Sunday, May 19, 2019

I Have Stories To Tell! Episode the 25th

A Mustang convertible comes roaring out of the vast wasteland that is American Politics and immediately buries the brakes, thus launching itself into a miles long skid stain on the pavement of live, eventually fishtailing into a nasty dirt encrusted stop.

Out of the car steps forth a bad-ass chick, darker than her jet black hair and ready to beat the snot out of anyone who looks at her sideways. She performs a monster hair flip and says out loud the answer to the question that everyone is asking but is too afraid to ask.

"Welcome to the skewered literary world of G.B. Miller, whose sense of humor knows no bounds, and will literally lick my boots if I snap my fingers!"

Having spoken her piece, she casually gives the proper one finger salute, before sauntering away from the blog in a cloud of sulfuric smoke.

So the other day, my wonderful editor asked me to list 10 things that influenced my humor. They could be individuals, groups, novels, t.v. shows, etc. The reason as to why she asked this very interesting question, is that she wanted to get a better grip on just exactly where/how my humor came to be, which in turn would help her do a more thorough job of editing (among other things).

 I told her that was a very tough question to answer, since I don't think any one individual/group/t.v. show/novel really overtly influenced my humor. But I would try to answer it to the best of my ability. And this is what I gave her for an answer.

I do enjoy the warped humor that is Monty Python, although it has taken me quite a few decades to fully appreciate the subtleties of their type of humor.
I also enjoyed Steve Martin while growing up, as well as Robin Williams, for stand alone artists. I was/am very big into novelty songs/parodies, both as a teenager and an adult.
MAD Magazine had a very big influence on my type of humor, early 80's thru the late 90's.
Other than that, I don't really know who or what else had/has an/a influence on my humor. A good portion of my humor/dry wit/sarcasm is very observational (i.e. people, events, situations, places, conversations) and I'm not quite sure who had any influence on me when I was developing it.
I find humor in a lot of things, and I don't think I can pin it down to any one particular novel or t.v. show. I've enjoyed a lot of t.v. shows over the decades, from Dick Van Dyke to Carol Burnett (in reruns), Fraiser I found to be quite funny in its own special way, but I don't think any of them consciously influenced me in any way.
I can say that I'm a sucker for dry wit/humor, and I use humor as a good mechanism to get through the work day and beyond.

I also want to add here that I grew up on a steady diet of both Warner Bros cartoons and the politically incorrect shorts of The 3 Stooges and The Little Rascals.

My humor knows no boundaries, and it is about as politically incorrect as you can get w/o being offensive. As you can see by both the opening paragraphs as well as the picture, I have no problem in using provocative innuendo and dark humorous pictures to get my point across.

To quote a line from a well-worn/often seen episode from M.A.S.H. that I like: "This is me!"

And being true to myself is the only way that I know how to be. And I'm sure no one else who knows me would have it any other way.

{c} 2019 by G.B. Miller. All Rights Reserved

Sunday, May 12, 2019

I Have Stories To Tell! Episode the 24th

Girl howdy and howdy to the boy who shakes his head in bewilderment at the type of outerwear his girl chose to drape herself in {YOU'RE WEARING THAT?!} and welcome to the skewered literary world of G.B. Miller, where being called wholesome is something that I often find to be very, very confusing.

This past work week has been a serious canine of the female persuasion, and as such, we've developed an abnormally low tolerance for TDS. Let me say one thing, and then will move on to something more meaty: People who suffer from TDS (and that includes the socialized media corporations), just give it up already. Hasn't the past with Bill Clinton taught you anything? If not, then be prepared to suffer devastating losses at the ballot box come 2020.

Now, the other day, with a few extra minutes to kill, I decided to watch a music video on YouTube, which is my current down time obsession for my phone when I'm at home (channel is a major inhaler of data usage). The song in question was Filter's Hey Man, Nice Shot. Being that this was YouTube, you can bet your personal paycheck that you can find almost anything video related.

This was no exception to the rule.

Searching my memory banks brought up the background story to the song, which was the on-air/live and in living color death of a politician falsely accused of a financial crime (the two people who peddled this lie later 'fessed up to it). And yes, you can find the entire uncensored video of this incident on YouTube.

I bring all of this up because I got to thinking about what I wanted to write about for today's post, and the first thing that popped into my head was rock songs that were based on real events. The song by Filter was one of them, although the connection wasn't made apparent until the band had to clarify that the song wasn't about the death of Kurt Cobaine.

So, in no order of particular importance beyond being my own personal preference, here is a very short list of songs that were based on real life tragedies.

1} The Dead Kennedy's cover of I Fought The Law. In a nutshell, they re-worked the lyrics and turned the song into diatribe about the Twinkie Defense used in the murder trial of Dan White, who shot and killed Harvey Milk and George Moscone.

2} The Boomtown Rats, I Don't Like Mondays. This song was based on a California schoolyard shooting in the late 70's. The shooter, who was a teenager, when asked why she shot up the school (killing two and injuring 8), said, "I don't like Mondays".

3} Seven Mary Three, The Water's Edge. This song was based on an event in Chicago, in which a woman was being verbally and physically assaulted by two men on a bridge. It was witnessed by dozens of onlookers who didn't get involved. The woman ultimately jumped from the bridge to escape her attackers and drowned.

I don't mean to gross or horrify anyone with this particular very short and very dark list of songs, but I do want to point out that all creative people can find inspiration in all sorts of news, whether it's very good or downright deplorable. And more often than not, it's the item based on deplorable events that will be remember years/decades after its been created.

{c} 2019 by G.B. Miller. All Rights Reserved

Sunday, May 5, 2019

I Have Stories To Tell! Episode the 23rd

Boy howdy and howdy to one and all, no matter where you may be on the aggression scale, and welcome to the skewered literary world of G.B. Miller, who just absolutely loves working in all kinds of titles of strange movies that he's enjoyed over the years into his posts {click on the link for a nifty example}.

Did you ever have one of those weeks where you just didn't feel doing any blogging? Unable to come up with a concrete topic to even blog about? Currently feeling like that there couch potato cat staring out at you?

Well then, you came to the right place, because my week was exactly like that preceding paragraph.

Basically, the mantra for me that week was....If I tried to fail and succeeded, which have I done?

But, this is my blog and I must churn out fresh weekly content, no mater what kind yummy Swiss cheese my brain currently is. So, here goes nothing.

I've come to the realization that I miss having my muse involved with my blogging. Way back in the halcyon days of my 1st blog, Cedar's Mountain, I had some truly fascinating conversations play out in a very public fashion with my muse. My muse is mostly an extension of the composite characters that I create for my stories. Should you get the opportunity to read any of my stories, you will swiftly see that there's an undercurrent of Walter Mitty running through the plot lines.

Long story short, I love strong women and Walter Mitty-esque men for my stories, which in turn became great quality cannon fodder for my blog posts of yesteryear. So I'm thinking about working the hot mess of an entity that is my muse back into my blog posts. Because you can never get enough of poking fun at yourself.

On the other hand, this can be an excellent way to showcase a previously unseen side of my writing persona. Not too many people know what makes me fully tick as a writer. Sure, they've seen small bits, tiny pieces and minute parts from time to time {most recently, my thoughtful series on religion showed a previously hidden part of what makes me as writer}, but reintroducing my muse back to my blogging life would be a fantastic, and quite possibly scary, way to peel away another hidden layer of my persona to show the world.

My muse doesn't have a name, but is usually identified with the proper pronoun of She. Kind of like Daniel Craig's character from the movie Layer Cake, in where he's never actually identified by name in the movie or in the closing credits.

As I've previously stated, I miss having my muse being involved with my blogging, and I look forward to working her back into my blogging life. Because you just know, the world indeed does around her, and I'm just along for the ride.

