Category Archives: Daily Update

One of the Many Reasons My Favorite Daughter is My Favorite Daughter

The title of this post says it all. There are many reasons I love my favorite daughter and here’s a little story so you’ll understand why.

Last month I went to Metal Jam 2013 hosted by my high school buddy Jeff Fahnstock. The event kicked ass and there was a lot of loud music and many talented musicians giving up their Saturday to come and play a show for Autism. The artwork provided for the t-shirts and the show was Derek Riggs who is famous for doing all of the Iron Maiden artwork (well, all the good Iron Maiden artwork) over the years. The t-shirts were awesome and I bought one to bring home to my favorite daughter.

She. Loved. It!

She hasn’t worn it yet because it’s signed, but she really dug the shirt. I was happy as the artwork was my gateway drug into Iron Maiden and Heavy Metal in general. I was tired of pop songs and needed something more.

Fast forward to a couple weeks ago shortly before we moved. We went to a store where my favorite daughter HAD to buy a shirt from. I waited in the car and was surprised when she came out with the Iron Maiden shirt for Killers. Very surprised. I asked, without telling her, what made her pick out that shirt. She explained that she really liked the guy on the shirt and couldn’t remember where she’d see that guy. I explained that connection to the shirt I got her and that shirt. Obviously from Killers to present day, Iron Eddie has evolved quite a bit. That made her even happier with her shirt.

Fast forward to today. My favorite daughter is listening to some terrible music video and I casually say “You should listen to some Iron Maiden” and continued to walk on by. I didn’t think she’d actually take me seriously. She stopped me in my tracks when she said “What song?”

My brain starts a spinning. There’s so many good songs. Do I start her off with the Killers album and the rougher vocals? Do I take her to Number of the Beast with all the satanic overtones that many bands experimented with in the 80s? Do we go to Powerslave? Further along in their catalog? Post-Dickenson? When the band got back together. SO many songs spanning so many years. Where does one start?

“Aces High. See if you can find the live version.”

[youtube=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3XoWwHRUGPg”%5D

She taps on her phone and pulls up the 1985 Aces High at the Live After Death concert in Long Beach. PERFECT! I’ve attached the video. It starts, as many of their live shoes did at that time, with the Winston Churchill speech from WWII. Her first reaction: Hey! I’ve heard this speech before.

Good! I think. She’s already engaged. This is perfect.

The music starts and she jumps a little as the band runs onto the stage. Her second reaction: These guys are scary!

NO! I’m losing her. She’s got to stick with it. I will ween her off of One Direction and Justin Beiber! I WILL!

Her third reaction as the song keeps playing has me a little perplexed. Hey! I love those pants! I want those pants!

Yes, she was caught by the 80s fashion of Steve Harris in his black and white striped tights. I quietly roll my eyes (as loudly as I can) All I can think it just please keep watching the video. Please! For the love of Eddie just watch the video.

About the 2/3 mark in the song she asks “Does all their music sound like this?”

Oh, how to answer this. They’ve got the distinct Iron Maiden sound, but they have such a wide catalog of music. Its once again difficult to tell her where to start. I inform her that I have that entire concert on video and we can watch it some time. She smiles and said that sounded like fun.

I know I won’t have her watching the Big 4 concert (Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, Anthrax) anytime soon,but it’s a start. Maybe I’ll be able to start listening to my music in the car once in a while now :)

Until Next Time!

WOO WOO!

Daily Update: Going Weekly

During 2012 I blogged a lot. I also wrote a lot. In total I came out to just around 490,000 words. Of that, only 267,000 words were of new fiction. So yes, I blogged a lot. Those blogging words really didn’t detract from my fiction writing and did help me surpass my 450,000 word goal for 2012. I don’t regret anything I did in 2012 and I’m very happy with all the words I got written.

2013 is going to be a little different. I’m not going to try and blog daily. Talking with the Millican, he was right in that I was putting a lot of stress on myself in trying to keep rambling from day to day and it usually wasn’t anything productive and I repeated myself….a lot. My more interesting posts were when I was away for a time and actually had something to say. Therefore in 2013 I’ll be blogging weekly, not daily.

This doesn’t there’ll  be lack of content. Each book I put out this year I will be blogging a chapter per day. If all goes right, this will start with V&A Shipping on 2/1/2012. by 3/1 I hope to have the print book out (the ebook being available on 2/1). If all goes well I’ll be able to provide daily content for a majority of the year. I’ve got a lot of completed works and we I said in 2012, 2013 will see a bunch of those in print while I finish up other works. I intend to be prolific in both new content as well as getting completed content out to readers.

