Blogging is like vegetables.

Okay, I admit it. I broke my own rules. I told you I would be blogging on Tuesdays and Thursdays and here it is Friday with no updates this week. I could tell you how busy I was, or about all the family issues that came up but the truth is I have discovered that blogging is like vegetables.

What? You don’t see the similarities? Come on, really? Okay let me explain. I am not a vegetable person by nature. A small side salad is okay, corn on the cob is great, asparagus is good with enough butter and salt. Veggies as a whole, I can take ‘em or leave ‘em, and I’d really rather leave ‘em.

My wife, on the other hand, loves ‘em. Wants to have them at every meal (or at least every dinner, and most lunches…she even likes that 3 bean salad stuff). Okay? With me so far? I’m sure it is all very clear to you how veggies and blogging are so much alike.

Wait, what? Still not getting it? Okay look at it this way. I am in charge of food at my house most of the time. I plan the menu, do the shopping, and do the cooking. I like to cook. My wife insists we eat healthy, so I cook vegetables…at every dinner… most of the time…unless I can get away with it.

So, over the past 32 years of marriage I have developed a habit of planning dinners with veggies. I pretty much do it without thinking. Protein, a little starch, and green stuff (that’s sometimes other colors, but mostly green). Once in a while I can get away with calling spaghetti sauce vegetables (tomatoes…come on, they count…don’t they?). Anyway, I’m pretty good at getting the veggies in on a regular basis, but every once in a while the old me rears its ugly head. If my wife is preoccupied, and life is getting busy, I can pull out Burgers & chips (potatoes don’t count), Grilled Cheese Sandwiches, and the like. Homemade dinners with not a veggie in sight. If we are really busy, I can slide in a couple of fast food nights (the wife can get a salad at McDonald’s, I take a burger & fries…she will put the veggies on her sub, me-not so much). Before you know it I realize I’ve gone a whole week without ingesting one of those little “V” buggers. And you know what? I like it!!

BUT (you knew it was coming)

I know it’s not good for me. I’ve developed a habit of eating veggies, even though I’m a bit indifferent to them, and actually start to feel guilt when I go too long without them.

This is what I did this week here. I skipped Tuesday’s blog, and it felt good, then I felt guilty. And I was really going to write this blog last night, but I let it slide. After blogging the past few weeks, and getting in the habit, I had missed, twice. I do feel guilty. Especially to you, my readers out there.

So you see, blogging is like vegetables. You just need to get in a habit that’s good for you. So for all you readers of my blog, I promise to keep eating my vegetables, and to keep blogging regularly (except when I don’t).

And speaking of you readers, I have done some very precise computations about you. I added up all the comments that I have received since starting this blog, then multiplied by 10, because I’m sure that for every 1 brave poster, there are at least 9 lurkers out there reading along. From this complex equation I can conclude with some precision that I have almost exactly zero readers at this time.

“Well Steve, why are you even posting?” You may ask. (It’s a good question, that I’m sure you would ask…if you were here…which you aren’t…are you??)

The answer is: Well, for the historical significance of this document of course. Some day, after I publish a couple of books, people will actually be interested in what I’m saying in this blog. And of course they will want to catch up on all the wit and wisdom I have imparted over the years. So they (you) will end up here.

By the way, if there actually is someone that reads this please leave me a comment. Please? Even a “you suck” would make my day.

Steve
Because Blogging is like vegetables (new tag line-does it work?)

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The road not taken

41 days to retirement and my new career as a writer. It’s time for some soul searching. I started writing fantasy fiction almost thirty years ago. I have a lot of fantasy based fragments, and an almost complete novel (that really sucks in its present form). I’ve spent a lot of time developing the world, the magic system, the history and the characters. I know these guys pretty well and am loath to abandon them. I had dreams of attending comic book and gaming conventions, being listed with the likes of Weis, Hickman, and Salvatore.

BUT.

Over the past five to six years I’ve switched over to writing romance. Some mainstream but mostly paranormal romance. Paranormal Romance allows me to keep my love of fantasy, and embrace my new-found fascination with the romance genre. Even though I’m a guy, and romance is mostly written by the fairer sex, I truly feel at this moment in time that this is my calling.

