Saturday, November 3, 2012

A New Bookcase

Hey everyone, how has your week been?  As I mentioned in Wednesday's post Hurricane Sandy started mine off a little rough but we have recovered so no harm no foul.  Anyways like most bibliophiles I have a lot of books, like over a hundred, maybe two, and I tended to run out of space for them all.  Well over the weekend I moved a new bookcase into my room and I went from going from piles of books on my floor to having room to spare on shelves.  The best part is that all of my Wheel of Time books fit on one shelf.

Kind of blurry I know, that is what I get when I use an Ipod camera

So far in NaNoWriMo I've had a good day and a bad day. On Thursday I got over 1,800 words while yesterday I wrote under 500.  I'm actually need to cut this short so I can squeeze in another writing session to reach today's goal.

Oh, and as always Don't Forget To Be Awesome.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

National Novel Writing Month 2012 - The Night Before

So I haven't had much time to think about NaNo over the last couple of days thanks to one of the worst storms in living memory.  Luckily though, where I live made it through relatively unscathed, only one tree came down near us, and that was a couple hundred feet away.  We did lose power, which has screwed with my planned schedule for this blog but it came back this morning so I'm all set.

Most of my preparation this year is looking over what I wrote last year.  I ended up only writing about 13,000 words, which in itself is the most I have ever written, but this year I plan to pick up where I left of and finish the novel I ever thought of.  Technically this means I am "cheating" as the rules require the project to be entirely new but I since I am not counting last year's words and once I finish with the main plot I plan on re-writing last year's scenes.  The other main  part of my preparation was compiling a writing playlist.  I don't know about you but music is a big part of my inspiration.  For the most part it is instrumental stuff, a couple movie soundtracks (Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings are two big ones), some songs are from CD's bundled with my Music History textbook (my favorite being an arrangement of J.S. Bach's Little Fugue for an orchestra, which is just epic).

Anyways, here is the low down on my NaNo Project:
"In the realm of Kateena everyone has a magical Talent, it is what set them apart from those they left behind. Each of the seven tribes draws their power from a different source but an eighth power exists that should not be interfered with. Seven hundred years ago a faction drew upon it and in doing so released a great plague prompting the leaders of the tribes to seal them away and in doing so create Kateena. When the focus for that seal is broken it is up to a small group led by a pragmatic young squire so recreate the spell before the seal decays and the sealed ones are released."
That synopsis needs work but I think that can wait until the novel is actually written.

Friday, October 26, 2012

A Triumphant Return?

So as you can probably notice, I haven't updated this blog for a large number of months.  In fact I decided to take a break from the internet (besides of course Facebook and YouTube videos) to focus on my health and my schooling.  Today I got back some very good midterm grades and I have a substantial head start on my end of semester projects, so I decided to reward myself with a return to the internet.  Whether it is triumphant or not is up to you dear readers.

So I have a some plans for this blog in the days and months ahead which I will talk a later date but for now I'll limit it to two and expand from there.  First I plan to restart my Once Upon a Time commentaries.  I really enjoyed doing them and it gives me a chance to give my theories to the world.  The other project is more of a short-term proposition, but since NaNoWriMo is coming up in less than a week, I plan on blogging about the experience periodically.  By the way if you want connect with me on the NaNoWriMo website my profile can be found here.  Feel free to add me as a writing buddy!

Well that is it for now, so take care and don't forget to be awesome.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Review: Looking for Alaska

Looking for Alaska
Looking for Alaska by John Green

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I, unlike the vast majority of people, am not bothered by spoilers. Oftentimes I'll spoil myself about a book series. For example, I knew the ultimate, final ending of the Mistborn trilogy before I read the first book. Maybe it comes from my ability to reread books, after the first time I'm spoiled for the ending. It's the journey that counts I guess, not the destination.

So it is kind of unusual that I didn't already know what was going to happen going into the book and I'm glad I didn't. It was kind of fun thinking about the event that splits the book into Before and After, which is a really cool way of structuring the story. I was kept guessing until she told the guys to distract the Eagle for her, once that happened I knew she was dead.

I identified heavily with the main character because, besides his ineptitude at pre-calc and the alcohol/smoking, we are very similar. Alaska was an intriguing character to say the least, and it could be argued it was just as much her story as it is Pudge's.

I just have to say I wish I had a class with Dr. Hyde.

