Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Quotes of the week

I put a coma in this morning, took it out this afternoon.
—Oscar Wilde

There is more treasure in books than in all the pirates' loot on Treasure Island.
—Walt Disney

Go to the edge of the cliff and jump off. Build your wings on the way down.
—Ray Bradbury

There are painters who transform the sun to a yellow spot, but there are others who with the help of their art and their intelligence, transform a yellow spot into sun.
—Pablo Picasso

Art never responds to the wish to make it democratic; it is not for everybody; it is only for those who are willing to undergo the effort needed to understand it.
—Flannery O'Connor

If I'm honest I have to tell you I still read fairy tales and like them best of all.
—Audrey Hepburn

Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius, and it's better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring.
—Marilyn Monroe



Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Tuesday Tips: Vanity Press

I received an email this morning looking for recommendations for getting published and a question about one publisher specifically.

Make sure you research any publisher in great detail before you work with them. Here are the best general rules for avoiding legal scams to get your money:

  • Authors NEVER pay for publishing.
  • They pay you. 
  • There are no "fees" in traditional publishing.
  • A legit publisher will pay you an advance on royalties in exchange for the rights to the story.
  • NEVER. PAY. A. DIME.

A vanity press will scam you to pay for all the expenses to print and distribute your book and you end up with a garage full of books. Sometime in the end to add insult to injury, they will also own the rights to your story.

Never sign a contract with a publisher without it being reviewed by your lawyer or agent. YOUR lawyer. They will even offer lawyer services for another fee.

--Run. Do not walk. Away from Vanity Publishers.



Monday, February 19, 2018

Reading: The Time Machine

Last week I read THE TIME MACHINE by H G Wells.

Here is the description from Amazon:


So begins the Time Traveller’s astonishing firsthand account of his journey eight hundred thousand years beyond his own era—and the story that launched H. G. Wells’s successful career. With a speculative leap that still fires the imagination, Wells sends his brave explorer to face a future burdened with our greatest hopes...and our darkest fears. A pull of the Time Machine’s lever propels him to the age of a slowly dying Earth. There he discovers two bizarre races—the ethereal Eloi and the subterranean Morlocks—who not only symbolize the duality of human nature, but offer a terrifying portrait of tomorrow as well. 

Published in 1895, this masterpiece of invention captivated readers on the threshold of a new century. Thanks to Wells’s expert storytelling and provocative insight, The Time Machine will continue to enthrall readers for generations to come.

--Great stuff from 1895!

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Quotes of the Week

If you don't know where you're going, any road'll take you there.
—George Harrison

Writing a novel is like driving at night in the fog. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.
—E.L. Doctorow

When a #book is done, he has his own life and you forget about him. He goes and lives alone; he takes an apartment.
—Oriana Fallaci

This is how you do it: you sit down at the keyboard and you put one word after another until its done. It's that easy, and that hard.
—Neil Gaiman

I want to write, but more than that, I want to bring out all kinds of things that lie buried deep in my heart. 
—Anne Frank

I think it’s terribly dangerous for an artist to fulfill other people’s expectations. They generally produce their worst work when they do that.
—David Bowie

You're only given one little spark of madness. You mustn't lose it.
—Robin Williams

Writing for me is a kind of compulsion, so I don't think anyone could have made me do it, or prevented me from doing it.
—J.K. Rowling

The easiest thing to do on earth is not write.
—Willaim Goldman

Writing is like breathing, it’s possible to learn to do it well, but the point is to do it no matter what.
—Daphne Du Maurier


Monday, February 12, 2018

Reading: Hell Divers

This week I read HELL DIVERS by Nicholas Smith.

Here is the description from Amazon:

More than two centuries after World War III poisoned the planet, the final bastion of humanity lives on massive airships circling the globe in search of a habitable area to call home. Aging and outdated, most of the ships plummeted back to Earth long ago. The only thing keeping the two surviving lifeboats in the sky are Hell Divers - men and women who risk their lives by diving to the surface to scavenge for parts the ships desperately need.

