Move-in Week!

Friends,

I hope this post finds you well, and that you’re striving toward your goals each and every day. There will be quite a bit going on this week for me, with writing being a good chunk of that, so let’s get on to the material for this post…

The Faces of the War Collection

As of last week’s post, the word count for my current WIP was around 5,000. With this week being my Spring Break for school, I plan on writing all day for the first four days of the week. Three of those days have errand appointments going on (an oil change, closing signatures for our new house, and meeting with the internet provider to get that set up).

Aside from that, my goal is to write at least 3,000 words this week, if not more. Given the rate at which I’ve produced words over the past few weeks, I really think I could get another 5,000 pumped out. It’s important to remember, though, that the story needs to tell itself and that I shouldn’t just write words to hit a word goal. That is something that forms the fabric of my writing process, and I stick to that on every project.

I am currently awaiting the final draft of the book cover for Book Four, and I’m excited to share it with you when the time comes. I’d like to try to get the fifth and final cover in this collection taken care of within the 3-4 months following the completion of this cover, but we’ll see.

Writing TipWhen brainstorming a story idea, it’s a good idea to write (or type) down what I call “detail bits” and form a pool from which to draw as you go further into the process. For example, I started out my detail pool with things like “explosion” and “missiles” and “agent” and “airplane” and “car chase” and…you get the idea. This can really help give you ideas/inspiration to fill in the gaps that inevitably come up during the creative process. 

Other News

As I’ve said, my wife and I are moving into our own house (our first purchased house) and are very excited as to what will come next in this new chapter of our lives. We close on Wednesday of this week and will start to move our things that day or on Thursday. We’ve been talking about things and planning what we’d like to do with the space. I’m very excited about our sitting room on the first floor – we’re giving it a travel theme! And then we’ll have an entertainment room in the basement, which I’ll hopefully be able to develop into an awesome space over time. Once we get into the house and somewhat settled, I’m sure things regarding our routines will go back to “normal” relatively quickly. I’ll continue teaching (as there is still about two months left in the school year) and writing throughout the week in addition to unpacking and getting things how we want them.

That’s about it for this week. I’ll keep you apprised of developments as we go throughout the next week or two, including what kind of word count I reach after this week’s writing sessions. Thank you for your support and encouragement, whether you’re new to my work or have been with me from the start. It means a great deal!

Until next time,

-Eli

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Apologies

Friends,

I hope this post finds you well and in good spirits! I also hope that you have not developed any negative thoughts regarding my absence from posting on this blog, in my monthly newsletter, or on YouTube. There is good reason for it, which I will discuss in this post and in the newsletter I’ll send out on Wednesday. But first, I’d like to give an update on book progress…

The Faces of the War Collection

The first draft of Book Four is coming along well, and I foresee a surge in writing approaching at the end of March (as I have a week off from school for Spring Break, during which time I plan to knock out a large chunk of the story). At present, I have almost 5,000 words written, which includes a full Prologue and the first section of the main body of the story itself. I have spent time here and there doing a little extra research and story planning, all with the hope that it would set me up for more productive writing during my Spring Break week. If sacrificing some word count now means to make up for it (and then some) later, I’ll do it. I also am in the final phase of the cover design, which has been one of the easiest covers in my experience. In terms of laying down my vision and the designer nearly creating that vision in one or two design attempts, this book is right up there with my cover experience for Unguarded. I obviously won’t share the cover with you anytime soon, as the story isn’t near its release, but it’s a step toward progress for the project as a whole, and is thus worth mentioning to you.

Writing Tip: When writing dialogue tags and beats, it’s good to not only use action tags to help the reader know what the character is doing, but it’s also a good opportunity to reveal what the character might be thinking or how he/she is perceiving the world around them during their dialogue exchange.

Now, I’d like to explain why things have been rather crazy and spotty in the previous few weeks, and to apologize for not being as present as I should be in my writing life. My wife and I are in the process of buying our first house, and subsequently moving out of our current renter house. We’ve been having phone calls, in-person meetings, and actually seeing our new house multiple times – all within the past month or so – and we’re still not done. We are waiting for the loan process to finalize and then receive the closing paperwork. At that point, we’ll give our final signatures and then, hopefully without any hitches, be given the house keys. This should be happening during the first week of April, which means we won’t be fully moved in for another week or so (however long it takes us to get settled).

