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Monday, December 5, 2011

Transforming the internet from Playground to Platform

Transforming the Internet from Playground to Platform
12/5/11

I started this blog a little over a year ago with no intentions other than to get myself into the habit of writing every day.  At the time, I had the dream of becoming an author, however, I had no idea how to go about doing that.  So the ramblings and rantings on this personal blog had no direction whatsoever.  A year later, I have two completed manuscripts that are in the process of being edited and I've read books and blogs and newsletters about  how to be a successful indie author.

Everything comes down to "platform" and "branding".  If I were to look back at my previous posts, all I would be able to say is, "Oh crap, I've done everything wrong from the start.  Shall I plead ignorance?  Sure.  But that won't help me.  Those posts about nothing are still out there.  I could delete them, I'm sure (I haven't looked).  In fact, I probably should delete them.  Just not yet.  I think I am going to use them as a record of how I am building my new and improved platform.  After all, I don't have books out there for purchase yet, right?  And who knows, maybe this will help someone else out who isn't as mired in the wrong way to do it as I am.

The blog is an easy fix.  I can (hopefully) just delete the account and it all goes away (I apologize to my dozen followers).  I have bigger issues than just a poorly written, and completely pointless blog sitting out on the internet.  I have a Twitter account.  I have a Facebook account.  Both were set up and started for personal use.  Then the mistake kicked in.  When I first started reading about platform this and platform that, I went gung-ho and started "friending" every horror lover, I could find on Facebook, and following every horror lover and writer, I could find on Twitter.  I've gotten my Facebook friends up to about sixteen hundred and my Twitter followers up to twenty six hundred.  Great, right?  Not so much.

I am now at a point where I understand the whole "branding" and "platform" better.  If I want to keep attracting people that I think would be entertained by the books I have written and will write in the future, then I have to make every Tweet and Facebook post stay on "brand".  No more personal rantings.  No more drunk Tweeting (oh yeah, this guy is notorious for it).  But the worst part of it is, I have to be conscious of everything I put out there now.  I can't just sit back and try to get the phrase #AllOverMyFace to trend on Twitter with my friends.  See my Twitter stream from Thanksgiving weekend.  It's quite immature and crude.  But that's me.  But that is not how I want to be perceived by those, I wish to entertain with my future books.  I want anyone who doesn't know who I am to see someone who takes his craft seriously.  Which I do.  I just enjoy being crude and immature when I am not writing, not to mention the drunk Tweeting and Facebooking.  My phone should be taken away from me when I take that first sip of whisk(e)y.

How do I fix those two aspects of my platform?  I'm not sure.  I've worked pretty hard to actually build this following, both on the personal and professional side.  They are just completely mixed together right now.  As I see it, I have three options, and I don't know which is the right answer.  Maybe my followers and friends can help me on this one.  1) I create new Twitter and Facebook accounts for my personal life and go through the hassle of trying to get all of my personal contacts for migrate with me. 2) I create new Twitter and Facebook accounts for my writing side (I've already done this for Twitter, but I keep staring at the one follower and then look at my main account with 2600 and say, there's no effing way, I'm starting from scratch).  I spent a lot of time and effort to get these to where they currently are. 3) I keep the mixed up jumbled groups together and just let the potential customers see that I am a person too.  I may have to work harder at convincing them that I am a serious writer, but I blow off steam just like anybody else.

To be honest I like option three the most.  Maybe because I'm lazy and it is the least amount of work.  Then I think about my literary heroes, like Stephen King and Brian Lumley and Clive Barker.  I don't see them "publicly" drunk tweeting, or trying to incite the internet to type #AllOverMyFace as many times as possible. Then again, are they bad examples?  Sure they are the top of the game in my genre, but they are of a different breed of writer.  They are traditionally published.  I do not intend to be so.

To say I am still on the fence about this is an understatement.

Do I start from scratch with one of my "personas" and have two separate and "clean" spaces?  One a business platform, and the other what the internet has always been for me, a playground.  Or do I build this "platform" around what has already been started and wind up with the "platform" equivalent of the Winchester Mystery House.

I've designated December as "Build my Platform Month".  I've got a lot to do in order to meet my goal of having it "branded" by 12/31.  I also have to establish several more "supports" for this "platform" (are you as tired as I am of reading those terms?).  I intend to keep you posted vie this blog as I complete each aspect.  I will beg you for feedback on each as they become complete.  Shameless, I know, but hey, if you've read this far, there is something to seeing this journey through to the end.  Or the beginning of the next wild adventure.
Quick list of platform items to be constructed/repaired:

Twitter (saving for last until decision is made)
Facebook (same as above)
Facebook Fan Page
Website
Blog
Goodreads.com presence
Shelfari.com presence
Newsletter(email version)
Amazon Author Page
B&N Author Page(do they have one)
Smashwords Author Page (do they have one?)

That is enough for tonight.  Time to get to editing my beloved manuscripts.  If you have any advice, please leave a comment below.

There was nothing frightening about this post except for the amount of work still to be done, or maybe that you read the whole damn thing.

So as always, Stay scared my friends.

MyLtlDmn

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

August 2011, my month in Hell


8/2/2011
The busiest month of my life may be upon me.  The month of August looks from the outset like it is going to be one of the busiest I have ever had in my entire life.  If I can get through it in one piece and accomplish everything that I am setting out to accomplish, then I will truly be worthy of your praise and adoration.  I may even be worthy or recruiting a couple minions.  Not many mind you.  But a few.  If I can accomplish my goals for 2011 THEN, I will be worthy of a  grand following of minions.  I will limit this blog to just what I wish to accomplish this month.
I’ll begin with the items I am more or less obliged to do and move on to the items that mean the most to me, yet are somehow relegated to the “if I can get to them pile”.  How is that cool?  Life ain’t fair when we have to put off what we truly love and want to do in order to do the more mundane things that we have to do?
I’ve made a plan.  And in order to swap these want to dos and have to dos, I am taking the next couple steps this month.  But like I said, I’ll start with the have to dos, since that is still the stage of life I am in.

