Mage's Will - Outline Finished

January 30, 2019

I have an ending. I'm probably going to make some tweaks to the back-story, and I might make changes to how I wrap things up, but I'm to the point now where I can move full-steam ahead with writing.


Mage's Will - Beginning Work

January 1, 2019

Ok, so I'm going to have to leave Alone alone for a while. I have some good ideas, but in order to be a really great story it is going to need some serious concept work.

That's fine, because I've decided to start working on the sequel to Mage's Craft, called Mage's Will. I get excited every time I read through my outline. It's got such a great feel to it.

I'm still not sure how I want to end the story, though. Endings are hard. It's got to feel satisfying and rewarding to the reader. You want them to put the book down and go, "Yeah!" and then they're sad because it's over and they can't wait until another book comes out.

Alone - Working on a Re-Write

August 1, 2018

So, after a short break I've picked up Alone and re-read it. My goal is to re-submit it to Writers of the Future.

I haven't seen this story literally in years, so I had a fresh pair of eyes. And now I understand why it only took Honorable Mention and not something better. I feel like I have a pretty good story overall, but the plot has got some real problems. In fact, I'm surprised I took honorable mention at all, with WotF.

Mage's Craft Finished

July 4, 2018

This time, it's real.

I'm excited about this. It's done, done, done! This is the first draft that has some real potential. At this point I shouldn't need any more re-writes, just edits. Word-count is hovering just over 140K. That might be a little big, but whatever. I look forward to pitching it at LTUE this coming February.

So, that's the good news. The bad news is that I'm going to have to take another hiatus, although this one shouldn't be as long as the last one. My wife has decided to go back to school and get a degree in Web Design, from Utah Valley University. Yes, that's the same school where I teach. I need to put my writing on hold so that I can dedicate 100% of my remaining time to my family. This first semester is going to be rough. There are a ton of family adjustments going on right now, and writing just isn't in the cards for me.

On top of that, a friend has come to me with an idea for a startup company, so I've got some serious work to do studying web infrastructure and architecture in case this idea takes off. I'll know more in January, but I'm going to use my time between now and then to thoroughly research all the technologies that I'll need to become familar with.

And if nothing else, maybe I'll have some time to re-vamp my personal website. The current version is written in ASP.NET. It was great technology in 2010, but tools are so much better today. All the code for this website feels so dated.

Changing Jobs but Still Writing

September 2017

After nine and a half years at inContact, I've quit to go work at another company called DealerSocket. I'm learning a lot in my new role, and I'm excited about where things are going in the future.

The best part is that there is a grocery store nearby with a café that has free WiFi. It's upstairs and it's very quiet with lots of comfy chairs. I'm doing the same routine that I did at inContact, where I quit at 5:00, head over to the café and write until 6:15 or so until it's time to pick up my daughters from dance.

The re-write of Mage's Craft is going full steam. I'm excited about the new changes I've made. The plot is so much cleaner and it goes so much faster. I'm still not sure when I'll be done, though.

Change of Roles at UVU

January 2017

The factulty at UVU wants me to switch to teaching CS 2550, Web Programming 1. This course has an emphasis in front-end development. This is going to be another huge stretch for me because I don't actually know front-end all that much, beyond the basics.

Pitch Sessions

February 17, 2017

I've stopped writing for the time being, but I decided to attend Utah's Life, the Universe, and Everything writer's symposium anyway. And I was glad I did. I had a fun time. I want to get back into writing, but right now I've simply got too much on my plate.

But on a whim, I noticed that there were two publishers that open blocks of time, and were taking pitches. I'd attended a number of workshops, and I felt that I was ready to give this a try. I wasn't really ready to publish Mage's Craft, but I figured it would be worth it to pick one, pay the $20.00 fee, and see what happened.

So I signed up for a session with the editor of Jollyfish, and was told that I could submit my manuscript. I mean, it was just that easy. It was so easy, in fact, that I paid another $20.00 sign-up fee and pitched to Future House. And they asked me to submit my manuscript, too.

So I'm on cloud 9, right now. I'm not going to submit anything because frankly I don't have the time to get a publishing contract--but MAN!!! I don't care that I've thrown away $40.00. It was totally worth it just to get feedback on my pitch and see what they thought.

Ready to Resume Writing

April, 2016

I've picked up writing again. I've just had this urge, and I missed it so much. I'm doing things differently now so that I have a better work/life balance. I've decided to swipe three hours a week, after work. I'll just close down what I'm working on at 5:00, write until 6:00 or so, and then head home.

It's been working fabulously. The office is very quiet after people go home, and I've been making tremendous progress. I've been re-writing Mage's Craft. This should be the final re-write, and I'm feeling really good about its potential.

Mage's Will - Wins Third Place.

March 2015

Last year I started working on a sequel to Mage's Craft, called Mage's Will. This year I entered it into a contest held by the Oquirrh Writers chapter of the League of Utah Writers, and took third place. I even got a check for $10.00.

Accepted a Second Teaching Position for UVU.

March, 2015

A friend heard that I was teaching part-time for BYU, and mentioned that Utah Valley University is also looking for adjunct professors because one of their adjuncts just quit. So, I had that friend and a second friend recommend me, and the department chair sent me an email and hired me on the spot. I'd never even met the faculty. This is just amazing.

