Stuff To Read

Monday, December 24, 2018

Have a Great Christmas!

     There may be many ways to express it, but the end of a year kind of makes most people look back and review. To be thankful for or more resolute for other issues and predicaments. I know I lead a great life and even with tough things realize I have a backup system and support from so many. As an author, last year at this time I had made an overly ambitious goal to publish for last Holiday Season. Then it was the "Beach Read" time, finally, and correctly, just in time for this years Holiday Season.

     Over all, its been SO much fun. It has fired up my writing juices and made me reflect on what I need to do to write another. Watch out you Mac fans. He's due for a return!

     For all who have given Starshot a pretty great showing out of the gate, to the five who won a copy, to so many who bought or at least put Starshot on their TBR list -- THANK YOU.

For now - Merry Christmas -- and I'll be back before the end of the year... 

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

We Have Winners!!

Just a quick Congrats to the five winners of Starshot (Yes I signed the copies). Nearly 900 people entered, and I hope many will follow up and get a chance to read Starshot. But to Katherine, Suzanna, Lynn, John, and Jenny... Books are on the way!!

Goodreads is a great place to go to be with readers of all types. I keep a page there as do many authors. Good feedback and excellent contact with all. If you are not a member, please head to, sign up,  explore and join... Oh and make me a friend!

Monday, December 17, 2018

Writer to Writer talk, and How Arts Support Arts.

     The local newspaper is publishing a short article about Starshot and my work on it. Back in 2004 when Wolfpointe was released, an earlier report showed that there was a small community of local authors. Now, so many years later, the interview with me capped a one-month time space where four authors from Tinley Park are publicized bearing about nine books. Something must be in the water. Or the town of Tinley supports creativity.
     I bring that up because, in our town, a branding campaign has grown, showing the vast interest and talent for music and all of the arts. From middle school through high schools bands and other music-based activities in our area have stacked up to competition victories and platitudes. We even support concert bands of adults joined by their interest in music. Just seems that perhaps creative arts support creative arts area wide.

     Back to the actual interview, done on the phone with my car parked at a local gas station, it was revealing to me. I mentioned to the writer (William Obrien), that my work on Starshot spanned nearly 40 years and that I seemed to duck in and out of writing. By the time we were done talking he was able to show that I WAS writing that whole time.         Yes, Starshot spent drawer time but I published a Gaming magazine, wrote WolfPointe and get that published. I blogged American Made Rums as Rick the Rum Runner for nearly four years and then decided to release Starshot. It will be interesting to read his piece and see what his feeling was on our conversation.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Page additions

From time to time I will drop short writings in the Pages section. If you'd like, check there from time to time.
The piece I added today, GUNNER, was published in Inclinations Magazine a few years back. I like this story a lot... Hope you do too.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

