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!

mirror now available

I’m pleased to announce that Mirror, a full-length Ghost Games Case File is now available.

I’m hard at work on Redemption, a Dragon Core story.

Redemption will be part of the Bite Size Pieces family.

I’ve also added some new merchandise to my store.

My store is divided into themed sections.  The new merchandise is in the Dragon Core and Event Horizon Sections.

Working Working.  I have several new projects in the queue.

Anticipated releases are autumn and winter 2020.

Stay tuned!

The journey is the reward

I am proud to announce that Event Horizon is now available!

While the purpose of the app is defined on the app store and below, I have provided additional information on the Event Horizon landing page.

The journey from concept to release for this app is detailed in a series of videos on this page.

There is an FAQ Section toward the bottom of the page.

I’m proud of the work that went into this project and want to take a moment to express my gratitude to friends and family who have supported me along this journey of creativity.

Especially Aaron who has worked tirelessly to help me bring my vision to life.

I invite readers to check it out!

PURPOSE: Helps reduce the mental and emotional noise that can hinder decision-making and cause creativity and productivity blocks.

Stay tuned!

Shuffling the Deck

Listening to Ozzy and considering projects in the queue the way I would cards dealt in a hand of poker and just like with a new hand I’m rearranging them in order to view new and better possibilities.

The difference between playing poker and being a writer is that in poker I play to win whereas as a write the reader is my partner – making it a bit more like pinochle.  I need to make it so we both win.

I actually have an additional party to consider, the website visitor.  Like a dealer at a casino this individual doesn’t have the vested interest the players do and yet they have a natural curiosity that brought them to the table.

Shuffle the hand 1:  I added pre-order to the Mirror landing page as well as an excerpt from the book.

Shuffle the hand 2:  I’m bumping Redemption a Dragon Core tale release date into autumn 2020.

Shuffle the hand 3:  I’m sliding in a new as yet unrevealed Metatron’s Army project I’ve been thinking about for the past few years.

Hold:  Satisfied I have a decent go forward strategy I can proudly report that the app I’ve been working on is another step closer to release.

Stay tuned!

Now if I could only figure out what to do about dinner…

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!

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.