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.

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.

The Four Hundred and Forty-sixth Post: The One Where I Have a Between Meal Snack…

Ever heard of the Baader-Meinhof effect? It’s an effect when you see or hear about something, then you start seeing it everywhere. You read an ad for something like a particular model of car, and then you see it on the streets and in parking lots. It’s a weird effect, and mostly harmless.

Well, I’m writing about hunger for my latest novel, and now I’m starting to notice when I’m hungry, and really been focusing on food as of late. I’ve been taking note of what I’m putting in my mouth when I get hungry. Now, I am usually the person that doesn’t get really hungry, or to be more accurate – when I feel hungry, it’s a big thing. Ever since I started this project, I notice more when I feel a little hungry and feel the need to do something about it, rather than let it go on.

Shown Above: The Creative Process

Should my next project be about billionaires who give away money? Asking for a friend.

I just find this unusual because this isn’t the first time I’ve written about eating, but I never paid attention to the feeling of hunger. In that time, I was really into eating meat, you know? Getting into the taste, smell and texture of the meat – whether it was ground up chuck or filet mignon. Now it’s just a general ‘huh…I’m hungry now. That’s weird’.

I’m also one of those kind of people that tend to see meaning in seemly random events. You know – superstitious. Now, when I’ve had things like this, the writing went very well. So far…well…it’s been a slightly uphill battle, but I haven’t really tossed this idea in my head around for very long.

I’m starting what I’ve called ‘The Year of Horror’. No more fantasy for this year. Only going to focus on horror. I’ve got four book ideas. Three of them are very new and one is one I’ve been working on for a while, I just need to really hammer down a P.O.V. for it. If all goes well, I might have a couple of new books out by the end of the year, and two more to come out next year when I buckle down and finish something I’ve started.

Well, I’m feeling a bit hungry, so I am going to get a small snack that is totally appropriate for a diabetic and is certainly not a chocolate bar. Hope to see you all later. Ta-ta for now!

The Four Hundred and Forty-fifth Post: The One Where I Drink a Pina Colada Out of A Viking Horn.

Fantasy and I are going to take a bit of a break from each other. When I read the backs of a lot of books, I’m not thrilled anymore. I can wait for them to get into my hot little hands (still have a bit of a fever). So, I am going to dedicate this year to horror and see if I can get some things going. I’ve got a lot of ideas – enough for this year easily…including Camp Nano and Nanowrimo. I think I need to do this to recharge the batteries and regrow some interest.

I wonder if Stephen King went through something like this? His bibliography looks like if he did, he just took an afternoon off.

Anyway, busman’s holiday aside, I am looking forward to getting into horror. It was the one big genre I loved and I snapped up anything I could grab, with fantasy being a close second. I wonder if there are any good fantasy/horror mashups? If you know of any, let me know please. I want to widen my horizons and maybe dabble a little bit, who knows?

I know I missed yesterday and I am sorry, but after working for 12 hours a day and coming home, I felt like poo. I also got Mechwarrior 5 (I am a sucker for games with deep lore) and tried it out a little. Not a fan of the shallowness of ‘mech customation, but I am willing to give the game a shot. When I have the time. *sigh*

There is not a whole lot going on here – started writing the first horror novel of the year: Serve Me Now and it’s going to be published under my name, so it is my first official horror book. I hope that it has a better showing than Valentina’s Feast. The book has a four and a half star rating, so it can’t be too bad…which is actually the average for my books on Amazon. I just need better publicity.

Anyhow – if you’re curious, on the right hand side there are all the current books of mine you can buy, not to mention books that good friends (and better writers than me) have written, I actually need to update that list soon. Well – that’s all for today, I do have a chapter to finish up for Saturday’s writing group. Ta-ta!

Four Hundred and Forty-fourth Post: The One Where I Don’t Think I’m Contagious, Just Bored?

I’m feeling a lot better now, but I’m not feeling better enough to write. I cant come up anything for The Deadly Barrows right now, so I am doing something else. I am giving contemporary Gothic Horror a shot. Maybe if I do something completely different from swords and sorcery fantasy, I can shake up my brain enough to get me to the next planned scene in the novel.

Times like this drive me crazy sometimes. While I am still writing, I’m not getting anything done. I know that this is the method that Isaac Asimov used and he’s the most prolific authors ever. The big difference is that he finished his stuff and I just let my stuff twist in the wind. How he did it, I have no idea.

Then again, I still have a touch of what’s going around at work now. It could be that my body is still fighting the infection. I know I’m coughing like I got a pack-a-day habit. I think my brain might want a little rest.

But I have a couple of scenes in the gothic horror novel (working title: The Golden Ticket – it’s a term I used for which people can come over uninvited) that I am going to write and let’s see what happens. It might be that I am starting to burn out on fantasy, and I should switch to something else. Maybe this is going to keep me from just giving up completely on fantasy, which is my favorite genre to write.

