Five-Thing Thursday: March 4th

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

Here are Five Things I want you to Know:

Thing #1:  The Walks have resumed! The snow is gone and it’s much safer to be out and about. 

Thing #2:  This may be the only day of the year that, when pronounced, is a sentence.

Thing #3: Grilling Season began on the last day of February. It had been a long, cold winter for my taste buds.

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

Thing #5:  There isn’t anything quite like a bacon-wrapped, (seasoned) cream cheese stuffed, grilled Jalapeno

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What am  I reading this week?

Hunted by Kevin Herne

Annihilation Aria by Michael R Underwood

How have I been relaxing and refilling the well?

The Six Nations Tournament is having a Bye week this week, but there’s plenty of Premiership Rugby going on.

I want to take this moment to point out that, after Round 3, Wales is at the top of the table!


The France v Scotland Match for Round 3 has been postponed due to the French Head Coach not following protocol, catching Covid, and then passing it on to a good chunk of the French squad.

Wear your masks, people. be smart, be safe.

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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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Foggy

It’s a foggy Sunday morning. It’s so dense out there that I can just barely make out the end of my driveway – which isn’t as bad as it sounds, I’ve got a pretty long driveway.

But it’s cool and the whole world seems soaked and the trees are still missing their leaves which makes it look more like October on the cusp of November, rather than February, on the cusp of March.

It’s a day for staying inside, wearing comfortable clothes, and not paying much attention to your windows.

I won’t be able to do that and it got me thinking about navigating the fog. Sometimes, the path ahead isn’t clear. Sure, you can see the stuff close to you, and if you’re moving slow and easy – like you do in a fog – you’ll be able to see the things you need to avoid, even though the road ahead is fuzzy.

So you narrow your focus. Bring it inward, pay more attention to the here and now. You know your destination is out there, even if you can’t see it clearly today.

Put one foot in front of the other. Keep on doing what you do. Slow and easy. Not only will this keep you from putting a foot wrong, but the perspective is different. There’s a filter on the light that changes the way even normal, everyday things look. And you’ve got the time to look because there’s no hurry today.

So take the time to really see your surroundings. The temptation is there to try and see the whole picture at once – and there will be days where you can do that, but there is as much to see in the micro-view, as the macro, if you look.

There will be days where the sun shines, the birds sing, and the sky is so clear and blue that you can see a half-mile shy of forever.

For now, though, take it one step at a time. Even if you can’t see them right now, the birds are still out there, still singing. You can hear them if you listen.

Thanks for reading.

Be safe out there. Be Excellent to Each other.

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: February 25th.

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

Here are Five Things I want you to Know:

Thing #1:  The more Time I spend on this planet, the longer, sometimes, it takes me to shake the chill of Winter. Don’t get me wrong: I like the cold – I don’t like being cold, if you take my meaning.

Thing #2:  It is simply too easy to be self critical. I spent nearly the entire day, yesterday, on the WIP and I felt like I hadn’t done enough.

Thing #3: We are at the point, in my neck of the woods where you either worry about slipping in the slush, or hitting a hidden frozen patch and slipping there. I long for spring…

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

Thing #5:  There are more photos from the Perseverance Rover on Mars. Head on over to NASA’s Site to check them out.

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What am  I reading this week?

Hunted by Kevin Herne

Annihilation Aria by Michael R Underwood

How have I been relaxing and refilling the well?

Six Nations Rugby Kicks off again this weekend. Go Wales! Go Scotland, Go Ireland!
*Note: I’d also be supporting England this week – but they’re playing Wales. Next week, England.

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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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Topic-less?

Before I begin, I want to make a correction: On the last Five-Thing Thursday post I mention Wales v England happening this weekend. I was distressed to discover that said match is happening *Next* weekend. There was still some great stuff happening this weekend. Later on, I’m going to watch London-Irish’s match v Bristol. Now on with the post…

I am forced to admit that, despite me keeping this blog running for several years (I’m going to have to look that up), I am sometimes caught completely flat-footed on a Sunday morning.

Part of that almost certainly has to do with *waves at the world* everything going on. If you let them – like I have been doing lately – one day can blend into another until, before you know it, a week has passed.

