Body actions as Don Corleone gives a speech at the meeting of the five families.

Body actions as Don Corleone gives a speech at the meeting of the five families.

The scene is under 5 minutes.

He says 341 words.

But look at how much body movement there is in what is basically a short speech.

 

First, the words:

“How did things ever get so far? I don’t know. It’s so unfortunate, so unnecessary. Tattaglia lost a son and I lost a son. We’re quits. And if Tattaglia agrees, then I am willing to let things go on as they way they were before.”

(Bardzini speaksa few mines; Tattaglia speaks a few lines.)

“When? When did I ever refuse an accommodation? All of you know me here. When did I ever refuse, except one time? And why? Because I believe this drug business is going to destroy us in the years to come. I mean, it’s not like gambling or liquor, or even women, which is something that most people want nowadays and is forbidden to them by the pezzonovante of the church. Even the police departments that have helped us in the past with gambling and other things are gonna refuse to help us when it comes to narcotics. And I believed that then – and I believe that now.”

(Bardzini speaks briefly; another boss speaks briefly. Bardzini speaks again, briefly.)

“I hoped that we could come here and reason together. And as a reasonable man, I’m willing to do whatever’s necessary to find a peaceful solution to these problems.”

(Bardzini speaks briefly; Tattaglia speaks again. Bardzini speaks again, briefly.)

“You talk about vengeance. Is vengeance gonna bring your son back to you? Or my boy to me? I forego the vengeance of my son. But I have selfish reasons.

“My youngest son was forced to leave this country because of this Sollozzo business. All right. And I have to make arrangements to bring him back here safely, cleared of all these false charges. But I’m a superstitious man. And if some unlucky accident should befall him – if he should get shot in the head by a police officer, or if he should hang himself in his jail cell, or if he’s struck by a bolt of lightning – then I’m going to blame some of the people in this room. And that I do not forgive. But that aside, let me say that I swear on the souls of my grandchildren that I will not be the one to break the peace that we’ve made here today.”

 

Now, the beats:

  • He is standing.
  • Sits
  • Scoots chair forward
  • Put one hand on the table
  • Waves his hands
  • Clasps his hands
  • Shrugs
  • Looks down
  • Waves hand
  • Leans back in the chair
  • Waves with his left hand
  • Shifts his weight in the chair
  • Hooks his left hand over the back of the chair
  • He is served a glass of water and he shrugs it off
  • With both hands mildly
  • leans his head to the right
  • Raises his eyebrows
  • Lifts his right hand
  • Leans forward
  • Puts arm on the table
  • Points
  • Looks back and forth
  • Points
  • Taps the table
  • Nods
  • Leans back
  • Waves his hand
  • Nods
  • Plays with a button on his vest
  • Waves hands
  • Leans back
  • Looks back and forth
  • Leans forward
  • Put one hand on the table
  • Leans forward
  • Points at group
  • Glares
  • Taps his heart
  • Waves his hand across the table
  • Hooks his arm back over the chair
  • Points
  • Glares
  • Rubs his nose
  • Stands up
  • Shift his weight
  • Nods
  • Looks down
  • Cocks his head
  • Sticks his jaw out
  • Voice gets a little firmer
  • Glares
  • Kind of chews his lip
  • Shrugs
  • Leans back
  • Put his hand on his chest
  • Holds his hands out

 

I know, I know. It’s Marlon Brando and he’s a big famous actor. He has to move around during a speech – even a short one – to keep it from getting boring.

I get it.

Your characters need to move during their dialogues, too.

Look at the way Brando emotes such much drama into so few words, with pauses and inflections, and look at all the actions.

It’s just a way to say, if you are going to write, watch how people move when they speak. If you’ll watch great actors, you’ll get more than enough ideas for actions to include during your characters’ dialogues.

Is This Helpful?

Dan Alatorre

Reviews make the world go round – or at least it can seem that way sometimes.

I always get a thrill when I see a 5 star review on one of my books. Complete strangers plunking down five bucks or more for one of my stories, and then telling me – and the world, I guess – how good a job I did.

 

It’s also amusing to see reviews that disagree.

