Tuesday, April 30, 2013

soy milk spills, too !

As I write this April has six hours left. Instead of focusing on what I didn't achieve this month I'm going to focus on what I did achieve. Lets see, this is my forty-seventh blog post and twenty-two of them were posted this month. One of the reasons why I'm blogging is to use it as a way to motivate myself to write. It's about keeping a promise to myself and to my characters to complete this Rainbow Plantation Blues project. I have to say it's working quite well. I don't think I would have done what I've done this far were it not for this blog. Others are more than welcome to journey with us, and the more the merrier, but Kumi, Jonathan and I are on a mission no matter what. Anyhow, my goal with this blog is to post five days a week and I've been doing it. I intend to keep it up in May.
    Other than keeping up with my blog postings I did get fifty-four new pages written on my Rainbow Plantation Blues sequel. My goal was one-hundred pages, but now I think that was alittle too ambitious. For May I'm setting a new goal of Sixty pages. I could have made that this month but I had some lazy days, seven to be exact, were I couldn't get off my duff to write. So, sixty pages seems doable but still challenging. In May I'm going to focus less on quantity and more on having no ''lazy days.''
    Another accomplishment this month was my articles for SGL BookLovers Magazine. I wrote and submitted two. The first one was excepted and will be published in the summer issue. As of this posting, the editor and chief told me he has received the second one but has not read it yet. My gut tells me he'll like it though, and it will be published ,too. I told him I plan to crank out more articles and the two I wrote are part of a three part series. So, my article goals for May will be to finish and send that third article and to write and send another one. I intend to maintain a presents in the magazine.
    So, It's time for me to mop-up my spilled milk and go buy a new pint! Of course, since I'm vegan, It'll be soy but that's cool as long as I drink every last drop this time!

Monday, April 29, 2013

robert ''frustration'' sheeley

Frustration is my middle name these days! My recording engineer gave me a copy of the book trailer on disc but for some reason I couldn't open the entire file. All I could do was hear the audio part of the disc but I couldn't see the video. There are some minor problems with the audio, too. The tempo is too slow and the musical intro is to long. Also, the time lapse between the music ending and my starting to read chapter one is too long. We've been working on this book trailer for about two months now! I'm geting sick of it.  I just want to be done with it!
    I got my bike out of the shop yesterday and with taxes the repairs ended up costing me $104.23. Then I found myself riding hands free again! It must be some kind of unconscious habit. I had to catch myself, put my hands on the handle bars and almost force myself to keep them there! Maybe I also have some kind of  ''unconscious'' hole in my head, too! That was a costly accident. I can't afford to have that happen again.
    Over the weekend I got two pages written. Two frigging pages! I watched the complete first season of How to Make it in America on DVD instead of writing. The show is an HBO drama about these two young guys in NYC who want success so bad they'll do almost anything to get it. So they get their hustle on and go though all this drama. I liked the show, I ordered the second season, but I need to take so pointers! Sitting on my butt and watching a show about two guys hustling to get theirs wont get me mine!
    I have still not started writing my Method Writing article. I have to set some new goals. May is just around the corner. I'm going to use that to make a start fresh. Even the guys on that show had their trying moments.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

it's all good !

Yesterday I wiped-out on my bike. No, it was not due to me being distracted by some eye candy on the street and running into a tree! It was around 8:45AM and I was on my way to work. I was riding hands free down my street and I just lost control. I know your thinking  ''well, that's what happens when you ride hand free.'' I know that that's what your thinking because that's what I was thinking when it happened! I have been riding a bike instead of driving a car for ten years now and this is the worst accident I've ever had. Physically I only got a couple minor scrapes on my left elbow and my left leg, my bike is another story though. The front wheel frame was bent. The front night light was shattered. The gear shift was busted and the seat cushion was destroyed. I carried the bike the rest of the way to work and was late. When I got there I cleaned myself up with first aid, and when I got off I carried the bike to a bike shop. It's going to cost me $95.89 to repair everything. That doesn't include a new seat though. That's going to be another 25-35 bucks. Anyhow, guess where the money to pay for all of this is coming from? It's coming out of my publishing and promotions budget for Kumi's Rainbow Narrative. Isn't that lovely?
     I was also thinking about what I was going to blog about next when I wiped-out. Well, when it happened I got my answer! My next blog post was going to be about how I was going to have to rob Peter to pay Paul for this wipe-out! It's all good though. At least I wasn't really hurt and even though I didn't really have the money for the repairs, I did have money I could steal from my book budget to pay for the repairs! So, like I said, it's all good!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

