Author Archives: jrmurdock

Weekly Log: 2018-11-25

Hey Crew,

Miss me? Nah? I didn’t think so.

There reason for my radio silence is pretty simple. I didn’t feel this blog was contributing in any way to anything. So, what was the point. I was stressing out daily trying to figure out something to write and more often than not, I didn’t have anything to write, so I’d ramble. A Lot. For days.

I felt that stress of coming here daily and blogging was impacting my writing. I was stressed about what I’d put on this blog and what I’d write tomorrow, and how much progress was I making on my current WIP and was I writing up to my own expectations.

It wasn’t worth it. Yes, I had a streak going with the blog. A pretty good one, in fact. Looking back at some of my posts, sure, there was information in some, but a majority of them were long rambles with no real purpose.

So, I stopped.

It took a lot of pressure off me, I’ll say that much. In the past 4 days I’ve written nearly 13,000 words. Those are the kinds of numbers I should be doing. I should be putting down 20,000 words a week. Easily.

I wasn’t.

But my writing streak is still alive. In fact, I passed 100 days of writing daily a couple of days ago. That felt awesome. What felt really good was writing nearly 6000 words yesterday. Yes, other things did happen. I even practiced bass for a couple of hours. The words were flowing.

Today was mostly about getting Christmas decorations hung and wow, am I sore. These old knees don’t cooperate like they used to. So I’m getting a late start to writing tonight, but I know I’ll get a couple of thousand words down.

What I’m trying to say in all this, the stress of blogging every day, or even more than once per week, isn’t worth it right now. I need to keep my head down and produce some books. My Favorite Daughter is almost done with her semester and we will be working on many book covers. I’m excited about that.

I will be blogging weekly. I’ll try to have more organized thoughts and posts. Not 100% sure that’ll happen, but hey, we can hope for the best. At least, with a week going by between posts, there will be a little more actual content to talk about.

Like, I’m past the half-way point in V&A3 and cruising along. I’ve tied together Almost-Super Heroes into the V&A Universe nicely and might have to dip back into ASH1 and ASH2 to make sure I’ve got dates lined up correctly (glad I haven’t released those yet). The story is so much fun. I’ve said that before, but wow, this is such a different story for the crew of the SS Acid Rat, in a good way. It’s interesting, after reading back from V&A1 & 2 to see how I’ve evolved as a writer and how the characters have evolved as individuals.

I’m already looking forward to my next book, Giant Robot Planetary Competition 3. It’s going to be an exciting book as well and things will really start to come together with the entire arc I’m working on.

Speaking of that arc, one of the things that happened the day I stopped blogging daily and my word count dipped into the hundreds per day instead of the thousands.

I had a crisis of confidence.

I looked at what I was trying to do and thought “I can’t do this. What was I thinking?”

Things jammed up. As happens, I didn’t think I could write the words needed to complete it all. It seemed too daunting. So many books. So many words. I was just too huge and impossible.

Then I remembered what I’d told a writer friend of mine who was concerned about writing a book.

Write one word. Then one sentence. Then one paragraph. Then one chapter. And finish the book.

I took is a bit further for myself and said, finish one series, finish one arc.

I’ve seen similar advice from other authors. It’s sound advice. If you keep from writing the words, you’ll never get to your goal, no matter how big or how small.

So, that’s what I did. The day I decided to do that was actually Thanksgiving Day. We’d gone in the morning to help my sister-in-law set up for dinner (which for a Mexican family is much later in the evening) and we went home to get ready ourselves. I got ready quickly and sat to write. And Write. And WRITE!

That first day re-energizing myself, I knocked out over 4000 words while waiting for the Mrs. and My Favorite Daughter to get ready. The next two days weren’t as  fruitful, but I still sat and wrote as much as I could. Then yesterday happened.

