Thursday, May 31, 2012

Introducing Culver Bishop

Today I have a pretty big announcement.

I want to introduce all of you to the next piece of work I will be developing for release sometime in late 2012 or early 2013.

Ladies and Gentlemen... meet Culver Bishop!

Go here to read more: http://paulphilipcarter.blogspot.com/p/culver-bishop.html



I know I know... you may be asking what about The Plotters? Or, what about Romy Malloy?

Yes, yes I am STILL working towards getting those out to you as well. Be patient.

Plotters is very likely coming out very very soon....

And Romy is still waiting for Baen Books final comments.

And I have to keep moving on. The brain can't be allowed to atrophy.

And so, you will all very soon be getting another world to escape to and read about in The Multiverse.

Hope you enjoy it! Let me know what you think!

Later...




Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Keep it relevant


Just finished reading a book, the 2nd book in what is purported to be an epic trilogy.

I will not divulge the writer or the book, as this is not intended to be a book review and this is definitely NOT a book review blog.

However, after reading this book I thought it was imperative I pass along my thoughts on what this author did with his second book.

Basically, he flubbed it.


That’s about as direct (and as polite) as I can get.

And in the spirit of TOTAL disclosure, I love this author. And I love the books -- even book two. And I will buy the third book when it comes out (I hate not knowing the ends of things).

So, given that I love the books and author, what did this guy do with book 2 that has my knickers in a bunch?

In a nutshell: the author provided us with a wonderful “set” of stories that are a “nice-to-know” bunch of tales but really add absolutely nothing to the overall story and really do nothing to move us into book 3.

He flubbed it.

I’m serious. I pretty much believe at this point that I could have completely skipped book 2 and gone on to book 3 and would still be able to figure out where I was and what was happening in the story.

Book 2 was a bunch of fluff.

It’s pretty sad too, as this fellow is a great author with a great book deal with a well known publisher.

Yes, he is a TRADITIONALLY published author.

And this book... it’s like the phone book.

HUGE.

Being his second book, I am betting he had a little bit more leeway from the publisher and editor. But the first book in the trilogy was huge too.

I believe that almost 30-40% of what was written could have been left out and the story would not have suffered. In fact, the story would have been stronger for it.

But as it stands, it’s just a nice long collection of a bunch of tales... yada yada.

Now, imagine if this was the FIRST book?

Think about THAT for a minute!

Self pub, or traditional pub, it would have been a FLOP!

Guaranteed.

Whatever the reason this second book got published the way it did, there is no way it would have been allowed as a first.

As a FIRST book or as a standalone, it would have failed.

Why?

One reviewer called it a “mess”.

I agree. It was all over the place. There were 990 pages of great stand alone stories, and then 10 pages at the end trying to wrap it all up into something remotely recognizable as a cohesive tale.

That just did not work.

In the end, I had not one shred of tangible information that made me feel like the story had progressed from the end of Book One.

And that’s exactly what I want to point out today.

This is the lesson that we as writers should ALL take to heart.

If we want a good book that sticks to the storyline and makes a cohesive tale all the way throughout, then we MUST Make the story matter! The WHOLE story.

Give the reader the feeling that the hours spent slogging through the pages was worth it... that, in the end, they know something real and valuable about the characters and have a reason to want to come back.

Don’t JUST throw the kitchen sink at them.

You have to give them bread, and cheese, and wine, and candles... you have to give the readers the ONE story... not a BUNCH all in one that you think is a story just because you say it is!

Where’s the build up?

What’s the main tension and conflict?

How does it all tie in together?

Where’s the big climax?

Where’s the wrap up, or the cliff hanger that makes me want to look at the next book?

In a large tale, you are bound to have multiples of these things. But you HAVE to have ONE constant theme to make the LARGER story remain coherent!

If you add these elements to the smaller stories but leave these things out of the larger story, the overall story will suffer.

There will be nothing to cement the smaller (possibly interesting stories) together to make the main story interesting.

Again, I am trying to be polite here because I love the author and I love the books.

But sometimes I wonder how this stuff gets printed?

I guess in many ways I still expect the traditional published authors with the publishing deals and the editors and the proofreaders hanging all over it to give me more than this.

But then again... there is 50 Shades of whatever out there.

I am once again reminded of why I am happy to be an indie author.

The key, as always, is good writing.

You have to write well and be able to tell a good story to keep readers intrigued.

But what about when you have all those things and STILL something is missing?

You get the book I just read... all 1000 pages of a bunch of great tales all by themselves, but you DO NOT get a great total package story.

Here’s one rule: Just KEEP IT RELEVANT.