the Kumi material

I've decided how I'm going to give plausibility to my sequel, which I'm going to call  Kumi's Rainbow Narrative. I'm going to have it that I channeled Kumi's story directly from him through another dimension. There are many people who claim to have channeled messages or even whole books from beings in other realities/dimensions. Jane Roberts and her series of books entitled The Seth Material is a famous example of this. Seth would take over her mind and he would literally speak through her. Sometime these beings are physical beings and sometimes there not. Sometimes it's done through dreams and sometimes through a trance state. This way I can keep it in first person narrative, which I really like and want to keep, and not have to go back a change all the ''I went outside[s]'' to ''he went outside[s].'' I keep records of all the dates and times I write, so I'll use those actual dates and times as my ''trance States.''
    Before I was going to say that Kumi wrote his narrative in his 50's in the year 1882 knowing that nobody would publish or buy a uranian [uranian was a word for gay people used in the late 19th century/early 20th century] slave narrative. Nonetheless he hoped that it would get tucked a way somewhere and, when the time was right, be found by someone and published posthumously. Of course, that's what happened [when I published it]. I was going to say that his yellowed and brittle manuscript somehow survived more than 130 years and had been carbon dated for authenticity. My other option was to, like I said earlier, change to first person narrative.
    Slave narratives were common in the 19th century but a gay slave narrative was/is unheard of and I like the idea. Also, it sets Kumi's Rainbow Narrative apart from Rainbow Plantation Blues. So. I've settled the question. It will be a channeled narrative, but I'll still have to write a forward explaining that. That's okay, though. I'll just do some research on channeling and come up with something good, or maybe I'll just go into a trance!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

my fellow authors'

I got my first issue of SGL BookLovers Magazine yesterday. Of course I went straight to my review and interview first. It reads pretty good but from now on I'm going to review my answers more meticulously before I send them. There are some things I would word differently now. The magazine itself looks good though! It's mostly author interviews, profiles and book reviews. They are all Black LGBT/SGL[same gender loving] authors. I read all the other author interviews, too. I have to say that I did not know there were so many Black LGBT authors out there working so hard to bring visibility to our sub-culture within a sub-culture. I solute these writers and LGBT writers of all races, colors, ethnicity's, nationalities, both sexes and gender identities for the work they are doing. It is not easy work.
     Strangely, I don't feel like I'm competing with other LGBT writers. I feel like every author has something unique to say and only that author can say it. So why should we feel threatened by each other? The stories that these authors wrote are stories that I couldn't have written. They were stories with urban contemporary themes in contemporary settings. I write stories with contemporary themes in bygone settings. But even authors who write all contemporary stories are still writing different stories that are unique to their personal talents, world view and experiences. I think it's best for authors to help each other in any and every way we can rather than feel threatened.
    There is only one article in the entire issue. It is titled  Five Ways to Market your Book. The editor all ready told me that my first article The World Within: Part One of Three is going into the next issue. I'm hoping to have some kind of impact on the magazine by contributing regular articles. Writing regular articles is also a way for me to help and encourage my fellow authors. My hope is that this is the beginning of a long and mutually beneficial association SGL BookLovers Magazine. I also hope to someday meet some of the other authors featured in the magazine, too!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

method writing

My last article in the three part series I'm writing for SGL BookLovers Is Going to be about Characterization and spirituality, and I have no idea how I'm going to spin it. First, I think I need to define characterization. Dictionary.com defines it as 1. portrayal; description 2. the act of characterizing 3. the representation of fictitious characters. So, I have an idea now. I'm going to talk about how I get to know my characters. If an author is going to give an accurate portrayal, description and representation of his/her characters he/she has to know them inside and out, right? And the best way to get to know someone is to talk to them, spend time with them,etc.
    This is starting to sound a little like method acting, so lets research method acting. According to Wikipedia method acting is ''any of a family of techniques used by actors to create in themselves the thoughts and feelings of their characters, so as to develop lifelike performances.'' I think that an author can do almost the same thing, even when their not writing. It's important that the author not treat characters like a piece of intellectual property and more like living, breathing and complex beings with identities of their own.
    Okay, so this will be my outline for the article. I'll call the article Method Writing: part three of three. Earlier I had a posting entitled  The Francis Farmer Syndrome in which I talked about how I talk to my characters and befriend them but this takes that a step further. Some might say it takes me a step closer to the funny farm, but I don't care. I'm going to explore this ''method writing'' idea of mine. Authors are giving a kind of  ''performance'' just like actors, right? We want lifelike characterization, too. Maybe I'm onto something! Lee Strasberg eat your heart out!