Of course, the first step will be covers, covers, covers. Well, okay, that’s really the second step. The first step will be getting the interiors of the books completed so we know the spine size for the print versions. I’ve done a couple layouts and I’ll be re-learing layout and ebook layout so I can make sure the books look as good as possible. I already have a cover artist that I want to use, I just need to get things ready on my end so I can have everything ready to go before 2/1. It’ll be a busy time.

If you’re a writer I hope you have big plans for the new year. Not just big plans, but goals set out before you that you can track the progress of. I’ve seen some goals like “Complete my first novel”, or “Finish my 4th draft of my first book”. To me, those are quite vague. As I said, my goals have morphed over the holiday season and I’ll be posting those out in the next couple of days. My #1 goal will be to average 1000 words of new fiction per day in 2013. That’ll be 365,000 words of new fiction written. Simple enough spreadsheet. I won’t be counting blogging words into my annual goal anymore. I can ramble with the best of them and that’s not fair for me to count those anymore.

If you’re not a writer, I hope you also have some goals (you can call them resolutions if you like) laid out for 2013. It a new year. A fresh start. Time to get on track with any of your goals. Write them down. Refer to them often. Track your progress. Try to make them specific where possible. If you have a vague goal (lose weight) try to better specify that with “Lose 5% of my body mass” or “Drop down to 20% body fat” and figure out how to track that progress. Just saying I want to lose weight isn’t enough to actually realize that goal. Trust me, I tried. I tracked my writing and saw success. I didn’t track my weight and I’m still as chubby as I ever was.

I hope you had a great holiday season regardless of what and how you celebrate. I ate too much, drank too much, watched more TV than I did the entire year, and I’m all recharged and ready to go. Time was spent with family and friends and I’m looking forward to hitting the new year running at full speed (except when I’m taking a walk, that is).

Speaking of hitting the ground running!

Until Next Week!

WOO WOO!

Daily Update: Awake from a long winter’s nap

*Yawn*

*Stretch*

Wow, I’ve been away for aq few days. To be perfectly honest, nothing has happened in those days. Other than Christmas, time spent with the family and friends, and a lot fo relaxation. I watched a lot of TV (Old Twilight Zone Episodes) and a lot of movies (reviews for many on their way).

It was strange that when I was watching the Jack Klugman episode of the Twilight Zone, I found out he had died that morning. That was rather strange. I love watching old television shows and movies. To see these old actors when they were younger is just amazing. Watching movies like It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World and seeing all the stars and cameos. Lots of fun.

So what did I watch that I’ll be reviewing? All the Alien Movies (and Alien Versus Predator movies). All the Invasion of the Body Snatchers. All the Fly movies. All the Ghostbuster movies (and the 1940 Ghost Breakers and the Disney version Lonesome Ghosts which is the first ghost exterminitor flick I could find)

I’ve had a great time just relaxing, recharging the old batteries and getting ready to hit 2013 as hard and as fast as I can. I was going to spend more time plotting and planning, but that just didn’t happen. I really needed this time to get my head straight and understand that I can’t go 1000 MPH 24/7 without stopping. I had a great run for 2012 and I know deep down that 2013 will be a resounding success.

I’ve decided to have low expectations. Why? I don’t want to disappoint myself. I had high expectations when i first released Astel and I was saddened by the lack of sales. Well, that was my falut by not following through. I dropped the ball. I didn’t keep things going that I had planned on doing. I didn’t run the contests I wanted to run. I didn’t drive people to the site in the way I wanted to.

So for 2013 you’ll be seeing and hearing a lot more from me. There will be contests, giveaways, announcements, a mailing list for you to sign up to, all sorts of fun to be had. There’ll also be content, content, content. Each book I release I’ll be putting out the chapters for free through the blog with a link to where you can buy the book. I should be able to have content for nearly every day once I start putting the book out.

Of course each step in this journey I’ll be blogging about so you’ll know where I’m at in the process with each book and what I’m doing to get them all in order and ready to publish. Hopefully we’ll all learn something along the way.

I’m excited. I’m refreshed. I’m invogorated. I’m ready to get this party started. I’m glad you’re along for the ride.

Until Tomorrow!

WOO WOO!

 

Daily Update: Looking Forward to 2013

After 2012 I am a firm believer in setting goals, tracking progress, and keeping everything in front of you every day. Why? If you read the last two posts you don’t need to ask that question. My progress over this year has been nothing short of amazing and if I keep on track 2013 will be filled with more amazing.

