#BeingBuddy: Writing Journey Update – Outlining

This has been a very good week for me.

As I mentioned in an earlier posting, I’ve been making a very loose outline of what I want my first book to include and exclude. Part of how I’ve done it is that I made a long list of things that I tend to like and dislike in stories.

skeletonFrom there, I took the things I liked most and then made another list that was kind of a skeletal outline for a story. It didn’t go into creating detailed characters or a detailed plot, but it gave me an idea of what I wanted my own story to look like and it gave me a structure to build the story around.

For an example of what I mean, let’s pretend that I made a list of things that I liked and it would later result in the story of the first Star Wars movie. However, my loose outline is so loose that it first looks something like this:

– Main character (MC) is young and naive, yet is a likeable underdog.

–  MC strongly desires to have big adventures, but is stuck in a life that he feels is holding him back.

–  A tragedy occurs and it instantly changes his life, forcing him to face big challenges.

– With the new challenges come new friends, romance, and an evil enemy.

– He overcomes the challenges, defeats the enemy, and becomes the hero that he always wanted to be.

Very vague, right? But something like this could turn into Star Wars. Actually, the above “bones” of my skeletal outline add up to the basic structure for a lot of different movies and books.

The trick, of course, is in filling in those blanks with great characters, settings, a detailed plot, etc. But that comes later.

So, I came up with my own skeletal outline and then let it sit for awhile. As more ideas (bones) came to me, I added them to the outline (skeleton.) Then it wasn’t long before I started getting more detailed visions about who the characters would be and what exactly the plot would be.

I was able to fill in the blanks. Now I know where I’m headed next with this story and I’m very excited about writing it.

So, what is it going to be about?  Well, I’ve decided to currently keep that a secret. I’m not even going to say which genre the story is. My work in process will be totally Top Secret for a little while.


Ooh, my wife just came up with a great idea. She suggested that until I’m ready to share exactly what my book is, I could refer to it as my #TopSecretWIP.

Oh, yeah. I like that a lot.

So, I am off now to listen to some music and get back to work on my novel. I’ll be back soon and will continue sharing how it’s going with my #TopSecretWIP.

If you’re writing, then I wish you Happy Writing. If you’re not writing…well, be happy doing whatever you’re doing.

See you around…






#BeingBuddy: Finding Fun Ways to Shine

My wonderful wife Lisa and I were talking the other day about creativity. As writers, we both know how it feels to be in The Writing Zone, that magical time while writing when you tap into something deep inside of yourself and create art with it.

It’s a pretty wonderful feeling.

We also talked about how I’ve struggled on some days lately with getting started on various writing projects. It’s not that I’ve had writer’s block exactly, but something has been holding me back. Lisa suggested that I try tapping into my creativity by doing some different things like coloring or drawing.

That sounded like a good idea to me and I figured I’d give it a go this morning. My first thought was to draw, but I couldn’t decide what to draw. I’m not the world’s greatest artist, but I have fun with it.

Here’s one that I did last year:


I’ve never been sure what to call this one, but I think I’m going to go with GREEN JESUS, THE BLUE MOUSE, AND TWO GUYS WITH BIG PROBLEMS.

So, instead of drawing this morning, I decided to color instead. Lisa has several awesome coloring books and I grabbed one and a bunch of crayons and sat down to color.

I put on some music by The Monkees and I colored for over an hour. And you know what? I had a fantastic time! I came up with my own “vision” of what I wanted it to look like and I ended up being very happy with the results.


And that’s what I did. Whatever my own personal inner light is, I let it shine here. I had fun and I really feel like I tapped into something inside of me and made my own unique art.

There are probably several thousand people in the world with the same coloring book who colored into the same picture that I did, but I bet that none of them did it 100% exactly like I did.

What I created is mine.

So, I’m going to make this a regular thing, not just on days when I’m not writing. For anyone who feels like being creative and having some fun, I suggest giving it a try.

Get some crayons and let your own inner light shine.

#BeingBuddy: What I want my first novel to be

Welcome to my first posting of Being Buddy. I’ll be sharing my journey here.

First up…Don’t Stop Believin!

But seriously…this is where I’ll be sharing my personal journeys as both a writer and as a person. What I’m going through both professionally and personally.

First up, I’d like to talk about what’s going on with my writing journey. As a lot of you know, I’m a fiction writer. As of this writing, all of my fiction works have been either short stories or flash fictions that I’ve shared online.

