Blog Tour Stop Number Three

Blog tour
The setup for NaNoWriMo at home, if I need to be portable. Long exposure lit by sweeping an LED flashlight over the scene. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For today’s Apocalypse in the Balance Blog Tour Stop we have AC Elliot. He’s an extremely talented writer and poet.

He’s hosting a guest post I wrote about National Novel Writing Month and some preparation ideas I used to successfully complete the grueling November challenge. It is getting a little close to kick-off day, but it is not too late to put yourself in a position to succeed and earn yourself that shiny badge to place on your web site.

Make sure you stop by, give it a read and enter the rafflecopter giveaway for a chance to win autographed copies of my books.


Changes To My Book Reviews

I have been doing reviews for over a year now and this weekend I decided that it was time for a change. Now this change is nothing major, it is just a little style change to the format I thought I would give a try. If I don’t like it then I’ll ditch it and go back to the way things were.

So what is this great change I am talking about? 

With all of my reviews I try to point out what I like about the story/writing/etc. and mention the things that I think could be better. I usually try to follow this up with some sort of final opinion about the book and few links. So what I thought I would do is divide up the review into a three main sections.

The Good, The Bad, and The Takeaway.  The first two sections are pretty darn obvious I think, and the last one will be for that final opinion. I have been trying to stay away from any sort of rating or stars, but if I decide to go there some day then this is the section you will find it.

So there you have it. There will be three reviews coming soon, and they will all be in the new format. Leave me a comment and let me know what you think.

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The End is Nigh, or The Beginning of the Next Phase

As any of my long time readers can attest, my output as of late has increased substantially.  Alone used to consist of one post a week, but lately it has climbed to the point of five or six a week. Part of the reason for the change is that it became my primary focus as opposed to a secondary project. Another part is that after I hit Part 50 I took a look at where I was with the story and where  I wanted to go with it.  Some vague ideas became clearer as I plotted out the story’s path and made notes about changes I needed to make once I do the first re-write. Once I did all of that the story just poured out of me in a hurry, coming far faster than it has since I started it.  The goal is to have the first draft finished by the end of the month.  Once that has happened I will be taking a week off from working on it, then I will begin what promises to be the most brutal part of the project…the editing. As part of the editing process I will be going through all of the comments made on the individual posts. Once I’ve reviewed a post for comments I’ll be deleting it from my blog.  I don’t know how quickly the process will go, but I can promise at least one post a day will be removed so at best the individual parts will be online for about three months, but they could all be gone in a couple of weeks. So what am I saying here?  Well if you want to re-read the story from the beginning before you have to pay for it in book format you had better get started now. Oh, and tell a friend to come have a read too while you’re at it.

So what else is going on?  Well I decided that after the first 365 entries of my 100-day challenge I will be taking those offline too and putting them together as a novelette.  I hadn’t really thought about what I was going to do with it, but I like this idea.  I mean seriously, wouldn’t you pay a buck or two for the whole series in a nice little e-book format?  At any rate that one will continue on in my blog even after the first year’s worth has been removed.

Oh, remember some three weeks ago when I submitted a story for publication.  Yeah…longest…three…weeks…ever.  I still haven’t heard anything back.  No news means it hasn’t been rejected, but it still drives me insane waiting to find out one way or another.  I can handle rejection if it comes.  I have another story in the works and a third idea coming behind it, but the wait…it burns.

Football season is upon us and I find myself in a curiously uncomfortable position.  I have no channels that will allow me to watch football. Not one. As part of our ongoing attempts to save money so that some time in the next couple of years we can afford a house again we decided to ditch our cable/sattelite service and live off of the limited free channels from our apartment complex, supplimenting it with netflix and hulu plus. This solution has worked well for the most part, but I had not thought of football when I made the decision…now my Sundays shall be filled with tears, and not just because my Cardinals have been beaten.

I’m sure there are other updates I could be sharing right now, but this is all I can think of at the moment.  Brain fry has set in. Maybe I’ll share more later…if I remember…

Picking up the Pace

The number of views on my blog is down from last month and way down from the month before.  Last month it really bothered me, but this month I am completely ambivalent.  So what has made the difference in my views and my attitude?

Well the decrease in views has a lot to do with my approach to my blog.  I have stopped trying to bring in viewers.  Don’t get me wrong…I still want views and I love when I get a big spike in views, but I am not actively courting them any more.  No contests, no attempts to sound like I know what I’m doing when it comes to writing, and no filler just for the sake of drawing attention.

Why the attitude change?  Well last month I saw my productivity drop significantly.  I had received views but at the cost of making progress on my writing.  I went from an average of 660 words per day in March to less than 350 in April.  I had been sacrificing progress on my WIP in favor of views.

So what did I do?  I stopped trying to get people to come to my blog and refocused myself on the writing.  As a result I have gotten my word count back above my goal of 500 words per day and that is all on my WIP not on blobs or anything else.  I am pleased with the work and it is coming easily which is a refreshing change.

I am happy with where I am right now and if my views stay around 20 per day I can live with that…at least until I’m ready for publishing.

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The March Writer’s Challenge!

Well the My Writer’s Cramp March Writer’s Challenge has officially started!

There are already a half dozen people signed up or planning to participate and as soon as the entries start coming in I will post the links here and the judging will begin!

Is this the first you’ve hear of the March Writer’s Challenge? Well click HERE for more information including the rules!

Why settle for something normal? Push yourself and give the challenge a try! Continue reading “The March Writer’s Challenge!”

Distractions and Foci

Civilization V
Image via Wikipedia


Last weekend I had the major part of a day all to myself. I had nothing planned for except a phone call with a friend (which ended up not happening), yet I managed to get very little written during that time. That evening I wrote considerably more and ended the day about 1000 words short of my goal. I sat down and wrote the next day and was about as productive, though I spent the bulk of the day distracted by my parental duties. On the third day I punched out almost as much as I had during the previous two days combined although I was every bit as busy as the day before.

As I looked at the results of my weekend I asked myself what had made the difference in how much I was able to write during each day and at the different times of day. I questioned what had distracted me and what had helped me focus on my work and then I pondered what about the distractions and focus enhancers made them what they were. Continue reading “Distractions and Foci”

Edgefield In the Morning

What seems like a lifetime ago my wife and I spent a cold March weekend at McMenamin’s Edgefield in Troutdale, Oregon. When we woke in the morning there was snow outside. This picture was taken from our open window down on the Little Red Shack. Just beyond there was where we were married. It is one of my favorite places in the world for so very many reasons. This winter and the snow we have had so far leaves me missing it more than ever.