The Next 1000 Miles

How I Started NaNoWriMo in the Negative

It’s National Novel Writer’s Month! Time to put thoughts down and hammer out the majority or entirety of a novel, right?

Well, I am doing just that. I am at the halfway mark in the last book of my trilogy and I have a short story due and what better month to tackle this adventure than November? I think anytime you can get a goal and a timeline, it sponsors the movement toward completion faster than some internal mechanism saying otherwise.

So, I was amping up and getting somewhere last night in my story. The words were flowing and then this Microsoft Word Update popped up on top. So, I saved my work, clicked the button and then some sort of pixie magic happened and all but what I wrote was gone. 40K + words *(poof)*

I did what most people would do:

And when I Google searched everything else that I didn’t already know and the work was gone…

But, I was able to restore a previous version … from October 20th….

Well… what can you do? After sleeping on it, the best thing I can say is don’t trust Updates. Save your work constantly. And look at the bright side in catastrophes. I mean, I disliked losing close to 3500 words, yes. It does give me a chance to embrace the thoughts and direction I was going in and reshape it, hopefully better this time.

So, Day 1: – 3500 Word Count. Let’s try Day 2?

How’s everyone else coping? Hitting daily goals? Pooling up for weekend writing?

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The Next 1000 Miles, Upcoming

Back From Hibernation

So, it’s been months since I posted. I’d like to say I was backpacking or researching or been hammering out novels one after another. No, I’ve just been living life and getting caught up with it at every turn. And who wakes up and stretches their arms out all refreshed?! I’m more like this kid:

cranky-early-morning1

For those of you not familiar with me, I write the Legend of Carter Gabel series. It’s a time-travel YA Sci-Fi novel about a kid who can spontaneously travel back in time but soon finds out that those aren’t his only gifts. I have the first two books out right now <shameless plugs at the bottom>. AND I’m still working on the third. BUT I totally plan on having it cranked out by the fall.

What’s Been Going On?

I have spent the last few months combing back through my books, taking out the unnecessary and shaping up the structure a bit. Overall, I love this story even more now and those I taxed with re-reading it agree it flows so much better.

I have been cranking up the world generator for my next series and even a couple more singular ideas in the wings. I fully plan on starting the writing process as soon as I get Carter out and in the hands of my editor.

On top of that, I’ve helped out a few writer friends with their own work.

What’s Going On Now?

Currently, I help coach a U14 softball team and the season is just wrapping up (Go Adrenaline!). Those twelve young ladies have a lot of my free time and they’re totally worth it. Check out my Instagram at the bottom.

I am looking forward to a YouTube video that will be coming out on Tuesday. I guest appear on the 69th episode of Book Nerd Paradise where I got to read a little bit of my work and there will even be a giveaway for a free copy or two just by commenting! Go check her out and watch for me this next week.

What’s Coming Up?

Soon, I will be diving further into the realm of Carter Gabel and with the end of the series, I will be taxing a few people to help me decide on the ending. #betareaders

I’m on WattPad!! I plan on posting little snipits and stories for the Carter Gabel series and the new one coming out soon. Come join me so I can follow you and your own journey!

Can you say Cross Country Nerds…? Stay tuned!

Oh! And Add My Books!! 

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The Next 1000 Miles, Upcoming

Re-Animation

Well, I must say, 2015 was quite a year. Released a book in the first month, coached softball (a lot), participated in my first signing event, went to my first book fair… THEN, I became totally immersed in trying to figure out what I need to do.

I’m sure each and every author taking the Indie path or working on their traditional roots can attest to many of the same notions. Writing isn’t quite that difficult, but putting a story together sure can be.

By putting a story together, I am stating the initial ideas, the writing itself, the editing, the blurbs, the pitches, the fans, the social media, the sales, the promoting and then gearing up to do it all over again.

What I did in 2015 was over reach my arms before I knew what I was grabbing at. I took on a lot without direction and kept my eyes on the horizon more than the ground before me. So, the good thing about a new year is the preconceived notion of a new beginning!

So, in 2016, the site has a new look. I’m combing through my previous books to release the best one yet. I’m setting up a mail subscription through Mail Chimp in order to streamline bonus content and everything else to my fans. Please subscribe to be a fan! I have 0 at this moment.

