And The Beat Goes On

I am now working on the follow up to my first book, The Ford Chronicles: Out of the Frying Pan (available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or even for your iPad The new book will document the further adventures of my hero, Ford Edwards and his friends who like the Bruce Willis’ character, John McClane, somehow always find themselves in trouble and at the center of some mystery. And since I don’t already spend enough time in front of a keyboard and monitor (sarcasm here), I will from time to time document the progress of my new novel. For copy write reasons I can’t give you the title of my second book, so I’ll just refer to it as TFCII, The Ford Chronicles: II.


I’ve been writing for some weeks now and actually had the idea for TFCII while writing the first book. I suppose that happens all the time. They say that the first thing J.K. Rowling wrote was the final conflict between Harry Potter and Voldemort. She knew only the end of her character’s journey, not the end of a single book.

I am just the opposite. I have no idea where Ford will end up, and while I have an idea how this book will end, it’s not very detailed. As a matter of fact it’s one sentence. Since I’m not going to give my ending away, I’ll say it was equivalent to J.K., saying, “Harry defeats Voldemort.” (I hope I didn’t give anything away there).

So I started outlining but quickly found that instead of telling an emotional story, I was simply outlining the steps of how “Harry defeats Voldemort.”

I have to say that this felt unsatisfying and made it hard to write because the story was void of all the emotion that typically kept your interest So, after engaging in the usual procrastination activities, I decided that I needed to approach this from a different direction.

Using the greatest time waster ever, the internet, I searched different methods of writing and landed on the The Snowflake Method. Follow this link to read and understand the Snowflake process. (

For me this meant going back and looking at my characters and really taking time to understand them and not just give them a biographical background, but also give them an emotional background as well.

To make a long story short. I’ve used this method to create my characters and outline and I now find myself in the day to day process of working on the manuscript.

Some days are good and some days are not. Some days I’m bored to tears by what I’ve written and that can’t be good because if my writing can’t excite me how do I expect it to excite the reader. Other days, it’s just the opposite.

Which brings me to today. Today I found myself getting mired in the details of description. What type of wine will be drunk, what type of suitcase is someone carrying. None of this stuff moves the story forward, it’s just there to help paint a picture in the readers mind. Plus, in some cases it doesn’t even matter. A reader doesn’t have to have personal knowledge of a wine like Domain Romanée Conti, to appreciate it’s value. It’s important that the Characters appreciate the value. If it’s important to the characters than it’ll be important to the reader. (That is unless you’ve actually had DRC and/or want to share it with me. Call, we’ll talk).

So to help remedy what I was doing. I created a separate list of “details” that will need to be addressed later. Now I will just get the story moving and concentrate on the  interaction of the characters. The key here will be to remember to go back and add the details. This is something I won’t forget because I got dinged on a few sports details last book. Critics you know who you are.


I’ve started writing my second book in the Ford Chronicles Series. It’s tentatively titled, Off Track.

I’ve completed eight pages that will no doubt be revised at least a dozen times before I stick a pin in it and say it’s done. But because of personal obligations I haven’t been able to return to my book for almost five days. And that is death. It is so important to build up momentum when writing that any stoppage for almost any reason feels agonizing.

Not only that, but I’ve got a trip planned to the Walt Disney World Food & Wine Festival that will make it even harder to keep the momentum going (for more on that read my wine blog). I know that I must create a time, no matter how tired or hung over I am, where I will continue to work on my book.  I must have momentum.

I think writers need to have hard and fast rules. Rules for when you’re going to write and/or how much you’re going to write in a given day.  It is folly to think that you can wait for “the moment” to strike.  That you have to have the muse build to a fevered pitch so that the only relief you can get is to get to the keyboard.  Bullshit.

Woody Allen said, “I started out as a television writer, for a show that was on live every week. You didn’t have the luxury of coming in and waiting to be inspired. You came in and you wrote, because you had to. So I can do that. It’s not always good, but I can get something on the page pretty frequently.”

