Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Le Grand Reboot — Again

          This is my first and oldest blog, dating back to March of 2011, and as you might imagine, there has been a lot of water put in the wake over the course of 77 months.  I have changed the focus several times, abandoned it for a while, and it's been different things to different people, but I never deleted it, a fact for which I am thankful, because longevity brings its own sort of class to the dance.
          Nonetheless, my interests and my bases have shifted many times over that 6½ years, and they are about to shift again.  You have seen me trying to resurrect this site over the last few weeks without being able to pin down a theme, if you will, a common direction for followers to rely on this to go in.  I have reblogged articles that other writers have posted, promoted my friends, and rambled about the Craft and the way I apply it.  But the key word here is rambled, and that is a quality I don't believe people want in an author whose work they value.  They want focus.  This is an author's page; they are likely to want information about the author, and his work.  Not that difficult to provide; who, after all, would know better than I?  So, let me bring you up to date.
          Since my unexpected retirement in May of 2016, I have drifted through life doing whatever feels like fun at the moment, and squandering oceans of valuable, irreplaceable time on frivolous pursuits that have gained me nothing as a writer.  I finally managed to step back from the hedonistic play-fest, and evaluate what I want to accomplish in my so-called "Golden Years."  Not surprisingly, writing occupies a huge part of it.  My 5th grade teacher, Mrs. Warner, at Sunset View Elementary School exposed me to the joy of writing to entertain others at the age of 10.  In about five weeks, that will have been 59 years ago, and while dozens of hobbies, pursuits, and interests have come and gone, passing through my life like so many transient acquaintances, the love of writing has never wavered.  It needs to be indulged.
          Last Wednesday, August 23rd, 2017, is the date that I reached this decision.  I determined to make daily progress, and record it so that I can look back and see a steady parade of accomplishments.  Some of you may have noticed that I have a tendency to become discouraged, and retreat into the world of Skyrim or Borderlands.  Being able to access an unbroken chain of meaningful progress may serve to mitigate those feelings, so this blog shall be repurposed as my log of the journey.  Some people may find a chronicle of what a writer goes through to be a crashing bore, and that's all right, I do other things in other places, and I'll provide the links below.  But some select handful may find a writer's journey interesting, maybe fans who want an inside view, maybe other writers who can take comfort in the knowledge that your colleagues face those demons, too.  Whatever your reasons, you're welcome.  I'll try to keep it interesting.
          There are a couple of minor changes to the look that you may have already noticed.  The new fonts have been chosen because they are almost identical to my own handwriting, and that gives it the feel of a personal journal to my own mind.  I don't do well writing in a notebook, and now I won't have to face that slog.  The colors have been retained, dark print on a light background, because studies show that this is easier to read than the way I had it back in the day.  The browns, maroons, and tans are a nod to my fascination with steampunk.
          Ongoing projects are Stingaree, a novel of a steampunk San Diego in the 1880s; The Darklighters, a series that can best be described as a Victorian-era Man From U.N.C.L.E.; and The Nexus Chronicles, a supernatural series about an organization that protects the world from...  You know what, the first story is finished.  Read Possession of Blood and judge for yourself.  This week, my goal is to finish Chapter 12 of Stingaree, which will bring it to the halfway point.  The story so far can be read here.  You'll need to scroll down to the chapters and open each one individually, and comments are, of course, welcome.
          The observant will have noticed that both of those links take you to Writing.com, where I store my writing projects, and share everything that I have chosen to.  My home page there, which the site calls a "portfolio," is https://www.writing.com/main/portfolio/view/blimprider.  I also have a FaceBook page, where I'm not terribly active, but you can occasionally find some personal business if you're into that, and more frequently, cool items my friends have posted that I like and share.
          Now, the daily update could be better.  I came to this epiphany at a time when I'm battling a pinched nerve in my neck.  I have excellent health insurance, and am getting excellent care, but it's a process, and sometimes sitting at the keyboard with my arms extended in the typing position can be excruciating, and even when it isn't, there's this dull ache from shoulder to elbow with electric tingling in ring and pinky that never go away, and being creative with this pain is more problematic than I would have imagined.  But things will get done.  I am well known as a planner, and when I can't sit at the keyboard, I can still work on outlines, future plots, character sheets, and all manner of things that support the stories.  For that matter, I sat here to type this, and as you can see, my efforts were successful, so maybe the treatments are making progress in ways I didn't expect.  In any case, I do my writing in the mornings, and after that is completed, I will come here and record my progress.  I don't know yet whether I will succeed in getting this onto a schedule; for now, let's just say sometime between noon and midnight, Pacific Time, daily.
          And that's what you can look for here, my life as a writer.  Those who want to stay for the ride are more than welcome.  To those who don't, I understand.  I've put up links to my other activities, and I'm going to go now and update the sidebar items.  I hope you stay with me, but that's a decision for each individual to make for themselves.  In any case, I hope to be seeing you somewhere!
          Play nice, look out for one another, and I'll see you tomorrow, and every day thereafter.  Be safe!


