Sunday, January 26, 2014

Personal Note on my family

                 This post will be different: subject and the emotions behind it. I just wanted to express myself I don’t think venting is the right word here. This is a personal note but I didn’t want to just say, ”My Mother-In-Law died and I couldn’t write as much”. Too cold and too barren. Or might invite heavy condolences when we weren’t close even though I saw her a lot. I would add that a few lighter condolences wouldn’t be bad though.  I should add that I don't mind the sentiment behind any condolences. Just make them lighter. 

This is where the really personal comments come into play:

 I am emotionally conflicted.

        She died last Thursday night. It wasn’t unexpected since she had been slipping for way over a year. Her body started to get weak sometime ago kinda of suddenly. She did suffer for Alzheimer's disease or another type of dementia but she also suffered at least two strokes. No one knew about the first one because she didn’t mention the symptoms until later. Somewhere around six-eight months ago she was placed in a care facility and around two months ago officially placed on hospice. It all took a bit longer than every one seemed to think. Because of all that wife thinks her mom’s death was something of relief, she has already done her grieving as she watched her mother go down hill.        
      We were not close even though she had been in our lives(Mine, my wife and later my daughter)for over 30 years. So in that sense I will miss her being around.  I thought it sad that her mind went like it did. She was intelligent and educated but she could hardly put two sentences together. At times she would rally for a day or so and say something that made sense but most of the time her words didn’t make sense even though she still talked a lot. I don’t think she suffered that much because her awareness deteriorated also. 

  This part might be too much info but it's here anyway and does not include everything I could have shared:
 I said I was conflicted because when alive and fully functioning she was bossy and stubborn. Since she babysat for us and later home-schooled our daughter she insisted on what we could feed our daughter, that we had to use her as babysitter. Our daughter is autistic and her help was appreciated but she also took over.  Not only with food but she insisted that we-especially my wife-listen though her talking for hours even as later she started to repeat herself. It wasn’t as if we were the only people she could talk to. She would talk to a sister or friend on the phone and tell them what she had just told someone else and later us. Not because she forgot but because she liked to talk. 

I won’t go into more detail but there is more, this should be enough to explain why I said what I said at the beginning. My mother-in-law was helpful not only to us but to other people but to us she was also demanding and thought she knew it all. But, as I said already, seeing her mind go was sad and her death while peaceful-she just kinda of continually slipped away until she stopped breathing-and expected was not good. 
     Of course looking back some her attitudes, demanding and kooky ideas may have been the Alzheimer's coming on. But it all still made things conflicting.  

Sunday, January 12, 2014

1st update PS with more writing advice

So here’s a PS that I threatened everyone with. Finally decided I did have something extra to say. A couple of things actually


This one is kinda of obvious. If I did put each of those three theme e-story sets together as a novel--that would be one novel for each set--I would have to divide it up into chapters. But speaking of that maybe I should do that for the 20,000 + word stories anyway. Each story set has one; two at least have tales over 25,000 not sure about the third one yet. And I could make chapters in the 10,000 word stories too if I did the longer ones. In other words which ever way I go--a set of stories or a novel I would have more work to do. That includes finding someone to check the spelling, grammar, etc. And I have to decide which order to place the stories. I have thought about it already and it may not be as easy as I thought. 


  Finished my UF very looong story. 31,600 and some words. When I go back over the story it’s possible that I could add 400+ words to make it over 32,000. One more shorter story and maybe another and that is it for this series. At the moment. I hope readers will like these and want more. 

Now to get back to the alchemist story. Hmm, thought it was over 10,000 already but it’s under 5. I doubt very seriously that it will be close to 20,000 but it might be around 10. 

Hmm, in my head I may have added a story to the UF theme story set that doesn’t exist.  I was thinking that with this story the total word count would be over 55,000 but so far I have 47,458. Most of the stories are under or just over 5,000 words but I thought I had one other closer to 10. I may have getting it mixed up with one of the alchemist stories that is over 10,000 words. I may also be thinking of one story in which my MC has a cameo but I won’t be including it in the set. That story will hopefully have its own set one day. I will look again to make sure but it looks like I was one story off. I will be writing another one as I said already so the total count will be over 50,000 and maybe a second shorter one but as it looks now I will have around 56,000 words, which would be okay but I really thought I had one more. 


I want to finish all three of my story sets now but I also have a couple or four stories that need revising that I need to send out. I guess we shall see what I decide.

  Some more advice:

While writing the end battle scene  for the UF story I made sure I thought of how I was doing it. I kept in mind some of the best writers-at least the ones I consider the best for this-at expressing what the hero is going through during the battle. What they emotionally feel, think, see, hear, physically feel, smell and even taste. I worked on this while I wrote it but in this tale and the last few stories I’ve gone back to see what I could do to add to that. For me all of this adds to the battle and is one of the details that make each of these writers So Good. I’ve noticed that just a few senses are not enough. A writer needs to get into the battle him or herself. Especially if we are doing First Person as I am.  

I don't know how well I am doing, or if perchance I go too far with it but it does seem important to get into the mind of the hero, even in part to get into his-her-its body, as I stated already.  

