Monday, December 31, 2012

2012: Looking Back and Looking Forward

2012 didn't quite go how I thought it would.

  1. I'd planned on being published by now.  I'm a little further down the path with Bullets Don't Blink but I need to get my ass back into gear about getting an agent.
  2. I planned on writing three books.  I wrote one and a couple fragments.
  3. On the dating front, things took some very unexpected turns, starting with the very first week of the year, all the way until I met someone very special at the beginning of August.  I'm quite happy with how things ended up.
  4. Aside from the dating, photography is the only thing that exceeded my expectations.  I made a cool 63 bucks.
  5. I also didn't fathom not participating in NaNoWriMo but I'm glad I didn't.  I didn't have an idea I was crazy about and also didn't want to be a crabby hermit when there was relationshipping to be had.
2013 Goals:
  1. Getting back into working out consistently, possibly before work every morning
  2. Writing a novel in a month that doesn't have a NaNoWriMo event
  3. Writing more than one novel
  4. Publishing something somehow
  5. Getting a picture of a fox

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Gig. When you're a musician, a job is called a gig.

10 valuable Dangerous Dan points to the first person who identifies where that quote came from.

I'd apologize for not updating my blog with anything of substance in a while but I am pretty remorseless.  Here are some quick tidbits to hold you over:

  1. I may have a photography gig coming up.  My cousin's husband called yesterday asking if I'd take a family portrait.  No idea what I should charge them, though.
  2. Lawrence Block sent me an ARC of Hit Me, his upcoming release, a couple weeks ago.  This is the second time my favorite living crime writer has sent me something to read.  It is also the second time I nearly wet myself and dropped everything to read it.
  3. I am looking forward to Christmas for the first time since I was a kid.  Now if everyone else will get their ducks in a row and not through a wrench into the works, everything will be right with the world.
  4. I finished my first read-through of Between Hell and a Hard Place.  Not only is it better than I remembered, I probably won't have to rework it as much as I thought.  

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Only Wednesday

My updates have been infrequent lately.  Here's a summary of what has transpired.

  1. Thanksgiving has been survived.  My lovely girlfriend accompanied me to two turkey day events and was well received.
  2. Because of said girlfriend in #1, I have had more meatless meals in the last few months than I likely have had the previous 35 years.  And I'm still alive.
  3. I've been bringing my lunch to work for about a month now, saving $4 a day when the costs are tallied
  4. 90% done with Christmas shopping, partly thanks to the copious amount of Amazon rewards points my forgotten Visa accumulated over the years.
  5. I've been reading Between Hell and a Hard Place, my Camp NaNoWriMo novel from June.  There's a lot about it I like but I have a feeling I'll be rewriting big swathes of it.  Too many autobiographical things wound up in the story since I was going through a breakup at the time.

Monday, November 19, 2012

What an odd dream

Last night, I had a dream that I was working in the yard, bagging leaves.  The wind was strong, blowing the leaves around faster than I could pick them up.  I was getting ready to go inside when David Bowie showed up.  Bowie kept trying to light the leaves on fire despite my protests that he would burn down the entire neighborhood.

The really weird thing is that he was early 1990's Bowie, not Labyrinth-era David Bowie, which is the David Bowie I always picture when someone mentions David Bowie.  David Bowie.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Untitled Saturday Post

Just a few updates.

  1. It's deer season so I won't be taking my dog to run free at my parents' this weekend.  She doesn't know it yet and will likely be pissed when she finds out.
  2. I've recently completely caught up on the modern era of Doctor Who.  Now I'm backtracking and watching the Tom Baker years.
  3. I do not regret not participating in NaNoWriMo this year one wit.  Spending time with my girlfriend is a lot better than being a crabby hermit for a month.  I'll save that for when she's in too deep.
  4. Speaking of my lovely girlfriend, using a combination of discounts, she got a $16 toothbrush holder for fourteen cents yesterday.  I was quite proud.
  5. For various reasons, I haven't eaten meat in almost five days.  More people commented on a Facebook post expressing such than on posts I deemed much more important.  Country fried steak tonight, though.

Monday, November 5, 2012

NoNoWriMo - Day 5

Not Novel Writing Month?  Get it?

So far, this is the most relaxed November I'd had since those days in 2007, the days before I knew what it was like to be a crabby hermit for an entire month.


... It figures that just hours after I decided not to chain my neck to the NaNoWriMo anchor that inspiration started pouring in, both for a steampunk-ish mystery and for a straight up mystery starring the same detective I used back in June.

So, writing goals for this month are:
  1. Editing Between Hell and a Hard Place
  2. Doing some worldbuilding for The Doorman, my steampunkish mystery
  3. Ironing out some plot holes for Darkest Before the Dawn, my second Jack Whitlock story

Thursday, November 1, 2012

NaNoWriMo - Nevermind

So I was driving home from my girlfriend's house late last night when I discovered I have absolutely no desire to participate in National Novel Writing Month this year.  I have identified the following reasons for feeling so:
  1. Not enough preparation
  2. Not enthusiastic about the plot I was planning on using
  3. Would rather spend the time with my girlfriend, watching TV, and/or reading.
So, I guess I have November off this year.

Monday, October 29, 2012


Two days and some change left until NaNoWriMo kicks off.

Remember last Wednesday when I mentioned not knowing a whole lot about the plot?  I know only slightly more now.  I was off the last five days but spent most of that time hanging with my lovely girlfriend.  Time well spent but not all that useful for novelling purposes.  I did figure out how I'm going to work the time travel a bit more, if that counts for anything.

One concept I know I'm going to use is that frequent time travelers adopt aliases so that their enemies can't easily travel back in time and stop them from being born.  In a way, it's similar to how wizards don't reveal their true names in fantasy stories.  I wish I could claim full credit for the concept but I nicked it from the DC comics character Rip Hunter, Timemaster.

I'm a little uneasy about the particulars of the plot but I'm pretty sure I'll find the way once I start writing.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Seven More Days

Seven more days until NaNoWriMo.  How prepared am I?  Not as prepared as I would like to be.  It seems I've focused more on my main character's back story than the actual plot.  I've got the plot broadly figure out but the devil is in the details, as they say. 

Since the main characters travel to five or six points in time, I'm thinking about structuring the plot like it's five or six Doctor Who episodes, complete with titles and different menaces in each.

It's always amazing how things evolve in the planning process.  Tommy Anomaly was conceived as a Doctor Who knockoff and has grown into a combination of Doctor Who, Captain Jack Harkness, and Han Solo.  I'm a lot more excited about the character than when I started planning and think I have a pretty good handle on him.

In non-writing news, the tidal wave of free books I was hoping for after the Forbes article about Goodreads has yet to reach the land.

Monday, October 15, 2012

16 Days Left

Wow.  Before you know it, we'll be down to single digits.  After that, we'll be counting words.  After that comes Thanksgiving, Christmas, death, etc.

Concepts are coming together in what I'm still calling Chronomaly.  I've got a much better handle on my lead character's look and personality, due in part to me watching quite a few episodes of Doctor Who and Torchwood over the weekend.  The plot and supporting cast still needs work but that's what the next two weeks are for.  I've spent a fair bit of time thinking about the steampunky 1920's timeline where Tommy originates from so I figure I'll have to have my characters visit it for some reason.

One notion I'm going to play with in the story is that events in one timeline have echoes in the others.  For instance, the invasion from H.G. Wells's War of the Worlds really happened in Tommy's timeline and contributed to his world's advancement, something the Wells in our reality subconsciously sensed and wrote about.

Another concept I'm going to explore is the Doctor Who/Peter Pan connection I mentioned a few weeks ago.  I think Tommy's ruined more than a few people's lives by taking them adventuring in the timestream, not to mention some things he did he's not too proud of when he first got access to time travel technology.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The tweaked teaser

So now I'm currently calling my NaNoWriMo book Chronomaly.  Here's the revised teaser:

Chronal explorer Tommy Anomaly travels to the 21st century to investigate a temporal disturbance, only to have a man steal his time gauntlet and go back in time to prevent his own marriage.  With help from the man's perturbed wife, Tommy gets a replacement gauntlet and goes into the timestream to find him.  But their temporal journeys have made sinister beings aware of Earth.  Can Tommy get his time gauntlet back, defeat invaders from other realities, and save a marriage?

Twenty-Two Days Left

Twenty-Two Days Left.  Here's my NaNoWriMo To-Do List:
  • Pick jobs for my married couple and a plausible reason for them to fight on their anniversary.  I decided I wanted them to be one of those nauseating couples with names that go together so they are Wesley and Jessica, aka Wes and Jess.  I'm excited about making bad things to happen to them.
  • Come up with names for other time travelers for Tommy Anomaly to throw around.  "That Ross Uroborus is such a pompous ass!"
  • Figure out what the hell is actually going to happen.  I know Tommy and Jess will initially be tracking Wes down using some photographs from key events in their lives that they've spotted him in the background in and that the Gruul will be a thorn in their side the entire way. 
  • I want to throw a third group of characters in the mix but I'm not sure yet.  I already know Tommy is part of the Uroborus League, a group of "non-interfering" time travelers.  Maybe I'll come up with some kind of steampunky robots that police the time stream.
  • If I enjoy the experience of writing Stolen Time (still not crazy about the title), future adventures will involve dinosaurs being set loose in a sleepy midwestern town and time traveling robots from an alternate past. 
Other (Doctor Who) stuff :
  • The first series of Doctor Who was the deal of the day on the WB website yesterday.  I'm never going to be finished watching Doctor Who.
  • Read Shada over the last couple days.  It's a novel based on some unfilmed Doctor Who scripts by Douglas Adams.  It was awesome so I'll be watching the Tom Baker Doctor Who's after I watch all the modern ones and Torchwood
  • I really like Torchwood.  I'm alternating Torchwood seasons with David Tennant Doctor Who seasons. 