With that being said, I’d like to tell you that it’s been my goal to stay on top of blogging, vlogging, and writing from week to week. But with my school schedule (especially state testing last week and more to come throughout the majority of April) keeping me rather busy in addition to house-related things, it’s been hard to stay dedicated. This is something I’m experiencing for the first time, and so by the end of the day I’m wiped out. Like I’ve said before, I don’t like writing tired or unmotivated, because I feel it will negatively impact the story.

And so, from this post onward, I will try my hardest to at least blog every week as usual, and try to get footage for my YouTube channel when and where I can. I’m also going to push the newsletter release from April up to this week, to sort of split the difference from the one that was supposed to release at the start of March and the one to come out in May. By then, things should be back to “normal” and my routine writing, blogging, and vlogging schedule will resume. Plus, I’ll have a good deal of news for you, so that will make it something to look forward to!

That’s about all I have for you in terms of news. Keep pushing and pushing to reach the goals you set for yourself, no matter how big or seemingly unattainable. I hope you’ll come back next week to catch more news about my writing and the move to our new house!

Until next time,

-Eli

And We’re Off!

Friends,

Welcome to a new week! My hope is that it will be a week filled with productivity and accomplished goals, for me as well as for you. Let’s get to this week’s content…

The Faces of the War Collection

Since last week’s post, there have been a few developments regarding my WWII collection. First, the details for Book Four’s cover have been sent, and I’m essentially awaiting my designer’s confirmation that he received it, as well as a quote for the design service. Hopefully within a week or so, work will begin on the next cover. Second, I spent some time this weekend (as well as time today after I write this) chipping away at the Prologue of Book Four. I’m just over 250 words into it, and I’m hoping for another 1,000 by the end of the week. I was a little anxious that I wouldn’t be able to start off this story strong, but so far things are proving otherwise!

If you’re new to my work and are interested in my WWII historical fiction, you can check out my books Resistant, Unguarded, and Imminent on Amazon in print and on the Kindle.

The Short Story Collection

Minor progress is being made on this project, but progress nonetheless. I think we’re getting into that part of the writing on this project where I will only update every so often about it, considering that its progress won’t be as quick to come as with Faces. Fear not, for I will keep you informed of this project’s details, especially when release draws near!

If you’re new to my work and are interested in my short stories, you can check out Volume 1 and Volume 2 on the Kindle.

Writing Tip: If you encounter a rut in the road of writing, be open to considering courses of action your character(s) can take that surprise you – if it surprises you, maybe it’ll surprise your readers.

That’s all I have for this week. If you’re new, welcome to my post and my website. Please feel free to browse around and see what I’m up to, and don’t forget to subscribe to my mailing list (click the Contact tab) so you don’t miss the inside scoop on my work. Thank you for reading this post and for supporting me in my passion. It means a great deal!

Until next time,

-Eli

Getting Back to It

Friends,

I hope this week has much in store for you, and that you’re getting closer to achieving your own brand of success and happiness! Let’s get to this week’s news…

The Faces of the War Collection

This week has seen some minor progress in writing for the final two books of the collection. I plan on working ahead in my school tasks so that over the weekend and into Monday (Presidents Day) I can write more. I’m excited for the new challenge these last two plots will offer me! Being that it’s early on in the process, it’s hard to give you any real report on my progress, but the coming months will certainly be interesting.

If you haven’t check out my first three books – Resistant, Unguarded, and Imminent – you can find them on Amazon in print and on the Kindle.

The Short Story Collection

I’m slowly piecing together the first story of three in my next volume. I’ll give you a little hint as to story detail: the time setting is the late 1600s. I’ve slowly accumulated research material that I intend to apply where I can to help improve the storytelling. The other two stories are planned…I just won’t divulge any details yet!

YouTube

For a couple of weeks, I had inadvertently taken some time away from posting new videos. I explained in the most recent vlog as to why, and you can check it out here if you’re interested. I am making it my goal over the coming weeks to be better about recording, despite my reasons for not doing it. After all, what would vlogging my experience be without showing the experience, right?

