The Wordshop

Dear Reader,

It has been a while since I posted a blog entry. I’m impressed that the number of visits to World Adventurers held steady this month despite not posting for more than two weeks. Thank you for your continued patronage during my absence. I realize that I need to finish my series on the Kilimanjaro climb that I have dragged on far too long and that I have yet to conclude updates on trips to Namibia and Lubumbashi in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. I hope to finish the Kilimanjaro story in June and focus on the others in July.

Although it seems that I’ve been idle since my last entry on May 26, there has in fact been much going on behind the scenes. I was waylaid for a while by an over-the-top event in Zambia that put me out of commission. That ended last week, freeing me up to get back to business at hand. I look forward to a day soon when these distractions are relegated to the dustbin of history.

Like an elf in Santa’s workshop, I have been busily preparing goodies for that magic day – August 25 – when I begin my new life as a full-time author. I’ve spent many a night planning, designing, and building what I call a “Wordshop” that will help me transform my writing from thought to publication (runner-up: “Wordsmithy”). Creativity can be unbridled at times. This should, I hope, introduce some discipline into the writing process. Once functional, the “Wordshop” will serve as a conduit to distill my writing into digestible works. For years, I wrote stories ad hoc and have only now begun to reengineer how I approach writing and publishing materials.

Although the “Wordshop” is still under construction, let me illustrate how it will work.

  1. Step One: Concept. Summaries of ideas for stories, books, or other materials will be filed away as a note until it’s time to draft.
  2. Step Two: Drafting. Short stories do not need an outline. If it’s a long story or a book, I will first sketch a detailed summary. After the initial draft and two proof-readings, I will insert it into a standardized template with a header, page numbering, and a disclaimer. I developed templates in Microsoft Word for both short stories and books.
  3. Step Three: Editing. I will use two software programs to analyze the story’s grammar and content. The programs will pick up many common errors. In the future, I will supplement this software with at least one (human) editor.
  4. Step Four: Illustration. At this stage I may add photos or illustrations to the story, particularly if it’s a travelogue. I may hire an illustrator to illustrate the story or book.
  5. Step Five: Formatting. I will convert the story into several formats compatible with variety of e-readers using several software programs.
  6. Step Six: Publishing. I may publish the story on my web site,, or compile it into a book and publish it for sale on Amazon or another commercial web site.
  7. Step Seven: Marketing. I have been exploring outlets to market my books beyond this blog and have been experimenting with some.

I will produce several stories and books concurrently like products on an assembly line. Although not glamorous, it should reinforce rather than detract from the underlying creative process of writing. The “Wordshop” is still under development, but on August 25, I plan to go live. Please bear with me as I spend some time transforming this idea into reality.

This post was produced by the Wordshop.

300,000 hits

Wow, this blog has had 300,000 hits since its inception in late 2004.  That’s pretty cool!  Thank you, dear reader.

World Adventurers used to have a higher readership but decreased to about 200 per week after it went on hiatus in 2008.  Since I revived it late last year, things have picked up a bit.  If you’ve stopped by to read this blog over the years, thank you.  Your patronage is much appreciated.

Happy New Year 2010

I wish you a happy and prosperous 2010.  I hope 2009 treated you well and that the new year will be even better.  What do you have planned for the new year?

I’m one of those people who believe in making and achieving goals, and I consider New Year’s resolutions worthwhile.  Resolutions help one think about what needs to change and how to change it.  Unfortunately, it’s very easy to break resolutions because they usually focus on aspects of our lives that we continually struggle to improve.  Hence, “resolve” is a key aspect of resolutions, and one must have the resolve to achieve the resolutions they make.

I’m as guilty as anyone in making and breaking my resolutions for the new year, so I have made three personal commitments this year that I hope will help me achieve my resolutions for 2010.  One, I chose goals that I am already pursuing and have already made some progress in achieving.  Two, I chose incremental targets for my goals rather than “pie-in-the-sky” aims that I know I will never achieve.  Third, I pledged to prioritize these goals, focus more on achieving them, and balance them with other responsibilities so they’re not superseded by life’s daily demands.  With these three commitments I hope to accomplish these resolutions by year’s end.

Here are my personal goals for 2010:

  1. Make a major life change
  2. Lose weight (10 percent)
  3. Climb Mt. Kilimanjaro
  4. Run (not walk) a 10-kilometer race
  5. Read half the Bible
  6. Stop one bad habit
  7. Write or update 25 short stories
  8. Go golfing three times
  9. Read ten books
  10. Increase our net worth by ten percent

If you haven’t made any New Year’s resolutions, I encourage you to try making some and make the commitment to follow through with them.  If you achieve even one, you increase your chances that you’ll end this year happier than you started it.