Out with the Old, In with the New

Friends,

Welcome to a new week, one that’s ushered in some beautiful weather if I say so myself, and to a new opportunity to accomplish your goals. If you’ve set a goal for yourself this week, this month, or whatever – but find things blocking your way or hindering your progress – take a step back and remember: you can find a way to achieve what you want, you just have to know where to look within yourself to find the will. I’ve been working on overcoming some of my own goals in the past month or so, and I feel like the light at the end of the tunnel is getting brighter! Let’s get into this week’s content…

The Faces of the War Collection

I’ve not written a word in about two weeks.

Acknowledging the struggle or problem is half the battle in achieving your goals. My goal: writing a new historical fiction novel. The obstacle in the way: the busy and tiresome process of moving into a new house. Never having done this before, I had no idea what to expect. I know now that since we’re completely out of our old house and into our new one, things are getting to the point of settling back down into a regular routine again. At this juncture, I foresee the first week of May being my target date for resuming my normal writing schedule. State testing will be over with by that point, or at least to the point of minimal involvement by me, so hopefully my weekends will be more open to crank out the types of word counts I did before moving began.

When I do resume, I’ll continue writing Part I, which is very exciting and fun to write thus far. I’m interested to see how my characters develop and where the plot goes from here! I’m still awaiting the final book cover files from the designer, but again – they’re not needed right now; I just wanted to get them designed and out of the way. Also, I’ve gotten information about my summer schedule for school, and I’m fairly pleased: I’ll have summer school to tend to, but it’s not any teaching, only live help in the virtual rooms. So the students work through the material on their own and come to me with any questions they have about the work. After June 18 (graduation), things die down until August. There were rumors going around that school might start the day after Labor Day this coming year, but it’s not confirmed. I’m keeping my fingers crossed! During that time after graduation, I’ll be writing a lot – I’m hoping for 1,000 words a day, if not more.

That’s about the main gist of what’s going on with writing right now. I wanted to tell you that so you knew I hadn’t given up or got into a rut…moving and off-site testing for school really take it out of me!

YouTube

I wanted to take a moment to talk about my absence from the YouTube community. Given everything crazy going on with my schedule in the past month or so, getting footage every day or even once or twice a week was very hard. I know that moving could have great vlog potential, but I think that since I’m not a daily vlogger and it’s not a solid habit I wasn’t already thinking “I need to vlog the move” before it actually happened. I’ve taken pictures of the new house and of things we’ve fixed up, and I’d like to include those in the first vlog back. I’m planning on resuming vlog the first week in May – coinciding with the continuance of writing as I mentioned above. At that point, I’ll have a lot to talk about and show, so it’ll be a good time to come back!

That’s all for this week. Please subscribe to this blog if you haven’t already, so that you can receive next week’s blog post and all the posts to follow after. You can also check out my website (page links above) if you’re new to my work and are interested in historical fiction or short stories. As always, thanks to those who’ve followed and supported me for a long time. And to those of you who are new, welcome, and I hope you like what I have to say!

Until next time,

-Eli

Words All Around!

Friends,

I hope this post finds you well and in good spirits, and that you are on the path to accomplishing your goals for the day, the week, or even the goals of your life. I encourage you to push on through the obstacles and trials you face, for the end result is worth the struggle. After a week’s hiatus, let me bring you up to speed on my work…

The Faces of the War Collection

In the past month or so, I’ve written and completed the first draft of the Prologue for Book Four. The word count came in at around 1,650 and looks pretty good to me at this point. Of course, I’ll go through it a few more times down the road, so more may be added, or maybe nothing will. Once the whole story is fleshed out and the scope is intact in raw form, I’ll have a better idea of what will constitute the Prologue in its entirety.

I also began writing the body of Part I (of III); it currently sits a little above 2,500 words. So hitting over 4,000 words in the first full month of writing is right where I want to be! I’ve gotten into the habit of writing on Sundays, or sometimes Saturdays, which is working very well for me. And I’ll have my Spring Break at the end of the month, so my goal is to knock out at least 1,000 words a day that week – that will really bump me forward in my writing schedule.

I’ve also gotten the ball rolling on the cover for Book Four, and so far the draft looks good. I sent back some revisions and am awaiting a second draft, but at this point I’m optimistic. It’s exciting to see it start come into being, just as it’s exciting to see this story start to take shape. If you’d like to get a preview of it and let me know what you think, you can check out the Prologue for free at this blog post link.

The Short Story Collection

I have whittled away at the next volume of short stories, but have put most of my focus on my WWII historical fiction. Fear not – I aim to release Volume 3 by the time fall arrives. I’ll keep you posted on progress as spring turns to summer.

