Monday, December 31, 2012

WISHING YOU ALL A HAPPY NEW YEAR! Plus One More Update...


First of all, I want to wish everyone a HAPPY NEW YEAR!  If you're going to be on the road tonight, please drive carefully and watch out for others who may not be doing that.  My wife and I will be curled up at home watching one of our favorite movies "HOLIDAY" with Cary Grant and Katherine Hepburn.  Yes, it's an old B and W but the message it shares is very powerful and personal to us.  That message is simply "Chase your dreams.  Don't wait for things to happen, make them happen.  Even if it means taking risks instead of playing it safe all the time.  Hold onto each other as you go along because there might be pitfalls and you may have to go back to selling peanuts, but believe in those peanuts and each other.  This way after you've analyzed what went wrong, you can try again and again until you succeed in making it that dream a reality!"

All of this is easier said than done.  But remember this.... UNLESS YOU TRY, THAT DREAM HAS NO CHANCE OF EVER HAVING A CHANCE OF COMING TRUE!

This is what I've told myself time and again as I've worked on my writing.  And I've taken risks.  I tried the traditional publishing route and it didn't quite work out.  But during those few years I tried it, I learned a lot.  The industry changed, e-books have evolved and the face of the publishing world changed beyond what anyone thought it could.  

So as 2012 comes to a close, I continue to work on the finishing touches of "THE BRIDGE".  Originally I had hoped to unveil it first by Christmas, then New Year's Day.  Unfortunately, I won't be able to do that.  Every time I think I've finished the formatting I discover a new problem and have to work on it some more.  But I don't mind.  This simply means that my book is going to be in the best possible shape I can get it in.  And since it is my debut novel, my introduction to the world of writing, I'll take that time to make it perfect.  I want' to make a great impression with this novel, because "YOU ONLY GET ONE CHANCE TO MAKE A FIRST IMPRESSION!"  Take the time to make it a good one folks.

So, once more I wish you all a HAPPY and SAFE NEW YEAR!  And I close this year with what is now the final version of my book cover. I know I said that before, but people pointed out "Hey I don't see your name on the cover..." So here it is.  See you all next year!


Saturday, December 29, 2012

The Finished Cover For My Debut Novel...


Well gang,here it is.  I finally finished the cover for my debut novel this afternoon.  It took some doing but I finished it finally.  With my tight budget and the fact that I'm an artist in my own right, it only made sense to do the cover myself.  I've already got about a 1/4 of the novel formatted.  I'm using Createspace.  I'll do another entry on what went into the formatting and why I made the choices I did.  I hope to post that one in a day or so.  I want to focus on finishing the formatting and getting the whole thing together before New Year's Eve if possible.  

In the meantime, any comments on the book cover would be welcome.

Monday, December 24, 2012

MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE...

A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS TO YOU ALL.  And if you are traveling, may your journey be safe and uneventful.  See you all on Boxing Day, take care.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

The Last Installment of Exploring Christmas In Marina


This is the third and last installment of this video.  This place has been a real joy for us and we hope to explore other places next Christmas as we get more familiar with our new surroundings.  Remember, we've only been here since September.

A MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Here is part 2 of the video I shot of this magical place not from from where we live.  This is all done by one man and his family and each year they add to the display and make it even more magical.  I hope you enjoy seeing all the lights and figures and how carefully organized and set up it all is.  The 3rd and final part will go up tomorrow.  Enjoy everyone.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Exploring Christmas In Marina...

Since I'm always going on about being creative and now is the holiday season, I thought I'd share this with you all. 

Here's part 1 of 3 videos about this one incredible house that is so incredibly decked out for Christmas.   For me, it's like a holiday wonderland and I wanted to share it with you.  I broke the video up into 3 parts because the entire thing is almost 20 minutes long.  I hope you enjoy it, part 2 will be up tomorrow and then part 3 the day after. 

Now this is NOT my place, someone else did this incredible display.  He and his family do this every year, they also do Halloween up big time and I hope to shoot that next year.  In the meantime, please enjoy and HAPPY HOLIDAYS!


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Some Thoughts On Creating Your Own E-book Cover...

As you probably already saw in my previous entry I've been working on the book cover for my Paranormal/Mystery/Sci-Fi novel "THE BRIDGE".   It's been an interesting experience.  I do not recommend it for everyone unless you're an artist yourself.  I'm loving it because I have way more control over the creation of the image that is going to basically be my "Introductory Handshake" to the world.  I've seen images used on books that I thought were interesting but did not always have all that much to do with what actually happened inside the story.  There were some with a scene displayed on the cover that never appeared, even remotely in the story and I always found that a bit frustrating.  I know we all want to capture the audiences imagination and interest, but I want to make sure I'm being fair about it.  

Now given that the title of my novel is "THE BRIDGE" I could've just gone with a bridge from around the right time-frame as the one in the story, but I wanted to add some clues as to what or who the reader may encounter on that bridge.  So I added the figure.  In the story itself there is a legendary ghostly figure who haunts that bridge, "The White Lady" who is supposedly searching for the baby she lost from it many years ago.  Is this figure her?  Why does her hair seem to flow and move like Medusa's?  Is she even human?  Are we seeing some kind of Gorgon?  Or is she something much more unique and different?  

I'm not telling at this point, can't give away too many spoilers.  But you can see and understand why I've made the choices I have with the image.  I went for such a stark black to draw the eye to the figure itself and the title which I incorporated into the image.  This is the "Star" of my show in this image.  I want the audience to take note of these things and then let their eyes travel over the rest of the image, which is the stage she is standing on, so to speak.  I learned this from my many art classes over the years.  You have to decide where you want the audience's eye to be drawn to, while still allowing them to enjoy the rest of the piece.  And that's what I've done here.  

Now whether you're doing your own book cover by hand or on the computer using Photoshop, or a free book cover creator offered by some of the e-book programs, or hiring an artist to do it for you,  make sure you keep things like this in mind.  What is the "Star" of the image?  Is it actually relevant to the story? Is it the image of your hero or a key villain?  Either is okay, but I recommend having your hero somewhere if you use the villain so people know who's the good guy.  Why would you use a villain more prominently on a cover?  Simple, the more impressive your antagonist seems to be, the better your hero is going to look when they rise to the challenge and overcome the villain's plot.  Look at post movie posters, when we see Darth Vader or the Emperor looming large on the page, dwarfing Luke and the others, we know our heroes are up against incredible odds and we're already rooting for the good guys to win and are anxious to know how they're going to do it.

