THANK YOU AND UPDATE

I wanted to take a moment to thank readers and visitors alike.  Without you I wouldn’t have realized my dream of being a writer.

I believe there’s a symbiotic relationship between reader and writer; a relationship of trust.

I hope everyone has a safe week and those celebrating Thanksgiving, including our friends in Plymouth, England, a good holiday.

At the moment I’m working on the final edit of Redemption, the next Dragon Core release.

Final edit is interesting.  With most of the hard work done the important aspect is to approach the manuscript as a reader.

It is very hard to disconnect from being the writer at this point.

I need to remember that the story is done.  It’s the grammar or other errors that need a look see.

Missing quotation marks, changing the order of predicates, etc. for readability.

I’ve come to see in recent weeks that what I’m most likely to change is the tense of a verb or helper verb.

There are multiple ways to express an idea.  These subtle tweaks are for smoothing out the flow.

Who writes the rules?  I think I’ve finally managed to exorcise the voices of various literature teachers from my mind when in edit mode.

Especially my beloved fifth grade teacher who thought my relationship with commas interesting.

I have a young friend to thank for this.

For reasons of high irony.

Several months back I was helping her with an English assignment.

Object and subject of a sentence.

I got every one of them backward.

Um…

Though I definitely screwed that one up – and thank God she forgave me though I doubt her English teacher did – I couldn’t help but think of two further ironies

  • though I did well in the classes, I was bored to tears by grammar

I really didn’t enjoy diagramming sentences..

  • Author grammar is far different than school grammar.

And that doesn’t begin to touch on the grammar you need for a college thesis.  Fortunately I was advised of the reference book I needed to use to have my format accepted.

Brain Scramble. I once read about a group of nuns in the US Midwest who regularly lived into their 90s – 100s with no degenerative diseases.  

With few who needed reading glasses.

They agreed to a long-term scientific study which included donating their brains to science.  What came out of the study was that a number of the women were writers and had been for most of their lives.

Writing since adolescence if not before.

I believe the need to continuously relearn and switch gears keeps the brain healthy as new neuropathways are needed to handle the seemingly meaningless need for grammatical change.

As a holistic doctor, I know there are more elements that go into whether or not someone is healthy into their dotage but I found the study rather interesting in light of trying to explain to a student that grammar rules change to fit the circumstance.

Distressing for analytical thinkers like me. Change for the sake of change?

I’m on track to release Redemption for purchase by the end of this month.

Looking ahead.  I completed the first draft of a nonfiction book that is part of a larger project.

Details in the weeks to come.

I’m also evaluating which of three stories going through my mind I want to do next.

Stay tuned.

DAY IN THE LIFE OF A WRITER

Note: This article is lengthy.

Just finishing lunch and trying to mentally engage with a specific project.

I’ve been trying for the past six or so hours.

I’m not concerned as for once in a long while there’s no deadline to meet and more I know what I need to do and even have the project started.  It’s just turning into one of those days where I’m meandering my way forward.

As opposed to running.

My mind wandered back to a day many moons ago, a day that pops into my consciousness quite a bit.

Ever since the shutdown last March.

Long before everything was shut down I attended a presentation at a Marine Center that was cohosted by the US Navy.  I struck up a brief conversation with a teen girl whose family was sitting at the same table.  After complimenting her on her presentation I asked what she liked to do.  Her answer?  “I like to write.”

I remember smiling big time at that and telling her “I’m a writer.”

She smiled just as big.

I asked her what kind of writing she liked to do.

At this point I became aware of her parents definitely focused on the conversation.

She told me she liked to write stories to which I explained that’s what I do.  I then spent a few minutes encouraging her to write with a specific caveat.  Follow your heart.

I went on to explain there would be times she would have to write papers she didn’t want to write about subjects that may bore her, but that they were important to her education as a writer.

All writing is practice.

I wound the conversation down by encouraging her to follow her heart – her inner guidance – as it would never steer her wrong.

I also told her to keep writing.

I often wonder what possessed me to speak to this girl.  My stomach was in knots almost the entire time.

Who was I to offer advice?  Oh, that’s right – a writer!

My mind drifts back to that young woman in these days of isolation and I think about how much she is missing by not being able to participate in that project aimed at youth.  I wonder if she remembers some adult talking to her about writing and hope she is still at it.

Following her heart.

I don’t think I did it because of the messaging I got growing up which was anything but supportive towards writing as a career.

  • You don’t want to be a writer – they don’t make any money.  You want to be a doctor, lawyer, or engineer – or at least marry one.

