May Update

Sheesh, is this month almost over already?

I’m well overdue for a blog post.

I started a new job with a new company. It’s going very well, I’m really enjoying it so far. It’s been stressful and by the time I get home, my brain feels pretty fried from trying to absorb so much new knowledge. Not going to lie, it’s really killing my writing productivity. But there is still progress happening, as you’ll see below.

Our new dog swallowed an entire glove. Yes, a glove. She’s like a hungry hippo for socks and apparently that includes small cloth kid gloves as well. Which lead to a thousand dollar vet trip to have her stomach and intestines cut open and the glove removed. Then she was forced to wear a cone for a week and eat rice/boiled chicken the entire time. Her habitual ‘hungry hippoing’ is so bad, that we were told by the Vet to get a basket muzzle for her until we can train her out of it. But we are thrilled she’s still alive.

The sequel… so… I changed the title. I had this bright idea a long time ago to go with the directional book titles, “West of Prehistoric”, “East of Prehistoric”, and the third book I’m working on now was going to be “North of Prehistoric”… but after getting the cover back and thinking about it – I decided it would creatively box me in and I didn’t think the directional ‘directions’ of the books were obvious enough. Basically, I had a plan, but I didn’t think anyone would understand the naming except myself. So, after conferring with the publisher, we renamed the book ‘Enter Prehistoric’, which makes much more sense.

Also, I’ve got the sequel back from the editor with changes. I took yesterday off for some appointments and managed to get about 60% of the way through. This step basically involves me reading the entire book, sentence by sentence, looking at errors the editor may have found, or anything that simply bothers me and needs fixing. It’s pretty much my last chance to make any changes before it gets formatted/printed. I’m anxious to get this sucker turned around and in people’s hands. It’s awesome. You’re gonna love it.

Lastly, I dug my ’01 Jeep Wrangler TJ out of the garage. I’ve had this Jeep since 2005 and for many years it was my money put. (When I had any spare money that is.) Then I got married, got a family, got a career, etc and basically money and time was always in short supply. Now, it’s simply time that’s in VERY short supply. To show you how much of a back burner this Jeep has been on, I bought a new $650 set of catalytic convertors over a year ago to have installed. Then I bought a set of Savvy Offroad aluminum rocker guards(very sexy)… they also have yet to be installed. In the last four years, I’ve probably put 15 miles on it. That includes moving it from the old house to the new house. BUT, the work begins on Monday. I’m having the converters installed and the inspection(always fingers crossed when it comes to that). After that, it’s time to pay the devil their dues, and by that I mean a couple years of back taxes on it, then I’m going to start driving it again. But, alas, this is not a Jeep blog, and this paragraph has gone on for far too long.

So, summed up.

Book Two almost in print. Expect by July.

Book #3 is coming along nicely.

The first book took me two years to write, the second took me a year, and I’m hoping to pound out the third in six months.

That means I’ve got to really get on the ball. I think I can do it. And a book in six months is pretty professional. Heck, it’s probably way better than professional. But I’ve got to put out QUALITY writing. I don’t want to be a Nora Roberts equivalent who spits out a romance novel every three months. (Not that I plan on writing romance, unless the market REALLY takes a turn for the worse and I get desperate!)

All this means is that the first book really needs to sell well so Severed Press will demand an immediate sequel that is already written. Or else my stories will end with a quick and premature death. And I’ve a LOT more to write about in this world I’ve created.

So if I’ve sent you the first manuscript, and you liked it, buy a copy when it comes out. Then buy several more for your friends and family. Drive up the sales. Make it look popular. Heck, MAKE it popular!

But it’s been great to go back to the ‘early days’ of writing a book. Where the pages are blank and I’m just beating that keyboard like it owes me money. It’s the editing process that is SO tedious and time consuming… the rough drafting process is what I really love.

Because writing is problem solving. You’ve a million little issues that have to mesh together, not just the over arching story line and plot – which certainly has to go together, but figuring out each individual character’s subplot as well. (Because they all have a purpose, a reason for being and doing what they do, and that has to be explored and expounded upon.) It’s like a giant 2,000,000 piece puzzle that you get to cut the pieces to size and put them together how you see fit.

It’s just fun. Most of the time.

Also I just wrote an awesome intro scene that really drives home who my main character is and the lengths he is willing to go to do what he feels is right regardless of what the law says. And that’s Jedidiah Huckleberry Smith in a nutshell – Dark, quirky humor, with a morally ambiguous code of ethics, and the willingness to resort to gun play at  moment’s notice.

🙂

As for an update on when West of Prehistoric will come out – I don’t know anything yet. But the contract has been signed and I’m eager to start the publishing process.

As for a personal update.

I’m a Jeep guy, I’ve a built 2001 Jeep Wrangler that I’ve had since 2005 and will continue to have until the day my kids inherit it. I also bought another 2001 Cherokee XJ recently for a daily driver. (Sure, I could have something nicer like a Jeep Gladiator Truck… But debt is stupid.)

And because I can’t help but tinker sometimes, I removed the fender flares, cut the fender wells larger, and installed some armor on the back end to protect the tail lights. Sure, it’s just a daily driver, but it was built by a guy from NC4X4.com forum with upgraded suspension, axle shafts, lockers, etc and it’d be a shame to not take the kiddos out in something more comfortable than my TOY Wrangler.

Here’s the after/before pictures.

img_20200524_151301_9703934628505357884967.jpg

Turned out pretty well. I’ve still got a few rivnuts to fix on the body armor. (Rivnuts are the suckith.) And I managed to only cut myself once working the angle grinder when I cut the wheel wells open. 🙂 Now the wife says I need some rocker guard armor on it, and I agree. So that’s in the future.

And this, ladies and gentlemen, is how a daily driver gradually turns into an offroading toy!