Saturday, December 3, 2016

Winter Writing Report and Update

Wowzers! I can't believe it's been nearly a month since I last blogged. I'm sorry. You have every right when I do that to get on my case and ask for something. LOL

I have been writing after all, it being NaNoWriMo, you know. And I did finish the book I was working on; not a novel though. Not just that either. I wrote a piece for the winter edition of Washington Coast Magazine and wrote an article for today's The Daily World (that ended up on the front page). Plus my annual Christmas letter.

Then there's been all the Christmas stuff--shopping, wrapping, decorating. And running Harbor House.

I'll be editing this month and next as well as working on cover designs and layout towards the February release of Beyond Insanity and Another Load of Chicken Poop in April (fingers crossed, send in your short stories about farm life and country living).

In the meantime, I'll try to find some interesting things to blog about, but if I don't get to it, have a Merry Christmas. LOL

Monday, November 7, 2016

Finding My Insanity and Other News

Cover mock-up, the titled has changed to "Beyond Insanity"

I'm well on track for NaNoWriMo. In fact I should be finished with the draft by Thanksgiving. 

I'm not doing a novel, nor 50,000 words though. I'm doing about 20,000 for another anthology of short stories (see left). It should be released on Valentine's Day 2017 if all goes as planned.

Meanwhile, I'm working on a small audio project that has nothing to do with writing (it's a surprise).

And I'm working at the writing center (Harbor House). I'll be teaching a class, "What Publishing Path is Right for You?" on Nov. 19 (see the Harbor House website for more info on the class and other offerings for NaNoWriMo and more).

Saturday, October 15, 2016

The Wind in the Willows

Never read the book, but I'm using the title for this blog post that begins with a wind storm. The second of three.

We have no willows on our lot. In fact the only tree we have is a twig of a lilac. I could sit and contemplate this "tree" from the bay window seat, but what would be the point? It's a twig.

The rain pours down in blowing sheets. The power could give out at any moment. The lights have blinked a few times. And we're not yet into the worst of the storm. I won't go into further detail except to say we could be in for it (then again, maybe not).

There's this story in the Bible about a dude named Nicodemus who comes to Jesus with questions about how to be "saved" and Jesus gives him a somewhat cryptic answer about being "born again." He then goes on to say:

"The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit."

And so it is with the "muse" as well. Sometimes there is inspiration and sometimes there is not. (The lights just flickered again.) With that said, there is always wind. It may not be blowing in your favor,but it can be harnessed by you, nonetheless. It's been said like this:

"One ship sails east, the other west, by the selfsame winds they blow; 'tis the set of the sail and not the gail that determines the way they go."

Meaning? It's up to you to move. It's all about how you use what you have. In sailing you can move the direction you choose--even into the wind-- by a technique called beating to the wind.

And it's the same way with writing.

Beating to the wind involves numerous small maneuvers in order to advance into the wind. (There's a lot to it, so if you want to know more look it up on Wikipedia.) In writing you can do much the same. When you can't plow forward by freewriting you can take baby steps.

We've got NaNoWriMo coming up. 

That's National Novel Writing Month; which is November. The goal is to write a "novel" of 50,000 words in length in thirty days. It's mostly a plow-through type of effort, but sometimes you get "stuck" by this thing called writer's block which is really nothing more than not being able to come up with something brilliant to write.

The secret is to write anyway. It doesn't have to be brilliant.

Author Shannon Hale writes: 

“I'm writing a first draft and reminding myself that I'm simply shoveling sand into a box so that later I can build castles.”

And there are a LOT of things you can do to keep "sailing." Techniques for overcoming "writer's block" abound. Begin with a Google search and then try a few until you find what works for you.

And (LOL) I began this post not having ANY idea what I was going to write. I had one word: wind. I took it from there. See what one can do with just a little wind?

Monday, October 3, 2016

Fall Into a Good Book at the Fall Home & Garden Show

Yes, that's right, the Home & Garden Show in Portland, Ore. has a Book Booth. 

The NIWA exhibit features more than twenty NW indie authors and will be displaying 170+ titles.

The event runs Thursday, Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. - 8 p.m., and Sunday 11 a.m. - 6 p.m, October 6 - 9. 

Admission is $10 to the entire show (and $8 to park), BUT if you're coming on Thursday or Friday, print out the coupon at the bottom to get a discount on admission any day (AND parking is FREE after 4 p.m. on Thursday and Friday).