So they could realize their dream of having one in the family they could brag about.

  • A writer?  Yeah, my son told me he wants to be in a rock band.  I told him to get a real job.

Told to me by a college counselor.  Apparently he didn’t think being a writer was a real job.

My parents encouraged me to…FOLLOW MY HEART!!!!

This included not discouraging me from being a writer. Not once.

I’ll admit my path to writing is non-traditional though I’m not sure if there is a such thing as a traditional path to that profession.

I can honestly say I had no idea what I was getting myself into.

I only know that I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was 3 and I’ve been writing ever since.

It’s in me.

Not Just Writing.  I found myself recently encouraging another beautiful young woman facing the challenges of lockdown.

A dancer.

The challenges she was facing were numerous.  Not only were they being asked to dance over zoom – alone– they were being forced to find a place to do so.

Oh yes, everyone’s home can double as a dance studio.

We talked back and forth and I offered some suggestions on how to turn a small space into a makeshift studio.

Hanging mirror doors and installing a barre are relatively simple.  Framing a closet is also relatively easy.  I know – relatively – but it can be done.

What came out of the conversation, however, was something that sent me back into writer mode.  This beautiful woman told me she didn’t know who she was if she wasn’t a dancer.

She’d been dancing since early childhood.  She was watching helplessly as many of her friends – faced with restrictions that made dancing a shell of what it was meant to be – drop out.

My heart hurt that she was at a point many of us find ourselves along life’s path…who am I?

It was a point I found myself at once upon a time.  

Did someone say once upon a time?  

I told her that dancing is a form of creativity but that the creativity is in her soul and that if dancing was not the outlet it would take that was okay because it would find another one.

I then backed it up with … of course … a story…

I told her how I had been training for the US Olympic Gymnast team – was told I was the next Nadia Comaneci – when two weeks before Olympic training camp I suffered a brain bleed that left me blind, paralyzed, and in a coma.

Needless to say – bye bye Olympic dream.

I told her that in the rubble of my dream I reconnected with the earlier one – of being a writer and while the rest, as they say, is history, the point of the story was that I was born a creative – as was she – and that that creativity would find a way to express itself no matter what.

I told her not to give up on dancing and that life has a way of working itself out but more importantly I told her that she is not the dancer so much as a creative spirit looking to express that spirit of creativity and that I was 100% certain it would find a way.

Addendum.  I didn’t whitewash the pain or frustration.  I told her that yes, the disappointment and frustration was formidable.  

I’d felt a lot of guilt because of what I’d lost – weirdly enough.  

And then…

Angels in Disguise.  I shared two events of significance – both facilitated by coworkers in the tech industry – that helped me move past the pain.

Writers Wanted.  One day early in my tech career I happened to mention to a coworker I wanted to eventually be a writer full-time.  Turns out, so did she and what do you know, so did another colleague who’d overheard our conversation and came over from his cubicle to join.

You haven’t lived until you experience the rat in a cage life of working in a cubicle with your alloted space for mementos. Provided they met with corporate approval of course.

Interestingly all of us were pursuing different genres.

What started as a random chance conversation turned into a mini support group.

Last I knew, Mary was able to “quit her day job” after getting a contract and winning an award for her first book.  Jim had an agent shopping his manuscript around.  Yes, this was years ago but I’d like to think they are still following their dream.

Olympic Reroute.  I was having lunch with two sales reps who had also been on track for the Olympics.

This was several years after leaving that other company and relatively close to when I quit to pursue my own writing career. 

One was a Canadian who was – interestingly enough – on the gymnast team.  

Had it worked out we would have competed!

The other was a guy who was on the US Olympic tennis team.

I was a bit puzzled by the sighs and lamenting that accompanied their stories.  I knew what had happened to my dreams but what were they feeling?  

What they told me changed my world.

“It was the 1980 Olympics.”

My reply was “Yes, I remember this – I had the brain bleed in the summer of 1979.”

“Don’t you remember?  We boycotted the Olympics that year!”

Um, no, I was kind of busy trying to learn to walk again.

That wasn’t a pity party statement so much as an explanation of why that wasn’t topmost on my mind of missed Olympic opportunity.

For the next hour we talked about our feelings at having spent years of hard work – the commitment of ourselves, our families – only to miss an opportunity.

This conversation healed me in ways I can’t express, and I am forever indebted to these two individuals for baring their hearts and souls that day.

As we concluded lunch all of us agreed that in spite of the deep disappointment, our lives were rich, filled with wonderful experiences. Most importantly, each of us had found ways to channel that creative passion that put us on the Olympic track.

