Nine Years of Posts – 2021 in Review

Blog Post No. 476

200I’m not alone in thinking that 2020 was a strange year (it totally was) but 2021 was something else entirely. I’ve tried to limit the amount that I write about the pandemic (especially as a main topic of a blog post) but it’s crept into my posts more and more. The reality is that we’re still in the middle of a deadly disease sweeping the globe and in August, I had to go back to the Day Job. As you can imagine, I wasn’t super stoked about going back (most due to the risks). I did have half the year to keep acting like a full time author, though. Continue reading “Nine Years of Posts – 2021 in Review”

Bowling Ball and Pinhead

Blog Post No. 470

20211104_121451Most of the artists I know don’t have a ton of extra scratch to pay for things. Sometimes when you’re making, say, a book, you need things like good looking covers. How does an artist pay for a good looking cover when they don’t have enough money to get a kindergartner to finger paint for them? That’s right, they trade for it. I was lucky enough to find someone to trade with in Glen Hawkes. He did the covers for Broadcast Wasteland, Break/Interrupt, and is working on the cover for the upcoming Snow From a Distant Sky. He’s not only a talented painter, he’s a skilled graphic designer, so he knows how to make a cover.

Continue reading “Bowling Ball and Pinhead”

Update: Snow From a Distant Sky

Blog Post No. 469

giphy-1My main project at the moment is editing the fifth novella in the Synthetic Albatross Series, Snow From a Distant Sky. Like the last two books Broadcast Wasteland and Break/Interrupt, I wrote the first draft in a mad sprint. Broadcast was started in September but seeing as it went long, I bumped Break up to August. (It ran even longer, so it was good that I gave it the extra month). This time, I actually managed to get the first draft of Snow in before the end of August and I somehow kept it from ballooning out of control. Continue reading “Update: Snow From a Distant Sky”

Down Time

Blog Post No. 460

5398cf9abb0c8644f14f0ddfabe22425I’m still sitting on the first draft of Snow from a Distant Sky right now. I need to leave enough time between drafts to get nice and critical about my own writing (and to forget a little about what I meant when I wrote awkward sentences so that I can notice and fix them). The trick is not waiting too long and deciding what to do in the mean time. I’ve found that I need at least two weeks between the first and second drafts (though three is better) but I’m still not great with effectively using that down time. Sure, I don’t have to be totally productive at all times. It’s a good thing to take a break and burning out is a real potential problem. My issue is falling out of the routine and picking it back up again. Continue reading “Down Time”

First Draft of Snow from a Distant Sky

Blog Post No. 459

giphyIt may not be a record for the most words written in the shortest amount of time (I’d have to do math to verify it) but it is a record for the fastest first draft I’ve ever written. In 29 days I managed to write just under 40 000 words and somehow managed to stop writing any more. That is to say, the last three installments in this novella series all went longer that I had intended (some much longer than others). But now it’s early September (and the weather has finally gotten a little cooler) and I’m done the first draft of the fifth novella and taking a short break before jumping into the edits. Continue reading “First Draft of Snow from a Distant Sky”

Cold Writing in Hot Weather

Blog Post No. 458

hgj5g8dn6h711It’s hot outside. Like, seriously hot. Some people have no idea what the part of Canada where I live is like. The area used to be a swamp. In the summers we get heat waves that may look quaint to people who live in more southern climates, but our heat is wet. It sticks to you. When we reach 32 degrees Celsius (about 80 Fahrenheit) it feels like 40 degrees with the humidity (104 F). Again, that doesn’t look like much to someone who sees 120 F in Arizona, but the humidity is a killer. Continue reading “Cold Writing in Hot Weather”

Working at Work

Blog Post No. 456

giphy-2Since I’ve been called back to the day job, my schedule has fluctuated greatly. I may call my supervisor on one shift with a question and be offered another shift for latter in the week. Since, for the most part, the rest of my schedule consists of writing the first draft of Snow From a Distant Sky (the next novella) I’ve taken every shift that’s come my way. Technically, I have to if I want my income to continue to be supplemented, but I can also get that daily writing in almost any time (though I’ve almost completely lost my late night writing chops since I’ve been getting up so early for most of these shifts). Continue reading “Working at Work”

Starting the Fifth Novella

Blog Post No. 454

ek9ec_bxsainecfIt’s August (already, somehow) and for better or worse, I’ve put the Invasion Novel aside to start the fifth novella, Snow from a Distant Sky. I had a really good plan for July that would result in me getting the third and fourth draft of the novel done and (ideally) put me in a good position to have some folks get their first look at the book. That didn’t happen. Between going back to the day job and the earwig invasion, I only managed to get the third draft done. I think I managed to make it a good one, though. I didn’t want to rush (because I would miss a bunch and it would have been a waste of time and effort) but there is still a long way to go. It’s definitely not ready for people to see. Continue reading “Starting the Fifth Novella”

Tackling the Monster

Blog Post No. 441

giphyThe time has come. No more dragging my feet. It’s the first week of may and I have only three months before I’m planning on starting the fifth novella (and last one for a while). I have to start the second draft of the Invasion Novel. I had intended to spend the time between releasing Break/Interrupt and now working on short stories, but I found myself struggling to do anything productive in the last few weeks. Maybe it was burnout from the final push of getting the novella out. Maybe it was the stress from the inevitable mistakes that I had to scramble to fix at the last minute. Maybe it was distributing the book to folks around the county in the middle of a pandemic, or the cost with no chance of making the money back in the current climate, or the general weight of being isolated. Continue reading “Tackling the Monster”

The end of a Road

Blog Post No. 440

*My new book, Break/Interrupt, is officially out. I’ve started local distribution. If you would like a copy, please comment or send me a message.*

20210425_162512The release of a book is both an ending and a beginning. For the writer, it’s the end of a project that took months or years to write, edit, and publish. For the readers, it’s just the beginning. They get a new book in their hands that will take days, or (if their a fast reader and like the book) hours. The time disparity is one thing, but what’s really sitting with me right now is how the book is perceived totally differently by both parties. By the time I get a book out the door (like my new novella, Break/Interrupt, for example) I’m so sick of it that I question if anyone is even going to like the stupid thing. Continue reading “The end of a Road”