As you can see, just as much thought needs to go into your cover as it does your story.  As I've said before in this entry, that cover is your way of introducing yourself and your product to the audience and the world.  Make a great impression, one that really knocks their socks off!

That's all for now.  I may try for another update before Christmas.  In case I don't get the chance, I wish you all a wonderful and happy holiday season, whatever you're celebrating my friends.  I'll be back before the end of the year, hopefully with a big announcement.  Until then, take care and keep writing.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Update On My Book Cover...

I thought you all might like to see how the cover of my novel is coming along.  It's almost done.  The editing of the novel itself is coming along nicely too.  I'll let you all know when I start the formatting for Createspace, Kindle, Nook, PDF, paperback (i. e. print on demand), etc.


And Now A Brief Update From My Vlog...

Just a quick update from my Vlog today...

Sunday, December 9, 2012

I've Made My Decision...

A few weeks ago I asked you all for your advice and opinions about what to do after my novel "THE BRIDGE" had been rejected after being considered for almost 2 years.  Well, during those 2 years a lot has changed in the publishing world.  E-books are now considered more acceptable than when they first started. In fact, some publishers and agents wait to see how well a self-published e-book does before considering taking an author on.  They want to see how good the author is at self-promotion and getting their product out there and recognized as something that is a must read.  From their point of view this takes some of the guess work out of whether or not the product is good and whether or not the author is willing to put in the work to help promote their product.

So after a lot of thinking and listening to you all and other authors I've been befriended by on Facebook I finally reached my decision.  Using the critique I was given by the agent who turned it down I looked over the book and had to admit she made a number of good points.  Mind you, it had been 3 years since I last looked at the book myself and I learned and experienced a lot in that time.  Especially going to college and learning more about relationships, people and myself.  So I gave the manuscript another rewrite and it is now being edited for me by a former teacher who's specialty was English.   I've also been researching e-books such as Kindle, Createspace, Nook, Apple, etc.  Included in my research was finding some videos on YouTube about how to format a manuscript for the different types of e-readers.  As you've already figured out by now I'm going the E-Book route.  But I'm also making sure the book will be available for Print-On-Demand (P. O. D.).

Now I intend to share with you all over the next few weeks links to sites and just information I've learned on my own as I go through the process, so hopefully those of you planning on going this route might find the path a little easier.  In the meantime I will leave you with one final thing.  Every book, even and e-book, needs a cover.  There are a number of good artists out there and websites where you can build your own.  In my case, being an artist in my own right who doesn't have the money to hire someone else, I've taken things into my own hands.  The cover is not finished by a long shot but this is what it looks like at this point.  I hope to have it finished soon, along with a completely edited manuscript.


Friday, November 30, 2012

Rough Charcoal Idea For Cover Of My Book "THE BRIDGE"

This is a rough vine charcoal sketch/design  I came up with for the cover of my first novel "THE BRIDGE".  I'm not happy with the top half so I'm going to have another go and put in a figure of a woman with incredibly long flowing hair standing in the middle of the bridge.  Like in this image, her hair will stretch down to ground and further down the stonework to create the the words of the title.  A dark stormy sky will be her backdrop.  The other words will be put in during editing of the image.  I am planning on soft pastel or an Ink/Watercolor combination to bring color into the final image.

All that is seen in the image actually takes place in the book itself.  I like to be honest with my readers and give them a hint of what they will find between the covers.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Decisions, Decisions...

Sorry for being so quiet for the past few days. I've been busy re-writing and editing novel #1. I've been using the critique I got as a guide and have been making some great changes where needed. The story is much stronger and more interesting I think. I might have it done by the end of the month. Where would you all like to see me go with it from there?  

In fact, I wouldn't mind hearing how many of you would like to see it come out in E-Book form in time for Christmas.  

I would really love some feedback on this one folks.  Thanks so much for your help and support.  

Monday, November 5, 2012

Got An Answer Back On My Novel "THE BRIDGE"...


Finally got a response today. Never thought I'd be so happy to be rejected but at least I have an answer.  And while the novel was rejected I was also given a critique that gave me much food for thought. I'm going to do a rewrite of the story and try to decide where to go from there. More querying or try to e-publish. Any thoughts folks?  

For those wondering and needing a reminder "THE BRIDGE" is a unique blend of paranormal horror/mystery/with a sci-fi twist that would make the Twilight Zone proud.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Getting Ready to Start Querying Again...

Good morning all.  It's 6:20AM here because I forgot it was Daylight Saving Time and the clocks went back an hour last night.  Still, got a good night's sleep which is just fine.  Been doing a lot of thinking lately about my first novel and the continuing wait about it's fate with an agent back in New York.  Yesterday I reached a decision and that was to begin querying more agents again.  After 22 months of waiting I checked in with some friends yesterday who know the agent in question and assured me that there is no "Exclusive" arrangement and that I'm free to query other agents in the meantime.  This was not known to me.  I had always read in a number of blogs, articles and advice to writers that if someone asked for a full manuscript, you did not continue querying other agents, unless told otherwise by the agent who made the request that it was okay to do so.  Just goes to show that not everything you read is always accurate I guess.

Mind you, I am NOT taking the manuscript away from the agent who has it now.  I'm simply widening my options and not burning any bridges in the process.  The agent who has it is a good one, but a number of people including those who are represented by her currently are advising me to start the querying process again to better my odds.  They are familiar with my work and think it deserves to make it.  Perhaps, my querying other agents may also prompt a response sooner.

Now with this being clarified a number of you might be saying, "Well if it's okay, what the heck are you waiting for?  Get on with it man you've waited long enough!"  And here's my reason for why I'm not starting new queries right away.  I wish to notify the agent first and give them one more chance to give me an update on where things stand with my MS first.  Unfortunately, this agent is in New York where Hurricane Sandy struck.  Knowing some of what my own family members are going through back there at the moment, I feel it only right to wait a couple of weeks before e-mailing her request for an update and my intentions.  I guess it's part of being brought up by my mother who was born and raised in England.  "It's simply not proper." 

So, if any of you are agents or know of any agents that are open to a full-length novel that crosses several genres Paranormal Horror/Mystery and also contains a Twilight Zone-like twist adding Sci-Fi into the mix, let me know.  Because in a couple of weeks, I'm sending out a barrage of query letters and synopsis.  

