jasonandrew: (Default)
Yesterday marked the end of a long, grueling three month writing marathon.  The publishing world seems to enjoy making a lot of their deadlines during the summer months when writers would rather be outside.  I suspect this is a form of passive aggressive torture from the editors for all of the bad slush manuscripts that they have to read.

This year, I decided that I was not going to miss a single deadline or opportunity.  This required a new dedication to the freelancer life and leveling up my self-discipline.  I've had to work when all of my friends were outside playing.  I woefully ignored my wife and had to turn down fun activities with friends.

I woke up in the middle of the night trying to escape dreams of restful code and Numina powers.  My head feels like I tried to best Hemmingway in a drinking contest and then was chased by bulls.

Don't fuck with the Jedi Master, son!

I did a review of my word count for the last three months.  This includes all of my fiction, freelance projects, and technical writing.

I managed a total word count of 145,284 words!  The breakdown works as follows:

  • Technical Documentation (APIs, User Guides, Developer's Guides, and Technical Overviews): 45,000 words.

  • Two Novelettes (My Love is Vengeance and Fading Light From a Dying Star):  31,233 words

  • Twelve Short Stories: 42,851 words

  • Proposal for Secret Project Omega: 5,100 words (Pending Approval)

  • Proposal for Secret Project 2: 1,100 words (Rejected)

  • Proposal for Secret Project 3: 1,112 words (Rejected)

  • Hunters Hunted 20, 000 words

I've never felt more like a writer.  There are huge leviathan projects coming up in the near future and for the first time I feel properly ready for them.

Until then, I'm recharging my batteries and sharing fellowship with the wife and friends that have been supporting me.  It takes a village to support village idiots and writers.
jasonandrew: (Default)
My good friend Mae Empson has received some good reviews about her story in Cthuluerotica.

This weekend, I am traveling to Atlanta to attend Atlanta By Night.  I am looking forward to meeting a new of people that I've been working with and old friends from Minds Eye Society.

I''ll be attending Howl Con 2012 in Portland to run my writer's workshop.

I have been keeping my head down to complete my work on Hunters Hunted 2.  I expect to be done by the end of next weekend.  Thankfully, I only have one additional deadline during October.
jasonandrew: (cowboy)
Here is a quick life update:

I finished reading Bullettime by Nick Mamatas this morning on the bus.  I'm digesting it now.  I know that I enjoyed it, but still considering what I think about it.  The novel reminds me just a bit of the unreliable narrator structure of The Drowning Girl: A Memoir by Caitlín R. Kiernan and this is not a bad thing.

Reviews shall be coming forth for this novel and Never by Jason Vanhee this week on my breaks.  Unreliable

I am very much enjoying this season of Doctor Who.  I shall miss Amy Pond.  She rates just under Donna Noble for me as favorite companion.  It is not because the actress is stunningly beautiful.  There is something about her that simply appeals to me.  Besides she passed the Ghostbusters test.  Any time someone asks if you are a queen or a god, the answer is ALWAYS yes.

I fear that I am starting to understand Ruby, which means that my mind is about to slip into non-euclidean geometry madness.  My contract with the Mouse has been extended and my boss seems to love my work.

Freelance writing is going amazing.  Click here to see my future publications page.  This week I shall be under the radar a good deal of the time trying to honor all of my commitments.  Thankfully, I shall have a week between my deadlines and Atlanta By Night.
jasonandrew: (Default)
Life is sometimes really weird and you get what you need in ways you never imagined.

Yesterday, I received six different rejection letters from a variety of projects; some that were distant and others that were very close to my heart.   I have always suspected that rejection letters travel together in a huddled murder like crows.

Bwa-ha-ha!  We shall dash your dreams one at a time.

This is not the atypical afternoon for a writer.  However, I felt unusually broken about the rejections this time around.

I suspect this mental state had something to do with spending three hours creating sample code for REST APIs during my day job.  My wife was sick enough that she stayed home and thus I was worried for her health.

Typically, I commute home after work with my wife.  Yesterday, I rode the bus home.  Someone on the bus stank.  It was as though I were being punished by a cruel and merciless god.

