Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Wendigisms 2: The Penmonkey Strikes Back


I needed a good title for the sequel.  I thought about naming this one Revenge of the Pen Monkey but Chuck already used that title for one of his writing books.  Next was Dead Man’s Prostate, but that’s just a little too gross to publish across the interwebs.  The Quickening doesn’t sound bad, but I’m happy with what I picked. 
These are all giblets of stuff Chuck has published on his website and most are related to the art of writing in some form or fashion.  They’re priceless.  The first page of stuff is here on my 1st Wendigisms page. You can always read more over at Terribleminds.  

And without further ado:

  • Feculent turd-heads
  • Eff that in the ay, emmer-effer
  • I will beat you to death with a sock full of your own teeth
  • Mornings tend to be when your brain is at its lemon-scented freshest
  • Think of this as a narrative laxative

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Holiday events, life in the Moody House

I love Thanksgiving!  It has turned into probably my favorite holiday. My wife and I shop together and prep the stuffing and turkey together.  I love cooking with her. After the bird is in the oven we have about 4 hours to relax, and call family.  It would be great if we were all together but our family is spread all over the country. 

Today we watched a Kung Fu movie together, about one of Bruce Lee's mentors. Grand Master Ip Man, starring Donnie Yen. It was really enjoyable. 

The turkey came out golden brown and perfectly moist and delicious, just like always and all the other fixins were hot, and scrumptious. The timing worked out just right.  We gorged!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Don't Reamde

I just finished reading Neal Stephenson’s new 1042 page tome, Reamde. Can’t say that I enjoyed it. I’ve read a few other works by him, namely Snow Crash and Diamond Age, and I enjoyed them both very much, but this one was a slugfest from the word go.  This was the single longest book I’ve read and actually finished.  It was more out of stubbornness than anything else though. I’ll warn you now there may be some spoilers in this.



There are some good aspects to the book. The writing is done well, grammatically correct and well punctuated. I didn’t notice any editorial problems from that standpoint. The plot is fairly intricate, moves at a moderate pace initially and covers a lot of territory, which Neal obviously spent a lot of time researching, because he doesn’t hold back any detail. I mean ANY. He waxes on for paragraphs about stuff that has absolutely nothing to do with the story and not just a couple of times, but throughout the book.  He could have easily cut 500 pages out of this and it would not have changed the story in any meaningful way.  Surely he had an editor, but maybe he refused to budge on their recommendations.  I have no way of knowing.  As I said, there is plenty of plot here, but no real story in the sense that I understand story. I’ll get back to that.

Monday, October 29, 2012

NaNo Prep: Writing Rules III - Return of WriMo

NaNoWriMo is merely three days away, and in the spirit of preparation I revamped my Writing Rules again.  This time when I went back to review them I realized that they were a hodgepodge of thoughts with no form.  So I organized them and revamped them and added some new content.  As always I am open to suggestion if you see something wrong or something that needs clarified or plain just doesn't make sense.

This is kind of long and I have it posted as it's own page here.

A few years back a friend of mine asked if I could pass along some of what I’ve learned over the past couple of years about trying to write a book.  I’ve tried to distill that info here.

I am focused on novel writing, so all of these ideas may not apply to poetry writing or something other than Novels or Novellas.  Please feel free to add in some comments that will help refine this.  This is all from the perspective of a novice unpublished writer, but I have done my homework, and learned a few things along the way.  These so called “rules” are merely guidelines.  There are no hard and fast rules.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Next Big Thing Tag


NaNo Prep: The Next Big Thing.  Janice Hardy tagged Jami Gold, who tagged me.   I’m honored that she picked me and I’m going to do my best to answer:

Ten Interview Questions for the Next Big Thing:

Quoting Jami:
As NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month—write a 50K word novel during November) is all about writing “the next big thing,” I decided this would be a fun tagging game to play.
So have I.

What is your working title of your book?  
Clear Ether.  This is the2nd title I’ve used for it, but I think it works.