You can subscribe to my channel – where I talk about my writing life as well as teaching and travel – here.

Writing Tip: When editing your manuscript, reading aloud (to yourself or anyone willing to listen) really helps you identify typos, cadence, and tone, which can help improve or remove parts of the story that need it.

That about does it for news this week. It’s not much, but I thank you for reading it and keeping up with me anyway. Thank you for taking this time to do so, and please – pass the word along to a friend about my work. Word of mouth is a powerful thing, and it’s something authors truly and genuinely appreciate.

Until next time,

-Eli

Back to Writing

Friends,

I hope this post finds you well! I have a few bits of information for you today, so let’s get started…

The Faces of the War Collection

I finished my post-release read-through of Imminent and updated the ebook file with current links and amended formatting errors. Like I said in my last post, a few more errors than I would have liked slipped by me, but all have since been fixed. It was nice to read through the story again after letting some time go by; this was the first time I’d read through the story when I wasn’t focused on any major writing or editing. Along with the amended file came the aforementioned price change: the Kindle book is now up to $3.99 to match the others in the collection. The print remains at $8.99. If you haven’t yet checked out my new book and would like to, you can find it on Amazon!

I haven’t moved forward to much with the new book because I wanted to complete this read-through and update the Kindle file, but in the coming weeks I hope to see more consistent writing on my new project.

Writing Tip: Writing a little every day, even if it’s a few sentences here and there, can truly work wonders for your long-term writing habits and repertoire. 

The Short Story Collection

This past week, I worked a little on one of the three stories in the upcoming volume. It’s an interesting premise, I think, and has led me to do some research of a topic I normally wouldn’t research. But that’s part of the process – to sometimes do what you normally wouldn’t, and to see where writing can take you! If I can chip away at these short stories at a good pace, then my intended release of summer will be the time of release. However, the Faces project comes first, so I will play this project by ear. If you haven’t yet checked out my short stories – Volume 1 and Volume 2 – you can find them both on Amazon exclusively for the Kindle!

That’s all I have for this week. My teaching job has taken up some time that I would otherwise use to write, but making adjustments like that is part of being a writer. I thank you all for your continued support, encouragement, and patience as I pursue one of my passions. I’d really love to connect with you, whether you’re new or have been around for some time, and the best way to do that is through my mailing list. I send a monthly newsletter out with the inside scoop on my work – which means more details than I give away in the normal weekly blogs. Hope to connect with you!

Until next time,

-Eli

In Imminent’s Wake

Friends,

I hope this post finds you well and ready for a new week ahead! There is very little this week in terms of writing news, but there are some other cool things going on, so let’s get to it…

The Faces of the War Collection

When I published Resistant, and then again with Unguarded, I downloaded the ebook to my Kindle app and read through the story. The purpose of this type of read-through was to make sure the formatting looked how I wanted it and also to find any typos or other errors of the kind. I did the same thing with Imminent since its release on January 8th, and I have to say there were a few more errors (both formatting and spelling/grammar/diction) than I would’ve liked to have upon release.

Even after a handful of read-throughs, which I normally do every time, there still managed to be some things that slipped through the cracks. It just goes to show that even when you think you’re careful as a writer, you can’t be too careful. But I’m not taking this as a negative; rather, it’s a positive thing that’s resulted from my devotion to the storytelling and desire to produce a sharp book. Could I have waited a few more weeks to release the book? Perhaps. But at your core, when do you really know for certain when your story is “ready” as opposed to when you think it is?

Currently sitting at around 60% of the way through the story, I can say that I should soon finish my post-publication read-through in the coming week or so. The good news for you, my readers, is that the ebook price will remain at $2.99 until that time comes. For when I finish the read-through and edit the manuscript file in order to re-upload it, that will be when I up the price to the normal $3.99 (which is the price of the other ebooks, except for Resistant which is $0.99).

