Kepler's Coffee House

Friday Morning Writing

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Delayed Opening

I am at the Starbucks at Frankfort and Preston this morning. My usual Starbucks Preston next to Barnes and Nobles in Plano, Texas did not open on time as their opener didn’t show. The barista present told me what was going on and that he called the manager.

Besides me, a running club was there. They meet at that location every Tuesday and Friday. The group has twelve to fifteen present most times when they meet.

The next nearest location has been closed for renovation so the morning traffic has really picked up at this location. My estimate would be a loss of at least 30 or 40 sales as once the opener shows they usually take 20 to 30 minutes to get up and going. I know this because my normal location has this happen every few weeks.

Today’s Writing

I am writing this morning. Today I am working on the religious science fiction book Ouest’s first draft. I’m working on chapter seven,

Opening Lines

Here are the first few opening lines from chapter one of Quest.

I woke up howling.

Relax. I must relax. Slow cleansing breathes. Don;’t hyperventilate. I must take slow breaths, I thought.

But I couldn’t relax. My rapidly pounding heart wanted out of my chest. It needed to get out of the room fast.

Well, what do you think? Leave a comment. I’d appreciate your input.

Photo Source: Pixaby

 

Thursday Thoughts

Thunder and Lightning

Today is Thursday, August 17, 2017. I’m sitting at my favorite coffee shop with an iced coffee with vanilla and milk. It is 6:10 a.m.  Thunder, lightning, and monsoon like rain greeted me as I left home for the twenty-minute drive to the coffee house. A weather warning with a flood warning is in effect. I am listening to a concert by First Aid Kit. Their song Wolf has my toes tapping.

Collaborative or Group Blog

The writer’s group I belong to met last night. All but one member was present. The group is looking at doing a collaborative or group blog. It has been under discussion since a late April 2017 meeting. I’m not sure anything meaningful was decided. Sitting at the table listening to the discussion my mind wandered back to 1968 and The Paris Peace talks, which opened on May 10. The Paris Peace Talks plagued by procedural questions that impeded any meaningful progress. They discussed for seven months the shape of the table and seating arrangements! In my opinion, the writer’s group is being equally unproductive. Some of the group members read this blog. Hi there. ANd that’s what I think.

Countdown

Two weeks from today I retire. I am on my final countdown. Here’s an inventory of what I am working on in my writing life –

  1. Fiction book – Quest: Book Two of the Liberator Series. I am about 25,000 words into writing the first draft. It is religious science fiction.
  2. Fiction book – writing under a pen name. It is literary fiction. I am 15,000 words into the first draft.
  3. Non-fiction – working title “Prayers for the Chronically Ill.” The first draft is finished. I  have the book proposal with the acquisitions editor of a traditional New York Publisher. Why? I want to see my book in a Barnes and Nobles. If they say no I will self-publish and make more money.
  4. Non-fiction – I have the first draft completed of a memoir tentatively titled, “The Cold War Kid: Growing up With Sputnik, Castro, Khrushchev, Vietnam and Roock ‘n Roll.”
  5. Fiction – I am turning my award winning short story “The Praire Dos Have Cold Mining Helmets with Lights into a novel.

Wednesday, Writer’s Group and Other Things

Coffee House

Today is Wednesday, August 16, 2017. I am sitting at my favorite coffee house. It is a Starbucks without a drive thru window in Plano, Texas. Located in a strip shopping center with a Wholefoods, it is adjacent to a Barnes and Nobles Bookstore. I have been coming to this location for twenty years.

My Starbucks in some ways is like the old television show Cheers theme song. It has a phrase that says “You wanna go where people know, people are all the same, You wanna go where everybody knows your name.” (Where Everybody Knows Your Name Lyrics by Gary Portnoy and Judy Hart Angelo). That’s the kind of place my favorite coffee house is.

When I come in they greet me by name and ask if I want my usual. It’s nice to be noticed, known and to have a usual. I see a core group of the same people at my favorite coffee house. I know their names. They know mine. I know one is a retired sales executive. Another sells medical equipment. Several lawyers and accountants are regulars. There is a group of school teachers that get their morning caffeine here. Several have become friends. They all know I write and take an interest in what I’m doing. It has become my fortress of solitude from the world. Also, the Muse knows I’m here and visits on a regular basis.

Collaboration

This morning I am working on a literary fiction book I am writing under my pen name. I have a dear friend in my writer’s group who is co-writing the book with me. Collaboration is interesting. I did the book outline, characters, the world, story arc, and she adds the secret sauce. No, you may not know my pen name.

Writer’s Group

Speaking of writer’s groups, mine meets tonight. It’s a lot like the group I see at my favorite coffee house, except a few have become more extended family. I’ve been hanging with this group for six and one-half years. They are the best.

