The Four Hundred and Forty-Ninth Post: The One Where…Am I Feverish? I Feel Feverish…

I never recommend about writing diseases. You start looking at the symptoms and measuring them against your own day. The next thing you know, you’re banging on the doctor’s office door yelling about how you’re certain you have Goodpasture Syndrome because you had a particularly stubborn coughing fit. Don’t even get me started on psychiatric disorders.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that I love the research part of writing. Learning about new things (is this infected? Am I going to die?) and trying to find ways to incorporate them into the book. This time, I am learning more about one part of the brain now, than I ever did growing up. Of course, I’m also learning about the diseases that come along with it. My new mantra is: if this were really a disease I had, the doctors would have found it by now. Relax.

You again? You’re fine. Go home.

I wonder if something like this happens to other writers? F. Paul Wilson, one of my favorite writers, puts a ridiculous amount of research into his books. I really have to wonder if he sleeps at night, or does the knowledge of what he’s learn fritters and frays at the edges of his sanity?

He probably gets a solid eight in.

One thing I’ve been looking for in fantasy is a book that has horror elements in it. I’m looking for something along the lines of It meets Lord of the Rings or Dragonlance Chronicles meets We Sold Our Souls. They’re curious mash-ups, but I can’t really find what I am looking for right now. I know that Stephen King’s The Dark Tower series comes highly recommended, and I am going to give it a chance soon, but I’m looking for more of a swords and sorcery flair. You know what that means.

Gotta write it myself, I guess.

So while I’m working on the manuscript to one horror book and the outline to a second, I should be trying to brainstorm for a third one. At least it’s keeping my mind busy. Which is something I can always use.

Well, speaking of work, I need to get back to the manuscript. Hope y’all have a good day.

The Four Hundred and Forty-Eighth Post: The One Where the War is Without and Within…

I have a problem.

I love games with deep lore and in-game history. I’m not into the mechanics of the games so much as I am with the history and the personalities that make up the game’s atmosphere. One of the games I like with a super-deep lore is Mechwarrior/Battlemech. I played it as a table-top game, and as a video game when they came out. I have the latest iteration of the game: Mechwarrior 5: Mercenaries. I love it because it takes place at the same time frame I’ve played the table top game. I like watching what’s going on and knowing that there is a deeper story unfolding that I can’t wait to see happen.

Also being a writer, I have a premium on time. There are only twenty-four hours in a day and a lot of them are allocated to every other thing that gets in the way like work and sleeping.

Look at him. Lazy.

At some point, I have to write.

Writing takes discipline. Discipline that I really don’t have with the omnipresent Mechwarrior 5 begging and pleading for attention. Before you say, “Just play an hour.” This isn’t a game that you can settle up in a session or two. This is a looong game – as long as Borderlands 2 (another favrotie game). You can see my problem.

Get thee behind me…

As much as I love writing, even when it’s a struggle to get something out – I love the distraction of the game. That’s what it is, is a distraction. I need a better way to deal with it. Right now, I write during lunch and that’s it. When I get home, it’s the game before and after dinner before I go to bed. I should be writing. If I do my 850 twice a day, I can finish this book in a month and a half.

But Mechwarrior…

Trying to find something to inspire me, I watched the movie Creed and there was this line from Stallone:


[pointing toward Adonis’ reflection in the mirror]

That’s the toughest opponent

you’re ever going to have to face.

This is the mindset I need to cultivate. It’s me against me – the creative me that wants to do this for a living against the lazy, game obsessed me. It’s going to the gym me against the junk food and TV watching me.


It’s you against you,

and he’s in the way.

Get him out of the way.

I need to get Mechwarrior out of the way. I need to get TV out of the way. I need to get junk food out of the way. Will it be easy? Nope. Will I stumble? You bet. But I’m only going to fail if I quit.

The Four Hundredth and Forty-seventh Post: The One Where I Ask If Dentists Prefer Black and Decker Pilers to Craftsman?

The first chapter of my latest horror novel (titled: “Serve Me Now”) is not really the first chapter and that’s a good thing, because it was like pulling teeth to get it written in the first place. After it was finished (and I felt like I’d just climbed Everest with a 300 lbs. conjoined twin on my back), I let my wife read it. She said it wasn’t the best I’d written – which means it was a pile of hot garbage. I showed it to my writing group – they said I could do better. That definitely means it was a pile of hot garbage.

So, I went on ahead and wrote the second chapter. I figured that I could continue along with the book and just come back to the first chapter and rewrite it in the second draft. I let my wife read the second chapter, and she said it was a lot better – no shoehorning of things, no beating the reader about the head with certain concepts. I haven’t shown it to the writing group yet, but I’m sure they’re going to like it better than the first first chapter.

This is what it’s meant when the writing advice: kill your darlings is uttered. I kinda liked the first chapter. Sure, it was clunky, but I liked the opening of Leslie taking the cherry tomato from Brian’s salad. I liked that visual and how it set up the future of the book. However, the rest of the chapter was, as mentioned earlier, hot garbage. So…it got cut, but I am going to keep that scene with the cherry tomato to be used later. Maybe as a sign that the hunger is getting more intolerable for Leslie.

How was your writing experience?

I am continuing along with the novel, and the tooth-pulling has diminished, but not gone away. I’m concerned that the hunger is growing too rapidly so far. I really want it to be a source of dread – especially when it drives her to the point of legit insanity. Pacing is always a problem for me. Maybe I should bring that up to the writers group. Been writing since I was about seven, and I am still learning things. Never quit learning, kids.

The weather is getting better here, but I am not going to do any photography for a few more months. I want to make sure we’re not going to have a cold snap anytime soon. I’m still struggling to find a good subject, so right now I’m just working on technique. I need to get good soon, so I can make my own covers, I have so many ideas, but I need people to work on them with. Any local volunteers? I can guarantee a steak on one photoshoot.

Well, that’s all for now – sorry this is a little late, but my schedule’s been crazy. Check out the books on the right – I am going to be adding a couple more soon from favorite authors. Stay safe, stay dry and ta-ta for now.