Monday, October 31, 2011

10/31/2011 Magnificent Monday

Hello all and sorry for the random time to be posting. I took today off (it was much needed this is wonderful) and decided that getting up before noon was for working people. I'm realizing I should have done that sooner, but learning from one's mistakes is what makes us human I suppose.

Today is Halloween in the states and even though I have quite literally nothing planned, I'm still excited. I love this holiday and I think I will forever. I have nothing but fond memories of this day so even if I just hand out candy to the local kids, I'll still enjoy myself. I even got my 'Team Van Helsing' t-shirt to celebrate!

Tomorrow marks day one of National Novel Writing Month, which means the people at my work will once again see me lugging around my Bag of Holding ( will take all my money one day) containing my purple laptop. I'm hoping my plan of spacing out my writing time throughout the day helps me be able to actually complete it.

My goal for this year, aside from finishing before Thanksgiving, is to be able to either complete, or get mostly completed with my prequel "Rending the Seal", it takes place two years before "The Light Rises" and will put the group up against a man who wants complete control of reality, and will try to do so by reforging, then breaking the Seal of Solomon. I have a lot of little back-story plot points I'm playing with and I'm hoping they don't make everything too all over the place. Though I suppose if it does, that's what editing is for!

For now though, it is time to rest my wrists and wait until it's time to wake up in the morning and get to work! It'll be at least 1600 words a day so that the total by the end of the month is 60,000. I've done this for the last two years and have had a lot of fun. I'll be posting my progress on here, Facebook, and Twitter. If any of you are also participating, feel free to post your progress as well, that way it will be like we're making it through the month together. I'll talk to you all on Wednesday though, until then have a good couple days!

Friday, October 28, 2011

10/28/2011 Fantastic Friday!

Hello all! Welcome back on this glorious Friday! It's the Friday before Halloween and let me tell you, I am excited. I may not have any real Halloween plans, but it's my favorite holiday, so I'm happy. For right now though, let's get a book out there!

On Wednesday I mentioned that I joined up with a Steampunk Writers guild, and today, while searching through smashwords I found this! "The Lost Airship" by Joseph Robert Lewis, who happens to be a fellow guildy! Neat! It's a steampunk adventure set in an alternate earth where the ice age didn't really melt all the way, so northern Europe is still covered in ice, the Roman empire never existed, and northern Africa is rich and vibrant and not just a desert.

The story follows Omar Bakhoum and his quest to discover the answers of the aether, specifically how it carries the knowledge and souls of the dead. He joins up with an airship crew to find the answers in the lost and mostly forgotten north, only to be accused to murdering two of the crew members. It's now up to him to prove his innocence and learn the lost secrets before the crew decide he should be killed and left at sea.

This steampunk adventure is available on smashwords for absolutely free! It's also on Barnes and Noble for .99, so there's really no reason not to pick it up for your e-reader. It's a fun adventure that is set 4 years before his series, "The Halcyon Trilogy". I must enjoyed this read, and it was really exciting to see a name I recognized!

Next week marks the start of nanowrimo, so I have no guarantee I'll have time to find a novel to put up on Friday, but I will certainly try my absolute best. If you're participating, feel free to post your word-count progress or any tips, tricks, and so forth you've found useful. Until then, I'll see everyone on Monday, have a good weekend!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

10/26/2011 Writing Wednesday

Hello all! It's Wednesday which means the week is half-way conquered, yay! I'm still doing my pre-nano wrist-not-killing, but I'm ready for next week and am super excited! I can't wait to dive right in and beat up that daily quota like no tomorrow!

Yesterday was rather exciting for me, because I was able to join up with a writer's guild. Not just any, but one for steampunk writer's and artists. It's really exciting to be able to talk about writing, and in particular writing in the steampunk genre, and not get confused looks, or a bunch of instant criticism. This is also important when it comes to marketing, when you can focus your efforts on the demographic that is likely to have the strongest reaction to your work.

I have been told at when it comes to marketing, you need a plan, not just throw yourself out in five billion different directions and hope it works. As I mentioned on Monday, this is particularly hard for me because I don't know much of what I'm doing in that respect, but it was also recommended that I join writer's groups and such, so I'm trying it out and let me tell you so far it has been delightful. I highly recommend it, if for no other reason you will get support, and for new writers in a crazy world where getting even the smallest piece of recognition is hard and there are mountains of rejection from agents and such, support is something that will keep you going.

