Putting It Out There

“Today is going to be a good day.”

I said this out loud the other day. I was in my car, so I was still alone, but I felt a little silly saying it out loud just the same.

Why silly, you may ask?

I’m still trying to unpack that, but I think that it’s got it’s roots in my hesitation to ask for anything.

I’m getting better at that, but clearly there’s more work to be done – and that’s (maybe) another post.

The point I’m getting at here is about the declaration of Intent. I capitalized that on purpose.

Intent.

As a noun, it’s Intention or Purpose

As an adjective, it’s a resolve or a determination to do something.

I am using it here as both.

By declaring that the day was going to be a good day, I was putting my intent out there for the Universe to hear. It was also a statement for myself, identifying a goal.

That’s not to say that by doing this, I was done working on that goal for the day. There’s still work to do, but the first step is adopting the proper mindset.

Additionally, there’s the abstract notion that the Universe may be listening. That it may, in fact, decide “Hey, that’s not a bad idea. Here you go, Ken. Have a great day.”

If you’ve followed me here for just about any length of time, this mindset shouldn’t come as any surprise to you. If you’re new here (Welcome), you should know that I’m a firm believer in The Muse. She’s out there, part of the Universe – just like the rest of us, and it never hurts to put what you want out there.

Again, there’s still work to do. As they say: The Muse will come, but She must find you working.

So here’s your homework:

Take a bit of time this week and state your intent. Maybe it’s for the day, the week, the rest of your life, it doesn’t matter.

Say it out loud. If you need to, later on, write it down, but the words must pass your lips.

Put it out there.

Thanks for reading. Be safe out there. Be Excellent to Each other – and yourself.

I’ll see you on Thursday.

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Be sure to check out the Freebies Page for story Excerpts.

If you’ve read, and enjoyed any of my books, please consider leaving a review:

Weird Wild West

Trials

Predators in Petticoats

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Five-Thing Thursday: May 12th.

Welcome, everyone to another Installment of Five Thing Thursday!

Here are Five Things that I want you to know:

Thing #1: Sometimes, the best thing you can do for yourself is to stuff yourself on your favorite food, then go read for a couple of hours until you fall asleep in your chair.

Thing #2: You know what you must do.

Thing #3: Apparently, I need to hear this again, so maybe some of you do too: The world will try to force you to dance to it’s tune. Remember: You are the musician.

Thing #4: Playing on the mental Jukebox right now: Zenith by Seven Kingdoms

Thing #5: Having a cut, on the tip of your thumb, on your dominant hand (Right, in my case) is the most irritating thing EVER!!

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What am  I reading this week?

Grave War by Kalayna Price

The Bloodless Assassin by Celine Jeanjean

The Towers of Midnight by Robert Jordan

How have I been relaxing and refilling the well?

Sleep and sunsets.

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Be sure to check out the Freebies Page for story Excerpts.

If you’ve read, and enjoyed any of my books, please consider leaving a review:

Weird Wild West

Trials

Predators in Petticoats

Chasing the Light

See you on Sunday!

Until then…

Be safe. Be Excellent to each other.

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Making Stuff Up

Happy Sunday (or whenever you’re reading this), Everyone.

Today I’d like to look a little bit deeper into a question that I’d encountered during the week.

Do you make words up?

Now I know some of you out there are thinking, “But Ken. You’re a writer. You make things up all the time.”

This is true, but what I’m talking about is making up brand new words.

Think “Jabberwocky.”

In the community where the question was posed, some folk did and some didn’t. I fell into the former category – and not just because I tend to write Sci-Fi where the sky is the limit when it comes to language.

I make up words because the ones I’ve got just don’t quite get me there sometimes. Sometimes I want to create a sound. Sometimes there’s a feeling in my head that I want to convey on the page but again, nothing quite matches what I’m looking for.

In both cases, the first thing I try to do is find the closest real-world analog that I can. For sounds, this is easier for me. I’ll play back the sound over and over in my head until I know exactly the sound I want then I dump it on the page. Most of the time I do this phonetically, then when I see it on the page, I’ll tidy it up.