That’s the key, I think, in making it all come together.


Thursday, May 24, 2012

Plotters of Cantaera excerpt

Hello fellow Plotters fans!

We are getting VERY close to finalizing a date for the release of the first book from The Plotters of Cantaera trilogy!

Are you excited??

I am SOOO excited!

The first book will be titled like this:

The Plotters of Cantaera Book One: Enemies

Here is a mockup of a cover that I did... but this will NOT be used as the real cover. I am still holding off releasing any images of the REAL cover until all is set.









But I gotta tell you... you should be REAL excited to see the actual cover. It is going to be SWEET!

Anyway, since we are getting so close to announcing the real publication date, I thought it would be a good time to show you another excerpt... to whet the whistle as it were... or is that "wet"?

Hang on... let me google that... okay... it's "wet" the whistle and "whet" the appetite.

And that covers all the angles I believe.

Let me set up the scene for the following excerpt.

William's father has been taken, forcibly, from the City Center. Many people saw it happen. But, many people are starting to believe they didn't fully understand all the circumstances about the taking.

They are beginning to believe that William's father may be up to something... something not good.

Some, like the blacksmith and watchmaker in the following scene, are not sure what to believe, but, either way, they are afraid they will lose business if they are seen consorting with the Deane family, or anyone connected to the family.

Murry Stites, William's best friend, does a lot of work with the blacksmith and the watchmaker. And, being best friends with William, his work is going to suffer for it.


The blacksmith, a man not much taller than William, but much beefier, glowered down at Murry who was almost a head shorter, then looked at William straight in the eye. He seemed unafraid that his apparent notions about William and his father were about to be laid bare before William. The watchmaker, a small, timid creature, with thin, nimble fingers kept his eyes to the floor. The blacksmith didn’t hesitate.
“It’s no secret,” he said, his voice gravelly from working in the smoke and soot that his profession offered in abundance. His thick apron was covered in the blackness, and the fabric was dotted with hundreds of little holes, left behind from the spitting metals he handled.
“Everyone knows John Deane has gone off the edge. If he ain’t dead, then he’s not far from it, far as I’m concerned.” He pulled his iron gaze from William just enough to bend his head slightly, to give the impression he had offered a bow, the closest gesture to deference he could muster. “No offense, son,” he said bringing his eyes back to William’s, “but that should be obvious, even to you.”
William glared at him, then looked at the watchmaker who was twiddling his fingers and had suddenly found something extremely interesting on the floor near a work bench. William could hardly contain his anger. Knowing that others thought such contemptible things about his father was one thing, but hearing them in person was quite another. These were words that demanded a response, a response he realized he could not produce. And that stoked his anger even more.







And there you have it! I hope that "wets" your whistle, "whet" you appetite, "stokes" the fires a little!

Stay tuned!

I will make an announcement SOON!



Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The LEAP device


I love technology.

And occasionally I will write about technology, especially when it overlaps or interconnects with the books I write.

It’s a no-brainer to connect the dots between my sci-fi Romy Malloy novels and technology, but what about The Plotters of Cantaera fantasy novels?

I have mentioned before here on this blog that my sci-fi has a pretty big element of fantasy inside. And, my fantasy also has an element of science and technology.

To me, the crossing of these two is an inevitable conclusion.

Arthur C. Clarke said it best: “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”

So, today, when I read about a new technology that provides a seamless way to interact with your computing devices without using physical input devices, you know I was intrigued.

What I am referring to is the new LEAP device.

You can check it out here:



While this new device is pretty super cool all on its own, what really piqued my interest was the name.

You know what I am going to do here, don’t you?

Yeah, that’s right. I am going to connect this new device called the LEAP to my stories.

I’m a writer. That’s what I do.

See, long ago... hmmm.... about seven years ago now... I started writing a new fantasy story called The Plotters of Cantaera.

Central to this story is a young man named William Deane, and what’s so special about William is that he has the power to overrule the control that the Plotters have over all other Cantaeran’s, control the Plotters use in their quest to create a Utopian society on the world.

William’s ability has a name.

It is called a LEAP.

That’s a shortened acronym for Logical Event Anomaly Pattern.

The Plotters monitor all activity on Cantaera in order to ensure that the subject’s activity and behavior stay within allowed parameters.

A certain level of “free-will” is allowed, which gives the people of Cantaera the impression that they still have control of their lives, that they control their own destiny.

When a person’s behavior is found to be pushing too far outside the acceptable parameters set forth by the Plotters, adjustments are made.

