Friday, October 15, 2010

Off to new Blogs

Thanks for the good times blogger. Now I'm off to my new site!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

A post to rule all posts

Or maybe not. Later I will have to find a good post to fit this title. I was going to write a post. Instead I am going to write fiction. Last I heard, no one is paying me for blog posts. Not that anyone is paying yet for the other writing, but that is more likely.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Info Dump

This was largely an unproductive weekend for writing. I only have myself to blame for that.

Saturday was great. Spent the morning at the kids first soccer game. They are on different teams and the first game was against each other. My daughter got a wicked grin on her face as she saw that her brother was goalie before she scored the last goal of the game on him. Though he didn't care, he was just having fun playing. Was a great game and they were really having fun.

Saturday afternoon saw us at the waterfront and the PGH Irish Fest. I could not believe the number of people drinking miller lite. Really? At the Irish fest? Why were they even selling it? Anyway. We went to see Gaelic Storm. They were awesome again as usual. Wish we could have stayed for the later show. Tori had a great time seeing all the Irish breed dogs. Then she got to see the girls from Shovlin dance school. She is starting there tomorrow and was pretty excited to see them.

Reading a book right now, and it's just not that great. I'm not feeling any compelling need to finish it. And I wonder how something like this got published. You read some stuff like Rothfuss and you are blown away by it. Other stuff you read and it's not super amazing writing but highly entertaining and you are pulled along anyway. Then that third category and you are just kind of "huh?". Seems that way with a lot of stuff though. Television, movies, music.

Publishing climate being what it is now, the chances seem smaller than ever. Thankfully there is the internet to get things moved along. There is still that desire to have a printed and bound copy in my hands.

Of course, I should have probably worked on my own fiction instead of this blog post.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


Testing out this blogger app from my phone.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

My Much Abused Blog

There you are blog, sitting there all patiently, waiting for me to update you.

Has been a bit of an adjustment getting back into work, learning new processes and how they do their work at this company. Ariba is really a great company to work for, I am glad I'm in there. Just need to get up to speed on things. That covers the insurance and mortgage side of things.

Obviously writing has taken a bit of a dip. Where I was hitting 1k a day easy, now I am closer to the 300-500 range. I am sure that will pick back up in time. Of course, school is still looming in the background somewhere too. So much to do, so little time. But that is life isn't it? No one here 30 hours in a day right? Or did I miss the memo on that one?

This is in fact probably the first time I have even picked up my laptop in over a month. I've hardly used it since we got our droid phones. I can easily update my writing from my phone (not an ideal situation, but it works on the go). Otherwise, just haven't felt much of a need to use this bulky device. If there was some kind of dock that I could plug my droid into and have it go to a normal size monitor and keyboard, I would do away with the computer all together. You hear that droid people? Let's make it happen. Banish my computer to the depths of some recycling bin, please.

And that is that. Have some writing to do before I head off to bed tonight.

Monday, August 9, 2010

The Good Rejection

If such a thing can truly exist. I think it is by far the best rejection I received. This one from Abyss and Apex, for my story "Flesh and Tome".

 It was well received here, but after some thought we have decided not to accept it for publication.
I hope you'll consider us again

I'll take that. Now I just have to figure out where to try next. I've been working on Dragon Lords so much lately that I haven't put too much thought into my shorter works. Anything else I would want to send around would likely need severe revisions. That's called progress.

This week Scalzi is announcing the winners for his contest, so there is still hope for that also.

Started back to work this week. Nothing exciting so far, but hey, it was my first day. As wonderful as my summer with my family has been, it is good to get back to work and relieve myself of some of the pressing concerns that go along with being unemployed.

Edit: PodCastle was the winner. I really like listening to their stories. Maybe next they will read mine!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Catching Up

Writing has still been relatively sparse. Have had a great time doing a lot of fun stuff with the kids though, so it evens out. Took the kids up to Racoon State Park on Monday and had an awesome day at the beach there. Doing all kinds of fun stuff like that.

On to the great news: Found a job! Starting with Ariba on August 9th. Really looking forward to getting started as a Data Manager. It seems like it will be a great place to work and a good challenge for me every day.

And now a funny side note. In Dragon Lords, I had named the MC Daernol. I was never really happy with it, but figured I would just use it until I found something and then do a massive find and replace. Well, I found that name, Tirnan. I like it a lot more. A variation on a celtic name. The funny thing is that I have done so much work on my ipod touch that when I am typing just on the touch, my brain does some kind of weird loop and puts Daernol back in. It's weird. I don't do it on my laptop, just when writing on my touch.

Well, the kids are playing quietly in their room, Jenn is off getting her hair done and stuff, so I am going to see how much more writing I can get done.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

The Battle of Tragon Keep, Part 3

And now, the conclusion to The Battle of Tragon Keep. Here is Part 1 and Part 2. Hope you all have enjoyed the story.

