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 Threw My Back Out Dancing

Blog No. 338

20190511_150043I’m officially in a period where the non writing stuff is busier than the writing stuff. Looking at my calendar, this should last at least until the end of the month. That’s not to say that I won’t get any writing done. I did a good (or okay I think) 1800 words on Monday. That said, I don’t have another free day until next Monday. I rely on my scheduled writing sessions to make progress, and without those, I slip farther and farther behind. I didn’t get any done last weekend because a friend of mine had a wedding, and I was graciously invited. The best part was that I got to see a bunch of folks who I hadn’t seen since a wedding a year ago (including the groom). It was a blast from the past with Arvin coming in on the Friday night (really Saturday early morning) the wedding on the Saturday, and recovering until a mother’s day pizza dinner on Sunday (which was nice, as dinner with my folks always is). Continue reading “I Threw My Back Out Dancing”

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”

Breakfast Reviews 2019: Part Four

Blog No. 335

559974_380900205265501_88840158_nI did not intend for my breakfast reviews to end up getting me anything. My intention was to talk about places where I enjoy going to get a good breakfast. I didn’t even think that the people who own the restaurant would read them. While I meant to be positive in my assessments (as I’m really only reviewing places I already like) I have pointed out some things that I didn’t like, or would prefer in a different way. Some of it was just being honest and some was for comedy (whether you think so or not, I’m funny).

The people at Deb’s Place happened to read my review and pointed out that I could get my potatoes without onions, and they did so the last time I was there (which was on a Wednesday, when I said that their hours stated that they are open but I thought they weren’t). They have also asked if I would be interested in kicking off an Artist of the Month at their restaurant. My new book, The Neon Heart will be available there for a month, then I will help them find another fantastic local writer to have their book featured. Again, none of that was my intention, but it worked in my favour and should continue to work in the favour of other local authors, so thank you to the fine folks at Deb’s who are open when they say they are and will gladly make you potatoes without onions. I’ll have the information available on the The Neon Heart book page when it’s available for purchase there. Continue reading “Breakfast Reviews 2019: Part Four”

Two in Two Days!

Blog No. 334

20190413_115444_hdrI forgot how fun it can be to go to an event and actually sell some books. Don’t get me wrong. It’s work. It’s making sure everything is organized and packed ahead of time, getting up early and piling everything into the car, finding where you are supposed to go and where you can (or can’t) park, then carrying everything to your table, sitting there for eight or more hours, packing it all up, and heading home. Most of the day is spent sitting at the table, greeting the people who wander by, giving the same pitch over and over again. It seems like no big deal, but it can be exhausting. When you have two events in two day, in two cities (though it’s easier when one of them is in your home town) the fatigue is magnified. Those days can feel like years. Sure, it can be fun and when you go year after year, you make friends, but the one thing that helps more than anything else is getting the first sale and keeping the momentum from there. Continue reading “Two in Two Days!”