The power to create a world, solely from the words written by your own mind, is a gift that should never be hidden.

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Contest is live!

Yes! It took a while, but the contest at Crockett's Books here in Trail B.C. is now live!


Simple! Go in, buy a book, and write your name and phone number on the back of your receipt. Drop that in the lovely gift wrapped box, and you are entered.
It can't be any easier.
This contest is running from now, until December 27th, when the winner will be drawn at random. So what can you win in this basket? Well...let's take a look shall we!
With an estimated value of about $150 you really can't go wrong with this prize. Almost all the books/comics were donated. The little envelope on the front is a $50 gift card. So even if you don't like a single work inside this basket, you can buy something else in the store you do like...but take a look at that book dead centre. Zombies...cmon, can you really go wrong with a zombie book?
Please take a minute to share this, let's get some traffic going into our only local book store!

Monday, 19 November 2012

December Contest, and Free stuff!

So, as of late, I have been bloging mostly about the move, my family, know, personal stuff. Well, perhaps it's time to get back to the writing blog for a single hit.

And here you have it.

December is the month for the re-release of 'The Event'.

Yes, this time with (hopefully) a bigger bang, more for your buck and a contest with actual prizes.

The idea is, I have enlisted our local book stores help and he has agreed, even though my work is currently only available via ebook, to help with some promotion. (With luck I will have a paperback available too, however I don't want to say that, just it case it is late)

So, with a little help from the community, namely, YOU, I will be doing a free giveaway of my short stories, and a contest, with prizes, during the week of Christmas. So here is the best part...

Have a copy of your e-book, real book, book marks, sweaters, knitted socks, anything you want to donate as a prize? Let me know and I will do my best to get it together before Dec 20th. This is when the whole thing is going to go viral.

It also happens to be my Mothers birthday :-)

So let me know in a personal note, an email, or here in the comments, and let me help you get some facetime!
Let's get the word out that -The Event- is bigger, and badder than ever!

Monday, 22 October 2012

Basement of DOOM or where I have been for two months.

 Are we there yet?

Well, no, but the good news is, I have a computer, and a desk, and a chair. It's a start.

Just over two months ago we moved, for those of you who don't know, and to say that in the time since it has been chaos around here...would be an understatement.

However! Never fear! Things are coming together. The basement that was almost completely unfinished, not counting the sixty year old carpet, has a brand new, fresh, clean, and spider free, finish. The TV is now mounted and the kids game systems (my game systems, but kids sounds better) has been hooked up and is functioning. The home schooling computers, and my writing machine, are set up in their own space, along with the treadmill. Pictures are getting closer to being hung, everything is looking more and more like it's time to start writing again.

I even sat down with full intent to open up the first chapter of 'The Event' and do a small re-write of the opening that has been rolling around in my head for over a week now...hmn, with that in mind...I have a file to open up!

I leave you all with some pictures of the before, and after, of our basement.

Feel free to ignore the orange is almost as old as I am, but still too comfortable to throw away...perhaps one day soon I will be able to buy our family a new one...perhaps.

Monday, 17 September 2012

The Spider Trap

First of all, let me say this, YAY! We have INTERNET!

Yep, modem crashed and been a while to get a new one that actually works. What else is new you might ask?
Well, am I ever glad that you did...

First of all. We have moved! Yes, as in physically moved. We have left behind the town of no future for my children, and brought them to my home town of, at least the pool is open 7 days a week and you can buy things you need without driving 2-3 hours. It should be a VAST improvement.
It took two moving trucks. One a 28 foot, slow as a frozen mountain goat, tranny stopped shifting 5 minutes from our destination, behemoth of a monster vehicle, and a much nicer, zippier, small cube van, to get all of our belongings from ye old homestead to the new one. The trip was the easy part. The hard part? Seems I am no longer capable of determining how many things will fit inside a vehicular conveyance. My wife is now in charge of that department, should it ever come up again. And when she tells me. "We need more boxes." I will now go, and get more boxes.
Of course, I hope to never move again. Ever.
And the house we have found ourselves in now? It is in need of some work. The good news is, I still have the foresight to plan ahead financially, and we are progressing on the updates at a decent speed. The upstairs is doing very well, the basement...needs some work. In particular my new 'shop'.
Which I have named, The Spider Trap.
Well, here is one little tidbit of information you don't need to know, but will want to learn anyway.
When you leave a whole bunch of old canning jars laying open on a shelf for a an extended period of time, spiders will inevitably crawl over them, fall inside, and never find a way back out. Thus, creating a...spider trap.
Seems the old owner of this house had a thing for saving old canning jars, with no lids, and the aforementioned idea came to be.
Our house is a spider trap, but that's okay, we are working to correct that situation...
First step, get rid of all these jars.

