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Showing posts from 2020

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  Today, I walked around the lake.   I decided that 20 degree weather on a sunny day isn’t that bad and walked the big loop. I signed up for an online class on Udemy.  Editing Mastery: How to Edit Writing to Perfection.  A class that was normally $94 dollars was on sale for $9.99.  It’s a seven hour course on my favorite subject of editing.  For me, it’s a part of the skillset that is most important to me: to be able to edit.  I will look for other online courses through out the year to improve other skillsets. Next up for listening.  After Sixty-One Nails , I will be listening to The Seine by Elaine Sciolino.  After that will be The Secret Adversary by Agatha Christie which is currently free on Audible.  And then Untamed Shore by Silvia Moreno-Garcia. Next up for reading.  After The Pale Horse, I will read Endless Night by Agatha Christie. Today the final season of The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina has been released.  So I will be watching that from today until Saturday.

30 December 2020

  Song mood: I Melt with You by Modern English. Tasks for tomorrow.  Edit a segment of my serial fantasy novel.  Write a segment and a half for the serial fantasy novel.  Possibly brainstorm the rest of the novel. Goals for next year: 1. Self-publish a fantasy novella. 2. Self-publish a mystery novel. 3. Finish serial novel and self-publish the finished series. 4. Work on a ‘how to’ book on writing and self-publishing. 5. Read 30 books. Currently I still listening to Sixty-One Nails by Mike Shevdon.  While it’s not great, it isn’t bad.  A lot of dialogue and description.  Very detailed scenes. Currently I’m reading The Pale Horse by Agatha Christie.  It’s a murder mystery where the chief suspects are witches.  Of course, by the end, there will be rational explanations.  So far, the book is far different from the Amazon series staring Rufus Sewell. Today I had an age old debate: should I buy Adobe Indesign and learn how design book covers?  Indesign is a spendier prog

22 December 2020

  Writing the section today in my serial novel was tough.   Some days writing are more difficult than others.   I do know however how I want to rewrite this section.   That’s the neat thing about writing three or four page segments, any editing or rewriting will be easier.   And since I’m releasing one segment per week, I will have time for revision.   Although the exercise behind writing this serial is to write something without trying to be perfect.   To write and edit the best I can and then release the story into the world.   Which, is why I decided on a project that resembles pulp fiction. I got to speak with my best friend from college today.  It had been over a year.  I’m happy that I got to speak with him.  It was great catching up. I finished listening to Murder on the Links by Agatha Christie.  And then I watched the David Suchet movie as I was interested on how they would adapt the story.  Most of the time the Poirot novels are around seven hours long and the BBC films

17 December 2020

  Song mood: I Melt with You by Modern English. I’ve written the first three sections of my serial novel.  I’m hoping to have ten sections done before the new year.  I think there will be a total of 40-50 sections.  One three to four page section a week.  About ten sections in, I will publish the paperback through Amazon.  Then I’ll list it on my website as the follows: Enjoying the story but can’t wait a week for the next section?  The paperback version is now available on Amazon.  Probably won’t work, but that doesn’t matter. I finished reading: The Last Stand of Lychford .  All I can say is that it needed serious editing.  There were syntactic errors all over.  Missused words.  Sections weren’t nearly as clear.  Characters weren’t as consistent with the way they were in previous books.  Like a female vicar cussing up a storm.  And yet, the lowest review was a three star.  The review said that the author could have written it better. My feeling is that he is a published author

New Website Nearing Completion

I worked on the new website, mostly built it with a few minor things.   It now has a copyright page.  The only reason there is a copyright page on the website is because the website will be a serial novel.  I am somewhat treating the website as a book.  At the end, I will make a print version on Amazon or through a book distributer.  The online version is free. The website has the poetry and short fictions sections.  I still need to insert the links to the perspective books on Amazon. And then the serial will be blog posts and I have renamed home to ‘The Radio.’ My photographer friend took pictures of me today, kind of spur of the moment.  I have the new photo on my about page. I just bought the domain: .  Currently it’s .  It usually takes 24-48 hours for the new domain name to be associated with the blogspot website. Because the posts will be the story, I have no problem sharing them on social media.  Social media may or may

