Keeping it real

I could write my goals and progress on a scrap of paper, or even in a nice leatherbound planner, but what would be the fun in that? Who would laugh at me or poke at me for not hitting my targets? That’s correct: nobody but me, and I’m not nearly hard enough on myself.

My goals for the next few months are ambitious. I would like to complete the beta reading/re-revising process for The Gideon Effect by the end of June. Earlier would be great, but I’m not sure how fast to expect the beta readers to read and critique each chapter. I’ve scheduled a week per chapter. Concurrent with the beta reading, I’m educating myself on the next steps in the publication process. I have some significant decisions ahead:

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Writer or Author?

The terms “writer” and “author” are used nearly interchangeably, so why choose to call oneself one over the other?

Vintage Typewriter
About Writing

Writing is not necessarily something to be ashamed of, but do it in private and wash your hands afterwards.

– Robert A. Heinlein

For me, it comes down to this: Writing is something you do. You pour words out on your keyboard to form stories, essays, articles, poems, etc. Writing is active, forward-looking, and a writer is something you cease to be when you stop writing. Authoring is something you have done – It’s backward-looking, an accomplishment, a legacy. You have something in print or e-print, with your name or nom de plume on the cover. You will be an author forever, long after you stop writing, should you do so.

I am a writer.

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Weekly Writer’s Roundup Volume 1 – Articles about Writing, Publishing and Promoting

Looking for something to read this weekend?  Want to learn what’s up in the world of professional and near-professional writing and authorship?  I’ve got you covered.

Welcome to the inaugural issue of Weekly Writer’s Roundup!  Each Friday, I’ll publish a list of articles about writing I’ve found, enjoyed and from which I’ve learned something.  Happy reading!

Vintage Typewriter
Vintage Typewriter

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Ancient Pregnancy Tests

The modern urine-based home pregnancy test first appeared in drug stores in 1977.  Unlike the streamlined, simple color-coded test results prospective parents enjoy today, this test was complicated, involving several implements and steps, and was also finicky and time-consuming.  The slightest vibration could spoil the test results.

“it contained a vial of purified water, an angled mirror, a test tube and red blood cells taken from a sheep.” — New York Time

egyptian-wall-carving-of wheat

But, the idea that the urine of a pregnant woman was perceptibly different from that of a non-pregnant woman has persisted since ancient times.  The first known recorded pregnancy test dates to 1350 BCE in ancient Egypt.

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Wherein I ponder family, politics, and mortality – Part 2

This is Part 2 of a series of articles I will post this month.  Part 1 is here.

My first day back in Florida is mostly a blur. I flew to the Pensacola airport, where my brother met me.  It was an hour’s drive to the town where my parents and siblings live.  Our conversation on the drive, and later at the restaurant where we had lunch was probably the best preparation for seeing my father’s current condition one could have.  My brother mentioned that my dad was concerned there was something wrong with his computer.  He’d been so concerned about it one night that week that my mom finally called my brother at 2 or 3 in the morning to talk about it.  Bro drove over to their house to see if he could find the problem, but there was nothing obvious.  Being there and working on the computer was enough to calm my dad for the night, at least.


The change in my dad was stark.  Physically, he didn’t seem all that different.  He still had the taut, stringy musculature of a long distance runner.  Though the line from tautness to gauntness had been crossed, it wasn’t obvious through his khakis and t-shirt. The thick, fine salt and pepper hair had gone pure white.  The stark change was in his alertness, his finely honed sense of humor, his wit, and his facile use of language.  When he talked, there were long pauses as he struggled to find the right words.  Sometimes, his attention wandered before the words were found.  Other times he was visibly upset, fighting against the brain fog, determined to communicate, to be there.

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