Friday, October 19, 2018

Review goals daily / Happenings In The Outhouse 19-Oct-2018

Aside from my lifelong goals, I have broken down my goals into a two-year plan as well as a quarterly.  I write out new goals at the beginning of each quarter, depending on what I accomplished the previous quarter, but I suggest reviewing those goals daily.  Put them up where you can see them.  Because it's easy to forget about them.

This is exactly what occurred to me this past summer.  Yes, I got lazy and forgot them.

Now, I didn't exactly forget them.  I still wrote, just not as much.  In fact, the current work-in-progress then stagnated and stalled altogether.

Then I got the energy to start a new story and I'm currently around 7,000 words into it.  I don't know if this will be a novelette or novella, depending on the word count, but it's been fun so far.

Keep your daily goals in sight.

Review them.  Add to them, if needed.

But always push yourself to complete them.

Friday, October 12, 2018

Refreshing ideas / Happenings In The Outhouse 12-Oct-2018

An odd thing happened a few days ago.  As I was reflecting on what I had written--and not published--so far, I looked at the four novels sitting in the proverbial trunk.  Three are horror and one epic fantasy.  I have plans to publish the epic fantasy and two of the horror novels, but only after completely rewriting them.  I will use what I had written before as an outline--yes, you know I dislike outlines, but trust me on this one.

My very first novel--a deer hunting zombie horror story--was not one to be placed in the publish pile.  Then, it occurred to me that the fictional town it was written in had a few other novels set in the same town.  I have not written these, but I do have ideas for them.  Then, a what-if occurred to me: what if I placed all three in the same saga-like series?


I'm optimistically cautious with this, for the first novel had so much wrong with it.  I will bet, when I come around to it, only twenty-five percent of it will remain.  I am a much better writer now, and I have confidence in my skills to also make the story better.

As of now, it may be 2019 or 2020 by the time I get around to it.  At the moment, I am currently 5,000 words into a new story.  I plan on finishing it by the middle of next month at the very latest.  When it comes closer, I'll share what I can with you.

Friday, October 5, 2018

Definition of a small town / Happenings In The Outhouse 05-Oct-2018

I grew up in a town with around 2,300 people.

I went to college (for 5 years) in a town of a little over 11,000 people.

I currently live in a town with around 1,400 people.

Forty-five minutes away is a town of over 56,000 people and an hour away from that town is another with around 120,000-plus.

Yet, when I read articles or listen to podcasts, and they mention small towns, these generally range around the last two: 50,000-plus.

Sorry to disappoint you but these are not small towns.  When there are malls and multiple McDonald's locations and Starbucks (or two or three), they are not what I consider small.  Even my old college town was not small in my opinion.  I've lived near town where, if you blink, you might miss the town.  Seriously.

Now, I'm just having a little fun here as well as a mini-rant.  There is a true crime podcast called Small Town Murder, where they really do focus on what I consider small towns.  A few may skirt the edge of my definition, but by and large they do a great job.

I know, I know, those who live in cities would call towns like Fargo, North Dakota, with over 120,000 people small.  I do not.

And that is where we have to agree to disagree . . .

Friday, September 28, 2018

Something fresh, something new / Happenings In The Outhouse 28-Sept-2018

As I have mentioned previously, I was working on the 2nd romance book under a pseudonym.

Did you notice I said was?

I have been hitting a wall with that book.  Oddly enough, it was one of the first ideas I ever had to do in the romance realm, but for some reason I can't seem to advance the story.  I feel like wading through a field of thick mud up to my waist.  I'm about 7500 words in too.  But last week, I decided to step away from it, brainstorm where I want the story to go, and started something new.

The something new isn't in any of my established series.  I, at first, thought of it as a short story.  Within two days, I had 1500 words written and I'm thoroughly enjoying it--to date, I have close to 3,000 words.  I will keep you updated on where this story leads.  I've written stories where I didn't have a clue where it was going.  It's fun, to be honest.

This is why I love the freedom of being able to write what I want, when I want.

Friday, September 21, 2018

Adapting to screen / Happenings In The Outhouse 21-Sept-2018

A few weeks ago, I watched the entire first season of the new Amazon Prime show Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan.  For me, anything that I can binge through from one episode to the next--this works with movies too, if I can watch them mostly in a single sitting--I place in high regard.

Back in college, a Tom Clancy movie was adapted to the screen: Clear and Present Danger.  I posted a blog back in 2012 where I delved into this movie.  Although my review of it was based on another movie that had come out at the time, the analysis still holds true.

This brings up another point of contention: do books being adapted to film have to follow the book exactly?  My quick answer is: no.

Let me try explain.  Books are simply ideas in written form.  Movies and TV shows are ideas in theatrical form.  There are things that can be done in books that can't be done in movies, and vice versa.  And if books were ever made into video games, that opens up a whole new world.

For the new Jack Ryan show, it has absolutely nothing to do with the books.  It just expands the stories involving the character of Jack Ryan in a whole new way.

Years ago, I read the book World War Z.  I then watched the movie starring Brad Pitt.  Guess what?  I liked them both.  My reason is that they're two takes on the same idea.  Could the movie have been more truer to the book?  Sure it could have.  But it doesn't have to.

There are other shows that have been adapted, like Dr. Hannibal Lecter from the Silence of the Lambs and Red Dragon to the TV show Hannibal.

Some people love their stories to be more truer to one medium versus the next.  I'm not like that.  I see the theatrical version and the book version as two versions of the same idea.  The same could be said of video games, board games, audio productions, plays, poems, etc.  All are different takes on the same idea.

Friday, September 14, 2018

Sacrifice to achieve your goals / Happenings In The Outhouse 14-Sept-2018

I've tackled the thought of sacrifice before, but in light of current events with an ad for a certain shoe manufacturer and a former professional football player, I figured I'd briefly talk about it again.

Before I move on, let me get one thing straight: I'm not taking sides on the issue with the shoe maker and the ball thrower.  Just wanted to clear that up.

What are you sacrificing in order to achieve your goals?

Back in college, I'm sure there were many parties I never attended because I was writing.  At work nowadays, I spend most breaks and lunches writing.

I'm sacrificing time to do something I love.

When I'm at home, I do sacrifice time in order to do things with my family.  Sure, there are times I wish I could join the local gym or go golfing (honestly, the course where I live is outstanding and is one of the best around) but I don't because it would take time away from my family as well as writing.  I go out for walks on occasion, which helps.

What are your life goals?

In short, whatever your goals are, you need to get off your butt and do it.  Are there stories I've written that not everyone likes?  Of course!  But I keep writing.

Keep doing what you're doing.


And win!

Friday, September 7, 2018

What's in store for the rest of the year / Happenings In The Outhouse 07-Sept-2018

Blame it on DC and Marvel, but I have decided what's next for the remainder of the year.  In a word: superheroes!

My youngest daughter has been watching a ton of Marvel's superhero movies lately--yes, Dad is grinning--and I've been watching the ones I haven't seen.

I'm currently writing the second romance novel under a pseudonym and I'm planning what to do next.  I have a few things in mind--or, rather, I had a few things in mind.  I have additional books in my thriller series as well as a cozy mystery series.

But, what comes to mind are more books in my Order of Freaks superhero universe.

I plan on finishing out the initial trilogy.

Good times are ahead . . .