Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Blog Over

295 posts later... The End?

Well, that was fun.

This blog was glorious, but I've got a fancy new site going on now (Check it out at H2NHePub.com!). This blog was so awesome, though. It kept me sane in a time of great boredom and ridiculousness and madness—jungle madness, the worst kind—and it taught me how to write.

That is, it taught me the lost art of Dedication. The First 200 Days of this blog were a glorious daily blogging extravaganza, which I finally had to stop because I was too busy writing fiction. Check 'em out in the archives, they're all quite good.

Going forward, what I want to do is take the best thirty or so posts from in here and refresh them for my current thinking, posting them at H2NH ePub under the title "Wednesday reWrite" in addition to the regularly scheduled awesome that's happening over there.

I'm going to leave this site untouched from now on. Feel free to buy books from the links in the side, but assume that everything in the schedule is completely out of date. Check out the blogroll, though, because I haven't migrated that over yet.

So, what does this site mean to me? It's an great picture of what I did to become a burgeoning pro, turning my mental instability into gold, learned how to program a bit, figured out how to edit images, discovered The Internet, and myself...oh, and in the midst of all that? I got a beautiful fiancée.

I'm a writer.

Those were the first words on this blog, and they're just as true today as they were then, with one addition:

I'm an author.

Thanks for reading!
by David Barron
August 7, 2010 - July 31, 2012
fin

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Science Fantasy Romance 19 - Satellite of Lust


Satellite of Lust
SFJ03
Available at
Amazon.com * Amazon.co.uk
Smashwords
Kobo * Sony * Diesel
Barnes & Noble
DriveThruFiction

Collected in
More of the Sun

Blurb
Jeremiad, lounge lizard revolutionary, is captured and interrogated. What could be worse than that? Well, for one, there’s no bar.

Memories
before reading
Now that Jeremiad is an established character, I wanted to tell more stories with him. This is the one that developed.

Review
after reading
In this one, we learn about Jeremiad’s philosophy...and his ruthlessness. There’ll be more, later. I guarantee it. His war’s not over yet.

Next Week
(Fantasy)

Thanks for reading!
feel free to comment

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Science Fantasy Romance 18 - Pure Humanity


Pure Humanity
SFJ02
Available at
Amazon.com * Amazon.co.uk
Smashwords
Kobo * Sony * Diesel
Barnes & Noble
DriveThruFiction

Collected in
More of the Sun

Blurb
Fast-talking Jeremiad picks up a woman in a bar on Ceres only to discover that they’re both on the run from the same crowd. Of course, there’s more beneath the surface of this lounge lizard revolutionary…

Memories
before reading
I couldn’t just leave Jeremiad alone, so I wrote a sequel exploring his youth, and with a new exciting adventure.

Review
after reading
We get some more details about Jeremiad’s background, and why he’s a revolutionary.

Next Week
Satellite of Lust 

Thanks for reading!
feel free to comment

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Science Fantasy Romance 17 - Jeremiad


Jeremiad
SFJ01
Available at
Amazon.com * Amazon.co.uk
Smashwords
Kobo * Sony * Diesel
Barnes & Noble
DriveThruFiction

Collected in
More of the Sun

Blurb
A fast-talking lounge lizard picks up a girl in a bar and teleports her around the solar system. But there’s more to both of them than meets the eye…

Memories
before reading
Jeremiad is still my favorite character, even though I wrote this story so long ago, because he’s so much fun to write. He’s so self-centered, effete...while at the same time possessing a solid core of ruthlessness that worries me.

Review
after reading
This is the first Jeremiad story, so we had to introduce him, and then he takes off. It’s just good. If you want to know, Jeremiad is the only character I write who speaks in my own voice, meaning he’s the only one who I could make an audiobook version of. We’ll see. 

Next Week
Pure Humanity

Thanks for reading!
feel free to comment

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

A Writer's Diet

Hey, go read this over at H2NHePub.com now!

"With great massivesness comes great responsibility"
-Uncle Ben['s Rice]
Having decided to take control over this earth-bound balloon that I have become, I hereby draw up a food eating thing. I'm told it's called a "diet". Since I'm not used to being fat, I have to learn a whole bunch of new vocab words.
Here's why I'm fat: For the first twenty-four months in Thailand, I was sick* every day, and had to eat a large amount of food just to keep up with all the food that was leaving me in another form**; the last three months in Thailand, I was no longer sick every day, having adjusted. Oh...goody. Thus began a downward spiral***.
I've sat down and figured out what I need to accomplish my work, and I hereby lay it out for you in convenient categories, from most important to least. I've included a whole bunch of links to Amazon for my own reference, because I am sorely tempted to set up a "Subscribe & Save" thing with them, where they send me these various staples and I only have to leave my house to buy booze and deli meats. Ah, scrabjous day, for the recluse; Amazon is my friend.
Most of my empty calories came in the form of soft (and hard) drinks of every variety, so I've taken the liberty of reducing them to the barest essentials, along with mostly cutting out red meats and adding "fruit".
Caffeine
I drink cold fridge-brewed tea for the most efficient caffeine intake over time. So long as I can consume it continuously throughout the day without getting twitchy, I'm good to go. I've found TAZO Awake Black Tea to be the most convenient toward this end, and it comes in neat little packets.
Beverage
When I just have to drink something out of a can so my mouth isn't plain tea dry, I go for a refreshing A&W Diet Root Beer or a hydrating AriZona Diet Green Tea.
Breakfast
Since I usually walk five kilometers right after breakfast, I want something light that won't weigh me down, but that won't leave me ravenous until I've written at least two thousand words (hence, not giving me an excuse to interrupt my words with food). To that end, cereal cut with fruit: Cheerios (and a banana) or Blueberry Morning
Lunch
A Sandwich: ham and turkey obtained from the Publix deli, with at least two cheeses chosen at random, with Annie's Naturals Organic Yellow Mustard on Whole wheat, sliced in twain, one half toasted, the other fresh, to be eaten one after the other while reading Cracked.com during my writing break.
Snack
Carrot sticks. How exciting...
Dinner
An unholy experiment with Chicken or fresh Fish, usually with brown rice, often a failure when I discover I forgot to learn the spell "Bind Dimensional Shambler". I eat it anyhow, unless the cat won't.
Booze
After a long day of writing and exercise, I like to sit down and read a book with, close to hand, a Murphy's Stout, an eminently drinkable beer, which I like because the pint-can has a nitrogen widget for a nice pour.
On Sundays, I enjoy a beer or four at the local, Brewer's Pizza, which has many glorious beers on tap, but where I prefer the brewed-on-site Tribal Rite followed by the aptly-named Landslide.
We'll see how this diet and exercise works out vis-à-vis my immensity. I'm tired of people calculating their delta-v as they pass me by.
Get back to work, jerks.
Thanks for reading!
daB
feel free to comment
*euphemism alert
**euphemism over
***or, more accurately, a centrifugal propulsion of fat outward and ill-health inward. Boo.


You Should Never Be Bored

Hey! Go read this over at H2NHePub.com!

Coming back to America kicked my ass.
That is, it lurked for a month while I got a lot of cool stuff done (cf: this blog), and then READJUSTMENT popped out from behind a corner and sucker-punched me into a decay spiral.
I haven't accomplished very much in the last couple of weeks—moreso even than my usual boom-bust cycle of manic-depression—and it is depressing. I need to get back in the saddle.
The trigger for this READJUSTMENT was, I suspect, my sitting down to write my Peace Corps memoir—working title: "Peace Corps Thailand: AFTER DARK"—and realizing just how hard I worked and lived while I was in-country compared to my pitiful existence now, waiting for my MBA to start*.
This has been a long, boring summer; front-loaded (and exacerbated) by the Greatest Day of My Life (...that'll be in the memoir).
Long, boring, nothing to do...wait just a moment, Dave:
You should never be bored.
I have a career! It's called "writing". Stop sitting around moping, you've got sh*t to do. I am in the perfect writing situation: Nothing in particular to do for days on end, except write, Nobody in particular to meet, either. I can be a recluse! I should...I guess I should probably take advantage of that.
Why haven't I been writing enough? I'm out of shape, so I wake up feeling bad. I'm in a completely different situation, so I don't have a Routine yet. My laziness results in porcine over-indulgence in all the stuff I haven't had for the last twenty-seven months. There are so many books to read. I'm just...scared of success? I hope not.
I'm not Motivated enough.
I spend too much time waiting. This is a transition, but not between "Peace Corps" and "graduate school"; but rather between semi-professional and professional. While I was traipsing around the jungle, I didn't have the resources I needed to go all-out on this ePub thing. But now? I've got them. I just need lots and lots of manuscripts to do filthy Internet things to, formatting them and editing them, and selling them to the highest bidder.
I've got SERIES to write.
This Tisroc series is awesome, it just needs to be done. I know what's going to happen, I just need to write it down. I have another series percolating, and another and another. A whole pile of short books that need to get written, and short books are FUN.
I've got BOOKS to write.
Leaving aside Lived Too Long To Die (which WILL get finished soon enough), I have herds of books to write. Post-apocalyptic novels, apocalyptic novels, a Fantasy with blood magic, an Horror novella. Romance, Pirates, Fishing! SPACE BATTLE ROYALE. Oh, shit. These need to get done.
There's all these SHORT STORIES, too.
I've run out appendages to count all the half-finished short stories I still have to finish. They are all so awesome, they want to be told. I just have to TELL THEM. I need 300 short stories. That's my goal.
Oh! And I need cover art and print books!
Yeah, and um...my covers suck. And there's no time like the present to fix that. They have to be 1600x2500 now anyways. Not to mention formatting: but I will anyways. Dean Wesley Smith makes an excellent case for "Nothing Below $2.99", and that's what I'm going to do. Once I get motivated.
Am I motivated? Looks like I am.
I can never be bored again.
Get back to work.
Thanks for reading!
daB
feel free to comment
*My schedule for when my MBA starts is easier:
Monday
walk
book
6:00-7:15
Tuesday
12:15-1:30
gym
read
6:00-7:15
7:30-10:15
Wednesday
walk
book
6:00-7:15
Thursday
12:15-1:30
gym
read
6:00-7:15
Friday
short story
Saturday
short story
Sunday
publishing

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Science Fantasy Romance 16 - DRAGON MARINES


DRAGON MARINES 
SF016
Available at
Amazon.com * Amazon.co.uk
Smashwords
Kobo * Sony * Diesel
Barnes & Noble
DriveThruFiction

Collected in
A Future Darkly

Blurb
A boy writes his first science fiction story while he waits for his mother to come back from the war.

Memories
before reading
Yes, it’s supposed to be all-caps. It’s the title of the story-within-a-story the boy protagonist writers, while he misses his mother. This one actually started with me just babbling on Twitter about a silly story about ‘Dragon Marines...in SPACE’, then I abruptly thought of the hook and wrote this. Let’s read.

Review
after reading
This is a very emotional story, with a lot of subtle touches. The last line...wow.

Next Week
Jeremiad 

Thanks for reading!
feel free to comment

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Science Fantasy Romance 15 - War of the Possible Future


War of the Possible Future 
SF015
Available at
Amazon.com * Amazon.co.uk
Smashwords
Kobo * Sony * Diesel
Barnes & Noble
DriveThruFiction

Collected in
A Future Darkly

Blurb
A Middle Eastern nation erupts in protests against a well-armed government. As a reporter tweets from the front lines, one man struggles to keep a hospital from going dark, and a hacker plans to send the dark back where it belongs. A short story, cyberpunk ripped from the headlines.

Memories
before reading
Written in the middle of the “Arab Spring”, the story opens with a tweet from a reporter I was following at the time, and carries on through the misadventures of a man sucked into the action by the need to keep a hospital running in the midst of the chaos, and the shadowy figure who pushes him to take it further. I wrote it in a blur of excitement and anticipation, and it’s one of my most contemporary (political) works.

