Friday Fess-Up: January 18th.

Welcome to the another installment of the Friday Fess-up!

We made it!

OK, that’s kind of a rubbish thing to say, seeings how my last day of day-job for the week was on Wednesday.

Why is that you ask?

Because this weekend I’m at ConFusion!! Will I see you there? My schedule is up on the Events page.

How has the week been? Well I’m still taking my laptop in to work to get some supplemental editing done on my lunch hour. I’ve been averaging about a chapter a day, which is a nice steady pace given the time I’ve got to play with. This Thursday was the exception. I got a couple of good writing sessions in. More importantly, since I am typing this post up in advance, I now have to get some good writing sessions in, because editing this post late Thursday night…just isn’t going to happen.

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My Schedule is on the Events Page.

See you on Sunday!

What am  I reading this week?

The Chronicles of the Lensmen vol. 2 by E.E. “Doc” Smith. I have this in an omnibus edition. The story that I’m currently reading in this volume is “Grey Lensman.”

How to Save an Undead Life” by Hailey Edwards.

What am I listening to this week? The Galactic Suburbia podcast

How have I been relaxing and refilling the well? This Weekend is full of ConFusion!! Despite what may be late nights, I am committed to getting a solid eight hours of sleep a night. Gotta be on my game.

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Be sure to stop by on Sunday for the usual blog post!

Stop by 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

Chasing the Light

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Five Thing Thursday: January 17th.

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

Here are Five Things I want you to Know:

Thing #1: ConFusion is this weekend!! My schedule is up on the Events page. If you’re in the Dearborn area, stop by and say Hi!

Thing #2: This week’s musical landscape has been provided by Dragonforce, and John Anealio. Put them in your ears people. You’ll be glad you did.

Thing #3: If you’re traveling this weekend – and I don’t just mean up to my neck O’ the woods, but anywhere – be safe. Especially if you’re traveling in my neck O’ the woods. We’re expecting a bit of snow.

Thing #4: I have so much blogging to do to cover for me being gone this weekend. Sometimes my organizational skills are rubbish.

Thing #5: I might, actually, and against the odds, finish this round of edits on schedule…

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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

Chasing the Light

See you tomorrow for the Friday Fess-up post.

Until then…

Be safe Y’All.



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Editing JADE MOON WANING: Week 7

Happy Sunday Everyone! I hope you’re enjoying the weekend.

Today (OK, yesterday) marked the Seventh full week of editing the current WIP: JADE MOON WANING.

For those of you that might be hopping on with this post, you can find Week 1 here.

I’ve officially crossed the Half-Way point.

This is going to sound odd, but it’s starting to feel “real” now that I’ve rounded that corner.

Of course it’s been real ever since I’ve started, but it’s been real in more of an abstract way. Like when a developer puts up a building somewhere along your drive to work. You see it every day. You’re familiar (somewhat) with the thing coming into being. You see the skeleton as it develops, but it’s not “Real” in the way it is when you drive past and notice that the thing is finished.

I’m focused on getting the work done, but out there on the periphery, there’s the excitement (mixed with a bit of trepidation) coming with the realization that I’m going to be able to sent this out to people–my CP’s and my Agent. Folks whose opinions matter–soon. It might not be the February 1st date that I had in mind Last Week. I stumbled into a battle scene that had some issues and it took me a couple of days to get it right.

But soon.

And it’s encouraging to come back to scenes that incited an emotional response while I was writing them, to find that they still pack that punch after being away for several months.

I hit one of those scenes yesterday, and it damaged my plans to turn today into purely a “Me” day.

Then again, if I’m this jazzed about getting back into it…That’s a “me” thing too.

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My ConFusion 2019 schedule is up on my Events page. If you’re going to be in the Dearborn area this coming weekend, stop by and say Hi!

Be sure to stop by 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
Chasing the Light

I’ll see you next week for Five-Thing Thursday!

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Friday Fess-Up: January 11th.

Welcome to the another installment of the Friday Fess-up!

We made it!

I can’t say that I’ve been as productive as I could have been this week but, then again, I think I’m wired to see things that way unless I spend every waking moment working.

Some weeks are better than others.

Saturday was pretty mild weather-wise, and there was a lot of stuff to do outside, so I didn’t get any writing done. There are times where it’s harder than others to realize that that’s ok.

I don’t remember much about Sunday. I think I was recovering from overexerting myself physically on Saturday (SORE!), but I did get up there and got a chapter done.

Come Monday, and I’m getting up to write early, and I’m also taking the laptop into work so that I can get some writing doe when I’m finished eating. Might be that this comes as a surprise to you, but I cannot write and eat at the same time. There’s this huge disconnect that happens. It just doesn’t work for me.

