Friday, March 25, 2011

#ROW80 Week 12 - The End (Round 1)

Oops. Don't you hate it when you think you have a few more days than you actually have :)

For some reason, when I wrote last Sunday's post I thought there was still a full seven days left for round 1 of ROW80. Of course, thinking about it that doesn't make sense, since then it would be 84 days (12 x 7), and not 80 days.

Never mind. I made good progress for my weekly goal of finishing off the short story. I still have a couple of thousand words left (I've got to throw out one scene now

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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Hard Deadlines

One of the killers for any sort of project that you do in your own time is the lack of a deadline. If there is no time limit for when something has to be done, you're relying on yourself to get it done in a reasonable time.

For some people this isn't a problem. They're self-disciplined enough to get the work done in a reasonable time. But for the rest of us, we're not so lucky :)

Challenges like Round of Words in 80 Days (ROW80) are fantastic for helping to set goals with a time limit.

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Saturday, March 19, 2011

Aliens vs Ninja (in a fun way)

One of the things I enjoy about meeting and interacting with other authors, is occassionally getting to beta read upcoming work. That was the case for Keith C. Blackmore's latest novella, The Bear That Fell From The Stars. I first read this back in January, and I've been itching for it to come out.

I honestly loved reading this story. I have a strong interest in medieval Japan (I'd never write something set there, because I know I'd get the minor details wrong, but I love reading about the

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Thursday, March 17, 2011

Sample: The Outsider

For this weeks sample, I've decided to post the first scene of The Outsider. I wanted to paint details of the setting in broad strokes, and introduce Jacob as a man who knows he is risking a lot by helping the dying stranger who has turned up at the gates. I hope you enjoy.

The Outsider
Jacob blinked the sweat from his eyes. The harsh afternoon sun burned, even in the relative shade of the watchtower, and he longed for the end of his shift to arrive so he could get down from the

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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Focusing Your Writing Time

It's somewhat ironic that the day after I post I'm going to make this blog more reader-orientated, I make a post that is writer-orientated. But I've been trying out a new (free) program the past few days, and found it to be fantastic for helping me write.

The software is called Focus Booster. I found out about it when Amanda Hocking mentioned it on her blog (who in turn found out about it from Zoe Winters).

What does it do? Basically it puts a little timer on your screen (you can move it

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Monday, March 14, 2011

A Question of Purpose

I haven't been blogging much thepast month or so, and the main reason boils down to the title of this post. What is the purpose of this blog?

When it comes right down to it, I want this blog to be a way for me to interact with my readers (admittedly that's only a handful of people right now, but I hope that will slowly change in the future :) ). To have a place to be me, and hopefully show that there is a person "behind the book". But for a while, I had lost sight of this.

Instead, I had

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Saturday, March 12, 2011

Sampler: Scull (The Vampire Drabbles)

Another sample drabble from The Vampire Drabbles. One of the things I like about drabbles (and writing in general) is playing with expectations; taking the normal, and making it abnormal. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn't. Hopefully this one does :)
“Scull, scull, scull, scull, scull.” The crowd chanted loudly, cheering as Steve finished. Steve shared a round of high-fives with everyone around him.

“Not bad, not bad,” yelled Bob over the crowd’s noise, slapping

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Wednesday, March 09, 2011

"The Outsider" (post-apocalypse short story) is now available

My short story, The Outsider, is finally available on Amazon (and coming soon to Smashwords, and everywhere that Smashwords distribute to).

The Outsider is the first story in a series I've called "Atomic Wasteland Tales". It's a post-apocalyptic setting, many decades after a nuclear war that wiped out the majority of the world's population. The stories (at least initially) aren't linked in an overarching sequence, but there will be recurring characters and places appearing through

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