Happiness is…


And going to the Oregon Coast, from the background! 😉 That was my first trip there, repeated in 2014 and this year! 😀

Sunday Surprise


#patreon @patreon

Well, I guess it’s not really a surprise, but… I’ve got some awesome news! I joined Patreon! In case you’re wondering, Patreon is a simple way for you to contribute to my writing every month, and get great rewards in return – from reading the web-strip Me and Da Muses to reading stories before they are published to getting a paperback signed by yours truly. Go checkout the page!

I’m still working on it, so things might evolve as I learn and go along! By the way, now you know why I did those Chibis of myself for… the super sikret project is no longer secret! 🙂 Have a great Sunday and spread the word!

 

Random Friday


Let’s make it Art Friday! Sunday I spent some time brainstorming with myself, so I made another pencil portrait of Da Muse. And then, since I was thinking about Patreon a lot, I made a strip only for my page.

This will be free anyway, so I can post it here too. I asked my Facebook friends for feedback on that Patreon page, but got no comments. Meh. I’ll become anti-social media soon! 😦 They “like” the things I don’t care about and don’t bother when I ask for feedback or advice. Tsk.

I will freely admit that working on that Patreon page was fairly distracting throughout the week, but well… it’s done. We’ll see how it goes. Comes the weekend I’ll still be busy with that Patreon page (scheduling April’s posts and rewards) and with uploads (another ebook) and with writing the next story.

Hopefully by then I will go faster – the beginning is trickier because I didn’t cover it in other stories, so I have to make it up as I go along (meaning I need to check which towns were actually available at the end of the 10th century, and what the situation was like, and so on and so forth – so the beginning was slower for this reason). Perks of writing historical fantasy! 😉

Have a great weekend! 🙂

Writer Wednesday


Getting back into the routine, I can say that I wrote at least 40K in March – the month’s not over, I might write another 10K, so final counts next week, and completed Saif’s story. As soon as I have a cover, you will be able to read more about the honorable assassins of Silvery Earth. Of course some parts of Saif’s story overlap with Saif & Kilig, but you’ll get to know Saif better than Kilig or Hakeem ever did! 😉

And I have opened that Patreon account! While I decide which creators I want to support, get ready to support me! Announcement this weekend – I published the first novel (Books of the Immortals – Air) on April 1, 2011, I thought it fitting to launch the Patreon page on the same date… or maybe a day later, to make sure you don’t think it’s an April’s Fool! 🙂

So I’ll have a busy, creative weekend with Cristina coming over. I want to publish a Star Minds third generation ebook and I have to launch that Patreon page. Hopefully no fever, cough or headache will stop me! 🙂

So, you wanna be a professional writer? Some considerations! by Chuck Wendig – and about #7, I have a blog (you’re reading it!), I have social media (Facebook, Goodreads), and now I have Patreon (will go live soon, promise). I probably don’t have enough fans for a Kickstarter – or better, I don’t have a big enough project in the pipeline yet. One day… Like raising the money to have a cover by Larry Elmore, Terry Moore or Colleen Doran… but I’ll have to think about a great story for such great cover artists! 🙂

And then I’ll try not to bury myself in data diving… I know I’m not experimenting much in marketing, but maybe I’ll end up taking the Strength workshops about Sales… still thinking about that one! 🙂 And then I will start putting together some bundles on Bundle Rabbit. I have requested curator status, so if you have “first in a series” of a fantasy world (not Earth) or vampires (NOT YA) stories, upload them now, so I can find them! 🙂

That’s if you’re a writer. If you’re a reader, check out the current bundles! There are books for every tastes, really! 🙂 Now I better go back writing… Have a great week! 😉

Happiness is…


trying not to use up all the battery like it happened in February, LOL! Now back to reading! 😉

Sunday Surprise


Words of wisdom, writers on writing, take your pick and go WOW! Have a great Sunday!

But if you don’t write, the world will never know what you might have done.
I realized back then that I had to take complete responsibility for my writing.
I had to set up times to write.  I needed to make sure that I stayed on task.
I hoped that someday I would get fan mail from readers who would be eager for my next book, and maybe that would help inspire me, but I knew that that day would never come unless I practiced my craft, all alone, with no audience but me.
Over the past few years, that realization has grown.  And you don’t have to just write the novels, you have to sell them.
Your publisher cares whether you sell, of course, but not nearly as much as you do.  It’s like horse racing, where you’ve only got one little horse.  The publisher might be backing you, but he’s got dozens of horses all in the same race.
His chances of winning are excellent.
So we have to take responsibility for our writing—not just for writing our own novels, but for editing them, writing the blurbs that sell them, getting cover quotes, and marketing them both in person and on the web.
Yes, agents and editors may help, but ultimately we must be responsible.  Writing a book is only part of the job.  It may take a couple of months.  But promoting a book well can require years.

David Farland

The bigger the issue, the smaller you write. Remember that. You don’t write about the horrors of war. No. You write about a kid’s burnt socks lying on the road. You pick the smallest manageable part of the big thing, and you work off the resonance.

– Richard Price

The key there is: I cannot be pinned by expectation.

