Catching Up on the Writering

So Kate Gosselin is “freaking out “ over her show being cancelled.

I really don’t care.  I just couldn’t come up with an intro.

Although, seriously?  She’s upset because her career has been derailed?  Watch the video.  It’s amazing how much she sounds like…well, like Kate Gosselin.  Woman’s nuttier than a can of almonds.

It’s been some time since life has allowed me the time and energy to focus on writing, as well as the myriad other projects I want to work on.  Now that I’ve left my post at The Corner Bookstore, I’m going to dive headlong into the wordy pool and see what comes of it.  The primary objective right now is to finish Book 1 in The Storyteller series, which is tentatively called The Heart of Darkness.  I should, all things being equal, complete that manuscript some time in October (preferably before I head to Richmond, Va for The James River Writers Confererence).

As I manage that daunting task, I mean to pick up the pieces of the abandoned Bookstore series of videos (newest one below) and continue building a platform with which to turn my bizzaro experiences as a bookseller into a television pilot.  Think Arrested Development meets The Office and you’ll get a decent idea. Something that allows for a good bit of insanity but is more character driven than built around the location. I hope to have a new video up every Wednesday.

Additionally, I’ll have a few posts to add to The Adventures of Ducky Thomas, including his long overdue story of traveling to New York City.  That post, for what it’s worth will be called The Massive Warship, and has an awful lot to do with his visit to St. Patrick’s Cathedral. The hope with Ducky is to translate his adventures into chapter books. I think the world needs stories about an adventurous duck. Ducky agrees.

Now that Flutter is out and selling, I will be returning again to the world of Timothy Webb and telling what may, or may not, be the final book in that series. I’m rather fond of Timothy and Natasha, so I may violate ever known rule of writing just to hang on to them. In the meantime, if you haven’t already, The Christ Corporation Series has a Facebook page. Like it. I’ll be posting updates there.

Finally, staring me in the face with the depth and deadness of a salivating zombie is a story that takes the traditional Zombie Apocalypse for rocking ride where it’s never been before. Not sure yet if I want to write the novel or the screenplay, but as I have information to offer, I’ll be tossing it up here on the blog.

…of which I will be visiting more often. Obviously, right?

So with nothing in my way but myself, all of these projects will be complete or underway within the next six months.  I’m piling it on and looking forward to what comes of it.

Oh, and in the near future I’ll be looking for you to determine what absolutely ridiculous show I show blog about on a regular basis. That one is wide open.  Anything from Springer to Gossip Girl, from The View to 90210. It’s not my call. It’s yours. I’m not sure who I hope to entertain more with that, but I’m quite positive it will be me.

That said, here’s the latest in The Bookstore series, called Potter is Hotter. Time to decide between Cullen and Potter. And pretty dresses.

Tweeting the Quack

This is actually a post from the Southern Authors Blog, A Good Blog is Hard to Find, but I would be doing it a great disservice if I didn’t post it everywhere, so, here it is.  May your day be filled with the glory of my brilliance.

And stuff.

——-

This is a duck.  His name is Ducky Thomas.  He is a duck named Thomas.

He’s stuffed full of cute, loves adventures, and is quite convinced that the world is the most fantastic thing a duck could ever hope for.  He also loves the cat who loves him most.

This is a video about a bookstore.  It has nothing to do with ducks–not yet anyway I guess I must admit–but does indeed have a lot to do with the point.

They both have something in common.  They have nothing directly to do with the books I write, but have everything to do with me as a writer.  They are independent of what is published, but a vital cog in the publicity of who I am.  And they aren’t the end or the beginning.  They are the journey.

There.  I’ve waxed poetic.  Now I can get on with the point.

We all know about Twitter.  If you have the time and patience, you can gather a following, make a name for yourself, your opinions, and your work.  The same can be said for Facebook, albeit in a more centralized, and long-term kind of way.  You’re going to make your friends, have your followers, talk about anything from The Simpsons and their obvious lack of relevance to Obama and his quest for health care.  You’ll be “liked”, have the “@” symbol thrown your way, tagged, or even re-posted/re-tweeted.  People will laugh with you, at you, talk about why your opinion is pointless and not at all as potent as what they have to say, and send messages to one another about whatever it is you posted last.  Above all, they will know you as a writer, and understand you as a person in ways readers never could before, and they will look forward to what you have to post next.

But they are merely one step toward lifting you, as a writer, into the conversations of the world.