Now, on a completely different topic, you may be thinking, what about the book sales from last month? How did I do?
Well, I am happy to announce I will be donating almost $100 to the Pines Bible Camp rebuilding fund. I had really hoped for more, but I am happy to give what I can. If you should still wish to donate directly you can still do so here. I know they have more work to be done.

And lastly? Yes, I know, big blog post, get on with it...
I hope to be doing a re-release of "The Event" in cover, new edit, and perhaps a few more words. Keep your eyes pealed. Big things are coming.


Saturday, 21 July 2012

Bible Camp disaster

Starting today (July 27th) and running till the end of August, I will be donating ALL procedes from my book sales to the pines bible camp rebuilding fund.
Please if you don't want to donate directly, this is a great way to pass on some of your good fortune to others in need.

We had the misfortune of a major windstorm yesterday evening and an incredible amount of trees in our valley were toppled. A few houses were ruined and some cars, but for the most part town did okay.
Except our local Bible Camp. It has been the recipient of a major disaster. Almost every tree in the camp was knocked down and a few children were hurt. One was hurt very badly. The response time was quick and he was airlifted to the closest major hospital, but by the time he got there it was too late.
He didn't survive.
My own niece and nephew were at the bible camp and they told me first hand of the disaster, and how close they came to death themselves. It was the fast thinking of them and others like them that saved lives in that camp.
Now they need to work on rebuilding.
This is where you can help.
I will be donating 10% of all my sales for at least the summer, perhaps longer to rebuilding this camp. If for any reason you wish to donate directly you can find the link here.
Or go hear to read about the official release as well as see some pictures of the devistation.

I had the pleasure of being able to help out in some small way last night. It wasn't much, but my cell was abuzz trying to get word to people that had unanswered questions. I feel the need to do more if possible.
This camp will be rebuilt. How well, and how fast, depends on us.

Please help spread the word. Lets get this camp back together for these kids.

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Amazon, KDP, and where to price your ebook.

No one could answer my questions about Amazon rank, and Kindle Direct Publishing, so I decided to ask myself. This past month I took the plunge and followed the crowd into KDP, and the option for 5 free days out of every 90.

Here is what I learned. (Until Amazon decided to mess it all up that is.)

I self published in April of 2011. There was no fanfair, no book launch, I just put up my first short story sitting around 9k words and kept on writing. The price for my work? .99c
Here are some things I have learned since then.

1. Price does matter! Really, here are some figures from the last year.

It took over 2 months for anyone to notice the short and the sales litterally trickled in. One, two a month, at most I would see five. It took over five months to hit the minimum payout of $10. On a .99c ebook the author makes a whopping .35c per sale. (If you have filled out your proper tax form. If you haven't you have to pay %30 tax on that...yes .27c profit per book.) You could find more money on the floor of a grocery store. (My kids have proved it) And then I found out as a Canadian, I don't qualify for a direct deposit, so I have to wait until I make over $100 to be sent a cheque, but that is a whole nother post.

2. Amazon seems to have 3 seperate rankings for ebooks.

First they have free.

In this rank you need...a LOT of sales (no money made of course) to maintain a rank. However if you are on a free promotion with the KDP program, they (Amazon) will promote your book for you. Believe it or not, this is a really, REALLY good thing.
On my very first dip into the KDP pool, my full story, The Event, hit a free rank of 433 in the free rank scale. Amazing right?
The bad news with this? Your rank doesn't hold when you go back to paid. The free scales are completely independant from all other rankings on Amazon. If your book was at 960k before it went free, and you gave away 10k copies at free, once it goes back to paid it will be sitting right back at 960k. The good news? The exposure you can get will bring in some new readers, and hopefully, some new reviews. If you have more than one book out there you might find people looking for more of your work. Make sure you have some to give them.

Second is the .99c ebook.

Honestly, this used to be the best place to have a starting novel. Under Amazons old ranking system all book sales were grouped in the same pool. A cheap book meant you could pull in new readers, gain more reviews, and build a following for yourself. Under the new structure this is the new e-slush pile for all authors. In my experience, you really don't want to be in this group. Your sales in this rank must be maintained at all times or your rank will drop. The best I have ever reached in .99c was about 72k. Without maintained sales I saw my book drop in rank of an average 25k spots per 24 hours. Yes, I actually watched it plummit that fast. It was jaw dropping.
It is my own opinion, but I personally believe that Amazon wants the .99c ebook to disappear from the face of the earth.