Aside from the fact that this read-through seems mostly focused on finding errors, another reason I do it is for the sake of improving my craft. If you’ve watched some of my YouTube vlogs before, you’ve heard me talk about this and how important it is. I may not take copious notes during this read-through, but I do take stock of issues that I can try to amend through writing habit in projects yet to come. That’s part of why I enjoy writing, because it gives me something to work on, results to strive toward, something that’s more than a hobby to be passionate about.

In the meantime, I’m also working on the beginnings of my other two books in this collection. I’m honestly focusing more on the read-through of Imminent for the time being until it’s done, but I’m also going over my story notes and ideas to see what can be developed and how the story can go. This is another exciting aspect of the writing process!

Writing Tip: If you release an ebook (no matter the platform), it’s good to download a copy in order to check the formatting. Even when it looks good before you hit that Publish button, it might look differently when it comes down the pipe on an actual e-reader with the actual book file others will download. Plus if you purchase a copy, you get royalties. It’s a win-win!

Other News

As part of my teaching occupation, I recently was asked if I’d like to spend a day at the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, OH for a school event that’s coming up. I’ll be just one of many staff members there who will not only help run a program for current students, but I’ll also be available to answer questions of prospective students and parents. If you’ve been with me since at least last April, you’ll know that I went to the same base after completing a book fair in Dayton the previous day. It was an awesome sight, to see planes and other pieces of history on display there. I didn’t get to see everything I wanted on that visit, so hopefully I’ll catch what I missed this time around.

That about does it for this post. Thank you so much for reading and following my work. If you’re new, please feel free to browse around my website to see what I’m up to. You can also join my mailing list so you can receive my monthly e-newsletter; it’s where I give more of an inside look at what I’m doing – more details than what you see in the blog posts, essentially. I hope you have a great week, and thanks again!

Until next time,

-Eli

On to the Next Project!

Friends,

First off, I’d like to say that on this day of celebration in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. I hope that we can keep in mind our past and the struggles that many faced to bring about change in our world. Things can get pretty dark at times, and the civil rights era was just one of those times. The fight against racial discrimination continues today, but in different ways than before. Whatever your stance is on politics or religion or simply the proper way to act toward others, I hope that you can push yourself toward being kind and considerate and (perhaps to some degree) tolerant of those different than you. Life is a precious thing; it would be a shame to waste it by hating others. It’s not important that Martin Luther King was black – it’s simply because he was human that made his struggle so great.

As 2016 continues to unravel and reveal what’s in store for us, I hope that you’re finding yourself striving toward achieving your goals and reaching for your dreams and aspirations, as well as being the best version of yourself that you can be. I have only a few items to talk about today, so let’s get down to it…

The Faces of the War Collection

With the release of Imminent in its second week, I am pleased to say that so far it has been received well. It was fun to research and write, and I’m glad that it went off virtually without any major hitch. The pre-order price of this book was $2.99 and I ended up deciding to leave it as such since the book went live. But that won’t last too much longer, so pick up your Kindle copy before the price goes up! The print price, of course, is still $8.99. Now that that story is behind me in terms of new writing, my focus now shifts to the next project.

I’ve mentioned in my YouTube vlogs before that I plan on writing the final two books in the collection simultaneously, testing my boundaries and experimenting with new things. And I think that doing it this way might lend to keeping the content I write fresh in my mind so I’m not sticking to the same project for such a long time. So today marks the beginning of the next stretch of my writing journey, but this time I’ll be tackling two books.

The tentative release details for Book Four include a date sometime in late 2017, with Book Five releasing sometime in 2018. This, again, is because I’d like to have some uniformity and a streamlined look to the books and their details. Here’s what it will look like when it’s all over:

Resistant (2014)
Unguarded (2015)
Imminent (2016)
Book Four (2017)
Book Five (2018)

You can see how my OCD and attention to detail really kick in here! So that’s where things currently sit with my WWII historical fiction work, and I hope that I can produce two more stories with the same feel yet explore new or unique perspectives and challenges for my characters. Most important of all – I hope that you will join me on this journey (or stay with me if you’ve been a part of it for a while) and we can see how it ends, together.

Writing Tip: When writing action tags for your characters, try to picture yourself in their shoes in order to get an idea of sensory details in any given moment, especially during an action sequence. 