Review
after reading
This is a really sloppy story, but it was a really sloppy time, so it fits. I like how I deliberately messed up the flow of the plot with constant interruptions by @Reporter. I also have a soft spot for the drone operator, don’t ask me why. (Oh, and the links in the fake tweets are real, interesting.) This story has one of my favorite endings.

Next Week
DRAGON MARINES

Thanks for reading!
feel free to comment

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Science Fantasy Romance 14 - The Littlest Barnacle


The Littlest Barnacle 
SF014
Available at
Amazon.com * Amazon.co.uk
Smashwords
Kobo * Sony * Diesel
Barnes & Noble
DriveThruFiction

Collected in
A Future Darkly

Blurb
If a small boy lives, does anybody care?

Memories
before reading
Looking back on my notes, this story was supposed to be a fun story of a boy stowaway with no particular skills, but a lot of heart. Apparently deciding that that was lame, Creative Voice wrote a super-depressing story about an abandoned boy who gets screwed by life. OK, then.

Review
after reading
...the fact that the story is really short is, when you think about it, even more depressing. This is a very well-written story, though, and I know for a fact that Mr. Editor had nothing to do with it. Except for the very last line, where he inserted himself, and thanks be to him.

Next Week
War of the Possible Future 

Thanks for reading!
feel free to comment

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Annoying Obesity

Go read this at H2NH ePub now!

Let's address the elephant in the room: me.
Well, OK. I'm not that fat, but I am (medically) obese, and, more importantly, for the first time in my life I feel fat. It's time to do something about that.

Why?

My FATITUDE affects my ATTITUDE
I wake up feeling bad. That's no way to wake up. I only need six hours of sleep, after that I feel grouchy and uncooperative. And since I'm trying to cooperate with myself, I need to Zzzzzzzz. I need to be able to jump out of bed, healthy as a doornail*, without any weird ailments or headaches, stomachaches or ringings in the ears.

Lean, Mean, WRITING Machine
I eat and drink too much crap out of boredom or stress or just plain laziness, and that messes up my will to write. If I'm too full, I can't write with that white-hot fever of creative flame that I'm known for, and I've seen my productivity and get-to-itness decrease as my weight increased.

My fiancée is HOT
I have a pretty, sexy lady**, and she takes great care of herself, shedding the kilograms like nothing through sheer force of will (and hard work, eating right, and exercise). A lot of it is that she is very focused on her fun job, and that's what I want to be! The rest is that I want to walk down the street, arm in arm, both of us in amazing well-tailored fashions, and everybody will be even more jealous of us. We used to have that, until I bulked out. Whoops.

I have NO other flaws
I have spent the last ten years honing my mind into a pure engine of reason and creativity, and my morality and ethics are above reproach, and I am well-loved by all and sundry, and hardly an egomaniac at all. Yes, indeed: when it comes to humility, I'm the greatest.*** Now it's time to focus all that greatness on my encroaching waist-line.

What?

BAD Pictures
Aside from the as-yet-still-mild health problems, my main issue is that I look terrible in pictures. I can still hide my rotundity with clothing, but that just leads to further problems.

Frumpy STYLE
All the cool kids wear skinny jeans and suits. While I don't subscribe to that particular style, I've gotten to the point where my comfortable flowery shirts are no longer a fashion choice and more of a concealer. It's annoying. And none of my suits fit. And I'm not wearing double-breasted suits, I promised my father on his death-bed.

TOO Stereotypical
All that's to say, I'm too American-looking, not to mention the classic fat nerd and computer-using tub of lard. Boo on me. My image is important. Let's fix it.

How?

No SUGAR
A lot of my wasted calories comes from soda, and coffee with sugar in, and beer. My point is I drink a lot of beverages, so it's the easiest place to cut out unnecessary energy. I hereby declare that I can have all the home-made decaf unsweetened tea I can drink, and all the black espresso caffeine delivery method I can safely hold. More on beer later. This will also save money, a secondary consideration.

No DELIVERY
I am addicted to Papa John's. I admit it. Ever since I came back to America from the jungle, the lure of getting people to bring food to my door has consumed me. Well, no more! I have had my last pizza pie!

FOOD RULES
Much like writing, diet is one of those areas that has built up a monstrous barrier of myths and self-serving lies that confound the layman. In the same sense as I broke through all those myths by consulting the professionals, I have acquired Food Rules: An Eater's Manual (Michael Pollan), the primary ethos of which is "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants." I'll follow the less hippy-dippy of these rules, and I envision many soups and salads in my future. It is precisely as troublesome to cook healthily at home as it is to cook unhealthily. So let it happen.

Light BEER
Bud Light. That is all.

How much?

SIZE 36
My fiancée gave me a great pair of pants, size 36, which I wore for a while before stress and laziness bulked me above my waist grade. My goal is to once again wear those for pleasure. Pretty easy, and it saves time obsessively weighing myself.

When I look AWESOME
Once I start getting stared at again as I walk down the street, I'll know I've arrived. This is going to be awesome!

Reward!

BLUE Suit
Once I'm back to Size 36, I'll get the official uniform of the Creative**** tailored to my svelte form, and wear it at every opportunity to show off my regained youth and vigor. Everybody will be very impressed. There will be applause.

Lots of SEX
Well, yeah. Why else would I bother?

Get back to work.

Thanks for reading!
daB
feel free to comment

*Jacob Marley was dead as a coffin nail, so I want to be as alive as a door nail.
**Important comma alert.
***Said the actress to the bishop. Bazing.
****Sez me.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Science Fantasy Romance 13 - Swift Invasion


Swift Invasion
SF013
Available at
Amazon.com * Amazon.co.uk
Smashwords
Kobo * Sony * Diesel
Barnes & Noble
DriveThruFiction

Collected in
A Future Darkly

Blurb
The aliens were completely unprepared for one completely prepared human. So was Humanity.

Memories
before reading
This story evolved out of a conversation I had with a tech who had completely screwed his jack-ass employer over merely by being fired, and then having been found to be indispensible after the fact. I’d just read a lot of Heinlein, and the classic Competent Science Fiction Protagonist was roiling in my brain. Here’s the result.

