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Showing posts from 2012

WISHING YOU ALL A HAPPY NEW YEAR! Plus One More Update...

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First of all, I want to wish everyone a HAPPY NEW YEAR!  If you're going to be on the road tonight, please drive carefully and watch out for others who may not be doing that.  My wife and I will be curled up at home watching one of our favorite movies "HOLIDAY" with Cary Grant and Katherine Hepburn.  Yes, it's an old B and W but the message it shares is very powerful and personal to us.  That message is simply "Chase your dreams.  Don't wait for things to happen, make them happen.  Even if it means taking risks instead of playing it safe all the time.  Hold onto each other as you go along because there might be pitfalls and you may have to go back to selling peanuts, but believe in those peanuts and each other.  This way after you've analyzed what went wrong, you can try again and again until you succeed in making it that dream a reality!"
All of this is easier said than done.  But remember this.... UNLESS YOU TRY, THAT DREAM HAS NO CHANCE OF EVER …

The Finished Cover For My Debut Novel...

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Well gang,here it is.  I finally finished the cover for my debut novel this afternoon.  It took some doing but I finished it finally.  With my tight budget and the fact that I'm an artist in my own right, it only made sense to do the cover myself.  I've already got about a 1/4 of the novel formatted.  I'm using Createspace.  I'll do another entry on what went into the formatting and why I made the choices I did.  I hope to post that one in a day or so.  I want to focus on finishing the formatting and getting the whole thing together before New Year's Eve if possible.  

In the meantime, any comments on the book cover would be welcome.

MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE...

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A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS TO YOU ALL.  And if you are traveling, may your journey be safe and uneventful.  See you all on Boxing Day, take care.

The Last Installment of Exploring Christmas In Marina

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This is the third and last installment of this video.  This place has been a real joy for us and we hope to explore other places next Christmas as we get more familiar with our new surroundings.  Remember, we've only been here since September.

A MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL!
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Here is part 2 of the video I shot of this magical place not from from where we live.  This is all done by one man and his family and each year they add to the display and make it even more magical.  I hope you enjoy seeing all the lights and figures and how carefully organized and set up it all is.  The 3rd and final part will go up tomorrow.  Enjoy everyone.

Exploring Christmas In Marina...

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Since I'm always going on about being creative and now is the holiday season, I thought I'd share this with you all. 

Here's part 1 of 3 videos about this one incredible house that is so incredibly decked out for Christmas.   For me, it's like a holiday wonderland and I wanted to share it with you.  I broke the video up into 3 parts because the entire thing is almost 20 minutes long.  I hope you enjoy it, part 2 will be up tomorrow and then part 3 the day after. 

Now this is NOT my place, someone else did this incredible display.  He and his family do this every year, they also do Halloween up big time and I hope to shoot that next year.  In the meantime, please enjoy and HAPPY HOLIDAYS!


Some Thoughts On Creating Your Own E-book Cover...

As you probably already saw in my previous entry I've been working on the book cover for my Paranormal/Mystery/Sci-Fi novel "THE BRIDGE".   It's been an interesting experience.  I do not recommend it for everyone unless you're an artist yourself.  I'm loving it because I have way more control over the creation of the image that is going to basically be my "Introductory Handshake" to the world.  I've seen images used on books that I thought were interesting but did not always have all that much to do with what actually happened inside the story.  There were some with a scene displayed on the cover that never appeared, even remotely in the story and I always found that a bit frustrating.  I know we all want to capture the audiences imagination and interest, but I want to make sure I'm being fair about it.  
Now given that the title of my novel is "THE BRIDGE" I could've just gone with a bridge from around the right time-frame as…

Update On My Book Cover...

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I thought you all might like to see how the cover of my novel is coming along.  It's almost done.  The editing of the novel itself is coming along nicely too.  I'll let you all know when I start the formatting for Createspace, Kindle, Nook, PDF, paperback (i. e. print on demand), etc.


And Now A Brief Update From My Vlog...

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Just a quick update from my Vlog today...

I've Made My Decision...

