Reflections on progress

Roadblocks are funny things.  Sometimes they aren’t halting progress so much as forcing us to work a little differently.

Years ago while on vacation and driving through Northern Arizona I had to stop because road crews were doing a bit of blasting.  It was a beautiful day so I grabbed a workbook from the trunk and read up for a Novell Certification test while sunning myself on the hood of my car.

I told you it was years ago, hence the Novell Certification.

More recently I found myself feeling as if everything had come to a grinding halt and while I managed to work on bits of projects here and there I felt as if I was walking through molasses.  

To say this was frustrating would be an understatement.

Turns out the “block” wasn’t a block so much as a force nudging me to work differently.  When the block was cleared?  I looked around to find multiple projects finishing within a few days.

Apparently slow and steady really does work.

I’m happy to report the following updates

  • I’ve completed the final draft of Mirror, a Ghost Games full-length case file.

I plan to have a landing page up by tomorrow evening and anticipate availability for purchase within 10 – 14 days.

  • The app I developed is in testing phase and will be available shortly.  

I will be providing more detailed information on the app within the next week.

  • Redemption, a Dragon Core short is well underway.

I anticipate a late September – mid October 2020 release.

Stay tuned!

the muse in the music

I’m learning there is a method to the madness – I mean the rhythm – of my writing.  

Thankfully.  There’s enough chaos involved with writing a book.  Understanding why your mind suddenly embraces inertia?  Sublime!

Working on Redemption, a Dragon Core Bite Size Pieces offering.

Or trying to, at least.

I have the whole story in my mind, setting and time, characters, story arc, subplots, the wholeshebang.

So why can’t I get past the first 500 words?

Trust the Process.  Fortunately, I’ve been through this before.  I know that eventually it will all come together, and I’ll kick the whole thing out in a week to ten days.

Maybe two weeks.  It’s almost a feast or famine thing.  One of those where I’m being called for dinner as I furiously type “just one more thing.”

Thankfully, it doesn’t happen often.

Two previous times several years apart.

No Really.  Trust.  It’s because I’ve been down this path that, though I keep a careful eye on the situation – I do have a timeline after all – I don’t stress about it.

Like I did the first, second,….

But even as I remained relaxed, told myself it will all come out in the wash, I worked.

It’s how I help myself relax about the inertia.

I played Free Cell during which I wrote the entire book in my head – running through various scenes as a “movie” playing on my mental screen.  I  did another thing.  I wondered what the hell was going on?

I like to understand things – see if I need to step in and fix something.

You know, to help the process along.

The muse at work.  As I sat rerunning a plot twist through my mind, adding characters and dialogue to the location, I realized with no small amount of annoyance that a song kept running over and over through my head.

I like the song but at that moment – did not want to listen to it once let alone a dozen times over in my mind.

I told a fellow creative sitting nearby what was going on.  She suggested I listen to the song.

I’ve done this before with great success – it typically works to get it “out of my system.”

I explained I didn’t want to this time.  However…  

It didn’t mean I couldn’t listen to a different song by the same artist!  

Here’s what happened.

As I continued staring “sightlessly” at the mindless game, allowed my mind to drift, I realized that the other song from the same artist is absolutely perfect for the book!  Within seconds of that Eureka! Moment I realized the next four songs from the same album were also perfect!  Then it occurred to me…

I didn’t have a Book Playlist Yet!!!

I LOVE to do iTunes playlists for my novels.  It provides an injection of passion into the entirety of it all.

, From process to finished product.

I’ve long understood there’s a relationship between the muse and the music but until today I had no idea just how tightly music is entwined with novel writing.

For me at least.

It’s the equivalent of naming the missing spice in the sauce!  What’s more, I realized there was purpose behind the inertia.

Sonia Choquette writes about this in her book Trust your Vibes.

There was something important the muse was trying to tell me!

Thanks to the music I now have far more vivid imagery for the scenes that make up the plot twist in my story.

And thus, I’m able to move forward with the rest of the story.  

Redemption is on track for a Late Summer/Early Fall 2020 release.

Stay tuned!

Full steam ahead

So, sitting here working to develop the characters for the upcoming Redemption, one of two Dragon Core short stories I will be releasing. It’s proving a bit of a unique challenge. I have two plots, either one of which could fit Redemption.

This happened with Beacon and Rainmaker.

Though the characters in the stories are not interchangeable I’m having a hard time working on more than the fundamentals because I have both plot lines going through my head.

I have a feeling I’m going to end up writing both stories simultaneously.

Over and over in recent years I’ve found the path to story development – my career development – taking some unique and interesting twists.

Often I’ll have an idea for a book or a series years before I start to work on it.

The idea for Dragon Core came while I was still finishing Metatron’s Army and though I began researching for Cauldron of the Gods while working on Adjudication, it was several months before I started the series.