Review
after reading
This is a dialogue-heavy story that proceeds with humor to a good punch-line. But! In the midst of that, there is an amazing character speech that I’d completely forgotten about. I don’t know where it came from, but I like it. It raises the story up from “merely” humorous.

Next Week
The Littlest Barnacle 

Thanks for reading!
feel free to comment

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Science Fantasy Romance 12 - Players of the Nuclear Theremin


Players of the Nuclear Theremin 
SF012
Available at
Amazon.com * Amazon.co.uk
Smashwords
Kobo * Sony * Diesel
Barnes & Noble
DriveThruFiction

Collected in
A Future Darkly

Blurb
The Nuclear Thereminers dare to roam the galaxy searching for new colony worlds for an expanding Humanity, but trouble on Earth may prove even more perilous. Follow the career of orphan Jess Alate through interesting times in this science fiction story.

Memories
before reading
This one was really long, and I remember stopping in exhaustion about three-fourths of the way through, then picking it up in the morning and finishing it off, then going back and adding in even more. I don’t remember the last bit I wrote, but I know that this one wasn’t written straight through, it evolved out of scenes, and chained itself together. Oh, and I also listened to a lot of theremin music, but you knew that.

Review
after reading
It’s very dialogue-heavy, which is fine by me because it’s such a long work. The talk keeps the story moving. One of my favorite things about this story is that there is no info-dumping; none. The reader is left to piece the setting together for herself, while the characters get on with their lives. Or not. That’s the Science Fantasy Romance ethos, and I think this is the first story where I actually kept to it. All in all, I’m very satisfied with this story. Not to mention I love the title.

Next Week
Swift Invasion 

Thanks for reading!
feel free to comment

Whatever I Write Will Stay Written

Hey, guys, read a fancier version of this post over at H2NH ePub, now!

Now that I've set up my office, and figured out my writing playlist, and the whole "I moved back to America" excuse is wearing a little thin anyways, it's time to get back into the zone. I've finished a couple things since I've got back, but not nearly enough. I need a plan, a scheme...a project.

Naturally, instead of getting one of those, I immediately sat down to read a book. That is: Stephen King's "Under The Dome", in delightful hardcover. But lo! I could not escape the Devil of Writing — an distinct entity from Writing Demons, in that he hounds you until you write, instead of being a quivering mass of loathing trying to destroy you for writing — for he was in the afterword, where Mr. King declared that Lo! (yes, again) this manuscript used to be a much suckier, more abandoned manuscript that he dusted off and punched up into awesome-sauce.

Well, I'm better than him.* Thanks to my constant moving and insane mental loops and general half-assery, I've got at least a hundred abandoned manuscripts. And they're all awesome, or I wouldn't have abandoned them for the next awesome thing.** I've always said: "Whatever I write will stay written", which is a general truth and cannot be denied, but I feel that they've stayed written long enough.

It's pretty easy for a working writer to lose track of unfinished work, but my obsessive cataloging is proving to make it a lot easier to find all these manuscripts, and they're all in plain-text, so I'm good to go. I'm a different writer than I was two years ago: I've calmed my manic need to Create, tempering it with the Joy of Finishing Sh*t. Past me set Future me up for success in this regard, being way too excited with the next idea to bother to finish the present one. Ah, well. Low-hanging fruit is still delicious.

I've run out of current work to format up, and I've obsessively refreshed the old finished sh*t until it's beautiful and salable, and, indeed, it is selling like hot fruitcakes***, so now I need some new stuff. I also need to cultivate some of that "self-discipline" I hear so much about, and it's very distracting to have such a pseudo-backlist hanging over my head, especially when I know exactly how so many of the plots will turn out already.

And they're awesome.

So, here's my Goal: proceeding from Almost Finished to Least Finished, I will go through my archives and finish up these manuscripts, not worrying too much about length, and publishing them as they finish until the whole thing is cleared. Then, with a clean slate and a happy heart, I can roll into the new stuff that is still lurking in my brain, thus sating the Devil of Writing and saving the day!

First up: Lived Too Long to Die
Laconic Captain Frank Evers and the motley crew of the ISS Unreliable Narrator are tasked with breaking the Quarantine around the Sol System so that the perky Professor Kelly Qu can survey a forgotten Earth. Adventure, drama, tragedy and love await in this novel of science fiction and romance.

Get back to work.

Thanks for reading!
daB
feel free to comment

*this declaration is under review by serious people with real jobs.
**I only finish the sh*tty stories. Be told.
***That's a lot.

Friday, May 25, 2012

If I couldn't concentrate...

Hey, guys, go read a fancier version of this post over at H2NHePub.com, now!

I wouldn't be a writer.

I'd be some sort of "day labourer", and then where would the world be? Labouring with me, I expect.

And that would be sad.

So let's write. It all comes down to the aptly named "Three AlliterativeMs", so named because there are three of them and they all start with the letter M. I've capitalized them so you don't miss them.

MOOD

You've got to feel pretty OK to be able to write this much and so fast too! It's a matter of focus, concentration, zen harmony with the universe. No, I tell a lie. It's a matter of being crazy, in that special manic-depressive way that I do.

Up
I'm not manic right now, but when I am shucks!howdy! do I write fast. I love it, but the problem, as referred in the post title, is that when I'm manic I have to be very self-disciplined or I'll start a hundred projects, many of which linger around to This Very Day. (cf: twenty-two short stories lying around the house). One of the side benefits of mania is that I really shouldn't be around people anyways during these times, as I will talk faster and faster and faster because I can finally keep up with my thoughts but they can't understand me and then they run away and I'm all alone and eat too much and am fat oh gods—

Down
That's what I am now. No...now. Now. Yes: then. In this state, I think about a great many things, and connect them, and read carefully and clearly. I may have mentioned I'm a genius, but I'm not just saying that. I am.

(and you're not.)

Some of my best non-fiction (including blog posts) gets written at this time, and some of my more contemplative fiction. And I still write fast.

I don't know any other way.

But sometimes, sometimes...I lay in bed all day, listening to the audiobook of Lamb (Christopher Moore) while watching — on two screens simultaneously — The Princess Bride and Secretary, the screens set on both sides of the room so I can focus on whichever one I happen to roll over to look at.

