Just finished my edits for my book, moving now to pre-publishing preparations.
Just finished Relentless Solution Focus. moving now to the solution side of the mental chalkboard.
Just finished typing up my game plan, moving now to sharing it with you for show-and-tell.
The Game Plan
The Game Plan 2022/03/05
My purpose: to strive towards greatness, and to encourage others to do the same in their lives
My priorities: my art, family, and business
Vision of self image: I have just finished my writer’s work for the morning and I can hear my family is outside playing and helping my family with the farm work. I go out and help them for a few hours until it is time for breakfast. After I go to my desk to address some details with my publisher, they are excited to work out the last details for the book tour they have lined up after the recent “Best Seller” list in the New York Times featured my latest novel, “When the sea lays still.” I also work out a few details with my team on how we need to move forward with recent issues that have come up in our operations; nothing urgent, just exciting developments that need to be handled. I close up my office time by checking and setting any orders I want to play in the market with the success of my strategy so far and I close up my office notebook feeling content. For the rest of the day I attend to my children’s endeavors, making sure the house is in order for some family and friends, which visit regularly to our farm house. The night ends with the family in bed and my wife and I talking about our up-coming mini-retirement to the Falklands. As I fall asleep there is a profound sense of peace.
Professional Product Goal: Book for sale (ebook, print, audio)
Process Goal: Minimum of 20 minutes of novel work daily
Personal Product Goal: 100 followers for my blog
Process Goal: Blog post, share post, and engage with others
Alixander Court 2022/03/05
I highly recommend you get your current game plan typed up if you can; getting it printed works too.
The key is seeing it everyday – because when you point your momentum in the direction you focus on, don’t be surprised when you end up there.
Thank you for joining me today, I wanted to show you something I am really proud of.
This is my novel propped up on my desk.
After I finished penning edits into its pages I tore its covers off.
Each chapter gets torn from the spine so it is easier to work with. I bind the book with an elastic that I got from a Christmas present from 2020.
My edit process
I use Vim to implement the pen edits into the text file.
This is a git message showing that a commit has been made to the repo where the book lives.
The sticky on the front, I use it to tally the chapter edits that have gone into the repo. I have committed 40 chapters into the repo. I have 10 more chapter edits left to implement into the repo.
My bookmark and letter of encouragement
This is a letter I wrote to myself. I use as a bookmark, it reminds me that as long as I keep moving forward I’ll have someone there to support me. It shows my Po Box address, you are welcome to write me anytime.
PO BOX 3721 SLC, UT 84110
This is what the letter looks like:
The letter reads,
Thank you, first of all, for taking the time to read my letter. I know you took great pains to make time for it.
The reason for my writing is to let you know that I greatly admire you for having the first printed proof on your desk. I feel great pride in knowing that you put in the time to get your words onto the printed page. Truly proud.
Now I know that creativity is difficult, there are so many easier things you could do with your time. But I am here to tell you, for absolute certian [sic], that it is the best use of your time. Now, don’t mistake me for saying that writing is the best use of your time. I said being creative. Creativity comes in many forms, and I hope you wouldn’t limit yourself to thinking only one art is the best for you. All creative expression is important to the… gods, as it were.
Again, I am grateful for you putting in the time and making use of your desire and interest to write Without Power. Really, super cool!
Please know I am here when ever you need an encouraging and compassionate friend.
Yours, truly, your biggest fan,
Well that’s what I wanted to share with you today. I am really proud of where I am at so far and I can hardly believe that I am almost done with getting the edits into the text.
Once I am done with the edits, I will be recording me reading the chapters for the audio book.
And then after that, I will be putting my book up for sale.
So yeah, thank you letting me share and for stopping by. I hope to have you stop by again soon.
Every once in a while I get the chance to finish a novel instead of a work of non-fiction, and it can be very rewarding too.
Today’s blog post is about the haunting realities that the mind can conjure up using only the most bare narrative elements. On the surface, we all think that what makes for good horror is jump scares and the sudden twists in the plot. But diving deeper, it is the mark of a brilliant horror novelist who is able to bring something that seems only possible in the mind, and when upon closer inspection bears all the hallmarks of reality. Albeit, a little too closely.