Feelings take a similar tack. Typically, I’ll know what the analog is, and I’ll lean heavily on that word, but I’ll tweak it depending if I want a sharper or softer edge on it.

“Edge” is used a little out of it’s usual definition here. What I’m looking for is either the way it reads, or rolls off the tongue. Shudder and Judder, I think are a good side by side comparison.

Now it’s true that those two words already exist and have different meanings. I’d like to to stop a minute to say each word out loud. Take your time about it. Savor the feel of each word on your lips and tongue.

You feel that? Your mouth is doing different things. The “Sh” is smoother then the harder “Ju” sound.

Think of a shudder with a sharper edge to it.

And, yes, I realize that in this instance, it looks like I’m taking an established word and I’m slapping a new meaning on it.

Maybe I am, but if it conveys what I as the author want to convey, then it’s not wrong.

Right now, there are language purists out there who suddenly want to spaang something off a certain writer/blogger’s noggin without knowing exactly why, but hear me out.

All of our words – every last one – was made up at one point.

It wasn’t as if, when Humanity discovered fire, they said, “Yup. That’s Fire.”

They didn’t have a word for it at the time. Eventually someone called it Fire and the word stuck. Not only did it stick, it evolved.

Now I’m not saying that by making up words, I’m evolving the language. Or maybe I am.

That’s how language evolves. It doesn’t evolve in a vacuum to be sure, but the baseline is there. It starts with coming up with a word that fits – even if it doesn’t exist yet.

Thanks for reading. Be safe out there. Be Excellent to Each other – and yourself.

I’ll see you on Thursday.

###

Be sure to check out the Freebies Page for story Excerpts.

If you’ve read, and enjoyed any of my books, please consider leaving a review:

Weird Wild West

Trials

Predators in Petticoats

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Five-Thing Thursday: May 5th.

Welcome, everyone to another Installment of Five Thing Thursday!

Here are Five Things that I want you to know:

Thing #1: I tend to not spend the right kind of Time on Twitter, although now that I’ve realized that, I hope to bring about a change.

Thing #2: I am approaching the end of a favorite series and, at the same time, I want to jump right in and I want to prolong the experience because I don’t want my journey with these characters to end.

Thing #3: Last Saturday, the Red Roses (England Women’s Rugby Team) won their fourth, consecutive Six Nations championship by beating France at home.

Thing #4: Playing on the mental Jukebox right now: No Way Back Just Through by Trivium

Thing #5: I try not to get overly political here on the blog, but I think the time for “Civil Discourse” has passed.

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What am  I reading this week?

Grave War by Kalayna Price

The Bloodless Assassin by Celine Jeanjean

The Towers of Midnight by Robert Jordan

How have I been relaxing and refilling the well?

Today marks the first day of an extra long weekend. I’m going to spend a lot of time sleeping, writing, listening to Music, and I’m really looking forward to it.

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Be sure to check out the Freebies Page for story Excerpts.

If you’ve read, and enjoyed any of my books, please consider leaving a review:

Weird Wild West

Trials

Predators in Petticoats

Chasing the Light

See you on Sunday!

Until then…

Be safe. Be Excellent to each other.

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The Many Faces of May (1st)

Today is the First of May. This means different things to different people. For some, May 1st is the beginning of Spring. For others, It holds a much deeper meaning in the form of Beltane. Still others, don’t see it as anything other than an ordinary day.

This isn’t to put one viewpoint over another, but it does highlight how, depending on who you talk to, any particular day could have some kind of deeper meaning.

This is something that you can include in your worldbuilding to add depth to not only your world, but to specific characters in the way they choose to celebrate (or not) a particular holiday.

The example that comes to mind immediately is from the Book and Movie “Gremlins.”

If you’re familiar with either, then you already know where I’m going with this. If not, there is this scene in the movie – which takes place during the X-Mas Holiday – where Kate (Played by Phoebe Cates) tells a sad story about a past Christmas, which is why she doesn’t celebrate the holiday.

