Hitting a stride.

When I was at the top of my writing streak, I was writing 3000-4000 words a day. I did that on and off for a few months and wrote four books in that time. It felt great to sit and type. I was also blogging daily. That helped to keep my mind fresh and my fingers nimble.

With my day job, I spend a LOT of time typing, so speed has never been an issue. I haven’t really slowed down with my typing pace. I’ve never formally measured my typing speed (some day I should do that) but I’m confident it’s over 70 WPM and probably higher than I think it is.

Words flow quickly from my fingers. I remember having a 30 minute writing race with J. Daniel Sawyer and pounding out just over 1500 words in that time. Again, this was when I was at the top of my game writing semi-regular and blogging daily. I was deep in a story and it was easy.

I’d love to get back there again. I can still type fast and I know where my story is going, but my creative muscle hasn’t been taxed like this in a long time. I just sat for 1.5 hours and wrote 2500 words. I’d love to do more, but seriously, I’m exhausted. I feel like I ran a mental marathon. I know that I could write more, but right now I don’t want to push myself. It’s like jogging. You don’t get out and run 15 miles on your first time out in a long time.

I’ve only been back to writing for 11 days after a great deal of time not writing. Yes, I mentally thought about the stories I wanted to write which is why GRPC 2 is an easy write for me, but getting into those characters’ heads and changing viewpoints and remembering events from the past story. It’s a lot at the moment. That, and I still have a family :). There’s still news and TV shows I’d like to watch. Books I’d like to read. Comics. etc.

And that’s something I needed to take a step back at. How much media was I consuming.  Especially the news. Wow. So much time I could have been writing. So that’s what I’ve done. I try to limit my time watching TV. That’s all I did. a couple hours not watching the news and using that time to write instead. And presto, I have an 11 day streak going. WOO!

So I’ll be brief tonight. I’ll try to do more thoughtful posts in the future with things like advice from Neil Gaiman, Isaac Asimov (Thank you Mike!) and links to some of the writing blogs I read and why I read them. I may even do some reviews of some of the media I’ve consumed over the past couple of years while I wasn’t writing 🙂 No, I won’t discuss the election or any of the news I watched about it. That’s what polluted my brain last year and I don’t wish to relive it.

So my steak increased, I’m happy about my words, I hope you will be as well when I finish and release this book. For now, I need to relax my brain for a while and I’ll do it again tomorrow.

Until Next Time


Starting From Zero


Well hello there! How’ve you been? I’ve missed you. I’m glad you are still here with me.

Yes, I’ve been very very quiet over the past couple of years. There’s been a random post here and a random post there. I never intended to abandon the blog and I really should have been more open about life, the universe, and everything. (42)

Let’s just say that life happens. I let it get away from me. Writing wasn’t happening. I didn’t feel like writing. My brain just wasn’t in the game. Yes, for two years I was more focused on other things. Those things are very important, like family, friends, my job, and my health.

So I came into this year and I wanted, NAY! Needed to start writing again. It had to happen. I was going to hit the ground running! I had a fire behind me.

<cue laughter>

Yes, as you can guess, writing didn’t happen on day 1. not even on day 2. Sadly not even on day 21. But on day 22! Yes! on Day 22 words started. I had procrastinated getting my part of Jack Kane 2 off to my writing partner. Yes, I’m a slacker. But feeling bad about not writing wasn’t going to get words written.

So, on day 22 I wrote words. It always feels good when I sit at the keyboard and make stuff up. Last year, the election in this country drained me. I don’t talk about that here. That’s not what I write for. You want to discuss the election, please call your representative and talk with them about how they are or they aren’t representing you. That’s their job, not mine.

Back to writing (you can see how much the election has been on my mind. It’s very distracting). ANYWAY! Putting the election behind me, I decided the next day that I needed to pick up on a project that I meant to do last year and never got to. I had every excuse for not working on it and, again, I felt terrible. Still, bad feelings weren’t getting words written. So I sat, I wrote.