We live in a digital age.  One in which communication is almost entirely of the written word.  We view Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Foursquare, Plancast, Tumbler, and so on as pure facets of publicity, meant to broaden our audience and stamp a nice, fancy, little brand upon our heads.  All of which is most certainly true.  But it’s not the mere existence of our digital selves on these sites that makes full embrace of what they offer us.  It’s what we write.  It’s how we use them.  It’s taking the blank slate and filling it with content that both evolves who we are as writers, and demonstrates fully what we can do with the words we are blessed with.  True, starting a blog and writing about anything–anything at all–is exactly the right approach.  But it isn’t the endpoint.

When I first started blogging, I didn’t intend on writing about the adventures of a stuffed duck, and I had no plans to begin at first a blog, and then a series of videos about life in a bookstore.  But the more I worked through my personal blog, the more I came to see each entry as a script of my life–pages of the mind fluttering from the inner sanctum of thought to the public forum offered to me.  Each entry was another showcase of what I could offer.  In a very real sense, each time I posted a blog, I was adding to my resume.  Obviously, it is every writer’s great hope that each book that is published will further enhance the aura and legacy of who they are (read in: you will become instantly uber-famous, and own two castles in a decade).  But it doesn’t have to end there any more.  In fact, the sheer number of books that are being published by extension of the popularity of a blog speak volumes to the time in which we live.  Used to be that you had to find a press to print your article, or a series of collected works in which to be included in order to broaden the scope of your work.  Now you have the internet, and whatever time you offer it.  Work it all in unison and not only do people start to pay attention–no matter how small your collective–but they start to anticipate what’s to come.  Then that audience can grow as people share what you have to offer–which is far less work than what you will put into creating it, given that the sharing aspect of it is usually accommodated by the gratifying click of a button.

It’s so very cliche, but the truth is, you never know who is watching, who is reading, who will share what you have to say, who is paying attention to as you scream from every corner of the internet you can crawl from, “HEY! PAY ATTENTION TO ME!”  So, go.  Do.  Find your inner duck.  And make every word count.  Your future readers will take note.

PAY ATTENTION TO ME!

Ahem.

There are a few side projects that I have going on, whilst awaiting the release of Flutter: An Epic of Mass Distraction, which is due out in August, and I would be remiss not to pool them into my Whoreville of Compilation here on this blog. After all, it’s point is to let you know how utterly awesome–if not just active–I am.  So, that said, here’s the scoop:

First of all, I have officially launched the Ducky Thomas blog in order to keep his persistent quacking about new blogs centered in another room, where he can take care of that himself.  He says that he will have one new blog a week, until he can talk me into taking him to new places on a more regular basis.  I let him know that I have a job, and it is my duty to ensure that we can all continue to eat.  He was a good duck and laughed at the word ‘duty’ for two hours.  Check it out.  For a duck, he has pretty good stories.

Secondly, I have attempted to be more consistent with entries on the bookstore blog, There Are No Words.  Mostly, I’m just filling space with the odd things I hear, and the even odder requests that I get.  Becoming involved once more in that blog led to my third in-the-works project.

If you aren’t familiar with the website Xtranormal, then you’ve likely been under a rock.  It’s one of the most useful sites for writers (or directors for that matter) with time, energy, and a small amount of cash to spare.  I’ll spare the details on how it works (largely because I have an episode coming up for that), and instead post the first 3 episodes in the series simply called The Bookstore. There is some truth to it, to a degree.  I have drawn from some of the bits I’ve dropped on the bookstore blog, and added the rest for entertainment.  In the end, this is not meant to be a representation of life at my day job.  It’s meant to be a series of short films that culminate into a larger story.  Life at The Bookstore, if you will.  Characters will be evolved, a story will unfold, and a certain author’s books (ahem) will be shamelessly promoted.  Oh, and there will be no shortage of loathing for Twilight.  So here they are.  You can subscribe to them on my You Tube account and you’ll get email updates when new videos are posted.  Right now I’m doing one a day, but I would image it will be reduced to 2-3 times per week after I’ve got enough of them created.

Please let me know what you think.  This is a work in progress, and I’m always open to input.

Here is #1:

Here is #2:

Here is #3:

A ducking good time

 

 

This is a guest post from Ducky Thomas®, duck extraordinaire. He likes to have adventures, loves even more so to talk about them, and hopes that, some day, he will be able to fly around the world all by himself. He’s a very excitable duck, so try to keep up.

 

 

Hi everybody!  It’s hard to believe that it’s been two weeks since I wrote about going to the Richmond, but golly, time sure has, as Zach likes to say, ‘flown by.’  He says that some day I’ll be able to fly as fast as time, but I just don’t know.  So far I can only fly off the bed, and I don’t make it very far.  Most times, I just kind of fall.  But I’m pretty sure that the last time I tried, I fell a lot slower!  Maybe it won’t be too long now, and I’ll just be zooming all over the place!

