Where’s Zanzibar?
News / December 22, 2017

So, where have I been? I spent a couple of months in Figment-land. Apparently there was a big dispute about whether adjectives are good or bad in literature. Little Bo Peep and her crew were in favor; those with shorter names were often not in favor. It was a mess. After the Figments, I went to Cawdor High, but it was on something called “summer break”. No one there. I did hear a rumor that Riley and Mr. Boogerschniggle had moved on to college, so I’ll be visiting them there next. Okay, truth be told, I experienced something called a concussion, which is where you take your brain, blend it well, and serve it in a margarita glass with salt. (Failing that, you get something called a CT-scan and MRI and then spend a lot of time saying “ouch”.) It’s hard to write with a concussion, so I had to take a little break. But I’m back on track and should be publishing my first book (in over a year) in February. Look for Calling All Heroes on February 12th. Starting in January, I’m going to put up either a sneak peek or a short story every week. That will…

NaNoWriMo: Day 6 (52,132) ONE BOOK DOWN
NaNoWriMo / November 6, 2016

I did it. Yesterday I crossed into the hallowed halls of “I’ve written an entire book and the rest of you can suck it” land (only with more joy and less “suck it”). I hit 50k (FINALLY) and I finished the first of the six books I’m attempting in November. Yes, yes. I hear the naysayers now: 50k isn’t really a book. Maybe a novella. Maybe a very short novella, for people who don’t like to read. Have you considered taking a writing class from JK Rowling, GRR Martin, or any other person who puts out really SOLID books? First of all, suck it. (I’m sorry. My inner editor fled yesterday and I’ve reverted to a twelve-year-old boy, even though I was never a twelve-year-old boy in the first place.) Second, this is a first draft. While I realize for many people it’s customary to write too many words and have to cut them out in the rewrite, I tend to under-write and then add things in (like, oh, descriptions) in the rewrite. Also, prophetic songs, which I was just not feeling right around 46 thousand words. So I assure you, this will be a full-blown novel. In fact, based…

Teaser Thursday: Eleventh Hour
Teaser Thursday , Uncategorized / May 12, 2016

Thursdays will now be teaser day in this blogging experiment. “The Eleventh Hour” is a short piece I did for a competition. It didn’t win, but that’s okay. I have another short story now to add to the Figments universe. This snippet is copyright 2016 Zanzibar 7. Schwarznegger. The ale was cold and had a faint lemony undertone to it. “I was looking for a ninja. Or a dragon.” “Odd combination.” The bartender leaned over the bar and Christopher got a whiff of something spicy. “Prophecy. Not my choice.” The ale seemed to have disappeared from his mug. “Oh, look, you found the dragon. How goes, Stacie?” Ian sat down next to Christopher, who turned a bit green. “Dragon?” The bartender held out her hand. “Didn’t Ian tell you it’s cosplay night? I couldn’t come dressed as a dragon, could I?” Her hand was incredibly warm when Christopher shook it in a daze. “But… you’re nice. I don’t want to kill you.” Christopher looked from Stacie to Ian and back. “Oh, that’s good. I’d rather not kill you either. It gives me indigestion.” Christopher slumped on his stool. “I’m supposed to kill you. The prophecy said so.” “This prophecy, what…

A to Z Blogging Challenge: Figments
A to Z Blog Challenge / April 7, 2016

Although I have other series, either published or in the works, the Figments will always be my first and, to a degree, my favorite. I am, after all, a Figment myself. Figments are those Characters that get created but never fully finished. Every Writer has at least one. This Figment wasn’t likeable enough. That Figment didn’t fit the storyline. That other Figment insisted on taking the story in a direction the Writer didn’t want it to go. Sometimes Figments are in stories that were completed but didn’t come to light. That WIP that sits in a desk drawer (or in a file folder on the computer) and never gets revised is full of Figments. The story you sent out to publishers that got rejected until you stopped trying? Figments. My Figments are a little different. They’re still trapped in the Figments world because I wrote them there, but they are published. So they get to be real without being Characters (okay, Eric and Shiv are still Characters). If you’ve never read my worlds, you might not understand this, and that’s okay. You still understand the concept of Figments because you have one. Here’s my challenge to you: set your Figments…

