Tuesday, December 27, 2016
Friday, September 30, 2016
Well, I guess we were wrong about the whole “people being taken to heaven” thing not being real. It’s real. People have disappeared.
It happened this morning at 8:17am, which would’ve been 7:77am, if we kept track of time wrong, but we don’t. So, it was 8:17am. A strange time for a bunch of people to go missing. I know what you’re thinking, but, it wasn’t all mayhem and confusion. It was more of an inconvenience. Let me explain.
I was walking across the street to Starbucks when an empty car coasted to a stop a few feet away. I thought, “cool, autonomous car.” I shrugged and went inside to order a coffee.
This is where things got wild. The store was populated with the usual patrons but there was no staff. Hot coffee and steam blasted out of the espresso machine.
“Son of a bitch!” I said. Who’s going to make my hot mocha? I looked over at some random college girl and raised my eyebrows. College girl rolled her eyes at me.
I told her, “well, I don’t know how to operate the damn thing.”
She responded, “I’m a history major.” She adds a shrug.
“I know what you mean. Good luck with that.”
She flipped her middle finger at me, showed me her full coffee cup as she turned and left.
I peered over the counter and saw a pile of clothes.
… To be continued?
How I Survived the Rapture
Friday, August 26, 2016
I guess the best rule is, if you didn’t create it, don’t use it.
I’ve just read horror stories about people even paying for rights to use photos and STILL getting threatened for infringement.
I don’t want to take that chance to from now on you’ll be getting my own graphical representations.
Images and why they aren't on my site
Monday, August 1, 2016
Where’s the writing software?
Scrivener seems to be the best thing going for writers but to be completely honest, it’s clunky and bug-filled. The interface is horrible, the features are dismal and the complete lack of add-ins is depressing.
Word is expensive.
Google Docs is completely free, tracks your changes, etc., but also lacks any decent writing add-ons.
There is software out there for screenplay writers but nothing for fiction writers.
I’d like a program that lets me organize my thoughts and ideas and research in a “OneNote” fashion, create a visual flowchart/outline that has easily moveable pieces, like video editing software and of course, a nice writing interface with some better than crappy grammar and spell checking abilities.
Why is it so hard to find good software?
Monday, July 11, 2016
Thursday, June 2, 2016
So shoe sizes for kids go from 1 to 13. Then start at 1 again. So it you want shoes for a 2.5 year old you want size 6 and for a 6 year old you want size 11. If the little brat is older you want a size 5 or maybe a 6 unless you get the wrong size 5 or 6 which are for 2 year olds.
U.S. Shoe Sizes. Are you kidding me? Why is this still?
Wednesday, June 1, 2016
Here’s an alternate Chapter One that I wrote when I was frustrated with my current draft. I won’t be using this chapter and it hasn’t been edited so don’t upset at the grammatical, spelling or punctuation issues.
Joe Marshall drove his old Mercedes home from work for the last time. After almost fifteen years he was fired without notice. He stared vacantly at the road rushing under him as he sped down the interstate toward his suburban home. His daughter, Chloe, would be waiting for him at home if she wasn’t at one of the many martial arts schools she attended.
He silently hoped she wasn’t home when arrived. He needed some time to process all that had happened today. Where had he gone wrong at work to get himself canned like this? They said it wasn’t his performance but what else could it have been? Joe didn’t need this shit right now.
A flash of light in the sky caught his attention. He looked up and saw a faint sparkling of light, almost like someone had launched fireworks during the day, but way, way up in the sky and not just one little spot. The tiny flashes were radiating out from a central point to the East. More flashes of varying brightness popped into existence along the edges of the growing concentric circle as those in the middle faded.
What the hell is that?
Subconsciously he pressed the accelerator down as he increased his speed to the point where the police wouldn’t bother giving him a ticket, they’d toss his ass in jail for the night. Joe didn’t care about that. He didn’t know what the hell was happening up in the sky and he damn sure wasn’t going to be pulling over for any police right now. Not with that light show going on.