However, it is possible, theoretically possible anyway, that a subject would have the power to subvert ALL the adjustments that the Plotters might make and go completely off the prescribed grid of behavior and act fully and completely at the behest of their own consciousness, acting fully upon their own “free-will”.

The ability to completely circumvent the control of the Plotters is called a LEAP.

This has never happened. Not since the time of The Breaking.

Until now.

William Deane has performed a LEAP of significant proportions.

Beyond a Level Seven breach.

And he has to be stopped.

So, you can see why I was VERY excited to see a new technological device released with a name like LEAP.

It’s kind of eerie.

Well, it is to ME at least.



Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Long lunches


It’s widely known (and by now certainly a BORING topic) that I just came back from vacation.

Now, to be fair to me, because nobody else gives a rats ass, my “vacation” consisted of cleaning house, painting house, steam cleaning house carpets, moving every damn stick of furniture in the house... all in preparation for the party for my sons graduation.

To top that off... I was lucky enough to move my (wonderful and loving) in-laws to their new lake condo.

So... vacation? Really? REALLY??!!

Coming back to work is more like a vacation.

And, to tell the truth, I am taking it pretty easy this week. I need a break. (heehee)

Taking some long lunches.

Stretching out and reading some good books whilst I eat my favorite foods.

Unfortunately, no martinis or beers.

But, also whilst I sit and eat I also sit and think and I got to thinking about the concept of the long lunch.

Do you know where the idea first began?

Well, I am glad you asked. Oh wait, I asked... yeah, so never mind that I asked. Pretend you asked.

The word “lunch” is a shortened version of the word “lunchentach”, a shorter meal inserted between more substantial meals.

And you know it kind of makes sense that we would shorten that long ass word “lunchentach” into an easier to say word like lunch, because lunch itself is a short meal so why the hell did we ever make such a long word for it?

The Germans had a better idea. Call it “nuncheontach”, or non-lunchentach, non-lunch, and they had what they called a “noon draught” with some bread. Now THAT’S what I call a lunch. Beer and pretzels at a local pub. Mmm...

What the hell was I writing about again?

Oh yeah... long lunches.

As writers, we have the luxury AND the burden of working to our own time. No clock to punch, no boss hanging over our shoulders telling us to be better.

But is that ALWAYS a good thing?

I mean, sure you can take a long lunch because you have no boss, and long lunches are cool, but time is money, right?

And, when working on your own time means the difference between eating and well, STARVING... I start to think I better work a little more.

Cuz I likes me food.

A lot.

Now don’t start yelling at me and saying things like “I can do whatever I want! I’m my own boss! And anyway Paul said just the other day that it’s good to take time off and eat and sleep and be happy and how the hell can I be happy if all I do is workworkwork! Jack Nicholson went crazy in that damn movie when all he did was work all the time! It makes Jack a very dull boy with a very sharp axe!”

Right. I did say that. Sort of.

The key to what I am saying now is this: time management.

See, it works the same on both sides of this coin.

Yes, you MUST take time to rest and eat and sharpen the saw (axe).

And, YES, you must take time to organize and prioritize your work to maximize your potential output.

“But Paul... this sounds like WORK! I became a writer so I wouldn’t have to work! Whaaaa!”

Stop it, you big baby.

Do you want to be a writer? Do you really, really, really, want to be a successful writer?

Then it takes work. A lot of work.

And NO... or well at least very FEW long lunches.

Sorry folks, but that’s the way it is.

“But how Paul? How do I get like that? How do I become a good little worker and be my own boss and not sit around all day watching “Yes, dear” reruns and eating spicy nachos with extra jalapenos?”

Sigh. I thought you’d never ask.

No, wait... I knew you would ask. Eventually.

I am going to let you in on a secret that I am not supposed to share. This is the penultimate-truth-of-all-truths-that-only-accomplished-and-successful-writers-are-to-know. This is the key to the executive washroom. If I tell you I run the real risk that all the other writers who are in the know will come after me with torches and pitchforks and string me up on that big pole in the public square of Writer Town and burn me until I am as crispy as KFC chicken.

So, you have to promise to keep this all TOP SECRET.

Can’t tell anyone, ok?

Promise?

Cross your heart and hope to die, stick a finger in your eye?

Ok... here goes.

Ready?

To become a successful writer, you gotta want it. Really really want it. And nothing will stop you until you get it.

Now, copy that into your clipboard, paste it into a new Word doc or reasonable facsimile, change the font size to about 100, make it bold, underline it, italicize it, change the page layout to landscape, and print that bad ass mo-fo and tack it on your wall above your monitor so you can read it every damn day.

You can colorize too, if you’d like. Make it purrttee.

Do it.

