Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Happy autumn – another year is racing by.  The holidays will soon be screaming down upon us – and a new year in the offing.

As seems to be usual lately, as the time spins by, the children’s comic book series, Planet Of The Eggs, part of The Egg Chronicles family, is taking up a good deal of my time along with that of my writing/creative partner Charlene Brash Sorensen.

We’ve completed five books in the Planet Of The Eggs comic series for Children and are working on the sixth Children’s comic in the series, Worlds Collide. The script is written and we’re about six pages into creating the illustrations to tell the tale! We hope for a release date somewhere in late Nov. or early Dec. Add it to your Christmas list!

Our most recent interview on the Planet Of The Eggs series is with Lisa Haselton and you can see it here   Do stop by today and leave a comment with your thoughts. Share it with your friends. Explore Eggland.

In other news, my latest short story, Skykicker, has just been published by CowboyJamboree magazine. The PDF of the magazine is free to download and contains the short story.  Enjoy!  And I’d love it if you could leave a comment there or here on this blog on what you think.

Upcoming are more books for the Egg Chronicles family- including more children’s comics in the Planet of The Eggs line and more early reader books for the Read To Me series.

Meanwhile I’m settling back and watching the change of the seasons while I contemplate how in the world I’m going to get my romance novel finished – Serpent’s Tail. Not even a tentative date set for that one, but it’s definitely in the hopper at about 2/3 done. 

Enjoy the lovely crisp weather and awesome colors of fall!

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

A Scattered Blog Post for Writers & Readers

Yep, autumn has come to my little corner of the world, temps in the low 40’s when I got up this morning.  And, since this time of year tends to make me a bit scattered with the need to pull it back together I’ve decided to treat my readers to a scattered post. A bit of a few things to let you know about, to give you a little something and to hopefully make your day.

With the sun shining outside, the green tea on my desk and access to the web coming and going this morning I’ll do the best I can – so here’s the first thing on my small list.

The publisher, Baen has introduced their FREE library and are offering free electronic versions of some of their books. You can read online or download in a variety of formats.  Nice. Thanks Baen.

And wait, there’s another free resource. Ebook Lobby They offer free books, more of the non-fiction variety, but a few children’s books as well. Also free to download.

And, if you write pretty much anything, there might be a time when you want to grab a copy of Elements Of Style – you can get that free here

On another subject, a friend of mine, author Robbie Cox, has a great series going with two installments already completed which I’ve read and enjoyed.  It’s the Warrior of The Way series. 

The first is Reaping The Harvest $2.99 on Kindle  It kicks off with -
On his way home from a moving job, Rhychard Bartlett heard a scream and ran to help. That action changed his life forever and tossed him into a war between the Way and the Void. Given the Guardian Sword, assisted by an ellyll who only stands two feet tall, and bonded to a mind speaking coshey the size of a Newfoundland canine and a taste for pepperoni pizza, Rhychard must stop the demon Vargas from carrying out his plans. Once he finds out what they are, of course. In the meantime, he longs for the girlfriend who left him because he suddenly had too many secrets. Not only must he save the day, but he also must convince Renny Saunders he's not the cheating lover everyone thinks he is.

And the second is Lore Master $3.99 on Kindle 

Robbie is an excellent writer with a gift for drawing in the reader and giving him a great tale.  Check him out on facebook.

And his website at The Mess That Is Robbie Cox.

And wrapping it up for this week – what am I up to? 

Work on the sixth installment of the Planet Of The Eggs Children’s Book Series under The Egg Chronicles banner with writing/creative partner Charlene Brash Sorensen.  

We’ve blocked out the story line, figured out the illustrations we’ll need to create and are about ready to start creating that book titled Worlds Collide.  You can still get the first in the illustrated stories for kids by going to our Facebook page (hopefully giving it a like while you’re there) and click on the sign up button for our newsletter. This will only continue through the end of the year so you might want to get a move on to grab your PDF copy of Cracked Open FREE
 and start the series that just keeps getting better as light battles dark and the heroic egg warriors confront the depths of evil!

