Thursday, December 15, 2011

Dyad, a poem

I wrote this poem many years ago when I was in high school.  It has remained, largely untouched, since then.  I will admit that I have edited it for this post.  I was, after all, a lot younger then and my understanding of language has evolved, as all things do, over time.  The heavy use of dashes in this poem is a stylistic technique that I use consistently in my poetry.  I have also used ellipses, but I don't know if there is a difference, in my head, for the two.  I used it to break up the rhythm of the poem visually.  It is up to the reader, as with all writing, on their interpretation of the marks.

A "dyad" is, according to, a grouping of two.  In the case of this poem, I used the term to suggest the personal duality I felt at that time.  It is a poem of opposites and one that I really identified with at the time.  The concept of a "dyad" is a recurring theme in my early writing.  For those of you wondering...yes, my blog was named after this poem.

I am a creature born unto the night
Yet raised in the day.
A child of Darkness and of Light--
Without reason or way.

Twin in soul--One in body--
Logical and conceptual,
Sensible and insane--
Angry and alone.

I am the son Evil
And the daughter of Good.
Dancing amongst the graves,
Praying in the tombs--
Not sure what has, fearful of what will--

I have hated the light,
I have loved the dark.
Through peaceful thoughts I roam,
Alive in twisted madness.
To touch the Evil at the core--
To feel the Good beyond it.

And so I remain--
Eternally divided, tet always one.
Lost in Life--Found in Death.
A child of Darkness--
And of Light--
Without reason or way.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Self Publishing vs. Traditional Publishing

This may be opening a can of worms, but I wanted to weigh-in on this subject.  I'm sure that there are dozens, if not hundreds, of sites out there that espouse one over the other.  If you are looking for that kind of site, look elsewhere.  That isn't the purpose of this entry.  I think both have their purpose.  Both have good points and bad points.  Pitfalls and positives.  No matter which way you go, the bottom line should not be money.  Yes, you can make money, but the focus should be on getting your thoughts/ideas/dreams out there.  To weave a tale that people will remember, and more importantly, enjoy.  If money is all that you love, save us from yourself and become a lawyer.

Back to the point.

Self Publishing
This is the easiest way to get your story out there.  It's free and easy and you can get something published in literally minutes.  There are several self-publishing sites out there, the two that probably have the most exposure are and (see links below).  All you have to do is follow their directions, and boom!  You have a story ready to be delivered to the masses.  You even get a sizable profit from the sales (over 70%).  Like I said, quick and easy with a high payout.  You don't have to fight with thousands of other manuscripts to get the attention of an editor (or their assistant).  You don't have to wait to get it published.  Sounds awesome, right?  Maybe not so much.

The biggest mark against self-publishing is the lack of a professional editing staff.  Wait! Didn't I just say that you wouldn't have to worry about getting the attention of an editor?  Yes, I did.  However, the lack of a professional editing staff means that you don't have someone scrutinizing your work and ferreting out all of the mistakes that might detract from your story.  Even if you have a really good reading circle, they may not find all the little things that an editor might.  I've read some self published stories.  The ones I have read had some really interesting story concepts and characters.  However, all of them had issues that seriously detracted from the story that an editor would have found.  Issues that made them almost unreadable at times.  It was a pity because I really enjoyed what I was able to read.  Some of the issues were typos (spell check won't find them all!), irrelevant historical information that had NO bearing on the story, excessive use of "Deus Ex Machina", overly successful characters, and even one case where the first person view changed to another character and I couldn't tell the difference (very confusing!).

So, if you are wanting to go the route of self-publishing, push your reading group to really scrutinize your work.  Don't assume that everything you write is perfect.  Write.  Re-write.  Re-write some more.

Traditional Publishing
Although it is a lot harder to get a book professionally published, there are some significant pluses.  For one, you get the experience of a professional editor and their staff to help you maintain a coherent story from start to finish.  Another thing you'll get is distribution to all markets.  You also get the marketing power and prestige of a publishing company.  Once you get published through a professional publisher, a LOT of doors are opened.  Some publishers only take manuscripts from agents or published authors.  Someone who is self-published won't necessarily get the attention of an agent and you won't be considered a "published" author by some companies.  Agents and publishing companies do cut into your profit margin, but at the same time, they can shop your story around to people who wouldn't normally look at your work.

The downside to traditional publishing is that it takes a lot of time.  You have to compete with a lot of other writers.  You have to research all of the publishers and what they do, and do not, want, write cover letters, format the manuscript, and spend money on postage (most publishers won't take digital submissions).  The Writer's Market is a good place to start.  They have a print copy of their book as well as an up-to-date site full of just about everything you could imagine.

Final thoughts
Whether you are self-publishing, or going the traditional route, you need to make sure that your story/poetry is read by as many people as you can find.  The more feedback you get from them, the better.  Encourage them to be honest and take their criticism with grace.  After you do that, sit down and figure out which way you want to go.

If you are interested, you can check out my self-published short story here: The Forgotten Arch (ebook).  It was submitted to for their short story competition as part of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month).  It is also Free.  Shameless plug, I know.

Till next time (I promise I'll have a new story soon).

Friday, November 25, 2011

Writing in the Moment

I decided to take a creative writing class in the spring semester.  I decided to do it because, being human, I don't know everything.  Shocking, I know, but it does happen.  There are two reasons for taking this class.
  1. I love feedback.  As a writer, it is invaluable.  Taking this class will expose me to a lot of different viewpoints and opinions.  This is a good thing
  2. It will expose me to a style I've never tried (playwriting).  Even if I never write in this format after this class, I'm a firm believer in the more you know, the better.  Plays are dialog driven, so if nothing else, it will help learn some good dialog techniques.
The class only has one textbook (which I have already purchased).  I'm generally not one to read classroom textbooks unless I have to.  Usually, they are dry and boring.  Not so with this one.  It actually practices what it preaches, good creative writing.  Even if you are not a student, I would highly recommend it as a useful tool in improving your craft.  The book in question is: The Practice of Creative Writing : A Guide for Students by Heather Sellers.  A new copy will run you about $40 on, but there are used copies for less.  I bought the new one as I wanted a clean copy for when I need to mark in it.

Among the numerous bits of information that I've picked up from this book is the concept of "writing in the moment".  It is the practice of imagining a scene and writing the "action" and not the "thought".  It is actually more difficult than you would think.  You have to focus on the movement.  You let the action of the scene explain what is going on.  Instead of saying "Joe thought the sunrise looked pretty", you would say "Joe marveled as the sky slowly change from the dark of night, to a vivid blue, as the sun rose over the hillside".  Although the second sentence is a little long winded, it evokes more activity than him just thinking about how it was a pretty sunrise.

