A. L. Buehrer What I Write and Why

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Songs from the Small Hours is LIVE!

I remember the Hale-Bopp comet. I don’t really know why. I wasn’t even three yet in Spring of ‘97. But I remember Mom picking me up and pointing it out through the bathroom window facing west. It was surreal, even to my very young mind—like a shooting star that had been stopped.

We haven’t had a comet like Hale-Bopp since. I’ve spent most of my life anticipating the next “Great Comet.” We’re overdue for one. So, in 201X, I was paying close attention when I found out a massive comet called Ison was passing the orbit of Jupiter, inbound.

Ison was predicted to be “the Comet of the Century.” But there was a certain degree of uncertainty. It didn’t take too long for scientists to recognize Ison as both a highly unstable body and what they call a sundiver—perhaps a self-explanatory term.

You may or may not remember how the story ended, but I think it was on Thanksgiving night Earth got word that Ison was a goner. I saw the time-lapse on TV. It swung around the far-side of Sol and a brilliant spray of vaporized material spewed out the other side. The nucleus was gone.

But that was after I wrote the poem “I Dreamed of Ison.” I mixed the metaphors of the grandiose promises of comet Ison with the quiet childhood story of a stray cat, “Comet” who eventually disappeared again. It’s kind of odd reading it in retrospect knowing the details of Ison’s star-crossed meeting with the sun.

“I Dreamed of Ison” is one of the 31 poems included in my long-in-coming poetry book Songs from the Small Hours. The illustrated chapbook is finally available to the public via Amazon. (And via me, personally, shortly. I just ordered a box of 50 of those things to hand-sell.)

One thing though. I haven’t released it as an ebook. I just thought I should say that before you asked. I might or might not later, but I personally think it lends itself to paperback quite a bit more, and you would be cheating yourself buying it in electronic format—I might change my mind later. Depends on how many people yell at me that they would get it if it were an ebook, but have no interest in paperback, and throw smoke-bombs through my windows.

Honestly, I don’t know how many people actually read poetry—I mean once they get out of school. But if you’re one of those rare people, or would like to be, you can read my book. Here’s the link for it. You might enjoy it. There are poems about insomnia and butterflies and graffiti and windchimes and things like that.
You can buy Songs from the Small Hours here.

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Happy New Year! Goals, giveaways, etc.

Well, here it is. I can't believe we're now in the last year before the 20's roar back around. It's going to get weird, you know. We have such strong images of what the 20's 30's 40's etc. represent that I don't think anybody alive is really ready to adjust to the new millennium and a whole new round of decades by the same names. Or am I the only one who freaks out about things like that?

But anyway. This is going to be kind of a quick mishmash post. I'm just typing it up after work here at the library. Might as well. I've got a giveaway to publicize and I thought I might announce some semi-formal-ish reading and writing goals for 2019.

My artistic goals are really ambitious and I'm not going to write them all out here. Crazy stuff even outside of my writing life. Things involving producing two or three tin whistle CDs and learning digital art. I'll be pretty excited if I even get half of this stuff done.

But first off...

Reading goals:

  •  Read 50 books. I didn't set a number last year, and I ended up kind of wishing I would have. I got kind of lazy. But 50 sounds doable this year...provided I read some fiction and shorter books now and then. *rents a 550 page biography of Einstein from the library*
  • At least 12 books on astronomy/cosmology/astrophysics/space exploration. This shouldn't be hard for me. That's my second language. I'm a major space nerd. Also, this biography totally counts.
  • At least 8 books on the craft of writing. I don't intend to stop growing, and writing and reading about writing are some of the best ways to do that.
  • read certain classics that have been on my to-read list for way too long. Yeah. Got to do that eventually.
  • Read some non-fiction on subjects I've never read about before. I love exploring new fields and I'm going to make that a priority this year.
  • And fiction is apparently also a thing. So I'm aiming to try some novels. Maybe some mystery, maybe some sci-fi, maybe some dystopia...maybe even...*shudders*...some YA.


