Category Archives: Weekly Update

Weekly Update: My take on Fake Geek Girls

I’ve watched all this mess about Fake Geek Girls going round and round the internet for quite some time. From girls/women needing to seek help when being harassed at conventions to being told they’re not as geeky as the boys to being treated as lesser because they’re not boys. It disturbs me that we live in this kind of a world.

I was present at WFC2011 and I had been hanging out with the creeper of WFC2011 during the day, but at night he’d disappear and do his own thing. He seemed normal until I started hearing about his drunken creepiness. I was shocked. I wish I had known and could have helped do something about this person earlier.

But I’m getting sidetracked. To be honest, in the world I live in, I haven’t experienced the dilemma that girls face when it comes to this situation. I work for a very large company and a lot of programmers. Some of the best I’ve worked with (and the hardest working) were always the women on my team. Personally I never took their abilities for granted and based on progressions and promotions, neither has my boss. I have seen one boss that didn’t advance any of the women on his team and he was called out for it. Me? I never saw any difference between race/creed/religion/sex when it came to the people I worked with. If a person worked hard, they were rewarded. If they didn’t, they were shuffled away to another team or let go.

Yes, working for a huge company there are rules and guidelines in place, but that didn’t seem to needed with the people I worked with. So honestly I never gave it a second though when it came to women being treated differently. I’m sure there were women I worked with that made far more than I did and I had called on their experience to help me along both in my career and in my day-to-day job. It saddens me when I see that some women need to work harder just to get that point across to some people.

In my personal life, I’ve played D&D with women. They were just as much fun as the boys. Sometimes they’d play male characters, sometimes women characters. Sometimes the men would play women characters. Maybe it was just the groups I played with, but no one had a leg up over another and my wizard often need protection from a half-orc fighter played by one of out female players. It never occurred to me that they were lesser of a geek than I was.

In our same group we watched geeky movies, we had schlock night where everyone would bring a bad movie. We’d watch re-runs of Star Trek. It didn’t make any difference if you were a girl or a guy, if we shared the same interest, we had fun together. No one was excluded or thought less of.

During the Lord of the Rings movie premiers, one of my female coworkers wrote up scrolls to invite people to the midnight showings. They were written in Elvish, Dwarvish, and English. The script was brilliant. She’d grown up having the Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings read to her as a child. She loved all things nerdy related to fantasy and sci fi. I never once questioned her geekiness. How could I? She could write in two made up languages that I couldn’t even read!

So when I see a video like the one below, I’m saddened that there are people (men) out there that feel women are lesser geeks. Take a watch and I’ll see you on the other side. Even if you’ve seen this before, watch it again and let it sink in.

Perhaps it was the way my momma raised me. Perhaps it was that I grew up enjoying the company of girls more than the company of boys. Perhaps it was the friends I chose to associate with in high school. Perhaps I’m just not a dick. I don’t know. I just don’t understand where some men feel the need to push girls aside. Seriously? As a young geek I worked HARD to get the attention of girls. Perhaps too hard at times. Why would I EVER push away a girl and tell them “You’re not as geeky as I am”? I just don’t get it. I really don’t.

When I look at my favorite daughter, I know she needs to be armed against jerks, creeps, and dicks. I understand this. I tell her to be proud of anything she does. I’ve watched as she went from pretty much hating computers, to being excited to show me what she was programming in class, to being crazy excited that she not only found programming so much fun and easy to do, but that she’d gone from being behind in the class to showing others in the class how to do things. She was the only person in the school to complete as certain difficult project by finding a bug in the code and making it work! She loved coding. She loved the class after than. She even decided to take a two hour block of coding for her junior year! On her own! With no prompting from me!

Then she comes home one day and asked “Papi, can we watch Battlestar Galactica? I heard it’s a really cool show.”

OMFG! I couldn’t spring up out of my seat fast enough. I thought I was going to sprain something trying to open netflix and add it to the instant queue. Now she wants to experience Firefly and Star Wars. I might even be able to get her into Star Trek, but we’ll take it slow as I wean her off of Pretty Little Liars and other shows I can’t stand.

So how have I armed her against creeps? Two ways. First: I taught her how to punch. Not just throw her arm out there or slap, but I mean actually PUNCH! Yes, I’ve had bruises to show for it and, yes, I’ve seen her hit her guy friends and seen the shock on their faces when she hit them. It made me proud. I also taught her to speak her mind which she will around certain people, but she also won’t let a situation fester, but will find help and deal with it. I’ve taught her not to remain quiet when it comes to things like that. I just find it sad that I need to teach her these things.

