Author Archives: jrmurdock

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!

EXCELSIOR!

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.

<sigh>

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!

Daily Log: 2018-11-07

Hey Crew,

Another long day. I had planned to get a bit caught up on my NaNoWriMo words, and slipped a little further behind. Hey, that happens. I know I’ll get caught up. I’m only a couple thousand words behind and that’s just a couple of more hours I’ll need to spend in the chair. When I get on a roll, I can do it.

Why do I know I can do this? I love these characters. I’m having fun getting back into their heads. I’m so glad I dropped the beginning and started over. When I do sit and write and knock out 1000 words, it doesn’t feel forced, I don’t feel stressed. I’m enjoying myself. I’m escaping from the day-2-day. If I weren’t having fun, I don’t think I’d keep coming back to writing.

Writing is only one part of what I’m doing. I need to get to publishing. I know that. I pester My Favorite Daughter regularly. I want to get these books out and I’m only lacking covers. Sure, I could do it myself, but I know what she will do I’ll be much happier with. I’ll have a consistent theme across all the series, and each series will stand apart from the others. It’s going to be great. I just need to be patient. Close my eyes, take a deep breath and be patient.

Yeah, it’s not easy. 🙂

That said, one of the many (MANY) blogs I read is Kris Rusch’s blog. This week she talks about Writing What You Love. I suggest you take a look.

https://kriswrites.com/2018/11/07/business-musings-getting-to-the-stories-you-love/

It’s something I have struggled with at times. What would I write if I weren’t writing something I enjoy writing? Honestly, I can’t imagine writing something I wasn’t having a good time writing. I’ve seen authors write to market. Some do well. But…they’re nothing writing something they’re passionate about. I guess, for me, writing and telling my stories was never about the money.

Sure, I’d love to have a hit novel and be able to write full time. Who knows, if I actually get my act together, that could happen. What would I do with sudden success?

LEARN!

I’d learn everything I could to maintain that success or at the very least, protect my income and reinvest it in myself. I’d learn business. I’d learn more about what authors do to tell better stories and get interest. I’d learn more about marketing my novels.

Speaking of which…

There’s a FaceBook group I’m a member of. 20 Books to $50K. I’ve only lightly read in there. I know I need to delve deeper. They’re having an event in Vegas this weekend and live streaming many of the seminars. If you’re interested, I suggest you take a look.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/781495321956934/

I haven’t watched any of the content, but a few authors I know are there and highly recommend what they’re seeing. I’ll be checking it out.

For now, it’s late, I’m tired (you know the drill).

Until Next Time!

Stay Awesome!

Daily Log: 2018-11-06

Hey Crew,

Much better day today. Had I been in the chair more than I was, I would have gotten more than 1000 words written, but given how little time I spent actually writing, I’ll take those 1000 words. Darn election coverage.

Yes, this puts me behind on my NaNoWriMo goal and my November goal in general. I will have good days coming up. That much I know. At least I’m keeping the streak alive with getting words down every day, no excuses. Writers write. That’s #1. I’ll work on the rest of Heinlein’s rules in the coming months.

Busier than normal day today with the day job. One of my co-workers is out so I’ve been testing/troubleshooting something he’s been working on. Since I’m fairly new to what he’s doing, it’s a steep learning curve. Combined with doing End-of-the-Year goals and finishing off some training, it’s been fun.

Helped My Favorite Daughter build a garden box for her ginger plants. They were getting constrained in the pot they were in as they like to have room to run. Picked some peppers from my pepper plants. No idea what kind they are. Some are crazy spicy, others are good and flavorful.

Spent the early morning hours with a playful puppy. Below you will find a few pictures of Koda (the teacup Yorkie) and Orea (the Lasa Apso). Tootsie, our oldest puppy at 14, is mostly blind and mostly deaf and the puppy scares her so she avoids her as much as possible. Hence, I don’t have a picture of the two of them together yet. I have found them laying next to each other a few times, but when I try to take a picture, the puppy, ever curious, will follow me.

Speaking of training, I signed up for Scott’s Bass Lessons. I figure if I’m going to toy around on the instrument, I may as well learn how to really play it. I’ve learned a number of songs already and it’ll be nice to fill in the large knowledge gaps I’ve got.

