January 18, 2017

I Too Can So Write: 1/18/17

And thus begins this blog's new purpose in the cyber world: commenting!

A brand new post is up at I Are Writer!, which goes into glorious detail about my novella, The Friendship Has Begun. Please feel free to leave a comment here about it, since Tumblr makes it nigh on impossible to leave one there.

On a lighter note, my daughter took the PSAT's a few weeks ago {I did not know it was a prep test}. Without really studying or trying, she scored an 1120 on it. Says when the real one comes around, she'll put some effort into it.

(c) 2017 BOOKS BY G.B. MILLER. All Rights Reserved.

January 11, 2017

9 1/2 Years & 6 Blogs

Usually I would start off a blog post by posting a link to I Are Writer!, my writing blog. However, we're going to save that link for later because it will be part of something new.

May 24, 2008: It was a cheerful late Spring day and I was bored of my tiny little mind. Suddenly, a suggestion was made to me via a now defunct e-mail that I should start blogging, if only to avoid being censored by those who suffer from narrowness of mind.

So I did.

For 9 1/2 years, I left my very large imprint in the Blogger world that was spread out over a total of six, count 'em, six blogs: Cedar's Mountain, Father Nature's Corner, Pictures for Smarties, Books by G.B. Miller, Flashing Georgie's Shorts and It's Always Saturday In Suburbia. I've written somewhere in the neighborhood of 1500+ Blogger posts in those 9 1/2 years, and I've only had to nuke two.

I've seen many bloggers come, stay around for a while, then gently fade away never to be heard from again. And there were others who relocated themselves to Facebook after giving up the blogging ghost.

As for me, the decision was not an easy one to make, but, sadly, it had to be made.

While I'm not completely giving up the blogging life to ride off into the mountain, I have decided to cut down on the Blogger blog portion of my blogging. It has become the proverbial 1,000lb primate in that the well has run completely, utterly and totally dry for non-writing related blogging topics. I'm finding increasingly difficult to come up with anything that even remotely meets the low end of my high standards.

As much as it pains me to say it, the Blogger end is near.

The only thing that keeps me from writing the obit {trust me, this ain't it} is that while I very much enjoy writing for my Tumblr blog {like a continuous stream of consciousness with the general topic of writing holding all the various threads together}, you can't comment directly on a Tumbler blog.

So the change to this blog starting next week will be posting a link to the latest I Are Writer! post here for content and commenting. I may add a small snippet of what's going on in my personal world from time to time as well.

Burnout is a bad thing, and not being motivated to blog is even worse. If I ever get my groove back, I will probably migrate a modified version of this to my public Facebook page.

Since I couldn't think of a decent song that wasn't a good-bye, because I certainly don't want to say good bye to the people I've grown to like, trust and respect here, I'll simply leave you with this, one of my favorite Cedar Mountain pics.

While I'm not walking off into the mountain, I'm certainly stretching my legs and thinking of Spring.

 (c) 2017 BOOKS BY G.B. MILLER. All Rights Reserved.

January 4, 2017

IWSG #16: Again!


Wowzers! Two consecutive months in which have I graced my presence in your IWSG world!

So without further ado, I welcome one and all to the Father Nature's Corner's Version 2.017 of the IWSG blog hop, because you just know that on the 1st Wednesday of every month is when every single writer worth the computer they use to churn out fantastically high quality verbiage comes together to commiserate, to challenge and to toot their highly polished Flugelhorn to the high heavens.

Today, I will both toot my own horn and offer my two cents to the question of the month.

Tooting my own horn:

I am near the end of a very long journey that started way back in October 2015 when I decided to rewrite an earlier slushie novel. This actually came about when I was rewriting a previously self-published novella through a company we will not name and suddenly remembered that I wrote a prequel to that book two years prior.

I'd chipped away on it throughout the past fourteen months, but I accelerated the process about two months ago, and now I stand about three pages away from completion. It's funny, but it's been an extremely long time since I got this passionate about a writing project. Normally, I get passionate about a story, then when it's done, it gets put on a shelf for future use (about two years minimum between completion and publication. This time, the goal is to get this out sometime this year, perhaps as early as this summer. I'll keep everyone post on my progress in the coming weeks.

Question! Of! The! Month!

"What writing rule do you wish you'd never heard?"

I have to confess that until l started drifting around the blog world in 2008, I hadn't heard word one of these wonderful writing rules. 'Course, it does help that I also have never participated in a writer's group, took a writing workshop or took a creative writing class {that last one is still on my bucket list}. Which makes paying attention to these wonderful writing rules pretty much a non-issue.

