The cover of my upcoming book (created by Written Dreams)
Seventy thousand words. I'm almost at the end... Maybe another ten thousand words to go before the first draft is complete. I want to begin writing the first draft of the book summary, you know, the one you might read on the back of the book and/or on Amazon's Book Description section.
It's 2053. Chairman Forrest Vance, the leader of what once was the United States, is the leader of an oppressive government that uses fear and intimidation to control the people. The opposition has been silent for years. The daughter of a forgotten rebel rises up to be the voice of the people using a pirate radio broadcast that reaches Lazarus Parker, a man who's just waiting to die after his forced retirement months earlier.
Welcome to Utopia takes readers on Lazarus' journey to join the fight. To rediscover freedom. To rediscover himself. To find redemption. To find love. To find utopia...
This is just a start. If you have any thoughts I would love to hear them.
Written Dreams, by the way, can also help with editing, formatting and other needs. They did a great job with my cover!
The brother-in-law was in Rapid City (again) this past weekend. We had a great time playing golf and watching Phil Mickelson win his 5th major at The Open Championship. I've been rooting for Phil forever and day now and loved watching him throw up a 66 to win it. The brother-in-law even went to church with us AND bought the delicious pizza we ate on Sunday night. Miracles do happen! Thanks Gene for another great visit.
God Bless and hope all of you have a great week!
Sixty thousand eight hundred and thirty four. That is how many words I have written as of this morning. I waited to write on my blog today so I could get to over sixty thousand. I'm now writing at least 2000 words a day. I have known since I started my novel where I was going - it was a mixture of the hero finally stepping up with the ending being his new beginning. Of course over the last past month in a half there have been some tweaks and I now know exactly where I'm going with few if any holes in the story. I started this story wanting to convey a message I believe is going to be more powerful today than it would've been had I finished it a year ago... or two years ago. Funny how with my own growth in writing mixed with all kinds of new influences in the world of literature and add having to teach it has made me a more confident writer. Of course I'm still learning from books and articles on writing, from reading good (and sometimes bad, although I tend not to finish them anymore) books both from the past and contemporary, and from the act of writing in and of itself. There is no way I could have just continued with the first draft without beating myself up for the terrible writing I did that day or the day before. Writing is about rewriting. Revisions, which I hope to get to in less than two weeks, is where I fix the problems, rewrite sentences that don't jive or lose the reader, and basically tighten up the story. I get to erase and add to the canvas... not many artist get that opportunity. Revisions and edits are the writers version of practice and rehearsal.
My plan is to read through, with highlighter and pen and pencil (and perhaps shredder) making notes and changes. I will do this twice before sending it to my editor. Then... who knows... no matter what I have learned that each and every time I read something I write I revise something. At some point, and this is according to every one of those writing books I've read, you have to just say its done. Before I decided to just finish the first draft I had revised the first chapter about 15 times, maybe more. Sometimes not for the better. That is why I have decided two times for me and then send it to the editor to get their input. In the words of Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman, 'You gotta have a plan!' Or was that her roommate that said that?
As you can see by my title he showed back up again. It was like some horror movie with the monster in a military uniform. Gene walked into my house in the midst of a writing frenzy. I was on a real roll and in fact wrote almost 3500 words that day (despite his interruption). He walked in wanting to... you guessed it... talk, and talk, and talk and... you get the idea. Of course it started with, "I thought you finished that book thing." Nothing like 'book thing' and the love I could feel to build confidence. I had planned out his visit this time (minus the final twenty minutes of writing) realizing there was no way I would get anything done with his presence.
After I finished writing we both traveled back to our teenage days and played Tiger Woods golf until two in the morning. He beat me but cheated... he plays Tiger (the best of the best player in the game... both in real life and on the video game version) and I play some chump that just recently qualified for his Tour Card. It doesn't matter - we had a great time anyway despite our urge sometimes to throw the controller though the TV screen. We both used language Malia charged us $1 per word for but worked hard to keep our mouths in check. Some of Gene's classics to keep from using foul language are: Christ on Friday (don't ask, he doesn't even know what it means), REALLY? (he uses this, like, all the time) and my personal favorite - it starts out sounding like he's planning to cuss but what comes out is... GOD......... BLESS AMERICA!
