The Audio Experience

Hello readers!  First and foremost, thank you, for stopping by to read my ramblings.  I am honored that you find something I say to be interesting.

Today’s post is more of a update as there isn’t much new with me at this time.  Sadly, it’s been nearly a month since I wrote my last blog and almost as long since I last went fishing!  Yes, just like in my writing world, sometimes LIFE gets in the way and I was unable to attend my Bass Tournament I’d been preparing for.  On the plus side of that, I did complete the re-writing of a crucial chapter in my novel and I think it’s much better for it.

Something very exciting within my writing world is my writing group has been working to put on our own, first annual, writers convention!  I can’t even describe the feeling of excitement this is giving me to be a part of such an event.  We are purposely aiming small for this inaugural convention and putting more focus into content, and value, rather than size.  Our thinking is that, if successful, we’ll get to do it again each year and size will take care of itself in time.  Any thoughts?

Other than writing, and NOT fishing lately, I’ve been reading.  A LOT!  More to the point, I’ve discovered a love for audiobooks.  In the past month, I’ve read two and a half physical books, and listened to three novels on Audible.  The Time Traveler was my first audio book I got on a .99 cent sale and completed it in one evening.  From there I got Starship Troopers first (if you haven’t read this then trust me, it’s WAY different from the movie), then Ready Player One, which kept me riveted as I myself am a kid of the 80’s so I understood all the references.  IMG_1793

I usually listen to a lot of podcasts at work, but this has provided me something new and exciting and I love it!  Granted, I cannot go back and easily find a passage I loved.  Sometimes there isn’t text at all, just a list of chapters and a progress bar.  However I’m thoroughly enjoying the experience of finally getting to “read” books I’ve always wanted to, and I still make time to physically read as well.  Going forward, I plan to carefully select which books I’ll listen to so as to find the ones which may take me longer to read, or perhaps is more technical, or cerebral.  Plus sometimes hearing a passage read by another, or seeing a movie adaptation, helps to get a new perspective that I may have missed in trying to read it.  I kind of doubt that was the case with Starship Troopers, but hey, at least I had a face to go with Johnny Rico.

So have you given audiobooks a try?  Have you ever been involved in putting together a convention?  Have YOU been fishing lately?  I’d love to hear about your own experiences in any of these.  Until next time, thanks for stopping by!

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Posted in Am writing, Audible, Audio Books, Fiction Writing, Gaming, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

The Ownership of Fandom

Greeting fans and welcome to another rambling by the writing fisherman!  I have to admit I’m kind of digging this self-proclaimed title.  Not to compare myself to Hemingway, mind you.  No, no; not at all! Though it does have an adventurous ring to it which I really like.

First I’ll catch you up with an update of my first novel, “Nine-Mile Bridge.” I’m currently into my 4th edit, having received some fantastic critique from not only friends in the writing group, but also family.  Ironically it is my family who is my toughest critic so far as they want to see me do well so when something doesn’t make sense, or is stupid, I hear about it!  Also, the prologue has become almost a stand-alone short story which I’m feeling is a good thing. It takes place many years prior to the main story, but is a tantalizing tease of what is to come so I may enter it into a short story contest once I’ve polished a bit more.

For today’s subject I wanted to talk about fandom.  I recently discussed this with my daughter in how we, as fans of (enter subject here), are sometimes capable of deluding ourselves.  I’ll use myself as an example.  There is a podcast about writing which I’ve mentioned before that I’m a big fan of.  I won’t mention the name of it in this post as it’s not crucial, but if you really want to know you’ll have to go back to some of my previous posts; it won’t be hard to find.  Anyway, I really enjoy this podcast and have found it to be very enlightening, educational, inspirational, and just fun overall.  I’ve downloaded, and listened, to their entire series multiple times (the episodes are only 20-30 minutes long).  Often I hear something I missed before, or there may be a part which is relevant to me now.  I’ve written to them and corresponded a few times in the past 9-ish months since I found the show and a funny thing has happened which my daughter called me out on.  I started calling them my, “Friends,”  when mentioning them, or something they said on the show!

My daughter looked puzzled saying she didn’t realize we’d become friends, then asked if we’d spoken on the phone or something.

I was taken back by her observation and I stuttered, “No, I…well I mean…I didn’t mean…uh…”  What had I been saying; friends?  Why?  They don’t really KNOW me, but I certainly feel like I know them.  Then it occurred to me that in speaking about their own writing, likes and dislikes, and other things shared over time, I’ve developed a real kinship with them.  Certainly a feeling of camaraderie, and mentor-ship, as they’ve corresponded to my past letters and given great advice, but would they know me if we met?  Not at all.

