Tag Archives: dedication

How Bad?

After a 13 hour work day (with a 9.5 hour operational sortie), I wanted nothing more than to go to bed as soon as I got home.

Well, I guess that’s not entirely true… because I forced myself through a 30-minute bodyweight exercise workout, and now I’m sitting on my new indoor bike pedaling away against moderate resistance while typing these thoughts.

I’m mostly doing it because I know the Air Force still has PT standards and I still have a PT test coming up in 2 months. And I don’t think I presently meet the standards, so it’s going to take action to fix that. 

How bad do I want to sleep? How bad do I want to avoid getting in trouble with the military? And how bad do I want to feel lighter, healthier, more energetic?

I know it’s possible… because a year ago I was in far better shape, and I felt great. How bad do I want that state back?
Throw the switch on the tracks of this train of thought, and let me think about writing.

Today I handed out four or five copies of my novel to co-workers and friends who expressed interest. One of them saw me signing a copy for someone else and said, “Hey, I’ll take one of those. I like your writing.”

I expressed surprise and asked, “What writing of mine have you read?” I forgot that he took a gander at a short story I’d written for a Blog Battle entry. And I realized that even though I work with a bunch of fellow nerds who love to troll and tease each other, some people genuinely enjoy my work.

When I handed a different friend his copy, I had another one of those “yes, you can look me up on Amazon” conversations. It felt awkward, as always. It felt cool, as always. 

And today one of my first fans asked, “How’s book two coming?”

I had to stop and admit that the book two word count hasn’t moved in probably a week or more. I’ve been flying a lot, but most writers (and I daresay all amateur writers) have full-time jobs and real-life demands. 

So how bad do I want to send a fan a link to Book Two?  How much does it mean to me that people want me to sign a book for them? What do my actions say about what this hobby/job means to me?

Since I started out writing, I’ve encountered several intelligent and capable people who also express interest in writing. But almost all of them talk about it as a “what if,” or “maybe someday,” or “it would be cool to…”

Diffraction was my “maybe someday” for several years, until I cracked down, cranked out the work, took the lumps of constructive criticism, cranked out more work on revision, and formatted the manuscript.

On December 21st, 2015, “maybe someday” became “today.” 
What’s your “maybe someday” dream?

How bad do you want it?

This Year's Projects

So I discovered that roughly two months of NaNoWriMo pace at my “second job” / “jobby” is too much for me. 


Yay! But also “OW! Thank God it’s over!”
I wasn’t about to miss out on November. I had a project bouncing around in my head since last November, waiting for its moment in the spotlight. The idea of psychic reconnaissance 30 years in the future proved to be a lot of fun for me to write. So 50,000 words later, Perdition is probably 80% complete. (I had some scenes I toyed with beforehand, and I have some gaps to fill in.)

On December 1st, I transitioned to my new goal–the “Christmas present to me” of completing and self-publishing my fantasy novel I’d written and revised off-and-on since 2008. Diffraction made it out the door laaaate in the evening of the Winter Solstice here on Okinawa, an appropriate timing for the struggles of the main character as an outcast and religious rebel in her community. Several friends bought copies, and a couple people read some of it on Kindle Unlimited. Then I ran a NYE giveaway and got 70 Kindle copies out there into the ether. Plus I have a shipment of paperback copies coming my way, with a few committed purchasers waiting. 

It’s no break-out success but I’m happy with it. 

What’s on tap this year? 

1. Finishing Perdition. It would be silly to leave it on the back burner when it’s this close to done.

2. Critique my wife’s NaNoWriMo draft. Jem surprised me, our writers’ group, and pretty much everyone who knew how her progress had been going. A day into the event, an idea sparked her creativity and she started brainstorming. But with about 4 days left in November, she had maybe 10K words. So instead of giving up, she declared “I am doing this.” And she knocked out the 50K before the deadline. She did awesome, and as she’s my biggest supporter and fan, I want to be the same for her. 

3. I hope to return some attention to short stories and flash fiction like Rachael Ritchey’s Blog Battle. I also want to get back to my Echoes project on WattPad, which has been ignored for the past two months. 

4. Most of all, my goal is to return to the Bordermarches and pen another book in my fantasy world (I have six or seven planned, in different time periods). I hope to put Diffusion into public sales by Dec 21st. In fact, I took time last night to touch up one of the first scenes.

I figure if I could manage 50K in a month while forsaking almost everything else, then manage touching up and publishing a 140K word fantasy novel in the run-up to Christmas, then a goal of 20K words a month is reasonable. If I do really well, I’ll finish the first draft of Diffusion in time for Markday (Midsummer), which would be a lovely treat.

Hopefully, I’ll get to spend more time with all of you lovelies on WordPress along the way. I always enjoy reading about your journeys, wherever they may lead. Thanks for joining me on mine.