Moonlight Sonnet

In honor #NationalPoetryMonth, I am, once again, sharing my Moonlight Sonnet. Enjoy.

A. A. Rubin

In honor of the rare occurrence of Halloween falling on a full moon, I present my poem, “Moonlight Sonnet,” which originally appeared in the Prompting The Moon Anthology.

When I gaze up at its dark, inky gloom,
The sky reflects my sorrows back at me–
Like the vampire’s victim, I’m fit to swoon,
Surrendering to my melancholy.
The burdens, heavy, of my working day
Weigh down on me and hang like darkening clouds,
Which hide the bright orb’s stately face away
Obscured by night’s aphotic, murky shroud.
But with the glimmer of her tender light,
A sliver of hope in my heart doth grow–
Waxing gibbous, though not yet full tonight,
Beneath Selene’s benevolent, pale glow.
Like the werewolf by her light’s transformèd,
By moonlight, my self to me’s restorèd.

If you enjoyed this sonnet, and you’d like me to write one for you, check out The Great Command Meant

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How (Not) To Pick A Poem For Your Valentine

In honor of Valentine’s day: a classic from the archives.

A. A. Rubin

But soft! What light through yonder window breaks

It’s too early, babe, shut the shades.

Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?

I’m hot, you’re sweaty—are you sure you want to go there?

How do I love thee let me count the ways—

Ok, but don’t leave any out—I’ll be mad if you don’t list the right ones…

When you are old and grey and full of sleep…

Is this about the curtain thing? I was working late last night, otherwise…Wait! are you saying my roots are showing? I just had them done.

A queen from some time dead Egyptian night/Walks once again.

Are you really comparing me to a zombie?

We loved with a love that was more than love—

Doesn’t she die in the next verse?

And all that’s best of dark and bright/Meet in her aspect and her eye…

Didn’t his relationships usually end “in

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Re-examining New Year’s Resolutions—Part 1—Reassessing Word Count Goals

Apropos to the day, the first in a series of posts I wrote last year about making and keeping new year’s resolutions. I hope you find it helpful.

A. A. Rubin

Research shows that, by now, over 50 percent of people have given up on their new year’s resolutions. By the first week in February, that number will jump into the 80s. While those numbers refer to all resolutions (and you can click through to the articles for the whys and wherefores), I can only assume, based on anecdotal experience, that the numbers for writing resolutions are very similar. Over the next three weeks, I will present some ideas to help you stay—or get back—on your path to success for the rest of this—still young—year. This week, let’s take a look at writing consistently and hitting your daily word counts.

The most common writing resolution seems to be “I will write X amount of words (or time) every day.” This affirmation stems from the idea that to be a writer, one must write, and the related idea that one must…

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How To Beef Up Your Nanowrimo Word Count, Featuring Literary Techniques From Some Of Your Favorite Classic Authors

It’s just a week into #nanowrimo, but I suspect many of my fellow writers could use this primer. Enjoy, and happy writing.

A. A. Rubin

There are only a few days left in Nanowrimo (National Novel Writing Month), and I suspect that many of my fellow writers are going to have to hustle to reach their 50 Thousand word goal. If you find yourself behind, fear not. There are many of tried and true techniques you can use to beef up your word count, even at this late juncture. So, shelve your inner Hemmingway, fight off the tryptophan, and consider these strategies which were favored by some of history’s greatest writers:

Homer—Stock Epithets: Homer’s famous epic poems, The Iliad and The Odyssey were originally sung or recited orally long before they were written down. As such, they feature certain techniques that allowed the bard to recite them more easily. One of these techniques is the use of stock epithets and phrases. Characters, as well as certain other personified phenomena were described using stock phrases that…

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Everything I Needed To Know About Writing Character, I Learned From Sesame Street

In honor of Jim Henson’s birthday, I am re-blogging this piece I wrote about Sesame Street, my favorite of his creations. Though, Henson was not the voice of Cookie Monster (who is the focus of the analysis) the same type of analysis could be done for any of his muppets. There is so much any writers can learn from the muppets. Happy Birthday to a true master.

A. A. Rubin

Everything I
needed to know about characterization, I learned from Sesame Street. I just
didn’t know it at the time. Ok, that might be a bit of an exaggeration, but watching
the show as an adult—and as a writer—I am consistently amazed by how well the
muppets are characterized.

Sesame Street celebrated
its 50th birthday last week, and with that milestone, this seems as
good of a time as any for me to write about what authors can learn from the
show. While there are, of course, many aspects of writing in which the show
excels, the one stands out most is the characterization of the beloved muppets,
which is orders of magnitude better than any other children’s program on tv

Most other kids’
shows (and as a stay at home dad on childcare leave, I watch a lot of children’s’
television) feature flat, one-dimensional
characters who are…

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Revealed: Frankenstein’s Monster’s Name!

Something fun I wrote about Frankenstein, which I’m sharing again today in honor of Mary Shelley’s birthday. Enjoy.