Robbie Cheadle’s 5-star review from November 2019 usually leads the chart because some people marked it as “helpful” when they were making their decision to read or not read the book. (A review is beneficial because it helps readers with similar interests find additional books they’ll like, AND avoid books they won’t like.)

Robbie liked The Gamma Sequence, so that was nice.

The next review didn’t like the book and gave it 3 stars, said it was “preposterous science fiction.”

The next review found it a cautionary tale…

Even though it’d be great to get a hundred 5-star reviews, it’s almost as good that a reader who doesn’t like it can let other readers who like what he likes and dislikes what he dislikes, to avoid it. (I don’t need 100 of those, but a few is good – and helpful.)

 

What’s really amusing is when the reviews seem to disagree with each other.

It’s like a debate.

 

Right now The Gamma Sequence has 157 reviews, and:

  • 89% are 4 or 5 stars.
  • Only 3% of reviews gave it 1 or 2 stars

So 97% found it agreeable. I’m happy with that.

89% being 4 or 5 stars means I did a pretty good job of hitting the mark for a medical thriller

 

But not everyone agrees.

 

A 1-star review said “Medical thriller?” I bought this book because it was supposed to be a medical thriller. I kept waiting and waiting……

 

The next review gave it 5 stars and said: “As a fan of both Sci-fi and medical stories, I was intrigued enough to start it and soon found myself deeply engrossed in the story. Well written, well plotted and not graphically violent or sexual. A great diversion for a few hours to get your mind off all the problems in the world! Highly recommend!”

(Well, she sure told him!)

That’s hilarious. Both profess to enjoy medical thrillers; one says no, the other says highly recommended.

And it goes on that way. That 5-star review said it was part science fiction, right? So the next review says:

“Science fiction? I dont think so.”

To be fair, that’s at the end of the review. the rest says: I just finished reading this book. It was fantastic and horrifying all at once. I am starting the next one right away and plan to read the whole series. Science fiction? I dont think so.

Most liked it:

“A thrilling medical mystery” and 5 stars

But not all:

“Maybe I don’t like medical science fiction, because I am in the clear minority. I found the dialogue to be adolescent, the characters were unlikable, and the story too preposterous to sustain my attention. My apologies to the fans and the author, but it just isn’t for me.”

(I like that he apologized for not liking it.)

Next: “I chose to read this because a medical thriller intrigued me. It lived up to my expectations. I do love genetic and I felt that this story was well done, almost plausible”

Next:

“5.0 out of 5 stars Good Medical Thrillers are hard to come by.

Don’t miss out on this one.”

Not many (medical thrillers) are written and fewer yet are worth reading… this book makes the cut. Genetics, medical ethics and human nature are the major elements used to present a twisted plotline that holds your interest all night long.

This is one book you don’t want to miss reading”

Heck, I agree!

Anyway, these are fun to read. It’s like each reviewer who liked it, which is most of them, is trying to explain to the ones who didn’t like it.

Good to know you guys have my back.

TGS trilogy

Get them now!

And preorder book 4, The Keepers!

000 KEEPERS Ebook Cover

 

 

 

 

Words, words, words…

A Busy… Year? Month(s)? Or not really?

Dan Alatorre

 

I was looking at my writing this morning – the number of titles I’ve completed in 2020 to be released.

I’ve written 32,000 words of Primary Target, the 2nd book in the popular Double Blind mystery series. (I really enjoy the characters in that series. I should write more stories for them.) That’s pretty good, writing 32,000 words, considering I started writing it in earnest this past week. The prior week, I was at the beach, so there was some writing time but really only 1-2 hours a day, compared to about 8 hours a day this week. Big difference.

When we’re staying at the beach, I tend to get up around 6am or 7am and walk out to the water’s edge, take in the sea air (actually the Gulf air, I suppose, but it still counts) and watch… not much of anything. I put up an umbrella for eventual use by my wife, a few chairs for her and my daughter, and then just sit down and enjoy the quiet calm of the gentle waves. I almost always see a dolphin swimming by in the morning, or a few; this time we saw manatees cruising along, and quite a few snook or tarpons.

It’s hard to tell whether it’s a snook or tarpon when it swims by you in the water.

I’m just glad whatever it is isn’t a shark, you know?)

