Friday, May 29, 2015

"Gold Wings are Murder" First Draft Complete

I'm thinking Mark Twain would be a GL1800 trike kind of guy.
Mark Twain would be so proud--I just finished the first draft of "Gold Wings are Murder: The Crying Stone." Parts are funny. Parts of scary. Other parts are emotionally intense. It features a middle aged couple touring our great land on a GL1800 with a Tailwind trailer. What could be better than that?

So, now the edits begin. For those of you who like writing trivia, I'm using the editing system proposed by Rachel Aaron in "2K to 10K: Writing Faster, Writing Better and Writing More of What You Love." She suggested going through the book and doing your grammar corrections, but also outlining it, doing a time line to look for story problems, and using a ToDo list so you don't miss anything and can get your edits done with little fuss or extra effort.

Aaron also writes fantasy so, if you like murder mysteries AND fantasy (like me), check her out. As for my story, look for it some time in June, July at the latest.

Curves and Corners Part 1

Are curves and corners different? Should they be approached differently, from the rider's point of view? Is one better of worse than the other? Here's what I think.

Are these folks riding around a corner or a curve? 

Big, sweeping curves are lots of fun. You find them everywhere. The road bends away, and you cruise on without a care in the world. Curves are great too. You set up, zoom in, maybe use an exciting amount of lean angle, then zip on outa there. Also lots of fun. So, first off, let me say that in my humble opinion, neither one is better or worse than the other. But I do approach them differently, as a rider, because I believe they are different. I also believe that if you don't think of them differently, you will likely carry more stress than you need to while riding, and what I wish for you is FEARLESS RIDING so check this out.

Let me tell you what I mean by a curve.

To me, and for the purposes of this discussion, a curve is a bend in the road that does NOT require brakes or more than a minor roll off of the throttle. If you can safely negotiate a bend without any speed change, while remaining relaxed, seeing well, and in control of your riding, that's a curve. I'll even take it a step further and say that for a bend to be called a curve, you should be able to maintain your straight-line speed, AND take any line you want through the bend.

If you can make it through the bend comfortably, but only by entering wide, cutting in, and sweeping to the outside, that's not a curve, that's a corner. If you can maintain your speed and comfortably run the bike around the outside of your lane, or just as easily switch over halfway through and run around on an  inside line instead, to me, that's a CURVE.

Why does it matter?

Because if you are running around a curve at a safe and comfortable speed, it doesn't matter where you setup. Inside? No problem. Outside? Not an issue. Change your line halfway through? No worries. Line doesn't matter. It doesn't make any difference. If you are riding at a safe and comfortable speed that allows you to effortlessly and FEARLESSLY zoom around that curve and continue on with your ride, that's a curve.


I was riding home from work the other day, and came to this wonderful curve near my house. My straight away speed was about 45 mph. The road curves around a little hill that makes it somewhat of a blind curve, but most any experienced biker could take that corner at 40-45 mph with basically no effort. I've done it literally a hundred times. I approached the curve at 45, rolled off just a little to maybe 43 and entered the curve. Halfway through, right in the middle of my outside line, was the flattened remains of a space alien! Or maybe it was just a dead racoon. Anyway, I didn't fret, or worry, or run into the opposite lane, or slam on my brakes. All I did was move the bike from an outside line, to an inside line, and keep on Wingin'!

Granted, if a car is stopped dead, smack dab in the middle of your lane--it's happened to me--you would need to use your brakes and stop, but on what I call a curve, sand, gravel or dead skunks can be handled almost effortlessly by simply changing your line. Just move over. No fuss. Change your lane position. Sacrifice your preferred line, and ride on. When riding around curves, many potential problems become non-issues.

By looking well ahead and assessing if the bend coming up is a corner or a curve, I have no worries. If it's a curve, I just look for the vanishing point, relax, keep my eyes up and ride on. As far as I can tell, most of the turns I ride around are curves, not corners. That means most of my riding is almost automatically FEARLESS. Why should I worry when I approach a curve if I know I can take that curve at my present speed and on any line I choose? If I need to roll off a little without so much as shifting gears, or just ease on around a problem spot, why should I worry?

But if I keep my eyes up, see a bend and decide it is really more of a CORNER, then what? Don't miss Part 2. Bookmark this pages as one of your favorites, or look for the Follow By Email box, fill in your contact information, and Part 2 will automatically show up in your email.

Until then, get out there and enjoy this great weather!

Moxie Nixx, author of "Gold Wings are Murder."

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

GWAM Mystery Novel Almost Done

My first mystery novel, Gold Wings are Murder, is almost done. I'm working on the final chapters this week. This is the first draft, but my writing process is to do a read through and light edit of yesterday's work, before starting on todays writing. So, it doesn't take me as long to finalize a rough drafts as some folks. It looks like this story will run about 35,000 words. That's shorter than some mystery novels, but actually a pretty good length for a first mystery intended for sale as a Kindle ebook.

If you want to be among the first to know when this book drops, look for the Follow by Email box and type in your email address. That way you'll know about it just as soon as the book goes live. Until then, keep your eyes up, stay safe and enjoy the ride.

A mystery writer types on an Apple keyboard.
I'm actually writing this on a 10-year old iMac using Chrome and Google Docs.