COMFORT ZONE….

“Barking at Yesterday’s Moon” is online. Another chapter in my writing life has closed and it’s time to start anew. While there is still a lot of work to do with getting some exposure and working a bit of marketing I can’t bring myself to not have a Word document open. I have to be working on something and my read-through of the Kindle version of “Barking at Yesterday’s Moon” provided me with another storyline. It involves some of the ‘walk-on’ characters from one of the scenes.

Being ‘walk-ons’ in no way diminished their importance to the storyline. The roles they played, while not central figures, provided insight into the main characters and created some interesting scenes. One character in particular made his appearance early in the book, created a little havoc then disappeared. The more I thought about this man the more I realized there is a story behind who and what he is and how he got there. I decided to flesh out his story and it came surprisingly easy.

Unless you have read “Barking at Yesterday’s Moon” the name Fergus Lloyd would mean nothing. If you have read it then you already have an opinion of Fergus and what he is all about. As in reality and with real people an opinion based on first impression is often wrong. The well-spoken, well-dressed banker might have some questionable material on his computer and that street person might have a heart of gold. You just never know what’s behind their public faces. Fergus wasn’t always the Fergus that confronted Evan and exploring his life has provided some interesting research and excitingly addictive writing.

From the outset of the first draft I had to expand my comfort zone. I prefer to write light and with a sometimes questionable sense of humor and while there are some lighter moments in this story there is also an underlying darkness. This was a challenge for me and a welcome brain-teaser. Then came the scene that I believed would be the pivotal point of the story. Without getting into detail the young boy discovers something horrific in the woods and all his childhood nightmares come back and…never mind. I’ve already said too much.

Suffice to say that this scene completely ripped me out of my comfort zone and threw me headfirst into the horror/psychological terror genre, one that I’ve never explored. Blood, gore, and childhood nightmares wreak havoc with my usual style of writing and way of thinking. After I wrote it I would wake at night and think about it. Each time I rehashed it in my mind I became less impressed. It sounded forced, manipulative, and not at all like me. A week later I wrote an alternate scene where someone else stumbles on the terror and relays it second hand in a more sterile manner. I was more at ease with the revision and I sentenced the original storyline to life in my ‘not used’ folder and continued writing.

One of the elements of writing a story based on a previously introduced character is maintaining continuity with the original. That wasn’t all that difficult in this case but as the new story progressed I realized that I was missing something. The emotional development (or destruction) of this character wasn’t strong enough to result in the character traits featured in “Barking at Yesterday’s Moon”. The crisis, real or imagined, that set him on my created path hadn’t occurred. I opened up my ‘not used’ file, read the original scene and knew that it had to be included. I also learned the value of putting something aside and revisiting it later. I actually like what I wrote back then and with a little work it will become that pivotal scene. It just goes to show the value of never throwing anything away.

On a side note: My age is showing…I welcomed my seventh grandchild into this world on September 3, 2015. Mum and son are doing well.

Shameless self-promotion side note: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B0143ZI4W8?ref_=pe_1724030_132998070

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FINALLY!

It’s been a learning exercise but finally “Barking at Yesterday’s Moon” is online at Amazon.

The delays have been my fault. From writing the manuscript in the wrong (old, really old) Word program to not having all my ducks in a row when it came to actually uploading, I’ve made a few mistakes. I’ve successfully stumbled through them all and now I know better for the next time.

The process is actually quite easy and with this first step out of the way I’m looking forward to getting involved in the other Amazon programs but for now I’m taking a bit of a break and enjoying seeing that second title on my Author page. There’s an excitement surrounding me that I haven’t felt since I first googled “White Wolf Moon” and saw it listed around the world or since I opened that first box of hardcovers delivered to my front door.

So much has been learned but there’s so much more to go before I finish this journey.

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http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0143TGT58?*Version*=1&*entries*=0

In this sequel to “White Wolf Moon”* the usual suspects are at it again. Evan Morris and Danny Mann feature prominently in one misadventure after another. Evan’s confrontation with a rifle-toting hillbilly while researching the background of his wolfdog sets off a week packed with uncharacteristic behavior for the sixty-something ex-folk singer, from vandalizing a teen-ager’s car to a brush with the law in Edmonton, Alberta. These needed and oft times comedic contrasts to his staid life are overshadowed by the death of another former band member from the Sixties.

At the celebration of life “muck-up” Evan grapples with thoughts of a life that might have been and treads a trail of rediscovery with more questions than answers.

“Barking at Yesterday’s Moon” is about relationships and friendships that last forever, old rock and roll bands, a musician’s life on the road, and wolfdogs. It’s about finding that balance between what was and what is and realizing that it’s what we’ve done that makes us what we are.

*Every effort has been made to allow this work to stand alone. The chapter “Jenn’s Story” briefly recounts the contents of the first novel and any references to that first book have been clarified in the narrative or dialogue.

I’M JUST RAMBLIN’ ROSE…

Two old ladies in my driveway, a fresh case of Grolsch, and a new bag of spicy Nacho chips…I may not make it to Heaven so I brought a little of it home this afternoon.The ladies on my driveway…not sure about them. They’re probably trying to decide whether or not to knock on my door and tell me that I’m on the wrong path…that my attitudes and beliefs, like my spine, need an adjustment. Maybe not. One of them is pretty hot for an old lady which is okay because I’m a luke-warm old man so I feel I’m qualified to judge. The other lady looks Italian. She has Italian skin, eyes, and bearing. She looks very much like my Grade seven art teacher who told us that she was Italian which is why I drew the comparison.  Please don’t misunderstand…I’m not insulting Italians. Some of my best friends are Italian. That’s a lie. I don’t have any Italian friends, best or worst…although one of my best friends is Bulgarian which is closer to Italy than Kamloops is so I think that counts. I could have an Italian best friend but nobody answered my ad in the personals. I guess asking for an elderly Italian to be my BFF is a little creepy.

Okay I made all that up…there isn’t an Italian lady on my driveway. There isn’t a hot older lady on my driveway either but that’s okay. I have one in my house and I’ve been living with her for forty-five years and I really don’t want another one. There’s really only so much of me to go around.

I do have the Grolsch and the chips though. It might be a sad testament but that’s my idea of Heaven at the moment. I’ve spent a good part of the day digging in the garden and a cool Grolsch or two is my reward. They’re celebrating their 400th Anniversary this year. I only wish I’d discovered it years ago. It was my doctor who recommended Grolsch as a healthy beer and that I should have one a day. I like my doctor. Sometimes I forget for four or five days (luke-warm old age again) but come Friday night I fill the prescription and have four or five. Grolsch is my best friend from Holland. Not that I’m hinting but if someone from Grolsch wants to thank me in product for this plug…pm me.

Thanks…

Mike

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JUST AN UPDATE…

I know I have been lax with this blog lately but life and manuscripts seemed to have gotten in the way over the past few weeks.

Briefly…I just finished a word by word read-through of “Barking at Yesterday’s Moon” and was quite shocked at the number of tiny mistakes I found. These were mostly missing words, a few missing dialogue tags, and one major continuity error. I’m relatively confident I’ve corrected everything but there’s still a part of me that wonders if I missed anything this time around. I have to trust that after three careful read-throughs by myself and some other people that I’m ready to take that next step.

I have had requests for hard copy editions (which I intend to publish down the road) but I’m going to check out all the options for e-publishing as an independent author first. A quick search tells me there’s a lot of work ahead to decide which way to go. I would appreciate any suggestions from anyone who has gone this route. It appears that Amazon has a package for folks like me. Has anyone had experience with this?

Anyway to all my American friends…have a happy Fourth. To all my Canadian friends…hope you had a happy First.

Cheers to all!

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