In regards to the Author: I watch John's videos on youtube and I really like the whole culture that has sprung up about John and his brother Hank. It is strange though, reading his books after watching him. He is a goofy, nerdy guy, which is a good thing,but he writes such deep, thought-provoking books.

View all my reviews

Friday, March 23, 2012

Once Upon a Time - Red Handed

So I have to say, I've been waiting for this episode for quite some time.  Red and Granny are among the last of the major characters introduced in the pilot's War Council scene, and they've been present in almost every episode since then.  It's almost unfair that they've been held back until now.  I've recently spent some time researching the Little Red Riding Hood story for a project in my Theater class, and of all the different versions I read/saw this episode has to be one of the most interesting.  Now I'm one who prefers the original, darker versions to the present day "Disney'd" ones and I feel that this episode does quite well in honoring the original while keeping true to the overall feel of the show.

Why is it that Grannies are almost always either frail and weak or fierce, independent types?  Red's Granny firmly rests in the later category (much like my own).  The scene where Snow "introduces" herself to Red is by far the funniest part of the episode.  It also establishes that Snow isn't as comfortable roughing-it as she is later on in earlier episodes...  That seems almost oxymoronic,  I did call the whole werewolf aspect early in the episode though I, like Snow and Red, thought the boyfriend was the wolf.  I did begin to harbor doubts about it when Red approached him about it, something just felt off about it.  A major OMG moment for me was when Granny told Snow she was tracking Red by scent.  My expression was the same as Snow's.  This story isn't over, they still have to "save" Granny so she can be at the War Council.

In Storybrooke, the investigation into Kathryn's disappearance continues while the tension between Ruby and Granny comes to a head.  I don't really have much to say about Ruby in this other than her short time with Emma helped her to be more mature and secure in her self.  The actress who plays Ruby is very beautiful, which in a cast with several incredibly beautiful women can be forgotton.  but the scene where Ruby and Granny come to terms is when she looks her best.

I wonder why David is having those episodes when he hasn't since he first woke up, unless of course he's been having them just not on camera.  When he, Emma, and Dr. Whale were talking and Regina interrupted I was really confused.  I didn't get why Regina was "protecting" David when the phone records she supplied helped to incriminate him.  The end of the episode cleared that up though, it's not David she wants to frame.  It's Snow White Mary Margaret...

First Picture -

Second Picture -

Monday, March 19, 2012

Once Upon a Time - Dreamy

I really hadn't expected an episode like this.  I don't know why not, one of the examples the show creators always gave for possible stories was "the story of how Grumpy became grumpy."
I was happy to see Amy Acker as the fairy Nova/Sister Astrid, I've liked her work since I saw her as the quirky Winifred "Fred" Burkle on Angel and wish she did more, but alas...  I do find it strange that the dwarves hatch from eggs.  I wouldn't say it was a bad Idea but it is certainly... different.  I liked that the dwarves received their names from magic pick-axes, it just makes sense.  I also liked that the diamonds the dwarves mine are ground into the magic dust the fairies use; it explains two mysteries in one fell swoop.

Overall I was kinda "eh" about the episode, it had parts I liked but it didn't quite hook me like other episodes have.  The relationship between Dreamy and Nova felt a bit rushed, both in starting and ending.  Why did Dreamy give up without more of a fight?  He was different from other dwarves, maybe he could love.  I did love how Dreamy's pick-ax broke, as that shows that "Dreamy" is dead, since the pick-axes are bound to their respective dwarf.  "Grumpy" couldn't use "Dreamy's" pick-ax.  This story isn't over though, Grumpy still needs to get to the jail cell where he meets Snow, but that will probably be a future season.
In Storybrooke the same sort of thing happens between Leroy and Astrid.  She spills some glittery stuff on him and he falls in "love," with a nun...  Mr. Gold's refusal to help the nuns is explained a bit by the fact that most, if not all, of the nuns are/were fairies, but that begs the question why doesn't Rumple like fairies?  We have already seen him kill one in the Cinderella episode.

One of the gems in the episode is the scene were Leroy goes up to a roof and Mary Margaret follows him thinking he is going to jump.  When she says so he replies with something to the effect of, "What? I'm not going to jump.  That's crazy!"  He then cuts off the electricity so the people have to buy candles.  The Miner's Day Celebration also echoes the symbiotic relationship between the Dwarves (miners) who mine the diamonds and then grind them into dust for the Fairies (nuns).

