Russell J.T. Dyer

Writer & Editor

the works and musings of a writer in new orleans and milan, italy • Updated: Oct 11, 2013 • hits: 3121 for site today; 1 for page this week

Writing a MySQL Tutorial

Logged February 26, 2011

Editing Manuscript

After I finished writing the first edition of MySQL in a Nutshell, while it was in technical review stage and before it was published, I asked my editor at O’Reilly to let me write the book Learning MySQL. Since I was so new, they weren’t prepared to take a chance on letting me write two books for them at the same time. They decided to wait for the Nutshell book to be published and then see how the reviews go and the resulting sales, before allowing me to write another book for them. This was frustrating for me because I knew they would give the contract to someone else during that waiting period. The person who did get the contract had another MySQL book that had been very successful. However, he was busy with his day job and other writers were brought in to help. The book took over three years to complete and in my opinion is a mess.

Since self-publishing of my book on MySQL Replication has gone so well, I decided to write my own tutorial book on MySQL. So, a few weeks ago I began writing it. It’s up to two-hundred twenty-five pages already. I took a break this past week or so, but once I get back into it, I should be finished in the first draft of it in about two weeks. Then I’ll rewrite it a few times before turning it over to friends to tech. review it.

Mock Cover of New Book

Although I’m very textual in many ways, sometimes I find it useful to have some visuals to encourage me on—especially when working on a large project like this book. I’m working on it on weekends mostly and in addition to my regular writing and editing work. Along these lines, I’ve began creating a book cover for the new book. It may be premature, but for the last book I was so burned out from writing it, I couldn’t get myself to do the book cover quickly. So on the left here is the initial mock up of it. If you click on the image you can see an enlarged version.

Once the tech. review stage begins, it will take a while since my volunteer reviewers have their own jobs and lives. They’ll tech. review my book as a favor to me. So, it may be a few months before you can buy a copy. For now, though, I’m excited about this new project and wanted to tell people about it.

Musings

Below are recent musings of mine. Click on an entry heading to read its full text. Click on the musings tab at the top left to see all of them.

On Becoming a Graham Greene

By pushing myself emotionally, continuing to read Graham Greene's novels and writing reviews of them, I have made great progress in my fiction writing. I know I'm flattering myself, but I feel as though I'm become a Graham Greene. I think I can say this because he wasn't an artist: he was just a good writer. Shakespeare was an artist. Greene just did a good job and that's achievable. That's the trail I seem to be following in my personal growth and with my writing skills.

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Evaluating Non Dead Authors

Almost all of the novels that I've read were written by authors who are dead. In college when I majored in English, older classical novels were assigned and I've read more on my own since. Only in the past year have I begun to read more modern works. However, I've not read many contemporary novels, novels involving current settings and circumstances. Now I've begun reviewing newly published novels. This is difficult for me. I don't know how to review them or what I should say about them.

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