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A few weeks ago I asked you all for your advice and opinions about what to do after my novel "THE BRIDGE" had been rejected after being considered for almost 2 years.  Well, during those 2 years a lot has changed in the publishing world.  E-books are now considered more acceptable than when they first started. In fact, some publishers and agents wait to see how well a self-published e-book does before considering taking an author on.  They want to see how good the author is at self-promotion and getting their product out there and recognized as something that is a must read.  From their point of view this takes some of the guess work out of whether or not the product is good and whether or not the author is willing to put in the work to help promote their product.

So after a lot of thinking and listening to you all and other authors I've been befriended by on Facebook I finally reached my decision.  Using the critique I was given by the agent who turned it down I looked …

Rough Charcoal Idea For Cover Of My Book "THE BRIDGE"

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This is a rough vine charcoal sketch/design  I came up with for the cover of my first novel "THE BRIDGE".  I'm not happy with the top half so I'm going to have another go and put in a figure of a woman with incredibly long flowing hair standing in the middle of the bridge.  Like in this image, her hair will stretch down to ground and further down the stonework to create the the words of the title.  A dark stormy sky will be her backdrop.  The other words will be put in during editing of the image.  I am planning on soft pastel or an Ink/Watercolor combination to bring color into the final image.

All that is seen in the image actually takes place in the book itself.  I like to be honest with my readers and give them a hint of what they will find between the covers.

Decisions, Decisions...

Sorry for being so quiet for the past few days. I've been busy re-writing and editing novel #1. I've been using the critique I got as a guide and have been making some great changes where needed. The story is much stronger and more interesting I think. I might have it done by the end of the month. Where would you all like to see me go with it from there?  

In fact, I wouldn't mind hearing how many of you would like to see it come out in E-Book form in time for Christmas.  

I would really love some feedback on this one folks.  Thanks so much for your help and support.

Got An Answer Back On My Novel "THE BRIDGE"...

Finally got a response today. Never thought I'd be so happy to be rejected but at least I have an answer.  And while the novel was rejected I was also given a critique that gave me much food for thought. I'm going to do a rewrite of the story and try to decide where to go from there. More querying or try to e-publish. Any thoughts folks?  
For those wondering and needing a reminder "THE BRIDGE" is a unique blend of paranormal horror/mystery/with a sci-fi twist that would make the Twilight Zone proud.

Getting Ready to Start Querying Again...

Good morning all.  It's 6:20AM here because I forgot it was Daylight Saving Time and the clocks went back an hour last night.  Still, got a good night's sleep which is just fine.  Been doing a lot of thinking lately about my first novel and the continuing wait about it's fate with an agent back in New York.  Yesterday I reached a decision and that was to begin querying more agents again.  After 22 months of waiting I checked in with some friends yesterday who know the agent in question and assured me that there is no "Exclusive" arrangement and that I'm free to query other agents in the meantime.  This was not known to me.  I had always read in a number of blogs, articles and advice to writers that if someone asked for a full manuscript, you did not continue querying other agents, unless told otherwise by the agent who made the request that it was okay to do so.  Just goes to show that not everything you read is always accurate I guess.

Mind you, I am NOT t…

A Quick Update on Quincy...

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For those who've followed my Vlog, you'll know about the cat my wife and I were caring for.  We called her Quincy after a character from the Japanese Anime "BLEACH".  She was very stand-offish with us at first even though she kept coming around.  And there is a character who was referred to as a "Quincy" (type of spirit slayer) who was also very stand-offish and hard to get to know in the show.  So it just seemed appropriate to give her that name.

And like the character in the show she became more likable and eventually friends with us.  Unfortunately, she'd never come with us to our new place and we had to leave her behind.  We made arrangements for a neighbor to take over feeding her.  Well we finally went back a little while ago and here's what we saw.

Making Difficult Choices In Your Writing...

Yesterday I made a drastic change to my current novel in progress.   I removed one character and chopped about 10,000 words from the manuscript.  Now I know the question on everyone's mind right now is probably "Why did you do that?" or "Gee I wonder what I should have for dinner tonight?"  If it's the second one, I'm sorry I can't help you there.  As for the first one, that's easy to answer, but it was a hard choice to make in the end.

The reason I dropped this character was because she was only a secondary figure, not one of the main ones.  And her storyline, which was going to end in a dramatic and unique death-scene was not pivotal to the overall story.  Also, her storyline was actually bringing the main story to a screeching halt while I dealt with her.  That was unnacceptable to me.  Now as the story's creator I tried to keep her in and work her story to blend with the main one.  But, she was proving too much of a distraction for the …

Rough Couple of Weeks...