The sparkling spread out further. Part of the circle had disappeared below the horizon while the rest had spread enough that it was directly overhead. A strange swirling of color appeared in the center of the spreading circle. It looked like all shades and hues of blues and greens were raining down in the Eastern sky. The streaks of light looked familiar but he had never actually seen anything like this in person.
Joe swerved as his car screamed past a slower moving vehicle that was slowly drifting onto the shoulder. He watched in his rearview mirror as the car sloughed off the loose gravel and into the ditch where a shallow stream of water stopped the car’s forward movement.
He knew he should stop to make sure whoever it was driving that car was alright but he had a bad feeling about these lights and the only thing he wanted right now was to get home and make sure his only living relative, Chloe, was safe. Joe was driving as fast as he could handle. He passed cars on the right and left until he reached the exit that would allow him to start heading North, toward home.
Joe had to hit his brakes to avoid sliding off the road as he entered the ramp curving up and to the left. His tires screamed in protest at his reckless speed. He wasn’t going to slow down any more than absolutely necessary.
Chloe. Shit, I have to make it home.
Emergency vehicles had joined him on his race North. Mostly he saw police cars screaming along the Southbound lanes with the occasional cruiser speeding North past him. Joe glanced at his speedometer. It read, ninety-seven miles per hour. Those cops must be doing one-twenty. The fact that he was speeding didn’t seem to bother them at all, in fact, every single car was either tearing up the interstate as fast as they could or they’d already crashed or pulled off the road.
Joe felt a twinge of pride knowing he’d made it further, faster than those poor bastards in the ditches. He immediately felt guilty for his mean thought. He focused once again on the road ahead as he planned his route through traffic. Slightly left around this bend, pass a car on the right, hop onto the shoulder to get by a minivan that couldn’t be breaking eighty.
That’s just dangerous. Get off the road if you can’t keep up!
He had the pedal pressed to the floor now. His Mercedes was going over a hundred miles an hour. Joe didn’t spare the glance at the speedometer, though, as the driving was taking all of his concentration. On the Southbound lanes, he watched in horror as a fire truck careened to miss a stopped semi-truck. The fire truck careened toward the center median. Joe imagined is busting through the shallow ditch and plowing, headfirst, into his car but thankfully the thick cables mounted along shoulder caught the truck. The posts which held the cables bent and flexed as they dug great black and silver gouges out of the side of the otherwise bright red fire truck and with a flurry of sparks the cable fence seemed to fling the truck back into the Southbound traffic.
Joe focused on his path as he spied his exit coming up fast. Too fast.
Shit, I’m going to miss it!
Joe slammed on his brakes as he swung the wheel to the right in an attempt to make it onto the exit ramp. His car started to skid and lose control. His older Mercedes didn’t have anti-lock brakes or skid control like the newer cars all had. Those would’ve come in handy right about now. His car had spun around and out his windshield, Joe saw the cars he’d just passed rushing toward him.
Thankfully his time spent as a youth screwing around in his car in empty parking lots finally paid off. Muscle memory took over and he swung the wheel quickly to the left and took his foot off the brakes. This caused his car to continue its clockwise spin and he quickly found himself facing the correct direction on the exit ramp he had intended to be on. He smashed the accelerator back to the floor and accelerated down the ramp.
Cars had stopped at the light at the end of the exit. The lights in the sky were growing and swirling in an intricate and hypnotic dance. They’d grown to engulf most of the sky. He swung wide to the right side of the stopped traffic. He saw that the intersection was clear so he mashed the accelerator intending to run the red light.
Instead of the gentle force pushing him back into his seat, a disorienting weightlessness overtook him as he experienced a vertigo-like sensation. His car had lost power instead of gaining it. His car became difficult to steer as the power steering was no longer being fed energy from a running engine.
Joe’s car was making a sluggish curve to the left, through the intersection. His peripheral vision took in the flashes in the sky as they faded away over the western horizon, barely bright enough to be seen in the glare, sparkling away into the sunset. His car came to a rest against the curb. He tried several times to start it but turning the key had no effect. Not even the infuriating click of a weak battery.
