15 June 2012

Well well well....lookie here. My old friend, blogging. I do think I'm going to give this another go.

Stand. by.

04 May 2011

reading a book from cover to cover? no problem...

A while back I had posted that I had issues finishing reading books. Well, I think that's an issue of the past. Since then I finished four of the five books on my list of six and and I'm now starting Ender's Game, which seems pretty good so far. In addition to books which weren't on the list, I've read 3 additional ones, so, go me!

But again, that leaves one spot empty. I've reviewed all of the suggestions and I've chosen the one to read. Starship Troopers.

I figure, "hey, you can't go wrong with a bunch of crazy space marines traveling to alien lands, meeting alien races...and completely destroying them.

02 May 2011

focus, Daniel-san

I was reading back through all the posts and I must apologize. It appears that I forgot to fill you all in. The story I've been working on is a supernatural mystery one, not the fun orphanage one I last mentioned.

The orphanage one started with a lot of gusto and it was very fluid and fun, but the story and some of the secondary and tertiary characters were very underdeveloped. And that made it hard. After that, I began working on another fun book with high school kids as the main characters and I found the reverse to be the case: I had good characters, but the story was very underdeveloped. It was easy to put them in a scene and let them drive it, but without goals in mind, those scene will go nowhere.

I fell back to a character and story idea I had while back and I decided to give it a go. But learning what I did (as mentioned above), I knew that I had some development to do. I thought about each character, the story, the motivations, the scenes and the overall feel of the book.

After doing this, I set out and began writing. And before I knew it I was about halfway done with the story. I'm still plowing through it and I have hurdles, but this one should be completed (I'm hoping) this month.

So I guess what I'm trying to say is: Don't start out prematurely on a story based on either a good character or a good story alone. You need both and you need them both developed.

29 April 2011

deadline and reflections

April 30th is my deadline. And today is April 30th. Logic would dictate that today is my deadline. Also, if you were me, you'd know that I most certainly will not hit the deadline of midnight tonight.

I think that, regardless of missing this personal deadline, I'm going to keep muscling through and finish this thing ASAP. But looking back I did miss this deadline, so let's look at why:

  • As per my own advice, I need to write every single night (as I've already stated). There were nights I was dog tired or wanting to do something else. I'm a husband and a father, and I'm not a bump on a log. But if I'm gonna do this writing thing, it needs to happen every night. On schedule.
  • Stop looking at the end. I have a habit of looking down the road and gauging how good the book will be or how marketable it will be when finished. While it's not bad to keep those things in mind, they can not be a factor in the completion of this book.
  • 'Number of words written' and 'word count' are two different things. Sound stupid? Yeah, but listen. As you may have seen, my tracking of words and word count being a factor in writing the book have been a big hindrance. I'm good at no longer tracking the word count. However, I don't track my number of words written during each session. Short term goals are good and so is consistency– if I know that I can consistently write 1500 to 2000 words in a sitting, it'll get easier and easier. Short term goals without the long term hassle...how nice does that sound?
So I think those are my three biggest culprits– the writing schedule being the most nefarious. And that's an easy fix.

But you know what? I certainly beat the snot out of this book...and what's most important: I'm still excited about the characters and the story and still motivated to finish it.

One last thing to share. I found this great video last night.

Not only was it informative on some levels, it was refreshing and reassuring to hear that I'm not the only one who finds this so called writing 'process' a challenge...so, a thank you to the late great Stephen Cannell for that.

27 April 2011


This past weekend, the family made a trip down to Virginia to visit relatives. I must say that it was a very refreshing trip filled with fun, well...family, and you guessed it: food.

I'm not sure if someone's math was off, but we had enough food for forty people and, in reality, there were roughly fourteen adults and eight kids. It's not that we're gluttonous. There's a real appreciation of food. Good food. For example...we set the record for having the largest sandwich in Virginia on Easter weekend existing for the shortest amount of time. Add to that about two dozen brats and two dozen hot dogs (I would have specified the animal, but...), some sort of pineapple fluffy stuff which would have made a cannibal sit down at a table, enough lasagna to paint a car with and such an obscene amount of ham loaf we could have molded it into a meaty Venus de Milo. Crazy.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that my stomach still hates me (three days later) and all the work I had been doing by cutting out my snacking and easing back into exercising has been completely thrown out the window. But it was done under circumstances and surrounded by family which were very enjoyable. So even though I'm not too pleased with the outcome, it is somewhat justifiable. 

Thanks, VA.


19 April 2011

sick..then sick

It's not enough that I'm sick. I have to be sick with a crystal ball. My wife got sick a mere 5 hours ahead of me and our symptoms and conditions are exactly the same– only 5 hours apart. She gets a sore throat– 5 hours later, I get a sore throat. She gets achy– I get achy. It's weird.

I'm undecided if being sick and knowing what's coming is a good thing or a bad thing. It's been so long since I was sick, that I think I just hate it all together.

But at least this is a somewhat different way of being sick.

18 April 2011

the battle rages on

We made a sound investment this weekend: Two six-shot Nerf guns and a pack of darts. This is a whole new level of bonding in the Swarr household.