Day: August 4, 2017

My Novel: Father Figure (Week 5 – Friday, August 4th, 2017)

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Shock accompanied my mouth as it dropped to the floor today when realizing it was Friday and another week had passed since our last Father Figure update. Are we seriously finishing the fifth week since I began writing this new novel? It must be true or I wouldn’t be writing up this post, so here we go with the weekly status:


Status:  Friday, August 5, 2017 – Week #5

  • Research
    • I unfortunately avoided this again because I was heavily involved in editing and writing. It’s being pushed out another week. No real impact to the overall schedule.
  • Chapters 1 thru 3
    • I edited these chapters, cleaning up grammatical issues, passive voice, repetitions and missing dialogue tags.
    • It reads well, but I am not ready to share with with any beta readers at this point. I believe some of it might move to a later chapter and/or be pulled as background simply for me to know while writing future content.
    • Contains 23K words on 70 pages (way too long)
  • Chapters 4 thru 6
    • I wrote all 3 chapters this week, as per the plan and the outline.
    • I edited all three chapters on Friday afternoon similarly to the first few chapters, as noted above. They are in decent condition, but I’m not thoroughly happy with where they ended up. It needs a few days to idle before I re-read them and decide on the appropriate alterations.
    • Contains 13K words on 45 pages (about right)


 Next Steps: Plan for Week #6

  • Complete the research for setting locations and character personalities to incorporate very specific facts into the detailed descriptions and scenes
  • Write chapters 7 thru 9 with a target to end up in total at ~ 135 pages & 36K words
    • At this point, I’ll be 1/3 complete with a first draft
    • At that rate, with 7 more weeks to finish the remaining 2/3, a first draft will be ready by early October. I’m thinking I might have to pull this forward as I leave mid-September for a two-week vacation. I’d like a full draft completed beforehand, which means I need to start writing 4 chapters per week.
  • Edit Chapter 4 thru 6 to match tone and voice of earlier chapters


What’s on the author’s mind?

  • Who will beta read the first 3 chapters in late August? I’m searching for 4 people, as I have someone who beta read the first book and is formidable when calling me out for less than stellar writing.
  • Chapters 1 thru 3 are too long for the story I am telling. It’s important to capture readers’ attention by getting to the conflict and drama by ~ 15% into the book. My outline planned for that to happen in Chapter 5 and 6, which I’ve just completed; however, at this rate, the book would be 25% longer than planned due to my extra-wordiness. I’ve got a few options to mull over, but I think it will require a little bit of each of these items:
    • Do nothing except increase the planned total page and word count
    • Determine what needs to be cut as it was only initially included to help me flush out characters and relationships
    • Move a few small scenes and content to later chapters as I write future conflicts
  • I love these characters more than I had last week. Amalia has so much more depth than I had originally felt inspired to create within her. I Brianna has a wicked charm and sass about her, but I think it will resonate with those who enjoy the tone in my 365 posts.
  • I’m still a child, as whenever I reread the intimate scenes, I giggle. I can’t help it when I say certain words that don’t ordinarily come up in conversation. I might not make it through this exercise if I have to talk about cleavage anymore…

Not that I am the smartest, but the clip was too funny!


Summary of Father Figure (only read if you’re new to the book)

  • Amalia Graeme, sheltered and abused for most her life in Mississippi, longs to escape her difficult family and small hometown in 1984. When her older brother returns with his best friend, Amalia is tempted to have her first experience with a boy that summer. As they head off to college for her first year and his senior year, she begins to learn about life and love, battling her loss of innocence with the attraction she’s developed to an older professor. After she suffers a few personal tragedies, Amalia is forced to head back home, uncertain how to handle the permanent impacts on her life and future. No matter where she turns, someone or something always takes away her possibility of hope.
  • Brianna Porter is desperate to discover the purpose of her life, develop confidence in who she is, accept the consequences of who she has fallen in love with, and discover her father’s identity. Set twenty years in the future in New York City, there’s a connection between these two women’s stories that is about to be discovered. As Brianna stumbles upon her mother’s old journal, she learns a shocking secret about her father, rocked by a truth that could completely change the future. It may be too late to deal with the impacts of unleashing a history that was meant to stay buried for many reasons. When it leads to someone’s death, Brianna must come to terms with the choices she’s made and what is left of her own future.