I'll NOT be participating after all this year go anyway and see the other writers (they need your encouragement, too). BTW: It's booth #843.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Working on the Night Shift at Harbor House

It's nearly 8:30 p.m. here in Aberdeen, Wash. I'm at Harbor House manning the helm and at my trusty laptop.

I'm halfway through the night shift.

It would be great to have a few other writers down here at work with me, but I work alone (so far) tonight. I did have a writer (by the name of Dwight Johnson) drop in during the morning shift requesting to read for the Salon (Oct.1). He turned me on to his YouTube channel and I got to listen to him read his work. It was quite good--both the poetry and the reading.

That's pretty much my life today, except for a few errands and coffee with my amazing man bun son between my split shift.

So, tomorrow I expect pretty much the same. Ho hum, right? The writer's life. LOL

And now for your listening pleasure...

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Pending Penning and Publishing Plans

I'm not sure what I'll be working on for NaNoWriMo, but, rest-assured, I'll be working on something (plenty of story ideas in my files). It may not be a novel though. (It may be finishing the novella, Alien Ambush; maybe not. I've not decided.)

I actually plan to do  LOT of writing over the next three months (working six hours a day at Harbor House). I'll be taking a two week break the latter part of December, then back at it for the new year.

My publishing plans are as follows:

Beyond Infinity (the sequel to Rocketman), March 2017
Another Load of Chicken Poop (editing), April 2017
Alien Ambush (a Bayou Boys Adventure), October 2017
and maybe something for summer 2017?

Stay tuned.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Write Right now? Ri-iiight.

I wish I could report that I'm working on a great book right now, but I can't. Most of the writing I DO get done lately has been marketing material.

And then there's the Articles of Incorporation, signage, policies, business plans, press releases, contracts and other such matter. All of it for Harbor House.

I do have works in the works, but they are on hold until after we get Harbor House open. After that I'll be there right with the other writers, writing every day.

Can't wait!

Meanwhile, we're just about set to open and you can find out all about it here.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

The Vacay is Over; Back to Work

View from the bedroom's balcony at Heron's Crossing.
So, my wife and I spent an inspiring and relaxing "weekend" on Whidbey Island for our 33rd Wedding Anniversary.

Thanks to some friends we were able to stay at a very special vacation home (Heron's Crossing, pictured herein) that they manage. Visiting with them was great, too.

Presently, looking out the window at the sailboats in the harbor, I am writing from Better Living Through Coffee in Port Townsend. Their coffee is excellent (I always stop here when I'm up this way)!

We were able enjoy the island's beaches, farmer's markets, restaurants (as well as several coffee shops), and many thrift stores (by which we are bringing home a few treasures for our home and Harbor House), and the Writer's Workshop (here in Port Townsend).

Anyway, tomorrow it's back to work with plenty to do toward the opening of Harbor House, just three weeks from today!
Things are coming together quite well (so far) and we'll be doing our final paperwork, placing some orders, and adding the finishing touches over the next few weeks.

I hope you all can join us for the Open House, 2-6 p.m., Saturday, September 24 (check the Harbor House website for details).

And, if you want a really great place to stay and play on Whidbey Is., drop me an email and I'll give you the contact info. (I'll also be posting many more photos on my author FB page).

Thursday, August 25, 2016

HOT, HOT, HOT! News to Bake Your Brain

Boy, is it HOT! Bet you haven't heard that before. LOL

Well, the weather is going to cool down a bit this week. Out here in Aberdeen we'll see a twenty degree dip from the 80's. But we're not here to talk about the weather.

Things are heating up on the home front. We continue to work on the renovation of Harbor House (still quite enough to keep us busy) as well as active promotion. We were in the newspaper this week and last week we were on the radio. There are a few other media things lined up and we're about a month out to open.

We continue to find good deals on some of the furnishings we need. Now we just need 30+ folding chairs, LOL (and a few other things).

In other news:

My lovely wife is getting a book together for publication. And I have a new idea (a book of my poems and Ruth's photos). However, most of my writing (other than ad copy and press releases) has been set aside while we get Harbor House off the ground.

I'm working on a play (39 Steps) at the Driftwood Players Theatre; building sets and working on a lighting effect. That's in my free time. LOL

That be it for now.

If you'd like to know how the IndieGoGo goes you can click here.

