Friday, August 28, 2009


Yes, I am still alive. Yes, I'm still a writer. And no, I did not kiss your sister (I swear!)

Lots of changes the last couple of months. I've moved to a new town. My youngest daughter is now attending school, and I'm still looking for a job until I get this darn thing published.

Oh, you want to know about the book? Oh, how silly of me, I should have came right out and talked about it! I promise to have my wife punish me with some un-needed house chores to repent for my sins.

The book is coming along fantastic! I've gotten so much done in so little time I'm starting to wonder what's taking so darn long.

Word count is up to around 31k and going strong. I have been doing a lot of revisions of my outline, and done some backstory for some things, and even worked on the cartography bits of the book.

I recently wrote a scene that had such emotional power it shook me, and I couldn't write, or sleep, for days afterward. My wife said I looked very depressed, and I was, but she told me to hurry up and get past it. I finally did earlier this afternoon, and I realized that the scene was so powerful that it caused writer's block; I didn't know how to proceed. Fear not dear reader, I have passed it and I am moving on.

It seems that the manuscript will actually end up shorter than I originally planned, possibly. I'm shooting for around 90k-100k now, but 150k is not so out of reach honestly. If I can keep the pace up, I might be done before halloween.

I'll keep you updated, I promise.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Recovering from a video game relapse

Alas, I have been tempted by the Dark Side.

I swore off all video games (except public gatherings) when I began my amateur/professional writing career. Well, it seems my willpower is not so tough after all.

I have been staying at a friend's house for the past couple of weeks, due to the need to find a new day-job to support the family. Unfortunately for me, he owns a PS3 and an Xbox 360. I have been able to stay away from the Xbox, but the PS3 has it's tractor beam locked onto me and I just recently was able to shut it down and get back to work (thanks for the help Obi-Wan! Sorry you died though...)

So, I have managed to complete an abysmal 1600 words in 2 weeks. Not acceptable, but nothing to cry about. I'm going to up my daily quota to compensate (it's probably an unreachable number with family things to do, plus the big move, but I'm going to do everything in my power to hit it [for those of you that are curious, my new quota is 3k words a day])

After looking through my notes, I realized that I had planned 6 books for the Zormir series, but after looking at it I may be able to do it in as little as 3. No guarantees on either number, it will probably end up somewhere in between. I've noticed that I'm more of a discovery writer than I thought I once was, and more things may develop as I go, so we'll see. Hopefully I won't be Jordan-esque and end up with 14 books in this series, but I highly doubt it.

So right now I'm just plugging away at the manuscript. I'm not worried about chapters, or continuity, I just want to get the story down for now. I'm going to save all that stuff for the first edit. My alpha readers will probably get their first peek at this thing in around the 3rd or 4th draft, so those of you that are on my alpha list you still have a while to wait.

Thanks for paying attention to my tiny blog. Comments are much appreciated!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Another Update

Well, made some large strides lately, here's a recap...

I finally finished the outline for the Zormir books, and have begun heavy writing on the first draft. It's still early, and very rough, but I'm going to just get the story down on paper for now then I'll work on refining it and making it better later. The first draft is going to suck, like all first drafts do, but I'm hoping to get it done in a month or so.

With the outline done, the plan is 5 books for Zormir. It could go much longer (Robert Jordan sold 3 books to Tor Publishing...and the 12th book is due out this November, with 2 more after that). I'm a discovery writer; meaning that while I'm writing I think of new things on the fly. I let my characters go out on their own, and if it deviates from my outline, so be it. My characters write my books, I merely write it down for them.

I'm also working on still transferring old LotL manuscript from paper to PC, but that's the least of my concerns as of late. I've actually lost many pages of the old manuscripts due to poor storage on my part, and the world has changed significantly since I wrote those it will be a slightly different story, but same basic principle. Zormir is going to be done first more than likely, but I haven't forgotten Kinjo and company.

The new book, which I'm tentatively calling "Discovery", is on the backburner for now. I want to focus all of my mental might on Zormir; once I begin editing I'll work more on it.

So, rather brief today. Got a lot of stuff going on other than novels, so nothing much more to write about.

So, until next time!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

An Update with a treat!

Just an update after somewhat a hiatus.

I'm just finished transferring my notes to Wikidpad. I'm loving it a lot, very easy to link between different subjects! I still highly recommend it.