As I've said, it isn't easy to maintain that type of image.  With more practice, I'm sure it gets easier.  The book lists several aids to help you center yourself in an image while writing.  One of things it suggests is sketching the scene (if you are artistically inclined).  If you lack the requisite artistic talent (or just don't want to), the book lists several questions you can ask yourself to help solidify the scene in your head.  If you don't see the scene clearly, then neither will the reader.  Another thing about the scene, it isn't a static image.  Even standing still, people, and their environment, are in motion.  Don't write static images, they are boring.

The other thing this book strongly encourages is to read.  Sounds easy, right?  Not necessarily, you need to read and pay attention to what works and what doesn't.  What scenes evoke good images and what scenes make it difficult to image.  When you run into either of those, really look at how the writer used the language.  Reading what others have written is a really good way to learn the do's and don'ts.

Till next time.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


One of my favorite words is "Albatross".  The first time I heard it was a Monty Python skit where I guy was trying to sell an albatross.  He was walking around with this gigantic "dead" bird yelling, "Albatross!  Allll-batross!"  He sold it to another person who then turned around and tried it sell it himself.  It was one of those things that just stuck in my head.  Every time I encounter writing that I think is ungainly and isn't going anywhere, I think of that skit.

I've used that term to describe an essay that my sister was writing for college.  It was huge, ungainly, and I could tell that she wasn't really interested in writing it.  She took a step back and ended up re-writing a majority of the essay, which turned out to be quite good.  Well, up to this point, I never used that term to describe something I had written.  That was, until I started going through all the feedback I had on Goobasaurus Dex.

It isn't that the people in my reading circle don't like it; it is just that there seems to be a consensus that it isn't where it needs to be.  The feeling of an albatross hanging from my neck is my own.  I feel that it is turning into something huge and ungainly and I need to take a step back and re-evaluate where I want to go and what I want to do with it.  Some radical changes need to be made and it may end up being more than just a simple picture book.  As I told a friend, I felt that maybe I was trying to cram it into a format that it wasn't meant to be.  That would explain why I felt it was turning into an Albatross.

So, the next thing I need to do is take a step back, leave it on the back burner, and let my back brain chew on it while I focus on something else.  I did a little of that with my second story, "Sir Grumpsalot".  With that one, I ended up deleting over half of it and rewriting the ending.  I ended up with a much better story as a result.  Goobasaurus Dex may take more time to figure out than Sir Grumpsalot did.  We'll see.  I've got another story to focus on that I'm really excited about, plus an upcoming creative writing class to focus on.

The story in question is called "The Forgotten Arch" and I am planning on submitting it to a competition through for National Writing Month (which is November).  I have till the end of the month to upload it to their service and enter it.  I don't expect to win anything, but you never know.  I've had a lot of good feedback from everyone in my reading circle so I'm positive that I am going in the right direction.  The last time did a competition for National Writing Month, it was for full length novels and they had 30,000 submissions.  Whether I win anything or not, the important thing is that I am taking the chance.

So, some negatives on one front, but positives on another.

Till next time.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Mister Sandman, Spin Me a Dream

As I mentioned in an earlier post, the dreaming mind can be an interesting place to get story ideas.  It is unfettered by any restriction.  There are no filters.  Luckily for me, I remember most of my dreams.  Sometimes they can be interesting and sometimes I rather not mention what happens...let's just say, I'll plead the Fifth on them and go onto the ones that don't contain incriminating or embarrassing information (I did dream that I was a girl once...that was weird).  Saturday night's dreams were ones that I could say fall under the jurisdiction of "interesting".  If I can disentangle the weirdness from the worthwhile, I might have two separate story possibilities.

The first dream had a lot weird stuff in it that I will have to discard because, quite frankly, it made absolutely no sense.  The interesting (i.e. usable) part involved a kid (teenager?) turning into a dragon in his kitchen.  Needless to say, people were running for their lives and the kitchen was trashed.  He was pretty mad when it happened, so that is probably the trigger.  He also didn't realize that he was going to turn into said dragon, so it was kind of a shock.  If I can get more details ironed out, it might be an interesting story.

I think I was actually writing in the second dream because it was from first person and I was hearing the internal dialogue.  That equals very cool in my book.  It started with the theft of something called "the Crown of Julius Caesar" from an auction/museum.  Not sure what it looked like or even what it really was.  I don't even think there was anything like that in existence.  Anyway, the thief apparently had some special powers or something because he was able to knock out the lights/security system and then escape essentially unseen (super speed?).  It almost seemed like mutant/comic book style abilities.  There was a scene where he was being interrogated by the police, but they didn't have anything on him.  They just suspected him for some reason.  In the dream, he was able to "disappear" from the interrogation room while the police were watching him.  Like the first one, I would need to disentangle it from the weird nonsense before I could even use it.  Definitely a back-burner idea.

Speaking of dreaming, I've started writing a little bit on my dream involving the "Stone of Unity" (mentioned in a previous post).  The scene I'm working on I'm actually considering submitting to a competition. is having a short story competition.  I'm not expecting to win anything, but I'm still planning on submitting something.  The story cannot be more than 600 words, so we're not talking anything super-long, just enough for a short scene.  I ended up with a account because I had posted a couple poems on the non-defunct website (which is now just a web-archive of its original content).  Anyway, at one point, had ownership of the site and, as a result I ended up with an account on  This can come in handy if I ever decide to self-publish.

In other news, I just enrolled in a creative writing class at the local junior college.  I think it will be a good experience and I'm expecting it to improve my writing.  So, starting in January, you can expect posts regarding what I am doing in class.  One of the requirements of the class is to keep a journal.  I'm thinking of asking if I can use my blog for that.  We'll see.

Till next time!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Submission Gear Up

The submission process can be a time consuming process.  You have to do the final revision(s) of your story, research the publishers who might be interested in your story, and finally write a cover letter for each.  Don't forget postage!  To avoid licking all the envelopes, I use large, white, self-sealing ones.  I like the white ones for two reasons.  One, they look nicer than the manila ones and two, they're more noticeable.  Of course, once they go out in the mail, it will be a "hurry up and wait" situation, but ultimately, it will be worth it.