Monday, April 22, 2013

lets make a deal

 There are eight days left in the month and I only have forty-five new pages written on the sequel. I guess my goal of writing one-hundred pages this month is a bust. Its no biggie though. I'll just set another goal for next month and the month after that and the month after that until the manuscript is done. Or, I could make a deal with the devil to get the book written, edited, published and listed on the New York Times bestseller list in eight days. All it would cost me is my soul, right? Well, who needs a soul when you've got a bestseller! I'm only joking. Besides, even Satin couldn't do all that in eight days. On the other hand maybe he could, but I wont be finding out! Satanism might suit some people but this Black man needs his soul. Whoever heard of a Black man without it? Just ask the late great Don Cornelius. He'll give you the down-low on that, or is it the low-down? OMG! How could I not know? I hope they don't revoke my brotha licence!
    Anyhow, I'm having more writing struggles this week just like I struggled last week with that rape scene. The struggle this time is not emotional though, it's more technical. Since I'm writing a sequel I must be consistent with the first book. Remember, this sequel involves the same characters and a lot of the same timeline. So, much of what I'm I writing is the same plot only from another character's perspective. The tricky part is keeping it consistent with the first book, For example, if I had a character languish in bed for three days in the first book, and I'm referring to that same scene in the sequel, I can't have that character languish in bed for six days in the sequel. The dialogue and perspective are going to be different but little things like that have to match. I'm finding myself having to go back and re-read parts of Rainbow Plantation Blues all the time. I'm not really bugged by it, It's just tedious. I wonder if Satin will take a raincheck?

Saturday, April 20, 2013

got milk ?

Last night I was a lazy cow! All I did was lay in bed, watch Dark Shadows and The Flintstones and graze! I felt guilty for not writing but I couldn't help myself. It wasn't a matter of writer's block. It was a matter of salt block, which is what I might as well have been licking as I laid there brushing flies off my back with my tail. But maybe I'm being too hard on myself. I did get that second article for SGL BookLovers finished, typed and sent yesterday and this morning I got three pages written on my sequel.
    When I said I'm not having writer's block I was serious, though. The story has been pouring out of me lately. It's funny how when I'm struggling with laziness the words are easy to come by but when I'm ready and eager to write finding the words, to put on paper, is like playing hide-n-seek with myself!
    As I said, this morning I wrote three pages. I started at 5:25AM and stopped at 8:00AM. On average it takes me about an hour a page but when the words are flowing easily I tend to get more pages done in less time. So far this week I've written nine pages, which is down from this time last week but at least it's something. I still have this evening to do more when I get off my day job. Whether I choose to write or to graze remains to be seen.

Friday, April 19, 2013

six hours of springtime

Today I  sent the second installment of my article series to SGL BookLovers. I titled it Six Hours of Springtime. The article is about the Chinese medicine concept of the daily seasons. The idea is that there are four seasons within one day just as there are in a year and, in order to create balance in ones life, one should carry out there their daily activities according to the flow of the seasonal energy.
    For example, spring is from 3:00AM to 9:00am. One should do any creative,artistic or physical exercises during this time. Summer is from 9:00AM to 3:00PM. One should do what I call practical productivity, or work, at this time. Fall is from 3:00PM to 9:00PM. One should do relaxing, leisurely and preparatory things at this time. Winter is from 9:00PM to 3:00AM. One should revitalize and rejuvenate, in other words sleep, at this time.
     For a writer, or any creative person, the springtime is clearly the best time to write, or what have you, and reading is best done in the fall. The idea is that you fine-tune your focus and creativity if you plan your day according to these ''seasonal'' energy Fields. For example, a writer would write during the spring, promote and/or conduct business affairs during the summer, read and dialogue with readers during the fall and sleep to revitalize his creative juices during the winter. 
    The article went into more detail about the daily seasons than I will go into here. I also talked about another natural cycle, the moon's waxing and waning cycles as it relates to writing and creativity. I wanted to introduce people to ideas they may not have thought about to help them, like I said earlier, fine-tune their creativity and focus. Working with these subtle energy flows, instead of against it, can make a big difference in the quality of a writer's work and his or her life in general.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

stalin in the house !

