Status Update: Writing

Good morning to any Bookbrainers still out there! I’m sorry it’s been *looks at watch…realizes I don’t have a watch….checks computer….cringes* awhile since I’ve posted!

b38p1

(sorry)

I hope all of you are doing well! I wanted to get back to the blog and let all of you know what I’ve been up to and why there has been a bit of a gap between posts.

b36p5

As you may or may not remember, last year was a bit of a flop for me personally when it came to writing. I was doing great with the blog, but I wasn’t really working on my book much and then not at all. I had stalled out. I needed to fix a few things in my priority list to try and get back on the writing train.

b38p3

(Spinning doohickeys are vital to my writing train)

Since the start of the year I’ve written two chapters in my book and I’m currently doing well on the next. I’m officially at 44,000 words as of the posting of this blog. This is a HUGE success for me for many reasons. First, it’s the longest thing I’ve ever written and that’s just cool. Second, from my understanding a widely accepted benchmark for the length of a novel is 50,000 words. This means that I’ve actually written something novel length!

b38p4

A lot of this success that I’m creating for myself is due to my new schedule for writing. After reading a lot of articles about writing and interviews with writers, I’ve decided to take some of their advice (go figure, listening to a professional helped).

My daily schedule now looks like this:

  1. Wake up at 5:30am – Write 500 words before getting ready for work.
  2. Hour lunch at work – Read books that I have on the craft of writing.
  3. Before bed – Turn off the TV and shut the computer and read for fun.

That’s it guys, that’s the magic that has re-energized me and is taking me forward. I’m keeping my word count for now at 500 words a day because for me that’s doable in the 30-60 minutes I have each morning to write. If I could dedicate 3-4 hours a day to write my word count would be at least 2,000 words like Stephen King, but sadly I just don’t have the time.

I’ve chosen to writing in the morning because I used to try and write while I was on my lunch break at work. I was trying to fit in eating, reading news articles, and writing 500 words into a single one hour lunch while being distracted by co-workers and people messaging me on my phone (which is ok I guess because they’re all awesome people). But this made it a struggle to write constantly. So I finally decided to bite the bullet and actually get my ass out of bed early to write when my mind is fresh and I haven’t had to spend my day *gasp* thinking. I’m not making my word count every day, but I am writing every day now and that’s as good as gold.

The next part is since I now have free time on my lunch, I started to read the reference books I have on writing. Now I’m not saying it’s necessary, but do have a degree in English and creative writing. I have taken many writing courses. This has served me well and has greatly improved my writing, but there is no such thing as enough training. Sorry folks but there it is! I believe that learning more ideas about how to craft words into something that doesn’t suck is always a good idea. I many not always agree with what I’m reading or feel like I’m just covering old ground, but it’s all useful. At the very least reading these books on the craft of writing has kept my mind not just on the story I’m trying to tell, but the tools I’m using to tell it.

The last part of my day is reading for fun. This may seem like a bit of a no brainer, but stick with me here. If you’ve ever met me you’d know I love TV and movies. Like a lot. Hell to be honest my dad and I can talk for hours and hardly say anything to each other that isn’t a movie quote. So for me it can be hard to turn off the TV and actually read, which is something that I absolutely love (obviously). Now I’m not saying that TV is evil and people should only read, that’s stupid. There are many shows that are amazingly crafted and tell a fantastic story with room do develop plot and characters. It’s all about finding a balance. It has also helped that some of the books I’ve recently been reading have helped me with a few mental blocks to figure out some needed things for my book.

b38p5

So there we go guys! That’s what I’ve been up to and has been taking up a lot of my time in the past few weeks. I will always strive to write more for your guys, but I’m going to assume that producing a book for you to read will be a bit more important to you.

Stay awesome Bookbrainers!