The Battle of Tragon Keep, Part 3

John sat with his legs crossed, axe before him on the ground. He caught movement in the skies above him, a darker outline against the soot clouds.
"Coward," John spat. "Their champion won't even face me on even ground. Time to change that."
John brought his shield to bear before him and counted the seconds while his enemy flew closer.
Shadowfluff moved faster than Wil thought possible. It snapped it's wings outward to level off the dive and Wil caught site of his enemy for the first time. A hulking green brute stood upon the wall, a shield braced before it. Wil steadied his spear to strike at the center of his targets shield. Faster than Wil thought possible the orc spun at the last moment to deflect Wil's spear. The orc leapt back to avoid Shadowfluff's claws that raked the ground where the orc once stood.
"Back around Shadowfluff," Wil called into the wind.
Three strong flaps took the pair back into the sky. Shadowfluff looped once back onto the path of the orc. The pair launched into a dive, Wil intent on finishing this and getting back to his family. The orc dived at he last second and threw himself under Shadowfluff. Wil grinned as the orc let out a pain laden cry as his mounts razor sharp claws raked across the creature. He had no time to enjoy the small victory. Shadowfluff veered toward the ground and Wil felt the saddle sliding from the fur covered back of his unicorn pegasus kitten. Shadowfluff's momentum was halted by a tower that stood as sentinel on the wall. Wil tumbled from the kitten's back in time to avoid be crushed by Shadowfluff's weight. Momentum took him over the crenelations. Wil's grip on the golden spear kept him from falling to his death. The haft of the spear was caught on two ancient stones.
"I hope dwarven stone work is as great here as it in is all the stories," Wil gasped. He kicked his feet against the wall trying to gain purchase and climb back up. A shadow blocked out the hazy red of the sky above him.
"Now you die, coward," Scalzorc spit. He raised his axe to strike a final blow to his trapped foe.
Wil closed his eyes.
"Just get this nightmare over with," Wil shouted. His shoulders ached from holding his body against the wall.
"Wil?" the Orc said.
Instead of an axe as he expected, the orcs green hand reached down to grab his wrists. Wil was yanked effortlessly through the air.
Wil stood there on shaky legs and gawked at the spectacle before him. The orc was huge, blood coursed down muscles from the cuts Shadowfluff gave him. He recognized his friends features behind the green skin, pointed ears, and double headed axe.
"Scalzi?" Wil asked. "What is going on?"
"I was going to ask you the exact same question." Scalzorc said. "Where did you get that hideous shirt?"
"Me? You're the one with green skin and a loin cloth."
Shadowfluff mewed pitifully behind the two friends. Scalzorc turned to see the kitten with a great gash across it's belly where his axe cleaved it. John couldn't believe he did that to the kitten.
"I'm sorry," He began.
Shdadowfluff had some strength left. The unicorn Pegasus kitten lashed out with it's paw and rended Scalzorc's abdomen. John flailed away from the kitten, his axe cutting deep into Sir Wheaton's shoulder. Both heroes tumbled from the wall into the blackness below.
John awoke with a start. He jerked back from the kitchen table and noticed a puddle of drool on his character sheet. Across from him, Wil Wheaton dozed with his head over the back of the chair. He sat up straight, his stomach muscles crying out in protest. He lifted his shirt to see four angry red lines across his stomach.
"What the he--"
John's phone rang.
"Hello?" he said. He looked down at his watch and grimaced.
"Crap, sorry Athena, I'll be right there to get you."
John took one more look at Wil. He placed his face next to Wil's mouth to make sure he was still breathing and then swiped his keys from the hook and headed out the door. There would be tine to try and figure out what happened later. Right now, he was late to pick up his daughter.

4814 words

4814 words over the last few weeks. While that isn't terrible, all things considered, I think I could have done better also. Time to change that. After we take a walk down by South Side Works.

Working almost exclusively on Dragon Lords at this point. The theme has not been more readily apparent than now while I am out of work and concerned about certain realities we are facing. That just means more fuel for the fire, right?

Saturday, July 17, 2010

The Battle of Tragon Keep, Part 2

Be sure to read Part 1 first.

As promised, here is Part 2. Check back tomorrow for the gripping conclusion!

