Saturday, June 2, 2012

Free Book!

My novel, THE ACOLYTE, is free on Amazon this weekend. So, grab a copy and tell all your friends. Enjoy!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Here It Is!

My first novel, THE ACOLYTE, is now available on Amazon! I hope that you all enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. I also have another short story out, so when you get a chance, check them out and leave a review.

I know that I have been slacking with the blog, and I promise to do better. I am happy to say that I did get several responses from my request that you guys send me some of your own work to showcase. I have several poems and a short story that I will put up soon. You guys are awesome and talented people. Really, one of the poems in particular blew me away with it's dark and gruesome subject matter. I'm sure that you will all love it too once I post it.

Thank you to all of you who have stuck with me, and encouraged me while I finished the novel, I hope that it lives up to your expectations. As always, comments and complaints are always welcome here. Have a safe and fun Memorial Day. Remember to hydrate. We don't want to have to go back to work hung over!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Interview with Monica Leonelle and a Big Giveaway!

Author Monica Leonelle is doing a blog tour to promote her new novel, Socialpunk, and is making a stop here at Bartleby's Bookshelf to be interviewed by yours truly! Not only that, but she is doing an awesome giveaway, which you can enter below. (Trust me, you will want to.) I received an advanced copy of Socialpunk, and while I am not going to review it here, I will say that it is definitely worth reading and I will be one of the first in line when the second book in the series comes out. So, without further ado, here is my interview with Monica. Enjoy,  and don't forget to sign up for the giveaway.

Monica Leonelle is a well-known digital media strategist and the author of three novels. She blogs at Prose on Fire ( and shares her writing and social media knowledge with other bloggers and authors through her Free Writer Toolkit (

What author has had the biggest influence on your own writing?

C.S. Lewis has had a huge influence on my writing, especially for my Seven Halos series. The way he incorporates his Catholic religion into his children's stories is interesting.   I really enjoyed the Voyage of the Dawn Treader as well, and the concept will be the basis for a serialized fiction series I'm doing, tentatively titled The Seven Seas.

For the Socialpunk series, I was heavily influenced by Cory Doctorow, Chris Anderson, Seth Godin, and Kevin Kelly, who talk a lot about copyright and other social and tech-related topics.

 What is your writing process like? 

I'm a "burst of energy" type of person rather than a "little every day" type of person. So I will write a whole book in a week or two, then go back and edit it all in a week or two. And then I won't write as much for the next few weeks. On an average day I probably write a couple thousand words, during a book writing session I write closer to 5000 words a day.

I'm also a huge outliner. I will outline my entire book by chapter, then by scene, then by paragraph. I think this is essential for writing an addictive book or a "page-turner." It's also essential for writing a ton of words very quickly. When I edit, I have a list of about 20 things I edit for that pertain to marketing psychology. For example, one of the things I edit for is tension, or whether I'm opening and closing plots in every scene. I think most writers would do better in the marketplace if they edited for marketability. Yes, line editing and beautiful prose can help, but really, The Hunger Games isn't exactly great writing. Yet the books are an international phenomenon. Because it's a great story with lots of marketability.

I'm an editor myself (specializing in the marketability of books) but I also run my book by an editor... it's just the right thing to do. You can't rely on self-editing alone.

I'm really big on creating fascinating hooks. If you are a writer you can find out if your first 1000 words are hooking here:

 What are your thoughts on the new Indie Publishing craze? Will traditional publishers ever be really eliminated?

There are two types of authors—writers and entrepreneurs. The former flock to traditional publishing and the latter flock to indie publishing. It's silly to think that traditional publishing will ever be eliminated; that's like asking if car washes will ever be eliminated. Yeah, you can wash your car in your garage. That doesn't mean you want to.

I am currently on the fence as to whether I should self-publish, or go the traditional route. What advice would you give someone in my position?
  • Are you an entrepreneur or a writer? What I mean by that is, do you want to do the marketing and publishing work yourself? Do you want to build an audience yourself? If you do, going indie will appeal to you.
  • Do you prefer to work within systems or do you prefer to make systems? Querying, waiting for an agent, waiting for a publisher—all those are part of a system. If you would rather plow right ahead and do things exactly the way you want, indie publishing is for you.
  • Are you patient or impatient to see your book published? The former is traditional publishing while the latter is indie.
  • Do you need the money or do you have money to invest? If you need the advance, you should go the traditional publishing route. Though, the advances seem to be getting slimmer anyway. If you're willing to invest the money for a greater payoff in the future, try the indie route.
There's also the small matter of getting accepted to traditional publishing to begin with... indie has no gatekeeper. Though, if you can't get accepted to traditional publishing, you probably won't do as well with indie anyway.

