New Reviews Posted

Good afternoon all. I hope you are all safe and secure as you grab all the life there is to grab.

I wanted to take a moment to thank the following two sites that took the time to conduct reviews for Dream State. The Geeky Book Worm and Coffee Time Romance. I enjoyed both of the reviews and thank the authors for their time and effort, it is very much appreciated.

The reviews can be found at:


Thanks again and Happy Reading.



January 24, 2010

Darkness closed in from the walls of the sunny room I sat in. A sickening sweet blanket of creamy fog so thick it was impenetrable. Gone from my thought were the joys of my youth: the fun of discovery, the next great adventure. Pure nothingness replaced all the good from my life.

I had sunken down into a pit of complete defeat where life itself held no meaning. I had thoughts of dying as it would have been easier than to continue to trudge through the lake of waist deep mud with my concrete block shoes.

Unlike many of the other dark stories I have written in the past, this one is true. The feelings from that day are still fresh in my mind, where I hope they stay.

The next time, I may not be so lucky.


Robert E.

Recent Absence

Good Evening.

I have been away from the blog and other online communities for nearly a month and will continue to be sparse for the foreseeable future. When the time is right for me I will begin to tell the story of my absence, please be patient.

Please know I have missed the banter, and the overwhelming acceptance shown to me by you all.




Robert E

01/05/10 ~ Gratitude – Attention Deficit Disorder

Adult Attention Deficit Disorder (AADD) affects a lot of people (you like that scientific analysis there). Some more than others of course, point being it’s a real affliction that creates real difficulties.

I was born at a time that people like me weren’t diagnosed, we were given a hearty breakfast and shoved out the door to go out do what we were going to do until it was time to eat dinner. I can remember times that I would spend hours, (measured in Kid Time of course) exploring the back yard of the house we lived in in Bowling Green, KY. There were so many treasures to seek out and discover.

Later, I remember spending time in the woods behind our house in Indiana. I would flit from one thing to the next, discovering this tidbit of nature or that. Those were magical times. All that discovery, the first hand experiences, seeing things happen with my own two eyes, very cool.

With the many good times I had, there were some not so good times as well. School was one of those not so good times. The classes were boring, under challenged, and in my worldly mind, useless. Period changes in the hall, and lunch, now those were the times of school that I thrived. The quest to be accepted by the “in crowd” was far more challenging than anything the teachers could provide me.

As I aged, not necessarily matured, AADD became the bane of my existence. I couldn’t focus on the task at hand, had difficulty in completing jobs, and generally had to force myself to get to end of job on damn near everything. Thank God I found the creative side that had always been bubbling under the surface. My parents both suffered from severe blue collar mentality and took dim views on the creative side of normal people, and since I was their child, I was by God NORMAL. It was better for my folks that drunks and addicts be creative, hippies too for that matter. But not in our family, just wouldn’t happen.

It took time to learn to bring the AADD into perspective and use it as a benefit rather than a determent. I learned through repeated trial that I had to accomplish things differently than what was prescribed. I had to break down tasks in my head into smaller more manageable chunks, because looking at the whole of a task just overwhelmed me to no end and would lock me up tighter than a drum head. I have used this internal breakdown to my advantage over the years, with what I consider great success. The way I make mental connections does not always lead to flawless execution, but it always gets me there.

Creatively, AADD is a true pain in the ass. It irks me to no end how many of my fellow writers say they are going to sit down and write x pages for x days to get their first drafts out. I start with a premise and by the time I get to the end of the outline I have completely changed what the original idea was. Frustrating as hell.

What’s the point, this is a post about gratitude, those things I am grateful for. The point is this, the flitting from idea to idea, the ever running commentary in my own head, and the insatiable drive to create, uses the snippets, the quick connections, and provides great freedom. The pieces fall into place eventually, and the outcome normal surprises me. For me there is no other way to be. I was blessed, some would say cursed, with what I call a dogs attention span. I can be deep in the middle of a post like this and all of a sudden some random mental shiny thing will pop up and off I go to chase that.

So if you suffer from short attention span, an appearance or feeling of disinterest, and often can’t complete the day to day tasks, think about a breakdown. Keep the end of task in mind but focus on the single chunk at hand for as long as you can and give yourself the benefit of going back to something when the fancy strikes you. There are more unfinished “things” in my life than I can count, but I’ll get back to them one by one during the course of my days.

