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The Wolfcat Chronicles Complete

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Friday morning I completed revisions for Book 10 of The Wolfcat Chronicles, which included a major rewrite of the final three chapters. I submitted the manuscript to my publisher. So the series that I have spend over a decade writing and most of my life preparing is one step closer to reality.

Before I move on to other projects, I’d like to reassure all those who have read early versions of the books that the essential story has not been altered. Some of the details have changed here and there in the process of revisions. One chapter was added and, in several other places the dialogue was modified a bit, to make the series connect with Fried Windows in a much more substantive way. Otherwise, it’s the same. I’m sure that as the editing process progresses there will be some other changes, though I expect them to be minor and more along the lines of ensuring consistency between the beginning and the end of the story and giving it a good hair cut here and there. The objective of editing is to trim away those things that do not directly contribute to the story, developing the characters, and advancing the plot,

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What’s next? Well, yesterday morning I did something I haven’t done for a while. In fact I’ve not done it since composing what has since become Fried Windows. I wrote a short story. I’m not sure I’ll do anything more with it. I could, though. There is an opening to expand the tale and I may pursue that – kind of like I did with Fried Windows – and we see where that ended up. But for now it’s a back burner sort of things.

The short story I wrote was my attempt to fulfill a prior commitment to write a piece for a collection with a theme “the seven deadly sins”. My challenge was to write something about greed. I’m not sure if I actually accomplished that with the story. What I wrote was more about wealth, money and large corporations mistreating the little guy. To me that’s practical reality of the sin or greed. However, I also believe that all the seven deadly sins are interconnected in many ways. If you ponder the subject for a while you will eventually get to a place that I am, where you understand how one thing leads to another and so on. Greed, envy, avarice… it’s all connected.

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The next two things I plan to work on are the sequels for Fried Windows and Becoming Thuperman. That leaves the stand alone story of Bongwater Moses still lingering in the background, but I need to finish that one too. Somewhere along the way I also want to revise a couple of other stories about the Brent character from Fried Windows.

Having the major weight of ten books off my shoulders – at least until substantive editing begins – I can work on a number of other projects. At some point I’ll be going through something of a relaunching of Fried Windows as it comes up on its first anniversary and is released in the formats and through other distributors. I’m not sure when that will come about. It’s popularity has been increasing through the free promotions, but it has been a slow process. It’s a bit like acquiring friends for me, growing readers. It takes a while to get to know me but after someone has gotten to know me they tend to be friends for life.

 

Lately I’ve been scheduled to work more hours at my day job. That is largely a result of picking up shifts that other people cannot work and having been cross trained to serve other roles. Hey, I can use the money for buying books to sell at book signings, right? Also I’ve saving up to buy a better bike. One with gears that change and working brakes both front and rear would be a vast improvement over what I have been using. However, it’s hard to justify the expense at this point, as I am getting by with what I have. The tried were placed last summer and have a lot of wear left on them.

My idea is to keep the present bike as a backup in case I wake up one day and my tires are flat on the newer bike I’d be using. You know, kind of like having a second car. As my son leave early for work each day and I tend to work in the mostly in evenings I don’t have the option of asking him to drive me. My options would be to call a cab – which I can’t afford – or hoof it for the 4.5 miles. I’d probably opt for the latter though I’m not exactly sure how long i would take me to get there.

At some point I need a new laptop to replace the one I have that doesn’t serve as a laptop anymore – battery dead, screen doesn’t work. I know I’m going to need portability eventually, especially when I start moving around and traveling again, but at the moment it isn’t a huge priority. I’m using a jury-rigged configuration that serves my purposes well enough. Also, as I refuse to go back to a Windows platform for my working computer, I’m kind of at the mercy for how inflated the prices for Apple computers are. They tend to be very proud of their products, as my dad always said of something expensive for no apparent reason. Yes, I get that Apple computers tend to last longer and are supposed to be built better, etc. I’m not convinced any of that is particularly true anymore, if it ever was. Remember, I repaired computers for a while. I’ve been inside everything imaginable. And since Apple switched to using Intel processors their systems have become more and more like everything else out there in the PC world. Much of the difference is cosmetic except that I prefer the operating system to windows and find it to be generally more stable, with he exception of the Safari browser which has been crashing lately for whatever reason.

