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Archives 2016

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

I’ve taken the last couple of weeks off to catch up with all of the other things that got set aside during November’s NaNoWriMo challenge.  Now with Christmas and the New Years right around the corner, I wanted to take a moment and say thank you to everyone who has joined either the Silverwood Chronicles or Chel & Riley family of readers.

Speaking of special days, the Silverwood Chronicles turned two just a few days ago.  I’m very excited about what’s to come in the next few months.  Book Three is currently in editing and is still going to be released next month.  Book Four which was started during November, is moving along rather nicely.  Ten chapters are complete and I’ve managed to add a little over 1,000 words to it since November.

Chel & Riley have seen a small surge in sales at the last two events and I have plans to start work on a new Chel & Riley project in between Book Four and Five of Silverwood.

Mostly, I just wanted to wish everyone the best and happiest holiday season.  I still have some books that I can get out to you this week in time for Christmas, so, jump over to the products page of my website and order a set of books for that special someone in your life.

One last teaser.  Those of you that have challenged me to convert Guardian of the Silverwood into an audio format, I’ve just procured a semi-professional USB microphone.  Over the next couple of weeks, I’m going to try my hand at reading my own book, aloud.  I need to build a sound cabinet, first so as to reduce the amount of external noise, so once that is complete, I’ll begin reading chapters and I plan on posting the first few, just to see what everyone thinks.

Until next time, Blessings to you all and Happy Reading!

 

NaNoWriMo 2016 Winner!

Today, with two days to spare, I completed the 50,000 word novel challenge set out by the NaNoWriMo organization.  Today alone I managed to write over 5,500 words before calling it quits at about 10:30pm.

This effort went into jump starting book four of the Silverwood Chronicle series, currently named, “Friends From Mountain Forge.”  At the onset of November 1st, I was both excited and nervous about the aspects of forcing myself to write so much in such a concentrated time, given everything that goes on in the month of November.

By day 15, I was beginning to get worried.  I had hit a dry spell. Two full days of nothing written and a day with less than the 1,667 words prescribed.  It all started when I pushed passed the limited outline that my creative consultant and I was able to churn out just days prior to the start of the event.  She continued to provide insight, but even with her schedule, keeping up with what I’d written was difficult and it made it a challenge to get new ideas.

With all that being said, I was able to complete nine full chapters and got started on three others.  As you can imagine, once I got away from the outline, I just began thinking about different aspects of the story and worked in the whatever areas felt reasonable at the time.

While I don’t plan on taking a break, I will be falling back on my pre-NaNoWriMo writing schedule which means I can expect to finish the first draft of book four sometime during the winter.

Book three however is currently in the editing phase and I’ll be spending some more time getting that ready for production.  I still have many volunteer editors I need to get copies to, so if you haven’t heard from me yet, please don’t give up on me.  I need your help to make book three the best yet.

Indoor Christmas Festival at Life ChurchOne more thing.  All of my Indianapolis area friends, put this date down on your calendar:  Saturday, December 10.  There is an Indoor Christmas Festival at Life Church on the west side of Indianapolis.  https://www.facebook.com/events/1193424660703999/ .  I will be signing books there and $1 for every book sold will be donated to the ministry there.  I will also have some sample covers for Book Three that you can come and look at.  We also may have some character prints for sale from some of the creatures in the Silverwood Chronicles series, including characters from Book Three.

Until next time, Blessings to you, and Happy Reading!

NaNoWriMo Update: Two-Thirds and 37,337 words later

This NaNoWriMo update brought to you by Carpal’s Tunnel.  Come and visit our world class facilities as your fingers are swept away in the agonizing . . . blah blah blah.

After being off track for the last five days, I have officially caught back up, and I am now on course to complete the challenge in just under 8 more days.  There is still 13K words that I need to pull out of the blue and given I’m working from a bare-bones outline, keeping inspired has been anything but easy.

