Saturday, December 28, 2013

New Year 2014--Joy, Hope, New Start

Now a few words about the New Year.

As the title of this says this post is about new beginnings along with Joy and Hope. Not everyone needs this but it’s still something I wanted to say.

Jesus Christ offers us all three of those things and more. God doesn’t hate any of use nor is He waiting to bash us over the head when we do wrong. My last post talks about how Christmas shows His love, followed by what we call Easter. His death and resurrection shows us His love and that He can be counted on.  And that He is the supplier of the fresh start many of us need.  

That is what the term Born Again is about. Starting new, starting fresh with right standing with God the Creator and with inner Joy and Hope. 

Here are links to three songs that share this idea in different ways. There are some ads either at the beginning or at the bottom, but you can ignore them and turn them off. 

Third Day  NewsBoys  Leon Patillo

There are many fine songs that explain this event but I didn’t want to get too carried away with song links so these three and this one that talks about how nothing can separate us from the love of God are ones that I thought would add to what I wanted to say here.

Chris Tomlin

God gives us all a second and even third and fourth chances. Failure isn’t good-it’s down right rotten-but it’s not the end either. God-Jesus-won’t stop loving us, won’t abandoned us, won’t turn His back, is there to help and save us. He wants to fill us with enough Joy to start dancing and Hope to know we can do it--we can live our lives with Him who saved us from sin and who we need to serve. 

Hope is there because God can not fail, turn from who He is and nothing can separate us from His love. Not death, angels, demons, or anything we do, or anything done to us. And He will be there for us. A big part of Christmas was God is with us. He is with us to help us change from the inside out, to guide us and to help Joy and Hope grow in us. Tell Him what you want and need, ask Him to be that for you to save you and to be with you. 

There is much more I could say but I hope this all gives you something to think about. 

One more link to a message by the pastor of my church Bill Chaney. It’s Rekindling the Radical Spirit of Foursquare part ten- it should be highlighted. The message if 49 minutes long but he talks about Joy what produces it and how to keep it among other stuff. 

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Short Message on what Christmas is all about.

I'm a bit late with this but at least it's not the 25th yet.  :)

 Christmas is a time to celebrate the Love of God. 

He sent Jesus to be born and to live as a man for us because we needed it. His love transforms us. Parephrasing a certain song we are special in the arms of Jesus. No matter who are, have done, have not done or what people have done to us.

I believe the main reason Jesus went through all this: living and dying as a man, the teachings and miracles, physically raising from the dead, was so we can be right with God and go to heaven. We can’t be good enough we have to do it His Way. On top of that there are good things that come along with His Forgiveness. Like His Love and acceptance of us no matter what, as I referenced a moment ago. There’s also Peace that passes all understanding and Joy so great you can’t explain it. And Hope that is great because it’s based on what the Creator promised and is able to fulfill. All that is embodied in Christmas. 

All of us need His love and Forgiveness.

Even if you one of the few who really have it all together with very little if any emotional baggage and everything you do succeeds, you still need his forgiveness--at some time or another you will need his Peace even if it’s only when you die. 

The rest of us need His Love, acceptance, Mercy-Grace. 

So that is a short synopses of what Christmas is all about. A day to show God’s special unconditional Love for us all. And to show That God IS With US. He doesn’t hate us or turn his back on us. He sent Jesus as a baby to show us what He thinks of us.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

New book by Lisa Shearin almost out

The Grendel Affair

New Urban Fantasy series by a great Fantasy writer. Her Raine Benares Books are well written, and Lisa invented an excited world to have her MC live in. Raine belongs to a well known pirate family yet has a magic ability so she uses it instead of swashbuckling. She has all types of unique adventures, some romance later. Lisa know well how to put her Main Character is types of danger and how to get her out again.  So read the series if you like Fantasy.

But her new book is different. As I said it's UF and this is a guy who works for an organization that protects ordinary folks of bad things that go bump in the night. I cant wit to get it in January.

Barnes and Noble link

Her Page about the book

Right Here

Saturday, December 7, 2013

laura anne gilman--new shorter writings

Been meaning to post this for awhile but you can now buy two of Laura Anne Gilman's shorter stories in a new Cosa Nostradamus series. 

If you like her writing these are better than ever. 

I have stated for years that she might be the queen of Urban Fantasy. In this round of UF Jim Butcher is the King. He didn't invent it, that was decades ago, but I believe he is responsible for the popularity of as I said this round. Laura's first Cosa book Staying Dead about Wen, came out about the same time as Storm Front. I believe that her storyteller skills along with the character of Wren Valera also played a big part in the explosive growth of UF this time around. She has a second Cosa series about a very minor character in the Wren books. That one is very well done too even for reasons I'm not sure of, but one of which might be more personal, I don't think it's as well done as the Wren books. Still good and still very much worth reading but not quite the same.  

Which brings to these two stories. Novelettes actually. I was able to get copies-through a kickstarter deal-before they went on sale to the general public. I recently started the second one. They are about another minor character in the Wren books, and he made a guest appearance or two in the other series. And a relatively new character. These two deal with a detective agency so they might be considered part Noir. They involve mysteries, action, and a race against time.  

I believe these two could very well be her best writing yet. The detail, the descriptions, scenes and the characters, all combine with an excellent story To make a very entertaining tale--two tales that is. And hopefully soon a third and fourth etc.

She has written a other books in other worlds, include a new series about a cat and dog that evidently solve crimes. And edited a steampunk book. And one I just discovered with five stories set in the Cosa Nostradamus world. I couldn't find a table of contents so I don't know if the two stories I'm talking about are included or not. 

In either case get these stories they are Uber good, cool and any other pop statements for good.  One word of warning though. Some readers do not like more than one POV. These have two. But still very good writing.

Nook Books
One Story:
Miles To Go
Second story:
Promises To Keep
Miles To Go
Promises To Keep

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Writing update Nov 24

Okay, finally time for another writing update. Nov. 24 to be exact. 

First a word on my Indie project. Still stalled-probably stale too for that matter. The person who is suppose to be double checking it for Boulder Co stuff decided to check it for more--I may have said that last time--and now she has overtime and doesn’t have the time to work on it. (Rolls eyes heavenward) that makes the fourth or fifth person to have that problem. I may decide to cancel her work on it. And I may have changed my mind on spending the money on getting a pro cover drawn the way I want it. Dean Wesley Smith is holding an Online workshop on how to do pro covers. $300. That’s in Jan. If I can take it, it will save tons of money and maybe time, even if the cover isn’t quite what I want. Plus I can use that knowledge on the covers for my story sets. 