Have to dos.
1)     1)    I must keep my accounting job, no matter how mundane it is.  No matter how little a challenge it provides me.  I am beyond the point in my career where I am actually looking for challenges.  I will still accept new tasks when presented or offer help if it benefits a coworker – because I genuinely like my coworkers.  I’m just not looking for any new challenges right now.  Status quo is what I am all about for the remainder of the year.  At least where the day job is concerned.  I would like to add that I am scheduled for a business trip that is going to take me out of state for a week this month.  As you read on, this may just be the death blow to all my “want to do” plans.  But I am going to give it my bestest to not let it win.  I can pull anything off.

2)     2)      I have side consulting accounting work.  This is somewhere in the no man’s land between have to and want to.  In the purest sense of the word this is not a have to.  I do not depend on this to survive.  I will not, however allow it to interfere with anything that is going to follow .  I feel an obligation to this company since they are the first company in San Antonio that gave me a chance.  I don’t think I am going to be required more than 15-20 hours this week and possibly next week.  Either way, that is good guaranteed $$ in the bank.

3)     3)      My Saturday nights are claimed for an indefinite length of time.  I will be slinging classic cocktails, such as Sazeracs and Moscow Mules, as well as contemporary masterpieces such as Cucumber Martinis and True Azuls.  The Green Lantern bar is a great place to hang out.  I get to drink all night for free and people pay me to make drinks for them.  Kinda sounds like a “want to do” huh?  I am loyal to the owner of the bar and my coworkers there, so I am going to put this in the “have to dos”.  But just barely.

Want to dos.

4)      4)     I am starting to bartend a couple nights a week (Thursday and Friday) starting next week at a new place for me.  It is not a new bar (in fact it is the oldest bar on the San Antonio Riverwalk), but it is new for me.  I will probably make in two nights what I make in one at the other bar.  But still, I am not going to scoff at possibly another $1000/month.

5)      5)     I will hash out the financial details with the artist I have been talking to about the cover of Just Another Zombie love story.

6)      6)     I need to find a professional editor for Just another Zombie Love Story.  I am not an English major.  I’m an accountant.  I just have a ton of stories locked in my head clamoring to get out.  I need to find someone who is far better with the English language than myself to scrub my manuscript one more time.

7)      7)     This is a tad out of order, but those last two just flowed together well.  Before sending JAZLS to a professional editor I am going to scrub it at least four more times myself.  I don’t want to send crap to an editor that has plot holes and plot contradictions.  Hell, I have been known to switch character names halfway through a story.  Time to move to the big leagues.  Or at least Triple A.

8)      8)     This brings me to my biggest focus for the month.  The one item that is driving almost my entire existence at the moment.  And with my ADDOS (Attention Deficit Dis… Oh Shiny), this is saying a lot, considering that I have wanted this for awhile now.  I am going to write the sequel to JAZLS in the month of August.  I know professional writers tend to frown upon  NaNoWriMo(google it if you don’t know what it is), but I definitely use it as a motivating tool for writing.  And until writing is an everyday thing for me, I need every bit of motivation I can get.  My goal is 2500 words written in the manuscript every single day of the month.  If I can average that, then I will have another completed first draft by the end of the month.

Would be nice to dos.

9)      9)     Get to 1000 friends on Facebook.  Instant market #1 for my book(s).  I am actually almost there and this should be completed by this weekend with little effort.

10  10)      Get to 2500 followers on Twitter.  Instant market #2 for my book(s).  This one is going to take a bit more effort, but as you can see from the above “to do” list, I do not shy away from effort.  Besides, I am sort of addicted to Twitter right now.  I just need to keep searching for the zombie loving horrorphiles in the Twittersphere.

So, all I ask is that you wish me luck and forgive me if I seem a tad on the grumpy side this month.  But if I succeed in all these plans, then I will be taking applications for minions in the month of September.

Stay scared my friends,

My little Demon

Myltldmn@gmail.com

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Just Another Zombie Love Story sample.

7/31/2011

You wanted it (I doubt it), you asked for it (a flatout lie), so you've got it (aren't you just overjoyed?).  A little taste of Just Another Zombie Love Story.  I debated with myself for a long time trying to choose an excerpt to share.  At first I wanted to post the beginning to see if I could get a little feedback on how well I hooked you into the story.  Then I decided that you probably want a little zombie action as whet your appetite.  Am I right? So here you go.  Here is the first scene in the book with the walking dead in it.


