Have you ever wondered about points of view and how they affect narrative order? What about the finer points of space opera and other genres? Listen and watch was Josh Hayes and I completely demystify these and other topics...or at least talk about writing and stuff.
Video blogging is new and mysterious to me. I can't speak for Josh or the audience we had during the live broadcast, but I had a lot of fun. Probably, there will more and better video blogs headed this way.
Thanks for stopping by!
Simple Food for Health
My goal is to never get sick again. Now before you criticize me for being a total slacker with no ambition, let me suggest this will be harder than it sounds in a simple goal statement. Why would such a thought occur to me at one a.m. when I should be sleeping? To answer that, let’s dig into why I should be sleeping, since I am actually scheduled to be at work.
This is about day five of a nasty cold, or whatever the heck you call it. Earlier in the year, when the cold and flu season was staging its own biological war on my community, I slipped through unscathed despite every friend, family member, and co-worker becoming ill. I was exercising, eating well, and taking Zinc with my Vitamin C. For whatever reason, I broke this routine and have been fighting various forms of the crud for weeks, this morning being the dramatic climax, I hope.
When my throat hurts, I often eat Wheat Chex cereal because it feels good on my throat -- kind of like a scrub brush to sweep the junk out. This morning I decided to try something different: one whole orange and whey protein mixed in water. (In the past this would be a smoothie, be I decided to actually eat most of my fruits and vegetables for a while, instead of blending them. This had the same effect as cereal; it gave my throat a break from the mysterious acid-slime that seems to be running down my throat when it isn’t packing my nasal cavities and cutting off my breathing all night long.)
Which brings us to my very simple nutritional plan that combined with quality exercise, sufficient sleep, and a great mental attitude should remove illness from my buffet bar of misery and productivity destroying excuses.
Whole fruits and vegetables, lean protein, and healthy fats from food such as avocados. But mostly whole fruits and vegetables with some protein. And mostly vegetables, the greater variety the better.
This isn’t a vegan diet, or paleo, or any of the dozens of eating strategies I have tried over the years. This is merely something simple that I hope works for me. (You might notice I didn’t eat all the things not to eat; I am trying to keep it positive.) With luck, I will have great success and share it with everyone. Please leave comments and opinions at the end of this blog article. I would love to hear your thoughts.
NOTE: my starting weight, according to my Fitbit scale was 187.5 pounds with 19.4% body fat. I log my food with the Myfitnesspal app.
0115: One whole orange, whey protein powder in water.
0930: 1 can of chicken (4 servings), 4 cups of steamed broccoli (I ate this until 1110 hours).
* I will add the rest of food I eat at the end of the day, because I am sure everyone will check back to see if I follow through. *
If you have scrolled down far enough to read my post-script, fantastic. Writing non-fiction, as cool and useful as it is, is not my primary calling in life. I have a regular job, because I do enjoy eating, healthy or otherwise. My family is also pretty keen on the idea. Someday I hope that regular job will be replaced, perhaps in retirement, with a full-time income of fiction writing.
To succeed in the ever-competitive fiction market I have learned it is important to write more than other writers; no excuses are allowed. An easy example is Stephen King, who was been writing 3,000 words a day for most of his life. During an interview he once told a reporter that he wrote everyday except for his birthday and Christmas, but later confessed in his book On Writing: Memoirs of the Craft that this was a lie. “I write everyday,” he said.
This is advice worth taking. How can I follow his example if I get sick. Sure, I can gut it out for a time, but staying healthy would be a lot easier. To keep the dream alive I plan to maintain a foundation of health. How could this be wrong?
Thanks for hanging in there, and good luck in all that you do. If you are interested in Science Fiction or what I call Police Paranormal (a bit like Urban Fantasy the way I write it), then check out my books. Enemy of Man is science fiction packed with action in the style of Aliens and Starship Troopers. As the first book in the Chronicles of Kin Roland, it is free. Dragon Badge pits street cops against sorcerers and dark magic as worlds collide. The same deal applies to the Lost Dragonslayer series; the first book is free. (I love reviews, like I really love them, more than chocolate or cute puppy videos.)
