Monday, May 31, 2010

Hitting the Bigtime

Well, today I did my first radio interview ever, at Page Readers on blogtalkradio. I was interviewed by a fabulous lady named Nanci Arvisu, who did a fantastic job of helping me not sound like Ozzy Osbournes dumber brother.

Unfortunately I did manage to say "uh" about fifty thousand times, and the terror is pretty apparent in my voice through much of the interview. Nevertheless, I managed to get through the show without humiliating myself, and only grew a couple of ulcers in the exercise. I call that an astonishing success.

This writing business is turning out to be quite the adventure. Next thing you know, they're going to want me to go out there and meet real  people and person. Oh well, I'll just take it in baby steps. Yeah, baby steps.

What's Going On?

Friday, I woke up about seven AM and then I took a five hour nap from 2 PM till 7 PM. Then I went out to have a writer's night out, and came back about 1 AM. I went to bed about 1:30 AM and slept twenty four hours till 2 AM Sunday Morning. I then got sleepy and went to bed around 2 PM Sunday and slept twelve more hours till 2 AM Monday morning.

I have been asleep more than 41 hours of the past 72. That's ridiculous.I think I may have had a bad headache on Saturday, as I vaguely remember waking up with one and going right back to sleep, but that's it. Anyways, I have certainly been getting my sleep.

I need to get that straightened out, because Rowan goes back to school this week, and I'll have Sheridan home all day. I need to take this opportunity to go do some things with the boy. Especially since I've wasted the entire weekend. I'll watch it this week and if this  continues I'll go get checked out.

On the writing front, I'm toying with an idea for self publishing some short stories. Just to test that market and get some figures for comparison. I've been approaching writing and promotion as a bit of a science lately and collecting data. I've still got more to collect, and then I'll be interested to see where it takes me.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

A Star is Born

Here we have Sheridan singing at his graduation, and performing an unwitting Dean Martin impression.
I went for a writers night out with Cherri Galbiati on Friday night. We had our usual good time discussing writing and where the field was headed.
Then I came home and slept for over twenty four hours. Yep, you read that right. Over twenty four hours. I have no idea why, other than a vague memory of waking up with a headache and going back to sleep. Then waking up and seeing it was only thirty minutes after I had gone to bed...or...a whole lot longer than that. Talk about disorienting. Saturday simply never happened for me. I went to bed Friday night and woke up on Sunday. Weird.
And now I'm still sleepy, at noon on Sunday. Ugh. I need to at least stay up till Karla gets back from the birthday party she is taking Sheridan too. So, I'm up till late afternoon at least. Then I need a good nights sleep, (only one night this time) so I can be coherent for my blog radio interview tomorrow.
This should be interesting.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Argiope Update

I'm somewhere over forty thousand words into Argiope, but I'm currently stalled. I seem to have written myself into a corner and I'm going to have to devote some serious braincycles into figuring out how I'm going to go forward.
I insist on my stories adhering to their own internal logic, as I think the failure to do that ruins more books and least for me. So, I'm going to have to either figure out how to go forward, or go back and rewrite the last four thousand words or so. It's just a matter of devoting the time and thought into making the right decision.
And time and thought are currently at a premium. With me focusing so much on learning about internet advertising, marketing, and such...I'm having a hard time shifting the mental gears to get back into the story mode. I also have one blog radio interview scheduled, and another one that I need to get scheduled. I'll be on Page Readers Blogtalk Radio at noon on Monday, May 31st. Be sure and listen to me make a complete disaster of it.
Oh well, on a happier note, Karla is back home. It's nice to have her safe and sound back among us, and the kids are glad to see her, too. And just in time too...I just bought an animal trap to capture the wildlife that is having wild brawls in our attic, and I needed somebody to crawl up there and set the trap.

Thursday, May 27, 2010


I've been experimenting with internet ads the last couple of days. It's been pretty interesting and I definitely have a lot to learn. What I've done so far has driven up traffic to my Ways of Khrem site significantly. I'm going to have to sort through and track back where the different traffic is coming from, to get a better idea of which ads are generating the traffic.
I'm also going to have to figure out how to have increased traffic result in better sales. That will probably depend more on the site than it does the ads. At the moment, the site boasts a brand new link to my author's page at Pill Hill Press where a sample of the book can be read, and a link to where the book can be purchased. Now that they have my cover up, I can use my amazon associates to make a link with a button and graphic.  I'm constantly evaluating and changing the site, to make it better.
 I'm also starting to realize this is a marathon, and not a sprint.