If I lose the remote, it's Hell.

All Around
When I walk and walk and walk, no writing gets done. This is why I can't drive.

Downtown
everything's waiting for you

MINDSET
You're going to be rich, get excited! You're doing what you love, man! Get in the spirit of things! No...let's be more honest: Running a small business is more fun than getting a real job, right? You've got freedom and joy and nobody can take that away from you.

Nobody.

Except you.

But you're an idiot. You can easily outsmart yourself.

More important to your mindset, but only included here because DRUGS ruins the alliteration scheme I've got going, is CAFFEINE. Drink your tea, coffee, and delicate mix of tea'n'coffee, or, as I call it, TOFFEE*. I drink four caraaaaafes of coffee every day, poured gently over ice. It's sometimes caf and sometimnes decaf. I never can tell, as I'm usually too twitchy to read the side of the box by then. At the end of the day I moderate my caffeine buzz with delicious weak tea, then summon the WRITING MUSE with some absinthe on the rocks.

Which is — don't look it up — an actual drink.

MUSIC
This is the most important part, and the true secret to my success. Buy these four tracks, load them up on your phone, press shuffle'n'repeat...then Just Write:

Tron: Legacy
Derezzed
Daft Punk

The Dark Knight
Introduce A Little Anarchy
Hans Zimmer & James Newton Howard

Sherlock Holmes
Discombobulate
Hans Zimmer

The Avengers
The Avengers
Alan Silvestri

all links to Amazon

This blog post was written under the influence of these four songs, just as an example of the kind of quality sh*t you can expect if you try it!

MORE?

There is nothing else. I wrote myself into a corner by calling it the "Three AllitereMs"***
Complaints?
Tough nougat,
Get back to work.

Thanks for reading!
daB
feel free to comment

*Actual toffee is disgusting. I'm taking the word back.
**Got any more awesome tracks I should add to my playlist?
***I'm too lazy to scroll up and check what I actually called it.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

eBooks, pBooks; aBooks, cBooks

Hey guys! Read a fancier version of this post over at H2NH ePub now! I'd go...but I'm working.

If you want a picture of the future of publishing, imagine a book stamping on a human mind — forever. We control story, Indie, at all its levels. You are imagining that there is something called "literature" which will be outraged by what we do and will turn against us. But we create literature. Books are infinitely malleable.

I have grand visions, sometimes. Not dreams, no...more than dreams: the stuff that dreams are made of: Ideas gone mad with freedom, massing together and connecting, like manic molecules or colliding universes, and from them appear, as if from the head of Zeus, a vision of a glorious future, with me: Writer, Publisher. It's all so easy, in my visions.

But I think...I think, this time, it just might...just might be possible.

eBooks Anybody can make and publish an eBook. It's certainly much harder to write a manuscript than to publish an eBook. If you want to emulate a professional eBook, you can do it for about $500, after the costs of copy-editing and editing. Then you put it up everywhere and get on with writing the next thing. It is the ultimate passive income, but you can do so much more with it.

pBooks The most obvious way is to make a print book, and that's easy enough, thanks to the miracle of Print-on-Demand. You can get that done for less than $2000 for a trade paperback, and some larger amount (that I'd have to get around to researching) for a fancy hardcover, for your most dedicated readers. My vision of the future is eBooks as mass-market paperbacks (you know, the one's that used to be about five bucks when we were young, and 10¢ in the dim mists of pre-time), with trade paperbacks being the standard edition, and a hard-cover being a deluxe omnibus. Isn't that exciting? (You know they're already doing this, right?) But wait! There's more to do!

aBooks I love audiobooks, because I can "read" them while I'm doing mindless publisher tasks. Every book should be an audiobook, and if I have my way they will be. Short stories can be audiobooks too, although, as I prefer to enjoy all my short stories in magazine or anthology form, I'd want to consume those as part of a StarShipSofa style subscription. Although Audible could do a Kindle Singles thing, whynot? Why not indeed! Getting a quality audiobook made is, of course, a little pricey: Let's call it below $5000 for a full-length novel. But people (like me!) will buy it! The Future being now, my favorite indie, Zoe Winters, releases all her books out in eBook, print, and audio simultaneously. You can too!

cBooks But hold up, my vision ain't through yet, there's still...comic books; webcomics, if you will. Imagine a comic book adaptation of a novel, released as a webcomic, one ad-supported page a day, with an included link to buy either the print book or the graphic novel (or both) early. Hiring an artist to collaborate on all that? Who knows how much it would cost. But I bet it'd be pretty awesome. I'm going to make it happen.

That's Phase III, people...come with me, to the Future!

Thanks for reading!
daB
feel free to comment

Science Fantasy Romance 11 - Science Up Some Love


Science Up Some Love
SF011
Available at
Amazon.com * Amazon.co.uk
Smashwords
Kobo * Sony * Diesel
Barnes & Noble
DriveThruFiction

Collected in
A Future Darkly

Blurb
“Pygmalion @SatelliteTYT: I’m the last man on Tau Ceti. It’s not my fault.” A scientist tries to make something of the organism that devoured the rest of the colonists, his only companion the orbiting communications AI.

Memories
before reading
I wrote this story while I was on a “stay-cation”, sitting alone in a hotel room in the nearest big city because I was tired of my house. I remember it was written extremely slowly, each sentence thought over, and many breaks for 7-11 hamburgers—these turned out, later, to be a bad idea in food—slowly, but steadily, building up the romance and the science fiction alternately unto the finish. Let’s read!

Review
after reading
I love both the science fiction and the romance in this story, and the Twitter-style dialogue is good, too, even if it’s a pain to format afterwards. I think writing so slowly meant that I had lots of time to incorporate a thousand references to other works of this nature, making this a rather literary work, or something of a Where’s Waldo story on the second read-through. Can you find all of them? (I think there’s about six intentional ones, and another two accidental I just now spotted.)

Next Week
Players of the Nuclear Theremin 

Thanks for reading!
feel free to comment

I'd Go But I'm Working

Hey guys! Read a fancier version of this post over at H2NH ePub now! I'd go...but I'm working.

