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I’ve been writing off and on, mostly off the last few weeks. It’s been really rough as every day when I come home, I am still looking for Gracie. Last week, as I have done for years, I kept a portion of my steak off to the side for Gracie. Then it hit me, that she is no longer here. I’ll have to admit my eyes teared up a bit.

The writing I have done has been divided between three projects. My memoir, my sci-fi book and my character driven book. Three widely divergent genres. This is probably not a recipe for success as an author. Most authors write in one genre only. Very, very few write and are successful in multiple genres.

It’s the same problem I had when I was actively woodworking. I would work on multiple different projects. Once I had finished, I never wanted to go back to it again. I liked the challenge of doing new things. In my writing, it’s the same way. If you go back and look at my short stories, most are in different genres. Some worked, some didn’t. Rarely did I continue a character in multiple stories with the exception of Harry Gruen. Will I ever write another Harry story? Doubtful as I’m pretty bored with him already.

The one thing I that I do enjoy is writing short stories, but I’m having a hard time finding the enthusiasm to write any. Hopefully, I’ll start writing them again, but for now, I’ll work on my projects.

Till next time, time and tide wait for no man.


The Beat Goes On

Came across this today and decided to give it a try. Next thing you know, I’ve written two thousand words and know exactly where I’m going next with my book. I’ve read the blogs of other writers and sometimes they will post a playlist. Until now, I didn’t realize how much listening to music helps while writing.

As I’ve always been a huge fan of classical music, I chose this video. I’m always open for suggestions of other types of music to write with, so if you have one, please share.

Weekly Progress Report #42

Sometimes you have to take a step back in order to go forward. This past month I’ve been focused on editing and revising. It’s become a chore. Yes, it advances me to my goal of being published, but detracts from the main reason I’m writing. Mainly, the joy of writing a story. Sometimes they are received well, other times they fall flat. Regardless, I enjoy writing each and every one of the stories. The more I write, the better the stories and more importantly the better the writing.

I looked back at some of my early writings and I cringe. What was I thinking? Some of them look like a total hack job. This shows me how far I’ve progressed. I’ve still got a ways to go. It is said that it takes 10,000 hours of practice to become an expert at anything. I’m not anywhere close to that number yet. I’ve yet to complete a novel. I’ll work on it in spurts, then something will come up to distract me from it. It takes a bit to get back into writing the novel.

I don’t expect my first novel to do well. Maybe my fourth or fifth. Just like writing short stories, it takes practice to write a novel that I will be proud of. Writing the novel is a major project. Editing my memoir is a major project. I’m not at the level of writing to be able to do both at the same time. I could edit and revise on certain days of the week and write the novel on other days, but it doesn’t quite work that way with me. I need to write on the novel for several days in order to get back up to speed. Once I stop writing, then I have to start the process over again.

I hope to do the final revising of the memoir this week. Maybe I will and maybe I won’t. I’m not going to pressure myself. It will come when it needs to come. Meanwhile, I will post my weekly writing challenge tonight. It’s a hard one in that it could go several ways. I always have a problem with these type of prompts. So many ideas, but only one story. I could write multiple stories on the prompt, but I feel that would get repetitive and negate the purpose of the challenges.

Till next week, time and tide wait for no man.

Weekly Progress Report #40

At first glance, I didn’t accomplish much in writing this week. After coming home exhausted from work most of the week, I didn’t have the energy or creativity to do much on writing.

I did accomplish a major milestone this week. I finished editing my memoir “My Cancer Journey”. I also designed three book covers and managed to figure out how to put up a poll on which cover is best.

I’ll be doing a final read through of the memoir today. Then I’ll be sending it out to beta readers for a check on readability, grammar, typo’s and interest. Would you like to be a beta reader? It’s a novella length memoir, so it won’t take too long to read. If you are interested then send me an email with the subject “Beta” to (replace the AT with @) I never send out unsolicited emails, so you won’t get spammed by me.

