Tuesday, November 29, 2011


Well, I did it. I wrote a novel in 28 days.

O.k., so it's not War and Peace, but it's a 50,000 word (and still counting) novel.

And I wrote it!

A brief recap for those just tuning in: At the start of November I decided to take part in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), an exercise in (what they call) 'literary abandon' where you write 1,666 words a day and, in 30 days, you have a small novel. Some days, I wrote more, some days I wrote less, some days I didn't write anything. Mainly,though, I wanted to see if I could do it and found out that, yes, yes I could.

Now, keep in mind that it's not complete and is still in the rough, first draft, form. It's gonna need a lot more editing, revisions, and beta readers....but, at least for me, it's something to be proud of. It shows that I can take on a project and see it through. It also proves to me something that I wasn't real sure of...that I can sit down, almost every day, and write.

And just what is my book about, you may ask? Oh, you didn't ask? O.k., well I'll tell ya, anyway...

The T.E.M.P. Agency:

An old, almost obsolete Temporal Enforcement Mobile Patrol unit is sent back to the 1930s for reasons even it doesn't know. It seems it's programming has been tampered with so it's, basically, on it's own. Relying on nothing but older programming, it learns about the time period by studying the movies. Deciding to take the name 'Templeton Bohlts', he becomes a private eye, specializing in 'strange and unusual' cases.

When a strange relic is delivered to his door, it kicks off an odd series of events that lead Templeton and his allies Madame Vadoma...a gypsy 'seer' (never call her a fortune teller)....Frank (Colly) Flouers...a hard of hearing, ex boxer with a gentle soul...and Terry Logan.....Hollywood stuntman by day, dark vigilante by night... on a search for the truth....if they can make it in time.

Yeah, I know, it sounds crazy...but it was fun to write and, I hope someday, fun for others to read.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

NaNoWriMo.....Day Twenty

So, instead of the usual 'I typed this many words today and my total is this many words' NaNoWriMo  post, I've decided to add a visual dynamic. Below are a couple of shots of my 'writing space' (which also, amazingly, transforms into a spare bedroom when we have company). A place I can go (usually accompanied by our cat, Jasmine) pop in my ear buds and 'get away from it all', as they say. As you can tell, there's a definite theme to my little area....I've been a comic book fan for over thirty years. It's a good thing I have a very understanding wife  :)

Where do you go to write? Where has NaNoWriMo forced you to hole up for the month of November? Got a pic? Post a link in the comments section. I'd like to see what inspires you all.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

NaNoWriMo....Day Twelve

After a -very- unproductive yesterday, I had to play catch-up today. Luckily, I didn't have much going on anything going on today so I could spend it writing.

I only managed about 200 words yesterday, so I knew I had to hustle today if I wanted to make my word count and keep up with the program. It took me all day, but I finally got 3082 words down, all while trying something different.(at least for me)

I switched the point of view from the main character to a minor character....then another one. All still in the third person, just different character perspectives.   I'm hoping it doesn't come off as confusing, but I figure I can always go back and rework it during the editing/re-writing phase if it does.

My grand total, thus far, is 20,115. Slightly over what I need, which gives me a little jump on tomorrow. I'm seeing some of my writing buddies pulling out some huge word counts and I think that's awesome. For me, though, I'll stick with the slow and steady...unless I have a burst of inspiration or the story starts taking off on it's own.

Keep at it, NaNos, we're almost to the half-way point!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

NaNoWriMo...Day Nine

I figured it was bound to happen....I really struggled today to make my word count. The important thing is, though, that I did make it.

1,532 words today for a grand total of 15,043. Still on track, but the rails were a little shaky today.

I'm heading to a point, I think, where my plot is becoming a bit more convoluted and I'm feeling that my characters don't have much....well...character. Then again, I knew I'd be going into this, pretty much by the seat of my britches so I'm not surprised as much as I am wanting to make sure that the plot, at least, makes sense.

I still don't have a major villain. I have a few ideas and some sparks of motivation for the antagonist, but nothing concrete. I also don't have near as much action as I want.