Friday, August 12, 2016

The Story of How I Came to Writing and Why My Wife and I are Starting the Harbor House Writing Center

Scoops Ice Cream and Espresso in Aberdeen, Wash. 2016, really.

Harbor House really is the result of our own journeys as writers. For me it went something like this:

As far back as I can remember I’ve been a storyteller. In grade school I would put on shows that I wrote, or make films I scripted to amuse friends and family. People seemed to like my work and that gave me a great sense of satisfaction.

In time I discovered that I was a decent storyteller, but not a very good master of written English. I lacked grammar and spelling skills and so I received a lot of red ink and little encourage from my teachers in those days. Unfortunately, red ink often earns a lower grade, not to mention parental ire. I felt like a failure and my interests shifted to music and theater.

It wasn’t until I went to university in my thirties that my passion for writing was recognized and encouraged. It was there that I began to actually care about parsing a sentence and communicating well. I graduated from WSU in 1999 with a humanities BA and a Professional Writing Certificate. Then, while pursuing a career in multimedia, I wrote my first book and self-published it in 2005. That felt really good and the book opened many doors for me. Suddenly, I was speaking at conferences across the nation! I wasn’t a failure at writing after all.

One of the things that I learned in college, besides the mechanics of writing, was that it wasn’t those mechanics that made you a valuable writer—it was the ability to engage an audience. Sure, form was important, but no one is ever recognized for having good form. You get recognized for crafting compelling, moving and memorable stories.

Well, after awhile my multimedia career fizzled out and, in 2007, I decided to return to school where I studied more about writing. In 2009, I earned a second BA and then tried to find time to write. There were false starts, episodes of self-doubt and a string of rejections as I labored over three disparate projects, trying to find my niche and voice. I used the time to hone my craft by working in journalism and commercial writing (as well as other odd jobs that my heart was never in).

What I really wanted to do was write my own stuff!

Besides, having Asperger’s—a form of high-performance autism—I was taxed greatly by the social environments that were part of what was expected in the work world. At the end of the day I was mentally spent and found it hard to tackle my own projects.

Finally, in 2012, I set everything aside to boldly pursue writing full-time. I self-published my second book while trying to attract a publisher to other works. The rejections and self-doubt continued, but I didn’t let them tear me down. I found encouragers and supporters—other writers and authors—to cheer me on. And I cheered them on, too!

Four years and ten more books later...

I’ve learned a few things and I am more passionate about writing than ever. And now I want to share the journey and the joy, the encouragement and the experience, the insight and the inspiration with other writers struggling to hone their own skills and find their own voice.

A year ago my wife, who has her Masters of Fine Arts Degree in Creative Writing, approached me with the idea that we could open a writing center. The idea stuck. How we ended up in Aberdeen, Washington to do that? Well, that's another story.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

NEWS: Upcoming Harbor House Radio Interview

I'll be sharing about Harbor House on radio, 7:40 a.m., Friday (08/12). 15-20 minute segment.

I'll be joining Kyle Pauley, along with News Director Daniel Hargrove and Pat Anderson for an interview on the Morning News Show.

For those out of the area you can tune in live on the Internet at this link above (play button is at the top, near the the menu bar).

Friday, August 5, 2016

PUMPED: The Newest Harbor House Writing Center News and More!

Hello Friends. Thanks for joining me again. I'm pretty pumped today!

I got a new book in the mail that I've wanted for a long time. Well, I wanted it before it was available. It's newly published and we don't have a bookstore where I live, so I had to order it online. I've read excerpts and just had to have it. It's Hearing God in Conversation by Samuel C. Williamson.

Plus another book just came out I hafta get, it's The Long Journey to Jake Palmer by Christy Award winner James L. Rubart--my favorite author. So, I'm pumped about getting that soon.

Plus, last night my wife and I got the Harbor House website online and it is lookin' gooood. Be sure and check that out. We've been working on that, but we're also working on the physical building. My son and I just finished building a window seat into the bay window and the next step is covering it. Anyway, I am transferring most of the news about that to that blog,

And then there's the fact that...

I got the IndieGoGo campaign for the Harbor House up and running this morning AND we got our first backer contribution! Which means you can go-go there right now and get all the news about this exciting project.

