…and we’re back!

Down Cellar20180623_165637

This novel has been my focus. I have completed three more revisions (yes, really!)  as well as formatting for both digital and paperback editions.

During one of the revisions, I was looking for  quote marks that look like this   “ , versus straight quote marks, as well as quote marks going the wrong way. On another one, it was spacing and indents. Some of you know that this is the stuff of authoring. Some of you have had to DO this. And some of you have read the novels and short stories where they DIDN’T do this kind of revise/edit and you almost threw the book across the room in frustration.

I’m hoping I got all those little buggers, but I won’t bet too much money on it. Along those lines, I ordered five more proof copies, to pass out to some hand-picked readers for their reading and hunting pleasure.  Who knew that THIS is what writing novels was about? I do see why there is such a job as “Editor” and why they should be well-paid.

The book is done, digitally, and will be available on Smashwords and its channels August 15th. The same for Amazon, where it is now available for pre-order.  The paperback is in the process of proofing—paper proof copies are in the mail to me as I type. I’m excited but honestly mentally exhausted. I look ahead at the marketing phase and I see a wall of gray fog, but I know it’s only fog: I can learn and penetrate that barrier.

In the meantime, I have more news and I will be posting more often. FAR more often!

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…and then I fell down a rabbit hole.

where did you go- small

…and then I fell down a rabbit hole.

There is a Reason

The story “After Midnight” is indeed almost ready. Better than before! More ready than before! The rabbit hole I fell into, predictably, was my urge to revise. And revise have I! Couple that activity with a work schedule that allowed me a total of four days off during the two months of February and March (so far. Actually today makes five!)

So, I have been busy with something other than Instagram, but mostly I’ve been too stressed to feel like addressing the challenge of revisions. The stress temporarily put me in hibernate/avoidance mode. I don’t want new stuff (including revisions to a story!). At the same time, the stress of what’s been going on gives me a strong desire for change. Good Conflict for a novel, but the story line is weak.

The work schedule stress is not over, but there is light dawning… the crazy schedule is supposed to end at the beginning of April.

As an aside, I came across a podcast about this that was very encouraging, and more than a little kick in the ankle: https://www.artofmanliness.com/2018/02/22/secrets-of-greater-endurance/ .

Yes, But WHEN?

So, when WILL the serialization begin? Still no definite date. I am seriously thinking of beginning to post what I have. That would light a fire under my remaining revisions. I am better than half way through this revision and I am NOT planning another.

One other thing I’ve been avoiding is a more integrated way for you all to sign up for email updates. That will probably take a tech support call, but that’s no more hassle than a chapter revision.

I think.

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Coming Soon… “After Midnight”


After Midnight: Book One

Yes, it’s almost here! Very soon, “After Midnight” will be ready for a first look.

The original idea stared as an award-winning 12 word story, which grew to a short story, which suggested what now looks to be at least three novellas and a whole ‘universe’ that holds the potential for a long series.

At the momoment, I have a rough draft of the first novella. As I work through the first revision, I will post that revised story here, in hopes that you, my readers, will love it, spread the word and maybe comment on it for improvements. I think this universe and these characters have a great potential for entertainment (and maybe even some life lessons if I don’t get too preachy!)

NOTE: I am working on a way to get notification of new installments out by email as well. Any help on THAT would be appreciated too!

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Late… As Usual. But, this time, It’s Different!

Catch Up
I have neglected this blog for a period of several months. Purposely. Too many spinning plates in the off-screen world to keep this going as well. That period is past, I think. Schedule has settled down, income has risen to a liveable level and plans are in place to keep it this way for the next year at least.

W. I. P.
Work in Progress is the Fairy Tale Twisting of “After Midnight.” The retelling of three princesses that are about to be executed so that the Evil Fairy who has them can take over their Kingdoms. Nothing ‘original’… except that the Princesses are Snow White, Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella! And there is no guarantee of a Disney Happy Ending.

It has been a much more difficult write than I first imagined. (Duh.) But even the first draft is looking good to me. It has to be told in at least three parts to get all three princesses kidnapped and taken to Maleficent’s Citadel, in preparation for the Grand Execution. I have Sleeping Beauty (Aurora) at the castle. That was the easy one, for some reason.

Getting Cinderella (Elena) there has been FAR more difficult, but I’ve been writing it with more action and dialogue and less ‘telling the story’. This part is just about finished, maybe one more chapter to finish out the details. Timewise, the story is right up to the night before the Executions. I think that means I’m almost finished. I think…?

I asked on Instagram (@gordondelandauthor) if serializing this story on the blog here might work. I got a few answers back, all positive, so shortly you will begin to see regular, frequent posts of the story.

WARNING: it is not all ‘disney for kids’. A lot of it is. But there are twists that are not kid-friendly. I’ve left out smutty sex and most of the swearing, but that’s because the Heros are Royalty and have manners. The villains don’t but I’m kinda over villains that are sexy. In fact, I’m over the whole ‘sex sells’ thing. If the story is no good, I’m not going to add chains and torture chambers to pimp it out. I want to be known for good stories well written. I can write and sell porn separately. Probably under a different name. If ever.