It pains me that Emma is beginning to doubt her super power, because Sydney got those records from Regina so they could be faked.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

On Fairy Tales

Hmm... Typing that reminds me of a particularly good essay by The Professor (an honorific for J.R.R. Tolkien used on the LOTRO Forums) called "On Fairy-Stories."  If you get a chance to read it do so.  It is worth it.

As one can probably tell from my posts on Once Upon a Time, I am a fan of fairy tales.  Make that a fairy-tale-oholic.  I don't know how many books/movies/etc. of fairy tales (or adaptations/recreations thereof) I have.  Now I am not the only fan of fairy tales, one only has to look at the entertainment industry to see that fairy tales are the new "it" theme.  Not only do NBC and ABC have shows based of fairy tales (Grimm, which I lost interest in months ago and the vastly superior Once) but there are not one but two Snow White movies coming out in the near(-ish) future (Mirror, Mirror and Snow White and the Huntsman).
"Wait," you might be asking, "wouldn't that get repetitive?  They are all based on the same thing!"  Well...  No.  Saying that is like saying Twilight and Dracula are the same because they are both about vampires.  They aren't one is one of the great Horrors and the other is a kind-of trashy romance.  (I feel I am justified in saying that because I have read the entire "Saga."  I wish I hadn't, but I have.)  Likewise Once is Lost-esque, Grimm is a crime drama, Mirror, Mirror is a comedy and Snow White and the Huntsman is an action/drama (I think).  All are very different genres.

So there is a question begging to be asked, why are fairy tales so popular?  If you look at the world's state of affairs it is kind of obvious.  Economies aren't doing so well, heck even entire countries have gone bankrupt, the world vacuums  at the moment.  Is it any wonder people are liking something that reminds them of the point in their childhoods when they hadn't a care in the world?

Of course it is wise to remember the modern way of telling the tales is not he original way of doing so;  the tales have been "Disney'd."  That is made them all happy and cheerful while the originals were actually quite dark.  And rightly so!  Their purpose wasn't to entertain, they were cautionary tales.

Take Little Red Riding Hood, most people think it goes something like this, "Girl meets wolf in forest on way to Grandma's house.  Wolf runs ahead and eats/pretends to be Grandma.  Red shows up and talks about Grandma's features are so big.  Wolf is somehow defeated and Red and Grandma both survive."  Right?  Wrong.  Most of it is right but the ending this, "Wolf eats Red.  Then Woodsman comes along, kills the wolf and cuts Red out of its stomach."  Gruesome, right?  The point of the story is thus,

Children, especially attractive, well bred young ladies, should never talk to strangers, for if they should do so, they may well provide dinner for a wolf. I say "wolf," but there are various kinds of wolves. There are also those who are charming, quiet, polite, unassuming, complacent, and sweet, who pursue young women at home and in the streets. And unfortunately, it is these gentle wolves who are the most dangerous ones of all.
                                                                               Little Red Riding Hood

Friday, March 9, 2012

Review: A Feast for Crows

A Feast for Crows
A Feast for Crows by George R.R. Martin

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

While I did like this book better than the last one, I still don't really like it since a good number of my favorite characters (well Jon and Dany) are missing. I understand why Martin did what he did (splitting this book and the next not by time but viewpoint) which is not how I would have done it; I'm not the author though, Martin is, and I respect his decision. The Jaime in this book is not the same man he was in the first book, he has shown considerable growth and while originally I kind of wanted him to die, I want him to survive now... Which cannot be said for his dear twin. Like Jaime, I did not like Cersei. With the addition of her viewpoint I dislike her so much that my dislike has "lapped" my dislike for all the other characters. Its not that she is "evil" for their can be a sort of honor in that, Tywin had it. Cersei however is just mad with power - and not in a good way. I hope she gets everything she deserves...

As always Arya does not disappoint, she and Sansa are the only Originals that have viewpoints in this book, which, though short, were enjoyable. The only disjointing thing about it was when the commit to being "another person" the title of their chapter changes to. Thinking about it though it is fitting.

Their were also a lot of new viewpoints. Their viewpoints are titled not their name (even when a character's viewpoint is used more than once - but again its Martin's book) but an actual title such as "The Prophet" or "The Kraken's Daughter" which can be poetic.

Brienne's viewpoint was also a welcome addition. Even though she and Jaime don't interact at all their relationship continues to develop. It seems to be building a romantic angle, while I think a more platonic relationship based on a shared sense of honor would be more appropriate. (Do I even have to say it?)

