Giving Back

indie publishing, writing

I made a gift of a hardcopy of The Fourth Law to my girls’ primary school library.  After reading it, the Librarian asked me to come in and give a short (~20 minute) talk to the 6th, 7th, and 8th graders about creative writing and self-publishing.  Why not?

Attached is a pdf of the PowerPoint I was using.  It’s fairly sparse, but I use the slides more as a mnemonic device to keep me on track while talking.

The 6th Graders were fun:  not only did they ask many questions, there was the “that’s cool!” moment when they realized that Daughter #2, their classmate, is the T4L’s protagonist.  As I told them:  write what you know.

SFdSS Writing PP 2015

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“Echoes of Family Lost” – a partial victory

characters, coming soon, deadlines, indie publishing, new books

As I and my esteemed colleague, Will, have said over and over:  if you want to actually complete a project, set a deadline; preferably an irrational one.

Yesterday afternoon I uploaded the pdf of my second novel to CreateSpace.  I had set Easter as my goal.  Just like NaNoWriMo, I beat the clock by three days.  At a 6″x9″ paperback format, it’s about 214 pages.  Longer than “The Fourth Law,” but then I’ve got two plot lines to manage, rather than just one.  I know I could have written more (the Pine Bluff, AR scene! dammit!) but Will has always warned me about my tendency to lecture.

This blog post title is ‘a partial victory.’  That’s because my intent was to actually publish by Easter.  That was my fault:  I wanted Will to do the front/back covers again, but he’s busy with other projects and I did spring all this on him rather suddenly.  I’m hoping to have the artwork in 1-2 weeks.

Aside:  two nights ago, in the basement with my wife, watching anime, I mentioned that I’d finished and didn’t know what to do next.  After a few minutes, out of the blue, she said, “Your next book should be about Henge.”  Henge (pronounced “hen-geh”) is the youngest of Machine Civilization; a quiet, reserved little girl AI (yes:  they hate that term).  I chewed on that idea – and drank more wine – and had the wild idea of making a 20-page illustrated children’s book, with Henge as the narrator.  Interesting.

Below the fold is another excerpt from “Echoes of Family Lost.”  I’ll let you know when I actually publish it.  Thanks for y’all’s support!  Oh:  spoiler warning, and all that.

Interlude…with Bourbon.

drinking, reading

Being a bourbon drinker (in the cooler months), a writer, and Catholic, I found this engaging….

Don’t forget to take a look at my new book!  The sequel is already underway!

The nine bourbons every professor should have, and where to hide them.

9) Early Times. Because, as Walker Percy once wrote, “the noxious particles and the sadness of the old dying Western world and him thinking: ‘Jesus, is this it? Listening to Cronkite and the grass growing?’” Stash behind Love in the Ruins.
8) Evan Williams. Because it’ll do. Payday isn’t until Friday. Stash behind Lost Weekend.
7) Wild Turkey (101, not 81). Because essential reading requires essential drinking. Stash behind Elmore Leonard’s Three Ten to Yuma and Other Stories.
6) Maker’s Mark. Because sometimes it seems the world isn’t quite as awful as it appears to be. Stash behind Augustine’s Confessions.
5) John B. Stetson. Because sometimes the world is as awful as it seems to be. John B. will help you make it through the night. Stash behind Paradise Lost.
4) Woodford Reserve. Because sometimes class went well. Stash behind Deus Caritas Est.
3) Bulleit. Because if you’re good, it may give up the ghost for you. It did for me. Stash behind Hamlet.
2) Basil Hayden. Because it’s the Catholic Bourbon. Stash behind Wise Blood.
1) Blanton’s. Because Pappy Van Winkle is for rich people and other criminals. Blanton’s is 1/4 the price and is what Christ serves to the saints while they smoke their cigars on the veranda of His Father’s mansion. Stash behind Summa Theologiae.