Update On Writing Progress


Hello to everyone!

My writing schedule for the year is a bit off track so far. I had hoped to be further along with the first draft of the Historical Romance I am writing, which is a bit different from what I have been writing–mainly horror. If you have read my Investigative Paranormal Society series though, you can see that love is a theme that runs through these novels. My writing schedule was interrupted by life–I was ill with a stomach virus for about 10 days, not covid, and one of my closest friends just died.

While I am a bit behind on my plan, I did reach 20,000 words on the 1st draft today. At this present rate, I should have the first draft complete sometime in April.

Additionally, I want to put what I hope are the finishing edits on two other books–Book 1 of a YA environmental post-apocalypse series and Book 1 of a horror series.

My question to all of the writers out there who read this: how is your writing progressing?

Available on Amazon


Get The Draft Done! is available here: Amazon.com


Gallows Hill can be found here in ebook.

Gallows Hill in paperback can be found here.

An interview about Gallows Hill can be found here.


Please follow the following links to find my novel:


Print book

Thank you!

The book trailer:

Maledicus:Investigative Paranormal Society Book I

My radio interview:



Available on Amazon

French On English

Available on Amazon

What Are Your Writing Goals For The First Few Months of 2021?



I am not a huge fan of new year resolutions, because I think we should constantly reaffirm our goals and our plans for achieving these goals. I will, therefore, give my immediate writing goals and ask for yours.

My drafting goal for the next few months is to finish the first draft of an historical fiction/romance set in the World War Two era. I have about 7000 words done now, and I intend to write 2000 words/per day six days a week. If I can maintain that rate, I will have a first draft completed by the end of February.

If I am successful with that task, I will then do a small book on revision of novels and memoirs, which will be the next book in my writing series that began with Get The Draft Done! Helping Writers Finish Their First Draft.

In addition to drafting, I will also work on one more revision of my Young Adult Post-Apocalyptic Environmental novel The Ameriad: The Monastery of Knowledge.

So, to all the writers who are reading this post, I ask you: What are your writing goals for the next few months?

Quotations on Success




“It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed.”

                                                                   Theodore Roosevelt



“Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.”

                                                                           Robert F. Kennedy




“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”

                                                                           Eleanor Roosevelt


Another Milestone–100 posts!




(I thought this was a very cool milestone marker!)

It has been a little less than a year since I began this blog, and I was not sure what to expect or how I would proceed.  I am proud to say that I have reached several milestones, including having over 2000 followers.  Also, my last post was number 100.


I hope to reach the next 100 posts in a far shorter time span!  My goal is to write 3-4 posts per week in this coming year.

And thank you to everyone who is following this blog.  I appreciate all of you!



A Milestone!




I began this blog almost a year ago, and I had no idea what I was doing. I was hoping to reach readers with my thoughts on books, on reading, and on writing.  It seemed like I was planting a garden, but I wasn’t sure how to tend to it. I remember being very excited when I reached 25 followers, because it seemed like quite an achievement.


This week I reached over 2000 followers!  I can’t quite believe it, but I am thrilled and thankful to everyone who has followed me.  The seeds I have planted are growing into what I hope is a strong oak tree.  I hope I have provided interesting reading for you, and I will try my best to continue to make the site interesting.



Again, to all of you who are my followers–THANK YOU!!!



About the 2015 Writers Digest Conference!




I spent the weekend attending the 2015 Writers Digest Conference in New York City, and it was an extraordinary experience.  This was the second year in a row in which I went to it, and I plan on returning again next year. The conference, which ran Friday through Sunday, was full of sessions that covered issues of craft, details of writing query letters, inside information on the publishing world, the scoop on self-publishing, how to promote a book, and agent pitch slams, among many others important panels.



I filled a legal tablet with notes from the conference.  Yes, while many people were taking pics of the slide shows, I was scribbling away in the old-fashioned manner–using pen and paper!  I have committed to being a hybrid writer–attempting to publish traditionally and through self-publishing.  Because of what I learned at this conference, I realize that I have much to learn about the business of publishing as well as the art and craft of writing; I am throwing myself into learning as much as I can about the business aspect as possible.