The Muse

Structured Life

It is Tuesday morning, August 15, 2017. Those who know me well would agree that I am a disciplined person of habit. I live a fairly structured life. I love order. I love routine. I dislike surprises and emotional roller coaster people leave me confused.

When asked if I am spontaneous, I have to look up the word in the dictionary because I am the least spontaneous man alive. In my mind, spontaneous equals unplanned and disorder. I am a plotter, not a pantser.

Yes, I am an early riser, getting up before 5 AM about 360 days a year, even on weekends. I leave home by 5:30 AM to go to my favorite coffee shop for morning writing. Before I leave, I launched my Scrivener software on my Macintosh at home. It’s my professional writing software. I have the first draft of the book Quest, Book Two of the Liberator Series up and waiting for me.

The Muse

I have an appointment at the coffee shop at 6 AM with The Muse. The Muse knows where to find me and usually arrives just after I have gotten my morning coffee, taken my seat, and logged on to my Apple Mac via my Google Chromebook using Chrome Remote Desktop. Well, it is time to leave as the drive takes 20 minutes this time of morning.

Well, I’ve completed all the above. It’s time for my morning writing before heading to the day job. I have sixteen days until I retire from the day job and begin writing full-time. By the way, I am working on the first draft of chapter seven this morning. 

My First Story and First Professional Sale

B-52D_dropping_bombs_over_Vietnam

My First Taste of Writing

I have been writing for over fifty years. Yikes, that means the years are adding up quickly. The first story I remember writing was in 1965. It was a fifteen-minute story we turned into a play. Along with the other military brats in my neighborhood, we performed the little skit to the joy of the other children and our parents.

It was written in November 1965 with the Battle of Ia Drang Valley on the evening news. I was in the seventh grade. What was that play about?

The story written during the battle was about an imaginary rouge B-52 bomber crew flying in to save the day by blowing the North Vietnamese Army and Viet Cong Communist back to the stone age. The story was set in a B-52 with the crew communicating during its imaginary unauthorized mission to rescue the US Army’s 1st and 2nd Battalions of the 7th Cavalry from the evil Commies. I remember thinking someone has to do something to save those brave soldiers.

I was living in base housing at Biggs Air Force Base (AFB) in El Paso, Texas. Biggs AFB was the home of the 95th Bombardment Wing which flew B-52s. And Biggs AFB was adjacent to the US Army’s Fort Bliss, Texas.

My school mates and I watched US Army basic trainees march to and from the rifle ranges past our school yard almost every day. The military was our family, in our blood and always on our minds.

My First Professional Sale

From 1965 until 1981 I wrote many stories. Some were published in school and community newspapers. Others were published in my part-time job’s newsletter. Sometimes I find it hard to believe that I had my first professional writing sale this month in 1981. that Sometimes I find it hard to believe that I had my first professional writing sale this month in 1981.

Sometimes I find it hard to believe that I had my first professional writing sale this month in 1981. What is a professional sale you ask? It is being paid professional wages for the writing. I sold a magazine article to a religious trade journal.

Since then I’ve sold many magazine and trade journal articles. I have sold book reviews, short stories, and nonfiction articles.

My Regular Writing Routine

For the last twenty-years almost every morning I wake up about 4:45 AM. I get ready for work and head out the door usually by 5:30 AM. I arrive at my favorite coffee shop, a Starbucks, at 6:00 AM. It located halfway between my home and my day job. I order my coffee and write for an hour. I normally write between 250 to 1000 words. That’s one to four pages. This writing routine has produced the first draft of a book every six to nine months. After writing, I head into the office normally arrive between 7:15 and 7:30 AM.

Tomorrow I’ll share what I’m currently working on.

Photo Credit: A U.S. Air Force Boeing B-52D-35-BW Stratofortress (s/n 52-669) dropping bombs over Vietnam. This aircraft was hit by SA-2 surface-to-air missile over North Vietnam during the “Linebacker II” offensive on 31 December 1972 and crashed in in Laos. The crew of six ejected, but only five were rescued. USAF – National Museum of the USAF photo 110224-F-XN622-007. The photo is a Public Domain picture.

Back to Writing

my starbucks - Edited

Back to Writing

Today is Sunday, August 13, 2017. I am enjoying a Sunday morning tall iced coffee with vanilla and cream at my favorite coffee house as I resume morning writing after a four-day break due to a cardiac catheterization.