Hello everyone.  Didn't want to leave you with nothing to read but my older posts.  Here's what's been going on and why I haven't posted much lately.  The Fibro has calmed down quite a bit, but other issues came up.  My father-in-law landed up in the hospital coughing up blood.  We've spent the last couple of weeks on edge waiting to find out what's been happening.  A biopsy revealed cancer, but the full extent of it was still unknown until about 2 days ago.  It appears to be State 1 or 2, they have to examine the nearby lymph nodes to see if it's spread at all or remained localized.  The PET Scan did not reveal anything in the other lymph nodes, but they wish to make sure first.

Around the same time I found out my own mother had been to the doctor after a test revealed a low red blood cell count and she had been losing weight.  This was in addition to finding blood in her stools.  The doctors took a biopsy last week and we hope to find out more on Monday o…

Confession Time: Why The Videos...

Greetings all.  I'm sure everyone has been noticing I've been putting up more and more videos lately as opposed to my usual entries.  Well, part of the reason for this was to get more traffic to come to my Vlog on YouTube.  But there is another reason.

Those of you who watched the video on my last entry: http://allankrummenacker.blogspot.com/2012/09/another-entry-about-creating-characters.html will already know what I'm about to say.  I have a chronic pain condition.  I can still see the doctor who diagnosed me with it 12 years ago as he gave me a sad smile and said, "The good news is that it won't kill you.  But you'll be in pain the rest of your life."  The condition is known as Fibromyalgia and based on my own research over the years and from speaking with experts, I've had this since childhood.  I've always suffered pain more readily and easier than my peers back in grade school.  No one ever believed me when I told them how much I hurt espec…

More About Drawing From Life to Create Realistic Characters...

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This latest installment not only deals with creating characters, but also explains a bit why I haven't been making as long an entry as I'd like lately.  I hope to do a more proper entry shortly.  Thanks...

Creating People, Not Just Characters...

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The move is over, I'm settled in.  It's time to get back to the business of blogging and writing.  Thanks for all your patience everyone.  In today's Blog/Vlog installment, you'll get to meet an artist who helps me explain how to create characters in your stories, who feel more like real people.  Enjoy.


I Think I May Be Doing Something Right....

Wow, my latest video seems to be my most popular one to date. It's sitting at 65 views in just 3 days. It took weeks for any of my other installments to reach that number. If you haven't already checked it out please do. I'd like to see it r
each 100 by the weekend. And if you enjoyed it, please subscribe to my YouTube channel and also spread the word to help me reach more viewers. Part of a writer's job is to get their name out there and this one of the methods I'm using to make that happen. Thanks everyone and I'd be happy to return the favor, just ask.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z9VQNVH0uzg

When Life Inspires Art...

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This was going to be a Vlog entry about settling into my new home.  But it quickly went into a very different direction.  I did not plan this, it just happened and I ran with it.  I hope you enjoy this video.  It wound up inspiring an idea for a scene in novel #3.  It's just too good to not use.

Stealth Writer's Block

Well, we're mostly settled into our new place in the Monterey Bay area, so the dust is slowly settling from all of that.  Still unpacking and organizing where we want things to go and how, but that's just normal after a move.

But sometimes figuring out how to organize your story and where you want certain events or revelations to go can also be pretty tricky.  It can even lead to problems I'd never thought about, like Writer's Block.  Or, as it was with me recently,  STEALTH WRITER'S BLOCK!

Now what I mean by that is a kind of Writer's Block you aren't even aware of.  To give you an example, this is what happened to me.  I had finished a particular scene in my current novel and had moved way beyond it with the rest of the story.   But for some odd reason, I kept finding myself going back to that scene and wondering about it.  It would happen every so often then I'd get back to where I actually left off writing.  But soon enough I was back to that scene…

Final Installment of "My Setting Is Changing"

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I created this video with the YouTube Video Editor because my cell phone will only allow me to e-mail videos only once and I accidentally lost all of them on my laptop.  So I just sent all the vids to YouTube and edited the puppy here (http://www.youtube.com/editor).