But man, that dog collar has got to go, 'cause I'm no-one's chattel. Except when my muse is involved....

{c} 2019 by G.B. Miller. All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

I Have Stories To Tell! Episode IWSG the 4th

Girl howdy and welcome to the skewered literary world of G.B. Miller, where no good deed goes unpunished and bad deeds are rewarded handsomely.

Besides today being May Day, it's also the 1st Wednesday of the month, and you know what that means (no, not this). YES! It's time for our monthly coffee klatch. aka the IWSG, where writers from all the blogsphere get completely wired out on caffeine and talk a mile a half-minute on all things writing related.

For the past few months, my head has been emptier than a person suffering from TDS (if you're from the states, you know who I'm talking about). This time though, I think I got a writing related topic that we all have gone through, or are currently going through, at one time or another.


In between bouts of writing, we've all suffered from the dreaded waiting malady. Whether it's waiting for you story to come back from your beta readers, waiting to hear back from your graphic designer (if you use one), waiting to hear if your manuscript has jumped through all the necessary hoops in order for you to hit the "publish" button, or even just waiting around for your muse to show its pretty little face, we faced it with every possible combination of emotion.

For me, it's been an especially tough process to go through. For those who know me, I am legendary for blowing my top when it comes to waiting longer than 3 commercial breaks for any entertainment medium. It has taken me many, many years decades to learn the value of patience. This newfound skill has been put to the severest test that I know, when I decided to pursue this side hustle of being a writer.

Let me tell you, it's incredibly tough not to develop the reputation of being a twit when it comes to writing. We've all heard (or experienced) the horror stories of writers behaving extremely bad, and that was the one thing that I did not want to happen to me. I value my hard earned rep as a person who knows how play nice with all the various peoples that I deal with on a daily basis, so the last thing I want to do is ruin that by acting like a twit when it comes to writing.

Presently, the 2nd book of my trilogy, The Friendship Has Continued, is with my editor of choice, being sliced/diced/julienned/dissected. She has constructed a very good time line for the project (9 weeks) and has been very solid in all aspects of it. However, the waiting aspect, while 100% necessary, is really testing my resolve not to act like a twit. I refrain from sending e-mails or nagging on socialized media (we share the same groups and writer friends), simply because I know my book isn't the only thing on her plate and I completely respect that.

So I bide my time, practice my writing skills by blogging and fry out my brain while watching YouTube. All the while waiting for the squeaky wheel to move on to the next stop on the editing journey. Because after all, when you write, waiting is the one part of the journey that separates the adults from the toddlers.

{c} 2019 by G.B. Miller. All Rights Reserved

Sunday, April 28, 2019

I Have Stories To Tell! Episode the 22nd

Girl howdy and howdy to the boy who always looks at his mistress with sad puppy-dogs eyes, and on the rare occasions that she acknowledges him with an evil smile and a twinkle in her eye, comes refreshingly alive and welcome to the skewered literary world of G.B. Miller, where naughtiness is the normal and civility is the abnormal, and what goes up surely won't ever come down.

I thought that for today I would take a crack at writing free form and see what comes out my fertile imagination. Especially since I don't have any topic of note to work on {yes, that includes the series on how "The Friendship Trilogy" came about}, which is directly due to the garbage that is work and the happy reality of having a daughter-in-law this coming September.

For those of you who have followed my blog ramblings for the past ten years this is the return of the 1st/2nd p.o.v. stream of consciousness. For those of you who are new here, here is a sample for you to peruse at your leisure. Note, the video in the post no longer exists in that form, but does exists here.

So my muse, {what, you haven't heard of a writer with a muse?} who I love dearly, is at the moment taking a extremely long vacation, soaking up the sun somewhere on the Gulf Coast. Perhaps you've seen her {got a problem with that?}: lithe, lightly muscular, hotter than a sensual Maxim model and has no qualms in delivering a ginormous ass whooping if you look at her sideways. She is the entity that was the end result of all the character/personality traits from all the people I've met in the past twenty years.

Anyways, my muse is resting up from the recent hubris that was "The Friendship Trilogy" {roughly two plus years of non-stop writing that actually halted when I decided to get book #2 ready for publication and thus came to a stop roughly halfway thru book #3}. Once I came to a stop, she stepped out from my tiny little brain and decided to offer her succinct opinion of this current project.
"Listen, I don't like where the plot to this trilogy is going."
Excuse me?
"I said, I don't like where this plot is going. Change it."
I think not.
She sat on my lap, crossed her legs and lightly ran a manicured fingernail down my cheek. "Are you dismissing my request?"
Shivering for a moment, I swallowed hard and said, Sorry, this basic plot is set in stone. Has been for for the past two and a half years.
She readjusted her position and continued to lightly stroke my cheek. "So, you're dismissing my request."
I shrank a little in my seat, swallowed hard again and said, For this particular story, yes I am dismissing your request.
She readjusted her position yet again and now was straddling my waist. Draping her arms over my shoulders, she purred, "This is so unlike you. How will you make this up to me?"
With a solitary tear running down my cheek, I swallowed very hard, and squeaked, I have a new character name that I want to use for another slushie novel that I want to revisit and rewrite. I promise that the outcome to that novel with be a complete 180 from this one.
She stared hard and deep into my eyes and it was all I could do keep myself screaming out in pain. After blowing out a long ring of smoke, she said, "I like the new name that you have chosen for me. You did good. I shall see you later in the year to help you finish your trilogy."
With that final statement, she got up and walked out of my den and into a waiting BMW convertible. As the car pulled away, I rolled my eyes back into my head, slid out of my chair and stayed in a fetal position for the rest of that week.

{c} 2019 by G.B. Miller. All Rights Reserved

Sunday, April 21, 2019

I Have Stories To Tell! Episode the 21st

Boy howdy and howdy to the girl with the black dress on because Bubbles has moved on to a greener pasture and welcome to the skewered literary world of G.B. Miller, where he has decided to take a slight detour and become a little maudlin for today's post.

This is my daughter's pet ferret Bubbles, and unfortunately on the evening of April 18th, she passed away. We think it was due to old age, as ferrets do not have a long life expectancy, with the average being somewhere 5 and 6 years. We thought she was on her last legs at least two to three weeks prior, but received a reprieve from the man upstairs, so she continued to grace us with her presence.

Sadly, on that Thursday, the end came quick. She wasn't looking too good in the morning when I came down that morning to feed her, but between the time that I left for work (7:30) and returned home at 5:30p, she went downhill exceptionally fast, and moved on to a better life sometime around 8:30p.

So now, we have one less furry friend to keep us company during are day-to-day activities. I now feel a twinge of sadness whenever I go downstairs to my den and walk by the converted fish tank and not see her there. I'm sure that in her new home, she's having a blast stylin' and profilin' and having just a good old time enjoying the brighter side of the afterlife.

Bubbles, you were loved and you'll be missed.

{c} 2019 by G.B. Miller. All Rights Reserved

Sunday, April 14, 2019

I Have Stories To Tell! Episode the 20th

Girl howdy and howdy to the boy who still doesn't get it, or anything else for that matter, and welcome to the skewered literary world of G.B. Miller who, due to the fact that he's still recovering from the kind of cold that annoys you to the point of calling in sick but ultimately doesn't get to that point of calling in sick, is duller than the underside of a leaf in the sarcasm department.

Welcome to part the 2nd of "Backstory: The Birth Of The Trilogy", where we continue to explore in excruciating detail just exactly how my current project had come to fruition. Since we're still talking about the sleazy world of slushie stories, the pumpkin returns.

Today's Classic Quotated comes from the ye olden Tumblr
post of November 26, 2016, which coincidentally is what I'm cherry-picking  researching for today's post.

If you're within the 50 territories called The United (in name only) States of America.....

