October 17, 2016

Figured out the Problem

The craziest thought came to me the other day. It makes sense. The reason that Butcher Harbor Two: Pirates Cove is not working out for me is all about timing. And the reason the timing is not working is out is because Book Three actually needs to be Book Two. Pirates Cove has to come later in the timeline to work out the way I want it.

Apparently Claire Templeton was right to fight me on this. She was not ready to go where I wanted her to go. The story that I thought would come after this one is actually the story that needs to happen now.

Luckily, I have been working through Book Three as I have been trying to complete Book Two so it shouldn't set me back very much. In fact, working on the right timeline should speed things up a bit.

Wish me luck and I will keep you posted. 

October 11, 2016

How I Got Engaged with Yoga

This is off the topic of writing but I started this plank challenge a while back. You lie on floor, raise yourself up onto your hands or elbows and hold yourself there for 15 seconds. As weeks progress you go longer until you go to"fail." After starting this I had a terrible bout of stomach problems almost placing me in the hospital. That halted all planking. Weeks went by and I still was afraid to get back into the swing of things. But I did plank here and there. 
Now months have gone by and my body craves the work. I started to plank again. I did the 15 seconds at first. I find it a struggle when I am counting. I am more concerned about reaching the magic number than getting the best work out of it. Now I go to fail. It is not the minute or more that they like at FAIL, but I go until I can no longer stand it. This makes me work longer and not get caught up on meeting that 15 second or 20 second mark. I like fail. It is different every time but lets me maximize my muscles. I did planks with squats. 15 to 30 a day. 
   Then I watched a video on yogaburn facebook page. She posted a Goddess Pose that is like a squat but you put your legs out to the sides, inner thighs facing forward, tuck your butt under. This pose was hard for me due to a leg injury when I was a child. While doing the pose my leg popped in and out. Not painful at the time, but I knew it would lead to trouble so I modified it to not as severe a squat. That put the pressure on the muscles without the popping knee. This pose, just like the plank, made my body feel good. It is amazing how a few seconds can change your day. It makes you feel great in your body and your mind. Yoga gurus say this, but I had no idea what they meant. Now I do. 
   These little poses make me happy. I feel like superman. Like I could take on the world. It makes me want to eat veggies and drink crisp, clean water. It makes me breathe deeply throughout the day. It makes me feel good! 
   So now I have added three other poses I do not yet know the names of. I am working out of a tractor trailer cab so I have a small working area. But I do poses in parks and rest areas as well. I do not care if people think I am crazy. I just keep doing it. I will add poses as my body allows. Meanwhile I have a core now. It may not be much, but it is engaged! In fact my entire system of muscles are engaged and I plan to keep it that way. 

The Writer's Life on the Road

As an Indie writer I work a real job every day. My job consists of driving an 18- wheeler as part of a team operation. That means driving 80,000 pounds of steel down the road each day safely. I am the night time driver so I sleep during the day. Our days are usually 11 hours long with a half hour break in the middle somewhere. Sure it is just driving, but driving safely involves being diligent and alert. It tires you out. When I get a day off after seven days on, the last thing I want to do is sit down at a computer for eight or more hours knocking out all the stories I have in my head from driving for eleven hours a day. I have opted to get out of the truck and move around. Writing during my work week is a mess. The truck bumps around so much writing with pen or computer is useless.
     For us going home is not a weekly deal. We leave our cabin knowing that we may not get back there for four to six months save a day home here or there on our way to a delivery. Then we get home for three to four days if we are lucky. Since we are building our cabin ourselves, that time is spent installing the latest project, be it the kitchen cabinets, plumbing, sewer, etc. We stay busy right up until we load the truck back up with supplies for the next four to six months.
     That doesn't stop the writer in me from cooking up stories on a daily basis. Sitting behind a wheel all night with no one to talk to since most smart people are in bed leaves a lot of time to build on all the novels in my head. They swarm around leaping from idea to idea. Different characters scream louder on different nights. I have worked out my Pirates Cove story in my head a million times. I have conversations between Claire Templeton and her cohorts nightly. But when I try to put that down on paper Claire takes off on a tangent. These are usually good things. But for Pirates Cove she keeps running off in the wrong direction. I have even let her run amock to see if she could do a better job than I was, but that never worked out. She runs long and boring. I like short and sweet. I prefer short chapters that throw you into the next one whether you like it or not. Claire and I have been doing battle for several years trying to get this story out.
     For those of you impatiently waiting for the next book in the Butcher Harbor series, I understand. I apologize. I sympathize. As soon as I can get this character to do as she is told and let me finish this fantastic adventure I will get it out to you. Believe me I want to share this story. I want you to come along and see where her life takes us next. It is quite a ride. I just need to get out of my ride long enough to get it on paper.
     Thank you for your patience! I promise it will be worth the wait.

February 21, 2014

Scrivener- A writing software program

Scrivener is a tool I learned about just a few months ago. In the past I used a scriptwriting tool that I wished was available for fiction writing. It allowed you to keep character information and I put location information used for my books under location information meant for films. Having to modify the program was a let down but I made it work. Recently I was made aware of a software that did all of this for writers of all kinds. Scrivener has a fiction, none fiction, and screenwriting format. You can even write short stories and poems. Heck I use it for all my word processing needs since I just purchased a new computer and it came with noting useful already installed.   
     This program comes with a free 30 day trial download, but do not panic yet, it is 30 day actual use, not calendar days from download. I love this because I was unable to use the program for about two weeks after I downloaded it because I had to work at my real job. I did not lose two weeks-my 30 day trial was still there for me.
     Scrivener is easy as pie once you get used to it. There is a hands on tutorial but I recommend that you do the video sections first. The hands on tutorial takes about an hour or more, but it is time well spent, but it can be daunting. Watch the videos first and get quick easy help in getting started on the program. Play with it and then tackle the hands on tutorial once you are a little more familiar with the basics. It goes into great detail and explains how to use all of the great features Scrivener has to offer. It can overwhelm you if you just jump right in.
     While downloading the trial version I did not even look at the price. I wanted to compare it to Celtx that I had used for years, but was only for screenwriting. Scrivener had all and more of what I wanted. I got caught up in the bells and whistles and slipped right past the price. When I was sold on the program and hit the buy now button I almost choked. It could not be possible. The program was just $40. Say what? After all I had learned that the program had to offer I expected to pay $150 to $250 and it was only $40. That made me even happier.
     There is a cork board or outline section for notes that turns into a Syllabus! You can keep track of information for each chapter of your book or section of your short story. You can split the pages to view two or more chapters and edit each one at the same time. There is a section that allows you to store your research, even links to online info so you don't have to worry about forgetting where you got that juicy tidbit you plan to use in your book. Then there is the compile tool. This will compile your book into a word document, epub, mobi or pdf with headers, page numbers and title pages. It does the hard work for you, just tell it what you want.
     There is so much more the program does that I have barely scratched the surface. I look forward to learning more about how to make this program work for me. If you are looking for a writing software program I highly recommend this one. I encourage you to get the 30 day free trial and see for yourself: