08th Jan2009

Happy Belated Birthday!

by Aaron

One Year Candle

Happy Thursday Copious Notes readers! This post has been put off way too long and I apologize for the lack of posts this week. It’s amazing how fast the days go by in January and how little someone can get done when they are unmotivated. This post was originally scheduled for this past Sunday but I didn’t get around to it and then kept putting it off.

I finally decided last night that I needed to get some writing done today (in any form) and post was priority #1. January 4th was the one-year anniversary of Copious Notes. Back in my first post I didn’t have much to say but I did get a lot of blogging done that initial month. I didn’t really know what to write or if anyone would ever read my thoughts, let alone visit here.

Through some networking and work I was able to make some good friends and I feel as if I’m part of a group of some sort. I did get a lot accomplished last year, finishing my Robert book and also working on my new book Spirit Hackers. While I’m far from done with any work, I think I’m on a good track to further my writing for 2009.

I went over my goals for 2009 a few posts ago and I think it’s equally important to see where we’ve been to see where we’re going. I think we all have goals but life can be tough and take away our drive, our time, and our ability to achieve them. While I’ve always had to struggle to focus and get things done, I do think I’ve done more writing in the last two years than I’ve done in the past ten.

One major accomplishment has been my Kindle experiment. I purchased my Kindle as a means to try to read more. That has been a stellar success with 2008′s book-count coming in at 8. I’ve never read that much….EVER. If I can take anything from 2008, I can say I’ve re-discovered reading, even if it’s just snippets during my lunch breaks or an hour once a week on my day off. No matter the reason, my Kindle has done its job.

So where do we go from here? I really have no idea. I am going to work on the goals for ’09 but also go where my heart takes me. Recently I’ve had the desire to incorporate video & audio here but the time and effort for that is very high.

For now, I just want to write and continue the ultimate goal of getting published. A big thanks to everyone I’ve met along the way this past year for all your support, encouragement and for allowing me to share my life with you all. I appreciate you letting me into your blogging worlds and for making me feel like I can really do this.

Thank you.

02nd Jan2009

The 2009 Rundown

by Aaron

Abacus

It seems that everyone’s blog are talking about their to do lists for 2009 and honestly it’s something I’ve wanted to do as well. 2008 was an interesting year for me, but one where I jump-started many things writing-related. I have an entire retrospective I plan to post in two days and I’ll go into where I’ve been over in that post. Look for that on the 4th.

For 2009, there are a lot of things I want to do using the things I learned in this past year. Here’s the rundown of my writing goals for 2009:

1. I want to finish Spirit Hackers. This seems like an obvious goal but when I say finish it, I mean completely written and either fully edited or be far into the editing process.

2. Try my hand at Flash Fiction. I only learned about this style of writing a couple of months ago and think it’s something that would easily fit into my schedule.

3. Keep on blogging. I want Copious Notes to remain consistent and updated. I’m grateful for the work and effort I’ve put into this place so far but I want to keep going. Blogging, I feel, is important to me.

4. Decide what to do with my Robert Book. This book has a completed beta feedback waiting for me to read and still doesn’t have a title. I need to either turn it into something or decide it was just a ‘trial run’ for writing a book and put it away for good.

5. Explore other writing options once my commitment to Suite101 is complete. I like the freelancing so far and I want to see how far I can take it.

This is nowhere near a complete list, but these are the main things I want to try to accomplish in the next 363 days. As long as I’m writing in some capacity, I will consider it a good thing.

What about all of you? What are your goals for this new year?

29th Dec2008

Emerging From the Holiday Fog

by Aaron

Forest

Hello and happy Monday everyone! I hope everyone is well rested and coming out of the crazy holiday week with some rest and fun gifts both given and received. For me, I worked most of the days but I did get Christmas Day off, which made everything A-Ok!

So… on to writing!!! Wait, I have none. Hmmm. Well that’s where I’m going to pick things up for this week and start to work on something I think I’ve needed for a while: a schedule or deadline. Recently I signed up with Suite101 to freelance because I felt I would work better under conditions where things are due by a certain date. So far this has worked well for me and I’ve written two out of the ten articles needed in a three-month time span.

Right now I really need to get moving on Spirit Hackers and I also want to write some a couple of Flash Fiction pieces to send out for submission. I’ll be posting a ‘to-do’ list within the next few days.

Finally, I want to welcome Jen and her Scribbling blog to the Blogroll party you see on the right-hand column. Jen is a fellow Absolute Write member who I’ve been talking to for a bit and we decided to help promote each other’s blogs. I highly suggest checking out her site and seeing what interesting words she has to share. Welcome Jen!

01st Dec2008

I Finally Wrote

by Aaron

Typewriter

I figured that this was such a special occasion right now, that it needed to be blogged. After way too much time not touching Spirit Hackers, I finally sat down today and got some more words down. I didn’t do spectacular, but it’s a start. More importantly, it’s a step in getting back into a writing groove that is much needed. So here’s today’s stats after a month-long break:

Total written: 964 words.

This brings my total word count up to 11,395 words and 30 pages. Again, not spectacular but I’ll take anything right now. Lets just hope the drive grows and I get more down on the page.

20th Oct2008

Status

by Aaron

Spirit Hackers Progress

9204 / 80000 words. 12% done!

I’ve been meaning to post an update to the progress of Spirit Hackers for a few days now and I finally have the chance to do it, aside from all the other blog posts I’ve been putting up on here. The last update I put up here showed my progress to be 6,100+ words. I didn’t post a page-count so I don’t know how many pages I’ve progressed. This is mostly due to me using the Scrivener feature where the page counts are an estimated 350 words-per-page method used for paperbacks and not the actual printed page count.