When you're not writing, you are an authority figure in the marketing community. Should writers learn marketing even if they plan to go the traditional route? Won't the publishing companies handle that?

The publishing companies don't typically handle that, unless they've given you a huge advance or you have a track record. Every once in awhile they bet big on author, but not as often as you'd think. So writers should learn marketing because they are either going the indie route or they are under fire to sell through on their advance with a traditional publisher. You can learn more about marketing your writing with my Free Writer Toolkit here:

More importantly, writers should inject their marketing directly into their manuscripts. Writers often think of marketing as this separate thing from writing, but it's not at all. 80-90% of books are sold through word-of-mouth and most of the marketability of a book is right there in the manuscript. So even if you are going the traditional route, if you are serious about getting published you should hire an editor to go through your book and see how marketable it is. Traditional publishers are looking for marketable books. It's a business and they need to make money.

Why should my blog readers buy Socialpunk?

The book is original and fast-paced and like nothing you've ever read before. If you enjoy stuff like The Matrix, Inception, Minority Report, or the Terminator movies, you might like this book too.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, April 6, 2012


Patience is not a virtue that currently I possess in large quantities. When I want things, I want them now. Not now, yesterday. I have, on more than one occasion, paid more on shipping for something that I've bought than the item actually costs. Just because I want it the next day. Yeah, I'm that bad. I know that this is a fault, and I accept that. But now that I find myself waiting to hear from literary agents, my impatience is causing me a great deal of distress. There is nothing I can do to speed up this process. No "overnight delivery" fee that I can pay to make them answer.

That is why I am glad that read this post over at Jeff Goins' blog: Patience Is a Writer's Most Important Virtue
It is a great post by Suzannah Windsor Freeman, author of The Busy Mom's Guide to Writing. It is exactly what I needed to read today. If you suffer from a lack of patience, I highly recommend you read it. It will put things more into perspective, at least it did for me.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Either Agents are Liars or You Are Not Ready

Okay, so maybe "liar" is a strong word. Exaggerators? Maybe.

As you know, I am editing my novel which is going well, but definitely more work than I thought. (I forgot that I attempted to use Dragon Naturally Speaking to write a few chapters. They will have to be completely re-written.) And it's kind of boring. I don't like it. So, in order to keep my spirits up, I allow myself to research agents after I finish a block of editing. It's like a reward. Yes, I find the research fun. It gets my hopes up and makes me feel like I am closer to realizing my dream.

Of course, part of that research entails finding out what the agents want to see and what they don't. I get the query letter. Having some business experience, I understand the reason for it and the need for it's brevity. I am comfortable with the format. It is, simply, a business letter. I get it. What I don't get, and honestly find hard to believe, is the number of reports by agents of receiving anything other than even a semi-professional letter. Every book, blog, and interview I have read talks about agents receiving queries on colored paper, hand-written queries, printed in crazy inks and fonts, and formatted in unusual ways. Even on things such as Post-It notes. They make out like they get them all of the time. Really? All the time? I can understand the occasional oddity, but on a consistent basis?

Either agents are exaggerating the number and frequency of these, or there are a lot of people who are just not ready to be professional writers.

Yes, I said you are not ready. If you send an agent anything other than a well-written, printed query then you are just. not. ready. Like I said, nearly EVERYTHING I have read about landing an agent warns against this, so even a half-assed search should stop you from sending your query on lime green paper, printed in purple ink, and sprayed with grandma's perfume. You wouldn't send out a resume or a legal document out that way. (I hope.)

 It's just hard for me to believe that we live in a world where "Mike the Situation" is one of the highest ranked Google searches, but you didn't even bother to Google "How to get an agent?" before you sent out your query? How did you even know where to send it? You must not have put that much effort into your research. Unless, you think the rules don't apply to you. Either way, you are not ready to write professionally. And if your not in it to be a professional, then why bother with an agent in the first place?

So, which one is it? Deep down I hope the agents are telling the truth. (It would cut my competition.) I am not an agent, though,  and don't have one to ask. This is just what I think. Any agent, or writer who had a query like that work for them, is welcome and encouraged to comment.

