Monday, November 30, 2015

Thanksgiving week and Nanowrimo

First off, happy thanksgiving and merry Christmas everyone.

This week we had Marisa up here for the holiday and mayhem ensued...

Actually a lot of the mayhem was mine and would have happened anyway....

I 'won' NANWRIMO (and about a week early!). What that means is I wrote a complete novel of over 50,000 words this past month. More precisely I wrote a novel of 58,201 words (238 pages) in 22 days (I didn't write on Sundays). Winning NANOWRIMO also means that I'm getting a bunch of free stuff and discounts that are writing related AND!!!!! THREE PUBLISHING COMPANIES WILL BE CONTACTING ME ABOUT THE BOOK. I should be getting all the relevant info via email tomorrow.

The original was hand written and then transcribed so technically I have my first edit pass done as well. One more thing I should say about this and then I can let it go (until I start the serious editing in January).

No non-diet or caffeine free soda was harmed in the creation of this book! Diet Dr Pepper not so lucky...

We survived our first dealing with diabetes thanksgiving pretty well. I even made the stuffing I usually make (of course since I'm fooling with cooking again I may try modifying it some, so stay tuned...)

Lisa and Marisa did a lot of knitting, a lot of staying up late and a lot of shopping...
Which leads us to the answer of this years where is the weirdest place I went rock hounding this year...

Parking lot of an Idaho Falls surplus store! The one with the holes is a fossilized corral (please don't ask me what that was doing there! I didn't expect to run into any of these little buggers). So once again I'm out pick'n rocks in literally freezing weather. At least this time it wasn't snowing! It was a nice reward for finishing the book (Ok, 238 pages... 22 days... you didn't really expect me to drop that this quickly did you?)

Lisa should be proposing her dissertation here soon. She has her full committee now. She might have a few things to say about the week which she can add to the post (or issue a rebuttal) as she sees fit.

That's it for this time everyone...
Until next time thanks for reading... Unless...
If you really want to know what the book is about...

It has two main themes that I've found two videos that sum them up pretty well...
Thanks to Billy Joel and INSOC respectively...

If you want to know how these fit in with the book (and they really do) you'll just have to read it. I'm done talking about it for now (for sure this time).

And that really is it until next time. And, thanks for reading.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

What the other half was doing...

Ok, Lisa posted on Monday about her really good conference performance. What else was going on during that week?


Thanks to taedh7 for the video... but serious folks...

First off, the Kickstarter ended. In an ironic twist of fate the Kickstarter not funding turned out to be the best possible option! I got it up. I did it. I finished it. Someone contributed. But, not enough contributions to make it go.

Now this is good because 1) I re-evaluated and solved my problem with the ebook version (which will net me higher royalties (think 2-3 times the royalties at half the price to the customer!) 2) I got a contributor in the background who came through with funds for the test kits without contributing on Kickstarter. This got the project going without the fulfillment and tax issues that would have come with the timing of the Kickstarter. The book will be out (to a test audience at least) by the end of the year and in a general release next April.

So what does that mean? (you know besides the obvious I'm a professional author now...) What did I do with the rest of the time ('cause the failing up part didn't really take that long...)

First I'm planning the questionnaire to go with the test version of the book.

Second...( Thanks to Akinius for this one...)

But seriously again...
There are a few thrilling heroics... I'm currently doing a Nanowrimo (national novel writing month) project...
Here are the current stats

I am currently at 34,207 words out of a 50,000 word minimum goal for the month. If things go on track I will be cracking 40,000 on Friday. Basically if you think of it in terms of thinking and page count I've been writing a Masters Degree Thesis a week for the past two weeks. I will write another one this week and probably another one over Thanksgiving week!

After I write the whole thing I will be ignoring it for at least a month and then get into the editing in earnest. Hopefully that part is over by the end of February so I can get the final edits on the Chainmail Bottle Carriers book done in March (Note: I'm not taking December off... I have a short story collection and a diabetes book that are on hold so I can do the nanowrimo thing...).

Now... I'm about to do something here that I've never done here before...
As far as I know nobody except for Lisa has seen this one yet...
An excerpt from my upcoming novel Johnson Farm...

John couldn’t quite put it into words, but he was sure the words he’d read were a special thing, a holy thing. It was the only book she kept on the little desk. It was the only thing she kept among her treasures.

John stopped himself. It wasn’t the only book. There were the little books on top, what did those hold? He almost, almost got distracted by a slab of variegated tigers eye, blue mixed with gold and somehow green. It lay right next to the books and was so beautiful. But the books still called to him. He reached past the stone and pulled out one of the books.

The little hard backed notebook had a worn cover, the ink that looked like a date had run enough that he couldn’t read it. The first couple of pages were water damaged as well. John flipped further back into the book.

