Pure Promo Power Here

I decided to make a quick post promoting everything that I have going on, as well as one special event coming up in less than two weeks. Here we go:


First, I have a new presence on Substack. I have decided to start a Liegois Media branch there on that writer’s platform. You can see me there at the link below:

There is a Liegois Media page on Facebook, which reprints all the stuff you see here on WordPress and Substack, as well as any cool writing memes I run across on Facebook.

Also, there is a Liegois Media page on Twitter, for much of the same purpose as my Facebook page.

In the realm of upcoming events, there is a new one I mentioned just a bit ago. Here’s just a couple of reminders of what it’s about:

So, I and a whole group of Midwest writers will be at the Badger, Iowa city-wide garage sale and book fair beginning at 8 a.m. Saturday, September 17. The location will be at the Badger Public Library, 211 1st Ave SE, Badger, IA.

Here’s a link to the event.

So, I will be headed there for an appearance and with copies of my book The Holy Fool. Hope to see you all out there.

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Badger Book Fair, Badger, Iowa

A Quick Promo Post…

So, a while ago, I got an invitation from Tambo Jones, a librarian in Badger, Iowa, for me to come on out to a city-wide garage sale and book fair. She had gotten my name from one of my fellow writers in Des Moines, Maggie Rivers, to come on down to the festivities.

Here’s a link to the event.

So, I will be headed there for an appearance and with copies of my book The Holy Fool. Festivities are expected to start at 8 a.m. and will continue throughout the morning. I may be listening to Premier League soccer occasionally on my Sirius XM radio, but I am looking forward to getting out and meeting people. I also know one of my friends and fellow authors Darrel Day is expected to be there, too.

The location will be at:

Badger Public Library
211 1st Ave SE
Badger, IA 50516

I hope to see you there, if you can make it.

Writing Journal: 3.23.2022: I’m writing, but not what I’m “supposed” to write – or, the difference between total writer’s block and “situational” writer’s block/procrastination

Well, this is a bit frustrating now.

I’m doing… all right with the writing, I guess? I’m well into March, which is one of those “extra week” months where I can get five weeks of writing sorted out rather than just four weeks. Last week’s totals (I’ll spell that out in a moment) were the best I’ve had all year, bar none, and by the time that this post goes online, I might already have achieved my writing goal for this month, to keep on pace with this not-so-crazy 200,000 words in a single year goal for 2022.

But, I’m getting the feeling that I’m beginning to separate my writing into the “serious commercial or semi-commercial writing” and the “totally frivolous and fun writing.” Two different areas, and categories that represent two different emotions for me. I have been associating the first category with success, accomplishment, “being a serious writer,” and procrastination on a very measurable level. The second category is filled with slight embarrassment because most of the writing is “frivolous,” “not serious,” “fan fiction,” “not intended for commercial success or even intended to appeal to a wider audience” and it’s supposedly not something I should invest a lot of time and creativity.

But I’ve had more fun doing that latter sort of writing than any other type of writing during the past few weeks. So, since I’ve been thinking on this subject for more than a little bit, maybe it’s time to take a step backward and see if my behavior makes any sense. Many people have complimented me, both in past times and present times, that I have a good self-analysis of my behavior, my reasoning, and my emotional reactions. Maybe it’s time to apply that to my current writing status.

(I usually post writing journals that either just say “here’s my totals for the week” and hello, or go into a deep dive about what I am thinking, writing-wise, about what is going on. I get the feeling, as I am putting this together, that this entry is one of the latter kind.

So, buckle in.

Some dude found it on Facebook, then posted it on Reddit. I saw it there and thought it was a good visual representation of the weirdness that I was considering regarding the writing output I had recently. Now, it’s on WordPress. You’re welcome.

