Finding old Work

Today was a cleaning day. I have been going through boxes, and I dug up my old writing. After my first stint in college — I went to Film School — I started writing in coil bound notebooks. I have dozens of them scattered everywhere. I have started dozens of ideas off different stories from zombies, to dragons, to science fiction about lost colonies and aliens.

I feel like an old archeologist hunting through old tomes. The faded yellow pages and faded ink speak to me from the past. I found myself looking at a story I had written, and I had no idea when I had written in, and I had to read three pages to see which one it was.

I discovered it was one about a boy who finds a dragon while living on an island. Where I got the idea from, I could only guess. It was a dive into the past.

I also found old versions of some of my other novels. Like one for my book Seismic Shock, when it had the working title of Culture Shock. I was amazed at how I changed the story as I wrote it.

One of the books I have been hunting for is the old notebooks that I had written my world in. I had two, and I only found the one. I am not sure what happened to the first one. I am missing a few nations, which is odd cause it is only three of the thirteen.

It isn’t a horrible thing as I can remember most of the country in my head. I have forgotten some of the details, but I can think up better ones. One of the notebooks I did, I dated the ideas or brain waves.

It is an interesting dive into the mind of a twenty-something who was creating a fantasy world, just like David Eddings.

I have to get back to it, I’d rather find that notebook and see what I had written down all those years ago. I’m curious about how the story has changed.

This journey is not something I can do alone. It takes support from many people for it to become a reality. The easiest way is to visit my Amazon Author Page and purchase one of my books. They are available in all countries and for free on Kindle Unlimited. I do have a tip jar set up at Ko-Fe, where you can buy me a coffee. Or you can also visit me on Facebook. Your help and support are much appreciated.

End of October 2019 Report

As is now tradition, this is the post of the end of October. I’m still putting my money where my mouth is.

RECAP OF THE UPDATED 2019 GOALS

  1. Write 500,000 words in personal, non-school related projects.
  2. Complete and publish Felix #2, Felix #3, Des O’Neal #1, Des O’Neal #2, Des O’Neal #3, Jovian Marines #1, Jovian Marines #2, Jovian Marines #3, Mech Warrior #1, Mech Warrior #2, Mech Warrior #3.
    1. Complete and Publish VRMMORPG
  3. Correct cover for Felix #1.
  4. Write four blog posts per month
  5. Give Felix #1 and Tokyo Tempest #1 a proofread.
  6. Complete and submit to market Terran Marine Raider short #1, Terran Marine Raider short #2, and RPG Death short.
    1. Added goal: complete and submit to market, JSS Leda (New title: From Planet Everdark), secret short #2 (New Title: Rise of the Ghids) and secret short #3 (New Title: Sailing Vessel Wanderlust: the Delivery).
  7. Earn $1000.00 a month from novels.
  8. Relaunch publishing company with a new, stronger name.
  9. Get 1 client for editing services.
  10. NEW GOAL: Lose 90 lbs and get healthier.
  11. NEW GOAL: Write for 365 Days in a row of at least 100 words per day.

OCTOBER ACCOMPLISHMENTS

  1. I wrote 33,672 words.
  2. I have written for 303 days in a row.
  3. I finished writing Des O’Neal #3, now onto the next one.
  4. I passed the 400k mark in total yearly words at 422k.
  5. Working with a local cover artist for a bunch of covers for books.
  6. Finished editing Mechwarrior #1, editing my VRMMORPG story.
  7. Wrote 4 blog posts during June.
  8. Starting weight 286lbs, weight today, 274lbs. No change.

