Five Thing Thursday: November 26th.

Welcome, everyone to another installment of Five Thing Thursday and…

*Epic Record Scratch*

Wait, what day is it? Ok. Well then…

We (I) interrupt your regularly scheduled Five-Thing Thursday to bring you…

Five-Thing Thursday: The Thanksgiving Edition!!!

Here are Five Things that I am Thankful for:

Thing #1: I am Thankful for My Family and Friends. We haven’t been able to hang out as much as we used to this year and, for some of you, I only get to see you once or twice a year and that hasn’t happened. But I’m glad you’re out there being/keeping safe and being your awesome selves. I miss you.

Thing #2: I am Thankful to be a part of the Writing Community. As a whole, you are all some of the most supportive, and encouraging folk out there.

Thing #3: I am Thankful that there were more than five things I could put on this list.

Thing #4: I am Thankful for my health. All things considered, it could have been much worse here, and I know it.

Thing #5:  I am Thankful for You and that thing you do that only you can do. I’m thankful for it, and I thank you for having the courage to share it

###

What am  I reading this week?

Hunted by Kevin Herne

Savage Legion by Matt Wallace

How have I been relaxing and refilling the well?

I have taken this entire week off work. I’ve still been writing, of course but the extra time off has been restful.

###

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.

Thanks for reading.

Posted in 5-Thing Thursday | Tagged | Leave a comment

Say It

Last night, there was some discussion on Twitter about the upcoming holiday and staying safe in the face of the pandemic and I tweeted that I selfishly wanted to see all of my internet friends on the tail end of the holidays and that I loved them all.

I saw that post this morning. The initial reaction that my addled, hadn’t-had-my-first-cup-of-coffee-yet, brain came to was something like, “Oh, man, maybe I shouldn’t have posted that…”

I am please to announce that I was not so out of it that I failed to recognize what a “Record-Scratch” moment that was.

Why the hell shouldn’t I have posted that? There are people that I care about. Am I not supposed to say so?

The most disturbing thing to me was that the thought was almost reflexive in its origin.

I acknowledge that there’s a lot to unpack there – which I’m not going to get into here, at least not today.

What I do want to do is acknowledge the moment and firmly set it in the “Things I want to Change” category.

I don’t want to worry about letting the people I care about know that I care about them.

Life is short and if you’re important to me, I want you to know it.

Thanks for reading.

Be safe out there. Be Excellent to Each other.

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

Posted in LIfe | Tagged | Leave a comment

Five Thing Thursday: November 19th.

Welcome, everyone to another installment of Five Thing Thursday and…

Here are Five Things I want you to Know:

Thing #1:  I regret to inform you that, with the resumption of the usual work week, my streak of 1000 word days has come to an end. 

Thing #2: I am pleased to inform you that the World continues to turn and has not, in fact, ended due to Thing #1 – regardless of how my sometimes addled brain suggests otherwise. 

Thing #3: What you can get done is enough. Don’t let anyone else define your parameters.

Thing #4: This Week’s Audio Landscape has been brought to you by… Unleash the Archers

Thing #5:  It’s supposed to be flirting with 60 Degrees today. With any luck, I’ll be able to get out and walk around in it.

###

What am  I reading this week?

Hunted by Kevin Herne

Savage Legion by Matt Wallace

Fires of Heaven by Robert Jordan

How have I been relaxing and refilling the well?

I’ve been working through the week, heading toward a full week of being off the day job.

I’m looking forward to just sleeping – and getting more substantive writing done.

###

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.

Thanks for reading.

Posted in 5-Thing Thursday | Tagged | Leave a comment

Four Days In

I have a confession to make.

I have not been writing very much this past month or so.

Sure I’d get some work done, but it was difficult. Even as I approached a cool scene that I was *Really* looking forward to, when the time came, I just…couldn’t.

And I felt bad about that.

Spoiler alert: Feeling bad, didn’t actually help out in any damned way.

But I kept telling myself that I’d get there – wherever the Hell “There” was…

I still don’t know.

But, as I draft this on Saturday Night with Unleash the Archers rocking my eardrums through a good set of noise-cancelling earbuds, I am nearing the end of my 4th consecutive 1000+ word writing days.

Sidebar: If you haven’t given “Abyss” a listen, you should do yourself a favor and check out the releases here.

Sidebar – 2: I don’t know the model, but the earbuds are a wired pair from Phillips, that *Completely* smothered a game of Cards Against Humanity taking place at the SAME TABLE I was working at. No, I’m not being sponsored by them but, If you’re reading this, Phillips, you can get a hold of me on the About page. I’ll happily sing your praises.

Maybe it was the election. Maybe it was the ease off of the stress. Maybe it was the ease off of the anxiety Or maybe it was me starting a five-day weekend.

Likely it was a combination of all of the above *AND* that I’d done what I could for as long as I could, and then relaxed. Sure, there might have been a bit of self-recrimination going on in the wee hours of the night, but the self-care took place, even if I wasn’t completely aware of doing it.

