Tag Archives: Writing

Welcome to my new site!

Hello, there! Welcome to my new and improved author website!

On the left of the page you will see all of the usual – My photo, Facebook, Twitter, Archives, etc.

On the right, you will find my latest promotions, contests, and other dynamic content as I create it! 🙂

And, of course, in the middle, you will find my blog!

Look towards the top of the page for links to my Bio, Books, Fantastic Adventures and my Contact Page, where you can book me for readings, conventions, or just drop a line and say hi!

Enjoy!

Surface Pro 3: The Writer’s Perfect Companion

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A few years ago I posted about the original Surface tablet. I praised it for its portability, slim keyboard cover, free Office and amazing battery life. I still use mine to write, surf the web and entertain my daughter. However, the device can be a bit limiting with only one kickstand option slow processor. Today I would like to introduce you to a true laptop replacement, the Surface Pro 3.

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Many angles – millions of possibilities

It all beings with a slimmer design, faster processor and 8 hours of battery life. That stuff may not be exciting to non-techies, but it is very important. It will enable you to load applications faster and work longer.

Why is this device such a great buy for writers? Where do I begin? For one, you can buy a keyboard cover to make sure you always have a fast, accurate keyboard anywhere you are. Any time inspiration hits, just flip open the Surface and get writing.
The kickstand can be positioned to any angle you need. Writing on a tabletop with a pen? Flip it all the way back. Writing at a desk with a keyboard? Position it at any angle you choose.

But those are mostly novelties. What’s the reason to sell your old laptop and get a Surface as a replacement? Glad you asked. It, of course, runs all Windows applications, including Office. You have Word with you anywhere you go. And all of those Word files can be stored in the cloud via OneDrive. When I update my latest story on my Surface, it saves automatically to the cloud. If I go home and want to continue working on the story on my desktop PC, the story is there waiting for me right where I left off.

Canvas mode. Perfect for creating.
Canvas mode. Perfect for creating.

Not only will you have access to 6GB of free cloud storage with OneDrive so you can work on your documents and have them sync seamlessly between your PCs,  there is also a USB port and MicroSD slot on the Surface. Let’s say you are out at a conference somewhere and there doesn’t happen to be Wi-Fi. All you have to do is carry your documents with you on a USB Memory Stick, external hard drive, or MicroSD card and you are ready to go. Or, of course, store them directly on the device itself.

Write directly on the screen. Send edits and comments in your own handwriting!
Write directly on the screen. Send edits and comments in your own handwriting!

For those who like to write by hand, the Surface Pro 3 also comes with a special pen. This digital pen will allow you to instantly write on the go. Just simply double click the top of the pen (just like a real life retractable pen) and your Surface will wake up and launch OneNote. What else can you do with this pen? Well, there’s Photoshop, Paint, etc. You can also write directly into Word or OneNote and it will convert to digital text. The perfect compromise for those who still wish to write by hand! You can also write directly on Word documents for editing, proofing, etc. and those notes will be viewable by any other person an any PC. Cool stuff!

The Surface Pro 3 is the perfect device to travel with you to the next writers convention. Leave your bulky laptop at home and get just as much work done in an even faster time with your Surface.

Surface Pro 3 is available for preorder at the Microsoft Store.

Sneak peek of my newest story

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I am currently working on two projects at the same time. It’s not something I’ve really tried in the past but, I love these stories too much to hold one of them back. Today I will be sharing a short section from Kyle McDuffy: Elementary School Paranormal Investigator. Enjoy!

Will and I sat next to the jungle gym, our eyes moving back and forth over the playground. All the other kids were laughing and playing kickball and having a great time. They didn’t know what was going on right under their noses. Where was Cindy? Recess was almost over and there was no sign of her. “Where do you think she is?” Will asked. “I wish I knew. She must still be in Principal Adams’ office,” I said. “Man, I hope she’s okay. I knew we would get in twouble,” Will said. The bell rang to end recess, and Will and I walked back to the dark halls. Cindy was usually in my third period. I was hoping she would show up, but the class came and went with no sign of her. I could barely focus on the jumble of plus signs and long division. My first investigation was on course to go horribly wrong. What would I tell Cindy’s parents if she got kidnapped by whatever was living under Principal Adams’ toupee?

