Five Thing Thursday: July 18th.

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

Here are Five Things I want you to Know:

Thing #1: Sunday was my Birthday! First, I want to thank you all for the well-wishes. Second, if you left a review of a book – even if you didn’t tell me about it – thank you. Reviews matter.

Thing #2: The JADE MOON WANING final (Ha ha, for now…) is still proceeding at pace. (50 pages a day). The way I figure it, I should be hitting the query bricks later this month.

I have made a mental note: Next time, I will not use black ink to hand-edit the printed manuscript. I don’t know what I was thinking there. I certainly wasn’t thinking about how long it would take me to figure out if I meant to put a comma there, of if I had just brushed the page with my pen, leaving a streak…

This leads me to…

Thing #3: I finally broke. After years of resistance…

I bought a Fountain Pen. I didn’t buy it exclusively for editing, though it’s going to get some use there. And I decided to go with a nice Deep-Teal ink, which should stand out on the printed page (As opposed to black…Ugh, I can’t believe I did that…). I’ll post pictures when they arrive.

Thing #4: This week’s Audio Landscape has been brought to you by: Grave Digger

Thing #5: You would think that, as often as I post these, that I’d have a system in place that keeps me from occasionally shouting, “Oh Shit! It’s Wednesday afternoon, and I don’t have a Post ready!”

You would think that…

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What am  I reading this week?

The Protector’s War by S. M. Stirling.

The Quantum Thief by Hannu Rajaniemi

How have I been relaxing and refilling the well? I’m not sure what’s on the agenda for this weekend. Sleep, to be sure. Maybe a bit of grilling – if it doesn’t rain…

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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 on Sunday!

Until then…

Be safe Y’All.

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A Gift to Myself: Part 1

I gave myself permission to take the day off.

Next week there’ll be a “Part Two” to this post. In the mean time, please enjoy this picture of a goat who absolutely did not get caught trying to break into the cans holding the grain/feed.

See you on Thursday…

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Five Thing Thursday: July 11th.

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

Here are Five Things I want you to Know:

Thing #1: Sunday is my Birthday! If you want to help me celebrate, go out and review a book. Any Book. It doesn’t have to be one of mine – though that would be appreciated.

You never know: My next favorite read may hit my radar as the result of your review – and I love getting books as gifts!

Thing #2: The JADE MOON WANING final (Ha ha, for now…) is still proceeding at pace. (50 pages a day). The way I figure it, I should be hitting the query bricks later this month.

Thing #3: I’m going to say this loud, for the folks in the back (and for myself in particular): Sometimes the day is going to go the way it wants, and you’re not going to be able to keep your schedule. Just try and roll with it and do the best you can.

Thing #4: This week’s Audio Landscape has been brought to you by: Eclipse (if you search for them on You Tube, use “Eclipse Band”).

Thing #5: There is a part of me that thinks that the back of the Mystery Machine that nobody got a good look at in the original Scooby Doo cartoon was capable of carrying much more than an ordinary van should be capable of.

If you happen to have evidence to the contrary – Please keep it to yourself. Thanks!

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What am  I reading this week?

The Protector’s War by S. M. Stirling.

The Quantum Thief by Hannu Rajaniemi

Love Life by Rob Lowe.

How have I been relaxing and refilling the well? This weekend is a long weekend. I took Friday off, and I took Monday off. My Birthday is on Sunday, but we’ll be observing it on Saturday. I’d like to keep it low key because I haven’t gotten more than 6 hours and 45 minutes or so of sleep a night lately and I’m starting to drag a little.

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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 on Sunday!

Until then…

Be safe Y’All.

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Not in the Mood?

Earlier today (or maybe it was late last night), a friend on Twitter asked the #writingcommunity what got people in the mood to write.

It was a pretty lighthearted question and the thread was full of good music recommendations.

But there’s a hard truth that you may or may not be aware of.

You can’t wait until the mood strikes.

Ok, I’m going to qualify that real quick. If you’re writing as a hobby, feel free to do what you want. That’s perfectly fine. You do you.

But if you want to do this professionally…

You can’t wait for the mood to strike. Because most days it won’t. When folks talk about treating writing like a job, this is what they’re talking about. If you’ve got a day job, you know what I’m talking about. You can’t decide not to go into work because you’re “Just not feeling it.” Believe me, I know this truth. What you do is you get up, and you get your ass to work whether you feel like it or not (Assuming that you’re healthy. Keep your creeping crud out of the workplace, damn it. I don’t care what you’ve got to do).

Treat the writing like a job.

Set yourself an appointed time to write and, when that time comes, you get to work. Sure you may not feel like it, but I guarantee that when you’re done, you’ll feel better about it.

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

Chasing the Light

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

Five Thing Thursday: July 4th.

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

Here are Five Things I want you to Know:

Thing #1: Jade Moon Revisions are Done!! Now begins (well, they began yesterday) the final read through. I’m so eager to get through this final read/polish that I nearly missed scheduling this post ahead of time.

Thing #2: Keeping up a schedule that allows you to get stuff like this done in advance is a good thing – especially when you’re headed into a holiday.

