CONTEMPLATION: A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A WRITER

Note:  This will be a bit on the lengthy side

With the recent release of two books and the launching of a new website I decided to take a break in part to rest the mind body and spirit and in part to evaluate projects in the queue.  

While I consider these projects in terms of whether they are in line with my goals (where I’m going), part  of the evaluation includes seeing where I’ve been.

I’ve mentioned that at times my life has resembled a Pacman game where unforeseen and/or unexpected circumstances have driven a need for change.  Sometimes the change is rapid, other times at a pace that allows for planning.

This is one of those times as this is a continuation of a change that started years ago and therefore allows for planning.

Ironically, it’s because there is time to strategize I feel a bit frustrated, as if things are taking too long.  To counter this I remind myself the changes are on par with turning a massive cargo ship. 

It takes time to change course.

I also remind myself why it is I’ve made these changes.  

I thought I’d share a bit of the method to the madness with readers.

In the beginning.  I’ve known I wanted to be a writer  since I was three.

Declared it to my family and anyone else who would listen.

While I worked toward this goal I enjoyed a satisfying and successful career in tech.

I worked with a couple of other writers, one of which left after her debut book became a huge success.

It’s Time.  A number of factors contributed to the timing of leaving corporate to focus on writing.

  • Earned a doctorate in a non-tech discipline

When I finished the dissertation?  I felt a tremor in the force and knew my days in corporate were numbered.

I didn’t know exactly what would be next.  I just knew change was upon me.

  • Industry headwinds and a company merger left me frustrated and restless

I didn’t feel challenged and I was tired of the bureaucracy.

 How many times can leadership realistically use the phrase secular headwinds as an excuse?

Tools of the Trade.  As I’d been working toward this end for several years I’d already done a lot of the foundation work.

  • Took writer workshops with Writers Market
  • Joined a Professional Writers Organization and attended chapter meetings
  • Attended writers conferences
  • Completed a manuscript

 Life Interrupts.  Not long after getting traction we moved to the East Bay, California.  Within weeks of moving into our new house I was sick and unable to write.

Yes, I was pretty upset and I was forced to focus on the illness which, ironically, led to: 

Publish.  Though I’d intended to focus on fiction, my experience with EMF Sensitivity drove me in a different direction.  Knowing there were others who were suffering like I was and that – at the time – there was nothing out there anywhere close to what I’d discovered in terms of remedies and information, I decided to go nonfiction first.

I knew it would be a bit of a challenge finding a publisher.

At this point the US was still denying it was even a condition even though several countries in the world including the UK and Canada, and the WHO all acknowledged it as a real condition.

Change of Plans.  Familiar with the challenges involved with publishing I laid out a plan to find a suitable publisher, believing I would have better luck with a small university press.  After attending a presentation by two literary agents to the Colorado writers group I belonged to, everything changed.

When I talked about my book one of the two agents laughed and said, “Oh, you mean that cell phone thing?”  When I explained that it was about frequency specifics including the ultra low and very low frequencies that come out of fault lines in the hours and days prior to an earthquake, precede thunderstorms, and are emitted by high-tension power lines, and went on to name a variety of other sources as well as the universities around the world – including US universities (Stanford and University of Arizona) that document their findings – she stopped laughing but I’d seen the writing on the wall.

I received a number of emails from people who found my website who were either suffering themselves or were close to someone who was. They begged me for the book which wasn’t quite finished.

Some even offered to pay me to sell it to them early which I wouldn’t because it wasn’t ready.  I was still researching, still learning, and still working with individuals I was using as case studies.

A short time later I released Riding the Waves: Diagnosing, Treating, and Living with EMF Sensitivity.

Back to the Start.  I’d always wanted to focus on fiction and historical fiction in particular though paranormal fiction definitely held my interest.  Having gone through the process of producing a book I figured I would keep on going with a focus on fiction.

That Smashwords had just upended the publishing industry definitely swayed my decision.  

Especially given that in the numerous subsequent bankruptcies by publishing houses, authors lost their manuscripts as well as the ability to regain their rights so they could shop them elsewhere because they were considered the property of the publishing companies and therefore part of the bankruptcy settlements.

Two Lane Highway.  For the next several years I alternated fiction and nonfiction works.

I released a number of books relating to EMF Sensitivity – the cause and the cure as well as a number of remedies – and several paranormal fiction novels.

Stop and Assess.  Though I’d considered shifting away from nonfiction earlier, it wasn’t until 2016 that I truly saw it was time.

EMF Sensitivity is a broad condition that involves far more than sensitivity to technology EMFs.  I’d shared the cause and cure of the condition along with a great deal of information on remedies and troubleshooting.  I was ready to move on to a different aspect of EMFs.

Geologic, atmospheric, and frequencies difficult to quantify though Lynne McTaggart, Russell Targ, and a number of others had definitely done a fair amount of research.

Two Lane Highway 2.  I had just begun work on Metatron’s Army, a science fiction saga and though I saw the light at the end of that tunnel in terms of finishing the saga, I knew I would be publishing more works that fell under the sci-fi genre.

I planned on continuing the strategy of alternating only I would alternate between paranormal fiction and science fiction.

Psi Avalanche.  Shortly after making the decision to step away from nonfiction the paranormal side of my life heated up, so much so that between writing paranormal fiction and living paranormal reality, I felt I was drowning.  I needed a break.

I revamped my website to reflect this change though I kept the paranormal fiction available for purchase.

Two Lane Highway 3.  The decision to take a break from paranormal fiction went far in relieving the stress of the psi avalanche.  At the same time, I truly do have a passion for the paranormal.  So, after putting to use much of what I learned doing research into the more esoteric EMFs I was able to return to the plan of alternating genre strategy.

And I even found a way to weave a bit of nonfiction in as well, with the release of Lessons From the Edge: An Author’s Guide to Metatron’s Army and the launch of metatronsuniverse.com.

The Road Ahead.  Though some projects are still evolving I plan to continue to write novels of both science and paranormal fiction.  I also foresee more nonfiction in the future though I’m still working out the details.

I am considering how to share what I’ve learned about the esoteric side of EMFs.

I am currently working on multiple novels and plan to update readers on release dates as appropriate.

Stay tuned!

ADRIFT AVAILABLE

I’m pleased to announce that Adrift, First Sequence in the Colony Series is now available for purchase!

I really enjoyed working on this story and am excited about the series.

I am taking a bit of a break from novels though I am working on a project that will be revealed in the next 6 to 8 weeks. I AM eager to get back to the novels and have plans for

  • Dragon Core
  • Ghost Games
  • Port Gallatan

I will also continue with other projects.

Stay tuned

LANDING PAGE: LESSONS FROM THE EDGE

I’m always happy when a project comes together.

Especially when a tremendous amount of time and energy is put into it.

With Adrift, the first Sequence in the Colony Series soon to be available for purchase, I turned my attentions to Lessons From the Edge: An Author’s Guide to Metatron’s Army. To my surprise and satisfaction, the project finished far quicker than I anticipated.  As a result, I now have a landing page for readers and visitors to view.

There is still quite a bit of production work to be done before the book will be available for purchase, but I anticipate its availability within the next 3 to 6 weeks.

Stay tuned.

LESSONS FROM THE EDGE

As I head into the weekend I am happy to say Adrift, first Sequence in the Colony Series is on track to be available for purchase next week.

I’m also well on my way to having Lessons from the Edge: An Author’s Guide to Metatron’s Army available by or before mid-May.

Likely before.

I’m anxious to have this project finished so I can get back to novel writing.

This nonfiction project is unique in that it tells the story of how Metatron’s Army came to be but also draws from the stories themselves in providing useful life lessons.

From the Book

At its core, Metatron’s Army is about transformation.  Becoming.  In many respects my life mirrored that of the characters for the simple fact that I, too, was transformed by the journey.

The journey of writing and publishing this saga.

The stress inherent in traversing the twists and turns that challenge and change us can be offset by various forms of support.  My hope is that this book that details the journey will be a form of support to others on their own journeys of becoming.

