Friday, February 16, 2018

So few stories, so much time / Happening In The Outhouse 16-Feb-2018

Nope.  Reverse that, as Willy Wonka (played by Gene Wilder in the 1971 classic movie) once said.

So little time . . . so many stories.

Everyone has the same 168 hours.  Seven days.  Twenty-four hours.

Yet so few accomplish their goals while others do nothing with it.  Oh, sure, they may work their forty-hour a week job, but what about when they come home?  They plop themselves in front of the TV and . . . do nothing.

How much time could you devote to your dream?

Take thirty minutes a day and dive head first into whatever it is you want to accomplish.  Three and a half hours in a week.

The funny thing is, we can all find a bit of time to do something.  Wake up a little early, stay up a bit later once everyone is in bed.  If you work at a job, how do you spend your breaks and lunches?

I am a Netflix fanatic.  I have so many movies, documentaries, shows, in my queue and currently watching list that, if nothing else new ever came in, I'd be set for years.  No kidding.  Years.

But I do limit my Netflix watching.  Because I have stories to write.  It's okay to watch movies and read books, to absorb stories.  But if it gets in the way of actually doing what you should be doing, that's when you'll wake up twenty, thirty, forty years down the road and wonder where your life went.

So get going.


The world depends on it.

Friday, February 9, 2018

Let's talk (again) about money / Happenings In The Outhouse 09-Feb-2018

We've talked about money before.  Please look at this blog post for a discussion in 2016 on it.

I recently read a blog post by an award-winning author who posted their earnings, split up into royalties, self-published earning, Patreon earnings, etc.

This author, who will remain nameless and I will not post a link to the post (not even going as far as to say if this author is male or female), but they made, from their writing, roughly $47,000 in 2017.  The author then lamented that they earned less than $200 from self-publishing and roughly $16,000 ranging from traditional royalties, from book to film--I'm not sure if this was before or after the standard agent fees, but I may stipulate for argument sake that it may be after.  Over $29,000 was earned from Patreon fans who give a monthly stipend for whatever reward this author had set up.

Not bad.

Although . . . this author bemoaned the earnings, even going as far as to say they may be moving to Canada where health insurance is free (umm, haven't heard of taxes, which is higher to be paid for said services, along with an extremely long wait for procedures - but I digress).

I just did our taxes for the past year, and I will tell you I did not earn even close to $47,000 from my writing, but I did earn more than this author's self-published works.  I will not disclose amounts--there are plenty of other authors who do, and I don't want to muddy the waters--but I will tell you that I have a full-time job (with fantastic health insurance) and writing for me is long-term.  It's an investment.  It may seem like peanuts now . . . but the dividends will pay off down the road.

Friday, February 2, 2018

Sifting through the muck / Happenings In The Outhouse 02-Feb-2018

For the past few years, I've had visions of the book Training Grounds swirling around in my head.  Sitting down to write it is like sifting through the muck, arranging it in a way that makes sense.

This is the fun part to writing--okay, I'll be honest, I love all aspects to writing.  From the idea and all the way to hitting the publish button, it's fun.  Even when I have to sift through the muck that's in my own head, I take it as a challenge.

Training Grounds has been a bit of a challenge in and of itself, for I have already written four novels in the Central Division Series, and this book occurs right after book 1.  Kind of a book 1.5 if you will.  I had to re-read Beholder's Eye to get a feel for what happened.  That was also enjoyable.

I am currently over 10,000 words into the story.  Not quite sure if I can see the end yet.  I know where and how it'll end, but the route is always interesting.

In a final note, yesterday was the release date for Strange Birth: Book One in the Repel Trilogy.  Here is a link for all of the e-retailers.

Friday, January 26, 2018

Something got you down? Try baby steps / Happenings In The Outhouse 26-Jan-2018

For the past month, we've had numerous vehicle problems.

Coincide this with the chilly weather--northern Minnesota had temps in the severe negative degrees for a few weeks, no kidding--the time to write (and even the desire) has been whittled down to nil.

