Wednesday, August 31, 2011

It Would Be Good To Be The King

It would be good to be the king, because there is so much I would change. For instance, if people have to show up at five thirty in the morning to get a decent spot in line at a drivers license office that opens at eight oclock...then there is obviously a problem and it needs to be addressed. This is a daily occurrence here in Houston. And then, I would order all photo takers to take five pictures and let the applicant decide for themselves which looks the least mentally retarded and have that on their drivers license. Is that asking too much?

Oh, and a note to the teenage girl surfing the internet and listening to tunes on her ipad while the rest of us stewed in line...we all hate you. But you knew that, didn't you. And you probably enjoyed every second of it. (I know I would)

I would also have the drivers license dept send you TWO copies of your drivers license. Just so if you ever lose your wallet (like I did), your entire world doesn't come to a screeching halt as you start the process of jumping through hoops to put your identity back together again. Lets face it, a backup license isn't unreasonable.

So...there's that.

Anyways, the muse is still flirting but not given me anything substantial yet. I'm hoping to hear back from my proofreader in a day or two, and then I'll get back to novel writing. Until then...happy humpday, folks.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Good Morning, Monday!

The kids are off to school and another glorious Monday begins.

My muse has been paying teasing little visits over the weekend. She's been giving me just the hint of ideas and then flitting away before any of them  develop into anything substantial. It's been pretty maddening, but after a summer of no inspiration whatsoever it's an improvement. At least it means there is still hope.

I have both of my incomplete novels out being read at the moment, just to get some feedback. I need to get a sense of what impression they give, and what their strong and weak points are before continuing. Sometimes you just have to take a project and get a second opinion on whether or not it's worth continuing to pursue. Until then, I think I might let my muse toy with me and see if I can wrangle a short story out of her.

On another front. I stuck to a low carb diet this summer and lost a total of 24 pounds since mid June. I was feeling pretty good about myself, but fell off of it this last week. Now I will probably pack on fifty over the course of the next three days just because that's the way my life works.


Oh well, Happy Monday folks!

Friday, August 26, 2011

My Muse Peeks In

So I have started writing again.

With the kids gone for a few hours each day, I'm getting a little time alone and I'm trying to put it to good use. I have been sitting in front of my laptop, and forcing myself to write. The words are coming...slowly...but they are coming. I just kept referring back to the outline I made for the chapter in question and put words on paper.

Then late last night it happened....

My muse showed up.

She has been in hiding pretty much all summer, and I was beginning to wonder if she still exists. Apparently she does, but she's still pretty pissed about the whole "kids home all day for the summer" thing. She only showed up for a minute. Just long enough to look over my shoulder at what I was doing and proclaim it to be "Plodding, Uninspired Crap That's Being Told From The Wrong Characters Perspective" before stalking off to sulk some more.

But she's still out there.

I hope she forgives me soon.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


The children are off enjoying their first day of school.

I'm sitting here staring at my laptop and trying to figure out what to do. The silence is a little unnerving.

Now I guess I better start hunting my muse. I wonder where she has been hiding all summer. Maybe I can tempt her out of hiding with a can of tuna or a cookie. What do muses eat?

Monday, August 22, 2011

Happy Birthday, Rowan...and Aloha poor Blog

And for the third time, this blog celebrates Rowans birthday. The first was here and the second was here. She is growing like a weed, and starting to come along in other ways as well. She is starting to use sentences, and can already read far ahead of even her unchallenged peers. So time is moving on and life along with it.

And that probably means this is a good time to discuss this blog.

It originally started out as a writing blog, then morphed into a personal blog because I originally labored under the illusion that I was supposed to update it every day. I did this for two years but the strain of continually coming up with material took its toll. Not to mention, I discovered that many readers didn't like a blog that updated every day and wandered on.

Also, since it was no longer just a writing blog, the theme had become mixed and ended up confusing people. People who came here interested in my works, were not interested in seeing daily pics and videos of kids they didn't know. At the same time, I was trying to figure out how to cater to two different audiences and ended up not doing a good job of either.

So it's time for a change.

I'm going to continue with this blog a while longer, but I will be planning a future blog that will be my "author's blog." It will be exclusively about writing or thoughts that relate to writing. This blog may remain as my "personal" blog...but it will not be updated as often either. This is all just preliminary and subject to change, but that is the direction things are heading.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Preparing to Toil Forward

So, soon the kids will be back in school and I will have much of my productive time back. My mind will not be scrambled by the words "Dad! Dad! Dad! Dad! Dad! Dad! Dad! Dad! Dad! Dad! Dad! Dad! Dad! Dad! Dad!Dad! Dad! Dad!  Dad! Dad! Dad! "

Sometimes I hear it in my sleep.