What I’m trying to convey with all the above rambling is simple. I’m not superman. I’m not an amazing writer. I’m a simple guy with the same confidence issues many other writers have. Sometimes people need to talk through their issues. Other times it helps to just sit and bang away on the keyboard. You need to figure out what is preventing you from writing, address the issue, and move forward. Ever onward. Don’t look back at failure as failure, but as a learning experience.

It worked for me and I’m not only back on track, but moving as fast as I should be.

What are some roadblocks you’re having and what have you done to resolve them? Every writer has them, be they small or large, life changing events. There’s no shame in having to struggle now and again. As the saying goes, it’s not how many times you fall down, it’s how many times you pick yourself back up.

I’m off to go make words happen.

Until Next Time!

Stay Awesome!

Daily Log: 2018-11-16

Hey Crew,

Whew, what a day.  Today is the Mrs’s birthday so we went out to celebrate. Went to a great place in Little Italy called Ironside. Wonderful food. We walked next door to Salt and Straw for some ice cream, and across the street for coffee (well, I didn’t get coffee, but a couple others did.)

Work was a semi-typical day. I handed off one assignment to pick up two others I need to work on. One I started back in June and got redirected on different projects so it got put aside. Now it’s a hot item again and I’m back on it. Always nice to stay busy.

Pounded out 2242 words after work and before we ran away to dinner, and washed the car, did the dishes, you know, the usual.

I thought I’d had all the twists and turns already set up, but things are getting more complicated for B.T. Justice. Of course, things also got more complicated for the crew of the SS Acid Rat, but I foresaw those events coming. What’s happening to Buford, that’s all new, BUT! What’s happening with him will have ramifications beyond book 3. I can already see where I’m going with him and I LOVE IT!

I’m already 1/3 of the way done with book 3. It’s flying along. I know I won’t finish the book before the end of November and I’m fine with that. I know it won’t be too much into December when I finish the book. Who knows, I could be wrong and start pounding out 4000-5000 words a day and actually be done in time. I don’t know. We’ll find out I guess.

For now, I’m tired. I’m sleepy. I thought I might write a few more words before bed, but if I do, they’ll suck wind. I don’t want to write words that suck wind. Instead, I’ll go to sleep.

Until Next Time!

Stay Awesome!

Daily Log: 2018-11-15

Hey Crew,


Another crazy day. Busy at work. Busy after work.

I’m not sure why, but I have difficulty sitting at the writing computer unless someone else is home. The Mrs. had to work late. My Favorite Daughter was out doing things with her boy. And I was home alone.

I did some dishes. Played with the puppy (potty training is going well, thank you for asking). Played with the other dogs so they don’t feel neglected. Ate some dinner. Made some fish for the Mrs. when she got home. Watched a little news.

THEN, the Mrs. got home. We talked for a bit while she made herself dinner. Again, took the puppy outside, and finally sat down to write.

And nothing came. <sigh>

I hate when that happens. So I watched a couple youtube videos. Watched a bass lesson (always learning). Browsed the course catalog at WMG (I need to pick one out to take).

FINALLY! Around 9, I got to writing. Again, concerned I wasn’t going to hit my word count. Why do I do this to myself? I don’t know.

So I did hit my words for the day. Oddly, yesterday I’d done exactly 2037 words. Tonight, I did exactly 2037 words.

But I got  more than the NaNo goal so that puts me closer to getting caught up. There will be bigger word count days in the near future. I can feel it! This story is flowing and when I actually start to type, I’m hitting my word goals easily.

The meds are helping with the sinus headaches and I can feel them taking effect now. If I don’t go to bed soon, who knows what senseless rambling I’ll do. I will say they’re giving me fascinating dreams.

Speaking of dreams…

Until Next Time!

Stay Awesome!

Daily Log: 2018-11-14

Hey Crew,

Some days, it’s difficult to get started.

Hey Crew,

Some days it’s difficult to get started writing. Today was one of those days. The changing weather is wreaking havoc with my sinuses and this headache has been going on for a few days now. I want to sit back and watch TV and veg out.

I’m not going to do that, though.

