A is for Award!


I was beginning to stress about April’s A-Z Challenge, being such a pro-level procrasinator, when I read Brooke Devereaux‘s news that she had been nominated for a Liebster Award. I then read on her blog that part of accepting the award involved not just giving some information about yourself by way of questions from the person who nominated you, but also to nominate some blogs as well. As I read on, I did a double-take when I saw this very blog on her list of nominees! So, not only do I owe Miss Devereaux an infinite amount of gratitude for the nomination, I also send her thanks for giving me the first subject for the A-Z Challenge. Thanks, Brooke!

Here are the guidelines:

    • Post the award on your blog.
    • Thank the blogger who presented this award and link back to their blog.
    • Write 11 random facts about yourself.
    • Answer 11 questions posted by the presenter.
    • Nominate 11 bloggers who have less than 200 followers.
    • Then ask your nominees 11 questions.

OK, first two done. Next:

Eleven Random Facts About Me:

1. I am left-handed.

2. I am an only child.

3. I began writing short stories in 8th grade.

4. I turned in a short story for extra credit in my 11th grade English class, and the teacher was so disturbed by its content that he arranged an appointment for me with one of the school counselors. LOL

5. I completed the 1996 LA Marathon. Notice I didn’t say ran, but completed.

6. I think Morphine is the most underrated band in the history of rock music.

7. I crack my knuckles a lot, lot, lot.

8. I am extremely shy around people I don’t know.

9. I love spending weekends cooking with my wife.

10. If I could devote half the time I spend watching TV to writing, I’d have filled up my hard drive by now.

11. I play the guitar with a high level of mediocrity.

The questions asked by my presenter, Brooke:

      1. What inspired you to start blogging? After reading others’ blogs for awhile I became slightly less intimidated with it, although it’s still a little nerve-wracking.
      2. What’s your favorite topic to write about? Ha! You’ll be the first to know.
      3. Do you prefer fact or fiction? Fiction, for the most part.
      4. What’s the last book you read? Blood & Gristle, by Michael Louis Calvillo
      5. What would be your ultimate getaway? Although there are several foreign countries I’d like to visit, I think Hawaii is my ultimate.
      6. If you had one wish, what would it be? More wishes! (badum tish!)
      7. What’s your best attribute? I think it’s my sense of humor, although my answer to the previous question may leave people thinking otherwise.
      8. What’s your biggest pet peeve? Right now it’s overuse of the word ‘amazing’.
      9. What’s your favorite time of the year? November-March. No yard work!
      10. Where do you get your best work done? At work, ironically. A great deal of my writing happens on my lunch breaks.
      11. If your could be anyone else, who would it be? My doggie Maximus, because he is the real king of this castle.

SweetMax Ok, now comes the hardest part for me: nominating others. I published my first blog post on February 26. This is just my fourth post. Suffice it to say, I’m quite the newbie. I’ve ever so slowly been checking out new blogs, but at this point I don’t even follow 11 blogs, let alone have that many to recommend. Hopefully this won’t lead to the award being taken away, I’ve already printed out a copy and had it framed and mounted above the fireplace. I do, however, recommend the following blogs wholeheartedly:

The Darling Discourse Blog

Steven J Dines

Writing With Your Imagination

Street of Dreams

Michelle Ziegler

Wasting Time

Alright, nominated bloggers, your mission should you choose to accept it: answer the following 11 questions.

1. What do you do to kill time when the power goes out?
2. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live?
3. What book or movie is extremely popular that you absolutely cannot stand?
4. Where is the most remote place you’ve ever been?
5. Why do you have a blog?
6. If you could time travel, what period would you go to?
7. What was your favorite breakfast cereal as a kid?
8. What would be your last meal?
9. What natural disaster is scariest to you?
10. What are you having for dinner tonight?
11. Where would be the dream location to spend New Year’s Eve?

Indecision, Second-Guessing, and Procrastination


I decided to slightly alter the header on the blog so that it now says “(self?)Publication”.  Here’s why:  Since I now have two works that are nearly ready for prime time, I spent some time this week researching the self-publication process, even going as far as designing a peliminary cover for one of them.  I was feeling pretty good, excited to forge ahead.   Then I found this blog post by writer Chuck Wendig, in which he and several other writers offer up their opinions on the subject, which for the most part are decidedly anti self-pub.  That’s all it took to stop me in my tracks and get me second-guessing the whole notion of doing this all myself.