As I mentioned in last week's post, I was feeling pretty good about what I writing. Page after page of a decent primary storyline and not-so-decent secondary storyline {at this juncture, I was still trying to keep to the original primary narrative of the story} was pouring out my fevered imagination and I thought, "This one is gonna grip me like my first one, I just know it."

But as I got further into it, I found myself not quite concentrating on the task at hand. Whenever I would stop to deal with a sticky plot point {usually with the secondary plotline} I would experience wanderlust. Specifically, the wanderlust that crops up when you're writing a scene and you get to thinking, "do I need some backstory for this scene?"

The nano-second that I said yes, my world went completely Superman Bizarro.

I figuratively face-planted my current project with extreme prejudice and immediately went searching for the solution to my problem. Yes, I actually did have the solution to the problem, it was just matter of looking in the very last spot it would be in.

The first place that I decided to search was the 35+ floppy discs that I currently own. Yes, I said, "floppy discs". Please keep in mind that I'm almost 54 years old and I've been around since the dawn of the Internet, thus I still use seriously ancient technologies, like floppy discs. I also use current technologies like flash drives and cloud storage, so there.

Anywho, after searching the ancient technology and the CPU and coming up emptier than a good bottle of micro-brew, I moved on to the next area to search, ye olden book case.

By nature, when it comes to writing, I have serious OCD. I have printed every notable piece of writing that I've ever created and stuck those bad boys in a binder {a post for another day on the topic of Writer's OCD}, which currently totals almost 1 1/2 dozen notebooks of various shapes and sizes, include the slushie novel that scares me to work on {also another post for another time}.

After an hour's worth of searching every single notebook that contained partial novels, novellas and other assorted written gobbledy-gook, I finally found what I was looking for: that horrendous piece of idyllic trope that violated every common sense rule of grammar, paragraph construction, dialogue construction and sentence structure know to mankind {think "I Are Ready" and multiply that by a factor of 100}.

Tune in next week when we'll have an in-depth review of that slushie novel and how important it ultimately became to the creation of this trilogy.

{c} 2019 by G.B. Miller. All Rights Reserved

Sunday, April 7, 2019

I Have Stories To Tell! Episode the 19th

Girl howdy and howdy to the boy who takes things so gosh darned slow that a 100 year old tortoise does the "wham-bam-thank-you-ma'am" schtick thrice in a single day before he could get his zipper halfway unzipped, and welcome to the skewered literary world of G.B. Miller, who is unashamed to admit that his early writing often resembled that there pumpkin.

In our previous post for IWSG April 2019 {smack dab in the middle of the controlled chaos that is the A-Z blog hop}, we touched upon how I went about writing my current series called "The Friendship Trilogy". I thought that starting with today's post, I would elaborate {in excruciatingly laughable detail} how this all came together.

Now since my memory sometimes has a nasty habit of playing tricks on me, I will be mining some ye olden Tumblr posts from late 2016/early 2017 to help me along. Now I'm pretty sure you're asking yourself, "G.B., you nuked to atomized smithereenies your entire Tumblr world. How is it that you have old posts to mine?"

The answer is quite simple my friends. Tumblr never had a system in place in which you could compose blog posts and save them as you went along, like Blogger and WordPress has. Instead, you had to compose it in one fell swoop, which was great if you had a short post, but horrendous if you have a long post to write and if you couple it with the occasional computer issue, then you can surely understand why in mid 2016, I started writing my posts in Word/WordPad/NotePad first before copy/pasting them over.

With that being said, let's begin at the ending.

Back in ye olden days of writing (2006 thru 2010), I churned out a mountain of excrementally runny  stories. Among those extremely great stories that came from my warped imagination was a novella that I ultimately self-pubbed in 2009 through the vanity press from hell (no I will not link to it) entitled "Betrayed!", and a prequel that really didn't have much of a title to it (a reoccurring theme to a good percentage of my stories).

I was really proud of this prequel (for a myriad of reasons that are not that germane to this post), so after writing the final one-and-done draft, we sort of printed it out, stashed it on the shelf and went on my merry way with the rest of my writing adventures.

For the next six years, I decide to get adulting with my writing and ultimately had some moderate success: one traditionally published novel, a few short stories and a trio of self-pubbed books. Around the spring of 2015, I was starting to sniff around for a new project to work on, and eventually, I settled on doing a rewrite of my vanity published novella, "Betrayed!" While it hovered in that C-/D+ level of goodness and ultimately became the basis of Books by George {now known as Books by G.B. Miller}, I knew that there was a Sahara desert size swath of room for improvement.

So off I went to churn out a new story using my preferred characters of choice (hybrid humans and full humans) as well as using the original story as a close basis for the new story. As I started humming along like a rebuilt engine, churning out page after page after page of a dual plotted story, I was starting to feel pretty good about myself.

But alas, as all of you who have dabbled in the creative art form, all you need is a very tiny seed from the land called "memory banks" to derail whatever progress you were making with your current project. And in my case, this was one of those rare adages that did stick a branch into my wheel spokes, which in caused an epic crash of ginormous proportions...
As always you can catch my act on Facebook and click on the covers for more information about writings.

{c} 2019 by G.B. Miller. All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

I Have Stories To Tell! Episode The IWSG 3rd

A boyish howdy to one and all and all for one and welcome to the skewered literary world of G.B. Miller, where no stone is left unturned as he searches to play both sides at one meaning.

Today, in the midst of the frenzied chaos that is the 2019 A-Z Challenge (for those of you who are partaking of such, today is the letter "C"), we bring you our writing related post.

Because this is the 2019 A-Z Challenge, I thought it would be a nice throwback gesture on my part to link to my "C" post when I had performed my one-and-done A-Z Challenge. And I thought it would be a good idea on my part to use the letter "C" for today's post.

For today's IWSG post, "C" stands for "Consistency".

For me, consistency means that I stay on the tried and true course that is my writing and that the only deviation that happens on that tried and true course, is whenever I happened to write like everyone else by semi-following the rules. To clarify, I don't mean the common sense grammar/sentence/paragraph rules that we all strive to perform, with only slight changes made in order to fulfill our creative needs.

No, I mean the tried and true conventions that we all do with our writing in order for it to make logical sense.

Let's use writing a book series as an example. If you ask 10 writers about how they would go about writing a series, 9 of them will tell you things like: they write them in some kind of chronological order; they introduce characters in chronological order; the plots slowly unfold in a linear fashion, etc. etc. etc. In other words, their consistency is based on the tried and true method of writing a series.

Now, let's pretend I'm the 10th writer answering your reasonable question. Here's how I would answer it.

"Well, I started off writing my current trilogy by rewriting a previously published chapbook. About forty pages/four chapters in, I remembered a completed slushie prequel that I wrote some years prior to the chapbook. After digging it out and re-reading, I proceeded to write a novel using the main plot as an outline. After I had finished, I decided that I really needed another novel to set up the novel that I had just finished. So I wrote the prequel to what I what I thought was a prequel to the chapbook that I was working on. In short, I wrote book #2 first, wrote book #1 second (which I published) and now in the process of re-re-writing book #3."

So as you can see, consistency for me is staying unconventional with my writing. If you give it some thought, how many people do you know started off writing a book series by initially writing the last book first and the first book last?

Consistency. No matter what genre(s) you choose to write in, always be consistent in how you execute your tasks. If you do it conventional (i.e. outlines, plotting, staging) be consistent. If you do it just a little bit outside the box, be consistent about that as well. Your readers will thank you for it.

{c} 2019 by G.B. Miller. All Rights Reserved

Sunday, March 31, 2019

I Have Stories To Tell! Episode the 18th

Boy howdy and howdy doody to the boys and girls who simply enjoy being boys and girls respectively and welcome to the skewered literary world of G.B. Miller, where being seriously glib at work allows you to float like Woodstock and sting like a Donald Trump mic drop.

