Hey, Howdy, Hey, Gang! I hope everything is well in your world. Mine? Crazy, Hectic, Fun! So much going on and I’m having a great time!
Let me start with a breakdown of how I finished out my Lent goal. If you recall, my plan was to try to average 2750 words per day (Pulp Speed 1) until the end of Lent. Well. I failed. There’s no easy way to put it, I dropped the ball. Had I stayed on pace, I should have written 63,250 words during those 23 days. Instead, I only managed 56,112. Horrible.I know. I hang my head in shame. I only managed 2440 words per day on average.
Oh, who am I kidding? As I keep saying over and over. Set your goals higher than you can reach so it forces you to stretch and fight and claw your way toward that goal. I do NOT look at what I did as a failure. Not even close. I failed better than many succeed. That’s why I pushed myself. I know I could have hit the word goal had I not done one thing in the middle of all that.
What happened, Jay?
So glad you asked.
I jumped from one series into another. If I’d jumped into GRPC3, V&A3, or ever Almost-Super Heroes 2, I probably would have maintained that speed or done even better. Instead, I jumped into a world I haven’t been in for 3 years. That meant I needed to re-read two full novels, make notes, and still try to tap out a few words a day while I did that. Not an excuse, just a reality of what happened. It also took me a few more days to get them back into my head so I could start pounding out words.
Where am I at with that story?
Golden West 3: Showdown, will be the final book in the Golden West trilogy. That’s why I wanted to complete it. I’ve gotten nearly 12,500 words done in the story thus far. I’m excited. I’m ready to rip through this book and git it done. I’ve had these scenes planned out in my head since I typed the first words of the first book. I know how the entire trilogy would end. How the final few scenes would play out. Just like all the other books I want to do this year, I’m crazy excited to write this one.
That said, now that I’m ready to go on a tear, why not give myself a bigger challenge? I mean, come on, why not? I set a HUGE goal for Lent, and I crushed it! That means I’m capable of more, right?
Oh, yeah, Lent goal. I should probably give you the final numbers on that, eh?
This year, Lent was 46 days long. I wanted to write, on average, 2000 words per day or a grand total of 92,000 words. What I wound up doing was averaging 2250 words per day for a total of 103,495 words. So I set, met, and surpassed my original goal. Was it set too low? I don’t think so. I was coming into this year with a nearly two-year hiatus of not writing much at all. By “not much” I mean maybe 10,000 words per year for two years. That’s awful.
I set the goal at something I thought I might be able to obtain. I never thought I’d fly past it. I honestly didn’t.
So, back to where I was before. I need a new goal. A new challenge to get me through to the end of April. Something that might be beyond my grasp, but unless I try, I’ll never know. From today, April 17, 2017, until May 1st, 2017 I plan to write (on average) 3000 words per day. 3K a Day Until May! I’m back into a groove with this book. I’m excited to hit some of the upcoming scenes, why not? Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Right?
What does that mean for word totals? If I hit my target of 3000 words a day, I’ll write 42,000 words over the next 14 days. That’s nuts! That’s crazy! I must be off my rocker! No, being off my rocker would be trying to hit triple my daily word count which I’ve set at 1,200 words per day this year. 3,600 words a day? That sounds very difficult. So let’s stick with 3K per Day Until May. That also has a better ring to it.
Again, this is all words of new fiction. It won’t be blog posts or emails or anything like that. It’s ONLY new words in a fiction world. Be that Golden West 3, or Jack Kane 2 (If I can nudge Mr. Plested along, wink wink). Who knows what’ll happen. I surely don’t! But it sounds like fun to try. Ready to watch me fail in spectacular fashion? Here we go!
Until Next Time,
Good Morning and Happy Monday! Did you read the title of this blog? If not, let me repeat it here. Book 2 of the year is complete!
That’s right. I plan on writing 5 books this year, and the second is DONE!
Well, if you recall I’m only counting this as a half book. When Mike Plested and I complete Jack Kane 2, I’ll also count that one as a half book.
But, hey! Another book done! I really love the way Almost-Super Heroes came to an end. Yes, yes, I left it open for a sequel and I already know how the book will start, how it’ll go, and how it’ll end.
I’m so excited. I finished the book on Saturday. I wrote nearly 5000 words that day to finish the book. I also did a bunch of things around the house including fixing the fridge. I can’t wait to share this book with you. I really can’t. It ties in with GRPC and V&A Shipping. I’m working on something really exciting story-wise with these titles and it’s something I’ve dreamt up for the past few years. It’s so awesome to see it all coming together.
What am I working on next? Glad you asked.