You Asked For It Part Three

     I wanted the hook for a story that I could relate to and grab the readers interest. WolfPointe started to be a project where I was going to follow 2 Builders and their accidental stirring up of the Supernatural. So I ended up writing a detailed history of the town, Timber Park, based (very) loosely on the village where I lived (This was after leaving Chicago). Then, using that panoramic view base this "Mystery? Crime? Horror?" story into that patch of real estate. I talked about this plot (really idea - plot sounds so complicated) with my wife. She is packed with great views. Some clicked. But what? What mysterious horror could overtake this town and why? A visit to my brother (and boring him with story ideas) was a source of discovery. He showed me how to search the internet. That, tied to research done at the Tinley Park Library (The BEST!) led me to this mythical creature the Windigo. I typed that name into the 'net and received information there were over 300,000 references and sources of information! Now, tied in with already research information I began to plot.
     Part of the plot was going to have a big, fateful battle at the end. Ideas of action, interaction and perils and trials of the protagonist began to form. But, I just couldn't settle the Two Builders as the characters. Then, it hit me. A cop. A young rookie, with a pretty standard background, gets sucked into this whole thing. Thus Malcolm MacKurghdy was born. I intentionally settled upon a man with a distinct name but easy nickname. Mac, what could be more natural than that? In the Midwest, Mac is right there with "Buddy" or "Pal" as a quick name attached to an unknown person.
     It seemed, once I had the character, the action sprang from my mind. The story, additional characters and the love interest all felt so natural. Chapters accumulated. As I went along the chronological tale grew. What I liked most is that Mac just seemed right to be a character to draw upon again, so there was that.
     Getting published was still the goal. Now, with a trimmer book under 200 pages, I hoped to get it in print. Fortunately, I contacted Twilight Times Books and was accepted there. My dream had come true!
     I failed the book. I did not do the work it takes to promote and push the book. TTB was a tiny house but very accommodating. Wasn't long though that reprinting the book seemed a waste. WolfPointe went to OOP (Out Of Print). I was crushed but happy at the same time. For a LONG time, I wrote nothing. I did start a sequel to WolfPointe, but it tailed away. 
     Once I retired my day to day business was much more my own. Around 2012 I began another look at Starshot. I occurred to me, I'd never feel complete if that story didn't see print. I just didn't want to go through the whole game of submission, resubmission. Agent, no agent. Big House, Little House. I just wanted to send my story out there. Perhaps give more time promoting it, but really just skipping the industry side. I made a half-hearted try - but the process then was rather bulky and slow. Finally, at the Library, I was introduced to CreateSpace. 
     I have to say, the software developed made the whole process SO easy. I got bogged down on editing and just wanted to be as sure as I could that all was right (Bet it is not... But I have tried - Honestly!!)
     I think Starshot is an extraordinary novel. The whole story just flowed from me. It used my love of music and a background of writing, publishing, and storytelling to lay out a tale of Love, Hate, Betrayal, Sex, Drugs and yes: Rock & Roll

Monday, December 3, 2018


Decided to do a promotion through Goodreads (Great site BTW -- LOTS of readers and writers). Starting Dec 5 -- You can enter for a chance to win a free copy of STARSHOT. I made it easy - just head to the bottom of the blog page and you'll see ...

Good Luck!!

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

The Evolution of Starshot -- Physically

As I was thinking about the previous post -- I forgot to mention my changing strategy of Starshot. Because it was 300+ pages I felt breaking it into the three books I already decided to do internally, I'd publish it that way. So I decided to try it out. Here is "Book One" of Starshot as it will never be seen in public.

After looking at it and pricing it... I felt all or nothing. Also needed a better cover! So my first pass cover while still in Create Space, looked like this...

All in all, I am MUCH happier with the finished product... Glad I waited, listened and acted.

Monday, November 26, 2018

You asked for it -- Part Two

The Iterations of Starshot

Starshot was begun back in 1974. I had been laid off from my job, the economy was bad. If you are old enough to remember interest rates for home purchasing was in the 15-18% range. As a construction electrician, my future seemed bleak. So, even with some side jobs to do and the care of one child and another on the way, I still had spare time.
I had been a music fan since I can remember. My parents were too, that’s what got me started. I have little or no musical talent, but I loved to get into the minutia of it, gleaning details about different performer and bands. I memorized liner notes and read articles about music all the time. I was as politically active as I was musically active.
I had this story in my head; I wanted to include Chicago’s contribution to music and, of course, project myself into a character. In my first effort, I did a character build, concentrating on the three main male leads. So, David Joseph Glossack was born along with Jim Clark and John DeVoe. I typed out the early day's segment and from that already decided how to end the story. The final chapter was completed around this time (nowhere as detailed as it appears in the book) and once done gave it to my wife to read. I was a long time before she spoke…. She told me – “You have to write the whole story. You have to finish this.” Starshot was born.

I finished a rough draft by 1979, due to a return to work, moving back into the parental home that I bought from my parents as they retired to Wisconsin. That house makes an appearance in the book as well. With new jobs, my stint as a gaming magazine Publisher and a family now of five of us, I got busy. I’d toy with “the project,” as it was known. The rough, typed draft was over 450 pages. However, once I got a computer that had a workable Word Processor, I was now converting it to a document file. That was a whole, complete re-write. I began to realize the story couldn’t plod along from 1960 something to its conclusion in chronological order. Also, much of the early stuff help me build characters but did little to move the story along so a hundred pages disappeared and seventy or so moved in.

