51K And Counting

Happy to say that Redemption, a Dragon Coreshorter” story is at 53K plus and counting.  And counting.  And…

So much for shorter.  This book is writing itself.

I am always amazed by the fact no matter how many stories I write there’s always a new way, a new angle. 

Something new to learn.

Redemption started as a maybe, turned into a this would work, and evolved into a runaway horse.  Fortunately, I managed to lasso the beast and get things under control.  

I think.

Maybe.  Months back and in response to the global chaos I decided to do shorter stories that were filed under the various sci-fi series I have going.  I quickly kicked out three “shorter” Bite Size Pieces that fit within two of the three series.  

All that was left was to do something for the Dragon Core series.

I was surprised by how difficult it was to come up with a story I was happy with for this series which is itself evolving into more than I imagined when I initially conceived it.

I think it’s because for the depth of passion I include I felt doing something short would “short change” author and reader both.

This Would Work.  As I worked on BeaconRainmakerKarma, and Mirror, I mentally chewed on an idea for the Dragon Core series.  

But it felt lukewarm.

Runaway Horse.  Determined I put fingers to keyboard and forged ahead figuring after I got past the initial “oh my god this is going to take forever” I always feel when starting a new novel, it would smooth out.

Little did I know.

This smoothing out process took far longer than I’m used to.

More than once I worried I was forcing it – never good.

I continued to push through.

What choice did I have?  Quit?  After talking about the story for weeks if not months?  Um – no.

suddenly, like the sun bursting through the clouds, the thing took off.  

Twenty thousand words turned into thirty turned into …

Lasso to the Rescue!  Worried I’d lost the thread of intention if not the story, I took time to go back and read what I had from the beginning.

I’d started the book with a significant event in mind but wasn’t sure where in the story the event would take place.  I worried I’d backed myself into a corner and would have to rip out sections to fix it.

To my relief I ‘d written the book in such a way I could decide later on.

I’d written everything so it could go in either direction.

Rather than just moving on ahead, however, I took time to do research.

  • Podcast of Templar Battle Tactics**
  • Article on sleeping habits of horses

Redemption continues to evolve, dragging me along for the ride.

But I’m holding on.

This Dragon Core story which is a full-length novel that will – as promised – be put under the Bite Size Pieces umbrella will be available for purchase Autumn 2020.

I will work on a landing page in the coming weeks.

Stay tuned!

**To listen to the podcast by JStephen Roberts click here.

BITE SIZE PIECES? NOT SO FAST!

Redemption has been an interesting novel to work on.  I first started toying with the idea months ago but wasn’t sure I wanted to force the issue.

It was basically an option to provide the Dragon Core series with a story that would fit into the Bite Size Pieces category.

Even after I’d gotten to a point where I was comfortable with the plot, I hesitated.

I didn’t know if the hesitation stemmed from worrying I was forcing it which I believed would result in something I wasn’t happy with or just a” point in time” situation that would resolve itself.

Deciding I was happy enough with the plot and confident enough I wouldn’t turn out something I wasn’t proud of, I forged ahead.  And then…

A block or hesitation?  From the get go I stumbled to gain traction.  I considered

  • The First 50 pages

Starting a new novel can be daunting for a variety of reasons not the least of which is this is going to take forever!

  • Mental Fatigue

I’d just kicked out several books in a short amount of time and was trying to get an app launched

  • Is it real?

Rarely have I dropped a story once I’ve decided to go with it but I was open to the possibility that even after completing 20K words my heart just wasn’t in it

  • Inertia

Having completed everything else including getting Event Horizon launched, I’d given myself a break but the break was starting to turn into more than a weekend plus a handful of days

Muse to the Rescue.  That cosmic companion that’s been with me for as long as I can remember urged me to forge ahead.  

I’m glad I listened. 

Not only did I come to understand what was going on, I gained yet another validation of the fact the creative mind is guided.

I continued to work through the lassitude hanging over me and each time I felt ready to give up that little voice egged me to keep on keeping on.

The Muse, a benevolent yet determined task master.

A Break in the Gloom.  Suddenly and without warning, the haze thinned and…

Drum roll…

An entirely different story than the one I’d been working on presented itself!

And yet I did not have to start all over!!!!

For an entire day I could do nothing but mentally grasp the enormity of what was put before me.

Like where the hell did that come from?

Well, I did do more.  I ran with the inspiration and mentally wrote scene after scene – for the next almost 24 hours.  

Who needs sleep when there are characters to meet and plot lines – like trails through a jungle – to follow?

Thrilled, I set to work the moment the awe-induced mental fugue began to clear.

And I’d downed a double shot espresso.

One thing was evident.  This novel was way longer than a Bite Size Pieces piece I’d originally envisioned.

