NaNoWriMo nears – but first…

Hello Everyone!

My wife and I spent this past week discovering Budapest. It is a wonderful city full of architectural splendors, magnificent forged works and shops galore. I found it to be larger than I expected, I don’t know why, just expected it to be smaller. It was much warmer than the 50s and 60s (10-16 Centigrade) we expected, but we had not a cloud in the sky with a breeze to enjoy by the river.

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At the Citadel looking toward Pest

We stayed in a wonderful apartment that had a stunning forged handrail up all the flights of stairs. Our location provided us the option of walking, taking a trolley or subway. We found most everything within walking distance. They have two wonderful antique markets and we opted to go to the biggest one so we fired up the jalopy and off we went. We found some of the prices very high, but were able to find a few gems to bring home.

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Academy of Science – from Danube

Of course we took in the Buda Castle which looks very much like a fairytale castle on the one side with its towers and stairways. At the citadel they have their version of Lady Liberty overlooking all of Budapest near the famous Chain Bridge. It is a lovely sight with the morning fog lifting off the Danube River.

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Looking across the Danube

Budapest certainly stimulated ideas in my head for scenes and stories yet to come. I took many notes and several photos to remind of them in the future. There is still much to discover of Budapest and hopefully I will return soon. It has much to offer to visitors and residents (I think) to be inspired by.

On the return trip to Albania we stopped off at Sibenik, Croatia a town we had stopped outside of several times, but never visited. Old town is a wonderful medieval town with alleys, archways, windows and ironwork galore. It too will provide inspiration for scenes and stories for years to come. 

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Sibenik sunset

National Novel Writing Month is only nine days away now and I will put everything on hold to produce a 50K word first draft in 30 days. It will prove to be an interesting challenge for sure. First drafts are those scribbles full of grammatical errors and poorly thought out verbiage. It is a grand challenge and I hope to see where it leads my protagonist and antagonist. Remember I am what they call a Planster; part Planner and part Panster (wait to see where the story goes). The working title is Deep Kayak, of course it will be changed and the story may change too!

 

Thanks for stopping by,

See ya at the Forge!

Vince

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Didn’t I just do this?

Hi Everyone!

    I sent Derrick’s Deaths to my beta reader to ensure my storyline doesn’t have any holes or major flaws. It seems like just last month I was doing the same thing to Rozafa’s Secrets. I have the same apprehensions now that I did then. Time flies while you’re having a good time.

    We had our first snow in the mountains last night. The temperature here in Shkoder has dropped off to the point that long pants need to be worn every night now. My Hawaiian shirts are stored for the winter. If it gets cold like they predict my kayaking days are numbered until the spring. I am sure I will find a day or two a month to get on the water. I need some time to repaint the Brazilian’s bottom as it is all scratched up from running up on the rocky shores, especially this year as the water levels dropped so low in the lake.

    I hope to have Derrick’s Deaths back by the end of this month. Naturally I expect there to be snarky remarks and witty criticisms, that is what I asked for, what a masochist. Of course this happens just in time for me to start the National Novel Writing Month challenge. That’s where you write first draft consisting of 50K plus words. Last year I didn’t feel comfortable breaking my concentration of working on Rozafa’s Secrets, but this year because of Scrivener and it keeping all my plots and research organized I felt I could take the plunge and give it a try.

    I have a rough outline, putting some character basics together to start with and will do the rest while I am writing it. They call this a Planster – part Planer (obvious) and part Panster (flying by the seat of your pants). It is going to be a bit of a change for me so it will be interesting to see how it comes out. One of my main characters is a woman so capturing her personality correctly will be tough. Lucky for me it is only a first draft so I will have plenty of time in the 2nd draft to adjust her voice.

Thanks for stopping by!

See ya at the Forge!

Vince

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Branding Master Dies

Hello Everyone,

   I am sure you heard Hugh Hefner passed away last night Sept 27, 2017 at the age of 91. For some he is “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.” However you feel about him and his business empire should be put aside for a moment and look at how he was able to captivate and maintain an interest in his products and himself since December 1953 that is 64 years. He is Playboy.

   Now, I have to admit that his product did a lot of the selling itself, sex is always been easy to sell, but there was a lot more going on at Playboy than just the photo shoots. The magazine did interview many famous people. Hefner never stepped over the line to become seedy like so many other magazines; he remained tasteful and had something of interest besides just the centerfold. Others tried to emulate his platform and they all paled in comparison. So what did he do so well?

1- He understood his target market.  He combined markets by having something of value to different personalities and markets. Enter the intellectual voyeur (my term), after all he was charging 50 cents so the person buying his magazine in 1953 had to have some means to afford it.

2- He took a risk; he put his money to work for him in a non-traditional manner. That happens more and more today, but that first step eludes so many, the fear of the unknown.

3- Didn’t become locked into any one process or method if it wasn’t getting him where he wanted to go. He interviewed everyone of note: authors, politicians, performers, etc. He was a journalist and editor, who found time to read and write, between party times. He was a good businessman, so much of his posturing while real, was also packaging to make his goal of making money to support living the life he dreamed of.

  There is a common thread in his thinking, be different, find a niche, understand the niche, leave the niche if it doesn’t work. Yes, I am paraphrasing using my personal filters, you can too, but that is what I am hearing.

   In the coming week or weeks you will be hearing more and more about the mastery of his business acumen, but I think for us authors, artists and writers even if we can do just these three things we will have done a lot towards attaining our goals.

   Remember failure in any aspect is merely a step towards success.

Thanks for stopping by!

Vince

 

Front Cover - Rozafa

 

 

NaNoWriMo

Hi Everyone!

   NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month – It is a not for profit organization that promotes writing a book in the month of November, 30 days and at least a 50,000 word manuscript. I decided today to participate. What in the world was I thinking? I mean that is a lot of writing. As the saying goes in for a dime, in for a dollar. I will do my best and hopefully not embarrass myself in the process. If I do it won’t be the first time so I have that working for me. 🙂

At 1700 words a day this will put my writing skills through their paces. It should be an interesting month. I will keep you posted, but they will be short because I have a schedule to keep to. 🙂

If your interested learning more about NaNoWriMo here is the link:

NaNoWriMo Organization

I won’t be slacking off on Derrick’s Deaths it will be published in Spring of 2018 as promised. I am making good progress on it. I hope to have in the hands of a Beta Reader by the end of the month.

Here is a line from Chapter 14: “Tasing the young girl he pushes her into the back seat, he is so fast he is sitting in the front seat threatening the mother before she is able to even form a scream.”

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Thanks for stopping by, 

See ya at the Forge!!!

Vince

Current work – Derrick’s Deaths

   My current work due out Spring of 2018, finally has a working name. I know what was the hold up. This story has undergone two complete re-works and even now the backstory is on its second version. So much for the outline; it has become my normal process for writing, half punster and half outliner, it seems to be working for me.

Here are Derrick’s Deaths (working title) opening paragraphs:

   “No please, I have a wife and kids to support, please I will pay, I promise in a week, all of it.”
   It’s always the same kind of story, my wife, my kids, my business, I’ll pay, blah, blah, blah. I give them all the same speech, even if they are repeat customers.
   “Look me in the eyes while I am talking,” Jesse pushes his head up using a police expandable baton. “I want to be absolutely sure that you understand what I am saying to you.” He is nodding his head as best he can with the baton digging into the soft palette of his jaw. “You are asking to borrow money again. You are asking me to go against my boss in favor of you? Nodding and choking out a yes. “Understand failing to repay the money you will incur a severe repercussion up to and including death instead of the beating you will receive right now. Nod so I know you heard me.” Nodding fervently, winching in pain at each down stroke. “You must pay  this in full in order not to suffer the most severe repercussions. Today you must pay the vig on the current debt before I can roll it over. You have that right?”
    I know he does we already took it from him, I will play with him and make him even more grateful by letting him use the money we already confiscated to pay his vig. It is good to know how to manipulate people in such circumstances.

Remember my other books are available on the Menu.

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See ya at the Forge!

Vince

Questions ask here:

1st Draft Finished –

I finished the draft completely on finished and will rest for at least two weeks now.  This worked out perfectly as I am making a garden gate for the yard and it will take just about two weeks. With the temperatures hovering in the high 90’s, reaching 100 and above some days I am only working on the gate for a few hours a day.  My wife isn’t demanding it be erected instantly so I will take my time and work around the heat.

Victor (working title) is off and running, he was the antagonist in Rozafa’s Castle and he has spent the last three years rebuilding a life, plotting a new path to his quest and setting out a trap for all four of the makers of Michael’s Spear.  Wanted by the Germans and Albanians he has hidden out right under their noses all this time.  He doesn’t know others are looking for him, he has a debt to pay and it can only be paid for in blood.

Hope your summer is full of adventure with some time relaxing under the sun,  in the shade of an old tree, or wherever you prefer to forget the world and take an adventure with a book.

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See you at the Forge!

Vince

 

1st Draft – nearly finished

My protagonist Derrick has a revelation after a major falling out with his boss. He spends seven years healing himself spiritually only to find himself drawn back into the seedier side of life, this time he is making amends for his own past deeds. What is the cost of his redemption? Will he survive it, does he want to?

   Derrick is as convoluted as he is desperate. His outward face is upbeat and calm, but internally he is distraught and full of doubt.  Right now, Derrick’s survival is still up in the air. The bottle is spinning where it will land nobody knows.

   My first draft will be done by the end of the month and then it will take a rest for two weeks to let its juices ferment.

All my books are available at my website and most other book outlets.
Thanks for stopping by!

Five Books Poster

See ya at the Forge!!!

Vince

 

Rozafa’s Secrets

Rozafa’s Secrets now available at:

https://www.createspace.com/6837419

 

Hot off the virtual presses, completed editing it and the paperback is now published. Always a great feeling when the project is over and finalized. It will be available at Amazon.com and Amazon – Europe in 3-5 business days.

Front Cover - Rozafa

    American Blacksmith John Reid is excited about participating in the first Annual Rozafa Castle Craftsmen Festival in Shkoder, Albania.  While in route an Inspector Buchari of Interpol Albania requests his assistance in combating his country’s international criminals.  John’s strong sense of justice will not allow him to turn his back. He agrees and confirms criminal involvement with the event.

   Unknown to John, Rozafa Castle has secrets of its own. Secrets capable of toppling corrupt members of the Albanian Parliament from their pedestals of power. When he is discovered by his host Victor Glasser and unable to escape he fears becoming yet another skeleton lost in the bowels of the ancient castle. His only hope lies with his Albanian friend Tony and Victor’s kept woman Donika.

Please leave a review somewhere either at the site you purchased it or here on my page in the comments section.

Vince

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CreateSpace – A great service

Here’s one of the reasons I like CreateSpace for publishing. I had a delivery problem with my Rozafa’s Secrets proofs. I sent an email they responded and asked me to wait another day. I did, still no delivery. The Customer Service Rep responds that they have sent another order with an expected delivery date of 5-31 and they show up on 5-26. No muss, no fuss. The best part is this is the first time I have ever had this kind of problem since I started publishing with them in 2010. They also are great to work with to resolve formatting problems and everything else. Customer Service and a quality product at the end of the process. Now I have to get to looking for those typing mistakes I missed. The print version for me is so much easier to spot them then on the digital version. Rozafa’s Secrets will be released soon.