Lastly we have the 2.99+ ebook.

This is where you want your book to be. Even at 10k words an author will still put hours and hours into a story like this. With your book priced at 2.99 you make a profit of 2.08 per book. You spent time on this book, revising, editing, re-editing, formating, why would you give it away for pennies? I spend more than this on a cup of coffee that I finished in 5 minutes, readers will easily spend this on a story that will take them 30+ minutes to read, and keep.
As an example, I have just released a bundle of my first 4 short stories. In an attempt to steer people towards them, I raised all the individual short stories priced at .99c for the last year, to 2.99 and priced the bundle at 5.99 What would you buy? Of course!
With the bundles release, I ran another free promotion of the first short, Past Jumper at the new price of 2.99, with one day free on KDP.
I woke up in the morning and loaded up Amazon to see if my story was going crazy! (I had dreams that it was! Seriously...)
Honestly, not one free download.
Wait! I don't know what happened, but by lunch the dl's started to trickly in. 24 hours I ended up with over 1200 dl's on my ebooks. Even 5 in Germany!
The next weekend I did a two day promotion of a .99c ebook with almost no sales at all. In comparison I got 55 free downloads. I watched the rank crawl, they capped at around 2600 in the free rankings, and was feeling okay with it. At least some people had grabbed it. Than it ended.

Boom! Ranking fell flat as a pancake with no eggs. To this day I still have no sales after the promo on the .99c collections. (I upped the price to 2.99 as well, if it isn't going to sell at low, might as well leave it in the higher bracket, I will free promo it again soon in hopes of gaining more interest, but I am not going to hold my breath.)

However, after the first promo on my 5.99+ books, the sales slowly started to come in. The attention I received from my free promo seemed to have helped. I watched sales climb on The Event, and it's rank held steady at around 24k for over two weeks. When the sales did tickle down, the rank did drop slower. Much slower. In a 24 hour period of no sales the Amazon rank would drop roughly 2k spots. A huge, HUGE difference from the .99c field.

So, if you have managed to stick with me this long, what is the point too all this you might ask?

I will sum it all up for you.

Respect your work. Your writing has value, your time is worth money too, and from the results I have seen on Amazon, readers are much more interested in the work that has a higher price tag. If you show that you respect your own work, so will your readers.
.99c is dead. Unless you really don't care for ranks, want sales, or like being noticed. I can't see a reason to have anything priced this low anymore. So far this month I have made more on my books than I did in the last 12 months. Why? I believe it to be the exposure I have gotten from KDP mixed with a handfull of author interviews, and a heck of a lot of self promotion.
KDP can really get your name out there. Even more so with a book set at full pricing. Free promos means more for 8.99 than it does for .99c.
On a completely different side note, this blog was intended to be finished at the end of July. I had hoped to have more concrete numbers set down for my 1st short of 5 entitled 'Past Jumper' however, Amazon decided that it needed a price reduction. (Yes, they can do that) and it is now sitting at .98c Dropping me back into the lower scales again. It's rank was around 90k before they dropped the price on me, and in one day it has fallen to 208k. Fastest drop I have ever seen. Thanks Amazon, glad to feel the sting of your whip.

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Good news and great reviews.

Yes! I have both for you this time!

I hinted this month is a big one for me and I wasn't kidding. Of course, July is always a great month for me. Why? You might ask. Well it's simple...
This is the month I married my best friend. My partner in life, Christyl. That's her on the right. I am a lucky guy aren't I? Yowza...Smokin hottie!
There is really no way to top that. So I won't even try, however, to spread my good fortune to the rest of you, my readers, I have a few small surprises for you.

First of all, I want to share with you a small write up I was asked to do. The basics of it were, in three sentences or less, tell everyone what motivates you to write.
You can find the link to my answer HERE.

Second, I was the subject of another Author Interview!
(Golf claps for me!)
In the interview I was asked again about my writing, this time about a more specific book. My sci-fi Fantasy work entitled The Event, already available on Amazon. If you are interested in reading about some of my thoughts, struggles, and victories while writing The Event, please take a look HERE.

Third, I suckered convinced a very well known author to take a look at my short story Past Jumper, and with a little convincing she saw fit to write up a review for me. If you have been undecided whether to pick this short up or not. Perhaps from the words of her own fingertips you might be convinced. You won't find a more honest review of my work anywhere else. Take a look at what she had to say HERE.

And the best for last!
Our anniversary falls on July 7th. This year we will have been married for 6 years and Christyl has suffered to stay with me for a total of 8 years. So as our gift to you, for one day only, you can grab The Event for free from Amazon on this July 7th. Midnight, to midnight, all you have to do is download it. I say that is a win for everyone!

