Thursday, August 21, 2014

Finishing Drafts, Doing Edits, and Enjoying Some Trivia

It's done. I finally finished the first draft of Timewatch. It took six weeks versus the thirty days of Camp NaNoWriMo, but it's done. When I finished, the tune that came to mind was I'm Free by The Who. I posted a link to the song from YouTube on my Facebook author and Google+ pages. The final first draft word count came short of 60,000, making it to 59,441.

Now that the first draft is done, Timewatch is better defined as a follow up to Rickshaw, New Mexico rather than a sequel. The writing process was a pantser's nightmare. I didn't know who the bad guy was until the story neared the end. That was good in a way, because it affected how the story unfolded. The second draft will probably be a higher word count than the first, because now I can fill in certain blanks, such as plot holes and descriptions. Now Timewatch gets to sit for a long while, because, there are three books ahead of it.

Speaking of...

I finished my review of The Curse and my ideal reader is now taking a crack at it. She finished her review of the latest draft of Second Chance and now it's in my grubby paws. When I finish editing Second Chance, hopefully the next draft will be the last one, but we all know how "last drafts" work.

And then there's Justice, the working title for my April Camp NaNoWriMo project. I haven't done anything with it since then, but when The Curse and Second Chance are done, it will be next in the editing process. As with Timewatch, Justice needs holes filled in and descriptions added. I have my work cut out for me for the next few months.

Now let's get to some sports trivia.

The 49-77 Texas Rangers are enjoying the beer in the fridge, because they are today's Kings of the Cellar. They are 4-6 in their last ten games, but on a positive note, the Rangers are 2-1 in their last three games. The 50-76 Colorado Rockies trail Texas by a game, but on a positive note (again), the Rockies are 4-2 in their last six games.

Today's honorable mention goes to the 53-74 Arizona Diamondbacks, who are 2-8 in their last ten games, losers of their last five. They are also 5-13 since August 1. With all the winning Texas and Colorado are doing, Arizona could take over the cellar and have the beer all to themselves.

Today in 1953, the St. Louis Browns and Cleveland Indians went to extra innings knotted up at 2-2. In the bottom of the 12th inning, Bill Glynn hit a double and Bobby Avila scored from first base, giving Cleveland the win, 3-2. Something you never see today, WP Dave Hoskins and LP Harry Brecheen pitched a complete game. Each pitcher only struck out two batters, but Dick Kokos of the Browns and Al Rosen of the Indians each hit a homerun.

Today in 1963, an RBI single by Bob Aspromonte was all the Houston Colt .45's needed to beat the Cincinnati Reds 1-0. WP Don Nottebart struck out nine batters, while LP Jim O'Toole struck out six.

Today in 1983, the California Angels and New York Yankees went scoreless into the top of the 9th inning, when Doug DeCinces hit in Daryl Sconiers to take the lead 1-0. In the bottom of the 9th, Ken Griffey hit a single, bringing in Bert Campaneris and Willie Randolph, to give the Yankees the win 2-1. WP Dave Righetti struck out five batters.

Today in 2003, a five run fourth inning was not enough, as the Detroit Tigers continued their losing ways, falling to the Anaheim Angels 10-7. The Angels led 7-6 in the top of the 9th and added three runs to put the game out of reach.

Until next time...Have a great day!!!

Saturday, August 2, 2014

What Has Been Written

At the end of June, I was still debating the idea of writing the story I wanted to (Return To Origin) and writing the story that wants to be written (Timewatch), for CampNaNoWriMo. I ended up doing the latter. Timewatch began as the sequel to my ebook, Rickshaw, New Mexico. However, as the story progressed, things went sideways and if you know me, I embrace the sideways.

So what happened?

First of all, I'm technically a CampNaNoWriMo winner, passing the 50,000 word total. However, the story isn't finished. There are several more chapters to write. Rickshaw, New Mexico was only somewhere around 30,000 words, but that doesn't answer the question.

Rickshaw was told from George Foster's point of view. Timewatch isn't. George is in there and has a key role, but he's more of a supporting character. Laura Taylor and Dean Haskell are the main characters of Timewatch, so can you call that a sequel? I can't. It may be sequel-ish, but it's not THE sequel, at least by my definition. A true sequel of Rickshaw would still have to be told from George's point of view. Timewatch could also be a sequel of my short story, A Flash In Time, which is in The Acts of 1 - A Collection of Short Stories. Haskell makes his first appearance in that story. As I said in my last entry, once Timewatch is almost ready for publication, I will publish A Flash In Time by itself. There's plenty of time to decide on the price.

Thank you for your support and readership. Now let's have some fun.