Basically, things are just plodding along. I'm eeking out a word count and, at this point, that's about it. I need to dig in and make sure the plot doesn't come off like a 1930's era police procedural show.

The best thing I can do, I think, is to keep on putting something down....everyday. I realize that when it's time to edit and re-write, things can be shifted around to make more sense. I know this. I just thought things would be flowing more smoothly by now.

Today was just a down point, not rock bottom. I'm sure things will pick up.

They will pick up....right?  Of course, they will... ;)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

NaNoWriMo...Day Eight

Well, I started this, my very first NaNoWriMo, on the right foot. For the first five days, I was keeping up with my word count and staying where I needed to be. I even had a buffer in case I faltered a day.....which I did. This past weekend. I was pretty much resigned to the fact that I wouldn't be able to write on Sunday, as it was our first wedding anniversary and we'd be spending the day at Disney World to celebrate. Saturday, we had a housewarming/birthday/anniversary party for my sister-in-law/nephew/us, respectively, so I figured nothing would get done that day, as well.

As it turned out, though, Saturday wasn't an 'entire evening' sort of thing, so I actually got some writing time in and made my word count for the day.

Sunday, as I figured, was a wash...which was just fine because there were more important things to tend to. I semi-struggled and managed to catch back up yesterday (Monday), which even impressed myself.

I'm still on track, but that 'skip' kind of opened my eyes to something. You see, originally, my plan was to get this huge word count built up so I could take days 'off' if I needed and still win in the end. I found out, while trying to catch up that I really -needed- to write everyday (if possible). Yesterday I was struggling to focus and putting more hours than usual into my story. For me, going along a steadier pace, sitting down to write -every day- is how I'm going to get through this.

It's all about the discipline. I read something once that said if you can do something for two weeks, then it becomes almost like a habit. That applies to me, wholeheartedly. When I was working out a lot, after a while it was like second nature and going to the gym wasn't an issue at all. I'm hoping that, by sitting down every day and hitting the keyboard, it will become almost like a habit....where I'll feel bad/guilty about not doing it and, then, get my rear in gear.

In my case, slow and steady, definitely wins the race. Of course, we all know that NaNoWriMo is all about the race...not the finish line.

Keep on running, my friends, keep on running =)

Saturday, November 5, 2011

NaNoWriMo....Day Five

Not much to report on day five. I'm keeping up with my daily word count and even have a small  minuscule cushion going, just in case. Said cushion isn't near as big as I'd like, but at least it's there and I'm fairly satisfied with it.

I'm starting to see postings on G+ of folks struggling. We all know it's bound to happen...I know it will happen to me. If you're reading this and struggling, it'll be o.k. This is just the gear up, things will get smoother, just hang in there. Don't forget to take time to do other, non writing related, things. Play that video game, surf the web, go to the beach, take a walk, cook, clean, whatever....just...do stuff. If you want to use some of that time to plot and plan...all the better.

I'm very glad I decided to give this crazy NaNoWriMo thing a try. To be honest, I had my doubts that I'd even get out of the starting gate, but here it is, day five and I'm still on target and going strong. I've had some (very) minor characters start to shine and may get a bigger role than originally anticipated. I'm loosely sticking to my vague outline which will only last me until around chapter nine, then I'm flying blind. By then, though, I should have a pretty good handle on where the story is going and who's taking it there.

Well, it's late and I need to get to bed. Lots to do this weekend.

Maybe, though, I'll get to sneak some writing in here and there. =)

Thursday, November 3, 2011

A quick excerpt....

After seeing others post parts of their story on my Google Plus stream, I decided to put an excerpt from my story on my NaNoWriMo profile. 

Figured I'd might as well put it here too......please keep the tomato throwing to a minimum =)

As Templeton scanned the folder, his virtual 'mind' working through hundreds of thousands of scenarios, a rap at the door triggered his 'chameleon' program....the one that helped him to blend into which ever society he ended up in. At least -that- program was working as intended.

"Look Sweetheart, cant'cha see I'm...." The big glob of shadow from behind the frosted glass loomed larger as the door swung open wide. A large man wearing a frayed looking, blue pinstripe suit had a beefy arm around Linda's throat....his free hand had an old .45 special pointed at her temple.