So thank you again my valued readers and please enjoy my gift to you.


Oh! there is another link you need to look for, in case I haven't given you enough yet. My interview isn't up yet, but my interview with the talented Eden Baylee will be HERE on the 20th of this month. Please watch for it!

Saturday, 30 June 2012

Author Interview

Another quick note! I was asked to a do an interview over at the lovely Laura Jean Kentowski's blog the other day. It's all about what it took to write The Event. If you are interested in my always dry humor, feel free to drop by her page and take a read. ;)

And as always, thanks for your support.

Thursday, 28 June 2012

It's going to be a busy July!

Yes, very busy. I have a few big things coming up next month that I am not at liberty to say just now. However, I want you all to know that my lack of posting isn't because of disinterest. No, it's due to spending time with my family, getting a little sun in between the rain storms. (We have been pounded lately) And working on a few changes to my story lineup, as well as an interview with 'yours truly' and a very, very important review of my short, Past Jumper.
Keep your fingers crossed for me folks! July could be a great month!

Oh! And July is also the month that my wife agreed to say "I do" at our wedding. Kinda the icing on the cake for this month!

Saturday, 9 June 2012

Dear 16 year old me.

Dear 16 year old me.
Everything you think to be important right now, isn't.
Those girls you want to chase, the ones you think are beautiful. Well, they are beautiful, on the outside. On the inside they are (for the most part) shallow, insecure, lonely, lost, just like you are. They look like they have everything going for them, but they don't. It will take them years to get their lives straight, same as you.
Don't stress about finding the right woman, you will, when you are ready, and oddly enough, you will find her in the least likely place. She will walk into your life and change everything in a way you really don't think is possible. You will love her for it, even when she does things that just make you shake your head.
Pay attention in school! Yes, you learned how to read before you hit Kindergarten, but your spelling and grammar have sucked ever since. Learn to use a comma. Yes...I know it all sounds like the parents speaking on an episode of Peanuts, but try harder. It's much easier to learn now, than when you have just turned 39. Trust me on this one.
Start writing, you will love this. You didn't know it at the time, but you have creativity inside you. In fact, it is bursting out of you. Find the outlet. Make it happen. You will be pretty bad (and good) at it at first, but keep going. You have a knack for it and others will actually enjoy your stories. Tell them.
Did I make myself clear? Sure, some of your best ideas came from playing games, and those same games do offer you a chance to relax and drop the stresses of your day, but so does writing. The world you will open up inside yourself is a rare thing, a treasure. It is no different than walking down a creek bed and finding a pretty stone laying among the cast offs. Yet you can do it at will. Some of the days will be hard, trust me here, but others will make you smile. Even better, there are some people out there who will pay you to do that writing. If you start at it soon enough, you may even be able to make a career out of it. The choice is up to you.
I know where I have spent the last 18 years, you aren't happy there, even though you are good at it. You like helping people, it's in your blood, but one at a time isn't the answer. Your books can help other people escape the doldrums of their lives, you can help them in different ways.
Put down the controller. Pick up a pen, or find a word program on your computer. I know you have one. And...Get writing!

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Errors in writing, the disclaimer.

I had an interesting  argument  conversation on twitter a couple days back that has left me thinking.
The general gist of it was, would you buy an Indie book if it wasn't edited by a professional editor.

I said yes.

I was told that I was wrong, sorta. The person I was having the conversation with originally was open enough to listen to my side. And we ended up agreeing to disagree on our opinions.
A listener however, decided to join the conversation, and they told me in no short terms would they ever buy an Indie book without an editor listed on the front page.
The funny thing about all this is, I do have some works that have been professionally edited. Not all mind you, but some.
So this person continues down the path of...If the work hasn't been through an editors hands, there is no way that it can be up to the standards they set for all books. No matter the cost. Free was even debatable.
I couldn't agree less on that one. It just so happens, I know some brilliant writers. Their skills at twisting words into excellent prose leave me weeping at times. (Okay, not really, but it sounded good right?)
I am the first to admit that I do need an editor.
English hates me.
However, I still do my BEST to put out work that is of good quality, and if/when someone points out an error that I missed, I am very quick to change it. I understand that this might lose me a reader here and there. That is a chance I have decided to take. I didn't just throw caution to the wind and toss my work out there for fun. I honestly spent a ton of time thinking about wiether to go Indie or not with some of my works.
Most of my readers come away with an appreciation for the story. Some have helped me improve my work. And one in particular just didn't like it at all.
The thing is, that is just how it goes.
My own personal library of books has errors in it. Some of those works have passed through countless hands before they saw the light of a book store, and they still have errors.
Now of course it is usually a single letter in a single word over hundreds of pages, while mine might be one error every couple pages. I don't know, I don't see my words, because I already know what I meant to say. It is a weird disease us writers get, Cantseewhatsinfrontofusitis I think it's called.
Where was I...
Oh yeah, I am not perfect, but I do my best, and as I continue to write I am getting better, and better.
However to be fair to those who don't know me, and who are grabbing my works with no prior knowledge of who I am, or how I write. I have added a disclaimer to all my non-edited works.
I hope that most look past the small errors (should there be any left) and see the story for what it is.
A good, entertaining, and enjoyable tale.

