Novel Spaces – “My Adopted Hometown”

writerAnother month, another 17th day of that month. Funny how that works, right? And with the 17th comes my next at bat over at the Novel Spaces blog!

This time around, all of us are taking turns responding to a theme prompt. In this case, it’s “Where I Live.” So, hey! You get to read about me sweet-talking the city that’s been my home for more than two decades, and some of the cool stuff you could be doing if you were here with me.

Novel Spaces – “My Adopted Hometown”

Oh, and I meant what I said about leaving here hungry. Seriously. That shit’s on you.

My Novel Spaces archive.

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NaNoWriMo 2015: Who’s playing?

NaNoWriMo-logoYep, November is fast approaching (you know…again). Many writer types know that even with holiday feasting, kids being out of school, relatives coming to visit, holiday shopping, and whatever else might come down the trail, November seems to be the perfect month for eschewing the rest of humanity, huddling up in your favorite writing corner, and trying to knock out the lion’s share of a novel’s first draft.

Uh huh.

That’s right:  November, of course, is National Novel Writing Month, a 30-day odyssey of word pushing, key stabbing, stress inducing, existence questioning fun in which writer hopefuls block out most if not all distractions with the singular goal of racking up 50,000 (or more) words toward the writing of a novel.

For reasons I’m really not sure I’ll ever understand, I’ve decided to have a go at it again, this year. It helps that I have a contracted novel project with a deadline all its own, and adding the NaNoWriMo chaser gives me extra incentive to keep this particular train on its tracks. So with that in mind, here’s me throwing my hat into the ring:

NaNoWriMo.org: Dayton Ward – Star Trek: Legacies Book III – Purgatory’s Key

It’s worth noting that I’m splitting the writing chores on this book with my hetero life mate, Kevin Dilmore, so hitting the NaNoWriMo goal should (in theory) get me in the ball park of where I need to be to write my portions of the novel. In reality, my contributions likely will end up being slightly short of that mark, but it’s a good baseline.

So, anybody else taking the plunge? If so, hook up with me on the NaNoWriMo site. If I’m feeling particularly inspired, I’ll post regular updates here and we can all report our progress, free of pressure or judging or any of that crap. We’re all friends, right?

If you’re opting to do this and it’s your first time undertaking this challenge, I’m going to throw out some hints I wrote a few years ago that can hopefully help with keeping your eyes on the prize. Check it out:

Manage your pace. You’ve got so many words to write, and so many days to write ‘em. Don’t over-think this. Figure out a words-per-day rate, and shoot for that. Take this in chunks, rather than concentrating on the 50k mark. It’ll start adding up pretty quickly. 50,000 divided by 30 days is 1,667 words a day. Sounds like a lot, right?

Now, break that down further. 250 words an hour is a figure I like to use, because that’s an old school measure for a page—give or take a dozen words or so—when you’re using Courier 12-pt font and double-spacing your manuscript. 250 words an hour isn’t a terribly stress-inducing pace, and doing that for seven hours gets you your daily quota and some extra padding, and you can do it in easy to manage chunks that you spread throughout the day. You know, one or two before work, one at lunch, one after work, and the rest in the evening. If you need or want to adjust that number up or down or how you spread it across the day, knock yourself out. The point is to find a pace that works for you on a consistent basis, but doesn’t stress you out while you’re trying to hit it.

Don’t kill yourself. Quit for the day if you hit your quota. If, on the other hand, you get froggy and write way beyond that, then give yourself a break the next day. If you miss a day, then work a bit harder over a few days to get back on pace, rather than trying to gain it all back in one chunk. Or, just recalculate a new per-day rate to absorb the words from the missed day. Again: Chunks. Pace. Consistency. Repeat.

