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Daily Update: It’s the little things.

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…

Until Tomorrow!


Daily Update: A day filled with WOO WOO!

So my favorite daughter had another volleyball tournament this weekend. I’m the type of father that can’t sit down while watching and I think it’s harder on me than it is on the girls sometimes. I watch them play and each point for the other team just kills me and each point they get elates me. It’s an emotional roller coaster that wears me out.

Normally they play three other teams So it’s three games and done. Well, this time they had four other teams to play. I looked at this both ways. 1) it’s more games to lose and 2) it’s a better chance for them to win.

The first match they won the first game. It was tight, but they won. They lost he second game almost as close and then lost the tie breaker. The bright side was it was their first win! So much excitement. Well, by the parents anyway.

The second match almost went the same way except they lost the first game, won the second, they WON the tie breaker! They were 1 and 1. WOO WOO! Much excitement was had by all.

The third match was against the #1 seed in their group of five and it went as expected. they lost both games, but had a great showing and performed well.

The last match was against the bottom seed and the game went as expected. They won both games but they were a little closer than we would have liked.

So they ended the day 2 wins – 2 loses and played 2 tie breakers. They did great and I couldn’t be happier. It’s all coming together. By the end of the season the team will be a force to be reckoned with.

Writing. I’m getting on that as soon as this post is up. Mike Plested and I have continued plotting Jack Kane Book 2 (title coming soon). I’m cranking out words on My Teacher is a Zombie. Then it’s on to my secret project that I will announce as soon as I’m able. Finally I’ll be working on edits on Jack Kane Book 1 and Second Kance. It’s a busy month and I still need to get working on my audio for the Action Pack podcast and getting it all produced and ready to go.

So rather than blather on and on…

Until Tomorrow!


Daily Update: I was annoyed, but now I’m happy

I spent too much time last night trying to figure out why I couldn’t play music like I should be able to. I use my Xoom tablet for almost everything and I had Winamp installed and the latest Xoom update made the generic music player become the Google Music player. Ok, that’s fine.

However when I went to play a song, I noticed that winamp skipped a couple before it played a song. I didn’t think anything of it for the first couple of days until I opened the Music player and it wouldn’t play anything.

See, I like winamp, but the Music Player would allow me to select an album an play only that album in order. I wanted to listen to Pink Floyd – The Wall. For some reason winamp doesn’t think I should be able to do this without creating a playlist.

So I tried to figure out why the Google music player wasn’t playing, got really frustrated, and went back to winamp to play Weird Al – Hardware Store (love this song) and as I’m scrolling through the songs in winamp I noticed that there were three, four, and in some cases FIVE copies of each and every song. Huh?

I have (or had) all my music on the micro SD card. That’s the only place I’ve ever put songs. At some point all the songs got copied over onto the Xoom’s main memory. Ok, fine. That’d account for two, but all the rest? They were pretty much dead songs and I had no way to remove them except to navigate one by one in winamp and remove the offending songs. I uninstalled winamp and reinstalled it thinking that would cure the problem. Well, no. It didn’t

I installed MixZing. At first, yes, it also had the same issue. All songs were listed multiple times even after deleting the duplicate music folder. Color me confused, but MixZing has an awesome feature that allowed me to say “HERE’S MY MUSIC! RIGHT THERE! ONLY THERE!” and I selected only the SD card music folder and magically I have only one of each song again. Color me a happy boy.

I still need to play with it and discover if I can play an album instead of just shuffling the songs, but at this point I think it’s pretty cool. It also downloads and displays cover art which I also think is pretty cool. I’ll keep you updated if I ever figure out what happened. I think Winamp or Google Music created the duplicate folder and/or some bizarre playlist that goofed things up. I’ll have to look deeper into it, but for now I’m a happy music listener.

In other news, Mike Plested and I have begun the plotting of Jack Kane book 2 (title pending) and we had a conversation last night. We had each other laughing which is a good sign. Hopefully we can make others laugh as well. We’re currently doing our plotting in google docs and ‘tagging’ each other as we add a line/paragraph for a given scene and we’ll keep going back and forth until we have an outline. To help with continuity we’ll  be doing one chapter at a time and, again, play tag. It’ll be an interesting experience.

I’ve got to run. I’ll ramble more tomorrow.

Until Tomorrow!


Daily Update: Plowing through.

With the news of having a blown head gasket on sputtering truck and the expense of having to get it repaired coupled with the amount of money I’ve already put into the truck just to keep it going was a one-two I wasn’t prepared for. I let it get the better of me, but I let go long enough last night to knock out about 1500 words. It was difficult with everything gnawing away on my brain, but I wrote. I feel good about what I did write and I’m thinking I need to make some modifications. Not quite sure just yet.