Finding Horror on the Shelves
After I had finished The Chrysalids, I was really impressed by how I came to choose that book. Purely based on the aesthetic inclinations I experienced while looking over its cover. Yes, I judged that book entirely by its cover. But when I found myself wanting another novel after I finished that one, I thought very deeply about the process of getting a book worm’s attention with a cover and the immensely complicated endeavor of marketing a book.
As I thought on that, pondered it, and went to the Barnes and Nobles where I purchased The Chrysalids, I looked for books that bore some of the similar hallmarks of that book. There was something that the publisher had chosen with the spine text and the color selection that really caught my eye the last time. There was something too in the cover art and the fonts they used. I believed, as I meandered the shelves, that if a publisher is so thoughtful in their cover creation, what kind of books were they willing to put their stamp of approval on?
Truthfully, I was rather impressed by many of the books that the publisher New York Review Books had. They didn’t seem to be interested in reprinting classics with fancy covers, or catering to modern whims and contemporary authors. No, they seemed interested in sharing hidden gems for authors that were buried in all the drab and dull texts printed over the last half century or more. William Sloane was most certainly one of those gems.
What Makes A Great Story
There are two incredible books bound up in this text, The Rim of Morning. And each of them are incredibly insightful in the ways that men and women go about exploring uncomfortable truths about their world.
But it isn’t the what that gets you, it is how the story unfolds
In the first story, we have a young man going to his best friend’s father, telling him about the recent suicide of the father’s son. In the second story we have another man who is having to discover why his friend asked for his advice on a recent invention of his. Both of these stories were fascinating to say the least, and again, not because of the jump scares or the plot twists; you know what is going to happen the whole time as you read these “two tales of cosmic horror.” But it isn’t the what that gets you, it is how the story unfolds that really drives you to turn page after page.
So you are probably wondering, why would I want to read something like this? I don’t know about you, but if you are anything like me, than you are really intrigued with how an author explores the psychology of his characters, or making conjectures about what is going to happen next, and even being bold enough to declare whodunnit. A great book doesn’t just tell you a story, a great story binds you to the pages as you learn of a friend’s suicide, or the terror that comes with a mad scientist’s passion. Great stories explore the love that people have for each other, and with any luck, you will find your self loving them too. In spite of what ever may happen.
The Hardest Part of Great Horror
It is a notable fact that horror, as a genre, is incredibly difficult to write. See, it is well known that stories have a beginning, middle, and an end; but where people get torn up about horror, as a genre and not in real life, is that there is rarely resolve when you get to the end of the story. You have turned hundreds of pages, you understand the monster and the motives, but in the end you are left wondering… is that it?
For William Sloane, I feel that he understood how to end his stories quite well. In fact, I would say that he did a much more succinct job of it in the second story, The Edge of Running Water, under this title than he did in the first; and my reasoning is that the end of To Walk the Night seems to button down really well after it all shakes out. Almost too well… The Edge of Running Water, however, left me wondering deeply about the nature of the scientist’s machine and what other kinds of machines are being made around us.
You really can’t lose, in my opinion, with which one you start first. When you choose to pick this book up, I would want to know what your thoughts are in the comments below.
When It Is All Said And Done
Horror, as a genre, is a realm of inquiry that I feel is highly under appreciated and tremendously over saturated by only a handful of writers. You saw that Stephen King wrote a forward for this book, right? And that’s ultimately the problem with the genre, it is difficult to write, it is difficult to appreciate, and it is difficult to find a book worth reading that isn’t just a bunch of mumbo jumbo or highfalutin nonsense.
William Sloane, though, is an author who has masterfully crafted a story that leads you to feel deeply on account of his characters. And what’s more is that masterful sense of doom he is able to weave around the story without it becoming bogged down.
Really, I enjoyed this book. And I most especially enjoyed reading these stories aloud with my wife before bed, and experiencing the tension with a friend. It was truly a treat to share a scary book with someone who likes to share scary movies too.
What about you? What horror stories have you read that other’s may have never heard of? Do you agree with my analysis about the problems with the horror genre? Comment below.