One thing that I really did enjoy was an offhand remark by somebody that said that there was a Maester Rigney that believed that time was a wheel. Well a certain James Oliver Rigney, Jr. who, under the pseudonym Robert Jordan, wrote another of fantasy's great epics The Wheel of Time...

View all my reviews

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Day Seven - The Number Seven

"Seven is a very magical number."



"Why is seven a very magical number?"

"It just is."

"But there has to be a reason, there's a reason for everything."

"No there's not, there is no reason why moss grows on the north side of trees."

"Yes, there is.  More moss grows on the north side because the sun is to the south."

"Hmph...  Well there are seven kinds of magic."

"Uhh, there are eight."

"Fire, Water, Stone, Wood, Light, Dark, High.  Seven."

"Deep.  Eight."

"Oh, bugger off."


So I have been really bad...  Not only will I make up the days I missed but I will also do some sort of punishment, that I haven't come up yet.  The seven, well eight, magics I list I took from my current novel/series in progress.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Day Two - Waiting

"I thought the desert was supposed to be hot..."

"It's the middle of the night, and winter, how warm did you expect it to be?"

"I dunno," the boy flipped up his collar, "and why does it have to be so bloody windy?

"AIDEN, watch your language!"

Cowed Aiden mumbled an apology, "Sorry Auntie Mae."

Mae looked over at her young grand-nephew, The very image of my brother at that age...

"You're sure she's coming, right?  Aiden was clutching his full spiral binder so hard his knuckles were white, the only outward sign of his nervousness.

"I'm sure she is on her way, honey."  Truth be told, she wasn't.  When Aiden had tracked his mother to Las Vegas she hadn't the heart to tell him the truth about her no-good niece.


Shorter than my last one...  Is it sad that it's only the second day and already I'm losing interest?

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Day One - Hard to Come By...

You know how they say that when a person is close to death they see a bright light?  Well the light is undoubtedly bright, though it is not as white as one would expect, rather it is a purpley-pinkish color...  How did I get here?  Oh yes, the Centenial House.  Why oh why did I decide to be a traveling salesman?

The Centenial House looked innocuous enough, from the outside at least, the first sign of something... hinky... was when I rang the door bell.  Instead of the usual bells or chimes the sound that rang out was the caw-ing of crows.  I thought it odd, but didn't make much of it.

The elderly woman who answered the door was of the usual variety, those that have lemon-flavored candies and smell vaguely of mothballs.  "Hello madame, could I perchance interest you in a new steam iron?"

"Oh... I'm not sure.  Would you mind stepping in out of the cold and telling me more about it?"  she replied.

Being invited in was another sign of something being different.  Inside, the decor didn't match with the old lady.  She directed me to sit down and before I began to talk about the iron, offered me a cupcake.  To be polite I accepted.  I took a bite, it was quite good, I finished it before I realized I had.  I was halfway through my speech when I began to feel... unwell.  "Wh- what was in that cupcake?" I asked her.

The lady smiled and replied, "Arsenic."

My vision began to darken, "Why" I asked

She chuckled and answered, "Human hearts are sooo hard to come by nowadays..."


Okay finally have this typed and done.  Getting the picture was a hassle.  I'm not to sure how well I worked with the "dramatic monologue" bit, but in my defense I'm not particularly familiar with it.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

A Lenticular Writing Challenge

So tomorrow is the first day of Lent.  For those of you that don’t know, Lent is a period during the Christian calendar where people usually give something up for 40 days, representing the 40 days Jesus spent in the wilderness.  When my grandfather was alive he would give up smoking year after year, until he came to the realization that going without cigarettes didn’t bother him and that they were bad for him… He then gave them up for good.  Now myself, I’ve never been particularly good at this.  I don’t really do anything “bad” in the first place.  Instead of giving something up some people chose to do something additional instead, such as reading the bible.  This year I’ve decided to do a little writing challenge.

Every day during Lent I will be writing, and posting, a short piece of writing.  I will be getting a prompt from the Writing Prompts app from this prompt will also be posted with my response to it.  I hope to spend at least twenty minutes though not more than an hour on each one.  Though I will not be editing these, I would appreciate any and all feedback you have.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Once Upon a Time - What Happened to Frederick

Last week I mentioned how I wasn’t really a fan of the Snow White/Mary Margaret/Prince Charming/David plot line, well I finally figured out why.  David is an idiot.  If I was involved with a woman that beautiful, I would do what we agreed on.  Otherwise I would probably lose her, like David lost Mary Margaret.  (For the moment at least, they are obviously getting back together eventually).

