Cuyler Callahan's Official Author Website

I'll Write Until The Muddy Grave Takes Me

Heinlein’s Rules (I Must Follow)

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These are Heinlein’s Rules.  I am going to follow them from now on.

 

1) You must write.

2) You must finish what you write.

3) You must not rewrite unless to editorial demand.

4) You must mail your story to an editor who will pay you money.

5) You must keep it in the mail until someone buys it.

Check out these two links at Dean Wesley Smith’s Blog

http://www.deanwesleysmith.com/?p=74 – Heinlein’s Rules

http://www.deanwesleysmith.com/?p=9879 – The Myth of Rewriting

 

The reason, I’m sick of rewriting. It bore’s me, takes the joy of writing out of me. Just check out my post where I describe revision in ten different ways. I don’t like it.

Here is the process I will follow based on my reading and Dean’s responses to questions in the comments section of his Myths of Rewriting post.

 

I will write the story, first draft, in creative mind. I will put notes where I believe I want to change or add in things, or delete things.

As I am writing, I will cycle through my last writing sessions words and fix and little mistakes; typos, story details, want to add description, etc. I am still in Creative Mind so this is okay.

Once I am done the first draft, I will do a quick spell/grammar/punctuation check and give to a first reader, or I’ll wait a month and read it myself with fresh eyes. Especially if my first reader is getting overwhelmed with stories.

I’ll either agree or disagree with the first reader and fix mistakes found by the first reader.

I’ll then publish or send out to market.

I’ll write the next story.

What this means is I don’t get to write crap. I write the best story I can the first time around. I need to keep track of detail so as not to run into character eye colours changing, etc.  If I’m freezing up while writing, I can Dare To Be Bad, as Dean says, and still write the best I can, even if I feel it is crap. I just can’t give myself permission to write crap on purpose.

Lets see how this goes.

Written by Cali

March 12th, 2014 at 11:57 pm

Writing Exercise: Describe One Thing Ten Ways

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Over at terribleminds.com, Chuck Wendig has put us writers to the challenge once again.

Pick a noun, and describe it ten ways.

My subject: Revision

1. The process of tearing a story to pieces in order to make a better story.

2. If revision stood on two feet, I’d kick revision in the balls.

3. The utter downfall of my writing soul.

4. The part of writing that involves torn hair, coffee, tears, and sometimes enjoyment.

5. I’d rather procrastinate then revise.

6. The enemy on the battlements who pushes your ladder away as your about to reach the top.

7. A process that wants for perfection, but will leave you depressed after you find so many problems missed on the third round through your 100k novel.

8. A moment when hot breath sighs onto the computer screen and a hand formed pistol points at ones own head.

9. The most important last step before completing a novel.

10. The moment you realize you just have to do it you son of a bitch.

Written by Cali

March 4th, 2014 at 1:16 am

Type 2 Diabetes, Pancreatitis, and the Paleo Diet

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Something I didn’t mention lately is that I have been at home recovering from pancreatitis.

On January 4th, 2014, I experienced extreme pain in my chest. I thought I was having a heart attack. I went to the emergency and was immediately admitted.

I was diagnosed with a pancreatic attack, or pancreatitis. I was also told I had type 2 diabetes. I spent a full month in the hospital recovering with a tube down my throat that went into my intestine, past my pancreas. The reason being the doctors did not want food disturbing the pancreas.

I’ll start from the beginning so you can all know how this happened.

About late October, 2013, I noticed I was urinating a lot more frequently, and I was extremely thirsty. I drank so much water and yet I couldn’t satiate my thirst.

At first I thought I had a urinary tract infection so I began drinking cranberry juice. This has helped me in the past. Not this time. After another month and no slowing down on my urine relief, I decided to book an appointment with my doctor. I started urinating more frequently then before.

I was feeling sluggish and some days sick. It took me about another month to get into the doctor. A few weeks before Christmas.

My doctor told me to go for blood work. I booked an appointment on a Saturday at a blood work lab so I didn’t have to skip work. This took another two week. Just before Christmas.

Urination increased in frequency. My doctor told me if anything came up on the blood work he would call me. He received the results after Christmas holidays due to labs being shut down. January 3rd I got a call that I need to come see him on the 10th.

He was leaving on the 10th for Africa and wouldn’t be back until march and it was imperative I see him before he left.

January 4th I had my pancreas attack and was diagnosed in emergency with type 2 diabetes.

By the time I had the pancreas attack I was urinating almost every 15 minutes to half an hour. The doctor told me that my blood work I had done before Christmas showed a Blood Glucose level of 19 mmol/L.

When I came into emergency my levels were at 29 mmol/L. I was urinating so much because my kidneys were trying to evacuate the glucose through my urine. Once I heard this I realized that my urine had been almost sticky and thick.

The doctor said it was almost lucky I had a pancreas attack. If I didn’t come into the hospital I could have went into a coma over night. That would have scared my wife pretty bad.

All the sugar occupying the kidneys meant the kidneys didn’t have time to process triglycerides . My triglyceride levels are suppose to be at 3. They were at 29. Triglycerides are processed in the pancreas and turned into digestive enzymes. Because there was so many triglycerides in my blood, the pancreas made a lot more enzymes then needed. The enzymes began digesting the overworked pancreas – the pancreas attack.

This further lowered insulin production, increasing blood sugar levels. A round about affect.