I’m working on Golden West Book 3: Showdown.
Wait, Jay, I thought you said you were excited about GRPC and V&A Shipping, and all that.
Yes, yes. I am. I’m super crazy excited about that series and what I’ll be writing in all those books. But I need some closure. The way I’d ended Golden West Book 2 was desperate for an ending. I need to finish that one off. The third book will be the last in that series. I don’t know if I’ll ever visit that universe again. So, I need to finish that series off and let it be done. Between yesterday and today, I read through books 1 and 2 and wow are they emotionally draining books to read. I really put these characters through the ringer.
Book 3? Yes, I know exactly how the book will go. I’m weird like that. Books pop into my head fully formed and it’s only a matter of sitting and writing it out. Unlike books 1 and 2, this one will be longer. I have a lot of threads to tie up and a build up to a satisfying ending. I’d always intended this to be a trilogy. That’s why I’m not certain I’ll ever visit these characters or this universe again.
I have soooooo many books I want to write. I have a list of running ideas. I need to get back to the Astel series (it will no longer be a trilogy). I need to work on my Epic Fantasy series, Of Gnomes and Dwarves. I want to write more Billy stories (none will fall into the V&A Shipping Universe). I want to crank out more Supernatural Learning books. I even have an entirely new series that I haven’t even started that I think will be a BLAST to write. Plus I have three other titles/series that I want to dig into and write in.
On top of that, I want to record everything as audio and get all my current titles published. Those are just waiting for me to record them and get them out the door.
Will this be an active year for my writing? Oh yeah! Will next year? Oh yeah!
Where am I at today?
Let’s start with, done with my Lent Goal and still one more week to go! That’s right. For the first time since I started tracking my words, I hit my Lent writing goal!. Over 46 days I was going to write 92,000 words and as of my writing this I’m sitting at 92,881. So I actually passed my goal on Saturday.
How’s my secondary goal of 2750 words per day average going? Close. Very close. For the past 17 days I’ve averaged 2676. So I need a couple good days to get back to that target. What happened? Well, yesterday happened, that’s what.
As I said, between yesterday and today I re-read Golden West 1 and 2 to get back into that world so I could work on book 3. I had the first little bit thought out and it’ll be a bit explainy as I get readers up to speed on what came before. So yesterday I only had ~500 words. Now that I’m caught back up on… oh, wait, if you haven’t read books 1 and 2 I can’t tell you what I’m getting caught up on. Shame on you. You almost had me tell you.
Suffice to say, it feels good to be in this world. Can’t wait to lay down words, but I have to. I need to get a chapter back to Mike in Jack Kane 2 as we’re nearly done with that book as well. Then I’ll bang out some words with Abigail, Jax, and the rest of the gang.
So there will be many, many words in the future. I’m sorry to make you wait on them, but I have a super-secret plan in my back pocket and I hope you’ll still be here for the ride. I need to get to writing so…
Until Next Time,
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!
Two and a half years ago (or more depending on who you ask) Michell Plested and I began work on a book. We wanted it to be funny, filled with action, and readable by people of all ages. He pitched it to a publisher, and Ta Dah! Jack Kane and the Statue of Liberty found a home.
It’s been a long time and a lot of work to get here and it’s incredibly exciting. We’re so happy to share this book with everyone and hope that it finds its way into the hands of millions (not just because we’re greedy, but because we love to have people read our work and feed our egos as well as our bank accounts). If you’ve found a copy, I hope you enjoy the adventure as much as we did creating it for you to read.
So if you’re one of the millions who will read Jack Kane, thank you. If you haven’t picked up a copy, here’s where you can find it. Bear in mind, that it’s currently ebook only. Once we sell a hundred copies, this WILL become a print book as well. So if you’re holding out for a print edition, convince your friends to buy the ebook. The sooner we hit 100, the sooner it’ll be in print. It’s only $2.99 and oh so worth it!
Champagne Books: http://champagnebooks.com/store/index.php?id_product=527&controller=product
Last night I had a marathon of editing and I got through the rest of Jack Kane. I got through the last third of the book and my oh my does my brain still feel like mush. Not in a bad way. More like the way when you decide to walk for the first time in months and you feel wiped out but there’s the surge of endorphins that makes you feel elated. I’m riding that kind of high today.
What Mike and I created together is a fun, fast-paced book. It’s still got a couple of holes that Mike and I will likely pass back and forth and fill in, but over all it’s a fun story. A little more polish and we’ll get it sent off to beta readers, some editing friends, and then it’ll be the big agent hunt. Our intention is to find an agent or publisher for this book. We’ve already talked that one through.
