I’m a patient person. I’m really good at waiting. I really am. It doesn’t bother me when a waiter or waitress is slow or behind. I can wait. I’m usually never in a hurry. I don’t mind taking my time. I keep telling myself that the wait will be worth it.
I have several works out and some have been out since the end of November. I’m waiting. I have to look at it as longer is better. If the work were to be rejected outright I’d have heard something by now, right? So I have to assume that the longer, in this case, is better. I just need to be patient and keep plowing forward with other works. I need to keep submitting anything I’ve got finished and see what happens. I cannot allow myself to dwell on works I’m waiting on because the waiting will kill me. Just a little more time. People are busy. I understand.
On that note, I’ve begun working on the next episode of Golden West. The story is going to take a slightly different direction. I like where it’s going and the story will be stronger in the end. The first Action Pack episode is getting great reviews from those who’ve listened to it. That has made the three of us involved quite happy and hopefully we can keep it going strong. I know my second episode is building up to be quite interesting.
My Teacher is a Zombie is getting some editing done to it. I’ll be bugging Dan Dan the Art Man once again for a cover on that one. Once I get the second Episode of Golden West out of the way I’ll be doing my Teacher is a Werewolf. The characters were so much fun I need to keep those ones going. I’m having a lot of fun just writing. Even To Fall From the Sky is coming along nicely. I had an epiphany while writing the other day and WOW! I now have an even more powerful ending in mind that will take the story in the same direction, but just make it a more powerful ending.
Writing 2000 words a day during Lent is helping me really work out some writing issues I’ve had in the past. It’s great hitting a flow where words just seem to fall out of my head. Still not as fast as I would like, but I know with time I’ll get there. I can type fast, I can write fast, I just need to keep at it and both will get faster. There are so many stories in my brain that I need to write, it’s just a matter of making the time to write them all.
Stories like How I Got to Where I Am today. Let’s continue, shall we?
After submitting Of Gnomes and Dwarves: Book 1 to multiple agents and editors, I got disheartened. It’s tough to take rejection and everything I got was a form letter. The only plus side was my work was going quite well and I was learning how to program. My father had sat me down at the age of 12 and handed me a book on how to program in BASIC on a TRS-80 (maybe I was 13). I took another programming class in 10th grade and I loved programming. Why I switched and went into electronics I’ll never know.
So when I started doing web pages full time for my job, I was in heaven. I love designing for he web and I’ve been doing it as my job full time since 2001. Mostly I do back end work with getting things tied to databases and developing working interfaces, but lately I’ve been doing a lot more front end work. The field changes so quickly.
I think when it comes to writing that’s what I love about programming and creative writing. They’re both similar in the fact they require a certain amount of creativity, planning, and dedication to sit for hours alone and just type. Be it code frameworks or plot outlines, I find creativity in both endeavors.
As for my writing, I hit a slump after a lot of rejections. I took about a year or more off from writing. When I came back to it, I read several books on writing. Alright, closer to 30, but I was reading as much as possible. I took a challenge from one book and decided to write as many short stories as possible and in one year I wrote over 100 short stories. Of those 100 I submitted nearly half as I knew half were really bad. Of those 50 or so I submitted I had 10 publications. This was when online fiction was just starting out and there were no real strong ebooks. Half were online and half were anthology and smaller magazines. I was excited. I got back into writing fiction with V&A Shipping as a NaNoWriMo novel. I got the entire book written during that November and I felt great. I wrote Astel, Billy Barbarian, I even started three other novels that I didn’t finish, but I had strong starts to.
Then I lost my grandfather. That took the wind out of my sails. A year later when I started writing again my mother lost her husband. He’d never really been my dad, but I loved him all the same. I had difficulty getting back into writing, but I’d been playing around in the podcasting community for a while. I decided to podcast V&A Shipping. As I was recording the episodes I started writing again. Then I lost my dad.
It was a difficult one, two, three. But when I lost my dad I kept on podcasting and did Billy Barbarian and a number of short stories. What finally got me out of my writing funk, after trying to write and only getting a couple rough starts going, was Mike Plested suggesting that we do a collaborative work together. Bring out Jack Kane.
Sure it took he and I over a year to write, but that was due to many stops and starts. Finishing that book lit something in my brain and suddenly I decided that I needed to stop puttering around with my craft and get serious. I needed to treat my writing like it was a part time job. That’s what I’ve done since mid-December and this year I intended to keep a string of words flowing out and have not missed a day.
I started with writing this blog daily. That’s helped more than you can imagine. Then I decided that I needed to do more than just blog, but I needed to write daily. Not just write daily, but keep track of how much I was writing each day and to keep that word output in front of me so I could keep tabs on myself. And not just keep tabs. I needed to PUSH myself to do more. To do better. To perform at a level I’ve never performed at.