 

 

Dead Skin Dave one year Anniversary!

Ahoy, mateys! In a few short weeks, it shall be one year since the release of Dead Skin Dave, the Pirate! To commemorate, the paperback copy of the book will be on sale for a limited time starting pretty much as soon as you read this!

As always, you get the e-book FREE when ordering the paperback through Amazon.com!

Be sure to check out all of my Junior Pirate activities by clicking the Dead Skin Dave tab on the menu!

Now is a great time to buy or order a few extra copies for your friends, family, co workers, church, neighbors, homeless guy down the street, your post man….

coverfrontOnce upon a time , there was a short, skin-peeling mess of a pirate known to the world as Dead Skin Dave. Dave wanted nothing more than to impress his fellow pirates, but he rarely succeeded. Then one day, the feared Hairy Hazelroth sank his ship and left him stranded on an island full of wanna-be pirates!
Join Dead Skin Dave, the Pirate, his dim-witted first mate, Tom Swiftfellow, and the evil Hairy Hazelroth, as they face off across the high seas for the legendary lost cutlass o’ Captain Bo Ben in an adventure full of laughs and swashbuckling action!

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Writers Rejoice: Office for iPad is here!

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A few years ago (where does the time go), I wrote about Microsoft’s Surface and why every writer should own one.  I still feel that way, but a lot of people already have iPads with keyboards and various accessories and don’t want to commit to a new tablet and ecosystem. The iPad has long been merely a consumption device where people go to play games and watch videos. Now, thanks to Microsoft, you can turn your iPad into a true productivity machine.

What do you get? Touch centric versions of Word, Excel, Powerpoint and OneNote.
The price? Free to view and present all documents. $9 per month for Office 365 for the ability to edit and create documents (a must for any writer). The best part about the Office 365 subscription? You always get the newest version of Office for free, and you can install Office on up to five PCs, Macs, or iPads!

2014-03-27-image-6Now you can edit, create and present any Office document anywhere you can bring your iPad. Any writer who has attended a conference knows that some of the best ideas come out of those conferences, and you’ll want to take notes and start tweaking your stories immediately.
With Office on iPad you are now free to create anywhere, anytime.

Watch this short video for a demo:

The Holidays: To Break or not to Break?

The easiest part of the holidays is taking time off and lounging in front of the television. With the little downtime I get these days, sitting in front of the television with my feet up is very enticing, indeed. Of course, there’s always that neglected story I started writing and let slip away. And then the guilt starts seeping in. You should be writing and creating rather than sitting here watching the 80th episode in a row of House Hunters. And so goes the dilemma.

While it is easier to just kick back and relax over the next month or so, I have decided to try a new tactic this year, and I encourage others who are also writers to do the same. Ay time I think about writing while I am in front of the TV or otherwise relaxing, I will get up, go to my computer and write a few sentences. It can be two sentences. Five. Eight. Whatever it takes to end a dialogue exchange, thought, scene etc. This way I am still writing and it only has to take a few moments of my time. Come the new year, I won’t be sitting there staring at a manuscript I haven’t touched since November.

So don’t give up, you can do it, live long and prosper, and all that jazz.

I’ll let you know how it goes!

My Goals

New Year’s resolutions. Is it too early to start? I don’t think so! It is never to early to commit (or recommit) to goals. So, today I will present to you my goals for this web site and for myself.

Web site goals:
Bring safe, family friendly entertainment options to my readers through Fantastic Adventures in Family Entertainment. I want to create place where parents can come to look for engaging, safe content to share with their families.
Updates at least twice a week.
Better marketing tools for my books.
Develop an intuitive web site layout so readers can find easily find content.
Most importantly have fun blogging!

Personal goals:
Finish first draft of Kyle McDuffy, Elementary School Investigator by February.
Continue marketing Dead Skin Dave, the Pirate!
Rework Eliza the Witch and the Halloween that Almost Wasn’t so that I’m interested in writing it again.
Aim for 1,000 words a day – weekends included 🙂
Be a great husband and father.
Become a part of the local theatre community with later plans for world domination.