I thought that for today's post I would give it the old college try of writing a semi-sensible post about random encounters with dogs. But first, s little back story via the pictorial.

I live with three dogs. Lucky, the dog in the top photo, is roughly the age of Methuselah {aka 18 years old} and has a brain holier than Swiss cheese {due to a few mini strokes} but has weird bursts of energy at the strangest times; Tina, the smaller Chihuahua in the bottom photo who seems to be perpetually wound up on quadruple shot espresso; and Oreo, who has no qualms in taking on dogs 20 times his size.

For better or worse {mostly worse} I perpetually have the taint of dog on me, my clothes and my jacket. Normally this isn't a problem, but starting about a couple of months ago, it had become an indirect focus on a disturbing twist to my weekly walks.

As you may or may not know, I have taken up hardcore walking on the weekends. On a normal Saturday, I walk to the center of town run my errands while listening to podcasts/music on my smartphone. This usually takes me about 1 1/2 to 2 hours to accomplish, with the round trip covering about 4 miles. Sundays, I walk late in the morning for a couple of hours, which also covers about 3 to 4 miles as well.

Up until very recently, I had no problem with the myriad of dogs that I would come across on my journeys. Whenever I would come across one, more often than not I would allow the dogs to give my jeans a quick sniff before complimenting the owner of said dog about said dog and continuing on my walk.

However, about two to three months ago, I had an encounter with a dog that afterwards left me skittish about allowing dogs near me. I started out on a walk and as I got to the bottom of my driveway, I had an encounter with a neighbor who was out walking her dog. I did my usual thing and allowed the dog check me out.

Next thing I know, the dog jumps up and attempts to nip my arm. Both I and the neighbor are shocked, with the neighbor quickly pulling the dog back and uttering the trite cliche of "She's never done that before!", which was quickly followed up with a very sincere apology.

Since then, every dog that I encounter during my walks, I give a very wide berth, in that if I'm on a sidewalk and I see one coming, I will detour to the street and walk around, or detour to the other side of the street if I'm walking on a side street. Sad, I know, but this is how I currently choose to deal with having potential contact with dogs.

This may change to something more lethal as I had a very close encounter with another neighbor's dog who attempted to nip/bite my face. I'll spare you the details, but suffice to say, I was not at fault with this one either.

By nature, I do like dogs, but after these two "attacks" (for lack of a better word), I will have no qualms in defending myself by any means necessary should a 3rd "attack" arise.

As always, you can follow my act on Facebook and additionally, have a sparkling week.

{c} 2019 by G.B. Miller. All Rights Reserved

Sunday, March 24, 2019

I Have Stores To Tell! Episode the 17th

Girl howdy and howdy to the boy who enjoys being a manly-man in public, a manly-man in private and a girly-man in music videos, and welcome to the irregular triangle literary world that is G.B. Miller, who takes no guff (archaic phrase), no lip (another archaic phrase) and will never offer you a tissue for your issue (chat room insult).

Before we get into the topic of today, we must first present the picture of the week.

Spring will soon be springing, so don't forget to stock up on those hot-dogs and buns for those warmer days that you to do some out door grilling. Thems good eats fer shure.

The topic for today's post is blurbs.

And you know how I just simply love writing blurbs. They're in my top three list of writing related projects that I do not like to do, right behind the dreaded synopsis and query letter.

As a point of reference, it took me 13 attempts before I succeeded in writing a blurb for the first book in my trilogy, The Friendship Has Begun. Most of the failure was due to 1} starting at the wrong reference point, 2} starting at the right reference point and 3} procrastination.

For book #2, The Friendship Has Continued, I decided to be very proactive. This was primarily due to the fact that the option that I had chosen with the freelance editor that I had hired, was a 9 week turnaround. This meant, among other things, that I would be a bit more involved with editing process with this book than I was with the previous book.

So with roughly a three week window of down time to play with, I got right to work on writing the blurb. On the plus side, because this was the middle book of the trilogy, I had the benefit of referring to the 1st book. On the minus side, because this was the middle book of a trilogy, I had the unenviable task of working in a smidgen of the 1st book into this blurb.

After the 2nd attempt, I posted a snippet on my FB page in order to 1} show people what kind of progress I was making and 2} get some advice on how to make it better. Got quite a few likes on the former and some excellent advice on the latter.

So off I went again with advice in hand. One day and two attempts later, I had my blurb. All 264 words. Granted, it does seem to be a bit long, so I do plan on doing a little judicious editing, but basically, this is it.

As Nikia prepared for her wedding, little did she know the exchange of the two sacred words would change the lives of her and her betrothed in ways they could never imagine. After her surrealistic return from an alternative world, how many of the friends she had made there would infiltrate her new life? 
Pushing that slice of paranoia to a seldom used corner of her mind, Nikia turned her attention back to helping her sisters get ready. She cajoled surly attitudes, massaged bruised egos and pumped up dual self esteems to a high glossy finish. Only when her sisters had gotten to the point of equaling her in lusciousness did she feel confident enough to step outside and present her total self to the family and friends that had gathered to witness what they long thought inconceivable.
The Friendship Has Continued continues the journey that Nikia Robinson had taken up, by focusing on her unforgettable wedding to Raymond Hugo as well as her equally memorable honeymoon. Does her new found strength and attitude help her carry the day? Or does she slip back into who she was prior to? Even worse, do her newly made friends from a few weeks ago show up to infiltrate and potentially ruin the happiness that she and her sisters had finally found for themselves?
From the raucous wedding celebration in rural Connecticut to the utter weirdness of Southern Virginia, The Friendship Has Continued will put you front and center on a surrealistic journey that will continue to push it to the very core of your emotional and spiritual well-being.

Let me know what you think.

Tune in next week, when we'll go off on a related tangent that just might turn into another short series of what makes G.B. function as a writer.

{c} 2019 by G.B. Miller. All Rights Reserved

Sunday, March 17, 2019

I Have Stories To Tell! Episode the 16th

Just outside downtown Hartford CT
Hi-ho and welcome to the skewered literary world of G.B. Miller, where the cityscape that you see is simply a pipe dream for liberal/progress politicians to perpetually hose their constituents with and the constituents are simply too moronically stupid to realize that 1984 is alive and well.

In last week's post, I gave everyone an example on how I used the concepts of Heaven, Hell and Purgatory (aka Limbo) as a partial setting for a novella. For today's post, I will give you a prime example of going hog wild with those concepts, as well as a possible writing tip/discovery.

Back in the land of 2017 when I decided to write my trilogy {the super condensed info dump can be found here} I needed a proper setting/world to have my story take place in. Long story made into a wickedly short sentence, I remembered a particular one-off scene in a previous slushie that I could expand and elaborate on.

Once I decided to devote some brain cells to it, I was surprisingly able to create a entire mini-world for the first book of my trilogy.

Books by G.B. Miller
So using a can opener to unleash the whimsy contained within, I decided that since the only things that I was able to salvage from my slushie novel (ultimately this slushie, which was original designed to be prequel to my chapbook, gave birth to two complete novels) was a girl and a bar. Out of those two particular plot items, I fashioned a complete trilogy

In book one, since I was using Purgatory as my main setting and featuring both plot items, I needed something that would fit seamlessly with the main world. That something turned out to be the old west of the late 19th century, and ultimately we went hog wild with this.

1} We created a noirish/gothic/spaghetti style western town. And when I say spaghetti western, I mean the full complete deluxe version: empty deserted streets, dilapidated buildings, tumbleweed, you name it, it was there.

2} We upgraded the saloon into something positively hideous, which in this case was making it a portal to the land of sulfur and suffering.

3} We took some of the traditional trappings of Hell and turned it sideways. We modernized it just a shade and upped both the horror and psychological factor to the overall journey/rescue.