I wondered if Neil Gaiman ever had to write the bus under conditions such as this.  The idea made me giggle slightly and I wondered what sort of story he would write afterwards.  I took detailed notes.

I watched part of Almost Famous while I ate dinner.  It was the scene where the band is on the bus singing Tiny Dancer and it make me smile just a little.

Sometimes, you just have to surrender to the moment and just relax.  I kissed my lovely wife and then napped.  I woke late in the night and discovered this video.

Curse you, Gaiman!  You can make anything look cool!

My head was clear.  The weight was gone.  Sometimes, I think life would be so much better if people napped more when they were tired.

Encouraged, I braved my laptop once more and checked my email.  There were a number of pleasant surprises awaiting me:

  • Edits from Justin Achilli for one of my chapters in the upcoming Hunters Hunted 2.  This has been a fun and classy experience on a game that I have loved for twenty years.  (Thank you, Justin!)

  • An Non-Disclosure Agreement for a classic property that I have loved for a very long time.

  • An invitation to a very awesome anthology.

Sometimes, it can be difficult to see how far you've come when you are only glancing down at the work ahead of you and I think I needed to remind myself of that just a little.

This has been a glorious year for my writing career and it is possible that next year will be even better.  Here are some of the highlights:

  • I've grown as a writer.  I've managed to make a couple of sales that I've very proud of.  You can see some of my upcoming fiction projects on my Future Publications page.

  • I've managed to start working with five different famous IPs this year.  I was just asked if I was interested in helping out with a sixth one this afternoon.

  • A partial manuscript of my novel The Highway West is being reviewed by an excellent publishing company.  (Fingers Crossed)

I am healthy.   The love of my life, Lisa, is also healthy.  We belong to a wonderful circle of friends and family.  We both have good jobs.  Life is fairly good.

I can't remember why everything seemed so horrible yesterday.

At the end of this month, I'll be attending Atlanta By Night.  If you are a fan of Vampire: The Masquerade and will be in the Atlanta area, I recommend that you check it out.
jasonandrew: (Default)
Every city has a special flavor that makes it special and unique.

Downtown Seattle is a labyrinth of one way streets, coffee houses, and streets that don’t quite align.  You can turn a corner and realize that you've turned onto a street that ends directly opposite of a separate one-way street  heading in your direction.

It might sound like Seattle was designed by a crew of drunken monkeys with a grudge against the future.  You wouldn't be that far off from the truth.  During the pioneer days, two different developers had a difference of opinion about how the grin patterns for the streets should be laid out.  David “Doc” Maynard preferred that the streets were based off cardinal directions while Arthur Denny wanted to follow the Elliot Bay Shoreline.

Hence, the streets of Seattle follow three different grid patterns (due north, 32 degrees west of north, and 49 degrees west of north).

Driving successfully in Seattle is a testament to understanding the history of the city and how traffic flows around the unique landmarks.

There are nine major bridges in Portland according to Wikipedia.  This weekend I managed to get lost on almost all of them.  Portland feels like a distorted mirror of Seattle.  Things are very familiar, yet different in subtle ways.  Seattle has bounced back from the recession while the effects of the economic downturn are still keenly felt in Portland.

I managed to hang out with friends, attend a couple of business meetings, and explore this strange city.   Powell's Books is the largest bookstore that I've ever had the pleasure to enter.  I like to wander the shelves and count how many books of mine are represented there.  (For the record, I had four anthologies and one RPG supplement.)

On the ride home, I thought about the differences between Seattle and Portland and promised myself I'd try setting a couple of stories in Portland in the future.  I mentally went through my list of projects that need to be completed by the end of the year and I suddenly felt quite overwhelmed by the thought of all of that work.  It is a long and strange list filled with dream projects that I feel honored and lucky to be involved with.

Sadly, I am under four different Non-Disclosure Agreements at the moment, which means that I can't discuss any of them until they are announced by the parent companies.