One last item for consideration. Should I be worried that my word processor recognizes My Fitness Pal and Fit Bit as spelling errors, demanding with a squiggly red line that they be changed to Myfitnesspal and Fitbit?
Be safe, and please excuse my rather liberal use of the semi-colon in this article, it is two-thirty in the morning after all.
More Than Just Boricio Wolfe: A Review of Yesterday's Gone (Season 1): How Many Stars Should I Rate It?
I hope you read my earlier post today, because when I wrote it, I was basically making an excuse not to make my #3KADAY goal. Yes, all of that business-ish stuff needed to be done. And I had a lot of work to do for my second real job. And there is this strange and mysterious organization called a family that never gives up on me no matter how anoying I become. Life must come before art, but that important fact does not make it easier to keep the dream alive.
There were so many things that went wrong today. I knew I was in trouble because I didn't do the writing first as I had intended. It should have been okay because I found a long block of time that should have been just like writing first thing in the morning. About a half an hour ago I hit my 3k goal. Friday is the first day of my logging week, so it is a relief to get off to a good start. I hope that any goal you are pursuing this week is also going well.
Dragon Land, the third and final book of the Lost Dragonslayer Trilogy, now stands at 51,500 words. I am having a blast!
Just for fun, you might want to check out the free digital copy of Dragon Badge (Book 1 in the Lost Dragonslayer Trilogy.) Maybe, if you're just crazy enough, you might even consider leaving a review. Only the bravest, most intelligent, and generally awesome readers have what it takes to write a book review!
A writer must write first and do everything else to maintain his or her career as an author after this most important task is complete. Great! I like that! However, this also explains why my emails stack up, my web page goes dormant for weeks or months at a time, and I disappear from social media. (Retweets barely count, much to my dismay.)
January and February of 2016 have been full of writing. I finished Weapons of Earth, which means I finished the Chronicles of Kin Roland Trilogy. All that remains is one final revision, editing with Pro Writing Aid software, and sending the manuscript to my professional editor (BZHercules for this project). On a side note, I also paid for an additional round of professional proof reading of Enemy of Man and Son of Orlan by BZ Hercules to complement the excellent edits of Samantha LaFantasie (who did a great job for a great price). In a perfect world, I would again pay for both of these editors, but I only have a budget for one this time around.
I am two thirds of the way through my current draft of Dragon Land, which will complete the Lost Dragonslayer trilogy. Along the way, I also worked out story beats for Fight Like A Werewolf, book two in the Police Paranormal series. (Die Like A Man is definitely a stand alone novel, but I really like the characters and feel like they have a few more quests to complete.)
The last thing I am doing today before getting back to creating new words is to rework the book description for Die Like A Man. It should be live on Amazon soon.
THE NEW BOOK DESCRIPTION
Today has been a long day, during which I worked two part time jobs on what is supposed to be my day off. In that respect, I'm just like everybody else trying to make my way in the world and pay the bills. The reason that I am writing or actually voice dictating this blog right now is because I just realized I was given break. (And should be thankful for my good fortune.)
Several months ago I started listening to the Self Publishing Podcast with Sean Platt, David Wright, and Johnny B. Truant. I think that their ideas on writing are awesome because they center around hard work. That is a concept I can definitely get behind. Their message came at a time when I was struggling and discouraged. I can never thank them enough for the inspiration they provided.
Right now I'm standing at a part time job and reading Yesterday's Gone on my phone. Sure, there are interruptions when I have to put the phone down and watch for trouble, but all in all this story has made the night go by much faster. I suddenly realized that I was almost dreading the end of my shift, because that will mean I have to stop reading and drive home.
I am at forty percent of Yesterday's Gone: Season One. Things are getting complicated for the characters in this book and I am growing attached to them.
This week has been good to my hands, more specifically the fingertips that get to feel the immediate satisfaction of generating stories via the keyboard. Wow, you might say, that is a weird way to put it. And you're not wrong. I am a writer; words do funny things around me.
What, you ask, is the point?
