Langren Bay, the smallest county in New York, has two faces. Lan’s Point, summer playground of Upper Middle class and the local residents of Gresly Portage. Founded 250 years ago, Gresly survived a massive blizzard in 1770. The survivors and their descendants were never the same. Chance Osterwock ran away 2 years after his mother died at the age of 12, and never looked back, until fate returned him 43 years later. It is everything he didn’t want to remember and more. His return is seen by his Aunt Grace and Uncle Theo as an opportunity to bring him back into the fold. They don’t realize the man he has become could never be a party to their old traditions, but by then it is too late.
Gresly Portage will be available at all major Ebook venues within a few days. If you prefer a printed version it is coming soon.
Christmas is here, wow! Where did the month of December go? Last month I put everything aside to participate in NaNoWriMo, returned my attention to Derrick’s Deaths and was cruising along thinking I have plenty of time. I need to buckle down. If I don’t I will get behind and it will leave me huffing and puffing to catch up.
I am confident I will have all my Beta reader’s recommendations done by the end of this month ready for the beginning round of editing in January keeping me right on schedule for a Spring release.
Last night a torrential down pour. I have seen less rain during a Cat. II hurricane. Then with the morning light came the thunder. Luckily our roof repairs from last year are holding up. Water intrusion into the tower is reduced by about 70%. We are down to two buckets!
No snow predicted for Shkoder this year, but the mountain tops have been dusted already. When the clouds dissipate we will get to see if more has been added or was it all washed away. It is always nice to have the mountains capped with white while I am enjoying a fast run on the lake with my kayak.
Hi Everyone and especially those partaking in National Novel Writing Month,
I took the challenge because of a post someone posted in Writer’s Helping Writer’s group. They made it sound appealing and something that one should do, at least once, just to say one did it if nothing else. It sounded like an exciting challenge and I believe it will be. I put working on my second draft of my current work in progress Derrick’s Deaths (working title still, my title advisor tells me it isn’t right) on hold, which is kind of strange for me. Challenge number one, I like to get it all done in a set order, but this may add a new dimension, or layer, or something to my writing as I take a protracted leave from it, returning with new ideas perhaps! So the NaNo challenge may provide more than just the ability to write a first draft in 30 days, we will see.
The hardest and for me annoying part of NaNoWriMo is the waiting to start. I am as prepared as I ever am, before I begin so I am ready to go, waiting for tomorrow, November 1st (fingers playing the desk piano).
I dabbled at writing various other things including a book which is a continuation of Rozafa’s Secrets during the past two weeks. I didn’t plan on writing a sequel, but my Beta reader and test reader thought I should to explain what happens to the villain and they wanted to know what happened to him. I didn’t want to get too much into that as I get into a story and want to finish it then. I worked on a few location descriptions, and possible twists, things that I usually modify along the way. Then expand them in the second writing.
This waiting at the starting line is tough and we will see what happens. I feel as if I know the characters better, but I worry maybe there is an edge I lost in waiting to start it. Additionally I am changing my villain’s and hero’s sex, a first for me. Is this really the time to change my perspective, but then when is it ever.
There is now about 12 hours before NaNoWriMo begins. I do not anticipate being at my desk at Midnight, at least I hope not. I imagine I will wake up at 05-0530 as usual, walk my dogs, drink a cup of coffee and hit my keyboard immediately after. I am hoping the wine tasting event at the Italian Embassy hasn’t dulled my senses, it will be another test of resolve. Well if necessary I can forgo the coffee and open a nice bottle of Chianti with fruit for breakfast. Only kidding.
Good luck my fellow NaNoWriMo’s. May our pens float across the pages, cross our tees and dot our eyes (sic).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!