Currently I'm splitting my time between finishing the outline for Zormir, transferring 10 year old Lords of the Light manuscript from paper to the pc, and beginning the brainstorming of my new project. I've also been addicted to a podcast called "Writing Excuses" (you can find it at which I've been catching up on.

Some more about that new project. It doesn't take place in the same world as the other two. It's still a fantasy book, but it will not be a multi-book epic like Zormir or LotL. Just a stand alone book, roughly 200k words or so, and I promise it will be a great read!

I normally spend 20-40 minutes a day waking my brain up to begin the creative work, and the other day I expiramented with writing something in 1st person perspective using present tense; something I've never done before. I'm going to post that for you here, as some that have read it really enjoyed it. So, enjoy ESCAPE...

I can't tell if I'm actually awake. I open my eyes to utter darkness as if my eyes are still closed. I push against the ground and lift my weary body to my knees, wondering where I am. I stretch out my arms and I feel dirt walls surrounding me. It seems that I am in a hole of some sort. I do not remember how I got here, all I know is that I'm sure I deserve it.

I look up in a vain attempt to gain some sort of vision to no avail. If this is, in fact, a hole then I cannot see the top. Either that or the darkness that encompasses this hole has blanketed the surface as well.

My mind explodes from the pain that pulses through my body as I stand, begging me to lay back down but I refuse. I need to try to get out of here and fix what I've broken. Warm liquid begins to run down my face, but I refuse to find it source. If it is blood, I'd rather not know it.

My fingers begin to explore the walls of my prison, trying to find a crack or handhold that I can latch on to. Eternities pass before I find one, and I question the stability against my war-wracked body. I try to command my fingers to latch on, and they groan in reply as pain shoots up my arm. I ignore it as I make my other hand find another, higher this time. The wall seems to be uneven above my head level, so I may have a chance at this. I latch on and, against my own will, I begin pulling.

Instinctively my bare foot finds a small protrusion in the wall, and I begin my search anew. My body feels weak as if I've not eaten in weeks, but I know I will die if I do not escape.

Much to my surprise I make progress. I don't know how long it's been, or if daylight will ever come, but I continue my blind ascent up the wall, in a desperate fight to escape. I know my luck will run out, so I speed up my hands to keep on their search and grasp.

No sooner did I think that thought when one of my footholds gave way, and I tumbled back to reality. As I lose consciousness, I can't help but wonder if this is the end.

I awake from my dreamless sleep with renewed hope. No sooner did I open my eyes did I close them again in pain, there was light! In any normal circumstances I would not be able to see very well, but after being imprisoned for an eternity it was as if I held a flashlight before me. I can see the surface, and for the third time today my hopes were crushed.

As my mind tries to put a distance to climb to the surface, my soul attempts to flee my body, trying to give up. I feel like the cockroach trying to climb up the Sears Tower, only I don't have sticky legs. But, ignoring the ever present pleading of my body to quit, I begin my climb.

I'm making more progress this time, my body starting to retain some muscle-memory from the hours I climb. I don't look down, but continue to look up into the daylight. My body is being more cautious automatically, remembering the tumble I recently took.

I'm almost to the top. My feet ache to feel the soft grass padding them against the violent ground. My hair already reminiscing about blowing in the wind. I gain some energy as my hopes come within my grasp.

As if my body summoned it, a hand appears above me. It is the most glorious thing that I've ever seen. Pale as the moonlight, warmth radiating from it like the morning sun. It gives me hope like nothing ever has before. It beckons me to grab it, reassuring me that it will never let me go.

At first my mind refuses. I climbed all this way on my own, gritting my teeth through the pain, there is no possible way that after all of that I could get a free ride during the home stretch. My mind then folds on itself, succumbing to the pleas of my body and begging me to take it. It will make it so much easier, my mind reassures me as my hands begin to bleed from being stationary too long. At last I make my decision and make a desperate attempt to grab for the hand.

Ecstasy fills my body as my hand closes in on the helper. I begin to imagine the silkiness of the skin on that beautiful hand when my reality is shattered. My hand passes through it as if it were never there. I'm still trying to grasp what happened as I begin my helpless decent back to my prison.

Was it a mirage? Was I imagining it? My brain is working overtime as my body says hello to the dirt, my bones crush as if greeting an old friend after being absent for years. I feel something wet against my back and I begin to feel dizzy. The last thing I see is the sun, arcing over my exit as if I'm fast-forwarding through the dull parts of a movie. When darkness came to greet me, the last thing I think of is how the pain kept me alive for even this long.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Just an introduction

I'm not famous. Not by a long shot. I'm just a normal guy who likes writing. I've been doing it for about 15 years now, and a few people ask me how it's going.

