Tuesday, June 8, 2010

I am alive.

Thanks for worrying!  :)

This year has probably been the busiest year of my entire life.  I have been so busy.  But I am getting back to my novel.  I will be getting our little writers group back together.  I have already gotten the commitments from "the guys."

Also, I got a new calling in church a couple of weeks ago.  EARLY MORNING SEMINARY TEACHER!  Wow, I had better finish my book by the end of the summer.  Otherwise I'm not sure I ever will. 

I am going to also sit down and write my davey short.  I am excited to finally pull all of these little fragments from my brain and combine them.  Hopefully it will be good.

Lastly, I have been growing into a political animal in the past few months.  One of the reasons I haven't been writing.  I am very concerned about many of the current directions that our country is headed.  So, you might start to see more of that hitting this dialogue.

Anyway... Be back soon!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Too much going on?

I know it has been a while.  Sorry 'bout that!

I am currently hovering over the 45,000 word mark.  Wow that is a lot of words.  But I am still not even close to my goal.  Keep typing, typing, typing.  Yeah, I know.

In other news I have arranged and begun a writing group.  There are 5 of us.  It was really fun to meet last week and discuss one of the first scenes that I have written.  The really cool thing was that as others discussed my scene it was a revelation to me.  I learned SO MUCH.  I got lots of good feedback and I knew exactly how to "fix" the broken parts, so to speak.

Also, at work, I finally got to officially  move into Plaza One.  I now work eight hours a day on the twenty-second floor of a skyscraper.  It is really weird when you ears pop going to work.  I doubt that I will ever be used to it.

As a treat for those few people who have followed this irregular blog I am going to post something for you today.

*Drum-roll*  Under this very large cotton sheet is the most recent version of my world map.  Many things on this are changing and this is most definately not going to be the same by the time the book is done.  But I wanted to post this to demonstrate the level of commitment I have for finishing my book.  Enjoy the map.  I know I do :)
P.s. The H is a silent one in honor of my wife.  She rarely makes the H sound.  You should hear the way she says Human! :)


Friday, February 26, 2010

It's about time for a quick check-in

Yesterday I wrote 2423 words. Wow. I did it in three "sessions" but that is a lot of words. Unless you have tried to sit down and write a huge work of fiction you won't be able to realize how much that takes out of you. The scene wasn't anything really amazing but I think that it turned out well.

What is the secret you might be asking. Well, I will tell you. B.I.C.H.O.K. That is the answer.

Oh, you don't know what that means? Oh, well it is one of Howard Taylors brain-farts. It litteraly means: But In Chair Hands On Keyboard. So, there you go (you have to say that last bit with a greek accent :)

Word Count is approximately 43,000 words and growing!

On a side note. A totally geeky one. I have officially become friends on facebook with Brandon Sanderson, Howard Taylor and Dan Wells. I know it's dumb. But heck someday we might actually be friends and be able to discuss upcoming work together. Who knows!

I will post again soon.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

It has been a while!

First let me check-in.  I have just under 37,000 words.  Yeah, it hasn't been a very productive few months.  I decided to focus on my family over the holidays and found that the days just slid by. 

Fortunately I have had this growing irritation in the back of my mind.  Growing to the point that I couldn't put off writing any longer.  So, I began.  I decided that I needed to change the starting point of my novel.  I needed to introduce my main antagonist early.  As a matter of fact, I decided that he should be readers first taste of the story.  The scene in a small way introduces my plot, it introduces main characters and the driving force behind them.  It sets up several of the promises that I want to make to my readers.  It was just a much better beginning than I had originally written.

So, I am excited.  It was really fun to write. 

Also, I began a small, private, writing group that meets in my home.  This should be a wonderful way to put the heat back on me to continue writing.  Since it is such a solitary task I think that it's important to find ways to bring other people into the process.  It makes is so much more exciting to know that people are going to read your work and get a pulse for how my baby is coming along.  I don't want a Frankenstein creature after all -- just a killer.

Perhaps I will post my first scene once I have polished it a bit.  Later!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


OK, it has been a crazy ten days.  Lots going on.  Lots to report.

First, NaNoWriMo.  I have been doing really good.  I am totally off track to finish the month with 50,000 words, but I have written over 12,000 words in the past 11 days.  To me that is something to be very proud of.  It is SO FREAKING EXCITING to see my novel growing by chapters ever few days.  It is truly an indescribable feeling.  Such a shame too.  My book is alive in a sense.  My people — or characters if you prefer—are breathing life into the story.  They are so interesting.  They do things that I really wouldn't expect so often.  yeah, I know i am the author.  But, I am telling you that they just do their own things.  It is increadible.

For example: I was working on a scene with my main character.  I was certain how it was going to end up.  I was working toward it and he made some really different choices.  They were characteristic of him, I realized as I was watching the scene unfold, but they surprised me.  By the end of the scene it had come to a resolution similar to the one that I had anticipated but SO MUCH BETTER.  There was so much more depth to the scene because of the choices that my my protagonist had made.  It was ten times more heart-wrenching.