I have been writing a lot. One looong story at work. That one will be over 22,000 words. I haven’t done one even close to that long for a long time. Kinda of ironic with this one. It’s the sequel to a previous story. That story is just under 3,000 words. I believe I will write on more about this team of Steampunk Special Ops agents--maybe two--so I can get a word count of at least 33,000. I will then design a story set to sell all of them. I know what the third story will be about but I don’t think it will be enough to reach 33,000 words total. So one more very short story, probably between 1200 and 2200 words. 

Speaking of looong stories I am also working on another one at home. So far 17,000 words. It might reach 20,000 but I would be surprised if it ends up being 22,000 like the other one. This one is the sixth story about a certain Urban Fantasy hero I made up a while back. I changed his name twice but I think I have settled on Simon Sayz. That’s his known name and his painter name. He was born with a much longer one which he rarely uses. He’s kinda of based on Harry Dresden but with lots of changes so no one will think I copied him. And of course my own way of how “Magic” works. One difference is that he doesn’t have a car, second he went to a mage school disguised as a private high school, third is he has a girl friend already-someone who doesn’t know about his abilities. There is a Secondary world with elves, unicorns, dragons, and other fae beings but it’s not the same as never-never. Once I make sure I have seven stories--I still need a short one dealing with a guy Simon has to find and convince to be his apprentice. I introduced that character in a previous story so I would need to not let that just hang there. I have part of an idea for that one and hopefully it will be rather short. More than likely it will be the last story in the story set I plan on doing with these tales. 
On top of that I have one more story I started and will finish after I finish the Simon one. It too will be longer, even though maybe just over 10,000 words, and it too is part of a series. I think story six of seven but maybe story five. 

The Friday after Thanksgiving I will be home--maybe most of Thursday too. I hope to get another story set ready for E-publishing.  A series of short quirky tales. I also want to get one story ready to send out--maybe two. And of course write, maybe get a long way into my Q1 WotF story--due the last day of Dec. 

Speaking of that I am also working on that one. It’s one I hand wrote out at work on five by three notepaper pages. I have around 3500 words on it already, while translating it to computer I am changing things and even redoing some of the order of the scenes. I figure I’m maybe one fourth to one third done. 

Not doing good at sending out stories, I just keep forgetting or putting it off to write. Part  of that might be that I am getting tried of complete rejections. I say complete because, as I have mentioned before, some markets have more than one form rejection. F&SF does and Lightspeed does also. They may use pretty much the same forms. Beneath Ceaseless Skies usually gives one to three sentences of personal comments explaining why it was rejected--very rare--sometimes they say something encouraging...I hear. It’s the same with another market but I’m not sure which one that one is at the moment.  WotF gives out Honorable Mentions--Sliver HMs even though Dave Farland doesn’t seem to do them--Semi-finalists, Finalists and winners. So far Dave hasn’t though much of my writing even though I am doing better than the last Executive editor they had. 

Speaking of online Workshops--I was just a few minutes ago. There is another of Dean’s workshops I would love to take in Jan. Dealing with “Character Voice and Setting” . I think I am doing good with setting but I know I could use some help with character voice. I will have the money for one but I may have to convince my wife I have it for the second one too. If they are still both open by the time I do that.

By the time I get done with these three or so stories I am doing I may have like five or six story sets to Indie publish. Three will be stories in a series. 

Oh another thing I want to do with my time off is set up two of those story sets. I mean count the stories to make sure there are seven and decided which stories go where. I will still have to check for typos, misspellings, bad commas etc and revise two to four stories but at least I know what other tales I may need to write. Oh and redo parts of my Simon Sayz tales. For one I changed how the “magic” worked, for second, as I stated, I changed his name. I think there was something else that needed updating but can’t think of it right now. In either case I am getting anxious about getting those stories out there. 

My wife may have me doing things like decorating for Christmas and some shopping so we will see how much of all that I want to do, I will actually get done. 

Well, that’s it for now...unless I can remember what else I wanted to say. I believe last time there was a PS and there could be one or two PS-s again.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Casting Crowns Part Two

I should have thought of this when I did the original post on Casting Crowns but I guy I communicate with on Google + posted a link to a video of a band he loves and it hit me. I could do the same for Casting Crowns. I have a link to a web site that shows CCM videos so I figured it would be easy. They didn't have any CC videos WHAT?  However two steps later and I found this list.

So here are some of their song videos on YouTube on a page that looks to be sponsored by three groups. But there is an ad in the beginning of many of the videos or an ad on the bottom of the screen so you will have to watch them first.

Here is one of their latest:

Already There

One of the first ones that got me hooked on the group.

East To West

Praise You in This Storm

And the first song of theirs that caught my attention


And even though I had original thought four songs were enough I decided this next next one is powerful enough to be listed here.

Just Another Birthday

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Review Devon Monk's Dead Iron.

An apology here for those who have read this already...I evidently used terms such as "his" in this review,  Devon is a she.  Surprised no one took me to task over that. And I used the word "word" when I wanted world. Hopefully I caught all of the mis-pronouns .

I hadn’t planned on doing this so soon but I did a shorter version of this review on a writer’s forum I belonged to and had a couple of extra minute so here it is:

I have been reading a book in a semi new series. "Dead Iron" by Devon Monk. Oh boy he is some writer. First of her's I have read even though he has out a few.

This series--with three now--is hmm, well I'm not sure. They call it steampunk but is it? It is but it's more than that. I want to say an extreme version of Steampunk but that's not quite right either, it's like steampunk took a sudden left turn. More like Gearpunk? That's not quiet right either. Hmmm, SteamgearStrangepunk? Yes, strange has a capitol letter. You have to read the book to get the significance of that. 

It's set in Western times, about the time they built the railroad. It has what are probably elves and dwarves but they are not called that. The short, wide men dig tunnels and stone talks to them. 

Not sure how to talk more about without giving away major plot points but I think it’s worth the read. I will say that the Strange are dark beings who want bodies--any type but especially human. I believe that even the good guy’s from the other Realm are called Strange but they are different.  