9 December 2020

  Song mood: Winter Wonderland by Felix Bernard and Richard Bernhard Smith.   I’m thinking of the one done by Dean Martin of Rat Pack fame not to be confused for the Brat Pack. Today I hung out with a friend over coffee.  It was great.   I told him the story about how my parents drove from Fairbanks, AK to Nova Scotia.  I can’t remember much of that trip as I was around four.  It was the trip where I lost my bottle, or more accurately my parents left it at a lake.  That summer, I kept on wanting to know if we were going home yet.  My parents wanted to visit as many Canadian Provences as possible.  All done in a Buick. We were talking about travel.  He gave me some ideas of where I could go in Nebraska.  It was cool hanging out. So, I’ve done core exercises and a basic upper arm dumbell work outs every other day for the past week. Today, I only had two 12 oz cups of cold brew.  Tomorrow I will attempt to do only one 12 oz cup of cold brew.  I am attempting to lower my caffeine

3 December 2020

  Song mood: Christmas Wrapping by the Waitresses. I worked on the new website.  I can take my time.  In this new website I will do a serial novel.  Where I release a three page section once or twice a week.  I will brainstorm a new story based off of the unfinished novella ‘The Radio.’  I like the idea of a guy being transported into a horror film world.  We’ll give him the power to shoot electric bolts. I would like a website similar to James Wylder.  He is a sci-fi/fantasy writer that I met at a Doctor Who convention in Minneapolis.  He has written a boatload of books.  I have a few of his books.  One I bought at a convention.  The rest are ebooks.  He has a collection of poems about Doctor Who.  Anyway.  He has a collaboration with artists and that is what I admire about his writing and website. Of course, I would like to collaborate with some artists.  I just need to be able to give something back. I’m reading Last Stand of Lychford by Paul Cornell.  It was delayed about

25 November 2020

  Song mood: Video Killed the Radio Star by the Buggles. I’m not sure what story I’m writing.  Although I am editing the novella that I wrote this year.  Initial process is to run the sections through my editing software.  Then pasting the sections into the word document that is formated for print.  So I can see first hand how it will look like.  I thought I put all sections in the order I wanted but found one out of sequence.  Upon reading I may find it was in the right sequence.   My idea or current philosophy on editing is I will read it and correct  it until it reads like a story I want to read.  Currently the title is ‘The Castle of the Dark Prince.’  My current realization is that I write things and find excuses not to do anything further, not to edit, not to seek publication or self-publication because it’s not good enough.  So I need to work with these projects and get them as good as I can get them, self-publish, and move on to the next project.  The idea is to get as many

18 November 2020

Song mood: Mysterious Ways by U2. Currently I’m listening to The Ruin by Dervla McTiernan.  I’ve listened to a couple of novellas that she wrote where her detective Cormac Reilly briefly shows up in and liked them.  This is the first book with her star detective.  Between McTiernan and Trevor on who writes better suspense, I would say hands down McTiernan.   A person who writes mysteries as a genre follow a set of conventions so that the reader isn’t in a state of confusion.  One great example is putting dates before each section or series of sections.  Literary writers don’t follow conventions and the confusion at times come from the writing.  Where I say, let the characters mislead the reader not the writing itself. I am enjoying The Ruin .  It’s nice to get back to a solid mystery. I continue to walk at the lake.  Although, it’s a modified path where I get around 2.5 miles instead 4 miles.  I still need to figure out what to do for exercise in the winter.  I want to get a rowing m

Dirk Gently

  Tonight, I’m watching Dirk Gently with Stephen Mangan playing the wholistic detective.   First off, I don’t know why I haven’t watched this before.   I’m thoroughly enjoying it.   I think it really is taking place in Islington.   The latest rendition takes place in Seattle.   I lived in a suburb of a suburb of Seattle for six months. The reason I booked a place in Islington was because that was where Douglas Adams lived.  Unfortunately, I had gone through a website that was dubious when I booked a B&B at Islington.  I won’t make the same mistake again.  When I go back, I will book through hotel chains.  So my first night in England, was horrific because I found out that the B&B I booked wasn’t legit.  Fortunately, I got my money back, but it made for an interesting night.  Also, fortunately, was the Irish bar owner who helped me find a place and the coppers that pointed me in the right direction. The bar owner looked like John Hurt.  He was very helpful to me.  He calmed m