I am serious.

And, if you are not a writer, then delete that word and insert whatever thing it is that you want to be. Artist, lumberjack, professional beer taster, fart smeller... whatever.

Because that’s it. Seriously. That’s really it.

Now, I can hear footsteps on the porch outside and I see a weirdly flickering light on the walls. I think the Brotherhood of the Writers Secret to Success is here to have a word with me.

Did you tell someone the secret?

Damn you! Foiled again!

Been nice knowing you.

Good luck with all your future endeavors.


Monday, May 21, 2012

Vacations over, now back to work


Coming back to work this morning I realize that while some things have changed, mostly it’s all the same.

I stayed moderately connected while I was away. I updated Twitter and Facebook occasionally, monitored email, read the news a little, returned a few necessary phone calls. That’s about it.

I noticed Facebook had its IPO. And now the share price has lost 20% from its last week high. Yawn.

NATO has its big meeting in Chicago. Yawn.

Europe’s economy is falling apart (again/still). Bigger yawn.

Oh, and work itself? Yeah, it’s still here. Still the same. It’s work... what else should I expect?

Work is reality right? And vacation is the fantasy??? I wish it were different.

But you know what? In many ways, what we believe is reality is not really reality really. Really.

Let me explain.

You may (or may not) be surprised to know that since 2008 I tasked myself with learning AS MUCH as possible AS QUICKLY as possible about the inner workings of our economy, the political effects on the economy, and how the news is reported according to trending and prognostication of possible events in the economy.

You may not be surprised (or may be) that all of the knowledge I gained means exactly diddly-squat when it comes to “reality”.

I put reality in quotes because what the economy and stock market see as “reality” is not the same “reality” you and I are used to.

Yes Virginia, Wall Street does not really view the world the same as we do.

BUT...!!!

I don’t really care.

Not anymore.

I mean, I care enough to keep apprised of events just enough to try to protect my family.

But one thing I learned is that there really is no protection if things ever do fail spectacularly.

And that’s not a defeatist mentality.

That’s realism at its finest.

I am by nature a very positive man. But, against the forces amassed against us if the Big One hits? (you know, the Big Financial Tsunami).

Face it folks, there is not a system in place to help you guard against the problems you would face if we approached anything close to another Great Depression.

You’d be all on your own.

But this is not a financial blog, nor a survivalist blog, and this is definitely not an End-Of-The-World blog... though it sure as hell is fun to write about it that sometimes, huh?

No, this blog is meant to bring a bit of escape, a bit of entertainment regardless of the economic or political environment we face at a given point in time.

This blog is meant to be a positive force of influence.

And so... how do we remain positive in this environment, or any other environment or “reality” we decide to imagine we live in?

Oh, I am SO glad you asked. Cause that’s what I REALLY want to feed you...

Step up to the chopping block and I will carve you a fine slab of roast beef that will simmer up just right in your crock pot making the best freaking Pot Roast you have ever tasted!

Get ready for:
5-Tips-To-Stay-Positive-When-Your-Vacation-Is-Over
OR...
How-To-Maintain-A-Positive-View-Point-When-The-World-Is-Going-To-Shit-Around-You

1. Get back on the horse: 
Easier said than done, I know. But it’s not. Not really.
Just do it.
Get ‘er done.
Be all you can be.
See? There’s all kinds of corporate slogans out there urging you to get up and get busy and complete your life’s work! Now, all it takes is for you to do it. That’s it.

Click on that WORD icon. Start a new document. Type CHAPTER ONE in the center of the paper. And type out the first thoughts that hit your brain pan. Here’s mine:
                I am wearing underwear. That’s a first in about ten days. I went commando for a while. It wasn’t fun. Got things stuck in the zipper. I won’t go into detail.

2. Make a list: 
Simple. What’s the first thing you desire to finish? Write a blog post? Write it down. Write 2000 words? Write it down. Use bullet points, or little skulls, or take your fingernail clippings and paste them to the page and use them as dividers for your ideas. I don’t care. But make a list. It really helps.

What, you want more examples? Sheesh... you guys are NEEDY this morning. Ok, here’s mine:

Write a blog post.
Write 2000 words.
Put on underwear... LOL! Got ya!!!

But, really... that is my list. And for the record, I used toe nail clippings as bullet points. Thought you might appreciate the visual. And, no more zipper issues. Just sayin.