Where did the idea come from for the book?
This is my first novel length work, and I had a couple of idea kernels that I ended up mashing together, (those make the best stories don’t they?) one being about a vampire and the other circling loosely around my experiences sitting alert as a military pilot.  It made at least half a dozen major morphs before it emerged into what it is now.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

1978 – 8-tracks and Moon Shoes

Jane Ann McLachlan had this great idea for a blog challenge for the month of October to do one day for each of the first 25 years of your life.  This is the 15th installment. 

In 1978 the Dow closes at 805
Inflation was at 7.62%
Average cost of a new house: $54,800
Average income: $17,000
Gasoline: $0.63 a gallon
Movie ticket: $1.50

The Hugo is won by Frederik Pohl for Gateway.
The Campbell Award Orson Scott Card for best new SF Writer.

Worst year for fashion ever!  Leisure Suits, Silk shirts, open collars, gold chains, moon shoes.  Disco is sweeping the world.

The Galaxy 2000 is opened in South Charleston.  It’s a dance club with lighted floor just like Saturday Night Fever.  The Bee Gees tear up Billboard and I actually notice.  I like their music.  It will be years before I start liking heavier stuff.  It will be a few years before I set foot in the place and by then the Disco craze is past.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

1977 - Star Wars Impact

Jane Ann McLachlan had this great idea for a blog challenge for the month of October to do one day for each of the first 25 years of your life.  This is the 14th installment. 

In 1977 the Dow closes at 831
Inflation was at 6.5%
Average cost of a new house: $49,300
Average income: $15,000, this is the 1st year it’s gone down in a very long time
Gasoline: $0.65 a gallon
Movie ticket: $1.50

C.J. Cherryh wins the Campbell for best new SF writer.

President Carter pardons draft evaders.

Radio Shack releases the TRS-80.  I managed to get my hands on one years later.  Two months later the Apple II goes on sale.

Star Wars is released in May.

Elvis does his last concert in Indianapolis June 26th. Elvis dies at Graceland at the age of 42.

Voyager 1 launches.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

1976 - Life Changing Events

Jane Ann McLachlan had this great idea for a blog challenge for the month of October to do one day for each of the first 25 years of your life.  This is the 13th installment. 


In 1976 the Dow closes at 1004
Inflation was at 5.75%
Average cost of a new house: $43,400
Average income: $16,000
Gasoline: $0.59 a gallon, back up fifteen cents
Movie ticket: $1.50

Hugo for best SF Novel goes to Joe Haldeman for The Forever War

My sixth grade class goes to Washington DC, via bus for our Patrol trip.  This marks the first time I am away from home by myself for any length of time.  It is an inspiring trip to the Nation’s Capital and we see all the memorials, the Capitol building, Monticello and the Smithsonian.

Monday, October 15, 2012

1975 - Beaches and Baseball

Jane Ann McLachlan had this great idea for a blog challenge for the month of October to do one day for each of the first 25 years of your life.  This is the 12th installment. 


In 1975 the Dow closes at 858  
Inflation was at 9.2%, it has doubled in consecutive years
Average cost of a new house: $39,300
Average income: $14,100
Gasoline: $0.44 a gallon
Movie ticket: $1.50

Hugo for best SF Novel goes to Ursula K. Le Guin for The Dispossessed.

Fran Tarkington and my Vikings lost the Super Bowl to Pittsburg.  I could have named almost the entire roster for Minnesota back then.

Microsoft is created by Bill Gates and Paul Allen.  The first microcomputer, the Altair 8800 is released.  The Cray-1, world’s first super-computer is commercially developed.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

1974 – Paddles and a New Course

Jane Ann McLachlan had this great idea for a blog challenge for the month of October to do one day for each of the first 25 years of your life.  This is the 11th installment. 


In 1974 the Dow closes at 616  
Inflation was at 11.3%, it has doubled in consecutive years
Average cost of a new house: $34,900
Average income: $13,900
Gasoline: $0.55 a gallon, back up fifteen cents
Movie ticket: $1.50

Hugo for best SF Novel goes to Arthur C. Clarke for Rendezvous with Rama.

The Loch Ness Monster is photographed.

Six Million Dollar Man premieres.  I remember watching this every week with my Dad and brother.  The Rockford Files also started this year, and it was one of the few shows I ever remember my Dad saying he liked.

