Move-in Week!


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,


Through the Lens of “Why?”


Today begins another week. It is a new beginning for us all, perhaps after a long week or not-so-productive weekend. I look forward to Mondays for this reason.

I finished setting up my new work station today. What do you think?

It isn’t much, and I will have to expand my space for a new printer I just ordered. I am finally getting my own printer. It may not be all that exciting to you, but believe me–I have been in dire need of one for some time!

I think you’ll be glad to know that after I post this, I will get to writing for the rest of the afternoon…until dinner. On this day, [spaghetti > writing] 🙂

Something that has been on my mind lately is the notion that writing changes you as a person. It’s something, I think, that not many people–and not many writers–think about often, mostly because they’re so busy with other things to notice. But if you think about it, writing has quite an effect on a person. And that’s a good thing!

As writers, we should be aware of our surroundings, of how we perceive things, of how others act in certain situations. Why? Because those little, everyday things help fuel and inspire ideas that can eventually become story details. I read an article recently where the author (referencing how he comes up with story ideas) talked about how he can take a simple, perhaps mundane, thing or event and turn it into a story detail or plot device.

All it takes is to continue asking “Why?”

By this, he means he creates something complex and intriguing out of simple ideas or notions, just by questioning the situation. This is a good way to get creative juices flowing, which will lend itself to productive writing. If we approach our everyday lives in this way, there should (theoretically) be a never-ending flow of ideas that can help inspire our storytelling.

With regard to my own creative process, I use this method to a certain extent. For example, when I was writing my debut novel “Resistant” (available in print and ebook format on Amazon), I chose to create my content through two methods.

The first part, fact-based research, is a fairly straightforward idea. I researched information on France during the early years of the war, the time when the Germans invaded and occupied, the fighting that ensued thereafter, and finally the retreat in the final months of the war. Some of this I knew already, but I wanted to be sure I got things right (a good habit to implement, by the way).

The second part, what I call fictitious speculation, is the idea that, given what I know about the times in which my story is set, I try to ask myself, “What would this character do in this situation?” I use the concept of questioning things (mentioned above) but apply it in a different way. I don’t want to recreate someone’s real experience; I want to create something new, but inspired.

Therefore, I speculate on what might go through the character’s mind, and then go on from there. The only non-factual aspects of “Resistant” were the specific names of the characters and the specific events in which they were involved. Historically, everything else truly happened. I also ask, “What would be expected to happen on the part of the reader? How can I avoid this so that the story doesn’t fall into the realm of cliche, and so I can keep the reader turning the page because they’re interested?” This approach to my writing is something I find very effective.

This brings me back to what I first made mention of: writing changes us. If we truly want to write effectively, we need to let our writing infiltrate our lives and become part of us. So the next time you’re “out,” try to view your world through the lens of “Why?” You may just be surprised at what ideas come racing through your mind!

Is there anything that comes to mind now that you’d like to put on the table for discussion?

I’d love to hear from you!