Anyway, this is the finale about my setting changing.  I know you all have been supportive and maybe wondering a little bit about why I chose to do this series. Well here's the answer, setting affects people.  Especially it affects your characters.  Their drives, dreams, motivations, how they feel (excitement, boredom, anger, resentment, etc.)  And changing settings can have a huge impact on them and what choices they make with their lives and how they react to it.  You've seen me go through a range of emotions and seen some parts about me I've never revealed to you before (like saying goodbye to a place and thanking it for all it had done for us).  Can a place be sentient or aware?  I like to think so.  But …

MY SETTING IS CHANGING - Part 3 of 4

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Here is part 3 of my 4 part video series on my wife and I moving from Santa Cruz to the Monterey Bay area.  The experience itself has given me loads of ideas and I hope it's been doing the same for you.  You've seen me going through a range of emotions and hearing how I feel about leaving the place that's been home and my inspiration for the last 4 years.  But with any new experience you can find a lot of ideas if you just keep your eyes and mind open.

Hobbies, Talents, Characters and Me...

Well, my wife Helen and I have finally finished moving into our new place.  I'll be posting some more videos from my Vlog about that shortly, but I wanted to focus on another subject today.  Hobbies, talents, things people do for adventure, enjoyment and relaxation.

Now in creating characters that seem real to the audience I've found that the more real and reachable the characters are (i. e. they're like people you know or might meet) they're the ones that the readers seem to really relate to and even come to love.  Now one method I've used to make my characters seem more human and real is to give them traits that are familiar, and even somewhat odd but intriguing.  I've given characters hobbies or activities I've tried.  When they are finished with what I've written, some have even gone and done research of their own on the activity.  Some have even taken it up and made it a part of their lives.

But how did that happen?  Simple, whether it's playi…

Part 2 of "My Setting Is Changing"

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And here is part 2 of "My Setting Is Changing". This time we're starting to say farewell to some very close friends...

New Entry On My Vlog "Settings"

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Just uploaded a new video on my Vlog/YouTube channel about "Setting". This is the first of a few installments about how a person's setting can affect them, whether they are a character in a story or an author in real life. Please check it out and leave a comment either here or on my YouTube channel underneath the video. Thank you.


Moving Time...

OKAY GANG HEADS UP:  Starting today, I will be on extremely limited or no interet access.  Because we are starting our move to the new place.  It will take 3 days to complete and then I don't know how long until the new  internet access will be up and running.  So if you don't see or hear from me for a few days, this is why.  Hope to be fully up and running again soon.  Take care.

Trying to Raise Views and Interest for my Vlog...

Hi Gang, the traffic to my Vlog has been pretty good for an unknown but I'd like to increase the views. Please check out my latest installment about writing titled "Creating Tension In Your Story" and share the link. There are other installments about writing at the channel people can check out as well including a Concrete Ship from WWI. Thanks so much.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c9_Xhh6uc8o&feature=plcp

A Little Bit About Settings....

Settings... where does your story take place?  In Heaven?  Hell?  Another planet? This world?  If it is this world, what time frame?  Middle Ages? The future?  World War I or II?  Another time entirely?  And how does that setting affect the rest of your story?  Does the environment your characters are living in shape their personalities or how they get by in life?  Are they isolated with few friends because of the terrain or location?

So many questions right?  But this is something that every writer has to deal with when telling a story. And of course your setting can also shape what genre of story you are telling.  Take Frank Herbert's "DUNE".  The setting of Arakis had a major role in shaping the main character Paul and his mother.  From leaving a world of splendor with water and lush vegetation to going to a barren desert planet, where water was more valuable than money or any riches.  The dangerous and harsh world re-shapes Paul from pampered youth to hard-bitten le…
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It's finally here. My new Vlog entry "CREATING TENSION IN YOUR STORY" is up. My apologies for the delay. I had to do a lot of editing and then it took 2 tries to get it uploaded onto YouTube.  As the title implies, this is a detailed  and visual exploration of how to generate tension in your writing.  I cover several levels and types of tension, along with detailed explanation of one terrifying scene from my current novel "THE SHIP".  I hope you find this enjoyable and informative.   Enjoy...


Animals and Stories...

