Day 1 of 30 Complete

Even though I feel less prepared than last year at this time (as far as the direction of the story), I sat down today and wrote the first scene of my new story The Nephilim Wars. This scene would probably be a prologue, but I don’t know if it would make the cut. However, what did happen is that I wrote 1,697 words  and finished the scene. That was great for two reasons. 1) it was a lot easier to hit the writing goal this time around than last year and 2) I still have the follow-up scene to write for tomorrow. I even had time to watch the Walking Dead! Love that show!!! How did your first day go?

You know a lot of people go to college for seven years . . .

Tommy: Did you hear I finally graduated?

Richard Hayden: Yeah, and just a shade under a decade too. All right.

Tommy: You know a lot of people go to college for seven years.

Richard Hayden: I know, they’re called doctors.

Ok, so maybe it has been almost a whole year since I’ve posted on my blog – but a lot of people take a year to blog . . . Well no time like the present to change that. Do you know why? Because today is THAT day as they say in manga/anime. November 1st! First day of NaNoWriMo! For some it is revered as the most anticipated day of the year. For others, the most dreaded! And yet for some it is the first day of that month filled with food, black Fridays, and the beginning of Christmas music.

I never did follow-up my post last year about NaNoWriMo. So here it is . . . I Won!! Yay! Woohoo! *crowd cheers* and then the silence returns. I didn’t win a million dollars or get a book published, I won self-satisfaction. I beat the Writer’s Block Self Doubt Dragon into submission and slayed it with 50,000 words (63,000 actually). And then I didn’t touch the story for the rest of the year! Well, not entirely true but it felt like it. I allowed my inner editor to rear its ugly depreciating head and convince me that it was in need of A LOT of work. The worse part is that I listened. So now here I am another NaNoWriMo later still with no finished works. But that’s ok. I’m back with a vengeance. I have a story that I am pretty excited about and I am going to venture into the Novel Dragon’s lair armed with new characters and adventures.

I did it once, I can do it again (*repeat in head until believed*)

So here is to another 30 days of locking the inner editor in the closet and getting my writing on!

Comikaze 2015

Today was Halloween. However, as like most years, we don’t have any kids with us that are interested in costumes or candy. Last year we spent the weekend at Comikaze. This year I didn’t think we were going to go so I was really excited hear from my wife that she bought us tickets for Saturday (today). One difference this year is that the convention has grown in popularity. The only real complaint was that the parking downtown is stupid. Two of the big parking lots right across from the convention center are both under construction and everything for the convention was full. There was also a King’s game so of course all parking lots within a four block radius was $50. Luckily my wife is smarter than I am and suggested that I park a ways away and take an Uber to the convention. I paid $8 for parking and two $5 Uber rides. The best part – minimal stress at trying to get into something within walking distance.

I decided not to bring the camera this year because I just wanted to enjoy what was offered and not spend the whole time just taking cosplay pictures. I am glad I did though there were some amazing costumes I would have liked to photograph.

I spent the whole time in the Hall and talked with a bunch of independent artists, writers, and publishers. I spent too much $$$ too 🙂 but at least it all went to supporting artists so I’m ok with that. I wanted to give some shoutouts to some of my favorite that I talked with.

The first thing we did was go check out our daughter’s booths/tables. Both Kirsten and Halie and a couple of their friends got tables to sell their wares. Buttons and stickers, and prints – oh my! If you get a chance you should go check out their work.


The first table that caused me to get my wallet out was artist Richard Garcia. I stopped because he had some awesome pictures of super heroes as Chibis. I asked him if he had Nightwing which he did but then he said . . . but I also have a more traditional one too. SOLD!!! My favorite comic character of all time. Richard Garcia @artbyrichard is a great artist check him out online.

HEX11 Issue 1

I then picked up the set of 6 issues of Helix 11. I’ve only read the 1st issue but it was a great one and I’m already clamoring to see what comes next. Definitely worth heading over to their site and supporting them.  I mean, look at that cover image? Don’t you just want to see what happens? You can even get them on ComiXology – Hex11.  Thanks Lisa, Kelly, & Lynly for signing the books for me. @HexComix #HexComix

Praetorians #1

I also picked up New Praetorians #1. This looks to be a very exciting series also. The first issue felt more like a graphic novel than just a single comic book. The hardest part about reading indie comics is waiting for the next issue. Satine Phoenix has an incredible love for everything Sci-Fi. @newpraetorians @satinephoenix @rksyrus #newpraetorians

Dragonics & Runics

I also got to meet A. Wrighton. She has an awesome series called Dragonics & Runics.

I picked up her book last her at Comikaze but didn’t get a chance to meet her. I picked up the rest of her series this year and she signed them for me. If you like fantasy, you should pick this one up.

