Thursday, December 20, 2012

End of the World? Naw. End of the Year.

If the world ends, I guess this post will never see the light of day. But I'm willing to bet this blog, along with the rest of the world, will be just fine on December 21, 2012. With the holidays upon us, and the new year just around the corner, it's time to shut this baby down.

It has been a fantastic year. Lots happened. Mostly good. Some bad. Here's just a couple highlights:

1) My publisher decided to shutter its doors by the end of 2012, which left my book, Dragonfly Warrior, homeless. Luckily, I was able to get picked up by another publisher that I had met with late last year. It all worked out.

2) I participated in the Blogging A-Z Challenge for the first time where I did 26 posts about steampunk. It was tough, and I got a little burned out at the end, but I powered through it.

3) I was told that my company was closing its doors here, but wanted to move me to Pittsburgh. I initially accepted, but I changed my mind. I went after a job with a company I had long admired, and I was chosen. So now long distance move, AND I'm happier.

4) NaNoWriMo was something that I longed to do for eight years, but just never had the courage to do. I decided to throw my hat in the ring literally a day before it started. And I kicked that 50,000 word goal's ass. My NaNo project is my sequel to Dragonfly Warrior - and I just signed a contract for that book last week, titled Shadow Warrior.

5) I did a lot of ARC reading and editing this year. It was great to help others out. If time allows, I'd like to continue to help. And many of you helped me out with my blurb for Dragonfly Warrior. Thank you so much. I love this writing community!

6) Wanting to always learn and get outside my comfort zone, I decided to collaborate with the wonderful Mirandy Hardy. We're writing a YA paranormal romance together - something that I never thought I'd do. And I'm writing in 1st person. That's a far departure from what I normally do. It's going great, and we're almost done with our first draft. You'll hear more about our project in 2013 for sure.

7) I turned 40 on Wednesday. I don't feel much different. Still feel like a kid. I know I act like one often.

8) I'm moving the week of New Years, followed by a business trip to Colorado Springs January 7th, so this is my last post until January 11th. That's the longest hiatus I've taken in a couple years, and I will still visit all of you until then.

Have a wonderful Christmas and Happy New Year. I hope you set some fantastic goals for 2013, and here's to reaching them together!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Tragedy in Newtown, CT

I wrote this post maybe five times, but I guess there are just no right words to say about what happened on Friday. As a human being, my heart breaks for the family and friends of those children, teachers, and administrators. As a father, I cannot fathom what those parents are going through. My youngest is 6 years old, and I shudder just thinking about what if it had been my child.

Gun control debates began almost immediately. And all kinds of speculation and digging into the life of the young man that took innocent lives makes for great news. I think people want to gather the facts, because these kinds of horrors just make no sense at all.

The only thing I will say about all of this is that we do need to re-examine how we treat those with mental illness. As a former teacher, I remember parents at their wits end with some of their teenage kids - some with very deep emotional issues that no one could seem to fix. They were told that nothing could be done until their child committed a crime - they needed to be charged with something in order to create a sort of paper trail and maybe get some real help.

There are parents that live in fear of their own child, and that's another whole tragedy right there.

I know I was griping about turning 40 on Wednesday, but wow, I feel like an ass complaining about such a thing. More than 20 lives will not see 40. Ever. And that is just so tragic. No matter how bad any of my gripes might be, they are trivial compared to the hurt those affected are going through.

This holiday season, let's hope and pray that good triumphs over evil - and that we never take for granted our fortunes AND even some of our "problems."

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Introductory Introductions

Happy Friday! Hope you had a good week. I was on the road, driving all over God's creation. So glad I have time to sit down and get this post out into the interwebs, 'cause I got some introductions to make.

First up, FRACTION OF STONE cover reveal. Ta da!

Fraction of Stone by Kelley Lynn
Release Date: March 21st, 2013 by Sapphire Star Publishing
Genre: YA Fantasy
Book Description:

Wind tunnels, torrential rains and earthquakes tear apart Casden. The cause of the world’s imbalance is unknown, but the mounting occurrences suggest there’s little time before life ceases to exist.

Rydan Gale and Akara Nazreth are the only humans with the ability to wield magic. The tattoo on their necks and the discovery of an ancient book, dictate they are the key to the world’s survival.

But the greatest obstacle for saving mankind isn’t the bizarre creatures, extreme betrayals and magic-fearing men hunting them.

It’s that Akara doesn’t believe the world is worth saving.

Doesn't it sound so incredibly fantastic? And here's a little information about Ms. Kelley Lynn:

Eventually the day came when the voices in Kelley Lynn’s head were more insistent then her engineering professor’s. So instead of turning to her Thermodynamics book, Kelley brought up a blank page on her computer screen and wrote. Somewhere along the way she became a Young Adult author.

Kelley was born and raised a Midwestern girl. She’s not afraid to sweat and fills her free time with softball, soccer and volleyball. (Though you probably don’t want her on your volleyball team.) She occasionally makes guest appearances as a female vocalist for area bands.