To give readers a taste, here is an excerpt from the book

Excerpt 

From the Edge: 

I was hoping my research trip would help get my mind off what -.”  She swallowed.  “Off things.”  She looked at him quickly.  “But I did need the information and honestly believe this is the only place I could get it.”

“I understand.”

“Seeing Shane – it brought home just how far from normal my life has skewed.  In a way, it was like looking in a mirror and not recognizing myself.”

“That I don’t understand.”

“We come to know ourselves, in part, by the way others view us.  Watching Shane’s eyes, seeing him search my face for signs that the Christine he once knew was still there – it was painful because on some level I was hoping she was, too.”

“Why is this important to you?”

Lesson:  

By this point Christine has not only accepted she is on a journey of transformation; she’s feeling the difference internally.

She’s starting to feel the responsibility, starting to make decisions and taking actions motivated by that sense of responsibility.

At the same time, she’s afraid of what it means about who she is becoming.

She’s afraid of that person, afraid she won’t like her or worse, recognize her, thus being unable to relate.  Talk about internal conflict!

It’s important to honor the process of transformation.  Part of doing so is to not let fear of the unknown keep us from making changes – internal and external – that will help us fulfill our potential.  It’s equally as important to protect those changes as and when they happen.  

Be wary of people who refuse to honor and respect who you are and who you are becoming.

I once worked with a woman who ran into former colleagues at a conference.  They hadn’t seen her in years and had known her in a different professional capacity.  She told me they were rude and condescending and refused to acknowledge that she was in a different role, one several levels higher than when they’d known her.

Refusal to acknowledge growth and change says more about the individual – that they are stuck in the past – than you. 

 Their disrespect should be ignored.

Protect your transformation.  Honor your achievements.

ADRIFT LANDING PAGE

Ah the joys of working from home when your neighbors are trying to find their way in the middle of a pandemic.

All that home renovation?  On the annoyance scale, the only sound more annoying than the sound of a compressor is that of a leaf blower.

It’s especially problematic when the one using the compressor doesn’t know what the hell he’s doing as evidenced by the fact it’s repeatedly cycling through like a portable generator on energy saver mode.  You know – because it’s not giving enough juice?!

My dad was a contractor.  I know my compressors.

Determined to get over the project hump I put headphones on, started up the Colony playlist, and went to work.  I’m proud to say the landing page for Adrift is ready for consumption!

Excerpt toward bottom of page.

I also finished the foundation for the Lessons from the Edge: An Author’s Guide to Metatron’s Army

Release Spring 2021.

As I write this, listening to Death on Two Legs  by Queen, Night at the Opera.

And contemplating next steps…

Stay tuned.

DEGAUSS WITH MUSIC

Listening to Charlotte Sometimes by the Cure and doing a reset (degauss anyone?) between projects.

I finished final edit for Adrift.

“Iron Maiden and human soup in one book.  How many authors can claim that?”**  

This was some of the feedback I got from the beta reader, who enjoyed Adrift.

There were other comments, comments that helped me know whether I’d achieved what I set out to, along with feedback where change might be needed.

**Though the implication may make it seem otherwise, Adrift is not horror sci-fi, nor is it gory.

It’s where sci-fi meets passion.

Though I’m tempted to jump into the next in the series I have a number of outstanding projects

It’s tempting to start on the next in the series since the plot and characters are so deep in my psyche but I’ve learned from experience that 

  • Stepping away allows me to look at a series storyline with fresh perspective
  • I can easily reconnect to characters that live in the ether

As does the psyche

I anticipate having a landing page for the first Sequence in the Colony series available by Friday.

The book will be available for purchase shortly thereafter.

Stay tuned

ADRIFT UPDATE

“You know it’s bad in writing land if I’m doing housework.”

These were the words that went through my mind as I was vacuuming my bedroom this afternoon, after which I went on a bit of a cleaning spree.  

I despise housework.

It was only after I finally sat down 3 hours later that I realized it wasn’t that there was trouble so much as I needed to give myself a break.  I just got Adrift, first Sequence in the Colony Series back from the beta reader which means postproduction is in full swing.