My main current writing goal is to develop and write my first novel. I’ve struggled a little bit with what exactly I’ve wanted my first novel to be. Many of you have heard me talk about various projects that I’ve been working on for the past few years, yet none have been published…or even totally completed.

Why has that happened, huh?

Well, my biggest realization lately has been that I’ve written quite a few things that probably wouldn’t appeal to me very much as a reader. For example, I had what I thought was a very good idea for a novella about zombies. I wrote a good chunk of it and was happy with what I wrote, but it wasn’t knocking me out the way I hoped it would.

Could it be because zombie stories are something that I can appreciate and even like, but I don’t normally love them?

Probably, huh?

The same thing happened to me with a vampire novel I was writing. What I wrote was good, but I didn’t love it. I’ll probably go back at some point and finish both of those books, but right now just doesn’t seem to be the right time for me to write them.

I want my first novel to be something that knocks me out. Something that I would go nuts over as a reader.

So, what will be right for me? How will I figure it out what I want it to be?

What I’ve been doing the last few days is coming up with a very, very loose outline that contains different story elements that I normally like. For example, I tend to love stories about underdog characters who are facing some sort of big challenge that most people would expect them to fail at, yet these characters have something special inside of them, something that will help them face the challenge and win.

So I put the above into my loose outline. I also included what I like about character romances and what I like about antagonists in stories. And so on with other things I like.

I also went the other way and wrote down things that I specifically don’t like in stories so that I’ll be sure to not include them in my own story. For example, I often get annoyed by supposedly clever or witty character names, like Justin Case. Names like that make me want to throw a book across the room.

Seeing this sort of thing in my outline will keep me in check. Coming up with a “clever” or “witty” character name would be easy and give me a good chuckle, but ultimately I would be mad at myself for having done it.

So, I wrote down all my likes and my dislikes and looked hard at them.

Then I started filling in the blanks a little bit. I’ve now got a few ideas for main characters. I’ve got some ideas of good challenges for them to face.

I’ve got some great ideas now for my first book. Most importantly, I’ve got some ideas that I’m very excited about. I know I’m going to write a book with the kinds of characters and plot that I enjoy the most.

I’m on my way and I’m happy about it.

Comic God and the Big Trip

windowI was sitting at my kitchen table reading a very in depth newspaper article about how bunny fighting was becoming popular in my area. I didn’t know much about bunny fighting and I was enjoying learning about it. My initial fear was that it was similar to dog fighting, so I was very relieved to read that the bunnies never actually fight to the death. In fact, many of their fights are resolved with them harmlessly arm wrestling each other.

I was halfway through the article when a comic drawing appeared in between paragraphs. It was of an old man with a long white beard.

My wife Devon was nearby and said something to me, but I was distracted by the drawing. Not from what it looked like, but from what it said to me.

“Hi there, Bobby. You don’t really feel like reading this, do you?” The old man asked.

I stared at him for a moment and didn’t reply. I was going to tell my wife about what had just happened but the little cartoon man whispered to me, “Shhh, Bobby. Don’t tell her what’s going on. Just keep this between us for right now.”

I wanted to speak, but I knew Devon would hear me and I didn’t want her to think I was nuts. The little man looked up at me and smiled.

“You can answer me. You’re in a special place now. She won’t hear you and she won’t see what’s going on between us.”

I looked over at Devon again. Part of me wanted to crumple up my newspaper and throw it away, but a much larger part of me wanted to talk with whoever the man was. After all, it’s not every day that little drawings in newspapers talk with you, right?

“Hello,” I said. “How is this happening?”

He winked at me. “Well, it’s kind of a secret. Do you promise not to tell anyone?”

Who was I going to tell? “Sure, I promise.”

“I’m God,” he said before taking a little bow. It was a very impressive bow.

For some reason, I had no problem believing what he’d just said. “Nice to meet you, God. I’m Robert Harrison.”

“Ah, but your closest friends call you Bobby,” God said. “I want to be your friend.” He extended his handhand1 a little bit and then it rose up above the newspaper and got larger and larger. In just a couple of seconds, it was the size of a normal hand, though it still looked like a drawing. I reached towards it and we shook hands. For a drawing of a hand, it felt remarkably like a regular hand. It also felt a bit like it was covered in peanut butter. I looked down and saw that I was right. It actually was covered in peanut butter.

“Very nice to meet you, God.” I said. Looking back on this now, I’m surprised I wasn’t more freaked out at the time. What can I say? There was something very comforting about the drawing of God and the sound of his voice. I was even comforted by the peanut butter on his hand.

I went to pull my hand away from our shake, but God tightened his grip on my hand. “Hey, don’t let go yet. Want to come somewhere with me?”