Beyond that, I plan on keeping you informed on writing ideas through the blog and minimizing promises of what’s to come until I can see them. BUT, there are many things I have on my plate I hope to start letting you all know about soon!!

MailChimp

A Time to Live, A Time to Reap, Conventions, The Next 1000 Miles

Fair Enough… (pun intended)

I’ve had exactly two moments of interacting with book-goers while being an author. One was at my own signing at a local coffee house. The other was at the South Dakota Book Festival a couple of weeks ago. When I thought of it, initially, I was more than a little nervous. As far as extroverted people go, I am not one that falls delicately into that category. In a typical setting, I’ll be the one listening to your conversation, taking in the scene, contemplating what I want to watch on Netflix when I get home and into my comfy pants.

In situations like the book festival though, I turn off that annoying chatter and focus on the people there. I love readers and if I could, I’d talk to all of them that walked by my table. I certainly tried (staying cautiously cool and not pouncing like a car salesman) and in most cases succeeded. Look at me all relaxed…

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…despite all the red arrows and squigglies surrounding me.

A few things I took away from the experience (much in thanks to my wife’s help):

  • People love free candy, hell, free anything. Whatever draws their attention to take another second before passing you. If they pause enough to look at your book cover(s), they might pick it up and read the back or better yet, ask you what your book is about.
  • Table decor helps draw attention from further away.
  • Giveaways are a great method to getting people to stop, although – this can backfire if people would rather wait to see if they win instead of buying it right then & there. But if they’re half on the fence anyhow…
  • Have a good two-sentence synopsis of your book. (I think I was asked 40 times what my book was about and another 40 asking who is Carter Gabel)
    • Have short, concise answers to some major questions about your book(s) like – genre, suitable ages, similar books, pertinent info
  • Shwag is good. Falls under the free category, but if you have bookmarks, put your social media info on there and possibly a list of your works

I met some great people at the Book Festival. Four new author friends and an editor. Given how small of a venue I was at, I was happy to know there was another RC author in my similar Indie World! I listed some of my take-homes from my new author friends who (coincidentally) I’ll get to see at Utopia in Nashville this June! Click on a pic to learn more!

Only $2.99

Only $2.99

Only $.99 ??

FREE ?!

Proof,… see? I got my own!

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What’s everyone reading??



 

The Next 1000 Miles

What Am I Doing?

Over the summer, I have been attempting to find my way (author-wise) and in the midst of doing so I realized something. I can be better. Falling back on the notion of “why does nobody like my book?” first has me over-analyzing my abilities. And anyone who knows me is fully aware of my pension toward self-deprecation. Well, as a method to improve, I’ve come to the hard conclusion to truly take a look at myself.

For all the good things I’m capable of accomplishing, I get hung up on the little things no one else could possibly see and if affects my everything as a writer. I see people who have lots of fans, lots of books, opportunities opening up for them and, truthfully, I get jealous. Then I have to actually look at why. Long story short, I’ve been lazy. Those people we see and love following the careers of aren’t busy moping and whining and begging. They’re hustling and trying and having fun with the experience. Me, I’ve been rushing to popularity for no real good reason. Because I thought a good story equaled recognition.

After today, I fully plan on enjoying this part of my life. No expectations and no excuses. No more waiting for something good to come to me. I have to work for the goals I want, we all do. And the more and more I approach it with half-hearted effort and expecting it to come to me, well, that’s about the same thought as throwing a ball into the forest and complaining when it doesn’t roll back.

There’s a reason they call it chasing your dreams. Now, if you’re like me, get off your ass and start running.



 

The Next 1000 Miles, YouTube

Cross Country Nerds

In the spirit of getting out there to more people and my deep love of nerdly things, come check out the new series I’m embarking on with my nerdly sister from another Mr. (and Mrs. too, we’re not related) Liz Tailor. We’ll be live and talking shop weekly on all kinds of topics from Star Wars to superheroes and every bit in-between. Go on Twitter or Google+ and use the #CrossCountryNerds to ask a question, pose a topic or say hi!