Writing Goals:
  • PUBLISH SONGS FROM THE SMALL HOURS! Literally any day now. Just waiting on my final page proof. 
  • PUBLISH LIGHTWASTE! Also very soon. I promise. 
  • Edit and publish Dronefall Three, Rainchill. The first draft is complete. (It was my NaNoWriMo project.) It's going to come out this Spring. I won't make you wait.
  • Write, edit and publish Dronefall Four. I'm really excited to get the book four. The plot isn't on paper yet, but I've got a cool and slightly creepy concept ready, and there are dual storylines...it's gonna be fun.
  • Write and edit Dronefall Five. Yes, I actually intend to finish the Dronefall quintet this year. Kind of crazy. I highly doubt that Five will hit the press until 2020, though. I won't push it that hard.
  • Publish a collection of short-stories. I've written several short stories and short story ideas breed like tribbles in my head. I might as well do it.
  • Publish a second book of poetry in the Fall. Are you counting? Yeah, I want to publish five books this year. Told you I was going crazy. 
Anyway. I'm sure you're exhausted just reading all this. Don't get too tired. You've got a lot to d yourself this year and we've only just started. What better way to start than to enter a book giveaway? I mean, getting more books is prerequisite to reading more books, right? So, I just thought I'd like you to the giveaway celebrating the launch of Reveries Co., which includes a paperback copy of Dronefall among the loot. 

Here it is. To The Giveaway! Happy 2019! 

Saturday, December 29, 2018

Everything I Can Tell You About Lightwaste

Allow me to encourage you with the rather hollow words that the publication of Lightwaste is just around the corner.  But it really is. All I’ve got left to tackle is a formatting issue that I can’t seem to solve. Once I get over that last of about a million speed-bumps, you will have Dronefall Two.

But while I continue to wrestle with that, let me tell you everything you get to know about Lightwaste right now. First off, it does have a cover.

And a back-cover copy.

The strongest lies are invisible.

Halcyon Slavic wanted to disappear. That was why she ran away from society in the first place. She could slip under the radar, do what she believed was right, be whoever she wanted to be. In her smothered world, these simple desires all require some degree of anonymity.

Yet when she accidentally discovers that she has in fact, no legal identity on the world-wide database, something changes. Apparently, the facts of her own identity are being hidden, but why? In a fevered search for the answer, Halcyon leaves the shadows of District Three Point five and returns to the exposure and control of the world she was raised in—a world that dangles by a fragile string of well-told lies.

She’s come to get the answers. She’s come to pull the mask off. And she’s come to wreck the equilibrium in ways she never thought she could.

It’s a bit longer than book one, which will likely be the trend throughout the series. It’s also strongly Halcyon-centric, which has its pros and cons. First off, you learn some stuff about Halcyon, and hopefully get a chance to connect with her more than you did in book one. Halcyon can be a strange person to work with. She pushes and pulls a lot while I write. In this book she’s really trying to get her footing and decide what she’s willing to fight for. She knows how to keep her head down, which she’s done for most of her life, but she’s starting to question if its really possible, or even right to keep hiding.

Lightwaste is kind of a product of my college years, actually. I found myself confronted with some of the same kinds of opposition Halcyon faces in returning to her own school campus in search of records about her own identity. I think a lot of college-age Christians are going to recognize what they read here—and probably younger ones too.

The Advocates for Education and Social Development—which is a massive international organization that controls education and media in the Dronefall universe—is really the biggest influence on the society Halcyon lives in. She finds herself sort of accidentally taking on this cultural behemoth all by her lone in Lightwaste. And the fight is anything but fair.

So, the focus of Lightwaste is a little different from Dronefall. It’s going to feel a bit more political than the other books in the series—though I deliberately avoid the details of politics in the Dronefall Series in favor of underlying issues. But it sets the stage and really defines the opposition for the last three books and I expect is going to feel very real for people who have been paying attention to current events.

Also, you get Zoltan Sycora’s backstory. Can I tempt you with that? I thought maybe I could.

