The Five Hundred and Fifty-Ninth Post: The One Where You’re Going to Need The Urban Dictionary!

Edging…is not a term you’d think you’d run into in a blog about writing, but that’s what I am kinda doing. Well – I’m working The Show Must Go On, but to satisfy that itch in my head to write Your Tribe, Our Tribe, I am doing all the prep work. Naming all the characters, writing down the beats and listing the ice cream scenes to make sure I don’t skip anything. For this one, so far there are only these: Edgar’s awakening in the woods, Edgar and Moe, round one; Edgar and Moe, round two; the chase through the park, the final fight. Not enough to flesh out a 70-80K word novel, but I can get there. As long as I don’t sit down and start writing the text, I’ll be fine. Really. Stephen King does this all the time (I’m sure).

The current project is coming along, a bit reluctantly. I’m on the cusp of writing one of the newer ice cream scenes with the main characters being invited to be on a panel at a convention for paranormal enthusiasts. That’s where the big reveal for Lin’s infidelity with Chip (if people haven’t figured it out by now) will happen, but first I have to get through the haunted schoolyard. This part feels like it’s dragging a little, and it might get cut down or changed a little during edits. It is coming together, but it feels like everyone on the set would much rather be somewhere else. Or maybe I’m projecting. Who knows?

This weekend I am going to start the re-writes for Serve Me Now and I hope to keep it up through out the year. I am anticipating finishing the whole thing by next year, if not a little later. I don’t know if it needs one or two rounds – all depends on whether or not I should try submitting this for publication or not. Still haven’t made up my mind about that, yet. I can certainly use the feather in my cap, but I also want to have a little more control over it. I don’t really know. This would be a big step for me. I guess it all depends on how impatient I am about getting this out into the world. I’ll have to do some research, obviously, and find some small publishers looking for a horror novel. That doesn’t bode well, sadly.

Well, that’s all for now. Please check out the books to the right, make a purchase or give me some coffee to support the blog. Ta-ta and stay safe.

The Five Hundred and Fifty-Eighth Post: The One Where I Need Calamine On The Brain!

Ooh, I can feel that itch. That new story itch in the back of my mind. While I am working on The Show Must Go On, my head is working out Your Tribe, Our Tribe. I’m going to admit, it’s hard to stay the course when I get a new idea, so I am trying to satisfy the itch by working on little things: names of characters and the basic outline and motivations of the various characters until it comes time to start writing…which will hopefully be by the end of next month. Not tying myself to a deadline – for that way lies madness. I am trying to hold onto the goal of finishing four first drafts of novels (at least) by the end of the month. A secondary goal is to get one of those titles published by Hallowe’en.

Your Tribe, Our Tribe as also one of the few times I ma going to write horror – or anything for that matter – with a explicit message. Trust me. I am the last person to be spinning a morality tale, but the idea is something worth doing, and hopefully I can do it right.

I’m also counting down the day until Gen Con and my first big vacation of the year. I’m not going to miss an update though. I might post some pictures when I get back home, but I am not going to be writing there – it’s only four days and I know I am going to be exhausted from walking around. It’s going to be a great vacation.

There isn’t much else going on – Serve Me Now is getting reviewed by the writing group and (speaking of conventions) The Show Must Go On is getting a convention chapter after I finish the current one…which I have little idea what’s going on in this one. That’s the life of a pantser writer.

Stay safe out there, and hope to talk with you soon.

The Five Hundred and Fifty-Seventh Post: The One Where I Give Away The Plot!

So, I have an idea for a vampire novel that is going to address one of the complaints I have about vampires and how they’re currently viewed in pop culture.

I am personally exhausted with the notion of vampires being avatars for raw sex. Vampires as lovers, or objects of desire for me has been played out. I want to go back to the idea of being a vampire being something horrific in the short term.

So, I thought just how bad is it to be a vampire, but not know what to do. No sire, no instruction – just wham-bam-fanged-you-ma’am and left on the side of the road. Sure – vampire lore is everywhere, and the main character isn’t completely ignorant, but everything else the main character needs to learn is going to be on their own (haven’t decided if the main character is going to be male or female). It’s a good idea, and I am going to work on it closer to the end of the year. When I finish The Show Must Go On, and the werewolf book Your Tribe, Our Tribe, I’ll work on the vampire book tentatively titled Fang Baby.

