I have to say, K-Mart one-up’d everyone on that ad. Too funny. I’m not sure how likely I will be to go shop there, even after the ad, but it certainly is garnering a lot of internet chatter. Good for them.
Now, I’m off to ship my pants!
I have to say, K-Mart one-up’d everyone on that ad. Too funny. I’m not sure how likely I will be to go shop there, even after the ad, but it certainly is garnering a lot of internet chatter. Good for them.
Now, I’m off to ship my pants!
After almost 2 weeks of layout adjusting and tweaking, I am now ready to introduce my latest blog project. It’s not really a “blog”, but a site where anyone can drop in and write some Ten Minute Fiction, on the daily provided writing prompts. I’ve been to a few of these kind of sites, and I think I took the best of each of them. Now, I offer you all Ten Minute Fiction.
Please share with all your friends. Shout from the mountain tops if you have to. Let’s try and grow this so that there will be more for us all to read in between our writing spurts.
Small update on my novel progress. Not much to update. I actually haven’t written a word for some time. I have added/adjusted all the scenes in part 1, and I am happy to say it will flow much better now. I was really having trouble getting my mind around things in the early part of the story. All worked out now!
As I get even remotely closer to wrapping up the initial writing for part 1, I have started looking at editors. Having no other person to get a recommendation for an editor, I looked to craigslist. To my surprise, there were a number of editors with ads looking to help out writers like myself. I emailed a few of them, and then decided to run an ad of my own. I worded it truthfully, and asked for experience and rates for their services. To my surprise, I received 17 replies in 24 hours. In that group of responses, the rates ranged from $60 bucks total to just over $3000! Talk about a spread, eh? There were a few that do not quote until they see the work. Those get the axe right away. If they do not know what they charge for line editing, I am not going to help them find out. I feel a good editor should know what they are worth, regardless of writing. A few asked some strange questions, even after stating that they have done all types of editing and epub work. One asked about my initial word count of 11,000 words. She said it was too long for magazine submission and too short for a stand alone novel. I am not replying to her either. If she doesn’t know about Amazon and Kindle singles, I am not going to point it out to her.
My initial feeling for the word length of my part 1, was around $125 to line edit. A number of the folks that replied were right in that ball park. Actually, the majority were plus or minus $50 bucks of that number. So, I am at ease knowing what it will cost for it. I am a little uneasy dealing with folks just over the internet though. I suppose a little faith is needed here. I wish I knew other authors that have been down this road before that could give a pointer or 2.
Anyway, my goal is to wrap up the part 1 first draft this weekend. I should be able to hit the end by end of Saturday. Maybe tinker a bit with it on Sunday, then print it out to do a read through with a few people before self editing it. I think I can have it ready to go to an editor by the end of the month. It all hinges on me getting through with it this weekend. Wish me luck!
I really did want to keep writing yesterday, but there is not enough time in the days. I really cannot believe that I wasted 18 months of being unemployed without really pushing the writing thing. What the hell was I thinking? I would SO love to have those 18 months right now, and I would seriously make a push for getting my books (YES PLURAL) published. I want to write on each and every one of the tales I have to tell, but I know I should just focus on one at a time.
Anyway, I made a great breakthrough on my current work in progress this weekend. I sort of been having a bit of a block that I’ve been dealing with. Not so much of a creative block as much as a block from actually completing part 1. Until this weekend, I have been have self doubt on whether part 1 would be strong enough to stand alone as a serial publication. It lacked any action to speak of. Sure, it has a lot of conflict and resolution, but not what I would call compelling enough to make you want to come back for more. That was until I had my breakthrough!
I had been noodling on how to “fix” part 1 for a good part of last week, and through the weekend. Then on Sunday, as I was creating a timeline for the story arc, it hit me. I needed something in Part 1 that would kind of tie everything together in the end, and I found it. It was actually pretty geneous if I do say so myself. Now, I just need to get my butt to writing. I have the entire part 1 blocked out to 6 scenes and 1 flashback. I have been going back and forth on the flashback so early in the book, but I think it adds to the story arc later in, say, part 5?
