Updates

October 30, 2016

There have been some good things going on lately. A few bad, too, but isn’t that par for the course? I’m not on top of the world, but things are looking up, so I’ll take that as a win.

The Good:

-The poll that I’m in is going very well. Thanks to everyone who has voted for me! I appreciate the assistance and support. It’s good to know that so many people believe in me. Even if I don’t win, I know I’ve got more than enough love from all of you, and you’ve got mine as well.

-Some publications that I’ve submitted to are taking longer than usual to get back to me. I know that this doesn’t necessarily mean anything and I really shouldn’t get my hopes up, it’s nice to think that they’re deliberating over my work. Who knows? Maybe I’ll get that long awaited email very, very soon and have a new reason to dance on top of a table.

-A year or so ago, I wrote a story that was basically my realistic take on He-Man and the Masters of the Universe. You all know how much I love MOTU, and I really love the sword & sorcery aspect to it, not to mention the sci-fantasy twist. I’ve written a lot of stuff like that, but never anything inspired so directly by it. By realistic, I mean that it’s going to have much more adult themes, and more understanding of how and why things are the way they are other than simply to sell toys.

Well, the story ended on an ambiguous note. Apparently, no one wanted it because it doesn’t slap you in the face and tell you directly what happens at the end. Yep, you read that correctly: publishers think that you’re an idiot and need me to hold your hand and tell you straight up what’s going on.

So I decided to make this into a serialized story. As of now, there will be 7 parts to it. I’ve been busting ass on part 2, and am almost done…but every day I say I’ll finish it, and life happens. Could today be the day? I hope so—it’ll allow me to get the rest of it done as well!

-Lots of people have been interested in my Halloween story! The sheer amount of exposure I’ve got with it is amazing! But maybe you could support a struggling author? It’s only $.99, folks!

The Bad:

-A publication has had my story since June 27th. They haven’t even opened it and looked at it yet. Come on, this is one of the biggest and most well-known pubs in the USA. You can find it at any chain bookstore, fer cryin’ out loud! I know they’ll say know (yeah yeah, so what if I’m cynical?), but why make me wait so long? Unprofessional, I say. Feh!

-I don’t have as much time to write as I’d like. Typical, but I’m trying so hard to do it and life just keeps getting in the way.

-I haven’t even started looking at getting “In the Pale Moonlight” published. A friend was supposed to be reading it, but she hasn’t said word one about it. I really need to get off my arse and just do it!

That’s all. I’m happy and working, but need to get it moving a little better. Wish me luck, and stay awesome!

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Reading has always been one of my biggest hobbies. In a major way, it’s why I got into writing. As any good writer is wont to do, I read as much as I can, constantly upping my game.

But I’ve got a confession to make. I’m not the best reader in the world.

Don’t get me wrong. My reading skills are above average. I can’t speed read, but I do know how to read the English language. The problem is, I haven’t read all the books and stories I’m “supposed” to read.

Over the years, I’ve had a running list of stuff I should read, the classics and inspirational books that all the greats swear by. Some I’ve read, and most I couldn’t stand. Some were awesome and I can’t get enough. Reading Robert E. Howard’s Conan stories inspired me to do more with my writing than anything else that I’ve ever read!

Well, there should have been others. Most importantly, Elric and the Lankhmar tales. Everyone I know who’s big into fantasy, specifically sword & sorcery, will eagerly tell you how awesome this stuff is. In fact, an editor I’m working with right now told me that a lot of my writing, especially Clay & Styg, are very similar to those specific characters.

If anyone ever tries to claim I ripped off someone else’s characters or ideas, specifically Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser, I can honestly claim ignorance since I’ve never read them.

Soon, I will. I found a copy of some Elric stories, and I have a few Lankhmar tales as well. I’m very eager to dive in, despite them being written many years ago. Why is that a problem? The “rules” of writing that have been drilled into my head since taking up this never-ending battle of getting words on paper are rarely, if ever, present in these older works. Adverbs, telling instead of showing, and very VERY long run-on sentences are just some of the issues I have with these.

Again, don’t get me wrong. I’m not perfect, and I break “rules” too. In fact, sometimes these rules don’t even need to be followed. But since I’m so aware of it, it’s hard to follow sometimes when the writing is very clunky, at least by today’s standards. I’ll survive, though, and get through it. After all, isn’t it more about the story than the writing?

The biggest thing that scares me, however, isn’t the quality of writing. It’s the list that keeps growing of all of this stuff. I know I don’t have to do anything, but I like to expand my horizons. There are so many “classic” works that I’m eager to read, but that adds to the list of newer stuff as well. Hey, why don’t I read a classic and then a newer work? What a great idea!

