Monday, December 19, 2011

My feet will forgive me, in time

Walking down the hall this morning my legs cut through the cushy haze of lingering sleep to remind me how much I've abused them over the weekend.
I took my wife to Disneyland Saturday and because I booked a hotel room for Saturday night we could stay at the park until closing and be fresh as daises for the drive home the following morning. Or, that was the plan.

We had a great time, all 15 hours of it. My legs and feet may have a different opinion but I'm not letting them near the keyboard, so we'll be sticking with my version.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Adventures in Publishing

I finished reviewing my editors marks over the weekend and had come to the moment where I yell 'Geronimo!" and send my fledgling book off into the big world. Yeah. That didn't happen.

My writing software of choice is Scrivener. It can be as simple or as powerful as you want it to be when writing. The same is true when it comes to 'compiling' your written word into an ebook... mostly.

When it comes to filling in a form I'm the kind of person that will take three. Two to mess up because I didn't read the instructions and one to get right... again, mostly.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

I feel like Harold Camping

Last week I prophesied that on the coming Saturday, 12-3-11, I'd be published.
You'll never guess what happened. Maybe you did.

If you've been a reader of this blog it'll come as no surprise that, once again, I didn't publish. Holy flying @#$@$% Batman! This makes the third, no fourth time I had a date set to publish and missed it.

I have to cut myself a little slack, I suppose. After all it's the first time I've gone through this process and the time I estimate for things to be done are nothing more than WAGs.

Alright, so admitting my inability to judge how long this writing stuff takes and before I'm labeled the Harold Camping of the writing world, I will refrain from any further predictions of when this will be wrapped up and published.

... the 10th. Definitely the 10th.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Do Not Pass Go

I used to work with a very interesting guy. He was a computer program and very clever. We were working on a project and had hit some major set backs which kept pushing back the delivery for the finished program. 

I remember our manager coming into our office and asking, for the millionth time when the project would be done. Our manager wasn't a computer person. He had no concept of what was involved in programming, or just about anything computer related. Because of this he'd ask questions that no self respecting 'computer' manager should ask the end result was he didn't get much regard among his department. 
So, he comes in and asks about the delay of the project, and it was clear he'd rehearsed this because he was very specific about programming terms all of us knew he didn't understand. 
The programmer admitted the manager was right except he hadn't taken into account the Constant Date Retreating Factor. 

The CDRF states that the distance to the project goal date will increase in direct relation to the amount of effort you expend on reaching that goal by a factor of 1.5 to 1. The manager wasn't sure if the programmer was serious or not, but to not lose face he went along with it. I thought it was one of the funniest things I'd ever seen until I discovered that it really exists. 

Working on this book has confirmed the Constant Date Retreating Factor it real. As of the date of this post there has been three times when I was certain I was just days of publishing my book. Certain! 
This time I know the book will be published and it's just days from happening. Not weeks, mind you. Days. 

For those of you aspiring writers beware of the CDRF. For those published writers you know what I'm talking about. If not, then thank your lucky stars and throw a dash of salt over your shoulder that it doesn't happen to you.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Last Hurdle

I grimace when I think back, low those months ago, when I was convinced that I was a week away from publishing my book. I took a week off from work to wrap it up believing that by the weekend I'd be looking at the web site showing the cover of my new book.

Then reality did a ninja move on me and everything fell apart. Wow, it really hurts when I think of all that time slipping by with nothing to show for it. That was then. This is now.

One of the problems was getting the cover art done. I had to make some hard decisions but in the end it worked out nicely. I found an artist who was helpful and responsive. Concept drafts went back and forth but the artist was on the ball. So now, cover done.

This weekend I give the book a final check, just to be sure I haven't messed anything up with the epub formatting and then it goes out.

I'm both excited and nervous. I've had a number of people read it and have gotten back very positive feedback, so I think readers will really enjoy it, but there's always that nagging doubt. Well, I won't know until it's out there.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

It's the home stretch!

I'm taking off this coming week for nothing but heads down writing. I know it won't take me all week to finish, but I'll also be working with the cover artist to wrap up the cover and chapter art. There's also all of the little loose ends that need to be tied up but my goal is to have a finished product ready to publish by the end of the week.