There are writing groups all over the place, whether they are just on the internet, or also in the real world, all you have to do is look. Most have websites or facebook pages, or what-not. The one I joined is S.W.A.G or Steampunk Writer's and Artists Guild and they are always accepting new submissions. I highly recommend it, because it also helps getting yourself out there be a bit easier when everyone will know what you're talking about.

I hope everything is having a good week so far, I'll be back Friday with a new book to promote. As always, any questions, comments, recommendations, suggestions, and so-forth, feel free to leave them below, or send me an e-mail or also a twitter dm @explodingrunes until then!

Monday, October 24, 2011

10/24/2011 Magnificent Monday!

Hello all, I hope you all had a good weekend. Mine was spent with friends and my boyfriend gaming, so I had lots of fun. Still preparing for Nanowrimo, and my wrist seems to be agreeing this is a good idea, so I'm hoping I'll be able to make it through the month.

I started a Facebook ad this weekend, well, technically on Friday, to see if that helps get some sales/traffic to 'The Light Rises' and it seems to be working. No actual sales yet, and only one sample has been downloaded so far, but it is getting people seeing it, and if they're clicking on the ad, it means they're at least somewhat interested, or they might know someone who is, so I'm trying really hard to think of any of this as a good thing. I also had a quote given to me from a book marketing agency, and well, that is way outside my budget, so I'm trying to figure out how to write out the reply.

I also realized I don't have a marketing 'plan' but the problem there is I also realized I don't know how to make one. I understand going out towards your demographic, I get that, and I've tried getting involved in some steampunk forums, but it is still difficult because I don't know where to go from there. I'm also not someone who is used to putting themselves out there where everyone can see everything, so it's also a matter of breaking out of my shell a bit, and let me tell you, it feels like every mention I make of an ad, or my book itself, I am incredibly embarrassed and awkward.

Hope to see everyone back here on Wednesday where I talk about writing and such, likely some more nanowrimo preparation. I look forward to seeing you all again, as usual, any questions, comments, of discussion topics, please feel free to post them below and I'd be happy to bring them up. Until then!

Friday, October 21, 2011

10/21/2011 Fantastic Friday!

Hello all! I have been busy working away at attempting to do real marketing. It's really hard, and I am trying really hard not to be embarrassed, but it must be done! I have a facebook ad up for 'The Light Rises' and am trying to get some done at Project Wonderful, so if you see them, let me know! For right now though, let's get a book up here!

Today's selection is a short story called 'The Day Nobody Died' by Amber D. Sistla. It follows an angel of death named Ezhno who takes his collections job the way any of us do. However there's a problem when the other death angels disappear and because of that, the collections stop. It's then up to Ezhno to figure out what happened and find his co-workers before all death stops for good.

'The Day Nobody Died' is a really fun short story sound on Smashwords, as well as Barnes&Noble, Apple, and other locations the Smashwords Premium Catalog distribute out to. It's .99 cents in all locations and in my opinion is well worth a dollar. She has other books available as well from Smashwords that you can find through her author page.

One this doing all this has taught me is that authors are notoriously difficult to contact. Ms. Sistla, if you are not pleased with me putting this story on my blog, please let me know via either e-mail or twitter. I wasn't able to find your contact information otherwise.

Thanks again everyone for stopping by! A lot of my friends have some terrible plague, so I hope you all stay healthy and have a good weekend. I'll see you all on Monday!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

10/19/2011 Writing Wednesday!

Hello all! Today is October 19th, which means it's 12 days until National Novel Writing Month (nanowrimo) and I'm super excited! I've been cutting back on my type-y style writing so I can hopefully make sure that when the time comes for me to reach a daily word quota, I can do so without completely destroying my wrists in the process. If you'd like more information regarding nanowrimo, you can check it out here. There are also going to be seminars throughout the month you can attend based on your location.

I've mentioned it before how having a word quota does make meeting personal goals easier, at least in my opinion. Today, I'm going to talk briefly about setting those goals in the first place. No one ever said writing was easy, and if they did, they obviously have a special savant-like talent and likely do nothing other than that. For the rest of us though, writing is a process that we each do in our own specific way based on our level of comfort. This is normal.