Joe took a moment to look around. The cars at the stoplight didn’t appear to be moving even though the red light had gone out. The drivers began opening their doors and standing next to their cars. Several looking up at what could only be the Aurora Borealis, others looking around with profound confusion on their faces. He looked up at the stoplight. It hadn’t turned green. All of the lights on the stoplight were out. Not even the slow yellow flashing that usually accompanied a signal failure.
He opened his door and stepped out of his car. Reaching back in, he grabbed his cell phone from the passenger seat. Clicking the button to turn on the screen he automatically started to swipe his finger on the dark screen. Nothing happened. He clicked the button again, more deliberately. Still nothing. The phone felt strangely warm as he put it in his breast pocket.
He started to yell across the road at the people who were standing at the intersection but his voice caught in his throat as he saw a black streak falling through the air behind the people. The streak started making an audible screech as it approached. The horrible sound it was making became louder until Joe had to cover his ears with his hands. The object was c
Close enough to identify now as it fell toward him. He saw on the side in huge letters, “American”. The plane was falling at such a speed that it barely registered in his mind that the plane was sliding sideways.
The American Airlines plane tumbled across the sky barely a hundred feet above his head toward the north and out of sight past the incline that marked the Northbound entrance to the interstate. Barely two seconds later the ground shook and immediately after, a loud rolling boom, like thunder, thudded through him.
Joe dropped his car keys and ran. Not toward the plane crash, there was no saving them. He ran toward home. He had to get to Chloe. He had to get to safety.
Alternate Chapter One
Saturday, May 28, 2016
Do you think mountain vistas or sunsets are the most amazing thing or are you like me and think… “uh… yea?”
The one “landscape” I find interesting and most thought provoking isn’t a landscape at all, it’s being out in the ocean with no land in sight. An aquascape?
Sunsets, Landscapes, Yawning Chasms and just plain yawning.
Monday, May 9, 2016
- Terrestrial or any Class L or M body
- Transitional (excluding plasmatic)
Special Intergalactic Travel Alert
Saturday, May 7, 2016
So I went sailing today with my wife. Today was the first time I’d ever been sailing and it was amazingly cool.
I woke up this morning planning on making the 1-2 hour trek south to Fort Lauderdale with the kids so they could see the air show. I wouldn’t sail down, because I have no idea how to sail but I do have a motor…
While I had my wife hoisted up the mast to change the bulbs, this dude comes paddle-boarding up and says, “you want a hand with the winch?”
I’m like, uh, “you calling my wife a wench?”
Then I figure, “yes! That’d be awesome!” — The winch, not the wench.
He paddled up behind my boat and put his board under my dock. I’m holding my wife about 3/4 the way to the top but this guy boards the boat and steals all the glory by hoisting her up the rest of the way.
“Sure,” I think, “I do all the hard work and this guy gets all the gratitude.” I tell him, “I’m Chad, my wife, up there,” and I gestured to the top of the mast, “That’s Toni.”
“Ben,” he responds. He then asks me, “How long have you had the boat?”
“Oh, two or three weeks.”
“I see. Great looking boat! You have sailing experience?” He asks.
I’m thinking, “Oh yeah, I’ve done the ARC three times solo and I regularly circumnavigate,” but I said, “I have no fucking clue what I’m doing, why? Do you sail?” I asked hopefully.
Turns out, honesty was the way to go because Ben, says, “That’s my trimaran over there.” He gestured off to a sailboat I’d been salivating over for a couple of weeks.
The next few exchanges are a little hazy in my memory because I could already feel the rush of true love coursing through my veins. Well, not love but I had a really good feeling about this guy. I asked or he offered, I think I asked, “I don’t suppose you’d like to go out and show us the ropes would you?” He didn’t even flinch at the horrible pun.
Ben said, “When are you thinking of going out?”
I look up at my wife, at the top of the mast and tell him, “as soon as she gets down!”
After all was said and done, he offered to take us out for a couple hours just after lunch. We got out onto the water and Ben told me to put her into the wind.
Oh… yeah, I know what that’s all about! I sent my wife forward to watch and learn from Ben as he hoisted the mainsail.
He bent down into the cockpit and told me, “ok, ease off the engine… actually, shut her down. That’s what we have sails for!”
