Prague 2014 – Worth a Second Trip

For the first time in a decade or so of being sent on work trips, I finally visited a city that I’d want to go back to. I was in Prague for business (EAIE 2014!), but I still managed to have some fun, and to stumble on the truth shattering a long-held family belief. Hint: It has to do with the Polka.

A New Computer and my Upcoming Schedule

I’m back! No, really. I took my Windows XPP offline back in April when Microsoft stopped support because I had no interest in risking my precious novels. Since then, my only internet access has been a Nexus tablet- also my primary writing device. Well, that works fine for rough drafts, but for anything that requires any small amount of editing, nothing beats having a mouse available. I’m still to fat-fingered to go entirely ouch screen. But now, I’m back! I got a shiny new laptop, with help from my brother who had to transship it from the States for me. Damn, but it’s a pain to get an English-based machine when you live overseas! I think I have the US Postal Service regulations on shipping lithium batteries memorized now… In the mean time, I finished the first draft of Betty’s Boys yesterday, so I’ll be adding that one to the […]

Still Alive and Editing

No, I haven’t dropped off the edge of a cliff or anything. It’s just that it’s a lot harder to get an English OS computer here in Japan than I had expected, so I’m stuck in tablet exile, which makes blogging really tedious. But I am still writing, about halfway through Betty’s Boys, my military sci-fi project, and also on the first editing pass of Banner of the King. First of how many? Dunno. For me, at least, this is a lot less intuitive than writing was, but I will get through it. Banner will see the light of Amazon! Until then. Or rather, until I get a new computer…

Finished my First Novel – For the Second Time.

Boy, I don’t think I’ll ever do that again. I certainly hope that I never have to. After completing Banner of the King the first time, I decided that I’d learned so much from that writing process, that to go back and edit from the beginning would be too much. It would be better to just rewrite it. Reflecting on the rewriting process 260k words later, I don’t think that was the right call, because, guess what? I learned so much from this writing process that . . . you know where this is going, don’t you? But I’m not doing it again.

Sense of Wonder

Maintaining a sense of wonder is an important characteristic for a writer, particularly one who wants to appeal to a younger demographic. I can’t hit the “wonder beats” if I don’t feel that particular emotion myself. Unfortunately, I’m a jaded, cynical ex-intel guy who sees the dark side of most everything, so I have to overcome that while I’m writing. My best asset for that effort: Nina, my almost 2-year-old daughter.

That Author Income Thing Everyone is Talking About

In case you’ve been living under a rock or, for some unfathomable reason, look to me for writing and publishing related current events (please stop!), the big news this week has been author Hugh Howey’s intriguing report on relative income for traditionally and self published authors. If you haven’t read through the report yet, please go give it a look. Also, if you write stuffy reports for a living (I’m looking at you, professors), go read it and see how a bestselling author makes a report fun and easy to read.

In Defense of Windows XP Users

The world as we know it will end on April 8, 2014. Microsoft will cut off support for Windows XP and- I just learned this researching the date above- for Office 2003. Dozens of tech blogs, no doubt, have already written about the technical details about how 30-something percent of computers still run XP, as well as some massive percentage of ATMs (how is it they don’t crash?), and how the hackers are eagerly waiting April 9 to lay waste to us just as we’re trying to file our online taxes. I’m no tech geek, as I intend to make painfully obvious below, but I found one consistent weakness in each of these articles, and it’s time to set the record straight.

I Scoff at People Who Say They Don’t Have Time to Write, but

. . . I recently found myself using the same lame excuse with the word “blog” juxtaposed for “write.” Damn those double standards.

Where Have I Been?

Well, crap. I haven’t updated this blog in over a month (well, expect for the Writing Progress Tracker. It’s been a wicked busy month at work, plus a family crisis, plus I think I’ve just been taking this thing too seriously. I’m going to try to fix that.

StoryMOOC Creative Task 1 – Remembering a Story

I signed up for the iversity MOOC (Massive Online Open Course) on storytelling that started around the end of October to learn more about transmedia storytelling, including stories for RPGs, movies, and episodic TV. Not to worry, I’m not abandoning my novels, but as readers become more accustomed to these forms of stories I thought it may help to understand them and see what I could adopt or reflect on for my own work. The course involves a “creative task” each week and, when I can keep up with them, I’ll post my results here. Week 1 is about remembering a story that influenced you.