Also, along the training vein, I’ve signed up for a few of Dean Wesley Smiths online lecture series.

I might be coming up on 50 (don’t let the photo on the blog fool you, I was 35 in that picture) but I will be a life-long learner.  I don’t think I could spend my life not learning something new.

Speaking of something new, I need to go refresh my brain. 4am comes early and if the puppy stays asleep, I might knock out some early morning words and get back on track with my word goal for November.

Until Next Time!

Stay Awesome!

Daily Log: 2018-11-05

Hey Crew,

Wow, I don’t know which is kicking my butt harder; my sinuses or the hour change. Getting dark so early is messing with my head and with my sinuses as full as they’ve ever been, I don’t need my head messed with right now. Combined with NaNoWriMo, I don’t need anything slowing my roll.

But that’s what happening. Dang it. I did get into the chair and knocked out 1000 words before I had to tap out. I took some sinus meds so my brain is getting fuzzy and I’m about to drop off into La La Land (yes, I saw the Teletubbies meme and it was hilarious for those who actually got it 🙂 ).

So, tonight is a short post to keep the streak alive and well. A good night’s rest and I should be better in the morning (I just misspelled half the words in that last sentence.)

Until Next Time!

Stay Awesome!

Daily Log: 2018-11-04

Hey Crew!

Another NaNoWriMo day. I had thought I’d have more time in the chair today than I did given the extra hour we gained last night. Turns out I was wrong. I did, however, get 1400 words in before the day went all winky on me. And got in about 45 minutes of bass practice between what I thought would be at least two writing sessions.

With a new puppy in he house there is much to do, so we took the puppy to the vet to get her started on her shots. Hat took much longer Ha n anticipated. Getting back we had lunch and got ready to head to my faher-in-law’s o spend the day over there. Good visit as always and brought along the puppy so she could experience grass for the first time. Being that we have zero scaping, all she has here is concrete, rock, and diet to explore.

While there, both the Mrs and I started getting headaches. Turns out, a marine layer had moved i n and both of our sinuses suffered. Ugh. Been a while since I suffered from my sinuses filling up and my head throbbing.

In fact, went to bed almost as soon as we got home. I did knock out a couple hundred more words before I couldn’t take it any more. In fact, I was almost asleep when I realized I hadn’t posted yet. Perhaps I should do these first thing in the morning:-)

At any rate, off to bed to contend with my sinuses. Been so long since this happened, all he meds for sinuses have expired. If this continues tomorrow it’ll be time to buy some Sudafed.

Until Next Time!

Stay Awesome!

Daily Log: 2018-11-03

Hey Crew!

Great day today. Lots going on, and I also got a lot of time in the chair. I surprised myself by watching exactly 0 hours of TV today. That’s how NaNoWriMo will need to be if I’m going to be hitting targets. More time writing, less time sitting idle.

We’re still potty training the puppy. Yes, I’ll post a cute picture soon, I promise. She is good about (mostly) using the pee pads instead of the carpet so I’m still very thankful of that. I haven’t gotten a surprise between the toes yet. For that, I’m even more thankful.

I knocked out 2500 words today in two writing sessions. I may sit and write more. Not 100% sure at this point. I’m a little tired but feel I’ve got at least another 500 words in me that want out tonight.

Had a great dinner with Jack Mangan and his family and a few other friends. Yes, THE Jack Mangan from the Jack Mangan Deadpan Podcast. It’s been gone for a while, but will never truly be forgotten.

His daughter is excited to be doing NaNoWriMo for the first time this year. I’m excited for her and will cheer her on every step of the way. If you’re also doing NaNoWriMo, let me know in the comments so I can cheer you on as well. I love reading about other people’s writing adventures so I’d love to hear yours!

I’m off to go make a few more words happen. BUT FIRST!

One of my writing group has a new book out and you should totally pick up a copy. Actually, two of them do so below are two links to two books you should totally pick up.

First is IQ Malcolm:

Second is Timothy Niederriter. He’s been writing and releasing a series of novellas that you want to read! Here’s the link to the first in the series and he just dropped the latest a couple of weeks ago.

I know I need to do more to signal boost my friends and that starts today.

I’m off to make a few more words happen in VA3 and then it’s off to bed for me.

Until Next Time!

Stay Awesome!