Have you ever said that while you're writing?

If not: You're a f*cking writer, man.

Man up.

Get back to work.

Everything henceforth is a personal attack on myself, written while drunk. But you can learn from it, if you like. But only if you are also drunk.

Your Sh*tty Career

What are you, a f*cking dilettante? You're just sitting around, playing around on the Internet, when stories are in your brain, waiting to be told. People want to read your writing. You know they do, because they have bought your f*cking books, even the sh*tty ones, and they've sent you e-mails asking about plot details (which you have then cheerfully stolen for the sequels). They want your sh*t. You give it to them. What else do you have to do? You want a f*cking life? You earn your life. You want to be a gentleman of leisure, be a gentleman of letters. Oh, but you've got to actually write the f*cking letters, put them into words, slap together some sentences, and cap them off into stories.

You're a Pro, Man

Even if nobody were reading what you were writing, you'd better be writing it down. You have a responsibility, to yourself. You and I both know we're a misanthrope, but we're fair: We don't even like us that much. We're awesome, but...that's different from being accomplished. How many manuscripts did you finish this week? Do you not know? And, a follow-up: Is it because you finished so many, or because you finished absolutely nothing?

F*ck You, Man

You don't have what it takes. You can't even beat yourself, much less the world. Why don't you just hang out in your house and live in your own sh*t. There are better writers than you, better because they sit down and f*cking write, instead of wasting their life on bullsh*t. Like you. Get your sh*t together. How many books do you have almost f*cking finished? Finish the f*cking books!

They're Awesome

F*ck yeah, they are. You know why? Because you wrote them. You are better than every other writer. How many times have you sat down with something you've written and enjoyed the hell out of it? Loads of times. You can read what you write. That is a skill. You never admit it, but there's some stuff you've written that's horrible. Most of it is burned, but some of it slipped through, and now too many people have bought it for you to take it back. Fine!

Write Some More

You want to know how to write more? Turn off the f*cking Internet. Turn off the TV, turn off the computer, turn off your f*cking phone. Too many things! Make a schedule: Three hours a day, seven days a week. Total sensory deprivation, except for your fingers on that keyboard, or your hand on that pen, or wherever you decide to etch word into a medium. And? Anybody who tries to distract you? F*ck those guys.

You Will Win

You'll have plenty of time to play in Hell, which, as a writer, is where you're going. Just accept it. They have libraries down there, but they'd never burn a book, not even to save a soul. So, where are you going in life?

I'm Going To Write

I'd go...but I'm working.

Thanks for reading!
daB
feel free to comment

Saturday, May 19, 2012

The Writer's S.O.

Hey guys! Read a fancier version of this post over at H2NH ePub now!

Let us consider the writing life. Sitting in a room alone, obsessing over plot, character, settings; rigorously training one's mind to blast word-count into the æther, where it will be picked up by the scattered raven-falcon-vultures that is my readership. Not a lot of time for romance, right? Not going to find an S.O. (which, of course, stands for Significant Other), not under those pitiful circumstances. Come back when you're Brad Pitt, Mr. Writer. Well, apparently there was plenty of time for me (ha-HA! Suck it, singles!) to catch a lady, and now it's time to see if I can maintain my obsessive writing habit in this novel (Get it? Get it?!) circumstances. That is to say: I have a sudden lack of crushing loneliness and feel a sudden rocketing out of soul-grinding spiritual poverty into the lacquered halls and gilded calling cards of couple-hood. What, indeed, are the pros and cons, the pluses and minuses...no, the bennies and the suckies of writing not-single? (I have added pretentious quotes for your amusement.)

WOW

Let's cut to the chase. With a great lady like mine, I can write faster because she is my Motivation. Every book and short story I write is now an investment in a future not entirely devoted to beer and pizza every night. I should write faster and faster and faster, because I'll need steady income to avoid having to go get a Real Job. Real jobs suck the life out of a relationship.

" We have common cause against the night... "

Let's face it: My life is like a sitcom, and I'm playing a writer-character. I do all my writing off-camera, which leaves me plenty of time to trade quips with my mentally agile fiancée, play games with my pals, and drink beer and engage in hijinks, to the delight of all our friends and relations, and the studio audience out in TV land. I wouldn't trade it for the world, and I certainly wouldn't go back to "lonely hearts writer tapping away in a silent room". That's just depressing. I'd at least have to own a bookshop before I'd agree to that. At least I'd meet people.

Speaking of meeting people, as a curmudgeon and a misanthrope, Single Dave was in danger of becoming a loner recluse. Not anymore! Now I have more friends than I can shake a stick at, and since my lady is so friendly, she even keeps up with all these Facebook acquaintances I don't have to converse with, then she relates their doings in convenient bite-size sampler nibblets, for my enjoyment. Sooner or later I'll just be able to ignore everybody, letting all communications filter through her. What a time-savings!

This is not to mention all the heart-warming inspiration a proper romance yields. While writing a romantic scene, I can run the lady-thoughts by her and she can tell me if they make sense. It's like having a Mary Sue outside of my own head! Ah...Marty Stu and Mary Sue, 'tis a romance made in story heaven.

Also? Finishing-a-Story Sex.

That last one is probably the best.

OWW

Here's where I get in trouble. How does having a sexy lady (well, I might not get in trouble for that part) distract from writing? Let's take it point by point. As my Motivation, she is also irresistable. That can be very distracting to the working writer. I'm trying to get at least 2000 words out a day, but when she's running around being delightful, how can I concentrate on anything but her?

I can hear what you're thinking: "Lame! That's not going to get you into trouble, Dave." Well, just you wait. Because there's also talking about feelings.

" Why love the woman who is your wife? "

Nobody likes to talk about their feelings, but it's even worse for a fast writer: I've got a million characters rolling around my head jabbering about their feelings, and I'm trying to write all those down before they congeal into a sticky mass of bullsh*t and copy-editing. When my sexy lady wants to discuss the state of our relationship, especially when I'm in full "story mode", it can be...disruptive.