Oh my gosh, finally! I can't wait to see it listed on Amazon. I have no idea if it'll sell. I don't know if people will like it. I've given copies out to be read through to be sure I have everything in the right place, etc.,  and they came back with very positive reviews. That's encouraging, but there's no telling what the general public will think of it, or if they'll ever see it in the sea of other great books out there.

I can't begin to express how much I enjoy writing. If others can find enjoyment in reading what I've created then that makes me feel really good because it's like I'm somehow able to share my love of writing with readers. If that makes sense.

I'm cracking up because I'm absolutly beat from going out with my wife as she shops for cars, and working up the umph! to write is a bit hard but I'm powered on as my daughter and her friend blast away at Guitar Hero behind me.

Oh, dinner is on and I have to go or I'll be getting, yup, there it is, the dark looks from my wife that say, 'It's getting cold.' i.e., Move your butt!.

Gotta go. Thanks for stopping by.

Friday, July 29, 2011

My Head is a Hat Rack

I remember the days back when I was just a writer. I could sit in Starbucks clacking away for hours, or until my rear was numb from the hard wood seats.

Now I'm nearing the moment when I will publish my first ebook. What I didn't know when I started this was how many hats I'd have to wear. Being a writer isn't enough; not by a long country mile. Other hats I'm wearing is marketer, cover designer, social networker, publicist, accountant etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. Yikes!

Friday, July 22, 2011

And There It Is

In concept self publishing is very exciting. Fighting zombies, taking on a dragon, or hunting a cunning killer that's hunting you is also exciting... in concept.

When imagining something we often leave out the middle where all the details hide and jump to the ending. Zombies destroyed, dragon slayed, cunning killer doing life in prison... But thinking like that is a terrible habit and I give full blame to the workout montage from the first Rocky movie. Months of grueling, painful, hard exercise condensed to under a minute of exciting cut scenes and blood pumping music. All of America saw that and thought to themselves, 'Yeah, I could do that'. Come on, be honest. How many of you downed a raw egg because of that movie?
Shame on you Rocky. Shame.

Monday, July 18, 2011

It just needs a little dusting

Starting a new book is an odd mix of thoughts and emotions. When you consider everything that goes into it, it is a big undertaking. Even when you can see it crystal clear in your head it's another thing to build it one character, one tape of the keyboard key at a time.

I love writing. I don't know where it came from but I could do it all the time. It was a belly full of fire that I started a new book. A month into writing it and my belly fire ebbs and flares. This book will be months in the writing.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

A Little Breeze, A Little Shade

It a Sunday afternoon. I'm still disappointed by a crappy run this morning. I pulled the muscle in my left calf last week pretty bad and even though it's still tight I wanted to run today. I was wrapping up the first half mile when my left calf decided it didn't want to be a muscle anymore and promptly exploded.

Back home was disappointing too. My wifi was annoyingly slow, there was nothing on TV, and boredom was creeping in.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Slight of Hand

There's a funny thing about writing and not writing. When you're doing either time disappears.
Here's a case in point. Your taking your first blurry, morning, slurp of coffee for the day. Eyes hardly open, head foggy with sleep and a single thought makes it through the haze, I'll write today.
Sounds good, right? You feel good about it because now you have a plan. Not a great plan, not much detail, but it's a plan.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Peer Pressure

"No," said Mark flatly. He handed the binoculars to Chris without looking away.

Chris snugged the eye pieces to his face and adjusted the focus, "I can't tell who's vision is getting worse, yours or mi...." His view came into sharp focus. He panned the binoculars in silence.

Beyond the Sea

Four days ago it was a dot on the horizon. Two days later the true horror of what Mark and Chris were looking at was revealed with the rising of the morning sun. Today there wasn't any need to use the binoculars.

Chris pushed his bare feet in the sand enjoying the warmth while listening to the crashing surf with closed eyes.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Winter Dead

Chris checks the straps on his backpack for the seventh time while looking out the window slit. 
Mark nudges the rows of magazines nestled in pockets across his chest making sure they can be grabbed without snagging on anything.