Friday, March 16, 2012

My First Guest Post

Okay, so, you remember the website I told you about? The one with all of the cool info on landing an agent and other writerly stuff? Yes, the one I won the 2012 Guide to Literary Agents from, The Agent Challenge.  (On it's way and will probably be in my grubby paws by the time you read this!) Well, I was perusing over there this morning and what do I find? ME. (Yay!) My first guest post! Go check it out, I'll wait. The Agent Challenge: Death by Editing.

Being my first time, I was understandably nervous. I stressed and second guessed myself the whole way, which come to think of it, is not really that unusual. It turned out to be a really cool experience, and I had fun. Deidre was gentle and the process was smooth. I did, however, send her the post with a title that was way too wordy, but we (okay, she) turned it around and it is now infinitely better. Lesson learned. Put more thought into your title. And since I am trying to come up with a title for my novel, it was a lesson learned at just the right time.

Serendipity. Again. If things keep going this way, I'll start to think there might be something to this "positive thinking" thing. Now, go.  Get back to work.  I've got a lot more editing to do.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Cue The Pointer Sisters!

"I'm so excited and I just can't hide it..." Yes, I have actually been singing today. (Now, aren't you glad that I'm not a video blogger? )

I have had a very exciting weekend, and the near future is looking pretty good, too. First of all, I finished my novel. Well, the first draft, anyway. Now it's on to the editing phase which I am told may take twice the time it took to write it, but that's okay. One step at a time. After editing, we can move on to submission.

Second, Nancy Allen was kind enough to review my short story, Just Enough, on her blog The Avid Reader. The story is really out of her preferred genre, but she read and reviewed it anyway. In some ways, getting such a positive review holds a little more weight when it comes from a reader who prefers a different type of story. Wouldn't you agree? So, go check out her blog and read her review of my story, as well as reviews of other good books.

Finally, I was chosen as the winner of the monthly book drawing for the month of February at Deidre Havrelock's blog, The Agent Challenge, and will be receiving the 2012 Guide to Literary Agents. Deidre has an awesome blog that is chock full of great information about finding an agent. Needless to say, I will be visiting her blog extensively over the next few months. (Additional news regarding this great blog in a future post, so stay tuned!)

So, that's all for now.  I have a lot of work to do, and I'm sure that you do, too. And if you don't, well, the least you can do is try to look busy so that the rest of us don't feel so bad.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Confidence and Support

I spent several hours last night putting together my new desk and chair. (See it there in the picture? Cool, huh?) Most of the problems that I ran into were my own fault, as I misread the directions. Okay, okay, I didn't read the directions at all until I realized something was wrong. Turns out they put just enough screws in the box to build the thing and they are not interchangeable. But, I finally managed to put it together and lovingly set up all of my stuff. Finally, I have a place that is set aside strictly for writing. To anyone else, this desk is just a desk. Nothing fancy about it, but to me it is much, much more.

In the past, I would hunch over my little net book and bang away at the keys in whatever room of the house was free of children, which was not always possible to find. Now, I have a desk, a chair, and a special place just for me to write in. I'm not sure how I can explain to you how special this is, unless you are a writer, then you already know.

It's not just about comfort, although I am sure that my back will feel much better writing here instead of bent over a comp in my lap on the couch. More importantly it has built my confidence. Why, you ask? Because it let's me know that my wife supports my work. Sure, she tells me all the time what a great writer I am, but every writer's family tells them that.  By buying  me the desk and helping me carve out my "office" area, she has given me concrete evidence that lets me know just how much she supports my writing.

How can a desk do this? Simple. Her actions tell me and everyone else that what I do is important. Important enough to warrant spending money  and rearranging our home. She could have gone on telling me that I was good enough and I would have gone on believing her (until the "I'm no good, this is all shit" feeling crept back up), but she showed me in a very real way that she's not just blowing smoke. She believes in me and supports the path that I have chosen, and that is much more valuable than any words of praise.

Do you ever lack confidence in your abilities? Who is there to support you in your endeavors and build your confidence up?

