Writing a Marathon

Tomorrow, thousands of runners will set out to finish the Marine Corps Marathon. Let’s be clear. I will likely never run a marathon in my lifetime. If I ever signed up for a 10K, I’d be shocked. There are many reasons including an intense dislike for running, but I’m also sure it would not be the best thing for my knees. I’m just not built for running and prefer speed walking. But I’ve also never aspired to run any sort of race let alone a marathon. So, I don’t think I’ll feel any regret about it when reach the end Read more…

A Writer’s Life

In the last few months, I’ve become fully immersed in what I would call a writer’s life. When I’m not working on my day job or sleeping, I am a writer. I spend about about 12 hours a week listening to podcasts about self-publishing and story structure (on my commute and while I walk the dogs). For another 12 hours a week, I write blog posts, create content for my website and make progress on my two novels. I’ve decided to start a new habit. Every month, I will write a blog post about what I’m learning and how I Read more…

Lessons from the Manhattan Project

Last week, I began my graduate-level class on WMD and Film as I usually do, with an in-depth examination of the Manhattan Project. While I am fascinated with the history of the atomic bomb, I believe that in order to truly understand the dynamics of nuclear proliferation, it is important to stand in the shoes of those who made the first discoveries related to the bomb and who built the U.S. nuclear complex from scratch under extraordinary circumstances. Without this perspective, it is difficult to understand why some countries have succeeded in developing nuclear weapons, while others have failed.For the first Read more…

Choose Your Own Fiction Adventure

Have you ever yelled at the screen telling the lead character of a movie not to do something? Have you ever wished that you could advise the director on a better way to end the movie? This is your chance. I’ve started a crowdsourced fiction novel. That means you, the readers, can direct me where you would like go with the story, the characters, etc. How does it work? I will develop the overall book concept, create the main characters and then begin writing scenes. At the end of every scene, I will offer up 2-3 options for readers to choose Read more…

Choose Your Own Adventure 2.0

Over the past year, I’ve been struggling with a problem. It’s a chicken and egg problem. Is my first fiction novel the chicken or the egg? Well, the answer to that question is not as simple as it seems. On one hand, it must be an egg, because it is produced (in this case, by me, aka the chicken in this story). But more and more, I realize that my first novel is really the chicken. Huh? If you already follow my blog, I’ve discussed this issue in several posts. Last spring, I created this blog because I realized that I need Read more…

Creating your own Graphics in PowerPoint

I have decided to become a member of the so-called shadow industry of self-publishing. In the past few months, I’ve learned that to be successful at self-publishing, I need to become an entreprenuer and think of writing as a business. It took me a while, but I’ve finally come to the realization that marketing and sales will respresent a big slice of my business activities in the coming years. If we agree to treat writing as business, then we must be concerned with the bottom line. For this reason, it’s good to have a few tricks for doing marketing on Read more…

From Writer to Used Car Saleswoman…

So you want to be a writer, eh? Well, to be successful, writers also have to an editors, book formaters and designers, relatable personalities, bloggers, content designers, marketers and salespeople…Sheesh. I just want to write a novel. Why does it have to be so complicated? In today’s publishing world, being a writer is not enough. Writers need a platform and a following…and apparently, they also need to become multi-talented entrepreneurs. The good news is that writers don’t have to wait to get the attention of a publishing house to sell their books. Self-publishing has become widely respected as a way Read more…

A Modern Writer’s Journey

In October 2015, I began seriously writing my first novel The Nuclear Conspiracy, Part 1 of 3 in the Power Series (I just came up with that…Apparently, trilogies need names, too). I already have a full-time job so I write in my spare time, which is as you can imagine, quite limited. Nonetheless, I’m proud to say that I have written over 89,000 words in less than a year and am gearing up to write the last 40,000 this fall. I’m happy with my progress, but I would be a lot further along if I didn’t have to do so many other things just Read more…

Safari Stories – Elephants and Giraffes

As amazing as it is to see the big cats like leopards in Kruger National Park, elephants and giraffes are my favorite animals to see hands down. Both animals are beautiful and majestic and move about the bush with an usually peaceful grace given their size and stature. I can’t get tired of seeing them. On my safari, I counted myself very lucky to have been able to see both of them…first while eating lunch at Hamilton’s Tented Camp. I arrived at Hamilton’s Tented Camp on July 9 at around 1pm, just in time for lunch. As I waited for Read more…

Safari Stories – Leopards

Last week, I returned from my three-week trip to South Africa and was able to check completion of an Earthwatch Expedition off of my bucket list. Many of you know that I recently traveled to the Soutpansberg mountains to take part in the Primates and Predators project sponsored by the Department of Anthropology at Durham University in the United Kingdom and hosted by the Lajuma Research Center. The project focuses its research on the study of primates–primarily Chacma baboons, Samango monkeys and Vervet monkeys and of course, Leopards. In the next few weeks, I’ll be recounting tales from my great adventure Read more…