The Go Forward?  Even though this tale will be a full-length Dragon Core story, I’m filing it as a Bite Size Pieces offering.

And pricing it accordingly because that is what I committed to my readers.

I’m really excited about how this novel is taking shape and look forward to releasing it in Autumn 2020.

Stay Tuned!

EVENT HORIZON AND REDEMPTION

Apple announced the release of iOS 14 on Wednesday, September 15, 2020.  Event Horizon is upwardly compatible and will work on the new release.

Event Horizon is currently available on iPhone and iPad.  The code works on the Mac but Apple has a bug that says the Mac version does not work.  It does.

We – along with others in the same boat – are waiting on information about when this bug will be fixed.

Work on Redemption, a Dragon Core Story Short, is going well.

This bite size pieces offering will be available Autumn 2020.

Stay tuned.

mirror now available

I’m pleased to announce that Mirror, a full-length Ghost Games Case File is now available.

I’m hard at work on Redemption, a Dragon Core story.

Redemption will be part of the Bite Size Pieces family.

I’ve also added some new merchandise to my store.

My store is divided into themed sections.  The new merchandise is in the Dragon Core and Event Horizon Sections.

Working Working.  I have several new projects in the queue.

Anticipated releases are autumn and winter 2020.

Stay tuned!

The journey is the reward

I am proud to announce that Event Horizon is now available!

While the purpose of the app is defined on the app store and below, I have provided additional information on the Event Horizon landing page.

The journey from concept to release for this app is detailed in a series of videos on this page.

There is an FAQ Section toward the bottom of the page.

I’m proud of the work that went into this project and want to take a moment to express my gratitude to friends and family who have supported me along this journey of creativity.

Especially Aaron who has worked tirelessly to help me bring my vision to life.

I invite readers to check it out!

PURPOSE: Helps reduce the mental and emotional noise that can hinder decision-making and cause creativity and productivity blocks.

Stay tuned!

Shuffling the Deck

Listening to Ozzy and considering projects in the queue the way I would cards dealt in a hand of poker and just like with a new hand I’m rearranging them in order to view new and better possibilities.

The difference between playing poker and being a writer is that in poker I play to win whereas as a write the reader is my partner – making it a bit more like pinochle.  I need to make it so we both win.

I actually have an additional party to consider, the website visitor.  Like a dealer at a casino this individual doesn’t have the vested interest the players do and yet they have a natural curiosity that brought them to the table.

Shuffle the hand 1:  I added pre-order to the Mirror landing page as well as an excerpt from the book.

Shuffle the hand 2:  I’m bumping Redemption a Dragon Core tale release date into autumn 2020.

Shuffle the hand 3:  I’m sliding in a new as yet unrevealed Metatron’s Army project I’ve been thinking about for the past few years.

Hold:  Satisfied I have a decent go forward strategy I can proudly report that the app I’ve been working on is another step closer to release.

Stay tuned!

Now if I could only figure out what to do about dinner…

Eventful Day

Note to Self:  Don’t do more than four videos in succession unless absolutely necessary.

Listening to Judas Priest and trying to recover from a marathon video session done in preparation for launch of app 28 years in the making.  

I must not be bothered by lengthy projects.  Metatron’s Army was 35 plus years in the making before Advantage release.

Though I have decades of speaking in front of audiences, when it comes to shooting video, I’m camera shy.

I have to grab the opportunity when the mood strikes.

As I listen to Turbo Lover I consider today’s highlights

  • Distracted by single frizzy curl while looking in bathroom mirror practicing lines
  • Distracted by toothpaste spatter on bathroom mirror while practicing lines
  • Stop practicing lines to gather supplies to clean mirror
  • Fiddle with hair comb then abandon deciding I can’t worry about single frizzy curl
  • Watch a glass knocked with paper towel roll to floor and break
  • Slip and fall on wet bathroom floor while cleaning broken glass
  • Acknowledge – begrudgingly –I tweaked my back when I fell 
  • Set everything aside making note to vacuum floor of stray glass shards before walking barefoot across it and return to practicing lines
  • Make note to get bathmats to deal with wet tile
  • Go through trauma of setting up video in room where furniture was changed around for someone’s video project earlier in the week
  • Try to pretend I’m not distracted by the furniture rearrangement
  • Distracted by fading afternoon light
  • Distracted by lower back pain compliments of slipping on bathroom floor
  • Vow to never clean broken glass again (grin)
  • Worry about stray frizzy curl and go  to nearby bathroom to check – repeatedly
  • Remind self that even “the greats” go through chaos as evidenced by Neil Young’s Mountaintop.
  • Distracted by fact my script has no easy segue between paragraphs leading to repeated takes
  • Vow to never do this to myself again then remember I’ve made same vow before 
  • Pretend stray curl isn’t making my eyebrow itch
  • Pretend my nose doesn’t itch
  • Pretend back isn’t bothering me as I continue video shoot
  • Decide to reward myself for successfully finishing six successive videos
  • Do long lower back stretch and promise myself that after celebration dinner and dessert it will all be better
  • Realize I lied to myself about the stretch fixing the back and decide what I need is… Heavy Metal Music!
  • Start blog – blow it away because it sounds stupid
  • Restart blog while blasting Judas Priest and Ozzy Osbourne
  • Realize my back feels better
  • Thank Aaron for reminding me name of Neil movie we saw and for link so readers will know what I’m talking about
  • Smile as I smell special dinner Aaron is making to help me celebrate

