06

04/22

Busy

2:54 pm by L. Jacob. Filed under: Uncategorized

I have no excuse for February, other than putting together the podcast “Small Publishing in a Big Universe”.

March, though, I helped out my publisher who put out a submissions call for the Dragon Gems program of short stories. So many people replied (175 or so) that he needed help weeding out the good stuff from the chaff.

At first, I concentrated on the “art” of the story. Did the author tell a good story? Eventually, though, I got irritated by all the different version of “formatting” that people did. Not Comic Sans, but some were pretty dang close (single-spaced, 10 point, .rtf default). We put on our website exactly what submission guidelines were. Oh, and by the way, Scrivener can automatically do that for you in Compile. So with the second batch and from then on, the author got a letter grade taken off for bad formatting.

Some people’s writing was truly atrocious. I finally understood the whole “you tell, not show” error in a manuscript. Then I read some stuff that blew my mind and I wanted to pass it along right away to the judges with a screaming neon post-it saying “THIS ONE!”

That took me all the way through March, between reading and replying to people. Just over 50 of the 175 are in the judging phase. They went past me because either they’re great, or I was on the fence on it. Like horror and hard sci-fi ain’t my thing, but as long as the author didn’t mess up the formatting, the spelling and word choices were good, and the story kept my attention without me scrolling through, then it moved onto judging. Some of them brought a different dimension to magic that made me stop and think.

Basically, I loved being a gatekeeper (ahem, “curator”). I’d do it again in a second.

Meanwhile, what else is going on, you might wonder? Have I written anything? Not in the last two months. I attended a webinar that was “write to market” and found out that the hottest sellers are in the Romance category. Romance-anything. So I was thinking of pulling Max out of retirement and do another Brothers of the Zodiac series–this time, much longer, taking place during world history instead of American history, and explore the world a little more. Bring in the Sumerian gods? Explain what it means to be immortal in Ishtar’s service? Explore the sign itself a little more. What really happens to the immortal if he falls in love with someone?

For a fleeting fifteen seconds, I thought of a typical heterosexual romance. Then I decided I can’t do that. I know the heroines are supposed to be kickass these days, but I still like the difficulties (challenges – drink!) that M/M romance has with it.

Brothers of the Zodiac, the Next Generation. I’m starting with Aries. I’m giving myself until June 1 to get it done.

24

11/21

Epic Fail

7:19 pm by L. Jacob. Filed under: Uncategorized

I started off with good intentions. Then, on November 7, I went into the hospital with a heart attack.

Three days in the hospital’s Cardiac Care Unit and three days of recovery afterward destroyed the possibility of me catching up to NaNoWriMo. I had to get the Small Publishing, Big Universe podcast done, listen to my audiobook to get it done by December 11. Found myself distracted by news of the day and trying to read books to finish my Goodreads challenge.

So I got the “winner’s” t-shirt, without winning. Sad on my part.

17

10/21

Waiting

7:49 pm by L. Jacob. Filed under: Uncategorized

I’m waiting for the gunshot on October 31 at midnight so I can start writing. I have the characters ready to go: the casting is done, the playlist exists…now everyone’s milling around waiting for the settings, the scenes, to speak the dialogue and do the actions.

I have the beginning and the end, but the middle, not so much.

In December, on Small Publishing In a Big Universe, I am going to be interviewed for my new book Carnival Farm. Well, it’s been recorded and it just needs to be edited. Also Carnival Farm’s audio book might be out in December. And also on December 11, I will be at the author expo in Pawtuxet/Cranston, RI. It’s a dialysis day, so I’m probably going to be a wreck. I have to find a dress I can wear.

Speaking of dresses, I went through my clothes and donated the ones that don’t fit anymore, or that I’ve had for “work” and haven’t worn for the last three years. I discovered some clothes that were my favorites, but I was ruthless and tossed them in the bag to go to the Goodwill. I brought them down before I could change my mind.

I will have a special NaNoWriMo website set up which will have my work. I could, if I wanted to, submit this to The Storyteller’s Vault which allows fan-fiction of Vampire, Werewolf, and any of the other RPG’s. You need to pay for the license to get paid, though.

I’ll stick to offering it for free, raw and unedited, all 50,000 words or so. Trust me, it’ll be bad.

