My latest short story "The Night the Lights Came On"

Friday, September 28, 2012

Movie Memories 02 | Jeff Hite

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When I was too little to remember where I lived, or who I was with I got to go to the movies for the first time. This experience changed my life forever for some obvious and not so obvious reasons. I always think that it is strange that my movie going experience is more about what happened during the movie than what happen in the movie.

That first movie was the Muppet Movie, but I don’t remember many of the details of Kermit and Fozzie and their cross country adventure. What I do remember was that it was something special. And that I was little enough that whoever took me had to put their purse on the seat next to me so the seat would not fold me up in it.

That experience shaped much about what I think of the movie experience. Things have changed over the years but I still think of going to the movies as a very special treat that I only get to do every so often.

A few years after I got to see my first movie, my parents piled my brother and I in the back of the station wagon and we went to our first drive-in movie. Again as interesting as the movies were, we saw Condroman and The Last Flight Of Noah’s Ark, what I remember about that movie was the Japanese Satellite that burned up as it re-entered the atmosphere as we watched. It streaked across the sky for what seemed like a really long time.

When we moved to Germany going to the movies again changed. The on base theater was always packed so the experience was as much about getting through the huge line and sitting in a theater with hundreds of other people as it was about watching the movie. Also there was the fact that we never got to see movies when they first came out, they were almost always a year late. But I do remember seeing Ghostbusters with my brother sitting next to me and thinking it was very cool.

Fast forward a half dozen years or so and the first real date I went on with my wife-to-be was a movie, I think it might have been Sibling Rivalry but I don’t know for sure. What I do know was who sat next to me and how that made me feel. Between that time and the first time I took my wife to a drive-in, when my wife told my mother that it didn't matter what movie we were going to see, I don’t remember going to the movies at all. It is possible that I did, but it must not have been a very memorable experience. By the way, that time we saw Dragon Heart and Rob Roy.

Since then and now, I have gone to the movies a few times, the greatest times are always the first times with each of the kids. We saw the first Vegitales Movie,  Kung Fu Panda, Toy Story 3 and Despicable Me, and several others in the middle each time for the first time with a new kid. Watching them see a movie on the big screen for the first time is always something special.

Most recently I went to a movie for the first time where it was the movie I was really after and not the experience. I went to see Brave, a fantastic movie by the way, but again this turned out to be one of those experiences anyway. I went to see it with my wife instead of with my kids. This is something kind of new for us since our oldest is finally old enough to stay with the younger kids for a couple of hours. We sat in the theater and held hands like we were a couple of teens again.

But as in the past this movie experience ended up being as much about the experience as it was about the movie. For the first time ever, I went to see a movie more than once while it was still “In the theater.” The second time I took the kids to see the movie and I am glad that I did because that movie was really something special.

Jeff Hite is primarily a husband and father, but when he is not at home playing with the ever growing number of kids he is an IT professional by day. In his "spare time" he is a writer, one of the co-founders of Flying Island Press, and a co-editor of A Method to the Madness a Guide to the Super Evil. He lives by the motto: "I am a pirate your rules don't apply." You can find out more about him and his rather crazy life at Something I've been enjoying on his site is his Stories 365, where he is writing a story bit by bit for a year. Pretty cool idea, and one that inspired me to upload the pages of my novel The Meadowhill Ghost as I write them longhand. A big thanks to Jeff for kicking this off with the first submission.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Pen Fights Gamepad | Episode 8

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How I failed to put up a post about this I'll never know, but I wanted to let you all know that the podcast I do with Donald Conrad called Pen Fights Gamepad has a brand new episode that went live last Friday! It's our second longest one yet coming in at almost two and half hours! So a lot of entertainment for you guys.

Here's the show notes:

Donald Conrad of and Dan Absalonson of talk about video games, writing, being husbands with awesome wifes and fathers of many young children, what life is like as dads and lots of other stuff. Topics covered in this show:

What we've been up to

Stuffed Monster

Novel Experiment: The Ghost of Meadowhill
Do research on Napa school

Xbox Glold is pissing me off. PS+ is making me happy
Borderlands 2 excitement
AssassinĂ¢s Creed Revelations
Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions

Double Dragon

Danger Joe video game

Assasin's Creed for Kinect

Zombie Carnival
Positive reviews

Truth about Zombies
Original idea VS current Idea

We're Alive
Donald am now listening in real time :(

Walking Dead Episode 3
Guess what? Things got worse.
bing rewards

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Movie Memories 01 | Movie Memories Guest Blog Post Series, Examples & a Call for Submissions

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Ninjas on the Big Screen

Well, it’s that time again. Time to reach out and ask others to share their memories with us. I really enjoyed all the posts from the previous two guest blog posts series, video games memories and tv memories. It is really cool how different the guest blog posts are. Reading and listening to the posts was kind of like hanging out with friends and reminiscing about some of my favorite things. So what are we going to share about this time around? Well movies of course! Here are a few of my favorite movie memories. As you’ll see I’m not going to be reviewing the movies, but talking about what it was like to watch them, and how I remember it. Why watching it is a fond memory I have. So here we go.

