Old School Writing

Like many of my fellow writers here, I have a day job, which ties up much of my free time. My previous day job came with some useful perks: computers with Microsoft Word, internet access, and downtime, which gave me the freedom I needed to write. This current job, doesn’t have any of those perks. So, I try to make the most of my free time when I can, when it comes to writing.

Not having computer access during those eight to nine hour work days, is kind of a drag. But, I did manage to find a silver lining. I bought a fresh notebook, and when I had a quiet moment at work, I started working on a draft of Rock N Role Model, the next companion book in the Our Lady of Righteous Rage series. So far, I’ve written sixteen chapters and 132 pages. Considering that I work five days a week, and my commute to and from work is a bit time consuming, this is actually pretty good for me. Any progress is good progress.

20190120_183111

 

With Woolaston Entertainment’s 25th anniversary taking place this year, I’ve been reflecting on how W.E. came to be in the first place. Handwriting books for myself, is a major part of W.E.’s creation. It’s kind of nice to go back to that old-school method of working on a rough draft for one of my next books. I intend to complete this handwritten draft, before I begin typing anything. 

I hope you all have a progressive week. 

woolastonentertainment.com 

Advertisements

Be Inspired!!!!

With the coming of a new year, it’s time to set some goals, and work towards achieving them. I’m not crazy about making resolutions for New Years, but I do like to set a few goals for myself. For example:

Publish 5 new books:

If I stick to my plan, I can actually pull this one off. Jo Fuentes: Project Sleep, Rock N Role Model, The Witch of Fulton Lane: The Age of the Daughter, Rise, Resist Reform are my first four. With December 2019 marking Woolaston Entertainment’s 25th anniversary, I will definitely put a special book together. So, I at least have 5 books in the works. 

Gain New Readers:

It’s simple. I’m a writer who publishes books. I want people to read those books. I need to put some books in the hands of new readers. I’ll be focusing more on marketing this year. 

take the things you enjoy and let them inspire your writing

Use What Inspires Me and Share It:

I find inspiration through music, my guitars, TV shows and movies, and books. I’ll be sharing more of what inspires me with all of you, and I hope you’ll do the same. Plus, I intend to use more of the things that inspire me,in my writing. Right now, I’m in a musical frame of mind: I’ve been listening to songs I haven’t heard in a while, I’m currently reading Ian Winwood’s Smash! Green Day, the Offspring, Bad Religion, NOFX, and the ’90s Punk Explosion. On top of that, Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong is writing new music, which is very exciting to this Green Day fan! This has inspired me to work on Rock N Role Model, the next Our Lady companion book.  The Winter Solstice and a love of Travel Channel’s Ghost Adventures has given me some fresh ideas for The Age of the Daughter, so I’m ready to work on that book again. 

I believe you should take the things you enjoy and let them inspire your writing. They can be very useful, especially when you find yourself feeling stuck in your work. 

Be inspired, people!

Share More of What You Love

The other day, I took a moment to think about all of the things that I enjoy, that I haven’t been able to fully explore since I moved to another state. Most of my belongings are in storage for the time being: My DVD player and all of my movies, anime soundtracks, and most importantly, my guitars. I miss my Jack and my Billie Joe! Lately, I’ve been in search of things and activities to help me feel more like, well…me. 

With most of my clothes in storage, I’ve been limited in what I wear. Plus, I’m currently working a day job that frowns upon band tees, which sucks. So, I did a little shopping. I found an Affliction hoodie, and thought, “God, this reminds me of me!! This is something I would wear!” So, I bought it to wear on days when I’m not at work. Being cut off from my guitars is a real killer. I went on a hunt to find an acoustic to keep me company until I’m reunited with my boys, and came up empty. I stumbled upon a beginner’s guitar at Barnes and Noble. As soon as I get it in tune, I’m sure it’ll help me keep my mind straight, the way Jack and Billie Joe normally would.

little guitar

 

I haven’t read any new books in months, either, which is not like me. Thankfully, a friend passed along a recommendation on Facebook: Smash! Green Day, The Offspring, Bad Religion, NOFX and the 90’s Punk Explosion, by Ian Winwood.  I just bought a copy, and I’m looking forward to reading it. You know I can’t say no to a book with Green Day in the title!