I finished the book cover mockup yesterday and am taking notes for the “back of book” summary.

I have also been working on two other projects simultaneously.

They are related.

Though I’ve finished two books close together before I don’t remember resorting to housework to give myself a mental break.

I honestly didn’t feel that worn out but maybe I’m being preemptive.

I also may not be dealing with the writing thing.

It’s actually going well so why stress?  

I suspect a bit of what is going on is that in getting a nice head start on a few things issues I’ve been ignoring for – oh – awhile – are making themselves felt.

As in how about we deal with this?

I hadn’t considered how much writing can be a way to distract myself from other things.

At least not since the onset of Covid lockdown when I wrote three books in two months.

I’m going to try something a little different with this postproduction episode.  I’m going to allow myself to think about the item that seems to be the squeaky wheel of the moment while I’m doing the final edit of Adrift.

Final edit isn’t the most brain intensive activity since, with the story completed, I’m only doing a final check of grammar.

Who knows?  If it works out maybe this will be my new way of doing postproduction.

I anticipate having a landing page for Adrift up within a week.

Stay tuned.

ADRIFT FROM THE EDGE AND MORE

I am thrilled to report that I finished the updated draft of Lessons From the Edge: An Author’s Guide to Metatron’s Army.

Hard at work on Adrift, the first Sequence in the Colony Series, Lessons won’t be ready for public consumption for several weeks.

Like so many things in my life, it’s been an interesting journey with Lessons from the Edge. 

After finishing the first draft, unable to find a place to put it that did justice, I set it aside – indefinitely.  An email from one Lamont Gates of Real Spiritual Talk Radio changed that.

And yes, there’s a synchronicity story behind that, one I will share at the end of this article.

I’m happy to again set this manuscript aside as I am able to turn my attention to other ongoing projects. 

It’s a nonfiction work which makes it a whole other ball of wax when it comes to intensity and body/mind/soul involvement.

As usual, I have a number of projects in the queue

Stay Tuned

A bit of Sci-Fi Magick at work.  I’m a synchronicity junkie.

Yep, there’s a story behind that as well.  It will be available via future article.

Back in 1997 I was introduced to Feng Shui by way of Terah Kathryn Collins’ book The Western Guide to Feng Shui Room by Room.

I’ve been hooked ever since.

I recently did a bit of what I call Feng Shui tweaking with a focus on various areas related to my writing interests.  Within hours of doing this I got the feeling I should check my email.

Which I had not done in awhile.

I had two emails relating to books I’d written.

One was Metatron’s Army, the other, Riding the Waves.  I replied to both.

To my delight, Lamont invited me to be a guest on his show so I could talk about the story behind Metatron’s Army and the role of the NDE and the Celestial Being known as Metatron in that series.  Because I’m a synchronicity junkie I saw the context in which it was meant.

And the likely nudge I was getting from the Universe, if not Metatron.

I circled back around to resurrect Lessons from the Edge.

Which I anticipate releasing by the end of April 2021.

hit the degauss button

So – time to hit the degauss button.  

This is my new way of describing the need to do an energetic reset between projects. 

I just finished a major revision of Adrift, first Sequence in the Colony series.

The beta reader hadn’t even finished when I asked for it back so I could edit/revise it.

This isn’t how it typically goes.  Normally I use the time the novel is in the hands of a reader to work on other projects knowing that when I get it back complete with feedback, I will look at it with fresh eyes and do any edits/revisions.

If I feel passionately about adding or changing something, I’ll write notes in a separate file and wait til I have the novel back before implementing.

For whatever reason this time I was unable to get a few open items out of my head.

I’d created a file with the notes, but it just wouldn’t let go so I asked for it back so I could work on it.

Over the weekend I did a major revision that included adding a little over 5000 words.  I did the right thing asking for it back.

Though I returned it to the beta reader yesterday.

In addition to fleshing out a couple of scenes I addressed an issue that was like a sliver.  It wasn’t keeping me up at night but as I went about my normal day, I kept thinking there was something missing.

There was.