"O.k. Bohlts....look here ya two bit chisler....I want what's due me, see?" The larger man, a scar running down his right cheek, barked.

"Due you?"

"Yeah.....the package......gimmee!"

"Gim-you..." Templeton said slowly as if mulling over not only the gunman's demand, but his command of the English language, as well.

"Alright....look....don't do anything rash," Templeton said, bringing both his hands to rest flat on the sparkling clean desktop. The gunman jerking his chin at the movement...

"Hey, hey....watch it there, fella....just you watch it...."

"Keep calm...it's alright....it's alright..." Templeton tried to put some soothing tones to his voice while he began slowly drumming the fingers of his left hand, rhythmically, on the large, oak, desk. Glancing from the barrel of his gun to Linda's face, it appeared that she was taking this more calmly than would be expected from a temporary secretary. Still, though, her hands hand a tight grip across the large gunman's forearm as she leaned back into him.

"Alls I want is what's due me....gimmee the package and I'll let yer girlie here go." A menacing shake of his gun emphasized his point.

Templeton's steely blue eyes caught Linda's, he arched a brow...his fingers still drumming the desktop...drawing the gunman's gaze while Templeton glanced over at the highly polished, silver lamp to his right.
Fingers dumming.....thrrrump...thrrrump...thrrrump.....the larger man looking annoyed....

"Look...do I get it, or what?" he bellowed.

Templeton nodded knowingly...."Why, yes, I think you will..." and, with that, his right hand shoved the silver lamp directly into the beam of sunlight that shone down on his desk, reflecting it directly into the gunman's eyes.
In a flash, Templeton was out of his seat and vaulting over the desk. Whether he would have made it in time, they'll never know because Linda was already on the move. Bringing her left heel up, she slammed it back down into the toe of the gunman's weathered looking wingtip shoe.
A loud howl erupted from the man as the pain in his foot and bright light in the eyes forced him to loose his grip enough for Linda to scurry free. His arms flying out wide, the .45 special barking, left the larger man wide open for an extremely fast right hook. With Linda clear, the gunman spun on his heel and fell flat on his face...out cold.

"Wow, you're quick!" Linda gasped as she began pulling herself off the floor.

"They don't call me 'Bolts' for nothing.." Templeton smiled, extending his hand and helping Linda up.
"That was a pretty nifty trick with the lamp", Linda said, straightening the hat she hadn't gotten the chance to take off, "a one in a million shot."

"Actually, a one in a......ah, never mind..." Templeton stopped himself from completing that sentence and kicked the gun away from the larger man.

"Um....Mr...er, I mean...Max?"

"Yes Linda?" Templeton said as he began searching the man on his floor.

"You've been shot!" she gasped.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

NaNoWriMo....Day Uno

So, my first day of attempting National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is 'in the can' as they say in the movie business...not that I really know anything about the movie business...but they do say that.

I managed a 2500 word count, so I'm already ahead of the game and hoping I can set it up where I have a cushion,in case there's a day where I don't get a chance to write.

Those first 2500 flowed fairly quickly once I got going and I'm hoping it's a pace I'll be able to keep up.

Two things have helped me out, so far.....pumpkin spice coffee and my Pure Moods CD. I've read where people create their own NaNoWriMo soundtracks and I may give that a try next year but, for now, Pure Moods is all I need...music wise.

The first day has been fun.........

.....only 29 more to go....

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Na-Nu, Na-Nu

Wow, it's been over a month since I've posted here but, never fear, I've been writing. Maybe not as much as I would like, but I've still been at it.

I put up a post  on my 'general purpose' blog about giving a real shot at doing National Novel Writing Month this year or, as it's commonly known as, NaNoWriMo.

NaNo, which always reminds me of an Orkan Greeting (hence the picture of Mork from Ork, above...), is now upon us, starting in roughly two days from this posting.

I'm as prepared as I'm going to get, I think. I have a solid plot....at least it's solid to me...and a handful of characters, so I'm ready to go. I'm banking on my plot 'branching' out more as I go along and my characters developing more personality as the story progresses. Since the main idea of NaNo is to crank out 50k words and go back to edit later, I'm sure I'll have plenty of editing to do as more ideas crop up. It's almost like I'm writing a story for an RPG, which is what I have quite a bit of experience doing, having written/GM'd games for my old gaming group for years.