Today was a normal work day. I took a short nap after work hoping this headache would dissipate. It didn’t. Took a HOT shower, hoping this headache would go away. Like the puppy, it didn’t go away but decided it wanted to play.

We had our weekly writerly meetup which is always a good time. We’ve got a rowdy bunch and always good ideas and discussion going back and forth.
It’s fun to see how much the group has grown since we got things started with four of us.

Took My Favorite Daughter grocery shopping (again). Made a simple dinner so I could get out of her way as she did her meal prep for the rest of the week.

Sat down and wanted to write, but instead watched part one of a 1934 Flash Gordon episode. Excited to see what happens next!

With my head still pounding despite taking Tylenol and sinus meds, I wrote. I’m sitting at 1300 words so I know I’ll get to my 1700 on the day at least to keep my NaNoWriMo word count flowing. I won’t be doing any catch up today.

Hopefully tomorrow I’ll be able to do something about this headache. It’s not as bad as some I’ve had in the past, but it’s the worst I’ve had in a few years.

Going to knock out a few more words and get myself heavily medicated and into bed.

Until Next Time!

Stay Awesome!

Daily Log: 2018-11-13

Hey Crew,

Whew. What a day. Lots going on with the Day Job. I love being busy toward the end of the year. Sometimes things will slow down and that always leads to rumors of layoffs and surplus events. Never a good time. Thankfully we’re busy and my team had opened up 3 new positions because we’re so busy. That always bodes well.

Went to take care of my sister-in-law’s dog after work. Got home, did some dinner, watched a little news. Thought it’d be an easy night to hit at least 2000 words because I STOPPED watching the news early enough to do so.


The home PC was doing some sort of an update and restarted itself. I’ve been sitting on this PC because I love the keyboard and I can type so much faster on it. After about an hour, I gave up and fired up the netbook.

Which, even though it’s no longer running a supported OS, had an update.


I feel like I need another computer, but with a work computer, a home PC, and a writing Netbook, I have enough.

Anyway, once the update was done, it was nearly 9 and I figured, pfft, no way. I’m tired. I’m grumpy. My mind isn’t in it. I’ll type as much as I can before 10 and get to bed (after this post).

Well, I got nearly 1800 words in that hour. I’m typing this up, but my eyes hurt and I need to go to sleep. So I’m going to go do that.

Until Next Time!

Stay Awesome!

Daily Log: 2018-11-12

Hey Crew,

The first time I met Stan Lee was in Minneapolis. It was a surprise by my aunt and grandmother (on my step-mom’s side). There was a very large comic store in downtown Minneapolis and they knew how much I was into comics at the time. So, near my birthday, they took me to the store and SURPRISE! There was Stan Lee, signing autographs. They’d bought me a collection of the Spiderman newspaper strips for my birthday and Stan Lee signed it “Happy Birthday. Excelsior!”

It was a great day. Stan was polite, said a few words to me, and I was moved along as there was quite a line.

It’s one of those moments that never leave you. I’m sure I’m not the only person with a memory of meeting Stan Lee. I’ve seen dozens of friends share their memories of him either of him or of when they met him. It’s heart-warming to know how many people adored the man.

I’m sure there will be articles and interviews that look at the ‘darker side’ of Stan. Things he did in his business dealings that cut creators out of their share of profits the comics they made.

I don’t know that Stan Lee. I know Stan from the cartoons in the Bullpen, or cameos he made in the comics. Before I’d ever seen a picture of him, I knew what he looked like. Before I’d ever met him, I could have picked him out of a crowd. He was iconic even before I knew what that word meant. Reading his stories and his answers to letters in the back of comics, I felt as if I knew him.

It’s a sad day, but the man had an incredible and long life. I’ll miss knowing he’s not in the world anymore, but I’m glad he was on this Earth and I got to read his stories.

On a happier note, knocked out another 2200 words today. I’m on track and the story is rolling along. Things are about to go BOOM! and we’ll be off and rolling. Just when the crew thought they’d be going legit, they get to be involved in a prison break. Bwahahahaha! Oh, this story is a blast.