Right now, I'm gearing up for another submission.  I'm just waiting on a couple of my readers to get back to me.  I try not to remind them to read it as I know all of them are busy.  That and they are doing me a huge favor, so I try not to complain...too much.

The story in question is titled, "Goobasaurus Dex".  It's a children's story about a little dinosaur, named Dexter. Dexter is a kind of a wild little guy who just can't help playing hard with toys.  Unfortunately, those toys belong to his friends.  In order to avoid getting into trouble, he blames it all on a "Goobasaurus".  As with all lies, it gets hard for Dexter to keep his story straight and he ends up telling each dinosaur a different story.  I mean, who wants to say the same thing every time?  This is the Goobasaurus we're talking about!  His friends ultimately catch him in the act and he has to fess up and apologize.  I've gotten some good feedback from my readers, but unfortunately, they're opinion won't convince the publisher to print it.  We'll see how it goes.

At the same time I'm gearing up for submission on Goobasaurus, I found a couple other publishers for my first two stories.  They are also both children's stories (I've mentioned them in previous posts).  I'll have to re-read them and see if I can improve them before I send them out again.  So far, nobody has picked them up, but it could just be that I haven't "found the right home" for them yet.  As with all things, patience is a virtue.

Till next time.

Thursday, October 20, 2011


I realize that there are a lot of story ideas on here and not much beyond the initial statement. This is actually a conscious decision. As a writer, I have a lot of things floating in my head at any given time. Some of it is more concrete than others. The commonality with all of it is that they are just ideas. Some of them have been floating around in there for years, while others are more recent. But, for one reason or another, I have never gotten them written down. This is one of the many reasons for this blog. If I write something down, it might gel faster or maybe inspire me to do more. As they bob to the surface, I'll write them down. "Sleepers" is just one of many ideas in there. It came to me when I was reading Orson Scott Card's How to Write Science Fiction & Fantasy.  He was talking about world building and developing the science of science fiction, specifically, regarding space travel.

One of the concepts he proposed involved colonization and how a space faring race would accomplish such a far reaching goal.  He mentioned that, unless a society had discovered some practical means of traveling faster than the speed of light (or even Hyperspace travel), it could take years to travel between star systems.  To do this, it would require a ship where the majority of the crew was in suspended animation with a skeleton crew to maintain everything.  It was at this moment, I had a "what if" moment.  What if something happened and the ship got off course?  What if the damage was so extensive that the skeleton crew couldn't fix it?  What if the majority of the sleeping colonists were killed by whatever went wrong?  As these thoughts started swimming through my head, the idea of "Sleepers" was born.

Simply put, "Sleepers" takes place on a colony ship that was knocked off course by something.  I hadn't really decided on what that something was.  It could have been sabotage to the more mundane mechanical malfunction.  Whatever happened, it was catastrophic.  Instead of maintaining course, the ship was sent adrift.  Instead of a few years, it floats for a couple centuries.  Now, there are some issues with this concept, but I think there are ways of getting around the whole need for supplies, air, power, etc.  The technology that allowed them to travel several years without supplies could theoretically be adapted to sustain the skeleton crew.  Another problem was that all but 11 stasis pods remain functional.  The others either failed or were destroyed.  Entire sections of the ship became uninhabitable.

Despite all this, the crew needed something to focus on so they continued to do their jobs.  In the face of uncertainty, humanity will strive for equilibrium.  One way of doing that is by returning to processes or actions that are familiar and comfortable. In this case, it would be returning to the maintenance of the surviving stasis pods and the remainder of the ship.  As the years turn to decades, combined with the uncertainty of their destination, it would not be a far stretch to imagine that people would consider propagating as a way to maintain the workforce.  The children would then be trained from very early on to continue in the parents footsteps.  It would also not be too farfetched to imagine that this training, over the span of several generations, would start to take on a religious bent.  The focus of this religion would be the 11 remaining colonists.  They would be viewed as heralds of salvation because when they emerge, it means that the journey is finished and they have reached "paradise" (a.k.a a habitable world).  Of course, with any story, that isn't how it happens.  The best laid plans, as they say, oft go astray.

Till next time.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Sometimes You Can't Avoid a Story

Before I started blogging, I was using Google Docs to organize my thoughts and ideas. I still use it. It's very useful. Now that I'm blogging, I can use it for the more formal writing that blogging can't handle. As with all things, it has its purpose.

It was during a flash of inspiration that the following story came to me. It wasn't that I wanted to write it, I had to write it. The story wouldn't go away and the more I thought about ignoring it, the more my mind started to develop it. I titled the story "Rage". It is by no means autobiographical in nature, but it does come from a very dark place. My father's rage was a focal point of my life growing up and there were many times that I felt the fear that young Martin (the protagonist) feels.

I don't know if I could ever write this story beyond what I have done. The glimpses that I have had of it scare me. It is not a happy story. So, without further adieu, here is "Rage".

Martin’s father slowly stood up. His face twisted with rage, his fists clenched and white knuckled. Martin stared into his father’s eyes and saw only hate. Martin carefully backed up, terror etched across his face. He had to get out. If he didn't, he was sure his father would kill him. It was that knowledge that kept him moving.

Without warning his father leapt, his lips pulled back in a snarl. Martin dodged quickly to his left and down the hall. Pain exploded through Martin’s head as his father’s fist grazed the back of his scalp. He stumbled down the hall; his eyes blurry with tears, the outside door his only salvation. If he could get to the door, he could escape. His father wouldn't follow him out into the light. Then they would know what he was.

Just as he reached the door, he felt his father’s hand close on the back of his jacket. His father barked with triumph. Panic roared through Martin. He deftly slipped from his jacket and burst into the cool October afternoon. Without a pause, he jumped the steps to the concrete walkway. Pain lanced through his ankle as he landed. He tucked into a roll that carried him out the front gate. He was free!

Martin lay on the ground for a moment, gasping from the exertion, his heart racing with fear. He gingerly stood up and faced the open doorway where his father hid in the shadows. Even from the safety of the street, Martin could feel his father’s unrelenting malignance. For a second, Martin thought his father would brave the light of day and show the world his darkness. Instead, he closed the door. His body shaking with adrenaline, Martin slowly turned and limped up the street.

Sunday, October 9, 2011


I think that revising a story is just about as hard as starting one.  There is a part of you that thinks, "Hey!  This is awesome!  I'm awesome!  Nothing could make this better!".  The reality is always far different.  This doesn't say that the original idea is bad; it is just that you have some work to do.  I think it is a little intimidating to some, much like the blank page.  There is the whole, "Where the hell do I start?" feeling that is so familiar when you begin a new idea.