However I will say one things--well two things. One is that a part of the ending is strongly hinted at. I won’t be the only one to figure it out. At the same time there are surprises and one or two times someone different than expected shows up to help.  

The second item I will mention is a tiny spoiler. It has little to do with the plot. What a warwagon where in you know what did that come from?? There is no warning, it just kind appears to hold off one set of good guys. What is Devon a fan of John Wayne, Kirk Douglas and/or directer Burt Kennedy? For those who don’t know it’s an old Western.

There's danger, a curse by a god, guys that turn into wolves, Magic, a witch, adventure and great writing. It's action packed with little time to catch your breath. There is some but as I said little. The world Devon invented has characteristics of UF and Western fantasies but he adds some twists so it’s not the same old. Monk is another one to model writing after, he knows how to do action scenes. It forced me to read past my allotted time. 

That's it for me for this one. 

Oct 18 Update PS

Warned you'll/

   One thing I forgot to mention, I have changed a few things about my Hero in the UF series of short stories I have referenced. Things like his name. He is still an artist but now his painter name is Simon Sayz, I haven’t quite decided on a mage name, but it will be close. Neither name is his birth name. He has four and I am trying to think of a name that is close to Simon. Probably a Spanish name since his mother was Hispanic. Speaking of that I haven’t quite decided if his parents are still alive. I think I had them dead in the first story but I’m not sure. Maybe alive but completely out of the picture. 

A couple of his friends while growing up have been changed,  

And what I call things will be changed, it is no longer “spell”. And the world with the fae and mythological creatures is called the Secondary world. It is in the same place as the First world but different from it in many ways. 

All that means I need to go back and change names and add a sentence or two when I redo the stories to get them ready to place in a story set for e-publishing. I can do that. 
And I want to use two real life settings that Laura Resnick’ used in her Esther Diamond series but I will have to find them myself to see if they really are real.  :)  And if you have not read them DO it!  Great stuff, a bit on the lighthearted side with at least a dash of romance in them.

As to the hard SF flash I referenced in the main update post: for a few seconds I considered trying to expand it enough to send it to WotF. I would need to add at least two thousand words to it. David like longer stories because you can put in more stuff he likes but shorter stories can make it. So I would need to add another try-fail cycle maybe two more, some emotional angst, more setting, more of an explanation of what happened. But I decided it wasn’t worth the effort. 

Oh, yes the original 450 word story was inspired by a pic on the Speculative writers community of Google+. If you join G+ and the community you might be able to see the pic. Just look for my profile and you will find all my posts.  

And that story I think is so good, that gets complete rejections, has been sent to Intergalactic Medicine Show or IGMS. I don’t know if they have different levels of rejections like F&SF but hopefully I can get a personal comment on it. Love to send it to John Joseph Adams formally or F&SF now of LIghtspeed and various anthologies, but it’s too long for Lightspeed I believe. I will double check to make sure but I really believe it’s too long. If if happened to be two or three hundred words over I probably would cut out some of it but I’ll be surprised if even that is the case. 

One more thing on Indie publishing. I have a story set of eleven quirky or odd stories but I’ve been too busy to get them ready. I keep forgetting about it. Wouldn’t take long once I got going with it.   

So that’s it for this rather long PS but there could be another...Yikes. 

Friday, October 18, 2013

Oct 18 update-WotF, ethnics, short stories.

 Okay, time for another writing update. This one has a very short Indie update:

I’m still stuck on my video for Kickstarter. I experimented and found I will have problems focusing with just me doing it. Plus finding a good level for the camera to be set at. I asked three different places for suggestions but so far no responses.

Now to writing. My last WotF story failed, completely. I really thought this one had better writing and could get a HM but nothing. It’s out at Fantasy and Science Fiction. They seem to be taking longer these days...that’s not saying much though. At one to three days longer they are still have about the fastest response around. Lightspeed is faster by far as in it takes JJA one to three days, there’s another one--I forget who at the moment--that is also quick but F&SF is faster than even most cyber magazines. Anyway, I even more think of this story as my best so far--especially in writing but the story is good too--I hope for a personal comment at least but...

I have problems trying to remember to send out stories, I usually send a bunch out on a Saturday and/or Sunday. Most of them being over the internet these days. I think I will try one a day and see if that works better. 

I am working on three stories at the moment: a steampunk Special Ops team form the POV of the Lieutenant in charge-it’s the second in a series, a UF story--the latest in a series abut a male mage--most of mine lately have been female mages, and the latest in my Urban Alchemist series. This last one has six or seven stories in it. Most are short and what I call simple stories. No world saving, not even any person saving. One story my hero Samuel has to find the clothes of a group of people. The clothes, including purses etc, just vanished. And the people are locked out of their homes. It does take Samuel three tries to get the clothes back but is in danger, he learns something in the precess. Another story deals with a Gnome plague someone has.  This last one is a combo. I seem to be doing a bunch of Gnome stories. That was the third one. I may do another one soon. 

I did a hard SF flash. It’s at least close to hard SF anyway. I sent that one to F&SF today. I originally wrote it as 460 or so word story but I expanded on it, delated some stuff, changed some details, added details etc, and now it’s around 720 words. I may try to add enough to send it to Futures, which wants hard SF stories from 750 to 850. 
The story I have now at WotF is still good writing--for me and a good story--I think. It may also have the novelty that David Farland wants. I use characters that aren’t so novel but I put a twist to the plot. I hope. 

Trying to decide on which story to do for the next quarter at WOTF. I have one story there now but it won’t be judged for at least another month. I think I will do one story I have hand written out. I didn’t do it on purpose but it came out the type of story they like. So with a little modifying here and there I think it will fit better. The writing is another problem though. But I still have another type of story I thought of two quarters ago. I know pretty much the whole plot. Never wrote it out though, very recently I came up with the opening. Maybe I do it the next quarter but start it sooner. The one I hand wrote might be different enough too plus it does have try and fail cycles like David wants, plus using the five human senses for setting and other things. We shall see how he likes this one. Finally got back the rejection before I could post this....He doesn’t-of course. So as I have said before only one pro editor likes  my writing and he’s not taking any stories at the moment.