The other three characters (yes I’m counting fairy tale counterparts as different characters, ‘cause they are) are actually quite enjoyable.  The conversations between Mary Margaret and Emma are among the best of the show.  I loved the following exchange from last night’s episode.
                Emma: “… I’m not your mother.”
                Mary Margaret: “No, but according to Henry, I’m yours.”
Prince Charming is also honest about his feelings, well more than most guys at least, and can actually make up his mind.  (If you can’t tell, I find David mildly annoying… make that highly annoying).

I’ve felt sorry for Kathryn for a while now since we haven’t seen anything good happen to her, so I was happy to find out about Frederick.  In case you didn’t notice he showed up in Storybrooke as the guy she bumped into at the school.  When that happened I knew that he was someone.  I worried for Kathryn the second time she went to Regina, her expression did not bode well for the Boston-bound daughter of Midas.  I’m looking forward to the next episode since it will carry on directly from her disappearance.  What I want to know is why Storybrooke-Frederick was on that road…

What I really enjoyed was the Emma and Mysterious Stranger sub-plot.  We finally have a name, August.  When he had first showed up I thought he might be Henry’s father but that proved unfounded.  I think I prefer this match-up over the Emma/Graham one, which just felt… rushed.  August also seems like a more interesting character, I want to know what he was doing with the Book.  I like the theory that he “wrote” it, but I don’t know if he was repairing the Book or altering it.

My pet theory is that August is the Storybrooke version of Rumplestiltskin’s son.  We know Rumple Knows, which could be explained by the fact that Rumple made the Dark Curse, which is likely but not confirmed.  He could have made it so that it would “exclude” himself, and his blood.  That would explain August Knowing, which I highly suspect.

This episode also lends some support to the theory that Storybrooke is somehow “on top of” the Fairy Tale world.  The well’s underground lake could be the Siren’s Lake.  I don’t quite believe it, yet.  I’ll need some more evidence. 

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

On Chapter Length and Pan-Universal Be-Who-You-Are Day

So here I was, in the midst of writing my first novel, and I thought “wait, how long should I be making my chapters?”  Now in reality I probably shouldn’t be thinking about it at this point, I should wait until the book is actually written.  I however have an overdeveloped sense of procrastination…

So there are two main schools of thought on this: short chapters and (you guessed it) long chapters.  (Sounds kind of obvious doesn’t it?)  They both have the goal to keep readers reading as long as possible.

Short Chapters – The mind frame for short chapters is that if a reader knows the next chapter is only a few pages, as opposed to fifty pages, he or she is more likely to continue reading.  They can also be used to give a sense of the book being fast paced, whether or not it actually is.  Shorter chapters also, in my opinion, lend themselves to a Spartan or succinct writing style, one without a lot of description or exposition.  I have found that short chapters are more common in thrillers and such, though are not limited to them.  Witch & Wizard by James Patterson is a fantasy with short, sometimes incredibly short, chapters.

Long Chapters – With long chapters the goal is to give readers as few breaking points as possible.  The rationale being readers do not want to end their reading session in the middle of something.  I don't know if I quite agree with this, I for one will stop just as often in the middle of a chapter as at the end of one.  The writing style best suited for long chapters is a verbose one, in a good way, much like Brandon Sanderson or Pat Rothfuss have.  Long chapters are common in the High and Epic sub-genres of Fantasy, which also happen to be the genres I most often write in.  I guess this means I should be going for longer chapters…

On a side note Happy Pan-Universal Be-Who-You-Are Day!  (Formerly known as Interplanetary Be-Who-You-Are Day)  Kristin Cashore is a talented writer who, like me, is not really a fan of Valentine’s Day.  I dislike how V-Day is so divisive (between those who are in a lovey-dovey relationship and those who aren’t), and really shouldn’t you treat your significant other awesome all the time?  Some arbitrary day should not make you; you should do it on your own.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Once Upon a Time - Skin Deep

When I first found out Once was going to do a Beauty and the Beast episode I was ecstatic. Beauty has always been one of my favorite Disney, second only to The Sword in the Stone, likely due to the fact it was my older sister’s favorite (we usually ended up watching what she wanted to…). Then I found out Rumplestiltskin was going to be the “Beast.” I was hesitant at first, but I gradually warmed to the idea because of my intense respect for Mr. Carlyle’s acting.