The first time my two brothers and I saw The Three Ninjas, it was just about all over for us. The characters matched us so well. I’m pretty sure the movie wouldn't hold up if I went back today to watch it, but when I was in elementary school my brothers and I thought it was the coolest movie to hit the big screen. The characters were perfect for us because they were three brothers just like us. So when we played ninjas I was Rocky, my next bro was Colt, and our little brother was Tum Tum. We laid waste to so many bad guy ninjas, we probably couldn't have even counted that high back then. I know I haven't seen a movie lately that left me planning my free time around acting out as the characters. Let’s face it though, when you’re a little boy, heck a grown man, ninjas are cool.

This brings me to my next movie memory, seeing the first live action Ninja Turtles movie at the theater. My brothers and I thrived on the cartoon show. I remember talking about the latest cartoon episode with all my friends for the entire recess in first grade. We had tons of action figures too. Later on some of the best Nintendo games would turn out to be Ninja Turtles. It was like having the arcade game on your TV at home. An amazing experience back then. The Ninja Turtles were our favorite. They were so cool. As a very young child, going from the cartoon show to a live action movie on the big screen was a big deal. The Ninja Turtles looked real to me! My eyes were glued to that screen for every second of that movie. Seeing all the fight scenes go down like that - it mesmerized me. Nothing could have been cooler to my elementary school brain. You better believe my friends and brothers and I all left that theater even more excited to act out scenes of fighting Shredder or his evil foot soldiers. We would unscrew the ends of mops and brooms to have a staff like Donatello. We would bust out our plastic Katana’s our parent’s bought us at the fair and rock it like Leonardo. We would swing whatever was around like nun-chucks and pretend we were Michelangelo  or swing something shorter and act like we were wielding sais like Raphael. Our playground, our backyard and the McDonald’s play place were the streets of New York full of the foot clan. While these movies may or may not be worth watching again these days, not many movies impact me in that same way now. The mind of a child is a precious thing and I remember sitting in the theater watching ninja fight scenes and being amazed. Three kids like my brothers and I, or our heroes the Ninja Turtles - showing us how it's done.

Alright, now it’s your turn. I know you can write a better post than that one! Get your fingers on the keyboard and send something my way. Your guest post doesn't have to be very long, just a great memory you have that has to do with watching movies. It can be about one movie, or a few. What fond memories do you have of watching something on the silver screen or at home? I’m guessing th ere is going to be at least one post about seeing the original Star Wars: A New Hope for the first time so I chose to go in a totally different direction with my post, but if some of your best movie memories have to do with Star Wars go ahead and write it! Even if the last two guest posts were about Star Wars, we want to hear what your memories are because they’re going to be different and awesome. I’m excited to get a new list of movies to watch because there are many classic action and sci-fi movies I've never seen. Most of the ones you’re thinking of, yes I really haven’t seen Alien, or Robocop, or even Terminator. I was too young to see so many classics when they came out and for whatever reason I never went back to watch them so I with my co-host Donald Conrad of have started a list of Things Dan Needs To Watch. It's part of a podcast I'm doing with him called Pen Fights Gamepad. We talk about video games, movies, writing, and being dads - plus a whole lot of other fun stuff. Oh yeah, we joke and laugh a lot too. It's a good time. You can check it out at I’m sure I’ll get some gems out of this guest blog post series, so come on and share your movie memories with us.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

6 Goals Episode 30

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I finally went for a couple runs which meant it was time to record a new 6 Goals podcast episode. Man it's been a long time which is sad because I love running and I hope that I can start to do it consistently.

Show Notes:

In this podcast I talk about what I've been up to including writing a couple novels, finally going for a couple runs, and a few other things.

The book I read: What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast: A Short Guide to Making Over Your Mornings--and Life

The blog post I wrote about reading that book with plans for how I'm going to make over my mornings.

Listen to chapter one of my work in progress novel called "The Truth About Zombies."

See my novel experiment where I am writing a novel longhand with no outline.

My latest short story "Stuffed Monster" is available as a FREE ebook:

I forgot to talk about doing 6 sketches a week, something I haven't done lately. The latest art I've produced can be found in a comic I started based on a novella I wrote for last years NaNoWriMo.

My websites:

Blog for this podcast

My writing blog

Friday, September 7, 2012

Stuffed Monster

I wrote a short story called Stuffed Monster for the amazing Every Photo Tells podcast. While I wait to see if they'll podcast it (the two hosts Mick Bordet & Katharina Maimer are getting married today so I'm guessing they're a little busy) I have published it as a free eBook. Check it out in every format you could ever want available for free at Smashwords. Look for the story to come out in audio format in the near future either on the Every Photo Tells podcast, or on my podcast. Thanks for stopping by and enjoy!

They accepted my story. You can listen to it now. Here's the link to their post on it and you can:

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Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Google Docs VS Pen & Paper

I'm currently writing a novel using google docs. I love it. I can type up some new prose and it is saved automatically. It's also anywhere I am if I have a computer with internet access. In today's world that's pretty much everywhere. I've never used Google docs before for writing fiction but chose to give it a try upon suggestion from a co-worker when I bought a new Apple Macbook Pro laptop. I was thiking about buying an app for word processing, but they suggested just using Google docs. I'm glad they did. It's easy to use, and auto save is my new most favorite feature. It's also easy to format which has become important for me with eBook publishing. Everything I write now is formatted to go straight off to eBook. I have my paragraphs everything all formatted so as I write the manuscript it's good to go after editing. So with this great system set up to get my stories ready for ePublication straight away after I've editted a story why am I trying to write my next novel in a notebook?

That's right, good old pen and paper. I went out and bought one of those classic composition notebooks and I've written the first few lines of a novel I'm calling "The Meadowhill Ghost." I'm the first to brag about getting a lot of quick writing done on my blackberry, my iPod touch, my laptop, our iPad - I love writing digitally because it's all there and ready to be searched, formatted, edited, etc. Whatever you write is going to have to end up being typed up so why not type it up in the first place right? For the most part I agree and I actually love the physical act of using a keyboard to make words appear on the screen. However, lately somehow I've come across quite a few blog posts on writing fiction longhand. Some just do their planning and outlining on paper, but others write out their whole first manuscript with pen and paper! Sounds a little crazy right? What if you were told that they do this because when they write in this way they get better writing out of it, and once they do get this writing to the screen they've edited it in the process of transcribing it so that they have a better second draft once it's saved in the word processor? It seems alluring to me. Maybe it's just the romantic idea of writing the way some of the greats like Charles Dickens did it before the typewriter came around, but I'm going to give it a whirl with my next novel. If you want to follow along, I will be scanning and posting each page of novel from my composition notebook on my website. Just click on the tab Novel Experiment above whenever you want to follow my novel. It should be a fun adventure. This was partly inspired by Jeff Hite who recently, on September 1st, started a project in which he plans to write for 365 days consecutively. Check out the project here. That one should be fun to follow along. Unlike me he doesn't like outlines and always chooses to write as an organic writer without much of a plan.

First page of my novel
For the most part I'm focusing on finishing the novel I workshopped on The Roundtable Podcast called "The Truth About Zombies" using Google docs, listen to the first chapter here, but I'm also slowly scratching away at another book when I find time away from devices to try my hand at writing a story using more archaic tools. I'll probably stick to the keyboard in the end, but I'm still learning what my best way of writing is. I should be writing a trilogy if I want to sell lots of eBooks, but I don't care about selling lots of books so I'm writing in all the different genres right now. I care about becoming a better writer, learning by doing. I've written two fantasy novels, one sci-fi novel, one fantasy novella, a Christian thriller novelette, I'm currently writing a apocalyptic/sci-fi zombie novel, a hardy boys type middle grade mystery novella, and now a middle grade ghost story novel. I don't think I'll ever go to the horror genre but who knows. Dan Wells wrote tons of epic fantasy novels to go on to write supernatural thrillers and dystopia successfully. Who knows where I'll end up. As far as I'm concerned I'm just going to keep writing the stories that come to me no matter what genre they're in. Someday I'd love to write a series, but I have a long road ahead of me still with lots of learning to do. If I have as much fun as I have writing so far, it's going to be a great journey! I hope it will edify you here on this blog as I keep writing about writing. Below are a few links to some of those blog posts and forums I read where people share how writing longhand has helped their fiction. It is a very interesting topic. The first one is particularly fun because you can listen to it and Patrick E. McLean reads very well.