The Five Hundred and Ninth Post: The One Where I Gamble My Future on Amazon (again!)

Well, I haven’t had a sale since the ad ended, so I am going to try another experiment. At the beginning of February, I am going to run an ad for “The Dreaded Day Job” for the entirety of the month on Amazon. If I get any traction (more than two sales) I am going to run ads perpetually on Amazon for whatever books I have. Thus far, I can’t tell that Facebook has done anything for me other than visibility. While that’s good, I’m not going to throw away money if it’s not going to help me at least break even. To quote DJ Quik: “If it don’t make dollars, it don’t make sense”.

Which is all the more reason to get back to work. While I have a working laptop…kinda…and I have a still functioning iPad, I have no real excuse to not be writing (even if it is the blog). But, thanks to Microsoft, the laptop – which I can type on relatively fast – no longer has a working network card, and a wonky spacebar (feels mushy and sometimes doesn’t connect). The iPad however works fine, but I’m not writing on it as fast as a laptop. I can’t explain why, but it not only has a working network card, but it also has a cellphone data link. With it, I can write anywhere.

Having said all this: I’m getting a new laptop. The one that I have dedicated to nothing but writing is staying, but it’s going to be at home so I can write there as I have a network cable connection that still works. The iPad is going to be my portable device for the time being. I just have to get used to typing on it for the lack of a better phrase. This laptop is still good, but I am having problems beyond keys. It’s blue screening a lot and it’s getting worse. I’m going to try to fix it, but…stop laughing…I should also be realistic.

Originally, this was going to be a “game only” laptop and really expensive for me. Now it’s going to be a “game and writing and research” laptop. They just don’t seem to make them like they used to anymore. I don’t think I’ve had this one for a year, and I’m already having problems.

Where I am not having problems is writing. This new version of Valentina’s Repast is coming along better. Valentina’s madness is growing at a good pace, and I am showing her trying to fight it, but the fight won’t really ramp up until she’s spent more time with Cady, the other female lead. Right now, the babysitter is still alive. Good for her!

The Lovecraft story I’m working on in my head is not coming along as quickly, but at least that’s on the backburner for a while. I have some ideas, I just need to shoehorn them in somehow. I might noodle with them over the course of the week and toss them out here to see what sticks. Who would think that working in worms, sky dragons and the end of the world would be such a headache?

That’s all for today. As always – there are books to the right written by both myself and dear friends, so feel free to examine and buy. Also, I have a ko-fi account, so please feel free to contribute to my near-crippling caffeine addiction. Until next week – stay safe and stay warm where applicable.

The Five Hundred and Eighth Post: The Lost Posting from Thursday!

This week, I am running an ad on Amazon for my book. Believe it or not, I’ve sold three books this month! This isn’t enough money to quit my dreaded day job, but means that I have sold at least one book for the last four months. Slow but steady, I am gaining some sort of following. Also, this sort of thing motivates me to write more, now I have some people who might be interested in a sequel to “Valentina’s Feast”. I am definitely going to continue the ad, and include “The Dreaded Day Job” in the next round of ads. Facebook ads don’t seem to be getting me anywhere, so I might drop the ad for “Valentina’s Feast” but keep up the one for “Dreaded Day Job” just to keep out in the public eye.

I’m still a little giddy about the whole thing. I mean…it’s eight dollars. Barely enough to buy a pizza from the grocery store, but it’s money I have gained from writing. That’s what is keeping me going when I feel like quitting. I can’t stress how important this is for me. It’s validation and anyone can tell you: it’s a heck of a drug.

Obviously, I am working like a fiend on “Repast” and it’s coming along a lot better with this mid-way second draft. I’m working up to Valentina’s moment of bloody clarity, a scene that I had in my head when I started thinking about making a sequel. This one is going to be more horror than romance, but the bloom is off the rose as it were. I mean…as far as a love struck cannibal can be considered horror.

Well, seeing that I am already late in publishing this, I am going to say until next time, and please look to the right for books written by me and good friends. Have a good day!

