Monday, December 30, 2013

More illustrations came in the mail (and a preview...)

Yay!  I love it when Jennifer sends more previews!  When she tells me they are on the way, I check my e-mail about twenty times an hour until I see the e-mail with the attachments!  So, yesterday, five more previews stopped in and here's one:

Kona looks so worried in this picture.  You'll have to read the book to find out why and what happens!!

The book, 'The Rabbit Who Wished He Could Fly' will be out in a couple months.  It'll be available in Soft-covered and e-reader formats!  The book is great for a read aloud for any age child.  I read it out loud to my third grade class, without pictures, without them knowing it was written by me, and they LOVED it!

Spread the word!  Share the post!

You can always find more details about this series on the Facebook page, The Adventures of Kona and His Friends.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

The streak continues...

A couple years ago this would have been a running streak, or an exercise streak when I did triathlons. But today, it's a writing streak.  It's not much, but I'm up to fourteen days!  I've written several thousand words total.  My low was 70 words on Christmas and my high was 4500+ on the 23rd!  I now have two novellas done.  One may never be published, but it was a worthwhile endeavor.  The other I am working on revisions and editing and it will be up as the beginning of a Kindle serial.

What's it about?

Our cat...kinda...You see, we keep our cat's litter box in the basement.  After he poops in it, he flies up the stairs and darts around the house like a crazy man.  We always crack jokes about it.  Well, from this, a story came to me about why he runs up the stairs.  Turns out he's a demon hunter.  We have a portal in our basement that leads to some level of hell.  It's his job (he transforms into something else...) to make sure nothing escapes.  He runs up in the story only occasionally and it's because some sort of demon escaped and he's chasing it down.


I have the first episode of the serial done and I'm starting on episode two.  I also have a couple backstories in mind as well.

Well, I guess this is enough of a delay to start my typing :)

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Writing Streaking

  I found a friday night writing group in twitter a while back under the hashtag #writeclub.  I decided I needed something more and saw a couple other hashtags listed: #dailywrite and #sprintdaily.  I'm not sure how much they'll help with getting me to write every day, but I'm giving it a shot.  I got in 798 words yesterday and 1,536 tonight.  It's a start!  It felt good, too.
  I'm a few thousand word into a novella I'm hoping to turn into a serial.  I even came up with an idea for a prequel that would be a stand alone story.  So, I'd say the last two days were very productive.
  I found a streak group that I had joined for September and it felt amazing to have that accountability to report what I'd done to help finish a novella that I'm going to start revising and editing next month.  I don't know if I will end up doing anything with it, but it's the first novella I've ever finished.  It may just sit in my desk, err, computer.  I'm very proud to have finished it.  That's what counts!  Plus, it's good practice.

Do you streak or do you write a few days a week or when the muse inspires you?

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Character Interviews from 'The Rabbit Who Wished He Could Fly'

Hey everybody!!  I had the honor of interviewing the three main characters from the story 'The Rabbit Who Wished He Could Fly', Bella, the crow, Morgan, the sparrow, and Kona, the rabbit.  They were already posted on the Facebook page The Adventures of Kona and His Friends.  Here are all three together!

Morgan and Bella
An Interview With Bella the Crow:

Q: What’s it like being able to fly?
A: It is amazing!  I can see everything around where I live.  I can go over trees instead of having to go around them in the woods.  It’s like being able to go in a plane whenever I want!

Q: What’s your favorite food?
A: Blueberries!  I love blueberries!  They are my absolute favorite!!

Q: What’s your favorite game to play with your friends?
A: I love hide and seek!  I like being able to fly away fast and hide up in a tree.  Sometimes Kona can hide underground, though and that can make it hard to find him.

Q: Who’s your best friend?
A: By BFF’s are Kona and Morgan!  They are so much fun to play with and they’re really nice.

Q: What is one word that describes you?
A: Playful!

Q: What advice would you give your parents?
A: Not to give me so many chores!  I don’t have enough time to play!!


Morgan
An Interview With Morgan the Sparrow

Q: What’s it like being able to fly?
A: It’s awesome!  It’s like being on a roller coaster whenever and wherever you want!  I can zoom all around and do loopty-loops in mid air!

Q: What’s your favorite food?
A: Hmmm…I’d say blueberries.  I can’t resist them!!

Q: What’s your favorite game to play with your friends?
A: Well, I’d have to say just about any racing game.  I love zipping along as fast as I can!


Q: Who’s your best friend?
A: I love Bella and Kona!  We get along so well.  We’d do anything to help each other!!