Friday, March 2, 2012

I Found My Agent, They Just Don't Know It Yet

I know. It sounds a little creepy, but I promise that I am not stalking anyone (yet). Even though I haven't completely ruled out self-publishing, I am leaning pretty hard toward not. I think I may want to continue to self-pub short stories, but when the novel is complete, I want to give it the best possible chance of succeeding and I am smart enough to know that I am too dumb to trust myself with that task. With that in mind, I used most of my daily "screw around" time to research agents and found my first pick.

Before you say anything, this is not the first time I researched them, so I didn't just randomly pick an agent. I know this agent will like my work, as it is similar to at least two of their other clients, and more importantly (to me anyway) is that their clients seem to love them. Is it wrong of me to be looking for agents when the book isn't even finished yet? Is that too cocky? Maybe. I don't think so. If nothing else, the power of positive thinking may help me out a bit. (I will be represented by agent X!) Plus, it gives me motivation. In my imaginary universe, this agent is waiting anxiously for my manuscript. Okay, so maybe that is a little much, but it works for me.

In other news, the response to my short story continues to overwhelm me. Thank you, again, for all of the encouraging comments. Especially thanks to everyone who pointed out the errors. (They have been corrected.) Of all of the articles and blogs that I have been reading lately dealing with Self-publishing, almost all of them emphasise editing, editing, editing. I knew this, but I guess I was so excited to get it out there and start the whole experiment that I only edited. I forgot the other two edits. Another lesson I had to learn the hard way. Why do I sometimes feel that the rules do not apply to me? Maybe that's a character flaw we should examine some other time.

Enough about me. What about you? Do you visualise your goals with lots of details (right down to who your agent will be) or is it just a general "I hope I get published someday" goal? Something in between, maybe?

Monday, February 27, 2012

Thank You!

First of all, let me thank all of you who purchased and reviewed Just Enough. There was an overwhelmingly positive response and I am so glad that you all enjoyed it. Also, thanks to everyone who contacted me with ideas for the blog. I have already decided that I will be incorporating some of them shortly.

Some of the questions I received were good, and I will be posting my answers here on the blog. So, if you emailed me a question and haven't heard back from me yet, stay tuned, your question will likely be the subject of a future blog post.

The most common question I received has been "When will your next story be available?" I am so honoured that you all liked the first one and are anxious for more. Rest assured that I am currently working on it in addition to the novel, and I will publish it as soon as it is finished and let you know when it is available.

Thank you, again, for all of your comments, questions and reviews. Keep them coming!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Testing the Water and a Cry for Help

As you know, I am nearing the completion of my novel. (Which I have decided to rename, but don't know to what quite yet.) I still haven't decided whether I will self-publish or go the traditional route, as there are pros and cons to each. So, as an experiment I put a short story up on Amazon's Kindle store as well as on Smashwords, mainly to see what the process would be like and how difficult it would be. I will save my evaluation of the process for another post, but it was definitely a learning experience.

For one thing, there are various rules you have to abide by for each company and different formats that they will accept. Some of it is pretty straight forward, others are a bit more complicated, but overall it's not that hard once you wade through all of the information. I put it up for .99¢. I went back and forth whether to offer it for free or not, but in the end, because of some of the rules involved, I decided to put it up for the lowest price allowed. I really don't think that it's too much for just a short story, even though some entire novels are the same price or free, but I guess we will see.

Now, while I certainly would love it if you would all go purchase it and leave me a glowing review exalting my abilities as a wordsmith, I just wouldn't feel right about that. Not for the ten of you who actually read this blog. (Something I hope to change, which we will talk about in a moment.) So, if you would like to read Just Enough, let me know and I will send you a link where you can download it for free from Smashwords (Something that I can't do with Amazon and one of their definite cons) or I will just send it to you if you don't want to sign up with Smashwords. Although, if you read ebooks, it's a pretty good site. You can download in several different formats if you don't have a Kindle.

So, send me a message (ljstep749 at gmail)or go to Amazon or Smashwords.
[EDIT: Okay, on second thought, responding to too many emails will enable me to procrastinate and not get any work done, so I will just post the coupon code for Smashwords here. At checkout enter: TU43K
Reviews are very welcome.]

Now, on to the next topic: this blog. I eventually hope for this blog to grow to have a large following of rabid fans, but I would like to see it be a little more interactive. First of all, being a writer is a lonely job and I could use the interaction. Second, I realize that in order to build the number of blog followers that I envision, I will need to take this blog in a direction that will appeal to more people. And I would like your help. I know that all of you are very talented in different areas. I won't call you out by name, but I know that several of you are writers, poets, songwriters, photographers, and painters. If you would like to showcase any of your work, (Yes, you do.) or even do a guest post, send it to me. (I will post it anonymously, if your too shy.)

