Monday, March 31, 2014

Back to Work

It's time to knuckle down and exercise some discipline.

I need to get back in the habit of working on the book for 2 hours after I get home before anything else. I know it won't be fun but I gotta tough it out and just do it!

This is the hard part for me. Getting to the end of the second draft.
  • I need to stop drifting off  and trying to start the next book.
  • I need to not look at Facebook.
  • I need to not open the fridge.
  • I need to keep the cat off me.
  • I need to impose a no Tivo until my homeworks done.
  • I need to establish the routine I had and stick to it.
  • I need to focus and polish it.
  • I need to stick to my July 1st deadline.
That is three months. 90 days.

--I can do it.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Quotes of the Week

“One should never use exclamation points in writing. It is like laughing at your own joke.”
― Mark Twain

“If I fall asleep with a pen in my hands, don't remove it - I might be writing in my dreams.”
― Terri Guillemets

“Revenge is a dish best served published!”
― Lisa Kovanda

“Creativity - like human life itself - begins in darkness”
― Julia Cameron

“But in the wake of 'Bullet,' all the guys wanted to know was, 'How's it doing? How's it selling?' How to tell them I didn't give a flying fuck how it was doing in the marketplace, that what I cared about was how it was doing in the reader's heart?”
― Stephen King

“Writing is hard work, not magic. It begins with deciding why you are writing and whom you are writing for. What is your intent? What do you want the reader to get out of it? What do you want to get out of it. It's also about making a serious time commitment and getting the project done.”
― Suze Orman

Saturday, March 29, 2014

A Break

Cookies. I made them!
In an attempt to fight the recent plague of procrastination I have decided that is is officially a break.

I am giving myself the weekend off and I WILL resume work on Monday.

It's not that I will be idle. I am determined to try something new.

I made cookies. I found the recipe for my favorite cookies from my youth.

Chocolate Oatmeal No Bake Cookies
1/2 C Butter
2 C Sugar
1/2 C Milk
4 Tbsp Cocoa
1/2 C Peanut Butter
3- 3 1/2 C Quick cooking Oats
2 tsp. Vanilla

Add the first 4 ingredients in a saucepan. Bring to a rolling boil, and boil for 1 minute. Stir in the next 3 ingredients and drop onto wax/foil paper. Let cool until set.

--Monday my editing will continue.

Friday, March 28, 2014


Procrastination. I has it this week.

I have not touched my book this week. I usually spend a few hours a week at very least but this week, not so much.

I started doing Yoga this week for my back. It is happening in the same time slot that I usually work on my book. I have been reading more and watching more TV.

I have got to get moving before the weather gets really nice!!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Far North

I just finished reading Far North by Marcel Theroux.

I really enjoyed this book. It is one of my favorite genres and settings, a post apocalyptic dystopia.

This story follows the life and times of a woman called Make Peace. I love strong, smart, competent, female characters. This one is all of that and a total bad-ass as well.

One of the things I liked the most about this book is what it didn't tell you. A lot of dystopian novels feel like they have to explain in minute detail the events the led up to the fall and just won't rest until they read you that last scientists diary or watch the last video log entry. This story hinted and then trusted that the reader was smart enough.

These characters are too busy trying to find a good pair of winter boots to even care at all.

Marcel Theroux did a good job telling the story in the first person. He did a good job showing me how Make Peace felt in stead of telling me. A trap I often see in first person stories.

This book I got from and listened to it during my commute. It was narrated by: Yelena Schmulenson and she did an excellent job as well. The unabridged version was 8 hours and 44 minutes long. Only 4 days commuting... sigh.

--I recommend it!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The Cuckoo's Calling

I just finished reading The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith (J.K. Rowling).

It is a murder mystery private detective novel in the classic mold.

She did a great job.

I really like her character development. The primary and secondary characters were all good. The plot was well paced and interesting. I really enjoyed the complexity of the relationships.

So many critics are giving her a hard time. Screw them. Read this book.

--You will like it.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

The Rules I Follow

As simple and silly as this advice seems, it's true.

