No More Waiting

July 27, 2017

There are times when you have to say—no, SCREAM!—that enough is enough. You just can’t take it, you’re done, and any further attempts to get you seeing things from any other point of view simply won’t work anymore.

You probably think I’m referring to my attempts at getting published. I’m not, although there are several publications I wish would hurry up with any kind of contact. Nope, I’m talking about something that doesn’t affect me so much as an author as it does a reader, a fan, and a huge nerd.

George RR Martin. Specifically, his “A Song of Ice and Fire” series of books. More specifically than that, “The Winds of Winter,” the next book in the series.

This past weekend, Sand Diego ComicCon happened, once again overcrowded and full of all sorts of news. It was announced that Winds probably won’t hit until next year, 2018. Possibly even early 2019.

What the actual fuck?

I understand there are factors to consider here:

*It may have the seventh and final book alongside it (can’t remember the name, don’t feel like looking it up)

*He’s a busy man, contractually obligated to edit and write many, many other things.

*He’s got a history of lengthy waits between major projects.

I get it. I’ve been with him for a long time now. I first read A Game of Thrones back in 2002, and quickly devoured everything I could. But the wait for “Feast for Crows” and then “A Dance with Dragons” interfered with our enjoyment, but didn’t destroy it. For a long time, I was more than willing to give him the benefit of the doubt and accept that hey, he’s not perfect, and we might just have to wait.

But not anymore.

I’m done, and while that makes no difference to him or you or anyone, it’s awakened something in me I never really noticed before.

Yes, I’ve sat on projects. I’ve waited, gotten lazy, gotten sidetracked, and at times simply didn’t care. In fact, a novel I’m almost done with (and have been almost done with for several months now) has been collecting dust for quite a while. After numerous attempts to write it and stick with it, life happens.

But not anymore.

I’m making it clear to myself and everyone that no matter what, my projects will get done. I will write, edit, workshop, edit some more, and submit to the appropriate parties when I need to, and make sure it all gets done. No ifs ands or buts, my writing will be written, and (hopefully) read.

That’s my promise to you.

No projected dates of several years in the future, no “one of these days” bullshit promises, no nothing. Just a promise that if and when I start something, I’ll finish it.

My dad’s best advice to me was “Don’t talk about it, do it.” I’m living that advice right now and every day.

That’s my promise to you.

(And yes, I’m well aware of the TV series Game of Thrones. I don’t watch it and don’t want to. I’ve read those books at least three times each except for Dance, and the show deviates too much for me to enjoy it. Sorry, I know it bothers people that I made a decision that affects no one but me, but hey, there you go.)

In a Flash!

August 2, 2016

(Note: I’ve had this blog written for about four months or so by this point, but never got around to posting it due to things outside of my control. Finally, I’ve gotten a chance to tweak it and post it in all its glory. Enjoy!)

Way back in September of 2013, I declared on this blog and my Facebook page that I would be writing flash fiction and posting it for free—FOR FREE!!!—right here, on this blog. I did, once, but immediately took it down.

I didn’t really want to talk about it, but at the time it didn’t seem appropriate. My mother was diagnosed with cancer, and a lot of those flash stories were pretty gruesome. Most ended in death, for one or more people. While none directly addressed her situation, I felt it would be in poor taste given what my family was going through.

Fortunately, Mother is all better. They got it taken care of, and she’s never been better. My dad was recently in the hospital as well, but he’s doing good too, and they just celebrated their 45th wedding anniversary back in March! That’s big news.

But anyway, I’ve been thinking about the flash fiction quite a bit recently. I have a story that I revised a few months ago, and despite the fact that I could probably (possibly? Hopefully? Maybe?) get it published in an actual publication, I really don’t feel like messing around with it. I must have sent that story out to 50 or more publications over the course of three years before sitting on it for a while (leading up to the recent revision).

I realize something though.

I’m done with it.

Don’t get me wrong, I love that story and I’ll always love that story, no matter what anyone else says about it. Sitting around and waiting for someone to maybe say they liked it enough to publish it while I could just as easily do that makes zero sense to me.

So I’ve decided to self-publish it.

A part of me wanted to put it up here, on this blog. But then I realized, if I put it on Amazon or Smashwords or whatever self-publishing sites are out there, it has a better chance of many people reading it. Plus, it’ll be easier in the long run to direct people over to it.

