Tag Archive: university


My Path Is Changing…


I’m on Spring Break this week from the university and luckily none of my instructors loaded me down with extra work.  So I have some time to myself, finally.  I’ll try and get some writing done this week, but for now I wish to share some of my thoughts about the future.

First off, “No one panic!”  I’m not giving up on writing novels.  Writing is my passion and to stop doing it would be like ripping out a huge part of who I am.  Writing is not just something I do, it’s who I am.  So there is no way I’ll ever stop.  I’m even planning on getting some voice software like ‘Dragon’ so I can dictate my ideas to the computer on those days when the fibromyalgia is making it difficult to type.

But as for my university studies… I just don’t know anymore.  Most days it seems most of my instructors are talking about how we’re being prepared to not only get a Bachelor’s Degree but to pursue a Master’s Degree.  In fact, most of my classes seemed geared to doing just that and nothing else.

I entered university to gain more knowledge and skills to help in my quest for getting a job in Human Services.  But instead I’m hearing (from the instructors mind you) that “These days a Bachelor’s is the equivalent of what a High School Diploma was a few years ago.  What you really need to do if you’re going to get anywhere is pursue a Masters…” etc.  Hearing things like this does not inspire me very much.  I’m 50 years old, I cannot keep wracking up more student loan debt and do nothing but intern work for the next 4-5 years.  PLUS… all this extra studies would take away from my writing and spending time with my wife.

Originally I started university so my wife and I could keep living in the off-campus housing that was inexpensive and an easy commute.  But we’ve discovered this year that my wife is deathly allergic to certain plants in the area where we are living, and the pollens are out of control this year to the point other residents who have lived in this area for years are having troubles like never before.   Now both my wife and I have asthma which is being exasperated by these conditions as well making life much harder for us both.

We’ve both started putting in applications for county jobs and I’ve got an interview for one county job next week.  Yesterday we went to Santa Cruz to get job applications for Santa Cruz Metro, which has some nice job openings as well.  We’re both going to keep putting in for other decent paying jobs with benefits as well until either of us land something that pays good.  We’ll probably be moving before this year is over.  We are going to try and stick near the water (we live near the Monterey/Santa Cruz Peninsula).  But I don’t think we can stick it out where we are for more than a year.

In the meantime, I’ve got 6-7 more weeks of class after this break is over.  Don’t know how much writing I’ll be able to get done, so I’m going to say flat out that “The Door” will NOT be released in May as originally planned.  I’m aiming for September to release it and then do a second release in December involving “The Vampyre Blogs”.

At this point I’m undecided which tale of “The Vampyre Blogs” to release.  I have a complete 1st draft of a novel and a novelette.  Both are going to be getting proofread and edited during the next few weeks and will be more than ready to be released in December.  The novelette is a Christmas story I posted on my other blog “The Vampyre Blogs – Private Edition” last year.  I am planning on making illustrations for the story to make it more special in book form.  The novel would be the normal style I’ve put out before.

I could use some feedback from you all on what you’d like to see come out first.  So I’m attaching a link to a survey so you can help guide my decision:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/WSX8S5C

That’s all I have to say for now.  I just want to say thank you all for continuing to read this blog and I look forward to hearing back from you soon.  Take care and keep writing.

 

Back To School Time For Me…


This week I started a new semester of classes over at the California State University at Monterey Bay (CSUMB).  I’ll be going here for at least another four semesters after this one.  I try to keep to just 12 units at a time which allows my wife and I to qualify for campus housing.  CSUMB has what they call East Campus Housing which is more like a duplex than an apartment.  Being a family we have the place to ourselves rather than having to share our space with others.

The rent is reasonable and our gas, electric and cable are all included.  So you can understand my wanting to stick around here for a few more years while my wife Helen (who just earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Mathematics) finds work and we can start building up our savings again.  BTW, if anyone knows any good job openings for a Mathematics wiz in California please let me know.  She’s sending out resumes and applications like crazy and is eager to find more opportunities.

Anyway, what does all this have to do with anything.  Well, taking classes eats into my writing time so I may not be as productive some days as I’d like.  However, I’m going to try and keep things going as much as possible.  I will be aiming for at least two blog entries a month, but I’m hoping to do more.  Especially when one of my classes is a Professional Writing course.

Before anyone gets excited, I’m not talking professional writing for novels, or short stories.  This writing class is about writing in a ‘professional’ environment such as business, non-profit agencies, and professional journal magazines.

