Good Tuesday To You

After a few abortive attempts, I’m once again running a month-long pair of advertising campaigns through Amazon Marketing Services for Parallax while I write Parallax: Genesis. I say abortive because setting up a stable writing budget to fund this endeavor proved to be something of a challenge and I prefer to err on the side of caution with respect to these things.

But I did it and I’m glad I did because despite all the romantic notions I’ve ever held as a writer, making a living at it requires some sacrificing and hard work. After all, you can’t eat fun though you can eat FOR fun. Of course, it costs me very little on average to put out a book even though I would prefer to have some kind of return on my investment and have my books pay for themselves (and me) over time. Balancing a Day Job and a Writing Career isn’t as fun as you would imagine.

I’m still coping with the effects of putting Lights and Shadows on hold but anything is possible with it including revising it later as a future episode of a new series I’ve thought about doing after The Parallax Trilogy is complete involving John Pratt and his merry band of wandering do-gooders.

Anyway, that’s what I’m up to at the moment. Back to outlining Parallax: Genesis so have a great day. 🙂

Pulling The Plug on Lights and Shadows (For now)

It’s never an easy decision to pull the plug on a long-term project, even if it’s only for a brief time.

Lights and Shadows started off as a filler project to kill some time while I was winding down from getting Parallax off the ground. Unfortunately, now it’s a year later and it seems that both my interest in it and my progress has slowed to a crawl. That tells me that I need to evaluate how much of an investment I should continue to contribute to it. No, I’m not abandoning it altogether, merely putting it on hold in favor of Parallax: Genesis.

Of course, putting Lights and Shadows on the back burner means that my goal of getting a new book out this year will go unfulfilled. Goals are funny things because they don’t always get accomplished when you intend them. I still believe that Lights and Shadows is a good story that deserves to be put out there, just not at this point in time.

That being said, it’s time to devote my energies and resources to revisiting John Pratt and The Parallax Universe.

Lights and Shadows Update #14

Note: This is a continuation of Update #13. This particular section has been giving me trouble but I’m soldiering on. Enjoy. 🙂

She gave him a little grunt as she fine-tuned the image by turning a pair of twin knobs on the twin eyepieces. After several back and forth movements, she was rewarded by a sharp focus. “When you are finished criticizing my ergonomic choices, I would appreciate some of your out of the box thinking.”

Matson shrugged and studied the scanner’s attached monitor. “All right, I’ll bite. What do the computer records say?” he caught her look. “Be honest, we can’t be the first to run an analysis on this stuff.”

“Most of the files have been password protected. I can decode them but it will take some time.”

“Time is something we appear to have a lot of at the moment,” he turned his attention to the control console, “Now why would someone encrypt something that just about everyone on the exploration team would need access?”

Finch looked up. “If the recorders found something that someone decided shouldn’t be common knowledge. Something that would either be a huge gain or an enormous loss,” she stole a look outside. “I hope we can get out of here soon,” she went back to her work without another word.

“It’s times like these that I wish I were closer to my family,” he absently mused as he looked outside, “I have a brother in the Marines that I haven’t spoken to since he was assigned carrier duty on the Southern Front. Now that the Locknar War is over, maybe I’ll get the chance to catch up with him.”

“Anything’s possible,” she replied, “I read a while back that Earth was planning on relaxing the media controls soon.”

He nodded, “That would go a long way toward getting things back to normal. If you can call this normal.”

“Reality is subjective,” she slapped the scanner as the scanning beam flickered in and out, “Something about these crystals is definitely disrupting the scanner and I’m at a loss to figuring out why.”

“We have two people with us that may shed some light on the situation,” Matson pressed an intercom button, “Dr. Burke, Lieutenant Monroe, would you come to the Control Room, please?”

Seconds passed with no answer. Matson tried the intercom again. “They’re less than fifty feet away so why don’t they answer?” He cupped his hands like a megaphone and shouted across the room, startling Finch in the process. “Okay, enough is enough. Wakey wakey, you two.”

“If they were heavy sleepers, they aren’t anymore.”

“If they were ever sleeping,” he leaned over the console and flipped a series of switches, clearing the opaque cubicle walls and revealing empty spaces. He pulled out his pistol and checked the supply in the cylinder. He closed the cylinder and held the weapon at his side. “As much as I would love to accept the idea that they vanished into thin air, the skeptic in me thinks they are trying to escape.”

“Where are they going to go? The path back to the outpost is blocked and we don’t know with certainty what is up ahead.”

One More Step Forward

Day +6 after The Election and I am happy that I can put all that behind me and get back to focusing on my writing. I’ve never been a big fan of Politics because I’ve often found that it tends to bring out the worst in most people and I prefer not in engage in such activities. Give me 400 pages and a decent idea and I’ll spin you a yarn that will keep you busy for hours. It’s what I do.

Of course, it’s way too easy to blame civic responsibilities or whatever on not writing. The truth is that for a while I have been plagued by a lack of inspiration with regards to my stories and that bothers me because Writing is one of those things that has always filled me with a sense of purpose and accomplishment. No, I’m not thinking of quitting and though I’ve considered pulling the plug on Lights and Shadows in favor of more focus on Parallax: Genesis, I hate to leave projects unfinished so that’s not much of an option either.

Yes, I know that this reads like any number of “frustrated writer rants” that pop up out there and though I consider myself the King of Frustration, I keep soldiering on with the knowledge that I’m not alone here and one day I’ll look back and remember this process as an amusing anecdote to share with others.

Words form sentences.
Sentences form paragraphs.
Paragraphs form stories.
Stories form bodies of work.

I’ll pop the champagne cork soon enough. 😉

Another Day, Another Few Hundred Words

I don’t stick to a daily word count when it comes to Writing. Some days I’m on fire and can easily knock out a chapter or two while other days I’m lucky to get a paragraph. That’s simply how it works with me.

I write because I enjoy it, which basically means that if I don’t feel like doing it, there’s a good chance that it won’t get done that day. Thankfully, I manage to get caught up in the long run but to engage in a set writing schedule is tantamount to throwing my hands up in the air and shouting “Please shoot me now.”

I do keep track of my progress though because it’s good to know where you are at and how far you still have to go. I’ve been making slow and steady progress between Lights and Shadows and Parallax: Genesis while working out some logistical stuff for getting L&S ready to go by the end of December and P:G by the end of March 2017. Unfortunately, the blog has been semi-neglected in the shuffle and while I enjoy updating you all on what’s happening over here, it’s a little lower on the food chain.

Before I forget, a small update on the paid advertising venture I was doing with Amazon Marketing Services. I didn’t run the campaigns for the full month as I originally planned but I did notice some significant results and am planning to restart Parallax’s campaign some time in November. I’m not thrilled with the expenditures involved but I’ve been told that’s what you have to do when you self-publish so I accept it.

Kindle Scout

I’ve been exploring my options lately and realized that I’ve overlooked Amazon’s Kindle Scout. I’m considering submitting Lights and Shadows for nominations when I get it finished in the near future. I can’t use my other books since they’re published through Createspace and KDP but that’s okay.

The more I dig, the more potential options I find. Got to love that Trial and Error process, eh?

Anyway, more to come as I work out the particulars.