Lovely. Just lovely.
I get the kids into bed on time, the house is in decent shape, and I got a little grocery shopping done thanks to my friend Cherri coming over and watching the kids so I could go get them stuff for their school lunches.
Then I went to bed and couldn't sleep a wink. I layed there for hours, grainy eyed and frustrated, before getting back up so I could start packing lunches. This is just silly...but it's silliness I'm going to be paying for in a big way later today. Sigh.
Maybe it's because of all the excitement of getting my new sink. Yeah, that's it. I've become a totally domestic male...patheticus domesticus hystericus...and I go into excited tizzy's over new household appliances. Sigh. Any minute, the ghost of Charles Bronson is going to show up and demand I turn in my "man card."
I just won't think about it and settle for focusing on getting the kids out the door.
Boy, am I tired.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The New Hotness

Behold! The new sink is installed!
It holds water! It runs water! IT DOESN'T GIVE ME A SHOWER EVERY TIME I USE IT!!!!
I am happy.
Now to get fix the floors and get rid of the varmints living in our attic.

Day 2

Well, it's the second day of just me and the kids...and so far nothing has burnt down, exploded, imploded, or slid off into the Gulf of Mexico. I call that a win.
The house is beginning to look a little worse for wear, despite my best efforts, but I have help arriving today in the form of Heather...our weekly housecleaner. So that will buy me time. I also have the new sink being installed today, so I need to get the kitchen ready for that.
Not much time for writing with all this going on, but I have done a little work on my webpage at  . It's still rough and needs to have the text on each side balanced better. I'll be replacing some of it with an button soon. It's a work in progress.
Ah well, I have a whole lot to do and only a little time to do it. So that's it till later today.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


Karla's father has regained consciousness, and is propped up and talking in the hospital. That is very good news, although he will be there for quite some time.
On the other front, I have just about finished my first day with the kids alone, and things aren't too bad. I think the change in their routine has slightly affected them, as they appear to be more energetic this afternoon. But so far the damage to my sanity has been limited, and my gray hairs have not multiplied unduly. In a little bit I shall throw them in bed, and myself as well. Tomorrow is going to come early.
And that reminds me. Tomorrow I get my new sink installed! Hooray for a shiny new sink, faucet, and garbage disposal! Now Nate doesn't have to get soaked by the errant spray of a broken faucet every time he rinses something off! Of course, now that we've screwed up and actually fixed something around here, it's going to make all the other stuff that needs repairs really stand out. Like my linoleum. Ugh.
Oh well. One project at a time. I got my new sink, and life is good :)

Girding my Loins

Yep. With Karla out of town for the next three days it will be me versus the terrible twosome. I will be outnumbered by two opponents who are younger, faster, and every bit as committed to their cause as I am to mine. It will be my job to get them up, breakfasted, off to school, picked up from school, taken to therapists, fed yet again, and put back to bed...and that's at a bare minimum. Some unreasonable types out there might expect me to bathe them as well.
And I've got to do all this without the house sinking into a mess the likes of which tends to collapse into black holes and destroy planets. Having the fate of humanity on my hands is a solemn responsibility, and I'll do my best. Just know, I'm behind enemy lines and not expecting rescue. It's a far, far better thing I do...and all that.
Anyways, here's wishing the best to Karla and her family in Ohio as they face this crisis. My thoughts and love are with them all.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Early to Bed

I'm hitting the sack early tonight. Karla has to fly out of town in the wee hours of the morning due to an illness in the family. I'll be watching the kids for three days, so I'm going to need my sleep.
And luck.
I've handled them both before, and I'm developing strategies for doing it this time. It will just take planning and execution. I can do it.
Oh well, off to bed. Good nite!

An Evening With the Family

Karla and I took the kiddo's to the drive-in to see Shrek 4 and Iron Man 2. Needless to say, they were delighted.
I really like that place. It's called the Showboat Drive-In, near Tomball, TX. It's kid friendly, has a great snack bar, and it plays seventies and early eighties music over the radio. If it weren't for the make and model of the cars around me, I would have the illusion of being a teenager again. And it was a beautiful evening for seeing the movie. Rowan fell sometime during the first one, and Sheridan dropped off sometime during the second. That's okay, the parents enjoyed the films too.
On another front. I am now experimenting with my first ad. It's up and running, and I'm just using it as a test to see how many click throughs I get. I doubt I'll sell a single book with it, but if do that will be great and if I don't I will have gathered some useful information. I'm not quite ready for business on the "website" yet. I'm waiting for to get the picture of my book up on their site, and soon Pill Hill Press will have a preview up on their site where you can read a sample of the book. Once those two things go up, I'll hook the website into them and it will be pretty much ready to go.
Oh well. Busy, busy, busy.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Doing Right by the Boy

I need to do more Dad things with Sheridan, so I'm starting to make a list.

