Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Available soon at Amazon.com

Well, after years of work, revisions, edits, debates, rewrites, formatting and decisions, KELLY'S REEF is being published.
I chose to go with CreateSpace.com and self publish through Amazon.com for two reasons:
2. See No. 1 above.

I have the final proof in my hands and once it's read, it will be published and distributed through Amazon.com and CreateSpace. Those who have been following and helping with this project can expect an autographed copy in the mail soon (Providing you send me your mailing address.)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Ah Ha moment

The fabled Ah! Ha! moment.  We all have one, once in a while.  Einstein was thinking about an elevator and Ah! Ha!- he understood gravity.  He didn’t need an apple to smack him on the head.

Dorian Sagan (Carl’s son) provided one of my life altering epiphanies.  His book Into the Cool let me see life and creation as being driven by thermodynamics.  It is a scientific theory, and just as the rabidly religious claim the proof of God is faith, my proof of a universal creative force is faith in the scientific process to continually validate or disprove this theory.

I have abandoned all belief in an anthropomorphic god.  The ancient white guy on the marble throne in the clouds throwing lightening bolts at me for SIN doesn’t work.  Religions don’t work; an excuse for the barbarism with which we treat other cultures. 

I can’t comprehend the enormity and complexity of the universe.  The concept that some altruistic being is even aware of a barely complex life form dissipating energy on an insignificant speck of dust we call earth, is beyond my capacity to believe, prove, disprove, or have faith in.

On my journey through life my other Ah Hah came from the writings of Lao Tse.  Little is known of this man, just as little is known of the man Jesus.  He was probably a contemporary of Confucius.  His life boiled into a series of short thoughts about the balance of life- the basis for Yin/Yang, and the concept of the Tao.

The Tao and Thermodynamics are the same.  Over the next few months I’ll publish my interpretation of the Thermodynamics of the Tao.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

In the Zone

Yesterday at one or my writing groups we got into "the zone".  The group focused on one of the readings and group think occurred- everyone had an idea, an opinion, a continuation of what had already been said.  Social rules, group etiquette, and boundaries were all forgotten.  WE had the solution, and by gosh (for those other athiestists among us), we were going to be creative.  We were in the collective zone.

Centuries ago Lao Tse taught of the Tao- the zone, the balance.  You can't define it- if you do it's not the Tao.

When I first start to write, I create crap, as my mentor would say, with the idea of going back and fixing it in the re-write process.  As the crap flows I eventually get into my zone, my Tao, as the energy overtakes me.  My mind goes to a place I can't describe and the words, the story, the emotions, the characters all take over.  The story flows from this point.  OK, OK- still crap, but creative crap.

It might be minutes, it might be hours before I arrive.  But when I'm there I know it, and nothing stands in the way.  Energy flows from this Tao and the creative process happens.

I feel the pull to the Tao and plan a getaway next week to find my zone, get my butt in chair, and words on paper.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Books on tape all night long

I've recently stuck buds in my ears and turned on my WMA player to listen to books on tape. I now do this all night long.

I fall asleep easily, I don't hear my obnoxious cat yeowling for food at midnight, and over several nights I "read" a book.

As a writer I've discovered two things with this technique:

1. I listen a while, sleep a couple hours, wake up and listen to more of the story, then sleep some more. Even though I miss a section, it doesn't seem to matter- I still get the plot, just missed the details along the way.

2. Lee Child, who writes the Jack Reacher series, tags every person who speaks every time they speak. When I read his novels I am not aware of the tags. When I listen to the narrator say, "said Reacher, he said, she said, etc." with each line of dialogue, I am painfully aware of them.

So? How does this make me a better writer? Who knows, but knowledge is power.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Computer crash

It's true. Not if your computer crashes, but when. Fortunately I was backed-up, but not the last 30 days. Lost several chapters worth of editing. Oh well.

Purchased a new PC Laptop- tried using a MAC for a couple years, but could never get it to talk to my PC or work like I expected. Now I am convinced that Bill Gates secretly hires and underpays minions to sit up all night thinking of ways to frustrate me. They are very good at their job.

Saturday, July 3, 2010


One of the friends in my writers group finished reading his book. Took a year and a half, but it was exciting to reach the end. Another friend finished his thriller last month. A third member finished a wonderful short story. All were exciting and satisfying in their own way.

The challenge, as a writer, the group presents is being a constructive critic. It’s easy to be a cheerleader. It takes trust to point to another's weakness, and acceptance to hear my own.

We celebrate each other; commiserate over a character’s loss, brainstorm plot issues, and switch persona from writer to reader as we each tell our tales.

My lesson: The story we finished I had been following as an adventure story- a rogue DEA agent sails off on his own, takes out some bad guys, is chased, steals the bad guys money and gets away with it. As I pondered the last reading this week I realized I missed the real story. The protagonist fell from grace, slipped into the Dark Side, and sailed away into a lonely sunset of his miserable life.

Sometime the ending is Ellery Queen explaining the subtle clues of the mystery; sometime the heroine kills the monster; sometimes the hero saves the world from destruction. Sometimes it’s just a human who tries and almost succeeds.

The unexpected ending is the most satisfying for the reader.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Chapter titles v. numbers

When I first started Kelly’s Reef I assumed that I would start with chapter 1 and write to the Epilog. So I numbered each chapter in sequence. Some were CHAPTER, some chapter, some Chap., and others chap. No rhyme or reason.

I quickly learned that I needed to go back and add plot details as I went. I became hopelessly lost in my own writing.

Ah, Ha! I went back and relabeled the chapters as CHAPTER #__ in a larger font. Now I could use the find function in Word. Still couldn’t find my way through the story, but at least I could find each chapter.

Next evolution was to a descriptive chapter name after the CHAPTER #. Now I knew what was in each chapter.

As the edit, rewrite work began I found myself cutting my ‘darling’ chapters⎯the crap that had no business in the book. So much for numbers on the chapters. Then I moved an entire section from the middle of the novel to the beginning.

I was terrified to delete a chapter I had rewritten⎯what if I really wanted to put the junk back in?

Solution? Each chapter became a separate Word document. CHAPTER 1.1, 1.2, etc. Then the fool in me decided to renumber the chapters into the current sequence. Now I couldn’t even find the old chapters.

The point of this diatribe you ask?

DON’T NUMBER THE CHAPTERS AS YOU WRITE! When all is said and done, you can add numbers just before you send the manuscript to the printer.

Currently I have CHAPTER- description at each heading. I can find my way around the manuscript and switch things any way I want without a problem. Now when I do a re-write/ edit I save the newest copy of the entire manuscript with a date.

Just my 2 cents worth.