Now, moving on.  Yes I hear the groaning demands from you.  You want to read the heart-wrenching scene.  Well, it is over 9,000 words.  Far too long to post on this little blog.  Besides, you don't want to mess everything up for yourselves.  :)

Last week I had the honor of meeting one of my writing heroes.  Brandon Sanderson few into Dayton to do a book signing.  My wife and I drove down and had a wonderful time.  Brandon, whose podcast I have listened too, has been one of the big inspirations to me in this novel writing venture that I have embraced.  It told him so.  Then my wife told him what a fan I was and how I listened to all his podcasts.  And I was trying so hard NOT to look like the leader of his fan club.  You got to stay professional at these types of things you know.  Brandon actually made a podcast devoted to how one should act around authors that they love (this is in the context of the fan being an aspiring author who is trying to break into the business).  Authors do appreciate fans, but when everyone is saying that they are "your biggest fan" it kind of gets lost in the mix.  However, Brandon seemed to really appreciate what my wife said and we chatted for a few minutes after he signed my book.  I told him that I was well into my novel and that he was one of my main inspirations.  He looked really pleased and encouraged me.  Even said he hoped that someday he would be standing in line to get me to sign his  copy of my book.  He was really a neat guy to meet and visit with.

I think he knew that I was being a responsible fan (if such a thing exists) and appreciated it.  Anyway, here is a pic of me and one of my heroes.  Enjoy!

Lastly, here is a check in.  My current word count is 33,464 words.  WOW!  I passed 30,000 words last weekend and I have been pretty extatic about it inside.  I try not to let it show too much, but it is a real accomplisment in my own estimation.  I doubt that anyone who has not sat down to write a long piece of fiction can understand what 30,000 words feels like, or means.  It has been a LOT of work.  But it is totally worth the effort.

So, go write your own story.  Nobody but you can write your story, whatever it is.  It is a personal journey where you learn so much about life and discover a lot about yourself in the process.  If I never publish this work, it will still be so worth the time and sacrifice and struggle that I have put into it.

Thanks for visiting.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Davey got a brand new puppy.

Hello vast audience. I just finished putting my son Parker to sleep tonight. He is the three year old. Anyway, he requested his mandatory "Davey Story" before he would willingly drift off to sleep. What could I do? I love it when he asks me to give him a new story. Lately he has decided that he can tell a better tale and interrupts almost immediately to "tell it right."

So, tonight I told him that I had a new story with a surprise. His eyes nearly bulged out of his head. Then he pulled up the blankets around his little neck, snuggled deep into his pillow and turned his head toward me. With his little hands grasping the comforter under his chin he said, "OK, I'm ready dad." with a big grin. I would give almost anything to be able to have a picture of that perfect moment. The result was a rapt audience.

I began like I always do but painted a picture of a bored little boy with his robot. Then his mother hinted that dad might be bringing home a surprise.

"What is it?" Parker asked.

"I don't know I answered." with a smile. Then I told him about Davey's dad pulling into the driveway and getting out of the car with a box that had holes in it. As Davey ran out to his dad the box yipped.

"I think that it's a dog in the box" Parker whispered to me; anticipation wildly apparent on his face. He really couldn't wait to find out if there was a dog in the box.

OK, now before I finish, I realize that a dog in a box with holes in it is totally cliché. I get that. But, what is cliché to the rest of the world is always going to be new to a three year old. That is a very important lesson that I have learned this year. Cliché's only exist when your target audience is poorly chosen for your story. Now back to the story.

Davey's dad set the shaky box on the living room floor. Parker pulled in his chin as he prepared to experience Davey opening the box. Davey's dad then explained to Davey and Pickles that his surprise would need to be taken care of responsibly. Davey of course agreed (didn't we all tell our parents we would scoop the poop and walk the dog? Yeah, to their everlasting disappointment.) Then Davey opened the box. A perfect little dog jumped up into his arms and licked Davey's face.

Parker laughed, and squirmed, twisted himself up in his comforter as he giggled the words "The doggy licked his face... ha ha ha. He was completely overjoyed by that little tiny detail of the story. I saw first hand how writing can teach someone something. More importantly I saw that one can truly experience an enormous range of emotion throughout the course of the story line and that those are real emotions that the reader, who has emerged him/herself into the story, feels. When Parker experienced the payoff, or fulfilled promise, of the story he was thrilled.

I think that if I had finished with him just getting a puppy and playing outside with it he would have loved the story. But, giving that little extra fulfilled promise/detail about the licking of Davey's face the story was twice as good.

I didn't stop there. The puppy jumped over to pickles and licked his face too. Parker wriggled and giggled all over again. I asked Parker what Davey should name the puppy. He said "name him Fred Jellybeans dad." I, for convenience in story telling shortened the name to just Jellybeans.

Regardless, it was a really great Davey and Pickles (and now Jellybeans) story-night in our house tonight.

Anyway, on other fronts. I wrote 1,340 words last night. It was a pretty good night. but not near enough to be on par for NaNoWriMo. I am not sure that I will finish NaNoWriMo. I just have so many demands on my time right now. This is truly disappointing to me since this is something that I really want to do. Something that I really want to accomplish. I even have next years "novel" all planned out. I think that NaNoWriMo 2010 will be a collection of short stories that all take place in the same world; chronologically.

WOW, look at me. I haven't finished NaNoWriMo 2009 and I am already planning for 2010. I just have so many stories that I need to write. I guess that is the proof that there is truly a writer inside me somewhere.

Anyway, thanks for visiting.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Happy Birthday Bekah!

I am taking another day off from NaNoWriMo to celebrate my wife's birthday. We have been married for eight short years :). She is a very talented woman. Everything that she decides to do she seems to do well. She is an accomplished photographer, "jewelry lady" and an amazing mother to our two little boys. Due to the love and wisdom that she imparts to both of them daily, I would not be too surprised to someday find myself the father of two great men who change the world. Perhaps they will cure cancer, or the common cold.

I hope that it is a great day for you.

Happy Birthday "Love."