Here's the video (but please, do go to the site and make a pledge--there's lots of cool swag):

Okay, nuff said. Now I'm going to go work on another refinishing project. Sigh. LOL

Thursday, August 4, 2016

The HARBOR HOUSE Writing Center Website is Live; IndieGoGo Campaign to Begin Soon

The Harbor House website is now live at: AND we've set the Grand Opening Gala for Sept. 24. Here's the info:

Changes and updates are happening daily. Watch the new website for information.

Friday, July 29, 2016

The New HARBOR HOUSE Swag is Coming!

Right now we're lining up some exclusive HARBOR HOUSE swag and rewards for our IndieGoGo backers that you won't want to pass up. These MUST HAVE GOODIES are just the ticket for you or a writer you know.

Here are just a few of the spiffy items we'll be offering to our generous benefactors:

Our Exclusive Harbor House Bookmark. 1.5" X 7" on 14 lb. glossy UV coated stock w/ rounded corners. Front^.
Bookmark backside^. URL not yet active.

To read what's on the back click to enlarge image.
<Or this: Our exclusive HARBOR HOUSE mug. (Be sure to read the backside.)

Plus, there will be monthly and yearly memberships.

But Wait! There's more!!!

Sure there's some groovy stuff, but what about the BIG STUFF?

Well, check out these great rewards:

  • a two hour Personal Coaching Session (on any writing/publishing topics you desire) 
  • a Custom Book Trailer 
  • a Custom Cover Design
  • a Manuscript Analysis
  • AND an overnight stay at the Aberdeen Guest House Inn & Suites for two on Sept. 24 + a Cajun dinner for two with Ruth and Greg at the Harbor House prior to the Grand Opening Gala + a breakfast consultation at Denny’s the following morning + a signed copy of Chicken Poop on my Sole + two Harbor House mugs and two Harbor House bookmarks + a pre-publishing package for your completed manuscript which includes editorial services, typesetting and interior layout, a book cover design, and a custom book trailer!

Want to know more?

We urge you to watch this blog for further launch details and how you can acquire these and other rewards.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Your First Look at the Interior of Harbor House

I thought it about time to share our progress on the HARBOR HOUSE

As we move toward our anticipated [now] (save this date) September 24 Grand Opening we still have quite a bit to accomplish. And yet, we have also done quite a bit. Up until now a lot of the work has been, primarily, behind the scenes (planning, projecting, research, and promo-tional preparation), but we are working on the physical site as well.

The Library

Here (following) are a few shots of the nearly finished library. There are still a couple final touches to complete (like the wall art and more resources), but you'll get a very good idea for the "feel" of the setting from these photographs. (The next best thing to trying it out for yourself.)

We eventually plan to build a floor to ceiling bookcase on the wall to the left of the French door (first photo) as our collection merits.

Note the comfy-looking wing back chairs, the ceiling fan and natural light. The overhead fixture can also provide lots of bright (LED) light for reading.

We'll also be adding some end tables and a coffee table to complete the furnishings.

The Conference Room

Now, (following) I am going to show you a shot of the primary meeting space which is far from done.

Please bear in mind that there is plenty of work (from paint touch-ups and cleaning to wall art and furnishings) to be done in this space. We'd like to replace the carpet, but that project is lower on our priority list and may not be done right away. Note the period wainscotting and chair rail.

Now note the smaller bay window on the left; we'll be building a relaxing window seat (for curling up with books) into that space. The wall on the left will house several study spaces, and the other bay window at the far end will be a cozy nook (much like the library). Along the right hand wall (out of frame) there will be a beverage and snack bar. Additionally, the room will be able to seat 30-36 persons in a classroom setting.

One other space (besides the restroom), the foyer, also needs work and I'm saving the before picture to show with the after photograph (when it is taken) for a later post.

How YOU Can Help

We'll be beginning an IndieGoGo crowdsourcing campaign in about a week or so to fund further renovation, revitalization and other capitol needs. At that time we'll be asking for your help. As a thank you for your support we'll be offering deep discounts on our services and products as well as some very cool swag.

In the meantime, if you'd like to know more about our services and plans please read this post from an earlier date. And be sure to stay informed and in touch by following this blog.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Near Aberdeen? Come Out and See Me.

I'll be vending books on the street across from the D&R Theater in downtown Aberdeen for this Art Walk event. 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

I have the new Bayou Boys omnibus and Chicken Poop on my Sole as well as my older books for sale.