Manatees are a bit strange. I like to wear polarized sunglasses, which are like miniature venetian blinds. They cut a lot of the sun’s glare and you can see into the water better, which is why people who fish wear them. I like them because they cut out the brightness – always a plus in sunglasses – and… they let me see into the water better. You see more wearing them, and I guess I want to see more.

The water where we vacation is very clear, almost like a lightly tinted swimming pool, so you can stand in six feet of water and see shells on the bottom, or a manatee a hundred feet away.

Which is what happened. The manatee moves slow, so for most of the time you are watching him or her, it’s just a big shadow in the water. To the untrained eye, that big shadow could be anything, including stuff that can eat you, so, again, polarized sunglasses are my preferred eye protection. But he casually floats along like a big blob, sticking his snout out for a breath, before gliding past and continuing on his way. That’s about as exciting as manatees get.

Dolphins are much more fun, to me. The breathe more often, so you can see them better, and there’s usually a few in a pack. (Pod? I don’t know.)

So I spend lots of time on the sand in the morning. My daughter usually comes down next, and we play for a bit – make sand castles or snorkel – and eventually my wife comes down.

As the day gets hotter (and I get hungry for lunch) I usually go back to the room or beach house, whichever we’ve rented for this particular visit, and eat. If I’m writing a book, which is most of the time, I shower and spend a few hours writing while the others enjoy the sun and sand. When they’ve had enough, they come in, clean up, and we all head to dinner.

Evenings might be watching the sun set, playing in the pool, or whatever. But you can see, it’s limited writing time.

IMG_2115[1]

Yesterday, I did pretty well with the writing. I was in the groove, cranking out the word count, cleaning up earlier chapters, creating interesting subplots, and adding a lot of new stuff to the story. When I stopped for the day, I was happy. I put the day’s work into the main file and it said I had about 32,000 words written for the book. The morning of the day before, that was around 28k or so, I think.

So, job well done.

The book is rolling along now, and when I look at all the subplots I have lined up, I’m not sure if I’m halfway done or 25%. Which means the book might be 65k (my original goal) or 120k (a bit long for a standard murder mystery). But I’m not sure I care. I think, if people pick up book 2 in a series, they wanted more – give it to them. Don’t worry; my stories always move fast no matter how long they are.

So, again, this morning I was looking at my productivity. I often feel as though I haven’t written much this week/month/year. And sometimes it’s true. Six weeks can go by without me putting down a word of a novel I’m allegedly writing. I’m still getting ideas, usually, and thinking up subplots, al of which I write down and save, but it doesn’t feel like I’m writing.

Then I’ll do what I did today – assess how I’m doing, to keep my perspective.

This year I have already put out two full length novels. That’s more than about 80% of authors, so I should feel good about that.

But wait, there’s more.

I have also released 3 (small) books of short horror stories in the Dark Passages series, and number 4 is lined up to come out in 2 days. Dark Thoughts releases June 30.

I’ve scheduled 4 more books that are writing guides. They’re already written, and they come out from July through September.

So…

It looks like I’m being productive, even though a lot of that was written last year. Not all, but a lot. So as I write Primary Target, book 2 in the Double Blind series, and make notes for The Keepers, book 4 in The Gamma Sequence series, I look ahead at what’s planned and how long it will be before these two new novels come out.

October 1 would be a good date to release the next Dark Passages book – Dark Echoes – with my fave characters from the first four books returning for another look from each. I’d have to write it, but the Dark Passages books are short. I could probably do it.

November 1 would be a good date to release Primary Target. I should have it written by the end of July, and then the beta readers will get a look at it for about six weeks, the proofreader gets it for 2 weeks, the editor needs some time… and then we schedule a firm release date. So if I finish writing it by July 1, adding all those days up means it would be ready for the public about November 1.

December 18 is the scheduled release date for when The Keepers comes out. If I start The Keepers more or less right after I finish writing Primary Target, allowing for a week off or so to rest and get into the mindset of a different book series with different characters, I could probably have The Keepers finished about 6 weeks later. I already have the outline; now it’s just a matter of putting down the words. Theoretically, I kinda have to start it by then, anyway, because the same schedule holds for The Keepers as Primary Target. The beta readers need their time, the proofreader does, the editor does… so if the writing isn’t completed 90 days before the planned release date of December 18, there could be a problem! Tick, tock!

