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Vagabond Writing   5 comments

How Do You Work While Traveling?
Many people work remote and travel with their work now. It really helps to see how others work and reach their goals while they’re traveling. Share your tips.

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Okay, I live in Alaska, where we are still in 3rd world status when it comes to connectivity, so working remote is different depending on where I am traveling.

Image result for image of a stenographer's notebookIf I’m traveling to Anchorage or the Lower 48, I bring my laptop and continue working like I always work … although I did stay at a friend’s house a while back who would not allow me to use his wi-fi. I still worked off-line and we went to Starbucks often enough that I could continue to do things on the Internet, just not on my own schedule. The cloud is very accessible these days and I also carry a thumb drive because it’s a lot harder to steal a thumb drive in my pocket than my laptop.

In reality, though, there are a lot of places I go where my laptop shouldn’t. It would just be a really stupid idea to take it camping, hiking, hunting, fishing or white-water rafting. The Alaska Marine Highway doesn’t have connectivity, but it also doesn’t have places to plug in. There are just a lot of places where I go that I can’t take my trusty writing tool.

But that doesn’t stop me. All I need to write is a spiral-bound stenographer’s pad and a pen. Those are almost always in my backpack as I hike into the woods. I take it with me when I’m going somewhere without connectivity. I usually carry one with me even when I travel in the Lower 48 because sometimes we have odd friends with issues about wi-fi. I can write anywhere with my steno notebook and pen. What I lose in efficiency by having to transcribe into the computer later I sometimes offset by the burst of creativity that writing long-hand affords me.

Sometimes the simplest approach is the best.

What’s “Hullabaloo on Main Street” About?   Leave a comment

There’s no question that America is a divided nation with progressives and conservatives living in different bubbles. The 2016 Presidential election results caught the Democrats by surprise, but I think it also caught Trump voters by surprise. The mainstream media had done everything in its power to make them believe they’d be throwing away their votes, but they voted for him anyway. I’m not convinced that was a great choice, but I was and will never be a Clinton supporter.

Having voted for Gary Johnson in protest for the two main parties giving us not a dime’s worth of choice (crooks on my left, clowns on my right, here I am … still not voting for you), I discovered on Election Wednesday that I had no sense of ownership in this election. I just didn’t care.

Then I watched all the riots around the country by people more than a little upset over Trump’s election. I talked to my progressive friends and discovered they were devastated. I listened to my conservative friends and you would have thought we elected Jesus to the Oval Office. Even some Christian friends are insisting Trump is God-ordained.

Well, God used Jephthat to accomplish His will, so … yeah, I still don’t think so.

Finally, I read a Politico article – When a Red State Moves to You? – and Hullabaloo on Main Street was born. It’s short … just a novelette … and it attempts to be funny, to make some political observations under the cover of satire. I tried to have sympathy for both sides, but also to show what I think are the worst parts of both positions. None of it is meant to be mean. I am not mad at anyone.

I hope you will enjoy the book … which the e-book is FREE for the next two days. There’s also an affordably priced paperback.

Hullabaloo Front CoverFor a committed democrat, it sure does suck when you lose an election.

You know what I mean?

Nearly half the country refuses to listen to the other half. We think we know what the other side means, but we never venture outside our own bubbles to actually find out.

Libertarian Connor infiltrates both bubbles in a Midwestern town on Election Wednesday 2016 and brings readers along for a wry non-partisan tour of the “Bubble Battles.” He even offers a solution … not that any bubble dwellers will listen.

This novelette is a work of fiction based upon real-life events. Any resemblance to yourself or people you know is purely coincidental.

 

I should also say, this was kind of a hard book to write because it was set right after the election and so much has happened in only a handful of months … all of which Connor had to be unaware. But more than anything it was a fun challenge to write because it pokes fun at some of the basic premises that cause us to seek our respective bubbles and refuse to be dislodged from them under any circumstances. Connor infiltrates both of those bubbles because he’s a non-voting libertarian. He doesn’t have a dog in the fight … and like me since the election of Donald Trump, he feels like the country dodged one catastrophe only to embrace another … meaning neither side is right and neight is completely wrong. Give it a read. Let me know what you think. Most importantly, leave a review. This book is entered in the Kindle Storyteller contest, so reviews are very important for this one.

Thanks so much.

 

Please Support My Thunderclap   7 comments

Hullabaloo Front CoverI’m seeking to spread the news about “Hullabaloo on Main Street”, a political satire from a non-partisan viewpoint, which launches May 16. You can help by supporting my Thunderclap campaign. Most people by now are familiar with Thunderclap. It allows a 1-time-only use of your social media network to promote … well, things like my book. And Thunderclap does not keep your social media network information. Follow the link and thank you in advance.

https://www.thunderclap.it/projects/56935-hullabaloo-on-main-street?locale=en

 

Stay Tuned for Writing Wednesday   Leave a comment

I have several interviews in the pipe, so Writing Wednesday is back on for a regular basis. This week’s interview is with a visionary fantasy writer.