My biggest challenge going into 2013 will be not wasting time. Yes, even through I wrote a lot I also wasted a large amount of time. I will not do that in 2013 if I can prevent myself from it. Yes I will still read and review those books that I read. I will still watch movies and review them from time to time (in fact I should have a few coming out for you soon). I don’t consider those a waste of time. Those fuel my fire to get out there and do well.

I’ve said this before; I’ll never be the best author in the world. I’d be surprised if I ever became a best seller. I’d be even more surprised if I became rich at this. I’d be content with a small, part-time income and I know that’s an achievable goal. I also know that this won’t happen overnight. I doubt it’ll happen next year. If I’m lucky I’ll make enough money to go buy a sushi dinner for the wife and my favorite daughter (after the expense of publishing the books that is). My first goal is to write entertaining books. That’s about it. If I can accomplish that, then I’m doing well.

So what are my goals for 2013? Well…

Write 500,000 words (gotta push the limit, right?)
Complete 5 novels (those two partials and 3 new novels)
Publish 5 already completed, edited novels.
Publish at least 5 new short stories.
Publish 3 new novellas (in the same series as the two from 2012)

So far, that’s it. Anything beyond that will be gravy. I already have a cover artist I plan to work with. I know which books I want to release next year. I have a vague idea what I want the covers to look like. I’m working on getting those books edited and ready to go. It’s just a matter of going through the edit, layout, format stages. That’s not a quick process, but I’ve done it once. I already know what to do. Each time I’ll get better at it and if I goof something up, I can always make corrections and get the new version out there. I’m not afraid to make a mistake like I did last time.

So what books do I want to get out there next year?

V&A Shipping

Billy Barbarian

Paradise Palms

Of Gnomes and Dwarves: Book 1

Astel (re-release)

All of these books have been written. All but Of Gnomes and Dwarves has been edited by at least three different people that I trust. I have those edits. I will apply those edits. I will be making sure these books are the best I can make them and they will get out into the wild.

What 5 books do I want to write next year?

V&A Shipping II (already ¾ of the way complete)

To Fall From the Sky (already ½ of the way complete)

Of Gnomes and Dwarves Book 2 (already written [badly], will be 100% rewritten)

Astel II

Billy Barbarian II

These will all be books only (ebook and print). I’m not counting Golden West Season I and Season II into the mix just yet. Yes, once I complete Season I, I will make sure that gets a cover and becomes a book, but the reason I’m not counting it is because It’s serialized. Perhaps I should count it and say I’ll put out 6 books, but for now, I’ll leave that on the side. Makes me sound too ambitious and that scares me a little.

This whole process scares me. Not just a little, but a lot. I’ve put a lot into my writing and I’ve already seen poor reviews from works that I enjoyed writing (see Emperor’s Fist on Amazon). Those kind of reviews sting. But then I’ve also had some great feedback from other stories. Astel I’ve heard nothing but good things about from those that have read it. I know I’ve got something there, I was just a little hurried and sloppy in the release of the book. I wanted so badly to have a book out that I rushed it. I’m not going to do that with any of these titles.

I’ve got a basic plan laid out. What I don’t currently have is a schedule. I need to take care of that. I need to get these books out. I need to plan out promotion and blog tours and podcast interviews and write up press releases and get ebooks and print books to reviewers. All of these things take time, they take money, and they take commitment. If I don’t write up a schedule I know I’ll fall behind, I’ll let things slip, and I won’t accomplish as much as I’d like to next year. If I’m going to do all this in one year then I need to stop with the wasting of time, right?

I knew you’d agree with me. So I’m off to stop wasting time. I’m going to grab the bull by the horns and hold on for dear life. It’s going to be a wild ride. 2013 will be filled with so many unexpected things and I’m more excited than scared. I’ll still be posting to my blog daily so you can follow along with all the fun.

Speaking of fun, I’m going to go have some.

Until Tomorrow!

WOO WOO!

 

 

Daily Update: 1,000,000 words of crap.

There’s a saying that you need to write a million words of crap before you’ll begin to understand writing in general, but moreover story structure, characterization, tension, foreshadowing, dialog, description and all those other things that make a story good. I was never a subscriber to that notion. I thought a million words was a bit excessive. Who, after all, would write a million words in anything less than a monumental amount of time?