Yes, I find it sad that geek girls need to make videos like this. I also find it inspiring that they do because it makes me aware of the situation. For many years since high school, I was alone in my geekiness. I watched my Star Wars, My Star Trek, my sci fi shows, read my books, did my programming, read comics. I didn’t go to cons. I didn’t have many friends after high school that were into the geeky things I loved. I never saw this geek culture evolve to the exclusion of girls. Now that I’ve seen it, I know it’s my part to make sure that no one is excluded regardless of anything (age, race, religion, sex, etc). No one has the right to tell anyone they’re lesser of a geek for any reason. If you do, it’s only makes you the reason that videos like this are made.

I hope my favorite daughter grows up where we can put the male elitist geek behind us and welcome everyone into a world where we’re all equally geeky. It’ll only make the world a better place. It’ll only cause more geeky things to appear. It’ll only make the entire experience that much better for all involved.

I need to go get my geek on.

Until Next Time!

WOO WOO!

Weekly Update: So out of practice

I’ve been resting on my laurels long enough!

That’s a lie. I haven’t rested at all. In fact I’m more tired than I’ve been in a long long time. Moving really wiped me out and all the lead-up activities had me burning the candle at both ends. When I sit and work then sit and write, that’s one thing. But this getting up and hauling my ass around the house and packing, unpacking, cleaning, chopping down plants that look like they’re about to eat me (FEED ME SEYMOUR!), and dragging my favorite daughter from volleyball practice to volleyball camp to the store to her friend’s house to hell and back…. I’m pooped. I feel like there’s been little time for me.

I have seen a couple of movies here and there, but writing? pfft. Reading? Well, a little but not as much as I’d like. TV? I think two hours in the past month.

So I’ve really fallen off the horse and as of right now I’m 85,000 words behind schedule for the year. Am I afraid? Well, not really. I still think I can pull this one off. I’m not THAT far behind that a few really good days will get me caught up. I just need to wrangle some time and actually do it (like right now instead of writing this blog post.)

But I have something exciting to tell you! Really really exciting.

No, I didn’t get a short story published. I would like to tell you that, but it’s not true. Instead what I will tell you is that I got a rejection that blew my socks off. It was a pull-no-punches FEEDBACK rejection. The rejection boiled down to “Great start of the story, but it went off the rails and became a different story half-way through. Try again.”

There were about two paragraphs analyzing the story in a way that I’d never seen before. It took me two weeks until I had time to formulate a rational response. Which boiled down to “Thank you sir may I have another”. Wait, that’s not right. It was “Thank you for the feedback. Would you like this again if I perform the desired rewrites?” The answer: “Yes, but that’s not a promise of publication.”

Regardless, I’m excited that an editor would like to see this story again. I’ll be chopping it in the half-way point, before the story went in the wrong direction, and I’ll continue in the direction the story was already headed. I’m excited about this. I’m not in the least worried about trashing 3000-4000 words of the story. That’s 1-2 days of writing, plus editing, plus asking a couple friends to read it. This’ll be AWESOME! I’d already thought about how I would do that story differently and this will make it a much more powerful story. It’ll answer all the questions that are brought up.

There’s still a lot going on around the Murdock Family Household and I doubt things will slow down. Regardless, I’m about to sit and start typing like a mad man once again. Time to break free of this log jam. Time to flex my fingers, bite my tongue, hold on tight and see what happens next!

Until Next Time!

WOO WOO!

Weekly Update: Sometimes my mind tends to wander.

I wrote this post once. Let’s see if it’ll work a second time around.

Sometimes my mind tends to wander. Take right now for instance. I’m sitting here eating a Reece’s Peanut Butter cup and next to me is a big old bag of pretzels. Let’s listen in to what Jay’s mind is thinking…

Mmmmm. I like Reece’s.

I like pretzels.

Peanut-butter-stuffed pretzels are good.

Chocolate-covered pretzels are good.

What if someone made chocolate-covered, peanut-butter-stuffed pretzels?

NO!

What if someone made pretzels stuffed with mini Reece’s?

WIN!

My mind scares me some times.

Speaking of scared, I haven’t written a lick in nearly two months. Well, okay. I have. It’s been more like a month with no words. I’m not calling 2013 a miss just yet. I’ll get back on track, but I doubt I’ll hit all the marks I wanted to hit this year. Just means I’ll need to focus harder when I do sit and write.

The move took a lot out of me. Taking my favorite daughter far far away for volleyball camp took a lot out of me. Packing. Unpacking. Driving. Stressing about money during the move. Stressing about how my favorite daughter is doing while she’s not at home. Stressing about work and the time I took off and all the deadlines that are looming closer and closer. The size and scope of the projects I’m working on and the number of people using the applications I’m developing.

Deep breath. Long pause.

There. I’m all better now. Sorry about that. Needless to say, there’s a lot on my plate and I need to start clearing things away so I can deal with other things that are in my way. Once I’ve done that, I can hit the writing hard and fast and start to crank out some books that are piling up in my head. There’s a backlog that needs unblocking and the words will rush out like the wind once I start writing again. I just know it.