But here we are. If I’m successful – and there’s no reason to think that I won’t be, I’m looking forward to getting back into the story tomorrow – I’ll have written over 5ooo words in five days.

Damn that feels good.

And if I could do one thing, I’d look at how I managed to get back on track and detail the exact steps for you.

But there’s the thing.

I can’t. I have no idea how it happened. I suspect that it was a combination of self-care and not giving up – though I was only really aware of the “Not giving up” part.

The self care part felt (at the time) that I was being lazy – and if I could do one other thing it would be to dispel the myth of the suffering artist.

I don’t believe that I can do that (entirely) either.

What I can do is encourage you to take the time you need. To reach out to other folks if you need to – which is something that I could have/should have done, but didn’t and I’ve got no doubt that would have shortened the time it took to course correct – or at least made me feel better while it was happening.

I can also encourage you to not give up. It’s been rough. It’s still rough – I know that. But as long as you do what you can do for as long as you can do it (Which nobody, with any amount of effort, can surpass), you’ll get to a better place.

Thanks for reading.

Be safe out there. Be Excellent to Each other.

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

Posted in LIfe, Writing | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Five Thing Thursday: November 12th.

Welcome, everyone to another installment of Five Thing Thursday and…

Here are Five Things I want you to Know:

Thing #1: If you haven’t already done so, check out Dave Robison’s North Pond Monologues

Thing #2: Today is a day to find the music that really moves you and turn it up to 11

Thing #3: Time flies when you’re having fun – and days off work are pretty fun. Hence that’s why this post hasn’t gone live at the usual 8:00 am. Heck I wasn’t even fully awake at 8:00 am.

Thing #4: This Week’s Audio Landscape has been brought to you by… Unleash the Archers

Thing #5:  There is no coup happening. What is going on is the equivalent to jumping off a cliff with an open porch umbrella and calling it flying. It’s not even “Falling with Style.”

###

What am  I reading this week?

Hunted by Kevin Herne

Savage Legion by Matt Wallace

How have I been relaxing and refilling the well?

As I mentioned earlier. I’ve got some time off – the rest of the week in fact. I’ve been sleeping in a bit, getting out and walking in this fantastic Autumn weather, and basically taking it easy.

###

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.

Thanks for reading.

Posted in 5-Thing Thursday | Tagged | Leave a comment

A Day for…

This was not the post I had originally scheduled for today. I try and compose these ahead of time and – for the most part – that works in my favor.

I had Today’s post written and scheduled before the election had been called. What a difference most of a day makes.

There may still be a time when I take that post out of the draft pile. We do have a lot of work to do, but that is for later.

Today is a day for Celebration.

After four long years, we have finally freed ourselves from the clutches of someone who was unfit to lead us – not that there was anything even remotely like leadership being done. It wasn’t easy, we had to fight for every inch but, in the end, we overcame.

Not only did we overcome, we *Finally* elected a Woman into the Vice Presidency.

That’s big. Take the day to recognize and celebrate that.

Today is a day for Relaxing.

It’s been a struggle. Not just the past few weeks, but for the last 4 years. Our work had paid off. We’ve we’ve reached a milestone. We can take the time to reflect and sit back, put some ice on the metaphorical joints and appreciate the accomplishment. I don’t know about you, but back on November 3rd (And I’m saying that like it wasn’t a mere 5 days ago), when I voted, afterward, I felt exhausted, mentally. Then over the course of the next few days, while the results were being processed, I felt the weight of it all as I restlessly refreshed the Election results websites. When the result came in on Saturday, I felt the release of all that anxiety like a weight being lifted. So it’s reasonable to take a day to just sort of take a break because self care is important also because…

Today is a day for Recharging.

Like I said above, we’ve got work to do. Also like I said above Self-Care is really important. We can’t be running full on all the time. we’ve got to stop and refuel – recharge the batteries and prepare for the next leg of the journey. Now is a good time to do that. Take the time to refill the well that you draw upon for strength. We’ll be needing it before long.

But for now, rest a spell. Dance, sing, cheer, cook, read, write, or whatever it is you need to do to recharge.

Thanks for reading.

Be safe out there. Be Excellent to Each other.

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

Posted in LIfe | Tagged | Leave a comment

Five Thing Thursday: November 5th.

Welcome, everyone to another installment of Five Thing Thursday and…

Here are Five Things I want you to Know:

Thing #1: In the same way that “Easy” isn’t the same as “Simple,” “Hard” isn’t the same thing as “Difficult.”

Thing #2:  Related to last week’s post: While the sudden appearance of a spider is unsettling, it is even more unsettling when they vanish…

Thing #3: Create what you can, when you can. Even if it’s a moment’s peace for yourself.

Thing #4: This Week’s Audio Landscape has been brought to you by… Beast in Black.

Thing #5:  There are 360 days left till Halloween.

###

What am  I reading this week?