The idea for Ghost Games came as I was about to go for a walk along the Embarcadero in San Diego. As I was making my way down the stairwell of the high-rise we were living in, an image flashed in front of me. I stopped on the stairwell to study the image and though I was unable to glean much outside a location and a generic nature of the image, I understood enough about it to know that at some point it would be a novel.

At that point I thought it would be a one off. By the time I set to work on Mirror, I knew I had a series.

Metatron’s Army was a project that spanned decades. As I hadn’t intended to publish the story working out the details once the decision was made took time and also had to brew in the background.

I was still publishing nonfiction works regarding EMF Sensitivity.

I also have an app I’ve been working on and will be releasing late summer/early fall 2020.

I’ve been testing it and so far so great. I’m very happy with it.

I will be releasing videos in the coming weeks to provide details.

The plot for the app like my novels evolved over time.

26 years to be exact.

I’m excited about all the projects in the queue and look forward to sharing details in the near future.

Stay tuned.

Up Next: Redemption

So – happy to report I’m finally done with the final draft of Mirror, a Ghost Games Case File.

It is now in the hands of the beta reader.

I anticipate a Late August/Early September 2020 release date.

A landing page will be up within the next couple of weeks.

Though I’m also working on an app I’m hoping to release Late Summer/ Early Fall 2020, I managed to figure out the next story, to work on Redemption, a Dragon Core Short Story.

This will be a Bite Size Pieces offering.

Though not part of the original series, like Shadow of the Gods, Redemption will further immerse readers in the world of Dragon Core, providing insight into a different shadow species.

Readers of the series will find plenty of familiar characters alongside new ones.

I anticipate a Late Summer Early Fall 2020 release for this Dragon Core installment.

Stay Tuned!

Every book has its rhythm

So, happy to have finished “the final edit” of Mirror, I went off to eat dinner then enjoy a relaxing evening reading someone else’s work.

As I was sitting on the sofa reading about the kick ass nuns a thought bubbled to the mental surface:  You know?  You really need to add that scene you’ve been toying with.  You won’t get any sleep until you do.

I wasn’t too surprised.  Edits are never final.

Not even when the thing goes to press.

Ask any author.

With a sigh I shot myself a text I would see in the morning telling me to add the scene – along with the part of the story I felt made the most sense.

Then I finished reading the article.

This morning as I sat drinking my second doppio I decided to finish Mirror,. An interesting thing happened.

As I went about adding the scene, which I figured would take a paragraph at most, I found that I felt connected to my characters in a way that had been eluding me.

Every book is different and I empathize with characters to a different degree.

I’d known something was missing – the way you taste a sauce and ponder which spice might need to be added.  Hint – and this comes from my doctoral side – it’s probably SALT!!!!!!

Salt makes spicy food absorb heat spices – like cayenne pepper – better.  It’s also crucial to human health – an electrolyte critical to muscle function and cellular communication.  Ahhh, but I digress.

The response was so positive I decided to add another scene I’d been toying with.  Another interesting thing happened.  

As I considered how to connect the scenes – which come toward the end of the book – I continued moving forward – tweaking as I went.  

The more I tweaked, the more I connected with my characters.  

I realized there was a familiarity to the whole process.  I’d been in that spot before, though not often.  A quick rifle through the hippocampus gave me the answer.  

The Lover!

I well remember being stuck at the window, a scene where I saw the characters but had no idea what they were doing there.  Oh, the awkwardness between the two I got – I just didn’t know how to express what they were thinking or feeling – yet.  

Because I hadn’t truly connected to my characters beyond surface depth!

A sense of peace came over me because not only did I understand the situation, I knew what I had to do next. 

Edit.

If I released the book today, I would be proud of my work.  However, armed with the knowledge if not the understanding I now have, I believe I can improve the story that much more.

Because I understand my characters in a way I hadn’t.

So, after a short music break, I will have another go at the story – from the beginning.

And as there is no tension, it will be not work so much as joy as I experience the book through characters I now have a better understanding of.

There is a secondary benefit to this.  By going back through the story from beginning to end I can identify any typos like single quotes that should be double quotes before handing it off to the beta reader.  

I can also allow the other stories in the queue to brew on the back burner of the muse’s stove.

Mirror – Final Draft!

Thrilled to announce that I completed the final draft of Mirror, a full-length Ghost Games Case File.

And none too soon. I’ve gotten to the point where I cleaned the ice maker, the coffee maker, the internal dryer lint filter…

This novel is on track for a late summer/early fall 2020 release.

There are other projects including an app in the queue.

I’m happy to be able to move on to new writing projects, including two Bite Size Pieces vying for mental attention.

As is the laundry. Grrrrrrr

Stau tuned!

I will have a landing page for Mirror up in the near future.

Clearing the block

So, after a two week break I’m back at Mirror, a full-length Ghost Games Case File.

My breaks aren’t generally real breaks since I spend a most of the time thinking about plots and characters.  However, I did spend an entire week just reading for pleasure.

I also organized my entire house from top to bottom including cupboards, closets, and cleaning the garage.  