I’m not going to reach publication with works sitting in a drawer and hoping for the best. I’m not going to get published sitting back and waiting to get discovered. I always knew that, but keep myself from doing what needed to be done. Guess what, I’m writing more than I ever have. If this year turns out like I hope, I’ll produce as many words in 2012 as I have my entire time writing. That will tell me that I am capable of writing more fiction. yes, I’ve been blogging a lot, but once I get rolling, I need to keep rolling.
Look out world, 2012 is the year for Murdock to announce that I’ve arrived! Just you watch. This blog will chronicle all I am doing and all I’ve done. Some I cannot talk about yet, but as soon as I can, you’ll see. You’ll see.
I’m not sure if I’ll get my 2000 words done today. I did yesterday and it felt great. I’ll do my best and we’ll see how it goes.
Why? You might ask.
My brother is in town. We’re going to have dinner tonight. He had dinner with his boss and co-workers last night. I haven’t seen my brother since my father’s funeral. Inexcusable, I know, but times are tight. It’s sad, I know.
As I said, I did get my 2000 words in yesterday despite finding an addictive Tower Defense game. I won’t tell you the name because I don’t want you to get sucked in like I did. Lost a couple hours to that game. It was a good distraction, but distractions are distracting and I need to get back to focusing on my overall goal this year.
Putting down a couple thousand words per day has been good for the annual goal, though. I’m now better than 3 days ahead of my annual goal. If I stay on track, I’ll be way ahead. I like the sounds of that as vacations will happen later in the year ad I doubt I’ll write nearly as much during those times. It’s exciting to be two months into the year and still on target with most of my goals.
You may have noticed that Kance Encounter hasn’t dropped yet. Yes. I’m sorry about that. I’ve been writing far less fiction than intended and I do plan on getting it out there. Work on My Teacher is a Zombie was so much fun, that I may target this as my set of shorts for the year. I’ll have to bug Dan Dan the Art Man and see if he’s up for the challenge.
Yesterday I talked about my time in the Navy. A couple things I didn’t mention. In Jr. High I played drums in band. In High School I played drums in A band. My two best friends, Jeff Fahnstock and Sean McCoy and I had a three piece band called S.C.R.O.G. Inc and eventually we had a drummer Eric (I forget his last name). I continued with the drums until I got out of the Navy.
When I had to move from Florida to Colorado, I had to take a couple trips. They were long. They sucked. It was boring. Eastern Texas is beautiful. West Texas is 700 miles of nothing to look at and I went off the road more than once in my little car due to falling asleep.
When I was stationed in Seal Beach, Sean and Jeff were roommates in Long Beach (just North of Seal Beach) and we jammed a few times, but Jeff had his band and Sean practiced a lot. When I got out of the Navy, Jeff was still in Long Beach, but I didn’t want to go back. Sean had moved back to Durango, CO. I didn’t want to move back in with mom or dad. I didn’t want to go back to Durango either, but I didn’t have many options. I called Sean and the move happened.
Living in Durango as an adult is far different than as a student. As a student there isn’t anything to do except drink and get in trouble. As an adult, there isn’t anything to do except drink and get in trouble. The Navy taught me how to drink. Oh did it teach me how to drink. Me and alcohol never really mixed and it wasn’t until much later in life that I discovered this. But I digress.
Sean and I formed a band in Durango. I had sold my chrome and black drums for a sweet 5 string bass and bass stack. Sean helped me learn how to play bass and things progressed from there. I wasn’t great, but I got by. Mostly following along with the guitar.
When I got out of the Navy, I got a severance check. After taxes, that didn’t last long. I had to get not one, but two jobs. My first was working at the Humane Society. The other was working at a gas station on the outskirts of town. Both had their ups and downs. I love animals. I hated having to deal with what we did when we became overcrowded. I loved sitting and reading and taking money as a cashier. I hated working the second job because we closed up late. But these are the things you have to do to get by sometimes.
After a year in Durango, Sean and I packed up. We needed to move on. We wanted to be musicians, but there was little to no music scene in Durango. The only time any music scene happened was when our friend Jeff showed up for a visit. This is a long story. Perhaps I’ll tell that story tomorrow. It was a lot of fun.
We tried to decide where to move. The Grunge scene was just starting to break out of Seattle so we decided that going there was a bad idea. Any band that was going to make it had made it. Los Angeles/Long Beach we both decided wasn’t where we wanted to go. It was overcrowded with so many bands, we’d never get noticed. We decided to head down the coast to San Diego. We packed up all of our belongings, he packed up his girlfriend (my girlfriend could not leave town given her situation and it was sad to leave her) and we headed to where dreams and fortune would be ours.
Tomorrow, San Diego!