Saturday, November 26, 2011

Holiday Delays

It's always interesting how the holidays seem to put everything on hold even when you don't mean to do it.  I don't have any family here in Utah but with my friends keeping me busy on top of all the phone calls I need to make on those important days I'm far from free.  Despite that I'm going to try and keep up with things. Try...that's the keyword there. 

In my last post I mentioned a workshop that I was co facilitating.  That turned out to be a lot of fun and it did get my creative juices flow for a bit.  I managed to write a section of conversation between Galen and the angel.  It's not the next part in the story but who says that anything has to be linear?  I'm just happy to add more to my book.  I always seem to get more inspiration from group sessions with fellow writers than anything else.  Music is the next best thing when I've got writers block.  Talking through things though is always the best.  Hence the reason why I'm always grateful to anyone who's willing to listen to me babble even when/especially when I'm not making any sense.  Thank you very patient people :)

I also entered my Zombie School short story into another contest.  Keep your fingers crossed!!  I should hear something from the first contest next month if I won anything.  No matter what it's good practice and I'm trying to keep myself moving forward by writing short stories set in the universes I've established.  I can't do it for every story I've written, but Harbinger and this one manuscript I wrote set on a space station in a kind of Alice in Wonderland world have broad enough settings and worlds that I can write multiple stories from different and new characters.  I'm not much of a short story writer so it won't be so hard to try and stick to already established places....I hope.

Christmas is around the corner and that holiday is even more hectic than Thanksgiving.  It's also my second favorite holiday.  This having been said I might not be posting as much next month though I am going to try.  I haven't touched my book at all either and I really need to get moving. 

Here's a thought....what's Christmas like in a post apocalyptic western world?  Does Christmas exist?  What about the other holidays? 

What about your worlds?

Monday, November 7, 2011

Blog entry titles are hard to come up with...

So an interesting and exciting development.  The Community Writing Center who sponsors our writing group is having a Speculative Fiction Class and guess who's co facilitator?  You guessed it, it's me.  I remember going to this workshop almost four years ago and having a blast so I'm really looking forward to it.  Mostly I'm just looking forward to geeking out with fellow fans of sci/fantasy.  Here's also hoping that this workshop drums up some new short story ideas.  I'm still working on my book but a short story would be a great way to get the juice flowing and maybe even help come up with some new ideas.  Maybe even a short story set in the universe of my book....hmm....

Thursday, November 3, 2011


So I'm already terrible at keeping up with this blog and my goals.  Though that doesn't mean nothings happened between then and now.  I've finished a short story that was just in time for Halloween.  My first horror zombie story and I think it turned out pretty great.  There's still some tweaking to do but otherwise it turned out the way I wanted to.  I've entered it into a horror writing contest at and I'm entering it into another contest on the same website for short short stories.  It fell just below their 1,500 word count limit.  Come to think of it, that was the first short story I've ever written and finished. 

Writing that story came me some interesting perspectives.  I've found that when I write a novel I don't have much rigid organization.  I'll write notes and character profiles and plot ideas but otherwise outlines and such don't really work for me.  Believe me I've tried.  I guess in a way I do write a loose outline.  Most of my notes involve research but also plot ideas and points that I want to keep in mind for later on.  The rest of the details are in my head, which I also should really write down. 

Short stories though are the complete opposite.  When writing this story I knew exactly what I wanted to happen and how.  I didn't write a physical outline but I did write one in my head.  Point A to point B to point C.  I didn't allow myself to deviate or leave out.  Novel or short story things can always be trimmed so there was no point in leaving anything out till I was done.  So as an exercise I think I want to try and come up with some more short stories and see how that improves my writing in general. 

I hear about the contest results in December and the next contest entry isn't due until November 15.  Wish me luck, I know I'll be on the edge of my seat.  Either way it's a good experience for me and it gets my writing out there.  I can't publish the short story I wrote as part of the contest rules, but if I don't win you'll find the story published here for people to read if they wish. 

Also I would just like to say that my writing group rocks!! If it wasn't for them I probably would have quit most of my current work a long time ago and wandered off to another idea.  They keep me in line and keep me writing my book so I'll finish it.  Thanks a lot you guys!!

Friday, October 7, 2011


I did a bit of thinking today and I decided that I should set some goals.  I was thinking that with my schedule the way it is, I could get a lot of work done every other week.  So after going over what I've already written I've decided that a max of a thousand words a day isn't too hard a goal to achieve.  It just means that I'll have to keep pushing myself to write something, even when I don't feel like writing.  My minimum is about five hundred words.  This way no matter what I write something and I don't feel pushed.  The challenge will be balancing my writing goals with life in general.  That's where things get tricky, as we all know.

Another goal I decided to set was the amount of reading I haven't been doing.  I have stacks and stacks of books and most of them haven't been touched.  It's either that or I've gotten halfway through and I never finished it.  I listen to plenty of audio books but that's still no excuse for not finishing the books I have.  Just recently I picked up The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova for about two bucks used.  I've been wanting to read it for a while and snatched it up as fast as I could for that price.  Hopefully it's worth the read.  So the goal for reading is a minimum of one hour every day, including work days.  We'll see how well I can accomplish each goal.  Also I'm not sure if comic books should count or not...

Just finished writing a scene between Galen and the angel.  For everyone unfamiliar with the story the angel is the one who God sent to Galen to recruit him as a warrior.  I'm trying to decide whether to post character profiles and put in excerpts from my book.  Just another one of those trying to decide what to reveal and what not reveal problems.  We'll see how it goes.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

And here we go...

First official blog entry ever.  First serious blog entry ever anyway since I have attempted this once before.  This time it isn't about time limits or finishing as fast as possible.  This time it's more about getting my voice out there, talking about my writing and seeing how people respond. 

So far my novel Harbinger has about 64 pages, 8 chapters, and 22,756 words.  So far so good.  Listening to an interview with Neil Gaiman recently gave me the kick I needed to keep going.  I need to write a little every day even if I don't feel like it.  Like he said my first draft is just that, my first draft.  It doesn't matter if it's full of errors and doesn't always make sense.  What matters is I get my story on the page and finish it.

So a little bit about the book.  I've been describing it as a kind of science fiction, post apocalyptic, western type story.  Western makes people think of the past, when really this story takes place in the future.  War, disease, natural disasters, and all manner of catastrophes have caused the world to revert to the chaos of the past.  There's no real form of government, ready sources of electricity and gas are a thing of the past, and the major cities have been abandoned.  Mankind has been struggling to get back on it's feet for a long time now and they're still struggling.  In the background of all this, God and Lucifer have been playing their eternal game.  God is getting bored and he's ready to start over again.

Galen Kilburn is my main character, a chosen warrior who couldn't care if he lived or died.  For him it's just a day in day out job of capturing or killing demons and rogue angels to keep everyone around him safe.  He's ready to have things end, but there are those who won't let him give up, including Lucifer himself.

That's probably the best description I've ever come up with and I hope it whets your appetite.  I hope to use this blog to muse about things I've learned about writing.  I might even post excerpts and writing exercises on here.  I'm planning on trying to churn out a couple of short stories for the Halloween season.  If I finish those I'll post them here.  They should be interesting, covering a couple of my favorite horror topics: zombies and haunted houses.