Smash

 

Drawing is another activity I haven’t enjoyed in a while. It can be a bit hard to get back into if you haven’t done it in a while, but I really wanted to draw something. My mother wanted a sketch of an elephant for Christmas, so that’s what I drew. I’m looking forward to drawing more often in the coming months. 

Charlie

 

All of this reflecting made me take another look at my website. I realized, with all of my interests (aside from writing) my site seems to only focus on writing. So, I’m going to be making some changes. I will start adding posts and content related to the other things I enjoy. More guitar-related content. More book and movie reviews. When I come across a helpful website,I’ll share it with you, starting with this website for guitarists: http://mymusicexpress.com/ .  This site is LOADED with tons of reviews and helpful tips. You can also follow them on Twitter: @mymusicexpress1.  

Just a little tip to all of my fellow creatives out there: share what you love. We’re more than writers. We shouldn’t limit our content to just our writing. 

To all my fellow artists, writers, and creative folk: don’t forget you can still send me a bio and links to your social media pages for the Author’s Corner on woolastonentertainment.com. Later!

Monday Blog: Dec 10, 2018: Childhood Dreams

Happy Monday, everyone! December is Woolaston Entertainment’s anniversary month, which has had me thinking about how it came to be. This is something I started when I was very young (about 12), however, it really started even earlier than that.

If you are a parent, or if you work with/spend time with small children, you’ve probably watched them at play. They make up games, draw pictures, etc. You don’t realize it at the time, but there’s  a good chance all of that play time is going to lead to something very special later in their lives. 

When I was in the first grade, I started writing my own books.  My mother would provide me with blank typing paper, construction paper, markers and crayons, and a stapler. I’d staple a few blank sheets between two sheets of construction paper, and get to work.  I wrote dozens of books–most of which didn’t make much sense at the time. As I grew older, I wrote longer, more complex books, with plots and characters.  Five or six year old me didn’t know it at the time, but I was in the process of building something.

Here we are: thirty years later, I’ve published 24 books, had my artwork shown in an art show, sold merchandise of my own creation, and used a little know-how and some luck to build a website. It’s a good feeling when you can look back at a childhood dream, and realize, it’s no longer just a dream.

So maybe you know a kid who loves to write. Maybe he or she is a future author.  Maybe the kid who likes to put on plays for his family, is a future playwright. The kid who runs around town with a camcorder making her own movies, could be a future director. Children’s interests and hobbies need to be taken more seriously. After all, those hobbies will help shape who they will become. My mother supplied me with paper and crayons, and ended up raising an author/artist. Perhaps, you’re raising one, too.

Thank you to everyone who has supported the relaunch of the Online Store. And thank you to everyone who has tripled the amount of views of woolastonentertainment.com 

See you next week. 

Monday Blog: Nov 26, 2018: November Wrap-Up

Greetings, everyone! I hope you enjoyed your Thanksgiving holiday. Hopefully, none of you ate too much, or were trampled during a Black Friday sale. Personally, I spent the holiday with my mother, cooking, eating and watching football. The highlight of the day: watching the Saints destroy the Falcons. 

November is coming to a close, and so is NaNoWriMo. This is usually the time of the month when writers begin to scramble to finish their book. While I didn’t finish a book, I did write plenty of notes and a detailed outline. I’m actually glad I didn’t finish my next book, Jo Fuentes: Project Sleep. I came up with more material I wanted to use, and if I had wrote the book prior to all of this,it would kinda suck. So,everything happens in it’s own time. 

I do hope my fellow writers had a successful NaNoWriMo. Whether you completed a manuscript or not, if you put some words on paper (or on a laptop or a flashdrive, etc) then look at it as a success. Getting something accomplished is better than accomplishing nothing at all. So if you didn’t meet your word count goal, don’t sweat it. 