I am currently working on the sequel to my novella "Fear and Loathing in Bat Country: Hunter S. Thompson Versus Dracula" titled “Fear and Loathing in Innsmouth: Richard Nixon’s Revenge.”  The difficulty is keeping the same humorous tone while being true to the Lovecraft Mythos and actual historical events I'm spoofing.  Thankfully, I have until Friday to finish editing it.

Sunday, I came home very tired to a clean house thanks to wife #2 aka my wife’s best friend Amanda and then relaxed a great deal.

Last night, I prepared my work spreadsheet and I am fully determined to kill items off it this week so that I can relax without guilt this weekend.
jasonandrew: (Default)
"I was a little bit wild when I was young, darling, but I lived my life grandly." – Bunny Breckinridge


The great prophet and general badass Henry Rollings said that our taste in music peaks and freezes when we're thirteen years old.

When I was thirteen, Motley Crue was my favorite band in the world.   The right song can transport me to a time when the world felt young.  (This is perhaps a very uncomfortable view of my subconscious.)

Likewise, I think that our perception of the world is largely shaped by the storytellers that most captured our imaginations and our hearts as children.

This storyteller was the first to capture my imagination.

My first great love was words.  I loved the sound of them.  I loved reading them.  Stories could take you everywhere.   Who is this?  The legendary Ed Wood.

Yes, that Ed Wood.

I remember living with Papa Ray and Grandma Betty at a farm house with a walnut grove somewhere in the badlands around Fresno on Fowler.   I might have been around eight.

Books were a rare, precious commodity during that summer as there wasn’t a library outside of the one at the elementary school.  I had yet to be introduced to the Hobbit.

We lived far away from other children.  I explored the orchards with a sword fashioned from old grape trays, but eventually the summer days just dragged endlessly forward.

On a lonely Saturday afternoon, Papa Ray brought me a big plastic bowl filled with popcorn, sat me on his lap and introduced me to the Saturday Creature Feature.

The first movie was Plan 9 From Outer Space directed by Ed Wood.

Yes, this movie is horrible by today’s standards.  The dialog is stilted.  The special effects are horrid.   However, there was a joy and celebration of the macabre that fascinated me.   (Note to mention that I blame this movie for my interest in vampire girls.  I don’t have a chance, I tell you!)

It seems strange to know the exact moment you start to love a thing so much that it changes your life.  I watched every movie with a hint of terror.  When school started, I ran to the library that first recess and then checked out and read every book that the librarian would allow.

Last night, I started a new story to submit to the Atomic Cthulhu anthology using Ed Wood, Bunny Breckinridge, the Great Griswell, and a cameo from the great Bela Lugosi.

I’ve always felt a kinship with these strange characters in the book of life.  Recently, I watched the Ed Wood movie starring Johnny Depp and certain similarities in the lifestyle struck a nerve.

  • Working against the odds to see your creation in the hands of readers/viewers?  Check.

  • A close-knit group of friends that love and support you, even when you are out of your mind with obsession with your latest pet project.  Check.

  • An innate happiness associated with working on your dreams.  Check.

How much of that did I absorb through that movie?  It feels like something of the spirit of it imprinted on my soul.

Thank you, Ed Wood.
jasonandrew: (Shire)
This morning, I walked through the streets of Seattle through a fog. This is not a metaphor. A thick mist of haze settled over Seattle. This would be expected in December, but somewhat surprising in August. The sky is grey straight out of Necromancer like a television tuned to a dead channel.

Contract work at the Mouse continues to amaze me. I love working with happy people. It changes your entire day. I’ve managed to get ahead for once with my freelance fiction writing. I am working on a story due at the end of September.

This one is moving by quickly. I see to have more of an affinity for supernatural horror. I am under a number of different NDAs for various projects. When I am able, I’ll make a couple of announcements. I’m very pleased to be working with a couple of intellectual properties that I simply adore. Work isn’t really work if you love it.

