WATCH FOR DOUG’S NEWEST BOOK – DEATH BY BASEBALL

Coming to Amazon, Kindle, and Smashwords in mid-July.

IT’S ALMOST NANOWRIMO TIME

Nano is just around the corner. Next Sunday the month of November begins as does Nano. 50,000 words in 30 days. 1667 words a day. That’s like 6.2 pages double spaced each day. For you ladies, that’s not even a good love letter. For the men, it’s not even a fair length for a fish story, or as us sailors are want to say, a sea story.

My mind has been plotting THE DEACON for two months now and i am ready to write. The opening is written at 8061 words and when i add the 50k words it will be a fair sized book ready to edit, rewrite, edit, rewrite and then format for createspace.com followed by Kindle. Smashwords will also get a set up and the sales will begin and i will be RICH beyond my wildest dreams, which is my wildest dream.

So, don’t just sit there. WRITE. starting at 0001, next Sunday, and don’t quit until the coffee runs out except to change the CD in the player. Ah, yes, Beethoven and Handel. It always amazes me how much i can write during the Hallelujah Chorus or the 5th. Not booze, symphony.

First one to 50k is done, as long as it’s before 2400 30 November 2015.

Be blessed.

PS: Daylight savings time ends when Nano begins for all you whose legislatures think they can cut some off one end and add it to the other and have a longer summer.

Fun with National Novel Writing Month, Nanowrimo

Today is 10/17/15. Only 15 more days until the beginning of Nanowrimo, Nano for short. It has been my pleasure to play with this group challenge for the past three years and be a winner each year. That isn’t to say it has been easy.

Out of the Nano challenge has come three books which took much longer than 30 days to get ready for the press.

What is Nano? The month of November and 50,000 words. The challenge is to write 50,000 words in November. 1667 words per day is all it takes. That’s only 6 1/2 page of double spaced manuscript. Sounds easy doesn’t it? It is if you can put your butt in a chair every day and write.

November is always a horror story for me. It seems the whole world gangs up on me. The first year, a group I work with renewed some roofs up in Hopi land for six days. I would drag myself into bed every night after pounding on my keyboard as long as I could see the keys, maybe an hour. My right hand man fell off a roof and planted face first in the dirt. I spent two days with him while we found a surgeon to repair his face and another to fix a busted wrist in one trip to the OR. As he moaned on the bed in the motel, I wrote. While he was in with the doctor, I wrote. When I got home, I wrote like crazy.

Thanksgiving weekend always gets in the way. Last year I got to spend the weekend with a son and his family. We had something like 20 people for dinner, Ball family tradition is invite everyone with an emphasis on those who might have no place to go. Early in the morning, I wrote. Late into the night, I wrote. The week after my wife and I had the privilege of baby sitting the four kids while mom and dad went on a retreat. I wrote sitting in the car after school, outside the dentist office, in the parking lot at the ballet studio, and the most fun, during a recital.

Two years ago November ended with a crash. The 29th was an open day on my calendar. I wrote. I wrote over 7,000 words to finish my 50,000. I took my wife to the ER the next morning and spent the day in peace only because of my faith and the fact that I wrote the day before.

There is a common complaint among writers. “Where can I find time?” I wrote on the highway up in Hopi land awaiting a load of materials. Got a couple hundred great words done in the hour I waited. Boy, did they need editing.

Sign up at Nanowrimo.org and get to writing. I challenge you.

New Writers Beware

New writers beware.

Because I write both Christian non-fiction studies and think pieces, and fiction westerns, adventure, and political alternative history, I decided to split my author pages on Amazon, Createspace, and Smashwords. The great gurus of indie publishing will not let you. I cannot cancel out a book in one place in order to set it up in another. They say it is because they want to keep the IN PRINT list full of everything that’s ever been written. I say, “Phooey.”

The books are mine and if I want to discontinue that book I should be able to.

And, I am not taking the book out of circulation. I am only rearranging my sales platforms for the benefit of the readers, YOU.