December is almost upon us. 2018 is coming to an end. It’s time to tie up loose ends, and get ready for a fresh start. Woolaston Entertainment’s online store will reopen next month, and I will publish my next few books between the end of the year and the beginning of 2019. There’s no sense in dwelling on what didn’t get finished. It’s time to look forward to starting new projects.

Next week: Woolaston Entertainment’s online store and 24th Anniversary! See you then!

Monday Blog: Nov 12, 2018: Word, Words, Words

Happy Monday, everyone! Welcome to blog post number two for the month of November. In honor of NaNoWriMo 2018, this week I wanted to share some tips for increasing your word count. 

This month, many writers are working hard to finish a book they’re working on, or even starting a new one and getting the first draft ready before the month is over. Most writers are focusing on their word count. While the word count is ultimately up to the writer, the average novel is usually 80,000 words. In my personal experience, I flesh out the story in an outline, write the first draft, tweak it a bit, then work on draft number two. I’ve never reached 80,000 words, but I’ve always been satisfied with the story, from beginning to end. But, that’s me. If you’re trying to shoot for that goal of 80,000, here are some things you can try:

Give your characters a back story.

Maybe your main character has some things that took place in the past, that could be used in your story. Or, maybe it’s one of your supporting characters. Hey, it could even be your antagonist.  

Add supporting characters.

Maybe your hero could use a sidekick. Or, maybe the villain needs someone to boss around. More characters can mean more dialogue, which means a higher word count. 

Add a subplot.

Your story has a primary conflict, but maybe you can add a secondary conflict, between two other characters. 

Say it another way. 

There are other words you can use to convey something. For instance:

He was angry.

vs

He stood grimacing, with his fists balled up at his sides.

Both sentences let the reader know this particular character is not happy about something. The first sentence only uses three words, while the second one uses eleven. Three vs eleven: you do the math. This is also an opportunity to make friends with your thesaurus, if you haven’t already done so.

See you next week….

 

 

Monday Blog: Nov 5, 2018: Tips for Creativity

Welcome to the first blog for November! As most of you probably know, November is NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month. This is the time, writers do their best to crank out a novel, within thirty days. Can it be done? Sure. Sometimes, the hardest part is simply getting the writing done. Writer’s Block can sneak in and steal your creativity. It happens to every writer. This week, I’m sharing some of the things I do when I need a boost of creativity.

 

Words from a bucket

Grab a sheet of paper, a pen or pencil, and a bucket (or a hat, or some kind of container). Make a list of at least thirty words: names of people, objects, names of places, colors, etc. Leave some space between each word, because when you’re finished making your list, your’re going to cut each word apart. Fold up the words, and drop them into your bucket, hat, or what have you. Shake it up. Now, without looking, draw three words from your bucket. Your assignment: write a short story,   using the three words you have chosen. You can also clip words and lines out of magazines and newspapers to do this.

 

Get descriptive

Sometimes I have a little trouble describing things, such as everyday objects. So, here’s a tip: look around your room (whatever room you’re writing in), pick a random object, and list as many things about it as you possibly can. If you came up with five things, pick another object, and try to come up with eight things. 

This activity will require at least one other person. Grab a magazine (a decorating or gardening magazine works best for this). Choose a page that has a picture of a house, or the interior of a house, or a garden. Write a description of it. Then, have someone else read your description, and look through the magazine and try to find the picture you described, based on your description. Obviously, don’t include things like “page 241” in your description. 

 

Meditate

Believe it or not, this can make a HUGE difference. Sitting quietly and listening to the sounds of the room can be very relaxing. Silence allows your mind to wander, and you’ll be surprised at the ideas you’ll come up with, when you’re focusing on nothing. Or, listen to some relaxing music. You can search for “meditation music”on YouTube, and come up with a ton of free results. 

These tips help me, and hopefully, they’ll help you too.

 

On a side note, today is Guy Fawkes Day:

Remember, remember! 
    The fifth of November, 
    The Gunpowder treason and plot; 
    I know of no reason 
    Why the Gunpowder treason 
    Should ever be forgot! 

 

Until next Monday.