Category Archives: Nonfiction

Why no, this was not a productive week, how did you guess? (#SFWApro)

Well, other than me mentioning it in this morning’s post of course. Plus getting back from Fort Walton Beach on Monday, so I had one day down to start with.

Having three dogs, all of whom want to sit either beside me or on my lap, made working on my computer difficult. And Lily seems to be even more eager for cuddles than when we’ve dog-sat her before. Even my backup plan — do some reference reading offline for Southern Discomforts — didn’t quite fly. Partly that’s because dog shenanigans in the bed Wednesday night left me utterly exhausted Thursday (and as noted, my holiday trip had hardly been a haven of sleep, so I had no reserves left).

On the plus side, waking up early Thursday enabled me to finish my next Screen Rant article early Thursday morning (Fifteen Super Heroes Who Quit and Never Returned). And I completed my interview with one news service that wants to use me as a reporter — it’ll be about 10 to 15 hours a week, I think. I’d prefer a little less, but as I’m getting faster and smoother at the Screen Rant articles, I think I can do it without stinting on the Southern Discomfort rewrite.

And that was it. Of course, I was prepared for this to happen — we’ve dog-sat Lily a couple of times — but it is a little frustrating to get so little done after a week of vacation. But no regrets, either. She’s a sweet dog and she’s much happier with us and getting to rough-house with Trixie than if she were in a kennel somewhere alone.

Next week, back into action!


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Filed under Nonfiction, Personal, Southern Discomfort, The Dog Ate My Homework

New Screen Rant column out: 16 Facts About Jay Garrick (#SFWApro)

I have a new Screen Rant column up about Jay Garrick, the original Flash. Learn how smoking gave him super powers. How he came out of retirement because of an artist’s challenge. Why he ages slower than ordinary people. And more!

Cover by Carmine Infantino and Murphy Anderson, all rights reserved to current holder.

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Filed under Comics, Nonfiction

Regaining some balance, losing some face, facing some weather (#SFWApro)

The weather was freaky this week. When I took this photo Wednesday, I was out bicycling in shorts, even though the sky looked ominous (the photo doesn’t capture it as well as I’d hoped). Today I wore a sweater to walk the dogs, and it was cold.  Overall it’s been much warmer than last year, when we had icicles hanging from the bird feeder in late February.

img_1128Now, as to the balance — specifically between fiction and non-fiction as I discussed this morning. I didn’t really get the balance right this week, but I can see it improving. The tractor article is done. Screen Rant articles (I finished another this week though it’s not up yet) are getting easier as I stop fretting about their requirements and just write. I passed my trial period so now I can select images directly from SR’s library. It’s much simpler, to my surprise, than emailing the editors with a list of what I want.

I devoted today to finishing the Sex for Dinner, Death for Breakfast index, and I’m very glad I did. As with Now and Then We Time Travel indexing turned up eight or nine errors, several quite substantial. If I go this way for another nonfiction book (and I’m thinking about it for Undead Sexist Cliches: The Book), I’ll definitely index before publication. I feel really, really embarrassed to have released something inaccurate, hence the losing-face reference in the post title. I guess it shows why so many self-published writers recommend hiring an editor … but then again, the issue isn’t style or spelling but facts. So would it have helped? At least I did find them — I’m in the process of getting the ebook changed now (and pulled it from my sidebar and Nonfiction By Me pages until it is). Meanwhile I’ll add the index to my text to create a second PDF and see if the pagination is accurate. If it is, I submit to create space to get hard copies. If not, I submit without an index — I’ve had requests for hard copy and I’d like one myself.

And that was pretty much my week. It would have been more productive if I hadn’t forgotten most of the photoshopping techniques for Screen Rant that I’d figured out last week. I did get some more work done on Southern Discomforts but not as much as I’d wanted. Hopefully that will change as we move forward in March.

Have a great weekend. For the record, while the weather is cold today, the sky is much more inviting than these photos (art by me, please credit should you choose to use).


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Filed under Nonfiction, Personal, Sex for Dinner, Death for Breakfast, Southern Discomfort, Time management and goals, Writing

What have I become? What do I want? February in review(#SFWApro)

garden-forkingI dropped from completing 79 percent of my goals in January to 60 percent this month. Which is understandable because the tractor article and my Screen Rant stuff took up lots of time I hadn’t planned on spending. As a result, my fiction writing got short-changed (Illustration from the Illuminations blog. Don’t know photographer).  Which is the point of this morning’s post.

Between the time I finished Now and Then We Time Travel and the time I proofed and indexed it, I had about eight months to focus on nothing but fiction (plus And columns and blogging). I really liked it. I’ve always had to balance fiction writing with a day job (before moving up here) and paying freelance gigs (after moving up). It was refreshing not to have any.

But of course nonfiction brings in more money. Not a lot, but some. It’s not a significant amount compared to TYG’s salary, but I do like contributing. Particularly when who the hell knows what will happen over the next year.

Fiction, however, makes me much happier. And who knows, if I ever sell a novel, that would bring in some money too, so I don’t want to just let Southern Discomfort sit in limbo. I stopped working on it during the crunch-time period of writing Now and Then We Time Travel, and I don’t want to fall behind again.

Fortunately I seem to be getting much more efficient at the Screen Rant articles. As that process gets smoother, my time will free up for fiction. Unless something else comes in (I just applied for an online reporting gig. No word back yet).

Yes, first world problems and not even most first-worlders — poor me, having to choose between selling articles and writing fiction!

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Filed under Nonfiction, Personal, Southern Discomfort, Time management and goals, Writing

New Screen Rant post out (#SFWApro)

This time it’s on the Justice League (edited for right link). See Superman kill an alien and joke about it! Watch Batman plot to destroy the team! See a non-super teenage boy trap the entire JLA! Learn how Marvel once published its own JLA series! Cover by Mike Sekowsky, all rights to current holder.


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Regaining my rhythm (#SFWApro)

I finished another Screen Rant this week (I’ll let y’all know when it goes live, of course), and it’s getting both easier and faster. That’s a good thing, as I’d like to keep doing them. And because it was easier and faster, I got more other stuff done.

800px-farmall_tractor_pulling_a_combine_harvester_queensland_1950_5682298084-1•I finished my History article on tractors (illustration via Wikimedia Commons found here). I’ll format it (as I’ve said before, I don’t trust Apple Pages to do it right), proof all the dates and names and send it out Monday.

•I got several thousand more words done on Undead Sexist Cliches: The Book. Though I think the chapter I finished today is less well-structured than the first three.

•I got a little bit of work done on indexing Sex for Dinner, Death for Breakfast, though not as much as I’d hoped. But indexing goes much faster with a book that’s so much smaller.

•And I finally got back to work on Southern Discomfort. The plot for the final section is still unpleasantly vague, but I decided to start rewriting anyway. I got in about 4,000 words.

•Plus I spent a great deal of time sorting receipts and tax paperwork and assembling forms. Because lets face it, it has to be done.

And that’s that.

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Filed under Nonfiction, Sex for Dinner, Death for Breakfast, Southern Discomfort, Time management and goals, Writing

New Screen Rant column out (#SFWApro)

swampthing1This one’s on sixteen super-heroes whose origins were massively rewritten. Swamp Thing goes from man-monster to demigod, Spider-Man got his powers from magic, Falcon being a street hustler instead of a social worker (yeah, they aren’t all gems).  Cover by Berni Wrightson, all rights with current holder.

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Filed under Comics, Nonfiction