For the past couple days I had been writing a scene that was a rape scene. It was extremely hard to right because I know these characters so well and I feel so close to them, even the one doing the violating. I felt really angry that it was happening but I had to write it because it's part of the story. I had no choice. The pencil had a mind of it's own and my fingers were just there to hold it up! It's true! I was sitting there completely disgusted with what was going on paper but equally powerless to do anything about it! I don't have much, if any, say in what goes on paper except in terms of some minor word or phrase choices and such. As a fiction writer I'm very much under a dictatorship, a slave to the story. The story has a life of it's own. It's like a parent and child. The parent brings the kid into the world and provides for them until they can provide for themselves but they never own the child, although some parents think they do! The child always has it's own consciousness, it's own identity, which is theirs and theirs alone. Often parents don't like or agree with their child's choices but it's there child's life, right? And if a parent tries to control a child's life, especially after adulthood, it's a recipe for disaster!
    It's works the same way with writing fiction. I was truly sicked by that scene but if I omitted it the story would be incomplete. My house of cards, and writing fiction is exactly like building a house of cards, would not stand. So, I had to bite the bullet, which I did, and write the scene. I'm glad it's done though. However, I know there's more painful scenes ahead but there's more uplifting scenes, too. I guess that's life. You take the good with the bad and, hopefully, learn from all of it in the end.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

you little sneak !

One thing I really like about writing fiction is that you can speak your mind and nobody knows what you, the author, is really thinking. Politics and prose is nothing new. There are a lot of  famous books that are known for addressing social issues. The one that sticks out most in my mind is Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe. It is said that this book turned millions against slavery and helped to start the civil war!
    I personally like books that are entertaining, provocative and educational at the same time. As a writer of historical fiction, I try to find obscure historical facts, events and figures to sneak into my stories and to create characters that represent the far-left, far-right and middle-ground of the time and then give them all an equal voice. I want to create characters that don't think and/or behave the way society expects or expected them to. This, I feel, is more true to life. People are not always, no, people are almost never what they appear to be!
     It's fine for people to read something and say ''did that really happen back then? Or, did people really think, act or talk that way back then? It forces them to do some research of their own and/or to just stretch their thinking. I personally love doing research and if I find something interesting but that I can't really use right now I file it so I can maybe use it later.
    You can really get on your soap-box with fiction writing and people make their own assumptions as to where the author really stands. For example, I am a  Black, Gay man. So, I should have certain views on certain people, events and issues, right?

Monday, April 15, 2013

writing by traffic light

The weekend was pretty exciting and productive. The editor and chief of SGL BookLovers received my article and he really liked it! He said it's going into the summer 2013 issue of the magazine! So, today I got started on the second installment because, as I might have already said in a previous post, It's going to be a three part series. He said not to worry about whether or not he likes an article personally. He said he would still publish it because you never know what someone else might get out of it. So, I'm not going to pass up this chance to get regular exposure. Oh, I talked to him on the phone last night for two hours and, FYI, he said he liked my article ''personally.'' I also get the feeling a new friendship might be blossoming.
    Another thing is that I'm now up to 32 new pages written on the sequel! That makes 212 longhand pages. It may not seem like much but I feel like steady progress is being made and I'm still going for 100 pages this month, even though the month is half over and I'm still not at 50. If I look back in my records I see that, before I stopped writing, there were days when I wrote up to 10 pages in one day! There were not alot of days like that but there were some. Although I set daily goals, I never know how many pages I'm going to write on a given day. Sometimes I make the goal, sometimes I don't but sometimes I exceed it. So, who knows. There are still over two weeks left in this month. Two or three of them could be 10 page days!
    For me, writing fiction is like slowly putting a very complicated jigsaw puzzle together. The words and the story, like jigsaw puzzle pieces, fit very snugly together to create the right picture in the end. So the entire process is mostly a yellow light, proceed with caution, kind of journey/endeavour. I get red lights when I'm Too tired and/or can't seem to focus and then the green lights come when I'm refreshed and refueled. I call these my Traffic light moods/emotions/cycles. Hey, I have to drive this project somehow!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