1. I think camping out in the back yard with him might be fun...I hope the raccoons don't eat us.
2. There a couple of wooded parks nearby, and he loves taking walks in them. Might start doing photography with him. That's a thought.
3. Now that we have seen a couple of movies together, thats a huge hit with him. I'll just have to choose carefully, but not get too picky. I don't want him being the only kid who hasn't seen a big movie and is wondering what all the other kids are talking about.
4. More trips to Old Town Spring. It's time for snacks at the Loose Caboose!
5. I know he's seven, and i got my first bike at seven, but our street gets a lot of traffic. I'll have to think about that one. I lived in a small town and this is Houston.

I don't know, I'll have to think about it more. What I do know is that he will only be seven once, and time flies. I want to make the most of it.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

The Natives are Quiet

 It's Saturday morning and the kids are not being total monsters. I've managed to doze on the couch and only had to deal with a couple of minor disasters. For the most part, the computer games have seized their little brain cells and held them in thrall.

I stayed up till four o'clock working on Argiope, and got to forty three thousand words. I now preparing the second encounter between Adam, the protagonist, and Antonio. This time Adam finally gets a partial explanation into whats going on. I ended up taking a longer path to this scene than originally intended, but writing sometimes works that way. I had a scene sort of organically develop between two charactor's that would give a little insight into both of them, and allow one to grow.

Anyways, I'm a little bleary eyed from short sleep. But with Rowan only having one week left in school, I have to get as much written as I can. Once she's home, it becomes a little more writing while a marching band parades around my living room and pulls out all the toys. So I'm trying to get to fifty thousand words by the summer. That would give me all summer to get the last thirty or so.

I also have to start focusing on selling some books. As soon as the book cover on goes up. I'll try a specific ad, at a specific site, and measure the results. Actually, I'm still working on my ad strategy as several ideas have come up. Still, it will be interesting to watch, and monitor what works and what doesn't.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Writing with Children

I have heard of many a talented author who had children. Personally, I would advise getting your writing career going either before you have kids, or after they have left the house. It will drastically reduce the odds of you being hauled out of your home in a straitjacket, foaming at the mouth, and screaming how The Shining's Jack Torrance was just misunderstood.
The four year old got sick at school today, so I had to go get her. This meant that I was now attempting to write while growing an eye  out of the back of my head at the same time. I finally got her interested in Spore, on the computer, only to discover it was time to go pick up her brother.
 I arrive at school to discover the boy has been a little turkey today, so then I had to be stern daddy and deal with the boy. This of course resulted in a gloomy atmosphere as the Most Misunderstood Boy on the Planet sulked in timeout. I thought I might take advantage of this moody but silent moment to get back to writing, but his sister, The Four Year Old Who Can't Be Reasoned With, decided that it was time to play with her brother whether anybody else wanted her to or not. More yelling and hard feelings ensue, which Dad has to arbitrate, and little writing gets done.
Finally the combatants are separated and the boy sent to his room for his own protection. Dad returns his attention to his neglected manuscript, just in time to see the four year old run by with an uncapped Sharpie. Disaster is averted, but Dad is now typing "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy." Then the boy starts laughing hysterically in his room, and prudence demands Dad investigates. Fortunately it is only a matter of the little goofball spitting and making goofy faces in his little camcorder and playing them back, so no harm and no foul.
 Now I have totally forgotten what the scene I was writing is even about.
 I come back out to discover the four year old has built the Leaning Tower of Small Furniture in an  attempt to reach the candy on top of the refrigerator. Another disaster averted. I sit down to reacquaint myself with the scene when the boy starts yodeling about being hungry. Sigh. Make supper for the kids, while wondering if cooking is one of those life skills that can be taught an early age. I'm not even sure what book I'm working on anymore.
The kids are now chasing each other around the couch and screaming at the top of their lungs. I'm not hearing any tears or invective, so I've surrendered and now just stare at my screen mumbling incoherently.
Don't do it folks. Have your kids...or write. But both at the same time is a recipe for an aneurysm.