22

08/21

CBD, medical issues, and Afghanistan

2:57 pm by L. Jacob. Filed under: Uncategorized

Three top things in my life right now. I have arthritis in my left thumb. It hurts when I move the thumb toward the palm, or I extend it to pick up something wide (oh, like Tarot cards????). A friend of mine suggested I try CBD. She’s an Earth Mother type of person, totally organic, wears Crocs, and recycles EVERYTHING. So yeah, marijuana is good for you! It’s natural.

I went with her to the local CBD store. No, I don’t smoke or vape it. I bought a balm to rub on my thumb and the muscles of the thumb. Nothing. Nada.

At the same time, I ordered a CBD cream for joint pain. Tried that. Nothing. Nada.

Then I used both at the same time. That works, for a short time. I think I’ll go back to Tylenol.

My dry weight (that is, my weight when I leave dialysis) has increased because I’m back to eating 3 relatively small meals a day. After a year of the shakes, it was just too much. I couldn’t stand them. I have a case of them left. Maybe after a few months of eating food, I’ll go back to them.

Afghanistan. I wrote about Afghanistan in my first published book, and in my hopefully eventually to be released Director’s Cut of War Mage. I knew the Taliban were going to take over. They have a culture that wants them to die. It’s a holy thing if they die. Like the Norse and Greeks, warriors go right to heaven. The Afghan National Army didn’t have that culture. That’s why they gave up and ran.

Presently, it’s an odd way to think, to have such deep faith. The ANA (aka, the West) forgot faith. The West needs a faith, something that will bring us together and make us fight. We had a reason to fight until we got our revenge for 9/11, and then we tried “Nation Building” with a culture that’s full of tribes and ancient tradition. Soldiers are not social workers. They’re warriors. Whole different skill set.

In War Mage, Brent is turned into a social worker, and the book is about how he spectacularly….fails? Succeeds? You decide.

18

01/21

Door shuts; window opens

3:56 pm by L. Jacob. Filed under: Uncategorized

What’s new? I’m out of work right now, collecting until I get on permanent disability, which should be in July or August.

I am writing again. With the stress of work off my back, the muse has woken up. I’m rewriting an old story I did many years back, based on my time working one summer for a traveling carnival. This is a novel named Carnival Farm and is mostly mainstream fiction right now because I don’t know the end. There is no magic involved, a little bit of LBGT, and a lot of memoir.

21

12/20

A precious gift–from you! And it’s free!

3:49 pm by L. Jacob. Filed under: Uncategorized

What is the best gift you can give an author?

A review! Even if it’s just a starred review. You don’t have to write anything. This helps increase exposure on Amazon and may possibly get me that film deal I’ve been holding out for.

Now, tell me, wouldn’t you like to see Mike and Scott together on the big or medium screen? Or to see magic and war together – bigger and better than the Lord of the Rings?

Yes, all you need to do is follow these links, and just do a review. You may have to sign in to do it, but it will really help.

I already know who’s playing Scott (his creator told me), but Mike…hm…can we have a blond Russell Crowe?

Grimaulkin
Grimaulkin Tempted
Grimaulkin Redeemed
Grimaulkin Tales

Homecoming
War Mage

Brothers of the Zodiac:
Air
Earth
Fire
Water

Real Magic for Writers

Thank you in advance!

04

10/20

The Waiting is the hardest part

4:40 pm by L. Jacob. Filed under: Uncategorized

I have wasted so much time waiting. Waiting for people. Waiting for doctors. Waiting for medical procedures.

Waiting, waiting, waiting.

Usually I read books or listen to podcasts, or I used to write while waiting. This is the kind of of waiting where you could be interrupted at any time, so your mind is half-expecting to be interrupted. So you can’t “get into” anything. I’m so sick and tired of waiting. Waiting for the muse. Waiting for certain people to do things with or for me.

If there’s such a thing as “active waiting”, that is, doing the things I really want to do while waiting until people get their act together. I will carry the book with me everywhere I go (at least in my phone) and read while I wait. No more staring out into space, waiting. Planning my next novel. Planning my next read. Rehashing what’s in my cards for the day. Yep, no more pointless waiting on people or things.

05

09/20

Stress? Where?

2:58 pm by L. Jacob. Filed under: Uncategorized

Been a while. I don’t know if it’s because I’m busy or preoccupied.

