Monday, July 22, 2013

Sunrise Mornings and Novel Progress

I should’ve known God would rock my boat. I’m a night owl. I seldom watch a sunrise. I don’t like early mornings. I described it all in detail in 8 Reasons Your Life Matters, the ebook released a mere two months ago.

Just when we think we have ourselves figured out, God introduces us to something new.

I started work on the fourth novel last week. And as with the third novel, I would sit down to write at the end of my day, for a couple of hours before bed. And as with that third novel, I caught myself thinking, “I’ve worked all day. I feel worn out. I do not feel like sitting down to work again.” It worked fine the first two novels, but that schedule does have its cumulative effects over the years.

So last week, the thought hit me: Could I begin the day writing the book? I’d still be tired, but I’d be fresh. I could give the novel my first and my best. Plus, due to scheduling placement, I would gain extra hours of writing each week.

Not only has it worked well, but I’ve discovered unexpected benefits, as well.

On that book front, I’m thrilled to report that on Thursday of last week, after six days, the novel surpassed its 10% goal in minimum length. My goal length is 75,000 words, about 320 pages. Barring an unexpected development, I believe the final length will be in the 400-450 page range though. If this early morning schedule remains intact, especially if the per-day progress rate increases—which usually happens with the books—a first draft could be complete sometime between late September/early October. We’ll see.

The unexpected benefits: Because I drive somewhere to write instead of working at home, I get to drive into the sunrise each morning. The cool of the day and the near-empty streets have had a calming effect in the mornings. Here’s a glimpse from the car one morning:

Rather than ending the day doing what I love, I now begin the day doing what I love. And that minor tweak has set the tone for the entire day and resulted in a much better attitude.

If you’ve pondered making a minor tweak in your life to see if a positive result occurs, you might discover more good things than you bargained for!

The story seems to have flown well. Unlike past books, I haven’t fully planned this novel in advance. I’ll need to plan the second half in a month or so. But I’m excited about where the book is headed and pray it reaches the hands of the people God wants it to reach.

For those who happen to pray for me as an author, thank you! They are treasured and helpful.

Never give up!

John Herrick

Today’s Playlist: Promises and Lies by UB40

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Hudson Class Reunion

A big congrats to the Hudson High School Class of 1993! (Not sure if you offer congrats, but...)

The big reunion is this weekend. While I won't be able to attend, it seemed wrong not to acknowledge the landmark.

For readers not familiar with Hudson, it's a community in northern Ohio, between Cleveland and Akron. I set much of my novel From The Dead in Hudson.

What makes the Class of 1993 unique in historical terms is that we were the first class to graduate from the newly built high school. Personally memorable for me was being a cast member of the first play to be performed on the brand new auditorium stage. We performed The Curious Savage. Tell you what, I'll trek down to my basement and dig up the old yearbook ... okay, here's a lovely picture of that inaugural cast (part of it). You're looking for the psychiastrist in the back row, third from the left:

I enjoyed those plays. I was one of those quiet guys who rarely spoke, but didn't mind speaking on stage. Getting out of the shell was a good thing.

Here's some fun trivia for you: People all over America have heard of the high school and don't realize it. About ten years ago, the main characters in a film called Eurotrip graduated from Hudson High School in Ohio. More fun facts on Wikipedia:

Here's a yearbook pic of the newly built high school in 1993, which I'd love to see again someday:

Cheers to the Hudson Class of 1993. We were blessed with a top-notch education and a great staff that encouraged us. We even had "moms" in the Commons!

Have a great time this weekend! And for those on Facebook, feel free to friend/connect. Safe travels to all. Hope you all are doing well and wish you the best.

Never give up!

John Herrick

Today's Playlist:  Gather Up by Peter Bradley Adams