That said, there’s still much unpacking to do. I’d better get at it so there’ll be more time for writing.

Until Next Time!

WOO WOO!

Weekly Update: SUPER MOON! Birthday! Rejection!

So over the weekend there was a supermoon. I also had my birthday on the Super-Moon eve. I’m a Cancer, a moon-child, so I was giddy as can be. It was also a special birthday. My b-day is June 22nd and if you double that, you’ll figure out how old I am (22+22 or 22×2 take your pick). So it was an extra special birthday. I was in Scottsdale all last week so I spent my birthday getting a great sunburn despite all my efforts. We went with the whole family as we do every year. We got 7 rooms at the Orange Tree Golf Resort. My favorite daughter made me walk/workout daily. I also swam and I swam and I swam all over the dam.

The week building up to the vacation was stressful enough as it was. I got some writing done, but not nearly as much as I would have liked. This week I’m back to work and stressing out over all that went wrong at work the week I was gone. I’m also packing and getting ready to move. We need to be out this weekend. Then it’ll be the 4th of July. Then I’ll be taking my favorite daughter up to Peperdine University for a week long volleyball camp. Needless to say, getting writing done just doesn’t sound like it’ll happen any time soon.

On a happier note, while in Scottsdale I got to see Jack Mangan. We played forbidden Island. We played Pirate Flux. We had Rita’s (Italian Ice and frozen custard). It was a great time had by all (well, at least by me). Jack is awesome.

If you haven’t guessed yet, my brain is all over the map so it’s probably best that I’m not writing at the moment. I fear if I wrote anything it would be a rambley mess sort of like this post. There’s just so much going on that I can’t keep my head straight.

For those keeping score on my movie hatred:

Star Trek: Into Darkness – hated it. Trying to be too much of an action flick and less of a sci-fi Star Trek Movie

Superman – hated it. Superman isn’t a killer, he’s a thinker.

World War Z – Liked it. Started with a bang, had many odd plot holes and didn’t follow the book, and ended with a slow drop. Still fun

The End of the World – OMFG! This movie is inappropriate, funny, and irreverent. LOVED IT! If you like crude jokes and half the stars in this movie, they all parody themselves and it’s funny as hell (literally).

I’m anxious to see Pacific Rim and The World’s End (the movie I thought I was going to see when we saw The End of the World). Other than that, most movies this summer don’t interest me. I might have to dig into my black-and-white stockpile and see what else to watch while I get caught up on the Three Stooges.

I think it’s time for me to go to bed. My brain isn’t cooperating and my eyes are going in and out of focus. Maybe I should start drinking. Hmmm…

Until Next Time!

WOO WOO!

I’m a busy busy bee.

To say things are a little hectic right now would be an understatement.

Yes, I’ve let my word count for the year slip. I know I can make up those words and I haven’t give up hope on hitting my targets. I’m not in a slump, it’s just that life has decided that I have a half-billion other things to deal with other than writing. I feel like a chicken with my head cut off trying to chase my tail while running in circles. I just want to jump off the merry-go-round (those things were never merry to begin with) and yell “HOLD ON A MINUTE!”

Alas, that’s not going to happen. Things aren’t going to slow down just because I’m trying to will them to stop (though that would be nice). Needless to say, I’ve fallen behind on everything except work and the my favorite daughter’s volleyball.

So I made a list and started checking things off. I’ve gotten caught up on a website I promised a person. I’m waiting for the site to transfer to the new hosting site and all will be good. A little more tweaking once it goes live and we’re in business.  I’ve responded to all my correspondences that I’ve allowed to slip. If you’ve been waiting for a reply from me, I hope I’ve gotten to that (save one that I will do as soon as I complete this post). I still have a number of things I need to get done.

I need to:

Post all the chapters of Paradise Palms on the blog.

Post all the chapters of Golden West: Season 1 on the blog.

Order a cover for Golden West.

Order a cover for Of Gnomes and Dwarves

Apply edits to: Golden West, Of Gnomes and Dwarves, Billy Barbarian.

Make updates to all currently released books (many minor edits, nothing severe)

Update the descriptions of all my books (most are weak, some are in desperate need)

Write! I’m 53,000 words behind. Yes, I write 10,000 words last week, but I’m still behind.

All this and in the next few weeks I’ll  be taking a week’s vacation, moving, celebrating the 4th of July, getting the my favorite daughter off to volleyball camps, getting my favorite daughter ready to go back to school.

Things aren’t going to slow down just because I will them to.

Like I said, I know I’ll get caught up. At this point I’m just trying to keep from getting further and further behind.