It should be that the indie author has the right to say, “Let’s put these books together over here,” and have it done.

Oh, well, I say all this for you if you are just beginning. If you are going to write in more than one genre and might have the idea of separating them, do it up front. If I had it to do all over again, I’d set up at least three, if not four author pages to cover my books. I might even use a pseudonym for each genre.

BE BLESSED.

PS: I really do thank the above named sites for their making available the opportunity to be an indie author even if I am whining. But, maybe its something you need to look at in your services. A beginning indie cannot think of everything that could come up down the road in their business.

Something you should never do, but I did

My most recent book, WHAT OUGHT TO BE, went live a month ago. It is a poor excuse of a book.

Why? I published it in a hurry because a friend, a good friend, asked me to get a pamphlet, that I had copy machine published for a youth group years ago, republished for a conference he was hosting. I had no digital copy of the pamphlet any more, sooooooooo I scanned it and spent hours untangling the mess before adding some other pertinent materials and comments to make a book out of the whole thing. Consequently, we gave it away at the conference to rave reviews and an upswing in demand from my stock with cash going directly into my wallet.

Amazing.

I will be revising the book over the next few months and smoothing it, along with many typo errors, and one or two formatting farbles. It is available only in print as yet, but once it is updated it will be up on KDP, kindle.

In the meantime, I now have six works in progress, along with four or five projects in other fields of my life. WAY TOO MANY.

How’s your writing, your life, your bank account?

Keep on keeping on.

Blessings.

A palk in the wark

Life just isn’t as easy some days as it is others. Now and then the gently falling slope of time remaining turns into a wild slide to the end. The days of reaching new heights disappear and all around you is negative.

Well, that just hasn’t happened in this kid’s life, yet.

This past week I was privileged to take four long walks in the parks of the Kiabab Forest and Grand Canyon National Park, north rim. The beauty of God’s creation still amazes me like the birth of a child or the slashing of the lights in the heavens of a meteor shower. Those trails were much like life. The ups are tough, the steeper the harder. The downs are nice if they are gentle, but when the downs become slides they are terrible. How is it the nice gently falling trails of life can turn into the slide for life and be so uncomfortable?

Got home Saturday and trashed, as in moved to the cut file (a file I use to hold previously written passages that I may use later), 20,000 words of a story. Why? I realized it needed to be a sequel and not a first book. Hence, the beginning of my new series “The Deacon.” The Deacon is a Bible toting Paladin in the west of the 1880-90’s. The conflict of being a fighter and a man of peace makes for a palk in the wark. It’s an uphill climb all the way.

Be blessed and write.

Doug

MARKETING

Every author I know and read says that their marketing takes up much of their time. I can agree to that without reservation. Every one of the blogs, newsletters, and websites I follow are discussing marketing as we approach the bloated commercial season that begins the end of this month.

I don’t know what has worked for you, but the only thing that has worked for me is word of mouth. I have given away about two thirds of the printings of my books and even the really commercial books (Westerns and other fiction) have slowly, very slowly been getting read and reviewed and then beginning a market.

One thing that has really helped is donating copies to my local library. I live in a small town of basically non-readers. BUT, the word has gotten out that my books are in the library and due to being a local boy the library leaves them on the new books shelf for a longer time than all them high dollar books written by them foreigners. Word of mouth is causing them to be checked out frequently. Those who like them have bought personal copies and gift copies.

Read a book, tell a friend.

A DAY

My wife said, “Why so pensive?”

I replied,
All it would take this day is for the President to say the wrong thing and this nation would break out in rebellion. I would hope peaceful, but still rebellion. Just imagine if the founding fathers came alive and met in a bar in Philly. What would they think? They missed one idea in the Constitution. That idea was that everyone in Government would disregard that glorious document at the same time and the people of America would be stuck with a terrible choice. I know what they would do. But, revolution would be a no holds barred, horror story covering the whole nation. Well, maybe not Alaska, and possibly Hawaii.

