Category Archives: Blog Post
More progress on my read-through of Almost-Super Heroes 2. I’m more than half-way along and hope to get it done over the next couple of days. Today was another moderately busy day or I’d have gotten further along. This is a great group of characters and I’m remembering all that happened as I get to it and remembering where I wanted to go with it.
I’m not much of a plotter. I have a vague idea where this story is going as well as where the entire story arc across all the series will go in this entire fifteen book arc. Even with a general idea of where it’s going, there are still many surprises along the way. That’s why I’m not a heavy plotter. I’d never finish these stories. I, like some other writers, like to be surprised when I to a revelation. Like in V&A Shipping 2: Hollow when… aw…you didn’t think I’d give something away, did you? 🙂
Speaking of this story arc. One thing I want readers to understand. Each book is a complete story. Yes, there are threads that lead into other books, but for the most part, you could, in theory, pick up any book in any of the series and you’d get a complete story. That’s by design. Though, much like when you watch NCIS, there are threads that carry from one to the next, and season to season. Actually, this is more like the Marvel Cinematic Universe. You can watch any one movie and you’ll get a complete story. If you watch them all, you’ll get an even bigger story and it will all tie together.
Yes, I know I’ve set myself up for a big challenge. That might be what caused my brain to vapor lock last year before I took more time off than intended and started playing bass for several months. I’m back in the writing headspace now and more excited than ever to write these books.
Speaking of bass, yes, I’m still practicing. It’s not eating into my writing/editing time. It’s eating into my TV time which is a good thing. I need to cut way back on my TV watching. I likely won’t cut it out completely. I still love watching Penn and Teller Fool Us with my favorite daughter, and the Mrs. and I love watching Big Brother. Speaking of which, it’s on and she’s calling me.
Until Next Time!
I’m sitting in front of the computer for the first time today. Crazy busy day. What does that mean? No editing today. Sorry. Tomorrow is a different day.
The morning started out normally enough, but the Mrs. and I had an errand to run south of the border and it took some time getting back. I dropped her off at her afternoon workout and had a couple more errands to run.
Once everyone was back home, it was off to my nephew’s 2nd b-day party. If you’ve ever been to a Mexican birthday party, they start late and go even later. This one, honestly, ended earlier than most. It was still a great time had by all. Wonderful party and it’s always great when the family gets together.
Sorry for the short post, but I’m exhausted. Expect actual progress tomorrow.
Until Next Time.
Not a lot of progress today. It is Friday and we went out to dinner with friends. Great times. Great times.
I did manage to get through reading/editing 7 more chapters of Almost-Super Heroes 2. I’d forgotten how dark parts of this book are, but they’re needed. Book 3 may be a little darker as we build up to the climax of this series in book 4.
Having a great time getting back into the headspace of these characters. I’d missed them. It’s getting me very anxious to write V&A Shipping 3 which I do think will be the next book I do.
If all goes right, I want to do 3 books before the end of the year. We’ll see what happens. It would be wonderful to finish V&A3, GRPC3, and ASH3 before the year is out. That means I can focus 2019 on getting all the book 4s out in each of those series, and work on the Military Sci-Fi trilogy that will cap off that entire story arc.
It was asked of me in my weekly writer’s group if this will be the end of those series.
Heaven’s no. This will just be the competition of this one major story arc. My plan, if I do this correctly, will lead into another 15 book story arc. There will be major changes in the universe and there are far too many stories to tell with all of these characters. Honestly, I don’t see an end in sight and hopefully, these will be stories people will enjoy.
That said, I do also have a fantasy series I want to write someday. Actually 2 (maybe even 3). We shall see what happens in the coming years and just how fast I can keep my output going.
As a simple FYI: I won’t be posting these to FaceBook anymore. It’s now a manual process and, pfft, that’s more effort than I wish to go through and I don’t want to clutter up people’s FB feeds with just my random clutter.
I will still post important events such as book releases, deals, bundles, etc. But these daily posts will only go to those places where I can post automagically.
I’ve a busy day tomorrow so I’m off to bed and will hit the editing once again tomorrow.
Until Next Time
Busy day today with work. For those that don’t know, my new position at work is in the Date Leakage and Prevention group. This is a fascinating new area and not something I ever thought I’d be working on. The first part of the year, my duties were painfully dull but extremely interesting. My new duties have me taking that new and interesting knowledge, and using my old skills in web development to generate reports on the data we’re collecting to allow it to be better analyzed and utilized.
So much going on and it seems to change every couple of weeks. Really keeps the team on its toes.