I’ve posted about this before. I want to be a content creator. With everything else that life throws at me, I need to make choices. Many of those choices mean that I don’t consume as much media as I would like. I would love to sit down and actually watch Battlestar Galactica. Yes. I’m that far behind in my TV viewing. I have a couple shows I watch (Mythbusters, Big Bag Theory, Big Brain Theory) and that’s about it. I try to avoid TV. I keep a list of shows I’d love to watch, but with my plans, I need to stay focused.

Speaking of falling behind, I’ve backed a number of kickstarter campaigns and I hope they all succeed. It means I’ll have more books to read. I have digital copies of comics I’d like to get to. I’ve got some online comic strips I’d like to read. There’s a lot of media I’d love to get to, but I need to sacrifice something. That means I read for about a hour a day, watch my couple of shows, then I write. I write like a fury any chance I get. I’ll continue to write like a fury until I’m not just caught up, but well ahead of where I want to be.

Things aren’t going to slow down just because I will them to.

If you write, I know you’re busy. Many people plan to write for a very long time and just never get around to it. I’m no one special. (well, I like to think I am, but I’m not). You’re no one special. I don’t write for a living. I would love to write for a living, but in all seriousness, my job pays well enough that I’d have to make a killing selling books in order to quit my day job. That means the day job comes first (well, family comes first then my job). Writing is high on my list, but it’s a nice-to-have. That’s why I need to set goals, hit targets, and push myself to get things done that I want to get done.

Speaking of getting things done. I just needed to stop in here, clear my head, and now I need to get back to work. Those words aren’t going to write themselves and I can’t stop time.

Until Next Time!

WOO WOO!

Weekly Update: Free is coming!

I’ve been busy. By busy I mean I’ve written 15,000 words in the past 10 days. I’m pounding through the next season of Golden West (you did see that the season finale posted, right? Follow the link to get caught up!) I’m very happy with the end of the season and how everything turned out. Mike and I ran into some bumps along the way, but it all came together. In the coming days I’ll be putting together Golden West to drop onto podiobooks and I’m sure Mike will do the same with Boyscouts of the Apocalypse.

As for how Golden West Season 2 is coming along, let’s just say now that all the introductory material is in place, the story will really start jumping along. I’ve already got the end of season two figured out and I have an idea where season 3 will end the run. I’ve known the story as a whole all along, it’s just how all the little pieces tied together.

Another notice, Mike and I will be taking a break so we can get ahead in the writing of the next season of the Action Pack Podcast. As I mentioned, I’m already 15,000 words in. I’ll be writing the entire thing this time instead of trying to write it month to month. This will hopefully prevent delays.

I’m also working on plotting out the next four books for Supernatural Learning. I will be writing these next (all in one shot). This will be me through the start of next year on this series. I will then continue on with the first two books of Asteroid Bunnies. Both these titles are middle grade and will weigh in around 20,000-25,000 words. They’ll be fun romps. Not too serious, but just enough to make the story interesting. I’m having a blast writing both of these (I did write Asteroid Bunnies once. I’ll be throwing that away and writing it all over again).

After those are complete, I’ll finally get back on track with Astel book 2. This was the first self-published work I did and I really want to get back into that universe. I will most likely write the second and third books in one shot. This will conclude that series as well.

THEN I will see what I want/need to write next. As I’ve said time and again, I’ve got so many books I want to write. It’s just a matter of sitting, typing, and getting the stories out there. Next year will see 4 more Supernatural Learning books (that I’ll need to write), Billy Barbarian 2, V&A Shipping 3, Of Gnomes and Dwarves 2, and who knows what else I’ll drop into the mix. I’m insane and I know it!

Oh, you were probably wondering what I meant by “Free is coming!” in the title. Well, next week I’ll be giving away Paradise Palms: A murder mystery in a time-traveling trailer park as well as the Supernatural Learning: Omnibus 1 (8th Grade). That’s right! Something for the grown ups, something for the younger ones. I’ll post more about this next week, but fear not! Free books will be yours next week! I’m excited to see what happens with the give away.

So I guess you’re wondering where I’m at. I said I was going to publish 28 books in 24 months, right? Well, here’s what we’ve got done, here’s what’s coming up.

1) My Teacher is a Zombie (published)

2)My Teacher is a Werewolf (published)

3) V&A Shipping (published)

4) Murdockian Tales (published)

5) My Teacher is a Vampire (published)

6) Paradise Palms (published)

7) Supernatural Learning Omnibus 8th Grade (published)

8) Billy Barbarian (coming in June!)

9) Golden West: Season 1 (coming in June!)

10) My Teacher is a Witch (coming in July!)

11) Of Gnomes and Dwarves: Chance Encounters (coming in August!)

12) V&A Shipping II (coming in September!)

