15 October 2015

Bricks, Mortar, Art, Paperbacks

My books are now on sale here in Hagerstown at the Washington County Arts Council Gallery Shop. The Gallery Shop is directly adjacent to the gallery itself in the Arts and Entertainment District of downtown Hagerstown, across the street from the historic Maryland Theatre. I highly recommend stopping by and checking out all the great book, but be sure to walk out with a copy of one of my books. You won't be disappointed.

Here's the scoop:

What if? That's the question from which each of my stories originates. It might be sparked a random thought or when I take note of someone on the street. I must write the story even when what the character is going through on the page is entirely alien to my experience, even if it's just to clear space in my head for the next idea. And if it's a poem? That is when things can... 
To read more and view the titles I have on sale, click here >>

05 September 2015

Breaking Orbit: Writing the Future

Breaking Orbit cover art.
Note that this may change between now and publication.
It's been a few years coming, but what started as nothing more than a clever elevator pitch and some character sketches is now taking real shape. I am, of course, talking about my upcoming novel "Breaking Orbit: Volume I of the Titan Run Trilogy."
It hasn't all been smooth sailing and evenings sipping at tea while crafting a story, in fact one night recently. I was so happy to finally be making progress with the second draft, and then, like hitting a deep pothole that you had no idea was in the middle of the road I came upon a line of dialogue I had written that's just ridiculous. The usual rules of the first draft are to just get the story down, but the problem here is that I remember thinking this line was brilliant when I wrote it, but when I was working on that second draft, well, it damn near broken the axle on my thought-car. It's pretty bad. And it will never see the light of day until someone discovers this handwritten manuscript amongst my papers and says "Oh thank God he didn't keep that line."
Because it is silly.
But there has been progress, and before I knew it the second draft was a complete work and I had a few copies printed up for my wonderful team of volunteer reader/editors. Nor have I rested on my laurels, chuffed with seeing that manuscript sitting on my desk while the editing process is ongoing. I've also been working on the cover art, which you see above. There's also the cover blurb, and planning the next move, because I promise you it will not be more than a year (well, maybe 18 months) between the first and second volumes of this trilogy. Yes, I have been working on this novel for several years already. Not that this has been my only project in that time, but I digress. In addition to the cover design, I also have the rough plot outlines for Volumes II and III of Titan Run, which I will be refining and maybe even working on some early drafts of while the editing of Volume I is ongoing.
As of this writing, I am hoping to have "Breaking Orbit" for sale in time for Christmas this year; stay tuned for further updates as the second draft becomes the third, birthing a novel I know you'll love. And not just because of the amazing cover art.

07 June 2015

Good night, sweet coffee maker

Got up, made my coffee, went about my business, walked back into the kitchen and noticed there was a burning plastic smell in the room. I thought something had got stuck on the coffee pot burner as I opened the freezer to get ice for that first burning-hot cup (oh the irony), but nope. It was the wiring underneath the tank, which I discovered upon opening the lid, seeing the lovely flame and hearing the crackling spark of the destroyed wiring. I unplugged the machine, pulled out the baking soda (Thank God I bought some!) and doused the flame with little fanfare. I hadn't had any coffee yet, so I was more or less sleep-walking through the process.
The now-defunct life-bringer sits on my back porch in case it decides to spontaneously re-combust, as I need to re-do the porch anyway. Funny thing is, I own 2 fire extinguishers, but I still reached for the baking soda because electrical fire.
There's a poem in this, I'm sure. An heroic epic about my triumph in the face of certain doom and the keening wail of my neurons as we are now left with but a dwindling pot of coffee and only a French Press left in the house to make do with until I purchase another coffee maker.
To everything there is a season, turn, turn, turn.

My Krups coffee maker (one side espresso, other side drip) was a gift in the Summer of 2007, and along the way I bought one of those grocery store copper discs to even out the heat from the burner and a replacement pressure-lid for the espresso tank. I cleaned it off and out periodically and used it in one of it's facets nearly every day for these past 8 years. It was my friend and constant trusted companion for all those days, even though I would often curse the carafe itself for its propensity to dribble or outright spill its contents all around if one did not hold it canted just so when pouring either cold water or steaming hot coffee. The fact that I could steam milk in my own home and make wonderful espresso drinks for my friends lodged it firmly in my heart even though the steam-nozzle was mounted just low enough to make fitting the milk to be steamed under it a chore in anything larger than your standard coffee mug. My dear friend the coffee maker was never more than a consumer device, but it was more than that to me. It was a provider of wakefulness, sanity, inspiration, and solace. Soon enough (this afternoon, I'm thinking) it will be succeeded by another coffee maker, but it can never be replaced. Rest in peace, dear friend. You served me, my friends, and my family well in this past almost-decade. It is now your turn for a coffee break.

UPDATE 08-June-2015:

The new coffee maker was acquired last night, and I was able to successfully program it so that I woke up to fresh coffee this morning:

A photo posted by Rob Murray (@lefthandrob) on

26 March 2015

A New Beginning

I am pleased to announce that I am now offering my services as a freelance graphic designer and writer. For inquiries please email me at rob@rcmstudios.net, and stay tuned for the new and improved version of RCMStudios.net!

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