01/23/08: Editing trip to Alan's
I flew down to see my brother Alan in Towson, MD so that we could work together on the third major edit to my second novel Currency of Money which I had begun in mid 2006 and had worked sporadically on since. He had already done many minor and two major edits through the mail, but this was a big one. I formally named him The Chainsaw after he heartlessly weeded out over sixty pages from an original three-hundred-ninety. He is wicked with the red pen.
02/17/08: Yet another dream
As so often happens to me, I was jarred awake Sunday morning at 2:00 a.m. with a vibrant vision of a scene screaming at me. I had to go down to the computer and write that scene out. Don't know what this means, but it can't be good...
03/07/08: Coming off injured reserve
Well, I've been laying low for the last couple of weeks. Caught a bug and was down for awhile; it just wouldn't totally let go. But enough is enough! After a ten hour writing spurt on Saturday, I completed the last major rewrite on Currency of Money. Now, I'll let it sit for a few weeks, do a full re-reading of it, and see what I want to do with it from here. But this other story that came to me back in February continues to haunt me. I'm over 100 pages into this thing, and it seems to have a life of its own. I'm just going with it... But it's really good. So good, it's scary!
04/06/08: Last structural edits
Just finished the last structural editing on Currency of Money. Maybe after another major re-reading, I'll head back down to my brother Alan's for his chainsaw editing work. We can work on that, drink some wine, and cook up some Portuguese recipes this time! Despite all of my work on this, I have also been swept up in this other story so much so that I have given it a title: Too Late For Later. It is breathtaking to see how this story is unfolding...
05/17/08: Turn of events
Well, there has been a major turn of events. At just over 100 pages now, Too Late For Later has become my third novel. I have been possessed by it; it just won't let go of me. At this point because it's taken such hold of me, I have decided to put Currency of Money to the side and I'm just going to run this new one out and see what happens.
06/08/08: Hot but relaxing Sunday
Well, I'm now up to page 197 with Too Late For Later, so rapidly approaching that magic 200 page mark where I can then say, "Hey, I've got a book!" That's a very satisfying point to get to for a writer. I'm savoring it...
05/23/08: Memorial Day Weekend
I was up fairly early Sunday morning and on the boards writing. By the end of the afternoon, after almost eight hours straight, I am at page 138 with Too Late For Later. Now that constitutes a pretty good start to a real novel.
Who writes 138 pages? No-bod-y. Nobody. Period. I do, and someday I can come back here and say, you know, this is how you do it. You put your head down and you work your ass off until it gets done and done right and you keep writing until everyone wonders how you made it happen and they didn't. This is how you do it. Not thinking about it, or wishing for it, or wondering where you'll find the time for it. You just do it.
And... you do it for the love of it and not to get published. Who cares about getting published? You write because you have to; because it's in your blood and you can't get away from it and it fulfills you. You write for you. And if you find that special voice inside of you, then others will enjoy what you write. So, we'll see won't we?
06/27/08: Another editing trip to Alan's
Having completed 270 pages of Too Late For Later and an outline for an additional 14 scenes to complete the book, I went down to see my brother again for him do a structural edit similar to the work we did on Currency of Money. It was a great time, but I was stunned at the outcome of the editing process. When I had come down to have him work on Currency of Money just six months before, he had hacked out over 60 pages.
But the Chainsaw didn't even get fired up! The red pen never came out. No marks were made, and only a suggestion to tighten up things in a couple of places where I had done a little too much descriptive narration or had repeated myself.
It was at that point that I knew I had found my style and my voice. From there, it has just been a matter of continually perfecting my craft, having fun, and watching the world around me - ready for that next idea to wake me in the middle of the night.
08/28/08: Labor Day weekend shuffle
Too Late For Later is now at the 314 page mark, and well on its way to pulling all the loose ends together for the close. Maybe another 20 pages? Don't know; just have to play that as the dreams come to me...
09/05/08: Labor Day Weekend Party Continues
Oh my gosh - woke up out of a sound sleep Sunday night with several of the final scenes I had been working on for Too Late For Later trying to blast their way out of my skull. I had to drag myself out of bed, go down to the library, and write out three pages of thoughts. Gad, there must be an easier way to be a writer...