Writers Night Out

In my never ending quest to become the fattest writer on the face of the planet, I went on  yet another writer's night out to Denny's with Cherri Galbiati.
I signed her copy of The Ways of Khrem that she had brought along with her, and realized that yet another hurdle still faced me in this whole bookwriting business. And that is coming up with a brief blurb with my autograph that won't sound so stupid that my readers think I'm some kind of idiot savant who can only compose in the security of my own lair. However close to the truth that may be, isn't the point. The point is that I don't want them knowing that. So Nate shall have to work on his autographing and people skills.

 And this actually matters, due to the CMT in my hands I can't do a bunch of large signatures in a day. It will have to be pithy...especially to make up for the fact I go by my first initial, and full middle and last name. On a bad day, it's a struggle for me to sign a debit card receipt, so maybe I ought to look into a stamp or something. Yeah, that would be classy...I'm sure they would just looove that
Oh well, I'll think of something..

Thursday, May 20, 2010

A Proud Papa

Today, I recieved a copy in the mail of The Ways of Khrem. I opened the box, and got the experience of actually holding a published book in my hand that I had written myself. I heartily recommend that everybody out there write a book too, because the feeling of doing this is worth it all by itself. My friend and proofreader, Charlie, also took some video of me talking about it but I haven't decided about showing that off yet. I come across pretty high on the dork meter in that one, so I'll just wait and see.

Moving On

I'm now 41,400 words into Argiope. I'm going to have to go back and flesh a couple of things out, but progress is being made. That's what first drafts are all about. I can also tell I'll have to even out the pacing in a couple of places. Once again...first draft. The main thing is to get it written.
Summer will be upon me soon, and I'll have Stinkerbell home with me all day. That's going to make getting any writing done very difficult. I'll probably have to set aside strict hours for nothing but writing, and then adhere religiously to that schedule. I can't see any other way of getting it done. Rowan is going to require attention, and I really need to pay extra attention to her this summer. I don't want her backsliding from all the progress she made this schoolyear.
That will probably mean writing nights at Denny's. Just me, the laptop, and coffee. Sounds like a date.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Stinkerbell's Big Days

Yep, she's a tuckered out little beastie. She has had her yearly evaluation by her speech therapist at St. Lukes, and an in home visit by her teacher and an evaluater from the public schools. She did very well for both of them, to the point that her therapist at St. Lukes said that she tested as only mildly autistic in a catagory that she tested as moderate to severe last year.

She still has a long way to go...but she has come such a long way in the first place. She's in there, and she's coming out little by little.

The Big Four-Oh!

I crossed a big milestone tonight, on Argiope. I entered the forty thousandth word at about 12:20 AM on May the 19th. I have finally got this story going, after an abortive start nearly a year ago that resulted in me shelving the piece. After picking it up and dusting it off this spring, progress has come in spurts. Since I'm aiming for this story to be between eighty and ninety thousand words, I'm treating this as reaching the halfway point. And the most impressive thing is that I added the last eight thousand words over the course of the past week.
Man, if I could have things go like that more often I would be cranking out a novel every three months. Anyways, work is finally flying on it and I have a reasonable idea of where it is going to go. That's a good thing, since I intend to have the first draft finished sometime this summer. I'm considering a deadline of September the first, but we shall see.
Oh, and the 40,000th word was "steepled."
Soon, I've got to get to bed because Rowan's teacher is coming for an in-home visit today, and I need to find a home under all this mess for her to visit. I know it's here somewhere!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


Tonight I'm pushing a little bit. I have a scene I'm working on, and I'm sort of forcing it to come out. I usually don't do that, but if I'm going to get this novel done in a speedy way I'm going to have to be more productive.
I remind myself that if I don't like what comes out, I don't have to use it. That's actually important because it's more my nature to only write when it flows, and I end up using it as an excuse not to write  when the words don't come easy. I can't do that and meet deadlines. And I can't let the fear of it coming out poorly dissuade me either because, as mentioned earlier, I don't have to keep it if I don't like it.
So, tonight I  push.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Writer's Night Out

I went out to Denny's to celebrate the release of my new novel with Cherri Galbiati. I had a cheeseburger and fries, a hot fudge sundae, and enough Dr. Pepper to float a battleship. I could literally feel my waistband getting tighter. On the other hand, the gluten hasn't seemed to have really done much to me, so if I don't get cocky and dumb...and go eat a bunch more...then I think I'll be fine, and be able to continue writing without undue interruption.
Good deal.
Since I'm waiting to launch my ad campaign, I might as well spend the time writing. I think I need to set a deadline and try shooting for that. I've never done it before, and up until now I've just kind of wrote when I wanted to, and on whatever I felt like. Let's see how a deadline effects things. Although I don't know how effective a self imposed deadline can be...since the imposer is me and I can impose on myself not to be so darned imposing. It's an imposing situation when you think about it.