12 November 2020

  Song mood: Everything She Does is Magic by The Police.   This song was playing on the radio as made my way to the mall three years ago on this day. From now until next spring, I think I will work on my support base.  Making connections with writer’s and artists.  I will work on short stories and editing the novella that I wrote earlier this year. Twelfth day in no shave November, and my beard is beginning to be itchy.  Three years ago for Halloween I dressed up as Martin from Dirk Gently’s Wholistic Detective Agency .  I grew out my goatee and dyed both my hair and goatee to match. I’m thinking of doing a new website next year.  Something different.  I’m looking at webcomics as a source of inspiration.  One I’m looking at because I met the artist is Alison Wilgus who does the Chronin Series.  Although my website probably won’t look anything like a webcomic.   What it will probably have will be short stories or sections of a novella I worked on last year that I called The Rad

4 November 2020

  Song mood: The Valley of the Pagans by Gorillaz featuring Beck.   The song popped up on my Pandora and I recognized Beck’s voice. I wrote a flash fiction short story I’m naming Running From the Devil .  The name may or may not stick.  It’s about a guy who is running and realizes that has been running for an unusually long time and his life is flashing before him.  Probably not my greatest story ever, but I wrote it.  Been working on writing at least one hundred words a day to keep my writer card. There’s a story I’m thinking of writing which I’m going to call The Bass Player Who Looked Death in the Eye .  Which be kind of a spin off from my short story The Grimm Presents .  The new story will be about the unnamed Asian guy.  Who turns out to be a bass player for a semi-famous band.  I haven’t decided if the story takes place after The Grimm Presents or intersects with it. Currently, I’m listening to Felicia’s Journey by William Trevor.  It’s okay.  I like it for painting a sli

A Book I Really Really Want

  As I scrolled through Instagram today, I found a book that I really really want.   Imagine that.   Me, finding books that I want on IG.   There is this photographer on IG that I really like: @helloemilie.   Anyway she has a new book: Forever Wandering by Emilie Ristevski.

29 October 2020

  Song mood: Bittersweet Symphony by the Verve. My Redbubble shirt came today.  A Thumbelina shirt.  I know, my man card has been revoked.  Although I ordered a Large, the shirt was an XtraLarge.  Not too terrible of a mistake.  I looked at my emails and I did order a Large.  I’ll still wear it.  Maybe I’ll send a message to customer service, just to say ‘hey, maybe your staff need longer paid coffee breaks.’ Halloween is coming up and I don’t know what I’m going to do yet.  Ideally, I’d like to spend the night at the Stanley. Tonight, I will probably do some free-writing and some brainstorming.  I am reading a section in the book Endless Ideas by Sean M Platt and Neeve Silver on free-writing.  The current section is on idea expansion.  I have a few more days before I set out to write my next project.

28 October 2020

  Song mood: I Miss You by Blink 182.   We’ll have Halloween on Christmas.   Halloween can be every day if you really wanted it to be.   But it won’t have the feeling of a brisk autumn evening. The proof copy came for my new poetry book.  There are somethings I can go back and improve on.  But I need to move on to my next project, whatever that may be.  The poetry book is kind of like an exercise on putting a book together. Word is awesome.  I mean I can edit things in format and so it shows how the project will look like in real time.  That may be the biggest motivator yet. Now that I have put together a book.  I should work on putting together other books.  I like my idea of having a horror writing contest.  And at the end all the stories get put into a book.  I’ll edit and put the book together.  The winner gets a horror genre Funko Pop and all the proceeds from the book.  A whole ten dollars or so.  Of course if one of the writers is good on marketing, it may be more.  Someo

Unable to Create 26 October

  I am unable to create.   I was awoken at 12:30am.   There is a person who plays their phone so loud, it can be heard three blocks away.   What it is is an ebook that is being played.   An irritating electronic voice played so loud it could be heard three blocks and away and it was right next to my door at 12:30am when I had been dead asleep.   When I was jolted awake, I felt like I had to vomit.   I was so terrorized I couldn’t fall back asleep until three.   These acts of terrorism have been happening more and more frequently. When I listen to an audiobook, or television for that matter, I always use headphones.  I figure no one else wants to listen to what I’m listening to. I’m not sure what to do with these moments of terror.  Of being forced into listening to something I don’t want to listen to, or being awoken by them.

