain Burgers. I love those librarians!

Traveling is part of that job because I cover a good-sized territory here around the Mountain Empire. I like a good road trip, so hopping in the car and going a couple of days a week is always fun. But it does take a lot of time – time I might otherwise be writing or blogging. So, there’s that.

I spoke to three groups of 100+ students at Delphi Middle/High School.

I’m one of those weirdos who likes speaking in public. (At Delphi Middle/High School in April.)

Some of that traveling has been for speaking engagements and author visits with schools and libraries. The highlight of the year so far was my visit with the school and library at Delphi, Indiana in April. You read about it in my post “Home to Delphi”. But that’s certainly not all for the year. I’ve got a few author visits lined up with public libraries for the summer. I’m one of those weirdos who loves speaking to an audience, so don’t fret for me. In fact, if you’ve got anything you’ve always wanted to say in front of a large audience but have been afraid to, send it to me and I’ll see if I can slip it it.

So, yeah, I plan to start blogging again regularly, if you’ll keep sharing your time and attention with me. Blogs, like books, are meant to be read. So keep I’ll Brain, you Burger, and we’ll keep this thing rolling.

Now, here’s the cheese on this Brain Burger.

3 reasons to start reading Brain Burgers again:

  1. No trans fats.
  2. If you don’t give the author your attention he’ll just go get attention on the street – and none of us wants that.
  3. You can tell everyone you found a burger that’s calorie-free.

SPREAD THE CONSPIRACY – GET “THE DELPHI DECEPTION: BOOK II OF THE DELPHI TRILOGY” NOW!

Paperback amazon Delphi Deception

Delphi 2 kindle

Ingram Delphi Deception

 

Categories: Books, Uncategorized, Writing | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

All We Got Was This Cave Painting

Early hunter-gatherers left 5,000 cave paintings as souvenirs of their lost era.
Burgos cave 1

Abstract vacation photos from a bygone era (we’re not talking the 1950’s here).

Archaeologists in northeastern Mexico recently discovered all the deals they’ve been missing. In a ravine cave complex near the town of Burgos, at least three different groups of ancient hunter-gatherers painted human, animal, landscape, and abstract depictions in eleven locations over a number of generations. And no one knew about this (literal) hole in the wall destination!

“The discovery is important,” said  Mexican National Institute of Anthropology (INAH) archaeologist, “because we have documented the presence of pre-Hispanic groups in Burgos, where before it was said there was nothing.”

Ramirez’s team is still working to date the artwork, which is difficult because seasonal rains have constantly washed away the sedimentary layers that are typically used to peel back the geological clock.

Exceptional natural preservation makes ancient postcards available today.

Exceptional natural preservation makes ancient postcards available today.

To further confound their dating efforts, any original tribes who could have provided clues to the pre-Columbian life of the region took a permanent vacation centuries ago. Archaeologist Martha Garcia Sanchez, who is involved in the study, said, “These groups escaped the Spanish rule for almost 200 years because they fled to the Sierra de San Carlos where they had water, plants and animals to feed themselves,” she said.

Some of the images are of exceptional quality, rivaling those of the American Southwest and even Europe – a high-def postcard in stone from a long forgotten hotspot.

Now, here’s the cheese on this Brain Burger.

3 reasons to go souvenir hunting in a cave:

  1. Ancient exotic animal skeletons make better pets than any live impulse purchase.
  2. Open on rainy days.
  3. The deeper you go, the deeper the discounts!
Chris Everheart is author of the YA thriller
Categories: Ancient Secrets, archaeology, Hidden Archealogy, History, The Ancient World, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Prediction Predilection

You’re thinking about 2013. You can’t help it!

A couple of Druids planned the Stonehenge monument on a bar napkin at a New Years Eve party.

A couple of Druids planned the Stonehenge monument on a bar napkin at a New Years Eve party.

If staying “up-to-date” on next year is driving you crazy, you can stop. The really hard predicting work has already been done. That’s what Stonehenge was built for.

In our times, we don’t need huge monuments to the future. We know that when the old barn-picture calendar is replaced by a new puppy-picture calendar, it’s time to celebrate, declare what we will and won’t do (for the next 46 days or so), and insist to each other what will (definitely, most likely, possibly, maybe) happen next year.

Why the obsession with the near future? Because: a) we can’t stand not knowing; b) we can stand dreaming about it; and c) it’s easier to change tomorrow.

Before there was even the concept of a “2013”, a cave man sat on a hill one day thinking, “I wonder what’ll happen in the days after the sun rises between the peaks of those two mountains over there. In fact, that’ll a great time to quit smoking if I’m going to live my expected 42 years.”

If I wanted to get all Zen on you, I’d suggest that the “tomorrow” we hold in our minds says more about our now than about our future. And if you wanted to get all hedonistic on me, you’d forget I said that so it wouldn’t ruin your New Years Eve partying!

