Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Hobbit is coming!

Hey guess what. I'm a nerd, so we're going to talk a little about the Hobbit, which is finally making its way to being a movie. Yay!

Now, as far as movie recreations go, I believe the LOTR movies did an amazing job. I think that most Tolkien fans agree with me, and are most likely excited to finally be getting on with The Hobbit. (for those folks that say the movies didn't work, because, "where was Tom Bombadil?" Come on, let's just face it: Tom Bombadil was awesome, but really, how does the story go forward without anyone just handing him the ring and being done with it?)

I am excited for this flick, and growing more excited every time I hear about it. Martin Freeman (who you probably know from The Office, Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy, and a whole host of other film and tv parts) is taking on the role of Bilbo Baggins, and I can't think of anyone better. He's a great actor, with great timing, and I can't wait to see him filling out those big, hairy feet.

Cate Blanchett, Orlando Bloom, Ian Mckellen, and Andy Serkis(Gollum) will all be taking up their old roles in this prequel as well.

Is there a point to this ranting? Maybe. I'm excited and you should be as well. If you haven't read the books, read them, it will make all of the movies that much better.

That's it for now,
thanks for reading,
buh bye then

Monday, March 28, 2011

New Book Giving Holiday News

Hey there folks, have a good weekend?

Sorry if anyone missed me on Friday, I kept reminding myself that I needed to do a blog but as I've said a thousand times; I'm kind of a slacker.

So, Neil Gaiman wrote a Great Blog about our lack of celebrations that involve giving each other books. He then tossed out the idea that people should give each other scary books on Halloween (check out the blog for more info since I'm keeping it short). Since Gaiman said it, of course the world listened. You can check out the new "All Hallow's Read" page Here.

I think it's a brilliant idea, and if there is anyone out there that thinks giving people books, on any day, is a bad idea, well tough.

As far as my work goes, here's a quick update:

Clockwork Charlie is going well, though I didn't get as much as hoped done last week. That WIP now sits at 18,702 words (it was higher, but I ripped a bunch of stuff out and fixed a part that was bothering me).

The City (not its title anymore, will give actual title soon, mmkay) is still in its editing phase.

For everything I'm working on, here's hoping to getting a lot done during Spring break!

I guess that's it for today,
thanks for reading,
buh bye then

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Just Some Stuff

Hey there fun seeker :)

So I don't have a lot to write about today, just trying to get work done on Clockwork Charlie, waiting for cover art, and also waiting on editing stuff. Phew.

I am however also trying to find an artist that would be interested in working on a weekly webcomic with me. It is a comedy/fantasy story, and I think it'll be tons of fun. It's just crazy hard to find an artist that is willing to put the time into something like this, and I just do not have the talent for it. But I have faith that someone will come along, hopefully soon.

Also, we have leveled up *PING* and obtained a fuzzy puppy. Actually we got him almost two months ago, but I'm writing about him just now. His name is Willie, and he's some kind of border collie/Shepard/mutt mix. He's a ton of fun, really smart, and currently shedding more than any beast has the right to.

Lastly(ish), To the gym with me! Or, at least that's the plan. My girlfriend and I have decided that I need to lose this Winter weight (that I've gained by eating her delicious cooking all Winter) and thusly, we will be hitting the gym mon/wed/fri. So, wish me luck :)

I suppose that's it for today,
thanks for reading,
buh bye then

Monday, March 21, 2011

Spring and The Other Guy

I'm so glad Spring is here. It's still cold, but I believe it's a different kind of cold; it's your cold foot when you wake up with your leg hanging out from under the blankets. It's only the leftover chill from the night, and it means that the rains, and then finally, the sun is coming. I'll miss the snow, but I'm ready for the new season.

I realize that it's been a long time since I've posted any of my writing on here, so I'm going to give you guys another of my short stories. WARNING: FOUL LANGUAGE AND DESCRIPTION OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

I hope you enjoy it, this one's called:

"The Other Guy"