I can't wait until next week... I have a surprise for all of you.
It was July 4th, 2012. I had just been hired the month before as the new grammar and comp teacher at St. Thomas More Middle School. My first job in my new career. I was putting on my usual fireworks show for my family when... oops... I started a fire. Of course my first thought was: Former Catholic School Teacher gets fired for burning down parents home. Trees went up in flames and everyone scrambled to put them out. By the time the fire department showed up there was nothing but smoke left. It was scary. My daughter Cheryl said, "Best Fourth of July ever!" And Malia went into 'hiding.' My wife wondered if I could get my job back at Shooters and I could only wish for an opening at McDonalds... that is of course, AFTER I served my time.
Some people just never let you forget. Here is what my father and friend made me for this (fireworks free) Fourth of July. Marlyn, a friend of the family pictured here, did all the artwork. He's a great artist that I hope will help illustrate my idea for a children's set of picture books. My father, holding the other end, designed the rather large tube and yes, I know, came up with the idea for this 'gift.' With friends like these who needs enemies! This was a great way to end a rough start to last week.
First, everything seemed to be going smoothly during and after our trip to the other side of the state, Watertown. A great trip. I did get in my writing and felt good about where the story was going. Tuesday night I decided to get on my computer to write this blog and... nothing... I couldn't get in! It was awful. I took it to the Geek Squad at Best Buy - they did their best but didn't solve the problem. After a vain attempt to log in and went through my F fit on the fourth followed by giving up completely and deciding I will never finish this novel and that the writing Gods were out to get me. Or something like that. The world had come to an end and all my hopes and dreams had come to a sudden halt.
Then it was Brian Klems to the rescue. He is an editor at Writers Digest and I read his article, 7 Reasons Why Writing a Book Makes You a Badass. Just what the writing doctor ordered, inspiration. I get an email from this guy about once a week and it usually comes with some great advice on publishing, writing, intro to another author, all kinds of tricks of the trade and information for the writer in the family. This is a great source of information and place to get books on writing. Most of the books I have came from reading about it here or by searching their store. One of my favorite college Professor's (I hope she's reading) turned me on to it. Another one of my favorite professors ( I hope he's reading), who just recently sent me a nice message, turned me on to the Joseph Campbell book I mentioned a couple of blogs ago. Thanks to both of you - you are a big part of making this journey to finish my first novel a reality.
A strange thing happened to me in my writing just recently. I had always read in the gazillion books on writing that a character will do something the writer didn't expect. I wondered how that could happen... then, BAM! - it happened! The character literally guided me through the scene instead of me guiding him. As I continue to write the characters in my novel have been pointing the way by being them instead of me telling them what they are. It has been quite fascinating. It's like having someone whisper in your ear who and what they are and then putting it down on paper. My wife, who is my IR (Ideal Reader), I stole that from Stephen King, says she doesn't see some of it coming. When it comes to writing, that's a good thing.
God Bless and hope your Fourth was as amusing as mine!
Happy Fourth of July! I have to hurry today since I'm with family and having a great time and great food at mom and dads.
We just got back on Tuesday from our trip out to Watertown to celebrate my mother-in-law's 80th birthday; she doesn't look a day over 70! I went fishing and golfing with the boys and had the opportunity to get to know the father of my soon-to-be grandchild better. I actually caught some fish and... well... we won't talk about the golf game.
This is a picture of the two of them; our daughter and her boyfriend at the party. Tammy threw a shower for her the day before and had a great time. I already know what you're thinking... he's white. We don't talk about it much and now that we've gotten to know him we have looked past that flaw. What can we do, they're in love!
The writing is going well - over 43,000 words and cruising along until yesterday - more on that next time!
Until then - God Bless!
Anthony D. Flores loves to spend his summers writing fiction. His strong Christian faith and love for this great country find its way into his fiction. His work is also available on Amazon by Clicking Here.