Friday, October 12, 2012

1973 - Baseball and Music

Jane Ann McLachlan had this great idea for a blog challenge for the month of October to do one day for each of the first 25 years of your life.  This is the 10th installment. 


In 1973 the Dow closes at 850 
Inflation was at 6.16%
Average cost of a new house: $32,500
Average income: $12,900
Gasoline: $0.40 a gallon, back down fifteen cents
Movie ticket: $1.50

Hugo for best SF Novel goes to Isaac Asimov for The Gods Themselves.

Schoolhouse Rock appears, loved those little vignettes.

Watergate trial begins.

Offensive action against North Vietnam is suspended.

The first Designated Hitter is signed by the Red Sox.  Boo!

First Kiss concert.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

1972 – PONG is Released, Sealing my Doom

Jane Ann McLachlan had this great idea for a blog challenge for the month of October to do one day for each of the first 25 years of your life.  This is the 9th installment. 


In 1972 the Dow closes at 1020, 1st time over 1000  
Inflation was at 3.27%
Average cost of a new house: $27,550
Average income: $11,800
Gasoline: $0.55 a gallon, up fifteen cents, 3 times larger increase than last year
Movie ticket: $1.50



The Hugo for best SF Novel goes to Philip José Farmer for To Your Scattered Bodies Go

Nixon orders up the Space Shuttle Program.

Bloody Sunday happens in Northern Ireland. 14 unarmed protesters killed by the British Army.  The British Embassy in Dublin is burned to the ground in retaliation, along with several businesses.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

1971 - The Beginning of the End

Jane Ann McLachlan had this great idea for a blog challenge for the month of October to do one day for each of the first 25 years of your life.  This is the 8th installment. 

In 1971 the Dow closes at 890
Inflation was at 4.3%
Average cost of a new house: $25,250, up $10k and now $18k in two years
Average income: $10,600
Gasoline: $0.40 a gallon, up a nickel, 5 times larger than any previous year
Movie ticket: $1.50, at least this hasn’t changed

The Hugo for best Novel goes to Larry Niven for Ringworld.

Swiss women get the vote.

Monday, October 8, 2012

1970 - Year of the Muscle Car and Bellbottom pants


Jane Ann McLachlan had this great idea for a blog challenge for the month of October to do one day for each of the first 25 years of your life.  This is the 7th installment. 

In 1970 the Dow continues to drop all the way down to 631 but climbs back up to close at 838 by year end.
Inflation was at 5.84%
Average cost of a new house: $23,450 up almost $8k from last year
Average income: $9400
Gasoline: $0.36 a gallon
Movie ticket: $1.50

Voting age is lowered from 21 to 18.

The Isle of Wight Festival takes place with over 600,000 people attending and every big name in Rock plays.  Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix both die of drug overdoses shortly after that.  Bell bottom pants are becoming the rage.

Black Sabbath releases their debut album, right alongside of the Jackson 5.  Could two albums be any more different?

Saturday, October 6, 2012

1969 – A Summer to Remember


Jane Ann McLachlan had this great idea for a blog challenge for the month of October to do one day for each of the first 25 years of your life.  This is the 6th installment.  

In 1969 the Dow closes at 800, way down.
Inflation was at 5.46%
Average cost of a new house: $15,550
Average income: $8550
Gasoline: $0.35 a gallon
Movie ticket: $1.50
Federal Debt $365.8 Billion, it actually went down.

Vietnam is still going and the funny thing is we instituted a draft this year at the same time start drawing down troops.  Although, I‘m sure it’s not funny to the thousands of young men that were now about to be involuntarily selected to go fight a war they cared nothing about. 

Friday, October 5, 2012

1968 – Wars, Assassinations, an Election and a Bike

Jane Ann McLachlan had this great idea for a blog challenge for the month of October to do one day for each of the first 25 years of your life.  This is the 5th installment.  Today is my birthday, so be gentle.