grey gardens: a review

The other night I watched a movie called Grey Gardens starring Drew Barrymore and Jessica Lang. It was a true story about a mother and daughter, both named Edie Bouvier Beale, who were once wealthy and aristocratic. They  also were related to Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis. They had been the toast of the society circle. But something happened and they became these two reclusive, but still charming, creatures who lived in a run-down old mansion in the Hamptons.
     The movie goes back and forth in time, spanning the 1930's to the 1970's to show their lives at various stages and how they ended up as they did. The mansion is filthy and disgusting. They have a gazillion cats, a raccoon, garbage and dung everywhere. Theres also leaks in the roof and broken window pains all over the place. It's hot a mess!
     The papers got wild of this and these two film makers approached them about doing a documentary about them. The film, entitled Grey Gardens and released in the early 1970's, shows them living their daily lives under these circumstances but with ''style'' and charisma. The film is a huge success and that's how the wider world learns of Jackie O's eccentric relatives.
    First of all, I have to say that Drew Barrymore's Boston accent was perfection and she looked like ''Little Edie'' in her signature head pieces made of shirts and blouses. They did these re-enactments of scenes from the 1970's documentary and I thought Lang and Barrymore were Big Edie and Little Edie! It was all down to the letter. I also loved the back in time scenes. The set designers and stylist were on point, not that I was living then myself, with everything from the clothes, cars, furniture and hairstyles. Trust me, we gay guys know about these thing!
    The Bouvier Beale women had both wanted to be entertainers of some sort at one point their lives but it wasn't in the cards for then, or was it? The newspaper articles got Jackie O's attention and got them some help fixing and cleaning up that hell hole they lived in and the documentary gave them notoriety and adulation. You see that people always get what they want in the end, even though it may not be exactly how or when they planned. ''Little Edie'' was quoted saying ''my mother gave me a completely priceless life'' toward the end of her own life. I highly recommend this movie and the original documentary. If your into studying peoples lives like I am, there are also books available about them.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

today's weather forecast

Lately I've been thinking about what the title of my sequel should be, although I'm nowhere near the finish line. I've also been thinking about changing it from first person narrative to third person narrative, again, which would require me to change the title I have in mind. These title thoughts remind me of the first time I went through this title brainstorming, and I see another brainstorm on the horizon.
    The original title of Plantation Rainbow Blues was Rosewater because Rosewater was the name of the Thomas' plantation at that point. For a long time I liked that title and planned to use it. Then, I'm not sure if I read an article somewhere on book titles or if I just had an epiphany, I decided to change it. I do remember reading an article that said a book title should be no longer than six words and That it should convey what the book is about. You know, that must have been one hell of an epiphany! I must have read this somewhere. Anyhow, I took it to heart and set out to come up with a better title.
    One night my friend Greg and I were on the phone and we started throwing around title ideas. He knew what the story was about and the characters names. So, he suggested I use a characters name in the title like: The Adventures of Jonathan Thomas. I didn't like that at all, but at least the juices were flowing between us. OMG! Did I just say that? Okay, I'm moving on. Keep in mind I was writing these potential titles down as they came so I could mix and match word combo's. I thought about The Wind Has Gone Gay! It's obvious where that came from but something didn't feel right about it to me. There were others like: Antebellum Rainbows, Dixieland Rainbow Blues, Antebellum Rainbow Blues, Rosewater with a sub-title that read Antebellum Skies had Rainbows Too!, The Rainbow Over Rosewater. Jonathan's Rainbow Blues, Blues for Jonathan Thomas and Dixieland Plantation Blues. Then, it hit me. Rainbow Plantation Blues. It instantly felt right to me. It wasn't too wordy and It conveyed what the story was about. I never looked back after that title but I guess that's pretty obvious. That phone call lasted about three hours and some of the title ideas were so bad that I didn't even write them down!
    I was well into the second or third draft by that point. So, I had to go back and change all references to Rosewater to Rainbow, although I did leave in one reference to it for my own personal nostalgia. It wasn't a pain in the rear at all. I was so happy to have come up with such a good title that I felt it would be worth it. I have had people compliment me on the title and ask where and or how I came up with it. So, that's how it happened.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

and the winner is...!