For the first time in my writing career, I’ve found myself bouncing from section to section of the manuscript.  My normal pattern is to work linearly through the story, but not under these circumstances.  When I sit down to write, I have to just start going, somewhere.  Otherwise, I’ll sit and stare at the screen for 20 – 30 minutes and not write a single word.

So, its kind of odd having chapters 13 and 14 done, but not chapters 8 – 12.  Something I’ve known all along and this seems to underscore it is the first third of the story and the last third of the story are the easiest to write for me.  That center third can be me very tough.  I have to keep in mind that the goal is not to complete the book in 30 days, but to write 50K words of the 70-80K words that I know the book will end up being.  Once I get through this ramp up month, I’ll be able to take some time and structure things properly.

One of the drawbacks to “cramming” so much in so little time, is I’ve had very little time to update everyone on the plot development, characters and interesting tidbits.  From the very onset of this project almost three years ago now, I had a special death planned for Rift.  Well, I wrote that chapter this last week but when I got to the end, my creative consultant forbade me to let him die.  It was a great scene, but I couldn’t go through with it, so I spared him.  When you eventually get to read this book, I would love to hear back from some of you if you felt like it would have been appropriate at that time to let him die.

I am on vacation the next six of the last eight days.  Hopefully, cranking out those last 13K words will be easier than the last 13K.

Good Night.

NaNoWriMo half way point and new event announcement

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2016 Christmas and Holiday Gift Fair at the Monroe County Fairgrounds

Today marks the halfway point of the NaNoWriMo competition.  At the close of my writing session, I have managed to hit 25,230 words which puts me back on target.  This after falling behind over this past weekend due to circumstances beyond my or anyone’s control.

I can’t express how much I’ve been blessed by all of the support I’ve received on social media and from my family and friends.  This challenge would not be possible without the sacrifices of many.

Going into the second half, I have some opportunities to make some big gains in the process since I am currently planning on taking ten days off around the Thanksgiving holiday.  Now before you get any brilliant ideas, I have lots of other things to accomplish besides just writing.  I have some special order Christmas presents that I must work on in my wood shop.  I want to spend some quality time with my family and maybe, just maybe, re. . . .lax.  I’m pretty sure that’s a French word.  I’ll have to look it up one of these days.  I hear its quite enjoyable.

I’ve also committed to one more Holiday event up at Life Church’s Indoor Christmas Festival.

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Life Church – Apostolic Faith

4200 W Washington St, Indianapolis, Indiana 46241

This should be a great event.  The vendor fees and a portion of my book sales will go to help purchase a bus for the organization.  So, I hope you’ll come out and support this worthwhile cause.  If you have all of my books, that’s okay, I’m trying to work out a deal where I can have prints of some Silverwood Artwork made available and possibly a signed Chel & Riley cover art from my good friend Jingo.

Until next time, blessings!

Christmas is Coming and NaNoWriMo is here

14705664_1277948135600099_8042696769642927582_nI just wanted to take just a brief moment and give everyone an update.  Today marks day seven of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo).  If you have been following me, you know that I have signed up for the challenge to write 50,000 words or more during the course of November.  I have chosen as my project to continue work on the Silverwood Chronicles of which I recently completed the second draft of book three this weekend.

Book Four, entitled “Friends from Mountain Forge” is well underway.  Two full chapters have been completed and a prologue of sorts.  I will begin chapter three tomorrow with a current word count of 12,505 words so far.

So far, this adventure in writing has been challenging as it has been fun.  Chapter three will be interesting as it is the last chapter that I currently have any kind of outline created for.  After that, we’ll have to see what happens.  I may continue to write using my unfettered imagination, or I may have to take a day and focus on building out more of a structure before continuing on.  At this point, I’m not sure.  I have about three or four days to decide before I’m forced into a decision.