It was very hot this weekend. I couldn’t work out, but I did walk around outside for a while. I managed to see The Dark Knight Rises. It wasn’t good as The Dark Knight. I thought Hathaway stole the show. The main two villains didn’t work for me. Bane always bores me. Talia could have been so much better as a character. I think the addition of Catwoman diminished her screen time and the possibility for her redemption. That said, I enjoyed watching the movie. Comic book movies continue to improve in quality and we’re seeing a renaissance previously unimagined at a time when Ghostbusters was the best genre movie around.

The big surprise is the excitement I feel about the new Man of Steel movie. This parody captures a lot of my feelings towards Superman. It might be that the All-Star Superman limited series changed that for me. I love Morrison's Superman and I hope that one day I get a chance to write the character. I am very excited by this movie after seeing the trailer. Superman can be an amazing character as proven by Grant Morrison.

I need to do some research for some of these projects coming up this year. I won't complain as I am loving it. I have good friends and family supporting me. I will be very happy to have a writing room all to myself. Thus far, I have enjoyed 2012. I have hopes that it will continue to be an awesome year.
jasonandrew: (chucky)
Life as a freelancer writer is chaotic, wonderful, and frightening.

I love my current contract with the Mouse. I work on a laptop in the company cafe because my office has two other technical writers in a very cramped space and I get warm easily. The only downside is that the windows are open providing a spectacular view of the city of Seattle. I have to sit behind a curtain least I spend the day staring at the Smith Tower. The only downside is that I’ve had to brush up my Java skills.

I had a difficult choice to make last week as a fiction writer. A small press that shall not be named made an offer on The Highway West. Knowing that another believes in your work enough to publish it is a heady matter especially when you’ve been trying to get others to look at your book for almost a year. I read through the contract and it felt wrong. I won't go into details, but I politely turned them down. I believe in this series and I hope that one day I am able to share it with you. I have faith that I will eventually find a hope for this book.

I managed to finish the drafts of two short stories in the last couple of weeks. I need to edit them this weekend.

“Spinach Salad and Heirloom Tomatoes: Lessons from the Victory Garden” was difficult because I couldn’t decide how to tell the story. I wrote a first person and a third person version of this story. I am letting Lisa read through it to decide.

“What I Did This Summer: A 7th Grade Essay by Suzie Sampson” was a story I wrote for Michael Dyer when he won the cover contest for Twilight Temptations.

I am currently working on three stories for various anthologies:

“House of the Sleeping Beauties” involves a retelling of the Sleeping Beauty myth from a Lovecraftian point of view.

“Nothing Has Changed of the Sorrow in Store” is a sad little ghost story involving Michal and the Witch of Endor. Michal is the daughter of King Saul who was killed by a ghost he demanded that the Witch of Endor summon for advice. Michal laters marries King David, but first she has to prepare the body of her father for burial. This is a strange little story.

The last story is untitled, but involves Ed Wood and the Lovecraft mythos.

I am what I like to call a method writer. I have to be able to experience the emotion of a scene to write about it properly. This week I returned to working on the sequel to The Highway West titled A Wicked Messenger. There is a scene where the main characters have forgotten to fill their gas tank and it starts a major fight. This has been surprisingly easy to write. I have a major phobia about running out of gas that can trigger anger and anxiety. I have been in huge fights with my wife over stopping to get gas. My mother used to push the envelope and often we ran out of gas during the summer waiting on the side of the road for a friend to help us. I hated that helpless feeling and have been channeling it into this scene.

Yesterday, I dusted off an old comic book script that I wrote as a sample for DC comics titled The Joker’s Crusade. It was rejected, but it ain’t half bad. I might post it for giggles. I have a number of rejected media fiction in my files. I should share them as examples.
jasonandrew: (Default)
This is a very personal post, but I wanted to share my story.  I think I became a better writer when I became a person happy with my life.
We are born into this world not with sin, but weakness of character and the challenge to be great. Each of us has a unique collection of challenges and privileges randomly determined when, where, and to whom we’re born. It is the journey that can forge us into shining souls or broken shards of unrealistic dreams and bitter expectations. My greatest character flaw has always been jealousy. The green-eyed monster is not a simple beast to conquer for an angry boy. I learned to covet happiness at an early age and my survival instinct was to escape into the world of stories. That was my backdoor entry into attempting to become a writer.