EXAMINATION OF ACCOMPLISHMENTS

  1. I wrote just over 33k words in October. This was the worst month I’ve had. It was only through willpower that I didn’t drop the ball on my word streak. And that I set the min. daily goal for 150 words. I hit the burnout wall in the middle of this month and stumbled. I can still get my 500k goal. But it’ll be hard. I still have other things to do so I’ll have to take it slow and work up to my word count. Perhaps I need to give myself permission to fail.
  2. This is still the longest days in a row I have written by far as well as the longest yearly word count. I count that as a win. My goal is to write 365 days in a row.
  3. I have news about the short Sailing Vessel Wanderlust: the Delivery, but I still have nothing that I talk about yet. I expect that I should be able to release information on it soon. 
  4. I completed the edits for Mechwarrior #1. Took me way too long, however, now I need to figure out a cover.
  5. I’m onto my VR story. I’ve made progress and it doesn’t have much in the way for plot holes, which is going to make editing easier.
  6. I’m working on using some of the short stories I have written for school as filler projects. A part of the problem is trying to pick up an old project. So I’m going to work on something small as a pallet cleanser. Perhaps use them as Patreon awards, or publish them on Amazon. Not sure yet.
  7. A local cover artist, not my wife, is working on what I am calling “art assets.” These are so my wife can turn them into beautiful covers. They will be works of art on there own but will have no titling, which is why I need my wife.
  8. My blog posts are still happening.
  9. Mt diet had ended. Counting calories had become too difficult to do. I haven’t gone up back to my old weigh, and my habit of overeating has not come back. I’m that habit down to keep my weight in check. I’m looking for a better plan to help with my weight loss.

PLAN FOR THE FUTURE

This month was the worst. But I got through it. This month is NaNo, and the steamroll towards the end of the semester. Things are looking up and I’m excited to get back at my workload. Schoolwork with five classes is hard.

Publishing wise, the big roadblock is editing, which I’m working on, and covers. Once I get those figured out, things will drop fast. It’s what got me to work faster and harder at this.

Sort plan this report. Write more. Edit more. Get covers. Do assignments.

If you like what you are reading and wish to support me in my endeavors, please sign up to my newsletter, visit my Amazon Author Page and purchase one of my books. Or buy me a coffee. Your help and support are much appreciated.

Stress, the creative flow, and being an “Artist.”

Being a Creative, (my wife would say artist) I have to deal with many different forces that want to dominate my time. These can range from getting groceries, going out to shop for things we “need,” giving out discipline to my kids as needed, being a father by playing with them, being a good husband for my wife, and trying to get my work done.

All of that causes stress.

For Creatives, this stress can be interpreted in one of two ways. It can either stiffly or encourage. Too much of it causes a creative drought that hampers creatives in their artistic aims.

I’ll start with the later of the two.

Some people thrive with deadlines, daily counts, and such. They use that stress to give them a fire to get things done. They may use the line, “You’ve got to be the hardest worker in the room.”

They will have a breaking point, however. At some point, they will run into where they can’t handle things. They will break and burn out. This is different depending on the person.

For the first, some people are stifled by the least amount of stress. They can’t handle any and will quibble at things like deadlines and daily tasks.

They get things done at a slower rate than those that love deadlines. They like doing things on their own timetables. They hate being told what to do. It just causes stress.

This, of course, is a sliding scale. Some can handle more stress than others.

The important part is to recognize where you are at and how to either use it to your advantage. Or how to avoid stress to increase your productivity.

Until next time, if you like what you are reading and wish to support me in my endeavors, please sign up to my newsletter, visit my Amazon Author Page and purchase one of my books. Or buy me a coffee. Your help and support are much appreciated.

Motivation vs Discipline

Being a creative, I hear all the time that people aren’t motivated to do artistic endeavors that day. It’s a sad thing as they don’t know the difference between motivation and discipline.

Meaning of Motivation from Dictionary.com:

The general desire or willingness of someone to do something.

Meaning of Discipline from Dictionary.com:

The practice of training people to obey rules or a code of behavior, using punishment to correct disobedience.

So what is the difference?

Motivation is only a desire or willingness to do something. While discipline is a practice of doing something. Discipline is the reason why someone will get up at 5 am to go for a run. Discipline is why a worker goes to work for “the man,” as getting fired is the most likely punishment.

If a person is only motivated, then it is easy to put off the unwanted task. Motivation can be ignored as there is nothing behind the motivation. The second part of the definition of “discipline” is that it uses punishment to correct disobedience.

So what happens if a person doesn’t go for a run that morning? Simple, they don’t improve, and then get behind in their training. If a person is only motivated, then it’s easy to shrug it off. A disciplined person will hate the idea of not improving. A disciplined person sees a lack of training as a failure.