But these things usually all work out.

(I don’t know how, though. As they said in Shakespeare In Love, it’s a mystery.)

If I manage all that, THEN I have to start writing book 3 in the Double Blind series, and book 5 in The Gamma Sequence series! But that’s next year. I’ll worry about that later.

  • 9/30 E is for Emotion
  • 8/15 D is for Dialogue
  • 7/31 C is for Character
  • 7/15 B is for Backstory

 

  • 6/30 Dark Thoughts
  • 5/30 Dark Intent
  • 4/30 Dark Voodoo
  • 5/31 Dark passages
  • 2/28 Terminal Sequence
  • 1/1 Rogue Elements

 

Ten books released this year PLUS the two I’m working on!

Whew! That’s quite a schedule. Or at least it looks like it.

It’s hard to believe that The Gamma Sequence eBook came out on December 1 of 2019. That’s barely six months ago! So much has happened since then. So much has changed.

And that book changed a lot of stuff for me.

What was I working on before that? Nightmareland, a great horror anthology, came out October 21, 2019. Gosh, I’m proud of that book. It is the most popular book in that series and opened my eyes to creating fun topics to purse in short story form, which led to the Dark Passages series. Nightmareland is the third horror anthology I wrote with other authors, and even though those are a lot of work, they are a lot of fun. Without those anthologies, I don’t meet some new author friends, but I also don’t write Dark Passages. And who knows where that will lead?

So I’ll conclude: I’ve been busy.

I’ll also conclude that I’d better get back to writing (blog posts don’t count) or that schedule I just worked out isn’t gonna happen!

 

 

 

Book Deals and Bunnies

Dan Alatorre

Every once in a while, I will let you know about a good deal that’s going on. Typically, these are a really good deal for you if you’re a book lover.

But I don’t tell you about every deal I see.

This one is specifically a box set of awesome medical thrillers, and that’s why I’m in it. The Gamma Sequence features a geneticist who is trying to prove that recent accidental deaths of some of her former colleague are actually murders.

Now, when I put a book of mine in a box set and tell you about it, that doesn’t mean I think you’re gonna love every single book in the set. But it’s usually a really good offer overall. You either check it out and participate or you don’t. But I thought this was a good offer so I’m letting you know about it. So that’s that.

A lot of you enjoyed The Gamma Sequence. Well it’s now in the box set FRACTURED. This set is by some great friends. Judith and Fiona are in there, Jennifer… a few others. Check this out:

The Imposter – Judith Lucci

Judith is one of my favorite author friends. She writes good stuff, and she writes a LOT of it. You’ll love this one.

WASP – Fiona Quinn

Fiona is good friends with Judith, and I’ve known her quite a while now but I’ve only gotten to be friends with her fairly recently. She also writes a ton of books and they’re really good AND a lot of them are interrelated. Some of the same characters appear in different story lines. (I do that a little but I never really mentioned it. She says I should, so I’ll lay it all out for you one of these days.)

The Enigma Strain – Nick Thacker

Sick – Brett Battles

The Numbers Killer – Jenifer Ruff

THIS is my favorite book by Jenifer. I mean, just the title alone makes you wonder what’s going on inside that book, and it has this great character, Beth, that I really liked. I’ve known Jenifer for about four years, I think. She and I edit for each other, so I read TNK quite a while ago, but it’s really good. ALL her books are good, but THIS one is my favorite. Honest. And as an added plus, I edited it, so there’s that. You’re sure to like it.

The Gamma Sequence – Dan Alatorre

Well, what can I say? This is the best book I ever wrote until I wrote its sequel. (Both of which were topped by the third book in the trilogy.) You should get this set just for this book alone. If you read and enjoyed the Gamma Sequence, you can leave a review on Fractured – you’re allowed to leave a review on just the books in the set that you’ve read.

Slow Dancing – Suzanne Jenkins

Suzanne is a friend, too. She’s really nice. I ask her questions all the time. And she is a super hard worker. She is always marketing, which most authors hate to do, and passing along helpful tips. Suzanne is great. You’ll love her stuff.

