Grammer, spelling and the butchering of the English language

As a writer, I suppose it’s expected that my blog posts should be spelled perfectly with the most precise use of grammar this side of The Elements of Style.

Just saying that probably won’t happen here.  My first drafts are usually messy. Things get cleaned up on edit, but I want to give myself room for imperfection on the first draft of anything.  And blogging feels like a conversation, so I’m not likely to review and redit most of my posts.

Just settin’ the bar.

Living your passion

What makes you passionate?  For me it’s about making a positive impact. Giving people hope, making people smile or laugh.  Making a material difference for even one person.  This is the kind of thing that really gives meaning to life.  Introducing new experiences, creating a path for others to feel more of who they are and to experience a richer tapestry of what life has to offer.

Currently, I’m focused on achieving this through writing. Being an author also has the advantage that it allows me to focus on topics that interest me. Learning new things really lights me up. Doing lots of research for my next book. Won’t tell what it’s about yet, but I think I need to take a trip through Europe. Purely for research purposes.

Hugh Howey on razor blades

I’ve become a big fan of Hugh Howey.  Here’s he referring to issues around self-publishing (the route I’m taking).

I’ll explain in a future post why I decided to go self-publishing. Hugh Howey is passionate about what he writes, which often makes me a bit closed (I have a thing about ideologues on any topic). But I haven’t found anything he says I disagree with yet.

Blog challange and being proud

I’ve been a huge fan of Scott Dismore and his Live Your Legend blog. Scott’s purpose is all about self-discovery and doing what you love.

As Aristotle said, “Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.”.

Scott is running a blog challenge this week for those who are thinking of starting their own blog (see here). The writing prompt for today is “What’s one thing you’re proud of?”

My answer is easy and that’s my two children.  However, I would have to add the caveat that “proud” may be the wrong term.  Being proud implies that their general awesomeness is somehow creditable to me.  I suppose I’ve had my moments, but I think they would have been awesome people no matter what and it’s more a testament to their natural personalities (and probably their mother).  But I do have quite a bit of satisfaction and joy in knowing that I contributed to bringing them into the world and had at least some influence on who they have become.

How about you? Feel free to leave something you’re proud of in the comments.

The Writing Zen of Motorcycles, Part 1

I recently did a cross-country trip from Boulder to Chicago via motorcycle.  Around 1000 miles each way.  On the Triumph Sprint I ride, there’s just too much wind and road noise to listen to music so I spent around 17 hours of riding time (each way) with my own thoughts. And I learned a lot of lessons that apply to life and to writing.

The first one was when I started the trip. I’d never ridden that far before. I didn’t know how comfortable the bike would be, if the weather would hold and whether I’d be bored out of my mind.  When I first left Boulder, all I was thinking was that I had 1000 miles to drive. That’s almost forever.

And this is the lesson for writing.  When you start out to write, especially a novel, it’s easy to get overwhelmed.  100,000 words?  Do that many words even exist?  (Good news, you can use the same words more than once.)

So I had to break the trip down. I decided I wasn’t going to Chicago. Instead I was going to Sterling, Colorado about 140 miles away. I could do 140 miles.  And when I got to Sterling, than I’d worry about where I was going next.  Maybe I’d go to North Platte. That would be another 140 miles.  No problem.

When you sit down to write, just take it one step at a time. You don’t finish a novel in one sitting.  Write one sentence, then a paragraph. Then maybe two.  Over time it will build and before you know it you’re at 150,000 words and wonder how you’ll ever be able to finish your book in less than 200,000.  That’s a problem for another day.

Facebook announcement

A repost of my FB announcement on the launch of the poem and book.

It’s a gorgeous day here in Colorado. Can’t think of a better day to put this out there.  This is a pretty public announcement. I’m both excited and, shall we say, nervous.

I don’t think many people know, but I’ve been writing as a “hobby” for about ten years now. I’ve been a member of the Society of Children’s Bookwriters and Illustrators for four or five years now and run a critique group in Boulder.

I started writing for my (completely awesome) kids and that eventually turned into a novel. Not one anyone would have wanted to read, but you have to start someplace.  A few years ago I moved onto the path of seriously wanting to be an author and have spent a lot of time and effort learning the craft of writing. It’s been a great trip. And I’ve recently had some important people in my life nudge me to finally own it and put my writing out there.

Like most writers, my goal is to have an impact on my readers. To introduce new ideas, stir emotions and to entertain.

Below is a link to a poem I wrote for my niece (that would be you Isabella).  The link is to a PDF.  I’m working on an illustrated version of the poem and expect to have that available in November. When it’s done I’ll be giving away the Kindle version for free for a few days.  If you have any interest, sign-up at the link below to get an update for when the free version is available.  Amazon also has the ability to publish on demand so I expect to have hard copies available as well.

Honestly, the poem above was a bit of an accident, I never intended for it to be published.  That’s where awesome, supporting friends can be really handy.  The novel I’ve been working on is middle grade (~9-12) fantasy. It’s called The Book of Dreams. Current schedule has it hitting Amazon on December 1.  And I’ll be posting some additional writing, free chapters, some artwork from the novel and possibly a book trailer to the website in the next few weeks.

My writing won’t be for everyone and that’s OK. If you don’t have kids but know someone who does, I would appreciate you forwarding the links below on.  I’m getting this out word of mouth and I deeply appreciate anyone who can take a few moments to pass it on.

Exciting times!  Writing is a real passion for me and my desire is to bring people great stories that entertain and move you.  Please feel free to leave feedback on the website, I would love to hear from you.

Here are the links for the website, downloading the poem and getting on the mailing list.  Have a beautiful weekend.

Houston, we have liftoff

I’m excited to finally have the blog up and running.  There’s lots happening in the next few months and I’m looking forward to starting a conversation around writing and getting my books out.  It’s a huge step.  Kind of the opposite of the moon landing, one small step for mankind, one giant leap for me.