In 1968 the Dow closes at 943
Inflation was at 4.27%
Average cost of a new house: $14,950
Average income: $7850
Gasoline: $0.34 a gallon
Movie ticket: $1.50
Federal Debt $368.7 Billion

1968 is a very turbulent year.  Dr. Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy are assassinated, and the Tet Offensive begins in Vietnam, effectively turning the tide in favor of the North.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Hazy Memories of 1967

Jane Ann McLachlan had this great idea for a blog challenge for the month of October to do one day for each of the first 25 years of your life.  This is the 4th installment.  BTW, Falling For Fiction is critiquing my Pitch for Clear Ether over on their website today if you want to take a peak.

In 1967 the Dow closes at 905
Inflation was at 2.78%
Average cost of a new house: $14,250
Average income: $7300
Gasoline: $0.33 a gallon
Movie ticket: $1.25

Rolling Stone magazine is first published.

Six Day War, Egypt attacks Israel.  Israel defeats Egypt and gains more territory.

Interracial Marriage declared constitutional.  Despite this, Love is a Many Splendored Thing debuts as a daytime Soap, the first to include interracial marriage, but CBS censors find it too controversial.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Blog Challenge - 1966

Jane Ann McLachlan had this great idea for a blog challenge for the month of October to do one day for each of the first 25 years of your life.  This is the 3rd installment.

1966

In 1966 the Dow hit a high of 995 but closes at 785
Inflation was at 3.01%
Average cost of a new house: $14,200
Average income: $6900
Gasoline: $0.32 a gallon
Movie ticket: $1.25

I’m two and I have a little brother now that is one.  This year is marked by increasing troop numbers in Vietnam and increasing protests across the country.

Rock’em Sock’em Robots are introduced.  I didn’t get one just yet, but I would eventually.  Great toy!

Soviets crash a rocket into Venus and have the first soft landing on the moon, unmanned.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

1965 - I turn one

Jane Ann McLachlan had this great idea for a blog challenge for the month of October to do one day for each of the first 25 years of your life. This is year two.

In 1965 the Dow closed the year at 969
Inflation was at 1.59%
Average cost of a new house: $13,600
Average income: $6450
Gasoline: $0.31 a gallon
Movie ticket: $1.25

The Voting Rights Act becomes law, guaranteeing African-Americans the right to vote.

World’s 1st Skateboard Championship was held in California.  They just became a fad in 1950s and actually 1965 marks a low point in skateboarding, but even so, the 1st championships were held and even televised on ABC.  It wasn’t until the early 70s that I finally got one of these, costing several layers of skin.

Monday, October 1, 2012

1964 Birth of a Novelist

Jane Ann McLachlan had this great idea for a blog challenge for the month of October to do one day for each of the first 25 years of your life.  So here we go, this will be a tough challenge for me, I am normally lucky to do 25 blog entries in 6 months.  October is my birth month, so it seems fitting.  So here we go!



1964

In 1964 the Dow closed the year at 874
Inflation was at 1.28%
Average cost of a new house: $13,050
Average income: $6000
Gasoline: $0.30 a gallon
Movie ticket: $1.25

Some cool things were born that year along with me, like the Ford Mustang.  I’ve always loved the Mustang.  I almost bought one this year.  I was on a Ford lot just this week and they just got a new Shelby GT convertible in Gotta Have it Green, and I about died.   It’s out of my price range but one can dream.  Ford is actually running a cool program where you customize a mustang and possibly win it. Mustang Customizer

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Yes, But - No, And

I was listening to the Writing Excuses Podcast the other day in my car, when I came across this fantastic nugget of advice about how to do chapters/scenes.  How do you move forward from one chapter to the next?  You need to know how to develop the connective tissue and keep driving the story forward.  This simple trick will take you a long way to developing a story that has momentum.  You simply ask a question, is the protagonist going to accomplish his/her goal in this chapter?  You have two answers obviously, Yes or No.  The trick is thus: Yes, But and No, And.  Every chapter/scene needs to have a reason to exist other than you thought up some really cool world building stuff that you want to show off.  The Yes, but will allow you to finish minor story arcs but keep propelling the story forward.  For example, your group needs to cross a bridge in this chapter.  Will they make it across?  Yes, but on the other side they encounter a group of ruffians. 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Nine Eleven Revisited