That project is a Star Wars Fan Fiction. It’s exciting for me to be dipping my toe into the Star Wars universe. My partner on that one was also very excited to get this going. We had many discussions, laid out a basic plot last year. We got all the characters in place. It was all set to go, then I fell down on the job.

So once again, putting it all behind me, I started working on writing up the Audio Script for the first episode. Yes, Audio Script. This is a totally different writing muscle. Way different than sitting and writing prose. I won’t say it’s more difficult, it’s just a different way of writing a story. It’s still writing a story though.

Over five days, I knocked out the script. It felt awesome. We’ll be reviewing it later this week and I can’t wait to get it cast and get to work on the second episode (there will be 6 in the first season).

So I was having fun with that script, but at the same time, I wanted to get working on my books once more. So at the same time I was working on the script, I would finish a scene, and I would start on a new book.

What am I writing?

A fan reached out to me who left me a great review of Orphan: GRPC1. I had wanted to start the book two and work on book three so I could write V&A 3. That little bit of encouragement was all I needed.

BAM! I started work on a new book.

All this also started at the same time I spoke with Kimi from Tale Chasing. She was excited about getting to work on her next Guardians novel. I can’t wait to read it! i loved the first, I’m sure the second will be awesome. She also helped fuel my fire. Thank You Kimi! *wave*

So what did all this add up to? Now that we’re at the end of the month and I only wrote for ten days. How did I do? How will I do going forward?

If my first few days of writing will be a streak I can carry on for the rest of the year, that has yet to be seen. I’m hoping for the best. But that I was able to write just shy of 20,000 words. Yes, ten days, 20,000 words. I am so excited that I’ve knocked out so many words. I’m ready to run into February and continue this streak.

If you’re waiting for GRPC2, I hope you won’t be waiting long. I’m already 10,000 words into the book. that’s about 1/8th of where I’m targeting. GRPC1 was roughly 80,000 words. I’m hoping GRPC2 will also be roughly 80,000 words. If things keep going the way they are, I hope to have it completed before the end of February (I write much faster when I get to the end of a book).

So things are looking up. I’m excited about writing again. Words are flowing and pending another life event, they’ll continue to flow. I also plan to blog more often. i want to keep you updated regularly. Fun times are ahead and I’m glad you’re there with me. Thank you.

Until Next Time!


Only two days left!


You read that right! Only two days left to get all this extreme sci-fi goodness! And I’ll make the deal even sweeter! If you pick up a copy of the bundle, drop me a note and I’ll send you any other two of my books FREE! That’s right, just let me know you bought the bundle, and I’ll throw in a couple more books!

Don’t let this one get away! Some great books in this bundle!

I’ll be back with more news later!


NEWS: Jack Kane 2 is underway!


It’s been far too long since I mentioned Jack Kane and the Statue of Liberty. Yes, this stand-alone book is wonderful and you would love a copy (you can get a copy right here). Mike Plested and I worked very hard getting that one out the  door and then both of us had life events that took up a majority of last year bleeding over into this year.

Suffice to say, we’re finally up and writing once more! Jack Kane 2 is under way. We don’t have a full working title yet, but that will be coming along any time I’m sure. We’re passing it back and forth so it should get done in a far shorter time than the first go ’round we had with Book 1. The writing and plotting will be tighter. The characters are already fully formed. It’s great fun so far and we’re nearly 20,000 words in! WOO!

So if you haven’t read book 1, now is a great time to get caught up. You won’t need to read book 1 to understand the events in book 2, but it’ll help get to know the characters.  As soon as this one is complete and off to the publisher, I’ll be sure to let you know. Needless to say, I’m very VERY excited to be back sitting at the keyboard. I think doing these little blogs posts are helping as well.

It’s an exciting time. I’m glad you’re still with me for the ride!

Until Next Time!


John Mierau (His Name is Hard to Spell) wants me to give you a free ebook.

John Mierau is a close, personal friend of mine. He produces a lot of content and it’s all worthy of your attention. He’s done a couple of KickStarters, and has a Patreon Account. Check him out! I support him!


