Tuesday, March 31, 2020

I got interviewed!

--I got interviewed by Morgan Hazelwood on her Author Spotlight! Check it out!

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Short Story: The Writers Group

The Writers Group, read by the author:

--This is still my favorite short story that I have written so far.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Quotes of the Week

A good style should show no sign of effort. What is written should seem to be a happy accident.
—W. Somerset Maugham

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

Write books only if you say in them things you would not dare confide to anyone.

It doesn't have to be the truth, just your vision of it, written down.
—Virginia Woolf

A writer needs three things: experience, observation, and imagination, any two of which, at times any one of which, can supply the lack of the others.
—Willaim Faulkner

The writer's job is to get the main character up a tree, and then once they are up there, throw rocks at them.
—Vladimir Nabokov

Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard are sweeter.
—John Keats

Sometimes it comes easily and perfectly, sometimes it's like drilling rock and then blasting it out with charges.
—Ernest Hemingway

Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while.
—Steve Jobs

If I waited until I felt like writing, I'd never write at all.
—Anne Tyler

I’m writing a first draft and reminding myself that I’m simply shoveling sand into a box so that later I can build castles.
—Shannon Hale

It's a folk singer's job to comfort disturbed people and to disturb comfortable people
―Woody Guthrie

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

NEW: A Solstice 31 Short Story - Brauen's Mine

Tuesday Tips: Rerun! Outlines!

My serious author face.
I do all of this outlining with pen and paper before I sit down to type.  Pencil actually works better. I do this because it allows me to completely focus on the story. I don't worry about spelling, grammar, punctuation, formatting, or tools. The focus is completely on the story.

It usually starts with idea sheets. These are just page after page of random ideas that will eventually resolve into character, settings, and plots. These are free form bullet lists on anything.

All of this is written by hand.

The Process Begins:

1) Fill in the blanks:  When [INCITING INCIDENT OCCURS], a [SPECIFIC PROTAGONIST] must [OBJECTIVE], or else [STAKES].

2) Write a short 3 act outline with a paragraph describing each act:
   a. The Setup
   b. Rising Action
   c. The Resolution

3) Write a short 9 act outline with a paragraph describing each act::
     Act 1—The Setup
     Act 2—Something Bad Happens
     Act 3—Protagonist/Antagonist Identified
     Act 4—The push—door to Act 5—1-way door, no turning back.
     Act 5—Go for wrong goal
     Act 6—Reversal - It is the low point, reveals the Achilles heel of the nemesis.
     Act 7—Go for New Goal - The clock is ticking— Protagonist has a new plan.
     Act 8—Wrap it Up, New goal is achieved.
     Act 9 - The denouement. Closure. The End.

4) Write the 3 page outline in bullet points:
   a. Page 1: The Setup = Act 1, Act 2, Act 3
   b. Page 2: Rising Action = Act 4, Act 5, Act 6
   c. Page 3: The Resolution = Act 7, Act 8, Act 9

5) Write the Full Outline in bullet points:
   a. Each of the Nine Acts gets its own page.
      i. Chapters bullets are listed that will be in each act.
      ii. Scene bullets are finally listed within chapters.

6) I also create a character name spreadsheet, as I outline. Name, description, role in the story.

7) Three hole punch all these hand written pages and place them in a notebook binder. All this is done in longhand.

8) Enter all this into Scrivener. (more about Scrivener in future posts)

9) Write. Put the meat on the bones.

I find I never get writers block with this method. You never face a blank page to lock you up. Hammer through the first draft without stopping to revise anything to the end.

--Finish things.

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Images that Inspire

Working in the basement today, I accidentally opened a portal to another universe.


Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Quotes of the Week

You fail only if you stop writing.
—Ray Bradbury

A one-page breakthrough can start an avalanche.
—Nancy K. Haddock

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

There is no terror in the bang, only in the anticipation of it.
—Alfred Hitchcock

Boys think girls are like books, if the cover doesn't catch their eye they won't bother to read what's inside.
—Marilyn Monroe

The time to begin writing a story is when you have finished it to your satisfaction.
—Mark Twain

Anything that gets your blood raging is probably worth writing.
—Hunter Thompson

Some people feel the rain. Others just get wet.
—Bob Marley

Anytime anybody tells me the trend is such and such, I go the opposite direction.
—Clint Eastwood

All writers have this vague hope that the elves will come in the night and finish any stories.
—Neil Gaiman

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Happy St. Patricks Day!

--Now stay the hell away from me! Unless you are a busty woman with beer...

Monday, March 16, 2020

Quarantine Reading!!

So you are now stranded inside and got to fill your days and fight the boredom?