My, how the mighty have fallen. The 43-66 Texas Rangers are Kings of the Cellar, but the 44-65 Colorado Rockies are only a game behind, with the 45-65 two time defending Kings of the Cellar champion Houston Astros making their run at a threepeat. This week's honorable mention is my beloved 58-52 Atlanta Braves. They are 4-8 in their last 12 games, losing four straight.

On a sad note, Indiana Pacers star, Paul George, suffered a possible season ending leg injury in the US National Team's intrasquad scrimmage. Thoughts and prayers go out to him and hope his injury heals quickly.

Congrats to the NFL Hall of Fame Class of 2014! This is an excellent class.

Speaking of the NFL, now that training camp has begun, so have the prognostications. Most of it's crap, but it's still fun to read and write about.


If you haven't done so already, please visit my Facebook author page and my Amazon author page, and put a like on each. Thank you for reading my post and thank you for your support.

Friday, June 27, 2014

What You Want To Write vs What Wants To Be Written

Here we go again. This post started as another post on my Facebook author page and became too long. As July's Camp NaNoWriMo approaches, there is a conflict. I haven't decided on which story to write yet, but it boils down to this: There is the story I want to finish writing (Return To Origin) and the story that wants to be written (Timewatch).

After finishing the first draft of The Curse in 2011, I began to write Return To Origin, which was the story that wanted to be written at the time. However, I made the mistake of stopping to start editing The Curse. Since then, I worked on Return To Origin a bit at a time, but the first draft is nowhere near finished.

Then there's the sequel to the short story, The Immortals, and my novel, The Curse, titled Caretaker. The Immortals is in The Acts of 1. I started Caretaker after finishing the first draft of Rickshaw, New Mexico. At the time, this was my best first draft. However, as with Return To Origin, I stopped. Why? Because The Curse needed, yet again, more editing. As with Return To Origin, the first draft of Caretaker is nowhere near finished. My ideal reader wants me to finish both of these stories.

Here's the point. Whenever there is a conflict between what you want to write and what wants to be written, choose the story that wants to be written. That's where your mind and heart are. Once you start, do not stop until the story is finished. That's the mistake I made with Return To Origin and with Caretaker, and that is why their first drafts remain incomplete.

If I had to choose now, instead of Return To Origin, July's Camp NaNoWriMo project will be Timewatch. It's the story that wants to be told. So far. there are only a few disjointed scenes, including Woodrow and Janowski (from A Flash In Time) going through the swamps of 1753 of what will be Chalmette, Louisiana, searching for legendary swamp demons. The scene may go into the story and it may not. Obviously, new characters will be introduced and maybe even surprise appearances by characters from some of my other stories.

Also, if Timewatch turns out to be the story I write next month, then I will publish A Flash In Time (from The Acts of 1) by itself. At this time, I haven't decided whether to charge 99 cents or make the short story permafree. A Flash In Time is my oldest story idea, beginning when I was sixteen years old. It's about a retail manager who, on the night of December 28, 1999, is driving home from work in the middle of a thunderstorm and in a flash, it's a sunny Friday afternoon in September 2011. As with George Foster in Rickshaw, New Mexico, Bryan Mixon has no idea how he got there or how he'll get home. Although George's and Bryan's situations are similar, their stories are different. If published, the cover of A Flash In Time will most likely be done with Amazon's Cover Creator.

If you haven't done so already, please visit my Facebook author page and my Amazon author page, and put a like on each.

Have a great day!!!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Rickshaw, New Mexico Review (and Sequel?)

This started as an entry on my Facebook author page and quickly became too long to post there. Now I can go into more detail.

Yesterday, I was reading through and reviewing the first draft of a novel I'm thinking about finishing next month, titled Return To Origin. If I choose to write it for next month's JuNoWriMo challenge (July Camp National Novel Writing Month), there are a few changes that will be made. One of my bad habits when writing is to fool around on the internet (and yes, on Facebook, too). You know, how are sales? How are my books' rankings? Are there any new reviews? While expecting the usual answer of nothing, somebody posted a 5-star review of my ebook, Rickshaw, New Mexico. The reviewer's name is TXBkLvr and thank you for your review. Here is what TXBkLvr wrote:

Maybe I shouldn't have given this 5 stars. It was, after all, rather tidy the way it wrapped up. But it was so much fun to read! Time Travel is one of my favorite genres but it's gotten old in a lot of books lately. The same old story with a different cover. The way it happened here was fresh and interesting.

The writing was very well done. I didn't see any typos or misspellings. If there were any I was reading too fast to notice them.

If you like time travel, old westerns, and thrillers, this is a book for you. I hope there's a sequel. 