I’m off to bed. More words tomorrow!

Until Next Time!


Daily Log: 2018-11-11

Hey Crew,

Whew, what a day. Somewhat busy with little things around the house, but I managed to get two writing sessions in with around 1500 words per session and coming in around 3100 words today for the day.

That’s more like it. The story is really starting to flow and two major complications popped up what likely won’t be resolved in book 3, but will carry over into book 4 and into GRPC3. One of the characters made a cameo in VA3. I won’t tell you which because the reason the character appeared will be very apparent.

Again, the way I’m writing these books, you don’t need to read them all. Each story is self-contained with threads running through each series, and across all three series. I’m loving the weaving and the tapestry it’s building.

Another character that appeared would never have made it into this book were it not for Almost-Super Heroes. I’m so glad I decided to make this 15 book story arc that spans all these series. It’s a blast.

I have a slightly better idea what’ll happen in GRPC3, but it’s still vague. I’ll know it when I write it what the major plot of that book will be. As with a majority of my books, I love to write into the dark. Little things pop up and surprise me. I love that part and that feeling. I love finding out when something I foreshadowed in an earlier chapter comes to fruition. Normally I’ll write something and think, oh, I should go back and include something about this…and it’ll already be there. My subconscious knows where the story is headed and if I get out of my way, the story will go there without me needed to try and figure it out.

This is impossible to explain to someone who’s never written in this way. Many people think you need to have a detailed plot outline, character sketches, and a massive chapter summary to know where a book is headed.

Well, some people do. Others, like me and many other authors I know, let the characters free, trust the story to head in the correct direction, and let it flow.

Enough about story. Tonight we went to my brother-in-law’s birthday party. He had gotten an offer from his work and will be retiring in December. It’s so strange to think of someone retiring. Even though my nephew who retired from the Marines after 20 years (Semper Fi!) was there and to him, it also didn’t seem real that his uncle-in-law was retiring. My nephew is still working as when you retire from the military, you still need to get a job. My brother who retired from the Navy after 20 years had to do the same.

Me, I only did 5 years. It wasn’t a lifestyle fit for me and chose not to continue. About 1 month after I got out, several friends of mine who did stay in, were on their way to the first Gulf War in the early 90s.

Being Veterans Day, thank you to all who have served.

I was going to try and get another writing session in tonight, but hey, I’m tired. We played Jenga and if you violated the rules (we were making up as we went along) you had to take a shot. I’m glad My Favorite Daughter is our designated driver. And tomorrow is going to come too early.

Until Next Time!

Stay Awesome!

Daily Log: 2018-11-10

Hey Crew,

Some days you just want to have a lazy day. I did today and wow, it was nice. I played a couple of games, practiced bass, wrote a little, and relaxed. Took a trip to the grocery store to get a couple of things and wound up with a basketfull. Hey, it happens. 🙂

I did get words down today. Given my lazy brain today, I’m surprised that happened. But when you sit in the writing chair, words have a tencendy to happen. It’s like magic. I didn’t want to write, but did so anyway. I spent more time with the puppy than I did writing. I spent more time doing dishes (I think 3 times today) than I did writing.

But I wrote.

I also kept thinking about the Freddie Mercury movie. There was a little bit in the beginning where, basically, he takes over a band and from that day forward, they’re Queen.

Well, no, that’s not really how it happened, but hey, it’s Hollywood.

After that, the moving got rolling. I’d forgotten that Freddie was married (to a woman). I knew he didn’t come out as gay until much later and never fully discussed his having AIDS. So much of that movie was really good, but the actor playing Freddie, though doing a fabulous job, to me never felt quite right.

The rest of the band, holy wow! They couldn’t have picked a more perfect group. Maybe it was just the way they did their hair, but they looked just like Queen. I was impressed that, if you watched closely, they did appear to actually be playing the instruments are many points. All in all, the supporting cast were great.