Friday, October 5, 2012

27 more days

Here's the teaser for what is still being called Stolen Time:
Chrononaut Tommy Anomaly travels to the 21st century to investigate a temporal disturbance, only to have a man steal his time gauntlet and go back in time to prevent his own marriage.  With help from the man's perturbed wife, Tommy gets a replacement gauntlet and goes into the timestream to find him.  But their temporal journeys have made something sinister aware of Earth.  Can Tommy get his time gauntlet back, defeat some owl creatures from several universes over, and save a marriage?

Thursday, October 4, 2012

28 more days

Twenty-Eight more days until the insanity starts and I become a hermit.  More of a hermit, I mean.

Things are slowly coming together for me.  I'm watching a ton of Doctor Who and Torchwood to get into the mood and keep me there.  I'm also reading all humorous SF and fantasy books this month.  By the time November 1 hits, I should be much more prepared than I am now.

As I've mentioned before, it's a time travel story.  I'm going for a Doctor Who written by P.G. Wodehouse feel.  Right now, I'm calling it Stolen Time but I'm not thrilled with the title.  I need to come up with better names and occupations for the married couple and flesh out the aliens' motives.  I'll also be coming up with a lot of throwaway references to my main character's past adventures.  I've got a lot of sf and fantasy fragments I plan on mining for material.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

My Subterranean Expedition

I got my Subterranean Press Grab Bag yesterday.  I'm pretty happy with it despite already owning two of the books.  Here's what I got:
  1. Act of Love by Joe Lansdale
  2. In Waders from Mars by assorted Lansdale family members
  3. 69 Barrow Street by Lawrence Block
  4. Judge Sn Goes Golfing by John Scalzi
  5. Blue and Gold by K.J. Parker
  6. Gods of Opar by Philip Jose Farmer
  7. The Providence Rider by Robert McCammon
  8. The Inheritance by Robin Hobb
  9. Winter's Dreams by Glen Cook
  10. The Dragon Griaule by Lucius Shepard
  11. Indignities of the Flesh by Bentley Little
  12. Stephen King Goes to the Movies by Stephen King
  13. The Door Gunner by Michael Bishop
I'm particularly excited by Judge Sn and In Waders from Mars.

In other books news, I'm on an Angry Robot kick.  The Corpse-Rat King was excellent and Seven Wonders is shaping up to be nearly as good.

Leading up to NaNoWriMo, the current reading plan is to read all of the light-hearted books I have in rapid succession to stay in the right mood.  Once NaNo kicks off, I'll probably be reading short story collections in my off time.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Some News Items

  • I need a title for my Doctor Who-ish time travel story I've mentioned several times in the past.  The title was Ask Me Again Yesterday when I originally conceived it but it's mutated quite a bit since then.  Owl Men from the Next Universe Over doesn't really cut it.  I've devoted quite a bit of brain power to it the last few days and the story is coming together.  I'll be ready when November 1 hits.
  • The Skatelites are coming to town later this month.  Since they haven't been to St. Louis since last century and this will likely be the last time they come though, I have scheduled the following day off.
  • The post office continues to jerk me around.  I got up early two Saturdays ago to retrieve a package during their odd weekend hours only to find out they were mistaken.  Today, I got on Amazon to check the progress of the Doctor Who and Torchwood DVDs I ordered only to find they were sitting at the post office since last Thursday.  Grrr.
  • Just like last year when I was already drowning in unread books, I ordered the Subterranean Press grab bag.  I'm hoping for some Joe Lansdale and John Scalzi.
  • It's not quite time to start taking every Friday off but it's drawing near.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

NaNoWriMo 2012 - 37 More Days

37 more days until NaNoWriMo.  Am I prepared?  Not really.  I'm leaning toward the humorous time travel story, probably because I've been obsessed with Doctor Who lately.  I just need to come up with some bad guys to complicate matters a bit.  I'm still pondering the world-jumping fantasy mercenary thing though.

Quick updates:
  1. Add Ready Player One to the list of books that I've had dreams about.  I had a dream I was in the hunt for the keys a few nights ago.
  2. I briefly had custody of a stray kitten I named Tito.  Tito wandered away one morning last week and hasn't been seen since.  I suspect one of the many neighbors I told about him took him in.
  3. I had my house power washed and my driveway sealed.  It looks good now.  I'm still getting jerked around by contractors about replacing my gutters though.
  4. I've been watching Here Comes Honey Boo Boo.  It's a glorious train wreck.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Off to Neverland - Thoughts on... Doctor Who?

So, there I was last night, watching the final episodes of season six of Doctor Who, when I noticed The Child Thief on my bookcase and got to thinking.

The dynamic between Amy Pond and the Eleventh Doctor is very much like Wendy and Peter Pan.  Amy escaping her real life by adventuring with The Doctor in the TARDIS is a lot like Peter taking Wendy to Neverland.  The sexless relationship between the two is also quite remniscent of Peter and Wendy.

There's a line in one of the episodes of season six where the Doctor says "Offer a child a briefcase of sweets and they'll take it.  Offer them all of the universe and they'll take that too."  In the same episode, he says it was selfish of him to take Amy with him, saying he wanted to be adored.  Sounds like Peter Pan to me but also like the Peter character from Brom's The Child Thief.

Friday, September 14, 2012

NaNoWriMo 2012 - Less than 7 weeks

It's that magical time of year, when the November Warriors begin planning their attack.

Am I ready?  Not at all.  Do I have an idea?  I have many ideas.  I have a setting I've been toying with for a couple years but still don't have a story I'm crazy about telling in it.  I also have a time travel story I'd like to do.  I guess my project for the next six weeks will be to develop both ideas a bit and then pick one.  I've been on a sf/fantasy kick lately so that's probably what I'll attempt, although it will probably still unfold more like a crime book.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

I am way too fascinated by this

Ever wonder what regions call carbonated beverages soda and which ones call it pop?  Wonder no longer!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Call the Doctor!

Way back in February while fighting off a cold, I watched most of Doctor Who season 5 only to find out one of my disks was defective.  Turns out it was a bootleg set some secondary seller on Amazon was passing off as the real deal.  Last week, I rebought season 5 from Amazon itself instead of a secondary seller and picked up season 6 as well.

Over the weekend, I watched the season 5 episodes I missed and started plowing into season 6.  Long story short, Doctor Who is pretty cool.  I should have started watching it consistently years ago.

In other news, I took a ton of pictures over the weekend that I'll post sometime soon, mostly frogs and butterflies.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Dangerous Dan's thoughts on Self-Publishing

Sooner or later, everyone who writes ponders self-publishing.  I've been putting some thought into the subject myself lately.

While I'm sure there are some gems out there in the POD sea, the majority of the self-published books I've either read or flipped through suffer from the following problems:
  1. Little to no editing:  If there are misspelled words or bad punctuation in the first few pages, I'm finished reading.
  2. Odd formating: If I turn to a random page and there are as many blank lines as there are of text, I'm not very motivated to read.  Has the author ever flipped through another published book?
  3. Uninspired title and/or cover:  I notice this particualarly in the Goodreads giveaways I never seem to win.  CG or obviously photoshopped covers may be cheap and easy but they don't scream professional to me.  If they spent little effort on the cover, what's the inside going to be like?  On a positive note, one cover I've seen lately that does it right is Hildred Billing's Daisuke.  It's very well-designed and makes me want to flip through it immediately.
All that being said, self-publishing does have some things going for it:
  1. No padding required:  Too many books put out by the big publishing houses seem to be padded to meet a specific length to me.
  2. Give me my damn money!:  The author gets the lion's share of the pie.  Seems only fitting considering he/she did the lion's share of the work.
  3. Complete and Total Freedom:  Do I really have to explain this one?
There you go.  Just to show I'm not a total curmudgeon, here are some self-published/small press books I've enjoyed tremendously.
  1. A Short Stay in Hell
  2. Blood and Tacos
  3. Crawlin' Chaos Blues
So, yeah.  I'm thinking about doing some short stories and releasing them in various e-formats.  We'll see what happens.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

My new favorite dirty joke (MAY BE OFFENSIVE)

What's the difference between jam and jelly?

Highlight below:
You can't jelly your dick up some girl's ass.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

This Just In - I am not a loser!

Last week, Bob at Beauty in Ruins held giveways for two books from Angry Robot: The Corpse Rat King and Seven Wonders.  I have won the copy of Seven Wonders.

Now to cancel my Amazon order for it before it ships.

Sometimes it pays to check your OTHER email account

So, whenever it was I set up my Society6 account to sell photographs, I also set up a PayPal and a new email address.  Since my Society6 account was verified, I have checked the email account exactly zero times.

Imagine my surprise this morning when, on a whim, I checked it and found that 13 of my photos were added to the Society6 store, which means greater visibility.  I feel somewhat honored.  I still haven't sold any photos beyond the two I've already mentioned so spread the word, readers!

In other news, the writing bug is trying to bite me again.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

August, we hardly knew ye...

Where did August go?  Hell, where has 2012 gone, for that matter.  Seems like just yesterday I was sleeping late on New Year's Day after the MU330 concert.

Not a lot new going on that I'm compelled to share with the world at large.  I'm up to the current season on Breaking Bad and it has risen to be my favorite show.  I am the one who knocks!

Nothing new on the writing front except for some new ideas.  I seem to have fallen completely out of writing mode at the time being and haven't read much more than comics (or graphic novels if you're too cool to admit you're reading comics) this month.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

A quick update

I did an interview with Jay Kristoff, author of Stormdancer, on my book blog.  It's hilarious and my favorite author interview so far.  Read it and buy Jay's book.

Friday, August 10, 2012


  1. I have officially withdrawn from the August session of camp.  Apparently I need more than a few days to come up with the necessary idea and enthusiasm.
  2. I made my third visit to the Castor River Shut Ins Tuesday evening with a cousin who is soon to be leaving for Japan.  I may post some pictures later.
  3. A couple weeks ago, I received an ARC of Stormdancer.  At the 75% mark, it is fantastic.
  4. Jessica over at Jessica Resides Here is doing a giveaway of Spike Marlow's Placenta of Love.  Check it out.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

August Camp - Day 7

It occurs to me that I should have learned my lesson after last year's crash and burn during Camp NaNoWriMo August.  I was almost as underprepared as this year and still drained from the previous sessino of camp.