The Canadian found a passion for horses and she competes – successfully.

She also has a beautiful spirit and sense of humor that makes this world a better place.

The gentleman found an outlet for tennis in teaching inner city kids not only tennis but how to find that passion within themselves.

Something he credits his dad for teaching him.

I shared these stories with the beautiful dancer to further explain 

  • Don’t give up on dancing because the final chapter has not been written
  • The creative spirit is in you – it IS you – and it will find a way out

Hell, maybe she’ll end up being a best-selling writer… 

PERSPECTIVE IS EVERYTHING

Well, the current chaos has done one thing – thrown schedules out the window.  

Working and schooling from home means everyone – while working cooperatively as a whole – is working independently and following their own rhythm of need.  This came into perspective today as I went to take a shower.

I began working early this morning so didn’t get around to it until a short time ago.

Thanks to the fact someone decided to do laundry my shower was on the frigid side.

Making it one of the quickest showers I’ve taken in awhile.

Dressed and warming up I am happy to report I’ve added additional pages of interest to the website.

How experience with psi phenomenon influenced Metatron’s Army

How experience with psi phenomenon influenced Dragon Core

How experience with psi phenomenon has played out in my works of paranormal fiction

I will have more projects to announce in the coming weeks and months.

Stay tuned!

upcoming PROJECTS

As I sat down to write this entry, I became aware that the rain against some part of my house sounds like the opening strains of Blondie’s Heart of Glass.  

Kind of cool.  Maybe I’ll listen to her greatest hits album and decompress after a day of serious mental labor.**

With Redemption in the hands of the beta reader I have been working on a number of projects slated for release in the next few months.

I’m hoping to have majority of the projects complete by the end of this calendar year.

Some of the projects are already finished.

Not all pages will have this new banner.

Though I remain focused on science fiction, I do have works of paranormal fiction.

In addition to the various paranormal fiction series, I will be including features related to the paranormal as it pertains to my writing.

I have a number of projects yet to come.

  • Videos
  • Additional Pages
  • New books

Stay tuned.

** Turns out Blondie released an album – Pollinator – in 2017. It’s got some good stuff on it.

REDEMPTION LANDING PAGE UP

It’s been a whirlwind of activity getting ready to release projects in the coming weeks but I’m definitely over the hump.

I am happy to say the landing page for Redemption, a Dragon Core story, is up.

The book is in the hands of the beta reader and is on target for purchase availability by the end of November, 2020.

I have really enjoyed working on this story which began as a Bite Size Pieces concept then morphed into a full-length novel. 

 I will, however, be pricing it as a bite size pieces story as I committed.  It’s a great way for readers to be introduced to me as a storyteller and the Dragon Core series.

 I have also been working on multiple other projects the details of which will be released in the coming weeks.

Along with another book.

Stay tuned.

redemption on the way

I’m listening to Collective Soul and – having finished a massive project the details of which will be revealed in the coming weeks – am back to finishing Redemption.

I’m looking forward to working on this Dragon Core story I set aside a few weeks ago.

I always set aside a first draft for at least 1 – 2 weeks in order to come back and review/edit with a fresh perspective.

Redemption has been one of the more interesting projects because I had no idea when I started the story how it was going to end.  Now that I know?  Going back through from the beginning will be an interesting endeavor as I see if it’s cohesive or if I need to rip out and/or change sections of the book.

I have a feeling it will be fine.  I’ve found a lot of times it’s as if there is some sort of unconscious energy at work overseeing things at a high level.  

Some call this energy the muse.

I will work to have a landing page for Redemption up within the next 7 – 10 days.

I’m hoping to release the book for purchase by the end of November 2020.

Stay tuned!

redemption and more

I’m sitting here listening to a frog croaking outside my window and admiring the leaves on trees that are just now getting around to turning.

I wonder if smoke from the fires several weeks back slowed the process this year.

I am more or less on track to have Redemption, a Dragon Core tale released in the coming weeks.  But it may end up pushed a week or two because I’m working on another project simultaneously.

I truly am working seven days a week and hope to release the two projects close together.

The other project is a Metatron’s Army project that I’d been tossing around in the back of my mind for a few years and decided to do.  It’s been an interesting experience as it’s a unique project that is actually three projects in one.

In the process of setting things up I came to see that the entire series was put out in a little over two years.  That’s 14 books because I wrote Metatron’s Legacy before Bind, book nine of the thirteen-book series was finished.

Metatron’s Legacy takes place approximately two decades after Adjudication, Book thirteen in the MA series.