The Generals cannot rebel and form a junta. The President has carefully gleaned and anointed Generals that will do his bidding.

The troops will not rebel. They listen to the Generals. They love this country and want it to work.

Folks, it is time to stand on your own two feet and say, NO!!!!!!

I am totally surprised that our country is in the state it is in. Why is there no impeachment proceedings going on? Why are Hillary and the Bean Pole not in prison? Why is congress still the same people for the past 30 years? Why is THE DONALD running away with everything right now? Why does the House fund everything in front of it? Why does the Senate kiss the ring of the President?

Happy September 11. We have armed the Muslims that sent the terrorists 14 years ago. We have no become the greatest funder of terrorism on the face of the earth. WAKE UP AMERICA.

LOUD, LONG, AND LIVELY.

THE PANTSER GOES PLANNER, or look out outline here I come.

They tell me there are two kinds of writers.

The first is the PLANNER. The PLANNER sits and thinks, writing down an outline of varying level of detail, and then writes the document. The PANTSER, on the other hand, just sits down and writes with a varying number of ideas in his/her head concerning the document.

I was a PANTSER, hardcore. Of my 10 fiction books, all where pantsed. I sat with a varying level of ideas and let my muse take control. My muse has been getting lazy. The last three tries at novels have ended up dead ended at the 20-30,000 word stage. My 10th novel, SAILOR, I published at the 30,000 word length and still think its a better book because of that.

Now I have three, 3, books in progress and all are trying to end way to soon.

So, I am going to try being a PLANNER. I will sit and world build, deepen my characters with all kinds of emotional and physical stressers, and drag it through the mud of the thesaurus until I come up with an outline.

Can that really be a way to write a book? I fight myself on this choice. It just isn’t natural, for me at least.

All I really want to know is which type pays best in personal satisfaction. If I were in this for the money, I’d be a joke.

Pray for me,

Now go write.

WHY I WRITE IN SO MANY GENRES

I had never given that question much thought. I was born a while back and done many things since then. My grandkids think I fought in the Revolutionary War, but it was really the evolutionary war. My wife thinks I sits too much and need more exercise, but when I ask ‘pretty please’ to go on a hike, she tells me to sit down and stop such foolishness. Goin’ hiking anyhow. I dug ditches before shovels were invented. When God said, “Let there be light,” I was the electrician that threw the switch. I was in school when world history text book was only three pages long and those pages were of stone. I’ve done a lot and learned a lot and failed a lot and now I’m having fun a lot. Having ridden a rank horse and pushed cows on the trail, I write westerns. Having met Christ face to face at the ripe old age of 14, I write Christian materials. Being a natural born liar, I write political stuff. Basically, I write from where I’ve been, always lookin’ at where I want to go.

Be blessed and enjoy my books. Buy one of each, they’re great. Or at least my wife tells me they are and Amazon won’t let her write a review. Ya gotta love’m

THE TRASH CAN FILLS and other dirty little ditties

THE TRASH CAN FILLS and other dirty little ditties

Today I scrapped over three hundred pages.

Don’t get excited. It was old manuscripts and one i had just finished a heavy edit on.

Following the scrapping, I printed over two hundred pages of materials that had been edited and were now ready for the rest of the story. Don’t you miss Paul Harvey?

I figure from my paper purchases, it takes seven sheets of paper for every page of finished book in 6X9 format. Good thing I know a recycler, Another writer that uses a different font and writes Romances, uses my old stuff for her drafts. I tried using both sides but without changing fonts or styles or something it didn’t work too well, specially when i dropped stack.

One tip I will give you for reading this far – Put page numbers on all drafts from page on on. I set it up in my normal page format. That way, no matter what, you have a way of easily putting it all back together when the pages get scattered by the binder breaking, wind, dropping, grandkids, whatever.

Be blessed and go write.

© 2017 Doug Ball – Author