Category Archives: writing habits

I’m still alive and kicking


I’m still alive and kicking.

Rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated. At the moment I am retooling “The Set’la” and I will be working on it as much as possible.

Life likes to get in the way but I think I have to set aside at least an hour or two daily for writing. The first chapter of “The Set’la” is ready, now I am working on the rest of them.

Last month, the wife and I decided to finally attack our pool with a vengeance. The dreaded Japanese boxwood shrubs now look like Bonsai trees. This did require the use of a chainsaw and my wife constantly saying, “Be careful!” For some reason she had visions of me cutting off assorted limbs that were not attached to the bushes. I don’t really blame for this since I am one of the few people she knows that can trip walking on flat ground. But I still have all my appendages and have come to the conclusion that at 55 years – my body is not use to hard labor. That’s why I am a Security Guard. The next step on the pool is replacing the lines and pool liner. This is a very expensive project but it must be done. Once it is finished we will spend more time in it, and be able to enjoy it more.

As for the writing – I must admit that the last review I received on the “Set’la” has discouraged me a lot from writing much of anything. However I am throwing myself back into as much as I can, my other short stories are being but on hold at the moment as I discuss the future of the book with a beta reader I have found.

Journey of Tara is still doing well, so far I have sold 97 copies in a little over two years and in the back of my mind there is a sequel trying to come out.

So with that said, I must get back to the editing world as I clip away at my book. Don’t worry – no chain saw will be involved in this process.

Thanks for reading, feel free to comment.

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Mission Complete. What’s next?


To be honest I knew I could do it, it only takes the commitment to write, which I should do more of anyway.  The main issue, all the errors in it, I will tend to eventually but the important part now is to finish the actual novel.

It needs major editing and a little revising. When I became stuck I went off in a whole other direction. (Don’t you hate it when your characters don’t do what you tell them to do?)

But the important thing is I got past 50,000 words and I am close to an end.

I would like to thank my wife, who allowed me to take the time to write and did a lot of pushing to get me to finish—threating me with torture and other unspeakable acts does wonders for my incentive. Also my thanks to the kids for being quiet sometimes even if they looked at me like I was from a different planet when they were informed of Nanowrimo. Sure, they laughed when they saw me sitting in my office with my earplugs in—but they knew why.

I did attend three write-ins at the local iHop that went rather well—some of the group seemed a little distracting, but I managed. It did feel a little weird showing up there every Friday night with a gaming laptop.

During my down times I did get some very helpful advice from other bloggers, most of them were posted over on Kait Nolan’s site. She has a lot of great links that writers of all genres should check out.

Another one that is worth the visit is Emma Darwin and her blog, This Itch of Writing.

Now it is time to come to an ending on To Die A Slow death (It almost sounds like a Bond novel) and then the editing.

It was fun and kept me out of trouble. Now comes December, National Novel Editing Month, Na-No-Ed-Mo, and time to dust off my Chicago Manual Of Style.

Nanowrimo update


Just a quick note on my word count for National Novel Writing Month.  The distractions are still plaguing me. If the face it’s not 1 thing it’s another but I know these are just excuses I’ve been using on a regular basis. Lol. On the average I have managed about 10000 words a week and should hit 30,000 tonight with the write in at the local iHop.  Last week I got a little stuck so I shot my main character. Now I feel a little weird about doing thing like this because I never really wanted my characters to hate me. But there are surprisingly a lot of very helpful websites out there that give you great ideas on how to make your character hate you. Most of the ones I found came from links on Kait Nolans blog, which I will link in here later.
Im actually doing better at this than I thought I would do, but since I am nearing the end, I have to end it…somehow.
On a little side note, Scrivener for Windows was finally released last week, or the week before (I find it odd they did this just in time for Nanowrimo, but I went ahead and plopped down the not earned cash for it. It should help in the end. If you use Scrivener let me know what you think about it. I need to learn how to use it now.
Well I must get writing. I thought of some plot developments on my way into work this morning, so I have to remember then now.
Have a great weekend everyone and thanks for visiting.

Distractions….


I’ve had a few. (Why is Frank Sinatra running through my head?)

Distractions, as a writer your life is filled with them from the time you take your first sip of caffeine, or whatever beverage you are prone to drink, until your head hits the pillow when you finally go to sleep. Sometimes, they don’t even stop then.

Case in point, for the past four or five years I was distracted by a silly MMORPG called WoW. I had to pull myself away from this thing to write, which is what I love. Now I am suffering from an acute case of WoW withdrawl . I’m sure with the right medication I will be fine.

Monday I began a new blog entry that was originally supposed to be a five to six-hundred word essay on the new Fall TV season. I started at work and typed away until either the phone rang or I had to take care of other people’s issues. By 5pm it was up to 1667 words. That was perfect; I hope I do that well in November during the National keyboard replacement month. (Or would that be December?) We have to pound out 1667 words a day. All I needed to do when I got home was a little research on the net and a few more paragraphs, then figure out where to break it up and I would be fine. The plan was to finish it the minute I got home. After all, the step son would be in his room playing a game, and since the dinner was the step daughter’s responsibility this evening I had faith that I would be able to sit on the couch with my laptop and finish it up. As I turn the corner onto our nice peaceful little cul-de-sac I see not just one car in the driveway – but three. One belongs to a friend of the boy, the other to one of the girl’s friends. J, the step son, is pretty quiet unless one of his games gets him too excited and he starts screaming at his team mates. He is also a little deaf due to the whole portable music thing so the TV is going to be loud. L, the daughter, on the other hand is very hyperacctive and so are most of her friends. This was one of them.

‘Okay,’ I say to myself, breathing deep enough to inhale all the air in my van, ‘I can do this.’