As an aspiring author (and I say "aspiring because I haven't been published yet), I have been blessed with several very talented readers.  They have given me a lot of very good feedback.  Sometimes it isn't easy to hear, but it is still useful none the less.  Of course, picking readers for your work isn't some random process.  In my opinion, you must be selective and find people that you can trust.  They are, after all, holding your dreams (some might say "soul") in their hands.  However, on the flip side, you don't want someone who is going to just tell you what you want to hear.  Another thing to keep in mind is that you want someone who is interested in doing the work necessary to be a reader.  Because it is work.  Especially if they are good.

A varied group of readers is also a good thing.  In my group, I have a professional writer (definitely a plus!), a former English teacher (also a big plus!), another aspiring writer (bingo!), and several other people of various backgrounds (also a big plus!).  In addition to that, I have between 2 and 4 children (very helpful as the stories in question are for children).  Of course, the composition of my reading group can change depending on the story (I wouldn't have children read a story that is adult oriented).  All these people have very different backgrounds that can provide me with a variety of viewpoints on my story.  I may not always agree with them, and vice versa, but I know that their advice is important.  They don't need to provide me with solutions, just encouragement and the occasional nudge in the right direction.  I am human after all and prone to the occasional "error".

Till next time.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Finding a Voice With Which to Write

It's interesting that there are so many books about plot, character development, setting, etc, yet not that many talk about voice.  Maybe I'm just looking in the wrong places, but I would think that this would be one of the more important concepts in writing.  Finding your voice is important.  It's what defines you as a writer.  It is unique, like a fingerprint.  It is wholly you.  When you read it, others will say, "This is that writer".

Stephen King mentioned it in an essay in his book, Night Shift.  He referred to it as "filters".  He explained that he didn't write horror fiction because he wanted to, but rather, that is just what came out.  He gave the analogy that if he and Lois L'Amour were to sit on opposite sides of a pond that they would come up with story ideas about the same time.  The difference being that L'Amour would come up with a story about water rights in the Old West.  Whereas he, King, would come up with something involving monsters living in the water that would eat anyone that happened by.  What King describes is the concept of "voice".  It isn't necessarily a "choice", but rather "what comes out".  Some might find this concept a little restraining.  After all, we all want to be masters of our destiny.  The reality being, that human beings do what comes more naturally.  We can step out of that "box", but what we create doesn't always look, or feel, natural to us or others.

When I was in college in my music composition class, I remember writing one successful piece of music.  Successful in that the teacher thought it was good and not, as he would call it, "mental masturbation".  Crude though that statement was, it did make its point.  The piece was called "River Fanfare" and was, in my humble opinion, rather nice.  However, what really frustrated me was that my professor mentioned that it reminded him of Aaron Copland.  Now some might find my frustration humorous.  After all, Aaron Copeland is an American icon.  Unfortunately, I'm not a big fan of Copeland.  I liked his music, but I didn't love it, not like the European masters that I grew up with (Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, Wagner, etc.).  I wanted to write like they did.  The reality was, however, that every time I tried to write like them, I would fail.  I wouldn't be able to express what was in my head the right way, and as a result, never finish it.  My professor would call it "crap" and I would ultimately give up on my dream to be a music composer.  The rest, they say, is history.

In my very short career as an aspiring writer, I've submitted two stories to publishers (see my blog post on dealing with rejection for the sordid tale).  Both stories were children's stories.  From the feedback I've gotten from friends and family, they are good (now if I could only convince a publisher!).  The second story, Sir Grumpsalot, really surprised me.  It was light, cute, and downright silly.  It wasn't what I would consider "me".  After all, two of my favorite authors are Edgar Allan Poe and Stephen King.  So it was doubly surprising when a good friend of mine, who is also a writer, told me that I had found my voice.  She read it to her children and they even said, "Wow that sounds just like how he talks".

So, now I've found my voice, what does that mean?  Does it mean that I'm supposed to write silly kids stories my entire career?  Or is "voice" more complex than just a simple, this is what you should write all the time?  Sometimes I wonder if I have more questions now than when I started.  I guess if it was easy, it wouldn't be fun.

Till next time.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Reading to Write, Writing to Read

When I was in college studying Music, I took some classes on Music Composition (at the time, I was think I would be a music composer, it didn't work out).  Despite my inability to write music at the speed that my teacher expected, I did learn a lot.  I remember him telling us that we should really listen to what we were writing and if we didn't like it, figure out why.  They "why" part is very important.  Just saying you don't like something isn't enough.  So, with this mighty question in hand, I started truly listening to music for the first time in my life.  I've done it enough times now that I do it unconsciously.  Of course, it also helps that I ended up studying Music Theory.  Knowing how music is put together has really enriched my listening experience.

Now, you are probably wondering what all that has to do with writing.  It's quite simple.  Everything.  What I learned in that classroom can easily applied to other forms of art.  The funny thing is that I didn't make that leap until I read the book How to Write Science Fiction and Fantasy by Orson Scott Card.  In it he talked about how he taught his wife how to really read his work so that she could give him feedback.  It was at that point that I realized that I could learn more from reading my favorite authors.  In a sense, reading to write.  The inverse is also true.  The more I write the more I can read of my work and figure out what works and what doesn't.

A lot of the books that I've read have mentioned that an aspiring writer should write.  It's interesting that none of them explained the purpose.  Maybe it hasn't occurred to them. I don't know.  What I do know is that the more I write, the more opportunities I have to learn.  The more I read, the more I learn to write.  There are more "how to" books that I'm planning on reading.  I think they can be very helpful.  Just about every major author, of every genre, has written one.  If you are interested in a genre, look to see if your favorite writer has done a book on their process.  Read it.  Then figure out what you like and what you don't.  Then figure out "why".  Same goes for your favorite books.  Why are they your favorites?  Figure out what parts you like and see how the author does it.  I guarantee you'll learn more.

