I can hardly believe it, but I assure you it’s the truth! The first draft of the Waltzing Matilda is now completed! I’d run laps right now, but it has been a very long night, err day. One of those things… or maybe both. Is the sun out?
This one has taken longer to write than anything else I have ever worked on. The first words I put down for this story were back in 2017, long before I knew this would be a five-book series. Looking back, it’s been nuts. There were days of clarity, weeks of cloudy days, what felt like unending brain drains, and hourly sparks of creativity. It has not been the easiest road to cross.
I do have to say that given everything I’ve learned in this whole process, I was able to utilize just about every lesson I learned on this one. From starting with an outline, pantsing it every now and again, letting the characters take me along for the ride, to brutally writing every word down in the most structured and controlled manner.
And I picked up a few new tricks, too! Also, some pointers for the next big excursion (having a character sheet with people’s full names, places names, actually anything to do with names for one). And it all worked. I’m serious about running some victory laps, but (oy) these legs are dead.
Now comes the fun part! Editing this story I told myself into something worthy of reading. I like editing, I really do!
A big project I have been working on and waiting on has finally reached completion! What is it you ask? Have you ever wondered what the crew of the Matilda looks like? Is it just me? No? Whew, I‘m glad to hear that!
I’ve been working with this artist named Preston Stone on getting portraits done of the crew. (You should check out his work, it’s stellar!) I think they’ve turned out great!
What was the big impetus for this? Amazon has added this new segment on the book’s page called “From the Publisher”. It’s a place where other aspects of the books can be put in so that the casual viewer will have a bit more to entice them than the standard book blurb and reviews. I think it’s pretty neat! I’ve already built them into the Matilda’s pages like this example.
I am so excited to share them as I see them and as art! Without further ado, here they are!
Look how cool they look! What a bunch of badasses! It took a long time, but it has been entirely worth it!
I recently learned an interesting bit of writing habit that I was unaware of! It made me wonder and after having sat down with other writers it definitely seems to be true, to an extent.
Now, I’ll warn you that this is a really minor writing affectation, but it’s going to date me, so whatev’s!
It appears that Gen-Xers prefer to use the “…” when writing while Millennials prefer to use the “-“. If you’ve read any of my stuff, well, you know I am a huge lover and user of the “…”. Not surprisingly, I fall directly into the Gen-X box. And to back it all up, many of my Millennial writer friends love the “-“.
I don’t know if other Gen-X writers use the three dots for the same reason as I do, but it’s an odd little question to ask. For me, the three dots feel like seconds ticking down or time passing in recognizable blips. While the dash feels more like a skip or a jump to something else, sort of like the superheroes “Meanwhile”.
I couldn’t find any similar writing markers for boomers or the greatest generation, but I bet they’re out there. On top of that, I don’t know if Gen-Zers are homogeneously choosing one right now, but maybe?
Does this little writing habit hold true for you? Do you use something else? Let me know!
This was the first convention I attended as a participant after I moved out to Colorado. It was also the first one I decided to attend as an author (though Covid hit and kind of kiboshed that whole thing). But it finally happened, and sadly this was the last Starfest to be.
I have many fond memories of being at the con dressed as one character or another from a TV show and movies, checking out the panels, and listening to the special guests tell anecdotes from their various projects. It was always fun to wander the Dealer’s room, the Art Show, and good ole Author’s Alley.
And I got to be a part of that Author’s Alley this year! And it was packed! There was some great cosplay, R2-D2’s, and amazing horror and comic art. It was a blast talking to different people about books, art, new movies, and old TV shows.
Some of you long time followers will notice there’s a new Menu option on the old blog page. You guessed it, it’s the Merchandise option up there! It looks so shiny doesn’t it?
I had a lot of fun pouring through the Matilda books and finding funny lines (or weird, there are some weird ones) and concepts that caught my fancy and I thought, “Dang, wouldn’t that look spiff on a T-shirt or something?”
Like this one!
Or this one!
Or this bad boy!
I even had the main characters made up and dropped on some wear! Maybe I had too much fun if that’s even possible. (I’m looking forward to sporting some of this gear myself!)
Pop in and have a browse!
I plan on adding some Nun With a Gun stuff at some point and swapping out other things too. New adventures, indeed!
Woo! How time flies these days. And as crazy as it sounds, I will be at StarFest 2022 next weekend!
This will be my first time attending this convention as an author and sadly this is the last Starfest ever. So you better believe I am going to get my con on! I’ve always enjoyed Starfest over the years as it covers quite the gamut of interests. It should be a party!
The convention will be happening at the Hyatt Recency Denver Tech at 7800 E Tufts Ave, Denver CO 80237. I’ll be in the Author’s Alley so come on by and say hello!
