Statue of Limitations

Earlier this week, my boss came back from a meeting of the 10th Anniversary Committee and pointedly commented that only one person in the office had contributed to the committee’s fundraising effort, and that was him. The room was suddenly awash with “Oh, right, that” faces, but I just looked confused. I arrived on the job after the fundraising campaign began and nobody mentioned it to me, but that’s not an excuse. Even if they had, I wouldn’t have donated. The only difference is that it would have been a deliberate decision. I don’t donate money to anything unless someone can show me exactly how my money will be used for a concrete contribution to a cause that I believe in.*

Setting aside the waste of time that is celebrating an institutional anniversary, the only thing I’ve seen out of the committee so far is a statue. And statues are bullshit.
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Write me a Book, You’re the Writer Man

Because I’m in the mood for a [fill in genre of your choice], and you sound like you’re actually listening.

The problem is that I am listening and I’m highly suggestible. Always have been. My psychiatrist, a nice Scotch fellow, tells me that it’s the result of being raised by someone who never missed an opportunity to ram her opinion down everyone else’s throat. Go through that long enough and you learn to bury your own opinions and desires deep inside and just nod along because it means that the conversation will be over soon. But that’s a defense mechanism that can be taken too far- you forget to let the other opinions slide off, and you lose yourself deep inside.
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Where is This Blog Going, Anyway

I had these lofty expectations when I started this thing, I think. I was going to write insightful crap about my journey as a writer, share my experience with all of you, and leave a record of the path of one aspiring writer on his way to stardom- or wherever this train goes.

Turns out, that’s hard work. So, I’m going to try something different.
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A New Computer and my Upcoming Schedule

I’m back! No, really.

I took my Windows XP machine 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 too fat-fingered to go entirely touch screen.
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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.
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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.

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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.

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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.

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