Q: What is one word that describes you?
A: Hmmm…thoughtful

Q: What advice would you give your parents?

A: Not to tell me to slow down when we fly somewhere together.
Kona
An Interview With Kona the Rabbit:

Q: What is it like being a rabbit?
A: Being a rabbit is great!  I get to live underground.  I can go almost anywhere I want.  I’ve got fur to keep me warm even in the winter and I can hop really fast.

Q: What’s your favorite food?
A: That’s tough.  I have a lot of foods that I like.  I’d say corn.  I love corn!  Especially right off the cob.

Q: What’s your favorite game to play with your friends?
A: My favorite game to play is tag, though it can be tough when I play with birds- they can just fly away and I can’t get them!

Q: Who’s your best friend?
A: One?  I don’t have one best friend.  I have two!  Bella and Morgan- they’re both birds.  I’d trust them with anything!

Q: What is one word that describes you?
Helpful

A: What advice would you give your parents?
I’d tell them to let me stay out after dark with my friends!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Editing your work

I just finished a novella, which I've tentatively titled 'The Incidental Hero'.  I started working on it over the summer, but once school restarted I didn't take as much time to continue working on it.  I was into it and happy with the direction it was heading.  I slowed up in late August, but took off again in September and wrote the story regularly.  I took a back step in October (my main focus went to children's books), but came back in November and finished it.

I was slow in continuing it because I was having trouble finding the words for a couple chapters.  That's when I realized, there were no more words for them :)

So, I finished some sections and chapters and voila!  I'm done!

Now it's time to edit...

I don't have anyone to edit it, yet.  Even if I did, I'd be editing on my own anyway.  That process begins today.  I was going to start earlier, but I've found other stuff, including this post, a scheduled post for December 2nd, and two scheduled Facebook posts for my kids book.

So, I guess I'll do the right thing and end this post now and start editing...or listen to Self Publishing Podcast again as I haven't really been paying attention to it...

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

A Sneak Peak

The sketches done by Jennifer Frith are just phenomenal.  I decided to start a Facebook page for The Adventures of Kona and His Friends since I will be publishing a series of these books, with The Rabbit Who Wished He Could Fly being the first installment.

Here's a sneak peak (and please Like the FB page!!):

If you'd like to see more, Jennifer posted some on her blog!

Stay tuned for more!!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Getting Closer!

I'm getting closer to being published for the first time!

The Rabbit Who Wished He Could Fly will be published in early 2014!!

I got the sketches from Jennifer Frith last week and then we met yesterday to go over text placement.

Next up?  Black lines for the final illustrations and then, well, I'm not telling how they are going to be finished :)  You'll just have to wait!!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Coming along

"Coming along"
That pretty much sums up everything I've been writing.

Coming along, but not done yet.  My fantasy novella has been coming along for a while.  I really thought I'd be done it by now, but I stalled on it in October and it's carried over into November.

My book on my running life is stalled because, well, my running has stalled (stinkin' knee, still).  Anyway, that book really can't get moving until I reach a couple major goals.  I'm caught up with it.  I'm just waiting for my running.

I have an idea for a novel/ novella/ serial, but am waiting until the fantasy novel is done.  I also started another fantasy novel a couple months ago.  I stopped working on it after writing an outline until I'm done the aforementioned novella.

My first children's book is coming along very nicely!  My illustrator has been hard at work, and her work is truly phenomenal!!  Next up will be the large sketches!!  I'm so freaking excited!!

Now to just get my butt moving on that novella...

I've been reading 'On Writing' by Stephen King...maybe that'll help?

What do you do to get out of writer's block?  Me?  I plan on just writing some stuff down...

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

One moving, another not, plus other random stuff :)

Are titles supposed to be short for blog posts?  Oh well.  I think my running blog has mostly shorter titles, but I really don't know...

Anyway, things are moving along with the children's book.  I got the story board from the illustrator the other day and things look great!  She's working on the larger sketches now and will hopefully have them next month!

As for the novella I was hoping to have done at the end of this month?  I've hit a blah spot that I couldn't get through.  It took me a while to figure out why.  I hit a spot where I couldn't write more about this part of a journey.  I mean I could, but it wouldn't be a good read.  So, I finally realized the other day that this whole chapter really should just be an extension of the chapter before that (face palm).  So, next time I open up that book in Scrivener, I'll be rearranging some things!

