This was suppose to be the story of how my bike was stolen right in front of me by some brazen scumbag in a rusted out Bronco, and then how I finally got a new bike 8 long years later. But I messed up most of the footage I filmed by forgetting to turn on my microphone. Duh! (smacks self in head). Any way, see how I built my new bike in two minutes or less, and my daughters getting groovy in the pool. Enjoy!
In my first daily vlog episode, I pursue the question that has puzzled scholars and theologians for millennia: Will anyone be in my vlog? No harder episode is ever made than the first one. Honestly, I was terrified. And I was suffering from a terrible case of “What should the first episode be about?” This is how I got past the stage freight jitters, and just got the first one done.
I was searching through some old writing files on my computer, stuff I’d not looked at since about 2001, and I re-discovered an old Excel spreadsheet called “The 100 Best Novels of All-Time.” Upon opening the spreadsheet all these years later, it looked like some arcane code which made no sense to me now, even though I was the one who made it. Ahhh, how time ravages the memory. After a bit of sleuthing, I finally figured out what the list was, and why I’d made it. The results are both interesting and instructive. So, what is the #1 Greatest Novel of All Time?
Defining your genre poses a challenging and painful task for many writers, and I am no exception. The choice of genre not only helps potential readers find the types of books they are most interested in reading, but it also now plays a critical role in the sales and marketing process on Amazon. Over the last month, in anticipation of launching my debut novel, Providents Awakening, I’ve researched this question to death, and I learned some interesting things, and had a personal epiphany. Here’s what I learned…
As writers working to perfect our craft, sometimes I think half the books ever written are about how to write better. With such an ocean of ink slinger advice to swim through, how do we know where to start, where to focus, where we’ll find the most cleavage…ah…I mean leverage? Clearly the answer to this question is debatable, but for this writer, one simple rule applied with pit-bull tenacity has done more to heal my prose of a plethora, a deluge, a superfluity of literary abominations than any other, and probably all others combined. If you can remember only one point of writer’s craft (one is often my limit), then this is the one.
On April 16, 2010, I wrote a guest blog post on a website devoted to iBooks entitled: Does Your Website Play Nicely with iPad? I am reprinting it here, just below, so that we see where I got it right or wrong, and so I can provide some updated figures as well as the current landscape of iPads, iBooks, and how it all affects the business of reading, writing, and publishing. What follows is the original post, with a few formatting tweaks, along with inserts (see orange arrows, boxes, and text) of updated information and commentary. Enjoy.
The purpose of this article is to help novelists get a handle on the question of book length, and the impact that manuscript size can have on getting published and selling books. So the question is, does size matter? When I first took up the “pen” and started writing my first novel (about 14 years ago; never finished that one), one of my first questions was “How long does a novel need to be?” I was curious to the answer primarily because I wanted to have a sense for how much work lay ahead. Now I do understand, and I understood even back then green as a cucumber, that novels come in many lengths from Animal Farm at 29,966 words to War and Peace at 544,406 words. But outliers aside, if you’re a modern novelist aspiring (and perspiring) to become a successful published author, then it makes only good sense to write your first novel(s) to fit a length that today’s readers / agents / publishers find reasonable.