YouTube

Just as I’ve taken a hiatus from blogging over the past two weeks, I took a break from vlogging on YouTube. There is a reason for this decision, but I can’t really touch on that just yet. You’ll understand in the coming weeks…I only ask for your patience.

New Blog Topics

In the coming weeks, I plan to release special topic blog posts that will not only vary the material I provide my readership, but it will also afford you an opportunity to better know who I am. Plus, it can be the start of some great discussions, especially with fellow readers and writers.

That’s about it for this week. Thank you again for your continued support and encouragement, and for taking an interest in my work. If you haven’t yet subscribed to my mailing list, you can do so here…that way you can get my monthly e-newsletter that has the inside scoop and behind-the-scenes details about my life and my work.

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

Falling Into Autumn

Friends,

Autumn is approaching! I love the smells that are in the air, the feel of the cool morning breezes on my skin, and the sense of impending change that defines the season. It’s one of my favorite times of year, and I’ve decided to use it as a tool to help revitalize my drive and ambition, with the hope of completing my current projects to the best of my ability! Let’s get down to this week’s details…

The Faces of the War Collection

Much progress has been made since last week. I have no more than 3,000 words left to write to reach my target word count (or close to it), and it is my intention to knock out those words in the coming week. I mentioned last week that I received the finished front cover of Imminent, and that I’ll reveal that properly as the release date of the book gets closer. It is still set for December 11, with the aim being that the book will be available for purchase before Christmas – in case you want to gift it to someone! I’ll continue to give updates on this project through this blog, so continue following to stay in the loop!

Inkitt Short Story

There is still time to read my latest short story on the website Inkitt, and to vote for it (if you like it) before the contest ends on September 24. I’ve said it before – I’m not looking to win the contest, but rather to get my content “out there.” If I were to win, great! But if not, I’ll just be glad to have been able to create something new for you, my readers, to enjoy. Let me know what you think!

YouTube

I am looking forward to continuing into the autumn and winter with my videos. I am making it a goal of mine to get into a better habit of recording more throughout the week rather than just one or two days. Videos will still be posted on Fridays, sometimes skipping weeks here and there if my personal schedule is particularly hectic. You can find my videos on my channel, and be sure to “Subscribe” so that you can see my latest videos in your home feed. And tell a friend – I’m always looking to connect with new viewers and followers of my work!

Indie Writing Advice

When writing your first draft, it’s wise not to worry about making it perfect. I’ve said this before – doing that will hinder the flow of creativity and ideas, and will draw out the writing process much longer than it should be. Save the fine-tuning for later. One thing to do as you write, though, is to take a mental note (or actually write it down on a pad of paper) of the words or phrases you often tend to resort to often.

For example, I tend to picture in my mind the scene I’m writing as it plays out. I sometimes have characters nod in agreement or understanding, and I find that I write it as such quite a bit. So what I do is simple: I’ll go into the finished first draft and run a search for the word “nod” and see how many results come up. I’ll then go through and try to replace it with a different action that will convey similar emotion, tension, etc. in that scene. This not only decreases repetitive wording, but it forces me to freshen up my vocabulary and by extension helps round out my characters and what they do. I include this in my editing read-throughs after I finish the first draft. This way, these repetitive actions and dialogue beats will be ironed out and made pretty before handing the story over to my editor, which cuts down on their work in the end.

That’s all I have for this week, but stay tuned as progress is made this week and next, and as the story nears its completion. The publishing process will begin to pick up speed as the autumn presses on, so join me for the ride in the coming months as we move closer to release!

Until next time,

-Eli

Newsletter Update (and Other Things)

Friends,

I hope this week brings you happiness in life, success in work, and peace in your heart and mind! I have a couple of things to cover today, so let’s get down to it…

Mailing List

As I wrap up a year of mailing list newsletters, and considering what’s going on in my life, I have decided to send a newsletter out every three weeks instead of every two. At this point in my writing life, there just isn’t enough new content every time for each newsletter to be fresh. In addition, it takes away time that I could use to write more. So this week there will be a newsletter sent out to those on my mailing list (and anyone else who’d like to subscribe to it in the meantime); the next newsletter will be sent out sometime around Wednesday, August 26th. I believe this is a wise move in my writing life, so I thank you for your understanding and I encourage you to join my mailing list!

The Faces of the War Collection

The process has been a little slower than anticipated in relation to getting my next book cover designed. However, as my wife reassures me, I shouldn’t worry about it right now because the book isn’t finished. With that being said, please know that I am working on this project a little at a time, and am eagerly anticipating its release. As I’ve said before, sometimes a working timeline doesn’t pan out exactly how you plan it; that’s how it usually is in the world of education, so I’m used to it and I know how to handle it.