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

My Son

Sorry for the lack of posts, seems what with editing, trying to write, writing and general life problems I have let this blog slide a touch. My bad...

So what's new? Well my 5yr old son has just started his first sport. BMX Racing. He really loved riding on the track by himself, so we asked him if he wanted to try and race. Turns out he did, and he loves it. Just one minor problem, we may have taught him the life lessons of sharing, and helping others too well.
He has no real competitive drive.
Don't get me wrong, he likes going fast, but when he actually catches up to someone else, he doesn't feel the need to pass them. He just hangs out behind and rides casually, up...and down...the bumps.
So the real question is, as a parent that wants to see my sons name at the top of the list, do I push him to try harder even though he is perfectly happy where he is. Or do I just let him do his thing and keep coming in last.
Before you get after me, dear readers, I want you to know that I am happy no matter what he chooses. He is having fun and that is all that really matters, it's just more of a me problem. Who doesn't want their son to come in first after all?
I congratulate him regardless of how well he does. I offer him tips to go faster, in a positive manor, but in the same token I don't lie to my son. He asks if he won and I tell him nope, not this time buddy. Maybe next one...
Sometimes being a good parent is really hard.
Kudos to my wife who does this 24 hours a day.
And there is my boy waiting for his next turn to go. Yes, that is a pie plate with his number on it, next time he will get a real one.

Saturday, 7 April 2012

Old Cars and New Tricks

There is one good thing to living in a small town, if you take a little walk it is usually pretty easy to get away from most of the things that annoy you. Our house is no exception. With a short and easy ten minute walk we can find a small beach on the side of a winding river. (Depending on the time of year of course.)
Along the way to that beach you travel down an old rail grade that has long since been decommissioned. The black sand is very prominent in the summer, but in early spring like it is now the area is alive with small blades of deep green grass. It in itself is a beautiful sight, but not the point of today's blog.
I have walked down this trail perhaps a hundred times in the last ten years. So many times now that I don't even often bother to look around and truly see what is out there.
Except for some reason this last time my eyes opened and I had a brief glance back in time. All from looking at this picture...
I don't know why I saw a glimpse of the past this time when I observed the wreck. But for some reason I had a flash of insight, or a vision of the past.
I saw a proud father standing next to a shining red car fresh off the lot. His family close waiting to climb inside and go for their first ride.
In a blur I watched the life of a car, and it's family as they all got older. It only took moments inside my mind, and a few feet along the trail, but as I kept walking past I began to imagine how this ruined frame transformed and became the pile it was on the side of the trail.
At that moment I had to stop and go back to snap this shot, my own family waiting as I did it. No questions asked, they already know I am odd in my own special way. For some reason I felt the need to mention this moment in time, yet I don't know why. Perhaps as I climb closer to my 39th birthday I am starting to think more about my past. The decisions I am making and the impacts they will have on my family. Until one day my own children are grown and our car is a pile of twisted metal in a scrap heap somewhere.

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

The Birthday Blog Hop!

Welcome to my little stop on the Carrie Ann's birthday blog hop!
First, of course, I would like to wish Carrie Ann a very happy birthday, and thank her for the chance to join in on this little adventure.
Now for the blog!

As some of my regular visitors might already know I am not one for planning out blog posts. In fact, most of my posts are done on a wing and a prayer. So having to come up with one purely about birthdays might be a touch tough for me. You know, planning ahead and all. However, never fear! As it would turn out my son's birthday is coming up only a few days before Carrie Ann's, and as luck would have it. I happen to like talking about my son!

On April 2nd my Son Nathan will be turning 5. As a father I couldn't be more proud of him. He is a smart, caring, and loving son. He is quick to learn, (he can already read basic words) and he follows along with his sister in all her schooling, matching her work most of the time. (even passing it in some areas)
That is a picture of him, to the right, at his sisters birthday in January. He loves to be the joker in our family and is always quick to try and bring out the laugh in everyone. I love my little man, and one day when he reads this post I want him to know all of you said a HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Carry Ann, and a HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my son NATHAN!