We’ve both read and re-read all the talk of going Indie, contracts, royalty rates, and the like. At this point in our careers it’s a matter of gaining momentum. Once we have that momentum, there’s nothing wrong with creating another property and going Indie. It’s a matter of keeping an eye on the contracts to make sure all the clauses are in order. I also have friends that know contracts and have offered to give them the once over to make sure we’re not signing over rights that we should retain.
I was going to write a long post about “To Indie or Not to Indie” but I will write that when my brain isn’t as mushy as it currently is. I tried to read a little before I went to bed and I could barely keep my eyes open. I also slept in until nearly 9AM. That hasn’t happened in a long time and it felt great. Nearly 12 hours of sleep. After the week I had and getting through the edits of Jack Kane, I think I earned that little nap.
Tomorrow is Mother’s Day. I don’t know when I’ll get around to my daily update so Happy Mother’s day to all you moms out there. I hope someone special in your life makes the day extra special for you.
Today is too beautiful of a day to stay inside. Tomorrow I’ll write about Mother’s Day. And Ducks.
Yesterday was a busy day. A lot of work needed to happen and it did. Once I finished with all that work stuff, I picked up my favorite daughter from school and we headed over to my mother-in-law’s house.
She had a busy day with doctors opening her chest up just a little so they could replace her pacemaker’s battery. While they were in there, they poked around and everything looked good so they just replaced the battery. They didn’t go any further than that. Today she’s doing great. The outpatient procedure went without a hitch.
My father-in-law proved how sneaky he can be. With a bunch of us there he asked who would like something to eat from the taco shop. He took orders, called it in. I told my favorite daughter “Let’s go. We’ll pick up the food.” I know he had a stressful day at the hospital and I figured he needed a rest. He thanked me and said not to leave for ten of fifteen minutes. It’ll take a while for the food to be ready. I said, “Oh, ok.” My favorite daughter and I sat back down and he took the roundabout way to get out where I couldn’t see him and next thing I know I see his truck driving up the street.
I could only sit there and laugh. I guess with a waiting room filled with stressed out family members, he just wanted a couple minutes of alone time as all of them followed him home as well.
We ate, we talked, we laughed. My mother-in-law looked tired, but was in great spirits. Today she’s doing even better.
So today was an even earlier day than yesterday. I’m used to getting up at 5am or 5:30am. I’ve done that many times before. Today it was 4:30am because I needed to be in the office by 6am for an early morning call that, of course, got pushed back to 6:30am once I was in the office. Well, these things happen. I made good use of the time.
I was happy to be in the office. I have my mouse once again. A week without it and it feels like finding an old friend. It’s like riding a bike. It’s like sitting down and clicking all the right buttons and having the mouse do what I want versus not having the buttons I need at all. The bug mouse will be put back into cold storage until another day when I forget my mouse in the office again. I hope that’s not any time soon.
I’ve given serious consideration to getting a mouse with more buttons. I keep seeing gaming mice with a large number of buttons (one has a 12 digit thumbpad), but I’m sure more than I’d need, but I see other mice with a few more buttons than I have now. It’s one of those things that once you get used to the buttons, you miss them. I’ll keep it under consideration for now.
Another thing I’m thinking about doing it putting a SSD (Solid State Drive) into my netbook and upgrading to Windows 7. But I might make it a linux machine or even a dual boot. I’m not sure just yet. I’m still thinking about this one. I love the keyboard on the netbook so I’m not thinking about getting rid of it just yet. I also saw a way to replace the screen with a touchscreen for around $100. I might do that too, we’ll have to wait and see. Like I said, I like my netbook, it’s just a little slow. I’ll have to see what I can do with it first.
On the writing front. Edits for Jack Kane and progressing nicely. I’m about 8 or 9 chapters in. Probably 30 more to go (or less I’m not sure). There’s lots to edit, I don’t think any major rewrites will be required. There will be some new chapters needed to fill in a couple small gaps, but overall it’s looking good. Once I complete my edits, they’ll be over to Mr. Plested and he’ll be able to give them the once over and then it’s off to Beta Readers.
There is a lot to do, so I’d better get to doing it. Perhaps tomorrow I’ll write about ducks. We’ll see.
Today is a busy day. I got up early. Got an oil change on the truck. Got the air conditioner recharged. Got it washed inside and out. I am now washing the Tahoe and I will fill er up with gas.
This afternoon my favorite daughter has a volleyball clinic. Hopefully her ankle hold up today and she’ll be able to play in tomorrow’s game. Her team is the #1 seed and they do need her. It has been difficult for her to sit on the sideline during practice and not participate.