I allowed my jealousy to turn me into a bitter, childish man for many years until I finally learned to let it go.
Granted, my life has never been easy. My father was murdered attempting to stop pumpkin thieves on Halloween when I was five years old. He was the manager of the convenience store and felt obligated to absurdly risk his life over a few stolen pumpkins. I’m told that my mother was never the same after his death. I only remember her as a sad woman that slipped further and further away into drugs, abusive boyfriends, and depression.

I was a moody and bitter boy that railed against the unfair universe that had pretty much shit on me from my earliest memories. Jealousy of others turned me selfish and I was not always kind to those that offered a hand to me. It felt like my entire family reeked of failure. I watched as relative after relative turned to alcohol or drugs. I wasn’t always kind to my cousins. I regret not spending more time with my cousin Ted.

College was rough without a support system. A good number of my fellow students had families that helped them a great deal emotional and financially. I secretly hated them. My jealousy wouldn’t let me appreciate the scholarships and opportunities. The first year of school finished well. My mother really wanted to try to make things up to me and promised me a job working with my uncle if I returned home for the summer. Without earning money, I couldn’t go back to school. More money meant working less while taking classes,

I returned to one of the hottest summers in Fresno history. Somehow, I was surprised that the plumbing assistant job never existed. I searched around and there weren’t any jobs with a single exception. I spent the sweltering summer cooking burgers at Wendy’s. I was less than pleased. When I went back to school, I swore that I would never go back.

I kept my word until a couple of years ago when I learned that my mother had cancer and was dying. My maternal grandparents had died and no one bothered to tell me. I spent a week with her and worked to forgive her. It is strange to hold anger against someone so weak. It was as though I could literally see the life drain from her. She died peacefully, completely out of her mind. It took me a couple of years to forgive her, but I wouldn’t have been able to do so unless I had seen her one last time.

The last time I was home was for the funeral for my cousin Kevin. He died in a car accident that was stupid and unnecessary. During that time I stayed with my Aunt Jan. She was my father’s little sister and we talked a great deal. I realized that my anger was pointless. My jealousy had kept me from enjoying the people that loved me. The night before we buried Kevin, I learned something very strange.

I was present during the robbery where my father was murdered. My father left me sleeping in the back of an old Datsun with a camper while he finished some business at the store he managed. I have only vague recollections of the store. Did my fascination with the dark side of life come from that moment? I suppose only years of therapy I can’t afford would begin to answer that.

I feel like I really started to turn my life around two years ago when I decided I was going to put away my insecurities and jealousy and put my heart into my writing. I wrote The Highway West based on a couple of incidents in my life and added the magic I always wished was real. Expressing my fears on the page helped me overcome them and allowed me to see them from the outside.

The next step was to learn to be happy for the successes of others. I think I was a selfish friend. I was trapped inside like a turtle in his shell. I give credit to my wife Lisa for helping me grow and being a better person.

The funny thing is that once you learn to be happy for others and concentrate on your own world, the details sharpen into focus and the universe starts to work with you instead of against you. I am now almost forty and feel as though I’ve only recently become a man.
jasonandrew: (Naughty)
It feels as though the stars themselves have magically aligned to allow for a time of healing and wonder. The last year had a number of challenges in my personal life. I always took a basic comfort in the idea that the universe didn't care what happened to me and there was no purpose to anything other than what we created with what we had.

I think last year helped me grow as a person while delivering onto my bottom a good swift kick when it needed it. It is amazing how much patience I've learned without even realizing it. So much of my life, I've spent my time waiting for that perfect tomorrow ignoring that the present was fairly awesome.

My wife Lisa is blooming at her new job. The income eases some financial concerns, but more important she loves her job and feels that it matters. I see her happy to go into work each day and there isn't a price you can put on loving your job.

Likewise, I love my current contract for the Mouse. Reconnecting with downtown Seattle has somehow revitalized my spirits. I feel young.