And then she's annoyed, and so I'm annoyed, and then I can't write, and my Motivation is angry at me, and we have to solve the problem, and O GOD WHAT WAS I WRITING ABOUT LAST WEEK? So I have to go back and read it all over, and then the story is messed up, and...

Well, that's OK. Good communication makes good relationships.

Another problem is that I write romance, so I've read a lot of romances. That means I'm quick with the romantic language. It's from the heart, but it makes me sound like the star of a romantic comedy, without the rock-hard abs. Nobody goes to a romantic comedy for the dialogue, is what I'm saying, and sometimes she'll call me out: "Is that a story?" IT NEVER IS...but I understand your confusion, my darling.

Also, I feel stupid sitting around drinking beer when I'm engaged.

That last one is probably the worst.

I guess that's not too bad.

" We love what we know, we love what we are. Common cause, common cause, common cause of mouth, eye, ear, tongue, hand, nose, flesh, heart, and soul. "
- Ray Bradbury, Something Wicked This Way Comes (1962)

Thanks for reading!
daB
feel free to comment

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Fast Writing 4H: Happy, Hungry, Horny, exHausted

Hey guys! Read a fancier version of this post over at H2NH ePub now!

Want to know how to write fast the daB way? Just use the four H's! I'll add in the comments I assume you, the readers, are making in italics, to wit:

what a great blog

source
Happy

You need a sexy girlfriend! A stable life! You need to get organized, son. You need to have a great office, free of distractions, preferably with a door!

but dave you already have that

Oh, right. Hmm... Oh! Lose the drama. Everybody who makes you sad is your enemy. DESTROY THEM...or ignore them. Turn off Twitter, dammit! GAHHHHH!

but they are my friends

Your only friends are BOOKS, now: YOUR books, the ones you haven't written yet. They want life, and hope, and they want to sell, and give you their money. You are a BOOK-PIMP, now. Get some prostitutes in the form of manuscripts, and bind them between covers.

your metaphor is tortured

I DO NOT CARE!

Hungry

Stop eating so much! That is to say, until you've written at least 2000 words, you shouldn't even think about food.

what about beer

No! The only thing you may drink while writing is weak tea of your own creation! No alcohol or sugar. That'll just make you crazy. But caffeine! THAT IS WHAT YOU WANT!

but what if I get too jittery from caffeine overdose

Well, that'll help with the next H. (Not really)

Horny

Not celibate, mind. But you know that sexy girlfriend you have? I know you're irresistible to her, and that she, being sexy, is a tempting delicacy, but you write so much faster when you deny yourself the sweet, soft caresses of woman-flesh that are your entire Motivation.

but i like soft sweet caresses

Tough nougat! Nobody said this was going to be easy! You want to rich, famous, stable, and possessed, at a later date, of endless leisure time, right?

yes that is my motivation

Good! So stop caressing until you've written 4000 words!

exHausted

Wake up earlier! You know you can't write after the sun's gone down, and you want to have "human contact" (including, but not limited to, caresses) in the afternoon, so you're going to have to wake up earlier. Procure an alarm clock on your trusty smart phone, and actually wake up!

but i need my beauty sleep

Get an artist to paint a picture of you for the fly-leaf. Nobody wants to see you, you're an "author". Well, you're GOING TO BE. Or are you?

yes

Good. Now, you've woken up, and you've avoided all the pitfalls discussed earlier, and you're sitting in front of your no-Net writing computer, right?

right what do i do now

Procure this program: Kapow! and use it as a time clock. Prove that you're putting at least 20 hours a week into this thing!

what like some sort of job

GET BACK TO WORK! (You may sleep when you have at least 5000 words.)

Thanks for reading!
daB
feel free to comment

Monday, May 14, 2012

Phase 2: Write Fast, Publish Slow

Two long years...

...but it’s over now. I’m back in America! I’ve been exhausted for the last month, recuperating from the airplane ride and twenty-seven months in the jungles of Thailand doing mysterious things that will be related in more detail in my memoirs when they’re declassified (and/or written).
As I said, it’s over now. My idleness is over. My goose is cooked. My ears are perked up, ready to hear the sweet sounds of my Muse amidst the jabbering of my hideous and untalented contemporaries. You know who you are. I’m back in the saddle, is my point, and the horse is writing, and it is riding toward the hay-filled barn of publishing. In this metaphor, hay is money, and why not? Hay is delicious.

The straw that broke my back— to carry the metaphor out of its natural range—is that Not Writing is Boring. This can be demonstrated mathematically and morally, a delightful fusion. Pose A that Easy Is Boring. Pose B that Writing Is Hard. Pose C that Sex is Fun. We will not use that last Position today, but ‘tis of interest, ‘tis it not? Ergo A+B = Writing Is Fun.
Publishing, on the other hand, is rather dull, but I’ve spent two years learning it. I’ve got both some skills and the knowledge of what skills I don’t have, so, without further Preamble, let’s kick it up a notch. Let’s take H2NH ePub into...lightning’n’thunder...Phase 2.

Let’s Write Fast, Publish Slow.

What Has Come Before

“Write Slow, Publish Slow”

At this point, I had already written and burned My First Million Words and was rolling into the Second Better Million. I was confident in my writing, but I had no idea what I was doing when it came to Publishing. I needed Publishing 101: Absolute Beginner’s Guide. Some helpful links from fellow writers Ben Godby and Jeff Ambrose later, and I’d run across Dean Wesley Smith and his incredibly helpful blog. Read it for yourself!

You can follow my baby-steps through the new world of publishing in my blog collection The First 200 Days.


“Write Fast, Publish Fast”

Basic education done, it was time to get dangerous, so I picked up Kristine Kathryn Rusch’s The Freelancer’s Survival Guide and supplemented it with her ongoing series on her blog. It made me rather dangerous, indeed. Professional dangerous. I sat down and wrote (this will become a theme, cats and kittens, in all the professional achievements to follow) and produced. Not enough, but I produced, at a feverish pace, a big pile of short stories.