My poll on book cover design is a sticky post that will remain at the top of my posts this week. I was a bit disheartened by the lack of votes yesterday. Not sure if I did the poll right or not. I had Mrs. D look at the post and I had to prompt her to vote after she read everything. I’ll have to look at a better way of wording posts like that.

In case you missed it, I have a contest(?) or giveaway that I announced with the book cover poll. Link to the post and you are eligible to receive for free an Advance Reader Copy of the memoir.

In addition, I did a deep dive into statistics. (I’m a statistics nerd) Saturday’s are my least viewed days. If I had known that, I would have waited to post the poll on Monday which is my most viewed day. I’ve suspected that Saturday is a day that most people take a break from reading blogs for quite a while. That’s one of the reasons, I’ve moved the Weekly Writing Challenge to Sunday night.

My prompt for this week is a doozy yet again. Of course, when is it not? I’m thinking of expanding my writing skills and venture into the genre of “Romance”. More than likely it will turn into a comedic farce as I really have no idea how to write “Romance”. No guarantees, I might do a different genre altogether.

Till next week, time and tide wait for no man.

Fair Warning

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On a whim, I sent a query letter to a publisher. Of course I didn’t research what should be in a query letter or even the proper format of the letter. Instead I shot from the hip and did a brief summary of my work in progress “The Altered”.

Naturally I received a rejection letter. However, they did express that they want to see the completed manuscript. Now I have a huge motivation to actually finish the book.

Posting here will be sparse, but on occasion, I’ll take a break and write about something that strikes my fancy. I’ll continue the Weekly Writing Challenge that is posted every Saturday. I may or may not do a Six Sentence Story.

I plan to finish the first draft by the end of the month if not sooner.

Weekly Progress Report #35

So-so week in writing. I didn’t get much progress done on my book. I did edit Chapter 4. My routine that I rely on was disrupted by a holiday. That tends to throw me off quite a bit not only in writing but also at work.

I did end the week on a positive as I returned to my roots of writing dark fiction in the Weekly Writing Challenge. I think it is one of my best works to date. I had pulled the prompt late on Friday. Usually I pull the prompt on Thursday to give me a couple of days to figure out how I’m going to use it for the story. Friday night, I slept horribly. I kept waking up through the night and then going right back to sleep.

It is rare for me to remember my dreams, but I still vividly remember the dreams I had on Friday night. Possible story lines for the prompt kept going through my head. Every one was discarded for various reasons. Some were tired tropes. Some fizzled out. Others made no sense.

As I sat down on Saturday evening to write the story, my mind was blank. Then I remembered when I was growing up one of my chores was milking the family cow. The winter months when it had snowed were a special time of peace. From there the story unfolded almost magically from my fingertips.

This Friday, I’m going to see my primary physician for my annual physical. He is also going to draw blood to test my PSA and testosterone level. I’m anxiously awaiting the results. Hopefully they are good levels. If so, then I can finish the final coda to my memoir. After that, I plan on being consumed with editing and revision.

The plan is to publish it on Kindle by September. Which means I’m going to also have to learn how to do book blurbs, formatting and coming up with a book cover.

Till next week, time and tide wait for no man.

Weekly Progress Report #34

I had hoped to get into a regular routine of writing, editing and revising this past week. So much happened that it was hard to do so. I unexpectedly started a new position at work. Moved to counter sales. I have little to no experience doing sales, so it is a huge learning curve. Plus having to deal with ornery plumbers is rather difficult. Thankfully, I have a lot of help in learning the plumbing terminology. Yes, I’ve been working there for two years now, but I know all the parts by their item numbers, not what plumbers call them.

My mom came to visit for most of the week. Huge disruption in my writing and more importantly, my thinking time. When it is just Mrs. D and myself, I have ample periods where I can let my mind roam free with thoughts of how this story or that story may go. I did have a good time talking with my mom. This was probably the first time in years that we really talked.