As to my word count, I have a goal for part 1 of 11,000 words, and part 2 of 23,000 words. That was my April goal. I might actually change that up a bit, and drop part 2 for now, and finish part one and move right into editing. The sooner I can get it published, the sooner I can grab an audience. The sooner I have an audience, the sooner I can complete all 5 parts to demanding readers.
On the whole publication note, I looked into buying my ISBN’s, and although money would dictate buying just the one for $125, I think I am going to buy the 10 pack for $250. I honestly would love to buy the 100 pack, if I truly will make a run at continuing the writing thing, but at $525, it’s a bit out of my price range. I’ll probably spring for them after I complete my first draft and lock down an editor. Any editor referrals out there?
I had quite the revelation last night. For the last few weeks, ever since I had decided to write in the CampNaNoWriMo in April, I have been struggling with a huge problem. Which of my many story ideas to write on? I have a number of them, and although I will write each and every one of them, I could not decide which of them to roll with this April. Should it be the one in the bomb shelter? Should it be the one where the dude is abducted and tortured? Should it be the one where the boys go into space? Should it be the one where… You get the point. As I was whining to the wife last night about it being April 1st, and I could not decide, she asked a few questions about the stories. To my surprise, she actually remembered a number of my quick synopsis’ that I have told her over the years. And with each one she brought up, I told her why it wouldn’t be a candidate at this time. Hell, all of them are and all of them are not at the same time. I guess I just need “to feel it” when they cross my mind. Anyway, the first one that I dismissed came back to me after I quickly said no. As I sat there in silence for what must have been forever, I said “Yes! It’ll work!” I climbed out of bed and trotted down to my study to grab my journal. I had to record all the thoughts that were now streaming through my mind. In that single instant, my mind was quite clear on how I would structure the story so that I could write it in portions (serials) and still sound somewhat coherent in the end. I was blown away. I laid there in bed, jotting down notes and ideas for near an hour after the time we had decided to head to bed. Finally, after recording just about everything I could think of about how I wanted the story to go, I turned the light out and slid down to get some sleep. I then proceeded to lay there, thinking about the story. I had a number of other great ideas running around my head, and I almost got back up to write them down. “Nah” I told myself. I will remember them tomorrow and rolled over to get some sleep. Damn me for not writing them down. For the live of me, I cannot remember them this morning. I will work on that today and see if I can recapture the thoughts.
So, yeah, I have a story to work with this a.m. I am going to rock this story! From what I gathered last night, I am going to shoot for 4 or 5 parts, and around 140,000 words total. I will publish each part as I go along, and try and stagger them about every 45 days or so. My goal for April is to write the first 2 parts and publish part 1 by the middle of May. Part 2 will be written, but I will wait to drop that one until around July 1st. In May and June, I will work on parts 3 and 4. I think I will wait for part 5 until I get into the fall, to see if there is enough interest to wrap things up. As excited as I am about the story line, I am sure it will nearly write itself. I will start working on a coherent synopsis of the story line over the next few days and post it. I need to start working on a title as well, so any suggestions after I post the synopsis would be greatly appreciated.
Why do I do this to myself? I load my life up with so much “stuff” and I wonder why I never have any time for myself…
So, CampNaNoWriMo starts tomorrow, and I haven’t the foggiest idea what I am going to write about. I have a ton of story ideas to rol with, but not a single one of them are jumping out at me, saying “WRITE ME!”. I have a few that do keep coming into my mind, but they both need so much plotting work, that I am not sure they will play well in a 30 day writing exercise. Maybe that is the whole point – to allow unplanned direction to unlock the mind to be free. So be it. I will probably roll with the Shelter story, as that is the one that continues to invade my mind, even though I cannot seem to get a good story arc to fit the idea. I hate just writing in circles.
I had totally planned on plotting and outlining last week, but as I expected, the vacation took up most of my time. I was disciplined enough to actually write daily though, so that was good. I basically wrote about the trip and only occasionally wrote about story stuff. I did have a new story idea that I jotted down – oh great!
