April 9, 2017

I Are Writer!

For those of you where kind of enough to stop by, either from Facebook or from a business card I gave out some time ago or even from a comment that I had made on another blog, this blog is now back on a monthly state of being, for it now comes to life every 1st Wednesday of the month (aka IWSG). In between monthly posts, I expound weekly about all things related to my adventures in writing @ my Tumblr blog called I Are Writer! {addy located directly on the business card as well}. Please note that for best viewing quality, use either Chrome, Firefox, Safari or Edge. IE 11 will work, although not very well.


My published writings can be found on Amazon, at Smashwords and at Books by G.B. Miller.




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

April 5, 2017

IWSG 18:Life Indeed Does Go On

IWSG
Greetings and Salutations to one and all!

In the midst of early Spring and the fantabulous A-Z Challenge 2.017 edition, we have the monthly IWSG post, of which I am very glad to be part of.

As promised a few weeks ago, I am still participating in the monthly IWSG thingy (for lack of a better word to describe it), but it seems that the optional question presented for everyone this month really doesn't do it for me, since I was a one and done (2014) participant in the A-Z Challenge.

But, a promise is a promise and if you can't keep your word, then what good are you really? So, the old college try give we shall.

My lament today is one that has always been with me since the 2nd half of the previous decade, which is production. Some people can churn quality product at a rate that does boggle my mind (publishes a minimum 2 books per year), and some move at a steady pace with their quality product (1 book or less per year). Me? I fall somewhere just south of the latter, in that I move a snail's pace with my writing.

Whereas some people's leisurely pace is due to other commitments, my leisurely pace is due to a more insidious reason: genetics.

Yes, genetics. Genetics has cursed me with a malady that causes the muscles in my hands to atrophy, the nerves in my fingers go dead, and extremely painful hand fatigue kicks in. The end result of God's handiwork is that my output is roughly two completed page per weekend. Yes, you read correctly: two pages per weekend. While I do chip away with a few sentences here and there, the bulk of what I write takes place on the weekend, when I'm sufficiently recovered from work.

The one important change that I had to make for my writing was the addition of a plug-in keyboard for my laptop. As my hands could no longer comfortably use the original, I was left with no other alternative than to use a plug-in, which fortunately for me and my XP computer, works.

So while I may have a lot of insecurities with my writing, the one constant has been the gradual lack of dexterity for typing. And while I do use voice software for work, I have a ginormous mental block when it comes to writing fiction.

But, as they say, life indeed does go on. Have a sparkly Prince Spaghetti day and thanks for stopping by!

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

March 22, 2017

What I Wil Do Next Is This

Last Friday, I teased everyone with a potential big change for my Blogger blog. As some of you have probably deduced, I've been traveling on empty for pretty much the entire year as it applies with my Blogger blog. And as you've probably deduced, I found my ju-ju again blogging about my writing on Tumblr.

So I came up with the brilliant idea of turning my Blogger blog into a mini-version of my Tumblr blog, in that I would reblog my posts from my Tumblr blog. Even had a new name for the blog, a new blurb and a new pic, which is the only change that I've been able to apply so far. All that was left was clearance from both Blogger and from Tumblr. I kind of got a "yes" from Blogger, who basically said this to my question about reblogging content from my Tumblr blog to my Blogger blog:

If you own the post content, you can surely have it in both places as long as it doesn't violate Blogger Content Policy and Google Terms of Service.


I answered in the affirmative, but I had one other question, which was this:

It doesn't violate Blogger Content Policy (I already have a blogger blog that is labeled adult) and I'm pretty sure that it doesn't violate the Google Terms of Service (but I can always put note at the end to the effect of "This post first appeared as XXXXX at my Tumblr blog"). As a safety net, would it make sense to give the post(s) in question a new title? I title it one particular way (use the Tumblr blog title with a changing date) and I would have no problem in giving it a completely different title. Again, any advice would be greatly appreciated.


As of today, this second question has not been answered (nor, by the looks of it, a reposting of the 2nd), so the end result of asking Blogger was a "yes, so long as it doesn't do this or that". Which really doesn't help, because as you know, sometimes the word yes has a nasty habit of turning into the word no.

With Tumblr, I asked the same question, and apparently, I didn't dumb down the question (I guess with all customer service reps, simpler is better), because he automatically assumed I was making complaint over a violation being done to my blog. So I dumbed down the question, and as of today, I have not received any further response.