P.S.: In anticipation of Lightwaste’s release, book one, Dronefall, is only 99c on Kindle. If you haven’t started the series yet, and would like to, here’s your chance. Thanks for having the patience to read to the bottom of this post.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Recap Time

Well, I sort of went radio-silent after claiming that I was going to beat the odds and still hit my goal on November 30th. The reason? I was kind of busy doing it.

You need to see my stats to appreciate what happened in November. I have created a graph for you to observe.

No, I’m not kidding. This is actually how I work. What you are observing is a numerical depiction of what it means to have energy-spikes. This really worried some of my professors in college.

This graph only spans from Day 7 forward. I got the brilliant idea of creating a word-count log in my writing notebook at that point, so that’s where we start. Yes, you are reading it right, I had a zero-word day on the 14th. My brain went on strike. I also had an 8,245-word day on the 23rd.  Not claiming that was particularly healthy, either, honestly.

I hit my 100k on day 39 of the proposed 40. My average word count per day was 2,982. But as you can see, I rarely did anything like that. Overall, I like to think I was pretty unstoppable, considering that I was way behind where I wanted to be until the last two days. I kind of decided not to worry and to just embrace my talent for uh…total inconsistancy.

In this way, Dronefall III was born. Book three is called Rainchill, for those who haven’t heard. There’s been a great deal of action and suspense and some big reveals. If you get through the first two books, you will hopefully be rewarded by this one. But you still haven’t gotten the chance to read Lightwaste.

That will be rectified soon enough. Hold on!

Saturday, November 24, 2018

BLACK FRIDAY! a huge selection of indie books available

So, I thought it would only be fair to stop my insane last-week-of-NaNoWriMo writing and tell anyone within hearing some news from the wonderfully generous world of indie authors. There is a huge sale going on through Cyber Monday. There are over 150 clean indie books in a wide variety of genera on sale for as little as 99c or free. There are even some paperbacks available.
  You could get yourself a pretty good lineup of reading material if you tried. I've watched a lot of these authors, and some of the books are on my own to-read list, even though I try really hard to keep my to-reads under control.
  Anyway, check out the sale. And hurry up.
What's more, if that's not enough, there's also a crazy giveaway going on. A really crazy one. I mean a literally 20 paperbacks to the winner crazy one. Do I have to say more? You probably will be wanting the link to that one too, won't you. Okay.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Best of luck to you!

Monday, November 5, 2018

Watch This

100k/40d day: 15

NaNoWriMo day: 5

Total word count: 21,525

Status: lagging 15,975 words

I have just finished drawing 290 little circles.

I’m alright.

I organized the 290 little circles in rows of ten. Each circle represents 100 words. Every 100 words, I plan to fill in one of the circles with a yellow colored pencil I have here with me. I’ve sectioned the rows off into 5 groups of 5 and 1 group of 4. The sections represent the six days I’ve given myself to catch up.

It almost looks possible. Especially with a cup of coconut almond bark tea—both of which will likely be gone before I’m finished writing this. I’m going to attack this thing. You probably won’t hear from me until Monday or later. I refuse to report until I’m caught up.

So, until then, good luck on whatever your own daring and dangerous adventures are this week. And I kind of hope you’re not as impractical and over-ambitious as some of us. I expected to do more tutorial and how-to post along the way here…but mainly I’ve been doing things wrong. So, here’s my tip for the day: don’t do things the way I do things.

Be back when I’m caught up. What, you don’t think I can do it? Let me show you something. Hold my tea.

Friday, November 2, 2018

NaNoWriMo Begins

100k/40d day: 12

NaNoWriMo day: 2

Total word count: 13,662

Status: lagging 16,338

Well, I’m not sure that I calculated that quite right. I counted today’s minimum required word-count as missing. I have not yet begun to write! Not today. I just got off work.

The books is going very well. The plot moves very fast but there’s still time for jokes and stuff, which is important. This entry is going to be quite short, I think. I don’t have much to say here, but I definitely need to get back to the book.
Happy NaNoWriMo to all. If you want to “buddy” me on the official NaNo site, my user name is TheLaughingVulcan