Our cat has his litter box in our basement.  We live in a hundred+ year old stone house.  The basement is totally unfinishable and is basically for storage and my bike stuff (road racing/ tri though I do neither now).  Our cat is a bit odd (important for this story).  After he poops down there (I wish we could teach him to light a match) he comes flying up the stairs and bolts through the cat door I installed after we got him.  He then continues this mad dash around the house until he, eventually, comes to a stop, wild eyed and, in his own little cat way, panting.  The other night it hit me: there's a story in this somewhere.  And?  I figured one out.  I'm going to turn it in to a horror story about how...ok, I'm not going to divulge just yet.

Random thought: I need a weekend away where I can just sit and type!  I want to work on the above story, but need to finish the novella first.  Plus I have another fantasy adventure I'm excited about that I started over the summer.

Help!  I'm writing ADD!!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Moving along with a children's book

I'm meeting with my illustrator in two days to talk about the pictures for my book.  We have the contract signed and are ready to go!!  I'm really excited about this.  I feel like, with my story and her talents, the story is going to do well.  Then?  Well, I've got another in the series ready to go and we'll get started on the pictures on that one, too.  Then, if thinks still go well, I've got two more written that need editing, and a fifth outlined.

Going back to my last post, I wrote about being in a 30 day creation writing challenge.  I didn't plan on finishing my novella, but am really happy with the progress I made.  I have two chapters left!  I did skip ahead and wrote the epilogue, too.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Writing Challenge and Helping Creativity

So, I joined in with a 30 day creation challenge on google +.  The basic idea is that you spend at least 10 minutes a day working towards completing an ebook for self publishing (I didn't know/read that it was for non-fiction).  I don't plan on being done my novel by the end of the month, but being a part of this group has helped with my creativity and my thought process regarding the novel.

Though I haven't added words to my novel each night, I have for about 18/21 to this point.  The other three nights I worked out chapter sketches and corrected a plot flaw.

Tonight I worked on it for about an hour or so and typed up 1,100+ words in chapter 6.  I still have more to type tonight (maybe), but I also need to think about adding in another sub plot/ adventure (it is a fantasy novel) into the book that I have some basic ideas typed out.

My goal is to have the first draft of this novel done in two to three months.  From there it'll be rereading the story, checking for inconsistencies and grammatical errors.  After that, I have to think about whether I want to pay someone to edit the story or work at it on my own.  I don't have a lot of money to spend for this project as I will have a big chunk of change invested into a children's story by the time this one is ready.  I guess I answered my own question/ problem...no $, self editing :)

Do you self-edit or pay someone to do it?

I do have someone who edited my kids book for free, but for 60-90k words, yeah, free won't work and I wouldn't even ask!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

I Can't Focus!

OMG!  I've got a few different writing projects going on and I'm having trouble focusing!

Or, I was...

I ended up making a list of all the things I'm working on, what I want with them and what I need to do to get there with them.

From there, I thought about what I need/want to focus on now.  Where is my heart?  What am I feeling passionate about?

Then, I gave them a "timeline".  The time frame I gave them was short/medium/long term goal.  Since then it's been a bit easier to focus.

So, what's come of it?

Well, I stopped working on a series of short stories for a possible shorts collection.

I stopped working on a second fantasy novel (well, I'm only about 1/3-1/4 of the way done my first).

I wrote two more kids stories in a series and edited/ fine tuned the second in the series.

I also am in the process of creating a contract with an illustrator for the first book in the above series and hopefully things will work out for all of them!

I am writing only one novel right now and have been getting 500-1000 words here and there in the first draft.  I had learned a lot about getting the words down in the first draft and not editing as you go or you'll never finish!  I'm leaving myself notes in Scrivener in case I know I need to add/change something when I go through it after finishing the whole novel and it's been helping a lot.

I also stopped working on a non-fiction running novel as I am at a point where I need a couple goals to come about to continue writing it.  On a side note, my running comeback from knee and hip surgery this past Spring has stalled as I'm having pain in both joints and have been for about a month.

So, have you been stuck?  Having a hard time focusing?

Write down your goals.  What are you working on?  What are you feeling passionate about?  What do you need to do to get it done?  Write them down and rate them on a scale.  The time range goal worked for me.  Maybe a 1-5 range or least important to most important rating will work for you.  Either way, focus your work; take charge of it and get at it!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Disappointment in a literary magazine

I ordered a copy of Glimmer Train a couple weeks ago.  I've been looking forward to reading it for quite some time (long story short, I thought I ordered it about 6 weeks ago only to remember a month later I didn't...).

Finally!  Today, it arrived!  I was psyched!  I made a cup of coffee, went outside and sat to read it...

That was about it.  The stories are VERY well done and amazingly well written.  I also realized that there's no way the story I submitted will make it there.