Two Hearts Unspoken Targets – Tamara Ferguson

I know Tamara from a box set I was in before with her. Good stuff. Solid. You’ll enjoy this story.

In The Dark – Chris Patchell

Same with Chris. We were in a box set together last year, I think. Chris is a good writer.

Resonance – A.J. Scudiere

Death Target – Edwin Dasso

Ed is a pal. I was in a box set with him, too. Good guy, good writer.

Surgical Risk – Robert I. Katz

And Robert. You can see why I’m in this set. I’ve worked with a lot of these authors in the past.

Inspired by Murder – Audrey J. Cole

I love Audrey’s stuff. She is terrific. Great person, great writer. Jenifer really likes Audrey’s stuff, too. Audrey lives out west in rainy world, but she is a fun person and she writes good stories. You should definitely check her story out.

 

AND NOW,

with my personal endorsement on almost every story in the FRACTURED set,

you know this thing’s a really good deal.

First of all, if you like my stuff, then every once a while I want to tell you about something I’m participating in. Maybe you take advantage of the offer, maybe you don’t.

If you are a real book-o-phile or book enthusiast, and you read a ton, these things are really good deals because you’re getting lots and lots of books.

Get FRACTURED now. Click here.

Again, if that type of thing doesn’t interest you, no big deal.

Let’s talk about painting and bunnies.

I got my daughter a bunny for her birthday.

IMG_0327[1]

And as it turned out, I was informed you shouldn’t really buy just one bunny because they are pack animals or whatever, so we ended up getting two.

Yep, I love my kid = I’m a sucker sometimes.

I didn’t even want a bunny, really; we have a dog. That was pretty good with me. But nonetheless, she asked for one and she’s a good kid and she’s pretty responsible and she didn’t ask for almost anything else… and she asked for the bunny a lot…

Stop looking at me. I SAID I was a sucker.

She’s been great with them since we got them. That was the deal: SHE was going to have to take care of them. We made that very specific because a few years ago she got a baby chicken. Sparkle was a cute little chick. She was adorable. But my daughter only did about half of the work required for the new pet. So I was always out there cleaning up the miniature chicken coop we put next to our pool. And don’t get me wrong, I liked Sparkle a lot, but it was supposed to be her pet. I have plenty of stuff to do. I wasn’t looking for more things to do.

Anyway, we explained that she didn’t do a great job of taking care of that pet. (No, it did not become Sunday dinner. It went to Grandma’s. Grandma has a farm and, like, 20 other chickens, so after about five months, Sparkle went there.)

But now my daughter is a few years older, so I figured she’d do okay with a bunny. Bunnies.

Plus, what the heck. Your kid wants a pet? Why not? She wanted a bunny, and she asked for one. And she asked a lot. Last year, when she was in third grade, they had several bunnies in their classroom. Most of the time the bunnies were in cages, but the kids got to walk them and let them run around the classroom and stuff while they were in school.

The kids had to take care of them, which I thought was pretty cool, so I figured she knew what she was doing.

And she does.

So we have two bunnies and on Monday we will be getting yet another little bunny pen so they can enjoy their time on the pool deck in a more organized format.

We started out with one cage – outside. Eventually, I decided they needed more room to stretch their legs, so I made them a little pen with old baby gates and some PVC pipes and some netting. Yes, we had all that stuff around the house. Then it got to be summertime in full force, and I thought it wouldn’t be a bad idea for the bun buns (don’t ask) to have a second cage inside, so that they wouldn’t cook in the middle of the day.

“Bun buns” is what we call them sometimes. My daughter started it. It kinda caught on. (You come downstairs in the morning and the bunnies are happy to see you; you say, “Hi, bun buns!” It’s that simple.)

And all of that evolved into we’re buying them an official 10’ x 10’ bunny pen that arrives Monday. But it has a gate, so we get to go in it, too. Makes for easy cleaning (for my daughter) and we can also leave the gate open to let the bunnies “escape” periodically and run around the pool. They seem to get a kick out of that.