About Me
I am a writer. I am currently searching for an agent and looking at independent publishing options for my first book, Watching a Glass Shatter. To see more, please check out the website for this novel where you will find the first 3 chapters, character bios and sample quotes.

I am writing my second novel, Father Figure, with plans to finish it in December, 2017. As part of the process to engage with my fans and followers, I am publishing a weekly status on the progress of this second book. For a description of this book, check out the post where my friends and followers voted for this book as my second novel.

Beyond these two books, I have a number of short stories, poems and other novels in various shapes and forms. I also read A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, Tags, Awards, Age/Genre/Book Reads and Author Spotlights, as well as the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge.

You can also access my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.


365 Daily Challenge: Day 145 – Void

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Void: (a) completely empty space, or (b) not valid or legally binding


In the space where there should be a 365 Daily Challenge post today, you will unfortunately find a big black hole known as the void. The idea, courtesy of Roda @ Growing Self, was created due to the complete lack of any true creativity still remaining inside of the brain of the owner and operator of the ThisIsMyTruthNow blog. You know him as either Jay or James. He’s often accused of having multiple personalities, so if you ever pick up on that, no need to be alarmed. For the most part, they are all generally good guys, except #7. Roda calls them the clones, and she’s determined that #7 specifically is a little wonky. Unfortunately, I am not permitted to meet any of these personalities/clones, given one of the rules is that we can’t co-exist in the same location at the same time. The mandates are quite complex, and my mind is not capable of sorting it all out, at least with the minimal amount of juice the brain has retained recently. Supposedly, if we did meet, there might be a bit of a cataclysmic event occurring in NYC.

I spent another six hours writing chapter 5 of Father Figure, and I’m quickly learning it’s one or the other when it comes to quality. After writing fiction for that long, I’m too exhausted to maintain any sort of witty or clever voice in these 365 posts. And if I write the post first, I find the voice in the novel isn’t as clear as I need it to be. I’ll work it out, but in the meantime, there might be a few days where I have a void inside my head instead of a brain. And in those times, I wonder whether it might be a cool idea to have a guest blogger takeover the 365 Daily Challenge for a day. Could be fun to get someone else’s perspective on the whole way I handle this theme. It would have to be someone I know well enough who could speak a little bit about me, though the blog wouldn’t be the normal 365 post. It would include a little introspection covering both of us, but completely up to the blogger in control for the word of the day and how it relates to us. Maybe it could even be a weekly idea on Mondays where it’s the “365 Daily Challenge brought to you by…”

Which brings me to the other definition of void. I apparently made this contract back on March 13th where I said I would post for 365 days about a personality trait or characteristic I either embody or want to have. Maybe one of the clones or personalities actually made this agreement, but I’m legally responsible per the terms upon discussion with my attorney. {Aside: The attorney is my significant other, who likes to remind me everything I say aloud is a formal agreement in his eyes. How is this fair?} I’ve followed the rules for 144 days, but would this guest post idea void that original contract? I certainly don’t want to get in trouble with any bad karma or juju for not doing what I said I’d do. Nor any legal action, though I’m not certain who it is that would allege the case against me. Can a clone sue me? Wait, can you sue yourself? Could Father Time (not Father Figure) exact revenge in the 365 momentum? Is that a real thing? These are the questions that weigh most on my mind right now.

I already have enough things to fight off in my life, don’t need to add another worry to the list. So it will keep going; however, I’m very much intrigued by this guest post thing — thanks to the lovely Linda @ Maine Paper Pusher who has a similar idea. I’m not stealing it. I might borrow the concept of another blogger participating on my blog, bound tightly together by the 365 Daily Challenge rules, bringing depth and exploration of our thoughts and emotions to the surface. And I owe Linda my own post for her Guest in Jest series at some point, as I said I’d participate and I very excited about it. Go check out her site… and don’t worry if you don’t today, she’ll be a Recommended Blogger later this month. Already on the list, but thought I’d give you a heads up here.