Given this magic number, I decided I should go back and see just how many words I’ve written since I started keeping track (loosely) of my progress. Now granted there is a lot of work that I wasn’t able to count. Hand-written pages, deleted files, edited copies, revisions, etc. So much of what I’d done previous to 2000 (or more probably 1998) has been lost to the aether long ago.

I have, however, written here and there and always intended to write much more than I actually did. I would write a novel here, a bunch of short stories there, but I never felt that what I was doing was good enough so I’d stop writing for a length of time. I’d always pick it back up and start again. I just couldn’t stand NOT writing. I had so many stories to tell, so many voices in my head, and more just popped in when I least expected them to. I even got frustrated reading books and thinking “I can do better or at least I can’t do any worse.”

Coming into 2012 I had a vision, a dream, NAY! An aspiration. I want to treat my writing like a part time job. I wanted to prove to myself that I could sit and I could write. I needed to know that I could be successful at this business called writing. I knew I’d never get rich so I just wanted to write as many words as possible. I set a goal. I set small, manageable steps to get to that goal. I went for it.

Yes, there was some stumbling along the way, but that’s how it goes no matter what you’re doing. The same could be said for all the years I wrote and stopped, wrote and stopped. So went 2012. The only difference was that I was tracking every word I typed, every story I submitted, and kept my eye on the end goal. I didn’t waver. I stayed on target. I succeeded.

What does all this have to do with writing a million words? Quite simple. I’d always wondered how many words I’d written over the course of my writing time. I thought it might be a fair amount. I had most of the files. I figured, why not add it up.

During the course of 2012 I’ve written 481,856 words. I’m not going to count all the blogging words. Those aren’t stories, they aren’t fiction. Those are right out. My fiction count thus far for 2012 is 261,658. This may seem high to some people, but like I said, I was ambitious. I then went back and added up all the novels I’d done. That came in around 739,000 words. Minus what I’d written this year that’s still 477,000 words. So in one year I’d written most than half of what I’d written previous to 2012. I added in short stories, novellas, flash fiction, everything. I came in around 865,000 words. I thought that was a pretty impressive number.

I still had one folder I hadn’t looked at. A folder that I started when I was writing short stories like a maniac. I’d written around 100 short stories one year and many of those stories sucked and should never, will never see the light of day. I still had to count those words, right? If we’re being honest, even our worst efforts are still efforts in learning. If you don’t try and fail you’ll never appreciate your successes. I started adding those stories up. One by one all those terrible stories, half done stories, the garbage that I’ll drag around with me until the day I die. I added all those numbers up.

139,000 words. That’s a lot of junk words. But those were my words and for good or ill ,it was a time I was learning how to write. Even looking at all the words I’ve written and re-written, and edited, and revised, it’s all been a learning experience. I’ve grown as a writer. In my opinion I’ve gotten better. My friends no longer cringe when I tell them I have a new story, would they like to read it. I’m getting better feedback and better quality feedback. No more “oh, that was nice”, but rather, “That was great, but here and here…” This is helping me grow as a writer yet again.

Have you done the math yet? Have you looked at my numbers? 865,000 + 139,000? 1,004,000 words. Give or take. Sure, I probably crossed that threshold a long time ago, but just the fact that I can say I’ve written over 1,000,000 words is astonishing. To a professional writer this may seem like a light year. To me, this is something I can’t describe. It’s like I passed a test I didn’t know I was taking. I felt as though I was shooting too high, yet landed close enough to where I wanted. I’d surpassed that barrier.

There was no secret handshake. No big pat on the back. No trumpets and fanfare. A big publisher didn’t swoop down and say “Now that you’ve gotten that out of the way, here’s your magic key.” All that happened was I’d written words. Words I was proud of at each stage of the process. A process that has seen me grow as a writer.

Will I stop now? No. Have I set my targets higher now? Yes. Have I set my standards higher? Yes. Is this motivation? You’d better believe it.

In the same vein, have I learned all there is to learn? Never. Do I still make mistakes? All the time. Is everything I’ve written automatically accepted to the markets I send them? Only in my dreams. Do I write one draft and it’s perfect? Please, stop, you’re making me laugh.

I have figured out a lot of things about myself during 2012 and over the course of that million words. I’ve learned what it takes to motivate myself. What it takes to get me to sit down, type, and make magic happen. I have a better idea of what works, and what doesn’t work. I’ve taught myself a lot over those 1,000,000 words and going forward I’ll continue to learn, and get better, and have more fun.

Speaking of those million words, they didn’t write themselves. I’d better get typing on the next million.

Until Tomorrow!

WOO WOO!