3. Focus on one task at a time: 
I am getting the blog post out of the way first, obviously. But, imagine if I kept going back and forth between this post and editing the 2nd Romy Malloy book? It might look something like this:
...
Hi fellow Plotters and Romy-ites!
Note: Romy cannot go pee here... she’s in a car dummy. Change this!!!
I just flew back from my vacation and BOY are my arms tired!
Note: WHY do you have Marks and Candy both in this scene when the last scene clearly shows Candy going back to the compound to find out where Tanner went????
...

See what I mean? Would you be able to follow that? So, yeah... focus on one task at a time.

4. Eat: 
Seems logical, even like a no-brainer, right? You’d be surprised, I do forget a lot.  (stop laughing, Chuckles... I ain’t that fat...).

I especially forget to eat when I am in THE ZONE. Oh, don’t get me wrong. I make up for it in quantity when I actually do sit down at the trough. But, if I get really hungry while I am writing, the work will suffer. I am not diabetic, but I have occasional low blood-sugar when I go too long without eating. Nothing that requires medical treatment, just a good dose of FOOD. And I get cranky. And if I am cranky is my writing going to be the best it can be?

The answer is NO, numb-nuts. So go eat something.

5. Sleep: 
Ahhh... blessed slumber. To sleep, perchance to dream. Yes, sleep is NECESSARY. Like food, if you go too long without sleep your writing will suffer.

If you have a deadline looming, then look back to #’s 2 and 3. Make a list. Focus on priorities. One step at a time. You will get it done.

Now, there may be something more I could say about front-loading your time more appropriately rather than back-loading.

What is that, you ask? It means get more of your crap done UP FRONT, at the beginning of your allotted time rather than procrastinating and putting it all off until the last few days.

Ok, ok, maybe you think you work well under pressure (really, you don’t though)... but if you REALLY believe that it’s so, then PRETEND all the pressure is at the FRONT of your scheduled days to work/write! You’re a writer damn it! MAKE BELIEVE!

Then you have ALL that time at the end to worry over spell checks, and block edits, and plotting and pacing of your story... and guess what? It will READ better!


And there you have it folks!

This is what I am focusing on today, as I resume my daily habits and leave the wonderful world of vacation behind. I miss it. I wish I could go back.

But, I guess the days filled with work are what make the vacations so amazing.

Too much of a good thing will do... something bad... I think...

For some reason, I cannot think of a reason I can’t be on vacation all the time.

Would that really be a bad thing?


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Guns, guitars, and grads -- lessons for a writer


Listen up you all: I have had one CRAZY ass week.

Now I’m not talking about your typical busy week where you run from work to the kids practice to the other kids game then to the other kids concert recital, then home to dinner and dishes and...

No, I had all THAT too... but there was more. Oh, so much more.

This week was the week to end all weeks.

I think I did almost all a person could possibly hope to do in one week.

Let me give you a brief blow-by-blow.

The week started with an awesome firearms training class given by the wonderful folks at the Missouri Department of Conservation. I learned SO much from this class: how to handle a firearm (and to not call a firearm a “weapon”), how to clean a firearm and how to shoot, and tons more (and that’s where the GUNS part of the title comes from).


And then at some point last week we attended my senior sons Baccalaureate service, which is a kind of spiritual send-off for the seniors so that they Go-With-God... you know, go-with-God, but please just go! At this service a young man played a guitar and sang a song (we will get to that in a moment)... this song, played at this particular time by this particular kid was a real tear-jerker. This is the GUITAR part of the title.


Then, I spent the rest of the week days prepping for my sons Grad party on Saturday. I had to take an extra vacation day I had not planned to take (not complaining about that one) and spent Wednesday through Friday mowing, cleaning, scraping, PAINTING, moving furniture to make room for guests and THEN helping bring in all the food (yummy) on Friday night and setting up for the BIG DAY. And THEN... on Saturday, the PARTY. We had over 200 guests streaming through our house (thank goodness it was an OPEN house party). And this is the GRAD part of the title.

Soooo... after all that you MIGHT think (mistakenly) that I would now get a break, right?

Well I almost did.

Sunday night, for Mother’s Day, my wife, the mother of my children (and btw just gotta say I literally HATE the term Baby Mama... ugg... shoot me if I EVER say that)... anyway, me and the wife went to the movies to see The Avengers. My wife is the best. Loves the cheesy B-movies including sci-fi end of days and zombie movies. And to top it all off she is a REAL hottie!

So, we’re leaving for the movie and she says, “Oh, by the way, we have to stop at my mom’s to fill up a load of their belongings in the van, and oh another by the way, we are driving to their new lake condo tomorrow to unload for them.”

Sigh.

See, I had taken this whole week off because my sons actual Grad night is today, Wednesday and I had hope to be rested by then/now. But, no.

So, we moved stuff. Every day so far this week.