13 My Teacher is a Ghost (Coming in October)

14) Astel: Chosen – rerelease (coming in December)

15) Asteroid Bunnies 1: Zanahoria (coming in December)

That gets us more than half way to 28. That’s 15 books in 12 months already laid out. I’ve already written all but two of these books. I have many more planned. I may be able to write additional books that I’m not planning on releasing this year, but next year (like my Giant Robot story, To Fall From the Sky, Life of Lists). These are all books I pulled from the schedule due to life eating up a lot of time I would have spent writing. Fear not. I write very fast and these may come back to the schedule. I do want to write them. I don’t want to just leave them drift off my mind. I also have a number of short stories I’d like to write.

Speaking of short stories, I have a bunch floating around on submission to various places and racking up rejections. I may be letting those all come back to me by the end of this year and release Murdockian Tales 2. We’ll see what happens. I’d need to write a few more to make that a worthwhile book.

Also, I need to work on getting a blog tour in order. I’ve already had a couple of invites after my discussion with Mike over on Get Published. I’ll be sending out a bundle of emails. I’ll also be trying to get on a few podcasts as well. We’ll see how it goes. To be honest, I don’t want to slow my writing output too much right now. Even if I write 1000 words a day from here on out, I’ll hit my target easily. I’m fully capable of writing a lot more than that so as I said, I may include more titles. We’ll just have to wait and see what happens.

So watch for a post next week to get free ebooks! If you’re a reviewer and you’d like any of the titles you see, ask. I’ll be more than happy to email you a copy. If you’re a reviewer and require a print book, send me an email and we’ll talk. If you’d like to give me a review on amazon, I’ll send you any one of my other books free! for each review you leave (even if you didn’t like the book). If you already have all my titles, we may be able to get you an advanced copy of one of my upcoming titles! How’s that sound?

Alright, I’ve blabbered enough. 2013 is now laid out before you. I had though of doing 13 books in 2013 and 14 books in 2014. Just to be silly. I ditched that idea and just want to get books out and more books out and even more books out. I’m covering most every genre I write in with all the selections coming out. If you’d like a recommendation of my writing, email what you like, I’ll recommend a title of mine :) I might even send it to you for free!

I’ve got to get at it!

Until Next time!

WOO WOO!

Weekly Update: Still at it.

Life has been crazy busy as of late. I’m sorry for the lack of updates. I plan on doing a little revamping of the site in the coming weeks. I need to make things a little cleaner and easier to navigate. Right now it’s not so easy to find a book. I need to correct that.

Speaking of books, if you listened to the latest Get Published podcast, you’ll have heard the announcement I made. My rather insane announcement that I plan on publishing (myself) 28 books in 24 months. That’s my grand plan. Guess what. I’m currently on target. That’s huge! As of this writing I currently have put out six books. This month may see another, or next month will see Three. It all depends on covers and editing. That will put me at nine for the year. For the rest of the year, here’s what I have scheduled:

My Teacher is a Witch

My Teacher is a Ghost

Asteroid Bunnies: Zanahoria

Billy Barbarian: Sethopolis

V&A Shipping II

Golden West: Season 1

Supernatural Learning: 8th grade (this will collect My Teacher is a Zombie, Werewolf, and Vampire)

Of Gnomes and Dwarves: Book 1: Chance Encounters

Astel: Chosen (re-release)

That’s right. Nine more books. That will put me at 15 on the year. That’s if I don’t decide to drop something else in the mean time. I did pull two books I had scheduled just because I wanted to make sure I committed more time to the projects I’ve already laid out. I don’t want to put too much pressure on myself with all I have currently going on.

Speaking of all that’s going on, life have been busy these past two months. Writing time has been extremely sparse. By that I mean I’ve only written about 20,000 words in the past two months. I’m 45,000 words behind schedule. That means I pulled the giant robot story I was writing. I also pulled To Fall From the Sky. Should I get back on track, I will add these books back into the mix, but for now they’re off the schedule until I can get back to them. I don’t want to rush any of the stories I’m currently working on. Just because I plan on releasing a large number of books doesn’t mean I’m going to skimp or cheat or put out a poor quality product just to get it out the door.

Now, in order to achieve my goal I will be cheating a little. How? Quite simple. I’ve already written nearly all the books that will be put out this year. The ones I haven’t written yet are only 20,000-25,000 words in length (middle grade books). I will be writing those once I finish with Golden West: Season 2 (I’ll talk about Season 1 in a bit). I plan to write the next few books in the Supernatural Learning series in one shot so they’re all ready to go long before their release dates. I hae two for this year and four for next year (completing 9th grade and going into 10th grade). I’ll then work on the first two or three in the Asteroid Bunnies series. That will complete all the shorter works for 2014 that will need to be written. Yes, I’m self publishing and I could just drop them at any given time, but I want to release these on a schedule so the series will have time to grow an audience.