Write now. Edit later. Your goal is to keep pushing forward, every day, all the way to the finish line, and you can’t do that if you keep going back over the stuff you already wrote. We all have an inner editor, wanting us to revise that paragraph or page we just finished, or who keeps telling us that chapter we wrote yesterday needs a rewrite. Ignore that skeevy bastard. This exercise isn’t about having a perfect, polished, ready to rock manuscript at the end of November. That’s what December’s for. So, tell that inner editor to sit down and shut his suck hole. Better yet, strap a ball gag on that mother fucker and stick him in a closet until the writing part is over.

My personal take on NaNoWriMo is that it’s a mechanism for instilling some structure and discipline to your writing routine and finding a way to integrate it with all the other shit you’ve got going on in your life. As with anything else, it can be as useful or useless as the effort you put into it. This sort of thing’s not for everybody, so if you give it an honest try and discover it’s not for you, then screw it. Find a method that better suits you.

Okay then….who’s in? Throw your name and NaNoWriMo link in the comments.

Novel Spaces – “When It’s No Longer Fan Fiction”

writerWell, the 17th almost got away from me, but I managed to hunker down and finish my latest installment for the Novel Spaces blog.

(I’m sure you all were worried, right?)

This month–I take advantage of the recently announced return of the Star Trek: Strange New Worlds writing contest to offer up an extended version of an answer I’ve been providing with a bit more frequency this past week or so: “What’s the difference between fan fiction and what you do, Dayton, and when does the former become the latter?”

Yeah, I get that one a lot, and even more so now with the contest in full swing.

Anyway, here’s a somewhat longer answer to that question, at least the way I see it from where I sit in my comfy recliner at stately Ward Manor:

Novel Spaces – “When It’s No Longer Fan Fiction”

Along the way, I touch on some of the options available open to writers looking to break into licensed fiction writing, notably Amazon’s Kindle Worlds platform. Maybe that’s something you might want to give a try? Have a look-see, whydontcha.

My Novel Spaces archive.

“You can overuse the ‘said’ dialogue tag,” the writer said.

No, really. Hear me out.

So, I’m listening to this audiobook as I drive around town running errands yesterday during lunch. It’s an unabridged adaptation of a book I’ve not previously read, and I’d been looking forward to enjoying the story. The reader chosen for the narration was not someone I’d previously heard, either, so look at me! Trying new things and shit! “Woo,” and might I add, “hoo.”

Anyway, I fire up the audiobook and commence my errand running, and it doesn’t take long for me to realize that the writing (and the reading) has fallen into a pattern…a mind-numbing, soul-eating pattern from which my only escape was to swap the audiobook out for something else (Steel Panther, Feel the Steel, in case you were wondering).

What was this pattern, you ask? While this is not an excerpt from the story, I did model my example after a couple of sample pages from one of the opening chapters as depicted in the book’s print version:

Continue reading ““You can overuse the ‘said’ dialogue tag,” the writer said.”

Novel Spaces – “Keep Your Eyes On Your Own Prize”

writerWell, I made it exactly one month into the new schedule over at the Novel Spaces blog before missing my new posting date. For those keeping score at home, it was yesterday.

Derp.

Still, I kinda sorta had a decent reason. You see, I was writing a piece for my August contribution, and then somebody on my Facebook feed posted this picture:

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And that made me do a rethink.

Therefore, my contribution this month has to do with that pang of envy we as writers might feel from time to time, when we see another writer–and maybe it’s even someone we know–announce a project or book deal that gets us to thinking if only for a passing moment, “Hey, that’s not fair.”

Wrong. Wrong thinking. Not cool to go down that road. There are better uses of your time, Writer. Turn that energy toward pushing more words.

Novel Spaces – “Keep Your Eyes On Your Own Prize”

Yep, it happens to all of us, but it’s what happens next that really matters.

My Novel Spaces archive.

Writing #ProTip: Don’t be a dick to your editors.

Spinning out from a conversation on Facebook, I decided what follows made good fodder for this space. Besides, I haven’t written anything here in a couple of days and cobwebs and stuff were forming in the corners.