So, we have the “serious writing” and the “fun writing” categories that I came up with for myself because I need to write about something and I might as well get it out here. My other experience is that once I talk something out with myself, once I analyze it and try and explain it to myself, I usually am able to work my way for it. I often times have eventually found myself repeating behavioral patterns, but it almost always keeps me from repeating not so good behaviors in the short term because once I figure out what is actually going on inside my head, I am able to correct things. So, I think it is good to talk about that here, especially since it concerns itself with my writing and what I am doing with it.

Essentially, what is happening is that I’m doing well at the latter writing but not the former. So, I’m going to make a brief effort to see why that is the case, and also if this classification into good and bad writing actually makes sense or is just some arbitrary malarkey that I decided on.

I’m going to try to, anyway. Or, at least summarize it.

As of right now, I’m seeing the “serious” work as something that I have to do but have to really motivate myself to do. There’s plenty of stakes in it, such as getting better known and possibly making this pay off. While my “fun” writing has no chance of doing any of that, but I enjoy myself when I do it and find the process a breeze to put out new material – new material, that is, that is not even intended to be commercial or be exploited commercially.

This is an interesting conversation… but I think I need to think on it a bit further before I tease out the implications and see the reasoning, whether accurate or false, behind this thinking. For now, just know I had a very productive week and looking forward to many more. After some of the weeks I’ve had last year and early this week, that is a nice change.

All you writers keep writing, and everyone keep safe.

Writing statistics for the week ending 3.19.2022:
+6,787 words written.
Days writing: 6 of 7.
Days revising/planning: 2 of 7 for 120 total minutes.
Daily Writing Goals Met (500+ words or 30 minutes of planning/revisions): 7 of 7 days.

Hello From Des Moines

I’m at the Indie Author Book Expo at Valley View Mall in West Des Moines. This is my first opportunity to do one of these fairs and my first time that I have gotten to do an in-person event.

If you’re out in Des Moines, come out and see me and the other authors out there. I’m signing copies for sale, so get them while they last lol.

I’m Having A Promotional Event on July 10th. Think anybody can make it out there?

After an extended absence from doing any sort of in-person promotional events due first to my move out to South Central Iowa and the whole COVID situation, I thought it was time for me to finally bring that dry spell to an end.

I will be making an appearance at the 6th annual Indie Author Book Expo at Valley West Mall in West Des Moines July 10th. I will be at the expo from 11 am to 5 pm that day.

Come down to talk with me and pick up a copy of my novel The Holy Fool. It’s my debut novel, a journalism thriller about a reporter trying to break a big national security story in Chicago on the eve of the 2008 elections and the Great Recession while trying to help keep his paper alive. Go ahead and come to the My Works page on the blog for more information about the book and links to buy paperback and e-book editions.

Here’s a link to the expo. Hope to see you there.

Hello From The Road

Yeah, I promised I would be working on things – now I know what George R.R. Martin feels like. 🤣

I was on the road today to visit the new community my wife is going to be living in and where I’ll be moving to in a year or so. So, I thought that since I had some time sitting in the car, I’d let you know what’s been going on.

Although I haven’t done much on my upcoming projects, I have been writing – quite a lot, actually. I’ve talked before about my Game Of Thrones addiction; now, I’ve been busy on writing an epilogue to the series that, to me, wraps it up in a way that’s generally satisfying (in several ways) to the series and in my mind makes it canon.

I’ve been writing this thing for the past several days. I’m now over 8,000 words into it and I’m not nearly done.

😬 Yeah, that’s not what I expected, either. 🤷🏻‍♂️

I learn more about writing every time I do this. This week I’ve learned about true writing motivation. For the past week, I’ve been tapping on my cell phone writing something that I have no expectation or plan to make money on at all. (Plus, it would be a massive copyright © violation if I did.) I didn’t do it to prove anything to anyone, or as some sort of protest for how the last season worked out. I wrote it as s way to work out how I did feel about the series and the characters I fell in love with. I wrote it because writing that made more sense than worrying about any of the stupid things in life that can get you down for no reason.

Anyone who tells you that writing is just a profession is either a liar or delusional. If you’re serious about writing, it is a way of life. Money is an important thing, you know that you are a writer when you are so compelled to tell a story you can’t not do it. That was my lesson this week.

BLATANT SELF-PROMOTION HERE

Speaking of writing and talking about it, this is just one last reminder that I’ll be at the Rock Island (Illinois) Public Library at 2 p.m. tomorrow (Saturday) giving a book talk about my book, The Holy Fool: A Journalist’s Revolt, as well as a few things about my life as a writer. Here’s the event announcement if you want to see it. You know I truly care about this event because I’ll be missing the first part of the UEFA Champions League Final featuring my English Premier League team, Liverpool FC. I might have to run to the nearest sports bar to catch the rest of it.

BLATANT SELF-PROMOTION ENDS

As for the rest of my weekend not having to do with promotion, football, or life changes, I need to finish at least two book reviews for people and get active on my Goodreads doing reviews there. I’ll probably wind up posting some of those reviews on here, as well.

Coming up will be the regular weekly journal report on Sunday, and my Game Of Thrones reaction (as well as that epilogue I’ve been writing) maybe by the middle of next week. See you then.

Writing Journal 5.12.2019: The week I admitted that I was essentially taking May off

Yeah, I basically have been taking the entire month off. It’s not quite like the old procrastination days, but it’s sort of like that.

+398 words written.

Days writing: 2 of 7.

Days revising: 2 of 7 for 60 total minutes.

Daily Writing Goals Met (500+ words or 30 minutes of revisions): 2 of 7 days.

There are occasions where I realize I’ve been working on a project for an extended period of time (in my case, three projects) and have gotten burned out trying to move them forward. It is not a permanent condition, but one where I want to take a mental break before getting back at it.

If you’ve been following me for the past few weeks, there’s been three issues that I have dealing with that I think have had a direct influence on my not writing. They are, in no particular order:

  • The impending end of Game of Thrones and how obsessed I’ve become with the TV series. I have to admit here that unlike some people who avoid all spoilers, I am obsessed with spoilers and leaks and every bit of information that I can find out about the show. In deference to those who hate spoilers, I will not post any here. [EDIT: This journal entry was delayed because S8E5 was on right in the middle of it and I had to catch it.]
    What I will say, however, is that I’ve found the show to be far better than many of the fans online have said. Even though not everything has been perfect, I’ve really been satisfied with the season and the storytelling. And honestly, it’s also made me curious and interested in trying fantasy writing myself.
  • The end of the school year. We are just down to 10 days left with students. (There’s two other in-service days, but I can work those in my sleep.) Since we’ve had to extend the school days, they’ve felt so much longer than normal, especially the closer we get to the end of the year. However, I am so glad that we will be getting out of school before June, which is more than I can say for some districts in Iowa.
  • Some personal uncertainty and lack of clarity regarding my wife’s work situation and our family’s situation about whether we would be staying in our hometown or moving somewhere else for work. This uncertainty was a big load on my mind and my family’s mind, but it got resolved this week. Even though I typically don’t post on personal stuff here, I will make a quick follow-up post on this mid-week. Don’t worry, however – things are looking good for us.

On an unrelated note, just a reminder that I’ll be hosting a book talk on my novel The Holy Fool at the Rock Island (Ill.) Public Library at 2 p.m. Saturday, June 1. I’m going to be there courtesy of the Midwest Writing Center, which is hosting the event.

In lieu of progress on my projects, since there was essentially none, I’ll just do a quick reminder of what they are.

  • Project A: This is a book about a young man who is a football player and the son of a famous college football coach who is also obsessed with soccer. I first got the idea to write about what I thought the first American Lionel Messi might be like and it turned into one of the richest characters I’ve ever written about.
  • Project B: This is a short novel about a young teen who shoots two of his classmates during a psychotic break. After five years imprisonment, he is looking to rebuild his life with the help of his brother, but former high school classmates start turning up dead around him…
  • Project C: For someone who never messed around with poetry, the idea of me putting together a poetry collection is a real trip. However, I think this is some of the most interesting stuff I’ve written, and a way for me to connect to where I grew up.

    The projected deadlines for those projects:
  • Project A, begin querying agents and publishers: Sometime in early-mid summer 2019.
  • Project B, finish major redrafting of the rough draft (more of a second rough draft rather than a more focused revision): End of summer 2019.
  • Project C, finishing creating rough draft poems: End of 2019.

I did get this written more or less on time, so there’s always that silver lining. 😀 I’ll write more later.

Writing Journal 3.31.2019: Need to pick it up as I laze into April

[We’re still getting flooded in the Midwest.]

I was worried about what the results of this week’s work would be from a statistical standpoint. It’s better than last week’s, but only by a little.

+1,606 words written.

Days writing: 3 of 7.

Days revising: 4 of 7 for 105 total minutes.

Daily Writing Goals Met (500+ words or 30 minutes of revisions): 5 of 7 days.

Again, there might be a few extra words not counted there from as a result of totally new writing from revising and some printed rough draft poems, but I don’t think that would add significantly to the weekly total (I might count those later once I officially lay them down, or maybe not.)

I was trying an experiment, which I talked about last week, to try and improve my writing work over the Friday evening-Saturday evening stretch. I’m glad that I tried it out, and it was a good thing for me personally. However, it did not effect my writing productivity. My birthday was this weekend, but I, like Stephen King, would refuse to consider that to be an unnecessary drain on my time from writing, especially I only did two things that day and my schedule should have been clear for at least a half-hour of revising both Friday and Saturday.

In my long experience with procrastination, I’ve found that there are usually two groups of factors that come into consideration as being its causes. The first of those are external factors. By that, I mean factors that are outside of the project itself (your health, distractions, comforts, substances, habits, outside hobbies, other people, etc.). Forgive me for being too vague, but what I was looking to change was related in this category. In my experience, external factors wind up being the most common reason for my procrastination.

However, I honestly think that my difficulties this week belong in the second category – factors that have to do with the work itself. I’ll explain more in the project comments, but essentially, I have to get over whatever hangup I have over whatever material I’m working on and get on with it. It will get better, I know it.

Here’s the project updates:

  • Project A: I’ve been playing around with the idea of getting a Writer’s Market along with other possibilities. I’ve just learned that the book’s parent company is going through some financial difficulties, but I think a subscription is worth it to start with researching agents and/or publishers.
    I’m now leaning toward a comprehensive proofreading edit before I start shopping it around. I might wind up doing this at times when I’m getting frustrated with the other projects.
  • Project B: Slow. I am realizing that it might be more of a matter of me heavily revising some sections rather than just slashing them and moving on. Naturally, the former will be longer going for me than the latter. I thought it was going to be easy…
  • Project C: Another poem done. Still more need to be transcribed. Still a ways away from completion.

The projected deadlines for those projects (an attempt by me to keep myself accountable for all of this).

  • Project A, begin querying agents and publishers: Sometime in early-mid summer 2019.
  • Project B, finish major redrafting of the rough draft (more of a second rough draft rather than a more focused revision): End of summer 2019.
  • Project C, finishing creating rough draft poems: End of 2019.

Things are going to be hectic, I think, for the next two months. I will be working on a lot of things for my work during that time and getting things wrapped up, so to speak, for the new year. One more sprint of a fourth quarter, but thanks to our extended schedule, at least I’ll be on summer break before June hits. Things have been so hectic that I’ll probably just run through some posts for the first week of April or so before getting back to other things.

Pretty soon I will have a 200th blog post for the site – you’ll see that in the next couple of weeks.

By the way. if you wanted a page where you could find all of my writing-related links, here it is.

That’s about it for now.