I’ve gotten some writing done this past week. Some days were really productive and others not so much. I found that the dictation software helps a lot in getting many words down but I seem to pause much more when using it and I don’t get into a flow or groove. I’m worried that may show when it’s read and I will need to pay attention to those sections when I go back in the editing phase. In the previous few sessions I’ve had with S.H., I have typed it up the old-fashioned way using my fingers and a keyboard.

I have been working on chapter six and it’s been a bit frustrating because I had a vision for where it would go and it just doesn’t want to get out what I need it to. I placed a note next to my typing area with the ‘Chapter Objectives’ which I thought would help but 2,000 words later I just built up to it and closed it off with a cliffhanger, which will lead into the objectives being given in the next chapter. I’m not really too upset about it, but I just struggled with the chapter. I’m glad to have it completed, even if I didn’t achieve the goals. I still lead up to them.

So this is where Spirit Hackers stands right now: 9,204 words with 24 pages (using the paperback calculation method). My goal for the book is at least 80,000 words and that’s why I included the meter at the top of the post. So far, so good.

06th Oct2008

A Productive Day

by Aaron

This is going to be a short post as it’s a check-in with my progress on Spirit Hackers. Today is my second day off (I work Tues – Sat) and so I try to make my Monday’s productive in writing. Unfortunately that doesn’t happen often as the pull of the TiVo is strong. Well today, I am glad to say I only watched one show during lunch and I got some great writing done!

Spirit Hackers has doubled from eight pages to sixteen in just one day! Talk about exciting! Today I wrote 3,131 words bringing the total word count to 6,109. I’ve completed five chapters and the story is definitely becoming its own person. Already characters are doing things I didn’t intend and I must say I like it. Also, my page count is based on 350 words to a page, not actual printed pages. My new writing program can do both page counts. I prefer to use the one based on a paperback book. If I went by the printed version, I’d be at 27 pages.

One really interesting tool for my dictation software has been dialogue. I stumbled upon this today, where I am actually dictating my character’s lines as if I were the person. I’m changing my voice and speaking as if they were speaking. I have a feeling this will allow my dialogue to feel diverse from the start and give each person in the story a true voice of their own. Of course I’m partial to the work I’m doing, but I think I may be on to something here with this dictating dialogue thing.

06th Oct2008

The Next Step

by Aaron

Hey, remember that other book I wrote? You know, that untitled one? Yeah. I should really work on that too, right?

I realized yesterday that in all my work with Spirit Hackers, I haven’t talked about my Robert book. There is good reason for that: nothing has been going on at all with it. A matter of fact, my last entry talking about it was on April 7th, where I talked about how I sent the book to some beta readers and I was waiting for the feedback. Unfortunately that seemed to not go according to plan. I had three beta readers set up and I received the following feedback: one reader gave me my Word file back with great suggestions, corrections and comments. The second felt uncomfortable (for reasons I won’t say here) and I only got a small sample (one page) with suggestions / corrections. The third read it but didn’t give feedback, but his girlfriend did. That feedback consisted of four sentences referring to an item or two within the book. Now I know the book is almost 60k long, but I didn’t expect things to go this bad.

Now before you comment on it, I know the Absolute Write forums has a beta area but I don’t want to venture there just yet. I need to really see what is going on with the Robert book and more importantly decide what I want to do with it. In my heart of hearts, I am unsure if the book is really that good and if it even has a chance. I look at my idea for Spirit Hackers and the work I’ve put into it and I feel much more optimistic with that WIP rather than the untitled story.

So where does this leave me? Perhaps the book is destined to be a ‘trunk novel’ and just live on my harddrive. I’ve considered putting it up for POD or perhaps podcasting it as a podiobook, but I’m not sure. I could always submit it out for agents or publishers but again I’m not sure if it’s strong enough. Right now, my plan is to go through another round of editing using the main beta feedback I got as a guide. I’m hoping to fatten it up a little and also get the story to flow better. One key scene my wife read needs a big overhaul.

It’s weird to have a book that I wrote that I don’t have such faith in anymore. Is it wrong for me to discount it? Should I just push on and send it out to agents? It’s difficult to say for sure. What I do know is that no matter what, I’ve written a novel and that puts me ahead of the curve as most people out there who think they should do it, never do. I will always have the satisfaction in knowing I did get to accomplish that goal.

02nd Oct2008

I’m reading Freezing Point, are you?

by Aaron

Happy Thursday everybody! I hope everybody is doing well, and enjoyed yesterday’s post about the freezing point launch party. If you haven’t gotten a chance to head over to Karen’s website I highly recommend you check it out. A quick update from me, I am currently enjoying the book and as of last night I am ready to start chapter five. I will say that so far the book is definitely interesting and I think it’s a keeper. If you enjoy books such as Jurassic Park were other thrillers that have a scientific background I think you will enjoy freezing point.

Of course, as you can see from the picture above, I am reading the book on my Amazon Kindle. I pre-ordered the book the day before it came out, so that when I turned my Kindle on as I was eating dinner at work it popped up on my main menu within about 30 seconds. I have enjoyed what I’ve read so far.

Yesterday I did work on Spirit hackers but unfortunately I did not get too much writing done. I only typed approximately 460 words, so I did not get very far. I may get a little bit in today and it’s not looking optimistic considering that it is currently noon and I have to start getting ready for work in about an hour. On the upside, I really like what I’ve written so far I think the story has good depth to it. I am actually surprised about how good it is so far, though I know I won’t think that when I go into the editing stages. For now, I’ll take what I had been given and run with it.

I hope everybody has a great day, gets some writing done, and enjoys this beautiful fall weather.

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