I found my old 17th Annual International Self-Published Book Awards commentary sheet and certificate of participation this morning. The International Self-Published Book Awards is a contest for self-published authors sponsored by Writer's Digest. I entered Rainbow Plantation Blues into this competition back in 2009. So, they must be up to the 21st annual by now. There is one grand prize and ten category prizes/winners. Everybody else gets a certificate of participation, a commentary sheet and a list of marketing and promotion tips and leads. The grand prize winner gets money and lots of publicity for their book. The category winners get honorable mention and some publicity for their book. I've forgotten what all the categories are but I know I entered under genre fiction.
    Since I found my commentary sheet and my certificate of participation you know where I came out in the contest. Nonetheless, even though I didn't win first prize or even get honorable mention, as I look over this commentary sheet I really didn't fair so badly. The books were judged on a scale of 1 to 5 with 1 meaning ''poor'' and 5 meaning ''excellent.'' Four aspects of the book were judged: plot, grammar, character development and cover design. I got a 4 under plot, a 4.5 under grammar, a 4 under character development and a 2.5 under cover design. There were two questions in which the judge could write personal commentary: what did you like best about this book? and how can the author improve this book? I can't reveal the details regarding what the judge said because It would give away too much of the story. But I will quote the first sentence of each answer. With the first question he or she said, and I quote, ''The humor hands down. This novel would translate into a hilarious film. As funny as it is, however, it's also timely and well researched...'' His or her answer to the second question was, and I quote,'' As funny as the book is there are moments when it tries to make transitions between brutal sincerity and rowdy camp, and doesn't quite make it...''
    I received this critique and my certificate in February 2010 according to the postmark on the envelope. Yes, I keep everything! Although I did not receive any fives, I still think I did well for a first time novelist. The person who won the grand prize must have gotten all fives and the people who won honorable mentions must have at least gotten two or three fives. I'm happy I didn't get any ones because, I'm quite sure, some people did/do!
    I can't say I wasn't disappointed at not winning anything but, as I said, the final critique wasn't bad and I know alot of people like my work very much, including that judge!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

music to my earplugs

Some days I sit down to post here and I have no, or next to no, idea what I'm going to say. This is one of those times. Well lets see, since this blog is about my journey to finish writing my trilogy how about I talk about what happened today with that!
    I sat down, or really laid down because I write on the floor, to write and wouldn't you know that shortly thereafter my next door neighbors decide they want to share their lovely music with the whole neighborhood. Wasn't that nice of them? And I guess they were so eager to share their music that they wanted to make sure my window panes rattled so I wouldn't miss a beat! I was so grateful to them that I tried using earplugs but even they didn't work. So, I struggled to write for nearly two hours and almost got two whole pages done, they had enhanced my concentration that much. It got to the point where I decided to just have lunch, watch some Dark Shadows, with headphones, and then take a nap. I don't live in a ghetto but my next door neighbors must have been homesick today!
    On a louder, I mean on a lighter note, I saw my co-worker/sound engineer at work yesterday and he said he added some acoustic guitar to the book trailer we're making together. He said he added it to the part where I'm reading chapter one. At first I was uncomfortable with the idea, but then I thought about it and agreed to hear what it sounds like before I make a decision about it. There are three parts to the trailer: the introduction/summery, the part where I read chapter one and the conclusion. As I said in an earlier post, the music we did last week for the intro and the conclusion is African drum influenced with a driving kick drum. When I think of acoustic guitar I think of folk music and I can't imagine it sounding right or working with this trailer. On the other hand, creativity should be organic and allowed to flow on it's own. Maybe the aethers has a good idea I hadn't thought about. So, I'm going to wait and see what develops.

