Monthly Archives: October 2012

What’s Going On?

So here we are less than one week remains before the start of NaNoWriMo. So I am going to do a quick wrap up on all of the other things that I have been working on that I will be putting aside for the month of November. Some projects I have been working on for quite a while and others I have just started out on.

Trilith Magazine – Still trying to figure out all of the technical issues so that I can make it as amazing as possible. I have posted several of the fiction pieces that I have been working on for it to the blog for the magazine. I also have several things posted to the Facebook page. If you are interested in seeing where this is going then feel free to follow either of those.

Fey Fyre – This is a series of short stories that I am writing for Trilith Magazine. I had written the first five and I have a lot of great ideas that will be following in December of this year. The first two parts are up already up on the Trilith Blog and the third will be up in the next couple of days.

The Hunt for Fiddlestix – A short story inspired by a friend of mine. It was originally written for submission to Fairy Magazine, but the photos were not large enough for publication in print. I plan to use it in the first issue of Trilith. If you are interested in reading it, I have it posted over at Trilith.

The Strange Adventures of Hugo North – Earlier this month my wife challenged me to write a story about a young boy dragged off by a kite. I am working on page three and I still have not gotten to the meat of the story. I have some ideas that I am really happy about. Not sure what I am going to be doing with this story, but it has been fun to write.

Scéal Casia – I have finished most of the second draft of the first book. I am also working on the second chapter of the second book. I am still planning on having the first book released sometime in 2013, but I don’t have a set date at the moment.

NoWhere Man – This has morphed from a series of short stories into a series of short films. I have a local film maker who I am working on figuring things out with now in regards to how to get this done.

Non-Fiction – I will be bloging both here and at the Trilith Blog, and I will be doing a guest post on a another blog sometime in the month of November, I will post more about that when I have the exact date it will be running.

But as I said before I am putting all of that aside for the month of November. What am I going to be working on is my Novel for NaNoWriMo.

Adventures of Eunice – I have not done a lot of planning for this, I don’t want to hamper the flow of the writing. I want to be able to toss in any silly idea that comes to mind. I picture this as a cross between Terry Pratchett and Douglas Adams. Eunice is the son of a goat herder that stumbles onto a huge adventure which he is neither prepared for or able to deal with.

So here I am prepared to take the plunge over the edge into the abyss that is NaNoWriMo. Once you are over the edge the only option is to fly. For the next several weeks I will be posting about my progress and my feeling about how the process is going. It could be a frustrated post, a happy one, or just loose rambling but I suspect that it will be interesting.

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What a long strange trip it’s been (Final Part)

So this is the wrap up of my little history of how I got from where I was to where I am now. From now on out it is simply looking to the future. So here I was with my story about a worn out, tired and emotionally exhausted man who has made many bad choices in his life who now finds himself the father of an 11 year-old boy. And more the place that he took that boy. The village in the wood where magic still existed and the old way of life.
I started to back track and figure out who the people in the village were, the founder, the teacher, the blacksmith and his nephew. And then I asked myself who is the founder, how does his story begin, and that is where I found Arthur Burke and the story of his life. The story which is the first book in the Sceal Casia, The Lost Prophet.
When I approached writing the overall plot the first time I treated it as if it were a short story and wrote what has become my initial outline. I broke that outline up into four parts and started the outlines for the individual stories that would make up the books. I went from a page and a half outline to five, not four, two to two and a half page outlines for the five novels.
I had finished the first two outlines, and we finally made the move from Maine to the sunny skies of Florida, and as I progressed further in I realized that I had way to much time and information back loaded in the story towards the last book that I would have a tough time cramming it all in. I then realized that I had an obvious break in the story that I could move from one book to another.
Once I finished the outlines for the individual novels I looked at what I had written and realized that the story that I was trying to tell was a generational one, about the experiences of four individuals as they try to make their way in life and deal with the relationships with their fathers. How this has effected each of them. All but one has been raised with out a mother and each has a father or father figure in their life that will try to raise them properly and at the same time deal with the mystic forces that are pulling them all to a greater destiny that will decide the fate of the twenty-first century.
So in the Fall of 2011 having just changed jobs and finding myself with significantly more free time I finally got down to the real work. No more planning or dreaming I began writing the Lost Prophet.  The full draft took me from Sept 13th 2011 until April 8th 2012. First draft complete and sent off to beta readers.
That brings the story full circle to when the blog began. Now my goals included editing, I have completed the first five chapters of the second draft, type setting, and cover design. And just generally spreading the word about the book. I originally announced that my planned release date was going to be Feb 1st, and I did an entire post about stressing over that. I now know that it will be impossible for me to have everything ready by then, especially since I have been taking a break from working on it to do other writing. So for now the date for release is TBA 2013.

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What a long strange trip it’s been (part 9)