Eleven years ago today I was at work in the morning.  I had been in this new job for almost a year.  Some of you may know, I am an Air Force Reserve Technician Pilot, meaning I am a civil servant 40 hours a week and a reserve pilot on evenings and weekends.  I was the Assistant Chief Pilot, meaning I was the scheduler for about thirty pilots in my squadron. 
That particular morning I was alone in the office, but had the television on and set to Fox News.  I was busy working on the schedule when I looked up to see the reports about an aircraft hitting the first tower.  Several weeks prior to this a small single engine aircraft had hit another building in New York, and it was simply pilot error.  I chalked it up again to some dumbass pilot getting in over his head.  It amazes me how many people get in an aircraft without much thought as to how dangerous it can be if you aren’t prepared.  I remember thinking, “Holy crap, not again.”  My focus went back to my excel spreadsheet.  We hadn’t heard anything yet about what kind of aircraft it was, so I assumed it was a similar sized plane.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Pitch Polish for Gearing Up to Get an Agent

Deana Barnhart is hosting a cool thing for writers called Gearing Up To Get An Agent or GUTGAA for short.  Hashtag on twitter and all (#GUTGAA).  It is going over several weeks with support for polishing your pitch and finding help with a critique partner.  A part of this I'm posting the current version of my pitch/query and opening it up for critiques.  

AUTHOR'S NAME: TODD MOODY
TITLE OF MANUSCRIPT: CLEAR ETHER
GENRE: SCIENCE FICTION ADVENTURE
WORD COUNT: 120,000

UPDATE:  BASED ON SOME OF THE GREAT FEEDBACK I'VE RECEIVED THIS IS A NEW VERSION.  I HOPE I HAVEN'T RUINED THE VOICE.  IT IS CERTAINLY DIFFERENT.  CONTINUED FEEDBACK IS APPRECIATED!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Is Marriage Disposable?

Okay this post has very little to do with writing, but I ran across an item that struck a chord with me about something fundamentally wrong with our society these days. I just read a post on Scalzi’s Whatever page written by Lara Zielin. Her post was about a personal event that happened while she was on a storm chasing trip. It ended up inspiring the story behind her book The Waiting Sky, which I’m sure is lovely, but her revelation is about how she realized her marriage was not what she expected it to be. She found attraction to another man while alone on her trip chasing storms in Oklahoma. But while I was reading it I began to wonder which came first, her attraction to the new guy or the fact that she was unhappy in her marriage.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Curiosity has landed!

If you have been living in a hole somewhere and missed the news, the Mars Science Laboratory, callsign Curiosity, landed early this morning very close to the target spot in the Gale Crater.  It's this kind of stuff that really gets my juices flowing.  I really wanted to stay up and watch but I had to be at work at 0630 this morning and it didn't land until well after midnight Eastern time.  The picture here was taken from an orbiter as Curiosity was landing, pretty inspiring stuff.

A lot of people were down on NASA but they proved they can still pull off the incredibly difficult and make it look easy.  My hat is off.

And FYI for those people out there wondering why we spend so much money on this kind of thing, we get back $10 for every $1 we spend as an investment.  It's money extremely well spent in my opinion.

The location they picked is believed to have once held water ice and they will be looking for more clues.  I can't wait to hear more from this exciting mission.  Here is a LINK to the NASA Page for more info.

Clear Ether!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

It's not censorship but it sure stinks

Holly Lisle recently posted about trying to get a book published for Apple's iBooks, but was rebuffed because she mentions Amazon in one of her teaching methods.  I don't know about you but that just ain't right.  While it may not be censorship by definition, it's not cool, and Apple is using its power to block any mention of a rival.  Holly pulled all of her self-pubbed books out of iBooks.  I have never been all-in with Apple, but I like most of their products.  I have an iPod, and iPhone and an iPad, and they work pretty damned well, but this behavior stinks and I wanted anyone who reads this blog to know about it.


Clear Ether!