Initially, I was automatically drawn to the idea of self-publication.  Back in the Olden Days when I spent a few years playing in punk and metal bands, DIY was the way to go.  Don’t bow down to record labels, record it yourself, release it and sell it yourself, Do It Yourself.  But the more I begin to rethink self-publication, the more I’m filled with self-doubt.  And what a lot of it comes down to isn’t so much rejection; I think I can handle a polite rejection letter from a publisher a lot better than a rude comment on the internet saying my book flat-out sucks.  What I have doubts about is the editing (or lack thereof).  I feel like I need more eyes on these projects before I can send them off into the big, scary world.  And for every rejection letter I get, there could be a tiny bit of constructive criticism in there that helps me make the book better.

So now I’m back to doing internet searches about finding literary agents, and which publishers out there would be looking for something along the lines of what I’ve got.  It makes me just want to chuck it all out the window and forget about it.  I’m fighting myself tooth and nail not to do that.  I keep thinking, ‘well, I can look into that next week, now that I’m not going to self-pub right now.’  You see, I’m a World Class Procrastinator.  A blue-ribbon winning, record-setting procrastinator.  If procrastination was an Olympic Sport, I’d be Michael F’n Phelps. So it’s easy to think of reasons not to do it. And I know how I am, so I can’t give myself the chance to put it off.  So, that’s all for now, it’s back to the internet for me to keep searching.  Well, in just a little bit, anyway. I think a movie’s coming on.

Am I Crazy??

I wonder sometimes.  I’ve gotten back into this writing thing, but it’s hard.  It kind of reminds me of exercise:  it’s a pain in the butt, but if you stick with it you’ll be glad you did in the end.  But keeping up the routine is quite a challenge, and something I have to convince myself is worth the time and effort.  So, here’s where I stand now..

I have one book in the in the revision process, and one rough draft just finished.  I’m going to put that one away for a while and try to come back to it with fresh eyes.  Then there are at least 3 more that are just in my head, waiting to be unleashed onto my monitor.  Since I got back into writing, my productivity has gone up a great deal, which is good.  Staring at a blank screen gets disheartening fast.  Hopefully, the writing is getting better as I keep writing.  Of course, if the writing does get better as I go, it makes me want to go back and revise what I wrote before.  It’s a vicious cycle, one that has me asking myself more often than not, “Am I crazy?”

I’ve realized my method for writing seems to differ from a lot of other writers.  A lot of writers write too much, then have to scale it back and cut out sections to get the book to a manageable length.  I, on the other hand, write very sparse, short rough drafts that need to be either beefed up to make them actual novel length, or scaled down and revised to create a good length short story.  The story I’m revising now is getting beefed up, thanks to a character that I tried to ignore but I now realize must be given a bigger part of the picture.  Hopefully, the revision won’t take as long as I’m fearing it will (right now it seems like it could be endless), then I’ll start on a new rough draft and start revising the rough draft I just finished.  Fun, fun, fun…right?

Thanks again for stopping by, see you again soon!

A Little Experiment…



If you’re reading this, congratulations!  You’ve managed to find my very first blog post, so either you were determined to read everything you could about me or you are incredibly bored.  But hey, who am I to judge?  

The blog will probably be a bit sporadic at first, as I’m still trying to figure out why I’m doing this again.  Well, I know why – because I’m trying to either publish or self-publish my first book, and with all the research I’ve done, the one thing I keep reading over and over is, “it’s extremely important for authors to have a blog to connect with potential readers!”  Um, okay.  

So here I am.  I will probably write some about the process of getting my book read, maybe some pop culture type stuff, and whatever may spill out of my fingers on that particular day.  But chances are, if you’ve made it this far, you’ve already read some of my other posts, and none of this comes as any surprise to you.  I feel like I’m trying to predict the future here…anyway, thanks for reading, and always feel free to leave a comment so I know I’m not the internet equivalent of that crazy guy talking to himself at the bus stop.

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