I’m Back!

im-backTime to start blogging again. I’ve been a hermit far longer than I had expected this year, both here and on social media. I have returned to facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google+ and that’s about all I’ll get involved with regularly anymore. I do have a LinkedIn and Tumblr account in the social links above, but I only visit there now and then. There are WAY to many sites out there that consume time and creativity.

While I was on a break I searched long and hard for just the right template. I wanted a modern, one-column look that’s mobile friendly. I found this one, but it’s taking me some time to configure, so hopefully it’s maneuverable for readers while I continue to move in.

What did all that time off do for me? I finished the rewrite of Call for Obstruction, the first in The Courier Series, although I can’t keep my hands off of the editing. Editing of book 2, Warrant for Damnation is also underway. Gotta get it in order to take to critique group.

What’s going to happen here now that I’m back? I’m looking for an agent or medium-sized press to publish Call for Obstruction. That means blogging about all the rejections in my near future. 🙂 Other than that, the same old, same old: wine, food, crafts, zombies, short stories, book reviews… I’m also going to add warnings about marketing advice for authors who really don’t know what they’re talking about. This has become a huge pet peeve of mine! I’ll be bringing in an expert, so don’t worry. I won’t be another idiot providing bad advice.

That’s all the time of yours I’ll waste on my first blog post back. Stay tuned for a zombie movie review tomorrow.

On a Break

OutToLunchFor the last three months I’ve been changing my priorities. The most important goal I’ve given myself is to spend 2014 for myself and my writing. My number one priority is to write and edit the novels I’ve neglected for the last 4 years while I learned publishing and improved my editing skills. Until further notice, I won’t be posting to my blog. My thought is to return after I’ve published the first two books in The Courier Series. That could be six months from now or in 2015. TTYL…

It’s All About Me in 2014

Yep, it’s all about me! Me, me, me…

A lot has happened over the last 5 years:

  • Writing 5 novels and 75 short stories
  • Winning a novel contest in 2009
  • Being published by a small press that went out of business
  • Running a number of social networks and groups for writers and horror lovers
  • Starting up a publishing cooperative

In the process I learned a number of lessons and have become a much better writer and editor. And, like my peers, I’ve been in the middle of the amazing and brutal transformation of the publishing industry. As 2013 has come to a close, I’ve celebrated my triumphs, but found myself retracting from publishing and many egomaniacs who call themselves indie authors. Don’t get me wrong. I have found most of my fellow writers to be amazing people and friends. It’s about 25% of them who need to pull their heads of of their asses.

Anyway, I just need a break from the industry’s insanity. I need to return to my roots and spend 2014 being a writer and only a writer. I realized this when I returned to my critique group back in October. All of my goals for next year are related to writing, editing (my own work) and reading. It’s a pretty strict schedule I’ve set for myself with lots of word count goals to meet.

I haven’t put publishing completely aside next year. It’s about time I re-release Call for Obstruction, so I do plan on self-publishing it early 2014, but I am taking my time re-writing the ending and am in no hurry. Quality over quantity is my motto. Will probably release a couple collections of my flash fiction next year as well. I won’t market until 2015 though. Again, it’s all about the writing.

So there it is. My picture of 2014. Fingers crossed I’ll meet all my goals next year and not all the ones that sneak in and distract me.

Goals . . . Again?!?!

Really. It’s time to set yearly goals . . . again? What happened to 2013? It went by in a flash!

Back in April I addressed getting back on track with my 2013 goals, but it never happened. I remember writing that I was happy with what I’d achieved early on in the year, but the problem was I had only achieved things that weren’t on my list of goals. Well that’s gotta change in 2014.

After sitting down with myself and having a long talk about my disappointments during 2013, I’ve decided to completely change directions next year. More about it next week. This week I’ll bore you with a list of accomplishments and nonfulfillments (nice way to say “goal not met,” huh?). Anyways . . . here’s the list:

Goals Met

  • Edit 110,000 Words of my own work – Achieved 175,000 of my own work
  • Read 100+ Books – Read just over 100 books, mostly children’s books for sitNread book reviews
  • Participate in Story a Day in May – Wrote 17 new stories
  • Update Call for Obstruction synopsis & descriptions – Done
  • Attend RMFW Colorado Gold Conference – Attended

Other Things Achieved

  • Finished business start up of a publishing co-op
  • Set up a technical publishing process for eBooks and paperbacks
  • Developed an eBook store for the co-op
  • Ran Friday Frights and Horror Chat for another year
  • Got the RMFW website functional
  • Edited & formatted a number of novels & short stories by other authors
  • There’s some other stuff, but basically my year was spent publishing other authors and managing a business.

Goals Not Met with Excuses

  • Write 250,000 New Words: Only 67,000 new words achieved. I told myself editing was more important in 2013, and while it was, I’m regretting the lack of new writing because I’m feeling out of practice. Besides that, I plotted out a new YA novel and was hoping to have a first draft complete by the end of the 3-Day Novel Contest or NaNoWriMo, which leads into the next unfulfilled goals.
  • Achieve 3-Day Novel Contest and Achieve NaNoWriMo: Exhaustion is my only excuse for not completing these goals.
  • Finish re-editing and re-publishing Call for Obstruction, Courier #1: This one REALLY pisses me off that I let this slip. GRRRR…
  • 2nd Draft of Warrant for Damnation, Courier #2 – Again, should have been done and a deciding factor for changing directions in 2014.

Well, that’s the list I’ve been reflecting on this month. Looking at it all mapped out, sure, I worked my ass off. Sure, I achieved a lot, but again, not what I had set out to do. That’s why we set goals, to stick to them.

Drop by next Monday for the 2014 list and details on my change in direction.

3-Day Novel Contest: The Right Idea

Obviously, the first step in writing a novel is to come up with an idea and figure out a plot. In early July, it took me about a week to decided on the genre and that I’d go with Young Adult Science Fiction. This part took so long thanks to the angel and devil on my shoulders, one saying challenge yourself and one saying go with something easy. I went with the angel, who assured me she’d help me get past any challenge that arise. I’ve named this muse Halley after the comet, and I’m sure we’ll be hearing more from her during the prep and writing process.

The following morning, I sat down in my comfy Lazy Boy chair with my writing utensils of choice: a multicolored notepad and an old fashion wooden pencil. Hand writing in this chair is how I do most new writing. Time to figure out the plot, I told myself, expecting it to take another week to figure it out. Lucky me, it worked its way out in about an hour. Sometimes it’s all in the timing. In this case, the story is inspired by the fake mermaid documentaries and my recent fascination with opening wormholes in water. Just starting with those two things took me in so many directions. By the time I had my plot, I had also added in the Bermuda Triangle, Atlantis, the Mayan civilization, a tsunami, and the Department of Homeland Security—and that’s just on earth. The mermaids had to come from some where, right? Might as well be through a water wormhole to another planet. There’s much more related to the alien planet, but you’ll have to come back in a few days to find out more.

How do you come up with ideas and develop a plot?

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