I am tempted to work on NaNoWriMo this year, more on that here. But they want you to do a 50,000 word novel during the month of Nov. Fifty thousand is rather short for a novel but it’s a good range for a month. I have done it four times. This time I want to do the version where you can do short stories as long as they relate and are a total of 50,000. I have a couple of ideas on that but I have also thought about rewriting-as from scratch-a couple of novels I started but never finished. That was years ago and I’ve learned so much about writing since I would have to change so much it would be easier to just start over. One is Space Opera, one is UF actually set in the same world as the one I am trying to get Indie published, and a third is epic fantasy-I think. But I am also tempted not to do it. A whole lot of rushing around doing just that story plus a tiny bit on other stuff. I need to start my next WotF story and revise a couple of short stories plus work on getting that novel ready to go. 

And speaking of ethnic MCs--not that anyone was at the moment--but I have decided that one of my next MCs in UF will be half Arabic and half Mexican. I mean as in from Mexico. Or I may make the UF guy I am doing now that fusion. I have a story with a black MC and one with a half fairy and half Armenian. The number two book for Two Struggles will have a black mage and hispanic plus one in a wheelchair. Actually I have already introduced the hispanic one but he will be around more in the second. Even though I dislike Political Correctness very much--too demanding and dictatorial no matter how it started--using different ethnics, females, and even people with disabilities goes beyond PCness in my viewpoint. Nothing wrong with it--of course being forced, one way or another to do it is Totally and Way wrong. 

That’s it for this time unless I remember something I forgot, I haven’t had a PS for a while but it’s still possible.  

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Some of My Favorite Music-Casting Crowns

This is contrary to my last post but it also has been on my mind for a while I decided I had time to do both today.

  A change of subject from my very serious venting last time.

It’s been a while since I’ve done a post on music but I was listening to this album a month ago and decided I wanted to say something about it, I finally am.  

Casting Crowns is what I call my favorite still together group. My all time favorite is Petra but they broke up years ago. CC is obviously still together. I discovered them years ago when they came out with “Lifesong” even though when it played on the radio I never heard it was them. I thought it was by the group Lifesong. The first song I really caught on was from them is “East To West”. Lifesong came out in ’05 and East To West in ’07. 

Petra was Rock, no mistake about it but I’m not sure of Casting Crowns. Rock-Pop maybe. They do some that have large Rock flavor to it but they also do a few that have a Country flavor. 

The album Is “Come To The Well” by Casting Crowns. It’s their eighth I think. Maybe tenth if you count a couple of Live albums from previous releases. It came out in ’11 but I haven’t listened to the whole thing very often. I have certain songs from it on my iTunes which I listen to a bunch. 

Mark Hall the lead singer gas dyslexia but it hasn’t stopped him from becoming a Youth Paster and Lead singer for for the award winning Casting Crowns. I heard an interview with him where he talked about it. Yes he does makes mistakes in the songs on stage but he doesn’t seem to let it bother him. The band just keeps playing and most probably the audience doesn’t notice or if they do it’s no big deal. 

Anyway “Come to the Well” is a great album.  “Courageous” was used in a movie by the same name. 

My favorite songs from the album are: “Jesus, Friend Of Sinners”, “Already There”, “My Own Worse Enemy”. “The Well” is good too.  Actually, all the songs are good. Very well done too. All of the voices are excellent. “Just Another Birthday” is a powerful song about a daughter who wants something from her dad who is no longer in her life. The signing is very well done and the whole story is as I said powerful. There is a story behind it but I haven’t had the chance to hear it, even though it is on their web site. On the Video updates page.  I also like “Praise You In The Storm” Very Good. “Voice of Truth” “Until The Whole World Hears” Excellent video on that one. “Who I am” and “Glorious Day” also. There are others but that gives you an idea of how many of their songs I love and there are some I like too. 

Speaking of which here is their web site: Casting Crowns They have a lot of interesting pages. Including videos of the members talking and a online community you can join. And some Bible teaching by Mark. 

Here is their page in the iTunes store Here   and for  "Come To The Well"

World Affairs Venting

Just want to do a little venting here: I apologize for this has nothing to do with writing, music or anything else I usually post about.  But the first part of this has been on my mind for months. 

This was brought by the attack on the Mall in Kenya. But I’ve felt the same way the various Idiots who have attacked schools, Navy bases, movie theaters etc. here. They are a bunch of idiots whose names should be changed to Mr. Zero. I really don’t care why they became idiots even though if we could keep a better eye on some of them in the US we might be able to stop them. Not all because not all of the attacks were done by people with mental problems. But we could better than taking away guns from honest citizens. Some of those guys had bombs and there have been those who used knives. 

Anyway back to the Kenya idiots: they seem to think they are special killing innocent people for a cause but those types of bad guys(Swine? Dogs?) have been around since Adam and Eve’s children. This group is just another in a long line of such types who rationalize killing innocents in the name of religion, politics, or just because. There’s nothing special about this new group--just a bunch of people who wanted an excuse to kill. Nothing more. 

The Overly extreme Islamists--please notice I said “Overly extreme” not all--seem to be worse than usual but they are doing the same thing Communists, Nazis, other religions, IRA and many other groups throughout history. Again I say just a bunch of people who rationalize killing innocents. Nothing More. They allowed themselves to be blinded into becoming Idiots, dogs and swine. Part of me kinda of feels sorry for them because in most cases they have been lied to in one form or another. That goes double for all of the Overly extreme Islamists. But it is still their choice to believe the lie and it’s their choice to go as far over the cliff as they have. 

As long as the choice to do things like this they will be Idiots, Dogs and Swine. Not deserving of respect or rewards. To kill unarmed innocent people does not make them heroes or worthy of honor...they dishonor their religion.  No wonder they need to force people to follow their teachings--remember I am still talking about Overly extreme Islamists not every Muslim. 

So that’s it I finally said a couple of things I’ve wanted to say for months. 

Monday, September 16, 2013

Indie-Writing update Sept 15 PS

I do have a PS already completely forget this. 

There is one type of story I have been wanting to write. An epic fantasy as in Lord of the Rings. I’ve had one idea floating around in my head for a couple of years involving dragons waking up and the MC having to learn how to control them or beat them but I don’t know it doesn’t seem to be right even though I have the opening scene in my head.