For me, it isn’t motivation that keeps me going each day. It’s discipline. There’s no one standing over me with a whip making me do this. I’m working so hard with my writing because I want to. It’s my choice to improve my writing, and it’s my choice to use discipline to help me make my goals.

My discipline is to keep the writing going. I have managed to write 356k words and 251 days in a row since the beginning of the year. With my blog posts, it’s the fact that I have managed to write one every week. Those three facts have kept me going, especially on days like today, where I don’t have the motivation to do anything.

On days like today, where I have no intention to do anything. Where I’m tired, grumpy, and completely and utterly unmotivated, however, I am also disciplined. I have been doing this for 251 days in a row, and I’m not going to stop now.

If you like what you are reading and wish to support me in my endeavors, please sign up to my newsletter, visit my Amazon Author Page and purchase one of my books. Or buy me a coffee. Your help and support are much appreciated.

End of July 2019 Report

As is now tradition, this is the post of the end of July. I am still putting my money where my mouth is.

RECAP OF THE UPDATED 2019 GOALS

  1. Write 500,000 words in personal, non-school related projects.
  2. Complete and publish Felix #2, Felix #3, Des O’Neal #1, Des O’Neal #2, Des O’Neal #3, Jovian Marines #1, Jovian Marines #2, Jovian Marines #3, Mech Warrior #1, Mech Warrior #2, Mech Warrior #3.
    1. Complete and Publish VRMMORPG
  3. Correct cover for Felix #1.
  4. Write four blog posts per month
  5. Give Felix #1 and Tokyo Tempest #1 a proofread.
  6. Complete and submit to market Terran Marine Raider short #1, Terran Marine Raider short #2, and RPG Death short.
    1. Added goal: complete and submit to market, JSS Leda (New title From Planet Everdark), secret short #2 and secret short #3.
  7. Earn $1000.00 a month from novels.
  8. Relaunch publishing company with a new, stronger name.
  9. Get 1 client for editing services.
  10. NEW GOAL: Lose 90 lbs and get healthier.
  11. NEW GOAL: Write for 365 Days in a row of at least 100 words per day.

JULY ACCOMPLISHMENTS

  1. I wrote 42,192 words.
  2. I have written for 213 days in a row.
  3. I spent most of this month working on my VR story but also worked on the Secret Short #2
  4. I nearing the 300k mark in total yearly words at 295k.
  5. Submitted Secret Short #2 and Secret Short #3 to the market, waiting to hear back if it’s accepted or not.
  6. Working with a local cover artist for a bunch of covers for books.
  7. Edited Secret short #3, reading it for submission.
  8. Working on the edit for Mechwarrior #1.
  9. Wrote 4 blog posts during June.
  10. Starting weight 286lbs, weight today, 274lbs.

EXAMINATION OF ACCOMPLISHMENTS

  1. I wrote just over 42k words in July. Total word-wise, it is in the top half of the months. However, once you split it up into per day averages, it is one of the worse word counts that I have done. I managed to write a good second half of the month to bring up my average to a better number.
  2. This is still the longest days in a row I have written by far as well as the longest yearly word count. I count that as a win. My goal is to write 365 days in a row.
  3. I have finished editing my two short stories. I had come across a short turn-around and I had put my VR story aside to work on it.
  4. I am working on editing Mech Warrior #1. It is taking longer to get it done than I’d like.
  5. A local cover artist, not my wife is working on what I am calling “art assets.” These are so my wife can turn them into beautiful covers. They will be works of art on there own but will have no titling, which is why I need my wife.
  6. My blog posts are still happening.
  7. Mt diet had ended. Counting calories had become too difficult to do. I haven’t gone up back to my old weigh and my habit of overeating has not come back. I’m that habit down to keep my weight in check. I’m looking for a better plan to help with my weight loss.

PLAN FOR THE FUTURE

This month was harder than most. I’m feeling burnt out. I need to ramp up my efforts and get more stuff done. Things are slipping away. Once this summer semester is over, the plan is to ramp up my efforts to write more and edit more. But, I need to take time for myself. Keep this burn out away before I start the new fall semester.

