Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Episode 4: Marketing Madness

In this episode, we talk about my least favorite aspect of being an author. Marketing.

I just noticed I even cursed in this installment without thinking. 
At least it wasn't an F-Bomb!

Quotes of the Week

It doesn't matter how many great book ideas you have in your head if you can't finish writing one.
—Joe Bunting

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

Remember we are mortal, but poetry is not.
—Patti Smith

Stay afraid, but do it anyway. What’s important is the action. Just do it and the confidence will follow.
—Carrie Fisher

The terrible thing about being a writer is that you don’t decide to become one, you discover that you are one.
—James Baldwin

You have to resign yourself to wasting lots of trees before you write anything really good. 
—J.K. Rowling

I am not responsible for the ideas and opinions that my characters express.
—William Faulkner

We are cups, constantly and quietly being filled. The trick is, knowing how to tip ourselves over and let the beautiful stuff out.  
—Ray Bradbury

Remember to get the weather in your damn book — weather is very important.
—Ernest Hemingway


Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Tuesday Tips: Go on Vacation

I went on vacation last week. We rented a historic log cabin outside Ashville NC. It had a giant fieldstone fireplace and we had fires every morning and evening.

It refreshes my soul to get away. Go places I've never been. See new things.

On this trip, we went to the Biltmore Estate and gardens. Wow.

It was a real inspiration for writing...

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Quotes of the Week

 I can shake off everything if I write; my sorrows disappear, my courage is reborn. 
—Anne Frank

Good artists borrow, great artists steal
—Pablo Picasso

The difficulty of literature is not to write, but to write what you mean.
—Robert Louis Stevenson

Write freely and as rapidly as possible and throw the whole thing on paper. Never correct or rewrite until the whole thing is down.
—John Steinbeck

Being a real writer means being able to do the work on a bad day.
—Norman Mailer

Write. Then write some more. And never be afraid to revise, scrap, or take criticism. That's the only way to learn…
—Maria Konnikova

The worst enemy of creativity is self-doubt.
—Sylvia Plath

You fail only if you stop writing.
—Ray Bradbury

You can't blame a writer for what the characters say.
—Truman Capote

You use a glass mirror to see your face; you use works of art to see your soul.
—George Bernard Shaw

Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt.
—John Muir

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Tueday Tips: A writers Retreat

 Get your laptop and go, unplug, no internet, or news media. Write.

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

The Hourlings Podcast Project - E2 - Worldbuilding

Quotes of the Week

As a kid, you think you’re the only one who feels so strange, so out-of-kilter with what seems to be expected of you. Then, with luck, you meet your tribe, the other ones who grew up feeling just as weird, and that’s who I write about.
--Fernanda Eberstadt

There is a crack in everything, that's how the light gets in.
—Leonard Cohen

Write even when you don't want to, don't much like what you are writing, and aren't writing particularly well.
—Agatha Christie

Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.
—Benjamin Franklin

You cannot swim for new horizons until you have courage to lose sight of the shore.
—William Faulkner

The function of science fiction is not always to predict the future but sometimes to prevent it.
—Frank Herbert

I do not write with ease, nor am I ever pleased with anything I write. And so I rewrite.
—Margaret Mitchell

An age is called Dark not because the light fails to shine, but because the people fail to see it.
—James A. Michener

I'm a writer and, therefore, automatically a suspicious character.
—Alfred Hitchcock


Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Quotes of the Week

The best work that anybody ever writes is the work that is on the verge of embarrassing him, always.
—Arthur Miller

If you are not afraid of the voices inside you, you will not fear the critics outside you.
—Natalie Goldberg

Never confuse the size of your paycheck with the size of your talent.
—Marlon Brando

Get your facts first then you may distort them as you please.
—Mark Twain

There is no rule on how to write. Sometimes it comes easily and perfectly; sometimes it's like drilling rock and then blasting it out with charges.
—Ernest Hemingway

Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working.
—Pablo Picasso

No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader. No surprise in the writer, no surprise in the reader.
—Robert Frost

Talent is extremely common. What is rare is the willingness to endure the life of the writer. 
—Kurt Vonnegut

I try to create sympathy for my characters, then turn the monsters loose.
—Stephen King

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

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Quotes of the Week

Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.
—Louis L'Amour

It takes courage to make a fool of yourself. 
—Charlie Chaplin

There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.
—Maya Angelou

A wounded deer leaps the highest.
—Emily Dickinson

Any form of human creativity is a process of doing it and getting better at it. You become a writer by writing. There is no other way. 
—Margaret Atwood

Never use three words when one will do. Be concise. Don’t fall in love with the gentle trilling of your mellifluous sentences. Learn how to “kill your darlings,” as they say.
—Colson Whitehead

A professional writer is an amateur who didn't quit.
—Richard Bach

The purpose of writing is to make your mother and father drop dead with shame.
—J. P. Donleavy

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Tuesday Tips: From Zadie Smith

Every author has a set of rules. Some don't even know it yet. 

My Rule #1: Don't Panic

--I like her Rule #5 the best.

Monday, October 26, 2020

Freebies and more!

 Lots of good stuff happening this week:

Twelve FREE Audio Short Stories!

Friday, October 23, 2020

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work.
—Stephen King

Read, read, read. Read everything - trash, classics, good and bad, and see how they do it. Just like a carpenter who works as an apprentice and studies the master. 
—William Faulkner

The highest duty of the writer, the composer, the artist, is to remain true to himself and let the chips fall where they may.
—John F. Kennedy

You can’t just write and write and put things in a drawer. They wither without the warm sun of someone else’s appreciation.
—Anne Morrow Lindbergh

The terrible thing about being a writer is that you don’t decide to become one, you discover that you are one.
—James Baldwin

I can shake off everything if I write; my sorrows disappear, my courage is reborn. 
—Anne Frank

You must do the thing you think you cannot do.
—Eleanor Roosevelt

Close the door. Write with no one looking over your shoulder. Don't try to figure out what other people want to hear from you; figure out what you have to say. It's the one and only thing you have to offer.
—Barbara Kingsolver 

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Tuesday Tip: First Drafts

This is a lesson I have learned and was a real breakthrough for me.

Tip: Give yourself permission to write a crappy first draft.

For decades I was in a trap of my own making. I tried to make my first draft as perfect as possible as I wrote it. It was a productivity killer. It was a creativity killer. It was a focus killer.

Once I began to understand this lesson, I ran with it.

There are a lot of good sayings associated with this concept:
  • The perfect is the enemy of the good.
  • First, fill the sandbox, then build the castle.
  • Don't be afraid to write crap because crap makes good fertilizer.
  • Just shut up and write the fucking thing.
The better my outline, the better my crappy first draft, the easier editing will be, the better the final will be.

Giving myself permission to make mistakes was key. It freed my mind. The stories got better.

--Give yourself permission.

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Quotes of the Week

You must do the thing you think you cannot do.
—Eleanor Roosevelt

Close the door. Write with no one looking over your shoulder. Don't try to figure out what other people want to hear from you; figure out what you have to say. It's the one and only thing you have to offer.
—Barbara Kingsolver

It is the greatest shot of adrenaline to be doing what you have wanted to do so badly. You almost feel like you could fly without the plane.
—Charles Lindbergh

Remember, you’re as good as the best thing you’ve ever done.
—Billy Wilder

Be willing and unafraid to write badly, because often the bad stuff clears the way for good, or forms a base on which to build something better.
—Jennifer Egan

Writing a book is like having an empty pool in the yard and every day going out and throwing in a cup of water to fill it.
—Bethany Ball

aybe the hardest thing in writing is simply to tell the truth about things as we see them.
—John Steinbeck

Whenever you write, whatever you write, never make the mistake of assuming the audience is any less intelligent than you are.
—Rod Serling