Now, I need to get my cameras’ memory cards cleared off and organize the photos from the trip. I am notorious at taking a few hundred photos from a vacation, and not opening them back up for some expended period of time. And with NaNo starting up tomorrow, it looks like I will be again putting off sorting those photos. The vacation was awesome though, so it will be a pleasure stumbling onto them in 3 or 4 months, and recalling the great times with my family.
So, I am off to try and work out some sort of semblance of a plot for my story. I will leave you all with a shot from our drive up the coast in California from last week.
Today, I found a new trick to use with my writing. First, let me back up and ‘splain a bit.
With my decision yesterday, to write in the CampNaNoWriMo next month, I have decided to write for 30 minutes daily, non-stop. Certainly, I don’t mean my fingers are hitting keys at every second of the 30 minutes, but for 30 minutes, I have an appointment with myself and the keyboard. No phone calls. No internet or emails. No conversations. Nothing. In those 30 minutes, I am going to write about story thoughts, or portions of a scene. Whatever hits the keyboard, but I am going to try and keep it somewhat related to writing. Ie, I don’t want to write a recap of my day up to that point, or complain about work.
So, yesterday, I started things off with an explanation of what my goal was through the remainder of March. I then just gave myself one last day of complaining in the journal, as I wanted to start fresh today.
Today arrived, and although my morning was packed, I still planned on writing. My ultimate goal is to write before work starts. Today it was not possible because I had some things due out. I didn’t get to write until 12:30, right after lunch. As I sat and ate lunch, my mind thought about what I was going to write about. I came up with nuttin’. Zip – zilch. When I set my timer and started to type, I gave a few lines of gibberish to get my mind/finger connection established, and then it hit me. How do I “unplug” a backed-up story? I decided to interview myself about the story in question. I typed my question out, and then immediately answered it. I ran almost the whole 30 minutes doing this question and answer thing. Actually, I ended up running past my 30 minute timer by some 5 minutes, just to complete my thoughts at the time.
OH. MY. GOD. I was able to see through so many issues with one of ‘works in progress’. I didn’t get everything answered, but I certainly gave myself a lot of direction to take, and should be able to get to my next plot point with ease. It worked so well, I plan on “interviewing” myself again in a few days or maybe next week on a few other stories that are stalled.
I have decided to give CampNaNoWriMo a go this year. I have participated in NaNoWriMo every year since 2002, and often wished it was multiple times a year, as opposed to just November. Camp NaNo is basically the same thing, but without all the whoopla. The plus with Camp NaNo is that fact that you can customize your word count goal. It’s not like 50,000 words is horribly tough to hit, but something a bit less would make success much easier to hit. In all the years of doing NaNo, I only finished once, and that was in 2011. I am not sure if it was the word count goal of 50,000 words or if it was just feeling burned out. Anyway, I am shooting to hit 25,000 words of my next project. That way, if I hit it, I will feel like a winner! It’s a win-win!
What a nice surprise the last week or so has been. On the 9th, I happened across an article in the Wall Street Journal on an author that, up until that point, I have never heard of. Hugh Howey. He is the author of several books, but his most recent success has been Wool.
After reading the WSJ article, I hopped over to Amazon and picked up Part 1. I read it straight through in one sitting. I think it was around 11,000 words, and it read fast. I felt like I was right there next to Holston through his whole ordeal. When I finished the piece, I sat there and contemplated rushing back to Amazon and picking up the remaining 2 thru 5 parts of the story. Once I logged back into Amazon, I realized that the printed book was due out on the 12th, and that I might in fact wait to pick up a first edition instead. I’m a book nerd like that.
I ended up not buying the ebook and sort of forgot about the whole thing for a few days. Then, on Monday, I happened to be working on a story idea I had, and was hitting a “block”. That’s when I happened to be messing around the internet and happened across Hugh’s blog. I so wish I didn’t though. I ended up wasting more than a few hours reading some of his past blog posts. I read about his “adventure” with getting Wool through it’s current state. I was SO inspired, words cannot explain.
