Behind the Writing: The Neon Heart (Part One of Three)

Warning. Spoilers ahead. If you haven’t read The Neon Heart, yet (and why not? It’s great) you may want to hold off on this one. Though, maybe it will entice you to buy the book and give it a read, so what do I know?

20190427_133939As September approaches and my focus shifts to the next book in The Synthetic Albatross Novella Series, I’ve been thinking more and more about my previous novellas. Then, I realized that I hadn’t done a behind the writing for Neon Heart (or I did and I forgot). So, I figured, now would be a good time for one. A long time ago, I didn’t really like reading that much. I would enjoy certain books and when I found one that tickled my fancy, I would devour it, but getting me to read wasn’t easy. Then one day, when I was watching Blade Runner for probably the fifth or sixth time, I noticed at the end of the credits that it was based off of a book. (I’m getting somewhere, just stick with me). I had read some Star Wars books, but other than my love for sci-fi movies and television, I didn’t really know much about the genre. (The literary genre at least). The book at the end of the movie was called, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, and trying to get a copy of that thing when the only bookstore I knew of was the Coles at the mall was not easy. I had to endure countless bad jokes and confused faces. Continue reading “Behind the Writing: The Neon Heart (Part One of Three)”

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eBook Blues

Blog No. 351

6075402xRemember when everything even remotely related to the internet had to have a lowercase ‘e’ in front of it? Then Apple made the ‘i’ a thing and we’re still feeling the backlash from that. It’s all a moot point, though. I just wrote the title and it struck me that we’ll be stuck with eBook for the foreseeable future. No Light Tomorrow came out at the end of 2015 (so long ago now). I did the layout, making many mistakes along the way, but ultimately getting a good handle on the process. I assumed, especially since it is an advertised feature of most modern layout and design programs, I could just knock out the ebooks too. I could not. Eventually, Mirror World took up No Light, so I didn’t have to worry about that any more, but I have two books of a novella series (The Synthetic Albatross to be exact) and since I did those ones on my own, I wanted to make sure I had some good ebooks to go along with them. Continue reading “eBook Blues”

Update Time

Blog No. 350

tenorIt’s August, and you know what that means. Nothing in particular. Oh, it also means that I have a month left to keep working on the Invasion Novel before I have to have decided to start the novella.  I started earlier for Neon Heart (than Thinking Machine) giving myself lots more time to edit and do the layout, and still felt rushed at the end. It was a lot better than Thinking Machine (and I think it shows) but I want to give myself even more time to edit and get beta reads. This next novella, Broadcast Wasteland, should be shorter than Neon, but longer than Thinking, if I manage to write it the way I’m planning. I don’t want to take a break from the novel, but I’ve had to come to terms with the fact that I’m not getting as much done as I’d hoped (and the novel may be bigger than I had planned). I don’t think either of those things are too terrible (especially the bigger, that should come in handy with the edits) but since I’m going to be taking a break, I’d like to get close to the halfway point before I do. Continue reading “Update Time”

I’ve Discovered Something – Else

Blog No. 349

20190710_121516As you know, I’ve been trying to suss out some of the reasons as to why my writing productivity plummets in the summer. I think I was on the right track with the chaos that the Day Job brings this time of year and with the usual uptick in events (that hasn’t happened this year). There’s also the serious issue that the people who I go write with become unavailable (kids and stuff) so it becomes much easier to just put off writing or even cut my sessions short (where I’m about finished but the other person is still going so I managed a little more). There’s this other thing, though, and I don’t think it has anything to do with the season. Continue reading “I’ve Discovered Something – Else”

Breakfast Reviews 2019: Part Seven

Blog No. 348

20190630_113634You’re going to have to stay with me here, because this one is personal and may not make sense to some folks. Sundays tend to be a day for me to get things done. I’ll have stuff piling up all week and not enough time or energy to do the little things. Things need cleaning, desks need organizing, clothing needs to be folded. Sometimes I work on Sundays and that’s that. It gets skipped or whatever. Sometimes I work Saturday nights until three in the morning and I sleep most of my Sunday away. I’ve made it clear that I love my breakfasts. Sundays aren’t always a good time for a solo guy to venture out into the wild to find some eggs and bacon (or sausage if I’m lucky). The later in the day I start my search, the more the obvious options fill up. Plus, I have things to do back at home. When that happens, I get creative in what I consider breakfast. That leads me to a breakfast burger.