Pantsing....as it's known in the NaNo vernacular.....

To be honest, I wouldn't be nearly confident in doing this if it weren't for all the support I've gotten over on Google Plus.  The writing crowd over there is just, simply, awesome. Always with the encouraging word, tidbit of info, or trick of the trade. I'm really glad to be there and thankful that we'll all be doing this together.

I know.....I know.... I've gotten away from the original intent of this blog, (but, hey, it's my blog and I'll do what I want! :P ) but hope to use this space to keep everyone up to date on my NaNo progress, maybe putting up some snippets of my 50K, and whatnot.

So, in my best Michael Buffer voice....
"Let's get readdddddddddddyyyyy to NaNo!!"

Friday, September 23, 2011

More Flash Fiction...

Chuck Windig's flash fiction challenge, this week, was to tell a story using only three sentences....how hard can that be, right?  Well, not as easy as it sounds....

Here's my entry:

As Dy’lon crouched behind a solid steel table a beam of energy, strangely resembling musical notes, punched a hole to his right.

Taking a deep breath, he stood, spun, and aimed his glittery, antique Fender Stratocaster…sending a hard stream of musical energy at his foe.

Just as the ancient prophesy said….it’s a long way to the top, if ya wanna rock ‘n roll

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Another 100 word flash fiction challenge....

Once again, Chuck Windig has thrown up (again, no, not as in 'blew chunks') another flash fiction challenge on his blog. This time three words had to be chosen from a list of five:

 Enzyme, Ivy, Bishop, Blister, Lollipop.

Here's my entry:

“Don’t tell me he ate it?”
“Oh my God...he did eat it!”
Agent McCabe watched in horror, hissing to himself, as Bishop Tutu crunched into the lollipop.
The lollipop given to him by the “President”.
The lollipop that contained Enzyme X, a deadly pathogen that could wipe out an entire country.
Nothing left to do now, but run. Get to the airport and try to get the hell out of this country before things spread too badly.

How many licks did it take to get to the center of this lollipop?
This time the world may truly never know.

Just for the record....

...and, in case anyone was wondering, I -am- writing. I'm not posting said writings because, well, I'm trying to coalesce a bunch of stuff into a novel....of sorts. While I really don't want to give too much away at this point, I can say it has the following:

  • Time travelling robots
  • Masked vigilantes
  • Gypsy fortune tellers
  • Wealthy socialites
  • Movie actors
  • Streetwise ex-boxers
I don't want to say too much for fear of 'jinxing' things and hope to have more info soon. In the meantime, I'll try to pop in with the short story, or two, or the 'flash fiction' from some source or another.

Wish me luck!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Lesson learned...

On going back and reading "The Road to Hell ('s kitchen)", parts one and two , I think it taught me a lesson.

Don't do accents.  At least, don't try to write accents. I guess it's o.k. to describe an accent, but trying to phonetically put it down is a pain. I looked back and saw quite a few parts of  this simple, short, story where I really jacked it up. Imagine if the story were longer.

Or, I had actually went back and edited it better =)

Anyway, lesson learned.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

100 Word Flash Fiction Challenge....

      I've started following author (and self professed "penmonkey") Chuck Wendig on Google+ as well as over on his blog. Recently, he threw up (no, I don't mean as in 'blew chunks') a 100 word flash fiction challenge....a tale of revenge...and here's my entry.

     The Brownian Kill Unit's optical sensors recorded everything for the records, sending it down the time thread. The micro-pulse beam, literally, cooked Von Braun from the inside. The sound of wet flesh hitting the ground was followed by the clink of a monocle. The symbol of another infamous criminal scientist shattered.

     Von Braun had slagged more of his kind, over the years, than he could count. Now, it was over. Now, maybe, it might have never happened. Time travel was funny that way. 

     His last thought, as he faded from existence, was that “Braun” sounded very much like....Brown.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Theme Two: The Heist!

