03 October 2014

Monthly Goals - October 2014

For those who missed it back in January, I set up the writing goals I aim to accomplish in 2014. Right after writing that post, I then read Dean Wesley Smith's post about how to be successful at your writing goals.

Life's circumstances have been even worse this month than they were last month, but even so, I was able to get a lot of writing-related work completed this month. That included meeting my daily word count goal every day this past month (continuing the trend from July, not even counting another 9 days or so at the end of June). Here's how I did against my September goals:

1. Write 6,000 words on Life and Death - Around 8,800 words completed, and finished the first draft
2. Write 2,000 words on the next Max McCannor novel - Completed the first chapter, around 1,700 words (and currently waiting on my co-author)
3. Complete final draft of "Inoculation" - Not completed
4. Finalize paperback version of the Heroes Die Young second edition - Finished all the interior work. Need to work with my cover artist for the rest.

And now, the goals for October:

1. Complete final draft of "Inoculation"
2. Finalize paperback version of the Heroes Die Young second edition
3. Finalize new short story collection
4. Plot out two new short stories



Here's to everyone striving to accomplish their writing goals for 2014!

21 September 2014

90 Days

So, I just finished (on Friday) 90 straight days of meeting my daily word count, and wanted to give a recap. Now, I work full time at a day job, so my free time is limited. Maybe yours is, too. You wouldn't think that a low word count each day would add up, but it certainly seems to.

So, I generally set a monthly word count, and it gets divided up by the number of days in a month (I have a spreadsheet to keep track). On most months, 10,000 words ranges around 325 words per day. Mind you, there are days when I get much more done, when the words keep flowing. But if I'm struggling on a particular day, or my free time gets eaten up by other things (family and other obligations), I still get at least the minimum. Once I've finished with the writing for the day, I can also turn my attention to other writing-related activities, such as formatting my manuscripts for publication, and submitting them for publication.

So, what did I get done in these last 90 days with such a low word count goal?

-35,551 total words written
-Over 25,000 words written on my next Aston novel, Life and Death and finished the first draft
-Finished two short stories, which rounds out all the pieces for my next collection
-Published my fourth Aston West Triple-Shot (with one of the two stories mentioned above)
-Published the second edition (e-book) of Heroes Die Young 
-Formatted the paperback version of the Heroes Die Young second edition, for release later this year
-Plotted out the next installment in the Max McCannor series

So, this past weekend, I decided to take a couple days' break from the streak. But now I'm going to get back in the swing of things once more and see how far I can get in the next 90 days or so.

19 September 2014

SFFS: A Final Snippet From "Sacrifice"

It's time for another week of Science Fiction Fantasy Saturday (and don't forget to head over to the SFFS main site to check out all of the other authors this week). For those who haven't already seen my multiple mentions, my brand new Triple-Shot is out. This week, I'll be posting a continuation of my previous snippet from "Sacrifice," which is one of this new Triple-Shot's featured stores. Read and enjoy, and be sure to check out the entire Triple-Shot over at Amazon or Barnes and Noble!





I lifted an eyebrow. Maybe I’d been wrong. “You keep it all hidden?”

Marjorie guffawed and I found myself taking an involuntary step backwards. “You’ve been sent here to be cured of your disease.”
I scowled. “Excuse me?”

“Alcoholism. It controls your every action. You’ve been sent here so that it can be defeated.”

I and my alcoholism had come to a mutually beneficial understanding long ago. It helped me through the low points of life, of which I had many, and I kept it more than adequately satisfied. It had been my best, and longest, relationship ever. Other than a few spots where my drinking had ended up getting me captured by those who wished me harm, or worse.

Marjorie held a hand toward me. “You can conquer it with my help.”

I held both hands up in front of me. “I think I’ll just leave now.”

Her stare bore down into my soul. “Suit yourself. Too bad, though. We were just about to sit down for mealtime.” She clapped her hands twice, and a line of men entered through the room’s back door, carrying tray after tray of cooked meat. They placed them on the long wooden platform that I’d originally thought was a bar. The aroma alone made my mouth salivate.

I looked back at the older woman, whose sinister grin had returned. “Unfortunately, these meals are reserved for those who have chosen to follow me.”

So, there's the end of our set of "Sacrifice" snippets. If you want to find out what happens next, pick up a copy of my latest Triple-Shot. And of course, as always, if you like what you see, pick up a copy of all of my other short story collections as well.

12 September 2014

SFFS: Yet Another Snippet From "Sacrifice"

It's time for another week of Science Fiction Fantasy Saturday (and don't forget to head over to the SFFS main site to check out all of the other authors this week). For those who haven't already seen my multiple mentions, my brand new Triple-Shot is out. This week, I'll be posting a continuation of my previous snippet from "Sacrifice," which is one of this new Triple-Shot's featured stores. Read and enjoy, and be sure to check out the entire Triple-Shot over at Amazon or Barnes and Noble!




“Nonsense,” Marjorie insisted with a pleasant tone directly opposite of the death lock she had on me. “Everyone who enters has been sent here for a reason.”

It was time to alter course and go for the direct approach. “I need a stiff drink. And seeing as how you don’t have any around...” I glanced around as if to search one last time. The eyes of the other patrons trembled, but it wasn’t me they were afraid of, even if they’d figured out I was armed by the bulge in my jacket.

When I turned back to face Marjorie, her contemptuous frown and narrowed eyes told me everything I didn’t want to know. For whatever reason, they all feared her, and I really didn’t want to find out why. Anything that caused these fellows to fear such a tiny person couldn’t be good.

Her look morphed into a satisfied grin as she finally released her hold on me. “Then I’d say you’re definitely in the right place.”

And of course, as always, if you like what you see, pick up a copy of all of my other short story collections.

05 September 2014

SFFS - Another Snippet from "Sacrifice"

It's time for another week of Science Fiction Fantasy Saturday. For those who haven't already seen my multiple mentions, my brand new Triple-Shot is out. This week, I'll be posting a continuation of my previous snippet from "Sacrifice," which is one of this new Triple-Shot's featured stores. Read and enjoy, and be sure to check out the entire Triple-Shot over at Amazon or Barnes and Noble!



Every head turned to look. All of them were sober, clean-shaven and dressed as if they were attending a social function. I realized right away there was no way I’d sell my cargo here. And even worse, I had little faith of getting a stiff drink here either. There didn’t appear to be a drop of alcohol out in the open.

I should have turned and walked out those same double swinging doors, but a middle-aged, pencil-thin woman stormed over. She came up to my shoulders, with a pitted, natural face and frazzled hair that made it obvious she wasn’t the local entertainment. She wore a flowery dress that covered every inch of her flat-chested body, and another quick glance around the room confirmed she was the only woman here.

Maybe she actually was the entertainment.

Her eyes were full of pity, as she smiled weakly. “Name’s Marjorie. How can we help you, stranger?”

“I think I’m in the wrong place.” I turned for the exit, but felt a small hand grip my upper arm with extraordinary strength. Circulation to my shooting hand felt like it was completely cut off.

And of course, as always, if you like what you see, pick up a copy of all of my other short story collections.

31 August 2014

Monthly Goals - September 2014

For those who missed it back in January, I set up the writing goals I aim to accomplish in 2014. Right after writing that post, I then read Dean Wesley Smith's post about how to be successful at your writing goals.

Life's circumstances have been even worse this month than they were last month, but even so, I was able to get a lot of writing-related work completed this month. That included meeting my daily word count goal every day this past month (continuing the trend from July, not even counting another 9 days or so at the end of June). Here's how I did against my August goals:

1. Complete first draft of "Payback" - Completed first and final drafts, and published in my latest Triple-Shot
2. Write 4,000 words on Life and Death - Around 7,200 words completed
3. Write 1,000 words on "Inoculation" - Completed the first draft, at around 3,200 words
4. Re-published Heroes Die Young (added goal)
5. Published my latest Triple-Shot, featuring my stories "Sacrifice," "Trust and Obey," and "Payback" (added goal)
 
And now, the goals for September:

1. Write 6,000 words on Life and Death
2. Write 2,000 words on the next Max McCannor novel
3. Complete final draft of "Inoculation"
4. Finalize paperback version of the Heroes Die Young second edition

Here's to everyone striving to accomplish their writing goals for 2014!

07 August 2014

Heroes Die Young, Second Edition




Hot off the presses for your Kindle-reading pleasure, here's the second edition of Heroes Die Young:

Space pirate Aston West has come across derelict freighters many times before. But this latest catch, fresh out of a recent battle, proves to be a little more than he expected. He can’t fight the urge to pilfer a valuable cache of illegal contraband, but discovers one last stowaway who tries to kill Aston. Attack craft return to finish the ship off and Aston has no choice but to save her from certain destruction.

Who is she? What was this cargo he just took? Why was the freighter destroyed?

Surrounded by a host of old friends, new acquaintances, and desperate enemies, Aston travels from one system to another, getting the answers he wants, but revealing even more questions, and putting his life motto of never getting involved to the ultimate test. Climaxing in an ending for which even Aston is not prepared, the story will have you gasping for breath, and desperate to find out if heroes truly do die young.