Now let me be CLEAR! I am NOT complaining! In fact, we got some really cool furniture out of the deal that they can’t take with them, and anyway, even without the cool free stuff, they have done SO MUCH for us over the years that I would’ve helped anyway.

The ONLY reason I am telling you all this is simply to illustrate that I have had ONE CRAZY ASS WEEK!

OCAW baby!

However...!

I have actually pulled some incredible gems of lifes-lessons turned to writers-lessons that I am about to impart to you that WILL make your head do a round-about and leave you asking “Hey... just WTF happened here?”

Guaranteed. Well, sort of. Not guaranteed in the sense that if you don’t actually say “Hey... just WTF happened here?” I will give you some money back or something. That ain’t happening.

But, you will say... hey... that’s pretty cool, or something like that...

Anyway... OFF WE GO!

Here are the three little gems I will now impart to you:

Guns are pens: Yea, whatever, you might say. We all know that the pen is mightier than the sword and yada yada. This is just a rehash. Yes, sort of. But in the immortal words of Elton John and Bernie Taupin: “But then again, no.”
You see, I learned some things at the firearms safety training that I really don’t think I would have learned elsewhere. It was the environment, the atmosphere of the training that opened up new vistas of understanding for me.

For one, I heard in that class that it takes 1000 CORRECT repetitions to fully eliminate 1 INCORRECT habit. Now, think about that for a minute. Consider a bad writing habit that you may have. You will need to discover and habitualize the new, good thing and repeat it 1000 times before you completely wipe away the instinct and desire to fall back to the old one. Have trouble with the “there/they’re/their”? Do it right 1000 times. Have motivational issues? Force-start yourself 1000 times.

Now listen up people! This is NOT a discouraging commentary! Instead of looking at the dirty old used side of the piece of paper you just found on the ground and wishing you had something clean to write on, TURN IT OVER! Look at the OTHER side!

Its pristine whiteness is just sitting there waiting for you to write on it! And by this, I mean to say that having to repeat something 1000 times (yes, that’s one thousand) is not a bad thing... instead, it means there IS hope! You CAN be a better writer! You CAN figure out a way to get motivated! You CAN figure out a way to stop misspelling the “there’s” of the world!

And guess what? I learned a ton of other stuff at firearms safety training and over the weeks I will very likely incorporate much of into this here blog. So, there you have it. Guns are pens. They can teach us stuff too.

Guitars bring sorrow: Music. The great leveler. Raise a man up, tear a man down. At my sons Baccalaureate service, the same kid who played and sang as Joseph in the incredible high school adaptation of the Technicolor Dream Coat, played guitar and sang Pearl Jam’s “Just Breathe”.

Ahh.

Wow.

Yes, I cried a little. But I’m a guy, so it was all insidey-like crying, not the big crocodile tears flowing down the cheeks crying. I swear I didn’t. Hey! Shut up! I said I didn’t!

Just check this lyric: “As we sit alone, I know someday we must go...”

Sigh. That really got me. And... it made me think.

What parts of that particular scene would I write about in order to have the same impact to someone who was only reading about it?

How could I make a reader feel the same things I was feeling, and at the same depth I felt them?

I really stopped to think about this because this was REAL emotion. REAL feelings. These are the things I as a writer need to be able to convey to a reader.

How would you do it? Think about it for a minute.

I (and you) could do this:
The child in front of me was fidgeting up until the fist strum of the guitar. The singer seemed at first to avoid the microphone, and I thought this would be a detriment to my enjoyment, but his voice, barely above the volume of the guitar, became intimate, a whisper, forcing me to listen more attentively. The singer made a mistake once, but he smiled... not at me, but somehow at the whole audience, teasing us, making sure we were listening, tripping up the lyrics as an exclamation point to the words so we would catch their meaning.

What would you do/write to capture these moments?

Grads are us: My son has been the focal point and theme of this whole week, as he should be. He attended the firearm safety course with me, and of course all the other things this week were for him. I had a great week. I love my kids. And he’s my only son, so... it was a great week.

But all this, the gun class, the Baccalaureate service, the party preparations, the actual party itself, and the graduation tonight... all these things in retrospect are  graduation. These experiences are like the milestone markers proving that he has made it to this point, succeeded at all the things he needed to do to get here, passed all the tests, attended all the classes, that he is READY for the diploma.

And, you know what? If we choose to do so, we can look at the milestones in our lives in just the same way as the graduates today are looking at their milestone.
Why do we have to stop congratulating ourselves? Why can’t we celebrate our accomplishments?

Not the everyday mundane accomplishments. That would get old.