Personally, I'm from the school of common sense, in that if it doesn't sound right to me as a reader, then I'm pretty sure it wouldn't sound right to me writing it. But that isn't to say that I haven't had my issues with butting my head against those rules when a thoughtful well-respected writer points them out to me. I've learned over the years to downsize {i.e my descriptive scenes}, downsize again {i.e. info dumps}, pump it up {character descriptions}, severely tweak it {i.e. cliches}, and the ever popular show & tell {as opposed to dog & pony}.

I still have a lot to learn about these wonderful rules, but again, common sense rules my writing kingdom. Shouldn't it rule yours?

(c) 2017 BOOKS BY G.B. MILLER. All Rights Reserved.

December 28, 2016

Parental Boasting

I have, from time to time, bragged about the creative artiste that is my daughter Jenelle.

Dancer, skater, musician, exceptionally smart person, she has also branched off into other mediums.

Like Clay:

And Paper:

Also she'll branching off into animation, since that is now her career path of choice. However, today we introduce yet another facet of creativity: writing.

As some of you may or may not know, Jenelle helped me with editing a story for my latest book, What Is Life? Well, the other day, she presented me with a piece of flash fiction that clocks in just under 1400 words. I read it and found it not only to be good but rather dark as well. I asked her what she wanted to do with it, and she said that she wanted me to share it with everyone on my blog.

I really didn't ask her why she wrote it (which I think is a question that most writers have a very hard time answering. I know I do), but I did ask her what the story was about, because I didn't quite get it on the first read through. I did once that point was clarified.

So my friends, if you would follow me to Cedar's Mountain, you will find a nifty piece of flash/short fiction that I call, The Journal. Please let me know what you think, either there or over here.

(c) 2016 BOOKS BY G.B. MILLER. All Rights Reserved.

December 21, 2016

Writing Up-To-Date v2.016

As per the norm every Wednesday, we bring to you a semi-fresh post from I Are Writer!, which features an update on a book review posted this past August.

For today's post, I thought I would bring everyone up-to-just-over-the-speed-limit-date in regards to my writing. As you know, the majority of my writing updates can be found at I Are Writer!, which for those who are cruising by for the very first time, is the current result of wanting to shake things up with my blogging.

For those of you who read my post a month or so ago about the continuation of this blog, no final decision has been made, since we're still waffling like HRC.

I've been chugging/chipping/snipping/clipping away at my current project, The Friendship Has Begun, for the majority of the year and I'm happy to say that there is some light at the end of the tunnel. The word count presently stands {as of 12/18} 50,588, with the page count standing at 85.

I'm pretty happy about that, since it's taken me forever and a day to find a project that would click {aka, stick with me so that I would look forward to working on it}. However, as I'm nearing completion, I'm now finding myself ankle deep in a prickly bush.

The micro-flash fiction version is this: took old story; gutted; complete re-write using original as outline for the new.

The thorny problem I'm having is something that some of you may or may not experienced, and that's writing to a sequel. In my case, I originally wrote the sequel, self-pubbed, and decided to re-write the sequel {currently stands at 35 pages} into something better before belatedly realizing that I needed to fix/rewrite the first story.

So, because I wrote the sequel before writing {or I should say, re-writing} the first, I'm finding myself referring to the sequel to see how I should write what is currently a peripheral character that got introduced in this story, but is getting fleshed out for 3rd billing in the sequel.

In the original version of the story, I had the peripheral character all bad ass & bitchy {pardon the word, but it really does fit here} towards Nikia. Who sadly, turned into a major head case and ultimately killed the story, much to my regret {last time I let that particular event happen}.

So I'm now re-writing this peripheral character to be more like the one that I created in the sequel: a curiously complex person, vulnerable and confident at the same time. Because of doing things out of order, which for linear guy like myself is simply not done, I'm finding things are really grinding to a crawl. Which, after looking at the last chapter of the story, is probably a good thing, 'cause while I can write a good sex scene that lasts less than a half page, having to devote an entire chapter to it, is something I'm not really looking forward to.


Anyways, this concludes our writing update. Tune in next week where we might wax philosophically on why it seems that most Hallmark movies have as their main character, a writer.

(c) 2016 BOOKS BY G.B. MILLER. All Rights Reserved.

December 14, 2016

Always Sarcastic, Never Snarky...It's The Blue Light Special

As per the new norm, a fresh post is to be had at I Are Writer!

The other day, I was racking my overly mature brain for something to write about, when BAM! it hit me.

"Why don't I write about a category on my blog that hasn't seen the light of day since March of this year?"