Some people think outlining a book robs the book of its magic. Some people think the business kills the joy of making words and creating art. But for me, the great thing that will siphon the joy out of what I do — the pesticide that murders the butterflies flitting about in the dark shrubbery that is my heart — is expectation. Not my expectation. But yours.

And now we come full circle because once again, I say:

Nobody wants you to be an artist.

Not the people who love you. Not the people who hate you. Not the people who don’t know one whit about you. Nobody wants that for you or your life.

I want you to think about that for a moment.

I want you to focus on that for a moment.

Take the idea like a pebble or a pearl, tuck it in your mouth, swirl it around.

This is what that does for me:

When I sit down and I start to write, I take a secret thrill in what I’m doing. Because this is forbidden territory. This is verboten. Everyone has built a fence of expectation around what I’m doing and yet, here I am, having climbed the fence. I’m making art and the world doesn’t want me to make art. I’m in a secret garden stealing your vegetables. I’m traipsing about someone’s home in the dark while they sleep. I’m mixing potions. I’m making monsters. I’m tap-dancing on the edge of a cliff, and the world can watch me kick off my shoes, pirouette, and lift both middle fingers in the air with a smugly self-satisfied look on my big beardo face.

Chuck Wendig

But to yell at your creativity, saying, “You must earn money for me!” is sort of like yelling at a cat; it has no idea what you’re talking about, and all you’re doing is scaring it away, because you’re making really loud noises and your face looks weird when you do that.
Elizabeth Gilbert

If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.

– Stephen King

Violate conventions and you are marked as an outsider. A rude outsider, at that.
Donald A. Norman, The Design of Everyday Things

If you want little, give little; if you want much, give much; if you want all, give all.
Matshona Dhliwayo

Random Friday


Last Friday I had a guest – and a cough, which made it hard to talk. Besides, she likes Bollywood movies (although she’d watch forever Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara and wouldn’t try any other), so I suggested we watch a movie after dinner to spare my throat. And it was Joker time! I saw the trailer in theaters back in 2012 and was glad to finally see this demented comedy about aliens and crazies.

I like Akki when he does comedies. Of course my suspension of disbelief was slightly challenged when I saw the FBI sending troops in India (I thought that was an internal bureau… ;p), but I attributed it to the crazy screenplay and absurd story, so it was okay… lots of fun and lots of nice songs.

Staying in that country but moving to books, The Missus of the above, Twinkle Khanna (a.k.a. Da Muse’s neighbors) wrote a book of stories. Fiction, a collection. I bought the paperback because it was cheaper than the Kindle version (ahem, traditional publishers…) and got to reading it during the week.

I must say that the dialogs felt a lot like a Bollywood movie, which makes me wonder if some other Westerner who isn’t as obsessed as I am would appreciate it. Anyhow, it’s a cute little book, and since I read it immediately after another Indian author, I could see a pattern in their storytelling.

The other book was a Kindle version (hello, indie authors!), and it was set in Ancient Egypt, not India, but still the storytelling felt similar. Of course it’s two completely different collections with completely different topics (and you can now pre-order volume 2) and what I loved about this one was the little historical notes at the end of each story – a very nice touch for an ignorant of Ancient History like myself. It gave depth and meaning to the story I had just read.

Now I hope to have one of the two ladies over at this very blog soon, I shall let you guess which one will grace us…

Last night, since I was done with Saif’s story and was bored with checking the proofreader’s job on the Star Minds stories, I decided I’d rather watch a movie… it had been sitting on my ToWatch shelve for a couple of months, so it was high time! It was Star Trek: Beyond – last movie with Anton Yelchin and tribute to Leonard Nimoy.

A nice addition to the reboot, I particularly liked the warrior Jaylah and hope she’ll be back in the next movies. For the rest, it was the five-year mission stretched to movie length with 21st century special effects and Dubai instead of cardboard sets! 😉 I don’t mind the reboot, even though some things of the original will never be repeated…

Have a great weekend! 🙂

Writer Wednesday


In spite of the cough and cold and fever that came and went, I did manage to double the wordcount on Saif’s story, so hopefully I’ll be able to send it to the proofreader next weekend. In the meantime (and in spite of the above), I managed to publish another ebook, The Path of Earth (Quests Book 4).

Keshav is a thirty-year-old scholar who has been touring the southern kingdom’s libraries in search of knowledge. In Godwalkar he stumbles upon the Genn works and discovers the existence of the Magical Races that populated mostly the north. He decides to go looking for the lost Genn cities with the help of merchant Babita, who knows the way up to a certain point, and the protection of Rohan.
The merchant, the scholar and their bodyguard journey to the northern kingdoms springing up from the ashes of the Moren Empire. Their search might not be of just physical proof of the Genn, since all three have very good reasons to leave their hometowns.

I have a few more quests in mind, but now I will move to other projects, more urgent than more Silvery Earth books! The series itself has reached 70 books on Smashwords, so I guess I can take a break and concentrate on the other series! 😉 I need to write the next vampire novella and then start working on the next novel. I have Star Minds stories that were written last summer and after doing the rounds in traditional markets – being rejected – will now see the light of publication.

