Long past doing the expected.

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I haven’t written on the blog in awhile because I’ve been getting words in the morning and I honestly haven’t felt like it.

Right now is different.

I’ve written novels in almost every genre and I’ve learned what I like, what works, and what doesn’t(for me).

We’re all different which is what I added that little bit on the end there.

I work best with an outline.

I’ve written almost 11 books and the current work with the outline has been the easiest.

Those who know me, or at least think they do, believe that I should be writing horror. I understand their reasons and they make sense until you discuss life with me.

I haven’t had that difficult of time but there have been moments in my life that sucked. We’ve all had that.

On to the unexpected.

I decided to write the current project based upon what I read growing up. Sure I read fantasy and sci-fi. But those were books I had to hide.

The books I read in public were different.

Life a meal and dessert.

The meal was always what I read in public. The dessert was what I read in private.

Now that I’ve nearly completed the first draft of the project, I see where I’ve made mistakes in other books.

I often try to hurry to the end and that’s caused many rewrites.

I’m trying not to do that with this project and as I reach the end I feel there are only a couple of people who will read it but I’m okay with that.

I feel I truly wrote this for myself.

Getting life taken care of

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I’ve worked on a new project for most of the last month of all this crazy new reality.

It started with wondering whether I should write the current project, something I discussed in another post.

I also talked about dropping this project because it was different and wasn’t the horror stories I believed I should be writing.

But cooler heads prevailed and I’m at almost 30k on this project.

It’s the first time I’ve used an outline this thoroughly.

I worked for three weeks on this outline and now that I’ve got a handle on how it’s supposed to work I’m enjoying it.

There are minor points I’ve set within the outline that I must reach and they’ve allowed me to write to the story I want as long as I hit those points the story works.

That I’ve written ten novels and never approached my writing this way says a lot about where I’ve been and even more about how my mental attitude has changed towards an outline.

I’ve tried this approach numerous times but now after having a MasterClass account and listening to David Baldacci, Dan Brown, Robert Patterson, I’m more comfortable within this construct than I’ve ever been.

My wife got me a subscription to MasterClass for my birthday and I’ve watched all of the ones I’ve listed above.

The Baldacci one is my favorite.

I’m able to get 2300 words or more every day, sometimes reaching into the 3k range.

But having the comfort of this new way to work makes me more confident in my writing abilities.

I miss writing on this blog three days a week but have been focusing on reading and writing so much that the blog hasn’t been part of that focus.

I’m not going make a promise I can’t keep and tell you I’ll write more posts, but I will keep you updated on how the writing is going as much as possible.

I have a deadline set for the end of June for the first draft and will probably finish sooner.

As to the rest of my life.

Kids are doing school from home. I’m unable to bartend for obvious COVID-19 restrictions. My wife has worked from home for the last 9+ years and is busy.

I work, play video games, keep the house, and yard clean.

I miss bartending. I’m an introvert, except when I’m pouring drinks.

I miss that.

I hope you’re all healthy.

Stay home, stay safe.

Horror and dealing with things…

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Let’s be honest. All this shit happening around is bonkers to say the least.

I’ve tried writing something other than horror to keep my mind from thinking of all the terrible circumstances of our current existence.

But I’ve failed.

I spent three weeks writing an outline for a story that has failed to hold my attention.

I don’t think it’s the outline that did it but more along the lines of how my brain reacts to the world around me.

I thought I could write something more mainstream, or at least something non-fantastical.

That came to end this morning when I put away the outline and went back to a short story I’d shelved.

I do enjoy the world I created with that outline but I currently feel like I’m trying too hard to write something that a person would enjoy and that person isn’t me.

I like to read all flavors of books but the fantastic saved me more times than anything else has.

I’ve tried to deny it, but after writing ten books with nothing to show for it, I have to go back to what makes me happy and it’s not writing what someone who isn’t a part of my life would enjoy.

Of all the books I’ve written, they’ve all had fantastic elements. Whether they be vampires, apocalypse, Grim Dark fantasy, or any of the other derivatives of fantasy.

I just can’t write a regular fiction novel without thinking about where I could put a monster. It didn’t happen during the outline process but boy, it’s happened in the drafting process.

I keep thinking, “hey I’m could put a monster in here”, then I think, “No. That won’t work in the larger scale of the story.”