4} While roughly 95% of the book took place in this warped mini-world, we did add some elements of both Heaven and Hell to the overall mix, the most prominent being a somewhat modern version of the Holy Trinity (apologies to those who might be offended by this). I can tell you with 100% certainty that I did nothing to debase them in any way, shape or form. I may sometimes go off on weird tangents with my writing, I try my very best to show whatever concept I may happen to use, complete respect.

One other thing that I should point out, since I've often been accused of being a neanderthal with certain viewpoints, is that I do believe in diversity. Not the kind of diversity that people bludgeon other people with, but common sense everyday diversity. Like, having a woman as a minister. This person pops up at the end of the story and at the beginning of book #2. I actually I don't have a problem with this, as I remember from decades gone by of having a youth minister who was a woman.

Thus ends our two part series on how I use religion and religious concepts in my writings. Have a spiffy week and I'll catch up with everyone next week with a super riveting post about writing blurbs.

{c} 2019 by G.B. Miller. All Rights Reserved

Sunday, March 10, 2019

I Have Stories To Tell! Episode the 15th

Boy howdy and howdy to the people who are trying to leave my unhappy state of residence and welcome to the finely out-of-tune literary world of G.B. Miller, who calls them as he really sees them...which would make him a very crappy politician.

Today's post will be a mish-mosh of random meaty nuggets designed to fill your stomach but leave your head completely fried.

Take one-hundred-fifty-seven.

For starters, we have another ye olden Tumblr intro to share with you. From April 22, 2017:

Welcome to the wonderfully skewered literary world of G.B. Miller, where crap is king (just ask a typical Democrat), resistance is futile (just ask any college student who happens to be a Republican) and nanny government is the new 1984.

A few posts ago, I feather touched the hot-button topic that is religion, with my focus being on a particular throwaway scene between the MC and a one-off character. For the next two posts, I thought I would elaborate on that particular hot button issue, thus giving you good readers an small insight on what makes G.B. tick at a writer.

I've always had a healthy, albeit seriously skewered, outlook on religion, organized or otherwise. I'm not really sure why or how that came about. I never really went to church much as an adult, and only went as a child when I was required to do so by the parental units (now that's a dated phrase, eh). I never became skeptical about religion (I do believe there is a higher deity) nor did I questioned the tenets closely. For me, it was just one small slice of my character development that I never really gave any thought to.

I think that because of my relatively blase attitude towards religion, it never became an issue of conscience when I started using a few religious concepts as background scenery for my stories. To me, they were simply places to set a story in, which in turn allowed me to customize/tweak to my twisted heart's content for modern audiences.

For example, for a novel that ultimately became a yummy slushy (this was my first attempt at taking a mediocre 24 page short story and turning it into a full length novel. 75% completed before I completely and utterly lost the plot thread), I took the concept from this Albert Brooks movie and tweaked it just a shade.

I made both Heaven and Purgatory symbiotic corporate entities and went to town with it: a bus making its daily journey around the world to pick up the recently deceased, bringing them to Purgatory, which became something of a transfer station, and then having them relive their life up to the point of death. I never really got beyond that, as it eventually petered out and got shelved.

However, the one thing I did takeaway from that decent slushy (besides not wanting to copy a movie concept too closely again), was that I didn't want to make my Purgatory sterile like that again. You noticed that I didn't include either Heaven or Hell, and there is a good reason for that. I've always found the concept of Purgatory (or Limbo if prefer) completely and utterly fascinating.

I've always thought that Purgatory never got its proper due, unlike Heaven and Hell. So the bulk of my stories going forward that had any religious concepts always focused on Purgatory. Heaven sometimes got hinted at as well as Hell, but the main focus was always on Purgatory.

There was the occasional exception to that rule, with the most glaring one being this particular novella.

Books by G.B. Miller
The story concept was pretty basic: boy meets girl, boy obsesses over girl, boy tries to get girl through nefarious means, boy suffers the consequences.

What makes this more unique is that this entire novella was a based on a blog post. You read correctly, a blog post. I had written a piece of mini flash fiction as a blog post one day and ultimately decided to turn it into a story.

While one of the protagonists was from Purgatory, two others were from Heaven. Purgatory was mentioned infrequently as I decided to tighten my focus on Heaven and Hell-on-Earth.

While I did manage to introduce/flesh out some the traditionally nasty elements of Hell, the main focus was a modern battle between Heaven (in the form of Gabriel and Michael) and Hell (the evil boyfriend), with just a tiny bit of Purgatory being used as a conduit for both Heaven and Hell.

Overall, I did a respectable job of fleshing out and telling a modern version of the age old battle of who was to get a possession of a soul: Heaven or Hell. But I knew, that deep down with a little more practice, I could up the ante and go hog wild in creating another story using the triad of Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory that would blow everyone away.

Next week: The Friendship Trilogy.

As always, you can follow me on FB and check out my writings via the covers on the front page.

{c} 2019 by G.B. Miller. All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

I Have Stories To Tell! Episode The ISWG 2nd

Girl howdy and howdy to one and all, and welcome to the seriously so-far-left-of-center-that-it's-considered-to-be-right literary world of G.B. Miller, who considers himself to be the funniest person in a room of one.

Today is the first Wednesday of the month, which means it's time for the IWSG blog hop. This particular day is set aside for insecure writers across the blog-o-sphere to share all of our individual experiences, the gud, the baaaaaad and the plug ugly.

Since this post is geared towards some type of writing insecurity/tangent, and that I had already bloviated this past Sunday (3/3) about the writing crutch called "cliches", it seems that I must use the alternative question for this months post.

"Whose perspective do you like to write from best, the hero {protagonist} or the villain {antagonist}? And why?"

I think that I'd originally started writing from the viewpoint of the hero, but it slowly morphed into writing from both points of view in a given story. Up until very recently, it was usually two people that I would bring into the mix for a given story, one the hero and one the villain, and I would alternate both viewpoints in the story. More often than not, they would lean towards the hero when all was said and done.

For my current trilogy, the perspective has done a complete 360, in that my original hero, by book #3, has morphed into the villain. In book #1, she started as the hero, so the perspective was written completely through her. In book #2, the perspective still stayed her as the hero, up until the last two pages of the book. 

For book #3, the perspective is now being shifted for the first half of the book, as my hero has now turned into the villain. For the second half, I haven't quite settled on what the perspective will be. I still believe that my hero-turned-villain will stay that way, but I'm also toying with the idea of making my villain a sympathetic figure.

So as you can see, while the question should be a no-brainer to answer, for me it seems like my writing perspective has evolved to something that is mixture of both hero and villain within the same main character.

{c} 2019 by G.B. Miller. All Rights Reserved

Sunday, March 3, 2019

I Have Stories To Tell! Episode the 14th

Girl howdy and howdy to the boy who shakes his groove thing, often with disastrous results, and welcome to the highly skewered literary world of G.B. Miller, where SJW is a dirty word, Democrat is a dirtier word and common sense is extinct.

Last week we touched upon the topic of "throwaway scenes" and how they could showcase a particular scene without any adverse effects.

Today's topic of choice, which is a newbie's absolute favorite writing crutch, is the cliche. For you established writers, I know you're gonna cringe in pain as if you were listening to this aria, but please bear with me as I try to do a intervention by enlightening those who are learning the ropes and just getting their toes wet.

There are quite a few writing rules that one should absolutely pay attention to when you're starting out on the road to being comfortably rich enough to buy a case of quality beer/lager/IPA once a year. One of those rules is the minimal use/overuse of cliches. There is a right way and a wrong way to use cliches, and today we're going to talk about both.

Part the 1st, the wrong way to use cliches.

An over-reliance on using cliches can turn an average story into something that a reader would say, "Bleech!" before tossing it away. In case you're a bit clueless on what a cliche is, this definition by the Oxford Dictionary should help immeasurably.