I’m not going to get into any spoilers, but that scene stuck with me even after decades. It subverted expectations, gave me important bits of Kate’s backstory and bolstered the point that not everybody has the same feelings about the same holiday.

Now, for those of you writing Sci-Fi or Fantasy, you get a treat:

You can make up your own holidays!

That’s right! And the more diverse your world is, there’s the potential for more holidays. Those holidays can be for anything. Take that and run with it. Are there formal rituals to observe? Is it a big, chaotic party that last for days? Do you race lizards painted with symbolic images for what you hope the coming year will bring?

The Sky isn’t even the limit.

And there may be characters who have different feelings about a particular holiday. This can generate conflict, or provide you with the opportunity to dive a little deeper into a particular character’s story.

So as you’re thinking about your story, and the world your characters live in, go ahead and sprinkle some holidays in there

Just don’t take the racing lizard thing…I might use that somewhere.

Thanks for reading. Be safe out there. Be Excellent to Each other – and yourself.

I’ll see you on Thursday.

###

Be sure to check out the Freebies Page for story Excerpts.

If you’ve read, and enjoyed any of my books, please consider leaving a review:

Weird Wild West

Trials

Predators in Petticoats

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Five-Thing Thursday: April 28th.

Welcome, everyone to another Installment of Five Thing Thursday!

Here are Five Things that I want you to know:

Thing #1: There is a kind of magic in stopping and taking a deep breath every now and again.

Thing #2: I cannot write and eat at the same time. On the surface, that would seem obvious, but I struggle even with one-handed food. Something about that shift in attention is too jarring.

Thing #3: I have music playing in my head, pretty much all the time. None of the songs have been purely instrumental, that I can remember. Ever.

Thing #4: Playing on the mental Jukebox right now: No Way Back Just Through by Trivium

Thing #5: I am finding that I need more color in my life.

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What am  I reading this week?

Grave Destiny by Kalayna Price

The Bloodless Assassin by Celine Jeanjean

10 Percent Happier by Dan Harris

How have I been relaxing and refilling the well?

Been sticking (more or less) to an 8 hour sleep schedule (which, for me, means that I need to be in bed for 9 hours) and it feels great.

###

Be sure to check out the Freebies Page for story Excerpts.

If you’ve read, and enjoyed any of my books, please consider leaving a review:

Weird Wild West

Trials

Predators in Petticoats

Chasing the Light

See you on Sunday!

Until then…

Be safe. Be Excellent to each other.

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Not All Writing is Writing

Happy SUNday readers!

That above line may look like it’s got a typo in it, but it’s intentional.

Today was super nice out and, after a winter that seemed to last forever, I couldn’t help but spend most of it outside – hence this late-in-the-day post.

And I don’t feel guilty (or, I’m trying not to feel guilty) about not sitting down and getting any words on the page, because I spent a lot of that outside time either actively thinking about the project, or it was on burner 5 or 6 in my mind, simmering.

That too is writing.

Of course, eventually you’re going to have to get words on the page, but try not to let the work subsume the life.

Thanks for reading. Be safe out there. Be Excellent to Each other – and yourself.

I’ll see you on Thursday.

###

Be sure to check out the Freebies Page for story Excerpts.

If you’ve read, and enjoyed any of my books, please consider leaving a review:

Weird Wild West

Trials

Predators in Petticoats

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Five-Thing Thursday: April 21st.

Welcome, everyone to another Installment of Five Thing Thursday!

Here are Five Things that I want you to know:

Thing #1: The Ditch Diggers Podcast is back after a long hiatus and I’m really glad to hear it again. You can check it out Here

Thing #2: If you missed it, I am experimenting with a new feature on The Blog: Random Raves! you can check out the first installment Here.

Thing #3: The band Trivium have been streaming their live sets on Twitch. You can check it out Here

Thing #4: Playing on the mental Jukebox right now: Feast of Fire by Trivium

Thing #5: Every day is a blank page. At the end of the day, what ends up there is up to you.