However something reminded me of a story I started probably at least ten years ago. I would have to start over since it is on a Floppy disk--an original one. For those who don’t know the original home computers had what was known as a floppy disk. A disk about five to seven inches wide(I forget for sure), very thin and it flopped around if you held an edge. Soon after they shrunk them to about two to three inches wide and placed them in plastic holders. Google them and the punch cards-yes you punched holes in them-and reel to reel tapes they used before that. 

Anyway, No way for me to excess the floppy now. Well, maybe of I looked hard enough someone could get to the data on it but it’s not worth the hassle. I’ve learned so much that I need to rewrite everything anyway and I recall some of the scenes. Back then I didn’t know there were rules or guidelines or how to write models. I just wrote what I wanted. 

I think this story will be a novella or novelette depending on length. It will be way over 10,000 but could very well be significantly over 20,000 especially when I add things like the five human senses and more detail. Not sure when I will but it is an epic fantasy and I will enjoy doing it whenever that time is.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Indie and Writing update Sept 15

First an Indie update.  I now have two stories sets up with Premiere catalogue at Smashwords which means they are available at other sites too. Such as Amazon, and Barnes and Noble. Still no sales yet though. I figured there would not be a lot for these but still expecting a couple or a few maybe.

I am working on a Odd story set, Because most are short--less than 2,00 words--I’m doing eleven stories with that set. Next I will do a Urban fantasy set--that one will be significantly longer since most of my UF stories are over 5,000 words. So a seven story set could be 37,000 to 50,000 words long. 

Still need to find the time to experiment with a video for kickstarter, unless I can find someone to do one for me cheap--as in less than fifty dollars.


Sent in my Q4 story for WotF. It is........... :)    

It is my second story for Q4. The first one didn’t see to work right. Most readers didn’t get what it was about and there were other problems so I switched stories. It's one of my favorite stories but not sure about the writing. While someone made a comment during the critting I realized I had two info dumps one right after the other. Maybe even 2.5. I moved things around a bit, redid some sentences-it was also pointed out that in four places I had an extra word left over from previous sentences. Yikes, I don't think I've had that many for quite a while. 

Something else was pointed out but I left it in so we shall see if Dave gets very far with it. After all the work and the fact that I like the storyline I hope it gets at least a HM. A Semi-finalist with a critique would be great too. My next one is still up in the air. I wanted to rewrite a story form five years ago but I have done a couple since I decided to do the rewrite that I like. One isn’t quite done but could work.

Quarter 3 hasn’t been judged yet. David Farland still seems to be reading stories so it could be another three to five weeks or as has happened before he could surprise us and it be next week we hear. I still think my Q3 story is some of my best writing--which may not be saying much though. I hope it gets a HM at least.

Been busy writing. Wrote a rather long story at work...on note paper. Something like fifty plus pages. Wrote a much shorter one on the same type of notepaper too. Only about ten pages. I may have mentioned it here but for my fantasy story set I wrote a new story of less than 1,000 words for a bonus story. This one on the notepaper is a sequel to that story. I may save it for the next fantasy story set. I didn’t set out to do a sequel but I thought about using the same type of opening and it just ended up being the same city therefore it had the same minor character. 

I wrote a new story, the fifth-in a UF series. I keeping sending the stories out but by the time I write number seven I may go ahead and E-publish them in a set, unless one sells. I am doing number six in another series which will end up the same. 

I need to start rereading my grammar books again with an emphasis on commas. I’ve read-reread and reread-three books and two online sites about commas and I still don’t get them right. 

I’m on a couple of writing communities on Google+. One has a lady who places a picture every week for anyone to write a flash story from. Last week or the week starting with Sept 8 if you are reading this later, the pic was of a girl about five who was holding the hand of a woman. They were both walking away but the girl is looking over her shoulder. The girl has fairy wings on her back. It’s a photograph not a drawing. There are trees around so it could be a forest or park. I would link to it but I think you would have to be a member of G+ if not also that community to see it. 

Anyway, my muse most have liked the picture. I came up with at least three ideas. I wrote down two. A 257 word tale and a 203 word story. I may pst them on my blog some time. 

I have not worked on any novels in the last few weeks because I have been working on the WotF stories, some short stories that wanted done now plus some odd and ends.

I need to send out more stories. I have five maybe six out, that’s nothing compared to what I usually do. Or have done, I’ve gotten out of the habit of sending out stories the last two years or so--I think I have mentioned that on pervious posts--with the exception of WotF and Fantasy and Science Fiction. I sent out three last week but one came back already. I forgot they only take stories for the first six months. Oops, I usually remember that.

I will probably be doing some more for Penumbra.  They do themed editions, The ones for next year sound very interesting. You can find the list here. Penumbra

That’s it for now. I haven’t done any for a few posts but there could be a PS for this post. There has been for previous posts. 

Oh, one PS already. I kinda of hate to use it because the deaths and destruction but the rain in Colorado made my muse sit up and take notice. The MC in the novel I am trying to Indieize lives in Boulder. I can see her in the rain, hair messed up--she has short hair so it’s not in her face-her clothes are soaked, she has to fight a demon--or some such while trying to keep her feet and not get blown down. Her friends are working on saving people but their power doesn’t stop something natural that big. They can only work on helping a couple people at a time.  Of course by the time I do another book and get that far the flooding will be over a year in the past. But still...

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Dave Farland's son charity and contest

Didn't plan to post another post so soon but here:

Check It Out

For those who aren't on hatrack or the WotF forum the executive editor (Or what his title might be, for some strange reason I keep forgetting) David Farland's son was in a Bad accident a while back. No insurance so various people and groups are working on raising money for him. This is one way and it's a good way.

A writing contest. Fee isn't that much and the Farlands get half. It's one of the very few pay contests I will enter.

But if you want to try hurry deadline's the Sept 9.

Among other types of story telling, Urban fantasy is good.

A PS You can enter more than once if I understand the rules correctly. I think I can enter three to five stories.

Indie and Aug 24 Writing Update


This double update is rather long:

       First the indie update.

I decided to do Kickstarter as I believe I mentioned last note. I will need a thousand dollars to have my novel copy edited and the cover done. Maybe 1,100 to have some bookmarks made. The only thing keeping me off of Kickstarter is the video one needs to do it properly. I need to find the time to do one. I have thought out what I want to say. I would like to show a picture of the cover but I would have to spend 520 of my money to do that. I would be surprised if Kickstarter or those who would decide to help me, would appreciate me paying myself back with the kickstarter money. If I could find some of the Strange New Worlds Ten-s I still have I could show one and offer a couple as gifts on a certain price range. But they might be hidden in a closet, under heavy stuff. 