That’s my problem.

I tried writing something that wasn’t me.

Sure I read all those books when I was a kid, but I wasn’t given the option of reading anything else.

The books and comics I wanted to read I hid and read them at night when I was alone in my room.

I was always fearful of being found out that I read those books. There were always from the library at school or the public library.

Those stories got me through one of the worst parts of my childhood.

I’ve neglected the teenager and kid I was and what he would have enjoyed reading.

It was during those nights alone that I started to create my own stories.

It was those nights when I had the apartment to myself that I’d read, write, and think about stories and worlds.

I’ve forgotten those moments, or more appropriately, buried them deep enough to block them out.

I have to go back to those nights, weeks, and darkest parts of my childhood to find the stories the teenage me needed at those moments. I hated my life, who I was, and was unsure whether I wanted to continue living at all.

I owe it to the kid who survived.

Changing Gears, Changing of the Guard…And Demons

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I’ve been writing something that is a bit different for me. The whole act of writing this project scares me for a number of reasons, which is why I’m writing it.

I really enjoy horror and all that genre encompasses, but today, I need something different. There’s enough horror around us to hold my attention that way.

This bit of writing brings me back to the stories I read when I was younger.

I’ve always been an advanced reader and the books I read in 6th grade through the end of middle school show that.

It was the era of the political/techno/military thriller. Tom Clancy was king and I read his books not because I wanted to but because I felt I had no other choice.

This story takes me back to the days of military secrets, political maneuvers, and spy craft. It’s something I’ve always wanted to write but because of my feelings towards it and the way I felt forced to read it, I barely ventured into “enemy” territory.

Now I’m older, understand things better and am working to write something that encapsulates those books I read.

I may have been forced, or at least felt forced to read them, but one way to deal with your demons is shine a light on them.

That’s what I’m doing.

The No Excuses Post

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If you’ve been reading this blog for a while you know about how I planned on publishing last fall to only have it fall apart.

Well, that’s where the title for this post came from.

I made an excuse last fall. It was determined by other factors but I still wobbled and eventually dropped my plans for publishing.

It looks like I have a lot of time on my hands right now, so I’m thinking of doing that thing now, or at least soon.

Look, we’re not in a situation to ask for a professional editor. Just can’t do it.

So I’ll publish something. I know it isn’t perfect but I also am hoping that the little money I may make from it will help my family out.

My bartending gig is not existent right now.

I have no other way to make money and this is what I’ll do…No Excuses, right?

Life and Writing Reorganized.

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This week starts our second week of teaching our kids at home.

Last week was one hell of struggle.

My wife has worked from home for over ten years and I know how lucky we are that she’s able to do so.

But, damn, this last week and trying to find a schedule that works for the kids and school, my wife and her job as well as navigating being cooped up, has been difficult as hell.

I know that last sentence is everyone right now!

But we’ve figure out one that works for all of us.

My writing time has been moved so I’m able to help with teaching the things I’m good at, namely, history, English, and writing.

So I used to write in the morning after I’d taken them to school. Now it’s after they’ve completed their schooling for the day.

Today I did 4 writing sprints of 25 minutes each, with a five minute break in between each sprint. I’ve done these sprints this way for the last couple of years and it’s what works for me.

This new reality is hard but we have to get through it.

Find your bright spots. I’m able to help my kids with their writing and history stuff. I love history, it’s always been my favorite subject.

Now I can focus on helping them enjoy it as well.

I hope you’re all well and taking this thing seriously.

A New(temporary)Normal

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I haven’t posted for a few weeks. Sorry about that.

I’ve been dealing with the same thing as everyone else.

It’s hard to wrap my head around it. School is closed for my kids and that’s going to be challenge.

But I’m not here to talk about that.

Growing up, my father forced me to read certain books. I did so because I loved him. But I wanted to read other books. He forbid me from reading a lot of books.

Now I still love horror and fantasy but I grew up reading Tom Clancy, Dale Brown, Stephen Coonts. Those were the writers I read.

Fast forward to right now and I’ve started reading similar books.

I never thought about writing those kinds of books. Military thrillers weren’t what I wanted to write. It’s funny how life teaches a lot of lessons that way.

I’ve started a new story. It’s one that’s been in my head for a long time. I feel it needs to be written. My teenage self would’ve enjoyed it.