10/05/08: Finishing up Too Late For Later
Well, after 8 months of work, that opening scene that had jarred me awake has blossomed into 380 pages of a really fast paced financial thriller, Too Late For Later. I'll put this aside now for a couple of months so I can come back to it for a more objective reading. That will give me some time to do some editing to an informational book I wrote earlier this year, Cane Use For Health and Protection. I need to get this into a more stable state as I will be using it for some of the Intermediate level classes that I will be teaching in the cane.
01/24/09: Busy editing weekend
Besides working on my second major edit sweep through Too Late For Later, I have spent the last few weeks catching up on some reading. I had wanted for the longest time to reread The Great Gatsby as well as a few fiction works by various authors. I also had a backlog of six books on creative writing that had been calling to me.
Not only was I able to pull most of that to a close, but I finished up a reasonably complete working version of Cane Use For Health and Protection. Busy... So by Sunday I got to drinking a grand bottle of Marques Casa Concha 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon and listening to a bunch of Vivaldi. I had one of the best Peter's Sunday Party For One that I can remember. I knew that the wine consumption had exceeded recommended limits when around 11:00 p.m. I kept looping through two of Vivaldi's works: Stabat Mater Dolorosa and the Opening Movement from Gloria. I don't even want to think about how many times I listened to those...
01/31/09: Second major edit sweep completed
After a rousing party I threw Saturday night, The Great 2009 Super Bowl Backgammon Tournament And No Close Huddle Chili Punt, I spent about 10 hours Sunday completing the second major editing sweep on Too Late For Later. Going through and cleaning up structural stuff is mind numbing work, but if I don't then my brother Alan, The Chainsaw, will have a field day tearing my stuff up. That's not going to happen... Famous last words.
02/22/09: Too Late For Later off to Alan for editing
I completed a third major edit sweep through Too Late For Later and it's ready for The Chainsaw.
03/08/09: Busy writing weekend
Between Saturday and Sunday I must have put in over 20 hours writing on a new informational book I started while my brother Alan finishes what I hope will be the final edit on my novel Too Late For Later. It was very satisfying work, but draining. Based on my experiences in writing fiction over the last several years, I have written 180 pages of Writing Fiction For The Rest of Us. It's just the sort of book I wish I had been able to read when I started writing fiction.
03/21/09: News on Too Late For Later
Sunday I was up early again and working on Writing Fiction For The Rest of Us as a late March snowstorm raged outside. But was able to finish the book at 188 pages. It's more for myself than anything so not sure how many, if any, edit runs I'm going to take on that. Heard from my brother and he'll have the editing on Too Late For Later done and back to me probably by the end of next week. So I know what I'm doing next weekend...
03/28/09: A really busy editing weekend
Well, on Wednesday I received my brother's editing work on my novel Too Late For Later, so I was up and on the boards early Saturday morning. I worked all the way through until my dinner guest arrived, and then did a little more before I headed off to bed.
I didn't wake up until 9:30 Sunday, so I was a rocket of activity to get going on my re-writing work. It was a long, a very, very long, day. I got maxed out around 6:00 pm and just pushed back from the computer. Enough. I had some dinner, watched a movie, and hit the rack.
But I got a huge amount of work done. Fortunately, for this re-write sweep, there was nothing major other than a few paragraph re-structurings. Most were phrasing issues for clarity, some tense problems, pronoun referencing, and sharpening up some of the more descriptive passages that I had. It'll probably take me another few weekends to put it into final shape.
05/31/09: Novel Too Late For Later Finished
Well, I finished the final edit sweep of my novel Too Late For Later early Sunday afternoon 05/31/09. Actually, this was all more of a final reading than rewriting or doing any significant editing. Anyway: Done! Nice. Now I let is sit a couple of weeks and see how it hits me. Then...
06/19/09: Submission Thoughts on Too Late For Later
Okay, like Bud Fox (Charlie Sheen) said in the movie Wall Street just as he was about to meet Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas) for the first time, "Life all comes down to a few moments. This is one of them." Well, this is one of those moments: I have decided that Too Late For Later is good enough to market and that I should give it a go. It's one thing to talk about writing a book, another thing to actually write one, quite another to have written three (fiction plus all the other stuff I've done), and yet another to actually send it out. Done. Done. Done. And Done.
But, like everything else in life: nothing counts until someone writes you a check. Everything else is just conversation and for your own self fulfillment. As the guy who was crossing the street in the opening and closing scenes of the movie Pretty Woman said, "Everybody's gotta have a dream!" So, if it comes back with anything other than the standard "Thanks but no thanks. Have a nice life, loser" type of cardboard form response that is more the norm, then so much the better. But, the book is good - for someone. I've got no tears, no regrets, and I'll just keep writing.
