Last Bits 25

The lair at night.

The lair at night.

1. So it has been awhile since I posted up a “last bits”. I’ve been busy. So nyah! Anyway, let’s get to the points.

2. Writing has slacked off.

There is something that I’ve noticed about myself over the last several years. Sometime between late June and mid July until early to mid September…every single year…I slack off pounding the keys, and delve into other things that interest me. The stories are still there, the passion is still there…BUT…other things also interest me. As I write for ME, scratching an itch as it were, and not a deadline or for others, I have come to terms with this. At first, every time this happened I would feel guilty and TRY to continue the pattern that is my norm, and this irritated me every time. This year, when the waning of the key pounding started again, I consciously decided to just give into it and go with the flow…after all it is MY LIFE, and the things I want to do also interest me.

This year, those things have been hobbies. One of them a life long passion since childhood…and the other…hmmm…also a lifelong passion since childhood.

A reef under construction

A reef under construction

A. Salt water aquariums

(Some of you thought I’d say tarantulas first, huh? -heh.)

The actual reasoning behind the tank you see in the picture above actually DID have a lot to with tarantulas (which are a passion that is a subset of arachnids in general). Originally the thought was to have just a basic tank with some scaly dudes in it to increase the humidity in the bedroom-office FOR the tarantulas. (As well as me as I’ve been dealing with a dry skin condition for some time now that humidity seems to knock back down quite well).

The more I thought about it and researched, however, I discovered that the advances in the technology, lighting and things associated with salt water and reef keeping have advanced to a point where maintenance is nearly as easy as that of my 8-legged furry friends. So with that in mind, I started putting together a basic system to build a “nano-reef”, which is mostly live corals and a few fish/shrimp to keep things in balance.

Without going into a lot of detail, the end result is that I have had a lot of fun, not just in the building of the system, but in the research and learning involved. 🙂

The picture NASA doesn't want you to know about...the spiders of Mars! :-)

The picture NASA doesn’t want you to know about…the spiders of Mars! 🙂  This is my pride and joy. Tiphane, posing in red light. Beautiful G. porteri.

B. Tarantulas. Yep. As some of you have seen, I have been heavily involved in this hobby as well. The reason I took so long to get into this? First, I thought that they were truly “exotic” and just assumed would be a royal pain in the ass expense wise and care wise. Turns out once I started to actually do the research, neither are true. Second, I have shied away from “hobbies” for years due to life long patterns brought about by travel and strange houred jobs.

Set up is more time consuming, but if done properly this is mostly mechanical, and in this hobby, a LOT of the enjoyment is actually designing and building the enclosures for my 8-legged friends, as a tarantula (most of em, anyway) are NOT crazy-time-party-animals. They are slow in their day to day lives and other than insane bursts of speed come feeding time, ‘EXCITEMENT’ isn’t on the menu. –and that is okay by me.

3. So back we go to the writing situation. I’m not concerned about it. I have over 80,000 words in the current project down, and already feeling the urge to ramp back up and “get er’ done”. I love the world I’ve created, and the story intrigues me just as much as it always did, so back to the writing chair I go.

4. Driving has been going very well. Crazy busy the last four days with the labor day weekend. Happy that it is over, but also very pleased that I was able to take care of my customers.

5. So that about wraps it up for this last bits post. I hope all of you out there in reader-land have had a great weekend and that life is treating you all well!

Last Bits 24

Your's Truly!

Your’s Truly on ORBIT COMPLETE! day.  🙂

1. Another orbit of the sun in the books. Time flies..sometimes. I’ll explain shortly. As it is, the birthday was a good one as far as things go in my lil’ world. I’m NOT a big “BIRTHDAY” person. To me, every day that I get up and am still breathing and able to do what I want to do is a win. So for me each day is kind of a birthday as 365 days ago, I was one year younger.  🙂

2. I’ve noticed over the last few years as I have taken control of my life that time does NOT fly. It flew when I was in the “9-5 GOTTA RUSH RUSH RUSH DO THE JOB HURRY ABOUT SWEAT EVERYTHING” mode that most people are in. Those years flashed by like a shot out of a cannon.

Oh to know then what I know now.

Once I decided to work for ME, and pursue the goals that interest ME instead of the inane bullshit that we are supposed to take as “normal”, time started to slow down. Not in a bad way, rather I actually feel like I’ve accomplished things and made a mark. Each day, while similar, is a joy to be in, rather than a drudge, and I no longer have issues with just getting up to start my day. (Coffee, of course, heh.)

Time flows, but it doesn’t feel as ephemeral any longer.


IMG_20150616_040219763_HDR3. The writing is moving along. Chapters are getting done, and the story is unfolding. A couple of times in the last few weeks I’ve even “fallen through the page” while pounding the keys. Writers know what this is, but for you that read my meanderings here that aren’t writers, lemme ‘splain….no…it’s too long….lemme sum-up. (heh.)

Writing, like anything else, takes work. It takes discipline, and it takes mental blood, sweat and tears at times. The term “cat-vacuuming” probably became a term because some writer thought it up for all of the excuses to NOT WRITE that seemed plausible at the time.

BUT, sometimes it isn’t work. Some may disagree with this, but I’ll just laugh and move on…sometimes the writer isn’t pounding the keys. Sometimes the writer is witnessing events and hearing people speak. Sometimes the writer has “fallen through the page” into that alternate universe where the story is taking place, and is transcribing things as fast as the keys or pen will allow.

