Joe’s Post #162

Happy New Year everyone! It's time to clear the deck and start again.

Happy New Year everyone! It’s time to clear the deck and start again.

Shhh. I’ll let you in on a secret.

One of the great things about a new year is that you can put away all the things that you didn’t do last year and just fuggetaboudit. That’s right.


Didn’t write enough? Didn’t lose weight? Didn’t succeed at any of your last year’s resolutions? Fuggetaboudit.

I got a fistful of rejections for my novella. Fuggetaboudit. I lost faith and didn’t get it out, again. Fuggetabuoudit.

Hey, it’s a new year. Make resolutions or not. Make plans, or not. Make goals, or not. It’s all ok. You have a fresh start. All of 2015 is in the past. 2016 awaits! The road is open and stretches out before you. Make the most of it.

For me, I think I should have written more, though I wrote more blog posts last year than any other. I should have gotten that novel done, though I did pound out a novella in a month. But that’s all in 2015, remember?


It’s a new year.

Can you feel the power of it?

Do you feel freed by the arrival of Jan 1st 2016?

Can you smell what the Rock is cooking here?

It’s a way of letting go of that negativity that sometimes drags me (and maybe others) down. That anchor of regret over things not done, or of goals failed.

So I’m looking at 2016 as a fresh start. And I know just how to begin.

Silk wrote a great post about going listless. I could no more do such a thing than I could birth a book out of my nose. I need lists.

Everyone needs a book of grudges!

Everyone needs a book of grudges!

They are my attempt to stay sane in a disorganized and cruelly chaotic universe. So this year, like last year, I will attempt to remain in marginal control of my life with detailed and often cross-referenced lists.

The only difference this year will be that when the year is done, I won’t beat myself up over what I didn’t accomplish. Lists are simply too important, too vital, to be used for evil. They should help build you up, not tear you down.

So while a useful tool for me being all organized and stuff, once 2016 is past, it’ll be time to once again, fuggetaboudit.

So what will you fuggetaboud from last year?

(And if I didn’t make it clear enough, here’s Johnny Depp explaining the many other meanings of forget about it.)

What if

Joe’s Post #77

So, what if I did a two part post?

First, a quick look at the what-if thingee. Then, let’s take a look at some pictures. Which one would you chose for my protagonist, a disgraced Vancouver policeman out to catch a vicious, relentless killer?  And which one… well, let’s wait on that last question.

So! I have the idea for my next novel. Not that I’m short on ideas, but this one really has me excited. Now, as Karalee said, it’s time to go what if…

So I thought I’d explore the whole what-if thing. What if I gave up any hope of a career and embarked on a path less traveled and decided to be a writer? What if I have been rejected so many times (or worse, ignored) that I wonder if I shouldn’t have chosen a career where I stick needles in my eyes all day long (or worse, have to watch Disney XL all day long?) What if none of that matters and all that counts is that I keep writing?

Would that make a good story?

Probably not.

I may need to work on my ideas, then.

For me, what-ifs work best with someone I can riff off of. A partner. Someone wacky, someone silly, someone who lives in a world where anything is possible. Anything.

My 5/5/5 peeps are great at this. Man, you should be in the room when this happens. Ideas fly like bullets in a Tarantino movie. Nothing is too far out, too wild, too crazy.

My friend, Sean, is also great at this. Actually, together, we both are. What if the villain is connected to the hero in some way? What if he threatens someone important? What if the hero is non-white? What if the location is different from LA? What if the villain is handicapped? What if the villain loves bunnies? What if the hero also loves bunnies? What if the final scene is set on the highest building in Vancouver? What if it’s set underground in Vancouver? What if the killer is a zombie? What if the protagonist is a woman who is all into the 50 shades? What if… what if… what if…

See, the cool thing is just to let your mind go for a moment. I’m really good at this. I can do it while standing in a line at Safeway or while walking the dog or while having a conversation with Sean. I simply get a blank look and stare off into space. I go completely Walter Mitty.

Either way, there are a ton of cool ways to brainstorm the what if. Start with anything, character, plot, location, theme, genre… anything, and just have some fun. Or call me. I’ll brainstorm any time any where. Hey, maybe I can even make that a business. I rent out my brain. Renting out other parts of me might not do so well, but my brain, it may be marketable!

Ok, so the second part

Take a look at the pictures below. I’ve thought of all of them as my protagonist for my next novel. But look at the faces. Really look. Doesn’t each one create a different character?

Wes Studi


WWE Wrestler Batista Portrait Session

jasonjohnny depp detectivethe rock










See? Which one would you pick? Wes Studi? Hugh Dillon? Dave Bautista? Jason Mamoa? Johnny Depp? The Rock? Doesn’t each face say something about the way they would handle things? About how they would see life? About how they would go about solving the crime?

So, what if I began my character with a picture?

And no, you can’t pick one based on if you’d like to sleep with him or not! Or maybe, that’s exactly what you should do?

Queries this Week: 0 – Desert Rains  0 – Araxi Chronicles. I need to change this to a weekly goal, not a monthly goal.

Short Stories Sent off: 0 (See above)

Number of times I had to get up for 6 am hockey this week: 1

Number of blogs written about getting up at 6am: 1 6am Practice

Another good blogger read: What if

Number of days sick: 5

Number of Ukrainian Christmases attended: 1

Number of times I think I am the luckiest guy in the world: 58,435

Amazing blogging advice

Joe’s Post #73

I want some. Amazing blogging advice, that is.

IMG_0831Not that I can’t find lots on the internet. There was one that boosted 101 ideas. Writer’s Digest had a few suggestions. My dog, Vegas, had some thoughts as well though they mostly involved pictures of her looking all princessie.

There are widgets and gadgets and add-ons and plug-ins. I hear I should know my audience, that I have to be savvy in social media, that pictures are a must, that guest blogging helps, that I should write in a good voice and write a lot and…

Well, you get the idea.

Thing is… there is almost too much information. 

In the end, all I want to do is write. And by writing, be read. I love writing about movies, my travel adventures, and (of course) writing. But is that good enough?

So I want to throw it out there.

Party shoes - black high heeled courts with gold ankle strap by Zara

What makes you read a blog?

If you have a blog, what works for you?

In the meantime, something for my audience.

Maybe I should write more about shoes. Or Johnny Depp.