Blog Archives

Food article: It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Beer… Giving Beer and Chocolate for the Holidays

Food article: It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Beer... Giving Beer and Chocolate for the Holidays

Why does Valentine’s Day get all the chocolate fun? This holiday season, pair beer and chocolate for events and gifts! Out now in the December issue of the Oregon Beer Growler, and thanks to Bonnie from Euphoria Chocolate Company for the tasty insights!

Full story: It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Beer… Giving Beer and Chocolate for the Holidays

400 days of writing in a row

400. It’s such a cool number. A little more than a year. 400 years ago, in 1618, Johannes Kepler discovered the third law of planetary motion. Noblemen in Prague started a revolution by throwing some folks out a window into a pile of manure.

But fast forward to 2018, and I’m thinking about 400 for a very different reason.

See, last week—on Nov. 21, 2018, in fact—my writing streak hit 400 days in a row.

Granted, Connor’s violin practice streak is now approaching 600 days in a row, so my 6-year-old son gives me something to aspire to.

But every day for the past 400 days, I’ve written. Not always a lot. Not always what I might consider good. But every day it’s more words down than I’ve had before.

Some of that writing is for clients and articles. Some of it is behind-the-scenes stuff that is just to help me understand my stories. (No offense, but odds are you’ll never see any of this. But you never know.) A lot of it, and an increasing amount of it, goes into my own Rucksack Universe books and stories.

But it’s every day. That’s the thing. Some days are hard. Some days are easy. But even on the trickiest, hardest day, it’s now much easier for me to write anything than to even think of skipping the writing. The writing has become a deeper, more integral part of me than ever.

So now it’s time to do more. Bring more stories to you.

2019’s gonna be fun, y’all.

Now pardon me while I do some more writing. After all, 500 days will be here before we know it.

Business article: Gmail Add-Ons That Will Boost Your Productivity

Things that have transformed my productivity:

  • Gmail’s Canned Responses. I use these to save and use templates for queries, book sales, and such.
  • Trello for Gmail. Jodie and I use Trello for managing my content and other projects. Trello is making a lot of things more organized so I don’t have to try to keep them in my brain. With TfG, I can now add Trello cards (tasks, basically), straight from my inbox.

What helps you stay productive?

Full story: Gmail Add-Ons That Will Boost Your Productivity | Outpost Blog | Outpost

Business article: How to Stop Email From Slipping Through the Cracks

Business article: How to Stop Email From Slipping Through the Cracks

So. Much. Email. I struggle with getting back to people too. Working on pieces like this gives me new tools and ideas I can put to work to do a better job on my inbox, and I hope this business article helps you with your backlog too!

Full story: How to Stop Email From Slipping Through the Cracks | Outpost Blog

October 2018 writing report

Anthony St. Clair's October 2018 Writing Report

By the numbers, during October I wrote 42,513 words, at an average of 1,371 words per day. I wrote every day, which put my writing streak at 381 days in a row as of Oct. 31. October’s scribbling puts me at 446,558 words for 2018—on track for 500,000 words for the year. Those 446,558 words include fiction, 8 article assignments, content work for clients, and things for my Wanderers, my patrons on Patreon.

Here are a few things that really stuck out to me from October’s writing, plus a few links to some previously submitted pieces that were recently published:

Rucksack Universe stories

Wander is out! I still can hardly believe it. Thank you for ordering books, sending congratulations, and telling others! If you haven’t gotten your copy yet, you can order Wander here in e-book and paperback.

Chief Reader is about to start reading Cloud Fortress, which will be the sixth Rucksack Universe book. All I will say at this point is that if you’ve read Forever the Road, Cloud Fortress will have you scratching your head wondering what the hell I’m playing at. Cloud Fortress also takes place in between The Martini of Destiny and Home Sweet Road. And… nope. That’s all for now.

After drafting part of Wet (which will be the seventh Rucksack Universe book), I did something I hadn’t felt a need to do in a long time: I started over. Between outline and drafting, something in the story had changed. My understanding changed. A character introduced themselves earlier. Action’s pace said it was going to be different. Instead of fighting it, I went with it. The resumed drafting is going so much better now.

Recent links/articles

8 Ways to Avoid Email Embarrassment | Outpost Blog

10 Ways to Boost Email Productivity | Outpost Blog

Far From Eggs & Bacon: Meet the Japanese-Style Breakfast | ZeroCater

Build Your Website’s FAQs to Respond Better to Customer Questions | Outpost Blog

Beer & pizza article: New Haven-Style Pies, Northwest Brews

Beer and pizza article in the August 2018 Oregon Beer Growler - New Haven-Style Pies, Northwest Brews

Had such a good time meeting the folks at Eugene’s The Wheel Apizza Pub. Great pizza & refreshingly tasty, approachable, yet different craft beer.

➼ ➼ ➼ Check out their profile in the August 2018 Oregon Beer Growler

Rucksack Universe update: Wander nearly ready, new manuscript underway

Last week I did something I’m so excited to tell you about.

I signed off on the copy-edited manuscript of Wander.

Yup. That’s right. My copy editor and I had some final discussion about a few points, I made some last tweaks and polishes, then told him we were good to go.

What’s next? I’m giving the manuscript one final pass, then I’ll send Wander back to my editor for proofreading. He’ll make sure everything is spelled right/consistently, things are dotted and crossed the way they should be, line breaks and chapter breaks are good, all that sort of technical stuff.

