February Update

Hello all! It’s been a couple of weeks since Apocalypse 2020: Into the Black came out, so i wanted to update everybody on what I’m working on next. I have two projects in the works at the moment (with several hundred more on the back-burner always, of course).
 
Tarantula Hawks – This is a small-town murder mystery about a man who returns to his hometown and family after eight years away, and while he’s there investigates the county’s only unsolved mystery. I’m currently finishing up editing on it and plan on sending it around to some agents before the end of the month, in an attempt to get it traditionally published. If I don’t get any bites from it, I’ll be self-publishing it on Amazon later this year.
 
Mutant Crisis (Working title) – After Apocalypse 2020, I said I was going to step away from the LitRPG / GameLit genre, but I had this idea gnawing at me and it really could only be done as a GameLit book – so this is what I’m writing right now. Working on the first draft at the moment, but it’s going quickly. This is going to be a trilogy of survival-horror GameLit books, inspired by Resident Evil and other similar games, that I’ll begin self-publishing on Amazon later this year.

Wow, I suck at this

So, my last entry was nearly a year ago, and in it I talked about rebooting my life. Now, I’m going to try that again. First I’ll look over the things I said last year and see what has changed.

GOALS:

Write more – My goal here is 8,000 words actual writing every week. Editing doesn’t count.

I have actually done this, for the most part. I have been writing for four hours every day for a while now. Word count might not be 8,000 words, as some of that four hours have been spent editing, but I’m happy with the amount that I have written since making this post. I’ll be updating my Current Projects page to reflect what I’ve done and what I’m working on now.

Edit more – I have several finished drafts right now that need editing. I have been putting them off until finishing the next project, but there needs to be a better system in place for getting edits done. I’m going to say the goal is to edit at least 8,000 words a week as well. That’s not really that much, but more than what I’ve been doing.

I’ve edited several of my projects and am working on getting them out to agents (in the case of novels) and magazines (in the case of short stories). Still a process, but I’m happy with what I’ve done here.

Stream Regularly – I have been streaming on Twitch intermittently. If it’s something I want to continue doing, I should be doing it regularly. At least two hours 5 times a week is the goal. The main thing is to set a schedule in advance and stick to it.

For several reasons, I have completely stopped with streaming. First of all, my internet is awful, and I couldn’t get a decent upload speed. Secondly, it was a distraction from writing. I tend to take on too many hobbies and I have to hold myself back from that. As much as I enjoyed streaming on Twitch, I have to give it up.

Read more – I have been slacking on my reading lately, which means less inspiration to write. The goal is to read at least twenty pages a day. Novels or short stories. Comic books don’t count.

I’ve still been slacking on reading. I’ve been listening to audiobooks more, and have been reading a chapter per night in bed, but I haven’t been very consistent on it. This is still a good goal for me, and I want to do better at it. I’ve stopped reading current comics entirely, as there was just too much I wanted to read and I couldn’t keep up with everything. The Civil War II storyline in Marvel completely killed my interest as well. I still want to read some of the books, but when I do, it will just be trade-paperbacks.

Eat/Drink Better – I need to lose some weight. This is a fact. The first part of this is eating / drinking better. I drink too much Coke. This is the first thing I need to cut out. A cup a day at the most is the goal here. 1 cup. 8 oz. That’s not a very hard goal to achieve. 1 cup of coffee in the morning and the rest of the time it’s water only. If I go out to a restaurant, order water. No cokes with free refills. As far as eating better, the goal is to make more fresh vegetables and less bready foods. Two healthy meals a week, and only one indulgent meal per week allowed. I’m letting myself a little leeway here, as most of the foods I make are very fresh and not fried or just awful. I eat okay for the most part, just a little improvement will go a long way.

Well I’ve completely failed on this goal. I’m about the same weight that I have been for the last several years, but I still am not eating healthy, and I’m still drinking two cups of coffee per day, plus coke sometimes. I have cut back on the Coke however, so I guess that’s a partial win.

Work Out – The second part of losing weight is working out. The goal here is to spend at least half an hour every day working out in some way, be it running, bodyweight workouts, or walking the dog if I’m hurting that day.

Nope. Didn’t do any of this. Still should. Don’t want to.

Sleep better – I have already been trying to improve this, but I’ve been slacking again the last couple days. I tend to go to bed and watch youtube videos until 1am, then sleep until 9 or so. I’d like to change that to be asleep by 11 and up at 7. I was doing this for a few days and I felt much more productive. I need to get back to that.

Still should work on this. I’ve pretty much been going to sleep between 12 and 1am, and waking up between 8 and 9am for some time now. I don’t think that’s really a problem anymore however. I go to bed around 10, and either read or watch Netflix/Youtube. I don’t watch television, or any other videos throughout the day, so this is my time to do that. I don’t think that is necessarily a bad thing, and I’ve been happy with the amount of work I’m getting done in the day, so I’m actually fine with my sleep schedule now.

