Havoc Tales Volume 1 (fini)

Having finished the first volume of Havoc Tales, I wanted to take a little bit of time with you, talking about the second volume which is already underway, and to share with you my writing space.

So, Havoc Tales Volume 2 is in the works. It picks up a few days after the first book leaves off, with a radical expansion of the team, under the leadership of Jack Havoc. Now, understanding the severe threat that they face, Jack realizes that there is no easy way to eradicate it. They are forced to go on the hunt.

The threat is a formidable creature, faster than you can imagine. Pound for pound, it could easily contend for the title of the most feared and dangerous animal on the planet. To make matters worse, there is evidence that suggests that the creature is not alone, and the number of them could be substantial.

So get your copy of Havoc Tales Volume 1 and prepare yourself for what’s coming next. It will be available in ebook format at Amazon and other outlets before Halloween.

As I was working on the second volume, I thought I would share a photograph of my desk setup and tell you the tools that I use in writing.

After working many years in computer support, I quickly moved away from Microsoft and embraced Linux. I have been using Linux as my desktop of choice for just about twenty-five years now. My computer, hanging on the wall behind the monitors is an older Dell 7010, running the latest version of Linux Mint Mate. Linux Mint has proven itself over the years of being one of the premier distributions of the Linux OS. Highly recommended.

But before I talk about the software that I use, I should point out the framed poster just above the screens with the light glare on it. It is a poster of Raiders of the Lost Ark with Indiana Jones whipping his whip. I have always been a movie, book, writing fanatic, and I am proud to admit that I saw Raiders of the Lost Ark, my favorite movie, thirty-two times in the movie theater, ranging from California to Illinois. I have no idea how many times I’ve seen it since.

My walls are filled with small shelves with various things that I have loved growing up. The majority of them are die-cast models of planes, warbirds to be exact, a metal toy dirigible with wheels, and an old notebook with newspaper cutouts of the story of Lt. Col. W. E. Dyess and the Bataan Death March, the tape holding the strips yellowed as well as the newsprint. One shelf has an enamel tin ‘The Adventure Begins’ coffee cup, and one of many metal Hallmark toys, this one a 1930 Custom Biplane.

A 3-D relief of the letter R is hanging, covered in various prints of old Marvel Comics. On the other side of Indiana Jones is a canvas bag hanging from a hook that also has a leather hat that looks like the hat that Jones wears in his adventures. Just below the hat and between the straps of the canvas bag is a framed picture of Mickey and Minney kissing on the pilot’s deck of a steamboat. The rest of the walls have additional hanging monitors, televisions, a large framed copy of the mysterious Piri Reis map, supposedly supporting the theory of ancient crust displacement, candles, family pictures, a framed copy of the cover of my first self-published book, and my tea and coffee supplies.

My wife’s desk is on the other side of our office, but as to what she has on her walls, I will leave that to your imagination. On a final note, I will say that we have two Xbox One S units and all the Wolfenstein and Halo games possible. I’m more the Wolfenstein guy.

Not bad for a semi-retired sixty-four-year-old author, huh?

As for the software, you will see on the far left of the left monitor, a recent find called Bibisco. It is software to help with writing, and though I am still on the learning curve with it, it has already proved very helpful. One of the things that I have found helpful is actually putting faces to characters. It has helped me to visualize them in my stories. Next, you will see XMind 8 opened to a file I call Writing Projects 2021. I have been fascinated with Mind Mapping software for years and have used them in many different applications. Using them for story flow, scenes, and characters in fiction writing is one of those, though to be honest, I have had mixed results. That is one of the reasons for using Bibisco. Low and in front of XMind 8 is a cool little program I have used for four or five years now, Simplenote. It is a great note-keeping application that is free, available for Windows, Linux, and my Android phone. With built-in sync, what’s not to like?

On the right, you see the basic graphic for Havoc Tales that I am still working on in GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program), a great substitute to use instead of paying those high prices from Adobe. Finally, overlaying the image is Evernote. Evernote is one of only a couple of applications that I actually pay for, the other being Grammarly. And for those who didn’t think that there is a native application of Evernote for Linux, there is, at least currently in Beta, which this is. Avoiding cost is just one of the wonderful reasons for going open source and Linux.

As for the actual writing, I use LibreOffice Writer. LibreOffice is a wonderful alternative to Microsoft Office and will handle anything thrown at it. And guess what? No cost.

So now that you’ve entered my domain and know a little more about what I use, tell me about your writing space and some of the tools you use when you write. I am always looking out for better ways to stay organized.