Sunday, May 16, 2010


Now begins the part that I have little stomach for...the promotion.
Being as I'm constitutionally a bit of a hermit, the idea of going out and promoting myself has always seemed kind of crass...something other authors did while hopefully the world would just intuitively beat a path to my doorstep. But it doesn't work that way. So I have to go push my wares.
I'm going to have to rely on the internet for a lot of it, since my mobility is limited by kids and disability. I'm designing ads, and getting ready to place them. I'm just waiting for the picture of the book to come up at so I'm not sending people to a bad looking page. I'll also mention the books availability a time or two on facebook, but I don't want to spam people so I won't do it too much. I'll also be promoting the book at Apollocon this year, and will have a table inside the dealers room itself. That reminds me, I need to make up some posters.
Fear not. The add up top is only for a week or so. I'm learning while I'm doing.
Oh well, now I feel all cheap and I must be getting into the swing of the thing :)

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Other Good News

My werewolf short story, "Roadkill," has been accepted for Pill Hill Presses "Silver Moon, Bloody Bullets" Anthology. It's been a pretty big week :)

It's Here!

The Ways of Khrem
is now available on!

There is no picture of the cover on the Amazon page, that will come later, but the novel can now be purchased.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Rain, Lightning, and Children

It's a dark and stormy Friday night. Lightning is flashing across the sky, rain is falling from the heavens, and I just had to run the four year old out of the back yard and into the house. Yep, parenthood is non-stop entertainment.
Now Karla is home and is reading bedtimme stories to the kids. The two kids are managing to turn even that into a struggle, and I'm hiding over here on the internet while frustration creeps into Karla's voice. I currently put the odds of these kids making it into bed unclobbered at about fifty percent...and falling.
Yep. Karla and I brought this on ourselves chose this path with open eyes. But it has it's good moments.


I have updated the look of the blog, in preparation of the release of "The Ways of Khrem." Everything has to look all spiffy and new for the new guests! I haven't felt this cool since getting tinted glasses as a junior in High School. I'm also getting the novel a page of it's own. I'm going to use Blogger to simulate a webpage. We'll see how that works. I don't see any reason it shouldn't.
Been working on Argiope a little, but soon I'll have to change focus again. Other deadlines approach, and other projects beckon. I remember when I thought being a writer meant just sedately working on one project, then when you're done you move on to the next. Alas, that is not the way it works. Today, I shall finish what work I'm going to do on Argiope for little while, then move back to getting the "website" ready, along with trying to come up with another Christmas themed short story.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Visiting Rowan

I realized the other day, when picking Rowan up from school to take her to her therapist, that I had never once visited her classroom. That is her world for over thirty hours a week, and I hadn't seen what that world was all about. I had intended to...many times...but there was always something else that needed doing, and there was always next week. Only now the school year is almost over, and we are almost out of "next weeks."
So today I went and spent much of the morning in her class. Naturally, she was excited to see me there and my presence caused her to act out a little, but I did get a good idea of what she did every morning. I met her friends, and watched her work on the days of the week and sing songs. She takes after her brother in that she want's to answer every question, even if it's asked of a different student. And it was good seeing her happy in such a safe and nurturing atmosphere.
Sometimes as parents we forget how much bigger our kids worlds are, than just the part we take for granted. It reminds us that they need us in their worlds, whether here at home or elsewhere, because if we don't take part those worlds will carry on with them...and without us.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Doll Play

Here, Rowan is having her doll clean up messes. Now if I can just translate this into a real life activity.
She was hyperactive all afternoon after I picked her up. I practically had to sit on her while waiting for the first therapist, as she was rampaging around the waitiing room and getting into everybody's stuff. Once the therapists took her, I took advantage of the time to get Argiope over 36,000 words. I'm closing in on finishing a long scene, then I can move on to the next part of the book.
Thursday, I'll go back to researching websites by taking a long look at But I need to actually picture some elements for my website in my head before starting on it, or I won't have anything to work with. I probably ought to avoid anything that might be taken as a spider motif, or I'll forever be branded as the "spider author" for sure. It's weird, out of all the stories I've written, only two have featured monstrous spiders...and naturally those two are the ones that became novels. I've written a lot more ghost stories than that, and honestly my ghost stories are some of my best short stories.
Anyways, my third novel may feature a ghost, a gaint termite, or a swarm of killer pandas...but it won't be a blasted spider.