Hosted Auto Dialer

I was impressed and delighted by the gracious and welcoming nature of several of the writers who gave talks and presentations.  I was able to speak with Jonathan Maberry, Kristen Harnisch, and G.P. Ching after panel sessions, and they were all willing to share advice with a newcomer.   I want to thank and recommend them as authors and as good people.


Jonathan Maberry, Best Selling Author, To Speak at Closing Session of Social Media Conference

kristen harnisch



I came away from the conference filled with information and determination to continue to learn and grow as a writer and as a business owner (at least in the future!).   One belief I hold that is essential to being a writer was reinforced there–persistence, discipline, and dedication are essential to finding success as a writer. I will post pics from the conference in the not too distant future.  I still took them the old-fashioned way and have to get the film developed.  I am slowly making my way into the 21st Century!



To any writers reading this, plan to attend writers conferences if you can.  I have found them to be very valuable places to learn about the craft and the business.

Happy writing!

Drafts, Revisions, and Plans, Oh MY!



I finished the first draft of a novel I have been working on the first part of the year. While it is very rough and in need of a great deal of work, it is time to put it aside for a while. I am not sure what my overall goals for this novel are, but at least I have completed the initial draft. So, I need to continue with the overall writing plan I put in place a while ago, one which I was not sure I would be able to maintain. So far, I have done it.


This writing plan is to draft, as first drafts, two books per year. In addition to the drafting, I am also constantly working on revising previous books. I focus on one at a time, or at least I try to. My writing time is divided into drafting first, and then I work on revising. I have found that I am able to do this about 5 days a week.


I had mentioned in an earlier post that I am also working on an academic book, but that is moving very slowly as I try to find necessary materials without which , it cannot move forward.  My drafting goal for the rest of the year, therefore, is to complete a first draft of a horror novel. It is a story I have had in mind for quite a while. In fact, the idea for it came from a dream I had, in which, in very cinematic fashion, I saw the entire ending of the story. It was like seeing a movie for free!


My long range goal for this horror novel is to test the self-publishing waters with it. I still intend to try to be published traditionally, especially with my first two novels, but I decided it was time to spread out this writing venture and see what happens. That long range plan for the book will be to self-publish it sometime next year.

Let’s see how the carrying-out of my plan goes.


Reading Habits



I want to thank Sarah Higbee https://sjhigbee.wordpress.com/ for nominating me to discuss my reading habits.  I love reading, and I am always willing to discuss my habits and thoughts about it.


You have 20,000 books on your TBR. How in the world do you decide what to read next?

Well, this just about sounds like an accurate situation for me.  I never have any loss of books to be read, whether for teaching, writing, or for pleasure.  So, given that I usually am reading 5-6 books at one time, I would probably choose 1-2 to fit each category and attack them.  And then, look at my piles of books on my bookshelves and wonder if I will ever get through them all.  No matter, I won’t run out of reading material.


You’re halfway through a book and you’re just not loving it. Do you quit or commit?

This would depend on why I am reading the book.  If I am reading a book for pleasure, and I simply do not love it or, at least, enjoy it, after halfway, then I would probably put it aside.  But if there is anything good in it, I would finish it.

Now, if it were for teaching, then I would simply finish it.  In that case, there is a duty to understanding the text fully and not being concerned primarily with my emotional reaction to the book.  I hope, however, that most of the books I teach or read for teaching or writing I would enjoy.


The end of the year is coming and you’re so close yet so far away on your GoodReads challenge. Do you quit or commit?

This is an interesting question because I do not yet belong to GoodReads.  It can, however, be applied to my reading goals in general.  I do not set a specific number of books to be read in a given year, and since I love reading, I am never tempted to just go a week or two without reading.  I can estimate that I do read somewhere between 150-200 books every year, so even if I were on the lower end of that scale or past it, I would simply keep going.  There are always other books that are calling out to be read.

Shoes 2

The covers of a series you love DO. NOT. MATCH. How do you cope?

Ok, I will be brutally honest here.  I don’t care at all about the covers of the books.


Everyone and their mother loves a book you really don’t like. Who do you bond with over shared feelings?

I don’t worry about what other people feel about a book.   I feel no need to please anyone by liking a book that I don’t because of the opinions of others.  I think it is important for everyone have their own views and not be concerned if  they fit in with any crowd.