   I took a picture that might work as the fantasy set story cover so I need to work on that. I may add two stories to that batch. I noticed on CreateSpace the lowest amount of stories is around seven not including Dean Wesley Smith’s stories and story sets. I may think on that for another week. I have other things to do so I probably would be waiting anyway. 

   I will be waiting on the marriage set. I want to send one new story to at least one market first and that won’t get back to me for a couple of months. I may make it two markets but have to decide on the other one. I have one picture I can use for the cover of a heart but I would like a couple of more I could mix together on a cover. 


   Writing Update:

    Written a bunch of stories since my last update, the current one I am sending to Q4 of WotF has been given a prophecy of Doom by one critter. Not for the writing but for the content of the opening. A bit too controversial evidently. I won’t go into more detail but there has been an ongoing emotional debate at a certain large writer’s group. To be PC or not to be. Evidently David Farland is on the PC side. Other well known writers are on the non-PC side. They reacted rather angrily to a statement made by the PC side. Another writer did also on his blog. All three over reacted especially the guy on his blog but at the same time I can understand why. Personally I think if you start worrying about offending some people, that is all you will be doing because someone or group will be offended no matter what you do. I have to admit I do that I do sometimes change something so as to not to offend or to be PC but I try to restrict myself.  In other words there are limits for me. 

Sorry not to name names and to be vague but it’s suppose to be smart to do that while talking about a WotF story. They can be strict about the judges not knowing who you are. 

   I entered a story for a gaslight fantasy themed issue of Penumbra. Nice little story--just barely under 3,500 words. I decided I will be writing more with that MC. Gaslight is sort of like steampunk but with at least a touch of horror evidently. Or so I hope. When they reject it I will send it to Beneath Ceaseless Skies. They like steampunk. 
Oh, I seem to have broken away from Urban Fantasy even though I am working on a Western Fantasy. It’s is a longer story-would not be surprise if it’s over 10,000 words by the time I get it done. It’s almost done. I am hand writing it at work which at 125 to 460 words per day is slow going. And when I get done I will need to type it out. Which is why I hate writing things out by hand but sometimes it’s just too hot for my laptop--or so I think but I might be too paranoid about that. 

Today I was reminded of two very short general fiction stories I wrote quite a while back. This paragraph is here not in the Indie update because it’s more about writing.  I may have to rewrite them for I think I lost them. One is about someone losing his Bling--suppose to be lighthearted and another dealing with a guy with a unique way to celebrate. I probably will try to make a story set of them. But there’s only two. One more gen fic story but I haven’t finished it for it’s sad. But still three stories isn’t enough for a set. I may do a mix of very short stories. Three gen fics--one from the marriage set--a western and some SF and Fantasy. Maybe I can write a couple of more Gen fics and one more western. Some people like a variety. 

I’m doing four crits--one in a row--for Q4 of WotF. After one and a half and reading one of the stories I say not David will have a variety to choose from. And good writing. Maybe a batch of melancholy tales also, at least a few. Don’t know if that last is good-bad-or in-between but I’ve noticed that some editors like less than happy endings. Part of that might be because they get few well done ones. So it’s a nice surprise when they do.  

I’ve done a guest post for the first time that is here.  And in the next two weeks I will be doing another one. The first one deals with Indie publishing and the second will be advice on writing. 

I think this is it for this update. As usual if I recall something that I wanted to say but forgot there will be a PS.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

"Mountain Echoes" by C. E. Murphy Part Two

         Yeah, part two of the review. I didn’t expect to do one-even if it is number two-but after reading more of the book various thoughts have bounced into the forefront of my mind. 

  First: whoa boy is this a wild ride. Murphy is at her best. Twice now I kept reading after my allotted time for reading, I just didn’t want to stop. I had to because things needed to be done just part away the leftovers from dinner. But it was almost like I couldn’t stop.
A  very ungeneral spoiler here so I hope it isn’t too spoiley.  But The Big Bad Guy first takes her on like the Hulk but then switches and becomes more subtle with a long going strategy. Surprised me even though maybe it shouldn’t. Second I had thought about writing a note to Murphy to ask when Walker deals with her daughter’s soul--sorry if you don’t know but it’s all in the first book--but Murphy deals with that in this book but I won’t say how or when. And there is time travel as if that was a surprise from the cover and previous adventures--again I won’t say more--but Walker, as before, learns something she needed to know. Murphy does a great job and her imagination comes up with some interesting situations and battles for Walker. Even though Murphy does seems to be following a pattern she developed a couple of books ago. It might go back to the first book and I just noticed it but in either case it works. 

Second: There are other writers I like and I have developed my own habit of coming up with characters using the model of the writer I like. As I say my character is sort of, kind of, in a way, based on that writer’s character. The novel I want to Indieize is an example. There are plenty of changes I made to make my MC different from Wren in Laura Anne Gilman’s Wren books but still Wren is under there--kinda of. As I said as a model even though my MC’s emotional baggage is closer to Walker’s than Wren’s. 

But strangely enough I haven’t come up with my version of Walker. But come to think of it I have-she is in a short story not a novel. She traveled around the place while growing up because she is a military brat. I didn’t do much with that in the short story except in her relationship with her husband. Yes, my MC has been married for a couple of years and never had any children. She also has an angel advising her. And a chance to be tempted big time to go over to the dark side. I remembered I do want to do a novel but not now--too many other novels going on. 

So read C. E. Murphy--she has out more than one series and is a great storyteller. 

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Review: "Mountain Echoes" by C. E. Murphy

Been wanting to write this out for a couple of weeks, at least, and decided I better do it now.

I am reading "Mountain Echoes" by C. E. Murphy. Book eight in the Walker Papers.

As I have stated before and no doubt will state again, she is one of two writers I really want to be like.. Murphy knows how to turn a phrase (to quote just one "Cop Shop") and how to end a chapter with a cliffhanger-sometimes a complete surprise-and how to place her MC in danger.

That last isn't as easy as it might sound. I know from personal experience. She does it just right which is one reason I want to write like her.