Happy New Year!

Now, here’s the cheese on this Brain Burger.

3 other reasons we’re obsessed with 2013 predictions:

  1. Our overworked worked modern psyches need to believe next year will be easier
  2. Our undernourished cave dweller psyches need to believe there will be food to eat
  3. Our discerning consumer psyches want to know if we should build an in-ground pool or learn how to build a survivalist log cabin with mud instead of logs
Chris Everheart is author of the thriller
THE LEAGUE OF DELPHI

Available Now
Read my author interview at Chompasaurus!
Categories: Ancient Egypt, History, The Ancient World, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Illegally Teen

The puzzling theme in current YA literature – IT’S ILLEGAL TO BE A TEEN!

In a world

In a world hostile to hopes, dreams, and expectations, teen-hood seems “illegal.”

Sparked by an article in the Los Angeles Review of Books – “YA Fiction and the End of Boys,” where Sarah Mesle identifies what I call a “manhood deficit” in modern YA literature, I noted in my post “The Beginning of the End of Adulthood” a few weeks ago that when it comes to identity for boys and girls alike, it’s simply a terrible time to be a teen. But it’s bigger than that.

You don’t have to look too deep into modern youth books to see that teens face a world that is unsupportive at best and often downright hostile. YA protagonists are faced with absent, ineffectual, or harmful parents and adults, daily life in the margins, a society organized against their future wellbeing, and authority figures seeking to snuff out their spirits and their lives.

I can sum up the current literary sentiment toward teen identity with one word – “Illegal”.

The Hunger Games tournament punishes teens just for being.

The Hunger Games tournament punishes teens just for being.

Deborah Davis’ drama NOT LIKE YOU is a good example of this ethos for girls, with a disturbed mother whose chaos blocks teen Kayla from finding her identity. And in the action/adventure THE HUNGER GAMES, does Katniss Everdeen have any real chance of realizing “womanhood” in a society where every year she has to face the prospect of dying by lottery?

A teen can legally be taken apart in UNWIND by Neil Schusterman.

A teen can legally be taken apart in UNWIND by Neil Schusterman.

Boys have it just as bad. In my latest book THE LEAGUE OF DELPHI, 17-year-old Zach sneaks back into his hometown and battles a secret government that killed his parents to find out who he really is. And it gets worse! In UNWIND by Neil Schusterman, 17-year-old Connor fights to save himself from being legally “retroactively aborted” by his parents who find his teen rebellion to be too much trouble.

To be fair, this theme is a good, solid literary device. I once heard Anthony Horowitz – bestselling author of action/adventure/thriller books for boys – tell a group of kids, “If you want the young characters in a book to have an adventure the first thing you have to do is get rid of the parents.” So, yes, absent/ineffectual parents and hostile adults are fertile ground for stories where kids need to fight their own battles and overcome obstacles to grow.

But it’s not all fiction. Teens looking toward adulthood in today’s Western society see an insecure economy, a scarcity of good-paying jobs that offer personal independence, a culture in the middle of re-identifying the meaning of “family” and gender identities (the uncertainty is troubling, not the redefinition), adults fomenting war, environmental disaster, and a 24-hour bad-news cycle.

Teens can’t feel safe and strive for a positive adult identity in a world so toxic and insecure that it’s practically illegal to have hopes, dreams, and expectations. Trust in society? Gender roles? Womanhood? Manhood? None of it matters when it looks like there’s no future. This is the low-grade strain and confusion that today’s teens live with and it’s reflected in the stories written by and for them.

I suspect and so hope that amidst an atmosphere that today may feel gloomy and oppressive, our teens are redefining a positive adulthood for themselves and future generations. Making teen-hood “illegal” creates the rebels – the self-determined heroes – we need to do it.

Now, here’s the cheese on this Brain Burger.

3 positive things about teen-hood being “illegal”:

  1. Every grownup can now say, “Yep, I was baaaad once.”
  2. Free jumpsuits, free bracelets, free anklets for everyone between 13 and 19!
  3. Rebels not expected to have a cause – saves hassle for everyone.
Chris Everheart is author of the thriller
THE LEAGUE OF DELPHI

Available Now
Read my new author interview at Chompasaurus!
Categories: Books, Uncategorized, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Spread the Conspiracy: Read

A manifesto for a new secret movement.

Inside every book characters conspire to change their world. [The Reading Conspiracy tagline and logo are available for free use.]

There’s a secret world beneath the surface of everyday life. Deep in this underground realm, people of all types meet for common purposes, negotiate relationships, confront darkness and deceit, struggle to overcome limitations, find love amidst chaos, plan to overthrow tyranny, face overwhelming challenges, and take action great and small. It’s a training ground for the mind, a launching pad for the spirit, a society with rituals, codes, and role models all its own. The secret world is: Reading.