My daughter also likes to paint. We are currently working on some bunny paintings. Stay tuned for that. (Yes, I spoil her. Sue me.) The idea is, paint a bunch of stuff, hold an art show at the end of the summer, and sell it all for $$$. I expect bunny paintings to sell well.

Why is all this important?

I’m not sure it is.

But when you’re sitting around looking for new books to check out, whether you are relaxing by the pool or by the bunny cage or on the couch, these two offers might be something for you to consider. Especially the Fractured box set. Lots of good stories in there. I give it two thumbs up.

If you have any thoughts on pets, reply and let me know!

We had a dog, then a chicken, and now two bunnies. I guess we’re doing okay.

 

How’s The New Book Coming?

Dan AlatorreHmm. It’s getting there.

I’ve written 12 chapters and 26,444 words since I started this project on June 23, but most of that was in the last 10 days.

And the biggest challenge isn’t the writing.

It’s not been with ideas.

It’s not finding time to write.

 

It’s been figuring out how to start book 2 when book 1 was a “one and done.”

DB USAT cover version B 06132020 paperback

By that I mean, I wrote the first book, Double Blind, not intending for there to be a sequel. When I got near the end of writing book 1, I occasionally had some ideas for what book 2, Primary Target, might need to contain. I ended up outlining – in verrrry broad strokes – what books 2-5 might need to be.

z Primary Target COVER 3D paperback

 

And I’m happy with that. (The cover above is a mock up representation. Primary Target will look like that but with the fonts from Double Blind.)

(and these covers will have different images and background colors)

What I didn’t expect was spending time to re-know those interesting, fun characters from Double Blind all over again so that Primary Target started with a bang.

Well…

IT DOES.

 

And all your favorite characters are back in full force.

 

It took the better part of 30 days to iron out the problem areas, but they are ironed out now. I expect to write a chapter a day, maybe two, for the next month until this one’s complete. Look for it to come in between 60k and 80k, maybe more, around July 31.

 

I think you’ll like it.

I know I do.

 

And you are gonna DIE when you see how I wrap up book 2 and start book 3!

 

You can’t order Primary Target yet, but I’ll set up a preorder listing soon, don’t worry.

 

Stay tuned!

Coming Attractions: Writing 2 Books In 100 Days

Dan Alatorre

 

I have a goal.

Wanna know what it is?

Before December 31, 2020, I want to write Primary Target (the sequel to my popular murder mystery Double Blind) and The Keepers (the 4th book in popular The Gamma Sequence series).

I need to have The Keepers out by mid-December. Primary Target doesn’t have a release date, but… it needs to be this year.

Why?

Because.

Last year I essentially wrote 3 full length novels. I mean, I wrote 2 and wrote a bunch of short stories, and published a horror anthology… and edited a how-to series…

as well as editing a friend’s book, editing and publishing 45 or so Young Authors Club books – I do all that myself, there’s no staff.

THIS year I’ve…

I’ve written…

I… uh…

Hmm.

Well, in 2020 I will publish 4 short story horror anthologies AND 4 short “how to write” books. I mean, that’s something. The coronavirus kinda knocked out a lot of the Young Authors Club books, but not all of them. And of course, I’ve been overseeing the “distance learning” of my 4th grade daughter since mid-March.

Mr Dans School for Wayward Children

Florida schools went out on Spring Break on March 16 and never returned to school. After Spring Break got extended a week while the powers that be tried to figure out what to do, we started distance learning from home – a ten-year-old in front of a computer doing her classwork. So I stepped up and created Mr. Dan’s School For Wayward Children, and from 8am-3pm every day we did math, science, social studies, language arts, PE, nature, art, gardening – the whole deal.

We had a snack at 9:30 and lunch at noon, recess at 11:00, and a lot of Zoom calls with teachers.

We painted, played games on her iPad, swam, jumped on the trampoline, played with the bunnies she got for her birthday

…(which was celebrated mostly via text and Facetime). Oh, and prior to that, there was an Easter egg hunt where she was the only kid looking for eggs – a fun idea at first that quickly got a bit sad because without sharing all that with family, it was almost like just another day.

So from about April 1 until Mr. Dan’s school closes on May 29, my daughter and I enjoyed working hard at school.