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I added a new installment on my Vlog about writing.  Here's the video from my YouTube channel  "AllanTheAuthor".  This particular video is all about animals and how they can affect your writing.  Whether it be giving you ideas, or being used as plot points to help move a story along, or even finding out the animal has a story of its own.

I hope you all enjoy it and if you feel like it check out my other writing videos on YouTube at:

http://www.youtube.com/user/akrummenacker?feature=guide

Making Characters More Alive Thanks to Real Life...

Hi gang, got a new entry on my Vlog.  This one is about making your characters more real and easy for your readers to relate to.  You'll find how sometimes using experiences from real life (your own or maybe a friend's) can be used to make a character seem more understandable and sympathetic to your readers.  I mean, let's face it.  Readers like to feel that they are reading about someone who, like themselves, has ups and downs that they can relate to.  But sometimes figuring out how to do that can be a problem.  I hope this latest Vlog entry will help.

The link is just below, please check it out and I hope you enjoy it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EJcPkEltTdI

Part 2 of My Vlog... THE CONCRETE BOAT

The numbers for Part 1 were looking very good for my new Vlog, but not so much on Part 2.  I wondered if people hadn’t been able to find the link for it so I’m posting it here.  Hope you all enjoy meeting the SS Palo Alto and how it helped inspire and entire novel. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hpr7d3aQ0z4

Unveiling My New Vlog...

Okay, the wait is over. Here is the link to my new Vlog. This is part 1 of 2. The link to part 2 is just below the video. If you have trouble finding it let me know and I'll do a separate post to it here.  Remember, this is not intended to replace my blogs, I'll still be doing them.  This Vlog unites the two and gives some actual visuals to help clarify some of what I've covered.  I hope you enjoy and please leave some comments either here or at my YouTube channel below the videos.  Thank you.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sJ4UFgzIPsI

Coming Soon... A New Vlog

Hi gang, sorry for the long pauses.  Life has been interesting to say the least.  I'll give you a brief synopsis.  My wife and I are trying to get new housing so we can be closer to my work (who's hours have been a bit chaotic of late), as well as closer to the university my wife will be attending this fall.  Right now it's a 45-60 minute commute one way.  Originally we were supposed to be getting housing through the university but got put on a Wait List that was not looking too promising.  So we started hunting nearby on our own for an alternative.  Yesterday I found out that the university housing had put us on the wrong list, married couples get priority housing.  So now we are hoping to hear about a move date within the next week or so... FINGERS CROSSED!

In the meantime, work and the commute has taken a lot of time out of my day so I haven't been able to post here as often but the upcoming weeks are looking better so stay tuned.

Also, I mentioned in my last entry …

A New Adventure Equals New Writing Material...

Well, for some time now I've considered adding Vlogging to my arsenal of writing tools.  And today, I took my very first steps.  A few weeks before college let out, I was speaking to a classmate about how I wished I'd had a digital camera to record some of the dances we were doing in class so I could rehearse at home.  She told me she had a Bloggie camera that she didn't like and would let me have if I:

1) Managed to get it to operate, because she couldn't

and

2) Promised to record her performances in class.

Well I agreed and succeeded at doing both.  So that's how I wound up with a Bloggie camera.  Mind you, I later learned that the reason she couldn't get it to work was software incompatibility with her computer.  And by the time I figured out the problem and how she could get around it she already had gotten new camera which was better suited for her needs.  She informed that the Bloggie had been given to her as a gift, so she wasn't out of pocket and wa…

Obstacles to progress....

Sorry again for the long time between posts.  A lot has been going on since college let out.  Shortly before I finished my classes I started a new job whose hours have been fluctuating quite a bit.  Secondly, I'm still sharing my laptop with my wife until we can afford to fix hers, so even when I'm not working I still have limited access and am usually trying to write as well as use my laptop for TV viewing.  (We don't have cable or DISH or anything else right now, can't afford it).  And finally, we are in the process of slowly packing up our apartment in anticipation of moving towards the end of July.  So a lot of things have been going on and slowing down my writing and blogging.  Hopefully, after we move this will all change quickly.  Especially since after we do move, I'll only have a 5-10 minute commute instead of a 40-45 minute one and that's just one-way.

