Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Overall and Writing Update

Yeah, sorry folks, I've been super quiet lately for a multitude of reasons. First of course is laziness, let's get that out of the gate. I'm sorry, but wow life has been crazy and I've dealt with several consecutive bouts of depression, which haven't been fun at all. Each lasted roughly a month. Sigh.

Secondly, I just haven't felt all that interested in blogging. Not many subjects have been of interest, and I'm floundering trying to think of things you guys would enjoy hearing about. It's always hard for me to measure people without comments.

Anyway! I feel like crap cuz I've gone a year and a half now without having released a book. For all three of my fans, I do truly apologize. However, I haven't been idle. On the contrary, I have in fact been doing insane levels of research and have in fact been working on two stories at once. One is another Primal Frontier story, the other is another novel set in a steampunk alien world. I've finally dubbed it The Pariah Chronicles, following the story of an airship crew as they go on weird adventures on an entire PLANET that I've been working on. Jeez, I can't make things easy on myself, can I? First series I invent a continent, and now a planet from the ground up.

Now, here's part of the problem with how that whole novel has been: It's been a HUGE jump in style. I'm now writing an entire crew, around seven people, all of whom have varied personalities and backstories with unique voices, and that's really been stretching my skills. I've never had a cast that big before, so it's been a challenge learning how to juggle that many characters and channel that many voices, which scenes to use them in and how. On one hand this is a very big and powerful learning experience. I'm learning new skills for my writing toolbox and having fun doing so. But it's also a work in progress which requires lots of fine tuning.

Second problem was plotting. I'm terrible at it. I actually spent seven dod gamn months last year, trying to plot this story out to the last detail. And failed miserably. It was an incoherent mess that required two fellow friends and writers to convince me was beyond salvaging and I had to start over. Reluctantly, I agreed that I indeed have to do this. So, almost a whole year wasted. I wasn't terribly happy about that. I then tried a new tactic, which I've called "Screw it, Imma just wing it" and started just bashing out words without any course or direction. Surprisingly this worked quite well, and managed to find unique character voices and had fun doing so. I found another plotline and tried following that. But again, I found that it had internal problems and was again forced to start over.

So I'm now a year and six months in, and now I'm trying to prepare myself for my third startup. However, this one I think will be far better than my other two. It's more natural, still exciting, and I can do the things that I enjoy without shoe-horning them in.

As a rough synopsis, a pair of xenoarchaeologists have hired on a renegade airship captain and her crew to engage in a race against time to document, collect and rescue as many extinct alien artifacts and architecture as they can before a massive war breaks out between multiple powers. Many of the research zones are right in the path of the conflict, and with how the heavy artillery and treasure hunters treat things, they have to move fast before these rare artifacts are stolen or pounded into dust under the teeth of heavy artillery and rockets. But they aren't the only ones in this race. There are other treasure hunters, techno cults, pirates, privateers, and corrupt military commanders who all want a slice of this lucrative action, so our heroes will have to be smart, daring and darned lucky to come out of it with a full hold and their arses intact.

And yeah, I'm going to throw all sorts of weird arse technology and weapons into this setting, you have no idea. It'll be a setting where you can't swing a dead cat without hitting a mad scientist or someone connected with a doomsday weapon. But those will come in future stories! After I get this kidney stone of a story finally out and I can flow freely once again.

On another positive note however, I've pushed my writing speed even further, to the point where on a day off I can actually hit five thousand words! So making ten to fifteen thousand words a week, which is now reasonably achievable, is a gigantic increase in pace that can help me to get a rough draft out in one to three months, instead of six or more. I actually managed to achieve sixty thousand for my last draft, before I realized it wasn't working. But fret not! I'm not killing that one. On the contrary, it's very salvageable, but for a later story. So it hasn't been a complete loss.

