Friday, June 10, 2016

Hello old friend

“Hey, are you still writing?”
Yes, in fact I write all the time. Every day with a taxing amount of thought behind it.
“Book Three of Dinatech?”
Let me George R. R. Martin the shit out of that for you.
“From Beer to Apocalypse?”
Tons written, you might even see it soon.
“What else have you been working on?”
Six different books, one horror, and a lot of Young Adult Romance.
“Why aren’t we seeing any of it?”
Because I’ve been focused internally. Completely underground. Reflective and personal. Stories, Poems, all of it.
I’ve been writing what I want, when I want and I’ve come the conclusion, I'm not trying to sell just to sell. It will come when it's ready. Don't force it. People can see when you force something. Dinatech wasn't forced, and I think it's why it's my favorite. 
So, in a way, I’ve fallen back on my old career like a heroin addict returns to the needle. I'm focused back on tech. You might say that’s a harsh analogy for a career that most people are proud to work in. But there is a certain amount of mental abuse you must put yourself through to be here. It’s long hours, highly competitive, and thankless. All that said, I love it. I love what I do and I like the people I work (do drugs) with.
How is that not a drug?
I guess, I should have said something before now. I guess, I felt many of you already knew that I’d fallen off the wagon. So, what was left to say?
So now that I’m done making one of the best years of my life sound dark...

I now know the next two things I want the world to see, but they will come when they are ready.  I’ve been writing every day… *HAHAHA*  I've been writing but not a lick editing. I did the math. Because, whenever I really want to know something I always look at the numbers. 
I’ve done close to a million words and not touched a red pen once. That might have panicked me alot as well. 
It’s time that I picked up the red pen and got back into the editors chair. I think that’s why I’m writing this blog.
Just a little wave from my writing desk.
Yes I’m still here.
No, you can’t see it yet.

Okay, I take that back. I did help a fellow writer, he’d taken a break when his daughter was born. He’d asked me and others if we could write a few short stories to cover his down time.
I’d posted a copy of it to my own blog. It’s a short horror story called, Velvet Room.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Think of shows as old friends

Today I’m having one of those “I’ve got the chills” moments.  Then, I thought it would make a great blog topic. That never turns out well.
I was watching the opener for one of the many anime that I obsessed over years before. And as I sat there watching it, here is what I was thinking…
I want you to think about a book, or movie, or TV show that you grew up with.
In the moment it really shaped your life. Over the years, when you think back, it’s like a longtime friend. Now, let’s say you’ve bumped into this show at your local coffee shop. Remember how much time you two spent together? How they understood you, and amazed you with their eye opening imagination?
Now, it's years later, you look at them and you wonder, “Hey buddy. Do you still have it? Can we still be the best of friends?”
I’ve come to find… That the answer is: no.
While that story was a great part of your life, and you’ll never forget the times you spent together. Not even for all the tea in China. You simply can’t go back. 
Your tastes were different. It was a different world. You’re older, wiser, and/or more mature. Maybe you've finally had that lobotomy you’d been saving up for. All these things could contribute. Or maybe, deep in your heart of hearts, you know it really wasn’t that good.
Then, there are those remarkable few stories that no matter how much time passes it’s still your best friend. You two can carry on like they only walked out of the room to get another beer. I find myself thinking of those from time to time.
I’d started a top 10 ten list of my favorite stories but I rarely find time to work on it. 5th Element, Wizard of the Grove, Orange Road and I”s are just a few that I never get tired of. I mean it. I’ve seen 5th Element twenty-seven times in theaters and I can’t even count the times I’ve just sat on the couch watched it from cover to credits.
To be clear, I rarely read/watch anything more than once. There just isn’t enough to time to experience it all before I’m dust.
Sorry,  this post has been mostly me rambling.

From Beer to Apocalypse: The Second Round
If you’ve been waiting, and I know most of you haven’t been. This Tuesday, the first page of From Beer to Apocalypse: The Second Round will be released. It took longer to get moving than I expected, but now the waiting is over.
Prepare yourself!


Sunday, March 1, 2015

Are those crickets?

I've been embarrassingly negligent to my author blog. For that I’m sorry.
I just looked, it's been over a year... A damn year is unacceptable.
While I've been working my storytelling butt off and doing more writing than I ever have. But I never felt like I’d done enough to make it worth posting my progress. I thought with my focus in writing I’d have plenty to talk about. But it seems the old saying is true, “Writing is the loneliest of professions.”

