December Writing Projects

Ho ho ho. It’s the most stressful time of the year. At least for me. Because I haven’t even begun my Grinchmas making this year, have barely even thought about it, and this year I have a day job to work around.

As I always say…I’m not happy unless I’m driving myself crazy.

And since I will be busy doing just that, it’s only right that I go easy on the writing this month. The only project that I have lined up is finishing the latest round of revisions on (Vampires) Made in America. I know. I started that months ago, but between NaNo and squeezing in an episode of Book ’em, Danno last month, I only worked on the manuscript for a couple of days. Despite being pressed for time, I think I can get it done since I only have about 50 pages left to do.

I’m also going to try to squeeze in one more episode of Book ’em Danno before the end of the year. I’m getting quicker on the recording, but the editing still takes me hours. If you ever wanna feel self-conscious about your breathing and how often you pause while talking, start a podcast.

Speaking of, Episode 7 of Book ’em, Danno went live just a few days ago. Give that a listen and feel free to talk it up to your friends by liking, subscribing, favoriting, rating, reviewing, commenting, sharing, whatever. It’ll make my heart grow three sizes.

And if you’re wondering what’s happening with Murderville, well, the Season 4 promo goes live for everybody on December 3rd. It’s going to be a good one, so become a patron and don’t miss out. $1 an episode let’s you read; $2 an episode gets you a bonus every other month, like the one that will be happening on December 17th.

November Writing Projects–This Year’s NaNo

It is once again that time of year in which I torture myself by writing 50,000+ words in 30 days. This year I’m going back to writing a novel.

This year’s NaNo project is The Support Group Meets on Wednesday. I’ve already written it as a short story (which is really just like a bad first chapter) and it was my entry in the script writing contest last year. So I’ve already got a synopsis and the first fifteen pages of a script for it. And maybe one day I’ll get around to finishing that script.

But in the meantime, I really do want to get this idea out in its entirety in some form (really, it would make a good script or novel) and I think it will be make a good NaNo project. I like the idea, I’m interested in it, and I think it’s hearty enough to get me to 50,000 words without much trouble.

Provided I can be productive, of course.

If all works out like usual and I’m done before Thanksgiving, I’ll get back to revising (Vampires) Made in America. I didn’t finish it last month (I didn’t think I would), but I’ve only got less than 100 pages left to revise.

I probably won’t get it finished before the end of this month, either.

Maybe before the end of the year.

The official promo for Season 4 of Murderville goes live for patrons this month. So become a patron and don’t miss out on the next Munsterville mystery and who will be solving it starting January 2020.

Episodes 5 and 6 of Book ’em, Danno went live last month. I’ll do my best to get another episode out this month, but since I got behind and never really caught up and now it’s NaNo, I can make no promises. Didn’t I warn you about this? I believe I did.

Writer’s Apathy

I think the last time I had a true writer’s block was back in my early twenties when I was transitioning from writing mostly fanfiction to writing mostly original stuff. As the fanfiction ideas disappeared, the original ideas weren’t quite there, and there was a time when I didn’t write anything at all. There was a certain amount of anxiety preventing me from trying. I wasn’t sure that I could write anything if I wasn’t writing fanfiction and I wasn’t sure I was good enough to even bother trying.

But, I got past that. Obviously.

What I have now isn’t writer’s block. It’s writer’s apathy.

It’s like having writer’s block, but instead of being unable to write, I don’t know what to write because I kind of don’t care.

I mean I do, but I don’t.

I’ve got my projects list and I’m currently revising (Vampires) Made in America again, but it’s more for something to do -to say that I’m writing- rather than because I really want to.

It’s been a little while since I’ve really wanted to write anything. I thought that much of my problem had to do with my depressive episode earlier this year. But that’s abated and the apathy remains. No matter how many times I ask myself “What do you really want to work on? What do you really want to write?”, my answer is always “I don’t know.” I look at my projects list, I look at my idea notebook, and nothing really jazzes me so much that I feel like I have to work on it right now.

I’m hoping that NaNo helps snap me out of this. I like the project that I picked (even if I don’t have that feeling of urgency to do it), so I’m hoping that it will re-energize my writing mojo. Otherwise I’m going to have to start asking myself some really uncomfortable existential questions like “Do I still want to be a writer?” and “Who am I if I’m not one?” And frankly, I’m just too shallow for those kinds of questions.

The question that I need to answer is “What do I really want to write now?” because “I don’t know” isn’t cutting it as an answer. I need to keep asking until I get an answer because I think that there is one. I’m avoiding it for some reason. Maybe because I know I won’t like the answer. Or maybe because I know that the answer will take me out of my comfort zone.

Whatever it is, I need to do myself a favor, stop dodging the question, and just answer it.

Time for a resolution.

October Writing Projects

It’s NaNo time!

Yes, it’s October and October means NaNoWriMo prep. I’ve known what I want to write for NaNo for months and I already have a reasonable outline available (I’ll reveal the project next month as usual). What’s left is refining the plan and outline I have. I’m a little bit ahead of the game this year, so I hope it bodes well.