But, what about that new job?

Or, what about the fact that YOU got your kids through the school year again?

How about that manuscript you just finished?

We are ALL graduates, at many different points in our lives.

I suggest that you take some time to FEEL like a graduate. Imagine the Pomp and Circumstance, pretend you have a gown and mortar board, walk down the aisle and up the steps to the podium and take that diploma in your hand... and FLASH your naked underneath parts to the world!

We are ALL graduates, dammit!

So act like one today! Live it up a little!



Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Stop Sucking And Start Writing



Hey all!

Just a quick note to say thanks to every buyer of my short book Stop Sucking And Start Writing.


Stop Sucking And Start Writing


I've seen a good pickup in sales here the past few days... lets keep up the momentum! (shameless self promotion ;-)

It's only $ 0.99 so go out and get your copy today!

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B007QDXHIG


Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day!

A very Happy Mother's Day from everyone in the Romy Malloy and Plotters of Cantaera multiverses!





Monday, May 7, 2012

Introducing: The Multiverse

Hello to all my fans and readers and noobs who have just happened upon this blog by happy accident!

Welcome to my new blog: The MULTIVERSE of Paul Philip Carter!




If this was not what you were looking for, please take this time now to click on another link and get the hell outta here.

Go ahead... we'll wait.

(Jeopardy sound effect...)

OK, now that they're gone... LET'S PARTY!!!

Woohoo!

So, as we all have discussed before, the Multiverse theory states that there are an infinite amount of universes existing right along side ours with an infinite amount of realities and infinite amount of circumstances and outcomes and yada yada yada...

You all get that right?

Well, what does THAT have to do with THIS?

I am SO glad you asked!

Here, in my mind, in my playground, in my MULTIVERSE, there are also an infinite amount of stories floating around that I may or may not tell you about. (That depends on that particular reality for that particular day.)


And I gotta tell ya, it was just too damn hard and damn confusing keeping up two blogs to tell the Plotters and Malloy stories.

And what if I decide to write even more book???!! Aarrgghh!

So to fix that, I have consolidated all my psychosis into just this one blog where I WILL STILL be telling you about The Plotters of Cantaera AND the Romy Malloy universes.


You'll still get all the fantastic adventures from William Deane and the world of Cantaera.

And you'll still get to follow Romy Malloy around St. Louis as she diagnoses fake Erectile Dysfunction and eludes tracers and helps Abbott and Marks and Candy all the while keeping Jarboe the dog well fed.

Yep.

See? Not a big change.

Just one central location to get all your PPC fixes.

I really hope you enjoy it.

I know I will -- as long as YOU keep reading!

Thanks!

Later!

PPC


Sunday, May 6, 2012

Pardon the construction...

Hello fellow Plotters and Romy-ites!

If you happen upon this blog just a quick FYI that I have not "technically" published this yet and so there is still a lot of construction going on.



I hope to have design completed by the week of May 14th, but... you know how those gremlins like to mess with things.

Anyway... the other blogs are still up:
Romy Malloy: http://romymalloy.blogspot.com/
Plotters of Cantaera: http://plottersofcantaera.blogspot.com/

I will be keeping those blogs up indefinitely, however as soon as this new blog is up I will not be posting new updates to the old ones. I'll likely have a lame redirect there that says something like "Oops! Sorry for the ionconvenience, yada yada..."

Ha!

See you soon!

PPC

Friday, May 4, 2012

Explain yourself


Explain yourself.

These might be the two scariest words in all of history.

Imagine you’re Harry Potter and Professor McGonagall asks you to explain why you just flew a Ford Anglia into the Whomping Willow.

Or, imagine you’re Richard Cypher (Rahl) and Zeddicus Zu’l Zorander (First Wizard of all the Midlands AND your grandfather) asks you what insanity has brought you to dig up the dry white bones of the Mother Confessor.

Explain yourself indeed!

Recently I was in a situation where I had to explain The Plotters of Cantaera to someone. They already knew a little about the story but they were digging for more: plot, story arc, symbolism, iconography.

Wow.

I felt like I had been thrust suddenly into a one minute pitch session at a conference with a surly agent who I just knew was going to reject me -- to my face. Point blank. Without a second thought. He was picking his fingernails and belching up pieces of the bratwurst/limburger/onion sandwich he’d had for lunch and every second word I got out he would parrot “And the theme is...?” And me, I just wanted to bolt face first into the nearest corner like a mouse with its cheese hiding where I could nibble the cheddar in peace...

Whoa! Sorry about that... I got a little carried away with a flashback there.

I’m back now. In my safe place.