Tonight we will be heading up to LA. We have a two hour drive ahead of us. This will be the furthest tournament we have driven to. It is also the last ‘real’ tournament for the regular club play. So my favorite daughter is trying to deny her ankle hurts.
I went walking this morning again. I am not back to walking every day but I can do two miles in thirty minutes. It feels good to get outside and stretch my legs again. The shin splints don’t seem to be bothering me and that’s a huge plus.
On the writing front: I completed My Teacher is a Werewolf. I will give that an edit of my own before sending it off for further editing. While I let that one digest for a bit I have dived head first into the Jack Kane edits. Once I complete those it’ll be off to Mr Plested for his edits then off to beta readers. A lot is happening on the writing front.
I was thinking of changing the format of these daily updates. Thoughts? Opinions? I would love to hear them. I know there will be more book reviews in the future. I am heart done with Mike Stackpole’s In Hero Years I’m Dead. A review will follow.
There is still a lot to do today. So…
I’ve always heard bigger is better. To an extend I subscribe to that concept. But big things can come in small packages.
Take for instance two little things that can in the mail. One yesterday and one today. Both made me extremely happy. The first was a 32GB USB drive. It’s actually smaller in size than the 4GB I was using, but it’s bigger where it counts. Of course I’m only using a very small portion of its capacity, but I’ll figure out what to do with it.
The other little item I got is even smaller. It’s a 32GB Micro SD. I have a xoom tablet that I use for everything these days except for writing. I had filled up a 16GB micro sd card and have made some music and video purchase I wanted to include on the card. It’s, obviously, the same size as the 16GB in physical dimensions, but with twice the capacity.
Now why did I buy myself a couple little things? I felt like I deserved it. Why did I deserve it? Because I hit my one third mark. I’m now 150,000 words into my 2012 goal. I bribed myself with a couple little gifts for hitting a goal. A little less than half of those words are new fiction, the rest would be blog posts.I can’t remember the last time I’d written this many words in a year and I’m just getting started. I’ve got big plans and here’s what I’m planning.
I’m going to finish up My Teacher is a Werewolf. I’m only about half way with that one, but should be able to knock it out quickly. I need to record the next episode of Golden West. That story is really shaping up. Left off on a couple good cliffhangers. Then I’ll be starting Of Gnomes and Dwarves. As much as I hate to do it, To Fall From the Sky just isn’t going where I want, it’s not keeping my interest right now, and it’s slowing me down. I need to get into a work that’ll excite me again and get me fired up to sit and write.
Speaking of getting fired up, I’m getting a little ahead of myself here. I’m going to do the complete read through/edit of Jack Kane and the Statue of Liberty. I won’t count that 100% toward my word goal, but I will count the edits/rewrites as 1/4 word for each word edited. So I need to edit at least 5000 words per day to hit my writing goal. I think I can manage that. Once those edits are done, I’ll fire that over to Mike who’ll give it his once over and then it’s off to Beta Readers.
Only then will I begin Of Gnomes and Dwarves. I love everything about those books. I know that I love them more than they deserve as the writing is utter crap. I’ve done some reads of the start. It’s bloated, very slow in parts, even slower in the beginning, but has a great story to be told. I won’t be changing the story much, but I will change how it was written, paced, and make it a stronger story. I started it over 20 years ago. I think I’ve gotten a little better at this writing stuff.
Once I finish with that, I’m going to write the sequel to V&A Shipping. No, I haven’t gotten the first picked up by a publisher yet. I had told myself long ago not to write any sequels until I’d gotten the first in a series published. But I’ve got a wonderful idea for the sequel and it’s just begging to be told. If you liked the first, I’m sure you’ll enjoy the second.
My plan, after those two, is to write the sequel to Astel. Again, this is a sequel that’s been banging on the side of my head for years and needs to be written. I put out Astel over a year ago and many people have asked where the next book it. It’ll be there soon enough.
That’s what I’ve got scheduled for the near future. I’m not going to try and plan too far out. I might sneak in another My Teacher is a… depending on how the second is received. My Teacher is a Zombie has gotten good reviews by those who’ve read it, but sadly sales aren’t there. I know I need to do a lot more about this self promotion stuff, but I feel I need a bigger body of work for people to pick and choose from.
I still have a couple short stories out there that I’m waiting on edits for. I have covers. They’re awesome! Once I get the edits, the ebook will be assembled and BANG! Out there.
But right now I’m just spending a lot of time talking about writing instead of actually writing. So…