The theme of this story: light-hearted crime. The main character: unambitious traitor. The major event of the story: travel.

“Hey, I don’t care what you say”, the masked figure sitting in the back said, “it wasn’t stealing!”

“Yes...it was!!” the other masked figure in the passenger seat replied.

“It was not! They gave all that stuff to me....I’m serious.”

A loud “pffffttt” erupted from the passenger’s seat while the above streetlight’s beams passed over the car...faster and faster.

Another masked figure in the back just sneered in their general direction and sat further into her seat. “What did these two know?” she thought, but making sure she kept a tight grip on her evening’s stash.

“Well, I remember when there was honor among thieves...it wasn’t all about the haul. It was about working as a team....getting what you could get, you know?” the passenger turned around to look at his comarde, adjusting his mandatory seat belt so it wouldn’t choke him half to death in the process. Pulling out his nightstick, he waved it at the figure in the back. “And, just so you know, you’re lucky I don’t use this on you!”

“Oh, bring it on!” he replied, realigning his hat emblazoned with a skull and crossbones on the front.

“Ok, that’s it! You two knock it off right this minute!” the driver finally spoke up. “One more word from either of you and I turn this car right around.....no trick or treating at the mall....no cross town haunted house....nothing! Johnny, you’ll be splitting your candy with Stevie....don’t think I didn’t see you slide your bag over his as old man Peabody dumped the whole bowl out. Honestly, you two act like you’re hardened criminals instead of 10 year olds.”

Monday, August 15, 2011

Theme One: The Road to Hell ('s kitchen) (cont.)

The theme of this story: humorous transformation. The main characters: nervous cab driver and unambitious assassin. The major event of the story: funeral.

     Max fought back a hard swallow as the bile seemed to rise in his throat. This woman...this gorgeous woman...really gave him a sense of dread and for no real reason. She didn't look very menacing, but the way she carried herself...the odd accent...the way she constantly smiled..it just un-nerved him.

     "Yes, MaHx, you see thees fun-ur-al I am goingk to is for a very vile man. And I should know just how vile he vas...I used to be married to him."

     "Oh wow...I'm...I'm...sorry to hear that." Max stammered as he rounded the corner onto 34th street, the part of Manhattan known as "Hell's Kitchen".

     "Don't be sorry...he deserved it. I only go out of respect to his family. You see, they were vonce kind to me ahnd I owe them a debt that I can never repay.

     Feigning a knowing nod, Max slowed as the traffic thickened and the rain began to fall harder. "Well...uh...how did he die? If ya don't mind me askin', that is..."

     "Of course not, MaHx. You see....he vas keeled by a professional ahssassin." Another smile crossed her blood red lips, "He vas keeled by me."

     Max's blood ran cold and his fingers gripped the steering wheel until his knuckles turned white. The woman in the back leaned in put her palm flat to the divider glass. "Oh do not worry, MaHx...I haf geeven keeling up. Besides, that line of work was just a passing fancy as I did not make much money frahm eet...nor vas it very fulfilling."

     "Yer kiddin'.....right? I mean...you an assassin? You don't look the type...and, if so, why ya telling me all this?" Max had never been so happy to see an address in all his years as a cabbie and he quickly slid to the curb and put the car in park.

     "Vell Mahx, one thing my many, many years has taught me ees that confession is good for the soul...the irony being that I do not have....a soul." Gazing into the mirror, Max watched in horror as the woman's perfectly white incisors began to grow, the whites of her eyes disappeared, becoming pure onyx and two, small, horns sprouted from just underneath her bangs. "Besides....you vill not tell anywahn....vill you?",the now decidedly demonic looking woman said as she quickly resumed her disguise of just your plain old, gorgeous, brunette.

     Shaking now, and sweating profusely, Max's heart hammered against his chest while he shook his head. "No...'course not..I wouldn't....uhhh...uhhh...AAAHHH..." Grabbing his left arm, Max suddenly slumped over, his head banging into the top of the steering wheel as he took his last breath.