Anyway, I figured I’d devote a few hundred words to being a kiss-ass about editors, so listen up, writer hopefuls, as this one’s for you: Don’t be a dick to your editors.

As I write this (or, actually, copy and paste it from the Facebook page before prettying it up a bit), I’m working for six different editors on various projects. Each of them has their own style, quirks, preferences, acceptance of or aversion to my humor or my choice of sports team, and so on. I get along with all of them. Why? Because I listen to their feedback, we often have great discussions prompted by their notes, and I’m not a dick. I pride myself on being easy to get along with in these situations. Despite their often differing approaches, I understand that they all have a common goal: Making my writing better.

dinner-with-editor

All writers need an editor. Even with our most noble intentions, we as writers are simply too close and too invested in what we write. We need that other set of eyes and perspective that’s somewhat detached from what we’ve wrought. We need that hand on our shoulder to guide us back to the trail when we wander off into the weeds, or disappear too far up our own asses.

That’s not to say I just roll over whenever an editor brings up something that requires me to make changes to an outline or manuscript. If I’m not convinced that’s the way to go, I’ll make my case, and they’ll listen, and then we work it out. Even on those rare occasions when we disagree, the conversations are constructive and we both come away thinking we’re doing right by the project.

A great editor is someone who’s invested in your work, and who pushes you to make it the best it can be. Some of my favorite conversations over the years have essentially been extended brainstorming sessions, where he/she or I will toss out ideas, see what sticks, and then start spiraling outward from there, along with the challenge to see if I can take things in directions I hadn’t previously considered. Collaboration of this sort is one of my favorite parts of the whole writing process, be it with an editor or Kevin or other writers. I almost always come away from such sessions energized and ready to kick ass and take names.

Oh, and write whatever it is I’m supposed to be writing.

All writers need an editor. Yes, even you. I just wish all writers could have editors like those who’ve kept me in line all these years. If you’re lucky enough to get one of those, then don’t be a dick to them. Treasure them, because they’re there to make you and your work better.

Okay, I’m done ass-kissing. Back to it.

Ask Dayton #112 on the G and T Show: “Do I Still Remember How to Do This?”

Wait. What?

Holy Schnikes, kids! Look what’s back up and running? I mean, I guess I think it’s back up and running. Let’s see what things are like next week, before we get all excited and shit.

But for now? It’s Sunday, and with it came another episode of the G and T Show, with hosts Terry Lynn Shull, Nick Minecci, and Mike Medeiros bringing you all the latest happenings in and around the “Star Trek Universe.”

And when they got to a point of the show that otherwise would’ve been filled with dead air? They brought out an old chestnut, blew off the dust, and let it fly. To wit:

Dear Dayton,

It’s been a while. How’s the Witness Protection Program? So much is going on. With Daredevil and Age of Ultron, can Marvel do any wrong on the screen at this point? Also, what have you been reading you can recommend to us?

Witness Protection? I didn’t go anywhere. I’ve been here all along. To borrow and tweak an oft-used phrase that you’ll hear a lot with respect to religion or politics, I didn’t leave my podcast; my podcast left me.

I mean, fuck: How long’s it been since the last time we had an “Ask Dayton?” Three months, by my calculations. That’s almost a football season. That’s one third of a gestating baby. That’s how long Barbra Streisand says goodbye during her latest farewell tour.

(Truth be told, I’ve had this question in my hopper for a couple of weeks, now, but I’d been holding out for more money from the show, and contract negotiations had stalled. My agent was finally able to get me a nice raise and from now, on I’ll be making three times as much per answer as I was making before. Pretty sweet, right?)

What have I been doing since then? I’ve been working my ass off. That’s what. Since the last time we spoke, I’ve written one book, finished co-writing another, banged out a couple of short stories and the odd web-based thing, and plunged ass-deep into writing two different novels at the same time. Why? Because I’m a fucking idiot, that’s why.