I did get a lot of other stuff done. However, nothing published. The hold up is covers and editing at the moment. I have the one book, Missed Drop Zone, ready to go. But there is no real rush. I want to do things right and not make mistakes.

I have started to edit other works, the short stories as they come up. They are a good distraction in some ways, a poor one in others. I have the feeling that I am not going to get my goal of getting all of those stories published. I’m going to run out of time and word count. But there is always next year, as long as I have manuscripts done.

The VRMMORPG story is going well. I’m at 90k out of a target of 100k. I’m going to be going over that mark. My best guess is 20k over the mark, perhaps more. This changes the ultimate goal of how many books I want to publish. Many titles will be pushed back to next year. I’m getting covers for them, however.

So the plan, work on VRMMORPG, edit other novels. Get covers. Get books published.

If you like what you are reading and wish to support me in my endeavors, please sign up to my newsletter, visit my Amazon Author Page and purchase one of my books. Or buy me a coffee. Your help and support are much appreciated.

The Middle

I passed the middle of the year and didn’t notice it. During that time, I have written over 280 thousand words. I have been informed that number is an achievement on its own. I have talked to other authors, and when I talk about some of my goals, the amount of words I have written is high.

But 280k is not my goal; my goal is 500k words. I’m just over halfway there.

During the process of writing a novel; there is a point in the middle of the story. This point is where the main characters have gotten past the first plot point and are slugging away towards the second plot point and the climax. 

This point is often called the “Sagging Middle,” “the Dry Desert,” “the Swampy Middle.”

It is often called this because the middle of the story is where the character must go through the try-fail cycles to figure out how to complete what I call, “the story question.” It can be repetitive and monotonous; not very fulfilling.

I’m in the middle of the middle of my goal. I have gone a grand distance by now, but I’m still nowhere near the end of my goal. It has gotten repetitive and monotonous. I spend most of my time, either writing my story or thinking about my story or editing my story. 

I know the end of my goal is just around the corner; all I have to do is to keep moving one day at a time. But one part of me wants to call it good. That I have done quite a bit and can call my goal complete.

I mean, 280k words are a lot. It’s an accomplishment on its own right?

But I’m reminded about one of my Mantras:

Success is not final, failure is not fatal; it is the courage to continue that counts.

It means that I have to keep going. Despite the feelings to stop and say enough. Stoping implies failure. Now that I’m going, I have little choice but to keep going.

Cause I will not fail.

Area 51, Projects and Too Many Ideas

As a writer, I am often asked where do I get my ideas from. As you may have read in previous blog posts, I have discussed how I get ideas multiple times, and I won’t be repeating them.

However, to sum up, I pick a few basic ideas, then ask a thousand question about them to form a solid idea and story.

I have it so that I can pull up an idea out of almost anything. In the last week, I have been asked if I wanted to submit a short story with a speedy turnaround. The story would be centered around the Area 51 meme going around.

61922

I’m partway through the short story that I am writing it for the anthology. It’s going well, but that’s not the important part. The important part is that I was able to form a story in a short amount of time. Luckily for me, I’m able to keep it small and compact.

For me, the issue is not that I no story ideas on the go, but that I have too many. For right now, I’m going to give a short recap of some of the story ideas. Some of them are only ideas, while others I am waiting for a cover.

Published Works

Felix the Swift

A trilogy set in my Agersolum universe. It’s about a thief who becomes a master mage and seeks to save all of Magic. The first book can be found here.

Tokyo Tempest

A trilogy where a high school kid has to somehow survive in Tokyo after Yellowstone blows up. The first book can be found here.

O’Neal Trilogy

A trilogy set in my Beyond Terra Continuum universe. Where a high schooler is forced into the world of espionage. The first book can be found here.

Works in Progress

Those three trilogies aren’t complete yet. They have other books on the go and will be published when they can. Some of my other trilogies:

Jovian Marines

Set in my Beyond Terra Continuum universe where the Jovian Marines are left for dead on an enemy-occupied planet. So far a trilogy is planned.

Mech Warrior

Mech Warrior is a working title for a trilogy. Set in my Beyond Terra Continuum universe where it is a mix of lost in space and Mech Warrior.