However, I’m finding the class and what I will be facing rather interesting. Although the tools of the trade are very similar (good grammar, formatting, editing, research, etc.) one must use a different type of mindset.  For instance, I’m going to have to choose a topic and do research on it (sounds familiar so far, right?).  But I have to use peer-review journal articles, respected websites (no wikipedia), as well as non-fiction books.  From there I have to create a proposal letter, an oral presentation, then a 10-12 advocacy report (single-spaced).  This paper will involve a lot of research and rehashing of information that has already been done on the topic while also trying to add some new insight about the topic.  I will have to use the APA style formatting that is required of professionals, as well as have certain number of citations and a reference page.  After that I have to create a “Letter of Appeal” calling for action/support.  Then in the final steps I will have to condense my 12 page report into a one page Executive Summary.  I will also have to create a e-portfolio and visual presentation for the class.

I am also expected to have a separate blog just for my class and create 15 blog entries over the course of the semester talking about my topic, or my class itself.

Doesn’t sound like too much for one semester right?

But never fear, I’m not going to let it get to me.  Instead I’m actually gaining ideas for blog entries about the differences between the types of writing and how I have to change gears mentally from one to the other.

I’ll also be posting about my work on the novels and what’s going on in my head.  I won’t be neglecting those kinds of entries.

So stay tuned, have a great weekend, and keep writing.


 In case you hadn’t heard, I started attending the California State University at Monterey Bay in August and the workload had been fairly manageable, until recently.  Things are heating up and I have less and less time to work on my novels, including “The Vampyre Blogs”.  I had planned on getting the latest draft finished, edited, beta-read, etc. so I could have it out in time for Christmas.

Unfortunately, that is not going to happen.  I’ve said before I will not release a book until it’s had all those things done to it.  Currently, I’m still trying to finish the 2nd draft and I’m still not entirely happy with the piece.  Plus I haven’t even started on a cover for the book.  I have one that I made with the computer.

However, I’m not totally sold on this version really.  I’d prefer to try and do a soft pastel piece and then super-impose this image on top of the scene I create with the pastel.
Furthermore, with the holidays getting closer and closer, there’s not way I could expect any of my beta-readers to go over the book and give me their feedback on the eve of major cooking and shopping.
So I’m putting things off until next year.  Mind you, I’m still going to be posting more mini-stories of my vampyre Nathaniel and his friends over at The Vampyre Blogs – Private Edition.  If you haven’t checked them out yet here’s the link:
At this point I want to let you all know you won’t be without anything new from me this holiday season.  I’ll be putting together a short story that I’ll release through Smashwords just in time for Christmas.  Smashwords carries e-books for Nook, Kindle, Sony, Apple, or even PDF for those who don’t have an e-reader so you can enjoy it on your regular computer, laptop, or even your phone.  This will be a holiday tale that will involve a crossover of sorts.  My vampyre Nathaniel will be interacting with several characters from “The Bridge”.  Who will appear, I won’t say at this time.  Just be assured you’ll be seeing some familiar faces within the pages of that story.
Finally, I want to also let you all know that you won’t have to wait until October or December of next year for my next novel.  As soon as I get a break from university, I’ll be getting back to work on “The Door”, which will star Alex, Veronica, Julie and Cassandra.  The story will take up where both “The Bridge” and “The Ship” ended and will answer a number of questions that have been hanging over both novels, including the secret of Brandon and his white-haired nemesis.
Where will I go with my Para-Earth Series after that?  Well here’s a list for the next 2-3 years and what they will involve:

Mid-2015 “The Door”

Alex, Veronica, Julie and Cassandra face a new threat which is connected directly to Cassandra’s family dating back over three hundred and fifty years.

October/December 2015 “The Vampyre Blogs – Homecoming”

  In 1862 Nathaniel Steward was only sixteen years old.  He left home to fight in the Union Army, knowing the experience might change him.  He had no idea how much it would.  Now, 150 years later, he’s finally coming back to what he thinks is an empty manor.  What he doesn’t know is someone has been waiting, and some ‘thing’ is following him, a being that does no belong in this world.

Mid-2016 “In The Shadow Of The Door”

Cassandra’s ghostly protector Brandon has always been an enigma to many.  Now, we get to hear his story which will lead directly up to the events that took place in my third book, “The Door”.

December 2016, “The Vampyre Blogs – Family Ties”

Nathaniel is back and he’s not alone.  A mystery involving a member of his family has arisen, but so has an old enemy.  New dangers arise that threaten not only those he loves, but his entire hometown.  Like any soldier he will fight to protect his place of birth, but it may cost him his very existence.

Mid-2017 – No Title Yet

Brandon’s story continues as he and his uncle continue to struggle with the family curse that everyone believed was over.  The threat has been thwarted but not ended and time is running out.  Soon the door will be reopened and nothing will be able to stop what will come out of it if they don’t seal it for good first.