For those unfamiliar with this part of the process here's a quick explanation.  After you've finished your work of art you may wish to not e-publish but go the traditional route to get published.  If so, you'll need to do some research.  Internet, library, blogs or friends can possibly help guide to a number of agents out there.  Make sure the agent represents the genre you are writing in though.  Don't send a traditional Horror story to an agent that specializes in Romance.  That's wasting your time and the agents.  After you've found some agents make sure they are taking queries at this time.  Sometimes they stop taking new ones in order to sort through the ones they already have.  Or they may be busy with their current client load and not open to taking on another author.  Going to their websites should give you the information you need to find this out.  

Also on their website you should find out if they want a synopsis (and how many pages it should be) as well as if they want some sample pages of the work you are asking them to represent.  Usually they will ask for the first 5-10 pages.  Make sure you know what format they want it sent in (for example: double-spaced, numbered, you're name and title of the work on every page, etc.).  Remember, a query is your first chance to make a good impression with the agent.  If you aren't following the guide-lines they have laid out that can cost you before they even read your work.  Good grammar, following instructions, proper spelling, all of this leaves an impression on an agent as to whether or not you and your work are going to be worth the effort.  You might have a really excellent story, but if you can't follow the guidelines they've put up, you've already lost.  Take the time to familiarize yourself with these things and whip your letter/synopsis/and sample pages into shape.  You'll stand a much better chance of making a good impression.  Remember, this is your way of introducing yourself to them.  Make it a good memorable one.

Take care and keep writing everyone.


Saturday, October 27, 2012

A Quick Update on Quincy...

For those who've followed my Vlog, you'll know about the cat my wife and I were caring for.  We called her Quincy after a character from the Japanese Anime "BLEACH".  She was very stand-offish with us at first even though she kept coming around.  And there is a character who was referred to as a "Quincy" (type of spirit slayer) who was also very stand-offish and hard to get to know in the show.  So it just seemed appropriate to give her that name.

And like the character in the show she became more likable and eventually friends with us.  Unfortunately, she'd never come with us to our new place and we had to leave her behind.  We made arrangements for a neighbor to take over feeding her.  Well we finally went back a little while ago and here's what we saw.

 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Making Difficult Choices In Your Writing...

Yesterday I made a drastic change to my current novel in progress.   I removed one character and chopped about 10,000 words from the manuscript.  Now I know the question on everyone's mind right now is probably "Why did you do that?" or "Gee I wonder what I should have for dinner tonight?"  If it's the second one, I'm sorry I can't help you there.  As for the first one, that's easy to answer, but it was a hard choice to make in the end.

The reason I dropped this character was because she was only a secondary figure, not one of the main ones.  And her storyline, which was going to end in a dramatic and unique death-scene was not pivotal to the overall story.  Also, her storyline was actually bringing the main story to a screeching halt while I dealt with her.  That was unnacceptable to me.  Now as the story's creator I tried to keep her in and work her story to blend with the main one.  But, she was proving too much of a distraction for the main characters who already had two major nemesis to deal with already.  This gal was just another antagonist who's goals were more petty and only served to demonstrate the power and abilities of one of the major villains.  Now that villain had already demonstrated several unique and terrifying talents already, so another one was not really needed for this novel.  However, it might prove useful in the next one where he appears yet again and in a much more formidable role.  So, I removed all reference to this woman and her death from my work in progress and saved her for the next book.  Or perhaps I'll use her in another work entirely, I'm really not sure yet.

I am happy to say that removing this character and the obstacles she presented to my main cast has allowed the story to move forward much faster and with more action.  Sometimes we have to make decisions like this on areas where the story is not moving along as well as it could.  Or if we're running too high a word count and something needs to go.  I'm glad I did this now instead of later.  Because I realized I was leaving the audience hanging on several fronts while dealing with this secondary character.

It's not always easy editing your own work, but it's a chore we have to do.  So make sure you occasionally stop and read over what you've done and ask the questions.  Does it make sense?  Is the story flowing smoothly the way I want?  Does something have to be changed or go entirely?  And if you do remove sections, save them in a file on your computer so you can recycle them for another story down the road.

That's all I have for now.  Take care and keep writing.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Rough Couple of Weeks...

Hello everyone.  Didn't want to leave you with nothing to read but my older posts.  Here's what's been going on and why I haven't posted much lately.  The Fibro has calmed down quite a bit, but other issues came up.  My father-in-law landed up in the hospital coughing up blood.  We've spent the last couple of weeks on edge waiting to find out what's been happening.  A biopsy revealed cancer, but the full extent of it was still unknown until about 2 days ago.  It appears to be State 1 or 2, they have to examine the nearby lymph nodes to see if it's spread at all or remained localized.  The PET Scan did not reveal anything in the other lymph nodes, but they wish to make sure first.

Around the same time I found out my own mother had been to the doctor after a test revealed a low red blood cell count and she had been losing weight.  This was in addition to finding blood in her stools.  The doctors took a biopsy last week and we hope to find out more on Monday or Tuesday.

Now in addition to all this I've been fighting a cold as well as trying to find some part-time or eventually full-time work.  I hope to have a job-offer this Tuesday, fingers crossed.  It's seasonal, but at least it will be something for a few months.

So overall, it's been a bit rough to say the least lately.  I have been writing to keep my spirits up in the meantime and novel #2 "THE SHIP" has been coming along nicely.  I've mostly been rewriting earlier scenes that were no longer working with how the story was going in the latter part.  I'm one of those people who has to have a story make sense as I write it, I know silly me.  But I'm also watching my word count because I was closing in on the 2/3's mark and had almost half a story to complete still.  Things have been tightened up and the tension in the story is much better than before.  I really like to keep my audience glued to the story.  Lose their interest and you're in trouble.  This is much better.

That's all for now.  I'll post again shortly once I've heard back on a couple of fronts.  Thanks for reading and keep writing.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Confession Time: Why The Videos...

Greetings all.  I'm sure everyone has been noticing I've been putting up more and more videos lately as opposed to my usual entries.  Well, part of the reason for this was to get more traffic to come to my Vlog on YouTube.  But there is another reason.

Those of you who watched the video on my last entry: http://allankrummenacker.blogspot.com/2012/09/another-entry-about-creating-characters.html will already know what I'm about to say.  I have a chronic pain condition.  I can still see the doctor who diagnosed me with it 12 years ago as he gave me a sad smile and said, "The good news is that it won't kill you.  But you'll be in pain the rest of your life."  The condition is known as Fibromyalgia and based on my own research over the years and from speaking with experts, I've had this since childhood.  I've always suffered pain more readily and easier than my peers back in grade school.  No one ever believed me when I told them how much I hurt especially after one of the numerous bully assaults because of my apparent weakness and vulnerability.  I was never good at sports even when I tried my damnedest to get good.  My muscles never responded correctly.  I was clumsy and awkward and on rare days when I was feeling 'good' I was able to excel in ways no one could believe.  But then a day or so later I'd be back to my usual lower performing standards no matter how HARD I tried to push myself.  I was tired a lot as well, which comes with being in pain.