A couple of the writers in my mind are Benedict Jacka, Seanan McGuire and C. E. Murphy. 

This is true for not just battles. If your MC walks into a bar--what does he smell? Hear? See? Taste? Fell?  See and hear are easy even though adding something that goes beyond the usual, what a reader may not expect is good too.  Smell can be easy too in a bar but does he get a whiff of werewolf? Or some special Hydraulic fluid so he knows space ship mechanics come to this bar? 

Well, that is all for this PS but I think there was something else I wanted to say so there could be another one soon.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

First writing update '14 with a bit of advice

 Okay my first writing update in 2014.

First of all:

My Indie book is still stalled. I decided to go ahead and politely decline the offer to help from the one party who has the first few chapters of my novel and was supposed to help with the real city setting. They are so busy they didn’t have time during Christmas New Years to send a note saying they would be busy for a while or am almost done with the overtime. So I can try to work on the city stuff-I do have a web site to help with that. But As I sat and thought about the novel I didn’t know what to do next. I would assume check with the guy who said he would edit it and see if he still could for the same price. If so then try kickstarter without a video. The book can use the copy editing but should I go over it one more time? Redo the first ten pages that have been copy edited then try again with people who would look it over for free? Decisions..... 

For Dave's Kicks Right here

Second of all:

Just sent another story to Writers of the Future contest. 
I had this series of thoughts the other day
Hmmm, catching up on some of Dave's Daily Kicks In the Pants-where he advises writers-he’s the first judge on all WotF entries...some very interesting advice (said in the accent of the short guy in the WW11 German helmet peeking around a tree) 

Some questions I asked myself.
Did I do any misdirection? Hmm, a tad maybe??? I mean it might have been just a tad. 
Were the characters the way he likes them? Hmmm? Maybe, 
I was reminded about originality. Again Hmmm(I do seem say that a lot) Yes, no, maybe, sort of. (Yes, all of the above) 

There were more but those are the ones that caught my attention for my Q1 tale. 

I know shouldn't do too much over thinking but we can do some. 

With what I learned with those two crits I've mentioned a time or three, I don't feel much faith in my ability to tell how well I did on any of that. I think my writing was significantly better and I feel like it better be after all the work I put in working on improving it. But I have a poor record of thinking and feeling about the level of my writing. 

As I also say a lot, though, "We shall see."

I worked on two of the larger problems with my last two entries--at least according to two previous winners who were in agreement on certain points. A third problem I worked on too but not so much on purpose, it just kinda of happened as I was working on the story.

Speaking of that for the next quarter, I thought about redoing one of those rejected entries using the two crits but I finally want to write a story that has been in my mind for three quarters.  

Third of all:

 Almost finished with two themed story sets I want to India publish. In this case by theme I mean the stories are about the same person. I think I have mentioned these before but here they are again. One them is about a Lieutenant of a steampunk Special Ops team. I have three stories done and started a fourth that is more about his personal life. Hopefully that one will be short. I want to do a second personal tale too. All of those stories will come out to be 54,000 to 56,000 words. That world is set in an alt universe. Instead of a large US there are six or so countries that take up all of the US, some parts of Canada and maybe a touch of Mexico. I would have to have a special preface that explained it all and probably a map. 

  For the second theme I am almost finished with a sixth, or was it seventh, story about a Modern day Mage. Urban Fantasy in other words. I would like to do one more shorter one with just him and his girl friend and maybe a couple of gnomes or Tinkerbell type of fairies he has to deal without letting her know what he is doing. Could be humorous if I can pull that off. 

Both will be long enough where I thought about joining all the individual stories to make them one novel. That might be a bit short for a novel 50,000 to 60,000 words but it would be okay for Indie.  

And there’s a third theme set about an alchemist I need to finish. Six to eight stories in that set but they might be shorter than the two others.

Fourth of all:

I’ve already said this but I need to start sending out stories on a regular bases again. I was going to start doing one per day but didn’t continue after three. Got too carried away writing and forgot. I need to slap myself or some such to remember. One will go out later tonight for a magazine that had been closed to submissions is now reopen for that. The editor is a fellow who has read most of my stories I want to see if I can impress him now. 

Fifth of all:

I have at least three stories I need to finish--not counting the ones for the theme story sets. And another three that need revising. Not sure when I will get to them though since I’m working on the theme story sets, not to mention two contests. But I need to get to them.

Sixth of all:

For quite a while for some strange unknown reason I kept typing out streampunk for steampunk. After a while I decided why not go for it but I had no idea how. But a basic idea popped into my head so I will be writing a streampunk tale. Hmm, come to think of it streampunk could go in two completely different directions but the second way would be related to cyberpunk which would be fun to write. Maybe I will go both ways. But I will see how it goes with the first way because I may do a story for WotF. Dave likes original settings and plots. 

That’s it for me with this one but as usual there is a warning. I can’t think of anything I’ve forgotten but it’s possible I could do one or three PS-s.  

Happy New Year you all-----Do good writing stuff which includes practice and learning.