Category Archives: Indie Writing

NaNoWriMo Day 2 1883 words–stayed up too late with the World Series

I got 1883 words done today.

That’s above the recommended pace of 1667 words per day.  But it’s less than what I want to hit of 2,500, that allows me to skip Saturday and Sunday if needed.

More than needed, but not what I was hoping for.

Today was a fun writing time, because I was able to get all these words done, between 9:45 and noon.

I stopped at noon.  I’ve been running on too little sleep watching the world series.  Congrats Houston you deserved it.

(I am useless…)

today was fun too because I also added Dragons to the story.

I needed a reason for why things are bad in the future.  So why not aliens that attacked earth and call them Dragons.

Me writing:

Okay, I need something to have attacked the world from space.

Bugs…

No that’s been used in Starship Troopers and Ender’s Game…

Dragons from space.

Sounds good to me.  Keep going.

Remember this is play.

First day of NaNoWriMo 2,400 words

Today was my first attempt at NaNoWriMo, (National Novel Writing Month).

Now that I no longer teaching, I figured I would have the time to try it out.  I like the idea of using a deadline and public community.

With NaNoWriMo, you’re not supposed to start until November 1.  Meaning no writing, outlining, just an idea.

From Day 1 of writing.

All I had was this idea for a science fiction idea, a 10 ten year old boy is arrested and placed in a prison that is located on the dark side of the moon.

So the questions: why is he in prison?  What is the universe when there is a prison on the dark side of the moon?  Why is he so important that he needs to be placed in the most secure prison?

With that I began typing.  Using Scrivner I would outline as I went.  When a new character came along, I would write a very quick note about this character, same with setting, write a quick sketch when a new setting comes into play.

I have no idea if I can maintain the pace to keep it up to finish it by November 30.  I have also never written a novel at 50,000 words.  My longest work so far is The Dolbin School 3: The Return of the Professor which clocks in at a little over 45,000 words.

But I enjoy writing first drafts when the words flow, and the story just plays in my head.  That is fun.

So to get myself I wrote a quick chapter to get myself going:

The prison door slid open and prisoner 8311 stepped forward into the center of the room, his binders came off as the doors slid in a hush behind him. Prisoner 8311 rubbed his wrists and sat down on the bunk that extended from the wall. The pristine, white room had a sink, a toilet, a small video screen, and a white rug in the middle of the small cell.

“Prisoner 8311 meal time will occur in fours hours, you will be notified when to be ready,” said an electronic voice from the speaker high in the wall.

Prisoner 8311 laid down on his bunk, put his hands behind his head, closed his eyes and napped.

Prisoner 8311 dreamed about his tenth birthday party when he was not referred to as Prisoner 8311, but was referred to by his given name–Quinton Alexander.

Which was yesterday.

 

Then I was off and running.

The first chapter from my newest book Finals: The Dolbin School Book 4

Finals: The Dolbin School Book 4

This is the first chapter from my next book, in pre-proofed form.  It’s still in the final editing phase.

You can preorder the book on Amazon now.  I hope you check it out.

Chapter 1- Spring Time

Bam!  The sound of the ball hitting leather echoed through out the field.

Jake Cooper took the ball out of his mitt and shook his glove hand.  “Nice throw, Mark.  Have you been working out?” he said.  He went to throw the ball back.  “I’ll try not to hurt you when I throw it.”

“Just throw it!”

Jake adjusted the bandage on his nose before he threw the baseball to Mark.  His nose still hurt, from fighting Brad Cushing.

Jake threw the ball.  It zipped through the air.  The loud sound of the ball smacking Mark’s hands came from eighty feet away.  “Did that hurt?”  Jake asked.

“Nope.” Mark replied, gritting his teeth.

The warm weather on the first day of May, brought the student body of Dolbin School for the Extraordinary out.  Jake Cooper and his friends Mark Daniels, Bruce Johnson, Red, Cal Jacobs, and Henry Cho tossed baseballs between them.  There was no game planned.  It was just a lazy Sunday afternoon.

“Throw to someone else, I going to get out the PGX,” said Mark.  He put his glove down and walked over to his backpack.  He pulled out a drone.  It was white and shiny.  He pulled out a tablet and tapped in instructions.  The PGX hovered four feet above the ground.

“You’re not going to take our pictures with that? Right.” Bruce asked.

“No.  Did you forget to put on your make-up today?” Mark replied, without looking away from his drone.  “But we could record practices with it, or even games, and review defensive adjustments and other things.”