Now let me point out that the pain levels I normally experience are the kind of low (somethings off but it's not going to get in my way) kind of thing.  They can take their toll but I've found exercise routines that really work for me without exacerbating the pain.  I've taken a lot of dance and have learned a lot of core and endurance building exercises that have helped a lot.  But even these are no match for when the Fibromyalgia comes out of its remission stage and goes into "FLARE".

During "Flare" the pain levels shoot up and my motor skills become clumsy and awkward.  I feel terribly drained and even have to resort to using a walking stick to get around (even inside my home).  Even putting my thoughts together can be difficult, as if I were trapped in a fog which is why this particular symptom is referred to as FIBROFOG.  Overall, it's like having a terrible case of the flu with the deep body aches and fatigue, without the high temp or other symptoms.

Now, what does all this have to do with the videos?  Simple.  I have limited energy reserves during these periods.  And what little I feel up to doing is getting through my college classes and my daily life period.  I budget my reserves and try to focus on writing my novels as best I can (the Fibrofog can mess me up on that front something fierce and I can't really write some days even though I want to).  During periods like the one I'm going through now, it's easier to sit and talk rather than type.  And since I don't want to neglect all of you who've been so kind and generous with your comments and views, I've been resorting to the videos.

So, now you know what's really been going on.  I hope you all understand and I hope this particular 'Flare' will soon pass.  Until it does please bear with me.  I will still be posting in one form or the other.

In the meantime I'm going to take advantage of my being a writer to bring up another subject.  In my earlier entries I talked about giving your characters skills, hobbies, talents you have or someone you know has to help make them more real to your readers.  The same still holds true with bad stuff.  Losing a loved one, a bad childhood, an unhappy relationship, or having a health condition.

Now I've already started using my personal knowledge of dealing with Fibromyalgia with one of the characters in my novels.  Her name is Cassandra Elliott, a billionaire heiress with a heart of gold.  With looks, beauty and money, she would seem to have it all.  But Epstein-Barr plagues her, depriving her of love of dance and other activities by making her bed-ridden for days or weeks at a time.  She hates the feeling of helplessness and being an invalid at times.  But how she deals with her condition helps shape the person she's become and her drive to be as normal as possible especially around her new love interest.

We're all shaped by our experiences.  Good or bad, how we react to them helps make us the people we are.  So look into your own life sometimes for sources of material to help shape and make your characters into real people.  People your readers can relate to and want to keep reading about and cheer on.

Thanks for reading, sorry this post is so long, but I felt it necessary to address some of the concerns I've been reading in the comment sections or in private messages.  Take care everyone and I hope to have another entry up shortly.  Keep writing.  

Thursday, September 27, 2012

More About Drawing From Life to Create Realistic Characters...


This latest installment not only deals with creating characters, but also explains a bit why I haven't been making as long an entry as I'd like lately.  I hope to do a more proper entry shortly.  Thanks...


Sunday, September 23, 2012

Creating People, Not Just Characters...

The move is over, I'm settled in.  It's time to get back to the business of blogging and writing.  Thanks for all your patience everyone.  In today's Blog/Vlog installment, you'll get to meet an artist who helps me explain how to create characters in your stories, who feel more like real people.  Enjoy.



Wednesday, September 19, 2012

I Think I May Be Doing Something Right....

Wow, my latest video seems to be my most popular one to date. It's sitting at 65 views in just 3 days. It took weeks for any of my other installments to reach that number. If you haven't already checked it out please do. I'd like to see it r
each 100 by the weekend. And if you enjoyed it, please subscribe to my YouTube channel and also spread the word to help me reach more viewers. Part of a writer's job is to get their name out there and this one of the methods I'm using to make that happen. Thanks everyone and I'd be happy to return the favor, just ask.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z9VQNVH0uzg

Sunday, September 16, 2012

When Life Inspires Art...

This was going to be a Vlog entry about settling into my new home.  But it quickly went into a very different direction.  I did not plan this, it just happened and I ran with it.  I hope you enjoy this video.  It wound up inspiring an idea for a scene in novel #3.  It's just too good to not use.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Stealth Writer's Block

Well, we're mostly settled into our new place in the Monterey Bay area, so the dust is slowly settling from all of that.  Still unpacking and organizing where we want things to go and how, but that's just normal after a move.

But sometimes figuring out how to organize your story and where you want certain events or revelations to go can also be pretty tricky.  It can even lead to problems I'd never thought about, like Writer's Block.  Or, as it was with me recently,  STEALTH WRITER'S BLOCK!

Now what I mean by that is a kind of Writer's Block you aren't even aware of.  To give you an example, this is what happened to me.  I had finished a particular scene in my current novel and had moved way beyond it with the rest of the story.   But for some odd reason, I kept finding myself going back to that scene and wondering about it.  It would happen every so often then I'd get back to where I actually left off writing.  But soon enough I was back to that scene again.  And slowly my whole writing process came to grinding halt as I kept studying that scene and dwelling on it.  It took me a week or more to realize what had happened and that I needed to fix that scene in some way to make the rest of the book make more sense and feel complete.

At this point you can see what I called it "Stealth Writer's Block", and I had a bad case of it.  I kept turning that one scene over and over in my mind, like I was working on a Rubik's Cube.  I got so desperate I turned to a Magic Eight Ball and started juggling it just for giggles.  Giggling at this point is not a good sign.  If you find yourself suffering from this, please see a doctor at once.  Preferably "Doctor Who", I find watching something I really enjoy sometimes helps me get past writer's block.

Anyway I finally realized what was wrong with the scene, nothing.  It was fine as it stood, it even worked well with the overall feel of the novel.  So what was bothering me about it, you ask?  I could expand and change it ever so slightly to important provide foreshadowing for events coming later in the novel.

So I went back and made the adjustments I envisioned and cranked out between 3000-7000 words in a couple of days.  I even cut down the overall word-count for the novel at this point leaving myself room for extra scenes I had in mind for the climactic final battle.  For those who are wondering why I'm worried about word-count I'll address that in one of my upcoming blogs.  It is something all writers have to be aware of when you are creating the final version of your work which you intend to send to agents or publishers.

Now I have my book back on track and its looking much better.  The story seems more gripping and the overall flow feels more natural to me.  So beware of the dreaded "Stealth Writer's Block", it may appear at any time.  It may even have its claws sunk into you at this moment, if it does I have this advice.  Take two episodes of whatever is your favorite show and then call your manuscript in the morning by giving it a really good going over and see if any tweaking might be needed.

Until next time, keep writing.

PS:  If you're looking for more advice about how to deal with Writer's Block keep an eye on this Blog.  I'm planning a special video to demonstrate how to deal with this dreaded enemy.



Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Final Installment of "My Setting Is Changing"


I created this video with the YouTube Video Editor because my cell phone will only allow me to e-mail videos only once and I accidentally lost all of them on my laptop.  So I just sent all the vids to YouTube and edited the puppy here (http://www.youtube.com/editor).

Anyway, this is the finale about my setting changing.  I know you all have been supportive and maybe wondering a little bit about why I chose to do this series. Well here's the answer, setting affects people.  Especially it affects your characters.  Their drives, dreams, motivations, how they feel (excitement, boredom, anger, resentment, etc.)  And changing settings can have a huge impact on them and what choices they make with their lives and how they react to it.  You've seen me go through a range of emotions and seen some parts about me I've never revealed to you before (like saying goodbye to a place and thanking it for all it had done for us).  Can a place be sentient or aware?  I like to think so.  But you would've never known about it until this video.  So give more thought about the settings in your writing and how it affects your characters and their world views.  And make sure there is some interaction between them and their setting you can wind up with some powerful ideas you never thought about before.  Thanks for watching.

My next video will be about my new setting and the joys of unpacking.  And trying to find where some of our stuff landed up when we need it.  Take care and thanks again.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

MY SETTING IS CHANGING - Part 3 of 4

Here is part 3 of my 4 part video series on my wife and I moving from Santa Cruz to the Monterey Bay area.  The experience itself has given me loads of ideas and I hope it's been doing the same for you.  You've seen me going through a range of emotions and hearing how I feel about leaving the place that's been home and my inspiration for the last 4 years.  But with any new experience you can find a lot of ideas if you just keep your eyes and mind open.


Friday, September 7, 2012

Hobbies, Talents, Characters and Me...

Well, my wife Helen and I have finally finished moving into our new place.  I'll be posting some more videos from my Vlog about that shortly, but I wanted to focus on another subject today.  Hobbies, talents, things people do for adventure, enjoyment and relaxation.

Now in creating characters that seem real to the audience I've found that the more real and reachable the characters are (i. e. they're like people you know or might meet) they're the ones that the readers seem to really relate to and even come to love.  Now one method I've used to make my characters seem more human and real is to give them traits that are familiar, and even somewhat odd but intriguing.  I've given characters hobbies or activities I've tried.  When they are finished with what I've written, some have even gone and done research of their own on the activity.  Some have even taken it up and made it a part of their lives.

But how did that happen?  Simple, whether it's playing a sport, roller-blading, painting, dancing, singing, or whatever, you have a wealth of experience and knowledge from those activities to draw upon.  How does that activity make you feel while your doing it?  What's going through your mind?  Is it something you share with others and if so, what's happening inside your head at that moment when you unveil your talent/hobby?  Are you nervous?  Are you proud?  How fast is your heart racing?  Do you have any nervous ticks or tap fingers or anything like that while you're waiting for a verdict?  If it's a positive reaction, what happens to you?  And even more importantly how do you take criticism or a well-thought critique?  Here you have a wealth of knowledge and experience to draw upon.  I like to take some of that and bestow it upon my characters.

Now I want to point out, that the activity or skill doesn't have to be one you've done persoanlly and know a lot about.  I mean let's face it, I don't know how to do macrame or glass-blowing.  But the thrill and intensity of the emotions of creation are still the same.  If I'm writing about something I'm really familiar with I'll throw in some personal knowledge and techniques into the scene, but it's not a pre-requisite.  However, when I'm writing about something I'm not familiar with I do my research.  I learn some of the jargon and get some rough ideas of what goes into the skill.  And if possible, I try to find someone who actually does it and get their thoughts and insights (and with their permission use some of it in my writing).  It's okay to get input from elsewhere folks, don't be afraid to ask questions.  Most artisans, athletes, or whoever are usually more than willing to share a bit about their talent with you.

But in the meantime, look upon your own experiences in life to find the emotional highs and lows, the frustration, the concentration, the nervousness and lend some of that to your characters.  Believe me, it makes them more human and real to the reader.  Because from their point of view they are watching someone who is dedicated to a craft, even if the character is a supposed "Expert" the emotions and intensity is still the same as they create.  I've seen artists working on a piece that I thought was exceptional, only to have them turn away in disgust because it's not up to what they envisioned.  I've even known a few to trash what they've done completely to start over.  Not a pretty sight sometimes I can tell you.  But when they get to that point when the new piece is reaching the pinnacle of what they had in mind, the expression on their face and the energy in the room is something else.

Now all of what I've been talking about today has been going through my head for months now.  And it has lead me to some decisions and thought about myself.  I'm planning to try and have more adventures and experiences in the coming months/years.  There are things I've thought about doing but never tried before such as Kayaking, I've never done it before but I have a friend who raves about it so I'm going to give it a try.  Plus my wife keeps talking about trying it as well, so it's in the planning stages.

Another thing I'm thinking about is Para-Sailing and Hang-Gliding.  Now I'm not good with heights, but these activities are available in and around where we're living now.  And they take place on and above the sandy dunes near but not over the water (because the undercurrents are treacherous around here).  And from my point of view, sand is a lot better to possibly crash into than solid ground or a stony canyon so I'm willing to give it a go.  Even if the entire experience scares the hell out of me, I'll have something knew to write about and use with a character down the road.

In the meantime, I'll be sharing some videos soon about hobbies and things I'm already very familiar with very soon.  And in the process I'll be letting you know a bit more about me and who I am and what makes me the person I've become.  So, please stay tuned and KEEP WRITING!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Part 2 of "My Setting Is Changing"

And here is part 2 of "My Setting Is Changing". This time we're starting to say farewell to some very close friends...

Thursday, August 30, 2012

New Entry On My Vlog "Settings"

Just uploaded a new video on my Vlog/YouTube channel about "Setting". This is the first of a few installments about how a person's setting can affect them, whether they are a character in a story or an author in real life. Please check it out and leave a comment either here or on my YouTube channel underneath the video. Thank you.


Friday, August 24, 2012

Moving Time...

OKAY GANG HEADS UP:  Starting today, I will be on extremely limited or no interet access.  Because we are starting our move to the new place.  It will take 3 days to complete and then I don't know how long until the new  internet access will be up and running.  So if you don't see or hear from me for a few days, this is why.  Hope to be fully up and running again soon.  Take care.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Trying to Raise Views and Interest for my Vlog...

Hi Gang, the traffic to my Vlog has been pretty good for an unknown but I'd like to increase the views. Please check out my latest installment about writing titled "Creating Tension In Your Story" and share the link. There are other installments about writing at the channel people can check out as well including a Concrete Ship from WWI. Thanks so much.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c9_Xhh6uc8o&feature=plcp

Sunday, August 19, 2012

A Little Bit About Settings....

Settings... where does your story take place?  In Heaven?  Hell?  Another planet? This world?  If it is this world, what time frame?  Middle Ages? The future?  World War I or II?  Another time entirely?  And how does that setting affect the rest of your story?  Does the environment your characters are living in shape their personalities or how they get by in life?  Are they isolated with few friends because of the terrain or location?

So many questions right?  But this is something that every writer has to deal with when telling a story. And of course your setting can also shape what genre of story you are telling.  Take Frank Herbert's "DUNE".  The setting of Arakis had a major role in shaping the main character Paul and his mother.  From leaving a world of splendor with water and lush vegetation to going to a barren desert planet, where water was more valuable than money or any riches.  The dangerous and harsh world re-shapes Paul from pampered youth to hard-bitten leader of the desert tribes of Arakis.  He learns hard and fast how to survive the threats of the planet itself, along with the political backstabbing that led to his father's murder.  Setting can create a great tension that helps drive your story.

Ray Bradbury's short story "HERE THERE BY TYGERS" is another sci-fi story where a planet shapes the lead characters.  A mining survey team arrive on a planet that will offer you anything you wish, lush vegetation, water, even companionship.  But in return she only asks that you love and respect her.  There is only one little catch, Paradise can be yours as long as you respect the hostess on whom you are staying.  Unfortunately, through the actions of one man, they learn the price of disrespect and decide to leave.  All save one member who the others envy because he loved the planet and adored her.  And they knew she would take care of him and even maybe extend his life in a lush world that aims to please him.  But having left her, they could never return.  Even as they look back on the world it now appears as a violent raging world of molten lava and volcanic eruptions.  They had abandoned her and now she is furious and will not let them return to her surface.  Literally a woman (in the shape of a planet) scorned.  A truly brilliant piece.

So what kind of setting are you aiming for?  An inner-city ghetto, or a desert where an army is trying to deal with survival in more than one respect, to a quiet suburban town where 'nothing seems to happen'.  In each case your characters must interact with their surroundings.  That setting should shape your character's personality and development before and during the story.  In that quiet suburban town where your lead is bored, what secrets lie beneath the ground or behind those seeming bland windows of the cookie-cutter housing that lines the streets.

Now what's brought about all this talk today is the fact that in less than a week, my personal "SETTING" is about to change.  My wife and I are moving 45 minutes away from where we are now, to another town where she can attend a university for the next 2-3 years.  We've already seen the new location and it's lovely.  But it's also quite different from our current setting here in Santa Cruz.  I'm going to take photos of where we are now and the new place after we've moved and post them here.  Both places are coastal communities.  But each one is quiet different and yet similar at the same time.  I'm hoping that with the photos I can make this more clear and talk about "Mood" in a future blog installment.  Because even though the 2 towns are both coastal, they have very different personalities and moods.  Until next time take care and keep writing.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

It's finally here. My new Vlog entry "CREATING TENSION IN YOUR STORY" is up. My apologies for the delay. I had to do a lot of editing and then it took 2 tries to get it uploaded onto YouTube.  As the title implies, this is a detailed  and visual exploration of how to generate tension in your writing.  I cover several levels and types of tension, along with detailed explanation of one terrifying scene from my current novel "THE SHIP".  I hope you find this enjoyable and informative.   Enjoy...



Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Animals and Stories...


I added a new installment on my Vlog about writing.  Here's the video from my YouTube channel  "AllanTheAuthor".  This particular video is all about animals and how they can affect your writing.  Whether it be giving you ideas, or being used as plot points to help move a story along, or even finding out the animal has a story of its own.

I hope you all enjoy it and if you feel like it check out my other writing videos on YouTube at:

http://www.youtube.com/user/akrummenacker?feature=guide

Friday, August 3, 2012

Making Characters More Alive Thanks to Real Life...

Hi gang, got a new entry on my Vlog.  This one is about making your characters more real and easy for your readers to relate to.  You'll find how sometimes using experiences from real life (your own or maybe a friend's) can be used to make a character seem more understandable and sympathetic to your readers.  I mean, let's face it.  Readers like to feel that they are reading about someone who, like themselves, has ups and downs that they can relate to.  But sometimes figuring out how to do that can be a problem.  I hope this latest Vlog entry will help.

The link is just below, please check it out and I hope you enjoy it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EJcPkEltTdI

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Part 2 of My Vlog... THE CONCRETE BOAT


The numbers for Part 1 were looking very good for my new Vlog, but not so much on Part 2.  I wondered if people hadn’t been able to find the link for it so I’m posting it here.  Hope you all enjoy meeting the SS Palo Alto and how it helped inspire and entire novel.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Unveiling My New Vlog...

Okay, the wait is over. Here is the link to my new Vlog. This is part 1 of 2. The link to part 2 is just below the video. If you have trouble finding it let me know and I'll do a separate post to it here.  Remember, this is not intended to replace my blogs, I'll still be doing them.  This Vlog unites the two and gives some actual visuals to help clarify some of what I've covered.  I hope you enjoy and please leave some comments either here or at my YouTube channel below the videos.  Thank you.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sJ4UFgzIPsI

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Coming Soon... A New Vlog

Hi gang, sorry for the long pauses.  Life has been interesting to say the least.  I'll give you a brief synopsis.  My wife and I are trying to get new housing so we can be closer to my work (who's hours have been a bit chaotic of late), as well as closer to the university my wife will be attending this fall.  Right now it's a 45-60 minute commute one way.  Originally we were supposed to be getting housing through the university but got put on a Wait List that was not looking too promising.  So we started hunting nearby on our own for an alternative.  Yesterday I found out that the university housing had put us on the wrong list, married couples get priority housing.  So now we are hoping to hear about a move date within the next week or so... FINGERS CROSSED!

In the meantime, work and the commute has taken a lot of time out of my day so I haven't been able to post here as often but the upcoming weeks are looking better so stay tuned.

Also, I mentioned in my last entry that I was working on a Vlog.  Well, after showing it to a few sample viewers I knew I could trust, I had to re-shoot the whole thing.  It was too long and the wind was drowning out my voice.  So I went back and did a new one.  That one was much better but it was too long and almost rambling.  It needed some more editing and fine-tuning.  I've finally got that taken care of.  I broke it up into two installments, one introducing the Vlog and where I got the idea for it.  And the second installment takes you on location to a place appearing in my 2nd novel and explains how it inspired the idea for novel #2 which is now 2/3's of the way done.  I'll be posting link to both videos very shortly so stay tuned and thanks for sticking with me.

Take care and keep writing.


Sunday, July 8, 2012

A New Adventure Equals New Writing Material...

Well, for some time now I've considered adding Vlogging to my arsenal of writing tools.  And today, I took my very first steps.  A few weeks before college let out, I was speaking to a classmate about how I wished I'd had a digital camera to record some of the dances we were doing in class so I could rehearse at home.  She told me she had a Bloggie camera that she didn't like and would let me have if I:

1) Managed to get it to operate, because she couldn't

and

2) Promised to record her performances in class.

Well I agreed and succeeded at doing both.  So that's how I wound up with a Bloggie camera.  Mind you, I later learned that the reason she couldn't get it to work was software incompatibility with her computer.  And by the time I figured out the problem and how she could get around it she already had gotten new camera which was better suited for her needs.  She informed that the Bloggie had been given to her as a gift, so she wasn't out of pocket and was glad to pass it on to someone who could really use it.

So, after finishing school I needed to get settled into my new job, which is going well according to my supervisors.  Which is great news to me.  However, I have a 40-45 minute commute until we move.  And during that drive I get a lot of time to think.  And I started thinking more and more about trying my hand at Vlogging (video blogging for those not familiar with the term).  And I wanted to do it at a location that i thought would capture a lot of imaginations.   Finally, I decided on the place.  So, today I went back to the concrete boat, the S. S. PALO ALTO, and filmed there.  Yes, I know I've blogged about it once, but allowing my audience to see and hear the pounding of the waves on the shore and its hull I felt would give them a new sense of awe like it did to me.  Plus, the whole subject of the video is about setting and getting ideas.  Once I've edited the footage I'll post a link to it for all of you to see if you're interested.

But even more important was something else that happened there, namely the experience of trying to do a Vlog in the first place.  My arm got tired at times holding up the camera.  Then trying to get the right shot, or get my speech in or and not keep flubbing my words.  The looks I was getting from other people as I was filming.  It was a wild experience.  And it gave me a whole new list of ideas for stories down the road.  Here again we have exactly what I keep going on about, writing from experience.  How did it make me feel to get those looks?  The frustration of trying to get the words just right and not keep screwing up and doing another take.  It was fun and fascinating as well as annoying and a little embarrassing at times.

So remember to take mental notes about things that happen to you in everyday life so you can draw upon them as you write.  It really does help make your characters seem more real and easy for the reader to relate to.  Until next time, take care and keep writing everyone.



 

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Obstacles to progress....

Sorry again for the long time between posts.  A lot has been going on since college let out.  Shortly before I finished my classes I started a new job whose hours have been fluctuating quite a bit.  Secondly, I'm still sharing my laptop with my wife until we can afford to fix hers, so even when I'm not working I still have limited access and am usually trying to write as well as use my laptop for TV viewing.  (We don't have cable or DISH or anything else right now, can't afford it).  And finally, we are in the process of slowly packing up our apartment in anticipation of moving towards the end of July.  So a lot of things have been going on and slowing down my writing and blogging.  Hopefully, after we move this will all change quickly.  Especially since after we do move, I'll only have a 5-10 minute commute instead of a 40-45 minute one and that's just one-way.

Now, that I've explained all that, let's get on to today's topic.  Roadblocks in your story.  I'm not talking about the ones you put in for your characters to overcome.  I mean the ones that crop up as you write and are slowing you down or even have you at a standstill.  I ran across this recently and for a couple of weeks it stumped me.  I kept writing and re-writing this one scene over and over to see what would make it work better.  And each time I thought I had it, then the next day when I looked it over I was like,  "Welllll... it's okay but it's not what I really want.  It doesn't fit with the rest of the flow of the book.  Let me try again..."  For me, sometimes writing a scene and placing it in just the right spot is like trying to figure out the old Rubik's Cube puzzle.  I'll twist it this way and that, thinking I'm close only to find it's still not right.

So what did I do about it?  I went back to the beginning of the novel and read.  For me, I don't have the luxury of just writing day after day and moving things along.  Sometimes days or even a week will pass before I can get back to the story and I've forgotten some of what I did earlier.  I'll wind up repeating the same idea or theme without meaning to.  So when I finally get around to editing a finished draft I have to decide where in the story did that idea work best and then remove it from the other half dozen places I used it.  Now on this occasion I found a scene where I needed to hint at ideas that were appearing later in the story.  This would give the story added foreshadowing and since I'm working on a horror/mystery type of story this is great.  I also found a spot where I could introduce a new character earlier in the book quickening the pace without rushing the story.  I also found by doing this I was shortening the current length of the book leaving me more space for the climactic final confrontation scene.

So, how did this help me with where I was still stuck?  It opened new possibilities for how to use that scene.  I had made new relationships and settings for my characters to explore and play with.  I now have a much clearer idea of how to move the story forward and place the scene in such a spot that I can now have a tense moment of terror.

So sometimes going over what you've already done can open new avenues to explore if you're hitting a tough spot.  It also give you a chance to maybe lay the groundwork for new areas to explore later in the book thus getting you past that roadblock that's holding you up.  I don't recommend constantly going back to the beginning and trying to rewrite over and over again before you've finished your 1st draft.  Otherwise you'll never finish.  But every once in a while it may help so you can get to the end of your story.  THEN... you can start your 2nd or 3rd drafts with the major re-writes.

I hope this helps.  I'll be in touch again soon, provided work and moving doesn't slow me down.  Until then, keep writing everyone....

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Just Received the "INSPIRING BLOG AWARD"...


Well just got another lovely surprise this morning.  My other blog where I post snippets of my novels:


just received another award for my blogging.  This time it's the "Inspiring Blog Award.  And I want to start with a big thank you to the person who nominated me Raani York whose blog you can find at this Link:


I strongly urge you to go check her blog out, she's a lot of fun and very insightful in what she writes about.
Next, I'm to share 7 things about myself.  So here goes...

1-I'm an adopted child.
2-I was born and raised on Long Island in New York.
3-I have been studying various forms of dance since my 41st birthday (Ballroom, Jazz, Ballet, and Improv)
4-I'm preparing to start a VLOG in addition to my blogging
5-I am a big fan of science fictions shows, especially Doctor Who.
6-I met my wife of 23 years at a Doctor Who Fan Club in Sacramento.  (Our 23rd anniversary is coming up on June 17th).
7-I have been on television while playing the MASTER, a villain from Doctor Who, for the Sacramento PBS station that had run Doctor Who.  I was usually harrassing the people doing the pitching during pledge break weeks to help raise money for the station.

Finally, I'd like to nominate the following blogs for this award as well:

All of these people's blogs have inspired me.  I hope they inspire you too.  Take care everyone and thanks for reading.  I'll do my best to keep things interesting here.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

And Now About My 1st Novel "THE BRIDGE"...

Okay, I know I kept a lot of you in suspense this week about what's been happening on with my manuscript that is in New York.  Well, I followed up on it earlier this week and learned that it was finally looked over.  Now the way the agent who has it works is as follows.  She has recently hired a number of junior agents who do not represent clients yet, but read over manuscripts and decide whether they were good enough to pass on to the agent herself for review.  This weeding out process helps her out immensely, because she gets so many submissions and had built up a bit of a backlog.  My MS for "THE BRIDGE" had been in that backlog, which was why it took so long to hear back on it.  

And the verdict is....

My very first manuscript is going to be sent on to the agent herself to read and considered for representation.  Now, the agent asked if I would like to see the comments and feedback from her 'readers' in case I wanted to make any edits before the manuscript gets to her.  I said I would.  I'm very curious to see what people had to say and where I might be able to improve the novel before the agent herself gets a look.  This is vitally important, because the first viewing of a manuscript is like making your very first impression with a boss or someone who you really want to impress.  And since I've never had anything published before to show my skills or a track record of success, so showing the agent a fully edited manuscript is a very important first impression with this agent.  So that is why I asked to see the comments and get the chance to do a few more edits before she gets to see it.   So now I'm just waiting for the comments and input so I can begin those edits.  After that, I will be sending the new draft to the agent and waiting for her to read it and get back to me.

As you can see, the road to being published the traditional way can be a long and winding one.  And it still doesn't guarantee I'll be accepted and taken on as one of her clients, that is still up to the agent.  But even if I fail this time I have options.  So do you my friends.  There is the E-book route, but one of the difficulties with that is promoting the novel to get the word out is entirely on you.  Now if you have a good network of people who can help spread the word and wish to go that way, more power to you.  But make sure you're putting out the very best version of your piece.  Get someone who really knows editing to go over it with a fine-tooth comb first.  Remember, instead of making a good first impression with an agent, you're going to be trying to make a great one with the public who you want to love your book.  Be careful, take the time to get things done right.  Don't rush just so you can say, "Hey, I've got a book out there..."  Make sure it's a great book and that the grammar, the characters, the plot, everything is just right.  An agent can help you make sure all of that is taken care of and that you've come out with a fantastic product.

That's all for now.  In the meantime, I will be working on the sequel to "THE BRIDGE", which now stands at 65,000 words and is 2/3's of the way done.  I've tentatively titled the sequel "THE SHIP" and takes up with two of the characters from the first novel, along with two sinister beings who survived from the first novel.  "THE SHIP" also introduces a new threat that is far more dangerous than either of the two sinister entities stalking my main characters.

Until next time, keep writing everyone.

Monday, June 4, 2012

About My Novel "THE BRIDGE"...

This is going to be a short entry, a real short one.  I'm hoping to make an announcement about the status of my first novel "THE BRIDGE" this weekend.  Please be patient and I'll tell you more this weekend.  Take care.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

College, Finals, Work, and Dance...


Well folks, this week will be my finals at college.  I've completed a couple of them already, but I still have more to take care of this week.  I've started my new job as well, so I've been pretty busy.  I'm really hoping to be get back to my regular posts about writing very soon, so please bear with me.  

Now I know I've mentioned in previous posts getting ideas and materials for your stories from life.  Well, I've been taking 4 dance classes this semester (Jazz, Ballet, Improv and Latin).  I've attached a YouTube link below to show you some of what I've had to do for my Improv Dance Class final.  The performers are myself and my wife Helen performing our own take on the Bruno Mars "Lazy Day Song".   We had a lot of fun putting this little number together and performing it.  I've also gotten a lot of ideas from the entire experience that I'll be using in my writing down the road.  Please keep this in mind.  If there's something you like to do, or always wanted to do and have been looking for an excuse to do it now you have it.  Give your experiences to your characters,  how you felt, what is was like to do that something that is so special to you.  It really brings the characters to life and makes them easy to like from the audience's point of view.

Until next time, I hope you enjoy the video. 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Just A Quick Note...

Sorry for the lack of blog entries recently.  I know I was doing like one a week, but college is keeping me busy right now.  So I'm slowing down for a couple of weeks.  Finals are coming up, along with a couple of dance performances as well.  Plus, I'm starting my new job so please bear with me for a little while and once college is out of the way, I can get back to regular entries.  Until then take care and keep writing everyone.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

I Just Won "THE VERSATILE BLOGGER AWARD"


This took me totally by surprise and I'm very flattered and honored.  I hadn't thought my blogging was having such an effect on people.  I want to thank Red and Flame at http://firestone2012.wordpress.com/ for nominating me in the first place.    Now in accordance with the rules of the award I'm supposed to reveal 7 facts about myself so here goes.
1 - Was a foster child at the age of 8 months and adopted at the age of 4 years by the Krummenackers.
2 - I studied and performed magic illusions in my teens and still have a lot of my equipment and skills.
3 - I've been taking dance lessons (mostly in Ballroom and Improvisational Dance) since I turned 41.
4 - I played violin in grade school and a little guitar in high school.
5 - Studied to be a Physical Therapist back in 1982 only to drop out, I was getting too emotionally overwrought over the people I couldn't help.
6 - Went back to college 2 years ago and got my A. S. in Human Services
7 - Met my wife of 23 years at a Doctor Who Fan Club, I dressed up as the MASTER and harrassed people on the phones and giving the pledge pitches during Pledge Breaks during Doctor Who for our local PBS station for 3 years.
NEXT...
I'd like to nominate the following Bloggers who I follow for this award:
These are just a few of the many bloggers who've had an impact on me.  I know there's more of you out there, but I only had so much room.  But please keep it up all of you.  I love reading your insights and stories.  Take care and thanks again everyone.