An origin story

I’m trying to get at least a post a week. Last weeks post never materialized. It just beat itself into a headache. So this week I thought I’d try to go back to the beginning. Back to why I love writing.

As a kid I went through the normal range of things I wanted to be when I grew up: a fireman, an astronaut, a football player, a football playing astronaut putting out fires on the moon. Then in my teens or so, being a kid who loved reading, drawing, and comic books, I thought I wanted to be a comic book artist.

I thought the easiest way to becoming an artist, especially a comic book artist, was to draw comic books. So I started writing comic books to draw them. After a few years, I found that I had a thousand pages written and 50 pages drawn. That settled it, I’d be a comic book author (and I still want to be, I have a fantastic idea for a comic book, if you’re a comic book editor or publisher, call me).

Then I got married, had kids, and had less time for hobbies. Then came divorce and more free time and I decided, hell, I declared one day that I would write a novel. Years went by, and I realized there was a reason I received  C in English and I started to relearn grammar (still learning it), until eventually my first novel was released. And while Beltaaine isn’t perfect, it’s the best I could do at the time, and I’m learning every day.

That’s me, that’s how I got here and inertia demands that I continue to move on. My next novel is better than the last. I just need to learn to let go and move on. it’s ready and waiting, but can I let it go? Not scared of what people think or how they’d react. Just scared that I can do better.

Swimming in the same fishbowl

Hibernation is over, at least I think I’m awake. marshmallow people leave breadcrumb trails, and I’m firing on all cylinders. At least I think I am, I don’t know much about cylinders.

I wish I could say I ventured into a desert for 40 days and found my self, but I can’t.

I wish I could say I built an ark 300 cubits long by 30 cubits high, but I can’t.

I wish I could say that I figured out Fermat’s last theorem, but I didn’t.

What I did do was…nothing. I didn’t read, much. I didn’t write, much. I didn’t drink, okay, I drank a lot. I’m drinking now, a 40 oz for freedom. But if nothing changed, why should I be here?

Because I can

I can be here. I can blog. And I can type (slowly). So here I am, and I as I do type these words I realize how much I missed this. I’m not the prolific type, nor am I the enlightening type. You won’t find words of wisdom, nor will you find words of wit, but you might find a word, just a small word, a word so small that it alludes you until it smacks you with clarity. No promises here, I only hope to give you one word, a word that I’m not sure of, but a word that you may need though you may not know it. Just one word. That’s all that’s needed to start a revolution. One word.

One word.

How would I describe myself in one word?

Funny. Amazing. Smart. Eccentric. Competitive. I don’t know. One word can’t say it all. One sentence can’t explain me. And yet, we’re asked to describe our works in a paragraph, a blurb. If it can be explained so simply than it isn’t worth knowing or finding. What I do and what I write is more than one feeling or one idea and so much more than one word. I hope you give me the chance to enchant you. My second novel is coming this summer/fall. One word: Fantabulous! One sentence: An amazing journey through belief and what will be. One paragraph, who has time for that? 144 characters or less in our Twitter world. We cater to the ADHD in our drive through world now.

I had and an idea.

I nursed that idea. Fed it. Talked to it. And nurtured it. My idea, my one word, grew into what can only be called a story. Is it a great story? That’s for you to decide, but I guarantee you, you can’t describe it in one word.

Where this post came from is a wonder, but I’m sure that one word started it. Now if I could only find that word and switch it for a word that brings about thoughts of sand and bikinis. Mmmmmmm, bikinis.

Tidbits of the last fortnight

Holiday over. BOO! But at least I had a great time. TONS of golfing in various forms. Copious bouts of laughter. Apparently a game of Trivial Pursuit that no one remembers playing, but I have pictures of us playing (pretty sure I won). And a partridge in a pear tree.

This year I convinced my friends to a weight loss competition, so now I have the proper motivation to lose my little Pooh belly. My starting weight is 99 kg (219lbs), but it’s not how you start, it’s how you finish.

I also read some novellas, and a graphic novel, and a novel whilst on holiday.

travel by night

by Robert Mccammon

A vampire cowboy bounty hunter novella that reads quickly, smoothly, and wonderfully. A vampire chases the vampire that turned him while trying to retain his slipping humanity. A man’s daughter is kidnapped in an effort to lure our protagonist into a trap deep in the swamps of Louisiana. All of this is played flamboyantly on coursing prose.

saul

 

by John Saul

An absolute creepy terror that just seems too plausible to ward me off from open houses forever. John Saul’s slow dark tone sets this novel in a truly fantastic and realistic read. It’s a story about a murderer that likes to pick his victims at open houses, and he’s found a new open house to attend.

darkwhiskey-682x1024

 

by Emma Meade

Firstly, what a beautiful cover.