Bruce paused from throwing the ball.  “That’s not a bad idea, Daniels.”  He threw the ball back to Red.  “We need to remember that once we get to the 6th grade and are able to play D-Ball.”

“I would think the coaches in middle school would already have that idea, and that they would already be doing that,” Mark pointed out.

“I thought you guys would be here,” said a female voice.

The boys turned and saw Maggie Crenshaw running to the field.  She was carrying a backpack.  She stopped and put down the bag.

“Brad isn’t here, if you’re looking for him,” said Jake.

Maggie ignored Jake’s comment and motioned to the drone floating above the field.  “I have a PGX as well.”  She pulled it out of her bag.

Mark looked at the drone and then at Maggie, “I thought you were more of an athlete.”

She frowned at Mark, “Simply because I am athletic, and play sports, doesn’t mean I don’t like tech as well.”

Maggie pulled out her tablet, swiped and tapped instructions.  Her drone rose next to Mark’s.  Maggie smiled, “Want to race?”

Mark smiled, “Of course”.

Maggie smiled.  Her tilted to the side and took off toward the outfield at blazing speed.  Mark’s drone was pushed backwards from the force of the air from her drone.

Mark turned his head.  “Did you make some modifications on yours?  I didn’t think that a PDX had accelerant thrusters?”

“They don’t.  I added them myself,” Maggie grinned from ear to ear.

Mark lowered his drone to the ground, and pointed at Maggie’s drone “Can I try?”

“Sure.”  Maggie stopped her drone, it floated waiting for the next instructions.  It was a 100 feet away and floating 20 feet in the air.  Mark took the tablet.   He saw himself standing next to Maggie on the tablet, from the drone’s cameras.  Mark swiped on the tablet.  He could see the campus as he viewed the different cameras.

“The accelerant app is right there,” said Maggie reaching over Mark’s shoulder and pointing to a red icon.  Mark tapped instructions for the drone to head back to him.  He pressed the accelerant icon.  It zipped right back, and stopped, floating twenty feet above his and Maggie’s head.

Red pointed to the drone and then at Mark, “Hey, do you think you could race that thing?”

“I could race it.  But I am pretty certain that I would lose.”

“Maggie, did you bring your baseball glove?  You can ball with us as well if you are done showing the drone off,” said Bruce.  “You seem pretty athletic.”

She shook her head, “I’m not Extra Strong or a Runner, I’m a Healer.”

Bruce shrugged his shoulders.  “You can still play with us.”

Mark handed the tablet back to Maggie.  She brought the drone down to the ground and turned it off.  She set it next to her bag.

She pulled a baseball glove out of her bag.  She smiled and pounded her glove. Mark picked up his glove and a ball and threw it to Maggie.

Jake continued to throw to Cal as he turned to ask Maggie a questions, “Maggie, if you like playing ball, why didn’t you come with us before?”

“No one asked me.”

“Not even Brad?” Jake replied.

Maggie stopped looked at Jake, she threw the ball at Mark.

Jake smiled, “Sorry.”  He turned to throw at Cal.  He adjusted the bandage on his nose and threw the ball at Cal.

His nose hurt.

Cover for my next book–Irving Williams and the Mystery of the Lighthouse Ghost

 

My newest book Irving Williams and the Lighthouse Ghost is coming soon.  

Here is the cover.

I got the cover from a designer I found on Designcrowd.com.  It was the first time that I used Designcrowd, here designers send you the designs first and then you select the winning design.  You can even purchase several designs, if you have the budget.  There were a couple of other designs that I liked, and I wanted to reward the designers for working on the designs.

I posted what I thought I wanted.  But this designer read between the lines and came up with something I never would have thought of.  My wife said that it looks like a classic children’s story.  So, it won the contest.

The book will be ready soon for prerelease.

“We are some ways a dyspeptic, nervous set” Why the Chicago Cubs-Cleveland Indians World Series is needed now.

The Chicago Cubs are back in the World Series

I love baseball.  It’s a spring and summer game.  And it comes to fruition in the fall.

It has history.

The History

The Cubs haven’t won since 1908.

Two world wars have occurred since the Cubs last won the series.

The Cleveland Indians haven’t won since 1948.

Television has entered our homes and we put a man on the moon since the Indians won last.

No matter who wins a team that hasn’t won in decades will be the winner.