I remember the night that I decided to leave. He had been drinking again, which wasn't any kinda surprise, and came home yelling about how I'd stolen his life (also not a surprise).
“Fuck you, Denise,” at that point, it had become his catch-phrase. “I can't believe I'm stuck with a waste like you, I coulda' had any girl in school... I coulda' done whatever the fuck I wanted... but you had to get knocked up!”
It was a mantra by that time, and he'd been perfecting it since the first time I asked him to stay home, instead of going out to get plowed with his buddies. I was used to it... hell, it was almost a comfort on those nights I had been worried he wasn't coming home. I don't know what did it that night, but hearing him say “knocked up” in his special way... well, it just brought bile to the back of my throat. I'm still not real sure why I said it... or at least, I'm not sure why I picked that night to say it.
“You're right, Steve. If only you could've been as limp on that night as you normally are...”
It definitely wasn't the first time he'd hit me, but I'd never felt the blood explode in my mouth like that before. What a prick.
“You dumb bitch...” gosh, my fella had a way with words.
I spit. It was disgusting. Saliva and snot, mixed with blood and... oh shit. It was tears too, the bastard had made me cry. I think that's what did it. I was so disgusted with myself for crying, and giving that pig the satisfaction.
I spit again, this time just to clear my mouth so I could talk. I was pissed, and I was going to be heard. Even if he killed me.

“Wait.” CLICK
I take a drag off my cigarette as Dave turns his recorder off. I don't really know him, but he's cute and he smells great, and he asked me to call him Dave. So I do.
“Do you mean that he'd beaten you before?”
“Well sure,” I'm givin' him my sweetest grin, and he looks surprised. It's cute.
“Why didn't you leave earlier, then?”
“I was in love, wasn't I?”
“How could you ever love someone that would hit you?” He's naive, but his voice is sweet, and he means well.
“Well, Dave,” I start, noticing I'm getting pretty far down on my cig already, “my daddy used to hit me with a switch when I was bein' bad...” I give Dave a second to think on what I'm sayin'. “I still love him.”
Poor Dave doesn't get it, so he takes a deep breath and starts his recorder thing again.
“Okay, Denise. So, you spit out the blood so that you could talk...”

There he stood over me, staring down like I was something he'd wiped off the bottom of his shoe. I could see that he hated me in that moment, and it made me feel so much better.
“There ya go, Steve, don't stop now. Show me how much of a man you really are. Hit me again.”
For a minute, his face turned red and I could see that he was trying to fight that fire that had roared up inside of him. He wanted to go off on me, to beat the words back into my mouth, and I just sat there waiting for it. But, if you'll believe it, the anger disappeared just as fast as it came.
“You bitch,” he smiled as he said it. The asshole. He smiled and he cussed, and then he had the nerve to start laughing. Fucking prick.
“You just wanna be able to go to work and show all your new pals how mean I am. Damn girl, you almost drug me in with that shit.” He walked into the kitchen, then, and from my place on the floor, I heard the sound of a beer can opening. “Well I aint gonna be the one payin' for your pity party this time, honey,” he said from the kitchen. “You want a beer?”
Like I said, fuck him.
“Honey.” I kept hearing his calloused fucking voice, just dripping with sarcasm as he said it. That was the moment when I knew that I was done.

Dave's recorder starts making a funny noise and he snatches it up off the table.
“Sorry, Mrs. Henley...”
“Sorry, Denise.” He licks his lips as he talks and it gives me a shiver. “Just need a new tape, okay?”
“No worries, sweetheart,” I say as I light another coffin-nail. I can't keep the flirting tone out of my voice with this kid, and he's young enough to be my son. Damn, it's been a long time.
“Ok, Denise, so he was outright mocking you... you had to have been pissed.”

Pissed doesn't even begin to describe how I was feelin' that night. I was out of my mind, right then. If I could've set his ass on fire with my thoughts... well, you better believe that I would've been roasting marshmallows.
“That's what made everything so shitty, ya know,” Steve said as he made his way back to the living room. “You had to go get that job. You coulda done anything... cooking, cleaning, or hell, you coulda got a job a the goddamn 7-11.”
I couldn't take my eyes off him. I hadn't moved from the floor, my shirt was soaked, and all I could smell was copper, from the blood in my mouth, and the booze he reeked of.
“Nope,” he started again, “you had to go help that slut Penny run her little 'coffee house.' Steve flopped onto the couch like he'd been working all day, instead of jacking off to the Sears catalog and then getting drunk. “Oh well, Neesy, you dug your own grave on that one.”
I don't have to tell you, Steve hated Penny. She was taller than him, and he was one of the only guys we knew that she hadn't had sex with. So, of course, he hated her.
“You're right, sweetie,” I said with as much phony sugar as I could muster, “it has nothing to do with you being a drunk, or the kiddie porn you think you've got hidden on your computer.”
For a second, I saw that flare in his nostrils, and I thought he'd come at me again. Somehow, it didn't last, and his lead-ass didn't budge from the couch.
“Not tonight, Denise. Tonight, you get to be the bad guy.”
Can you believe that shit?! I sat there, blood still trickling in my mouth, stunned as if he'd hit me again. I get to be the bad guy? Fuck him. Did I say that already? Fuck him.
So there he sat, bold as day and with his beer in his hand, and he fell asleep. I remember watching as it happened, and being completely at a loss for words. I knew he wasn't going to wake up til those drinks hit his bladder and he had to piss, and all I could think about was the likelihood of me having to call in to work the next day. I couldn't let Penny see me with a fat lip.