Ahhh, another vampire story, this one a bad feeling that becomes reality. Two girls go to a club and only one sees the warning signs. A slow burning fuse simmering between dub-step beats and gleaming teeth.

Emma unleashes characters we all know in a situation we would never want to be in. Nice dialogue, smokey description, and a late Saturday night feel.

saga 1

 

Holy handbells! HANDBELLS!!!!!!!!

This work is mind-blowingly awesome! Better than awesome!! Sinfully salivating!!!!

Firstly, the artwork is a visual orgasm. The Colours. The Spacing. The Design. All are beyond Feng Shui and a sense of bewilderment rolled into eye popping.

Secondly, the writing is an aural pleasure. It seamlessly sews between present tense and a future-past tense in a whimsical narration that, of course, entertains and builds interest in such a bemaddening way, that I’m banging my head against anything while I wait for volume two.

The story is a fantastic Space Opera. A cross between Star Wars, Romeo and Juliet, and Blade Runner. Sci-fi meets Fantasy meets Love Story meets Mafia. It has it all, and its addictive as all get out.

And now, after my recent new love affair with the T.V. show, Castle, my writing juices are drooling, so I’m off to do my own work.

Lovely lazy days

Yeah, I’m on holiday, which means it’s time for my annual sojourn east again. I’m currently in Ohio, the fourteenth state, and my mother certainly enjoyed my singing to every 80′s song that came on the radio, and all the curse words that my road rage unleashed on unhearing and uncaring drivers sharing the road with me. I’ll be here for another day visiting family and dropping my mother off before I’m off to Pennsylvania to visit friends (the family I chose, you lucky bastards you). I’m very excited since my best friend lives about twenty minutes from Gettysburg and this year marks the 150th anniversary of the battle of Gettysburg. I’ve brought my camera and I promise to take pictures, some of which I hope actually turn out. Then it’s off to our nation’s capitol to pick my son up and then to head back again (my poor mother, with him and me in the car she doesn’t stand a chance against our sarcastic banter). Lovely, lovely holidays.

Hopefully you have as good as a time as I’m going to. I’m told to expect lots of golf, frisbee golf, touristing, eating, drinking, and of course, immeasurable laughter. Why can’t everyday be a holiday?

And now I’m off to read a book, another great part of holidaying. Wheeeeeeeeee, I’m happy to be me

Gravity’s second coming

Hahahahahah, you stupid blinking cursor, I have beaten you now!

Um,………….. Guess I didn’t show up very prepared, oh well, one key stroke at a time.

It’s been a month now that my son has gone galavanting off to his mother’s for the summer, and while that has been great on my grocery, electricity, and water bills, it’s also left my house a lot quieter. Eerily quiet sometimes. It reminds me of when I was 5 or 6 and when it was quiet and dark at night, my mind would wander shadowed veins of self torture. I just knew that someone was coming to steal me. I didn’t know what kidnapping was at the time, but I knew that thieves liked to take other peoples’ valuable things, and what was the most valuable thing in our household? Me, of course (I was an arrogant, egotistical only child at the time, I’m much better now). So I knew people were coming to steal me. I would often wake my parents up and they would take me to each room and show me that there was nobody there to steal me, which would, of course, make me feel better and I could sleep for a little bit (til I heard another noise that would wake me). Now I’m not saying I think that people are trying to kidnap me while my son is away. That would be silly. Or would it? Hmmmmmm…nope, that’s not what I’m saying. I’m just saying that my house can get really quiet sometimes. Creepingly quiet. Brrrrrrr….

So with all this time not blogging, I must be almost done with my current WIP, you say.

Ummmmm, no, sadly no. The framework is all there. I even had a few people Beta read it for me. But while it was gone I worked on a few prequels that I thought would be a nice way to promote the new book, and they (the prequels) brought up some interesting things I hadn’t thought about, and in one case shed some new light on a particular character and made me rethink how said character fits in the story. All of this new information caused my brain to start forming new ideas and fuse them with old ideas which, as of right now, has me tied somewhere in the middle of the old draft with loose little bits of new ideas that just won’t sew in as smoothly to the tapestry as I’d like.

Eh, it happens. I really believe that these new ideas will make the current story much stronger, which, of course, should make it much better too. And who doesn’t like better? Or butter? Voulez-vous que le beurre?

And just because I can, here’s a little bit from a news reel about Buttercup the duck, who was born with a deformed foot, and with a little ingenuity and the marvel of 3D printing, can walk for the first time. Enjoy

Hmmmm, I wonder what Woodscrew and Dimples are up too? I’m off to investigate. Enjoy your week.