I'm not really feeling The Banker's Bride right now.  I'm still planning on doing 50k worth of something this month but I'm not really sure what at this point.  Maybe various short projects.

Monday, August 6, 2012

August Camp - Day 6

Anyone ever watch the show Breaking Bad?  Turns out it's not a good show for me to suddenly get interested in right before starting to write a book.  I'm three days behind schedule now.

I can't blame it all on Breaking Bad, though.  I had a lot of things going on last weekend,  like shopping for a new garage door, going to a church picnic, and going to a family reunion.  But mostly it was the Breaking Bad watching that did it.

The writing itself is going well, at least.  And I'm well ahead of where I was in June at this time.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

August Camp - Day 1

So here we are again.  Camp NaNoWriMo.  Seems like we were just here.

The Banker's Bride is going smoothly.  I'm already 2700 words in.  The Banker and his bride to be have already been introduced, as have the bag of antique diamond jewelry that will serve as the MacGuffin. 

As I do nearly every time, I'm wondering if this plot has the legs to go the distance.  Since chapter 1 went long and I still didn't cover everything, I'm thinking it has a good chance.  I made the right decision in going with The Banker's Bride.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

One More Night

Only one more night of thinking before I begin writing The Banker's Bride.  I've taken some notes on the cast but I'll be winging large portions of the story.  I've given myself a large enough cast to work with that I have plenty of double crosses and complications I can throw in to make it to 50k and beyond.

Other news:
  1. My tree is finally getting disposed of tonight.  Finally!
  2. I'm taking Friday off to take care of some things around the house.
  3. I've been on Society6 almost three months at this point.  I've sold precisely two things.  It's weird watching which photos get a lot of likes and which don't. 

Sunday, July 29, 2012

A Quick Update

  1. Still doing The Banker's Bride for Camp NaNoWriMo.  My prep work is not complete, however, but I have two more days for that.  Two, right?  I'm sure I'll come up with even more double crosses between now and the finish line.  I've got high hopes for this one.
  2. There's a big goddamn piece of a tree leaning on my house after a freak storm on Friday.  The tree guy is on his way to take a look at it.
  3. Moving sucks.  Helping a friend move automatically entitles you to three wishes.
  4. Moving sucks.  I know I just mentioned this but it sucks so much I thought I'd mention it again.
  5. Since they stopped calculating the top 50 reviewers on Goodreads, I'm less motivated to read.  I still have like 50-ish books to read and am only motivated to read about five of them.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

How does this sound?

I thought of this on the way to work this morning.  Shut up, I know.  It's getting late in the game to still not know what I'm writing for sure.

The Banker's Bride:
A banker up to his eyes in debt wants to make a big score before he marries his young bride to be.  When a safe deposit box full of diamonds falls into his lap, he recruits a group of small town thugs to rob his own bank and get the diamonds.  Only the bride has plans of her own...

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

6 more days

Last night, while driving home from work, I thought about the backstory of the world where The Limbless Wizard's Geas will be set and stumbled upon a story I'd much rather tell.

In a land oppressed by cruel giants, a secret society of magicians manufactured a prophecy and spent the next thousand years breeding people with traces of the blood of titans in their veins in an effort to produce a legendary hero.  Too bad the resulting man wasn't what they were expecting...

The core concept is that if someone like Hercules was born to ordinary people, he'd probably wind up being kind of a jerk.  How motivated would you be to tend the sheep or work in the fields if you could lift a boulder with one hand?

I figure I'll tell the story in five 15-20k junks.  My hero will be whipped into shape during the first part, retrieve artifacts he'll need to lead the fight against the giants in the next three, and then all hell will break loose in the final part. 

This will all dovetail nicely into several other book ideas I have. 

So, that's what I'm going with for now.  I could easily change my mind a couple more times in the next six days.

Monday, July 23, 2012

So Much for That Weekend

One of goals for the weekend was to nail down an idea for the August session of Camp NaNoWriMo.  Here's what I did instead:
  1. Went to a dinner party on Friday.  Thought maybe I'd take a stab at writing a super hero novel.  Got home in the wee hours of Saturday morning.
  2. Went to a going away party for a cousin on Saturday.  Too busy gorging myself to think about writing, though the super hero novel idea was still stuck in my head.  Got home shortly before midnight.
  3. Tired from all the socialization and staying out much later than usual, I slept late, read and reviewed six graphic novels, took a nap, and went to bed at my normal time.  Not completely sold on the super hero novel idea.
To recap, I now have eight days left until kickoff and have next to nothing to work with.  Maybe after I get home I'll dig into the post-it drawer of mystery and dig around tonight for inspiration.

In reading news, the series of Gotham Central graphic novels are the alligator's Adam's apple as far as I'm concerned.  What's not to love about a bunch of Gotham City detectives that both resent and respect Batman while solving crimes?

Friday, July 20, 2012


Ever been really hungry but nothing in the pantry sounds good?

Eleven days until the August session of Camp NaNoWriMo kicks off and I'm very much in the nothing appetizing in the pantry situation.  All the ideas in the pantry are mine but none of them seem like anything I want to work on.

All is not lost, however.  I am attending a party tonight at a writer friend's house and plan on bouncing ideas off of him, as is normally my pre-NaNoWriMo custom.

In other news, I'm officially tired of the heat wave we've been having.  Winter never sounded better.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Possible August Project Regarding Time Travel

I've had a time travel story floating around in my head for over a decade.  It stems from a workplace conversation that went something like this:
Young beardless Dan - God, I hate that woman.  Everything she does gets on my nerves.
Co-worker - What would you do if you got drunk and woke up in bed with her the next morning?
Young beardless Dan - Invent a fucking time machine.

The basic plot is a guy goes back in time to stop himself from meeting his wife.  She finds out about it and travels back in time to stop him.

It never gets much beyond the planning stages because time travel really messes with my head and takes a lot more advance planning than I normally like to do.  I want to incorporate the following
  1. Some sort of time police
  2. multiple versions of the main characters in the same place at the same time
  3. A rogue time traveler
  4. alternate timelines
  5. Some sort of grotesque monster that gets unleashed when the time line becomes too fragmented
#2 and #4 seem the most problematic.

Right now, I'm still sticking with The Limbless Wizard's Geas for August.  Probably.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012


Not a whole lot I feel compelled to share at the moment.  Since finishing the first draft of Between Hell and a Hard Place, I'm wondering what I used to use all the brain power I devoted to the novel for prior to starting it.

Still uncertain as to what I'll be writing in August.  Right now, I'm leaning toward a light hearted pulp fantasy tale called The Limbless Wizard's Geas that I'm pretty sure I've already mentioned.  I'm also kicking some other ideas around, though.

I took a picture of a Common Buckeye Butterfly last night but I'll wait until I have a few more pictures before I share them.

My favorite reggae band, The Aggrolites, is playing at the ampitheater across the street later today.  I just went for a stroll around the parking lot and heard them play a couple songs during the sound check.  I'm sure going to a concert is less fun that working the afternoon away in my cube.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

800th Blog Post Spectacular

First draft of Between Hell and a Hard Place is finished at 75k.  I'm not thrilled with the ending but it's as done as it's getting until the editing starts.

I'm feeling a bit drained at the moment.  I think I'm going to spend the rest of the day reading and lounging around.

Okay, so it's not that spectacular of a post.  Still, 800 posts.  Wow.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Almost there...

Unless I miss my guess, I'm right around 70k at the moment.  I've got 2-4 chapters left so it's a good bet I'll finish this weekend.  The funeral I have to write is the only part I'm really worried about writing.  The other parts are all a long time coming.

I'd given myself until the 15th to finish and it looks like I could get done a week earlier than that.  I'm feeling pretty good about things, even though I know this one is going to take a bit of buffing and polishing once I let it simmer for a couple months.

Still not sure about August.  I'll start worrying about that once I finish.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Independence Day

The Fourth of July is upon us. How am I celebrating?

Well, so far I'm celebrating by writing my ass off.  I've written 5300 words since I rose this morning and want to write more if my brain cooperates.  I'm at 65k and the shit storm of violence and sadness is speeding my way.  I've got something in the 4-8 chapter range left.

While I have no business thinking of such things while June's novel is still being written, I have a pretty good idea of what I'm writing in August.  It's a light-hearted fantasy tale staring Jhalen and Tolek, my Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser-inspired duo from NaNoWriMo 2009.  I still need a title for it, though. Basically, my two rogues get forced into tracking down a demon that stole a wizard's arms and legs when a pact when wrong.  It seems like it will be fun to write if I have time to develop it a bit before August gets here.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

3 Days Later

I'm still plugging away at Between Hell and a Hard Place.  Whitlock just got tased by some Russian drug dealers, had a restraining order slapped on him, and finally found the pervert file on Amber Brissette's computer.  Still 6-10 chapters to go.

Today's writing is slated to be Whitlock running into the woman in the mysterious yellow car and get into a fight with a bouncer.  Everything I set up is falling into place, including the big reveal at the end I was having trouble with. 

Since I'm off tomorrow, I'm planning on holing up and writing two chapters, though if I receive word of a BBQ, the BBQ shall take priority.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Post Camp Progress

I'm still plugging away at Between Hell and a Hard Place.  As of this writing, I'm at 54k.  Jack and Natalie are on the outs, Mantis is back in town, and Jack just got tazered by persons unknown.  It was a good way to end a chapter.

It occurs to me that I'm at the point where I should outline the rest of the tale.  I've got a lot of things that need to happen in a specific order and I'm still not quite sure how Jack figures out who the killer is.  A lot of bad things are going to happen to my detective and his loved ones in the next few days.  Poor bastard.