The Battle for Tragon Keep, Part 2

Wil awoke, snapping up from the ground. He looked around the room. The last thing he remembered was reading from 'The Battle for Tragon Keep' with John at his house. Now he found himself on a short bed only half a foot off the ground. Everything was short in the room. The door, the desk, the chair. He looked down to find himself wearing his clown sweater? And blue short shorts? He knew he wasn't wearing that earlier.
"What the hell is going on here?" Wil asked out loud. "If this is someones weird idea of a joke, I'm going to be pissed."
Why was that module so awesome? He couldn't remember now. Wil slid his feet from the bed and pushed himself up. He walked across the room and tried the door. It opened with an ease that belied the thickness of the stone portal. Outside, two short men came to attention.
"Sir!" they shouted in unison. They slammed the end of their spears against the floor.
"Wow, this is amazing," Wil said as he stepped out of the room. "Your costumes are truly fantastic. Your makeup work is incredible."
The two short men both sported bushy beards and eyebrows, round cheeks and gnarled hands gripped the haft of the spears. The chainmail they wore looked hand crafted, not some online knockoff. Flat metal helms covered their heads while heavy leather boots protected their feet.
"Sir?" the one on his left asked. His beard deep coal black. "What costumes?"
"Sir," the other man said. The only difference between the two is this fellows beard was a deep burgundy. "The king awaits your presence in the war room."
"The war room..." Wil said absently as he took a look around him. He was standing in a stone corridor that ran off to his left and right into darkness. He wouldn't have the slightest idea how to get out of where ever he was.
"Yes please, take me to the king."
The two short men fell in to step next to each other and marched down the hall. Wil followed them silently while he considered his situation. Was he in some kind of crazy LARP? Some weird dream? The last thing he could remember was being at that con where that fan had given him a module to try. Then he showed up at John's house.
"Here we are Sir Wheaton," one of the men said. "King Ironfist and his generals await your arrival."
"Thank you," Wil said as he stepped up to the door. It was ornately carved with a bass relief picture of a great battle with a dragon.
The door swung open to reveal seven short men standing around a table appropriate for their height. Cheers of huzzah met him as he stood framed in the door. He reminded himself to close his mouth. He hadn't seen this many little people since he watched 'The Wizard of Oz'.
"King Ironfist, I presume," Wil said. He tried his best to remember his manners in spite of the insanity Wil was sure consumed him.
The man Wil addressed could be nothing less than their leader. His complexion and beard were both dark. Silver jewelry wrapped around each wrist. They looked like baubles compared to the heavy crown that sat upon the man's shaven head. Fine scale armor covered his body. More than his appearance though was the way he carried himself amongst the others. There was no doubt that he lead these men. If he ordered them to cut Wil's throat they would do so in a moment.
"When yer order said they would be sending their best," Ironfist started, "we had no idea it would mean they were sending you, Sir Wheaton."
"I must beg your pardon King Ironfist," Wil said."But where am I? My journey..."
"Aye, it is indeed a long flight," Ironfist said. "You are in Tragon Keep, at the base Mount n'Gor. This is the greatest of the dwarven mines. Don't worry about payment, your Orders weapons will be on their way as soon as you have wiped the orcish threat from the foot of our gates."
"My Order?" Wil questioned.
Ironfist broke out in a deep booming laugh.
"Ye do yer kin justice Sir. Yer a member of the Knights of the Crazed Clowns. Greatest band of mercenaries in the land."
Things started to click into place. It explained his shirt at least. What would they do when they realized he had no idea how to fight? Wil stepped up to the table to see the map spread out before then. It outlined the valley in which the keep rested. Mt. n'Gor was too close for his taste. The top of the mountain was flat on the map, flames sprouting from the top. He hoped that didn't mean what he thought.
"What seems to be the problem?" Wil asked.
"The orcs sieged our keep over a month ago," Ironfist began. "We would have handled them just fine. We were killing ten orcs for everyone of our kin that fell. We couldn't count for the trouble n'Gor gave us.
"She blew her top, spewing fire all down her sides. Destroyed our outer gates and all the kin that fought within the walls. Less than five hundred dwarves remain now."
"I'm sorry to hear that," Wil said.
"Time enough to mourn them after this treat is gone," Ironfist said. "Seems their warlord isn't as bloodthirsty as most orcs. We must have hurt his people pretty bad too. Offered to duel us for the rights to the Keep."
"That is my job, defeat their champion?" Wil asked.
"Aye," Ironfist agreed." My greatest warriors are slain in a river of fire. We need yer might to go to battle."
"I will do my best," Wil said. He had no idea what he was doing here. His acting career seemed to be paying off. "You mentioned my mount? Can I use it in battle?" he hoped it was a dragon or some other creature that could fly him away from his doom. But to where?