So every day this week I’m getting up early, and writing at work. Today was what I’d call the first “Good” day of work. I got stuff done early, and I fell into THE ZONE later on during lunch. I’m over halfway done with this edit, and that’s pretty exciting.

This weekend, I’m planning on getting a nice chunk of pages done. We’ll see how it goes.

The weekend after next (the 18th) I’ll be at ConFusion Will I see you there?

My Schedule is on the Events Page.

See you on Sunday!

What am  I reading this week?

The Chronicles of the Lensmen vol. 2 by E.E. “Doc” Smith. I have this in an omnibus edition. The story that I’m currently reading in this volume is “Grey Lensman.”

Tricked, an Anthology of short fiction, by various authors, including my Agent Sibling – M. Z. Medina There’s some good stories in here. Do yourself a favor and pick this up.

Star Wars: Bloodline by Claudia Gray

What am I listening to this week? The Strong Female Characters podcast

How have I been relaxing and refilling the well? Sleep is still something that I continue to struggle with. So I’m hoping to catch up. I’d also like to watch a bit of Rugby this weekend. The Six Nations Tournament is coming up and that’ll be a nice prep for the 2019 World Cup later on this year(Can’t wait!!!). I’ll have to figure out the logistics, but I am definitely throwing a party for the final.

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Be sure to stop by on Sunday for the usual blog post!

Stop by 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

Chasing the Light



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Five Thing Thursday: January 10th.

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

Here are Five Things I want you to Know:

Thing #1: Editing is still progressing for JADE MOON WANING. I got stuck on trying to iron out a bumpy scene and that took me a couple of days, but I’m moving forward again, closing in on page # 300.

Thing #2: Schedule time for yourself. I jokingly sent out a tweet saying that I needed to put “Take some time for yourself” on the “To Do” list. After percolating for a couple of days, I realized that I wasn’t really joking. I don’t know about you, but my days are busy as hell, and still I’m fretting about getting more and more done. That’s a bad practice, because there’ll always be something else that needs doing. I need to realize that whatever it is…it can wait while I recharge.

Thing #3: I don’t know what put it in my mind, but recently, I went back and dug up my copy of Judas Priest’s Defenders of the Faith album. Now I can’t claim to be the biggest Priest fan in the world, and I think it had been several years since I’d deliberately put on some of their music….

Damn, that’s a good release. I’ve listened to it several times over the past week and haven’t gotten tired of it. So, take some time to go back to the stuff that you really used to dig and see if it holds up. The down-side is that some of it won’t. You’re not the same person that you were then, and that’s a good thing.

Thing #4: ConFusion is the week after next!!! Check out my schedule on the Events page. Will I see you there?

Thing #5: Remember: It’ll be OK in the end.  If it’s not OK, it’s not the end…

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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

Chasing the Light

See you tomorrow for the Friday Fess-up post.

Until then…

Be safe Y’All.

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Editing Jade Moon Waning: Week 6.

Happy Sunday Everyone! I hope you’re enjoying the weekend.

Today (OK, yesterday) marked the Sixth full week of editing the current WIP: JADE MOON WANING.

For those of you that might be hopping on with this post, you can find Week 1 here.

Coming into this week, I started to feel concerned that I was getting repetitive. You know, “Here we are …Week six and I’m still editing.” Yes, there was that point where I finished reading the book out loud and switched to transcribing my notes into my Master Copy of the manuscript (ALWAYS make a copy of your master project before you start editing!!). And, yes, that’s a pretty significant point in the process but, after a week, what is there to add?

And I realize that this makes editing sound like a repetitive slog but, for me, nothing can be farther from the truth. I love editing. I love every part of the writing process, to be honest, which makes me wonder if I’m doing it right, because it seems like every writer I know has a least favorite part about writing, and I’m just not feeling that about any part of the process.

So yeah, on the surface, or on the blog, it can sound pretty repetitive, but you’ve got to look deeper than that. There are heaps of things going on when you’re down at the sentence (or paragraph, but no higher) level of the work. And it’s there that the magic happens, though not everybody gets it.

It’s hard to put into words the feeling that comes when you spot a word, or a phrase that isn’t quite what you meant, and then you come up with the exact thing that would go perfectly in that spot.

Sometimes what you get is the satisfaction that comes with knowing that you’ve smoothed out a rough spot, and that’s a pretty good feeling on it’s own.

But then…

Then you find a spot that’s already pretty good, but not quite “There” if you know what I mean. You find a spot like that and you make a change that causes you to sit back and think, “Yeah. I fucking NAILED that.”

If I could bottle that feeling, they’d probably curse my name for all time, because that isn’t something that you should be able to pop the top on and experience. That’s a feeling that you’ve got to earn.

That’s editing for me: Chasing the Awesome, and sometimes catching it.