Ciao

Reticently here

Happy happy joy joy!

I’ve been lost in the bliss of this years Hockey playoffs. Go Blackhawks!! Such beautiful  violence. But enough of that, I didn’t come here to talk about that.

Moving on…

I also treated myself to a new car, which has led to me traveling more. I meant to take pictures but somehow I always leave the camera in my car, and I forget that my phone takes nice pictures, so no pictures, but trust me, the car looks nice and my trips were fun. Lots of bonfires, food, drinks, laughing, and new memories. Ah yes, good times, good times. Although, I did strain an intercostal muscle, which is a muscle between the ribs; so I haven’t sneezed for over a week as the one time I did sneeze it was the worse pain I’ve ever felt in my life. A brilliant electric stabbing between my ribs. That was a week ago and lucky for me I’m healing extremely well, but I’m still leery of sneezing. Stupid muscles.

I was on call this past weekend, so I was woken up at odd times in the midst of weird dreams, which has left me with one idea for what I think could be a good Sci-Fi novel, and another that left me with a really eerie unsettling feeling, not sure about that one, but it must be something to bother me so.

As happy as I was to see summer (I missed you, buddy) it also brings a bit of sadness as that means it’s time for my son to go to his mother’s house for the summer :(                            Ah well, she is his mother and it’s only fair that she get to see him too. That leaves me all alone in my great big Victorian home. Well, almost alone, I still have those damn cats I got in the divorce. Damn those cats creep me out. All of them stare at me then look at each other as if there’s a conspiracy against me. Freaky.

As for my WIP, still working on that. After I finish with my revisions, I think I’m gonna send it to a professional editor. Might as well pretend I’m a professional and make sure my work is the best possible work it can be. Still working on the cover. It’s just not working out as I see it in my head (maybe I should shake my head and see if that matches what I’ve actually painted). And that’s where I stand on that. I still  plan on having it done and self-published this year. In fact, I’m hoping for late August early September, which feels right. This novel just feels like an Autumn yarn, bright days with chilled nights and something hidden on the breeze, something hinting at what’s coming.

3 days of summer

The clean smell after a gentle rain, or the rich smell of fresh cut grass, or as I sit here right now, experiencing stilled electric tension sliding in before the bruised clouds affluent with storm. Yeah baby, gonna have a hella storm tonight. Summer is here, and I don’t care what the calendar says, my bald spot is sun burned, so summer is here. I even love the overpowering smell of urinal cakes in the public restroom’s at the park. Botche ball, croquet, frisbee golf, and big boy golf. Reading at the beach or in my hammock. And yeah, some writing too, or editing, or painting, or dancing under a strawberry moon, this is a great time of year. We should get together and sip lemonade or gulp a nice shandy.

On another note I came home and these two loiters were in my front yard

Duck, duck,....

Duck, duck,….

And since they’re in my yard, they’re mine, so I’ve named them, Woodscrew and Dimples. Wheeeeeeee, I have ducks (which is way better than crabs). Now stop brousing the internet and go course through summer’s veins!

Ciao

The times are a changing

Hi, I’m Hubbard and I’m late to the party.

The big news on blogs and Twitter today is Amazon’s planning to sell fan fiction under a new banner Kindle Worlds. LEGALIZED FAN FICTION! And the author will even get to make some money, a small percentage, 35% of total sales if the story is over 10,000 words, and 30% for works under 10,000 words which would sell for under a dollar. LEGALIZED CORPORATE APPROVED YOU GET PAID FAN FICTION!!

For now, Amazon has purchased licensing rights to ‘Pretty Little Liars‘, ‘Gossip Girl‘, and ‘Vampire Diaries‘ (I still love the briefly used commercial that said catch the VD on the CW on Thursdays. Best marketing strategy ever). So if you’re a fan of any of these shows you can start writing and getting paid to do stories of some of your favourite characters. Even add characters of your own creation to the soon to be expanding mythos. INSANE!

Amazon has found a way so that both the creator, Amazon, and you fan fictianado all get paid. Once again, INSANE. Now this isn’t carte blanche, firstly, no porn, crossovers, or slash type material, no NC-17, keep it clean, you pervs. And it looks like any submitted material to the Kindle World will be read and have to be approved to be published. So you won’t have to worry that you’re getting just any fan story written so poorly as to make you wonder if your reading English.

Does this mean unpaid, pornographic, slasher fan fiction will disappear? No, not even close. It will continue to thrive in whatever form it thrives in now (I’ve never read any, and am not sure how I would go about finding fiction).

