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Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences Giveaway!

Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences Giveaway!

Scott Roche, a close personal friend of mine is doing something CRAZY! He’s giving away books. Not just any books mind you, signed books! and not just any signed books, but books from SOMEONE ELSE! Like I said, CRAZY!

Scott is giving away a whole BUNCH of books! Books by the great and wonderful Tee Morris and Philippa Ballantine (also close, personal fiends of mine). Tee and Pip have written a series of books entitled: The Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences. Their latest book is coming out on March 25, 2014.

This is a rafflecopter giveaway (I can’t post the script on my wordpress site) but I can link to it! GO HERE! GO HERE NOW! Do all you can. There are signed print books, ebooks, much happiness and madness to be had by all. If you have no idea what these books are about, hop onto Amazon and pick up a copy of their first book! They’ll make you happier.

If you have any questions, I’d be happy to answer, but Mr. Roche is probably the better person to ask.

Good Luck!


Daily Update: Today is a good day.

Initially I was Sneezy and Grumpy. I took my Doc’s advice and was Dopey and Sleepy. What I really want it to be Happy. Heck, I’d even been glad to be Bashful.

Today is a good day. My sinuses are feeling a little relief. It’s dark, it’s a little chilly (I’m still wearing shorts and a t-shirt) and it looks like rain is on the horizon once again.

My nose, on the other hand (or would it be other face, hmm) is red, raw, and sore. My ears hurt from all the nose blowing. The residual headache is a bother, but hey, I’ll get over that. At least I don’t have a leaky nose. Well, not as much as it was.

Yesterday I wanted to go see my best friend’s daughter run track. She’s really good at the hurdles even though she’s only just begun. She’s got those crazy long legs. Being that I used to run track, I miss watching all the events. I will make it to at least one of her meets this season.

I also missed my favorite daughter’s volleyball practice. Hearing her talk about it, I missed a good practice. I will be practicing with her later today and a little tomorrow. She’s got a tournament on Sunday and I want her to be prepared. From what she told me, she will be.

I’ve wanted to record. I think I’ll do that tonight or perhaps tomorrow. I need to record the latest episode of Golden West for the Action Pack Podcast. I need to record my story for Tee and Pip. I need to record the promo for the Action Pack. Unfortunately with my head as congested as it is (was) it just wasn’t going to happen. Even though I had an awesomely low voice because of all the snoring I’ve done the past couple of days, I couldn’t make it though more than a few words without coughing. That would have been an editing nightmare.

On the plus side, I knocked out 2500 words yesterday. Most of that in My Teacher is a Werewolf. This will be the next story in the Teacher series. I need to come up with a good title for the series. Something like Unnatural Teachings or something like that. I’ll give it more thought. I plan on doing more of these stories. Why? Because they’re fun to write and I can get into the story quickly. This one might be a little longer than the first, but hey, I’m good with longer. I already like where the story is going and I’m confident I’ll plow through the first draft quickly.

If I’m lucky, I’m past that little sticking point. I didn’t like struggling to write words. I still wrote every day and I know why some people might not write while sick or when they don’t feel well. But I’m happy I did it. I worked through a difficult time and I have more words. Even if some days it was only a slight amount, it was still words I didn’t have before.

Speaking of words, I’ll be doing NaNoWriMo. That should be no surprise. But I found something called JuNoWriMo. It’s basically NaNoWriMo in June. I’ll do both this year. My goal right now is to work on Of Gnomes and Dwarves book 1 in June, edit it in July, and work on Book 2 in November, and edit it in December. Then I’ll release those in 2013. Possibly sooner depending on how I feel about where the stories are at. Each book currently is at around 60,000 words. Both I wrote very quickly on the first draft so I’ll use those plot outlines as a guide, but I’m going to completely re-write them both.

These were the first two books I’d ever written and they’re rough. Very rough. But when I’d written them I had a vision of where I wanted to go and I did just that. I will revisit the universe and this time I’ll keep a character list as I go as those books have a lot of characters and I’m sure I’ll get lost if I don’t keep track. Even typing up this paragraph I’m remembering how much fun it was to write those stories. Maybe I won’t wait for June. J

There’s a lot of writing still to come this year. I’d better get on it. So…

Until Tomorrow!



Daily Update: When it rains it pours

It’s a little damp in San Diego today. It rained while I was in San Fracisco, now it’s raining at home. Oddly it rained up North it hit me and hit me HARD. Back home I took the good medicine last night. Sorta wiped me out, made me a little groggy. My head wasn’t in the game. That happens. I’ll get over it.

Unfortunately it’s affected my word count a little bit. I’m falling behind on my Lent goal. Ah well. I will do what I can to catch up. I’m still 11 days ahead of my annual goal so I’m not overly concerned. I’m pounding out words and I will keep at it on a daily basis.

I got approval for my final script for my MoPO story. The next keyword from the Tee and Pip podcast was “Jungles of China”. Oh yeah, I’m a tease. Final approval means I get to record. Being that it’s raining (not just a little rain but HARD rain) means I won’t get that done today. I’d love to record, but the rain would provide way too much background noise. Hopefully tomorrow will be better.

I also need to record another Unorthodox Writing Tips for Mike Plested’s Get Published. We talked during the week and there is no hurry for it, but he’d like to have one handy just in case. I’ll keep writing them. Oh yes I will. Someone is getting benefit from them I’m sure. It’d be nice to hear from anyone, but I’ll keep writing them all the same.

