Wednesday, April 3, 2013

A-Z Geek (C): A Choice of Adventures

Continuing with the April A-Z Challenge, I’m posting six days a week, following the letters of the alphabet. I will share all the movies, books and games I watched, read and played--all the influences that turned me into the geeky person and writer I am today.

BOOKS

Choose Your Own Adventure, most popular in the 1980s and 1990s and aimed at the 10-14 year olds. The reader ‘becomes’ the protagonist and gets to choose the course of the story. I read these in my 20s and ever since I’ve harboured a secret desire to write one someday.

CassaStar by Alex J Cavanaugh (2010). This book satisfies the inner geek. I love the characters and in particular the story about friendship. Even non-geeks would love this.



GAMES
Castle Wolfenstein (1981) This was a tacky action-adventure shooter game set in World War II. I didn’t play this one in its day. I only discovered it much later once it had fallen into the category of retro fun.

--
The Insecure Writers’ Support Group
 I recently attended a Speculative Fiction Writers’ Festival and Garth Nix, a successful Australian author of young adult fantasy novels, sat on a number of panels. His greatest emphasis was write what you love and believe in what you write. This sounds simple enough, but it’s also something new writers tend to forget in the pursuit of publication. Thanks, Garth, for the reminder!

What are some other ‘C’ movies, books, games or activities you loved? What’s some of the greatest advice (writing or otherwise) you’ve ever heard?

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53 comments:

  1. My brother used to play Wolfenstein and I could spend hours just watching him. He couldn't make me sit and play it (I'm hopeless in any video game) but I admired his skill.

    I love what I write. It is the second part I have to work harder. :D
    First time I get to be the first this week in a site. :) Have a wonderful day, Lynda!

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  2. Go Alex! I've poured my heart out about struggling for authenticity on my post today. thanks for coming by Lynda.

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  3. Wow! I used to love those Choose Your Own Adventure books. Thanks for the flashback.

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  4. Man, I loved choose your own adventure books! They were actually what sparked my interest in reading!!

    My favorite C games might be 'Call of Duty' or Nintendo's 'Contra'. Fun post!! Love the Geek theme- near and dear to my heart;)

    Erick @ A Brief Sinfonia: Loving Your Wife From A-Z

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    1. Ah yes, Call of Duty. My hubby loves that one. I'm not familiar with Contra, though.

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  5. Choose your own adventure. That is exciting. This is my first day to stop by. I enjoyed your post.

    Donna (MiloNerak)

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  6. Garth is right. You're the second post that I've read that's featured a book from Alex's sci-fi series. I bought this book for my kindle last week and glad to start the series before the last book arrives. Choose your own adventure books rocked.

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  7. I like crosswords and they start with C!

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  8. I read CassaFire and adored it - and I'm no geek. CassaStar is definitely on my tbr list. Gosh! Of course it's the IWSG today...yikes.

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  9. Oh wow!! What an awesome surprise. Thank you, Lynda.
    Those were wise words from Garth Nix. I write what I enjoy.

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    1. CassaStar was the obvious choice! I had some other 'C' books in my original list, but yours stood out.

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    2. I appreciate that! Didn't expect to see my book anywhere today, and yet several of you gave me the honor. Thank you.

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  10. good post, don't know the books or games here, but good for the quote from Garth Nix.

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  11. I loved Choose My Own Adventure so much I tried creating my own as a kid. Ah, innocent times.

    Alex's work transcends geeks! He's awesome!

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  12. Glad to see Alex as a "C"
    remember the Choose your Adventure books - great idea

    nice to meet you through A to Z

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  13. Those choose your own books were never as good as they promised. Now may be the time for a comeback.

    mood
    Moody Writing

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    1. Apparently they are getting a mini come-back, but I've heard a few people in the industry share their doubts about its success.

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  14. I miss choose your own adventure books. I was the kid that would reread the book however many times to try and see what all the endings were.
    Elliot
    We Are Adventure

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  15. Gath sounds like a pretty wise person.

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  16. I read a few CYOA books back in the day - fun times! :)

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  17. WOLFENSTEIN was even sold for a movie adaptation some years ago but it's on hiatus still

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    1. Yeah, I'd skip the movie. Not a fan of war movies.