Let’s do some updates:
People ask me all the time if I’d finished book three in the Dinatech series (Named: Deadline). Yes I have.  It was the first thing I worked on when I started to focus on writing. Currently, I've finished up my second draft of the novel. What I need to do next is story edits.
“But Rob, why haven’t you started the part you like the most?”
I needed to make some hard choices.
I put it aside, along with Devil n’ Jack and all my other projects. I needed to work on the story I want to sell to a publishing house.
Nic and Kennedy’s story has been living with me now for about six months and their friends Anna and Lilly have been telling me their stories as well. I've worked hard on Oil and Water. I’ve been fixing my style, my processes and how I research.
So what happens when you spend all your time with hormonal teenagers?
You want to kill them!
I might have written a few scenes where they drive off cliff off in a fiery car crash. I bring them out when they aren’t behaving.
In a version of writing therapy I took a vacation and wrote a different story. A fellow writer reached out for some help on his blog. It gave me the chance to try two firsts at once. A horror story and working in the short story format. Years ago I had an idea for a horror novel and when Clark asked for help I felt it would be a good time to try it. As we get closer to June I’ll be talking more about this.

My goals in the next month:
To start work on web novel two of; From Beer to Apocalypse. My co-writer and I have picked up a new website and I've started getting the site in place.
I want to have page one published by the end of March and once again meet our goal of a page per week. I think we are going to move from Mondays to releasing on Tuesday though.

Start edits on Deadline. Till I find an agent for Oil and Water it’s in a place where I can slow down and take my time with it. Dinatech is, and always will be my independent project. It’s time get back to this before I become the unknown George R. R. Martin of Independent Sci-Fi. I want to try for November of this year.

Other things I’ve been writing:
Aqua Digest – This is a blog I started to cover my obsession with the NFL football team, Miami Dolphins. I’ve written a few things already but as the off-season starts to become interesting I’ll have more to say. I mean they just let Brian Hartline go… But that’s a post for another blog!

Offensive Mind – Everything else that I want to write about but doesn't have a blog is posted here.  It used to be something that was more of a privet journal, but I just didn't find it that much fun. I’ve changed its format and made it more public.

Talk with you soon... umm, sooner,

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Waist'n time on this story!

Alright! I’ve been out there. I’ve been writing. I’ve been having a great time.

All at once I’ve been doing more author work than I have been in a while. It seems wrong to say this, because I’m always working on one story or another. But I’ve just started working on another YA (Young Adult) idea. It popped into my head a few months ago. After weeks months of writing backstory I’ve come to the part where I actually start putting story to paper (Paper, ha. That reminds me I want an old cool typewriter. With spell check plz). I’m all super focused right now (lies, proven later). It’s refreshing.
I’m also super proud of my growing stack of manuscripts.
I always have topics that I want to talk about when next I blog… “That” is the mistake I always make though. I never learn. Because, if I’m not yet ready to write my next blog I don’t write the idea down and by the time I get to the keyboard I’ve forgotten what the hell was so interesting! Apparently it wasn’t that enthralling and I shouldn’t have blogged about it after all.  Perhaps?
I live within a foot of a computer at almost all times, you’d think it wouldn’t be that hard for me to simply rollover (half of my ideas come to me just as I’m trying to settle in for bed) and type up a quick outline of what I want to say. NOPE, I’ll remember… really, this time for sure.
Maybe one day I’ll remember that I don’t.
Wester-Con! It was in Sacramento and yes I went! I had a good time, met some great people, I bought some more art…
Here there be dragons!
Really it’s becoming a sickness. The need cover my walls in frames has become addicting. These two are by Sarah Clemens
People ask me how the con went and I don’t know what to say. I mean you really want hear about the panels I went to on how to make a realistic fight scene? We did lose power the first night, that was kind of funny. You’re in a room with a ton of authors drinking and then DARKNESS. The birth of the cellphone flashlight army. There is story in that.
Also I had a critique group with other authors. This went…badly. There are faults on both sides of the coin here.

1.       I’m starting to come to the realization that I don’t write true Sci-Fi. Well that’s not true. I knew I didn’t write mainstream Sci-Fi genre, what I do is write stories that dabble with Sci-Fi and technology aspects. I’m more about the human condition: interactions, relationships.
To give you an idea. Let’s say I fill one of my poor charters full of nanobots. Sci-Fi focus says: What do the nanobots do to him?  My thought is: How does a man trying to deal with becoming a nanobots host change compared to those around him? Of course both questions need to be answered in your story. But you can see were my focus would be.
So going to a Sci-Fi writers group and asking for feedback for my stuff may not be the best audience for it.