Halp! My Intarwebs are Stuck!

No internet all morning makes for a lousy morning. I felt like the world had just gone away, and wasn't talking to me anymore. But now it's back, and all is well.

Rowan did fantastic with both her therapists today, even if she was tearing down the waiting room until they arrived to take her back. She just had way too much energy. But apparently she channeled it well and put it to good use. Her speech therapist said there is a lot more going on in that little head of hers than she is letting on. She grasps concepts rather quickly, and her patterning skills are very good.

Oh well, we're all back home safe and sound.

Any Progress is Good Progress....Right?

Sometimes, I think my mind just doesn't work like everybody elses. Here it is, time for me to be preparing for the marketing of "The Ways of Khrem," and I'm writing on "Argiope" instead. I just suddenly got inspired and now there are two thousand more words on the manuscript. Now I'm wrapping up a long conversation scene I was working on and the action is about to pick up again. Grandma Lizzie is coming to pay a visit, and she is not a welcome guest.
I haven't just stopped thinking about marketing though. Actually, I'm looking at as a place to build a webpage. I'm just checking to see if I can link to it from so I can have a "buy" button right there. If I go that route, then all my ads will link to my webpage...which will link to the books page on Anyways, I have been thinking on it, and also designing internet ads. I'm also looking at making posters. It's a bit pricey, but I'm thinking of getting a big three foot by four and half foot poster made that can hang behind me at my table at Apollocon. Oh well, we'll see.
On another note. Rowan has been doing well with her walking with Dad training. She has definitely got the stopping and starting down, and knows what is wanted of her. At this stage, I'm still holding her hand though, and I'm waiting to see what happens when we catch her in a less than compliant mood. That will be the true test. But she has been doing well lately. Since I've started rewarding her with candy corn for going to the bathroom, she makes about ten trips every afternoon on her own initiative. We only had to change one pullup on her this afternoon. Woohoo!
The future is so bright I gotta wear goggles...or shades...or something like that.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

A Little Argiope Action

I actually had a fairly productive day yesterday, after a slow start.
I collated different opinions on internet ads, and then did some reading. After that, I settled down and surprised myself by putting in a thousand words on Argiope. I hadn't worked on it in a while, and I felt inspired. There was a scene I had been intending on inserting, so I went ahead and wrote it out in one sitting and put it in.
Not bad. I wish I could do that more often. I also need to decide if I want to publish Argiope under a psuedonym or not. I don't want to get know as the "spider" auther. And the "voice" of Argiope is very different than The Ways of Khrem. Adam is very different than Cargill. Oh well, I need to get the blasted thing written before worrying about things like that.
Today, is Rowan's Tuesday therapy visits, so I'm gone for half the day. I probably won't get much done tomorrow, but we'll see. Monday, Thursday, and Friday are usually my most productive days. That's just the way the schedule works.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Fatty McFatbutt Prepares to Diet Again

Okay, so I lost twenty pounds over the course of the spring...and gained almost all of it back in April. So now I have to try again. I have to make a live appearance to sign and sell books at Apollocon, so I need to lose it again. It's either that or pretend I'm Orson Welles reincarnated.
So, the cook is about to go on a diet.

More Boring Stuff

Well, Monday is upon me, and what have I done? I've spent the weekend working on advertising strategies and watching Zorro. Yeah...Zorro. The old black and white Disney seriel with Guy Williams. The guy who would later play Dr. Robinson on Lost in Space. Hey, for an old Disney seriel, it was actually a pretty cool show. We have both seasons on disc, and Sheridan likes to watch them. I'm not sure he has noticed they are in black and white.
Other than that, not a lot to report. Sheridan and I both got over our illness at about the same time, and neither Karla nor Rowan ever showed any signs of it. So maybe it was something we ate.
Anyways, I have a lot to learn about webpages and So that's it for now.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

More Ads

This is sized as a skyscraper ad. You see these along the sides of many webpages. I'm kind of pleased with the way this one turned out.