My favorite daughter had a volleyball clinic today. This one was with the varisy coach from her school. Many girls showed up to this one unlike the last clinic. They walk through some very basic things which is good for the girls in my daughter’s group who’ve been playing for a while, but haven’t had those simple things explained.

Speaking of my favorite daughter, she convined a couple others in her class to read Astel. Maybe you heard about this book? I self-pubed it last year. It’s still out there and I sell a copy or twoa month. Not a lot, but hey, I’m happy.

Anyway, they had to do a project around the book and they decided to shoot a video. Today. In the rain. <sigh> So at two different points I had ketchup on me (simulated blood) and I got hit by lightning (I’ll have to edit that in) and fell onto the wet ground. So I smelled like a wet dog dipped in ketchup for a short time, but the video came out pretty good. I’ll post it to youtube at some point as they need it online to be able to show the class. We did each scene multiple times and there are some effects I’ll need to figure out how to add. If you’re a wiz with video editing and have a little time and would like to help, I’d love to hear from you 🙂

I may do a segment soon where I review not books, but authors. I’ve had contact with many authors over the years and it’d be nice to put something like that out. Not just reviewing their works, but my overall impression of the person. I started a list and I’m not sure how long it would run, but it could be a fun thing to start. I just don’t want it to come off as me blowing smoke up people’s arses. I’ll have to let that idea stew for a while and see where it goes.

I’m about to head back into the rain. Wish me luck! It’s supposed to keep going into tomorrow and possibly Monday. We needed the rain so I don’t mind. I just don’t like going out into it. Ah well.

Until Tomorrow!


Daily Update: Sharing is Caring

You listen to the Shared Desk, don’t you? If you don’t, you should. If you do great, skip the next paragraph, collect $200, and take a ride on the Reading Railroad.

So there are these two authors I know; Tee Morris and Pip Ballantine. A great couple of authors that have done great things on their own but put to the two together and you get two great things that are even better together. They’ve got this series of books out. Maybe you’ve heard of them. They’re the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences. On their podcast they talk about this as well as everything else they’re up to and even a little bit about the world of writing.

Tee and Pip have another novel coming out in the MoPO universe. It’s called the Janus Affair. I have not read it yet, but you can’t be darned sure that I will. During the first novel they did a series of 99 cent Penny Dreadfuls. They were also called Tales from the Archives. Stories by different authors that tied back into the MoPO universe. They were all great fun.

Well, I’ve been holding back for a while, but some time ago I had inquired what their plans were for the second book. Were they doing a second set of Tales from the Archives? Had they sent out requests for authors? Could someone volunteer to take on an assignment? I asked a LOT of questions. I’m like that. I get overly anxious, a little excited, and somewhat starstruck when talking to world famous authors. Even though I’ve known that since before they were world famous 🙂

I sent off a writing sample and did the normal wait game. I’m getting used to this wait game when it comes to writing. No, really. The part I’m having trouble with is when you get the nod of approval then don’t want to go out ranting like a madman when you hear “Hey, let’s run with this one.”

Now, like most authors I suffer from insecurity. I also seek approval of my ideas. I like to think I keep things in check for the most part, but it’s difficult when you’re waiting. So when Tee gave me word that I was going to be included with the next round of Tales from the Archives, I leaped for my keyboard. I bashed out three different ideas and sent them off. And waited.

Yeah, writing involves a lot of waiting. I had an idea which he might go for and started my research in that direction and had a plot already formed in my head. As soon as Tee showed the slightest interest in the one I thought he might, I fired off a plot, characters, questions, and the like.

Then I waited again. Tee, now looking for a job, was slow to get back  and I fully understand that. Me, being the eager beaver that I was, got to writing. I knew I could do re-writes if needed. I was excited, I was pumped, I wrote like the wind. I had the first draft done in three days, and was going through edits when  Tee came back with answers to all my questions. I’d almost forgotten about my plot and questions. I was just excited to be writing a really cool story.

As stories are wont to do, mine changed course in mid-writing. I felt the initial idea had some weak points and I wanted something a little stronger. By the time I was going through the second draft, I read Tee’s answers. My response to him was “I must be a mind reader” as I had gone in the direction he’d indicated and later that day uploaded the first iteration.

I’ve been writing for quite some time. I’ve heard a lot of stories about how edits go back and forth. I wasn’t surprised at all when Tee sent me the message “Don’t be worried about all the edits, I’m digging the story.” Honestly, he changed far less than I expected and the story is stronger for the edits. There were a lot of little additions that made the story better, and some modifications needed so the story stood out from the other tales.

My re-writes are back and I’m just waiting for final approval before I begin with the task of recording. All I can say is WOO WOO!

I mean, it’s very cool to be included in the group and I’ve seen the names of the other authors. You’re going to want to follow along with this batch of tales. I highly recommend getting the other penny dreadfuls as I’ve read them all. They’re all separate or you can buy the bundles. Don’t forget to pick up Phoenix Rising if you haven’t already. I LOVED the book. But please don’t take my word for it.

When I attended World Fantasy Con 2011, I listened in on the panel for Steampunk by the founders of Steampunk. When the panel was asked “Who do you see as up and coming in the genre of steampunk” K.W. Jeter (the man who coined the term ‘Steampunk’) said instantly “Tee Morris and Pip Ballentine.” You can check out the video of this panel online. It’s worthy of your attention.

As soon as the story is available you can be sure I’ll be shouting out as loudly as I can about it. No, really. 🙂 If you listen to the Shared Desk they only hint you get about my story is the word “Terracotta”. Oh, you’ll have to wait. Yes you will. I need to get back to what I do best! So…

Until Tomorrow!