When it comes to my own personal goals, I generally look at what I'm trying to accomplish, for instance, we'll use my nanowrimo goal as an example. This year I plan on using the month of November to finish the prequel I'm writing. How this is going to be done is by meeting/exceeding the daily word quota until it is completed. According to the website, that is roughly 1600 words a day, which ends up being roughly 2 1/2 pages. When it's broken down that way, it's not so bad, however, there is another trick to it, and I'm fairly certain this happens to everyone: writers' block.

This happens when you get to a point when you're just not sure how to handle a particular scene, then what ends up happening is when you do write it out, it feels so disjointed you're just not sure what to do with it. My general thought is just push through it, or at least get to a point where having a scene change happen makes sense, and move on from there. The time for editing will come after you've actually completed the story, and that is where you'll pick everything apart. It's during the first stage of the writing process where it's ok to just throw everything on paper to get the idea out of your head. I have a problem with filler between major scenes, I'm always afraid it takes up too much time, or it feels strange. I have been told by my readers it is fine, but I still wish it were different/better.

I believe I mentioned before the way to make achieving your goals a bit easier is to have at least a vague idea of what happens in the story you're writing. Make sure you have a definite beginning, middle, and end, with particular twists, turns, plot, and character development already planned out, then it's just a matter of filling in the spaces. I can see how this can lead to the issue I have with filler, but it does make things easier than sitting down in front of a blank document, staring at it and trying to use some arcane willpower to make it write out itself from the depths of your imagination. Having a plan helps a lot.

Have a designated time to write, work it into your schedule, and make sure you keep it also helps. this makes routine and people love routine. It's comfortable, and gets your mind prepared and ready for it. Whether it be in the morning before work, during your lunch break, or when you get home to unwind. Just make sure you are ready to do it and everything will work itself out.

That was my post for today. Thank you all for stopping by. Come back on Friday where I'll have another book up for you all to check out. Until then, have fun!

Monday, October 17, 2011

10/17/2011 Magnificent Monday

Good morning times to all! I hope you all had a good weekend! I am posting this a bit early because I am working a little over-time today, which is good for money, bad because I didn't get much in the way of sleep last night.

I know I haven't talked much about gaming, like the title of the blog had hinted at, and I am going to make up for that today. I have been playing table-top games since my freshmen year of high school, and in doing so it has helped me make friends, be a little more social, and has also given me the creative motivation to write, it also helped me meet my boyfriend of nearly 5 years whom I love dearly. So as you can see, I quite frankly owe a lot to it.

One of, if not my absolute, favorite game setting is "Conspiracy X" by Eden Stuidos, it takes place in modern times, and you play characters working as part of a secret government organization trying to protect the US from alien forces. The agency, known as AEGIS, recruits people from other government initiatives and branches to aid in this threat, as well as people with psychic or magical abilities. They are constantly at odds with another government group known as the Directorate, or more commonly, Black Book, that's run by the DOD and the CIA. There are three primary alien threats, the Atlanteans, the Saurians, and the Grays, and quite frankly they all have pretty good reasons for wanting us off their rock, from trying to rebuild their utopia civilization, to a time-steam mix up that made it seem like they were gone for only a short bit of time and suddenly these fleshy humans are all over everything, to just trying to save their species because the way our psychic abilities work is killing them. In short I love this game.

They moved to a 2.0 version of the game that uses the unisystem, the same system used for their other games like "Witchcraft" and "All Flesh Must Be Eaten" and to give you an idea of how long ago that was, I think I had just finished high school when the first book came out. The Extraterrestrial Source Book came out in pdf form several years ago, but then...nothing.

Every year they would mention 'coming in August' and I would hold my breath and be sad. Then, last night happened. My boyfriend sent me a link to a Kickstarter. It was Eden, and they were doing one for ConX. So here, I give you all, their Kickstarter link:

I cannot begin to express how excited I am. This has been literally YEARS in the making, and soon it will see the light of day and I'll be able to hold the book in my hands! That is, of course, if they make their goal. So all I ask is that you please help them, or show it to someone who can, or someone you think would love the game to absolute death. I must be off now, but I hope you all have a wonderful day!

Friday, October 14, 2011

10/14/2011 Fantastic Friday!

Greetings everyone! Today is Friday and do you know what that means? (aside from tomorrow being Saturday, which is full of awesome?) It means it's time for me to feature a book from smashwords!

Today's feature is called "Lost World Found: The Dragons of Bastogne" by Robert Larrison. Set in World War 2, this story shows how the war would have been different for England if they had been able to use dragons as part of their warfare. It's a short, fun read that happens to be free. I have a soft spot for alternate-history, if you haven't already guessed, so I had a lot of fun with this story.