I’m also going to continue revising (Vampires) Made in America. I’ve been taking my time with it because after I rewrote the beginning and got rid of the first chapter, I realized that it wasn’t another point of view that I needed, but another personality. Trust me when I say that makes sense. I’m not sure I’ll get done with it this month, but now that I know what I’m doing and I got through that initial first chapter rewrite, things are moving along much faster.

I’m also going to try to be a bit more productive with Book ’em, Danno this month. I’ve gotten a little behind in my recording and I really need to get my pineapples picked before NaNo, so to speak.

As for Book ’em, Danno, episode 4 went live last month on Soundcloud and iTunes for your listening enjoyment. Episode 5 will be available for your ears later this week. Do listen, like, subscribe, review, recommend, force upon friends, family, and strangers, etc. That sort of support is very much appreciated.

Now is a great time to become a Murderville patron because the Season 4 preview episode goes live on October 8th and you can read that for as little as $1 an episode. If you go for $2 or more, you get a sweet bonus every other month, including this month, which happens on October 22nd. Season 4 starts January 14th of 2020!

September Writing Projects

I am totally finished with Murderville. The last two seasons are written, revised, polished, scheduled, ebooked, teased, promo-ed, everything. I am done with it. All that’s left is to manage the little details as the rest of this Patreon project plays out.

As happy as I am to be done with this project that I’ve been working on for years, I feel a little lost without it. I spent half of August trying to decide what to work on next.

I’ve decided to go back to the Outskirts. That’s right. I’m revising (Vampires) Made in America. Again.

Last year when my goal was to submit the book to agents, I realized after the first few rejections that it needed more work, but I wasn’t sure what it needed.

Earlier this year, I realized that I was starting the book in the wrong place. I needed to get rid of the first chapter and start with the second. Which is easy enough to do. Yes, I lose some stuff I really love, but that’s the nature of the writing beast. You can’t keep everything you love if it doesn’t serve the story. The first chapter really doesn’t serve it.

But that didn’t feel like the only change that I needed to make. There was something else that I just couldn’t put my finger on yet.

I had my epiphany about two weeks ago. In an after-shower moment (all of those best ideas happening while I shower, after my shower, or while I do laundry), the theme of the novel fully clarified itself to me and I realized I needed to add another viewpoint. That’s what’s been missing this whole time.

So, that’s what I’ll be doing this month.

Maybe I can finally get this book right.

Episode 3 of Book ’em, Danno is out. Also worth noting that the podcast is now on iTunes, though I don’t officially say anything about that until the fifth episode because that’s what happens when I try to stay an episode or two ahead. But you don’t have to wait until then to subscribe and listen.

Episode 4 should be coming out shortly.

Murderville patrons, brace yourselves. The ebook of Murderville: Rounds of Luck will be going live on September 10th.

Yes, I might be done with the project on my end, but the goodies will keep on coming for quite a while.

The New Day Job

Image by StockSnap from Pixabay

Now that I’ve been working at this new day job gig for a little over three weeks and we’re nametag official, I suppose I can fill folks in on the details.

I’m working as a clerk at the local library part time. Right now the hours are perfect for me. I make enough to pay the bills, but I also have time to write and podcast. Though the job is a lot more than just shelving books and checking them out, it’s not stressful. There is always someone nearby to answer any questions and so far, the training I’ve received has been very good. And thankfully, I’m getting the hang of things. It’s quite the departure from the last day job.

I know what you’re thinking. A writer working at a library? It’s perfect! Well, yeah, sorta.

For one thing, it’s exposing me to books outside of my reading comfort zones (which I’ve been trying to do in the last few years anyway). It’s also exposing me to books that I’d never read, but it’s still good to know they exist. Like Amish romances. I had no idea these were so popular, but let me tell you, we carry a lot. So, it’s definitely inspiring me to read more, which will hopefully translate to me reading more consistently so I can read more.

On the flip side, it reminds me of how much I’m not accomplishing. Processing all of the new books reminds me of the ones that are sitting unpublished or unfinished on my hard drive. I want to say that it inspires me to work, but so far it’s just been a bit disheartening. I see all of those books and I can’t find my place.

Though if there are readers for Amish romances, then I’m sure there are people out there that want to read whatever it is I write. Something for everyone, right?

Sure.

In the meantime, I suppose I better get to work.

August Writing Projects

So, it turns out that I was more productive than anticipated last month. Not only did I get the preview stories for Season 4 and Season 5 of Murderville done, I also got the cryptic teaser poems I do for $2 patrons finished and started work on the final revision/polish of Season 4 and Season 5.

That will be my goal for this month. Finishing the final polish on both seasons, getting everything formatted and scheduled and ready to go. If all goes well this month, Murderville will be finished. Well, everything except patrons reading it, of course.

However, there’s been an important life change since last month.

I got a new day job. The hours for this gig are steady and the gig itself should be far less stressful than the last one, which should help keep me pretty consistent when it comes to the writing side of life. But it’s going to be a bit of trial and error getting both schedules to work together in the best way. And there’s also the podcast to think about. I’d like to keep a reasonably regular production on that.