Advertisements

A New Year…

Happy New Years Bookbrainers! You are now free to congratulate yourself, you have made it through the putrid dumpster fire that was 2017. For me this year has been many things, and actually many of them awesome and good. Now looking ahead into 2018 I’m not going to give you the standard, “new year new me,” talk. NOPE! I’m going to be the same old asshole in 2018 that I was in 2017, but with a few marked changes.

b36p1

This year I’m going to be experiencing one of the biggest highlights of my life, I’m getting married! This means that a lot of 2018 will be filled with busy wedding work. As well, after having done this blog since last April my work on writing my actual book as let’s say…gone down down hill.

b36p2

This means that in 2018 I have two major goals for myself that may actually have tiny smaller goals built in like a cornucopia of bacon.

b36p3

My goals are firstly that I’m personally and otherwise physically ready to get married in September. Secondly, that I FINALLY AND I MEAN FINALLY finish the first draft of my book (I refuse to slip into the role of a Class-A Asshat).

b36p4

So what does this mean for you reading this right now?

b36p5

This means that in 2018 I will be posting at best every other week instead of every week. This also means that all bets are off on any Flash Fiction Challenges happening this year. I may do some, but I promise nothing. Nothing! (muhahahaha) I will do my best to keep all of you updated on my random thoughts and things going on with me, but if you’re interested in that I highly recommend to follow me on Twitter which I will continue to post on nearly every day (If you haven’t checked out my Twitter page you’re missing me being awesome and hilarious…please get on board).

Now go forth my Bookbrainers! Enjoy what’s left of this year, look for positivity and laughter wherever you can find it, and have a bitchn’ 2018!

b36p6

Your Votes and some Star Wars!

Hello hello hello Bookbrainers! Yes it’s that time again to get your weekly dose of random crap I feel like talking about and…oh yeah…FLASH FICTION CHALLENGE RESULTS!!!

b34p1

You guys overwhelmingly voted for me to write a Christmas story in the humor genre so that’s what you’re getting! Next week I will post my story here on the blog for your reading pleasure just as you’re heading to go enjoy your own holidays!

Now while I have your attention there is something that’s been on my mind that I’ve wanted to talk with all of you about…fandom.

b34p2

Specifically I want to talk about the new Star Wars movie coming out this weekend and actually, all the movies that have come out in the past 5 years and will be coming out soon for franchises like Marvel, DC, Star Wars, and even Harry Potter. Over the past few years I’ve felt my excitement for most of them dwindle until now I’ve sit here as The Last Jedi is premiering and I want to see it, but I’m not excited. I feel exactly like Charli Brown.

b34p3

For a long time I’ve wondered if there is something wrong with me…I mean besides the obvious. I’ve bled Star Wars since I was a kid and I love superhero movies, but I’m not excited by them anymore. The last big movie I went and saw was the new Thor movie with my fiancée and the answer finally came to me. Before the movie started there was a preview for a new superhero movie called The New Mutants. If you haven’t seen it you can watch it here. Please do so…I’ll wait. Have you watched it yet? No? Seriously it takes like 2 freakin’ minutes just go watch it! Done? Well alright then.

LETS CONTINUE THE STORY…

I watched the preview for this movie and I was instantly excited. Not because I love horror movies, but because it’s something DIFFERENT! It is not the same old superhero movie over and over, it is something that feels unique and breathes new life into a genre. Now what does this have to do with The Last Jedi?

Star Wars and I have always had a very special relationship. Honestly I thank my dad for that one. When I was a kid the first time I saw Star Wars was in theaters when they re-released them as special editions in 1997. I was blown away to say the least! I wanted to immediately go out and watch the next two movies, but my dad told me no, that I had to wait to see them in theaters. So we did. To this day I’ve seen every Star Wars movie in theaters for the first time/as they came out. Part of what made this gift special is that with the original trilogy and with the prequels, these were EVENTS. Star Wars came out YEARS before I was born and when the prequels came out I didn’t even think that any more would ever be made and so these movies were special. I could say I was there when this happened in movies.

b34p5

But everything changed when Disney came.

