Saturday, December 24, 2011


Heaven's tears mingle with our own salty leaking
Our tears are sorrowful as we mark our temporary parting
The sprinkles from heaven are joyful as they welcome Clare into the fold
A reunion with those who have gone before her

Clare F. Harold 1932 - 2011
I Love you Mommy

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Clare Frances Harold 1932 - 2011

My Momma died yesterday. Well, actually two days ago since it is after midnight. She had had some problems lately with a bowel obstruction that had required surgery and it ended up taking her life.

We thought she was on the mend, but everything turned for the worse and her heart wasn't strong enough to handle it.

Dad and Cath were able to be there when she was ready to go, but it wasn't easy for anyone.

She is feeling no pain now and is in a better place.

I love you mom. Miss you forever.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Novel Project: Day 8

Day 8

Imitation can lead to originality. Do short exercises imitating different styles. Try on a dozen voices until you find one that fits. Ape the sure hand of a master. But remember this: write from your own experience. Your experience is unique. As John Braine, author of Room at the Top, wrote, “If you’re to be heard out of all those thousands of voices, if your name is going to mean something out of all those thousands of names, it will only be because you’ve presented your own experience truthfully.”

I'm probably not going to be posting each day for a while. I've got my start and I continue to plug away at it. When a Day suggests something that connects to me, I will post it. For now, I will slowly make my way through the plot, the characters and writing a few chapters.

I am using my experience in this project. I have been obsessed with the AT lately and this book will take place on a good deal of that trail. I also want to throw in some things on self-reliant bushcraft and survival techniques which I have been studying and practicing for a while now.

Novel Project: Day 7

Day 7

Although there are no rules about story ideas, I would offer you one caution: think small. One of the worst mistakes most beginning novelists make is thinking big, trying to come up with an end-of-the-world story, in the belief that big is better. That’s not true. Keep your story idea small and focused.
Look into your creative soul and search for a little story but one that has real meaning to you. We are all part of the human family. If you create a story that has deep meaning to you, chances are it will have deep meaning for the rest of us.

Well, my story is an end-of-the-world story, but it doesn't encompass a huge amount of the world. It is basically a get back home story with a good deal of anxiety and suspense. I hope to keep the cast of characters small and concentrate on these small groups of people and the struggles they face to get to their goal.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Novel Project: Day 6

Day 6

Analyze and learn. Take your favorite novel of the type that you want to write and read it again, as if it were a how-to manual for becoming a millionaire. Then read it again, breaking the book down into sections. Outline the action on large sheets of paper that you pin to your office wall.

Well, this is impossible to do in one day, but I am constantly reading and I usually have several books going at once. Right now I am reading three books on my Kindle (iPod Touch) and two other regular books on my bedside table. Some I read more than others, but I try to switch between each for a chapter or two. I now read with a writer's eye of plot, theme, structure and all that. I may get to outlining other books at some time, but for right now, I am concentrating on all the organization that goes with writing my novel.

There are lots of things to keep track of. After developing your plot, you have to work on fleshing out your characters and creating scenes and lots of other things. The obsessive planner in me is enjoying this part. It truly is a marathon and I am not in any hurry to finish. I am keeping an easy pace.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Novel Project: Day 5

Day 5

It doesn’t matter what kind of book you decide to write. There are no rules other than that the story has to be very, very interesting. It can be exciting, scary, fun, funny or sad — but it must not bore the reader.

And that is my plan. I hope to draw the reader in as my Protag struggles to get back home after a great disaster, encountering more hardship and disaster along the way. What he finds when he finally gets home will be climatic and troubling and I hope enjoyable to read.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Novel Project: Day 4

Day 4

What kind of novel appeals to you? What really gets your juices flowing? Is it a good murder mystery, science fiction, a thriller, romance, general fiction? Think of what to write from what is around you, from what you know and care about.

I like post-apocalyptic type novels where the Protag is struggling to not only survive, but accomplish some great task. I also have a current obsession with the Appalachian Trail and the people who spend lots of time hiking it. I'm in the military and have been for almost three decades.

My plan is to incorporate all this into my writing along with anything I can pull from my imagination.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Novel Project: Day 3

Day 3

In the first week, decide upon the story you are going to write. You might not work out every detail, but today you are going to begin the process. You are not going to procrastinate — procrastination is your enemy.

I pretty much did this on day 1, but let's check it off none-the-less.

I created a one sentence idea that was very simple, then expanded that into a paragraph as you can see on my 12/7/2011 entry. Since then I have been doing a little writing each day. Yesterday I finished my first draft of Chapter 1. I know it needs a lot of work, but I am writing and that is the idea. I will continue to bang out at the minimum amount that I stated in yesterday's entry and I am still having fun.

Day 3, check.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Novel Project: Day 2

Day 2

Carve out specific time to write. This is important because over the course of writing a novel, you’ll get discouraged, bored, angry, or otherwise fed up, and when you start feeling that way, you’ll need clearly defined patterns to keep yourself working.

Ok, I'm going to start out small here, because I'm not sure what I can do. I will adjust as needed and hopefully really get into the swing of things.

1.5 hours during the week (maybe in three 1/2 hours sessions) and 2 hours during the weekend.

That looks like an easy start. I always like small easy goals when I start something new. :)

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Am I a Novelist?

For quite some time now, I have been thinking about trying to write a novel. I have written little stories here and there, and they probably suck pretty bad, but I always had this desire to try my hand at writing a novel.

Today I did a quick google search on "how to write a novel" and found quite a few websites that give what appears to be decent advice on how to go about it. All the way to publication if that is what you want and I'm not sure that is what I want yet, but I really want to see if I can do it.

The first site I read talked about a snowflake method of creating a novel. It gives you little steps to start out with and slowly build all these things into a novel. It seemed like it made sense, so I tried my hand at a little plot development. It directs you to write a one sentence statement on your story. I came up with this:

A military man struggles to find his family in a post-apocalyptic world.

And that is where I will start. From there you expand on that one sentence into a paragraph, create and develop some characters and scenes and start expanding on all of it until you have something of substance.

After writing that first sentence I expanded it to this: (I'm leaving the ending off to create suspense)

Sergeant First Class John Kindel has been in the Army for 17 years. During one of his many training evolutions, some very bad things happen. The war that brought on this new world only lasted four days, but it really did the job. John is now separated from his family; his wife Lori, son Shane and daughter Britney by a landscape that looks like hell on earth. He decides to forsake his duties and get back home, where he hopes to find his family still alive and waiting for him. As he makes his away over the 1000 miles he needs to travel to get home, John encounters many challenges along the way. Some are easy to overcome and others threaten to take his life. John finally gets back home and finds...

And that is basically where I am at now. I'm excited, but a little scared. Can I do this? Probably not, but I will at least answer the question and that will still get it checked off my bucket list.

Another site I came across in my search was How to Write a Novel in 100 Days or Less

I will try to go to it each day and see what it has to say. I don't plan on doing this in 100 days, but who knows what will happen. Jump on and enjoy the ride.

Day 1
On this your first day of writing your novel, make a promise to yourself that you are going to do it. This is critical. Without that commitment, you may as well save your pencils and paper. It isn’t going to happen. Remember, write as often as you can. That’s what writers do — they write.

Ok, check off day 1. Promise and Commitment made...