Speaking of five days — see how I did that — don’t forget that Christmas at the Fair Grounds is this Saturday from 8am – 3pm.   Please share this with your reading friends.  I will be promoting both the Silverwood Chronicles and the children’s series, Chel & Riley Adventures while I’m there.  I will also be demoing the Chel & Riley Board game that you see advertised on my website.  Any of these items would make a great gift for someone in your circle of family and friends.

My Creative Consultant will be there and she will be showcasing some custom sketches that will most likely be included in book three.  We may also have some alternate covers for you to peruse and give us feedback on.

Please share this with your Facebook friends.  Encourage anyone in the Monroe County area to come out and say “Hi!”  I would love to catch up and see what new adventures have been happening in your life.

Until next time, Blessing to you, and happy reading!

Let the Marathon Begin!

friends-of-mountain-forge-cover-smFriends and fans, tomorrow begins the biggest challenge of my writing career. If you have been following my blog you’ll know that tomorrow is not only the first day of November, but also the beginning of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). Starting tomorrow, I will be committing myself to write for approximately two hours everyday with the goal of writing nearly 1700 words every day for thirty days. While I am accustomed to writing almost daily, I’ve never actually committed to writing every day for this long a time. I am both excited at the challenge and scared at the same time which seems absurd given that I have no one except myself driving me to do this.

I have many friends that have trained and worked hard to be able to run marathons, and I cannot begin to understand the amount of commitment that it takes to do something like that on a physical level. Maybe, I will have some level of understanding on December 1st, we will see. I have no doubt that this will be one of the hardest things I have ever tried to accomplish.

I am therefore asking that any encouragement you can offer throughout the month would be welcomed and appreciated. I know I can do this and I want to do this. The only thing that stands in my way is myself.

Thank you in advance. Here’s to book four in the Silverwood Chronicles series, working title “Friends from Mountain Forge.”

Book Three, Prophet to the Outerlands, Draft is Finished!

Happy day.   I have completed the first draft of book three, officially titled, Prophet to the Outerlands.  I have already started doing the first revision which I may or may not get done before I decide just to hand it off to my army of editors.

Speaking of my army of editors, if you haven’t reached out to me yet and you’d like to help proofread/edit the manuscript, please reach out to me.  There is never enough editors on a book, in my current humble opinion.  I have a pretty tight deadline for the edits to be returned, end of November, so I may even divvy up the responsibilities so that I can get better coverage.

Also coming up is the November Holiday Fair at the Monroe County Fairgrounds on November 12th.  I will be there along with my creative consultant signing books.  This is a great opportunity to get that special reader in your family a unique gift for Christmas at an awsome price.

One last thing, next week begins NaNoWriMo which is National Novel Writing Month.  I am planning on starting book four right away.  The goal for NaNoWriMo is to write 50K words by the end of November.  This means that I could have two-thirds of book four complete by the end of November.  This also means my updates may be interrupted more than usual and shorter.   Any encouragement during this marathon is appreciated as I expect the first week to be pretty exciting and then the last three weeks to be grueling and painful.

I’m hoping to start dropping cover idea’s out as well over the next several weeks for book three.  I’m considering including chapter heading artwork in this book to dress things up a bit, but I don’t know if I have enough to make it work.  We will just have to wait and see.

Thanks again. Blessings to you and happy reading.

Three Days to Go!

This will most likely be my last update before the big event at the Greenwood Public Library, this Saturday, October 15th at 1pm.  I really hope you can come by and see how book three is coming along.  I’ll have a draft copy of the manuscript and a couple of the prototype covers that I and my creative consultant are working on for it.  There will also be a little challenge for those of you who like to consider yourself an editor.

Chapter thirteen is complete and fourteen is over halfway there.  I can not tell you how excited I am with the way the last half of this book has progressed.  Thirteen and Fourteen are shaping up to be, in my honest assessment, some of the funnest and most exciting storytelling I’ve ever done.  I just pray I can keep the pace up and have fifteen end on as high a note.  Tonight’s goal is to finish fourteen and hopefully start on fifteen.

