There has been a lot of work going on here. Obviously, this new Substack platform has been the center of effort the past several weeks. Now that we’ve launched, we’ll settle into an easier routine of only one email/post a week in one of four categories published here each month:
News. [this post] A look back and ahead, with a focus on story crafting and life philosophy. Goes out on the First Tuesday of the month.
Originals. An entirely new and exclusive piece of writing, both fiction stories and non-fiction essays. Goes out the second Tuesday of the month (free subscribers will see this on the last Tuesday of the month).
Podcast. A place to talk about the writing process, book reviews, and readings from original fiction works. Goes out on the third Tuesday of the month.
Goodies. This is an ad hoc update that goes out on the fourth Tuesday of the month anytime we have an AMA, giveaway, discussion thread, new release on Amazon, or other quick news to share.
I want everyone to read my writing. So, I’ve decided that all of the things I produce here on Storyslinger will be free. If you choose to support my work as a paid subscriber, you’ll get everything right when it’s published, plus other exclusive extras like free books, the ability to comment, and private community discussions. Regular subscribers will get some content later in the month. This will be the model for now.
My three latest books are all available in paperback. Click on the images to get a copy.
Of course, I’m also still writing and editing new stories. Right now the front burner is cooking these two writing efforts, to be published next year:
Unlucky. The second book in the Space Force Recondo Series.
Toy Soldiers. A standalone story about a boy’s fantasy as he plays war in the woods near his house.
I’m working on both of these as part of the annual NaNoWriMo competition/community writing program. The idea is that I will have at least a first draft done of each by the end of November. Time will tell…
I am one hundred percent Chromebook these days—particularly after the kids cracked my 11-inch iPad Pro and broke the charging port on my 12-inch MacBook (after dropping it on the floor and making the keyboard squishy and the camera glitchy). I’ve got a cheap, second-hand 11.6-inch Samsung Chromebook 4 that works just fine. I do all of this work, plus writing, editing, formatting, and publishing my books on it. I used Google apps on my MacBook and iPad anyways, so it’s not a big change. And it turns out I don’t need thousands of dollars worth of tech to be a productive writer. Who knew?
Some of the writing tools I use are:
Google Docs. I write my outlines and first drafts using Docs. Then I share a copy with my editor. We end up having a chat using Google Meet to go through the edits. I also share the Doc with my Revision Readers to get their feedback. I make whatever changes are necessary and I’m ready for the next step.
Google Slides. I make all my book covers using Slides. I export them as images and they seem to work just fine.
Canva. Canva is great for making book video ads. I used canva for my A Fort Magruder Romance ad (coming next year).
Atticus. Atticus is a great tool that formats your book for both eBook and print publishing.
Staying in shape as I near fifty has been more challenging that I anticipated. But it shouldn’t have come as a surprise: the reason we stop being able to do something is because we stop doing it. Over time, I have allowed “life” to dictate my schedule, resulting in the decline of a regular fitness routine. But after finishing David Goggins’s book (and constant encouragement from The Muse, aka Dream Girl), I decided to create a quick and evil exercise routine. I also wanted to try something that had some parameters that allowed me to measure progress against a set limitation. In this case, time. It looks like this:
Tuesday & Thursday: Do as many burpees as you can for ten minutes.
Monday, Wednesday, & Friday: Run as far as you can in thirty minutes.
Do some stretching and the Five Rites on Saturday. Completely rest on Sunday. That’s it. Repeat every week.
Simple? Yes. Easy? Hardly. I did it the first time to set my baseline and I was destroyed. I did sixty burpees and ran three miles. At least I have goals now. I want to get to 100 burpees and run five miles in thirty minutes. I’ll make small increases each week (add five burpees and a quarter mile, maybe?). We’ll see how it goes.
That’s the news from here this month. Please share and if you’re not a subscriber, consider signing up below.
Thanks for being part of the journey!
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