  1. You can do it, Jack! I've tried so many times to maintain a physical journal, but I just can't do it. Blogging is definitely easier for me. I wish you success with your revamped blog. :D

  2. Thank you, Elle! Encouragement of any kind will certainly help. I suspect that this thing will be about as interesting as watching paint dry, but the purpose is to be a record for me; anyone else is welcome to join as they wish. Thanks for taking the time, and please don't be a stranger; I have a feeling this will be the most interesting when things aren't going so smoothly!

  3. The fact that you can do it daily is inspirational. I can...mostly not. Lol. I go in full on spurts, then days of bleh, hut learned to go with it. You, my friend, are an exemplar of sticktoitiveness and gung ho perdonal journalism. May this blog long endure.

  4. Good day, William, and welcome to the most boring blog on the internet. My intention is that this will be a diary of my writing that chronicles whatever affects it. Most days will be a crashing bore, but it for me to refer back to; others can use it for whatever they wish. By the way, I haven't demonstrated any ability to "stick to it." Check back in six months before you award that crown. It's good to see you here, though, and I'm looking forward to your talent for raising points I hadn't thought of. Read well, and write better!

  5. I shouldn't say 'I told you so' Jack, but I did ;^)

    I knew that you'd never be able to stay away from writing for too long, it's in your blood old boy!

    If you'd like a laugh back at me, I've recently gone back 300 odd thousand words to the very start of the Daemon series and started a major re-write because while the basic theme still rings true for me, the tone just wasn't doing it for me, oh well.

    NB: As for neck issues you've mentioned, hope they leave you alone soon!

    Neale from the right side of the pond ;^)

  6. You're absolutely right, Neale, you should never say "I told you so!" I'll let it slide because of our long-time friendship, and simply say it's good to see you here. Given the size of the do-over you're starting, I probably won't see you very often, so I'll take what I can get. The docs are optimistic about reversing my neck issues, thanks for asking. Other than the rewrite, how are things with you?

  7. You write what you are and what you are interested in, but the process, the ideas, the discouragement sometimes, the pressures - those have much in common with other writers.

    I have moved beyond 'how to write' posts, written a few myself, and just incorporated most of it into the writing me, but every day I still have to face the blank page, or, sometimes even worse, the page full of prompts.

    You should satisfy your need to write ('writing maketh an exact man,' IIRC). I do. Writers' blogs are full of interesting bits.

    I never take it personally when a post doesn't get many readers. It has already served its purpose: to focus ME. But it's still interesting to get a bit of a conversation going. I just posted on 'time' - found it in my drafts folder, and wonder why I didn't post it before, but it's probably because it is a timeless topic, and I didn't think it was finished. Too bad - it filled a hole while I'm trying to force myself to plan the packing that's going to happen tomorrow. I added a few more words, checked spelling and word usage, and threw it out into the void.

    Back to procrastinating - and that word, and that idea just started the right wheels turning in my head: the packing is Overwhelming, and I need to truck out my tricks for dealing with Overwhelming tasks.

    Thanks for the prompt.