"Aye Sir Wheaton, right this way," Ironfist gestured to the door. "The duel begins in an hour, we must get you ready."
John groaned and wondered what the hell happened to him. The last thing he remembered was sitting at his dining room table with Wil Wheaton trying to listen to the most awesome gaming module ever. He found the game to be dull but didn't want to crush Wil's enthusiasm.
John opened his eyes slowly to see the tan canvas of a tent over his head. He could feel warm air beating on the tent outside and wondered again what the hell happened to him.
He stepped from his tent into the set of an apocalypse movie. His tent was the only one in a sea of blanket shrouded sleeping figures. This was set against the backdrop of a great walled keep and to the left of that a mountain that still sprayed ash and molten lava. A river of liquid rock flow through a gully that cut around behind the sleeping men.
"What is going on?" John said aloud. His voice was deeper than he usually heard it.
John rubbed his hands over his head and down across his face. He wanted to wipe this sight from his mind. What he saw startled him even more. He pulled his hands away from his face to see it covered with rough green skin. He looked down to see a bare green chest (well muscled!), a loin cloth and long green legs. His hands end in sharp nails that he was sure would easily tear flesh if he wasn't careful.
"Boss, no word from the dwarves yet," said a voice from behind John. "We should just split their skulls for wastin' our time. The orc clans are thirsty for the blood you promised them."
John spun on his heel. Behind him stood a figure not too different from himself. Only this orc had bones braided through his long hair and stood six inches shorter than John.
"If this is some dumb joke Wheaton is playing on me to get back for the Velvet Wesley..." John mumbled.
"What's that boss?" the orc asked.
"Nothing," John answered. "What is going on?"
"Some of the clans say dat Scalzorc's plan is dumb. We just crush da orcs. No time for duels. They not too happy."
"Where are we?" John asked, looking around. Something about that volcano looked familiar.
"You get hit on da head yesterday boss?"
"Must have been hit pretty hard," John said. "Just tell me where we are."
"Da foot of Tragon Keep," the orc said. "You planned all dis Scalzorc. Take back da home da wretched dwarves stole from us. You remember all dat?"
John shook his head, sweat flying from his scalp in tiny beads. His mind reeled. This sounded vaguely like the module Wil ran for him at his kitchen table. He wished he payed more attention to what Wil said. There didn't seem to be much alternative for him but to follow this through to the finale.
"You have my weapons?" John asked.
"Just cleaned dem boss," the orc said. "I get dem."
The orc loped a few feet to a blanket on the ground. He threw back the cloth to reveal a shield with spikes protruding from the surface and an axe with wicked curved blades on both ends of the haft. John took the weapon and swung it before him in a wide arc. It felt right in his hands, comfortable.
"Where is the battle to take place?" John asked.
The orc at his side pointed toward the wall that had been half destroyed by their--his-- orc army.
John began to weave his way between the sleeping orcs. The orc who helped him let loose a deep guttural cheer. This woke the orcs nearest him who stood and echoed the first orc's cry. If this was a joke Wil set up, it was damn elaborate.
"That is my mount?" Wil asked. "Seriously?"
"No beast is more feared Sir, than the unicorn pegasus kitten," Ironfist said at his side. He stroked his beard while he admired the creature.
"Did I tell you his name?" Wil asked.
"Ye did Sir Wheaton. Shadowfluff."
"Of course. Shadowfluff."
Wil never once imagined such a creature in all his years. The gray furred kitten was huge, easily the size of a lion. From it's back sprouted two feathered wings. As implied, a great horn as long as Wil's arm extend from the middle of the kitten's forehead.
"Are there many of these beasts in the land?" Wil asked.
"Yours is the only one of it's kind Sir Wheaton," Ironfist answered.
Wil approached the kitten slowly, his hands out in front of him. Belatedly, Wil wished he brought a treat. He could hear the kittens rhythmic purring over the constant thunder of the active volcano that loomed in the background. The kitten nudged him with it's soft furry head as Wil threw a leg over the creatures back and pulled himself up to settle into the saddle. Wil almost jumped back off immediately as he envisioned Shadowfluff plunging it's horn right through his chest. A dwarf thrust a long golden spear into his hand before he could back out.
"My clan is in your debt, Sir Whaeton," Ironfist said as Wil's mount flapped it's wings and lifted them both from the ground. "Their leader, Scalzorc awaits you on the ramparts of the lower wall!"
Ironfist and his dwarves dwindled below Wil as Shadowfluff circled higher and higher into the ash filled sky.
The kitten let out a mewing battle cry that sounded cute and at the same time bloodthirsty. Wil shivered at the sound, chilled to his core.
"Best to end this quickly," Wil said aloud. "We'll swoop in and run this Scalzorc through my spear." And hopefully end this nightmare, Wil added silently.
The unicorn Pegasus kitten flapped it's wings once before tucking them against it's sides. Wind whipped against Wil's bare legs as his mount picked up speed. Their target grew closer by the second.