Who writes two novels at the same time? :: points thumbs at self :: This moron, right here. Thankfully, neither book is remotely like the other in terms of story, themes, characters, or even genres. That’s the only thing saving me from running out into the street and trying an open-field tackle on a bus, although it does make for some interesting dreams…you know, when I get around to actually sleeping, and shit.

But, you probably don’t give a damn about any of that, do you? No, no. I’m fine. Thanks for asking.

As for what Marvel can and can’t do wrong so far as their much-vaunted “Cinematic Universe” goes, I’m going to have to be that guy who says he didn’t really get all that excited about Age of Ultron. I wasn’t in that much of a hurry to see it, and once I finally made it to a screening, it’s not like I was champing at the bit to see it again. Contrast that with Mad Max: Fury Road, which I wanted to watch again as soon as the credits finished rolling the first time. Hot damn what a fun movie that was.

As for Ultron? No, it certainly wasn’t a bad movie, but it was like Chinese food; a half hour after I was done watching it, I wanted something to fill the void because in the end, the flick just didn’t do that much for me. So far as I’m concerned, the best Marvel movie to date is Captain America: The Winter Soldier. As entertaining as both Avengers movies are, neither one of them comes close to knocking that one off the top of the heap, for me. The only one that might have a chance is Cap’s next outing, Civil War.

Taking a look ahead at what else is coming from Marvel, I have to admit to a healthy skepticism about Ant Man. I mean…really? Then again, I was one of those folks who thought Guardians of the Galaxy was going to be a big misfire, and I was quite happy to be proven wrong about that. I don’t really have feelings one way or another about yet another Spider-Man reboot, and I was never a big Doctor Strange or Thor fan, but Captain Marvel intrigues me. Speaking of characters who need their own movie, we seriously need a Black Widow flick. Natasha Romanoff is arguably the biggest badass of the whole group we’ve seen so far. No super powers, no high-tech toys, just skills and sass. What are we waiting for?

Switching gears to the other part of your question, my leisure reading has taken a hit in recent months, to be honest. Anything I read these days is almost always research or “homework” for whatever writing project is front and center. That doesn’t stop me from buying new books, you understand. The way I see it, I’m lining up my activities calendar for when I finally retire.

That said, I did have recent opportunities to read a couple of books. The first was called Home Before Morning, a memoir written by a former Army nurse that chronicles her experiences at an evac hospital during the Vietnam War. If that premise sounds familiar to you, it’s because this book was the basis for the 1980s television series China Beach. The other book I read was The Martian by Andy Weir, which is one of the more entertaining science fiction novels I’ve read in a long time. I wanted to read it before the movie adaptation hits theaters later this year, and the movie’s going to have a tough act to follow. I used to be able to say, “Hey, it’s Ridley Scott! That’s like money in the bank!” But, I still haven’t completely forgiven him for recent efforts like Prometheus, and the very idea of a sequel to Blade Runner is blasphemous. So, here’s hoping The Martian marks the start of a big-time bounce-back for Sir Ridley.

I think that’s enough babbling for one answer, don’t you? I look forward to addressing the next “Ask Dayton” some time in 2017 or so.


This question and its answer was read during G&T Show Episode #196 on June 14th, 2015. You can hear Nick read the answers each week by listening live, or check out the replay/download options when the episode is loaded to their website: The G and T Show. Listeners are also encouraged to send in their own questions, one of which will be sent to me each week for a future episode.

And as always, many thanks to Nick, Terry and Mike for continuing to make me a part of the show.

Here’s a fabulous writing gig…

…if you’re a fucking idiot, that is.

So, as I’m occasionally wont to do, I decided to check out the Craigslist ads to see if anything interesting was to be found in the “Writing Gigs” section. Why? Because it was either this or punch myself in the balls, and I’m still hoping I might get to use my balls at some point in the near future.