VR Game

This story I had been puzzling with for a while before I decided to start writing. I wanted a stand-alone novel, but it is going to be a trilogy. Trapped in a VR game where a players death would mean their real death.

Cornucopolus

Set in a world where gods, demons, demi-gods, and angels walk among the people. The heir to a dead clan must find a way to get revenge for the death of his people. All while risking slavery, and death.

The Game

Set in my Beyond Terra Continuum universe. It can be called the origin story of the story-verse. Alien beings kidnap a million people to fight to the death in a game for nefarious means. I want it to be a trilogy; however, it will end up much longer.

Eloc the Warrior

Set in my Agersolum world about a young serf being thrust into the army to fight for a noble lord he had never met. This will be a trilogy.

Mal Kil, the Pirate

Another set in my A\gersolum world about the heir to a noble house. He is betrayed by his older brother and cast out into the world one step ahead of his brother’s assassins.

These are only small samples of the ideas and the plot of the story. I’m hoping to get through some of the first trilogies to get to the later ones. Cause they are all calling my name and want attention. Some of them are getting pretty shrill.

If you like what you are reading and wish to support me in my endeavors, please sign up to my newsletter, visit my Amazon Author Page and purchase one of my books. Or buy me a coffee. Your help and support are much appreciated.

End of June 2019 Report

As is now tradition, this is the post of the end of June. I am still putting my money where my mouth is.

RECAP OF THE UPDATED 2019 GOALS

  1. Write 500,000 words in personal, non-school related projects.
  2. Complete and publish Felix #2, Felix #3, Des O’Neal #1, Des O’Neal #2, Des O’Neal #3, Jovian Marines #1, Jovian Marines #2, Jovian Marines #3, Mech Warrior #1, Mech Warrior #2, Mech Warrior #3.
    1. Complete and Publish VRMMORPG
  3. Correct cover for Felix #1.
  4. Write four blog posts per month
  5. Give Felix #1 and Tokyo Tempest #1 a proofread.
  6. Complete and submit to market Terran Marine Raider short #1, Terran Marine Raider short #2, and RPG Death short.
    1. Added goal: complete and submit to market, JSS Leda (New title From Planet Everdark), secret short #2 and secret short #3.
  7. Earn $1000.00 a month from novels.
  8. Relaunch publishing company with a new, stronger name.
  9. Get 1 client for editing services.
  10. NEW GOAL: Lose 90 lbs and get healthier.
  11. NEW GOAL: Write for 365 Days in a row of at least 100 words per day.

JUNE ACCOMPLISHMENTS

  1. I wrote 42,886 words.
  2. I have written for 182 days in a row.
  3. I spent most of this month working on my VR story.
  4. I have passed the 50% mark in total yearly words at 253k.
  5. Waiting to hear back if my short story with the previous title, JSS Leda (New title From Planet Everdark) is accepted or not.
  6. Working with a local cover artist for a bunch of covers for books.
  7. Edited Secret short #2, reading it for submission.
  8. Working on the edit for Mechwarrior #1.
  9. Wrote 4 blog posts during June.
  10. Starting weight 286lbs, weight today, 263lbs.

EXAMINATION OF ACCOMPLISHMENTS

  1. I wrote just over 42k words in June. Total word-wise, it is not the best that I have done, however, once you split it up into per day averages, it is the second best that I have pulled off. I managed to write a few 3k and 4k days to make up the lackluster numbers of other days.
  2. This is still the longest days in a row I have written by far as well as the longest yearly word count. I count that as a win. My goal is to write 365 days in a row.
  3. I have finished editing the short story. It is short story set in a post-apocalyptic world where Yellowstone Supervolcano exploded. It is about Captain Adele of the SV Wanderlust and her goal to deliver expensive cargo to its destination and to defeat other Captains who want the shipment for themselves. Once it is submitted and accepted, it will get a full blog post. For now, this will have to do.
  4. I am working on editing Mech Warrior #1.
  5. A local cover artist, not my wife is working on what I am calling “art assets.” These are so my wife can turn them into beautiful covers. They will be works of art on there own but will have no titling, which is why I need my wife.
  6. My blog posts are still happening.
  7. I have been on this new diet for a month now. My energy is high, however, I crave chips.

