Yearly Archives: 2011

First draft of “Carpathia” completed


Whew! I just now finished the first draft of “Carpathia.” My goal had been to get the first rough-rough-rough draft done by Christmas, so I’m a bit ahead of schedule.

The for-now word count is 83,295. Not bad considering my goal was 60K.

I use the term “for-now word count” because I am no where near done. Going back and forth through the draft for continuity while working on the later pages, I saw a lot that needs to be, shall we say, worked on. A lot.

Still, I’m pretty pleased to have gotten to this point. My immediate plans are to let “Carpathia” ferment on my hard drive for a week or so, and get started on the second draft after the first of the New Year.

The novel’s title is now “Carpathia”

Yes, when it comes to posting on this blog I know I’m about as regular as a 90-year-old man whose diet consists only of cheese and potatoes. Sorry about that (or maybe I’m not … you don’t know).

Anyway, last night I cracked 66,000 words — my goal was 60K so yay, me — and today I’ve brainstormed how I’m going to wrap the story up. My goal was to be done with the first draft by Christmas, and even though I’ll be taking care of my granddaughter during her Xmas break from school, I hope to accomplish it.

And I ditched the working title and now I’m calling this little project “Carpathia.” Why? Well, when you read it, you’ll know why.

Happy holidays to you all. More later.

Sample chapters for “Carpathia” (working title)


I’ve completed Parts I and II of my NSGAN (not-so-great-American-novel), and today (Nov. 19) I “broke ground” on the final part. It wasn’t much of a start, just a thousand words or so, but that’s okay because I’m still thinking through the steps I want the story to take before getting to the Big Finish.

Without further ado (I’ve always wondered: How does one measure ado? Was that enough, too much, too little? My mind spins) here is the prologue and first three chapters of my novel-in-progress, which I’ve given the working title “Race to Darkness.” (Please, I beg of you, if you’ve got a better title let me know). “Carpathia.”

Enjoy, and your feedback, comments, suggestions are welcome.

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How goes the novel? Slowly, very slowly

I cracked 41,500 words today, but the going has been slow of late. There are a lot of reasons why, but most fall into the category or “real life” getting in the way.

On top of that, I’m rapidly approaching Part III of the novel, which is where my outline gets fuzzy Don’t get me wrong — I know how the story ends. But getting from the end of Part II to that point, well, that’s not quite as clear. Continue reading

The next Not-So-Great American Novel


Everyone wants to write a novel, right? A novel that sells so many copies that it leads to a comfortable career writing prose for living. To be the next Stephen King (Cha-Ching!) or J.K. Rowling (Cha-Ching!x 1,000).

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Rules of the game change as sports journalists compete against teams they cover | Poynter.

An interesting piece by Jason C. Fry of the National Sports Journalism Center at Indiana University. I strongly recommend sportswriters also pick up a copy of Fry’s book “Sportswriting for the Digital Age” on Amazon, too.

Rules of the game change as sports journalists compete against teams they cover | Poynter.

“There was this one time …”


All war stories are true, even the ones that are not. That’s the premise — greatly boiled down — of award-winning author and Vietnam veteran Tim O’Brien in The Things They Carried. Never read it? You should, along with Dispatches by Michael Herr, A Rumor of War by Philip Caputo and A Bright Shining Lie by Neil Sheehan. I highly recommend all of them.

Sea stories are a lot like O’Brien’s war stories. Many are probably true, even the ones that aren’t, and every Sailor with more than a month of service can tell a few — some that are their own experiences and some that aren’t.

Usually sea stories are told to make the teller seem smart, funny or squared-away, and that’s where they often stray from truthfulness. Dialogue is added, people who really weren’t there are suddenly part of the story, and events change or are added from other stories to serve the greater purpose.

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Canine Disobedience or the Tao of Maddie


The other day while waiting at the bus stop, I began to ponder the issue of dog obedience. Yep, sometimes the things that I ponder amaze me, too.

I love my dog, Maddie. She’s a 4-year-old Shetland Sheepdog, commonly known as a Sheltie. Shelties look a bit like small collies — if someone ever tries tries to sell you a “toy collie” it is in fact a Sheltie; there is no such thing as a toy collie –  which makes some sense as the breeds are related. Like most Shelties, Maddie is friendly, very loyal, very smart, has two coats of fur and a piercing bark.

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Running into the fire



Sunday is the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the United States. I know many will pause to remember that day, to think about loved ones lost and lives changed forever.

I hope when you pause that you take time out to think about the firefighters and police who lost their lives in the line of duty on that day. Many will think of the military as that horrendous day was the opening act of a conflict that continues to this day.

Even though I am retired Navy and always appreciate when civilians recognize the sacrifices of the men and women who defend our country, and their families, there are other days set aside to recognize the military. I would prefer to see Sept. 11 declared National First Responders Day to honor the firefighters, police, EMTs and anyone else who runs into danger instead of away from it.

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Who is this Scott Whitmore guy?

Ahhh, a new blog. How many have I started? Too many.

And always there is the pressure of coming up with that first post. It should be something good, right? Something that really speaks to what you’re going to write, what you have to say that will make this blog more relevant and interesting that the thousands (millions?) of other blogs out there in cyberspace. Continue reading