Anyway, I’m checking out the listings, when I happen across this bit of epic what-the-fuckery:


Looking for an Assistant Writer

Hello, I am a very serious and active writer. I am looking for an assistant writer to help come up with ideas and write a manuscript with. I am not necessarily picky and we would not be meeting often. Ideally I would like to have it written with-in a three month time span. That is A LOT of work/time and you would have to be just as dedicated as me. You must have email, have a phone with texting, and have credentials. The manuscript in itself should be 200-250 pages at least. I’m not looking for someone who necessarily is in or went to college…I need a creative and fresh mind. I need someone who can review their own work before sending it over to me to look at so I don’t have make too many changes or edits. This would be for someone who enjoys writing and would like to co-write. I will not be paying you during the writing period, but I do plan to reach a few publishing houses and if WE get published obviously you would get paid. I also have a self-publishing piece I’m working on now, so that is another route. If interested please reply to this email with a few fresh ideas, some samples of your personal work, authors you admire, books you like, and a little about you. Most of our contact will be made through email.

Thanks Again!

compensation: To be discusses upon publishing


Holy. Shit.

Let’s unpack this gem, why don’t we.

mad-writer

Hello, I am a very serious and active writer.

Sure you are, sport.

I am looking for an assistant writer to help come up with ideas and write a manuscript with.

Translation: “I’m looking for a sucker to do all the heavy lifting while I hang out at the coffee shop and tell everybody I’m a very serious and active writer.”

I am not necessarily picky and we would not be meeting often. Ideally I would like to have it written with-in a three month time span.

“I have no fucking clue what it is you’ll be writing, because like I just said, I need your help to come up with ideas. And shit. Oh, and write that mother fucker, why don’t you.”

That is A LOT of work/time and you would have to be just as dedicated as me.

“Compared to what I’ll be doing, which if it’s not coffee than it’s probably jacking off to some third-rate sex webcam site or playing Call of Duty.”

You must have email, have a phone with texting, and have credentials.

“And here’s a ring for your nose and a collar and leash that matches the upholstery in my Dodge Dart.”

The manuscript in itself should be 200-250 pages at least.

“But whatever, since I have no fucking clue what you’ll be writing. See previous sentences.”

I’m not looking for someone who necessarily is in or went to college…I need a creative and fresh mind. I need someone who can review their own work before sending it over to me to look at so I don’t have make too many changes or edits. This would be for someone who enjoys writing and would like to co-write.

“I need a self-starter who’s smart but not too smart, or at least not smart enough to see that I’m fucking them in the ass without lube until I’m done and back on the Xbox.”

I will not be paying you during the writing period, but I do plan to reach a few publishing houses and if WE get published obviously you would get paid.

“Isn’t that damned generous as fuck? Why aren’t you writing, yet?”

I also have a self-publishing piece I’m working on now, so that is another route.

“I call it Fifty-One Shades of Blue. It’s Smurf erotica. With vampires. And gladiatorial games modeled after Candy Land and Chutes and Ladders. Oh, and they’ll fight for cheese.”

If interested please reply to this email with a few fresh ideas, some samples of your personal work, authors you admire, books you like, and a little about you. Most of our contact will be made through email.

“And hurry up. I’ve got a bet with my buds on the bowling team that I can get at least five suckers to reply to this ad before we play the guys from Ed’s Garage on Thursday.”


Who actually comes up with shit like this, and thinks it’s an awesome idea?

There are ads like this all over the place. The people who post them are festering boils in the ass crack of the writing and publishing world. This person at least just appears to be working for himself/herself, rather than representing some bullshit website, blog, homegrown magazine, or whatever other fucking thing they dreamed up. The only reason ads like this persist is because somebody out there will see this as the dream writing job.

I don’t give a damn if Stephen King or J.K. Rowling or a porn star looking for someone to write their memoir is posting the ad. Don’t take a “job” or a “gig” where the other party doesn’t intend to pay you for your work. Ignore those sorts of ads, and remember this simple mantra when it comes to freelancing, be it writing or anything else: “Fuck you. Pay me.”

the_more_you_know

Ask Dayton #111 on the G and T Show: “Accent(uat)ing the Narrative”

Hey, it’s Sunday! Didn’t we just do this like a week ago, or something?