My youngest daughter and her fiancĂ©e moved here from Virginia. We will be going by their new house sometime today or tomorrow. They are hoping for some expertise in tackling a few home projects. As I’ve done that quite a bit years ago, I’m sure to have some good input for them in techniques.

I did get some writing done this week, just not as much as I hoped. One thing I’ve been putting off is continuing the Brandon Sanderson lectures. The next one is Worldbuilding Q&A. It’s kind of hard to see the value in a Q&A session, plus I have to watch it at least a couple of times to get all the detail. So it is a huge time sink. Since I’m not working tomorrow, I’m going to mentally schedule it.

I plan on writing one or two chapters of The Altered Part 2 this week, plus go back and edit and revise Chapter 3 of Part 1 and post it.

Till next week, time and tide wait for no man.

News, News and More News

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Had a pleasant surprise today when I came home from work. My new hearing aids had arrived! I put them on the included charger and then popped them in for a test drive. I could definitely tell the difference. At first, I was a bit alarmed that when I talked, it seemed to echo in my ears. After talking with my mom, I found that it is normal and will go away in time. I wore them for about 4 hours which in hindsight was a bit much. My left ear started hurting. I’m going to have to work up to being able to wear them all day.

I started editing my short story Lump tonight as it is Thursday. Luckily, I only did about a half page. Then my computer froze up and I lost all my edits. This has been happening for a while at random times. Eventually, I’m going to have to invest in a new computer. I’m thinking of getting a laptop so I can write anywhere, not just my home office.

Last part of my news today, when I got my computer back up, I decided to shelve the editing of Lump and instead edited Chapter 2 of the Altered. It is now posted over at Post Apocalyptic Fiction forum. In this chapter, Leann arrives at her home and we are introduced to her husband Jack. This chapter also sets the stage. In the next chapter the action ramps up.

I’m really like the format of the forum. I like being able to put all the chapters in a single thread. This way, a reader can start from the beginning and then keep scrolling down for the next chapters. Now that I think about it, I could post it here also, but then I would have to create links to each and every post. I don’t know about you, but after a while that gets annoying to read. Plus, for any new reader that happens upon my little corner of the internet, they’ll see a later chapter first, then have to hunt down where the story starts.

A Small Surprise

Came home from work and was greeted by my biggest fan. My mother is visiting us from New Mexico for a week. Things haven’t always been this way between us. For a long time, I actively avoided seeing or talking to her. Through time and a lot of introspection, I’ve put aside the past hurts and disappointments.

We spent a couple of hours before dinner visiting and talking about my writing and her fostering of dogs. It was enjoyable and a memory that I’m sure to treasure in the future.

It was about this time last year that I was diagnosed with prostrate cancer. I look back at all the changes I’ve made in my life in one short year and am amazed. I don’t know where I’ll be next year, but I’m sure it will be interesting.

Oh, I also got a bit of writing done on my book tonight. I’m about a third of the way through a longish chapter. I’m figuring on three or four more chapters after this one to complete Part 2 of the book.

Trying Something New

I’ve been writing a novel off and on for a while. I like how it’s going, but have this nagging fear that it isn’t going to be any good. Yes, I know, Imposter Syndrome strikes it’s ugly head once again.

I came across this forum that you can post your story in chapters. All rights are reserved to the author. I went back and forth on deciding to post my book there. Finally I decided to take the plunge. As it gets lots of views, I think I’ll get good feedback on it. I posted the Prologue and Part 1, Chapter 1 today. I plan on posting a chapter a week. This should keep me motivated enough to keep writing the book until it is finished.

Or it could crash and burn into a million fiery inglorious bits. I’ll deal with that if it happens.

If you want to follow along and read the story as it unfolds, then go HERE and bookmark the story. You don’t have to register to read it, only if you want to comment on it.

The nice part of this forum is that I can have the story pulled if in the future I decide to publish it. Of course, I’ll probably have to do extensive rewriting.