The Five Hundred and Seventh Post — The One Where I am Distracted By This Shiny Apple Some Woman Threw on the Ground…

An idea to me is as entrancing as a golden apple with the words “To The Fairest” scratched over its skin. I’ll drop everything and pick it up, marveling over the firm flesh, the sweet smell and wondering what it would taste like on my tongue.

Maybe that’s why I have so many unfinished projects.

The idea I had was brought on by a daydream I had and a memory of an odd thing from a magazine. The daydream was of looking up at the night sky and seeing the stars disappear one at a time as if someone was putting out candles. I think I had watched a documentary about the end of time or something like that. The memory was of something in the old Dragon Magazine (I don’t remember where I saw it, if you can find it – drop me a line what issue it was featured in, it’s been driving me crazy!) about a dragon so large, it swallowed whole worlds. Under treasure type, it just had the word ‘planets’. So, while a t work today, I put those two images in my mind togetr – stars going out and a dragon large enough to swallow the Earth. What I got was a Lovecraftian horror idea that I must bring to fruition.

One staple of Lovecraftian horror is the One Cursed with Knowledge. This person has seen the truth of the world, and it’s driven him past all sanity. Sam Neil’s character in In The Mouth of Madness is a good example. Usually, this is one of the side characters, so we only get half the story.

What if it was the main character that was being driven mad?

What if he was right?

My mind was off and running. I needed a good way for the dragon to feed, some way nice and slow so that the characters would think they have time and hope, but to be able to jerk that hope away in the last chapter.

Worms. Another little vision came to me: clumps and knots of squirming worms wearing human skin like a suit. They walk among us, spreading their kind about to consume the world down to the very bedrock and send those nutrients to the dragon. This is fantasy – I don’t have to explain it any more than that (Thank God. My browser history has taken enough of a beating from Valentina). The main character is the only one who can see the worms for what they really are.

This poor guy. This story is going to be so bleak, it would have Howard Phillip telling me to cheer up.

On the way home, I tried to figure out the sub-genre. Swords and Sorcery would be good, but there was no way they could defeat this sort of creature the way I had it imagined. It didn’t feel right. I thought about pulp fiction and that clicked. Forbidden magic, minds going mad from the revelation, flights to lost cities – this was the perfect thing.

So, I need to do a little more research. I want to really nail the feel and style for Lovecraftian horror. The best way to do this is by looking around for a style guide on the Internet. has a good one, but I want to get the nuts and bolts down. With that in mind, I’ll need to read some pulps. Lovecraft, for obvious reasons, and maybe some Robert E. Howard since he was a contemporary of Lovecraft.

When am I going to start writing it? Not for a while I’m afraid. This year is already filled with assignments, so it’s going to 2023 when I finally put fingers to keyboard to get the first draft out, but I am going to get the outline and research done long beforehand.

The Five Hundred and Sixth Post: The One Where I Scramble For Something While Sitting Outside a Snow Globe…

It’s snowing where I’m at right now, and I’m at work. It looks pretty, but I also know they’re not going to let us out of work early because only one to three inches here – not really panic material. Well – not to my bosses. To the average Louisville resident here, that’s cause enough to panic buy milk, bread and bourbon.

What does this have to do with writing? Not a thing, but it’s what’s happening now.

I’m working on Valentina’s Repast after completely gutting almost all the chapters I wrote and it is coming along a lot better now. I think it was too bloated with the love story loaded into the beginning. Pushing that aside for now and working on the killings and the problems that brings up. Rather than forcing it, I am going to try to let it grow organically.

That is one of the problems I have when it comes to writing (especially romance) in that I tend to force a plot point rather than let it come up in the course of the story. Hopefully, this will be a better fit and maybe I can stick to it. I have so many ideas and blank notebooks…

This is going to be a little short because I do want to get back as I am writing a spicy scene, and Thursday kinda crept up on me. Stay warm, stay safe and I’ll have something a little more substantive in the next one!