I love all the new Star Wars movies under the Disney banner, they’re doing a fantastic job so far, but I know now that I will get a new Star Wars movie pretty much every year for the rest of my life. They’re no longer special.

b34p6

I think it’s the fatigue that you can feel about a series, a kind of over exposure that that’s also left me feeling indifferent to superhero movies these days. So far the only major series that hasn’t had this happen to are the new Harry Potter movies, but that’s partly only because there are only two left to come out. If I hear the same news that they’ll be making them forever I’ll be happy, but I won’t be excited. IS IT SO WRONG TO WANT MOVIES TO BE AMAZING, UNIQUE, AND TO MAKE ME FEEL EXCITED EVEN IF IT’S BASICALLY THE SAME THING EVERY TIME???

Speaking of not the same thing every time! Tune in next week folks with my new Christmas Story!!!

b34p7

A Time to Be Thankful

Welcome Bookbrainers! Thank you for taking the time to stop and visit during this holiday weekend (for those of you in the United States). As I sit down to enjoy all my favorite comfort foods, spend time with my amazing family, and do some shopping, I wanted to reach out to all of you to talk about what I’m most thankful for.

b32p1

Other than the obvious (family, friends, health, and all of you amazing-ass Bookbrainers!), I’m always thankful for books. Not just books I get to read or ones I want to write, but every book and places that have them and people who read them. As cheesy as it sounds, books will always be the closest to real magic in the world. Books change minds and lives in ways that other mediums just can’t.

What sticks with me most (and please forgive me because I can’t remember where I read this and I don’t want to take credit), is that I once read that reading is being able to read someone’s mind through both time and space. I can read a book written by someone who died hundreds of years ago in a place I’ve never been and doing this, I can read their thoughts, know their feelings, understand their lives, and make friendships that will last until I am gone.

Now I understand that being able to read and have as many books as I do is a privilege that I’ve gotten through luck of the draw. There are people out there who are not as lucky. There are people who struggle in life for food and clean water, for education and a chance to reach for more. For many years now I’ve been a HUGE fan of an organization I mentioned on the blog before (link to old blog here) called Worldbuilders which was created by my favorite writer Patrick Rothfuss. Every year starting in the middle of November they start their annual charity event where they raise money for those in need by donating everything to an organization called Heifer International.  They basically raise money to educate and provide lasting and permanent change to people’s lives. They don’t give a man a fish, they teach him to fish then give him a pole, tackle box, and a boat.

As of my writing this Worldbuilders have already raised over $206,000 with 15 days left to donate. Now here’s the fun part!

b32p2

There are three ways to donate! You and buy items that you think are cool from The Tinker’s Pack which has memorabilia from all sorts of geeky stuff there. You could also head over to their auctions and bid on REALLY cool stuff! Or the last option is to directly donate where you can either just donate the money OR you can choose to be entered into a lottery for a chance at literally thousands of cool prizes!

b32p3

There you go guys! A chance to help books and people make a positive difference in the world just when it feels like we could all use a win. Take care everyone!

Delay In Your Regularly Scheduled Program

Hello Bookbrainers! I’m sorry that the blog is late this week, but I just wanted to pop my head in and let you know that there is no “official” blog for this week due to it being Jamie’s birthday! So instead of working on the blog I’m celebrating her birthday. Next week I will resume the blog as normal!

Have a great week Bookbrainers!

AAEAAQAAAAAAAAc0AAAAJDFkMTkzNWQ0LTY4YjMtNDlmMy05ODA1LTQ5ODI3MDk5YjQzMA

Off to Meet the Wizard…

Welcome back Bookbrainers! I hope everyone is having a great week! (and enjoys the new look!) I am very honored by all the responses that I got about last week’s flash fiction challenge. You guys… (Wipes away tears)…are just AWESOME! I’m already super excited for the next challenge that I’ll be doing in October!

861c61642ded8f23ca973a6130b7530e--surprise-parties-love-her

For this week, I wanted to talk with everyone on a subject that’s been weighing heavy on my mind for the past month….my book.

saywhat

So for those of you new to the blog I am currently attempting to write the first draft of my first book. Something that I’m VERY excited about…but with a catch. See if you jump waaaaaaay back to the beginning of the blog I started off talking about transitioning from a writer who is an asshat and only talks about writing to a writer who you know…actually writes stuff. I then gave a great update on my plans in my birthday blog where I revealed my pledge to myself to finish the first draft by January 1st, 2018.