In other news, I did an interview with Paul Melko over at my book blog.  It's one of my favorites but I think I say that about all of them.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Camp NaNoWriMo - Day 30

Here I am, squeezing in some writing before most of the world wakes up before I start packing to leave Camp NaNoWriMo.

Hard to believe June is almost over.  Things changed quite a bit for me since the month started but I think they've all been good changes in the long run.

The writing is going well.  I got up at 4:30 and started writing while listening to Jimi Hendrix almost immediately.  I know I've got at least 10 chapters to go, possibly more.  Jack's visiting his mom for the first time in months.  I'm not sure where he's going when he leaves.

Here's an excerpt that I like even though it's not hard boiled like the last one:

I looked at my mom and smiled. Her hair was almost white. She'd given up on dying it after my dad died. Still, she looked closer to fifty than seventy. Every little boy thought his mother was the most beautiful woman in the world at some point. I was sure mine actually was, though.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Dear Camp NaNoWriMo,

I'm just writing to say that we don't have anything left to say to each other.  I'm somewhere around 52,000 words and am leaving camp tomorrow.  I'll be thinking of you over the next couple weeks as I finish Between Hell and a Hard Place but our time together is finished.  It's not you, it's me.

But don't despair. We'll see each other again in August.  I'm sure things will be different between us but we'll always have June 2012 and July 2011.


P.S. If anyone finds an iPod Nano in the hellish quagmire beneath the outhouse, I'd very much appreciate getting it back. 

Camp NaNoWriMo - Day 29

The finish line is up ahead.  I'm at 49,256, leaving me 744 words until victory.  Not bad for a guy who didn't write a whole hell of a lot until day 10 or 11.

Whitlock's on his way back to St. Louis, driving back from Tulsa in the same day because of what he learned.  Just in time, too, since a shitstorm is coming.

I'd be more excited about closing in on 50k if I didn't know there was still 20-30k left to go.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Camp NaNoWriMo - Later on Day 28

Just hit 47k.  I'm hoping to make the big push and hit 50k sometime tomorrow.

Really, that's all I have to report.  Once 50k comes and goes, I'll start tying up loose ends and kicking things into high gear.  I left Whitlock on the road to Tulsa after finally doing the BBQ at his brother's house.  I set things up so he'll have to visit his mother when he gets back into town.

That's it for me.  I'm going to get read for bed and do some reading.

Camp NaNoWriMo - Day 28

So, only three writing days left.  How is everyone doing?

I'm at nearly 44k, meaning I'll pass the finish line sometime tomorrow night if I keep writing at my current pace.  Beyond that, I estimate 20-30k left to write.  Today's writing will likely be the BBQ at Jerry's house and a sizeable argument with Natalie afterwords.  I thought I was going to write the BBQ last night but the visit with Gregory Brissette went long.

It occurs to me that this book is going to need a bit more tweaking when I'm finished than the last one.  Since the story has morphed to be more about families and secrets, I'll have to iron out some wrinkles in the earlier chapters.

Things are really going to start picking up in the coming days.  Monday, Jack's finally driving to Tulsa to talk to Marie Valentine and driving back the following day.  Devon Baxter is finally off painkillers enough to talk, Mantis is back in town, and Miriam Brissette is going to want to have another chat with Jack.  Jack's going to finally meet the mysterious Ariel, have a heart to heart with his mother, and some people are going to get the wrong idea about his investigation and come gunning for him.  Yeah, I think it has enough legs to get to 80k.

As for August's Camp, I don't have any definite ideas yet, only that I want to write something lighter and with more action.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Camp NaNoWriMo - Day 27

Top of the mornin'!

I wrote over 2600 words last night and am feeling pretty good about things.  My first set of eyes is nagging me for more chapters so I guess that means she likes it.

Between Hell and a Hard Place has really morphed since I originally concieved it.  I guess that's what happens when you start with a post-it full of notes.  Whitlock's interactions with his girlfriend and family are my favorite parts of the book.  Once Whitlock gets back from Tulsa, that might change, since that's when all the action is going to start.

Today's writing will likely consist of Whitlock's second trip to the strip club to find the mysterious Mariel and then a BBQ at his brother's house.  Along with the road trip to Tulsa to talk to Marie Valentine, this will likely be the calm before the storm.  I feel slightly bad about what's going to happen but it can't be helped.

Oh, and a question for everyone else doing Camp NaNoWriMo: Is anyone else the only one in his or her cabin still writing?

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Camp NaNoWriMo - Day 26

I wrote a little later than I wanted to last night but managed close to 2700 words.  I'm hoping to bang out another 2500 tonight.  When Saturday comes, it's going to be down to the wire.

Tonight's writing will be all Friday's activities after the strip club visit and how Whitlock spends the following day.  Tomorrow's writing is shaping up to be the Whitlock family BBQ and probably a confrontation with Gregory and/or Miriam Brissette.  I'm thinking Whitlock won't catch up to Ariel before he drives to Tulsa.

In other news, I woke up around 2:30 with a horrendous spasm in my calf muscle.  I couldn't manage to fall back asleep after that.  I should have gotten up and written something.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Camp NaNoWriMo - Day 25

Somebody has a case of the Mondays and it is me.

I thought I slept okay but I've felt tired all day.  3 o'clock can't get here fast enough.  It's not all bad, though.  I'm chipping away at chapter 15 one sentence at a time in between assignments.  One thing slowing me down is figuring out how dirty to make the strip club visit.

Have I mentioned the reading funk I've been in for the past week and a half?  I can't seem to get excited about reading any of the 40-ish unread books in my house.  I made some headway in The Broken Universe by Paul Melko at lunch.  It's good enough to hold my interest but I wish I remembered more of the ending of the book it's a sequel to, Walls of the Universe.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Camp NaNoWriMo - Day 24 Status Report

I've written over 5500 words today.  I was gunning for 7500 but I'm not sure it's going to happen.  Whitlock and Natalie are at a strip club looking to meet up with one of Amber's old room mates.  I'm getting into the tricky section of the plot.  If I have Roberta reveal too much, I'll have to reason for Whitlock to drive to Tulsa to look for Marie Brydon.  On the other hand, if she doesn't reveal enough, it will be pointless to include her.  Decisions, decisions.

I had a couple other ideas on the way to Walmart and I'm a little too pleased with my own cleverness.

When tomorrow rolls around, I'll have six days in which to hit 50k.  Since I'm at 36k, I'll have to keep up my 2.5k per day pace to hit 50 by the deadline.  I'm not worried in the least.  Not only that, if I continue my usual pace, I'll be finished by my self-imposed July 15th deadline, giving me two weeks to figure out what I'm writing in August.

In other news, I saw a teen mother at Wal-Mart giving her baby a capful of Mountain Dew.  I have to work that into something I write somehow.

Camp NaNoWriMo - Day 24

Yeah, I didn't post anything yesterday because I didn't write a word.  I spent time with my parents and my brother and his family instead.

However, I have already written 2500 words today and am going to get back in the saddle as soon as I wolf down some lunch.  The story is progressing nicely, although Whitlock's relationship with his ex-girlfriend is taking up more of the story than I thought it would.  Today, I've got a piece of them walking around the Botanical Gardens and then a trip to a strip club to talk to one of Amber Brissette's former room mates.  It's getting more difficult what to reveal when but I think I'm doing a good job doling out the information so far.  Finding something for Whitlock to do after he visits his brother and until Mantis gets back to town might be trouble, though.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Camp NaNoWriMo - Day 22: The Story So Far

Just before I went to lunch, I passed the 30k mark.  I'm slowly inching toward being caught up. Jack is heading over to his ex-girlfriend's house to watch a movie.  Not sure what's going to happen there.  I guess Jack and Natalie will have to fill me in.

Timing might be problematic for the next couple days of the story.  It's currently Thursday evening and I have some things I need to happen in a specific time frame.  Friday and Saturday are a blank slate so Jack will talk to Roberta Simms sometime in that time frame.  Sunday is the BBQ at Jerry's house, and Monday Jack drives down to Tulsa to track down Marie Valentine for more information.  I figure sometime Monday or Tuesday, Devon Baxter will come out of his coma and wind up dead after he tells the dealers he works for about Jack.  I introduced the mysterious yellow car and that will tie into whatever Marie tells him.

I handed off the first eleven chapters to a co-worker of mine who normally reads my WIPs.  She's digging it so far but keeps pointing things out I'll have to fix later.  That's what I get for setting things in an existing city.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Camp NaNoWriMo - Day 21 Status

Well, I'm at over 28k.  As long as I keep putting out 2500 words per day, I'll hit 50 by the final day.  I want to write more than that but it's just not coming out as fast as I want it to.

Still, I'm happy with what I've done so far and what I've got planned.  I ironed out a few plot wrinkles today and I know the story has enough legs to go 70-80k at least.  As long as I've got the juice to take that far, that is.  August is going to come really fast if I'm still working on this beyond July 15th.

On the 21st day of Camp, I give to thee...

... an excerpt!:

The coffee tasted like the bottom of a construction worker's boots but the caffeine got the gears inside my head turning at full speed. If Dobson wasn't behind the break in at my loft, who was? Had I unknowingly stepped on a yellowjacket nest in my investigation into Amber Brissette's disappearance? Or was it a simply a burglar who knew a laptop would be easy to trace back to me?

Wheels within wheels turned within my brain. I felt like I was on the verge of achieving something like Nirvana when the waitress plopped the Slinger down in front of me, preventing me from attaining enlightenment. I stirred the melange of potatoes, eggs, sausage, and chili and shoved a forkful in my mouth. It wasn't Nirvana but it was very close.

Camp NaNoWriMo - Day 21

It happened again.  Somehow one of my chapters on my flash drive got corrupted.  I'm only missing 20 words amidst the gobbledygook but I worked hard for those 20 words, damn it!  Maybe I should use Google documents to make my documents portable.  Or I guess I could stop bringing them to work with me.  I'm hoping the Chapter 8 document I have at home is okay.

