Sunday, January 30, 2011

ROW 80 Check-In: Banshees and Guns

Wednesday = 502, Thursday = 789, Friday = 812, Saturday = 873
Well, as you can see above, I'm not quite making the leap up to 1,000 words a night. But, I am moving along a little faster than I was earlier on. I came pretty close to downloading a virus last night as I was searching for a band name online. (Watch out for a site about a band named, Banshee.) I shut down quick and DH ran a scan for me after that. If not for that event late in the evening, I might have made it to 1K. I am half way through the second novella in the Eaters series, and I feel like the pieces are all starting to come together. I'm probably a slower writer than some, because my brain jumps around so much. I often have to back up and fast forward to add scenes and dialogue that pops into my head, then connect the dots after the fact. Hopefully, this makes for an entertaining and unpredictable read that's still cohesive. The main thing I love about writing is getting to indulge all of my interests, and even some that I didn't know I had. DH will scratching his head when the Cabela's catalog comes in the mail and sees me nose deep in the gun section. Even our night out last weekend to watch a rock band becomes fodder for fiction. (But, alas, I get ahead of myself again. That scene won't play out until Eaters: Destination, the last novella in the series.)

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Doomsday Gadgets by Sean Fallon - Good for a Zombie Apocalypse?

I saw this list on and thought it might be interesting for those of you considering essentials in the advent of a zombie apocalypse. (10 Essentials for Surviving Doomsday 2012 by Sean Fallon.)
 1. Bed Bunker - Hmmm...might be zombie proof for you to hide in,  but looks like it's just a large safe without air holes. Just think how much better you would sleep with your extra guns stashed underneath you, though.
2. Blast Boxers - Not necessary for the ladies. But, hey...if we want to keep the populationg going, these could be very important for the guys. How about a Blast Bra?
3. Wenzer 'Giant' Swiss Army Knife - For the man who truly has everything? Looks way too heavy and clumsy to be functional, unless you could throw it at a zombie's head and decapitate him.
4. BioLite Camp Stove - Definitely useful when escaping into the wilderness or holing up in an abandoned warehouse without power. You could break up some tables and chairs for fuel to cook you dinner and plug in you emergency radio...assuming anyone out there is still alive to broadcast.
5. Tactical Bacon - Bacon (and chocolate) might be precious commodities during a zombie apocalypse. If you don't eat it yourself, maybe you could trade a few cans for a gun or some ammunition.
6. MusucBag wearable sleeping bag - I like this one. Have you ever tried to get out of a zipped up sleeping bag quickly? During a surprise zombie attack, this could be helpful. Question fast could you run in it? If you were wearing it and stumbling around in the dark, someone might shoot you, mistaking your clumsy movements for a zombie.
7. Soular Powers Backpack - Handy if you need portable power for recharging your GPS unit. Hopefully, early in the crisis, you gave up the tweeting addiction on your BlackBerry.
8. Lifesaver Jerrycan - I'd put this at number one. Safe drinking water is critical to your survival in any apocalyptic scenario.
9. Gorilla Torch Blade - I'm not sure why this made the list. I guess it could be important to provide hands-free light if you had a limited window of safe time outside to fix a generator or a flat tire on your escape vehicle.
10. Knight XV Armored SUV - Speaking of escape vehicles, I get all tingly just looking at this one! For just $400K, we should all have one parked in our garage. (I'm not showing this to my husband. He may redirect retirement funds.) Sounds like the ultimate vehicle for a zombie apocalypse--not as safe as a tank, but much much faster! You'll leave the hungry hoards in your dust...

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

ROW 80 Zombie Advancement

Sunday = 1,052, Monday = 424, Tuesday = 909
My goal was 500 words/night. But, due to lagging behind where I'd really like to be right now with Eaters: Dark Journey, I'm trying to push myself closer to 1,000 words/night, even knowing that I won't be consistent with that. I'm going to have to get my writing done early in order to do some "research" the next couple of nights. I've recently acquired The Zombie Survival Guide and got the movie, Aaah! Zombies!! in the mail. ( Cheap Friday night entertainment :) Sales of Eaters: The Beginning have been picking up lately. Zombies are still a pretty hot genre, ramped up by The Walking Dead series on AMC. It's funny to me, because I never set out to write a zombie story. I usually go down the ghost-vampire-witch-demon paranormal road. Eaters began from I dream that I had last summer, and once I decided to make Eaters a trilogy, so the main character's story could continue, I became committed. I'm really anxious to be done with this 2nd part of the series, because I have some super creepy stuff that I want to get to in the last one where Cheryl is in the Arizona desert. I'm hoping to publish Eaters: Dark Journey before the end of February, and I'm going to put the cover here on my blog very soon.