Yes, I realize that I’m dropping a LOT of book out in a short time, but why not just drop everything once it’s completely written? Quite simple, if you were to see my schedule, each book I’m writing is in a series (except for a few stand alone books) and I plan to drop only one in a series in a given year. Honestly. I am working on books that will be released next year and I have a schedule for this year. I want to make sure that the books are ht best I can make them and by doing a majority of the work on my own, I need to make sure I put out the best product I can.

Back to the writing. I said I’ve only written 20,000 words in two months and I’m way behind. Those 20,000 words that I did write were written over a four day span and a two day span. I write very fast. I always have. If I were more consistent with the number of days I spent actually writing, I’d have a lot more accomplished at this point. I’m only shooting for an average of 1000 words per day. Not a lofty goal, but I need to hit that goal in order to have all the books for next year written and ready to release.

Work slowed to the point where it won’t invade on my personal time as much as it has. Yes, last year was a busy year and between writing and blogging I wrote 490,000 words. I didn’t write nearly as much new fiction as I would have liked and that’s what I changed for this year. I’m focusing only on words of new fiction written. Not these blog posts. I know I can beat my 365,000 word goal. I plan to blow it out of the water. I’ll be spending some time doing that today. I’ll write at least 4,000 words today. I’d like to actually finish writing Golden West by the end of next week. I’m currently sitting on 8000 words and I need to get to somewhere between 55,000 and 60,000 words. Yes, I need to write a lot today, tomorrow, and during the week to hit that goal. I think I can do it. This will put me in great shape both with the podcast and with my writing schedule.

Speaking of the podcast. My writing partner just dropped his episode and I’ll be getting that up this weekend. So very VERY sorry for the delay in the final episode. Once we have it complete we’ll be dropping them into podiobooks so people can get their fix that didn’t want to wait a month between episodes. I won’t put it out there until the ebook and print book are available.

There’s a lot more going on behind the scenes, but now you’re up to date on all the writing stuff. I’m glad you’re with me on this journey.

Until Next Time!

WOO WOO!

Weekly Update: Where has Jay been?

Wow! It’s been a while since I’ve been in here. I’ve got so much housework to do. I need to add a new book, get another prepared to go in here (two actually) and I need to give you an update as to what I’ve been doing. I’ve been lax as of late and I apologize for being absent. I’ve got reasons!

First off, I was having fun posting my dreams. I haven’t stopped having them, I just haven’t had the opportunity to sit and write them. For example, last night I was fishing in this wide fishing boat, alone. For some reason I was still tied to the dock. A HUGE fish, bigger than my boat, jumped out of the water and landed on the dock. It rocked my boat something fierce. The fish died as soon as it landed on the dock. I looked at it and had no idea what to do.

Then I woke up. Then I fell back asleep and had another dream that was…odd. I’ll leave it at that.

I will resume posting my dreams when things settle down.

So, My Teacher is a Vampire is live all over where books can be found. I’ll post links and cover art and all that just as soon as I’m able. I love the cover Dan Dan the Art Man did for this one. I’ll be pestering him again soon for My Teacher is a Witch. I hope to release that one come July.

Paradise Palms: A Murder Mystery in a Time-Traveling Trailer Park has been delayed. I’m getting more editing done on that one. I’m a bad, bad writer. Well, maybe not, but that one needed lots of cleaning and it’s being scoured. It may need a little re-writing in spots, but it will be coming this month.

Also this month I hope to drop Billy Barbarian: Sethopolis. This is a fun book and I can’t wait to get it out into the wild. This one was done as a podcast and before you ask, yes, I’m planning a sequel.

Next Month will see Of Gnomes and Dwarves: Chance Encounters. This is the first book I ever wrote and has been completely re-written. I’m super happy with the way this one came out. I added a lot, I took out a lot, I changed things around. Overall I made the book the best I could. I’m anxious to write the sequel for this one.

My giant robot story has stalled on me. I’m going to put it aside. After trashing 25,000 words and starting over I got 10,000 words in and I’m struggling with it at this point. I do plan on finishing it, but I’m not as excited as I was the first time through. I need to work on something else to find my writing mojo once more. I only knocked out 10,000 words last month and I don’t like that. Yes I was crazy busy with editing, work, helping friends with their webpages, and everything else life throws at me, but that’s no excuse for such a poor word count. I need to get back on track and I know just the book to do that for me. :)

Speaking of life throwing things at me, I found myself at Metal Jam over the weekend. This is a charity even for autism and I’d heard about it before, but my brain never made the connection. Turns out it’s founded by my high-school buddy that I haven’t seen in about 20 years. Yes, we’ve talked on the phone many times, but I haven’t been up to see him in a LONG time. He only lives two hours away, so what was my excuse? Life.