To go along with sputter truck, I have pain in my legs I had through I was past. It took a few days, but shin splints are what I have now. What I had experienced before wasn’t like this. that pain was muscle pain from not working my legs in some time. The pain I have now is deep intense pain in the bone. It hurts to go up and down the stairs and I need to take a break from my walking until this pain subsides. I’ll also stop jogging until I get my legs in better shape to handle the stress. This was a case of too fast too soon. This is a little frustrating as I was so excited about jogging. Everything else about it felt good and I enjoyed getting out there. But for now, it’s resting my lower legs until the pain subsides.

I do still have my free weights so I’ll be doing something about my overall fitness. I also plan on starting 100 push-up and 200 sit-ups once again. I know I can’t just sit still anymore and expect my body to be alright.

Plotting for the Jack Kane sequel has begun. My writing partner, Mike Plested, and I plotted not only one, but three subsequent novels to take place in the Jack Kane universe. We could probably plan out a dozen, so for now 3 and 4 are just notations whereas we began delving deeper into what book 2 will be about. I can tell you this, I think 2 will be even more fun than 1. Speaking of book 1, I have it assembled in Scriviner for Windows. Hopefully this makes editing easier.

Mike and I also net with Scott Roche so I could give the two of them a hard time about not having their Action Pack works ready for next month. Of course they still have a lot of time, I just feel the need to give them crap about not being further along. Artwork and music are being prepared. The website is live, but in dire need of modifications. Hopefully in the next week or two that will happen. Excitement levels are still high for all of us, so look for good things.

Speaking of good things, I’d better get back at it.

Until Tomorrow!


2011 year in review.

The year started out with wanting to complete my work with co-author, Mike Plested. In early February, Mike suggested that we attend WFC2011. Throughout the year Mike and I worked on and off with our Jack Kane novel. Sadly it progressed far slower than either of us would have liked. We made headway, albeit slowly. By the WFC2011 came upon us we wanted to be completed with it. Due to personal reasons on both our parts it did not get completed.

It wasn’t until early December that we actually completed the work. We discovered a process that worked for both of us. What I discovered for myself was that I needed to 1) write down what I actually wanted to accomplish and 2) communicate those goals to those closest to me. I accomplished little actual writing in 2011. Total I was able to write about 45000-50000 words.

That’s not a lot. I’m capable of so much more.

So what is my plan going forward? Writing and communicating my goals. Are you ready? I’m feeling very ambitious. I mean, really ambitious. Here’s what I’m planning for 2012.

1) Write at least 450,000 words

2) Write, edit, publish 1 short story of at least 10,000 words  in a series each month for pay.

3) Publish one free short story a month

4) Get any finished novels in front of a publisher.

5) Write, edit, record 2000-3000 short for cliffhanger podcast and produce ebook novella at the end of 2012

6) co-host a podcast and/or submit a podcast segment to another podcast

Now, that’s pretty ambitious. I know. I mean, that’s a lot of words, isn’t it? Well, yes and no. This word count will include blog posts. I plan on writing one a day during 2012. I plan on keeping up with Unorthodox Writing Tips. I’ll be doing guest posts wherever they’ll have me. I’ll also be doing more shorts.

But mostly I’ll be working on novels during 2012. I want to finish three that I have in progress and rewrite two that I’ve already done. All of these will fall in the 80-90 word range. So even though I’ve set lofty goals, I still think I can accomplish them.

Why? Well, I can write quickly. I type fast and I’ve started doing some methods that have helped me sit and work faster. I’ll be sharing those as we go. I’ll post a weekly update of my daily word counts broken down by blog post, short story, and/or novel. I’ll be able to do that because I’m also tracking my word count. Something I’ve never done. I’ve had 15,000 word days before. Will I be able to do that again? Well, I can only hope.  I know I can, it’s just a matter of conviction.

One of the first things I did was write down my goals. I set out a plan of how to accomplish each goal. One of those was communication. Not only with you, but with my wife and daughter. I’ll need to set aside time each and every night to write. Not only will I need to set time aside, I’ll need to actually write! Not play angry birds, not surf twitter or facebook, but write. Sure I’ll have to spend some time promoting my work and communicating with other authors, but I need to dedicate time to writing each day in order to hit my goal.

If I don’t hit my goal, I know it won’t be the end of the world, but using this as a road map I’ll be able to get myself far closer to where I want to be. I’ve said this before, but I no longer want to treat my writing like a hobby. I must treat it as a part time job if I am ever to be successful. Another thing that will help me reach my goals is to make my progress public. Yes, putting myself out there for others to see what I’m doing and how I’m doing it.

2012 is the year I finally get myself into gear, get my buns moving, get my fingers flying, and do what I’ve always wanted to do; be a published author. Are you ready? Are you excited? Are you curious? I know I am. So as I look forward to the New Year I must sit back and yell! WOO WOO!