Friday, August 5, 2022

New WIP Nearing Completion / Happenings In The Outhouse 05-August-2022

Another short one today.

With all the chaos (good chaos, I might add) going on, I have been working on a new short story from time to time.  A few minutes here and there adds up over time.

It is an interesting short story based on the question all writers seem to get and hate to answer: where do you get your ideas?

Once it is completed, I'll share more about it.

Friday, July 29, 2022

Your Worth / Happenings In The Outhouse 29-July-2022

How much are you worth?

In the world of "doing everything yourself", does it truly pay to do everything yourself in the long run?

Some mundane tasks may seem easy enough, like mowing the lawn or shoveling the driveway or changing the oil on your car, but if someone else could do those tasks for you, how much time could you devote to your next project?  An hour here and there adds up over time.

"But, Mark, these things cost money.  I simply can't afford to have someone else do everything."

I get it.  I really do.  I've been so broke (many years ago) that my checking account had a negative balance more than it did a positive one.  I recall the days when all I'd have for lunch are ramen noodles.  Been there, got the T-shirt.

But a little bit here and there pays off in the end.  I have a guy who mows my lawn (truth be told, my mower broke down and it was a hassle to try fix it, since that's another task I'm not real good at: fixing engines).  Now, my lawn gets mowed weekly, and it's trimmed nicely.  It's kept up and I don't have to devote the hour or two each week to do it.

What tasks can you delegate to others?

What more could you accomplish by doing so?

Friday, July 22, 2022

You Are Never Ready / Happenings In The Outhouse 22-July-2022

"When we save enough money, we'll start our business."

"When I make just one more pass through this book, then it will be done."

Let me give you a small piece of advice: you will never be ready.  Completely.

That book?  It'll never be completely ready, in your mind.  You just have to do your best work and then send it out.  Then, start on the next project.

That woodworking project?  No amount of sanding or honing will make it absolutely complete.  Again, in your mind.

You have to start.  And then finish something.  And then start again on the next project.

Sure, there are plenty of stories of famous people (thinking Tolkien here) who worked on a project for years and years.  What would've happened if Tolkien would've not spent that time on Lord of the Rings and instead published much more in the world of Middle Earth?

Start your project today.  Finish it.  Don't dwell on it.  Finish.

Then start on another project.

Wash, rinse, repeat.

Friday, July 15, 2022

New Story and Vacation / Happenings In The Outhouse 15-July-2022

During the last week of June, as Sweet Dreams was making its way out into the publication world, my intentions was to crank out a short story for the upcoming Writers of the Future contest.

Well, life got a little chaotic (but in a good way) and I decided to hold off and work on it for the next round.  I have a few thousand words into it, and I want to do it right.

Last week, I was in Whitefish, Montana on vacation with two of my kids, the new love of my life, and her youngest kid.  It was a fantastic time.  A much-needed vacation.

Friday, July 8, 2022

The Power Of Delegation / Happenings In The Outhouse 08-July-2022

You come up with a great product.  It starts to sell, either slowly or skyrocketing, it doesn't matter.  As your business grows though, you need to start delegating.


Because you can't do everything.  You just CAN'T!

Steve Jobs didn't do everything at Apple.  He handed those tasks off to those who were best suited.  The same thing with Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, and every entrepreneur who has come up with a great product/business.

Even small businesses that only has one person running it (thinking of the local plumber, electrician, auto mechanic, or lawn care owner) may have to delegate certain tasks to others.  I've touched on this topic before, but some recent events urged me to bring it up again and expand on it.

Some may feel the need to be in control of everything.  Don't do it.  It limits what you and your business can do.  If Steve Jobs felt the need to do all of the accounting and also mow the lawn and empty the garbage cans each night, Apple wouldn't be what it is today.  Even as an author myself, I know there are tasks I can hand off to others so I can focus on what I do best.

If what you do best is the creative part, let others do the rest.

Friday, July 1, 2022

Next projects / Happenings In The Outhouse 01-July-2022

With the publication of my latest novel Sweet Dreams, it's interesting to figure out what to write next.  Like the majority of artists, we do not lack prospects.

What troubles us is typically . . . what to do next?  Which project strikes our fancy the most, the one just bursting to break free from our minds and out into the world.

I have a short story and then a YA novel that may be next on the docket.  The YA novel I started back in 2019, got about 50 pages into it, and switched to another project.

Now is the time to come back to it.

And the short story.  And that one I may submit to the Writers of the Future contest.

Friday, June 24, 2022

Sweet Dreams Complete / Happenings In The Outhouse 24-June-2022

Coming in at 116,000-plus words, Sweet Dreams is complete.

It is 560+ pages and I am happy with the results.

Here is the cover:

Here is the synopsis:

13-year-old HEIDI EARNEST has nightmares so frightening that, as the weeks and months go by, she is too scared to even fall asleep.
But she soon finds solace in a mysterious necklace and an even more mysterious visitor who frequents her nightmares.  Is this the cure she's striving to discover?  Or will it lead her further into darkness?

Here is a link to my site, with links to all e-tailers.