Archive for Personal News

Recording Tomorrow

For tonight, this is my writing. Hey, I said every once in a while this is what it would be and that it counts.

Instead of writing, I wound up watching a movie with my daughter (Alpha, your typical, run of the mill Ice Age boy-and-his-wolf story), and then my wife and I talked work outs, finances, plans for the next week or so, and, of course, sharing posts with each other from Instagram, Reddit, Imgur, or Twitter. And they say romance is dead…

I’m excited because tomorrow I’m going to record the narration for my next read-along record book project. I listened to a little bit of The Thing today to think about how I want to do the narration this time. For The Thing, I intentionally tried to sound a bit monotone and serious, because it seemed to fit with the tone of the story. For this next one, I might try to spice it up a little, but it’s still a pretty dark story, so I can’t go too bright and cheery. We’ll see how I feel once I get going.

I thought about mine and my daughter’s Hellboy sequel a little bit tonight, too. I jotted down a few ideas that might help us get started in the outlining phase – mainly just an opening scene that will help introduce the characters and the current situation Ol’ Red and Liz find themselves in. I’d like to start working on that pretty soon.

Well, I think I’m going to close for the night in order to read a little more of that kid’s book I checked out from the library. The book, by the way, is called Forgotten City, by Michael Ford. This story is post-apocalyptic, which my story is not, but I’m hoping it deals with some darker ideas than you’re used to seeing in a typical kid’s book. I did already learn that you can say “smart ass” in a book for “middle grade” kids, so that helps me know where some of my boundaries lie.

Good night for now. Hopefully I’ll have some good news about my recording tomorrow.

2019: The Blog Strikes Back

Over the last few years, this website has pretty much sat vacant. I post every once in a while, but, quite honestly, not often enough to justify the $4 per month I spend to host the site. In fact, at the beginning of December, I decided that SpaceMonkeyX.com would end it’s nearly 20 year run at the end of 2018.

Obviously, I had a change of heart.

In fact, I’ve decided that 2019 is going to be the year that I write more. I’ve set a daily goal for myself to write something of substance – whether it be a blog post that I share here, work on one of the dozens of stories I have squirreled away in the cloud, write a little more of an overly-long podcast episode, or maybe just take some notes for a board game idea I’m working on. I don’t know what it’s going to be, but it’s going to be something.

Ya see, I miss writing. I miss the feeling of the words flowing out of me as fast as my fingers can glide across the keyboard. Actually, the words flow much faster than my stubby little nubbins could ever glide anywhere, but you get the idea.

Thankfully, I have plenty of projects to work on.

I’m actively working on another read-along record book in the same vein as The Thing. It’s been sitting idle for nearly two years and I’ve just recently made some great headway on it, so that process is already started.

I also have a long-gestating series of stories that I’ve been sitting on for far too long. This is a sprawling, pulp fiction-inspired series that I’ve been compiling images and story ideas about for years. I actually have an old Word document that starts like this:

January 10, 2007
I’ve been kicking this story idea around again…

So clearly this has been a long time coming. I just need to write the first novella to get the ball rolling and then I think I’ll be in business.

On top of that, I have a podcast series that I’ve been slowly, but surely working on since about August that I’d love to introduce in 2019. I have the first two episodes written and I’m about 1/3 of the way through the third, but unlike in the past, I want to have a bunch of these written before I record and release. I’m hoping that will be the best way to keep my momentum going so there won’t be long gaps between episodes. Hoping.

I haven’t even mentioned the story idea my daughter and I have been kicking around for a few years about a horror novella for kids. We also have our fanfic Hellboy 3 sequel that I’d love for us to actually sit down and write instead of just jotting down ideas and discussing it during early morning car trips to school.

So as you can see, I have enough to write this year that I shouldn’t have any problem fulfilling my daily goal. I just have to carve out time to make it happen.

And so, this is my first official “Write Something Every Day” entry. I know it’s technically January 2nd, but this is a goal I just decided for myself today. Close enough for jazz, as the old saying goes.

In fact, I think I’m going to keep writing on my website every day, even if it’s just to say, “Hey, I worked on [insert writing project here] today!” Maybe I can kill two or more birds with one stone by getting my allotted writing done, as well as justifying the $4 per month I pay to host this antiquated relic of the early-2000s internet.

So follow along and see how I do! Words of encouragement (and showering of gifts) are always welcome.

The Space Monkey X Audio Workshop – Episode 5: S-Town

After a little over a year absence, I’ve gotten back into the world of podcasting over at The Space Monkey X Audio Workshop with my latest, brief episode, S-Town.

Check it out when you get the chance!

Not Your Average Monster

NYAM

 

 

Yes, folks, the anthology, Not Your Average Monster!, that features my first published short story, is now available on Amazon!