I took a moment to marvel at the production rate since I was still publishing nonfiction at that time along with paranormal fiction and two radio interviews on EMF Sensitivity.

I guess when you’re in something and your head is down you don’t even realize time is passing.

Probably an easy way to burn out if not careful.

I am hoping to have the landing page for Redemption up within the next two weeks.  

The MA project is actually going quickly but I don’t want to set it aside to do Redemption and then come back to it.  I’m too close to finishing.

And in any event, going back to a story after a first draft is set aside for awhile has tremendous value.  Seeing it with fresh eyes is always good, always brings benefits including tightening and refining the story.

I will provide updates as appropriate.

Stay tuned.

Reading before typing: writing Redemption

Yesterday was a huge and happy milestone for me.  I finished the first draft of Redemption, a Dragon Core Bite Size Pieces story that is definitely a full-length novel, at over 88K words!

I will happily price it as a Bite Size Pieces as that is the commitment I made to my readers.

At this point I will set the story aside for several days and while I’m already onto the next project I will be working on tasks related to its release.

Book cover, back of book description. Excerpt, landing page, etc

I’ll get back to the story in a week or two and refine and edit and pass it along to my beta reader. Then more refine and edit and then release.

As I’ve written previously, this story really took on a life of its own and while that is significant as it provides insight into yet another methodology I employ, it’s unique in another way.

Writer or Reader?  At some point past the 45K mark I realized I wasn’t writing the book so much as reading it.

I kind of disconnected from the fingers going across the keyboard and was reading the words in my mind before they appeared on the screen.  It’s almost like writing from a trance state.  Weird.  And, not typical.

I can count on one hand the number of times this phenomenon has occurred with a book I’m writing.

I have, however, read interviews with authors who have said the Muse was using their hands to get the story down.

I once saw a fiction movie about a writer in which he says that sometimes the story chooses the writer.  I imagine the stories in which I become reader while writing are a version of this concept.

I find it interesting that I have particularly enjoyed the books in which I was simultaneously reader and writer.  

Though I like all my work.

They don’t have a common theme between them that would suggest a certain type of story will induce this state.  

The Paranormal in Action?  I’ve written and spoken about how the Silva Method developed by Jose Silva has been one of the best investments I’ve made, how it continues to pay back on the money, time, and energy spent.  Something I read in Jose’s autobiography may explain this interesting phenomenon to a degree.

Jose developed the method over a period of years and it was initially done with the idea of helping his kids do better in school.  As such, he worked with one of his daughters who was, I believe, junior high age at the time.  

The method was raw at this point.

He talked about how a breakthrough came when his daughter began answering questions he hadn’t yet asked.  She was somehow reading his mind.  It was the beginning of what would entail years of trial and error and continuous refinement but what I got out of it was that the mind was able to anticipate and respond accordingly.  In my Event Horizon app presentation Captain’s Log Part VI: The Fourth Dimension, I talk about how I came to see that the information I got in exercises was a foreshadowing in some cases of what was to come.  When I circle this back to Jose’s experience with his daughter (which was far from isolated as graduates know), I see a possible explanation for the reading of something in my mind before I think or type it.

My theory is that when this happens my mind has attenuated to a certain part of the alpha frequency which is the daydream frequency and a place from which we can create and pulls the information before the tactile response of my physical body has engaged.

I see the words in my mind before I see them on the screen. I’m not thinking them, I’m reading them.

There are subtle nuances in the way it plays out from book to book when this has been the case.  In one of the Metatron’s Army novels, it felt as if I was suddenly remembering something rather than read/writing it for the first time.  That feeling stayed with me for three sequential books though I did not have the sense of reading before typing the way I did in the first of the three, just felt as if I was remembering something somehow familiar.

I am very pleased with how Redemption has turned out and find myself thinking, “Wow, I never would have thought to do that,” which further fuels the paranormal fire.  

As someone whose life is continuously interwoven with such wondrous experiences, I’ve come to appreciate them.

I anticipate Redemption will be ready for release mid-November, 2020.

Stay tuned.

51K And Counting

Happy to say that Redemption, a Dragon Coreshorter” story is at 53K plus and counting.  And counting.  And…

So much for shorter.  This book is writing itself.

I am always amazed by the fact no matter how many stories I write there’s always a new way, a new angle. 

Something new to learn.

Redemption started as a maybe, turned into a this would work, and evolved into a runaway horse.  Fortunately, I managed to lasso the beast and get things under control.  

I think.