What Happened to Bobby Loves Helen?
In one word, nothing. They are living quietly in Kenwood, Helen is enjoying her jewelry shop and having dinner at home with Bobby, when he is in town. He’s spending too much time on the road in Indiana, and she’s lonesome and worried he gonna get shot.

The nice thing is, I realize that this point in the story is where I can accomplish two things. First, I can finish this story, and probably revise it into a series of journal entries. The idea of going back to add a sufficient amount of dialogue to make it a ‘real novel’ scares me. Depresses me, actually. One of my readers said “This sounds like ‘Dragnet’! You use the same sentence structure very f*cking time!” I laughed. I agreed. I like it.

The second nice thing is that it is THIS point where I can write the rest of the story to ALSO be the historical flashback in the novel it was SUPPOSED to be in. All that I have so far, is really back story for the novel, “Upstairs”, a sequel to “Down Cellar”, my completed-but-unpubished novel of murder, secret tunnels and a plumber. Well I might not use that line in a query. But it’s allthat and more. 🙂

But Wait! There’s More!
Oh, and I have VOWED to finish “Change at Belmont”, this year, before June. I started it back in the late 80’s or early 1990’s and it’s still “almost done”. I had to write a car chase scene and I finally got it done! More on this one later.

That’s all for now. I will post on both Facebook and Instagram before I begin the serialization of “After Midnight: Confessions of a Killer FGM.” I might have to adjust the title a little. Her confessions are NOT the whole story! But… You’ll see! That is, if you follow along. 🙂

Keep Writing. Keep Reading. Keep going forward!

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The Story: So Far

The Story, as I have begun to call it, has taken over my life a little too much. I can’t stop writing it, but I have to take a break for two reasons.

The Break

The first reason is money. I have both the desire and the need to go back to work full-time. I have neglected my finances until I am at a point where, to be blunt, it is work again or welfare. I’m not a fan of either, but I can work and I was raised to treat welfare as being ‘for someone else’. There are those who need it now and the day may come when I actually need it. But, not me, not now.

The other reason for the break is even more emotionally laden. We had a death in the family this morning–my former mother-in-law. I am divorced for several years now. But she and the rest are still family and deserve to be treated as such. Family is more than a set of obligations. Friends just aren’t enough when it comes to death.

The Story

This fictional story, modeled as closely as I can on historical research, has become my daily reason to write. At this time, it has grown to just under 20K words. I have grown my character from ten years old to twenty in the space of those few words and few months. He is slowly going to the dark side, one logical step at a time. It’s uncanny how his story had led me into an investigation of “death” as a subject for the story. I seems to have been also in preparation for this death in my flesh-and-blood family. If the outline holds true, he will die before he reaches his 35th birthday, which in writing time, will probably be before Thanksgiving this year.

Between the intensity and narrowness of my writing focus, and the death in the family, I have nothing much else to write about. Rather than fuss about that, however, I decided to include a larger snippet from the manuscript for the rest of this blog.

So, here it is. A longer excerpt of The Story:

229. I was told I was a genius at keeping the accounts paying without the need for violence. Nobody had a velvet grip like mine, they said. It seemed simple to me. We all wanted to make money. Sometimes the other Bagman forgot that the goal was money, not obedience.