Here is Part 3.

Friday, July 16, 2010

The Battle of Tragon Keep, Part 1

Not too long ago, John Scalzi posted a fiction contest. He commissioned a picture to be made by artist Jeff Zugale. This picture to be precise. Don't worry, you can have a moment or to take that all in.

A thing of beauty, isn't it?

John's contest was to create a story behind this picture. It sounded like fun so I jumped right in. Blazed right through the word count and finished the story. Then I realized John wanted stories around 2000 words, and I turned out 3700 words.


That was a lot of editing. Took out some huge sections, condensed some others. Then sent that bad boy off. I hope John and Wil enjoy the story. Who knows, maybe it will even win. But if not, I had fun anyway.

John's just a cool guy though, and he said to go ahead and post your stories online. So here I am posting part one of the story that I wrote. The longer version. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

The Battle of Tragon Keep, Part 1

John's Tesla Roadster screeched to a halt outside his house in rural Ohio, dust kicking up from the wheels. The sun overhead. It would have been a nice day to lounge on the porch but a writing deadline would keep him in his office most of the day. A hunched figure banged on his front door.
"Hello?" John called out. "No one is home."
The figure turned, a wild glint in his eye. It took John a few moments to realize behind the unshaven face was his buddy Wil Wheaton.
"Wil? How did you get here?" John asked. "Does your wife know you're here?"
"It doesn't matter John," Wil said, his voice rough from lack of use. "I had to show you this."
For the first time John noticed the package clutched under Wil's arm. He held a large manila envelope that looked like it was an inch think.
"What is it?"
Wil glanced back over his shoulder, his eyes darting left and right.
"Not here," Wil whispered. "Inside."
"Uh... Sure Wil," John said. He stepped up to the door, slid the key into the lock and pushed the door open. "Come on in."
Wil nearly ran into the house. John took another look at the area around his house. He could only see open fields. Nothing that could have Wil on edge. He closed the door and locked it behind him just in case.
"So what is the big deal?" John asked. "Are you hiding from some crazed Trekkie?"
Wil looked through the blinds. He closed them abruptly before he turned back to John.
"Look," Wil said. "This is awesome. More awesome than bacon."
"Man, I stick bacon to a cat one time and I never get to stop hearing about it," John muttered.
"What?" Wil asked. He was struggling to untie the strings that held the envelope closed.
"Nothing," John said. "So what is so special in there?"
"The best module ever created," Wil said reverently. "Look, it says so right there on the cover."
Wil handed over a hard cover book. A volcano filled the background and in the midst of a rock strewn valley orcs and dwarves battled. It was title 'The Battle for Tragon Keep'. Just as Wil pointed out, Gary Gygax was quoted as saying 'Best module ever created'. The art looked fresh, current with today's standards.
"Are you sure about this Wil?" John asked. "It looks pretty old. Gygax passed away over two years ago."
"I started reading a little," Wil said. "I didn't want to ruin it though. It is definitely awesome."
"Cool," John said. "What do you plan to do with it?"
"I'm going to run it for you of course," Wil grinned. "why else would I come all this way? I had to share the awesome."
"Where did you get this thing anyway?" John asked.
"Some guy handed it to me at the last con."
"Just like that?"
"Yeah, a tall guy in a black wizard robes. Gray scraggly beard, bloodshot eyes, gnarled hands," Wil said. "It was an amazing costume."
"I don't know Wil," John started. "I have deadlines to meet."
"It will just be a few hours," Wil said. "Everyone needs to take a break some time."
It sounded like a nice break. He did a few calculations in his head. No more breaks for the rest of the week and he could still finish his writing projects.
"O.k. let me go tell the Internet I won't be around today. They can be jealous I'm hanging out with you."
John headed to his office while Wil went to the dining room table. Wil pushed aside a few papers and bills to make room for the game and began to methodically set up the supplies from his backpack. Dice bag. DM screen. Extra paper. Everything was set when John came back in the room.
"Want a Coke Zero?" John asked.
"Coffee is great if you have it," Wil said without looking up.
"Sure," John said as he walked into the adjoining kitchen. After a few minutes he returned with their drinks.
"What now?" John asked as he sat down at the table. "It has been years since I played one of these games."
"I just need you to roll a character real quick before we get started."
John reached our for Wil's dice bag. Wil snapped his hand down before John could touch them.
"Hey man," Wil said. "Get your own dice."
John stared at Wil for a moment. Wil's eyes sank promptly back down to the page he was reading. John thought Wil seemed off today so he decided to ignore the response.
"Uh, sure, let me see if I can find my old dice somewhere."
John left the table. If Wil heard the rummaging through boxes, he didn't notice. After a few minutes John returned with small bag in his hands.
"We can't go too long," John said as he sat back down. "I have to pick my daughter up from school later."
Wil nodded his head once in acknowledgment and then walked John through character creation. Wil started the adventure, describing what sounded like a fairly cliché war between the ancient rival clans of dwarves and orcs. John tried to keep focused and give his friend his attention in the hopes that this module reached the really awesome part soon.
"Roll a D20," Wil called out.
John snapped out of the fog when Wil addressed him directly. He picked through his dice until he found a matte blue D20 that looked it's age. He rolled the dice, not even bothering to check his roll. Wil continued on with the adventure. Weariness snuck up on John like a stalking kitten. He reached out for his can of Coke Zero. Sleep took him into the black depths of unconsciousness.


Here is Part 2!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

and then it got really crazy...

Well. Last Tuesday I was laid off. Along with 30 or so other people. I am still rather surprised that it all happened like that. I haven't wasted any time though and have sent out around 50 resumes. Give or take not really sure how many it has been in total.

So with all the insanity, I haven't take much time to write either. Any concept of a schedule and time I was setting aside for writing has been canned for the moment while I look for work. Maybe next week things will even out. I sure hope so.

