Thanksgiving

So here we are, it’s almost National Turkey Culling Day (also known as “Thanksgiving”). This is that absolutely dreadful time of year where one is supposed to be such things as “thankful” and “appreciative”.

Fine, I’ll put aside my cynicism for a few moments and let a few things out.

One year ago, I was in the midst of writing my first real manuscript. It was for a novel, The Veil, though that ultimately didn’t come to fruition (yet anyways). At the same time, I was giving the concept of actually going forward as a writer some serious consideration. Was it a crazy idea? Yes. Was I foolish for setting out on this path? Yes. Do I regret it? Don’t even think for a second that I regret it.

In April of this year, I was given an amazing gift by means of being published in eFiction Magazine for the first time. A couple months later, I repeated that success. After that, I threw my own short story out there for free. Each time I tried, I got a newer and larger audience of people who were keeping tabs on me.

Since then, I’ve been rejected a few times. Oh well, acceptance is nothing without rejection. There’s a reason rejection has the little known name of “C.B.O.”, or Character Building Opportunity. You find out pretty quick if rejection is that brick wall that stops you for good, or it’s the road bump that you just run the hell over while you keep going.

So what am I thankful for this year? Seriously, anyone who follows my feeds knows I am quite the cynic and can be easily annoyed. I am thankful, surprisingly, for quite a number of things.

I am thankful for my family who accommodates (for the most part) my whack-ass schedule and habits due to this work. I am thankful for having an ever growing reader base who helps motivate me and makes me try to push harder and faster for better material. I am thankful for the risks I’ve taken and the successes I’ve had, despite the fact I’ve never made a single cent on my work.

I am thankful to Doug Lance, EiC at eFiction Magazine, for giving me my published start. I am thankful to Brian White and the folks at Fireside Magazine, along with the ladies and gentlemen of Petrichor Machine, for the rejections they’ve given me. I’m thankful to Audrey Lee and Jonathan Barton for providing a productive and entertaining atmosphere for writing on these long November nights.

Perhaps most of all, I’m thankful for everyone who has offered me advice, suffered through my weaker material, given me a motivational slap on the back, and told me to stick my head down and write more. This gig, while non-paying and enjoyable all on its own, is made all that much more fulfilling and worthwhile due to all of your support.

Thank you.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a day to survive, some bird to massacre, and words to butcher. Have a Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

Two weeks in the trenches.

… Wow, kind of hard to believe it’s only been about two weeks since the last update. Why? Because it’s been over two weeks since I entered the trenches of NaNoWriMo.

It feels like it’s been an eternity since I posted. Though in part, that’s because NaNo’s consumed my nights. What do I have to show for such time consumption? Over 25,400 words.  Yup, you read that right. That’s even after a lack-luster start due to ineffective writing practices which forced me to shake things up a bit.

Want proof? Okay, just keep in mind that the last bar is today and I haven’t written yet today.

 I’m not sure, but does it show where I suddenly found my new technique? That sudden jump in count was on a weekend, so that’s why there hasn’t been another like it yet. That said, guess what tomorrow is.

 It also helps that my story, Under A Falling Sky, is really coming along very nicely. The characters are getting deeper, the action is ramping up, truths are starting to come out, ect. Oh, and it’s also a good thing I didn’t outline much, considering I abandoned my mental one in chapter 2.

 So what is this amazing technique that scores me the progress each and every time? Well, for the low price of $14.95 it’s Google+ Hangouts. Seriously, this is actually a thing, especially during NaNo season.

 I’ve been in Hangouts with Jonathan Barton, Audrey Lee, and some regulars every night since I found out this trick. 15 minute muted writing sprints, 15 minute breaks, all captured with live video chat provided through Google’s Hangouts. Simple, yet extremely effective.

 So will this progress slow down? Highly doubtful. It might later on in the unforeseen future, but not for now. Progress is going too good, the company has been fantastic, and I’m falling in love with the story and the characters that inhabit it.

 For now, however, I’ll fall back into my reclusive silence as I survive the work days and the writing nights. Occasional posts might crop up on Google and such, but I’m mostly going to be writing my ass off or screwing off as a mental break. Until we get to the other side, however, ciao!

On the verge of NaNoWriMo.

Here we are, on the verge of the abyss known as NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month, for those uninformed). I’m not as prepared as I should be, my outline isn’t finished, I haven’t even made WIP cover art for the NaNo project. Hell, the project listing doesn’t even exist yet.