“So that was the night that you decided you were going to leave him?”
“Yeah, that was it for me.”
Dave picks up his recorder and starts playing with it, but doesn't turn it off. I can see his mind working, he has questions but maybe don't know how to ask. Jesus, his eyes are a pretty shade of green.
“What are you thinkin' about, hun?”
“Well, why?” he starts and stops real quick. “I mean, if he'd done it before, why was that night so different?”
You know, I've wondered that myself. The only difference I can see is that he stopped.” I light another cigarette as I think on what to say next. Dave just looks on at the wall, like he's waiting for me to explode or something. “The only answer I could ever come up with, was that it was his final insult, wasn't it?”
“Calling you a bitch?”
I almost spit out my cigarette, tryin' not to laugh. “Heck no, sweetie. He spent lots more time callin' me a bitch.”
“I don't think I understand what you mean, then.”
“Well, the bastard didn't even think enough of me to be hurt by what I said. After all the time he'd spent wailin' on me, and cuttin' me down, I figured he owed me that much. If he hit again, or at least screamed at me... well at least then I woulda' known he was payin' attention.”

“Can I get one of those?” he asks, pointing at my cigs. I flash him my best smile as I fish one out of the pack.
“What's the matter, hun, don't want proof of your smokin'?”
“Ha,” he laughs as he lights it and sets down the non-recording recorder. He takes a long pull from the cig and I can see it, pure ecstasy, as the smoke rolls down his throat. I know that feeling. “I suppose not, my girlfriend would be pissed.”
“Well, we wouldn't want that now.” I'm a little jealous about the girlfriend, and I can't even believe it. Dave relaxes as he smokes, casually blowing rings, and obviously somewhere deep in his head. I take a quick look at the clock, it's ten-fifty. He won't be here much longer.

“Denise, I just have one last question for you.”
“Shoot, darlin.”
“From the story you just shared with me, it seems like you decided to leave Steve about ten years before the fire. Why did you stay for so long? Why keep letting him push you?”

We had a lot of good times, Steve and me. Even after that night, when we weren't drinking, we got along pretty well.
Some days, he was a downright sweetheart. He'd rub my feet, or make dinner and light some candles. No it wasn't Steve that pushed me too far. He was my friend, hell, my partner... I loved Steve. It wasn't Steve I was tryin' to get rid of when I torched that house, it was the other guy.
Once he got some drinks in him, Steve wouldn't be there no more. He became somebody else, and whoever it was, he was a prick.
That's who I killed the night I started that fire. Steve was just an innocent guy that didn't get out in time.

Dave's nervous now, I can see it in his eyes. “It's okay hun, I would probably think I was crazy too.”
“I don't. I was just wondering... Is that why you pleaded guilty? Most people would have gone for self defense, or even an insanity plea.”
“Hell, Dave,” I say as sweetly as I can, “I killed him. No question about it. I figure that I should pay my bill, just like everyone else.”
“Visiting hour is over,” comes the security guard's voice over the intercom.
“Oh. Okay,” stammers Dave as he picks up his recorder. “Thanks, Mrs. Henley.”
“Thanks, Denise. You'll have to let me know how your parole hearing goes,” he says as he lays a hug on me.
“I will, hun. And make sure to tell your professor that if you don't get a fair grade,” I flash him a little wink as he heads to the door, “even convicts can get free matches.”------

Friday, March 18, 2011

Cheap Ebooks and A Quick Update

Happy Friday, sorry I'm late folks :)

There are a lot of peeps out there blogging about low cost ebooks and why you should or should not be happy about the numbers. One camp says, "hey we're getting our books out there and building a fanbase," while the other camp says, "many of the folks buying the .99 cent aren't actually reading, but hording, and that doesn't make them fans."

(both of these quotes are heavily paraphrased, mmkay?)