Ephraim got a letter today. He says someone named Ezra wrote him about his father. I guess Ezra was a friend from Ephraim’s past. He doesn’t talk about home much. He says that Ezra wrote about Ephraim’s father being sick. I asked Ephraim if he wants to go home. He said he would think about it but he wanted to pay another visit to the quarry before he went anywhere. Who knows when we will be this way again?

“Diaries? Are those all diaries?” John flashed his light side to side across the row of books. “Maybe this is what Ezra meant about answering questions.”

He slid a couple of the little books into his hip pocket and looked longingly down at the desk top. Sure enough there were slabs of every kind of tiger eye; the golden, blue hawk’s eye, red bull’s eye and the variegated. There were several of those, but only one with the green.

The sound of the front door opening alerted him to trouble. John had just enough time to relock the door and hide the flashlight before Dad came around the corner.
So, a little less gun play and a little more word play (note: guns do come up a few times in the story and the John probably would crash the spaceship if he had one...)

That's it for this week.
Lisa will post next week if she wants to and hopefully I will be back and unreasonably cocky in two...(then again I did just write a whole novel so maybe it won't be unreasonable!)

Monday, November 16, 2015

Conferences and Travel (Lisa's belated post)

I (Lisa) should have posted last week, but after 3 full days of travel (still not sure why I had to fly to Minneapolis to get to San Antonio) and back to back conferences, I was tired.

I presented at the first conference (Quality Matters) and got great feedback and made some new connections.  At the second conference (AECT) I competed as a grad student in the 3MT competition - explain your research in less than 3 minutes without any fancy language.  I'm really glad I did it.  Mostly because it got me to really think about my dissertation research.

I was extremely nervous during the first round, and slotted to go last.  I did try to pay attention to the others, but found it very difficult.

The end result?  I won!  Interesting to note that the runner up and people's choice winner was a grad student from BYU.  I love all the BYU (Provo, Idaho, and Hawaii) connections at the AECT conference.

So, if you want to know about my research, I had a friend record me during the finals round - it is only 2 1/2 minutes - and hopefully I didn't get too technical.

I (Patrick) am really glad that Lisa did well. Winning the 3mt is not a small thing. She also did a book signing with her co authors for the  book that she's got a chapter in.

I do have some news to talk about on my front but I will wait to talk about it so as to not detract from Lisa's post.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Growing up is hard to do (even when you're an 'adult')

Things change, that's part of life. If living things don't change they die. One of the things that needs to change for me is that my writing needs to be better, all of my writing. Since it is sort of what I do now I need to treat it with more respect. I need to put more time and effort into the things I write, even when it's 'just a blog post'.

I also need to make better use of the social media that I have available to me.

Put these things together and you get less blog posts here. Some of my posts here have been more like a couple of Facebook posts strung together. I can do better than that.

So, I will be cutting back here, posting no more than every other week. The posts will be higher quality posts, it's the respect you, I, and the blog deserve. I will also be putting things that 'belong' on Facebook on Facebook. I may talk about the same things there and here. I probably will talk about the same things, but the posts will be longer, more in depth, and more though out here. The quick off the cuff stuff will go more on Facebook where it belongs.

Videos won't be going away, but they'll be here less often and more of them will be my own stuff. Hey, I'm making them so why not!

Craft projects / art / shiny things will be here; more of them and more regularly/predictably. I reminded myself that balance is needed in all thing and that includes between the work shop and the writing desk. That means more cool stuff to show up here.

Recipes and food stuff will continue to show up here occasionally, so will diabetes stuff. These are things of our adventures and they belong here. They also deserve better treatment than they've been getting lately.

A while back (after I started WMS, but before they left Rexburg) one of the sister in laws asked if I write out the stuff for this blog before I put it up. The answer was no; I did for WMS but not for The Adventures. Now, the answer is changing to yes and no. It honestly is going to depend on the subject matter and what's going on (probably a lot less prewriting during NANOWRIMO  and deep/serious edits on major projects and a lot more while I'm in more of a marketing/proofing/selling phase).

I've talked about going to every other week and Lisa filling in in-between before. That was a mistake. Two mistakes actually: 1) Lisa is busy and can't always post every other week; 2) I let myself get sucked back into posting every week because I felt like it was necessary.

Things change. Lisa is welcome to post and will when she feels like it. I will be posting at most every other week. It's about the quality of the writing and your time (and mine); sometimes a bad product is worse than no product at all. (If any one really insists on hearing from me every week (Yeah, in my dreams...) they could go read WMS  I'll still be doing that one weekly)

This time I'm not going to feel bad if a week goes by with no post here. I've told you what's going on and it really is for all our benefit. Maybe with less and better posts here there will be more comments (and maybe the Fathers Day Tie post will get bumped out of the "most popular post" slot).

Well that's the news.

Lisa may be posting about her trip next week. If not, then I'll see you in two!
Take care.