Here We Go Again

Another button ad comparison. In this one there are two things to evaluate.

One. The wording is different.

Two. A different type of yellow is being used.

Please let me know what all of you think on these two issues.


Update: Sunday Morning. I just reuploaded the images because the border on one of them had been wrong. Now it's fixed.

Saturday, May 8, 2010


The plague has moved into our household.
Poor Sheridan was throwing up all night, and now has a fever. I have almost been throwing up this morning, and don't feel very well. Poor Karla has to work. Rowan seems okay, but it's always hard to tell with her.
I'll be spending the morning on the couch, being nearby if the kids need me, but semi conscious.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Productive Evening

I've got Sheridan off to his school party so he can enjoy time with his friends. I also got a good roast done, and saw to it that Karla and Rowan had a good dinner. On top of that, I finished the first draft of "The Ornament," a Christmas story I'm writing for a friend.
So far, so good.
I'll pick Sheridan up at around ten. Then I'll let Karla worry about throwing him in bed while I go for a late writer's night out with Cherri Galbiati, to brainstorm over things like promotion and stuff like that. She is also going to show me her Kindle. I've been kind of curious about those.
Oh well, it looks like busy evening.


Ole Toothsome says "Hello." You'll have to read the book to find out who he is.
The reason for the pic above is that I'm considering adding a beastary to the web page I'm planning for The Ways of Khrem. It would contain entries and artwork on monsters contained in, or mentioned by, the book. There would creatures such as Felk Spiders, Storm Wraiths, Barrow Wolves, Sarolisks, Stone Drakes, and several others. I haven't decided the format yet. One idea is using entries from a book that Cargill owns, called Crewells Beastiary. While he has volume two of the book, I could make the different creatures be listed like entries from different volumes of the book.. Oh well, it's just an idea at this point.
I wasn't originally expecting the book to come out until late summer or early fall...then it got moved up to the first of June. Now it might be out even earlier. That's actually cool, but it means I didn't have the time I thought I would have to get some things the webpage...that I thought I would have. So I'm sort of scrambling. It will get done though. And I can always improve on things after the book comes out.
I've also been doing more snooty reading today. I've been reading Geoffrey de Villehardouin's first hand account of the Fourth Crusade. The Gutenburg Project absolutely rocks. You can download tons of books that are public domain for free...many of them translated manuscripts from long ago. I highly recommend it for fantasy authors, who want to do a little research on the old ways of the world. Just something to build on.
I think I'm going to sleep in today.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Updated Comparison

I haven't made a decision yet on the text, but I updated the graphics by giving the buttons a lighter blue border. I think that improves it and makes it look more professional...I hope.
I've also been doing a little work on a Christmas short story. Not a lot, since I ended up chopping out most of what I added. I'm used to my short stories being about five thousand words long, but some ideas simply don't require that. My first instinct is to start adding fluff to draw it out, then I have to go back and cut it all out...because let's face it, fluff is fluff.


Got a late start on the blog today. I didn't wake up till six thirty, which meant I had to go straight to getting the kids ready for school. Make sure that the girl had her supplements all in the right cups, and that the boy had his icepack under his tray of snacks while the little thermos of hot potstickers rested on top. But now that is all done and I have the house to myself.

Now what?

Maybe I'll write a little bit. I haven't done that in a while. And the gluten is finally clearing out of my head, which is making that possible. I've also noticed that one of my daughters supplements is designed to break down gluten in the stomach so it's gone before it gets to the small intestine where it is absorbed. Maybe I ought to try that least when I know I'm going to be bad.

Rowan and I practiced walking in the parking lot yesterday, under the watchful eye of one of her counselors. Because I'm kind of wobbly and unstable, we felt it was important to work on her stopping and starting when I did, and following instructions. She did very very good, and I worked on it with her more, when I took her to the hospital to see her other therapists. That was a good idea on their part.

Oh well, I'm sure I'll find something to keep me busy.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Step Two

Okay, the voters have chosen "dark" over "mean."

Now, should the text be in yellow or white?

Good Morning

Another glorious day in this man's army! Or whatever...

Today is both Rowan's speech and occupational therapists, so I'll be gone most of the day. Also, her diagnostician with the public schools wants me to pick her up early so we can work on her behaving in parking lots better. It's a good idea actually, as she is young and unpredictable, and I'm a little wobble and unstable...and that's on my good days.