Thing #3: Happy Barbecue Day!! Yeah, the 4th is supposed to be about something else, but we’ve still got kids in cages in this country, so I’d say we’ve pretty much shit all over everything this holiday stood for. Maybe next year…

Thing #4: This week’s Audio Landscape has been brought to you by: Def Leppard. I found concert footage from a gig they did in RIO not too long ago, and they still rock.

Thing #5: One of my friends recently said that, sometimes, and I’m paraphrasing here, sometimes, you get knocked down, and you can get right back up. Other times, you get knocked down, and you’ve gotta scream into a pillow for a bit, before you can get back up. And that’s ok. Just keep getting back up.

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What am  I reading this week?

The Protector’s War by S. M. Stirling.

The Quantum Thief by Hannu Rajaniemi

What am I listening to this week?

The Shipping and Handling Podcast.

How have I been relaxing and refilling the well? This is going to be an odd weekend. I’ve got Today off, I go back to work for one day, then the usual weekend. Needless to say, I’m going to be hitting the book pretty hard in order to hit the query trenches sooner, rather than later.

Other than that, I think I’ll play it by ear…

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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 on Sunday!

Until then…

Be safe Y’All.

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

Priorities and Priorities

So…

Yeah…

This post is a bit late.

Well, better late than never, right?

But why is the post late, you ask? And, if you’re asking, thank you for sticking it out today.

This weekend I had set myself a deadline for finishing this revision pass on JADE MOON WANING.

Then, as it often does, Life tried to get in the way of me and my plans. I had the opportunity to catch up with my CP and good friend, Janet Walden-West this weekend, and that cost a good chunk of Saturday – for which I have Zero Regrets.

That left this morning as the opportunity to finish revisions and, reader, I am happy to say that I did it. I got it done!

It took me three hours, to do it and, by then, I had to get up and move. I should have gotten up every hour, but I’m self-aware enough to know that,had I done that, I might not have sat back down to finish – so much stuff to do today.

Yes, I know that’s not good for me. Why is that you ask? Well, it’s not good for anyone, but my feet have a tendency to turn blue-ish when I sit for too long. That’s a circulation thing, and I need to pay attention to that, but I was in “the Zone”…

and I clearly need to work on balance, etc. But I digress.

So the writing is The Priority – as it should be. after that, I got up and did some outside chores, eventually ending with mowing the lawn – which was a good plan, because I’m looking at 5 days of rain in the immediate future.

When I was done, I had a finished revision, and the celebration that went with it. This, too, is a priority. You can’t let moments like this, in this business, go unrecognized.

I grilled steaks, and asparagus, and seasoned, cream cheese wrapped, jalapenos for dinner.

Now I’m settling in to post this blog.

That’s not to say that this blog isn’t a priority. It certainly is, no question.

But, while it’s a priority, it’s not “The” priority, so I make time for it when I can. In this case, it’s after a wonderful steak dinner, with some amazing sides.

To put it into perspective, the Blog is there to support the Writing, not the other way around.

Sure I could have planned better, and I hope to do so in the future, but even had I not gotten anything posted today, the real success of today was that I got The Work done.

You’re going to be faced with the same conundrum. Maybe you’ve already faced it. And you’ll have to ask yourself: “What is most important to me?”

And allocate your time accordingly.

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

Chasing the Light

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

Five Thing Thursday: June 27th.

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

Here are Five Things I want you to Know:

Thing #1: I am now down to the final 50 or so pages to revise for Jade Moon Waning! I am so close to the finish line, I can just make it out up ahead. This, reader, leads me to…

Thing #2: It is *So* hard to quit when I’m this close to go day job. Especially when the day is rough. I find myself thinking, ” I stopped writing for this??? Of my own free will???”

That’s sort-term thinking. Yes, I realize that if I had the entire day to write, I’d be done with it by now, but what that doesn’t take into account is the steady paycheck, the health insurance, etc. Little things like food and shelter. Those things are important. Don’t get me wrong, The second I can get out of there, I’m through the door without so much as a backward glance (except maybe during therapy), but for the moment…

Thing #3: Doing all that you can do is enough. And not just for the moment. All the time.

Sure, I might want to spend this morning writing for four hours, but I don’t have that much time. What I’ll do is make the most of the time that I do have, be it five hours, or five minutes. And, when that time is up, I will move on, happy that I’ve gotten something done.

Thing #4: This week’s Audio Landscape has been brought to you by: Def Leppard, and Hammerfall.

Thing #5: I *finally* got the lawn mowed again. There’s more to do out there, but this weekend promises to be wet…again. If this keeps up, I’m going to have to start distributing live vests to the ducks around here.

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What am  I reading this week?

The Protector’s War by S. M. Stirling.

The Quantum Thief by Hannu Rajaniemi

Stories I Only Tell My Friends by Rob Lowe

What am I listening to this week?

The Shipping and Handling Podcast.

How have I been relaxing and refilling the well? I don’t have much planned this weekend. It’s totally up in the air. If there’s an opportunity, I’ll be grilling on Saturday, in celebration of finishing this revision pass. Oh, and Sleep. I set a goal of 7 hours a night, and I haven’t hit it in the last eleven days.