I enjoyed the different take on the tale as old as time. They were able to maintain the spirit of the story while incorporating it into the larger mythos of the show. While I think the story, even in its original form, is basically Stockholm Syndrome (where prisoners form an emotional connection to their captors) it is a romanticized version. This episode toned down on the romanticism without making it excessively dark. There is a definite chemistry between Emilie de Ravin and Robert Carlyle and Belle brings a human side of Rumplestiltskin that we really haven’t seen.

In Storybrooke we see the dark side of Mr. Gold, which we come to understand through the Fairy Tale side of things. Love can make people do crazy things, and when that person is already a bit (okay a lot) unstable they do even crazier things. Like abducting the father of the woman you love because you blame him for her “death.” I liked how Regina was able to get Mr. Gold to admit knowledge of the Fairy Tale world with the “Chip”-ed tea cup. I have suspected he Knew since their conversation in Episode Two, but there wasn’t a doubt in my mind after the blank card in the Hansel and Gretel episode.

The Snow White and Prince Charming sub-plot was, to me, rather underwhelming. I know they are the “main” story but I don’t quite connect to them the same way as Rumplestiltskin/Gold and Regina (I like the bad guys, what can I say). Next week is yet another SW/PC episode (doesn’t it feel like we just had one?).

Oh and did anyone notice the Game of Thorns reference on the flower truck?

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Review: A Game of Thrones

A Game of Thrones
A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is the second time I have read A Game of Thrones and its difficult, if not impossible, to deny Martin's skill as a writer. Of all the sub-genres of fantasy epic is by far my favorite and this book is an excellent example of it. By all rights this would have gotten five stars but I do not like the grittiness, one of the few things I dislike about the book.

I would say my favorite characters are Jon, Arya, Daenerys, and Tyrion. I am very happy with what happened to Viserys. By far his sister has the greatest character arc of the book. I didn't like Sansa at first but after a certain event near the end of the book she has begun to grow on me, as has the Hound. I look forward to continuing the series.

View all my reviews

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Review: The Fault in Our Stars

The Fault in Our Stars
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

(First of all I have to say I got a blue J-scribble)

When I was about half-way through tFiOs I had already decided what I was going to say about it. "John Green has done it again. A work of art." Now though, it feels somehow inadequate. It is so much more than a mere work of art like the sun is so much more than a mere star. While yes the sun is in reality a star it is also the reason life continues on our planet. Without the sun there would be no wind, no waves, no plants, no animals. No people. No one to make works of art. No one to make something like The Fault in Our Stars...

Thank you John Green, for everything.

View all my reviews

Saturday, January 14, 2012

On Pen-Names

Pen-names, pseudonyms, noms de plume.  They are all labels for the same thing; authors publishing a work under a name-not-their-own.  So why do people do it and when is it appropriate?  For three major reasons.
  1. To avoid being pigeon-holed: The late James Oliver Rigney, Jr. once picked up a book by an author he liked.  Imagine his surprise when he read it and discovered it was an entirely different genre than he was expecting!  It was at that point he decided to use a different name for each genre he wrote in.  He is probably best known for his fantasy pseudonym, Robert Jordan.  He is far from unique in this however, David Farland/Wolverton is another who uses one name for Fantasy and another for Science-Fiction.
  2. For marketing reasons: In some cases when an author's name is incredibly common or hard to remember they change it to something unique and memorable.  Or when their own name would cause an unfortunate double-entendre in their chosen genre (this is most common in romance).  As in the case of myself, some find their name is the same or similar to another, established author.  Of those with my first name, I would say the majority of their last names begin with the same two letters (curse you Scottish surname practices -  just kidding).  Another common occurrence is that female authors take on a masculine or gender-neutral name to draw in male readers (female readers are generally less biased by gender).  A well-known of this is Joanne Murray (née Rowling) who published the Harry Potter series under the name J.K. Rowling.  While not strictly an actual pseudonym, this is a perfect example of this reason.
  3. Privacy: Probably the simplest, and yet the most important, reason.  Some people do not want to be famous or at least be recognized in public, if only by name.  I for one want to keep my writing and online persona separate an distinct from my personal life.
In my opinion these are all justifiable reasons to use a pen-name.  What I wouldn't support is using a pen-name.  What I wouldn't support is using a pen-name because it is "cool" or "mysterious."  Pen-names should be used for non-trivial reasons.  So what do you think?