Monday, October 23, 2017

Reading: Columbus Day

Last week I read Columbus Day, Expeditionary Force Book 1 by Craig Alanson.

Here is the description from Amazon:

We were fighting on the wrong side, of a war we couldn't win. And that was the good news.
The Ruhar hit us on Columbus Day. There we were, innocently drifting along the cosmos on our little blue marble, like the native Americans in 1492. Over the horizon come ships of a technologically advanced, aggressive culture, and BAM! There go the good old days, when humans only got killed by each other. So, Columbus Day. It fits.

When the morning sky twinkled again, this time with Kristang starships jumping in to hammer the Ruhar, we thought we were saved. The UN Expeditionary Force hitched a ride on Kristang ships to fight the Ruhar, wherever our new allies thought we could be useful. So, I went from fighting with the US Army in Nigeria, to fighting in space. It was lies, all of it. We shouldn't even be fighting the Ruhar, they aren't our enemy, our allies are.

I'd better start at the beginning....

--I really enjoyed this. Reading book 2 this week!

Friday, October 20, 2017

The Fast Friday Interviews: Tabitha Caplinger

Tabitha Caplinger

Tell me about yourself, Tabitha?

Hi! I’m Tabitha, but I guess you figured that out already. I love coffee and tacos and tv. I really love tv. I have a husband and two daughters, both of which are super sassy like their mom. I spend most of my time binge-watching or talking about Jesus.(I’m also a pastor which is the Jesus part and I covered the tv obsession already.) Weird fact, I took fencing classes in college and I don’t run. I can run, but I don’t. If you see me running, you should run too because a wild animal or hoard of zombies are chasing me.

Tell me about your current Book: 

I have a ya trilogy, The Chronicle of the Three, out in the world. Well, the first two parts of it are out in the world, the third installment is coming soon.

When she finds out demons are real and she is one of the few humans who can see then, Zoe Andrews must join her Aunt Claire and the other chosen to stop the Destroyer from gathering the darkness, or else the apocalypse begins and we all become demon food.

TCO3:Bloodline (AKA Book 1)

Zoe thought the loss of her parents would be the most difficult thing she'd ever have to endure. When she began seeing things she couldn't explain in her new home of Torchcreek, Virginia, she was sure the grief was driving her mad. Instead Zoe discovers she is part of an ancient bloodline, one destined to prevent the powers of darkness from condemning the world. But Zoe, the daughter of the three, isn't just another descendant-she's the key to humanity's salvation. In this first installment of the supernatural fantasy trilogy The Chronicle of the Three, Zoe Andrews learns that not all shadows are harmless interceptions of light. Some are a more sinister darkness that wants to torment the soul.

TCO3: Armor-Bearer (AKA Book 2)

Darkness creeps around every corner as demons gather in the small town of Torch Creek, Virginia. The Destroyer has arrived, and the Reaping is coming closer by the day. Zoe knows it’s her duty as the Daughter of the Three to hold back the shadows, but she doesn't know how—and time is running out. Zoe and her friends turn to the ancient text of The Chronicle for help. Are they strong enough to withstand an enemy who exploits their deepest fears and doubts? Will they find the answers they're looking for before all of Hell is unleashed? Zoe’s journey as the prophecy’s promised Daughter continues in this second installment of the fantasy trilogy, The Chronicle of the Three.

What are you working on now?

Final edits are about to begin on the third installment of this spunky little TCO3 Trilogy. But in the meantime I just started a new project which I think will be sci-fi/dystopian. I think. There are aliens and a group of outcasts, who might turn rebellious, who live in the mountains. Someone died already and I’m trying to work in a pet falcon. That’s really all I got so far.

Where is your favorite place to be when you write?

I usually write at home, curled up in my comfy chair with a hot cup of coffee. I like to be alone when I write. I would get too easily distracted outside or at a coffee shop.

What is your favorite lesson you have learned about the business of writing?

Book Marketing sucks. I know it is a necessary evil but I hate it. That’s not really a favorite lesson but it’s been a valuable one. I wish I had known the marketing part of things before I started writing so I could have been more ahead of the game there. I think knowing some of what I know now, back then would have saved me a little frustration at least.

What is your favorite Website?



Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Quotes of the Week

“The green reed which bends in the wind is stronger than the mighty oak which breaks in a storm.”
― Confucius

There were times when I was afraid I would never sell another book, but I never doubted I'd write another book.
—George R.R. Martin

If a writer falls in love with you, you can never die.
—Mik Everett

Writer's block is a fancy term made up by whiners so they can have an excuse to drink alcohol.
—Steve Martin

Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self.
—Cyril Connolly

I write for the same reason I breathe - because if I didn't, I would die.
—Isaac Asimov

Some moments are nice, some are nicer, some are even worth
writing about.
—Charles Bukowski

The most valuable of all talents is that of never using two words when one will do.
—Thomas Jefferson

My aim is to put down on paper what I see and what I feel in the best and simplest way.
—Ernest Hemingway

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Tuesday Tips: When Life Happens

Every now and the something happens. I call this kind of thing The Monkey Wrench.

Last week my wife broke her leg. She was walking down the stairs carrying a laundry basket and stepped on a pile of magazines (she had left there). She only fell three steps but she badly broke her fibula and dislocated her ankle.

The good new was that the EMTs were there in only three minutes after I dialed 911. The bad news was it was broke bad. Surgery was required. Recovery will be slower than a simple break.

Family first, writing second.

This happened on October 1st, our wedding anniversary. Today is October 17th. This may be my longest hiatus from writing since 2014.

So what have I learned?

  • Monkey Wrenches happen.
  • Don't sweat it. Worrying about it won't help.
  • Stay organized. This allows you to pick up where you left off easier.
  • Forgive the Monkey Wrench. Because it's not IF shit happens, it's WHEN shit happens.
  • Family First. Let the Monkey Wrench bring you closer to those you love. Not become a wedge.

As far as Monkey Wrenches go, this is a minor one (Sorry, Brenda.)  Remember that time when Steven King was out for a walk and got hit by a guy in a van? Now that is a MAJOR Monkey Wrench. I just have to do all the cooking, shopping, cleaning, laundry, home maintenance stuff and caring for my poor, pitiful, frustrated wife. It takes more time than you think! It sure make me appreciate all she does for me.

Be prepared against Monkey Wrenches:
  • BACKUPS! Computer issues are the most common Monkey Wrench.
    • Hard drive failure
    • Loss or stolen laptops
    • FIRE!
  • Stay organized.
    • Outlines that will keep me on track
    • Notes consolidated in one place
  • Stay flexible.
    • “The green reed which bends in the wind is stronger than the mighty oak which breaks in a storm.” --Confucius

--REMEMBER: Never leave a stack of magazines on the stairs to take up later...