Monday, April 8, 2013

my weekend : a review

Saturday I had to work my day job in the afternoon and then I rode my bike across town to a friends house. I didn't get home until about 9:45 PM.  Before I went to work in the morning I finished the final draft of an article I wrote for SGL BookLovers Magazine. Yes, I wrote an article for them! About a week and a half ago I asked them if they except article submissions and they said yes. I was so excited! He said they have to be writing related of course. So, I wrote an article entitled The World Within, which I'm sending today. It's article number one of a three part series on writing and spirituality. If they like it, it should appear in the summer issue. And I intend to crank out article after article from now on!
    On Sunday I wrote from 9:00AM to 6:00PM. I got five and a half pages done. So, for my first week of resuming work on my sequel I got a total of fourteen and half pages done. That's eighty-five and a half pages away from my goal for this month. Still, I'm not going to discount myself. Discount myself? Does that sound right? It makes me sound like I'm for sale in some bargain basement, and why I gotta be in the basement! Nonetheless, I'm still not going to ''discount'' myself. I'm going to keep my focus on writing 100 pages this month.
    One thing I can say is that the story is flowing nicely. The cohesiveness is there. Today, I confess, I did not get any writing done. I'm not worried though. Don't get me wrong, I do think it's important to write everyday but I'm not going to freak out if I miss a day or two a month. I have also found that if I miss a day the words pour out of me like crazy. It's a bit like painting a wall and then letting the paint dry before you put on another coat. Not writing one day might mean my work needs to settle-in, or it might mean I'm just being lazy!

Friday, April 5, 2013

check this out !

I deposited a royalty check last week. It was my eighth check since the 2008 publication of Rainbow Plantation Blues. My publisher mails royalty checks quarterly if your sales meet a certain dollar minimum. What people purchase and where people make their purchases affects that dollar minimum. For example, paperback copies cost more than kindles/e-books. So, I get a bigger royalty from paperback sales but the vendor, amazon.com, iuniverse.com, booksamillion.com, etc., that the purchaser chooses makes a difference in my royalty, too. If they make their purchase thru a middleman like amazon.com, for example, then amazon gets their cut, my publisher gets their cut and then I get my cut. But if they make their purchase directly thru my publisher, or thru me, then I get a bigger cut.
    By no means am I telling/suggesting to anybody where to make their/a purchase. I'm only explaining how the business works. I'm happy and grateful if a person decides to buy a book at all no matter where they choose to do so, or weather it's an e-book or a paperback.
    Despite my royalties I have not made what you would call profits, My royalties, and then some, have all gone back into the project. That can mean anything from promotions to food. Hay, I have eat! If I'm dead I cannot write, right? So, food going into my stomach is supporting my writing. Although when I get done stuffing my face I usually get tired and go to sleep, so no writing gets done immediately afterward but it does in the long run.
    Unlike food however, books can be shared/ passed around. So, one person buying my novel could mean that three, four or five  others have read that same book. How many people have read one library book before it's worn-out? So, I know that more people are reading my work than are buying it but that's the nature of books.
    It intrigues me to know that somebody somewhere could be reading me, and not always in a good way, or talking about my work right now and I have no idea who, where or when they are doing it. Singers and actors have the same experince. Most people don't write fan letters. I myself have never written a fan letter but I have read alot of books, watched alot of movies and listened to alot of pop music. I don't think ''fan mail'' is important, although I have recieved alittle and it is nice, because if those royalty checks keep comimg they prove that people out there like your work. What better fan mail can you get than the kind you can cash!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

sometimes this and sometimes that

Today I wrote 41/4 pages, which is good seeing as I'm out of practice and rusty. And it's the most I've written since I set my April goal of 100 pages. Now I'm wondering if that goal was alittle too ambitious. Nonetheless, I'm leaving it. Maybe I'll at least come close. Anyhow, I was at it for six hours today! Although I did have several phone interruptions. I was in my apartment alone with my medieval music playing in the background as I wrote.
    As far as the prose are concerned I am pleased, but I must remember this is only a draft. I also must remember that a draft is the basic framework that I will be building the finished work on, so It is not something to work on hastily. Sometimes I have to go back and refer to another part of the story so I don't contradict myself. Sometimes I might have to do some research on some historical event, fact or 19th century way of  life that fits where I am in the story or where I'm going. Sometimes I just have to sit and figure out where it is I'm going!  Sometimes I just have to pee! Sometimes I find myself racking my brain for fifteen minutes on how to word a sentence! Sometimes I feel like I just can't do this and I'll stare into space like a zombie. Sometimes I'm distracted by thoughts of some hot guy I saw on the street and I have to take five, interpret that however you want to. But I always end up refocusing and turning another page. Such is a glimpse into the life of one of my writing sessions. Care to join me?