07/03/09: Another dream fragment flows out
The other night I had another one of those dreams that cause me to start writing a book. Can't help myself. But it's so exciting to sit down, write that scene out, and then just let the story unfold. Sometimes I can't type fast enough! Anyway, I sipped coffee and listened to one of the cable contemporary music channels while I let the story flow out onto the page.
I got about 10 pages in and sent it off to my brother Alan ("The Chainsaw") for his take. I was secretly trying to see if he would trash the writing itself vs. what the story was, but he had no comments on the writing at all; he just didn't get the point of the story. Duh! There is no point! It's a dream fragment and I have no idea what the story will be about either! That comes later...
What's striking to me is that, being the picky (very picky) grammarian that he is, he seemed to find minimal fault from an editing standpoint. What? My brain dumps now make sense out of the box? Nice...
07/10/09: Backing away from new book
I realized after starting to write out that other dream fragment that I could end up in an endless cycle of this type of thing. I got about 30 pages in and stopped. I have gone back for a first pass rewrite of the first 120 pages of my second novel, Currency of Money. I've found it actually pretty good; better than I remembered it, but still a lot of language structural changes, phrasing issues, and some over-writing. I'll work this through and see what happens.
12/26/12: Not Marketing
Since my last post in 2009 (a long, long time ago), I have not only been absorbed by work but also in another type of writing that I do: computer programming. It was just after finishing my last book, Too Late For Later that I began writing a Forex foreign currency data analysis and trading application. I became as obsessed with this project as I do my writing.
I use that as an excuse for not taking the time to market any of my books. I love to write. I hate to market. In fact, I hate marketing so much that I absolutely cannot bring myself to do it. I admit to being the artist in my writing with no business ability, though I have great overall business ability. I know exactly what I need to do. I'm simply not willing to take the time to do it. Besides, I use the analysis my computer program produces to trade the Forex market with real money in real time. And no marketing....
Having said that, if you are an agent or publisher willing to take a 5 minute risk to talk with me about my abilities, then please contact me as I assure you my work is good. And so, I'm back to refactoring some code in my Forex project!
06/29/13: New Book Started: Tales Of A Yard Dog FOREX Trader
I made my first live FOREX foreign currency trade on 02/20/12 and by June of 2013 had flattened out my account. After continuing my studies and trading both another live account (that I also drove into the dirt), and a simulated trading account, I began to work on Tales Of A Yard Dog FOREX Trader in June of 2013 to try to organize my thoughts on different trading process.
01/10/14: New Book Started: Swinging For The FOREX Fence
After opeing and blowing out of 2 live FOREX foreign currency trading accounts, I had to re-evaluate what I was doing. I took a different track of study of the trading process in a simulated account, and then ran computer analysis over those trades. As I began to develop my methodology, I started informally writing down my thoughts on trading. This has now become an effort to write an entire book, Swinging For The FOREX Fence of which I have, at this point, about 20 pages of rough draft completed since beginning to write 08/07/13.
03/22/14: New Book Started: Swimming Against the Aether
Having acted in the role of mentor for my martial arts students over the last 45 years, I decided to start writing Swimming Against the Aether, a book of practical philosophy for the non-martial artist as a guide to achieving a better life based on my experience of opening LiveNow Adult Life Mentoring on 01/01/14.
03/22/14: Juggling Work on Two Books!
With my book Tales Of A Yard Dog FOREX Trader still on hold, I've been busy with the other two books that I have started writing this year. I've currently written 60 pages for Swinging For The FOREX Fence and about 40 pages for Swimming Against the Aether.
06/22/14: Switching Focus
Having improved my trading based on the thoughts I've developed working on Swinging For The FOREX Fence, which is now up to 120 pages, I've shifted focus to working on Swimming Against the Aether for awhile. I actually ended up scrapping most of the original draft, and started with a different approach. I'm combining a lot of science into it to show how science and the Nature around us totally support my thoughts on how we can make our lives better by just looking at Nature and seeing how it resolves issues.
07/20/16: Long Time Updating!
I can't believe it's been 2 years since my last post! Lack of posting is not an indication of lack of writing, however! Since then, I've been very busy writing (and trading) in the foreign currency markets. I developed a series of 5 FOREX foreign currency trading courses in 2016 not only so that I could help others in their trading, but also to help me organize my own trading methodologies.