You’ll find my short, Good Ol’ Buddy, on page 191, but so far everything I’ve read from the other authors is definitely worth reading, too.

Thanks again to Pete Kahle and Bloodshot Books for giving me a chance.  It was truly an honor to be selected.

Now, go buy the book!  It’s only $3.99 for your Kindle.  You’ll spend that much on a latte today.

Summer 2015

Hey, folks! Sorry it’s been so long since my last update. I’ve been fairly busy over the last couple of months, working on Mental Floss, spending time on a beach, drawing, and writing, writing, writing. I’ve also spent an inordinate amount of time doing dishes, which is really the only blemish on an otherwise pretty decent summer.

First off, let’s get the Mental Floss stuff out of the way. The Strange States series continues. I had a surprise hit with South Dakota’s Wall Drug entry. I also updated an old article, 10 Very Rare (And Very Expensive) Video Games, which turned into a virtual rewrite thanks to a bunch of movement in the video game collecting hobby over the last few years. I also had a new, rather extensive article on the History of G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero, published on July 4th (fitting). Finally, I scored a minor viral hit with “7 Overlooked 80s Toys Worth More Than You Think”.

As for that beach time I mentioned, my family (and most of my extended family) traveled to Tybee Island, Georgia to spend about a week in a condo right near the ocean. It was an amazing experience to see my kids playing in the surf for the first time and to explore Savannah and the island itself. We had a great time despite the 13-hour, one-way drive with a seven and a not-quite-two-year-old in the car (thank god for tablets!).

It was our first family vacation and, oh man, did we need it. I’ve never really been one to take two weeks off from work, ever. A day or two here and there was always my preferred method of relaxation, but I have to say, it made a huge difference to just spend time away from work, from our normal routine, and from the world we usually know. It’s amazing what a little shift in perspective will do for your psyche. I know that ever since we got back, I’ve been more relaxed, I’ve been more patient with my kids, and I’ve felt like, yes, there is time to get everything done, instead of scrambling and racing around with my head down. Now I’m really jealous of all those Germans getting six weeks vacation every year. No wonder we have such a stressed out society.

I have been spending quite a bit of time writing fiction this summer, too. My main project at the moment is a Goosebumps-esque novel for kids. It’s based on a story my daughter and I came up with, which makes it all the more fun. So far I’m about 80 single-spaced pages in and I’m having a blast. I’ve also completed a couple of short stories and have a couple more that are in progress whenever I need to take a break from the novel. Everything is in the first draft phase at the moment, but I’m hoping to take a little time soon to edit and send them off to a few small publishers. However, self-publishing with Kindle is always a viable option today, too.

It’s funny how completely different my outlook is on writing fiction this time out. 10 years ago when I thought I was going to be the next Stephen King, I was sending manuscripts out to the biggest publishers in the business, not wanting to “waste my time” with the small press. Now, thanks to working in the nonfiction field for so long, I understand that having an extensive portfolio of published work is so much more important in the long run. I’m also not so egotistical to think I’ll be writing novels for a living like I thought I once might. It’s ok if I do my day job and then write fiction on nights and weekends. That’s what most writers do, even accomplished ones. I don’t know if it’s just maturity or experience, but I understand now what my writing goals should be, and it makes the writing that much more fun and exciting. Still, I hope I can get a few more things published, because that would be pretty sweet.

Unfortunately, all this time sitting on beaches, writing about video games and action figures and zombies (and all those dishes I have to wash), have prevented me from working on my podcasts this year. I have a new episode of When You Hear This Sound written and ready to record, but, ugh, it takes so long to do, and I don’t really have a good studio setup, and the air conditioning that’s been on all summer because it’s so bloody hot will screw up the recording, and excuse after excuse after excuse. I’m hoping that I’ll soon be able to get back to it, because I really do enjoy it, but with so much else going on this summer, it just hasn’t been a priority (especially when compared to sitting on beaches and getting paid to write about video games and action figures). But here’s hoping I’ll be able to make time for it again this fall and winter. I have some great ideas ready to go, it’s just a matter of finding the time and a few assistants to help me make them a reality. If only I hadn’t used up all my vacation time and I could take a little “staycation” to get some things done.

As we head into fall, I hope the next time I give you an update I’ll have finished the first draft of the novel, maybe cranked out a few more Mental Floss articles, and perhaps gotten around to a podcast episode or two (once the air conditioning is turned off for the season in November because Missouri weather sucks). I also have a few more things going on that I didn’t mention here, but they’re still up in the air at the moment, so I’ll wait to report on them when things have solidified a little bit. Until then, thanks for reading, and thanks for supporting me throughout my many creative endeavors.