2012 Year in Review

I had intended to do a 2012 PostMortem on 12/12/12 just to be funny. Yeah. Life doesn’t always cooperate. That’s one of the things that I’ve learned in this year long journey to write as many words as I possible can. To say this journey was filled with ups and downs would be a complete understatement.

As most years go, 2012 started out in January. I had spent December 2011 tracking my writing progress. I was coming down from the World Fantasy Con where I had a publisher request some work from me. I sent that work in and the wait began. I knew I couldn’t sit on my laurels and just wait for an answer. I needed a plan of attack on 2012.

Up to that point I’d written a little here. I’d written a little there. I saw that Tee Morris and Pip Ballantine were coming out with a second book in the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences and I thought, well, they did a series of short stories from other authors with book 1, maybe if I ask I can get in on the fun for book 2. I sent off an email. They asked for some samples of my work. Again, more waiting.

So it goes with publishing on any level.

I set out a list of goals for 2012. One of the major goal was to write 500,000 words. It would be a mix; half blogging, half new fiction. I thought that was a little ambitious so I dialed it back to 450,000 words. That still felt like a lot until I broke it down to 1233 words a day. That looked doable even if I ran into a couple road blocks. I had also planned on writing a short story a month, write an episode of the Action Pack Podcast a month, write a weekly writing blog post, finish a few books I had started, blog every day.

So many plans, so little time. Or so it felt.

I went into January behind on day 1. Well, it was the day after New Year’s. What do you want? I did write a blog post. That was about it.

Day two I made up for day one and I was ahead of schedule for the first time in the year.  That lasted all of three days and I fell behind again. This would be a theme for the first couple months. I was happy, though. I was writing every day. I was getting things accomplished. Sadly, most of these first days were little fiction, lots of blog posts.

The first days of the year were filled with Golden West, How to Build a Better Henchman, Kance Encounter rewrites, and To Fall From the Sky. The fiction days were spotty at best, but I was having a great time writing blog posts. I wrote about what happened day to day, my dreams, thoughts and expectations. Things like that. I was happy with the stories I worked on, but my output was depressing. I wanted to write more and I didn’t feeling I was doing as much as I could.

As the year wore on, I decided to work on My Teacher is a Zombie along with Golden West and To Fall From the Sky. My Teacher is a Zombie was something new and suddenly I was writing almost every day. I was excited. Then came a fateful email.

Tee and Pip announced they were going to do a second series of Penny Dreadfuls and I was invited to play along. I sent off what I thought would be a good story and waited to hear back. I didn’t hear back. I finished My Teacher is a Zombie. I went for it. I wrote my story. I’d sent them a couple suggestions and some basic plot ideas for each suggestion, and I finally got the story narrowed down and wrote it. By the time I wrote ‘the end’ Tee got back to me with his ideas. They meshed perfectly with mine and I fired off my story. A couple times back and forth and presto, the story was good to go.

Buy a copy of it here: http://www.amazon.com/Emperors-Fist-Tale-Archives-ebook/dp/B008CG0KBI

Crazy excited. I released My Teacher is a Zombie on Smashwords along with some older short stories. Finally I took a two month long slump and I was once again ahead of schedule. I went into the Lent season with a minor goal to write 2000 words per day. That didn’t seem easy or possible but if I could do it, I would be way ahead of schedule. Well, I didn’t write 2000 words a day during lent. My short term goal was 88000 words during Lent. I only wrote 68885. Even so I was now 15000 words ahead of schedule at this point, feeling good. Writing like a madman, and having a blast!

I started on My Teacher is a Werewolf (the sequel to My Teacher is a Zombie). I was having fun with the story, but I started to blog a lot more than I was writing. By the time I was done with the story (interspersed with some Golden West, Jack Kane Edits, and To Fall From the Sky) I was now 20,000 words ahead of schedule.

Then I started on the book I wrote first. I was going to rewrite Of Gnomes and Dwarves Book 1. I’d written, rewritten, edited, and slaved over this book for years and it was passable bad at best. It was a good story with fun characters, but with terrible writing. I knew the time was right to do it right. I hadn’t finished To Fall From the Sky, but I knew I needed to pick up an exciting project and get going on it. So I wrote and wrote and wrote.

Coming into JuNoWriMo I was flying. I was working on my most exciting project. I was roaring ahead. I was blogging more and more and I was 62000 words ahead of schedule. If I kept this up there was no way I could miss my goal. Right?