So I reached over and pressed the black button that turns off my engines. Silence. I look at the GPS and it’s reading 2.7 knots. A smile appears or remains on my face as I realize I’m sailing.
Ben smiles and says, “hey, let’s the do the jib!”
I’m really liking this guy’s attitude! Hell yes, let’s do the jib! Let’s do ALL THE THINGS!
We did the mainsail, jib, close-hauled, beam reach and even a little running with gull wings or sail-to-sail or whatever it’s called when you’re a bad-ass.
First time sailing! Piece of cake.
Monday, April 25, 2016
I can start over, can't I? Rewrite or Revise?
Monday, April 18, 2016
I have some work to do on the story then I guess it’s back to the editor!
That sucks, I hate the idea of it being edited again but I want the story to read well and I don’t want it to be full of errors and distractions.
I doubt I’ll sell enough of the first book to make the money back before the second book is out so it’s really coming down to persistence, discipline, and dedication. The first book will sit there, mocking me while I work on the second book.
The first book will sit there, mocking me while I work on the second book.
Once the second book is out, I’m hoping it drives interest into both books. If you’re like me, you don’t invest your time in someone who hasn’t invested it in themselves. The best way to show people I’m serious is to get a second book done.
The good news is, I think I have a cover that’ll work.
Tuesday, April 12, 2016
Well, not yet.
I’ve been looking at sailboats. I considered a motor boat for a minute but decided I didn’t want to spend money on fuel every time I went somewhere.
I moved to South Florida because eventually I want a really nice sailboat like the one Hugh Howey has. I’ve always loved that look and think that a catamaran will suit me. For now, though, something a bit smaller to start out with.
There is a nice 27′ Jack Helms sitting on a dock about five minutes from my house that is for sale at a decent price. I have been over there a couple times to see it. Looks like it’d be pretty decent.
Though I have seen an ad for a larger sailboat that has had its diesel engine replaced with an electric motor. I have to say, that intrigues me, but the guy is really slow to respond to my emails.
Can I sail? Well, I don’t have a ton of sailing experience. I mean, I’ve seen people sailing and I know the act involves ropes, sails, some wind, and strange lingo. How hard can it be?
I’ll just sit abaft the shrouds and admire the lazy jacks while hoping I don’t toss my lunch into the gash fanny. See? Lingo.
I'm (almost) on a boat!
Monday, April 11, 2016
I’ve been quiet lately. This is because I’m waiting for my editor to finish her work and send back my updated manuscript.
I’m sure she’s doing a great job and I’m anxious to get the edits completed and find out what she thought of the story. Mostly, the ending.
It almost jumps sub-genres at the very end so I’m nervous about how that could work or if I should try to rewrite the ending.
Anyway, we’ll see.
I hope you guys like the story well enough that you’ll buy the second book when it’s completed! Should have that second book ready by the end of the year.
Calm before the storm
Monday, March 28, 2016
If you get all of these right, I’ll send you a free copy (as soon as it’s published) of:
Sunstrike: Book One
Toss your guesses in the “WHAT DO YOU THINK?” section at the bottom of the page.
These are the applications I use throughout the day at my office. No hints as to what my day job is or where… you’ll have to figure that out on your own!
The images have been obfuscated so blowing them up won’t help.
I reserve the right to end, modify or update this giveaway at any time for any or no reason.
My day job... Guess the programs I use & WIN!
Sunday, March 27, 2016
Thursday, March 17, 2016
Wednesday, March 16, 2016
Recruiter: Hi Chad, I hope you’re well. The reason I’m reaching you is we have a brand new position that matched your listed interest in the BI/Analyst space. If that’s no longer your interest, feel free to send me an updated resume so you can receive better notifications.
My response: I identify as a refuge from Neptune. Is that a problem?
Recruiter: Welcome to Earth. We hope you find your stay here enjoyable.
Unfortunately, due to inter-galactic employment regulations, you’ll have to fill out some special forms, including providing a full DNA sequence. Is that a problem?
Me: Well, as you probably know, Neptunians are RNA-based but the idea is the same. I would have no problem submitting to your barbaric customs because I am keen to infiltrate your culture and acquire the knowledge necessary for my people, well, beings anyway, to succeed on Earth.
