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2013 Nanowrimo is underway!

Posted: November 9, 2013 in Uncategorized

Aargh!  I’m already beyond frustrated with Nanowrimo this year.  I spent the entire month of October outlining a new story and creating character bios and locations, and now I can’t seem to get the darned story to paper!  LOL!

This is a repeat story for my history with Nanowrimo.  I usually finish the deadline, but I’m never happy with the outcome because I’ve gone full bore with the story’s rough draft.  It turns out so bad that what I have when I finish is downright intimidating when December comes and it’s time to finish the story and edit.  I take the time to read what I’ve written and realize that it’s all drek…  I just can’t bring myself to continue afterwards.

This year I decided to do Nanowrimo a little differently by doing these bios and location histories.  I wanted to have an opportunity to create GOOD writing rather than drek, like usual.  So, why is the story not coming?  Am I just doomed to rushing through the 50k words and hate the story when I near the end?  What’s the secret, because it’s no longer satisfying to just meet the deadline anymore?  

I’m not blocked, just frustrated with my pace.  Dammit, this time I’m going to get the novel out of it, even if I don’t win Nano this year.


My Liberal Identity You are a Reality-Based Intellectualist, also known as the liberal elite. You are a proud member of what’s known as the reality-based community, where science, reason, and non-Jesus-centric thought reign supreme. Take the quiz at Political Humor

Posted: October 23, 2013 in Uncategorized

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Quiz: What Kind of Liberal Are You?

My Liberal Identity

You are a Reality-Based Intellectualist, also known as the liberal elite. You are a proud member of what’s known as the reality-based community, where science, reason, and non-Jesus-centric thought reign supreme.

Take the quiz at Political Humor



Guess I really am a liberal.  I always considered myself a moderate!

Due to the upcoming Nanowrimo, I’ve begun working on my writing again.  To be honest, I’d almost given up on my muse, who hasn’t inspired me to write a letter since before the death of my Mother in May.  Heck, It’s probably been more than a year since I’ve written anything in actuality.  I might even go so far as to say that I’ve been clinically depressed!

For some reason though, this new year of Nanowrimo has brought out some real enthusiasm with this new story that I’ve decided to write.  I’ve decided on a working title:  “Hunter:  Witch Hunter” and eventually I plan to take this new work and merge it with my old “Demon Hunter Diaries” to create one single complete work.  It will be my first finished work if it all pulls together as planned.

“Hunter:  Witch Hunter” will be a paranormal detective mystery set in Las Vegas, NV.  It focuses on the Protagonist Jett Hunter, a 30 something police detective who stumbles upon a coven of very ancient and very established witches living and killing in Las Vegas.  Having trained at the Chicago Police Academy, and being a homicide detective with a very logical mind, Jett must overcome the limitations of his mind and accept the fact that the supernatural truly does exist.  If he is to be successful in solving the series of crimes that he’s stumbled on to, he is going to have to learn a thing or two about Magic.  This, of course, is in direct opposition to how he is supposed to be thinking and creates a great deal of tension in his Las Vegas precinct house.

Over the next month I will be exploring the world of Jett Hunter through a series of short stories.  I will write a new short story for each character, and attempt to build a world based upon these characters.  I WILL be posting these short stories here on “Dark Mind.”  I would encourage any readers of this work to critique or offer up ideas that might make the stories more interesting, exciting, or by providing any information regarding the magical aspects that might make the situations presented seem more accurate or real.  Additionally, if you or someone that you know has any experience working with the police or has any experience in police policy or procedure can contribute time for an interview, I’d be greatly appreciative!

I thank you all in advance, and look forward to hearing from any of my readers!

Every year, the month of November brings us Nanowrimo.  Nanowrimo (National Novel Writing Month– Is a sort of contest which inspire writers to sit down and get a good start on a Novel by writing 50,000 words on one singular project within 30 days.  I have been a member of the website for seven years now, and have actively taken the challenge 5 times that I can remember.  I’ve only been successful in completing the challenge twice.

As much as I love this time of year, with all the creativity flowing and the creation of new and exciting worlds, I have come to the realization that Nanowrimo puts a serious fly into the ointment of my writing:  It permits me, the writer, to be more sloppy than I ever should be.  With it’s incessant demand for “word count”…”Word Count!” it forces me to use adverbs, adjectives and cliche with wreckless abandon in order to stretch my count to the highest that it can be.   Then, after I finish for the month and go back to reread my work, I’m disgusted.  I hate reading the wordy dreck that I’ve put on paper, and I find no affection for it.  The happy feeling I had when writing my story disappears and I find loathing and dread when looking at the piece I have to edit, knowing that I might as well just start over.

I’ve decided to do this exercise one more time however, even though I find myself hating it every time I do it.  This year, I’ve decided to go in with a game plan; and actual plot outline.  I’m also not going to allow myself to be pushed to write dreck.  I will no use crazy adjectives, adverbs, or other forms of literary garbage in order to pad the piece and make the wordcount.  I will write the piece using short concise sentences when possible and try to use skill to make it likable so that when I return for editing it won’t be such a daunting task.