So, busy here. Slowly trudging forward. But it’s the normal nature of being behind in this new world, and I’m not panicking, just keep going. Looking forward and not backward. My ToDo list (remember those notepads I bought in Boston?) is still long, but I’m slowly crossing out stuff. Give me time… being behind is the new normal, as long as we set goals and get there, eventually! 😉

I’m also slowly getting organized for the Worldcon. Hotel is booked, flight is almost done and volunteer program still to be filled, but hope to do it before Friday. I do have until the end of the month to fill it. If anyone is going, please let me know and I’ll suggest a panel with you! 🙂

Now I shall leave you with this reminder of what makes a real writer – mostly the handy flowchart! Have a great week!

Happiness is…


Sunday Surprise


And it’s a guest! Someone who dared asking  for it! And then answering the writerly questions! How cool is that? Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Jelterow Mckinnie, Jr.!
Why do you write?
To entertain readers – I want the reader to leave the story with a new way of thinking about something that is probably quite common.
When did you start writing?
At college – I had a very nice professor (Dr. Firestone) who was very generous in his reviews of my writings and he always encouraged me to save them and publish them one day. He always assured me that there was an audience for them, somewhere.
What genre(s) do you write?
Mostly fiction – however, I look forward to getting into more nonfiction one day.
What does your writing routine consist of?
I try to write at least one chapter of the book at a time. But, I do that over and over until the chapter is built up the way that I want it to be. For example, when I was writing Diary of a Teacher I went through each of the chapters and first put the things that I wanted to convey into them. The points that I want to get across. Sometimes, there will not even be characters – only the ideas that I want the reader to walk away with. Then once I’ve done that for all of the chapters – I go through the chapters again, this time putting in the conversations that I want to have take place and begin to put the main characters where they need to be. Then I’ll go back through the chapters and include the traits and tags that I want the characters to have and convey to the reader. This process continues over and over and over until I’ve added all the elements of the story needed to convey the message behind the story to the reader. So, I guess I’d say I write the story in layers!
What do you feel are your strengths as a writer? How have you developed these qualities?
My strengths are a God given vivid imagination and the God given ability to write the fiction in such a way that it seems and feels real to the reader.
I did not develop these qualities – God gave them to me and I thank Him and give Him all the praise for them, in Jesus Mighty Name!
Where do you find your inspiration? Do you put yourself in your stories?
Sometimes I will see something strange or something quite practical and just let my imagination run away with me. Other times, while talking somebody will say something or I will say something and we agree that it would make a nice story. Most recently, on the current book I’m writing, Jairus, I was listening to Kenneth Copeland preaching about developing your faith and he was speaking about how God had him visualize how determined both Jairus and the woman with the issue of blood were to get through that crowd to Jesus. Then, praise God the Lord allowed me to have the idea to put it into a story so that those struggling to visualize it on their own could.
I don’t put myself into the stories too often; but on occasion I have. What I do is merge various people’s personality traits and create the character that I want or need for the story to move along. However, Live, Laugh, and Love the Golden Moments of Life does have a lot of myself in it; primarily because it is about my grandfather and I – all the fun we had in Liberty City (Miami, Florida).
Outliner or improviser? Fast or slow writer?
Outliner – the last time I tried it the other way I reached halfway and didn’t like the story.
Personally, I think I write slowly – but there are those who claim that I write very fast. At the end of the day it takes me about three months to finish a story that I’m diligently working on.
Tell us about your latest book (add link if published).
Currently I’m working on Jairus – this will be my first official piece of Christian Fiction and I pray that the Lord uses it to help people build their faith! The book will provide the back story for the miracle that took place for Jairus and the woman with the issue of blood. After all, Jairus was a Pharisees in charge of a synagogue at a time when most of the Pharisees were against Jesus. Just how did he come to a point in his faith that he turned to Jesus for help and had enough faith to get the help for his daughter? Likewise – the woman with the issue of blood, what is here story? She’s important enough to include and she has very strong faith; but, she’s given no identity. People, to this day, wonder about who she is and what obstacles she had to overcome in her life. The book addresses these issues – it’s going to sell millions of copies!
Indie publishing or traditional publishing – and why?
Indie – the technology supports it and I don’t have to go about the place begging somebody to publish me. The cost are a lot lower and Amazon’s reached the point where they can bring a print on demand paperback to market for under $10, which is a milestone! That said, one day the traditional publishers will reach out to me and we can definitely work some type of a deal at that time.
Any other projects in the pipeline?
Spreading the Gospel – Jesus is Lord!
What is your goal as a writer and what are you doing to achieve it?
Sell books! While praying the Lord instructed me to start asking for more author interviews and reviews – and I have; and praise God, you are one of the wonderful people facilitating my request; and, I thank you very much and pray that you are wonderfully blessed!
What is the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever been given?
Dr. Firestone’s advice to go ahead and do it!
Social Media: Google me (Jelterow Mckinnie, Jr.) – that’s probably the best way for the reader to use the method they like the most to get in touch with me.

%d bloggers like this: