Update on My Writing

Another long time away from this blog, but I can’t get away from sharing updates now that the day job settled down.

Yeah, the day job was taking my focus from writing this fall, like every time. I had to do data entry for one client and became a temp assignment auditor as the company developed immense growth, and growing pains in departments. So my interest in writing fiction went down in the dumps, and that annoyed me a lot. The kind of feelings when going home after work and do nothing else. Helpdesk is taxing on creativity. I gained weight.

Things are really calming down and my schedule is what I wanted and it’s leaving me to take a breath and fo…Oh a cat video!

It’s gonna take a while to get back in a routine. Here’s what I have going for the rest of the year.

Ghost Factor took the most beating. I had to delete one chapter that never worked and rewrite that portion of the plot, and this was before my day job got insane. The draft will get done by the way. Also I hoped you did read the first chapter I released weeks ago so if you haven’t yet, check it out here or DeviantART. The release date is still out of my control, so I have another post about that next week. This is kind of big for me and the support is needed to get this book off the ground. I have the two remaining Snippet stories, Keystone and Her Discovery, left to edit and clean up. When they will be released is still tentative and that will coincide with the post next week.

The “What Do We Know” posts are still being worked on. Currently I have the biggest to write which is the Galactic Republic. I think it’s the hardest one to do besides flushing out characters. What the government does, who’s part of it, what does it value, what are the goals as a whole – I get lost in it sometimes. Be on the lookout for that this month.

Lastly, I was building a list of stories I want to write not relating to Mana Pool or Tyler Ingert. These stories are geared toward formal submission like Asimov Magazine, except one fan fiction story of a video game I like so much that I have to write it, yet I’m still toying with the plot of how to best approach it.

So that’s all I got for now. I’m still reading fiction, still writing in my notebook, still reading about screenwriting, and still limiting my distractions. I just wish the routine and changes start sooner.


The State of My Writing Tools

Since this is November and Nanowrimo, I feel like sharing my writing tools because with the recent Apple announcement bugging me, I’m still evaluating what I use to write.

I work on Macs for writing, and within my MacBook is Scrivener. I can’t be without that app to do my job. Just the best document organizer and word processor I could ever find.

I still use Microsoft Word and Pages for story editing, but never draft them, except résumés and cover letters. It’s Track Changes. I love it. Honestly, if anything I want it is to make Track Changes open source and fuse it with Scrivener, but this is not a perfect world and I must live with it. I also use Evernote for story ideas, notes, and articles to reference by, maybe draft a blog entry if I feel like it.

Outside the laptop I have my collection of notebooks. A couple pocket size ones for quick jots during the day, a couple full journals, and some notebooks I haven’t touched yet, like the blank sketchbook covered wrapped in leather from Oberon Designs.

I carry a Lamy Safari fountain pen—with an extra fine steel nib and filled with Noodler’s Black—a G2 gel pen, and a mechanical pencil.

I do have an iPad but it showed its age this year. Sitting on the shelf, collecting dust, and wiped of all my data and apps, I’m still figuring out what to do with it. Selling it is fruitless; it’s engraved with my name and website.

So back to Apple. They released the new MacBook Pros after being ignored from significant updates for years that with the new models, some things I like and some just…unsettle me. I still like the design, the software, surprisingly like the keys after seeing one at an Apple Store, and somewhat yay or nay on the Touch Bar band wagon, but the big pros and cons I have about them is the USB-C ports. Nothing wrong with USB-C; I like it. My phone is USB-C. MacBook Pros were loaded with ports to satisfy professionals, but now it’s a adapter nightmare. It’s smart Apple realized the issue and cut the prices in half but a headache is still a headache. It’s just too early to call it.

As a person that grew up using Macs, I’m torn. It bothers me. The software is great, but the hardware premium is getting higher.

In the future I would love to move to full-time Linux. In my notes I have a conversion chart for alternative apps, most are now web based. But the two big reasons I can’t move just yet is Scrivener and iTunes.

Scrivener for Mac has all the features I need the unofficial Linux version has, not even Revisions. iTunes—oh boy—I still have shows still on DRM, which only work on iTunes or iOS. I did try building a Raspberry Pi iTunes server one time but it never worked. I can find an app to remove the DRM, but not right now.