He asked me to give away some copies of his latest ebook, Farlost: Arrival, so the first 4 people to comment on this post with your email address and ebook type you prefer, I will send an ebook to you! Act fast. They will only be available for the next two weeks! If you don’t want to leave a comment, email me: jay@ofgnomesanddwarves.com.

Speaking of the next two weeks, don’t forget I’m still in a book bundle! It’s not around forever you know.


I’ll be back with actual news tomorrow. Much is happening and I want to tell you all about it. I’ll also be posting more about things I’m reading, authors who are close, personal friends of mine, graphic novels I’ve read, Patreons I support, KickStarter campaigns I’m backing, things like that.

Stick around, there will be much to talk about in the coming days!

Until Next Time!



The continuing saga of a dying computer

Image result for windows 10 blue screen of deathAfter yesterday’s excitement (not good excitement mind you), I finally have the PC back up and running. Yes, yes, yes. I know Macs never have this issue. I’m a PC type of guy. I doubt I’ll ever change.

So I wound up reinstalling Windows 10. Then reconfigured Windows. Then reinstalled all my apps. Then reconfigured all my apps. Argh! Lots of time lost.

Thankfully, no data lost. Jay (yes, the J in JR is short for Jay, thrilling, I know) is a chronic paranoid and backs up data. The SSD that’s the master boot disk, and the one that was corrupted, only holds windows and the applications. All data, my documents, my downloads, my pictures, my music…you get the point, are all on other drives. Much of that data is backed up on external drives. So yeah, in the event of a catastrophic event, I could somewhat easily recover.

And recover I have. And, by the way, if one day you happen to wake up and find yourself in an existential quandary full of loathing and self-doubt and wracked with the pain and isolation of your pitiful meaningless existence, at least you can take a small bit of comfort in knowing that somewhere out there in this crazy mixed-up universe of ours, there’s still a little place called…Albuquerque

There’s always room for Weird Al lyrics in a blog post, I feel.

So more news? Probably not tonight. Jay needs to get to that writing stuff I wasn’t able to get to last night. It’s waiting for me, calling my name. And it’s also more of the news I’ll tell you about tomorrow!

Until Next Time!


P.S. Don’t forget I’m still in a book bundle This deal won’t last forever! https://storybundle.com/scifi

Windows 10 and the saga of msointl.dll

Windows 10 decided I had far too much time on my hands. So, it restarted my PC stating “Windows has encountered a problem and is restarting.”

Well, wonderful. It was quite odd, but hey, why not. Restarting sounds like a good time.

When the computer came back up, there was no internet connection. Well, gee, isn’t that odd. There was also no sound. I got an error “msointl.dll is missing” when I tried to open any MS Office applications. It didn’t seem like there was only one problem.

So I browsed several sites that gave me great advice, unfortunately, none of it worked. I couldn’t get the network to troubleshoot because I’d lost permission to diagnostic service policy. I could open some apps, but for the most part, everything appears to have been corrupted.

SO! I tried to to a recovery, a reset, a restore. All of those also failed. Each gave me very specific errors like “Windows cannot complete the reset.” or “Windows cannot perform a recovery at this time.”

Now I’m not throwing hate at Windows right now. This is the first major OS crash I’ve ever had with windows. It’s just frustrating that as I’m the busiest I’ve been in some time with my writing, something like comes by and throws me for a loop.

I do have more than one PC, yes, but I need THAT PC up and running for many more reasons than just Gee, I’d like to be on that PC. So I’m downloading Windows 10, and will soon be reinstalling Windows on the PC. I did back up all my files. Once the install is done I can download all the apps again. I’ll probably lose my bookmarks as the PC no longer boots. But these things happen from time-to-time. It’s best to always be prepared for the worst.

Need a distraction from something like this? Why not check out a great ebook bundle! There are far more exciting things to do than read about me crashing a PC. 🙂


Promoted and promotion.

It’s been a long time since i blogged regularly and as I said yesterday, much news has built up. So, this is another post getting you all caught up with life events that have happened. Yes, I know I’ve been quiet and i will be rectifying that by getting back to regular blogging.

