Miss Me?

Miss Me?

I’m back.

Did you miss me?

Yes, I know it’s been a while. I didn’t keep my promise that I was going to be posting at least once a week.

Yes, I know.

You can pencil me in for my public flogging later.

Believe it or not, I’ve been extremely busy. Yes, parental and adult responsibilities are holding the majority of my attention. And the kids now being out of school has been a bit of a damper.

But guess what?

I have been writing. A lot!

The last time I posted, I mentioned that I had a story that was just begging to be written and was pushing everything else out of my head. Many of you gave me permission to go ahead and pursue it. And I almost did.

A certain person, you may know her as wifey, gave me some serious side-eye and told me that I really need to finish something. And after much grumbling on my part, I realized she was right, as usual (but don’t tell her I said that).

So I compromised. I did take a break from what I was working on, but not for very long. I did some research (my favorite part of a new project), and completely outlined a story. This actually satiated my need to write this new story enough that I could go back and continue working on my original.

Taking that small break also benefited the former projects as well. I was able to come back to them with fresh eyes and fix a few problems that I hadn’t realized were there.

By the way, remember that massive saga I mentioned a long time ago? The one that spans many generations and multiple novels? Well, it’s materializing nicely. It’s still forming, but it seems so much more real to me now than before. In fact, I’m debating sharing a chapter from the short story I’m intending to use to introduce it. What do you think?

Remember that today is July 1. We are officially at the halfway point. I made a goal to have something completed at some point this year. I’m still on track to do that, but I also still have much to do.

So if you’ll excuse me, I have to dive back into my shame pile.

My Experiment

My Experiment

For the past five weeks, you may have noticed that I’ve been posting excerpts from an unfinished story.

You also may have noticed that I never really explained why I was doing it.

Well, it was mainly just an experiment. And, during this time, I was able to get a lot of feedback from you guys.

Back in December, I stumbled across an interview with a pair of authors named Sean Platt and David Wright. These two authors are pioneers of serialized fiction.

I know that serialized fiction has been around for a long time. Charles Dickens released much of his work as serials before publishing the finished projects as complete novels.

These two guys, however, are treating their stories as if they are seasons of television shows. For a few weeks, or months, they release weekly episodes of a story. Once the story is over, they will release the entire season as a complete novel before moving on to the next story, or season.

I don’t know why, but something about this particular interview made me stop and take notice. To me, this was an extremely cool idea. I started looking into it, and decided that I wanted to give it a try.

I found an old story that I still needed to finish, and split a portion of it into small parts to be released each week.

Over the past few weeks, I discovered some interesting things. I found out when I have something that I think is cool and want to share, it’s really hard to wait for a week between blog posts. I also found that if someone is really enjoying a story, they also don’t like to wait until the next post. They also have no problem telling you that they don’t feel like waiting.

I kinda like that feeling.

I spoke directly to a few of you and was able to surmise that by releasing larger portions, readers would feel more satisfied each week. I also learned that I need to make sure every release has a good cliffhanger at the end to make sure that people come back for more.

So, what happens now?

Do it again, of course!

I’m currently brainstorming what will be the next story to release as a serial. Once I find the perfect story, you’ll see.

In the meantime, excuse me while I dive back into my shame pile.

Show and Tell Time

Show and Tell Time

I’ve been having a debate with myself.

More like an argument.

I’ve been going around and around in my head for the past week, trying to decide whether or not to actually share some writing with you.

I know, I know. I said that I would be sharing what I’ve actually written in the near future. But I’ve been wondering if I should share this particular piece with anyone.

Here is why.

When I first started saying I wanted to become a writer, I had an idea for a novel. I worked on it for months. Researching. Outlining. And I actually got pretty far writing it. But I needed to take a break. Why?

Well, I won’t go into specifics, but it’s a story centered around some well-known murders in the early 1980’s. It’s a decidedly dark story. After months of living in this world, I really needed to work on some lighter fare. So I put it on a shelf, with a promise to myself that I would revisit it at a time when I am better at writing, and when I’m ready to delve back into the darkness that surrounded it.