My writing career continues to take those slow baby-steps forward. I managed to meet all of my freelance deadlines this month and submit to a couple of anthologies that weren't on my planned schedule. My fingers are very much crossed as some of these anthologies look like they will be awesome.

Neil Gaiman recently described how the freelance work really works.  Bats and Bones sketched out a circle graph highlighting the basics of the speech. I've posted it below.

I tried to take this speech to heart while I redoubled my efforts towards my writing career.  I sent out a number of queries letting Developers and Editors know that I am interested and eager for more work.  The results have been very positive.  I can't go into details, but last night I signed a couple of NDAs for additional freelance opportunities. (I'll make announcements on that when I am able. )  One of the RPG Developers told me that he would recommend me to others and that felt very good.

There are a number of potentially huge projects on the horizon and I have to use this patience thing I've learned or I shall go crazy.

My story "Recovery" appeared in IN SITU last week.  The anthology seems to be selling really well.

Here is the round-up for future projects coming out:

  • “The Murmur of Lorelei” has been accepted for the anthology The Beast Within 3: Oceans Unleashed by Graveside Tales

  • “The Embers Burn, and Gentle is the Arrow’s Stinging” will appear in the anthology A Quick Bite of Flesh by Hazardous Press.

  • “Lessons Learned From My 5th Attempt to Conquer the World” will appear in Stupefying Stories.

  • “Lay Down Your Hair” will appear in the anthology Queer Fish 2 from Pink Narcissus Press.

  • “The Sky God’s Daughter” will appear in the anthology Daughters of Icarus from Pink Narcissus Press.

  • “The Honey Offering” will appear in the anthology The Extinction Files anthology by Alter Press.

  • "Zombie Walk" will appear in the anthology Nasty Snips II from Pendragon Press

jasonandrew: (groupies)
My wife Lisa is a certified She-Devil of the 13th Level of Mastery. She can sense it instantly when I am weakened by illness or exhaustion and then attacks me in the bedroom. I remain convinced that she doesn’t view our partnership so much of a marriage as a practicing Sith Apprenticeship where she shall one day suppliant me. Our relationship has had some dark storms, but we’ve always managed to stay the course and I can’t imagine my life without her.

One of her personality quirks is the complete and utter lack of a filter between her brain and her mouth. If she thinks it, there is a really good chance she will say it. I’m often given to hyperbole for humor, however, I am understating this if anything.

Remember the awesome Batman Begins? There is a scene where Batman confronts the Scarecrow played by Cillian Murphy. Apparently, something about Cillian Murphy’s portrayal bothered her. She didn’t like the way he licked his lips in the scene. She decided that there was clearly a hidden subtext about the Scarecrow wanting to give a blowjob to the Batman. Want to know how I know? She declared very loudly, “Oh my God! Scarecrow has dick-sucking lips! Let me suck your dick Batman! It’s just the two of us. None shall ever know of this!”

If this was the opening night, we might have been hanged. This was my third time seeing this movie. However, there were a number angry mothers in the crowd and we were lucky to make it back to our car. The moral of the story is that Lisa isn’t shy about expressing her opinion.

Sunday, Lisa was addressing some submission envelopes and copyediting the cover letters. She turned to me and smiled. “Bunnybear, you’ve made a lot of good progress this last year. I’m really impressed with your credits.”

Yes, she calls me Bunnybear. I got used to it. I’ll pause for a moment to allow you to laugh.

It felt good to have that support and validation from my wife. I’ve worked really start to make my baby steps towards a writing career, but I couldn’t have made it this far if she hadn’t encouraged and supported me along the way. I thought of this today as I walked to my latest technical writing assignment in downtown Seattle and smiled.

Thank you, Lisa
jasonandrew: (Default)
Reading through all of your stories from a certain period is like a snapshot of who you were during that time. Last month, I read through all of my published stories from 2005 to 2010 and looked for a theme amongst the best of them.

It turns out that I was very interested in the temptations of the dark side and what a person was willing to surrender to achieve their ambition or dreams.