Ha ha, Quack!

Sorry, I got a little carried away.

Well, anyway, I may not be able to fly just yet, but I have been very busy making new friends, and also going to something Zach called a, “Fall Festavil,” which I thought would be a very good place for a duck trying to learn how to fly to go to.  It was in a great big park, with trees, and grass, and a playground too (but only the Big Ducks get to play there, Zach said, which made me sad, but I guess someday I’ll be a Big Duck, and then I can play all day long!), but not really too many places where a duck could learn to fly.  It appeared, though, that by the time we got there, most of the people had already fallen, because they were all sitting on the grass listening to music.  I don’t know what the music was, but I’m pretty sure it made everyone feel better about falling, because they all seemed pretty happy.

Oh! But I forgot to tell you the super duper best part! I got to go with my new friend, Henrietta!  She’s a hippo, a really fun, and neat hippo, and pretty much my best friend in the whole wide world!

Henrietta and I got to ride together to the park. She sure is a silly hippo!

At first I wanted her to go, but I couldn’t find her anywhere, and I got really upset.  But then, wouldn’t you know?  That silly little hippo had asked Zach to hide her in our traveling bag as a really neat surprise, and I was so excited when I got there that I quacked for about five minutes! Boy was that embarrassing!

We didn’t go to the park right away, and had to wait in the car while Zach, and his friend Katie (boy she sure is quite pretty, but I’m too shy to tell her!), went to an ATM, I think, where he says all the money is kept, which I don’t know…it seemed kind of small.  I guess money isn’t that big.  Well, while we were waiting, Henrietta kept telling me that it would be really funny if I drove us away while Zach and Katie were gone, which seemed a little crazy to me, but she kept giggling so much that I started giggling too, and then, before I knew it, I had crawled out the bag and was pretending to drive! And let me tell you, it’s a lot harder to do than I thought!

VROOM VROOM!

I don't know what this thing is, but it sometimes makes the car bounce.

I couldn’t make the car go, but, honest as I can be, I didn’t want to.  I like making Henrietta laugh, and boy did she, but I was more than ready to get back in the traveling bag and get the park, so I could fall with everyone.  And, sure enough, we arrived just a few minutes later–though I guess it could have been longer, I don’t know.  Henrietta snorted when I got back in the bag, because she said I made a really funny face, and then I quacked for so long that I don’t really know how much time passed.  But it was so funny!

Well, as I said before, everyone had already fallen when we got there, and I didn’t see any other people falling, although there were some children playing with sticks, and one of them seemed to be really curious to me.  I mean, I know I’m just a duck, but he sure danced silly with that stick.  Zach said he looked like a Jedi with parking son’s disease.  I don’t know what that is, but, as I said, I don’t know how to drive.

Anyway, the boy went away, and just in time too!  Zach and Katie had food, and Henrietta and I got to try some!  The first thing we tried was a hamburger, but I think it wasn’t made too good, because it didn’t taste like ham at all.

It tasted like ketchup.

But the really best thing we tried, that was so super good, I thought I really was going to fly.  It was called a funner cake, and even though it didn’t look much like a cake at all, it sure was fun!  It had some kind of white, powdery stuff on it–I think that was the funner part!–that made my head feel all happy, and caused Henrietta to snort for three straight minutes!  I thought my beak was gonna explode from quacking so hard!

IT WAS SOOO GOOD!

After a while,  it was time to go, which was okay with Henrietta and me because we were ready for a nap.  And even though Henrietta and I aren’t Big enough to go to the playground, we did get to sit together on a bench for a little bit, and watch the other kids.  I tell you, it sure looks like a lot of fun.

Henrietta is a super neat hippo.

It sure was a lot of fun, but boy was I tired.  I was really happy that Henrietta got to go too, and that I got to eat some yummy food, and even though I didn’t fall at the park, I sure did when I got home!

This was the best fall I've ever made!


Ducky Thomas Goes to Richmond

This is Ducky Thomas:

 

This is Ducky Thomas. He is a duck named Thomas.