Want to know any easy way to lose track of time, motivation and the ability to sleep? Well, search no more! Grab yourself some food poisoning and let the magic happen! Got plans for the rest of the week? Boom, gone! Can’t wait to sleep? Get out of here!
Eesh, yeah, no thanks. I don’t want that ever again. Hmm… maybe that was a bit TMI? Aah well, anyway… That and taxes have put a bit of a crimp in my progression, but that’s all done! Now it’s back to the grindstone.
I’ve been looking into the audiobook process and it’s interesting. I have copious notes on what each of the characters sound like and I’m working on the speed of delivery for the narration (which is really slow conversationally). I’m still feeling out the idea of my voice being the one to tell the story or possibly hiring someone all while trying to get Waltzing Matilda done. (It’s getting there at the speed of a crawl, but a foot forward is still progress.)
It’s not going as smoothly or as fast as I want it to, but I promise you it will be done. I’m in the middle of a bunch of other things related to the stories too. So much to do!
You know what they say though, “Ain’t no rest for the wicked!” That could just be the food poisoning talking though…
It’s been two years now since I released the last book in my sci-fi series The Chronicles of the Great Migration. And though I am coming close to finishing the book now… today, I had a conversation with a stranger that, despite the fact it had nothing to do with what I am working on in the novel, it inspired me to consider one of my characters in a new light.
Because… Writing is living.
We live in a world where indie authors tout rapid release. We are pushed to write quickly and publish quickly. Produce. Produce. Produce. Produce. Produce. Produce. Produce.
For those of you who don’t know there are even algorithms in place that, if we don’t publish quickly, our work stops being as visible on places like Amazon. We writers find ourselves on the factory floor, the assembly line in this algorithmic revolution.
Sorry for the long bout of silence there. Working through my new work schedule is definitely taxing the creative juices. Never mind all the other life stuff going on and, you know, potential nuclear war. How many shoes are there left to drop, eh?
Anyway, I think I’m finally getting used to having my daily schedule fully reversed. My mom is doing well, so that’s a relief. Lots of important conversations happened during that visit. It was great to hang out with my sister as well. It’s been a very long time since I’ve gotten to do that.
I know, I know, this isn’t what you want me to talk about and I get it. But all of that is mentally and creatively taxing. And that’s taken a bite out of my enjoyment on the project. But I am still moving forward on it! And it will be done if it’s the last thing I do. Well, that’s a bit morbid… Either way, it will be done this year. It’s only March, right?
The end of the first draft is steadily getting closer and the only other thing on my list is a bunch of obstacle course races. And I mean a bunch! Why did I take up this activity when my knees are garbage?
You know what they say, “You’re never too old to pursue your dreams.”
And I wholeheartedly believe that. I’ve come to learn that some of my dreams aren’t exactly in my skillset but that hasn’t stopped me from trying. Here’s a tiny fun fact; when I was a kid, I wanted to be a sword wielding, storytelling musician. I wanted to be an actor, a film maker, a painter and travel the world. You know, cause kids have weird sensibilities or whatever.
And I’m still on that path! It amuses to me to no end to realize that all I ever wanted to be a was a bard. Who knew?
It’s been a whirlwind for me, so far. I’ve started in a new position at my ole nine to fiver and it is taxing the floppy pile of gray matter held in place by my skull. It’s a bit more difficult than I had initially imagined, but also, it’s good to tax the brain. Or so they tell me.
Fun stuff like my bank decided to change and the new bank doesn’t work for a small operation like myself. So, I’ve been looking for a replacement and changing more settings than I thought possible. Never mind all the changes to advertising I’m having to learn on the fly. With all that and my other responsibilities continue marching on. The shoveling of snow has eaten away at the smaller and smaller windows of free time available to me.
That and my mom just got out of surgery for cancer and… yeah. Plenty of thoughts occupies the doorway to my thoughts.
None of these things has helped me get any writing done lately. I stare at that blinking cursor and all I want to do is not stare into a screen. The words don’t want to come out… well except when I’m trying to sleep, shower, or anything else that isn’t me on the computer at the time.
But there is a bit of respite coming my way, sort of. I’ll be helping my mom out as she recovers, and I plan to sit down and write when I’m not doing that. I’m glad my new job made it possible for me to take the time off suddenly. That alone was a huge relief.
On the plus side, I have a few fun things planned for the future of the Matilda series that are away and running! I can’t wait to show you! So much fun! Fun! Fun!
Anyways, how’s 2022 treating you all? Drop a comment and say hi or what character is your favorite. Or what place in the Matilda Universe out there sticks out for you.
And I haven’t forgotten about the Nun with a Gun! Once the Waltzing Matilda is out for editing, she’ll be back for a rousing adventure too!