The point I’m making is, I feel like much of the original stuff should come first. But then again, what does it matter? As long as I’m reading and/or writing something I want to, why should I care what comes out of it? I’ve been inspired by just as much new stuff as old, so will it matter if I complete my required reading list before I do anything else?

Nope. And I had a lot of fun along the way.

In the comments, tell me some stuff you think I should write. What’s a good fantasy/sword & sorcery story/book/series that I might benefit from? I’m looking forward to your choices!

We have liftoff!

April 8, 2016

May 18th! My story, “Valley of Iricia,” one I’ve worked diligently to get accepted, will finally be published.

9Tales from Elsewhere, an ongoing anthology series, will be publishing the story in their 6th volume. You can preorder now on Amazon.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01DWZL1RU

I’m really excited that this is finally available. By finally, I mean that someone picked it up. Ever since writing the story, it’s been one of my favorites, and something that I couldn’t stand to see go to the unacceptable pile.

This doesn’t mean I don’t love my other stories any less! Just that I always felt something with this one, like it was one of those stories that needed to be told, needed to be read, and needed to be out there.

As you all know my love for Conan and He-Man, two major inspirations for the tale, you can understand why I love it so much.

But I’m sure you will as well. Go, preorder, read and enjoy. And thanks for your support!

To be like Bilbo Baggins…

February 7, 2016

If you’ve never heard The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins, go to YouTube and watch it now. Do it! Possibly one of the best things ever to come from the late, great Leonard Nimoy.

Back? Good.

Sometimes, we have to make those confessions that make people wonder about us. For me, it’s regarding a small hobbit by the name of Bilbo…

I’ve only read The Hobbit twice.

I just finished reading it for the second time. The first was back in 2001, shortly before the first Lord of the Rings movie came out.

What kind of writer am I? What kind of fantasy fan am I? Shouldn’t I have read The Hobbit in 7th grade, just like the rest of western civilization? I know, I know, turn in my nerd badge and go watch a football game, right?

Anyway, outrage aside, I did just finish reading it again. A few weeks ago, I was at the library looking through movies because I missed a bunch of movies last year (and the year before that, and the year before that…). My taxes pay for the library to get new books/movies/cd’s, so hey, why not? Anyway, I saw all three Hobbit movies and realized that not only have I not watched them, I should probably read the book again. It’s a classic, and pretty much sparked an entire genre.

Man, it’s a good book.

I mean seriously, it’s got everything. It isn’t just a fantasy epic, it’s an adventure story, a thriller, suspenseful, and even a little scary at times. Just look at all of the different conflicts in the book and you’ve got a pretty diverse array of events and characters. Pretty much how fantasy should be done, or at least the perfect stepping-off point.

Now I realize, the book isn’t without its flaws. Things just conveniently happen, for instance. The narrator, very friendly with the reader, waves off many things as “a story for another time.” While I get the expediency that Tolkein was going for, by today’s standards, that would get you a flat out rejection. Also, too much head-hopping, too many perspective shifts, and not enough detail shown. Seriously, when Bilbo and the dwarves are in Smaug’s mountain, can’t we get an in-depth description of what the mountains of treasure look like? “Some object” could easily become “a small chest, crusted with purple gems” or “a trophy dedicated to some long-forgotten lord.”

I know that critiquing the book now is beyond pointless, but as a writer, I notice these things. Something else, something much more important, however, is even more noticeable.

How awesome this book truly is.

I feel reinspired. I’m two-thirds of the way through writing a new book, and I actually want to finish it. Well, I always wanted to finish it, just when the time was right.

Why delay? The time is now! Go forth, and make fantasy!

 

Awards

April 18, 2015

I am not going to get into a huge thing about George RR Martin. I love his writings, and I love what he’s done not only for sci-fi/fantasy and writers in general, but the cool things he does outside of writing as well. I used to read his “Not a Blog” all the time (meaning, whenever he posted an update). As of late, I’ve been busy and keep forgetting to check blogs I follow, but today I jumped over there for a minute.

And…wow. I saw endless rants about something called Puppygate. Stuff surrounding the Hugo awards, things about people doing this or that, and not wanting to accept what is going on around them…I don’t know, there was a lot there.

Well, anyway, all I can say is, I’m kind of relieved that I’m not super popular yet. Because I’d surely have at least one story nominated for the Hugos, and then all of this garbage would have gotten in the way.

Let’s let that all blow over before I get involved in those things. Which I surely will some day.

(No, that’s not an inflated ego. It’s confidence, dammit!)

Oh, and I need to add, I’ve been working on this great story that basically waves a giant middle finger to all of the know-it-all assholes I’ve dealt with. That’s what writing is for, isn’t it? It’s science fiction, involves a smart-mouthed girl, and neato raygun that may or may not go “Pew! Pew! Pew!”