When I started this blog one of the main things I wanted to do was tell my story, about going from a young
inexperienced man with aspiration of writing to where I am now,and how I and my writing have changed over the years to reach the spot that we are at now. So I have just looked back over the posts that I have made and I realized I have not updated the back-story in over a month and a half. So now it is time to pick up back up. I am approaching the end of this part of the blog because this week we will reach the point that I begin to write the outline for the novel that I am currently working on.  Next week I will go through some of the things between the beginning of the work on the novel and the start of the blog. That will put us into the last week in Oct. and I will probably spend that going over my last-minute plans for NaNoWriMo.
So last we left off I had gotten married and done some writing with my wife. It was probably the best writing that I have ever done and I was inspired to pick things up again, but my life seemed against me, soon after we got married we bought a condo and moved to Salem, MA. Being newly wed and raising a child (our son was 8 when we married) starting a career and spending time with friends all seemed to take the time away from getting to work writing. None of those things are a good excuse, and I fully know that I could have controlled any of those things and gotten to work writing much sooner, but I didn’t.
After four years in Salem my wife and I were ready for a change, we wanted to move to Florida and spend some time in the sun. We made plans for a place to stay while we found work and both my wife and I gave notice at our jobs. It was the day after I gave my two weeks notice that we discovered that the place that we were supposed to stay at in FL was being foreclosed on, and our friend who was renting the place and going to let us stay there had thirty days to find his own place to live. We sat down and discussed our options, we could not go South and we could not stay where we were, so the only option left was to head North. We contacted my mother-in-law and she offered to let us stay at the vacation house she owned in the beautiful town of York Beach, ME.
If you have never spent time on the lovely Maine seacoast I have to describe it for you, York Beach is the perfect summer vacation town, with a small beach with an arcade right on the edge of it, a candy store that has a taffy pulling machine in the window, a strip of gift shops and stores that cater to the summer vacation crowd with a couple of small restaurants. And at the other end of the strip an amusement park and zoo. Now for those of you from anywhere else in the world let me explain the small drawback, all of the businesses in York Beach either cater to vacations or vacationers, Summer vacationers. In a climate where summer lasts from early June through the first week in Sept summer is very short. The Fall in York beach is dead quiet and everything shuts down for Winter and does not reopen until late the following Spring. Living in a town like York Beach in Winter is purgatory. Long nights and dreary conditions with no sun for days. And worse of all in a house that was designed to be lived in for three months out of the year heating is not the first thought.
In conditions like this, when the outside temperature is below twenty-five degrees Fahrenheit and the inside temperature is just below sixty degrees Fahrenheit, one of the best was to bring your internal body temperature back up to ninety-eight degrees is to first thing in the morning jump into a scalding hot shower. Many days I would just stand in the small shower and let the cold and exhaustion drain out of my body.
And I would picture a man standing in a shower, feeling that same cold draining away, a bad man who would suddenly find that even with all of the choices that he had made in his life to avoid it, he was the father of a child. A young child who he would need to teach things to because there was more to this man than meets the eye. He would take the boy to an ancient village in the woods and meet with an elder who was even more ancient that the village and they would teach the boy secrets of their kind. This story built in me and I began to flesh out the character and who they were. Working back in time to figure out how they got to where they were from and forward to where they were going. And this was all before I even set one word down to paper.

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Your moment of truth is the day that you say “I’m not scared”

So this is going to be connected to my last post, my neurotic rant, a little bit. I have been a little stressed about the solitary aspect of writing and how it does not feed my need for connections with others.  That being said I also have another influence that has been rolling around in my head for the last couple of day. Another blog that I read, Xenogirl, talked about judging your own work not based on how old you are, but how long you have been writing fiction. Now if anyone has been reading my blog from the beginning they will be aware of the fact that while I have been writing fiction since my early twenties, I had a large section of time in my late twenties and early thirties that I was not writing on a regular basis.

I realize that I am too hard on myself a lot of the time and I expect more from myself than I am able to deliver at this point in my life. Does that mean I should stop trying or reaching for the stars. No, but it does mean that I should cut myself a little slack and remember why I love to write and the fun of it. I know that as long as I keep pushing forward and refining my skills as a writer them I will reach my goals in time. Maybe not tomorrow or the day after but I will reach my goal because I will accept no other outcome.

This brings me to my latest decision and the subject of this post. After telling myself that I am already overloading myself and that I don’t have the time to do it, I decided that I am going to give NaNoWriMo a try.

Those of you who are not aware are probably sitting there saying “He is doing what?” NaNoWriMo is short for National Novel Writing Month. It is every year during the month of November. Participants are challenged to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days. This requires averaging 1,667 words a day everyday for the entire month. No editing, no changing just writing a novel in 30 days. So now I am going to be editing ‘Lost Prophet’ (second draft is half done), starting up a web-magazine, starting a new full-time job in the next couple of weeks and I am writing a third novel.

I am hoping that by putting no constraints on this new novel I will be able to recapture the love of writing. I am going to try and channel my goofy and silly side, and hopefully find something that reflects the qualities of Terry Pratchett and Douglas Adams.  I have decided on the Title of Adventures of Eunice, the main character is going to be Eunice a hapless looser who falls in and out of trouble. I am not doing any outline or character developement before Nov, but I know a lot of planning will be rolling around in my head.

So feel free to follow along, I will probably be doing updates on here, but I can be found on the site here. And as for the status of Trilith I have posted the second part of the Fey Fyre series. Please any comments are greatly appreciated and if anyone wants to follow-up and ask how I am doing on the word count please let me know.

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A little bit of a rant

I have been having a rough couple of days lately. I have always felt that being a writer was one of the most solitary things that you could do, alone with a pad, typewriter or computer very little interaction. Once you are done people look at your work and they say nice things, but writing in general is taken for granted. You may hear someone talk about his or her friend who sings great or plays a musical instrument well, they could be impressed by an actress or painter or even a photographer, but rarely do you hear someone brag about a friend who is a great writer.

It is even worse as an independently published writer with no following to speak of. You are there with your work and some days it feels as if no one is listening. No one gets excited about your work. Society has convinced itself that anyone can write, since a typed manuscript by one person looks exactly like one by someone else. The latest celebrity book comes out almost as fast as reality TV shows, lack of plot is not a problem, no one expects them anymore.

When you are excited about something, you hope the whole world will get excited with you, some people do and some don’t, if you are lucky the people who you are closest to will support you even if they do not see what you are excited about. But it can be tough to keep going with that excitement as others wander off to find the next shiny thing.

I am not trying to put anybody down, I just had to get some stuff off my chest. I have just been having a rough couple of days.

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