Short a man.  When I write a series, I consider plans for future novels in the series while working on whatever one I happen to be on.  In general, this isn’t as big a deal with the first in a series as I can easily adjust subsequent stories in the series to reflect changes.  Still, I try to think ahead and lay the foundation for an easy transition from one book to the next.  

This is especially important to do for the characters in a story as opposed to the subplots that each book contains.

When writing characters I consider 

  • What is the role the character has in the story?
  • What is the role the character has in the series?
  • How do I ensure the character has what he or she needs to go the distance?

In the case of Adrift I found myself facing a unique challenge, the number of characters that would participate in an event.  I’ve never had to worry about this type of thing before so trying to address it was hard.

  • I wrote a general scene with the number of characters I thought worked then continued with the story only to circle back and change that number – twice.
  • I wrote in an additional character through a scene revision then cut the scene – also twice

The trouble stemmed from the fact I hadn’t settled on a definite number of characters.  

At one point I had thirty.  Then fourteen.  Then nine. 

Even after I settled on the final number I faced the challenge of adding a character in a way that didn’t disrupt the flow of the rest of the story which was “first draft” finished.  If I got it wrong, I’d have to rip a lot apart and put it back together.

Not a good time.

finally figured out a way to add the character unobtrusively.

Happy with everything I’d done I passed it back to the reader and scribbled notes for next projects.  

I’m the kind of person who likes to be doing so even if I’m not writing – I’m thinking of writing.

Recognizing the benefit of getting some mental rest between projects I may

  • Listen to music
  • Play FreeCell
  • Do housework
  • Do an Event Horizon Session
  • Take a walk

None of those filled the gap this time and while I don’t feel a need to go back to Adrift I also don’t feel pulled to the next task.

But I can’t do nothing.  I’m not wired that way.

Realizing there was a lot of creative noise buzzing through my mind I decided to hit the degauss button. Basically, I’m stepping back and looking at next projects from a high level view rather than the tasks that need to be done.

It’s like looking into the distance and admiring the whole rather than individual elements such as the sky, the grass, a tree, river, or house.

For now, it seems to be working to take pressure off.  

I’m not worried about what specific task I need to do next because I’m taking the time to get clearer on my plans as a whole.

So far so good.

UPDATE AND EXCERPT

Enjoying the sun and working on Adrift, first in the Colony Series.

First draft completed, I went and finished the second draft of Lessons from the Edge: An Author’s Guide to Metatron’s Army.

Setting the first draft of any project aside for a period of days to weeks is amazingly helpful as it allows the mind to rest.

Once my mind is focused on something else I’m able to consider what I might have done differently.  I can then go back and edit those inspirations in.

The beauty of working on the two manuscripts in parallel is that focusing on one gives me rest  from the other.  Since the projects are never far from my thoughts I am able to spend the time writing down notes that I look at when I next pick up the manuscript in question.

I have three scenes for Adrift I will be adding in in the next day or two.

I’ve also come up with an additional Port Gallatan story though it will be a bit before I get to it.

I have the next one in that series ready to go when I have time in the schedule.

I have a number of other projects on the horizon and novels for a number of the series.

Stay tuned.

In the meantime, I am sharing the opening scene from Adrift.

Enjoy!

CHAPTER ONE

SEQUENCE 1:  KYLE

2240

Mars Trojan region

Command Lab, MNS Vernier

Kyle Steven Decker, Commander of the multinational research vessel Vernier and ruiner of lives stared unseeing at the screen, unseeing because though his eyes were trained on the document, his focus was elsewhere.  

If only.

If only he’d seen.  The signs had been there.  If only he’d listened.  To do that however, he’d have to tune out the voice he enjoyed listening to most, his own.  Which circled back to the truth staring him in the face, the only if only that mattered.  If only he hadn’t been so arrogant.  So goddamn arrogant.  

And damned he was and more than willing to accept his punishment but to have dragged innocent people into the nightmare of his making -.

A chime announced the arrival of one of the souls sharing his self-created hell.  Which of the two, he wondered, as they’d been in and out of his lab like a revolving door for the past seventy-two hours.  Ever since he saw the message that damned him.