There is also some argument about what the books, themselves, are worth. There are people saying that if your $5 book won't sell, you should write better books. Others believe that it's okay to let your books go for less than a buck, because it's not about the money.

(I didn't use quotations that time cuz I'm lazy, but you get the point)

I am in the camp that is okay with letting go of my books for cheap. Although I would love to make some money from what I'm doing here, that isn't really the point for me. I want to write. I want folks to read what I write. I hope that at least a few of them dig what I write. Anything beyond that, for me, is gravy.

I do understand both sides, and if you fall on the other side, it's okay, we can still share some beers. I'm no hater.

And on to a few updates:
The City (not the name anymore) is still being edited and I am waiting to hear back from the artist about the cover art. Very exciting stuff, kids :)

Clockwork Charlie is rolling along nicely, currently at 13,868 words. Not as far as I'd planned, but we've had some family stuff going on, and that is always the most important.

I've blabbed on enough for today
thanks for reading
buh bye then

Thursday, March 17, 2011

What are You Reading?

Good morning, galaxy traveler. How are things on your side of the mirror?

I've been doing a lot of talking about my writing and self publishing and whoohaa, so today I'd like to take a break from that and talk about reading.

What are you reading right now? Have you ever read it before? Are you likely to read it again?

I am actually in the middle of re-reading The Crystal Shard, by R.A. Salvatore. It's been since high school, but it was still very easy for me to fall right back in love with Wulfgar and Drizzt and Bruenor and all the rest. This book has held up for me and is still worth the re-read more than ten years later.

Of course, even if it had become staunchy and boring, I would still finish it before moving on to something else. Why? Because I'm a book finisher. Even if I hate the characters by the middle of the book, and wish that they would die and take me with them, I still finish. It's a curse. I'm not one of those folks that can read three, four, or even nine books at time. I don't know why, but if I start a second book it just plain irritates me.

So, I'll go ahead and finish up The Crystal Shard, then jump into Streams of Silver, hoping that the series continues to hold up. How many books do you normally have going at one time?

Ok, that's it for today
thanks for reading
buh bye then

Monday, March 14, 2011

Getting Focused

Oh twitter, you waste more time than anything that only allows 140 should have the right to. Oh well, tweet-tweet-twitty.

I don't know how many of my writer friends/acquaintances actually work with a schedule, but I am starting one. It seems very daunting, but I know it's necessary for the journey ahead. SO... here's a revised schedule, I'm putting it here in the hope that it will help to keep me more accountable-

Get up whenever puppy decides
Make coffee
Do dayjob stuff til the fam gets up
Breakfast, newspaper, more coffee with the fam until they head out
4 hours focused WIP work
Free social networking and interwebz until fam returns home

So yeah, that's probably more than you need to know about my day...
thanks for reading
buh bye then

Friday, March 11, 2011

A Decision (or: I Think I've Made Up My Mind)

Good Morning :)

So, one of my earlier posts talked about a few of the differences between traditional publishing and self publishing. Both sides have pros and cons, and neither side has any sort of guarantee of success. Although I can't say my mind was made up when I wrote that post, I was definitely leaning toward one side. Now, only days later, the decision has been made.

I have spent the last couple of weeks researching and researching and researching. I have leaned back and forth across the isle a few times, and I have not made my choice lightly (much coffee has been consumed in search of an answer!). I have decided to go forward and self publish.

This is kind of a big deal for me. Other than a quick and not-well-thought-out query drop a few months back, I have never taken any steps to find an agent or publisher. Obviously, I don't know how things are going to go from here. I have my hopes, and I am making persistent plans. The thing I like most about this option is that it is all basically up to me.

There are a lot of great tools out there to help self publishers, Lulu and Smashwords and GoodReads etc. I plan to make the most out of every opportunity, and "leave nothing in the ring." Wish me luck :)

Some exciting news: I have an amazing artist reading my horribly unedited book right now in the hopes that she will do my cover art. If she agrees, I'm hoping to get her to sign on for the remainder of the series as well.

Well, that's me blathering. I think that's it for now.
Thanks for reading,
buh bye then

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Does this make me a twit or a tweeter?