I wrote an average of 2,644 words a day this week. My goal was #3KaDay, but I will take the 18,511 words that I completed on Dragon Land and be happy. (This total does not count blogs or other social media writing, it is strictly creative fiction I am talking about right now.)
I firmly believe that it is impossible to ever become a fulltime writer without being able to produce in sufficient quantity. If I were building houses for a living, I would need to construct as many as possible. Writing is half art and half work ethic, if you ask me.
Hard work doesn't scare me, especially when it is this much fun.
Like many writers, I read Stephen King’s nonfiction book On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft. When I first learned that he wrote 3,000 words a day, everyday it seemed like a lot. Now, many years after reading his advice, it the ideal seems either daunting or totally doable, depending on the day. I work full time, and according to contract, that means forty two and a half hours before I am eligible to put in for overtime. I also work two side jobs.
There are days when three thousands newly created words is more of a challenge.
And what about editing? How do writers who are attempting to get consistent word counts everyday deal with writing. I don’t know about anyone else, but when I am editing a large project, it isn’t uncommon to go into negative word production (which is another King axiom; cut ten percent during the edit).
We will get to some methods of addressing that particular issue in a moment. For now, there are a few other word count productivity questions I want to throw out, because admit it, this is exciting stuff. #writinggeek
Should I count blogging?
It might sound crazy to even worry about these details, but generating three thousand words a day is the same as writing 1,095,000 words a year.
The Words I Track
1) New words: these can include story summaries that will be expanded into regular narrative, outlines material, and story beats (for fans of the Self Publishing Podcast crew). Story building can be counted, but it isn’t wrong to forbid yourself from logging this category. I know a very good writer that will probably never finish a novel, but will have an entire universe created to the smallest detail — so writer beware.
2) Blogging: I say count it, but set limits. Even though I awoke this mrning with ideas for several different blog articles (a rare occurrence) I am limiting myself to five hundred words. (Because I have a novel to finish, Hello Moon!)
3) Email words: no, this is like an Olympic sprinter bragging about how she walked to the mail box every day — not something that will bring home a gold medal.
4) Social Media: if the raw number of words spent on social media make a great novelist, then I am in trouble. This should probably be subtracted from the daily goal. (Look at me mom, I wrote eight thousand words on Facebook! Ah, no. There are so many reasons not to do this.)
Summary: Today, I start adding the words I blog to my daily log. The reason is simple; I don’t blog consistently and it is something that can help aspiring novelists.
Bonus: The best way to meet word count goals is to join, or start, an accountability group. Josh Hayes, Scott McGlasson, and Roy Upton have allowed me to be part of their word count team. So far, 2016 is looking to be a good year.
Results: I have not made 3k a day, but I have done better than 1k so far.
Here are some good books on writing productivity:
2k to 10k (by Rachel Aaron)
5,000 Words Per Hour (by Chris Fox)
Writing in Overdrive: Write Faster, Write Freely, Write Brilliantly (by Jim Denney)
During the last several months I have been extremely inspired and entertained by the Self Publishing Podcast of Sean Platt, David Wright, and Johnny B. Truant. Writers who are not afraid to work hard might give it a try.
The Forgotten Prince by Josh Hayes
This version of the Neverland stories combines all the things I love in fiction; scifi action with great characters and a bunch of surprises. I like the way Josh Hayes shows the cast of the original story in interesting new ways. Bella is my favorite, but Wendy and Pan have found themselves in roles that promise a lot of fireworks as the mystery of Neverland is explored.
The first chapter sets the tone the book. Hayes uses suspense topped with action to begin his sketch of Hook. I knew I was going to be entertained as soon as I started reading the first scene. Without going into the specifics of the plot, I can say the world building is good. The more I learn about the place where Lt. John McNeal finds himself, the more I want to discover who or what created this alternate world.
I can't wait for book three in this series.
Life is an adventure. I read to expand my horizons and write because I must.
- The Craft of Writing: 7 Magnificent Books
- Use of Force Myths
- A Really Useful Tool
- Project Rotation