SOME THINGS JUST DON’T WORK RIGHT.

No matter how hard you try some things just don’t work right. DEATH BY BASEBALL is a prime example of that. As I was finishing this book, many word changes needed to be made so this dummy used FIND AND REPLACE. Caution – DON’T EVER DO THAT. I replaced UMP with ARBITRATOR. Do you know what an scrarbitratortious is? That’s what you get when you replace ump with arbitrator in the word scrumptious. How about parbitratoring. Try pumping. I’m sure you get the drift.

Then there is a quirk in WORD that doesn’t save a file in all one file. When you look at the listing for your saved file you will find not only the main file DEATH BY BASEBALL.docx or doc, and WRL under ~s files. Now any reasonable person would assume those were temporary files that didn’t apply much to the work at hand in the main file. BUT, never delete those. If you do the worms fight their way to the top and your docx file will no longer be what you imagined it would be.

Not being a professional programmer or a WORD guru, I am not sure how those files relate to the docx or doc file, BUT they will destroy all your refining of the main file if you delete them.

Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their country. VOTE.

Now go write or something productive.

dougTempe Crimson Rims

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HORSE MANURE

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Have you ever sat before your writing station and said, “What am I doing here?” That’s where I am today.

I’d really rather be fishing or sailing. But, there isn’t much sailing in Arizona. Went fishing three times already this year and still have fish in the freezer.

Here I am 73 years old and healthy, writing westerns when I don’t own a horse any more, talking of wild adventure, and bored to tears on many days. All of this outlines the symptoms. I need the woods. So, next Sunday after Church I will head north and west, actually west first and then north, to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon area to a little town called Jacob Lake. There is will park my butt in a campsite and spend three or four days hiking the Arizona Trail. When that 30 miles or so is completed I will have all my mental files in the right box, my body sufficiently tired to slow me down, and the Arizona Trail complete from US 60 at Superior all the way north to Utah (500+ miles). Then there is the challenge of the 280 miles remaining in the south of Arizona where trailheads are far and few between, water is scarce, and the heat will kill ya. Oh, well, it’s all an adventure.

But, for today, I will write on my #2 DEACON book, wait for my wife to finish here approval perusal of DEATH BY BASEBALL (can’t publish without her approval), and contemplate my naval (as a sailor that’s an easy thing to do).

Be Blessed and go write, quit reading this trash.

Doug

THIS IS JUST TOO MUCH FUN

As I said previously, the files for DEATH BY BASEBALL got switcharooed somehow and I went back to the rough draft stage. Well, I am sick of this book.

Do you ever get that way, sick of the book you put many hours and days into? I do. I get sick of every single book I write. Long about in the middle of the book I think it’s trash and it’s time to trash the whole thing. Right after I write the closing scene and step back, I say how trite it is. Time to junk it. The thing sits in my computer’s memory for at least a month before I can look at it again. By that time, I get to reading and sit back in awe at the manuscript I produced. It surely is not a Hemingway, but then I don’t like Hemingway – except for OLD MAN AND THE SEA.

Now my Beta readers are putting their hearts into the manuscript again. I am on my fourth read in two weeks. The story is dumb. The cover sucks. The ending is too obvious. The middle is boring.

So, yesterday I got down one of my favorite books full of short stories. I have just read this book a dozen times and once was three weeks ago. Guess what? The stories were dumb. The cover sucks. The endings are to obvious. The middle of these short stories are boring.

Back to DEATH BY BASEBALL.

Go write.

Doug

Free Stuff

As most of you know, I wrote my Nanowrimo book, THE DEACON working title, on this blog and the one at my website www.dougball.com. It was great fun and I was blessed with many choice and wonderful ideas for corrections and plot. One suggestion even led me to the twist at the end. In thanks to all of you and any others that would like to see some of my work, if you sign up for my monthly newsletter I will send you, absolutely free, one of my short stories, THE BURT BOBB INQUEST.

Sign up with this link  SIGN ME UP, DOUG.

The story will go out in that newsletter on Friday, 5 February 2016.