“Am I dead? Are you taking me to heaven?” I asked.

“Oh no, Bobby. You’re definitely not going to heaven,” God said.

Now I was freaked out. “What do you mean I’m not going to heaven? I’m going to Hell? No way. I’m a good person.”

“No, that’s not what I meant. I just meant that you’re not going to heaven right now. We’re going somewhere else.” He pointed to the window behind me. “Look out there.”

I turned and looked and saw that it was now dark outside, which made no sense at all since it was just a little after noon. I turned back and looked across the room at Devon. Behind her, I had a fantastic view of our living room window which showed me that it was bright and sunny outside. I looked back again out the kitchen window and saw the same darkness I had seen the first time I looked.

“Don’t worry about it being dark out there,” God said. “Tell me what else you see.”

“I see that there’s already a full moon, but that doesn’t make any sense. We’re not supposed to get a full moon tonight.”

“Really, Bobby? Come on. Just that one thing doesn’t make sense? None of this makes much sense, does it?” God asked.

“Well, true.”

“What else do you see?”

I looked out and saw something else I hadn’t seen before. “Well, there’s a big tree right there that wasn’t there before. No offense, God, but will that be gone when we’re done with whatever it is we’re doing? I don’t necessarily want a tree there.”

“You don’t like trees?” God asked. “They’re one of my best creations.” I started to reply but God cut me off. “Don’t worry. It will be gone. Tell me what else you see.”

cat3I looked at the tree and saw a cat on one of the branches. It was gray and had a purple collar with a bell on it. It looked over at me and winked.

“That’s Kitty Baby,” God said. “Pretty, isn’t she?”

I nodded. “She’s beautiful.”

“Yes, she is. Not only that, but she’s our trip to the moon!” He gripped my hand tighter and then we were suddenly very, very, very tiny and sitting on the cat’s back. God was holding onto her collar like it was reigns on a horse.

“Giddy up, Kitty Baby!” He yelled.

Kitty Baby nodded her head several times. It shook her whole body so hard that I nearly fell off of her. “Giddying up now, God,” she said in a voice that was disturbingly sexy. “Would you like a cocktail or peanuts for the trip?”

“None for me, thanks,” God said.

“Robert? Anything for you?” Kitty Baby asked.

“No, thank you, but you can call me Bobby,” I said. Why not? If I was going to sit next to God on this cat’s back as she took us to the moon, I may as well consider her enough of a friend to let her call me by my nickname, right?

She nodded and took a few quick steps and then jumped off of the branch onto a higher branch. We repeated the process over and over again until we got to the very top of the tree, which is when two very large wings suddenly appeared out of the sides of Kitty Baby’s body. She flapped them quickly and then we were soaring through the air.

We rose higher and higher and I looked over at God. He had a large pair of headphones on his head. I could faintly hear music coming out from them. God had his eyes closed and was bobbing his head up and down to the music. I tapped him on the shoulder. He looked over at me and lifted one of the speakers from his ear.

“What are you listening to?” I asked.

“Frank Sinatra’s ‘Fly Me To The Moon.’ It seemed appropriate,” God said. Then he put the speaker bacThumbs-up-from-Godk on his ear and resumed listening to the song. He smiled at me and gave me a thumbs up. I wanted to look cool, so I gave God a thumbs up in return.

We flew for just a few more minutes and then we were right above the moon. God was still jamming to Sinatra and didn’t seem to notice. I reached to tap him on the shoulder again but Kitty Baby turned her head and said, “Best to not interrupt him. He hates when anything comes between him and Frank.”

“Okay, thanks.” I wasn’t sure what else to say, so I just said, “Happy landing, Kitty Baby.”

She winked at me and smiled. All of sudden, both of her wings disappeared.

“Uh oh!” She exclaimed as we started to quickly plummet towards the moon.

“Don’t worry,” God chimed in. “I’ve got this.” I looked over at him and saw that he was now wearing what looked to be a huge backpack with a string hanging from its side. He pulled the string and the pack opened. A large polka-dotted parachute came out of the pack and extended the way that polka-dotted parachutes are supposed to extend. We then safely drifted down to the moon’s surface.

We landed and Kitty Baby said, “Thank you for flying with Kitty Baby Airlines. Please tell your friends about us.” God and I jumped off of her and she ran away.

“Where is she going?” I asked. “Will she come back?”

God nodded. “Don’t worry. We’ll see her again in a few minutes. Hey, do you want to see my God Cave?”