When one of the remaining airships is damaged in an electrical storm, a Hell Diver team is deployed to a hostile zone called Hades. But there's something down there that's far worse than the mutated creatures discovered on dives in the past - something that threatens the fragile future of humanity.

--Interesting world building. Book 1 of a series.


Friday, February 9, 2018

Today was a BIG Day

I retired today to become a Full-Time Author.

It is really kind of surreal.

It was three years ago today that I received the very first proof in the mail of my first novel, STILL FALLING.

So much has changed since then. Three more novels, four anthologies, a big pile of short stories and four Audible books.

There has been over a thousand blog posts in that three years. Book signings, literary conferences, newspaper interviews, the creation of Tannhauser Press and The Ventura Theater. So many projects, in so little time. It kind of amazes me all that I got done in addition to having a full time job with a long commute.

Looking back, getting my spine fixed, losing over 100 pounds, getting fit, writing book after book, raising two kids that are fully functional adult human being out on their own...

So now my dream has come true. I have all my time to do with what I will.

--Wow. I think I'm going to Drink Coffee and Make Stuff Up.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Images that Inspire

In my next novel the ship in the story is named: The Oxcart

It is based on this design.


Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Quotes of the Week

The hardest thing about being a writer is convincing your wife that lying on the sofa is work.
—John Hughes

One should not become an artist because he can, but because he must. It is only for those who would be miserable without it.
—Irving Stone

Don’t introduce 20 characters in the first chapter. Another rookie mistake. Your readers are eager to get started. Don’t bombard them with a barrage of names from four generations of the same family. Five names are enough to get started.
—John Grisham

Don't just plan to write – write. It is only by #writing, not dreaming about it, that we develop our own style.
—P.D. James

I do believe that tenacity counts. Not going away matters.
—Carole King

Poetry is just the evidence of life. If your life is burning well, poetry is just the ash.
—Leonard Cohen

The whole joy of writing comes from the opportunity to go over it and make it good.
—James Salter

I dream my painting and I paint my dream.
—Vincent van Gogh

No writer need feel sorry for himself if he writes and enjoys it, even if he doesn’t get paid.
—Irwin Shaw

If you can tell stories, create characters, devise incidents, and have sincerity and passion, it doesn't matter a damn how you write.
—W. Somerset Maugham


Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Tuesday Tips: A good keyboard

I got a new laptop for my retirement. I may go into the specs in a later post but for this one I will discuss two things.

  1. It has a massive screen. Like 18 inches.
  2. The keyboard is full size and has great action.

If you are going to be writing full time do not underestimate the importance of a comfy keyboard.

It should not be work to press the keys. The keys need to provide feedback.

Find a good visibility one as well. I like backlit keys as well.

The basic idea is to remove the obstacles that keep you from writing or just slow you down.

---=Now Go write something!

Monday, February 5, 2018

Reading: Points of Impact

Last week I read POINTS OF IMPACT by Marko Kloos.

Here is the description from Amazon:


Humankind may have won the battle, but a new threat looms larger than ever before....

Earth's armed forces have stopped the Lanky advance and chased their ships out of the solar system, but for CDC officer Andrew Grayson, the war feels anything but won. On Mars, the grinding duty of flushing out the twenty-meter-tall alien invaders from their burrows underground is wearing down troops and equipment at an alarming rate. And for the remaining extrasolar colonies, the threat of a Lanky attack is ever present.

Earth's game changer? New advanced ships and weapons, designed to hunt and kill Lankies and place humanity's militaries on equal footing with their formidable foes. Andrew and his wife, Halley, both now burdened with command responsibilities and in charge of more lives than just their own, are once again in humanity's vanguard as they prepare for this new phase in the war. But the Lankies have their own agenda...and in war, the enemy doesn't usually wait until you are prepared. As Andrew is once again plunged into the chaos and violence of war with an unyielding species, he is forced to confront the toll this endless conflict is taking on them all, and the high price of survival...at any cost.

--Good stuff. Book 6 in the series.