Nothing is real... nothing is real...

So anyway there I was trying very hard to explain to this person what The Plotters is about... digging for that hidden gem of information to use as a symbol, as icon for the entire story.

I gotta say... THAT was a good... nay... that was a GREAT experience!

Do you know what this made me do?

It forced me to LOOK at the story from a perspective of the reader very different than normal... a perspective that perhaps is overlooked.

Now, don’t get me wrong.

As a writer it is my solemn duty to have done the deed well enough that I HAVE considered the story from the perspective of the reader.

Of COURSE we do that... right, other authors? All you fellow guys and gals and #plotters who I know read this blog looking for the little tidbits of wisdom I hide so perfectly that most of you will never find them? Hmm? Do you see the little nuggets, the Easter Eggs filled with candy hidden on the screen of the game that most typical gamers will just glide right by?

Do you see it? Do you? Well, do you???!!!

Actually it’s not that hard.

Consider your most favorite and treasured book.

Now, think about all the COOL things you think/feel/experience when you read that book. All the objects, the iconography, the symbols, the tactile visual imagery that so grabs you as you peruse the pages of that particular prose.

Got it?

Now... what have you placed in YOUR story that YOU are writing that will do those same things to YOUR readers?

Ahhhh... now do you get it?

Do you now see what your task is?

Get to it.

You WILL be graded.

Class dismissed.




Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Top 5 April blog posts


Hello fellow Plotters and Romy-ites!

I gotta say... April was another INCREDIBLE month for me!

My blogs -- The Plotters of Cantaera and Romy Malloy’s Dimensions -- were blessed with another record number of visits. Between the two I had well over 1000 visitors!

Thanks to everyone who has visited and read my posts! I love sharing my ideas and visions with you.

(Yes, I have visions... and occasionally I hear voices. But never mind that for now)

What I would like to do today is record for posterity sake the TOP 5 POSTS for the MONTH OF APRIL on both The Plotters of Cantaera and Romy Malloy’s Dimensions blogs!

Yeah, I know I get wordy sometimes... suck it if you don’t like it.

So, without further ado, here they are!

This post decries the glories of self publication and all the goodies that go with that.

Outlining is fun and easy! And this post shows you how.

This is actually my most recent post and turned out to be very popular. Romy Malloy takes on HAARP... cool.

I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing a great fantasy writer. Check it out.


AND the #1 post for April: inter-dimensional travel - http://romymalloy.blogspot.com/2012/04/inter-dimensional-travel.html
Stewie Griffin helped me out with this one. He’s one smart cookie.


I hope you enjoy my posts as much or more than I enjoy writing them.

And you know what?

You all are the reason I do what I do. I mean, I would probably do it anyway, but having you read this REALLY makes for a great icing-on-the-cakekind of cherry-on-the-top thing that makes me feel like I just had-my-cake-and-ate-the-damn-thing-too.

Yea... it’s like that.

Oh! Also... if it’s not too much to ask (sheez I feel like Gimli asking Galadriel for a lock of her hair)... would you maybe leave a comment or two every now and then? I get lonely...

Ha!

Later!

PPC


Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Excerpt from "The Plotters of Cantaera Book One: Enemies"



Hello fellow plotters!
Today feels like a good day to lay down another excerpt from The Plotters of Cantaera Book One: Enemies.
Since the discussion last night with my illustrator it appears we are moving much closer to completing things and releasing the book to the public! Still do not have an exact date... but it's close. Oh so close...
Anyway, I am obviously excited.
So, to celebrate this happy day I thought it would be a great time to... well... you get the picture.


Enjoy!


...

It happened suddenly.
The room was still.
Time was still.
William relaxed his body and his mind and closed his eyes.
He released his thought, making his choice.
He did not speak, but in his mind he simply thought the words:
“I will be on the Council.”
A wind rushed suddenly through the small room. The moment passed, and time seemed to jerk suddenly back into place. With a thump, he felt he was back in his body, back in the small farm house, standing in the common room. William opened his eyes, looked at his hands, then at the faces of Grandpa and Coralis.
Coralis shook his head as if he were shaking off a bad thought, or waking himself from a lingering nightmare. He worked his mouth a couple times before speaking.
“Fine, William,” Coralis croaked, barely louder than a whisper. He seemed surprised to hear his own voice speaking. He cleared his throat.
“Fine, son. Fine,” he began again. “I believe I can get enough members to agree to admit you to the Council. And, we can get you started right away on the search for your father, though all this seems... seems... highly irregular.”
He shook his head again, his white hair and ponytail flicking about.

...
Hope you enjoed it!

Later... PPC