BTW...Project Caffeine Reduction was going well. I've been slowly switching out coffee for Teecino and herbal tea, but this morning, I was in a serious brain fog and had too way too much to do at work to be in that miserable state. So, I blended a Yerba Mate shot into some ice water. The energy boost was immediate and amazing! Along with some B vitamins, it had 140 mgs of caffeine. Knowing that, I didn't drink all of it; I just sipped it throughout the day. My head still feels clear. I just hope I don't have to pay for it later...

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Classic Rock & Mr. Pain

I'm not quite as exuberant as I was on Wednesday. It really has been a rough week. If you are a migraine sufferer, I know you can relate. If not, imagine someone pounding a railroad spike into your skull and blood dripping out of the back of your brain and over your right eye for hours. I've had several episodes this week, including a pretty bad one this morning that wasted half my day. It felt like punishment after having such a nice evening last night with my husband. We went out to dinner and then to see a friend in a classic rock band (they did some pretty awesome covers of songs by bands like ACDC and Pink Floyd) play at a club. I only had a glass of white wine with dinner and one Fat Tire later in the evening, so that really doesn't explain waking up like I had been hit by a semi truck. Mr. Pain has been dancing with me off and on all week, and I'm really thinking that I need to get off caffeine to see if that stabilizes my head. My migraines take a lot of hours away from writing, and a lot away from life. I'm going to wean myself off of coffee and black tea slowly, instead of going cold turkey. I'm also going to avoid chocolate for a while. Wish me luck. The powerful lure of caffeine usually sucks be back into its evil trap about a week after I get off of it. Once I'm off, I'll see if I can just stick to Teecino and a little green or white tea once in a while.
My word counts since last check in are Wednesday = 476, Thursday = 408, Friday = 503, Saturday = 0
Tonight = TBA. I hope to get crankin' a little harder next week, since I want to publish Eaters: Dark Journey in February.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Put a little smile a little dance :]

Even though it's 10:45 pm, and I'm just now sitting down to the computer, I feel a little less stressed than I did last night when I wrote my check-in post. (Going to my first workout class in a week has probably helped my foul (sick of winter) mood tremendously.) I think part of my frustration with the other time commitments is that I know what I'm writing is just the tip of the iceberg of what I could achieve if I could give it more focus. I don't just mean word count--I mean creativity and quality. I need to remind myself daily that one of my 2011 goals is to be more positive instead of being Eeyore all the time, or I'll never have the motivation to write down all these fabulous and wicked stories in my head, even when I do find the time.

"Good morning, Pooh Bear," said Eeyore gloomily. "If it is a good morning," he said. "Which I doubt," said he.
"Why, what's the matter?"
"Nothing, Pooh Bear, nothing. We can't all, and some of us don't. That's all there is to it."
"Can't all what?" said Pooh, rubbing his nose.
"Gaiety. Song-and-dance. Here we go round the mulberry bush."

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Is it Wednesday Already?

Time flies when you have no time! I think I wrote about 300 words late Monday evening before exhaustion made me 'cry uncle'. Last night was better--about 550. Being accountable with ROW80 is definitely helping me to make some progress, though I'd really like some tips on how to simplify life to be able to write more. So many nights, I can't even get a chance to sit down at the keyboard until 10pm. There's not much left of the creative brain by then, and sometimes I feel like I'm just throwing words onto 'paper' which is definitely not my goal. I want to have more time to really think about my story--where it started in the beginning, and where it's going in this sequel and the next. I keep waiting to 'catch up' on everything else (laundry, dishes, litter boxes, kid's homework, vacuuming, cleaning, working out a piddly 1-2 x week), but the day job and family take so much time alone, that I can't get to my writing before late in the evening. I still haven't ruled out trying to get up early in the morning to write, so it's priority #1 before everything else kicks in for the day, but saying 'I'm not a morning person' is an understatement. (Although, the older I get--I'm not a 'night person' anymore either.) I know there are a lot of other busy writers out there with day jobs and kids...and don't get me started on the amazing feats of J.K. Rowling who wrote with her brood!!! How do you do it? What's your secret to stretching out the day to make time to write and still find time to sleep?

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Unintentional Writing Hiatus

Due to a visit to an ailing relative, I had to take a break from the keyboard over the weekend. I'll be back in the saddle by tomorrow, and will hopefully be able to catch up on my word count this week. During my visit, I got to meet some humongous friendly cats at a top notch nursing home where the residents are all geting very good care by a caring staff, and from...I got a lot of reading done. But, I'm really glad to be back home where it's much warmer than where I was, the toilets all work, and everyone is currently healthy!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Chugga chugga...