Post more on social media – I have a twitter, and my blog, but I so rarely post on it. I need to do this more. Networking is so important for a new author that it’s nearly impossible to get published without some sort of online presence. I need this, so the goal is to post SOMETHING every day on twitter, and post a full blog post every week on my WordPress, about whatever I’m working on or thinking about.

Haha, obviously I have not kept up with my blog, but I have actually been posting more on twitter the last couple of weeks. I need to do more, but I get social media overload very easily. I can’t keep up with everything. I’ll try to make posts on this blog more regularly however, and I’m going to continue to use Twitter often.

NEW GOALS

So after nearly a year, let’s figure out which goals I want to keep and any new ones I want to add.

  1. Write for 4 hours per day – This has been working well for me for some time now. I will occasionally take a day off, but I’ve limited those to every other week or so. Largely, I spend the time between 10am and 3pm writing, with a lunch break in the middle somewhere. Either editing, or writing new material, it’s all working towards the same goal of creating a story.
  2. Read More – Still need to work on this. I’d like to read a book per month at a minimum.
  3. Eat/Drink Better – Still need to cut back on the Coke, but I’m going to keep with my 2 coffee per day addiction. I don’t have very many vices, and I just enjoy my coffee too much.
  4. Post more on Social Media – One post per week on this blog, and One tweet per day is the goal here.
  5. Keep up with the housework – This is something I’ve severely neglected. After I write for four hours, my brain is fried, and I tend to just want to lay down and read or go for a walk or something. I rarely feel like vacuuming or dusting the house, or the other thousand things that need to be done around the house. I need to find time and energy to do these things however, so I’m going to make it a goal here. Spend 3 hours per week cleaning the house. That’s not much. It can be done!

That’s it guys. Thanks for reading. I’d love some feedback, support, and motivation!

Life Reboot

Inspired by Wil Wheaton’s life reboot, I am going to do the same thing. There are many things I don’t like about myself and that I want to change. My life has been in a stalemate for some time and it’s time to make some changes so that I can move forward.

GOALS:

  1. Write more – My goal here is 8,000 words actual writing every week. Editing doesn’t count.
  2. Edit more – I have several finished drafts right now that need editing. I have been putting them off until finishing the next project, but there needs to be a better system in place for getting edits done. I’m going to say the goal is to edit at least 8,000 words a week as well. That’s not really that much, but more than what I’ve been doing.
  3. Stream Regularly – I have been streaming on Twitch intermittently. If it’s something I want to continue doing, I should be doing it regularly. At least two hours 5 times a week is the goal. The main thing is to set a schedule in advance and stick to it.
  4. Read more – I have been slacking on my reading lately, which means less inspiration to write. The goal is to read at least twenty pages a day. Novels or short stories. Comic books don’t count.
  5. Eat/Drink Better – I need to lose some weight. This is a fact. The first part of this is eating / drinking better. I drink too much Coke. This is the first thing I need to cut out. A cup a day at the most is the goal here. 1 cup. 8 oz. That’s not a very hard goal to achieve. 1 cup of coffee in the morning and the rest of the time it’s water only. If I go out to a restaurant, order water. No cokes with free refills. As far as eating better, the goal is to make more fresh vegetables and less bready foods. Two healthy meals a week, and only one indulgent meal per week allowed. I’m letting myself a little leeway here, as most of the foods I make are very fresh and not fried or just awful. I eat okay for the most part, just a little improvement will go a long way.
  6. Work Out – The second part of losing weight is working out. The goal here is to spend at least half an hour every day working out in some way, be it running, bodyweight workouts, or walking the dog if I’m hurting that day.
  7. Sleep better – I have already been trying to improve this, but I’ve been slacking again the last couple days. I tend to go to bed and watch youtube videos until 1am, then sleep until 9 or so. I’d like to change that to be asleep by 11 and up at 7. I was doing this for a few days and I felt much more productive. I need to get back to that.
  8. Post more on social media – I have a twitter, and my blog, but I so rarely post on it. I need to do this more. Networking is so important for a new author that it’s nearly impossible to get published without some sort of online presence. I need this, so the goal is to post SOMETHING every day on twitter, and post a full blog post every week on my WordPress, about whatever I’m working on or thinking about.

So these are my goals. Like Wil, I’ll check in every month and grade myself on how I’m doing. I hope by laying these out like this and holding myself accountable that I can improve on these things. Goals may change every couple months, but only if I’m doing well in them.

Leave me a comment and let me know what you think about these goals, or personal goals of your own. Any encouragement is greatly appreciated. Having an audience will definitely help me stay accountable. Thanks for reading!

Writing / Life Update 12/6

Sorry for the lack of posts over the last several months. This one will be pretty short, but I’ll try to post more in the near future.

Just a quick update on what I’ve been up to:

I wrote 50,000 words in November for NaNoWriMo. My novel is called A Ring in the Dark – it’s a dark fantasy that feels like a twist between Wizard of Oz and Hellraiser. I haven’t finished the novel yet. I expect it to be around 75,000 words when done.

