Get Your Mind Right, Son.

Welcome to Lakeside Ramblings. I’m Jack, and this little patch of clay by the water serves as my outlet for story ideas, random musings and bits of creativity.

Beer’s in the fridge. Toss a few in the cooler there and let’s see what’s nibbling in the fishin’ hole. Oh and, mind the snakes.

Now and then, we’ll take a stroll down the holler to check on what I  call the sour mash: A collection of persistent thoughts and reactions to experiences, simmering away in my brain pot. It’s been cooking for quite some time now — sixty-some years.

I’ve got a few semi-finished pieces of flash and a short fiction that needs dusted off. As time allows, I’ll see if I can’t get ’em polished and presentable.


Now We’re Getting Somewhere

Here is the long awaited third installment of my blog. Awaited by who, you ask? Well, by yours truly, of course. No one else would have had the patience to wait a whole year for what amounts to pretty much nothing of value.

Find an audience, the pundits say. I have my audience, my fan base: ME.

I Write for ME.

It makes sense, after all to write for oneself. First draft, at least. Just get a draft done. For Me. I’ve got a few scenes, and some sense of the main characters, and a story line, or at least a narrative question or two.


Second Post, One Year Later

Well, I sure didn’t intend to let a year pass without further comment.

Been catching up on reading, novels and shorts mostly. I’ve loaded up the Kindle app with various selections offered by BookBub, and ongoing loans from the local library.

Oh, and work and other stuff. Anyway, I’m back …

I started this writing phase well behind the learning curve. Armed with no more than a love of reading, a fertile imagination and a pretty good sense of sentence structure I decided to wade in and start putting ideas down.

First order of business: Learn how to tell a Story.

A cursory glance at the Writing Advice industry indicates that there’s a heck of a lotta folks wanting to learn how to write the next blockbuster. And a plethora of choices are out there for said aspiring authors.

But with the self-publish option, one may opt to skip the whole learning process altogether. Just write a novel, hire an editor, self-pub, and watch the money roll in. How hard can it be? Ka-ching!

Um, what was that about hiring an editor? Sorry, can’t afford that. Guess I’ll have to learn not only how to write a great story, but to edit one as well. To the Self-Help aisle I go, then.

While researching the tools of craft I stumbled across Shawn Coyne’s The Story Grid: What Good Editors Know. Pure Gold, friends. check it out on Amazon. He’s got the whole thing up on his Story Grid blog also.

Mr. Coyne’s “Inside Baseball” way of explaining how great stories are put together struck a chord with me. Early on he rolls up his sleeves, gets down into the trench with you and shines a light on the task at hand. He tells the harried writer, frantic with self-doubt:

“You’re not the problem, the problem is the problem.”

Maybe I’m at that stage of my development as a budding novelist where I can best make use of this information. I’ve absorbed quite a bit over the past couple of years, from web sites, writer’s discussion boards, and how-to books. So, I’m going to give it a go: I’m going to finish slogging through my personal Hell — erm, my work in progress — and apply his story grid to the resulting pile of steaming crap.

Off I go, onward through the fog!


First Post Ever.

How’s that for a catchy title? Hello, I’m Jack Lewis, and this is my new blog.

Aspiring authors need an audience, I’m told, and in today’s world, a blog appears to be the platform of choice. “Write every day,” they said. Another good reason to start blogging. So, here I am.

The aspiring author’s audience needs something to read. I’m still working on that part.

A little about me: I was born and raised in the D.C. area, graduated high school and knocked around a bit before settling in northeastern Oklahoma. Soon after arriving, I looked around one day and realized, hey, I can go anywhere in the world I want to go, what am I doing here? When I checked my finances, the point became moot. Besides, I like it here.

The years rolled by. I spent a winter cutting and delivering firewood. Another couple of summers I was part of a crew that built storm shelters, aka hidey-holes. These days I work for a large utility, a cog in the giant machine. It’s a great place to work.

More years rolled by. I got married, divorced, and married again. After near twenty years, I think this marriage is going to stick.

I’m getting close to retirement age now, so taking up writing feels like the thing to do. I’d like to get a few words down for posterity, whatever that means. It sounds good to me, anyway.

Thanks for reading!