I won't say how it's done, because I don't want to give spoilers, but rest assured they aren't using dragons for everything. That would be a little over-kill. Rather they are used when desperate measures are needed, and man was it desperate! I was rather impressed that in such a short amount of time, the writer helped get the reader attached to the main character, and it's easy to see that when the battles die down, he's going to need a lot of help coping with all of the battles, death, and violence he experienced at the hands of war.

All in all I had a lot of fun with this story. It's available here at Barnes&Noble, as well as here on smashwords. The nice thing about the B&N link is that it also shows it's available in paperback, if you don't necessarily want to read it on an e-reader. However, if you go through smashwords, it's free, so I suppose it's all up to your preference!

Thanks Mr. Larrison for writing such a fun book, and to those of you who stopped by today! I'll be back Monday, hopefully with word of my writing progress. Have a good and exciting weekend!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

10/12/2011 Writing Wednesday

Hello to all! I hope this middle of the week is finding you well. As I mentioned before I have returned to my normal schedule, so I am awake, and not having to wake up at ridiculous early in the morning. This is a good thing!

On Monday I mentioned the importance of backing up your data because at any moment your computer can decide it wants to stop being cooperative. I seriously cannot stress how important it truly is. Just the idea that I might lose everything had me practically losing it. There are multiple ways backing things up can be done whether it be by just putting them on portable or removable hard drives, cloud systems like Google Docs, Dropbox, or even just having them in an e-mail you've sent somewhere, these are all forms of a backup that can save you lots of heartache and stress.

Anyway, while I was in training, I was asked how I keep my ideas straight when going between several different things. The example I was given was, I write during my break for about ten or fifteen minutes, come back and do something work-related for another 2 hours, then pick up where I left off during my lunch. I found this question incredibly difficult to answer, because to me, it's simply just how my brain works. Which is why I wanted to bring it up here, I was wondering if anyone else has a similar way of working?

To me, when I get an idea, it will stay with me no matter how distracted I get until it is finished, which is why I'm currently working on 6 other books before I go absolutely insane. Not to say there aren't points where I hit a bit of writers block, I think that happens to everyone, it happens to me with filler, but that doesn't mean the idea is weak or is floating away, I just need to bridge the gap between two scenes. Normally what happens is I try to at least finish the sentence I was working on before having to hop back to work, or whatever I was doing previously, then if I do forget what was happening, I look at the previous paragraph and get back to work. That was how I answered his question, though I'm never sure if that's the standard one.

When it comes to multi-tasking, how does everyone else do it? If you have any tips, tricks, or want to post your own method below for others to see/try out to see if it helps them in their writing, please do so. The way I see it, other authors aren't your competition, they are your comrades in arms, and right now we're all in this together when it comes to getting our voices out.

On that note, I hope everyone has a safe and fun rest of the week. I'll see everyone on Friday!

Monday, October 10, 2011

10/10/2011 Magnificent Monday

Greetings everyone! I am back on my normal work schedule, so I am awake, and looking forward to not being absolutely exhausted all the time forever. I apologize for not posting anything on Friday, if you caught the twitter/facebook posts you will know I needed to spend my time fixing/reformatting my laptop rather than finding a book to read. I apologize for that, and hope to do better in the future.

My experience in having to quickly back everything up with the hope that not everything is going to explode into flames and computer parts, is backing up your documents. Even after I was done and was working on moving the files back to the laptop, I had a brief moment where I nearly had a heart-attack when I opened the Dropbox folder before everything had synced and it was empty. Rest assured everything is fine now, but that moment of panic was very telling.

Now luckily I have passed my stories back and forth between myself and a friend of mine that she likely has a copy of my prequel, and with "The Light Rises" and "Uncrossed Paths" being on the internet, that does help, however I have more documents than I know how to count that aren't in either of those places. If for no other reason I haven't put them on the internet, or time has required the e-mails be deleted. I was more worried about losing those. So I suppose the moral of this story is: back your stuff up, and do it multiple times in multiple places because if one back-up doesn't work you want to still have access to everything.