In other news,

  1. I have not yet conquered website design using WordPress, but I am able to do much that I wanted to do to make for a better site.
  2. Two new books will be posted in the next few days.
  3. DEACON will get a release date in the next couple of weeks.
  4. DEATH BY BASEBALL is in its final stages. My co-author will be proofing my writing in a few weeks after the Alpha readers get through with it.
  5. If you would like to be a beta reader for any of my books, let me know.
  6. I am also looking for one more Alpha reader that likes to read westerns and/or adventure books.

As always, keep writing. Be Blessed.

I can be reached at writingsailor@gmail.com

TRIUMPH

Today, a major WIN. I have actually gotten into my website and made a beginning on updating it. Take a look and let me know what you think. http://www.dougball.com.

Are you struggling to finish a work in progress? Does the ending baffle the living daylights out of you? Yup, me, too.

The only way to finish is butt in chair and work those fingers for the time it takes to add one word, then two, and away we go. Maybe time is the problem. A small device with keyboard or voice-to-text or a backpack full of laptop going with you everywhere could be the answer. Every time you get stuck in traffic, a service line, a doctor’s office waiting room, at the curb waiting for the kids, sitting in a chair while you child does their dance class, and on and on. You get the idea. WRITE, don’t just vegetate.

FOUR WAYS TO FINISH YOU WORK IN PROGRESS.

  1. Follow the above. Butt in seat and write.
  2. Challenge yourself each morning, in writing, to add a certain number of words.
  3. Read a favorite author for ten minutes before you try to write, tell yourself, “I can do as well as he/she does,” and do it.
  4. Bribe yourself. “I will get 500 words down and then I will get a Coke, or Chocolate, or a ten minute walk with the dog, whatever floats your boat as a favorite reward

Whatever you do, go write or write as you go. I would love to get my wife writing. She could write while I drive and it would distract her from the right seat driving she does.

Be Blessed.

A PANTSER GOES PLANNER

They tell me there are two kinds of writers.

The first is the PLANNER. The PLANNER sits and thinks, writing down an outline of varying level of detail, and then writes the document. The PANTSER, on the other hand, just sits down and writes with a varying number of ideas in his/her head concerning the document.

I was a PANTSER, hardcore. Of my 10 fiction books, all where pantsed. I sat with a varying level of ideas and let my muse take control. My muse has been getting lazy. The last three tries at novels have ended up dead ended at the 20-30,000 word stage. My 10th novel, SAILOR, I published at the 30,000 word length and still think its a better book because of that.

Now I have three, 3, books in progress and all are trying to end way to soon.

So, I am going to try being a PLANNER. I will sit and world build, deepen my characters with all kinds of emotional and physical stressers, and drag it through the mud of the thesaurus until I come up with an outline.

Can that really be a way to write a book? I fight myself on this choice. It just isn’t natural, for me at least.

All I really want to know is which type pays best in personal satisfaction. If I were in this for the money, I’d be a joke.

Pray for me,

Now go write

HOME AGAIN IN MY OWN BEDDY-BYE

After two vacations, eat your heart out, and close to 3500 miles of travel, we are finally home in our own bed. Not that any of the others were so bad, but there truly is no bed like home.

I have many memories, pictures, books, literature pamphlets, and just plain stuff from our many stops and excursions. Each of them has been read and notes taken. The job now is to organize them and the notes some way that will help me recall them when I need them in a story. One of my current WIPs covers the Civil War period, now there are many items and notes on battlefields and locations in the NW Arkansas and SW Missouri areas where the story takes place. Went to Wilson’s Creek battlefield where the south won control of SW Missouri and then a month or two later just walked away from Springfield and SW Missouri. Got a good feel for the land and the situation. Bought a few books and booklets written for the Centennial anniversary of the Civil War.

Actions like this on the author’s part adds much when even the slightest mention to known battles, people, places, and things are added to the story. It makes the story live. These known factors of the story make the whole story seem more real to the reader and help hold their attention as you weave the story in, around, and through them.

Home now, I just pulled some pics my Mother had taken in the 50’s of Vicksburg. Will add these black and white memories to the file for this WIP.

How do you use your experiences, memories, and accumulated materials in your writing?

Now go write!