It was a rather fun Con though I didn’t get into any panels. Talking with all of the amazing talent out there was more than enough. Until next year . . .

Weekend of writing dangerously

Life has been, well life and last week I ended up going 4 days without any NaNoWriMo writing. I was 6,000 words behind the pace. In the NaNoWriMo community they have what’s called The Night of Writing Dangerously. It’s an event in San Francisco where participants go to spend 7 hours writing. They do word sprints, and other activities to help people catch up on their word count.

Stasi and I decided to come to the cabin and do our weekend of writing. However, by 4 pm on Saturday I had only written 600 words. I was going to be 7,000 words behind in just 8 hours.

So I sent out a Tweet and buckled down. I put on the soundtrack to Big Hero 6 and found the zone. How? By following Chuck’s advice yet again. I wrote. I wrote crap, but I wrote. Then little by little the writing got a little better. I don’t know if it ever got “good” but I finished Saturday just 1,000 words off the mark. I think that was the best day I had up to that point. Just over 6,000 words.

I am finding that my writing groove, much like my wife’s seems to happen at night. Sunday was really no different. I worked through the day off and on but had trouble finding a groove. I don’t know that I ever did find it, not like Saturday, but by 12:00 am Monday morning I was sitting 3,000 words above the ‘on par’ word count.

My wife has had a similar story though she put my word count to shame. You should hop on over to her blog and check it out too. She is even posting her story on the blog.

So here is to a week of continued writing since I have to fly to Mexico for three days on business, but I have two pretty long flights plus layovers to pound out the words 🙂


To Infinity and Beyond. . .

NO, this is not a post about Disney. You’ll have to visit my Disney Photography page for that (shameless plug). This post is about the newly released Interstellar by Christopher Nolan. I have been tracking this movie for some time and have been greatly anticipating its arrival. It seems like there are 2 types of Chris Nolan fans – Love him or Hate him. I would be in the former. I have like his style of story telling since Momento. I was BLOWN away by Inception, The Dark Knight has been one of my favorite movies for a LONG time (and not just because of Heath’s performance – though that was a HUGE part of it).

I wasn’t super keen on the casting but that was not enough to get in the way of my enjoyment. It had some of my favorite actors (McConaughey, Hathaway, Chastain, and even the suprise cameo that I won’t mention in case you haven’t seen it yet… you could always look up the movie on IMDB if you must). It was just the roles that they had been cast in that I had some trouble with.

There were also a few plot points that bugged but not enough to pull me out of the story.

What this movie had was a visual feast. Though it did not give me the creepies of being in space like Gravity did (I will NEVER want to be an astronaut again), it did give me a visual idea of things I had not been able to comprehend. Like the wormhole…*Mind Blown*. Ok, so maybe everyone else already had this vision but I hadn’t. I knew the theories behind bending two points in space, but we always look at it via a white board or piece of paper. When they showed their idea of how that works in this movie, my jaw dropped. SUPER cool.

The other cool thing was behind the scenes geeky stuff…because my background is in IT, anytime I hear about technical things on a movie, I geek out. This was no different. Scientists used mathematical formulas to come up with the worm hole and black hole stuff in the film. Then they gave it to the computer programmers to create realistic models with. According to Wikipedia’s page of the film under the section, “Some individual frames took up to 100 hours to render, and resulted in 800 terabytes of data.” – I believe that is the closest thing to an actual Petabyte that i’ve heard of.

Regardless, with Hans Zimmer at the helm of the movie score, amazing actors, and an incredible director, Interstellar was in my book well worth the money. It’s long, however, so beware.

Curse you Mr. Distraction

By the end of today (11/12) My word count should be at 20,000. I currently sit at 17,946. I woke up with some great enthusiasm. Once I got one of the kids a bank account and to the airport, I was going to finish editing a client’s session. The afternoon didn’t go quite as planned so I was planning on spending the evening writing when right in the middle of editing a clients set of pictures my wife says, “we should go see Interstellar”. Well, here it is 3:00 am, I still have one more client’s pictures to edit and NO WORDS for today. Plus there is a 3 hour meeting on the books for tomorrow. Oye Vey.

But that’s ok, I am still super excited to write. In fact, I have a hard time focusing on anything BUT writing now which is a HUGE difference for me. A welcome one at that. Also, as I was driving back from the airport I had an epiphany about my story and a twist that is awesome and even better, I came up with a premise for a new YA novel that is freaking awesome (if I may say so myself) 🙂

If you’re interested, I really liked Interstellar. It had some issues as most movies do but it had some really interesting ideas about relativity, worms holes, and black holes. I won’t give away any spoilers because I hate that myself. You’ll have to just go see if for yourself and let me know what you think.

Medieval musings and more Scrivener frustration

First of all, my NaNoWriMo word count stands at 15,651 – WooHoo I’m still on track.