Breakfast Spot Seven: Barrel House

I’ve mentioned Barrel House in this blog in the past. It’s one of my favourite go-to restaurants in the city. Sometimes I go there because I’m craving something specific on the menu, sometimes it’s because I’m not sure what I want and I know I’ll have a bunch of good options. It’s the place I inevitably go with groups of friends when we can’t decide where to go for a meal. There’s always something you’ll enjoy at Barrel House. They have my favourite burger in the city. Anyone you choose there is good, since the patty itself is where the magic lives, but I tend to go for the Benny Burger 20190630_114224(and not just because of the name). It’s essentially Eggs Benedict on a burger and that counts as breakfast for me. They’ll even serve you a cup of pretty good coffee.

You have to take into consideration the atmosphere and the time they open (as early as 11am on a weekday and 11:30 on the weekend). It’s a bar. There are going to be people there drinking and being loud (yes, even at 11am most of the time). Sometimes you’ll get lucky and it’ll be quiet for a while, but if you’re there during the football season, forget about it. I’ve made it pretty clear that I’m a counter guy. That goes for bars too. When things start to get busy, the seats at the bar fill up quickly. Many of those folks tend to be smokers, so after they go out for a puff, they drag the smell back in with them. For non-smokers, that can be a real stomach churner. It’s not every time, but again, football season increases the potential for that.

20190630_113604The place is generally clean, though, and the servers and bartenders are friendly. The kitchen is open to the rest of the restaurant too (just behind the bar and in the corner) so you can watch your food being made (a bonus for an overly concerned eater like myself). As I said a bunch already, everything I’ve had to eat there has been either good or great and the portions are generous. It’s not the cheapest place to go, but it’s definitely worth the cost. The Benny Burger (sans hollandaise sauce for me) requires two hands to hold. The large patty is topped with a mound of ham and a fried egg. Napkins are a must. Pair it with a tatter tot poutine (that’s kind of like hash-browns, right?) and that’s a breakfast (or lunch, or brunch) to write home about. Just be ready to have to work to get your bill. For some strange reason, it takes a long time to get it, no matter who’s working.

I give Barrel House a star for being a good place to go on Sundays, one for the best burger I’ve had, a third for having coffee or beer as options, and a fourth for also having the best poutine (tatter tot or fries). They lose a star for having to fight to get the bill. It’s not the end of the world, but I’ve got the rest of my Sunday chores to do, ya know?

home-made-rating-7

Another Week, Another Post

Blog no. 347

20190703_205824-1It look longer to get her this year than it has so far, but I’m at the point where I’m writing a big piece and not much else is going on. You already know I’m writing the Invasion Novel right now. It’s going okay. Obviously, I’m not giving it as much time and/or effort as I should (I never do). With the day job being what it is (been over that a lot lately) and with both Christian and Elly more busy with family things, I’m having to fit things in when I can and get used to some solo writing again (been three years since that was so common). Other than that, I’m working, still going to boxing once a week, playing D&D on game night (and some odd days as well), playing video games too much (got a pretty fun new one for less than ten bucks) and just, hanging out. I do have some tentative plans for the rest of the summer, but they are just wishful thinking right now. Mostly, I’m just plugging away on the book. Continue reading “Another Week, Another Post”

So close, and Yet… Pretty close

Blog No. 346

915bkn57erlAt the start of summer (but really in the middle of spring (at the end of April?)) I had two major goals. They both involved writing and had to do with the Invasion Novel. Since I always have a drop in productivity in the summer, I wanted to finally figure out why it happens and work through it. Also, now that I’m working on a novel again, I wanted to speed up the first draft process, get it done not only faster, but also on a schedule (that coincidentally would also increase my summer productivity). So far, I can call it a succes-ailure. I believe I’ve discovered that the main source of my summer drop off comes from the change in schedule (and hours) at the day job, and from the fact that Christian (who I meet up with regularly to get in some writing) has his kids home for the summer and can’t get out as much. While I can’t do much about Christian’s kids (though I still maintain that the bigger one should just watch the litter one) I have been trying to solve those problems. Continue reading “So close, and Yet… Pretty close”