hiatus-hamockI had lofty ideals when I started Oh The Squalor.

As a writer, I wanted to connect with other writers, tell my story and have the opportunity to hear theirs.

The problem is that… well… it’s not that easy.  There are countless forums and other areas to connect with writers, and one man’s blog just isn’t the ideal platform.  Writer blogs are much better suited as outreach platforms from established writers that need to connect with their audience, or as opportunities for writers to provide writing tips. Continue reading

Another Man’s Treasure – The Kingkiller Chronicles

cover_277For Christmas, I bought my parents (and a couple other people) the first two books (sadly the only two books!!!!) of Patrick Rothfuss’ Kingkiller Chronicles.

They are my favorite books.  Ever.  In the whole world.

I love them.  I read them for the first time several years ago.  I read them again this past summer.  They have brought me to tears.  Several times.

Ever since I got them for my parents, I’ve been that annoying jackass who can’t stop asking them what they think.  My father has a touch of the sci-fi/fantasy nerd in him, so he’s been the first to dive in. Continue reading

Editing Woes – March in Review

I got one step closer in November

I got one step closer in November

Woah.  This Month in Review is more than a little late.


I guess I just got caught up in all that fun editing I have (not) been doing.

Since posting about how much I hate editing, I briefly got on a roll with it then almost as suddenly stopped.

Huge bummer.

On days that I edit, I have allowed myself to only produce 300 words of writing.  On days that I do not edit, I have forced myself to produce 500 words of writing.    Continue reading

Fun Fact: I Hate Editing!

frustrationI had just slogged through editing my novel – the one I’ve been talking about for a while – for… an undefined period of time.

I reached a point in a scene where the scenery and feel changed.

It felt like a natural stopping point, so I decided to call it a day on the editing front. I’d been at it a while.  I felt good about what I’d done.  I knew that I must’ve gotten through quite a bit.

Continue reading

A Change in Strategy

Past and future

Past and future

I’ve been writing novels – with vary degrees of success – for the last year and a half.

When I first got back into writing, December 2014, I started with random stuff.  A scene here or there.  Something that came to me while I was walking or at work.  Or driving.  For whatever reason, the best ideas always come when I’m driving.

The point is that I was just trying to get the muscle to flex again.  I wasn’t being picky.

Continue reading

Oh, Yeah, I Matched… No Big Deal

70d1c68bf37b450aa8e6910d4fe96d13_400x400Yesterday, Friday March 18th was Match Day.

Match Day is referred to as the “NFL Draft of Medicine.”  It is when fourth year medical students – after countless hours, blood, sweat, and tears, and dozens of interviews – are assigned their residency spot.

It’s actually a weird process if you don’t know anything about it, and I encourage you to check out the article I linked to above.

I’m just going to give the Cliff Notes version here.

Continue reading

Describing Things – A Writing Exercise

Under_Heaven_(Guy_Gavriel_Kay_novel)_cover_artI am reading Under Heaven by Guy Gavriel Kay.  It has served as my introduction to his work.

The man writes beautifully.

I read the first page then turned to my girlfriend and read it to her aloud.  We spent several minutes commenting on the structure of his prose and the simple beauty of his descriptions.

I do not do this often.

As I continued through the book, I found myself reading and re-reading sentences and paragraphs in much the same way, allowing myself to appreciate the construction and flow and choice of wording again and again.

Continue reading

Almost There – February in Review

I’m almost there.

I’ve almost finished my NaNo.

I mean, sure I “finished” it during November.  I wrote the requisite 50,000 words (and more) and had a complete first draft.

But, an entire section of the first draft needed to be thrown out and re-written.  And without the all consuming motivation of NaNo carrying my forward, it has taken much longer.  I’ve been plodding along at about 650 words per day, a far cry from my NaNo average of (almost) 2,500 words per day. Continue reading

The Biggest Obstacle to Writing Daily that I’ve Encountered Thus Far

Photo courtesy Joel Montes de Oca

Photo courtesy Joel Montes de Oca

I’ve been writing every day for over a year.  It’s a rule.  I swear by it.  I haven’t missed a day yet.

It’s important to me.  Honestly, it has become part of my identity.  It’s also become a lot easier to do every day.  Somewhere during the past year or so, it has simply metamorphosed into a part of my day.

I shower every day.  I eat every day.  I walk the dog every day.  I write every day.

I couldn’t imagine a day without it. Continue reading