So that got me thinking about my flash pieces I’ve had just sitting here, collecting virtual dust.

I’m finally putting them online. Starting very soon, free flash fiction will be published here on this blog. No editing (okay, maybe a little), no elaborate plots, and very little character development. You know what they will include? Great stories that don’t take a lot of time to read.

AND THEY’RE COMPLETELY FREE!!!

Is your mouth watering yet? I hope so—mine sure is!

The funny thing is, it made me think of a flash piece I wrote back in 2004, while bored in class. A friend told me that true flash fiction is 100 words or less. The story isn’t the greatest, but I did manage to tell a complete tale in under 100 words.

For me, that’s a big accomplishment. One that I’m proud of, and one that I can’t wait to share with you.

Assorted musings:

-Neil Gaiman has a nonfiction book coming out. I’ve been thinking about trying my hand at some as well. Yea or nay?

-I’m still waiting for that response, 7th Sea…

-Getting ready to get back into the latest novel. Hopefully it’ll be done before the leaves start falling!

-Whatever you think about the Game of Thrones tv series or even the books, George RR Martin still kicks ass, despite his slow speed at writing. Hey, all the more better, right?

-It’s August already. Ugh.

Road to Shambala

May 22, 2016

Did you all get your copy of 9Tales from Elsewhere? It’s available now on Amazon for your Kindle!

Naturally, my story, “Valley of Iricia” is in it—as the lead story, no less! I don’t know for sure, but the cover looks somewhat indicative of what goes on in that tale of adventure and might! Seriously, go grab a copy now. It might cost a couple of bucks, but it’s way cheaper than your much needed bag of weed or pack of cancer sticks, plus it lasts longer, and does your brain better than those things! Maybe give it a good review while you’re at it?

Ahem. So.

I mentioned recently that I’m getting into self-publishing. It’s a lot of work getting things ready, but it’ll be worth it. The worst part is, it doesn’t provide much time to write and edit. Although, I can’t complain because I haven’t been doing either recently.

Yes, yes, I said I can’t make excuses, but holy crackers things are swampy right now. My new job isn’t taking up my free time. In fact it’s quite the contrary. I’m out by 4 every day, and have the entire night to do whatever I want. Rather, what I need to do.

Amy and I are renovating her father’s house for us to live in. If you’ll remember, he died on Easter, and we inherited the house (as well as pretty much all of his stuff). We’ll be moving in hopefully no later than the middle of July, but it’s a lot of work.

We have to redo literally everything. Floors, walls, ceilings, appliances, wiring, roof, gutters, lawn, blah blah blah. I don’t mind doing handy work. After all, my own father was quite the household handyman and taught me more than I ever thought I’d need to know. I just wish I had a little bit of time to myself…

But good things come to those who wait. It won’t be long, and soon enough I’ll be in my own house with my own office and be able to pump out quality stories for the adoring masses to consume with vigor.

Think of all the authors who’ve had stuff you love, but aren’t pumping it out as fast as you’d prefer: George RR Martin, Patrick Rothfuss, JK Rowling, Scott Lynch, Anne Rice, Joe Hill, and nowadays, highly productive guys like Stephen King and Dean Koontz. They get it done and out to you, even if it involves a little bit of waiting. That can be good, though, right?

See, in a way, I’m glad I’ve had time to think about writing instead of simply diving headlong into it. Ideas and plots are coming to mind, and it makes it easier for me sort things out and be prepared, rather than going willy-nilly into something I’m not quite sure of.

For a while, I’ve had two stories continuing the adventures of Ingo (the protagonist from “Valley of Iricia”, but you already knew that, right?), and I’m finally able to flesh them out and add all the cool embellishments that he needs in his stories. I want nothing more than to just sit and write them both, but once I’m able to, they’ll be better than they would have been had I written them last year.

And what of editing? I hate waiting too long to get back to a story and edit it, but in this case, I’m glad. I’m going in with a fresh set of eyes, fresher than a four to six month wait. There’s a few specifically I’m talking about, and once they’re done, they’ll be up online and ready to read. Again, just a matter of time, but as always, it’ll be more than worth it in the end.