Ultimately, I am trying to find the genre that’s going to be the most successful. I could write comedy, horror or fantasy, but I feel like I need to drill down and find one thing to work on. I gave splatterpunk a shot with Valentina’s Feast, but I don’t think it’s going to go off like I thought it would. Maybe Gothic is the way to go. Foggy nights in the woods, the blanket of dread settling over people, and the knowledge that something is wrong – not just wrong, but an act against nature’s own laws.

My goal is to have a book good enough to send to Stephen King as a way of gratitude for what he’s taught me (maybe get an endorsement? C’mon Mr. King – I helped get your kids through college, all I want is a shout-out) as a writer.

Well – I apologize that this is so late, but I knew it was Wednesday, but not that it was deadline Wednesday. Also – I do have a show that I am hooked on called Yellowjackets. The best way to sum it up is Lord of the Flies meets Sweet Valley High. Worth a quick look.

Check out the books I’m selling to the right – written by authors far more talented than me and by myself as well. Hopefully, the sickness will work its way out of my system, and I can be far mor productive.

The Four Hundred and Forty-Third Post: The One Where I Go For The Cadillac!

I’m still working on the fantasy series, but now my mind is coming up with ideas for other things left and right. I have an idea about a Southern Got novel (a tale of friendship, murder and privilege…) and a haunted house novel with a twist (the working title, and I might stick with this is: Breeder).

Even with these shiny new toys, I am trying to stay on track. It’s really hard not to act like a methed out German Shepherd chasing cars on the highway. I write notes and start some outlines, and that’s how it starts. Next thing I know, I’ve abandoned the current work for this new shiny thing.

I am trying to stay on track with this because it’s so long, and I have already put some time into it (Chapter 16 of…20? 25? Of book one of…20? Really, why can’t I do single novels?) and I am hoping to make the sunk cost fallacy work for me for a change. I am almost done with the first book, and I am bringing it to my writer’s group to get some opinions on it. I just need to finish it, but not rush the finish to get to the next book (a little less planned out sadly). I’m hoping that this series will get me some traction if I take the less traditional road of putting it up for free first, then publish it second.

But my big problem is the ideas come hot and heavy to me when I am occupied. When I’m not? Not even a dust bunny of an idea. My wife says it’s because my mind is working, so it’s not distracted by other things. I think my mind hates me at times and does this to trip me up.

Anyway – things are still going well as far as writing goes. I did take a day off to get some errands done, and I cleaned a little.

Shocking, I know.

See? Clean.

Just grinding away at books and trying to keep the muse happy – that’s my week in a nutshell. I might outline the haunted house story and work on it after the first book is done. I am going to have to research pregnancy…which is going to get me some odd looks at the book store and some interesting things on my Amazon account.

Sorry this is a little quick, but really – not much as been going on. Life of a writer and all that. Check out some stuff to the right – hope to add some new books soon. Have fun and take care.

The Four Hundred and Forty-Second Post! The One Where I Just Let It Go!

I noticed that I had made a couple of spelling mistakes on the previous entry.

Spellcheck don’t care.

I feel embarrassed about this because I did glance over it before publishing it. Normally, this sort of mistake would be something that would gnaw away at me. Distracting me from other things until I fixed it, and even then I would be recriminating myself for sloppiness. It would pick at me like a vulture looking for a tasty sliver of liver to gnaw on.

I Before E, except after C…and my name…and French loan words…

Now, either through fatigue or maturity, I’m going to let it go. It’s there and there is nothing more to it. I will use it to spur me on to be more wary about things. Maybe triple check something. Do the old “read it backwards” trick when looking over something. Be vigilant!

On other news, I have found a couple of series that I am somewhat invested in. “Yellowjackets” from Showtime is a show that can be described as Lord of the Flies meets Sweet Valley High. Given my fascination (healthy) with cannibalism, this looks to be an interesting series. I’ve seen the pilot, and this is definitely going into my Thursday viewing habit.

The other series is put out by AMC+ — “Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire”. Again, watched the pilot and this is going to be my Saturday evening show. Wow – did they up the homoeroticism! Not a bad thing, but I am looking forward to seeing how this is going to work out. I like how they set up the titular interview. It’s not a hard reboot, but more of a softer version of it. The initial interview has been done, and the reporter is trying to get a second chance at it. Beautifully shot, wonderfully written. This has a couple of things added to it, but then again, it’s been over thirty years since I read the book (I might have to revisit it). Worth the watch.

I also got to see the movie “M3GAN”. It’s more like “M3h-GAN”. A couple of cheap jump scares, and light on the gore, it’s good for a Red Box rental, or something like that. If you’re going to go see it in the cinema, go for a matinee. It’s good, but it never really breaks new ground as far as “AI Is Evil” goes. I mean, if you can bring your five-year-old to it, is it really horror?

That’s all that’s been going on for now. I’m still cranking away at the fantasy project, and I hope to get it done before the year is halfway over. That’s the first draft of course, I’ll be lucky if I can get it to Royal Road before the end of the year, since one of my goals is to have a regular update schedule with it.

Well, be sure to look to the right to see books put out by me or some good friends. Check them out and send them (and me) some love. Ta-ta for now.