He’s right. I can’t afford the luxury to write only when inspired, but have to write all the time. Keep the momentum going. My work for that day may not be the greatest prose, but at least it’s on paper. There will always be time to go back and revise…and revise…and revise.

With that freedom, there’s not reason not to write everyday at a specified time. It doesn’t matter what you feel, it’s that you do the work…or as Brian the dog on The Family Guy says when he sits down with a pad of paper and a pen, “Wonder what words are going to come out of this pen today.”

Great Ideas That Come In The Night

I don’t know if it’s what I’ve been eating or drinking lately, but I’ve been having some good “story” dreams. You know, the kind of dreams where a complete story is outlined or a good plot conflict comes to your mind. I know these were good ideas because in my dreams I told myself they were good ideas, but unfortunately thats where it ends.

By the time I woke up, got breakfast, fed the dog and drank my coffee, whatever it was I had dreamt up was gone. I couldn’t find my idea with a high powered telescope. Gone, gone, gone.

I hear you out there. “Well, why didn’t you write it down when you had the idea?”

Gosh, why didn’t I think of that. The truth is that next to my bed is a small end table that barely has room for my glasses, iPad, and a glass of water. The last thing I want to be doing in the middle of the night is fumble around for a pad of paper and a pen. Knowing me, I would end up spilling the water, which would somehow avoid all directions and choose that one that would destroy my iPad. Then I would would start cursing and my dog would start barking and my wife (who has to get up an hour and a half before me) would start barking, and then the neighbors would wake up…you see where this is going. I don’t want to be responsible for the broken sleep habits of Encino.

I can still hear you. “Ah ha,” you say, “Why don’t you use your iPad or iPhone or some other i-device to record your thoughts. I did that once. I have to say I wasn’t too happy with the result.

The last time I attempted this I forced myself from sleep long enough to record a wonderful idea in my little digital recorder. I then went peacefully back to sleep, confidant that I had safeguarded my idea and that it would be waiting for me in the morning. Only when I woke up and listened to my recording I couldn’t make out a single word. It was the gibberish of someone talking in his sleep. I played it for my wife, who is still laughing about it to this day.

So, I have a problem.

I get these great ideas at night and I can’t seem to remember them in the morning. Of course, perhaps the ideas are not so great and only appear great to my sleep addled mind. When I was younger I got very stoned (alright, this happened more than once) and I thought I would explore my creativity by writing in my stoned state. I wrote page after page of brilliant prose. Ideas that were going to keep me busy for the next twenty years. A couple of days later I reviewed my brilliance and found it to be unintelligible.

That leaves with me two possibilities:
1. Don’t try to write anything an an altered state or…
2. Stay stoned all the time.

I know which way some of my friends will be rooting.

A Game of Characters

Okay, I want to talk specifics, but I’ll have to speak in generalities. I’ve been reading a series of books and I just finished the third one. The book has been made into a popular HBO Series and the third season is scheduled to air in May of 2013. The show has been very faithful to the books and I imagine it will continue to be. That means what transpired in book three will most likely transpire in season three. All that said, I don’t want to spoil anything for anyone and I will attempt to talk around specifics, however it you are too smart and can figure things out you may want to skip this blog. (P.S. If anyone has read book 4 & 5 please don’t offer any spoilers).
So here is what I experienced: I am reading along when suddenly something happens and BAM…my favorite character is killed. I was like, “What? You can’t do that.” Every book has to have a hero and this book’s hero was just killed…and I was only half way through the book.

This created a problem for me. Whom do I root for now? I mean, I do have to root for someone, don’t I? Isn’t that what a story is all about? Who’s the most down and out in the story? Who’s cause is the most just? When reading, we find this character and we cheer them on during the story and hope they’ll overcome whatever set backs they may face. But death? That’s pretty hard to overcome (unless you’re reading a ghost story).