In better news, I finally passed 25k last night.  I meant to make it a two chapter night but the hour long phone call I got from my brother while he was stuck in traffic really cut into my writing time.  The story is moving right along.  Whitlock only has three more girls to talk to and Mantis should be back in town in a few days.  I'll probably save his return for when Whitlock really needs him.  I'm also thinking Whitlock needs to talk to Miriam Brissette again pretty soon.  Still not sure how his relationship with his ex is going to go.

One thing I'm going to have to do is re-read what I've written so far and make some kind of calendar so I can figure out what day it is.  That's what I get for having Whitlock's brother inviting him over for a BBQ on the weekend, I guess.

Okay, it's more like 200 words that I lost.  Good thing it's just a conversation with the tow truck driver I'll have to reconstruct and not something really important.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Camp NaNoWriMo - Good morning, Day 20!

Here we are, 66% of the way through the July session of Camp NaNoWriMo.  Everyone still good on clean underwear and plenty of trail mix?

I feel like I've turned a corner on Between Hell and a Hard Place.  I was walking my dog this morning when I was reminiscing about NaNoWriMos past, remembering routinely doing 5000 word days.  Long story short, it's time I start pushing myself a bit harder.  Not only do I want to hit 50k by the end of the month, I'd like to be much further along than that.  Partly because I want to have another finished first draft under my belt but mostly because I'd like to spend July reading and kicking around ideas for August's Camp NaNoWriMo.  It's not as far away as you think.

Why did I decided 2012 was going to be the year of three novels?  Stupid New Year's resolution...

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Camp NaNoWriMo - Day 19

Here we are, almost at the 2/3rds mark and I am not quite halfway to 50k.  Am I worried?  Not really.  I'm more aggitated with myself for slacking so much during the first ten days of the month.  As long as I put out 2.5k a day, I'll still get to 50 by the end.  Now that it's going to be nearly 100 every day, I think I'll have less of a desire to hike on the weekends.

I'm slightly worried that I may have set loose two of my complications too early by having the creepy stalker get hit by a beer truck and Whitlock's loft ransacked but I have plenty more in store for old Jack.  He still has three acquaintances of Amber to talk to and get the files from her computer.  Having his battery go dead and missing his meeting with Mantis probably saved me a lot of trouble somewhere down the line.

As I do during most novel writing months at this time, I feel a fleeting urge to scrap what I'm working on and move on to something newer and fresher.  I'm glad I keep blog entries detailing my various writing neuroses and psychoses.  Still, Sargasso needs another 2000 words for a finished draft and Oubliette is wearing a low cut outfit, daring me to work on her, the minx.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Later on Day 18

Finally passed 20k.  I still have a hard row to hoe but I feel like I've hit a milestone.  If I can just keep my head in writing mode, I know I'll hit 50k by the 30th but I'm having motivational issues. 

The story's really starting to take off, though.  I'm about to write a foot chase through Forest Park I'm really excited about and I'm really glad I had the idea to make Whitlock's siblings cops.  It's adding a whole other angle to things and making it seem less like a Chandler ripoff.

Truth be told, my favorite part of the writing so far is trying to come up with Chandler-esque similes on the fly. Mine are a different flavor than his but it's still quite a bit of fun.

Once the foot chase happens, complications are going to start popping up all over the place.  Poor Whitlock and poor whomever has to be the sacrificial lamb to get him to take up a gun and start throwing lead.

In other news, I found a dime on the floor of my aisle today.  Also, I had the song Watermelon Man in my head all day and heard it in the car on the way home.  Is that some kind of omen?

Camp NaNoWriMo - Day 18

I'm officially behind.  Not only am I behind the official pace, which would have me being at just over 30k by the end of the day, I'm behind the 25k goal I set for myself last Thursday.  Hell, I'm at a shade under 20k.  At this rate, I'm going to have to bang out a couple two chapter days just to have 50k when the month ends, forget about actually finishing the tale.

On the plus side, I know where the story is going and I rewrote the back cover teaser for Between Hell and a Hard Place a few minutes ago:
Private detective Jack Whitlock is hired by a wealthy socialite to look for her missing 20 year old daughter.  Whitlock's investigations dig deep into the girl's hidden past and uncover a secret double life, all the while butting heads with lowlifes, the missing girl's stepfather, and his most difficult opposition of all, his police officer siblings...

It doesn't mention his ex-girlfriend complicating his personal life but I like the way it brings his family into it.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Camp NaNoWriMo - Day 17

The day started off on the wrong foot.  I managed to get up at 4:30 and made it to the Castor River Shut Ins by 6.  However, it rained last night and the sky was overcast so I was unable to get the sunrise pictures I wanted.  Also, people were camped along the trail instead of at the designated camping area so I was unable to find the ruins of an old mill my hiking book alleges is there.  I guess I'll have to try again next weekend.

From there I went to the White Oak trail at Hawn State Park.  Apart from a particularly photogenic turtle, the White Oak trail has nothing to recommend it.  Next time I go to Hawn, I'll be hitting the south loop of the Whispering Pines trail.

On the writing front, I've written about 1000 words this morning but seem to be blocked at the moment.  I think I'll do some much needed cleaning and try to free up whatever is clogging my brain.  I figured out a little more of the ending this morning.  Getting there is going to be an uphill climb, I'm afraid.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Camp NaNoWriMo - Day 16

As I've mentioned during past novel writing periods, I always have a crisis of faith about what I'm working on around the two week mark.  Well, I was having it this morning, thinking such thoughts as:
  1. What the hell am I doing?
  2. Didn't I have enough going on in the past couple weeks that I can excuse myself from writing a novel this time?
  3. Do I have any business telling a story this tied to St. Louis?
  4. What the hell am I doing?  I didn't write anything yesterday and now I have to write 10k in two days to meet my Monday morning goal of 25k.
Well, I'm over that now. I just wrote a chapter I'm pretty proud of and I'm closing in on 18k.  I'm going to get back to it once I have a bit more caffeine.

I've noticed that I'm working more autobiographical stuff into this one, more than I've worked into anything before, like the time I saw two Galapagos tortoises having sex in the zoo or Jack's car being the rental car I drove to Tulsa and back.  I still haven't decided if Jack and his blonde ex-girlfriend are going to reconcile.  I want them to end up happy but she might need to be the catalyst that sees him finally taking up a gun after years of not carrying one and blowing some mother fuckers away later.  We'll have to see what the characters do.  I'm getting a lot more comfortable with the cast as I go and I haven't introduced them all yet.

The story is progressing pretty well.  Jack's about to get the files from the missing girl's computer courtesy of a hacker calling himself Mantis and the guy who Amber had a restraining order is going to get a visit from my gumshoe very soon.

In other news, I'm probably going to get up at the crack of pre-dawn tomorrow to give the Castor River another go.  I'm really hoping that fucking tree still isn't in the road.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Camp NaNoWriMo - Day 15

Just checking in.  Here's what's going on.
  1. Saw Dale Watson in concert last night.  He was really good.  Got home around 1:30 am
  2. Got up at 4:30 am with strong intent to photograph the Castor River Shut Ins at sunrise.  This did not come to pass.  I got within two miles of the Shut Ins and my progress was stopped by a big damn fallen tree in the road.
  3. Went on a 6 mile hike at Hawn State Park.  Pictures forthcoming.
  4. Getting ready to take a shower and then take a nap. 
As you can see, there has been no writing progress thus far today.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Camp NaNoWriMo - Day 14

We are now two weeks into NaNoWriMo.  I'm still playing catch up but just passed 15k.  I'd like to tell you I was going to put my nose to the grindstone tomorrow and make some headway toward my end of the weekend goal of 25k but I have the following plans tomorrow.
  1. Get up before the crack of dawn to get a picture of the Castor River Shut Ins at sunrise.
  2. Hike at least the six mile portion of the Whispering Pine Trail at Hawn State Park.  I've thought of looking for the Geocaches at Hawn but it doesn't sound as fun as it used to without my navigator.
  3. Eat a piece of pie at the Park Et Diner.
Items 1-3 will likely be followed by a nap.  Post-nap, I'll try to write more than I have been doing but I'm not making any promises.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Later on Day 13

So I stopped at the grocery store on the way home from work, even though I was concerned it would cut into my writing time.  I was unaware how appropriate the word cut was when I pulled into the parking lot.

I got the bare essentials: chips, salsa, and a 12 of the Schlafly seasonal brew, Summer Lager.  I foolishly gripped the cardboard case by one of the handles as I walked to the car.  Sure enough, the handle broke and the 12 pack fell to the ground. I heard something break and exclaimed "Mother Fucker!" just as two old ladies walked past.  Judging by their expression, they were both mothers.

Glass had exploded from the top of the cardboard case on onto the parking lot.  I bent to pick it up the glass shrapnel, knowing I'd be the one to run over the glass and incur a flat tire if I didn't, and promptly had my finger sliced open.

"Son of a bitch!" I said.  A passing guy said "Watch out, that shit is sharp."  Understatement of the year.  I finished picking up the bits of glass, my finger bleeding the entire time.  It wasn't a gusher but it wasn't a paper cut either.  I went back into the grocery store to wash it off but the sensor on the modernized sink wasn't working.  I stuck a small square of paper towel on the bleeding cut and drove home.

In writing news, I wrote 2.5k in short order after I got home and not a drop spilled on the keyboard.  Now I'm going to drink one of my eleven surviving beers.

Camp NaNoWriMo - Day 13

In non-writing news, I found a dollar on the ground a few minutes ago.  So far, it has been the high point of the week.

I passed 10k last night.  One goal for the week down.  I'm still gunning for 25k by Monday but we'll see how it goes.  It's less than 3k a day to meet that goal.  I'm pretty sure I can do it as long as the characters cooperate.  Also, I plan on staying out really late Thursday night.

Whitlock just met the first of his five people who roomed with the missing girl in college.  Since I've never done a first person narrative before and never a mystery with so many characters, every paragraph is a learning experience.  What's this woman like?  How was her relationship with Amber?  How much of Amber's sordid past do I reveal? 