My daughter laughed at my expense, imagining the embarrassing situation if I was to meet them one day.  “Hey you look like you’re doing better.  Did you ever get that problem solved?  Oh, I love it when you say that, it’s so YOU!”

Inside my head I shrunk away, dreading the thought of whether I’d ever written something to them which sounded like a star-struck fan.

This got us talking about fandom as a whole and the phenomenon of ownership.  Ownership of a show, and the connection we feel, as fans, with celebrities and athletes.  Seriously, how many times have you either said, or heard someone say about a particular show, “That’s MY show!”

I’ve begun to realize the evolution of fandom in TV and movies the past couple of decades has come to rival any sports club out there.  More than likely you yourself are a dedicated fan of some sort.  Whether that be in television, a movie franchise, a sport, or even a author, you’ve probably got something which you move your schedule around to accommodate.  Take a moment and evaluate yourself and see where you stand.  Do you scream at the television for a great sports play, or cry when a favorite character is killed?

One day I do hope to meet the people of MY podcast and hopefully I’m casual about it.  Even more so I hope we have a good laugh at my own expense as we share stories of fandom in other areas.  Have you met a celebrity and totally geeked out?  Perhaps you’ve waited in line for hours for a ticket to YOUR movie, or the perhaps last Harry Potter book? (guilty) Let me hear about your own fandom in the comments below and with any luck, one day, we ourselves may be the subject of such fans.  It is in that spirit that I hope MY first book will be YOURS!

Posted in Am writing, Distractions, Fandom, Fiction Writing, Inspiration, New Writer | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The “Sea Monkey” is Gone! (a mostly fishing blog post)

Welcome back, friends!  Let me take a moment and give you fair warning that I’m doing something a little different this week as I’m going to put more focus into the fishing part of my life with tonight’s post.  If you’ve tuned in to hear how my writing is going, I can say that it is going very well!  I made my official public announcement recently about the upcoming book and it has received some good feedback, as well as building a little bit of hype about it.  In fact, I just returned from a trip to my old home, where the story takes place, and ran into people who knew of my book, and the urban legend which it is about!  Pressure to complete it is all on me now and I’ll post some updates about it in about a week.

However for tonight’s post I’d like to share a little of what I did to FINALLY catch a few winter time bass, my first of this year, thereby getting that monkey off my back.  I make a point to take my kids as much as possible in order to build fond memories with them doing things outside like I did growing up.  Case in point, I took my youngest son, Kiefer, out for about an hour before sunset   We were slow-rolling the KVD spinner-baits in sexy shad color a few feet out and parallel to the bank and that’s how I got my first, and second, of the year.  In fairness, Kiefer had the biggest of the day, at least 2lbs (no make that 5lbs) on his very first cast but it came off right at the bank.  (Hey I warned you I was telling fish stories)

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Later in the week, I ventured out to a cold, 38 degree afternoon with gusty, 20-30mph winds.  I made sure to bundle up.  A three and a half inch black with blue flake craw was especially effective crawling it along the windiest banks as four Spotted Bass devoured them.  But it was my Umbrella Rig in the three bait formation that I was most anxious to try thanks to some tips I got.  You probably already know this, but to get it to run proper you need to adjust the two outside wires with lighter jig heads and a heavier one for the bottom. (I used two 1/8 oz and one 1/4 oz)  Spreading them out this way gives it a upside down triangle look and by having the heavier one on bottom it acts as a keel to make it run straight, not flip over. The final touch was to make one of them different to stand out.  I added a line of chartreuse color from a Spike-It marker along the side and on the tail of my lower lure and sure enough that was the one the bass hit every time.

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So there you go.  A couple of tips in just a few minutes of reading time.  I hope you enjoyed it!  See you again soon!

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From Side-Tracked to Progress

Welcome back readers!  As always, thank you so much for checking back in with me and my ridiculousness.  One day in the future, once I’m a successful author with several of my books having been made into movies, and I’ve achieved personal fishing success with multiple championships, you’ll be able to look back on this blog and say, “I was a fan from the start, back when he was less famous.”

Yeah, right.

Enough daydreams for now.  Today I wanted to share with you something which has been on my mind for a while, but I haven’t put much time into it so I wouldn’t get distracted.  That is figuring out the genre of my novel.  Actually what started this was the first time I attempted to put together a synopsis about it, which is still not altogether there, and to identify which genre it is.