Anyways. I will have some decisions to make soon as well. I'm working on one story for the Shades compilation, and if it's any good it will go in. Then it will be a matter of formatting it and deciding whether to try and format it myself or hire a pro. There is also the decision of Createspace vs just Kindle DTP. Do I want a physical copy of the book to exist? I've got a pretty good cover for it. And I'll have to get a copyright as well. Sigh.

Work on Dead Stop proceeds slowly, but it does proceed. I'm having to literally outline each chapter before I write it, but it seems the best way to move forward with confidence. I might try that with Argiope. I know it's just a pipe dream, but wouldn't it be awesome if I could get the Shades Anthology, Dead Space, and Argiope all done by New Years?

Oh well, I've also got some marketing decisions to make as well. I may need to start a new "authors blog" that is devoted totally to writing, and make this my personal blog. It might be a good idea to separate my facebook account as well. I think the mishmash has caused confusion.

Oh well, lots to think about...and I've got a lot to learn.

This weekend is Rowan's sixth birthday, so my next update will be devoted to her.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Reading Break

While I'm debating which way to take a scene I'm currently working on in my zombie novel, I decided to take a break and do some reading. I fished out a book I bought on sale from Barnes and Noble almost a year ago, and had put aside for later. I figured now counted as later.

The book is called The Cases That Haunt Us by John Douglas. He was a psychological detective with the FBI and uses those skills to evaluate famous cases like Jack the Ripper, Lizzie Borden, and the Lindbergh Baby kidnapping. He does a great job of 'demythologizing' them (especially Zodiac) and reducing them down to the little people they most likely were. It's a fascinating read. It doesn't shy away from the gore, but it doesn't dwell on it either. The focus is more on who and what the criminal was and how Mr. Douglas arrived at his conclusions.

Since The Ways of Khrem is both fantasy and mystery, I thought it would be useful reading to help come up with a sequel. In poor Cargill's case, he's trying to seperate the works of psychopaths from that of monsters, but this kind of thing would still be useful. I would also like to try my hand at the mystery genre itself one day so it could be useful for that too. Anyways, it passes for what I call research as I decide how to go forward on my projects.

And soon...oh yes, very soon...the kids will be back in school and I can buckle down and make a run at getting some things done. This summer has been maddening due to my nonproductivity, but hopefully that will all end soon.


Sunday, August 14, 2011

Vacation is Over

So we are back from Galveston...and the aquarium wouldn't let us bring the shark cage home with us. Sigh.

It was actually a good time for everybody. We went to Moody Gardens and did all the pyramids...twice. We did the Dinosaurs Alive exhibit...twice. We saw 3D Imax movies...several times. And we walked The Strand and I blew up my diet in a candy store. We also went to a water park...twice...where Karla chased kids around the pools while I read my Terry Pratchett book since I can't go in the water.

So I guess everybody came home a winner, and now we're all recuperating.

I still could have really used that shark cage though.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Quick Vacation Snippet

So far vacation is going along well. We took a family picture, although I probably should have had my coffee first...

Sheridan practiced waiting for trains at the train museum.

We discovered an old fashioned candy store and ice cream parlor.

The diet that I have been sticking to this summer suffered a quick and grisly death...

And I found an internet hotspot where I could do this quick update. We're having fun, and it's going well. It's a great way to do the closing days of summer.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The Importance of Seeing It

One of the hangups that slowed me down while writing Argiope is that I had this cool idea for an ending...and so I wrote towards that ending. Then one day when I was having a particularly "visual" day, I sat back and visualized some scenes in different stories I was working on. And that was where I discovered I had a problem.

The ending that I had thought was so cool, simply wouldn't work. Not even close. The idea was cool as an idea, but when I actually sat down and went through the effort of picturing it clearly in my head, it was utterly unworkable. I discovered a couple of other scenes like that too. Some were impossible, others were just silly. Needless to say, this drug things to a halt for a long time.

So one thing that I've learned that helps the writing flow, is to take time once in a while to sit down and carefully visualize each step of a scene in your head. Really try to see it. I've discovered some times it comes easy, and sometimes the scene takes a lot of effort to bring forward. And if it takes too much effort, there may be cause to suspect the scene may really have a problem.

And the best part is that you can do this kind of visualizing when writing itself isn't an option. It just takes a little concentration...and the absence of screaming children (but we won't go there). So that is my hint to other writers. See the scene.

On another note, I will be leaving Friday for our family vacation in Galveston so I don't know when or if this blog will be getting updated between now and the fourteenth. I will try, but things are what they are.

So happy writing out there, and SEE THE SCENE!