Love to sign a book for you.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Local Writer Seeks "Pen Pals"

Well, as many of you know I have relocated from Cannon Beach, Ore. to Aberdeen, Wash. 

Back on Oregon's north coast I had a local network of writers to share with, grow with and commiserate with.

When I lived in Clark County, Wash. that network was even larger. Sure, we all stay in touch electronically, but it's not the same.

Here in the Grays Harbor area I have yet to develop a supportive network. The closest writer's group (that I know of so far) meets a half hour away on the second Saturday of the month. I have not yet been able to attend.

I'd like to meet and network with local writers in the greater Aberdeen/Hoquiam area. If you're a writer or author (or know of any) anywhere near here, please let me know.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Here Are Current Detailed Plans for the Writing Center

“Charting a Course Toward Better Writing.”

Program Directors:

Ruth Ann Zschomler, MFA has worked in journalism and as a magazine writer. Her work has been published on, in The Oregonian, The Columbian, The Pitkin Review, Canyon Voices, RAIN Magazine, Charisma magazine and several other publications. She has an MFA in Creative Writing from Goddard University.

Gregory E. Zschomler is the author and/or publisher of more than a dozen books and has written for newspapers and magazines including The Columbian and The Cannon Beach Gazette. He’s an award-winning playwright with a Professional Writing Certificate and a BA in Digital Technologies and Culture from Washington State University. He’s on Facebook and Twitter and blogs at:


510 West First Street, Aberdeen, WA 98520

HARBOR HOUSE will exist to support authors and writing students at every level of devel-opment by offering workshops, guidance, writer’s services, encouragement, a writing resource library, and space for writers to work and network free from the distractions of home, the office or the coffee shop.

Our “homey” and relaxed site, seated less than half an hour from some of Washington’s most picturesque beaches (including several locations from the Twilight movie series) and the grand Olympic National Forest, will inspire and delight.

“A homey kind of place for writers, dreamers and other oddities.”

Harbor House Offerings:

  • Weekend Writing Work-shops up to twice monthly* 
  • Casual Drop-in Writing and Editing Assistance (Mon./ Fri. 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.) 
  • Drop-in Writing Time** (Mon./Fri. 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.) 
  • Teen Tuesdays: Free help with writing assignments and essays (2 – 4 p.m.). 
  • Book Club (Monday eve) 
  • Local Writers Group (Thursday evening) 
  • Arts & Craft Classes (occasional Tuesday evenings) 
  • Quarterly Readings 
Other Services such as professional editing, book design, book trailer creation, coaching and publishing services are also available for a fee. 

*How-to, Author Meet & Greets, Indie Publishing Panels, Craft Courses, etc. May require additional registration fees. 

**Includes use of High-speed WiFi, Printing (priced per page), Free Coffee and Tea, Workstations, Basic Consultation, use of the Writer’s Resource Library and more. 

Drop-in Use and Membership Rates:

  • By-the-Day Fee: $5 
  • 10X Punch Card: $40 
  • Monthly Anytime Pass: $50 
  • (includes our exclusive member e-newsletter) 
  • Yearly Anytime Membership Pass: $499 
  • (includes one free workshop each year and our exclusive member e-newsletter) 

Day Use Amenities:
  • High-speed WiFi Internet 
  • Ink Jet Printing/ Copies (priced/page) and FAX 
  • The FREE Coffee Drinks and Tea are always on! 
  • Comfy Work Spaces
  • Both Quiet and Social Areas 
  • Basic Consultation 
  • Use of the Writer’s Resource Library 
  • Handy Snacks and Beverages (for sale) 
  • Local Author Bookstore 
  • Charging Stations and more

Local Information:

Accommodations: Travel Lodge, and the Aberdeen Guest House Inn and Suites are just blocks away.

Restaurants: Scoops Drive-in Ice Cream & Espresso, Denny’s, Duffy's and Pizza Hut Sports Bar are nearby. Plus Teriyaki, Italian, Chinese, Mexican and more.

To Do: The D&R Theater (concerts), Shopping, Fishing Charters, Hiking, Parks, Beaches, Aberdeen Museum of History, Swimming and Boating on Lake Aberdeen, and Battle Cruises on the Tall Ships—Lady Washington and Hawaiian Chieftain—in Grays Harbor.

Projected Grand Opening: September 24, 2016 (fingers crossed)