Well, she never replied so I guess that’s that. No RNA for her.
Equal Rights for Neptunians
Tuesday, March 15, 2016
The first draft of the first book is done[!/?]
I’ve read a lot of differing opinions regarding word count. My original target was 50k words and that target was carefully chosen after a moment’s thought and only a little research.
As I continued cranking out the chapters I started to realize that I really did need to have a target to strive for. One that was more than a quick Google search and a guess.
Looking into this topic I am finding that the opinions vary greatly based on who you ask and what type of book you are writing and, of course, the target audience.
How many words are enough?
Young readers tend to appreciate short books while adult readers of fiction, especially science fiction or fantasy enjoy a much more lengthy book.
I remember when I was a kid. I read mostly fantasy books but I wouldn’t even consider buying the book if it wasn’t at least, three books long with more than 400 pages per each book.
I’m not writing Fantasy though and as far as Sci-Fi goes, I’ll ready shorter books but it still requires more than a couple books in a series to really get my attention.
This all comes down to a few questions.
How many words should I put in each book?
Knowing many readers share my thoughts on length and sequels, should I write two more and publish all three at once?
I am comfortable with 50k in the first book, knowing the next one is going to be closer to 70k. However, I do have a couple of interesting side-plots I could write into book one easily enough. There are a couple of chapters that shift point of view to a secondary character and I could add content that describes what’s happening to the main protagonist simultaneously.
This is a tough one for me. With word-count, I could always just publish. I’m at least in the ballpark there. Publishing strategy is completely different. Here I need to consider my own purchasing patterns since I’m targeting readers like me as customers. I personally really want to get this book out there. It would be nice to either be validated as an author or laughed out of the game before I invest another [huge amount of hours] chunk of my life telling this story.
Another part of me believes that even if I did publish book one now, there is the potential that nobody will buy it until two or three of the series exist. Even if the book is a huge hit and madly popular, it may not sell a single copy simply because it’s the first of a promised minimum three books.
I take chances on new authors all the time but I probably wouldn’t consider buying the first book from a new author if it’s their only published work. If that author continues cranking out books, though, there is a perceived success value assigned to him or her. Obviously, if they’re still writing books, they must be selling well and as such, they must be pretty good. The truth is, maybe they’re just tenacious and they don’t give up.
I've completed my first draft of my first book! Or have I?
Friday, March 11, 2016
Shirk your customer service duties at your peril!
Monday, March 7, 2016
Technically, I’m about to write the final two chapters but I’m considering dropping the second to last chapter as I’ve already established what I intended by this point in the story.
I am only going to end up with about 50k words in the first draft because everyone I talk to warns me not to describe too much of the scenery. I think the editor will have some information to be added which will increase the word count some but typically the word count is reduced, not increased.
Had I continued writing the way I had my initial few chapters then I am sure I’d have about 100k words by now! Thankfully, someone told me early on not to over describe my scenes, so I changed my behavior.
That’s great, but, how’s the story coming?
Well, I’m glad I asked.
I’ve set up a nice repeatable storyline for the group of characters in my book to explore various conditions and events that might take place after a global catastrophe.
I am excited to finally be getting so close to writing the final chapter, which I’ve been thinking about and writing over and over in my head
since I started chapter one. I could’ve written the last chapter anytime I wanted, of course, but I feel like if you have to wait to read it, I’ll wait to write it. I want to be on the same page as the reader when it happens so I can get a good sense of how the reader will feel when they read it.
The last chapter is going to take some serious work. The group still has a mission but the final chapter in this book ups the stakes and increases the number and types of difficulties they’re going to face considerably.
I am about to write the final chapter in book one.
Sunday, March 6, 2016
“This is Cecil!” The man the swept up a small pile of rocks from the chair and
showed them to Gina with a flourish. “He has been my companion for many years.”
Gina could see the pile of rocks was glued together and they had a face crudely painted on them. Gina couldn’t help but to giggle. “My apologies Mister…”
The man said, “Hammurabi Finch, and Master Cecil, at your service.” He then gave Gina a deep bow.
This is where the entire story begins to revolve around Cecil!