Coming up there are some promotions for Fried Windows. As soon as I have resupplied my local stash of books, meaning ordering some directly from the publisher, I’ll be working on some local book signings. So, for anyone in Central Florida, be on the look out for announcements. I plan to tie-in the appearances with pre-release activities for The Wolfcat Chronicles and Becoming Thuperman. I’ll also be participating in some promotional stuff for other authors whether as a publicist or a friend.

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Rose Montague has two books coming out next month, for example one at the beginning of the month titled Jane, the sequel to Jade. There is another coming out later next months as well. More about that in upcoming blogs. I also plan to interview her again. She is an interesting person and an excellent storyteller. Her first book, Jade, was released a little over a year ago. I read and reviewed it somewhere around that time. Her writing is as unique as her subject matter. I highly recommend her books to anyone who enjoys novels that bend reality a bit – stories about shape shifters, witches etc.

#TheWolfcatChronicles #FriedWindows #Becoming Thuperman #NewProjects #Rose Montague #Jade #Jane #Revisions #Writing #Publishing

 

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Promotional Stuff, Pets and A Birthday

 

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Today and yesterday were kind of dedicated promotional days. That’s why I didn’t post anything. Sort of busy answering questions and making pitches for Fried Windows, Becoming Thuperman and The Wolfcat Chronicles.

Speaking of the wolfcats, I’m working on Chapter 9, but I’m about 3/4 of the way through a new chapter that I’m writing. It helps tie into the rewrite and also connect the series into Fried Windows a little better than the original version.  Otherwise I’m hanging out with my son’s dog, my grand-dog, as it were. His name is Rocco. I’ve mentioned him before. He’s 105 lbs of American Bulldog and a big baby. He’s sitting beside me as I write this, wondering why I haven’t petted him in the past ten seconds and hoping I’ll take him on a walk so because usually he gets a treat afterwards.

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I read somewhere that most days read the mental maturity of a two or three year old. Rocco is definitely in his terrible twos. He demands attention almost constantly but he does understand a few simple words and phrases. However, he doesn’t like deviating from routine. Like going for a walk. The county has decided to tear up some of the sidewalks,It seems related to whether there is a pin oak tree near to the section. This has interrupted Rocco’s usual path for walking so it confuses and frustrate him when I make him detour around the missing sections or the freshly poured concrete. The county frowns upon dog prints in the fresh new slabs. Apparently they consider that graffiti for which there is some sort of fine if they catch you. Is anyone else getting a mental picture of the local sheriff running through  set of paw prints belonging to known offenders?

Anyway, the promotional stuff went well. I don’t know if I sold any books but I made some friends. Friend may last longer than book promotions, anyway.

I believe I’m still on target to complete Book 10 of The Wolfcat Chronicles before the end of the month. I don’t force any problems yet. The new stuff I’m adding in gives the series a twist or two, and lends a touch of mystery to the last book the series. It’s all good.

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In other news, today is my big sister Joyce’s birthday. In the pictures above she is dressed for Halloween. So, no she doesn’t always dress funny. Anyway, Joyce is nine years my senior and was known to babysit for me when I was like Rocco is now – no, not a dog but a whining pup of sorts and totally dependent. She’s one of those special people you enjoy being around because she savors friendships and loves life. When I’m around her I have to step up my game a bit to say something funny or unusual. She has that effect on me. I try to make her laugh. I always have. And if she doesn’t laugh with me, I’ll accept her laughing at me.

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So, Happy Birthday, big sis.

#birthday #Rocco #FriedWindows #Revisions #TheWolfcatChronicles, #BecomingThuperman #Promotions

 

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The Final Episode of The Wolfcat Chronicles and Some Other Stuff

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Yesterday I began working on Book Ten of The Wolfcat Chronicles. I’ll not call this a revision because I’ll be extensively rewriting the book, most of the changes coming in the last third to a half of the story. But already I have changed a couple of things early on and I’m only two chapters into the effort.