The next great piece of news I have for you: Promoted.

Before I was surplussed at work (That was nearly 3 years ago) I was in an organization that had little to no movement. Everyone was frozen and locked into their position. No one moved up or out of the org. Things were that tight. For about 12 years I was in that group and it’s been about 15 years since my last actual promotion.

Two team Leads left our group recently (one left the company, one got promoted). i inquired each time, and after some negotiation, I was moved up to Team Lead.

This promotion doesn’t come without a lot of effort on my part. I had taken leadership mentoring, I’d mentored with other leaders (Both Technical Directors and team leads). I took leadership training courses. Participated in leadership forums. I spent the last three years working with my Technical Director so he knew my motivations and goals.

Am I excited? Oh heck yeah! This is my first promotion in about 15 years. I’ve finally moved from worker bee to the first rung of leadership. There are still many years in my career left and hopefully this first step into leadership will be one of many.

Back to yesterday’s news, yes, the book bundle is still going on. Just a reminder here. I’ll talk more about it and the others in the bundle in the coming days. So much more news to talk about. It’s an awesome time right now.

If you have any questions about the bundle, please let me know. Thank you for all your support. It means the world to me.


Until next Time!


Extreme Sci-Fi Bundle


You hear stories from time-to-time about the little guy getting a chance. A good player in the minors getting pulled up to the majors. A tough defensive back getting the nod to come off the practice squad to play his first game in the majors.

That’s how I feel. I’ve written a number of books. I feel great about the stories I’ve told, but getting noticed is so painfully difficult. So you can imagine my surprise when I got the nod, I got the tap on the shoulder. “Jay, I think you’re good enough, let’s see what you’ve got.”

If you’ve never heard of a book bundle before, they’re a great way to get a lot of ebooks for a little dough. $5 gets you 5 awesome ebooks (including mine!) and $15 gets you even more ebooks. Pay what you want! When I saw the lineup, I was blown away. Kevin J. Anderson (the guy who works with Frank Herbert’s son to continue the Dune series), Mike Resnik (How many awards has he won for his work?), Kristine Kathrine Rush and her husband Dean Wesley Smith, J. Daniel Sawyer, M.L. Buckman and Blaze Ward. Talk about a powerhouse lineup.

And included with those names is mine.It’s difficult not to be a little overwhelmed.

Each bundle has a theme. What’s this one about? If you haven’t caught all the sports references, it’s about extreme Sci-Fi Sports. You love Sci-Fi? You love Sports? It’s all right here waiting for you. Ten books that’ll keep you on the edge of your seat screaming, cheering, and leaving you exhausted.

So what are you waiting for? Head on over to https://storybundle.com/scifi and grab an ebook bundle. If you have any questions, ask! I’ll be more than happy to help you out. All platforms are supported.

Until Next Time!


P.S. I know it’s been a long time since I’ve posted. I’m getting back on the horse and I have lots of news to share. So expect a lot more blog posts from me! Daily blogging once again? I just might have to do that. WOO WOO!

Golden West 2 now available!


First off, Golden West 2 is now available. This is the sequel to Golden West which first appeared as a podcast with the Action Pack Podcast. Yes, it’s been a while, but I love where the story went after book one and I already know how the trilogy will conclude. To celebrate the release of book 2, book one is currently free for the entire week! So you can get started with the series at no risk.

Get Golden West 1 FREE!

Get Golden West 2 for only $2.99!

I’m so excited for this series. How excited am I? So excited that I already have the cover for book 3 and I hope to release it before the end of the year if the stars align and nothing prevents me from doing so.


So if you grab a copy, thank you for helping me out. If you don’t own a kindle, you can still get the ebook. If you buy a copy (or pick up the free ebook) let me know and I will email you an epub version that’ll be usable on any other ereading device. Every sale helps push the book up the Amazon ratings. If you loved the podcast, please consider leaving a review. Those also help more than I can explain.

Thank you so much for your support.

Until Next Time!

Stay Awesome!