I'm going to be teaching Computer Science 3550, Web Development II, which focuses on server-side applications. I'm going to teach ASP.NET MVC and WebAPI using C#.

I don't even know these technologies. They just need someone, so I'm going to learn it over the summer and this coming fall I'll be able to dive right in.

Taking a Break from Writing.

February, 2015

I'm into teaching, and it's proving to be a huge learning experience. I had five students at the beginning of the semester. One of them dropped out and two others have just flaked out and stopped coming.

I met up with my writer's group at Utah's Life the Universe and Everything writer's symposium, and they gave me a ton of feedback on Mage's Craft. The bad news is that it does need a massive re-write. The good news is that has a lot of potential, and I know exactly what I need to fix. The plot is just too complicated and the story develops too slowly.

So, I've written down what needs to be fixed, and for now all that effort has been put away in cold storage. We'll see if the muse is kinder when I return to this.

Accepted Teaching Position for BYU Salt Lake Center.

July, 2014

I've been offered a chance to teach as an adjunct professor for BYU's Salt Lake Center for continuing education. This is a part time job. I'll be teaching Computer Science 235, Data Structures and Algorithms.

I'm not sure how this is going to affect my writing. Preparing a class is going to take a tremendous amount of time.

I'm in the middle of completely re-writing Mage's Craft. To be honest, though, I need to take a hiatus. I've been working on the same story for too long. After a rest, I'll be able to come back to it with some fresh perspective.

Mage's Craft - Re-write Completed.

October 15, 2014

I've received a ton of honest feedback on Mage's Craft, and early last year I began a complete re-write. I'm happy to say that I've finished it. The sad thing is that I know I'm going to have to re-write it again. I've submitted it to my writer's group for a thorough review.

Mage's Craft - Wins Honorable Mention.

March 2013

I entered my novel, Mage's Craft into a contest held by the Oquirrh Writers chapter of the League of Utah Writers, and took honorable mention in the category of first chapter for middle grade. The contest this year had a lot of competetion from published authors, and I was the only contestant to receive an honorable mention.

Counting Crows - Wins First Place.

March 2012

I entered my short story, Counting Crows into a contest held by the Oquirrh Writers chapter of the League of Utah Writers, and took first place in the category of fantasy.

I am now on Twitter.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

I am now on Twitter. My username is @TWAbbottJr. I've made it part of my goals for this year to learn how to use social media for connecting with people and getting the word out about my writing. I believe strongly that whatever path I take in writing, learning about social media will play an important role in being successful.

Amorissa submitted to first readers.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

I have submitted my manuscript to my list of first readers. Kind of a good feeling to finally have this work off my mind. Push it away and think of something else.

On pins and needles awaiting feedback.

I am now working on Counting Crows. I have done some cover art, and I am typesetting the text and giving it a final edit. I'm going to release this as an e-book.

It is finished...the work is done!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Mage's Bloodline: Amorissa. 111,300 words.

A lot of people think they want to start a novel. It takes a huge amount of determination to follow through on that wish and finish.

I've been keeping careful record of my progress so that I can have some idea of how long I can expect a sequel to take. Amorissa has taken me two and a half years, and I still don't have all of my ideas fully-formed. I better learn how to work faster.

Over the next couple of days I will be converting to .doc and .pdf. Then I send it out to all my friends and cross my fingers. I told people they can pass along the link to the download page to as many friends as they like.

Second draft of Amorissa is completed.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

This took nine whole months longer than I thought it would. I've totally re-written the beginning, and I re-worked several of the rough spots in the plot.

Now I do a fast read through the entire story. At this point I'm just checking consistency to make sure I don't have any loose ends. There are a handful of notes for changes that I need to make, as well.

Amorissa Third Place Contest Winner.

March, 2011

I entered my novel, Amorissa into a contest held by the Oquirrh Writers chapter of the League of Utah Writers, and took third place in the category of first chapter.

First draft of Amorissa is finished.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Last night I finished the first draft of Amorissa. I have written the last sentence.

I can't help but feel a supreme sense of satisfaction at having done this, but at the same time there is an overwhelming sense of urgency to continue this work and to have make it completely ready. There are numerous notes for things that need to be fixed, and other ideas that have to be incorporated into the story. goes live!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

It's never too early to purchase a domain name. Get a .com name, if you can. They're the easiest for people to remember. If somebody else swipes a name you want, getting it back can be expensive--usually in the order of thousands of dollars.

Yeah. Never too early.

Writers of the Future - Honorable Mention.

February, 2009

I've received Honorable Mention from Writers of the Future (1st quatrter), for my short story, Alone. So, that's two times submitting, and two times taking honorable mention. People tell me this is a good sign.

Writers of the Future - Honorable Mention.

October 31, 2008

I've received Honorable Mention from Writers of the Future (4th quatrter), for my short story, Counting Crows. If you're interested, you can find a copy of this story in the writing section. Enjoy!

I've been told that it's quite an accomplishment to get an honorable mention. Most people never make that cut. I had a good time working on this story, and my writer's group really liked it.

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