Author Update

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Hello Space Cadets, how is everyone doing?  It has been too long since I’ve written a blog post, and for that I’m truly sorry.  First, my wife got sick with the dreaded flu, so true to my husbandly duty I provided care.  This involved making loads of chicken noodle soup, manning the fort, and not burning the house down!  Then I got sick—thanks to her generous nature.  Ugh, I hate being sick but I made it through the other end alive.  I would love to tell you I soldiered through it and worked the whole time…but mamma said I shouldn’t tell lies.  I spent several days where I got ZERO done.  Ugh, I was hoping to have book two done so I could be working on book three but it wasn’t meant to be.

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Finally, at the same time I was sick, Hurricane Matthew hit my locale hard.  We had a lot of flooding, which caused a few local electrical fires when water got into houses.  People lost entire houses when flood damage forced the city to condemn them.

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My own personal vehicle flooded, so I’ve had to deal with insurance to get it repaired or replaced.  Luckily, State Farm has been awesome and is even upgrading my rental car to a truck since my injury makes tiny cars painful and no mid-range vehicles were available.  My contract only requires a car, but they are going above and beyond.  I should know in a few days whether they’ll repair it or total it.

All I know at the moment is that they categorized the damage to my vehicle as Class 2 Flood Damage.  They found water in my gas tank, mixed in with my oil and sitting inside the cigarette lighter/power port things on my floorboards.  To be honest, I forgot they were there so I missed them when I did my best to clean the water out of the inside.  Oh, and they found nasties inside my engine itself; things like leaves, trash and other debris from the storm.  I back up to our cities water drainage system and it overflowed.  It is basically a ditch that connects to a lake, which the city made deeper so rainwater had a place to run off.  When we flooded, my car sucked in some of the litter which is sadly in it and it apparently is the opposite of helpful for your engines.

 

On top of all that, my mother’s house flooded and took on several inches of water.  They’ll likely have to gut and redo the entire first floor to account for the water damage.  I’ve spent time over there, as much as I could while being sick, helping pull up carpet and other things which have to be done.  It definitely could have been worse, so for that we are grateful.  All told, Team Handley weathered the storm and came out smiling on the other end.  Some did not, AND didn’t have any flood insurance.  They’ll be struggling, but it taught us a valuable life lesson: BUY FLOOD INSURANCE if you live in a flood zone!!  Sigh, should have been common sense but I guess not.

 

But all that aside, my mother has been busy getting the corporation ready for the launch of our books.  We will have an official bank account tomorrow, and as a gift, she hired someone to do our webpage.  Within the month it will be ready, though likely sooner.  She hired Matthew from MWS Media Creative Services to do a kickass website for us!  When the page goes live, I hope to jump into my previously stated plan for the website.  That means I need to get off my arse and come up with questions for my military veteran authors, and for authors in general, about how you manage your writing life with your home life.  If you guys have any questions along those lines you’d love to see answered, put them in the comment box.

 

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And since I called this an update, I guess I’ll tell you where I’m at with book two.  I’m currently editing it, but I’ve solved all but one of the major plot holes.  I’m currently on page 138 of 202 and hope to get even further than that before the day ends.  My editor is following close behind me cracking the whip.  No really, that wasn’t a metaphor… that crazy Navy bastard has a whip.  I think he used to be an Indiana Jones fanboy.  I never judge, but those Navy boys are sometimes hard to understand.  Me, I preferred Rambo and GI Joe!  Of course, that was back when he was an All American Hero, before the remake made him some sort of UN Merc, but I’ll save that rant for another day.

 

Until next time, stay frosty and don’t forget to keep your powder dry!

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JR

–> As usual, all images are found under Google’s “labeled for reuse” section.

3rd Quarter Goals

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2nd Quarter Goals Update:

(April/May/June)

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!

 

 

3rd QUARTER GOALS:

(July/August/September)

 

  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!