Maybe.  Months back and in response to the global chaos I decided to do shorter stories that were filed under the various sci-fi series I have going.  I quickly kicked out three “shorter” Bite Size Pieces that fit within two of the three series.  

All that was left was to do something for the Dragon Core series.

I was surprised by how difficult it was to come up with a story I was happy with for this series which is itself evolving into more than I imagined when I initially conceived it.

I think it’s because for the depth of passion I include I felt doing something short would “short change” author and reader both.

This Would Work.  As I worked on BeaconRainmakerKarma, and Mirror, I mentally chewed on an idea for the Dragon Core series.  

But it felt lukewarm.

Runaway Horse.  Determined I put fingers to keyboard and forged ahead figuring after I got past the initial “oh my god this is going to take forever” I always feel when starting a new novel, it would smooth out.

Little did I know.

This smoothing out process took far longer than I’m used to.

More than once I worried I was forcing it – never good.

I continued to push through.

What choice did I have?  Quit?  After talking about the story for weeks if not months?  Um – no.

suddenly, like the sun bursting through the clouds, the thing took off.  

Twenty thousand words turned into thirty turned into …

Lasso to the Rescue!  Worried I’d lost the thread of intention if not the story, I took time to go back and read what I had from the beginning.

I’d started the book with a significant event in mind but wasn’t sure where in the story the event would take place.  I worried I’d backed myself into a corner and would have to rip out sections to fix it.

To my relief I ‘d written the book in such a way I could decide later on.

I’d written everything so it could go in either direction.

Rather than just moving on ahead, however, I took time to do research.

  • Podcast of Templar Battle Tactics**
  • Article on sleeping habits of horses

Redemption continues to evolve, dragging me along for the ride.

But I’m holding on.

This Dragon Core story which is a full-length novel that will – as promised – be put under the Bite Size Pieces umbrella will be available for purchase Autumn 2020.

I will work on a landing page in the coming weeks.

Stay tuned!

**To listen to the podcast by JStephen Roberts click here.

BITE SIZE PIECES? NOT SO FAST!

Redemption has been an interesting novel to work on.  I first started toying with the idea months ago but wasn’t sure I wanted to force the issue.

It was basically an option to provide the Dragon Core series with a story that would fit into the Bite Size Pieces category.

Even after I’d gotten to a point where I was comfortable with the plot, I hesitated.

I didn’t know if the hesitation stemmed from worrying I was forcing it which I believed would result in something I wasn’t happy with or just a” point in time” situation that would resolve itself.

Deciding I was happy enough with the plot and confident enough I wouldn’t turn out something I wasn’t proud of, I forged ahead.  And then…

A block or hesitation?  From the get go I stumbled to gain traction.  I considered

  • The First 50 pages

Starting a new novel can be daunting for a variety of reasons not the least of which is this is going to take forever!

  • Mental Fatigue

I’d just kicked out several books in a short amount of time and was trying to get an app launched

  • Is it real?

Rarely have I dropped a story once I’ve decided to go with it but I was open to the possibility that even after completing 20K words my heart just wasn’t in it

  • Inertia

Having completed everything else including getting Event Horizon launched, I’d given myself a break but the break was starting to turn into more than a weekend plus a handful of days

Muse to the Rescue.  That cosmic companion that’s been with me for as long as I can remember urged me to forge ahead.  

I’m glad I listened. 

Not only did I come to understand what was going on, I gained yet another validation of the fact the creative mind is guided.

I continued to work through the lassitude hanging over me and each time I felt ready to give up that little voice egged me to keep on keeping on.

The Muse, a benevolent yet determined task master.

A Break in the Gloom.  Suddenly and without warning, the haze thinned and…

Drum roll…

An entirely different story than the one I’d been working on presented itself!

And yet I did not have to start all over!!!!

For an entire day I could do nothing but mentally grasp the enormity of what was put before me.

Like where the hell did that come from?

Well, I did do more.  I ran with the inspiration and mentally wrote scene after scene – for the next almost 24 hours.  

Who needs sleep when there are characters to meet and plot lines – like trails through a jungle – to follow?

Thrilled, I set to work the moment the awe-induced mental fugue began to clear.

And I’d downed a double shot espresso.

One thing was evident.  This novel was way longer than a Bite Size Pieces piece I’d originally envisioned.

The Go Forward?  Even though this tale will be a full-length Dragon Core story, I’m filing it as a Bite Size Pieces offering.

And pricing it accordingly because that is what I committed to my readers.

I’m really excited about how this novel is taking shape and look forward to releasing it in Autumn 2020.

Stay Tuned!