Posted April 4, 2017 by aurorawatcherak in writing wednesday

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Stay Tuned for Writing Wednesday   Leave a comment

I’m back with Writing Wednesday and revisiting with a long-time friend of mine, Jane Bwye, who is launching a new book this week.

So tune in and hear what she’s up to. My best guess — it’s Africa-related.

 

Posted March 28, 2017 by aurorawatcherak in writing wednesday

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Stay Tuned for Writing Wednesday   Leave a comment

This week, I’m promoting a relaunch of Anaerfell – Book 1 of  Thrice-Nine Sagas. I’ll have an interview next week.

 

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Posted February 21, 2017 by aurorawatcherak in writing wednesday

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What Makes A Man   3 comments

Post background information on your characters (possibly things that will never be in the books, but are back of who they are)

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lifeasweknewitIt’s an interesting question … what makes a man? We are all the sum total of the things that have happened to us from birth to any moment in time. These experiences determine how we react in any given circumstance. They are the foundation of who we are today. It’s a question

It’s a question authors ought to ask about our characters because answering that question gives a character depth. You don’t necessarily need to share the answers with your readers, but it helps if you know the answers for yourself. It’s the difference between a flat one-dimensional character and a multi-faceted person who lives on the page.

Since my characters just sort of invade my brain rather than my constructing them, I often don’t know what makes them tick until long into the writing process. They will suddenly react to something in a certain way and I’ll go “hmm? Now why’d you do that?” Generally, these characters will not allow me to redirect them, so I have to answer the question – What made you the way that you are?

In Transformation Project (an apocalyptic series that currently includes Life As We Knew It and Objects in View), I have two brothers who are very different from one another. They were raised by the same people, have the same sister, in the same town, only a couple of years apart in age. They even dated the same girl … and one of them married her. So why are they so different?

To a certain extent, the difference started before birth. Their mother’s pregnancy with Shane was more difficult — he was very active, he was early, he gave her morning sickness for eight months. He was a more demanding baby, prone to colic, and impossible to put on a schedule. He crawled early, walked at eight months, and climbed the stairs before he was a year.

Meanwhile, Cai was an easy pregnancy, a calm baby, who slept through the night by six weeks, and reached his milestones only a few weeks ahead of other kids. The first child, he was immediately one of the bright kids when he got to school and would eventually be valedictorian. He excelled at team sports, was the prom king, and a good church kid. He went on to a great college career, followed by law school, followed by taking a job as the City attorney for Emmaus. He’s paying off his student loans by living with his parents. The only bumps in his road have been getting a girl pregnant and her deciding to get an abortion and marrying his brother’s long-time sweetheart after his brother left town with no intentions of returning. He’s just an easy-going, practical guy, voted most likely to succeed.

objectsinviewShane also did very well in school. He could have been the valedictorian, but his girlfriend beat him out of it. A pivotal moment for shaping his life happened when he was about 9 and was tossed from a horse, causing a dislocated shoulder. It was a somewhat remote location, which required him to get back on the horse and ride to help. He liked individual sports – wrestling, kickboxing, running and horseback riding. He lost his virginity at 14 to that long-time girlfriend. He also drank and smoked pot. He had no use for church growing up, even though he admires his grandfather’s faith. He fell in with his girlfriend’s father, who supplies alcohol to dry Kansas counties. He worked other local jobs in high school too. He was an adventurer who liked to push the edge of safety. He studied to become a pilot and ran up student loans, then got caught selling pot to someone at college, which brought him into contact with his roommate’s father, an FBI agent who needed someone from Emmaus to act as a confidential informant with a militia just outside of Emmaus. Although that operation turned out well for the government, it blew up in Shane’s face by estranging him from his girlfriend and her father. This required him to flee town. His grandfather innocently connected him up with a small air freight company (owned by the son of a friend) that turned out to be controlled by a drug cartel, which caused his current handler to recruit him as an informant. That later led to deployment to the Middle East, which had its own set of influences good and bad.

So, now, in the maelstrom of the post-apocalypse, these two men react to what comes their way in very different ways. I like playing with the two characters, knowing that they won’t act the same. Because I find force characters to do things against their wills results in wasted writing time, I sometimes have to adjust my plot to please the characters. I suspect Shane and Cai will scare each other to death and that they will secretly admire one another’s technique while being utterly incapable of imitating it. I also suspect, if the series goes on long enough, that they’ll learn from each other … at least to know when to get out of the other’s way.

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