Thus the blog.

This is for my friends (and maybe someday fans) that wonder how things are coming along. So I'll update this from time to time (probably more often than my other blogs).

For those that don't know, here's a synopsis of how my writing "career" took off.

1995. High school. It was my freshman year at Marshalltown High School. I read a lot, A LOT a lot. Most of the people I hung out with read a lot too, or were interested in various things that were similar to writing. I was not a popular kid in school (insert random Geek/Nerd comments here). I wasn't in many clubs or sports in high school (a short baseball stint and a failed basketball tryout), and I worked a full time job, so needless to say I was very stand-offish.

Sometime during this year I was introduced to Magic: The Gathering. I was fascinated not only the mechanics of the game, but the story that surrounded it. I was also an avid Dungeons and Dragons player (go ahead and laugh) along with my long hours of reading. I decided to write a short story developing my own characters using the Magic elements, with some D&D elements mixed in.

Thus, Lords of the Light (known back then as Lords of the Night) was born.

As I kept writing, myself and some close friends noticed that there was nothing resembling either Magic or D&D in the story, so I decided to branch off and just write a book. It became my fascination for a long time, and with some input and help from a couple of good friends (Steven J. Adelmund and Jeremiah Klar) the world became more fleshed out.

I kept on writing all throughout high school, never finishing the book but had many pages of notes and 3 revisions as my writing skill improved. The book was about a third of a way done when I graduated.

After graduation, my life became more and more complicated. Military injury and discharge, my first child, a failed marriage and subsequent divorce, debt and college drop out. New marriage and another child. 2 MORE children and an unhealthy addiction to World of Warcraft. I only worked on it sparingly for about 10 years.

During this time I still played Dungeons and Dragons. While playing, I decided to make an evil character, someone who could become a true villain, thus Zormir was born. Upon the creation of Zormir, I immediately fell in love with his character. His attitude and presence was awesome. So, for a time I abandoned Lords and began working on Zormir.

And that leads us to today. I have begun heavy work on the Zormir novels. I still work on Lords a little here and there, but mostly it sits on the back burner for now. There are a couple of reasons for this, first I feel that while I'm still a new writer, trying to publish a novel following one character, rather than 3 groups of characters, would be easier for me to maintain, and might be easier for me to sell to a publisher. Secondly, events that take place in the Zormir novel directly affect the Lords books, so I feel that it would be better to define the world in this way rather than publishing Lords, then doing a prequel for Zormir.

So what are these books about? Here is a quick description:

Zormir- Once a chosen soldier of the church has fallen to evil. Will the world be able to survive the attack of their former hero?

Lords- In a post apocalyptic world, humankind struggles for survival at the hands of demons, devils, and men who have turned to darkness. Only one hope remains, the Lords of the Light, the Unblemished Army, lies dormant in a cave for hundreds of years. If they could be freed, then mankind can push back the Darkness. Can 4 men defy the odds and free the Army, and ensure victory? Or will the Legions of Hell swallow the last bastion of human civilization?

Unfortunately these are both series. I have too much planned for both to make them stand alone books. I have 6 books planned for the Lords series, and that's pretty definite for what I want to do. I would like to finish the Zormir series in about 4 books, but it could go much longer, as I don't have that series completely planned out yet like I do with Lords.

Ok, I know this is a long post, and I will finish with my current state on things.

Right now I'm in the process of transferring all of my old notes into one file using Wikidpad. If you haven't heard of this, I highly recommend it to anyone that has any sort of collections of thoughts, also makes pretty good to do lists, etc. Basically it's like having your own personal wikipedia, and as a writer I find it extremely useful. I have approximately 400 pages of notes to convert, which should take me about a week maybe two, then I'll start working on new material again.

I devote the majority of my writing time to Zormir, however I'm also transferring old Lords manuscripts to the PC as well, so I haven't forgotten it. I actually have more work done on Lords, but I promise Zormir will be completed first.

I also have a few ideas floating around my head for some stand-alone novels. They are no more than ideas at the moment, and I'm not sure if they will take place in the same world as the other books of something entirely different, but I'll keep you posted.

Well that's all for now. I'll TRY to update often, but I make no promises. I'm a busy guy, and a very forgetful one at that :P