Saturday, March 17, 2018

The Christmas Letters / Story of the Week 17-March-2018

Christmas may seem like a world away at this point, but the lessons in my novel The Christmas Letters is something that can last all year long.

This novel got its inspiration from those in my family who write Christmas letters each and every year.  But with a twist: instead of writing about past events, what if one wrote about what their future year will be like?  Let your mind go.  Be inspired.

What would you like to do?

A dream vacation.

Pay off debts.

Volunteer at a homeless shelter.

Give anonymously to a charitable organization.

Start a side business.

Ask for a promotion.

Learn a new skill.

What would be in your letter?

Click on this link to pick up The Christmas Letters from your favorite e-book retailer.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Life experiences enhance your art / Happenings In The Outhouse 16-March-2018

This may be difficult for young people to hear, but for the most part life experiences enhance the art one creates.

This isn't to say that young people can't create good art, art that lasts for generations.  But those few are an anomaly.

But what if you're the anomaly?

Everyone thinks they're the anomaly.  "Oh, but I'll be different!"  Most of the time, this falls flat and resonates with no one.

I'm dealing with someone close to me who is trying hard to create his own form of art, but it is false when compared to his own life.  Not that one has to deal with drugs, create violence, and the like in order to create the form of art he wants.  But it should be what is true to their nature.

Everyone is unique.  What your life's experiences you're encountered shapes what your art is.  Instead of trying to sound like everyone else, sound like yourself.

What experiences in your own life can you draw from?

If you're lacking in it, seek it out.  Get out, get a job, and deal with people.

Your art will thank you for it.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Hope From Heaven / Story of the Week 10-March-2018

I still remember the day, sitting in church next to my son, when the idea for this book hit me.  I envisioned a man viewing his own funeral, telling God he was sorry for doing absolutely nothing with his life.

Then, this man would be visited by an angel and that angel would take him on a journey of his life, showing him key areas where he did make a difference in someone's life.  Although these events may seem minor at the time, the ramifications in the future were immense and life-changing.

This would be the premise behind my novella Hope From Heaven.  Originally titled Gabriel's Hope, it was published in October 2013.

Here's a link to it on my website.

Friday, March 9, 2018

Training Grounds is complete / Happenings In The Outhouse 09-March-2018

The novella Training Grounds is complete!

It runs a little over 27,000 words and took roughly two months to finish.  Not my best when one looks at word count per day on average, but the book turned out better than I thought.

I will set the pre-order up soon.

Training Grounds takes place immediate following the events in Beholder's Eye.  It revolves around the aftermath and crime scene investigation that takes place, for there is evidence that the killer's line of victims expands much, much longer than those encompassed within the known killings of The Video Slayer.

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Guest Of Honor / Story of the Week 03-March-2018

Guest of Honor is the first fiction book I indie published.

I wrote it as part of what I called my "NaNoWriMo in February" campaign.  NaNoWriMo (the National Novel Writing Month) is held every year in November, and personally it's a poor time for me due to the holidays and hunting--although I think that's the point of keeping to a steady writing schedule.  My plan for this book was to write it during the month of February.  Well, I wrote it in about six days.

Guest of Honor was a fun book to write.

It's about a girl named Megan Dust who, after grieving the loss of her parents, hitchhikes from her northern Minnesota town to the Twin Cities.  But she meets someone along the way, including a family living in a secluded farmstead, who leads her down a mysterious path.

Interestingly enough, this book was meant as a stand-alone story.  But after repeated requests from readers, later this year I will be putting together the first novel in a series revolving the family Megan meets as well as Megan herself.  Stay tuned . . .

Friday, March 2, 2018

Let's talk about stress (AKA setting your own pace) / Happenings In The Outhouse 02-March-2018

My latest work-in-progress, a novella titled Training Grounds, is near completion at 25,000+ words.  As of this writing (I'm writing this post on Thursday morning) I have one chapter left and it is done.  I'll be putting it up for pre-order soon along with a box set of the entire Central Division Series books so far--this would be four novels and this novella.

I've written books of similar length as this before and have been completed in weeks, not months like this one.  One word comes to mind on this: stress.

I live in northern Minnesota, where it gets very cold and get tons of snow.  It happens every year, so I shouldn't be surprised.  But between my wife's poor health conditions and vehicle troubles, it has put a strain on everything.

Including my writing.

I have, however, alleviated that a bit by listening to more podcasts (the podcast fast has definitely ended), but instead of writing related ones, I'm listening to ones centered around business, success, leadership, spiritual growth, and true crime.  I have also cut back on my Netflix watching (oh, no, the horror!).  I now use it as a reward instead of a time-filler.

I titled this post "Let's talk about stress" because it's important not to compare yourself to others.  Set your own pace.  If it's slow when compared with others, remember one thing: it was the tortoise who won the race, not the hare.  Not that I'm always writing--remember, this book has taken a few months to write instead of weeks.  When my body tells me to rest, I lay down and rest.  I may read or listen to podcast, but I'm resting.

Listen to your body.  It's the only one you got.  It's okay to pace yourself.  Be the tortoise.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Beholder's Eye / Story of the Week 24-Feb-2018

Beholder's Eye is the first novel in my Central Division series of thriller novels--and soon to be shorter works, which will be titled Central Division Shorts, but more on that for another day.

Beholder's Eye came about as the premise of "What if an investigator's child is kidnapped by an illusive serial killer?  And what if the reason behind it was revenge?"

Now, the first what if is scary enough.  But the second one jacks up the tension to a whole new level.

Kolin Raynes, a new investigator for the Minneapolis PD's Violent Crime Unit, arrives home to find himself in the midst of a kidnapping spree.  Teenage girls are being abducted, in broad daylight, by what appears to be complete strangers.  When Kolin assists with the case, they are on their third abduction.