Monday, June 21, 2010

1317 words

Friday saw 1317 words. I think I may need to adjust the goal to add the weekend words during the work week. It is probably not a surprise that I don't make too much time for writing when we are doing family stuff.

Father's day was great. We went and saw Alice in Wonderland at the dollar theater. Really enjoyed it. And they snagged me a copy of Mass Effect, so I have started down that great story.

Friday, June 18, 2010

2090 Words

Excellent writing day yesterday. Unexpectedly I received a few extra hours when I got home because my wife was still at the farmer's market and park with the kids. So, I made the most of it.

Honesty time though... First thing I did was fired up the 360 and loaded Gears of War 2. Played for a half hour or so and realized they might not be home as quickly as I thought. Decided that time was too rare to let it pass me by and started writing. Pretty happy with my progress.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

1034 words

1034 yesterday. Nothing else much to add.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

1134 Words

1134 words yesterday. Mostly getting things organized for Dragon Lords. Didn't realize quite how full my notebook was.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

3741 words

3741 for that short story. Looking forward to Dragon Lords tomorrow.

Friday, June 11, 2010

1000 Words

Just a quick update. Another 1k yesterday. Today will see the end of the story. Leaves me plenty of time for edits before June 30th.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

1200 words

1200 words yesterday. If I can duplicate that kind of progress today, should have this story done.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Back at it

My wife is doing quite well, recovering swiftly. So I have been back at it these last two days. Monday saw 250 words. Today was 750. I am a quarter through a short term writing project that I will submit by the end of June. Then working on Dragon Lords. All things considered, not doing too bad. Less time wasting tomorrow though.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Small Update

Another small update before we head to bed. Showing up at the hospital at 5:30 tomorrow.

Did some more outlining today on Dragon Lords. Reminded me why I loved this story so much. Five good interweaving plot lines looking at different aspects of the same problem. Also realized how little of it I had typed up in my files and how much was still in notebooks. So I will spend some time working out the rest of the outline and getting everything organized before pushing on into new territory. Looking forward to it.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Outlining and such

I spent much of my writing time outlining yesterday (2 pages). Outlining will probably be the bulk of my writing for the next week or two. I am not sure where I plan to go with the previous story I was working on (outling) and I would also like a break.

My interests have always been more with dragons and wizards and such than aliens and space marines. The bulk of my longer works are almost all fantasy related. I have one that I want to get back to (tentatively titled Dragon Lords) but that needs some outlining too.

Mostly though, my wife is having a surgery on Thursday, so I don't expect I will have much time for traipsing around my imagination anyway. Rest assured, I will be back shortly.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Back out the door

Received a rejection from Clarkesworld, sending it back out to Abyss & Apex.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Hammer of Had Smiting, +5

I had a real problem here. Some really passive prose featuring my apparent favorite word, *had*. I use it alot. I don't know why, it just crops up in there all the time. Today and yesterday's editing jobs had me knocking out the word had all over the place. But hey, I know what I had better look for in the future, so spotting it will be easy. Right? Like my buddy Duke always says, "Knowing is half the battle!" I wish I knew what the other half was.

Submission #2

Two stories out in two days. That is good in my book. This one is off to Asimov's. I feel good about it. My application is strong this year.

Bringing it all together

Like most of us, I'm not writing full time. I write when I have time, when I can squeeze it in. Most days I get some writing in on my lunch at werk. Some days it is while I'm waiting in the parking lot for my wife. Some days it is on the iPod Touch while at home because I may need to set it down quickly to help one of our children.

The point here is that I'm not always at my main computer. This can of course cause a lot of problems. Some of the folders on my computer are a real mess with ver 1, 2, and 3 files of stories I typed up at different times. I have multiple different notebooks. That can make it very tough to bring things together into one coherent piece of work.

Chuck at Terrible Minds turned me on to DropBox. They provide 2 gigs of space for free (you can pay for additional space) and it will automatically upload to their servers anything in your DropBox folder. This also solved the problem of making sure that my files are backed up for the inevitable computer crash.

DropBox also has an iPod app that will let you view the files that are on their servers but not edit them.

I had been using a nice free app on my iPod Touch called WritePad. It was simple and allowed me to email myself the files. And hey, it was free. Can't knock that at all. Emailing yourself the files though can cause all kinds of formatting issues when you copy and paste that into the document you are using. I wanted something with a little more power behind it.

After some research, I came across QuickOffice. At $10 you can get QuickOffice Mobile Connect which allows you to connect directly with DropBox (and a few other similar services) to view AND edit the files that are stored on DropBox. If you're working offline without a WiFi connection, QuickOffice also allows you to copy your files to your iPod and then copy them back later once you're connected again.

Now I am happy to say I am editing the same file regardless of where I happen to be writing. It has really saved me a lot of time and headache and really simplified writing anywhere and everywhere. If you're in a similar position, I highly recommend DropBox and QuickOffice.