Cardiac Catheterization

Amazing how you can’t type or use a computer when they access your heart through the artery/vein in your right wrist. They run a little tub up through the wrist, arm, through the shoulder and down to the heart. Then they run a second long thin tube called a catheter through the first straw like tube. In my case, it was inserted into an artery/vein in my wrist threaded through my blood vessels to my heart.  My test included a coronary angiogram, which checks the coronary arteries, though they are not part of every cardiac catheterization. The purpose of the cardiac catheterization was to check blood flow in the coronary arteries. It looked for blockages. This is pretty cool stuff.

Stretch Run

I’m writing for an hour this morning before going to church and Bible fellowship class. I return to the day job tomorrow morning.

I am on the stretch run with my retirement from the day job just two weeks from this Thursday. Then I transition to writing full-time. I’ll be writing about the transition in the days ahead. Why not join me in my adventure?

Photo source: Original photo taken by Jimmie Aaron Kepler

Dead on the Floor

Janis Joplin seated 1970

Dead on the Floor

“Tricky Dick” was the U.S. President
In America, a first-class stamp cost just six cents
Richard Nixon froze both the prices and our pay
We still loved going to concerts to see our favorite bands play
The Vietnam War was on the evening news for all to see
Marcus Welby, M.D. was the number one show on United States TV
Over in London, Jimi Hendrix overdosed
On Monika Dannemann’s sleeping pills two weeks before.
And in Los Angeles, John Cook found Janis Joplin dead on the floor.

Jimmie Aaron Kepler
© 2011

Originally published in “Writing After Fifty.”

Photo Source: By Albert B. Grossman Management (personal manager), New York. (eBay item photo front photo back) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

A Baker’s Dozen

I was listening to the Shipping & Handling Podcast today. The podcast is hosted by two literary agents who talk books, fandom, writing, and beyond. The hosts? The hosts are Bridget Smith of Dunham Literary Inc. & Jennifer Udden of Barry Goldblatt Literary.

They mentioned when being interviewed for a job as a literary agent they were asked what were the last ten books you read. The question got me thinking. I came up with the last twelve books I read. I read a few of the concurrently. I recommend them all.

  1. Once They Wore the Gray by Johnny D. Boggs – Western
  2. Arkadian Skies: Fallen Empire, Book 6 by Lindsay Buroker – Science-fiction
  3. Midair by Kodi Scheer – Literary fiction
  4. Cleon Moon: Fallen Empire, Book 5 by Lindsay Buroker – Science-fiction
  5. Relic of Sorrows: Fallen Empire, Book 4 by Lindsay Buroker – Science-fiction
  6. Starseers: Fallen Empire, Book 3 by Lindsay Buroker – Science-fiction
  7. How to Make a Living with Your Writing: Books, Blogging and More by Joanna Penn – Non-fiction (Reference on Business of writing)
  8. Honor’s Flight: Fallen Empire, Book 2 by Lindsay Buroker – Science-fiction
  9. Successful Self-Publishing: How to self-publish and market your book in ebook and print by Joanna Penn-  Non-fiction (Reference on Business of writing)
  10. Business For Authors. How To Be An Author Entrepreneur by Joanna Penn – Non-fiction (Reference on Business of writing)
  11. Star Nomad: Fallen Empire, Book 1 by Lindsay Buroker – Science-fiction
  12. The Age of Daredevils by Michael Clarkson – Non-fiction (history)
  13. Plot (Elements of Fiction Writing) by Ansen Dibell – Non-fiction (Reference on Business of writing)

You can leave in the comments the last books you’ve read. I have read these since January 2017.

Photo Source: Pixaby

Relic of Sorrows: Fallen Empire, Book 4 by Lindsay Buroker

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This book, number 4 in the series, pulls together much of what we’d guessed at in the previous three books. Relic of Sorrows also adds some new twists in the plot. From the three previous books, we know pretty much everything important about Alisa.

We’ve learned she is ethical and empathetic. She is very courageous when she needs courage. She is also a typical girl.

She allows herself to be tempted by people and circumstances and often gives in to them. She is a habitual eavesdropper, and though conflicted about this. She seems to have no desire to stop. She is embarrassed when caught.

She wants to keep Leonidas’ good opinion of her. She tries to be manipulative but isn’t good at it. She displays snarkiness but thinks she is charming because of it.

Despite all these character defects, she is sweet, and it’s easy to see why the various men are drawn to her.

Leonidas is upstanding, capable of friendship, ethical, brave, protective, very smart, introspective, and maybe even as a Cyborg, capable of love. Alisa and the others in the group have learned things about him. They have grown to value him, and his opinions.

We learn, in this book, one of his great secrets, which, because of all the foreshadowing was done, is not much of a secret when he finally reveals it to Alisa.

The two also finally get together, as much as they can. Alisa is also pursued by Abelardus, who manages to throw several curves at her, and causes discord between her and Leo. Because of the secret (which Alisa didn’t know), we learn about Alisa. We are aware why he is doing this. This banter results in some fairly enjoyable scenes between the two of them. Enjoyable to the reader, at any rate.