 Sunday September 16, 2012  4:30am
If the circumstances weren't so fucked up I would be writing this with quite a bit of excitement right now.  Jessica is asleep in my bed next to me.  I told her I wouldn't sleep until she got up in a few hours.  This has really turned into a nightmare.  We are essentially barricaded in my apartment.  And I don't know what the fuck is going on outside.  Let me go back a bit.
I walked into my bedroom to lay down around one o’clock.  All of the TV stations had given away to the Emergency Broadcast system by then.  It was the same message being broadcast on every channel.  “Stay inside.  Avoid contact with others. Marshall Law has been instituted nationwide.  Stay tuned for further instructions.”  This message was even plastered up on the Discovery Channel.  I tried the radio and my ears were assaulted by this same message repeated over and over again up and down the tuner.  I found one station that was still on the air, unfortunately it was a Spanish station.  I could only make out one in twenty words or so.  Those words that I did make out weren’t encouraging either.  The DJ was talking so fast and he couldn’t keep the terror out of his voice.  I heard “muerto” and “apocalipsis” and I think I even heard “zombie”.  As entertaining as listening to the raving Mexican was, I decided to try to go to sleep. 
Jessica called around 1:30am.  I had been laying awake contemplating the events of the past thirty six hours when the phone made me just about jump out of my skin.  I grabbed my cell phone and accepted the call even though I didn’t recognize the number.  She was frantic.  It took me a minute to figure out who it was that was screaming at me though the phone.  She was ranting something about men trying to get in and the police not answering.  I told her to calm down and tell me what was happening.  She took a deep breath and started over a little calmer.  It was about this point that I recognized her voice.  She said there were some people trying to get into her apartment.  She used the word zombies.  That word flipped a switch in my brain.  Thousands dying, and now zombies?  I couldn't bring myself to believe it.  Jake and I had spent countless hours preparing for the “inevitable” zombie apocalypse when we were kids.  There could be no way it was actually happening.  I got her to tell me that her place was locked and that she was locked in the back bedroom.  I told her that I was coming to get her and that I would stay on the phone the entire way to her place.  Best laid plans right?
Well, it turns out that the word she and that terrified Mexican on the radio had used was indeed correct.  Everyone that had died?  Yeah, they were up and walking around now.  They are pretty slow moving.  Thank God (or whoever) for that small miracle.  I had grabbed my softball bat before leaving the apartment and I went out into the dark.  I gotta tell you that when faced with this event, no amount of disaster preparedness is enough.  There were ‘people’ walking around inside my apartment complex.  Inside the gate.  Shrouded in shadows I sensed movement from every direction.  Luckily, I parked close to my front door and there were none of them (are they really dead?) between the door and Xena, my Xterra.  Jess was either calmer or she was going into shock.  I got into my car and locked all the doors with the push of one button.  I turned the key and slammed the gear into reverse without pausing.  I hit the gas and backed up 15 feet, threw it into drive and sped through the complex avoiding the shambling figures as I went.  I got to the exit gate and stopped while the sensor detected me and the iron gate slowly slid out of my way.  The other side of the gate was illuminated by my headlights and the way was clear.  To my right however, I could see the apartment manager shuffling toward me.  At the rate he was moving, I would be out of the gate and it would be closed behind me before he got to where I was.
Thud, went the hand on my window to the left.  It wasn’t hard, but it was so sudden that I almost pissed myself.  I let out a girlie scream and depressed the gas pedal hard and shot out of the complex. My passenger side mirror clipped the gate on my way through and ripped it clean off.
My scream apparently jarred something in Jess, as she began to barrage me with questions.  I spent the entire drive to her apartment trying to calm her down again.  Her complex wasn't gated.  I had been planning to go in and calm her down and maybe just hang out there for the night until we figured out what the hell was going on.  I immediately changed my mind.   First, her apartment complex wasn’t gated and mine was.  I needed to feel safe until I came up with a plan.  Bars and a gate seemed like a good start.  Second, my apartment was in a suburb and hers was downtown close to the hospital.  Two plus two  still equals 4 in my book and I don't want to be anywhere near a morgue if in fact this turns out to be Z-Day.  All of a sudden it was a rescue mission.  I tried to get all of this across to Jessica en route, but she didn't seem all that responsive to the idea of leaving her home. 
When I got to her place it was worse than I had feared.  They were everywhere.  And to top it off I heard breaking glass through the phone followed by Jess screaming that they were getting into her living room.  I told her to calm down and try to be quiet until I got to her.  The only good thing about this whole scenario was the fact that she lived on the bottom floor at the front of the complex.  Good and bad I suppose.  Good that I didn't have to spend much time finding it, and bad that it was stop number one for ‘them’.
I pulled into the parking lot and saw where her apartment was and saw about 20 of ‘them’ in front of her window pushing their way in.  A couple of them fell over forward into Jess’ apartment because they didn't have the wherewithal to step over the sill.  It seemed like we had the intellectual advantage at least.  One good thing.  My headlights lit them up and they took notice.  Almost as one, they all turned and started shambling toward my SUV.  I told Jess to be ready.  And when I honked my horn from right outside her living room, to come running.  She was frantic, and I had a hard time convincing her to agree to this.  In the end, she agreed and I had an idea.  I explained it to her and sat in my idling vehicle as the zombies made their slow way toward my SUV.  My heart was racing in my chest.  I'm sure it would have exploded right out if I had heard another thud on my window.  This time I kept an eye out both side windows and in my rear view.  Watching the zombies (okay, I fucking said it, they are zombies) shamble closer.  I counted down into the phone from ten to one.  While doing this I primed my nerves for what was next.  When I got to one, I slammed down on the gas and shot forward.  The first zombie went down without flinching as I approached and hit it with the front end of my car.  And the next did the same.  Several glanced off to either side and I hit the curb and bounced up onto the grass.  I almost lost control of Xena then and had to take my foot off the gas.  I slowed and bounced over a few more of them and slammed my foot down on the brake and skidded to a halt about two yards from Jess' broken living room window.  At the same time I laid on the horn and screamed into the phone for her to get out there NOW!!!
I expected this part to be more difficult.  She apparently hadn't waited for the horn.  She was out the window and reaching for the passenger handle mere seconds after I stopped.  I threw the phone down when I saw her.
“Get IN Jess!!!  GET IN!” I screamed at her as she tried the handle and I tried to look every direction at once.
“I can't!”, she screamed back at me.  “IT'S LOCKED!”
“FUCK!”, I reached for the button and the door unlocked and flew open at once.  She jumped in with one last look behind the vehicle.  She screamed and slammed the door shut behind her.
“You asshole!  Get us out of here!  GO!” and she slapped me in the shoulder.
All of this didn't really register at the time.  I was already putting the car in reverse and backing up as fast as I could.  A few zombies went under in the process and we got out of there.
There was no one on the road.  No vehicles at least.  Was it that there wasn’t anyone else alive?  Or was I the only one stupid enough to go out?  I’m guessing at this point that the latter is the more likely.  Damn my over inflated sense of chivalry.  That was the last time.  Jake and I always said, “Chivalry will get you killed.”  We got back to my apartment complex quickly and into the gate easily enough.  There were more zeds out and about but not nearly as many as at Jess'.  I pulled my car all the way up to my front door.  Fuck parking places now.  I didn't have to use the bat at all.  We got in the front door and went up the stairs to the left into my living room.  I have never been happier in my life to not live on the bottom floor.  I propped a dining room chair under the handle of the door just to make myself feel better.  A little bit anyway.
Now, I have a sleeping beauty, pun definitely intended, in bed next to me and an uncertain future ahead of me (us?).
Fuck, what a day! It is probably best not to think too much about the future right now.  I need to sleep.  One thing I know for certain though.  NO MORE CHIVALRY!

Thank you to any of you who actually read all that.  Please take a few moments to let me know what you think.

Stay scared my friends!

My Little Demon


myltldmn@gmail.com

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

To Blog or Not to Blog

5/25/11

That is my question.

I don't have a plethora of knowledge to bestow upon the world.  My humor doesn't cater to millions of people, but only a very narrow group of people.  The only purpose that blogging has served me is getting me in the mindset to write.  In the past I have tried using my blogging for therapeutic reasons.  And that worked and served it's purpose.  The problem there is, that even I found myself boring.  That's a huge problem.

I keep hearing that a writer needs a platform in order to land a publishing deal.  Ok, fine.  I've increased my Facebook "friends" and my Twitter "followers".  Blog followers has proven to be extremely elusive.  Mainly because I don't really have anything interesting to say.  I've got stories locked in my head just rattling their chains to be unleashed on the world.  But I have an extremely hard time releasing them in this format.  Mainly because I don't proofread my blog.  I don't edit it in any way.  It is exactly as the words form in my head.  In other words it is all crap.

I think that if I were to continue to post my fiction here, I would be producing the opposite of followers.  I would create a list of ignorers (oh yeah, I just made up a new word).  Suck it Websters!

I don't see this format as a springboard to much of anything for me.  I know it has worked for others, but frankly, I don't have the time to agonize over the words that make up this blog.  If you have read this in the past, I sincerely apologize.  I've ranted, I've raved and I've said pretty much a whole bunch of nothing since I started writing sporadically on this blog in October.

If you are still reading, then I have one question for you (unless you are my wife of course):  Why?  I've just rambled on over 300 words and said absolutely nothing.

I've been polishing the beginning of my Zombie Apocalypse novel to submit it to Publishers.  I've toyed with the idea of blogging as if I were actually in the middle of the Zapocalypse.  That wouldn't be unique on the web either.  It's funny really.  We all start out life thinking the world revolves around us and that we are unique and special.  But the older we get the more we realize that it is really extremely difficult to be unique.  Every great idea I've ever had, has been done already.  I guess that is the danger of living on a planet with 6 billion or so people.  How am I any different than any of them?  Ok, maybe I am different from most of them.  Say 99.99%.  Here's where my accounting background comes into play.  .01% of the human population is still a whopping 600,000 people.  That means that any idea I may come up with, there are potentially 600k people who may have beaten me to that idea.  I can narrow that down a bit too, though in an attempt to make myself feel important.  Of those 600k people that are essentially like me let's say only 1% actually have the drive to act upon an idea.  That's still 60k people.  I can live with that.  but I need to beat the other 59,999 bastards out there to something.  Something that WILL set me apart from everyone else.

I know my wife is the only one still reading, but even that makes me feel good.  If by some chance there is still anyone else reading, please drop me a line here, on Facebook or Twitter.

I think I may revist my last blog post after I walk the dog.  Talk to you (or myself soon)

My Little Demon

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Step one: Figure out where you want to go!

4/21/2011

I'm back after far too long away.  So many excuses not to write every day.  But you know what?  That's all they are.  Excuses.  Instead of farting around on Farmville, I could have been blogging.  Instead of sitting around watching a movie I could have spent two hours writing.  Instead of wasting time staring at the plethora of games on my iPhone, I could have been brainstorming ideas of how to escape the rat race.

Today I decided, "No more excuses!"

And that was quite invigorating, because I actually felt that statement deep in my soul!  You know what my very next thought was?  "Holy fuck!  If I have no more excuses, then I really have to accomplish something.  Because if I don't, then I will invariably start up with the excuses again.  I don't want to be a failure."

Where the hell do I go from here?  I know where I want to wind up.  This isn't like one of my stories.  I can't just fill in the middle parts that get me to the happy ending I am craving.  It's more like trying to follow a GPS device into a new neighborhood.  I often ran into that while living in Las Vegas.  When I moved there, the city was still growing, and the GPS softwares couldn't keep up with the growth.  I often drove around for awhile before I realized I was on the right track.  Or the wrong one occasionally.  And you know what?  That is a lot like life.  We may know where we want to get to (though a lot of people don't even know that), and we have a general direction in which to travel.  But all the GPS satellites have just crashed and burned up in the atmosphere.  Tough shit for us right?  So much like our pioneering ancestors we set off in what we think is the right direction and pretty much wing it from there.  We try to keep the destination in mind as we meander through the side streets, highways, dirt roads and game trails of life.

One word about my writing right now for any new readers I may have, or those of you that have forgotten how I write.  If you don't like analogies, you may just want to click back to Facebook, or Twitter or wherever you have come from.  I am full of them.  I tend to use them in my every day life all the time.  I don't even realize it sometimes.  I can always find something to relate anything to in order to paint a picture, or better explain something to someone.  This is just what I do.

So the first thing that I need to do is decide on a destination.  What would my perfect world be like?  Then, I need to decide if that life is reasonably attainable.  If it is, then I need to figure out the general direction I need to head to eventually wind up there.  If it isn't reasonable as I desire it in my perfect imagination, then how do i need to tweak it in order to make it attainable in my lifetime.

Don't you have a dream life?  Is it detailed?  Or is it a vague idea.  If it's a general vague idea - such as just sitting on the beach every day like my wifey - then flesh it out a bit more.  It may be Hawaii, but sitting on the beach in the middle of the night, couldn't possible appeal to you... could it?  So in the comment section below tell me - in as many or as few words as you'd like - what your dream life would consist of.  Remember this is the perfect world revolving completely around you.  Be selfish!  I expect to read about everyone wanting to be as rich as Donald Trump or Bill Gates and having a dozen houses spread around the world.

Scared to pour your heart out?  Afraid that your dream sucks?  Afraid that it is too big to be a realistic thing? Well, DUH!  Next time through through we will pare it down to something that IS attainable.  Still don't want to "put yourself out there"?  Ok, I'll go first.

I am going to be completely selfish here and just assume that the wifey and kids are part of this dream somewhere.  I am not going to mention them in this, but rest assured they are there... somewhere.  Next time I will flesh out where they come in.  Or maybe the time after that.

I can't decide between three destinations, so I am going to combine them into one eclectic mess.  I want to be a farmer, bartender and writer.  Ok, maybe not bartender, but bar owner.  How am I going to manage all of this success?  Sounds like a lot of work right?  Well, I have come to realize about myself that I NEED a lot of work.  I am not the type of person who can sit and do nothing for long periods of time.  Days at the beach sunning myself is not my idea of fun.  Don't get me wrong, the beach is a very fun place to be, but I always have to be doing something while there.  The kids love this because I will make sand castles and throw rocks and still do all the "kid stuff".  So staying busy is something that I see in my perfect world.  I would like to have a small "homestead" on which I grow all my own fruits and veggies.  I will leave the raising of livestock to neighbors.  I will also need a few friends or laborers to tend the homestead while I am gone.  And where will I be gone to?  To oversee one of my many bars around the world.  I'm thinking four or five would be perfect.  Let's see where do I want them?  One in whatever town our homestead is located near - in this example, let's say somewhere along the border between Colorado and Wyoming.  One in San Antonio, because that is where my wife's family is and we would want to visit there a lot and I would like to give back to the place that has taught me so much about bartending and cocktails.  Let's see, someplace warm - a barefoot bar in Hawaii should do nicely.  Europe - Scotland or Ireland.  And I think Australia, though I don't have my heart set on that one.  So now we have travel plans one to two weeks every month.  During the other 2-3 weeks of the month about half the day would be spent tending the homestead.  That leaves half days free while at home.  I would spend half that time writing.  Writing novels.  Writing blogs.  It doesn't matter.  Just writing.  Getting all the stories out of my head and onto paper.  Writing to blog readers.  Writing to free my soul.  Kinda like this blog tonight.

Ok, it's your turn.  Next time, I will whittle down my ultimate dream to something that I think I can actually attain.  That'll be step two.

Until then, please share your dream.  Maybe you can develop a direction over the coming days, weeks and months as I do the same.

Thank you for reading.

My Little Demon
1218

Sunday, February 13, 2011

What a day!

2/13/2011
The Good, The Bad and The Writing

The Good

So I worked at a Client's office this morning, and then came home to my wife, son and house guest.  Then it became time to show said house guest around San Antonio.  Did I mention that this house guest is one of the best friends I have ever had, and I just realized yesterday that we will have known each other for twenty years this November.  At which time I started my first job and he was my boss. Here's where I tell everyone that the best first job for anyone is working at a movie theater.  I look back VERY fondly on those three years and six days!

So anyways, I came home from working and then we all went to Lulu's cafe.  A place that I never even knew existed, but our guest had seen it on the the Food Network.  As I learned today they are known for their cinnamon rolls.  Texas-sized cinnamon rolls.  Today was the first day I have actually seen any proof about the saying that "everything is bigger in Texas" (And I have lived here now for 2 years and 13 days).
First, as we were walking to our table (after a 15 minute wait outside the diner) we saw their chicken fried steak.  Can I just say that this CFS would have fed Paul Bunyan.  My wife and friend shared it and there was enough leftovers in my fridge now that will be a full meal for someone.  I am not exaggerating!   I don't like CFS, so I didn't indulge in this gravy drowned friedness.

After the meals were consumed we ordered dessert.  ONE CINNAMON ROLL.  Not each.  Let me repeat.  ONE CINNAMON ROLL.  For the whole table.  This three pound beast was easily 12" X 8".  With more frosting than your average birthday cake.  I cut it into quarters and dished it onto the serving plates.  It hung over the edge of each of them.  None of us finished our servings.  All four of us have breakfast tomorrow!

After this we drove downtown and toured the Alamo.  The full tour took about a half hour.  Again, no one knew how to find the basement.  One of these days!  Then up and down the Riverwalk.  We even took a River tour.  Which was my first time.  I thought I had been on one before, but I don't recall ever hearing any of the info that was given to us today.

All in all it was a good day!  Got my friend signed up on Facebook - FINALLY!

The Bad

no

The Writing

I got nuttin.








Stay scared my friends,
My Little Demon
myltldmn@gmail.com

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Taxes, Writing Platforms and Writing Critique Groups

2/9/2011
The Good, The Bad and The Writing

I am completely abandoning the format of my blog for tonight.  I have a couple things I need to write about and I am curious if anyone is even reading this.  I see that only SEVEN people read my last post.  SEVEN.  That will not do!  I need to be more interesting.  I am going to reinvent this blog completely.  How?  Who the fuck knows!?!?!?!  Not me.  But I need to do it.  I need a traffic of about 1000 people a day to hit my page.  I'll get to why later.

First of all:  My taxes are DONE!!!!!!!!  February 9th is a new record for me.  I've been filing my taxes since 1992, and this year is the earliest I have ever gotten them submitted.  Ok that was a bit anticlimactic for anyone reading this, but I am pretty fucking jazzed about it!  I consider myself a professional procrastinator and I got my W-2 TODAY!  I don't know what the hell is wrong with me!

Ok, onto topic #2: Writing platforms!  I read this article last night and it scared the fuck out of me: http://www.andrewjackwriting.com/2011/02/what-the-word-platform-means-for-writers/.  Basically the article boils down to the simple rule of business: in order to get published you need to prove to the publisher that you have an audience.  How do you prove that?  Well, you have to have a platform.  I am pretty new to this whole writing thing.  Or at least trying to get published.  So WTF!? is a platform?  Let's use a metaphor shall we?  I know my wife isn't tired of me using those.  NOT!

Let's look at the word: PLATFORM!  What does that make you think of?  The initial image in my head is a gallows, but let's remove the sick fuckery that is in my head and move on to the second thing that comes to mind.  Which in this case is actually the Lincoln-Douglas debates.  Funny how my fucked up mind works isn't it?  I picture two presidential candidates standing on pedestals trying to convince a group of onlookers why they would be the better choice to represent them in the White House.  That analogy works better for the purposes of this one sided discussion.  These two candidates had a platform to stand on to reach a group of people.  Each town they stopped in gave them a platform to stand on in order for them to be heard.  The people that heard them, then got to decide which candidate was right for them.  A platform for a writer is similar.  Not quite as glamorous, but similar.  We need a group of individuals that are going to be predisposed to buy whatever slop we may be putting into print.  Or at least a group of people that are willing to listen to us pitch whatever it is we have to offer.  I can't say it any better than the article that I have linked to (mainly because I am drunk, tired and generally lack the motivation to try tonight when someone else has done a great job).  So, after you read the article (and come back to read my ramblings), leave me some feedback.  what do you think would be a good way to create a platform.  What type of blog would you like to read on a daily basis.  Or would you rather it be not that frequently?  I don't know.  I started this blog for mainly therapuetic purposes, and it has been mainly that since October.  Well, it is time to start playing like a grown-up.  I gotta play the publishers game until I prove to them that I am a great writer (sober at least).

And last but not least, I would like to know if there is anyone out there that would like to start a Horror Writers Critique Group with me.  I need semi-anonymous people to help me edit my work, until I have made the next couple steps into the realm of becoming a professional writer.  If anyone is interested, please send me an email.


Stay scared my friends,
My Little Demon
myltldmn@gmail.com

Sunday, February 6, 2011

No Super Bowl for Me, It's Writing Time

2/6/2011
The Good, The Bad and The Writing

The Good

I don't know how to narrow this down to any particular thing today!  There is just a general good feeling in my being today.  I am happy with my day.  It was a pretty lazy day.  Aside from my Client no showing this morning.  But that's ok.  I got to return home and go back to bed for a few more hours.  I am well rested.  I am feeling close to the wifey.  I am writing now.  What more could a guy ask for?
Every day we get closer to closing on the house.  Then I will be a home owner again.  Yay!  This will be my wife's first home and my first in about seven years, since the divorce.  I have a self imposed deadline for my writing.  And a hard and fast goal to go along with it.  I need to get the second draft finished this month.  I am behind, but I am confident that I can catch up.  The plan for after the second is complete is to have someone else read it and rip it to shreds.  Then I recover my ego and rewrite it one more time before mid April.  I will then have something tangible to take to the World Horror Convention in Austin the last weekend in April.  There I will hopefully find an agent to sit with and try to begin the process of getting Just Another Zombie Love Story into print for the world to read.
Right now the rest of America is gearing up to watch the Super Bowl.  I am gearing up to tackle my rough draft.  I am sitting in the Starbucks inside the Barnes & Noble at La Cantera.  I seem to do my most productive writing here.  So I am going to breeze through this post and get down to the business at hand.

The Bad

I'm in a happy place right now and nothing is really bothering me that much at the moment.

The Writing

This is being reserved for JAZLS rewrite.  I'll work on some other story ideas here soon, I promise.


Stay scared my friends,

My Little Demon
myltldmn@gmail.com

367

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Brrrr

2/2/2011
The Good, The Bad and The Writing

I'm calling tonight's blog on account of cold.   I love it.  It's 23 degrees outside.  I just stepped outside to feel it and I LOVE IT!  Snow flurries possible tomorrow.  Let's see if the weather channel or NOAA or the local weather guys are right?  The local weather guys want us to believe we might get 1-2 inches of accumulation tomorrow.  NOAA says chance of flurries.  Weather channel says only 10-20% chance.  I am not going to get my hopes up.


Stay scared my friends,

My Little Demon
myltldmn@gmail.com

Monday, January 31, 2011

1/31/2011
The Good, The Bad and The Writing

The Good

Let's see. The weather gods read my blog last night and  they are bringing me proper winter weather.  Hooray!  We may not get snow, but we are going to get cold temperatures!!!  The high tomorrow is going to be 54, which is ten degrees cooler than it is right now at 10pm.  AND that is going to be about 20 degrees warmer than on Wednesday!  I am SOO excited!  I can't wait  for the cold weather to blow through here.

The Bad

I miss my family.  I don't have a huge family, and I'm sure I've written about them before.  I don't know my father's side of my gene pool because my parents were divorced when I was two and I grew up knowing only my mother's half of my family.  I've only met my paternal grandparents and one cousin on that side of my family.  I do not feel as though I missed out in any way by what some may think of as a lack of connection with these blood relatives (I just learned a couple months ago that I actually have uncles and aunts on my father's side)(and the fact that I have 2 half brothers and 2 half sisters that I have never met).  But I do have a deep connection with my mother's side of the family.  I have one uncle and two aunts. My mommy, and Grandpa and five cousins.  That's right, how many of you can count their first cousins on one hand?  C, J, C, T and J I miss the hell out of all of you.  I grew up along side J1 and he is still in California.  I was there last July.  I haven't seen a single family member since July.  Here is where my wife chimes in and says "Do something about it."  To her I say, save it, you know our financial situation.
  
I am the oldest of the six cousins.  I got married first and started having children first.  One of my cousins we will call him C1, the next oldest, I haven't seen since my first wedding day.  That was June of 1995.  T and J2 I haven't seen since the following summer when I visited the family in Utah.  C2, I have seen more recently.  And by the way of my three other cousins that have children, C2's are the only ones I have actually seen in person. Well two of the three of them.  Fast forward to present day.  C1 is living in Idaho with his four children.  C2, her hubby and three offspring are living is Utah still, as is J2.  J1 is still in California.  T is living in Lubbock, TX a mere 5 hours from me, and yet I haven't seen her since she was 15.  Now she is going to turn 30 in August and has three little ones of her own that I have obviously never seen.  I would really love to rectify this situation in the coming year.  This is going to be the busiest and fullest year of my life.  I have big plans and big goals.  One of them is to see at least one of my cousins and their kids.  T, can I come visit you?

The Writing

I got nuttin.

Stay scared my friends,

My Little Demon

564

myltldmn@gmail.com

Sunday, January 30, 2011

The Good, The Bad and the Writing Returns

1/20/2011
The Good, The Bad and The Writing

The Good

It's been a rough week and mentally, I have been in a very low place for much of the week.  Coming up with something positive today has been a struggle, so I decided to step out of myself and look at my life from the perspective of an outsider.  And I came up with a list of a few things that I should be thankful for.  And hopefully writing them down here will help me to remain positive about my life and situation.

1) I live in a place where the air conditioning was a necessity today.  You will see me bitch about this in "The Bad" later, but for the purposes of "The Good" here you go.  The temperature in my part of San Antonio hit 78 today.  I am currently laying in bed typing this in shorts and a t-shirt with the ceiling fan on overhead.  I actually had to wipe sweat away from my brow earlier too.  So I guess to 90% of you, "Eat your hearts out!"
2) I have a wonderful wife that loves me very much.  She puts up with all my faults - and believe me they are quite numerous.  She is great in bed (sorry kids if you are reading this).  She sincerely cares about my health (mental and physical).
3) I have 3 wonderful kids.  They aren't all easy to try to raise, but I love them all and wouldn't trade any of them for the world.  And I would die for all of them.
4) I have a great job.  In fact it is a career since I am coming up on 17 years in the same profession.  The longest I have ever been unemployed from Accounting is 8 months.
5) That 8 month unemployment leads me to the fact that I have other skills that I can fall back on other than Accounting.  I am a pretty damn good bartender if I do say so myself.  So, though I may have struggled to find accounting work when I moved to San Antonio, I was still able to "fall back" on this skill and actually make a decent name for myself as a bartender.
6) I "get" to work at home.  For most of you, this sounds like a wonderful thing.  So I am including it here.
7) Did I mention a great life mate yet?  Well, if not, then my spouse if amazing!  And I would be writing about her even if I thought she wasn't going to read this.  She is supportive and loving and compassionate.  I can't say enough good things about her.  And though she has her faults too, I accept her as being perfect for me and in my eyes.
8) I have some pretty great friends.  Both long time and some new.  I don't get to interact with them nearly as much as I would like, but I love them all to pieces.  I have all the support I could ever ask for in them.  I just wish I were more willing to ask for that support when i am having week's like this.  Because I know you all would be there for me.

I really wanted to get to 10 but I am now stuck.  Maybe as I write the rest of this blog a flower of positivity will bloom in my head.

The Bad

I know I said above that I was going to bitch about the fucked up winter here in San Antonio, but for those of you that have read my blog before, you already know I hate the weather here, so I will move on to something that really does bother me more than anything else at the moment.

You know how above I said I have great friends?  That was 100% true.  The only issue is that they are either 1) far away or 2) all in the service industry.  Let me explain why this is a bad thing.  #1 should be obvious, the friends that I have had since childhood are all in California.  So the only interaction I get with them is via instant messaging or text messaging or the occasional phone call.  I made some great friends in Las Vegas while we lived there briefly.  Those friends I get to interact with even less than those from my childhood.  These friendships are limited to Facebook and since my cell phone was stolen I can't even text most of them. I really hate this.  The wonderful people I have met and bonded with here in San Antonio all work in the service industry, and though this may be GREAT for getting free and discounted drinks and food, it really is lacking in the camaraderie aspect of friendship.  I work all day long and when i am free in the evenings, they work.  Weekends are the same.  For those of you not familiar with the service industry they refer to their weekends as whenever they get two days off in a row.  Say Monday-Tuesday or Tuesday Wednesday.  These are not nights when I can hang out with them because I have to work in the morning.  And service industry folks always work weekends, because that is where the $$ is.  As a result of all this, I am left feeling pretty lonely more often than not.
Ok, enough feeling sorry for myself.  I could go on for a couple thousand more words, but you get the point.  This is me consciously cutting off my wallowing.  Something I need to do more often.  Blah.  Sorry for boring you with my issues.  But thank you for reading them anyhow.

The Writing

I am going to provide an update on my writing tonight rather than  providing you an original piece of writing.  I am optimistic about my future as a writer at the moment.  I just need to break through.  I need to break out of the accountant mold I am stuck in.  So here are the things I am feeling optimistic about.

1) I don't think I updated y'all (and no that isn't a Texas thing, I've been saying it for years) about my NaNoWriMo in November, since my blog seemed to get forgotten in the frenzy of writing Just Another Zombie Love Story.  Well here is the update.  I "won" the NaNoWriMo.  What did I win?  Nothing but my self confidence that I can actually finish a writing project.  And to tell you the truth, that is the biggest prize I could ever hope for right now.  That confidence is helping to keep me motivated to keep working toward my goal of becoming a full time writer.  I still have a hundred story ideas in my head banging on the door to escape and wreak havoc on the horror loving public.  Will I be the next Stephen King?  I don't think there will EVER be another writer to match him in this genre.  I am going to give it my best damn effort to try though.  Just Another Zombie Love Story has been written by M. A. Rogers and WILL be my first published work.  How do I know?  Do I have a contract?  No.  But the story itself is great.  It really would make a great movie in my opinion.  Maybe I'll sell it to Hollywood.  I wrote 215 pages and completed JAZLS in one month and a few days.  There are obvious holes that need to be filled in.  But it is sort of like building a house.  I have the foundation and structure complete.  It is free standing, and the plumbing and electrical is all installed. Now all I have to do is throw up the drywall and finish the big details.  That is the rewrite that it is going through right now.  Once that is done I need to call in the building inspectors (peer editors) to give me the go ahead for to put the finishing touches on it.  Make it a true custom built home.  Slap the paint on, shingle the roof.  Install the granite countertops in the kitchen and then we have a great house ready to put on the market.

2) That house metaphor leads me to my next update.  Once I get the "house" ready for the market, I need to find an agent to sell the intellectual property.  Well, it just so happens that the World Horror Convention is going to be held in Austin, TX this year.  That is a mere hour drive north of here.  I will definitely be in attendance.  There will be agents and publishers there looking for new clients and products.  What better place could there be for me to market my story?  And what better timing could I experience?  I mean, I have had this dream of leaving Corporate America behind forever for about eight years now, and I finally have a "finished" piece to market.  Is it serendipity?  Kizmit?  I tend to believe in things like that.  I believe that we make our own luck most times.  It could be my guardian angel kicking me in the ass last Fall telling me that I need to get something going because opportunities are on the way.  And no matter how negative I tend to be, this is something that is very hard for me to discount.  So now I have the opportunity staring me in the face.  time to buckle down and get this book finished.  I am ready for the challenge.  I have an aggressive schedule for a rewrite of JAZLS.  By the end of the month I will have a second draft written.  And March I will be looking for someone else to read and edit it for me.  I would like to have a third draft completed before I walk through the doors of the convention.  Wish me luck!

3)  I have story ideas that I can't wait to try to get onto paper.  And I still have a pretty aggressive goal for myself for 2011.  I want at least two more first drafts of books completed.  I'd really like three, but I am seeing that real life gets in the way of our fantasy goals.  I have one that is going to be set here in Texas that is still just a seed beginning to germinate (to borrow a euphemism from my favorite hobby of gardening).  I also want to finish Deja Mort, which I am estimating is already about 20% complete.  I'd like to write a historical fiction book as well.  Something truly horrific based on unexplained events of the past.  I'd like to set this in Scotland, so if any of you have any suggestions, I am more than eager to hear them.

For now my friends and new readers.  I think I am done.  It is time to hit the JAZLS rewrite.

Stay scared my friends,

My Little Demon
myltldmn@gmail.com


1825

Thursday, January 27, 2011

New Format Or Stick with the Old?

1/27/2011

Hello Everybody/Nobody,

I'm back.  I am trying to decide if I should keep my old format for this blog.  For those who don't already know, I tried to write about at least one good thing that I was thinking of or had experienced that day.  If I had a negative thought for the day, I allowed myself to only write about one in the blog.  I thought this was going to be a very difficult thing, as I am a very negative person in general.  I can however write about as many positive things that I want to.  But has to be at least one.  I don't however require myself to write something negative if nothing comes to mind in the time it takes me to write the entire blog for the night.
And the third part of the blog that I really want to be the focus of the blog at least for now is a bit of original fiction.

Does anyone/noone have any suggestions for a format?  My biggest interests are horror and alcohol.  I kinda liked the way I was on a roll back in Sept-Nov with the old format.  What say you?


The Good, The Bad and The Writing

Stay scared my friends,
My Little Demon
myltldmn@gmail.com

212

Resolutions broken and new ones to take their place

1/27/2011

My poor neglected blog.  So it is now 27 days into the new year and all of my resolutions have been shattered.  So I figured I am still within the grace period, I will make a new one.  I will post to this blog at least 6 days a week for the rest of the year.  Starting... well right now.  My evenings are going to be filled with writing more often than not starting tonight.  Wish me luck!


 The Good, The Bad and The Writing Stay scared my friends, My Little Demon myltldmn@gmail.com