Category Archives: Writing

NaNoWriMo

Next month will be my second foray into the world of NaNoWriMo.

What? You’ve never heard of National Novel Writing Month. NaNoWriMo hosts, pushes, beats, cheers, and helps tens of thousands write 50,000 words every November.

NaNoWriMo is on the honor system. The prizes are children’s stickers awarded weekly. My only competition is George Cramer.

NaNoWriMo

http://nanowrimo.org

One must write 1,666 words every day for thirty days. Last year I wrote 70,000 words, or 2,333 a day. The purpose of the event is to write a novel. No editing, no critiquing, just writing. All the other stuff one can do later.

In 2012, I decided to write for NaNoWriMo. Writers should “write what you know.” I take that to heart.

For NaNoWriMo, I fudged. I wrote about events from my sixteen years at the San Leandro Police Department. Those years at SLPD were some of the best of my life. I began a list of incidents, most at SLPD. There are a few involving Oakland PD, Alameda PD, Alameda County Sheriff, Hayward PD, and even one in San Francisco where I traded guns for heroin. (Shades of Fast and FuriousWe didn’t let the guns walk.) Some are funny, some sad, some bad. Yes, bad things do occasionally happen in a police department. I created an outline of those I want on paper. Before I knew it, the list had grown to sixty-five, each a story worth telling.

I suffer from CRS. I knew the longer I waited, the less accurate these stories would be. I dug in on November 1, 2012 and started down the list. I didn’t get through all sixty-five, but I did get around forty written. Before you begin to worry, except for a few of my exploits, not all, and some outstanding and courageous officers, I changed the names.

The first novel, A Tale of Robbers and Cops, is at a publisher now. I expect the rejection notice any day. The second, Liberty, is about 50% complete.

As part of NaNoWriMo, I will start a new novel. I’m looking for ideas. Think of an incident, real or imagined and shoot me a note. If I use your suggestion, I’ll name a character after you.

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RED ASSCHER

Reposted from Julaina Kleist-Corwin’s blog timetowritenow http://timetowritenow.com/author/timetowritenow/

Red Asscher

Check out Paula Chinick’s http://www.redasscherdotcom/blog to read about the parents of Anya, the protagonist in RED ASSCHER which will be in print by the end of the year.

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PILZ

My friend and fellow blogger, Julie Royce, recently published PILZ, a sizzling crime thriller. Julie is a former Michigan Assistant Attorney General whose legal career exposed her to the dark side of the medical profession. PILZ is spine-tingling murder and betrayal that will leave you wondering how far to trust your family doctor.

(PILZ is the name given by drug abusers to prescription drugs used for recreational purposes).

Saturday, Sunday and Monday of Labor Day Weekend (August 31-September 2) the Kindle version of PILZ will be FREE on Amazon.com. Download a copy and pass along the info to your friends. Feel free to reblog this information.

PILZ

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Rewrites and Edits

Over the last ten days, I’ve put in at least eighty hours editing, editing rewrites, and editing the edits of A Tale of Robbers and Cops. Writers will detect an overabundance of “echoing” in the previous sentence. Tough.

Three days ago, I finished my seventh or eighth round of edits. Wow, I’m getting there.

Two days ago, I began to read ‘Robbers’ aloud. What a mess. I began another round of edits.

Today, feeling exhausted, beyond frustration, and just plain whiny, I tweeted:

Editing “Robbers” again today. Will the book never be finished?

I haven’t written a word for the next book in weeks. Detective Hector Miguel Gomez and the other members of the Liberty Police Department Anti-Gang Enforcement (AGE) unit must think I’ve given up on them. They’re probably wondering, “How will we ever lock up Geronimo and the Knife?”

Brian Thiem sent me a note:

“I’m doing a rewrite now and plan one more after that. Once I accepted that rewriting/revising IS writing, it’s been easy. If you’re like most writers, even those best-selling authors, you’d wish you could take another crack at it even after it’s in the bookstores.”

My friend, mentor, and sometimes editor, Vi Moore sent one as well:

“Best-selling authors tell me they do at least five full edits. Congrats! You’re on your way.”

Several other friends wished me Good Luck.

Thank you all for your comments and support.

I went back to work with a fresh and positive attitude. Yes Brian, I’ve accepted the fact that rewriting is writing. With yours and Vi’s comments in mind, I accomplished more in the last four hours than the previous two days. Thanks.

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I won’t ever do this again.

PSWA Sign

I attended the Public Safety Writers Association Annual Conference this week at the Orleans Hotel, Las Vegas. The conference was a smashing success and I will be back next year.

What is it that I won’t ever do again?

I rode my Ultra Classic Harley Davidson from Carson City to Las Vegas. The two-day ride wasn’t bad. The weather was hot, hovering around 100º to 102º.

Las Vegas to home is another matter. I left at 1:00 p.m. and rode 302 miles. The Amber Alert signs warned of heavy traffic to California and major delays. They weren’t kidding.

Eleven miles outside Primm I-15 traffic stopped dead. I split lanes to Primm. It took 35 minutes. If I hadn’t, I’d probably still be there. I ‘forgot’ that Nevada frowns on motorcyclists who enjoy this time saver. I got honked at a few times by folks riding in air-conditioned cages.

Ten miles east of Baker, California I realized that it was hotter than anything I had ever experienced. Temperatures in the low hundreds are uncomfortable, this was painful.

I stopped in Baker for fuel and to hydrate. Asking folks in their air-conditioned cages the temperature, provided a consensus of 112º. The highest I’ve ever ridden in. After downing two Gatorades in four swallows, I got on the Ultra. My dark glasses burnt my nose, the grips stung my hands, but the kicker was my seat. I stood up on the floor board and dropped onto the HOT black leather. Not only did I burn my thighs, I scorched everything in between. Ouch.