Now, that I've explained all that, let's get on to today's topic.  Roadblocks in your st…

Just Received the "INSPIRING BLOG AWARD"...

Well just got another lovely surprise this morning.  My other blog where I post snippets of my novels:
http://akrummenacker.wordpress.com/
just received another award for my blogging.  This time it's the "Inspiring Blog Award.  And I want to start with a big thank you to the person who nominated me Raani York whose blog you can find at this Link:
http://raaniyork.wordpress.com/
I strongly urge you to go check her blog out, she's a lot of fun and very insightful in what she writes about. Next, I'm to share 7 things about myself.  So here goes...
1-I'm an adopted child. 2-I was born and raised on Long Island in New York. 3-I have been studying various forms of dance since my 41st birthday (Ballroom, Jazz, Ballet, and Improv) 4-I'm preparing to start a VLOG in addition to my blogging 5-I am a big fan of science fictions shows, especially Doctor Who. 6-I met my wife of 23 years at a Doctor Who Fan Club in Sacramento.  (Our 23rd anniversary is coming up on June 17th…

And Now About My 1st Novel "THE BRIDGE"...

Okay, I know I kept a lot of you in suspense this week about what's been happening on with my manuscript that is in New York.  Well, I followed up on it earlier this week and learned that it was finally looked over.  Now the way the agent who has it works is as follows.  She has recently hired a number of junior agents who do not represent clients yet, but read over manuscripts and decide whether they were good enough to pass on to the agent herself for review.  This weeding out process helps her out immensely, because she gets so many submissions and had built up a bit of a backlog.  My MS for "THE BRIDGE" had been in that backlog, which was why it took so long to hear back on it.  
And the verdict is....
My very first manuscript is going to be sent on to the agent herself to read and considered for representation.  Now, the agent asked if I would like to see the comments and feedback from her 'readers' in case I wanted to make any edits before the manuscript g…

About My Novel "THE BRIDGE"...

This is going to be a short entry, a real short one.  I'm hoping to make an announcement about the status of my first novel "THE BRIDGE" this weekend.  Please be patient and I'll tell you more this weekend.  Take care.

College, Finals, Work, and Dance...

Well folks, this week will be my finals at college.  I've completed a couple of them already, but I still have more to take care of this week.  I've started my new job as well, so I've been pretty busy.  I'm really hoping to be get back to my regular posts about writing very soon, so please bear with me.  
Now I know I've mentioned in previous posts getting ideas and materials for your stories from life.  Well, I've been taking 4 dance classes this semester (Jazz, Ballet, Improv and Latin).  I've attached a YouTube link below to show you some of what I've had to do for my Improv Dance Class final.  The performers are myself and my wife Helen performing our own take on the Bruno Mars "Lazy Day Song".   We had a lot of fun putting this little number together and performing it.  I've also gotten a lot of ideas from the entire experience that I'll be using in my writing down the road.  Please keep this in mind.  If there's something y…

Just A Quick Note...

Sorry for the lack of blog entries recently.  I know I was doing like one a week, but college is keeping me busy right now.  So I'm slowing down for a couple of weeks.  Finals are coming up, along with a couple of dance performances as well.  Plus, I'm starting my new job so please bear with me for a little while and once college is out of the way, I can get back to regular entries.  Until then take care and keep writing everyone.

I Just Won "THE VERSATILE BLOGGER AWARD"

This took me totally by surprise and I'm very flattered and honored.  I hadn't thought my blogging was having such an effect on people.  I want to thank Red and Flame at http://firestone2012.wordpress.com/ for nominating me in the first place.    Now in accordance with the rules of the award I'm supposed to reveal 7 facts about myself so here goes. 1 - Was a foster child at the age of 8 months and adopted at the age of 4 years by the Krummenackers. 2 - I studied and performed magic illusions in my teens and still have a lot of my equipment and skills. 3 - I've been taking dance lessons (mostly in Ballroom and Improvisational Dance) since I turned 41. 4 - I played violin in grade school and a little guitar in high school. 5 - Studied to be a Physical Therapist back in 1982 only to drop out, I was getting too emotionally overwrought over the people I couldn't help. 6 - Went back to college 2 years ago and got my A. S. in Human Services 7 - Met my wife of 23 years at…