So where do we stand with Father Nature's Corner? I quote a post that I wrote some several years ago for my now closed short story blog:


From out of the far horizon, a horse ambled in to the front porch. I could see that his eyes were rimmed with red and his demeanor melancholy. Getting up from my rocking chair, I rolled up my copy of the Yellow Spasm and tucked it into my back pocket, before reluctantly stepping off the porch and walking towards the horse.

When I got there, I could see that he was holding a small mail pouch between his teeth.

"Is that what I think it is?" I asked warily, even though I already knew the answer.

He dropped the mail bag at my feet, before bowing his head in prayer. A minute later, he snorted, turned and waited for me to make the next move.

I picked up the bag and emptied the contents all over the porch. There wasn't much inside the bag beyond a small 3 x 5 envelope. I picked up the envelope and studied the familiar handwriting on the front for a minute or two. Sighing hard, I opened the envelope and took out the letter. I read it without really reading it, then stuck it back in the envelope and stuck the envelope in my back pocket.

Sighing again, I stepped inside the line shack to gather what little belongings I had: my shot up hat, my broken six shooter, my frayed whip and my worn out saddle. Shutting the door, I gave the house a lingering touch, then walked over to the horse and threw on my saddle.

Apologizing for the way it landed on his back, I then secured the straps and climbed aboard. Patting his neck a couple of times, I said, "Onwards my friend, for you are the driver on this new adventure."

The new adventure, so to speak, is to be a wandering minstrel in the Blogger blog world, reading and commenting on your posts, while perhaps posting the monthly IWSG post (except for April) and taking up permanent residency in the land of Tumblr. Please keep in mind that you can always like a post on Tumblr and that you can ask a question as well.

Most importantly though, is that I will continue to write. The bug has finally returned and even though I have one story done and in the can (so to speak), I'm three chapters deep into another that will ultimately be a proper lead in to the recently completed 1st.

All of my blogs will be available for you to either peruse the archives at your leisure {Cedar's Mountain, It's Always Saturday In Suburbia and Pictures For Smarties} or to buy personalized paperback copies of my books {Books By G. B. Miller}. Additionally, you can find me on Amazon and Smashwords.

It truly has been a fantastic 9 1/2 year Blogger journey of epic proportions. A journey that I could not have possibly taken without the incredible support of you good people who have inspired me to be the very best blogger and writer that I could be. But, after writing 1,659 Blogger posts spanning 6 blogs, it's time to take a Blogger blogging break.

I am forever humbly yours,

G.B. Miller

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

March 17, 2017

What Should I Do?

Yes indeed, it is a rare non-Wednesday post. I'll try to make this short, sweet and nearly complete, but I'm wearing an older man's clothes (with apologies to William Joel).

I am at a serious crossroads with my Blogger life. This coming May will be 10 years, and for the past three I've been trying to find a way to keep the home fires stoked. I did find something of a rebirth after retooling my Tumblr blog about 1 1/2 years ago and turning it into a writing stream of conscience blog. In other words, going back to the main foundation of what my blogging sprang from: my adventures in writing serialized.

Come next Wednesday March 22nd, I should either have some good news for all, or some bad news for all, or quite possible somewhere in between. I will, hopefully, get the answer I want and not the one that I might get via the Blogger forum, as I posted a detailed question looking for advice on what I can or can't do with this blog. What they'll say is anyone's guess, but what happens next week will be decided on what the powers that be give me for advice.

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

March 15, 2017

I Too Can So Write!: 3/15/17

As per the norm, we have a fresh post up at I Are Writer!, where we attempt to explain the Rube Golberg-style plot we created for our latest project. And as a side note, nothing worse for a writer than to have your plot be three pages ahead from where you're currently at.

This is what I've been able to come up with for a snippet this week, since I've decided to make a concentrated effort to work on my latest project {no title yet to speak off}, thus slagging off from creating a thorough snippet for everyone to read. Yes, it is Spring time in New England, but we got socked with Nor-easter deja vu version 2.017 Storm Eugene, which happened yesterday (3/14/17).

Please enjoy this very rare video post from my semi-retired blog Pictures For Smarties, called Storm Nemo.

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

March 8, 2017

I Too Can So Write!: 3/8/17

As per the norm, we have a link to a fresh post @ I Are Writer!, which continues our look into rewriting/reinventing old characters from old stories as well as reinventing plotlines. Please check it out.

So.