I know as a writer that it’s fun to break the rules. Sometimes it’s fun to create an anti-hero, or sometimes all the characters in a particular story are equally repugnant. I’m going stand on my soap box right now and say I don’t like those stories. To me I have to have someone to put my faith in, someone who the author presents as the most balanced, someone who will succeed in the end. They may or may not succeed the way I envisioned it, but they do succeed.

There is an axiom in writing that says, “Give the audience what they want, just not the way they want it.” I believe this. I embrace this. So I have to be honest, when my favorite character died, so did my interest in the story. Of course I stuck with it, but it made me feel uneasy. No one was safe from the big “D” and I expected it to happen with other characters. Maybe this was the author’s goal, but I don’t think it enhanced the story.

I finished the book, but I’m not particularly anxious to pick up the next in the series (there are 5 and I hear more on the way).

There are a few stories I can think of where the hero dies in the end (in the end, not the middle), but not many. I can remember my experience with (spoiler alert….don’t read further if you wish to remain untainted)….

…Cold Mountain. The book was beautifully written, it was poetry. It had a Heart of Darkness quality to it. It’s about a man who goes AWOL during the Civil War and journeys back to his home and to a life with a woman he imagines he has a relationship with. During his journey he constantly struggles with his nature. Is he by default a violent man or can he put that aside that part of himself and be gentle? In the end, he shows mercy to someone and gets shot and killed as a result.

When I read that, I literally threw the book across the room it made me so mad. It felt trite and hackneyed.  He doesn’t get a chance to test his struggle in a non-violent world.  Plus, I feel if a main character is going to be killed during a story it should be because his life will have more meaning in death than in life. My example for this is Sydney Carton at the end of A Tale of Two Cities. It was a far far better thing that Sydney did and in doing so gave happiness and life to others.

That wasn’t the case in Cold Mountain nor the case in the book I just finished. In fairness to the latter, there are many characters, each telling their own story. Perhaps, in the next book I’ll be presented with someone else to hang my hero hat on. In the meantime, I put it to you. Does the hero always have to live?

What’s That Mean?

My wife and I were in Las Vegas last weekend to celebrate her birthday. At the very last minute we decided to go to see the show LOVE, a Cirque du Soleil show done to the music of the Beatles . So, Cirque du Soleil. I know what to expect; a lot of jumping, flying and spinning around. There’s no real story, just jumping, flying and spinning around. You’re there not to see a story, but to marvel at the ability of the acrobats. I couldn’t have been more wrong. There was a very strong narrative that wove it’s way through the entire show of jumping, flying and spinning around…oh and roller skating.

As I watched I began to wonder. Someone had to write this down like a story or a script. I imagine, that it was a two column script, with story and settings on one side and acrobatic action or dancing on the other side. Then I wondered how did one pitch the story? It’s not a linear story. It didn’t begin, “Once upon a time in a faraway land called Liverpool…”

It did begin with war torn Liverpool and four young boys who we know grew up to be the fab four. As the story progressed we see images of Sargent Pepper’s Lonely Heart’s Club Band, a Volkswagen Beetle with the license plate “28IF” and screaming fans. There was also a lot of jumping, flying and spinning around.

It was a story that began with “All the Lonely People” and finished with “All You Need is Love,” the message of the show. But the writing. It was representational writing. The type of writing that fills a story with images, sets, and color that represent something else. In this case the history of the Beatles and the world they were so influential in.

I find this type of writing to be a slippery slope. Sure, you can create an image in your story that reflects what your character is going through or something that is counter to what your character is saying. All places can conjure up emotions with your reader. If you have a scene that takes place in a chocolate shop, the subtext is love because of previous associations of love with chocolate. If your character is having a crisis, your last scene could take place on church steps so that his crisis is really a crisis of faith. We’ve all scene movies or read books like this. Particularly the works of J. D. Salinger or William S. Burroughs.