Okay, now that we have all of that to think about, I will leave you to get back to work. As always, if you have any comments, criticisms, questions, complaints or ideas, I would love to hear them. Seriously.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Emerging From the Cave

Okay, so I'm back out of my cave and my eyes have adjusted to the light. (Sort of.) But I got a tremendous amount of work done, for me anyway.

My loving wife, seeing that I was in need of some "cave time", graciously arranged for the children to go to grandma's for the weekend, leaving me to do absolutely nothing but write, write, write, drink coffee, and write. Okay, I did read a little bit. (Shotgun Gravy By: Chuck Wendig ,if you're curious. And, yes, I recommend it)

As soon as everyone left the house I check the e-mail one last time then turned off the internet and TV and left it off until they got home. Three and a half days of nothing but writing. Can you imagine? (Yes, the animals survived, geez!) I accomplished several chapters of the novel and a 9500 word short that I hope to have edited and available by the beginning of next week.

All in all it was a great weekend, aside from missing everyone about 2 hours in and then there was an unfortunate mishap with some of my daughter's pink hair dye. (Don't ask.) I built up quite a bit of steam on the novel, and I hope to move on to the editing phase soon. I hope everyone had a great President's day weekend, or at least a decent one. Now, get back to work!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Supposably, I Am an Ass

Okay people, say this with me: SUP-POS-ED-LY. Great. You did it. Was that so hard? I don't know why this angers me so much. I just can't stand hearing someone say "supposably." This goes double for other writers. When I hear someone put a "b" (or worse, a "v") in supposedly, I immediately cringe and my respect for the person speaking drops several notches. Yes, yes, I realize that "supposably" is actually a real word, but I have yet to hear it used correctly in a conversation and probably never will.

I usually keep my mouth shut and suffer in silence, but yesterday I made the mistake of attempting to correct a friend who says it often. The only reason I corrected him is that I know that he is an intelligent person and I thought that he would be more open to constructive criticism of his speech. Possibly even welcome it. I was wrong. VERY wrong. I guess some people are just not equipped to handle criticism of any type. And this guy is a fellow writer! Too bad spell check doesn't work on your mouth.

Am I alone in this? Do you have any pet peeves with other people's speech? Do you correct them or do you let them go on in ignorance? I think this will be the last time that I attempt it even if they are a friend.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Following the Crowd

It has been said many times that a writer should not write based on current trends. The recent zombie/vampire craze for example. Yes, novels, movies and even TV shows dealing with these types of characters are very much in fashion and the general public gobbles them up like they are the last books on the subject that will ever be written. Of course, any writer will tell you that if you write on a subject merely for it's saleability factor, then by the time your book actually gets published the fad will be long over and all of your hard work will have been for naught.

But, should we really tell new writers that popular genres or subjects should be off limits just because it has already been done to death? It seems to me that every time I think there couldn't possibly be another zombie book that is any better than the rest, a new one comes along that puts just enough of a twist on the old clich├ęs to make it worth while to read.

Another thing to consider is this: If these new writers take our advice to heart, what happens then? Shitty books, that's what. Trust me, I know. When I set out to write my first novel, I had a billion and one story ideas floating around in my head and yes, most of them were filled with zombies and vampires. Unfortunately for me, I read or heard somewhere that writing another zombie novel would most likely end in failure, so I threw out all of the ideas I previously had and began to write a book that had nothing to do with any of that. I struggled for months to try to come up with a plot that had not been done before. Man, was that a mistake and a HUGE waste of time. I wasn't writing what truly inspired me specifically because I didn't want my novel to be "just another zombie book."

I do agree that one should not write purely for the sake of a trend, but we must also be careful not to  discourage people from writing what they like purely to move away from the trend, either. Luckily, I have a very short attention span and am notoriously bad at following good advice. So I ended up writing the story that I wanted to write and not what I thought people would or wouldn't want to read, and not only was the book better because of this realization, but I had more fun creating it, too.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Those Damn Family Car Decals

No, I don't have a problem with them, really. As a matter of fact, we recently added our own family decals to our little car, but I bet mine are cooler than yours. Don't believe me? Take a look:

Ha, ha! Yup, zombie family. When I saw these, I thought that they were hilarious and had to have them, and as far as I have seen, we are the only family in our area to sport these nifty little decals of our un-dead family members. Anyway, The purpose of this post is not really about the decals, but a conversation that they sparked with a friend of mine when she saw them. It went something like this:

Friend: Oh, my god. How did you convince your wife to let you put those on your car?