In the spirit of keeping this blog short, I will now cut to the best part. As a prize to a random commenter on this blog I will be giving away not 1 book, but a total of 4 books! THE DREAMERS series by David and Leigh Eddings to be exact.
One of the lucky commenters below will find themselves enthralled in a series of stories told by one of the best authors in the fantasy genre.
Now for the personal part. I, of course, am an author as well. For those of you new to my blog you will find more than a few samples of my work posted here. However, if you wish to see some of the more polished, and proper samples of my work. You can find them here on Amazon and Smashwords. I would love for you to check them out, and if you find them interesting, perhaps buy one or two (or three of four). Now as a is a photo the books you can win. Good luck!

If you wish to be entered in the grand prize for this hop, (who wouldn't?) All you have to do is...
1: Leave a comment here on my blog.
2: Make sure it has your email address in it. (You want to be contacted if you win don't you?)
And...what are you trying to win you might ask?
Well here you go!
1st prize is) A Kindle Touch (Yeah! How cool is that!)
2nd prize is) A $60 Amazon or B&N Gift Card (Shame you can't win em both and use that to load up that Kindle)
Really doesn't get much better than this folks! So, thanks for visiting, feel free to hit subscribe, or even drop in on my Facebook page and click a like. Happy hopping and...

Friday, 9 March 2012


Everyone has it in some level.
I know this to be true.
Some people get headaches, others deal with emotional pain, while still others deal with the physical pain.
I have the physical pain.
There is a problem though. I was raised to be tough. Don't show your pain. Keep it inside and just deal with it.
That only works for a while.
What do you do when you can't do that anymore?
As a "man" society expects you to get over it. Deal with it. Move on.
I have been, I am, and I still will, much can a person take before it breaks them?
What is my breaking point?

I injured my shoulder at work. There was no blood, there was no screaming. I just did it, and for years now I have been sucking it up. Yes, years. The last has been the worst.

I noticed in the spring of last year I had a real problem when I tried to throw a ball for my son. I would toss it a ways and he would run after it laughing. "Throw it farther Dad!" So I did...try.
I was never a slouch at throwing a ball, I could toss one from the outfield to the infield with little difficulty. I tried to throw it far and it barely went 20 feet, and a gun shot went off in my arm.
I had to tell him I couldn't throw a ball.
Spring is coming up again fast, and already he is asking me to do things I just can't do.
I can't climb a rope one handed. I can't play at the park one handed (very well). The list is sure to grow as we will be taking out the bikes soon...
So I am scheduled for surgery in the near future. The specialist has informed me I will need at least 6 weeks off work. Or at the very least, I can't move my arm after the surgery.
I am hating this.
I don't want to be "That guy".
I want to keep "Sucking it up for the company I have worked 18 years for."
I don't want to be the "Trouble employee".
Yet, I know, if I don't get this done I will never heal properly. I will not get the chance to throw a ball for my boy.
My mind is so conflicted here, I want it all to be swept under the rug. I want to pretend I am fine and there is nothing wrong. The people I deal with every day don't see my pain, usually. Most don't even notice I am only using half my body, let alone care.
One particular person actually keeps trying to tell me to hit the gym. "You need to work out." he says.
He doesn't know, or care, that I can't even lift a bottle with my right arm without feeling the heat in my neck, the rip in my shoulder, or the swelling in my right hand from over use.
I am just an employee to be used.
My state doesn't matter.
Just do your job and deal with the

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Struggling authors, thoughts, joy, and another random blog.

I have struggled with what to blog about lately.
It isn't a writers block, in fact I have had many ideas, but I dismiss them all  as soon as I think of them. Why? Well..perhaps because there is so much going on that I feel every one of them should have their 15 minutes in the sun. Or, it could be that my mind is like a spring bird, flitting from one idea to the next so quickly it never has a chance to light on any one area, before flying off to the next.
So what am I blogging about then?
Nothing, and everything would be my response. In no particular order and with no intent to be negative, or too positive. Here are some thoughts...

As of late I have watched some of my good friends struggle with their own demons.

I have an old friend that has announced he is getting married. (First time and well deserved! Congrats to him!)

I have a new(ish) friend that has been having some issues in her own life that are working to tear her down, yet when I put my hand out for help she was the first one to grab it and offer assistance when others have just moved on.