As originally written the book was 33 chapters and around 320 pages. After all the work on it I expect it to remain about the same length. There isn’t a great deal of the story and overall plot that will be altered until apron Chapter 26 or so. Between the way Book 9 concluded and how I have begun Book 10, the foreshadowing for the new conclusion to the series has already begun.

Lately I’ve been spending a lot more time at work, doing my other job. That has not really affected my writing and revising of books but it has caused some other adjustments in my schedule. This week I have fewer days scheduled, though I could be called in to cover someone else’s absence. I’ve been doing a lot of that. I need the money, so…

Because I’m riding my bike more often and for longer distances because my work is 4.5 miles away, I’m gradually losing some weight again. I had put on a few more pounds over the holidays, so it’s not a bad thing. I still could lose around thirty pounds and never miss them – except for needing smaller size clothes.

I’ll miss the Superbowl as I’m working this evening. I’ll watch the commercials separately. I always do that online. Having worked retail for so many years I rarely got a chance to watch the big game. Those years my boss threw a party I was always the last to show up because, somehow, I was the one scheduled to close the store. As we don’t have cable TV where I’m staying, I wouldn’t be watching it anyway, unless I streamed the broadcast. I heard NBC is doing that. Folks, consider that the death nell for broadcast TV – when sports is streamed over the Internet and widely available. Cable and Satellite company won’t be able too charge exorbitant rates to provide you with a zillion channels of crap, of which you maybe watch four or five. It makes far more sense to purchase individual shows and costs less money. Haven’t not had cable for much of the past 8 years, I can tell you how much I don’t miss it – or the $100+ a month for stuff I never watched anyway.

#TheWolfcatChronicles #Revisions #Rewrites

 

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Update on The Wolfcat Chronicles Book 9

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The revision for Book 9 of The Wolfcat Chronicles started yesterday – well, actually the previous night but I only did a couple of pages. So far, so good. I reviewed the first chapter twice and decided to flip chapter one and chapter two. Now the flow is better. I’ve made it to page 70 and, if things progress as well as they have thus far, I should finish the revisions this next week, which would put me a month ahead of schedule – sort of. It’s my schedule, anyway, and therefore, open to revision.

Yesterday, I also wrote a rough outline for a companion piece that would probably be released shortly after Book 8. There are some references to events mentioned in the companion piece appearing in Book 9. You see, the ideas and the plot are nothing new, just something that was never fleshed out in story form. The companion piece also leads into The Power of X just as the conclusion to that book leads into Book 10 of The Wolfcat Chronicles. However, reading The Power of X is not required prior to reading any of The Wolfcat Chronicles. In fact, it would likely be best to read The Wolfcat Chronicles before The Power of X. And since that book does not yet appear anywhere, potential problem averted – except for the couple of dozen beta readers who read The Power of X on Fan Story a couple of years ago.

Since some of the characters from One Over X appear in The Wolfcat Chronicles, I have been asked if it is advisable to read the first two books of One Over X. It’s not necessary unless you want to know where Andy Hunter, Terry Harper and Brent Woods come from. The event stream of One Over X is actually separate from  The Wolfcat Chronicles, due to the concept of concurrent time. Brent Woods also appears in Fried Windows, which technically takes place after The Wolfcat Chronicles.

Now that I’ve thoroughly confused everyone, let me make it clear. You do not have to read anything else to understand what is going on in The Wolfcat Chronicles. However, there is more background material forthcoming through other manuscripts that will be published int he future. That’s how you build a universe, one book at a time.

Now, back to work.

#revisions #TheWolfcatChronicles #FriedWindows #OneOverX #writing #publishing

 

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Revisions Complete on The Wolfcat Chronicles Book 8

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Judging from how the past few weeks have gone with revisions to The Wolfcat Chronicles, I’m not promising a finished by date for the upcoming Book 9 experience. It could come sooner than later, but realistically I believe the end of February might be an accurate target.

Book 8 has been revised and submitted. The first half or so went smoothly, but I slowed down toward the middle as there were several rewrites necessary for the book to function as a part of the series and lead up to the conclusion I plan for Book 10. I’m figuring Book 9 is more like the last half of Book 8 in terms of its need for rewrites. That will significantly slowdown the process. Also, I’m expecting Book 10 to be more of the same up to the point requiring a complete rewrite. The good news is there is plenty of time for me to accomplish that well before the release of the first book of the series.