Image attribution Beachblogger42 via creative commons license

Friday, July 20, 2012

Committing to that First Novel

Ava Jae has an interesting post on her blog Writability this morning about first novels.  The question she was answering is, how do you pick the story to write for your fist novel when 95% of first novels never see the light of day?  We refer to these as trunk novels (because they stay in the trunk).
Her answer is right on the money, you have to commit to whatever story you choose.  We can’t possibly commit the time and energy it takes to write a novel to real completion without the belief that we are going to put it out there for sale or distribution (if that was our original goal, not everyone writes to be published).  By complete I mean first draft finished and then several passes to revise and refine; this just to send it to a publisher or agent.  If you are self-publishing you need to add another step.  Send it to a real editor for that professional polish.
Novelists don’t do practice novels.  That is not to say we don’t do writing exercises.  Writers write for practice and it can be in the form of writing challenges or blogs or short stories.  But even short stories require work.  Challenges are easy and don’t take up a lot of time.  Novels are a completely different animal altogether.  They are layered with multiple plots and many characters, that done correctly, have more than two dimensions.   The novel should have theme and soul and requires foreshadowing and planning.  The planning can happen after the draft is done actually and may require you to move things around as the plot elements are often very malleable, but it requires time and energy. 

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Why Can't We All Just Be Cool?

Every now and then I hear stuff over the internet (okay I read it), where someone is being an asshat to someone.  It is actually a fairly common thing these days but the heat seems to move from place to place, video games, book reviews, paparazzi, news sites, it’s everywhere that people interact.  It’s ubiquitous.   And it seems to be getting slowly worse. Scalzi has a blog about it, Stacia Kane, Chuck Wendig and many others are pointing it out.
Why is that? 
It bothers me that somewhere along the way our society has stopped teaching our children what it means to have manners and even though you can remain anonymous, you still should show some regard for other human beings.   You know, do the right thing.  Sadly, I ‘m not sure a lot of people even realize that what they are doing is wrong.  They spew frothy hatefulness like it is their right and it doesn’t matter that the person that is the target has feelings and a family and a life that they might be impacting.  Do they really want to ruin someone’s life over something that in the big scheme is trivial?

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Wired for Story


Chuck Wendig interviewed Lisa Cron this week for his blog Terribleminds and she gave us her take on developing story.  Another great find for interviews by Mr. Wendig, he rarely disappoints.  Lisa has a very fresh take on the importance of STORY and how it relates to the human brain.  She has a new book out called Wired for Story, and I can’t wait to read it.  She is a big time producer for Showtime and Court TV, a writer and also teaches a writing course at UCLA.  She has spent the last ten years researching the connection between neuroscience and how the brain relates to stories.  It’s quite fascinating and illuminating, allowing us to learn techniques that will make your story click with the reader.  They can’t help themselves, the brain is hard wired for receiving stories and if we can strike the right chord it will resonate within the readers mind.
            On Lisa's blog she touched on why books that get panned by critiques can still sell at amazing rates.  It answers the question as to why books like 50 Shades of Gray can sell millions of books.  I remember picking up The Hunger Games, because my wife and daughter love it, and reading the first couple of pages and saying to myself, the prose just aren’t all that, but next thing I knew I was 100 pages in and couldn’t put it down.  Stephanie Myers Twilight books have been criticized for not having elaborate prose also, but the one thing all of these books have in common is they tell a great story and in a way that touches those chords in the mind.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Book tours and good feedback rock!

I just gave my critique partner the kind of response I hope to get someday from someone doing a critical review of my stuff.  Her new book is fabulous!  I loved it!  It really blew me away how she is developing as a writer.
Don't we all yearn for that moment that someone says,"OMG!  Your stuff is awesome!"  Sure beats questioning yourself every other day if you are in the right line of work. 
There were of course minor flaws, but that is why we go through the process of having someone else putting their eyes on our work.  Sometimes you go through your WIP so often you start having trouble seeing the mistakes or typos.  Overall the work she sent me was pretty clean, and just needs very minor repairs to be ready for a wider beta audience, if not outright release for an agent.  The stuff I pointed out for her would likely not even be noticed by a lot of readers, but I wanted to be thorough.