FOLLOW

SUBSCRIBE: Jonas & Liz



 

The Next 1000 Miles

Catch Your Breath

In the oncoming vacation train heading right for me, I keep thinking of posts to write and plan and etc… For myself, and I think a lot of bloggers, there comes a moment when I think I have absolutely nothing else to say or offer to the viewing masses.

Then, one thing I was discussing recently with a budding author friend of mine was the moment when your first book is getting ready to enter the touch-up stages. Editing is nearly done, all that’s left is cover art, formatting and release. We both agreed the feeling is like going under water and having to plan your breaths so you don’t choke. I can remember, it was a nerve-racking experience feeling that moment on the edge and realizing I should jump, I had to jump.

In retrospect, I learned a lot from my own mistakes. One of the most prominent is the feeling I wasn’t ready and time was slipping away. There is never a “right time” for that first step in anything we do. Think back to any number of first-time experiences and tell me you were perfectly prepared for what happened next.

As an author, you learn as you go, like most of life. Never be too afraid to fail. We all do it to some extent, just catch your breath and realize the first step is the hardest. Each step afterwards gets easier and there is a silent community of helpful people standing behind you ready to help as best as they can.



The Next 1000 Miles

Putting it Out There

Good morning!

Now, for those of you that aren’t aware, I’m straying out into the YouTube world one toe at a time. I’ve only done author interviews up to this point, but I plan on putting out some additional content on a (hopeful) weekly basis. Go to the YouTube link below to learn more!

On a similar note, I have the wonderful Jacqueline E. Smith as my next interviewee. Now, for those of you tagging along with me on good ol’ Google+, I had to change her interview time to tonight. That’s TONIGHT and not Saturday. Why? Well, life happens and this is what works for us both. I hope if you have a spare couple of minutes you’ll come by and ask her a question or two. Join through the link HERE.

Now, feel free to watch or just listen. I promise I won’t make many funny faces that you’ll miss out on…

The Next 1000 Miles

Who’s With Me??

We live in a virtual world. Most of the people I’ve made friends with over the past year has been online. And since the majority of those are writers… I’m thinking road trip!

So, I was chatting with my good friend, Shannon A Thompson, this past week. Whatever led our convo to talk about conferences is lost now, but the turning point was when we started saying how it would be great to meet other authors from WordPress. *ding-ding*

Of course!! Why not try and find a conference where like-minded people can meet at some point. So I proposed the notion to a couple of other friends, Zachary Chopchinski & Kate M. Colby, and they agreed a road trip would be awesome! Well, why not spread the invite??

Next year, plan on attending the UtopYA Con in Nashville, TN. Pertinent info I have gathered so far is below, but if you think you can swing it, wouldn’t it be great to at least attend and see some of the familiar faces of the authors we see here on a regular basis? I’m going, barring a cataclysmic event or poverty. I hope I can see you all there with us!!

UtopYA Con

Registration date is June 21st, 2015 for the 2016 conference. Vacancies fill up within days, so be ready.

Cost is not set, but a half table (3ft) went for $200 this year and double for the full table. You can request to share a table with someone of your choosing (no set guarantees).

Refunds are given 60 prior to the event if you find out you cannot make it.

Did I mention that I am going?? <— Reason enough right there!



The Next 1000 Miles

Ready, Set, … Tie Your Shoes, Go!

Hello citizens of the internet!

First of all, I’m trying to be more diligent about a weekly post. I am failing at that spectacularly (if you have to do something wrong might as well give it 100%). I’d like to start reformatting my blog a little. My goal is to get out some stats once a week and an update to go along with it. Also, I am trying to get my YouTube a little more solidified.

With that said, I am looking for authors I can pencil in for interviews via Google+ Hangouts. Those will go up on YouTube for anyone who misses the live feed. Additionally, I will try to add little videos about becoming an author (from my perspective of course) and my own little version of a book review. The book reviews will become a monthly staple, first one I have set is The Paper Magician by Charlie N. Holmberg. Interviews will pop up when they can and videos at least once per week.

As you wait for the next tiddly-bit of wisdom or lack thereof, go and check out this review by a wonderful blogger:

Liv the Book Nerd