While you think that you're being extremely clever with peppering your story with the tried and true cliches, you're really not. As a reader, unless you the writer are writing a period piece that requires an over-abundance of slangy phrases, I get extremely turned off by cliches. Makes me think that you the writer doesn't have diddly/squat. So at all costs, do not use them. Use the talent that you're busy fleshing out to describe what you want to say in better detail. However, if you must use cliches in your stories, then continue reading.

Part the 2nd, the right/less wrong way to use cliches.

An under-reliance of using cliches is your best bet. Your second best bet is to create fresh phrases to replace the ye olden phrase that means the roughly the same thing. As a writer, I try to use a mixture of both. I always shoot for an under-reliance of cliches, because I know my writing is strong enough to keep the cliches at the bare minimum. However, there are times when I do need to use them in order to get a point across.

Example #1: "Sure as you're black and he's white."

This was basically an answer to the question of "Are you sure?" that the MC had asked. While on the surface it may sound crass, it does point out that the person asking is black and the person with her is white. In other words, the answer is confirming a case of the obvious.

Example #2: She licked it like a lolly, sucked on it like a vacuum and embraced it like a jar of warm honey.

This is basically a fleshed out description of....a particularly personal act one does in the confines of the bedroom with their significant other. There are myriad of ways to describe these kind of things but sometimes, you really want to get creative w/o getting explicit, and reworking a trite cliche can do wonders for scenes such as these:

Example #3: Nuder than a centerfold and twice as hot.

Most of the ways that you can describe a person's physical attributes, whether male or female, absolutely drip with conformity and staleness. Thus, a new twist on describing a naked person, which in this particular case, is a woman. It paints a vivid picture w/o getting overly explicit.

So as you can see, there's a right way and a wrong way to use cliches. Cliches are great for when you're practicing your writing (kind of like Tom Swiftys) or when you're blogging and you want to use a little humor. They're not so great when you rely on them for your story and write them verbatim. If you must use a cliche, then your best bet is to rework it into something fresh, unique and 100% you.

{c} 2019 by G.B. Miller. All Rights Reserved

Sunday, February 24, 2019

I Have Stories To Tell! Episode The 13th

Girl Howdy and howdy to the boy who is lovingly misogynistic in his fantasies while portraying the dutiful partner in the here and now, and welcome to the urban jungle that is hosted by G.B. Miller, where swinging from the vine is the preferred method of travel these long as you don't get electrocuted in the process.

Last week, I mentioned a couple topics of choice that I wanted to talk about in some upcoming posts: cliches and throwaway scenes. Granted, because they are two of my favorite tropes to use in my stories, it made it that much more difficult to choose. But choose I did, so for today's post, we will talk about throwaway scenes.

Basically, a throwaway scene {IMO} is where you have a momentary lull in action at a particular point in a story and you need to fill it with something that is just barely connected by some sewing thread to the overall story. By "barely connected" I mean it has almost zero do with the overall story but it's used as an example for that particular scene that it appears in.

Confused? Well, don't be. The rest of the post will {hopefully} clear up any confusion you might have.

I have one such throwaway scene in book #1 of "The Friendship Trilogy". It fits perfectly for that particular transitional scene but has almost nothing to do with the overall story, and now I will elaborate on how this throwaway fits with this particular scene.

In general, I like writing about certain aspects of religion. Specifically, I like exploring the concepts of Heaven, Hell and Purgatory with my writing and this book is no exception, with roughly 97% of the story taking place in a particular section of Purgatory. To get even more specific, I like poking fun at certain types of religious people.

Take zealotry for example.

I've always had a certain fascination with religious zealotry for as long as I can remember. Although I haven't experienced it (fortunately) on a personal level, I have read about it extensively as well as watched it in the movies over the years. So with this particular scene needing something that would be somewhat commonplace in the late 19th century (specifically, the American West in the late 19th century), I wrote a roughly 1 1/2 page encounter between my MC and a somewhat unbalanced religious zealot.

Because this was Purgatory, this encounter made sense in a strange way. I briefly turned my MC into an Angel Of Death, hell bent on revenge, who ultimately recruited this p.o.s. of a zealot to spread the word of her arrival.

Now, you may be asking yourself, how is this a throwaway scene?

For starters, it didn't start out to be a throwaway scene. It actually started out as a chance encounter that my MC had with an old man after she had asked a question about the condition of a building that she was in only moments ago. But it quickly deteriorated from there (because I got inspired) as the old man suddenly dropped to his knees in terror. The proceeding paragraph will give you a taste on what kind of tangent I decided to go on.

The gnarly old man fell silent, but only for a moment as the realization that he might be in the presence of The Angel Of Death hit him like a two by four.
"Good Lord sweet Jesus in Heaven! It's you!" cried the man as he dropped to his knees clasping his hands and swaying his body in fervent emotion. "The day of reckoning is upon us! The vileness of this town will soon be purged by this Angel of Death! No mercy for the wicked and depraved! But mercy for the good and righteous!"

And we basically stayed like this for the remaining 1 1/2 pages of the chapter. I originally wanted to explore this a little further for an upcoming confrontation but decided instead to let it hint at a possible nefarious and useful tangent. Which, ultimately, came for naught, as it simply became an interesting example of who and what was inhabiting this particular slice of Purgatory. No more and no less.

If you want to look at it in another way, think of a throwaway character that briefly pops up in order to help move along a specific snippet of a scene, then disappears and never is heard of again.

Tune in next week as we tackle the trope that is the bane of all seasoned writers and is incorrectly embraced by newbies: cliches.

{c} 2019 by G.B. Miller. All Rights Reserved

Sunday, February 17, 2019

I Have Stories To Tell! Episode the 12th

A boyish howdy and howdy to the girlie girl who knows how to ground and pound 'til the opposition screams for mercy and welcome to the skewered literary world of G.B. Miller, where the four seasons exist in a way that brings happiness to all and not necessarily in the traditional way.

Today's post is being composed a few days early, as opposed to the usual day before/day of, which is basically due to the fact that it's pay week at work, and with the next upcoming holiday (that's right, your tax dollars are super hard @ work paying 95% of all guv'ment employees to sit on their collective duff and doing nothing of import) I'll be frazzled into obnoxiousness.

Kind of like politicians, right?

Another heavy duty factor that is somewhat related, albeit peripherally, is that I have to buy a new printer and make a decision on a new editor this week. For some unknown, and probably very expensive, reason one half of my printer decided not to work. After much aggravation, which included dealing with the worst tech support that a tech company could ever have (HP), we have isolated the issue to something being wrong with a component that deals with toner.

Suffice to say, it will be cheaper to buy a new printer than it would be to get it fixed. I won't say time is of the essence, but considering M$ is ending support for Win7 in early 2020, it's imperative that I have a printer that is still compatible with Win7. Once next year rolls around, Win7 will become my writing computer and a Mac of some type will become my main computer of choice. Ye olden XP will be lovingly packed away never to be heard from again...unless I can't make a ye olden floppy disk drive work in Win7.

In regards to a new editor, I posted an s.o.s in one of my writing groups and received a few suggestions, one of which came from well known writer (in the U.K.) and was 2nded by the admin of the group, who is also a well known writer in the U.K. Turns out that the editor in question is well known in my writing group under a pen name and I've had the occasional contact with him throughout the past year.

If he does a good job, this will put me into a bit of a quandary for my 3rd novel, in that I'll have two good editors to choose from. I don't want to disappoint either one of them but this will be a difficult selection when the time comes to publish the final novel of the trilogy.

As always, you can follow me on FB and check out my writings via the book covers. Have a good week everyone and I'll talk to you again next Sunday, when the topic of choice will either be cliches or throwaway scenes.