Science Fantasy Romance Stories 2011
A Future Darkly
To Another Shore
The Language of Ice Cubes
More of the Sun

The key to Phase One was learning how to publish all this sh*t (in its most awesome connotation). The short stories went around the various markets, but after that I wanted to put them up on sale, both singly and in collections. Since I determined that everybody was just making this up as they went along anyways, I decided to go for it, and learn eBook Formatting. With the generous help of Guido Henkel and Paul Salvette, I was able to cobble together an eBook formatting workflow, and, fortunately, I had fifty things to practice on.

The first attempts looked...OK, I guess. But now I’ve fixed them up, and the second electronic editions look great! Speaking of second editions...

The State of H2NH ePub

It finally happened! After long years of travel, toil and trouble, I’ve got a proper website!

H2NHePub.com

If you were reading this post on the new website, you’d be there by now. If not, go there. I’ll be cross-posting for some months, just to keep things going, but eventually I’ll be using the Blogger blog as a massive archive to link to and putting everything here exclusively where I can control it. As is my custom, I’ll make a fancy blog post about setting up a writer’s blog for newbish types like me. Excuse any lameness while I catch my Wordpress bearings. So, pop over to that website and prepare to experience...


“Write Fast, Publish Slow”

Publish Slow
Now that I know what I’m doing, I don’t have to go crazy on the publishing side. Whatever I write will stay written, so I can bring it out slow and sure, and none of this “second electronic edition” foolishness. I want pretty books, indistinguishable from professionally published books...because they are professional published, by a professional. That is to say: Me. I will have published them.

Cover Art
The first thing I want to improve is my cover art. The key to successful self-publishing is not to be self-conscious, and I am self-conscious about my cover art. It’s not technically that bad...most of it. But it’s not professional, it’s make-do. One day I suppose my many ardent collectors will clamor to own the original cover art made with my own two hands, but here and now my cover art annoys me. It’s good enough for eBooks, but what about

Print-On-Demand
I demand print books. eBooks are cool and all, and I think they will become the trade paperbacks of this new world of publishing, and that’s wonderful, and I can read them on my smart phone: But I want a shelf of print books with my name on them. It’s going to happen, and you can follow along as I suck at it.

Write Fast

Twitter
“But it was all right, everything was all right, the struggle was finished. He had won the victory over himself. He loved Twitter.”
I have so much fun on Twitter, but it eats up way too much of my time, which is becoming more and more valuable by the day. I meet so many cool people on Twitter, though...and find so many cool things. I am torn. I am torn. I suppose I could just cut back, right?

Facebook
My Facebook page is super-restricted just to people I have actually met, and even then it takes too much of my time. I seem to use it mostly for being Political and engaging in humor. Oh, and posting pictures of my lady so everybody is jealous of me. Not that they weren’t already. My new theory of Facebook is just put all that sh*t into my writing, and enjoy life. Or, alternatively: Save up all that manic energy for one grand post a day.

Blog
I want this blog to be the only aspect of my Internet life that takes up any time, and thus I am designating Lazy Sunday to be blog day. If I don’t have a new blog post idea, my fancy plan is to go through my posts from my two years archive over at by David Barron [davidalbarron.blogspot.com], choose thirty as my Best Of, and refresh them for this new site. Can’t hurt.

Writing
Having dispensed with the time-wasters, my task is to write 2000 words a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, excluding Leap Day which I hereby designate “Vacation”. I will wake up in the morning, write that, then go about my other business, and in so doing achieve:

Goal
Phase Two
Twenty Books
Define book as “a manuscript of 120,000 words”, so whether that means a full novel, a collection of short novels, a pile of novellas, or a kerbillion short stories...well, whatever. I need twenty of those, and I will have them. That is to say: I will have at least 2,500,000 words in print, posthaste. POSTHASTE, I said!

Thanks for reading!
daB
feel free to comment

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Science Fantasy Romance 10 - Kritarchy


Kritarchy
SF010
Available at
Amazon.com * Amazon.co.uk
Smashwords
Kobo * Sony * Diesel
Barnes & Noble
DriveThruFiction

Collected in
A Future Darkly

Blurb
For much of an Earth without nations, the roaming Judge-Ships of the Kritarchy are the only law, and Judge Lightner is one of the best. But when a vicious marauding fleet sweeps through the Kritarchy, the Judge finds out just how much the law is worth as he is forced to make one of his own.

Memories
before reading
I remember this story as being really, really dark--hence the excellent cover art--the story of a tragic fall from a just society into tyranny in response to outside attacks. Yes, that’s political. Yes, I’m a political scientist. Yes, I was depressed. I also remember that this story got very mixed reviews for content, and that, as a consequence, I avoided reading it. Well, I’ve got to now...

Review
after reading
This story is not just dark, it’s brutal. From the opening to the ending, it does not let up. Violent, tragic, emotional, despairing...nobody wins. I’m reading it, and I’m thinking I was channeling “King Lear” into a very well-constructed (in political science terms) alternate history. But I can definitely see, now that I have an emotional distance from it, where the mixed reviews came from. This is the story you get when a political scientist is pessimistic. This story is not for everyone...is it for you?

Next Week
Science Up Some Love

Thanks for reading!
feel free to comment

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Science Fantasy Romance 9 - Bitsy Pollo Save Us!


Bitsy Pollo Save Us!
SF009
Available at
Amazon.com * Amazon.co.uk
Smashwords
Kobo * Sony * Diesel
Barnes & Noble
DriveThruFiction

Collected in
A Future Darkly

Blurb
In a cow-eat-human world where chickens are slaves to bulls, one middle-class rooster is pulled too fast and pushed too far.

Memories
before reading
I take full responsibility for this one. Creative Voice said “I wanna write a story about an anthropomorphic rooster and human cattle, and it’s going to be serious,” and I was too lazy to argue, so we wrote it. And here it is, for your reading pleasure.

Review
after reading
Surprisingly good, and that’s all I have to say. If anybody asks “What’s Science Fantasy Romance?” you can point at this story and they’ll know. I really like some of the descriptions in this story, and Bitsy Pollo’s hen-pecked home life feels ‘real.’ I regret nothing!

Next Week
Kritarchy 

Thanks for reading!
feel free to comment
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