I’ve already got a 365 topic for Saturday, and on Sunday, I start the next 5 week list focusing on careers I’ve held in the past. There’s a few interesting ones I don’t know that everyone would expect, but will hopefully amuse everyone. Another way to incorporate today’s word is to acknowledge that I’m aVOIDing this entire post by choosing the easy way out. Contrary to the lovely graphic above this paragraph, sometimes the brain just doesn’t wanna work. We’ve all been there. It’s not like we can be on or online 24/7, cause that’s a lot of time to constantly be awake, alert, aware and able to generate fantastic content. I shoot for a 50% ratio: 50% good, 49% failure and 1% epic failure. It’s still marginally on the equal side, even if epic drags it down a little bit more than I’d like. So… what have we learned today:

  1. A void in the head means none in the heart: I still love you all.
  2. I am not legally allowed to void the 365 Daily Challenge contract. And despite my theory that all rules are meant to be broken, this one is worse than trying to get honey off your finger tips — or the faucet when you’re finally done scrubbing up.
  3. A void is not necessarily a bad place to wind up, assuming you wisely use the blank time for the greater good of the future. A break from listening to me whine.
  4. Roda will be singing “If I only had a brain” to me all day today based on our discussion yesterday evening. I take comfort in knowing I’m not the only one who gets that song stuck in his/her head from time to time.
  5. While a void means completely empty, it’s probably not something I can actually apply to myself. As I’ve managed to babble on for a few hundred words, which means there is still something rattling around among the cobwebs. See what 6+ hours of sleep can do for you?

And as I was doing a final check on this post, a void actually appeared in my head again. In September, I will be on vacation for two weeks, which is great. But how do I handle the 365 Daily Challenge? It’s the first time I’ve gone away for more than 3 days since starting this blog series nearly six months ago. Do I pre-plan 15 posts, which is A LOT of work? Do I go on a temporary hiatus, but again, does that break the rules? Does a guest take over and run rampant on This Is My Truth Now? Oh… it hurts… I need to go back to sleep and aVOID thinking about this.



  • Today’s 365 Daily Challenge recommended blogger to know is Betty @IdahoBlueBird50. Betty Louise and I met about 3 months ago through her WordPress blog and her Goodreads book reviews. She has a love of cozy mystery novels just as much as (if not more than) I do. We have shared numerous book reviews with one another, finding new authors to research and bringing back memories of books read many years ago. I also thought at one point in time we might be related as when I learned her last name, it matched one in my family who lived in a state near hers. In the end, I don’t think we are, but it was a wonderful potential connection. Betty’s on multiple social media sites — you must check out her different profiles, especially once you realize how tech savvy she’s become even though she won’t admit it! She’s a wonderful woman to share a few thoughts with on recent cozy mysteries and has been very open with sharing parts of her life and things she’s witnessed in her 8 decades. If you don’t believe me, check out her very detailed About Me section, which I’ve included below:
    • “Member of Netgalley. Senior Citizen and been reading and sharing my thoughts on books most of my life. I read for my pleasure. I have been married for 60 years and we have a Bengal Cat, Kato. Interests include reading, dogs, cats, gardening, knitting, crocheting. I have a strong interest in North American native plants. A word on my reviews. Books review are from my public library, brought, many from Netgalley, a few from Edelweiss, occasionally from an author or from friends. The opinions are my own. I represent no publisher, author or another source​. My reviews can be found on Amazon, Tumblr, Goodreads, Google+. I have no Facebook or Twitter accounts. Thanks for reading my blog.”


About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay and I live in NYC. By profession, I work in technology. By passion, I work as a writer. My first novel, Watching a Glass shatter, is currently in reviews with literary agents and publishers. My second novel, Father Figure, is being written with a target to send to the publisher in December, 2017. But I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.