writing

Blog editors.

I used Grammarly to grammar check this post because I’m a neurotic space monkey with enough spare time to test tools and report on them for you to enjoy. Meanwhile, I remain a monkey, in a capsule, in space. Oh god, I’m running out of aiiiirrrrrrrrrrrrr… But why did I use Grammarly? That’s part of a bigger discussion. Editing is a funny thing. Most pro-writers I know extol the virtues of working with an editor. A lot of self-pub authors, not to bag on them but…, they tend to shun editors. Editors are pricey they say. They can just edit themselves all the way start to finish they say. It’s close enough they say. They are wrong. A good editor is worth double whatever you pay them. They do more than spell check and grammar check. They help you tease…

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Compared to who?

Do not compare yourself to other people. This isn’t easy to do. It really isn’t. But it can be crucial. I can not put out a book and look at the sales and think “Well, Stephen King would have sold more.” – of course he would have. I am not Stephen King. Sad for me. But here is the other truth: he is not me and that is kinda sad for him. I like being me, but that means being me and not someone else. My stuff doesn’t sell like Person A, Person B or Person C. It sells better than Person D, Person E, and Person F. What matters, all that matters, is if it sells enough for me. Did it do better than the last thing? Is it a better bit of craft? Have I learned from it?…

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The highs and lows of writing

This should not be a shock, but I am not the best writer I know. The truth is I am often not the best writer I know who sits at my desk. And I’m the only person who uses my desk. That’s just the way of it. Most times I can feel every word, every phrase and idea that didn’t translate right from my brain to the page – and it’s almost all of them. I will sit and struggle and fuss and worry about how bad a writer I am. Until I’m actually writing. See when I am in the process of laying down words I am the best writer who ever lived. In my head at least. For exactly as long as I’m working. Then it’s back to doubtsville. And that’s right. That’s the correct way of things,…

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Digital isn’t the only answer.

When you have a ton of deadlines that cross each other you learn to adapt. That adaptation can take funny forms. I use Google Calendar for all my schedules. I have Google calendars I make to schedule every project that I share with any collaborators. I keep my personal schedule updated with everything I do that can at all be scheduled. It’s glorious. It’s very busy, lots of colors, and it keeps me n track. I have a widget to show me my upcoming events on my phone, every time I look at it, and I keep it open in windows at my desk. My calendar is my life, these days. Except it isn’t enough. You see, outside of just events I also have deadlines that can’t be put into a calendar the same. I can’t put a deadline into…

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‘Twas the Night Before A Freelancer’s Christmas

‘Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house, Almost no creatures stirred, but the freelancers light didn’t go out. The stockings were hung by the chimney with care, The Freelancer wanted to go to bed, but didn’t dare. The children were nestled all snug in their bed, But the Freelancer still has deadlines, instead. Words, art, music and more spilled from his mind, And the night stretched out long, the day far behind. When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter, The Freelancer didn’t stir, distractions couldn’t matter. Into the house a man did manage to creep, And the Freelancer only yelled, “Shhh, they’re trying to sleep!” It was jolly old Saint Nick who stood in the room, He set down his bag and came into the room. “It’s Christmas Eve, don’t you know?” he asked…

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TURN TO PAIGE NEVER (post 2)

Not sure if I’ll keep posting bits of this as I go but … hey enjoy it while you can. Here’s the first part, if you haven’t read it: Turn to Paige Never (post 1) – and now to pick up where that left off: Michael blinked a few times, trying to wrap his head around any of the things he was seeing or hearing. His brain ticked over and sputtered, failing miserably. Paige Never, for her part, headed across the room at a meaningful stride. She hung the hangers of clothes on the inside door of the bathroom and started to run the shower. “Wait, what are—” Michael started to ask. “Hey, I have dibs. This is my place, and really you’ve just got some demon insides on you. I have a few decades of dust and historical debris…

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Script process changes.

This last week I was writing in three different comic series at once. Which… well it can hurt the brain. The interesting part is that they also were being written with three totally different techniques. Then I thought: I should write about them! So I am. Script One was done in a Marvel Style. I’ve never worked that way before, so that was a trip. The artist and I talked over the plot and got it to a place we both liked the story a bunch. Then he went off to draw everything. When he was done with the pages he sent them to me and I scripted over them. It was a bit strange to just script over art. I knew the story beats but had very little input into how they were broken down and paced out. Once…

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RADIOACTIVE

A bit of fiction for you, with an explanation at the end: “I don’t want you to go,” Brett said. He leaned back on his hands, the grass tickling his wrists. “And I wish Cherenkov radiation wasn’t so pretty,” Fiona replied. “We don’t always get what we want, Brett.” She stood, dusting her hands off on the legs of her jeans. A lone ant, busy climbing her bracelet, flew off into the breeze to settle back amongst the grass. Brett sat, staying behind, to watch the sunset. The sky turned wild neon blues and dark purples and pinks, something that had some of the town worried. The atmospherics should be holding steady. The filtration proved different. And if the filtration didn’t work right, then they were all cooking in their skins, right then, just being outside. Except it never happened…

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WIAN BHITE – THE WORST DETECTIVE IN THE WORLD in SHAFTED

My name is Wian Bhite. I solve mysteries. This story is about a mystery. One that I solved. Because my name is Wian Bhite, and I solve mysteries. What sorts of mysteries, you may wonder. I’ll tell you. All sorts. So there I was, trapped, alone in an elevator. no one else in the car with me when it lurched to a halt between floors. The lights went out and blackness swam in. A click, a pop and a small hiss later the emergency lighting came on, casting the metal coffin in a drab sickly blood red. I didn’t panic. I reached for the emergency phone. “Hello?” I asked, the phone against my ear. “Hello? can anyone hear me? I’m trapped. Trapped in this elevator.” “Excuse me sir,” a voice replied, “we don’t show a problem with any of the…

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