To say, then, that I’m excited would be an underestimation.

 Under A Falling Sky is even still in mental flux, but I’m eager to start throwing down bits and pieces. To right the tale of Tanis and Ashayl is something I’ve been looking forward to for some time, so I’m both nervous and apprehensive about starting with the 30 day deadline.

For those who don’t know, NaNoWriMo is where we writers are in a literary marathon run to write 50,000 words over the span of the thirty days of November. For the experienced and professional writers, it may seem to be another day in the office. For guys like me, who – at best – could be called rookies, it’s a different matter entirely.

To anyone who reads sentences from writers that include “NaNo”, trust me, I’m not sending off my manuscript on December 1st. It’s actually a pretty common issue amongst editors and agents in that people complete their NaNo event/project, then fire it off for publication. No quality control, no revisions, no editing, nothing.

Not for me. I intend to batter myself to hell and back in order to not only complete NaNo, but also to make sure my story is in the best possible shape it could be in. That also includes, so you know, not just ending the writing because the 30th is over. The story only ends when it’s over, not because the finishing line has been crossed.

Now the story, since I haven’t talked much about it, is a Scifi / Fantasy crossover. There’s everything from guns, naval fleets formed of airships, kingdoms and other governments, magic, and gods. In it, a smuggler and a weaver (magic user) are on the run from the Tribunal, a ruling religious group that has varying levels of control over numerous kingdoms and governments. While being pursued, trying to flee to a kingdom that is friendly to weavers, they uncover what ties weavers to the Tribunal in more ways than one.

This is a genre that I’ve not seen much of, and yet I’ve always loved seeing it implemented. For that very reason, I’m eager to get busy with UAFS, but it’s also because I am just eager to tell this story in as best a way as I can.

To that extent, I know I’ll be either spammy about progress over the coming month or incredibly silent. One way or another, progress will be made. I will see this story told, and to the best of my abilities, even if that means I end up rewriting the thing after NaNo is over.

So what do you say, should we get this party started?

Another week, another update.

Let’s preface this article by saying that this week has been hell, and it’s only Tuesday.

So what’s new in my twisted and, quite likely, disturbed head? Well, the first draft for Guns of Asgard – now with 100% less “linger” in the title – is done. I’ve got more scenes and such to add to it, so the work is still a ways from done, but the main story is done.

This story has been an odd roller coaster ride for me. I started the story by loving it, started to hate the thing part ways through, and enjoyed it again last night. Despite that, my biggest gripe with it remains; The story itself is unoriginal and – in a way – uninspired. The characters and elements of it are different, being that it uses characters from Norse mythology in a Western setting, but that’s it.

Once the first draft is done, I’ll let the call go out for Beta readers to give it a go over. After that, I’m uncertain as to what I’ll do with it. Perhaps, in the end, the beta reader feedback will dictate if I bother trying to take up a publication’s time with a submission or just post it here on my website.

No matter what, I’ll be thankful when this write is over with. I want to get to work on other projects and try to tell other, more inspired, stories. This one has felt like a stale cracker that just needed to be eaten.

As for progress, that’s improved. last night was the first night that I’ve been able to get a solid 1,000 words out in awhile. For that, at the very least, I am grateful. Now to see if I can replicate that with future projects, especially during the NaNoWriMo period.

We’ll see in the end, but for now, it’s time to just keep chuggin’ away and getting projects finished.

New Release – Poem: Prayer to the Tribunal.

Good news, ladies and gents! We got a new release today!

“Prayer to the Tribunal,” a poem I wrote, has been graciously posted up by a dear friend of mine, Patricia DeJong. You can check it out over at her website, the link is right … here. There’s also a permanent link on the published page.

The piece is a bit of background for my upcoming NaNoWriMo novel, “Under A Falling Sky.” I wanted to work with some piece of the story and build some kind of foundation, so I took up Patricia’s offer of having a poem slot on her site. This also gave me a chance to write and finish something quick and brief and get something out there for the crowd to see.

This one was, indeed, a quick write and was very cathartic to create. It doesn’t create a ton of backdrop of the setting, but it does throw in some certain pieces of setting information. In the end, I hope this creates some interest in the setting and might drum up enough questions that might grab some readers.

Either way, back to watching – a little – TV shows, then working on “Gunslingers of Asgard.” Ciao!