My OCD has reared its ugly head again. Instead of a movie playing in my head, I have a constant soundtrack. It wouldn’t be too bad if it wasn’t so loud and distracting. I mean, who doesn’t want their playlist in their head? It’s also not the whole song, but sometimes the first verse and chorus, sometimes just the chorus, sometimes a line that plays over and over. The only thing that alleviates it is listening to music I already know well, reading, or talking. Work is mindless and it’s really loud then. Whenever I’m alone, it’s overwhelming.

The Shrink says that I’m under stress. What stress? Work, money, dialysis, lose weight, watch my diet and fluids, Covid, kid has no job…Stress? Where?

The Shrink also said is I should get back into writing (who’da thunk). Start small. Scenes here and there. Don’t write for publication, but for my own enjoyment. If a story comes out of it, all the better, but don’t aim for it because even that causes me stress. Just write. It doesn’t have to have a point or be something profound. I don’t need a story to write. I just need characters and a set. Sometimes a story unfolds itself, sometimes nothing happens. Sometimes it ends up as a part of a story, sometimes it ends up in my “CRAP” box.

I need to go back to when I was a kid and just sat and wrote. The story would show up on its own. I wrote to stop the boredom. To get out of my life. I wrote Mary Sues, fan fiction for The Dukes of Hazzard, Star Trek: The Next Generation, and fan fiction for historical events. The American Civil War was a big one. Looking back, I can see that my OCD existed even in my teenage years, because I collected everything I could find on the Civil War, the Confederate side. Because I’m a Northerner, finding Confederate stuff in the early ’80’s was difficult if not impossible because of the lack of something called The Internet–you kids don’t know how good you got it. It was also then that I wouldn’t tell people my interests. What does a girl whose family is immigrants want with a biography of General Mosby? You’re nuts, kid.

So it’s back to the old days. I saw The Umbrella Academy, both seasons. I’m not into any of the characters, but I liked the world, the music, and the action sequences. The characters were so dysfunctional that I wanted to slap them. But good story.

I started watching Supernatural. There’s a whole fan-fiction base with that, I’m sure.

19

07/20

Can’t catch a break

6:52 pm by L. Jacob. Filed under: Uncategorized

Seems the body is going right downhill. My newest complaint (or symptom) is my left hand, the arm with the dialysis graft, is numb and has no strength. Now, I usually mouse with my left hand, but it’s getting so I can’t grip the mouse anymore. At bedtime, it’s the worst. I wear a brace at night. It keeps me from waking up in the middle of the night in agony because of the numbness, but it still hurts in the morning. Dialysis thinks it’s a pinched nerve, so I’m going to an orthopedic doc on Tuesday to see if they can send me for some tests.

Typing is a bugger, really. Even with an ergonomic keyboard. I can’t write, I can’t game, and I can’t sleep. The only thing I can do is read.

You can take a look (or be friends with me) on Goodreads under
https://www.goodreads.com/warwriter1939

I’ve sold stuff on ebay (warwriter1939) and made a good amount. I have one and a half shelves left and six months on my PO Box. (If you want to send me anything, it’s L.A. Jacob, PO Box 24, Lincoln, RI 02865.) A person at dialysis wants me to sell her stuff. Mostly clothes, but I told her that clothes, unless they’re brand names, don’t sell. We’ll see what happens.

03

07/20

Gaming, thinking, selling

3:35 pm by L. Jacob. Filed under: Uncategorized

Writing the newest story isn’t quite working out. I answered one of the main burning questions in chapter 3 and fell out of interest.

I’ve been concentrating on the game a lot, developing characters there. None have really stuck with me, though. None like Grim had. Well, Bomber V 2.0 is an interesting build and very good solo-able. I changed Grim from a dark/fire sentinel to a a fire/kin controller and that’s a LOT of fun to play. However, I have so many alternate characters (alts) that I can’t seem to stop making. Most of them are not role-playing characters.

I’ve also gone into my old books and decided to sell them. These were books I collected for a novel I wrote, and I really obsessed about them and went overboard. I decided that when I leave the bonds of this Earth, that no one will know what to do with these books. So I’ll make the money for them now. They’re located on eBay under warwriter1939. I think I’ll be selling them for the next couple of months.

Next is the podcast.

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