Month: July 2017

Youtube for research?

Sometimes, I have to go to Youtube for research purposes.  I’ve been following deermeatfordinner for a while now. None of these guys appear to be in a survival situation, but I often dream about survival scenarios.  It’s a bad habit to get into, but it helps me to sell books… so I dream how much easier life would be if I didn’t have to worry about freezing to death.  Living in Michigan, I often find myself dreaming about living someplace warmer. Saying that, I first found this youtube channel when trying to learn about crabbing when I was writing Rebel Radio.  I mean, what does a guy who’d barely been near a body of salt water know about crabbing? It was time to research!  I won’t bore you to death on my research methods, but this particular video reminded me of something I read in the Going Home series, by A. American. There is a lot that this Youtube star does that has given me ideas.  Sometime this fall, maybe even in the winter, I’m going to be writing a survival story that involves a hurricane, martial law, civil unrest and a long, difficult path to survival.  Not that I have ever personally done what I’m about to write about… but I’ve seen it done.  It’s almost like staying at a Holiday Inn, right?...

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Writers are not in competition with each other!

So… Why so competitive?   Sometimes in my old blog and in this new one, I’m going to talk and write about topics that might be more writer or reader related… and sometimes both at once.  Maybe this is one of those topics… Who knows?! So on competition- I see this a lot between traditionally published authors (trad pub) and self published authors (indie, small press of 1 etc.) and there is a lot of animosity and overall butt hurt being flung about lately.  I have a secret to share with people… There is no competition, so be kind to each other! Our readers don’t care about author drama, in fact they kinda hate it.  (I think). No matter how fast I write (and I’m told I can write pretty quickly) it’s never fast enough.  What takes me a month to draft and another 2-3 weeks of running it through my team’s processes takes a reader six to eight hours at tops, to consume it.  They are hungry for more!  Now, there are things writers can do to make publishing go quicker, smoother. Like having a couple of editors ready to do first pass, then someone available for second pass… a proofer on standby and then a cover designer ready to make their magnum opus yours. Beta readers inserted to where you need them in your process… you know...

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Getting Away

Once in a while, I have to get away.  No, it isn’t the endless travel or conferences, but to get away from the hustle and bustle.  Modern life is just too darned fast, and sometimes and I feel like I’m stuck in second gear, unable to shift.  When I get like that, it’s often time for me to do something a little different.  Sometimes I change where I write, like going to the coffee shop, the park and when it’s bad enough… I know it’s time to unplug. This year, we headed up north to the family compound (I call it the bugout), where I parked War Wagon and plugged in and got things set up.  My wife and two spawn of … err… well, mine (Can’t blame the Devil)… Were there, shortly afterwords, only a couple hours behind. Oh boy, was I excited.  I set up the canopy once the inside was set, and then put up my outdoor table and set up the outdoor kitchen.  In a true badassed, unplugged, style of life, I then set up my electronics.  ::snickers:: Yes, I brought up a TV, a game system and on top of a couple different kindle readers, a ton of card and board games.  See, upstate, the weather is quite cooler.  Our average high temp for the day up there was in the 70’s. The day...

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The Joys of cooking over a fire.

The Joys of cooking over an open fire. I just got back from a month of camping at my bugout, if you can call roughing it with a motorhome with full hook-ups camping.  We’ve got a power pole on the property and we’re a stone’s throw from the lake.  It’s peaceful, and I can’t even begin to tell you how many nights I would start a fire, sit back and just watch the lake and let the crackling of the fire relax me as I ponder how to next take over the world… er… write more books. One of the things I do like to do though, is cook over the fire.  Yes, I could have used a charcoal grill, or even my little propane grill… Instead, this is how I prefer to do things.  See… there’s a new little grocery store in the town near the bugout and they get their meat from a local (an hour away) butcher.  The quality is awesome.  I did everything from slow smoking, to charcoal grilling… yet my favorite is still wood fire. I started with split hardwoods, with some chunks of water soaked apple.  While the main fire was started and I was letting it burn down some, I patted dry my steaks and then liberally rubbed in my own blend of seasonings.  I love Lawry’s Seasoning salt… so that’s part...

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