Archive for the ‘Blog’ Category

Comics for Heidi

heidi fixed

The girl in the picture above is my daughter, Heidi. She was getting ready for bed one night when I told her, “Go in your room and pick a book for story time.” She came back holding a comic. It was her choice. She picked what she loves. I took a good, long look at her and realized that I might be raising a life-long comic book fan. Pride welled up inside of me, but in the midst of the pride, there was also fear. The fear was based on two words: sexual harassment.

Read On…

The AHA! Moment


I used to be a Master Training Specialist for the United States Navy. My charge was simply to train sailors and technicians to be better sailors and technicians. In order to execute my mission, I needed to have a clear understanding of how the adult mind learns. To that end, I actively studied learning and applied my findings.

One way of learning that always intrigued me, and still does, was insight. Insight is also known by some other names: the a-ha! moment, the eureka! effect, and epiphany. Here is an abbreviation of how the Navy defines insight Read On…

Behind the Scenes: a Hafu Extra


I like creating characters.  It’s one of my favorite parts of crafting a story.  I also believe it’s one of the most important “pre-production” steps in which a writer can engage.  I even give special care to many of my second and third tier characters.


One of the second tier characters in Hafu, is a young woman named Yumi Nakatani.  She only appears in two scenes and has very little dialogue.  However, I wrote a fairly lengthy background for her. Read On…

Show Me that Backside!


Get your mind out of the gutter! I’m referring to the backside of a book or graphic novel! Honestly, can’t you go five seconds without thinking about you know what?


Okay, okay. We’ll change the provocative term “backside” to back of book, or BOB for short. You see, I recently ran into a writing quandary concerning BOB. Read On…

Music: For Mood, Muse, and More

“Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent”
― Victor Hugo

I happen to agree with Victor Hugo; music is powerful stuff. Why, then, have I heard some writers, including high-profile ones, claim that they must write in silence? This absolute demand for quiet would suggest music and the written word are at odds. Well, I for do not define the relationship that way. On the contrary, I believe music is one of the most invaluable tools in a writer’s toolbox. I also believe music can be utilized in more than one way to aid a writer. In fact, I have discovered four uses for music in my own writing. Read On…

NaNoWriMo – Wrap up / Debrief

In the words of Charlie Sheen, “Winning.”

Yes, I took on the 50,000 word dragon with sword in hand, dodged several searing fireballs via the tuck-and-roll method, plunged my blade deep into the beast’s flesh, and left it slain once and for all! With a final word-count of 50,018, I am one for one in the NaNoWriMo challenge.


But, I’m not writing this blog to be a braggart. What I want to do is share my experience in order to help you understand the benefits of this process. Just before the NaNoWriMo kick-off on November first, I wrote a blog which posited the possible benefits the contest could bring to both prose writers and comic book authors alike. Now that I have some personal experience to draw on, I can tell you whether or not the theories I put forth held true. Read On…

The Seven Point Story Structure

First of all, if anyone is wondering what happened to the blogs lately, they were on brief hiatus as I was utterly consumed by the final week of NaNoWriMo. The good news is I achieved the 50,000 word goal. The even better news is next week’s blog will contain the NaNoWriMo wrap-up/debrief.

But I would like to take a break from NaNoWriMo fever to talk about a specific story plotting technique. In the most recent episode of our podcast, I mentioned the Seven Point Story Structure. However, I didn’t demonstrate how the structure works. I would like to do that now. Read On…

NaNoWriMo – Week 3 Lesson: The Scene Dump


Week 3 of NaNoWriMo is heating up. Since I’m still a bit behind pace, I have increased my daily word goal, shooting for over two-thousand words a day. Right now, I have about thirty-thousand words under my belt. As my writing has increased, I have become more in-tune with the daily rhythm of writing. I can feel when I’m about to reach a pitfall.

One of those pitfalls is the scene dump. Read On…

NaNoWriMo – Week 2 Lesson: Be a Time Bandit


Stealing time in the morning requires espresso.

It’s week two of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month – find out more here). I’m at 12,716 words. Okay, so I’m a little behind at this point, but that’s relative to the NaNoWriMo goal. If you are one who sees the glass as half full, then think of it this way: I’ve managed to write nearly thirteen thousand words in less than two weeks while not being paid as a full time writer. Read On…