That’s about when I came across his book tour dates. To my surprise, he was scheduled to visit Denver on Friday at The Tattered Cover. I called the wife to see if we had plans for Friday night and she said we were clear. It was set. We were going to meet Hugh and pick up a first edition copy of Wool.
Fast forward to last night. I have only been to one other author signing, and it was for Clive Cussler. He also was at The Tattered Cover, but in comparison, the two authors paled in comparison. Clive had been wildly successful by that point, and was quite reserved. He showed up – sat down and started to sign books. Hugh on the other hand arrived and took pictures of almost every step of the way through the book store. He stopped and talked to anyone that would talk to him. He shook hands and truly made an effort to befriend his fans. It was truly a night-and-day comparison to the two authors.
As to not really knowing what to expect last night, we arrived about an hour early. We browsed through the book store for 5 or 10 minutes before making our way down stairs to where the even was to take place. There were some 6 rows of chairs set up with around 10 to 12 chairs per row. The room was practically empty. There was one woman sitting off to the right, and there were a few others walking around, scanning the books on the shalves along the sides and rear of the room. I had visions of the scene from 1408 where there are like 3 or 4 people there to meet the author in that movie.
We grabbed a couple copies of the book and found a few comfy seat off to the left. We sat and chatted about our week. A few at a time, people started to arrive. My daughter and I headed up to grab some coffee while the wife stayed back to hold our padded chairs. While we were waiting for our coffees, I glanced outside and there was Hugh walking up. He had a smile on his face, and he just looked like he was full of energy. He walked in and promptly took a picture of himself standing next to his placard sign at the entry. He almost immediately began to talk to people throughout the store. I was very surprised.
We made our way back down, and some 15 minutes later, Hugh made his way down stairs as well. He greeted a few folks standing around the back before making his way up front. We were seated just to the left of the podium and he walked up and began chatting with us instantly. We exchanged a few funny statements about wondering who the author was to demand the interest that he had garnered. He introduced himself and shook each of our hands. I was taken by complete surprise by just how down to earth he was. It was so refreshing. After our small exchange, he made his way through the first few rows, meeting others that had arrived. Before long, he was at the podium, talking, and answering questions. Before long, the question and answer time had passed. There were many great questions, and he answered them all wonderfully. If time wasn’t so tight, I could see him standing there answering many more questions for at least another hour without complaint.
Once the questions were over, he settled into a leather padded chair at the front and began signing book copies. We were about half way back in the line, and before we knew it, we were up to the front. I slid my book across to him and thanked him for being so inspiring to me, and asked exactly how. I explained to him that i was an aspiring author, and he just said to DO IT. Alicia was also there, but was a bit too shy to speak, so we told Hugh that she also wanted to write stories. He signed her book with best wishes on her writing. The wife was trying to take our picture while he signed the books, and he asked if we wanted a photo of all of us. I asked if he minded, and he smiled and said not at all. Again, I was a bit blown away by how approachable this man was.
All in all, it was an evening to remember for quite some time. I will aspire to achieve the same greatness that is Hugh Howey. I just need to actually write something that is worth a crap now.
Tell us the story in just one minute of how you met your significant other - or your best friend.
I met my wife through a mutual friend. Actually, I had a guy friend and my wife was friends with his sister. We all got together for a birthday party and I knew she was the one from the first minute. It only took me 2 weeks to actually ask her out though. Being young and nervous about girls was my problem. Now, 20 years later, I feel the slight hesitation was me simply planning the rest of my life subconsciously.
That one almost wrote itself.
I have to say, I have not been this motivated to write in quite a while. Lately, I have been eating/sleeping/dreaming about writing. So much so, that I have opened an account on Amazon to begin selling ebooks. I know, I am probably a few months away from having my project ready to go, but I happened to be in the middle of the thought process the other day, and poof – I was set up!
