A Short Little Post for my Birthday (2019)

Blog No. 342

60334940_10156270211703225_1434429711479472128_nI’m writing this on my birthday proper, but by now, it’s already passed. I really only mention my birthday because, as a gift to myself every year, I allow the post that falls on my birthday week to be phoned in. I still do it (you’re reading this is evidence of that) but I let it be short and way more to the point than I usually do. I think things are going better this year in general. I’m not in the clinic on my birthday like I was last year. I’m also getting more writing in over the summer. I’m not writing as much as I’d like (I never am) but with all the other things on my plate, I’m doing okay. Thankfully, now that Elly has joined the Writing Wrecking Crew with Christian and me (official name is not official) I have more scheduled writing sessions than I used to. It mean I’m not at Anchor nearly as much (sad face) and I drive out to Amherstburg a lot (sad car-face) but I am getting more done. It’s all a process. Anyway.

If you feel the need to do something nice for me because I traveled around the sun one more time, you can follow my facebook page. I usually just post about this blog and sometimes when I’m at an event. No pressure, though. I know how annoying social media stuff can be.

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Back on the Horse

Blog No. 341

feb8c38c8b7694fc264dcd440f4b1cac-bugs-bunny-bunniesIt’s June, again, already. I’ve been working hard to keep myself from slipping this summer and, while I’m not where I wanted to be, I’m doing better than I have been in some years (maybe ever). I originally wanted to get the first draft of a 90 to 100 thousand word novel written by the end of August, giving myself a goal of 20 000 words a month. I am not on pace for that right now. That sounds bad (believe me, it does to me too) but things aren’t quite as bleak as they seem. I’m at just under 25 000 so far (20 000 behind my goal) but I spent all of May reviewing on Christian‘s new book.
Really, Ben? It took you a whole month to review Christian’s novel?”  Yes. But it’s a whole novel and whether he asked me to initially or not, I did an entire edit.
Why forsake your own writing for Christian’s book?” Because it’s the partnership that we have and he not only gave me an edit for Neon Heart, he did the cover for me too.
If he didn’t ask you for an edit, was he mad that you did one for him? I mean, it took you a month. I’d be mad.” No. I don’t think so. We went over some of the things I pointed out and he seems to be appreciative of it. When I review, edit, or otherwise go over another authors writing, I do my best to be constructive. I want their book to be the best it can be. Continue reading “Back on the Horse”

Breakfast Reviews 2019: Part Five

Blog No. 340

20190410_091324Back when I was just getting started with writing (before No Light Tomorrow came out) I was looking for writerly things happening around the city. I had joined Write on Windsor (which I believe Christian had found) and there was this other thing going on called Drink and Draw (also found by Christian). It was Friday nights at Squirrel Cage on the now hopping Maiden Lane. It was a neat place and a fun weekly event. I met a bunch of cool people and awesome artists. I was intent on doing the Zine back then, so having the artists help out was amazing. One of them even did the art for the second printing of No Light. Eventually, I got to know the owners. They are really nice guys from Toronto who are dedicated to opening cool and creative places in that area. The expanded to include a home decor shop, Bungalow, an ice cream parlor, Buuntz & Co., and a restaurant, A Dog’s Breakfast. Continue reading “Breakfast Reviews 2019: Part Five”

I’ve Discovered Something

Blog No. 339

oyikbyiOver the years since I’ve been writing, I’ve had a regular summer slump. I’ve mentioned it on this blog (probably a hundred times) but I’ve also talked about it with other authors. Most of the time people explain it away with good weather and lots of activities, but I feel the need to point out that (since I am a basement dwelling hermit) the good weather does little to change my day-to-day routine. Part of the problem is that the day job gets busier (and the usual schedule gets tossed in the trash due to lots of special rentals and yearly occurrences. Another part is that, yes the weather is nice, so there are more events. Some are ones that I attend, and some are just fun to go to. Some are neither and I’m just there to support a friend, but I do that willingly. The thing that seems to really throw me off track is the dreaded other half of writing. Editing. Continue reading “I’ve Discovered Something”

One Month Later

Blog No. 337

20190504_152520The Neon Heart has been out for just about a month and I’ve sold at least 70 copies. I say at least, because I have 18 left in person and there are 12 out in the wild (currently at Biblioasis and Anchor on Huron Line). I know some of those have been sold, but it’s a bit like Schrodinger’s books. Until I get a report from the store and/or a payout, I can’t say for sure if they exist or not. Considering that I printed 100 copies for my first run, I did pretty well for a month. I’m going to have to order more. The only problem is the money. I was supposed to recuperate the funds from those first 100, but somehow, that never happens. You get bits of cash for one or two sales. You deposit some, but hang on to a bit (because you were going to take our cash for whatever anyway). In the end, you tend to get some of the money back, but never the amount that you put in. So, when it comes time to order again, you are still digging into your pocket for the funds. Usually, it takes longer, so the sting isn’t so pronounced. Continue reading “One Month Later”

Up-Up-and an Update

Blog No. 336

20190427_133939Welcome to May. I’m not sure how we got here, or what I’ve been doing for the first four months of the year, but here we are. Somehow, things have happened. The Neon Heart is out and thanks to being able to meet up with Christian and Elly, I’ve gotten some of the first draft of the novel done too (thought I’m not sure what it’s going to be, yet). I’ve had a bunch of events, but the usual onslaught that starts in March and runs through June, didn’t happen. I did have a busy April, but March was light, and so far, the rest of my year is the usual one or two events a month. I’m not complaining, but events usually means book sales. Still, I am plenty busy and the more time I can spend writing, the better. I suppose, like most things, it’s a balancing act. Continue reading “Up-Up-and an Update”

The Neon Heart – Release

Blog No. 333

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The Neon Heart is out! It’s official, it’s available, and it has a very loud cover. The book took me a lot longer to finish than I had hoped. It is a lot longer than I had planned too, though. The initial idea for the series was to capture the crowd that wants to read, but doesn’t have a lot of time. I got a lot of good feedback from people who bought No Light Tomorrow just to be nice, but ended up finding it approachable and really liked it. I figured, why not make a fun, fast paced book, at a non-intimidating length? They’ll eat it up. They did not. The Thinking Machine sold okay, but it did not have the monster sales I had hoped. It was, however, a new book that I could bring to events and advertise. For The Neon Heart, I changed gears a little. I listened to the feedback from the people who did buy the last one. Thinking Machine was too short and felt rushed. They loved the format, though. With that in mind, I let the story in Neon Heart drive the size. Now I have a book two in the Novella Series and it is the best thing I’ve ever written. Continue reading “The Neon Heart – Release”