The Short Story Collection

At the moment, I am working toward completing the next volume in the collection. The tentative release date is sometime this summer. I’ll have more details as winter turns to spring and progress is made on the stories.

As for my most recent volume (#2), there will be a free promotion all next week! You can find the Kindle ebook on Amazon and pick up your free copy if you don’t already have it. This volume was the follow-up volume to my first, which released in the fall of 2014. I hope you enjoy it, and would appreciate a review or direct feedback to me via email or social media. I like to know how I’m doing and where I can improve!

That’s about all the news for this week. I am very excited to get things rolling on these new WWII books, and I hope you’re excited to read them when the time comes. Thanks to all who have offered me encouragement and support, and to my readers – for without all of you, my work would be nearly impossible!

Until next time,

-Eli

Details All Around

Friends,

I’d like to start off today’s post by remembering the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on this day in 1941. It’s the event that acted as our catalyst for war, resulting in our involvement in both the Pacific and European theaters of the war. Without our entry, things may have turned out very differently. So please, take a moment and think about how this day 74 years ago changed the course of history, and be grateful for the victorious outcome our country achieved in its aftermath.

~ * ~

I’d like to thank you for reading this post, and to welcome you to my blog. If this is your first time reading, you’ll find information in my blog posts related to my writing projects, as well as to other things going on in my life such as teaching and traveling. If you’re not new, then you already know! Let’s get into this week’s content…

The Faces of the War Collection

In my WWII historical fiction collection, I’ve made some good progress on my third book, titled “Imminent.” At the moment, I have about 13K words remaining in the manuscript that still need edited and placed into the final draft file, so things are progressively coming to a close. I got a good chunk of work done yesterday, and I’ll continue to chip away at it over the coming weeks. A reminder from last week’s blog post: the new release date (more than tentative but not 100%) is January 8. If not then, it will be around that time (like the following Monday the 11th, for example). I am wrapping up communication with my cover designer this week, so you can expect to see a reveal next week. There will be other book/story details given at that time as well, so keep your eyes open!

If you haven’t yet checked out my first two books, you can find them on Amazon in both Kindle and print formats: Resistant and Unguarded.

Writing Tip: A piece of advice I was once given stated that when writing, don’t be too liberal with the exclamation point. The person said, “If the character isn’t on fire, don’t use it.” If used too much, it can take away some of the urgency or emotion in the dialogue, which can negatively affect the story.

The Short Story Collection

I’ve said recently that I plan on developing the next volume of short stories simultaneously with the fourth book (writing begins in January), and that I hope for a summer release. I currently have the three story ideas in place; I just need to plan them out in detail. From there, the writing could take anywhere from 2-6 months. My focus, however, will be on my WWII projects, so the short stories will be tended to here and there.

If you haven’t yet checked out my first two volumes, you can find them available for the Kindle on Amazon: Volume 1 and Volume 2.

Writing Tip: When writing story text (dialogue or otherwise), don’t include too many commas in any one sentence. In most cases, those lengthy sentences can be broken down. Having too many commas can lend to reader confusion. 

YouTube

I’d like to thank those who have subscribed to my YouTube channel and who’ve watched my videos. I make these videos to document my life – writing, teaching, traveling, and personal – because I want to share my experiences with those who will listen. We all grow in our own way, but having a part of that growth be in the form of connecting through an amazing platform as YouTube is pretty awesome, and I want you to join me on the journey!

You can subscribe to my channel here, where you’ll find weekly videos posted about my writing projects, my teaching life, my travels, and certain aspects of my personal life. And if you’d like a more detailed look into my work, as well as to connect with me and fellow readers, I encourage you to join my mailing list. You can email me at elikale.author@gmail.com with a quick “hello” letting me know you’d like to be added to the list. I welcome anyone and everyone!

That will do it for this week’s blog post. Be sure to check out next week’s post where I’ll reveal the book cover for Imminent and detail book/story details.