As to my story line for the project. It’s a bit of a secret! Ok, not really a secret. I’m just still in the midst of developing the first edition. I will tell you that it will be a serialized book, with a target of around 15,000 words for part one. After Part 1 floats out there for a bit, I will develop the next part and hopefully roll it out a few months later. With luck, the series (projected at 6 parts) will wrap up in 2 to 4 month successions. Hopefully. That’s my goal at least.
I also plan on doing the cover art myself. With my past passion of photography, I think I can come up with something quite special.
I just have to get my mind set so that I stay focused throughout the evenings. My day job will still be my day job, so that limits my “book time” to evenings and weekends.
This is my first ‘flash fiction’ ever! It is for Friday’s writing prompt: Imagine there was another “gold rush” in America. What would it be like? Place yourself as an outsider watching from afar, on The One Minute Writer.
The man across the table was a codger with greying hair and side burns to match. His stern look said everything that it should about the time and life of his ancestors. He sat resolutely, as if waiting for purpose of life to be revealed presently. He wore a faded and tattered outfit, certainly given to him to complete the illusion of the old west. All that was missing was the token Panama hat covered in dust.
Had he known just how foolish he looked, he might have opted to at least smile knowingly. But, that was not so with DeWitt. DeWitt, as his equally faded nametag read, was playing the roll precisely as if he were really there in the original gold rush. He was the quintessential Gold Miner.
“Come again?” I asked.
“It’s called the new gold rush, son.” said the old man with strong indignation.
“I thought that’s what you said. I wanted to be sure before I, um…” I stopped speaking when I noticed DeWitt appear to become more agitated.
“Before you wut?” snapped DeWitt.
Honestly not wanting to offend the old man, I smiled nervously before replying. “Where do I sign up?”
DeWitt produced a sheath of papers attached to an antique clip board and shoved them into my hands. “Fill them out. Next tour begins in 20 minutes.”
He returned to his desk as I sat across the room, as far from ear shot as possible. I began to thumb through the paperwork and I noticed a theme. The theme was not really a “new gold rush” as DeWitt put it, but a mockery of the entire time period. It was obvious that once Dr. Rasmus was able to duplicate the chemical composition of gold in a lab, the precious metal was not as precious as it once was. I chuckled, and continued to complete the forms as requested.
As I signed the last of the numerous waivers and releases, I glanced up and noticed the room had filled with many other visitors. All of them equally fascinated at the thought of an actual gold mine tour in the 22nd century. Time has moved on from the past so much so that in the bustle of city life, age and wisdom were relics in an age of newness and youth. Even in history classes, not a whole lot was taught of the time when greed and lust ruled the land. Now, what ruled the land was technology in a minimalistic culture.
Had I not have traveled 100′s of kilometers to see this place with my own eyes, I would have most certainly turned back. But, as I was already here, I was going to follow through with the ridiculous task of reviewing this nostalgic enigma of the wild west. “It’s called the new gold rush, son” again resonated in my mind, and I uncontrollably chuckled. DeWitt seemed to know what I was thinking just then, because of his wicked glare across the now filled room.
I stood up and negotiated the crowd over to his desk. I slid the completed paperwork across his desk and waited silently. He snatched them up and flipped through them, nodding in approval on each sheet. When he reached the end, he tossed it aside and looked up at me.
“Now alls I need is yer’ admission fee.”
Having not really thought about the fee, I asked “How much?”
“Well, that all depends, son. Do you want the full guided tour, with all the bells and whistles or do you want the bare bones tour with just a map and a flashlight?”
“Have anything in between?” I asked.
“Nope. One er the other. But I have to say, it’s not a big savings for the Bare Bones tour.”
“Then I guess I’ll take the full tour.”
“That’ll be $975. Just one, right?”
I about fell over at hearing the price. “Come again?” I asked.
“Are you hard of hearin’, son? That’s nine hundred and seventy-five dollars.” DeWitt obviously playing out the extent of the cranky old codger to the end.
It was at that very point that I realized just what the New Gold Rush was all about. It was nothing more than enticing folks like myself out to the edge of civilization, and raping them financially. I thought for a moment before replying.
“I’ll just take the bare bones tour.” And I handed him my expense card.