A to Z Blogging Challenge: Alice in Wonderland
A to Z Blog Challenge / April 1, 2016

You may have noticed I have a fascination with Alice in Wonderland. There’s something about Lewis Carroll’s crazy world that appeals to me. It may be the rabbits. It may be the Mad Hatter. (It’s probably not Alice.) Whatever it is, I love it. My first book, Veneri Verbum, made use of the same craziness as the original Alice in Wonderland. My next Figments book, however, takes this a step further. I took Alice Through the Looking Glass and used it as a rough guideline for what would happen in my story.  Not exactly, but just enough to get the wheels turning. Of course, my characters never do what they are supposed to. There’s something about Figments that makes them think they get to have opinions. Still, the guidelines was there. So what is the appeal? Lewis Carroll creates a zany cast of characters. In fact, the supposed main character, Alice, is really the most boring of the lot. I’m not saying Christopher is boring, but… well, it’s a good thing for him there are more interesting characters to help carry the story. My goal was to have the same draw with my non-main characters. Carroll also breaks structure rules,…

Publishing a NaNoWriMo Book: Fleshing Out the Characters
NaNoWriMo Prep / October 7, 2015

She lay there, a formless mass of bones, muscles, and blood, not yet a real Character. It was his job, as a Writer, to flesh her out. Adding some flesh to cover up the gore would be a good start. It can be tricky business making the Figments from your imagination into real, flesh-and-blood Characters. There are a lot of ways to go about it, too. I recommend picking one to keep your Characters straight unless you want  to end up with  Tweedledee-Tweedledum confusion. Pantsing It– Completely If you think your memory is good enough, just put your Character out there and wing it. No notes. No planning. Don’t blame me if she turns out like Chris in Veneri Verbum and never quite solidifies into a solid Character. Also don’t blame me if she’s homicidal. It’s a lot of stress when you don’t have an Id. Pantsing It– With Style If you want to pants it, I recommend making notes. Use notecards, Scrivener, sticky notes, or tattoos, but make notes of every important feature about your Characters.  If he has brown hair in chapter one and red hair in chapter three, a Reader will eventually notice.  Don’t forget to add…

Eleventh Hour- Part Eight (The End)
Uncategorized / August 21, 2015

It’s here! The final part of the short story that has six readers on the edge of their seats!  It’s all here: dragons, Ninjas, drama, death, and even the dreaded Editor! What are you waiting for?  Go read!  Now! Okay, soon. Maybe?  

Eleventh Hour- Part Seven
Uncategorized / August 19, 2015

It’s the penultimate part to the short story I’m doing on Wattpad. I think the site keeps leaving off zeroes, so I’m up to nearly 300 reads (or less than 30, if you want to believe that could possibly be accurate). I’ll have to think of something new when this passes… or maybe post a chapter or two of Veneri Verbum to whet a few appetites. My Social Reality Manager, Chelo, will be taking over the posting after the short is finished. I hope you’ll all be as wonderful to her as you’ve been to me.  Okay, wonderfuller. She could quit on me.

Eleventh Hour- Part Six
Uncategorized / August 17, 2015

If you’ve never experienced birth goo and Censor Pixies, this is the part for you. If you have experienced birth goo and Censor Pixies, this is also the chapter for you, because you might actually understand it. Read on, MacDuff.

Eleventh Hour- Part Five
Uncategorized / August 13, 2015

There is obviously a glitch with the Wattpad system, as it only shows sixteen views and I know all my devoted fans are hanging on my every word with my new short story, “Eleventh Hour”. Keep reading! I’m sure Wattpad will fix the issue soon and I’ll be able to thank each and every one of you at an award’s show somewhere.