I felt really bad about my computer crashing, I couldn't work, I couldn't blog, I couldn't read new books. It was awful. I was fairly certain the reformat was going to work, but I'd never done one before so I was incredibly nervous and kind of short with pretty much everyone. I just wanted everything to work perfectly because a new laptop isn't exactly in my budget right now. Now everything does work, the laptop has some strange feelings towards IE (Internet Explorer) so I've been using Firefox almost exclusively, Office is back on along with all my documents and music, so now I can get back to focusing on what's important: writing/reading!

I appreciate everyone's patience these last few weeks with my work schedule and now my laptop getting near-murdered. My schedule is back to being that of a closing shift, so my posts should be more consistent and earlier in the day again. Thanks again so very much, and I'll see everyone on Wednesday!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


Hello and welcome! I hope everyone's week has been serving them well so far. Mine has been educational and eventful, I will say that. Customer Service Appreciation Week is so much! If anyone else reading gets to experience it, I hope it's as fun for you as it is for me.

As for writing, I have been wracking my mind trying to figure out exactly what today's topic is going to be, and honestly it was rather hard. The conclusion I've come to is: balance. It's something that is incredibly important, and I have found I need to manage better. When it comes to writing, it's important to, just like any other job, that you have time to work and time to play. Doing this can mean the difference between progress and frustrations.

I've said it before that having a designated time to write has helped me incredibly much. It makes it so there is a specific time of the day where you are writing, and doing nothing else. I particularly like this because it means that after I get home from work, I get to sit down, relax, and do what I enjoy rather than dwelling on whether or not work was difficult that day or not. Now this scenario works out for me because I have a full-time day job as well as being a writer. Not to say that I don't have times where I'm specifically not writing, that's important as well, those are the times where I hang out with my friends, or go to a game night, or just play Magic or a video game. Seriously having times to unwind is important.

I understand that not everyone has the same experience that I do, some use their writing as a full-time job, and it's part of that job to write like the wind, edit, market, edit, market, write, and try not to go completely crazy. It's those situations where having the time where they're not writing is even more important. There are times when I'm not writing when I do feel guilty about it, I'm actually in one of those times right now, but life has a way of making it so it's difficult to get anything done, and next week I'll be able to get back on my normal schedule, so I keep that in mind.

Also try to keep in mind that taking a break is find. I've said it before that it lets the ideas marinate and fully develop before you throw them down on paper or whatever writing medium you may use. Just because you're a writer doesn't mean you have to do that 100% of the day, everyday, all the time forever. Having an opportunity to think about something else will save you from going absolutely crazy, which should be a win-win for everyone in my opinion.

I hope this has helped some people, remember writing should be something you enjoy, not something you feel obligated to do. Have fun with it, because if you don't, it's going to come out in your writing, and your readers will know. Thanks everyone. I'll try to have something up on Friday for everyone to look for. See you then!

Monday, October 3, 2011

10/03/2011 Magnificent Monday!

Greetings everyone! It's the start of October, which means I'm starting my countdown to NANOWRIMO! I really wish I were further ahead in my prequel, but hopefully I'll be able to get a lot done by the time November rolls around so that I can either finish, or be close to it by the end of that month.

This weekend was busy again, so not much happened in the way of writing aside from a short thing about a couple characters from a friends game. It's fun to do that sometimes, just take something and play with some other characters to maybe work out a few things you find challenging. I also didn't get much done due to distraction, a certain trading card game had a new release and well, I was all over that.

I will likely be able to get some kind of writing done this week though, as I am going to make it a point to not be stupid busy when I get off work, so I will be making progress on my prequel there. At least some progress has been made in the story I'm working on at work, "Daughter of the Shackled King" which makes me feel like I'm not completely being lazy. I'm really looking forward to when that story is done, not just because it means I can start playing around with it's sequel, but also because it means I can start typing it out and cleaning things up a bit. Writing between calls may be nice to keep myself sane, but I am convinced it is full of repetition and plot-holes as well as a distinct lack of description. I tend to get impatient with details when I type faster than I hand-write.

I look forward to being able to actually get things done again, this is my last week of being 8 - 5 so that also means that starting next Monday my posts will be back to being in the morning. I appreciate everyone who continues to visit and puts up with my late or sometimes boring posts. For some reason it doesn't load the ticker at the bottom of the page for me anymore (no matter what format I view the page in) and I wanted to say that I appreciate you all. See you on Wednesday, if you ever have a suggestion or something you'd like talked about, just leave a comment or contact me and I'll do everything I can to make it happen. Thanks a bunch!