I started reading the last couple of stories I’ve recently written and I discovered the very best ones were about rebelling flesh. Souls dealing with the betrayal of their bodies. I’m older and now my body isn’t as healthy as it once was. I was sick at the early part of last year with Bell’s Palsy and surely that had an impact in the stories that came afterwards.

I think my short story “A Pattern Recognized Amongst the Stars” is the best thing I’ve written yet. I don’t think I could have written it if I hadn’t gotten sick and started wondering about my mortality and the slow breakdown of my body.

Our world affects us in such subtle ways that it is impossible to see sometimes until after the situation has passed. Perhaps that is why we look back to younger days with such happiness. Sometimes, I think writers have to tell a story over and over again until we’ve gotten it out of our system.

This last year involved some changes for me socially. I’ve gained a number of new friends and lost a few that were very important to me. Is that way suddenly I’ve become interested in the breakdown of relationships?

Sometimes, I think if you look too deeply into your own motivations, you start to wonder if you have any real free will independent of external stimuli.
jasonandrew: (Default)
Mornings are quite tolerable once you actually sleep at night. I managed around eight hours last night. I think finishing “Murder on the Feng Shui Express” helped. In the future, I think I need at least a half hour of downtime between writing and going to sleep. The story rattled around in my skull and I have a hard time actually letting go enough to sleep.

Caitlín R. Kiernan coined the term dream sickness. Sometimes I have dreams that cycle over and over. Sometimes just the opening bits. It feels like a preview you’d see for a movie only sped up. It makes me feel dizzy and I have disjointed sleep.

I am quite comfortable and happy this morning. That’s a very good start.
jasonandrew: (Default)
I never left the apartment today, yet I went on a strange journey through my own memories and words. I spend several hours working on my short story collection titled Twilight Temptations.

It is strange to read words you have written years later when you no longer remember writing them. The best quote comes from Fear and Loathing in Bat Country. "Tears are the natural currency of respect to bastards."

I manged to figure out the process for CreateSpace. It is an easy to use tool and I can see why so many people are jumping at the chance to use it. I wish I could say the same about the Kindle side of the process, but I'll get there.

The 500 words a day program is working like gangbusters as I'm always at least hitting that much, but usually making at least 800 to 1000 words. My brain is starting to want that addiction that comes with putting words on the screen and is ready when I sit down to write.

Spotify really helps me shut out the world. I managed to create playlists for each project to put me into the mood for that particular world. I wish I could post them as people might get a kick out of them.

This week, I need to concentrate on "Murder on the Feng Shui Express" as the deadline is coming up in a couple of weeks and I need to make sure I have time to revise this one and have it run through a beta reader.

I've learned something else a bit strange. I think I've matured past the need to watch every genre project out there. Time was that there would be one science fiction show and if you didn't watch that, you didn't have a genre show to watch.

Now there is an endless glut of half-ass low budget television shows on the market and I feel like I can be choosey. I tried really hard to love Grimm, but I just got bored.

On the other hand, I love BBC America's Sherlock and their new show the Fades. I'm also a big fan of Once upon a Time. Yes, it isn't Fables, but it has been fun this time. (Although, if it sticks to the Lost formula and doesn't advance the story by the end of the season, I may get tired of it.)

The new Doctor Who has long been a favorite for me. I've enjoyed all of the Doctors. Steven Moffat is my favorite writer, but maybe not my favorite show runner. The non-Moffat episodes weren't that awesome. I think he needs an editor of some sort. I am glad that they are taking a bit of a break for the next season as it will give them time to make the episodes pop.

I think sometimes writers go through that sort of thing. They hit a theme that they want to express and explore and come at it a thousand times from different angles. The trick is to break through and I have faith that Moffat can do that.
jasonandrew: (Shire)
As a child, Christmas Eve was the climax of the year. The heady mystery of wrapped presents would inevitably drive me out of my little mind. I didn't realize at the time that my family was poor and could barely afford such things. I only knew that this was a special time of year where the family gathered.

I think a lot of the family I didn’t appreciate as much as I should have when they were alive. Grandma Loni and Grandpa Ray both helped make me into the person I am only now starting to become. (Credit should go to them; I’ll gladly accept any blame.)