Another thing I learned in college.  I don't know if this is true, but it wouldn't surprise me.  Mozart learned how to write fugues by rewriting J.S. Bach's Art of Fugue.  Mozart wanted to learn fugues, so he studied a master.  Note by note, he deconstructed it and learned.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


So this is my 13th post and it just so happens to be September 13th.  Coincidence?  Not really.  I've been trying to come up with something to write about and then I got distracted by the latest Dresden book.  Well, I've finished it and enjoyed it.  I don't know if he'll write another one, but I hope so.  I love the character, the setting, and the style.  If you haven't read them, then I suggest you pick up copy of Storm Front and enjoy.  The more I think about it, the more I think that there will be more in the series.  There are still some questions about Harry Copperfield Dresden that haven't been answered yet, and I'll be very upset at Jim Butcher if he doesn't answer them.

Initially this post was going to be about superstitions, so here goes.  In some ways, I see superstitions as a vain belief that we have control over the universe if we just do something in a certain way at a certain time or avoid a certain instance.  It is vain and self-centered, but we all do it, in some ways.  Of course superstitions, like any other belief, have power.  I remember reading somewhere that hotels never had a floor 13 even if they had more floors.  They just skipped it.  Black cats, walking under ladders, Friday the 13th, and broken mirrors are all examples of superstitions.  They also all involve bad luck.  Coincidence?  I think not.  Whether people think it is irrational or not, they still avoid those things.

As I said earlier, belief in a thing gives it power.  This is not a unique concept and one that has been around for a while.  Pick up any book or story that involves ancient religions and you'll get it.  Hokey religions and ancient weapons won't beat a blaster at your side.  Right?  Lovecraftian horrors had it all the time.  You even see it in modern stories such as comic books.  Thor and Hercules were both members of the Mighty Avengers, yet they were very diminished in power because nobody believed in those religions anymore.

I realize that this may be treading on blasphemous, but the reality is that belief is power.  You see it every day.  People consider superstitions to be an irrational belief in something beyond their control and power.  How is that different from religion?  I'm sure someone will have an answer.  I know I don't.

May the force be with you.  Live long and prosper.  Avoid black cats, ladders, the numbers 13 and 666 and don't forget to throw the salt over your shoulder. Amen.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Waiting to Descend

I knew I was going to die. I mean, we all do eventually. In my case, it was a little earlier than planned. Not that I had any say in the matter. I was drifting. The planet's gravity had me and it wasn't letting go. Not that I could do anything about that either. My engines were a gaping hole into space, I was leaking atmosphere and I didn't have a prayer. It was one of those moments of clarity when you realize that you're screwed. Kind of liberating in a way. I was still waiting for the bolt of plasma to finish me off, but it wasn't happening. Now that bothered me.

The Old Man told me I would probably end like this. Of course, I was pointing gun at his head at the time. Funny, but he didn't seem to upset by it, more amused than anything. My feelings for the man aside, I had my assignment and I never failed an assignment. I would have rather taken him alive, but the bounty said "dead". So I did what I was told. Failure meant death and I didn't want to die. Hindsight being 20/20, I should have taken death, but I doubt the Old Man would have wanted it that way. He had a funny way about him, like he knew things that nobody else knew. Not surprising considering how long he lasted in this business. Guess I wasn't going to outlast him by much. Maybe my attacker would take mercy on me and vaporize the rest of my ship, but I doubted I was going to get off that easy.

I stared at the data disc that the Old Man had given me. It was encrypted and I didn't have the time to hack it. Guess I'll never find out what it was he wanted me to know. He was pretty insistent that I take it. He told me that it contained some really important information that I would need. Whatever it was, it would be lost with me. Pity, it would have been interesting to find out what the Old Man knew. I had the nagging feeling that this was some sort of twisted legacy. Either that or it was his special recipe for Doolani Mud Worms. If that was the case, it was probably a good thing it was going to burn. Those things are disgusting. I have no idea how he could stand eating them all the time.

I looked at the sensor screen. Still nothing. Of course, half the sensors were off line, so I could have been right next to them and not noticed. I watched as my velocity increased. I was finally getting closer. No more drifting, it was going to end soon. Damn. I was really going to miss this ship.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Opposites and Oral Tradition

When I was younger, my father used to tell me some silly rhymes.  I'm not sure where he got them, but even as an adult, I smile just thinking about them.  They are nonsensical, but still interesting.

The first one is this: "I see," said the blind man to his deaf son, while his lame daughter danced.
Another version of this one is: "I see," said the blind man, to his deaf dog, as he picked up his hammer and saw.
The previous two examples are something called a "wellerism".  Wikipedia has an interesting article here:

The second one goes like this:
One bright day, in the middle of the night
Two dead boys got up to fight
Back to back, they faced each other
Drew their swords and shot each other
A deaf policeman heard the noise
And came and shot the two dead boys
If you don't believe this story is true,
Ask the blind man, he saw it too.

Doing a Google search of the opening line, gave me the following link:  It seems like an interesting read and provides some analysis of the rhyme.  It also has the complete rhyme, whereas my father only told me part of it. I guess that is one of the problems with oral tradition.

Aren't opposites fun?

Monday, August 22, 2011

Perchance to Dream

I heard somewhere that Stephenie Meyer came up with the idea for the Twilight Series in a dream.  I realize some of you may have just thrown up in your mouth a little, please bear with me.  Sparkly vampires and vanilla plots aside, what I really want to focus on is the concept of dreaming stories.  I would be surprised if more writers don't do this.  That is, take a concept from dreaming and make it into a story.  I know I have a few ideas rattling around in my skull that I originally dreamed.  Of course the flip side of that is, just because you are an aspiring writer and had an awesome dream, doesn't mean it will make sense when put to paper.  In the case of Stephenie Meyer, she probably should have left the sparkly bit out.  Just my opinion, mind you, but that is what people seem to focus on the most.  Of course, she did make gobs of money on the story. Her books were on the best seller list and are probably still in the top 100 sellers on  Movies were made for all four books and there was even one movie parody.  It also spawned a whole slew of books involving teenage vampire romance books that seem to have cluttered up the science fiction/fantasy section of your local bookstores.  I didn't intend to spend so much time on Ms. Meyer, but oh well.  It happens.  We take a shower, wipe off the smut, go on with our lives and try to forget the horror and shame.

As for dreaming stories, it does happen.  Our subconscious mind is unfettered.  The filters we put into place are gone.  Of course, we lose continuity and any sane perspective, but if we parse out the gobbledygook, sometimes we can find a kernel of a story.  Before I started seriously writing, I had a dream that I thought would make an interesting story.  I haven't done much with it because I realized that at least one of the characters in my dream may have been a little too similar to the Gunslinger from Stephen King's Dark Tower series.  If I want to seriously write this story, I'm going to have to change him.  I could just barrel on and ignore the similarities.  A simpler solution, but I would hate to get on Mr. King's bad side.  I am a big fan of his and would hate to annoy him (that and he's kinda scary).