I amazingly got up on time this morning, and not hitting the snooze button three or four times. I got a lot of work done today. The only change I had to my evening routine was I went to the gym shortly before I went to bed. Didn’t write, but I did walk a few miles. This morning, when I woke this morning, I was fully awake – not bleary minded or anything like that. I felt good. I even wrote 850 words in about an hour. I’m going to try to repeat this and see if I can develop a habit. It was just weird to wake up and get right to the shower and breakfast, If I try to repeat what I did this morning for the next morning, then I need to figure out when to go to the gym since today is laundry day and that takes a good chunk of my time.

Is there anything else going on? Not really. Still focusing on getting the current novel done in a month and a half, then moving on to the next one. I want to have at least four novels first draft finished by the end of the year with one ready for publication. Whether it’s going to be picked up by a publisher or not – who knows? Still mulling that over in my head.

Take care, and stay safe.

The Five Hundred and Fifty-Sixth Post: The One Where I Change Antagonists in Mid-Stream!

I’m going to work on Your Tribe, Our Tribe after I finish the current work. I’ve noticed that my last few works featured female protagonists, and I should take a break from that. Well…that and Breeder isn’t coming together like I want it to, but YourTribe, Our Tribe is bubbling along quite nicely. Given the themes of identity and groups vs. individuals are really salient today, I should strike while the iron is hot for a change.

The Show Must Go On is coming along very well, even though my writing habits are becoming spotty again. I’m about to declare one of the secondary characters dead and really kick off the strangeness. I’m excited to do this, because we’re getting into the horror of the story, and I’ve been itching to get into that real deep. I am still looking forward to having this done by the middle of next month, but for my own mental health, I’m calling that a soft finish line. I guess the schedule will be that I write in the morning, afternoon and evening, but on the weekend, carve out an hour or two for re-writes for ServeMe Now. Now that the text is finished, I am getting better ideas on what I should have included. Working them in is going to be a task, but it has to get done and get done soon before I can try submitting this book to a traditional publisher.

Yes, I decided, and I am going to try to get this book out there for a small to medium sized press. I am going to try to get it published that way for a year. If nothing happens by the end of the year, I will self-publish again. I have a good feeling about this book. I can feel things coming together with it. Maybe horror is my genre? Who knows? Comedy and fantasy haven’t really worked out well for me.

Well, having said all of this, I do need to get to work. Thanks for stopping by, check out my books to the right of screen, and feel free to donate a cup of coffee to the cause.

The Four Hundred and Fifty-fifth Post: The One Where I Continue My Streak of Literary Masochism!

I have to admit, there is a difference in writing during Nanowrimo (camp or otherwise) than writing other months of the year. With the down months, there is a little more freedom. I’m not obsessing over numbers and word count…not that seven hundred words is a lot. I’m a little more relaxed. I don’t worry over not hitting the word count for the session, and missing a session doesn’t put me into a funk for the rest of the day.

So why do it? Why do I put myself through the gauntlet now twice a year?

Your services will no longer be required…

The reason is because while I am doing it, I get a sense of accomplishment. Sadly, I don’t finish most works I start (I swear, I’ll get to them one day). With Nanowrimo, I have a goal, I have a plan and I have other people working with me. It makes it all bearable. Would I recommend doing it? Sure. The only way you’re going to see if you have the stamina to do such a thing is to do it. Okay, this isn’t like running a marathon in a physical sense, but there is some discipline to it.

So, right now I’m working on The Show Must Go On. This one is a little bit of a challenge for me since I don’t write first-person point-of-view often, if at all. This one is another horror offering to keep up with this year’s theme of horror novels only. Serve Me Now has been finished for a few days – actually finished it ahead of schedule! – and is getting ready for re-writes, of which there will be plenty. I need more conflict between the main character and her boyfriend. I don’t think I really hit the ‘cosmic horror’ vibe I was looking for, either. Look for this to come out no sooner than next year to be honest. It’s going to take a while through the writing group.

That’s all for now. I’m keeping pretty busy and hoping to get another novel finished this year. My overarching goal is to write four: Serve Me Now, Breeder, The Show Must Go On, Your Tribe, Our Tribe. I’d like to write more, but those are the only ideas I have for now. Thanks for reading, and I hope you have a good day!

The Four Hundred and Fifty-fourth Post: The One Where The Cat in the Box is Reading My Novel…

I can haz review?

Apologies for the lateness, but I had finished the book as far as word count goes – wrote 60,000 words in about 22 days – but as far as the story goes, I need to finish one chapter and then I am completely done. It’s turning into quite the Schrödinger’s Novel – both done and undone. There are a couple of chapters that I might pad, but there is definitely one chapter I need to finish. I don’t know if I want to pad them or not. I might bring them it up to the writer’s group. So far, it looks like the whole novel is going to end up with a fist draft of 62-63,ooo words. After that I need to trim off 10% and then bring it to another group (if it’s still there). I am leaning towards getting trying tradpublishing this so I really want to get the word count down to something that is appealing.