The problem that occurs when your write representationally is you open yourself up to interpretation. This can be good or bad. We all remember the scene from ANNIE HALL when Woody Allen and Diane Keaton are in line for a movie and someone behind them speaks about the writing of Marshal McLuhan. This person goes on and on about the symbolism of McLuhan’s writing. Finally, Woody pulls the real Marshall McLuhan from behind a sign. McLuhan tells the interpreter that he is completely wrong and knows nothing about his writing.

Sometimes things happen unintentionally. I took a film directing seminar at the Sherwood Oaks School in Hollywood. Martin Scorsese was the guest and during the seminar a moderator asked him questions which he answered in a candid manner. When the questions were opened up to the audience someone stood up and asked,

“Mr. Scorsese, do you feel that you realized man’s struggle with his inner self in the scene from TAXI DRIVER, where Travis (Robert De Niro) is facing himself in the mirror and asking his reflection, ‘Are you talking to me.’

Marty (I can call him Marty, because I’ve been in the same room with him) smiled and said, “Well I’ll tell you the truth about that scene. The script for Taxi Driver had one line it, that said Travis plays with his guns. Now we were shooting during the summer in an apartment over Broadway. With the lights and the summer heat, we had to open all the windows to get some air. During setups, I would hang out the window and try to keep cool. Now Robert De Niro was standing in front of a mirror and playing with his guns, to rehearse the scene. I continued to watch him and finally I said to him, ‘Say something Bobby.’ He turned to me and said, ‘What?’ I had my head out the window and I said, ‘What?’ He said, ‘Are you talking to me?’ I said, ‘What?’ He said, ‘Are you talking to me’ and then turned to the mirror and ad libbed the whole scene.”

Well the story got a good laugh from the audience and the questioner sat down humiliated. I’ve told that story several times over the years and I’ve never heard it repeated anywhere. Was Marty yanking our chain? Maybe. Maybe that’s not what happened on the set, but I swear to you that’s what happened at the seminar. Does Marty care that someone feels that scene represents man’s inner struggle with himself? Probably not. I’m sure there are more writers who’s scenes in books or films have been interpreted incorrectly, but they take the credit for the insight the interpreter has shown in pointing it out.

The point is that really good writers do this intentionally all the time. Look at a characters name, or the setting that the story takes place, or the time frame of the story. They tell you more about character and story than just the dialogue the character speaks. Ian Fleming, when writing his first novel wanted a boring name for his new character. Someone who worked for the government and was an automaton who didn’t think for himself. He looked around the room and found a book called, “Birds of the West Indies” by James Bond.

And look how that turned out.

Top Ten Rules for Bloggers

I’m new to the world of blogging. I’m quite sure that these rules exist somewhere else, however I’ve found the following 10 rules work for me and I try to incorporate them into every blog I do. Maybe not successfully, but I’m working on it. Here are my rules:

A blogger should pick a schedule to blog to. It’s important for your audience to know that you are going to refresh your material on a regular basis. However, it’s more important for you. Like writing a novel or a script discipline is required. Even if you don’t have a subject, free write until you do. You’ve made a pledge with yourself to once a week or twice a week to get your fingers on the keyboard and produce something. Treat it like a promise that you can’t break. My blog days are Tuesday and Thursday.

A blogger should have something to say about a topic. You would think that this would go without saying, but I’ve read many blogs that talk about nothing. They simply restate a question or natter on about nothing and never come back to their topic. I’ve actually created a list of topics. At any given time, depending on how I feel about something, I can pick from my list and uses that as a basis for a blog. Ideally the topic should be interesting or at best relatable to your reader (as I am hoping this blog is to you).

A blogger should have his facts straight. Especially with the wine blog. The details are important to those reading. Was it the Clos Pepe 2009 Estate Pinot Noir or a Clos Pepe 2009 Pinot Noir Vigernon Select? It makes a difference. One is something that can and should be enjoyed sooner than later and the other can be laid down for a bit. Why? Because the Vigernon select has been sitting on two thirds new French oak and the 2009 Estate has only be sitting on one third new French oak. I have found that my biggest problem with my wine blog is cataloguing the facts. I’m having too good a time and I don’t make the effort to record the facts when they are presented to me.  Sure, some facts can be gleaned after the fact (as it were), but it’s always better to have your information on hand when you are writing.

A blogger should have an emotional investment in what he or she is writing about. It can’t be all facts and no fun or feeling. There has to be emotion associated with your blog. Something that the reader can empathize with. Instead of just listing blogger rules, I have to let you know how hard it is for me to adhere to these rules. How annoyed I get with myself for not bringing more emotion to the blog. Facts are boring, but facts with emotional content is interesting.

A blogger should be allowed to stray. This isn’t a term paper, it’s a blog. It’s a free form for thoughts and in order for me to be candid, my thoughts my steer away from my original assertion. Actually, I think it’s more fun to read something like that because it gives the reader a window into the writer’s mind. One of the best things I ever read was given to my by Rod Serling’s widow Carol. It was five or so pages of Rod Serling reflecting on his life and of course because this was Rod Serling, it felt like he was predicting his own death days before he had the heart surgery that killed him. It rambles on a lot, but it’s a fun read and if I can find a link for it, I’ll put it here. [Note: I can’t find any link to it.  I have it somewhere i a pile of boxes.  When I find it, I’ll publish it here.]

A blogger should be grammatically correct. Blogging is not an excuse for messy writing. So watch those verb tenses (my biggest problem).

A blogger should be honest. Unlike a fiction writer who makes things up to be interesting, a blogger should be honest about his experiences. Not all experiences are exciting, but if this is the case than the blogger should explain why the experience emotionally resonated with him. For those who have listened to Howard Stern, that is his gift. He will talk about the most mundane things, but he makes it funny and interesting because somehow getting up to pee in the middle of the night emotionally resonated with him. I recommend that new and old writers listen to how he weaves a story. He’s a master at it.

A blogger should include pictures. Actually, this is optional, but pictures do make a blog more interesting. I haven’t quite gotten the hang of importing pictures into my blog. Do I put them at the end of the blog, or do I insert the picture at the point that the picture is referenced? I guess it depends on your software. Also, sometimes a blog just doesn’t lend itself to photos (like a blog listing the top ten rules for bloggers).

A blogger should invite and respond to comments. You put yourself out there, let the reader respond and let them know you’ve read what they said. One of the things I was not ready for as a blogger was the amount of spam I got. I’ve had wonderful comments from people who’ve said my blog moved them or commented on how well written it was or how original my thoughts were. It’s all smoke up your ass. All they want to to do is sell Viagra or they have diet plans that are guaranteed to get rid of the that belly fat. Fortunately, WordPress notifies me when a comment is made and I have to go in an approve it. Imagine how excited I am to get a comment and then how disappointed I am that it’s from someone who wants to sell me Russian Brides.

A Blogger should be a self promoter. It takes a while for a blog to catch on. You need to use all the tools at your beck and call to get people to read it. Use Facebook or Twitter.  It seems like there is a new social media venue everyday. I will let organizations or people know that I’ve mentioned them in my blog or that I’m linking to their content. Eventually, you will build a following, it just takes time.

Well that’s my top ten. I invite you to give me yours.

Are you ever too old to read comic books?

I proudly wear my geek status like a suit of armor on the battlefield in a scene from Game of Thrones. When I was a young boy, my friends and I used to collect all kinds of comic books. We discussed the merits of each of our favorite superhero and had many of the who-can-beat-who discussions. My collection became enormous, taking up most of the space in my room and then exploding to other parts of the house.