2.       I was given the super scary impression that most of the people at the critique group didn’t read my summited work and/or didn’t read my synopsis that answered most of their questions/problems. On the other hand, I had A LOT more story/plot than the 7500 word limit could cover for.  A good or true synopsis would have eaten my 7500 word count alone.

As you can see, two sides of a coin on many things here. But I AM saying “I don’t like it, and that’s all I have to say.” isn’t professional and after looking over YOUR work you need to prove to me you are really interested in this craft (not competed, and when I can  find problems in your grammar and spelling you got REAL work left to do. I didn’t pick the website for giggles. Okay, yes I did.).
Ahem, sorry.
It’s not to say I didn’t get some great stuff that I could work with. Already I’ve made some new scenes and changed removed some others. With the changes I made I’m going to come back it in a few months and see if I like it better.
Kraig Ferguson… You son of a bitch!
I’d just put the kid to bed and I was looking forward to a few hours of writing before I turned in myself. One online video later I couldn’t do anything but watch more, and more, and OH MY GOD it’s 4am and I didn’t write a single word. If you haven’t seen one of the many (there are tons, trust me) Kraig/Kristen Bell segments. Educate yourself!
It’s stuff like this that makes me want to become a talk show host. Man how much fun would that job be? I’m sure it’s craptasic parts when the camera isn’t rolling. After all, no one sees my neurotic side while I’m trying to write a story. 
A longer of a blog than you might be used to, but anything as a thin excuse to keep me from working on my book that I rather be writing. No really I rather be writing but I just think of all the things I ALSO haven’t done that I should. 
Till next time,

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Use the webz for some good will ya?

The itch is back like a fever. In the last week I’ve spent a lot of time working on all kinds of story ideas and laying down a few plots. I’m working on one right now, but all I’ve really done is build pages and pages of backstory. This is a good thing to do, don’t get me wrong. But it’s not writing that’s going to be seen, at least not normally, so it doesn’t have the same gratification to me.
On the other hand, for those wondering…
I’ve pulled all my notes and the books to start work on Dinatech three. I haven’t got a working title for it yet, but it will come to me. It’s time hangout with Dan and Clara and see what they’ve been up to while I’ve been working on other projects like Devil n’ Jack and FBtA. Personally I think Clara is going to be a little sore at me for ignoring her this long. I’m currently plotting and should have first draft done in November.

If you too are looking for a few creative writing challenges, I’ve been watching this out of the corner of my eye. The program format of the Geek and Sundry channel has changed and I can’t say I’m a fan. But this vLog looks like it could be a lot of fun. Right now it seems to be sticking to smaller works, around 500 to 1000 words.
If some people would like to do this, I could be guilt tripped into joining you. :D

Wednesday my son had a fieldtrip out to a place called Biztown. It’s basically a small indoor city run by children. Every kid has a job, a checking account, and has the ability to earn a paycheck, pay their bills and use what’s left to invest or spend on small gifts. My son was made the director of AAA Safety and Maps. While I think he’s a champ when it comes to mapping, I’m not so sure about the safety part. But I couldn’t argue with the money, it was one of the highest playing jobs in Biztown at $9.00 a paycheck!
And I guess results speak for themselves, no one was hurt while Zack was on the job.

Part of my week has been spent sitting in revelation. I watched this YouTube video and it made me realize something. While we have this grand tool that allows us to be more connected, communicate faster and farther than ever before… well I think the video says it best.
Don’t get me wrong, the World Wide Web has done plenty of good as well. I mean, I can want, find, and have a book on my e-reader within minutes of discovering it even existed. Music? How much do I want to buy right now? Need a cheap way to get your own art out there? There wasn’t tools like this fifteen, maybe ten years ago.

Just remember kids, use this power for good.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Role Models and Vinyl... No not like that.

A friend showed me an article on the internet (It’s this new thing, everyone’s doing it.) people are in an up roar over the Merida from Disney’s Brave.  Disney gave her a ‘makeover’ so she’d look sexier. People have started a petition and I guess won. Disney has since pulled the images.
They say it corrupts her as a role model.
Am I the only one that feels this is wrong? People want a character created by Disney/Pixar is a role model for their children… Ok, let’s start with this:
Merida isn’t real. (Duh, I know right)
Merida is created by a company that’s bottom line is to make money. (Sure companies can do nice things for community/country/world, but face it, if they aren’t making money. Their gone.) So of course they are going to do everything they can to make the next buck. \
She wasn't that great a role model people. In the attempt to get what she wants she almost destroyed her whole family. I know I’d be a little cross at my son if he did what she did.
I scratch my head.
I think I’d encourage better role models…
Real role models…
I try to be the person I’d want others to be.