Been playing Fallout 4 some, though not as much as I’d like. Just no time for it. Loving the game though.

I had planned on joining in on the Read-a-Long that several bloggers were doing in November for A Long Way to a Small Angry Planet, but just didn’t have the time. I am reading it, however, though somewhat slowly.

I did read Dark Places by Gillian Flynn however, while in Austin on Thanksgiving. I thought it was a great mystery thriller that kept me hooked. I read it almost straight through. Very good stuff. We rented the movie afterwards (which I didn’t even know existed until after reading the book). The movie was not so great. Very rushed and no style at all.

My goals for December –

1) Finish the first draft of A Ring in the Dark.

2) Third draft of Haint Blue – on this one I decided to cut it down to a short story and submit it for Writers of the Future. Still need to reduce the word count by quite a bit.

I have several stories in my head that I’m itching to get started on. I think the next project after I get Haint Blue ready for submission will be writing Natural Twenty. This is a story that I’ve been nurturing for nearly a decade. I wrote it out as a comic book series and submitted it to Oni Press earlier in the year, but it was rejected. I have been thinking of a way to adapt it into a novel, and I think I have some good ideas for it.

Also have a mystery novel that’s cooking in the back of my head. I’m combining it together piece by piece and hoping that I can get started on it in the near future.

Thanks for reading. I’ll try to update more frequently.

Writing Update 9/23

Hello everybody – So my video game break is over and I’m hard at work writing again. No more games until October 25th. It’s hard for me to give them up like this, but I’m focusing on my writing more than ever now and I’m accomplishing a lot and feeling good about myself again.

My goals for this month are:

1 – Finish a detailed outline of my NaNoWriMo novel, which I’m calling A Ringing in the Dark – for now anyways. It’s a dark fantasy that feels like a mixture of The Wizard of Oz and Hellraiser. I’m really enjoying the creation of it so far. It is going to be a self-contained novel – no series or sequels here – and will probably be my longest novel to date – as an adult fantasy novel, that is no surprise really.

2 – Do a second draft of Haint Blue – I like a lot of things about that first draft, but there’s a ton to improve upon. Right now the draft is at about 30,000 words. I plan to expand on some of the storylines and restructure the story, adding a good 20,000 words to it. During the first draft, I was thinking it would be a novella, but now I’m convinced it will become a full novel.

3 – I was thinking I might write a short story this month as well, but I don’t see that happening. I just don’t think I’m going to have time after doing the first two things on this list. I have an idea in my head that’s kind of a cyberpunk story about a guy who works at a pawnshop. Hopefully I’ll get a chance to write it soon.

I’ve been posting much more regularly on Twitter lately: Follow me there if you’re at all interested in me or my writing. Thanks for all the support you give me.

Writing Update 9/17

Just a quick update on how things are going with me.

I finished the first draft of Haint Blue a few days ago. I’m pretty happy with how it turned out. I originally planned on it being a novella, and the first draft ended up around 30,000 words. However, after writing that, I feel like there’s more story to tell, so I think I’m going to make it a full novel and explore some of the plotlines a bit further.

After finishing the first draft, I took a few days off to relax and play games and such. Been playing the Witcher 3, which is amazing. Also been playing Shadowrun: Hong Kong  and it’s very, very good as well.

Been reading quite a bit this last week or so:

The Last Wish – loved it. Great stories enhanced by knowledge of the video game.

You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost) by Felicia Day – I’ve always found her interesting and this book made me appreciate her even more.

The Reptile Room by Lemony Snicket – I enjoyed this little read, probably more than the first book. The author’s writing style is very interesting and the stories are very dark for children’s books.

Paper Towns by John Green – Loved it. Might actually be my favorite John Green novel. It’s a little unbelievable at times, but that might the the point.

Shadows for Silence in the Forests of Hell  by Brandon Sanderson – Great novella. I loved it. He packs so much worldbuilding in such a small space. I want to read more about this place and these characters. This story is still on sale at Amazon for 99 cents as of this post. Definitely worth the price.

Feeding the Feral Children by David Farland – Not my favorite David Farland story. It’s very short, but still could not quite hold my attention. Still, there’s quite a bit of interesting worldbuilding stuff here that I enjoyed.

Now back to me: 

So, in November I’ll be participating in NaNoWriMo. On Saturday, I’ll begin outlining that novel, and I’ll be working on my second draft of Haint Blue. Then, if I can squeeze it in, I’m going to write a short story before the end of October as well.

Oh, lastly – the price of my novella White Mountain has been lowered to 99 cents on Kindle! Pick it up if you’re able to, and leave me a review. I really need and appreciate the support.

That’s it for now. Thanks for reading!

#writerproblems

I started to submit one of my stories that I wrote a while back to an agent and on their submission form it asked “Tell us one of your favorite sentences in this manuscript.”

So I go back and start reading through it, looking for a great sentence and I’m like “All these sentences suck. This story sucks. I suck.”

Now not submitting. Time for a rewrite.