25 October 2020

  Song mood: Ring of Fire by Johnny Cash. Today is my father’s birthday.  He died many years ago.  Colon cancer.  He had a tumor the size of a grapefruit.  I miss him.  But life happens.  I used to go out on his birthdays and eat the greasiest food in his honor.  I used to go to Grizzly’s restaurant and order the steak hoagie.  These days I can’t really handle greasy food at all, something about not having a gallbladder any more.  And where I live, there isn’t a Grizzly’s. Tonight though, one of my cousin’s children had a birthday party that I went to.  It was good. Of two books I was looking for, I found one.  I think I may have borrowed the other book.  The book that I found was 1066: The Year of the Conquest by David Howarth.  It will be part of the research of a project.  I read 60 pages several years ago.  I thought of starting the book from the beginning, but then remembered what the first part I read was about.  How King Edward was dying but didn’t have a clear heir to th

24 October 2020

  Song mood: G rove is in the Heart by Deee-Lite.   The whole of the seventies in a song, a video. I need to hang out with other writers and artists.  The other people in the group would help me through being stuck.  It isn’t that I can’t write but I don’t believe I can write.  Which are two different things. The manuscript came yesterday.  It was The Shapeshifter Immortal .  Written when I was between twenty one and twenty three.  The first novel, or rough draft of a novel that I had ever written.  It’s about an immortal shapeshifter who fights a satanist cult.  Back in the days when I was a Republican and believed such evils exist.  Now I see far worse evils in the name of.  Anyway, I read a bit of it and it was way better than the fantasy novel I self-published a long time ago. I think I need to free-write.  I suspect that after an hour straight of free-writing, the story I should write would come out.  In my mind I have a few agendas for my writing.  Conflicting agendas like

The Shell of Sense

The Shell of Sense by Olivia Howard Dunbar is ghost story told in the Point of View of the ghost.    A ghost lingers to see what people are saying about her after she died.   She sees her sister and her widower husband talking to each other on the secret they carried while she was alive.  Right away we learn that the ghost is telling the story.  Most of the story can be guessed by the way that the ghost speaks.  One can also tell that there is some romance about the story. It’s a story about letting go, through a different perspective. The Shell of Sense was originally published in 1939.  The audio program I listened to was narrated by Jennifer James-Bradshaw.

Witches of Lychford

  Witches of Lychford by Paul Cornell is one of my favorite books.   I read this novella a few times, listened to the audio.   I just enjoy Cornell’s writing.   He wrote tie in novels for Doctor Who and other assorted fantasy books. In this story, there was something wrong in Lychford.  A heated debate within the community about a new megastore being built.  There is something evil afoot and the town’s witch, Judith Mawson is determined to find out what it is.  In the process she recruits the new Vicar Lizzie and her friend the magic shop owner Autumn to help. I love the book because it kind of is a commentary about life in England, and the world for that matter.  The division we feel or are meant to feel.  Right vs Left.  Fascists vs Ant-Fascists.  Supper super big chain grocers vs local grocery stores.  Then throw in elements of the supernatural.  That is what this book, the whole series is about. Witches of Lychford was published on 2015.  The audio program that I listened to

How It Happened

  How It Happened by Arthur Conan-Doyle, has to be the shortest story I seen him write.   Nearly all of the Sherlock Homes short stories were at least thirty pages long.   This story could come close to even being called flash fiction. The story is about this guy who is driving a car with a friend.  And they come to some rough terrain.  The twist at the end was rather expected.  But a neat little ghost story all the same. How It Happened was originally published in 1913.  The audio program I listened to was narrated by John Lee.