December 2017, “Harlequin House”

When Alex was only twelve he entered inside the most haunted place on the planet with a team of paranormal investigators.  Most of the team died before his very eyes and he barely got out with his sanity intact.  Now, twenty years later, he’s going back.  Will he be as fortunate this time?

So there you have it folks.  That’s my plans for the next couple of years.  Most of this will depend on how much time I have to write in between my studies of course, but I’m going to do my best to keep to this schedule.  I hope you like what you’ve seen here and look forward to the books as they come out.
That’s all for now.  Thanks for reading and take care of yourselves.  And as always, keep writing.

ON THE HORNS OF A DILEMMA…


My life has grown more complicated and I need you my readers to help me decide a course of action to take.

Yesterday, I attended  an Orientation for the California State University of Monterey Bay, which I will be entering this Fall.  I will be pursuing my Bachelor’s Degree in Collaborative Health and Human Services.  The plan is for me to attend for 3 full years instead of just 2.  This will allow us to continue residing on campus in very comfortable housing, provided I take 12 units a semester.

However, a wrinkle occurred yesterday when I signed up for classes.  I wound up with 15 units because there were certain classes I HAVE to take before the Spring semester, so I had to bite the bullet on this semester. Future semesters will be kept to 12 or so units.

This greater workload now presents me with a dilemma.  Originally, I was planning to get the first installment of “THE VAMPYRE BLOGS” out this December.  Unfortunately, I’m hearing form various folks who have recently read “THE SHIP” and are eager for me to continue with the characters from this part of the series (Cassie, Julie, Alex and Veronica).  The next installment of their story “THE DOOR” will wrap up a number of plot lines that have been running throughout the first 2 books.  “THE DOOR” will not mean an end for these characters by any means. I’ll be using them more, but the major underlying sub-plot which involves a white-haired individual and the secret of Brandon would finally be explained.

On the other hand, I know there’s a growing crowd eager for “THE VAMPYRE BLOGS”, however that story line seems to be growing even bigger than I originally planned and may have to be told in 2 or more installments.  Originally, I had planned to unveil “THE VAMPYRE BLOGS” this December, but with it growing larger and larger I’m not sure I can keep this deadline.

This brings me to a dilemma. Knowing I’ll have less time to work from August to December, which book should I concentrate on?

Both “THE DOOR” and “THE VAMYPRE BLOGS” are part way finished. Which one would you all like to see come out this December? Please leave your comments below and help me decide, thank you.

Looking forward to hearing your input.  Until next time, keep writing…


Hi everyone.  As you all know I have 2 blogs.  This one, which is dedicated to my life and my novels.  Plus another one on Blogspot which I call “Musings Of A Creative Mind”, where I explore writing itself.   Things like setting, plots, character development, etc.  Well, I’ve recently been working on a project that will combine the two blogs in a Video Blog or VLOG.  I will be posting the first 2 installments very shortly, like within the next couple of days.

Mind you, I will still be posting here even after the Vlog is up and running.  I won’t be going away and forgetting all of you.  I’ve still got a lot more to share with you all.  So don’t worry, I’m keeping both Blogs going.

In the meantime, not a lot happening on the writing front due to my work schedule and the fact that my wife and I have been actively seeking a new apartment or housing because she will be attending Calif State Univ of Monterey Bay (CSUMB), which is 45 minutes away from where we live now.  So that’s been taking up a lot of time as well.  Originally we were going to try and get inexpensive housing near the campus through the university but got put on a wait list.  Now this puzzled us exceedingly because we were told married students would get high priority on the list and would be a guaranteed thing.  But instead we were number 10 on a Waiting List.  So we spent the last three weeks seeking alternative housing on our own, with little success.  Then yesterday I went back to the housing people at the university to try and arrange a viewing so we could have something to compare the other places we’ve seen to what the university had to offer.  This way we could make up our minds about staying on the Wait List or giving up 0n the list.  Well, lo and behold the people helping me noticed something unusual.  When they heard I was there on behalf of my wife they looked at their computer and said, “Wait she’s married?  We have her on the single-student wait list….” Then they asked me if I had sent our marriage certificate, which I had and they checked their records.   Long story short, we were on the wrong list.  Now we’re #3 on another list and were told that we would probably hear something next week because there has been movement on that new waiting list.  So fingers crossed, we might have a move date given to us next week.

That’s all for now.  I’ll post the first installments of the Vlog within the next few days so stay tuned.  Take care and thanks for reading.

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