I did get kneedeep into editing and added (and probably removed) a few hundred words from Almost-Super Heroes 2. I did find a couple issues and strange names that needed fixing right out of the box. Not sure how I managed that. Very likely when I jumped into book 2, I knew where I wanted to go and skipped ahead without explaining to the reader what was going on. Easy enough to fix and move on. Very glad I went back through all the books and skimmed this one as well. I should be able to complete my read through and start adding new words to this book in the coming days.
Feels so good to be writing once more. I can’t wait to start re-releasing these books and get the new stories out to see what people think. I’m going to try and get more done before calling it a night.
Until Next Time!
So much going on today. One of the things I wanted to share is that I know I have work to do. Reading someone else’s reaction to yesterday’s blog let me know one big thing I’m lacking when it comes to my writing. Yes, consistency is a biggie, but the second is trust.
It would seem that my lackadaisical approach to my writing and publishing has put some folks off. I get that. I honestly do. This is why, starting today, I’m going to blog daily. This will help me build a streak of daily blogging which will push me to post my numbers for the day. This will also help many of you who’ve seen me fall off the map (off the horse, off the cart, and every other variation of the phrase) time and again.
Don’t see me post for a day? Call me out on it. I know several authors who are doing this and it’s time I step up and become one. Why? Streaks build trust. If you can trust me to put down a blog post every day, you should be able to trust me to stay on schedule or at least let you know exactly where I’m at with my schedule. It’ll also help me get books written faster. I know I can write, without breaking a sweat, upwards of 3000 words a day. Time to start doing that again. You will see where I’m at each day and if I get no words written except for this blog post, at least you’ll know what I was doing.
Harlan Ellison, who passed away this year, used to sit in a bookstore window and type up stories, pasting each page to the window as he wrote. Writing in public is nothing new. It’s time for me to do the same. I won’t be posting my daily words, but I will post my daily word counts. Starting tomorrow. I haven’t written yet today and just sat down to do so. I will post my word count tomorrow.
Come to think of it, I will probably write this post first, then write. It’s a good primer. Heck, let’s just say this daily posting is a work in progress and go from there, shall we? We’ll figure this out together.
I’m off to go make words happen.
Until Next Time!
Spending time away from writing and this blog aren’t easy. Coming back to it is even more difficult. There’s a wide range of emotions from a longing to return to guilt for having been away for so long with no explanation as to where the heck I disappeared to in the first place. So I’ll try to sum up the story as best I can.
Last year, around this time, my high school buddy, Jeff, called and said “Hey, I’m getting the bands back together!”
I played drums in a band with him in high school and his 50th birthday was coming up. I had since switched to bass and Sean (the other friend from the high school band) and I were in a band after I’d gotten out of the Navy. So Jeff got us together, plus all his other bands he’d been in (and was still in) and had a birthday blow out that couldn’t be beat. It was terriffic. I had a great time on stage, but practiced for months to get my chops back to where they needed to be for the show. Curious? Here’s the video. I’m not sure why, but even though this was the biggest crowd Sean and I had ever played in front of (Jeff regularly plays in front of much larger crowds), I wasn’t nervous.
After Jeff’s birthday party (the following morning to be exact) I was feeling great at how well we did for not playing together for 25 years and not playing those songs in the same amount of time. Browing FaceBook, I saw there was an opening for a bass player to play a song for the upcoming Metal Jam.
Side Note: Metal Jam is an annual event that Jeff puts on. There is a song list and musicians sign up to play on one song. Sometimes people drop out. I was lucky enough that somoene did drop out and I stepped up to play my first Metal Jam!
It was Skid Row. I figured how hard could Skid Row be, right? I mean, it’s just a hair metal band. Oh, Jay was so wrong. That song looked simple enough but there are a couple rather tricky parts. So I practiced for a month on that song while still playing the songs we had played from Jeff’s birthday just to throw them into the mix. There was only one practice before the show and we were on second! Still, there was a big crowd as all the musician show up prior to the gig starting. So yet again I was on stange in front of dozens of musicans having a great time, and oddly, not nervous.
Interested? Here’s that video.
So that took up a majority of the past year. Playing and practing bass for a couple of shows. Both were a great time!
So after those shows were over, I still fiddled around with the bass, but I had spent my creative energy in a totally different direction that anticipated.
Also, during that time, I had been surplussed from work. If you’ve heard me talk about this before, it meant my position was eliminated and I had 60 days to find another position. Never a good time, and, thankfully, 2 days before my last day, I landed another position.
I was back to programming (sort of). The job didn’t start out that way, but it’s progessed and evolved and now I’m programming once again. After those two shows, I really focused on my job (well, I was focused on it before, but now I was putting in some extra hours to really get into the job).