I will say one thing about this book though. It seems too easy to read. Some writers are like that, in some cases almost like they are writing YA or even Mid Grade books. I don't recall if I noticed that with previous Murphy books but this one is too easy. But it also has the usual turns of phrases-I mentioned earlier-and the great descriptions and action scenes. I'm there wherever her there is. Plus she has the same cliffhanger chapter endings as usual and as I have also mention earlier. I would describe a couple of those endings but that would be a major spoiler. I really don't want to do that here.

I will say that her meeting with her son(No, this isn't a spoiler since it's on the back of the cover or maybe it is but they did it first) is pure Walker. You would have had to read the previous books to understand that. I must say also--this is a minor spoiler--that it took me a while to get that Walkingsticks are praying mantises. Very slight criticism of Murphy there. I thought they were a different "stick" insect.

I don't want to gush too much over the book, I'm sure Murphy has her detractors but the only problems I have noticed are small ones. Some may not like Walker she can be a bit of a whinier and her emotional baggage can hinder her more than some would like but over all I like her and Murphy displays her wonderfully,   Walker does learn though even though sometimes without warning which might be one defect in Murphy's writing. Walker will say something along the lines of  I did this last time and it blew up in my face so I thought about it and this time I do it another way, I read up on it last time I had a chance so I think it will work better. I say Oh, when did she think about it or read up on it? But (Shoulder shrug) it doesn't happen a lot and I consider it minor.

It's a great read and I recommend it to anyone who likes adventure with a mystery mixed in.

I will add one thing here, Murphy did something in number seven or six that I personally wished she didn't do with Walker.  But few readers will probably feel that way. I'm sorry I can't say what for it will By a Huge Spoiler. All I will say though that of one character I said, "That young???!!"  but she did something too that I said ugh too. But as I said that was personal tastes not anything wrong with Murphy's writing. Still as you probably realized I kept reading.

Indie Update and did it THREE

Right now my novel is in limbo or circling some planet somewhere waiting for clearance to land.

I contacted two sites that can copy edit. Both wanted the first ten pages to see how much they would charge for the whole thing. I sent the pages to both but didn't hear from the first site. It turns out that I must have slipped up with them and not attached the pages. I had everything set up to do that but somehow didn't. So I need to resend them or send them for the first time as the case might be.

The first site--Lucky  Bat--also does covers as I think I have mentioned already. But I still asked someone else and I'm not sure if I received a response from her.  I need to double check on that to make sure.

Once I know how much I need for both I will look into doing a kickstarter event. Looks like I will need a least a thousand dollars perhaps more depending on which copyeditor I decide on. I've looked it over a couple of times, and I think I have it figured it out but I would need to make a video-Yikes!

Now to my story set. My story set of SF stories is now available at Barnes and Noble. Last time I checked not at Amazon. I didn't check at the other sellers listed at Smashwords.  I have thought about doing a POD even though five stories seems too short. I checked at Createspace and found some that were seven stories long maybe one at six stories. My total word count comes very close to the word count of some of the shorter story sets there. So that is still up in the air. I'm not sure how well the shorter sets sell like that so I don't know if it would be worth it the effort.
I had thought about E-publishing the Marriage set of stories but I decided to see if I can do a cover with hearts and wedding rings. And I still need a cover for the fantasy set. That leaves one more set of stories I could e-publish. I probably will do them next weekend. They are a set of quirky or odd SF tales so I can use the same cover just change the title some.

But I have a contest to get a story ready for and another story to get ready for a themed magazine. Both stories need to be sent out before the end of the month and the contest one is looong. It will take a while to go over--I have two crits to read over for that story. That will take a while most probably since I have been told I have POV problems, not to mention I need to figure out how to suggest the speculative element in the first 13 lines. For this story that is not as easy as it sounds.

So more work on all of my projects and we shall see how it goes. Still no sells on the one story set, I don't expect a lot but a couple would be nice.

Until next time.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Indie Update did it TWO...

Today Smashwords said that my story set had been approved for their Premium status which means that it can be sold on various sites like Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

That was a very nice surprise because I really expected they would find three certain problems and maybe some mistakes I made but they didn't....amazing.

However I did have to fix one little detail. I'm really surprise they didn't say anything about that.

While in the process of learning how to link from one part of the file to another--so the table of contents could be used as a short cut to the different stories--I accidentally linked the whole forward to Yahoo.

Oops, I thought I had undine it but when I downloaded the Epub file as the request people do to double check it, I found the link still operational. Yikes, So tonight I undid it, hopefully for sure. While I was at it I also redid the short blurb.

I thought about redoing the title of the set to make it shorter but I now that I had the cover correct I don't want to try to redo it. But the next sets will have a shorter title.

The book is Here

I want to start working on the next set, the tales of Marriage, but I have a story to finish critting for WotF. I should do that first but maybe this weekend I can do that one. I want to do the others but we have things to do around the house too. And I still don't have a cover for my Fantasy set.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Indie update did it.....

Not my novel but I did upload a story set tonight.

Flying Eagle presents    I think it still needs a bit of work but so far it looks like I did most of it right. A cautious Yay

We shall see in the next couple of days.

The cover may need larger text.

These stories are not my best writing even though they should not be bad either.  It was tough going and still could be tough going if I did something wrong but...

If I did it for this set I can do it for my novel when it is all ready.

Now I will get the other four sets ready. Well, three, I still need a cover for one of them.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Indie Update two

I received a response from Lucky Bat books Right Here .

They do both editing and covers. Someone at the WotF forums suggested them. I looked them over sent an E-mail asking for more info. Their editing services aren't too bad in price but I had to send in ten pages which they will check out, then tell me how much the whole book will cost. I want line-editing which looks for typos and bad grammar even though the novel--at least parts of it--could use the book editing service, probably. Right now I think I will go with them but it isn't in stone yet.

Their covers are a bit on the pricy side but some of their artists will draw exactly what you want. They do good covers. And since I'm going to have through anyway to pay for this book, I just as well go with what I want.

I finished the final revision of the novel--kinda late but I forgot that I hadn't done the last two or three chapters. I added over 500 words--maybe way over 600-to the final battle and aftermath, making things a touch more difficult for my MC and clarifying certain sub-scenes. I had my MC going through the same door twice.