One set of kids (young adults?) sit in the family room, TV blaring, watching old TV shows. Part of the other pair sits splayed out on the couch trying to beat a PS3 game while L is making noise in the kitchen.

Courageously I sit on the couch with my laptop and open up my newest word document. I should have gone up to my office, not realizing that the whenever the little horribly drawn cartoonish character on the TV died she would scream, and L would laugh. This wasn’t working. As much as I tried, my eyes would not stay on my monitor, they kept going to the TV. My mind thought it was a lot more interesting than the white rectangle on my desktop covered with black markings.

Before I realized what time it was, dinner was ready and I had to surrender my laptop so I could ingest protein. Once dinner was done, it was time for Terra Nova. Even though I do record it for later viewing L insists on watching it when it is on. Between the two of them I might have heard one or two lines of dialogue. I have never understood why people yell at the TV, it wasn’t the TV’s fault that the football player dropped the ball or the hero made a stupid wrong turn.  We all know there is someone on the other side of that door that he is about to go tthrough.

Too late to start writing again once it is over, and we head to bed. My mind shuts off and the next thing I know, it is Tuesday morning and I have to be at work in a few hours. Tuesday‘s are not too bad, slow and quiet. If possible I may get something written done, but still the distractions occur. Work does take precedence even over my writing. I don’t know why – but it does.

I was looking forward to the afternoon though – the kids would be working until 2pm and I would be blessed with at least three hours of quiet when I got home.

Once I had Star Trek: TNG up and running, sitting comfortably in my office with my computer slowly coming to life – the dogs decided they wanted some attention or a visit outside. They settled for the visit outside and it didn’t take long for them to start barking at something. I surrendered to fate and spotted the tiny icon on my desktop, a bronze colored circle with a big gold “W” in the middle. My mouse was pulled to the dot – calling at me from afar – one right click and the screen blazed to life with the music and design of World of Warcraft – and a small webpage opened up saying “I’m sorry, your account is expired. Would you like to sign up again?”

That stopped me and I came to my senses and quickly closed it – opening up my word document again. But that wasn’t the end, my cell phone went off with a custom ringtone, music and then the voice of Billy Currington singing, “God is great, beer is good…and people are crazy.”

“Yes mom?” I calmly answered…

Three hours later I hung up the phone and now it is time for dinner, TV, and then bed. The day goes so quick!

Now it is Wednesday, I haven’t touched that blog entry since 4:30pm on Monday. But I did manage to type 1034 words in less than ten hours
while I worked had some spare time on my hands (between the distractions).

I’ll get through November, with the distractions and I’ll do it my way. Or someone else’s way –

(Oh a Bunny!!!)

The Obsessions of a Compulsively Distracted Procrastinating Writer


I did some checking today, as I tried to think of some subject for today’s blog, and realized that I have a detective that no one has met yet; his name is Nathan Whiseman, an intelligent smart ass, a little hard around the edges, but still tries to remain loveable (still working on the particulars to that.) His first name is my unofficial middle name. My wife handed that to me because I didn’t have a one and she needed something to say when she got pissed off at me. “Brian” just wasn’t enough, now it’s “BRIAN NATHAN!”

Whenever I get a thought for a case, I quickly go with the idea and run with it, not knowing where I will end up and scattering my thoughts all over both computers and the database of my phone.
So now I have seven short stories, including one possible novel length story, all starring my detective. None of them are finished.

(Oh, a bunny!)

I admit, my writing habits are bad, WoW keeps interfering, but since they shut the beta down – I may be working on one or two of those until December 7th.

Sometimes, the writing does come easy to me, flowing from my thoughts to the lined paper, (now a virtual keyboard on my phone that my fat fingers slide across, misspelling everything. My OCD hates that.) Getting the thoughts straight and un-jumbled from everything else is a hard part.

I have one mild problem with misspellings, CDO: Compulsive Disorder of Obsessions. (The way OCD should be classified, in order!) I get into the story so much, but if I see one little mistake or catch that little wavy line Microsoft word thinks is the way it should be spelled, I have to fix it. I have tried to ignore it, but it doesn’t work too well when you still have to look at the keys when you type. I will look up after a five minute run of typing and see them all over the page. (I know – I can turn that off – but I still see them.) Another –

(Look, a bunny!)

Little distraction: the dogs barking at all the squirrels that are making stupid squirrel decisions like, running through the dog yard, an area that smells of at least seven dogs. Facebook, Twitter, my sister texting me to ask me about WoW, the kids watching shows on TV-just a little too loud, That goes for their music too. Oh, another one that gets me, listening to the kids play their video games and yelling at the people they are playing with. This is fine when you have a microphone and they can actually hear you – but it makes no sense to do this if they can’t hear you!
And my wife – (but she is a good distraction.)

Also – I know I am a procrastinator. (After I finish this blog entry I will look that up – maybe)

This procrastination flows not only into my writing, but everything else in life. It is a problem when it does that, but I am not saying that you have to force yourself to sit down and pound a key board until your words make since, but you do have to try. That is all it takes.

I’m also working on another Sci-fi story that I completed and which was previously posted somewhere else about three years ago. A little reworking is all it will take, just have to do it. I also have to wait for my artist to make the cover – she is my Step Daughter and did the cover to Journey of Tara (Found here: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/28896 ) I had to wait a while for that to – but I suppose it runs in the family.

Include all this into the fact that I am constantly Twittering and on Facebook as I spend my days at work in a box – I just have to do it.

What is it they say; knowing you have the problem is the first step in fixing it. Now is the time for fixing!

Step 1) Sit down for one or two hours a day, or more – (quiet helps) and work on one story.
Step 2) Turn off Twitter and Facebook notifications on my phone when I get home.

I’m sure I’ll think of some more later, when I get around to it.