A new direction

In the days when I used to write in long hand...
In the days when I used to write in long hand…

A new direction. No, I’m not talking about the boy band; I’m talking about this blog. Today, I’m taking this blog in a new direction.

I was just using this blog as a article repository – that’s probably the best way to describe it. When I applied for a writing job (I’m mostly unemployed, right now.), I’d like the articles on this site as samples of my work.

I’ll probably still do that, but I think it would be more valuable to start using the site as an actual blog, specifically, a chronicle of my efforts to get published, more specifically, a chronicle of my efforts to get my fiction published.

There are two reasons for doing this.

One, I think it would be valuable for all aspiring writers to see if someone like me (It’s really “like I” but no one says that, anymore, do they? If this wasn’t a blog post, I’d say, “like I”, but that sounds kind of stuffy, doesn’t it?) can actually become a published writer. Except for a couple of short stories and one embarrassing poem about a dwarf, I haven’t had any  fiction published, and the pieces I did publish I didn’t get paid for.

So I have a few simple goals – to get published; to get paid for my writing; to become a member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA).  (I’ll write more about getting into the SFWA in a future post.)

The second reason is self motivating. I can write. I’ve been published professionally and had regular gigs as a non-fiction writer. But I want to write fiction, too. I know I can write and I do it all the time, but I have a few problems that probably plague a few of you, too.

I tend to not put the finishing touches on my work. I have thousands upon thousands of words of fiction, I write for weeks, months, and then sort of drift away from it. I lose my motivation, get discouraged, what have you. Eventually, I get my grit on and come back to writing, but it’s usually with another project in mind. As a result I have several unfinished books, books with tens of thousands of words, and bunches of short stories I’ve actually finished, but got tired of sending off to publishers and getting rejected. Rejection sucks.

So this blog will serve as a little motivator, a little negative reinforcement of public embarrassment, if you will. If I put my stuff out there, chronicling my efforts, I’m hoping it will keep me at it, to follow through and finish what I started.

I know how to blog – non-fiction stuff, I can do, and I’ve blogged before so I’m used to the rigor (Need a blogger? Hire me!). I should be able to keep this blog going, particularly with the whole unemployment thing going on.

Even if I don’t become a successful writer, ultimately, I hope this will be useful for other writers and anyone who’s trying to get published.

See you in the next post.

Monitor review: A pro article example

This article is from 2011. It’s not at all pertinent, today, not as a review of monitors, but I thought this might be useful to see. It’s a good, short example of what a finished article looks like when it’s sent off to a publisher.

The product links are removed at the publisher – in this case, SmartComputing; they’re there so the editor can double-check my work. At the bottom of the article are references to images with accompanying text explaining the images. The images are posted or emailed separately.

HED is short for headline and DEK is short for deck, which is a journalism term for the part of the headline that summarizes the story.

Article SC2211 20s11

HED: Affordable Monitors

DEK: A good monitor doesn’t have to be expensive

Do you spend a lot of time in front of your computer? Do you create your own videos or edit your photographs? Or are your work days filled doing online research and word processing. Whether you’re browsing the web, laying out your company’s product catalog, or making an instructional video, your monitor is probably your most important computing purchase after the computer.

A good monitor can reduce eye strain, Read More

Today’s article: Daylighting

Along with my co-author, the architect, Michael Pellegrino, I wrote this piece on the green-energy practice called daylighting for the SAGE publication on Green Energy. The publication itself is crazy expensive and neither I nor Michael get any compensation if you purchase it, but please follow the link in the picture if you’re interested.


by Ron Keith and Michael Pellegrino

(Daylight through Pantheon Oculus by Per Palmkvist Knudsen used under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 Generic license.)

Daylighting is the practice of using natural daylight to illuminate the interior of buildings, reducing the need for artificial light and, as a result, increasing the energy efficiency of those buildings. Though, primarily thought of as a source of illumination, daylighting can also serve as an adjunct to heating and cooling systems, further reducing a building’s artificial energy requirements.

Often a necessary element of pre-modern building design, and an aesthetic element in the late nineteenth and twentieth century, daylighting as implemented in contemporary architecture is used as an innovative solution to energy efficiency and sustainability problems. Read More