On the back burner for The Egg Chronicles is our next Read To Me Picture Book for very young readers (and the parents who read to them). No title yet, but we’re playing with ideas. Meanwhile, check out the first. 

Since our ‘egg empire’ is expanding we’re planning a whole reboot at the beginning of 2017 with the creation of The Egg Chronicles under who’s banner will be the children’s series Planet Of The Eggs (six issues in Vol. 1 now complete with Vol. 2 in development), the Read To Me Picture Books for Young readers, and more to be announced.
Thanks for reading!  Have a great autumn and I’ll be back with the next post soon!
Meanwhile, watch out for Puff the dragon-
he's growing up fast!

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Update on A Writer's Journey

Autumn is coming to where I live and the flowers are bursting forth in a purple and yellow display that’s breathtaking. I can see them from my office window which makes my office an exceptionally nice place to work this time of year as the temperatures begin to cool.

It’s also a great time to take stock and figure out what’s coming next for this writer.  After all, we’re heading into winter – the traditional time for hibernation, and for writers the perfect time to curl up with a computer and really put out some great stories and more while the fire crackles on the hearth and the hot chocolate steams in the mug.

First and, these days, in the forefront is the Planet of the Eggs Comic series brought to you by The Egg Chronicles, that I co-create with creative partner Charlene Brash Sorensen. Yep, we’re working on #6 – the final story in this first volume of the comic series, titled Worlds Collide. Its great fun and our readers are going to love it. Don’t forget you can visit the Facebook page where we keep folks up to date on what’s happening and where you can sign up for our monthly newsletter – or you can just sign up for it HERE. You get the first Planet Of The Eggs Adventure, Cracked Open FREE when you join enthusiastic readers on the newsletter list.

That’ll wrap up this first series of adventures, but there are more to come. Got any ideas for these brave an intrepid warrior, scholarly and medic eggs? Go ahead, post ‘em in the comments section below, we’d love to hear your thoughts.

In that same vein,  also under The Egg Chronicles banner, we’ve begun
creating our new line of Children’s Read-to-Me Picture Books! The first one is Look At Me! Look At You! Now available as digital release for your Kindle and in paperback as well on Amazon. Share them with your kids and grandkids. We’re thinking of creating coloring books as well – what do you think?

On another note I’m working on converting my vampire western (titled
artwork by Gabriel Hardman
Bloodlines) screen script to novel format. That’s going to take me into early spring since we’re doing so much work with our Eggs. It’s back to novels on that front and it’s also great fun to do even if I do have to keep my nose to the keyboard to keep up.  The two styles of writing (novel and script) are pretty far apart, so there’s a lot of detail to fill in and small errors to catch as the writing continues. 

Come on over and visit me at my facebook page and webpage as well. I’m delighted to welcome new followers and read comments my readers share.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Two Ways For Writers To Kickstart The First Chapter

The first chapter of your book is important.

Very important.

It doesn’t seem like such a big thing, the first chapter, or does it? It’s the beginning, that which should tantalize your readers, draw them in and hold on tight. So full of promise – what adventure lies ahead?

That first chapter shouldn’t be the thing to set terror fluttering in the heart of the writer, but rather to be exciting, invigorating, fun! That first chapter can lead to so much. It can grab readers. It can hook a bored editor who’s looking for the kind of book you’ve written. It can keep a browser on Amazon reading that Kindle edition and asking for a full sample leading to that coveted sale because that reader is hooked and just can’t stop reading.

So, NUMBER ONE: don’t succumb to terror. Don’t let the white of the screen before you intimidate you.  There are all sorts of warnings out there that are a trap to intimidate writers. “In the beginning,” they say, “grab me from the first sentence!” or “Don’t waste a single word!” or “get it moving, start your story somewhere after the first couple of chapters and skip the intro altogether.” Heard this? Read this? Between writing coaches, teachers, editors, agents and script readers it feels like all they’re out there to do is to intimidate writers and scare them into giving up before they even start.