 

Recently, Ducky Thomas had an adventure.  He went to Richmond, Virginia on a trip.  It wasn’t the grandest of trips, but it was exciting all the same.  He went on this journey with me, as I took to the town as a speaker at the James River Writers Conference.  Unfortunately, however, he did not attend the conference, as it cost quite a bit of money to pay the way for an attendee, and, well, ducks are just not allowed in the library.  So, while I was away, he manned—er, ducked–the hotel room where he…well, I suppose I should let his words speak for themself:

“I’ve never gone on a trip before.  For that matter, I’ve never gone anywhere before.  Before this weekend, I had only been out of the bedroom, where I stay, just once to sit on Zach’s desk.  He said he wanted to take my picture, which was okay with me, but ducks aren’t much on make-up, and don’t often pose for pictures, so I was a bit nervous about it all.  And that was just for a picture!  Imagine how I felt when he asked me if I wanted to go to Richmond! ‘Golly!’ I had exclaimed.  ‘I don’t even know what a Richmond is, but I sure do want to see it!’  So, sure enough, he told me I could go, and went to something called, ‘Target’–which I believe is not far away, but must be a magical place, seeing as how he returned quickly with a wonderful black traveling house with wheels for me to ride in.  Who knew there were such things in the world!  It had plenty of room for me to rest comfortably, and I was able to keep all of Zach’s belongings safe during the trip–though I do have to admit that the darkness made me sleepy, and aside from some bumpy moments, I slept quite a lot.  Fortunately, no one tried to open the house, and before I knew it, Zach was opening the door and I opened my sleepy eyes to see something amazing!  It was a brand new place, much bigger than the bedroom I’m usually in!  And, it had a really big window that let me see one of the most amazing sights I have ever seen!  Ever ever!

 

This is what a Richmond looks like!

 

 

There were lots of what Zach called, 'outtomobeels.' That's the rolling things over there!

 

 

Whoa. Richmond.

 

Well, boy, was I excited!  I just sat in that window ALL day long!  And when it got dark, everything got all sprinkled in little lights everywhere.  It sure was incredible!  Zach was gone most of the time, where he said he was spending time with the Righter people, who like to talk about the Righter things.  Apparently, Zach knows something of this Righting, because he was very excited about all that he had done while he was there.  He was almost as excited as I was about seeing the Richmond all day!  Well, anyway, he told me that he sat on a panel about religion, which does sound kind of unpleasant, and maybe a little painful, but he didn’t seem to be bothered by it at all, so I guess it’s not that bad.  I listened as he talked about his adventures that day, and then the next day too.  He spent an awful lot of time with the Righters, where they talked about the Right way to do things, I suppose.  It’s good that people try to be Right, I’ve been told, so it’s even better that they have conferences to discuss it.  Zach said that the people there liked him so much that they bought all of the books that were for sale!  Yay for Zach!  He said that there were more panels that he sat on (I still don’t know why he sat on them, but, I’m just a duck, and will not understand, I guess).  There was one on Fan Tah See, which is, according to Zach, about make-believe stuff that is in stories, and sometimes has dragons, magic, and shallow vampire characters that only little girls like.  And then there was the one on Die A Log, which is a funny name to me.  I mean, from what I could tell from my perch over the Richmond, it seems to me that logs–which I know from a television show that I watched with Zach, come from trees–are very pretty, and very helpful to things.  I can’t imagine why anyone would want to kill one.  But Zach made it sound kind of delightful, and said that the Righter people asked a lot of really neat questions about Die A Log that he, and two other Righters by the names of David L. Robbins, and Lauren Oliver, answered.  I don’t know them, but they sound neat!

Well, he just seemed to really enjoy his time, which was wonderful to hear, because I was beginning to worry that I might be having too much fun looking at the Richmond–more fun than Zach–and that made me feel bad.  I didn’t want Zach to miss out on the fun, either.  He did sit with me for a while watching the sun rise one morning, which was really neat!  I had never seen that before either!  I was glad he got to see it too, though he had to leave before I could tell him that.  But I think he already knew.  So, I guess that was pretty much it, after that.  Zach said he met lots of new people, and that there was something funny about something he said the Righters called a, ‘humanzee.’  I don’t know what that is, but as I’ve said, I’m a duck, and I don’t really know too much about things. Zach told me, as he was putting me back in the black, boxy house, with wheels that he hoped that he could keep in contact with his new friends, and that some of them were really nice, and pretty good Righters that needed to simply believe in themselves a bit more.  I liked the way that sounded, and so I just smiled at Zach, closed my eyes, and fell asleep.  The next thing I knew, we were home again.

I don’t have to stay in the bedroom anymore.  Now I get to spend time on Zach’s desk while he does his Righting.  It makes me happy. But not as happy as knowing that Zach has promised to take me to other new places too!  I can’t wait!

 

It's a big world for such a small duck.