Back to the nuts-n-bolts:

I figured out that, If I wanted to get through the rest of the manuscript by February 1, I’ll need to complete 14 pages a day, every day for the rest of the month. Given the amount of time I’ve got during the average day, I think I can manage that, even with ConFusion coming up on the 17th.

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Be sure to stop by 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
Chasing the Light

I’ll see you next week for Five-Thing Thursday!



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2019: A Look Forward

I’m writing this up early.

Last year as a matter of fact. Why? Because my first act (well, likely my second) of 2019 will be to sleep in.

So here we are: 2019 – Day 1.

What am I looking forward to?

Assuming that the revisions don’t take an entire year, I’ll have a book out on Submission in 2019. Jade Moon Waning. That’s pretty big. What am I going to do while the book is out making the rounds?

Write another one. And I’m looking forward to that too.

I confess that I’m so far out of the loop in terms of movie, book and music news that I couldn’t tell you what is coming up in 2019, but I’m looking forward to the things I’m going to stumble across, get recommended to, etc.

I can’t wait for those new stories, new music, etc. to come along and knock me off my feet.

Folk will tell you that it’s all about the journey, not the destination. I’m looking forward to the trip. I’m looking forward to meeting the person that writes the “Looking ahead to 2020” post.

That’s what 2019 is going to be about for me: Looking ahead, looking up, looking around.

Who knows what I’ll find, but the finding is almost secondary. The act of looking, that’s the thing. Getting your eyes, your ears, your mind, someplace you’ve never been before, as often as you can.

That’s what I’m looking forward to…

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Friday Fess-Up: January 4th.

Hey, welcome to the First Friday Fess-up (The First Friday, in fact) of 2019!!!

We made it!

I’ve got to say that if feels like it’s been a long week.

It all started when we we time-shifted Christmas ahead to the 29th. Yeah, that was me. I figured that I’d have to apologize big time for that but, so far, the response has been fairly positive. People got to re-open their presents, etc.

But I digress.

Time shifting Christmas to the 29th meant that I more or less lost a writing day. That’s ok, there was family. But it meant that I had to be kinda “On” all day, and that wore me out a bit.

The 30th was a bit of a wash, since folk spent the night before heading off toward home. I honestly can’t remember if I made it up to get any writing done.

Then there was New Years Eve.

Two major holidays practically back to back, and I was struggling to stay awake until Midnight. I think I crashed around 12:30.

New Years Day.

I went out to see Aquaman. I dug it. I distinctly remember heading up to write for a bit at the end of the day, and knocked out a chapter.

The second saw me going back to the day job, and my writing time took a major squeeze. Well I say major squeeze when, in reality, it went back to normal. It sure felt like a squeeze though. So much so, that I took my laptop into work (Something that I rarely do) to get some more pages edited over my lunch break.

There really wasn’t any kind of easy transition from one to the other. It was more like someone threw the Real-Life switch. If you’ve ever had to turn on a bright light after waking up from sleep, you kind of know how that felt.

And I’ve been running ever since, as evidenced by the after-9-pm time that I’m posting this.

With any luck, I’ll be able to reset this weekend so that next week isn’t as grueling as the past three days have been.

I should be back in the swing of thing by the time ConFusion rolls around on the 17th. Will I see you there?

See you on Sunday!

What am  I reading this week?

The Chronicles of the Lensmen vol. 1 by E.E. “Doc” Smith. I have this in an omnibus edition. The story that I’m currently reading in this volume is “Galactic Patrol.”

Tricked, an Anthology of short fiction, by various authors, including my Agent Sibling – M. Z. Medina There’s some good stories in here. Do yourself a favor and pick this up.

What am I listening to this week? The Shared Desk podcast

How have I been relaxing and refilling the well? This Weekend? Sleep. Lots of Sleep. I’m also going to try and get a bit more reading in than I have been over the past few days.

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Be sure to stop by on Sunday for the usual blog post!

Stop by 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

Chasing the Light



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Five Thing Thursday: January 3rd.

Welcome, everyone to the First, Five Thing Thursday of 2019 and…

Here are Five Things I want you to Know:

Thing #1: Happy New Year!! You are, in fact, 2 entire days into 2019, and I hope it’s going well for you.

Thing #2:  I saw Aquaman on the First. It was pretty enjoyable. I dug it.

Thing #3:  It’s ok to take a day or two to plan out how you’re going to accomplish those things that you’ve said that you’d do this year. There’s a big temptation to jump in with both feet, but that enthusiasm often fades when the first obstacle hits you. Take a moment – plan.

Thing #4:  Winter has arrived. I make this proclamation based on the fact that my hands, without a regular application of lotion, have started to feel like 1000-grit sandpaper and are cracking like desert mud.

Thing #5: Jake Bible is closing the doors on his “Writing in Suburbia” podcast. All 69 episodes should be up on his site until around March.

