Sunday, October 4, 2020

October Update: Editing, Page Counts, & Classes

Hello everyone,

welcome back to the Tug & Tram Blogging. I hope that you all are doing well during this very stressful year. As you can see, it has been a while since I have posted. If you follow me on Twitter, you'll know that I have been taking a bit of a break for my mental health, and to focus on school. 

    Today, I'm working on my senior project (more below) at my college's library. There's an awesome view of the fountain, which I took. (You can see more photos like this on my Instagram, see the credits at the end)


    I'm taking a short break, and felt like now was a good time to give you all some updates on my life and writing.

    Life has been hectic, in particular because of the year we're living in. I have been keeping my grades up, and I'm adjusting well to apartment life. There has been hard times, but I've gotten through them, with thanks to my counselor. 

    Is it October already? Where has the time gone? I can't believe that the semester is almost over already. Like many colleges, mine has had to adapt to stay open. For us, part of that means we're closing earlier, and not having any breaks. Which means that I have less time to get my senior project finished.
    
    I freaked out about the length, and elements I was concerned were underdeveloped. However, thanks to help from my advisor and editor (thanks again Cristina!!) we're working on cutting the length down. The current goal, which my advisor recommended, 75 pages. 

    Now, bare in mind that my first draft was 124 pages, and the trimmed down version is 100, which is a very rough 100 pages roughed down (with chapters and characters chopped out). However, once I started working on Draft 3 today, its starting to come together. 

    It certainly won't be a single person job. If I've realized anything on my senior project, it's how much collaborative writing projects are. Without my editor and feedback, I wouldn't be able to complete the project. I have also realized I have a lot more to learn regarding writing, and I hope to continue learning. I'm ready to learn, and hope to continue improving. Thanks to everyone whose helped along the way, or offered encouragement. 

    Before I wrap up, I want to talk about the blog a bit. I'd like to say I'll be able to go back to a regular schedule, unfortunately, the semester is only going to get busier. Another problem is, when I move home, I won't have internet again (unless I can help my Mom get that set up and paid for). So once the semester ends, I may go quiet again. I will try and post when I can, though when I will post again is uncertain.

    I hope that you will stick around, and thank you to those who have. Question for my fellow writers, have you ever had to trim down a project before? How much did you end up trimming? And for non writers, what's the longest you've worked on a project?

    Thanks for reading. If you wish to follow me on social media, you can find me on TwitterFacebook and Instagram. If you'd like to connect with me professionally, please consider connecting on LinkedIn, mention that you came from Tug & Tram Blogging. 

    Special thanks again to Cristina Jantz for helping me edit my project. If you would also like to get editing feedback from Ms. Jantz, go to tidbitediting.com 

    Thank you all for reading, and I'll see you on the Tramway.

Sunday, August 30, 2020

Tramway Reviews #2: March by John Lewis

Hey folks, 

before we begin, I'd like to dedicate this post to the late Congressman John Lewis, and Chadwick 

Boseman. We lost two great people this year, and let us not forget to keep fighting for equality in all 

fields, entertainment and in our government. Rest in Power gentlemen, rest in power. 

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

August Update & Life on Campus in Covid (+ Friend Business Shout Out)

Welcome back to the Tramway,

and welcome back to another update post. I must say, it's good to be back on campus, in particular having internet. 

For those who don't know or missed my last post, my family recently moved and we haven't been able to afford internet at our new house yet. So my only way to go onto the internet was to walk through the July heat to a place with WiFi. Now that I'm back on college, I can be more active again.

I was thankful to move onto campus early to work, as part of the Campus Activity Council, and we held several events for the freshman during New Student Orientation week. Which didn't always go to plan.

Our first event, a scavenger hunt, got rained on, which made holding the paper for the hunt pretty hard. However, we persevered and everyone had a fun time. 

That was a lot more fun than helping freshman move in. From 9-1 pm, upperclassmen carried bags, laundry baskets, mini fridges and suitcases to elevators or upstairs. By the end of the event, I was exhausted.

The next event, and highlight of my weekend, was bubble soccer. Bubble soccer was comical, as freshman bumped into each other trying to score. We had a smart bullhorn and we played music across it when a team scored.

One of the Bubble Soccer games. Image Ⓒ Patrick Webb

I didn't participate myself, but I did help get the ball when it went through the goals (see above), so that way our players didn't have to run awkwardly in it. The teams had pretty good names, like Team Pineapple. One was team Covid! When the other team played against them, they were saying to each other "All right, we can't let Covid win. 