I started off the month ticking off days on a calendar where I’d gotten writing done, gotten a bit of exercise, etc. I’m still doing those things most days, but I’d fallen out of the habit, and now it’s been more than a week since I’ve ticked a day off and that too has helped blur the turning of the wheel.

So one of the things I want to mention today is that I’m going to commit to spending the energy to stop, each day (yeah, taking the energy to stop), and focus on the moment – really be present. I’m interested to see what kind of impact that has on my chronological awareness.

Another thing I want to mention is that Editing is coming along nicely on the current project. I’m about halfway through this pass and – after getting up for a bit of movement – I’m going to dive right back in after publishing this.

One final thing to mention is that I’ve been binge listening to The Infinite Monkey Cage podcast. Science with a bit of comedy. Highly recommended, and there’s quite a few of them to listen to.

So maybe I wasn’t as topic-less as I thought. Here’s to another week and another opportunity to stay on top of things.


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: February 18th.

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

Here are Five Things I want you to Know:

Thing #1:  The Perseverance rover landed on Mars today. I saw the end of NASA’s livestream on you tube where it actually touched down. It was so cool, it brought a tear to my eye.

Thing #2:  Be safe out there if you’re still digging yourself out, or without power.

Thing #3: As I tack on the mileage, I’m finding that, while I enjoy the snow (to a point) my joints don’t appreciate walking through the stuff.

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

Thing #5:  Time has (temporarily I hope) started to slip free of the meaning that we’ve imposed upon it. That’s why this post is 12 hours late.

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What am  I reading this week?

Hunted by Kevin Herne

Annihilation Aria by Michael R Underwood

How have I been relaxing and refilling the well?

I need to get caught up on sleep. I’ve been neglecting that. This Weekend will see England take on Wales in Six Nations Rugby. Go Wales! Cymru am Bith!!

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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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In Praise of Editing

I really enjoy editing. That’s it. That’s the tweet.

Now I realize that I’ve lost some of you with the title of the post, and maybe a few more of you dropped off after that first line.

Not everybody finds that editing is their thing and, you know what, that’s fine. But for those of you who are left, come with me – let me show you something.

First, let me strip away any illusions. Editing is work. It’s not work like drafting is – that’s a different kind of work – but it is work.

And it’s fun.

You’ve finished your first draft and that’s definitely something to celebrate. You’re riding that high and you might be inclined to start right back at Page One to start editing.

I’d recommend waiting a bit before you start that. This is part of the work – and it’s hard if you don’t have anything to distract you. This is why I try to keep at least two things on the burners – even if one of them is on the back burner and only needs a stir every now and then.

How long do I wait? For novels, I like to wait a few weeks. For shorter works, I’ll wait less, though that also depends on how much space there is between me and the deadline.

When you’re ready to dive in and begin editing, I’d recommend that you port that story to a different medium than you used while you were drafting. This too can be a bit difficult, but there are rewards to be had. If you, like me, print out your work you’ve got a tangible thing that you can heft as the result of your labor. I still like the feeling of holding a stack of paper and realizing that this was something I did.

Now we get to the good stuff.

Ultimately, what you’re doing is polishing your story. True you’re also looking for flaws that polishing can’t fix (You can’t pick up that last gun more than once, and no amount of word-smoothing will change that). That’s part of the process, but what you’re doing when you sit down with your pen* is nothing less than chasing Awesome!

And you can find the Awesome in unexpected places. Sure it’s there in the BIG MOMENTS, but you’ll also find it in a quiet places where you discover that you almost had it right in the first draft. You got close, but if you tweak the phasing just so, or replace this word with that one, the words start to sing on the page.

There’s nothing like that feeling where you read back over a change and think, “Yeah. That’s the stuff.”

It’s like a treasure hunt. Something that sounded perfectly fine in your head while you were drafting can suddenly turn into something that really moves you. Or it can spark insight that will be useful later on. You never know what you’ll find. That line that you thought was a “Throw Away” thing in the first draft could turn out to be something critical.

Reaching the end of a first draft is a special occasion – worthy to be celebrated in it’s own right.