I don’t have a timetable yet for the releases of the books. That will depend on when the books emerge from substantive editing. I’m hopeful that the first of the series will make it through the process quickly, but we will see once I’ve responded to sub-edits. Also , in the background I’ll be writing a supplementary piece that will fill in some of the details that happen outside of the point of view of The Wolfcat Chronicles. Several beta readers have requested that. I won’t know how long that piece will be until I begin writing it, but at this point I doubt it will be novel length.

For the past two weeks I have been squeezing in revisions between working my day job and functioning as a publicist. That’s been a challenge. I have not been able to read draft material my friends post on FanStory. So, I plan to do some catching up tomorrow before diving into Book 9.

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#revising #writing #TheWolfcatChronicles

 

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The Wolfcat Chronicles Book 8

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Yesterday I started revising Book 8 of The Wolfcat Chronicles. Since it has been some time, about five years, I think, since I last worked on this book, I was concerned that there would be a lot of tweaking required. I may still run into that situation later on in the book but six chapter into it I’m not finding much that needs to be changed. Not he optimistic side I’m hoping to be finished with this book before next weekend. Barring anything major that comes up with this revision, it’s possible.

Book 8 begins The Last Wolfcat section of the ten book series, picking up a short time after the events of Book Seven. Throughout One Pack, Mang, a character introduced in Spectre of Dammerwald (Books One and Two), became increasingly important. In the Last Wolfcat he has a major role. When the series was beta tested on Fan Story a few years back many people commented that he was one of their favorite characters. The way the rewrite of the ending is envisioned he will pay a larger role in the conclusion.

The Last Wolfcat tends to be more about Rotor than Ela’na, I can’t go into why that is with spoiling the plot, but it has a purpose. Ela’na has a key role in the finale as well as other books that have a tangential relationship of The Wolfcat Chronicles. Also, as I have said before, I envision a separate volume to handle a backstory issue that some beta readers indicated they would love to read about. That material would not fit into the story arc of this series but some of the subject matter is already handled in two other books I’ve written in draft. The fact that I have written that part of the story allows some depth to the treatment of of the information about it that is included in The Wolfcat Chronicles. There are over twenty manuscripts I have written that are set in the same universe as The Wolfcat Chronicles. I have been working on this story for most of my life. And so, the world has a feeling of completeness and believability about it that I feel is necessary for a fantasy.

Although The Wolfcat Chronicles could be labeled an epic fantasy it is really not. There are elements of urban fantasy and sci-fi throughout. That is not to say it lacks anything int he portions that comprise the epic tale. It’s set on another planet. The characters are influenced and sometimes visit the Earth through connections that exist in nature as well as those produced artificially. And there are parts of the series that take place in the future and out in space.

I set out to write a story that I would want to read. That’s important for the writer and serves as some pretty good advice, really. Some would be authors think that the creative process of building a story ends when they type The End on the final page of the first draft. Most understand that there is still a lot of work ahead with revisions and rewrites prior to subjecting the world to professional editing. I estimate that the average work of fiction will require an author to read it twenty to forty times before it is published. So, the book had best be something you enjoy reading. Otherwise you are in for a painful experience re-reading your words over and over again.

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#TheWolfcatChronicles #Revisions

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The Wolfcat Chronicles Book Seven Revisions Complete

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For those of you following the saga of the entire series revision for The Wolfcat Chronicles, Book 7 was submitted to my publisher this morning. Now I move on to Book 8 – after a brief break.

As I have said before, I’ve not worked on Books 8 through 10 for several years. Over that time my writing style has changed a bit. Also I completed and self published The Attributes and signed with Pandamoon Publishing to see Fried Windows released this past May. In other words, a lot has happened.

