Saturday, July 23, 2011

The Blog has Moved

The blog has migrated to my new website Please join me there.  This blog will be closed to posts and comments.  Thanks and see ya' there!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

I got an Ipad!

I might have made a huge mistake. I got an Ipad. Now don't get me wrong, the thing is pretty damn awesome, but I've found my attention seems to be somewhat more focused.

"That's a good thing, right?" my neighbor said.

Depends on what you're focused on and in my case it's this gadget I'm now typing on. I've had the thing for a little more than a week now, and I've only written about a thousand words on the novel.

"What novel?" my neighbor asked.

The one that I'm currently working (not) on I told him. The one I've been laboring on almost non-stop for two months. The one that seems to focus all my attention. Until now. I mean come on! Words with friends and We Farm are calling. Angry Birds and Cut the Rope need my cunning logic. And if I don't tend to my Vegas Tower, everything will burn down! WTF!!

Maybe it's the fact I need a little break. I don't know. I try not to question these things that consume me, I'm sure there is some great purpose in all this. It's probably my brain yearning for a little relief from the constant plotting and conjuring. Nothing like a little mind-numbing Facebook perusing to recharge the batteries. I'll get back to it as soon as my broccoli is harvested. I promise.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Taking a Break

This is the 30th. post today and I've met my goal of posting for 30 days straight.  Some were good, some were awful and some were just OK, but I had fun and I stuck to it.  It's time to concentrate on polishing the manuscript and getting it ready to submit and I eagerly anticipate starting the next book.  I have a couple of good ideas.  We'll see which one talks to me the most.

I don't plan on abandoning the blog.  I will just calm it down a bit.  The pace of writing something everyday kept me busy and at times I felt like I was scrambling to come up with something new to talk about.  So, from now on, if I feel I have something to say, I'll say it here.  If I'm busy writing, I'll more than likely remain silent on the blog.  Just know I'm cranking out the next great novel (or in my case, the first great novel).  Ha!

Talk to you soon.

Rich Hale

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Bicycle

Back in Annandale, Va. again as a kid.

The court I lived on  was a hard right turn at the bottom of a hill.  The house that sat on the corner was pressed up very close to this hilly street.  Many residents complained repeatedly that the close proximity of the house to the street obstructed the view of cars coming down the hill as you exited my court.  A number of fender benders had happened at this small neighborhood intersection, but of course, nothing could be done.  No one was going to move the house.

One of the other kids in the court had a sister.  This little sister had a bike and she had been trying to ride it for months without much success.  She had fallen so many times and scraped knees, elbows, palms, face, she was now terrified of it.  We tried to help.  We showed her the bike would balance on its own as long as it was rolling.  This was demonstrated to her by running along side the back pushing it up to speed (with no one on it of course) and then letting it go.  It would coast upright, perfectly balanced until it either ran out of momentum or ran into something.  Didn't phase her.  She refused to try so we gave up.

It gave us a great idea though.

We took her bike to the entrance of the court.  One kid hid in the bushes on the opposite side of the court entrance and another manned the un-manned bike.  It took a little practice for timing, but the 'spotter' kid would yell "Now!" and the runner would get the bike up to speed and let it go.

Now with this house up so close to the street, the blocked view worked both ways.  A car coming down the hill could not see something exiting the court until it's nose was just about into the street.  So, if timed correctly, this bike would come flying out of the court, coasting upright into the street and the driver could never stop in time.  Brakes squealing, metal crashing, the driver would always hit the bike.  We would then run!  Man, we were stupid.

This went on for a couple of days until the bike was so beat and bent up, it wouldn't roll on its own.  The kid's sister cried for 2 days.  Man, we were stupid!

Monday, December 13, 2010

The Jags Part 2?

After the win on Sunday against the Raiders, it looks like the Jags just may have a shot at the playoffs.  At least, their chances seem to rest in their own hands.  For the most part.

If the Jags can beat the Colts in their own house and Houston loses, the Jags have it locked up.  Anything else happens then the deck is reshuffled.  The potential is there and it sure has been good to see them hanging in there to the end.  At times they seem like the 'Cardiac Cats' of old and sure put on a great show.  Go Jags!  Keep it up!  It sure would be fun to see you win the AFC South.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Reading Your Manuscript Out Loud

One of the final tests the writer should perform before submitting the manuscript for publication is to read the story out loud.  It sounds weird, I know, but you'd be surprised what this simple process can reveal.  If it doesn't sound good out loud, it won't fly with someone reading it.

As most readers absorb a good book, they create pictures in their mind of scenes, characters, and environments.  They also will hear certain things created by the imagination.  This is why a good work of fiction is so enjoyable.  It wisks you away to a little corner of your mind where you, the reader, get to fill in all the subtleties of the story.  Dialogue will create voices in the readers head and if the dialogue is cramped, corny or too mechanical, the reader will know it.  When you read the story out loud, all of these flaws become apparent.  You'll hear the corny, cheezy, or mechanical flaws and hopefully correct them.

It does take a little getting used to.  The first time I tried it, I felt embarrassed even though I was alone.  Later, my daughter stuck her head in and looked at me funny.  I explained what I was doing and why and she seemed to understand.  She pointed out a corny line I had just read and felt somewhat proud of herself.  After a little practice you'll even begin reading the story with some emotion almost as if you were acting it out.

The most important thing you'll get out of the exercise is the ability to 'hear' what your readers are 'hearing' in their heads.  I think you'll be surprised at some of the mistakes you will find.  Don't leave this important step of the editing process out.