The Three Hundred and Eighty-first Post…The One Where I Can’t Find Enough Aspirin…

This book is starting to get on my nerves. I find one thing wrong, fix it and think I’m done. Flipping through, I find another…and another…and another. Right now, I’ve completely ripped out on chapter (“Morale Check”) and I am just going to re-write it. I feel like I’m falling behind with this book, but don’t worry – I am going to finish it and finish Valentina’s Feast on time (August this year). I’m going to cut back a little on the first set of re-writes and focus on chapters that are under 2,000 words because I know those are unfinished.

One of the great things about Pander-monium is that I am going to be on such a tight schedule as far as writing goes that I’m going to have to do more editing as I write and less waiting until I am done. Maybe that this is the way to go. The great rule of writing is that there are no rules. I need to see what works for me as far as keeping busy. I think writing a month solid will be a good idea because that seems to be as long as I can hold interest in a project. The ultimate goal in this is to get a better catalogue in place.

On a different front, I’m still abiding with the ‘no TV, no stream’ rules. I don’t really miss anything, but my reading has increased as has my writing (see above). I’m also listening to a lot of podcasts. I’m liking this a great deal. I’m a fan of true crime, and paranormal podcasts, so I’m burning through Last Podcast on the Left, Extraterrestrial and Conspiracy Theory. When my wife wants to watch baseball (which I’m listening to online), I hike on back to the study and continue doing whatever I was doing. Getting a little more done, but I’m running out of podcasts to listen to while I am writing. If you have any suggestions, I would love to hear them.

I got my second vaccine shot and let me tell you…those side effects are no joke. When they say they make you feel like you got the flu – they are being optimistic. They make you feel like you wish you had the flu. I was sore all over like I had just compressed a year’s worth of workouts in just an hour. I was too tired to do anything, but I still got the laundry done (having to walk two blocks to the laundromat because I really needed the exercise…stupid, stupid, still fat me). After that, I went to bed at 8:00 pm, skipping my regular Sunday night game. Bleh. On the upside – you’ll get the best sleep ever, I promise. I think my home state is getting ready to lift the mask restrictions…in time for Derby. I mean, it’s only fair to the horses.

That’s all for now. Check out my wares to the right, click on a sponsor’s ad or just drop a line to say ‘hi’.

Take care.

The Three Hundred and Eightieth Post: The One Where I Re-re-re-recommit Myself!

I have to admit, I have been watching way too much TV – especially these two guys. It’s becoming a distraction from writing, and really…I’ve been wanting to get more reading done. In the spirit of moving forward with things. I am going to say that the day I write this, I am no longer going to indulge in TV either on actual TV or the computer. From here on out, when I sit down to relax, it’s going to be books or it’s going to be writing.

I’ve always fantasized about getting rid of the TV and just reading. Of course, that would also cut into my video game time – which has been also zero because I’ve been putting in overtime to cover the delivery of a new appliance which I talked about earlier. My productivity has ground down to almost nil. I have a lot of respect for the people who are cranking out books on Amazon or B&N on their own. They have a focus that I need to reclaim.

It’s not like I’m hooked on any fiction shows (at least ones that are currently airing). Most of my viewing diet is either those ghost hunting sorts of shows or documentaries. Not inspiring sort of material, but it’s what I like.

Anyways, I need to really bear down and eliminate as many distractions as possible – especially in the face of Pander-Monium next year. It’s time to build those good habits. It’s time to get serious about this and really make some headway.

Yes – I’ve said this many, many times before. I’ve also said this many, many times before: this time I’m serious.

It’s hard to keep this going, and the people that have made a living out of it, especially the indie authors, have my respect. To sit down and do what is effectively two full time jobs while not getting sucked into whatever everyone else is talking about.

Well, I should get to writing. I’m almost done writing the first of three scenes that need some serious re-tinkering and after that, I’m sending it to my beta readers and let them lovingly rip it down to the marrow.

Have a good day!

The Three Hundred and Seventy-Ninth Post: The One Where I Write About…well…It’s The By-line Of The Blog…

I know that when I started this blog, it was going to be me talking about writing. This was going to be a behind-the-scenes look at the process.

When I’m writing, this is a great idea.

When I’m not, I’m staring at a blank screen.

Like for the past week.

My dryer decided to shuffle off its mortal coil ($200 to replace, but the part is on back order apparently), so I’ve been doing my laundry at the local laundromat. The good news is that it’s only a block away from the house, so it’s no big deal to walk the basket it over and get laundry done. The bad news is that its been cutting into my writing time because I have to do everything at the laundromat. Washing, drying, and folding – all done there. I can’t go back home because this is a slightly sketchy laundromat. I don’t want people either going through my clothes and helping themselves to what they like (it’s happened). I also don’t want to turn my back on my laptop one minute and find it gone the next. It’s not cutting edge, but it’s paid for.