I've been chugging away slowly on my word count every night. My goal is 500 words a night. Sunday = 847, Monday = 453, Tuesday = 580, Tonight = TBD. I really wish I could get closer to 1,000/night. I'd say that I could do it if I had more time, but actually, it would have to be evening time. On the rare day that I have a few extra hours, I rarely choose to write. There's something about sunlight that beckons me to do other things besides write horror. Even when I try, the words just don't seem to flow as well. So, if I ever won the lottery or was able to support myself by writing, I'd still probably write at night. I'd just get all my other stuff done during the day, so I'd be free to do that.

Last night, I added an excerpt  from Eaters: The Beginning to its Amazon page. Of course that took it off line temporarily. It says, 'publishing' now, so it should be live again by tomorrow. I did this at the request of my neighbor. She was one of my beta readers and said this scene included her favorite line in the book.

“Hey!” Ed yelled as he dropped the cigarette and batted the gnarled hand away. “Back off, buddy!”
They surrounded him, closing in like a pack of wolves.
Cheryl panicked. “We gotta do something to save him. Mark…go out there and shoot them!”
But, Mark shook his head. “If I did, the sound of the gunfire might draw attention to us. He was stupid—he shouldn’t have—”
By now, any window of rescue was gone. As the Eaters began ripping and tearing at his clothing, skin, and hair, Ed fell down to his knees and curled up into a defensive position with his hands covering his head.
Cheryl looked away, with tears streaming down her cheeks as they tore him apart, one fistful at a time, like they were the devil’s two-year-olds, and he was a blood-filled birthday cake.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

A Good Week

I've had a pretty good week for my first ROW80 challenge. I'm often getting more than my 500 word/day minimum writing done, because once I get 'butt in chair' in the evening and get started, enough ideas flow for me to go further. Friday night was the only night I took off (watched a silly Quentin Tarantino 'Grindhouse' movie, 'Death Proof', and spent a long time on the phone with my Mom who is caring for my ailing grandmother). I made up for it last night by writing 974 words. I'm at 4,577 words for Eaters: Dark Journey, and I should cross over 5K tonight. This will be another short .99 cent book, so I envision wrapping it up around 20-25K. I've never written a sequel before, so I'm finding it challenging to figure out how much back story to include. I'd like each story in the trilogy to stand alone, but also inspire a reader to read the 'before' and 'after' to find out what they've missed. I figure it's kind of like a soap opera, you can jump in at any point and get into the story, but without knowing the history all of the characters, you really are missing out. After I get my word count in each night, if I'm still conscious enough to read, I read a little more in the current nightstand book. Right now, it's Joe Hill's Horns. Gritty and dark, it's definitely an interesting story so far.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

ROW80 Progress Report

You know how you'll do something on your own, and then someone tells you to do it or there's a deadline, and then you procrastinate? Well, Monday started out like that. But, once I finally sat down to the keyboard, panicked about having lost my file, recovered it a half hour later, then settled in to the story...I was fine. My goal is 500 words/night, but I did 817 on Monday and 824 on Tuesday. Tonight may be a little slimmer, since I'm getting a later start, but I'll have some time tomorrow to catch up if need be.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

HAPPY 2011 and ROW80 Round 1 Goals

Happy New Year! I had a really fun time last night, and fortunately I'm not one of the sad people in hangover land today. There's too much to do to be feeling icky and blue...

I've been watching the sales of Eaters: The Beginning over the last few days, and it's exciting to see that zombie fans are discovering it in the U.S. and the U.K. I've started a little groundwork on the sequel, and will be hot and heavy on the keyboard with that story, starting Monday, Jan. 3rd, when ROW80 begins. My goal will be 500 words/day. With my busy schedule, that's not too easy, not too hard--it's just about right to challenge me and make steady progress with the intent of publishing Eaters: Dark Journey in February, and hopefully make a good dent in Eaters: Destination. I've really been more of a sporadic 'when the mood hits me, and the time and energy cooperate' type of writer. This year, with the help of the ROW80 challenge, I'm going to instill a little regiment to make me a 'write a little every day and git 'er done' kind of writer. I have a quote on my bulletin board above my computer: "Goals are dreams with deadlines." --- Diana Scharf Hunt. Rebel that I am, I realize that a little discipline is the only way I'm going to get all these stories in my head into print.