Covid didn't end up winning, and all around it was a fun event. We thankfully were able to keep everyone wearing their masks, and we had a lot of people participate and watching. One of the highlights was some freshman who commentated the games over the bullhorn. That was hilarious to watch, as they played it straight. 

Me and most of the members of CAC after the event. You can see me on the left with the white and pink hat. (Names withheld to protect their privacy)

In other news, adjusting to life on campus has been pretty good. I'm living in the apartments this semester, which's a BIG improvement over my last dorm room. I also appreciate my apartment mates, or as we call ourselves the "Soviet Republic of the Lad's Den." 

Don't ask me how we got that name.

All right, fine. We started as the Lad's Den, then Jeremiah decided that (since we're sharing food) that qualifies us a communists. Hence our name. I certainly am not going to complain about it, I think the name is hilarious, and I hope you do as well.


Today was the first day of class, and I had two classes: Writing for Media and War and Peace in 20th Century Europe. Both classes implemented social distancing in the classroom (Writing for Media has been split into two groups, and War & Peace has two students zooming in). Both classes had the desks 1 per person, and we all had to wear masks. 

I thankfully have a comfortable mask, though it was weird to wear it for so long. I was used to not wearing one because I spent most of my summer in my house, though I am adjusting quite well to it.

All right, let's go back to updates for writing. 

Over the summer I finished/started writing a few projects just for fun. I wrote a few Urban Fantasy Detective stories, a slice of life urban fantasy (lotta Urban Fantasy, I don't know why), and my Thomas & Friends inspired series. I also worked on a homage to Samurai Jack (and maybe Star Wars?) plus Usagi Yojimbo, plus a short story in the same universe of the former. 

I'm withholding the names at present (no offense readers, I trust you. It's the REST of the internet I don't trust). Most I wrote on paper, so I need to type them up before I can work on them further.

Currently, I need to work on research and editing of Lady Luck, my senior project. To do the research, I got "They Called us Enemy," written by George Takei of Star Trek fame. As I've mentioned before, because my story is set in the 1940's, I felt it would be immoral to not discuss the Japanese Internment that the US inflicted onto Japanese Americans.

The main concern for me is portraying it accurately and sensitively. I'll probably reach out to my college community and see if there's any Japanese Americans who are willing to be sensitivity readers of my book, to make sure I get it right. 

There's also several topics I need to do more research on, such as 1940's culture in Oregon, where I base the fictional town of Jenkville, along with African American cops in the 1940's, weapons, etc. 

If you have any suggestions for books to read about WWII, please let me know in the comments or on one of my many social medias. 

All right, I think that about wraps up recent events in my life. I hope you all are doing well. Are you adjusting back to campus life, or regular life? Let me know on Twitter or Facebook. If you'd like to connect with me professionally, please consider connecting on LinkedIn, mention that you came from Tug & Tram Blogging. 

Thanks for reading everyone, and I'll...


You didn't really think I was going to forget my third topic did you? 😝 

Jokes aside, I wish to give a shout out to my friend Cristina Jantz's company tidbitediting.com. Tidbit Editing is a service for high quality editing. Cristina offers a fair price for proof reading, $4 per page for novels, $3 for short stories, stage plays or picture books, $2 for blog posts and $5 for screen plays. 

I can personally recommend Cristina's editing skills. She helped me with a lot of my papers and projects during college. Without her, one of my short stories would not have been published. She knows how to raise your stories to the next level. You can find her email and contact information on her website above. Best of luck with your business Cristina!

All right, that will truly be all for me this post folks. Thanks for reading, and I'll see you on the Tramway!

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

July Update (Or Why I Disappeared from Internetland)

Welcome back to the Tramway,

I hope you are all doing well in the very chaotic year we're living in at present. And speaking of chaotic, that's part of why I've been gone. 

My last blog update was on June 1st, and since then I haven't been on here or anywhere else on the internet. And the reason for that is a lack of internet. My family had to move, let's just say because of "unhealthy landlord relationships," but it's for the best, we have more space and we're closer to friends and family.

The only downside is that we can't afford internet at present because of a lot of unexpected costs, in particular for my Mom's truck, which is her income source. While it is frustrating not being able to continue working online writing (blogs and fiction writing), along with talking to friends, I understand the situation, and I'm not going to complain. 

Until I move back onto campus, there probably won't be any blog posts in the near future. (I'm visiting a friend at the moment, hence this post existing at all). I hope you will all wait around for me to return, because I have some good ideas for topics, and want to keep everyone updated on my senior project, Lady Luck. 

Speaking of Lady Luck, I have shared the project with a friend who offered to help me with copy editing, to get the grammar, content, etc. up to snuff, as the saying goes. In the meantime I hope to plan out what I need to research for draft 2, and might brainstorm campus-marketing ideas. I would like it to be available to buy online, but my college doesn't have that in place, so we'll have to wait and see. In any case, I appreciate you all for reading about the project, and for any interest shown.

While on the topic of writing projects, I've found that I write a lot more without distractions from the internet. I used to think that I could write pretty well listening to music or podcasts. While I think that's true, without the endless possibilities for distractions (minus the TV in the background) I've found myself filling up notebook after notebook with ideas. In some ways I've become desperate for paper to write on!

Maybe it's because I don't have anything else to do, and my mind's so desperate for productivity that I've been writing so much, but I'm happy with the content I've made so far. I hope, when I'm taking a break from school and Lady Luck, to work on older projects I've been struggling to complete for years. I'll provide you more details in the future when those projects are farther along. 

That's all for me today. I hope to interact with you all more in the future. Until then, stay safe, and I'll see you on the Tramway. 

Monday, June 1, 2020

Lady Luck Senior Project Update, & Dealing with Allergies (AKA, Life Update)

Welcome back to the Tramway!

Happy June 1st everyone!! I hope that you're all doing well, and that if you are hurting, that you can find some peace and healing. There's obviously a lot going on right now, and there's a lot of hurt. I hope that you can find a little break from life by reading this post. (#BlackLivesMatter still btw)

First, an update on my Senior Project.

Lady Luck Senior Project Update


Lady Luck (comics) - Wikipedia

Image Credit: Art by Klaus Nordling. By Source, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4326710

So last week I met with my advisor to discuss what I wanted to do for my final project. If you've been following my blog for some time, you will know that I have been working on a retelling of forgotten Golden Age character Lady Luck. (Link here for my character history post if you want to learn more, though please note it's an older one, and may not be up to my current blog standards). 

I'm not going to lie, I was a bit nervous that the project would be too long to take on. Given that we're living through a pandemic, I didn't want to stress out my advisor or the student writing board (who will help me edit, plan and ultimately decided whether to green light it or not).

But enough dread, good news!! My advisor gave me the green light, The Iluckstrious Adventures of Lady Luck, Volume 1 "The Monorail Conspiracy" (or whatever the title ends up being) is a go! 

I was pleased to hear the news, and that she feels it will be a good way for me to end my college career. I've begun work on the second draft. Draft 2 has mostly included copying and pasting, then editing down chapters word length, trimming unnecessary scenes, adding a few lines, and noting spots that will need more research. 

My goal is to keep the book to 10 chapters, and around 100 pages. The shorter the book is, the cheaper it will be to publish/make the actual book. I have some crazy ideas for marketing on campus, but only time will tell if those come to fruition. For now, I'm going to focus on Draft 2. 

I've taken a bit of a break this weekend from Lady Luck and worked on another book project, with my oldest character Johnny. I'm making good progress on that project as well, though it's just a first draft. For now, Johnny and Friends is on the back burner.

All right, onto the next "segment."

Allergies (Life Update)

Have I written about this before? I'm getting a strong sense of dejavu, such as my Patrick Hates Clay Dust "rant" from last summer. Moving on.

So this weekend my allergies decided to kick in, real hard. My nasal allergy spray has lost effect on my allergies, and I've been sneezing my head off since Sunday. Thankfully, my family has another allergy medicine in stock, so I'm using that instead. Thank goodness for 24 hour allergy medicine, and one I don't have to snort up my nose. (Though I will miss the snorting my drugs jokes I've been making). 

If you suffer from allergies, you have my empathy. I know your struggle. And if you don't have allergies, good for you. Feel lucky, because you are.

All right, enough kidding around. I'm doing okay, all things considered. My allergies are under control, though my nose is congested. And real talk, there's much more serious things going on in the world, so thank you for indulging in my silly allergy "rant."

Well folks, I'm going to keep this post short, and maybe go relax a little bit. Thank you all for reading, I appreciate you giving me some of your time. If you want to interact, you can find me on Facebook, Twitter, and also Goodreads. (I've had it for a while, but haven't really been advertising it. So if you want to discuss books, send me a friend request, and let me know you came from here, so I don't think you're a rando). 

Thanks again everyone, and I'll see you on the Tramway!