What I need from you, is to remember that I wrote this four years ago, and that is a first draft, which I like to lovingly call a “vomit pass.” This is me just getting words on the screen.

So, if you think it’s horrible trash, remember that I’ve improved since then. If you really like it, just think, I’ve improved since then.

What you’ll get today is the first section of a chapter. And for the next few weeks I will post another section of the chapter with each entry.

I really hope you like it.


 

Chapter 4

March 17, 1985

Rosemead, CA

It had been almost ninth months since his first time. Nine months of reliving and relishing that one single moment.

He didn’t even know what had happened to push him over the edge. Her window had been an open invitation. Begging him to enter. All he had wanted to do was find something he could sell. Some small trinket, a ring, a necklace. Maybe two. He needed the money. Coke was getting expensive and he wanted more.

But she had nothing. No jewelry. No trinkets. Nothing worth his time.

He had almost left empty-handed. Angry. An apparition exiting as silently as he had entered.

But she had stirred. Caught his attention. In that moment of anger, he had realized he needed an outlet.

She would become his outlet. And, oh, how he had enjoyed it.

Since then, he had gone to ground, being extra careful to stay out of sight. Silently he wallowed in his one memory.

All this time had passed now, and yet, no one had come looking for him. He had watched the news, read through newspapers. There was no description of a suspect. Nothing gave him any indication that he was being sought after.

Gradually, he began to emerge from his solitude, like an alligator pushing his eyes up through the surface of murky waters. Gliding along ever stealthily, he was now looking for more.

More.

The memory of that first time had grown stale in his mind. He needed something new, something fresh. New memories. Better memories.

This time, he knew what he was looking for. There would be no time wasted looking for trinkets. This time, he was prepared.

As he watched from the shadows, beneath the brim of his AC/DC baseball cap, his hand slipped down to adjust the small object that weighed down the back of his pants. A small caliber gun lay nestled in the small of his back. Waiting, just as he was, for its next moment.

This time he was more prepared. There would be no dinky little knife tonight. He knew what he was after. He wasn’t out looking for some trinket to take. Not tonight. He wanted to take something a bit more substantial.

He wanted to take a life.

TO BE CONTINUED…

NaNoWriMo: Point of No Return

NaNoWriMo: Point of No Return

This weeks’ update will only be a brief one.

Why?

Because right now, it’s 11:42 PM on Sunday, November 15th. We have now hit the halfway point of NaNoWriMo 2015.

It’s all downhill from here, right?

I’ve spent the better part of this past weekend hiding out in my garage pecking away on this keyboard and staring at this monitor. I don’t think I can last much longer.

I’m looking at my list of things I need to get done and wondering what I’ve accomplished this month.

There have been phone calls, emails, and text messages between me and my writing partner. There have been meetings with people who are “in-the-know” with the Hollywood television industry. We are pushing forward on the pilot, and at the same time working on the outline of a story that will hopefully span multiple seasons. When, and if, this show gets picked up, it can’t be a story that runs out of steam after a few episodes, and then spends the rest of its time struggling.

I’m looking at you, 24 Season One.

Seriously, go re-watch it. Episode 12 sees the story being wrapped up neatly, if not a little too prematurely. And then the next 12 episodes are just a mishmash of unexplained amnesia, mountain lions, and Dennis Hopper doing the worst eastern European accent ever caught on film. Rumor has it, the showrunners weren’t confident the show would get renewed beyond it’s original 12 episode order. Because of this, they only mapped out those first episodes. When FOX decided to pick up the full 24 episodes, the writers had to scramble to come up with the rest of the season.

Oops. That is my worst nightmare.

I’ve also dug up my old box of index cards. These cards served as outlines for the stories I lost when my computer crashed. These have all been reentered into their corresponding Scrivener project files, and backed up, for good measure. Now, to just get back to writing out the stories so I can finish them.

So, now there are two weeks left in the month. It’s crunch time.

I have so much more to do.

I need to go to bed before I turn into this…