Friday, July 22, 2016

Cover for Shades Of Darkness / Happenings In The Outhouse 22-July-2016

Keeping it short today.  Still editing Shades of Darkness, and I'm roughly 9-10 chapters into it.  Still aiming for a mid-August release, but it may change depending on how long the editing takes me.

In the meantime, here is the cover for Shades of Darkness.  Please let me know what you think:

Friday, July 15, 2016

Shades Of Darkness, Book 4 / Happenings In The Outhouse 15-July-2016

The first draft of Book 4 in the Central Division Series is complete.  I wrote the last words at exactly noon on Saturday, July 9th, 2016--to celebrate I took my youngest daughter to see The BFG.  We both thought it was funny and highly underrated.  If you get a chance to see it, do so.

Anyway, back to Book 4.  It is called Shades of Darkness.

I'm having the cover being worked on, and will share once it's complete.  Right now, I'm looking for a mid-August release.

As of now, I'm currently working on the edits.

Stay tuned . . .

Friday, July 8, 2016

Don't Get Sucked Into The Drama / Happenings In The Outhouse 08-July-2016

Facebook does it.

The 24-hour news stations do it.

Hell, any form of social media does it.

What is this, you may ask?

It's drama.

No, I'm not talking about a drama story or the three-act drama play your child may be in.  I'm talking about the day-to-day events that sucks your life down into rabbit holes.  And, of course, it's even more so whenever there is a major crisis or a US Presidential election.  Which, according to Facebook, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, etc. there is a BREAKING NEWS crisis every five seconds.

Drama are the stories that gets people's blood boiling, where they rant and rave on Facebook comments, despite the hypocrisy of their stance on many issues.  No one seems to be completely immune to it.

It doesn't even need to be national news.  It can be within your geographic area (i.e. the so-called controversial new logo for the University of North Dakota) or within your own family and friends.

However, you can control it.  Control how much you take in and how it affects you.

Focus on what you need to do.  For me, it's writing.  I have the fourth novel in the Central Division Series that is nearing the end of the first draft.  As of this writing, I am at 53,000 words and will guess I will be adding another 10,000+ before it ends.  I am focusing on a mid-August release, which means editing and cover art creation.

What projects are you working on?  Or would like to work on?

Stay away from the drama.

And get to work.

The universe needs you.  And the universe will thank you for it.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Create a checklist of tasks / Happenings In The Outhouse 01-July-2016

I am roughly 40,000 words into the fourth thriller novel in the Central Division Series.

This week, I published Discarded (the third thriller novel in the Central Division Series) in other online retailers besides the Amazon Kindle store.  Here's a link for your favorite e-retailer.

Which brings me to my latest dilemma.  On the Amazon Kindle store alone, I currently have 17 various stories, all in ebook format (no print or audio at this time).  They are:

4 Fiction Novels
1 Fiction Novella
1 Fiction Novelette
1 Collection of fiction short stories
9 Fiction short stories
1 Non-fiction

With each publication, I find myself going, "Oh, I forgot to do this."  Or "Oh, I forgot all about that."  So I have decided to put together a checklist.

I love lists.  And lists help me keep track of what I should be doing.  Like remembering that GooglePlay's ebook pricing is a little wonky or remembering the right front and back matter in each book.

In the future, I may share this list.  But keep in mind, this list is for my books.  This is what works for me.  It's not necessarily for you.

It's still a work in progress, and one that I will continually add to from time to time.  When I get it finished--as much as it can be--I will share it with you.

In the meantime, today is the beginning of the third quarter.  Have you been keeping up with your goals?  I find it refreshing to review them at least once a quarter.  Again, that's my method.  You may do it monthly or even weekly.

Friday, June 24, 2016

My answer to: what should I work on next? / Happenings In The Outhouse 24-June-2016

No matter where I'm at in a current project, I'm always thinking about the next one and more.

As I've said before, I find it difficult to plan meticulously each and every book for 12 months in advance because not only do my interests change, so does the landscape of the publishing industry.  My plan for the rest of this year is to finish the current work-in-progress, Book 4 of Central Division Series, and then I have two more seasonal stories to write/publish.  One is set around Halloween and the other Christmas.

Those are a priority.  The ticking time bomb is off and running.

Afterwards, I had planned on writing book 5 . . . until I realized I had, two years ago, written the first book in a trilogy: The Shadowkill Trilogy.

So, after the two seasonal stories, my plan is to write the final two stories to finish out the series.

Afterwards, I'm exploring putting the four books in the Central Division Series in a box set.  Pretty sure The Shadowkill Trilogy will go into a box set too.

Ideas, ideas, ideas . . .

Plans, plans, plans . . .

Keep 'em coming.  Because I have other projects waiting in the wings.

(Hint: I even have two superhero series rolling around in my mind - very exciting!)

Friday, June 17, 2016

The tortoise revisited / Happenings In The Outhouse 16-June-2016

Almost four years ago I wrote a blog post titled "Lessons from a tortoise."

I re-read it again recently as I looked at the state of publishing and how everyone (well, not quite everyone) is preaching the gospel of "Write faster!  Write faster!"

I still believe what I wrote.  And it's as applicable today as it was back then.

Each writer is different.  Each writer has various life skills, talents, methods, and external forces that make each writer unique.

To me, the mantra of writing faster is equivalent to acting like the hare in the race.  Now, if it works for you, go for it.  I won't deny one's unique writing style.  But it's not for everyone, and writing fast doesn't necessarily mean you will succeed--and this has nothing to do with all fast writing is crap; I don't believe that for a second.

Being the tortoise means writing steady and consistently.  I don't care how you break down your writing tasks.  Back in college, I used to write X amount of pages in a day.  My first goal was to write one page.  Then I moved it to two . . . and so on.  Whatever you use for your goal is fine for you, as long as you do it consistently.

If you only have twenty minutes to write each day, do it.  Write with all your heart for those twenty minutes.  Over time, those words will add up.

Be the tortoise.  Speeding quickly towards something is not necessarily the key to success.  Keeping at something for a long period of time is your best shot at success (and I'm talking career success, not success on a single book).  Keep your eye on the finish line.  The finish line is your goal.

Because no one can read your book (or books) if it's not finished.

Friday, June 10, 2016

When all else fails, re-read what you have written / Happenings In The Outhouse 10-June-2016

Something happened when I hit the 20,000 word mark on the latest thriller: I stalled.  I didn't write for a few days (life happens, you know?) and then I struggled with where I wanted to go.

The fourth novel in my Central Division Series is going very well, and I know where I want to go from here.

But I need to fill in the gaps.

So, I decided to go back through my book so far, chapter by chapter, and re-read it.  I'm making notes as I go, to see where I had made promises, created clues that I forgot about, and in one instance changed to District Attorney's name and gender.

If you find yourself stalling, wondering what to write next, may I make a suggestion to try this.  It may work for you.  It may not.

But doing something is better than nothing.