We took a couple small vacations, my sister-in-law was sick (I won’t post about that here, ask me if you’re interested) and life took a lot of strange turns as it is wont to do.
So, I’m back. I’m back to writing. I’m back to editing. I’m about to get back to publishing. Here’s what’s on my plate and what I hope to be doing over the next few months.
I’ve done much better editing on V&A Shipping 1 & 2 and Giant Robot Planetary Competition 1. I also did the editing on GRPC 2 and Almost-Super Heroes 1. I’m over halfway done with Almost-Super Heroes 2. My plan is to relaunch the V&A Shipping universe. Better editing, new covers, and audio. Yes, I’ll finally be getting around to recording everything. So once I have ASH2 completed, I’ll be hitting record and going through all 6 books to record them. My plan is to drop a book a month for as long as I can keep that schedule up. Here’s what I’m hoping for a scheudle.
September – V&A Shipping 1
October – V&A Shipping 2
November – GRPC 1
That will be the rerelease of the original material plus the audio for those books.
December – Jack Kane 2
Hey! Jay, how does Jack Kane fit into the V&A Shipping universe?
Hey! It doesn’t! But Mike and I sold book 2 after finally finishing it and it’ll be out before the end of the year and we’ll be writing book 3 far faster than we did with book 2! WOO WOO! Books!
January – GRPC 2
February – Almost-Super Heroes 1
March – Almost-Super Heroes 2
April – V&A Shipping 3
That’s my plan thus far. Yes, it’s aggressive. But I need to start getting these books out the door. They’re done and collecting dust and I know many of you are waiting for more books as well as audio versions.
Here’s where I’ll need your help. In the coming months as I get these books out, I’ll be starting up a patreon page. I want to drop the books and the audio there. The audio will probably lag behind the ebook and print editions, but that’s the nature of the game. If you can’t afford the $$ for audible, Patreon will be another, less expensive option where it’ll be serialized. It’ll be a long time down the road before I start dropping the episodes as actual podcasts. We will have to see what happens. But I do intend to get my hat back into the podcasting arena.
There are a lot of plans in the works. I know consistency is key. I need you to hold my feet to the fire if I slip and start to fall behind.
I want to take a moment and thank each and every one of you that reached out to me and commented on this blog. Also, those that have left reviews on Amazon and Goodreads. Your words are what keep me coming back. I know I haven’t been the most reliable author. I’m thankful you’ve all remained with me. It’s time to right this ship and set course.
Until Next time!
Well hi there. How’ve you been? Miss me? I know I missed me. A lot has happened since I last posted, so I thought I’d drop in here and let you know what happened last year. This will also be a rundown of my 2017 goals, how well I did, and how I feel about it all.
I will also discuss my plans for 2018 and what I intend to do about it.
So at the end of May, I’d written 296,113 words. I was way ahead of schedule. I was going to cruise to my word count goal of 438,000 words easily. I decided to take a month off which turned into two months off. By the end of July I got crazy busy with work and training I need to do for work and August got away from me.
By Mid-September, I was back full force. Nothing was going to stop me. I hit the ground running and was racking up big numbers once again.
Then September 27th hit me like a ton of bricks. I had been unexpectedly caught by a surplussing effort at work. My position had been eliminated and I would get a formal notification on October 16th that I had 60 days to find another position or I’d lose my job.
Let me first say that most companies don’t offer anything like this. Cuts come and you’re out. Plain and simple. I also don’t blame the company for doing what they felt was right for the company. I just didn’t see how I had merited being cut.
This, for obvious reasons, caused me a great deal of stress. My creative brain shut down. It just wasn’t happening. I applied and applied and applied. 175 internal applications in all. I had an interview that gave me a glimmer of hope, but after weeks of waiting, that position didn’t happen.
I had a second interview that went poorly and I knew I wasn’t getting that position either. I was ready to pack my bags, take my severance, and move on. After 21 years, it hurt to think I’d have to leave.
4 days before my final day of December 15th, I had one final interview. I was relaxed, got along well with the interviewing manager, and in less than 24 hours, he’d gotten all the approvals to hire me for the position. 3 days before I would have been looking outside the company.
I was shocked. Floored. Ecstatic. It was an early Christmas present for me and my family. I got to stay on with the company. We celebrated, had a wonderful Christmas, and a terrific New Year.
Well, they had a great New Year. I spent most of the last 4 days asleep and recovering from some bug that has now hit my wife. My wife and my favorite daughter took care of me, made sure I was awake to ring in the New Year, and made sure I drank plenty of fluids. I still have a bit of a cough, but all is looking right again.
I started my new position officially today, as I was on vacation for the last two weeks of the year. It’s an exciting opportunity and I’m looking forward to the challenges.