I have a friend I have never met, who lives not too far away, but a world apart, feel the weight of her world too much for her own shoulders. She is taking a much needed break from her own "friends" on social media who instead of support, seek to tear her down. In stead of praise and help, they inject their "opinions".

I question my own past experiences with writing, while enjoying the best month ever, as far as sales go. (No I am not getting rich, but every single sale puts a smile on my face.)

Spring is coming and with it the chance to once again get outside, enjoy the sun, spend time doing things that I love with the people that I love. It will be a good summer, I know it will!

I have family that are not well, and it reminds me of my own illnesses that plague me. It is said that pain is a reminder you are still alive. Lately, sometimes I am much more alive.

“Confront the dark parts of yourself, and work to banish them with illumination and forgiveness. Your willingness to wrestle with your demons will cause your angels to sing. Use the pain as fuel, as a reminder of your strength.” August Wilson

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Ideas come from the strangest places.

I am not sure exactly where this idea popped up from, but I do know I was pacing a floor. So, I would assume that it was probably when I was bored at work. Yes, I get lots of ideas while bored at work.

ANYWAY...It was the start of an idea.

Like a good camp fire it just needed some time, and some space to breath, before the flames caught and the idea took off.
Those flames caught me while driving home from a doctors appointment today. It was a rough draft and only in its most bare form, but it was there.

Que the pestering of my wife.

In every writers carrier, I believe, they come to a point where they have a great idea, but it is missing something special. I know I can count on my wife for those times.

I will be honest, she loves that I can make up stories, she doesn't care for the idea of making her own...yet, but that might come in time. However, when I need a fresh new thought on something, I can rely on her to come up with an idea that my own twisted imagination wouldn't have imagined. She brings me back to a level of reality that can be very important for a writer in the field of fiction. She did that again today.

Skip time forward about three more hours, with the kids asleep, the house clean (ish) and 300 words later I had a very rough drafted outlined. I can see this story sitting around the 30-40k mark and it is a story idea totally new to me.

I intend to research it and see if I am wrong.

So, I have pounded out some words on a doc file, my hand joyously moves to hit the save button and I realise I have no idea what this title will be.
It is a good thing I have great friends on twitter. Their words come back to me even when they are offline. FIND ANOTHER WORD!
I have an idea in my head but it sounds terrible, cue and viola! An outline for BREATHING SPACE has been born. Now all I need is the time to write it and make it happen.

Monday, 30 January 2012

A little about someone I love deeply.

So normally I blog about whatever is on my mind. In reality, this time is no different.

This particular blog is going to be about the woman who means the most to me in the world.

My wife. *To be known as 'C' to protect the innocent.*

Ever since I met my wife almost 8 years ago I have noticed she is different than other woman. Yes, of course she is you say. Well, this time it is more true than you might think, and it was only just last week that we found out how different she really is.
She would try to explain to me how her mind worked. A troubling area to be sure, for a man can never really know the inner workings of a woman's mind. Yet, I did my best to understand regardless. She dumbed it down for me by saying that often when she would see something, someone, or hear a song, the stimulus isn't important, it would trigger a ton of memories tied into that 'thing'. The best way to think of it would be looking at the very same computer screen you are seeing this on, and having a whole bunch of computer windows popping up with every different area of stimuli. Often those windows would just open more windows and your computer (mind) would be overcome with a myriad of thoughts, images and memories.
Pretty hard to take in right?
So my response was, well stop thinking about it! (a pretty typical male response, it would work for me, being able to turn off my brain with ease) Thing is, she can't. I stumbled across what she actually has.


Yes, she really does have this. Now before you start thinking, whoa whoa whoa, there is no way anyone can have that. Check it out a little deeper. It is rare, and she isn't a full blown case. I can't give her a date for her to recall every little detail on. BUT, there are 1000's of days that she can remember.

So what does that mean you say? Well, here you go. It means that when someone did a kind act, she remembers what was said, by who, wearing what. If it was raining that day, what time of day it was, what song was on the radio, all of that is in there.

On the flip side...

If someone wronged her, let her down, was a snob, ignored her, gave the silent treatment, put her in their 'bad books' called her a name... ANYTHING. She remembers it, to a T. What they were wearing, the color of their hair, what stuffed animals were arranged in the background. Everything.

I love my wife to death. When I said the words 'I do' I meant them from the bottom of my heart and I will live my entire life dedicated to making her life happier, and better. So how do I do this when people of the world today care only about themselves, and the thoughts of others are pushed aside on a whim? It is very hard. You see, those things that most people can ignore, shove aside, forget all together or even kid themselves into thinking never really happened. When you do it to C, they aren't forgotten. The words can cut deeper than any blade can, and the cuts take a very, very long time to heal.
How will I protect my wife from people that don't care?
I will care even more.

