Monday’s Writerly Quote

With Pitch Wars and other writing projects taking up so much time, I’ve decided to make Mondays a short post day with (hopefully) inspirational quotes about writing to keep both you and me going in our goals. I thought post-holidays would lighten the load. Apparently not. But I’m making great progress, so I’m happy.

Without further ado, the quote. If you’ve followed me at all, you know I love Ray Bradbury. Here’s another from him.

I know you’ve heard it a thousand times before. But it’s true – hard work pays off. If you want to be good, you have to practice, practice, practice. If you don’t love something, then don’t do it.

If writing is ever beating you down, make a copy of this quote and post it where you can see it. Hard work means hard. So if you’re struggling, pat yourself on the back and congratulate yourself for putting in the practice.

Notable Quote

Had a busy day and a lazy day if that’s even possible. Well, I sometimes boldly go where others have bothered to go before. But my sense of responsibility is calling for me to post, so I give you a very short post in the form of a quote:

My stories run up and bite me on the leg – I respond by writing down everything that goes on during the bite. When I finish, the idea lets go and runs off.

-Ray Bradbury

Happy Writing!


November 5th & Row 80

I know, I didn’t check in Wednesday of last week. I just didn’t want to, don’t hate. I mean it was Halloween for crying out loud, I wanted the whole blog plastered with my love of Halloween that day. And it was. Aaaaah, Halloween…

But on to more important things. Do you know what today is? I said,

Do you know what today is?

It’s November 5th.

57 years ago one of the most important events of our entire lives happened. Listen, this guy, he was standing on the toilet to hang a clock and he fell and hit his head. Then he had a vision. And he drew this.

Flux Capacitor Drawing

Which in turn created this.

Flux Capacitor

Which is what makes time travel possible. Every year on November 5th I try and watch one of the Back to the Futures in celebration of good ol’ Dr. Emmett Brown and one of the greatest movies of all time. So in celebration of time travel day, I’m going to provide you with three things:

  1. A really awesome page on 52 reasons why Back to the Future might be the greatest film of all time.
  2. A video paying tribute to Dr. Emmett Brown in a way you don’t expect (see the bottom of the post).
  3. Visual confirmation that the actual date Marty arrived in the future was October 21, 2015. Don’t believe those nasty internet lies that keep spreading around.

Your visual confirmation:

Back to the Future 2 Real Date

That’s right, I took a picture of the DVD playing on my Mac. Let it now be settled.

Doctor Emmett BrownWe salute you Dr. Emmett Brown and your grand contribution to society. After all, my stint working in an electronics store wouldn’t have been the same without some smart alec coming in every day to ask where we kept the flux capacitors? Aaaahhh…the memories… Thanks for explaining time paradoxes and time travel to us so well.

And now onto my Row80 check-in.

  • Write at least 3 short stories intended for publication.  I’ll probably try my hand at several more than three, but the hope is to find three gemstones among the rocks.
    Trick or Tree is getting a final feedback session, then it’s polish once more and submit to the contest. I’d like to have a second story ready for the contest, but the one I recently wrote, which I’m tentatively calling Dog Shy is already at 1000 words and still needs climax build. I just don’t think it’ll work as a short-short story like Trick or Tree. But there are other contests, and I’m having fun with Dog Shy. That makes 2 of 3 short stories. More on the way.
  • Read the helpful books to prepare me for the editing fest that will be late November early December on Shade.
    Still reading Story, still posting good quotes to Twitter. You should check them out. I sign them -RM for Robert McKee.
  • Have read all 201 available Anton Chekhov’s short stories, sprinkled with Hemingway and Bradbury.
    I’ve read 30 of 201 Chekhov short stories. I also read The Giraffe and the Pelly and Me by Roald Dahl. I needed something light-hearted, Dahl didn’t disappoint.
  • Once December hits, tear Shade apart and polish it to pure awesomeness!  Coming in December…
  • NEW GOAL: I’m calling it No Treat November. I want to lose 5 pounds before Thanksgiving to counterbalance and get back to my maintain weight. I’ve been slacking on the maintain lately. I can’t help it, I’ve been inspired by so many Row80ers doing their exercise and weight loss goals. It’s thanks to all of you, so thanks for sharing your goals to get me motivated! No progress to report as of yet, but I’ll check in as things progress.
  • NEW GOAL 2: The Holiday Book Read! Over Thanksgiving and Christmas I want to read 7 new books that aren’t directly novel writing related. This will be on top of the short stories by Chekhov, Bradbury, and Hemingway. It’s kind of a bonus goal, but I think I can still manage it.