A perpetual underdog will win no matter what.

We know that 2016 has sucked so far.  Two people that shall not be named have taken up most of the news cycle here in the country.

Now we can hear about Lester, Kubler, Schwarber, that’s a nice change.

I admit it.  I want the Cubs to win.

Here’s why:

We’ve flown across the Atlantic, stopped Polio, and put a man on the moon.  It was a simpler time.  If the Cubs win we will get a connection to that simpler time.

We need that connection now.   We need to rally around the cities of Cleveland and Chicago.

We need baseball now.

Let’s connect with Walt Whitman:

 “I like your interest in sports–ball, chiefest of all–baseball particularly: baseball is our game: the American game: I connect it with our national character. Sports  take people out of doors, get them filled with oxygen–generate some of the brutal customs (so-called brutal customs) which, after all, tend to habituate people to a necessary physical stoicism. We are some ways a dyspeptic, nervous set: anything which will repair such losses may be regarded as a blessing to the race.”

It’s our game that will repair our losses.  Baseball will heal us.  Baseball will save us.

Irving Williams and the Lighthouse Ghost-part 6

On an almost personal dare I wrote this story while also working on Dolbin School 4. I wrote this without an outline and put up the story as I finish each part on Steemit. 

Click here for part 1, part 2,  part 3, part 4, part 5

“My grandfather thinks he is seeing a ghost at the lighthouse, and I think he wants to show it to me,” said Irving to Alec as they both were getting their fishing rods ready. The grey of dusk had covered the sky. The breeze was still warm.

“That’s cool,” responded Alec.

“I guess. But if he sees something at the lighthouse, I guess something is actually happening,” Irving said.

Irving’s grandfather walked over to the boys and the boys stopped talking. “Okay are you two ready? Do you have everything you need?”

“Yeah, it looks like it grandpa,” Irving leaned back and cast his line out in the surf. He held onto his line.

“Nice cast,” he patted Irving on the back and walked back to his line, where Irving’s dad and Carrie had set-up their lines.

Alec leaned back and cast his line out into the water. He placed the rod into paint bucket to keep it anchored. He sat down on the ground. “Why don’t you put yours in the bucket?”

“I like to hold my line in case something bites early.” Alec shook his head,

“Okay.”  Suddenly Alec’s rod took leaned forward and the line took off like a sprinter.

“Whoa! I got something!” screamed Alec.

He jumped up to grab the rod, but he tripped over the bucket. He fell face first onto the ground. But he held onto the rod. The bucket fell forward and the rod came out of the bucket. The Alec held onto the rod with both hands. Irving laughed at the top of his lungs. Then the fish on the end of the rod pulled the rod and Alec across the sand towards the ocean. For some reason Alec held onto the rod.

Irving’s eye lit up. He quickly put his rod into the bucker and chased after Alec. Irving landed on his friend. Irving’s grandfather seeing the scene ran over and grabbed the rod from Alec. He quickly pulled back on the line, but it snapped.

The catch got away.

Irving and Alec laid on the edge of the water.  “Well, that was embarrassing,” Alec said. Irving rolled off Alec, sand covered his hair. He stood and brushed the wet sand off of his clothes. Mr. Williams helped Alec get up.

Mr. Williams showed Alec and Irving the line. “I think it is a good thing you didn’t reel that in!”

He smiled. “I’m also glad that it didn’t eat us earlier today when we were on our boards,” Alec replied.

Irving’s dad came running over, “Everyone all right?”

“Yeah, we’re fine,” Irving replied.

Irving’s dad motioned to the two boys and Mr. Williams, “There is always trouble when the three of you get together.”

Irving Williams and the Lighthouse Ghost part 5

I am experimenting.

I am working on a new book, while also writing this story.  I am writing this story without an outline and putting up the story as I finish each part.  I am enjoying getting to know these characters and setting.

Click here for Part 4

Click here for part 3.

Click here for part 2

Click here to begin at part 1 

 

“I see that you have found Alec,” said Irving’s grandfather. Who was reading a tattered spy novel paperback, his head covered by his sun hat, round sunglasses covered his face.

Irving and Alec walked back to Iriving’s family’s settlement. They were exhausted from riding waves. Their cheeks were pink from the sun, and knees skinned from wiping out on their boogie boards.

Irving’s grandfather was manning the settlement of towels. Carrie was a sleep on her towel. Her hair wet after taking a quick dip in the water.

The rest of the family was in the water playing with Lucas.

Alec waved, “Hi, Mr. Williams.”

“Hi, Alec. Where is your family?” Irving’s grandfather replied.

“Down there, the blue tent.” He pointed. “My mother sunburns easily, so we bring the tent.” He pointed to a blue tent hundred feet away.

“Your grandfather told me you would be here for the week.”

“Yes, sir that is correct.” Grant Williams sat up in his chair, pushed his hat back and lowered his sunglasses down his nose.

He waved Alec in closer with his tattered paperback, “Come, here.” Alec took a step closer. “I have something to show you and Irving this week at the lighthouse,” a gleam was noticeable in his eye. The lines in his cheek grew deep from his smiling.

Alec turned looked at Irving and then back at Mr. Williams, “Yes, sir. What is it?”

Mr. Williams guffawed, but then leaned in closer and lowered his voice to a whisper, “I can’t tell you that right now. There are too many prying ears around.” He made a circular motion with his paperback.

Alec put gave a thumbs-up, “Understood.” Alec stood back up, and stepped next to Irving, “I’m starving I’m going to go get some Gatorade and chips.”

“Come and see us in an hour or so when the sun gets lower. We’ll be getting ready to fish.” Alec waved, “Yes, sir.” He jogged off to his parent’s tent.

Irving put his board down and sat down next to his grandfather. He reached into the cooler next his grandfather, and pulled out a bottle of water, and a turkey sandwich. He started eating.

“So what exactly is it you’ve seen at the lighthouse?” Irving asked.

His grandfather turned and looked at him. He looked at Carrie napping on the towel. He looked around to see if anyone else was listening, and he lowered his voice, “The original lighthouse keeper from 140 years ago is back.”

Irving Williams and the Lighthouse Ghost–part 4

I am experimenting and putting up this story as I write it.

 

Click here for part 3.

Click here for part 2

Click here to begin at part 1 

The sun was bright. The air was warm. The sand was hot. The sound of the waves was rhythmic.

Irving and his family wondered onto the beach, carrying towels, chairs, umbrellas and fishing gear. After several minutes of searching, they settled on an area near the walkway to the main street.

As soon as Lucas took his shirt off he ran toward the water.

Irving’s grandfather chuckled, “I see now why you have to put the sunscreen on before we go to the beach!”

“Yeah, it’s very difficult to wrangle him when he sees the water,” replied Mrs. Williams.

Irving took off his hat, shirt, and flip-flops and grabbed his boogie board, ready to sprint to the waves.

“You on the other hand mister are able to wait.” His mother handed him a blue bottle of sport suntan lotion.

“Put it on. Remember how painful it was last year when you got sunburned. It was no fun for you, and it was no fun for us.”

Irving hung his head, took the bottle, and lathered himself in white lotion.

Carrie covered herself in her own special sunscreen. She placed her sunglasses on her face and she laid down on her towel.

“Hoping to see Aaaadam!” Irving teased.

She looked up at him, “Are you hoping to see tomorrow?”

“You two! Just one day!” said their father. “Irving you’re covered in sunscreen, head onto the water. I’ll be there in a few minutes.”

Irving bolted to the water. He gasped at the coolness of the water, but he kept going. He jumped and put the board out in front and landed on the board. His body rose high into air as the first wave lifted him and brought him back down. We wiped his hair out of his eyes. He turned his board and began swimming back to shore. He looked over his shoulder for the next wave.

It came quickly.

It lifted his feet and legs up, and pushed his body forward. His arms worked fast to keep his board on top of the wave. He felt his legs going higher into the air. His right shoulder went under first. His body tumbled like in was in a washing machine. The water pushed him forward. He came up on the shore on his stomach.

He wiped his eyes.  When his vision cleared, two legs stood in front of him.

“You wiped out on the first wave of the summer?” said a voice from above Irving.

Irving looked up in a daze.  “Hey Alec!”

Irving stood up. He wiped the sand off of his face, and shook Alec’s hand. “My grandfather told me you and your brother were in town this week.”

“We got here this morning.” Alec replied.

“Where’s your brother?”

“I don’t know. Probably looking for girls.”

Alec looked over his shoulder for his brother Adam.

“My sister will be in an even worse mood if she sees him talking to other girls,” Irving replied.

Alec laughed.

He lifted his boogie board and looked at Irving, “Now, let me show you how this is done.”  The boys raced back into the ocean to catch the next wave.