Weather.com lists the high as 110º.

I’m spending the night at Motel 6, Button Willow. I will be up at dawn with the goal of being home before the sun has a chance cook me again.

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Mr. Cramer, It’s that time again.

May 20th I spent the entire afternoon at the blood bank giving a platelet donation. Four weeks later they called, “we need AB+ at Children’s Hospital”.

Today I spent another three hours strapped down while my blood was drawn out of one arm and pumped back into the other. The worst part, my nose itched. You cannot move your hands or arms.

I know you remember all about platelet donation from my last blog on the subject, but here are a couple of reminders.

A single platelet donation can yield enough platelets for two or three therapeutic doses. By contrast, it takes four to six whole blood donations to produce a single therapeutic dose.

One platelet donation can be worth from 12 to 18 whole blood donations.”

Here is a link to the Red Cross – http://goo.gl/VQgV2

They have Netflix movies available. I wanted the longest movie possible. If you finish a movie in less than two hours, you lay there bored and itchy.

My choice was a double winner, Hemingway and Gellhorn is two and a half hours long. I had no down time. It is an incredible story about Martha Gellhorn and Ernest Hemingway. They were married from 1940 to 1945 when Gellhorn left to cover the Allied Landings in Normandy. Lacking press credentials she impersonated a stretcher bearer. She was one of the first correspondents to reach and report from the Dachau Concentration Camp.

I found Gellhorn the more interesting. Some say she was the best of 20th Century War Correspondents. She traveled with Hemingway to cover the Spanish Civil War.

Having read almost everything Hemingway wrote, I’m now anxious to read the works of this heroic woman who made such an impression on his life.

Today was the first and only time that I’ve enjoyed donating. Thank you Martha Gellhorn.

Gellhorn

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Liebster Award

I was more than a little surprised when I received a note that Lauren Sapala had nominated me for the Liebster Blog Award. Having not a clue, I sent Lauren a note for clarification. Receiving her response was heartening. Maybe I might get this blog thing right after all.

Visit Lauren at http://writecity.wordpress.com/

Thanks Lauren. I’m going to follow your example in explaining what this is all about. I think the technical term is plagiarism.

liebster-award

The aim of this award is to spotlight up-and-coming blogs with less than 200 followers. There are no set rules for the award, but the guidelines are as follows:

Copy and paste an image of the award onto your blog.

Write a post on your blog to thank the person who nominated you and include a link to their blog.

Nominate some blogs for the award. There is no rule for the number of blogs you nominate, but the general recommendation is at least 5 blogs that are similarly up-and-coming with fewer than 200 followers.

Answer the questions from the person who nominated you in your post.

Ask at least 5 questions on your blog for those you nominated for the award to answer.

In addition to the questions and answers, list at least 5 random facts about yourself.

    My Answers to Lauren’s Questions

What movie did you see as a kid that had the most lasting influence on you and why?

Hondo – I’ve been lifetime fan of Louis L’Amour and the strong, honest, and usually humble heroes his work personifies. John Wayne’s portrayal of Hondo Lane was magnificent. For many years now, I’ve had a photograph of Hondo’s arrival, on foot, at the Lowe ranch tacked to the wall in my office.

Since you began blogging, what’s the most surprising or unexpected thing about the whole process for you?

How it’s been received. I didn’t expect to gain many followers, none really, but the number is growing. The most surprising thing is the friendliness of the comments.

Do you have anything you do on a daily or weekly basis that keeps you inspired?

If you mean inspired to write, yes I do. It may not be earthshaking but each week day I plug in three hours on my Outlook Calendar for writing. It keeps me focused on writing, editing, and reviewing my work.

What fictional character do you feel most closely resembles your real life personality?

As much as I would like to say Hondo Lane, I can’t. You might find that I most closely resemble Huckleberry Finn.

What’s the most helpful thing you’ve learned in the past year?

My children are adults and I’ve learned to accept that. It makes life easier.

What piece of criticism have you received that has helped you grow the most (in writing or in life)?

Writing – Cut out the adverbs and watch out for author intrusion.

Life – “Mr. Cramer you’re no better than anyone else so be humble.” Mrs. Bannister – 7th Grade Teacher – Conejo Elementary School, Thousand Oaks, California

If you could only take three books with you to a desert island, what would those three books be?

1. The Old Man and the Sea – Ernest Hemingway
2. Anything by Bernard Cornwell
3. To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee

What advice do you have for someone who wants to achieve their dreams?

Don’t let anyone tell you that you are too old, too young, or that your dreams are beyond reach. Get off the couch and get started. Never forget the ancient phrase, “A journey of a thousand miles starts with one step.” Remembering this has helped me through many a tough time.

    5 Random Facts about Myself

1. I never learned how to whistle.
2. One year I went surfing or body surfing in the Pacific Ocean everyday but Christmas
3. I learned how to scuba dive at sixty-two
4. I love long distance rides on my 2001 Ultra-Classic Harley-Davidson
5. I don’t know how to swim

    My Questions for the Nominees

1. Who is your favorite author and why?
2. What has been the most difficult obstacle to your writing?
3. Do you have a regimen that you follow with your writing?
4. What do you consider the most significant event in your life?
5. Who was your most influential teacher?
6. What has been the happiest event in your writing endeavors?
7. What advice do you have for someone starting a blog?
8. What advice would give on becoming a writer?

    The Nominees

My Write Place – http://www.jkroyce.com

Time To Write Now – http://timetowritenow.com/

1 Dragon Writer – http://1dragonwriter.wordpress.com

Violet’s Vibes – http://violetsvibes.wordpress.com/

Fuzzy Red Socks – http://fuzzyredsocks.wordpress.com/

Sheila Bali’s Blog – http://sheilabali.com/wordpress/

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