     "No, I guess you von't." The woman chuckled as she stepped out of the cab, her long legs carrying her to the door where a figure in a hood and cloak met her...it's face obscured by shadow, but it had a definite skull like quality. Setting what looked like a large, shiny silver, scythe against the door frame, the cloaked figure motioned her in.

     "There ees another vone out in the cab for you. Now, where ahr the hors d'oeuvres?", she smiled.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Theme One: The Road to Hell ('s kitchen)

The theme of this story: humorous transformation. The main characters: nervous cab driver and unambitious assassin. The major event of the story: funeral.

     The only thing worse than traffic in New Amsterdam was traffic in New Amsterdam....in a thunderstorm. No, scratch that....Max Tremble had found something worse than New Amsterdam traffic in a thunderstorm...his current fare. In the 25 years that he had been driving a cab for the DePalma Cab Co. he had never gotten a case of the 'standing neckhairs' like he did when he stole a glance in his rear view mirror. The gorgeous brunette in the black cocktail dress flashed him a smile every time their eyes met. While she was a definite knockout, a "fox" as they used to say when he was younger, she still gave him the heebies.

     "So....uh....where....uh...where ya goin' down 34th street?" Max ventured a conversation starter. Conversation always seemed to get him better tips, so he figured, why not?

     "MaHx", the woman said in some sort of foreign accent that Max couldn't quite place, "I yam go-ink to a fun-ur-al."

     Max's eyes bugged just a bit as she spoke his name, but then remembered his license plastered on the back of his seat. "Ah...gotcha. Sorry ta hear 'bout that....those things are never fun...er, I mean..."

     A soft chuckle erupted low from her throat as she shifted her position in the old seat. "Oh MaHx...usually, I vould ahgree wit you...but...noht in thees case."

     Now Max's eyes did bug out...."Huh?"

(to be continued...)

A quick note..

For exercise purposes, I'm going to try using the random story generator over at the Seventh Sanctum site.

Nuts and Bohlts: Operation Loose Screw

   A work in progress....obviously.

    No one is really sure just when, exactly, the human race started working on actual time travel. Rumor has it that the old U.S.S.R was one of the first organized (if you would classify the old U.S.S.R as 'organized') government bodies to say “Yes, (or “Da” as they said in the old U.S.S.R) let's actively look at traveling through time and, maybe, space.” Every piece of data I've ever seen on the subject also says that the Russians started this back as early as the 1930s...a sort of 'side job' while they looked to the stars and wondered how to shoot a monkey or a dog into the stratosphere. Ah, those crazy, vodka soaked, Russians. By the 1950s more and more countries were looking at time travel, secretly of course, as a means to not only make money, but to get a 'temporal leg up' on the impending Cold War.

Story Synopsis 1

I put this together about a year ago, but haven't done much with it....

The 'far, flung' future holds many wonders. Cats have decided to start speaking again, almost everyone can control the local weather, and nearly everything is automated. From the 'techno-boom' of the the early 21st century came the “A.I.s” or Automated Investigator. “Sam” Bohlts was one of the first but, quickly, became outdated. There was nothing wrong with his neurals, mind you, but his plastonian endoskeleton, which was covered in a layer of generation one transdermium, just wasn't the technological marvel that it once had been.

Now, struggling to make a byte, he takes any case that the Agency offers. Even a missing sentients case. He hated, as much as a N.U.T (Non-combat Utility Tool) can 'hate', missing sentients. Mainly due to the fact that if someone in The Society was missing, it was usually because they -wanted- to be missing. Not everyone was happy in the utopian society that arose from the Great Collapse. Some yearned for the days of yesteryear....conflict, non-conformity.....adventure! Usually, locating someone in Newmerica wasn't much of a challenge, but a holo star with a lot of points at her disposal was a different story.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Write on, brutha!

     I've decided to try something a little different (for me, at least) in terms of 'blogging' to sort of help me regularly exercise my writing muscle. My personal blog over at Wordpress will be for the random thought, rant, announcement, etc., while I'll use this blog to try to write something....anything...at least once a week. I know it's going to be a tall order, but nothing ventured, nothing gained. To get things going, I'll post a story synopsis I came up with a few months ago and then the start of a variation of that synopsis. Good or bad, let me know what you think.
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