Author Archives: jrmurdock
Hey Howdy Hey gang.
There is much going on in the background. I had intended to do more writing today than I did (which was all of none.)
The site desperately needed an update. 4 books have been added. I am such a slacker. SLACKER!
Please forgive me.
At any rate, my brain power was eaten up by getting the sites updated and cleaned up. Somethings needed to be removed and should have been removed over a year ago. Like links to Create Space (which doesn’t exist any more).
Going forward, I will do better at keep the site up to date. Yes, it was easy enough before, but when you put things off, as I did with this site, it takes longer than it should have.
That’s the take away from this. Don’t put things off. Get them done and it’ll take less time than if you wait, and wait, and wait. Like my front yard in dire need of weeding. I’ve put that off as well. Now I’ll need to spend hours weeding the front yard. You’d think I’d learn.
Until Next Time!
Hey Howdy Hey gang! How’s everything going?
A bit of news. First of all, thank you for all the new visitors to the website. It warms my heart that I’ve been away for a while and when I’m back and posting again, all my old friends are still here and new people happen by. I guess I should keep at it, eh?
If you’re from Vista Grande, Welcome! I’m so happy you’re here. I hope you hang out for a while and check things out.
I do need to make some changes to the bibliography on the main page. I’ll get that knocked out this week Got to add all the new books in there as well as the ones with new covers.
One of my books will be included in an upcoming ebook book bundle. I’m excited not just because the book will be in the bundle, but it was selected by…let’s just say a pretty big named author. I’ll reveal that once the bundle is live! Soon, very soon. I need to get the book recompiled and sent over as well as author bio and all the other little extras they ask for. In fact, another author in my writer’s group was picked up for the same bundle!
That same author has a podcast and I’ll be appearing on that in the coming days/week. I’ll be sure to post a link to that.
Tonight, I’m sitting, and I’m writing. A script. For a super-secret project. Once this goes live, I’ll be sure to drop links. I’ve had this idea for some time, but I’ve committed more time to planning since my last super-secret project fell through. Being that I’m the only one I need to depend on for this one, hopefully I won’t be letting myself down.
Finally, I’m typing words in GRPC book 3. I know, I know. I need to edit book 2 in that series and get it released. As well as Almost-Super Heroes books 1-3 and V&A Shipping 3. So much editing I need to get done and so many book covers I need to do. I can’t believe I’m sitting on that much content instead of getting it out into your hands.
Once I’m done with that 15 book story arc (4 GRPC, 4 V&A, 4 ASH, and a military sci-fi trilogy) I will be getting back into Super Natural Learning. The excitement of the 5th grade class hearing about those books and the smiles on their faces has inspired me to start typing fast and furious. That entire series is planned for 18 books. With each weighing in around 25,000-30,000 words, I should be able to work my way through that series quickly.
2020 is the year. It’s time for this authors to kick things into high gear. I’m glad you’re still with me for the ride and I’m happy many more are hopping on board. Let’s see what we can accomplish!
Until Next Time!
I hope the day finds you well. Tomorrow is Super Bowl Sunday in the US. That means I’ll be at my father-in-law’s house watching the big game with all the family.
Today was an incredible day on the bay. My Favorite Daughter’s boyfriend had his birthday on Thursday. So we all went to the bay along with much of his family. He is a twin, so we got to celebrate with both of them.
Even though he’s 22, we still call him The Boy. He’s very good to her and we really like that about him.
I took a lot of pictures not just of him and them and everyone, but also of the beautiful sunset and the moon. It was such a perfect spot. It was weird being on the bay in February and it being in the 80s. Just a couple of days ago it was in the low 50s. This weather is nuts.
Yesterday was a really fun day for me as an author. I was invited by a good friend of mine, Annette (Hi Annette!) to go and talk to a 5th grade class. I thought, oh, ok. A 5th grade class. That will be fun. Small classroom. Maybe 20 students. Before I left to go to Vista Grande Elementary school, she sent me a text. “The students will be in the auditorium.”
My brain froze up for a moment before I realized I was thinking about the schools I used to go to where the entire 5th grade was only a handful of students. Not multiple classes.
Turns out, it was nearly 100 students from three different classes and the Special Ed kids as well.
My nerves ramped up, of course. It’s been a long time since I’ve been in front of a large group. Thankfully I was there to talk about writing, my writing process, and answer questions.
I spoke for about fifteen minutes, introducing myself. Talked a bit about the books I’ve written. What they were about. How I approach writing. What I read and how I use reading different works than what I write to give my books a little more flavor.
Then I took questions. I’m not sure what I expected, but it wasn’t about a third of the hands to shoot up into the air. I spent nearly 30 minutes answering questions and there were some great questions.
The biggest thing I tried not to do was to talk down to the kids. To treat them as if they were peers who were getting started with writing. Really, that’s what anyone is of any age. Everyone starts somewhere.
I had a wonderful time. My friend who invited me there had a surprise. She’d bought several of my books to give away (I hadn’t thought of that and will need to start keeping a stock on hand for just that). We drew numbers and gave the books away which I signed for the winners. I’m not certain who was happier. Me, or the ones who won.
All in all, it went great!
I’m now more excited than every to fire up Scrivener and start working on GRPC Book 3: Fallen. I’m also in need of getting all the books I currently have written edited and covered and published.
Thank you to Annette for the invite and thank you to the Vista Grande 5th graders for being such an attentive and great audience! I can’t wait to see what they accomplish!
Until Next Time!
Hey! Hi there. Looks like I fell off the end of the world once again. I hate when that happens. Looking back, I didn’t make a blog post for the entire year of 2019. I had a lot of big plans in 2018. All of which, for many, many reasons I won’t go into on this post, didn’t happen. Let’s just say, it’s 2020 and it’s time for me to revisit all my writing goals and plans and get back on track.
I did write during 2020. I have five books I’ve written over the past two years that I need to edit, cover, and release. I’m still planning on doing a re-release of freshly edited versions of my current books in the series I’m working on and that will still happen as I get ready to drop the new books. At the same time, I need to gear up and get back to work on all the books I intend to write this year.
There were big plans for 2019 coming into 2020 and a lot of discussion happened in the background. A lot of plans and commitments. Sadly, that hasn’t come to fruition as it seemed all involved had minor (or major) life rolls that put our efforts on hold for a short time. That short time became a long time. Now, I’m not 100% certain that brilliant project will happen and it makes me a little sad.
At the same time, it frees me up to engage in another project I plan to kick off in 2020 that will accompany my getting writing again and working on my visibility. Every author needs a platform and I need to work on mine.
The first step is to start blogging on a regular basis once again. I won’t promise daily. I won’t even promise weekly. I do plan to be more regular, though.
Yes, I do have book news. Mike Plested and I have gotten Jack Kane and the Kaiser out into the world. We are currently working on plotting book 3 so we can prepare to get that one written and released in a much quicker fashion. Yes, there was far too much time between Book 1 and Book 2. Again, so much going on in the background that I won’t get into here. Let’s just say, I’m very happy with this book being out and excited to hear what people think about it.
I’m going to keep this short as I could ramble on for hours. I will save that for the next post. I turned 50 last year. It’s time to get serious about what I’m going to do with the rest of my life. <grin>
Until Next Time!
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.
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!
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!
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!
Some days, it’s difficult to get started.
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!
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!