Category Archives: NaNoWriMo

Keep Going

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This might be one of the “biking as writing” or “writing as biking” posts. More likely, it’s gonna more proof that you’re never too old to do stupid shit.

The end of November didn’t suck, though the potential for major suckage stank up the place. The Bride was bouncing back from not one, but two bouts of strep throat, and the day job had me pinging off the walls. The Saturday before Turkey Day had me 28+K words shy of the needed 50K words to win Nanowrimo. There was lots of Real Life going on inside and outside the house, yet somehow…

Maybe I was having a letdown this morning from the stress, but The Bride got me a Trek Marlin 7 as an early Christmas present, so time to boo-yah some trails. (Hey, I’m a veteran. We can use military slang without understanding the correct context. We’re cute that way.)

Here’s where the “stupid poo-poo” thing sneaks in. It snowed yesterday. The dirt trails were snowy and wet, so they were (follow the logic here) muddy as hell. To multiply the “stupid ca-ca” thing, my spiffy new bike does not have wheel guards or fenders, so (more logic follows) I got muddy from the spin of the wheels. Hey, Mom, I’m a mudder now!

No, I did not have to get muddy and, yes, my pretty new bike is not pretty now, but darn it, I can’t remember the last time that five miles of hard work felt so good. This morning’s ride could be a metaphor for that last week of Nanowrimo: the long, hard slog in the mud. But the followers of this blog (both of you) are the smartest readers in the world and you already figured it out.

While I have your attention, I will mention ASIN continues to be read and bought, making it my most successful book. “Success” is relative, as Mr. King sells more books in a second than I have in my life, but I’m pleased as punch. For those of you who use Goodreads, my profile is updated and I’m posting short reviews of the books in my life. More about GR in the next post.

Time to gird the old loins now and try to hit the daily writing goal while watching truly awful Raiders/49ers football. Y’all be good to each other. Mostly, be kind. And if you’re having any small or large crisis in faith or confidence, gimme a shout-out because I believe in you. Take care.


Status Report

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News you can’t use…

Today begins the professional editing of “A Sheriff in Nevada.” Twitter followers know my stomach has butterflies the size of B-52s because I’m flashing back to high school term papers (“Was I even close to the target???”). The edit will take two weeks.

Around that time, Cassidy Carson and I will be jetting off to faraway lands because we’re both in “use it or lose it” situations. Such is our level of dedication to the fine citizens of the Silver State.

Our return home will herald the shaking of bones and such over the keyboard to position ASIN for publication. I hope creating a Kindle copy is easier than it used to be back in the day. (“Tell us another story, Grampa.”)

This all takes us into November and Nanowrimo with this year’s subject being the first of two sequels to ASIN. No, it will not be another Emma Parks book (Hi, Lisa!), but I will do one as soon as I get something that’s worth 70K+ words.

Last word: this Monday’s blog post will be on cochlear implants.

Okay, that’s all for now. Return to your lives, citizens.

Road Trip

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Hello, all. I’ve been on a writing sabbatical, a fancy-schmancy way of saying I’ve been busy with Real Life and not touching the keyboard in a fictional way. That’s not 100% true, as 15+K words were written during July’s Camp NanoWriMo, all for a brand-new book. The key-tapping stalled when Real Life came back. My other WIP, completed at 70+K, waits on the virtual shelf to be made publishable.

The two works have little in common save one grace: they’re both placed in rural Nevada. That’s not necessarily a good thing. To some outside the Battle Born borders, our nether regions are filled with under-educated western rednecks trapped in the Nineteenth Century sensibilities. I want to say that particular demographic is firmly the One Percent, a plague found in every state of the Union, but never having been east of Fallon, I don’t know.

Therefore, my two favorite words: Road Trip!

The Bride and I are leaving soon for Eureka, Ely, Elko, Winnemucca, and other parts East via the World’s Loneliest Highway to capture the flavor and nature of the Silver State. We’ll avoid all chains (Holiday Inns, McDonalds, and so on) to see if we can find the true center of rural Nevada. My hope is we’ll return with memories and impressions that I can stick in these two WIPs. Maybe this trip will give readers insight to what has been best part of my home for many decades.

I’ll try to post a travelogue. If you have suggestions for sights and stops, shoot them on over. Appreciate your attention. Thank you.

Chapter 17

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It’s Oh-Dark-Thirty here in Cartoon City, as they used to say when I wore an Air Force uniform, so this is as good as time as any to post the last chapter of Saturday’s Child. A fun book to write, SC was a Christmas present for my partner in crime and co-author Cassidy Carson. It was yet another NaNoWriMo project, but Nano served as a guide more than a project. That’s a convoluted way of saying the book wrote itself.

Next up: the cover reveal next week, followed by the actual publication to Kindle during the week of January 30. Tell your friends and lovers to read this free book now, because the chapters will disappear once SC goes live on Amazon.

For now: Emma finds some closure as she gets ready to start a new adventure, a major one. Maybe. You’ll have to read this last chapter to learn more. Head over to my web site and thanks for reading.

Draft Chapters

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A few years ago, Joss Whedon gave an interview about his creation, Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The interviewer asked about how the heroine always seemed to be the strongest of the characters on the screen at any given time. The question stuck with me more than the answer because it bothered me. Would the interviewer ask the same question if Buffy were a male vampire killer? Why did this person have a problem with a strong woman taking center stage? I swore then if I ever got into the writing gig, “my” women would be tough, and no one would ever have a reason to question their combined strength and femininity.

Roll forward to the present, and I’ve tried to keep that pledge through my books and stories. That may be one more reason why my books don’t sell: people want stereotypes. Men must be strong, and women want to be rescued and cared for. To that I say: bullshit. I will not propagate such idiocy. The strongest people in my life since Day One have been women, and I will respect their strength and impact on my life through my writing. You want frail? Go elsewhere.

Which brings us to my latest work in progress. Yes, it’s another NaNoWriMo project (gotta start somewhere), and this one will end up between the 60-70K word range. It’s coming together like it’s writing itself, always a fun thing. The best part is that it’s Nevada-centric, my home for most of my life. I’ve been meaning to do a Silver State book, but never had the means or inspiration, but this one might just do it.

The end of this WIP is in site, but in keeping with this blog post, I won’t make a promise as to when the rest will be available. There’s the matter of finishing the free book first, but this one will be right behind it. Probably.

Caveats: the posted chapters are very first-draft raw. I don’t like the second chapter yet, so that will get revised at a minimum. As always, this work has the usual national and international copyright protections. I respect yours, so respect mine.

Head over to my site and go to the bottom of the page for the link. Thanks.

End of Nano

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And Nano is done for another year. I’m coming down from the creative high, having written 50K words in three weeks. The brain is tired.

The point of this annual exercise is to to develop a good-sized draft and pick up good writing habits. What did I learn this year? First and foremost, I discarded any idea that the book had to end at fifty thousand words, and that it is okay to take a while to flesh out a character or set up a scene. What I haven’t learned is how to sleep during key moments in the book. The brain keeps typing, even when the computer is off.

The immediate writing plan to finish this draft and maybe publish it in 2017. Or not. In any case, I hope you are having a good writing experience, too, and that you’ve got something you can share with us down the road. Take care.