The story is still in its infancy (see above), but the gist is this.  On one side we have an empire/country that is heavy into mechanical things (maybe a little steampunk in their concept).  Either way, they are all about the machines (possibly dwarven made?  cliche yes, but still).  On the other side, we have another country/race/empire that is all about magic and nature, etc.  Both sides are at war, etc.  At the heart of it all is something called "the Unity Stone" which was made with both magic and machine at is supposed to bring peace to the land.  A knight of the mechanical world and a sorceress of the magical realm have to put the two pieces together.  The dream involved their meeting.  It didn't turn out well for either party.  Bad guys on both sides of the war have altered the stone and it doesn't work the way it was supposed to.  Just the basics on the dream, but that was what it was.  The more it tumbles in my brain, the more it starts to feel like a real story.  We'll see.

Till next time.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Coffee House Blues

Ok, not necessarily blues.  It is, after all, a coffee house.  That mecca of sublime heaven we call caffeine.  So here I sit, blogging, with a very yummy Dark Chocolate latte.  Can you say urbanite hippy punk?  I guess not.  I'm not wearing a black shirt, I don't have a goatee, and I'm not using a product by Apple, Inc.  Ok, so there probably isn't anything like an "urbanite hippy punk", but I thought it sounded good.  So there.

This not my usual routine on a Tuesday morning, but it is the first week of school and I have a kid to pick up in an hour.  Normally, I would be sitting in my office trying to do the work of two people and consuming as much caffeine as possible without melting my brain.  As it is, I'm here, drinking a Latte, wearing a blue shirt, and using an Android tablet.  I am much juxtaposition here.  Life is fun.

The coffee houses' WiFi is being buggy (won't give me an IP address), so this won't get posted until later, but such is life.  "To Err is human.  To real screw things up, takes a computer."  One of my favorite quotes.  Ironic because I am such a tech nerd.  I love computers, I just understand that they can really ruin your day when they don't work right.  Some people would say that is a constant with computers, but that isn't necessarily true.  If you think about how much of our life involves computers, you would realize that if they failed as often as people thought they would, we would be living in the dark ages.  It's all a matter of perspective.  People are more frightened of a computer crashing then they are of getting in a car wreck.   I'm sure there is some irony here somewhere.

More later.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Troubleshooters shoot trouble

Many years ago, don't they all start that way, my brother created a pen and paper, role-playing, game system called "Troubleshooters".  The whole premise of the game was that the characters were part of an elite police force called "The Troubleshooters".  Their job was to take car of things that the normal police force couldn't handle.  Essentially, they were an uber-swat team with license to kill and blow things up.  The game was set in a post-apocalyptic Earth where the majority of the planet was a barren wasteland due to the loss of the Ozone Layer.  Most of humanity has moved underground and those left above become horribly mutated by the resultant radiation.  The population is ruled over by greed Mega-corporations, etc.  Not an original idea in science fiction, but that doesn't mean that there isn't a story in there some place.

As you can see, I don't hesitate to "steal" ideas from my older brother.  To be honest, although he created the initial game, his idea was more about setting up a functional game system rather than building a complete world.  Also, I did help with some of the design, so I don't consider it "stealing" so much as "fleshing out" a world that had yet to be completely developed.  Besides, one of my earlier story ideas involved this world.
I wrote a couple paragraphs when I was a teenager, but never got beyond that.  There were many reasons why I never went beyond those few paragraphs, but the reasons aren't as important as the fact that I never finished.

One of these days, I plan on writing in this milieu.  I even have a few ideas.  I do plan on making a few changes (sorry James!), but they will be mostly cosmetic.  For example, an underground environment will never have anything so mundane as weather.  It will be a perfect 72 degrees and always sunny (at least artificially).  Weather is always a good way of setting the mood of a scene, so a setting would be more difficult without it.  It could be done, of course, but I'm not sure I want to deal with a perfectly comfortable environment.  Any change in "weather", in an underground setting, would constitute a serious emergency that could threaten the entire "city".  I still want to retain an underground setting, at least for part of it, but I also want something topside.  This could create an interesting dynamic between the "undergrounders" and the "top worlders".

Another issue with being wholly underground is spaceflight.  Although there wasn't anything as fancy as "hyperspace", there was the occasional trip into orbit.  Especially to a space station.  Seriously, if you were the CEO of a corporation would you rather live in a whole in the ground or in a palatial space station?  I know where I would live.  So, that would necessitate having some kind of space port, or ports, which would have to be outside.

More later.

To all things, a purpose

It took a few posts, but I've finally figured out what it is I want to do with this blog.  I have found its purpose.  It's nothing grandiose, mind you. But rather, this is a dumping ground.  A dumping ground of thought.  It doesn't have to be refined, sophisticated, or even grammatically correct.  It isn't about a polished product.  That is reserved for the actual stories.  So, if you see something weird (language-wise), that is the reason.  The important thing is that I'm writing.  The more I write, the better I will get.  This isn't to say that I'm not editing what I write, or that I'm not paying attention to grammar.  Both of those are important, but the essence of this blog is pure thought.  If it is in there, it comes out in whatever form it takes.  Some of it may be insightful; some of it may be just drivel.  It matters not what form it takes, just that it takes form.  I could spend my time being perfect, or ultra-philosophical, but that wouldn't be me.  If you want something deep and well edited, then my friend, you have come to the wrong place.

So, to those of you who have stuck with me so far, I thank you.  Hopefully, I will keep your attention for a while longer.  One of these days, I might actually write something witty.  We'll see.  So far, it seems it has been mostly thoughtful and, possibly, boring.

Till next time, true believers!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Big Lie and Dealing with Rejection

Recently, I was reading a sample chapter of Write Great Fiction - Plot & Structure by James Scott Bell on my Kindle.  It's a really interesting book and one I plan on purchasing soon.  From what I've read, it has a straight forward and honest approach to writing good plots.  What struck me, was that he started his book by talking about something he calls "The Big Lie".  "The Big Lie", he states, is that authors are born that way and you can't learn to be a good author.