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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

Chasing the Light

See you tomorrow for the Friday Fess-up post.

Until then…

Be safe Y’All.



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2018: A Look Back

Well, this is it. The final day of 2018. I know that some of that time it seemed like we’d never get here.

I gotta be honest: When I started scribbling down what was going to be the outline for this post (Yesterday, as it turned out), this look back was going to be a bit on the dark side, full of determination and defiance.

Because who hasn’t taken their share of hits this past year?

Then it occurred to me that I’d been living under a rock for gods know how long, when a Tweet by Laura Anne Gilman mentioned First Night.

I had no idea what that was, but when she mentioned celebrating culture, and art, and music, that pricked my ears up, so I went looking.

How long has this been going on? Where the heck have I been?

It sparked an idea, and I totally scrapped the outline from last night. If you listen carefully, you can probably still hear the echoes of that sheet of paper crumpling up and hitting the recycling.

Today I am going to look back on all of the awesome stuff that certainly bears celebrating:

People I’ve met

This list of folk that I’ve gotten to meet turned out to be surprisingly long. I won’t try and list them all, but here are a few of the stand outs.

Jim C. Hines. Now I’ve met Jim a few times before. He’s an amazing guy. He’s also (and this sounds ridiculous even as I’m typing this) the first person with any degree of success in this field, to remember meeting me. He hasn’t been the last, to be sure, but I still remember the surprise I felt when I went to re-introduce myself and he remembered who I was.

Karen Osborne. Karen is my Agent Sibling and the other founding member of #Team Dorian. We’d never met prior to this year, and we met at Ravencon. It was such a good time, we met a little over a month later at Balticon.

Merrie Haskell. I met Merrie at ConFusion where a bunch of my Fellow Codexians gathered. It was there that I discovered that I’d been living under another rock and that she and some other local writers met regularly to write…and I drove past it, regularly. They welcomed me into the group, and I’m so glad they did.

Books I’ve read

The actual number of book that I read in 2018 that were released in 2018…well there were two. And they were both awesome:

Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse. Amazing from cover to cover and it left we lamenting the fact that the second book was still in production and that I couldn’t buy it right then. Go get it.

Flotsam by R. J. Theodore. Rekka had me hooked on page one. There’s a little bit of sci-Fi, a little bit of Fantasy, a little bit of Steampunk, all wrapped up in a Firefly vibe that hit all the right buttons, slid my volume up to 11. And there are sporks. Do yourself a favor and pick this up.

Of the other books I read in 2018, here are some other standouts

What Does This Button Do? by Bruce Dickinson. I entered this year with the idea that I would read things that were outside of my usual wheelhouse. As it turns out, I’ve got a deep interest in creative folk and the story of how they got to where they are. Of the biographies I’ve read this year, this one stands out.

Perdition by Ann Aguirre. I’m not sure how this managed to stay off my radar for so long but, damn if it wasn’t worth the wait.

Music

This year saw me stumbling onto a number of different bands. Here are a few Highlights:

Unleash the Archers. Power metal from Canada. Apex is their latest release. It listens like a concept album and there isn’t a bad song in the bunch. Your ears will thank you.

Amaranthe. From Sweden, I’d heard of this band before, but I hadn’t given them a serious listen until this year. Helix is their latest release and I bought it off the back of the first single – 365.

Dreamstate. Also out of Sweden, this project seems to have lost momentum back in 2012. Which is a damned shame. You can check out their only release “Evolution” at their website. I listened to this song while I was typing this post. No Joke. If they released an album, I’d buy it off the strength of Evolution alone

Movies

I spent a bit of time scrolling through the list of movies released in 2018, my jaw slowly dropping ever more open as I realized that I had only been to ONE SINGLE MOVIE in 2018.

While this is something that I plan on seriously correcting in 2019, it is kinda fitting that the only movie I did manage to get out and see was…

SOLO.

I dug it. I really did.

Podcasts

WOW was 2018 the year for Podcasts. I did mention some of the podcasts I listen to on the Podcast editions of Five Thing Thursday. You can find them here, and here. Here are some that were particularly worth the listen.

Be the Serpent. A Podcast of extremely deep literary merit. Extremely Deep. Go put them in your ears. Future you will thank Present you.

The Hybrid Author Podcast. Covering a mixture of trad and indie published topics, Rekka and Brian are well worth listening to.

Get to Work Hurley. I’ve mentioned Kameron Hurley’s podcast before. It’s one of my favorites. Before the year is out, go listen to episode 12. It’s about an hour long, but so well worth the time. I’ve saved it and will listen to it more than once during the coming year.

That is a very incomplete list of everything awesome that happened in 2018. I finished the first draft of my current book and submitted a short story on top of it.

And let me tell you, taking the time to think about all of the great things that happened this past year has been a really good thing. Something I plan on doing more in the future.

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