On other news, I think I have a werewolf story to round out the four for the year. I was

going to do something along the lines of “My 300-lb Conjoined Twin” to throw in some body horror and a light poking fun of reality shows. However, this werewolf idea is too good to pass up. The title (taken from lyrics to a Soulfly song called “Tribe) is Your Tribe, My Tribe. I hope I’m breaking some sort of new ground…because I am bored with shifter romance. I want to bring some sense of madness back to werewolves. We’ll see what happens.

There’s not a whole lot going on here to be honest. I’m just trying to finish this book before the end of the month, and me being the procrastinating type will probably not get it done until 11:59:59.99 PM April 30th. Here’s to writing while one’s hair is on fire!

The Four Hundred and Fifty-third Post: The One Where I Looks Like I Might Finish Something For A Change…

I am so close to finishing the novel. I just need to pad the final chapter and write a couple that I skipped over (Candy Coated Freakout and Serve Me Now, respectively) while writing the first draft. After that – I am done with the first draft and I can begin the re-writes and the edits. Hopefully, I can keep this a still tight 60K words. Once all of that is done – I get to do the thing I like the least (even less than re-writes and editing) is trying to design the cover, but I am going to worry about that later.

It feels so good to be near the end of this. The next project is going to be The Show Must Go On. This one is going to be a total re-write from what I had initially started. This one is going to be a first-person, which is my weakest P.O.V. writing. I haven’t written that many, so I am looking forward to the challenge. While I am writing that, I am going to brainstorm for my third horror book called Breeder and it’s my first haunted house story. I have another idea that definitely needs to be fleshed out a little bit more called The Golden Ticket, and we’ll see what happens from there.

I’m hoping that some of my other books will get picked up from these four horror books. I just need to find the genre that I can profit from. I’m going to get back to The Marvelous and Malefic Doomsday Medicine Show since it has both a horror and fantasy vibe to it, but I want to spend 2023 getting a better platform put together.

And that’s all that this year is for me – trying on horror since that’s a genre I love nd have read plenty of. The other one is fantasy…even though I never read Lord of the Rings. Yes, yes – please feel free to clutch your pearls and swoon. I’m just not a fan of the writing. Worldbuilding? Holy crap – I wish I could get to that level of detail. Besides, I’ve seen the movie dozens of times and it’s a source of inspiration for me.

Mostly, I am ready for this book to be done. I’m ready to move on to the next project and start that over again. I have a better feel for the beats, and I’ve been watching enough ghost hunting shows that I think I can fake a good one. I just have to get this one finished. Three chapter, I should get that done by the end of the month. I hope I didn’t jinx myself.

Not helping…

The Four Hundred and Fifty-Second Post: The One Where I Feel Good About Things…

I’m feeling better about Camp Nanowrimo. I’ve settled into a routine, and I am over halfway through the novel. I’ve hit several ice cream scenes (with one I had to re-write because of a guilty conscience) and I am actually close to wrapping it up. Will I get it done by the end of the month? Looks like it, to be honest. If I keep up this pace, I’ll probably finish it before the end of the month. What’s helping? Coffee, early morning writing sessions and slow workdays where I can work on the book during down times. Heck, I did 1500 words today at work before coming home. Nice.

I am looking at my next project: a haunted house book called Breeder. I am going to try to hold myself to the same schedule. I can get this done in a month. Now, when I say I’m getting it done in a month, I am only referring to the rough draft. There is no way I am going to go from first draft to print in a month…well, not if I want to put out a good book. Right now, my writing group is getting the current project I’m aiming for an October release – this is the perfect Hallowe’en book.

As far as anything else goes – the only thing I’m looking forward to is GenCon. Not only is it a vacation for me, it’s going to be three days of gaming. No writing, no plotting, no nothing. I have a feeling I am going to need it once Serve Me Now and Breeder are finished. I think I have gotten a hold of my muse for once.


It’s back to being fun again. Tiring, sure – waking up a 4:00 AM is a thrill to no one, but I have the house nice and still to concentrate on writing, and it makes me feel like I’ve done something, which boosts my mood throughout the day. I do sleep in on the weekends with me waking up at 7:00. Good times, really.

Well, that’s all for now. Still up to my hips in one novel and thinking about the second one. Hope everything is good for you. Ta-ta.