With a Sledgehammer

Well, after knocking out a lot of the passive sentences out of my story yesterday, I sent it off to Clarkesworld. Different story to edit today and then I will send that one off too. Not sure where yet, but aiming high.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

XXX Words

Three pages of outlining yesterday and answering Why questions. Why are they doing this? Why did this happen? etc. Clarified a lot of the details for myself.

Today I don't expect to get much of a word count as I am going to go through and edit two stories that I've sent out a few times. I'm going to try and get some freelance work and use those as my samples. Hopefully they are well recieved.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

1462 Words

Yesterday, 5/17, saw 1462 words. A pretty good day. It also saw the end of that particular story. When I started writing this series, each section was its own contained story with its own beginning middle and end. This most recent story is more of a chapter though, because it certainly isn't the end of the characters story. Unfortunately, I hadn't plotted anything past this point. I'm not sure how far the rabbit hole will go. So it is likely that I will spend today plotting either the end of that story or plotting a different story. I am really ready for a break from this story. I want to get back to writing about dragons. At the same time, I really should just finish that story. I can't do anything with a story that is half finished. So that is where I'm at.

Monday, May 17, 2010

1056 + 106 Words

Friday, 5/14 saw 1056 words. Pretty good day. Sunday 5/16 saw only 106 words. Which was about it for the weekend. Could lay out some excuses here, but they would be just that, excuses. Excuses don't change the situation at large.

Friday, May 14, 2010

XXX Words

As mentioned, no tech devices with me yesterday, so I'm not sure of my exact word count.

What I did do though was outline a new story in a notebook. It was great! Really enjoyed getting a fresh story down. Not sure on the word count for yesterday, but 5 pages of my unreadable scrawling penmanship that would make an elementry teacher shudder... Now I just need to wrap up the short story I'm working on, hopefully today.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

130 Words

I wrote something yesterday. But as I left my ipod at home, I can't check the count. It wasn't much. Probably under 500. I just wasn't feeling it yesterday. On the plus side of things, I did bring a notebook with me today, so some small part of my brain must have been working.

Edit 5/14: Worse than I thought. Blah.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

848 words

848 words yesterday, 5/11/10. Will see if I can make up the difference today.

Monday, May 10, 2010

1092 Words

1092 words. Back at it today.

Story is nearly finished. Just have to wrap it up the right way. Though really, this should be a novel and not a series of short stories. Where I would be ending it now would be after the protag really finds out the truth of the situation, which really isn't much of an "end" if you look at it that way.

Ghost hunt went well. As well as such things can be expected. Well, we didn't see anything. There were a few areas that were a bit creepy. Mostly though, just some feelings and strange noises. The infirmary/pysch ward was probably the worst of it. Some cool photos though taken by a professional photographer, Jason Furda. If you're on facebook, you can check them out here.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

493+428 Words

Words have dipped the last few days. 5/5 was 493, today was 428. Finals week for my college classes. This must be what it feels like to go down the brain drain on BrainSurge. I'm going to do my last test tomorrow. Very glad for summer break.

This weekend will likely not have much word count either. My wife and I are heading for a haunted tour of West Virginia State Pen on Saturday night/Sunday morning. Talk about an awesome mother's day gift, eh? I will uh... be counting it as experience for possible novel inclusion. Yeah. We'll call it research! So who knows, may have some interesting stories out of that.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

1020 words

1020 words. A good day today. That puts this particular story close to 10k, maybe 12k or so by the time I finish it. Later I'll have to go back and get a count for the entire series.

Monday, May 3, 2010

3098 Words

3098 Words.

Well, as you can see, no posting happened over the weekend. That would be because there was no writing. I'll admitting to slacking off Saturday evening, Sunday ended up being full.

So, on the bad side, no writing over the weekend.

On the plus side of things, cranked out 3k today. Not a bad little number. Good to know I'm capable of achieving that kind of output. I was considering upping my word goal once this semester of classes is over. But probably not 3k worth.

Also on the bad side of things, think my IEM is all tapped out. Around 2500 words, I was really dragging. Can't say how good or bad the quality is around that point. But hey, made the goal.

Kind of wraps around to the reason I'm not a fan of NaNoWriMo. In order to crank out that number of words, I would just have to fill pages with utter crap. And that seems rather pointless to me. But that is just me. Glad it works for some people.

The story is nearing completion. Rather excited about that. Things are really getting tied together. Kind of like a rug that ties the room together. Yeah, I'm done.

Friday, April 30, 2010

1136 words

1136 words. Was a bit tougher today, as I spent a good portion of the afternoon putting in a garden. But totally worth it. Can't wait to see our veggies coming up. This weekend will be interesting, as it is my first weekend doing this, and I'm not sure how much time I will get when we're off doing all kinds of weekend stuff. But for now, I'm ready to chill and play some games.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

1065 Words

1065 words. Another good day. Nearing the end of this series. Looking forward to getting back to my Dragon Lords novel.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

1030 words

1030 words. Also spent an hour editing passive words out of another story, but that doesn't count toward the total.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

1067 words

1067 words. moved the story forward, leading up to the ending sequence. Though I think one more story will be required before the big reveal.