So I went up so see him. I had to. He has a son that’s 20 years old and severely autistic. Jeff started this event to raise money to help kids with autism and all the proceeds go to help the fight. The best moment of the day was when Jeff brought his son on stage and played Into the Void by Black Sabbath. For some reason his son really responds to this song. It was hard not to cry as you saw Jake on stage with his dad rocking out. It was a beautiful thing.

I also met Derek Riggs there. Derek is the artist responsible for all the Iron Maiden artwork over the years (well, a vast majority of it). He’s such a great guy and donated his time so sign anything people brought by. He also donated the artwork for the t-shirts (and hoodies and prints). I got much swag. I was astounded by just how much was donated. I mean, holy cow! There was so much that they had a hard time getting rid of it all.

What Metal Jam is, other than a fund raiser, is a place where musicians gather to jam together. Over 100 musicians showed up to play 25 songs. On the site there’s a posted song list and artists can sign up for one or many songs. The talent ranges from pros (The Iron Maidens, Electric Funeral, Dias, Just Like Priest) to people that sit in their room and jam on their guitar and know a few songs. This was a chance for those people to mix, mingle, and have a great time for a great cause. Me? I was just a spectator, but I so wanted to have a base in my hands and jam with them. Who knows, maybe I’ll start playing bass again so I can join in next year for a song or two.

This weekend I’ll be back in Long Beach for a volleyball tournament. Might meet up with Jeff and his girlfriend again for dinner. Then when we get back on Saturday I hope to head out to the Gaslamp Gathering and meet Jay Lake. Unless things change, this will be my only opportunity to meet him. That saddens me and I need to get out there to say ‘hello’.

So things won’t slow down any time soon, but hey, that’s life. I can do all this and write as well.

Speaking of writing, I’d better get doing something.

Until Next Time!

WOO WOO!

Weekly Update: Dialing Back My Ambitions

Some days I feel like an idiot. The rest of the days just help confirm that fact.

So I’ve been doing my spreadsheet for some time. I went through and started scheduling the titles I’d like to release and gave them each a ‘window’. In this case a month window when I’d like to release them. This is an ambitious thing I want to do because I have a lot of books I’ve already written and a LOT more I’d like to write. Most of these are in a series so I wanted to put out one in each series each year. I write fast. I can do that, right? After all, I’m only shooting for 80,000-90,000 for the bigger titles and 20,000-25,000 for the middle grade books.

Then I started looking at all the series I have. I did this before, but it’s fun to do it again. Plus I’ve added a new series. I’ve shown the series and potential length of each book.

V&A Shipping (80,000)

Billy Barbarian(80,000)

Giant Robot Planetary Competition(80,00)

Golden West (60,000)

Jack Kane(70,000)

Astel(60,000)

Of Gnomes and Dwarves (80,000)

Supernatural Learning (20,000)

Unnatural War(25,000)

Asteroid Bunnies(25,000)

Now in order to write just the ones on this list, I would need to write around 600,000 words a year. Not an insurmountable feat. I’m sure I probably could write that much. The trouble is I also need to edit, layout, get cover art, re-write certain pieces (like trashing 25,000 words and starting over with GRPC). There’s a lot going. Plus I still have a full-time job, a kid that goes to school, plays volleyball, a wife, other family. I would LOVE to write enough to put out one of each in these series each year, but sadly, it’s just not going to happen. Well, unless I start selling thousands of copies of my titles a day and I can support myself, my family, and my lifestyle solely on my writing.

So what’s needing to happen here? I’m going to schedule everything right now. In order to write the books I want to write in the next two years, I need to write (over 24 months) around 770,000 words (all the series titles plus a few stand alone titles). That’s just shy of 400,000 words a year. My current target is 365,000 words of new fiction a year. Now watch as I close my eyes and do math again. This is dangerous, please don’t try this at home. 730,000 words is my current target. Now if you REALLY look at my release schedule (not included here) I’ll be publishing over 1,000,000 words over the next 24 months (from Jan 1st of this year to Jan 1st 2015). I’ve already published a number of those books as well as completed a number of those books. Many others are currently either plotted, being written, or needing editing.

Actually, let me edit here. I need to write 1,500,000 words for all the titles I WANT to release. I’ve written 750,000 of those words. So I’m half way there. (Sorry, Jay keeps typing, looking at his spreadsheet, typing more, making mistakes. I’ll have him flogged later for his lack of cohesive though before writing a blog post).

So over the next two years, just to stay on schedule, I need to write around 750,000 words. Can I do it? Maybe. There’s so much I’d like to throw in there like short stories, blog posts, emails to friends, etc. I’d also like to get outside once in a while. Perhaps watch a TV Show.