SO

I’m putting the elves, dwarves and halflings on the backburner (for now) to totally embrace romance as my genre of choice. Elliand will wait for me, I’m sure, and maybe someday (probably under a pen name) I’ll return and tell his story, and that of the Amulet of the Fallen God. For right now there’s a sexy herbalist/sorceress and a down-on-his-luck werewolf that just need to fall in love, and I’m only on chapter 4. But he almost killed her in chapter 2 so they are making headway.

…and that’s the way it is. Thursday may 20th, 2010…

(Oh, wait, I think someone already used that tag line. The search continues…)

Steve

Back story

I’ve been reading a lot lately on writing do’s and don’ts. One thing I learned recently is that you should start your book at the beginning of the story.

A few months ago I pulled out my original book. I do this every few years. Dust it off and work on it for a while until I realize how crappy it really is. I’ve been working on this thing for almost thirty years now, and I don’t know if there’s enough polish in the world to make this sad story shine. But I started at the beginning and actually wrote a complete new chapter 1. It set the scene, gave lots of background. Things I thought you’d want to know about the hero. It was…BACK STORY!!

Okay, some of this back story will make its way into the book (if I ever finish) but with all I’ve read recently I know that the worst place to put it is in Chapter 1. So I’m going to have to cut it out. A whole chapter. Ouch!

Then I thought, maybe it just needs a new home. So I brought it here. You should notice a new heading up above: The Severed Chapter. Here you will find this tidbit. It’s kind of a little story all it’s own, and at least representative of my writing style.

I hope you enjoy it.

Steve

(still no witty tag line)

Looking for my Voice

I hear that writers need to ‘find their voice’ and that voice is very important in query letters to agents and publishers. So I’m on a mission to find my voice. Now maybe this is it, maybe I already have my voice, and I just have to keep speaking with it. I guess time will tell.

No news yet on the story I sent off last week to the New York City Literary Agent (you just knew I was going to work that in, didn’t you?). From everything I read it’s much to early to be expecting a reply, but that doesn’t stop me from continually checking my email.
I joined the absolutewrite.com community today. It seems like a really good and nurturing community for writers.

I have decide to try to blog on Tuesdays and Thursdays plus the occasional Saturday to keep it regular and make it a habit

I think I need a catchy end line, but I don’t have one yet.
Steve

I know how I got here. How did you?

Welcome to my blog. I’m a writer.

I’m 54 years old, and 50 days from retirement from my job as a computer desktop support specialist. It’s time to move on to something else.

I really wish I could have said I’m an author up there, but I’m really not. At least not yet. Writers write (deep I know, but stick with me), Authors publish. So I’m a writer now. I’ve been writing for myself off and on for almost thirty years. Lots of starts and stops, a semi-finished novel that is truly awful, and probably twenty or so really good starts. Oh yes, also one finished 20,000 word short story (novella?) that I think is pretty good. And that’s really why I’m here.

A few weeks ago I pulled out this gem from my rather shoddy collection of writings and polished it up a bit. She was only 13,000 words at that time, but she was a little cutie. Lately I’ve been lurking on a few writing connected blogs, thinking that when I did retire I was going to give this writing thing a real try. In a fit of insanity I shot off a query letter to an honest to gosh New York City Literary Agent. To my complete and utter surprise she wrote back and expressed and interest in my little story. She told me she would like to see it at around 20,000 words. I emailed back that that would be no problem, after all, words are what I do (well, plan to do after I retire). Inspired, I went back and did a complete rewrite of the story, adding a couple of scenes I’d been thinking about anyway, and when finished it came in at just over 20,000 words.

Last Friday I sent it off. Now, I know that there is a good chance that I will be receiving a rejection email soon, but there is that small hope that this New Your City Literary Agent (God, I love saying that) will find my little story to her liking, and maybe find a home in print somewhere for it.

So, anyway, everything I read about new Authors says that they need a blog. If I’m going to do this, I’m going to do it right.

That’s how I got here. How did you?