All available on Amazon!  Kindle, Paper, Hardcover, and Audio Editions!

--Be careful of that damned cat...

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Happy Pi day!

It will be interesting to look back on this time in the future.

COVID-19 has the country freaking out even though the death count is very low. Statistically Zero. It's a big wakeup call for people who are not prepared for any kind of emergency.

President Trump has declared a national emergency.

As an Author, I am watching closely everyone's reactions. If this was a Zombie Apoc, there would be riots!

--So, stay home and eat pie.  

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Music that Inspires

I used to like to walk the straight and narrow line
I used to think that everything was fine
Sometimes I'd like to sit and gaze for days through sleepless dreams
All alone and trapped in time
All alone and trapped in time

I wonder what tomorrow has in mind for me
Or am I even in its mind at all
Perhaps I'll get a chance to look ahead and see
Soon as I find myself a crystal ball
Soon as I find myself a crystal ball

Tell me, tell me where I'm going
I don't know where I've been
Tell me, tell me, won't you tell me
And then tell me again
My heart is breaking, my body's aching
And I don't know where to go
So tell me, tell me, won't you tell me
I've just got to know

Crystal ball
There's so many things I need to know
Crystal ball
There's so many things I've got to know
Crystal ball
Won't you tell me please before I go
Crystal ball

Tell me, tell me where I'm going
I don't know where I've been
Tell me, tell me, won't you tell me
And then tell me again
My heart is breaking, my body's aching
And I don't know where to go
So tell me, tell me, won't you tell me
I've just got to know

Crystal ball
There's so many things I need to know
Crystal ball
There's so many things I've got to know
Crystal ball
Won't you tell me please before I go
Crystal ball

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Quotes of the Week

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

Everyone has talent. What is rare is the courage to follow the talent to the dark place where it leads.
—Erica Jong

I admire anybody who has the guts to write anything at all.
—E. B. White

Writing is thinking. To write well is to think clearly. That's why it's so hard.
—David McCullough

The most import things to remember about back story are that (a) everyone has a history and (b) most of it isn’t very interesting.
—Stephen King

I'll give you the whole secret of short story writing. Rule 1: Write stories that please yourself. There is no Rule 2.
—O. Henry

A lot of people talk about writing. The secret is to write, not talk.
—Jackie Collins

Not all those who wander are lost.
—J.R.R. Tolkien

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

Be so good they can’t ignore you.
—Steve Martin

Leave the world more interesting for you being here. Make good art.
—Neil Gaiman

And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.
—Friedrich Nietzsche

We must travel in the direction of our fear.
—John Berryman

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Tuesday Tips: The Rules


These are the priority Rules.

  1. Don't Panic.
  2. Be prepared.
  3. Always have a Plan B.
  4. Don't lie to yourself.
  5. Keep your overhead low.
  6. Don't procrastinate.
  7. Be decisive. Even if it means you'll be wrong sometimes.
  8. Keep secrets.
  9. Never cut what can be untied.
  10. Be organized.
  11. Say what you mean and mean what you say.
  12. Make long and short term goals.
  13. Consider the worst-case scenario now and then and prepare for it.
  14. Give people a second chance, but not a third.
  15. Keep it simple.
  16. Act as though it were impossible to fail.

--The entire list is much longer. But this will get you through most challenges. Anything from writing a novel to surviving COVID-19.

Wednesday, March 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

A story needs rhythm. Read it aloud to yourself. If it doesn't spin a bit of magic, it's missing something.
—Esther Freud

In character, In manner, In style, in all things, the supreme excellence is simplicity.
—Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard are sweeter.
—John Keats

Sing your song. Dance your dance. Tell your tale. Inspire them.
—Frank McCourt

The more you read, the more you will write. The better the stuff you read, the better the stuff you will write.
—Annie Dillard

The worst thing you can do is censor yourself as the pencil hits the paper. You must not edit until you get it all on paper. If you can put everything down, stream-of-consciousness, you'll do yourself a service.
—Stephen Sondheim

Writers don’t write from experience, though many are resistant to admit that they don’t. I want to be clear about this. If you wrote from experience, you’d get maybe one book, maybe three poems. Writers write from empathy.
—Nikki Giovanni

I write only when inspirations strikes. Fortunately it strikes every morning at nine o'clock sharp.
—W. Somerset Maugham

We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master.

Monday, March 2, 2020

Signed Copy First Edition!

I have about ten copies left of the first edition of STILL FALLING.
They are all signed by the Author and available for a limited time on Amazon!
Click the image for details.

--Got a question? Leave a comment, or email me!