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I’ve always planned a substantial revision for the final three books that comprise The Last Wolfcat section of the series. As I have written several of the other tangential pieces that tie into The Last Wolfcat, I have some new ideas for the conclusion. I have never been happy with the way the original draft ended.Now that I know how everything connects to Fried Windows, The Attributes, One over X and The Power of X – along with some as yet untitled pieces – I will tackle the task of rewriting the last third of so of Book 10. I am also considering an 11th book that falls outside of the storyline of The Wolfcat Chronicles but would provide some backstory support. I’m thinking of calling the supplement, The Offspring – not to be confused with the musical group.

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So, although I’m happy to have completed the Spectre of Dammerwald and One Pack sections of The Wolfcat Chronicles, and would love to take the day off and celebrate, I have a lot left to do. I really need to have the entire series wrapped up before April to fit into my plans for other books that remain on the back burner – including sequels to Fried Windows and Becoming Thuperman.

As for Becoming Thurman’s release date, expect it sometime around summer. Since it has a baseball theme that is a better time of year for it to appear, I think.

I’ll be promoting Fried Windows locally in some bookstores with signing and personal appearances over the next few months as well as building interest in the first book of The Wolfcat Chronicles and having some launch parties. So if you live in Central Florida be looking for the announcements. My publicist and I are considering some other promotional events, perhaps in other states. Nothing has been officially scheduled yet but it’s in the works. Also, I’ll be offering personally autographed copies of Fried Windows online. I’m working out the logistics of that as well.

#FriedWindows #TheWolfcatChronicles #BecomingThuperman #ThePowerOfX #OneOverX #TheAttributes #Revisions #Publishing #PandamoonPublishing

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Projects for 2015

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Yesterday I completed a list of uncommonly spelled words and names for my editor’s use in preparing a stylesheet for the publication of The Wolfcat Chronicles. The list is complete through Book Six, which is as far as I have gotten with he current round of revisions. I figure as I go forward l’ll add anything that appears to the list, though I believe most things are on the list already. There are some new characters for Books Eight through Ten, though. Already the list is eight pages long. It will exceed ten pages before I reach the end of the series.

The first order of business for 2015 is completing the revision on Book Seven, a process I’ve already begun. Sunday is a day off from my nn-wiritng job, so I’ll knock out several chapters. I’m hoping to complete the effort before January 15. I don’t foresee a problem in doing that.

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Beyond Book Seven I expect books Eight and Nine will take until the end of February. I’m allocating March and April for the rewrite I envision for Book Ten. Factoring in the time I’ll need to devote to substantive and content edits on both Books One and Two of the series, if I finish the revisions sooner, all the better. At some point I’ll be going through sub-edits and content edits for Becoming Thuperman as well, as I expect to release three books this year, two of them are part of The Wolfcat Chronicles. Because the entire series will be completely revised by April, I suppose it is possible that more book of the series might appear in print before the end of 2015, provided my publisher has the bandwidth to process them. Depending on how many of The Wolfcat Chronicles books are slated for 2015 release, I might spend most of my time with edits.

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Six new authors were added recently to Pandamoon Publishing’s family. So their books will be in production concurrently as well as follow-up novels from authors who had books released in late 2013 and throughout 2014. Christine Gabriel, Chrissy Lessey and Steph Post have new manuscripts. Jason Beem plans another novel. Emily Belden is working on a new project as well. Alisse Lee-Goldenberg is rumored to have a sequel for her fantasy Sitnalta that is ready to enter the editing process – nothing officially announced on that one yet, but you can expect something soon. So, there could be as many as 24 books released in 2015 from my publisher.

Then there are other projects I need to work on as well, including the sequel to Fried Windows. I need to finish writing that one. There is also a sequel to Becoming Thuperman envisioned, though I haven’t begun writing it. And there are a couple of other novels in progress that I have yet to complete.

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Once I complete the revisions on The Wolfcat Chronicles I plan to begin revising some other manuscripts I haven’t yet published. I’m not sure whether my publisher will produce any of those, but at least I’ll submit them. For 2016 and beyond I may decide to pull my self-published work, revise those for new editions and submit them as well. At some point I want to complete the One Over X thread that covers Andy Hunter, Terry Harper and Lee Anders Johnston who appear in The Wolfcat Chronicles as minor characters. Then there are the Power of X books, which fill in the background for Ela’na and clarifies her connection to Earth and Brent Woods. Additionally I have a number of books about Brent Woods, pretty much from childhood through college and his military service upto entering The Program. I may also revise a new edition of The Attributes, which is sort of a capstone for all the science fiction threads from One Over X, The Wolfcat Chronicles and The Power of X. All told there are forty manuscripts in various stages of completion, with twenty written in draft (at least) and about half of those have been revised and submitted. So, even if I were able to push out five books a year, which is highly optimistic, I am looking at eight years’ work.

