Friday, May 25, 2018

Disclaimers and expectations / Happenings In The Outhouse 25-May-2018

I have been listening to a number of true crime podcasts lately (thanks in big part to the Netflix show Mindhunter).

One thing I have noticed about a fair amount of them are the disclaimers they have before each podcast.  Or, if they come to a graphic part where they're describing a murder or something demented being done to another person, they give a disclaimer.


First, these are true crime podcasts.  We should expect the blood and gore, the graphic nature of the sick individuals who create much havoc in society.  My wife buys a lot of discounted or free ebooks, many of them in the romance genre.  I will admit, I do read some of these.  I recently read one that bordered on pornography.  It was extremely graphic and delved into the weirder side of sex.  I will not give the title or the author, but I did look back to see if there was a disclaimer.

There wasn't one.

I read a number of thrillers and true crime books.  Again, no disclaimers there either.

Why is this?

It's because we expect it.

I've read a fair amount of Stephen King horror novels and I don't believe I have found one single disclaimer on any of them.  Why?  Because we expect to be scared to death.

The same goes with thrillers and the like.

So, to all of the true crime podcasters out there, quit putting disclaimers on your podcasts.  We expect the blood and gore and graphic crap.  It's true crime for crying out loud!

We expect it!

Friday, May 18, 2018

End Of An Era / Happenings In The Outhouse 18-May-2018

A few weeks ago, the remaining members of our local writers' group decided to disband after . . . 15 years.

And when I mean the remaining members, it was literally down to one lady and myself.  Other members who were still in the group were unable to attend our tri-weekly meeting due to a variety of reasons.

It was bittersweet to end such a long run of friendship, swapping stories, and encouragement.  But I must add that the friendship will not end.  It will continue long until the end of our days.

Friday, May 11, 2018

Why my pen name is a secret? / Happenings In The Outhouse 11-May-2018

Writing the title to this blog feels a lot like the old "what I did last summer" essays we used to write in school.

For those who have been following this blog, I am currently in the middle of a . . . secret project, for want of a better word.  I am writing a romance novel, with around 18,000 words written so far, and am putting this under a pseudonym.

But what pseudonym am I using?

Sorry, that's a secret.  Will it remain a secret?  I don't know.  There are a few people whom I will tell about it, but that list is extremely small.

Besides, I am writing this romance more as an experiment.  You see, I am a storyteller.  I have threads of romance through many of my other stories, but this will be the first one where the major theme is romance-based.

Stay tuned . . .

Friday, May 4, 2018

Training Grounds Is Out / Happenings In The Outhouse 04-May-2018

Training Grounds is now published!

Click on the link to view your favorite ebook retailer.

What else am I working on?  I am currently around 15,000 words into my new romance work-in-progress, written under a pseudonym.  It's working well, and has been going places I never imagined--which is usually the case with most of my stories.

Friday, April 27, 2018

Favorite stories / Happenings In The Outhouse 27-Apr-2018

I was listening to a podcast the other day, and someone had asked a bestselling author: "What is your favorite story that you've written?"

This author gave the usual answer, by saying all of his stories were like his children, so all were his favorites, but in the end he did choose his first one, as it was more near and dear to him.

What are my favorites?

All of them.  Past . . . present . . . and future.

Yes, even the future stories I have ideas for are included in my favorites.  Time keeps me from getting them all done--if they'll all ever be done.

Speaking of new projects, my current work-in-progress, a romance novel written under a pseudonym, has roughly 12,000 words written.  My goal of writing at least 2,500 words a week has been going well.  It may seem like a small goal, but it's a manageable goal and one I can even overachieve on.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Can art be created quickly? / Happenings In The Outhouse 20-Apr-2018

Two weekends ago, my wife and I saw the movie I Can Only Imagine. 

At that point, the movie had been out for three weeks, so we thought there would be plenty of places to sit.  Wow, were we wrong!  The place was packed!  We sat in the front row, which was an ideal place to begin with as my wife is legally blind.  And the movie?  In short, it was amazing!

Which brings me to the reason behind this post, about art being created quickly.

At the beginning of the movie, Bart (the lead singer for MercyMe who wrote the hit song that the movie was named for) was being interviewed by someone (no spoilers here, as I won't share who this was) and asked about the song's creation.

Bart told the interviewer that he wrote the lyrics in about ten minutes, and the music in about as much time.

The interviewer then objected and said no, it had been written over his lifetime.

Sorry, but the interviewer is wrong.  There are plenty of artists who, on a whim of inspiration, have written great works in short periods of time.  I do know why the interviewer said what she said, that it was what he had experienced in his lifetime that led up to the creation of their iconic song.  But great works of art can be created in short periods of time.

Don't believe me?  Here's a link to a list of 10 novels written in less than a month.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Keep your goals visible (AKA My Next 5 Things) / Happenings In The Outhouse 13-Apr-2018

I'm embarking on a new venture, under a pseudonym.  I am roughly 5,000 words into a romance story, and it's going well.  It was slow going at first, but lately has ramped up.

I've preached before about the importance of goals.  I don't do New Year's resolutions.  Simply, they don't work.  I set goals year-around.

I also do not participate in NaNoWriMo (the National Novel Writing Month) which occurs every November.  Instead of writing in November, I write all the time--or mostly everyday.

I've had to revamp how I set my goals.  I have a two-year plan, but in the meantime what do I do?

Last week was the start of a new quarter.  I wrote down 5 things to accomplish.  I call it "My Next 5 Things."

I wrote down 5 things I want to accomplish in the second quarter.  It's a manageable list, and I see it everyday.

I have also set a weekly writing goal.  I have it broken down into a daily goal for 5 days (minus the weekends) as well as the full 7 days.

So far, it seems to be working.

What have you tried to accomplish your goals?  How about one goal a month?  It's okay to start small.