Jeremy Shipp’s Writing Fiction Bootcamp

If you’re an aspiring writer, you might want to check this out.  It always pays to learn a little something more about your craft.  And whether you think of Jeremy Shipp as your peer or as your better, you probably won’t find a fiction class of this caliber, for this price, anywhere else.  A little info about the class:

This fun, intensive 8-week course is perfect for writers who want to hone their craft and polish their work for publication. Through writing exercises, lectures, and feedback from your instructor and fellow classmates, you will grow as an author and refine your own unique voice and style. After you finish the course, your muse will thank you with a dinner and a movie.

The course will consist of the following activities:

-Read lectures spawned by your instructor’s twisted mind that explore the craft and business of writing
-Write one short story
-Write one first chapter of a novel
-Present your work for critique by instructor and classmates
-Rewrite the story and chapter
-Complete imaginative and challenging writing exercises every week, which will be critiqued by your instructor

The class is entirely virtual, and has no set schedule within the time frame, so it fits around your schedule.  The class runs from January 3rd through February 28th.  A full eight weeks!

I’m sure by now, you’re wondering how much it is.  And that’s where the story gets really good.  The whole shebang is only $149.  Like I said, you’ll have a hard time buying a fraction of this sort of thing for that money elsewhere.

If you’re interested in the class, you can drop Jeremy an email at bizarrobytes [@] gmail [dot] com

Fungus of the Heart

Fungus of the Heart

By: Jeremy C. Shipp

If you haven’t read anything by Jeremy C. Shipp, let me first give you a warning.  This isn’t your daddy’s fiction.  It doesn’t have soft cuddlies, happy endings, or detectives with a thing for soliloquies.  I’ve seen his fiction described as “bizarro”, but I like to think of it more as an abstract horror of sorts.  With that in mind, today (Halloween) seemed an incredibly appropriate day to post my review of Fungus of the Heart.

Fungus is a collection of shorts.  There are 13 in all.  I’m sure that isn’t a coincidence.  That’s just not the way this works.

The one thing that I appreciate most of Schipps fiction is that it isn’t just weird for weirds sake.  There’s a meaning to it all.  Take, for instance, my favorite of the shorts in Fungus, Ticketyboo.  On the surface, it’s a very strange story about two children and their “new mommy”.  But, deep down, there’s a commentary on death and how we deal with it.  Or, the books namesake story, Fungus of the Heart, which is, again, a strange story about protectors and guardians and mushrooms in hearts.  But, really, it’s all about love.  How we love, how we remember lost love, and even about how we obsess about love and those we love.

I’ll admit that I’m beginning to sound a bit like those critics that look at an abstract art painting and see all these hidden meanings when it’s really just a red circle on a white canvas.  But, I think Jeremy would back me up here with the fact that there really are those meanings behind his stories.  And he’s found a way that is incredibly unique to deliver them.

Certainly, this sort of writing is not for everyone.  In fact, I would have to admit that it isn’t really even for me.  But, much like those art critics, I do appreciate it for the art that it is.  And, being appreciative of it, I’ll be looking to pick up some of Shipps novel length fiction just to see how his style translates into something in a longer form.  I think that’s the author in me.  Wanting to study something that is unique and different rather than the fiction that is more mainstream.

UPDATE: Fungus of the Heart is now available on Amazon.

Disclaimer: I was sent an ARC of Fungus of the Heart for review.  I get lots of books for review, and I make every effort to not let that fact sway how I review a book.  I hope that is visible in this and every other review I’ve done.