I’m feeling pretty good about my accomplishments thus far. The Chekhov goal still seems a bit daunting. I think I’ll feel better when I hit 100 of 201. I may have to take a break and go to Bradbury or Hemingway. We’ll see how things progress. Anyways, happy time travel day all! Enjoy! (And yes, it is the right video, just watch it…)

things i love: Wood-Fired Ovens

Wood-Fired Oven

Ha! You thought it would be another film or TV show post, right? Well, you’re in for a treat, at least I hope.

But first I want to make note of a few other things i love posts from around the web. Check out Chelsea’s many things she loves and why post on the Jenny Mac book blog.

What’s so interesting about wood-fired ovens (or brick ovens as some call them)?  If you’re a fantasy writer this is something you should at least have a vague idea about. And those of you leaning toward current dystopian may find it interesting as well.

So, how did I gain an interest in wood-fired ovens? I’m a bit of a survivalist. I like to know how I could function if the world suddenly came to a halt. One of the questions I had was how could you cook things if you had no electricity?

Yes, fire is an obvious option. But I happen to like things like cookies, bread, and pizza. You can use a grill or other gas-powered device—at least until the fuel runs out. There are solar ovens as an option and not a bad one, but the amounts are smallish and impossible when the sun is lacking. After finding out using solar power to power a conventional oven is laughable, I began to wonder this:

So how did they cook things before technology came along? And is it feasible in a modern world setting?

The answer is wood-fired ovens.

These fabulous things are how people did it old school—and some are still doing it old school today. You can build one yourself or pay for one built ranging from $1500+ USD, though expect to pay around $3000 for a good one. If you do it yourself it can be done for less than $1000. But once it’s built it’s the gift that keeps on giving.

Unfortunately I don’t own a house, but you can rest assured in the future someday when I have one this will be one of my first projects.

What does it take to build one of these babies? Bricks and mortar essentially. Watch this video to see one way to get it built. This video also helped to pique my interest.

Most blogs I visited say it takes two hours typically to heat this thing up, then once the fire is out it’s a falling oven, which means you’ll have to either research or fiddle with the times for cooking things. You can always leave a smaller fire going inside to maintain a constant temperature. I remember reading one guy said he was able to get 7 or so pizzas done before the temperature fell too far.

Continue reading

things i love

I’ve got heavy love for this quote from Ray Bradbury and I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately.

If you stuff yourself full of poems, essays, plays, stories, novels, films, comic strips, magazines, music, you automatically explode every morning like Old Faithful. I have never had a dry spell in my life, mainly because I feed myself well, to the point of bursting. I wake early and hear my morning voices leaping around in my head like jumping beans. I get out of bed to trap them before they escape. –Ray Bradbury

So it made me wonder, what is it I’m stuffing myself full of?  What is it I love?  What inspires me, even if indirectly?

For the next several weeks and quite possibly longer I plan to write about those things that I love, why I love them, and how they further my education in mastering storytelling and writing.  And if you’re willing, I’d like to see you do the same.

I’m going to tag posts about things I love with the hashtag #thingsilove on Twitter, or for you WordPress users, tag it “things i love” in your tags section.  If you would like, you can pingback to this post so I can come read about the things you love and how they inspire you.

What I’m hoping to gain from this post and hopefully your posts is not just insight into what we love and why, but perhaps new loves we’d never considered before.

If you do write a things I love post that I find particularly inspiring, entertaining, or just plain wonderful, I’ll link to your post here and send some blog love your way.  Feel free to use the things i love graphic in your post if you’re not the graphic creating type.


Prague Astronomical ClockI’ll start this off with something simple.  I love finding out about new things to love.  I remember awhile ago Daphne posted a picture of this astronomical clock in Prague.  I’d never once before in my life heard of this clock and now I can’t imagine my life before it.  My imagination swells at its very existence and I know someday it will part of one of my stories.

Getting into blogging has enabled me to stuff myself full of new inspirations, as Mr. Bradbury suggests, unlike ever before.  Yes I learn a lot about new things via Facebook, Twitter, etc.  But it’s those carefully written posts I’ve read for the sake of seeing what’s happening that lead me to new discoveries.

Emma CrawfordAnother blog I follow wrote about a tradition they have in Manitou Springs, Colorado where they hold coffin racing.  Why?  Due to local Emma Crawford whose coffin went sailing down Red Mountain in 1929 after a rainstorm. How cool is that?! (Lots more awesome details at this blog.)

The blogosphere is beautiful fodder for imaginative minds.

Tomorrow, I begin with something I love dearly and I’m sure many of you do too: Farscape.  See you then!

But before you go, I really, really do want to hear about those things you love.  Will you commit to doing at least one blog post about something you love?  I want to know why it inspires you.  Why do you love it?  I look forward to seeing your posts.  Again, pingback here, tag it with WordPress or using the hashtag #thingsilove on Twitter.  I hope to see your posts soon.