When I was in college I was studying music and all of the history books were full of these amazing stories about these incredible composes.  In every one, it seemed that they just "knew" how to write amazing music.  Mozart composed his first symphony at 6.  Beethoven was able to compose most of his music while being profoundly deaf.  J. S. Bach composed a 4 voice fugue for the Czar of Russia completely out of his head.  Nowhere in any of these books did it talk about the time and effort they spent into learning and perfecting their craft.  People don't want to read all that boring stuff, so the historians gloss over it.  The same goes for all of the great artists, writers, composers, and thinkers.  The implication is that these people "just know".  The same can be said for people of higher intelligence.  It's a common misconception and one which James Scott Bell spent some time learning to get past.

What does this have to do with Rejection?  Simple.  My entire life, I have believed "the big lie".  I have always considered myself inferior to those around me because they would know something I didn't, or could do something I couldn't, etc.  It would make me very frustrated to have my older brother just seem to "know" things that I didn't.  What I didn't realize (or want to realize?) is that he had spent time learning these things.  He is, after all, two years older than me.  Of course, he would learn things before me, he had a two year head start.  DUH!

Anyway, I have submitted two manuscripts to publishers.  Both children's stories and both with polar opposite stories.  I've mentioned them in earlier posts.  The other day, I was going through my submission list on (which is an awesome website if you are interested in getting your stories published) and I realized that of the 8 publishers that I had submitted my two stories to, I had been rejected by 6 each.  That's 12 rejections total.  Now I could take this and say, "Man, I must suck!  My friends are just being nice when they say my stories are good.  I should just quit.  I don't have that special something that people need to be a good writer."  I could say that, but it wouldn't be true.  J.K. Rowling had 12 publishers reject Harry Potter and look how that turned out.

Here is what all those rejections mean.  They mean a) I haven't found the right place for my stories and b) I might need to learn more before I get published.  I have a lot of ideas.  Not all of them will get published.  One of these days, I will get published.  It just hasn't happened yet.

The bottom line?  The Big Lie is just that, a lie.  Not a little lie, but a big fat, stinking, festering lie.  A lie that is perpetrated by historians and biographers.  They don't do it intentionally; they do it because it sells.  What about rejection?  Rejection is not an indication of talent.  It's just an indication that the publisher in questions isn't interested in your story.  They have lots of reasons for rejecting a manuscript.  Most of them have to do with perceived market value and what they think will sell and not with whether or you are a good writer or not.

As Orson Scott Card said in Elements of Fiction Writing - Characters & View​point, a writer has to believe two things simultaneously in order to be successful.  One, that what they are writing is the greatest work of literature ever conceived in the English language.  Two, that what they have written is complete drivel.

Till next time.  :D

Saturday, August 6, 2011

And so it begins

I should be asleep, but I'm not.  I'm wired on caffeine and I'm posting on my blog...what could possibly go wrong?  :D

So I've been thinking (insert joke here) about the possibility of story involving my stuffed animals from my childhood.  I'm really starting to get into it.  The more I think about it, the more it seems like a possibility (at least in theory).  Whether or not it happens is another thing.  However, I have a lot of characters already developed, a world developed and even some plot ideas.  From what I've read on writing, that is a big part of creating a story. ..Characters, World, Plot.

However, there are some things that I've been trying to decide on.  I have a good idea of which way I want to go, but I want to write down everything so that I can see it and maybe it will solidify, or change, my idea.

Ok, here it goes:
All of the main characters (a.k.a "Good guys") are made up of my toys from my childhood.  Their personalities, names, relationships, and jobs would all be maintained from the stories that we created as children.  This will not be altered no matter what I decide for the rest.

Question 1: Is it a story for children or not?  My biggest concern with having it be a child's story is that I may not be able to capture everything I want to in just a few words.  Most children's stories are under 1000 words for picture books.  Novels for older children can be longer, but can I tell the story I want to tell in that space or will I not be able to get the complexity I need?  Adult novels have more flexible and their complexity is greater, but then the question is, can I make a story about talking toys/animals believable enough for an adult audience?  This is the biggest decision I will have to make.
Question 2:  Do I keep them as stuffed toys or do I make them real, living, creatures?
Question 3:  Keep the original world idea or change it?

These three questions are what is really slowing me down.  Obviously, they are the most important.  If I can't answer these questions, I won't have a story.

Here is what came to mind as I was driving home today...err....yesterday as it is now after midnight...
Answer 1:  I'm leaning toward an adult story.  I find it humorous to think of a stuffed animal cussing out another stuffed animal...which answers question 2...also, I will have more flexibility with the story/concepts if I gear it toward an older audience.
Answer 2:  I will keep them a whole new meaning to "beating the stuffing" out of someone... :D
Answer 3:  I'm still waffling on this one.  Originally, they lived in a terraformed area of Antarctica.  This is fine, except that having it in the real world means dealing with the real world.  However, if I had a toy uprising where all the toys got together and took over the world (insert evil dictator toy) and then all of the remaining (i.e. surviving) humans would either be slaves or live in the south kingdom with the "good" toys.  It has possibilities...

That's all for now.  This is starting to get interesting.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Secret Friends -- A Poem

In my last post, I mentioned a poem about my childhood toys.  I looked through my old poetry and found it.

Secret Friends--Fantasy
My dearest friends,
As is plainly seen,
Are not of flesh and bone--
But of thought--And childhood fantasy.

Behind closed doors,
Far from view
Where no mortal eye can see--
Lives a world--Of simply fantasy.

It isn't much, but I think it gives you all the gist of what I was talking about.  I wrote this in my teenage years and it was significantly different than any other poem I had written at that time.  Most of the poetry I wrote was angst filled, angry, and full of hatred (and maybe a little blasphemy...I did mention I was angry...).

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Breathing new life into old things

One my youngest's favorite stories involves a sock monkey.  I can't remember the title off the top of my head, but that isn't that important.  What is important is that he likes the book, and especially the sock monkey.  After listening to the story recently, he decided he wanted a sock monkey.  As it turns out, I have one, sealed in a tub in the attic.  I can't remember when I got it, but I've had it as long as I can remember.
For the last week, he's been asking to see it.  I finally dragged the tub down out of the attic a couple days ago.  After locating the sock monkey, I started thinking about all the stories we made up about them.  We had names for all of them.  We even developed personalities, relationships, jobs...a whole world for them.  Well, at least part of the world (more on that later).  Our imaginations, under the direction of my older brother, had created a vast world for our toys to live, play, and experience all manner of adventures.

