In the Groove

After waking in the early morning, the dream still fresh on my mind, I slipped downstairs to my computer and beat out the outline to a short story. One that I was sure would only be 500-1,000 words. It would be my first flash fiction story.

3,504 words later, the angry cries from the young woman who had just lost everything still rang through my head. I’m not sure if I had ever written so much, so fast.

It felt great to be in the groove.

Now that I’ve met my writing goal for the first month of the year, can I continue the momentum?

I plan on it.

Writing Accomplishments

This morning, I finished the first draft of my first novel.  NaNoWriMo helped me complete a good portion of the manuscript.  The holidays were only small obstacles to overcome as I crept closer and closer to completion.  This past week, I tasted the end, and woke up early this morning determined to push through.  At 10:02AM, I added a period to the last sentence.

I already have a list of items to change/update/polish, but for now, I’ll move on to short story.

I have a 17-page list of story ideas that need reviewing.  And writing.

Building Your Platform – Do You Need a Business Page on Facebook?

I read this article from Rob Biesenbach, which raised a few questions.

  • Do authors create a business page on Facebook to grow their platform, or do they just use their personal page?  How do you separate your personal life from your business?
  • How many authors capture their readers’ email addresses?  What programs out there are highly recommended?
  • Do you believe blogging is going away, or just transforming into a new medium?
  • Will Facebook become just a channel to promote work because of the ease of adding friends, or will it remain a social gathering place to discuss work?

What are your thoughts?  How do you use Facebook?  How often do you blog?  Do you capture your readers’ email addresses?

Leave a comment and we’ll discuss.  Better yet, pass this on and let’s get a broader discussion going.

In the meantime, keep writing.

What Helps You Write?

Background noise helps me write.  Sometimes it’s the noise from outside. Usually, it’s music.  I would listen to my music library via iTunes, or Pandora when I needed a change.  Now, its iTunes Radio.

People know I’m a Apple Fanboy.  I love Apple products because they just work.  When I need them to work.  They don’t take long to set up, maintain, or are replaced very often.  iTunes Radio has grown on me now that I’ve been working from home.  I started sampling their playlists on the iTunes Radio homepage, and got my holiday music fix from two channels.

I usually swap between a couple of channels when writing; The Grey Havens Radio and Chill Out: Ambient.  If you like great fantasy soundtrack music, The Grey Havens is a great choice.   Just need some ambient sounds to help you find a creative edge to your writing?  Then try Chill Out.

But then, The Best of 2013 Singer/Songwriter popped up, and I’ve been hooked ever since.  I don’t like every song that has played, and iTunes Radio has a handy feature to skip that song.  Just like Pandora.  And just like Pandora, iTunes Radio plays ads – but I don’t mind.  It’s a free service, so they have to make it free somehow.  I usually get up from my desk for a break during the commercials anyway.

So, what helps you write?

What Makes a Father Proud

What makes a father proud of his child?  Good grades?  Taking out the trash without being asked?  Cleaning up after oneself?  Sure, all of these qualify.  For me, I’ll add when my kids wanted to play the sport that I love.  Then having the courage to say “Sorry, dad, I just don’t like soccer like you do.”  Knowing that it might dissapoint me, yet still willing to make decisions  based on their convictions, tempered the devastation I felt. 

But I digress.

How about the kid who fell in love with books, and just wanted to be amazed?  And then was so excited to get a book on release day that she dragged her father to the bookstore to wait in line for the latest book in a series?  And then stayed up all night reading because she couldn’t put it down?  Who was the proud poppa?

This guy.

How about the kid who embraced the geeky side of her dad, wishing to share in his amazement, wonder, and hope of the future?  The day after Christmas, I introduced my daughter to Doctor Who.  We watched the Doctor battle enemies and his own personal demons.  My daughter deciced to watch all of the Doctor episodes from 2005.  And when she finished season 6, and realized Season 7 wasn’t on Netflix, used her own money and gift cards to buy all of Season 7 on iTunes. 

And when she came to see me, tears in her eyes, asking why Rory and Amy had to leave, I felt the same punch in the gut when I had first watched that episode.  

My daughter and I watch a few geeky shows together, like Warehouse 13, The Walking Dead, and now, Doctor Who.  We discuss the events, characters, and the direction of the story.  Seeing her talk about the things she likes about the story, what she would change, what she hopes might happen, makes me estatic.  She is opening her mind to what can be – she only has to think it, to dream it.

So when that self-doubt creeps in, am i doing it right, am I too hard on her, not hard enough – I just remember the sense of wonder on her face.  Her laughter when reading a book, or the loud “NOOO!” when something bad happens to her favorite character. 

I’m that proud father.

The End’s in Sight

I’m nearing the end of my current novel in progress.  Based on my outline, the climax is up next, and I’m ready for this story to reach its conclusion.  I have several short stories lined up and ready to write, and then contine with my other partially completed novel. 


  • With this novel being the longest written piece I’ve ever done, is it wrong to anticipate the ending of the story?  Is this common? 
  • How long should I let the novel rest before attempting the second draft? 
  • At which point should I let me critique group read the manuscript?

The new year is shaping up to be very busy, writing wise.  Let’s hope I maintain the motivation to meet my goals.

Bring it, 2014.