Begin the Begin

I’m sitting here at my desk with a cup of coffee to hand, thinking up fantastic stories that will hopefully come to fruition in the next 30 days. It’s dark outside and I feel like utter crap, but my brain won’t shut down for the night. That’s because November is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), … Continue reading Begin the Begin

Cutting Room Floor: Part 3

Scraps of papers on tiled floorSo, for the first time in my history of writing, I honestly don’t think I have a protagonist, and if I do it’s a tough call which one of my “main” characters it would be. The novel has a sort of staccato rhythm as it jumps back and forth between one character and the next, and amazingly enough I like the pacing and the lack of a solid “lead” character. In fact, I liken it to movie with an ensemble cast where everyone keeps up their end of the action. As I go back through the novel one more time for this final edit (the word “final” being relative, knowing me), I’m fascinated by the interconnections.

Now, of course, by fascinated I mean it’s a complex dynamic between characters in a very tight timeline. While I was initially writing it I moved through the complexity pretty quickly, but looking back on it it’s another one of those pieces that just seemed to write itself. Those are my favorites by far.

Well, I’m no closer to coming up with a title, but I’ve made a decision on that. Unless one just comes to me in an epiphany, while I’m editing I’m going to leave it to the side. That of course also affects the cover art, but I’ll deal with that as we get closer to the end of the month. Ideally I would like for my title to come from a pithy line in the novel itself. Those are probably my favorite titles, the ones that remind the reader when they get to it why the book was named thusly. Whether or not that happens remains to be seen, but inspiration could of course strike at any time. The second I know the title, you will know the title. That’s a promise. Continue reading “Cutting Room Floor: Part 3”

Cutting Room Floor: Part 1

Scraps of papers on tiled floorFor the first time in my life I have been able to stick to a writing schedule, and I’ve been able to do it more than once. 2013 was spent writing, writing, and writing some more. I finished rough drafts of two novels, edited another, and my debut novel, Detours, was released in April. Through it all I have also been able to maintain three blogs, two of which will be getting major makeovers in the next month or so. It has been the singularly most prolific year for me, writing-wise, and I have so many people to thank for making that a reality: my wife, my children, my coworkers, my Facebook friends, my real friends, and random strangers who I’ve come in contact with who have made me ponder some things. I never know where inspiration is going to come from, and I have so many who have inspired me just this year alone.

So, with that in mind, I have an announcement to make, and I’m nothing but giddy about it. My second novel will be released on February 18, 2014. The date is as firm as it can be, and I’m so excited to be able to announce it. Of course that means that between now and then there will be a whirlwind of activity to get ready for the release. I will be updating the progress here on my Journal in installments along the way so you can travel this road with me. I wasn’t able to do that with Detours, not like I wanted to, so this time around I will revel in the adventure. Here’s where I am in the process…


Keep in mind that I’ve gone through the manuscript with a fine tooth comb no less than three times already, from start to finish, but during those other editing sessions I was first reading for grammatical correctness, for punctuation errors, and for general understanding. Now I’m working on character and plot issues, including character and plot development and accuracy within their prescribed areas in the novel. I am basically working through each character and his/her interactions with others, and then going through each plot point and fleshing it out. If you were wondering, this part of the editing process takes a lot longer than the initial rough edits, but it’s a lot more satisfying in the end. Continue reading “Cutting Room Floor: Part 1”

Stressing Out

A little over three years ago, I began having horrendous headaches, as well as experiencing bouts of vertigo. Being someone who rarely gets headaches and had never had vertigo previously, I was understandably concerned enough to take time off from teaching to get it checked out. When the verdict came back as high blood pressure … Continue reading Stressing Out