Why?  Well, it's not well written enough.  And?  Well, each of the first four stories I read in it seem to be themed around death, depression and loneliness.  That's not me at all.  Not in my life or my writing.  Maybe it was just this one.  I don't really know.  I'm not going to spend another $14 to find out.  I'm still debating on whether or not to even read the last couple stories in it.

Oh well, time to find another magazine!!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

To write a novel or not...

Well, I'm at a crossroads.  I wrote a short story that was my first attempt at literature rather than the fantasy or thriller genre.  The story actually is called Crossroads.  I liked it enough to send it to Glimmer Train to try to get it published.  If they reject it, I'll work on it and send it out to more literature magazines.

When my wife read it, she said she thought it sounded like the beginnings of a novel.

Two weeks later, I started writing more.  I only wrote about a thousand more words, but I kinda like it.  Now, the question is, do I want a series of short stories that can stand alone, or do I want to write it as a novel.  I just don't know.  For now, I think I'll write a few short stories, or more, then work on tying them together into a novel.  We'll see.

What would you do??

Friday, August 23, 2013

Submitted my first story...

So, my short story Crossroads is my first attempt at getting a short story into a literary magazine.  I had heard that Glimmer Train is really hard to get into, so I thought I start with them first.  You gotta dream big.  If your dreams don't scare you, they're not big enough.  

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Writing for a contest

My wife went to a gallery to inquire about having a showing there for a project she was working on.  While there she saw that they are accepting art and  stories for submission to an exhibit titled "Agony and Ecstasy" So, I decided to give it a shot.  It took me a while to come up with a story and, quite frankly, I'm still working on one.

They're looking for stories of joy and agony combined, or two submissions- one of joy and one of agony- that are 500 words or less.  I have some stories that would fit this already written, but they are too long.  The due date is also soon- September 1st to be exact.  I was brain frozen for a while, but came up with a cat and mouse story, but it seemed to childish.  I wanted something dark.  I am working on reducing the words to one story that fits well.  That story is 556 words long and I should be able to pare it down without losing anything.  A third turned into a bit of a horror story than anything, but does fit the ecstasy and agony theme well.

But, I'm still not quite happy.  I will be if I can cut the 56 words out of one story.  If not, I'll think of something else or change around the horror story.

Time's a tickin'!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Design

I spent a lot of the last couple days trying to figure out how to do the lay out for my children's book.  I set it up in Scrivener and also in Adobe's InDesign.  I love using Scrivener- it's truly a phenomenal program for writing anything from poetry to short stories as well as fiction and non fiction or a even research paper/ thesis.

I hadn't used InDesign at all before yesterday, so it took some time to figure out how to transfer the entire story, one text frame at a time, but it turned out to be pretty easy.  After that, it was just thinking about where I want the illustrations.  But there's a bit of a snag...I don't have an illustrator and I'm not totally sure what I want the illustrations to be.  So, I set it up in InDesign for about how many illustrations I thought I'd want and about what sizes I'm looking for.  In Scrivener, I just did the basic font size and spacing.  I didn't set anything up in Scrivener for illustrations, yet.  I also created a title page for both.

So, now, I'm waiting to see the sketches and hear about a commission price from the possible illustrator.  Then, it's time to make my dreams come true.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

A beginning...

Every blog must begin somewhere.  I should know as I've begun two other blogs.  One is no longer in service, but still manages about 400-600 hits a month, and another I keep up with regularly.

This blog will be different from the others.  The others are focused on running, run coaching, health and nutrition.  This one will be about my writing.  What am I writing about now?  Well, I've been writing a bunch of different things.  Three children's books and a few short stories.  I have started three different novels.  Two are of the fantasy genre and the other is about my running and my comeback to running from hip and knee surgery.  Both surgeries were arthroscopic, but when one doctor tells you to never run again, nor ride a bike again, the comeback is pretty major.

The kids books.  I am in the process of searching for an illustrator for two of the three.  Two are with the same major characters and I plan on turning it into a series.  The other, I'm not so sure yet.  I am at a crossroads with what I want with it.

The fantasy books.  One I have about three chapters done.  I'm not sure if I want it to be a novel or a serial.  The other, I definitely want it to be a novel.

The short stories.  My short stories are suspense, thriller, mild horror type stories.  I'm not sure what I want with them.  I've been thinking about trying to get into the same genre literary magazines.  I've also thought about a book of short stories.

Like I said, this is just the beginning.  I've had nothing published yet.  But, that's just another few months away as I will be self publishing.

Do you self publish?  Have you had anything published?  What were your beginning experiences like?