Things went well for a while, time passed and words were written. Then it hit me around the end of July. I did the writer’s math and realized that for the length book I’m shooting for that I need to write either WAY more every day I was writing, or I need to write more frequently. That’s when it happened. I froze.

frozenmystery_shining-620x350

The part of me that is stupid feels like I’m rare or unique in this reaction. But really I’m sure all of you have had this reaction to something in your lives. Let’s paint a picture…WITH WORDS!

31206-bobross

You have a task that needs to be done. This can be anything from a project at work to fixing your car, but for the sake of puppies everywhere let’s go with cleaning the house. You start off with your house clean as can be. Then a few things get left here and there, but you have stuff to do and you know that it won’t take long clean so you let it be. This continues for a while until finally you realize that there are piles of laundry everywhere, dishes stacked to the celling, you kick up a cloud of dust when you walk across the carpet, and so much garbage that hobos forming a Stop style Guns and Roses tribute band have moved into your kitchen. It’s not pretty. So you do the math and realize that you would need to take a whole week’s vacation to clean everything. It becomes too much, it’s too big. So you freeze.

This is how I’m feeling with my writing. I feel like I’ve made amazing strides this year so far and I’ve come a long way, but looking at what’s ahead just feels so huge and daunting that I find myself not doing anything.

My big goal right now is remembering above all else, that the enormous task before me is nothing more than the Wizard of Oz.

The-Great-and-Powerful-Wizard-of-Oz

What I mean by that is this, whenever you’re looking up at the huge task at hand and you feel that there is NO FREAKIN WAY IN HELL that you’re ever going to accomplish it, just remember it’s all an illusion and to just look at that little shit behind the curtain. Many problems are like the Wizard of Oz, just over blown smoke and mirrors our own self-doubt create. The real problem is actually much smaller and more manageable, if only you look behind the curtain of your own insecurities.

That’s what I’m focusing on! I’m going to realize that it’s ok if I don’t finish the rough draft by the end of the year and that as long as I keep writing, little by little I’ll get there. And no matter what floating disembodied wizard head is in your way, you can little by little beat him too!

Now go forth and kick ass!!!

Curiosity: Why This Blog is Late

Happy weekend everyone! I hope you’re all doing well out there! So as I’m sure you noticed by this title and by the fact that this blog wasn’t posted until Saturday this week instead of Friday afternoon that this blog is a bit late.

(Unless you’re one of those readers who catch up when you can…in which case just sit tight crouching tiger we’ll get to you in a second! Enjoy this very cold pineapple while you wait!)

pineapple-1246038_960_720

Now those of you who know me might be sitting there and thinking, “I bet he was procrastinating writing his blog this week and didn’t make the deadline and now he’s just covering his ass with this blog’s theme or my name isn’t Batman!”

giphy-facebook_s

…or maybe I’m attempting to talk about one of the greatest tools any writer can use, curiosity. (This is where you come in couching tigers! Hope you enjoyed the pineapple!) Anyone who noticed that the blog was off schedule or thought about the title may have been curious about what this blog would be about, making them want to read on. The need to see where writing is going or what’s going to happen next is what keeps most readers turning the pages. It doesn’t matter if you need to know if the boy in the hospital will get a new heart in time, or if guy working at the gas station will get his head out of his ass and do something about the rich married woman flirting with him every Friday night, or if grandma will drop a pair of aces during the illegal poker game to win and thus get the money she needs to win this year’s Better Homes and Garden’s competition!

My point is this; if you can’t keep your readers wanting to know more, regardless of the reason, then you have some work to do as a writer. (I’m personally always worried about my writing not keeping their curiosity up, so no worries if you’re a writer and suddenly spastically freaking out, we’re in the same boat!)

Now that you’re curiosity is sated, please go and enjoy your weekend….or whatever day of the week it is for you if you’re reading this not on a weekend!