For now my goals are to give my brain a wee break, then sit down to work and get these two stories done. This upcoming Primal Frontier story, Heart of the Hunter, will be a shorter story, and will actually be for free. Give possible customers a taste of what I have to offer, ya dig? Even so this one has a lot of my heart in it, and it will be very different from the others I have written. With luck I'll have it done and published before the year is out. As for The Pariah Chronicles, I'm going to get details and stuff hashed out, and hopefully get a rough draft done within the year, and finally get it published by next year.

So I'd like to thank all of you who have stayed with me through this journey of confusion and silence, and hope that you will be satisfied with what I have coming up in the near future. Hopefully next week I can produce another blog article too about some interesting hunting chaps from Greenland. Until then, take care!

Friday, March 8, 2019

You Crossed The Line

Oh boy. PETA did a number this time. I have no love for PETA on their best day. I find them to be extremely judgmental, unrealistic and hypocritical. I'm pretty used to that from them and have come to expect to see them yelling at people for eating meat while at the same time they execute another dog without a home. They're like Planned Parenthood for animals, and yet they claim to have the moral high ground.

But then they had to fire shots at one of the most legendary men that has ever walked this Earth, Steve Irwin. He was one of my childhood heroes. That man was one of the most passionate and dicey guys that ever sucked wind. Day in and day out he went into hand to hand with the most dangerous animals on the planet, rescuing them, teaching people, and just plain having fun with a good wrestle. The man dedicated his entire life to wildlife.

His death was tragic, and not in the usual obligatory news way of tragedy when someone dies. No, him dying was like losing a part of our entire planetary culture. I know that sounds hyperbolic, but I honestly believe that.

And now, because of Google putting up a cute drawing of him on their banner on this legend's birthday, PETA, presumably tired of smothering puppies, decided they needed to attack someone and focused on that. Yes PETA, attack on the man who saved more animals on a weekend than you've saved throughout your entire existence as an organization. Attack the man who dedicated his entire life to helping both man and beast, while being an absolute beast himself. Attack the man who became a living legend and died doing what he loved. Attack the man who was one in a billion, who lived the way most children dream of living in their wildest flights of fancy. Attack the man who was a hundred times more epic than you on his worst day.

PETA, you have no honor, and no room to criticize. And I honestly believe that they attacked him to compensate for their own profound shortcomings. He accomplished more than they can ever fathom, and they hate him for that. Maybe I'm just giving them the attention that they want. I don't care. I'm going to defend my childhood hero.

Sigh. Please forgive me if this was more aggressive than my usual posts. But this struck a nerve. I have no patience or respect for PETA. Instead I'll try to end this on a positive note. Steve Irwin has passed on, but he has left a legacy that no one can tarnish. The world is a lesser place without him, and I still miss him. But he still serves as an epic example.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

For Airship and Steampunk Fans

If you take even a casual interest in the history and usage of dirigibles you will inevitably come across cargo loads of information that is oft repeated, and necessarily so as they are rather important tidbits. The dangers of hydrogen, the luxury of smooth sky sailing and the different structure types. But when one wishes to write fiction on such a subject one requires much more of the nitty gritty details with are far more likely to be omitted or simply not casually known.

As I've been studying for the production of my own steampunk, which has been kicking my scrawny tail for some time now, I accidentally came across a site that has swiftly proven to be an invaluable resource for those lesser known details. Ever wanted to know how airships were moored? Kind of a big deal! What about how they were operated and landed? How they calculated their speed? A hundred little pieces of information that I'd been craving for but had up until now found rather evasive has at last been discovered!

You can be sure I will be taking notes and reading this from top to bottom, not just from the desire to write good fiction, but for the sheer craving of remote knowledge. I hope that some of you will find use for it also.

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Black Friday/Cyber Monday Book Sale

Yup, it's that time of year again where I shill my shoddy work in hopes of making enough scratch to buy another cup of ramen. My favorite! Okay it's not all that bad, but anytime I try a traditional pitch I feel like a shady used car salesman. I don't wanna be like that. I wanna be up front and honest. Early works are admittedly very rough, and I plan on giving them a face lift in the near future. Later works are actually pretty decent. Last week I sold someone a copy of Kapar's Mark on Sunday. By Saturday he read the whole thing, and that paperback was over three hundred pages long. I'll let that endorsement speak for itself!