Publicity and building a fan based continue to be major background efforts. 2013 and 2014 were years of building from obscurity. There’s still a lot I need to do. Foremost is establishing a worldwide street team prior to the launch of The Wolfcat Chronicles Book 1. My social media presence has increased significantly in the past year, but I’ll need to leverage those contacts in some way. A major problem is that the majority of my friends and followers are fellow authors. Understandably they are working on their own books and promotions. So networking and dovetailing fan bases is the only strategy that will engage them for supporting my work.

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My urgent goal it to find more readers and get the word out about my writing. Fried Windows has not received the attention I think it deserves. Yes, I know I’m biased because I wrote it. But I truly believe int he book. People who have read it believe it is one of the best fantasy novels out there. It has remained relatively obscure with all the noise out there from competing titles. There is no lack of good books in the marketplace, but the problem for readers is finding them from amongst the utter crap, some of which has come from major publishing houses. Quality control is not exclusively a self-publishing issue, though, admittedly, the bulk of published work comes from independents. A lot of work being published every day that is not ready for prime time – if it will ever be.

It is far too easy to self-publish a book in the hubris and euphoria following the moment of relief typing The End on the final page. Many a writer has put work out there that needs considerable amounts of professional editing. In the past I’ve been guilty of that as well. But I have learned.

Despite overtures to the contrary, quality control in self-publishing remains virtually nonexistent. The measures some, like Amazon, have in place are too easily abused. A book troll can complain about a novel’s quality over some bogus issue and the book will be pulled and the author notified that a revision of the issues must be completed before the book can be resubmitted for further review. The problem with all that is that the validity of the reader’s complaint doesn’t seem to enter into the discussion. There have been several instances that best selling self-published books have been yanked due to a reader’s complaint about an alleged grammar problem that is not based in fact. Many indie authors pay a lot of money to have books professional edited using established industry standards by major publishing houses. I wonder if a reader complains about a book from a major house if it would be yanked from the site?

#revisions #writing #TheWolfcatChronicles #FriedWindows #Publishing #StreetTeams #FanBase #Publicity #PandamoonPublishing

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Post Christmas Stuff

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There used to be a saying that I don’t hear anymore: “I’m going to knock the stuffing out of you.” It would have been easily accomplished after Thursday’s Christmas dinner at my sister Joyce’s house. She outdid herself again and I over ate, as usual.

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Since my kids grew up and moved away  – and my wife and I divorced – Christmas has been a lot different for me. I’m that uncle, brother, cousin or friend (sort of) – you know the type. Others feel sorry for me on the holiday and invite me over for a meal. But since my kids grew up there hasn’t really been much drive inside of me to celebrate the holiday in a traditional way. Some of that has to do with working in retail for so long that whatever Christmas spirit was in me has long since been wrung out – or would that be rung out, as in Silver Bells? You see – nothing gets you out of the spirit like listening to Christmas music over the store intercom ad nauseum.

I’ve always hated the commercialization of the holiday. Greed has a lot to do with that. It is not the best side of people at all. People take their lives into their hands shopping for the holidays. And it’s kind of like people come out of the woodwork to celebrate, even people who aren’t practicing Christians.

I suppose it’s not really an ‘exclusive club’ sort of holiday, even though a lot has been made of stripping the religious significance from the holiday and getting the reason for the holiday all mixed up in the debate over separation of Church and State. You don’t necessarily have to be a Christian to say Merry Christmas, you know? Since Christmas falls around the time of year when several other holidays occur, like Kwanza, Hanukkah, Yule, the debate over what to say as a holiday greeting has been muddled around and mixed in for good measure. Happy Holidays is less offensive, although back when I was a kid we said that to include New Years along with Christmas.