Thank god the donate station is open again!

When one week turned into two and I still didn’t feel the muse, I began to do a little mental movie watching.

This is the process where I will run scenes in my head like a movie so I can swap characters, change up dialogue, action, etc.  I generally do this as I wind down for sleep though I may do it while playing round after round of Free Cell since it’s so mindless.

Usually, this is all it takes to get the creative juices flowing again.  However, when I was a day past the two week mark and still didn’t have a good feel for what to work on I decided to take a second look.

I also wrote way too many emails – for which I apologized to the recipients.  Obviously, I was stalling so I didn’t have to face what might be causing the problem.

As I did manage to get a few book ideas going over the previous evenings I decided to do a bit more mental movie watching – with the intent of coming up with a project to work on. Long story short, of the four books I have in the queue, I decided to do…I didn’t know!

After all that work I STILL didn’t know!

The four choices are 2 Dragon Core books, a Ghost Games story, and a Metatron’s Army story.

Since I couldn’t figure out which one to tackle and as Mirror was already in first draft complete mode, I decided to work on that.  It was at that point I realized what the problem was.  On some unconscious level I needed to finish that one and get it out before I could free myself to work on anything else.

It would have been nice to tell myself but hey, better late than never.

It’s unusual for me to get locked into one story at a time.  I like to work on multiple stories simultaneously because it’s how my writing mind works which makes it soothing.  That this happened let me know I unconsciously send messages to myself and it’s worth noting the change in pattern.

So next time I don’t worry about a delay in getting back to it, though I DO have a cleaner more organized house for it.

So, I’m working to have Mirror available late fall/early summer 2020.  

I have a couple of Bite Size Pieces stories in the queue along with additional full-length novels across all the series.

Stay tuned!

Shadow of the Gods & More

So, just finished the first draft of Mirror, a full-length Ghost Games Case File.

Release summer, 2020.

Shadow of the Gods, second in the Dragon Core series, will be available July 4th.

Currently available for pre-order.

Whereas Cauldron laid the foundation for the series Shadow takes readers inside the world of the shifters themselves, through relationships and the unfolding of events that circle back to the first book and go back even further, allowing readers to see what it’s like to be a shape shifter living on Earth in the 21st century.

As I developed the main character, raven shifter Cayden V ale, I considered 

  • how would an individual who was part animal interact on a friendship level? 
  • how would they express intimacy?

Toward the beginning of the story we get a glimpse into how he might defend himself.  Further in we learn how he interacts as a friend and then a lover.  Later we learn more about defense.  

I gave a lot of consideration to how he would behave, what he would do to express feelings or otherwise demonstrate emotion.

He’s Shadow.  

  • What does that mean and how does that fit into the government/order/society of shape shifters?
  • How does his being Shadow affect his relationship with those around him both human and shifter?

I enjoyed this book because it allowed me to explore the complex world of shape shifters through the filter of simplicity offered by Mica Gilotti who is just graduating high school as the story begins.

Mica relays information to the audience not just about having one as a lover but having them as friends or colleagues.

My next project is Messenger of the Gods, third in the Dragon Core series.

For more information about Shadow, see the video on the book’s landing page.

Shadow of the Gods

Going.  Well, as usual, busy writing these days.  I’m pleased to announce that Shadow of the Gods, second in the Dragon Core series is on schedule for a Summer 2020 release.  

Check out the landing page to learn more.

I will be posting a video shortly.

Going.  I’m also just about finished with the first draft of Mirror, the 3rd Case File in the Ghost Games series!

Mirror is a full-length novel.

Why Wait?  As this book is way ahead of schedule I will be releasing it when it’s ready which is looking like early to mid summer 2020.

Still Going.  I have a number of stories in the queue, including Redemption, a short story tied to the Dragon Core SeriesMessenger of the Gods, 3rd in the Dragon Core Series, and an upcoming Chronicles, part of theMetatron’s Army family.

And Going.  There’s more.  Details to follow.

Stay tuned!

To put a perspective on the volume of material I’ve released – in the last seven years I’ve had my laptop keyboard replaced four times and the trackpad recalibrated three.  As I was facing my fifth keyboard replacement and fourth recalbration, I decided it was time for a new laptop.

dragon core shirt and shadow

I’m excited to share information about a few projects I’ve been working on

SHIRT: My art team came through for me bringing a vision to life in the form of a new Dragon Core T-shirt.

Perspective is Everything!

This is a whimsical take on Dragon Shifter Lage McAskell’s pub Aesop’s Cove.

SHADOW: I am happy to announce that Shadow of the Gods, second in the Dragon Core Series is in post production. It is on schedule for release on or before summer 2020.

I will have a landing page up within a couple of weeks. I’m still working on cover design and need to write the synopsis though I have an excerpt ready to go.

GHOST: I am currently working on Mirror, a Ghost Games Case File.

This full length novel is tentatively set for a late summer 2020 release.

Stay tuned!