Once I’ve processed his proofing, the manuscript will be locked. That means no changes (unless I find some wayward typo). No rewriting. No second-guessing.

No touch booky.

From there, Wander will go into publication mode, being prepped for e-book formats and paperback.

What does all this behind-the-scenes author/publisher geek-out stuff mean for you?

It means that I’ll shortly be telling you the release date for Wander.

Get ready!

P.S.: Over the weekend I also started drafting the next Rucksack Universe book, codenamed Wet. I’m a couple of scenes in so far. I’ll keep you posted.

Video: Where do book ideas come from?

On Mon., June 4, 2018, I had the fun honor of sitting in for a YouTube Live author chat, hosted at Eugene local bookstore Tsunami Books. Write Now is a weekly live discussion with three writers: Joanna Bartlett, Valerie Ihsan, and Julie Dawn. Joanna was out of town, and they graciously asked if I would sit in (though I must say, I knew there was no way I could replace Joanna’s Nigella Lawson-ish tones).

At the heart of our discussion was a simple question: Where do book ideas come from? Do we have to search them out? Is it a matter of paying attention to the wider world? Can you run with multiple ideas at the same time? And how do you go from initial idea to a fully developed piece of writing?

Check out our discussion. Please leave your thoughts in the comments, and subscribe so you don’t miss future Write Now chats.

How to have a 200-day writing streak

Time to make the word count

As of May 3, I’ve written every day for the last 200 days, averaging about 1,400 to 1,600 words per day. On May 3, 1,500 words in the outline for my next Rucksack Universe book put me over the hump.

Writing takes many forms for me. Sometimes it’s outlines and drafting for fiction. Sometimes it’s drafting articles for clients. Sometimes it’s planning documents and new ideas for the business. (Sometimes it’s writing emails or blog posts for really cool people. You know, like you.)

All those things count toward my daily numbers. In all my years writing, there is indeed a special secret that I’ve learned. After all, the writing isn’t always easy. Some days it’s hard. But here is the secret that helps me, and I hope it helps you:

Show up every day.

Yup. That’s it. It doesn’t matter if I’m tired or jazzed, or if each word is a flow or a fight. I show up. I sit down. I write. Sometimes it’s 2,000 words in one go. Sometimes it’s a hundred words here, a few hundred words there, throughout the day. It doesn’t really matter. All that does matter, is that one word written is one more word than I had written before.

All that matters is showing up. There is no muse. There is only effort. I write until I’ve written enough for the day. That’s typically 1,200–1,600 words for me (though there are some Sundays where I let myself do only around 500).

There’s no magic, formula, or silver bullet.

There’s just showing up.

Now to aim for 300.

Free Rucksack Universe Fiction: Stars in your beer

Stars in your beer - B.S. Trotter - Rucksack Universe Anthony St. Clair

From The Lost & Found Travels of BS Trotter

Originally published in London Rising

Okay, we all know that after a couple of pints you can, well, see things. But for Londoners they were not expecting to see strange things in their beer.

I want to make a distinction here: they are seeing strange things in their beer, not because of their beer. We all sometimes see strange things because of beer, typically because we should have stopped about five pints back.

Street lights turn weird for me. After I’ve had a few too many I always find that the street lights, instead of just shining and being bright, in fact have a sort of halo. The light hangs in cloudy rings around the light bulb, as if the lampposts were strangely camouflaged angels. Sometimes I think I’m seeing the world how painter Vincent Van Gogh saw things when he painted his famed Starry Night.

Then I realize I probably just need a kabob and my bed.

However, Londoners are seeing the strangest thing in their pints. Reports and calls and letters have been flooding in to London Rising that all over the city, when someone first picks up a brimming-full pint of their favorite blackest stout, they see a star inside.

Folks, that’s not fancy talk from a humble itinerant reporter suddenly aspiring to be a poet. That’s what people have said, over and over and over. The same thing.

A star.

They look at their pint, which is dark as night sky, and in the middle of the beer, it’s as if they see a small spark. It’s there just a moment, then it either fades or simply can’t be seen anymore or wasn’t there to begin with.

First Call Brewing declined a request to be interviewed for this story. However, the cheeky buggers did point out that no stars are used to brew Galway Pradesh Stout.

Keep those reports coming in, though. I’ve heard it said that after a good pint you can understand the universe. Like you I didn’t expect to see the universe in my beer, but I’ve a feeling the universe is a better place for it.

The Rucksack Universe is Anthony St. Clair’s ongoing beery travel fantasy series of myth, intrigue, and adventure.


Anthony St. Clair - Travel Fantasy Author / Craft Beer Writer / Business Copywriter

Author and copywriter Anthony St. Clair has specialized in online content since 2000, blogged since 2004 and is the author of the Rucksack Universe travel fantasy series.

FREE Sample

Check out this free sample of FOREVER THE ROAD

Anthony's third book, FOREVER THE ROAD, is a Best Books 2015 Fantasy pick from Library Journal's SELF-e, and a 2015 Oregon Book Award nominee.

Download your free sample to find out why Nth Degree's reviewer said this "high-stakes story, told with wit and compassion," left him "completely gobsmacked."

Rucksack Universe

Travel fantasy tales
of wit, adventure & beer

Forever the Road by Anthony St. Clair, a Rucksack Universe Fantasy Novel - learn more and buy now

Home Sweet Road by Anthony St. Clair, a Rucksack Universe Fantasy Novella - learn more and buy now

The Martini of Destiny by Anthony St. Clair, a Rucksack Universe Fantasy Novella - learn more and buy now

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