I’m glad I was there to help her figure out how to subtract and multiply fractions, as well as learn all about Sally Ride for the virtual wax museum presentation we have coming up on Wednesday. She did well. By my estimations, it will be mostly A’s and maybe 1-2 B’s. Considering this distance learning stuff could have really tanked her school year, I’m pretty satisfied with that.

But I did a lot of that each day and not a lot of writing.

I’m not complaining. I hope I showed my daughter how to respond to a challenge. And I don’t forget that others who came before me had to live through the Great Depression or storm the beaches at Normandy. I had to sit home with my kid and explain fractions. Yeah, a lot of income went away that wasn’t replaced, but ten years from now that’s not what I’ll remember.

One of the teachers asked the kids what they’ll remember from this school year, and said not to say coronavirus. The kids did as asked. My daughter got bunnies, after all.

But they’ll remember this.

How could they not? If my school got out at spring break and I never went back for the rest of the school year, I’d never forget it. They’ll see their friends soon enough and forget the loneliness. They don’t mind not being in a classroom. But they won’t forget what happened. I don’t think most of them were scared – I know a lot of kids were bored – but my daughter and I had fun.

We worked hard, we learned, and we had fun.

Some will say we’ll all have a better appreciation of teachers. Yes and no. I didn’t want to be a teacher. I didn’t apply for that job because I wanted to do a different job, but I got drafted into doing it – with no pay – for many, many hours a week. In a few days, the school year will be over and I get to go back to not being a teacher again, but now I know that if I had to, I could home school my kid.

So I’ll pretty much say distance learning knocked my writing off schedule.

Those firsts week were madness

as none of the websites worked, or they crashed, or we couldn’t get into them in the first place, but that gradually was replaced by us adapting and things not crashing. We went from doing schoolwork until 5pm every day to being finished early most days. From being exhausted to being satisfied. From being overwhelmed and desperate to being confidant and assured. That’s a big deal.

I went from having no time at all, to now seeing, hey, it’s a 3-day weekend and I could probably get a lot of writing done.  

Which brings me back to my goal:

Can I write 2 books between now and the end of the year?

Which really means: can I write 2 books before mid-September, because once Young Authors Club starts up again, my available writing time goes down drastically. Besides, to release a book in mid-December, it has to be ready a month or two beforehand. Beta readers need a look, as do critique partners and others in the process.

Oh, and there will be a dawn of a new series.

The Gamma Sequence and Double Blind will keep going, but there’ll be a 3rd cop or detective series, a murder mystery with a new hero. But maybe that will start next year.

Right now: attempting to write 2 books in… well, from about June 1, until more or less the middle of September. Let’s see, that’s… there are 30 days in June, 31 in July, 31 in August, and about 15 (30 days tops) in September. So, that’s over a hundred days. *Grabs calculator * actually 122 days.

So… 122 days? To write two full-length novels – that each have to be the best book in their respective series.

Is that enough time???

Uh… Yep.

By the way, a few chapters of Primary Target have already been written, and I have about 75% of the outline for The Keepers done. So I’m not starting from scratch.

I wrote most of my best books in 6 weeks once I had a solid idea for the story. (I needed a lot of rest afterward, but I did it.)

The Gamma Sequence was started the morning of February 26, 2019, and I finished writing the book on April 3; that’s 36 days. Rogue Elements (The Gamma Sequence, book 2) was started on approximately August 18, 2019 and finished about 46 days later. Terminal Sequence, the 3rd book in the series, was started November 22, 2019 and finished January 18, 2020, about 57 days.

My recollection is, The Navigators took about 42 days, as did Double Blind.

So mathematically, it’s possible.

And, well, heck – after spending the last few weeks learning math with my daughter, I guess… rising to a challenge and all that…

Yeah, I’m going for it.

I’ll see you in September.

Except for when I come in here to update you on how the writing is going.

Wish me luck!

 

Have You Checked Out Dan’s Italian Assistant? “I laughed so hard, I cried.”

The Italian Assistant 3D paperback cover
Joanne Lightfoot

Reviewed in the United States on May 15, 2020

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Margret

Reviewed in the United States on May 14, 2020

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