My mother got fed up and gave me an ultimatum. Choose one superhero and get rid of the rest. I chose the superhero that began it all, the one whom other superheors looked up to with reverence and respect. I’m talking of course about the one and only Superman. I’m quite proud to say that my collection was a continuous run of Superman comics from 1949 to when I stopped collecting, just before I got into college. Unfortunately I was forced to sell my collection so that I could graduate college (something that still pains me to this day). In the intervening years between that time and about two years ago, I did not pick up a comic book. They just didn’t interest me.

However, two years ago my aunt gave me as a gift The Amazing Spider-man collection on DVD. This covered the run of Amazing Spider-man from 1962, when he first came upon the scene, to 2006 when the DVD was published.. The most amazing thing about the DVD was that I could download the comics onto my iPhone and or my iPad or just read them on my Mac. I have also learned that the Spider-man DVD was the tip of the iceberg. I have since purchased the complete run of The Spectacular Spiderman, Superman, Action Comics, and Mad Magazine. All are on DVD and all easily download to my electronic devices.

I started reading and immediately re-learned a lesson from my youth, “With great power, comes great responsibility.” While at its time simplistic, I found the problems that plagued Peter Parker to still resonate. The stories are compelling and yet because they are in the comic format sophomoric in what they were trying to convey. The characters had a tendency to say what was on their mind, and to state the jeopardy they were in. There was no reading between the lines. Yet it was still entertaining.

I think these early comics are a good template for those who are trying to learn exactly how drama works. I also think it’s a good way for young kids to learn the basics of drama, get them reading, and who knows…perhaps start writing themselves.

At any given time I find that I’m reading 3 or 4 things. Usually I have a classic novel on my iPad, a nonfiction book on my Kindle, a contemporary novel in my hands, and my comic books. I suppose I read the classic novel out of a sense of seeing what was, I read the current fiction novel to check out the competition, I read the nonfiction book to address whatever issue I’m interested in, and I read the comics for fun.

Of course comic books are now called graphic novels. The writing tends to be very sophisticated,. Plot lines deal with adult issues, sexual situations, and other threats against society. DC comics recently took all of the main franchises they have and restarted them from issue 1. All of these are available for download and I have enjoyed reading them. The art is much more sophisticated than it was in the 70s, and the dialogue is less spot on. But the story is the same; that of the individual trying to fit in. I suppose that’s why comics resonate with me or anyone who enjoys them; because we all have the desire to fit in, yet the lesson learned is to realize that instead of fitting in, we need to celebrate our differences.

The Outline

I am happy to report that I am starting on the sequel to the Ford Chronicles: Out of the Frying Pan.

I have created characters and motivations and got the ‘who, what, when where, and why’ of the story but the question I’m asking myself is, “How detailed an outline do I want to create?”

I was recently speaking to another writer and she told me that she doesn’t do much of an outline at all. She knows the beginning, the middle, and the end of her story. She needs nothing else and just sits down and starts to write.

I’m glad this works for her, but have I found that when I do this, my writing tends to be all over the map. Plus, I have a tendency to write myself in corners. I’m stuck and unable to know where to go next.

I think outlines are supposed to be goalposts in the sand; places that you aim to and once you get there you spin around and head another direction towards the next goalpost. So, does that mean I need to create a beat-by-beat outline so I know exactly what’s going to happen next? Or, does it mean I should create a bare-bones outline and allow the characters to take me where they want to go.

In his article, “The No-Stress Way for Writers to Outline” David Carr makes a pretty good case for having a detailed outline. Mind you, this article focuses on non-fiction (a fiction article was promised, but I couldn’t find it).

In the fiction world, I think one should allow the characters to lead me where they want to go, otherwise your stores may feel forced. One of the worst reviews one can get is when someone says I don’t believe your character would do that. And really, the only reason your character did do it, was because it was something that forwarded the plot and met your outline and pointed you towards the next scene. So there’s something to be said about creating a bare-bones outline.