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Decisions of an Author, self pub or query again...

So I ran across an artist last night that likes to do book covers. Her work looks awesome and I figured, "Hey, why not chat this person up and see if you can sucker err convince them to give your whopper of a story a book cover.
She was agreeable and asked me to send over my synopsis to see what she thought of it...
Oh yeah, synopsis, I have one of those somewhere...

*Digs through my writing folder and pulls out my old synopsis file*
*Reads the four versions I used to think were pretty good*
*Quickly scraps all four, empties the trash folder, and burns computer*
 *Slams open Word to write out a new one that hopefully doesn't suck*

Yes, they were that bad. It was like reading a list of medical ingredients to a grade 3 class. How I ever thought they would interest anyone really amazes me. But! Don't despair! I was in a creative mood, my old synopsis(s)? <--Do you really plural that word? were so so far gone from my memory that I started fresh and made a really new one. Even I liked it.
So I grabbed my nearest beta reader. AKA My wife, and forced err asked her to read it. She knew of my prior failures and cringed at the thought, but after a quick read she said.

Wow! I like that one! I would even grab that book off a shelf.

Glowing praise for a woman that really doesn't read the genre I tend to write in.

So without further ado, I offer my scribbling for you to tear apart err read and critique. Hit me with your worst, what do you think about it? Would you pull this book off a shelf? Would you pay 9.95 (or 12.95 in Canada since the dollar is soooo far apart right now *not*)
Here we go...

Children's stories tell us the world we now live in used to be a different place. Some call it Gaia; others call it Eden, none of that matters to Shade or Dawn. Now they call it home.

The people of earth didn't use the planet, they misused it, and the unusual solar flare from the sun almost destroyed it. Only a lucky few managed to survive. Most of humanity paid with their lives, and they must now learn to adapt to a world where electricity refuses to flow, and the broken remains of the moon litter the surface of the earth with a fresh magic. Even humans are changing, their bodies reverting, reviving the fairy tales of youth.

The skies no longer drop rain. Fires burn indefinitely and the creatures of our past walk again. In pockets of paradise, humanity begins anew while the rest of the world weeps.

Donovan doesn't care about any of that. All he wants is to kill his sister so he can do everything "the rules" said he couldn't do before. Everything was working exactly as he planned until the undead beauty, Silvia, stepped into his web of destruction…all because of a can of beans.

Share it with your writer friends. Tear it up if you feel the need, or let me know what you would change. This might be the last kick at the cat for this book before it goes Indie and I would love to hear your input.

Friday, 6 January 2012

The Weather Network killed my inner child.

Do you remember when you were a child? You would wake up in the morning, throw open the curtains and look out at the brand new, fresh, sparkling layer of deep and perfect snow. It was all you could do to contain yourself as your mother forced you to wolf down some kind of breakfast. Those mornings it didn't even matter if what you were being forced to eat was puffed wheat. (Yes we ate that, no it didn't have fruit in it) You ate it quickly, only to rush to the door and start pulling on that 20 pounds of snow gear.
The back door bursts open and you dove headfirst into a field of fun. Eventually your friends would all show up, or you would go to their places, and the group of you would march off to that sweet spot... The one place you all knew about where the hills were steep, the snow was deep, and an inevitable snowball fight would commence...
Fast forward to today...
I don't leap out of bed anymore, it's more of a slow roll. I don't throw open the curtains to a field of white, since I watched, read, used my smart phone, anything to get the weather report last night, and it said that there was no chance of any precipitation. Same as the day before. We all know the weather can't really be predicted longer than a day or two, but within the next 24 hours they seem to have it pretty close, most of the time. So the magic of finding over a foot of the white stuff has turned to the doldrums of knowing it did nothing.
Of course sometimes they get it wrong...
But not last night. In fact as far as snow goes we have received the short end of the stick this winter. My kids don't seem to mind, but they are still young enough to not really know what they are missing. If we ever did get a real snowfall around here, it would blow their minds!
I guess it is a good thing I have some friends in high places to help them out.

My friend works for the city and it seems they don't mind helping kids having a little fun now and again. With a little bit of convincing, (not much at all really) he dropped a few scoops of the white stuff on my sparse front lawn. It already has provided a few hours of entertainment for my little ones and should the weather man ever tell us to expect more, it will make a great base.

So what is the most special, most magical thing you can remember being a child in the winter time? Did you even have snow? Are your winters full of sand and surf? I would love to hear from you.