Or instead of Linux, I go rogue and build a hackintosh, the Frankenstein of Apple users. My brother built his for work and he’s, literally, happy as a clam still. The budget is slowly growing, just nowhere near where I want it.

I don’t know what direction to take right now, but that choice will come. And if USB-C gets into pop culture, I’ll reconsider my opinions. But right now, I’ll stick with my MacBook for my work.

Coming out of the Binge

Right now I moved from watching Stranger Things three times to almost finishing the first season of Supergirl.

Honestly I attempted to write my review of Stranger Things and piece my own theories for Season Two, but it didn’t work out. I was injecting my thoughts to explain the supernatural elements that would muddle what is already good about it.

In short: watch Stranger Things. Get the free trial and binge watch it for six hours. I can’t wait to know what happened with the Upside Down next year. Please let it be a imagination fabrication!

In a twist, this show got me playing Dungeons and Dragons every Saturday afternoon via Roll20. I never played it. No, wait, scratch that. Last year I did attend a D&D demo at SDCC for half an hour and enjoyed it. Back then I did get the starter set, but even the rules of creating a character got confusing without outside help. Even YouTube videos didn’t help. And I didn’t know anybody in my home town that played it.

This group I’m with is with other small writers and geeks. I may not be a good rollplayer or not sure if my spells are ready for the next round, but I know what it means to have a half elf Wild Magic Sorcerer (I named mine Randal) lose control after dishing out Magic Missile and vaporizing a spike demon.

More What Do We Know pieces will be showing up this Saturday. The next one took a while to compile just with the scale of things to cover. Headache inducing really. You’ll like it for you Mana Pool lovers. As far as Ghost Factor is concerned, it’s coming. There is a plan to share it better than before so bear with me.

Back to the writing board I go!

These Eyes Seen Things

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See these glasses? They were on my face for five years, give or take. What surprised me when I got them, or even found them at the hospital’s optometry department, was that they were made by Converse. The very same company that makes those Converse All-Star shoes. Who da thunk it? I can’t remember what was the model name; it has something to do with Reverse or Rebel or something with the letter R. I think I got them around my ITT Tech years. Yeah, that sounds about right. But why am I blogging about my glasses?

From 2009 until yesterday, I wore those frames. I changed the lenses twice on new prescriptions, and I never once thought about switching to a different brand. I just didn’t have the mindset to do it for obvious reasons. Both pairs had Transitions coatings, meaning that they change to sunglasses when outside. I loved them. They were me.

But if you think about it, all those years wearing them, they seen some horrid moments in my life.

Family loss. Personal embarrassment. The birth of two novels. Tired nights of writing. An uncharted amount of computer screen viewing. Five comic book conventions. So many tears shed.

So much history in one set. Hypothetically if I handed them to a psychic, he or she would break down in tears from the transferred memories and visions.

Right now, the lenses are so scratched up and the Transitions coating is delaminating. Up close there’s enough scratches that match a beach filled with footprints before sunset. You’d be surprised how hard I had to look past them while driving. Perhaps that’s what happens during years of mental torment—you forget to take care of yourself.

So I finally got the eye exam I desperately needed—no eye issues thank goodness—and decided to buy from a startup called Warby Parker. They look reminiscent of my old pair, but with some color if looked up close.

Hopefully this time they will see good things rather than the bad.

First Post – Coming Back

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Here it is. I told you a new website was coming and I delivered.

For those who don’t know, my original hosted website was hacked by a malicious URL injection. That’s a fancy term for making my website show up on searches that don’t relate to “author” or “writer” or any of my stories. Real nasty. More nasty was the search terms that popped up on my dashboard, some got so adult I felt embarrassed seeing them. Trust me, I did use two different anti-virus programs, delete the SEO that was infected, but the searches kept coming up bad. So bad that one of the terms was in another language that I went “Forget it!”, backed up my pages, and cancel the hosting. Good thing I got my money back.

This time it’s simpler so I can focus on writing rather than fiddling with a server. Whether or not this is temporary, I don’t care: content is important.

If you have followed the old website, be sure to press the FOLLOW button up top to subscribe. If you are part of the WordPress network, even better. Sorry but MailChimp will be disabled.

Stay tuned for more content today.