So yeah, if you're interested in Weird West, Dinopunk or horror, go ahead and check out my writing. If you like it and think someone else might be interested, please share it. Seriously, it does help. Word of mouth from friends is the best thing for sales. I'll take an endorsement from someone I know and trust over a bland add on Youtube any day.

Anyway, give a look if you're interested, but more importantly have a great Thanksgiving with friends and family, and be safe on Black Friday. Hopefully I myself won't be trampled under the heel of thousands of overeager shoppers. It's my first year working retail, and I'm admittedly nervous with all I've heard of these human stampedes. I'm tempted to defend myself with a high voltage cattle prod, a makeshift shield and a pair of cans of bear spray to hold back the tide. And no, I'm not working at Walmart. I'm at an outdoors and farming place. But I'm trading volume of people for tough as leather farmers, hunters and ranchers. Hopefully I will survive. Anyway, take care everyone!

Latest book, and just as cool as the cover looks.

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Headless Horseman Jam

All Hallows Eve is on the horizon, and that calls for ever better music! Now, I grew up with the Disney combo Ichabod and Mister Toad, and like everyone else I fell in love with that wonderful spooky jam about the Headless Horseman from Sleepy Hollow. But this rendition by Thurl Ravencroft is sheer brilliance. He is the absolute king of bass! 

Hope ya'll enjoy! 

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

I can't breathe!

I like learning about self defense, and there is some great advice out there, but there's a lot more that don't know what they're doing. And this takes the cake! This makes me laugh until I can't breathe!

Monday, October 22, 2018

Cowboys and Dinosaurs of Shaun Keenan

Friends, I have committed a great sin. I not only found some fabulous art, but I dedicated a fair chunk of my time, money and love into an amazing book with said art which was absolutely worth every cent and hour of time I spent on it. But I didn't speak of it here. I was swept up in the tide of life, and didn't feel the impulse to spread the word. That is my grave sin.

Well, I'm fixing that now. The Cowboy and Dinosaur art of Shaun Keenan is some of the best of this micro-genre that I have ever seen. Take a glimpse of this tiny sample.

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Art by Shaun Keenan

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More by Shaun Keenan

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And one more before I get art diabetes

Just look at that. The rough yet beautifully honed rustic style with hints of the fantastic. It's stylized, but not grossly exaggerated. Nor does it have the super sleek anime vibe that has infected lots of art today. Nope! This is gritty. You can almost feel the trail dust on your tongue. Just the way I like it! And that's just the tip of the iceburg. He did an entire kickstarter for a hardback book chalk full of this theme. Well over two hundred pages. Before I knew what I was doing, my pledge was made and I awaited the day of delivery like an impatient child counting down the minutes to Christmas morning.

Yeah, I effectively regressed and lost all semblance of patience during those long months, eagerly checking my email and mailbox for any word of my expectant delivery. And at last, long after I expected it, I found it! Awaiting me on my apartment table. A humble brown package. Unassuming. So mundane. And yet within was a treasure beyond price! (To me)

I squealed like a young girl, snatched the parcel and ran to my room, eagerly tearing the packaging away and behold! A visual feast for my famished eyes! True, I saw many of these images already online, but to have them in my hands? In solid paper? And signed by the brilliant artist no less? Nirvana. Sheer nirvana. I poured page after page, drinking in the glorious scenery and painstaking detail. My delight was that of a child as my imagination was given physical form. Oh how each had its own soul and story to tell!

Please forgive my gushing, but wow, I don't see this everyday. For one as delighted with prehistoric saurians and the Old West, this felt like a Godsend.

I heartily encourage you all to take a look at his page and his magnificent art! And if you somehow can, grab a copy of the hardback.

Please do yourself a favor and have a look.