Me: Convince her? She's the one that put them on!

Friend: Really? Is she a writer too?

That's what got me. Why would she naturally assume that I had to beg my wife to display these slightly unusual, but extremely funny, stickers on the family car? And then, upon finding out that my wife had no problem with it, assumed that my wife must be just as "weird" as I am.  Then it hit me. Even though this person and I have been friends for years, she still held various beliefs about me, and writers in general, that are not necessarily true. While I have come to expect this from most non-writing people, I didn't expect it from someone who has known me for so long.

We all know the stereotypes associated with writers. They are all reclusive. They're all alcoholics or drug addicts. They all have some sort of mental or emotional problems that prevent them from obtaining "real" employment. They drink coffee by the gallon and chain smoke in dimly lit rooms, bent over keyboards banging out prose that could only emanate from a highly warped, but brilliant mind. (This seems especially true of horror/thriller writers.) What I didn't realize is that, along with the pre-conceived notions that people have about writers, there is an equal amount applied to a writer's spouse. How strong they must be to deal with all of our peculiarities. 

Author Wendy Paine Miller posted a very humorous post on her blog to suggest a "Spouses of Writers" support group (Probably a good idea by the way, and you can read it here), which got me to thinking about all of the trials and tribulations that my wife endures for my work. While I do not fit all of the stereotypes about writers (only most of them), I will admit that my wife sacrifices a lot for my art. I suppose I should express my gratitude a little more often, and THAT is the real point of this post. To thank, not only my wife, but all of the spouses of writers that stand firm and endure everything from our obsession and excitement of that first story idea, to the extreme low when we think that everything we've worked on for months is complete crap, to the elation we feel at finishing the first draft. They faithfully stand beside us, mostly silently, pulling us back from our ego-maniacal certainty that we are the most talented writer since Twain, to the maddening depression that we go through when we realise that we are not so special after all.

So, here is my public "Thank you" to my spouse, as well as yours, or whoever it is that supports you in your work. Without them, the road we walk from idea to finished product would be much harder to navigate.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Here There Won't Be Dragons

Over a year ago, my wife bought me the Dragon NaturallySpeaking software. I will admit that it was after several weeks of hint dropping and finally flat out begging, but that is beside the point. I was convinced that it would help me tremendously with my writing, which it did. Sort of. Let me explain.

For the first few weeks, I happily played with my new toy, training it (you have to teach it to recognize your voice), dictating emails, composing posts on my old blog, and playing with the voice commands to navigate the web. The program worked just as advertised, so I was full of anticipation as I sat down and began with a short story. That's when the problem occurred. Not with the software, mind you, but with me.

It didn't take me long to realize that using Dragon NaturallySpeaking actually dropped my daily word count. All because of  "the groove." You know "the groove," after those first few sentences are out of the way and the words begin to flow in a beautiful torrent until a child or spouse needs something (or you get an incoming message that must be answered because you forgot to disconnect from the internet).  That groove.

The software does exactly what it is supposed to do and types what I speak. The problem is that while the words I use when I speak and when I write are pretty much the same, I just can't get in the groove while I'm talking and the words don't flow like they should. I can use it for non-fiction work fairly well, but if I am writing fiction? Forget about it.

Friday, January 20, 2012

And then there was light..

For days I have struggled with how I should start this new blog. Should I introduce myself to those who don't know me? Should I start with an informative article about some aspect of the writing process? Or should I start randomly? Just sit down and write?  If you haven't already guessed, I opted for the latter, which leaves a lot of room for error, but hey, every blog has to have it's first post and this one is what it is.

I hope for your sake that the quality only goes up from here. Maybe this blog will be like an ugly child who grows up to be drop dead gorgeous and the envy of all the other girls at the prom. It might not be pretty at the start, but give her some time and see what she grows into.

So, there we are, short but sweet. I did kill two birds with one stone, though. First post is done, and now I get to figure out something else to distract my thoughts away from the novel. (Coming along quite nicely. Thanks for asking.) I'm sure it won't take me too long.