For a while I really worried, bordering on panic, that I didn’t know what genre my tale could be.  In my novel, there are elements of horror, the paranormal, and it features the YA (young adult) crowd, among others.  When you stop to think about your story’s genre it can be quite maddening as it’s so important to know in order to properly market your book!  Then at my writing club meeting the other night, we had a discussion about genre and it finally got me completely side-tracked.  I had to have the answer before I could do any more editing!

Thankfully, a little bit of searching online using the, “how to…” phrasing led me to a multitude of articles.  After comparing several articles/sites, I settled on one in particular which helped me a great deal.  I wish I could give props to the writer but it appears to be a stock article owned by RockYourWriting.com.  The link is embedded below, but I’ll provide a sample of what they call the “Umbrella Genres.”  Rock Your Writing How To Find Your Genre

  • Action/Adventure — stories including epic journeys, lots of conflict, high stakes, some violence.
  • Erotica — stories of sexual exploration.
  • Fantasy — stories usually involving magic, other worlds, mythological/mystical figures.
  • Horror — stories that invoke fear.
  • Literary Fiction — stories with a focus on the quality of the prose over the narrative arc.
  • Mystery — stories that involve solving a crime, usually a murder.
  • Thriller/Suspense — stories of high tension that can involve either action or mystery.
  • Romance — stories about love/intimacy.
  • Sci-fi — stories usually involving technology, aliens, science-related alternative worlds.
  • Westerns — stories taking place in America’s “Old West,” often with focus on justice. 
  • Women’s fiction — stories about women experiencing emotional growth. Primary emotion:  hope.

Based on this, and other information provided in the article, I’ve settled on Paranormal Thriller for my novel’s genre.  If you too have struggled with genre, and this has helped, please let me know.  I’d love to hear what you’re writing!

Thanks for stopping by!

Posted in Distractions, Editing/Revising, Fiction Writing, Genre, Uncategorized | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Revising/Editing is fun … Right?!

Welcome back to another semi-exciting blog from me, Jason the writing fisherman!  Where’s my usual fishing picture you ask?  I’m waiting on that until I catch my first fish of the year which has oddly taken longer than usual to acquire.  (Please, please let that occur sooner than late March when I attend the first tournament of the year or I’ll be seriously doubting my skills!)  Until then I’ll post pictures somewhat relevant to what I’m doing.

So if you’ve been following me since I began this blog adventure last year, thank you by the way, then you know this is my first significant attempt in completing a novel.  My past endeavors have been halfhearted, or worse yet they start off like fire then die miserably before I inevitably lose interest.  Anyone else have a stack of half written manuscripts like myself?

Sad to say I was nearing that point again, gasp!  After NaNoWriMo I was only able to maintain that momentum for another week or two before I stopped altogether by Christmas.  I’d open the story occasionally knowing what I needed to work on, maybe even typing a few lines here and there, but mostly just staring at it feeling lost.  By February 1st I readjusted my schedule to include daily writing time once again but it didn’t help my motivation and before long I’d be surfing the web or doing something else.

Finally I’d had enough.  Over the weekend I reached out to my friends in the local writing club, downloaded the entire series of my favorite writing podcast (Fanboys on Fiction) and even wrote to them for help and tips.  As I awaited a response from anyone episode #9 came on titled, “Writing Slumps” and suddenly the lights came on.  One of the guys described the same feelings I was having and later touched on a idea I felt would help me.  Soon I printed out the entire 235 page first draft (pictured) and just seeing it in this form already started igniting my fire within.

It wasn’t long after I started getting responses from everyone with great advice, especially Roger, one of the Fanboys on Fiction pod-casters, who had some terrific follow up on goals.  Seems funny that just having the printed copy in hand, able to spread it out and make notes has made such a change in my whole attitude about it.  So far I’ve revised/edited a chapter and a half in little more than a day and the creative juices are flowing once more!

What things do you do to keep your motivation, to keep the drive alive?  What keeps you from quitting?  Thanks for reading!

Posted in Distractions, Editing/Revising, Fanboys on Fiction, Fiction Writing, First Draft, Inspiration, Reasons to Write | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

2015 My Year in Review

What a year 2015 turned out to be!  As it has been a while since I’ve written you can see by my featured image I did in fact participate and exceeded the required 50,000 words to “win” NaNoWriMo, but more on that in a bit.