On a other hand, there is something to be said for knowing where you’re going. Somebody recently asked me if I suffered from writer’s block. And my answer was yes, every day. It is frustrating. It’s important for me as a writer to know where I’m meant to be going next. Perhaps that is the biggest fear the most writers face is the big black hole of, “What am I going to do next?”

In my story I have questions that I need to resolve for myself. For example, originally crafted, my story takes place in two major locations, but as I’ve outlined, I’m beginning to think that I don’t need the second location.

These are the kinds of things I feel need to be ironed out when developing a story and an outline. These are the questions that a writer needs to ask himself before he starts to write the first paragraph. After all, isn’t the goal of the first draft to just get the words on paper? Isn’t the second draft where the story is crafted?

I can tell you one thing. I don’t outline my blogs…perhaps you noticed.

What’s the best Writing Software

I admit that I’m a software junkie. I have more apps on my iPhone and iPad than I could possibly use. And when it comes to writing software, I excel (I have that too). To date I have the following writing software installed on my Mac:

MS Word
IA Writer
Mac Journal
iBooks Author
Power Structure
Thought Office
Story Mill
Final Draft
Omm Writer
Eagle Filer
Movie Magic Screenwriter

And that doesn’t even include the software I used when I was working on the Windows platform.

So The question is, does the software you use make you a better writer? The quick answer is, of course not. But the trick is to find something that works along the way you think. Something that will help organize your thoughts. As you can tell by the abundance of software I have, I’m a lost cause. But I’m always on the lookout for that inspiring Illusive software that mirrors the way my beleaguered brain works.

So far I keep switching. I started writing The Ford Chronicles: Out of the Frying Pan (available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc.) on Scrivener. This software enables one to have folders that are repositories for whatever you need. Character background, research, information captured from the internet…pretty much anything. However, when I completed my first draft I exported everything over to MS Word for Mac. I don’t remember why I did this, but it seemed like a good idea at the time. There the book was finalized and eventually converted to the ebook format and Trade Paperback format. Will I do it again with the next book? Probably not, but I am nothing if not hypocritical so who knows.

This particular blog has been written on IA Writer. This is a good tool for when you want to vomit words on the page. Omm Writer is good for that as well and you get Kabuki music to soothe your writer’s nerves.

I will admit that some of these packages have their place. Pages is good for doing layout work with photos or other graphics. Word is everywhere and (more or less) behaves the same way on a Mac or a PC. However, it took me forever to format my book correctly on MS Word. The problem being my ignorance with correct Trade Paperback Formatting and not with the MS Word program.

However, once I finished free writing this blog, I had to open this up in Pages to check my spelling errors and further organize my thoughts. So I put the question to you. What software do you use? Has it made you a writing God? Or is the search for the perfect writing tool just another skip on the bumpy road of procrastination?

10 Reasons to Write

We writers are a lonely lot. We sit in our darkened offices, put on headphones to block out the rest of the world and after all forms of procrastination, we finally sit down and write. We stare at the blank page and rack our brains for something to put down, or look at a story in progress and ask, “What comes next?” We’re always asking what comes next. Sometimes we have the answer, most times we don’t. It’s frustrating and vexing. So this begs the question, “If writing is so hard, so lonely, so difficult, and so elusive; why do we do it.”

Well I don’t know about you, but here are my top 10 reasons for writing.


10.       It pisses my parents off (they wanted me to be a               Lawyer).

9.         It keeps me out of the corporate world.

8.         I’m always asking questions about life, people and             their motivations.

7.         It’s better than going to a therapist

6.         The only person telling me what to do is me                       (although, I can be a real prick).

5.         I’ve been moved to laughter, tears and thought,               by the work of other writers.

4.         My favorite question to ask begins with, “What                 if…”

3.         I love the feeling I get when someone likes one of             my stories.

2.         I love telling a good story to a crowd of people.

1.         I’ve got stories inside me that have to come out.