Don't be seduced into thinking that that which does not make a profit is without value.
—Arthur Miller

If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun.
—Katherine Hepburn

So long as you write what you wish to write, that is all that matters; and whether it matters for ages or only for hours, nobody can say.
—Virginia Woolf

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Quotes of the Week

If you want to be a rock star or just be famous, then run down the street naked, you'll make the news or something. But if you want music to be your livelihood, then play, play, play and play! And eventually you'll get to where you want to be.
—Eddie Van Halen

Repeat the mantra: Writing is when I make the words. Editing is when I make them not shitty.
—Chuck Wendig

Books are no more threatened by Kindle than stairs by elevators.
—Stephen Fry

Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should’ve behaved better.
—Anne Lamott

Life is short, Break the Rules.
Forgive quickly, Kiss SLOWLY.
Love truly. Laugh uncontrollably
And never regret ANYTHING that makes you smile.
—Mark Twain

It is a delicious thing to write, whether well or badly — to be no longer yourself but to move in an entire universe of your own creating.
—Gustave Flaubert

A book should serve as the ax for the frozen sea within us.
—Franz Kafka

I have found that a story leaves a deeper impression when it is impossible to tell which side the author is on.
—Leo Tolstoy

Quantity produces quality. If you only write a few things, you're doomed.
—Ray Bradbury


Monday, October 5, 2020

Thursday, October 1, 2020

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Quotes of the Week

The purpose of art is to lay bare the questions that have been hidden by the answers.
—James Baldwin

Sometimes good things fall apart, so better things can come together.
—Marilyn Monroe

I write to find what I have to say. I edit to figure out how to say it right.
—Cheryl Strayed

The best stories don’t come from good vs. bad but from good vs. good.
—Leo Tolstoy

A line of dialogue is not clear enough if you need to explain how it's said.
—Elmore Leonard

Go a little out of your depth, and when you don’t feel that your feet are quite touching the bottom, you’re just about in the right place to do something exciting.
—David Bowie 

If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot.
—Stephen King

Keep a notebook. Travel with it, eat with it, sleep with it. Slap into it every stray thought that flutters up in your brain. Cheap paper is less perishable than gray matter, and lead pencil markings endure longer than memory.
—Jack London

Reading is the sole means by which we slip, involuntarily, often helplessly, into another's skin, another's voice, another's soul.
—Joyce Carol Oates

Don't listen to people that say you can't write a novel. If I can write one, anyone can. Just make sure you have a great editor.
—Martin Wilsey

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Tuesday Tips: Flexibility

When it comes to writing tips, I am more a consumer than a provider. One thing I encourage in writers that want to actually finish a story, without getting wrapped around the axel, is to outline the hell out of it first. 

So I outline very heavy before I get started.

Every now and then a character is so good that you want to divert from your original outline to include more of the character(s).

I am hitting this now in my next novel, The Sec Chief.

In my writing, I like to have fully developed secondary and even tertiary characters that create a thread to connect to the next novel. In the current project, a character that will become the main character in my NEXT project appears briefly in this book. 

Her role has grown a bit. I allowed it. The outline has been modified downstream to account for the boulder that just dropped in the river.

The lesson is: Be flexible, as long as it makes the story better. 

--Just don't be a dog chasing butterflies...

Monday, September 28, 2020

New Audio Short: NOT FOR SALE

Ty Crowley was a cyborg soldier with no wars left to fight. With the right skills, maybe he could start one.

But first, he needed to find something he knows is... Not For Sale.

--NOT FOR SALE is another free, 30-minute short story. The first glimpse at characters you will see again.

Saturday, September 26, 2020

Free Audio-Short

The year is 2631 and a weapons designer with the help of a prisoner invents what should never exist.

McDonald is a Senior Research and Development Engineer, Material Sciences, and Artificial Gravity Specialist. His latest project will be a force that will change history, and he doesn't even know it. 

His ignorance will allow them to begin Injuring Eternity.