PLAN FOR THE FUTURE

This month was harder than most. I feel like I’m starting to burn out, yet I need to ramp up my efforts and get more stuff done. The summer session semesters at school was split into two short semesters with the first part completed. Now with only one course, it should be easier to get other things done and to look after myself, as well.

I did get a lot of other stuff done. However, nothing published. The hold up is covers and editing at the moment. I have the one book, Missed Drop Zone, ready to go. But there is no real rush. I want to do things right and not make mistakes.

I have started to edit other works, the short stories as they come up. They are a good distraction in some ways, a poor one in others. I have the feeling that I am not going to get my goal of getting all of those stories published. I’m going to run out of time and word count. But there is always next year, as long as I have manuscripts done.

I have created an editing schedule, but it is hard to keep on it. I am hoping to get at least three more novels edited by September. It is a hard target to hit, but I think that it is possible.

The VRMMORPG story is going well. I’m at 60k out of a target of 100k. So things are progressing nicely. It is not going to be a stand alone. I tried. It’ll be a trilogy; if not longer.

So the plan, work on VRMMORPG, edit other novels. Get covers. Get books published.

If you like what you are reading and wish to support me in my endeavors, please sign up to my newsletter, visit my Amazon Author Page and purchase one of my books. Or buy me a coffee. Your help and support are much appreciated.

Dealing with Runaway Ideas

As a novelist and a creative, I deal with ideas. They are my creative lifeblood. I live on new ideas and new stories.

One of the projects that I’m working on are a few short stories for some anthologies that I heard about through the grapevine. So I’ve been writing the short stories in between my other larger novels.

The problem that has shown its face is that the story I’m writing was designed to be a 10k word story. However, I’m 4k into it, and I am nowhere near where the story needs to be for the word count.

Judging by where the story is and basing its length based on that, it wants to be a 50k to 60k novel. I’m sure the editor in charge of the anthology would be more than willing to stamp ‘rejected’ on my application. I may even get a rejected letter back.

This is not a problem only faced by novelists. It is felt by painters, illustrators, graphic artists, podcasters and more. When a simple project was the intent, yet as the project ticks by on its way to completion, the project snowballs.

It grows and expands, takes a life on its own. The image becomes more substantial, more detailed, and takes more time.

With my short story, it is intended for a specific anthology which is looking for a particular style of short story within a specific genre. I’m attempting to write it based on his guidelines. The story wanting to be 60k words isn’t in the guidelines.

What to do about it?

The simple solution, if I didn’t have a full writing dock, is to write the 60k words. Come up with a new short story for the anthology. Maybe using the same story world, and the same characters.

If I can justify squeezing it into my schedule, maybe I will. If not, I may push it to next year.

For the other creatives, what do they do? It comes along the lines of either buckling down and finishing the project or tossing it aside.

Each creative must decide what to do about each Runaway project on their own. Their decision will take into account their own circumstances.

If you like what you are reading and wish to support me in my endeavours, please sign up to my newsletter, visit my Amazon Author Page and purchase one of my books. Or buy me a coffee. Your help and support are much appreciated.

New Name: New Design

I am pleased to announce the redesign of the web page with a new name. I am happier with this new design than the last. Not to worry if you have the old site URL favourited. It will still head towards this new page, which I will be adding more features as time allows.

This change has been a long time coming as I felt the old name wasn’t working. This name tells exactly what I write. I write in the Fantasy and Science Fiction genres, and that name says that.

The Atomic part is for science fiction. Nuclear power, nuclear bombs, the Atomic Age. It gives images of science that usually ends by blowing up in someones face.

The Slingshot is for Fantasy. It is a primitive weapon used in ancient times. Which is usually where my fantasy books are set.

Things to Come

I will be adding more to the site including:

  • maps
  • world information on the two main story verses
  • upcoming novels
  • and more

Stay tuned for more information.

If you like what you see and wish to support me in my endeavours, please sign up to my newsletter, visit my Amazon Author Page and purchase one of my books, buy me a coffee, or leave me a review. Your help and support are much appreciated.