2015 – Shall we begin?

I stand here, in my kitchen (yes, I am standing), on March 4 poised to begin my 2015 writing campaign.

2015.  It’s already March, and I’ve yet to commit any useful words to the page.  I am beside myself with that realization.  But I’m not going to belly ache about this reason or that reason for my lack of production.

The responsibility is mine, pure and simple.

I’ve got a blank Word .doc open, a selection of epic music playing for motivation, and a simple goal of 500 words.  This post is merely a warm-up and when I leave you, tonight, I will be taking those first steps as a fiction writer…again.

In the words of Khan Noonian Singh (Benedict Cumberbatch):  “Now… Shall we begin?”


Thought for the day:  “You can’t climb the ladder of success with your hands in your pockets.”  -Arnold Schawarzenegger

Fun With Formatting: Emails and Text Messages in Ebooks

Jack Foehammer:

I’ve wondered about this.

Originally posted on QA Productions:

“An epistolary novel is a novel written as a series of documents. The usual form is letters, although diary entries, newspaper clippings and other documents are sometimes used. Recently, electronic “documents” such as recordings and radio, blogs, and e-mails have also come into use. The word epistolary is derived from Latin from the Greek word ἐπιστολή epistolē, meaning a letter” (from Wikipedia)

All well and good, but what do those look like in an ebook? Notes and letters have a fairly standard format: offset margins, extra space before and after, sometimes italicized. Visually, it is easy to clue the reader in that they are looking at a note or letter. But what about an email? Or a text message?

I recently completed a book where the writer used emails and text messages. One chapter consisted entirely of emails and another chapter was a text…

View original 423 more words

SSTS #2 – Day 3

It’s another lunch hour and that means I’m multitasking to write the next part of this challenge story.  For those that don’t know, these are stories that I’ve challenged myself to write, on the spot, as a blog post – unedited, no going back.  This is as rough as a rough draft gets, so look past inconsistencies as best you can.  To check out any SSTS material, click the link on the menu bar.  To go back and read this one from the beginning, click HERE


After a few moments, the door to the interrogation room flew open.  The supervisor and lead guard entered, purposefully.  The guard closed the door much more firmly than necessary causing a metallic clank that reverberated in the room.  He stood by the door as his boss dragged one of the steel chairs to the table, and sat opposite the old man.

The man seemed unphased, still wearing the same calm, welcoming smile he had since he’d arrived at the security desk two hours earlier.

“James,” he said.  “I’m glad your here.  I assure you, all of this is unnecessary.  I’m not here to cause any problems.  I just need to speak with Walter O’Leary.”

“How do you know my name.”  He said as more of a statement than a question.

“It’s just as I have been telling them; I know what I need to know.  And I know your Nana loved you very much and that you are not one to judge someone you don’t know so quickly.”

James’ eyes went wide and he had to focus to keep himself composed.  “If you knew so much, then you’d know my grandmother died years ago.”

“Oh, I know.”

James sat for a second not sure how to proceed, then tossed the datapad on the table.  “Well then, help me to know a few things.  We can’t find a single trace of you in the system.  In a legal sense, you might as well not exist.  Now I’m sure I can find a Walter O’Leary, somewhere, for you to talk to.  But I need something from you.  How about a name?”

The old man, smiled more broadly and chuckled.  “Of course.  My name is Simon.  Simon Peter.”

James stared blankly and looked to his subordinate.  “Check it out.”

The guard left leaving the two seated at the table.

“So…uh…Simon, why do you need to see O’Leary so badly?”

“Again, just as I told them, he is in charge of the machine.”

James tried to look disinterested.  “And if he does?”

“He needs to turn it off,” Simon said, calmly, but with a seriousness that was on par with the kindliness of his smile.

“I can’t believe I’m having this conversation,” James said, under his breath.  “Do you know what the machine does for this country?”

“Yes,” he said.  “It decides who lives…and who dies.”  Simon’s smile dissipated into a cold stare.  “That’s how I met your Nana.”


My lunch hour is over and its time to stop.  Looks like 400 or so words in about 45 minutes.  Not bad considering I went two months with no progress at all.  I like where this one is going.  Hopefully, I’ll get to spend some real time on it so we can get there.

Thanks for stopping by.


SSTS Challenge #2 – Day 2

Well, I didn’t get back to this over the weekend…or the following two months…so I’m pretty much coming back to it cold.  The momentum I had from day one is a dim memory.  So now, be amazed as I multitask by writing and eating lunch at work at the same time.  I haven’t even set word one to the page yet, and it already feels good to be writing again, even if it is for less than an hour.   Looking back at Day One, of this story, I already see some significant changes that should be made, but that’s for when its all said and done.  Time to get back to work.  If you’re new to this one, go back and read day one HERE.



The lead guard handed the data pad over to his supervisor. “There’s not much to the report, but it was a clear code fifteen.”

The man skimmed through the text and grunted.  “Stunning him in front of a hundred people on the concourse might have been a bit much.”

“Protocol is clear on this.  He’s not chipped and he was asking about the machine.”

“True enough,” the supervisor said, turning to the two-mirror that seperated them from the holding room.  The man they were talking about was seated at the interview table, none the worse for wear.  “Could be a wacko.  What else do we know about him?”

“Nothing.  No chip means no historical data.  DNA isn’t registered.  We even went old-school checking fingerprints and got nothin’.  Even his clothes are custom made.  Nothing traceable.”

The supervisor shook his head.  “Doesn’t make sense.”

“Who’s this guy, O’Leary, that he was asking about?”

He shook his head again.  “No clue.  Nothing on the threat board for that name, either.”  He took a breath as he looked at the man behind the glass again.  “He doesn’t fit the profile to be part of the opposition.  Looks like he could be anyone’s kindly, old grandfather, actually.”

The guard stood, unwavering, with his arms crossed and a furrowed brow.  “Maybe that’s their new M.O.?  ‘If your grandparents are anti-resource management, maybe you should be too’, type of thing?  Personally, I never understood why people would have a problem with it anyway.  Resources perfectly balanced with the population, how horrible!”, he said mockingly.

Then a voice came through the intercom speaker from the next room.  “JamesJames Newman?”

Both the guard and his supervisor, stopped cold.

The old man sat, smiling, looking directly at them through the glass despite the mirror that was facing him.  “James, would your Nana approve of this?”

“Did he just–”  The supervisor barely got the words out as he darted through the door.

That’s all I have time for, folks.  My lunch was interrupted.  I’m not even sure of today’s word count, but I got to write something at least.  Read Day One, then read this and leave comments.  This one is especially rough, at the moment, but with the SSTS challenge, there’s no going back to fix anything until its done.

Thanks for stopping by.


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