Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year!

My resolution for the year is this:

Stop judging. Understand context. Read more.

Also, I will do my best to be more social but not just on social media. I hope to see you all out in the world more this coming year. As well I will work hard to be more diligent. There will be more words from me. Good ones.

I wish all the good things for all of you. Be good to each other.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

The Life

Writers are filled with fear and doubt. It comes with the territory, I suppose. If I could wish away anything about me, it would be insecurity. Here's an example:

So yeah. 10,000 words into a page one rewrite of my long-developing novel I've dumped everything I'd done so far.


Because I was right. I was just beginning to approach the real beginning of the story. AND I'd done all the work I'd done just to get there. That's a lot of just-ing, isn't it?

This made me nervous. Was I right? Really? How many times would I have to go back and forth to finally get where I needed to be? See - I thought I was right, and then I wasn't and I started over. Then I thought about it after doing the work and figured out that I was right to do the work I was doing but I wasn't doing it in the right place. So I was wrong again. Then I saw how I was right.

Jeez, are you as confused as I am? Do you think writing is easy? Fuhgeddaboutit.

A little off the top and a refill later, I came to the realization of where the actual beginning of the story is. And I needn't actually dump the work I'd done over the last few weeks. It will inform flashbacks and could conceivably be used as it is. Or with a little editing.

Speaking of which, I'm not tossing out anything my editor friend said about this story. It's foremost in my mind. So with that in mind:

Okay. Ducking back out now. I've got writing to do.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

A Good Year

It would be easy to complain. In fact I seem to do it a lot. Recently the question of what I think my social media presence would tell others about me came up. I thought about it for a moment and in front of the group I said 'cranky SOB'. 

Which is, to some extent, true. I believe that there are injustices in the world and pointing to them and saying "this is crap" is a good thing. Cranky sometimes, yes, but all things being equal it's a good thing. I wish more people did this and then we all did something about whatever it is that cranks us up like that.

Anyway, hello. Thanks for stopping by.

I'm not doing a year-end wrap up or anything like that here today. Rather I'm in that vacation period between how things went and how I hope things will go.

I self-published my first short story and had two successful appearances at local comicons. A novel I wrote got pretty far in the submission process before being rejected and a short story submitted garnered some excellent feedback and encouragement. There was a promotion at work. My son is in college. I read a lot of really great books, watched some interesting films and attended my first live show in years. There was a period where I lost a good amount of weight, too.

But I struggle with keeping it off and that's where I have to start looking forward.

Eating and drinking are things I do well. Too well. So in the new year I have to change some habits and lose a bunch of weight. That's not a resolution, either. It's a requirement.

Also required is continuing to read authors who aren't white men. I'm getting much more comfortable with living in stories set in worlds that I don't automatically understand. It's been easier with music to step outside my comfort zone but I'm actively looking for books by writers I've never read. This has helped expand my worldview a bit and inform my writing. Really, reading helps your writing.

Which I hope will make my con appearances this year even better. We'll see. Stay tuned for updates.

And that makes up a year in a nutshell.

So I wish you and yours a merry celebration, whichever your family chooses to recognize. If you don't celebrate any holidays, then have a happy day anyway. Turn the lights on and keep the darkness at bay. You know what to do.

See you in the New Year.

Saturday, December 20, 2014


I spent my evening drinking, eating and playing cards with my Comic Book Brothers from Other Mothers which is great and doesn't happen nearly often enough. Early in the proceedings I was reminded that I had been given great advice about making comics:

Don't talk. Show your work. 

I've heard this any number of times and I always heed it as great advice. It always moves me toward finishing whatever project I'm working on. Just to prove that I'm who I say I am as a creative.

Watch the sidebar for progress on the Cold Distance re-write. I'm aiming to finish the damn thing and get the process rolling on putting it out into the world. Sooner rather than later. I expect you, yes you reading this, to hold me accountable. Ask me about it on Twitter, badger me on Facebook, text me if you have my phone number, stop me and ask "How's the writing?"

This earns you a huge thank you in the book when it's out in the world. 

And a huge thank you now for playing along.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

The Long Road

Three years ago this week I finished the first draft of my novel, The Cold Distance. A year and a half ago I started shopping it to agents and publishers having done major edits and expansions and cuts and all the things that a writer is supposed to do to a book in progress.

I got a couple of interested bites but ultimately nothing came of it.

Last  month I began rewriting the story from scratch based on an informed reading by a very good friend who is also an editor. If you follow the blog here you know all this.

What  I've been struggling with is the pitch for this new product, this new book. This  morning, three years after starting this damn project, it hit me like a 16 ton wrecking ball. I know who my main character is, I know why she's important and I know EXACTLY  how it all fits together and WHY.

The light has gone on and I'm surveying the wreckage of wasted time over the last three years where I could have been writing THIS fucking book and not all the other stuff I've written in the meantime.

Except, he said with humility, that I had to travel all those other roads before I could get to this one. Or whatever metaphor floats your boat. Either way, I had to do all that other work to figure out why Dee was special to this story, this universe. I have the word that identifies her and makes her a nearly complete character now.

All  because it took so much damned time to marinate in the back of my head. 

As it dawned on me this morning on my commute, I was angry at myself for not seeing it so clearly before. What the hell was wrong with me that I couldn't have made this leap before?

I don't know. Maybe it would have hit me sooner if I'd spent more time with the characters and actively pursued the questions that I've been looking at over the last four weeks. Maybe not. 

And that's what makes this whole writing thing beautiful, this act of creation that requires inspiration to shudder forward. It takes time and energy put together in sometimes very complicated ways before results are evident. False positives abound. 

Regardless, the novel is moving along and my excitement is in direct proportion to my having finally figured out what I needed to know long ago. Expect regular updates over the coming weeks as I turn this treatment into a series of novels. I'm all in on this one again. While you're waiting breathlessly (because I know you are) enjoy this: