Monday, November 14, 2016

2106 NaNoWriMo novel excerpt number 1

I've been working hard on my novel this month.  It has been a struggle trying to keep it on track and working with a difficult premise.  Here is an excerpt:

"My son, aren't you getting a bit ahead of yourself?" asked Bestla. "We haven't even decided if we are truly willing to make the sacrifices and put the family through this ordeal.  I see much strife and turmoil as we compete against the others teams, if we are selected to compete.  We must not make light of the toll it will take on this family."
"Mother, I think we are all aware that the competition will be an arduous one with much time away from here and the comforts of home, but the rewards of having our own planet and the recognition and status afforded to the victor will be worth it. I would rather die fighting for something than wither away doing nothing."
"That is a lovely speech young Odin, but please don't assume we are all looking for that glory and recognition.  Your ambition will be your downfall one day," said Borr.
"I see this as a great opportunity for us to each showcase our talents and special interests. We all have our strengths and if we organize ourselves to play to those I know we can win."
"The first thing we should do is decide if we are willing and interested in putting our application in for this challenge. Everyone take your time and think about this.  We will hold the vote tomorrow and then abide by the group's decision.  I do, strongly urge everyone to think of the glory that could be ours."
After the family broke apart and started heading their own ways, Borr sat down with Odin at the dinner table. "You do realize that getting everyone to work together is a full time job in itself not to mention the added stress of competing against others for the competition."
"Yes, father, but that is my strength - I was born to lead and feel my talents are being wasted.  These little simulations and games we play barely start to scratch the itch that is my need to lead."
"I still don't think you truly appreciate what all this will take.  I do support you and will offer my counsel as best I am able to give it.  You should consult with Buri and tap his knowledge.  He was a leader well before even I was born and has created worlds.  His counsel is invaluable. I think if you can sway him to partake once more, then you will win the vote and we will put in our bid to compete."
"Yes, father, I will consult grandfather and convince him to relive his past glory."
"I wouldn't recommend that particular tactic as that would likely just serve to remind him that he is no longer the being he once was. You would do far better to play on his stature and wisdom rather than his former strength."
"I will remember that as I talk with him.  Thank you Father.  I take it I have your support in the upcoming vote, then?"
"If you can convince Buri, then I am with you as well."
The next morning the family gathered once again to take the vote and determine whether they would apply to compete in this competition.  There was little small talk or discussion.  Each knew that this would be a monumental task and that they would need to put forth their full effort in order to achieve the win.  The question was how committed were they to this.
"Family, the time has come.  We will do this vote anonymously. I have 2 gems for each of you. The ruby indicated that you are committed to glory and fame while the emerald indicates you are willing to forgo this and stay with our mundane comfortable existence.  Before you I have placed 2 containers.  Please approach one at a time and place your preferred stone in the top container and your other in the bottom container. I will start." With that Odin strode forward with a gem in each hand.  Not bothering to hide his vote, he placed the Ruby in the top and the emerald in the bottom and left the room.  One by one the rest of the family approached the containers.  Most shielded their vote from the rest but a few, like Thor, were open about the fact that they supported Odin's proposal to apply for the competition and glory.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

NaNoWriMo 2016

OK, I have decided to once again participate in the NaNoWriMo this year.  This will be my 4th year in a row to participate and I have achieved Winner status the last 3 years, having written over 50,000 words each year. Of course I do need to work on this novels that I have written to get them into some type of publishable form.

This year I am toying with an idea that seems relatively plausible and revolves around various mythological deities and earth as a great social experiment.  I have always been fascinated by the fact that all of the ancient cultures had gods that were similar but with different names.  My novel will explore this concept.  I am tentatively calling it 'They Were Right!'

Wish me luck as I will be spending much time and effort to get my 50,000+ words on the page between November 1 and 30.  If you would like more information on the National Novel Writing Month, please visit

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

NYC Midnight 2015 Screenwriting Challenge - DONE!

OK, I have been remiss in my duties here.  I finished up and submitted my entry into the 2015 Screenwriting challenge over a week ago and I haven't posted it, or a link to it, here, yet.  this post is aimed to remedy that situation as I present, for you perusal and hopefully, enjoyment, my screenplay titles 'Drisa.'

This is a screen play in which I was limited to 12 pages to tell my fantasy story of adoption while including a personal assistant.

Please comment below and tell me your thoughts on it!


Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Camp has begun!

Today is the first day of Camp NaNoWriMo and I am very excited.  My goal for camp this April is to write another 50,000+ words for a novel.  This one has grown on me.  It is titled 'Reunion Stories: The Triumphs, Trial and Tribulations of the Lincoln High Class of 1978.' I know its a bit of a long title, but I wanted it be be clear what I was talking about.  I've already made some good progress and even have an excerpt I am willing to share.  Enjoy!