The style became a project, and somewhere I liked the documentary narration style, so I tried to hit that tone. Expository sections moved along with story detail and dialogue.
I began to pursue publication around 1995 seriously. The long journey of finding an agent was finally completed. My first agent was a fan from the first read and shopped it for over a year. He suggested that Starshot was too long. The most given reason was that it was too big for a first timer. The agent’s suggestion was to write a shorter book to publish the bigger book. I shopped for a new agent

I was answered by an agency that was very enthusiastic about the samples I sent and wanted to correspond further. I answered the letter and waited. Three months later I got a letter explaining they were sorry but the agency was closing because of the sudden death of the agent that was to take my MS. Best excuse to turn me down  …  ever.

So, I decided to take the advice of my first agent and set out to write what became WolfPointe.  That is a whole ‘nuther story.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

You asked for it. Part I

So I promised I'd include some of the strange journey that has been my life. How I ended up writing, and everything else I do for that matter. So, let's push on.

As a kid, I went to a school just about a mile away from my home. I walked it most days. Sometimes alone, often with a friend most often in a group. During the alone times, I'd daydream and tend to make up stories. As a group walker or the times with a friend, we'd talk about movies we saw and/or books (including comic books). Sometimes I'd tell a story. Often those stories were subject linked with what we talked about. Most were related to the ones I'd contemplate on my lone walks. A couple were made up as I went. For me it was fun. Little did I know I was "writing" fiction. Some of the stories had me as a character, they amounted to lies. Entertaining, fun, but by strict rules still lies. Didn't seem like anyone objected. Like any kid, I had some lying strings anyway. My excuses for not having homework often went beyond the simple, "the dog ate it." One teacher even told my parents I was an inventive storyteller. The first appearance of  PC speak in my life. Our school was 1st grade to 8th, but the oldest 2 years were on the top floor of the building and we changed classes rather than teachers changing. It was in English class where my written stories were noticed and appreciated. One nun even told me I should write every day (Like that was gonna happen -- I still had problems getting homework done).

So in High School, I discovered I sucked at English Grammer or, so my marks said. I ended up going to summer school to get that mark up. The next year and the ensuing years English Grammer was incorporated into Eglish Literature. I excelled because I loved to read. Soon the application worked for me. I was all A's and B's after that. During this time I did precious little writing except for the occasional bitting notes about some football rival.

Along comes marriage, job, family. I was born to be married. I liked my job (Construction Electrician) and having a family was SO exciting! Early on (1974 or so) my employment was taken. Laid off in the midst of the Gas crisis and the crumby economy during those times. I was able to make do with unemployment and some side jobs to supplement the income. A trade like being an electrician helps. Still, with two young children, I had time on my hands. A story grew within me and I began by writing ideas, then plot scenes and finally a descriptive, clear end to a story. How I got to that story seemed to be involving writing a book.

Times had moved on. I had written a scant skeleton-like story - more detailed than an outline but still, lightweight. Now, back to full-time work and blessed with a third child we were busy. Still, I'd write, and because of that, I made a change.

Well. That's far enough at this point... I'll be back with more some future Post...

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Start the Presses!

Happy to announce the eBook version is ready for pre-order. The Paper version looks like November 19. I will happily keep you abreast of any changes. Can't pre-order the paperback so I will crow when that actually hits. If the 19th stands up, any pre-ordered eBook will be installed on your e-reader then.

If you like to order the eBook Click here.
I'll add this and other links to my links section on this page... On the right side above the Post list.

Last evening I was informed that Starshot the paper book is also ready to purchase! If you'd like a copy -- Click Here