--Especially pitfall number 4.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Quotes of the Week

“I count myself as one of the number of those who learn as they write and write as they learn.”
― John Piper

“Writing. Opening a vein in your wrist with a spoon.”
― Ann-Marie MacDonald

“A critic is a man created to praise greater men than himself, but he is never able to find them.”
― Richard Le Gallienne

“I wonder sometimes if the motivation for writers ought to be contempt, not admiration.”
― Orson Scott Card

“I went to college, but I learned to write by reading and writing.”
― Daniel Pinkwater

“Don't worry about meaning. If a story's any good, it can't help but have meaning. Let the PhDs tell you what your story means.”
― William Kittredge

“People say that writers write for money. From my own experience that's not true. I write for me. I publish for money.”
― Greg Curtis

Friday, March 21, 2014


I really like browsing Pinterest for writing inspiration.

I saw this today:

I think this is the great kind of image for Scifi writers.

By having an image that you can work from it allows you to have better descriptions, making it more real for the reader.

--I want this car!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Another Dust Jacket Photo

This might be a good author photo for the bio in my book.

Maybe I will use it when I get around to writing my Zombie Novel.

--I look like this when I watch you sleep from the foot of your bed...

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Quotes of the Week

A wounded deer leaps the highest.
- Emily Dickinson

Only in men’s imagination does every truth find an effective and undeniable existence. Imagination, not invention, is the supreme master of art as of life.
- Joseph Conrad

Literature is all, or mostly, about sex.
- Anthony Burgess

Writers are always selling somebody out.
- Joan Didion

Anecdotes don’t make good stories. Generally I dig down underneath them so far that the story that finally comes out is not what people thought their anecdotes were about.
- Alice Munro

You learn by writing short stories. Keep writing short stories. The money’s in novels, but writing short stories keeps your writing lean and pointed.  
- Larry Niven

Everywhere I go I’m asked if I think the university stifles writers. My opinion is that they don’t stifle enough of them.
- Flannery O’Connor

I can’t write five words but that I change seven.
- Dorothy Parker

There’s no such thing as writer’s block. That was invented by people in California who couldn’t write.
- Terry Pratchett

Writing is not necessarily something to be ashamed of, but do it in private and wash your hands afterwards.
- Robert A. Heinlein

Saturday, March 15, 2014

The Warlock

I just finished reading The Warlock by Michael Scott.

This is the 5th book in the series The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel.

Please note that this series has nothing to do with the Harry potter series.

The lesson I learned from this book is that you have to keep moving the plot forward.

This entire book only advanced the story a little even though the characters were running their asses of, going all over the place.

--The series is losing me. I hope the next one is better.

Friday, March 14, 2014

The Grey Man

My friend OldNFO finally found something to do with all his spare time besides causing trouble!

"The Bad Guys Don't Stand a Chance Texas rancher and lawman John Cronin knows what it means to be tough. A decorated Vietnam vet with connections to law enforcement agencies all around the world, he’s thwarted smugglers and drug plots across the globe with more than a few narrow escapes. Whether it’s a sniper competition or teaching the feds a thing or two about police work, Cronin doesn’t hesitate to pull the trigger. Of course, this slow-talking lawman’s biggest challenge yet might be when his granddaughter Jesse falls in love with a Marine. When drug smugglers stir up trouble in Cronin’s backyard and try to kill Jesse and her new beau, all hell breaks loose, and Cronin and his granddaughter are just the people to set things right."

It is available in Kindle and Nook as well as a dead tree version!

--I ordered mine already! Buy it! Buy it now!

Thursday, March 13, 2014


Yesterday I was chatting with my friend Tom about a favorite TV show, The Walking Dead.

I have an outline for a Zombie Apocalypse novel. I was telling Tom how doomed he was because of his lack of weapons and the place he lives. At least he is reasonably fit for being 54 years old. He still plays soccer.

We ended up creating a character based on him that actually was a great study in back story.

Once I get around to writing that book it will be so much fun.

--Sometimes you just want to shot people in the face! A lot!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

True Detective

I just watched the season finale of True Detective on HBO. I hear the show actually crashed the HBOGO website. It is a really great but totally whacked show. It's very original and extremely adult in themes and images.

The show has excellent writing. Great, raw dialog.

--Horror movies don't scare me. This kind of thing does...

Tuesday, March 11, 2014


I hit my first conundrum on my second draft revisions.

I had a "Why the hell would he do that?" moment.

Now that I have written the entire book and know the characters, I am reviewing the early chapters and an action seemed completely out of character.