Deciding how big of a douche I want to make Amber's biological father is also proving to be a little problematic.  He's a career burglar so I can't make him a nice person.  On the other hand, I'm thinking about having him be a lazy loser who just tries to get by.  I'll probably decide seconds before I write it. 

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Camp NaNoWriMo - Day 12

Camp NaNoWriMo continues to advance like a freight train, waiting for no man.  I got in some solid writing time last night and I'm making good progress.  While the story isn't coming as smoothly as Bullets Don't Blink did, the writing is measurably better.  Must be the Chandler influence.

While I'm still way behind the official count, I'll still hit 50k by the end of the month if I write 2333 words per day.  Since I normally write 3-5k per day when things are working, I'm not very concerned about being behind.  I'm planning on hitting 10k tonight and I'd like to hit 25k before I come back to work on Monday.  We'll see how it goes.

Even though I have no right to think about the next book while the current one is still in the womb, August's novel is probably going to be a fun pulp fantasy story.  November's will likely be another crime book.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Camp NaNoWriMo - Day 11

I had an insight while I was cursing at the keyboard earlier. 

When I started Between Hell and a Hard Place, I intended it to be little more than a modern era homage to The Big Sleep.  It's already morphed into something else.  While it's still a kick ass detective yarn, it's actually a story about family, specifically the black sheep.  It's about Jack's place in the Whitlock family and Amber's place in the Brissette family.  Funny how a story that was supposed to be about wise ass remarks and people getting hit over the head wound up with a theme.

The writing is flowing smoothly but is going to be an uphill climb for the foreseeable future.  I am undaunted, however, and pretty damn sure I'll be caught up by the 18th.  I thought of two red herrings I'm going to use as far as suspects go, which will give my story a much needed edge.  Plus, tracking down Amber's natural father and the guy she had a restraining order against should give the story some legs.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Camp NaNoWriMo - Day 10

Yeah, so I'm roughly a week behind schedule.  I could blame external factors like my trip to Tulsa and subsequent relationship woes but I'd say the four days of hiking and doing everything I can but write are to blame.

It is not an insurmountable goal for me to still hit 50k by the 30th, however.  I still have twenty days and I've written a hell of a lot more than 50k in 20 days before.  I'm going to take tonight off and hit the ground running tomorrow.

Speaking of external factors contributing to me not writing, The Avengers was awesome!  The Hulk was by far my favorite part, followed by Loki.  It was a great flick.  The only minor complaints I have would be not enough Captain America and I don't think everyone needed to have witty one-liners.  I know they're a Joss Whedon staple but I don't see Thor making jokes.  Other than that, I'd say it's the best super hero movie I've ever seen.

In other news, I shaved my beard off and feel like half a man.  I'll be regrowing it directly.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Camp? What Camp?

Okay, so circumstances derailed my start of Camp NaNoWriMo.  Without getting into too much personal detail, I wound up coming back from the Magical Mystery Tour several days early.  The point I'm trying to make is that I'm at 3798 words as of this writing.  Not only that, I'll probably not pick it up again until Monday.  Still, I've written 50k in 10 days before so I'm confident I'll "win" again this month.

On the plus side of the ledger, I've done a bit of hiking this week and

Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Zero Hour Approaches

Time is ticking away.  Just over 12 hours remain before Camp NaNoWriMo kicks off.  Am I ready?

Meh.  As ready as I was last time.  I had some insights this morning about Whitlock's family life this morning that I'm going to work into the story and a news story about a guy high on bath salts that ate another man's face off might make it into the novel at some point. 

I'm not too worried about it, though.  Since I'm embarking on what I'm referring to in the blog as The Magical Mystery Tour tomorrow, I'll have 7-8 hours in the car during which to think before I finally start writing.

I've got high hopes for Between Hell and a Hard Place.  I'm planning on focusing on Whitlock more than the actual plot, much like most Raymond Chandler books are more about Philip Marlowe being awesome than they are about him solving mysteries.  We'll see how it all shapes up.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

T Minus Three Days

Camp NaNoWriMo kicks off in three days.  Am I ready?

About as ready as I was in November, which is to say I'm underprepared but hopeful.  I've got a page worth of hell I can throw at my main character.  Other than that, I'm going to play it by ear.  Poor Detective Whitlock.  I figure he'll Philip Marlowe his way from one calamity to the next in search of the truth.  Fortunately, I already know the ending.  The getting there is the difficult part.  I'm planning on the Elvis Cole style shitstorm of violence ending.

I kind of dropped the ball on the Camp NaNoWriMo cabin situation this time.  Cabins have already been assigned and I was hoping to request some Goodreads chums as cabin mates.  Oh, well.  There's always August.  God, the idea of banging out novels in June, August, and November is already making me weary.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Struck by Ideas

It's funny how sometimes a fully formed plot will spring to life in your head.  Such a thing happened to me yesterday on the way to work. 

Actually, the genesis was probably the day before.  I went to a picnic and had a few beers with one of my few writer friends in meatspace.  He mentioned wanting to put together a pulp fantasy anthology and asked if I'd be willing to contribute.  I said it sounded like fun but don't really write fantasy anymore.  He suggested I dust off Jhalen and Tolek, the lead characters from my NaNoWriMo 2009 novel, Sailors on the Sea of Dead Gods.  I said I'd think about it.

Ideas started congealing on the way to work yesterday morning.  Fast forward to bedtime last night and I'm 2200 words in with probably another 2000 to go.  It's not my favorite thing I've ever written but it's a lot of fun.  I'm actually thinking about submitting it to a magazine instead of saving it for an anthology that might not happen.

In other writing news, I still feel underprepared for Camp NaNoWriMo in June.  I keep writing down ideas for Between Hell and a Hard Place as they come to me.  I have the beginning and the end pretty clear in my mind.  It's the middle that's worrisome, like having two slices of bread and not being sure what to put between them.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Thurday Updates

Just a few quick items:
  1. I am recruiting more people from my circle of Goodreads friends to attempt Camp NaNoWriMo, mostly because I like competition.
  2. I'm in talks with the local bookstore owner to do some geocaching involving giftcards from his store
  3. There is a solar eclipse Sunday around sunset.  I plan on photographing the hell out of it.
  4. I made my first sale on Society6 yesterday.  Only 100,000 more and I could quit my job.  Go tell all your millionaire friends about Dantastic Photos
  5. The snake I took a picture of yesterday is a speckled kingsnake.
  6. Peanuts are called monkey nuts in some places
  7. This is one of my favorite Monty Python sketches:

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

17 Days until Camp

Camp NaNoWriMo is fast approaching.  I'm feeling underprepared, as I normally  do around this time.  I plan on leaving the plot almost as sketchy as it is now, but I'll come up with a list of things to work in when I get stuck.  I plan on starting the story in St. Louis and taking Whitlock to Yuma, Arizona, Tulsa, Oklahoma, and possibly even the fabled Canadas in his quest for the truth.

I'm pretty sure Whitlock is his name.  I already have a pretty good handle on his personality.  I'm undecided on his first name as of yet.  About all I have etched in stone are the beginning, the ending, and some of the bad things that Whitlock will have happen to him during the investigation.

Other news:
  • I've recently been bitten by the Geocaching bug.  I went looking for my first caches on Sunday and had about a 50% success rate.  I also uncovered a black widow spider and a turtle so I'm calling it a win.  I'm planning on stashing some caches of my own in coming days once I get acceptable containers.  Am I a snob for not wanting to use tupperware?
  • It's also 17 days until a road trip I'm very excited about.  My road trip will have an impact on my writing early on but some things are more important than writing a crazy amount of words in near-record time.
  • I'm still planning on writing a crazy amount of words in near-record time.  I'm shooting for my first 100k work this time though it may take more than 30 days.
  • Still no sales on Society6.  I'm going to keep uploading cool pictures when I have time in the hopes of getting a pity buy one of these days.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

21 Days until Camp!

Camp NaNoWriMo, the first 2012 interation anyway, kicks off June 1st.  Right now, the tentative plan is to start a completely new story on June 1st and bust it out as fast as I can.  I'm gunning for sellable 100k length this time so it's going to be intense.

The tentative plan is to write the first person noir thriller I've been kicking around for the past few months.  I have several reasons for doing this:
  1. Get your eyerolls ready. I feel like I need to step out of my comfort zone to grow as a writer.  I've never written more than a chapter of anything in first person.  This will be a challenge for me.  Like writing 50k in a month isn't a challenge...
  2. While I like what I've written of The Kickoff so far, it doesn't feel like the story I should be telling right now.  Also, I think I should sell Bullet's Don't Blink, or at least get closer to doing so, before I spend a month of my life pounding away at the sequel.
  3. Since I just read The Little Sister by Raymond Chandler, I really want to write a first person noir just so I can pepper it with snappy dialogue and inventive similes.
The story is tentatively titled Between Hell and a Hard Place.  I'm envisioning it as The Big Sleep for the internet age.  I'm going to use technology to move the plot along quite a bit and Whitlock will be fairly tech-savy.  He's not going to be a male version of Lizbeth Salander, though.  I'm saving that character for something else...

Thursday, May 3, 2012

It's the Bishop!

Sometimes, you have to amuse yourself

So two days ago, I was getting ready to take a shower when I noticed a tan car pulling into my driveway. I thought it might be my grandpa so I put some pants on and went outside. It was not my grandpa. It was a car full of Jehovah's Witnesses. After a quick "You caught me, I guess I have to listen," they went into their schpiel. I proceeded to turn things around on them and ask things like "Don't you guys believe only 144,000 people get into heaven, and if so, aren't you afraid I'm going to take your spot?" and "Didn't the Book of Revelation say the apocalypse was so far away you'd never be able to predict it?" The guys looked at each other nervously and eventually gave up. I told them they did a good job under pressure but I wasn't planning on converting.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Game of Sevens

Teralyn Rose Pilgrim recently tagged me as part of the Game of Sevens meme.  For those of you in the dark, like I was up until a few minutes ago, the rules are as follows:
The Rules:

  1. Go to page 77 of your current MS/WIP.
  2. Go to line 7.
  3. Copy down the next 7 lines – sentences or paragraphs – and post them as they’re written. No cheating.
  4. Tag 7 authors.
  5. Let them know.
I'm sharing an except of Bullets Don't Blink, my NaNo 2011 crime novel.

