Garlic Butter and the First Outdoor Grilling of the Year

What? You gotta eat… 😉

What's for Dinner Moms?

Garlic Butter

So, the weather has finally turned here in Michigan to a mid 70s. It has been gorgeous the past few days and has allowed us a chance to finally start grilling outdoors. We love to grill out but it always takes a few times to get back in the groove. Where are the tools? How long does each thing take to cook? Is the grill hot enough?

I made homemade garlic butter the other day and wanted some on top of our steaks. If you are making this make it at least 24 hours in advance to allow the flavors to meld. The longer it sits the stronger it gets.

Verdict:

The steak was delicious. It was perfectly cooked to medium rare on the inside. Now, we need to get the temperature of the grill correct. See those grill lines faintly on the top of the steak? Because the grill…

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Parallax: Genesis/Lights and Shadows: The Writing never stops.

Writing diligently on one story is effort enough, but when you take on two at the same time, a new set of challenges come into play. Unless the two stories take place in the same story universe, you have to make sure to keep their details separate from each other in order to avoid confusion later. Here are a few things to consider when slugging it out with multiple projects. This is not a complete list, by any means:

1) Different Story Universes, Different Resources.

Every story has its own needs so it’s best to keep Story A’s stuff separate from Story B’s. Records, story notes, etc, should be in its own file so that you don’t mix the two and have your 21st Century Accountant doing The Dragon’s taxes, though that would be amusing on its own…hehe.

2) Different Schedules.

This one can be done in a million different ways. You can set up certain days to work on each story or whatever. The more distance you can conceivably put between projects, the more focus you can exert on each. Unlimited ways to go.

3) Backups, Backups, Backups.

It goes without saying that backups are important. Save early, save often and keep the backups in a safe place just in case.

4) Take breaks.

You don’t work in a sweatshop so don’t put yourself under any undue stress. If you have a deadline to meet, structure your time accordingly. If not, then set a reasonable goal and meet it. However, your health and sanity are important for creativity so don’t neglect yourself.

Anyway, that’s enough of that.

A few updates on Lights and Shadows and Parallax: Genesis:

Lights and Shadows:

I’ve just about finished Lights and Shadows, Chapter 11, barring the usual distractions. It’s funny how a story that is completely outlined and planned out would present so many issues. Maybe I’m subconsciously rebelling against all the structuring, I have no idea. In any case, I’m forging ahead and it’s gratifying to see the story take shape as I go. I may not make the April 30th goal I set so if I don’t, then it will get pushed back to the end of May. In any case, it will be finished as soon as possible.

Parallax: Genesis:

P:G is still in the planning stages but I have the Initial Concept and The Preliminary Synopsis written. The Timeline and Characters are carry over from Parallax, so that’s a time saver in itself. There’s a small matter of sketching out the story settings and doing the working Plot Outline, but that’s nuts and bolts stuff which shouldn’t take so long. After I get the Plot Outline finished, then it’s actually writing the story. My goal is to get it finished and published by the end of December, but it’s more realistic to say that it will be done as soon as possible.

That’s it for today (I think). Obviously, I will keep you all informed as events unfold. Have a great day.

Parallax: New Developments

I’ve learned a lot about self-publishing over the past year and I found a large portion of it to be disillusioning, to say the least. Book Covers, Promoting, when to give it away and how much to charge. But that’s the sandbox I’ve chosen to play in and as the saying goes, when in Rome…

I love all my books, but Parallax holds a special place in my heart because of all the stories I’ve yet to work on, it was the biggest joy and pain in the butt that I ever dealt with in my creative writing history. So many starts and stops before everything came together in its current form. An evolution, really, and I’ve learned from each misstep that I’ve taken along the way and become a better writer and publisher because of it.

A major sticking point with putting Parallax out there was the pricing. How much to charge for the novel? I remember batting around a wide range of prices before initially settling on $4.99 for the Kindle Version. $1 for each 100 pages seemed fair at the time, but I’ve noticed a slump in sales which has forced me to reevaluate that number.

So, in honor of Parallax’s new cover, I decided to drop the price for the Kindle Version to $2.99 for the rest of its lifespan, however long that may be. I know it probably seems low for a 400-page novel, but honestly, I’m not in this purely for the money. If lowering the price means getting it in more hands to be read and reviewed, then so be it. Everything I do in this endeavor is in essence, an experiment. If it works, then I’m doing it right. If not, then another re-evaluation might be in order. I’m a writer, not a salesman.

The next development I am considering is paid advertising. I know, right? I’m putting out feelers to different areas to see what it may cost to run ads. Yes, I believe in Parallax that much to be investing so heavily in its success. It’s a great story that deserves to be read.

In any case, my online time will certainly not be boring for a while. 🙂