The Four Hundred and Fifty-first Post: The One Where I File an E.P.O. against Calliope…

When someone says ‘muse’, I’m sure the image of gauzy dressed women standing in a perpetual gentle summer breeze whispering little phrases into the writer’s ear (maybe with a light nuzzle or a peck on the cheek) comes to mind. After all, muse is a special thing – a spirit of inspiration for the artistic sort.

This is my muse, and it is not all neck kisses and summer breezes.


As much as I was looking forward to pitting myself against the Camp Nanowrimo challenge, I am only a person. I did stumble a little and took a night and a morning off – I was tired from waking up at 4 A.M. and working until 10 P.M. Was I refreshed? Did I feel better? Am I attacking the assignment with a sense of renewed vigor?

Your word count’s a little low for today…

I felt tired, still. I feel a little tired still the next day. As much as I tried to relax for this little time, I couldn’t. The word count and the guilt hung over me like the keyboard of Damocles. Don’t get me wrong – I love writing, but it’s not the romantic, patient love of a parent for a child, or a spouse for one another. It’s the obsessive love of a fan for a star. It’s the love that burns like a dirty grease fire – water doesn’t put it out, it makes it worse.

Can I stop writing? No. My muse won’t let me. Like a Catholic nun, it wields guilt. The God of writing is the God of the Old Testament. It will not suffer false idols. Fire and brimstone await you if your word count is under 2,000 today. Writing is a grim, cheerless religion.

This is also by no means a healthy view of it. Is this what I have to do to become successful? I can’t not write. I’m always thinking about it. I’m always writing stories in my head. I’m always reading to steal notions. Ideas don’t stop in my head. Writing is as much a part of my being as my hands, or eyes or feet. Does anyone else feel like this? Maybe not about writing, but about anything?

Maybe I’m writing this as a roundabout way to ask for help, but I don’t know what kind of help I need? More coffee? Stronger drugs? Realistic expectations?

What am I going to get out of Camp Nano? Physically? Nothing.  A little blast of serotonin for completing a task, but there is no money (unless this gets published). Bragging rights, but to who? Readers of this blog and my writer friends – other people with their own muses and forces driving them. Will they think less of me if I fall? No. Will I think less of myself?

We all know the answer to that.

In the end, I know I have to step back and take an honest stock of this small event. I know I tend to obsess about things like this, so I just need to re-evaluate my priorities and take a good stiff drink.

I’m typing! I’m typing!

The Four Hundredth and Fiftieth Post: The One Where I Cast Myself Into The Literary Pell-Mell…

On the first of April, I will attempt to work on Camp Nanowrimo. This is the spring version of the November classic Nanowrimo, where dozens of people try to write a 50,000 novel in the span of 28 days. I’m doing this because – why should I limit my insanity to only one month a year? For the next thirty days, I am going to work on Serve Me Now! during April with the goal of finishing the first draft before Midnight May First.

While I joke about the insanity of me trying to stick with anything longer than two weeks, I like doing this because it’s a measure of my willingness to complete something. I always feel that I am holding back when it comes to writing. There is a timidity to my own spirit when it comes to writing something. Sure, I dedicate my lunch to writing, and I try to focus on writing when I’m at home after work, but I never feel like I’m committing to something. There seems to be this distance between me and the work.

Doing Nanowrimo, and now Camp Nano, feels like me whipping off my clothes and screaming “LET’S GET FREAKY, BABY!” I feel like I’m getting in touch with my passion. I feel I’m dancing with the Maenads and sloshing holy wine all over the place. I feel alive at 4 A.M. and I’m chugging my third cup of coffee before work whole pounding on the keyboard in the dark. November and now April are months where the spirit rides me. Something that doesn’t happen the other ten months of the year when it comes to writing. I don’t want to just close the distance, I want to rush it while foaming at the mouth.

Of all the hobbies and passions I have, this is the only one where I feel this way. D&D? Perfectly fine with it. I’m not reading books on improv and/or The Method like I’m reading On Writing. Painting minis? Not watching endless YouTube videos on how to get the perfect shade of green like I watch writing channels. All my other hobbies have this little distance that I’m not fretting about. Only with writing do I feel that I’m not investing enough.

Well, I am going to change that come April. I ma going to let the door swing wide open and throw myself without abandon into writing. I might not be blogging much during the month, but it’s not because I have nothing to blog about. I’m going to get the novel done and might even start the revisions, who knows?

So – wish my luck and I will see you on the other side of April.