I think the gluten is beginning to clear out of my head, as I caught myself thinking about Argiope and a couple of other stories while going to sleep last night. That's good. I do love pizza, but I hate the effects it has on me. This definitely gets filed under the "life ain't fair" heading.

I've been reading Herodotus' account of Egypt the last couple of days. I think those old manuscripts can come in handy for a writer. Especially a fantasy writer. Besides, how many people can actually say they have read Herodotus? Major snooty points for me!

Oh well, gotta get the kids up soon and get them ready for school.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Working on Things

This is a try at designing a small 125x125 button ad. It's almost the smallest standard ad size there is. It's intended to either lead to a dedicated website for the book, or to where the book is selling on
Hmmm....Maybe it should say "dark" streets instead?
What do you guys think?

So.........Now What?

The novel is done and off to the printers. And while I have spent a couple of days eating unwisely in celebration, I know the work is not yet over. There is still another stage to this process.


Just because you get a book up on, alongside the hundreds of thousands of other books there, doesn't mean anybody knows it exists...or are even inclined to buy it if they do. That means there is much more work ahead.

So, now I have to start coming up with ideas to promote the book. I am on a fairly limited budget, and I can't travel much due to kids and disability, so I'm starting out with a couple of strikes against me there. I'm going to have to be smart, and creative, to get the word of this book out there.

One avenue is the internet. To be honest, I'm a little leery of these promotion packages that some internet companies offer authors. They make you a video and give a review on, and maybe a couple of other things. The problem is that then you have a video that you have to figure out how to get people come see, and that ads another level of work, and another layer of promotion that isn't for the book itself. I'll have to think about that. I'm looking at more direct forms of advertising, like banner ads, to actually get the book's name out in front of people. I'll also be doing leaflets, posters, bookmarks, cards, etc... and I'll be selling books at Apollocon this year. I'm also looking at the cost of a quarter page ad in Isaac Asimovs Scifi magazine. We'll just have to see how things develop.

And I need to get back to writing soon as I get all this gluten out of my head.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Artist At Work

Rowan has started drawing. Anybody notice a theme here?

Okay, That's Enough Celebration

I went out to Denny's and had a cheeseburger last night, to celebrate my book going to the printers. I suffered no ill effect and decided to continue my celebration today by going to Godfather's and having a pizza.
This time the gluten hit me like a brick between the eyes.
I even briefly lost track of the day of the week, and almost went to pick my daughter up from school to take her to therapy...which is tomorrow.
That's enough celebration.


"The Ways of Khrem" was sent to the printers Sunday evening. It is now on it's way to becoming a printed novel. It should be available on in a few weeks.
When my publisher told me that, my initial reaction was "now what?" I have been sending and recieving edits for so long, it's kind of odd to realize that that's all over with. There is no next step. It's over.
So I went out to celebrate by having a writer's night out with Cherri Galbiati and eating a cheeseburger. Yes, a real cheeseburger with real bread. I just wrote a novel, darn it, and I'm allowed now to glutenize myself stupid. I may eat a pizza tomorrow. Then I guess I'll do laundry or celebration skills leave a little to be desired.
I guess I can start thinking about writing other things again. That will be nice. Maybe a few short stories, then try and crawl back into the world of Argiope. I have some thoughts on that novel, but that will be for another post. Tonight I'm just basking in the glow of accomplishment, and living with the dread that success breeds further expectations. Oh well, there's always a dark cloud to fill that silver lining.
On another note, Rowan started drawing pictures for me of spiders. It's the first object I've ever seen her draw. She has always done symbols like letters and numbers before. But she brought me this ball with lots of lines sticking out of it and announced it was a spider. Then she had me write the word "spider" beside it. Then she drew another, and another, and another...till I now have a countertop and tabletop full of spider pictures. All of which were brought to me to be labeled.
So it's been an interesting weekend.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Closing In

Pill Hill Press has come up with a blurb for the back of the book. Now with that and the cover art done, they are just waiting for me to get the edit to the final proof back to them, so they can incorporate what they want of it. I'm on target to get that to them tomorrow night, and then once they're done with that it's time to send the book off to the printers.
Just, wow.
I never really thought I would do this...actually follow through and bring one of the stories I carry in my head to life in a novel. And yet in a few weeks I'll be holding a copy in my hands.
UPDATE: I finished the final edit this afternoon and went ahead and sent it in.