Today we took our family to Medieval Times for our daughters birthday. It was fun to see some of the things in action (even if choreographed) that I try to put on paper. Since I’m primarily a fantasy junkie (thanks to Weiss & Hickman, Salvatore, Jordan & Sanderson to name a few), I have written plenty a sword fight. I think one good thing to remember is how tired that makes someone. *note to self*

All in all it was a great time and our knight was the kingdom champion!! Go Ulrich Von I Can’t Remember Your Name – Red & Yellow knight!

When we got home, one of my boys was using my laptop to play League of Legends with the others (we farm a full team plus in our house) and since I had already hit my word count today (I know right? Surprised me too) I decided I would let him play and write in the morning. The good thing is, I am excited to write. I am looking forward to it instead of getting that debilitating “I’m not a writer” sick feeling in the gut.

Anyway, that brings me to my blog title… So I’m laying in bed and I think of a great point that I want to put in the novel. Only my laptop isn’t with me. I am 100% an Apple junkie. I am typing this blog post on my iPhone 6+ in fact. I love how their stuff just syncs. That being said, I really really really wish that Scrivener would finish their IOS app so I could access my novel from my phone any time any where! There aren’t many apps I’d be willing to pay top dollar for, but this is definitely one of them.

I was even going to look at switching writing programs because I found one that is very similar to Scrivener and has a companion IOS app but then I saw a post from Scrivener’s Blog that was VERY promising and because I do love their app so much, I’m going to be patient a little while longer 😀

PS – please hurry
PPS – yes our family took the whole row – that’s all 7 kids in that picture!


A Big Hero and Scrivener Woes

Today was cool as we took the family to see Big Hero 6. Say what you want about Disney annimation. Trust me I get enough flack at home for being a big fan but some really great things have happened over there since John Lasseter took the helm. I must say that Wreck It Ralph and now Big Hero 6 have been two of my ALL TIME favorite animated movies. It probably helps that I play video games and grew up reading comics but aside from that, these were just really well made.

There are a few plot or sequence issues that I had with the film but all in all, I laughed, I cried, I cheered. I would highly recommend it and will probably end up seeing it agin before its all done with.

After the movie and some Dad errands, I sat down to pound out my 1,600 words for today. I am writing a slower scene and the words were coming out in spurts rather than flowing like water. I got to 900 words and got ready to start a new scene.

Now, before I go on, I want everyone to understand that I am fully responsible for my bone head decisions and in no way blame Scrivener for my woes.

Long story short, I was using the CUT option instead of the COPY option and I ended up losing all 900 words I had written. I screamed and pounded and then I decided that $#!+ happens and decided to just rewrite the scene. I have gotten 600 of the words back but am now at the point that my eyes burn so I will have to make up the 1,000 words I’m short tomorrow.

here’s to the life of a writer. Go Team!

Welcome to my brain. . . Sorry for the mess!

Actually I’m not. . .but starting off a new blog by saying “Welcome to my brain. . . Now go home” didn’t sound very inviting.

So hello blog-o-sphere, I thought I would start a new blog to go along with my writing since my profession is photography and everyone keeps telling me “you’ve got to keep ’em separated”.

This year I am doing the NaNoWriMo challenge. I’ve been apart of NaNoWriMo for about 4 years now but this year is different. Why you ask? Because of a blog post by Chuck Wendig entitled SHUT UP AND WRITE (OR: “I REALLY WANT TO BE A WRITER, BUT…”) from October 15. Ok, maybe not only because of this blog post but it helped – a lot!

There are some other major factors this year too, the biggest is that I left the IT field after 18 years and am following my passion of photography. This has been the most liberating few months for me as it has been the first time in 18 years that I really haven’t worried if someone was going to call in the middle of the night, during dinner, or even a movie that I’m at with my kids.

I can finally enter that scary space where the rantings and ravings of my characters exist and stay there. So I started to write just before the monthly challenge and was able to put some words down. THEY SUCKED!! They all sucked. At least that’s what it felt like to me. Enter Chuck.

I read that blog post and laughed – hard. It was super sarcastic but super on point. I also heard a podcast of Writing Excuses that has one of my favorite authors(Brandon Sanderson). They were both saying the same thing… one was just less sarcastic…. Writers just write. So I allowed myself to write the crappy words, cliche phrases and start NaNoWriMo for a fourth year with the same book idea.

The difference this year??? Yep, I’m writing. Some days it’s easier than others but as of 11-7 I am at 12,316 words!! WOOT!!

What’s better is that the characters are finally starting to open up to me and show me their true identities, I’ve plotted most of the novel at a high level, and at the end of the day, even my wife says that it doesn’t all suck!!

So here’s to another 1,667 words tomorrow…. Er today!