So, I was surfing the internet (is ‘surfing the net’ still a term being used?) today, when I come along a website for writing prompts. It’s called The One Minute Writer, and each day there are new writing prompts posted, and there is a handy little timer on the site to track you writing time. I gave today’s prompt a go, and I will certainly go back and add more time to the prompt, as one minute is just getting me warmed up!
What are some sounds that “take you back” to a good place?
It really is the sound of silence that takes me back to when we first landed on the space platform. Has it really been 18 years since leaving earth? I guess what they say “Time flies when you are in the vacuum of space”. Speaking of being deadly quite up here, I am told from one of my pod mates that we can return to earth on the next lunar cycle.
Actually, before I started writing, I tried to think back to other sounds that brought back real memories, and suffice it to say, nothing come to mind. And as my mind has been knee deep in creativity, I thought why not have some fun with it. I was surprised on how easily the false memories came to me while I wrote. The whole exercise might even prove to be a good start to my serial fiction project, no?
Over the years, I have had a great desire to write fiction. I have started (and stopped) far too many stories to count, but never seem to follow through with them. It’s not like I think they are garbage, well maybe some of them are garbage, but it’s just the want to write them to an end is never there. I have decided it is time to stop with that and get something done!
To start things off right, I have signed up for an online writing group. It’s not really a “school” in the traditional sense, but more of a support group for fellow writers. It’s called Writers Village, and I have taken one of their classes many years ago, and they seem to have a good following. I figure, I will take a few 8 week classes to get my head back into the whole writing thing. If the words flow well after that, then great! If the work is only “sort of” coming, I might in fact sign up for a real writing class.
There are a number of them locally around here, or I might even look at an online writing class, where there are real instructors and everything. I am just using WV as a spring board in a sense. As of now, I have completed 2 exercises in each of the two classes I am taking. They are obviously not graded, but I am getting supportive feedback. I will finish these first 2 classes up and I have registered for a few more, but we’ll see how things are going when they start up.
A few weeks ago, I get an email request for a larger cutting board for a Christmas gift. Having not really produced anything from the shop in almost a year, I was hesitant to take the job. In the end, I did it, and I am happy I did. They were elated with the end result, as was I. I say ‘as was I’ because while I built the one custom order, I made one for myself. To tell the truth, I had been wanting to make one about the same size for myself for quite some time. What do you think?
In Buying the lumber for these two boards, I bought enough to build a total of 8. As one was a custom, and one is in my own kitchen, I have enough Beech to make up an additional 6. I can make them with legs as shown on my own, or I can make them without. Personally, I like the look of the legged version, and with my height, the additional lift at the cutting surface works great. Only drawback with the legged version, is that it only has one ‘use’ surface. The custom order I made had no legs and all you had to do was flip it over and use it there too. The two surfaces makes it nice to use one for meats and the other for veggies or cheeses. If you are interested in one of these, I am selling them to the first 6 folks that email me. Cost is $90 with legs and $70 without legs. The board measures 18 1/8″ x 12 5/8″ x 1 1/2″. The legs are about 1 1/2″ high. Each board takes about 3 days for glue-up and sanding, and will be coated with natural mineral oil. Shipping is additional, and I can quote exact shipping cost once you provide an address. If you are local in Denver, I can certainly meet up with you to save on shipping and handling costs. Mail orders will be invoiced through Paypal, and I can take charge cards in person. First 6 people get them!
Click and share if you wish! Please do spread the word.
And on that note, I have to say I spent a sick amount of money this year doing online shopping for the holidays. After I wrapped up the spending spree, I realized I am missing the boat here. I had been selling my handmade items on Etsy, but have not had a single thing listed there for close to a year. I have some 75 handmade pens sitting in boxes, and they certainly could use a good home. So…. I have pulled the trigger and have started the process of setting my own eCommerce site up! Yep. I am putting the final touches on my online store! I will post a link for everyone to see once it is ready to go. In the meantime, feel free to see some of my work on my Facebook fan page at Facebook.com/DesignByKohler.