I actually found an excellent solution but it makes me wonder. In my solution I found an excellent image that I may be able to reference later.

I will also probably say this over and over, but writing is more fun than editing.

-- The cairn is part of my solution...

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Quotes of the Week

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

Prose is architecture, not interior decoration.
    - Ernest Hemingway

It’s none of their business that you have to learn to write. Let them think you were born that way.
    - Ernest Hemingway

Most writers regard the truth as their most valuable possession, and therefore are most economical in its use.
    - Mark Twain

And as imagination bodies forth
The forms of things unknown, the poet’s pen
Turns them to shapes and gives to airy nothing
A local habitation and a name.
    - William Shakespeare (from A Midsummer Night’s Dream)

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

To produce a mighty book, you must choose a mighty theme.
    - Herman Melville

It is perfectly okay to write garbage—as long as you edit brilliantly.
    - C. J. Cherryh

It took me fifteen years to discover I had no talent for writing, but I couldn’t give it up because by that time I was too famous.
    - Robert Benchley

Any man who keeps working is not a failure. He may not be a great writer, but if he applies the old-fashioned virtues of hard, constant labor, he’ll eventually make some kind of career for himself as writer.
    - Ray Bradbury

A blank piece of paper is God’s way of telling us how hard it to be God.
    - Sidney Sheldon

Not that the story need be long, but it will take a long while to make it short.
    - Henry David Thoreau

If you have other things in your life—family, friends, good productive day work—these can interact with your writing and the sum will be all the richer.
    - David Brin

My own experience is that once a story has been written, one has to cross out the beginning and the end. It is there that we authors do most of our lying.
    - Anton Chekhov

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Maps that Help Writing

When I write I also as part of the process draw maps and building layouts just to ensure the action in the story is consistent.

Even if there is areas that never appear in my story I like for them to be there.

Where is the kitchen? Where is the bathroom? Where is the bedrooms? Even if you never go there they add to the size of the building.

If you ever return to the building later it will be there in your notes. Easy to remain correct in the movements of the characters, sight lines.

--My schetches are not as good as this one of The Cantina.

Friday, March 7, 2014

It is Friday!

Not only is it Friday, it's pizza Friday and it's half-day Friday!!

That means I will get the afternoon to work on the book. I will finish "The Cut" today.

I will have deleted almost 80,000 words. I managed to save most for reuse but still that is a lot.

The next phase will be revising.

The Cut took a month longer than I thought so I have moved the self imposed 2nd Draft deadline to July.

--I will enjoy this more I believe. We. Shall. See...

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Women in Fiction

There are two kinds of female characters that I love in the fiction I write.
  1. Females that are strong, bright, competent, fit, beautiful and very well armed.
  2. Females that are treacherous vipers.
I also like to show the process in which they are formed.

One of the things I love in fiction is watching the transition of a character. Walter White in Breaking Bad comes to mind as a slow transition character.

--It is the classic story of how you boil a frog.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

The Cut

I am still cutting my first draft.

I saw this cartoon today and it really struck true.

I cut a section out today that was so good. It was section that I loved and unlike other sections that I cut it will not be used in my next novel.


--Books need special features like movies on BluRay.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Sci Fi and the Future

I went to the RSA 2014 conference this week. They had an "Innovation Lab" that had a lot of cool stuff. They had a wall where they "imagined the future". It had lots of predictions about technology and it's social implications. It also had...

Someone stuck this card in just to see if we were still paying attention.

I have an outline started for a Zombie Apocalypse novel.

Lots of good inspirations in this timeline.

--You've got 11 years people!!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Quotes of the Week

“Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work.”
― Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

“I write for the same reason I breathe ... because if I didn't, I would die.”
― Isaac Asimov

“The hard part about writing a novel is finishing it.”
― Ernest Hemingway

“The pages are still blank, but there is a miraculous feeling of the words being there, written in invisible ink and clamoring to become visible”
― Vladimir Nabokov

“The soul should always stand ajar, ready to welcome the ecstatic experience.”
― Emily Dickinson

“How do I know what I think until I see what I say?”
― E.M. Forster

“I love being a writer. What I can't stand is the paperwork.”
― Peter De Vries

“It is the tale, not he who tells it.”
― Stephen King