In the meantime, if you’d like to check out my first two books, you can find them in print and on the Kindle here (Resistant) and here (Unguarded). Keep in mind that they’re not related stories, so you don’t have to read one to understand the other!

YouTube

I am excited to see that I’m slowly gaining followers on my YouTube channel! I would like to gather more people who are interested in reading, writing, history, and life in general, so if you have family, friends, coworkers, or anyone else you know that shares those interests, please send them my way. My vlogs are usually between 8-15 minutes, depending on the topics I discuss, so they can easily be watched in the morning before work, on a lazy Saturday, or even at night before bed. And I only upload one video per week, so you don’t have to worry about watching a whole bunch of videos to stay up-to-date with what I’m doing. Many thanks in advance!

That’s about it for now, but like I said – hopefully over the next few weeks things will develop more as writing continues and as my book cover gets closer to completion. Come back next week for more, and I hope to see you on my mailing list!

Until next time,

-Eli

Summer Days Drifting Away

Friends,

The summer continues to press on, affording us all new chances to do something great or to strive for something awesome. I hope you are accomplishing all that you set out to do, or are in the process of it! Let’s get to this week’s material…

The Faces of the War Collection

As I eagerly await the arrival of Imminent‘s cover draft, I continue to chip away at the manuscript. I am editing the rest of Part I to give to my editor, and I’m also writing here and there for Parts II and III. I already have the Prologue and Epilogue completed; I just have to go back and see if any of it needs tweaking once I’m done with the body of the text.

With this book, I want to try a few things regarding writing style and experimenting with the feel of the story. You’ll understand what I mean when it releases, but for now just know that the story is a different kind of story from my previous two books, yet something I think we all can relate to. And that’s a big part of how I write – to make the characters’ experiences relatable to the reader. I will be relying on my editor, and any beta readers I use along the way, to help mold the words into the right kind of story with what I’m talking about in mind.

YouTube

I noticed that the end slate (the final slide with my photo, the subscribe button, etc.) on the vlog two weeks ago was cut off a bit. And then last week’s vlog was cut off even worse. The weird thing is that it looks perfectly fine in my video editing software. So I don’t know what the problem could be, but hopefully I can get it fixed.

Regardless, I hope you’re enjoying the videos if you’re watching them, and if you’re not then I invite you to. You can subscribe to my channel to know exactly when new videos are uploaded, just so you don’t miss anything. I’d love to have you along, as well as any friends, family members, or coworkers who might be interested in writing, reading, history, and much more!

If you are new to me and my work, what would you like to know?

And if you have been following me and my work for a while, what aspects of my books, my blogs, my videos, and so forth resonate with you?

I would really like to get a feel for what my readers and followers are getting out of my content, what they like and dislike, and perhaps what more they’d like to see. It’s all part of connecting in the small community made up of readers and followers. So please, let me know! You can reply to this blog post, or even better – you can post to one of my social media profiles (like Twitter or Facebook) and share your thoughts. You never know if someone else has the same thoughts as you, and how that might bring us all closer together!

That’s about it for this week. It’s just a matter of waiting for the book cover to be revealed, and then finally for the book to release before my blog posts light up with extra juicy information. Thank you for following me and supporting me in my passion!

Until next time,

-Eli

Past the Halfway Point!

Friends,

Welcome to a new week of opportunity and another chance to accomplish your goals! Let’s get down to business…

The Faces of the War Collection

I haven’t been able to write much more than a couple thousand words this week due to time constraints in my personal life. I tried a technique to help me get more words on the page and not encounter writer’s block, if you believe in such a thing. (*I have posted this article before regarding the “myth” of writer’s block and the opinions both for and against, so you should check it out!).

So back to my book’s progress…I am setting aside Wednesday of this week as a writing day, mostly because 1) it is my only day off and thus the best chance to write, and 2) allocating time to write outside of your bare minimum (i.e. 15 minutes per day) is one way to help maintain and improve your writing. If I can accomplish the items of my routine (this blog, this week’s newsletter, and this week’s YouTube vlog), then Wednesday should be wide open for getting some writing done.

The reason that Wednesday is my only day off is because I am starting my second job this week. I normally have 2-3 days off every week, or at least don’t have to go into work early, but this week will be a bit different. When I do write for my next WWII book, it will be in my spare time between both jobs and my day off.