  • Put Arnica Montana gel on back
  • Celebrate that App launch is imminent

Stay tuned.

Reflections on progress

Roadblocks are funny things.  Sometimes they aren’t halting progress so much as forcing us to work a little differently.

Years ago while on vacation and driving through Northern Arizona I had to stop because road crews were doing a bit of blasting.  It was a beautiful day so I grabbed a workbook from the trunk and read up for a Novell Certification test while sunning myself on the hood of my car.

I told you it was years ago, hence the Novell Certification.

More recently I found myself feeling as if everything had come to a grinding halt and while I managed to work on bits of projects here and there I felt as if I was walking through molasses.  

To say this was frustrating would be an understatement.

Turns out the “block” wasn’t a block so much as a force nudging me to work differently.  When the block was cleared?  I looked around to find multiple projects finishing within a few days.

Apparently slow and steady really does work.

I’m happy to report the following updates

  • I’ve completed the final draft of Mirror, a Ghost Games full-length case file.

I plan to have a landing page up by tomorrow evening and anticipate availability for purchase within 10 – 14 days.

  • The app I developed is in testing phase and will be available shortly.  

I will be providing more detailed information on the app within the next week.

  • Redemption, a Dragon Core short is well underway.

I anticipate a late September – mid October 2020 release.

Stay tuned!

the muse in the music

I’m learning there is a method to the madness – I mean the rhythm – of my writing.  

Thankfully.  There’s enough chaos involved with writing a book.  Understanding why your mind suddenly embraces inertia?  Sublime!

Working on Redemption, a Dragon Core Bite Size Pieces offering.

Or trying to, at least.

I have the whole story in my mind, setting and time, characters, story arc, subplots, the wholeshebang.

So why can’t I get past the first 500 words?

Trust the Process.  Fortunately, I’ve been through this before.  I know that eventually it will all come together, and I’ll kick the whole thing out in a week to ten days.

Maybe two weeks.  It’s almost a feast or famine thing.  One of those where I’m being called for dinner as I furiously type “just one more thing.”

Thankfully, it doesn’t happen often.

Two previous times several years apart.

No Really.  Trust.  It’s because I’ve been down this path that, though I keep a careful eye on the situation – I do have a timeline after all – I don’t stress about it.

Like I did the first, second,….

But even as I remained relaxed, told myself it will all come out in the wash, I worked.

It’s how I help myself relax about the inertia.

I played Free Cell during which I wrote the entire book in my head – running through various scenes as a “movie” playing on my mental screen.  I  did another thing.  I wondered what the hell was going on?

I like to understand things – see if I need to step in and fix something.

You know, to help the process along.

The muse at work.  As I sat rerunning a plot twist through my mind, adding characters and dialogue to the location, I realized with no small amount of annoyance that a song kept running over and over through my head.

I like the song but at that moment – did not want to listen to it once let alone a dozen times over in my mind.

I told a fellow creative sitting nearby what was going on.  She suggested I listen to the song.

I’ve done this before with great success – it typically works to get it “out of my system.”

I explained I didn’t want to this time.  However…  

It didn’t mean I couldn’t listen to a different song by the same artist!  

Here’s what happened.

As I continued staring “sightlessly” at the mindless game, allowed my mind to drift, I realized that the other song from the same artist is absolutely perfect for the book!  Within seconds of that Eureka! Moment I realized the next four songs from the same album were also perfect!  Then it occurred to me…

I didn’t have a Book Playlist Yet!!!

I LOVE to do iTunes playlists for my novels.  It provides an injection of passion into the entirety of it all.

, From process to finished product.

I’ve long understood there’s a relationship between the muse and the music but until today I had no idea just how tightly music is entwined with novel writing.

For me at least.

It’s the equivalent of naming the missing spice in the sauce!  What’s more, I realized there was purpose behind the inertia.

Sonia Choquette writes about this in her book Trust your Vibes.

There was something important the muse was trying to tell me!

Thanks to the music I now have far more vivid imagery for the scenes that make up the plot twist in my story.

And thus, I’m able to move forward with the rest of the story.  

Redemption is on track for a Late Summer/Early Fall 2020 release.

Stay tuned!