But the fun is just beginning. There’s wonder and excitement (and way too many commas) buried in those pages waiting for you to find.

Speaking of which, I’ve got some editing of my own to do – I can’t wait to jump back in.


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

*No red ink – that’s got a specific tone ground into my head which shouts “WRONG!” Your mileage may vary – it probably does, this is my head we’re talking about.

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Five-Thing Thursday: February 11th.

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

Here are Five Things I want you to Know:

Thing #1:  I actually picked up a book and Read this week. Don’t get me wrong, i’ve still been reading on the kindle app and audiobook, but For the past couple of months, it’s been really hard for me to stop and pick up a book and read. I’m glad I changed that.

Thing #2:  If all I’ve had to go on is the sound of someone’s voice (podcast, audiobook, music), I’ll develop an idea in my head about what they look like. As it turns out, I’m usually wrong.

Thing #3: My shout-outs have tapered off this week. Not because I’ve run out of people, but I’ve run out of bandwidth to schedule them. I’ll pick it back up on Sunday, with any luck.

Thing #4: This week’s Audio Landscape has been brought to you by… Alice Cooper.

Thing #5:  Sometimes you just gotta find the music that turns your dials up to eleven, put it in your ears, and Rock Out until you’re out of breath and sweaty.

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What am  I reading this week?

Hunted by Kevin Herne

Annihilation Aria by Michael R Underwood

How have I been relaxing and refilling the well?

Going to be a nice long weekend. And there’s Round Two of the Six-Nations Rugby Tournament!!

###

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.

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

Sometimes, the Best Thing to do Is…

Nothing.

Well not “Nothing” exactly. It’s been a week and, as a reward for surviving it, I am going to spend most of the day Watching Rugby (Wales v Ireland in just a few minutes) and playing video games.

Maybe there’ll be a movie later.

Remember to take some time for yourself and I’ll see you on Thursday.

Cymru am Bith!

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Five-Thing Thursday: February 4th.

Welcome, everyone to an alliterative installment of Five Thing Thursday and…

Here are Five Things I want you to Know:

Thing #1:  I’ve been binge listening to The Infinite Monkey Cage podcast. You might find it interesting.

Thing #2:  The end of this first editing pass is in sight! Very exciting!

Thing #3: I am renewing my commitment to learn Welsh. That had kind of stalled.

Thing #4: This week’s Audio Landscape has been brought to you by… Averil Lavigne.

Thing #5:  With the turn of the month, I’m going to go over the list of goals/projects I created in January and update the list, maybe reprioritize a thing or two.

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What am  I reading this week?

Hunted by Kevin Herne

Annihilation Aria by Michael R Underwood

How have I been relaxing and refilling the well?

The Six Nations Rugby tournament is kicking off this weekend! Looking forward to that – and to the announcement of the Women’s schedule (which should be soon, as of this post).

###

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.

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

The Thing About Advice

If you’ve been following the writerly world on Twitter, it would have been difficult for you to avoid a particular edgy take on how to view your fellow authors.

I won’t repeat it here because I’m not letting that kind of crap into my house. If you’ve seen it, you know what I’m talking about. If you haven’t, you’re probably better off.

Personally, I think it was put out there by someone trying to get a rise out of people – which it did. What it also did was to kick off discussion about writing advice.

Now you’ve probably heard a ton of writing advice. Some of it you’ve adopted, some of it you haven’t.

That’s the thing about advice. You take what works for you and you leave what doesn’t. And that thing that works? It might always work for you. Or it might work for you on a particular project, but not on the next one.

Every project is different and the way you go about it may be different each time. Not entirely perhaps but bits and pieces. Or you may try something entirely new that you’ve never tried before.

That’s you growing as a writer. You’re changing, developing skills, evolving. You come out of project a different writer than you were when you began.

Writing advice shouldn’t be – but it often is – seen as a series of commandments. Any given bit of advice is a tool. You tuck it into your toolbox, maybe in the pouch where you keep things like the rules of Grammar and your vocabulary. When you need it, you take it out and use it. Not every project is going to require it, and that’s ok.

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