Category Archives: books

Book update and sequel progress

Greetings, crickets! I finished the book last month – the one that was initially a novella and the sequel novel. I sent it to a beta reader in August of last year and then spent four months hashing through to make it better than it was before.

It’s still not perfect, but it is head and shoulders above anything else I’ve ever written. Which means there’s still room for improvement…

I have five more illustrations to complete and then I can upload the epub file to Smashwords and be done with it. Which means I’m probably going to drag my feet…

And the sequel to this monster book? It was actually nice to take a break away from it for a few months so I can see it with fresh eyes. I’m not rehashing what I’ve written yet, because I believe that edit should come after I finish up the missing scenes, but I am making notes on what to look for. I learned a lot from the beta, and found she made eerily similar notes to what I’ve written on the works I read for friends. Maybe I’m a beta reader at heart, but I still can’t seem to notice everything in my work that I should – probably because it’s just too close to me to see it objectively. Which means, I will still need a beta for the sequel and should start saving some money for that…

Here’s hoping I can send the sequel off later this year and take a break.

Or maybe I can write the short fics needed to round out the next anthology. Or maybe dust off the fantasy book and finally finish the rewrite. Or maybe…I’m just hopeless. Thanks for listening.

Shoring up the old year

A lot has happened this year. My arm has mended, my writing has resumed, I’ve read a few books and I’ve joined a little writing group.

What about posting here? Well, this blog was intended to reach out to others who might want to discuss writing or reading. However, I never promoted it well, so I essentially chat with crickets. Not that I mind crickets, but shouting out in the vacuum of the internet only works if you have something useful to say and others know about it. I’m afraid I’ve failed on both counts: being useful and advertising.

Will I continue here? Yes, but I will try and set up a schedule for posting useful content, meaning items that help with writing, small story snippet posts, and (should someone stop by) asking for interaction on ideas and insights.

pen and notebook

Here’s hoping 2018 was a good year for you, and that you will ring in 2019 with fresh ideas to fill those blank pages, insightful reflections that improve your work, and the gusto to try things outside your comfort zone so you can grow in your craft.

Good reads and writing update

I’ve finished a few good books since my last post on reading:

  • The Etymologicon: A Circular Stroll through the Hidden Connections of the English Language, a non-fiction book by Mark Forsyth
  • The Martian, a fiction novel by Andy Weir
  • The Art of Social Media: Power Tips for Power Users, a non-fiction book by Guy Kawasaki, Peg Fitzpatrick
  • The Daily Stoic: 366 Meditations on Wisdom, Perseverance, and the Art of Living, a daily book of stoic philosophy co-authored by Ryan Holiday and Stephen Hanselman
  • Jurassic Park, a fiction novel by Michael Crichton

Sadly, this list should be three times as long for that time period. Writing has definitely put a big dent in my reading time.

On a writing note, the sequel novel is going well at 84k. I would be thrilled if I could guarantee the first novel will be published in August and this one out in May of next year.  We’ll see.

Writer’s block? Or intimidation?

I broke my arm in the middle of a full scale writing assault on a novel. The entire time I healed, I dreamed of the time I could write again. I worked hard to get the use of my hand back.

So when I could finally, painfully hold a pen again, I rejoiced. But when it came to writing on the story, I hit a wall. Not physically, but mentally. I avoided scribbling out ideas because I was afraid the words wouldn’t come back, that I’d lost the drive. I started doing anything – from rereading favorite books to re-watching well-known movies to reviewing scenes I’d already typed in and edited to death – to put off the story. Blank pages stayed blank.

Now blank pages usually mean writer’s block, but to me, there’s no such thing. Those characters, that story, is still lurking in my brain. Rather than writer’s block, this might be a case of intimidation. Blank pages can be pretty fierce, after all. I think I’m seeking perfection, which is strange because no rough draft I’ve ever done has been perfect. Maybe I’m remembering my former days of writing so fondly, I’m forgetting how much work writing really is.

My arm and hand are not perfect, but with work, they’ll improve. Same goes for my writing. It’s time to pick up the pen again and carry on.

Good reads and writing updates

Happy Halloween! Time to dust off the blog and make an entry.

Books I’m currently reading:

  • The Daily Stoic: 366 Meditations on Wisdom, Perseverance, and the Art of Living, by Ryan Holiday and Stephen Hanselman (this is a wonderful morning read – one meditation per day)
  • The Etymologicon by Mark Forsyth (this is a wonderful bedtime read – a little each night)
  • Sneaky Uses for Everyday Things, by Cy Tymony
  • A Serpent’s Tooth, by Craig Johnson

Books I’ve read lately:

  • The Power of Habit, by Charles Duhigg (great book)
  • The Highwayman, by Craig Johnson
  • Everyone writes, by Ann Handley

The book I finished, the one waiting for illustrations, is now on hold due to personal injury. Most other writing ventures are too, while I heal. I am cranking out short stories, as I can, but progress is slow. I will heal eventually, though, and will post when I get back up to speed.