Historically the early Christian Church moved the celebration of the holiday to coincide with pagan holidays celebrated in Europe for the purpose of recruiting new converts to the religion. A lot of anti-Christian folk point that out as justification for neutering the holiday of its religious overtones. Certainly the truth about when the Birth of Christ actually occurred is a mystery. Many scholars believe it should probably fall around September. And since the calendar in use at the time was Jewish, very likely the holiday would shift around as the lunar and solar calendars do when converting – like with the date for Easter in the Spring, which is tied to the Jewish holiday Passover. So I can see the argument that the actual holiday should not have anything to do with Christian beliefs. However, it has been called Christmas since I was a kid so at least humor an old man and allow me to say Merry Christmas to you without getting your panties in a wad.

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The holiday should be celebrated as one sees fit. Not only should it not be forced upon anyone who doesn’t want to celebrate it but also people who do celebrate it should be allowed to practice their religion in the process, if that is their desire. Personally I have never taken any offense when someone wishes me Happy Hanukkah even though I’m not Jewish. And if someone said Happy Kwanza to me, I’d be fine with it although I’m not African. But, then, I have a thicker skin than a lot of people, I guess. To me, it’s not a huge deal what anyone says to me. If you’re more comfortable with Happy Holidays and believe that is the least offensive way of expressing the joy you feel this time of year, go for it.

What i enjoy most about the season is  seeing houses decorated with lights. Some people go Clark Griswold overboard on that, but it’s okay. It’s their power bill, right? But one of the things that irks me about the season is how stressed out it makes some people, like there is an obligation to do this and that. That strips the meaning of the holiday away, making it more about competition (making sure little Johnny and Mary get the best toys) and greed than anything else. One should not feel any obligation to seasonal celebrations, folks. If you aren’t in the mood to sing Christmas Carols, exchange gifts or even make a traditional meal, you shouldn’t have to just for the sake of the holiday and what others would or would not think of you should you abstain. Having said that, I think people like to complain a lot about having to get all the shopping done for everyone, and it really isn’t intended to be a negative thing. It’s almost like some people are driven to see who can finish their shopping for gifts earliest. Me, I was always a last minute kind of guy. Sometimes that worked out with price slashing last minute deep discounts. Occasionally I missed out on getting something that was in short supply, though.

Lately I haven’t been a gift giving type due to my personal economic situation. My family knows about all of that. It’s embarrassing when they get me gifts but I appreciate the sentiment and wanting to help meet out. They know if I could I would share gifts as well and when I get out of my current situation I’ll likely play catch up for a season or two. But that’s the way I’m wired. Money isn’t all that important to me and never has been. The fact that it is important for nearly everyone else sets me at odds with the world at times, but I’m okay fighting that battle. My needs are few: a place to sleep, something to eat, a change of clothes for after a quick shower, and I’m good to go.

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I’m grateful for my nephew, Jay, coming over to Orlando to pick me up to take me back to Palm Harbor for Christmas. I’m equally grateful to my brother-in-law, Jerry, for driving me back the day after. Family is important and spending the day with my big sister’s clan was a good time. I spent the past couple of seasons with them, so it’s becoming a tradition, I guess. I think this year we all laughed more than we had in previous gatherings. I’ll take credit for my share of the funny stories, but a lot of that has to do with the shared company and feeling at home, even with that dysfunctional lot.

Anyway, the holiday set me back a couple of days on revising Book Six of The Wolfcat Chronicles, but I had worked that into my personal schedule, so I’m still on track to meet the end of the year deadline. I completed Chapter 16 last night. Today I’m going to attempt knocking out half of the remaining chapters. Perhaps I can finish it off on Tuesday, then, one day earlier than planned. If not, I have Wednesday morning.

#Christmas #Holidays #Commercialization #TheWolfcatChronicles #Revisions

Uncategorized

News I Can’t Tell You About, Just Yet

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There are a lot of things going on right now beside the obvious Christmas things. Foremost, my schedule at work has cooperated with my plans to spend the holiday with family in Palm Harbor. I haven’t seen them for several months, so it will be good. My nephew is coming to pick me up sometime Wednesday evening, after I get off from work.