A. A. Rubin

People who run in literary circles are fond of pointing out that Frankenstein is the name of the doctor* in Mary Shelley’s famous novel, not the monster. They revel in pedantically correcting people who refer to the monster as Frankenstein to such a great extent that anyone who is reading this blog has either corrected someone or been corrected by someone on this very point. But what is the creature’s (for such he is most commonly called in the novel) actual name? I’m sorry to say—and this will really tick off the literary types—it’s probably Frankenstein.

Allow me to explain: The titular character in the novel is the human scientist Frankenstein. He is the obvious protagonist, the tragic Romantic genius, the modern Prometheus, etc. This fact is not in dispute, and it is obvious to anyone who has read the novel. But Frankenstein is the doctor’s last name. His first…

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Reblogged: PAY IT FORWARD – 7

Reblogging Neel Trivedi‘s post in which he says some really kind things about me. I am humbled and grateful for his words. If you are not already, you should follow Neel on Twitter and Instagram. He is a pushcart prize-nominated writer and a great guy.

Daily Wisdom Words “No act of kindness, however small, is ever wasted.” -Aesop Welcome to the seventh of my #PayItForward series. If you’re a regular…


Join Me For The Comic Book School 8 Page Challenge

One thing that I’m hearing a lot recently, is that we, as artists and creators, should spend our time in “social isolation” working on our craft, and producing art. Writers, take this time to write: artists to draw or paint, etc. Another thing that I hear a lot is that people are feeling very alone and disconnected at the present moment. We are, by and large, social animals, and being apart from our creative communities can be trying, even if it’s for the greater good.

One way that I’m dealing with all of this is by joining the Comic Book School, 8 Page Challenge. For this challenge, comics creators of all types–writers, artists, inkers, letterers–are challenged to create (or to collaborate to create) an 8 page comics short story. Those who complete the challenge will not only have their work published in an anthology by Comic Book School, but also present their work at a panel at New York Comic Con in October, which is pretty damn cool.

Participants will receive feedback and guidance from professional comics creators such as Buddy Scalera (Comic Book School, Deadpool) and Mike Mats (Editor In Chief, AfterShock Comics). Additionally, since the contest is being hosted on the new forums, creators will also be joining a community of like-minded artists and writers. The forums will help replicate some of the networking and community aspects of the comic cons that have been canceled.

Best yet, the challenge and forums are completely free. There is no charge to sign up or participate.

“Every year, aspiring creators leave our educational panels with so much enthusiasm,” Scalera said. “We wanted to create something that not only allows them to sustain that enthusiasm, but also to build on it and sustain their momentum throughout the year. The 8-Page Challenge helps our community members do this and to achieve their goals to create and publish comics.”

“I’ve been participating in Comic Book School panels for many years and I am proud to be the first professional advisor for this innovative educational program for the next wave of creators,” added Marts. “At AfterShock, we’re always looking for new talent, and this gives me the opportunity to see how these creators work together.”

I, personally, and very excited about this challenge, which kicks off this week. I hope you join me by signing up for the challenge on the forums at

Be sure to check out the links page to read some of my published writing, and to follow me on twitter and facebook.

Free Stories You Can Read While Socially Distancing

With everyone home on quarantine or practicing “social distancing,” now is a great time to get some reading done. As such, I decided to share some of my stories that are available for free at online. I’ve written a short description with the each link to help you pick which you’d like to read. Enjoy, and please stay safe out–or in–there:

Here is the story I shared in my last week’s blog. It is in the mode of Terry Pratchett or Douglas Adams. If you haven’t read it yet, please check it out: Darkness My Old Friend.

I have a short flash piece in the current issue of Mythic Picnic Tweet Story. It features the unlikely combination of Lovecraftian monsters and humor: The Kale of Cthulhu.

You can read an older comedic fantasy style story of mine, featuring a sphinx complaining about dragons in Pif magazine: The Sphinx’s Lament.

If you are in the mood for something more traditionally literary, more touching and emotional, check out this piece I wrote for The Hopper Review: In Good Hands.

If poetry is more your speed, Local Gems Press has made eight Ebooks free to read during this period of quarantine. One of them, Rhyme and PUNishment, features my poem, “In Good Hands.” My poem is on page 50.

Last year, I had 6 micro-flash pieces in issue 4 of Drabblez magazine. “The Kale of Cthulhu” was first published there, but check out the other 5 pieces as well. My stories start on page 30.

If you are missing sports, here is a story I wrote about a playground basketball player in New York City. I originally wrote it in college for an assignment to write in the voice of a character who is very different from you (a great writing exercise, which I will cover in a future blog). The story was published in Scriveners Pen, which no longer exists, but I’ve posted it on my deviant art page. While your there, check out the comics samples I’ve posted there and some other short stories as well: Sweetness.

I hope you enjoy these stories. I hope you enjoy them. Depending on how long this situation lasts, I may post more in the coming weeks.

Stay safe.

Be sure to check out the links page to read some of my published writing, and to follow me on twitter and facebook.