Actually. No, No it doesn’t.
A snippet I added to my story in honor of an old friend.
Saturday, March 5, 2016
Woof Washer? Are you fucking kidding me?
Woof Washer? This is the dumbest idea I’ve ever seen mass produced. Even more stupid than the Car Exhaust Grill.
Dogs love it! Let’s have a peek.
Ordering couldn’t be easier. Just call the number and buy one for the universally recognized price for absolute shit, $19.99. Of course, then there’s the $7.99 shipping and handling on a product the distribution warehouse is going to ship to you, possibly in a brown envelope, for about $1.00.
I bet you never spray yourself in the face with dog shampoo. Not even once.
Let’s assume you’re confident in this product and you’d really like that free hose! That’s awesome, because with this special limited time offer you can get not one, but two Woof Washers for $19.99 plus the $7.99 shipping and handling and then just add $12.99 for no reason, it’s just a fee when in reality, you’re paying for two Woof Washers and the free hose at this price.
Whatever! You have dogs to wash! You order it.
It’s made of plastic, so you know it’ll last forever, just, maybe not in one piece.
Getting this product hooked up and working is the easy part. Wait until Rover see it! Where’d Rover go? That’s right, he ran the fuck away from you and your sadistic new toy. Go get him.
Once you finally start to clean Rover you’ll quickly realize that a garden hose was hard enough but now you’re taking the water from one hose and spreading thinly amongst, what, forty water-streams? That’s pressure right there. Pressure to figure out how to get all that damn shampoo off Rover. Good luck.
Woof Washer! The best damn product since... just kidding, I'm gonna rip into it.
Friday, March 4, 2016
There are a lot of distractions in the world and they must be managed.
One of the ways I can ensure I write is to go someplace where there is no internet connection. Those places are becoming more and more difficult to find but I think an alternative would be an application that disconnects me from the internet and keeps me disconnected for 60 minutes.
There are programs out there that will disconnect me at a certain time or after a certain number of minutes but what I need is actually the opposite. Yes, I lack discipline.
I don’t really lack discipline but the temptations, they are great.
Motivation for writing
Thursday, February 25, 2016
I’m in the final stretch folks. I have three more chapters to write in Downgrade (working title) until I’m officially done with my draft!
I have had to force myself to stop going back into the previous chapters to edit and revise things. I realized that was subconscious procrastination. I would open up Scrivener with the intention to write a chapter or scene, but instead, I’d go back and proofread an earlier chapter.
Now I’m close.
I’m a little short on my target word count and may go back and actually (gasp) add some details!
Here’s what’s coming:
- Complete draft (Almost there!)
- Choose an editor and send my draft to him or her.
- Wait impatiently for the draft to be returned. (Do I start Book 2 or wait?)
- Make tons of revisions and corrections. This will take several days at least.
- Send the revised draft to be proofread.
- Wait nervously for it to be returned. (I need to finalize my publication strategy!)
- Make some revisions and corrections.
So it comes back to my previous post. Publish now, Wait or Serialize?
I’m probably not going to serialize book one. Though the sequel would fit the model. However, I’m not interested in mixing the publication styles between two books in the same series.
Either way, I think you’re going to really like this action-packed story!
Three more chapters--unless I stray from my outline again.
Wednesday, February 24, 2016
The industry (writing) calls people who sit down and write, with little to no plan, pantser; as in, by the seat of their pants.
I thought I might be more of a plotter. I mean, I have chapters “outlined”
well in advance as I write the story. I know what’s coming and I write my way there, following the outline pretty closely.
Tonight, I’m writing about an event in the book and following my outline, like a good boy.
Then I realize I inadvertently set the main character up for a twist! I had no idea it was coming.
I’m wondering where the sweet, plotting-angel went.
I have managed to write myself into a new outline; for the next few chapters, at least. The outline and notes I had before simply won’t work now that the main character has done this thing I can’t tell you about.
What I will say is, if it shocked me, and I’m writing it… well, I wish I could see the look on your face when you read it.
Oh and do not ever Google image search “good devil”. Wow.
Read about The Pros and Cons of Plotters and Pantsers over on The Magic Violinist’s blog.