Then the family took a vacation to Palm Dessert. Then I took a vacation to Oregon. I figured I was so far ahead of schedule that a couple weeks off wouldn’t hurt. Right? I could just get right back into the flow, you know. Things would work out great. Nothing was going to stop me from hitting that 450,000 words. NOTHING!

Almost two months went by with only 4 days of writing fiction and a couple big stretches of no blogging. I was failing! My lead was slipping away. I was a fake! A fraud! Who was I to think I could do this writing thing? Why should I even bother? It wasn’t like I was getting my goals accomplished. Things were failing all around me and…

Stop, start, stop start, for another month. My lead had almost evaporated. Only 11,000 words ahead. How could I have fallen so far so fast? I didn’t think I’d ever make my goal.

I bopped between a couple different short stories, Golden West, and I stopped blogging. I needed to refocus on what 2012 was supposed to be about. It was supposed to be about writing fiction. I had gotten out of control with the blogging and I’d blogged a lot more words than the fiction I’d written.

I jumped back into Of Gnomes and Dwarves and the words started flowing once again. I got back over 20000 words ahead of schedule. Then it all fell apart again and before I knew it I was only 10,000 words ahead. NOOOOOOOOO!

NaNoWriMo was approaching in less than a month. I needed to get Of Gnomes and Dwarves done before November 1st so I could start V&A Shipping II. This was one major goal I wasn’t going to screw up. I’d done so much goofing around and wasting of time throughout the year that I was running the risk of not making it. Sure, I was ticking up numbers every day. A few here, a few there. It wasn’t enough if I was going to make my 2012 goal.

So, I cranked through Of Gnomes and Dwarves and finished with a day to spare. I was sitting on just shy of 400,000 words coming into November. I felt better. I was writing better. It was looking hopeful. After so many ups and downs over the year I finally thought I had the ability to finish NaNoWriMo. I had momentum behind me. I was happy again.

Yeah!

NaNoWriMo Came. NaNoWriMo Went. I wrote 50105 words during the month of November to ‘win’ NaNoWriMo and I blogged almost 18000 words to chronicle the event. I’d won not just NaNoWriMo, but I’d passed my 450,000 word goal for the year. I was more than 50,000 words ahead of schedule again. I jumped. I cheered. I yelled!

I took two days off from writing anything.

Now we come to December. I’ve kept up with the writing and blogging so far this month. I’m still more than 50,000 words ahead of schedule (53,000 as of this writing) and I’m more confident than ever. I know I’ll finish 2012 with more than 500,000 words under my belt. Yes, it’s a mixture of blogging and fiction, but it’s words I wrote and I’m proud of those words.

I’ve already started plotting out next year. I have an idea of what I’d like to do and I need to write down those goals and get to work on succeeding them. That’s what helped me through 2012. Keeping that word count spread sheet in front of me. Driving me. Pushing me forward. Realizing that I won’t always feel like writing. I won’t always finish what I start unless I keep pushing toward that goal.

There were many times I’d sit to write and thing “Why bother?” and then I’d write 1500, 2000, 3000 words. Escaping into my own little world helped to free my mind of that mental block of “I can’t do this.” I was filled with self doubt so many times over the year. I still don’t feel I did as much as I could have. I played games, watched a lot of TV, read a bunch of books. All of those experiences helped fuel my fire to realize that I didn’t need to waste all that time. If I sat and started typing words would happen. Worlds would be created. Characters would come to life. Things would happen because I made them happen.

Yes, like I said. I’ve gotten very excited about writing. I know I can step away for a day or two and come back to it, but if I step away for more than that without a plan in my mind to start again, I’ll slip, fall, and have to pick myself back up. I learned how to pick myself up by just forcing myself down into my chair and typing for all I’m worth. Not allowing myself the luxury of an excuse to not write. To uninstall Angry Birds and rather than waste an hour playing a game, spend that hour writing.

I wrote when I was sad (we lost one of our dogs this year). I wrote when I was in pain (low pressure migraines suck). I wrote when I didn’t want to. (I have all this poker on TV to watch). I wrote when I didn’t have much time (Honey, we need to leave in 15 minutes!)

I wrote when I was happy (JR, we’d love to have you join the Ministry). I wrote when I was excited (Papi! I made the Volleyball team!) I wrote when I had lots of time(Honey, I need to work late tonight). I wrote in spite of other distractions (I’m going to watch this show, it won’t distract you, will it?)