We learn what the orb is that Alejandro has carried with him throughout the various voyages, and get finally to see it in action. The circumstances are, actually, surprising, and open up a whole avenue of further plotlines.

It’s hard to describe these scenes without including lots and lots of spoilers. Let me just say, the book and series are worth reading.

In this book, none of the other crew members or passengers get much time, and we don’t learn much more about them. It’s the plot that is primarily advanced in this installment.

We’ve gotten beyond all the searching for the relic, which is now found, and because of Alisa’s ingenuity, is in the possession of this group, instead of all the other powerful people who have been looking for it.

The book ends here, and we can only surmise that as soon as the Alliance discovers that they have been duped, they will come storming after them.

There has been no action on the search for Jelena this time, but Leo has agreed to stay with Alisa and work for her while she searches for her daughter.

There is plenty of action and excitement in this book. The value in this one is in the background information we gain, and in the movement of the plot.

The next book is going to be fantastic. It will include the search for Jelena, a search for Torian, (the Emperor’s missing son), possibly the kidnapping of Dr. Tiang, (the researcher newly introduced into the story, who is knowledgeable about cyborg workings), and the conspiracy which is beginning to form between Abelardus and Alejandro to either force, or convince Alisa to use her newly found power to aid them in their ultimate mission.

 

 

The Copyright Page

intellectual-property
The copyright page helps protect your intellectual property.

Copyright Page Contains:

  • The Declaration of copyright
    • It tells who owns the copyright
    • The gives the year of publication
    • You are informed of any reservation of rights
  • Other Credits
    • Artists or Illustrators
    • Editor or Editorial Staff
    • Cover or Graphic Designer
    • Publisher Notes
  • Copyright Acknowledgements
    • For reprinted materials that require permission (Bible Verses i.e. Scripture)
    • ISBN Number
    • LCCN or CIP Number
    • List Where Printed for Print Books
    • Edition Number
    • Usually, includes a “Published By”
      • Published by is listed at either the top or bottom of copyright page
  • Disclaimer
    • Memoirs
      • Some names and identifying details have been changed to protect the privacy of individuals.
    •  Novels
      • This is a work of fiction. Names, places, and events are either the product of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.
    • Self-Help Books.
      • This book is for informational purposes only. While every precaution has been taken in the preparation of the book, neither the author nor the publisher shall have any liability to any person or entity with respect to any loss or damage caused or alleged to be caused directly or indirectly by the instructions contained in this book.
    • Health Books.
      • The information provided in this book is not intended as a substitute for the medical advice of physicians.

Dedication Page:

  • To my wonderful wife, Mary, without whose continued loving support and encouragement this book would not exist.

Table of Contents:

  • Included in nonfiction titles
  • Not usually in fiction books
    • Should not be longer than two pages.

Foreword:

  • Setup for the book, typically written by someone other than the author. A famous person or celebrity writing the foreward can help promote and sell the book.

Preface / Acknowledgements:

  • Here is where the author’s say thank you to those who contributed time and resources towards the effort of writing the book.

Introduction

  • Setup for the book’s contents, generally by the author.

Photo Source:

  • Title: Intellectual Property
  • File size: 105 KB
  • Free License permits: Sharing, copying and redistributing in any medium or format including adapting, remixing, transforming, and building upon the material for any purpose, even commercially. Attribution required.
  • License: Creative Commons 3 – CC BY-SA 3.0
  • Creator attribution: Nick Youngson – link to – http://nyphotographic.com/
  • Date first licensed: June 2016

Original Image: http://www.creative-commons-images.com/handwriting/i/intellectual-property.html

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THE REBUILDER
by Jimmie Aaron Kepler

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MISS SARAH'S SECRET
by Jimmie Aaron Kepler

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Gone Electric: A Poetry Collection
by Jimmie Aaron Kepler
Gone Electric
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Jim Kepler

Jim Kepler

Jim Kepler is a novelist, poet, book reviewer, and award-winning short story writer. His work has appeared in Christian publications like Altarworks, Deacon Magazine, Church Leadership Magazine, Discipleship Training Magazine, and Sunday School Leader Magazine as well as secular publications like Bewildering Stories, Beyond Imagination, and Poetry & Prose Magazine. He is honorably discharged at the rank of Captain from the US Army. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in History with minors in English and Military Science from The University of Texas at Arlington, Master of Arts and Master of Religious Education degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, as well as the Doctor of Education degree. He is both an ordained minister and ordained deacon. His books and collections are available on Amazon. He writes his fiction under the name Jimmie Aaron Kepler and nonfiction under the name Jim Kepler.

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