Yep, it’s the first Sunday after the conclusion of football season, which means I’m in the sports drought that will be my reality…at least until beach volleyball rolls back around. Meanwhile? There’s the G and T Show, with hosts Terry Lynn Shull, Nick Minecci, and Mike Medeiros serving up all sorts of news, rumors, gossip, and whatever else crosses their radar screen as they sit and talk about the “Star Trek Universe.”

And when they decided they needed a break from all of that? They call in the halftime entertainment, of course:

Dear Dayton,

You’re a writer, and you’re a reader. Recently, I read a piece online (from no one you know, I’m sure), where a character had an accent. The accent was, to my mind, rendered crudely and incorrectly and, frankly, it was kind of insulting (N. B. I have family members by marriage who have this accent. They don’t talk the way this writer wrote).

In Trek, we have all manner of accents and dialects, from the Britishisms of Malcolm Reed and Julian Bashir, to Irish Miles O’Brien, to Trip Tucker’s Florida Panhandle accent to Pavel Chekov’s Russian inwentions to Scottish Montgomery Scott. Plus aliens speaking English (excuse me, Federation Standard) might or might not have accents if they are truly attempting to speak it without using a Universal Translator.

So my question is, how do you render accents? Does a Southerner always have dropped G’s? Do Bostonians such as myself always lose their R’s? Does Bashir say ‘blimey’ a lot? Or do you duck and avoid them?

Bonus question: are there any accents you’d like to see (well, hear) in Star Trek that we haven’t heard yet? Do you think Trek will be able to handle Romanians or even the Klingons of Long Island?

I think we may finally have reached “Peak Ask Dayton.”

Yes, we have a decent number of Star Trek characters who insist on talking funny. Or, maybe it’s that they’re the normal ones and everybody else is just boring. Whatever. From Montgomery Scott whining about his “wee bairns” to Chekov spreading the Russian on way too thick as he waxes historical about his country of origin’s contributions to anything and everything, and even to Trip Tucker twanging along as he tells people, “Keep yer sherrrt on, Lewwwwwtenant,” Trek’s definitely got its share of colorful accents and dialects. That’s all fine and dandy for the screen, but so far as writing goes? Yikes.

Of course, since you posed the question to me about my writing, I have to assume that you haven’t read anything I’ve written, or else you’d already have the answer to your query. So, while I work at coming to terms with this obvious snubbing of my alleged contributions to the published word, let’s ponder this.

There was a time when rendering accents and dialects in prose was “the thing” to do. It was a way to give different characters their own identity, but it’s a practice that nowadays has largely fallen out of favor. You might see it every so often, but it’s by no means “the norm,” and you’re likely to get back notes from your editor “politely” asking you to knock off that shit.

I mean, you’d think it sounds good in theory and perhaps even fun, right? Maybe, but on the other hand it’s just as likely to be a distraction to the reader, and can be a definite mood killer depending on the scene. I mean, just imagine one of those steamy sequences from Fifty Shades of Grey, but the whole thing was written from the perspective of a redneck.

What? You can’t quite picture that? Well, here: Let me help. I’m including an excerpt from Chapter 8, aka “The first time Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele get it on.” Why? Pretty much just so I can hear Nick read really shitty erotica while trying to emulate Larry the Cable Guy:

“Do yo’ haf enny idea how much ah’s hankerin’ yo’, Ana Steele?” he whispers. Mah breath hitches. ah cannot take mah eyes off his. He retches up an’ juntly runs his fingers down mah cheek t’mah chin, as enny fool kin plainly see.

“Do yo’ haf enny idea whut I’m a-gonna does to yo’?” he adds, caressin’ mah chin, as enny fool kin plainly see.