Hunted by Kevin Herne

Savage Legion by Matt Wallace

The Fires of Heaven (Wheel of Time – Book 5) by Robert Jordan

How have I been relaxing and refilling the well?

###

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.

Thanks for reading.

Posted in 5-Thing Thursday | Tagged | Leave a comment

Let Your Voice Be Heard

As I’m typing this we are a mere handful of days from what could arguably called the most important election in our history.

I spent a lot of time trying to come up with a different blog post for this week, but it kept coming back to this one thing.

Let your Voice be heard.

Part of this is to encourage you to get out and Vote. DO that.

But another part is a bit farther reaching.

You see, you can have an impact. It doesn’t matter how large or small your platform is, the circle of people you (socially distant) interact with, every interaction you have is an opportunity to change the world.

Sounds incredible doesn’t it, but hear me out.

We’re all connected. If you take the opportunity every day to embody the kind of world you want to see – to let your voice be heard – you will pass that on to everybody you come into contact with.

Some of those people will agree with you, some of them wont. That’s not on you. All you have is to decide what kind of world you want to see and declare it.

So let your voice be heard. Boldly spell out the kind of world you want to see.

Thanks for reading.

Be safe out there. Be Excellent to Each other.

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

Posted in LIfe | Tagged | Leave a comment

Five Thing Thursday: October 29th.

Welcome, everyone to another installment of Five Thing Thursday and…

Here are Five Things I want you to Know:

Thing #1: The Border Collie has figured out that when she stands by the door, I’ll take her outside. Now, when she wants out – for any reason at all – she’ll stand by the door. On one hand, yay. On the other hand…I wonder who has trained whom…

Thing #2: For as large as the world is – I am sometimes surprised by how small the world is.

Thing #3: You have 5 days left. GO VOTE!!

Thing #4: This Week’s Audio Landscape has been brought to you by… Sabaton

Thing #5: I don’t particularly mind spiders – at a distance. I do mind their ability to just appear – in a spot where there hadn’t been a spider only moments before. I swear, sometimes it’s like they teleport in or something…

###

What am  I reading this week?

Hunted by Kevin Hearne

Savage Legion by Matt Wallace

How have I been relaxing and refilling the well?

Beginning today, I am taking two freaking days off the dayjob. I’ll still write – might be I’ll still get up early to do it – but then coasting…

###

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.

Thanks for reading.

Posted in 5-Thing Thursday | Tagged | Leave a comment

Write What you Know.

About a month ago, I decided that I wanted to explore various bits of well-known writing advice and try and articulate what each one means to me.

I’ll note now, and I should have noted this in the beginning, that nothing in here is anything that I’d call a “Rule.” If you find that this works for you, that’s ok. If not, that’s ok too.

This week, I’m looking at a common piece of advice which, out of all of the scattered bits of advice out there, I am most likely to disregard:

“Write What You Know.”

Why do I cast this piece of writerly wisdom aside so often? Well, for starters, I can’t take it literally. If I was restricting myself to “Write what I know,” well… there goes Faster than Light travel, far away planets, alien races, Weird Westerns, and Magic in all its forms.

In short, everything that I enjoy both writing about and reading about would vanish.

Not good.

So here’s my take on it:

“Write what you Know” should be internal and used to more fully develop your characters.

Here’s what I mean:

Your characters have feelings. You, yourself, have had feelings. See the correlation? Why, I’m willing to bet that you have, in fact, had a staggeringly wide array of feelings. I’m also willing to bet that there are certain subjects about which you have real, passionate responses to (Both positive and negative). There are things you want. things that drive you to do what you do.

“Write what you Know” suggests that you can draw upon those feelings – even if there isn’t a one-to-one correlation – to infuse your writing with a bit of realism.

You’ve been happy, sad, angry, in love, excited (in all the possible applications of that word), disappointed, indecisive, driven with purpose, etc. You’ve suffered defeat and been victorious. Your memories of those feelings are there for you to mine–to remember what they were like to guide you through a character’s reaction to something going on in their life.

Think back to your first kiss. Were you Nervous? Maybe a little trembly? Or did it come out of the blue – a complete surprise – and you couldn’t put words together for a second or two?

That’s the good stuff you’re mining. You know how you felt at those times. You can show your reader how your characters feel too.

Personally, I’ve never flown a starship through an asteroid field, but I have dodged my car out of the way of something in the road, and I can use my memory of such a close call to describe feelings that just might put you on the bridge of that ship as it skims past something a little more hazardous than a simple fender bender.

“Write what you Know” also urges you to do your research. It doesn’t suggest that you become an expert in theoretical physics, or medicine, or any number of complicated fields that you’ve got little to no knowledge of.

What it does suggest is that you do your due diligence. The devil is in the details and you’ll catch hell if your details aren’t spot on.

Thanks for reading.

Be safe out there. Be Excellent to Each other.

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

Posted in Writing | Tagged | Leave a comment