"Did you learn anything from the stuff we took out of there?"
"Eileen's doctor was Kurt Jones. I'm going to try to catch him at the Anvil tomorrow evening after work. And I'm ninety percent sure Eileen was in that BMW when it was wrecked."
"You've been busy. I just went to bed early last night. I don't know why but I was exhausted."
"Did you hear from the insurance company?"
"My little car is totaled. Big surprise."
"When are you supposed to get a check?"

I'm breaking the fourth rule and thereby incurring the wrath of the karma gods.  My reasoning is that I've been a bad blog reader the last few months but I always make time for these four.  My four victims authors:
  1. Sarah Ahiers
  2. Krista McLaughlin
  3. Trisha
  4. The Great and Powerful Hildred Billings
Congratulations if you are a victim winner.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Daniel Goes to Camp!

Sorry, couldn't resist the Ernest Goes to Camp image.

Camp NaNoWriMo is being held in June and August this year and I'm planning on attempting both, as well as the grand daddy of them all, NaNoWriMo 2012 in November.  I had a good experience during the July camp last year but was beyond drained for the August Camp and didn't manage to finish.  Since I'll have a month off in between this year, I think this will be the year of three novels.

"Great," you say.  "We already know all that.  What are you going to write about?"

Well, I'll tell you, Blanche.  I don't really know quite yet.  Here are the ideas I'm kicking around:
  1. as of yet untitled detective novel - this would be my first attempt at writing first person noir ala Raymond Chandler.  I do have the bare bones of a plot but nothing else
  2. The Kickoff (or The Gravedigger's Gamble) - sequel to Bullets Don't Blink where Garvin agrees to one last heist in order to pay off a debt and deals with the repercussions of the previous book.  I've got a pretty good idea of how this one is going to go and even have a few pages of notes.
  3. The Branchrunner - A fantasy story structured like one of Richard Stark's Parker novels.  A lot of the background comes from what I'd worked out for The Big Red Ragnarok, the project I was going to do last NaNoWriMo before I chucked it in favor of Bullets Don't Blink, as well as the abandoned 80k NaNo 2010 novel fragment, Wandering the Web of Worlds.  I have some character names and the recycled material from BRR but it's still pretty light on plot.
That's all I have so far.  While I think The Kickoff would be the easiest to do, I'm leaning toward 1 or 3.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

You're paying me how much?

As longtime blog readers know, I'm known to indulge in photography from time to time, and by "from time to time," I actually mean "every damn day."  About two months ago, one of my co-workers asked about getting a print of one of my water droplet pictures.  I said sure and forgot about it.

Two weeks ago, I made some postcards on Snapfish to send to a lovely lady and I couldn't get it to let me check out no matter what.  I decided to try to trick it and added an 8x10 of the water droplet picture to my cart.  Sure enough, it worked.

This morning, I dropped the envelope containing the print on my co-worker's desk. 
She said "How much?"
I said "Five bucks to print."
"How much for your artistic effort?"
"I don't care."
"Ok," she said.
I got up to get coffee and I came back to find 45 bucks on my desk!  I guess this is my first sale as a photographer.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Worded Wednesday

Just some quick updates:
  1. The Wolf Gift by Anne Rice is now my most voted review on Goodreads.  I hate that most most voted review is for a book I disliked.
  2. My review of The Bookman over on my book blog was linked to by both the author and the publisher, Angry Robot.  However, Angry Robot referred to my book blog as Desperate Dan's Book Blog.
  3. A bit more forward progress has been made on getting Bullet's Don't Blink published.
  4. By changing my lifestyle very little, I've lost fifteen pounds since January and am just two pounds heavier than I was when I started my current job ten years ago.  And they said I was mad to hold on to my old 30 inch waist jeans!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Query Queasiness

Over the past few days, I've been pecking at a query letter in my spare time.  Actually, I've been spending 95% of my spare time on Query Shark and similar websites but the remaining spare spare time has been working on the query letter.  When I'm not reading.

So many query dos and don'ts, not to mention conflicting pieces of advice, are swirling around in my head that I'm having difficulty pressing forward.  I finally got the short synopsis where I'm relatively comfortable with it.  Now the brief biography is slowing me down.  The biography.

What do I include?  Do I bother including anything that isn't book-related?  Should I mention that I'm holding the #9 spot on Goodreads or have a long-running blog (that has been mostly pictures lately)?  Right now, all I've got is "I'm currently employed as a computer programmer," which is much less depressing than "I've been a computer programmer for almost ten years."

In other news, I found a new pair of sunglasses and a penny that's so corroded it looks like it might be the first one ever minted while walking my dog yesterday.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

And the most interesting search term of the first quarter of 2012 is...

... cocoa puff nipples!

Since I don't want that to be the only thing in today's post, here's something hilarious I ran across earlier today, The Dollar Shave Club.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Nachos Picantes

Every have one of those days when you have a snippet of a song in your head and no idea what the name is or who the artist is?

Last week, I went through yet another bout of this, going to far as to imitate the trombone part on the phone to my friend Greg.  I had a feeling it was either a song by the Moon Invaders or the Caroloregians and he led me into kind of the right direction.  Parts of the song sounded a hell of a lot like Organic Coal Beat From The Groovy Mines but it just wasn't the tune that was lodged in my brain.

Just before bed, I remembered that the Mr. T-Bone and Friends record had songs featuring members of both the Moon Invaders and The Caroloregians.  Unfortunately, my copy of the cd was in Greg's possession and I had to wait.

Long story short, I arrived at Greg's for a show Friday and knew I'd guess right in the first few notes of the song.  It only took a damn week to figure it out. 

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

A rare non-photo post

Some updates:
  1. My interview with Benjamin Whitmer is up on Dangerous Dan's Book Blog.
  2. I'm almost halfway through The Girl Who Played With Fire.  It's good but has the same slow-paced first half as The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.
  3. Instead of working on expanding Bullets Don't Blink like I should be, I've been kicking around new plot ideas.  Nothing like putting off needed revisions for new stuff.
  4. There will be a photo post later in the evening, weather permitting.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Where did the weekend go?

One of the greatest injustices in the history of the world is that the weekend passes by so quickly compared to the snail's pace of the work week.
Looking back, I don't feel like I did a whole lot besides read and take pictures.  I did manage to force myself to do my taxes and I finally entered the Missouri Depertment of Conservation photo contest.  Voting doesn't start until July so I have plenty of time to change my mind/second guess myself.  Here's a link to my photo set.  Many of the pictures will be familiar to long-time readers of my blog.

Speaking of photography, I think my camera is going to be walking off into the sunset soon.  Something's really wrong with the zoom.  It extends fine but makes an awful clicking sound when it retracts and has some kind of system error on occasion.  Shouldn't a relatively expensive camera last longer than three years of heavy use?

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Crock This! - Turkey Tenderloin and Green Beans

  1. 1 package of turkey tenderloins
  2. 1 bag o' "fresh" green beans (not frozen)
  3. 1 envelope of italian dressing mix
  4. 1 box of chicken broth
  5. 3 cups of uncooked instant rice
  1. dump above mentioned ingredients, minus the rice, into crock pot
  2. cook for 6-10 hours on low
  3. stir in three cups of rice to cook in the juice.
This one is definitely going on my list of completely successful crock pot experiments.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Motivation Deficit

Since being told it would be in my best interests to expand Bullets Don't Blink by 15-25k, I've been suffering from motivation issues.  Having contracted Captain Tripps a couple weeks ago didn't help much either.  I've got some ideas to beef up the bad guys a bit and throw in a sinister road trip to a pig farm but I'm really worried about screwing up the pace.  I'm hoping to suck it up and start revising sometime this week.

Other news:
  1. I tried to rekindle the old spark I had with Anne Rice by reading The Wolf Gift.  Not only was the spark not rekindled, somehow it reverberated backward through the time stream and made me like her old books less.
  2. Since getting a phone that is capable of texting efficiently, I am now as hooked on texting as most 13 year old girls.
  3. I've got a blog interview cooking with Benjamin Whitmer, author of Pike.  I noticed he linked to my review on his website and decided to hit him up with some questions.  He was one of the authors on the same panel as Eoin Colfer at Bouchercon.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

My Dreams are Weird - The Eagle

I had a dream last night that I was walking my dog and came upon a bald eagle perched on a low branch of a tiny tree.  For some reason, I walked within five feet of the tree without the eagle moving.  I felt for my camera but it was gone and the eagle was eyeing me like I shouldn't make any sudden movements.

Since birds of prey, even in my dreams, immediately remind me of the part in The Gunslinger when Roland uses David the hawk to shred Cort's face, I held my breath.  There was a freak gust of wind, the tree bent forward, and somehow the eagle's beak became entangled in the sleeve of my shirt.  The eagle looked mortified and I slipped my arm up my sleeve in an effort to free him.  He was still entangled.  Finally, I slipped my shirt all the way off but the eagle was still ensnared. 