As I grew older, the shine of Charismas wore thin. Once you make your own money, the idea of someone else buying you what you want feels strange. The thrill of Christmas is always reborn through the eyes of children. We have a lot of children from Lisa’s side of the family. I didn’t dress up as Santa Claus this year as they are too old, but it was fun spending a day with them.

Lisa and I have our own version of Christmas called Jour de Cadueax. We pretend that the polar bears and penguins gather from the icy wasteland to dance for us while we exchange presents. This year, we concentrated on other people rather than each other. I think it made it more special. We already have an overcrowded apartment so adding more junk would only add to the clutter.

New Year's Eve holds that same magical promise as an adult. It is the one day a year we're encouraged to behave as children. To see the wonder of the night and to drink and laugh with friends.

Tomorrow is New Year's Eve and that is the usual time of year that one considers the year that is almost over. This has been a difficult yet magical year.

I feel such hope for this next year that I can hardly contain myself. Goethe said it best. "Boldness has genius, power and magic in it."
This year I challenge my friends to be bold. Seek out that which you've always dreamed out. Enjoy the wonder of the world. It will never come again in exactly the same way.
jasonandrew: (cowboy)
This has been an interesting year. It has been filled with challenges and good steps forward.

I met new and wonderful friends and have been completely surprised by some of them. I lost friends that I had outgrown. I fell in love with my wife once more.

This was the year I felt that my writing jumped to that magical level. I finished the book that was my personal Vietnam and was the inspiration for the title of this blog. A lot of my friends have wildly supported my art and I appreciate them.

This year, I wrote an estimated three hundred thousand words of fiction. It takes time and effort to master any field, but I imagine that writing is amongst the most difficult. (Note: I don't claim to have mastered anything this year, except for Fallout 3.)

I feel so good about the future and that's tough when you are almost forty and still trying to leave the dream.

Thank you to everyone that has helped me grow as a person and a writer.
jasonandrew: (Default)
I have felt way better this week and it doesn't hurt that the stars are seeming to align. Strangely, I write more when I am slightly busy. I think I need the energy and creative buzz from my friends.

November has been a quiet time of adjustment. That said, 2011 has rocked so far. I have a number of secret projects that I am very excited about that I just can't talk about yet. Soon. Very soon I hope.

This four-day weekend, I am looking forward to writing and diving back into the fray. I am going to be looking for a couple of writing challenges/prompts to see if that also helps super-charge me.
jasonandrew: (Default)
I have felt way better this week and it doesn't hurt that the stars are seeming to align. Strangely, I write more when I am slightly busy. I think I need the energy and creative buzz from my friends.

November has been a quiet time of adjustment. That said, 2011 has rocked so far. I have a number of secret projects that I am very excited about that I just can't talk about yet. Soon. Very soon I hope.

This four-day weekend, I am looking forward to writing and diving back into the fray. I am going to be looking for a couple of writing challenges/prompts to see if that also helps super-charge me.
jasonandrew: (Default)
November has been a depressing month for me. I'm not entirely sure why.

My life somehow changed and I wasn't ready for it. Friendships changed. I was forced to grow up just a little. I fought it all of the way.

I started my new contract back at the Evil Empire. I think that usually helps. Work helps ground me in a positive way.

In other news, I've been shopping the Highway West around to various publishers and hoping for a bite. It is the best thing I've ever written.

I have a list of short stories I want to write. I keep trying to start a different novel, but I can't find anything I really love. After experiencing the Highway West, I want that feeling again.
jasonandrew: (Default)
November has been a depressing month for me. I'm not entirely sure why.

My life somehow changed and I wasn't ready for it. Friendships changed. I was forced to grow up just a little. I fought it all of the way.

I started my new contract back at the Evil Empire. I think that usually helps. Work helps ground me in a positive way.

In other news, I've been shopping the Highway West around to various publishers and hoping for a bite. It is the best thing I've ever written.

I have a list of short stories I want to write. I keep trying to start a different novel, but I can't find anything I really love. After experiencing the Highway West, I want that feeling again.

November 2012

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