I am grateful for my “disorder”, and can’t think of any other way to be.

Robert E

01/04/09 ~ What do you do when your MC won’t cooperate

Most anyone that reads these titles I likely to think we as writers can always control what our MC is doing. Lets assume that we have a bad guy as our MC. It’s their job to wreak havoc and make the rest of society pay the price, whatever that may be. And we get to a point where the bastard just will not cooperate, they just wont follow the plan we have laid out in our head.

What then?

Do we scrap the story? Most likely not. Do we wait for the MC to behave again, give them a couple days off, maybe.

Here are a couple suggestions to possible whip that poorly behaved MC back into shape.

Try stream of consciousness exercises. Pick the scene and dump out three pages on that one topic. This is best done straight out of bed. (Refer to Julia Cameron’s The Artists Way for more uses of this journaling process) You may be surprised by what is revealed to you about what your character wants.

Think about what you want the MC to be doing and conduct an interview, I blogged on that method last week. But in this usage you are trying to drive specific answers from your MC.

Take them out of the picture for a bit. Put them in a completely different world or situation for fun to see what happens to them. There may be lessons in there that you can use in other parts of your story, or it may unleash that one log jam you have developed with the brat you are working so hard to create.

And lastly, do an exercise of contrasts. Pick something that is the high of the high for the scene and dump your MC smack in the middle of the polar opposite, see how it goes. The changing of flow can sometimes be enough to kick start things again.

I hope this helps with a few possible solutions to poorly behaving characters.

Happy writing, better living to you all.

Robert E.


Dream State Release Trailer

Newly produced Dream State trailer.  Please take a look.

Thanks All.

Robert E

The unthinkable has happened

I have been on a search for a while for that one specific twitter application that would make automated tweeting EASY. Something I could control, that would live right on my own computer and not be on some server farm somewhere out of my control.

You guessed it, I’m a bit of a control freak.

I looked at every tool Google would return to me, and finally got disgusted. So I dusted off my programming hat, put it on backwards, and went to work. Jesus, its been a long time since I coded anything, and the tools have changed significantly since the days I was coding.

I worked at it, played, had a little fun, then got disgusted. Not with the concept, but with myself for forgetting so much. I reached out to a friend, he had nothing. Talked to another guy and he wanted a design spec. Fuck, its not that hard I kept saying.

So I gave it another go, and got it to do all I wanted it to do in the way I wanted it to do it. I loaded up a bunch of messages, turned off the actually posting to twitter, and let it run through its paces for 12 hours to make sure it wouldn’t crash the machine I wanted to run it on. Everything worked as expected, no glitches, no crashes.

I thought I was good to go. So I added back in the goods to make the post to twitter, but used a bad password to keep it from sending a bunch of test trash to twitter.

Then set the timer to delay for 5 seconds and send the next message. Tested again.

Guess what… Twitter does not like multiple login attempts with bad passwords in a given timeframe.

So here I am sitting at my desk completely cut out of twitter.

I wont know what the latest from @sueannesjewlry is, or how @jesusWife is getting along amongst us mortals. Nor can I keep up with @ceebee308 to see the rocket ride he is on to a million followers. Gone is my ability to get the ever caring tweets from @WinslowEliot, or find out the latest intelligence coming from down under and @lukeromyn.

What the hell am I going to do for another 45 minutes.


Robert E


12/30/09 ~ Character Development

What do you want from your main character (MC)?

What things do they bring to the story? Do they rescue someone? Do they abuse some one? Are they good? Evil?

You may not know all the characteristics of your MC when you first start outlining, but you know the general direction you want them to take. In Dream State I wanted my MC, Drew Sovern, to be a monster. I wanted him to act and behave as though there were no ramifications for the things he did. I also wanted him to be mentally unstable, but appear to be completely normal. He was a tough guy to write, because on top of the things that he was doing, I wanted his actions, his day to day activities to be believable.

In my current WIP, I was introduced to an excellent tool, courtesy of Carol Valdez Miller, @cvaldezmiller. Her tip was to interview the character. Seemed a bit odd to me but it was a chance to stretch a little bit, so I tried it out. The results surprised me. I sat down and developed a series of questions, then assumed the persona of the character, and came up with some very interesting results.