We need fresh recruits to adopt the vision, pass the word, spread the conspiracy. Who are the best candidates? Teens.

Why do we want teens to be the future of this bold movement? Because adventuring in the world below the surface changes the way people view, react to, and act in the world above. Developing a love of reading while young is a guarantee that information, enjoyment, and inspiration can be easily accessed and spread throughout life for the development of one’s self, one’s society, and one’s world. It puts the power into the hands of the coconspirator.

That’s the theme of this weekend’s TeenLitFest: Spread the Conspiracy: Read. I am partnering on the event with the youth librarians at the Johnson City Public Library. Yellow Rocket Media created the theme, tagline, and logo for the event and for continued use by any library school or reading group who wants to use it. As the feature event of the day, we’re holding the official book release party for THE LEAGUE OF DELPHI, selling and signing books as a fundraiser for the teen and ‘tween book clubs.

Reading provides a meeting place within the mind, a forum  with a unique combination of privacy, intimacy, wisdom, and connection where people of all walks of life can:

  • Explore and discover within the privacy of their mind
  • Think freely and critically
  • Strengthen their personal characteristics
  • Access the information and wisdom of the ages
  • Gain inspiration
  • Access passion and develop the soul
  • Learn courage
  • Decide to take action

Englishman Sir Richard Burton explored the hidden world and wrote about it in the Nineteenth Century.

We learn and gain inspiration from those who have done what we want to do, who have gone before us and sent messages back. Unlike other conspiracies, the reading conspiracy is not about defining agendas for others and determining outcomes. It’s about giving teens the tools to explore their options and access the basic, subtle resources they need to develop their dreams and accomplish their plans.

This conspiracy has the broadest membership of any the world has ever seen – the entire world of teens with curious minds and determined hearts. So, all young readers are invited to … Spread the Conspiracy: Read.

Now, here’s the cheese on this Brain Burger.

3 other reasons to learn to love reading:

  1. Eventually you’ll want to know what’s in that Cap’n Crunch you’ve been eating your whole life.
  2. Believe it or not, graffiti artists are sometimes trying to tell you something – with words.
  3. If our country ever really does go all “Hunger Games” you’ll be the one person able to read the old, dried up newspapers insulating the walls of your shack to figure out how it got that way.
Chris Everheart is author of the thriller
THE LEAGUE OF DELPHI

Available Now
Learn more about what makes this writer tick. Read my author interview at PaperBackSwap.com!
Categories: Books, Libraries, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Overly Unachievable

The crushing pressure on kids to be the best – at everything

The author posing as an overachiever – University of Minnesota 1992.

Before “travel leagues” and “advanced placement,” kids played sports at the neighborhood park and competed in class for a teacher’s attention and at home for a parental pat on the head. But along with every other aspect of our lives today, childhood is accelerating.

Because it has become one of the scariest parts of being a kid today I made overachievement a key part of teens’ lives in my thriller The League of Delphi. Writing about a secret society that runs a town and pressures teens into dangerous overachievement is a creative way of dealing with this dark and destructive issue facing our kids in real life.

The Overachievers by Alexandra Robbins

In her revealing and sometimes shocking book The Overachievers: The Secret Lives of Driven Kids, Alexandra Robbins (a recovering overachiever herself) exposed the new world of social, academic, parental and extracurricular pressure overwhelming children’s lives. She found that the kids at her former high school were often dismayed, disheartened and depressed over their self-image in the face of constantly rising expectations. (BTW: Robbins also delved into another central theme of The League of Delphi – secret societies – in Secrets of the Tomb: Skull and Bones, the Ivy League, and the Hidden Paths of Power)

The trend of helicopter parents jockeying to get their kids into the best preschools, terrified by the prospect of an ordinary, underachieving childhood, is not an urban myth. Even more disturbing, stories of parents like Wanda Holloway, the Texas mom willing to kill to get her daughter into a key cheerleading spot, have become a reality.

Today, kids feel more obligation than ever to be smart, popular, attractive, athletic – all of the above. Blame the media, fashion, video games, or simply the times we live in, but something in our culture is causing kids to push themselves to extremes formerly known only in the adult world.

In the near future kids may realize that only their own judgment matters when deciding how to spend the hours of their days and the days of their lives. Will they live in a society that punishes them for their individualism or will they remake the culture into one that supports the search for their true, self-determined inner calling?

Now, here’s the cheese on this Brain Burger.

3 things overheard at a gathering of overachievers:

  1. “I thought San Andreas was my fault!”
  2. “That Einstein dude was such a slacker.”
  3. “I can’t cut back to only 7 hours of studying a day!”
Chris Everheart is author of the thriller
THE LEAGUE OF DELPHI

Available Now
Categories: Ancient Greece, Ancient Secrets, My Books, The Ancient World, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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