Post Project Blues


When I decided I wanted to be a writer I expected it might be emotionally taxing.  I was harnessing my war trauma and channeling it into military science fiction novels, hoping I could excise my demons while writing solid fiction.  I mean, hey, I spent 4 years in Navy JROTC, another 4 years at a state military college and 8 ½ years enlisted in the infantry.  Why not work with what I know, write militaria?  Of course, there would be risks, pitfalls, as it forced me to confront my demons.  What I didn’t expect, something they didn’t tell me about, was what happened AFTER I finish any given project.  Even if I was just a normal writer, I would expect to get frustrated when I got stuck.  I would expect to be happy when I finish a project, but I would NEVER expect I would be SAD!  Since I finished my second novel and the short story, I have been making busy work while I waited on my editors to get back with me.  In that time, without my world to visit every day, I got a bit blue.  I didn’t realize just how much I’d come to count on my fictional friends to help me cope.  Maybe I should mention all of this to my shrink, rather than my blog family, but shrinks have the tendency to give pills and white “I love me” jackets (aka straight jacket)!  What are your thoughts, dear readers?  Do you get down when you are in the situation of between projects?


JR Handley


PS:  Be kind, my editing staff have all taken for the hills….. it’s just me, my kbar and these lovely MREs.

Writing Update


Attention, may I have your attention please……

Would the owner of a white Ford Bronco please turn your headlights off…..


Wait, that wasn’t todays announcement!!  I have the privilege of telling everyone that, as of today, the first draft of my second novel is done!  Now my short story and first two novels are in various stages of editing, so I am in the nail biting stage.  Since I can’t write book three while so much of the plot is up in the air, editing can do that to a poor wee plot, I have decided to start getting some blog articles ready and to try my hand a short stories!


Now, if you enjoyed this update… make all checks payable to…….

3rd Quarter Goals


2nd Quarter Goals Update:


As you know, the last quarter has come and gone so it is time to evaluate my goals and discuss whether or not I completed them.  Here are the goals from last quarter, and my progress on them.  And THANK YOU Madame Vivian Reis for your recent video about the topic…. It reminded me mine was due as well!

  1. Finish Operation Breakout because Legion Awakes won’t see the light of day until this book is in the cue and I crave reader feedback.
  2. This is a FAIL.  The book has since been renamed FORTRESS BETA CITY, is at 78,000 words, but isn’t done yet.  I WILL finish it this week, for what that’s worth.
  3. Outline book 3 in such a way that I can dictate with it, even though I don’t know what that looks like yet.
  4. DONE!!  Woohoo me!!
  5. Outline the short story.  This can be in any universe just so long as I outline it. In the past every short story I’ve written, okay I’ve only tried once, turned into a novel. I really ought to write a blog post about when novellas growing up to be novels.
  6. DONE!
  7. Write a short story.
  8. This is a BIG FAT FAIL.  I spent too much time pushing forward on book two and made that a priority.  This IS on my list though.
  9. Practice Dragon Speak once a day.
  10. Another BIG FAT FAIL.  I need to do this, however, because my hand injuries mean I can’t sustain typing by hand.  Oh well, there is always next quarter.
  11. Write at least one scene a week using the Dragon software.
  12. Again, a BIG FAT FAIL…..
  13. Read the many self-help books I bought about learning to dictate.  I won’t list them again, but they’re on the original post for last quarter.
  14. Another BIG FAT FAIL but only because I pushed hard on the second novel at the expense of everything else.
  15. Write six blog posts.
  16. DONE!!!  As a disclaimer, those all got posted right away and I haven’t done anything recently.  We ARE looking into setting up a better website which I have big plans for.
  17. Walk at least five times a week.
  18. I had a lot of momentum in the beginning but for health reasons fell off the wagon.  There is always next quarter.  As far as a grade, I guess a BIG HALF FAIL?
  19. Lose 10 of the trillion pounds I could stand to lose.
  20. Lost 15 pounds, I’ll call that a win!
  21. Give up my daily Diet Coke habit, switch to water and drink 80 ounces a day.
  22. Done!!
  23. Read five novels and write reviews for the blog.
  24. Done, I made a point to read a variety of stuff this quarter!  I’m currently reading an ARC for Kristen Martin’s upcoming novel The Order of Omega.  So far it is looking good, and I’m enjoy helping other authors as a beta reader.  I didn’t write the reviews but that is because I have another vision for the blog which I hope you’ll enjoy when I unveil it!
  25. Incorporate the pen name J.R. Handley and set up bank accounts for it.
  26. Half Done!!  We have incorporated the name, though we haven’t set up a bank account yet as we are pre-revenue.  I will call this a win!
  27. Figure out author bio screen pic.
  28. Done, though we are doing a bit of research on the right family crest for our line before we publish it.
  29. Improve my blog/website.
  30. FAIL, though we are finally looking into it.  Maybe next quarter?
  31. Join a writer’s group (either in real life or online).
  32. FAIL, though with two special needs kids it is often hard to find any free time and when I eek some out of my day I prefer to spend some quality time with my queen. 
  33. I need to treat this writing like a job with more time actually writing, and last time being distracted.
  34. This was a 50-50 note, so I will call it incomplete and add it to next quarter!






  1. Finish FORTRESS BETA CITY and then write at least 75% of OPERATION BREAKOUT.
  2. Write a short story.
  3. Practice Dragon Speak once a day.
  4. Write at least one scene a week using the Dragon software.
  5. Walk at least five times a week.
  6. Write at least 9 blog posts for the three followers’ I currently have reading pleasure!
  7. Update my webpage.
  8. Lose 10 of the trillion pounds I could stand to lose.
  9. Set up bank accounts for JR Handley Inc.!
  10. Join a writer’s group (either in real life or online).
  11. I need to treat this writing like a job with more time actually writing, and last time being distracted.
  12. Figure out what we will do for SWAG for The Sleeping Legion series.
  13. Publish my first novel and the reader magnet short story.
  14. Sell a lot of said books!