I encourage everyone to try Nanowrimo at least once in their lives.  You don’t (and probably shouldn’t) have to take it as seriously as I do, but everyone should take the month during their lifetime and let a story from within them find life in the outside world.  It really is great fun, and you meet some amazing, creative people on the journey toward the finish of your novel.  Come on…give it a go!

Follow your Muse!

Posted: April 5, 2013 in Uncategorized

I had the most unusual thing happen to me this week.

As many of you know, Camp Nanowrimo has begun.  I signed up to do 50k words with a plan to restart a novel that I began in 2005 that has a working title of “The Demon Hunter Diaries.”

At first I had a helluva time restarting it.  It’s one thing to edit, and quite another to completely change and rewrite a story.  I sat down and reread all the work that I had put in to it, and of course I hated the whole thing.  I wondered why I had decided to do somthing like this…to retackle something so old and dead to me.  Then I sat down and started to write the things just sitting at the tip of my brain and what started to come out of me seemed to have nothing to do with the original concept of this story.  I was writing something about nursing homes for crying out loud!  It had nothing to do with anything at all and I was pretty angry at myself for just following my muse.  But then it hit me.

Everything that I had been writing the past day could be worked in to the original story and add extra depth to my antagonist/villian.  I was writing the subplot for my antagonist…something I had totally neglected in my original penning of the story!  How could I have completely forgotten about adding in HIS goals…and the ways that he had planned to accomplish them?  This was what the problem had been with the whole story from the git-go!

So, as you see, sometimes your brain (or muse if you will) knows what it’s supposed to do, even when your conciousness isn’t cooperating with it.  What an amazing tool it is!  I am once again excited about a story that has been frustrating me for nearly 7 years!

Over the past week I’ve been working on a short story with a writing friend of mine that we’ll call “Philosopher” because I don’t know if she wants me using her name or not.  The story is called “Things That Go Bump in the Night.”  This is a short fiction account based on a true story of paranormal eventa that happened to me in St Jean, Switzerland back in the winter of 1974.  I was around 9 or 10 years old at the time, so it had a pretty serious impact on me.  This single event is probably the reason that I began working as a paranormal investigator later in my life.

Eventually, this story will lead to a second short fiction story called “Memorial Day.”  This one is another true ghost story based on accounts that happened to me in Las Vegas, NV during my late teens.  This story is actually more intense and had an even more serious impact on my life than the first one.  In fact, it had serious impact on the lives of several people, including a couple that actually broke up briefly due to the account after a bout of domestic violence which was a replay of events that had occurred almost 50 years prior.

Not sure where all of this is leading.  Perhaps it’s leading me to a collection of short fiction based on all of my paranormal experiences during this lifetime.  I don’t know if a book like that would avoid gathering any moss, but it might be worth a shot.  It would definitely be fun to write.  If nothing else it would get all this back stuff out of the way so that I can concentrate on the new stuff that’s coming into my brain now.

I have tons of great new ideas.  I just need to find a way to get moving on them.


That’s all for now!

A year ago this month I moved into this two bedroom apartment from a one bedroom hovel across the complex from here.  Even though it still reeked of animals and excessive insect droppings, I was thrilled to be here and have the extra room.  I figured that some day, I’d use that room to create an office; a writing cave, if you will.

A year later the room still sits there.  Instead of a writing cave, it serves me as a catch all room.  I tried to make it into something special when I first moved here, but time and life have gotten in the way.  I couldn’t afford my storage unit anymore, so everything that was in there is now making home in my writing cave.  Alas!

Today I’ve been exploring the idea of getting to work on it again.  There are boxes everywhere though, and it’s really difficult to even look into the room without being discouraged.  Obviously the first step in doing this is clearing out the empty boxes, unloading the full ones, and trying to find a place for everything in a house that is so small that I needed a storage unit in the first place!  Once all of that is done though, I have to decide what I want to do.  What it is, exactly, that makes a home office into a “writing cave?”

I like to be surrounded by my favorite things when I write.  I draw inspiration from them.  For example, I  have an Egyptian Ushabti from a 23rd dynasty tomb that I like to look out and draw ideas from.  With it’s Cobra and bird engravings, it has a way of moving my mind back into antiquity…helping me to visualize ancient Egyptian culture.  Also I will need plants, lots and lots of plants in my writing cave.  Plants help me to visualize jungles and flowers.  I also love the feeling of life that they add to a room.  If one is going to have plants, then he’s going to need a well lit room too, so dark curtains are out of the picture entirely.

Lighting is important for me to be able to write effectively.  I find my best work is done in intense, scrutinizing light.  A good moveable lamp that will allow me to shine a light directly on to whatever I am working on willl work perfectly fine.   The contrasting light issues are going to be a problem when the time comes to start writing in there.  There must be some sort of way to get both types of light?

I’m curous about other writers.  Where do you folks undertake your writing projects?  Do you have a room–or office–just for writing novels or articles?  What sorts of things do you use to decorate your personal writing space?  Do you think that these things help?  Please, drop me a line and let me know!