Hmm...this is the second consecutive review of Rickshaw that talks about a sequel. George Foster's story has been told, but there are a couple of other characters whose stories are nowhere near done. Actually, one of the two characters first appeared in my short story, A Flash In Time, which is in my ebook, The Acts of 1 - A Collection of Short Stories. So in a way, Rickshaw is a sequel to A Flash In Time. Maybe it's time to publish A Flash In Time by itself.

To be honest, since AndyB's review of Rickshaw, I've been toying with the idea of writing a sequel. In fact, over the past couple of weeks, I've even written scenes, including one addressing "the George Foster incident." The current scene I'm working on is mentioned in the final scene of Rickshaw. No spoilers here. In the scenes I've written so far, two characters from Rickshaw and two more from A Flash In Time appear.

When I decide to write a story, there is usually have a beginning and end, laced with a few specific outcomes in the story. For this one, which the working title will be Timewatch, all I have is a few scenes. Then again, all I had when I wrote my Camp NaNoWriMo novel in April (titled Justice) was a beginning and an end. There was nothing in between.

So here's the point. Which book do I write next month? Do I finish the one I started in 2011 immediately after finishing the first draft of The Curse (Return To Origin) or do I write the sequel to A Flash In Time and Rickshaw, New Mexico (Timewatch)? That's the burning question right now and the answer at the moment is, I don't know. There is a little more than a week left to decide. I may post a little bit about each book and let you decide. Again, thank you, TXBkLvr, for posting your review of Rickshaw!!

In the meantime, be sure to click the links on this post and please visit and put a like on my Facebook author page and my Amazon author page.

Have a great day!!!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Last Place Update and Did the '62 Mets Win On This Day?

Before we get started, congrats to Clayton Kershaw of the Los Angeles Dodgers, for pitching his first ever no-hitter against the Colorado Rockies, an 8-0 win. Kershaw struck out 15 batters and is now 7-2.

On the flip side, the 28-45 Tampa Bay Devil Rays are this week's Kings of the Cellar. After going 4-1 in recent games, the Rays have lost two in a row. The 31-44 Arizona Diamondbacks trail the Devil Rays by two games. Arizona is 3-7 in their last ten games, but are 2-2 in their last four. At this point, none of these teams are a threat to the 1962 New York Mets' record of futility. After 73 games, the Mets were 20-53.

This week's honorable mention goes to the 43-29 San Francisco Giants. They are 2-8 in their last ten games, losing five straight.

Now for some trivia...

Today in 1962, the New York Mets scored three runs in the first inning and never trailed against the Milwaukee Braves, getting one of their few wins in their worst ever season, 6-5. Future Padres and Giants manager, Roger Craig, pitched a complete game for the Mets and struck out five. Eddie Matthews of the Braves, and Joe Christopher and Gene Woodling of the Mets each hit a homerun.

Today in 1988, David Cone pitched a complete game two-hitter helping the New York Mets defeat the Philadelphia Phillies 6-0. Cone struck out seven and batted 1-4. Darryl Strawberry and Kevin McReynolds hit a homerun.

Today in 1992, a top of the first inning leadoff homerun by Greg Briley was all the Seattle Mariners needed to beat the Minnesota Twins 1-0. This was Briley's only hit of the game. WP Dave Fleming struck out six batters. Chili Davis and Kent Hrbek got the only hits for the Twins.

Today in 2004, Julio Franco and Eli Marrero each hit a two run homer and elevated the Atlanta Braves to an easy 4-0 win over the Cleveland Indians. In seven innings, WP Paul Byrd struck out seven and John Smoltz got the save.


As we count down to July's Camp NaNoWriMo, the choice of which story to write is getting easier. It also appears that July's Camp NaNoWriMo is called JuNoWriMo. If I had to choose which story to write now, it would be Return To Origin. I started it just after finishing the first draft of The Curse in 2011.

It seems I may have to use Amazon's Cover Creator once again for Second Chance. I was hoping to enlist someone's help, but that's not going to happen. Hence, the plan is to keep the cover design simple until it can be replaced with a better one.

I wrote a few drafts of the blurb to Second Chance. Although it's not ready, here's the best version so far:

Gus Harrison is a 46 year old city worker who lives in the past. He obsesses over the good old days of his youth, but there is a dark side. In 1987, the love of his life, Penny Neal, was murdered. His best friend, Dub Druber, died in 2000. Not a day goes by that Gus wishes he could go back in time and save their lives.

One fateful day, as his life falls apart, Gus gets his chance. He gets sent back to 1987 and is young once again. Can Gus change history and save the people he loves?

If things go as anticipated, Second Chance will be published as early as July or August.

Have a great day!!!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Remembering Chuck Noll and Tony Gwynn

I hadn't planned on posting anything today, but with the passing of two legends, that changed.