Also its a link in my link column on the right 

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Proofing the Proof

Enjoying the feel
First of all, let me give you some background. My first proof copies of Starshot were via Create Space. They have now merged with Amazon Direct Publishing. So I had to reconfigure my MS to their specs (not that big of a deal - they did a pretty nice job!!). That done, I used the old proof to final edit Starshot. That took a while, but I think a good copy came out of it all. Then I formatted it into the original sized edition, but say the ADP offered a smaller - more pocketbook sized edition. I went with that and needed to re-reformat to fit. Also, I needed a whole new cover. I worked at that. 
The changes often generated more format adjustments as I went. Improper paragraph spacing (I went full tab). Additionally spacing between paragraphs needed a change. Finally, a double-spaced paragraph for POV changes that don't require a chapter change.
Now, I hold the new proof and actually appraise it. I am VERY happy with its look, the quality and the, for lack of a better term, heft of the book. To a reader, all these attributes are important. The biggest quality sense is, feel. The pages are thicker than some lower quality paperbacks. So I am great with the proof physically. Now to page through - one page at a time.
Examples of Tab misses
Well, that's why its a proof! I find missing tabs, and a couple of mismatched lines (the paragraph line ends in the middle of a sentence and appears as a new paragraph, no tab, below. Yeech. So I grab my green highlighter and mark it... So in an hour, I mark all the little problems and know I have to do another MS dump. It was expected -- that's why I get proofs!. It is amazing how these get by you on the screen but pop out of the printed page.
So all that said to let you know I am excited and will mack the needed corrections tonight/tomorrow and will release the book, I hope< before the end of this week.
Thanks for stopping by!!


Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Incoming Excitement!

All things come to those who wait. Or something like that. I have waited -- I have been frustrated - but, I outlasted all that and won!
If you have followed me on my Facebook page, you know I have been frustrated for some time, getting Starshot to the point of publication. However, I finally got to the final point of the marathon; a proof copy.
Somehow, I just knew it wouldn't be simple. Sure the action (Click here!) was simple, but in the back of my head, well I just knew. So, I clicked. Filled in the info needed, paid for the 2 copies and was assured they would be winging their way to me quickly. This was early, just a week ago, and I was astounded to see that Amazon promised poofs by Friday!! By Thursday, the truth was out, but Amazon always sunny and bright, said they'd Try for Saturday. They shipped early Friday! I was astounded when they said they hoped to deliver Saturday. They did get it to my Post Office by early Sunday (Nov 11). I figured, "Delivery Monday -- No Tuesday since Monday the post office doesn't deliver as they commemorate Veterans day that day." So I resigned myself to a Tuesday delivery.
Suddenly my phone buzzes and says they will attempt delivery on Sunday! I thought that couldn't be right as Sunday was actually November 11, the "normal" observance of Veterans Day. So around 7PM Sunday evening, I find that USPS attempted to deliver a package but they, "Did not have access to my front door." Really? The same door that USPS and every package delivery service has used for the 15 years I have lived here was suddenly blocked? It was such a ludicrous thought that I actually went to the door and checked! Nope, just fine. I responded to Amazon by telling them this news and that they should inquire to the Post Office. 
Monday morning, I get a response from the Post Office and 2 from Amazon. The Post Office advised me they'd try to deliver Tuesday. The first Amazon note said they had spoken to their carrier the United States Post Office and were told that another attempt would be made. The second note from Amazon tells me if I'd like to reorder Click Here! and that my money would be refunded. It also apologized and gave me a $5 credit to my account. 
Yesterday - I was informed the credit had been applied and all monies had been refunded. This morning, the 2 proofs were delivered!!


Friday, November 9, 2018

A Bit About Me

This is the obligatory introduction post. It is me. Depending on who you are or how you know me - I have lots of nom de plumes. Lets briefly list them all:
I'm Rick Buda, I am also ArJohn, some even recognize me as Ryk (yeah a high School affectation that stuck for some!) Buda. 
I am listing myself here as a writer. There are other (better) titles - but here, I write. I have two novels now. The first, WolfPointe is out of print. I DO have remainders and they are on sale. The second is pictured on this blog and is the reason for it. It is in Proofing and believe me I will post here when and where it becomes available!
Have written for and published a wargaming magazine, The Nuts and Bolts of Gaming (NABOG). I began as a fan and player of Play By Mail (PPM), Role-Playing (RPG) games.
Online I had a blog called Rick The Rum Runner where I tasted and commented upon American made Rums. That was very successful, but I felt my part in it all had played out. Still enjoy a good rum.
So -- That is me - Hope to inform and entertain.

If you'd like to contact me - feel free to email me