So off the grid I went, to search of times gone by @ Cedar's Mountain. I wasn't quite sure what I wanted to write about, so I picked a couple of tags {Blogs & Writing} and started to skim/scan/read the various posts under those tags.

Let me tell you something {to quote that great philosopher, Fire Marshal Bill}, I was seriously amazed at the quality of the blog posts I wrote five plus years ago, and how much passion and creativity oozed out of each one.

Blog: February 2013 & September 2011; Writing: June 2011, August 2011, August 2011, and September 2011.

It really seemed like for all intents and purposes, I had literally burned the candle at all three spots to write each and every post. A bottomless well of blog creativity, or so it seemed, from 2008 to mid 2013. But, it seemed that blog creativity came at a heavy price. While I was furiously pounding away my blog, trying to make it the best thing around {at one point I had almost 150 subscribers}, my regular writing didn't really grow and mature the way I had envisioned. Or even intended for that matter.

So when I decided to switch gears to concentrate more on my regular writing and put slightly less focus on my blog writing, it had a boomerang effect. Instead of staying at the same level of high standard that I had originally set for myself with my blogging, the quality of the blog posts began to slip. Barely noticeable at first, but within a couple of years, it grew to the point where I became disappointed {but not quite disillusioned} with my output.

The quality of my writing, on the other hand, grew exponentially. All the sarcasm, all the snarkiness, all the biting humor eventually found a safe and snug home within my storytelling. Somehow, in the span of five years {overlap/crossover with my blogging}, my writing improved to the point where I am able to consistently insert roughly 5-7% of my quirky personality into every story I write. Not so much as to make it vehicle for my ego, but just enough to give my characters, of both genders, a richness that was m.i.a. in the early years.

I'm not quite sure what the main point of this blog post is. I guess you can say I'm having a flashback, in which I write a story with a plot that was there at that particular point of creation, but disappeared the moment I wrote the last word. So in keeping with the flashback, we can safely say that based on the post title and the opened paragraph, the initial plot point was to riff on an old post. But soon after, we did a bait and switch, and went off on a tangent that had absolutely zero to do with the blog and all to do with writing.

So to finish up this flashback, I leave you with a flashback-type of song that I'd first heard in a Popeye cartoon.

(c) 2016 BOOKS BY G.B. MILLER. All Rights Reserved.

December 7, 2016

IWSG #15: I Am...Back?

Yes, it's hard to believe, but after a one year hiatus of participating with the world famous Insecure Writer's Support Group, I decided to take the semi-polar ice plunge yet again.

So without further ado, I welcome one and all to the Father Nature's Corner's Version 2.016 of the IWSG blog hop, because you just know that on the 1st Wednesday of every month is when every single writer worth the computer they use to churn out fantastically high quality verbiage comes together to commiserate, to challenge and to toot their highly polished Flugelhorn to the high heavens.

So...to get everyone up to speed since we've last got together, I converted one of my semi-dormant Tumblr blogs earlier this year to a (mostly) basic writing blog called I Are Writer! At that blog, I share, expound and expand on my crazy writing adventures. When you get a minute, please feel free to peruse, and please note that commenting isn't really allowed on it. Not by my choice, but by their design.

On the writing front, around early August {e-book} and early November {print}, I came out with a modest short story collection entitled What Is Life? that tackles the twin themes of the four stages of life and the four seasons.

Also on the writing front, I'm happy to announce that I have limited copies of my only traditionally published book, Line 21, on sale for more than to 50% off the Amazon cover price of the reissue. Please click on the title for further details.

And now, the part you all been waiting for, or at least checking the time on your computer, The. Question. Of. The. Month.: "In terms of your writing career, where do you see yourself five years from now and how do you intend to get there?"

I see myself five years from now, happily plugging away with my writing. Consistency has always been that one semi-annoying trait of mine that has dogged me throughout most of my life, so I would like to channel that consistency into my writing. I'm a slow writer by nature (I self-publish roughly once a year), so I would like to be able to pick up the pace a little. Which probably would mean a radical change from the current length of my writing projects (which is roughly long novella/short novel) to something much shorter and tighter.

I would also like to see myself firmly entrenched in one particular genre as opposed to being all over the place. While some people say diversifying is a good thing, I find that I need/want/crave the consistency of writing a particular kind of fiction. I don't really mind venturing off into the worlds of G/PG/PG-13, my feet has always been firmly planted in the realms of R/NC-17, and that's where I would like to have the bulk of my writing remain, with only the rare exit to those family-friendly worlds.

I would like to sincerely thank everyone who took the time to stop by to read and say hi, and I look forward to visiting everyone in the near future.

(c) 2016 BOOKS BY G.B. MILLER. All Rights Reserved.