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Chasing Squirrels!

This blog episode is NOT about squirrels!

Okay, well, maybe it is - just a little bit - but hear me out, I think it'll be worth it as I'm not going to keep you long.

As an author, I'm reminded often about the tools writers use. There are good actually taking the time to write, using spellcheck often, and writing your first draft without feeling the need to edit while you progress (which is a bad habit for me - mainly because I hate editing). Then there are the bad tools: the first to pop into mind is procrastination. Now, this shouldn't even be IN out toolbelt, much less, used. However, it's sometimes the tool writer use best from time to time. It's so easy to sit down at the computer with all the good intentions of writing that best seller that's been spinning around in our heads for twenty years, yet at every opportunity...

SQUIRREL - (I just clicked an article on getting my master's degree in underwater fire prevention for only $10K...what a bargain)!

...see what I did there? It's so easy to get distracted. Writing takes discipline and that's another tool that must be honed and used often. How do I combat this? Well, I try (emphasis on try) to get distracted on things that might/will help in my writing career. They say a good writer is a proficient reader too. I read a lot! I also listen to self-help podcasts that focus on writing and publishing.

One such podcast is fairly new and I'm really enjoying it. What's the podcast, Chris? Tell us, please!

The podcast I'm referring to (drumroll please) SQUIRELL! PODCAST FOR THE DISTRACTED WRITER by Candace J. Thomas and Jodi L. Milner. I don't know Candace (and hope to remedy that someday), but Jodi and I met through an online (via Zoom) writer's group called the WEDNESDAY WRITERS WHATCHAMACALLIT. Jodi always has great insight and advice (she also writes fantasy if you want to check those out too), and those insights and advice translate right over into the podcast world. As of this writing, Candace and Jodi have produced six episodes and I'm really looking forward to hearing more. I hope you'll check them out and subscribe.


Here's the place where I let you know what's new, what's coming up, and just anything newsworthy I feel the need to share.

First off is my venture into the world of adult coloring books. If reading is my #1 squirrel then art is my #2! However, since part of my livelihood comes from my art, then I can't really consider it a distraction, right? So what am I doing with coloring books? Well, I have three already available through your favorite online retailer: Me'Me's Garden, Paint the Town, and SpiralArt. Over the next few months I plan on updating the first two books as I'm not entirely happy with the graphics. In the past few weeks I've learned that greyscale coloring pages are a popular thing and I'm going to attempt to locate all the original images and do a conversion to greyscale. In addition, I've started a Patreon account where every month I'll be posting a variety of new adult coloring pages for subscribers (at only $4 a month) to print and enjoy at their leisure. If you are interested in becoming a patron, here's a quick link to my Patreon page: Paw-Paw's Ink Well Patreon Page.

Next up is my #1 squirrel trigger: reading. What am I reading currently? I just finished Stinger by Robert McCammon for the second time. I first read it back in high school and remember it being a good read but what I didn't remember was how reminiscent it was of the John Carpenter classic '82 horror movie, The Thing! I am a huge fan of horror and The Thing is one of my all time favorite horrors. It's not just about the shape-shifting and the gore...well, it is about that too, but it's also about the psychological paranoia that Carpenter captured on screen. While McCammon's book didn't capture the paranoia quite as well, he did get the body horror right. This is one book I'd love to see adapted to the silver screen.

Finally, here's what I've just started reading: Mr. X by Peter Straub. I'm a fan of Peter Straub and I've read most of his book (there are a few, however that I just couldn't get in to). However, The Blue Rose trilogy are great reads (consisting of KOKO, Mystery, and The Throat) and I highly recommend them. I'm only about 10 pages into Mr. X, but going off the dust jacket description, I'm probably going to dig it (did someone say, Doppelganger!?). I'll report on it more in my next blog.

That's it for me today. Thanks for spending a few minutes with me and I'll "see" you next time.


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