Okay, you, as a writer, don’t need all that tension. The truth is, they’re all looking for that great book and you just might have it. So relax. They aren’t actually expecting perfection from writers. They’re looking for originality and powerful. So breathe in, breathe out and get those first words up on the screen; just let the words flow. The bad and the good. Editing time will be the time to sort it all out. Oh, and by the way, as a general observation, it’s just fine to want to write a book to entertain. It doesn’t have to have a great and deep message or some thrumming theme. Write what your inner writer wants to write.

NUMBER TWO: have a light touch with description. Yes, yes, I know, you can see it all in your mind, every blade of grass, every cricket chirping at a window, every hair on the black dog’s head. Sounds, sights, emotions, textures and colors. The story you’re writing is so powerful you want the readers to be right there with you, to be immersed in the story.

But don’t feel you have to spill it all in those first few sentences in that first chapter. Sketch out the bones with enough details to give it some punch. Your readers don’t want to hear about the weather, every detail of the hero’s street and how long he’s lived there all in the first few sentences. Readers always trust writers to fill in detail as the story moves forward. What’s needed in the beginning is those few details, just a taste, just enough to give a feeling of place. Then trust yourself to add the needed information along with the forward movement of the story.

Now turn that blank white screen into a writer’s chapter to be proud of. 

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Giving Up Perfection - the Writer's Task

Are you a writer of any type?  Do you strive for perfection?  Are you slowing yourself down beyond belief?

Yep, well consider this. Sometimes there is just the need for speed.  If you watch a bike race like we saw in the Olympics you’ll see it’s not the perfect, cautious rider who wins, it’s the reckless idiot willing to throw it all to the wind and push it to the limit.


Yes, we saw that young rider wipe out on a curve, but that rider was in the game. And if there hadn’t been that wipe out, if the ride had continued on beyond the point of control what would have happened?  Thrown off course? Yes. But on a track not taken before, perhaps faster. Maybe better.
Are you in the game?  

Perfect will never get you fast and in the end, when applying this to writing, it’s fast that counts for the first draft. Get it out there like word vomit on paper. Really, just toss it out there. Get yourself on a roll and let those written words loose – 1,000 words, 2,000, maybe 5,000 or more in a day. Don’t trip up your hot streak. Don’t risk tossing aside a ‘wow’ moment when you, as writer, look back over the day’s work and find you’ve gone way beyond your usual abilities.

Yes, you’re going to have to edit whether you’re an author who waits until the end to go through the whole script in one go or another kind of writer who edits what was done the day before prior to continuing. You’re just (most of you) are going to have to do some clean up. Or someone is going to have to do it for you and believe me it won’t be an editor or a producer.

BUT - Don’t let the magic of that full throttle day disappear. Don’t chance killing the spark that ignited. Your writing begs for you to be reckless. Perfect slows you down. My advice is don’t go for perfect…especially when in the midst of a creative storm.

The other side is the obvious. I’m sure you’ve all heard various complaints about books with typos, misspellings and all sorts of grammar mistakes that throw the reader off and end up causing them to put the book aside. Same can happen with any other writing.  What if you’re a technical writer and hand in a paper filled with errors. 

I’m not saying the driven writer shouldn’t be bothered with such, we have to be. We even have to read galleys with a professional eye to catch the errors the editors at major houses miss. However you accomplish it, do it.

But when it comes to your story, don’t go for perfection, go for the speed and power that make your words sing. You never know what new demon might emerge out of the mist. 

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Writers and Avatars on Facebook

As a writer I decided to have some fun and use a cartoon Avatar on my Facebook page for now.  I like changing occasionally.

I’ve always had some picture or another of myself on my twitter and Facebook pages associated with my writer self, and just in case you’re one of the people who don’t,  let me say it kinda makes you less human, more of a non-entity if you don’t have a picture up there to represent yourself. If you’re just you, it’s not very personal. And, if you’re a business or the site is the representative of your business (like being a writer) then not having a photo can really kill your business (as in not having people move to your writer's info). 