Friday, June 22, 2012

The Ultimate Unsatisfying Ending

So I’m on alert last night and as I often do on alert I found an offbeat movie to watch.  It’s a stranger than normal movie with a combination of subtitles and English speaking parts and a lot of dialogue.  The main characters are two broken people who find each other and start to fall in love despite their shitty lives, but of course they are lying to each other and keeping dark secrets.  ***SPOILER ALERT*** I give away the ending and the movie title at the bottom.  But really you don’t want to waste your time on this one. 
It’s a great writing tactic to let the reader/watcher know what a character should do, but is too stupid or hard-headed to do and you are hoping beyond hope that they will pull their head out and do the right thing.  The writer has two ways to go with this ultimately.  You can give the satisfying finish where they actually end up finally making the right choice and or you can go the crappy way and have it go horribly wrong when they can’t or won’t make the right decision. 

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

I'm Baaaaack!

I’m in a good place right now.   I finished Air War College a few weeks ago, and then my father-in-law took all his kids and grandkids (including me) to Disney World for a week.  We had a wonderful time together despite the fact that it rained every day.  We all got along; nobody got hurt or sick or sunburned.  Just so happened to be a Star Wars Weekend also, and for anyone that knows me or my family that was a big deal.  Only downside was my boys’s aggravation with the sporadic internet in our room.  We also went to Universal Studios for a day and the Harry Potter castle ride is probably the best ride I’ve ever been on.  All-in-all an awesome trip! 

Sunday, June 3, 2012

A small jump for joy!

The weight has lifted.  I am complete with Air War College as of yesterday.  I feel lighter and my mood is noticeably better.  But...but..now I have no excuses to stop me from writing.  I need to get back in the writing saddle again, but I've been absent for so long that I have to find the horse and put the saddle on it.  I was so looking forward to this moment, but once it arrived I felt of barely perceptible pang of fear... just enough that I was able to notice it, and it surprised me.

I opened up my manuscript a few days ago when I had finished my last active part in the process (I had to wait for my mentor to approve and send in my self-assessment), and started to muddle through it.  I was on fire when I had last touched it and had made some really big strides in the revision, not only with correcting some syntax and tagging issues, but with a few concepts that I wanted to tweak.  I knew I was on my game, and it was thrilling to understand where I was at and where I needed to go to finish the last big revision. 

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Things I Like

I was reading Chuck Wendig’s blog, Terribleminds, this morning and he mentioned something about avoiding negativity and to keep things positive.  Talk about things you like, he said, so I am going to make a list of things I like.  This is not a comprehensive list or in any particular order, just things that came to mind this morning.  Keep in mind that I got up at 5:30 A.M., and I’m a bit groggy.
Things that make the happy:
-I like being married.  I love my wife.  That’s an easy one, but I actually like her too.  She’s very concerned about making our lives better all the time, and she rarely slows down.  I wish she would take more “me” time frankly, but it makes her happy to take care of her family.  She’s extremely smart and is usually way better than average at anything she devotes time to.  She is a great caregiver for our kids, and they have turned out pretty awesome so far (they could always take an ugly turn off the road into the deep chasm, but so far they are turning into awesome adults, that I actually like to spend time with.)

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

BLACKBIRDS is out TODAY!


One of my new favorite novelists, Chuck Wendig has a new book out TODAY!  It's Blackbirds.  Here is the blurb: 


Miriam Black knows when you will die.
Still in her early twenties, she's foreseen hundreds of car crashes, heart attacks, strokes, suicides, and slow deaths by cancer. But when Miriam hitches a ride with truck driver Louis Darling and shakes his hand, she sees that in thirty days Louis will be gruesomely murdered while he calls her name.
Miriam has given up trying to save people; that only makes their deaths happen. But Louis will die because he met her, and she will be the next victim. No matter what she does she can't save Louis. But if she wants to stay alive, she'll have to try.

The cover rocks and I've heard nothing but great reviews so far.  I love his wit and his twisted view of the world.  I haven't read it yet, but I did pre-order it. I'm certain it will be entertaining and colorful.  Hopefully it will be here in a few days.  Please give him a look see.

Clear Ether!