Until next time,

-Eli

Imminent Release Date

Friends,

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday this past week, and that you were able to spend time with friends and family. And if you’re a reader who doesn’t celebrate this American holiday, I hope you had a great week nonetheless! Let’s get down to business…

The Faces of the War Collection

I sliced into Part II of my WIP last week, editing about a quarter of the text. Today is another day off for my Thanksgiving Break (for school), so I intend on editing much more of the manuscript. Despite this progress, things aren’t where I want them to be timeline-wise. Therefore, I am pushing the release date back to January 2016.

Here is my reasoning for doing this: I have always said that I won’t be tied to a timeline, releasing a book on a given date no matter what state it’s in, because that’s not what writing is about. I will release the book when it’s ready. And today, November 30 – the original date of intended release – the book is not ready. With a January release date, I can finish the work over my Christmas Break. There is also a continuity factor in all of this. Based on the release years, the collection looks a little more uniform. Here you can see what I mean:

Resistant (2014)
Unguarded (2015)
Imminent (2016)
Book Four (2017)
Book Five (2018)

I’ve previously stated that I am going to work on my final two books simultaneously, and release them together (or at the very least, one right after the other within a 1-2 months), so this plan will help facilitate that end. So here’s the new release date, which isn’t quite 100% (because ya never know) but it’s more than tentative: Friday, January 8. After I get this week’s worth of editing done, I’ll see where I am and whether I deem the story close enough to being ready for the cover reveal and pre-order to take place…so stay tuned!

Writing Tip: By using action tags in dialogue and doing more “showing” than “telling” with regard to your characters, you can develop what is called “deep POV” which really helps connect your readers with the characters.

That’s all there is to tell in the way of major news, so check back over the coming weeks for information on my next book, Imminent, and the cover/details reveal. As always, thank you for reading this post and for your support of my passion. It truly means a lot!

Until next time,

-Eli

 

Be Grateful

Friends,

Welcome to a new week! I hope this post finds you well and on your way to accomplishing all you set out to do this week. I have a couple of news items, so let’s get to it…

But first, I apologize for my YouTube vlog posting late this week. I experienced WiFi issues and didn’t post it on Friday, but it’s live now so go check it out! Also, this blog post is live later than normal, mostly because I was finalizing the YouTube video and I was tending to the work of my job. So now, let’s get into this week’s content…

The Faces of the War Collection

With this week being Thanksgiving Break for me, I’ll have some time to really devote toward progressing through the editing of Imminent. I’m really hoping to make some strides toward the story’s completion, so that it’s completed sooner than later. I’ll have more details over the coming weeks as to what is for sure going to happen with the book’s release, as well as the cover reveal and all that fun stuff.

Writing Tip: When editing, try to replace adjectives that are often used – or really any words that are repetitive – in order to sharpen your vocabulary and smooth the story’s flow.

Thanksgiving

This time of year is set aside for each of us to take stock of what we’re thankful for, but we really should be mindful of the things – the blessings – we have in life from day to day. So right now, I’d like to take a moment to express my gratitude and thankfulness for a few things…

First, to my loving wife, Sarah, for loving, encouraging, and strengthening me on a daily basis. For putting up with my goofy side and even being goofy herself. She is who I get to laugh with, get to talk with, and who I get to spend my life with every day, and for that I’m very thankful.

I am grateful for the friends and family in my life, near or far, and for the impact they’ve all had on me. Even though we might not see each other as often as we’d like, the bond we share is strong and keeps us close in a special way. My family and friends mean a great deal to me, and I wouldn’t trade them for the world!

Lastly, I’m so very grateful for the talents and passion I’ve been given, and that I get to share them with those who desire to involve themselves in my work. I may not be a stellar writer, superstar athlete, or quintessential renaissance man, but I am a unique individual who thinks his life has been pretty awesome so far, and is excited to see where it goes. And that’s enough for me!

I implore you to find something you’re grateful for this week, and to hold on to that thing, person, or whatever it may be. Cherish what you have and who you are in this moment in this world, because you never know when or how it might change.

Thank you for reading this week’s post, and for your continued support of my passion. If you’re not yet a member on my mailing list, I encourage you to send me an email at elikale.author@gmail.com to let me know you’d like to be added. With my new book on the way, you could win a free copy in a giveaway! There are also other cool things I do with my newsletter, so check it out.

Until next time,

-Eli