So to conclude about this project, the current word count sits a little shy of 24K words – which is more than halfway to my word count goal! Of course, this is just the first draft, but it is still great news that I am where I am. Please stay tuned into my blog posts for details about my upcoming book, for I hope to make it all as entertaining for you as possible. If you’ve read my previous two books, then you know my stories. If you are new to my work, then I encourage you to remain with me as I aim to finish this project by the autumn and release yet another WWII historical fiction book – the tangible proof of my passion.

YouTube

I am enjoying getting to branch out in my thoughts via my vlogs, which are uploaded every Friday on my channel. Most of what I cover in these video logs deals with my writing life, but also touches on my personal life somewhat. So far, I’ve talked about my writing process, my vacation to Georgia, stories from my childhood, and books I’m currently reading. Some things I aim to talk about in future vlogs include upcoming projects, personal goals, and plans I have for my life. Most of the vlog conversations I have are spur-of-the-moment, but we’ll see what happens!

So please, subscribe to my channel if you haven’t already, because I want to take you along for the ride as I journey through life as a writer and as a person.

That’s all I have for now, though there are a few things going on behind the scenes. However, it’s still a bit early to be talking about that, so I’ll give you that information when the time is right.

Until next time,

-Eli

Dayton Book Expo & U.S. Air Force Museum

Friends,

Welcome to a new post, a new week, and a new chance to achieve greatness! Let’s get into today’s content…

Dayton Book Expo

This past weekend, I attended the Dayton Book Expo at the David H. Ponitz Conference Center at Sinclair Community College. There were over 90 other authors, some of which were sponsored by the Dayton Metro Library. Prizes and awards were handed out throughout the day, and there was an award at the end given to the author with the highest sales that day. It was populated by many readers, some local and some from out of town. Overall, it was a good experience!

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My table at the Expo, with all of my tabletop material set up

Though I can’t put a number on it, I had many people – readers and authors – visit my table. It was great to chat with others about my writing story, my work, and what I’m planning for the future. Most of the slots on the free ebook signup sheets were filled, and many people wanted to be added to my mailing list. If you haven’t done that yourself, you can easily join the group here.

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Resistant and Unguarded for sale

In terms of books sold, that number was 3. Bright side: both of my books will be in a library in Michigan, available to be read by countless high school students. I also gave away many business cards, so hopefully I’ll be contacted in the near future for networking and/or collaboration. It’s a start, at least, and that’s how you’ve gotta make your way sometimes.

IMG_1717

My short story volume covers

Plans have already been started for next year’s expo, but I’ll wait until closer to then before deciding on returning. I’d like to attend other expos to see what else is out there; I simply treated Dayton as a test expo to get the basic gist of things. We’ll just have to see what time brings!

National Museum of the U.S. Air Force

On Sunday, my wife and I visited the Air Force museum in Dayton, and let me tell you – it was great! It’s crazy to think that all of the planes there had seen action in wartime, and it’s even crazier that they survived to be showcased as pieces of history. And what made it even more special for me was that I got to see many planes from the World War II era, which greatly interests me.

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75mm cannon that would have been the armament of a B-25 bomber

While there are far too many pictures to show here, know that I did see the plane that is featured in my second book, Unguarded. It is the Supermarine Spitfire, the primary fighter plane used by the RAF during the Battle of Britain.¬†Though it has the emblem of the US Air Force – because U.S. airmen did fly it at one point – it’s the same version of fighter plane the British used…

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Supermarine Spitfire Mk. Vc

I am so glad I got to visit the museum and see these pieces of history, and know that they were used to bring the war to an end. More pictures will make their way onto my social media and website over the coming weeks and months, but I think this will do for now. In addition to these pictures, I’ll have footage of my visit in this week’s vlog, so subscribe to my YouTube channel to catch that video!

The Faces of the War Collection

Progress is being made on this front, with the total word count approaching the 15K word mark. I plan to tackle more writing this week in great amounts, so my hope is that I’ll exceed the 20K by the beginning of next week. Work will soon begin on the book cover, I hope, so I will let you know of those details when the time comes.

The Short Story Collection

Progress has slowed a bit on this project, but I still am shooting for a summer release. Keep an eye out for details about Volume 2 as the summer months approach. And if you haven’t checked out Volume 1 yet, you can find it here.

As for other news, I am still keeping up with my YouTube vlogs, with the next video going live this Friday. I’m also keeping the GoFundMe campaign open to receive donations for the National WWII Museum in New Orleans. As for personal things, I am on the lookout for a new, full-time job. I’m hoping these next couple of months will bring some change in my life, and that I’ll be able to accomplish the writing that I want to get done.

As always, thank you for your encouragement and support. I truly appreciate it!

Until next time,

-Eli