As you already know I’m a fisherman.  It’s in my blood and my dream was to one day begin doing competitive bass tournaments.  Early in the year I not only got to meet a childhood hero of mine, Hank Parker, but at the same event I made contact with someone who would introduce me to the Bass Club I would go on to join and begin pursuing that my dreams!  My first tournament was that March at Table Rock Lake in southern Missouri and I had a blast.FullSizeRender (2)

I also became a Grandfather for the first, and second, time early last year!  My granddaughter, Skyli was born in late Feb while my grandson, Caillum came in April.  They have been a blessing to my family not to mention a ton of fun.  Especially Skyli who lives with her Mamma in our home with us so I’ve had to get used to a baby in the home again.  Following on the heels of these events my oldest daughter, Anni, graduated high school and is herself on the way to a budding writing/artist career.IMG_1264

July was an incredibly busy month.  I’d just started this blog, spent time with family I’d not seen in years (my brother), caught my personal best bass at over 8 pounds but unfortunately NOT during a tournament, however I did get my first top Three finish in one later that month up at Lake Mozingo in NW Missouri.IMG_1029

From August on, having just joined a local writing group, The Writers of Warrensburg, I kept my nose in the laptop working on my story filling in character backgrounds and voices, developing the plot and sub-plots.  All of this prepared me very well to jump into the previously mentioned NaNoWriMo competition.  What a blast that was!  For the most part the novel is done minus a few holes which I’m working on now when I’m not immersed in that crazy world of Fallout 4!Fallout-4-62

Needless to say I’ve had a very blessed 2015 and am looking forward to an even better 2016.  My first goal is to complete the editing my current novel asap to be ready to publish as I’d like to be outlining my next novel by Summer.  To aid in this I am also pledging myself to write every day this year, or as near to every day as I can make it.  Of course it goes without saying, I want to fish more as well with a goal of doubling my top 3 finishes this year.  Thank you so much for taking the time to read my first ramblings of 2016!  I promise to come back in here more often so I hope you do too!

 

Posted in Distractions, Fiction Writing, Fishing, Gaming, NaNoWriMo, New Writer | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

On Second Thought … NaNoWriYes!

Someone told me recently I was a very odd guy.  After a moment of uncomfortable silence he quickly corrected himself claiming that what he meant to say was that I was a real enigma meaning he’d never known someone like me before.  According to this friend I’m quite the contradiction in personalities.  After giving this some thought I can see where he’s coming from so I’ll attempt to define who I am according to him.  I’m a comic book loving, hit the weights hard P90X  Beachbody Coach, movie addict who’s always ready with a line “That’s no moon”,  avid outdoors-man and hunter, football fanatic, gamer geek (don’t even get me started talking about Skyrim, Fallout, or Farcry), gotta get this story outta my head want to be writer, poker playing, reading three books at a time, cigar chomping, “just one more cast” please let me go fishing kind of guy.

Okay when you say it like that I suppose I get his point.  I mean some of those, traditionally speaking, don’t really go together.  Then again could it also mean I’m just a one-of-a-kind type of person (which my wife would attest to) who enjoys a good challenge with a variety of interests?  Like a, hmm what’s the word, fiction writer?

Well that is an official title I reserve for myself AFTER I complete this novel which I’ve decided to through NaNoWriMo after all.  My colleagues at WoW (Writers of Warrensburg) encouraged me to join them in this endeavor and after some looking into it I realized I’d basically be doing it all ready.  After all I’ve spent months preparing my storyline, the characters and arcs, and just completed the outline for each chapter to guide me and I’d planned on being done in November so why not?  Plus the deadline gives me a goal to strive for, a challenge if you will, so I’m actually really excited now and can’t wait for Sunday!

If you want to join it’s not too late!  Come to http://nanowrimo.org to sign up and look me up by my name to let me know you’re in and send me a buddy request so we can support each other in this crazy writer’s life!  Good luck and may the odds be ever in your favor!  (really Hunger Games; why are you in my head?!)

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NaNoWriMo Looms Ahead!

Hello there and welcome back to the world of Jason and my never ending supply of crazy happenings!  If you tuned in last time you’ll be happy to know I’ve not caught any new teenage boys sneaking outside my home in the middle of the night.  I think word got out that those attempting will be caught by me and never seen again, ha.

I like to think that sometimes things just happen, good and bad, and how we handle it reflects who you are as a person.  Like I’m the kind of guy who tries to find the silver lining in most any situation, sometimes to a fault (just ask my wife).  The issue with catching the boy outside led to a break in my story I was looking for.  A problem with my back recently kept me from working out and writing, but I did do a lot of reading and finished a new book in a couple of days!  Last night walking through the parking lot at Wal-Mart I was hit by a car and … well I survived unscathed!  No seriously, it’s like they never even saw me walking nor did I see them coming.  Next thing I know I’m on the hood of their car yet somehow rolled off landing on my feet like a ninja.  Now I think I’m a nice guy and will always try to do right but I’ve been told over and over again I’ve got an intimidating looking face which I must have flashed  at them which must be why they immediately took off.  At least I’m okay and now I’ve got yet another story to tell.