Will this venture be a success? I’m sure it will be a huge big boom in self-published books. Thousands of people will jump, sprint, and fly at the chance to write their stories. And as other companies, creators, and properties see how big this is more of them will jump on the band wagon. By the end of this year who knows who else will join in? My Little Pony? Barbie? G.I. Joe? Maybe even your favourite TV show.

I doubt this will cut into established expanded universes, such as, Star Wars, Star Trek, or Dr. Who, but professional writers’ who do most of their work in those areas are probably feeling a little bit of heat if this really, really blows into something super profitable and amazing. It could happen, and then why pay them when thousands of writers will write stories for a pittance of what established authors make.

Now, of course, nothing is perfect. Most people are clamouring over authors’ rights to items, characters, and ideas that they create. You won’t own those characters; they are not yours. Once it’s published by Amazon, Kindle World, per the agreement you agree to, all those new elements and characters have to stay in that expanded universe. Meaning, you and every other author who wants to write a story in ‘Vampire Diaries‘ world can use a character or setting or plot point that you or any other author themselves created. And if you create super sexy and studly Steve for a VD story, you can’t use him in another story for ‘Gossip Girl‘. Not only that, but since they stay in the cannon they were written for, you could see your creation on the TV show, or even the big screen someday, which I think would be cool. But you only get compensation for the story, not for creating the character, so you wouldn’t receive a sales percentage or kick backs any time someone else uses your creation.

Also, you get paid for the ebook you write, but it looks like if Amazon then repackages your story for an anthology, you don’t receive compensation for that. Not sure about if they publish it another language, but the writing and terminology suggest that no you wouldn’t. Don’t quote me on that, just how I read this line

“Amazon Publishing will acquire all rights to your new stories, including global publication rights, for the term of copyright.”

Still, like I said earlier, I think this will become a big thing, and will even eat more into the self-publishing market. Guess I better get a hell of a lot better at merchandising my own wares. Maybe I should start practicing fan fiction to grab new readers.

 

Cloud walking

I love the “busy” feel that life gets when the weather warms. It’s not an over whelming busy feel, and anyone who knows me, knows I’m a very laid-back kinda guy. It’s more a feeling that there’s so many wonderful, fun things to do and so little time to do it. I wish each day was 36 hours long during the warm months.

One of the fun things is all the Summer movies coming out. Saw the new Star Trek this weekend, and it was thrilling and actiony. I loved it. Better than the first one. And Bennidict Cumberpatch was awesome as the villain. Next on the movie docket for me is ‘Pacific RIm’ every time I see a new trailer my pulse quickens, it looks so cool. Everything about this movie sounds cool. Squeeeeee…..

And for some reason this Periodic Table songs amuses the nerd in me

And now I’m off to grill the steaks I’ve had marinating for the past few hours. Did I mention how much I love this time of year?

Hubbarding along

My oh my, where does the time go? In the blink of an eye April disappeared and May arrived bringing beautiful weather with it. The sun came out and I just couldn’t bring myself to do anything with writing or blogging. But since it’s nighttime (the right time) I finally meandered my way back here. Lucky you :) . And so now I will ramble on a bit.

First, I meant to post on Saturday about Happy May the Fourth! but instead, I went golfing, and disc golfing, did a bit of yard work, then BBQ’d. You know, living in the moment kinda deal-io. In the spirit of May the Fourth here’s an Imperial public announcement for you…

Part of my absence has also been attributed to a new Jonathan Carroll collection of short stories. That man’s prose just amazes me to no end. Fantabulous! I feel like a teenage girl at a (insert whatever boy band captivates teenage girls) concert; screaming and crying and throwing my panties at this novel. Damn my lingering teenage overbearance and lack of public graces or shame.

Another part of my blogging reticence can be attributed to the fact that I’ve discovered ‘The Game of Thrones’. Visually stunning and the story is like a sexy woman’s curve that has me hypnotized. I’m almost done with the second season, and will probably have to get Netflix so I can watch the third season (and the upcoming fourth season of ‘Arrested Development’ made by Netflix) since I don’t have HBO. Damn you Netflix!

Another distraction was ‘Iron Man 3′. Ummmm, AWESOME!!!!!!!!! Now I can’t wait for ‘Star Trek Into Darkness’. Although, I hate that there’s no comma in that title. ‘Trek’ is a verb and it makes it sound like a star is ‘trekking’ into darkness, but that’s probably just me.

And just because it’s my blog and I can, I had another Drunkin’ Amazon night lately where I  ordered The ENTIRE collection of ‘Monty Python’s Flying Circus’. So I might be busy for a bit more. Especially if the weather stays golden.

Happy week all, I’m off see if I can really make a mountain out of a mole hill, but not in my backyard, maybe at a park or something.