{c} 2019 by G.B. Miller. All Rights Reserved

Sunday, February 10, 2019

I Have Stories To Tell! Episode the 11th

Boy howdy and howdy to the boy who enjoys teasing the girls but secretly has a man crush on himself, and welcome to the skewered literary world of G.B. Miller, where souls hardier than myself drive scooters when the wind chill makes the real temperature drop to 'tween land.

Today's post will be semi-fluffy, in that I don't have much in the way of meatiness to write about, only seafood samplers for topics.

We'll start the festivities with ye olden Tumblr intro quote. Today's quote is from my post of April 8, 2017. The post itself covers one particular plot device {motorcycles} that I'd used in book #1, The Friendship Has Begun.

Greetings and welcome to the wonderful skewered literary world of G.B. Miller, where improper language is the norm, excessive verbiage is Norm and we don't own a cute kitten named Nermal.

Kind of brief, which was due to having fun with the word "norm", and to the point.

I'm finally finished with my 4th (or was it 5th?) round of editing for book #2, The Friendship Has Continued. However, I have run into a very small snag, which is that the editor of choice is solidly booked until August. Fantastic for her, because being gainfully self-employed is a very good thing indeed. Not so good for me, since while I'm not working on an insanely tight deadline, I do have one, which is late Spring/early Summer 2019.

Which leaves me where? Where is checking out the editing services that my formatter has as her side hustle. She charges a flat rate of $50 per 10k words, so I'm looking at an initial cost of between $250 to $300. I'll probably do a little more thinking about it but it looks like I'll be using Go Published for all of my editing and formatting this time around.

One of the toughest things for me to write, besides an outline and a synopsis (of any length) is a blurb. Blurbs are what makes me procrastinate so badly that I would rather listen to bad hit pieces about the President than write one. But, it had to be done.

While I was busy transferring updated chapters/book from one USB drive to another, I found the remnants of one that I wrote for a writing prompt in my writer's group last year. It goes something like this.

She was an hybrid woman who who had just escaped from an abusive relationship and was near death from starvation when he unexpectedly stumbled across her while out doing his morning jog. He crawled back over to check out her condition and what he saw turned his stomach and made his blood boil. He picked her up with the intention of carrying her to the local veterinary clinic when he suddenly felt something wet run across his ear. He turned and raised his eyebrows questioningly. She responded by flashing her teeth before pointing at his neck and pleading with her eyes. Quickly swallowing back a rising tide of nausea, his first reaction was to drop her and leave her to the whims of Father Nature. But, after staring deep into her eyes, he decided that maybe, just maybe, this could turn into something so far outside the norm that it would be a delightful relationship to pursue. So he nodded, she caressed his check for a moment before sinking her teeth, with as much delicacy she could muster, into his neck. And that, my friends, was the start of the most outrageous love/hate relationship you've ever seen.

For a first draft blurb, it's pretty decent. Covers all the major points and would work quite well if the book it was attached to was a stand-alone. But since the book is volume #2 of a trilogy, it will have to be severely tweaked. But it seems like a good piece to start with, which is twenty-five of the battle being won.

As always, you can check out my writings via the book covers on the side, or peruse my vast blog archives (via the page tab up top). Have a very fascinating Valentine's Day this week, no matter who you love or lust after.

{c} 2019 by G.B. Miller. All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

I Have Stories To Tell! Episode The IWSG!

Boy howdy and howdy to all the drive-by visitors to my new blog, I Have Stories!

After spending roughly 1 1/2 years wandering around on another blogging platform, I have come back to where it all started.

Without further ado, here is my ye olden witty intro to the monthly IWSG blog hop.

The first Wednesday of the month is set aside for insecure writers across the blog-o-sphere to share all of our individual experiences, the gud, the baaaaaad and the plug ugly.

If my name sounds familiar to some of you, then three cheers and a Tigger for you. I have previously participated in the IWSG blog hop under my previous Blogger blog, Father Nature's Corner. For those of you who do remember me and are curious on what I've been doing for the past couple of years, please check out the 1st two posts of this blog for the all the salacious details.

With the intro out of the way, I shall now enlighten everyone on a minor {or major, depending on how you want to look at it} insecurity/worry of mine: writing a trilogy.

For the past several years, I've always written stand-alone stories. They were relatively easy to do, as all the characters were self-contained and whatever back story you wanted to introduce was usually a one off. And because I'm a dyed-in-the-wool panster when it comes to writing, writing stand-alones worked perfectly for me.

But then came that fateful day back in late 2016 when I decided to re-write a previously vanity published book. Excruciatingly long story made painfully short, I'm now one-third of the way through the final book of the trilogy, and let me tell you, it's not been an easy journey.

Developing characters, bringing some characters immediately forward to the next book, having some characters lay dormant for the next book but come roaring back with a vengeance for the final book, and above all, keeping track of all of them as well as the various plot lines. It's enough to make me lose my mind.

Even though for the final book I decided to break my cardinal rule by writing a four page manifesto/outline that was intended to map out exactly what I need to accomplish in this final book, I'm still thinking I'm missing something important. Something that is a key component to the completion of the trilogy. Something that when it does pop up, will make me pull my hair out with a pair of zircon encrusted tweezers (I'm pretty much bald, btw), especially since I wrote another one page outline for when I start writing the book again sometime later this year.

I've already found one major error while going through a final round of edits for book #2. The kind of error that left uncorrected, would throw the story into chaos.

I tell ya, it ain't easy writing a series of any length, and I give major props to those people who can do it and do it well.

I thank everyone for stopping by to read my IWSG and I look forward to interacting with everyone in the near future.

{c} 2019 by G.B. Miller. All Rights Reserved

Sunday, February 3, 2019

I Have Stories To Tell! Episode the 10th

Boy howdy, girl howdy and howdy to all of those who choose to be both, and welcome to the skewered literary world of G.B. Miller, where talk is cheap and you can't touch my three lock box or surrender to the inevitable.

Yah, I know, that was bad, but hey, sometimes you can swing for the fences and all you get is a dribbler.

Today's post will be a bit fluffy as I have a special post coming up on February 6th. When I decided to come back to Blogger, one of the first things that I wanted to do was to start participating again in a certain monthly blog hop sponsored by the Insecure Writer's Support Group blog. So I accomplished that by signing my blog up to be exposed to dozens of other blogging peeps.

So while that particular post is going to be very much writing related, this one will be fluffy and light (see the photo on the right for a shining example of that fluffiness).

I used to be a major macadamia nut when it came to reading. I would often check two to three books out of the library at a clip and finish them within two weeks. Last year I decided perform a novel experiment, in which I would keep a detailed list on the amount of books that I was reading for the year.

So for the 1Q of 2018, I did really good, as I checked out 30 books and read 25. For the most part they were evenly split between fiction and non-fiction. I had started three different mystery series: one set in the late 15th century, one set in the mid 1980's and one set in the post WW1 era of England.

The 2Q wasn't as productive, as I'd started working on getting the 1st book of my trilogy out to the general masses. I finished that quarter with 14 books checked out and 12 read.

Then came the harbinger of ill-winds: my birthday.

My family had been bugging me for years to get a smart phone, so for my b'day, I decided to get a smart phone and use the one remaining vacant line that I had on my account. I originally got the smartphone in order to listen to baseball games, since we switched cable providers and my channel of choice was no longer available.

Then I discovered podcasts.

Suffice to say and in no short order, my reading dropped precipitously. Long story short (the longer version will be for a future post), reading for the 3Q dropped to 4 books checked out with 3 read as I found myself deeply immersed into the world of podcasts.

And as you've been probably able to deduce, no books were checked out or read for the 4Q.

So there you have it. Instead of my usual quota of roughly 110+ books read for a given year, I read a very pitiful 47 books for 2018. Sad, sad, sad.