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

music to my ears

Yesterday I went over to my sound engineer's house to do the music for the book trailer. I was there for three hours and we got alot done. We created African sounding drum beats using toms and snare with a hard driving kick drum. Then we recorded it and laid it over my voice narratives.
     I heard the voice narrative I recorded, before I went to Wisconsin, in full for the first time. I usually don't like to hear the sound of my own voice but I like it with this. On the other hand, there's alot you can do to manipulate sound and we did! Recording technology these days is pretty remarkable. He had edited my flubbed words and stops and starts while I was away and it sounds good. You can't even tell I screwed up all over the place. Now he only has to do the video part, which is not much, and it's on YouTube!
    I only wrote 3/4 of a page yesterday! But it's all good. I'm going to make sure I write everyday no matter what! I couldn't sleep last night so I wrote a couple pages very early this morning at 3:00AM to 5:00AM. Then I laid down and had to get up at 8:00AM to be at my day job. I just got off and that sleep I missed last night is catching up to me. So, I'm going home and crash when I finish this post. I'll get some more writing done later.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

bobby pointer on the move!

I'm so excited and I just can't hide it! I wrote, OMG let me catch my breath, two pages yesterday!  Okay, being excited over two pages may seem ridiculous to you, and maybe that's because it is, but to me it's a big deal. I have not worked on this sequel since, according to my records, 09-08-09. I honestly thought I never would again. I thought the whole Rainbow Plantation Blues/Jonathan, Kumi/writing thing was dead and over. But those two pages picked-up right where I left off three and half years ago. When I sat down on my kitchen floor to write them, yes the kitchen floor you wanna make something of it, they came fairly easily. I did need alittle coaching from Kumi but I completed them in approximately one hour and twenty five minutes.
   Of course I cannot write two pages a day forever. If I do it will be forever before this sequel is done! But maybe Kumi's got training wheels on me for a minute until I get myself back in the groove. One hour and twenty-five minutes might sound like along time to write two pages but it's real not. Alot of thought goes into every word, sentence, phrase and paragraph. It's no different from taking hours or days to record a 3-4 minute song. A two hour movie can take months or even a year to make. Meticulousness is a hallmark of any good work of art or any serious artist. Besides, I remember there were days when I wrote ten pages in that same time frame. The quantity of what I produce in a given day depends on alot of intangible factors. And I would much rather produce two pages of quality work in two hours than ten pages of junk in two hours. The important thing now is that I keep my focus and momentum up. The pages will flow from that. I did this writing a book thing once so I can do it again!
    Today I have to go to my sound engineers house to work on the music for the book trailer he's doing for me. We've been working on this trailer for about a month now but, like I said earlier, creativity is along road. All you can do is put on your hiking boots and get to stepp'in!

Monday, April 1, 2013

50 + 50 = 281

I've set a goal to get 100 pages of my sequel done this month. With the 181 pages I already have that would bring me to 281 pages. But these are longhand pages. When there typed it ends up being about half. So my total will be about 140 pages. If I can keep this up for about three months straight I could actually finish the entire first draft!
    This sequel wont take as long as Rainbow Plantation Blues did. I have a better understanding of what I'm doing in terms of writing and I'm completely familiar with my characters lives and their world. The first time around I was getting to know them as I was writing.
    I have my own system of recording my daily accomplishments. I record the date, my writing goal for the day and what I actually achieved. I also record the times that I start and stop. Some people might think that's pretty rigid but It allows me to see my progress chronologically. I can see how many days in a row I was a lazy cow and how many days in a row I was flying high. It's also like my own time clock.
    So, I'm ready to get get down and dirty with my pen and paper, that sounds kinky and pathetic but I'm leaving it anyhow, and I'm ready to focus. I don't really outline before I write. Sometimes I go in with some ideas scribbled in a note pad, but for the most part I just dive in not knowing whats going to come out. So, here I go!