Of course, this is a story where we know the ending. It’s sad that his lifestlye led to his demise. He truly was a great talent.

I was still fairly young (in my 20s) when he passed away, so I didn’t appreciate his life or his contribution to music. When I was in my 20s, if it wasn’t Heavy Metal, I wasn’t listening. Yes, I knew of other music, but it wasn’t my main focus. Nor of those around me. That isn’t to say I wasn’t aware of events like Live Aid. I was, after all, part of the MTV generation. Back when they actually reported music news and played music videos. I’d seen the Queen videos. Knew the music, but I prefered to listen to something louder and faster. That’s all.

Now that I’m older, I’ve grown an appreciation for music from the 50s, 60s, and 70s. I’m amazed at all the music I chose to overlook. Some days I’ll choose a decade to play music from while other days I’ll choose a band and start at the beginning of their catalogue and listen to as much as I can before I’m interruptted by a confernce call or need to focus on work.

Much like I’m amazed at how many hits I missed, but how much music from those days was never played on the radio then, and still isn’t played today. I’m not a music snob. I’ll listen to nearly anything, but I avoid modern country music and modern hip-hop and rap. I’ve tried, but it’s not to my liking.

I have tried listening to a lot of different music over the past decade. Always looking for something new and something different. I’ll browse YouTube and find a song and look to see what other bands are in the sidebar and click something at random I hadn’t heard before. It’s a fun way to discover new music.

Circling back to the movie, when I noticed one actor was really mike Myers (great makeup on his so I almost didn’t recognize him) he delivered one of the funniest lines in the movie and I’m certain nearly no one else in the theater got the reference since I was the only one laughing for about a minute in a quite theater (packed theater).

I’m tired, I’m rambling. If you like music, go check out Behemian Rhapsody. It’s worth the time even if it was a little Hollywood.

Seeing the previews, I’m now excited to see Elton. 🙂

Until Next Time!

Stay Fabulous, Darling!

Daily Log: 2018-11-09

Hey Crew,

Shortest post tonight. Got my words in, saw Bohemian Rhapsody (wonderful movie). More tomorrow.

Until Next Time!

Stay Awesome!

Daily Log: 2018-11-08

Hey Crew,

Short post tonight. I was doing a bunch of reading and watching videos on marketing today. I did get most of my word goal in. Many more will happen tomorrow.

I’m fascinated by what some people consider marketing and it seems many have the same, dull advice. Blog. Post on FaceBook. Tweet. Post on Instagram. Start a Youtube Channel.


That doesn’t work for everyone. Yes, I know it takes time to build an audience and I’m not seeking a magic bullet. I don’t mind doing the work. I really don’t. I’d prefer to see better advice instead of the same old rehash.

I did find some and in the coming days, I’ll share. The best one I’ve found so far was getting people other than your family and friends to buy from Amazon to help drive user analytics. That piqued my curiosity and I’ll be digging into that one much more. If there’s something I’m good with, it’s numbers and analyzing data (it’s kind of what I do for my job these days).

I also need to get around to some of the 20BooksTo50K seminars. I have links to a few of the videos and I’ll be watching those very soon. Was excited to see that Dean Smith and Kris Rusch were both speakers at the Vegas conference. I know several people in attendance and I’ll be interested to see what they bring back from that.

One of the biggest holes with me getting my writing out there has been lackluster sales. When I get a review, it’s always positive, even from folks I don’t know. I love that. I wish I could get them into the hands of more people.

When My Favorite Daughter and I sit down and rebrand me and my books, I’ll be hitting the ground running and trying to get some traction. I know I’ll be spending money to prime the pump and from what I’ve been reading, a little investment will have a little return. A slightly larger investment could potentially have a significantly larger return. I’ll be posting how things go.

For now, I’m off to bed. Hopefully, sleep will come as my head is full of ideas, targets, trajectories, and the like.

And, of course, The Crew of the SS Acid Rat are always in my head. 🙂

Until Next Time!

Stay Awesome!