The Hard Way
230. I wasn’t always successful with my persuasion. The time came when talk was not enough and there was no way to avoid the violence that alcohol and greed create. My velvet grip sometimes had to pull the trigger. I didn’t work alone. At least one man went into any bar or restaurant or store with me when I went to collect. I found out that three was a better number to walk in with. If the place was behind a month I didn’t walk in without at least two good-sized men for back up, and if I could get one, one little guy, who could keep lookout and move faster than us. If he could accurately throw a knife that was even better.
231. One bar in particular, right on the edge of my old neighborhood got behind in their payments and didn’t seem to be feeling guilty about it. They were new customers, and were having money troubles. He was Sicilian and close enough to the Genna Brothers in Little Hell that he figured he could play us against each other. The Genna Brothers were a rival to us, no friends of ours for sure, but they didn’t like being played. We gave them a courtesy call: they had no agreement with the barman. It was clear the barman was wasting everybody’s time in hopes of saving some money. They said do what you need to do. We don’t need no customers like that.
232. I made my call the next day with two of my men. It was a Saturday afternoon, just before the bar was about to open. The building itself was one story, brick with a single door in the front. The windows that faced the street were the glass block kind. The sign over the door claimed it was a commercial laundry.
233. A “Closed” sign hung on string on the inside of the front door. It was unlocked so we went in. Inside, a little man sat on a high stool behind a worn wooden counter, fidgeting with a ledger and a pencil. Opposite the counter, three straight-backed wooden chairs were lined up against a smudged wall. Behind the counter was a door with a frosted glass window that said “Office” in block letters. The door was open just a crack. Another door, opposite the one we came in, was shut tight, no window and no knob on this side. The black-and-white linoleum floor was cracked and needed sweeping. There was a track in the dirt that led from the front door to the closed door.
234. I asked the man behind the counter if the Boss was in. He almost fell off the stool in his hurry to slam shut the door behind him. We heard swearing inside the office, asking what the hell was going on. I told the little man to ask his boss if we could talk to him in private. The little guy was just over half my size, wiry and fierce. He told us to get the hell out of his place, that the Boss was not available and that they didn’t do business with us anymore. The longer he talked the tighter wound he got. I held my hands up in front of my chest and said I just wanted to talk to the Boss.
235. The little guy blew a gasket at that. He reached under the counter and I hear a click. Before I could move one of my guys but a bullet in the little guy’s right shoulder. A gun went off under the counter, splintering the wood. At the same time, the office door got yanked open. The Boss stood there with a tommy gun pointed at us. Before he could pull the trigger, my other backup man hit the tommy gun with a bullet and the Boss dropped it. A second shot hit him in the forehead and he fell over backward without a word.
236. The little guy came at me screaming, holding his shoulder with one hand, a knife in the other hand. I side-stepped and clotheslined him, lifting him off his feet. My first backup grabbed the knife and slugged him, knocking him silly for a minute. I laid him down on the chairs and we waited for him to come around. In less than a minute, he was half out of the chair, ready to come at me barehanded, but both my men clicked another round into the chamber, and he stood still.
237. I told him he should probably sit down for a minute and think about what just happened before he decided what to do next. He sat. Then he began to shake his head side to side, slow at first, then faster. Then he began to shake all over and sob. That was my son, he said. He was my son! I loaned him the money to start this place. I told him I’d man the front desk for him til he got going. I didn’t try to answer him.
238. As we stood there, a man pushed the door open and asked if we were open yet. I told him no. He saw the blood on the little man’s shoulder and asked what was going on. I looked at him hard and told him to scram. One of my men flashed his gun and the guy went pale and apologized. He shut the door real careful and then ran like hell. Sometimes there was nothing else you could do.
239. That night we had supper at the Marine Room of the Edgewater. It was our three year anniversary. I didn’t tell Helen what happened. I was still thinking about it myself. In the end there was nothing different I could have done. The account was closed. The problem was settled.


I know. Not fair to stop. And yes, I have more. But as one of my favorite performers says, “…til next time!” I will continue to write, more slowly. And I will keep you posted. Until then, keep writing.

first name

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When Did July Disappear?

I was just about to write a blog entry when I realized I missed a month. Again. Summer seems to do that to me, even at this age. I haven’t dealt with ‘summer vacation’ for a very long time, but I seem to still take the middle months of the year ‘off’. Not from writing, but from other routines. For instance:

I went back to work
I had a special need for extra cash, so I took a job, worked a month and now, with the money in the bank, I’m again retired. I learned as well as earned. First, I learned that I can still work, at ‘this age’. It’s been several years since I gave forty hours in exchange for a paycheck, but the spending/saving is nice. The lack of time is not. Nothing really new there, but a good reminder. Second, I can save while I work. I didn’t save every penny of my extra income, but I did save most of it. I will spend it all in one week, but that was the purpose for earning/saving it. So, mission accomplished.

I began a new Work
What was supposed to be a flashback in the middle of the UpStairs novel, has become a serious historical novel itself. My mafia character was supposed to give rise to the golden still in the wall, and a grand shootout at the end of the book. Instead, he has become the protagonist in a well-researched, completely serious work of his own. I’m not sure I can town down this guy to fit into a much lighter work like Upstairs. Time will tell.

I’m traveling to New York State
This August my oldest is marrying the love of his life. I am traveling there to be part of the experience as well as participate in a small way. (hence the need for extra money!) It will be chance to reconnect with family from all over, as well as make a stop to see my co-author Abby Cortez. (@missabby4653 on instagram) Sadly, my time will be limited, but I will be planning to make the most of it.

That’s all for now. I will update before the end of the month with more news and pictures.

first name

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June and Near-Disasters

No, I’m safe and healthy. but it was almost not a good month.

It has been a busy month, for sure! Co-author Abby Cortez and I went through the whole Romance book looking for mispellings, missing words and generally looking to improve the writing. That part is finished. Unfortunaltely, the very night I finished transcribing the changes, my laptop battery died, and with it, my laptop. Apparently the backup file for Windows got deleted and there is no way to restore without it. But all is not lost!

With my trusty, somewhat rusty skills , and absolute unwillingness to give up, I found a way to get the files I needed into a thumb drive. Yes I had backups of most of our work, but you know how that too-often works–the stuff you want is not there! But, disaster averted. There is money in the bank to get things rolling again, and soon the book will be ready for print. WooHoo!

In light of that, I will keep this short today. Writing a blog post using my phone is… challenging! There is more news, of course: work on Down Cellar, work on the sequel (Up Stairs) and news about a sequel for Small Town Romance, as well. But for today, I’m just happy to have a fully revised (for the last time?) Small Town Romance, on a memory stick where I can access it!
Until next time,


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