Okay, all kidding aside. I’m going to try. If I can stick to my schedule I have a shot of getting 28 novels out in 24 months. THEN I can slow down. A little. The trouble is, I have 690,000 schedule to produce in 2015. Now that might be a little more difficult. That’s when I’ll need to step back and reassess my release schedule. Take a look at what titles are doing well, which are not. Perhaps one title will get pushed back in the release schedule. There are some close to my heart, but if they’re not performing and bringing in money, then they’ll have to take a back seat while I produce titles that are succeeding.

This is known as the shotgun approach. Fire out a bunch of titles, see what sticks, and run with one. I’m not sad that one will have to wait. I’ve scheduled out ten years of titles I’d like to write. There’s a LOT of room in those last five years, and not so much in the first five. I’m going to give myself ten years to be a success. I’ll figure out where I’m at after each year to determine if I’m heading in the right direction. Am I being ambitious? Hell yes! Have I stretched myself a little thin? Perhaps. But remember, I’ve got a lot written and so much more that I want to write. It’s just a matter of making the time.

One thing I’ll make note of here and now. I have done no advertising of my books. I’ve mailed out a couple review copies. I’ve had a couple of contests. I’ve done one free giveaway. You may ask what I plan on doing. Well, nothing. I plan on writing a lot at the moment. Once I have a number of titles out and in people’s hands, THEN I’ll get out there and I’m sure many will be surprised to see what I’ve produced. That’s kind of my plan at the moment. Sneakily release titles until people are shocked that I’ve been as busy as I’ve been. I want to do something that gets people talking about me rather than me having to talk about myself. By putting out 1,500,000 words of fiction across 28 titles in 24 months will get people talking (or so I hope).

So what can you do to help with all this? Well, tell a friend. Actually. Hold off for right now. I don’t have a lot available (only 5 titles) and if you’re excited about one title in particular, hop onto your favorite book review site and drop me a review. I should be everywhere and if you don’t see me somewhere, let me know and I’ll try to get there.

Well, like I said, there are a lot of words to write and I’ve got to go write them. Well, I need to do the day job first, but THEN I’ll do some writing!

Until Next Time!

WOO WOO!

Weekly Update: Lesson Learned, Again

You’d think I’d have learned my lesson by now. I have written 14 novels, a hundred plus short stories, and been at this for quite some time. Then I make a mistake and feel like a rookie all over again.

So I was cruising away writing my giant robot story. I was having fun, things were moving along. I had plotted before hand. I was excited. I’d nailed down 25,000 words. I was rocking and rolling.

Then, of course, life happens and I took a short break from the story. I was able to spend time reading and what did I pick? Oliver Twist. A story of an abused orphan boy. His life sucks and really doesn’t get any better (at least as far as I’ve read.) He’s got challenges that he’s ill equipped to deal with.

Oh crap.

I looked at my story and my main character was suffering from ‘Mary Sue’ syndrome. His life was simple. No challenge. Everything handed to him. Here’s a giant robot, now go fight. That’s where I’d intended for the conflict to take place, but it was weak. Sure I’d have giant robots fighting to the death, but there was little personal threat. He had nothing involved. So little at stake. He was even expected to lose, but they’d hope he’d do better. Everyone was nice to him.

blah blah blah

Yeah, that’s 25,000 words that no one will ever read. I had tried to justify it to myself explaining that I was world building. The action would come later. The personal struggle would come later. It would all come later. No, I was going the wrong way and Oliver Twist showed me why.

Ravi, the main character, needs to struggle. He can’t just have things handed to him like his privileged. This can’t be something that people aspire to do, this needs to be something that his life is at stake. There’s needs to be a very real chance that he’ll die. People need to look at him like something lesser and he needs to prove himself and overcome. A whole different sequence of events needs to take place.

I’ve spent time going over and over in my head the new direction. Yes, this book will be darker. Yes, this story will be stronger. Yes, this will be the story I should have waited to write instead of getting all excited about giant robots and just bashing away on the keyboard. I should have taken the time to allow the story to gel in my brain before putting pen to paper. Rather than jumping in feet first, I should have plotted and let it sit for a couple weeks.

Like I said, I’ve played this game before. I’ve written books and usually when I’m all excited, I’m heading in the wrong direction. I did that this time, but I know that the story will be better for the re-write. I could just keep going from the point I’m at, but the entire tone of the novel is going to change and there will be so many differences from this point forward that I just need to scrap the whole thing and start over. It’s for the best.

Do I feel bad? Oh heck no. I’ve written a lot of words that will never see the light of day. This is just 25,000 words. It’s not like scraping an entire novel and starting over (that’s called a re-write). Yes, I’ve done that multiple times. So this doesn’t break my heart because it’s all part of the process.

Speaking of the process…

Until Next Time!

WOO WOO!