My son is spending the day with his mother. My daughters are spending their holiday with their friends. That’s what happens when a family matures and we all go off in the different directions that our lives lead. You plan for maybe a get together for the next year and see if the events of the intervening year allow for that to happen. Lately the plans haven’t always panned out. For that I’m responsible, I suppose. I’m the one who doesn’t have a car and whose income isn’t sufficient to support traveling around to be with family. Will that change in the next year? It could. There’s always hope, right?  There’s a best selling book that will be made into a movie – someday. Yes, I can dream but I really have that kind of faith in my stories.

So the questions remain, this time next year, where will I be and what will I be doing? Generally, if the past in any indication of the future, I’ll be doing a lot of same things I am now. I’m never sure where I’ll be living. Such is the nomadic life I’ve been leading since deciding to write full time. I suspect I’ll stay in this area, though, as I have a part time job that I like. So, unless I start making gobs of money on book sales between then and now I’ll still be doing the part time gig and that is an anchor for the present and immediate future.

By this time next year I should be making a decent amount form the publicity work I do along with writing. I plan to have public appearances and book signings over the next few months. That will cost awareness of my books locally, at least. In the next few weeks there will be some breaking news that I can reveal quite yet. So be looking for it in upcoming blog posts. It’s exciting and I’m very happy about it.

On the book revisions front: I’m about two hundred pages from the end of Book Five of The Wolfcat Chronicles. I should finish it this week, depending on other interruptions, of course. But I’ve set a target of Sunday. I doubt I’ll have much time to work on anything next week. I plan to be preparing Book Six for revision by then. I hope to have that one finished early in January. There are some restructuring issues with the chapters in book six that I need to take care of first, though. I expect it to take most of a day to work those details out before I can dig in and start revising the text.

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Yesterday was a good day all around. I made a lot of progress with Book Five and I chatted online with my muse, the friend who inspired the character Ela’na in The Wolfcat Chronicles  We’ve stayed in contact over the years but don’t converse or correspond as much as we used to. Certainly nothing like it was when I was actively writing The Wolfcat Chronicles about ten years ago.

Since then both of our lives have changed, sometimes for the worst and other times for the best. At some point a few years back I sent her a massive volume of all ten manuscripts. Those were the result of three or four passes of editing and revisions. There have been several others since, the most recent prior to this in 2010 for the entire series and 2012 for the first seven books. She has given me some feedback that I have been incorporating into the revisions. Or chat yesterday was not really about revisions. I’m sending her a copy of Fried Windows to read. Even though the book sort of connects in with wolfcats – the stories are mentioned – it was written well. Over time my writing style has evolved. I’m seeing a good bit of that in the revision process. It’s good because I’m updating things a bit, putting a fresh coat of paint on an already great story.

It was just nice to talk with her even if it was via text. We used to have some interesting conversations, some of which led to bits included in the books. That’s what happens with writers and at least some friends who inspire us to write. People we know wind up in our books, somehow or the other.

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There have been a few changes to The Wolfcat Chronicles over the course of the current revision. Most have been minor. I’m sure other things will change while the book goes through substantive and content editing. That always happens. I had a good, working relationship with my editor on Fried Windows and was pleased with how well things turned out. My only complaint was that everything was so rushed toward the end, but that is how it always is when pushing against a deadline. I’m also aware that regardless of how careful and meticulous the editing process is there are a few errors that get past everyone’s eyes. There is at least one misspelled name that I know of. Some feedback has told me there are a couple of grammar errors as well but when I looked at the spots those occurred in dialogue and they are attributed to the way the character speaks. We opted for authenticity in places, so those are intentional lapses of grammar.

Anyway, for the next week or so I’m not sure how many blog posts I’ll be making. I’ll do a Throwback Thursday later on today but since I won’t be home next Thursday, I’ll probably skip the one for next week or do it early, like on Wednesday morning. I’ll post a progress report for when I submit Book Five and perhaps one when I start digging into Book Six. So maybe there will be three posts I’ll make. The rest of the week I’ll be silently working on revisions or engaged at work or spending time with family.

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#TheWolfcatChronicles #FriedWindows  #revisions #writing #publishing