The point is, there is no good time to sit and write. I have a full time job.  I juggled major projects with deadlines, meetings, conference calls, writing up huge requirement documents, analyzing code, and in general going through a lot of stress. It’s not easy to write code all day in front of a computer and log off and then start to write to try and hit a daily word goal. There were a lot of times I’d stare at a blank page, play a game, clean the back yard, walk the dog, do anything but write.

There was a time when it didn’t feel like fun when I was blogging. It felt like an obligation and I stopped because I wasn’t having fun. I wasn’t putting out anything useful. I was just typing up random words to fill space rather than create rich and full worlds for my characters to live in.

That’s the biggest thing I learned in 2012. Be is Social Media, writing, blogging, recording audio; if it feels like an obligation, you’re doing it wrong. I had to change my mind set to realize that this wasn’t an obligation. No one was holding my feet to the fire. No one would die if I didn’t hit my goal. The more I realized that this was a goal set on myself and I did that so I’d enjoy writing more and realize that I want to do this more than ever, I was able to relax. I was able to breathe. I was able to allow the words to flow from my finger tips.

I know this is very long. If you’ve made it to the end, great for you. If you scrolled down, you didn’t miss much. Just me rambling about me. Again. Tomorrow I’ll write up my goals for 2013. I don’t have a full schedule yet. I’m working on that. I also need to record the next installment of the Action Pack Podcast. So much to do. I’d better get at it. Not because I have to. Because I want to!

Until Tomorrow!

WOO WOO!

Daily Update: I’ve been slacking off, haven’t I?

I feel like I’ve been slacking off the past week or so. Yes, I’ve gotten a lot written, but currently I’m sitting on edits I need to go through, rewrites I need to accomplish, and seven short stories that I need to get back into circulation. Where has all the time gone? It just seems to disappear on me.

So last night I sat down and rewrote the ending to one short story. It’s much stronger now. I’m happy with how it turned out. Not nearly as confusing. I also edited another short story that I submitted to Every Photo Tells. I should send them the updated version. Hmmm. And that was about it.

So today I was going to try and have my 2012 postmortem ready for 12/12/12 12:12 but that didn’t happen. Sorry about that. Life has a way of distracting you when you least expect it. I had also thought I’d have a lot more accomplished this week, but between work and life, there hasn’t been much in the way of free time.

I did sit down for a time last night and started working on a list of titles I have; both short stories as well as novels. It’s a healthy list. I was surprised. I included not only works completed and those in various stages of completion, but also those I want to write at some point. I’m not sure if I’ll ever get to them unless I actually get some words knocked out, but hey, it’s nice to dream, right?

Once I get the list completed I’ll be posting timeline events for each book. When to complete edits, when to order book covers, when to publish, things like that. I want to schedule things so I’ll know what’s coming out and why so I can also schedule writing things like short stories to tie into a given novel between books 1 and 2 (and so on). I also want to be able to figure out the order I should be writing these books. If I’m ever going to be able to produce books and build an audience I need to have a timeline and try as best as I can to stick to that timeline. This is going to be trick as life has a tendency to get in the way and delay things.

Yes, I’m already stressing out about 2013, but I know once I have a plan in place and windows for things to get accomplished then I’ll have a much clearer picture of how next year will play out. I’m excited. Really excited about how next year will go. I know I need patience and this isn’t something that I’ll get rich quick at. I know this will take time and 2013 is just the first year on a very long road.

I’ve got much to do. I’d better get at it.

Until Tomorrow!

WOO WOO!

Daily Update: Hitting a Groove.

Getting into writing flow is almost never easy after taking a couple of days off. It’s even more difficult when things are going on around you out of your control and demanding your mental and emotional commitment. Suffice to say, things will work out.

Speaking of working out, I read a bunch last night (couple short stories, couple issues of Sandman, good chunk of Slaughterhouse 5) and I even write for a little bit. Knocked out 2200 words to finish off a short story for Every Photo Tells. Hopefully they like it. :) I’m happy with how the story turned out.

The major project for the day job is going nicely. Can’t wait to see it completed. All the big working parts are done and now it’s doing all the nit-picky little items and making sure all the moving parts fit together and play  nicely.

Other than that, not much to see here today. Still recovering from Disneyland. Legs still sore. I feel like I need a nap. Hmm..

Until Tomorrow!

WOO WOO

Daily Update: DisneyLand!

Hey There! Did you miss me this weekend? I know I sure missed you. Okay, I’m lying. I didn’t miss anyone. I was at Disneyland and boy are my arms tired. Wait, I mean my legs. My legs are tired. I feel like I walked several miles in a short period of time.