You can find Kelley hanging out at her blog, as well as the group blog she shares with her fellow critique partners, Falling for Fiction. Kelley is a member of the Society of Children’s Books Writers and Illustrators.

Kelley Lynn's LinksBlog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

CONTEST below. Click the link to enter the drawing for 2 ARCs of FRACTION OF STONE which you can enter to win at the bottom of this post! You can enter until December 14th at which point the winners will be chosen.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

# # # # 

I would also like to introduce you to Michael Ignacio. He's a fellow writer with Hydra Publications, and he happens to live in my state of Missouri (not Misery). 

He's also new to blogging, and you can find his new website at

And his last name, Ignacio, means Ignite in Spanish. Isn't that just kick ass? 

If you could, please say hi to Michael in my comments section and give him some advice/encouragement about writing, blogging, investing, driver's safety, water polo - WHATEVER!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Cheers, Cavanaugh Blogfest

A Blogfest to pay tribute to one awesome rockstar ninja of a blogger, Alex Cavanaugh begins TODAY! Mr. Cavanaugh is a bit of a mystery - no one know a whole lot about his private life - and hey, that's none of our biznass. He's got tons of followers, he gets almost 200 comments per post every day, and he makes an incredible effort to reach out to everyone.

And that is something to celebrate.

The blogfest asks us to answer four simple questions about Alex Cavanaugh. Although the man is an enigma, I carefully read every single post he's made in the last two years and used psychology, sociology, astrology, and a little biology in order to draw more concrete conclusions about this man in an effort to chip away at the myth behind the man.

So here we go!

1) What does Alex look like?
This is easy. Since we know he loves rock n' roll, and I saw quite a number of references to him playing an electric guitar, Alex is a dead ringer for Eddie Van Halen. Long dark hair, denim jeans, silly grin on his face, and an electric guitar in hand. I used skills that are normally employed by criminal illustrators in order to render this drawing below:

2) Who could play Alex in a documentary?
Although he looks just like Eddie Van Halen, the rock star couldn't play Alex in a documentary because #1 the guy cannot act, and #2 he's too old. I think Ewan McGregor looks just like him thought. So that would work!

3) Who does Alex remind you of?
Hmmm...I was going to say David Lee Roth, but I'll go with Eddie Van Halen for some strange reason. The name just popped into my head. Very random. They are both maestros at what they do, their talents are out of this world, so that's what comes to mind.

Did Eddie Van Halen ever don a ninja costume on stage?

4) Flash fiction using these words:
Cavanaugh, Ninja, IWSG, Cosbolt, Guitar

I decided to be VERY original and whipped this out of thin air:

It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents on Alex Cavanaugh's Cosbolt fighter — except at occasional intervals, when it was checked by a violent ninja-like gust of wind which swept up the streets, rattling along the housetops of bloggers finishing their IWSG posts, and fiercely agitating the scanty flame of the ignited electric guitar Alex played and struggled against the darkness.

Thanks Alex J. Cavanaugh, for all you do!

Monday, December 3, 2012

December Monday Blahs!

It's December!!!! I'm a big Christmas kinda guy. Love this time of year.

But it's Monday, and I'm already tired.

Oh, and I have to move the first week in January, which is starting to stress me out. Lots of stuff still need to be packed and all kinds of little things are bothering me. In my kitchen is a big refrigerator that no longer works. The ice maker literally caught fire and melted everything inside. Need to get that hauled away. Stuff I want to get rid of and sell....staring at me.

Looking at the calendar, I've also come to the realization I will turn 40 in sixteen days. It shouldn't bother me, but it kinda does. On one hand, I'm glad to be alive and I'm sure 40 will be good, but there's still a part of me that is full of anxiety. I mean, where the hell did the time go?

Okay, I need to pull myself out of this little funk by focusing on the positives. NaNo was good to me - and I got to meet some great writers. I'm going to purchase Scrivener and continue to network with others. I hope to just keep getting better. I framed my WINNER certificate. Yes, I'm such a geek. But hey, I'm proud!

I did a photo shoot yesterday with an amazing photographer. We shot at a very industrial-kinda place, so my photos will have a little steampunk feel to it, and I can't wait to see the final "products." Photoshop can make me look good, right?

Finally, here's my most recent version of my blurb. Thanks so much to everyone for their advice. I took everything everyone told me, and here's what I got so far:

Prince Kanze Zenjiro has enjoyed success and glory on the battlefield. The young warrior must now face the most dangerous challenge of his life. His homeland of Nihon is threatened by a foreign dominion. Zen must find a way to save his people and his kingdom.

The Iberian Empire has cast its tyranny over much of the world. Their steam powered giants and iron spiders saturate the battlefield with the blood of all who oppose their might. Now Iberia's greedy gaze turns towards the exotic lands of the Orient.

Armed only with his sword and a pair of six-guns, Zen is sent on a desperate quest. He finds himself on foreign soil, surrounded by dangers he never had imagined. Can he survive a cruel and merciless world ruled by machines and pirates? Will his faith and loyalty endure the ultimate betrayal?

What do you think? I think it's getting there. Any other words of wisdom would be greatly appreciated.

Happy Monday!!!