So, we’ll see how it all goes.

Speaking of Book ’em, Danno, episode two is up, discussing the first two regular hour long episodes of season 1, “Full Fathom Five” and “Strangers in Our Own Land”. So, be sure to give that a listen.

And the very last episode of Murderville: Rounds of Luck goes live on August 13th. But last is never too late. Become a patron for $1 an episode, or become a $2 an episode patron and get a nifty bonus every other month, like the one dropping at the end of this one, which is the Season 4 teaser poem.

 

Murderville: Rounds of Luck- Episode 7

The Phantom Returns

Velvet and Otis jumped to their feet at the same time, chairs shrieking and clattering.

The man just stood there, wearing all black, his face uncovered, framed by dark hair and shining pale white in the glare of the light. He stared right at the camera. Daring them.

Velvet had no doubt in her mind who it was or what he was doing. He’d come back to get them, pure and simple. She knew that the papers speculated the killer might have been looking for something the night before, and maybe he had been. But right now, all he was looking at was them.

At least it felt that way. Velvet felt his stare right through the screen even though she knew he couldn’t see her.

“I think we’re getting fired tonight,” Otis said, reaching for the phone on the desk, keeping an eye on the figure on the monitor.

“I’m good with that,” Velvet said, sounding as breathless as she felt, eyes fixated on the man on the screen.

Velvet heard him punch the numbers on the phone over her heartbeat pounding in her ears. This was the most terrifying stare down she’d ever been part of and that was saying something considering the guy wasn’t even in the building with her, let alone the same room. Worse, the longer Velvet stared, the more the man looked vaguely familiar, and that only added to her terror. She was barely aware of the click of the phone’s cutoff.

“The phone’s dead,” Otis told Velvet as he gently replaced the receiver.

A noise escaped her, something like a low, keening moan, and she leaned forward, bracing herself on the desk, eyes never leaving the monitor. This wasn’t happening. Trapped in a warehouse by a murderer and no phone or gun. Not that she knew how to shoot a gun, but Otis probably did. She would have felt a little bit better if Otis were armed. This was like a horror movie.

Velvet shook her head. If she got murdered in this warehouse, she’d never hear the end of it from her parents.

“I just wanted a normal night at work,” she complained. “This week is shit.”

“Where’s your cell phone?” Otis asked, businesslike as always. It should have been more comforting, but Velvet’s fear was whipping through her like an out of control roller coaster and it was taking everything for her not to burst into tears or laugh hysterically.

“In my car,” Velvet whispered, like the guy standing in the parking lot might hear her. “Mr. Kobel doesn’t let us have our cell phones in the building, remember? That son of a bitch. He probably just doomed us both. Probably did it on purpose, that asshole. That stupid mother-”

“Okay,” Otis said, cutting her off. Probably for the best. Velvet was working her way up to one hell of a rant. He took a deep breath and held out his hand. “Give me your keys.”

For the first time since the man appeared, Velvet looked away from the monitor long enough to look at Otis like he was crazy. He didn’t look like he’d lost his mind, but she was pretty sure he had.

“Do what?”

“Give me your keys,” Otis repeated. “I’ll go down there and get your phone.”

“Otis, the killer is standing right there,” Velvet said. She reached over to tap on the monitor to emphasize her point. The man moved just as she did, and Velvet jerked her hand away like he tried to grab her through the screen.

The two of them watched as he walked along the backside of the building and disappeared around the southwest corner.

“He’s going back to the crime scene,” Otis muttered and then louder, “Quick, Velvet, your keys. Now’s the time.”

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Now IS the time! Only one more episode left after this. Don’t be caught unaware! Check out Murderville or Patreon and get in the know!

July Writing Projects

My mission to wrap up everything Murderville continues.

This month I’m going to wrap up the revisions on Season 5. For both Season 4 and Season 5, I employed a page limit on my revisions that allowed me to be productive without getting overwhelmed. Back in the day, I could do as much as a whole section in a day and be done with a Murderville season within a couple of weeks at most. I’m not able to do that anymore and I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to get back to that place. In the meantime, I’ve set myself the goal of doing 3 pages a day. That way I’m done in roughly a month, give or take, and I’m making consistent progress that isn’t overwhelming.

Once that revision is done, I’ll write the preview stories for both Season 4 and Season 5. I don’t want to get ahead of myself and my productivity, but I’m hoping to at least get started on revising them as well. If not, that will be my goal for August.

My first episode of Book ’em, Danno went live last week. I’m still trying to figure out the best way to consistently produce episodes, but as of right now, I’ve got the first three done. This gives me a little room to refine my process. And it needs a lot of refining. But I’m going to do my best to be consistent (hopefully getting a new episode out every 2-3 weeks) and have a good time.

And you know what else is a good time? Murderville: Rounds of Luck. There’s only two more episodes left and the penultimate episode goes live on July 9th. But it’s not too late to get in on that good time. Become a patron for a $1 an episode. Become a patron for $2 an episode and you get a bonus every other month. Join now!