It's been a long time since I've thought about their world.  I've forgotten most of their names and personalities, but I remember some of it.  I'm feeling there is a story in there, but I'm not sure where I want to go with it.  You see, the world we created wasn't a perfect place.  This wasn't a place full of sunshine and constant happiness that you see in most stories involving children our age.  At the same time, it still maintained some measure of innocence.  I have very few memories of my childhood that are happy, but I remember these were always amazing and wonderful.

Another problem with writing a story about the world of my stuffed animals was that it was so immense and complex.  A fear a children's book wouldn't be able to capture enough of the essence to make it live.  On the flip side, some of the innocence that made it so special would be lost if I wrote it to a more grown up audience.  A true conundrum for me that I hope to resolve soon.  I think writing a story about them would be good.  I've written a poem about them (one of the few from my teenage years that wasn't filled with angst or anger).  I'll have to post it some time.

Here is some of what I remember:

  • All of the toys lived in a terraformed area of the Antarctic.  We wanted some place remote and difficult for the real world to get to.  I remember my brother also suggested that we have some sort of cloaking device to hide them from people.
  • It was a mighty kingdom ruled over by the benevolent, and pink, teddy bear named Sleeptight.  He was the oldest (older than even me), and biggest of all the toys.  He was also my favorite.
  • The kingdom had a prince, named Sleep.  He was my brother's favorite, so he got to be prince.
  • They had enemies, so they had a captain of the guard, a stuffed buzzard, named Buzzy.
  • We had a couple alien races, the Jelloons and the Gagleans.  The Jelloons were a couple of stuffed jellybeans that my brother and I had.  We only had one Gaglean, named Gagloo (that's what it said on his tag).  I've never seen it's like.  The Jelloons and Gaglean were scientists (they were after all aliens).
  • Buzzy had a father, named One Ear (I think).  He was probably my first(?) stuffed animal.  I've had him as long as I can remember.  He's a panda, and yes, he is missing an ear.  One Ear had a brother, named Samsonite.  He was a large panda bear that I got when I was older.
  • Buzzy had a trusty mount that we ride into combat. His "steed" was a white stuffed dog named Blue Eye.
  • There were two sock monkeys.  One for me and one for my brother.  Their names were Monkey See and Monkey Do.  They were floppy (as all sock monkey's are) and were kind of silly.  I'm not sure what they did, but I'm sure it was silly.  Monkey See had more stuffing that Monkey Do so we decided that Monkey Do was more "athletic".  Beyond that, I don't remember.
There is more in there, but it is easy to see the complexity.  What can I say, we were children.  We didn't have TV or video games.  The internet wouldn't be invented until I was almost in college.  All we had were books, our toys, and our imaginations.

Monkey See is now named "Sock Monkey" according to my youngest.  He's been walking around and taking good care of him.  There is a story in here.  One of these days, I'll have to tell it.  We'll see where it takes me.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

The Harvesting

The System Lords decreed it.  Their will be done.  Soon the Harvesters would come to reap their fill of those they felt worthy.  Soon after the Ravagers would come and scour the planet clean.  No one could know who would be selected and who would be purified in fire.  The Harvesters were indiscriminate in their choosing.  Theirs was an arcane selection.  Strength and status meant nothing to them.  They chose because they could.

As their sky-ships darken the planet, prayers are offered by some.  Families say good bye and make peace with their gods.  Some will fight.  All who fight will be cleansed.  The rest stand in congregation as the Harvesters make their selection.

No one will see the servants of the System Lords.  It is not for the lowly to gaze upon their terrible visage.  Those who are chosen, simply vanish as if they never existed.  The only evidence of their passing are the wails of those left behind.

Cries rise up as family members disappear in columns of light.  The Harvesting has begun.  Woe be to those left behind.  Your hour is at hand.

Praise be the System Lords!

--Cardinal Solifcant III, Deacon of the the Most Holy Lord Vs'ith.  The Harvesting and Purification of Heretics. Vol. 1, verse 45.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Full of sound and fury, signifying nothing...

I'm not sure what I envision for this blog except to say "here it is...this is my brain."  Kind of bold, maybe a little vain, but I guess that's as good a start as any.

I decided to start this blog because "it was time" and I needed some other creative outlet that wasn't necessarily dependent upon someone else saying, "Ok. This is good."  I plan on talking about just anything that comes to mind.  Some of it will make sense, some of it will be just drivel...all of it will be me.  I've got a lot floating around in my head and it needs to go somewhere...I guess that is what is expected of someone who wants to become a writer (more on that later).

I'm writing the way I think.  It isn't always structured and it doesn't always make sense.  I think of it as more "Free form" thinking which some may call "Stream of consciousness".  Either way, if I think it, it gets written.  If the grammar is bad, it doesn't matter.  If the spelling is bad, well, I have spell check.  :D

Becoming a writer...well, I've always wanted to write.  Most of what I have done, up till now, has been poetry.  Some of it got published in my high school literary magazine.  Some of it got published through  Nothing came of it except to say, "I did it.  Here it is."  It helped alleviate the pressure of thought that pervades my skull most days.  Now my focus is on writing stories.

About 7 months ago, I submitted my first story to a publisher.  It was a children's book (weird I know!).  It was titled "Bobby and the Big Split" and was about a boy who came home to find out his parents were getting a divorce.  A heavy subject, but I thought it had merit and other seemed to think so too.  Unfortunately, I haven't found a publisher that will agree with me.  I don't take this as a rejection of my talent, but rather as a realization that I haven't found the right home for it.

Story number two came shortly after and was title "Sir Grumpsalot".  The story was about a knight who was so busy being grumpy that he didn't notice the beauty around him...until someone made him.  A writer friend said that it was "my voice".  This was surprising as I don't think of myself as a humorous writer (just look at all the angst ridden, depressive, and angry poetry I wrote as a teenager).  As with the first it has been submitted, but I haven't found a publisher that wants it.  As frustrating as it is, I know that it, like the first, hasn't found a good home.  Patience is a virtue and time is forever.  The fact that I wrote it is the important thing.  Getting published would be awesome, but all things come to pass in the way that we need it too.  This isn't so much an admission of the power of the divine, but rather acceptance of reality as I see it.

Story number three, titled "Goobasuarus Dex" is in the works (yet another kid's book).  Got draft one finished and am waiting on comments so I can write draft two and send it off to other people.  I'm not sure about this one as much as I was about the first two.  I like it, but something isn't right.  We'll see what happens.

I have a lot of story ideas and you'll probably see pieces of them on here.  You might see other things as well. It really depends on what is floating to the surface of my brain.