As for the heading of this issue, it’s that time of year again.  NaNoWriMo is just a few days away and I originally planned to partake.  Of course as I’ve written previously I had originally planned to be DONE with my current novel by now and be more so into the re-write/editing phase.  In a way I guess I’m participating somewhat this year as I’ve got a pretty clear outline now not only of the whole story but also of each chapter so hopefully I can finish in November.  Progress recently has been good and I’d say I have a pretty decent shot at reaching the first draft milestone before November comes to a close.  I promise my readers to do my best to not spend ALL my spare time fishing and in the woods come deer season but those excuses for not writing sounds like a possible future blog to me!

Are you doing NaNoWriMo this year? Have you before?  I’d love to hear about your experience with it or if you’re planning to!  Thanks for coming by and I’ll write again soon!

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Surprising Story Fix Inspirations

Greetings and salutations!  First off thank you for finding this article and (hopefully) reading it and if you like my voice I would be honored to have you start following me in my quest for the perfect career mix of fishing and writing.  After all I really do have a great voice, it’s like a velvet blanket, just go with it.  A big shout out to my Four followers, thank you!  Although technically it’s three as I’m the fourth but I like me so I’ll take it.

I’m continuously amazed at the multiple manners of which inspiration can strike.  Allow me to back track just a bit.  My current story is based around an urban legend here in Missouri and although I mapped out the general idea of the story long ago, I’d really done nothing with developing the characters.  Trying something new to me, I stopped planning and just starting writing and am letting the characters “speak” to me.  It’s working great so far and I’m gaining a wealth of sub plots I hadn’t planned on, not to mention, I absolutely love it when a character surprises me.  I’m writing along and suddenly the character says something in my head and I’m like, (gasp) “Oh no she didn’t!” (finger snaps).  Anyway the problem I was running into is I’m getting too far away from the main story line and wasn’t sure how to get back to it.

I pressed on for two weeks while still stressing out over how I was going to do this I was suddenly awoken in the middle of the night by an intruder at my home!  Actually it was a teenage boy I busted on my back porch at 2 am who accidentally woke me instead of my teenage daughter.  Short story version is I had a few words for him, showed him my baseball bat, and he agreed never to do this again.  Later that day I’m thinking about the event for the umpteenth time and suddenly the solution to my story problem is RIGHT THERE!

Fortunately I was able to jump immediately onto my laptop and within an hour I did over a thousand words of this fresh idea thanks to the punk!  Before you ask, no, I’m not thanking him for inadvertently inspiring the fix to my story nor will I be.  To his credit however he has expressed, through texting my daughter, his wish to come apologize sometime.  We shall see ( I say in my deepest velvety voice).

Has inspiration struck you at an odd time or place?  Let me hear about it in the comments below.  Till next time!

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Fishing for the Writer’s Life

Hello Friends!  Jason here, back after quite the hiatus from any blogging activity whatsoever.  What a time it’s been though.  The day job keeps me busy as ever; I’ve begun new rehab, or rather physical training, on my knees to go along with my new workouts thanks to the VA; and I’ve joined a local writer’s group!

In my time away from this I’ve put some thought into what I hope to achieve, or to do with my blog.  To be honest, I originally only joined to follow Roger Colby, writer/blogger extraordinaire, who along with his partner, Ryan McKinley, puts out the wonderful podcast, “Fanboys on Fiction.”  Their advice has inspired me to get back at writing and not to give in and I’ve become a big fan.

Among the countless great suggestions I’ve collected from the Fanboys was to start a blog, something I’d never done.  For now though, I believe this will be my way of just writing my thoughts down which, maybe, will entertain some other struggling writers like myself.  I’ll share my issues, what’s working and what’s not, and perhaps even some other things from my life.

Of course I’m sure I’ll bring up fishing  at some point as that is my passion.  In fact I’m realizing that fishing is one of my reasons for writing.  I seek the freedom of one day soon, I pray, to not be tied down to a 9-5 hourly job working for someone else.  I’m going to be 44 years old come November and my plan right now is to be self employed by 50!  The fishing part just comes naturally with the extra free time, but seriously who am I kidding, I’ll go anytime now that I get a chance.

So what is one of your reasons for writing?  Let me know and be sure to check out Fanboys on Fiction on iTunes and follow Roger Colby right here in WordPress!

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