“Your God Cave?” I asked.

“Yes. You know how Batman has The Bat Cave, right? Well, I got the idea long before he did.”

God then led us into a large gathering of dozens of very huge boulders. They all looked the same except for one very large purple one. God picked it up and set it aside. I looked down into a large hole where the rock had been and saw steps leading deep down into the God Cave.

“What’s down there?” I asked.

“The answer that you’ve been seeking,” God said. “Follow me down.”

So I followed him down the very long flight of steps, all the while wondering what he meant about an answer I’d been seeking. What was he talking about?

We got to the bottom of the stairs and we were in a very large room that was full of nothing. Well, almost nothing. Kitty Baby was sitting on the floor and was leaning over some sort of square piece of paper in front of her. She was wearing granny-style glasses and was holding a small plastic bottle that had ink running out of it

It all baffled me. “I don’t understand, God. There’s nothing here. Where’s the answer you said I’ve been looking for?”

“Oh, you already have it,” God said. “You’ve had it all along.”

I nodded. “Oh, I see. I just need to look deep, deep into myself and I’ll know what to do, right?”

God laughed at me. “Where did you pick that up from? Some TV show? That’s so new-agey. No, you don’t need to look deeply into yourself. The answer you seek is right there.” He pointed at my belly and poked it with his finger. “Don’t make things harder than they need to be, Bobby. Sometimes you just have to go with your gut instinct. Believe.”

I looked down at where God had touched my belly and saw that he had gotten peanut butter on my shirt. I had never expected God to be so sloppy. “I’m not sure I believe any of this,” I said. “Honestly, sir, I’m not even sure I believe in you.”

“That’s okay if you don’t believe in me. You know what you need to believe in?”

I was pretty sure I knew this one. “Myself?” I asked.

“Bingo,” Kitty Baby yelled out. I looked over at her and she was holding the square piece of paper high above her head.

Suddenly, there was a blast of heavy wind and the next thing I knew, I was blown off the floor and was quickly flying backwards up the flight of stairs. “Remember, you already know what you want!” God and Kitty Baby said in unison.

All of a sudden I was back at my kitchen table and my wife was across from me standing next to our refrigerator. “Bobby, are you listening to me at all? You’re making this a lot harder than it needs to be.”

manlookingoutwindow“Huh? Yes, of course I’m listening to you.” I said. I had absolutely no idea what she was talking about, but I was hoping I could fake it.

“So, please make up your mind. What do you want for lunch? Vegetable soup again or something else?”

We’d been on a health-kick lately, so I was going to say the soup, but then I glanced out the window and saw a very familiar looking cat.

“Sweetheart, I’m going to pass on the soup,” I said. “I think I’ll have a peanut butter sandwich instead. I’ve kind of been wanting one for a while now.”

“No problem,” she said. “Anything else?”

I thought of something else I’d been craving. “Yes,” I said. “For dessert, could I please have a moon pie?”

Karma Police: Karma Police, Book 2 by Sean Platt and David W. Wright

karma police


“EveryDay” meets “Quantum Leap’ in “Jumper,” the thrilling new series from the bestselling authors of “Yesterday’s Gone.”

I am a Jumper — someone stuck waking up in a new body every day or so.

I don’t know why this is happening. Nor do I remember anything of my life prior to this.

But when I begin to hear strange staticky messages, I run into someone from my past. Someone who not only knows who I am, but WHAT I am.

And now I find myself waking up on the same street every day in a different neighbor’s life.

The one thing they all have in common: their proximity to an abusive man who is a threat to the woman and child living with him.

What if the only way to save them is to kill a man in cold blood, before he’s even committed a crime?

“Karma Police” is the second novella in the “Karma Police” series by Sean Platt and David Wright. Each book is a standalone story in the series, with three books coming out in the first half of 2016 and another three planned for later this year.


I loved the first book of this series, so I was cautiously optimistic about this new one. Would it give me the same excitement that the first book gave me? Would I love it as much?

The answer to both questions is a very big YES.

If you enjoyed the first book, Jumper, then do not hesitate in reading The Karma Police. If you haven’t read the first one yet, go check it out. It’s a great read!

Personally, I enjoyed this book even more than Jumper, which surprised me since I loved that book so much. I found this new one to be even more exciting and more entertaining.

As for the ending of the book, I’ll just say this…

I’m already ready for Book #3!

Bring it on, Mr. Platt and Mr. Wright!

Click here to purchase Karma Police on Amazon.com.

Have a great day!

This book was reviewed outside of the request of the publisher and/or author.