The Empty House

  The Empty House by Algernon Blackwood is a simple ghost story.   Blackwood is supposed to be the most prolific ghost story writer of his time. The set up is simple.  The narrator is visiting his aunt or is talking with his aunt and she has a proposition for him.  She has booked a night at a haunted house.   It’s actually a neat idea.  I would like to book a haunted for a night and spend the night exploring the house with a woman.  It would be fun.  Or to spend a night at the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park.  The last time I looked, and that was around five years ago a when friend got married in Estes Park, it cost $400 a night at the Stanley Hotel.  But then everything in Estes Park is expensive. In this story, there is some background for the haunted house.  A murder took place at the house.  At in the house there are some noises and things that were seen but not there. It was an okay story.  But nothing that makes the hairs stand on my neck or quicken the pace of my heart.  It’s no

19 October 2020

  Song mood: Hazy Shade of Winter by the Bangles.   I’m usually thrown off when I watch the video.   I think of fallen leaves, shadows, autumn and New England.   The video on the other hand is bright, California and has Robert Downing Jr in it.   I don’t remember what movie the song tied into, but it starred Robert Downing Jr. I’m halfway through Oscar Wilde and a Death of No Importance .  I’m thoroughly enjoying it.  In my Senior Capstone English class at UNO, I annotated The Importance of Being Ernest with a classmate.  I admit was a bit selfish on the project and most of my annotations were used.  It’s a project I wouldn’t picking up again.  But that’s besides the point and I have more pressing projects if I could decide on one. A Death of No Importance is fun to listen to as it reminds me of the Dave Chappell skit on Prince.  Where Prince and the Revolution challenges Charlie Murphy and his gang to a game of basketball.  This is what this story reminds me of.  I also have a f

The Damned Thing

  The Damned Thing by Ambrose Bierce comes really close to HP Lovecraft.   It starts with an inquest to a mysterious death and the narrator attends to give his account of what happened.   The monster in the whole narrative is not described well.   There is no clear picture as what it looks like.   As recorded in the narrator’s journal, the authorities have a difficult time believing the account that he gives in the journals. This story reminds me most of The Colour Out of Space by Lovecraft.  They both deal with colors that are outside what the normal eye can see.  It would not surprise me if The Damned Thing influenced Lovecraft with his story. The Damned Thing was originally published in 1893.  The audio program I listened to was narrated by Bronson Pinchot.

The Story of the Youth Who Went Forth to Learn What Fear Was

The Story of the Youth Who Went Forth to Learn What Fear Was by the Jacob Grimm and Wilhelm Grimm was my favorite Grimm story.   I remember watching the story on Shelly Duvall’s Faerie Tale Theatre.   It’s about a guy who doesn’t know what fear is.   He gets kicked out of his house for being useless.   So he sets out to find out what it’s like to shudder.   And upon this quest, he goes to a haunted castle and spends three nights in the spooky place. The faerie tales were supposed to teach something and I’m not quite certain what the lesson was.  In the end, it was his wife who taught him how to shudder.  So maybe the moral of the story is the world may fail to scare you, but your wife will succeed?  I’m not sure.  The story stuck with me from when I was a kid, and that is something. Grimm’s Fairy Tales was originally published in 1812.  The Youtube video I watched was posted by SuperUtils Software.  Shelly Duvall’s production of the tale can also be found on Youtube along with oth

17 October 2020

  Song mood: We Didn’t Start the Fire by Billy Joel.   Every time I see the commercial for The Boys season two, I can’t decide if I want to watch it. I watched it last year because it was a thing to do when I was hanging with my friend in Saint Cloud last year.   My friend, he likes to drink beer to the wee hours of the morning.   Something I’m not really able to do.   So my day was shot and binge watching The Boys was a good idea.   The series has some really graphic violence, which I’m not into.   I’m okay with some kinds of violence but not others.   It’s hard to say where the line is.   Anyway, I kind of want to watch season too but feel it might be too graphic for my tastes. I finished listening to The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by VE Schwab and though it was amazing.  I’m currently listening to Oscar Wilde and a Death of No Importance by Gyles Brandreth.  It’s a book I have been wanting to read for quite a while.  It has Oscar Wilde, Robert Sherard (his biographer), and