You’re reading a book and you’re about to start crying in public. How do you deal?

Well, as a man of my age, I do not cry easily–yes, I am of  that generation.  I admit it.  But if it were to happen while reading a book, I would just cry.  I do not embarrass easily, and it just might provoke interesting conversation or responses.  Hmmm….who is that man on the bus sobbing while he is reading?  Maybe we should just move a few seats away from him.


A sequel of a book you loved just came out, but you’ve forgotten a lot from the prior novel. Will you re-read the book? Skip the sequel? Try to find a summary on GoodReads? Cry in frustration?

If this sequel is a book I really want to read, then I would probably reread the first book and then immediately read the sequel.


You don’t want ANYONE borrowing your books. How do you politely tell people “nope” when they ask?

This is not an issue for me, because I am a lover and owner of books, but I am not a collector.  With the exceptions of books I need for teaching or work or a very few prized texts, I would allow most people to borrow from me.


You’ve picked up and put down five different books in the past month. How do you get over the reading slump?

I don’t have reading slumps.  I may not like a book enough to finish it, but I am always reading several books at the same time.

buying books

There are so many new books coming out that you are dying to read! How many do you actually buy?

This depends on our financial situation.  I never buy all of the books I want, because the rent and car payments need to be made.  Food is good also!  I wonder what would happen if I had an unlimited source of income–how many books would I buy?

Old Books on shelf

Old Books on shelf

After you’ve bought a new book you want to get to, how long do they sit on your shelf until you actually read them?

Typically if I have just purchased a new book, then I will read it quickly.  If, however, I am inundated with teaching and reading for work, then a new book might simply have to wait to be read.  “Have patience,” I say to it.  “I will get to you.  I haven’t forgotten about you.”


Nomination time

I hope that you will enjoy answering these questions about your reading habits, if you have the time:

Sheila Renee Parker https://sheilarparker.wordpress.com/

A Small Press Life http://onetrackmuse.com/

Susanna J. Sturgis http://squattersspeakeasy.com/

Karen B. Pearce https://fillyourownglass.wordpress.com/

Usabaker https://usabaker.wordpress.com/

Paula Donnolo https://randommusingsandwanderlust.wordpress.com/

Zach Chopchinski http://zachchop.com/

Rebecca McLaughlin https://makawalli.wordpress.com/

Kat Kent https://writersback.wordpress.com

Esther Newton https://esthernewtonblog.wordpress.com/

Beverley Young http://ghosttalkblog.com/

Herminia Chow https://aspiringwriter22.wordpress.com/

Russell J. Fellows http://russelljfellows.com/

Tricia https://threehandsoneheart.wordpress.com/

Victoria Iskak https://victoriaiskak.wordpress.com/

Becky Due https://beckydue.wordpress.com/

Marlene https://insearchofitall.wordpress.com/

Mitch Teemley http://mitchteemley.com/

Kritika Vashist https://krivashist.wordpress.com/

Kayla Johnson https://thefirsttwentyrows.wordpress.com/

Purpleanais http://arwenaragornstar.com/

Cindy Knoke http://cindyknoke.com/

GP Cox https://pacificparatrooper.wordpress.com/

Kate Colby http://katemcolby.com/

D. Wolfgang Miller  https://dwolfgangmiller.wordpress.com/

Wow, this is quite a long list, and if I have missed anyone, I apologize.  Please feel free to weigh in on this topic.

Happy reading to all!

A 3rd Draft Complete



It always feels wonderful to reach a goal!  I had hoped to have completed the third draft of my Young Adult novel by the middle of this month, and I finished it on Wednesday!


The next step in the process is to have it read by a few select readers and then return to the revision process.  I suspect the next draft will  take approximately 1-2 months, so accounting for reading times, I would like to have this draft (# 4) finished by the end of the summer.


I am taking just the weekend off from drafting, and then I will return to the cycle of beginning a new novel.  I have several competing in my head to be the next one begun, so I am not yet sure which will win.  I will, however, choose and begin a first draft on Monday.  My goal for that draft is to have it finished by the end of the year.


As a side note, I am working, albeit, very slowly on my academic book.  I am still trying to find a copy of the play I need, so more on that progress in the future.