Th’ mooscles inside th’ deepest, darkess part of me clench in the dawgoned-est delicious fashion, as enny fool kin plainly see. Th’ pain is so sweet an’ sharp ah’s hankerin’ t’close mah eyes, but I’m hypnotized by his gray eyes starin’ fervently into mine. Leanin’ down, he kisses me. His lips is deman’in’, firm an’ slow, moldin’ mine. He starts unbuttonin’ mah shirt while he places feather-like kisses acrost mah jaw, mah chin, an’ th’ co’ners of mah mouth. Slowly he peels it off me an’ lets it fall t’th’ flore. He stan’s back an’ gazes at me. I’m in th’ pale blue lacy puffick-fit bra. Thank hevvins.

“Oh, Ana,” he breathes. “Yo’ haf the dawgoned-est right purdy hide, pale an’ flawless. ah’s hankerin’ t’kiss ev’ry sin’le inch of it.”

ah flush. Oh mah… Whuffo’ did he say he c’dn’t make love? ah will does ennythin’ he be hankerin’. He grasps mah hair tie, pulls it free, an’ gasps as mah hair cascades down aroun’ mah sh’ders.

Yeah. That leaves a pretty bitter aftertaste, right?

So, to avoid problems like this, and instead of writing dialogue in a way that overtly or directly evokes an accent, I tend to include references to the way a character talks. For example, Spock’s dialogue is always very formal, with few if any contractions. If there’s a word with two syllables and it has a synonym with four or more syllables, I’m almost always going for the bigger stick. And don’t forget that he tends to drag out explanations to even the simplest questions before somebody like McCoy tells him to get on with it.

If a character has an acknowledged accent or speaks with a distinctive dialect, I’ll refer to that in description rather than dialogue; something like, “Kirk listened over the open channel as Scott muttered to himself, his thick brogue becoming all but indecipherable as he grew more frustrated.” I also try to focus more on speech patterns or phrases, idioms, and/or slang they might employ. So, that means Scotty gets a lot “Aye” and “lad” and “lassie” peppered into his dialogue, and if I were to have Doctor Phlox ask Trip Tucker how he’s feeling, I might have the engineer reply, “I’m feeling as fine as frog’s hair split three ways, Doc.”

As far as accents I’d like to see (or is that “hear?”) in Star Trek, we’re sadly overdue for somebody from Boston’s south side, or maybe Jersey. Why? Because maybe then they can get Mike Sorrentino (aka “The Situation”) in a movie or TV episode as a redshirt.

What? You asked.


This question and its answer was read during G&T Show Episode #178 on February 8th, 2015. You can hear Nick read the answers each week by listening live, or check out the replay/download options when the episode is loaded to their website: The G and T Show. Listeners are also encouraged to send in their own questions, one of which will be sent to me each week for a future episode.

And as always, many thanks to Nick, Terry and Mike for continuing to included me in their little games.

Novel Spaces – “Finding the Happy Medium With Social Media”

writerWell, whaddaya know? It’s the 16th again, and that means it’s my turn at bat over at the Novel Spaces blog!

All through the month of October, we’re discussing various aspects of handling social media as a writer. Where to go, what to do, how to behave, what to avoid, and other tips and tricks. Given the cross-section of writers and represented genres who hang out over there, there are a lot of angles being covered with several different perspectives and a variety of experiences–good and bad–being shared. So, if you’re a writer who’s struggling to tame the beast that is your “social media platform,” you could do worse than to head over and check out the October offerings.

When it was decided to do this “theme month,” we had the option to write something new or repost previous entry dealing with the topic. I went back through my past entries and found a couple specifically targeting social media, including one I wrote early last year. Reading over it again, I think it still does the job I intended for it, so I opted to repost it for the benefit of newer readers and anyone else who may have missed it the first time. Here you go:

Novel Spaces – “Finding the Happy Medium With Social Media”

How do you approach social media? Do you love it or loathe it? Is it fun or frustrating? What tricks do you have for integrating promotion into the mix?

My Novel Spaces archive.