A new addiction has started…
Years back I started getting into vinyl records, I’m talking like ten plus years ago. I’d picked up some when my god brother worked at Tower Records. He got me a discount! Of course had money to waist on things I couldn’t listen to if they were discounted! Later,  I was given a nice record player by family, it wasn’t an audiophile turntable by any means, but I was shocked at just how good it sounded. I mean the turntable was a Sony from the 70s. But one day it had jammed and so my record collection was left to sit again for almost another ten years.
Then I started seeing there was an option to get my new music on vinyl with a free download code for the digital copies. That worked for me. I wanted the sound of vinyl and the convenience my iPod. I really don’t use CDs, and for the most part they just get piled into boxes for when the FBI comes knocking wanting to know if I’d stolen all my music.
Now vinyl was really starting stack up, and I’d never played any of it. I thought it would be a great idea to get myself a record player. A really nice record player! Anyone that knows me, understands that I can’t just get a low end anything. So I started looking… I was quite shocked at just how much a record player can go for.  “Audiophile” record players start at about $400 and go all the way up to almost $100K. I spent a week in sticker shock, I’m not normally one to succumb to sticker shock.
This was one of the few times where I had to weigh what I wanted with what I could afford.
I settled on a Music Hall MMF-2.2
It’s a good starter record player with a great arm on it, but I’m thinking I want to move to a glass platter soon. When I wear this one out, I’m hoping to be in a position to get into something a bit grander. For now it’s a phenomenal player. Stuff I’d only heard on MP3/CD sound so much better. And I do mean better.  Phantoms by Fixx sounds better than the CD version. Like night and day. It goes from flat to alive. Talking to my cousin, it’s because the early techniques for transferring music from the masters to CDs where flawed and it hurt the end product in many cases.
Now that I have a way to play vinyl, I've watched my collection explode. Some of it comes from hitting second hand stores and finding old records at .99 all the way up to five dollars. The rest is Amazon’s fault! There ability to feed me vinyl is disturbing!
Now that I have a record player, I’m going to buy and write a story on an old ink typewriter. Mark my words…it’s going to happen.

Till next week,

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Camp and other family adventures

As I’d said last week, 5th Grade camp adventures were on! I had a great time and so did Zack. 
The number one thing learned; my son is a boating NUT.
As an experiment I thought I’d use some of my “Grew up in Alaska I can do about every outdoors activity ever” power and I took Zack out in a canoe. My largest worry about putting him in a small canoe was balance. Sure let’s put my hyperactive son in a boat that requires you keep centered and then sit you have to sit apart so you can’t help him!
Let’s just say; I was prepared to go into the drink! 
We put him in the boat and he quickly found that if he moved so did the boat and he came to enjoy his bird’s eye view carefully while I paddled him about. During the session two other boats capsized and both times teachers and instructors were sure it was us and came running. Only to find we were the ones coming to help. It was kind of a proud moment. ;)
From then on, his goal was to get into another lifejacket and back out onto the water. During free time we had the opportunity to join up with others and take one of the larger boats. This also meant we got to go farther out into the inlet.
The quote of the trip goes like so: 
As we reached the deepest point of the inlet, the boating guide starts telling us about the area and how deep it was when Zack turns to the guild and declares.
“Let’s raise the Titanic!”
Everyone looked from him to one another and we decide that the best answer was: We were on the Pacific Ocean, not the Atlantic. Also, I wasn't sure I was ready to drag the Titanic back on paddle power alone.

"Titanic Explorer Zack, reporting!"
With camp coming to a close, I got back just in time to host family down from Alaska. We did some of my normal northwest things. Cruised Seattle, checked out the university stores, I picked up some sweet records for almost nothing. Then Sunday we headed to Portland to check out the largest bookstore on the area Powell’s. If you’d never been, it’s worth doing. I recommend taking the train down from Seattle.

It has been a long time since I hosted family and it was really nice catching up. It reminds me just how much I need to visit home and just see… everything. It’s been embarrassingly too long. I wonder if I could fly up and then take a nice slow boat home. It would be good to go up and then write about my experiences on my way home. If I flew home, I wouldn't have the time to really write about it.

And if my boat sank, I know Zack would come along and raise it for me.
Till next week