So if you’re struggling with the finer points of your characters, try an interview. You’ll find more than you bargained for, and create a much more robust and interesting character.

Thanks Carol for the wonderful tip.

Happy new year, and Happy writing.

Robert E


12/29/09 Gratitude ~ Acquaintances

In today’s post I am choosing Gratitude as the topic, and this will be my topic for Tuesdays until I run out of things to be grateful for or available time does not allow me to post every day.

There are so many things I am grateful for that I could write or talk about these things for the next millennia. Today though I want to discuss acquaintances’. I view this as the people we run into on a day to day basis, maybe even going through periods where we speak to or hang out with a specific person or group daily or more frequently.

As a business and technology consultant, I have had met my fair share of people, more than I can count to be sure. With every location I visit, or am deployed to for a long term, there is always a connection with one or two people. You know the connection, there is an instant click. They’ll get the humor and I’ll get theirs, which is often tough for me.

Each person I have come in contact with has provided me the opportunity to learn something new. From my acquaintances I have learned many great things. One of the most memorable happened recently. I brought a man in his mid fifties onto a project. His resume had all the right qualifications, and the interview indicated he would be a technically competent addition to my team.

Three weeks of working with the client told a different story. He was viewed as a problematic person that would not complete tasks as requested within the given timelines. So I tried talking with him about the comments that were coming back, gave him a heads up on the perception he was creating, etc.

Another week went by and the client insisted he be replaced. Before I took that action I called the man’s manager to have discussion about previous assignments, ethic, previous evaluations, etc. I was told within three minutes of the conversation that if there was a problem it belonged to me.

Well, that was a complete shock. The manager had such a deep seeded trust in his employee that her view was that I was not a good manager. Another shock.

I stewed on this information for a couple days before I did anything drastic, and am thankful for that. We traveled to the client sites on Monday mornings, and when my guy arrived we went for coffee. Over a cup of Starbucks finest brewed coffee, I explained to the man my concerns and issues. I dislike confrontation of the personal nature at work and find it unnatural to have performance based discussions. But here I was having that exact conversation.

My guy listened to me, understood my point, then asked if I was done. Taking a drink I said “Sure I’m done”.

What came next was devastating. I was informed that my communication style left a lot to be desired. I assumed everyone I talked to carried the same fragmented knowledge in their head and could make the same informational connections I made. I sat there thinking “wow, the hits just keep on coming”.

He was right however, and taking his critique I changed the way I talked to him about project related information. Every issue that had been reported instantly went away and he was asked to stay for the better part of a year, based off a 60 day initial assignment.

So what’s the moral of the story?

Our opportunities to improve can come from damn near anywhere.

My guy and I have moved from a professional acquaintance to a personal one. We have spent hours talking about belief systems, coping mechanisms, and all sorts of other ethereal topics. Its truly rewarding, and had I gone with the direction I was given I would never of had the chance to get to learn from this terminally patient man.

Have patience in your conversations, smile at the newly introduced for you have no idea what they can help you learn.


12/28/09 – Scene Development

I have seen a lot written about scene development from numerous authors. If you have been fortunate enough to have attained an education in writing or taken creative writing classes, I recommend that you review again the lessons taught there.

What I write here is my process and like everything else I do, it is my own, and could be viewed as a blasphemous method to the purest.

That said here is how I do it.

First I have to have a reason for the scene. I generally sit down and draw out a rough outline for how the story should flow. The high points nothing more. As I write in the general direction of the outline I develop the scenes my characters will live in.

In my current WIP, I needed a place for my MC to start showing off some of his talents. I chose to create a club scene in NYC for him to stretch his legs, find out all he was capable of.

Once the scene location was set, I started drawing off personal experiences to set the specifics. Though I have never been to a club in NYC, I have been to a club, I have witnessed first hand the effects of alcohol and drugs on humans packed into small spaces. Lifting my own experience and shifting into my characters world works well for me.

As you think about your scene, don’t underestimate your own experiences. You can draw from the vast amount of living you have done, change the names or situations to disguise any possible secrets getting out, and wa-la you have a scene that is believable by your readers.

This method obviously will not work if you are creating fantasy or sci-fi, unless of course your meds are better than mine.

Wishing you all productive writing and a Happy New Year.

Robert E