But why should it?

Even if I sit for fifteen, twenty minutes of uninterrupted time, I can crank out a few hundred words.  Adding to that over time, I'll have my current writing project done in no time.

The other day, I met a local writer (a newbie to our local writers' group) in the grocery store.  He had just gotten through a long bout of sickness in his household, and he apologized for not getting any writing done for the last meeting.  I told him that there was no apologies needed, and even added my own woes with vehicle troubles.

Then we discussed how much writing can be done in baby steps.  Not necessarily in large three-hour blocks, but in fifteen to thirty minute bursts daily.

That gave us both the motivation to keep going.

If something has you down, be it an illness or other troubles nagging at your mind, clear away fifteen minutes--baby steps, remember?--and have fun on your project.

Friday, January 19, 2018

A troublesome story / Happenings In The Outhouse 19-Jan-2018

Ever since I started the immediate sequel to Beholder's Eye, titled Training Grounds, I have been having troubles with it.

Most stories seem to fly from my brain to my fingers, but this one has been giving me some serious troubles.  I have struggled to write even a few hundred words a day--and in some cases, none at all.

Then I came to the conclusion as to why it was causing these troubles.

The Central Division Series is a thriller series.

Training Grounds is not a thriller.  The serial killer is already dead.  Now comes the aftermath, the hands-on crime scene investigation, the deep dive into the why.

Training Grounds is more a police procedural with a dash of mystery.

Now that I have realized that, words are flowing faster.  I'm hoping to have it finished by the end of the month, with a potential March 1st release date.

Also, once Training Grounds is complete, I will also be putting together a box-set of the first four novels, while including Training Grounds in it.  I will either shoot for a March or April release date on those.

Speaking of release date on new novels, Strange Birth: Book one of the Repel Trilogy - An Order of Freaks Superhero novel is up for a February 1st release date.  It is available through all e-retailers.  Click on the link and choose the retailer of your choice.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Sequel to Beholder's Eye / Happenings In The Outhouse 12-Jan-2018

I am busy working on the immediate sequel to Beholder's Eye.
Now, before you tell me there already is a second book (and as many as four in the Central Division Series so far), let me stress the word "immediate."
When I was working on the edits to Beholder's Eye, digging deep into the mind of a serial killer and mental illness, I questioned how it all came to be.  I ended the novel on a happy note (happy is relative, depending on your point of view) but where I left off was the aftermath of the destruction the serial killer caused.
How did the killer do it?
How much planning was involved?
I am a sucker for true crime stuff.  Especially about serial killers, but true crime in general.  Sometimes the true crimes are more fascinating (again, fascinating is relative, because at the heart of it is the cruelty towards another person, albeit an innocent one) than fiction.
This immediate sequel, tentatively titled Training Grounds, answers the questions revolving around the killer's planning.  I will share a link when it becomes available for pre-order.
Speaking of pre-orders (see what I did there?), Strange Birth: Book One of the Repel Trilogy is up for pre-sale.  Please click on this link.  The book is set for a February 1st, 2018, release date.

Friday, January 5, 2018

Many of my stories are set in Minnesota / Happenings In The Outhouse 05-Jan-2018

Stephen King is synonymous (or at least in much of his early works) with Maine.

John Grisham, by and large, is synonymous with the Deep South.

Think of your favorite author for a moment.  Chances are, there's a familiar setting that goes along with it.


I have lived in Northern Minnesota all my life.  Despite the cold winters, I do love it here.  In looking at my life-long writing goal, I wish to do to Minnesota with what Stephen King has done to Maine.

If you dig deep enough into my various stories, you'll notice threads of real places throughout Minnesota and even North Dakota.

On another front, Strange Birth: Book One of the Repel Trilogy - An Order of Freaks Superhero Novel is up for pre-sale.  Publication date is February 1st, 2018.  Please click on the link for your favorite e-retailer.

Here's the cover: