Writing and Time, not enough of either

I’m writing like mad on book three, and I’m behind. That means it’s Tuesday and I forgot to update the blog. It’s called focus.

I have a 3,000 word goal per week. That’s 3,000 words that has been self edited several times. This week I’m behind by 2,500 words for the last two weeks. I did get two chapters done. Short chapters, but emotional hard hitting chapters. My heroine is getting deeper and deeper into trouble.

I have a meeting with the writer’s group ever week. I have a fan in the writer’s group. I will not show a first or rough draft to a fan. That does mean the stuff I show doesn’t need a professional editor. The material I submit to the writer’s group needs lot of work. At least I spell check it several times before I submit.

I am reworking the outline heavily as I write. It’s not that I can’t stick to the outline, but I have come up with some good stuff that needs to be put into the book. The outline is not set in stone. Quick sand maybe, wet slimy sucky quicksand, but not stone.

I am also writing until late into the night. Other things are taking up my day light hours. I wish it was other wise, but that’s life. My life has other goals besides writing.

I have to go program an Arduino computer now. Wish me luck, software and I don’t get along.

Stay strong, write on.      Professor Hyram Voltage

Amazon is in for some culture shock

Amazon is buying Whole Foods. I think they are in for a rude awakening.

Amazon is in the business of selling anything (within legal limits). Whole Foods is in the business of selling green (as in wholesome) food. Walmart is the biggest seller of food and sells only a little green food. There are going to have to be some big changes at Whole Foods to take market share away form Walmart.

Amazon is in to robots. Whole Foods strikes me as a people store. Again I see a culture difference.

Today, I read a blog post that said that there were more libraries than Starbucks. The writer is on to something. There is a library in the city of Camarillo with a built in coffee shop. Every library should have one.

Now combine Amazon with coffee shops and you could have Amazon buy Starbucks. Again they would have a massive culture shock. Amazon doesn’t fit Starbucks’ image.

A better idea would be for Amazon to buy The Coffee Bean and Tea Shop group. They have better coffee, Starbucks coffee tastes burnt. Both companies have shops are all over the place. You could go down for a quick cup and pick up your Amazon deliveries. Amazon could install sets of lockers at the coffee shop to hold valuable deliveries. The coffee shops are open long hours, you could swing by on your way to work or returning from work and pick up your Amazon purchase. And with long hours there would be employees there to keep an eye on the lockers. Of course they could have lockers that could be accessed at any time, just stick in your Amazon credit card.

Coffee goes with reading the newspaper and Amazon owns the Post. Coffee also goes good with a book. They could sell e-books at the coffee shop. I can see the recommendation on the wall mounted black board. Buy a peppermint mocha coffee and get half off on George Orwell. The coffee shops have free WiFi and Amazon could force adds on the free WiFi when you log on. The adds don’t have to be for books, they could be for anything. How about a movie and a headset with your espresso.

This is just what Amazon needs, buyers over loaded on caffeine with their credit card already out.

Stay strong, write on.    Professor Hyram Voltage

The Anti-Hero’s Journey

Writing instructors and gurus have been obsessed and dogmatic in pushing the hero’s journey style of story telling to new writers. What if they’re wrong?

One premise of the hero’s journey style of writing is you start the story with the hero or protagonist in the normal world.

I don’t know about you, but my normal world is boring and I believe most people’s normal world is bland and boring too.

To be boring is to lose your readers. Boring is the worst thing a writer can write.

Since most stories are the hero fixing a wrong the villain has done then start the story with the villain doing the wrong. Doing bad things is exciting, interesting and not boring.

The James Bond movies did this. Some one gets killed or James Bond does something un-normal.

This means your villains have to be interesting. It also means your villains have to do things for a real reason, not just because they are crazy.

So are you going to bore me on the first page, or are you going to show me how the villain supports all his henchmen and women. How he pays for his secret lair. Show the reader why he is the hero of his own story and do it on the first page.

Stay strong, write on.     Professor Hyram Voltage

Slugging on

The Memorial Day weekend was a big weekend for me.

I had a friend drive 300 miles to help me work on an antenna. Not just any antenna, one that I can use to bounce radio signals off the moon with. It will take a pair of them, and they are each thirty feet long.

During the weekend; we cut metal, welded metal, painted metal, drilled holes in metal. We also machined metal to within a thousandth of an inch.

My friend started out reenforcing the antenna support. He started at the bottom and did things I would never have thought of. I wanted to start in the middle and work my way out. If you start in the middle, no matter which way you go you’re going in the right direction. It’s good to get feed back from someone else and use that feed back. His ideas worked and the support stub tower support is much more stable than before.

Next we needed to get the antenna to hold its position. It was bobbing around in the wind, and I get a lot of 10 mile an hour wind here. Down came the old elevation rotor. Next came the problems with the pillow blocks (big bearing) that will hold the elevation shaft. The holes in the pillow blocks bearings were too small by 20 thousandth of an inch. The elevation shaft was 7 thousandths over sized. That’s 27 thousandth interference. The bearings are harden steel. It’s not going to fit or go together with the equipment I have. I would need a 12 foot long bed on the lathe to take off the material from the elevation shaft or a precision grinder to open up (widen) the pillow block bearing holes. That harden steel is difficult to work.

Compromises were made. Things were put together. Three days of intense work were accomplished. This is a lot like writing.

Then after my friend went back to his place I installed a new faucet in the bathroom and a new reverse osmosis unit under the kitchen sink. The faucet took three and half hours of laying under the vanity and struggling with hard to get at pipe fittings.

The reverse osmosis unit took five hours of laying on sharp edges of kitchen cabinets struggling with corroded fittings.

After that I was in no condition to write a blog post last Monday.

Its taken days to get back to writing. I’m back and writing. I’m sore, bruised and I disliking plumbing more than every.

Stay strong, write on.                    Professor Hyram Voltage

Holidays and Writing

Holidays and writing don’t mix.

I had visitors this memorial day holiday. That means I had to clean the place up a little so they wouldn’t trip over the junk in the living room, or any other room for that matter. It also meant deep cleaning the bathroom and other such fun stuff.

Yeah, fun stuff like scrubbing the bathtub extra clean at 11:00 at night.

With visitors in the house I didn’t have time to do anything else. They drove a long distance to see me and they don’t come up often. I didn’t even get to go through most of my emails at night. I had over 300 emails from three days of being with my friends. The day after memorial day I when through and deleted several newsletter subscriptions to reduce the number of emails I get.

It was three days of good meals, some I cooked. Going and seeing things and people, and getting things done around the house. My friend helped with a couple of big projects here at my house. Sometimes it takes two people to tackle the big projects.

It is a little hard to get back to writing. I had to clean up the place after my friends left. I also had to finish a couple of projects that didn’t get done while my friend was here to help.

left over item was replacing the faucet in the bathroom. That took over three hours to do. I had to replace the shut off valves under the sink and the main shut off valve for the house leaked and leaked badly. Getting enough force on the old valves under the sink to get them off is a problem. The cabinet doesn’t give you much room to work in and the sharp edge of the cabinet is hard to lay on.

The next day I replaced the Reverse Osmosis unit under the kitchen sink. I was bruised and sore from the working under the bathroom sink, but this turned out to be worse. The last time I put in a RO unit I installed a stuff off valve under the sink so I could change the RO cartridge without turning off the water to the house. Of course that valve leaked and it was an expensive ball valve. Back out to the side walk and stuff the water off at the water meter. It will be a little time before I can replace the stuff off valve at the side of the house. That valve is soldered in.

The RO unit uses push on plastic pipe and fittings. Easy for home installers, but the connections will leak. When I turned the water on to the RO unit a leak squirted water in my face. In seemed like every fitting would start to leak after a while. Pushing and puling on the fittings got them to stop leaking.

So why didn’t I call in a plumber? It would have cost me 5 times the cost of the RO unit and faucet combined to have him do it. The RO unit was over a hundred dollars.

Now to get back to the old grind of writing.

Stay strong, write on.       Professor Hyram Voltage