Over the weekend, football lost one of its greatest ever Hall of Fame coaches, Chuck Noll, of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Noll coached the Steelers to four Super Bowl Championships in six years. In fact, he was the only head coach to ever win four Super Bowls. From 1969-91, he coached the Steelers to a 193-148 regular season record. Noll was 16-8 in the playoffs and, obviously, 4-0 in the Super Bowl.

As a player, Noll played with the Cleveland Browns from 1953-59. He served as a defensive coach for the Los Angeles/San Diego Chargers from 1960-65, where the team won the AFL Championship in 1963. In 1966, Noll moved on to a defensive backfield coach for the Baltimore Colts, where he coached until 1968. After the Colts lost Super Bowl III, Noll was hired as the head coach of the Steelers.

Yesterday, baseball lost a rare gem of the game, Hall of Famer, Tony Gwynn. He played his entire MLB playing career with the San Diego Padres, which spanned from 1982-2001. He also won a slew of awards, including 15 All-Star appearances, 5 Golden Gloves, 8 NL batting titles, and 2 World Series appearances. He finished his career with a .338 batting average. After retiring in 2001, he became the head coach of his alma mater, San Diego State, in 2002, where he coached until his death. Gwynn set the example as a player and as a man. He was class personified.

Thoughts and prayers go out to the Noll and Gwynn families.



On another note, today is the last day that my ebook, Rickshaw, New Mexico will be free. Thank you all for your support so far and let's finish strong.

Here is a little bit of what Rickshaw is about...

George Foster, a down and out Las Vegas private investigator in 2011, took a routine late night stakeout assignment that changed his life forever. Things went terribly wrong when an affair turned into a double murder, with George as the number one suspect.

Once at home, George drank to drown his sorrows, passed out, and woke up in a jail cell...

...in 1886.

Somehow, George went from present day Las Vegas, Nevada to a one-street town named Rickshaw in the New Mexico Territory, a place with problems of its own. With no idea how he got there, George must adapt, survive, and find his way home.

Click the Rickshaw, New Mexico link to download your FREE copy now.


Have a great day!!!

Friday, June 13, 2014

NBA & MLB Trivia, and Rickshaw, New Mexico

Wow! Three posts in a week. It's been a while. Camp NaNoWriMo is less than three weeks away and I'm still undecided about which story to write. A couple of nights ago, I wrote a second scene, this one dealing with the fallout from Rickshaw, New Mexico. More on Rickshaw in a bit. If this continues, Return To Origin may once again, go to the back burner.

Now what's going on with Rickshaw, New Mexico? From today until June 17, Rickshaw will be free for the Kindle. The link will be posted after the trivia. Speaking of...

Here's some NBA trivia...

Today in 1993, the Phoenix Suns beat the Chicago Bulls in triple overtime, 129-121. Michael Jordan led all scorers with 44 points. Dan Majerle led the Suns with 28. The Suns improved to 1-2 in the series, but the Bulls went on to win the NBA Championship 4-2.

Today in 1997, the Chicago Bulls defeated the Utah Jazz 90-86. Michael Jordan led all scorers with 39 and Karl Malone led the Jazz with 21. With this win, Chicago won the NBA Championship 4-2.

Today in 2001, the Los Angeles Lakers beat the Philadelphia 76ers 100-86. Allen Iverson led all scorers with 35 points. Shaquille O'Neal led the Lakers with 34. Los Angeles improves to 3-1 in the series and would win the NBA Championship 4-1.

And for some MLB trivia...

Today in 1975, the Big Red Machine got into a slugfest with the Chicago Cubs. By the seventh inning, the Cubs led the Cincinnati Reds 8-6, but the bottom fell out in the eighth. The Reds went on a 12-3 run and won the game 18-11. Johhny Bench and George Foster each hit a homerun for the Reds and  Jerry Morales hit a homerun for the Cubs.

Today in 1988, the St. Louis Cardinals and New York Mets took a 1-1 game into 12 innings. In the bottom of the 12th, Lee Mazzilli hit an RBI single to win the game 2-1. Darryl Strawberry hit a solo homer to get the Mets on the board. Bob Horner hit an RBI single to account for the Cardinals' score.

Today in 2006, a solo homerun by Robinson Cano was all the New York Yankees needed to defeat the Cleveland Indians 1-0. In a respectable effort, LP Paul Byrd struck out six batters.

If you want to explore more trivia and see the box scores, go to Basketball-Reference.com and Baseball-Reference.com.

So what's going on with Rickshaw?

Starting today, my ebook, Rickshaw, New Mexico is free until June 17. Click the link, download your FREE copy today, and please spread the word.

Have a great day!!!