This is the crack-cocaine of the craft. It hooks the writer to do this crazy solitary struggle…usually for the rest of his/her life. I got my first brain full of this drug when I was eleven.  😀

4. Now back to it!

The Novel Process of making a Book, Indy style

Is it done yet? Are we there yet?
I’ve been asked about this a few times, so here is kinda’ sorta’ how things will go before the next book shows up for your viewing pleasure. (hopefully.)
At the ongoing rate of keyboard poundage, my current ETA based on the outline will be about 3 months until the 1st draft gets a “The End” typed.
That estimate is based on an outline roughly equaling about 225k words for the manuscript. One that is done, ye old hack and slash time occurs (killing mah childrens as it were).
I follow Stephen King’s mantra of:
1st draft – 10% = 2nd draft.
Once that is done, the brick goes to my 1st reader who will do a pass and then give feed back. Then, I’ll do another pass, slashing and burning and adjusting based on said feedback. THEN (deep breath)…
3rd draft goes to my editor….who will red pen the shit out of it…and I’ll get it back to scrub and wash some more.

Right about this time is when my brain starts to whine that it no longer wishes to see the words anymore. It wants to do cool funzy ™ things, like, ya know, WRITING STORIES THAT HAVEN’T BEEN WRITTEN YET!!!

That becomes 4th draft which then gets line edited (by moi) for silly issues. —this is where I run it through an automated grammar checker to find the niggling bits that tend to get overlooked by human eyes.
THEN the 5th draft goes to the proof editor who will hunt for stupid stuff and mis-mangled left overs from all of the above.
At this point (6th draft), I’ll pass a few copies out to “beta readers” for feedback.
Corrections/fixes adjustments and such happen to make it the 7th draft…and if all goes well here, this is what gets pushed off to “press”, as it were.
At this point, I sit back, drink many beers, yell and shout to the heavens that the process is complete…and THEN…type “Chapter 1” on the next one and start the deal all over again.
This entire process will be smoother than with the first book. I was learning the whole shebang with indy publishing, editing, printing, (paper and ebooks) with that first title, and got it to a few folks in an “earlier state” than I probably should have. Their feedback was positive, (go me!) and I used this time to make corrections and move on.
My saving grace regarding all of that was the decision early on NOT to really push the marketing side until the 3rd book is in the channel. This sentence could have its own blog post, and I’ll probably ruminate on the ick that is “marketing” at some point, but right now, I’m sipping a fine IPA and do not wish to harsh my mellow.  😀

A Cautionary tale for witers dealing with Hollywood


A cautionary tale regarding selling one’s rights and dealing with Hollywood. i was initially dismissive of this as claims of “but i did it first!” happen all the time…but this…just whoa. If any of you writers haven’t seen this, it is WAY worth the read. Gerritsen’s suit isn’t over…but holy crap ouch.

From Tess Gerretsen’s blog:

Yesterday, the court granted Warner Brother’s motion to dismiss my lawsuit against them. While Warner Bros crows victory, the judge has in fact left the door open for me to pursue my claim, allowing my legal team twenty days to revise our complaint and address the single issue of concern: the corporate relationship between Warner Bros. and New Line Productions…. 

(click this link, Gravity and Hollywood  for the whole blog post. It is worth the read if you are even THINKING about selling to Hollywood.

Last Bits 3

1. So I’m not quite ready for bed…that would be due to this:


Yep, I make an awesome French Onion Soup…which I only make once in awhile because it takes forever to do properly.

2. Playing with some martini recipes.  New Amsterdam Gin is pretty decent, by the by.

3. I bought an indie author’s book on Amazon earlier this evening, and I missed the fact that the title was DRM’d. Pissed me right off. Even a LITTLE research before doing the “indie” thing should show the author that DRM is bad, mmmkay?


For more info and a blog that has my take on things, go here:

JA Konrath: A Newbie’s Guide to Publishing: DRM FREE

4. Writing goes as it goes. Not a great day, but not a bad one either.

(It really doesn’t help that this fine Sunday evening turned into a pretty busy night early for me.  Probably going to take Monday off and just pound the keys)

5. Buzzer is going off, so back to the kitchen for phase 3 of the FOSoup.  😀

Break a leg, they said.

Things writers do to drive themselves batshit:

So a character in my novel has suffered a very bad compound fracture of the femur (thigh). In a scene I’m currently writing, said character (female) has to relieve herself…and suddenly I’m out of the narrative scratching my head…just how in the HELL can that be done? So first step: google “compound fracture: femur”.

I will NEVER EVER EVER be able to unsee the horrifying images from the result of THAT search. ‘le-sigh.

Second, after posing the question to a female friend, it appears that the logistics of the scenario becomes pretty awkward because assistance is going to be required…and no I’m not having said character just cut loose, as tempting from a “get it out of the way” perspective as that might be.

Yep, the things writers get themselves into. gads.

Writer Procrastination

Hitting a point in the narrative that requires re-reading/finding a passage from the prior volume. Then two hours later, after reading the first four chapters of the prior volume, the writer suddenly realizes he’s forgotten what the hell he was looking for in the first place. -Yep, my night. Got my two pages in though.


A blog…go me!

Well wild hair time.  As it would appear that just about everybody and their brother is blogging these days, I got to looking at it, and said….why the hell not?

So, here is a writer, slogging away at his (hopefully) first publishable novel futzing about with yet another distraction!

So now we see if I can put stuff here worth reading or not!

No promises, but it won’t be politically correct whatever it is.