If I were to link this to writing, I would like to address the husbands, wives, boyfriends, girlfriends or kith and kin to the writer. Bless you if you’re helping even by the smallest things: offering to do the dishes, making lunches or dinner, listening to streaming consciousness plotting. Anything you do to give your writer a couple of extra minutes to write is absolutely golden. My wife helps by doing the dishes in the evening so I can get a couple of paragraphs in before bed.

My writing has slowed down a little because I’m having to set aside a few hours for laundry. Yeah – we have a bit of laundry to do. My wife needs her laundry done twice a week. I can go a whole week, but it’s a lot to do in a day. She does the dishes, cooks dinner and I make sure that we have clean clothes. I’m putting my stuff on hold, but I am seeing just how much I relied on her to give me a couple of minutes.

So – sweetie…if you’re reading this…thank you so much for giving me time here and there.

Hopefully by Friday, I can get back to re-writing Romance with Advantage. I’m about done fixing one scene, and I’ll only have two more obvious scenes to re-do. I can have it all done and ready by the deadline (suspiciously not mentioned…). With getting back to the regular schedule, I should have better things to talk about.

Thank you for being patient. Back to blabbing about writing by next week, I promise.

The Three Hundred and Seventy-Eighth Post…The One Where I Reach for the Brass Ring!

I take great pride in saying that I am almost done with the second draft of Romance with Advantage. I’ve got to smooth out a few things, try to join a couple of scenes together and work out some more mechanical kinks (damn you, adverbs! Damn You!) before getting it beta read for the final check. After that, I made the numerous changes that will need to happen, and I should be done. The cover is a simple thing for me: I’ve done some ‘rough drafts’ and I’ve gotten everything planned out. A simple cover with dice and hopefully sufficiently blurred out DM’s screen and minis. Somewhere, I have a written back cover blurb…I think…if not, then I am not going to worry about it. I’ll just re-write it.

After this, more Valentina’s Feast and hopefully finish Agonizing Alibi Day. If I can get to September with a clean slate to start Gaze Unaverted, Staring Blankly Ahead – my attempt at literary fiction…which I have no idea what the expectations are.

I’ve read some literary fiction, but most times, I’ve abandoned it for more familiar fantasy series or some sci-fi. So far, the only due diligence I’ve done is read the TV tropes page. I should try to read a book of literary fiction from cover to cover. I’m not really nervous about this, but it’s kinda of my moment when I’m getting back at the ‘but when are you going to write something real?’ crowd, so I got to get this right. I feel like I’m stepping into sacred material. Here I am – no degree, barely any sort of literary experience and I’m aiming at the biggest prize in American literature: Pulitzer Prize.

That’s right. If this works out, I’ve found a way to submit this novel to the Pulitzer Prize Committee. Am I tilting at windmills? Yep. What do I have to lose really (other than the entrance fee of $75)? I can’t wait for opportunities like this to happen. I certainly didn’t do it when I was first starting out. I’m not where I want to be right now, but at least I am not languishing in a corner in my study wishing I had the gumption to put something out.

I guess that’s the lesson for today, everyone – just do it (Don’t sue me, Nike). Be bold. Take a step forward, even if it’s an unsure one. Especially if it’s an unsure one. The worse thing that can happen is failure. If you fail…then learn from that failure and move on.

That’s all for now. I am slightly scrambling to get this out on time for a change, and I hope to be a little more upbeat next time. Hopefully, next time I will be able to say I’ve finished the second draft and sent it off to some beta readers. We’ll see – just stay positive.

The Three Hundred and Seventy-seventh Post: The One Where I Talk A Little Vacation…

I’m taking a bit of an extended vacation because today is Opening Day. I’m still going to write, but once the baseball starts, I’m not going to do anything else. I wanted to do this last year but there were…issues…keeping me from doing it. Today, I’m going to get that chance.

Of course, I’m up at 5:45 AM (normally, I’m up at 4:00 AM). Not mad, but I am a little disappointed. I was looking forward to gently rolling awake at the lazy time of 8:00. Oh, well – I have a lot to do anyways. My dryer decided that life was no longer worth living and shuffled off its mortal coil. To be honest, I’m not happy, but there’s little I can do now. I’m getting a new one, which means I get to make up lsot time at work.

Oh, well. We smile, adapt and move on.

Today, I’m going to get a little more writing done and tonight – I’m going to play with my camera and the zoom lens I got. Hopefully, the skies will be clear enough so I can get a couple pictures of the moon. If I can and they get developed right, I’ll put them up on the blog.

Speaking of writing, it’s been a little challenging getting the fill-in scenes for Romance with Advantage. I’m trying to show Gabe getting frazzled and exhausted, but I’m trying to not jump in it feet first with it. I’m trying to make it a slow build so that Lacey can come in a figuratively save the day. It’s a balancing act, but it’s one that I love.

This is going to be a little quick, because I do have quite a bit to do before 2:00 PM when my team takes the field!

So – have fun everyone, have a hot dog for me and go Nats!