I found myself experiencing the same emotions I do when I read a scene like that. Excitement, tension, wondering what will happen next, what type of injuries will she take, things like that. Of course I knew some of that but not all of the specifics. If my feelings are any indication it's a great scene but it's doubtful they are. We shall see.

Speaking of Kickstarter. I need to make a video of me--Ugh and Egads--explaining everything and come up with rewards for different levels. My camera can do that but can I do that?

Oh, that's right. It's Saturday night late evening and I just remembered I wanted to try to E-publish one set of five stories so I can see if I have the covers right. So which means I need to work on that now. If I do it tonight or tomorrow I will add a PS, well even if I fail for one reason or another I might do a PS.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Indie Update One

This may actually by update 8 but as most of you know I called the first seven Vacation Update so since I changed the name I'm starting over at one.


By accident I figured out something on GIMP and by trying a new button I figured out something else. So I had two covers, using nature pics me and my wife took, ready. However I decided the Sci Fi ones should have something that deals with Sci Fi. I decided to take some pics of a planet my wife bought me. (Boy does that thing play havoc with gravity around here--compasses don't work either. {Rolls eyes upward--clears throat} Anyway, after playing around with GIMP I figured out how to get just the globe in a frame with a black background. But after all that work I could get the Text section to work right. The blasted software wouldn't cooperate-it even quit on me twice.  But today I thought about making a copy and see if Text would work on the copy.  It did.  

All that means that I now have a SCi Fi I want, and a second cover for relationship stories. It is a nature shot but that's Okay. Now I need a Fantasy cover. Not sure what. A full forest pic maybe. I have some of those.  Not sure what would be a general Fantasy pic. I have another set of stories but they are quirky Sci Fi so I can use the planet cover again, just need to add QUIRKY in the title.

I don't know if this will work for sure. The only way to see if everything comes across as it is suppose to is to send a set-with cover and correct format to smashwords and see if they take it. Maybe this weekend.

I am at a stand still on the novel cover. I sent a message to three cover sites--I think I mentioned that already. One sent back a note already which is the one that I said has an opening in Oct. I finally received a second response but still none from the third one. I even sent them a second note. Still nothing. They have a note on their web site that says they have a special right now which is good. The second site hasn't responded to my second note about what I wanted on the cover. They also edit novels and I now know how they operate so I'm going to have to follow their instructions to get an estimate of how much they will charge me for that. Hopefully they will send a response back about the cover I want. The first site seems to be wondering if I made a decision yet.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

My reading: "Hounded" (Iron Druid Chronicles series #1) by Kevin Hearne

Hmm, this post might very well go against one thing that Dean Wesley Smith stated in the online workshop I took from him. Never put down another writer. It's alright to express viewpoints but this one might go over the edge there.

I've heard some good things about this series and even seen a couple of the books. I didn't realize this one is from 2011, though. Anyway, I decided to give it a try. 

I'm a bit over half way done and hmmm. I have mixed feelings. 

Not bad but I think the blurb on the cover is way over done. Obviously blurbs are to catch the attention of the reader. But this one I think is more stretching things than usual. By no means is Kevin a heir to Jim Butcher. 

If I had read this to critique a new writer, I would have said it needed some work: needs more of the five senses, the Hero wins too easily, more descriptions. Some of that appears as I read along but the first couple of scenes were lacking.

At the same time Kevin has some very interesting and entertaining scenes--humorous too. The scene where the goddess tries to make a smoothie because she loves them but doesn't know about electricity is an entertaining sequence. The fights are not bad even though as stated some of the earlier ones are too easily won. 

The whole is a good read, with significant good points, and it is a very interesting world even though, on a personal note, his comments on Christianity are bothersome but it's one of those things I wonder if Kevin feels that way or if he thought the character would. They may also deal more with Catholicism than Christianity as a whole. 

And of course this is probably his first book, at least I haven't seen any previous ones listed, so of course that makes a large difference. More than likely I will read the next one so I'll see how he does.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Venting LB part two

I promised a part two from my last post so here it is.
I was wrong, ten minutes isn't enough time to eat even just a snack. But I still have lunch to write and three days a week twenty to thirty minutes before work starts.

I just wanted to say that this bossiness of Liberals goes back quite a way. They think they are right and force everyone else to conform or else. Started with spanking a Waay back when--probably before that but that seems to be the started getting big enough to be noticed. Never mind that at the very least three generations--including the Greatest Generation, was spanked with no over all harm. Never mind that mostly they were behaved and did great things-in various areas of life. Liberals didn't like it and thought it was abuse so everyone had to think that way.

Now we are dealing with guns and Medical help with the same mind set.

I won't go into more details but here in California we got it one of the worse states for that. A lot of people, including middle class have fled. So many laws, regs and taxes in what is called a Nanny state now.  Many times it hurts the people they are suppose to help but they don't care they get something in their mind and it has to be forced on people. Sometimes a situation does need some help, like Health Care, but they go Waaay overboard with rules, laws, taxes, forcing people to do what they think needs to be done. The Mayor of New York City is a good example and most of the State legislature here are also examples.

So these rules on overtime and keeping track of hours make it a lot harder on my boss--a small business owner--on me and our costumers which also makes it harder on me and my boss. This hours thing is so ridicules and a pain that does the opposite of helping. On top of it all it cuts into my writing time too. No benefits at all for me.

Okay, sorry for the venting--I could say a lot more but I won't-but this has me frustrated and there's nothing I can do about it either which makes it worse.  At least I can vent some here.  More writing stuff next time.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Even more Liberal bureaucracy Venting

For those who are new I do this now and then.

Last time it was because they ruined a good deal we had where I work. We made up half an hour a day by coming in early so we could leave work at Two on Fridays. Did for thirty some years. No more because of the Liberals who run California got this thing in their head that said any time over eight hours a day is over time. It's more complicated than that but that is what it boils down to.

Now, probably for the same laws, we have to cut our breaks from twenty minutes in the morning and fifteen minutes in the afternoon down to ten each time. We leave work ten minutes earlier but that is not a good trade off. Ten minutes is barely enough time to eat, or get my laptop out to do some writing.

There's no reason for it, they just got this thing in their heads and we get the downside of everything they do. I said Bureaucracy but that includes politicians too. Again they had to fix something that wasn't broken because somehow they felt it was or they knew how to do it better.

There will be a part two but it's late now.