The reason all this happened was because my body tissue and fat cells became resistant to insulin. The insulin couldn’t store the sugar as fat or supply muscles with energy. Therefore it stayed in the blood.

I am now at home on recovery. The doctor expects I’ll be on insulin for about 3 to 6 months until my pancreas fully recovers. I’m hoping to go back to work middle of march.

The pancreas released fluid into my body cavity and created a large fluid cyst that puts a lot of pressure on my kidneys. I was on hydramorphane, on opioid 10x stronger then morphine, for the pain caused by the cyst. If my ct scan in march shows the cyst has shrunk under 5 cm, then I can go back to work. If it is not small enough I’ll need surgery to drain it.

I was on hydramorphane for about a month and a week. I cut myself off on day 8 of being home. The withdrawal was very uncomfortable. I couldn’t sleep, felt nauseous, and every joint hurt. Like being a normal human was painful. Day 4 I finally had a good day.

I am going to battle this diabetes by eating Paleo. If you want more info about Paleo, check out this site called Marks Daily Apple. Mark Sisson lays it all out and the diet isn’t hard to follow.

I actually went Paleo before for 6 months. I went from 283lbs to 250lbs. I had twin boys and my whole schedule went to crap. I fell off the wagon and never jumped back on fully. I felt great. But then I gained the weight back. I stopped eating the way I should. Every time I tried jumping on for a week or two I felt great. Good energy, I dropped some pounds. But then I fell off.

Well now the diabetic diet isn’t a whole lot different then paleo, minus a few changes. I have no choice now but to eat healthy. If I don’t, I die.

Keep watching for posts about my progress. I believe this can help other diabetics. If it all works out maybe I’ll start an official blog about it.

 

Editing A Story and Book Covers

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Now that I have a number of short stories completed, I find myself now an editor. More so then if I were to send the stories to magazines for consideration.

As a self publisher you need to be the final gate before the press. It is recommended by many on the web that I should hire a professional editor.

I agree. But I can’t afford an editor. To pay what I can pay for… well lets say I’ll get what I payed for. Not worth the money wasted.

So I decided I must do this myself. I am going to post each story on a critique site. I think this is the best bet for a first reader. With the help from the site and my own skills in the English language, I am sure I can get something that looks professional. If not I’ll hear about it in reviews I’m sure.

As I build my business and career as a writer and I know I can earn out the money spent on an editor… well then I’ll hire one.

But not now.

Instead I’m going to spend my money on a professional book cover using 99designs.com I have heard much about the site and checked it out for myself. So far I’m impressed.

One tool of editing I’m going to include is a style sheet. I want to get good at the style sheet. It will keep my stories congruent.

So currently I am editing a number of short stories that will be part of a science fiction/fantasy anthology. My first book. Each story will be released as singles as well.  The covers for the singles will be done by me, or bought cheap from a designer. The main anthology will have the large purchase cover. $300 if I go with the smallest package 99designs offers.

Thats where I am at.

I also want to note that I’m sorry if the site was down. I just tried to get on today to discover it blank. One of the plugins was giving me trouble. But as you can see the site is back up now.

Cheer’s all.

Written by Cali

February 10th, 2014 at 2:34 am

Sad Endings: Should I Write Them

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I have been writing a lot of short stories lately.  I wrote two new stories, and I’m going over a bunch of older stories.

 

The older stories were written for specific markets with word caps and age ranges. I wrote these stories for a writing course I took many years ago.

 

Now I’m rewriting these stories to my taste. To the age range of I-don’t-care. I don’t like writing for specific age ranges. If a story I write turns out good for the young adults, or teens, then so be it. If I write a store and even adults are cringing at the words, so be it.

 

I write what I want to write.

 

So, does this mean my stories will be popular. I don’t know.  This brings me to my question: Should all stories have happy endings?

 

When you check the “rules of writing” – you know those rules that only the God of Writing can change – it says all stories must have a ending where the protagonist must achieve his or her goals.

 

But I don’t believe that means the ending must be happy.  Also why must the protagonists achieve their goals?

 

If you have read G.R.R.M’s Song of Ice and Fire, you’ll know that half the protagonists don’t even live to the end of the book.

 

And in interviews with G.R.R.M, he says that he likes writing a story where anybody can die. Realism, gruesome realism.  I’m a fan of this. I’m a fan off anything that puts sensitivities aside and brings out the realism in any story.

 

Of course this is my opinion. Some people want to read a book were all the goals are met. They want the happy ending.

 

Well goals can be met, and endings can still be sad. Or goals can be failed, and endings can still be happy. Depends on how the writer writes it.

 

I think all writers should write what they want to write. What is the point of being a writer if you don’t get to write what you want. Screw the reader.

 

If they don’t like your writing, they can take their money elsewhere. I know that sounds rough, for the writers. We don’t make enough money as it is. But here is the catch, people will still read your work.

 

There are billions of people on this planet. There are more people that can speak fluent english in China then there are in North America. You also have India which is about the same as China.  Then there is Europe.

 

What I’m trying to say is that if ten people don’t want to read your story, one person somewhere else will.

 

Write what you want, put it on the market, then write another. If you don’t want a happy ending, don’t put one.

 

The last four stories I completed had sad endings. But they are also beginnings.I have left these stories as possibilities for more stories. Perhaps a novel.

 

Write what you want. You wanted to be a writer to enjoy what you do in life. So enjoy it, don’t let social standards conform your writing.

 

Written by Cali

November 4th, 2013 at 11:21 pm

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