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  18. Like Alex I too write what I enjoy a lot.

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  19. Reading the words, 'I read these in my twenties,' makes me wonder how old you are. :)

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    1. older than you think, apparently ;)

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    2. :D Now I'm wondering how close in age we are.

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    3. I'm thinking I'm older... by a lot. Someone pass me my cane!

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  20. CassaStar is a great book to feature for the letter, C!

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  21. I love those choose your own adventure books:) Also, that's so rad that you got to listen to Garth Nix. My wife got me into his books a while back:)

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  22. Choose Your Adventure books were always exciting to get into. I never tired of them. Great that you featured Alex's book here today.

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  23. Ha! I loved the Choose Your Own Adventure books. I think it would be fun to write one someday. Clue used to be a favorite game for me. The movie was a riot, I liked it. Then again, I love Tim Curry. Best advice I've ever been given? Just write!

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    1. I've not seen the Clue movie, but I also love Tim Curry so I'll have to check it out.

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  24. I'm horrible at video games. My kids finally decided I was hopeless. :)My brothers and sisters [all seven of us]use to spend hours playing Clue--my all time favorite board game. Just found out that Clue is being made into a new movie, released some time this year with an all star cast. Can't wait.

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    1. Oh yes! I used to play Clue as well!! I'd forgotten about that.

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  25. great theme, Lynda! I've read Cassastar and am waiting for the third book :) Oh and I did love reading those Choose Your Own Adventure books!
    Nutschell
    www.thewritingnut.com

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  26. We used to have a ton of choose your own adventure books. I haven't thought of them in years. Fun flashback.

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  27. I was the wrong audience for those choose your own adventure books. I never felt that I had finished them. They made me so frustrated because I had to know all the endings. I read the books multiple times but more annoyed with every reading.
    I loved Garth Nix, advice to write what you love and believe in what you write.

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  28. Hello, Lynda! I loved the Choose Your Own Adventure books when I was a kid! Are they still published? I'll have to look into that because I know my nieces and nephews would enjoy them, too.

    Happy A to Z-ing! from Laura Marcella @ Wavy Lines

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    1. Yep, they are still available. My post has a link to a set of three.

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  29. I used to read the Choose Your Own adventure books too. I thought they were brilliant.

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  30. I haven't read the Choose Your Own adventure books. So looking forward to checking them out. On the IWSG post I agree. Why in the world write about something you don't care about or love?

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  31. Yay for Alex and Cassa Star!

    I loved the Choose Your Own Adventure books too.

    Watched The Closet-fun and hilarious!

    Nas

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  32. I loved those Choose Your Own Adventure books. And of course we all love Alex. :) One of my favorite C movies is Chasing Amy.

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  33. I would add, beyond "write what you love and believe in what you write," accept that everything we write doesn't have to find a huge audience. Some things just need to be written for the love of the words and worlds we find. I've heard from writer friends who are losing their muse because of thoughts about marketability and such. So I think we need to write and write, some will be gems and others simply journeys we take on our way to being better writers.

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    1. Well said, Julie.
      My mini-motto is "Just keep writing"

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  34. Hi Lynda, those Choose Your Own Adventure books are such a great concept. I used to read Nancy Drew as a child...grew up in South Africa, now living in the U.S. I'm also a writer who share writing tips on my blog. I hope to see you around MROP soon; today I'm talking about Change, in real life and storytelling. -Belinda (A - Z participant).

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  35. Good advice. I believe it is so important for writers and artists to be authentic to themselves in the work that they share.

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  36. Haven't read Alex's book yet, I believe in Garth's advice. I think if I tried to write anything other than what I currently do, it would come out blah and stilted.

    J.L. Campbell writes Jamaican Kid Lit

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  37. I loved the CYOA and Castle Wolfenstein!

    Found you via A to Z.
    http://www.TonyNoland.com

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  38. I remember those choose your own ending books. I loved them as a kid. I remember them for Goosebumps.

    Have fun with the a-z challenge.

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  39. Alex's book was my C -feature too :).

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