Mona picked up on the second ring. “Hello.”
“Hi, it’s me.  You busy?”
“No, not really, just working but that can always wait.  What’s up?”
“I just got a request from someone I barely remember to join the Facebook Group.  Do you remember Tad Roberts?”
“Tad Roberts. Tad Roberts. No it really isn’t familiar,” said Mona lost in thought.
“I looked up his picture and he was that one kids who was so into Disco, with the bell bottoms and the silk shirts open to the waist and the chains on his neck.  You know he wanted to be John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever.”
“Wait, I think I remember him. Afro and glasses?” Moan asked, her memory sparked.
“Yep, that’s him.  Or I should say was him.  He said he now goes by Teri,” said Jaime.
“Are you serious?  Do you think he’s transgender or just gay?”
“I don’t know, but there has to be a story in there somewhere.”
“I bet most of the alumni have at least one interesting story.  You know what, I think we should try to gather as many stories as we can and put it all together into a book.”
“That’s a great idea!  We could ask everyone to submit whatever stories they want, whether from High School or what’s happened to them since.  I bet we could get it all together and publish it for the reunion. Let me look at something.” Jaime was searching out a website on her computer. “Got it.  We could self-publish the books in full color for about $70 per book up to 150 copies.  It could be a sort of updated yearbook.”
“Of course that will be a lot of work,” Mona hesitated.
“Come on, I think we need to do this.  I’ll tell you what, we can put up a poll on the page to see if people would be interested.  We can ask if they would be willing to contribute as well as if they would be willing to buy one.”

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

A couple of new challenges for myself

I guess I'm just a glutton for punishment.  either that or I need pressure to write.  I've signed up for 2 events that are both happening next month and I'm excited about both of them.

The first event is Camp NaNoWriMo.  I did this event last August but I figured I would take on the April event this year as well.  This is similar to the NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) which is held in November, but in this event you can determine what you are doing and what your measure of success is.  I decided to follow through on the same theme as the November event and will again be writing a 50,000+ word novel during the month.

Of course, just because that might not be enough pressure, I also signed up for the NYC Midnight Screen Writing Challenge of which the first round will take place on April 24- May 2.  Just to add a little bit of fun to things.  I found the Short Screen Play Challenge last year to be fun and informative in terms of what I wrote and the feedback from both peers and the judges was invaluable.  I hope to apply that to this challenge.

So, if you are looking for a challenge or inspiration, these are 2 upcoming event I recommend.

Have fun and WRITE!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

To be a writer, one must write

Honestly, that is all it takes to be a writer - writing.  Now to be a successful writer, writing needs to become a habit.  I've been following both Paul Guyot (@Fizzhogg) and Brian Koppelman (@BrianKoppelman) both on twitter and their own blogs ( and respectively) for a while now and I have learned so much from them.

All of their advice and wisdom, however boils down to the fact that to be a writer you have to write. Every. Single. Day.  Write when its easy and the words just seem to flow onto the page of their own volition.  Write on the days when you have no idea what to write about as well.

Don't be intimidated by the empty page. Rather hear its siren call, begging you to put pen to paper and fill it with your words. Those words don't have to make sense at first, write what you feel and what you want others to feel.  Write about what you see and hear and smell and feel around you.  Its amazing how the slightest prod can turn into some of the most wonderful stories or scenes or dialogue that you've ever written.

Don't get me wrong, just as often as not, when you do this you may get something that's god awful.  that's OK too!  The process of expressing yourself is a learned behavior and the more you practice it the easier it becomes. Nothing written is a waste of your time.  Everything helps you to become a better writer.

So, have you written today?  I have. :)

Thursday, January 8, 2015

The results are in...

The second round results from the NYC Midnight Short Screenplay Challenge have been posted and while I didn't make the cut to move on to the semi-final round, I did earn points in both of the first 2 rounds. To me that is pretty exciting - in my group, I wrote well enough to place ninth int he first round and fifteenth in the second round.  My total point score was 7.  It took 17 points to make it into the next round in my group.

The experience was wonderful and it helped me to push my boundaries and explore screenwriting. I actually like it and am definitely going to do more of it. I will take the feedback from both the judges and the peer reviews under consideration for future writing of all kinds.  Much of it was screenplay specific but other comments had more to do with setting and character development and I know I can improve that in much of what I write.

Will I do it again, probably.  Will I look for other challenges to help me expand and hone my craft - definitely.