Wasn't sure if I was going to add anything else to today's post, since I'm in one of those conundrums with my blog again, but I decided that decision could wait another week. For your entertainment (dis)pleasure, two videos featuring the two of the worst singers of all time. This little snippet was inspired by this book. Enjoy!





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

March 1, 2017

IWSG #17: It's A Good Thing!

As per the norm, we have a fresh post up at I Are Writer!, which is part the 2nd on character reinvention. And as also per the norm, you can comment here about it.

Great Googly Moogly, it's a mime, it's an idea, it's....IWSG TIME!

IWSG
And just like the golden unicorn, IWSG rides to my rescue with the topic prompt to end all topic prompts for me. It's like, deja vu all over again.

QUESTION! OF! THE! MONTH!

Have you ever pulled out a really old story and reworked it? Did it work out?

 I swear on a stack of floppy disks (click on link it if you're too young to know what a floppy disk is) that this prompt was made for me, because on my writing blog (link up above there), I've been talking about exactly that for the past five months or so.

I have just finished the first draft of a very old (like 2008) and very bad longish story that I spent since mid summer '16 re-writing/re-working/gutting/demolishing/rebuilding, etc. etc. etc.  Originally, this story featured almost every writing violation known to man & womankind. A veritable pile of mediocrity this was. 

But, as they say for every pile of steaming mediocrity, a seedling of redemption is sprouting from deep within to brighten the day. In short order, I took that pile of mediocrity, separated it forthwith, put one plot line to the side, gutted the other, and some several months later, came up with a 55k+ workable manuscript, of which I am very proud of.

In regards to the other plotline, long story made very short, I started working on a brand new story using that very bad plotline as a skeletal outline, which by the summer, I should have yet another viable manuscript to play with.

In summary, pulling out a very old story to work on has been very beneficial to my creative juices. Mostly because what I've learned in the past several years I can now apply and make any kind of dreck smell positively buoyant.

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

February 22, 2017

I Too Can So Write: 2/22/17

As per the norm, we have the requisite I Are Writer! post, which you really should check out. If you've always been curious on how I create, or this case re-create, characters, then this Tumblr post is for you. Additionally, it ties with my latest project The Friendship Has Begun, which is currently sitting with a couple of beta readers.

In other writing related news, I managed to get a couple of my titles into a small-publisher's bookstore. The publisher is called Pipe & Thimble (located in Torrance CA) , and they are looking for indie authors and small-press authors for their upcoming bookstore. Details to be had on their website and their Facebook page. They accept all genres except erotica for consignment.

We finish off today's post with a very small rant. Unless your head has been in the sand or you've been in a medically induced coma for the past three months, people are off and running with a four year protest against the President. Whether domestic (people who voted for Clinton), nationally domestic (the Democrat toddlers) or international, there has been no escaping the temper tantrums.

As much as I've been able to dodge some more putrid verbiage polluting my FB newsfeed, I finally cried uncle this weekend. With some glee, I unfollowed a couple of author pages and unfollowed a couple of friends (not unfriended). I just couldn't take any more of the collective stupid that was spewing out everyone's mouth.

I get and understand that some of you are upset. But there is wrong way and a right way to show your displeasure. Believe or not, there are some celebs/writers out there that I still follow even though they have strong anti-Trump feelings. Why? Because they temper those feelings with a good double dose of common sense & humor.

I leave you with a question that I may start asking pretty soon on my FB wanderings, just to see what kind of response I can get.

"Trump has been office for about a month. How has his executive orders personally affected you or your family? Not other people that you feel it's your sworn duty to get hysterically outraged over, but you personally."


And no, I don't troll. I'm just a singular voice of reason swimming against the strong tide of factoids and biased news coverage.

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

February 15, 2017

I Too Can So Write: 2/15/17

As per the norm, here is the latest for I Are Writer!. Not much in the way of substance as we hit a minor lull in writing, but there is one very good nugget of information contained within that post that is really good news for me and quite possibly for other writers.

For today's weekly tidbit, I bring to one and all, a couple of pictures of my lovely daughter Jenelle, who at this same Panic! at the Disco channel next week, will be 16 years and one day old {I link to the band because this is her FAVORITE GROUP} and will be seeing the band at Mohegan Sun at the end of February.

I tell ya, it's tough being the parent of teenager these days. But, at least I got all of the mistakes out of the way with the 1st child, so I don't quite make the same type of mistakes with the 2nd.

Oh, in other exciting news, I will finally get to meet the boyfriend and his parents at dinner next week. Not sure what restaurant it will be, but considering that she is a vegetarian and he isn't (I think), it should be very interesting....


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

February 8, 2017

I Too Can So Write!: 2/8/17

As per the custom of this blogger, we give you the latest from I Are Writer!, in which we explore how to milk an old story until it screams for mercy like an angry adult toddler. And as per the custom, you can comment here as opposed to there.

Today's random thought ties in with the Tumblr post, in that we are in hip deep inside a writing conundrum. By conundrum, I mean I'm stuck between wanting to write to keep myself occupied while waiting for some final thoughts from beta readers on my latest project {one of which decided to gracefully bow out due to a slight misunderstanding, but gave me good advice from what she was able to complete} and looking to start on a potential project connected with this novel/novella that will ultimately {I believe} force me to scrap some 32 pages/4 chapters of a rewrite to a previously published novella.

Fortunately for me, I have other things to help me postpone a decision for a few more....weeks.

sigh

In any event, I leave you with this fantastic cover of the song "In Bloom" by Sturgill Simpson. First heard this on a local collage radio program and it blew me away.



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

February 1, 2017

I Too Can So Write!: 2/1/17

As per the norm, we have a fresh post up at I Are Writer!, where we explore such things as editing, asking for help and milking an old story. And as always, you can read there and comment here.

In other exciting news, you have been chosen for a mission impossible, namely, reading a an honest-to-good-Ethel-Mertz post of epic proportions. What follows is not for the faint of heart nor for the weak of mind, but for the strength of spine and courage of conviction.

Today, is Wednesday. And while it's not Prince Spaghetti day (because there are better pastas out there than Prince), it is time for the monthly post for the Insecure Writer's Support Group.

IWSG
Are you a writer? Are you insecure? Do people mock you for writing? Well, come join yours truly as well as many many many many others who dare to say HA!!! in response to those shallow people who mock us.

Since I recently turned into a writer of leisurely pursuits, I often need a kick in the tushie to perform a jumping-jack start to my blog posts. Today is no exception. So Behold! Be Unified! Be Daring! And read the QUESTION! OF! THE! MONTH!

Today's question is brought to you today by the entire alphabet, who is chomping at the bits for April Fool's Day.

How has being a writer changed your experience as a reader?

Well, I'm not quite sure how me being a writer has changed my reading experience, but hey, this should be an interesting answer.

I've always been very strange with my reading habits, like really detesting an entire genre of literature {literary fiction & non-fiction}. But I think after pursuing the writing life for the past dozen years, it has sharpened my attention span to the tricks of the trade that I semi-tolerated as a straight reader but now loathe as a reader who writes.

As I mentioned in the preceding paragraph, I detest the literary genre like some people detest the new President. Everything that turns me off as a reader is used in extreme excess by literary writers. I do not need to read fifteen pages of backstory per chapter when I'm reading a novel; I do not need to read a book of non-fiction that ultimately reads like a master's thesis and is drier than Death Valley; I do not need to read a book that starts out with a fantastic premise only to quickly dive bomb into a treatise about your undiagnosed bipolar disease and your journey self loathing {I can back this up and cite you the title in the comments if you so desire}. I do not need to read a mystery that within 30 pages tells me the solution and spends then next 150 in a long-winded psychological info dump of the two main protagonists.

If this sounds like a long rant, I do apologize. What it really boils down to is this: Whereas prior to being a writer, I read for the pure enjoyment of the story. Nowadays, while I still do read for the pure enjoyment, I also read with the dual thoughts running in the background of "How is this particular writer holding my attention? How are they not holding my attention and turning me off?"

As a writer, I always strive to hook the reader from page one and to keep them hooked to the very end. So ultimately, my goal is write what I like to read. Not necessarily from a genre standpoint {I write adult paranormal/fantasy fiction that crosses into erotica}, but from the overall perspective of "hey, this jacket blurb looks interesting, let's crack it open and read a page or two". And really, isn't that the one solid goal that any writer wants to achieve: to write what they read and to consistently have a product that people will pick up, explore and buy.

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

January 25, 2017

I Too Can So Write!: 1/25/17

A brand new post is up at I Are Writer!, which covers a few more tangents/components that went into the creation of 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, here is a very short example of why you don't need a diploma to be a grocery store bagger. Bought four items for lunch last weekend and had them bagged. Bagger then asked if I needed a handheld basket to carry my four item bag out to my car. And no, this was not a developmentally disabled worker, who has more sense than to ask something like that.

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

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!

IWSG

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.