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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 on Sunday!

Until then…

Be safe Y’All.

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

What Do You Want to Do Today?

How many times a week do you ask this question, either of yourself or someone else? If you’re like me, you tend to do it more on the weekend than any other time.

It seems a little ridiculous to ask it during the week, what with so many of us having a routine already laid out for us by work, and other responsibilities. For my part, lately, one day is pretty much like the next throughout the work week. So much so, that I know the answer before I even ask the question.

Or do I?

What do you want to do today?

Most of the above, I think, falls more into the category of “What do I *Have* to do today?” I’m singling out the “Have” because even that is a bit of a gray area.

I don’t “Have” to do anything. The reality is that I’m not willing to face the consequences for, say, not going to the day job for example. I’d lose the steady paycheck, the health insurance, and a whole host of other stuff that would make life less comfortable than it is right now.

That’s short-term thinking. I’m sure that, eventually, life would right itself and we’d be on the new course.

Now I’m not advocating that you just up and quit your job without having any kind of plan at all, especially if you’ve got a family, or people that are depending on you. Plans are good.

More often than not, they begin with a single question?

What do I want to do today?

Seems like a pretty innocuous question doesn’t it?

If you give it the consideration it deserves, it’s a pretty serious question.

Like Bilbo Baggins always says, “It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.”

It is an equally dangerous question: “What do I want to do today?”

Maybe the answer is sit on your porch, in the shade, with a nice breeze in the trees, reading a book.

Maybe the answer is something else. Maybe you want to learn to play an instrument, start writing a book, paint a picture, learn a new language, take your camera for a walk, start a newsletter…

Maybe the answer is something that will change your life.

What do you want to do today?

Think carefully, think bravely…

There’s no knowing where you might be swept off to…

See you on Thursday.

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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

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

Five Thing Thursday: June 20th.

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

Here are Five Things I want you to Know:

Thing #1: The Under 20 Rugby World Cup has been quietly playing under the radar! The Final round is this Saturday between France and Australia. Go Wallabies!!

Thing #2: I have reached the point of revising this book where another project has bubbled to the surface. It’s not a distraction, but I know what I’m working on next. This means I’m close.

Thing #3: I have suddenly grown much less tolerant of poorly-crafted stories. Maybe it’s because I’ve realized that I’ll never run out of books to read, maybe it’s something else, but I’ve given up on two of them in the first 10 percent this week.

Thing #4: This week’s Audio Landscape has been brought to you by: Bon Jovi and Dreamstate (Note that there’s no space there).

Thing #5: I cannot believe the string of rainy days we’ve had. With any luck, I’ll be able to get the lawn mowed this weekend. Otherwise I’m going to end up all Caras Galadhon…except, you know, with grass.

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What am  I reading this week?

The Protector’s War by S. M. Stirling.

All Systems Red by Martha Wells.

What am I listening to this week?

The Shipping and Handling Podcast.

How have I been relaxing and refilling the well? There’s the Rugby Under 20 World Cup Final on Saturday. I’d like to catch up on some reading too.

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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 on Sunday!

Until then…

Be safe Y’All.

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

Head Down, Moving Forward.

I am deep into revising JADE MOON WANING.

Of the feedback I got when I sent it out to my CPs, a universal response was that it was kinda slow for the first hundred pages.

This time through, I saw a place where I could tighten that up. One little change…

And over 8 chapters broke.

I knew that something like that would happen. I got rid of a location, and some characters (I mentioned before that I had over 30 named characters, so I could afford to lose a few…), but I didn’t anticipate the knock on effect it would have.

8 chapters.

Now it wasn’t that they all broke at once. It was more like I made a change and, yes, this is going to break this and that over here. Then as I’m fixing the breakage, and adding things, I see that those changes are having an impact further on. Things are happening sooner, other things don’t happen at all, now.

I tweeted about it when I was in the middle of the mess I’d made:

“The downside to getting my writing done first thing in the morning, is that I’ve got all day to think about how broken my book is.”

It was depressing – this whole book has been a bit of a struggle – but what am I going to do, give up on it?

I don’t think so.

If I’m not going to give up on it, I did the only thing I could do:

Sat down, and worked at it. Focused on what I was doing at that moment, not what else I might have to do later on. Just put my head down and moved forward, knowing that I would eventually fill in the gap, even if it took me smoothing out wrinkles until the very last page – and I know that there will be at least one tiny ripple in the last 15 pages that I’ll have to address.

Earlier this week, I filled in that gap. In the end, ten chapters had been impacted. Some of it I could use elsewhere, the rest of it goes into the Muse Droppings folder where it may find a home in other work sometime – or it may not. You never know.

This is a hard job. There is a better than average chance that, even after all of the work, the self-doubt, and the struggle, that this book won’t go anywhere.

But I love this job. Even if I’m only telling stories to myself.

There is so much that is out of your control in this business, but the one thing that you can control is how you approach it. There’s a lot of work involved, but you don’t have to try and manage it all at once.

Take each day and do what you can. Put your head down, keep moving forward.

You’ll get there.

See you on Thursday.

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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

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