Fast forward a few minutes and I've got a shirt-wrapped eagle seat-belted in the passenger seat of my car and we're driving to the vet.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Shaking Off my Hibernation Sickness

Just a few updates.
  1. I woke up Friday morning with a sinus headache so bad my teeth hurt.  I took a sick day but was still able to eat lasagna at Big E's house Friday.  It was good even though my taste buds weren't entirely functional.
  2. Slept two hours on my parents' couch Saturday while my mom kept Belle entertained.  The rest of the day was reading the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo when my eyes didn't hurt and catching up on Dr. Who Series 5 the rest of the time.
  3. Felt better Sunday and watched most of the rest of Dr. Who series 5.  I would have watched all of it but my set has a bad disk in it.  This appears to be a fairly common problem with Dr. Who DVDs.
  4. Back at work today.  Let the good times roll.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

News from the Nyquil Haze

  1. I am in the grips of some kind of cold and have been since yesterday morning.  I plan on doping myself tonight and going to bed very early so I'll be ready for lasagna at a friend's house tomorrow evening.
  2. I have already received feedback on Bullets Don't Blink.  I've been told it's quite good but could stand to be a bit longer.  That's my next assignment.  I figure I can flesh out the bad guys a bit and possibly work in a sinister road trip to a pig farm.
  3. Nyquil gives me crazy dreams, such as eight legged babies climing on my walls and cats with a hunger for human flesh.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Day I Threw My Boots Away

In 2007, I needed a pair of good boots for a winter trip to Canada.  Sure enough, I found a pair on sale at the Shoe Oulet for $25.  Did I get my money's worth?

You bet!  In the past five years, the boots have survived trips to Canada, Michigan, and many different conservation areas in Missouri.  I'd say I've put close to 1000 miles on them all told.

The thing is, they were never particularly good boots.  They weren't all that comfortable, the insulation stained my socks yellow, and a mouse gnawed on them a few times.  They went from being water proof to water resistant to big damn sponges that beg water to come inside and stay a while.

Yesterday, I bought a new pair of boots and threw the old ones in the trash.  Will the new ones live up to the legacy of my discount shoe store hiking boots?  Only time will tell.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The Snow Day When Hildred Called Me Out

I'm a slacker.  Yeah, I admit it.  At first glance, writing a novel or two a year and having a good job don't seem like slacking activities.  However, I'm keenly aware of the amount of time I waste on a daily basis.  While I read a ton of blogs, I'm not a big commenter unless I have a burning desire to make my opinion known.  And now Hildred is taking me to task for not acknowledging her writerly awesomeness and profound Zelda love.  First, the official business:

I originally took today off because I'd intended to see the Toasters last night.  Then the winter weather hit.  I've actually accomplished a fair amount of things today.
  1. went to the bank
  2. acquired new hiking boots and sandals
  3. walked two miles with my dog
  4. bought supplies for beef fajita soup to make in the crock tomorrow while I'm at work
  5. acquired a phone that uses 21st century technology and can text.
  6. Bought a beer called Snow Day since I was taking a snow day
 And now, the eleven questions Hildred put to me:
  1. What is the single most annoying trope that makes you want to claw your eyes out? - I hate how every thriller has the forced hookup in it.  In some of them, it's fairly obvious the nuclear scientist is a woman specifically so the burned out cop will have someone to hook up with.
  2. If you could alter history and claim credit for any book ever written, what would it be? - Either the Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler or Code of the Woosters by P.G. Wodehouse.  Both are fantastic books and each has had a lasting impact on me.
  3. How many kids were in your HS graduating class? (or are in your class right now, if you're still in school) - 47.  It was a Catholic high school
  4. If you were guaranteed massive success either way, would you rather traditionally publish or self-publish? - If it was guaranteed either way, I'd go with self-published.  Why split up the pie if I don't have to?
  5. What's the most you've ever paid for an article of clothing...for yourself? - I may have paid more for something since but I have a feeling the $75 pair of Beatle boots I bought in 2006 was the big one.  I wore those things until they had a hole in the bottom and wish I had bought a couple more pair at the same time.
  6. Singer, Model, or Actress - who you gonna be? - Singer.  Remind me to bust out some Johnny Cash or Elvis tunes if the occasion arises.
  7. Chef, Driver, or Maid - who you gonna hire?  Maid.  I hate cleaning.  Plus, she can wear a French maid's outfit if she wants.
  8. Bath or shower?  Shower.  Why would I want to sit in my own filth?
  9. You're scheduling for a delivery to your house during normal business hours. What time do you request, and why? - I'd go with 9-10.  That way I've already had my coffee but haven't mustered enough energy to get cabin fever yet.
  10. Could you survive a whole year or more in a traditional Japanese apartment? (for the record, the one in the video is 10x nicer than mine, although mine is technically larger. Yay.)  Yes.  As long as I have a place to read, I'm good.
  11. Favorite Pokemon. And you can't cop out with "i dunno pokemon" because here's a link, pick the cutest one!  Squirtle.  Just try not saying his name and smiling.  Squirtle.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

#691 - Just a few quick ones

  1. Tuesday was the 12th year anniversary of the day my brother's girlfriend at the time brought Belle to my parents' house as his Valentine's Day present.  She became my dog shortly thereafter since I was home the most having recently quit my crap job to go back to school as I mentioned yesterday.
  2. Sunday was my blog's birthday.  It sure feels a hell of a lot longer than two years ago I started writing here after torching my MySpace account.
  3. Next Monday, the Toasters are coming to town and I shall be in attendance.  Coincidentally, The Toasters was the first ska band I saw live waaaaaaay back in May of 1997.
  4. I really need to get off my ass and figure out this Etsy thing.  One of my co-workers asked about buying one of the pictures I took yesterday.
  5. Closing in on 700 posts.  While it is an impressive milestone, my MySpace blog had over 1100 when I torched it.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Progress Report

I stayed up a little too late last night correcting the mistakes my mom found in Bullets Don't Blink.  I should be able to wrap things up tonight and tomorrow I'll print it out on the sly at work devote my full attention to my job and not think about writing at work.

Once BDB is in the mail, I'll resume work on Corpse Cruise.  Detective Pope has been walking to the dead scientist's cabin for three or four days now.

In other news, I've had this song in my head since I woke up this morning:

Sadly, there aren't any really good recordings on youtube.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Weekend events I neglected to mention

Things happened over the weekend that I meant to touch upon but wasn't up to writing about since I was in a hangover haze yesterday.
  1. My mom gave me back my manuscript with a ton of minor edits to make.  The first thing she said was "There's a lot of killing near the end."  I laughed a bit.
  2. Drank too much Saturday night while hanging out with a friend, leading to the aforementioned hangover haze.
  3. Wrote part of chapter 2 of Corpse Cruise.  I had planned to write more but the hangover haze but the bite on that.
  4. Watched season 2 of Justified in its entirety.  I think I watched nine or ten episodes yesterday.  Hangover haze.
  5. Skipped the Superbowl in favor of watching Tales from the Darkside: The Movie.  Hangover haze yet again.
In conclusion, I'm way behind where I want to be in Corpse Cruise at this time.  I think this week's writing is going to be the latest round of edits on Bullets Don't Blink.  I'll work on Corpse Cruise if I have time leftover since I told my connection I'd have BDB in the mail by the 10th.  I'm also disappointed in myself for not being more productive over the weekend.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Poptarts and False Starts

First off, I haven't eaten a poptart in years.  It's the only thing I could think of that rhymed with false start.

I busted out 400 words yesterday morning, only to realize my starting point of Corpse Cruise wasn't doing it for me.  I spent most of the rest of the day throwing ideas around until I figured out how I really wanted to start it.  Instead of revealing the source of the plague early on, I'm now going to reveal it in an investigation as the head of security aboard the cruise ship tries to figure out what's going on.

Writing progress is zero so far, I guess.  My grandma's 80th birthday was yesterday and the whole family met at a buffet in Ste. Genevieve.  It was after eight when I got home so I didn't feel like trying to get started only to have to go to bed a little while later.

Good thing I only officially committed to 30,000 words this month.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Last Day of Freedom?

Tomorrow, the writing starts anew.  I'm both excited and slightly terrified, just as I normally am at this time.  I plan on doing some cruise ship research sometime today but other than that, I'm as ready as I normally am.  As always, I'm sure getting started will be the hardest part.

Tonight, I'll be stocking up on writing food and possibly throwing back a couple writing beers.

In other news, I'm entering this contest: Missouri Conservationist 75th Anniversary Photo Contest

Monday, January 30, 2012

Corpse Cruise Teaser

When a nanotech-based cancer cure runs wild on a cruise ship, reanimating the recent dead, the passengers must band together in order to survive.  But can they keep the plague from spreading to the mainland and overrunning the world?

Right now, the February (and beyond) project is called Corpse Cruise, but I might change it.  It sounds like Corkscrew whenever someone says the title out loud.

Monday Morning Meatloaf

Okay, there isn't any meatloaf.  I just liked the sound of it.

I'm really dragging today.  Instead of getting all my ducks in a row for the big kickoff Wednesday, yesterday was all hiking and binge reading.  I'm a little sore and didn't sleep well.  I'll post some pictures when I get home today.

On the positive side of the ledger, my mom is halfway through her read of Bullets Dont' Blink and loving it.  Yesterday, she kept grilling me about which places in the story were based on which real-life locations.

Oh, and I forgot to mention that I'm the #10 reviewer on the all-time United States list on Goodreads.  I'm only a couple hundred ahead of the reviewer in the #11 spot so I'll probably be back down to 11 before I know it.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Pre-Project Jitters

I'm still slated to kick off the new writing project on February 1st.  I'm experiencing the usual pre-project jitters.  You know the ones.  The following questions keep popping into my head.
  1. Did I prepare enough?
  2. How well do I know the characters?
  3. What if this thing doesn't have enough legs to go at least 70k?
  4. Have I done enough research or can I just research things as needed?
Since this is how I always feel before I start a new story, I'm not too worried about it.  I will admit that I need to research the inner workings of cruise ships a bit before next wednesday but I think I have a good idea of what needs to happen.  Right now, my biggest priority with it is coming up with the back cover blurb, as this is normally the first actual writing I do.

A few weeks ago, my mom asked if she could read Bullets Don't Blink.  I said she could when I was done editing it.  She said she'd edit it as she went.  Is it just me or is the idea of my mom editing my book slightly horrifying?  I can just imagine comments like "Does he have to swear so much?"

In other news, I noticed I never posted any pictures from the weekend.  I'll have to do that tonight.  Additionally, I just noticed on my calednar that it's Australia Day.  Happy Australia Day, everyone!