Saturday, November 29, 2008

NaNoWriMo Winds Down

I won’t be “winning” NaNoWriMo this year, but this was a great exercise in getting one’s word count advancing. Currently at near 26, 000 words, I’ll be pleased to hit 27,000 words by tomorrow night’s deadline and with any luck, at the same rate, I’ll have the first draft finished by the end of the year.

That brings me to ScriptFrenzy, the other writing month sponsored by the same group of folks who do NaNo. I already have several screenplay ideas, so all I need to do is pick one, plot it out and get ready for that extravaganza.

To all the competitors this year, especially to those who made the 50,000 word minimum, I say congratulations. If any of those instant novels become bestsellers, I think the whole NaNo community will be pleased.



Sunday, November 23, 2008

On Breaking Resolutions and Other Year-End Activities

This morning, one of my Twitter buddies announced that she was "considering how many new Years resolutions I can break between now and December 31." In reply, I advised her to "be creative, break them alphabetically."

Later, I started thinking about how a bizarre resolution list would read:

1. Aardvarks, limit my annual kills to twelve
2. Aarons, stop drunk dialing strangers with that first name
185. Zzyzx, refrain from sneaking into the California town under an assumed name

Yes, folks, it's officially that time of year when I lose my mind. Last year's scheduled insanity break was deferred, thanks to a little extended stay at Chez Glendale Adventist. The truth is I love the holidays and last year's detour had me doubly bummed for that reason. I'm making up for lost time now that I'm not all out of it.

Meanwhile, back at the keyboard, NaNoWriMo has become an unattainable target. I realized I have a higher priority than writing … sleeping. As much as I wanted the joy of being sleep deprived -- you know, the suffering artist thing -- I felt the call of Morpheus a little too alluring for my book's own good.

So what does that mean for Lens Flare, then next great blockbuster novel? I now have a new goal … finish the first draft by New Year's Eve. I really believe I have a solid plot and the material is complex enough to keep the reader guessing (hell, I'm still trying to figure it out and I created it). No worries, good things come to those who persevere.

What this also means is I have to go back to editing the first draft of my non-fiction book, The Year I Lost November. It's rather difficult at times reading the emails between my wife and my parents they exchanged during my illness (which will be incorporated into the "story"). As much as I hated it, I couldn't prevent those closest to me from worrying so much.

Meanwhile, my marketing "blitz" for In The Foothills has been on hiatus due to all of the other writing projects. More on this next time, hopefully.

So, have a great Thanksgiving, everyone! By the way, if you want to tweet me, I'm on Twitter at


Sunday, November 9, 2008

A Year Later

Greetings, friends ...

I'm glad to be able to return to this blog after over a year of inactivity. In case you weren't aware, I had gone a couple of rounds with a disease called dermatomyositis, an autoimmune disease in which the white blood cells attack the muscle cells as though they are foreign invaders. It's similar to many AI diseases ... for example, MS is an AI disease where the immune system attacks the central nervous system.

The upshot of the story is I ended up in the hospital for all of November and the early part of December in 2007. I was better by early January 2008, then ended up relapsing in February and didn't recover 100% until early June. Thanks to good medication, a great rheumatologist and the world's greatest wife, I am here and writing again. All of this is chronicled in a book I'll be publishing in early 2009 called The Year I Lost November. Profits from that book will be donated to The Myositis Association.

Because of my disease, I couldn't publish my first anthology of short stories and poetry until July 2008, called In The Foothills. The collection covers material I've written between 2005 and 2007. If you like short stories, I invite you to take a test run.

Besides editing the new book, I've been particular busy with NaNoWriMo this year. Unfortunately, because of my illness in 2007, I couldn't participate in the novel-writing fall classic. This year, I'm definitely in the hunt. As of this post, I have over 12,000 words written in my own someday bestseller (entitled Lens Flare), an action-packed thriller of arson and political intrigue.

That's all for now, folks. I hope your respective Muses are kind to you this week.