It may seem silly, but that blank image is what your customers would be associating with you. So if writer equals blank space what does that convey to the readers who stop by? It also makes it look like you’ve something to hide and that makes people think you may be a spammer.  So it’s best to put SOMETHING up there.

For me, it was fun using Cartoonize to create the picture and easy as well. Just upload a picture to the site and a couple of clicks later you have it – there’s even a choice of styles. See what you can do with it. Use a picture you like and see the results in moments.

But there are lots of other alternatives.

If you don’t want to be a cartoon there are a number of free resources on the web where you can create an Avatar of yourself  from scratch using bits and pieces they provide.  

Here are a few I’ve run into and explored just a bit. Create a new you and have fun doing it.

Build Your Wild Self is one of my Favorites, but that’s me, others may suite you better.

Here are some others:


Face Your Manga



Visit and see what might work for you – or go ‘googling’ for Avatar creators or another creative keyword and if you find something unusually great go ahead and share the link here.  It would be greatly appreciated.

It’s time to stop being a mystery person and face the crowd – or at least let your Avatar do it for you.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Directions in a Writer’s Life

Namely – mine!

Some writers pretty much stick with what they began with whether it’s novel writing or scriptwriting or journalism for an entire career. That’s great for them, or, if you’re a writer and that’s the way you go, for you.

For me, things keep on a’changin’. It’s not that I move away from one type of writing to another and leave the ‘old’ behind, it’s more like I add to what I’m doing. That can get a bit crazy, but it’s the way I Iike it. Spices things up for me, keeps the fresh and the new ideas rolling.

I began with novels, published with Doubleday, Harlequin and others. 

Then I added script writing and I loved it. Had a wonderful mentor in Larry Brody of (for whom I'm a Contributing Editor), sold a script, optioned some others and am still working with scriptwriting having completed one a short time ago. All I had to do was know how to type and be creative...and learn the formatting.

But that’s not where it stops for me. I’m also creating a novel from a previously written script. Its great fun and I intend to publish.  I have a romance novel I’m working on finishing up as well. Still typing, still milking the creative juices.

What’s the newest? Comic books. Kid’s books. Yep, an unusual undertaking for me. I’ve partnered up with a great friend and we, together, write and illustrate the comic series Planet Of The Eggs with five adventures published so far and more in the works.  As an off-shot we’re now creating our first ‘read-to-me’/’young readers’ picture book based on the fun characters of Planet Of The Eggs. The first is celebrating the differences in us all, as well as what brings us together, and is as yet untitled, but that’s coming!

The learning curve was pretty steep on comic creation. We’re still using a combination of photoshop, powerpoint and comic life software. Now we’ve also thrown in the free photo manipulator from and got a couple of special effects packs so we can create cool pen sketches and other kind of amazing effects.

The results so far is the near completion of the first volume (six issues) of the Planet Of The Eggs comic book series. But wait, there’s something afoot!  The series is about to find itself in a reboot as we evolve from the very young adventurous eggs to the more confident, determined Superhero eggs and their friends, companions and arch enemies. We’re on the very cusp as we complete the first picture book and dive into plotting for the sixth adventure to complete our first volume.  

Oh, and the fifth, Planet Of The Eggs-Eruption 2, Saving Dot has just released in Kindle format and paperback will follow in the next couple of weeks.  Want to keep up with it all? 

Go to our facebook page for Planet Of The Eggs, tell us your thoughts, which heroic egg is your favorite, what villains you would like to see, whatever comes to mind. We love to hear from fans. Oh, and there’s a monthly newsletter as well – just click the sign up button near the top of the page and get access to the first adventure in PDF FREE! Or sign up directly here.

So, my personal writing career has become a fantastical juggling act and I love it. Yep, I’ll be finishing that romance novel, probably creating more novels from scripts and the reverse as well as finding new and exciting things to pursue with my writing.  I’ll let you know what I come up with next.  Meanwhile, happy reading and writing.

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