The wife and I took my favorite daughter, her boyfriend, and three of her friends to Disneyland. We had gotten one day park hopper passes which sounded like a great idea at the time. We’d be able to see sights and ride rides at two different parks. Oh my. Disneyland is 160 acres. California Adventure is 64 acres. We rode all the major rides save Splash Mountain. We rode the new Cars ride, we rode all the roller coasters, we hit the big attractions. We had gone from DL over to CA and started riding rides there, had lunch, then went back DL to ride Thunder Mountain (it was down at one point so we decided to come back to it). It was down again and so was Indiana Jones so we went back to CA to ride the Cars ride. After that 2 hour wait (our longest of the day by far) we went back to Thunder Mountain and it was open then rode Indiana Jones.

Needless to say we covered a LOT of ground on Saturday. My knees and hips were causing me to limp and I don’t recall ever being in that much pain. The wife and I used to go to Magic Mountain multiple times a year with a season pass and we’d run through the park, ride every roller coaster at least 5 times, and still have energy to go back the next day. And the next. We’d hit every three day weekend starting on Friday after work (we’d drive up), Stay until Midnight, then stay over night and go back on Saturday morning and be in line waiting for the parking lot to open at 7am. We’d do that again on Sunday, and again on Monday, then finally go home Monday afternoon. We were crazy like that.

Yesterday let me know a few things. 1) I’m not as young as I used to be and 2) Disneyland is far bigger than I imagined 3) I’m getting old 4) I’m out of shape.

Yes, it was an eye opener. Even the kids were wiped out by the time we left the park. Sunday we went back to downtown Disney and did some shopping. I got some Christmas shopping done and we had a great lunch at the Rainforest Cafe.  We didn’t get home until around 6pm Sunday after dropping off all the kids. Some quick unpacking and it was time to just relax. I wrote 1000 words, I read a few short stories, I was asleep by 8:30. Oh my was it a great weekend.

This week I will be starting my 2012 postmortem. My body and  brain need a day to recover, methinks. I’ll also be starting the Jack Kane edits in earnest. I’ve got writing to finish, stories to submit, and covers requests to prepare for next year. There’s a lot to do before the end of 2012 and even more to do once 2013 gets here. I hope you’ll stick around for the ride.

Until Tomorrow!

WOO WOO!

Daily Update: You won NaNoWriMo, What Are You going to do now?

So I won NaNoWriMo, what am I going to do now?

I’m going to Disneyland!

Okay okay, so it’s not really for me. It’s for my favorite daughter. We’re taking her and a couple of her friends up there and spending the day as long as we can at the parks (we got one day park hopper tickets) and then we’ll spend the night in Anehiem. We’ll do breakfast and some shopping in Downtown Disney where I hope to get some Christmas shopping accomplished before heading back home.

So, don’t worry if you don’t see a daily update from me for the next couple of days. If you follow me on Facebook or Twitter I’m sure I’ll be posting pictures.

Okay, so on that note. I’m nearly done with the next episode of Golden West. Sorry for the delay. Hopefully that will be out early next week.

For my annual goal of 450,000 that’s already been surpassed, I’m up to 475,000 words on the year and unless something drastic happens I should be able to get to 500,000 with no difficulty. I was nervous about making 500,000 my goal for next year, but I think I can hit that. I had a lot of trouble during 2012 with just getting started, getting frustrated, getting distracted, getting restarted, all those problems that plague a writer. I could have easily done many more words than I did and we’ll see how 2013 goes. I have big plans and need to write my ass off if I’m going to accomplish all of what I’ve planned.

So what have I planned? I’ll save that for another post. I’m posting over on sffworld.com again and I started a goal thread there. I’ll be taking what I posted and expanding on it as well as building a schedule for next year. It’ll be aggressive and demanding but like I told myself at the beginning of 2012, if I don’t set ambitious goals, I’ll never accomplish half of what I want to do. I got a lot done during 2012, now’s the time to make it all pay off in 2013.

I’ll have the last two weeks of the year off. That is most likely when I’ll do my 2012 postmortem as well as do all my plotting, planning, and scheduling for 2013. It’s not as easy as just wishing or hoping all this will happen. I need to take an active hand in things I let go while I hoped for certain things to happen that were out of my control. It’s time to take the reigns. It’s time to kick this pig. It’s time to use my laser-like focus and do what needs to be done to see books in print.

I’m excited about 2013? How about you?

I’m off to go make some magic happen.

Until Tomorrow!

WOO WOO!