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What am  I reading this week?

Grave Destiny by Kalayna Price

The Bloodless Assassin by Celine Jeanjean

The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer

How have I been relaxing and refilling the well?

Heh. I’ve been a bit lax in that department – at least as far as sleep is concerned. As I type this up on a Wednesday morning, I’m cashing the check that Past Me wrote by staying up way too late gaming. With any luck, I can get back on track soon.

###

Be sure to check out the Freebies Page for story Excerpts.

If you’ve read, and enjoyed any of my books, please consider leaving a review:

Weird Wild West

Trials

Predators in Petticoats

Chasing the Light

See you on Sunday!

Until then…

Be safe. Be Excellent to each other.

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#RandomRaves! 4-20

Before I get into the Rave, I wanted to mention that I gave a little bit of thought as to whether or not I should title the post with what I’m Raving about.

Ultimately, I decided that it would fit in with the “Random” theme if I didn’t include anything more than the date. You pick a date and you won’t know what you’re going to get until you land.

On with the Rave:

Trivium – In the Court of the Dragon

Full Disclosure: I am new to Trivium. In the Court of the Dragon – Trivium’s latest release – was my first real exposure to the band. For that, I have The Metal Hammer Podcast and You Tube to thank and I am looking forward to digging into Trivium’s back catalog.

Metal Hammer reviewed them when Dragon was released and I stumbled upon Trivium’s video of The Phalanx on You Tube. Give it a watch – It’s got cut scenes from The Elder Scrolls Online mixed in.

There isn’t a bad song on this album. Not one. It’s – and when I say “It” I mean the entire album – featured heavily in my playlist for several months now. It’s pretty common for me to wake up and find songs like The Phalanx, or Feast of Fire, or Now Way Back Just Through playing on the mental jukebox.

I cannot recommend this album highly enough. I’ve got some writing to do later on, and I’m going to queue it up to fill my ears with awesome!

Give them a listen.

Thanks for reading. Be safe out there. Be Excellent to Each other – and yourself.

I’ll see you on Next Time.

###

Be sure to check out the Freebies Page for story Excerpts.

If you’ve read, and enjoyed any of my books, please consider leaving a review:

Weird Wild West

Trials

Predators in Petticoats

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Random Raves!

I’m going to be trying something new on the blog and see if it gets any traction. I’m calling it Random Raves!

What is that you ask?

First, a bit of Backstory:

I’ve said countless times on the Blog here that Word of Mouth Sells Books. To Quote The Mandalorian: “This is the Way.”

And it occurred to me – and it might not be much of a surprise to many (any) of you that…there are other things I like in addition to books.

No kidding, right?

So I may have a passing affection for movies, music and Rugby – Just to name a few things.

So why am I not talking more about those things?

That’s where Random Raves! comes in.

These will be unscheduled Blog posts and tweets where I shout out – or completely Geek Out over – something that I like and I’ll use the Hashtag #RandomRaves!

So let me kick this off with the only scheduled #RandomRaves! post.

What gains this honor, you ask?

The Band: Seven Kingdoms

This group out of Florida has been on my “Jams” playlist for quite some time – AND – they’ve just released a new single off their upcoming album: “Zenith” Which is available for preorder Here.

The Single is called Universal Terrestrial and I have been listening to it on a loop for the entire time I’ve been composing this, and the day before that, and part of the day before that…

I am hooked and I cannot wait until June when the album (Which was completely funded via a Kickstarter campaign).

And I cannot help but #RandomRaves! about it. If you can, show the band some love, and go put this song in your ears – you’ll be glad you did!

Thanks for reading. Be safe out there. Be Excellent to Each other – and yourself.

I’ll see you on Thursday.

###

Be sure to check out the Freebies Page for story Excerpts.

If you’ve read, and enjoyed any of my books, please consider leaving a review:

Weird Wild West

Trials

Predators in Petticoats

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