Friday, January 18, 2019

Why am I publishing so many old stories? / Happenings In The Outhouse 18-Jan-2019

I've been reflecting on the stories I've published in the past few years and some have noticed a trend.  Whether the trend is good or bad is all in the eye of the beholder.  In the "Afterword" of each story, I comment on the story itself--in much the same way Stephen King does in his books.  Lately, I've noticed where either the story was written a few decades ago or the idea was conceived a few decades ago and I'm just now starting to write them.

Let me address something here.  I have published a fair number of brand new stories.  But when I've looked at the stories I've also written and never published, I noticed they were . . . you guessed it . . . never published.  Hence the reason for the trickle of publishing those stories.  I want them out in the world, I have the freedom to do so, and I want to entertain others as much as they entertain myself.

I am currently around the 6,500 word mark on my new fantasy epic.  I will hold off sharing the title at this point.

Friday, January 11, 2019

I, hypocrite / Happenings In The Outhouse 11-Jan-2019

I realized something the other day.  I'm a hypocrite.

I dislike outlining with a passion--in fact, I consider it a colossal waste of time.  Want proof?  Here's a series of blog posts I have done on the subject.

However, with the epic fantasy novel I'm currently writing, I am using the old manuscript as . . . yes, you guessed it . . . an outline.

Oh, the horror!

Anyway, I do admit I'm a hypocrite in that respect, but keep in mind the original book was written sans outline and I'm taking great liberties with the new project.  I am currently 5,000 words into it and it's going great.

In the meantime, I will be publishing three short stories within the first quarter of 2019.  These short stories have already been written, but never published.

Stay tuned . . .

Friday, January 4, 2019

An epic beginning / Happenings In The Outhouse 04-Jan-2019

Welcome to 2019!

I am in the throws of writing (or, rather, re-writing, using the original manuscript as an outline) the first book in my epic fantasy series.

This book was written close to ten years ago (honestly) and has sat on the proverbial shelf ever since.  It has gone through a few re-writes, but since the original novel was close to 1,000 pages long, this was a daunting task.

One thing I had to consider now was the prologue.  It had one, but was largely written in the telling, not showing vein.  It was written, in part, much like the introduction to Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings movie trilogy, with an omniscient narrator.  Looking at it now, I was planning to scrap it.  I will write a shorter novel, documenting how my epic fantasy world came into being, but not now.  Keep in mind, this was my thought a week or so ago.

Then, as I contemplated many of my favorite epic fantasy started, I remembered that many have prologues.  Now, I'm not against prologues, per se.  In fact, I love writing them.  Here's a blog post where I touched on that subject.

So, I put it back in.  I cut it down, starting at a crucial scene, but I'm having a blast with it.  2019 is going to be grand.

As the epic fantasy may take a while to get written and published, I may publish a few short stories in the meantime.

Stay tuned . . .

Friday, December 28, 2018

Where we are at (plus my final published book of the year!) / Happenings In The Outhouse 28-Dec-2018

Garbage Day is my newest novella to be published.  Please click on the link for your favorite ebook retailer.

2018 started out strong in the first half, but tapered off for the final half.  That being said, December ended with a bang and I'm starting work on writing my first epic fantasy--a decision I came to quickly when it became apparent that not only do I enjoy reading them, the movies I love also have a fantastical feel to them.  I had written this novel before, but I'm using what I had written as an outline (an outline!  Gasp!) albeit a "loose" outline.

As 2018 draws to a close, let's recap my total published works.  All are in ebooks at this point--nothing in print or audio or graphic novel or gaming as of yet.  Let's see what the future brings.

I have 32 individual published works at this point.  They consist of:

9 full-length novels
6 novelettes or novellas
11 short stories (two of which are free on my website)
1 short story collection
2 box sets
2 non-fiction ebooks
1 romance written under a pseudonym

Friday, December 21, 2018

Have fun / Happenings In The Outhouse 21-Dec-2018

I was listening to a podcast last week, and the guests were asked questions from the popular podcaster's audience.

One of the questions was something like this: "If you could have a saying or a picture or a paragraph up on a billboard, what would it be?"

So many people nowadays seem to take issues way too seriously.  So much so, that if that put that same amount of energy into improving their own lives, they would be wildly successful.  Given that, picture this: two men in dark business suits, one looking serious and even frowning; the other had a smile on his face.  The smiley face man would hold up two fingers behind the serious man's head, giving him the proverbial bunny ears.  Then comes the caption:

HAVE FUN!

That would be my billboard.

Life should be fun.  If you're not having fun, maybe the issue is . . . well, you.

I get it.  Life can be difficult at times.  In January 2011, within a day of each other, I have a vehicle repossessed and a home foreclosed on.  My wife and I worked through both, getting the vehicle back and the saving our home.  Then, in April, my wife was diagnosed with leukemia.  She was treated successfully (huge thanks to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN!) and remains cancer-free, yet in the meantime she is legally blind because of the treatments and she tires easily.

It would be easy to go "bah-humbug!" at the upcoming Christmas season.  But I do not.  Think of my billboard.

And have fun!

Friday, December 14, 2018

Winding down but keep your eye on the ball / Happenings In The Outhouse 14-Dec-2018

Only a few weeks left of 2018.  It's easy, at this point, to procrastinate and coast through the holiday season.

The other day I thought about what I should tackle next in 2019.  Based on the books and movies I liked to watch, it was easy to choose.  2019 and beyond is going to be exciting for this indie writer.

It's okay to take a break as we come to the upcoming holidays.  But at the same time when everyone else is doing nothing, challenge yourself to focus on what you need to do and charge forward.  Even at a slower pace, it's still moving forward.

Friday, December 7, 2018

Keywords and covers and blurbs, oh my / Happenings In The Outhouse 07-Dec-2018

Keywords.

Covers.

Blurbs.

These may be the triad of book publishing and marketing.

Think about it for a moment.  You're either at a bookstore or an online venue, perusing the next great read.  If a cover intrigues you, and you're in the bookstore, you'll probably pick it up and read the back.  Or even read the first page.  That covers two of the three.  The equivalent to keywords would be the section of the store they're located in.  You would never find any epic fantasy novels by Brandon Sanderson in the mystery/thriller section.  And you wouldn't find any Agatha Christie mysteries in the travel or self-help section.

It is important covers, blurbs, and keywords are up to date.  I am in the process of working through my books, first with my thriller series, and then going through the rest.

I surpassed the 11,000 word mark on my new story.  It's an escape room suspenseful mystery on a large scale.  I will share more when it's complete.

When will it be?  I'm shooing to have it complete by the middle of this month.