Remember to stop by on February 6th for my very first IWSG blog hop post, and as always, you can follow me on FB as well as checking out my writings by clicking on the book covers.

{c} 2019 by G.B. Miller. All Rights Reserved

Sunday, January 27, 2019

I Have Stories To Tell! Episode the 9th

Girl howdy and howdy to the girl who is girlie enough to be the happy mistress of the light but butch enough to bring out your submissive side publicly with no shame, and welcome to the nifty literary world of G. B. Miller, where the perpetual question of "If I was up, would you be down?" will never, ever be answered by him.

As per the norm, a picture from my vast 10+ year archive of photos, of which the majority can be found in my pictorial blog Pictures for Smarties{front page tab is provided for your ease of convenience}.

I have no real comment on this but it sure is cute, eh?
I thought I would add something new to today/s post, something I'm calling "Classic Quotated". This will be a weekly-to-semi-monthly quote of ye olden defunct Tumblr intros that were designed to show off both my dry wit and naughty sense of humor.

Today's installment is from ye olden post of October 27, 2018, and as you'll see, it touches two very real ongoing hourly/daily/weekly occurrences. Disclaimer: I am a moderate Republican, but did not vote for him, and I did suffer a direct hit from a now ex-FB Canadian friend (her choice, not mine) who is infected with said disease.

Boy howdy and howdy to the girl who likes to be the husband in the relationship and welcome to the wonderfully skewered literary world that is G.B. Miller, where dealing with Trump Derangement Syndrome is a daily occurrence in socialized media and posting "Illegal immigrants are criminals" is hate speech.

As they say, FacialSlapBook is like a gallon of rotten egg nog that tastes absolutely divine.

Anywho, to the writing up-to-date!

We're still busy merrily chugging along with our current round of editing, as I'm now working on chapter 12. I've sliced about 500+ words from the book so far and I'm sure more will be sliced by the editor. One of the many things that I'm trying to reduce {as per the excellent advice from my editor} is the amount of personal pronouns that I've used in the story. By "personal pronouns", I mean that I'm using the characters names way too much (like almost every two paragraphs), so I'm trying to substitute those particular pronouns with "he/she/him/her", and so far I'm doing pretty good.

And now, we feature a right hand "K" shaped u-turn for your enjoyment, which is specifically writing related.

As most people can confirm, I'm a linear kind of guy. At work, I always move in the way of "A-B-C-D-E" whenever I'm doing something. Whenever I'm forced to deviate (usually involuntarily) from a particular plan of attack, I can get highly irritable. With writing, it's pretty much the same deal. I can only write in a linear order: the beginning, the middle(s); the end. I can't do it any other way.

Flashback to late Summer 2016.

I had decided to re-write an early vanity published novella for my next project. I dug out the original manuscript to use as a basic outline, and proceeded to start writing. Happily oblivious, I soon had about 4 complete chapters written and I was doing sooooooooooooooo good that I felt invincible. But then, my mind played a dirty trick on me. It said, "G.B., what about that prequel that you wrote some ten years ago?"

And just like that, my happy oblivion was brutally eliminated with extreme prejudice. I immediately stopped writing and started looking for the prequel, which I found about a half hour later. We ate the dust bunnies (with coleslaw), re-read the slushie and commenced to writing. Roughly six months later, in the Spring of 2017, we had a doozy of a 1st draft for a novel. Once completed, I got ready to go back to work on my previous project and congratulated myself on a job well done.

But, tooting my own horn quickly turned sour and out of tune. Why? Because that insidious memory of mine once again spoke up. It said, "Ya know, it sounds like you need a prequel to the prequel."


I beg of you, please don't make me do it. I just can't take on that kind of responsibility. I'm not that strong enough to do it. My writing is good, but that would require me to take it up another notch or two. I'm old to do this. But...but...but.

But nothing. My friends, in a nutshell, I went out of my comfort zone by writing a non-linear trilogy.  I started what would become book #3 (version 1) first. Switched gears to write what I thought would be book #1, but became book #2. Then I wrote book #1, which came out last year. Trashed 1.0 of book #3 and ultimately wrote half of book #3 version 2.0


As always, you can follow me on FB, check out my blogging archives as well as my books via the book covers and page tabs.

{c} 2019 by G.B. Miller. All Rights Reserved

Sunday, January 20, 2019

I Have Stories To Tell! Episode the 8th

Girl howdy and howdy to the boy who is so comfortable in his masculinity that he has no problem in showing off his devotion to his lady love by wearing a customized dog collar and leash in public, and welcome to the skewered literary world of G.B. Miller, where nothing of note happens in his world without his direct involvement...whether it hurts him or not.

Since we're about to get gobsmacked with a vortex of weather cold enough to shrivel your hair follicles to nothingness, I thought for this blog's weekly picture, we show a house covered with some soft fluffy white stuff.

It has been a crazy week in G.B. Miller's world and he has no idea on where to start, but like a certain well known comedian would say, let us begin at the beginning.

Work has been normally nutty at best and since I've talked about ad nauseum about work (I's a state guv'ment employee who DOESN'T deal with the general public on any kind of basis, seldom or otherwise), we'll kick it back over to the writing mode. But first, a blast from the past.

I've always abhorred censorship in all of its ugly forms (including when I'm forced to do it either on my blog or on FaceSlapBook) but I especially abhor it on radio. While I do understand the need to scrub/muddle F-bombs (which is why that kind of stuff is limited to college radio on the overnight or Internet radio) from songs, which can sometimes ruin the climax in a song {see RATM "Killing In The Name Of"}, I absolutely detest it when they, meaning commercial radio, scrubs non-swear words from popular songs.

A classic diatribe about radio censorship from ye olden blog Cedar's Mountain, dated January 4, 2013, for you to peruse and enjoy.

 And now, the noun-verb-adverb-adjective-other-types-of-grammar update portion of our post.

Like I stated earlier, this week has been certifiably nutty, so the mundaneness that is editing has been the oasis that helps me keep my sanity. Well that, and listening to music that normally helps me fall asleep too.

I'm wired differently when it comes to music and writing. To create, I need silence/P&Q in order to get things done. I discovered early on that if I listen to music or anything else while writing, I wind up concentrating more on the music that I do the writing. Editing is a entirely different animal. I can listen to almost anything while editing, including sports, but I find that if I really want to concentrate on what I'm editing, I'll listen to somewhat non-intrusive music for background noise.

I say "non-intrusive" since I will often tune out what I'm listening to when I'm doing other things. Bad if you're listening to a genre you really like (i.e. heavy metal, country or americana), but good if you're listening to a genre that you like but only can take it in small doses, so if you tune out and come back, you haven't missed much.

Back in the summer of my discontent {aka 2018} I discovered a fascinating Internet radio conglomo called SomaFM. Currently, SomaFM (which is 100% listener supported and which I will probably donate to once I get my finances under control) carries 30 different musical genres that cater to almost every taste under the sun.

I personally have the following, some of which I tap into to help me edit: FolkForward {folk}; BootLiquor {their version of Americana}; ThistleRadio {Celtic}; Lush {mellow/sensual electronica w/vocals}; BAGel Radio {non-commercial alternative/indie}; and a new one that I just added called Metal Detector {heavy metal}. The 1st, 3rd, 4th and 5th listed is what I'll use as white nose while editing. Low volume plus not knowing any of the artist equals a good time to be had by all. I also listen to bluegrass and eclectic music from Radio Paradise as well.

This my friends, helps me stay in the proper frame of mind for book I'm currently editing. Nothing worse than listening to something that does't work with what you got. So far, it's been working extremely well for me.

As always, you can follow me on Facebook and check out my various writings by clicking on the book covers or Books by G.B. Miller.

{c} 2019 by G.B. Miller. All Rights Reserved