Hey, did you know that training a puppy, especially house-training a puppy, is tantamount to self flagellation at least 40% of the time? Oh... sorry... What I mean to say is, good morning :)

Although it is a bit disappointing, I must admit that until very recently I had never read "The Count of Monte Cristo" by Alexandre Dumas. I know, what the heck is wrong with me? Right? But I did now, so you can stop yelling. It is amazing, one of those rare classics that lives up to its place in literary history. So if you are a huge slacker like me, and you have not yet read this book, read it. Go ahead, I'll wait. It's not that long really.

For the last couple of days I have been trying to pick up my own slack on the social media front. I joined twitter, and may be, just a teensy bit, addicted already. It's so fun though! I also joined Tumblr, though I am not sure how to make the most of that yet. If anyone has any hints on how a writer can the most out of these social networking tools, please let me know :) You can find me on twitter- @KenLindsey1981

Even with the difficulty I found in walking away from twitter yesterday, I did get some writing done. I really do love this story, and it is already fleshing itself out so superbly... well, I can't wait to hit that last page. I have a long way to go, but I'm easily excited.

Well I guess that's it for today,
hope your morning is great,
buh bye then

Monday, March 7, 2011

Second Draft Finished!

Hey, it's Monday. Happy Monday!

So, the last week or so has been amazing. Not only has my mind been set to reeling by all the amazing stuff I continue to find out about the possibilities of self publishing, but I also finished up my second draft of "The City" (which is no longer the title, will update you with the new title soon). I'll post the updated word count and such at the bottom of this here bloggity.

Now it comes down to lots of editing. I snuck a peek of my gorgeous editor's notes page, and well, there are a lot of highlighted areas. Wow, but I think that's a good thing. I've been so attached to this book for a long (long long loonng looooonnnngg) time, and I believe a new set of eyes is going to really help me to button this thing down. (it doesn't hurt that those eyes are big, brown, and beautiful) Thanks for all your help, love. :)

Another exciting bit about all of this is that I get to dive back into Clockwork Charlie. This story has been pounding through my thoughts and dreams almost non-stop lately. I can't wait to get further into this one and see what comes out of it.

And now for updates:

First draft word count was 87,412
Second draft word count came to 86,727 (before editing)
Second draft finished! Clockwork Charlie is back into full time status :)

I think that's it.
Thanks for reading,
buh bye then

Friday, March 4, 2011

Laziest Blogger Ever

Hey folks that are kind enough to use a little bit of your free time to read my little blog here. Sorry I'm a huge slacker. I've decided to post today, and I hope to be more faithful about it in the future. Feel free to message me threateningly if I am away longer than I should be. :)

So wow, there is a lot (by a lot, I mean holy monkey buttloads) of talk about success in self publishing right now. I actually feel a little bad for some of the authors that are being used as examples out there. Amanda Hocking, for one, has been thrust to the forefront and used as banner carrier by a group of people that she doesn't necessarily agree with.

Yes, she is self published. Yes, she has become successful. No, she does not hate the traditional method, or the publishers that have for so long stood upon that method. I'm sure that she is very happy with her success, and I wish nothing but the best in her career (along with the others out there that have done well on their own). However, it is not fair for huge chunks of the writing world to use her story in a fight that she neither has nor wants any part of.

Now I'll admit, after hearing some of the stories out there self publishing has become a much more attractive option for me. It was always a fall-back, in case of emergencies idea, but honestly it seemed almost like admission of failure. However, after some studying and searching, it seems like it may be the right route to go... for some people.

Although anyone seeking that route should still edit and edit and edit, and get others to read your story before declaring it finished, it seems a quicker way to go from the finished point to the published point. And then, your career is in your hands alone. The amount of time you are willing to put into socializing your book, marketing it and getting others to know about it... well, it's all up to you.

It really is a new and exciting world we're in, but I have always been enthralled with the traditional process. Agents and publishers and deadlines and the rest that comes with it... it all seems so romantic, and if you succeed... well what a testimony you will have.

I suppose there are two points to today's blog: The first is that traditional publishers and the rest that comes with the traditional route are not evil. Yes, they may be big (or not so big in many cases), and they probably seem scary to someone that is waiting for them to critique what may be your life's work, but they are not evil. Just because things may change, and it may feel like a revolution, doesn't mean that things were wrong to start with.

Second... well, second I guess means that I have some thinking to do. There is a decision to be made here for me. Self publishing no longer seems like failure, as a matter of fact, there are a lot of benefits to that route that are attractive to me. I do still love the traditional story though, and a publisher takes a lot of the responsibility off of the author's hands.

I guess that's it for today,
thanks for reading and sticking with me even when I'm a slacker,
buh bye then