Monday, April 26, 2010

1339 Words

1339 Words. If you count the paper I finished writing for school earlier, that puts me closer to 2300 words for the day.

Fiction was a little chunk of background thought process, but mostly the start of the next day in the series SF story I'm working on. Guess I'll need to get some kind of title for it so I'm not so vague.

Day 1 of keeping track. Good start. Little accountability is a good thing. Feel free to post a WTF where's the words post if you see me skip a day. The goal is 1k a day.

Been reading Chuck Wendig lately over at Terrible Minds. It's a good blog, a lot of writing stuff there. A lot of butt kicking goes on there, which is what prompted me to start actually keeping track rather than just saying I'm going to write "lots". If you're into PnP gaming or writing, or like a little twisted humor, check him out.

Also signed up with Dropbox for all my backup online storage needs. You get 2 gig free. I'm happy with it so far, plenty to back up my writing. Check it out if you need something like that. I also have the ipod app so I can sync it there too.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Ahhh... That's more like it.

Wrote on my lunch today. It's good to be the producer rather than the consumer. I like where the story is going, At an action part, which always seems to flow the best. More to come later.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Busy Busy

Busy weekend.

My son's 4th birthday party was this weekend. He and his friends had a great time at E2 Toy to Try. And He got a ton of legos, so we had a good time building some of those when we got home. His grandmother got him Darth Vader's Tie Fighter, which is really cool. Had fun putting that together for him.

Sunday we got a new dryer, so finally getting caught back up on some laundry.

Didn't read anything or write this weekend. Played a little Warhammer Online and Left 4 Dead. Man that game was brtual. Anyone ahve suggesttions for a good co-op game for my wife and I to play? She's not much into shooters, but any other suggestions would be welcome.

Need to rectify the lack of writing, but school has been keeping me so busy I haven't been feeling it. Once the kids have gone up to bed, it's been either homework or just chilling with a video game.

Musically, enjoying Black Eyed Peas - The E.N.D. and Nirvana - Live at Reading. The Nirvana disk is pretty much every great song they have. I highly recommend it. The End is great too. Only song I can say I don't like on that is Party All The Time (which gets a "well duh" from me). Also snagged the Halo 3 soundtrack, which I'm assuming will be great to write to once I get back to that.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Finally, a bracket I care about...

Yes, it's getting close to that time again. I'm already hearing all the rampant chatter around the office. So I decided this year I'd have a bracket of my own, you know for stuff that actually matters. So, here it is:

Saturday, March 6, 2010

So you ask...

What have I been up to lately?

I have gone to great lengths to overwhelm myself. Yes, that was entirely the goal. And it's succeeding! Go me. I started classes last fall at a local community college working toward a Software Development degree. Last semester was just one class, Biology. I was late getting to registration and there wasn't much left. This semester, I decided to take 4 classes, two "easy" and two I knew I'd have to work at. School has always come easily to me and I don't want to be dragging a 2 year degree out to 4 years. My two "easy" classes are easy, but it's still a good chunk of work.

So what else has kept me busy? Still working full time. The kids are doing great (it's no longer safe to spell words around my daughter). And my wife decided it was time I got an XBox 360. I resisted getting this for a long time. Why you ask? Because I love it! The great thing about getting it so long after the release is that all the games I have wanted to play are dirt cheap at Gamestop. Picked up Halo 3, Fable II, Gears of War 2, and Left 4 Dead 1. And there are still plenty more games I want to grab.

Also been taking the time to read lately. There has been a book here or there lately, but I haven't really made much time for reading. Have started reading The Dwarves by Markus Heitz and Heinlein's To Sail Beyond the Sunset. Also reading Assassin's Apprentice by Robin Hobb from my wife's e-reader.

I almost stopped reading The Dwarves. There was a prologue, and it really wasn't catching me. But I love dwarves, so I pressed on. 150 pages in now and enjoying it quite a bit.

Sunset is great so far. This is the first Heinlein I've read besides Starship Troopers. But I felt like there was a gap in my SF reading and found this one so snatched it up.

Haven't gotten far into Assassin's Apprentice yet, but I think I'll like it once I do.

My wife is currently going through the Dresden Files on her e-reader, so I'm sure I'll be getting to that shortly too.

I was thinking there was something else too, but I can't think of it right now. I'll go through them in more depth later.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Look at me, an abundance of time on my hands

Yeah, right. (haha, I originally used write instead.) Unfortunately, I've neglected this page for too long. I think that is because I've tried to keep it mostly focused on writing, and that's not all I've been doing. (And yes, I should be doing more writing.)

So my plan is to open this up a bit, comment on movies, games and whatever else catches my interest. Have started getting into some podcasts lately, and I'd like to comment on that too. Perhaps not overly innovative for a blog, but stuff I enjoy, so that's how it's going to work.