Back to the whole writing thing. How close to my 438,000 word count did I get? 322,906. 73.7%. A failure.
Did I hit my goal? Heck no. Do I feel bad? NO! I don’t. Not at all. I failed and still wrote over 300,000 words. This is an incredible success given that I hadn’t written much over the 5 years prior. I got inspired to do a huge 15 book arc within in the V&A Shipping universe. I had more ideas than I would have time to write. It was an exciting time. I’m happy with the progress I’ve made.
What I’m disappointed by is that I let my co-author, Mike Plested, down. We had intended to finish Jack Kane 2 before the end of the year. He kept up his end, but due to stresses in my life, I didn’t keep up mine. For that, I’m truly sorry. I will do better moving forward.
Speaking of moving forward…
My goal is even more ambitious than 2017. I’m aiming for 500,000 words. A target that I know I can hit. It’s all a matter of focus. 365 days of words (well, 364 now) and if I spend only 15 minutes a day at least and knowing I’ll spend more on most days, I know I’ll hit that target easily and hopefully surpass it.
Yes, 2017 got away from me. Partially my fault, partially stress related. These things happen. But I can’t let that deter me.
My goal is to finish the 3 books that are over halfway completed and write at least another 6 books throughout the year. At least. That’d be 9 books completed before Dec 31st, 2018. It’s ambitious, but even if I don’t make it, I’ll have been able to say I tried.
I also intend to blog a little more often. I had thought about blogging daily, but for now, I think I’ll stick to putting words down into books and get those published. I still have a backlog of books that I need to edit and cover and get into your hands. That will also happen this year.
Look for many great things on this blog over the coming year. Much will be happening if I can help it 🙂
Until Next Time!
I hope your week is starting out well. There’s a lot going on over the past couple of weeks with fires, shootings, hurricanes, and the like. Please stay safe out there.
Last week I did a give away on Golden West books 1 and 2. If you weren’t able to pick up a copy, drop me an email and I’ll ship them over. If you wanted to get a copy of book 3, it’s only $2.99 and ready for your reading pleasure.
In the comping weeks, hopefully before the end of the month. I’ll have new covers on GRPC 1 and have GRPC 2 ready to go. Now that I’ve put Golden West to bed, it’s time to gear up for a rush of books. GRPC2 will be the start of that. I had planned on putting out a book every other month, but that plan may change. I have a backlog of books. My feelings are now, why sit on them? I’ll be putting out a book a month until the backlog is clear and then putting out books as i get them done, edited, and covered. I’ll be writing under the Jay Bob pen name and hope to have couple of those books done for release early next year while I get the rest of the Sci Fi series gelled in my brain.
There are so many books in my head, it’s not even funny. The only way to get them out, is to write them. I no longer see the sense in sitting on them. They won’t be finding readers if they’re sitting on my computer. So my hope is to have a flurry of books over the next couple of years (at least).
At the moment, I have a minor distraction to deal with. I will share more details another time.
On the writing front: I’m over 20,000 words into the Bassist, over half-way done with Almost-Super Heroes 2, and Michell Plested and I are nearly completed with Jack Kane 2. I had planned on completed 10 books before June of next year. I got off to a slow start, but I will get them done. Rest assured, distractions or no, I will get books done.
Another short update this week. Dixxx Rocks needs to have some words added to it as does Jack Kane. It’s a great time to be a writer. I’m off to go write.
Until Next Time!
I’m visiting my new niece so very short post tonight reminding you that Golden West is still mostly free. If you join my newsletter, you can even get another book for free. If you signed up for Kinlde Unlimited, you can read all my books over there. Here are the links for Golden West, I hope you enjoy the trilogy. I would love to hear your thoughts, good or bad.
Until next time…
Hey Howdy Hey! Check these out! I finally got my new book covers for the Golden West trilogy! What does this mean for you? I means shortly I’ll be posted that these are for sale! The Trilogy is complete. The print and ebook editions are uploaded. The moment they’re live on Amazon, I will let you know.
I also went ahead and dropped them onto Kindle Select as I was seeing exactly 0 sales over the past year from every other platform. If you don’t read on kindle, please let you know and I will send you another format FREE! All I ask for is a review (if you don’t like Amazon, on GoodReads, or somewhere else).
It took a while to get them done, but now that I have them in my hot, little hands, I couldn’t be happier. Just stunning. Wait until you embiggen them. HOLY CARP! Beautiful.
I spent most of the night getting these uploaded, so I’m only making a short post tonight. Hope to have another post up as soon as they’re live (tomorrow?). We shall see. I’m off to go make words happen.
Until Next Time!