By and large, I should be done with the manuscript in the next week or so, but ending it by Saturday will probably not happen.  My normal weekly writing schedule has been interrupted during the day as I try to encourage some new team members at work during my lunch breaks.  I feel this important as things have been rocky over the last several months in our organization and with new people coming on board, I feel like it is important that they not only feel welcome and excited to be here, but comfortable with the people they work with.

So far, I’ve lined up a couple of proof readers for book three.  If you are interested in being one of my army of proof readers, please let me know.  In the past I’ve been fairly slack on when I get the manuscript back, but I’m really pushing to get the book into production before the end of the year, so as quick as you can turn it around it would be greatly appreciated.  Again, the first completed draft should be available in the next week to ten days.

Until next time.  Blessings to you and happy reading!

Boo Hoo — Chapter 13

Well I did something today I didn’t think I could do.  I made my creative consultant cry.  Now before you go jumping to conclusions, it was appropriate that she did so.  To describe as she did, the pacing of the book for the last few chapters has been bang, bang, bang.  But here we come to chapter thirteen and you pause for just a brief minute to add some insight into Firebane’s persona and raw emotion into the story.

Here is a snippet from some words that fell out of my brain onto the computer this afternoon regarding the scene in question between Firebane and Speedsting, the dragon.

“Speedsting,” Firebane declared turning suddenly to see the dragon.   “You move quite silently when you want to,” Firebane commented.  “I didn’t know you were there.”

“Obviously,” Speedsting replied.  “It was not stealth that hid my presence from you, but rather your compassion for this one that blinded you to all distractions.” 

I don’t know why, but Speedsting’s reply in this scene is one of my favorite lines in this book so far.

It was fun building up to this scene, and what happens next is like the wandering friend that interrupts a couples kiss.  KABOOM.  We are now off to the races.  The climax of the book is upon us and we have two and half more chapters to go.  If I keep on pace, we should hit somewhere in the mid to upper seventy thousand words.

DON’T FORGET!  Two weeks from Saturday is the Greenwood Public Library Author Fair.  I will be there signing books and chatting with everyone and hopefully sharing a completed manuscript — it will still be a first draft, of course — but it will be there.  You can pick it up, hold it in your hands, point out all of the glaring type-o’s.  But that’s the point, I get free proof reading #BigSmile.

Until next time, blessing to you all, and happy reading!

GPL Author Fair and Updates on Book 3

Image from goldendaniel.deviantart.com

I regret that it has been a while since my last post, but I think the progress that has been made in the last two weeks will give me a good justification.  That’s a fancy way of saying, I’ve been writing furiously on the book and haven’t had time!

The Greenwood Public Library Local Author Fair is quickly approaching on October 15th.  Please be sure to tell all of your reader friends about this event and opportunity to meet me and pick up some fun reading either for themselves or as a head start on Christmas.

Chapters 10, 11 and 12 are now in the can, as they say.  I will hopefully get to work on Chapter 13 this weekend.  I’ve broken the 61K word mark at this point, and I’m on pace to hit somewhere in the mid 70’s.  As you would expect, the pacing of the story has picked up a bit as we’re nearing the climax of this book.  I’ve been able to develop a lot of over arching themes in these chapters that will carry through in some cases till the end of book five.

With my goal now to complete the rough draft of book three by the end of October, I plan on rolling right on into book four for NanoWriMo which is National Novel Writing Month.  I have so far gotten concessions from my family to take the NanoWriMo challenge in November, which will give me a great head start on book four.  I still need to work on the detailed outline for book four, which means I will need to arrange a date with my creative consultant at some point in the next few weeks.

I believe I’ve settled on the title for book three, “Prophet to the Outerlands.”  This theme of titling books with their character focus and region of plot setting will continue throughout the rest of the chronicles.  I’ve had it discussed that chapter illustrations would be an interesting add-in to the book.  I’m open to any volunteers that would like to provide their gifts/talents in exchange for cover credits and billings on the title page.

Until next time, blessing and happy reading!